?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Penny and John Answer Questions

For the original post, see here



kalleah's questions:

1. What does he think of Mickey?

Mickey is his favorite uncle and surrogate father figure. He's very fond of him.

2. Does he notice the gossips at work and not care, or not notice?

He's very aware that he's talked about and not thought much of. And it bothers him, but he doesn't know what to do about it except endure, since to leave the Institute is unthinkable. He does try to block it out. As for ordinary office gossip, of the kind that worries Penny, it's never come up before: he's never had a girlfriend at work before, and he's not close enough to anybody to get regular gossip updates, so he's not really aware quite how much people speculate.

3. Cats or dogs?

I think John would like either a cat or a dog. Penny would prefer a cat, I think.

4. Ever had a desire to start playing bubble wrap?

Me? I've experimented, but I think I'm primarily a string player. (Bubble wrap is essentially a percussion instrument.)

5. How did he lose his virginity?

John says that it was during his first year at Uni and allows that he had a girlfriend at the time, but refuses to comment further.

papilio_luna's questions:

1. What sort of lad was her first love?

Her first crush was on her older brother's best friend. It was not reciprocated. She's still not sure if he even noticed.

2. What's her accent like, in your head?

Sort of … general non-regional educated middle-middle-class. I can’t think of anybody we might both have heard who’s got the right voice (which mostly proves that I don’t watch enough television!) Since she’s been living in the London area, her grandmother claims that her accent has changed, which may be true.

3. Did she ever go totally wild while at uni, or was she always sensible?

Penny:  Um.
John:    Nothing wrong with that.
Penny:  Did you?
John:    I like to think so.  

4. Has she ever kissed a girl?


Penny: (turns pink)
John:I'd like to know, too.


5. Free space to tell me some bit of canon for Penny that is trivial and wonderful.

Penny:

I lost my virginity to a biker.

John: 

You did not!

Penny: 

Well, he had a motorcycle.

John: 

(sceptically) un-huh.

Penny: 

Is it so hard to imagine that I’d attract someone who’d own a motorcycle?

John:

Bet it was a Honda.

Penny: 

I don’t know what kind it was.

John: 

Did you ever see the bike?  Maybe he just told you he had one.

Penny:

He offered me a ride, but I didn’t think my parents would let me.

John:                

(thinks about this)  Hold on – you – you – but you were afraid your parents would disapprove of the motorcycle?

Penny: 

Well, they were downstairs.

John:

(thinks)

Penny:               

(huffs) He was a student.  It was the summer holidays.  His parents were friends of my parents.

John:

(not following)

Penny:

My parents and I were at his parents’ house, and he took me upstairs to listen to music.

John: 

Which ….

Penny:

We did for a while.

John:

So that was your first boyfriend.

Penny:

Oh, no, he wasn’t my boyfriend.

John:

But-

Penny:                

He was never my boyfriend.  I think I’d met him before that night, but there was a bit of an age gap, so we’d never paid attention to each other before. 

John: 

But – it wasn’t like you ignored each other after that, was it?

Penny: 

No, but he was already a university student, he wasn’t usually in the area. 

John: 

But you did see each other again.

Penny: 

He called my phone the next day, or someone did – there wasn’t a message.  It was just static. 

John: 

Did you call them back? 

Penny: 

I couldn’t – the number was blocked.

John: 

(understandingly) And he hadn’t given you his number.

Penny: 

(indignant) Of course he had!

John: 

(piecing it together)  But you didn’t want to call him –

Penny: 

Because.  You know.  I didn’t want to presume.

John: 

You didn’t want to presume?

Penny: 

He was going on a holiday with some friends – Euro rail, hitchhiking, that kind of thing.  He was leaving about two days later.  For the whole summer.

John: 

So you never heard from him.

Penny: 

I got the courage to ask his mother how he was, when I saw her later that summer.  She said he’d gone back to University.

John: 

Well.  (silence)  I’m sorry.

Penny: 

For what?

John: 

Just … what was he like?

Penny:

He was very … kind, and sort of … easy to be around, and good-looking, and definitely older, and sort of … well, the fact that he was older, and I was alone with him, was intimidating, but he wasn’t.   He was interested in what I had to say – he must have been about twenty; I was only fifteen – sixteen, almost sixteen – and he laughed at all my jokes, and kept looking at me.  And I was looking at him, thinking how handsome he was and how good he smelled, and wishing, just – not even hoping, just wishing – that he would touch me.  In some way.  He was asking me questions, and acting like the answers were genuinely interesting, like I was funny and original and sweet.  I was discovering that I wanted to touch him, wanted –  I kept wanting to inch nearer.  I thought I was going crazy.  If anything happened between us, I was certain that I would die.   And then he leaned in, and – very carefully – kissed me. 

John: 

Wow.

Penny: 

He was … lovely, really.

John: 

I believe it.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
kalleah
Jun. 26th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
That was fun.
np_complete
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
I intend to participate in yours, I just have to think of some questions. Thanks for participating in mine!
papilio_luna
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Eeee thank you thank you thank you!

I know you asked previously what it was that I like about Penny so much (and really, all the same goes for John as well), and it is the understated way you've written her, actually. I think perhaps in fic sometimes we over-extend our OCs (those of us who are indeed brave enough to Go There). We're *so* familiar with our canon characters that when we introduce OCs, we want them to be just as exhaustively characterised. But really, I think that's a bit of a fool's errand--they can never be that heavily characterised and I think a lot of the time people really try to force it when it's just not necessary to the story. I really feel that Heritage as a whole story has such a remarkable quiet depth of feeling, we don't need to know what Penny's favourite food when she was 5 was, or how John organises his sock drawer. The story isn't about those things, it doesn't need them. What it does have is just this sort of background pulse of emotion, and because you don't clutter the foreground up with a lot of meaningless details, that pulse is always audible, it never gets drowned out.

So, basically, what I'm trying to say, is that I hope you keep working on it because it is an incredible story. :D
np_complete
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Thank you!

These answers were emotional to write: Penny's story isn't mine, but I had a real person in mind when I wrote that last one, who also happened to come from the same area and have about the same background as Penny, and thus an appropriate accent. So two of the answers required delving deeply into memories that I usually keep folded up, locked down, and buried.

Thank you so much for the commentary on Penny and on Heritage. I really enjoy reading what people like about the story. It's hard to know, sometimes, what you're doing right, especially when you're writing about OCs!
glory_jean
Jun. 27th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Hee. :D

I like how the answers took the form of conversations. It's so very true to their characters.
np_complete
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
I like how the answers took the form of conversations. It's so very true to their characters.

Thanks! I'm thinking of wrapping these answers into a framework and posting them on Teaspoon as a sort of "extra".
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )