Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 78]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

Author's Notes:
Here we go again. It's the night of Yule. The longest night of the year, followed by two more nights where it seems as if the sun isn't moving much. And when we hit the 24th the days will start to be noticeably longer again.
Did you also know that many old cultures treated the sun like a god?
Or... to make it short: God (the sun) dies during the winter's solstice, to stay dead for 3 days and then rise from the grave and ascent to heaven.

Sounds familiar? 👀

Aaaaaaaanyways.... this chapter might mark an extremely important moment. Also, there is #fluff!

His arm held me a little tighter and, gradually, we sunk deeper, thoughts blurring, borders vanishing. I felt his soft breath in my neck, felt his body wrapped around mine. Possessive, protective. There was a glimpse of… memory. Faint murmuring. The rustling of many clothes. All sounds echoing through a wide space that wasn't visible.

A half transparent screen with orange glowing letters on it.

Laws of the Time Lords.

"This is so boring," said a young blonde boy next to the hands that held the screen. "I thought we would grow out of it anyway."

"Doesn't mean no one will do something stupid afterwards." The voice came from the one holding the screen, the owner of this memory.

"Mhmmm…" The boy sighed and started reading in a murmur. "It is not forbidden to engage in sexual acts, although the council reminds that this primitive desire other species retain is erased from Time Lord from an early age on to prevent the spread of impure blood." A disgusted grunt followed. "This sounds like propaganda, Ko."

There was a chuckle from behind the screen, muffled by the faint sounds of the classroom.

"It is further forbidden to engage in any involuntary act, as it is considered the most primitive of crimes one of a higher species can commit. Therefore a crime as such would be punished with the highest sanction." The blonde boy stopped reading, rubbing his neck. "Why would you want to do that anyway?"

"Not everyone is a nice as you, Thete. Now shut up, I want to finish this before we get into trouble."

The other boy mumbled something, but kept it to himself.

The images smeared apart into an indiscernible mass of colour, then slowly faded into blackness.  Had that been a memory?

You saw it?

I startled awake again, vaguely aware of my… our surroundings, minds still tightly woven together. The question lingered in my head, as did the knowledge - in us both - that I had, indeed, seen it.

Yeah, I saw it, I still responded, more out of habit than necessity. He knew my thoughts. You learned that in school?

The answer was in my mind before the Master's voice spoke. Mhm. We had a whole subject on laws. But the Doctor was right. It was boring as hell.

I hummed, understanding, then, The other boy was him?

Another image slipped into my mind. One of a blonde boy, maybe around the age of thirteen. He had freckles on his face and wore red clothes. Loosely fitting pants and a sort of short robe above it. He seemed to be full of energy, like a bouncy ball, never quiet, never standing still.

Is that him?

The Master chuckled. Don't tell him I showed you.

There was another image then. This time of another boy with short black hair and blue eyes. He was the same age, but a little smaller than the blonde. He looked so serious, composed, and still there was an aura around him that told of knowledge and maybe even a little danger.

That you, isn't it? You had a different name back then, too, right? The Doctor, he called you by it.

I don't use it anymore.

It was a short form, right? Ko for…?

The Master squeezed me, blocking off his thoughts. "Don't."

I laughed, squirming in his grip to turn around and face him. We were still connected, but I wasn't able to make out any of his thoughts anymore. "Why not?" I asked quietly.

"Because," he answered, equally as quiet, "it's not who I am anymore, lill' lumin. That man died a long time ago."

"But all of his memories are still there," I murmured, leaning my head against his chest, listening to the faint double beating of his hearts. "I just… want to know who you are. I know so little. About your life, about yourself."

A warm hand threaded through my hair, gently massaging my scalp. He didn't say anything, but his mind slowly opened up to me again, making me sigh content. It was addicting, to float in such a shared space, just drifting. There weren't thoughts, only vague hints of different emotions that were too faint to name. We only existed. And for a moment that was enough.

"I don't get you humans," he suddenly muttered. "You have all you need to develop psychic connections, but you only ever use your bodies to share intimacy."

I hummed, agreeing. "Wish we wouldn't."

"Why's that?" He chuckled. "Aside from some residual trauma… it seemed you rather enjoyed the physical side of connecting."

I sighed, torn between something like guilt and shame and something else I had no name for. Maybe he would grasp the meaning through our connection, but I still felt the need to talk proper words.

"I think… it's because people never needed me for anything else. No one ever wanted me because of who I am, but because I'm a woman and they…" I swallowed. "'S not only about me. It's… dunno. Sometimes it seems it's the only thing humans are interested in. Like there's nothing better or more fascinating or… more pleasurable to them. Sorry, I'm rambling nonsense."

He chuckled again at that, his hand wandering below my chin to make me look up. "It's not nonsense at all." He drew me up so we lay face to face. "Humans miss out on so much, if you ask me."

"It's not entirely our fault, though." I grumbled. "We can't control our body reactions. Hormones and all that."

