A follow on fic to @gumnut-logic 's Feel.
Please do heed the warnings of that fic before you read because it is so very very ouchie, and makes many implications including possible character death.
Of course I couldn't leave THAT where it was, and whilst this fic doesn't quite fix everything... it sets it in the right direction at least.
Eos had given her his location and she hadn’t hesitated for a moment before setting off at a jog. All of the brothers were lost, all of them never quite sure what to do when their eldest was out of action. Grandma was on to Gordon and Alan, both having seen the immediate aftermath of what had happened. John had holed away into research, trying to find answers that gave a better outcome than the stated odds. Before long Grandma and Eos would be conspiring to bring him down.
Virgil without Scott was one thing.
Virgil making the choice between his big brother and a bunch of kids, being forced to sacrifice one over the other.
She knew it would destroy him.
Breakfast she had been able to let slide. But when he still hadn’t appeared for lunch, a nagging feeling in her gut had her investigating.
Breaking through the treeline at the top of the caldera, she was glad she had rushed.
His shoulders instantly tensed at his name, the hand that had been against his thigh bunching into a fist.
She sucked in a breath as she saw the trail of red against his leg, only part of her wondering just what he had gone up there to do.
“Go away, Kayo.”
“Alive.” She cut him off before he could finish, “He is alive thanks to you.”
She knew better than to believe the anger was aimed at her. Though rare, Virgil’s anger burned as hot as any of his siblings, and never hotter than when it was aimed at himself.
Even from the distance, she heard his shuddering breath, saw how it shook his whole frame as he bowed his head.
“I couldn’t save him Kay. I couldn’t get to him in time.”
“You did though.” She persisted, “You got to him as soon as you could and--”
“And he was dead!” He snapped, finally spinning to face her. The amber of his eyes was dark against the bloodshot red, all offset by the unnatural paleness.
Dropping her stance to a crouch, she nodded with a gentle smile, “You got him back. You got him to safety.”
The damage was severe. The chemicals that had dowsed the eldest, unknown both in their formula and effect.
Nobody really knew what it meant for Scott.
Which meant none of them knew whether to grieve.
“I pressed the button Kay. It was one room or another, and I put them in there with him. My decision killed him.”
“And would he have let you have it any other way?” She prompted with a raised eyebrow, “Would you have put those chemicals in with those kids?”
The hurt shifted to a glare, his jaw clenching as he watched her.
She dared to shuffle closer, reaching out to cup his cheek, ignoring the continued look of disgust he was throwing at her.
“Scott stood a chance,” She started softly, “No matter how slim.”
“I still killed him.”
Her other hand brushed through his hair as she nodded slowly. There was no point denying what had happened.
“You saved him too, focus on the positives, love.”
“He might still die.”
“Might.” She raised an eyebrow, “And if anyone can beat the odds, it’ll be Scott.”
His frame sunk at the realisation of her words, the glare slipping away to reveal the grief hidden deep below. As he sunk towards her, she caught him, letting his head rest against her shoulder. One hand held on tight to his arm as the other combed soothingly through his hair. Her eyes skimmed over the source of the blood, noting that it would need seeing to back at the villa.
One problem at a time.
“I don’t--” A sharp breath, “If he doesn’t-- I don’ know… without him I can’t--”
“Don’t think about that right now,” She murmured as the breeze whipped up her hair, “Not until we know more Virgil.”
His breath was warm against her neck despite the breeze, “What if--”
“No.” She growled lowly, “No what if’s. All we know right now is that he’s alive and in the best care possible. With any luck we’ll be able to see him soon.”
Virgil didn’t respond, no doubt unsure how to react to that possibility. She didn’t push though, it was impossible to imagine the position he had been put in. To make the decision he had had no doubt ripped him apart.
All she had done was paper over the cracks.
For now though, it would do.
The family couldn’t stand to lose anyone else.
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Centre Stage - chapter 9
As ever, massive thanks to beta extraordinaire @willow-salix for all her help on this.
The whole fic can also be found on AO3 here.
