by TardisGhost [Reviews - 78]Chapter or Story
"He what?" Martha stared at the door, mouth opened.
The Master grunted, rushing past me. "Oh, this bloody idiot. Not thinking again!" He tore the doors open, shouting, "Doctor! Don't you dare…"
Martha and I quickly exchanged a look and followed. She wasn't even complaining about the fact that the Master had left the TARDIS.
Donna stood there, outside, hurling around with tears shimmering in her eyes, whilst Wilf seemed to be shocked, biting his fist and glaring at a large round and open chamber in the room. A young man stood nearby, his whole posture sunken together.
We were in what seemed like a laboratory, or maybe some sort of science class room. I barely had a moment to take a proper look when my attention was caught by the Master, who practically ran towards the alien machine, frantically ripping out a panel and tearing at wires.
I shared a look with Martha and she seemed confused, watching wordlessly what was, obviously, an act of growing desperation.
"The idiot fried the controls from the other side!" The Master ruffled his hair, gritting his teeth.
"That's not good," muttered Wilf. "He's all alone with them aliens up there."
"Y… you can't bring him back?" Donna sounded shocked, as if she had been counting on him to fix this somehow. The Doctor had probably left her and Wilf as quickly as he had rushed out of the TARDIS, not allowing any of us to really process what he was planning.
But why? As I watched the Master fumbling with wires and his laser screwdriver, I asked myself that question over and over again. Why? Why was he so ready to get himself killed, only to save… us? Humans, the earth. What could we possibly be to him that was so important that he was sacrificing his friends for it? Or maybe… A dark voice inside of me had another idea, another thought, gnawing on me. What if he never did get used to everyone around him always leaving? Dying. How many times already had he lost… everything?
"No no no no no!" The Master slammed the control panel with both hands. "Don't do that to me, Doctor! Don't you dare doing this to me! You promised!"
"G… get away." The boy I had seen before had stepped to him, his posture no longer sunken in, but now straight.
"I'm not letting him kill himself for a primitive bunch like you!" spat the Master.
"Yeah." The young man nodded. "And I know how this teleporter works. I - I can fix it. It's quicker and we don't have much time."
The Master leaned down to his eye level, voice low as a growl. "You will beg me to let you die if you fail this. Or if you try to trick me."
The young man only nodded and then they swapped places, the Master watching intently. It took less than a minute before the young man looked back up, a grim smile on his face, his flat hand hovering over the button.
"What are you doing?" Donna seemed to sense something, her voice alarmed.
But the boy only smiled. "Something clever." And then he slammed the button and vanished in a short flash of faint light.
I swallowed, watching the Master rush to the portal. "Oh no, you don't! I'm going to shred you into-"
He was silenced by another flash, then a thud. The Doctor appeared out of thin air, literally crashing into the Master and clawing at his clothes to not fall down. Confused, he looked up, blinking with an open mouth at the other man.
And the Master, recovering from the surprise rather quickly, was furious.
"What did you even think?" he shouted, slamming the Doctor against the round wall.
I saw Martha wince, about to run towards the two, but I grabbed her arm and shook my head. "He's not going to harm him," I muttered, despite what the scene in front of us looked like.
Donna stepped next to her as well, nodding towards the TARDIS, whilst we heard apologetic stuttering and scolding from the two aliens. Martha seemed visibly confused, given her experiences, but for whatever reason she seemed to trust us enough to go back to the TARDIS with Wilf and Donna. They didn't pay much attention to me, however. Same as always with people. But I didn't mind, wanting to make sure nothing would actually happen.
"Y… you're not even listening," whined the Doctor, arms held up to protect his head from a blow that never came. "I had to give them a choice."
"They are Sontarans!" The Master stroked a hand over his face, exasperation clear in his voice. "There is no choice for them but their stupid honour. Of course they would rather die than give up!"
The Doctor swallowed, trying to straighten himself when the Master grabbed his collar once again, pressing him against the wall with so much force that it creaked a little. The round shape forced the Doctor into an awkward angle, making him even more vulnerable.
"How could you even… consider," the Master choked out. "After everything. After you've kept me for years. And then you just run? Run and… what? Kill yourself?"
"That… that wasn't… What else could I…"
"Not bloody dying!" shouted the Master. "Not leaving me the fuck alone!"
That certainly was my call to vanish. And it certainly was when he dove forward to kiss the Doctor, awkward angle be damned. It most certainly was, when the Doctor let out an indignant sound, however, for once did not push the other one away, but actually responded the kiss, hands clawing into the Master's shirt, drawing him even closer.
There was a small pang of jealousy in my guts for a moment. There was no way of denying it. But when I turned away and opened the door I also smiled, hoping this would finally lead to those idiots accepting what they - obviously - felt. Even though both were adamant to deny it.
Kira crashed into my chest as soon as I entered, climbing up to my shoulder and nuzzling my cheek. I had no time to return the gesture, however. When the two women came practically running towards me, he winced and flew away again, watching from the safe distance of a coral pillar.
"Are they still fighting?" Donna was concerned, constantly shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"We should go back out. The Master will kill him!" Martha protested, almost pressing past me. She certainly was a force to be reckoned with.
I quickly stepped between her and the door, shaking my head. This was not something she would want to see. "Whatever they do, it's certainly not… uh… lethal." I cast a glance at Donna and after a second she seemed to get it.
She placed a hand on Martha's shoulder, smiling softly. "It's okay. Things have changed a little since you've left." She nodded towards the door. "With'em. Well, sure, that Master is as much of an arse as someone can be, but…"
Her ramblings were interrupted by the doors opening and we all hurried out of the way to avoid getting it slammed into our faces. The Master stormed in, still visibly fuming and drawing the Doctor behind him by the hand. Their fingers were intertwined, but it didn't seem like a tender gesture, more like an insurance that the other one wouldn't run. The Master dragged the other Time Lord past us, not speaking a word, then he tore at his hand, roughly shoving him into a jump seat.
