Let's Try Not To Argue
Set post-Day of the Doctor.
First two chapters are gen if you don't want the femslash but want to see them interact.
For Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, the end of the day had not come a moment too soon. With a sigh of utter relief, she packed away her files and left the Tower of London with thoughts only of her bed. National security could wait until tomorrow.
Her apartment was only a ten minute walk from the Tower of London, for practicality. But she had only walked halfway when she came to a stop. It was probably nothing, but she couldn't shake the idea that one of the pillars next to her was somehow odd. When she approached the one that was irritating her, she realised the problem. It was exactly like the others in every way - except for the fact that before today it had not been there. Walking past the pillars every day meant that she was sure that she was right.
Her hand reached out to touch it. The pillar hummed and she would have been baffled if she hadn't felt that hum once before, from the Doctor's TARDIS. Perhaps that's what it was, another TARDIS. She had heard something about most TARDIS' supposedly being able to change shape, but that the Doctor's was faulty somehow.
Before she could make a decision about what to do or think about it, a nearby voice made her jump.
"Hands off," said a very short, very cross looking woman standing a few feet away. "That's not yours."
"I take it I can't say the same," Kate said mildly, and her guess seemed to have merit if the other woman's tiny smirk was anything to go by.
"No," She replied somewhat wryly.
"Are you a Time Lord?"
The small woman was entirely caught by surprise. "Yes." Then she recovered from the shock and frowned. "Let me guess...you're an acquaintance of that bumbling idiot, the Doctor."
"He's hardly a bumbling idiot, but yes," Kate answered. "How can you be here? I thought you were all dead or locked in a single moment in time."
"Escaping from a stasis cube is not terribly tricky, if you've got the brain and the right kind of help," the woman said offhandedly, but her cool demeanour was interrupted by a sudden coughing fit that had her bending over double.
"Are you alright?" Before Kate could lend a helping hand, she was swotted away.
"Three days ago I got out of the greatest war in the history of the universe, if I were alright, I'd be lying," she snapped.
"You said you had help."
"Yes, the Master is quite ingenious in the very rare instances that he can focus." Seeing Kate's alarmed face, the woman chuckled a little. "I take it you are familiar with him. I wouldn't be worried, he helped with my escape but said he had his own way out. Told me there was a planet in the Tornado Nebula he'd always wanted dominion over, so assuming he did get out, that's probably what he's up to."
"That's very reassuring to hear," Kate said. "There are too many files in our database about the incidents that would occur when he decided to drop in."
The Gallifreyan woman leaned on the pillar, breathing heavily and looked tired, but no less alert. "And what database might that be?"
Kate hesitated, but decided just giving her the name couldn't hurt. "UNIT."
"Ah yes. Unified International Taskforce?"
"Unified Intelligence Taskforce."
"Intelligence? You lot?" The Time Lord sneered. "From what I recall, you're just a bunch of trigger happy soldiers who think they know about aliens. And you don't even look like that."
"I'm for all intents and purposes their commanding officer. And it's different now. We still have the soldiers, yes, but it's under my regime."
"Which is what?" It was obvious that she wasn't expecting much of an answer.
"Science leads," Kate said simply. In response, she got raised eyebrows and a minuscule nod.
"Perhaps you're a fraction less idiotic than I thought. Regardless, I'd best be going. I think this body has about ten minutes left to live, and I have calibrations inside to get done first."
"Wait," the human blurted, "Do you have a name? A title, like the Doctor?"
"I am the Rani," came the reply. With that and a swish of strawberry blonde hair, she disappeared behind the pillar, which dematerialised silently half a minute later.
So with a head no longer solely concerned with bed, Kate Stewart continued on her way home.
Two months later, Kate was walking through the gallery with a cup of tea, half as a lunch break and half as a way of assuring herself that all was well there after the Zygon fiasco three months before.
So when she rounded a corner and spotted a statue that she had never seen before, she was naturally quite suspicious. She may not be the curator, but she would have known if a new piece of art had arrived.
