Characters: Ten, 'Saxon', OCs
Pairings: Ten/'Saxon' implied, especially in this chapter. I blame David Tennant and John Simm >>;;
Spoilers: Series 3, mostly the last three episodes. Set a long time after Series 3's end.
Rating: PG-13 (usual stuff: violence, dark in places, swearing)
Summary: A certain Time Lord being ensnared by Colony 9's newly-formed oppressive regime leads to some dangerous possibilities, while the Doctor may have arrived too late to stop it.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything. If I did, RTD would've written LotTL MY way =D
Chapter 3: Unpleasant Reunion
The Master's office was as large as Greer's, and slightly more stylish. His curtains were pulled back to display the veritable panorama that was the city below and he even had a book shelf full of various novels and science books, though where he got them from the Doctor didn't know.
'So, Doctor,' the Master said casually, crossing the room to his wine cabinet, 'come to stop me?'
'Yeah, that's the idea,' the Doctor nodded, noticing photos of him waving into the camera at Miles' house on the Master's desk, 'been expecting me then?'
'Is it really that obvious?' the Master smiled at him from his place by the wine cabinet. 'But you're awfully late, I should've known. That TARDIS of yours never behaved properly. She was a right bitch when I tried to use her.'
'Really? Can't imagine why!' the Doctor didn't bother hiding his sarcasm and disgust at what the Master had done to his beloved ship back on Earth. 'But.. you've got your own now.'
'I know, it's great! Travelling the universe, meeting all those strange and interesting people--'
'Killing them,' the Doctor interrupted him, his voice dark. The memory of their last meeting forced its way to the surface of his mind's eye just then. He was surprised when the Master made no visible reaction to his remark, however.
'Drink?' Instead his nemesis held out a glass to him.
'No,' the Doctor stuffed his hands into his pockets.
'Don't trust me?' The Master set both glasses down and bounced on his heels suddenly, turning to the Doctor with what appeared to be a sincere smile. 'But! I wanted to tell you the good news, Doctor!'
The Doctor raised his eyebrows. Whatever it was, it couldn't possibly be “good”. Just more games.
'I love this little planet, really I do. I've had so much time to think about everything I've done wrong.. and you know, I think I've seen the error of my ways,' his face remained much the same, plastered with sincerity and, shockingly, goodness. The Doctor eyed him for a moment, almost wanting to believe it.. but..
'And what, you've changed? Seen the light, that it?' he didn't hide his disbelief.
'You don't believe me?' the Master laughed then, walking closer to him.
'No,' the Doctor said softly, darkly.
'The Doctor doesn't believe me! Ooo, this is good! Does that mean you've completely given up on me? Think I can't ever change?' the Master smiled at him and the Doctor knew he was enjoying every second of this.
'Everyone can change, but it'll take more for someone like you. I can help, I co--,' he said.
'Oh, no, no, no,' the Master dismissed his words, wagging a finger at him. 'Actually.. hmm...' he pretended to consider for a moment. He leaned in closer, his lips not far from the Doctor's ear. 'Can you still hear it, Doctor? The screaming? Is it there when you close your eyes, waiting for you? Millions of people, dying... and you, unable to save any of them.'
The Doctor tried not to flinch, tried not to visibly react, but he failed miserably. The Master put an arm on his shoulder, leaning against him a little. He smiled wickedly, eyes dancing. 'And it felt so good, too, all that fire and death. I wonder if that's what Gallifrey's destruction would've felt like had I done it...' he added, his voice caressing every word, savouring every second of his former friend's agony.
'Stop it!' The Doctor snarled, anger and guilt coming off him in waves. He backed away, resisting the urge to hit him.. to keep hitting him until he bled. What happened the last time they met, what the Master had done to the people of Regalia Minor was - he couldn't believe he was even thinking this - unforgivable.
'Well?' the Master looked at him expectantly, fiddling with his ring. 'Do you forgive me, Doctor? Tell me you forgive me!' He chuckled, eyes aglow with triumph.
The Doctor glared at him, his brown eyes old and powerful. The Master was toying with him, just as he had on Regalia Minor. He couldn't bring himself to utter those three words, not here.. not now.. not after what had happened before. He felt his earlier belief that the Master could, that deep down he wanted to be saved slowly begin to crumble in the face of his nemesis' cruelty. He wasn't sure exactly what to think anymore.
Refusing to take the bait, the Doctor turned on his heel and went to the Master's desk. 'You're definitely up to something. What is it, though? Colony 9 hasn't got much use, not unless you wanted-- Ohhh!' he whirled round and looked at the Master, pointing a finger at him. 'You're either going to destroy this planet or try and use it to take over the whole system!' He raised his chin up a little, rather pleased with his deduction.