A small grin spread on his lips. "Shall I block them? I'm pretty sure it's possible. Temporarily of course."

I blinked, perplexed by the offer. And then I nodded. "Yeah. Show me. I want to know how this all feels to you."

His hand slipped up to mine again, intertwining them and tugging until I rolled closer and gave him a little more skin. His mind returned, searching, focused. His face was concentrated and for some moments I was distracted just watching him, his features that were so familiar now, yet made me still remember how little I knew about him, about his life, about the centuries he had spent in this universe already.

"You really don't want to know." There was a chuckle and it brought me back to the present. "There, your hormone production is blocked. Only difference to me now is that you have no idea how to reactivate them." He chuckled and poked his tongue out.

"Wait, you can reactivate them at will?"

He shrugged. "Sure. When I need them. Or rather want them."

"Or when your focus slips?" I teased.

He chuckled again, pushing lightly against my shoulder to make me roll on my back and promptly knelt above me. "It's the mind sharing. You're rubbing off on me."

I laughed and got promptly silenced by his lips. My hands flew up to his head, cradling his cheeks. His movements were slow, sensual. And I responded in the same way, deepening the kiss to a dance of movement until I needed air again. My breath was heavy now, but the familiar tingle in my lower parts was missing, as was the heat that usually clouded my head. All I was aware of were all the different sensations. And now it seemed I felt them ten times more.

"How's that?" the Master asked, curious and maybe a little concerned.

"It's… I don't know how to describe it. But it's good. It's… calm, somehow. I have more control and still feel everything more… just more."

"Told you. You lot miss out on so much." He hovered above me, letting his eyes wander over me. One of his hands came up to cup my face, then gently traced a path down my throat, my collarbone. "You don't ever just see the aesthetics of veins moving under skin, you never stop to feel the texture under your fingers, the sensation of warmth, the soft pulse you can feel."

My eyes closed on their own, my breath slowing. His hands traced a path to my chest, fingers spreading over my heart.

"You don't appreciate shapes and movement and scent. You never even consider the potential of true connection, of really knowing."

I took a deep breath when his hand was replaced by his lips, slowly kissing a path down to my navel. It was strange to not feel what I expected to feel, no arousal was building anywhere and all his actions did to me was to instil a strange and soothing calmness. This felt safe and just warm; my whole body was relaxing.

I sighed. "I like this. Can we just keep it like that?"

The Master gently dropped his head against my chest, not really lying on top of me, but hovering low enough for me to feel the warmth of his body. I opened my eyes again, threading a hand through his hair until he looked up. Something akin to pain was in his eyes for the fracture of a second and then it was gone, replaced by… I didn't know, but it was intense, like burning flames, like an exploding sun that swallowed everything around it. There was chaos, there was rage. I remembered that we were still connected and realised that he was projecting himself.

He rolled to the side, drawing me flush against him once again and allowed our minds to pour into another, faster than I was used to, burning, pulsing. And when his lips found mine, the shallow flow turned into a raging river, soughing through my veins, my heart, my head, filling me up so completely that I almost lost myself in it. Vaguely I got aware of our limbs being completely entangled by now, searching every point of contact possible. There was no heat in our kiss, but it was deep and all consuming, stealing my breath, stealing my awareness, making me forget about everything but the very taste of this single moment. And into the blur of everything we shared another sound was mixed. Slowly, steadily, the deeper we sank the clearer I could hear, feel, how it beat through my very essence, over and over and over again.

The sound of drums.

The Master's hold on me tightened, my breath hitched. He knew I heard it. But this time it did not echo, did not get louder than it should be. This time I heard them as clearly as if they were inside my own mind and… they actually were. Right now it made no difference. The sound was faint, not so loud that it could overshadow my thoughts, but nonetheless there, persistent, never fading, never faltering, never quieting.

I can block them off. He whispered then, between our thoughts, among the rhythm.

No. Don't. I want to hear. I want to know.

He let out a groan and buried his head in the crook between my shoulder and neck. There was fire and pain and rage and the memory of blood, of madness, of chaos. The drums drove him forward, commanded him, slapped every thought of 'not' away like annoying flies. Images of smoke, of destruction, a battlefield of broken bones and black sparks. I saw it all, felt it all, knew with everything I was.

For a second - I felt eternity.

Everything mixed together, became an indiscernible mass of raging colour and burning smells, deafening sounds from million sources. And amidst it all… the ever repeating rhythm of four; it connected us, held us apart, showed me the border of our intertwined selves - and then washed them away.

Where are they?

The question lingered somewhere, from me, from the Master, from both and from neither. For a desperate moment there was… hope. Just a spark, nothing more but the glow of a fading ember.

Where is the origin?

How could they even have one, when they were everywhere at once, all around and within, woven into the fabric of reality itself. I… he… we searched and listened and sank deeper. A part of us was aware of our rapid descent, another part started to feel concerned, another part… didn't care. There it was, the chance to find them, the possibility to have an answer and I could not tell who of us wanted to find it more eagerly.