"Stay where you belong," he growled. "You owe those humans nothing, especially not your life."
Donna stepped closer, looking down at the Doctor… and promptly hit his arm.
"Ouch! What was-"
"You know exactly what that was for, space man!" Frome one second to the next she was as furious as the Master had been before. "You can't just leave your friends behind! Not for a bunch of ugly war potatoes! THAT WAS PLAIN SUICIDE, YOU IDIOT!"
The Doctor was stunned by her shouting. Wilf tried to calm her down with little success; she simply ignored him. Martha was there too, although she seemed more distanced and tried her best to keep as far away from the Master as she could. She said nothing, just rubbed her arm in visible discomfort.
"I… Alright, alright, I'm sorry." The Doctor glanced up, puppy-eyed, fidgeting with his hands. His eyes landed on the Master for a second and quickly darted away again.
"We have to report back to UNIT," said Martha after a while. "They need to know what happened. And keep that one out of their sight." She thumped at the Master, a derisive scowl on her face. "If they so much as get a glimpse of him, they will imprison him, this time."
The Master slowly turned to her, a grim smirk plastered on his lips. "And you really think they can contain me?" He took a deliberate step towards her. "Oh, Martha Jones, I'd be delighted to burn down every prison they can think of and break the neck of every guard they dare to put in my way."
A shiver ran down my spine. It was so easy to forget what he was capable of when he was gentle and considerate. When we shared the essence of our minds I never felt any of the rage and cruelty he was capable of. Maybe locked away, maybe only coming to the forefront when a suiting opportunity arose. Maybe… just maybe… they were things he only did to silence the drums, if only for a while.
"That's enough, Master." The Doctor spoke softly. He had gotten up and had placed a hand on the other one's wrist, so close to just taking his hand. "Leave her be."
"See?" Martha shrieked. "I told you he's not going to change! And what's next? What if he had gotten control over the Sontaran ship? What if… what will you do if he escapes? What?"
"Then you should start to run again, Jones." The Master tore his arm away and stormed over to the jump seats, giving me a death glare, when I dared to give him a questioning look.
Donna simply hit his arm this time. "That was so unnecessary!" she hissed.
"Not my fault that you lot are all so despicable," he growled at her. Donna didn't even flinch, she just stemmed both fists into her hips and gave him her no nonsense glare. The Master rolled his eyes. "Most of you." He nodded at Martha. "Especially that one."
The Doctor landed the TARDIS outside of UNIT headquarters, out of range of where they might get ideas. For example demanding to get handed out a certain criminal on board. Even the Doctor himself didn't leave the ship. He told us it was because he was still mad at them for how they had acted during the whole ordeal. Something about planned nuclear strikes.
Donna and Wilf went to their rooms to get some rest and a shower. Donna complained loudly about how adventures always made her smell. Although her scrunched up nose was followed by a smile.
The two Time Lords and I were the only ones staying in the console room, and after it was quiet for a while, Kira dared to get down from his pillar and curled himself together on my leg. Absently, I stroked a finger over the soft scales on his tiny head, lost in thoughts with no direction until I heard voices.
"That… that out there was only to rile up Martha, wasn't it?" mumbled the Doctor, his voice so quiet, I could barely understand the words.
The Master slowly strode around the console, letting his fingers glide over controls he wasn't allowed to use. He stopped in front of the other man, looking up slightly. "No."
Only that one word. And a long drawn silence afterwards. The Doctor carefully reached out a hand, hesitated, but then took the Master's, tugging him closer. "I'm sorry. I really didn't think that through, out there. I… I'm so used to… that it wouldn't make a difference."
"If you're gone for good?" The Master let out a derisive snarl of sorts. "It makes a difference to me."
"You want me dead as much… more than anyone else."
"And you think I would allow anyone that isn't me to do the job? Please." The Master chuckled, stepping a little closer. He bent down slightly, stroking his hand along the Doctor's cheek. "That doesn't exclude… other things, though."
"Playing with your prey, for instance?" The grimace on the Doctor's face was pained. "I…" He sighed, tossing a quick glance over at me. "I'd love to think you're… doing more than that, but it's pretty hard to believe a-and you can't blame me for that. I can't even count the number of times anymore you-"
"Oh, will you shut up?" The Master laughed. "We have all the time in the universe. Killing you can wait for a bit."
I coughed awkwardly and gave them both pointed looks. "This looks like you two should talk that out in private."
The fact that they were doing this with me being in the same room could only mean they needed someone to be some sort of failsafe. A witness that the other one wasn't going to deny anything afterwards. But that certainly was not my job. They were both so much older than I, they really shouldn't need that.
"Th… there is nothing to-"
"There definitely is." I rolled my eyes, striding towards the doors. "And I don't care what exactly it is, but talk it out, finally."
And with that I left them alone, marching down the TARDIS corridors and quietly laughing to myself. For one part because they were ridiculous and for another because… well, I needed something to convince myself that I was definitely not jealous. There was no reason to be… now that the Master might have the chance to connect with someone of his own kind. Someone who could truly understand him, truly fathom the depths of his being, someone…
I stopped dead in my tracks and let out a breath I hadn't been aware of holding in. Kira poked me with his nose, but it didn't help much. "What the heck am I doing there?" I mumbled, knowing he couldn't understand. "Shoving those two together… That's like laying bombs in your own home."
Kira squeaked shortly, tilting his head. At least he seemed to understand that something was bothering me. But this was something I had to deal with alone.