“Not wanting to be rude, but can I just ask why there’s so much glitter everywhere?” Selene enquired, ignoring Scott’s snort of laughter as she took in the dressing room surfaces that were all caked in a fine sheen, carefully selecting a seat that seemed relatively free from the worst of it.
“Ugh, it's from The Nutcracker. Sorry, it gets everywhere,” Cat apologised, undoing the ribbons of her shoes and starting to pull bits of tape off her toes. “We'll finally get rid of it all in about October and have a few weeks of respite before we start all over again. I was vaguely sparkly til about February this year which was a new record. Some of it comes home with me every day so just be careful where you lean or sit.”
“Thanks for the warning, I’m not sure glitter is the best look for me,” Selene laughed.
“Yeah, it doesn’t exactly go with the all black, scary witch look does it?” Scott jested, dodging the pointe shoe that Cat had just handed to Selene for the express purpose of lobbing at him.
Virgil and Cat exchanged smiles and rolled eyes as their companions bickered good naturedly, knowing that their earlier peace had been well and truly shattered.
“So, how was it this afternoon then?” Scott asked, effectively changing the subject as he casually flung himself into a chair and made himself at home.
“It was great, wasn’t it?” Cat replied, turning to smile warmly at Virgil as she wondered fondly how Scott somehow always managed to look like he owned the place no matter where he went or what he was doing
“Yeah, Lily had a great time and she’s really excited about seeing the show tonight so I think we made a little girl very happy,” Virgil elaborated.
“I think so,” Cat agreed. “She’s a good little dancer too. She did really well so it’ll be interesting to see how she gets on as she gets older.”
“Do you think you’ll keep in touch with her?” Selene asked, spotting some costumes on a rail in the corner and heading over to investigate, quickly followed by Scott.
“I don’t know,” Cat admitted, looking up as she massaged her foot absentmindedly, trying to release some of the knots in the muscles now that her long day of rehearsals was finally over. “I’d like to but it might depend on circumstances a little. I’m not sure how much I could actually do to help her at this stage aside from some private coaching, but it’s not something I’ve ever done before so I wouldn't know where to start.”
“I’m sure she’d love whatever help you could give,” Scott encouraged, pulling a tutu out from the costume rail and holding it up against himself. “How do I look?”
“Like an idiot,” Virgil declared, turning back to Cat before anyone else could speak. “Based on today, I’d say you’d be a great coach. You did so well with Lily and her mom told me that you were the best teacher she’d had so it’s not just me saying that either.”
“You’re too kind,” Cat blushed, busying herself in her task to avoid having to make eye contact with anyone, uncomfortable with the praise.
“Not at all,” Virgil pressed. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a more patient teacher myself either, so it’s not all one sided.”
“Wait, what?” Scott spluttered incredulously before Cat had a chance to answer, his brain catching up with the implication of what Virgil had just said. “Cat was teaching you, too? I thought this was about Lily getting to be a fairy for the day, not you getting ballet lessons?”
“It was,” Virgil explained equably, rather enjoying his brother's response. “But she was worried that Cat would feel left out if she was dancing with Mark so I agreed to be Cat’s prince for a while.”
“He was very good at it too,” Cat continued, throwing a big smile at Virgil. “Next time I need a partner, I definitely know who I’m gonna call.”
Despite initially feeling that dancing so closely with his brother's girlfriend was perhaps crossing a line that he wasn’t very comfortable with, in the end Virgil had thoroughly enjoyed his time in the studio. It had come as no surprise to him that ballet was nowhere near as easy as Cat made it look; during the afternoon, he had discovered muscles that he didn't even know existed and a nagging suspicion was growing that they would all be aching in the morning.
“I did nearly knock you over a couple of times though,” he grimaced, remembering the shriek Cat had let out as she’d overbalanced and nearly fallen.
“You’ve still got a better record than Mark some days,” Cat laughed as her foot let out a loud crack. “He’s dropped me so many times that I’ve given up even counting any more.”
“OK then big guy,” Selene piped up, jumping up and holding out her hand “Show me some of your moves.”
A knock on the door interrupted any answer, quickly swinging open to reveal one of the ballet masters from the company, on the hunt for Cat.
