While I love this series and understand Jack's train of though regarding his physical looks, I have to wonder how Rose's reaction regarding Jack as an incubator relates to being a surogate mother for people who can't have children of their own? Like a gay couple? My male best friend is married to another gay and is considering using a surrogate since it's the only way they can have a child (my country does not allow gay couples to adopt). I think I would be disapointed if Rose didn't like this to and I hope there would be a differens between being a surrogate (incubator if you like) for someone who needs it, as apose to someone who doesn't need it.
Sorry about the rant, but it's just that a really, really like this series :)
Author's Response: In this case, my intent was for Rose to be upset by the coldly economic bent involved in Jack serving as a surrogate, not so much the fact of the surrogacy (is that a word?) itself. I don\'t think she would have a particular hang-up about such things, especially in the case of helping out someone who needs it. *I* certainly don\'t, nor did I intend to give that impression; I apologize if I did (accidentally), and if that was your reading of it, your rant was *entirely* justified. (Sorry for the delay in replying; hope you see this -- still having computer problems, so I\'m slow to get to comments lately.)
I've read this several times & what always hangs me up isn't what Jack did, but Rose's reaction to it. I sell my body for a living (I'm a dancer) and while I know that my mind is also worth something (I'm lucky enough to have both looks and brains), I *do* have to look after my looks in much the same way that Jack does in this fic. Rose's thought about healing someone when they don't even know they've been hurt struck a chord with me, for sometimes I wonder what it would be like *not* to see the world in the way that I do. I guess that I'm far more Jack than Rose, which might be why I don't always like Rose as a character. Still, for some odd reason, I *love* OT3 & have been reading the rest of the Bliss!Verse. This one's my favorite, though, because I'm an angst queen & because it speaks to me.
Thank you very much for writing it.
Author's Response: Thanks! That\'s a very thoughtful a nd personal response, and I\'m glad this is a good \"think-about\" story. FWIW, when i was writing this, I was holding both characters\' viewpoints in my head, and I can understand how they both look at things here. I used to do some artist\'s modeling, which is a similar \"selling oneself\" situation, and *I\'m* fine, but I\'ve seen people get very damaged if they don\'t keep their physical \"marketability\" in proper perspective, too. I think the problem is, Jack hasn\'t had anyone valuing him for his non-physical traits in a very long time, to give him a balanced view of himself. Anyway, glad you liked it, and I\'m sorry it took me so long to respond. I hope you see this, at some point . . .
That's a really good point. Culture often puts so much emphasis on how a person looks, that we forget we don't really love people for their appearance, but for who they are.
By the way, the casual mention in the first Torchwood that Jack had been pregnant was one of my favorite things on that show. It gave just the right feeling of strangeness, that Jack wasn't like everyone else, without getting graphic about it.
Author's Response: Thank you! Well, in a perfect world appearence doesn\'t mean much, anyway; part of the narrative reason for bringing up the point, too, is to show the kind of background Jack\'s from. The idea of love, trust and attraction existing for their own sakes (without ulterior motives)has been almost beaten out of him by a rough life, even though he hasn\'t lost the capacity himself. He just has a terrible time believing his own good luck in finding other people who can respond in kind. And yes, that comment of Jack\'s in S1 Torchwood is the Throwaway Comment That Spawned a Thousand Fanfics . . .
It's bizarrely easy to see this in early Jack canon; by the time Torchwood rolled around, some of this would have worn off, but it's always struck me that Jack thinks his abilities at sex are paramount to getting along with people, and it's easy to take that a step further and get what you see here.
Author's Response: Yeah, we really didn\'t get to see a whole lot of \"Young!Jack\" -- it\'s interesting to try reconstructing him from what we see of him later in his life. Thanks!
This makes me cry every time I read it - Jack not getting where his worth really lies.
Author's Response: Jack really needs some love -- in all his forms and incarnations. I do enjoy helping out in that regard . . . :D Thanks!
Though I am not a Rose and Jack shipper I really enjoyed this fic. You can so tell that Jack would just be so sweet and gentle with Rose if she was his...everything about him just screams gentleman.
Interesting bit about him hiring his body out to incubate a fetus too. There really needs to be some more in-depth talk about Jack's past either on Doctor Who (if he has a guest appearence again) or on Torchwood.
Author's Response: Thanks! Yeah, down deep, Jack does have a genuinely sweet streak, even after everything he\'s been through -- it\'s one of the things I love about him as a character. I think this next season of TW is going to do a lot with Jack\'s past, and I can\'t wait! I know *my* take on it, but I\'ll be interested to see what RTD and Co. have to say . . .
Oh, another Bliss! story...glad to see more into Jack's past...poor guy! Good thing for the link...it'll take time, but I think Rose and Nine are fantastic for him!
* I always squee now when I see a new Bliss! story up!*
Author's Response: Well, of course my version of Jack\'s past has nothing to do with canon (and I\'m sure it will be contradicted eventually) . . . but Uncle Rusty has gone on record saying that everyone\'s personal DW canon \"counts,\" so I\'m still a happy camper. . . :D Thanks! Be seein\' ya \'round! ;)
Poor Jack. He really is so much bigger on the inside and I'm not talking about the womb. He so deserves love. Thank you for your wonderful Bliss!verse were He gets that love.
