After leaving the Game Station
He had been fiddling with the TARDIS controls for a while before Rose decided to wake up after her insane stunt. Stupid human girl, trying to play with things that were beyond her comprehension. Now he was suffering the consequences from it. Well, at least he was going to give her the shock of her life… “What happened?” she asked, disorientation evident on her face.
The Doctor was surprised by this, though he knew he should not have been. “Don't you remember?” he asked.
Sitting up and trying to figure it out, she answered, “It's like…there was this singing.”
“That's right! I sang a song and the Daleks ran away,” cheerily said the Doctor, though a fake cheer it was.
Rose obviously did not hear it. He could see that she was straining her tiny human mind in an effort to remember the events. “I was at home. No, I wasn't, I was in the TARDIS, and…I can’t remember anything else,” she said.
The Doctor looked down at his hand in time to see a golden light appear for a moment before it faded. It’s starting, he thought as he looked up to see that Rose did not notice it. She was shaking her head. He was actually glad that she did not remember. Knowing her, Rose would have gloated again about how good she was. The girl was damn annoying sometimes. He noticed that she was watching him and smiled, somewhat forcefully. “Rose Tyler. I was gonna take you to so many places. Barcelona — not the city Barcelona, the planet. You'd love it. Fantastic place — they've got dogs with no noses,” he started to say, laughing at himself while Rose giggled and rolled her eyes. “Imagine how many times a day you end up telling that joke, and it's still funny!” he wondered aloud.
“Then, why can't we go?” she asked.
He shrugged, not wanting to explain it yet, especially to her. She would not get it. “Maybe you will. And maybe I will. But not like this,” he replied, looking back at the monitor was a small smile on his face. Boy, I’m going to enjoy this, he thought, knowing that she was confused.
“You're not making sense!” she argued as she stood up, anger and confusion mixed into one.
He laughed again. “I might never make sense again! I might have two heads. Or no head!” he said. Rose nodded her head and added a smile, though the Doctor knew that she did not mean it. She did not understand what was going on. But he continued on with: “Imagine me with no head! And don't say that's an improvement.” Her grin grew and her eyes began to twinkle. “But it's a bit dodgy, this process. You never know what you're gonna end up with…”
But he was not able to finish his sentence. Suddenly, he felt himself being thrown backwards as he noticed a golden light emanate from him. He held his stomach as he thought, Damn, that hurts! “Doctor!” he heard Rose yell, surprised to hear concern in her voice.
“Stay away!” he yelled at her, knowing that he did not want to hurt her, no matter how he felt about her at that point.
She just stood there with wide eyes. As the Time Lord winced in pain, she demanded, “Doctor, tell me what's going on.”
“I absorbed all the energy of the Time Vortex, and no one's meant to do that!” he explained, keeping his voice as light as possible, despite the pain he was feeling. “Every cell in my body's dying.”
Rose was now horrified. “Can't you do something?” she asked. More like demand, he thought.
“Yeah, I'm doing it now! Time Lords have this little trick. It's…sort of a way of cheating death. Except…” he looked into her eyes now, wanting her to realize the gravity of this, “It means I'm gonna change.” She shook her head in confusion. Here we go, he thought. “And I'm not gonna see you again. Not like this. Not with this daft old face,” he continued, laughing for his own amusement. Then he turned serious, “And before I go…”
“Don't say that,” said Rose, now obviously upset. Fine timing.
He lowered his voice and muttered, “Rose…” She quickly got the hint and backed down. He resumed, “Before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were…unique. Brilliant.” He smiled and tried to say in a proud voice, “Absolutely brilliant.” He was trying to make her feel better about the situation, but instead noticed that she was not smiling at his comment. She was still confused about the whole thing. “And d'you know what?” he asked. Rose shook her head. Grinning, he replied, “I was fantastic.” Finally eliciting a smile out of the human, he grinned widely at her before he suddenly convulsed, feeling the regeneration beginning. He could feel the changes happening — his hair was getting longer, he was getting shorter, his chest was expanding — Wait! What? It slowly began to stop, suddenly beginning to feel weird. “Well, that was different,” he said. Then he began to realize what happened. His voice had drastically changed — to a more cultured, refined, feminine voice. “Rose, what do I sound like a woman?” he — she — asked.
Rose was just staring at her in shock. “No help, huh?” she asked. “Well, might as well find out for myself.”
She proceeded to pull open a compartment under the console and found a full length mirror. Propping it up, she looked into it closely. “I’m a woman! Never had this happen before. Actually, I’ve never heard of this happening to any Time Lord before,” she said. She actually looked quite lovely — slightly angular face, brown eyes, light brown hair. Not bad for a regeneration. “I look fine, except the breasts are going to take some time getting used to, besides other things. What do you think?” she asked, turning to her companion.
