"With respect, Lord President, your regeneration has not helped your stubbornness,"
A man sat in a throne-like chair of marble and gilt, clad in flowing robes of red and gold, a cap adorning his head. Tight, dark-blonde curls poked from beneath it, framing a boyish face, round and youthful. Intelligent hazel eyes that radiated power and experience surveyed the room sardonically, a small smile turning up the corner of his mouth in amusement.
"My stubbornness notwithstanding, Castellan, the point still stands. We cannot allow the pompous strictures of our society to blind us to progress. We have a chance to learn from these 'primitives', as I have done in my wanderings. Therefore I put it to a vote: all in favour?" the Doctor asked, one eyebrow raised. Slowly all the hands at the table rose, and the Doctor grunted in satisfaction.
"Excellent," he said, clasping his hands over his robes. They had been voting on the prospect of allowing 'primitives' on Gallifrey, and the debate had gone on for years, ever since the Doctor's fifth regeneration. Finally, the High Council had come around to his way of thinking. Chancellor Flavia turned to the Doctor, the pearls of her circlet jangling slightly.
"And how is the Lady Tegan, my Lord President?" she asked, a gentle smile on her proud face. The Doctor turned to her with a small smile.
"She is in excellent health, Chancellor. Absolutely blooming," he replied, happiness radiating from him like a perfume. "If that concludes our business for the day?"
"Yes, my lord. We have completed everything on the agenda, unless you have something else to add?" the Castellan asked, a weary eyebrow raised. The Doctor opened his mouth.
"My Lord President, the Lady Tegan is waiting for you in the Presidential suite," a voice cut across him on the intercom. The Doctor touched the interface, and replied brusquely.
"Thank you." he turned back to the Council. "That will be all,"
"Lord President." The High Council intoned as one and stood. They glided gracefully from the room, and the Doctor's erect posture disintegrated as he slumped in his chair, kneading his eyes wearily. Rabbits, he was tired!
Ever since he had reluctantly taken up his duties on Gallifrey, all those years ago, and Tegan had agreed to remain with him as his guest. Turlough he had returned to his home planet of Trion, at his request. Eventually, despite all the pressures and idiosyncrasies of a society that looked down on other races, his and Tegan's friendship had turned to love. With a fond smile, he remembered the night he realised how he truly felt about Tegan. They had been arguing….
"Tegan! Now there's no need for that!" the fifth Doctor swept into his quarters, Prydonian robes swirling around him, Tegan hot on his heels in scarlet and gold.
"Doctor, you just humiliated me in front of the entire High Council! I am not your little human pet, y'know!" Tegan said acerbically, catching hold of his arm and pulling him to face her. He looked down on her haughtily.
"Tegan, we haven't got time to fight!" he replied tersely, turning away dismissively.
"No, you're too busy being Mr Arrogant Sod of a Lord President! I'm tired of being looked down on, Doctor!" Tegan said, angry tears stinging her eyes. Taking a deep, frustrated breath, the Doctor turned back to his companion.
"I'm sorry if anything I said upset you, Tegan. But I do not have time for this!" he said, trying to appear appeasing, holding up his hands. Tegan shook her head.
"I've had enough! Doctor, I want to go home," she said softly. He stopped, winded, and turned back to her abruptly.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked, his voice harsh. Shock filled him.
"I-I don't belong here. You were the only reason I came, and now….I've lost you, Doc. You're not the man I once knew," she said hesitantly, turning her head away.
"What is that supposed to mean? The Doctor snapped.
"You've changed. You're not that cheerful, energetic, cricket-obsessed, totally bonkers bloke with a stick of celery on his lapel anymore. You're….them, and I can't stay to watch you turn into an arrogant, emotionless prat. I just can't…do it anymore, Doctor and I'm going," and with that Tegan turned on her heel to storm out of the room, fighting back tears of anger.
As the Doctor watched her walk away, he felt himself come to a decision. One he had been fighting and denying from the moment he met her. He couldn't let her leave.
Tegan stormed into her quarters in the Presidential suite, and ripped off her Gallifreyan gown. She knelt and pulled out her old Earth clothes from under her bed, slipping into them like old friends. She was going home. She had no choice. The Doctor had left her none. She refused to think about the pain that she kept inside at the thought of leaving him. But she refused to be his 'little human pet'. There came a knock at her door. That was a surprise; she half-expected him to just storm in.
