Author's Note: I was just finishing this story when I heard the news about Elisabeth Sladen. I had written this story to celebrate my husband being fortunate enough to survive his last battle with cancer. Because this story is about Leela, we are dedicating The Sarah Jane Memories to Elisabeth Sladen's memory. He once met her at a convention and to this day, he still remarks on her kindness.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Andred sighed as he wearily trudged through the corridors to his living quarters. It had been a really long day.
The new guards he was training were eager to do their best but they were too eager. Each of them kept trying to outdo the other in order to have been proven worthy of being chosen for the Chancellory Guard.
He was exhausted from repeatedly calling their attention back to himself. Maybe he should have taken Castellan Kelner's position when it had been offered to him after all.
Andred had been offered the former Castellan's position last year after the nasty business with the Sontarans and the Vardans. He had briefly considered taking the job but had refused so that he could ensure that the mutiny which had involved his men could never happen again.
It was a complete and utter shock to discover that several of the men that he had relied on could have so easily turned traitor. Weeding them out had been an unpleasant but necessary task.
The new Castellan was a highly respected, by the book man whose loyalty to Gallifrey was as fierce as his own. Castellan Gomer was a strict but fair man and apparently, very patient. Perhaps that was due to his being in his tenth regeneration, Andred thought with a smile.
Leela had once again cornered the Castellan this morning to advocate a secondary Chancellor Guard led by herself and Rodan. Her argument was that the Outsiders would be a permanent secondary line of defense against invaders with both Rodan and herself as liasons between the Citadel and Nesbin's tribe.
Although the Capitol had appreciated the assistance, they had no desire to further any attempts in integrating the exiles' old ways into present Gallifreyan life. Leela and Rodan were outraged at this initial reaction until they realized that Nesbin's tribe also had no desire to reunite with their fellow Time Lords.
The Outsiders had sworn that they would help out again if they were needed but their only desire was to go home. Andred, Leela and Rodan continued to stay in contact with them and that was how the idea of a defensive alliance had first come to mind. Castellan Gomer agreed that the idea had merit but the thought of constantly working alongside renegades continued to meet with opposition from the High Council.
Andred finally arrived home and dropped straight into his favorite armchair. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes as he remembered Leela's first few days on Gallifrey.
The very first incident was more amusing than distressing really. After the Doctor had left and things had settled, everyone had sat down for dinner and food tablets had been passed all around.
Leela picked hers up and looked at them with narrowed eyes asking, "What is this, Andred? Is this what you use to lure the animals on your planet into traps? What do you call it?"
Andred moved her hand to place the tablet in her mouth and replied, "Dinner."
Leela's eyes widened as the tablet dissolved on her tongue. "Dinner? This is considered food?"
Rodan looked curiously over at Leela and asked, "What are on you on about Leela? You must have seen the tablets when I showed them to Nesbin in the Wastelands."
"I never saw them! I was too busy keeping an eye on the tribesmen in case they attacked us again! Dinner. Ugh." Leela made a face filled with disgust while Andred and Rodan shared a sideways glance and tried not to laugh.
The next day, Andred brought Leela Gallifreyan robes to wear in place of her skins. He was delighted with her reaction to the thick, soft material with intricate designs.
They had spent the rest of the evening together and discussed their future plans until Andred left with the promise that she would be wearing her new robes the next time he saw her.
The following day's shift had been spent determining the extent of the damage that Castellan Kelner had created on behalf of the Sontarans. It was late evening when Andred arrived at Leela's doorstep and he was astounded to find that she had cut the material into the exact same fashions as her skins.
Leela spun around in a circle with her arms thrown out and a huge smile on her face. "What do you think, Andred?" I have never worn skins that were as luxurious as these garments before. The thickness and warmth of the material alone has made up for the ugliness of the pattern that was woven throughout the cloth."
Andred just stood there in awe as he gave her a slight smile. She seemed so pleased that he didn't have the heart to tell her that the ugly pattern was his family crest.
The following week led to the first true test of their relationship. Andred had arrived one morning for training exercises with his troops only to hear the tail end of the orders Leela issued as his men gave each other confused looks.
Andred immediately strode over to Leela and pulled her away from the men. "Leela! What in Rassilon's name were you doing?"
Leela laid her hand on his arm in a calming gesture. "I thought I would help you train them. They may have been adequate when they had their stasers but without their weapons, they were useless. Look, I'll show you."