Kate turned around to see a woman she had never seen before leaning against the opposite wall. But there was something in the alert eyes, the smirk, and the enigma of the statue. She suddenly had a very good idea who she was talking to.
"The Rani, I take it?"
She got a nod for an answer, and Kate nodded slowly back. She knew about regeneration, obviously, her father had probably met more versions of the Doctor than anyone else – except for perhaps that Sarah Jane Smith. But seeing regeneration on someone who wasn't the Doctor, and remembering that it wasn't just the quirk of one extraordinary man but a normal life process for an entire species…
The Rani was no longer absurdly tiny, which had to be a relief to the woman. Her now longer hair was auburn and tied into an extremely tight braid that hung over her shoulder. While her previous body had barely looked thirty, this one was more around early to mid forties. Her face was mature and not exactly pretty but definitely not ugly either. Instead, unique…and the kind of face that made one want to stare and decipher its secrets.
But Kate Lethbridge-Stewart did not stare, or let an alien render her a gaping codfish – not that she was doing anything of the sort.
The Rani's sharp grey eyes watched her with something close to amusement. "You catch on quickly for an ape," her new and lower voice said.
"It's not difficult to work out."
"No, but you humans have difficulty with the most basic of thought processes."
"How do you know my name? I didn't give it to you before."
The Time Lady shrugged. "I looked you up. I didn't realise that your father was the esteemed Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Not that I take interest in many Earth affairs, but I did have a lengthy school education in which it was briefly mentioned in our studies of other planets."
"If you're not interested in it, why have you come to it twice now?" Kate countered, and the other woman just frowned.
"My usual planet of residence has been…contaminated. Ruined by the Time War. Habitable, sure, but now in complete chemical inbalance. Useless for my work now!" She said with a huff, sounding very brassed off.
"You didn't live on Gallifrey?"
"Of course not! Bunch of snivelling moronic politicians, the lot of them."
"Then which planet did you live on?" Not that it was likely to be one that Kate had heard of, but it seemed polite to ask.
"Miasimia Goria," The Rani said, with a mix of pride and disdain in her tone. "I had the entire population enslaved and forced to help me with my work. It was almost perfect for my experiments. And now look at me. I was aiming for the Cretaceous period, and my TARDIS is so battered that it landed me here instead! This is the Doctor's territory, and I don't care for it in the slightest."
Kate had lifted an eyebrow at 'entire population enslaved' but blinked and let it pass. "If you don't care for it, why don't you just leave?"
"The atom accelerator spun out, it hasn't recalibrated yet, probably won't for another half an hour. I'm stuck in this miserable hole of a place."
"Well then, it looks like you'll spending the next half an hour standing there and feeling sorry for yourself," Kate told her, wondering why either of them were bothering with each other's company in the first place, "Unless you decide to look on the bright side and go have some food or look at a few of the art pieces. Which might be marginally less miserable than not doing so."
With that, she walked off without bothering to see if the alien took her advice. Most likely not.
Two weeks after that, Kate was sitting on her favourite bench and watching the ravens when someone sat down next to her. When she saw who it was, she sighed.
"For someone who claims to find this place miserable, you tend to turn up here quite a lot," Kate said to the Rani, who was eyeing the ravens suspiciously.
"Why do you have mechanical ravens?" She asked, ignoring the woman's statement.
"Does it matter?"
"Then why did you ask?"
The Rani didn't answer.
Kate glanced sideways at her. "Why are you here?"
"Because my TARDIS has malfunctioned again and you seem to be the only person in this city worth speaking to," the Rani muttered. Kate wasn't sure whether it was a twisted compliment or not, but it certainly sounded like one.
"Where's your TARDIS this time?"
"Covent Garden." There was a brief silence.
Kate spoke up. "Are you a scientist?"
The blonde nodded. "I see. And you can't do your work somewhere like here instead of that planet?"
