To my good friend and nerdy comrade Jenn for still talking to me after a year (and a little bit more) of madness. I think you might recognize at least one of our conversations in this thing!
Also, a special thanks to IncurableRomantic for giving me a TenII headcannon with her amazing story 'Part Human'. Read it if you haven't already!
What's in a Name?
"You're going to need a name."
The Doctor frowned, gazing at Rose in confusion as she plopped down on the couch beside him. "But I already have a name – 'the Doctor'," he said, a large, winning grin and a happy little wave accompanying his words. "Hello!"
She rolled her eyes and smacked his still waving hand, causing him to shoot her a wounded look as he rubbed it. For the world he looked so much like a small boy who'd just been denied his favorite toy, she couldn't help but stick out her tongue in response. "That's not what I meant and you know it," she retorted, prodding her index finger into his chest a few times. "I meant for your papers and things, and you know as well as I do that 'the Doctor' just won't cut it."
A large pout grew on his lips. "But why not? I've been 'the Doctor' for over nine hundred years. Why does that have to change because I'm part human?"
"Because you're going to live on Earth now, yeah? And unless you want everyone to know you're alien-or part alien or whatever, you're going to something that sounds a bit more human. Look, I'm not saying I'll stop calling you the Doctor, 'cause I won't. 'The Doctor' is who you are, I know it is, but it's still not something anyone will accept on your ID. No matter what you may think about us humans, no one's strange enough to name their kid 'the Doctor'!"
The already large pout grew even larger. "Maybe my parents were hippies."
"Fine." He sighed. "John Smith, then."
Groaning, she bumped her shoulder into his with, perhaps, a bit more force than usual.
"What? What's wrong with that? It's a good human name!"
"And it's also like the worst spy-name cliché in history! It might work in a crisis when no one's really listening to what you're saying anyway-"
"-But otherwise, you might has well walk around and tell people you're using an alias."
"That's a very narrow-minded thing to say. I'll have you know I've known plenty of John Smiths. Well, I say plenty, it's more like a handful. A couple. Well, one. But that was a good bloke! Although…" He paused, frowning. "He might have been a spy, now that you mention it. It would explain a few things. But that's beside the point! The point is…what was the point again? Right! That's what would make it so perfect!"
She quirked an eyebrow. "It's perfect 'cause you knew a spy called John Smith?"
"What? No! Well, yes. Ish." He scratched his ear – going by the twitch that tugged at the corner of Rose's mouth, he could tell that she was just moments from, at the very least, grinning at his expense and he rushed to defend himself. "It's like you said, I'm not going start asking people to call me 'John' and for some reason humans tend to find it strange when you use nicknames with no obvious connection with your own name. Odd, that – I never really understood that human quirk. But! With a name like 'John Smith' and with a doctorate or two, it's no wonder I'd prefer to be called 'the Doctor' instead. My 'given name' would just be too embarrassing to use!"
"It would work!" he grumbled. "Besides, it's not as if I'm going to be called 'Smith' for very long, am I? It wouldn't make any sense for you to take my name when we get married, with it being and alias and all. Moreover, 'Rose Smith', doesn't sound as good as 'Rose Tyler', does it? Doesn't fit my teeth as well and-and what are you looking at me like that for?"
Rose's mouth had fallen open as she stared at him in wide-eyed astonishment. "You-you want to marry me?"
He raised his eyebrows. "Blimey, you're in a hurry, we've barely been reunited a day and you're already proposing."
"What?!" she spluttered. "I wasn't proposing! You're the one who-"
"I mean, it's just so soon. I'm willing to do the whole marriage thing some time in the future because-well, because it's you, but now? A bit soon, that."
"-And to be honest, the whole standing in the church thing and listening to all those speeches you humans do…well, it's a bit rubbish, don't you think? And the food!"
" I don't think I've ever been to a wedding with good food – mind you, that might be because I have a tendency to end up having to leg it before the reception starts, but all the same, the cake never tastes as good as it looks. The gifts are usually nothing to look forward to either, and you still have to pretend to be happy about them-"
"I really wasn't-!"
"Then there's the clothes issue! I'd have to wear a tux! And you know how much trouble tuxes get me into. Odds are we'd have to run before the whole 'here comes the bride' thing! That might not be too bad as long as we've got comfortable shoes on, though – I don't care what your mother says, I'm not wearing oxfords! There's absolutely nothing wrong with a good pair of Converse!"
"Doctor! Will you listen to me?!" she bellowed, her chest heaving. "You don't have to worry about that because I. Wasn't. Proposing!"
The surprise He had been displaying at her outburst gave away to a look of hurt. "But why not? Don't you love me?"
His only reply was a frustrated cry and a pillow hitting him square in the face.