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They separated as soon as they reached the TARDIS so that the instruments could be safely deposited in their respective rooms, but quickly all congregated once more in the control room.
“That was the best day off ever,” Rose commented, sighing happily.
“I’d have trouble disagreeing with that,” Jack replied with complete satisfaction.
The Doctor didn’t speak up in agreement, but his relaxed demeanor and the uncharacteristically soft and open expression on his face as he tweaked the TARDIS controls made it clear that he had also enjoyed the day.
“I suppose it’s time for you apes to get some sleep,” he said instead, the remark lacking its usual disparaging edge.
Rose yawned involuntarily in reply, then said, “That’s not a bad idea.”
“But you owe me something first, Doc,” Jack said, a devilish grin on his face and in his voice. He didn’t seem to be tired at all, instead he closed in on the console with a spring in his step.
The Doctor merely quirked an eyebrow in reply, not having the faintest idea what Jack was talking about.
“Oh, come on, now,” Jack admonished. “You shouldn’t go back on your word.”
“My word?” the Doctor asked.
Jack nodded, having stepped up directly in front of the Doctor. Face to face, inches from each other, the Doctor refused to back away or show anything more than a mild interest in Jack’s behavior.
Rose looked on from the other side of the console, having no more idea than the Doctor what was going on.
“At lunch, I got up to get us all another round of drinks,” Jack said. The apparent non sequitur gave Rose no hints, but the Doctor’s eyes widened noticeably as Jack continued, “We had to pay for lunch with sound samples, just like everything else in the museum. I sang a classic fortieth century love ballad to get those drinks.”
“And your point is?” the Doctor replied mildly, though it was obvious he’d realized what Jack was trying to say.
Rose still didn’t understand, but she moved a bit closer out of curiosity, sensing that something interesting was about to happen.
“I bought you a drink, Doctor!” Jack crowed triumphantly. “You said that’s what I had to do to earn a kiss. So it’s your turn to pay up!”
There was a pause, a breathless moment, and then just as Rose blinked it was as if the day had rewound to that morning’s high spirited chasing around the console.
The Doctor slipped past Jack like a shot, and they were off again as if the intervening hours had never passed.
The difference was that after their experiences during the day, sitting clearly in the back of each of their minds was a memory of Jack’s rather erotic mental perception of their musical collaboration. It was no longer an unspoken possibility in the half formed thoughts of Rose’s subconscious, or a dream of honest and carefree closeness which the Doctor didn’t dare allow himself. Now it was an openly shared idea between the three of them.
Even more importantly, the music they had played and heard and created together during the day had given them a new avenue of communication, and a deeper understanding of each other’s emotions. It had allowed them to see each other on an even footing for the first time, opening their eyes to see beyond their misconceptions.
During their telepathic collaboration in the Telekinetic Waveform Extrapolator, it had been possible for Rose and the Doctor to plainly see the honesty and depth of affection shining beneath Jack’s almost involuntary flirting. It had been possible for the Doctor and Jack to truly see Rose as an adult capable to holding her own in their relationship and worthy of their respect as a woman, instead of the occasionally smothering protection they had both afforded her as if she were only a child under their care. And Jack and Rose had finally been able to see a bit of the man behind the mysterious persona of the Doctor, as they’d watched him confront a small piece of his painful past and helped him find some of the beauty hidden within it.
They had each grown, and grown together, through their shared music.
Her previous yawning forgotten, Rose found herself laughing at her friends’ antics once more and wondering if Jack’s metaphor might actually work its way into reality if he ever managed to catch the Doctor and claim his kiss.
Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she then jumped into the chase with a gleeful shout and began to help Jack in his quest.
It didn’t take the two of them long to catch their quarry, though it might be that their quarry didn’t so terribly mind being caught.
Food of Love: Musical ‘Notes’
About the Music in Food of Love
The music in this fic, with one and a half exceptions, was all composed or created by me. I use Mozart music editing software for my MIDI editing and Sound Forge for conversion to MP3 format. I uploaded the files to FileAve, and then went crazy beating on LJ in order to get the hosting and embedding to work. If anyone ever needs to do something similar, I can probably save you some trouble with a few tips!
Below is a track list, with a few details about each of the tunes. If you enjoyed them, feel free to download copies (links can be found in the track list) for yourself. I only ask that you not redistribute the music or use it for anything else without crediting me! :-)
Track List for Food of Love
1. Jack’s Piano - This is the ‘half’ of the one and half non-original tracks. The left hand of this little piano ditty is a MIDI sample from a Casio piano I used to own. The right hand part is completely original.
2. Rose and Jack’s Song - This is an original tune I wrote a few years ago. I never named it, and never had any idea what to do with it. When I was looking through my stuff for something to be Rose and Jack’s collaboration, it just jumped out at me.
3. The Doctor’s Harp - Exactly as described in the story, the Doctor plucks experimentally at the harp as if deciding if he really wants to play it or not.
4. The Doctor’s Song - My interpretation of a Gallifreyan lullaby, and one of the two songs composed originally with this fic in mind. I can imagine exactly what my composition professor would have to say about this piece, but I maintain that it is supposed to sound a little bit wandering and alien. The scale it uses is meant to be a vaguely Pythagorean (ancient Greek) pentatonic scale, in agreement with my theory that Gallifrey (or at least a Gallifreyan or two) had great influence on ancient Greek culture.
5. Rose’s Recorder - The second song composed originally with this fic in mind, this is meant to be a simple recorder tune that Rose might have learned in a beginner or intermediate level method book. It is in a basic AABA format, and makes use of my favorite musical interval, the major sixth (familiar to many from the old NBC jingle).
6. Celestial Winds “Come With Me” - A track from the Celestial Winds CD Bliss, which should be available on Amazon. Not only did I think the title was perfect, the track actually had harp and recorder and percussion all intermingled. Obviously the quality is significantly above that of my little MIDI tunes, but I think I explained that away sufficiently in the fic.