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Sentire: Reaction Post

This is the place for any comments you'd like to make about the Sentire series as a whole. I really appreciate your feedback, and I welcome all comments, both positive and negative.

My initial notes, just bits and pieces in no particular order (and possibly completely unintelligble), are under the cut, and I will add to them as we go along.


1. When I started this, I knew I wanted TimeLord!sex to be the hook, and I felt like telepathy (while awesome) had been done quite a bit, so I tried to come up with a variation on it that was a bit unusual. The "stare into your partner's eyes for five minutes thing" is one thing from my college Human Sexuality class that I've never forgotten, so I decided to go with that. (And yes, I have actually done the five-minute stare with someone before, and it is kind of scary and amazing. If you have a significant other, give it a shot!)

So, one thing I did that I hoped no one would consciously notice on the first reading was put in a LOT of references to where they were looking, whether they were making eye contact, etc. I shudder to think how many hits you'd get if you searched through the story for "eyes" "look" "see" "gaze" etc. They're probably half the total word count. :)

2. Which leads me to the title, which made me so happy when I found it, I giggled for hours. The thing is, I *suck* at titles, I really do. So I went with the old standby, which is picking a word and translating it into another language and using THAT as your title, because other languages are sexy, right? So I went with "see," and first tried French, but the result was too close to "voyeur," which, while sexy, was not what I was looking for. So I tried Latin, and found "sentire," and was just thrilled to see what else it meant, because I think ALL of those words (experience, feel, perceive, see, think, realize, understand) are clear themes in this fic.

3. The OT3 issue. Alas. Honestly, I went back and forth about whether to make it absolutely clear at the very beginning that despite the presence of three-way smut, this was NOT an OT3 fic. I decided against it, because I simply don't like to give anything away, but for anyone who felt misled, I'm really sorry. I'm a big fan of OT3, but I'm angsty by nature, and I personally find true (and by "true" I mean "in character") OT3 very hard to do well, what with all the "I love you" "and I love you" "and I love you" that has to be dealt with. :) It just wasn't the story I wanted to do. I do love Jack as much as anyone can, so I was very careful to try to make sure he was okay -- the benefit, I think, of working with pre-Torchwood Jack, who I think moved very easily between the circumstances of sex without love AND love without sex.

4. The Doctor and Rose never say "I love you" to each other, and this was absolutely on purpose. First of all, it's Nine. I mean, really. Second of all, I tend to go for the non-obvious obviousness, meaning, I wanted  it to be absolutely clear that they love each other deeply, to the point that saying it would be reaching through your computer screen and smashing you over the head with a socket wrench. In my canon-view, Nine would never say it, and Rose would never expect him to. (That's what Ten was for, yeah? :)

5. I feel like this should be a post all its own, but hello, overkill. So let's talk about The Part Six Event.

(1) I am incredibly uncomfortable with the idea that what happened to Rose was on par with rape or abuse, though I did want what happened to her to be powerful. I think I have realized that I just couldn't have it both ways. :) The thing is, I personally don't believe that anything that happens unintentionally in a sexual situation must be construed as violative, even when it results in harm, though I don't have a good argument against anyone who says otherwise.

(2) Having said that, there's a big question about whether what the Doctor did was, in fact, unintentional. He meant to do whatever he has to do to enter her mind, but he never, ever thought it would work. It'd be a bit like putting on a Superman Halloween costume and discovering you can fly, meaning, he had ZERO expectation that it would happen. I think this mitigates his culpability somewhat. Not entirely, but somewhat.

(3) One thing that really struck me about what people reacted to was that I never thought it was that big a deal that he left her with Jack. According to the comments, though, a number of people were shocked by that, and it made me go back and try to remember what *I* was thinking when I had him leave. It's mostly because between Jack and Nine, it's obvious who's going to be doling out the comfort, and I honestly thought Nine would have been very confused about why this was happening. Also, though at the end of the day I do believe he's always going to do the right thing, the Doctor fights a biiiig demon called Cowardice. In the heat of the moment, sometimes his fight-or-flight reaction is going to be wrong.

(4) Here's something I also take as canon: Rose trusts the Doctor. That trust is absolute, 100%, no exceptions, no caveats, no gray area, period, the end, game over. In my head, she'd never be angry about anything he does to her (condemning her to death in a bunker with a Dalek, say); she'd only be angry that he didn't tell her what was going on. Hence the reaction in the bath.

