Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 57]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

Author's Notes:
Sorry, not sorry *giggles* There are certain things I simply cannot resist doing. This chapter is full of those. Hope you enjoy. xP

"Eh… How about no?"

I crossed my arms in front of my chest, giving the Master the yet darkest glare.

"Oh, don't make a fuss." His grin was nasty. "You're by far not the first human I'd see naked."

"That doesn't make it better."

The Master bent down to where I sat, took my chin between his fingers to make me look at him. The grin was still there.

"Off with that clothes, lil' lumin. I promise to be careful with you."

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.

I had just entered the TARDIS, the Master still outside, when a familiar voice called out.

"Hey, why didn't you tell you were leaving? I was just done scanning the molecular structure of the dragon's bones."

I turned and stepped out again, just in time for the Doctor to catch up. There were ends of bones sticking out from his pockets.

"Do you hide half the creature in there?" I asked and giggled at the thought of him carrying all sorts of disgusting stuff around.

"Naaah. Just a bit of everything I could gather. Want to do some research."

"With that stuff?" the Master mocked.

"Since it's all that's left."

They exchanged a venomous glare that didn't last long as the Master started to chuckle.

"I had a similar idea. About doing research."

The Doctor gave him a raised eyebrow. "Since when?"

The other Time Lord let out a laugh. "Believe it or not. I'm a curious man."

"Mhmmm… I know the usual reasons for that."

"The undying thirst for knowledge?"

"Yeah, to use it against whoever stands in your way. Which, usually, is me."

The Master sighed and shook his head. "Oh Doctor, how much you have forgotten. It had always been me coming up with the most interesting research projects, remember? And, to help your messy memory a little, here, they had only once or twice ended in something going up in flames."

"And you forgot how often your projects got us into trouble nonetheless."

"Which always thrilled you."

Again they glared at one another until the Master suddenly smiled and stretched his hands out. "Told you, I wanted a pet, didn't I? And that one-" he thumped at me-"only makes trouble."

"Hey!" I protested, even though I wasn't so sure if about being called a pet or being called difficult.

The Master completely ignored it and patted his chest pocket. The Doctor's eyes suddenly widened with curiosity.

"What did you find?"

"I might have dug around a little. In that head over there." He nodded towards me. I playfully slapped his site, which he only commented by sticking out his tongue towards me. "The telepathic traces the dragon left."

The Doctor's eyes wandered over to me. "What does Lucy have to do with it? Humans aren't…"

"Aaaand wrong again!" the Master announced happily. "Anyway, I looked at what the dragon left and it did what all dying beasts do. Make sure someone will find their inheritance."

"And by that you mean…?" The Doctor fixated the Master's chest pocket and also kept tossing glances at me, although I was as clueless as him. If not more. "What did he leave?"

"She."

"She?" The Doctor's eyes widened even more.

Surprised, I glared at the Master, already guessing what it was he would pull out of his pocket. And I was right. There, in his open palm, sat an egg. It wasn't bigger than an orange, black in colour and decorated with slightly glowing purple veins.

"Good thing they didn't check. It was the only one. Would have been a shame for anyone else to find it."

"You… you…" the Doctor stammered, then slowly grinned from ear to ear. "You're brilliant!" he finally called out, beaming all over his face. A second later he suddenly rushed forward, grabbed the Master by his head and pressed a quick but firm kiss to his mouth, then snatched the egg and rushed inside the TARDIS with it.

Utterly dumbfounded the Master stared at the spot where the other Time Lord had just been. His still opened hand dropped down.

"That… was unexpected," I commented, not less perplexed.

From inside came one last call from the Doctor, sounding suspiciously like mistletoe. We both glanced up and found exactly that hanging right above the Master's head, interwoven with some other Yule decorations.

I couldn't help the mischievous snort. "Did you just blush?"

I was sure not to imagine the slight reddish tint to his face. It made me giggle even more.

"Shut it, ape!" he growled.

"Och, but why?"

Damn! I wouldn't survive this, would I?

To my surprise he gave me a wolfish grin, slapped his hand against the wood next to my head and bent down slightly. "Because you're standing below that thing, too."

