First, a little background knowledge:
As many of you probably know, the Eighth Doctor (played by Paul McGann) was only in one televised story: the 1996 TV movie. Sadly, the movie was a little too . . . well, American, for most fans. The idea of starting the series back with McGann in the lead role fizzled and died, keeping the show on hiatus until 2005.
While the TV movie didn't bring Doctor Who out of its longterm hiatus, it did present fans with an entirely new character to work with. Not to mention a boatload new canon, depending on your definition of the term.
There are three main sets of stories featuring the Eighth Doctor: the comics, the Big Finish audios, and the novels (typically known as the Eighth Doctor Adventures or EDAs). Each of these has storylines and companions attached solely to them, and none of them actually mesh well with the canon of the other two versions (or the canon presented in the new series episodes, for that matter - but the fun part's trying to get them all to work together). For the purposes of this post, though. I'll be solely focusing on the EDAs.
The Eighth Doctor's personality tends to differ somewhat depending on the source, with the version found in the EDAs becoming darker as the series progressed. (Admittedly, this is probably because of some of the
The Eighth Doctor has several companions throughout the books, but it's Fitz Kreiner - who's introduced in book #19 and stays with the Doctor until the books' abrupt end at #73 (because of the new series beginning in 2005) - that's important for the purpose of this post.
Since Fitz is a book-only companion, it's obviously a little difficult to know precisely what he looks like. In my mind, I typically picture him as being played by Callum Blue - especially considering his portrayal of Mason on the show Dead Like Me. I've heard several others in the fandom make similar remarks, so I'm fairly certain that I'm not completely off base. Anyway, I thought that it might help people have at least an idea what Fitz is like if I posted a picture here, so the man to the right is the aforementioned actor.
Fitz is an extremely complex character, and he goes through a lot of changes as the EDAs progress. Spoilers aren't our friends in a brief post like this, so a basic summary is probably best. He's a human in his late twenties when he first meets the Doctor in 1963, the son of a German man and an English woman (which caused quite a few difficulties since he grew up in London during World War II), and a musician. He also loves his cigarettes, much to the Doctor's chagrin.
Throughout the series, Fitz is extremely loyal to the Doctor, and it's obvious that they both care deeply for each other as time goes by. Most Eight/Fitz fans (whether as a 'ship or merely as friends), tend to agree that the only way that Fitz would have left the Doctor would be either through death or because during the Time War the Doctor left him somewhere safe. And did I mention that the leather coat the Ninth Doctor wears looks suspiciously like the one Fitz owned?
Okay then, that's the basics. So why do I 'ship Eight/Fitz?
As I said, it's clear that both the Doctor and Fitz care for each other - though whether it's merely as friends or as something more can be debated. At the very least, they're best friends; both of them say it several times in the novels. Fitz stays with the Doctor even after some nasty things happen, and their relationship often treads the fine line between text and subtext. By the end, it's very much all but canon.
But it would probably be easier to just show you what I mean.
Dominion (Nick Walters)
The Doctor stood up, a look of amazement on his face, and then to Fitz's considerable surprise he bounded over, grabbed his head and planted a kiss squarely on his lips. 'Oh, Fitz! Fitz, Fitz, Fitz! I'm so glad you're alive!'
Fitz staggered back, overwhelmed. 'Glad to see you too,' he murmured, feeling himself blushing under Professor Nagel's stare of amazement and mirth.
The Blue Angel (Paul Magrs and Jeremy Hoad)
Could he leave the Doctor's company for this woman?
What would the Doctor say?
He couldn't imagine never seeing the Doctor again. There was so much they hadn't said and done, and since Sam left . . .
He'd never said goodbye to her either.
If he left the Doctor now. . . and who was to say he hadn't already? He felt a nasty pang, somewhere in his gut, and suddenly he could see the Doctor's face before him and he remembered how he had laughed when Sam told the story of her erstwhile infatuation with the Time Lord.
But Fitz could see how it might work. All that power and intelligence, that charming intensity. . . even if he was raving mad.
Fitz swallowed hard. He was the one who was raving mad. He was in the midst of the most ridiculous danger, horse-riding down a mountainside, probably about to die and, in the final few minutes of his life, what was passing through his mind? Not the greatest, most fulfilling moments in this life - but a consideration of his chances of getting laid by Iris . . . and even of getting laid by the Doctor. What was it about Time Lords?
Frontier Worlds (Peter Anghelides)
The Doctor slumped on the leather seat, his breath coming in ragged gasps. Fitz stared, unsure what to say. The hunched shape looked so vulnerable that Fitz wanted to stoop down and hug him until the pain went away, until the shaking stopped and the real Doctor returned... Fitz wanted to just hold him, but he couldn't.
Earthworld (Jacqueline Rayner)
Early teens, blonde, bobbed hair and big blue eyes (a bit like the Doctor's, said the bit of Fitz that was forever consumed with the Time Lord - and then he mentally kicked himself for not even being able to look at a babe without thinking of the Doctor).
He'd never tried to speak to this TARDIS before. But the Doctor referred to it – her – as a person. It was worth a go. He still felt a bit silly, though.
He stood in the middle of the library, clutching a copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit for emotional support. He spoke quietly. 'Um. . . I don't know if you can hear me. But if you can, I expect you probably. . . well, care about him, like I do. And you mustn't let him use that machine. Please. Um, that's all. Thank you.'