(5) Ooh, the bath. Someone made an off-hand reference to the idea that the Doctor was making Rosetell him what happened purely out of cruelty. I actually had him do this for a couple of reasons; first, I think he is hoping against hope that what happened didn't happen, and by having her explain to him, he's confirming that it did. Second, he's forcing himself to face the pain he caused her.

And one thing I think I did not write well is WHY he doesn't tell her what happened right then, in the bath. In my head, it was because it's an extremely complicated answer, and he wants to make sure he gets it right. He's still trying to process what he did, how and why it happened, and I felt like having him try to explain everything right then, it would have ended up being "I tried to have Time Lord sex with you and I never thought it would work but it did and I'm sorry," or (from a purely practical storytelling perspective), it would have taken as long as it did on the beach at the end, they'd have been cold and pruny by the time it was over.

What else, what else?

(6) I joked about this a bit in the comments, but the Interlude drove me absolutely batshit. I remember writing to my beta in frustration because I felt like it kept devolving into either Harlequin Romance or Letters to Penthouse, neither of which do I consider to be good writing. And I felt like that scene was important to the story, their first time together as a threesome. My problem is that my writing process is very visual. I actually do quite a bit of writing in my head and will usually have the entire scene "finished" -- where the characters are, how they move, and what they say -- before I ever put anything down on paper. I couldn't do that with the Interlude because it was too damn long. Not that sitting around imagining these three in bed was a big damn chore, but there's so little dialogue involved, and I felt like I had to describe almost every single movement in order for it to be realistic and compelling, and it just ended up being ridiculously long.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
quill2002
Apr. 30th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, cruel! ;) I'm looking forward to the last chapter!
quill2006
Apr. 30th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Oops, that's me, on my other journal. Creative with the names, aren't I?
roquentine
Apr. 30th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
Hee! The last part will be up very shortly! This post is going to be for reactions to the whole series in general, if you're interested in sharing them. :) Thanks and stay tuned!
wendymr
Apr. 30th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
You TEASE!

Do you know that I've been obsessively refreshing better_with_3 for the past hour?
roquentine
Apr. 30th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Your poor F5 key. :) *giggles* We are in the final tweaking stages... give me ten minutes!
jezebelz
May. 1st, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I liked it very much. The last chapter did seem a bit...hasty, though, just in the sense that they dealt with so much in such a relatively small space. Nothing hit a false note for me, but I'd have liked to see a bit more deliberation, a bit more explanation. And possibly more sex. (Not JUST because I like the sex - also because that's what started all of this!)
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Part of the reason why this took me so long to write (and I certanly wasn't working on it full time for the past year, it sat idle for months) but part of the reason why it did is because I struggle over *every* *word*, and therefore I tend to write as little as I think necessary to convey what's going on. Seriously, I'm very happy with the way the Interlude turned out, but writing it was agonizing for me, because so much had to happen and I couldn't skate over any of it.

All of which is to say that I understand if you felt some parts needed to be longer. :) I also felt that Parts 8 and 9 were too long to be one part, but unfortunately there was no good place where they could be split. I did it where I felt it was the least jarring, but it was sort of the least bad of a bunch of bad choices.
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
Okay, comments on your post-fic analysis, now that it's up. I'll begin with 4:

The Doctor and Rose never say "I love you" to each other, and this was absolutely on purpose.

That works for me, and for exactly the reasons you outline - though, actually, I believe Ten has just as much difficulty saying the words, and we saw that. It makes perfect sense that they don't. You did actually have the Doctor acknowledge to himself that he loved both Jack and Rose, though, and I was glad to see the reference to Jack, though you're right that his feelings for Rose were unmistakeable.

The Part Six event:
I am incredibly uncomfortable with the idea that what happened to Rose was on par with rape or abuse, though I did want what happened to her to be powerful.

What made it feel like that to me was a combination of the build-up - it was obvious that he was setting out to do something and it felt as if it was in retaliation for the fact that she and Jack were so totally into lovemaking that she was barely aware of the Doctor's presence any more; the aftermath, when he just left (more on that later); and the reference to it not being intentional but he knew exactly what he'd done to her; and then, later, refusing to explain. You left us to draw the worst possible conclusions, of course, and that's why it felt like a violation, close to rape. Yes, I did feel strongly about it ;) That's why.

One thing that really struck me about what people reacted to was that I never thought it was that big a deal that he left her with Jack.