"Tegan? Tegan I need to talk to you," his voice came from behind the door. Tegan sighed and stood wearily, wiping away tears.
"Doctor go away! I don't want to talk anymore!" she called back. "All you do is talk."
"Not anymore. I'm done with talking," the Doctor's voice came from behind her, and she spun. He had been standing behind her and she stared, as he did at her.
He was dressed in his old cricketing outfit, the stick of celery still resolutely attached to his lapel. All the cool arrogance that had pervaded him had melted away, as if by shedding his Time Lord regalia, he had become someone else. No, not someone else, himself. The Doctor. His blue, blue eyes smouldered as he looked at her.
Tegan was dressed in a similar style to when they had first met, a pencil skirt, blue shirt and heels. She looked the same as the day she had run into the Tardis console room, to his and Adric's astonishment. Her proud chin rose one defiant notch, eying him like an opponent in battle, hiding the emotional confusion she felt at seeing him in his old clothes, after three months of seeing him in his guise as the Lord President. As he walked slightly closer, she fought the urge to step back, staying her ground. She had never let him intimidate her; she wouldn't start now.
"Doctor, what do you want? There's nothing left to say," she said quietly, dignified despite the desire to simply break down. But she noticed him, noted the slightly harsher breathing as he shook his head, his golden hair flying.
"Like I said, I'm done talking," he growled, before he strode across the room and hauled her into his arms. His lips captured hers in a seductive and wild call to her senses, enthralling her, body and soul. Tegan held firm against him for a moment, before she gave in, and pulled herself closer against him, sliding her fingers into his hair. His arms closed around her, pressing her full-length against him. All the anger, all the resentment, all the tension that had been between them from the start erupted in that moment, in that one shining moment of touch, of simple communion. And left them trembling in its wake, wiping away everything bar an irresistible need, and an emotion so deep, that it consumed them. Forever.
As the Doctor tumbled her back onto the bed, trapping her with his weight, Tegan lifted her lids, and struggled to breathe when she saw the sheer depth of his need, blazoned in the azure blue of his eyes. She felt the same rising up in her, and let it carry her away, as their lips fused, and his hands began to claim what they both knew was his, had been his for so long.
They had been married for fifteen years, according to Earth scales of measurement. It seemed like far longer on a planet that existed outside the normal flow of Time. He remembered the day Tegan had told him she was pregnant with their first child, a month after their 'wedding'.
He had been sitting at his desk in the Presidential suite, going through some papers, running a hand through his sandy blonde hair, his piercing blue eyes awash with boredom. How he wished he had taken the chance and ran, ran as far away from Gallifrey as possible!
But if he had, maybe all that had occurred between him and Tegan may not have occurred at all. He had to be grateful for small mercies.
"Doctor?" Tegan's lilting voice echoed in the lofty office as she glided into the room, as graceful as any Time Lady. Her hair was longer, trailing to her collarbone, her youthful features glowing in the soft lighting. She wore a long, trailing robe of deepest red, contrasting elegantly with her dark hair and pale skin. He loved how she continued to call him 'Doctor', even when in public. She kept him down to Earth, or down to Gallifrey as she loved to joke, stopped him from becoming as arrogant and as cold as the rest of them. Refused to give up on him even when he nearly drove her away. Until he realised how much he needed her in his life, however fleeting her life was to him. It had troubled him at first, since he would outlive Tegan, and yet he couldn't draw back from the possessive devotion that rose up every time he looked at her.
The Doctor jerked away from his reverie, and rose from his desk, flinging the papers away gladly. He rounded the desk and held out his hands.
"Tegan, my dear. How are you today?" he asked, as she came forward eagerly and took his hands in her own. He ducked his head and kissed her, hard and quick. She sank into his arms.
When he deigned to release her, she sighed in contentment.
"I'm fine, Doctor. Just fine," she whispered, pulling his lips back to hers. Their mouths met, and fused, evoking memories of last night. Her hands slid into his hair, relishing the silky waves of gold beneath her fingers. Her fingers brushed the nape of his neck, and he groaned into her mouth.