"Not unless you want a bunch of violent, idiotic men starting fights and riots in the streets…such are the side-effects of my experiments on humans," the Rani said, her lip curling, "Not that I would have qualms about doing it, but in the past when I have used this planet I have tended to use time periods in the middle of wars so as to not draw attention to myself."
"No, I wouldn't want that," Kate said, still rather unsure how she felt about the alien woman next to her. Sometimes she seemed intriguing and at other times quite disturbing. "It occurs to me that there must be as much variation in Time Lords and their morality as there is in humans. And knowing that you were an ally of the Master…in all honesty, how would the Doctor react to finding out that I've been speaking to you? Because obviously the two of you have met."
The Rani laughed. It was an odd sound, low and throaty. "He's the forgiving type. I've not attempted anything massively 'inhumane' on lower species recently, so I think that he would be confused, but not overly worried for your safety, if that's what you wanted to know."
It was, but Kate had no intentions of admitting so.
"I see. How long are you stuck here for this time?"
"At least 24 hours," the Rani muttered, one of her hands clenching into a fist.
"In that case, perhaps you would care to join me for lunch." It was odd enough for Kate just to ask, but the Time Lady looked utterly bemused at the offer.
"And why on Earth would I want to have lunch with you? Or vice versa, for that matter."
"You have nothing better to do and I imagine that you'll make for interesting conversation," Kate replied. Then she got up and motioned for a distant Osgood to approach. "Call ahead and ask my regular to put me at a table for two today. I'll be there shortly."
"Yes, Ma'am," the girl said with a nod. Kate thanked her and turned to look at the Rani.
"Are you coming?"
The dark haired woman just sighed and rose from the bench. "I suppose so, but you're paying, I don't have a single piece of currency on me."
The walk there was completely silent. Finally they arrived at the small but upmarket café where Kate had lunch alone every day. Most people would find such a thing lonely, but Kate found it a pleasant place to be able to gather her thoughts and take a short break from having her attention demanded by absolutely everybody. She loved her job and was extremely dedicated to it, but being so important could be rather draining.
She led the Rani over to a table by the window and sat down, gesturing for the other woman to do the same. The alien did so hesitantly and almost reluctantly. She looked as though she regretted coming already. Her grey eyes darted around the room, resting on every human inside it in turn.
It occurred to Kate that being entirely surrounded by aliens – as that would be how it felt – was not necessarily the most calming experience. Not even for someone as disdainful and arrogant as the Rani seemed to be.
"So, of what nature were the experiments you carried out on that planet? Miasigoria?"
"Miasimia Goria," the Rani corrected, her eyes finally settling on Kate. "And why do you want to know?"
"Well, Time Lords are geniuses. I happen to believe the Doctor to be one of if not the greatest mind in the universe-" Her words made the Rani snort, "-but you consider him a bumbling idiot. Naturally, then, I am curious about you and your scientific exploits."
"I take a great interest in altering the biochemistry in the bodies of other species, but also enjoy investigating the chemicals of the brain," the Time Lady replied, "The brain and its functions are obviously fascinating. Even the human brain. Actually, I will admit that the human brain is one of the most interesting of all."
"All those things that interfere with it. Protective instinct over one's young – though that one is common enough and understandable from an evolutionary perspective. Hormones. Pheromones. Lust. Love." The last word was said with a noticeable amount of scorn.
"Are you trying to tell me that Time Lords experience none of those things?" Kate asked sceptically.
"Hormones, no. Pheromones, occasionally. Lust?" Her mouth curled into a smirk. "Generally looked down upon as a waste of time or giving into primitive instincts."
"Holding any sort of strong sentiment for another person is weak. Also, I think it scared them."
Kate blinked in surprise. The idea of a superior race being scared by something so trivial was absurd. "In what way?"
"It can't be explained by science, not even by ours. That alone is almost close to our sort of blasphemy," the Rani explained. "Also, my race tend to be inherently self-serving and self-absorbed."