Before Andred could grab Leela, she quickly proceeded to demonstrate how "useless" his guards were as they all fell like dominoes against Leela's savage fighting skills. Andred was outraged and shouted at his men to get back on their feet.
"I can't believe what I just witnessed with my own eyes! The last time I checked, you lot were able to take down a gargantosaur without the aid of weapons!" This last part had been said with a glare directed towards Leela.
"But Commander", one of the soldiers protested, "she's much worse!" The rest of the men all nodded and grunted in agreement.
Andred turned away from his men and saw Leela stood with her hands on her hips while she smirked at him. She watched Andred shut his eyes tight as he clenched his fists and took deep, even breaths. It was then that Leela realized that she had went too far.
She quickly reached into her pouch and looked nervous and hopeful as she gave him a peace offering. "Jelly baby?"
Andred started to storm off, but stopped and spun back around as he huffed in exasperation. He snatched the bag of jelly babies out of Leela's hand and returned to his men.
"Good evening, Master", greeted K-9 as he came into the lounge.
Andred opened his eyes and responded, "Good evening, K-9. How did things go today? Anything I should know about?"
"Affirmative, Master. You need to remain seated."
Andred's eyebrows drew together as he leaned forward and asked, "Why's that then?"
His eyes widened as a knife sailed past him and landed with a dull thunk in the wood carved statue that his mother had given them for their wedding. He also noticed several other deep notches in the statue that he was sure had not been there before.
"How was it this time, K-9?", inquired Leela from the kitchen.
"Target achieved again, Mistress. Master arrived home 4.5 minutes ago", replied K-9.
"You were supposed to have warned me before he came through the door, K-9!" hissed Leela from the doorway.
She entered the lounge and looked sheepish as she greeted Andred. "Hello, my love. How was your day?"
"Very long. I'm exhausted", he replied as he walked over to the statue and pulled out the knife. "Nice throw. Anything you would like to tell me?" He looked back at the statue. "Or my mother?"
Leela rolled her eyes and took the knife back. "No, of course not. Nesbin and Presta announced their betrothal and I wanted to honor that with a gift that I knew would be appreciated and useful. I've tested it out all afternoon."
"I can see that", replied Andred dryly. He shook his head slightly and smiled at her before both his expression and voice became serious. "Leela", he began,
"Castellan Gomer told me that he spoke with you this morning…"
Leela interrupted him almost immediately. "Andred, that man was impossible! He refused to listen to reason. Rodan has been wasted as a traffic controller…"
Andred had heard this argument many times before and so his thoughts drifted back to the struggles that Leela had faced with Gallifreyan mores. Alien races had never been looked upon very highly by his people. Close friends had been kind, but it had come as no surprise when Leela was generally treated with either indifference or disdain.
It had been difficult to find someone who would perform a marriage ceremony that both reflected and upheld the Gallifreyan and Sevateem traditions.
Her own native customs of a unified tribe enforced her beliefs that the citizens of the Capitol and the Outsiders needed unification as well. She was relentless in her attempts to recruit supporters, a fact that had been brought to Andred's attention on several occasions by all levels of government.
The greatest challenge had been with that same government in regards to any children that they intended to produce. Leela had given up so much that Andred readily agreed that any of their children would be conceived naturally.
Unfortunately, this same view had not been held by the Council. The High Council had insisted that any of their progeny would be loomed in order to eradicate any unacceptable genetic material. Andred had taken this as a personal slur against Leela and fought the Council with every supportive argument that could possibly be considered effective.
To this day, it amazed Andred that a situation that could have torn them apart so easily had instead brought them closer together. He was ashamed to admit that in those early days, he had questioned whether he and Leela had made the right choice when they had decided to marry.
It was common Gallifreyan practice to form a union between houses for political gain or the benefit of exemplary DNA material for looming, but marriages were rarely based on love.
How much easier would his life had been if he had followed his world's customs instead of his heart? He had often wondered in the beginning if it had been worth it.
Leela's laughter drew Andred out of his reverie and he looked over and watched her as she lifted their two month old son, Andrain, from his bassinet. Andred smiled as he remembered how Andrain's conception had ended the battle with the Council quite succinctly.
Leela walked over to Andred and handed him their son. He embraced them both, kissed Leela on her temple and let out a sigh that released his frustration and revealed his contentment.
"Oh, yes", he thought to himself, "she was worth it."