“Doctor?” Nyssa called out as she entered his lab. She had been reading the book that he had mentioned to her, and while she had, as he suggested, found some similarity between the old gentry of England that Ms. Austen wrote of and the society of the Traken court, she found the characters' inability to make their feelings known to one another frustrating to read. She meant to ask the Doctor for better social context in hope of better understanding, but found herself less than warmly received.

“Yes, what? What do you want?” the Doctor snipped in answer, not looking up from his work. Nyssa set aside the book and huffed. He had been like this since Stockbridge, and she was irritated past the point that even someone of her disposition could ignore.

“Are you going to be like this all the time now?” she asked starkly.

“Like what?” The Doctor pouted, but did finally deign to look at her.

“Like this.” She gestured widely, exasperated. “Like, I’m not entirely certain what-- It’s almost as though you are angry at me, but I can’t begin to imagine why. Would you rather I had stayed on Earth? Stayed with--”

“No,” the Doctor answered sharply and then again gently, “No, Nyssa. It’s not that at all. I’m... I am glad that you came with me.” The Doctor sighed and looked down at his companion as she stared up at him, clearly expecting more explanation than that. ”I think perhaps, I might have been, just a touch, you see, jealous,” he finished quietly, looking anywhere but at her.

Nyssa blinked in confusion. “Jealous? I don’t understand, how is it you--” Her eyes widened as comprehension dawned, and the clever girl suddenly felt far more foolish that she ever had before.

The Doctor cleared his throat and gave a forced smile. “Yes, well, you are right. I have been less that a good friend to you these last few days. I hope you can forgive an old man for being a bit indulgent.”

“Doctor, I didn't know.” Nyssa stared at him like she was observing an unforeseen chemical reaction. Something that her theories and estimations could not have prepared her for.

“I suppose that was something of the idea,” he admitted to his shoes.

“What do you mean?” she asked a bit dully, still trying to process this new information.

“I felt a certain degree of responsibility for you when you began travelling with me. I never wanted you to feel anything but comfortable here. It might have complicated things had I been more forthright.”

“I,” she started, still processing things as she chose her words. “I believe I understand.” The Doctor turned away back to his work with a nod, seeming to feel the subject was closed. “Doctor.” When he turned, he clearly found her far closer than he had expected, she took advantage of his shock and guided his face down with a gentle hand on his cheek and pressed her lips to his. The Doctor was hesitant, almost reverent. His lips were cool, and she could feel the spot he perpetually worried on his bottom lip rough under her own. It also happened to be perfect, simple and sweet, just as she had often imagined it being as she travelled with the Doctor.

After a moment he placed his hands on her arms and pushed her gently back. “Are you certain this is what you want, Nyssa?” The Doctor’s face was open and kind, inviting her to say anything with no threat of reproach.

She smiled. “I did choose you, Doctor, even before I knew. It would be silly for me to change my mind now.” The Doctor nodded, clearly pleased, and leaned in to kiss her again, properly, pulling her against him and tangling his hand into her soft curls. When he pulled back this time she was breathless, she stared up at him a bit surprised. He simply smiled his beguiling boyish grin and then started slightly as though surprised by something only he could see.

‘What was it that you wanted?” he asked suddenly, confusing her for a moment while she caught up with his reasoning.

“Oh, the book,” she remembered after a moment. “You know, I think you answered my question, actually,” she mused.

“Did I?” He looked confused, which she decided she liked, so she pressed her lips into a smile and simply nodded.