"But the Doctor seems like an incredibly loving person. The love he has for his companions, and for this entire planet…"
"The Doctor is an anomaly, a renegade who like me and some others, found those on Gallifrey terribly dull and so left." The Rani paused as two cups of tea were brought to the table and placed in front of them. Once the server had left, she resumed. "He feels in a way that the rest of us could not begin to comprehend. He cares. Why he cares so completely for this planet in particular, I have no idea."
"I always thought that it was the people. The kind of people that travel with him."
"I met a whiny, loud American with more breasts than brains, and a pathetic ginger with terrible taste in clothing. Neither were impressive in the slightest, except perhaps in their unwavering trust in the idiot."
Kate frowned thoughtfully. "Well, I believe that his taste has improved. His current companion, Clara Oswald, is more than a match for him in every way. And before that, he had a young married couple. One of them a nurse and the other a Scottish ginger, who definitely kept him in line."
The Rani's lips twitched, and her grey eyes held a glint of amusement. "I very much approve of how you speak of him as if he needs a babysitter."
"He does. Such has been the case since he was an adolescent."
"You've known him a long time then," Kate remarked.
"The Doctor, the Master and I were all at school together. The two of them were best friends, completely inseparable. Not that it lasted, but you are aware of how the nature of their relationship turned out, no doubt."
The blonde nodded. "You're rather forthcoming for someone who claims to not be overly fond of us."
"Well, it's not exactly personal information," the Rani said.
"You said that I was the only human worth talking to around here. What makes me so different?"
"You're not so different, but rather just different enough."
"Even so, I still don't see why I'm worth your time."
"Like you said, I don't have anything better to do," the Rani said wryly. "Besides, I think I shall conduct a sort of investigation of my own."
"An investigation of what?"
The Rani took a brief sip of her tea before making a face and putting it back on the table. "You claim that the Doctor's interest in this planet is the people. Therefore, I think I will see if any of its inhabitants impress me enough to make me reevaluate my opinion."
"I think that's a great idea," Kate said honestly, "In a whole planet of nearly seven billion people, one of them is bound to keep your interest somehow."
"I think one already has," the Rani said, her eyes meeting Kate's brown ones as they widened slightly in surprise. "Or at least enough to warrant further investigation."
"Me?" Kate felt it necessary to be sure of her meaning. When the other woman nodded, she frowned. "Firstly, I'm a rather busy woman and there aren't exactly a lot of opportunities for you to 'investigate' me. Secondly, why on Earth have I kept your interest? Surely someone like Richard Dawkins or Einstein would be far more up your alley?"
The Rani seemed to find that immensely funny and began sniggering. "No."
"Well, why me?"
"I'd have thought it was obvious. Head of Scientific Research at a military that specialises in aliens. You have all those men under your control, and you've changed them to how you want them to be. Science leads." She tilted her head to regard Kate with quiet interest. "Has it ever occurred to you, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, that you're almost remarkable for a human?"
Kate blinked and then just stared as she tried to form an answer in her head. "I'm just a woman who does a necessary job because I don't trust anyone else to do it."
The Rani scowled. "Your humility is irritating. The only thing worse than someone overestimating their own skills is someone underestimating them."
"If I'm so irritating, then don't investigate me," Kate said mildly, thinking it might be much easier for her mental well-being if this woman didn't keep popping up.
The alien frowned. "Tempting..." She shook her head as a small smile settled on her lips. "But no. It may be irritating but somehow, I think your complete humility may be the key as to why you do such a good job. And I looked you up, so I know that you do."
"As long as you realise that there are certain parts of my day that you can't interrupt for national security reasons...I suppose don't see any reason why you can't 'investigate' me."
"I expected you to be much less accepting of someone barging into your life."
"My reasons are simple enough. You are judging the entirety of humanity on me. Therefore, if I can impress you, in theory you'll be impressed by humanity, and might be willing to come to its aid should it need your expertise. Having one Time Lord for an ally is invaluable - imagine if we had two. And by the sounds of your history, I really don't want you as an adversary of any kind."
