kaffyr (kaffyr) wrote in calufrax,
kaffyr
kaffyr
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Rec: Strings Attached

Story: Strings Attached
Author: beshter
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 80,918 (and counting)
Author's Summary: Pete Tyler thought he was agreeing to making his entire life better. Sometimes gifts come with strings attached. When his entire life is turned upside down, fate gives him a second chance at pulling it together.
Characters/Pairings: Jackie Tyler (both universes), Pete Tyler (Pete’s world), Mickey Smith, Rose Tyler, the Tenth Doctor
Warnings: None by author (character death mentioned)
Recced because: I’m taking a chance by rec’ing this,  because it’s unfinished. However, there are 22 chapters, which gives you plenty to chew on until the final chapters come — and the author appears to have a schedule, which means this fascinating story should be completed. I certainly hope so, because this tackles one of the fascinating untold stories in the Whoniverse; how did the Pete Tyler of Pete’s World come to be so different from the lovable, but unsuccessful Pete Tyler of our world? beshter has a knack I love in writers: they build a believable world, they create characters who act believably, and they act only on the information they know. We, as readers, know what’s happening and why, but the writer’s skill is such that we want to watch this Pete (always one of my favorite characters) think his way through his good fortune, through invasion, through losing one Jackie and into loving a new Jackie.

A taste:
This was not the life that Pete Tyler had signed up for.

When he was a child he had told anyone who would listen he’d be a great inventor and make millions. They had humored him then. Now as an adult they simply thought him barmy and irresponsible. And he couldn’t say that they were wrong, least of all Jackie. Jackie, the one person he was trying so hard to earn these millions for...the one person, if he admitted it to himself, whose opinion mattered the most to him.

He stopped, turning to stare back down the street, to the distant block of lights that was his home. There Jackie waited, likely crying as she called her cousin, or maybe watching telly cursing his name. God, he loved her, despite it all, despite the anger and abuse. He wanted to do this for her, to prove to her that she wasn’t wrong in marrying him. And if he were half-a-man, he’d go back this second, beg forgiveness from his wife, promise to lay off the dreams for a while and get a real job, and then shag her all night till they couldn’t walk. He would go home and settle down, finally, no matter if he hated it, get a job working in a factory or a shop, come home to telly and chips of a night, and go out for bowling. He’d lay off the dreams and focus on what mattered the most to him, when he admitted it, Jackie. All he had to do was turn right back around and walk down the street and ask for forgiveness.

Every cell in his body ached to do it. Suddenly, he wanted Jackie in his arms, her lips against his, pressing her body into the creaking springs of their worn-out mattress. He wanted to beg her forgiveness and promise to make everything right. His feet lifted, moved, his body and thoughts returning to the scene where just an hour before he had been screaming at her.

“Peter Tyler?”

He paused, turning in the drizzle, squinting into the darkness to find the voice. It wasn’t that unusual in the council estates for someone to call out his name, he was well known enough, but no one called him Peter, not since his mother died. No one was about this time of night, save a single woman, standing beside a red sedan, an umbrella over her golden head.

“Can I help you?” He could be polite at least. She didn’t seem to be trouble, at least not what accounted for trouble in these parts. She was too...nice for that. Not tall, very young, looked to be no more than a uni kid, with hair so flat Jackie would itch to reach for her curlers. It was pulled back in a sensible bun. She didn’t look the sort who would normally hang around the estates. And she wasn’t someone who should know his name.

The girl smiled at his question, shaking her head. “No, you can’t. Help me, that is. But that’s not why I’m here.”

He stared at her across the pavement. “Who are you?”

“My name is Yvonne.”

Nothing about that rang a bell. “Look, Yvonne, I don’t know what you are up to, but it’s late, and my wife is waiting, and I’m not interested in anything you’re selling, so maybe we should just go our separate ways…”

“I’m not selling anything, Mr. Tyler,” she replied coolly, all the while making Pete cringe at the “mister” title. “And it is late. Your wife is waiting, but I know that since you two argued, she’s not expecting you back anytime soon. So take a few minutes and chat with me.”

“About?”

She lifted her shoulders in her long, brown trench coat. She reminded him, absurdly, of one of those black and white movies with Humphrey Bogart, or a spy movie with people meeting in dark alleys. Her enigmatic smile stayed still, however, and he swore lightly, glancing to the lights of the Powell Estates in the distance. Curiosity always got him in trouble, he couldn’t help it, and it wasn’t everyday he was propositioned by a woman on the street, no matter what Jackie said.

“All right,” he muttered, tossing his cigarette butt in the gutter and crossing the street. The girl opened the passenger’s side door for him, indicating he should get in. He went, glad for a moment to get out of the dreary drizzle as she rounded the car and got in at the driver’s side.

Later, hours later, he stepped out of the non-descript sedan, into the lightening sky and misty rain, lighting another cigarette with shaky hands. He pulled on it, hard, his pale skin gray in the pre-dawn light. Beside him, Yvonne rounded the car, her umbrella over her head, her enigmatic smile firmly in place.

“Do we have an agreement, Mr. Tyler?”
Tags: author: beshter, character: jackie tyler, character: pete tyler, companion: mickey, companion: rose, doctor:10, rating: teen, reccer: kaffyr, type: gen
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