Here, I think it's the difference between the author knowing what was in her mind when she wrote it and readers' perceptions of the scene. For most of us, if someone we love is hurt or in pain, even if we caused it, we stay around and try to offer comfort. Even if we can't offer physical comfort, we try to offer the comfort of our presence. To me, it looked as if he was abandoning her. He hurt her badly, left her terrified and barely conscious, and then just walked out. He was the only one who could explain to her what happened - which she needed more than she needed physical comfort - and he just wasn't there. It felt callous, uncaring and - well, talk about a huge slap in the face.

Now, this is the Doctor. This is Nine. Yes, I can buy him doing it: he was scared, both of what he'd done and of how she'd react. That doesn't mean I like that he did it, but I can certainly believe that he would. You get the distinction?

(4) Here's something I also take as canon: Rose trusts the Doctor. That trust is absolute, 100%, no exceptions, no caveats, no gray area, period, the end, game over. In my head, she'd never be angry about anything he does to her (condemning her to death in a bunker with a Dalek, say); she'd only be angry that he didn't tell her what was going on. Hence the reaction in the bath.

Yes. But. Trust isn't actually absolute. We think it is, but there are things people can do that would damage trust. Take the Doctor's regeneration. She lost faith in him then. Understandable, absolutely.

I see this sitution as very different from Dalek. He shut her in there to save millions of people. It was her or mass killings. She knew that. In the story, he wasn't trying to save anyone else, there were no heroics, nothing like that. Out of the blue, he hurt her, badly, and didn't explain why, and then avoided her for hours afterwards. Now, if you liken that - and I know you don't see it this way, but bear with me for the analogy - to a man who, out of the blue, attacks his partner, who loves him very much and trusts him absolutely... does that damage trust? Not enough, at that stage (probably) for her to walk out, but definitely enough to make her wary. That's why I, at least, was surprised that she trusted him quite so much. Or that she didn't, at least, make him work for that trust.

Now, none of this is a criticism of your writing! And I have to say how much I welcome the invitation to discuss motivation, characterisation and the writing process with you here.

More in another post, because I'm probably getting close to my character limit.
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for all of your comments! I'm going to reply to them one at a time here, just to help me keep things straight. :)

What made it feel like that to me was a combination of the build-up - it was obvious that he was setting out to do something and it felt as if it was in retaliation for the fact that she and Jack were so totally into lovemaking that she was barely aware of the Doctor's presence any more; the aftermath, when he just left (more on that later); and the reference to it not being intentional but he knew exactly what he'd done to her; and then, later, refusing to explain. You left us to draw the worst possible conclusions, of course, and that's why it felt like a violation, close to rape. Yes, I did feel strongly about it ;) That's why.

I preface everything I say here with the disclaimer that the reactions you are having are completely valid given what you had to work with - as you mentioned in the next section, there's probably going to be some some disconnect between what's in my head and what's on the screen, and if the majority of people react in a way I didn't intend, that's a problem with, if not my writing, then my storytelling.

So I think where my storytelling failed here is that I didn't intend for people to see malice in any of the Doctor's actions. Again, I now get why you and others *would* see that -- I just didn't mean to convey it. He physically moves his hand into Rose to remind him he's there out of jealousy; he leaves her because he's a big damn chicken (and I am oversimplifying); he admits to Jack that he knew what he did but also that he didn't mean to do it (and again, it didn't occur to me that one might not take him at his word here); and he doesn't tell her what happened in the bath for reasons I just added to the main post. None of these things were done out of a *desire* to hurt her, which to my mind is the where the line of violation vs. accident lies. (Although again, I really have no argument to back that up.)

All this by way of saying... I totally get where you're coming from, and I can see where my writing didn't reflect what I intended to convey. I tread too close to a very, very fuzzy line. :)

Edited at 2008-05-01 01:07 pm (UTC)
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
I totally get where you're coming from, and I can see where my writing didn't reflect what I intended to convey. I tread too close to a very, very fuzzy line. :)

And finally coming around to reply to this one: that is very difficult to do. Often, you can't address the issues readers have concerns about without revealing information you the characters aren't ready to reveal yet. So you, in effect, have to say 'trust me, all will be explained soon'. Been there, done that many a time.

