Word Count: 4824
Author's Summary: In which the Doctor is an ex-chemistry teacher (recently fired), Ace might possibly be a werewolf, and they both sort out things with absolutely no explosives- which is a shock to both of them. (Survival AU)
Characters/Pairings: Ace McShane, Seventh Doctor
It was a challenge deciding which of TheBigCat's many excellent fics to rec this week. She writes across eras and in a variety of styles and tones. Finally, I decided on Full Moon, Full Moon because:
1) it features Ace and Seven, one of my all-time favourite Doctor-Companion combos
2) it's wonderful and unique take on them unlike anything I've read elsewhere.
This is an AU, but how much of an AU is left up to the reader's imagination (is it a timeline which took a different path, or is it a completely different reality?). Ace is a werewolf (or, more accurately, a were-cheetah), and the Doctor is… a mystery wrapped in a puzzle tied with an enigma. He's a recently fired chemistry teacher. He may also be a Time Lord – or possibly a wizard. Who knows? This fic is full of questions without answers, but that's because the plot is less important than the magnificent, mentor-student friendship between Ace and her Professor, which is the same in any universe.
There is great dialogue, lovely descriptive prose (a lot of it about tea, and I had to make a cuppa while re-reading for this rec, because it kept making me thirsty), and loads of references to other companions/villains/past episodes for those who like spotting continuity nods. And, of course, there are lots of questions marks (not just on the Doctor's jumper) to keep you wondering what might happen next long after the fic is finished and the browser window closed.
"What happened?" The questions spilled out of her mouth, sentences colliding together. "Was it my fault? Why did they do it? Do I-"
He held up a hand, forestalling her. "It was nothing to do with you. They just started to question my decision in teaching the students to make less-than-savoury substances. Such as those that, er, blow things up."
She gaped at him. "You got fired because you were teaching us the proper way to create explosives?"
"It would seem so."