Yaz, Graham and Ryan stared at the blonde in shock for a long moment, not sure what to say. Was she really a friend of The Doctor?
Graham was the first one to just go with it and say what was on his mind.
"I'm worried about the Doc," he sighed. "She's been going on and on about how she can't trust her memories. That she doesn't know who she is any longer. And on top of that, her planet's been destroyed. Which makes me a bit suspicious of you, to be honest."
"Oh Doctor," Romana sighed, rolling her eyes slightly. "Always missing the forest for the trees until the very last second."
She took a deep breath, trying to think of how she could properly summarise the issue in a way the human could understand. "Even a Time Lord can have their history re-written in extreme circumstances, and the same goes for Gallifrey. The Time War changed everything. What we'd spent billions of years fixing into an orderly progression of cause-to-effect has been undermined at the very root, and every now and then changes bleed through in rather dramatic fashion."
"So wait," Yaz interjected. "Is The Doctor this 'Timeless Child' or not?"
Romana frowned. "She never was. Until history changed. Then she always was. History may change again, and she may not have ever been. But the versions of herself that were may still bleed through and co-exist with her even when she isn't again, now that she's aware of them having existed somewhen."
"Am I the only one with a headache?" Ryan asked tiredly, doing his best to keep up.
"Similarly," Romana continued on pedantically, pointedly ignoring the befuddled reaction of the humans-and indeed, perhaps enjoying them a little-"Gallifey still exists, undestroyed. and yet, it has fallen. Which the current state is really depends upon how you approach the situation. It's all rather multiple-choice at the highest levels of causality right now, I'm afraid. "
"Like that cat in the box," Graham suggested. "Schroder's, or something."
"I'd think a cat would become very cross if it was stuffed in a box," Romana mused, not familiar with the reference.
"But doesn't this mean nothing matters?" Yaz protested. "If history is like shifting sand under your feet, what's the point of anything?"
Romana wrinkled her nose at that. "Don't get me wrong. As a Time Lord, I find the lack of a coherent historical narrative extremely frustrating, and I'd like to find a way back to the way things were before, but-"
She leaned forward to look at the trio. "-If there's one lesson I took away from my time travelling with The Doctor, it was that while the past can inform you about who you were, what's most important is who you choose to be right now. That's what ultimately makes all the difference."
She stood up, reaching for the Time Ring on her shoulder. "Please don't mention my little visit to The Doctor- she'll get where she needs to be on her own."
"But shouldn't we tell her?" Yaz protested quickly. "Give her some hope that everything'll be all right?"
"Her Hope?" Romana asked as she began to disappear, looking at the three of them in turn. "She has already found it."
And with that, she was gone. And history continued on in its delightfully confusing and convoluted way.
Having successfully invaded both America and Canada from her home base in Windsor, Paisley has become horribly corrupted by the world. She hates active voice and wishes to god Twitter had an edit button. Dedicated to "creating the greatest 'Ship of them all", she ponders horribly terrible, idiotic things for your amusement.