I don't think anyone believed that the Doctor intended to hurt her; we just felt that he was too thoughtless, too much of a coward, too reluctant to explain, all of which left us with the impression that he wasn't doing enough to make up for what he did. Hurting her by accident: yeah, we can buy that. Running away and refusing to explain: that's where we start shouting at him ;)

Anyway, thank you again very much indeed for this opportunity to chat about the story! I've enjoyed it a lot.
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
On him leaving her:

For most of us, if someone we love is hurt or in pain, even if we caused it, we stay around and try to offer comfort. Even if we can't offer physical comfort, we try to offer the comfort of our presence.

Here, I disagree with the premise, actually. If someone has hurt me, I tend not to want to see them for a while.

To me, it looked as if he was abandoning her. He hurt her badly, left her terrified and barely conscious, and then just walked out. He was the only one who could explain to her what happened - which she needed more than she needed physical comfort - and he just wasn't there. It felt callous, uncaring and - well, talk about a huge slap in the face.

This, I get, and I understand that this was a crit of the character and not my characterization. :) To his credit, I don't think he ever would have left if Jack hadn't been there. But his instinct is to run from the damage he causes, and he knew Jack would take care of her, so he ran. I was surprised by how many people commented on it, but I imagine it was just me being so familiar with the story that, on my nineteenth draft, it's not really a big surprise to me that he leaves. :)

Edited at 2008-05-01 04:46 am (UTC)
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Here, I disagree with the premise, actually. If someone has hurt me, I tend not to want to see them for a while.

Hadn't thought of it like that - for me, if it's someone I love and who supposedly loves me, I think I'd want them to be there to show that they care, even if I then order them to get out of my sight. But, again, that's a personal reaction.

I can see that the Doctor wouldn't have left if Jack wasn't there, but - as you saw - it was a huge shock to most of your readers that he left. It did feel like abandonment in the circumstances, and made the whole incident even more shocking. But, as I said, it's Nine. He can be a coward. It's in character for him to run, so no-one's saying that you wrote OOC or anything like that. It was just one more sin to add to his list ;)

Thanks for your very thoughtful replies, by the way! I enjoyed reading them.
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
And yours! I think this is what is so interesting about fanfic. We're writing about characters that people know already, which can be both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because you can skip a lot of introduction and exposition, but a curse because everyone's take on canon and character is going to be slightly different, and you still want it to resonate with as many people as possible.

Given that so few people knew who I was, the fact that I got comments at all was so exciting to me, and then the fact that they were long and substantive and full of smart, thought-provoking comments... it was more than I ever would have expected. It was just fascinating to see everyone's take on things, and to be able to have a bit of extended discussion about them here -- FULL of awesome. :)
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Hey, you got comments because it was good! There's not all that much fic on b_w_3 to begin with, so I'm guessing OT3 fans check out most of what's posted - and when it's really good, which isn't that often, it gets pounced on.

As for the canon/characterisation thing, you're absolutely right. I've always argued that characterisation, up to a point, is subjective. I can still enjoy characterisation that's a little different from what I see, as long as it doesn't cross my own boundaries of what I see as 'in character'. I think just about all the comments that might be seen in the light of 'this could have been different' weren't saying it wasn't in character. It's more that it was in character but we were yelling at the characters for doing it. (Or, with the OT3 thing, that a lot of us, once Jack's on the scene, tend to see the relationship as a trio, not a couple plus one. That's by no means a universal view).
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
On the issue of Rose's trust, let me say generally that I still feel that, while absolute trust is magical thinking in our reality, in the world where these characters live, it *can* be absolute, and is for Rose. In my opinion, the *only* thing that would break it for her is if he did something along the lines of your example, which I simply don't believe the character of the Doctor is capable of. (But I acknowledge that, based on the feedback, I might be the only one who sees her this way!)
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
I really am torn here, because while I absolutely agree that her trust in the Doctor goes very deep indeed, I do suspect that possibly - assuming her reaction to everything is as strong as we're all thinking - that she might be having doubts. I'm obviously not equating what he did with physical assault (he wouldn't do that), but it was a mental violation that caused her physical, mental and emotional pain, and by the time of the scene in the bath she still hasn't got a clue why he did it - so there's potential for damaged trust. I can buy that she's giving him the benefit of the doubt there, though I suspect that by the time he refuses to explain she's beginning to waver.

But this is MHO - and we can all interpret characters slightly differently :) It doesn't affect my reaction to the end of the story, at least between the Doctor and Rose; that worked perfectly for me.
grissom500
May. 1st, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have no words...

