When: Human Nature.
Why this wasn't included: I was sticking to the plot line more than anything. And it seemed more important to get all the later stuff out rather than how they got to there. If you've read 'The Invisible Rose', you will know that I just used the extra 17 rules from that. Hey, it was hard trying to think those up!
Rose walked back into the room. The Doctor had told them to go get some of their things. They had gone into their rooms to find that there was already a bag set out ready for them. She knew that the TARDIS had set it up for her and didn't question what was in it. Although, she did want to take a few extra things, so she took a minute to go grab them.
She did get some of her make up, only because she knew from experience that it was easier than using any other kind of make up. She had tried both past and future makeup appliers. They didn't work out so well and she put it down to familiarity.
She knew that the things she grabbed would have to stay hidden. She couldn't let anyone see the strange future or past or alien technology. But she figured that she would be able to go back to the TARDIS on occasion. If they landed in some ancient time before the invention of indoor bathing, there was no way that she was going to go clean in a public river. No, she would have a shower in the TARDIS.
When she opened the bag to put them in, she saw the dull, muted colours and slightly Victorian looking style to the folded clothes she could see on the top. So they were going back in time. Hopefully they wouldn't run into Queen Victoria again. She didn't imagine that would work out all too well.
After a few minutes, she walked back into the console room. She could hear Martha just behind her. And she saw the Doctor getting up from the jump seat. He gave them a grin, but it seemed rather nervous.
"All ready?" he asked. "That was quick."
"The TARDIS had already packed me a bag," Rose told him. "I just added a few more things in. Looks like we're going back in time. Somewhere Victorian."
"Oh, you never know," he said. "There are some colonies that picked up on the Victorian style when they left Earth. Quite a few actually."
"So, what now?" Martha asked.
"Now…" He hit a button on the console and looked up. The girls followed his gaze. The three of them watched as a strange helmet of some kind lowered down to his reach on a thick cable. "Never thought I'd use this," he said, almost in a daze. "All the times I've wondered."
"What does it do?" Martha asked.
"Chameleon Arch. Rewrites my biology. Literally changes every single cell in my body. I've set it to human." He took the watch from her and clicked it into the headpiece. "Now, the TARDIS will take care of everything. Invent a life story for me, find me a setting and integrate me. Can't do the same for you two sorry, you'll just have to improvise. I should have just enough residual awareness to let you in."
While he had been explaining all this, Rose only had one thing going through her mind. She remembered back to when he had regenerated, his pain as every single cell in his body had died. His pain as he had changed them.
"Hold on," she said in a shaky voice. "If you're going to rewrite every single cell… isn't that going to hurt?"
"Oh yeah. It'll hurt," he said nonchalantly, but she could hear the underlying fear in his voice. He seemed to bounce on the balls of his feet for a moment, as if he were indecisive. Then he grabbed her hand and pulled her to the side. Only then did he let his confident mask slip. "I-" he started. "…I really don't want you to see this," he said quietly. "I might need Martha there just in case something happens… but - but you don't have to stay if you don't want to." Rose only stared at him with wide eyes. She sensed he had more to say. That even though he was giving her the option, he really didn't want her to take it. When she didn't agree to leave, he carried on. "I'm scared," he admitted in a whisper. "I don't want you to see this, but… would you please stay? Please Rose, stay with me," his voice cracked. Rose knew him well enough that if he continued talking, tears would soon come.
"I'll stay," she whispered. "I'll never leave you."
That said, he picked her up in a tight, desperate embrace. To Rose it felt like a goodbye. She didn't quite understand why. He was still going to be him, wasn't he? He was just turning into a human. It would be like a really weird regeneration. She was so worried, though.
"See you in three months," he said as he put her down, trying to put on a smile for her sake.
Then he walked over to the Chameleon Arch, took a deep breath, and put in on his head. A few seconds later a lever on the console shifted down by itself. The Doctor gasped in pain, his hands flying to the helmet. It would not come off, so instead he gripped his head, trying to relieve the pressure. Quiet whimpers turned into growls of pain.
