Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 74]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

Author's Notes:
Not much is happening in this chapter, tbh. It's more like a buildup for the next one. And that will hopefully completely make up for it ;D

"Let's move," said Darwil. "And be more careful. I don't want to lose anyone else to those things."

"Oh god, they are so cold," whined Donna. "This's like death 's gripping you. Don't you ever touch me again! You hear me?"

Of course there was no reply. She grabbed my hand again and we held on to each other whenever we could and didn't have to move over debris, until we finally reached a section with functioning lights again.

A wave of relieved sighs went through our little group and, to our joy, we also had reached the section with the library. It took a little to actually find it, but as soon as we entered the hall we knew it to be the right place.

There were rows and rows with books, old and crumbled and swollen. Many lay on the ground, destroyed by time, but there were also a lot that were still readable. To anyone who could, that is.

"Why isn't the TARDIS translating?" I asked the Doctor, showing him pages with letters that resembled nothing I had ever seen.

"She's too far away. The telepathic field doesn't reach us here. But… I think I might be able to translate. It's an old dialect, but I've seen something similar in the Cerelekro system."

"Uhm… okay. Have fun then." I handed him the book and continued to stroll through the shelves, finding a few with strange devices on them in various shapes, small enough to be held in my hands. They probably also stored some information, if anyone could find out how to actually use them.

Since the language was unknown to me and I had no other way to read anything here, I got out my camera and took some pictures instead, trying to capture some artistic angles. We would stay here for quite a while anyway and that camera was a fancy device from a place I couldn't pronounce, meaning its battery life was incredible, as was the amount of settings to control the outcome.


.


Hours later I sat there on my sleeping bag, hugging my knees and glaring at the dark corner in the distance, knowing that there might be another shadow lurking about.

In my search for great motives I had eventually found the Master, sitting in a corner with one of the books and one earplug in, the other dangling down over his chest. I wasn't sure how to talk to him after all the confusing stuff from the past few days. Or rather weeks.

So, for the longest time I stayed silent and looked through the photos I had taken to pick the best and delete some that weren't useful. Eventually I got tired and spread my sleeping bag, watching the dark corner and trying my best not to think about what would have happened had they managed to drag me through the wall.

Cold shivers went down my spine at the mere thought, making me overcome my insecurities.

"Master?"

He glanced up from his literature, giving me a look that was meant to murder someone on the spot. He didn't seem too pleased about me being here at all, so it was hard to voice any thoughts.

"I… I think there's something here. Not the shadows. Something… I don't know…" I started, swallowed and then fell silent when I realised I was talking nonsense.

"What do you want?" grumbled the Master.

"Uhm… you think… could we… maybe practise a little?" I fiddled with my hands, heart thudding anxiously. It was an odd request, considering how he did his best to stay away from me and how I myself did the same. It was as if I wanted to keep the distance, no matter what, but at the same time I wanted nothing more but the comfort of another person near me.

Well… not any other, to be honest.

He raised a brow and, to my surprise, his look softened when he put the book and the earplugs away. "It's a little odd doing it here, don't you think?"

"Y… yeah, I know." I nodded in some vague direction away from the others. "Place's big enough though. It's just…" A breath caught in my lungs, making it hard to speak.

The Master, however, grabbed his backpack and walked away, leaving me no choice but to take my own stuff and follow him.

"Really don't need him to see us," the Master murmured.

"You think… he'd interfere?" I remembered how shocked the Doctor had been when he had learned that the Master had been in my head.

"Maybe. He'd definitely be super annoying about it and killing him isn't an option right now."

I giggled. "As if you would."

"It would be deserved on so many levels you can't even imagine," came the grumbled reply.

Some rows away from the others we found a spot where no debris was on the floor and it didn't seem to be moist either, so he took my sleeping bag from me and spread it on the floor, sitting on top of it, cross legged.

"Spill it, what's really bothering you?" he murmured, still sounding somewhat annoyed, but also curious.

I took a deep breath and sat in front of him. "It's just… since we're here I'm having really strange dreams, you know. Not just any. I'm pretty sure… something's projecting them." Quietly I told him about what I could remember and it seemed as if he was actually surprised by it. "Can you maybe… show me how to shield myself from external influences? Somehow. It's all really creeping me out."

"I could." He nodded to himself, not saying more for a good minute. Then he hummed and shook his head. "Although I'd rather like to have a look at those dreams myself."

"That's possible?"

A slightly mischievous smirk formed on his lips. "Sure. I just have to stay connected to your mind while you sleep."

He moved aside to zip open the sleeping bag, waving at it invitingly. I slipped into the bag, making myself comfortable, although I had no idea how I was supposed to sleep at this moment. But right when I was about to close the zipper the Master stopped my hand and crawled inside himself, nestling himself against me. It was wide enough anyway, although there wasn't much room to move with two people. I didn't complain about being snuggled up like that, though. The closeness and sharing some warmth helped with the cold that had settled in my bones.

I sat my glasses aside and lay face to face with the Master, feeling myself relax almost instantly. "'M not sure I can sleep so well, though," I confessed.

The Master chuckled and slipped a hand under my hoodie, resting it on my hip. A light tingle of a not yet initiated connection caressed my mind and I couldn't help but let out a sigh. Since Donna had joined our group I had never felt truly lonely, since she was always around and had fun talking to me. But it was an entirely different thing to literally share a mindspace with another person.

"I'll never get used to this," murmured the Master, bumping his forehead against mine. "How you manage to be so relaxed with me." His fingers started to draw small circles on my skin, making me shiver lightly. "Look at me," he demanded.