Fear Itself (Nick Wallace)
With a burst of static, the news report was replaced by a grainy image of Anji Kapoor. The swelling had gone from her face, the only remnant of the attack a large sticking plaster on her forehead. She was looking away from the camera when the signal came through, eyes focused further down the hospital ward. Then she turned and saw them; there was a moment of indecision on her face before she finally broke into a laugh.
'Is this a good time for you both, or would you like to be left alone?'
Fitz looked at the Doctor’s naked torso, the damp towel in his own hand and the way he'd been bathing his friend. He dropped the towel, pushing himself back along the bunk. 'Now's fine, thank you.'
The Book of the Still (Paul Ebbs)
Carmodi was pushing him hard in the small of his back towards the ramp. 'Forget him!'
Fitz stood his ground. What was he doing? Leaving the Doctor to fend for himself? What was he thinking of? 'No, wait, I can't. The Doctor...'
A fuzzy blur in his mind, Carmodi's face, a shudder through his heart and... NO.
'You go if you want. I must help him.'
'I've been engineered to love you, Carmodi. With the Doctor - it's the real thing.'
Fitz pushed past Carmodi and set off at a run.
Halflife (Mark Michalowski)
Fitz knew it was a dream, but it was no less disturbing for that.
He was standing in the TARDIS console room, facing the main doors. And he was naked. That wouldn't normally have bothered him, apart from the fact that he could feel something cool touching his buttocks. The fact that he knew it was another pair of buttocks was slightly disturbing. But knowing - in the way that you do in dreams - that they were the Doctor's buttocks was just too much.
But, of course, as it was a dream, there was nothing he could do. He was rooted to the spot, rubbing bottoms with the Doctor.
'Doctor,' he said in the awkward way that you do when you're cheek to cheek with your best friend. 'I take it that this is all very symbolic.'
'Don't worry, Fitz,' said the Doctor, a hint of a smile in his voice, from behind Fitz's head. 'I don't think it's what it looks like. Or feels like.'
'That's a relief,' said Fitz. 'Not that you don't have a very nice bottom, but... you know...'
'It's OK, Fitz. I don't think this is your subconscious telling you anything about your sexuality.'
'Is this the Fitz you lost earlier?'
'I wouldn't say lost - more mislaid.' And with that, the Doctor bounded over and gave Fitz a huge, rib-cracking hug, lifting him clear off the ground.
For a moment, Fitz wondered if the Doctor was going to kiss him - and remembered the dream.
The Doctor was pacing. Which was usually a good sign, thought Fitz: it meant that the game was afoot. He felt tired, but put that down to everything that had happened since they’d arrived on Espero and to the bizarre dream. He kept trying not to look at the Doctor’s bottom, but suspected that, in doing so, he was drawing even more attention to it.
To the Slaughter (Stephen Cole)
'T'riffic.' Fitz wiped cold sweat from his brow. 'Well, someone must be coming to the rescue, surely? The police, the army. . . '
Fitz spun around. 'You!'
'Yes, me!' The Doctor took Fitz's hand, kissed it delicately, then shoved him aside. 'Now, out of my way!'
Now for some recs:
Eight and Fitz, by van
Fag Break, by Expression
Fitz, by van
Fitz Drawings, by Expression
First of all, if you're interested in Eight/Fitz or just Fitz in general, wishfulaces is the author to check out. She's written quite a few stories featuring the two of them (which can be found on her Teaspoon account), and - while I love them all - I'm only going to list a few of my favorites here.
And I Will No Other to Follow Me Where I'm Going, by wishfulaces :: Fitz and the Doctor during the Time War.
Colors, by warinbabylon :: Fitz isn't a poet; not really.
Imagining It, by kbk :: Thinking, and the stupidity of doing so.
Nine Times the Doctor Kissed Fitz Kreiner (And One Time He Never Got To), by ryttu3k :: The Doctor remembers kisses. Lots of kisses.
And, while it's technically gen (and the Ninth Doctor instead of the Eighth), I couldn't resist mentioning this one.
The Unwritten History of the Time War, by wishfulaces :: All these things are true.
I'm certain most of you have seen at least a few of redscharlach's mini-icons:
hawkenfay has a post here with a few Eight/Fitz icons.*
shinyjenni has a post here with a Fitz icon.*
smkwriter08 has a post here with a few Eighth Doctor and Fitz Kreiner icons.
van has a post here that features icons of all the Doctor's companions, including Fitz.*
* As I said, casting Callum Blue as Fitz is popular with other fans as well.
henriettastreet is a community for the EDAs, so it also has quite a bit of fanfiction featuring Eight/Fitz there. They recently held a ficathon as well, and the majority of the stories written for it were about the two of them.
So why do I 'ship Eight/Fitz? Because there's so much potential there.
Fitz is one of the longest-lasting companions of the Doctor. Even at the beginning, when they really don't know each other, it doesn't take them long to become friends. The scene from Dominion that I posted, where the Doctor kisses Fitz when he finds out that he's alive? That's only the fourth book with the two of them. 4 out of 55. By the time you reach the last few EDAs, they've been together for years. They've been through hell and back together, several times even.
Also, did I mention the amnesia? Because after the third - is it the third? maybe it's the fourth? - bout of it, the Doctor is pretty much dependent on Fitz for quite awhile. He doesn't remember what led up to his losing his memories, and Fitz pretty much thinks that's for the best. He does everything he can to protect the Doctor, whether it's from insane cults, fellow Time Lords, crazed aliens . . . or himself.
Just to note, wishfulaces created a post over on ship_manifesto for Eight/Fitz back in 2006. It can be found here, and if I've caught your attention then it might be a good place to start. She goes into a lot more detail that I have, plus she has a lot more quotes from the books.