Word Count: 60,290
Author's Summary: The alt!Doctor meets the alt!Martha Jones and copes with the realities of aging. They have adventures.
Characters/Pairings: 10.5/alt!Martha Jones, alongside alt!Jack Harkness, alt!Ianto Jones, Jackie Tyler, alt!Pete Tyler, alt!Sarah Jane Smith, alt!Tish Jones, and other characters.
Recced because: Handy (10.5/The Duplicate Tenth Doctor) is definitely a character that I personally find very intriguing. With bits of the Doctor mixed with bits of Donna inside his head, he comes out an entirely new person and, it is in his self-reflection, we can learn more about what makes him tick as a character and what it means to be the person he is. Obviously, most post-'Journey's End' fic with him focuses on his relationship with Rose in the alt!verse, but what if things didn't work out between them? Where would his life go afterward? Would he seek out the alt!versions of other companions of the Doctor? Or would he always be alone -- always a stranger in a strange land? Would he work for UNIT or Torchwood or somewhere else entirely? And what would happen if by chance he ran into an alt!Martha Jones and they fell in love?
fourzoas is most definitely one of my favorite writers in fandom and this story -- her first Doctor Who fanfic, I believe -- is definitely one of my favorite fics. I love how she weaves the tale of a budding friendship and romance between Handy and alt!Martha with a page-turning, cracking action-adventure story of intrigue. At 60,290 words, the story is admittedly a bit epic, but perhaps over the weekend, you might find yourself on your couch, sipping some tea, and wanting to simply curl up with a nice story. I highly recommend this fic for that bit of relaxation.
One year passed and he was ready to step out on his own. All the things he'd valued before, the sacrifices made in his name, had been catalogued and recorded in a book, the names of the dead and the living in that other place written so that he could remember and reflect, but not live with it in his increasingly crowded mind.
He rejected the old names first. The Doctor, John Smith. Not him, not anymore. Something from his human half wouldn’t let him keep them, that fierce and guarded independence feeling suffocated by the meanings packed and stuffed inside those names. This, of course, made it difficult to move forward; a baby grows up with a name, has to take what it gets, can change it, but is essentially and eternally defined by someone else’s choice. His birth name, his given name, belonged in that other world and there it would stay. He chose a new one and as a christening gift, had it tattooed on his inner left thigh. He smiled a bit as he thought about what River would have said about the mark.
“Not in my lifetime, that one,” he thought and sighed. Another item on the list of things he wouldn’t live to see but already had.
Of course, there was still the matter of the calling card, the name to meet the faces that you meet, and he was a bit surprised when he found himself uttering the words in response to Ianto’s question.
“You want a Jingleheimer in there too?” Ianto smirked, surprised that all of the agonizing of the last 2 weeks had only brought him to this almost foregone conclusion.
“Wha–oi, watch it CoffeeBoy!,” he cracked and then he sighed as he felt the inevitable earwig invading his brain. “Yes, I guess his name is my name too. Well, his first and middle. But that Jingleheimer business is a bit cartoonish, don’t you think?”
Ianto was surprised that he’d actually taken the suggestion seriously, but his expression revealed nothing. He nodded, made a few adjustments in several national registry entries, and within 20 minutes John Jacob Smith was in full possession of a legitimate public identity. In the end, that skin was just too comfortable to shed, and he promised to be less rubbish as a human than that other human John Smith had been.