Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Leela has been awake for the past hour lying on a woven pallet and ensconced in furs that were given to her by the Outsiders. She is leaning on her elbow with her head propped up by her hand and grinning madly as she gazes down at her husband of the past twenty four hours. This is how Andred awakens to find her.
"Good morning, my love. I've been waiting for you to wake up," she greets cheerfully before leaning over to kiss him thoroughly.
"Oh?" he asks with a gleam in his eye when they come up for air. He turns on his side and trails his fingers up and down her arm. "And why is that, exactly?"
Her eyes widen in excitement as she divulges, "I have very special plans to begin our morning."
Andred draws her closer and slowly kisses her neck as he inquires, "And what would your plans entail?"
Although extremely responsive to his ministrations at first, Andred is completely taken aback by Leela's sudden change in mood when she pulls away from him and enthuses, "We are going on a hunt! I overheard Presta and Nesbin talking about it! They thought that we would not be interested seeing as we are on our honeymoon but I assured them otherwise."
She quickly jumps up and stands over him, utterly unabashed in her nakedness and urges, "Hurry up, Andred, or we will miss our opportunity to bring in the first kill!"
He watches her move around the hut as she gathers her things and flops back down onto the pallet with his arm thrown over his eyes and groans good-naturedly. "Just allow me a moment to compose myself, Leela." He lifts his arm to sneak another peek at his wife while she's dressing and groans again. "Or at least give me another five minutes."
Leela is oblivious to Andred's discomfort as she tugs on her boots. "Well, you had better move more quickly before you lose your chance to capture your prey."
He watches her leave the hut with a backward glance and smile tossed over her shoulder and silently bemoans, I think I already have.
Andred pushes himself up to a sitting position and smirks in amusement when he recalls Leela mentioning that the Doctor once told her how newly married people would hide in the bathroom because of nerves. He thought back to the amenities that he had to use when they arrived late last night and decided that he would rather hide from the bathroom.
With a resigned sigh, he reaches for a handful of leaves sitting in the bowl next to the pallet before grabbing his clothes so that he can head outside. Oh well, time to put that survival training to use.
During the hunt, Leela is eagerly scouting ahead with Nesbin and Presta while Andred lags behind. More out of boredom than hunger, he begins to pick up berries along the trail and eat them until he comes across a patch that is particularly horrid. In fact, the taste is so vile that he immediately begins spitting them out.
Intently listening for the slightest sound, Leela becomes instantly alerted to Andred's distress and runs over shouting, "Andred, no! Don't eat those, they're -"
"I know," states Andred bitterly as he drags the back of his hand across his mouth in revulsion, "they're disgusting!"
"No," replies Leela in dismay with a bit of a pout, "they're incredibly potent for causing impotence. Jasko told me about them earlier."
Andred sends a glare Jasko's way as he growls, "Well, he didn't tell me!"
"He must have forgotten to mention it," soothes Leela as she attempts to placate him by taking one of his hands in hers and running her other hand gently through his hair.
"Yes, instead he was too busy spending the entire morning mooning over Rodan!" he spits out heatedly along with the last remaining remnants of berries. Andred's temper is enough to send Jasko scurrying behind Rodan, who as best friend to the married couple, tries her best to maintain a look of compassion versus the one of amusement that's threatening to break out.
Leela wipes off the few traces of berries that Andred missed as Nesbin walks past them full of laughter. "Don't worry about the berries lad, their effects only last a few hours!" His laughter abruptly halts at Presta's chiding glance and he innocently asks, "What? You thought it was funny when it happened to me."
****A Brief Respite****
When the day grows steadily hotter and the hunting party decides that it is time to take a rest, they set out for the nearest lake so that they may enjoy a small meal and partake in a swim to cool down. Leela is thrilled to have found a part of the lake that is far away enough from the others and contains a cove to give Andred and her a little privacy. Alerting him to her discovery, it is determined between the two of them that she will head off first to the cove while Andred assists the rest of the men in unpacking the supplies before joining her.
A half hour later Andred makes his way to the cove and grins when he hears Leela splashing in the water. He is just passing through the foliage that hides their path from everyone's view when he spies one of the Outsiders, Iskios, watching Leela as she swims, completely unaware that she has an audience.
