Story: The Life Fantastic
Rating: G (Doctor/Rose intense friendship, Jack friendship)
Author's summary: One life, from beginning to end. The Doctor grieves, lives, fights, dances, eats chips, and falls in love. Not such a bad life after all.
Characters/Pairings: Ninth Doctor, with insights into Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness
Recced because: This is a gorgeous, poignant study of the Ninth Doctor. His life is defined by sacrifice: born out of one, dies in another. It’s a chronicle of his journey from that painful birth to his completely voluntary death, committed for love, and it’s a story about how he heals, helped by the most unlikely of companions for a battle-scarred Doctor: the nineteen-year-old shop-girl, Rose Tyler. It’s about why he needs people around him, and ultimately what leads him to sacrifice once more, for a much smaller cause this time than the fate of the universe. In companionship comes healing, and in death comes peace. This story is poignant, but ultimately so very affirming, and a perfect tribute to the Ninth Doctor.
During their association, the Doctor will compile a laundry list of Rose’s character flaws that’s as tall as she is. She has a knack for finding trouble. She doesn’t do what he says. She cares too much about things that don’t matter, and not nearly enough about things that do. Her boyfriend is an oaf, and her mother is a harpy. (To be fair, those things aren’t strictly her fault, but they do count against her.) She argues with him when he clearly knows better. She’s stubborn. She’s childish. She prattles on and on until his head hurts. She takes too much time doing her hair. She rolls her eyes and tunes out when he’s trying to tell her important things. And she flirts! Every male that’s passably humanoid and vaguely pretty gets the full-on girlish giggle, the shy glance from under the eyelashes, the just-so stance that emphasizes the parts of her that human males gawk at in their Neanderthal way. It creates no end of difficulties. And worst of all, he’s pretty sure that she’s got a similar list in her mind for him--and he’s taller.
But her chatter fills the emptiness of the TARDIS. He enjoys the feeling of her hand in his, having someone to touch again. She gives affection so freely that he can’t help but return it. She’s kind-hearted almost to a fault, and he cannot bring himself to count it against her. She’s sensual--she enjoys food unashamedly, opens her eyes wide to marvel at the wonders he shows her, absorbs the smells and sounds of worlds she’s never imagined, and reaches out to touch . . . everything.