Ahhhhhhhhhh I loved this so much! I can't tell you how utterly impossible it has been to find a decent Eight/Charley story. So when I found this one, and read it all the way through, well... I am now rolling around in a happy fluffy cloud.
The biggest things that turn me off from Eight/Charley stories are the lack of voice and misrepresenting the dynamic between the two of them. You've got it here. I could hear these two saying these things. Your setting was also very good at imitating something we might have heard in the audios.
You've got an incredible dynamic going between these two and I just really really love that and everything in this story. Now excuse me while I try to calm myself down and go hunt through your other stories.
Author's Response: lol Thank you. 8/Charley is one of those things I say I write purely for me because there\'s so little interest in the fandom; nobody KNOWS them. But I suppose there\'s also the part of me that knows the fans who DO know them are bound to know them QUITE well. Eight became my favorite Doctor SURPRISINGLY quickly once I met Charley (esp surprising since I hated the movie). The dynamic between them is kind of tricky for the modern mind to grasp, imo. I have struggled quite a bit to capture the PROGRESSION of their relationship from this sort of timid and hesitating intimacy to characters who are completely comfortable with each other. But I do think this was a good place to start. Glad you liked it! :)
Bravo - I really enjoyed this story. At times I wondered if you had the Doctor putting all his cards on the table was a bit of a jump or a bit sudden, but you balanced it really well by having the bit about him airing his worries and fears. Great stuff. Cheers, Jamie.
Author's Response: Their ability to communicate - to be PAINFULLY open and honest with each other - will definitely work to their benefit in the future. At least in my writing. :) Glad you enjoyed!
Great chapter! My only (and small) critique would be that a couple of the more formal sentences sounded just a whisker off. I'm think in particular of
"And why must I do, just because we came back to a universe with time in it?"
I think my favourite thing about this chapter is the Doctor expressing how he is actually a little insulted that Charley believes he can fall in and out of love all t he time. A really great observation.
Author's Response: Being that I\'m an American (lost in Australia, but still...), the word \"do\" is a bit of a trip up for me. Americans almost never use it to end a sentence/phrase the way Brits do... \"I want to\" instead of \"I want to do.\" \"Why should I?\" versus \"Why should I do?\" I\'m still trying to figure out the rules for using it in practical speech, but I know that\'s an area where my nationality works against me. \'Cause yeah... it sounds PAINFULLY formal to me in ANY case. :-P As for the insult... yeah. Charley didn\'t even realize that she had insulted him. But I definitely think he\'d take it to heart.
I think this chapter sums up Charley so well. You could also do it one word: brave. She is far braver than the Doctor in so many ways, and it is so like her to bulldog her way through such a difficult and yet rather tender conversation.
I did find your take on the "yearnings" speech as interesting. I always assumed that it was applied to C'Rizz being the third wheel and how Charley was just jealous of anyone that took the Doctor's time. Whereas you have honed in on Perfection. I never even considered Perfection as a rival for the Doctor's affections - even though there was a lot of rumblings of jealousy there. I guess I dismissed her because she was so much a part of the world they were trying to escape.
Even so, it really worked in your story, and I feel a bit of an idiot for not thinking of this as a real poker under Charley's ego. lol
Author's Response: I wrote all of that speech on memory of having listened to the ep once so as to get what I took away from it on a first impression - largely because I was really identifying with her on just wanting to slap Perfection (tho that was a bit tamed by the fact that the Doctor really did handle her nicely when it was all said and done). Even without knowing the stuff that happened when she wasn\'t there, I think that little speech Perfection gave would\'ve cut Charley (assuming she could hear it). It wasn\'t Perfection per se who was a rival... but what she represented - ie everything Charley was not. I think, if you wanted to, you could say the same of Rose and Madame du Pompadour. :-P
I love how stoic Charley is in this chapter. Yeah, she's in pain, but as there is nothing they can do about it, she bites her tongue. She is brilliant!
Author's Response: lol As much as she complains when she thinks her complaining will help her get her way (and really, she does... I\'m thinking specifically about the clothing in \"Other Lives\", and wanting to take a break when she feels they\'ve been wanting too long on SEVERAL occasions in the Divergent Universe) when it comes down to it, the girl\'s not stupid. Why whinge about it and make herself more miserable when it\'ll do no good? :) Sometimes I wish more people in real life could get that revelation. lol
Another charming chapter that seems really well paced and gentle, but still full of interest.
You do seemed to have
Changed your POV from last chapter, which was unexpected but worked nicely.
I notice last chapter Charley seemed a bit awkward getting down to her underwear. Not sure if you being subtle, I'm being thick, or you missed a trick, but you could have expanded on that, them now being wet.
Lots more great ideas in this chapter - fun!
Author's Response: That\'s actually the one thing I lost in shifting the POV here. I consciously didn\'t mention it because the Doctor consciously didn\'t notice it. More of the \"how oblivious is he?\" bit. I wanted to do this piece as a study for both of them, so shifting the POV back and forth works very well for that. But in the meantime, I did end up with some apparently \"loose ends\" such as that one. SHE\'S aware that what little she\'s wearing is now pretty much see through. But there\'s no point in making a huge fuss about it since there\'s not much she can do about it now that she\'s already gotten herself into this situation and he apparently doesn\'t even notice. It\'s easier to ignore the elephant in the room. :)
Really great start to what promises to be a cracker of a story. I love gentle, intimate stories like this where it is all about what's really beneath.
The Doctor, once again oblivious, or at least pretending to be. I really feel for Charley and identify with her feelings - that she can't control how she feels and how it seems that she is being tested all the time. I think you did a really great job of conveying these ideas with really neat, tidy examples that mean everything they do, he is sort of punishing her for how she feels. And we don't even know if he knows it or not. Was his forceful and sharp comments a fleeting thing for him, or not?
I did spend the first 2/4s of the story wondering where C'Rizz would come in, but you gave a great excuse for him not being there.
I also thought this was a really imaginitive venue for a story, and I can see it really well in my mind. It also illustrates how you can't realise everything on telly lol. I do have a sinking feeling that Charley mentions an interlude where the Doctor and Charley bet on dinosaur fights...just one of those feelting little converstational things. Can't remember which play either. But that doesn't really matter, I don't think.
One thing that got my attention was Charley wearing mostly modern clothes. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. I don't know if I quite buy it, although you did give a very fine reason for it. I think it's just because in their adventures she is often referred to as wearing/ripping dresses and stockings and I just assumed that she favoured her native dress as most other companions do theirs.
I know I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here, as in one of my stories Charley wears jeans to go into battle, so take my ramblings with a pinch of salt. lol
Anyways, looking very much forward to having time to read more!
Author's Response: I\'m back and forth on the modern clothes bit. I think she\'s one that would go for comfort and with that in mind, modern UNDERclothes probably wouldn\'t be comfortable for her. But being that when we first met her, she was impersonating a boy, she\'s no stranger to pants. :-P And I see her being more in tune to comfort than fashion. :) Thanks for the feedback!