"Beautiful," the voyeur murmurs as he continues to watch her swim. Needless to say that he shocked to hear an answering voice behind him.
"Yes, she is," replies Andred before knocking Iskios unconscious. He storms over to the clearing and yells for Leela to head back into shore. Using strong, sure strokes, she swiftly glides to the shore where Andred hurriedly lifts her out of the water and wraps her in the blanket that he had brought with him. "Gather your things, Leela, we are going to rejoin the others!"
"What? Why?" she asks in confusion until she spots Iskios lying on the ground and immediately starts to walk over to check on him. Before she can reach him, Andred grabs her arm and yanks her back to him and begins dragging her away from the area.
Perplexed at her husband's behavior as he has always been so concerned with others well-being, she tries to dig her heels into the ground to halt their stride but to no avail. "Andred, stop! What is wrong with you? We cannot just leave him there, he could be hurt!"
"Forget him," he orders in a curt tone, "he'll be fine. He just caught something."
Leela clutches the blanket tighter around her as it begins to fall. "Caught something? Like what?"
Andred's tone is as hard as his gaze as he replies in a low growl, "My fist."
****After the Hunt****
The newlyweds are back in their hut and Andred is lying face down on their pallet while Leela straddles his back to better massage a healing balm into his skin. He lets out a groan and begs, "A little more gently, Leela, please."
"I am so sorry, my love," apologizes Leela. "I was hoping that your sunburn would at least ease the sting of the insect bites. Living my entire life outdoors has toughened my skin against such problems, much like the other Outsiders. It is why I didn't think to warn you."
Her soft touch turns into a caress in an effort to bring him some much needed relief as she steadily runs her hands up, down and over his body until his sudden squirming nearly dislodges her. "Andred, you need to try and remain still if you want the balm to soak in and work properly."
"I am trying, Leela, but the swelling is causing me quite a bit of discomfort," he informs her with a soft moan.
Amusement filling her at this latest development, Leela attempts to restrain her laughter by biting down hard on her bottom lip before speaking. "Isn't that type of reaction natural between two lovers, even on Gallifrey?"
Her eyes widen in alarm when he twists his upper body to turn around and face her. His eyes are nearly swollen shut and his skin is mottled with varying shades of red. "I think that I'm allergic to the balm."
She briefly closes her eyes in defeat at the sight of his misery before gazing back at him in sympathy and sighing. "Oh, Andred."
***The Next Morning****
Andred is wide awake but continues to keep his eyes closed as he reminisces about their wedding day. Although the Council had not been able to prevent their union, they were not about to encourage it either. It had been extremely difficult to find someone to marry them and in fact, most likely would have been impossible, if not for an old family friend who was retired but was still legally allowed to officiate marriage ceremonies.
Once they were finally able to stand before their guests, the only thing to stand between them was Gamos, an old friend of his father's who was kind enough to conduct the ceremony.
The ceremony was brief but full of love as the formalities of a Gallifreyan union were spoken to make way for the offerings of a Sevateem tribal ritual. Nesbin stood behind Andred holding a basket of his offerings while Rodan did the same for Leela.
Andred was the first to begin his offerings. "Leela, in honor of the Sevateem, I offer you four articles of tribute, one for each phase of the life that we live, the lives of child, adult, parent and elder. First, I present you with this multi-colored jewel to reflect the array of color that you brought into my life. Second, I present you with these seeds from one of our silver trees so that it may represent the strength of our union as each year passes. Third, I present you with an Amaranthos flower, it is a flower that does not fade, to remind us of the everlasting love and commitment that we share. Lastly, I present you with this simple spy-glass so that we may never lose sight of our future together. I bid thee to accept these offerings as I offer you my love."
