Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 79]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

There was no morning in the TARDIS, but my body knew when it had enough rest. I snuggled myself a little more into the warm blankets, enjoying how comfy the bed was. Only then did I notice that I was alone and it dampened my mood for a truly inappropriate amount.

He's just using you for his drums, I reminded myself.

We weren't friends. We didn't even like each other that much. Which was a plain fact. There were things that connected us on some level, that much was true. And maybe there was nothing wrong about using each other for comfort.

I still shouldn't get used to it. The Master would toss me away without even thinking about it, as soon as he'd get bored, or found another solution to his drumming problem.

Then again did it appear as if my existence had some value, after all. It was good to know that I was of more use alive, than dead. Even though none of us had a clue why that was the case.

I groaned into the pillow, already too overwhelmed by too many thoughts for one morning (even when it wasn't morning at all). There was a slight rustling at the movement and I felt something on my forehead. Turning on my back I reached up, finding... wait, was that...?

I tugged the post-it away from my head, frowning at the paper. Thanks to my bad vision I had to hold it so close, my nose almost touched the writing. The letters were sharp, almost elegant.

Touch anything in here and you're dead! >:(

For some seconds I stared at the post-it. Had the guy really nothing better to do than sticking this thing to me while I slept?! It irritated and amused me equally. In the end I crumpled the note up and tossed it on the floor. Should he deal with the garbage himself.

I even contemplated moving some things around. Not much, just a tiny little bit. Maybe not even enough to be really noticeable. Or maybe it would be. My fingers itched, the mischievous part of me urging to have this little, silly satisfaction.

But I didn't.

Whatever it was the both of us shared, was too fragile to break with such a dumb action.

Instead I carefully closed the door behind me and – to my surprise – found my own door on the opposite wall. The TARDIS must have put it there so I would easily find it. That made me smile fondly. It was so weird to have a ship liking me, and at the same time it was kind of cute.

In my room I opened the wardrobe for the first time, finding it filled with things I liked. There were black jeans and I almost squealed when I found a hooded zipper, entirely made out of red plaid. (Plaid is awesome, seriously!)

A quick shower and some brushed teeth later I was, again, in the corridors. This time the Master's door was gone and in its place was a white one with a sign on it, saying "kitchen". I couldn't recall if that sign had been there the last time, or maybe it was another door, or another kitchen.

It didn't matter that much, honestly. The inside looked like I remembered and all I cared about was to get some coffee into me. So it happened that I was still a little groggy from sleep, clutching a steaming mug that was yet too hot to drink from, when I entered the console room.

No one was here.

For a moment it surprised me. Somehow I had awaited someone to be here, but then I realized what a stupid idea that was. This ship was enormous and those two certainly weren't travelling day-in and day-out.

Curiously I wandered around the control table, observing all the different buttons, wires, levers and whatnot. All the small and big things that might or might not have some elaborate function. Sip by sip the cup got emptied and at the same pace my head got confused. How could one operate such a machine? And had the Master told the truth about it? Was she able to travel through time?

All those possibilities... One could travel wherever and just go about experimenting with timelines. Make things undone, and others happen, observe the consequences and change everything again, until it was to their liking. Or was it more complicated?

Slowly I reached out a hand, stroked a finger over a blinking button in the shape of a rose petal. The urge to play around with everything was almost unbearable.

A hand lay itself over mine, almost gently guiding it away from the button. I jumped in surprise, my back bumping against someone.

"I really wouldn't do that if I were you," the Master mocked. "That button's for stabilizing us in the Vortex. Among other things."

I glanced up, finding a teasing smile on his face. He released my hand and stepped away to slump down into the jump seat, a big, old book in hands. It seemed as if he came here often to read, making me wonder if he didn't despise the possibility of the Doctor being around, too.

"So... Time travel," I uttered, leaning with my back against the console, the mug still in hands.

The Master glanced up from his pages. There was an anticipating shine in his eyes, as if he already knew what I was thinking about. A grin split his lips. "I'd show it to you myself, but, unfortunately, the Doctor brought the lock back in order."

He didn't ask. If I would lend him a hand, once more. Maybe it wasn't even possible anymore, the Doctor surely smart enough to come up with a slightly different thing, now that he knew I had helped deactivating the lock once. I almost was about to ask, but then decided against it. Not yet. Not today. Maybe if he proved to me that he wouldn't burn everything, would he be let lose.

