You would think, what with everything that she had seen and experienced, that Rose Tyler wouldn’t think twice about suddenly witnessing somebody’s physical features change right in front of her face. The Doctor had, after all, explained what Regeneration was, so it wasn’t as though she was completely in the dark. It even made sense … in a weird Time Lord sort of way.
Still just because it made sense, it didn’t mean that it was easy to immediately accept.
She supposed it was because she was a … what did he call humans? Apes. Yes, perhaps she was a stupid ape and couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that the Doctor had a completely different face. A different body. Different ears. Different hair. Different accent. Different teeth.
She remembered laughing when the Doctor had commented on the pitfalls of new teeth. It was a very tricky thing, he told her, to adjust to.
Rose found it funny that, out of everything else he could possibly have trouble adjusting to, his teeth were his biggest source of contention. Forget having different limbs, a different shaped head, different nose … different everything. The only thing he could focus on was his teeth.
And she’d laughed. Because while her Doctor’s source of contention had been his big ears, the new Doctor’s source of contention was his new teeth. It was a funny kind of constant. A sort of link between the Doctor she knew and the Doctor that was standing in front of her with new features and … new teeth.
After the initial shock wore off, Rose found that, while there were many differences, there were many constants too.
He still couldn’t get Mickey’s name straight for one thing. Rose was near positive the moniker of ‘Ricky’ was used to purposely irritate the ex-boyfriend in question. She tried to give the Doctor a stern look when this occurred but could never quite manage it. Mickey however, had been highly annoyed.
The Doctor also still made fun of her love for beans on toast. She considered herself quite the adventurous one, but the Doctor was mental if he actually expected her to eat something that was trying to carry on a conversation with her. No thank you. She’d rather have beans on toast.
The word ‘fantastic’ still escaped his lips more often than not.
He still wore that dorky looking headband with the light on it to fix various parts of the TARDIS.
He still rolled his eyes when Rose had trouble pronouncing the tongue twister names of certain planets.
In short: he was still the Doctor. Just with a few … minor modifications.
After awhile she’d gotten used to the Doctor’s new look. She still missed the familiar big ears and blue eyes, but she’d soon enough come around to the not-so-big ears and brown eyes.
His new appearance might have tripped her up at first but after she thought about it for a bit, she realized that’s really all it was. A different appearance. Yes, his personality had changed a bit … this Doctor was definitely cheekier and far more chatty … but he was still recognizable to her. And she still felt as though their Doctor/Companion dynamic was more-or-less the same.
He teased her about her Union Jack t-shirt everytime she wore it.
With shining eyes and a mischievous smile the Doctor had said that after her trip through the night skies of London during a Blitz attack, she should be permanently put off that Union Jack shirt.
Truth be told, she wore it when she started to miss home. It didn’t matter how many amazing sights she saw … how many interesting people she met … how many near-death experiences she had–sometimes she simply missed her old life.
It didn’t usually last for long but whenever she missed London, she threw on her Union Jack shirt and let the Doctor tease her about it.
Besides, who was he to talk? He’d taken to wearing ratty old trainers with his pinstriped suit and trench coat. Rose couldn’t understand how he could wear all those layers of clothes, no matter the climate, and not get the least bit uncomfortable. Ever.
It’s just a Time Lord thing, he’d assured her.
She was starting to think that was his excuse for everything. Although admittedly it was a brilliant excuse. Who could really argue with that? It wasn’t like anyone else knew what constituted a Time Lord and what didn’t.
He’d taken her to Barcelona. Not the city Barcelona, but the planet Barcelona. And she’d seen the dogs with no noses. And she’d laughed because she loved that he’d take her through space and time just to see a dog with no nose. For no other reason than he thought she’d like it. And she did like it.
They’d sat together on a park bench and the Doctor had babbled and rambled on about these dogs with no noses for what could have been five minutes or five hours. It mainly sounded like nonsense to Rose but she liked hearing him talk.
She liked noticing and picking up the random phrases that the Doctor still used. He had a different accent and his voice intonations were different but despite all that, there was a constant in the way he talked.
Sometimes she couldn’t help herself from grinning when he said something familiar. He’d asked her a couple of times why she was smiling so bloody brightly.
One of these days she’d tell him the real reason.