A Sort of Man
by Kate Andrews

What sort of man was he?

That meant an awful lot of things. Took an awful lot of other things for granted, as one might, were one to take concepts like "am" and "man" for granted.


He couldn't, didn't.

She can't quite wrap her meaty little brain around the him/not him/new him conundrum yet, and he supposes he can allow her that. He can give her all the time in the world, after all. He is a different sort of man now, which is a different sort of problem/question/shift than being a different sort of person. He supposes most people with the single, same, gendered body all their life take the concept of man or woman for granted.

He knows male, feels male, and every time there's the tiniest bubble of maybe this time I'll have tits and won't that be interesting. But no, he's him again, dressing left, as it happens. There's the being and then there is the doing to manliness and he feels quite comfortable being. Wraps his hand around it, and it feels right, fits in his fist perfectly, like last time. The doing is something entirely new, something he feels like he's waiting for, bursting to discover, crouched on fingertips and the balls of his feet.

Coiled. That's the word.

The him of him, the he, the man of him, that much he relearns each and every time. Maleness, manliness, every man performs that differently, and he is a new man.

And Rose is the same woman.

She is aware of him in the way that an adult human female is aware of an adult male. She is not uncomfortably aware of him as a man, and perhaps she should be.

He has no doubt that she will.

She looks at him with this expectation that he does not yet know how to answer. And maybe he shouldn't, given the way she has this ease, this fierce love, though it isn't the ease of a lover.

No, that much he knows. Doesn't know how, since this body feels painfully virginal as only a slut's memory can, but he knows what he's missing, knows that he misses something he hasn't had at all yet, no time yet. Something he hasn't had with her because he hadn't been that sort of man. Not last time, anyway.

And what sort of man was he?


He competes with her memory of him.

Only, he's the opposite of a memory now, isn't he? He's all potential and sunrise. God, GOD he always every second wants to stretch his arms out wide right now and run. Every second he's still he wants that, and he supposes, hopes that will settle down as well.

He's no longer spewing those great sparkly clouds of fairy dust, as Rose dubbed them, but it's all still in him flipping and skittering up and down his bones. Oh how he wants to touch and use and taste and grab and plunge. Needs to fling this body into an ocean and see how it swims. That's where they're going next, and Rose will wear what she will call an old-fashioned bathing suit.

Rose will dive for him, her clever body piercing the water then tumbling upwards again to break the surface. He'll take her hand and pull her easily from the surf and yes, yes there will be a moment when she is aware of him as man.

Then he will lick the sea water off his fingers, off his hands and she will laugh at him as she continues to catches her breath.

He wants to go right now and find some great wide open and then just floor himself, but this him also has the ability, the inclination to bite his tongue, and so he does again and again and again. The pain focuses. The last him, pain was this big soft cloud, always and everywhere and inside of him even on the most glorious of days.

Pain comes sharper now, the paper cut of the confusion and fear in her eyes. When she shrinks from him, it's a tendon snapping and those are his first fresh impressions of her. That she can hurt him.

He likes that about her, and what sort of man does that make him?


The itching crackling energy of this test drive bit he remembers, though it was wildly different each time, each new body, new length of muscle and swiftness of anger. His new fingers want to touch everything right now. Such curious, new new fingers and palms, teeth and tongue and later, when she is shutting the door to the TARDIS multidirectional waterfall of a shower, he will happen upon her, he has decided.

He will compliment some part of her or another and watch her blush to match the new towels. He will watch her drip, watch her toes splay on the metal grating as she shifts from foot to foot. She will round her shoulders and cross her arms over her curves, draw his gaze to where those devious breasts of hers press together forming a space that pleads with him for investigation. A space that needs to be filled.

He will do his level best not to look like he wants to fill her. She will struggle between mortified and saucy and he will fall for her all over again.

He will watch the way she looks at him because he will have one of the new towels (soft and big, the sort Arthur would approve of) wrapped 'round his hips. He will watch what she looks at, what she lingers on. Or will she instead look him in the eye and side step past him? Will he turn to find her looking at his bum?