“Sorry to bother you when you’ve got guests,” Gary started apologetically, nodding a greeting to the other occupants of the room, his eyes widening slightly as he realised who they were. “Irina’s back has just spasmed and she’s out for tonight. Steven was wondering if there’s any chance you could step in for her?”
“Of course,” Cat answered without hesitation, her eyes meeting Scott’s in a brief apology before turning back to her colleague. “Is she OK?”
Having three guests who had travelled a long way to go out for dinner and drinks that night complicated things slightly, but there had been no question in her mind as to whether she would do it. Injuries that meant a missed performance weren’t that common but they were a hazard of the job and it was up to the rest of the company to pull together when they occurred.
“She’ll be fine in a few days. It seems to be nothing that some rest and heat won’t solve,” Gary informed her, watching her shrewdly, knowing what was likely going through her mind.
“Well that’s something at least,” she agreed as she began to wind her hair back into a bun, relieved that nothing more serious had happened.
“Do you think we’d be able to get tickets for tonight?” Virgil asked, glancing over to Scott and Selene and receiving matching nods of agreement.
“I’m not sure,” Gary replied. “I think it’s a full house but I can check it with the box office and if there’s no availability, we can arrange for you to watch from the wings, seeing as it’s exceptional circumstances.”
“That would be great, thanks,” Selene smiled, sitting herself back down and wondering what happened next.
“Right, is there a studio available?” Cat asked, taking charge of the conversation, her mind already running through what she would need to do in order to be ready to perform in a few hours’ time. “I’ve not danced it with Ivan before so we’ll need to run a few things before the show.”
“The Ashton is free for you,” Gary advised, his hand already on the door handle. “He should be on his way up there by now so just pop up as soon as you’re ready.”
“Perfect,” Cat acknowledged, giving Gary a nod as he took his leave before turning to her companions. “Sorry about this. It’s not exactly how I thought we’d be spending the evening. You guys are more than welcome to still go for dinner if you want and I can catch you up later?”
“Don’t be silly, of course we’ll stay and support you,” Scott told her, placing a quick kiss on her cheek, keen not to disturb her too much as she grabbed her phone and started typing out a quick message. “If there’s anyone in the world that knows a thing or two about plans being derailed by work, it’s us, so you really don’t need to worry.”
“Agreed,” Selene added. “Anyway, I’ve always fancied a night at the ballet so it’s worked out pretty well if you ask me.”
“Definitely,” Virgil nodded his agreement. “I wouldn't miss it for the world.”
“What’re we actually going to be watching tonight?” Selene asked, watching Scott carefully as he hovered around, clearly with something to say.
“Coppelia,” Cat replied absently, finishing the text she was sending and grabbing a nearby bag, tipping several pairs of pointe shoes onto the floor before joining them herself, her mind working overtime trying to decide which ones she should wear that night.
“But that’s three acts,” Scott cried, his horrified tone making her look up in surprise as he crouched down beside her. “Are you sure you’re going to be OK doing that?”
“I’ll be fine,” Cat reassured, slipping a hand around the back of his neck and pulling him toward her, their foreheads resting together in a pose that had always brought them comfort. “I’ve just messaged Mark asking him if he’ll grab me some dinner from the canteen and there’s only a couple of pas de deux that I need to go through with Ivan so it shouldn’t take long. Then I can have a bit of a rest before I need to start getting ready.”
“OK, well, so long as you’re sure,” Scott conceded, pulling back to allow her continue what she had been doing.
“It’s not the first time I’ve stepped in at the last minute, nor will it be the last,” Cat smiled, seeing the tension leaving Scott’s shoulders as he continued to sit beside her, now idly playing with the ribbons from a pair of discarded shoes.
Selene and Virgil exchanged looks, impressed at how Cat had seamlessly handled Scott’s overprotective nature.
“Is this something that you have to do quite a lot?” Virgil queried, interested to find out more of the workings of the company now that the tension had died down a little.
“Every so often,” Cat shrugged, finally finding a pair of shoes that she thought would do her for the evening, quickly slipping them on and tying the ribbons as she spoke. “We have multiple casts for every ballet as well as understudies so there’s always going to be someone around to take over if an injury happens. My main concern just now is that I’ve not danced the bloody thing for about six weeks so I might be a bit rusty in places.”
