"If you're changing every single cell…isn't it gonna hurt?"
He knows it will. He may have never completed the process before, but he's seen it done. He's watched the tele-viewers in his classrooms and he'd documented the cellular changes in experimental subjects. When asked about the pain level, their calm Gallifreyan voices would break a little as they spoke: "Horrific."
"Oh, yeah, it'll hurt."
All the same, he finishes up the settings and sits on the chair. He straps the chameleon arch onto his head and takes a breath. Looks at Martha. She looks so scared.
He wishes there was more time. More time to explain to her what was about to happen, what he needed for her to do. He created that list just prior to getting the chameleon arch ready, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't anywhere near enough.
And he couldn't emphasize enough on the list about how she needed to prevent him from eating pears. Not enough time.
"You might want to…" Look away? Get away? He's seen what this can do, and he's not certain he wants to have an image of him screaming burned into her mind. No, he's actually quite certain he does not want that in her mind. Especially if she's going to have to see him as only a quarter of who he truly is for the next few months.
Three-quarters. That's what the experiments on Gallifrey would say. Three-quarters of the DNA and genetic makeup and brain capacity. That's how much is pulled out whenever something like this is done. It's compressed and put into the larger-on-the-inside pocket watch. He imagines it's like he's lost all his limbs and his head and he'll be this bloody torso with only Martha to carry him around, but even that's too much. So much of him will be gone.
He looks at her imploringly. Begging her to leave before he terrifies himself into stopping.
"Quit lookin' at me like that, Doctor, I'm not going anywhere." She's put on a brave face. He has the strangest desire to tell her brave heart, Martha. Maybe he's just feeling nostalgic. Which isn't too terrible a thing. He won't have any memory of what to be nostalgic about in a moment.
He nods. Takes a breath. Presses the button.
3/4ths of him is ripped out in two heartbeats. His cells are pulled and pushed and pulled away and taken and shoved and he screams and screams and screams----two heartbeats of complete agony. Then one more heartbeat. Only one heartbeat. Only one.
He's like them, now. He can hide.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 447