Is this him a legs man? An ass man? A tits man? These are secrets thumping around in his head, as ready for the unwrapping as how he likes his tea.

He wants to know what she thinks of his new body. He rather likes it, but perhaps that's just a combination of the shiny new Christmas morning toy feeling and what he suspects might be the robust self-esteem that seems to have come standard with this model. This handsome model of himself. He does not know what she will think of his new body, if or how she thought of his old one. He does not know Rose's type, does not know if that matters. He looks forward to discovering.


He is the sort of man who will make Rose Tyler blush more often, that much he decides almost at once.

He knows when he thinks to himself of those, those two, and sometimes they move as one soft conspiracy of flesh, those two handfuls certainly can't feel as soft as they look, sliding, shifting against the front of her-

What sort of man is he?

This concerns him more than the man he was, though who was brought this little moth close, battering her powdery wings against him.

She loved him (old him) and he knows he's done this thing so many (nine) times before. He knows so so many things, but he doesn't know the way she, if she, would she?

This body hasn't yet and he knows that, is distractingly aware of that in a particular way he swears he wasn't in the whole of his most recent existence. Oh, the last him knew how to bury his sorrows in the arms and mouths and what-nots of another living thing. He wanted Rose to hold him, sometimes, the old him did.

Sometimes he wanted so desperately to nestle into her softness, cheek on her denim covered thigh, cool fingers stroking his neck. He remembers wishing her good night, then pounding his fists into the walls until his skin split. He remembers that wanting that with the ache of a stiff, angry red scar.

He has no scars. Not yet. Of course he hasn't. These hearts haven't been broken yet, and he's got a phantom limb of love for Rose Tyler. Still loves her. That bag is full, but it's this great unformed mass as of yet. All building blocks and butter and flour and salt and eggs. It's tofu.

No. No, he's not a tofu sort of man. Nor was he before, but it is so awfully tiring, the discovering and creating of oneself, and he supposes he could just let it happen, but that isn't the sort of man he is.

He wants to know, know now. There are decisions to be made, then more decisions and he wants to get moving. And the sort of love he has for Rose, the flavor of it, the caramel or the garlic or the pomegranate of it, that much he is very curious to discover on his own because he loves her differently now.

And she doesn't even understand how he used to love her. Her affection, now that it has come back, is a welcome constant and he is so very glad for that. Glad for her hand in his, and that she does not pull away. But when she holds his hand it is a question, and his hand doesn't answer the way it used to.

The mother-the mother knew, wouldn't forget, wouldn't let him forget that he was a man. Not before, not now. For all the daughter, Rose, his, his-

Rose mourns for him, in front of him, when he's right fucking there in front of her. Mourns for him and sometimes she can't meet his gaze and he wants to pin her against a wall and tell her it's me Rose it's me I'm right here and I didn't leave you, not really, see? She mourns for him and he could never ever hurt her but he wants to shake her good and hard.

He wants to force her to understand, he would if he could, he's that sort of man.


He knows that you can't force an understanding. You have to let it happen. It has to coalesce, not unlike love or pudding, he supposes. You stir and stir and watch the bubbles break the surface, you wait and keep the perfect heat underneath it and if you are very patient it finally, suddenly thickens up, silky shiny smooth as if to say, "This is what I always meant to be. Thank you for waiting. You may now lick the spoon."

He watches for that sheen.

He looks forward to burning his tongue.


He doesn't sleep when he closes his eyes these last few cycles. He listens and listens while his body, his self, the spidery telescoping thing in his belly and hearts and so electric new fingers all reach out.

The rest of his latest days, he keeps his eyes open. Moment by moment he fills himself up, he colors inside the lines, then he is inspired and lets that green crayon slash across the page, scribbles everywhere. Lines? What lines. What paper?

He wants to burn it all, wants to melt it down then whittle away everything that isn't him. Wants to sink his thumbs into the wax. Wants his own fingerprints visible everywhere as he sculpts and squeezes, carves and marks himself. He want to see the fingerprints once he's a bronze.