The universe was a way too beautiful place, full of too many wonders, for me to risk it being destroyed.

I strolled over to him to take a peek at the book he was holding. There were strange symbols and pictures of creatures in it. They looked as if they were made of black smoke, constantly shifting, with beaks like that of birds and black glowing eyes. I blinked, trying to figure out if those images were moving or if it was just my imagination.

"It's a void creature," the Master told. "Or so they say. Nothing can exist there."

"The void?"

He turned a page and pointed at a set of circular symbols. "It's the space between worlds. Beyond the Time Vortex. There is just... nothing. Or things that get banned to rot there. Well... can't rot. There's no time or space there."

I sat next to him, glancing inside the book. "So, there is stuff? You just said..."

"Nothing native." The Master shrugged. "At least there is nothing known about entities coming from there. Except legends. Ancient stories, as old as the universe itself."

"Then why are you looking them up?" I asked curiously.

"No particular reason." He shrugged and turned another page. The next showed another creature of black smoke, forming a pattern that reminded of huge wings and claws. "Found it in the library. No idea why it lay there. Wasn't there, yesterday."

All the pages showed either round symbols or more of those smoky creatures. They were creepy in an unexplainable sense, reminding me of spectres and wraiths. The pictures were drawn so lively I often had the feeling of being stared at or catching some movement out of the corner of my eyes. The effect let me shiver, crept me out somewhat.

The Master was almost the opposite of those beings, eyes clinging to the pages, eagerly skimming over them, absorbing their knowledge with a fascinated gleam. He emanated some, almost childish, curiosity that made me smile. Whatever he liked to tell, there was more in him than only bad. Maybe he would never find it, maybe it would always stay hidden, but somehow I just knew it was there.

"Hey," I tore him out. "Are you better today?"

He looked up, arching a puzzled brow at me. "Uh... yeah." He shrugged, appearing as if he had no idea what to do with my question. "Almost healed up."

"What's healed up? Are you hurt?" the Doctor's voice chimed in, making us both raise our heads.

The Master slammed the book shut, a scowl etching itself into his features. "None of your business, Doctor," he growled.

"Oi, not so hostile, there." He raised both hands in defence and stepped closer. "Ohhhh, void creatures. Those legends always spooked me. Worse than the Toclafane. You sure you're alright? You know we have the med-"

"I said, it's none of your bloody business!" the Master snarled. "Don't you have some apes to safe? Or flowers to sniff or whatever ridiculous things you always do."

The Doctor moved to the console, his face dropping somewhat. He looked tired, in a way no sleep could heal. His eyes glanced towards the Master, then to me, showing concern, but also... hope? I had no idea, as always, guessed it more than really knowing.

I recalled the images I had seen, last night, and the snippets I had gathered. The Doctor had reversed the paradox, had prevented the Master's reign from ever happening. And then? The answer was quite obvious. He must have taken the other Time Lord with him, as a prisoner, although he didn't always seem like one. They had spent years together, after that. How many I could not know, but things had changed, since then. Both of them had. In good and bad ways.

The Doctor coughed slightly and forced a smile to his face. "After that adventure I thought we might visit somewhere nice. What do you think, Lucy?"

Somewhere nice sounded great!

"Yeah! I'd like that. Somewhere without monsters please, and no fire. And also no adventures."

The Master snorted. "Now I get why she doesn't fit your preferences. 'No adventures'." He giggled to himself. "Poor, poor Doctor. Nothing to show off with."

"Oi, cut it! I can very well do nice and calm!"

"No, you don't."

"Ha! I'll prove it!" The Doctor turned to face me, determination on his face. "Any wish?"

Time and space to choose from. Yeah sure... pick some.

"I always wanted to see an aurora," I shot out the answer. Why not start with the things I had never been able to see?

"How boring," the Master drawled.

"Yeah?" I put on a mocking smirk. "Then how about an aurora... on earth." Satisfied grinning I watched his disgusted face and hopped from the seat to join the Doctor at the console. "You can pick when. I don't particularly care about that."

It also was a sneaky way to test if the time travel thing was real or not. The Doctor didn't seem surprised, though, maybe wasn't even aware that he had never told about it. His mind seemed so scattered, all the time...

"Mhm..." His eyes lit up a second later and he started to press and pull and push and flip. "I might have an idea."