“How do you remember all the steps?” Selene asked as Cat shouldered her bag and hustled them out of the room, handing Scott a rehearsal tutu to carry as she did so.
“Muscle memory,” Cat shrugged, as they made their way down the corridor towards the studios. “We do so much practice that when the music starts you don’t even need to really think about it. In an ideal world, we’d have a chance to run the whole thing before going on tonight but that’s not going to happen.”
She paused as the lift doors slid open, waiting for everyone to get in before continuing, shooting a quick smile of reassurance at Scott as she spoke.
“I do need to have a break at some point so I’ll just need to think my way through it. In the past, I’ve just listened to the music and it’s all come back so I’ll probably do that tonight. It’s like rehearsing but without the sore feet,” she laughed, pleased to see that at least Virgil and Selene were nodding along as if they understood her, even if Scott looked slightly lost.
“Visualisation is such a powerful thing,” Selene agreed as the lift let out a loud ding, signalling their arrival.
“Yeah, it’s great,” Cat smiled, leading them through more corridors and past an impressive looking fitness suite that had Scott and Virgil wishing they could stay and investigate it further. “It was something we were taught at school and I remember thinking it was complete rubbish at the time but the older I’ve got, the more invaluable it’s become.”
“Is that cos you’re getting a bit creaky now?” Scott teased, dodging a well-aimed elbow from Cat.
“You tell me, old man,” she shot back to sniggers from Virgil and Selene. “If I’m creaky, that must make you practically geriatric.”
“Shocking,” Scott countered, clutching his hand to his heart. “That’s no way to talk to your elders.”
“Oh, shut it, you,” Cat grinned, pushing open a heavy door and ushering them into a large, airy studio, nodding a greeting to the young Russian dancer already present who was to be her partner for the night.
Wondering what she had done to deserve such a supportive boyfriend and surrogate family, Cat could only smile as she watched them taking their seats at the front of the studio before turning back to her task, pushing all other thoughts out of her mind.
“Do you think they’ll get the flowers delivered in time?” Selene asked quietly as they waited outside the dressing room for Cat to emerge, all three of them having been kicked out while she got into her first costume for the night.
“I hope so,” Scott replied, checking his watch as a nearby speaker announced that it was fifteen minutes until curtain up. “They’ve never let me down before but I’ve never had to order them on the day of the show either so I don’t know.”
“Is it just me or are they five minutes early?” Virgil asked, his own watch showing twenty minutes until the show was due to start.
“Maybe they’ve met you at some point?” quipped Selene with a wink.
“It’s a theatre thing,” Scott replied knowingly, cutting his brother off before he could defend himself against the accusation levelled at him. “I don’t really know why but apparently it’s just how it’s done.”
“Theatre folk are weird,” Selene agreed with a shrug just as the door behind her opened, revealing Cat looking every inch the ballerina that she was. “No offence,” she added, turning to the dancer.
“None taken,” Cat accepted smoothly. “Shall we get going then?”
Scott smiled, her hand warm as she slipped it into his on their way down to the stage. He could hear his brother's voice from somewhere behind him as they crossed the giant scenery dock, telling Selene about some of the scenery that he had no doubt been looking at earlier in the day. It almost seemed funny to him that these surroundings no longer seemed strange to him when he had only been a part of this world through his association with Cat for a few months less than a year.
“How’re you feeling?” he murmured as they made their way ever closer to the double doors that would lead directly to the stage.
“Bit nervous,” Cat admitted, grateful for the immediate squeeze of support that he gave her. “There’s a lot of people out there tonight and I don’t want to let them down.”
“You’ll be brilliant,” Scott reassured her. “I don’t just think, I KNOW you’ve got this nailed down in your head so just go out there, enjoy yourself and the story will shine through.”
“Thanks,” Cat smiled. “What would I do without you to support me?”
“Exactly what you did before you met me,” Scott grinned. “You’d go out and absolutely smash it because that’s what you do best.”
