A/N: This came about because I decided I really liked the Rani and I wondered how they would have updated her in the new series as they did the Master (but not like they did him. I love John Simm, but, in my opinion, Delgado will always be the best). Anyway, this took me forever to do, lots of rewrites. But here it is. I hope you enjoy.

Love and the Rani

The TARDIS was out of control. The Doctor scrambled around the console, grabbing at anything within reach. Finally, it landed with a thump, and the Doctor was thrown from his feet. He stood up and checked the ship- no lasting damage.

The Doctor opened the doors and went outside. Actually, it looked like he was inside. Yup, it was definitely a laboratory. He wandered around the room, examining the test tubes and beakers on the tables. He skimmed through observational notes placed next to a large jar with something growing inside of it. Someone was experimenting with DNA, grafting species together. The Doctor looked on in disgust. Whoever was doing this clearly had to be stopped.

"Who are you? How'd you get in here?" he suddenly heard a woman's voice shout in anger.

He turned around and saw a woman standing in the doorway. She was tall with long, dark hair reaching to her lower back. She wore jeans and a white blouse covered by a leather jacket. Her eyes were cat's eyes: large, and round, and shining with a bright green. If it weren't for the scowl on her face, the Doctor thought, she might actually have been quite beautiful looking.

Her furious gaze changed to that of surprise and confusion when she saw him. "Oh... Doctor?" she said.

The Doctor had no idea who she was. Was it someone from his future? Oh god, this is one of the negatives of being a time traveler. Well, best fess up; it'll be a lot easier that way. "I'm sorry, but-" and then he suddenly stopped because it all clicked inside his head. "Rani?"

"I thought I was the only one," the Rani said. She let out a sigh and stepped inside the room. "But I should have known you'd survive."

"But how did you survive?" he asked. He could feel something bubbling in the pit of his stomach, but couldn't figure out what it was: happiness, relief, fear?

"An experiment saved me," the Rani said. "I escaped the destruction through one of my experiments. I created a temporal bubble, big enough for only one set off at the perfect timing. I didn't even see it happen, only the result."

"I watched as it all burned," said the Doctor, stoically.

"I suppose that's poetic justice, then," said the Rani. "After all they've done to you."

"Pardon?" asked the Doctor.

"The Master had filled me in on a few things that time in Killingworth," she explained. "And I've also read some of your files. Face it, Doctor, you were as much of an outcast as I was, perhaps more so."

"But don't you miss them?" asked the Doctor, his voice noticeably straining with frustration and grief.

"Yes," said the Rani. "I'll admit it. I may have held them in contempt for kicking me to the curb, but I could have forgiven them if they had given me the chance. Why do you think I helped in the Time War? They were my people, Doctor. Sure, they squandered their abilities, but I could have brought them back to glory."

"Through your heinous experiments?" asked the Doctor, glancing across the room.

"Doctor," she said angrily. "Don't make an enemy of me again. Unless you know of any other Time Lords that survived..." She met the Doctor's gaze. "Though, with the way things are looking, I'm half expecting the Master to appear, too, and bring me more trouble."

"Actually," said the Doctor. "He survived, too." The Rani looked at him with a puzzled expression, and the Doctor sighed. "It's a long story."

"Well," said the Rani, finding a nearby stool on which to sit down. "I have the time."

"...And do you remember the time Grecon's experiment exploded in class?" the Rani laughed. "They were cleaning ooze out of the room for a week."

"And out of Grecon," the Doctor laughed just as merrily.

"But I remember how you were always skipping class," said the Rani. "And Borusa would chide you about your lack of motivation."

"I always said he was out to get me," said the Doctor, dreamily. "And it turns out he was."

"That's the price of being a renegade."

"Renegade- ha!" snorted the Doctor.

"You were born to be a renegade, Doctor," said the Rani, off-handedly.

"And why do you say that?" he asked.

She thought for a moment. "For one thing, your childhood hero was Salyavin, the most infamous and powerful criminal in the history of the Time Lords," she said.

"I met him once... I think; I was never quite able to be sure," said the Doctor. Thinking back with fond memories, a realization suddenly crossed his mind. "Shooooot! I never returned that book. Oh well, too late now. Luckily, there won't be a late fee."

The Rani's mind had wandered as she realized the Doctor was going off on tangents that, frankly, didn't interest her. He was always a bit of a bore. Instead, she was looking at him, studying him. This new regeneration wasn't that bad-looking, she thought. She mused over a faint memory from many centuries ago, back when they were both in their early hundreds. It was the annual Festival of Eternity. The Citadel was covered in decorations, and the Time Lords celebrated in the streets. She remembered herself, so young and naïve, the Doctor so confident and intense. A passionate kiss behind a corridor. That was all. They never spoke of it. It was just one of those things.

She was jolted back into the present when she realized the Doctor was asking her something. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"I said that your face was looking a little red," said the Doctor. "Are you feeling all right?"

Had she been blushing? She hadn't realized. "Oh, I'm fine. Don't worry about it." The Doctor still looked at her curiously, so she decided to change the subject. "Will you be staying in the area long?"

"To tell you the truth," said the Doctor, rubbing the back of his head. "I didn't mean to end up here in the first place. The TARDIS was malfunctioning and I had to make an emergency landing. And I was definitely not expecting to find you here. I'd like to stay for a bit longer, if you don't mind?" His eyes shone hesitantly.

There may have been times in the past where all she wanted to do was rid herself of the Doctor's presence, but the Rani had been lonely herself lately. Even concentrating all of her energy into her experiments was found lacking. And the Doctor was eager. "No, Doctor. I don't mind if you stay." His smile was so large, like a little boy who was just told he could have some extra candy before supper.

They talked throughout the whole day. When the Rani started yawning and the Doctor's eyelids began to droop, they both decided to call it a night. The Doctor gave one last look at the Rani entering into her TARDIS, which was disguised as an incubator, before retiring to his own policebox.

He was able to fall asleep rather quickly considering the day he had, finally finding another survivor after years of hurting and loneliness.

But he was suddenly awakened by a slight pressure to his cheek. He slowly opened his eyes, giving them time to adjust. A soft hand caressed him. He could feel hot breath close to his ear. "Rani..." he whispered into the darkness.

"I've been so lonely," the Doctor said, his arms wrapped around the Rani, her head resting against his bare chest.

"I've gotten used to it," she responded, unemotionally.

In acknowledgment, the Doctor lifted her chin and kissed her softly on the lips. "You won't have to any more."

The Doctor awoke the next day alone. He quickly got dressed and ran out to the laboratory. The place was in a shambles and the Rani's TARDIS was gone.

Okay. End of chapter one. What did you think? Was it believable? Reviews would be awesome.