Always My Doctor
This is me exploring my own headcanon regarding the Doctor’s gender identity. And this also fills @doctorroseprompts‘s prompt from forever ago regarding post-regeneration conversations.
Thirteen x Rose
The Doctor and Rose have a much-needed conversation after the Doctor regenerates into a female body.
Rose glanced across the bed at her bondmate, her eyes tracing over the new features. The blonde hair, the sharp cheekbones, the bright eyes. She’d gone through this four times now, but this was the first time her Doctor had regenerated into a female body.
She could feel the Doctor’s disappointment and hurt just moments before her face tightened.
“Is this too weird, then?” she asked, gesturing between the two of them.
“No,” Rose said, reaching out for the Doctor’s hand. “No, it’s just…”
Rose sighed and closed her eyes, letting the feel of the Doctor’s hand in hers soothe her. No matter the body, their hands always fit together perfectly. Rose absently rubbed her thumb across the Doctor’s and basked in the feeling of her bondmate in her mind. That still felt the same; it always felt the same, no matter the regeneration.
“I don’t know what to do,” Rose admitted.
The Doctor’s hurt flared, and her face fell.
“No!” Rose said immediately, realizing how her words sounded. “Not like that! It’s just… what do I call you?”
The Doctor’s brows furrowed. “The Doctor?”
Rose shook her head impatiently. “Yes, yes, but when I’m addressing you to people. I always said “my husband”. And it’s habit to call you my husband, but now you’re my wife, but do you want me to introduce you as my wife? Or my spouse? Or my bondmate? No, most people don’t know what a bondmate is. This is just so different from anything I’ve ever done and am I supposed to call you “she” and “her” now too, or is there something else I should say instead?”
Warmth and comfort pulsed across the bond as the Doctor wriggled over and bed and enveloped Rose in a hug. She went immediately and nuzzled into the Doctor’s neck, inhaling the new but comforting scent of her bondmate.
“I’m sorry,” the Doctor whispered. “I didn’t realize how hard this would be on you.”
“It’s not,” Rose insisted. “You are still my Doctor. My bondmate. The love of my life. And you always will be.”
“Then that’s the important part,” the Doctor said simply as she grinned broadly.
Rose could feel the utter relief and happiness the Doctor was projecting, and Rose snuggled closer. She burrowed deeper into their bond and passed along all the love and support that she could, not realizing how afraid the Doctor had been about her newest regeneration.
You will always be my Doctor, she said fiercely. No matter what. I love you.
As I love you, the Doctor whispered, brushing a kiss along the bond. It doesn’t matter what you call me in public. Time Lords didn’t have the strict concept of gender identity that you humans have. A person’s identity wasn’t dependent upon the body they were in. In Gallifreyan, there were dozens of pronouns and ways to identify oneself and others, and it was all very complex and next to none of it translates well into English. So what I’m trying to say is you can introduce me however you’d like. I won’t be offended, because we know what we are to each other, and that’s all that matters to me.
Rose’s eyes stung with tears as she smiled at her Doctor. She carded her fingers through her hair, enjoying the new, silky strands, before she leaned closer to press a kiss to the Doctor’s lips. The Doctor hummed and angled her head to the side to deepen the kiss.
I love you so much, the Doctor murmured. Forever, my Rose.
Rose slowly rolled onto her back and urged the Doctor to straddle her hips before she reclaimed her bondmate’s lips in a kiss.
Forever, my Doctor.