"No way, Doctor, there is absolutely no way you would survive being Human. You hate being domestic, you can't stay in one place. I bet you'd never be able to do it." Rose was laughing by this stage after he bragged he had a device that could make him Human or any other species he wanted. They had talked about settling on Earth, probably not how they remembered it but actually living in a house, possibly together, after the Tardis was lost at the bottom of a pit.
"OK Rose, if you don't believe I can actually live as a Human, make me prove it. I'll stay a Human for three months, you can't say you already know me, you have to get me to get to know you and to make it easy, you can get the Tardis to make me anything you want and she will also invent a story for you but you can't watch while I undergo the change because it's quite painful and I don't want you getting upset. The Tardis will put me in the right setting wherever you are and when I make the transition, she will set me in the right place to find you. Just say exactly what you want and when you've done it, come and get me then go get your things, come and find me to make sure I'm ok then come back into the Tardis and retrieve this watch." He picked up a pocket watch with an intricate design and showed it to her. He watched her reaction.
He continued. "Everything Timelord about me will be in this watch and after three months, you have to get me to open it. If it's over that time, don't worry, just give me it when it's the right time. If however, the Earth is in danger, you must make me open it, don't think because I'll be Human that no-one will come looking for me or there will be no trouble. You have to guard this with your life Rose, because it will be my life and no matter how good or bad things become, even if I refuse to open it, you have my permission to force me to open it because when I change back, I will remember it all and I'll be ok, I won't be mad at you for making me open it. You have my word, there will be no reprisals." Hopefully there wouldn't be. "Tell me when you want to start."
Rose looked at him questioning now if he really meant it and wanted to prove it to him that it wouldn't be easy.
"I have some questions first of all because I want no reprisals afterwards and I want some ground rules so first off, I can get the Tardis to make you anything I want you to be but you can't already know me, right?" Rose asked. He nodded. "Right, you will find me?" He nodded again. "What happens if you decide to fall in love with me or someone else?"
His face went deadly serious. "Oh, I suppose that might happen. Right, if you see me chatting any women up, you have to stop me somehow, I don't want you thinking I'm ignoring you. I don't want you to be uncomfortable if I got a girlfriend so maybe choose something where I won't get a chance. If you think I might fall in love with you, you'll have to try and fight me off," he grinned. "If you can't fight me off, well it's up to you. If you reciprocate my advances towards you, which I won't be able to help by the way, you know what Human males are like, just tell me some story about you having a boyfriend or something. Oh, wait, then that will make me look elsewhere. Well then, in that case you'll just have to make sure it doesn't go too far. Three months and it's not like I'll be really leaving you afterwards." He saw the look on her face. "Oh Rose, I didn't mean it like that. I meant we're good friends, we practically live together, sort of, we hug sometimes, well lots of times and we hold hands. We go everywhere together and…." His voice trailed off. "Do you want to call this off?"
Rose shook her head. Three months of him being Human was just about right. She could get her own back for all the times he had teased her with all that hand holding and hugging. Didn't he know what it did to her? He was clueless as a male Timelord but as a male Human, well she would give him a taste of what it was like. She wouldn't take advantage of him though, just enough to let him know how she felt and to carry it over into reality when he changed back, if he wanted. She could do it.
"Just one more thing. Whatever happens, you'll remember everything?" He nodded again. "And you won't be mad if I let things get a little personal because I don't want you to hate me if you make me your girlfriend or something and if I see you with another woman, well we won't go into that. What will happen when you change back? I mean whoever you become, other people will get to know you, how will you explain your disappearance?"
"I'll just leave wherever it is quietly and without any fuss, tell them I'm going away. You have to keep this watch safe Rose, I mean it. I take it you want to be on Earth somewhere in your own time but you can't tell your mother so best not make it London. Just keep in touch with her by phone, it will keep her happy. Right, anything else? Oh and don't get any ideas about getting married or anything, even if I ask you and if I ask someone else, then definitely don't let me! Put it off and we'll at least talk about it when I'm back to normal because whether I display an interest in you or not is not down to anything you've done and I may end up hurting you but I won't mean it Rose, never would I want to hurt you. I want you to treat me like a normal Human male."
He walked over to her and pulled her into one of their long hugs. "You are brilliant Rose, you really are and I care a lot about you. If I display any tendencies to seek out company, I should be drawn to you. The Tardis will let you know when it's done, should land somewhere safe and I'll be unconscious, wake up thinking I've been asleep, probably in a flat or a hotel or somewhere and then she'll hide herself away somewhere where you can find her. Oh and you'll be able to talk to her so you can ask questions, you know you have a link to her and I'll leave a message for you. Right, I'll go and get myself ready and you pick what you want me to be."