The Master looked at him seriously for a moment, then burst into laughter. 'Doctor, Doctor...' he came closer, the two of them only inches apart, their eyes meeting. 'Doctor, why would I want to destroy this planet? I've been helping them out. I have to say.. being virtuous, merciful.. it's so,' he took in an exaggerated breath, 'satisfying.'
'Only you'd think helping a military regime is satisfying,' the Doctor spoke softly.
'Greer's gonna try and build herself an empire.'
'And are you going to stop her, Doctor? Or are you just here for me?' the Master felt dangerously close now, too close, but the Doctor stood his ground, looking back into his enemy's amused eyes.
'I stop you, I stop her,' he replied.
'Aw, why do you always think I'm up to something? Am I really so bad?' the Master pouted.
The Doctor finally edged away from him, turning to the desk and leafing through the papers. 'Because I don't trust you. Now, what's the plan this time, eh?' He pulled up two papers, boggling at them.
'Shocking, isn't it, Doctor?' the Master leaned against the desk. 'I actually told them about the cure for some diseases their people suffered from.'
'But you're still building weapons,' the Doctor said, finding nothing among the papers. So the Master had just hidden the plans. He turned to the other Time Lord.
'Pretty strong accusation. Can you back it up?' the Master lifted his eyebrows.
'Stop it! Greer admitted what you were doing! She said you were helping advance the “cause.” And that's not curing diseases.'
'Doctor,' the Master placed a hand over his hearts, 'it hurts that you don't trust me. You're the one who wanted me to change, become just like you.' There was a hint of mockery in his tone. He walked around the desk and sat himself down in his chair.
There was suddenly a knock at the door, and the Master frowned, exchanging a glance with the Doctor before he jumped up and went to answer it. He exchanged a few hushed words with whoever was on the other side.
The Doctor looked to the papers again before turning around and folding his arms. He watched the Master, wondering if the opportunity he wanted would arise. Finally his fellow Time Lord turned around from the door, still not opening it all the way.
'Excuse me, have to attend to a little bit of business,' the Master told him. 'Don't go anywhere, Doctor.' He flashed the Doctor a smile before making his exit.
The moment he was gone, the Doctor drew out his sonic screwdriver and moved around to the other side of the desk. Flipping on his trusty tool, it buzzed and lit up as it unlocked the first drawer. Inside was a single large piece of paper.
The Doctor took it out and unfolded it slowly across the desk, glancing up at the door. Outside, the Master was still chatting with whoever had come to speak to him. The Doctor looked down at the schematic hurriedly.
Upon it was a rocket, an interplanetary nuclear warhead to be exact. It was an old weapon for this time period, designed to travel to any planet within the system and strike a target. Very deadly stuff. But why, he wondered, would the Master build something considerably primitive for this time? He scanned over the small printing scrawled over the paper, making note of some of the parts. Perhaps this planet just didn't have access to better technology. Or maybe something else was up...
Well, he would have a better look at it later. He quickly folded up the schematic, making it small as possible, before he stuffed it into his pocket. He moved back round to where he was standing before and sat down on the desk.
'Sorry about that, Doctor,' the Master said as he came back in and closed the door. 'All part of the job.'
'Yeah, must be hard work rounding up innocent people and throwing them in prison for speaking out against the regime,' the Doctor said with deadpan. 'Although, is it me or are you just really fond of getting into government? Cos' you did the same thing back on Earth. You're not running out of ideas, are you? Becoming a one trick pony?'
'Ha! Nice try, Doctor!' the Master laughed. 'But my lips are sealed,' he moved a finger over his lips in a zipping motion to illustrate the point before he went back and sat down behind his desk. He smiled, placing his fingers together in a pyramid.
The Doctor turned and looked at him, somewhat irritated. He realized then that he much preferred the Master's previous incarnations, who had been rather fond of gloating and telling him all their plans in the process. This version was just very clever. Still, that made for a more interesting challenge.
And at that thought, he mentally kicked himself again for deriving some enjoyment out of matching wits with his fellow Time Lord. He remembered what it was he had to do.
'You're coming back to the TARDIS with me, I'm not gonna let you to run round time and space, not after everything you've done.' He folded his arms.
The Master's face turned cold then. 'You really think I'll just let you take me? Like one of your human pets?'
'You haven't got a choice. Sorry,' the Doctor said flatly. The Master smiled then, a dark, devilish smile, his eyes burning with centuries' worth of hatred.
