A Term of Endearment:

A Doctor Who fanfic by me, with snippets and possibly chapters by Tardis-Mole.

Disclaimer: Don't own em; wish I did. WIBBLE

Chapter One: Skin Job

Tramping triumphantly up the ramps, the Doctor threw open the TARDIS doors and stepped inside, holding his coat out like a screen so Welyx could see the inside of Her as they both stepped through.

"Well, this is her. Bigger on the inside isn't it?" the Time Lord murmured, smiling at his new passenger as he took the trench off and flung it onto an overhanging coral piece. "What do you think?"

The wormish diplomat lifted her head from the Time Lord's hand then, her narrow body shaking with glee as she extended two feelers out into the wide openness that was the TARDIS console room. She was indeed a ship like nothing that had ever been seen before, so bright, so beautiful!

'She seems to appreciate my being here, at least."

The Doctor ran a hand through his eternally mussed brown hair and puffed out his cheeks in a show of content.

"Oh, I think so, I really do. Do you want separate rooms yet, or should I expect things to progress quickly from now until the drop on Wexyllis VIII, as it were?"

"Ah, Doctor," Welyx was in her element now, and she chose her words carefully as she began to address what had quickly become more than a mere professional relationship. "I believe your Solian friends would say, 'It's still kid gloves from here?'"

The Time Lord nodded mentally, letting the feeling of his approval wash over Welyx's telepathic receptors as he did so.

The wormlike Wexylleen diplomat jiggled somewhat in his hand again, a sure sign of upbeat emotional radiation at his words.

"Of course, Doctor. When our duties on Wexyllis VIII are done with, I will, perhaps, not look quite so forward to the day when we will inevitably part."

A smile lit the Lord of Time's eyes still further, and he looked down at his small companion with more colour in his cheeks than she'd seen in all the since she'd met him on that tiny little backwater outpost, Station Fifteen. They'd saved the whole quadrant together, after he'd helped her survive the loss of her host, Kalmbyd. He'd been at the center of the blast when-

"Agh, that bled through a bit, Welyx, try not to think about it anymore? I'm gonna have to fly the TARDIS soon, and I can't have you nodding off or going into cardiac arrests because of radiant emotive backlash. Try? For me? Believe you me, I know it's difficult, love. But just... give it a go, what? We'll be there soon!"

His tone was gentle, but Welyx needed no telepathy to know he was worried. They had been Tied since he'd found her gray and lifeless body on Fifteen, hanging from her beloved cloii Kalmbyd's secondary eating orifice. As Honoured Lover-Diplomats of the peace loving, eel-like Wexylleen and the gentle, towering, humanoid cloii, they had been on the Station to meet with the Ambassadorial Procession from Ploc'l, a watery spheroid located in the constellation Catalbya, off the rings of Trangan, a pinkish twin of Sol's Saturn. But they had ended as victims, prisoners of their two races' symbiotic need for each other.

The blast had been designed by the Station's dark-loving, techno-organic octopoid Operators to destroy all three ambassadorial docks, leaving only the debris of three stolen Diplomatic vessels. They had wanted to escape their servitude on the Station, and had grown weary of the captivity their mechanical immortality had brought them. They had even installed a dummy console in the main control room, to make it appear as though the Ploc'lites had something to do with the explosion.

The Doctor's hand wrapped itself around her length, stroking her skin, supporting her with his touch and his arm as she twisted around his forearm. Her sudden desperation reminded him of an Earth boa constrictor... lovely things! Spoke excellent French, most of them. He looked up, sadness pooling in places he didn't want it to.

"Ah, well. So much for that, then." His voice was soft as he patted Welyx's unconscious form with his free hand then eased her, arm hand all, into his left pocket. "Relax, sweetheart. These pockets are bigger on the inside, too. Just like my hearts, I 'spose. But if you ever meet a redhead named Donna, don't you dare tell her I said that. I've a reputation to uphold as the Emo King of Downing Street."