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"Neighbours" - chapter 5/12

I don't know why I find this so strange, but I just realized, while looking at scripsi's Calufrax recs, that after all this writing, over 150k words of it, I still wouldn't be able to post any of these stories on Teaspoon (if I wanted to, which I don't). Even though to my mind, David is my own character and has completely transformed from whatever he might have been, these stories would still qualify as RPFs, which Teaspoon doesn't allow. That's just so weird, since I consider all of these stories firmly entrenched in the Doctor Who universe, with little reference to any real people (especially since I didn't really pattern either David or Catherine [the only other "real" person depicted in any of the stories] on the real people, since I don't know them at all).

Word count: 1151

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The next day, Will woke to a call from the removal people, informing him that the lorry would arrive within the hour. Pulling on jeans and jumper, he proceeded to the kitchen to make himself some toast and tea, refusing David's offer of a heartier breakfast to fuel the day's work. The man had been sitting at the table, reading a book in the morning sunlight.

"Nah, thanks. I just want something light." Transferring a couple of slices of bread from the bread box to the toaster, he lit the burner under the kettle.

"The water's hot, so it won't take long." David closed his book and pulled off his glasses, toying with them in his hand.

"They called to say they'll be here soon." Will fetched his tea things as he spoke. "I expect it'll take a nice long time once they get here. They're supposed to have the insurance statement with them. I can't wait to find out which of my things actually survived."

"That'll be fun." The sarcasm in David's tone communicated that he knew it would be anything but. "Well, call me when they start unloading and I'll help with getting you set up."

"No need to interrupt your day. I'm going to make sure they set up everything just right."

"Then call me and we can sit and drink beer while they do all the work." He winked.

"All right." Will pulled out his phone. "What's your number?" David told him, and he dialed it up. His host's pocket started beeping and he fished out his mobile, tapping the screen to silence it and then save the contact.

"Gotcha. Brilliant." David popped to his feet and snatched up his glasses and book. "I'll be upstairs. Call if you need anything."

"Yup," replied Will as the kettle began to sing.

Not long after he finished his breakfast, the arrival of the lorry signaled the beginning of a very long day of hurry-up-and-wait. It took quite a while for the removal men to clear out enough space in front of the house to park the huge vehicle, then they wanted to go over the insurance list in minute detail. By the time they had reviewed it to both their and their client's satisfactions, they wanted to go to lunch, and thus, the actual unloading of the lorry didn't begin until the early afternoon. Will found that David's help was invaluable: he could trust his friend to direct where the items would be placed in the house while he stayed with the lorry and inspected each object as it was unloaded, to make sure it matched its description on the insurance list. David also dashed back to his own house periodically to supply everyone with adequate refreshment: beer for themselves and pop for the removal men, with the promise of beer after their task was done.

By late afternoon, the lorry was gone and all that was left for Will to do was to pack up his things in David's house and cart them over to his own new home. David stood in the doorway of his room as Will began emptying the wardrobe, stuffing his clothes unceremoniously into his suitcase. "I doubt a trip two doors down will be enough to wrinkle this stuff badly."

"Probably not. I can carry an armload over."

"Nah, I got this. I don't have much here." After shuttling all the clothes over, he discovered that not folding the clothes meant they were much bulkier, and even after letting out the expanders, he found he needed to lie on top of it to force it closed. David came over and helped him close the zipper.

"There. Thanks." Popping off the bed, he turned to the desk. "At least the computer is easy." He detached the power cord and stuffed it into the laptop bag. "I called the ISP earlier this week, so they should be installing service by Wednesday, they said. At least I'll be on the web at work."

"You'll get wi-fi from over there."

"Doubt it. Even if I do, the signal will be arse." He closed the laptop and slid it into the case.

"No, should be nice and strong. You don't really need to get your own service."

Will laughed as he piled the laptop bag with the suitcase. "Thanks, mate, but I'm not going to piggyback on yours. Not to mention I've got my gaming tower and my Minecraft server to connect up. Oh, the toilet!" He trotted past David down the hall, returning in a moment with his kit, which he placed on the suitcase. "This is pretty much it."

Turning to David, he held out his hand to his host. "Thanks, David, for everything. Taking care of me when I was sick and letting me stay here this week. It's too much."

David grasped the proffered hand with a warm, genuine smile. "Don't mention it, Will. It was my pleasure."

