Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 14754
Author's Summary: Rose was convinced -- even though he looked nothing like the man she'd met, this new man was still the Doctor. Unless it was all a lie.
Characters/Pairings: Mickey Smith, Rose Tyler, the Doctor (ninth and tenth)
Recced because: This is a plotty, suspenseful adventure. That's one reason to read it. It's also a story that deals with the utter weirdness of regeneration. One thing that always rang a little false to me, in the classic series, is how well human beings adjusted to the fact that a very good friend had just turned into someone else—not just in face and body, but in all his personal quirks as well. Rose's freakout on the subject seemed quite reasonable to me. Regeneration isn't something that human beings are particularly prepared to cope with.
This story explores what would happen if Rose learned that everything that happened for the past few months of her life was a lie. Or maybe that's the lie—she has no way to tell. Her confusion and her fear are utterly believable, and quite compelling. It's well-written, complex, and ends with a beautiful, poignant touch. Seriously, it's good. Go read it.
"I've been trying and trying to call you for days," Mickey was saying. "So, you're on Earth, yeah?"
"We're -- close by, yeah." Rose shifted her weight uncomfortably from one foot to the other, shot a quick involuntary glance upward.
"Close by -- ? You're -- still with the Doctor, right? Are you with him right now?"
"Yeah, 'course," she said. "Mickey, is something wrong? You sound really strange."
"Is he listening?"
"Is he -- " Rose looked over at the Doctor. If he'd even noticed that her phone had rung, he hadn't looked up. "I don't think so," she said, lowering her voice a little. "Mickey, what is it?"
"It's still the same guy, right? The same one as at Christmas?"
She frowned. "Yeah -- what -- "
"Rose, can you come meet me?"
"Sure, but -- "
"Only, Rose, listen. This is important, all right? Don't bring the Doctor. Come alone. And don't tell him where you're going."