Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 69]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

Author's Notes:
Whoaaaa!!!!!!!!! 100 chapters! (if you don't count that one bonus scene). I have a serious problem Ô_o And I still haven't run out of ideas... and there are still so many unanswered questions... I didn't expect this to come so far, honestly. My largest story up until now had 50 chapters. (Well, it also had a real plot, in opposite to this one, lol) I mean... there is a plot. It's mostly hidden in the details. And you know... the journey is the destination? Uh... anyway. I hope you still enjoy this abomination of a story xD

And a huge thanks to everyone who reads and/or comments. It means so much to me, you can't believe it :3

"No, no, no, no, no. She's doubled it. I need... Haven't got time… It's too far. I can't override it." The Doctor's hand ruffled through his hair, eyes darting between us in the hopes we might have something to offer.

"What do you need?" asked Donna.

"I'd need a second capsule to override the signal and boost the cancellation, but…"

"You already have mine," came her whisper.

I nudged the Master. "You stole mine."

But he only shrugged. "You think I'm carrying this thing around all the time?" His look was almost bored as he let it wander over our little group. "So, can we leave this cupboard already? I'm uncomfortable with so many humans in my personal space."

The Master didn't wait for an answer and just strode past us, pushed the door open and left without a glance back.

"You can still save them, right?" pleaded Donna. "Doctor? You can. I know you can, you have to."

He only looked incredibly tired.

"Hands up! No wrong movement!"

The shout had come from outside and seconds later the Master was back, hands folded behind his head and a rifle pointing at him. The guards had found us, after all. Silently we followed them, down some corridors, up some stairs.

And outside one million people were dying.

Was it my fault? Because I hadn't demanded the capsule back? But how should I have known this would happen?

We reached the roof. Cold air wafted against us, making my eyes tear. No screams sounded up to us, no panic, no traffic noises. There was only silence, until there wasn't anymore.

Huge, round spaceships appeared above our heads, throwing their blinding lights around. Blue beams darted downwards and levitated all the little creatures inside I had seen before. One UFO halted next to the roof and I could get a closer look at the creatures. They were tiny and cute and some even waved at us.

"See, Doctor," said Ms Foster, who stood at the edge of the roof. "A whole new generation. Oh, don't look so devastated. You still have enough people. But they. They lost their home planet. They need to survive."

"What do you mean, lost their planet?" asked the Doctor through gritted teeth.

"Well… lost? I don't know. I'm not meddling in their politics." She waved his words away with a haughty look then turned around to stretch out her hands towards the floating adipose ships. "Take me. The children need me."

"I don't think they will…" But the Doctor got shut up by another light beam that appeared right at the edge of the roof. "She's wired up the tower block to convert it into a levitation post. Ooo. Oh. That's trouble, it is."

We watched as the blond climbed up the ledge, waiting for the beam to reach full strength.

Donna glanced up at the Doctor. "What are you going to do then? Blow them up?"

"Weather warning: Fatty rain incoming," mumbled the Master and I had to slap his arm to scold both him and myself for the inappropriate snort. He only shot me a smirk, but kept silent otherwise.

"Course not," the Doctor objected. "They're just children. They can't help where they come from."

"Oh, that makes a change from last time. Your new company must do you good."

Visibly startled, the Doctor looked at her, then at the Master and I. The expression on his face was indecipherable, but there wasn't time for that anyway.

The blond woman had stepped over the edge of the roof and was now hovering inside the beam, giddily smiling to herself.

"This is going to end baaaad," sing-songed the Master, sounding way too happy.

"Why? How is it going to go bad? It's good she's leaving, that one. I don't want her to murder more people!" squeaked Donna. "I don't even want to… can't think about it even. So many…"

"So many and one more," muttered the Doctor, eyes widening in a sudden realisation, right as the blue light beam stopped to pull the woman higher. He ran towards the ledge, stretching his hand out. "Matron, listen to me," he calls out.

But she only gives him a sneer. "Oh, I don't think so, Doctor. And if I never see you again, it'll be too soon."

He ran a hand through his hair. "Oh, why does no one ever listen. I'm trying to help. Just get across to the roof. Can you shift the levitation beam?"

"What, so that you can arrest me?"

"Just listen. I saw the Adiposian instructions. They know it's a crime, breeding on Earth. So what's the one thing they want to get rid of?"

The woman quirked a brow, looking at each of us.

The Master chuckled, stepping forward. "Their accomplice. They won't have any witnesses, of course. Far too dangerous."

I didn't like the happy look on his face. It meant no good. Something was about to happen, I sensed it. But I couldn't yet grasp what the Time Lords long understood.

