It began by accident.
Tegan couldn't quite believe that Adric was really gone. She felt as if she was trapped in one of those nightmares she had as a girl, where she knew it was a dream but she just couldn't force herself to wake up. Except, deep inside of her, she knew that this was no fantasy of her mind.
"This can't be happening," Tegan whispered shakily. "This just can't be happening."
Behind her, there was a sudden movement. "Did you say something?"
Tegan quickly stepped out of the way so Nyssa could slip into the wardrobe room as well. "Nothing important," she replied.
Nyssa gave her a slightly suspicious look, but the younger girl didn't say anything about the obvious lie. Instead, she let her gaze drift over the racks of clothing that lined the wall. "Have you found the dress you wanted to change into?"
"I'm still looking," Tegan said with a helpless shrug. "I know that dress is around here somewhere."
Nyssa gave her a small smile. "Would you like me to help you search?"
"I'd appreciate it," Tegan replied, shooting her a grateful look.
Without saying another word, Nyssa slipped past the other girl and began rifling through some of the clothing that was hanging nearby. A hint of a smile played at the corner of Tegan's mouth.
After a few minutes had passed, Tegan cleared her throat. "Is the Doctor back from dropping off the freighter's crew?"
Nyssa's already weak smile faltered. "Not yet," she said reluctantly. "Please tell me you're not going to say anything rash to him. You know there was nothing he could do."
A slightly hurt look appeared on Nyssa's face, and she quickly looked away. It was obvious from her hunched shoulders and the slight shaking of her hands, though, that she wasn't fine. Tegan sighed.
Tegan reached out and gently lifted Nyssa's head up so that their gazes met. "Hey, don't start that again," she said quietly. "It's going to be okay."
"No, it's not," Nyssa shot back, blinking back tears. "Adric's gone, Tegan. He's dead. He was just a child, even younger than me, and now he's just... gone."
With a sad smile, Tegan reached out and gently brushed away her friend's tears with her thumb. "I know," she whispered. "Trust me, I know."
Then she kissed her.
It only lasted a second, but that was long enough for them both to be a little flushed as they hurried pulled apart. "I'm sorry," Tegan said quickly, an embarrassed looking on her face.
Nyssa managed a small smile. "It's fine," she said, just a hint of surprise in her voice. "You have nothing to apologize for."
Tegan shot her a disbelieving look.
Clearing her throat, Nyssa thrust something into Tegan's hands. "Here's the outfit you were looking for," she said quickly. "I need to return to the control room before the Doctor returns."
Before Tegan had a chance to say anything else, the younger girl was gone.
When she saw the TARDIS disappear, Tegan felt something inside of her break.
It didn't make sense. She was finally home, in her own time and even back at Heathrow. The Doctor had finally made good on the promise he had made her a lifetime ago. She couldn't help but smile to herself as she realized just how true that statement was. Despite all of that, however, she couldn't help but feel hurt.
"It should have been my decision," she muttered angrily, kicking a stray stone as she walked away. "The Doctor should have asked me if I still wanted to leave instead of just assuming. He didn't even leave me my things!"
Tegan slowly came to a stop and glanced back for just a second, half-hoping that the familiar blue police box would reappear. It would be just like the Doctor to forget about her and come back once Nyssa pointed out to him that she was missing. Then she gave a self-deprecating laugh and shook her head. "After that stunt I pulled, I wouldn't blame Nyssa for not wanting me along." She sighed as she turned back around and continued on her way. "I don't know what I was thinking."
The surprised smile that Nyssa had given her flashed in her mind, and Tegan paused for just a second. Then she shook her had and continued on. "It doesn't matter," she said with a tired sigh. "I'll probably never see her or the Doctor again."
After the incident with Omega, Tegan went straight to her room in the TARDIS. She wasn't entirely certain why, but it felt like the right place to be. "I suppose it's because I never thought I'd be here again," she said as she dropped down on her bed.
"Talking to yourself?"
Tegan couldn't help but let out a startled sound as she rolled over on the bed and saw Nyssa standing in her doorway. "You shouldn't sneak up on me like that," she grumbled.
Nyssa shot her an amused smile. "You shouldn't leave the door open."
"Do you really expect me to believe that...." Tegan trailed off. "I did?"
"You did," Nyssa said with a nod.
Shaking her head in amusement, Tegan pushed herself up into a sitting position and gestured for Nyssa to come over and join her. As the younger girl sat down beside her on the bed, Tegan sighed. "I honestly thought I'd never see either of you again, you know."
"I thought the same," Nyssa replied, her smile growing a little wistful. "I meant what I said earlier, about missing you."
Tegan flung her arm around the other girl's shoulder and gave her a slight hug. "I missed you too," she said.
Nyssa stared at her and slowly bit her lip, but she didn't reply.
Raising an eyebrow, Tegan let her arm drop from Nyssa's shoulder. "What?" she asked uncertainly. "Is something wrong?"
