1. when she died
How many times have you murdered her?
How many times have you thought that she was finally dead? Is it better or worse that you haven’t been keeping count? This one was supposedly the last, yet you can’t quite get your head around the idea of the Master being truly gone. Maybe she’s immortal, somehow. Certainly if the good die young then she ought to live forever. (And then how long will you live?)
Clara didn’t know what she was asking of you and you almost did it anyway, if only because (and it’s not only because) she was right about you bearing some responsibility for what Missy might do.
Clara doesn’t know (and never will) that you held the Master in your arms and wept after all the death and destruction of a year that no one else remembers. (You wonder if Clara died that year. A lot of people died that year, along with an important part of you.) Maybe she wouldn’t have trusted you to kill Missy if she had known that, and then maybe you wouldn’t have to think about whether or not you really would have pressed that button.
But either way, Missy won.
2. when she was not, in fact, dead
“I’m not dead,” announces Missy.
“I can see that.”
She taps at your leg with the tip of her umbrella. “I’m willing to accept your apology for wanting to kill me.”
You protest: “I didn’t want to kill you.”
“Yes,” she says, “but you were still going to do it. You’d angst about about – I’m sure you did – but I’d still be dead and that’s the important bit from my perspective.”
She does have a point there, you admit. But, “You apologise first.”
She looks at you blankly. “For what?”
You remind her: “You threw me out of a plane.”
“Well, if we’re going to be pedantic about murder I should remind you that you fell out of that plane.” She looks quite pleased with herself for that little bit of twisted history.
But you’re just irritated by it. “I fell out of it because you blew it up!”
“That was only flirting,” she says, “if I really wanted to kill you I’d go for something more personal. Knives through the hearts, something romantic like that.” She smiles. “Poison’s a good one too, very erotic. Venom on the lips, that sort of thing.” She tilts her head and looks thoughtful. “I’m sure that reminds me of someone. Big hair, deadly lipstick, tragic death in a bookshop.” She taps her mouth with her index finger, pretends to be deep in thought. She shakes her head. “No, it’s gone.”
“If you want an apology you’re going about it the wrong way.”
She holds a hand up to silence you. “Listen, Doctor, they’re playing our song!”
The space around you is still and quiet. “I don’t hear anything.”
“Any minute now,” she says, and then something explodes in the distance and the screaming starts.
“I hate you,” you say.
Missy just smiles, triumphant.
3. when the doctor fell (again)
She’s trying to seduce you.
This much is obvious, but you’re very good at not having sex with people and besides, she’s evil. (You really shouldn’t have to remind yourself of that so often.) It’s also very unlikely that she’s after something as insignificant as your virtue. There’s a plan here, almost certainly, and you don’t know what it is. Giving in could lead to disaster.
Her hand is on your knee, just resting there, and it would be easy enough to dislodge her. It would also be easy enough to just leave, but you haven’t yet, and now – look – her hand is on the move. Just a fraction, but it’s enough to be alarming and exhilarating.
You move your own hand to brush hers away, but now your hand is on hers and she feels soft and warm and comfortable. She smiles.
“I don’t think this is fair,” you say aloud.
“You left me on a planet full of Daleks,” she says, softly. “Does that seem fair to you?”
“I don’t believe in being fair to Daleks”
Wrong thing to say – she’s beaming with delight. Don’t compliment her, Doctor, it’ll only make things worse. Or is it better, which would be the worst thing of all? And now her other hand is at the back of your neck, fingers swirling over the skin where it’s far too sensitive. Missy has the obvious advantage of being your own species and therefore well-versed in which areas are most responsive.
“It’s not going to work,” you say, and you feel her fingers moving through your hair, twirling short curls.
“Don’t be silly,” she admonishes, “it always works.” This she says against your neck.
“Why is this happening?” She won’t tell you the real reason – whatever that is – but you feel you should at least ask.
She licks at your earlobe. “Because you haven’t said no.”
“It’s that easy?” you ask, surprised.
“So easy that you haven’t done it and I doubt you’re ever going to.”
You should probably get up off this couch, put some distance between the two of you. The hand on your leg slides upwards and you reach for her instead.
You kiss her.
4. when they talked about names
“Why ‘Missy’?” you ask, because you’ve always wondered.
“Don’t get existential while we’re naked, someone might get injured.”
“I mean why not ‘Mistress’?”
“It has sexual connotations,” she says primly, as though she hasn’t just spent an afternoon exploring the erotic uses of candle wax and handcuffs.
You raise your eyebrows. “And ‘Master’ doesn’t?”
“It’s gendered,” she says. “You wouldn’t understand.”
“People know what to expect when you call yourself ‘the Master,’ they know you’re going to cause problems. ‘Missy’ sounds like a sweet innocent young girl who certainly wouldn’t try to murder you.” She puts her hand to your throat as if to demonstrate.
“Ah, you’re lulling people into a false sense of security.”
“Obviously,” she says. She smiles. “How secure do you feel at the moment?” The hand at your throat squeezes, just a little.
“You won’t kill me here,” you say, confident. “Too easy, no audience. Hardly worth the effort.”
She looks annoyed, which means that you’re right. So you smile.
“Murder isn’t the only way to hurt you, Sweetie.” You glare daggers at her for that, but she just laughs. “You see? False sense of security. Works every time.”
5. when he said ‘sorry’
“You never did apologise for what you did in that graveyard.”
You look up from marking a subpar undergraduate essay. “We’ve been over that, I thought we had moved on.”
“When do we ever move on?” she asks. “You’re still bitter about things I did during your exile.”
“Oh, well before that,” you tell her, only half-joking.
“I’m willing to accept a blanket apology,” you offer. “In the spirit of your rehabilitation.”
She appears to consider your suggestion. “For everything?”
You nod. “I can only forgive the things you did to me, but it might be good for you.”
“You want me to say I regret what I did, is that it? That I’m sorry for all the times I hurt you?”
She affects a shocked expression. “But telling fibs is naughty.”
You rub your face with your hand. Why is she like this?
“Are you sorry?” she asks. “Not for the graveyard, for all this.” She waves a hand to indicate the vault. “Do you feel the tiniest bit guilty for caging me like an animal?”
You look at the floor to avoid her stare. You feel blood rushing to your face to advertise your shame. “There wasn’t much alternative,” you tell her. “I couldn’t just let you go.”
“You could have,” she says. “You very much could have.”
“Missy, I’m not going to apologise for saving your life!”
“The rest of it then,” she snaps, her voice echoing round the almost-empty room. “I’ll say it if you do.”
You sigh. “I’m sorry,” you say, quietly. Missy nods and you wait for her to apologise too.