The introspection in this peice is amazing. The angst is amazing, the lack of angst in places is amazing. This is really a one of a kind work. You've done something extremely hard and captured 9 in a beautiful and true light (not because he's not beautiful and true, but because he's a slippery little bastard).

I wish I was eloquent enough to tell you all that is amazing about this fic. But I'm not.

I love it
I love it
I love it
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
*grins* That is just a delightfully complimentary post, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. And I really appreciated all of your comments throughout! :)
grissom500
May. 1st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
The pleasure was all and completely mine I assure you. You rawk my world. :D
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
... and part 2 of my rambles - the OT3 issue
3. The OT3 issue. Alas. Honestly, I went back and forth about whether to make it absolutely clear at the very beginning that despite the presence of three-way smut, this was NOT an OT3 fic. I decided against it, because I simply don't like to give anything away, but for anyone who felt misled, I'm really sorry. I'm a big fan of OT3, but I'm angsty by nature, and I personally find true (and by "true" I mean "in character") OT3 very hard to do well, what with all the "I love you" "and I love you" "and I love you" that has to be dealt with. :) It just wasn't the story I wanted to do.

First, I certainly didn't feel misled - or maybe just a fraction, since I was reading this from better_with_3. But you did make clear from the outset that it was primarily a Rose/Nine story. I knew that. My comments about Jack were never to say 'Give me OT3' or 'this isn't what I was expecting'; I was simply showing you my reactions to events :)

I think what really, really made this feel like a genuine threesome relationship, though, was that pivotal first lovemaking scene. That was simply gorgeous, and it felt genuinely like all three of them making love with each other, equal partners in the relationship. I've seen threesome sex; I've seen sex with three of them present in which two people get it on and the third's little more than an observer. Or in which it's sequential twosome sex. This was all three, and it was perfect. Now, I didn't feel misled; it's just that at that point the relationship felt like a real trio rather than two plus Jack. That was added to by Jack openly saying he loved both of them, Rose telling him she loved him, and the Doctor's silent admission. This wasn't just sex; it really was love. So maybe there was a tiny bit of ambiguity there, and while my head knew you weren't going in that direction my heart was well on the way over there because of what I was reading ;)

You're also dealing with the inclinations of some of us who like the OT3: once Jack's on the scene, and especially if there's any relationship stuff at all (from subtext to full-out sex), it feels... odd to have a relationship between the Doctor and Rose and not involve Jack. Not that I mean it's wrong; it's just my slant on things.

You did handle the 'fallout' very, very well; I can totally buy Jack withdrawing graciously, whether or not it's what he feels inside. My own reading of Jack as a character in S1 suggests that he could well be more hurt by this than he's letting on, and I'd wonder how long he'd stick around as the ex-lover and gooseberry, particularly as we know he loves both of them. How long can you be in love yet accept being shut out of a deeper relationship, one you once had? (even if he always knew he was never as close as the Doctor and Rose are to each other). But that's only my interpretation, of course.

So, yeah, it's much more a matter of personal preferences than a characterisation issue in the fic. I've read another couple of stories where Jack's allowed a shag or two (often to engineer the Doctor and Rose getting together) and then kicked out, never to return to the bedroom. That just feels as if he's been used, and that's something I really do dislike. You didn't do that. As I said, you allowed him to exit the bedroom with dignity and graciousness, and at least appearing to be comfortable with the situation.

In the end, you went with what felt right for the story you wanted to tell, and that's by far the best criterion for your decision. Trying to please readers by changing your story because you felt some people (even a majority) wanted something different would have been a mistake; you can never please everyone, and it may have spoilt the story for you because it wasn't the story you wanted to tell in the end.

*shrug* To summarise a very, very long post, you told the story that made sense to you, and you did it in a way that was plausible, even if some of us would have liked a different outcome in the OT3 respect. And that's only a personal preference :) You did the right thing.

Edited at 2008-05-01 03:54 am (UTC)
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Re: ... and part 2 of my rambles - the OT3 issue
I sort of agree with all of this; as I said in the post itself, I find it unfortunately rare that OT3 is ever really done well, but I think it's because it's very hard to do. I admit I went into this hoping to ping the best of both worlds; hot three-way sex was definitely something I wanted to try to incorporate, but still tell a Nine/Rose love story.