My eye darted upwards and I realized that he was right. I swallowed, grinned shyly and then quickly slipped away.

"Now look at you, little coward."

"Eh, once really was enough, thank you very much." I darted into the TARDIS, grinning when I heard his chuckle.

It was, however, interrupted by a sudden, extremely unhappy groan.

"Wait, that bastard just took it! Doctor! Return my damn egg! Immediately!" the Master shouted and stormed away.

________________________________________________
.

This time I had no trouble sleeping. All I managed to do when I entered my room was to undress and flop down on my bed. This actually would also be the first time I'd properly sleep in here, my tired head remembered.

There were dreams, but none of them threatening, none wearing such foreboding things than what I had seen before. Maybe the dragon had something to do with the previous nightmares? It had connected with me, in some weird way, reminding me once again of how little I knew about telepathy.

In the morning - or whatever counted as morning to me - I felt equally refreshed and like a dead person. My head was eager to split into pieces, my muscles ached and I felt sick on top of it.

Weak stomach.

It took me a while to finish in the bathroom. Also because I had no clue how to properly bandage wounds. And the claw marks on my site were still red and burning. Usually, my pain tolerance is quite high, but that thing hurt like hell and was breaking open at one or two spots.

Somehow I managed. The pile of dirty clothes landed on the toilet lid.

"Can you dispose of that?" I asked the TARDIS.

The answer was a happy electric humming, followed by one that sounded concerned. For some reason I knew it was about the wound.

"Nah, it's fine. Will just take a bit to heal."

I watched fascinated as the pile of clothes just faded out of existence in front of my eyes. Another glance wandered into the mirror. Once again my face was framed by my specs and I decided I liked the look much better. This was me, small, a tomboy and nerdy.

I smiled at my reflection and stuck my tongue out. Yep, that's perfect.

Now onto the next quest: Finding food and painkillers.

________________________________________________
.

Maybe food wasn't the beat of ideas I decided, still feeling sick. A lot of water and a few cups of coffee would have to do.

The last one I took with me and wandered the corridors for a bit, watching how they changed colours and materials. Some looked ancient, others brand new. Only the shape stayed the same. There were a bunch of doors, but I didn't dare to open any of them, unsure if I was even allowed to sneak around like that.

My coffee was empty now, so I headed back to the kitchen - with help of the TARDIS - to get a refill. And then decided to bug the Master.

"Again?" he groaned when I entered. "This TARDIS has no manners whatsoever."

We were in a room that was a mixture of library and laboratory. A very steampunk-ish style was present, the shelves and most of the furniture made of either dark wood or glass. Books upon books filled the space, but also a big messy table with many metal instruments, microscopes, different tools, screws, wires, pencils and whatnot. There also were glass displays on wooden cupboards. Some empty, some filled with strange plants. One looked like it could be an ancient alien miniature tree. The whole room resembled what one would imagine a rich English nobleman during the colonisation might have owned. Bare the pelt- and bone trophies.

Wide eyed I glanced around, curious about... well, everything, actually. The Master let me, surprisingly enough, and I caught small glances of him observing me. Eventually I ended back at his table and found a strange contraption there, resembling a weird microscope. (To be honest, it could have been anything else.) And in a small metal clasp sat the dragon egg.

"Oh, you got it back?"

"Yeah. Had to literally knock him out. And he doesn't know this room, so don't you dare losing a word about it."

"I won't, promise!" I straightened and dramatically put a hand above my heart. "So... is it still alive?"

"Hopefully." The Master picked up a few papers from the desk and thumbed through them. "I did some research the whole time, but it's hard to find anything. Even the TARDIS barely has data on this species."

I bent down to the egg, observing the delicate purple veins. Somehow it made me feel sad and at the same time...

"The veins are moving slightly," I mumbled. "Does that mean anything?"

"They don't." The Master still looked through his papers.

"Oh. Then it's some kind of optical illusion, I guess."

Finally he put everything down and arched an eyebrow at me, then leaned past me to take a look at the egg himself. Carefully the Master picked it out of the socket, surprise visible on his face.

