Against All We Know

Pros and Cons of Personal Assistants


Osgood cheerfully hummed the tune to a Mumford and Sons song as she walked down the corridor of the Scientific Research Centre of UNIT. A flash out of the corner of her eye had her stopping outside the open door to the lab recently allocated to Doctor Rani Frey. A closer look inside had the girl recognising the blonde head of her superior, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, and the auburn braid of Doctor Frey herself. The more surprising part was the unexpected proximity.

The two older women seemed to be talking, which in itself wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the casual tone of the talking. The usually well-disposed but polished Kate had a cheeky twinkle in her eyes while her hands fiddled with a beaker only to have it snatched by the other woman. And Doctor Frey, known around the compound for being the somewhat mysterious and silent biochemist who walked around eyeing everyone else as if they were ants not worthy of her attention, was...smiling. Well, not quite smiling, but smirking without contempt in her eyes, which was close enough.

It was hard to guess at what they were talking about, but it looked like teasing of some kind.

Osgood had to smile. Being Kate's personal assistant, she knew just how much of herself Kate put into her work and into keeping the country and the planet safe. Kate didn't really have much of a circle of friends, or at least not a close one with friends she spent time with regularly.

Doctor Rani Frey was an interesting choice for a new friend, but it was nice to see.

As Doctor Frey turned around to face her complex arrangement of beakers and tubes full of bubbling solutions, Kate simply stood a small way behind her, peering over her shoulder curiously. Her free hand played absently with the bottom of the brunette's braid. Osgood had been about to stop looking in and keep walking, but there was something about the gesture. Something a little more intimate.

Osgood continued to watch as Doctor Frey shrugged Kate off and complained loudly about the blonde getting in her space. While anyone else might have recoiled, Kate seemed to scoff at the complaint. Whatever her retort had been, Doctor Frey seemed amused by it, enough so that she turned around.

But then her hand hooked into Kate's shirt and pulled her into a not entirely chaste kiss. Osgood felt her mouth drop open and her eyes pop out, but after the initial shock passed, the girl had to clasp her hand over her lips to keep the grin off her face. Kate's hands immediately wound around Doctor Frey's waist, just a second before the two women pulled away from each other. The hands lingered for a few moments longer.

That, however, was when Doctor's Frey's eyes flicked to the doorway and noticed the bystander. Her eyes narrowed, and Kate turned her head. When she spotted Osgood, her cheeks immediately flamed up in a way that would be comical if the frightening woman next to her hadn't looked so annoyed.

Osgood rushed off down the corridor before either one of them could catch her. After all, it was really none of her business. Once she was back in her own little lab, she allowed herself to relax and grin again about the little secret she now knew about.

"Osgood, could I have a word?"

Osgood had to try and fight down the grin that immediately sprung to her face. She'd been expecting the conversation the entire day. The brunette girl gave her tea a final stir before turning around and smiling innocently at her superior.

"Course," she said cheerfully to Kate, who was wearing the expression of a nervous child who knew they were caught drawing on the walls with crayon.

"Look, about this morning-"

"Yeah, sorry, didn't mean to pry," Osgood said, grinning a little, "Let me guess, you didn't realise you'd left the door open."

"Well, no, but that's not the point," Kate said, her face slightly pink, "Osgood, what you saw was-"

"Maybe a little bit inappropriate for the workplace but otherwise nothing major whatsoever?" She said pointedly, and Kate faltered, clearly surprised by the statement. Relief then flooded the older woman's features. When no words actually came out of her mouth, Osgood added, "Look, er, Kate, I understand that maybe in your day this sort of thing was a bit hushed up...but it's not a big deal."

"I know," the blonde said, defensively and quietly, "But-"

"And while we're on the topic of slightly awkward truths, if I'm being totally honest," Osgood said, not entirely sure where her spurt of bravery had come from, "Although I am totally and utterly into men, you and your pantsuits nearly caused me to rethink that."

Kate's expression shifted until she resembled a startled deer caught in headlights. "Really?" When Osgood nodded, a tiny smile graced the blonde's lips. With a slightly sad pang, Osgood realised that Kate, at least in this stage of her life, wasn't used to being considered attractive.

"You see, Stewart? You really don't give yourself enough credit."

Osgood and Kate both jumped to see Rani Frey herself leaning against the doorway of the break room. Kate just glared.

"Eavesdropping isn't polite, Rani," she said, but Doctor Frey just smirked.

"Yes, because politeness is one of my well known qualities."

