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[personal profile] blackswanevent
Title: A most unusual affair indeed
Format: Unbeta'd
Fandom: Dr. Who/Gallifrey Audios
Characters: Leela/Andred, Doctor Who (4), K-9
Summary: It is an affair that few will forget at least - the marriage of a human to a time lord. Who knew?


Their wedding, by Andred’s accounts – was a modest affair.

The difficulty had been in finding someone who would actually perform the ceremony, finally settling on a sympathetic friend from the deeptrees dormitory who – by virtue of his house’s placement was capable of settling accounts.

“I mean if you’re seriously sure…”

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more sure about anything.” All he had to do was close his eyes and ride a wave of determination, "I mean it. I want to do this."

His friend laughed, “That’s all well and good but I mean…come on. Going to all this trouble? I don’t know where it’s going.” He managed to look amused, “I’m waiting for you to say “It’s a joke Calebred.” Come on, say it with me now, “It’s a joke Ca-“

Andred sighed wearily and wondered, for the thousandth time if his plans and his hopes were absolutely pointless. Sitting back in the chair and folding his hands he tried to convey just how much he felt…completed by Leela. How marriage was advantageous to the both of them, how she would be an asset and could perhaps even assist him in his duties…

And…that feeling that he could not describe to anyone without earning either sympathetic looks from those studying the higher mysteries or confused looks from those trying to understand if he’d lost his mind while trying to suppress laughter or even more hurtful – looks of concern. It was more than affection, more than loyalty – these were things he had known before. This was deep and abiding, it settled in him like a thick river. Sitting forward, he folded his hands and fixed a serious gaze at the man who – for all intensive purposes was his brother.

“…You don’t have to look at me like that.” The other man looked uncomfortable, “It’s like looking…” Calebred shook his head, squirming - uncomfortable.

“Don’t look at me like that. It’ll be all right. I’ll put the paperwork through and if anyone says anything…I’ll figure something out just don’t-“

He got no farther as Andred, who had asked Leela about her own behaviors had promptly thrown his own arms around the younger man. They both withdrew instantly.

“I’ll do it, if you never do that again.” Calebred said sharply, “Never ever, ever again.”
Andred was just as nonplussed by the behavior, “Agreed.”

----

Their wedding, by Leela’s accounts – was a torrid affair.

“The traditional garb for a human wedding is white mistress.” K-9 was unofficial bridesmaid, groomsman, usher, and officiator as well as wedding planner as far s she was concerned and now he sat, studying her as quizzically as he could.

Leela, for her part was about to say that this was not a traditional wedding, because if it had been a traditional wedding Andred would not have gotten down on one knee to propose to her he would have fought for her against her father. He would have struck him down and the man would have agreed and placed her hand in his. She would have worn white yes, a white arm band traditionally signified this and then the two would have consummated their relationship.

In the absence of witnesses to this affair (Although Andred had assured her there would be witnesses in plenty) – no that wasn’t right. In the absence of witnesses to the preparation of this affair – K-9 had quietly begun spouting off facts about earth and human wedding customs.
Odd. “It’s a glitch in his programming” Andred had said, but Leela had taken it into her head to listen to him, and sitting back and listening to him was like listening to the past, to stories around the fire.

“Yes, we still have that. But white how?”

“A white dress mistress. White signifies purity and the virginal state that the female occupies before she is given to her husband who then –“

“Thank you K-9.”

“Gallifreyan wedding customs are different. Mistress."

“I’ve gathered that.” Andred was fretting more about this then she was, talking about records and signing documents, the appropriate robes, where there would be a reception (if anywhere) who would be seen there, “He says we must wear red.”

“Red is also a human wedding tradition, in some cultures. In Asian culture a bride will wear red and red is traditionally used to signify a celebration.”

She knew that too.

“What do most brides wear K-9?”

“Unknown. Insufficient data mistress.” The dog looked (or perhaps she imagined it) chagrined, “Perhaps the doctor would know?”

