"Why are you doing this?" I breathed, glaring up at the Master with wide, desperate eyes.
Seeing those memories hurt in a way I hadn't awaited. Not even two whole years had passed since them, but so much had happened… I had changed in so many ways… Somehow I had convinced myself to have left the past behind for good, had thought I had just moved on. But the reality was different.
"Because it's fun," he stated with a mad gleam. "Because you walked in here like an idiot and thought you could interfere with my plans like it's nothing. No, worse…" He paused, giving me a condescending look. "As if they were any of your business."
I swallowed, my shoulders sacking together. He was right. I had just ran in here, without knowing anything, only because…
"I just wanted to leave everything behind me," I muttered, realizing the whole ordeal was simply my poor attempt at running away.
"Sweet." The Master pursed his lips. "Another one who got fooled by cute promises of stars and time. You'll have none of it, ape." He chuckled and stabbed a finger at my chest. "I'll keep you as leverage, in case our friend tries to sabotage my plans. And you…" A pitying look wandered over me. "You go and make me some tea."
Suddenly all tension just dropped from my soul and left me weirdly light and empty, void of the gnawing feelings that had clouded my perception and had twisted my guts.
Perplex I blinked at the Master.
"Tea?" Somehow I had awaited he would try to torture me some more.
"Yes. And don't dare to spoil it."
"Then make it yourself," I grumbled, folding my arms.
He glared at me, contempt slowly merging into surprise. "You-" with a foreboding tone he bent down a little, locking eyes with me - "go now and make. Me. Tea."
I narrowed my eyes at him, staying in place with crossed arms. "Make me."
A single eyebrow shot up as the Master straightened. "Actually… that was exactly what I was trying to do. Peculiar."
Only then did it dawn on me. He had tried to use more of his hypnotism on me. And - as susceptible as I had been to it before - now it simply did not work. I closed my eyes for a mere second, listening within me to find the fear he had instilled there, but it, too, was gone.
The TARDIS' gift.
But if this was what she had done, then I still had no clue what triggered the memory effect just now. It also didn't help that I was still a prisoner with no way of informing the Doctor or to make the Master repair the TARDIS.
"Well, since I can't directly command you, I'll just force you with other methods." The sweet, almost charming tone was back. Quite as if I were supposed to be happy about that news. "Chopp Chopp. Go and make tea." He clapped his hands and waved me towards the kitchen. "Otherwise I'll get creative."
I sighed, more annoyed than actually scared. "Whatever. You get your damn tea. 'M more of a coffee drinker though, don't expect it to be any good."
The nasty grin told me there would not be any pleasant consequences if I made my threat reality. But I really wasn't in the mood for games and just rushed to the door and into the small kitchen. It even had an oven and a fridge.
Have those been there before?
Perplexed, I stayed in one spot for almost a minute, glaring at the devices. There hadn't been so much space just a few minutes ago. Those wouldn't have even fitted in here. Had I been too occupied by the induced fear to overlook them? But how… No. No, I was just imagining things. Rooms didn't just change out of nowhere.
How much time had passed anyway? There wasn't even a window in here.
I shook my head and tried to rid myself of the sensation that something was majorly wrong. And also the fact that I seemed to grasp edges of something else, that kept just slipping away from me. Hadn't I thought some strange things before? Something about eye colours and… and…
No, stop it.
I was tired. And this day had been downright absurd and crazy in every aspect imaginable. Of course I felt as if reality was off. And shouldn't I?
Okay, back to tea. Being distracted from my own thoughts would surely not help making some. And it was still better than being forced to watch a mental movie of bad times, with a prick in my back.
He was really pissing me off. And that was a hard thing to do. My patience could reach unimaginable depths, but he had snapped it like a thin twig. And where before I had felt a constantly gnawing pang of fear, I now was just… well… pissed.
Tea… yeah right. I smirked and opened the fridge, quite in the mood to show my own way of being rebellious.
