Quite My Favorite Species

by Daystar Searcher [Reviews - 3]

Printer
  • Teen
  • None
  • Angst, Character Study, Het, Introspection, Romance, Slash

Author's Notes:
Doctor Who does not belong to me and I make no profit from writing this; my sole reward is the joy of pondering thinky thoughts about interspecies sexuality and the probable trials and tribulations thereof.

“I don’t understand it,” Jo declared.

The Doctor looked up from where he was tinkering with his sonic screwdriver. “What? I told you, it’s really quite simple. The Master’s TARDIS emits a neutron flow of a very particular frequency, so if we–”

“No, no, I didn’t mean that.” Jo paused, and made a scrunched up face like a puzzled kitten. It was adorable. “Well, actually, I don’t understand any of that either, but you usually know what you’re doing–”

“Usually?!”

“–and so it doesn’t give me any bother,” Jo finished, blithely ignoring the Doctor’s indignation. “Anyway, what I was saying was that I don’t understand you and the Master.”

“Nonsense, Jo. The TARDIS may be grounded, but her translation circuits are in perfect working order. Remember, last week the three of had a conversation over tea about how the Master was going to feed us to his ravenous Venusian razorbacks.”

“Oh, Doctor, you know that’s not what I mean!” Jo said, trying to look cross, though the effect was somewhat spoilt by her giggles.

Her trying-to-be-cross face was almost as adorable as the puzzled kitten one, and the Doctor pondered teasing her a bit more before deciding to take pity on her. He set down the sonic screwdriver and gave Jo his full attention. “Very well, what is it that you don’t understand?”

“Well, he’s basically the most evil person I’ve ever met and more than a bit obsessed with conquering the entire universe starting with Earth, and you’re always running around saving us from his latest evil plan or from other assorted nasties and basically being really noble and good and heroic…”

The Doctor harrumphed modestly, but couldn’t help preening a bit. Perceptive girl, that Jo Grant.

“Except whenever you two actually run into each other it’s all ‘my dear Doctor’ and ‘my dear Master,’ and offering each other scones and being really polite and chummy and standing awfully close to each other, and getting all nostalgic about your old Time Lord Academy days like you’re two old best mates from Eton or something.”

Oh dear. A bit too perceptive.

She had ticked off her last several points on her fingers, and was currently aiming the index one at him, her eyes wide and brow wrinkled and head cocked to the left, waiting for an explanation. Oh, Jo. Dear, sweet Jo. How to explain…

“Well, when you’re a bit odd…” he started to hedge. Put it in general terms and then maybe she won’t ask about the specifics. “There’s a bond. When you’re very, very odd to everyone around you and no one understands how you can think or feel the things you do, because they believe you’re wrong to think and feel those things– and you feel so alone, there’s–you find someone else like you, and there’s a bond that forms. And it never quite goes away, no matter how different from each other you are then or later become, because that oddness in both of you that brought you together–that never quite goes away either. You’re always…connected. You always understand each other in a way that no one else will.”

Well, that was good. Quite eloquent, really, without actually saying anything. Jo was nodding as if she understood, her big brown eyes sympathetic and her forehead creased in concern. Now if only–

“Odd how?”

Blast it. He’d really been hoping she wouldn’t ask that. Well, nothing to do but bite the bullet.

“The Master and I…share similar paraphilias.”

“Para-what?”

The Doctor sighed, and looked anywhere but at her. “Deviancies. Of a sexual nature.”

“But what–” Comprehension dawned like a spring sun on Jo’s face. “Ooooooooh.”

“Not that!” the Doctor hastened. “Well, yes, that, but that was a long time ago and hardly more than a dozen times, and we were usually very drunk, and–and anyway, that’s not a taboo on Gallifrey. Well, not any more than sex in general.”

He fiddled with the ruffled edge of his shirt cuff, before coughing and straightening in his chair, deciding to try to brazen it out with dignity. Jo reflexively mirrored his upright posture, her face taking on its fifth most adorable expression, that of a keenly interested schoolgirl attending a lecture.

“Official Time Lord policy is quite against fraternizing with other species, especially shorter-lived ones. The leading psychologists call it a mortality fetish. Whether one finds pleasure in domination and death like the Master, or…” He smiled gently, one hand reaching out to touch a strand of her golden-straw hair. “Or one treasures how bright and strong those brief sparks burn, it’s all regarded as part of the same psychological disorder.” A note of bitterness crept into his voice. “And if one doesn’t accept their diagnosis, if you actually refuse to be ‘cured’…”

“Hang on a tick, though,” said Jo. “The only psych class I took was ages ago, but for something to be a parawhatsit, it can’t just be odd or out of the ordinary, can it? It has to interfere with you living a normal life.”