"I'm far more than that. I'm nanny to all these children."

"They won't need a nanny anymore," giggled the Master.

I elbowed him again, but he didn't even notice. He was too occupied by the scene ahead and his eyes lit up when the Doctor called out something and then ran to the roof's edge. The Master stretched a hand out to hold me back, even though I hadn't planned to follow. But now I understood.

As did the Matron. Her face went limp, eyes wide. She never had the time to even reach for the Doctor's outstretched hand. Already, the light around her faded and then was gone, leaving her to gravity and a fall down into the depths.

It was too high to hear the impact, but I still was shocked from the sudden turn of events. Donna strode to the Doctor and hugged him, seeking comfort in him as much as he did in her.

The Master watched them with a wrinkled nose and turned to leave. We all followed, not knowing what else to do. Outside of the building were countless people, panicking, gaping, uselessly trying to wrap their heads around what had just happened. I wasn't sure whether or not I was really affected by the whole thing. It was too distant as of yet, only numbers in my head. But those people would have to face the reality of what it meant.

"I never heard of this," I said to the Doctor.

"Of what?" His face was hardened, the look cold.

"This. Of so many deaths. I'm sure I would have heard of it in my time."

The Time Lord stopped, glaring at me for a long second, then turned his head and kicked a pebble away. "Then time just got rewritten," he mumbled. "Happens. Shouldn't happen. Not when I can prevent it."

We walked back to the TARDIS in silence and when we arrived Donna let out a surprised noise. "That's my car! Well, it's mum's, but it's here! Right next to your TARDIS! That's like destiny."

We all turned towards her. I had almost forgotten that she was even here.

"I can bring you home," offered the Doctor. "Least thing I can do."

"Actually…" Donna bit her lip, but then looked determined. "I was really looking for you. I wanted to travel and did. But it's all bus tours and hotels and you're back in a week and nothing's changed. I want to come with you."

"Completely out of the question," snarled the Master.

"Oi! You're not deciding that, sunshine. Who are you anyway?" Donna was all puffed up, suddenly, arms in her hips.

The Doctor coughed slightly. "He's…"

"I am the Master," came the smug answer, his eyes wandered dismissively over her. "Time Lord. Not a weak, pathetic human like you. We don't need an ape sauntering around with us."

"Ahem… Master… stop that." The Doctor stepped next to him and tried to usher him into the TARDIS.

"Oh my god!" Donna called out. "Another one. You're not alone anymore! That's fantastic! Well…" She wrinkled her nose. "If he had more manners that is. But you said this TARDIS of yours is huge, I bet there is enough room for…"

"There absolutely is not."

"It's dangerous," replied the Doctor. "You've seen what can happen. And…"

"We're not taking a human on board," snarled the Master. "Just look at them. Humans are disgusting and pathetic."

"Why, thank you," I grumbled and lightly kicked against his shoe.

The Master turned around, glaring at me. "That counts for you too."

I simply shoved him, feeling anger bubble up. He didn't budge much and instead only tried to tower over the Doctor. Which didn't work sizewise, but his mere presence was radiating enough danger to make him shy away.

"If that one comes along, I'll leave."

The Doctor shrunk together under the temper. "I… can't do that."

"Oi, you goblin, stop being a prick!" shouted Donna and stepped towards the two. She grabbed the Master's sleeve to tear him away from the other man, just to receive his full anger in one murdering look.

She didn't even flinch.

To my surprise she only seemed to get more pissed at him. "If you can't stand me, fine. Stay out of my way. I can't stand you either, you nasty, egoistic prick!" Donna got louder the longer she spoke and even seemed to grow somehow. "But don't you dare speak like that to the Doctor. He's a good man. And you're just a kid with a temper!"

We all glared at her in utter surprise. Her whole posture was that of an angry cat, hissing and clawing and being very impressive while doing so. Not even the Master had something to retort, seemed to have shrunk under her presence, suddenly completely at a loss for words from being spoken to like that.

"Ahem… we… we'll manage. Somehow," said the Doctor carefully.

The Master blinked stupidly at Donna, raised a hand to poke against her forehead as if to check if she was real. The red head did not take it well, slapped his hand away and readied herself for another storm. But the Doctor could step between them in time.

"Just… stop. Both of you. Please. The day was bad enough already. Don't fight."

"Whatever," grumbled the Master. "Fragile things, they are. She'll be dead in no time."

And with that he strode away and pushed the TARDIS door open, vanishing inside.