"That's new. It did nothing before you came... in..." Almost in slow motion his head turned towards me, eyes squinting, brows knitted together. He held the egg out. "Take it."

With a bit of reluctance I put both of my hands together to form a small bowl and held them out. The Master lay the egg into my palms and then we both watched, not knowing what to even expect.

Nothing at all happened. Maybe it had been a coincidence. The veins still seemed to slightly pulsate, gaining and losing ever so subtle fractions of brightness. The longer I watched the more I realized it changed with my own breathing. Even when I changed it, took deeper or shallower breaths.

"Interesting," the Master muttered.

"It... didn't do that when you held it?"

"Most definitely not." He chuckled, glaring at the egg. "Alright, seems like I will postpone throwing you out for a while."

"Thanks?" I held the egg closer to my eyes to observe the glowing veins better. "Shall I keep it?"

"Yeah, for now." However, the Master already picked it from me, his fingers wrapping tenderly around the fragile shell. It only took a few moments for the pulsating to stop and he placed the egg back into my waiting hands, his eyebrow lifting when it started glowing again. "Maybe because you're human?" he uttered to himself and flopped down into the chair in front of the table.

Using my foot I dragged another chair over to sit next to the Master, the egg cradled within my palms. Did it get warmer? Or was it just my own body temperature spreading? It was so subtle, I closed my eyes in the hopes to make it out.

And when I did there were images. Hazy, barely to make out, but definitely there, somehow - smoke, black, swirling smoke in the darkness, endlessly collapsing in itself, spreading, folding, rising up like huge wings, a bird's scream, crawing...

I fell into the darkness.

Fell.

And landed against something solid, but nonetheless soft. In my hands I still felt the egg, now hot to the touch, without burning my skin. I glanced up, finding the Master's head above me, his face wearing a look of annoyance and confusion. I must have fallen against him, or had he caught me? He pushed me back into the chair - when had I stood up?

"You're connected to it," he stated. "No idea how or why. But be careful and don't drop it."

"I... sorry. It just... happened. There were images." I told him of what I had seen, my voice getting quieter with every word. "Why is it so hot in here? I can barely breathe."

"It's not." The Master eyed me, chin in his hand. He then took the egg from me and placed it back into the contraption. "But you look a little feverish."

I blinked. "Be...cause of the egg?"

"No idea. Another thing I have to figure out. But until then it's safer for you not to hold it." He wriggled his forefinger to symbolize me to get closer. "Show me what you saw. Like in the mead hall. Concentrate on the vision, conjure up the images. Since you're sober, now, it won't be as hard."

I nodded and closed my eyes again, waiting for his fingers on my temples before I did what he had told. His skin was soothingly cold against mine.

"Damn, you're burning!" he called out. "What the... No, that's not from the egg."

"Wh... what's it then? Did I catch a cold or so?"

"No... that's..." His hands vanished and he shot to his feet, grabbing my wrist to tear me up with him. "Why didn't you say something, you bloody idiot?"

"Huh?"

"You're injured!"

It clicked. "Oh. Uh... yeah. Just a scratch. The dragon got me once." I carefully stroked my fingers over my side.

Without another word the Master dragged me to another desk, pushed me down into a chair and rummaged through some cupboards. "Shirt off," he growled, without looking at me. "And whatever you have below."

"Eh… How about no?"

I crossed my arms in front of my chest, giving the Master the yet darkest glare, when he turned around. There now were bandages and some vials in his hands.

"Oh, don't make a fuss." His grin was nasty. "You're by far not the first human I'd see naked."

"That doesn't make it better."

Not that I had a problem with people seeing me topless, but the Master somehow always managed to make these things more awkward than they had to be. He bent down to where I sat, took my chin between his fingers to make me look at him. The grin was still there.

"Off with that clothes, lil' lumin. I promise to be careful with you."

I huffed and pulled the hoodie over my head. The movement made me wince and hiss in pain. I cursed under my breath and also clasped open my bra before I dropped it onto the pile. The Master had his head buried in the cupboards again and when he turned around, there wasn't even a nasty smile.

He only shook his head. "No one ever taught you how to bandage things? That's hellishly amateurish."

