"Oh God," said Romana, "It's the ex." She moved behind Rose and pushed her hair over her face.
Rose was pushed aside though, as Romana was latched onto by a man who gave the impression of being 'strange'.
Romana made a muffled squeaking noise and extricated herself. "Oh, it's you, Doctor. Gosh, isn't this... nice. I take it you're not dead then?"
"Not yet," he said. "I don't suppose you know who blew up Gallifrey?"
"No idea," lied Romana. "Actually, I'd been assuming it was you."
"Well, no offence, but it does rather seem like something you'd do. Possibly out of hubris."
"Aren't you going to introduce us?"
Romana sighed. It was quite sexy, thought Rose. "This is Rose," she said. "Rose, this is the Doctor. We used to... travel together."
"Hello," said the Doctor, eyeing Rose in a slightly speculative manner. "Jack was with me a minute ago. I expect he saw some man or woman or sentient creature of indeterminate gender. He does that." The Doctor looked a bit envious, which made Rose wonder a bit.
“I suppose Romana’s told you all about me,” he said.
“No,” said Rose.
“Oh.” The Doctor shoved his hands in his pockets and looked hopefully at Romana. "Well, since you're not dead, do you think maybe..."
Romana grabbed Rose's hand. Rather pointedly. "Iris is still alive," she said. "I saw her last week. Or was it next week? Sometime around about now, anyway. She's always liked you."
Romana nodded. “Yes. And I’ve just regenerated, so as you can imagine I’m just getting used to myself. How many are you up to, by the way?”
“Umm, ten. You?”
Romana smiled. “Four. Looks like I really will live an awful lot longer than you.”
“…suppose so. How’s K-9?”
“Took him apart for scrap,” said Romana.
“I could build you another one?” suggest the Doctor.
“No. Well,” she said, “It’s been nice bumping into you like this, but I’ve got an oppressive regime to topple and those things don’t just take care of themselves.”
“I was going to do that!”
Romana sniffed. “Yes, well. I’m sure you’re very good at that sort of thing, but I feel this one requires a certain subtlety.”
“I can do subtle!”
Romana raised an eyebrow. It was very arch and made Rose think about things that she hadn’t really thought about before she met Romana. She’d been thinking about those things even more since Romana had sort-of-not-really kissed her on the Game Station.
And she was a bit… confused now, because apparently Romana had an ex of some sort, who dressed like someone who’d been hit by an Oxfam and might possibly be gay in a way that wasn’t entirely compatible with people who looked like Romana. No wonder Romana didn’t do domestic.
“I’m sure I’ll see you around at some point,” said Romana, who was clearly getting a bit impatient with the whole thing. “You just run off and find your companion, and I’ll sort this one out myself. With Rose.” And then she winked and Rose found herself blushing a bit. “And then perhaps you could find Iris. She was looking a bit broody, if I remember correctly. Don’t you think she looked a bit broody, Rose?”
Rose nodded, because that seemed like the thing to do.
“I was very young,” said Romana, firmly. “And you left me in E-space with that bloody dog and that annoying teenaged boy. I had to use K-9 as a transmitter to get home. And then they wanted me to stay. They said you’d corrupted me.”
“I did a bit,” said the Doctor, to whom Rose was fostering an increasingly strong dislike.
“They made me President!” yelled Romana. “It was horrid! And then when I finally got away people kept thinking I was you!”
“But I don’t have-”
Rose missed the circulation in her hand. And she suspected that some sort of emotional catharsis was about to happen.
“I bet you’ve been pining over me for years,” said Romana. “You have, haven’t you?”
“It’s just… we were so good together," he whined. "We were like Lennon and McCartney, or scones and jam, or Angel and Darla except not evil."
“You left me in another fucking universe!” she shrieked.
The Doctor winced. As did Rose, who secretly decided that if they were all like this then it was a bloody good thing that their planet had got blown up.
Romana took a deep breath to calm herself and allowed Rose to get some feeling back in her fingers. “So,” she said, “I’d quite like an apology.”
“I’m really, really, very, very sorry,” said the Doctor, looking fairly sincere about it.
“Well then,” said Romana. “Get back to me when you’ve aged that body a bit. Then we’ll see. But I’d still look up Iris if I were you.” And then she flounced off, dragging Rose along with her.
Back in the TARDIS, Rose wondered how best to broach the subject and whether it would be a good idea to do so anyway. Romana was attacking the sandwiches with unnecessarily large knife and swearing at the kettle. Apparently the kettle was a useless troublemaker with no sense of responsibility and it had broken Romana’s hearts and it would be dead soon anyway at this rate. Rose suspected that Romana wasn’t actually blaming the kettle for these things.
She tried the sort of thing she’d usually say in situations like this. ”He’s not good enough for you anyway,” she said. "And he looks like a weasel."
“I know,” sniffled Romana, opening the milk.
“And you’ve got me.”
Romana stirred in the sugar and nodded. “Yes,” she said, “I do have you. You're a lovely person, Rose Tyler.”
“Let’s watch some Buffy,” suggested Rose.
Romana smiled a bit. “Let’s watch Angel instead.”
And so they did.