Written for the Time Stamp meme for classicwhoblog who demanded to know the story of 'Fivey and Master decided to obtain a bunny' from this drawing: http://tardiscrash.livejournal.com/6269.html
"You are despicable," the Doctor scolded. "An irredeemable fiend and a complete disgrace." He stood ridged and glared sternly. The Master sat at the table in the console room with a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth, waiting for him to finish.
"There is no one around you know."
"Oh. I thought that..."
"No, your dear pets are fast a sleep."
"You’ve knocked them out?" he asked almost hopefully. The Master dismissed the accusation with a wave of his hand.
"Hardly necessary with the amount that humans sleep." The Doctor sighed in defeat and might have pouted a little.
"Oh well then, tea?"
"If you had waited any longer to ask, my dear, I would think your manners gone the way of your senses." The Doctor smiled fondly and went to put the kettle on.
Seated across from each other the two Time Lords chatted amiably about the the conditions of the temporal currents in the Vortex, various strategies for patching up a TARDIS when one was not very welcome where one could acquire proper maintenance, and the fact that the Doctor still made a very fine cup of tea. Then apropos of nothing the Master announced, "I have recently acquired a small, helpless burrowing mammal."
"I am... very happy for you?" Doctor sipped his tea. "I'm not exactly certain what this has to do with...oh." On cue, the Master produced a small, inordinately fluffy baby rabbit from a small cage at his feet that the Doctor had not noticed. "Oh dear that is... May I hold it?" The Doctor failed miserably at suppressing his eagerness. The Master had found nothing short of the floppsiest most cuddlesome bunny in the Cosmos and the Doctor could not help the entreating look on his face, or the twitch of his hand has he stopped himself just short of reaching out for it like a demanding child.
"I suppose." The Master hesitated for a moment to enjoy the expression on the Doctors face and then held it out across the table. The small creature twitched it's nose with uncertainty, and when the Doctor held it to his chest and started to pat it's head, it decided that it wouldn't be having any of it, and started kicking away in earnest. The Doctor tried in vain to keep hold of the bunny, but it struggled harder, making itself free of him with an impressive leap, and scampered under the console.
"Oh dear. I'll get him." The Doctor rose, and the bunny darted away as soon as he came close. "Now just wait a moment there. Look I'm not going to hurt you. You were perfectly well-behaved for him." He whinged a bit as he chased the thing around, stooped over with his hands out to capture. The Master concealed a chuckle behind a gloved hand as he watched, but stopped a moment too late, to warn the Doctor as the bunny hopped out the slightly ajar door into the depths of the TARDIS.
"I... I must not have shut it fully when I came back with the tea." He looked suddenly quite crestfallen.
"My dear Doctor, I would have thought you would be a bit more careful with a helpless creature in your charge." The Doctor did not laugh, and suddenly looked extremely earnest.
"I'll find him." He stated, far too starkly for the situation. The Master rose to stop him before he charged through the door after the small creature.
"You will recall only moments previous the thing could not stand to be within a yard of you. How much success do you honestly believe you will have?"
"Was that an offer of assistance?" He looked to be teetering on the edge of a mood and for once the Master though it wise not to give that little shove.
"It certainly seems to be."
"Ah... good then. Yes. After you Master, as you seem to have more luck with the little thing. Though how that is exactly, I can't say I understand. Animals are supposed to respond well to good sorts of people. Gentle and calm in nature." The Master laughed and the Doctor asked with a look what precisely was so funny?
"Doctor you generally are the most high-strung person I have ever had the immense pleasure of working out of said state." The Doctor flushed lightly.
"I am not. If you would ever deign to visit without the pretence of some supposedly masterful plan in the works, you might find me a fair bit more calm and receptive."
"The last has never really been the issue, my love."
"Yes... Well." The Doctor coughed and turned away to move down the hall. "We should probably be quiet now as not to scare it off."
The pair wandered a distance down the endless white corridors, feeling a bit hopeless at what should had been a simple enough task for two of the greatest minds in the universe. The Doctor spotted a door ajar.
“Come on Master, we’ve got him now.” The Doctor sprinted towards the door and stepped out of the corridor into the dusky and heavily perfumed room. A sea of rich jewel-toned fabric greeted them. Plush furniture and silk cushions crowding every available surface. Great masses of brightly dyed silk draped from the ceiling and walls, giving the impression that they were in an expansive tent, all softly lit by ornate lamps scattered throughout the room.
"The Moroccan Room,” the Doctor announced as though it was not abundantly apparent. “I haven't been in here since the time that we--well, after that Atlantean mess…”
"Oh, I remember, Doctor." A particular favourite of theirs in the more decadent younger years of his third incarnation, the TARDIS still seemed to have kept the room in a fine state. It looked as thought they had been sharing a bottle of fine Valnaxi brandy within it's walls only last night, and not some immeasurable span of time ago.
"That's right, you did always insist on... Well, best start turning over cushions." The Doctor started flinging over the tasselled, silken pillows. The Master paused briefly and ran a hand over one fondly before he joined in turning the place upside down.
Their search yielded, a cravat, a colourful pinwheel, a tin of biscuits (still surprisingly fresh), and several lost pieces of scientific equipment--one which, the Doctor of the relative present argued, was certainly a very precise bio-scanner, and certainly not anything what the Master was claiming it to be. Also he did not happen to remember that night, nor would he like a reminder at this very moment as there was a helpless creature depending upon them to...well, help it.
As they argued over the ‘allegedly phallic’ object, the Doctor saw a pile of cushions rustle and from out of them popped the little rabbit. Before he could even take a step towards it, the bunny had darted out the door.
"Oh there it goes. See what you have done?"
"What I've done? My dear Doctor, you can't..."