"Blimey, how can you stand him?" Donna  mused. "Might be the second last of you lots, but God does he have an ego problem. Hope you're more bearable, Lucy."

I winced at being spoken to so suddenly, ripped from my role as a mere observant and torn back into the present moment. I smiled sheepishly at her.

"I hope so."

"So then," Donna grinned at the Doctor. "I've packed. Didn't know what I'd need, so it's a bit much. But it'll do. I guess. For a while."

She ran to her car and opened the trunk, where a bunch of bags were stuffed inside. One after the other she took them out and pushed them into the Doctor's hands.

"I packed ages ago, just in case. Because I thought, hot weather, cold weather, no weather. He goes anywhere. I've gotta be prepared."

Fascinated by her enthusiasm I watched the scene. It was clear she had decided a long time ago to travel with him. Who knew what she had experienced, but it had to be good.

"I don't need injections, do I? You know, like when you go to Cambodia. Is there any of that? Because my friend Veena went to Bahrain, and she…" Donna paused, glancing up at the Doctor. "You're not saying much."

"It's just… You saw what happened."

"Yes…." Her voice got quieter. "But see… I'm not sure I want to be around to witness the aftermath. It will be everywhere. And I'm the only one who knows what really happened. That would really gnaw on me."

"Yeah… yeah, I get that. And there's still the Master, he's…"

"You're really calling him that?" asked Donna incredulously. "Please tell me you don't. That's ridiculous. I'm so not going to call him that. Might be the only one left of your people besides you, but I don't like him."

Wait what? I glared at the two, questioningly. What did she mean with the only one left?

"Tha… that's exactly what I wanted to say. He's…" A quick look wandered towards me and turned guilty immediately. "I'm not sure it's a good idea while he's around, is all."

"Och, I had the feeling she's handling him quite well," I retorted with a sarcastic grin. "Can't remember having seen him that disturbed. Ever."

"Can you… Lucy, I know it's much to ask-" the Doctor gnawed on his bottom lip for a second- "but can you have an eye on him? Somehow. Just… just… see that he stays away." Now that certainly was a new development. "He's not listening to me, but maybe… "

I chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, can do that. I'm sure he's not interested in crossing paths much, though." And I had no idea how to actually prevent him from doing anything at all if he would set his mind to it.

"So…" Donna looked back and forth between the two of us. "I can come?"

"Uh… yes! Yes. Actually, I think that would be lovely." The Doctor beamed at her and picked up the bags of clothes to carry them inside.

"The TARDIS can give you clothes," I mumbled in Donna's direction, smirking.

"Oh, couldn't know that. Won't hurt to have them with me, though, yeah? Oh! Ohhhh! Wait!" Donna stopped dead in her tracks. "Car keys! Still got my mom's keys. Be right back!"

We were left standing there, dumbfoundedly glaring at her vanishing back. I eyed the Doctor from the side and he looked as puzzled as I felt.

"Who is she anyway?" I wondered curiously.

"Donna Noble. I met her some years ago." The Doctor grinned. "Guess I sort of ruined her wedding."

I snorted. "And she still wants to come along."

"Yeah, well… it wasn't actually my fault. It just sort of… dunno. Happened. T'was before I picked up the Master. Long before… and after I lost…" He swallowed, biting his lip. "Anyway. Don't think I could have stopped her from coming along. She's got a head of her own."

I chuckled and smiled when she returned. She definitely was something else.


.


She definitely was exhausting.

Within the first hour of her being in the TARDIS she asked more questions than I had probably heard in my entire life. Eventually I nudged the Doctor and reminded him of the vaccine, not wanting Donna to suffer the same fate as I had, or worse. They vanished to the med bay then and the Doctor returned on his own.

"I told her she can find a room for herself." He flopped into the jump seat, sighing wearily. But a slight smile was on his face the whole time.

"She's quite something, isn't she?" I mumbled.

The smile grew to a full blown grin. "Oh, you have no idea. I'll tell you the whole story one day. It was a wild day."

"And that justifies dragging that thing along with us?" came a grumbling voice from the doors. "She's arguing with the TARDIS out there." The Master sauntered in, shrugged out of his jacket and threw it over a jump seat, before he went to a panel at the console and started pulling out wires.

"Be nice to her. She's a good girl."

"Girl?" I giggled. "She's older than I."

"Is she?" The Doctor rubbed his neck and looked me up and down. "Yeah, might be. It's hard to tell with you lot. You're all so young…"

I snorted and shook my head.

"What're you even doing there?" asked the Doctor eventually, watching the Master tinker.

