Torchwood Five

by Danny_B [Reviews - 8]

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Author's Notes:
The flashback in this chapter comes from my fic 'Torchwood Four'

Torchwood Five

Act 2: The Master
Part 2: A Different Sort of Victory

The Master turned back to the Doctor.
"Alright," the Doctor asked, "what's your 'last request'?"
A victorious glint came into the Master's eyes and realisation struck the Doctor. The way she'd been captured, with Bond sneaking up behind her, had been too easy. The Master hadn't resisted or tried to escape at all. But that could only mean she wanted to be captured. And he was playing right into the Master's hands. The Doctor knew he had to do something. He quickly reached down and tapped out a four beat rhythm on the console.



The Master froze.
"So you know, Doctor."
"The sound of drums."
"I used to hear it all the time when I was younger."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow.
"When did it stop?"
"When the Black Guardian split my timeline."
"It chose him over you," the Doctor said softly, thinking of the Master who'd called himself Saxon.

The Master's voice softened, remembering what it had felt like to be free.
"I found myself thinking clearly, for the first time since I was eight. It was wonderful, Doctor."
"Yet you still interfered at Torchwood Four."
There had been two Masters there. The First Master, who had given the Third Doctor and UNIT so much trouble, and this one.
"I was trying to save myself, Doctor. If my younger self had not lost his regenerations, he may have found a cure."
There was a hint of sadness in her voice, pain at how that attempt had failed. She'd seen her younger self go through all twelve regenerations in minutes.
"What about Grace? You can't deny that was the act of a madman."
The Master didn't reply. Instead she spoke upwards, addressing the TARDIS.
"I'd like to speak to Grace Holloway."
The Doctor frowned. This wasn't what he was expecting at all.

Suddenly Grace was there, the phantom image appearing between Bond and Jack.
"What do you want?" she asked rudely.
The Master nodded downwards, at her body.
"Dr Holloway, I believe I have something that belongs to you."
"There's no need to rub it in."
The Master paused for a second.
"Actually, I thought you might like it back."
The exclamation burst from Grace, Jack and the Doctor like a bullet. The Master glanced up at the Doctor.
"You know why, Doctor."
The Doctor cast his memories back, to his last encounter with this Master, at Torchwood Four. It had been just after leaving Donna, but a few months before meeting Martha...


Before the Master could react, the Tenth Doctor took her by the chin, leant in and kissed her. Not just a peck on the cheek, but full-on, French style. It was like nothing the Master had ever experienced. Emotions she'd long thought lost came to the fore, overwhelming her. She had no choice but to surrender.

A few minutes later, the Doctor broke the kiss and stepped back. The female Master blinked a couple of times, slowly.
"What was that?" she asked breathlessly, the tissue compression eliminators forgotten in her hands. There was a slight smile of satisfaction on the Tenth Doctor's face.
"Young humans call it 'making out'."
And Rose had taught him very well. The Doctor glanced over as his younger incarnations bolted past. He shot the Master a cold smile. His tone was laced with sarcasm.
"Awfully sorry to cut and run."
The Doctor suited action to word, turning and bolting after his former selves. It took the Master a second to react.
"You bastard!"
The Tenth Doctor paused at the doorway.
"Bit rich, coming from you," he replied, before turning and bolting after his younger selves.


In the aftermath of the explosion, the female Master reached her own TARDIS as the dimensional flux began to fade. She reached for the coordinate panel and paused, uncertain of where to go. The Doctor had kissed her, and she knew that he'd done it purely as a diversionary measure. Just to distract her while his younger selves dealt with the reality bubble. And she knew it had been done with a bit of spite, the Doctor's parting words had told her that much. But all the same, for the first time in her lives, the Master needed some time alone. She'd been given something to think about. Reminded of something she'd long forgotten.


The Doctor brought his mind back to the present.
"That kiss..."
He trailed off, unsure of what to say.
"It reminded me of what I'd lost, Doctor. Emotions I'd missed for centuries. The most powerful forces in the Universe."
A tear rolled down the Master's cheek.
"I realised what I'd done, Doctor. I decided to make things right."
"What about the traps? All that cloak and dagger business?" Bond demanded.
"Those were the only methods I knew, Mr Bond."
"Sorry, I don't buy it," Jack said coldly.
"I don't need you to, Captain Harkness. All I need is the Doctor to believe me."
The central column came to a halt as the TARDIS landed.

