When Words Became Currency

Disclaimer: Come on, if I owned Blackpool, David Tennant would've spent a lot more screen time without a shirt!

A/N: So I got the Blackpool boxset for Christmas and spent nearly all day watching it (with a quick break for End of Time!) and I absolutely *love* it! Peter and Natalie are actually perfect together and I liked the contrast between her relationship with Ripley and the whole thing about Peter knowning exactly what to say whilst Ripley doesn't have a clue. So lo and behold...a fic was born! It's all from Natalie's POV and she's telling Peter all of this just after the wedding...I hope the ending isn't too cliche!

A/N Take Two: Please enjoy and remember that all reviews are greatly appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pressing the purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...still not tempted?...I might be able to persuade DI Carlisle to part with a bit of that 99 Flake that he was enjoying so much...

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When we were newly married, Ripley and I had our first argument. I was pregnant with Shyanne and it caused much more tension than it probably should've done; we were young and we were nowhere near prepared. It was a proper screaming match and I just remember sitting on the edge of our bed, crying and wondering if we were ever going to work things out.

I went out to the shops for a bit, trying to clear my head. I wasn't out for long, just an hour or so, but when I got back, there was a beautiful cubic zirconia pendant sitting on the bed, just waiting for me. And Ripley put his arms around me and just held me until whatever silly storm we'd created had blown over.

From then on, that's how it worked. Whenever we disagreed, whenever we fucked up each other's lives, there was a new piece of jewellery waiting for me. A pair of earrings, a silver necklace, a gold bracelet, a diamond ring. As if I could be bought.

But I was. He'd bought me outright. I actually thought it was romantic; I thought he was buying me these beautiful things because he loved me and he was sorry for everything that had gone wrong between us. I believed the lie, because he wasn't sorry at all. He didn't love me, he just loved the idea of me; the trophy wife that he could dig out for important events and the odd quick shag if he was too pissed to turn on the patented Ripley Holden charm.

I should've known better than to fall for it but deep down, I always believed that things would get better for us; that we'd make it work and he'd learn to love me like I loved him. Somewhere between the waiting and you, I fell out of faith and out of love. I lost all sense of who I was in amidst all the gilt and glitter. I suppose Blackpool is deceptive in that way, really. You're born here and you die here, it's just that dying happens a little faster in the Vegas of the North. You don't decay, or wither; there's no skeleton, just a ghost of your former self, floating around in a sea of amusement arcades and Kiss-Me-Quick novelty hats.

I gave Ripley Holden everything I ever had to give and he's left me with nothing but some ridiculously over-priced costume jewellery and a broken heart. And then I found you.

I love you, Peter Carlisle. Despite every lie that you've told me, despite every time you looked into my eyes and made me believe that you meant every word; I love you. And nothing can change that.

But you bought me too. Every word you say to me, every whispered promise, every calculated, loving lie you told. I don't know when my currency became words; I used to wonder if Ripley would ever tell me that he loved me, if he would ever say something spontaneous and beautiful and romantic just because he could. Maybe that was the tipping point from jewellery into words; materialism into something more substantial, more real. I don't know how you find exactly the right words to melt my heart. I don't know how you can say so much without even having to open your mouth. But I am so glad that you can.

When we lie there in your hotel bed and my mind starts to drift towards treacherous thoughts of my husband, just one look from you, one touch and it brings me right back to you. You own me…if you want. Because the pretence isn't good enough for me anymore.

I want more than pipe dreams of casino hotels and the bright lights of an up-and-coming resort. I want the promise of every look I've seen on your face when we make love. I feel like the one tiny part of me that wasn't pretending has been waiting for you for a very long time.

So now you know everything. You said, right at the beginning, you told me that you wanted to tell me everything about you, and you wanted to know everything about me. But I promise you that those things we will never do…well, I stand by the promise I made when I kissed you then. We will never know each other so well that we take each other for granted.

But that doesn't mean that I'm for sale and you have to buy me. I'm yours; free, gratis and for nothing. Well, maybe not for nothing. Words might not be my price anymore, but if you have to buy me with anything, buy me with your love, because that's all I ever wanted from you.