Unable to argue, Cat just smiled as they reached the heavy doors, letting Scott hold them open as they waited for Virgil and Selene to catch up. Entering the darkness of backstage, it took a moment for their eyes to fully adjust as Cat led the way behind the stage, greeting other dancers as she went.
Virgil found himself completely transfixed by the cathedral like space before him. Everywhere he looked, there was something else demanding his attention. A beautifully detailed town square stood on the stage, illuminated by row upon row of lights hanging on battens high above as dancers clustered in groups performed stretches that made him hurt just to look at, while others warmed up turns and lifts on the stage, hidden from view of the audience by a pair of enormous red curtains.
“This place is amazing,” he whispered to Scott as they walked, letting the girls go on ahead. “I can’t believe you never told me how huge it was.”
“I never really thought about it,” admitted Scott. “The first time I was here I was a bit distracted by a certain someone, and then it just became normal I guess and I stopped really noticing it.”
“Trust you,” Selene called over her shoulder while Cat did her best to stifle a laugh.
Unrepentant, Scott just grinned back, standing by his statement as Virgil shook his head helplessly, knowing that his brother was unlikely to ever change.
“I’m going to have to leave you guys here I’m afraid,” Cat informed them, a member of stage management appearing to usher her guests to their seats in the wings.
“Good luck,” Selene told her, giving her a quick hug, the nervous energy of her friend crackling around her.
“Break a leg,” Virgil added, giving her a hug that she was almost certain could crush the air out of her entirely if he wanted.
Watching as Scott wordlessly took her in his arms, their foreheads pressed together once more, Selene squinted slightly, revealing the black aura surrounding the dancer slowly becoming blue and then red as his presence calmed and grounded her, releasing the nerves and replacing them with focus for the job ahead.
All too soon, Scott had to let go, a final few whispered words of encouragement finding their way to her before she was gone, moving into her world on the stage. His eyes tracked her every move as he was ushered away, feeling strangely like she was going somewhere he could never follow.
“She’ll be fine,” Selene reassured him as they took their seats, seeing the way that his brow was knitted together in worry. “I think you’re more worried than she is.”
“I know,” Scott sighed. “It’s just hard knowing that there’s nothing I can do to help.”
“You’ve already done more for her than you know,” she smiled, giving him a reassuring pat on the leg. The atmosphere continued to crackle around her, reaching a crescendo as the stage was cleared, the unmistakable sound of the orchestra beginning to filter through the giant curtains that separated them from the public spaces of the theatre.
A hush fell on the wings as the overture played, the chatting and joking between colleagues that had been going on around them now replaced by focus as everyone concentrated on their particular roles to ensure the performance went off without a hitch. Sitting quietly, Scott couldn’t take his eyes off Cat as she stood talking quietly with Ivan, hands flying animatedly as they illustrated their discussion, clearly still working out some of the finer details for their performance. When the conversation was over, a quick hug and high five preceded his departure, heading purposefully around the back of the stage and leaving her alone, looking somehow smaller and more fragile than he thought she ever had.
As the whir of machinery beside them signalled the lifting of the curtains, he watched as she took a deep breath, calming her breathing before reaching down to check her shoes one final time. A few steps back and forward on pointe seemed to relax her as she listened intently to the music, waiting for the exact right moment to open the door of the set in front of her and disappear into her domain, a round of applause from the audience greeting her arrival.
It was a different Cat that greeted them at the end of the curtain calls, flying into Scott’s open arms for an all too brief embrace before being swept away again, a multitude of friends and colleagues demanding her attention as she rode the adrenaline high of a job well done.
“How is she even still upright after that?” Virgil wondered, thinking back to his own brief experiences in the studio earlier in the day and how exhausting they had been.
“Sheer bloodyminded determination,” Scott replied knowingly, watching her fondly as she talked to the director of the company, experience telling him that it wouldn’t be long after they got back home that she’d crash completely, likely falling asleep curled up next to him, her head balanced on his shoulder. “At least she said that today had been an easy day.”
“I think her exact words were ‘only five hours of rehearsals’,” Selene chipped in. “Remind me to talk to both of you at some point about what the word ‘easy’ actually means, because I’m not sure either of you understand it properly.”
