”You don’t understand,” he cried. How could she not, even now? After he’d explained? Leela, possibly, she wasn’t brought up having the Laws of Time drummed into her skull for centuries. Romana, though? Had she really been so poisoned by the Doctor as to not to be able to understand the sheer scale of what he’d done?
Romana’s expression seemed grave enough to appreciate it but she was forgiving him? “Oh, Narvin. I understand… more than you know,” she said, indicating that both Leela and Narvin should sit.
"Have I told you about the first time I’d met the Daleks?" She didn’t wait for an answer. She hadn’t mentioned it before. "Well, it was hardly unusual. Terribly frightening until it was over. It got to the Doctor as well. Like a bear with a sore head.
"So we talked. It happened in a round about sort of way but he told me the story of what had happened on that mission you’ve just now sent him on.
"What you did was merely Time unfolding as It should."
"That doesn’t excuse…”
"No, Narvin it doesn’t. But the fact remains, nothing truly has changed. You haven’t made it worse."
Narvin shook his head.
"My tribe has a story. It is old, but it is wise," Leela began speaking for the first time. "A lamb was once drinking by a stream when a wolf came along. He tells the lamb that her drinking the water is dirtying his stream. The lamb says that she is upstream from the wolf. The wolf pretends now to be offended. He tells the lamb that she reminds him of a lamb that abused him last year. The lamb tells him she could not be that lamb, because she was not yet born. The wolf tires of excuses and so launches himself and eats the lamb."
This story was greeted with silence. “Sorry, Leela, are you saying the wolf is the Daleks and the Time Lords are… lambs?”
Leela wasn’t terribly pleased to have her point missed. “It is a story, Romana, a met-a-phor.”
"I’m not sure we’re quite metaphorical lambs, either," she replied bemusedly.
"I don’t know," Narvin said. "We die at the end of that story."
Leela growls. “It is not that the lamb dies. It is that the wolf has all these excuses to her to justi-fy his actions, but in the end they are just excuses and he will answer his instincts. He is a predator. The Daleks are predators. Yes. You have given them an excuse, Narvin. But they do not need this to attack us. They do not know how to do anything else. All the excuse they need is that they are hungry and desire our blood.”
"I wish I could just accept that," he replied, more solemnly. "But I threw away the Laws of Time because… I was impulsive.”
"Because you love Romana," Leela interpreted, causing Narvin to look at her in shock. "That is how you say you love, Narvin, you said Romana is good for Gallifrey. There is no higher thing you say."
"Yes, well," Romana said quickly. "One doesn’t expect good results the first time one does something. Though you are marvellous at failing.”
He let out a dry laugh. “Yes, that’s something I have practice of.”
"I think we all do," she nodded. "Too much."
"But we are home."
"Assuming I’m not exiled," Narvin pointed out. "Or vaporised."
"You won’t be. I’ll claim responsibility," she decided.
“What? Romana, no!”
She is determined. “Narvin. You are good for Gallifrey. I won’t let them take you from it. In fact, I intend to lobby the Council to return your lives and we really need to find out the effects of Leela’s taste of Vampire blood.”
"There is nothing wrong with me," Leela throws up her hand. "Except for how you both have said now that you love each other and yet you do not kiss!"
"It would be nice just to know, Leela, what has been done, if only to prepare for the future."
"You are refusing on purpose!"
"Leela, is this really the time?" Narvin asked her honestly.
“Yes,” she declared. “Andred and I danced and danced and danced. Because we had more ‘important’, more bigger things on our minds, but then it was too late. He was dead and I could not go back. So yes, Narvin, you and Romana must kiss because soon, maybe because Romana fails or you confess or something, it goes wrong. Because we all know it will.”
Romana and Narvin converged on her, their arms going around Leela. And they did kiss. They kissed her.
Leela stood in the centre of them as her breathing steadied and the panic she had worked herself into had started to subside. “You are good for Gallifrey,” Narvin told her quietly. Romana hummed in agreement.
Leela closed her eyes for a moment and opened as the door whirred open and the Time Lords stepped away. “The High Council is to convene,” Castellan Annos announced, making no reaction to what he’d walk in her."Understood.".