Trace it to the source, follow not the sound, but the feeling of it. I heard a gasp, mine, his. I felt excitement, hope, joy.


A rupture tore through my body, mine, clearly not his, separating us in an instant while keeping us connected nonetheless. A burning streak of lightning shot through my head, my chest, made me cry out and recoil. The contact was lost, our minds separated.

"Breathe, little one, breathe."

I was dizzy beyond description, my eyes did not see, but I heard his frantic words and tried to follow their order, sucking in air and coughing it out again. My chest was hurting, hurting so much I thought my heart had stopped working. I heard a squeak and felt something indenting the mattress behind me.

"Get lost, gecko. You can't help her now," growled the Master. "Lucy, listen, stay conscious. Don't slip away." His hands tenderly stroked along my cheeks. "Please."

I rasped out more breaths, barely able to take them in with the pain that constricted my chest. "Hurts," I whispered. My head was so clouded, my eyes still unseeing. Was this death? Had he just taken back what was his? Another searing streak of pain in my chest made me whimper. And also there was another question burning. I had to know. If I was truly going to die then I had to know. "Did I… find them?"

"Shhh, don't speak." The Master carefully rolled me on my back and moved. His weight shifted and somehow got behind me. "You're okay… ish. Just a little hurt." He sat behind me, taking my head into his lap, hands gently caressing my cheeks, my shoulders. "Don't you dare sleep, little one. Don't you dare leave me."

A blanket was draped over me. Breathing seemed to get a little easier. The Master's touch and words calmed me down, eased the pain somewhat and allowed me to think a little clearer again. Something small hopped on my legs, tapping up to my belly to rest there.

"Did… I?" I rasped out the question again.

There was a deep sigh. "No. No… but it's alright. I don't care. Just… just stay with me. Will you?"

"'m tryn'."

No new waves shook me at least, making what was there already a little more bearable. Was he concerned? His voice just now had sounded so desperate. Imagined, for sure. It couldn't be anything else.

"Don't sleep, little one," murmured the Master, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, his hands resting near my collar bone. "We went too far. Too deep." Another deep sigh rattled in his chest and he dropped his forehead against the back of mine. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I should have felt it… should have… but you were so close. I thought you might really find them."

Finally I remembered how to open my eyes, feeling silly for having forgotten it. The room was dark, only the light-hose behind my bed gave off a faint orange glow. Kira was curled up on my belly, but watching warily.

"What's… happening to me?" I brought out, speaking slowly.

The Master pressed a kiss to my head, drawing me up some more, so I was resting against his chest, half sitting between his legs. "If the connection goes too deep, people don't just get lost," he explained quietly. "It's ripping you apart. Your… soul? Your essence? Something like that. I don't know much about it, there are only theories." His voice was strangely hoarse, almost choked. "This was so careless. I'm… I'm sorry, Lucy. I didn't want to hurt you."

I swallowed, tearing up a little. Not only was he apologising, he was even using my proper name. And although we weren't connected, I could feel his sincerity. I reached a hand up, stroking over the light stubble on his jaw, then his beard. "Don't feel so bad for it."

His hand took mine, his lips pressing a warm kiss to my cold skin. "See, that's why I don't let anyone near me." He… laughed. A quiet laugh that sounded the opposite of happy. "In the end I only break them."

I huffed and turned my head to look up at him. "Doesn't matter. I'm broken anyway." The dim light and my missing glasses didn't allow me to properly see his expression, but his eyes were resting on me. "Don't worry, I'll stay… functioning until I find those drums for you."

The Master moved slightly, positioning me so that he could take my chin between his fingers and tilt it upwards. When he spoke, his voice was barely audible, sounding pained. "You still think they are all this is about, don't you?"

I glared at him, momentarily at a loss for words. Forgotten was the receding pain in my body, forgotten the sleeping fletchling in my lap. I didn't want to speak, didn't want to allow the possibility that I might be something more than a tool to him… to anyone. "What… else would it be?" I almost whispered, my voice trembling slightly, heart racing.

The Master bent down, bumping his nose against mine, a grim smile visible in the faint light. "Who knows," he murmured. "About a fragment of madness, ripped out of time."

That made me chuckle all of a sudden, mirroring his grin. "You're so over dramatic."

He joined my laugh. "Am I?"

"Yeah. Can't take you seriously like that."

"Mhm… that's a shame." His lips brushed against mine, but never went further, making me squirm. "It's true though. And you should stop thinking I only see you as a means to an end. I enjoy this here, all of it." His voice dropped at the last words and he finally closed the gap between us, albeit only for a few moments. "Might even be part of the reason I will go back in time to mark you."

I swallowed, glaring at him. Was he really considering saving me from dying because of… this?

A/N: This will probably be the last chapter for this year, because I'm going to visit friends, etc. etc.
Have a great Christmas (or just holidays, depending on whether you celebrate or not) and also a happy new year!
Love y'all :3