"There, suit yourself."
Carefully I placed a big mug on a plate on the table, right next to an open laptop that sat there. It was filled with graphs and some strange looking circular symbols. The Master was staring at them with puckered brows, two fingers resting on the keyboard, whilst those of his other hand tapped an ever repeating rhythm on the desk.
I took a careful sip from my own mug and kept watching as he opened another window that showed some C++ code. That made me smirk, thinking that even an alien was using this.
"Mhm," I made and took another sip.
The Master didn't react.
"If you leave the top part like this you'll get an infinite loop," I mumbled.
His drumming fingers stilled and his head turned slightly, but not fully. "Get lost, I'm working here," he grumbled and reached for the mug on his desk.
With an impish amusement I watched as he took a sip, then paused. Finally his eyes strayed from the monitor and wandered to the mug.
More seconds passed. My smirk grew.
"That is not tea," the Master finally stated and I wasn't sure if it was utter annoyance or surprise that was audible in his voice.
"Nope," I simply stated, popping the p.
He turned his chair, facing me with a dark scowl and emanating a sudden threatening aura that told me he could snap at every moment, if I wasn't careful.
"Are you trying to provoke me, human?" he asked in a low, foreboding tone. "That's a bad idea."
I shrugged, plainly sat down on the edge of the table and drank more from my mug.
"Told you I'm bad with tea."
"That's hot chocolate. That's so far away from tea as my species is from yours," he growled.
"And you told me not to spoil your precious tea." I smiled. "So I didn't."
He huffed and actually drank more from it. "Smart."
I raised a brow. "Don't tell me that was a compliment."
"Considering the fact that your brain isn't capable of a damn thing… maybe." There was a wide grin. One that clearly told how less he thought of my kind. "It doesn't change the fact that you did not complete the task I gave you."
"And I'm supposed to care?" I nodded towards his monitor. "Your brain's quite useless, too, though. That program you write there will immediately crash."
The Master turned back to the laptop, still not setting the mug down, and let his eyes wander over the code.
"I used to do some programming," I drawled, letting my feet dangle. "Nothing fancy and I'm certainly not good at it. But that's screaming right in your face, ya know?"
A chuckle came from him as he corrected a few lines. Here and there he drank more of the chocolate, obviously not disliking it, despite his mourning.
"You just helped finish my plan."
Surprised I stiffened and turned my head. A pleased smirk was plastered on his face.
"What're you doing here anyway?" I wondered.
"Me?" He tilted his head a little, giving me a boyish smile that would have been downright adorable if it weren't for everything he had done before. "Better ask the Doctor why he landed in this time of all times."
"Uh… how would I know?" I pursed my lips, feeling slightly mocked. "It's a shitty time in general. No idea why a time traveller would land here. You tell me."
"I don't have access to the TARDIS' controls. All I did was to slip out, when he didn't pay attention for a second." There it was again. That smile. "No idea why he thinks I manipulated anything. I couldn't even."
But the TARDIS had told me… no, actually she hadn't. All I had learned from her was that the Master might be able to fix her. That he might be responsible for the damage was only the Doctor's assumption.
A growing smirk told me I didn't have to repeat my thoughts aloud. How did all of this make sense? And what did the Master mean? Why did the Doctor land here?
I squinted my eyes at the Master. "I had the suspicion before, but it was you who spread the virus, wasn't it?" What before had only been a dumb joke, now suddenly became an all too possible reality. "And now you want to make it worse."
"Wrong." An amused chuckle came from him, as if all of this were a game. "I've got nothing to do with this. Well, not with spreading it, at least."
"But it is what you're working on, isn't it?"
"It is," the Master revealed.
"So, if you're not here to make it worse, then what are you planning?"
The grin grew, revealing teeth. A downright predatory expression that I didn't know if it was meant as a threat or stemmed purely from amusement.
"I'm planning to heal it."