"Doctor, are you sure you want me to pick anything?" He said yes. "Well, don't say I never asked and if it really starts to get awkward between us, I'll get you to open the watch even if it isn't three months and you will have won. You won't go stir crazy will you, being Human?"
"No, as long as you make it interesting, so don't put me anywhere boring and don't let me see the watch or it might be drawn to me and I might begin to suspect something. Right then, Allons-y, let's get on with it Rose Tyler and I know whatever you choose will be brilliant."
Rose looked at him, she had always wished he was Human or even part Human after he regenerated but now she wasn't sure about this. What could she choose where he wouldn't get bored? Nothing dangerous, nothing where she would never meet him, well the Tardis would make sure he met her and at least she would be able to come back here for advice. She walked up to him and pulled him into a hug.
"I just don't want you to hate me if something happens between us, I don't want you to feel you owe me anything when it's over." She looked up at him and he kissed her forehead.
"Oh Rose, things could never be awkward between us, don't ever think that. If I do display affection towards you, it will only be because it's what I really feel, I just can't express myself very well, that's all. Timelords were never the romantic type, we didn't have a different boyfriend or girlfriend every couple of months. We chose carefully and only bonded when the time was right. I'm just trying to prove to you that I could live as a Human and want you to know me as a Human to see the difference. When it's all over or you choose to end it sooner, I won't be mad at you, it was my idea. Now, let's get on with it, no time like the present."
"Will you do one thing for me before you change? Just kiss me, once?" She looked up at him, her eyes pleading with him as he lowered his head and kissed her lightly on her lips without answering or questioning her.
He left the console room and Rose sat down thinking what she would choose for him. She had always imagined this and now it was coming true and he could be any man she made him, wow, a big decision. An artist perhaps, no that was boring. A writer? No, he'd be stuck in front of a computer all day. Someone who had to choose her out of all the woman he could have, someone he worked with, in close proximity. Then it struck her. She had a talent for doing make-up and hair, her mother had taught her so what about using it, not in a salon but a theatre? Yes, he could also work in a theatre as a stage-hand or something? No! he could be an actor, not too famous but just got a part in a play and she would be able to do his hair and make-up. He could have the lead part so he would need lots of attention and need lot's of different hairstyles and be away from home so he would be in a hotel.
Rose was on a roll now, her imagination running riot with what she wanted, an established job with the theatre and the trust of the bosses to get the job of looking after him over any of the others, maybe not looking just after him at first but them agreeing to let her spend more time with him than any of the others then she could keep an eye on him. What could happen in a theatre full of people? They wouldn't be able to go out at night, they'd be busy during the afternoon with preparations so he should be quite safe from other females apart from the ones in the theatre and if she kept an eye on him looking at any of the others, well she would just have to interfere somehow. She couldn't make it too easy by being the only attractive female there but maybe only one or two.
So she tuned her thoughts into the Tardis and conveyed what she wanted, leaving the ship to fill in the details, which she seemed quite good at because every time Rose wanted a certain dress or anything for that matter, it was provided for her and the Tardis could convey one word thoughts into her head such as yes or no if she asked questions. She said she was ready, placed the watch where the Doctor had showed her and went to find him, telling the Tardis she was going to get him. She found him in his room, stretched out on his bed, staring at the ceiling which had been transformed into a view of a nebula that Rose had never seen before and Rose just stared at it, she hadn't really been in his room before either.
"Doctor, that's beautiful, why doesn't my bedroom ceiling look like that?" she asked.
"It can if you want, just ask. Just say what view you want. Go on, give it a try but first, come and lie down her and watch this," as the stars started to swirl around.
She laid down, a reasonable distance from him and stared at it. She had never seen anything quite like it. He took hold of her hand and pointed out various things so her hand was pointing as well as he looked at her watching the nebula, then told her to choose a view. She chose a view of the Earth from the moon and imagined standing there.
"Will you take me there one day and let me stand on the moon? It's the one planet you've never taken me to. Why have we never been there, you can put a shield around us so we can breathe, can't you?"
"Of course I can and if you want to go to the moon, when this is over, that's where we will go. Seen enough?" he asked. Rose nodded and he let go of her hand and rolled over onto his side and brushed her cheek with his finger. "Right then, see you properly in three months and don't forget, you can back out at any time if there's any danger or you feel it's getting out of control."
He got up off the bed, extending his hand to help her up and pulled her into a hug. "Last chance if you want to back out."