"Careful, Tegan," he growled warningly, feeling desire rise in his blood. She laughed and released him, stepping backwards out of his arms. With a dismayed grunt, he pulled her back again, eliciting another laugh.
"I've just come back from visiting Leela and Andred. And I've just come from the doctor,"
The Doctor smiled reminiscently, his charming grin flashing momentarily. "How I miss him,"
"You regret the decision to take up the Presidency?" Tegan asked, a shrewd glint in her eye.
"Sometimes. Sometimes I wonder how it would've been, if I had just taken off with you and Turlough. But if I hadn't, I might not have had you, my love," he said, before gathering her closer for another kiss. Tegan sank once more against him, before he raised his head. "And that is worth everything."
"I'm glad to hear it," she whispered before their lips fused again. The Doctor revelled in the embrace, before something she said had him frowning. He released her mouth, and looked down on her in his arms, like a Terran rose blooming before him.
"You said you came from the doctor's. Is anything the matter, Tegan?" he asked, his hands encircling her upper arms tightly. She winced.
"Doctor, let go! You're hurting us," she yelped. The Doctor immediately released her, pulling her into his arms again.
"I am sorry, Tegan. I forget my strength sometimes….wait, did you just say 'us'?" he asked, a puzzled frown on his youthful features. Tegan looked up at him through tear-filled eyes.
"Doctor, I'm pregnant," she whispered. The Doctor looked down at her figure. He couldn't really tell through the slightly voluminous robe, but she wasn't showing yet. But he had thought Time Lords and humans could not cross-breed, that their species, however genetically similar, were still too dissimilar to allow offspring. This was impossible, it was….absolutely incredible!
"Doctor? Doctor, are you alright?" Tegan's worried lilt broke through the morass of wonder in his brain. He looked down on his wife, and smiled reassuringly.
"I…am not alright, Tegan. I am-"
"In shock?" she interjected wryly. He frowned at her repressively.
"I was going to say absolutely thrilled, my dear. How long?" he asked, already slipping into his 'Doctor's' persona.
"A month. But the doctor wasn't sure how long I'll be carrying the baby. I mean, it isn't exactly a normal human pregnancy…" the Doctor cut her off with a kiss, melting her limbs with the fire of the vortex.
"Not to worry, my love. The entire Capitol will support us through this time, when they learn of this," he whispered, when they drew apart. Tegan tucked her head underneath his chin, as his hand stroked her hair, wiping the happy tears away.
"I would like to send a message to Nyssa on Terminus, telling her everything that has happened," Tegan said.
"She'll be interested, to say the least of a bioscientist," he remarked wryly. A swift thump on the arm followed. "Oww!"
The couple stood in the office, content in their intimacy, as the Doctor held his wife and their child in the safety of his arms. Indeed, he had been right to take this path, and he did not regret it.
With a sigh, the Doctor drew himself from his memories and pulled himself from the throne-like chair. So much had happened since then; the birth of their son, and their subsequent offspring, his regeneration after an assassination attempt by the Master. That had been a rocky spot, he'd expected Tegan to take time to adjust, but her devotion to him kept her steady, even though he changed. He had been in this body for two years now.
Straightening out the kinks in his spine, he swept out of the Council chambers, easing the ceremonial headdress from his skull. It was bloody uncomfortable!
He nodded briefly to the Council guard outside his quarters, who saluted smartly, as the door opened and closed behind the Doctor. At last he was alone in a long, cavernous hallway of glistening ivory marble, cool and echoing as he strode down its central aisle, past the pillars like fluted trees of stone. He paused, an uncomfortable sensation of unease settling over him, the hairs on the back of his neck rising.
He was being watched.
He slowed his steps, and held out his arms, palm facing forward.
"I'm unarmed. Whoever you are, show yourself!" he cried commandingly. Suddenly a number of blunt objects prodded him in the back, as an Ogron barrelled into his midriff. Or at least, it felt like an Ogron.
Childish yells split the air, as he looked down at the little scamp presently wrecking his robes.
"I surrender!" he cried dramatically, raising his hands, smiling down at his youngest daughter, her bright blonde hair all he could see.
