The TARDIS lands him on some godforsaken planet where they still used elements, when she was still fighting him, before he made her submit. Still, they have metal ships, and a certain level of sophistication. He realizes this when he pokes his head out the doors to see where he was and comes face to face with a ring of blue fire so hot it singes his face.
“Don’t move,” the girl on the other end of the fire says, pleasantly. “I’ll make it hurt so much more if you move.”
“So you want to hurt him,” Azula says, lounging across from him and enjoying the way he watches her. She isn’t sure if it’s her body or her cruelty that interests him. She’s also not sure if she much cares. “That should be easy enough, if he cares as much as you say.”
“Oh, I know exactly how,” the Master says, smiling. “You’re right; it’s easy. All I’m going to do is destroy his life and make him watch.”
She examines her nails. “Do tell.”
He does. It’s awesome, what he’s going to do to this man. He’s clever, so clever, diabolical almost, though of course not as much as herself. Clever and focused; he’s turned all his considerable energies onto his rival. There’s a long history there, she can tell. And she… she smiles. She’s got an idea.
“May I make a suggestion? He takes companions himself, does he not? What if you did as well, but twisted it just a bit…”
The Master kicks back, watches her sip tea, and considers her own problem.
“Well, he’s your brother,” he says, at last. “That makes it a little easier. Freud said that all neuroses are formed before the age of ten, and you’ve got access to all of those.”
Her brow furrows very quickly, but she does not admit to lack of knowledge. He understands– he wouldn’t either.
“Yes,” she says, setting the cup down with a graceful turn of wrist that he envies. She’s so decorative that the deadliness only makes her more attractive, like the gorgeous snakes on Earth that killed with a single bite. “He wants approval so badly.”
The Master snorts. “You say that so disdainfully. I’ll bet you’ve never been disapproved of in your life.”
Azula smiles. “People have disapproved of me. Just not for very long.” He laughs, openly, and she continues. “Zuzu is, as you say, easily affected, but…” She frowns. “I need an opening.”
He considers, then gives her a slow snake smile the mirror of her own. “Approval, you said.”
She returns him to his box, in the end.
They’ve made suggestions, improved each other’s plans. It was an instructive few hours, all things considered, and quite enjoyable too. If she was a bit older, she might have considered keeping him, making him a consort for when she eventually removes her father and takes the throne of Fire Lady. She could use someone as clever as herself.
But… no. She would never risk trusting someone like that with power. Someone as clever as herself could not be allowed to live.
Even if he is so handsome, and so wonderfully cruel.
She allows herself a sigh for things that will never be, and looks ahead, to Ba Sing Se.