'Doctor,' he spoke softly, putting the same amount of emotion into the name as before, 'you're forgetting, I've got all the cards. How exactly do you plan on dragging me out of here?' He waited just a moment, then continued, his tone turning casual: 'Oh, by the way, does General Greer know you're really a Time Lord?'
'What? You know she doesn--' the Doctor stopped, freezing. The Master wasn't looking at him, his enemy's gaze had moved to somewhere behind him. Slowly the Doctor turned, looking at the spot above the Master's door.
There, disguised as a nice decorative piece, was a camera. It looked out over the room, its black eye gazing down at him with cold certainty. Then the door was thrown open.
Several armed men burst in, along with the General herself. It figured they were listening.
'Doctor,' the Master spoke up again, 'you're getting a bit slow. So busy worrying about me, you really should've known about this.'
The Doctor glared at him as the men took him and forced him into shackles.
'Well,' Greer spoke now, 'Doctor Smith is a Time Lord, just like our friend. Now it doesn't matter what we do with him. Since we don't need anymore knowledge, take him downstairs to the lab, I want to find out how he got past the scanners.'
'Ooh!' the Master jumped up, looking giddy as a school boy, 'let me conduct the... investigation. I know Time Lords better than your scientists.'
Greer eyed him, then the Doctor. 'Alright, but one of my people goes with you.' She looked around, nodding to the men. 'And someone bring Miles Gordan in; he's got some explaining to do.' With one last glance at the Master, she turned on her heel and left the room.
The Master bounded toward the Doctor, grabbing him under the chin. 'Got you,' he whispered, his breath hot against the Doctor's neck, a delighted smile slowly tugging at the corners of his mouth. 'I win this round.'
Ring, riiiiing! Bloody phone.
Miles Gordon hurried inside the house, his newly teleported mail tucked under one arm. He zipped across the kitchen and grabbed the phone from its cradle, not bothering to turn on the picture.
'Miles? It's Stacy. They're asking you to come in, that man that you sent to visit the General this morning, apparently he isn't actually a man, and they want you to come and answer some questions. I think they just want an explanation.'
Miles froze, his face turning pale. So they had found the Doctor out, they knew he was a Time Lord. He gripped the phone a little tighter, his mind racing. He knew that he would be blamed for it, his position probably wouldn't protect him.
'Miles? Are you there?' Stacy's voice spoke out from the other end of the phone, her tone concerned.
'What? Yes... I'm here, sorry,' he somehow managed to take all the fear out of his voice, probably from years of having to pretend at the negotiating table. 'Listen, I need to know exactly where he is before I come in. Do you think you could tell me that?' He knew that by asking her he was also putting her in danger, but it was necessary if he was going to save the Doctor.
'Yeah, he's downstairs... I don't know any more than that. If you just come in, they'll take you to him after you've explained everything. You didn't know, did you?' she responded, her voice a bit suspicious.
'What? No.. I didn't know anything,' Miles lied easily. 'Tell them I'll be there soon. Thank you,' he hung up the phone. He knew full well if he went to Central Headquarters all he would see was the inside of a cell. He would be useless to the Doctor then.
There was only one thing left for him to do, something he didn't really want to, but it looked like helping the Doctor had already made him a wanted man. So there was no real harm in making it worse, he was never going to get a pardon on this planet.
Besides, the Doctor had a ship so he could ask for a lift for his family, have them taken to Earth or some other planet. It would be the least the Time Lord could do to repay him.
He grabbed his coat and hurried to the back door, leaving the mail on the table.
The Master had sent Greer's scientist away after forcefully removing his anti-hypnosis device and programming him to go and stand outside. Humans were among the easiest species to control.
The lab the two Time Lords resided in was a medium-sized room lined with brick walls and no windows, not even at the metal door. Equipment, all of which the Master found disgustingly primitive, was placed about the room. There was even an operating table, but the Master had moved it to one corner. He rather liked the Doctor's current position, though perhaps later he would use physical torture a little.
The Doctor slept, his unconscious form held up only by the chains that dropped from the ceiling. There was still blood at his lip from what the guard had struck him on the way down the stairs. Well, the Master reflected with some satisfaction, that's what the Doctor got for such a half-baked escape attempt.
Leaning against a table full of pointy and interesting instruments, he snatched up the Doctor's suit jacket and began digging through the pockets until he found the sonic screwdriver. He also found something else; folded up neatly and hidden away deep in his former friend's dimensionally transcendental pockets. He set the latter down on the table.
He tossed the Doctor's favourite tool back and forth between his hands. It was a handy little device, but he still much preferred his laser with all its added functions. Unfortunately, Greer had taken it from him, along with everything else he had been carrying that day. Ah well, he would have it back soon enough.