Kate just sighed and rubbed her temples. Osgood couldn't help but be fascinated just watching them. It would seem that while they might have some sort of intimate entanglement, the scientist gave her commanding officer a headache. Not that Osgood could blame Kate in the slightest. Her very little experience with Doctor Frey in the past had given her a similar sort of impression.

"So, are you two dating, or what?"

Their reactions were both priceless and intriguing. Kate immediately winced and glanced at her counterpart, who had gone very still and frowned. Then the blonde's expression shifted and she instead crossed her arms and looked at Rani Frey expectantly.

"Actually, I think you can take this one, Rani," she said simply, smirking and getting herself a cup of tea.

"I don't date," the other woman said, grating her teeth together, "The mundanity of the word alone makes me nauseous."

"Ah, the superiority complex coming out again, I was wondering how long that would take," Kate commented offhandedly to Osgood, who incredulously looked between them. "See, this would probably be a good time to mention that she's not human. Not a bad idea for you to know in case something happens to me and a situation arises."

Shocked, but only more interested, Osgood lifted an eyebrow at the non-human woman. "What are you then?"

"Time Lord, a much better example of one than that bumbling Doctor, too. And my name is the Rani, not Rani Frey."

"As I say, superiority complex, god forbid a Time Lord be anything but the definite article of their name," Kate muttered into her tea. Osgood had to laugh.

"Is it just me, or are you-"

"Irritable?" Kate asked, chuckling a little. "Yes, I am. What can I say, she brings it out in me."

"I was going to say overtired, but yeah, that too."

"She didn't sleep well last night," the Rani said in agreement with her fellow brunette.

Osgood crossed her arms and regarded them both. "You know, neither of you have actually answered my question yet. Are you dating? What exactly is your relationship? I know it's not really any of my business, but you seem to have included me in it, so I think you should tell me. If only because you seem to be struggling to come up with an answer and it might be good for you both to try."

The Rani scowled. "I don't take orders from baby humans."

"Interesting that you perceived it as an order," Osgood retorted. The Rani looked at her as if she was torn between wanting to rip her head off and being reluctantly impressed.

"I'm trying to see if I can find a reason to be impressed by humanity. She's the only point in your favour so far," she said.

"That actually tells me very little."

"We spend productive time together somewhat enjoying each other's company and have a sexual relationship," the Rani tried again, making Osgood laugh out loud and Kate groan and sip at her tea all the faster.

"I'm her experiment," Kate said, frustration in her voice, "That's all there is in the end. She's an emotionally inept alien with a much larger lifespan who isn't going to age a day before I'm dead in the ground and will probably skip planet the second she realises how uninteresting I am. What else could there be?"

"Oh, bravo Stewart," the Rani said scathingly, "That was charmingly optimistic. I should be the one spouting off that sort of depressing drivel."

"Oh shut up." Kate rolled her eyes, put her tea cup in the sink and headed for the door. "I just can't deal with you right now." The Rani caught her arm on the way past and held it tight enough that her lover had to come to a halt and face her.

"Don't be an idiot, Stewart," she said quietly yet firmly, "I'm not getting bored of you. And yes there is a very good chance you will die long before I do. I might even bother going to your funeral. But you are far from dead and far from uninteresting and I am far from skipping planet. You're stuck with me for a good while yet."

"Rani," Kate said tiredly, "I just don't have the-" That was when the Rani kissed her, forcefully, to shut her up. Osgood watched, aware that the situation was considerably more private than it had been a minute before but unable to tear her eyes away. There was something primal and instinctive in the connection between the two of them, which explained why they seemed so unsure of why the connection was there and what to do about it.

When they finally pulled apart, with Kate breathing heavily (but also notably more at ease) and the Rani looking satisfied, Osgood just chuckled.

"Yeah, sorry," she said, pulling a face at them, "You're definitely dating." The Rani was back to scowling, but Osgood didn't care in the slightest. "You, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, Head of Scientific Research at UNIT, are dating a dangerous alien. That's the best thing I've heard all week."

"You're not going to spread that around," Kate said. It sounded half like an order and half like a question.

"Bit of credit, Kate," Osgood said, laughing, "How thick do you think I am?" With that, she left the break room.

Oh yes. Things had suddenly gotten a lot more interesting at UNIT HQ.

Also she's timid in the 50th, I believe that Osgood has a huge heart as well as being brave as hell, so yes, she has the guts to sass the Rani. Hope you guys enjoyed this! Feedback is appreciated.

-MayFairy :)

p.s. I am going to be making an 8tracks playlist for Kate and the Rani soon, so if you have any songs to suggest, let me know in a review! :D

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