"Yes, carrying on like that and now it's run away." The Doctor frowned at the gap between door and frame. He gave a heavy sigh and a quick backwards glance at the object on the table (reminding himself that he couldn't remember what it had been used for) before heading out the door, with the Master following after, still protesting the blame for letting it escape.
Deep in the TARDIS, Time had little meaning. But the frustration of the task left both of the less-than-perfectly-Gallifreyan Time Lords feeling as though they had been at it for a small eternity. Hunting through rooms long in a state of disuse and so bizarre left the Master wondering, more than he had before, at the metal soundness of both the TARDIS and the Time Lord to whom she was tied.
"Have you had much need for a duck pond?" He asked as they left yet another in a long series of fruitlessly searched rooms.
"Once or twice, yes, I have actually." He responded with the sort of forced clam that showed he was nearing the end of his patience.
"And the room full of gelatin moulds?"
"I'm not entirely certain about that one but I'm sure I will use it eventually." He dismissed with a smile too good-natured not to have a grimace directly behind it.
"And exactly how many cricket pitches does one need?"
"Several." He stated with some authority. His eyes grew wide and his mouth became pinched. He looked as though he were about to say something more, but he simply gave a shoulder-heaving sigh, and pushed his hair out of his eyes. "This isn't getting us anywhere. We should return to the..."
The Doctor was interrupted by the unmistakable (to someone, certainly) sound of a 17th century lute bursting to pieces on the floor--a clear signal that the rabbit was in the Music Room. The pair dashed off in pursuit without another word. They rounded the corner just in time to see the bunny hop across the hall, out of the Music Room, and into the one across the hall.
The Doctor and Master looked at one another, and then sprinted after him. The Master shut the door firmly behind them, trapping the rabbit in a room walled in shelves packed to bursting with yarn in ever variety the universe had to offer.
"You have a crafts room?" The Master asked, looking up to the highest shelves near the dizzyingly distant ceiling.
"Several. This is actually just the Knitting Room." The Doctor answered distractedly as he looked around for the cotton-tailed fugitive.
"Oh look there!" He held his arm out to point at the far corner of the room, where sat a tiny rabbit, munching on the end of some forest green baby alpaca two-ply.
"He is going to dart away again if we just charge at him; we have to find something to tr... What do you think you are doing?" The Master reached out and, without permission or apology, plucked the celery from the Doctor’s lapel.
“Dire circumstances, my love, sacrifices must be made. You understand.” He walked over to the rabbit crouching low as he approached holding out his offering in the lead. The bunny twitched it’s nose and edged towards the Master’s outstretched hand. As soon as it nibbled the bait he snatched it up and held it to his chest. The bunny seamed none-too bothered by it and carried on with it’s meal.
The Master strode victoriously to where the Doctor stood watching, begrudgingly impressed. He smiled at the small creature and pet it gently. It twitched a little in discomfort, but chose to bear it over losing the celery.
“Well done Master. He seems happy enough to be back with you.” He smiled warmly at the little thing again as it seamed to relax in his presence. “Why in Rassilon’s name did you get this thing any way?” he asked, still fussing over it and mostly ignoring the man he spoke to.
"It was supposed to be a gift to you." At that The Doctor did look at the Master with surprise.
"Oh." He straightened up and held out his arms to accept the rabbit. The Master gave him an incredulous look and turned from him slightly, pulling the rabbit out of his reach.
"Clearly you can't be trusted to care for it." The Doctor’s hearts sunk and his arms fell back to his sides.
"Now that is hardly fair, Master." He pouted despite himself. The Master didn't look at him, choosing to offer the bunny another leaf of the Doctor's celery instead.
"No, no. I insist that it stay with me. You can visit him, if you like."
"You can't take back a gift, it just not..."
"Well...no. It's not. Besides, I doubt you could do much better.”
“I seem to be handling the task perfectly, Doctor.”
“For the moment. What about when you run off on one of your bids for universal conquest? Oh, I know you Master, that helpless thing will be hungry and forgotten in some cage while you are out tormenting some poor innocent planet.”
“Better I let it roam free in the infinite depths of my TARDIS, I suppose, left to perish in some abandoned room while I forget that I even had it to begin with.”
“I would never…” He was starting to raise his voice but drew back. “Clearly we will have to reach some sort of compromise.”
“I see no solution, there is no way that we can both care for it unless…”
“We have been over it.” The Doctor brightened in recollection and then took a sterner look as he set to correct him.
“Now that is hardly fair, I simply said that there were a number of reasons why we shouldn’t that needed to be worked through first and you got offended and stormed off.”
“Your demands were unreasonable.” The Master looked to be half way to a good sulk at the subject being mentioned. The Doctor smiled, rather hopefully and teased him.
“Oh hardly. Try not to kill anyone? You really think you can’t manage that? You hardly do anyway when you don’t have to and…”
“What about the girl.” The Master interrupted harshly but couldn’t help being a little effected by the Doctor’s smile. “Certainly you are not going to put her off-ship for my sake.”
“No. No I wouldn’t have.” He paused for a moment considering. “But she is no longer travelling with me.”
“I see.” He paused. “And the others? You know how I feel about your pets, Doctor.”
“Well, be patient with mine and I won’t mind the occasional sacrifice of my boutonnière to yours.” The Master gave him a pointed look and he sighed his concession . “I am not wholly opposed to the idea of setting them somewhere safe, on a trial basis only, Master. I still can’t say that I completely trust you to…”
He could not finish the sentence for the urgent press of the Master’s mouth against his own. He made a weak attempt to push a way and have his say, but decided that it could probably wait. The Master nipping at his bottom lip seemed like a far more pressing matter.
Neither Time Lord seemed remotely bothered, if even aware, when the rabbit wriggled out from between them and bounded off to hide in a basket of angora.