That was when the Doctor noticed how scared Rose was. Oh, boy, she thought. “Who are you?” she asked timidly.
The new Doctor sighed. “Figured that would be the first thing out of your mouth. Alright, who do you think I am?” she asked. Rose shook her head, not knowing what to say. “It’s still me, Rose. I’m still the Doctor,” she told her.
The human shook her head, causing the Doctor to realize that she did not believe her. Her voice rose as she demanded, “I don’t believe you! Where is he? Where's the Doctor? What have you done to him?”
She rolled her eyes and replied, “Rose, you saw what happened. I changed right in front of you.”
“No, I saw him sort of explode, and then you replaced him, like a…a teleport or a transmat or a body swap or something,” she said. The Doctor just rolled her eyes again but was taken completely aback when Rose suddenly pushed her. “You're not fooling me. I've seen all sorts of things. Nanogenes. Gelth. Slitheen…”
Oh, boy, the Doctor thought, knowing what she was going to say next. “Oh, my God, are you a Slitheen?” she asked.
“Give me a break! Do I look like a Slitheen?”
Rose raised her voice volume, saying, “Send him back. I'm warning you, send the Doctor back right now!”
“And do what? Rose, it’s me, for goodness sake’s!” she yelled. She leaned forward before reiterating gently,
“Trust me.” Standing straight again, she continued, “I was dying. I know I should have explained it better, but I was in pain! But, in order to save my own life, I regenerated. I changed — down to every single cell. But I’m still the same.”
“You can't be,” whispered Rose.
How thick can she get? she asked herself. “How about when we first met?” she asked, staring Rose straight in the eyes. “Down in that little store cellar surrounded by walking mannequins. It’s seems like yesterday, but…I remembered taking your hand and told you to...’run’,” she added. The Doctor had no idea why she was trying to convince Rose that she was the same person. She could just very well take her home and leave her. But, that would not have been fair to her. And this did not help that fact that Rose had a crush on her previous incarnation. Awkward, she thought.
Looking into her eyes, Rose whispered, “Doctor.”
“Nice to meet you,” she replied as she watched the girl give an exasperated sigh and stumble back, more than likely taking in what was happening. “And we obviously never stopped,” she continued, walking back toward the console, “we traveled the universe, always running.” She looked back at her companion as the girl leaned against a pillar, watching her. “What?” she asked.
“Can you change back?” she asked. Asking the question that the Doctor knew was coming.
She shook her head. “I’m sorry, Rose. Regeneration is permanent. I’m like this until it happens again,” she replied. “Do you want to go home?” she asked. The girl did not answer. “Let me take you home. Say…at Christmastime?” she wondered. Rose slowly walked toward the console as the Doctor flipped some switches. “It will give you time to think about this and it will give me time to recover. This regeneration is sorta becoming rather difficult.” The TARDIS shuddered a little as it changed direction.
“I'm going home?”
“That’s entirely up to you. Home to Jackie. You’ll be able to have Christmas dinner and the sort. Though…with your mother, I think you may be having nut loaf,” she replied. She turned her head to notice Rose trying to hide a smile. “It’s nice to know that you can still smile,” she told her.
“I didn’t smile.”
“Whatever,” she retorted as she suddenly gagged.
“What is it?” asked Rose, concern definitely not evident in her voice now.
No surprise there, thought the Doctor as she replied, “Like I said, the regeneration has gone just a little wrong. Changing genders may have something to do with that.” She then falls to the ground.
Rose remained where she was as she said, “Look, maybe we should go back. Let's go and find Captain Jack, he'd know what to do.”
A dark look passed briefly over the Time Lady’s face as she impatiently answered, “No! He’s more than likely busy — helping rebuild the Earth and all.” Gagging again, she reflexed forward and hit a lever, which caused the TARDIS to shudder violently.
“What did you do?!” demanded the girl.
“I hit a lever! What did you think I did?” she retorted back. Hitting a few more knobs obviously did not help as the poor ship became a bit more violent in its turns. “No, no! Not that!” she cried.
“Stop it!” cried an angry and scared Rose.
“What do you think I’m doing?” she blatantly retorted. Though she did not care what Rose was feeling at the moment.
As she suddenly grabbed her head, the Doctor began to hear the Cloister Bell begin to ring. “What's that?” asked Rose, a little frightened.
“Oh, nothing. It’s just telling me that we are going to crash,” the Doctor sarcastically replied.
Shouting over the bell, Rose demanded, “Well then, do something!”
“Can’t! Just hold on to something as we crash into Christmas Eve!” advised the Doctor as she grabbed the console, Rose automatically doing the same. “Hold on!”