The Doctor looked closely at the Master. The eyes are the window on the soul, and there was something in the Master's eyes he'd never seen there before. Something that spoke of guilt, and hope, and fear, and love.
"I do," he said softly. A smile crossed the Master's face.
"To lose is to win..."
"...and he who wins shall lose," the Doctor finished. That was when he understood fully. The Master was going for a different sort of victory. A victory over her past. He nodded decisively.
"When you're ready."
Bond, Gwen and Jack stepped back, still keeping their weapons on the Master. The Master then stepped forward, into the space occupied by Grace's phantom image.

A blinding white light erupted from the Master's body. Bond, Jack, Gwen and the Doctor had to look away and shield their eyes, and the brightness lit up the interior of the TARDIS as though it were an overexposed photograph. Then the light was gone as suddenly as it had appeared, and the four of them blinked a couple of times. Grace's body was floating in mid-air, with a white glow around it. The glow suddenly faded and Jack caught her as she dropped. She was unconscious. Jack immediately checked for a pulse.
"She's alive."
"But who is she?" Gwen asked, looking around for any signs of the phantom of Grace. She found nothing.
"We'll have to wait until she wakes up."


Cardiff, Wales
March 7, 2008
2153 hours local time

Jack had offered the Hub's medical bay for the Doctor to keep an eye on Grace, and the Doctor had accepted. So now, two hours after the TARDIS had landed, the Doctor was sitting in an office chair next to the bed. Grace - if it was Grace - was still unconscious. The Doctor looked up as he heard someone coming down the stairs. Gwen reached the bottom of the stairs and walked over to the Doctor, handing him one of the two cups of coffee she was carrying.
"I wasn't sure if..."
"Oh, I can have pretty much anything humans eat."
Gwen nodded.
"Right. I wasn't sure how you took it."
The Doctor shook his head.
"Don't worry about it. This is fine."
He nodded towards the arch leading into the main part of the Hub.
"How's 007 getting on?"
A smile of disbelief crossed Gwen's face.
"He and Jack are watching one of the James Bond movies. Jack said it might help him come to terms with it."
The Doctor sipped his coffee appreciatively before replying.
"Which one?"
"The one with that boat chase in the Thames at the beginning."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow.
"The World is Not Enough. Interesting. You see, this instance of James Bond was drawn from the end of the previous film. As far as he's concerned, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day never happened."
"What about that new one with Daniel Craig?"
"Casino Royale? Have you seen it?"
"My boyfriend has it on DVD."
"Then you'll know it's a reboot of the series. Think of it as Bond 2.0."
"I see."
Gwen glanced back through the arch.
"He seems to be taking it well. It's still a bit hard to believe. I mean, I've been working for Torchwood for over a year, but still..."
"You can imagine how hard it must be for him."
Silence fell.

Gwen looked closely at the Doctor. She could tell he was worried. She was good at reading people, it was part of her police training. She guessed, correctly, that his concern was directed at the woman lying unconscious on the table in front of them. But he was a Time Lord, a man who stepped through history like walking down the street. For him, tomorrow could be a million years in the future, and she, Tosh, Owen and Ianto could have been dead for millennia. Jack she wasn't too sure about. Or the Doctor could go to the past, when Gwen and her colleagues were still years away from being born. And there'd been what Jack had said earlier. That the Eleventh Doctor had been helping them out for the past year or so, under an alias. The Doctor could have gone, left them with Grace Holloway and James Bond and flown off into the wild blue yonder. Yet here he was, maintaining a long nighttime vigil.
"Doctor, may I ask you something?"
He jumped slightly, as though Gwen's words had snapped him out of his thoughts.
"Why do you care so much?"
The Doctor blew the hair off his forehead.
"Responsibility, Ms Cooper. I'm the last of the Time Lords. That brings a lot with it."
"And why Earth?"
The Doctor chuckled.
"You humans are the most fascinating species I've met. Your capacity for courage, love, hope, determination, it's just...incredible. And you, Gwen Cooper, are one of the most human."
There was a slightly awkward silence as Gwen wondered how to take what the Doctor just said.
"It was a compliment," the Doctor added quickly.

