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A Change for Sarah Jane Smith

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"Well that's disappointing," the Rani's voice filtered into Sarah's ears.

Sarah had to wonder if she was dead, but no. She was free, released from the table. She began to pat herself down.

"Yes, yes. You have two arms, two legs, a nose, two eyes, and hair. Don't count yourself so lucky, unfortunately you could have picked a more interesting form. Apparently working with a human as base subject matter limits some of the outcomes. Well perhaps once you've gone through a body or two, you might get creative. You're just as you were, only younger." The Rani moved towards Sarah and held out her hand. Sarah eyed her warily. "Oh come now, I'm hardly going to hurt you. You're a success, Miss Smith. You've regenerated." Sarah's eyes widened as she took in the Rani's words. What it could mean, even if she wouldn't recommend the process to anyone.

"I could hurt you," Sarah pointed out, still eyeing the Rani's hand.

"That would be counterproductive as well. My TARDIS doesn't know you and I am not quite so Earth obsessed as to be there still." The Rani looked amused. "Besides which, the Doctor wouldn't like that would he? Violence is never the answer. Would you care to wait until a certain someone rescues you?" She arched her brow. "Or you could cooperate and wait for a good time to escape. Meanwhile, I'll teach you a bit about being who you are now."

Sarah frowned as she struggled upwards without taking the Rani's hand. She didn't like how well this Time Lady seemed to know the Doctor. "I don't need your help."

"Ah, you learned so much about being a Gallifreyan from the Doctor then?" The Rani sighed and waved her hand towards the mirror hanging on the wall behind them. "We'll have to see about getting you some other clothing."

Curiosity, in spite of her wariness and anger at the entire situation, had Sarah looking in the mirror. She had to admit to a flash of disappointment, as she inspected herself. She hadn't even changed some of the bits about herself that she didn't like. Shaking, Sarah reminded herself that she should be grateful that she'd at least reverted back to how she'd been when she'd met the Doctor. She now looked more like Luke's older sister than his mum. "Well, I haven't been able to wear anything I did when I was the Doctor's companion in some time."

"You shouldn't have that issue any longer my dear," the Rani said absently as she studied some further read outs. She gestured to a door. "Do go and amuse yourself in the closet."

Sarah moved towards the closet, a bit put off by the renegade Time Lady's attitude. She slipped into the room and leaned back against the wall, trying to put everything together in her mind. Her hands slipped down her torso, laying them over the places where she knew the Doctor's hearts were, where her hearts should be if the Rani was telling the truth. She swallowed hard and then pressed down, her eyes closing tight as she felt it. Two heart beats.

She slid down the wall, keeping her hands on her chest, just feeling the strong beats in wonder, her mind flashing through all the possibilities. All the time that suddenly lay before her. She, Sarah Jane Smith was a Time Lord. No, she was a Time Lady. That had her in a panic. A Time Lady, how arrogant. She had no TARDIS, no great knowledge. She took several deep breaths to stop herself from hyperventilating. "I am Sarah Jane Smith, a former companion of the Doctor and sometime protector of Earth." She swallowed hard. "No matter what species I am now, I am still all of that." She pushed down on the thought that now the Doctor wouldn't have to be alone, wouldn't feel quite so alone. There wasn't time for that and she was certain he would see more downside than up to this.

She got her legs under her and stood up once more, sorting through the clothing inside until she found something that seemed serviceable. There were other outfits that interested her more, but the camouflage combat pants with its many pockets, black tank top and the matching jacket seemed familiar enough to be comforting as well as the most useful thing to be wearing. As she finished tying up the boots she'd found to go with her new clothing, she stood and moved to the door, looking out before committing herself to rejoining her host as she stepped through.

"Feeling better now?" the Rani asked enigmatically. She set a few items on the countertop where Sarah could retrieve them. "I believe those are yours."

Sarah eyed her watch, sonic lipstick and the other tools she regularly carried. "Aren't you worried I might escape with these? Signal for a rescue or something?"

"We aren't on Earth, Miss Smith. Your trinkets aren't going to help you escape from here," the Rani sighed. "I also don't see any point in trying to convince you of that, you won't believe it until you prove it to yourself. So you'll do what I have no doubt the Doctor has you well trained to do. When you see it's useless, perhaps then you'll be willing to be reasonable."

"You're not a normal villain you know," Sarah huffed and moved to reclaim her belongings, strapping her watch around her wrist and shoving her sonic into her pocket. "It would serve you right if Jack or someone came along and rescued me!"

"Harkness? That buffoon?" the Rani scoffed. "If that happened, my dear, you would never have your curiosity satisfied about me. By all means though, if you can manage it, it would only prove to me that I was infinitely correct in choosing you."

Sarah simply shook her head and started to search for her own escape route.