“Here she is. You can visit as long as you like Sir, but no matter what, don’t kiss her.”
The visitor and the woman behind the bars looked at each other with considerable interest. He saw a woman who had left her first youth without regrets, with strong, handsome features and a fantastic unruly mop of hair. She saw a middle-age man with greying hair and beard, neatly dressed in black and with penetrating, hooded eyes.
“An honour to meet you, Madam Song.”
“Of course. My apologies, Doctor.”
“And who are you?”
“I am known as the Master.”
River Song moved closer to the bars, her interest obviously peaked. “The Master? He has told me everything about you.”
The Master raised an eyebrow. “Everything? Pray tell me.”
She smiled a cat’s slow, smug smile. “There are some rather delicious details, but no, that would be spoilers, wouldn’t it?”
He smiled back. “Perhaps. And not what I came for, anyway.”
“Yes, why are you here?”
“How could I not come to see the woman who has succeeded when so many of us have failed? I have come to offer my congratulations for managing to kill the Doctor. You have my deepest admiration.”
The cat smile disappeared. “Careful, I’m his wife and I may have killed him, but I love him."
“Do you find that strange?”
“Not at all. I myself have tried on numerous occasions to dispose of him, knowing that it would grieve me deeply if I had been able to do it.”
“And now you are surprised that I could?”
“I was until I saw you. But I have never seen anyone like you before. A human Time Lady! Yes, I can see that would hold a powerful attraction to him. He always had this irrational love for humankind. I think, my dear, that you were uniquely suitable for your task.”
“You don’t know a fraction of how right you are.”
The Master watched her for a moment. River looked away and shifted a little. She looked unhappy, but also a little secretive and he was used to interpreting the smallest change of features and things didn’t really add up here.
“He is not really dead, is he?”
River grinned, suddenly sunny again. “Spoilers.”
“You seem to have an over fondness for that word. Tell me, did your husband ever found you a trifle aggravating.”
“Frequently.” River moved closer again, gripping the bars with her hands. “But let me ask you what you think. Do you think he is dead?”
The Master stepped closer as well, his gloved hands gripping the bars just above hers. ”I think… I think that my old friend is just as easy to keep dead as I am.”
She smiled again. “I think you have your answer, then, Master.”
They stood very close, her body heat and perfume swirling around him like an embrace.
“Can I ask one more thing, Doctor Song?”
“Why did the guard warned me from kissing you.”
A low laugh. “Would you like to kiss me? I promise that you will find out if you do.”
“I rather think I would, actually.”
She turned up her face. “Well then.”
“Sir? Sir? Wake up, Sir! I told you to not kiss her, didn’t I?”
“So you did. No, I can stand up without help. Have you noticed that you seem to be missing a prisoner, by the way?”
“Oh, she left a note; ‘Need to pick up a book. Will be back for tea.’ She usually is, you know. Quite reliable.”
“How thoughtful of her. Well, I think I have got what I wanted from this visit anyway."
“Sir, may I ask: was the kiss worth it? I have never dared…”
The Master looked at the young man and smiled. “I think that telling you would definitely be counted as a spoiler.”