Gwen was prevented from replying as a groan sounded from the woman on the table. The Doctor rose to his feet as the person in Grace Holloway's body slowly sat up. He reached forward and helped her into a sitting position. She blinked her eyes and looked around.
"Where am I?"
It was Gwen who answered the question.
"You're in Torchwood Three, Cardiff."
"Who are you?" the Doctor asked.
"Doctor, it's me. Grace."
"I was playing Puccini in the operating theatre when your Seventh self died."
The Doctor grinned, and his eyes twinkled.
"Welcome back, Grace."
Grace looked down. Her hands flew to her face, and she felt it closely. Her expression was one of pure disbelief.
"I'm alive!"
She sprung to her feet and embraced the Doctor, holding him tightly. Words couldn't express her gratitude. The Doctor returned the hug then they broke apart. Grace staggered slightly. The Doctor reached out and held her by the shoulder.
"Feeling weak?"
Grace nodded.
"Hungry as hell."
"There's a pizzeria across the square. What topping do you want?" Gwen asked.
"Anything's good," Grace replied. Gwen turned and left, leaving the two of them alone.

Grace sat down on the edge of the bed and the Doctor sat next to her.
"How do you feel?" he asked gently.
"Like I've been born again, Doctor. Everything's fresh, like I'm seeing it for the first time."
"How much do you remember?"
Grace closed her eyes, casting her mind back into memories.
"Everything, Doctor. Lionus Major, living within the TARDIS, the drops of Jupiter in my hair. Everything."
She couldn't begin to describe what she'd seen within the TARDIS. The Universe in all its glory, linked and held together by the time vortex. She'd also seen the Doctor as never before, as part of the ship that had been his constant companion from the moment he'd left Gallifrey. Perhaps she'd seen too much.

She cleared her throat apologetically.
"I won't be coming with you, Doctor."
It was what the Doctor had been expecting, after all she'd been through.
"Well, I can give you a lift back to San Francisco," he offered. Grace shook her head decisively.
"No. I can't go back there. The last my colleagues and friends know, I disappeared while suffering a case of terminal cancer. They'll have thought suicide and come to terms with it."
Her voice was filled with sadness, and a tear rolled down her cheek.
"If it's any consolation," the Doctor said, "you don't look a day over thirty. The Master aged your body back during the takeover."
Grace did manage to take some comfort in that. It proved her decision was correct.
"I'll have to find something here. Get a job, find an apartment, settle down."
"I could help you with that," Jack said. Grace and the Doctor turned, to see Jack leaning over the railing running along the edge of the walkway around the medical bay. He winked at Grace.
"Great to see you again."
"Jack..." the Doctor said warningly.
"I was just saying hello!" Jack protested. Grace chuckled.
"I don't mind, Doctor."
She stood up and climbed the stairs to the walkway. Jack turned to face her, and she reached forward and hugged him. He grinned as he returned the hug.
"Really enjoying having your body back, aren't you?"
They broke apart and Jack looked her up and down.
"You're looking a lot better than the last time I saw you."
"Thank you. You said you could help me?"
"Torchwood Five's been looking for a medical officer for the last three months. The job's yours if you want it."
"I'll take it."
She glanced back down at the Doctor, and he smiled approvingly. Jack turned to the Doctor.
"By the way, Doctor, I've taken the liberty of making a similar arrangement with Mr Bond. Hope you don't mind my shouldering the responsibility?"
The Doctor's eyes narrowed slightly.
"What do you have in mind?"
"Like I said, I made an arrangement with 007. Don't worry about the details."
There was an electronic whine, the sound of the main door into the Hub opening. Jack glanced over.
"Gwen's back with the pizzas. Come on."
He turned and strode into the main area of the Hub, Grace and the Doctor behind him.


A couple of hours later, the Doctor closed the TARDIS doors behind him and strode over to the console. They'd watched Die Another Day over pizza and soft drink. A night in with friends, something he'd never really done before. He'd enjoyed it. But he hadn't been able to discover the nature of the arrangement Jack had made with Bond. Neither of them had given him any clues. It wasn't really his business, anyway. He didn't mind what Torchwood was doing, defending the Earth, but their methods sometimes left a bit to be desired. But Jack had proved that the rebuilt Torchwood was in the Doctor's image, and that had reassured the Doctor.

