They smile softly, "I know this is strange for you, but it will get better, I promise. It will get so much better."

I try not to blink at them and look stupid. I have a suspicion as to what they're talking about, but despite everything I've already seen and been through these past two years it's hard for me to wrap my brain around, "What do I get to choose?"

"How you look," there's a sly smile, "It's going to be very rough for at least the next day, but after that things should vastly improve. You've already started to see some of it..."

I hesitate, and then I recall just before calculating things, and reading them. I'd convinced myself it was some strange flashback after effect of the bat-people's chip oil, and what Mum said. She said each time she saw me I looked different, of course, she looked different to me too because of how the time was working, so I thought it was that, but is it..., "I'm changing...I'm not human any more."

"You're still human to a point, at the moment. You will still be you, but the universe needs Time Lords, not just a Time Lord. The Doctor can't continue by himself, and you, he and you, together. If this works you can rebuild things, and stop the Daleks or any one else taking advantage of the fact that there is only one Time Lord," they pause, "and as you've seen there's lots of fall out damage in the time stream that also needs to be sorted out."

"The Gelf..."

"Among other choose..."

I hesitate again. A million different looks flit through my mind, "You mean I could look like anyone? But The Doctor, he was all surprised by how he looked, he'd wanted to be red, but he wasn't..."

"Things are different with him."

"Well, apparently...but..." I sigh, it would just be wrong, "I want to know myself, at least. I want to look like me...but..." I hesitate, "this is going to sound really wrong, but..." I grab my chest for a second, "a bit better here...and well, blonde for real, so I don't have to be buying peroxide everywhere, right? I don't want to scare him too much, I remember how it was for me when he changed...I thought he'd been abducted and replaced, even though he tried to tell me, and he doesn't know does he?"

There's a slight smile, "No, he doesn't. He'll work it out, he isn't stupid."

"Well, no...he's just a stubborn fool at times."

Another smile, "I've known him for a while, so I certainly understand." There's a pause, "Alright, will hurt a bit, and it will be strange. I don't promise that you won't be confused, but after a while, it will all come back to you. You're growing an extra heart for one...and from what I understand of physical beings that sort of thing is painful."

"Great..." I mutter, but hey, what can I complain about really? I would be dead otherwise, and that's not something I really want to have happen. I'm quite attached to living. Sure, it's going to be weird, my parents, sort of and Mickey are trapped in another dimension, but they'll be alright. They have each other. They'll get over it, and I know the Doctor's lost people a bajillion times before, but I promised. I promised him that I wouldn't leave. I take a deep breath, "Okay, do your worst."

She doesn't quite understand, but I feel different. I feel like I'm chained all of a sudden, attached to a chain and being pulled back. Heaviness. Warmth but also shivering, everything's swirls and atoms and spinning, spinning so fast, I feel like I'm going to fall off the edge, I reach, with...hands...and I grab and I claw, and I, it's...what is this? It's metal, but not, it's...

"Rose? Rose!" he reaches for me, this man, and I want to scrabble away.

My chest is heaving, each lungful of air burns, no, my chest, pain. There's pain...I curl up.

"Rose..." he puts his arms around me, and lifts me towards him. I see his face, his face is wet. I reach towards, but my whole body is tingling, and the spinning, "How...?" a pause, then a cock-eyed smile, "Oh, you tricky little..." he smacks the wall behind him, and slowly I realize he's moved us, we're in the ship. There was a building. They...someone would have been coming, and it wouldn't have been safe, so he moved us, and probably TARDIS as well, all the while we were talking, then he squeezes me very tightly in a very big hug, and as nice as it is I want to puke, "How the devil are you?" he remarks.

"Uggggggh..." is all I manage, and I slide away from him, and try to actually puke, but there's nothing there, and then, "I think it was...easier...for you..."

"At first last time yes...but there've been times, it's been very, very hard...come on," and he pulls me to my feet, and we slowly, carefully, drunkenly, painfully, make our way to one of TARDIS' back rooms, so that I can flop into a bed, and just sleep for a while. It takes a lot of energy to grow new internal organs, and a lot of shifting around to make them fit into the container they're in, and all the while, through all the shivers, and the crying and the muttered curses, and the dizziness, as I realize that I'm now aware of the spin of the earth, the turn of the universe, and how tiny and insignificant this little planet is in the scheme of things, and how each moment is a fleeting instant, he is my constant. He holds me in his arms, and cradles me against the beating of his hearts.