"Doctor," Rose said, rushing to go over to him, but Martha's hand on her arm held her back. And then growls of pain turned into screams of agony. Martha had to hold her back even more. Tears were running down her cheeks as she watched on in horror. It wasn't until his throat was so raw that he had been reduced back to whimpers and he slid to the floor that Martha let Rose go.
In an instant she was down by his side. She stroked his hair away from his sweaty face. He was burning to the touch and she pressed one hand to his skin, hoping to cool him a little. Another whimper escaped his lips and she shushed him, like how a mother would try to clam a child.
Without realising it, she began to hum. The tune seemed so familiar, but she could swear she'd never heard it before. No… she had. She had heard it before. It seemed like sometimes the tune haunted the halls of the TARDIS, along with her many other songs.
Before she knew what she was doing, she was singing. The words were pouring from her lips. They were in a different language, so she had no idea how she knew what she was singing, let alone what to singing. And even stranger, she wasn't at all panicked by it.
All she cared about was that the Doctor was okay. He had to be.
Rose had been sitting quietly, holding the unconscious form of the Doctor for about ten minutes when suddenly the screen beside them bleeped and sprung to life.
"Rose, look at this," Martha said. Hesitantly, Rose let go of the Doctor and stood beside her friend. On the screen, a video seemed to be playing.
The Doctor sat down and looked at the screen questioningly. "This working?" he said, tapping the screen. "Rose, Martha, before I change, here's a list of instructions for when I'm human. One, don't let me hurt anyone. We can't have that, but you know what humans are like." He waved his hand dismissively. "Two, don't worry about the TARDIS. I'll put it on emergency power so they can't detect it. Just let it hide away. Four… no, wait a minute. Three, no getting involved in big historical events. Four, you two. Don't let me abandon you. Not either of you. Ever. And five, very important, five." He leaned forward and put on a serious face as if to emphasise the point. "Don't let me eat pears. I hate pears. John Smith is a character that I made up, but I won't know that. I'll think I am him, and he might do something stupid like eat a pear! In three months, I don't want to wake up from being human and taste that!"
This part had Rose in silent hysterics. But then what he said caught up to her. John Smith… he'd think he was him… So he actually was turning into someone else? No wonder he had been so…
"Six," the Doctor went on. "That watch. It stores my DNA template, memories and everything else that makes me the Doctor. Make sure - it's extremely important - that I don't lose it. I can't change back without it. Erm… now, seven… now I'm not really certain here. I've never done this before, and I only have other's records to go off. But there's a chance that I'll start remembering my life, most likely as dreams. You have to convince me that they don't mean anything."
This made her frown. How horrible it must be to not remember who you really are. To dream of a wonderful, fantastic life that is actually yours, but not quite reach it. And if he said anything to her, she would have to lie and pretend it wasn't true.
"And eight, please stay out of trouble and refrain from wandering off into trouble…" he gave a pointed look at the screen. "And yes, Rose, I especially mean you. Jeopardy friendly… Nine, just come and check on the TARDIS every now and then. She'll get pretty lonely. Also just make sure that no one's found it. Most people won't notice it, but if there's something different about them, or if they're part of the Family, they might. Ten, whatever you do. Be safe. I won't actually be me, so I can't help you. And… what am I up to? Ah, eleven, I know how scared you're going to be when I change. It's really not a pleasant experience. And I know that it'll probably give you a few reservations about me changing back. Don't worry, it's nothing like that. Won't hurt a bit. Don't ask me how, it just doesn't."
Rose let out a small sigh of relief. Thank god he wouldn't have to go through that again. And she didn't know if she could handle seeing him like that again. Every time, his regeneration, when ever he seemed so helpless… it shook her to the core.
"Twelve, no matter what time frame we're in, please try and keep me out of trouble. John Smith will act like everyone else from that time and place, but deep down… way deep down… he's still me. There's probably something there that he'll mess up or get into trouble with…" His face screwed up a moment and he gave a hollow chuckle. "Oh dear, I'm admitting faults here. That says something doesn't it! Anyway, thirteen, bananas! Bananas are good. Wherever we are, please try and find some. I really love bananas; they're a good source of potassium."