The Doctor gave a sad little smile. Spread his hands to indicate the lab around them, the broken TARDIS. “Take a look, Jo. I rather think it has.”

“But that’s not your fault!” Jo insisted. “That’s all down to the other Time Lords.” She frowned. “Bit of an odd punishment though, if they didn’t want you to chase after humans. Sticking you on a planet full of us, I mean. Must be like getting stranded at a buffet.”

Anger lightning-flashed in the Doctor’s eyes and he stood abruptly, the legs of his chair scraping back harsh against the floor. “Josephine Grant, if you think so little of me that I would endanger my friends by giving the Time Lords an excuse to repeat what they did to–” His voice didn’t quite crack on the beginning of the name, but the shape of it caught in his throat and he wheeled away from her, bracing himself against the countertop and breathing heavily.

He expected her to rush to his side and torpedo him with a barrage of questions and concerns, but there was only silence, and then some rustling and clinking as she stood up and moved about. A few minutes later there was a cup of tea at his right hand, and a small, heavily ringed hand resting against his back. A soft head of shaggy blonde hair resting against his shoulder. Her breaths keeping time with his.

They never discussed the matter again.

xxxxx

“That was…”

Sarah Jane breathed out the words against the Doctor’s neck, ruffling the dark curls by his ear. Making him shiver as the air evaporated the sweat off his bare skin. She was draped over him like a blanket and didn’t think she’d ever want to untangle her legs from his, or stop the lazy roving of her right hand’s fingers through his sparse chest hair.

“..that was fantastic,” she finished with a contented sigh.

“I know.” She loved the soft rumble of his after-sex voice, the way his dark chocolate tones dropped even deeper and richer. “You were rather marvelous as well.”

“Not half smug, are you?” She nipped him lightly in reproof, smirking against his skin as she heard his hearts speed up in response, as she felt a familiar hardness press against her thigh.

“Sarah…” he warned, a warmth and a mischief humming through his growl as he pinched her arse in retaliation. “You know we shouldn’t again. Not yet.”

She stacked her hands on his collarbone and propped her chin up on them. “Why bloody not?”

“Because it’s dangerous enough as it is, and…I worry. About you.”

“I worry about you as well, but we haven’t run into any other Time Lords in sodding ages,” she argued. “Not since that business on Skaro. And we’d shagged not two days before that, and they didn’t sense any human pheromones on you, or notice any of those mental fingerprints you said you’d be leaving on my mind. I say we chance it.”

“The Time Lords needed me on Skaro.” He reached out, ran his fingers through her hair. “It’s possible they may have deliberately overlooked any evidence that they found it politic to ignore.” His mouth took on a bitter twist. “We do hypocrisy so very well.”

Sarah Jane traced an abstract design on his chest, hesitating over her next words. “How…much trouble would we be in, if they knew?”

His left hand tightened its grip where it rested on the small of her back. He looked away. “Rather a lot.”

“What would happen?” she asked, cocking her head a bit to the side to try to catch his eye. “Would it be like Turing, with the hormone treatments?”

The Doctor gave a mirthless laugh. “Oh, the darkest depths of disregard the British government held for homosexuality don’t quite reach how the Time Lords would feel about…this.”

“So what’s it like then?” She thought of all the times he’d compared humans to children, of how advanced a civilization Time Lords were in comparison. Oh, surely not…“Pedophilia? Dare I hope for ephebophilia? Or–”

“Bestiality.”

“Oh.”

She felt very small and exposed all of a sudden. The chill of his skin made her shiver, and she rolled off him, curled away so that her back was to him. Tears pricked at her eyes.

“Oh, Sarah…” A rustle, and the Doctor turned so that he was spooning her, his hands running gently up and down her arms, petting her–don’t think of it like that! He pressed a kiss to her temple, making shushing sounds. “Oh, Sarah, Sarah, I don’t think those things. Don’t cry, there’s a good girl.”

“Maybe they’re right,” she said, trying to speak in her best objective journalist voice, trying not to sniffle. “Maybe you should just find a nice Time Lady and settle down with her instead. Forget all about humans. I’m sure we can’t be worth the trouble.”

There was a pause, and then he–chuckled. The sod actually chuckled. “You get terribly irrational when you’re jealous, do you know that?”

“Oh, and I suppose Time Lords are incredibly logical and rational about everything, at all times!”

“Yes, actually,” he said, as though he had never realized it before. “Makes them dreadfully boring lovers, now that you mention it.”

She almost smiled, but she didn’t want to give in quite so easily, so she twisted a little, trying to wrench out of his grip. The Doctor retaliated by tickling her.

“Alright, alright,” she gasped between laughs, swatting away his hands as she rolled back to face him. “Maybe I was being a bit silly.”