Author's Response: Well, that\'s what the Bliss!verse is all about -- there will be a few bumps along the way, but happy endings is where it\'s at! Thanks!
What else there is to say. You never cease to touch my heart with those little (and not so little) stories of yours. *sniff* poor Jack *sniff*
Wish I could give a more sophisticated review, but I'm simply at a loss for words. Thank you.
Author's Response: If you let me know you liked it, that\'s enough of a review for me!! Thanks! :)
I'm so ridiculously happy when a new Bliss!verse story appears that I go in knowing any review I post will be a matter of squee, but there it is. Having said that, this really was good, and it moved nicely from a quirky but realistic explanation of Jack's pregnancy stories to a poignant reveal of his background. And you've created a background that allows for a believable explanation for what reads, on the surface, as vanity. It takes not only a good writer, but someone with a feel for humanity (no matter how close or far from us that humanity may be.) Thanks!
Author's Response: Thank *you* for the review! :D Glad the Bliss stories continue to entertain. Not always sure how good my feel for humanity is (people still confuse me on a daily basis), but at least it\'s good enough for fic ... :D
aw *hugs Jack* I love you too! Great great story. Very original and an interesting take on Jack being pregnant.
Author's Response: Thanks! Jack appreciates the hugs. He needs \'em sometimes . . .
That was probably the best explanation for Jack's pregnancy comment I've ever heard. :) I loved the bit of insight into Jack's character, too. Lovely.
Author's Response: Thanks! I do have to wonder what the \"canon\" explanation will end up being, if they ever get \'round to it . . .
Lovely! My heart aches for poor Jack. You do a marvelous job of capturing the fact that being from thousands of years in the future means a much bigger difference in attitudes and expectations than just being flexible. I love how this started out with Jack comforting crampy Rose and ending up with her being the comforter. The memory of Jack's response to facial injury is a wonderful bit of characterization. Finally, a quality man-pregnancy fic!
Author's Response: Thanks! Glad you caught the role-reversal bit; it came entirely out of my subconscious, but I got a good laugh while writing when I realized that\'s what was happening . . . :D
This left me utterly stunned, nearly as stunned as Rose. I *love* the fact that you're showing how different Jack and Rose really are. Three thousand years is a hell of a long time for cultures to change--3000 years ago, Rome was hardly an infant, and so was Greece; Alexander the Great was seven hundred years from being born, and Egypt was the greatest empire in the world. Now imagine trying to have a relationship with someone from then. *WOW.* Why haven't the rest of us cottoned on to that?
This made my tear up:
For a few moments he’d radiated . . . terror, pure and simple. Not wounded vanity, or a fearful reaction to the injury itself; it was the thought that he might be visibly damaged — scarred, no longer beautiful — that had him nearly frantic. It was like a professional athlete fearing loss of a leg, or a laborer facing an amputated hand. That was the first time she’d understood Jack correlated his physical appearance with survival.
Ohhh... oh, *Jack*. *sniffles*
Author's Response: Yeah, in some ways, Rose and Jack are as different from each other as they both are from the Doctor, even though they have the basic \"instinctive\"/physical advantage of belonging to the same species. One thing I wanted to try and bring in here, but ended up cutting for flow (though it\'ll be somewhere else someday) was the way it\'s sometimes *harder* for Rose to adjust to Jack\'s differences than the Doctor\'s -- one expects differences with an alien, but a human who really *sounds* and looks like he comes from a society close to yours (i.e. 21st century American, in Jack\'s case) will mess with your head every time. Thanks!!
Oh, I love this - your version of Jack's past, hiring himself out as an incubator to survive, and Rose's shock at his sheer acceptance of it as something completely normal, not remotely out of the ordinary. As normal as working in McDonald's for a student. I really like how this emphasises (far more than DW or TW ever has) that Jack is from the future.
And then the story about his scars and how he believed that no longer having his good looks would lesson him as a person... Oh, Jack. And yet if you asked him whether he'd love Rose or the Doctor any less if they had visible scars he'd be appalled that they'd even think it.
Loved this. I want more :)
Author's Response: Yeah, I\'ve been surprised at how little Jack\'s cultural differences have been explored in canon -- there\'s a lot of potential material there, I think. Liked your comparison to working at McDonald\'s; the kernel that started this story was me thinking that Jack\'s tone in \"Everything Changes,\" when he says of pregnancy, \"I\'m never doing *that* again,\" sounds exactly like me remembering the short, awful while I worked for WalMart. It was a living, but only just. :/ Tie that into the ads one sees on college campuses, offring huge sums of money for young women to donate ova to fertility clinics, and a story was born. :) RE: the issue of scars -- I\'ve found that people often hold *themselves* to bizarre double-standards they don\'t expect from others, so it seemed logical Jack would have that quirk.