“Well, the rehearsal I saw certainly looked pretty tiring,” Virgil agreed as Scott good naturedly rolled his eyes at her, the memory of the panting heap of dancers that followed their performance of the pas de deux earlier still fresh in his mind.
“Ya know,” Selene added, a glint appearing in her eye. “If she’s able to do that after dancing all day, I think she might actually be fitter than any of you guys.”
“You’re probably right there,” Scott agreed cheerfully as invited guests who had been seated in the auditorium began to filter onto the stage, their eyes wide with wonder at the sheer scale of it, suddenly remembering when that had been him.
Spotting Cat now deep in conversation with a woman and child, Selene nudged Virgil who had become distracted and was closely inspecting one of the lighting booms standing in the wings. “Is that Lily and her mum over there?”
“Sure is,” he smiled, enjoying seeing her excitement as she inspected Cat’s tutu and headdress, delicately reaching out to touch the material as if it might break.
“Should we go and say hello?” Scott asked.
“Give them a few minutes,” Virgil advised. “She’s so excited about meeting the dancers and I don’t want to distract her attention. They’ve earned it.”
“Good call,” Scott agreed, watching his girl with interest as she hurried into the wings, returning a few moments later with a pair of pointe shoes and presenting them to Lily as a souvenir of the night.
“She’s good with her, isn’t she?” Selene mused as the girl’s squeals of delight carried across the stage to them.
“She's been great all day,” Virgil agreed. “She’ll be a brilliant coach one day, I’m sure of it.”
Scott nodded his agreement, wondering why he’d never even considered what Cat might do once her career on the stage was over. He’d always known that dancers careers were short and that Cat would kill him if he even suggested that she might be more than halfway through hers already, but what might happen next was something that they’d never thought to discuss before.
“There was something I wanted to talk to you about actually,” Virgil said, cutting into a daydream of her no longer being tied to London and moving to the island with him. “It’s not directly related but I think it might be something she might be interested in.”
His interest piqued, Scott’s attention snapped to his brother, wondering what he was about to suggest. “Go on.”
“Well, we had a pretty good chat earlier about funding for the arts and ballet in particular, and she said that there was a real issue with access for kids from deprived backgrounds,” Virgil explained.
“OK...” Scott encouraged, suspecting he knew where this was going.
“She said that there would be lots of kids out there like Lily who are talented but won't ever get the chance to make a career out of it because it’s too expensive,” Virgil elaborated, “so I was wondering what you thought about setting something up that could help with that?”
“Now that’s not something I’ve ever really thought about,” mused Scott, the logistics immediately beginning to run through his head.
There was already a well funded branch of Tracy Industries that was responsible for all manner of humanitarian and conservation projects around the globe, along with providing funding for numerous scholarships and internships to help give talented people from less privileged backgrounds the opportunities that may otherwise be denied them. A fund for the arts wouldn’t be beyond their usual remit, he thought, and it would certainly broaden their horizons somewhat.
“It’s not something we need to make a decision on immediately,” Virgil added, sensing the cogs turning in Scott’s brain. “It’s just something I thought could make a real difference to people.”
“It’s a good idea,” Scott agreed, liking the sound of it more and more as it settled in his mind. “We’ll run some numbers and take a look at what the logistics might be and we can make a decision from there.”
“What’re we making a decision on?” asked Selene, wandering back over from where she’d found herself engaged in conversation with some of the stage management.
“Just an idea for some charity stuff,” Scott answered quickly, keen not to get drawn into a further conversation, especially as he could see Cat beckoning them over.
Looking around the stage as the others made small talk with Lily and her mum, Scott’s mind continued to turn over Virgil’s suggestion, unable to deny that it was a good idea and one that Cat in particular would be excited about. A smile flitted across his face as he thought of how pleased she would be when he told her about it, solidifying his decision to keep it to himself until it became something more tangible.
“I think it’s time to get out of here” Cat declared, gathering up her large bouquet as the group said goodnight and the remaining guests were shepherded off the stage.
Scott nodded in agreement. It had been an amazing night that had given him much to think about but for now, there was a beer with his name on it somewhere out there and he was very keen to get out of the theatre and find it.
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How to care for your John Tracy
So, you want to get a John?
