I couldn't help myself.
Story: Gallifreyan Style Guide
Author: Pondering Amelia
Word Count: 4,022
Author's Summary: Billions of private, pornographic dialects had been annihilated when Gallifrey burned. The Doctor is relearning what it means to build a relationship.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness, The Doctor (10th), The TARDIS
Warnings: Explicit Sex, Swearing
Recced because: Again, not specifically for the pairing. The Linguist in me just spazzes at fics like these. I've always wondered what Gallifreyen would sound like and, to be honest, I'm glad they never attempted to put it into spoken word in canon, because that gives us writers all the freedom we want when we fanfic. Another thing I like about this is that it 'explains' the Doctor's apparent asexuality. I always assumed it was a telepathic thing, but I like the idea that it might be a linguistic, thing. Gallifreyan is pretty much a dead language now, after all, and I bet it has sounds we humans cannot even pronounce (probably has something to do with bypasses etc.). Language is a huge part of someone's identity and culture and heritage - but what if language was essential to one's sexuality as well? It is certainly an interesting concept.
Just like with the other smutty fic I recced today, there is more to this than smut. We get a window into the Doctor's psychology and thoughts, we get to see him opening up and because the focalisation here is so astute I really did have the feeling I understood, at least to a degree, what the Doctor's motives might be for keeping relationships at a distance. Jack, of course, is being his own straight-to-the-point self.
Pondering Amelia's way of writing captured me a long time ago, because I love the style she has. It's poetic without being soppy, the metaphores fit and add to the atmosphere that this fic breathes. The dialogue works really well, too. The Doctor and Jack trying to make up for a loss of Gallifreyan tradition as well as possible could've seemed really clumsy and awkward when voiced wrong, but instead it just shows intimacy and that only serves to again give us a deeper understanding of the Doctor's point of view.
I think I can just keep on quoting little bits and have nerdgasms over how clever they are until the end of time, but you'll just have to read if for yourself and experience it ;)
With a syllable added or changed, he could specify whether he was stroking himself with lube, saliva, or pre-come, or like this–dry. A rising or falling tone could indicate whether the movement was slowing, steady, or speeding up. Another inflection could show if he was being watched, or alone, or someone else’s hands were dancing across his body.
Time Lords used to write private dictionaries of lovemaking. They built narratives that echoed their bodies writhing under the sheets, coupling. But humans lost the ability for speech and semantics during sex. Even the Captain, who loved to talk, who used his mouth in beautiful ways, fell mute while the Doctor touched him every morning. Once aroused, it all boiled down to Faster-Harder-More.
The Doctor closed his eyes to the room. He'd let his language go fallow. He’d told himself for decades that sex was no longer worth it. He could have been inventing new words all this time, as his people did. There had once been words for repressing the urge, or waiting till morning. Inflections for stroking himself like this, alone with the Captain beside him, snoring.
He’d had words for pumping his cock from base to tip, while making noise–while silent–while trying to keep silent. For plucking his own nipples and feeling his back arch off the bed. Words for pausing to let his heart calm down and stop thundering in his ears.
Here was a word for turning toward his Captain, and pulling the heat from his body. For kissing the little nook between his shoulder blades. A word for pumping himself with coarse strokes, for speeding up and nearing completion, till he was coming onto his Captain's back.
Then he was moaning it all out into the warm expanse of Jack’s shoulder. The word--"Coming with you," in the sense of beside you, wanting you, but you're asleep.
Spent, he reached out, smearing the hot fluid across Jack’s lower back. He’d made a mess of his sleeping lover. He'd never dared before.
There had been a hundred words for “afterglow,” and he couldn’t remember any of them, especially one that meant, I am so grateful yet can never tell you what I’ve just done against you, loving you.