The Doctor finished setting the coordinates and froze as he felt another presence in the console room. He slowly turned, to see another phantom standing in front of him. It was the Master as the Doctor had first known him, back when they had been friends. Before the sound of drums had fully taken him. Physically, he appeared to be a younger version of the first Master, who had caused so much trouble for the Third Doctor and UNIT. The goatee was gone, as was the manic glint in his eyes. He was wearing a plain grey suit over a white shirt, and the tie was the colour of the Pydronian chapter of the Academy on Gallifrey.
"Master," the Doctor greeted him. The figure shook his head.
"Not anymore, Doctor."
"What brings you here, Koschei?"
"I'm here to say goodbye, Doctor. This is the last you'll see of me."
A pang of sadness went through the Doctor. He'd finally saved his old friend, only to lose him again. Koschei - as the Master had originally been named - spoke again.
"Before I go, Doctor, there's one more thing you should know."
"What's that?"
"You're not as alone as you think."
The Doctor groaned.
"Don't tell me there's another insane version of you out there."
"Not at all, Doctor. Time will tell, and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised."
Koschei paused.
"Goodbye, Doctor."
"Rest in peace, Koschei."
The phantom faded, and the Doctor was alone once more.


Back at the Hub, Jack, Gwen, Bond and Grace turned away from the spot where the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS had dematerialised. Grace yawned, suddenly feeling the tiredness of her body. The transfer had taken a lot out of her.
"There are some bedrooms downstairs," Jack offered, "Gwen can show you where they are. Right, Gwen?"
Gwen nodded and led Grace into the depths of the Hub, leaving Bond and Jack alone.
"Are you sure this is what you want?" Jack asked. Bond nodded firmly, his mind made up.
"I'm too well-known here, Captain. There's no place for me on this Earth."
A wind began to blow up and the two men turned, as the familiar shape of the TARDIS began to appear in the same spot it had recently disappeared from.
"There's something I forgot to mention," Jack managed to say over the din.
"What was that?"
"The Eleventh Doctor, she looks a hell of a lot like your Moneypenny."
The TARDIS thumped into solidity and the doors opened. A young woman stepped through. She didn't appear to be any older than thirty-four or thirty-five, and she had short, dark-reddish hair, neatly cut. She was wearing a dark green nylon tracksuit top and pants, with a black sports top underneath the tracksuit. Bond nearly gasped. Her resemblance to Moneypenny was startling. The most recent Moneypenny, that was, the one played by Samantha Bond. But her eyes were a striking, deep green colour, unlike anyone else he'd seen. He met her gaze and saw something within that spoke of centuries of experience and wisdom.

That was when Bond knew.
"Hello, Doctor."
The Eleventh Doctor smiled.
"Hello, James."
She nodded to Jack.
"Jack, good to see you again."
"And you."
The Doctor turned back to Bond.
"Jack told me you were looking for a traveling companion," Bond said.
"He told me you were interested," the Doctor replied. Jack cleared his throat.
"I'll leave you two to it, shall I?"
"Thanks, Jack," the Doctor said. Jack nodded and turned, heading over to his office. The Doctor turned back to Bond.
"Did he tell you what it involves?"
"Danger, excitement and fighting evil. Nothing I haven't done before."
The Doctor stepped back into the TARDIS and Bond followed her in, closing the door behind him. The only difference between this TARDIS and the Tenth Doctor's was that the floor of the console room was carpeted.

The Doctor finished setting the coordinates and pulled the dematerialisation lever. She then turned and shot a welcoming grin at Bond.
"Welcome aboard, James."
"A pleasure, Doctor."
The Doctor indicated for Bond to follow her, and she led him over to the door leading into the depths of the TARDIS.
"We'll start with a tour, I think."
As Bond followed the Doctor through the TARDIS, a question came to his mind. Something that had been bouncing around at the back of his mind for a while.
"Doctor, do you think there's a Universe where you exist as fiction?"
The Doctor paused, as if the idea was new to her.
"It's possible, James."
There had been another question Bond could have asked, about something he'd noticed while climbing the stairs at Torchwood One. But it hadn't done him any harm and so probably wasn't important. He could ask the Doctor about it later. For all he knew, it might be normal in this Universe to have two hearts...


The Eleventh Doctor and James Bond will return...