Title: Chameleon Arch

Rating: K+

Summary: The Doctor decides to make the ultimate sacrifice for Rose. Set during S2, but reference to one thing from S3.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Author's Note: Just another fic to show how much the Doctor and Rose love each other. Enjoy!

Chameleon Arch

It was during his adventures on the Bitter Pill that the Doctor realised that he could no longer deny his love for Rose. He'd believed in her, he'd talked about living with her, and he'd gotten so close to admitting it. The problem was, he couldn't bear getting close to her, only to have to lose her. What's worse is that then he'd have to live on, picking up new companions along the way, until she just became a distant memory. It wasn't fair to Rose that that was how it would happen, and so the Doctor continued to keep his distance, making sure he pulled out of their hugs if they went on for too long. However, one day he standing at the TARDIS console, thinking about nothing in particular, when suddenly, completely out of the blue, he got an idea.

"Of course!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

When Rose had finally come out to the main room, the Doctor looked at her, a huge grin on his face.

"Doctor, are you okay?" she asked.

"Me? I'm absolutely brilliant," said the Doctor, still grinning. "And do you know why I'm so brilliant? It's because I love you." Rose turned around, as if to check that there was no one else in the room.

"Are you talking to the TARDIS again?" she questioned.

"No," said the Doctor, shaking his head. "I'm talking to you, Rose Tyler. I. Love. You. And not just as a friend, either. I am completely head-over-heels in love with you. And would I be correct in assuming that you feel the same?" Rose just stood there, gaping.

"Um, yeah," she said. "Yeah, totally. Completely. Doctor, I love you too." Both parties smiled, and ran into each other's arms. The Doctor cupped Rose's cheek in his hand as he slowly kissed her. She melted into the embrace, not wanting to stop. However, the Doctor pulled back.

"Wow," commented Rose. "So … how long?"

"It seems endless," replied the Doctor. "It's like I always knew. I just never told you because I didn't want to lose the best thing that's ever happened to me."

"So what made you change your mind?" asked Rose. The Doctor gave her another grin.

"This," he said, pulling down a contraption. To Rose, it looked like a big weird set of headphones. "Behold my beloved Rose Tyler, the Chameleon Arch. It rewrites my biology, literally changes every single cell in my body."

"What, like regeneration?" said Rose.

"Sort of," said the Doctor. "Except when I regenerate, I always remain a Time Lord. The Chameleon Arch changes my species. Its purpose is to hide a Time Lord from a dangerous enemy. It would change the Time Lord's species, and the Time Lord would hide his soul in a fob watch. When the enemy is no longer a threat, the soul is released and everything's back to normal. However, the losing of the soul doesn't necessarily have to happen."

"I don't see what that's got to do with anything," said a confused Rose. The Doctor looked into her eyes.

"I've set it to human," he told her. "Rose – think about it. We could have the life you always wanted. No more changing faces, no more Daleks … just you, and me, and the rest of our lives."

"But Doctor, you can't," protested Rose. "The universe needs its Doctor. And while I'll always love you, no matter what form, I fell in love with a Time Lord." The Doctor's stare became intense.

"And what about my needs Rose?" he said. "Being a Time Lord, I'm cursed to see everyone I care about age and die. That's why I'm always moving on. That's why I'm so scared about what will happen to you as time goes on. I never considered using it before because I had no one special in my life. But now I've got you. And with this we can grow old together. Wouldn't you like that?" Rose didn't know why, but tears were beginning to form in her eyes.

"Would you really give away the whole of time and space for me?" she whispered.

"In an instant," the Doctor replied without hesitation. "And sure, it'll be hard at first, but for you it'll be worth it." He turned towards the Chameleon Arch and began to switch it on.

"Wait!" exclaimed Rose. "Just … think about this. Please. Just sleep on it. If you still want to go through with it tomorrow, you can do it." The Doctor sighed.

"Okay," he said. "But I'm telling you – I'm not going to change my mind."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

That night Rose snuck out of her room and made her way to the console room. She knew the Doctor barely slept at all, so she had to be quick. The machine was still in place. She switched it on, and looked at the setting.

"Human," she murmured. She scrolled through the menu, but couldn't find what she was looking for.

"TARDIS, help me out here," she said. There was a hum, and then the right option appeared on the screen. There was a part of Rose that was screaming for her to get some sense into her, but the rest of her knew that this was the right thing to do. This was the only way the Doctor could have both her and the universe. Gulping, she placed the Chameleon Arch on her head, and switched it on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Doctor's eyes snapped open. He could tell that something wasn't right. He strained his ears to listen, and could hear a definite sound of screaming. Instantly he got out of bed and followed the sound, the whole time praying that Rose wasn't in danger. He found that the sound was coming from the console room. When he finally reached it, he was completely unprepared for the sight before him. Rose was lying unconscious on the ground, and above her head, the Chameleon Arch was swinging, smoke pouring from it.

"What have you done!" exclaimed the Doctor. He rushed over to the Chameleon Arch and checked its readings.

"Oh Rose," he said, shaking his head. "How could you do that?" He turned to face her. His first thought was that he'd better get Rose to the med-bay straight away. He picked her up and ran through the TARDIS. His second thought was that he'd be in for a slapping next time he saw Jackie.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rose's eyes fluttered open. Instantly she recognised the med-bay. And sitting next to her was the Doctor.

"Morning," he said. "How are you?"

"Bit of a headache," answered Rose. "Am I okay?"

"Breathing's fine, no internal damage," said the Doctor. "Oh, and both hearts are beating steadily."

"Both…?" Rose slowly moved her hand onto the right side of her chest, where she could feel the beat of a second heart. "It worked. I'm Gallifreyan."

"So it would seem," said the Doctor. "Rose, why did you do it? I told you I'd take care of it. I was willing to sacrifice myself for you, but I didn't want you to do the same for me."

"I know," said Rose. "But I couldn't let you go through with it. I know you'd give up the universe for me … but I don't want you to. I want you to be the Doctor. I want you to save the world. And I want to be right there beside you."

"But now you'll have 13 lives, 12 regenerations," said the Doctor. "I've only got 3 lives left." In response to this, the TARDIS printed out some more readings, which the Doctor read with interest.

"What the…" he murmured. "This says you're on your 10th life! That you've only got 3 left! The machine must have stuffed up."

"Or, it did it on purpose," suggested Rose. "Doing whatever it could to give you and I the best life together." The Doctor leaned over Rose and stroked her cheek. He'd always been attracted to her, but now that she was Gallifreyan he felt a connection with her stronger than anything he'd ever felt before.

"Rose," he said softly. "Thank you. You've given me the best gift in the universe." He closed his eyes and kissed his Time Lady, loving her more than ever.

The End

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