Title: Similarly Contrary
Summary: Rose and the Doctor run into trouble not long after his regeneration and Rose realizes something.
He looks different. And he sounds different, even his accent is changing. She can't help but watch him. They've spent the last three days in a manner Rose is used to but in a way that she isn't: contradictory really.
They are half way through saving the universe, skipping through time and space in the TARDIS and running down corridors, racing for their lives. Now they're locked inside a cell, the Doctor's sonic screw screwdriver confiscated from his jacket. But it isn't the old jacket; shortly after changing into a completely new man, he'd disappeared into the wardrobe room and reemerged a half hour later minus the black jeans, dark jumper and leather jacket. He'd replaced them with something new and from that moment, she really began to understand that he was gone.
In three days, she's noticed the personality changes; less athletic, more academic, less sarcastic, more riddling, less moody, less guarded, more explicit and, incredibly, even more egotistical. He isn't her Doctor any more and right now she'd trying to decide exactly what that means.
Not really bothering to see that she was okay but eager to test drive his new body, he'd dragged her off for their next adventure without asking if she wanted to go. Together, they'd ran into trouble not two hours after a long night's sleep which had followed his regeneration directly. And since then, all she's done is watch him, categorizing what has and hasn't changed.
And now, as she watches him glaring at the concrete door, hands in his pockets and hair spiked up from all the times he'd dragged his hands through it, she counts off, on one hand, what hasn't disappeared.
He still thinks he's so impressive.
He still can't sit still.
He's still fundamentally good.
She lets her gaze drop to the ground as she runs out of traits that are still recognizable as the old Doctor's. It's strange, because she thinks there's more, he's different, completely, but something is keeping her with him. She's decided she's not leaving, she's never leaving, she can't.
Looking up she sees him staring at her and now she adds stance to the list of things that have changed. The old Doctor had a thing for leaning on walls, the new one has a thing for shoving his hands in his pockets and standing with his feet shoulder width apart.
"You got a watch?"
She stares back for a second. He doesn't wear a watch any more either. "Why?" she replies.
"I want to know the time."
She pulls her phone out of her pocket and checks, the super-chip having already adjusted to the time zone and planet, "It's twenty six o'clock. Whatever that means."
He smiles, not like the old Doctor used to, "Dinner time."
He sinks down next to her on the cold floor; close but not as close as the old Doctor would have. He fiddles in his socks, eventually pulling out what look to be two marbles. Rose's look of disbelief is a little too obvious and he smiles again and is about to explain when there's a knock at the door, "Dinner."
As the concrete in front of them starts to move, the Doctor whispers "Hold your breath." Rose does so and watches as the two little spheres are crushed together, popping like bubbles, and the resulting purple liquid quickly evaporates into the guard's face as he looks on in confusion. Seconds later, he falls with a thud to the floor.
"That's a new trick," Rose says once they're out and walking down a nondescript hall.
"What can I say, the old me wasn't a genius when it came to chemistry. I am."
She can't think of anything to say to that, finding it rather confusing and slightly morbid that he'd talking about his 'old self'.
Walking slowly as they try to remember which way is out, they wander through an intersection every few meters. Passing through one such intersection, a loud shout makes them both jump and look down the adjoining corridor to their right: they see a large guard running towards them, something that looks like a baseball bat already in his hands.
Simultaneously, both look to the left, down the opposite hallway. Their glance is met with two more guards, a lot closer and looking a lot angrier.
Rose feels the adrenaline start to course through her as she increases he pace, walking quickly by the Doctor's side.
Looking over her shoulder, Rose sees the first two guards enter the main hallway.
She'd startled when she sees ever more angry guards, about a hundred feet in front of them, when she looks back around. That makes a total of seven baseball bat-wielding aliens now closing in on them.
"Rose," says the Doctor.
"Yes, Doctor?" her voice is high with the excitement and fear of the chase.
His fingers intertwine with hers, his thumb skirting over the back of her hand as he squeezes tightly and she sees the contradiction of a completely different hand feeling exactly the same.
He looks at her, catching her eye and ginning in his own new, unique way, pulling her off into a narrow twisting hallway to the side. "Run."
Instantly she knows why she'll always stay.
And a second later she realizes he knows it too.
I'd love to hear any thoughts you have, I realize that writing a character whom I've never met is pretty much impossible, but it just spat itself out and, because it's in a whole new style for me, I'm interested to see how badly it went.