My final two recs are explicitly ship-fics, but chosen because they stand out among a multitude of ship-fics in the modern Who era. Relationships, romance, even sex, but not as you’d expect, and again stories to make the reader think. If you’re interested in seeing Doctor/companion stories done well, try these last two recs of mine.
Story: At Thirty Paces
Author’s summary: He's not coming. Not tonight.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, Tenth Doctor, Ninth Doctor, Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, Estelle Cole. Pairings: Tenth Doctor/Rose/Jack; Tenth Doctor/Rose; Rose/Jack; Tenth Doctor/Jack, Jack/Estelle Cole, Jack/Ianto.
Warnings: Adult, Explicit Sex
Recced because: Here, finally, is an explanation for Jack’s ‘wrongness’ that I can accept and completely get behind, and an AU in which the Doctor doesn’t completely abandon him. It’s not an easy story to read, because it’s a painful, tragic love story in which no-one gets a happy ending. Yet it’s haunting, sticking in my mind for a long time after I read it. The Doctor is actually ‘allergic’ to Jack: if he comes any closer to Jack than a distance of thirty feet, he’s in excruciating pain. This is the story, in part, of how the three of them deal with that over the century-plus of Jack’s living the slow path (they space out Rose’s life, ‘rationing’ her so that Jack doesn’t lose her too soon), and it’s also how Jack copes with the slow path, and with his own doomed relationships while he waits. Waits for the Doctor, and for Rose, who almost never come. Tissue-warning, I think.
They stood before the sun rose, shook dew off of their borrowed garment. The Doctor started to put the greatcoat down on the grass for him to retrieve, but Jack shook his head, holding the brown overcoat over his arm, hugging it to his chest.
Understanding dawned in those eyes, Jack wanted to imagine. It must have. There was no other reason for the Doctor to sling Jack’s greatcoat back around his shoulders, to stand enveloped in it and draw it shut around him, utterly encompassed in the dew-damp fabric.
They held each other, at a distance.