"Doctor Daddy!" little Loranna cried ecstatically. The two behind him poked his back playfully.
"Oh, you got me!" he mock-collapsed to the floor, taking the two six year-old boys with him. "Now you young ruffians!"
One of the boys hung from his neck, the other from his arm as he stood slowly, Loranna still hanging onto the folds of his robe. He spotted Tegan watching from the shadows, amusement twinkling in her warm eyes. She had aged only a little, on a planet that existed out of time. She looked to still be in her mid twenties, when in reality she was approaching forty.
"Help! I've been ambushed!" he implored her, but she only shook her head, laughing quietly.
"Oh no, I'm entirely neutral on this one!" she said, moving into the light. But she came and took Loranna nonetheless, hefting her easily into her arms. "Astal! Jamie! Let your father go this instant! Andred's coming to take you to see your godmother,"
Astal and Jamie let their father free, running off into the Presidential quarters with youthful whoops of joy. Leela had offered to take them on a short trip Outside the Capitol. The Doctor cuffed their heads as they ran past, ducking his playful swipe and laughing. Turning back to his wife, he stroked his little daughter's hair. The little Time Lady leaned into his embrace, long ringlets of sandy blonde hair framing a cherubic face and sea-blue eyes.
"You could've warned me," he muttered, as he bent his head to kiss his wife. Tegan let Loranna down, as a slender figure glided into the hall.
"Oh. Hello, Dad. Loranna, I'm just practising my martial arts if you want to come and watch," the figure walked into the light, and the Doctor looked into the face of his third daughter, Jenny.
Jenny was an anomaly from an alternate universe, one in which she had been created by a progenation machine from the DNA of a future version of himself. Somehow she had blundered into their universe, and had decided to stay with this version of her father. Tegan had readily accepted her as another daughter, and she was a kind and watchful protector of the younger ones. She bore long blonde hair like most of the children, but she had the figure of a warrior, as indeed, she had been born one. Loranna instantly ran to her, laughing and bubbly. Jenny sent her father and adoptive mother a shy smile, before she took Loranna's hand and led her from the hall. The Doctor watched her go with a slight frown.
"What is it?" Tegan asked, a fond smile on her face, as she stared up into his eyes.
"I'm not sure I like Jenny practicing her martial arts in front of Loranna. She's so young," he murmured, looking back at his wife.
"It's fine. Loranna's Gallifreyan, she's so ahead in maturity, it won't be long before you'll be called upon for practice!" Tegan joked. Although it was true that their children were more mature than Earth children, they were not as advanced as Gallifreyan children born from the Looms.
The Doctor twined her waist with his arm, as they walked slowly into their chambers, relishing each other's company. After three years of conflict during their travels, the fact they were now so comfortable in each other's company seemed so….appropriate. They still argued, occasionally, but just for fun. The argument invariably ended in their bedchamber.
"Long day?" Tegan inquired, looking up at her husband's tired face. He groaned.
"Don't remind me." he let out a long sigh, ""Where are Adric and Sarah?"
"Adric's still at the Academy. He has his exams in less than two weeks, and Sarah was in the garden last time I looked," Tegan answered, a small frown forming on her forehead. The Doctor stopped her, and turned her to him.
"Stop frowning. You'll get wrinkles," he said fondly, kissing her brow gently.
"Ha, ha very funny," she muttered, pulling him down to her for a kiss, her fingers tangling in his curls. When they drew apart, they stepped through into their rooms.
The Presidential suite was a far cry from the cold architecture of the Capitol. The living area was painted a warm red, lights glowing on the walls, low slung sofas crowding the large room. On one of them a young woman sat, long waves of brunette hair rippling loose down her back, her gold and red skirts pooling around her. She looked up when the Doctor and Tegan entered, a soft smile appearing on her lips.
"Mother. Father," she said, as she came to meet them, graceful and assured.
The Doctor embraced his eldest daughter, Sarah, when she reached them. At thirteen years old, Sarah appeared much older, in her late teens at least, gowned in the colours of the Lord President. She and Adric were the only two of his children that did not have his blue eyes and blonde hair. Sarah possessed warm brown eyes, like Tegan, and her brunette hair.