Rose remained in the hug until he let go and walked out of his room. She was going to call after him but it was too late, he was out of sight. Still, it was just another adventure, they were all full of uncertainty and it would give him a new experience, an insight into being Human and he would be better for it – she hoped. She was trusting the Tardis to take care of everything, that when the transformation was complete, they would have landed where they were going to be for the next three months, the Doctor would be placed in a hotel or somewhere that she may have to drag him into if he was unconscious or he might stumble out on his own and she would have accommodation and a job where everyone knew her.
Rose was hoping she wouldn't hear or see the transformation, it had been bad enough watching him regenerate and had upset her. Then a thought struck her, she hadn't said she wanted him to look the same, what it he looked different? It was too late but she hoped the Tardis knew enough about her to know she really liked him the way he was. A bell went off somewhere as she was gathering some of her things telling her it was over and things were set. She walked slowly to the console room to find it had changed, or maybe she had taken a wrong turning? No, it had definitely changed to resemble the outside of a hotel, thinking that was for The Doctor's benefit but just as she entered, it changed back, leaving a tortuous looking device hanging from the rafters and she took hold of it, retrieving the watch.
She mentally said goodbye to the Tardis and as she left, the ship dimmed itself and Rose stepped outside after picking up some items from the console that had been left for her, some keys and an address. She found herself outside a small block of flats which she assumed she was staying in and hoped no-one was around but when she turned around, the Tardis was gone but she noticed the key that was still around her neck was glowing which meant the ship was nearby. Rose entered the block of flats and opened the door to the one on the piece of paper and was pleasantly surprised. She looked at the piece of paper again to see where she was supposed to be working and thought she was seeing things, it was only one of the most famous theatres ever and she was in a lovely English rural town. What she didn't know was who the Doctor had actually become.
Inside the flat was a wardrobe full of clothes her size plus drawers full of accessories and everything she needed. She assumed technicalities such as rent and bills would need paying but found a rent book paid for the next three months but she thought she would have to pay utility bills so she would have to watch out for them. She hoped she would actually get paid for this, living in her own flat for three months. Wondering how the Doctor was getting on, she rang a number to find out when she was supposed to be going to work, the ruse was she had just come back from holiday to a new production already in rehearsals to cover her not knowing much. After she came off the phone, she learned she was due in the next day at noon. Then she thought about food, how was she going to eat with no money? She took her bank card out of her pocket, not that it would do any good but maybe she had been paid in advance. She looked in the fridge and the cupboards though and found everything she needed, clever Tardis.
The next morning, she got herself ready and since she didn't know her way around, luckily there was a map and she found she had about a ten minute walk to the theatre and set off in the general direction. She found it easily once through the streets but since she wouldn't be finishing until late at night once the play was in full production so she was hoping she had some money to get a taxi back each night. Arriving in the square in front of the theatre, she found a cash machine and tried to see if there was any money in her account and was stunned to find there was actually money in it. She didn't know if she had been paid from her job or the ship had arranged it so she took some cash out to pay for lunch and a taxi home and found her balance was still the same. That took care of that question then but the theatre must have her details to get paid, surely?
She looked across at the theatre and saw a large banner outside with 'Richard II' on it but from where she was standing, the rest was obscured from her view. She found the stage door and saw a group of people standing around, wondering what they were waiting for at that time but a doorman spotted her, opened the door and said "Hello Rose, had a good holiday?" to which she'd said yes and he let her in. There was a coded lock on the door so she must get the code at the earliest chance, pretend she'd forgotten it while being away.
She made her way to the dressing rooms area, there were supposed to be only two days until opening night, she was looking for anyone remotely like the Doctor but it was early, he might not be in yet when she heard her name being called. A woman who looked like she was in her late fifties was waving her over.
"Rose, glad you're back. Did you have a good holiday in Spain?" Rose said yes, politely and hoped not to be asked too many questions since she had never actually been there and glad to know where she was supposed to have been.
"Yeah, it was great, loads of sun and swimming, never really left the resort, no reason to. So, have I missed anything? Did the code on the stage door get changed by any chance? I tried it and it didn't work, had to be let in." She was trying to be sneaky and not let on she wasn't who she was supposed to be.
"No, not that I know of, it's still the same, Rose, I'm surprised you think we would change it, it's fairly obvious that no-one from the public would suspect we actually used it," the woman laughed. She wasn't giving it away but maybe she had given her a clue as to what it was.
Rose didn't even know her name, that was something, she didn't even know what name the Doctor was going under but suspected it would be John Smith or something similar.
"Right, best get to work then, who am I looking after? I take it that I'll be looking after a few of the actors. The full cast wasn't named before I left was it? Or has all that sun affected my brain?" Rose laughed.