Before deciding that a John Tracy is the one for you, you must first realise that they take a lot of specialist care, time and attention that you must be willing to put in if you wish to get the best out of your John.
When taking on a John Tracy one must approach as you would a feral cat, making no sudden movements, do not attempt to touch or grab on first meeting. Allow him to size you up, get used to your presence and approach in his own time and at his own pace.
This could take minutes, hours, days, weeks or longer, there is no set time frame in getting a John to trust you, it varies from person to person. You must be prepared for setbacks and times when it might seem like an impossible task. They require regular reinforcement of their socialising, lots of praise and quiet support.
If you do not have the time, patience or love to devote to your John then we suggest you consider adopting a different breed of Tracy, they are many and varied. For a readily sociable one we suggest you try a Scott or a Gordon, both of which are friendly from the offset and easily tamed with the offer of food.
If a quieter Tracy is still needed but one that is less skittish than the John breed then maybe a Virgil is better suited to your situation. Or if you want one you can play with a lot, then an Alan would be perfect for you. A Tracy is a lifetime commitment so take your time in choosing the right one for you.
If you do decided that the John is still for you then you will find that all the time and effort you put in is incredibly rewarding. Once you have proved yourself to a John you will find that it will go from a hissing, trembling, retreating ball of anxiety to a purring, snuggling pussy cat that is happy to cuddle for as long as you wish and is, in general, a pretty laid back, chilled addition to your life and household.
Contrary to popular belief a John Tracy is not an antisocial being, this is misinformation that has been circulated due to their quiet nature and contentment in their own company. A John Tracy is by nature actually an asocial introvert (see below pictures).
Once your John Tracy is used to you and has adapted to your ways he will be the most loving, wonderful, affectionate, caring, engaging, sweet, adorable, funny and friendly creature in the world. When he is allowed to do so on his terms in a way that makes him feel safe and secure, of course.
A John Tracy does not hate people or dislike interacting with them, he simply does not do well in crowds and social situations in which he is not prepared or comfortable. Then he may feel overwhelmed and react in a way that society sees as negatively, although for a John social anxiety is perfectly normal and acceptable and should be treated as such. A John is perfect as he is.
Your John Tracy requires a safe and secure place that he can retreat to when feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated, but on the whole, if allowed to come out of his shell and interact without being pushed, forced or tricked he will be perfectly content. John's need positive reinforcement, kind words and to be made to feel secure and loved from the start, this is the only way to bond with one.
A John Tracy is a devoted, loyal and loving creature that is known to mate for life, as do most other breeds of Tracy. A Tracy is a delightful companion that you will not be able to live without once you have one.
Unfortunately, many people will just not work out with a John Tracy, the very reason that so many varieties of this breed are left abandoned in space stations around earth's orbit.
Many see them as hard to socialise and grow impatient with their John, wanting him to act a certain way in a certain length of time, none of which is conducive to a happy and healthy John.
This is often seen as a fatal flaw in the John breed of Tracy, but many John enthusiasts insist that that is part of their attraction. The introverted tendencies of the John is in no way a flaw, it is part of what makes this particular breed of Tracy so special and so desirable to the right person.
John's make very good companions and they are well worth the additional effort that you will have to put in.
John's are not demanding in the food department and you will have to be prepared to offer food at regular intervals as they hardly ever seek it out for themselves.
Your John will try to exist on a diet of bagels and cheeseburgers but this is not good for them and, as much as they may protest or go on hunger strikes, you must continue to offer them a variety of options in your quest to ensure they eat enough to survive.
The same rules apply to keeping them hydrated, they will naturally gravitate towards coffee and occasionally water but they need to include fruit juices, herbal teas and the occasional meal replacement if they have been in a particularly stubborn mood, which they are regularly inclined to slip into.
Nothing is more stubborn than a Tracy breed and the John is one of the worst.
Your John will take care of itself in the exercise department although, once bonded to their person, a John will often try to entice you, or can be easily tempted itself, into playtime and physical activity.
When left to its own devices a John Tracy will spend many hours running, either outside in nature or indoors on an exercise ring. This helps to keep them healthy and fit for their jobs, for all Tracys are working creatures, all highly trained in their fields.