“Very.” He grinned toothily, and tweaked her nose. “Very silly, and very sweet, and very human. And very wonderful.” His expression sobered. “It’s my fault; I should never have put you in this danger. I am a weak man. A weak, selfish old man.”

“Oi, I made a decision somewhere in there too,” Sarah protested. “I wanted this.” She paused, considered. Gave a cheeky smirk. “Suppose I’m a bit of a pervert as well, shagging an alien.” The smirk widened. “U.N.I.T. would probably have some pretty awkward questions for me if they ever found out what we get up to.”

“I can see the Brigadier’s face now,” the Doctor said with a smile like sin itself. “For the sake of his blood pressure, we must make a solemn vow to never let him know.”

“Unless we’re extremely bored,” Sarah promised, “and in desperate need of entertainment.” And they both laughed, and Sarah let him pull her to him and cuddle her again.

“It may change someday,” the Doctor said softly into her ear. “But change comes slow on Gallifrey. Those fools on the High Council don’t consider anyone outside the Citadel to be truly sentient, even other Gallifreyans. Change may come, but I fear too late for us. For me to give you everything you deserve.”

Sarah pillowed her head against his chest. He smelled like dandelions and sweat and crisply antiseptic soap, and his arms were strong around her. “This is enough.” She paused, uncertain if she wanted to hear the answer to the next question bubbling inside her, but she was at heart always a journalist; she couldn’t not ask it.

“How much…the reason you fancy me, how much is that because I’m human?”

He tipped her chin up, gave his wild Cheshire-cat grin. “Oh, that you’re human is easily the second-most attractive thing about you.”

“Oh.” Sarah tucked her head back down, blinking rapidly. Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it? It wasn’t as if he’d said it was the only reason he found her appealing. She wouldn’t have been upset if he’d fancied her because he had a thing for brunettes or short women. She wasn’t upset. She wasn’t. And she was not going to be silly and cry again.

“Aren’t you going to ask the obvious question?”

She was almost afraid to, actually, but there was no way she was going to admit that. “What’s the most attractive thing about me?”

He framed her face in his hands and planted a loud smacking kiss on her forehead, then her nose, then her lips. Looked deep into her eyes, and smiled.

“That you’re Sarah Jane Smith.”

xxxxx

“Do I act human?” Romana asked before she had even cleared the door to the control room.

“What?” The Doctor looked up from the console, which he had been trying to program to dispense food tablets again. “Why in the name of Rassilon would you ask me that?”

“I know about your…predilections.” She crossed her arms and leaned her tuxedoed frame against the doorway, blonde hair fanning against the wall. “They were the talk of the Panopticon. Well, on the slower days in any case.”

“Oh, really?” He tried to stride very casually to the other side of the room to pretend to work on the scanner, but his scarf caught on one of the controls and he almost tripped and fell flat on his face. He yanked the scarf away, hoping Romana hadn’t noticed. “I had no idea my jelly babies had created such a scandal.”

“What?”

“We were discussing my predilections, weren’t we?”

Romana sighed very loudly, louder than she had once been accustomed; one of the first things she had learned about the man was that emotional subtleties were lost on him. “I know you make it a habit to eschew seriousness, Doctor, but if you could just humor me–”

“That’s a very clever pun.”

The look she shot him could have frozen a Type IA blue star.

“Oh, very well. Yes, occasionally you act like a bit human. Mostly you act Gallifreyan. Every third planet or so you seem to spend a few days acting positively Arcturian. As much as anyone can ‘act’ like a given species, seeing as there’s generally more variation between individual members of one group than two groups as a whole. What’s all this silliness about?”

Having finally succeeded in capturing the Doctor’s full attention, Romana was at a loss to proceed. Finally she crossed her arms and said, “You like me.”

“More or less.”

Romana put her hands on her hips and glared. “Doctor…”

“Oh, all right! I like you. There. Are you satisfied, or would you like a sonnet?”

“Don’t be such an infant,” she snapped. “You’re acting like a fifty year old.”

The Doctor kicked at the floor of the TARDIS and mumbled something indistinguishable, though Romana thought she caught something along the lines of ‘barely out of her first century.’ Magnanimously, she chose to ignore this. “So occasionally I act human, and you like me.”

“Don’t do that!”

“Do what?”

“String those two statements together like they’re connected. Correlation doesn’t imply causation.”

“It doesn’t not imply it either.”

“Well, I have no idea what species you’re supposed to be acting like now, but it’s certainly a very annoying one.”