Looking at the table again, he made note of the black vest that lay beside the Doctor's brown trench coat. The guards had torn it off when they'd taken the Doctor's coat and suit jacket. The Master picked it up with his free hand and looked it over.
It was a Chameleon Shirt, a handy piece of Time Lord technology that fooled scanning devices into thinking the wearer was of a certain species. Currently it was set to human. A clever, if simple, way of getting past the scanners. The Master himself had a couple of them stashed somewhere in his TARDIS. He let go of the shirt and glanced at his sleeping prisoner.
Still fiddling with the screwdriver, he stood up and sauntered over to the Doctor, watching him for a moment. He reached out a hand and placed it against the Doctor's chest, feeling the heartsbeat against his palm. For a moment the sound almost synchronized with the drums in his head. The drumming called him to war, any war, and war with the Doctor was always best.
The Master closed his eyes for a second, the Doctor's hearts thumping against his hand. He had the only other heartsbeat like it in the galaxy. He knew that was why the Doctor could never kill him, because then the Doctor would be all alone. The Master took great satisfaction in that fact. He didn't even want to imagine what things would be like for him had the Doctor perished in the Time War.
Finally, he grew impatient and slapped the Doctor hard across the face, hoping it would wake him up. He grabbed the other Time Lord's chin and leaned in close to him.
'Doctor,' he whispered, 'wake up!' The Master struck him twice more.
'Nnnghh...' the Doctor groaned, his eyelids flickering.
A sadistic smile crept across the Masters face. He tossed the sonic screwdriver back onto the table and placed both his hands against the Doctor's head, thumbs digging into his temples.
Without hesitation he forced his way into the Doctor's mind, painfully pulling up recent memories as he opened door after door after door within the Doctor's head until he found what he was looking for. And the Doctor's eyes snapped open, wide and pained.
Memories of Regalia Minor; the Doctor's agony; his screams, pleading the Master to stop; the fire and death as the lives of millions were snuffed out. Then the look on the Doctor's face, that unforgettable look of horror and helplessness. Delicious. The Master felt a shiver of malevolent pleasure slip down his spine at the memories. Such good times.
Of course, there was one other memory that the Master never got tired of, a memory of destruction so beautiful and dark that he was a little jealous he wasn't the cause of it. The delicious irony of it didn't escape him.
'No!' The Doctor screamed, his head tilting backwards so he was looking at the ceiling. And then, much to the Master's dismay, the Doctor began slamming doors until he had forced the other Time Lord out of his head.
The Master staggered back a little, the contact forcefully severed. He wiped the sweat from his brow against his black shirt sleeve. So, the Doctor had been practising his mental defences since their last meeting. Unsurprising.
'I'm not gonna let you do that again,' the Doctor spat, his brown eyes glowing with rage.
The Master pulled a frown, his composure immediately regained. 'You're no fun,' he pouted. The Doctor just stood there, panting and shuddering from the pain of the Master's mental assault. The Master grinned wickedly at him; seeing the Doctor suffer never got old.
'Oh, but, you know you can't keep me out forever,' he closed the distance between them and slid a finger down the Doctor's cheek where he had hit him before. The Doctor shuddered involuntarily, much to the Master's satisfaction. 'We'll watch Gallifrey burn again together.'
'Why?' the Doctor demanded, his voice shaking painfully.
'Hmm.. because.. it's such fun!' the Master declared with a kind of childish glee. He came closer, dropping his hand to the Doctor's chest again, their bodies almost touching. 'Gallifrey burning at your hands. Ohh, tell me you didn't enjoy it just a little bit, Doctor,' he whispered against the Doctor's ear, caressing every word, his tone dark.
'Stop it!' the Doctor spat, jerking away from him and up against the wall, the chains clinking as he did so. 'I had no choice,' he added sadly, voice shaking. He stared at the Master with those wide, pained eyes, tears forming. Such a beautiful sight.
'Aww, he had no choice!' the Master laughed, his lips turned upward in a sadistic grin. 'And what about all the other things you've done, Doctor? Dark and beautiful things, like when you condemned the Family of Blood to live forever in prison? Did you have a choice than?'
The Doctor looked away, recoiling as though he had been slapped. The Master let out a sigh of triumph. Now this was what he called fun!
He turned on his heel and went back to the table, his eyes briefly scanning over the lovely pointed objects. He remained undecided as to whether he wanted to start using them on the Doctor yet or not. though inflicting pain was the easiest way to break down one's mental shields.
