Of course I couldn't sleep. What did I even await? Would have been the first time in my life I'd manage to sleep in a train. My family and I used to visit my Grandfather in the summers, who lived in a different country. We always took the overnight train. And never could I sleep.
A hand over my mouth shot me out of the light pseudo-slumber I had, however, managed to slip into. Confusion and sleepiness clouded my thoughts, the events of the evening seeping only slowly back into my mind.
"Shhh," the Master made. He now sat on my side of the compartment, hand over my mouth, eyes glued to the door. "Don't make any noise."
I groggily nodded and sat up as soon as he retreated his hand. It was still dark outside and there was no indication of danger, no sounds that didn't belong, not even a foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach. My hand searched for my glasses and slid them up may nose. Curiously I then leaned past him, watching the small window in the top half of the door.
For quite a while nothing at all happened, but eventually the Master lost his tense state and relaxed visibly.
"Must be really bad if it scares you," I mumbled, still leaned forward to watch the door.
He turned his head in my direction, amusement in his hazel eyes. "I'm not scared. I just don't want him to have you, yet."
"Him..." I peeked up. "This Doctor?"
"Yeah, I think, he's gone, though."
I let out a yawn and leaned back into the seat, sinking a little together and resisting the urge to snuggle up on the man next to me. I'm a horribly cuddly person and almost no one is ever save from that. But for once I refrained from my comfort-seeking, for the sake of my very life.
"Who is the Doctor?" I asked, glancing back up at the Master.
He huffed, but smiled. "An idiot who thinks he can make the universe a better place. Runs around and saves apes like you, so they fall for him and then he keeps them as pets until they break. And then he calls me the bad one and ruins all my nicely conducted plans."
"We're not apes anymore," I weakly protested with a pout.
"Right... apes are smarter."
"Careful, you handed this brainless ape a gun," I dryly countered with narrowed eyes.
"Yeah..." His eyes crinkled with joy. "And you're not using it."
"Touché." I chuckled and stared out of the window, my thoughts circling around the few snippets of information I had gathered. The whole time I could feel the Master's eyes on me, but, strangely enough, it didn't feel threatening; more like careful curiosity. Eventually I peeked back shyly. "Is he like you? The Doctor, I mean."
The Master scrunched up his nose, disgust clearly showing in his gaze.
"I mean... is he alien, too?" I added. "And how could he appear on this train? And... vanish again."
"We're the same species, yes. But we're complete opposites."
There was an unbelievable amount of contempt in his voice, as if the mere thought of the other man would make him throw up at every moment. it appeared they shared quite some history, I silently concluded.
"So, he is the good guy, then?" I pondered. "Because you're clearly the villain in this story."
One of his brows shot up, his lips pursing slightly, but then stretching to an almost charming smile. He leaned towards me a little. "So, you think I'm a bad person?"
"Obviously," I deadpanned and counted fingers up. "You killed the President, you said you basically tortured the whole planet for a year, and you said it wasn't even the worst thing you ever did. Well... and then there's the whole thing about you using me to make another person feel bad..." My hand lowered and I grinned up at him. "That basically screams 'villain' in huge flashing letters to me."
Somehow the proud smirk on his features didn't surprise me. He looked so boyish in that very moment that I couldn't help, but continue grinning even wider.
Only for a moment, though, before his hands shot forward and were around my throat, squeezing hard enough to strangle all air out of me. Perplex and surprised and more out of reflex than anything else I lunged out and tried to get him away, panic arising within myself. I barely noticed the look of anger and the hint of madness that clouded his eyes all of a sudden, as he pushed me down into the seat, almost kneeling over me.
"What's there to grin about?" he growled in a cold tone as he leaned his head down to me. "You think I'm making fun? You think I'm just telling stories?"
I tried to kick him, my hands ripping at his, my lungs burning from the lack of air. My head got lighter, black dots starting to dance in front of my eyes.
And suddenly I could breathe again.
Greedily I sucked in all air I could get, coughing and panting, unable to speak a word for what felt like minutes, my body trembling uncontrollably. Finally I stared upwards, saw the Master still kneeling over me, his hands still on my throat, but not squeezing anymore. His eyes were dark and cold, telling more than words ever could, how less he cared about me being alive or not.
"Are you afraid, now?" his low voice asked.
Another breath, and two more. I closed my eyes, feeling the fast rhythm of my heart, listening deep inside me to find an answer to his question.
"You won't let me survive this, right?" I muttered instead.
There it was again, the smile, so cruel and cold. Fuck. It really was inappropriate to find your future murderer so fascinating. It almost made me laugh again, but I managed to hold back.
Finally he let go of me and slipped back onto the seat next to me, letting me get up.
"No, I won't," he answered late with the same cruel smile.
Carefully I sat up, rubbing my sore throat. That hadn't been the first time I had been close to death... but it always was a daunting experience. I let out a shaky sigh, trying to get a hold of my emotional state. It would catch up with me sooner or later, but right now everything inside of me was simply all over the place.
At least my breath and heart rate decided to normalize again, the lack of adrenalin allowing the outside world back into my head, the noises of the train, of raindrops pattering against the window, the atmosphere of our compartment.
I glanced up, one hand curled above my heart as if it would help anything. This was real. Not some weird dream, not something I had made up in a reverie. It was happening, right here and now.
The Master stared back at me, lips twitching upwards at my shook sight.
I slowly nodded. "Yes."
He hummed content, smirking satisfied. And as if I suddenly had gotten boring he then focused on the window and the rain outside. For a few more seconds I looked at him, wondering what could make a person act like this, be the way he was, and still radiate this oddly warmth.
But I would never get an answer to those questions, right? All the money in my bank account, whether the police would every find out anything... It all wouldn't matter in a short time. And there was nothing I could do about it.
"Do you... remember the people you kill?" I quietly asked.
He shrugged. "Depends."
"Will you remember me?"
I breathed out another deep sigh, closed my eyes and leaned back in the seat, nestling myself to the Master's side. It almost seemed as if he didn't notice, but eventually I felt him shift a little, looking down at me and eventually back at the window.
"I might," he uttered into his beard, too quiet to make out his tone of voice.
There I was, rejected by my own kind, about to die from the hands of an alien. A small smile crept over my face. No one would ever notice that I'm gone, but at least I wouldn't go unremembered. The thought was weirdly soothing, as was the fact that the Master didn't move away. And like that, without me even noticing, I drifted into a deep, dreamless slumber.