Pulling him into a brief hug, Will clapped him on the back. As they stepped back, he exclaimed, "Oh, your key!" and began digging in his jeans pocket.

"Oh!" Holding his hands up in front of him, David shook his head. "You keep it. Any time you want to come by and hang out, come right in."

Will held the key out to him. "No, it's your house, mate."

"Right. And I say, you keep that and come visit. I'll get a streaming service, if that'll help."

Will laughed. "All right. Okay." He dropped the key back in his pocket. "But you have to come over, too, when I get all set up."

"I'd like that." David's voice was soft with a hint of shyness.

"Then it's settled." Will slung his laptop case across his body, then picked up the suitcase and kit. David preceded him out of the room and trotted ahead to open the front door for him, standing back to let him through. Once outside, Will turned back to his friend. "Thanks again, mate."

"Bye, Will."

Will trudged down the street to his house. He'd enjoyed his brief stay with his new friend, but was glad to finally be able to move into his own place, to have his own space to inhabit. No matter how hospitable David was - and Will could not have asked for a better host - Will always felt he was intruding. He was looking forward to setting up his bedroom and his lounge, and relaxing in his study playing his favourite online game. There really was no place like home.

Behind him, the tall Scot leaned against the jamb of his front door, the tip of his tongue pressed to the roof of his mouth, watching his friend cart the last of his belongings to his new house. Sighing, he retreated indoors before the object of his attention turned onto the walk to his own front door.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2015 06:54 pm (UTC)
My goodness... you're updating so fast, I can't keep up with comments!

Seems David is a little bit upset to have Will leave, and Will, while he appreciates David's hospitality, is only too glad to have his own space to set up.

Having a trusted neighbor keep a house key comes in handy. There are times when you might be locked out, or times when you travel and the neighbor can bring in your mail so you don't have to bother stopping it.

Ooh, and it seems he's got "universal wi-fi" so internet can be accessed from anywhere (or anywhen, too, possibly)....

I don't know... if I were Will, I'd be a little wary of so much puppy dog hospitality. It's a little too much, and I think that's why Will is glad to get to his own space. People don't trust a person who seems to be overly friendly.

From what I've read so far, David is a bit clueless as to social cues... he failed to recognized when a woman was trying to get his attention for things other than just regular friendly conversation. He's failing to understand that Will might want to put David a little more at arm's length. He does seem to be trying, though.
Jun. 15th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
Well, it is all written already, so it's just a chapter a day. :)

Yeah, David is having some problems. Not only does he have both human and Time Lord impulses warring with each other inside, he's just come off spending an extended period of time with just the Doctor and Jenny. If that doesn't mess up a person's mind, I don't know what will! :)
Jun. 15th, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
I don't know that it messed up his mind, it just curbed his human intuition and senses by focusing only on the Time Lord aspects....

Still, he's sweet, like a puppy!
Jun. 15th, 2015 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like the image if him being like a puppy. It fits very well.
Jun. 15th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)
Well... don't let him train those puppy dog eyes on you! Fair warning....

Really, it is the perfect image for him, all bouncy and enthusiastic!
Jun. 16th, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh, DT makes me melt no matter what kind of eyes he uses....
Jun. 16th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
True enough, for sure! The same can be said for his smile...
Jun. 16th, 2015 03:59 am (UTC)
I have a love/hate relationship with the Teaspoon. Like, that was where I first started reading and posting DW fic, but there are a lot of things I don't like about it, and the restrictions on what kind of fic you can post there is one of those things. Not only that, but having to wait for a moderator to approve new work is annoying, and on top of that, I've had them reject fic before that wasn't against guidelines, whoever read it just wasn't paying attention. I don't like that you can't see what fics you've left reviews on unless you remember to favorite them, and the review/comment system leaves a little to be desired-it's not as conducive to discussion as LJ or AO3 is. I post stuff to the Teaspoon, LJ, AO3, ff.net, and now sometimes tumblr, but AO3 is my preferred place now. If you don't already have an AO3 account, I'd recommend it. You can post whatever you want there, and it's mostly unmoderated (which is a blessing and a curse, lol).
Jun. 16th, 2015 05:51 am (UTC)
I really like Teaspoon as a reader, because I know that what I'll find there is very focused on DW, but as a writer, it's pretty meh for all the reasons you already listed. I know they use a rather old, limited software system and I highly doubt that anyone is working on improving it. Teaspoon seems to be content with being simply an archive, rather than a community of writers.

