Got a request on Tumblr for a Romana/Leela/Narvin thing, and went with this.
Based on the AU idea "A is a princess being sacrificed to a dragon, B is the prince saving them, and C has been cursed to become a dragon and doesn't want a human sacrifice at all".
Romana can't believe this.
Alright, she can believe this, because the Council of Gallifrey have always been backward, ridiculous morons. She just never thought that they would be so backward as to think that sacrificing their heir to the throne to a dragon would be a good solution to their problems. Then again, maybe they were just trying to get rid of her, and this is their excuse. That's just as plausible, actually.
So, here she is, in a white ceremonial gown, chained to the edge of the canyon where the dragon in question is supposed to reside, about to be eaten alive or burnt to a crisp and then eaten. Neither of which are appealing options.
"Come on!" She says, tugging at her chains, only for it to hurt her wrists and make her wince.
She sits down, takes a deep breath, and tries to employ all of her knowledge in order to get herself out of the shackles. She is, after all, a genius. A pair of shackles shouldn't be a problem. Of course, the Council know that she's a genius, and seem to have accounted for that. Damn.
Romana leans against the rock and tries not to despair. She's not sure how long she sits there, but they had left her there at sundown and now it has definitely been completely dark for a while.
She shivers violently. The dress does nothing to stave off the cold. There is light, in the form of a single torch mounted into the ground that the Council left behind. But it does nothing for warmth. If the dragon doesn't hurry up, she might freeze to death before it arrives.
Finally, she hears the flap of wings, and is as relieved as she is filled with dread as she turns and sees the large, dark figure rising out of the canyon. She stares for a moment, entranced by the dragon's form, so regal and magnificent - before coming to her senses and trying to get as far away from it as she can.
"This can't be how it ends," she says to herself, "I refuse to die so completely pointlessly!"
"And you will not, my lady, not today!"
Romana turns her head to see a figure leaping from a white horse - a woman with wild dark hair, dressed in animal skins, wielding a sword in one hand and a knife in the other.
"Who are you?!" Romana asks.
The woman grins, rather ferally, and her blue eyes gleam in the light of the torch's fire as she approaches. "I am Princess Leela of the Sevateem. And I was on my way to your citadel to negotiate talks of an alliance between our kingdoms, when I heard that the Gallifreyan council had sent their princess to the dragon of the canyon, in hope that the sacrifice would win them favour, and grant upon them the prosperity that dragons possess the magic to grant. I knew then that I had to help you."
"Oh, well, in that case, thank you!" Romana says gratefully. "Can you get me out of these chains?"
"I must first slay the dragon," Leela replies. "Else he might destroy us where we stand."
"I'm sorry, has it completely escaped your notice that I've not made a single effort to kill either of you, despite having ample time to do so?"
The refined, if gravelly voice is deep and loud and makes them both stare at up at the dragon still flying in place just beyond the edge of the canyon. He's looking at them with - well, if Romana didn't know any better, she would say it was exasperation. But there's something so ridiculous about the idea of an exasperated dragon that she just can't quite believe her eyes. Or her ears, for that matter.
Romana and Leela look at each other, to verify their sanity, before looking back at the dragon.
"Um," Romana says.
"You speak an interesting truth, dragon, but now you must offer an explanation," Leela tells him, holding her sword that little bit higher.
The dragon lets out a huff of smoke, in what sounds bizarrely like a sigh. "You know, that ridiculous council has never actually bothered to ask whether I want human sacrifices. Or whether I've actually devoured a single one of the sacrifices previously brought to me."
"If you did not devour them, then what happened to them?" Leela asks.
"Well, that ridiculous man Lord Borusa so stubbornly refused my help that he starved to death up here," the dragon says, with a funny little snort. "And the Lady Flavia just asked if I could fly her to the kingdom of Monan so that she could live a quiet life away from ridiculous royal courts. I visit her twice a year. She's doing very well for herself."
"That's very good of you," Romana says. "I must say, this is... very surprising to hear. I thought that all dragons delighted in eating people."
"Most do, but then, I'm not what one would call a normal dragon." The dragon flies upward, and then lands on the expanse of compact earth between the edge of the forest and Leela's horse, and the two women and the canyon edge. The dragons rests his head on his claws and lets out another funny sigh noise.
"What makes you different?" Romana asks.
"I used to be human," he laments. "I accidentally angered a witch, and I was cursed into this form."
"That's terrible!" Leela says, horrified. "Is there a way to break this curse?"
"Well, yes, and it's actually fairly simple," the dragon says, sounding strangely embarrassed.
"Then why didn't Flavia help you with it? If the two of you are so chummy these days?" Romana asks, frowning.
"Well... it's a kiss from a princess, see. And Flavia was not a princess."
Romana and Leela look at each other, and Romana lifts her eyebrows. Leela is already starting to grin, and she looks back at the dragon with a new gleam in her eye, and takes a step towards him.
"Do you have a name, my friend?"
"Narvin," the dragon says, with a little proud tilt of his head.
"Well, Narvin," Romana says, starting to smile herself, "it seems that you have found not one but two princesses willing to help you out, there."
She and Leela approach him so that they're standing either side of his large head, and in unison press a kiss to his dark scales. All at once, a fog of magic swirls around them, and then it is not a dragon whose face they are kissing, but a thin man with a serious face. Who is now blushing immensely.
"Welcome back to the world of men, Narvin of Gallifrey," Leela says, after a single glance at the worn but familiar style of robes covering his frame.
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Romana adds, with a little curtsy.
Narvin looks completely overwhelmed, but does an admirable job of keeping his emotions in check. "I - thank you. Both of you." He does a little bow, and Romana is impressed to see that it is perfectly in accordance to Gallifreyan etiquette. "I owe you... everything."
"You owe us nothing," Leela says, shaking her head. "Now, given that I don't see why either of you would wish to return to Gallifrey, what do you say that the three of us make our way back to Sevateem? I believe the three of us will fit on my horse, so long as none of us are worried about being in rather... intimate proximity." She smirks at them. "I, for the record, am not, because Romana is very pretty and I very much like the way that Narvin blushes."
Narvin, right on cue, blushes again at her words, and she grins with delight.
"There we are. Hop on, then!"
She heads for the horse, leaving Romana and Narvin standing there, rather bemused as to what is going on.
"Pretty?" Romana says, confused, before shrugging. "Well, I suppose I am. Never really thought about it."
"Certainly the prettiest sacrifice I ever had the pleasure to be offered," Narvin says, before coughing awkwardly. "Though that, uh, isn't actually saying much, all things considered"
"Good, I'm not sure I'm one for flattery," she says, but finds herself shyly tucking her hair behind her ear when she meets Leela's gaze across the distance and the warrior princess smiles at her.
"Are you entirely sure about that?" Narvin asks her, raising an eyebrow.
"Not in the slightest, but I don't see how that's any of your business," Romana sniffs.
"If we shall be travelling together in an intimate fashion, it seems that it will be my business," Narvin points out.
"We're sharing a horse, not a bedchamber," Romana says, rolling her eyes. "Don't make me regret helping you. I could have left you as a dragon."
"And I could have eaten you - do you have any idea how many days it's been since I've eaten? Sheep are difficult to sneak up on, you know." Narvin says this with such indignation that Romana can only laugh at him.
"I'm sorry, but that might just be one of the most pitiful things I've ever heard," she says, between giggles. He just lifts his chin and strides off towards Leela, apparently offended.
Romana shakes her head and gets her laughter until control before making to follow him.
Oh yes, this will certainly make for an interesting journey, and the most interesting set of company she's yet to keep.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought!