Barbara took a deep shaky breath. “I thought…he looked exactly like-”
“Everyone’s got at least one physical duplicate,” Romana pulled her TARDIS key from her pocket and looked around sharply. “And don’t you dare apologise.”
Barbara closed her mouth and smiled ruefully, as a sudden memory caused a painful twinge. The roles had been reversed and it hadn’t been Romana she’d been talking to but-
Romana opened the door and waved her inside. “I met someone who looked like you once. On the planet Meglos.” Moving to the console, Romana set the TARDIS in motion and turned to face Barbara. “Her name was Lexa. High Priest Lexa.”
“What was she like?” Barbara moved to her side and watched the Time Rotor, so different to what she’d been used to a lifetime ago.
“Different.” Romana brushed a lock of dark hair back from Barbara’s too-young face. “Older.”
“In aspect or in years?” Eyes like Romana's own looked back at her; eyes which were too old for the body.
She turned back to the console. “Both, strictly speaking. You should go and clean yourself up.”
Barbara paused halfway to the doorway when Romana spoke again.
“We will find him, you know.” The reassurance that she could never give hung unspoken in the air: and then everything will be alright.
Romana watched her go. She walked like an old woman when she relaxed, like the old woman she could remember being.
Forever young. Forever alone. Fixed and unchanging as the foundations of the universe were relaid beneath her feet. Stranded in a world which had become alien with the passing of years that she’d never lived through, with memories of a life that she’d never had.
So many wrongs had been caused in the pursuit of ‘right’. So much was broken as he tried to ‘fix’ the universe.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
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