AO3 is also my preferred place. Its tools are great, and I really like its visual layout for reading. The only reason I like ffnet better is that it has a much bigger audience and reach.

Tumblr, I don't get. I have an account, and I've posted one or two fics there, but it really feels like to get an audience there, I either have to work very hard at it or post pictures, and since I really have no visual aesthetic sense, I've only the first option. Do you have any tips on how to establish yourself on tumblr?

Edited at 2015-06-16 05:51 am (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2015 02:45 pm (UTC)
As an active commenter I don't like Teaspoon or ffn that much. LJ is great for commenting but is sometimes difficult to navigate through a story unless the author puts proper links. AO3 is nice for commenting, but I also like that you can view the entire work at once. It seems like the developers are really looking to make the experience good for writers, readers, and commenters. The best of all worlds!
Jun. 16th, 2015 03:20 pm (UTC)
Agreed! The organization behind AO3 is very dedicated to supporting fan writers and promoting fan works. I'm hoping that with time, it will overtake ffnet as the premiere fanfic archive. I actively donate to them, to help them with their efforts in my own small way.

One thing that I love about AO3 is that you can download works in epub format to put on a reader. It would be invaluable if I read more, but I put copies of my two long works on my Nook and I giggled for an hour. I can't describe to you how incredible it felt to have my own writing on my Nook, next to books by authors like Austen and Gaiman and Sanderson! :D
Jun. 16th, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)
I flat out hate ff.net, honestly. They will arbitrarily remove adult/explicit fics for violating the rating limits, but leave others that are even worse up. And they do have a Mature rating, so who's to say what's mature and what's explicit? The amount of hoop jumping you have to go through to add a new story, or god forbid, edit an old one, is ridiculous. It only lets you list 4 characters in a story, which is frustrating. I only have a few stories up there for a reason. That, and I feel like no one ff.net ever comments-they might favorite a story, but they never tell you why. I don't like it as a reader, either, because a lot of the content is just flat out terrible.

As for tumblr, I wouldn't say that I'm established-I only have 40 followers, which isn't a lot when you consider that some popular blogs have thousands. But kind of the first thing to do on tumblr is find blogs on topics that interest you, and follow them. Reblog posts that you like, add comments or thoughts if relevant. Make your own original posts. Honestly, I post whatever I want, and people either like it or they don't, because I'm a give no fucks kinda gal. A lot of people that follow me are in the fandom, and even more specifically, in the fandom and ship the same pairings I do. So if I post doctorxdonna fiction, I know that it's going to appeal to at least some of my followers. I'm still kinda figuring out how it all works.
Jun. 16th, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ffnet is another site that suffers from lack of development. Honestly, they could fix a number of the issues that you listed with posting and editing, but I think that site is just coasting until it's obsolete. And yes, the community there is very lacking. It is the only site that lets you view readership stats, though, and only very basic stats at that. But by compiling stats, I was able to determine that while only 1/3 of readers will get past chapter 1 of The Actor, if they get to chapter 3, they will read through to the end. It was nice to be able to see that and come up with things I could do to try to increase retention on that story. (Not that I've done them; I like the story the way it is.)

Tumblr really sounds like a lot of work, and I'm lazy. :) It always seems odd to me to reblog other people's posts - it makes me feel like I have nothing to say and I'm just repeating people to get attention. :) I also am not sure that I will ever develop a following, since my writing style and interests are rather niche - I don't write pairings, which seems to be what most readers are looking for. But perhaps I should try it. I at least have a lot of stories to post there.
Jun. 17th, 2015 01:11 am (UTC)
Well AO3 does show you how many hits a story has gotten, but yeah, the stats aren't quite as comprehensive as ff.net in that respect.

As for tumblr, it is kind of a black hole. You might be better off not getting sucked in. I waste so much time on there when I could be writing or doing other stuff, lol.
Jul. 20th, 2015 07:03 am (UTC)
"Oh, your key!" and began digging in his jeans pocket.

"Oh!" Holding his hands up in front of him, David shook his head. "You keep it. Any time you want to come by and hang out, come right in."

...totally an echo of a certain Time Lord bringing home strays, lol.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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