Rose smiled as memories came back to her. She sighed in delighted exasperation. Her Doctor and his bananas…
"Fourteen, there may be some people, rather curious people who want to know more about us. People who want to get closer or find something out. You can't trust anyone too much. The Family can change their shape. If people ask too many questions, elude them. Fifteen, you cannot let on to who we really are. I can't know that Martha is a med student from 2007. Or that Rose is… well, I honestly can't say what you are anymore. You're not simply the stubborn shop girl I met in 2005 anymore… You're my companion. My utterly wonderful, beautiful companion… the Defender of Time and Space!" He gave a goofy grin to the camera and Rose felt a blush rise to her cheeks. But then the serious look was back. "And I definitely can't know that I am the Doctor. It could be disastrous and if the Family come, I don't imagine I would react too well. And sixteen, John is going to believe with every fibre of his being that he is John Smith. He's probably going to need convincing to open the watch. But please be nice to him, you'll be tearing his world apart and essentially killing him. Just… be gentle."
Rose's heart really went out to the poor man that the Doctor had become. No memory of who really was. Only dreams, which would cause a normal man of 1913 to believe he were mad. And he would only be around for three months before he would effectively be 'killed'. And they would have to be the ones to do it!
"Seventeen, try and stay close to me. You'll have to find your own back story that somehow works in with my memories. Try and make sure you're someone I would see everyday. Eighteen… Blimey, are we that high already? Anyway, eighteen, someone is bound to become suspicious of me. You're not all stupid apes, no matter the time frame. If someone catches on, try and lead them away. - Haven't I already said something like that? Oh well, it was a little different, let's just go with it."
Rose rolled her eyes affectionately. "Nineteen, I've already warned you about getting close to people in case it may be the Family trying to hurt you. Now I'm warning you about getting close to people so you don't get hurt, period. I mean, what if Martha falls in love with some bloke and decides to stay? Then I'd have to find a new companion because Rose will miss having a friend to talk to about 'girl stuff' or something, and I really hate doing that. Not to mention I'd have to tell your mother, and she'll probably slap me. Seriously! Put your mother and Jackie in a room… No! No, don't do that! Bad. Very bad idea!"
Rose laughed as he shuddered in horror at the thought. What was it with him and mothers?!
"And what if Rose did that…?" Suddenly his face darkened and he looked down at the ground, it seemed he didn't want to complete that thought aloud. "We'll…" His voice sounded strangled. "At least I wouldn't be murdered if I had to explain it to Jackie. But that won't happen, right? …I hope it won't…"
"No," she found herself replying. "Never going to happen."
"Twenty, feel free to use the TARDIS for anything you need, as long as it doesn't arouse suspicion. Or that you don't activate an alert or send yourself somewhere you can't get back from. Only one person has done that with out a manual before… And it nearly killed you too, Rose. So, no doing anything like that again. Twenty-one, you're going to have to blend in. When you find out where we land, you'll have to dress for that time. It just occurred to me that Martha has never dressed up yet. Little odd that. But the wardrobe is on the first left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, it's the fifth door on your left. Rose can show you. Have fun in there."
"Twenty-two, this is a very long list. I must keep lists shorter. Keep the sonic and the psychic paper with you, just in case. You might need to try and convince me who I really am. It might help. But make sure that no one else finds it! And twenty three, if anything happens. If they find us, Rose, Martha, you know what to do. Open the watch. Everything I am is kept safe in there. Now, I've put a perception filter on it so the human me won't think anything of it. To him it's just a watch. But don't open it unless you have to. Because once you open it, then the Family will be able to find me. It's all down to you two. Your choice." He went to move off screen, but then stopped and looked back. "Oh, and - thank you."
The screen froze on a still shot of his brilliantly adorable grin. The screen faded to black, and Rose sat in shock, staring blankly at the monitor.
She didn't know how she was going to handle the next three months.