At that, Nyssa stopped biting her lip. She took a deep breath and, before Tegan even realized what was happening, the younger girl leaned in and kissed her. She pulled back away almost instantly, her face reddening.
Tegan gaped at her.
"What?" Nyssa asked, somehow managing to sound indignant even though she was still blushing. "You're allowed to kiss me, but I'm not allowed to kiss you?"
"I didn't say that," Tegan protested immediately.
Nyssa gave her a pointed look. "Then why are you staring at me like that?"
An incredulous expression appeared on Tegan's face. "You kissed me," she said.
"You kissed me once," Nyssa shot back.
"I know," Tegan replied instantly. "But..."
Nyssa raised an eyebrow. "But, what?"
Tegan kissed her back.
This time, neither of them pulled away until they were both out of breath. "What about the Doctor?" Tegan protested, reluctantly pulling away. "He'll probably come looking for us."
Nyssa shook her head. "He thinks we're resting," she said, smiling a little. "Recuperating from everything that happened."
"Good for him," Tegan said, her own mouth twisting into a smile. Then she leaned in and kissed Nyssa again, who immediately returned the favor.
As she began fumbling for the buttons on Nyssa's blouse, the younger girl suddenly froze. Tegan stopped immediately. "Second thoughts?"
Nyssa gave her a sheepish look. "Not, it's just that I'm... not certain what to do," she admitted softly. "I've never..." She trailed off, her face reddening slightly.
Tegan smiled reassuringly at her. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm only used to men," she replied. "But I'm sure we can figure it out."
When Tegan woke up with a gasp several hours later, a vision of a snake dancing in her mind, she was intertwined in Nyssa's arms.
"What's wrong?" Nyssa asked, blinking sleepily as she rolled over.
Tegan gave her a sheepish look. "Just a bad dream," she whispered, reaching out to brush a loose strand of hair out of Nyssa's face. "I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Go back to sleep."
After a week, Tegan stopped waking up from her nightmares with startled gasps. Instead, she began waking up with muffled screams.
By the third time that happened, Nyssa was ready to go ask the Doctor for the help.
Tegan wasn't as keen on the idea. "I'm fine," she protested. "It's just stress. I mean, I've spent the last few months living as a normal human. It's going to take some time for me to get used to running for my life from blood-thirsty aliens and such."
Nyssa laughed softly at that. "The Keloptins weren't blood-thirsty," she pointed out gently. "They were just insulted when the Doctor refused their request."
"If you think they weren't blood-thirsty, then you apparently didn't see that woman who had her eyes set on the Doctor," Tegan replied with a grin. "Really, though, can you blame him for running? If someone had told me that I was to be married at sunset to something that looked like that, I'd run too.'
Nyssa cleared her throat. "I think she was actually a man," she corrected, her mouth twitching as she struggled to keep a straight face.
Tegan blinked. "Really?"
"I'm almost certain," Nyssa said, nodding.
As their conversation continued, the younger girl forgot all about going to tell the Doctor that Tegan had been having nightmares.
"What do you think?"
Tegan rolled over in her bed and glanced toward the doorway, where Nyssa was showing off what appeared to be a new outfit. Even though she really didn't like it very much, she still smiled. "It's nice," she replied. "Of course, I think you'd look better without it."
Nyssa gave her an exasperated look.
"What?" Tegan asked, grinning.
Nyssa started to reply, but she stopped as she got a good look at Tegan. "Have you still not been able to sleep?" she asked worriedly.
Tegan shrugged, but - considering how pale and drawn her face was - her casual action didn't have quite the effect she wanted. "Not really."
"Are you still having nightmares?" Nyssa asked, walking over and kneeling beside the bed. "I still say you should tell the Doctor about them. Maybe he could help."
Tegan quickly shook her head. "I'm fine," she said. "I was actually getting ready to try taking a quick nap. I'm sure that's all I need."
Nyssa shot her a disbelieving look, but she didn't argue. "I'll let you get some rest then," she said, leaning in to gently place a kiss on Tegan's forehead. "Maybe I'll go find out what the Doctor thinks of my clothes."
"That ought to be an interesting conversation," Tegan said impishly.
Shaking her head in fond exasperation, Nyssa pushed herself to her feet and started toward the door. "Get some rest."
After the incident with the Mara, for the first time Tegan took the initiative instead of it being the other way around. "Mind if I join you?" she asked quietly.
Nyssa looked up from where she was sitting, a startled expression on her face. "Of course I don't mind," she said, hurriedly standing up. "I wanted to finish reading first, but it can wait until tomorrow."
"Go ahead and finish your book," Tegan said, smiling weakly as she made her way over to Nyssa's bed and sat down. "I just... didn't want to be alone tonight."
Nyssa frowned. "Are you still having nightmares?" she asked worriedly.
Tegan looked away.
"You are," Nyssa said, almost breathlessly. "Tegan, why didn't you tell me you were still having them?"
Tegan reluctantly met Nyssa's gaze. "I didn't want to worry you," she said softly. "And I just don't feel safe in my own bed. Not yet. When I was in there, the Mara was about to get to me."
