"You're beautiful," Jack murmurs, and she knows he's talking to both of them, but she also knows what Jack wants most, because they did have that conversation, when she couldn't watch him watching the Doctor anymore without asking. ... Jack, who's always got a lecherous comment in queue, has gone quiet on them. "He wants you, Doctor," she says.
I love the empathy you've given Rose, the growth and maturity that doesn't blot out the factuality of her years and her upbringing. "You Too, Huh?" was the perfect piece to set up a marvelous series, and "Unconditional" is a gem of a story. The chemistry you wrote between the Doctor, Rose, and Jack is honest, logical, nuanced, and totally in character. Thank you.
Author's Response: In my head, this takes place not too long after Boomtown, where we see that on-screen chemistry so clearly. It always seemed to me like the episode where everything changes for Rose. She finally has to own up to the fact that she\'s not attached to make in the way she once thought she was. And that she\'s been unfair to have and can\'t expect him to keep hanging around, waiting on her while she runs off to see aliens and save people. People always ask why you write OT3, because it\'s really not any kind of mainstream choice. And for me, it comes down to what a small, small tweak it took to jump from that canon experience to this.
Jack gives a wry smile and ignores the Doctor. "My reflexes were almost good enough," he tells Rose. "But if it gets me into bed with the two of you, I'm willing to take one for the team." How not to admit you are a deeply caring, loving, wonderful person. And this, from the first chapter, also always gets to me: "How bad did I catch you?" the Doctor asks. Jack blinks. It's the first time he's thought about the bruise on his jaw in what feels like hours. He didn't realize the Doctor even knew he'd clipped him. "It's fine," he says. "You can look at it in the morning."
The Doctor's silent a moment. "Sorry 'bout that. That was risky, you know." Jack chuckles, quietly. "I know. Why do you think I convinced Rose to let me shake you."
The respect and love you write between these two men always makes me smile; the way you write it always makes me pause and then go back and reread.
Author's Response: Thank you. :-)
It wasn't a decision, that one traitor word that slipped from his mouth, any more than it was a decision to tell them what he dreams about.
I like this chapter very much. Unlike more common internal monologs that go into the Doctor's psyche, the whys and wherefores of a broken hero, this short illuminating chapter has him fully aware it just happened, he let it happen, he wanted it. Dare we say, the ninth Doctor is giving himself a chance to be happy?
Author's Response: It\'s funny--I don\'t know if you heard or not, but I took the relationship dynamic out of my core How It Could Have Happened/Major Arcana continuities and have been building an original novel around it. The characters are not quite the Doctor, Rose, and Jack, but if you know what you\'re looking for, it should be obvious how much congruence there is. And I\'m finally up to chapter 14 and have reached the story points that correspond to Unconditional. So I found myself essentially rewriting this internal monologue the other day for that purpose and seeing it from a slightly different angle. And the Doctor character realized that he just couldn\'t keep going alone anymore, trying to be an island. And that it wasn\'t just him he\'d been making unhappy.
You write Jack with a breathtaking clarity (and it seems to me love of the character) -- his tenderness and wisdom; the accepted and lasting pain of his own; his street smarts that bows to Rose's understanding of the Doctor he's just begun to learn. Telling this from his pov is perfect... we learn so much about the three of them when we're looking through Jack's eyes, and the (non-sexual) intimacy of his perception and apperception makes it somehow truer. Your writing is, as always, gorgeous.
Author's Response: Jack will always be my favorite DW character, I think. No matter how much I love the others. His omnipresent sexuality both makes it difficult to see some of the other aspect of his character on screen and makes it possible to show in fanfic how sex is about so much more than body parts.
And finallly, the *cough* climax. ;-) Fits the rest of the story well, fantastic chemistry, and some truly lovely tiny moments in between the action. Like this: Behind her, Jack whimpers... That simple use of emphasis moves this lightyears in terms of the emotion beneath the sex.
Brava. Favoriting and looking forward to reading more of your stories!
Author's Response: Glad you\'re enjoying, and thank you for the tasty reviews!