The woman laughed too, shaking her head and saying, "You can be a scatterbrain at times Rose. Don't you remember?" Rose shook her head innocently. "You were excited because you're looking after, amongst others, your favourite actor."
Rose was rather stumped. Had the Tardis turned the Doctor into one of her favourite actors? "Oh no," she thought, "Not the Scottish one please, I'll die if it is." She rather thought that at times, the Doctor resembled him but since that actor had a beard most of the time, it wasn't that much of a resemblance really. She had pointed it out to him but he just laughed and said he looked nothing like him.
The woman looked at her and said, "Well come on then, you'd best go meet him, he's having trouble with that hair extension he's had fitted, he says it looks like an untamed fox's tail and the press are having a field day with it. Maybe you can do something with it, he certainly can't, he's had it bunched up in a ponytail since yesterday. This play is going to have lots of different hairstyles and make-up for the principle players so I hope you had a good rest."
Rose was horrified, he must have gone straight to the theatre yesterday after they arrived or maybe given the impression to everyone that he had. She followed the woman and learned her name since someone called her, then into the rehearsal room which contained most of the cast. She recognised a few of them, one of her mum's favourite actresses was amongst them and saw a young blonde man from the back but he turned round and it wasn't the Doctor, then saw a tall man with his back to her, talking to a younger woman and Rose thought she was too late if it was actually him since he was probably the only one with long hair, he had already found someone to chat up but he suddenly turned around and Rose recognised him instantly, his sideburns were gone and he was clean shaven, wearing a Beatles t-shirt and tan corduroy trousers and trainers.
Rose gulped when he turned around, he didn't look that much different but she had never seen him with long hair and wondered just when exactly he had acquired the hair extension, maybe the Tardis did it, he wouldn't forgive the ship for that! The woman, who Rose had discovered was called Mary, introduced them.
"Jonathan, this is Rose, she will be looking after your hair and make-up during your performances. Rose say hello to Jonathan Smyth" and with that, Mary walked away and Rose stood with her mouth open, thanking everything she knew it was not who she thought or hoped he would be turned into.
Now Rose was going to have to pretend with millions of others that she knew who he was, what plays he had supposed to have already been in and fend off thousands of fans every night who would be coming to get his autograph, those she had passed on the way in probably being amongst them and the play hadn't even started yet. Plus she would have to get used to his new name but she was relieved she hadn't had to face the actor who she had a real big crush on. On top of that, there was an attractive female who would probably be playing opposite him every night. She might just have some competition.
He held his hand out and she took it nervously as he said, "Hi, Rose, my own personal hairdresser. Well, maybe you can do something with this, I'm already getting talked about in the newspapers," as he grabbed his ponytail from behind, a big grin on his face. "Oh and please, call me Jon, without the 'h' " he laughed.
Rose thought that was so him. He spoke like the Doctor, he even grinned at her like he used to do so Rose knew it was him. She walked around the back of him to see just how long it was and said, "Yeah, I can do something like that. We need to discuss all the scenes you're in and how many different styles you're going to need. Then we have to work out how much time it takes to do each one and the time in-between your scenes. Some of the breaks might be quite short and you'll still have to get changed and have your make-up checked and your hair brushed if the style is the same. We may have to do some by the side of the stage, not your dressing room, then there are costume changes." If that wasn't putting him off, it was certainly putting her off. She didn't know if she was up for this big a challenge.
He was staring at her, sure, he was supposed to be used to all this but in reality, he wasn't and he probably wasn't used to quite so many hairstyle changes anyway. Rose was going to need all the skills her mother had taught her and more for this one and she was meant to be looking after others as well. No way and she would have to say something to Mary, who looked like she was in charge. Just then, a man came in and called for everyone's attention, Rose thought he must be the director since everyone looked at him. Rose took the opportunity to sneak to the back of the room since it wouldn't concern her but she was in for a shock as he called her back as it did concern her as well.
Eventually, people started to disperse to go out onto the stage for a rehearsal, the next day was a full dress rehearsal so Rose would see just exactly how her talents would hold up. She was surprised when the director stopped her as she was leaving the room, thinking she had been caught out.
"Rose, nice to have you back. Listen I know you're supposed to be looking after some of the others as well but I think, on reflection, you're going to have your hands full looking after Jon and that wild hair extension of his so can you do me a really huge favour and concentrate just on him? I'll get someone up from the other theatre to help take care of the others. You do know he has to keep that in, it's too complicated to put in every day, it's not like a normal wig. Can you do that please Rose? I'd take it as a real personal favour if you did. We have to look after him."
"Of course, I'd be only too happy to. I was just telling him we would have to go through everything and I was wondering how I would manage to do someone else's as well. It's going to be a challenge."