Adric had curly brown hair, and blue-green eyes, as though merging the two eye colours of his regenerations.
"Sarah, I thought you were going to meet Adric at the Academy," Tegan said, her eyes dwelling on her eldest daughter.
"I am, but I wished to wait for Father to return before I left," she said softly, her voice gentle and quiet. But for all her gentleness, Tegan saw a strength in her that stemmed from her father. And as for Adric…..
Every time she looked at her first-born son, she saw so much of his namesake in him. The same naïveté, the same fresh intelligence and, coincidentally, the same talent for mathematics. The same innocence. Tegan shut her eyes at the remembered grief, the memory of her friend's death. The name choice hadn't been an accident.
"Tegan?" her husband's voice pierced the fog of pain that had enveloped her. She'd been in labour for hours, after a nine month pregnancy, which had surprised Tegan. She'd had nightmarish notions of a year-long pregnancy, or something. But the child was half-human, after all.
Sweaty, tired and inclined to be grumpy, Tegan levered her lids up to look into the eyes of her husband, the Doctor. His blue, blue eyes smiled down into hers, the cry of a newborn infant puncturing the humming silence of the medical lab.
"We have a boy," he whispered, placing an arm around her shoulders, and helping her to sit up. The assistant placed a baby into her arms, and blue-green eyes blinked up at her, soft auburn fuzz like downy feathers beneath her hand.
"A son?" Tegan's voice trembled. She took the child in her arms, and felt the tiny fist catch hold of her finger, squeezing with an infantile strength. "Adric."
"Adric?" Tegan looked up from her absorption with her newborn son, and into the Doctor's eyes. A moment later, he nodded, a small smile on his face. "Adric."
"Tegan? Tegan?" the Doctor's voice pulled her from her memories, as she shook herself slightly.
"Yes? What?" she snapped out of her trance, to find both Sarah and the Doctor peering at her curiously. "Sorry, just got stuck in memory lane,"
"I should go. I need to study," Sarah said, with a curious slow smile on her face. Tegan narrowed her eyes at her daughter as she turned and glided from the room, that curious smile still on her face. She paced to the window and looked out, watching her daughter exit the Capitol building and head towards the Prydonian Academy. She watched her husband's reflection in the window, absentmindedly flicking her hair over her shoulder.
Tegan's dress was low-cut in the back, for Time Ladies anyway, showing the alabaster skin of her nape. The Doctor prowled closer, grateful for the 'gift' their children had given them. They'd had so little time to be alone lately, ever since his regeneration and its aftermath. It had been hardest on little Loranna; she hadn't been old enough to understand that her father had regenerated, that the tall, blonde-haired man with the charming smile and the stick of celery on his lapel was gone forever. It had been his most difficult transition to date. And not just for him.
Feeling the Doctor's cool breath against her skin, Tegan's eyes fluttered closed. A moment later, hard lips caressed her nape, as the mental link they had shared for so long opened, and all the sensations of the other flooded into their minds. His arms came around her waist, pulling her back into his arms, as he tilted her head up and back for a kiss. A kiss that seared to the bone.
The Doctor swept Tegan up in his arms, their lips clinging to one another, as her hand crept to the back of his neck, before it dipped into his curls. He moaned into her mouth, as they moved quickly into their bedroom, and he laid her down on the sheets.
To him, she was as lovely as the day she'd first run into the console room, just before his fourth regeneration, fired up and tempestuous from her wandering in the Tardis corridors. And she always would be, even when she was old and grey. It was a fact he'd had to face, when he realised the true depth of his feelings for Tegan, that he would have to watch her die. But he also knew he couldn't live without having her in his life. So he had embraced the emotion, embraced her, knowingly accepting the pain he knew was the other side of the coin.
So when, hours later, she slumped in his arms, cocooned in the sheets against the chill of his skin, he felt no fear in dipping his head and whispering, "I love you."
"I love you too," she whispered back sleepily. She roused herself, and turned onto her side in his arms, so she looked up into his face. "Oh, and incidentally, Doctor, there's something I've been meaning to tell you….."
"Yes?" he asked, smiling, deeply sated and replete. Tegan's lips curved in a glorious smile.