Okay, so I am going to review each chapter. Can't help it, though I'm also ready to rush ahead to the end. The banter here is so ... THEM. From Jack's light "But if it gets me into bed with the two of you, I'm willing to take one for the team" to Rose's staunch "No such place" (and the brilliant "Universe'd be a terrible place if we only got what we deserved." Gah.) to "They always did figure I wasn't quite right." So much to love!! And I find their movement toward intimacy so very realistic here -- just somehow becoming right for Rose, an organic outgrowth of their lives together ... and Nine's note that Time Lords would find the whole lesser species thing suspect, so the trio is hardly the most shocking element of the relationship. Really, this is so very well thought out and written with deftness, emotional weight, and a real smolder. Thoroughly enjoying...
Author's Response: Heehee. The Doctor\'s line is actually my favorite line in this section. There are probably better lines, but it\'s the one that keeps coming back to haunt me. :-)
So, I'm not going to review every chapter (surely), but this deserves a nod: The darkness will still be there when they're gone. Fascinating choice for Nine, explaining why he lets them finally run the proverbial cup over. Gives us relationship, but doesn't diminish the pain or the darkness one bit. It's brilliant, and so very sad, as well.
Author's Response: This is actually the scene that made me start writing. I had to understand where the Doctor was coming from before I believed I could really make this happen. Darkness and all.
Stunning. Simply stunning. Normally, I'd try to wait to the end of the complete story to review (since I'm going to read the rest immediately!), but I have to say it now. This is so beautifully written, and equally beautifully characterized. You actually took my breath with With that much darkness lurking behind your eyes, there's a terrifying absolution in leaving your soul in the hands of a nineteen-year-old girl who refuses to be afraid. Perfect line, capturing so very much about why Nine is so compelling, his darkness, strength, and that war-torn vulnerability that Rose (and dear Jack) can shore up. Love the little details that make this so rich -- the freezing room (Time Lord comfy temp.), the dense muscle that can be more dangerous than it looks, the "eviction or invitation" comment from Jack, which captures him perfectly, too. Not JUST worried he'll be thrown out, but still the Jack we know and love - clever, pushing boundaries in a non-threatening way.
One of my favorite early!OT3 moments, certainly. :)
Author's Response: I\'m certainly not going to complain--chapter-by-chapter comments make me very happy. ;-) Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I\'m always glad to hear when people appreciate the characterization. \"Unconditional\" was the first fanfic I started writing, and I promised myself I wasn\'t going to do it unless I could be true to the characters.
Lovely. The chemistry here was so incredible.
Thanks for writing!
Author's Response: I\'m so glad you enjoyed. :)
I just finished this story and adored it! There's such wonderful tenderness between the characters. The smut, when it arrives, is deliciously hot. However, I'm leaving my review in this smut-free chapter because I am in love with this line:
Somehow, between them, they've made a small, warm space where the Time War isn't.
That is a beautiful sentence that encapsulates so much about what Rose and Jack mean to the Doctor.
Author's Response: I\'m so glad you liked it! And that\'s one of the two lines this entire fic grew up around. It\'s very dear to my heart. :)
Wow that was hot - three is good for me!! And I love that Jack is not all that when he is finally faced with his fantasy. :)
Author's Response: Glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback!
I am really loving this slow burn between them and the fact that the Doctor is able to let them get close. I can't wait for the next chapter.
As for the americanisms the only one I caught was 'take one for the team' and I think that would be understood without any problem. If you need a brit pick or anything else just email me on my yahoo email (that's the one I check most) and I'll help if I can. *divahugs*
Author's Response: Thanks. :) Working on it as we speak. I think I\'ll leave that one, then--it just seems like something Jack would say. And I appreciate the offer of a brit-pick--I may take you up on it in the near future.
This would end well after part 2, but I'm glad to see there will be more. Soon, I hope.
Author's Response: I had the next scene partly-written before I went on vacation. I\'m hoping to finish it and post it for y\'all in the next few days. :)
Somehow, between them, they've made a small, warm space where the Time War isn't.
This is really beautiful. Nine is not my ship but you have really written the dynamic between the three of them very well. Can't wait to read more.
Author's Response: I really love reviews like this. They tell me that the same things that drive me to write these stories down make other people happy to read them. :) Thank you for the feedback, and I hope to have the next (last?) bit up within a few days.
Beautifully told. (And I second the recommendation of Better_with_three -- there are readers in that comm who would enjoy this story very much.)
Author's Response: Thank you! I\'m always delighted when somebody whose writing I\'m over the moon for tells me I\'m doing something right. :)