Author's Note: There is a scene in The Invasion of Time where Andred tries to help Leela pick out something to wear to the Fourth Doctor's induction ceremony for Lord President and he becomes so tired of waiting for her to find something that he is over enthusiastic when she holds up the ugliest dress. A brief mention of that scene will be referenced in the story. Also, there is an inside joke at the end of the story that refers to a scene from She's Worth It.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Alien, muses Andred's mother, Ambalika, as she strolls leisurely through the corridors of the Citadel. I'm going to have an alien for a daughter-in-law.
She continues to allow her thoughts to roam as she recalls everything Andred had told her about the Sontaran invasion and Leela and the Doctor's part in saving Gallifrey. Theta Sigma, her old friend, became a renegade long ago before recently ascending to the office of Lord President and then back to renegade again. She laughs softly to herself as she ponders, Will wonders never cease? Oh, Theta, you always brought such life to the Academy. Things were never dull when you were around.
As she nears the community dining area, she observes her surroundings and notes that Andred and his bride-to-be have yet to arrive. Ambalika decides to seat herself while she waits and takes a moment to ruminate, I do have to wonder though, Theta Sigma, what have you brought upon my House?
****Meanwhile, in Leela's living quarters****
Andred's grip continuously tightens and releases on the armchair as he taps his foot impatiently while Leela prepares to meet his mother.
"Andred, are you alright?" questions Leela in concern. "You act as though a predator's about to strike."
"There is, Leela," he replies dryly. "Remember, we're meeting my mother."
Leela smiles in response and reassures, "I'm sure that she's not that bad, Andred." Then with a mischievous gleam in her eyes, she adds, "Besides, if you're that worried that she's going to cause problems between us then I'll simply kill her."
Andred's foot pauses mid-tap while he clutches the armrest for support and suffers a moment of stunned silence before Leela breaks out into laughter. "That's not funny, Leela!"
Leela struggles to catch her breath as she gasps, "Oh, Andred, you should have seen the look on your face!" Her chuckles immediately subside once she spies his stern expression.
Obviously still trying to contain her amusement, Leela clears her throat as she calms down enough to apologize. "I'm sorry, Andred, I shouldn't tease you when you're so upset."
She walks over to him to put her arms around him while she settles herself in his lap. Andred advises, "Anymore wriggling and we won't make it to the luncheon with my mother." He rests his forehead against hers with a sigh and states, "Which, come to think of it, may not be such a bad idea."
Leela smiles softly as she lays her hand on the back of his neck and slowly drags her fingers through his hair in an effort to calm him. When he begins to hum peacefully, she poses, "Just relax, my love. I'm sure everything will be fine."
He gazes at her steadily, watching the various emotions flit across her face, each one revealing her own nervousness, hope and trepidation. He has been so caught up in his own worry and with the aftermath of the Sontaran invasion that he has forgotten all of the adjustments and prejudices that Leela has had to face since deciding to remain on Gallifrey.
During the time that she had been there, Leela had went from the Doctor's companion traveling throughout time and space to being forced to remain shut up in the Citadel until every test that the High Council had ordered was performed and returned with results that met with their satisfaction. Not to mention, the numerous slurs that they had encountered in way of repugnant looks, condescending tones and murmurs and hushed whispers of 'alien' and 'invader'.
For the first time in what felt like a long time, Andred relinquishes all of the stress and aggravation that they've both experienced the past week and focuses all of his attention on her. "You're right, Leela," he declares more confidently than he actually feels. "I'm sure that I'm worrying over nothing."
He leans back as he takes her hands in his own and studies her features. "And how are you holding up? I know that this hasn't been the easiest week for you."
"I'm fine, Andred," she replies half-heartedly. When he opens his mouth to contradict her, she adds, "Honestly, I am fine. It's just…," she trails off with downcast eyes not wanting to upset him again.
"Just?" he insists as he places his hand under her chin to force her to meet his gaze.
She releases her own frustrated sigh as she confides, "It's just all of the tests that they've done. Every time that I think that it's over, your Council comes up with something else." The trace of disgust on her face rapidly changes to one of worry as she asks her next question. "Can they prevent us from having a child, Andred? What happens if the results of the tests are not what they want to see? Will they not allow us to have a family or even marry?"
His hold on her hands tightens as he explains, "It's true that the tests they're performing are to determine not only if we're genetically compatible but also if any child that we produce would be genetically acceptable as well. If the results are not to their liking, they can deny us access to the Looms but they cannot deny us the right to marry."
