Disclaimer: I own nothing that's worth any money. Doctor Who is worth a lot of money, ergo I do not own it. Also, you'd be wasting your time trying to sue my penniless ass.

Author's Note: You know me, I take a typical plot concept and try to flesh it out into something more than typical. Fem!Doctor is old news, but this is my twist on it.

And just to clarify for future reference, when I refer to the Doctor with a male pronoun, I'm referring to him in the past tense. If I use the female pronoun it refers to anything that's happened since the 'accident'. It just makes more sense, that way. I just hate trying to read body-swap or gender-change situations where it refers to someone who was born male as 'he' even when they've been turned into a female, or vice-versa. I'm talking to you, Torchwood novel 'Almost Perfect'.

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Chapter 1: Minor Inconvenience

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They had found themselves on a rather backwards little world. It had space travel all right, but it didn't seem to have heard of the concept of equality. Not a woman in sight, and the Doctor knew most of the species he saw on this world were not of the kind where it was difficult to tell the difference. Martha had lied outright, at the Doctor's very amused suggestion, and after several minutes of heated debate on the subject of inter-planetary slavery, and since humans had never been to this world in this time she had gotten away with claiming to be the male of her species.

But now they were both being threatened at gun-point. Nothing unusual there, not for the Doctor anyway. Although he was pretty sure that was not the usual sort of projectile gun he tended to see on Earth. Nor was it any of the more standard laser varieties he was used to being threatened by on other worlds. It wasn't even one of the rarer types of weapons he'd occasionally learned the functions of from watching either his enemies or his allies using them. He had never seen a weapon quite like it.

Then again, he had never actually met a member of this particular species before, either. He was being threatened by a rather tall, unnecessarily muscle-y alien, with horns. In fact, any Earthling from the twenty-first century could be forgiven for thinking he was related to Darth Maul. That had been Martha's first remark, when they were ambushed.

Except Darth Maul doesn't use gun-shaped weapons. Does he?

Either way, they were now facing off against this Darth Maul wannabe, and as usual the Doctor was foolish enough to be unarmed. Martha had also been foolish enough to listen to the Doctor when he'd said she didn't need to bring any form of weapon. She should have known better by now, really. Listening to the Doctor when he says a world is safe. How many times had he been wrong about that before, anyway? He'd lost count, actually.

The alien was a common criminal, who seemed to want only to steal their money and leave town. Unfortunately, they did not have anything of value. Nothing at all. How the Doctor managed to get by without ever having the correct currency on him, Martha would never know.

Martha backed down immediately, "I don't have much, all I've got is this." she showed him her watch, which had only cost her five pounds, anyway. It was shiny, though, and might actually be worth something on another world.

The alien snatched it off her wrist, and turned the gun to the Doctor, "Money." he demanded. He didn't seem able to speak the local language too well, and the TARDIS' translation of the word was grumbled and barely intelligible.

The Doctor shook his head, "I don't have any."

"What sort of idiots don't carry money?" the alien muttered in his own language.

"The sort that don't want to lose said money." the Doctor answered, causing the alien to start.

"You speak my language?" he asked, lowering his weapon very slightly, distracted.

"I speak a lot of languages." the Doctor retorted. True enough, he could speak over a hundred languages without the TARDIS' translation circuits to help him. This alien's language wasn't one of them, though. Not that he felt any inclination to share that detail.

The alien eyed him suspiciously, "You're not a bounty hunter, are you?"

"As if a bounty hunter would have let you point that at him in the first place." the Doctor said, almost amused.

"Might if they wanted to trick me." the alien grumbled, before raising his weapon again, "I can't take that risk." and he fired the weapon.

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The Doctor woke up on the cold ground, right where the attack had happened, and slowly sat up, looking around the alleyway, which was otherwise deserted, except for Martha. "Please tell me that was not what I think it was." the Doctor asked, in a voice that was softer, distinctly different from before, definitely not a good sign. That weapon was looking more and more like something the Doctor had read about, regarding that particular species of alien.

If he had regenerated, he would still feel the burning from it. Unless he'd been unconscious for a long time, in which case the odds of him waking up elsewhere were almost a hundred percent. This had been virtually painless. Well, mostly.

"Doctor...?" Martha whispered, fearfully. Clearly confused as to the Doctor's identity, so he must have changed in some visible way.

The Doctor looked first at hands that were far too fine, even for him. Then, ran those hands over a face that felt quite distinctly different. Now, he'd dealt with new faces before, but was still certain this was not a regeneration. Double-checking to be sure revealed that there was no residual regeneration energy to be detected.

A strand of long brown hair fell in front of the Doctor's eyes, and this only seemed to add to the theory. Never had hair that long before, not even during that phase in his first life when he had deliberately grown it long to infuriate the Academy instructors. Now the final step to proving the rather disturbing theory. Look down.

Yes, the theory was proven true.

"Well this is different." the Doctor muttered, looking up at Martha.

Martha continued to stare in shock, "You're... you're...?" there was a question there, rather than any attempt at confirming what the Doctor had already figured out. Martha did not want to believe it. It shouldn't be possible, in her opinion. That much was clear. Then again, they were getting close to perfecting this sort of thing surgically, on Earth. Should she really be that surprised to see an alien device that does it instantaneously?

"I'm a woman." the Doctor said, nowhere near as distraught as one might expect. "Did you see where the Varisian went?"

"The what?"

"The alien who shot me." She was already going over the options for how to capture the alien in question, and recover the weapon undamaged. She now understood exactly what the weapon was. The females of that species were born weak, almost completely defenceless. It wasn't a prejudice, but rather an evolutionary mistake. But that weapon would completely cripple any Varisian it was used on. Kind of foolish for their attacker to assume the same of other species. Then again, if he was on this planet, he might never have met a female of another race to know that they were different from his own.

"That way, but... it's long gone. I tried to follow it. Him. Whatever." Martha stammered, still in shock.

Rather slowly- always best to be careful when trying out a new body for the first time, there's often balance and equilibrium issues when you're suddenly a foot shorter, or the like- the Doctor picked herself up. Yep, she was about foot shorter. Good guess. Her feet didn't quite fit the shoes she was wearing anymore, and the brown coat dragged a bit on the ground. She quickly and efficiently bent over and rolled up the legs of her suit, before straightening up again and looking at Martha.

"We need to find him. I need that weapon, to undo this." she said, rather matter-of-factly.

"You... seem to be taking this well." Martha noted, edgily.

"I've changed my appearance before." the Doctor said, shrugging, "Never been female, though."

Martha laughed nervously, "Is there any way to track it?"

"I should be able to trace the energy signature of the weapon, when we get back to the TARDIS." she said, brushing the far-too-long hair back irritably.

"Here." Martha pulled a spare hair-tie out of a pocket, and handed it to the Doctor.

"Um... thanks." she said, before quickly tying back the hair that was just as unruly had it had been before, yet somehow much more annoying for its length.

Martha shook her head, "This is seriously weird."

The Doctor shook her head, "It's only a minor inconvenience." she said, as she started walking back to the TARDIS.

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