“I was warned about you,” Romana snapped. “‘Oh, you won’t be able to move in his TARDIS for tripping over humans,’” she huffed in a fair imitation of Castellan’s most recent incarnation. “‘He’ll go swanning around the furthest reaches of time and space and still find a way to run into the silly buggers!’” She took a deep breath and plowed forward. “But I haven’t seen you seduce any humans at all, and so if you’re trying to seduce me–I’ve changed so much since I started traveling with you, and I have to wonder if you haven’t been deliberately changing me–”

“That’s entirely unfair! It’s not like I’ve shagged every human I've come across. I’ve not even snogged every human I've come across, or even all the ones I invited into the TARDIS, even when they flirted madly with me. Which I’ll have you know they did with some frequency.”

“How very wonderful for you,” she said coldly.

“And the ones I did kiss were very grateful for it! They didn’t come charging into the control room the next day with a lot of pointed questions and passive-aggressive accusations.”

“You have a certain history–”

“So what if I do? It’s not even as if it’s illegal anymore; Leela and that charming Andred fellow saw to that.”

“By waving a knife in Borusa’s face as they made pointed remarks about the salvation of Gallifrey, yes.” Romana sighed. Perhaps she should opt for a peacemaking gesture. She pasted on her sunniest smile. “I simply want to understand your intentions. Perhaps if you got me a human…”

“They’re not lab animals, Romana.”

“I know that.”

“Well, getting you an experimental subject certainly makes it sound like you don’t. Rassilon, and people wonder why I prefer the company of species that don’t act like the universe should bow down and kiss their triple firsts!”

He started to storm off, and Romana raised her voice. “Is that why your marriage failed?”

The Doctor whirled around and was in her face in three strides, eyes flashing. “You have no right to ask about that!”

“Of course I do!” she yelled back.

“And what in the universe gave you that idea?”

“Because I rather like you as well, you swot!”

“Oh.” He rocked back on his heels, his anger abruptly deflating. “Really?”

“Yes, really.” She was blushing now. She never used to blush. “Rassilon knows why. But I do, and I think that gives me some right to know if you like me because I’m a socially acceptable alternative to humans, or if–”

“I don’t like humans.”

Romana snorted in disbelief.

“I like people,” the Doctor insisted. “Brave, silly, kind people of just high enough intelligence to appreciate how clever I am. A higher than average percentage of those people just happen to be human.”

“And exoticization and fetishization of the Other never enters into it at all,” Romana said skeptically. “Nor the decreased pressure a shorter-lived species puts on your commitment issues.”

“I never claimed I was perfect,” the Doctor said, in blatant contradiction of several instances Romana could recall. “Just very close. And you know I despise it when you slide into psychobabble. It’s so arbitrary. If I preferred you now because you were blonde, would that bother you?”

“Do you prefer me now that I’m blonde?”

“No, your hair was much nicer before.”

“You’re just saying that because it looked more like yours.”

“And what if I am?”

“Egotist.”

“I thought we’d established that in our first row. I’m egotistical and you’re elitist.” He fiddled with his scarf, cleared his throat. “Look, if it’s any consolation I think your smile is much lovelier now. And your forehead is simply splendid.”

“You think so? Really?”

“Absolutely.”

They grinned at each other like fools for a few moments, and then the Doctor said, “If we get into arguments like this every time I get drunk and kiss you, I may end up regenerating from old age before we ever make it anywhere else.”

“Perhaps we could skip the getting drunk part,” Romana said with a puckish smile, sliding closer to him. “I’ve never liked ginger beer anyway.”

She leaned forward to kiss him, but he stopped her with his fingers on her lips. His eyes had gone incongruously dark and grave in that sudden flicked-light-switch way all his moods had. “Romana…I do hope you know that--I'll be faithful to you, of course, but--this isn’t going to ‘cure’ me.”

For a moment she thought he had been rooting around in her mind, but a quick telepathic check revealed all the entryways to be secure. “Of course not,” she lied. “The very idea.”

“Because there’s nothing to cure.”

Privately Romana thought that a sexual appetite for apes, albeit fairly amusing and charming ones whose occasional company she was beginning to enjoy, ranked just below the karnetosis oozing plague in terms of Things to Cure. But seeing as the Doctor was moving towards a healthy normative sexuality on his own, there was no need to insult his precious humans. Also, doing that would probably send him into a week-long sulk, and though she’d be able to get intelligent conversation from K-9, there’d be no snogging at all.

“Of course,” she repeated.

“And because a relationship founded on half-truths and false expectations can only end in petty arguments about who gets to keep the dog and whose fault it is that we’re a dungeon this time.”

“It’s usually yours,” Romana said. “Doctor, can we kiss? Only I’m standing on tip-toe here and my feet are getting rather tired.”

“Ah, yes, of course.”

They kissed.

“Though,” the Doctor said when they finally broke apart, his grin belying his still-serious tone, “if this doesn’t work out then I really must insist on keeping K-9. ”

“In your dreams, Doctor.”

It was all academic, of course. She was certain they'd have a perfectly fine affair.

She was certain she’d be able to reform him in no time.