Rose tried to keep a brave face after the Doctor explained to her what was about to happen. He had told her he planned to hide as a human for the next few months, hoping the Family of Blood would eventually grow tired of looking for him and leave across the universe, looking for someone else to try to drain the life from. The Doctor was worried about Rose and if he would know her in this fictitious human life, but he tried to reassure her that the Tardis should make up some sort of relationship between the two of them. Rose nodded when he'd said this, obviously pleased she wouldn't be completely without him for all that time. She would want to be near him, and honestly, he needed her near him to watch over him while he wasn't his normal self. He would be vulnerable and weak, unable to protect himself should the Family of Blood somehow figure out who he was. He trusted Rose to keep him safe. Hell, he'd trust her with anything. She had proved herself over and over again, and he was quite fond of his traveling companion and certainly had no doubts that she would be able to handle this task.
"Now, Rose, I know this is going to be a very difficult few months, but I know you can do this. I have no choice, even though I wish there was another way," The Doctor told her sadly, staring deep into Rose's eyes, willing her to sense his sadness at thrusting all this upon her all at once. His life in just a few moments would literally be in her hands.
Rose took a deep breath and returned his intense gaze. "I won't let you down, Doctor."
The Doctor smiled and leaned forward, kissing her forehead. "I know you won't."
They stared at each other for a moment before the Doctor moved away and began preparing the Chameleon Arch, which would turn his Gallifreyan body into a human one. He was very nervous. It made him nervous to physically and mentally separate him from the Tardis for so long and he was also anxious about leaving Rose without protection with the Family of Blood lurking somewhere patiently seeking him out. Preparations done, he turned back to Rose.
"There are videos in the Tardis database that explain everything, all the important information. Watch them carefully while I'm asleep, as this will put me out for a while," The Doctor explained, tugging his ear as he glanced back in the direction of the Chameleon Arch.
"Doctor…I…I'm worried about you. Will you be alright? I mean, you're literally rewriting your DNA, right?" Rose asked, her lip quivering as she thought of possible things that could happen to him.
"Yeah. It'll hurt a lot, but this is something I have to do. If they catch me, which they will if I don't do this, I will be gone. Dead. Nothing. I don't want to do this, but I have no choice, Rose," The Doctor admitted solemnly.
"I know. I just hate that you'll be gone for so long. I know you'll technically be here, but you won't be…you," Rose answered, unshed tears building against her will as she thought of the next few months of being without him.
The Doctor came toward her again and wrapped his arms around her in a hug, rocking her from side to side. "I'll be there with you. Just don't let me be mean to you or anything. I don't know what sort of backstory the Tardis will give me. I've instructed her that you and I need to be close by so you can look out for me. I'll probably be getting up to all sorts of trouble as a human. I wonder if I'll still like bananas. Oh! Rose, for the love of everything, don't, and I mean do not, let me eat pears. I swear it will kill me."
Rose laughed and squeezed him tighter before releasing him and leaving her hands on either side of his face. "I promise," she said, smiling.
The Doctor let his forehead drop to hers and left it there a second longer than he usually did before pulling away and bounding over to the console, grabbing a fob watch that was laying on top of it.
"This, Rose Tyler, will hold my essence inside of it. If something happens and the Family of Blood finds us, all you have to do is open this watch and I'll be released back into myself and I'll be a Time Lord. Try not to do it prematurely, though, because we need to stay hidden for as long as possible," The Doctor told her and placed the watch near the Chameleon Arch as Rose nodded. "Now, where would it be easier for you to look after me? We can be anywhere…well, anywhere except on the Tardis, unfortunately."
Rose stuck her tongue into the inside of her cheek, thinking seriously about his question. Where would she be more comfortable? Probably in London where she at least knew the town. Her mother and Mickey were gone, but they could go to right after the horrible battle that had ripped her family from her. She knew they were happy there, her mother and Pete together again. It had been a bittersweet moment when she had watched them dematerialize in front of her, but she knew she would never leave the Doctor, even to be with them. She loved the Doctor, though she could never tell him. However, in a way she had told him. She had sent her family away, never to see them again, and had told him she was never going to leave him. What more could she have said without actually saying she loved him?
"Probably London. At least I know the city. We could go to Mum's flat, right after…," She didn't finish the sentence, but she didn't need to. The Doctor knew.
The Doctor nodded and began pressing buttons and pulling levers around the Tardis, presumably taking them to that destination. The ship stopped moving with a resounding thud and Rose knew it was time. The tears came already, as she really was dreading saying goodbye to him. The Doctor walked to the doors of the Tardis and quickly glanced outside, verifying they were in the right place. He had strategically parked the Tardis in an alley where not many people passed that was still within walking distance of the flat. He walked back up the ramp and again stopped in front of Rose.
"I'm sorry, Rose," He said and then kissed her on the forehead. Rose sputtered, finally letting her tears fall freely.
"I know you don't have a choice," Rose sadly replied, sniffling.
"I'll be with you," The Doctor reminded her again.
Rose nodded, and the Doctor stepped again toward the Chameleon Arch, this time rigging it with the fob watch and placing it on his head. Rose held tightly to the railing of the ramp as she backed away from him, wiping the tears from her eyes. The Doctor secured the Chameleon Arch on his head and made sure everything was secure, and then placed his hand near the control that would turn it on.
"Rose?" The Doctor asked, quietly.