The Rani grinned. "And that, Lethbridge-Stewart, is why you are in charge."
Kate tentatively smiled back. Somewhat friendly or not, the Rani was incredibly intimidating and she wasn't exactly comfortable around her just yet. Not afraid, just not relaxed.
Just like with the tea, food arrived without them having ordered. Kate was such a regular that they knew exactly what to send her on each day of the week. With her guest, they merely sent out two of everything.
The Rani picked at her chicken salad with a frown as Kate ate. By the time the food was cleared away, Kate realised that the alien had eaten most of the salad but none of the meat. Perhaps she's a vegetarian, the woman considered. After all, the Doctor was a sort of special case. She had no idea what Time Lords usually ate.
Finally, the Rani stood up. "Well, I'll be on my way. My TARDIS might not be able to go anywhere just yet but there is still much more to be done there than anything this city could offer me." She gave Kate an odd, tiny smile. "I imagine we'll be seeing each other again soon enough."
"Alright then," Kate replied, and the Rani just nodded and left without another word.
Six days later, Kate was in her office going over the paperwork of the latest alien incursion when Osgood came in.
"Kate, that scientist you wanted to interview is here," she said.
"Of course, bring her in," the blonde said with a nod. Osgood nodded and ducked back out only to return ten seconds later with another woman.
"Doctor Frey, this is Kate Stewart, Head of Scientific Research," the girl said.
Kate looked up from her desk to see someone very familiar indeed standing next to her assistant. It took all of her self-control to not start in surprise.
"Doctor Rani Frey," the auburn haired woman said with a slight twinkle in her eyes, "Nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Stewart."
Kate blinked and held out a hand for her to shake. 'Doctor Frey' hesitated for a moment – possibly to remember the greeting custom of the planet, Kate considered – before shaking it briefly.
"Welcome, have a seat," Kate said rather stiffly, and then looked at Osgood. "Thank you, Osgood, that will be all for now."
Once the girl had left and shut the door behind her, Kate leant forward in her chair. "What exactly do you think you're doing?" She demanded.
"I believe I was applying for a position as one of your researchers," the Rani answered, looking rather amused by the whole thing. "About the woman who was supposed to be applying…she is indisposed."
"Unharmed, I hope," Kate said pointedly, and the Rani nodded.
"I'm under the impression that murder tends to get your species rather tetchy, and so avoided it. Small memory wipe, nothing serious."
Kate rubbed her temples. "Why on Earth do you want a job here anyway? Sounds like your worst nightmare."
"Yes and no," the Rani said, "Being surrounded by morons who think they are incredibly intelligent is even worse than being surrounded by morons who think they are mildly intelligent. But my TARDIS will be able to do more advanced repairs if it stays in the same place for a longer amount of time. Besides, I don't back out of an investigation, and ours is barely underway. This allows me to be in closer proximity to observe you and your behaviour."
The reminder of the fact that a superior alien life form was judging the merits of the entire planet off her and her merits was an unpleasant one, and Kate immediately felt rather ill. If the Rani wasn't pleased or impressed, god only knew what she could do the planet if she felt like it.
"You'll have to pretend to be human," Kate told her, only to get a nod as an answer.
"I am aware. But I don't intend to converse with many of the people around here, so it's not a vital point. Will I have my own laboratory?"
Kate sighed and nodded. "Yes, that can be arranged. I'll also try and get you the best equipment that I can, so that you're less restricted by this time period's technology."
The Rani smiled. "Thoughtful, but unnecessary. I intend to keep my TARDIS in the corner of the laboratory and merely use the equipment in there as I see fit."
"Well, that will certainly cost us less money, so I'm not going to argue." The human looked up at the woman sitting across from her. "Well, Rani, it seems that you have yourself a job at the Unified Intelligence Taskforce."
"Now that I'm here, the intelligence in the name might actually be valid," the Rani remarked as she got up from her chair.