I agree with you that Jack is probably a little more hurt and/or disappointed than he lets on, but I'm going to nitpick this: ... and I'd wonder how long he'd stick around as the ex-lover and gooseberry, particularly as we know he loves both of them. How long can you be in love yet accept being shut out of a deeper relationship, one you once had?... by saying that "love" and "in love" are different things. I agree that Jack feels the former, but I don't necessarily agree that he feels the latter. IMHO, anyway, he loves Nine and Rose but has sex with them in a 51st century, commonplace-activity, friends-with-benefits kind of way (which I still think can be as powerful as the Interlude was, and BTW thank you for your lovely comments on that!); whereas (and again I stress the IMHO-ness of this) he is IN love with Ianto, and has 21st century strings-attached sex with him. :)

It's an interesting issue all around, and I do appreciate your insight and the others who have piped up on Jack's behalf. :) I'm sure I will be revisiting it should I ever attempt a true OT3 fic!
wendymr
May. 1st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Re: ... and part 2 of my rambles - the OT3 issue
he is IN love with Ianto, and has 21st century strings-attached sex with him.

Ooh, and this is where I part company completely and absolutely with you! As I see it, Ianto is a convenient sex-partner. Jack likes him; loves him in the way he loves all the team; but isn't in love with him. And, yes, that may partly be my own prejudice (I've tried, but I don't like Ianto and I loathe Jack/Ianto), but it's also based on Ianto's comments to others about their relationship: the 'dabbling' and the comment to Owen that 'it's not what you think'.

Other than that, yes, Jack's better-equipped than most to deal with the fallout of being ejected from the bedroom, and of course they still love him and he loves them. Me, I tend to see him as in love with them as well, but again this is one of those interpretation/characterisation things. One is as reconcilable with canon as the other, even if Jack has given a lot of hints that his feelings for both the Doctor and Rose are very strong. Kissing them goodbye. Dying for them. Still loving the Doctor even after being abandoned (his aside to Martha in Sound of Drums, for example. Going to see Rose grow up. But, yeah, I'm sure others could interpret all those as the love of a good friend plus added sexual attraction.

Again, thanks for the great discussion!
maniacalshen
May. 1st, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
I'd like to throw in that the Doctor running away after he hurt Rose did make a great deal of sense to me. As you said, he can be a great big coward at times, and I can easily believe he saw things with your logic - the same logic that would occur to me if I'd hurt someone and was still in the "freaking out about it" stage: She's going to be angry; she won't want to see me when she wakes up. And since Jack's there to take care of her...

So I wasn't as angry at him for leaving as the others. I just got really angry at him blowing off Rose's questions in the bathtub. >_> When he finally gave the explanation in the last chapter, I saw how it could be so complicated that he needed to put some planning into the telling of it. But he shouldn't have crawled into a bathtub with her if he couldn't provide some answers.

However, that's me being angry at the character, not your story or storytelling. ;)
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
You know, while I didn't consider this consciously while I was writing it, I think you are right... his getting into the bathtub with her was a very selfish move. Like you said, he has to know that she's going to ask him what happened, and he's really pushing his luck if he thinks she's going to just accept the fact that he's not ready to tell her yet. My reasons for putting him there were to make sure that what he thought happened happened, and to indulge a bit of masochism by forcing himself to listen to her explain it. But I never put two and two together in my own head... it really is just selfish behavior, much as he was latently selfish in bed with her.
utopia83
May. 1st, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
Hey! I'm posting here my reactions to the ending as well.

I liked it. The Ninth Doctor explaining everything in that way of his? Sold it to me in its entirety. He is, after all, the Ninth Doctor. He loves to bedazzle people with his knowledge and, in this case, it couldn't have been more appropriate.

I loved Rose's reaction. Season 1 Rose, as it were, and I could totally see this happening. She and the Ninth Doctor are portrayed as symbiotic during the series, and you captured their dynamics, and the shifts in it when they finally had it out on the beach, very well.

I am sad for Jack's exclusion. I do love me some OT3, but I respect that this is your story and your plotline and if you chose the bond to work in a two way fashion, I really can't harp on about it, can I? Especially since you've hit my telepathy/mindbonding/etc etc kink.

Thank you for the ride. I quite enjoyed it. :)
roquentine
May. 1st, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you did! You're right, the Doctor is never so happy as when he is explaining things, just as long as he doens't have to talk about himself, so it felt okay to have him put that part off until he absolutely had to.