"I never got in so many situations where I would have needed it," I defended myself and tried to wrap out of the bandage.

The pain had gotten even worse than in the morning, however, and I could barely move enough. So the Master took measures into his own hands. He was careful, very, and I had the weird feeling as if he tried not to do something inappropriate, even on accident.

"Damn, that doesn't look pretty."

"Not really the thing to tell a half naked woman," a joked and poked my tongue out.

There it was again, the nasty grin, although it was more amused than mean. He dropped to his haunches to take a better look at the scratches, dripped some liquid from one of his bottles on a cloth and started to clean the wounds with it. Whatever he had there stung horribly, but I clenched my teeth and didn't make a single sound. He would not see any weakness coming from me. And I was rather certain he was eagerly waiting to make some snarky remark about me being human, again.

"I'll take a look at your blood," he mumbled. "The claws might have been poisonous."

"Poisonous claws?"

The Master chuckled and opened a salve, which he generously applied to the wound. The stuff was cool and a little numbing at the same time.

"We're talking about a creature that's actually too heavy to fly with its wing span and that can spit exploding fireballs. And you wonder about a possible poison? Use your brain for once."

"Yeah, fine." I smiled. "Still. Does it look so bad?"

"Hm... hard to tell." He tossed me a mad grin. "I'm more skilled with inflicting those than healing."

"Figured."

From the table he produced a roll of bandages and put everything else aside, before rolling off a strip of the cloth, gesturing me to stand up. I did and let him apply a big plaster to the wound, then wrap the bandage around my torso. He still was careful not to get anywhere he wasn't supposed to, but in the end it probably was simply beyond his capability not to at least leave a snide comment.

"Want me to wrap those too? Seemed you like it flat," he said with a grin, pointing at my breasts.

I snorted. "Nah. I'm fine."

He chuckled and finished the bandage. After that I carefully slipped back into bra and hoodie.

"Why's that such an issue for humans?" the Master asked, watching me.

"What'y mean?" came my muffled reply, before my head popped out of the hoodie. The pain was a lot better, but I still felt as if I was burning up.

"First you say, humans aren't that strict with intimacy and all that stuff. But then they all make a huge fuss when anyone sees a part of them naked. And your time isn't the worst with it. Go back a few years and it would have been a scandal to even show your legs."

I laughed and nodded. "Yeah, right? I don't get it either. We all look more or less the same anyway." Carefully I stretched and bent a little to see how well I could move in the bandages. "Maybe clothes just appear... safer. They aren't armour, but in them you at least feel less vulnerable? I guess." I tilted my head, glaring at the Master, who was, as always, neatly dressed in black. "Time Lords also don't run around naked. Or is that only adaption?"

"It's called style," was his smug answer.

"In your case, maybe. The Doctor though..."

We both cringed at the same time.

"Anyway... Blood sample." The Master pulled open another drawer and got out an ordinary needle.

Obediently I hitched up one sleeve and held my arm out. People always tell me to look away, but somehow it had always felt safer to just watch. Like this I at least knew what was happening to me. And seeing some of my own blood slowly filling up a vessel was a weird thing anyway.

"It's strange," I mumbled, more to myself. "Just a few days ago there was only salt water in there."

"Well, stop trying to die and we won't have to patch you up anymore." His voice had sounded sarcastic, but there had still been an edge of seriousness in it.

"Pfff, it's not that I chose to get into those situations. We just stumble into some crazy stuff each time we leave the doors."

However, I also hadn't done anything to prevent getting dragged deeper into them. The truth was... I simply didn't care. Those adventures had distracted me a great deal from that fact, but in the end it always caught up again. In the end I was chasing one after the other tiny fragment of time where I didn't feel hollow.

"No idea how to treat a human fever, honestly," the Master grumbled when he was done. "Go, bug the Doctor about it. If I find anything weird in your blood, I'll let you know."

"Uhm... thanks."

The Master shot me a glare as if he was contemplating just putting an end to me being distracting. For good. But the worst he did, was showing me the cold shoulder and he simply threw the syringe on his desk to plainly ignore it, while his attention went back to the egg.