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A snap of his fingers

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She was incredible; easy on the eyes, funny, witty, and utterly ruthless. Every ounce of him screamed that he wanted her, to be her, to be alongside her. Working, destroying, watching worlds collapse and burn, and sitting hand-in-hand, head on his shoulder, seeing the smoke spiral up in the glorious afterglow of the destruction.

He would travel all of time and space with her by his side, without a single thought to the paradox. They could tear the universe open from it and it would be worth every single second.

The thought of being a woman had never been an appealing one; any other time, and any other version and the thought alone would have caused no end of damage in itself… but this was different. She was different.

Incredible.

Perfect.

Well… almost perfect. Perfect but for one thing:

The Doctor. The way she looked at him, the way she spoke to him, and those gentle mannerisms which were so obviously him. The way she looked like he could snap his fingers and she’d stand to attention. That he could correct her and she would listen to it.

The Master felt his hearts sinking with the thought that he would have to compete as much as it swelled with the thought of winning. His stomach churned, as unbearable as it was relentless, at the understanding that someday in the near future, that the choice wouldn’t be a clear one for him to make.

“Do you love him?” It was said to be mocking but it came out bitter.

In Missy’s ears it sounded incredibly jealous, and she understood it so completely. The thought of loving the Doctor at one point had induced nothing but disgust. So long had been spent, wasted, chasing the Doctor to understand her point of view, what she wanted for them that the thought of succeeding was terrifying.

Succeeding meant letting the Doctor change her. The thought of changing was so much worse than terrifying. Loving the Doctor was a terrifying thing.

“Don’t be so disgusting, dear.” Was her only reply, keeping her attention on the window besides her.

“You look at him like the sun shines out of his arse.”

“Keeping an eye out. I still don’t trust him.” She elaborated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the universe but it sounded false, even to her own ears.

“What was he to you? What did he pretend to be while he was holding us hostage?”

This time the answer didn’t come quickly or easily. Her lips parted as if to speak but her chest convulsed slightly like the words were stuck somewhere in her throat.

“A friend?” The other suggested, the sneer enough to jar Missy out of her thoughts. “Maybe more than a friend.”

“Are you jealous?” She asked, the curiosity in it lost amongst the mocking bounce to it.

“You’re exquisite.” The Master replied honestly “Your mind is incredible. I would take on the whole of time and space with you by my side. No conditions, no expectations. We could take it apart piece-by-piece if you wanted. Rule a planet as King and Queen. We could spend years in the TARDIS reliving old memories together if it's what you wanted.

"The Doctor locked you in a vault, tried to chance everything about us… about you that makes you so wonderful. Always give and take; he gives you freedom only when he's taken away everything else, and you look at him like you’ll follow him with a snap of his fingers.”

Her head snapped round to him, eyes wide with sternness, and she slipped off the side on to her feet. “I bode my time for decades on top of decades. Smiled, played along, and played good as best I could. Tears, regret, short breath and trembling lips…” Missy stepped closer as she spoke, coming to a rest just within arm’s reach of him, looking with a gaze that had him swallowing back the sudden swell of feelings in his throat. “…It’s called strategy. Don’t confuse that with submission.”

The sudden sincerity in her voice hit him in the chest, his heartbeats faltering slightly before catching their rhythm back. He took a shaking breath, acutely aware of the proximity. The he reached out, fingers gripping onto the fabric of her skirt, tangled and released only to tangle again before pulling her the final few inches between them.

“When you have to choose…” this time it wasn’t quite so sure, his voice was weak, and she looked up at him with her big, bright eyes and her gentle, inquisitive expression, and he stuttered out “…between him and…”

“Hush now.” She interrupted, small smile playing on her lips and cheek delicately against his chest. “I’ll always choose us.”

For one moment, she actually believed her own lie.