He looked up and tossed the other man the most mocking look. "Maybe ask that before I've rewired half of the machine. I could have done anything in that time." He grins even wider at the Doctor's shocked face. "But right now? I'm just overwriting the water heating system. Your bloody ship has a mood again and doesn't let me shower properly."

I laughed at the thought. "What? You meant it when you said she hasn't forgiven you?"

The Master only growled.

"Yeah, she's playing pranks on him since the day he arrived," told the Doctor with a smirk. "I tried to convince her to stop it, but… well." He shrugged.

"Stop being smug about your misbehaving ship," grumbled the Master. "Do me a favour and toss my laser screwdriver to me. Should be in my jacket."

"Don't break anything," begged the Doctor and turned to grab the coat.

The Master ripped out a small metal thing and said, "In stark contrast to you-" he pointed at the Doctor, who was fetching the screwdriver. A small clunking noise was heard when something fell from the coat pocket to the ground - "do I know how the tech in here works."

The Doctor froze.

"What're you waiting for? Give the laser."

"Master…"

He grunted annoyed.

The Doctor bent down and now I saw what had fallen to the ground. He held it up by a golden chain, glittering in the dim light. Like in a daze he stood up and walked to the Master, holding the capsule out to him.

"You have one."

Something dark crossed the Master's gaze for a moment, then he proceeded to work on the cables, shrugging. "Yeah, nicked it from Lumin."

"It was in your pocket!" continued the Doctor, voice getting higher.

"Apparently."

"And you… you knew! Didn't you!" exclaimed the Doctor. The Master looked up, his eyes glinting, a dark smile tugging at his lips. "You knew it was there and you didn't say a word when I needed it!"

"Stop stating the obvious, Doctor. It doesn't suit you."

He snapped. From one moment to the next the Doctor launched forwards and grabbed the other man by his lapels, pushing him against the console with a force that made something underneath him break audibly.

"One million people! They are all dead!"

"There's still enough of them left." His grin grew and grew, malicious and wide.

I could only glare at the scene, not able - not wanting - to let the facts sink in. This couldn't be, could it? He hadn't just condemned so many people to a useless death.

"You could have said something! I don't expect you to save anyone, but at least… at least… why have you done that?!" The Doctor was fully shouting now, rage radiating from him like fire.

The Master threw his head back and started to laugh, loud and intense, shaking from the force of it. He ignored every angry tug at him, ignored the Doctor's angry words - and the pleading ones.

Eventually the Doctor stepped back, all rage and fury that had no use anymore, because the one it was directed towards wasn't taking it. Like a storm he rushed out of the room, leaving me behind with the manic Time Lord.

The Master calmed down, wiped his eyes and snickered again when he saw that the other one had left. His eyes landed on me, who still stood there frozen in place, and his grin grew again.

"That was a good one. Been waiting to get back on him for a while now. What do you think? Reason enough to throw me out of here, eh?"

"I think you just proved that he can't let you run around unsupervised," I mumbled, still unable to feel anything.

"We'll see." The Master waved my words away. "Got what I wanted, for now."

"And that was worth so… many lives?" I breathed. "You know… That was my past. I could have been one of them."

That made him freeze for a moment. The grin fell. No, he hadn't thought about that. Only a second later, however, he was all puffed up and smug again.

"The Doctor started meddling with the company, in the first place. Had they not been found out, they would have never activated any emergency protocols."

Well, shit. He wasn't wrong about that.

"But none of us let so many people die on purpose," I grumbled.

"Ah… I see. Now you suddenly have morals." The Master barked out another laugh and pushed hard against my shoulder so I stumbled backwards. "You're as hypocritical as everyone else." Again he pushed, making me stumble against the console. He followed quickly, trapped me between the metal and himself, suddenly so close I could feel his breath on my face, his body against mine. "Maybe it would have been a blessing to have you erased from this timeline," he growled. "At least I wouldn't have to wait for whatever use you might have to reveal itself already."

I sucked in a sharp breath at the intensity of his anger that washed over me. It was far stronger than the Doctor's had been, reached far deeper than what I could even imagine, even though I couldn't grasp its origin. All I could sense was that it wasn't actually directed at me, paradoxical as it might have been, given the situation. There was only his rage and the sound of his fingers tapping the rhythm of four against the metal of the console, hypnotising, lulling in my awareness like a spell.

Eventually, the Master pushed himself away. Was it my imagination or did he sway a little? The choking sensation of his fury subsided and when he sauntered out of the room with a derisive huff, I was left with nothing but the continuous hum of the TARDIS and the feeling that I had, once again, missed something extremely important.