“You’re jealous,” Romana gasped, managing what the Doctor thought was a rather impressive accusatory tone, given the circumstances. Not that he was going to tell her that.
Lifting his mouth away from the rather delicious curve where her shoulder met her neck, he denied, “I’m not jealous.”
“Yes, you are. Sulking is still ridiculous in a man your age.”
“Whyever would I be jealous? And of whom?”
Romana gazed coyly up at him from under her eyelashes. “You’re jealous because of Duggan. He liked me, you know.”
Given the choice between the level of smugness in that statement and the accusatory tone, the Doctor was almost certain he’d prefer accusations.
“I know,” he muttered, in a way that was most definitely not sulky or jealous.
“I might have liked him as well,” Romana mused. “In fact, I’m quite sure that I did.”
“Him?” The Doctor attempted to inject seven centuries worth of disdain into that one word and thought he did quite well. “Whatever could such a primitive, dull, violence-inclined example of a human have that you might possibly want?”
“Oh well, it might be that very forcefulness,” Romana’s voice became noticeably, and, the Doctor surmised, deliberately breathy on that word, “was attractive. No dancing around, no complications. Do you think he’d be a passionate lover?”
The question was asked matter-of-factly, the tone not obviously designed to infuriate him as before, but nevertheless he saw in his mind Romana perched on one of the tables in the Paris café, her schoolgirl skirt pushed up past her hips and her legs wrapped around Duggan’s waist.
“We met his ancestors today,” he reminded her, trying to remain as composed as was possible in his position, although a certain wicked glint in her eye suggested she knew exactly what he was thinking of. “He’s a slime creature.”
“So are all of your precious humans. He liked me and I liked him. You’re jealous because you perceive a threat to our pair-bonding, which might mean any children I bore wouldn’t, in fact, be carrying your genetic code forward. Hypothetically speaking, of course, but that’s the biological reason for the concept of monogamy. Less morality and more protecting an investment. And this,” Romana pushed against the Doctor demonstratively, away from the alley wall, “is your attempt to re-establish that relationship above others, to reassert your masculinity after the fear of rejection, to mark your claim on me. Really, Doctor, could you not think of a better way than inflicting a minor hematoma upon me?”
The Doctor really thought that Romana was talented at looking haughty, even in a state of disarray and partial disrobe.
“It’s called a ‘love bite’,” he grumbled, not at all sulkily. “‘Minor hematoma’ indeed, you make it sound so…so…”
“All right then, Doctor,” Romana interrupted, suddenly and surprisingly smiling sunnily. “But I think it’s my turn.”
“Yes, Doctor.” Romana was still smiling, but no longer so innocently. There was an edge in there, a warning and an invitation. “If you mark me against Duggan, I think it only fair that I mark you against,” she paused, thinking, “the Countess.”
“The Countess?!” the Doctor exclaimed incredulously. “She had a tentacle fetish.”
“You called her beautiful.”
There were times when the Doctor was very glad of his scarf.
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