He wants scars.

He might be the sort of man who gets a tattoo or three. He's not entirely sure yet.

He feels the synapses, the gel, that deliberate shift from liquid to solid thick awareness that is this--

Thing. Woman. Human. Worth dying for. That he knew. He, the royal he knew, knows. And he, the new he, all the he he's ever known knows this about her.

He knows heavy sheets and the lightest touch, and her very human, very female scent.

He knows that he held himself back. He doesn't for the life of him know why.


He knows what his cock feels like inside a woman. Not this cock, a different cock. Different balls, and that bit certainly threw him. Different dick entirely, and he knows. He knows.

Knows that he knows nothing about the insides of one Miss Rose Tyler. Knows the heart of her, he does. Knows . . . and still she looks at him, helps an arm around his body. She'll bear a different weight.

When she stares at him across the glowing console he feels the warmth of flattery spread down his body, but then he realizes that it's not fondness yet, it's curiosity Then he wants to strip naked in front of her, see her cheeks pink up, see her eyes go so very wide. He wants to see that little surprised 'O' of a mouth.

No, no not strip naked. He wants her to open a door and see him all at once. He wants to confront her with the new him. And yet he paces himself, the revelations, the discoveries. It is very like Christmas morning and he likes the neatly taped boxes still stacked in the back of his brain. He likes to worry the ribbons, paw at them. He likes to hold onto his surprises for a bit, that's the sort of man he is. He likes the waiting.

He likes to know that he could rip them open, he could let her shred him open. He has yet to feel her claws. He will. He will pet her the wrong way just to listen to her hiss, he knows that. He will smooth his palm down her yellow head, down her spine, over her rump.

She chatters on, fills the space between them with words. Clothes herself in their old patter but it doesn't quite fit now, Rose, does it. He thinks of the various planets where neither he nor she would be allowed to wear clothes. Knows she would be so attractively flustered, but in the end she would be game.

More flustered to see him nude than to be seen, he gathers. At Christmas dinner he asked Jackie if he had a nice bottom and she said, "Oh yes." She'd been tipsy by that hour, as had Rose, all softly listing against the side of the couch.

Once more, she held an entire galaxy of warm twinkling lights in her eyes. He kept his new hand out of view and just rubbed and rubbed his fingertips together. They were still greasy and turkey scented. He sat on the arm of the couch, close enough to her. Her shoulder leaned against his hip until he tapped that white line of scalp, those shameless roots on the crown her head to emphasize some point or another. She sat up straight, blinking and smiling just a little too wide.

Jackie licked her lips. "Not that you anything to worry about last go round, but this time, doesn't he have a nice bum, Rose? You'd know, wouldn't you?"

"I would not!"

"He got into those pajamas all by himself, did he?"

"I kept his--I kept your shorts on."

"Thank you," he said sincerely. "I appreciate that."

"Figured you would."

He keeps to himself the fact that he is no longer a shorts sort of man.

What he's stuck with and no, he's not so sad about this, what he's stuck with is this. He loves her. He is born fully formed into this universe with his love for this woman already snug around his neck. Like a noose.

Like a scarf.


He wants to kiss her again. He wants, wants enormously to lay his head on her bosom. He wants her to tell him the truth about his new body, her truth.

He gets to know himself that first evening back on the TARDIS. Later, he is watching her eat strawberry ice cream and he doesn't feel guilty in the slightest.

He likes that she's slowly becoming a different sort of skittish around him. He's glad, he thinks, as she slips the spoon from her lips, squeezes on more chocolate syrup. She gives him a smeared grin, then backs it up a little when he gives her a smile in return.

That's not his smile. He knows she's thinking it, that's not my Doctor's smile and she can't read this one yet.

She gives him a new smile. This one, he likes to think, this one is just for him. It will be and that's nearly the same. "Do you still like chocolate?" she asks

"More than ever."


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