A John will also enjoy playing in water, such as swimming or diving and some extreme sports if it sparks his interest as John's are very athletic and flexible.
John's not only require physical exercise but mental agility training too. They have a very active, inquisitive and engaging brain and enjoy problem solving, organisation and stimulating intellectual conversations.
John's like to work with their hands and are very good with computers and AI's but be warned, they are also very good at hacking and you will have very little privacy with a John in your life.
You John will require extensive housing to stay happy and content. He will require not only the run of your house with the ability to explore every single inch of your property but also his own specialist housing.
John's require a lot of space, both in the social way, the physical way and the outer space way. Do not deprive him of these essentials.
He will require access to both indoor and outdoor housing of the tropical island variety as well as his own space station.
Now this might seem excessive but it is a necessary part of having a John. John Tracys require extended periods of time in Zero-Gravity in order to both thrive but also stay calm and in control. John's like to feel weightless and to indulge whenever the urge takes them so you will have to be prepared to spend large amounts of time without your John in attendance.
John's prefer quieter surroundings to noise and will often take themselves off to hide if they are over stimulated and surrounded by other noisy Tracy breeds. You cannot stop this, it is part of the John's nature and you have to accept this if you wish to have one of your own. Attempting to force a John into socialising when he does not wish to is an unpleasant, cruel and unfair action and should never be undertaken if there is any other option.
John's also require a number of soft surfaces on which to stretch out, relax and be quiet. John's seem to require very little sleep and are very active both in body and mind for long periods before they crash out completely and need time to re energise themselves.
John's come in a variety of Ginger and Blond colours and are on the taller end of the Tracy spectrum. Long, lean and sleekly muscled the John is a beautiful specimen of Tracy breeding and very pleasing to look at.
Their hair is of the softest quality and, when a John is relaxed and content in your presence, they often enjoy it being stroked and petted, this pleases them and helps them to stay calm and sleepy.
John's have arguably the prettiest eyes of any Tracy breed, although lovers of the Scott, Virgil, Gordon or Alan breeds will beg to differ saying that blues and browns are nicer.
John's sometimes have a questionable dress sense when allowed to please themselves but their standard blue is figure forming and pleasing to behold.
Petting and affection:
John's can be extremely affectionate when they feel comfortable with someone. It just takes them a long time to get there.
John's do not like sudden movements or to be grabbed or forced into affection by someone they do not know well and are not already comfortable with. Unexpected affection from someone that is not one of their chosen people will cause them to freeze like a fainting goat and adopt the tactic of play dead until the threat goes away.
But when a John is comfortable it very much enjoys attention, affection and love.
As mentioned above, John's are an introverted breed of Tracy and allowances have to be made for them. They do not respond well to being forced out of their comfort zones or into interacting when they do not want to.
When a John wishes to interact they will be friendly, approachable and funny. They will happily join in with family activities and events but be aware that they may require additional quiet time after to recharge. This is just the way of the John.
Additional tips and information :
-Respect your John's boundaries. They will make it clear with body language if they are comfortable or not even if they do not verbalise it.
-John's are sensitive and they will respond with sarcasm when they feel threatened or attacked.
-John's cannot be forced into anything they don't want to do. They cannot be moved if they don't want to move. They cannot be tricked or cajoled, they are too smart, give up now.
-John's love their family more than anything and are fiercely protective of them. Never get in between a John and another Tracy breed. You will come off worse.
-John's have a death stare that might actually kill you. You have been warned.
-John's are generally very sensible, until it comes to a challenge between other Tracys, they are extremely competitive creatures and nothing will stop them.
-John's are logical and organised.
-John's do not respond well to blackmail, trickery, deception or engineered situations.
-A John is perfect as it is, never try to change it or force it to be something that it isn't.
-Being socially avoidant is only one part of his personality and it's only when you take the time to get to know him that you will see the rest.
All in all, we can highly recommend bringing a Tracy into your life, they are wonderful creatures and well worth your time and energy. Just think carefully before you choose a John as they require the most love, patience and attention.
(John pic curtesy of @misssquidtracy)
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