Kate was torn between offense and amusement, but the latter won out and she chuckled slightly. The Rani just gave a minute smile, apparently pleased that Kate found the comment amusing.
"So how is it going in here?"
By visual inspection, it was either going very well or very badly, because the room was brimming with wires and bubbling beakers and pieces of equipment that Kate couldn't even begin to recognise.
"Hard to say," the Rani said. She was in the middle of the fray, her hair up in a tight bun and goggles over her eyes. "It's certainly going but that is as much verdict as I can currently offer."
"What are you actually doing?"
"Would you be likely to understand?"
"I suppose not."
Kate glanced around the room and spotted three different cupboards that had TARDIS potential, but she made a guess that the one with wires protruding from the open door was the real deal.
"Do you think that Silurians would be likely to offer me a few samples of their brain fluid?" The Rani asked. "I want to compare it with that of the dinosaurs of the same era. I don't think they would take too kindly to such a suggestion."
"I've never encountered them myself, only read the files from 1970, so I wouldn't know, unfortunately."
"This lot ran into them in 1970?" For the first time, the Time Lady actually looked up, looking rather surprised and intrigued. "Now that is interesting. What happened?"
"My father…he thought they were threatening the humans," Kate said slowly, realising how reluctant she was to speak of what her father had done, "He had orders…to blow the base up." She expected the Rani to look saddened or horrified. Instead the woman just sighed and went back to her work.
"It was to be expected. Your race has an uncanny ability to resort to violence and killing when they only think they are faced with danger."
"This coming from the woman who talks about killing and human testing and enslavement like they are trivial matters," Kate retorted, surprising herself with how indignant she suddenly felt.
"I've only done those things to creatures that are below me, your father and his lot killed creatures who were far superior to themselves and might have actually been able to repair the amount of damage you've done to your planet!"
For a moment, Kate just stared at the other woman. Then, with no words that could express her anger and hurt, she turned and left the room without another word.
Just shy of two weeks later, Kate was just leaving the café after her lunch when she practically collided with the Rani.
"So you are here. Good," the Time Lady remarked.
"What do you want?" Kate asked, not bothering to hide how tired and cross she felt. Talking to the occasionally horrid and always condescending alien was not something she particularly felt like doing.
"My investigation. It requires us to actually spend, as you humans would call it, quality time together. Observing you from afar only works so well."
I couldn't care less about your investigation, Kate wanted to tell her. Of course, it wasn't true. The part of her that was the Head of Scientific Research at UNIT knew all too well how important it was to keep the Rani amiable. And, if she was being completely honest, about half of the part of her that was just Kate Stewart was still curious as to why the Rani found her somehow more interesting than all the other humans on the planet in any given time period.
Besides, her father had dealt with Time Lords. There was no reason that she couldn't do the same.
Of course, at least her father had known where he had stood. The Doctor was a friend and ally. The Master had been a threat, not to be trusted, known to not have any care for anyone.
But the Rani? The Rani was complex. She would sit across a café table and smile while making friendly enough conversation, but then bring up her past enslavement of inferior species on a distant planet, and experiments in war zones that meddled with human minds. She was neither an enemy nor a friend.
Time Lords, said a voice in her head that sounded a lot like her father, pests, the lot of them, in one way or another. Best left to their own devices if possible.
Unfortunately, that wasn't currently an option. Kate sighed.
"What did you have in mind?"
The Rani bristled. "I don't know. This is your city, not mine."
"What about a museum? We've got quite a few, all of them excellent." Perhaps if they were walking around exhibits, there wouldn't be a need to make an excess amount of conversation, and there would be less opportunity for the Rani to insult humanity and push Kate's current wary uncertainty about her into active dislike.
"What are the museums like? A wheel, a fire, a car and a plane? The summary of human discovery?"
Kate glanced away, doing her best to ignore the slight. "Well, there's the Science Museum-"
"Oh, yes, human science," the Rani said, her voice blatantly mocking, "Fascinating. Children of my world would be bored within ten minutes."