'By the way, I found this,' the Master picked up the folded piece of paper and turned to face the Doctor. He wagged a finger at him. 'Tsk, tsk, tsk, don't you know it's rude to go rooting through people's things when they aren't looking?'
'Well, you know me,' the Doctor was suddenly more cheerful, changing moods in the blink of an eye like the Master himself often did. 'Although, interplanetary nuclear rocket? Bit simple, isn't it?' his eyes gleamed as though he were on to something. The Master simply shrugged.
'Colony 9 is primitive, I just used what I could,' he said. He stuffed the paper into his pocket.
'Mmm, still, you could've built something much more advanced,' the Doctor's eyes lit up even more, 'unless you want it like that.'
The Master's expression gave nothing away. 'Doctor, don't you ever learn? I'm not going to tell you anything! It would make it far too easy for you and take all the fun away.'
'I'll still stop you, I always do,' the Doctor said flatly.
'Ooo, really? Didn't do so well last time, though, did you? I beat you, Doctor, remember?' the Master reveled at every opportunity he had to remind the Doctor of Regalia Minor. He smiled when the other Time Lord scowled at him.
'Yeah,' the Doctor admitted sadly. 'You did. So why keep going? Haven't you got what you wanted? Why keep destroying? You could stop, I could help—'
'Don't start that again!' the Master snapped. 'You've given up on me, you know you can't “save” me, I already taught you that lesson. Time to move on. That train has left the station, board the next one or get left behind, Doctor.'
'You're the one who can't move on, you're obsessed with continuing this, this thing, this grudge you've got against me. Keep going and I'll just beat you again,' the Doctor retorted.
With fury creeping up his spine, the Master snatched up a scalpel and moved quickly to the Doctor, placing it against the his throat. He grabbed the other's tie and pulled him forward, pressing the blade into his neck until he drew just the smallest drop of blood. His dark eyes flashed angrily.
'But who has all the cards? Who ruled Earth for a whole year, reducing you to a frail old man? Who destroyed a city on Regalia Minor and tortured you? Oh, me!' the Master declared darkly, his brown eyes staring into the Doctor's. 'I'm winning, Doctor, right now. Why don't you just admit it?'
'Oh, yeah,' the Doctor said, 'you get your moment of triumph, but I always win in the end. Always have. Did you forget? I'm brilliant!'
The Master brought up the scalpel and swiftly dragged the blade along the Doctor's cheek before smacking his nemesis where he had cut him. The Doctor recoiled, his brown eyes turning to glare at him after a second. The lovely moment was just enough to abate the Master's rage.
He smiled suddenly, letting out a chuckle. 'Oooh, you're enjoying this, aren't you, Doctor? It's just like old times!' he declared.
'No, not anymore,' the Doctor said flatly and the Master knew he was lying, he could feel it.
'You're a terrible liar, Doctor,' the Master ran his hand over the Doctor's bloodied cheek, sliding a finger slowly along the wound. He smiled when the Doctor winced ever so slightly. 'No, you enjoy every minute of our little war, the thrills and the challenges that only I can provide.
'That's why you made that offer before, remember? A “fight across the constellations”! You and me. The last of the Time Lords.' He let his hand drop to his side and regarded the Doctor for a moment, knowing that his words were all too true for his nemesis.
'No, you're coming back to the TARDIS with me when we're done. I don't care if you wanna change or not,' the Doctor just refused to give up on that insane old dream.
'I'll just make your life a living hell if you imprison me. Why bother? I know you'd rather have it this way. It's more fun. At least I can admit I like these games,' the Master tossed the scalpel back to the table.
'Now then!' he flashed the Doctor a smile. 'Worked out a way to escape yet?'
'Mmm... getting there,' the Doctor said casually, glancing at his chains.
The Master smiled and folded his arms, raising his eyebrows. 'You know, I don't think you've got a way,' he said, putting a finger to his lips and adopting the voice of one of those American TV announcers: 'Oh, no! How's our hero going to get out of this one, kids?'
And that, oddly enough, was when the floor exploded a few feet behind him. The Master felt himself thrown against the wall from the shock of it as smoke filled the room. Had he not been so busy shaking off the dizziness, he may have reflected how the event was on cue with his earlier words.
He saw black flashes of movement through the smoke, heard muffled voices and footsteps. He coughed, forcing himself to his feet, his head spinning. When he looked around he saw the Doctor was gone, along with his belongings from the table.
End Notes: Right, my chapters seem to be getting longer. The next one will be shorter, probably. More soon!
Thanks for all the lovely reviews!
Chapter 4 is this way!
- Doctor Who Fic: The Price of Usage (3/7)