"Not safe?" Nyssa repeated, frowning again as she sat down beside Tegan on the bed. "Tegan, the Mara's gone. The Doctor said so, and there's no reason not to believe him."
"Oh, I know," Tegan said quickly. "I'm not saying it's not irrational."
Nyssa stared at her for a minute before leaning in and gently wrapping her arms around her. "Everything's going to be fine," she said, gently running her fingers through Tegan's short hair. "Don't worry."
Later that night, as the lay wrapped in each other's arms, neither of them woke up as the door to room quietly opened. Neither of them saw the familiar blond figure peer in at them, a worried look on his face that quickly faded into a surprised one.
They also didn't see his mouth twist into a relieved smile before he slipped back out.
"I can't believe the Doctor invited him to stay in the TARDIS," Tegan grumbled as she lay down beside Nyssa on her bed. "Can't he see that the boy's up to something?"
Nyssa gave her a small smile as she leaned in and kissed her. "We really don't know anything about Turlough," she pointed out. "Would it hurt you to give him the benefit of the doubt?"
"Probably," Tegan muttered under her breath.
With a sigh, Nyssa pushed herself up into a sitting position. "Honestly, Tegan, why are you so suspicious of him?" she asked. "He seems like a nice enough boy to me."
Tegan sighed as she pushed herself up as well. "I still don't trust him," she said as she leaned in to kiss Nyssa.
They quickly pulled apart when they heard the door open, following by a surprised cough. Without saying a word, they quickly turned toward the doorway.
"Wrong door," Turlough said weakly, staring at them from where he stood with a surprised look on his face. "Definitely the wrong door. Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt."
As he quickly stepped back out and shut the door behind him, Tegan turned to Nyssa and raised an eyebrow.
"A nice enough boy who apparently doesn't know how to knock," Nyssa amended. "Now, you better go after him."
Tegan stared at her. "What?" she asked, startled. "Why?"
"I thought you didn't trust him," Nyssa said, her eyes twinkling. "Do you really want him wandering aimlessly around the TARDIS?"
With a groan, Tegan kicked her legs off the bed and stood up. "Good point."
"Tegan, I have to tell you something."
As soon as those words left Nyssa's mouth, Tegan knew what she was going to say. There was just something about her tone of voice. "What do you want to tell me?" she managed to ask weakly.
Nyssa gave her a sad smile. "I'm not leaving with you and the Doctor this time."
Tegan felt her throat go dry. "What are you talking about?" she asked, aware that her voice sounded more than a little strangled. "You can't seriously be considering staying here."
"Doctor," Tegan called out, cutting Nyssa off. He quickly came over, a worried look on his face. "Doctor, talk to Nyssa."
He quickly glanced between the two of them before focusing his gaze on Nyssa. "What is it?"
Nyssa took a deep breath. "I'm not coming with you," she said, glancing over at Tegan for a second before looking back at him. "There's too much to be done here."
Even as she continued arguing with Nyssa, Tegan knew that the point was moot. The younger girl - no, not girl, woman - had made up her mind. Nothing Tegan or the Doctor could possibly say would make her change her decision.
"She'll die here," Tegan said, barely holding back tears.
Nyssa gave her a teary smile. "Not easily, Tegan," she replied softly. "Like you, I'm indestructible."
As Nyssa took a step forward and wrapped her arms around Tegan in one last hug, the older woman leaned in close to her ear. "I'll miss you," she whispered, barely holding back tears. "I'll miss you more than you'll ever know."
She pulled away and gave Tegan a sad smile. "I know," she said simply. "I'll miss you as well, Tegan."
As she and the Doctor stepped inside the TARDIS, Tegan felt her carefully built walls begin to crumble. She quickly looked away from him, reaching up to brush away the tears that were building up in her eyes.
"I'm fine," she replied hurriedly, not glancing at the Doctor. "Just give me a second."
A strong hand grabbed her arm and gently brought it down from her face, and Tegan suddenly found herself staring into a pair of familiar blue eyes. "Oh, Tegan," the Doctor said softly.
Tegan blinked furiously, trying her best to get rid of the tears that were still threatening to start falling. "Really, Doctor, I'm fine."
He stared at her for a moment before speaking. "I knew about the two of you."
She froze. "What?" she asked weakly. "Since when?"
The Doctor smiled at her as he gently reached out and patted her shoulder. "After the Mara," he replied softly. "I went to your room to check on you that night."
"I wish I'd seen the look on your face," Tegan said, giving him a weak smile as she pulled away.
"I'm sure it would have amused you," he replied with a small grin of his own.
Tegan reached up and wiped her eyes. Although they were still red, she suddenly looked more alive. "We better go find Turlough before he gets into trouble."
The Doctor shook his head at that, but he did start walking again. "Turlough?" he called out. "Turlough!"
Tegan started to follow him, but she paused for just a second to glance behind her. "Goodbye, Nyssa," she whispered.