----

Their wedding, by the doctor’s accounts, was a hopeless affair.

He arrived three days before the event to find Andred attempting to rent the appropriate garments, trying to convince people to come, and trying to – and somehow succeeding – keep himself from being thrown out and disgracing his house.

“But really it’s not as if this hasn’t happened before. It’s not an odd affair, it’s a good thing! It’s for my benefit and hers, and ultimately it will be beneficial. She can train new guards, we won’t be caught off guard again – you won’t be …used.” He looked at the man in the scarf uneasily, “It means a step forward and whatever dangers we face we face together and…”

“I can see.” The doctor said quietly, “She’s already been a good influence on you.”

Amid papers and clothes and hopeless planning Andred slumped – like a king amid the ruins of his kingdom.

“Are you scared?”

Andred snorted. Time Lords did not scare. They did not frighten easily. To give into fear was to give into anger, to give into hatred, to give into suffering. The doctor for his part considered humanity and the people who believed in those words and realized that whatever instinct had driven Andred to attempt this was a positive thing. Time Lords needed to learn a little more fear – even if the potential for loosing that hard won evolution was there. Human beings were so malleable, like so much clay they’d soak up whatever was fed to them. Leela could stand to learn about herself, and Andred could stand to be a little more human.

The question was how to make him see it.

“…I am a member of the Chancellery Guard.” The young officer said bluntly, "I don't frighten easily. That's not to say I don't know fear but..."

“Who’ve all left you.” The doctor popped a jelly baby into his mouth, “I mean I saw a few around.” Worried they might have to arrest him again, “but not close and surely your head of house…”

“They have not.” Andred’s retort was sharp, for that hit too close to home. Only some, the strictest, the most regimented, “They’ve actually been surprisingly supportive.” His own house mostly. The others had stared at him with a raised eyebrow and a frown and shaken their heads. It was as Calebred had suggested “a ridiculous joke”

“You chose to do this.” The doctor said quietly, “You asked her. You can still back out, you can say no. I’ll take her away and it will be like it’s never been. I know the new president is thinking about outlawing the mind wipe but even if – “

Andred let out a strangled exclamation and the doctor – surprised – stepped back. Peering into the younger man's face was enough to convince him not to make that suggestion again. He looked like he'd been punched.

“Take her away? Away to where? Back to her home when she could have a place here at the center of the galaxy? Think of the things she could see, the things she could learn, the things we will do together.”

“It’s not her place.”

His first thought had been, ah the young. His second had been, how foolish – how childish. This is not to be, ultimately something will go wrong no matter how much it might work and this is the first sign. She is not a pet, she is not some kind of animal to be taken to a zoo and exhibited, and all he wants is to…

Andred to the doctor’s surprise continued to speak, to interrupt him, “It’s not. I know that. But it could be. She ‘s strong, she could make it her place easily but it’s more than that. It’s more than how strong she is. It’s that she’s so inspiring. She’s do-or-die, she’s a force to be feared and if I lost her, if I were never able to see her…”

The doctor watched the Gallifreyan slump in his seat and put his heads in his hands while the time traveler watched,“…if you were never able to see her.”

He moved forward, “Go on lad.”

Andred looked distinctly uneasy, “I can’t. Not…not with you.” His hands folded, “I’m…it..”
“You love her.” They watched each other, soldier and scholar, outcast and military man, “You want to see her happy. It hurts you when she is sad.”

The Doctor couldn’t find it in his hearts to not appreciate this, it was like watching a social experiment. The Gallifreyan Guard and the human savage, it would turn into a bed time story he was certain. The difficulty arose in if it would be a fairy tale or a cautionary one. Sitting in Andred’s quarters, watching him stare into space, he had a feeling he knew…more was the pity. If the young man did not gather himself…

“Yes.”

Andred’s voice was a whisper, not looking at the doctor – looking instead at himself , at his soul, “I would rather live one life with her, for as long as I can, then have all of the immortality that we have.” He turned to face him, “When she’s happy, I’m happy. The world is beautiful, everything smells better, tastes sweeter. When she’s sad, there’s no point to living, I want …” He laughed a little sadly, “I want to charge out, staser drawn and find whoever has hurt her and make them pay. Isn’t that silly? I want to keep her safe, even if she’s keeping me safe. Hurts? If she’s angry with me it’s like a knife in my hearts. I can’t…”

Overcome with emotion, he buried his face in his hands and the doctor, smiling as if at some private joke, patted his shoulder.

“There there,” The doctor chuckled, “Knight errant indeed! Stranger things have happened. I bet people are saying she has a negative effect on you. Am I right?”

Andred didn’t respond, he only looked at him. The doctor beamed broad enough for them both, “GOOD. We could use a little bit of a shake up. Now, rest. She’s the one who’s supposed to be fretting, not you. Let me make a few plans and we’ll see what we can do yes? Of course.”

----

His reunion with Leela was far more joyful.

“The doctor has come mistress.” K-9 led him in with a gentle rumble and she rose off the pallet bed. She and Andred shared the too-small bedroom of a commander of the Chancellery, and the entire place was swathed in white.

“Hello, Hello.” Leela had no words, only a quick hug before stepping away and K-9 bowed his head and wiggled his ears, “Hello Mistress beautiful. Hello Master dog.”

“K-9 is not a master Doctor.” K-9 burbled.

“He is a master of many things, but apparently not of compliments.” The doctor grinned and took a look around, “I dare say savage…you shall outshine our planet’s paltry sun looking like that.” She wore white robes, with the characteristic high ceremonial collar and the long flowing train. Stepping back she whirled…and stopped, “Andred said that this is required.” She tugged at the device over her neck, “But I personally can’t see it at all doctor. I can’t. I just can’t. I feel as though I am wearing a collar for an animal and I do not like it.”

The doctor chuckled, “You are not happy?”

“Not…not happy.” She sat, looking at him, “Just confused. Andred insists that we have a traditional wedding. I do not think this is fair. It feels…”she had been thinking of the words, turning them over and over in her head, “…I am frustrated with him. With all of this ceremony.” With one great motion she tore the collar off – ignoring the ripping of the fabric – and sat unhappily in her chair, “I do not want to be married like this. I knew that I made a choice to do things differently when I came here, but I want to be…to be…to at least be recognized.”

“You don’t want to lose your humanity.”

“For all that you might say it is a negative, I say it is not.” Leela held her head high, “For all people might look at him strangely, he is better with me. He is a better man, he is a better guard. He keeps his people safe, and I want to help him keep his people safe. I want to keep him safe. That is what marriage is for isn’t it?”

The doctor thought of all the marriages that he had, and the one that he would have eventually, “That is what human marriage is for.”

“and marriage on Gallifrey. Why else make alliances with other houses? You are planning for wars against each other that will never come if this planet is so at peace. There is no shame in this. It is hard to be lonely.”

The doctor sat back and realized – not for the first time – what astonishingly clear minds savages had. Humans in particular could be particularly engaging. Half a savage pack animal, half a species reaching so close to clarity that they almost were as clear and concise as Time Lords…

“Am I lonely?” he watched her, his voice soft, “Do you think I am lonely?”

“Yes.”

Her tone was matter of fact, “And I would stay with you doctor, but Andred is more lonely, he is more alone. He is not different, he simply…he…”

“He loves you.”

Leela swallowed hard, “He said that?”

“Well not in so many words, but not everyone can be as eloquent as I can.” The doctor chuckled indulgently, “Leela, have you told him this?”

“That he is lonely?”

He nodded.

“Well yes, that and that he will not be alone with me anymore.” She shrugged, “Will he K-9?”

“Negative.”

The doctor found himself smiling, “Then I’m quite sure if you showed up naked, he would still marry you. He would love you and listen to you and he will protect you – and when he fails you’ll protect him. Marriage is a partnership, and you have to find someone that suits you.”

“Will you marry doctor?”

The doctor found himself looking distantly away, “…I shall. One day I shall for true. It won’t be happy, but existence is rarely happy. Just like weddings rarely go as planned. I think, now that I’ve spoken with the both of you I should take a hand in this. Now. How would a suvateem wedding go?”

“Well first. I would wear white. And Andred would challenge my father for my maidenhead. If he could defeat him I would be his.”

“…I think we may have to forgo on some of that. A death match in the middle of a hall of justice would be fun, but poor form. Leela – “

She studied him and he tugged at his scarf, “Leela, you know what goes on in…ah…closed quarters…”

“Of course.” She laughed, “I was prepared for it for many years. I have seen many women and heard their experiences after. I have not let anyone have it however. It shall be Andred’s. I shall…submit myself to him.”

Her voice was clear and strong when she said it and the doctor knew, from traveling with her, how hard that had been to say, “…Tell him you have a gown prepared and you are ready and on the appointed day the ceremony can begin.”

----

The appointed day dawned and Andred was there with a spring in his step in his finest uniform. He knew he shone, he knew he would do his house proud and he knew…he knew he looked well and he hoped his bride-to-be would like it.

“You can still back out of this.” Calebred had put on his ceremonial robes and was nodding at his friend, “Seriously. Ha- great joke everyone and we can all get on with our lives without this…this…farce.”

Andred was trying to stop his hands from shaking and his hearts from pounding. He was quite certain, more than certain that if things continued along these lines his chest would give out and he’d regenerate. Regenerate! On his wedding day! What a scandal. His throat tightened at his friend’s remarks.

“Please don’t ask me that again."

“If we leave it any later it won’t be funny.”

“Why do you keep saying this is a joke?” The few members of the house of deeptrees who had chosen to honor his wedding were arriving along with a few curious onlookers, “It’s not. It’s the farthest thing from a joke. I love her.”

“You love her?” Caleb looked sick, “She’s…she’s…” human, inhuman, practically an animal. He was marrying a man who was practically his brother to a dog, “I can’t – Andred I can’t. Really if you try and do this I will stop it. I won’t enter the names into the record, I won’t. It’s a blight on my record, it’s a blight on the honor of our house, no, a stain! It’s …”

A chime sounded from somewhere and the few key officials there raised their heads. Something, some instinct compelled them all to stand.

The doctor (another blight) appeared arm in arm with the most beautiful creature that Andred had ever seen.

Leela had bound up her hair in some sort of net, winking with white stones. She wore white, white ceremonial robes and with her hair in the net she looked like a star floating to the planet’s surface. She was a space creature, smiling tremulously and gallifrey studied this human with a measure of respect and almost a sort of admiration.

Andred could not stop staring, “You look so beautiful.”

She blushed, gently closing her eyes as he tilted her chin to look at him, “Please. Don’t look away. I want to remember this. You’re…”

“Angelic.”

Both bride and groom turned to their minister – in effect – who was staring…stunned. Then with a low bow, as low as he would have given to anyone of his own species he nodded and nudged Andred, “…Worth the blight and worth the stain huh? She cleans up pretty good. Well! Shall we begin then?”

“Hold on then!” The doctor began to rummage through his pockets, “Hold on, I have…I have something here it’s important. Extremely important, can’t go on without it hold on…”
“Doctor I have a lot of unions to perform today…”

“Can’t finish this one without it.” A few of the audience grumbled. Leela shot the doctor a dark look before looking back to her betrothed who had not taken his eyes away from her, “Andred you have not blinked.”

“I don’t want to.” He, in an unfamiliar gesture brought her hands to his lips, “I never want to stop looking at you. I couldn’t bear it. If you looked away from me I think I should go mad.”
“Found it!” the doctor crowed triumphantly, “FOUND IT! Yes, yes most excellent. Wedding rings, don’t laugh now – from earth. Excellent history, most excellent, this belonged to a king – King Henry the Eighth and this belonged to his wife…”

He took their clasped hands in his after handing the rings to the surprised minister. Rings? The man held one up and shrugged.

“Hear this.” He looked from Andred, so smiling broadly enough for them both and Leela – serious and stern, “Hear this the both of you. This is not an easy path you’re walking and the road’s end will not be pleasant. Andred, you are marrying into a great and noble house, a species that could do so little yet has the potential to be so much. They’re monsters and they’d be the first species in the galaxy to tell you that. I have never met a more frustrating, yet more fascinating species and what’s worse is they know it.” He squeezed Leela’s hands as he spoke, trying to take the sting from his words, “And they’ll tell you about it – worse then we will talk about ourselves."

"But." He clapped Leela on the shoulder, "... there is no firmer ally and no stronger friend or partner then a member of the Suvateem and by proxy a human being. No finer artist, no finer fighter have I ever have the pleasure of meeting. You’re heir to that now. It won’t be easy, and she’ll give you a thousand and one headaches but when you find those happy moments there is something about them…Even in their darkest hours they can find the light and make it shine.”
The doctor finished speaking and Andred nodded, slowly, listening for the first time. The doctor turned to Leela, shining all in white, “Leela of the Suvateem…”

“…Yes?”

“…Be gentle with him. Be gentle with all of them but especially him. He seems like the sort of boy who’d break very easily, particularly during the..er…submission.”

The doctor let go of their hands and clapped his fingers together, “Well! Minister, shall you get on with it then?”

Caleb had been so distracted by the description of mankind, by the remark made to Leela who was trying to stifle a laugh, that he blinked, “Me? Yes. Yes what do I…what do I do here…”

“Ah. Yes. To all those who have gathered welcome…”
----
They would never be accepted.

Their food was brought as courtesy, their congratulations were mere polite knives thrust into Andred and Leela’s collective back. Neither of them noticed it. The doctor watched them together with a degree of sadness. If he could take them with him, if they could go away from here then perhaps…

But no. No not yet, now was not the time for that yet. Soon though. He watched this and he vowed to never let another couple be parted. It wasn’t even looking ahead and knowing, it was just a simple guess, the way the ladies were staring at her dress and the way that the men were shaking their heads and a few were growing bold in their cups and mumbling about the soldier and the concubine, the foreign girl brought home as a curious pet. They’d get worse. He wondered how the minister had managed to swing it but…

“I thought he was joking.”

“Joking?”

“Andred was always one for jokes. Not…making them but laughing at them. I thought he was joking. Shake things up a bit. Thought he was finally growing a bit of a sense of humor.” The minister was drunk, the doctor could see that, “…Never thought it’d lead to this.”


He waved a hand, their minister, “…’ve been terminated.”
“What?” The doctor looked up sharply, surprised it had happened so fast yet unsurprised at all, “No. No. What? Why..."

“Name’s in the record.” The minister sighed, “It’s official. They’re married, but I’m out and if he weren’t Chancellery with history with you he’d be out too. Lucky I can always go back to clerking.”

Despite himself, the doctor raised an eyebrow, “…You don’t sound upset.”

“No you know what’s odd? ‘m not. I mean I thought I would be? But.” The younger man was watching them, “What you said about her, and the way she looked at him I thought maybe…maybe this is an okay thing. Maybe it ain’t supposed to be like the way it’s been. And how’s somebody gonna make a change unless someone with power does it? “ Another drink of ginger beer, “…you mean that? About them? About the humans? How strong they are?”

“…to my undying shame. Why?”

“…He’s gonna need it.” The minister finished off his glass and stifled a belch, “He’s gonna need it bad. They both will.”

“Do you know I think they’ll be all right?”

The doctor watched Leela kiss her soldier’s cheek with a small satisfied smile, “I mean it won’t last, something will happen. That’s life, but in the end somehow…I think they’ll be together.”

