Change back?

Summary: I loved the regeneration from 9th to 10th Doctor so much that I think it should be told in more detail. 9Rose & 10Rose

Disclaimer: All official Doctor Who stuff belongs to BBC etc. - I only borrow it for this story.

Notice: This version of chapter 1 was revised and improved with the help of my beta-reader StarSurfer and some kind suggestions by dartigen.

This chapter has been partially rewritten and re-published with some additions but without being beta-read again on 20th June 2008.

This story begins at the end of the episode "The Parting of the Ways".

Chapter 1 – Headache

Rose woke up with a terrible headache and no idea what had happened.

As her disorientation lessened, she became aware of her surroundings. 'I'm lying on the floor of the Tardis', she realized while staring at the dome-shaped ceiling of the control-room. The familiar shapes of its hexagon-panels and the curved beams gradually came into focus.

However, since the young woman has started travelling with the Doctor this was a familiar situation. No matter how amazing his ship was, most of their stops and landings were rough and bumpy, so that both of them often ended up on the hard grates that covered the floor around the console.

So, they might just have arrived at the beginning of a new adventure – but not only the pain behind her eyes told Rose that something was different and not quite as it should be.

As she moved, an awful dizziness overwhelmed her and nearly made her sick. The usually dim light of the control-room suddenly seemed awfully bright for a second, and all the well known shapes shifted and became something swirling and blurred.

It was impossible to tell if those sensations were the cause for or the reaction to it, but suddenly a clear memory blazed through her mind: she had desperately tried to look into the heart of the Tardis, to make it understand that the Doctor needed help.

Familiar beeping and rattling sounds made Rose look up. There he was, her Doctor, working as always with the controls of the Tardis. Immense relieve washed through her and eased the pain and discomfort she was feeling. He was safe, the Tardis was safe, and both of them were inside the ship.

Still, she felt as if she had just awakened from a nightmare. Rose had to fight the urge to get up immediately and reassure herself that everything was alright. She wasn't sure if the ship was actually rocking quite a bit, or if she herself was shaky. In any case it would be futile for her to try and stand up right now.

Nevertheless, one question remained: "What happened?"

The Time Lord regarded her only for a moment, appearing very busy with whatever he was doing. "Don't you remember?" was all he answered. His tone seemed light, as if nothing of importance had happened. But Rose knew him better and could read his slightly strained posture and blank look.

She tried to gather herself and slowly sat up. Another memory returned, while the headache gradually receded to some sort of dull pressure. „It's like – there was this singing ..." At this the Doctor looked at her again, but this time he sounded cheerful and joked: „That's right. I sang a song and the Daleks ran away." He still found the console more important than helping Rose to get up from the floor or to regain her memory.

Frowning, Rose tried to reconstruct on her own what had happened. „I was at home ... no, I wasn't ... I was in the Tardis, and ..." The Doctor stared at the gallifreyan signs on the monitor, not really reading them. He just didn't want to face his blonde companion. He hoped she wouldn't remember what she had done. He didn't want her to know what he has had to do afterwards.

„There was this light ..." Unknown to Rose, her words matched an alarming discovery by the Time Lord. The veins in his left hand suddenly shimmered golden. Soundlessly he gasped as it dawned on him what was happening. He lifted the hand from the console to turn it around and have a better look, even wriggled a bit with the fingers – or were they actually shaking? Unfortunately it was without a doubt not a mere trick of the multi-colored light inside the Tardis. The girl might only remember that she saw a strange light – in fact, it had been the Time Vortex, which he had had to channel through his body to free her from it. And now, he would pay the price for her life.

When the Doctor noticed that Rose had stopped babbling, he looked at her again. It was no use, he had to face her. For a few moments, the man just took in her features. He already knew them by heart - how she used to pout in frustration or look at him, full of trust. But he was aware now that these eyes of his wouldn't be able to see her for much longer. What frightened him even more was that, in a short while, his mind might not think of her like it used to. At last these thoughts distracted him from the growing pain that began as a dull tug in his head.

To be continued ...