Leela's eyes shine bright as she takes her own turn to recite her vows. "Andred, I hereby accept your love and all that it entails. In honor of the Sevateem, I offer you four articles of tribute, one for each phase of the life that we live, the lives of child, adult, parent and elder. First, I present you with this tip of a spear as a vow to protect your life with my own. Second, I present you with this collection of extracts. Their combination represents the physical offerings of your world and the knowledge of mine which proves that we can accomplish anything together. Third, I present you with a Philial bracelet. It is woven with multi-colored strands of cloth to symbolize our friendship and my promise to remain your friend as I become your lover and whatever else you may need me to be. Lastly, I present you with a Phuton plant that bears both karpos fruit and karuon nuts to reflect the children that our union will bear. I bid thee to accept these offerings as I offer you my love."
Caught in the moment, Andred gruffly replies, "Leela, I hereby accept your love and all that it entails."
Gamos wears a soft smile as he approaches them with a Gallifreyan bonding cord and he wraps it around their wrists and joined hands to finish with it trailing down between their clasped hands. "As you are bound with this cord, you are now bound in life in hearts, mind and soul. I hereby pronounce you husband and wife."
The officiator steps back and watches the couple with a kind gaze and they simply stare at each other in awe that their union has finally taken place. When the now declared husband and wife have fully embraced and accepted the joining of their lives, Leela unexpectedly pulls Andred to her for a kiss.
He draws back slightly and murmurs curiously, "I wasn't aware that kissing was part of the Sevateem tradition."
"It's not," responds Leela huskily, "it is a custom of Earth."
Andred's eyes widen as he declares, "First jelly babies and now this? I love Sol 3!" And then he holds her tightly to him for another kiss. The knowing chuckles from their guests draw the couple's attention back to them and they look on at their friends and family in happiness and gratitude for coming to show their love and support for their union.
It had been a very small gathering but anyone who had truly meant anything to them was able to attend and after a celebratory dinner hosted by Andred's parents, they had left for the Wastelands for their honeymoon with Rodan and a few of the visiting Outsiders in tow.
Andred slowly drifts back to the present as he opens his eyes, and once again finds his wife leaning on her elbow with her head propped up by her hand while staring down at him, but this time with an anxious frown instead of a radiant smile.
"What's wrong, my love?" he asks as he reaches up to cup her cheek.
"Our honeymoon is a complete disaster and it was only the first day!" moans Leela. "I only wanted to share my way of living with you and now you are never going to want to come back here."
Andred's smile is wry as he muses, "I wouldn't say never, Leela. I am a soldier, remember? I am well aware of the variables for unplanned or unfortunate events that can occur during an expedition in the wild." He runs his hand through his hair in consternation. "Although, I have to admit that I have never known any to occur so frequently or all at once."
Leela laughs and lays her head on his shoulder while he idly plays with her hair. He steels himself for her answer and then inquires casually, "So, what are our plans for today?"
She raises her head to gaze slyly at him and purr seductively, "Well, I don't need to hunt for anything because I have everything that I need right here," and then she gently kisses his lips. "I have no need for a bathing pool because I easily drown in the depths of your eyes," and kisses his neck. "And there is nothing that I would prefer to feast on other than what's right in front of me," and she kisses his jaw and adds, "I require no balm as I would never wish for anything to come between us."
Andred stares at her mutely in utter awe at her words until he is finally able to find his voice. "Wow. You really are afraid that I won't want to come back here, aren't you?"
Leela's expression is sheepish as she asks, "Is it that obvious?"
Andred laughs heartily before reassuring her. "Of course we'll come back here, Leela. I enjoy our friendship with the Outsiders too much to stay away. Besides, although our world is foreign to you, the Outsiders' lifestyle is still similar to your own native upbringing and I would never deny you the chance to experience that. I know how much that you love it out here and we will come back as often as we can."
At her look of relief, he adds, "And if you ever find that you are unable to tolerate the Citadel then we will simply move out here permanently."
Unable to comprehend her good fortune at finding a man who is willing to compromise so much, Leela slowly shakes her head disbelievingly. "You would do that for me?"
"No," declares Andred firmly as he tangles a hand in her hair. "I would do that for us. I want you to be happy, Leela. I want both of us to be happy. It's going to be hard at times but I know that we can make this work."
He gazes intently at her as he vows, "I want us to share every aspect of our life together without fear of judgment or regret." When he sees her answering smile, he proceeds to validate his promise with all of the love in his heart, the wave of emotions surging through their newly formed bonding link and in deed.