“I hope you’re right.” The minister looked sick, “…There’s words I never thought I’d say. A savage married to a respectable time lord! I never imagined it.”

A wind blew down from the mountains and the doctor looked up, “…The times they are a changing.”

“Say! That’s catchy!”

“Yes?” The doctor nodded toward Leela, “A human thought of it.”

The minister considered that, sitting heavily in his chair, “…A savage?” it was the beer, to the end of his life he’d swear it was the beer, “…Well I’ll be. Maybe they’re all right after all.”

----

The wedding of Andred and Leela – to the house of Deeptrees was a most embarrassing affair.

They couldn’t evict him, although they did take the young man aside and say very quietly that while he always had their support and indeed their patronage he was not to claim public relationship with them in any capacity. They could not evict him, nor would they remove his biodata from their systems but their relationship was to be concluded as soon as possible.

“Try to see reason Andred. While we can’t object, your service record is impeccable and you do us credit – this throws away a lifetime of career aspirations. Try to see reason, she is…”

“You’re telling me this today.” Andred’s voice was dull, “On my wedding day.”

“It makes sense to tell you this before you attempt to make any further mistakes, or any further public…declarations.” The man sounded uncomprehending, “Your associations, your relationship with her it…come on. It’s logical that I tell you this before you make any further mistakes.”

He held his hands behind his back, knuckles clenched white, “Absolutely.”

“Surely you can’t be angry with us.”

“…why would I waste my time with anger? It’s the only logical thing to do.” He gripped his wrists and tried to keep himself calm. It was insulting, it hurt. You knew, the doctor warned you...

What he would remember for years afterwards was the way the head of his house had smiled, “That’s the right thing to do Andred. I’m proud of you.”

Andred swallowed his smile, “I would never do anything to further disgrace our house.”

He waited until the other man had left and he was sure – quite sure he was alone before overturning one of the smaller tables and kicking it across the room. A lifetime of control stood between him and blasting the table into atoms – instead he carefully righted the furniture and went out, ignoring the outburst and burying it deep.

They buried everything deep. Their blessing and their curse. A human would bury everything deep and know the catharsis afterwards of emotional release.

A timelord would not.
----

The wedding night of Andred the guard and Leela the savage was utterly perfect.

And in the end facing ridicule and horrors, working together to make their lives a misery before they had even begun to live together that was all that mattered. The doctor had added a few touches to the room with a final note to Leela to be gentle with the boy. Andred found a sense of self and a sense of purpose after he realized she wasn’t going to kill him and eat him and Leela for her part realized just how disconnected the poor man was.

In her heart she found something like pity for the time lords, like a creature that had yet to see the full limits of it’s potential and Time Lords – well, disgrace could be kept in house and even if Andred’s pet savage made a scene he at least would be relied on to be discreet.

Indeed, he could be relied upon to be a credit to the house by being discreet. Certainly he made a mistake, a very grave one but as long as he did not parade it openly in public or flaunt his status why they could make due. How agreeable they were! How enlightened!

There were a few, a real few who watched this and followed that line of thinking and considered Andred and Leela. They considered what this might mean, that someone could still be themselves and still openly love another in such a way. Perhaps it spoke to their credit, but also to the credit of other species. They could earn a Gallifreyan’s love and respect, indeed their admiration. The more stoic among them said “no this is madness, it is to turn down a dark path that will muddle our noble bloodlines and bring us to the brink of something that we can never go back to.”

There were still those few however who remembered the doctor’s words – a species made malleable. A species that would own the darkness within itself and that would make their life worth living. They wondered if having a life of ending peace was worthwhile, for how can you see what is truly good in life if everything is good?

There were those few, and the wedding of Andred and Leela stood for many things, but overall it stood for change. To the people of Gallifrey and the citizens of the human race it was a most unusual affair indeed.
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And that is why that girl is called a tease.

April 2014

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