Rose sniffled and tried her best to be strong. "Yeah, Doctor?"
"I was serious about the pears," he simply said, then smiled his full-blown smile she loved so much.
Rose smiled sadly, more tears springing to her eyes as she laughed despite her sadness. She nodded, and then he flipped the switch and her smile quickly faded away as her face paled. His scream echoed in the walls of her mind forever. She knew she would never forget that sound, never forget the way he jerked and writhed under the obvious pain of having his entire DNA rewritten. Rose refused to look away, wanting to be there for him through everything he would ever face. That's what she had promised him, after all. So, she made herself watch and she whispered to him quietly, more to herself than anything else. Comforting words, phrases she wouldn't probably say to him if he were able to hear her over his screams, like declarations of her love for him. She didn't know how long his screams went on for, but suddenly he was silent and Rose ran forward to catch him before he hit the floor, taking the helmet off of him once he was lying on the ground. She grabbed the fob watch and pushed it into the pocket of her jeans reverently, knowing the Doctor was tucked away safely inside.
She then got to work, doing exactly what the Doctor had told her to do. She knew he would be out for a while, which would give her time to go get the flat in order and somehow drag him up there…which is when she then realized that her Mum's flat had been up two flights of stairs. How was she supposed to not only drag the Doctor's limp body up two flights of stairs but also without being seen? She also remembered she didn't even have her key to her Mum's flat anymore. After everything with Canary Wharf, she had thrown it away after going and getting her things. She didn't ever want to go back knowing her Mum wouldn't be there to welcome her home. She decided to try the office and see if they would give her another key.
An annoying beeping sound resonated loudly from the Tardis and she glanced up at the screen. There was a slot below the screen that suddenly threw something out at her. She picked it up and found it was a key. Glancing back at the screen, she saw something written in the Doctor's native Gallifreyan language, which she couldn't read and she huffed in frustration and looked closer at the key. It had the number four on it. So, she rose and decided to try her luck and see if this was a key to flat number 4, which she knew was on the ground floor. She sent a strong feeling of thanks up to the Tardis and walked to the doors before giving one last sad glance back at the Doctor's limp body lying on the floor. She sighed and opened the doors, stepping outside.
Rose quickly got her bearings and walked in the direction of the flats, walking boldly but timidly until she reached flat number 4. She paused with the key near the lock, hoping with everything inside her that this key would work. She pushed the key into the lock and turned the key, and to her amazement, the door opened. She looked inside, and saw plain white walls and a fully but simply furnished flat. She went through the rooms, taking in the sight of their home for the next few months. It would definitely do. With a sigh, she realized that right now would be the best time to get the Doctor into the flat as it was dark outside. She made her way back to the Tardis, thinking hard about this new life. She would do anything for the Doctor, literally anything, but she hoped he would be back to her soon. She missed him already.
Stepping inside the Tardis again, she found the Doctor in exactly the same position as she had left him, but this time there was a bag next to his head. The Tardis must have left it there for her to find. She searched it and found a wallet with a very official looking driver's license and some sort of school ID with the name John Smith written on it. She also found a checkbook that Rose supposed went to a bank account the Tardis had set up for them. Rose smiled. The old girl really did think of everything. Not wanting to stall any longer and feeling fatigue begin to claim her, she decided to bring the Doctor to the flat and get him into bed before packing her own bag and coming back for some clothes and such.
Getting him into the apartment was difficult, but he was light in this body and somehow, she managed it. Getting him into the bed, however, was quite difficult. She noticed as she was doing this that the queen bed was the only bed inside the apartment. It looked like Rose would take the couch tonight. Breathing roughly from her struggle, Rose finally got the doctor into the bed and pulled the covers up over him. She had taken his shoes off, but she didn't want to undress him even if it would make him more comfortable. Rose tried not to blush just thinking about that circumstance unfolding, even in the privacy of her own mind.
Recovered, Rose went back to the Tardis and got her own clothes and stuffed them into a duffel bag. She wasn't sure what exactly she would need, but she grabbed enough to last her at least a week and headed back to the flat, locking the Tardis and giving her one last caress against her blue doors in sadness. She knew she would come back every so often to check on her, as the Doctor as instructed her, but not too much as to draw attention to the box.
Entering the flat, Rose threw her duffle bag on the ground and kicked off her tennis shoes. Suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion, she decided it was time for her to sleep. Hopefully she would wake up tomorrow and the Doctor…or John Smith, she supposed now…would be awake and she would try her best to adjust to whatever life the Tardis had given them.
Tucking herself into the couch with a fuzzy blanket she'd found on the back of an arm chair nearby and having changed into her pajamas, Rose fell into a deep sleep haunted by the terrible screams of the Doctor. She didn't wake for many hours, utterly drained by the recent events. Her body ached from stress, and her head was pounding. It did alleviate some of this with the deep sleep she enjoyed for several hours, but she awoke to a familiar voice calling her name.
"Rose!" the Doctor's now human body called.
Rose shook herself awake and threw the covers off of her. She ran to the bedroom, throwing open the door. "Yeah? What's wrong?"
There he stood, looking utterly frantic. When he saw her face, he relaxed considerably. "There you are. I didn't know where you were. Have you been up long?"
Rose opened her mouth, then closed it, unsure of what to say. "Um…I was asleep on the couch. I heard you screaming."