I appreciate the pass on the OT3. The feeling I am getting from you OT3ers is that you all sat down for cake and while you *really* wanted yellow cake with chocolate frosting, you got white cake with chocolate frosting instead. Which is, you know, still pretty good. :)

*um, TOTALLY wants cake now*

Anyway, thank you so much for this comment, and all the ones you left in the series! I really appreciate it!
utopia83
May. 1st, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
*giggle* We should have cake. *nods* Cake is good.

True. We all read "Doctor/Rose, Jack". I guess we were all looking at the menu and read "Cake with chocolate frosting." We all thought it was going to be yellow, and then it turned out white.

But it was good cake nonetheless.

;)
roguewords
May. 2nd, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
I just read the whole thing in one go (yay for c&p.) I have to say, i didn't have as much of an issue with the whole mindsex thing as i might have if i had just read it bit at a time. less time to think about what just happened, when you're reading what happens next, right?

Great story. I really enjoyed it. And definitely will be saving it. :D
roquentine
May. 3rd, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
Thank you for your comment! And yeah... I imagine it's a bit like watching a show straight through on DVD instead of waiting for a week to pass before the next episode! :) I'm so glad you liked it!
dameruth
May. 3rd, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
So, were you thinking of this music vid:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ap88Nvq44uQ

when you wrote this? Cuz I was sure thinking of it while I was reading. (And if you haven't seen it -- "Proof" by Kloot, as "performed" by Christopher Eccleston), you really MUST see it . . .). ;)
roquentine
May. 3rd, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
Um, holy s**t... I had NOT seen that video before! What a perfect fit. :) Thank you for pointing it out to me!
dameruth
May. 3rd, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
Yer welcome. :)

I find it very interesting that people seem to have one of two reactions to that vid -- either, "it made me really uncomfortable" or "OMG! I can't stop watching it!" Interesting, given the various "meanings" of prolonged eye contact.

(Definitely in the "can't stop watching it" camp myself -- *happy sigh*!) ;)
onebrightroad
May. 4th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
First and foremost, well done, you! This was beautiful, moving, hot, angst-filled, gutting, wonderfully character-driven and smart. All the things I look for and love in fanfic. You rock hard for this!

That said, The Part Six Event was difficult because it brought up some challenging stuff for me. Which indicates that you were doing things right with that scene and the fall-out from it, because it probably wouldn't have affected me that way otherwise. Dub-con/non-con situations tend to squick me in general, but you handled it in such a way that I could deal with it. I'm glad I stuck with the story, and am largely satisfied with the way it all worked out. The conclusion did seem rushed, but overall it was very effective.

The OT3-not thing was handled very well (and was So. Damn. Hot.), and I have no quibbles with it. Sex in threes is really difficult to write and choreograph realistically, and you pulled it off very nicely. Everyone was involved and stayed with each other throughout, which was great and appropriate with these characters. Nine/Rose is absolutely the primary thing going on, but they all love and want each other and they move along together. I was worried about Jack, not in an abandoned puppy sort of way (that's so not Jack) but in a smacked-down-innocent-bystander-who-doesn't-get-much-closure sort of way. Which contributes to my sense that the conclusion was rushed and a bit pat, given all that had gone on before. But endings are difficult, and that's probably my biggest quibble about the whole story. I assume that Nine did eventually explain what happened to Jack and hopefully apologize to him as well, but I'd've liked to see some of that happen in the story itself. That would've made Jack's bouncy reaction to Nine and Rose at the end more realistic. Even if Jack did overhear more of their conversation than he admitted to them, he still deserves a reckoning from Nine up front.

One of the most difficult things to deal with when an unintended violation has happened in a relationship, both IRL and in fic, is the offender's reaction and thoughts, especially in the immediate aftermath of the event. There's plenty of advice available to the violated person, and sympathy and support galore. But not so much for the other party. And it's Nine who's done the deed. Yikes. As badly as he handles it at first, it's in character and does make sense to me. In retrospect, his withdrawal is the right thing for him to do then, although it's not immediately helpful and it makes things worse for Jack. Nine needs to explain himself to Rose, to atone, to suffer in some sense. And the stakes are so high for him that he has to get it right the first time. Poor Nine. *pets him* Poor everyone, but as angry as I was with Nine, I also feel for him in that situation.

Whew! You set yourself quite a task with this story, and I think you pulled it off very well. Congrats!
51stcenturyfox
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
I really loved this, darkness and all, and am recommending it.

Thank you so much for a great read.
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