A/N: This is a companion story (no pun intended) to Love and the Rani. I don't know if it's necessary to read that first, but I'm sure it'll help. Perhaps some slight spoilers for Torchwood: CoE. Anyway, I was kind of just using this as a writing exercise when coming up with the other story. But I decided I liked it enough to post, so here it is.


Connections

or... Reasonings of the Rani

The Rani landed her TARDIS on the planet Trindor. Not that great of a place, a little seedy, actually; but it was famous for its hyper vodka, and the Rani could really use some right now.

She walked into a pub. It was mid-day, so not very packed. She found a seat next to the bar and ordered a drink. When her order was handed to her, she took a sip and scanned the room. Some people sat at tables or in the booths, either friends, business associates, lovers, the Rani couldn't tell. Few sat by themselves. A couple stools away from her sat a quiet, very tired looking man in a wardrobe reminiscent of mid-twentieth century Earth. He was so desperately trying to seem inconspicuous that the Rani wouldn't have taken a second glance if not for one very intriguing detail. She got up and moved beside him.

"You're a fixed point in time," stated the Rani.

The man was so shocked that it took him a moment to process the implications of what this unknown, yet quite attractive, woman had said. "How do you know that?" he asked.

"It's obvious," she said. "I could spot you from a mile away."

"I thought only a Time Lord would be able to tell," he said. "Have you ever heard of them? Not many people remember who they are, which is kinda sad."

"Tell me about it," said the Rani. "I happen to be one."

"One what?" asked the man.

"Boy, are you dense," said the Rani. "You must be human. I'm a Time Lady."

"But the Doctor!" said the man, eyes bulging. "He said he was the last. Does he know? We have to find him!" He started to rise from his stool, but the Rani motioned for him to sit back down.

"He knows," she said. "And somehow I'm not the least surprised that you know him."

"I used to travel with him," he said. "But why aren't you with him?"

"It's complicated," she said.

"How so?" he asked. "I'm Jack, by the way."

"The Rani," she said.

"Do all Time Lords have names that start with 'The'?" he asked, smiling.

"Only some of them," she said. "The Doctor and I fall under a unique category."

"And so I ask again," said Jack. "Why aren't you with him now? I'd have thought that if he'd ever come across another Time Lord again, he'd never let them out of his sight."

"I left him," said the Rani. "I had to."

"Why?" asked Jack. He knew a little something about leaving, and was interested to understand her motivations. He left because of all he had lost, but the Rani had found and gained, so why would she choose to leave?

The Rani sighed. "Like I said, we've had a complicated history. We are the same age. We grew up together. We moved around with the same clique of friends. After we both graduated from the Academy (he stood back a year actually; never could sit still long enough to pay attention). Later, we ended up going our separate ways."

"Only to converge again?" said Jack, raising an eyebrow.

She understood his meaning, but chose to ignore him. "We were never so different, the Doctor and I, come to think of it."

"How do you mean?"

"I left Gallifrey because I had grown to despise it. And he'd never admit it, but he hated the Time Lords as much as I did, perhaps more so."

"I can't believe that," said Jack. "He misses them terribly."

"I know," said the Rani. "I do, too. But it's different to miss having something around than to want something constantly in your presence. And if he liked them so much, then why did he rarely ever return home? It's because he couldn't stand staying there for so long, surrounded by those people who had spurned him. They did the same to me, but I would have jumped at the chance to return if they had allowed me. The Doctor could have gone home, but he chose to run away instead. He says it's all in the past, but I know he can never forgive them for what they did to him."

"And what did they do to him?" asked Jack.

The Rani was silent for a moment before taking a deep breath. "More than a race as superior as the Time Lords would be expected to do to a living being who wasn't threatening the destruction of the known universe, like most of the other renegades. He was only trying to make it a safer place to live in. Really, they've never treated me so horribly, or even the Master, I think. I don't know, there must be something encoded in the Doctor's DNA that makes him so easy to exploit."

"But what could they have done that was so terrible?" asked Jack.

"If he hasn't told you, then it's not my place to say."

"And yet you've been willing to share this much with me already?" said Jack.

"That's different," said the Rani. "This... what they did... it broke him. And once something's been broken, it's very difficult to fix it all completely. Believe me, I know."

"I do, too," said Jack. He looked down sadly at his nearly empty glass, picked it up, and swallowed its remaining contents.

The Rani looked at him, deciding something. "He was married once. Had children, grandchildren. They're all gone now. He lost them a long time ago."

Jack stared at her. "He never said..."

"No, he wouldn't," said the Rani. "He barely escaped with his own life. He stole a TARDIS and fled. And when they finally caught up to him, they exiled him, stranded him on Earth. Oh, they lifted the sentence eventually, but only because they had found a better use for him. It's sickening really, all they've done to him, all they've expected him to do with just a command. I suppose it's fitting that he should have been the one to watch it all burn, a sort of justice to all the pain they've caused him."

"I doubt that the Doctor agrees with you," said Jack.

"No," said the Rani. "He doesn't. Never has. That's our relationship, really. We both realize the potential of the other, but can't understand why the other sees the universe so differently. Do you know how much hypocrisy and injustice I've come across? And the Doctor wonders why I feel no emotions towards those I subject to my scientific experiments. And he loves Earth so much. Ha! Let me tell you about Earth..."

"I know all about Earth," said Jack, cutting her off suddenly before she could talk about his least favorite subject.

They sat in silence for a few more minutes until Jack stood up.

"Well," he said. "It was nice talking to you, Rani. I hope you and the Doctor can manage to work things out."

"I doubt it," she said. Jack started to turn away when she asked, "Are you going to tell him you saw me?"

"No," he said. "I'm kind of avoiding him myself right now. Basically, I'm staying clear of anyone who'll remind me of my past. There are some things I'm trying to forget, and the Doctor's kind of like a walking conscience."

"I know the feeling," said the Rani. "I won't ask what you did. Frankly, I don't care."

"Thanks," said Jack. "I guess." He turned to leave again.

"If it was for the greater good," she started saying. Jack paused to listen. "Then you have nothing to worry about. Everything I do, I do in the name of science and progress."

"Yeah," said Jack, somberly. "And where has that gotten you?"

He left the money for his drink on the counter and briskly walked out of the bar, leaving the Rani alone. But the Rani was used to that, wasn't she?