A sudden spark of indignation alights in Leela's eyes as she bolts upright from Andred's lap and crosses her arms in defiance. There is fire in her gaze when she turns to him and vehemently proclaims, "They have no right to deny us anything!" She stalks back and forth across the room while claiming, "Do not misunderstand me, Andred! I am very grateful that they cannot stop our marriage but I absolutely refuse to take part in those Looms! They are unholy and unnatural and I will not allow my child to be born of a machine!"
Andred swiftly crosses the room and takes Leela in his arms in a gesture of comfort. "Neither will I, Leela, I swear. You have given up everything for me and I won't have you giving up any more. On this you have my most solemn vow. I would be honored if you would carry my child."
Leela clings to him tightly as she counters, "It would be a privilege for both of us, Andred. The Sevateem consider the birth of a child a great blessing for the union between a man and woman." She pulls back to tell him, "And please never feel as though I have given up anything to be with you. You have given me everything as hopefully I will for you. That is how it should be between a husband and wife."
"You already have, my love," he whispers as he kisses her gently. "You have given me more than I could have ever thought possible."
Their romantic interlude is interrupted by the alarm chimes reminding them of their meeting. They both look at each other with resigned expressions before parting with one last kiss so that Leela can go dress for the luncheon.
He halts her departure when he grabs her arm and questions, "Do you need me to help you pick out anything?"
"Oh, yes please, Andred," she remarks dryly. "Because we both know how well that worked out last time."
He returns her teasing smile with his own sarcastic one while she retreats behind the changing screen. "Besides," she calls out, "Rodan helped me choose something that she said would be more appropriate."
Andred returns to his seat and scans the room for K-9. "Leela, where is K-9 today? He's not with the Council again, is he?"
"No," returns Leela with a hint of resentment. "Apparently K-9 met their standards right away. He's keeping Rodan company while she's on duty. I think that she's still trying to get him to tell her how she made the Demat gun that defeated the Sontarans."
Andred chuckles softly at the thought of Rodan interrogating K-9. She would have better luck with Chancellor Borusa.
He drums his fingers against the armrest and quizzes, "Have you decided on any topics to discuss with my mother?"
"I don't usually impress people with my words, Andred. In my tribe, it is the custom to impress your mate and his family with your skills as a Sevateem warrior," she tells him proudly.
Andred bears a slight grimace as he informs her, "Hunting and killing won't impress my mother, Leela."
She pokes her head out around the corner of the screen and inquires, "Then what will?"
He offers her a sad sort of smile when he declares, "Talking, only by telling her about yourself will you be able to impress her."
"Oh," mumbles Leela forlornly, "I see."
Her eyes widen hopefully as she suggests, "You know, if your mother really wanted to learn more about me then we should all go to the Wastelands together. Then she can see what I am truly like when I am in a more familiar territory."
Andred laughs but abruptly stops when she just stares at him in bewilderment. "You were making a joke, weren't you Leela?"
"No," states Leela a little huffily. "I was not."
Realizing his error, Andred rapidly attempts to make amends. "I wouldn't suggest it just yet, Leela. I wouldn't care to see the two of you together in the Wastelands until I'm sure that the two of you are able to interact without any problems. Not all Gallifreyans regenerate and well…you, not at all. Let's simply take one step at a time, shall we?"
Leela's expression is a mixture of fret and displeasure at his response as she goes back behind the screen to finish dressing. "Leela, are you almost finished?" queries Andred. "I don't want us to be late."
No sooner than he asks then she appears from behind the changing screen to stand before him in proper Gallifreyan robes. She smoothes down her robes in a nervous gesture and questions hesitantly, "Will this be alright?"
His gaze rakes over her gowned form and he has to remember to take a breath so that he doesn't automatically kick in his extra respiratory bypass. "Leela," he murmurs huskily, "you look beautiful."
She beams back at him even though her eyes still reflect her unease. "So this is acceptable, then? It will make a good impression on your mother?"
"Yes," answers Andred as he walks over to her. "Yes, of course it will, but why are you wearing them? I thought you preferred your own attire as you found Gallifreyan robes too constricting."
"I still do," she admits honestly, "but this first meeting with your mother is very important, and I did not wish to embarrass you."
He gazes at her with love and compassion as he raises his hand to cradle her cheek and assures, "That could never happen. Are you sure that you want to wear this, Leela? I want you to feel comfortable and I know how stifling you find our garments."
"I will be fine," promises Leela. "Besides, it will only be for the luncheon and then you can always help me out of them later." His returning smile is quickly becoming predatory at her statement and she knows that they really do need to hurry if they don't want to miss his mother all together.
Leela is highly amused to note Andred's disappointment when she grabs his hand and tugs him towards the hall leading towards the entranceway instead of the bed. "Come, Andred, it's time to meet your mother."
To Be Continued…