"The Natural History Museum?"
"What's in there?"
"Various specimens of the natural history of this planet. Botany, zoology, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology-"
"Paleontology?" The Rani asked sharply. "Prehistoric life? Dinosaurs?"
"Yes. Huge skeletons and everything," Kate said, nodding.
The Rani nodded too, actually looking somewhat interested at the prospect. "Then we'll go there."
By the time they walked there, they had just settled into a silence that was comfortable. Once they got inside, Kate got a map for both of them, and handed the Rani's to her. They walked into the first room and the Rani's eyes ran over everything before turning to the map in her hands, which she apparently also found very interesting.
Despite showing the most interest in the dinosaurs, the Rani appeared to enjoy almost all of the exhibits as they went through the museum, having not reached the dinosaurs yet. Kate couldn't resist commenting.
"I wouldn't have thought this stuff would be interesting to you," she said, making the Rani tear her eyes from the walls to look at her instead, "Superior science and knowledge considered."
It looked as though the Rani wanted to defend herself, but didn't know how. "My knowledge might cover a lot of this, but in a different way."
"What I know of this comes from a general study. This is separate. Specialised. Entirely different perspective, which is very important in this sort of field. Seeing it isolated, in relation to the other parts of itself…" She suddenly trailed off and didn't continue. Kate almost let it slide until she looked at the Rani's face and saw the reluctance in her expression. The blonde had to grin.
"It's interesting," she finished for her companion, her voice triumphant, "You're enjoying this."
The Rani turned away so that Kate couldn't see her face. "Perhaps I am. It means nothing."
"If telling yourself that makes you feel better, then by all means do so," Kate told her, unable to keep the smugness out of it. She wasn't usually a smug person in the least, but interacting with this woman was such a battle that getting a step ahead like this was just too sweet.
Unsurprisingly, the Rani chose not to answer her, and instead pressed on through the museum, leaving Kate to trail behind. That was when they finally reached the dinosaur skeletons. The huge structures took up most of the room, and the different forms were all incredible to behold, even for Kate, who had no specific interest in dinosaurs and had seen the skeletons before anyway.
But when she looked over at the Rani, she was surprised to see a light in her eyes that almost looked like a childish delight. It only lasted for a few moments before the woman was back to regarding the exhibits around her with a more scientific gaze. But even that held more life and passion in it than Kate had ever seen in her, and most likely would ever see again.
After several minutes, Kate asked her quietly, with genuine interest, "What is it about dinosaurs that you like so much?"
The Rani turned, eyeing her with vague surprise, probably at Kate expressing curiosity in her personal opinions and feelings. "Their potential was never realised," she answered, her eyes drifting back to the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that towered in front of them, "It's a personal…preference that is difficult to explain."
"You don't have to explain wasted potential," Kate replied. "It's one of the most tragic things to exist. To see something that could have been so magnificent…only for that possibility to be lost."
The Time Lady blinked, only to frown afterwards. "I suppose it isn't as difficult as I believed. You humans can be so dense that it's never easy to tell."
Kate decided then and there that any further insults to her race were simply to be ignored. It wasn't worth being bothered by them. The backhanded compliments and veiled superiority were not likely to stop any time soon.
"Well, I personally don't see the potential magnificence of the dinosaurs, but I'm just a human, so what would I know?" She asked.
"Magnificence is hardly the right word. It's far too romantic."
"What's the point in being passionate about something if you don't have at least a little bit of romantic notion?"
The Rani rolled her eyes. "Chemists are not romantic. I am no exception."
"Really? I had no idea."
I'm really happy with how this turned out. But feedback and constructive criticism (especially on a pairing as strange as this with quite complex characters) is very much appreciated so please let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading!
Note: I like Mel and love Peri, but the Rani was never going to have a high opinion of them, hence the nature of her comments about them.
Next chapter is gen like this one, for those who want the gen but not the femslash.
See you guys soon,