And I did, kept my eyes locked with his while I felt his mind carefully intertwining with my own, seeing his pupils go wider and darker the stronger we connected. My breath hitched a little, maybe also because he didn't stop moving his hand, drawing the circles over my side and also a little lower over my hip bone. A barely visible smile was on his face and I felt how he enjoyed my reactions to him. It wasn't even a teasing joy. It was genuine and also… disappointed?

But as I tried to hold on to that emotion it slipped away and his hand stopped, right as I was about to seriously warn him that he was playing a mean game with me. His hand came to rest, sprawling warmly over my  back to draw me closer against him.

"I can help you fall asleep. That's actually one of the easiest forms of hypnosis."

"Okay," I mumbled, closing my eyes and trying to calm my heartbeat. The damn idiot probably knew perfectly well what he had just done to me, but I wasn't willing to give him another opportunity to call me out on my human body reactions.

"How will you know when I have a nightmare?" I wondered, my eyes shooting open again, and felt uneasy when his grin broadened.

"I'll watch your dreams."

"W… wait. All of them?"

He giggled quietly and poked his tongue out. "Every single naughty dream you have about me."

For a moment I tried to wriggle free of his grip and he laughed even louder, giving me no option to actually leave.

"I won't!" I protested, pouting. "'M not having any naughty dreams."

"If you say so."

"No, really. Not about you and not about anyone." I scowled at him. "Not that I could remember any, that is."

He chuckled again. "If you have one, I'll let you know." He leaned closer to my ear. "And if I win the bet you'll have to be my slave for a whole day."

"Hey! Not fair!" I pushed my hands against his chest, feeling him still laughing at me.

"Well, since you don't have those, it won't be an issue," he taunted. "Come on. Sleep. No one will learn anything if you don't."

"Bugger," I grumbled, smiling, and ceased my struggle, actually snuggling closer to him now.

A wave of warmth washed over my mind, lulling me in quickly and making me feel awfully comfortable and secure. How could I not be relaxed with him when he was able to make me feel like that? All fears and insecurities slowly faded away, were left behind as my awareness subsided and I effortlessly drifted into a deep sleep.

Vaguely, I remembered how amazed I was by the effect of the hypnotism before something tugged at my mind and dragged me somewhere else, making me fall through darkness. Or was it a blur of images? Everything happened so fast I had no time to grasp the details. And then I got spit out in a new place, suddenly finding myself by the ocean in the middle of the night, with billions of stars blinking above my head and a light breeze ruffling my hair.

Confused, I looked around, trying to remember if I knew that specific place, only to realise I had never been here before. I was wearing light clothes, a short pair of blue jeans and a red plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves, fitting for the cosy temperatures. But when did I put these on?

"Huh, that actually worked."

I hurled around, startled by the sudden voice and let out a surprised noise when I saw the Master standing there, his sight rather unusual, as he was clad in rather casual clothes, starkly contrasting to the suits and waistcoats he loved so much, he was now wearing short black pants and an open black button down with a red t-shirt underneath. The unbuttoned cloth was slightly swaying in the breeze.

"Wha… where are we?" I wondered, having trouble remembering where we actually had been before.

The Master chuckled, waving his hand at the scenery. "If I have to guess, I'd say you really love the ocean. I keep finding you near it."

"Yeah, I do. It's… the only place I ever truly felt… home?" I shrugged, walking along the shore with the Master. There was no sand, only gravel and some logs here and there. The crescent moon hung above our heads, casting its light over the waves. "Dunno why, honestly. I grew up quite far from it. But every time I'm by the sea it feels like I just… belong there. Still, where is this?"

"Haven't figured it out yet?" The Master laughed and poked my head. "We're in here, little one."

I rubbed my forehead, pursing my lips. But there was a vague memory emerging and then… "Oh." Then everything came back and I remembered. "Am I still asleep?"

"Yep. Dead out."

"And how come we're here? Is this a lucid dream? Never had one before. I tried, but it didn't really work so far. And it doesn't explain why you are here. Are you even?" I babbled, trying to comprehend the situation.

"I'm quite real, yes." There was a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. "Slipped inside your dream, so to speak. Which is not easy, mind you. There has to be an opening. Something to squeeze myself in."

"Wait. You're literally inside my dream?" I arched a brow. "We're not sharing it or anything?"

The Master bent down to pick up some flat stones and let them hop over the twinkling water. "Not that easy. Dreams are… delicate. And since you're not a Time Lord, we can't literally share a dream."

The next stone bounced off the surface five times and the Master did a little triumphant jump, before picking up more. I did the same, but mine didn't bounce that well.

"You were on the verge of a lucid dream, sort of. You'd probably have woken yourself up in the end. Such a moment creates…" Another stone hopped once and then drowned miserably. "...an opening that's good enough to slip in, widen your awareness and stretch it so you become lucid for real."

"And… you sort of just swam with the stream?"

"Sort of."

"Huh."

I watched him bounce more stones, trying it myself a few more times, but failing. "Shouldn't I be able to manipulate this?" I grumbled.

The Master shrugged. "It needs practice. Most people wake up the moment they realise they are dreaming."

"Anyhow…" I simply threw the stones into the water, watching them form ripples. The waves were slow and shallow, washing them away only after they had grown wide. "Why did you slip in here?"

"Just for fun." The Master laughed and started to walk away from the water. "It's new to me too, so I got curious."

I eyed him suspiciously, guessing it might not have been the only reason. But for now I had no intention to find it out. This could be quite the fun playground, after all. And it was a nice distraction from the creepy events from the past few days.