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Doctor Who/Firefly Crossover - The Other Universe

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The Shadow Proclamation needs the Doctor.

They have a new evil to fight and no way to do it on their own. In an attempt to find him, they decided they must summon everyone he knows in the twenty first century.

Something was happening. The Universe and all the different dimensions were weakened and cracking.

They desperately needed the Doctor and everything in his head.

They possessed a Temporal Teleport that could hone in on anyone they programmed it to find, in any specific timeline.

They would use it to get everyone who had possible knowledge of the Doctor's whereabouts or of how to get a hold of him.

And if they are unable to ascertain his whereabouts, then at least with all of his friends missing, the Doctor would come to them. Even if that meant feeling his wrath.

"Do it," a tall woman in black said to a group of yet more people dressed in black, who immediately turned away to do as they were told.

---

They all arrived separately, in their own little groups.

The first to arrive were Torchwood.

Captain Jack Harkness and his team, Ianto Jones, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Gwen Cooper, as well as Gwen's husband Rhys Williams and their baby daughter Anwen, landed on a hard metal floor.

Jack was the first to get over his disorientation and stood up to have a look around.

First he checked who was with him and found with a slight sense of fear, that everyone who was near him came with as well. Thankfully, Anwen landed on her Dad's belly, unharmed.

Rhys was holding her with one hand and rubbing his head with the other.

Gwen opened her eyes and shot up, already on the alert. She was both relieved and scared that Rhys and Anwen were both with her but okay.

Owen had landed on top of Tosh. Tosh was quiet but awake and a little embarrassed that her crush was on top of her, though knocked out.

Jack found Ianto in a heap next to him, groaning from the rough landing but okay. He helped Ianto up and they both moved Owen off of Tosh and laid him down on the floor in the recovery position. Jack then helped Toshiko up.

As Rhys was getting gingerly to his feet and Owen was starting to rouse, a flash next to them announced the arrival of yet more people, who had just as rough of a landing as they did.

Jack was surprised to find Mickey Smith, Martha Jones and her whole family - Tish, Leo, their mother Francine and their father Clive - slowly getting up, groaning and looking around in wonder.

Martha saw Jack and the state of everyone with him and knew that he had no idea what was going on and that they arrived the same way as they did.

"Martha Jones!" Jack beamed his winning toothy smile and held out his arms to her. She ran and gave him a hug, a big smile on her face. "Jack!" Martha clung to him for a minute. "Are you all alright? Do you have any idea what's going on? She looked around and added, "Or where we are?"

"No, I have not a clue what's happening." Jack answered, frowning slightly. "I suppose we should just wait and find out."

"Yeah, that helps Cheesecake," Mickey said sarcastically, rubbing his bum and wincing.

"Well, it's all I've got Mickey Mouse," Jack smirked.

"Martha, what's happening?" they heard Francine ask.

"I don't know Mum," Martha went to her and put a hand on her shoulder. "Jack and I will figure it out, though."

Another flash and Sarah Jane Smith and her son, Luke, landed on top of Martha's brother, Leo.

"Whoa!" Leo shouted as he landed on the floor again; smothered in brown hair, leather jacket and fifteen year old.

"Oh! Sorry," Sarah Jane said, getting up. "Luke, are you alright?" and then she saw, "Jack!"

"Sarah Jane," Jack answered.

"What's going on?" Sarah Jane looked worriedly at all the people in the room with them, feeling a sense of dread.

"I have no idea," Jack answered.

"Mum?" Luke asked, looking scared. "It's okay, darling. We'll find out what's going on and fix it," she said, helping him up.

Another flash and Donna Noble, Wilfred Mott and Sylvia Noble all landed in a heap in front of Jack.

"What's going on? Where are we?" Donna asked, getting up. "Who are all of you?"

"What do you mean, don't you recognize me?" Jack asked her, honestly confused that anyone could forget him.

"No, should I?" she asked, bewildered and obviously scared.

"Oh!" Sylvia gasped and covered her mouth in fear. She went to Donna and said "Nevermind who they are dear. Are you alright?"

"Yes. Granddad?" Donna asked, helping him up.

"Oh, a little twinge in my back, but I'm fine," he winced and chuckled.

He went to Jack and beckoned him over, away from Donna. He told Jack everything that the Doctor had told him about Donna's situation.

"Oh, god," Jack said, scared. "So, he's alone again."

Wilfred frowned, nodding.

"I had no idea," Jack said, feeling guilty. "We have to keep Donna in the dark as much as possible," he said. He looked at Donna, “if it is possible."

"Yes, I know. I'll do my best," Wilfred hobbled over to Donna and started to fuss over her, in an attempt to keep her occupied and to make sure his precious granddaughter was alright. Sylvia caught on and did the same.

Jack filled in Martha and his team, now that Owen was awake. Martha looked saddened by the revelation.

"I need those of you who don't know Donna to stay with her and try to keep her in the dark or she could die. Understood?" Jack said whispering.

"I can do that!" Rhys said, matter-of-factly.

Gwen and Jack looked at him, bemused.

"Oh?" Gwen asked, bristling a little.

"Yeah, she can help me look after Anwen, while you and Jack figure out what the hell is going on," he said, like it was obvious.

"Oh...right," Gwen muttered.

Another flash and more people.

To Jack's amazement, wonder and glee, it was Rose Tyler and her family, which included the human Doctor.

Rose's family - Jackie Tyler, Pete Tyler and a little boy all looked around in confusion.

There was another person Jack didn't know, but he quickly found out his name was Jake when Mickey ran to him.

"Jake!" Mickey shouted and bear hugged him.

Jake bear hugged him right back, yelling, "Mickey!"

"Jack!" someone shouted and suddenly, Jack was covered in blonde hair.

"Whoa, it's good to see you, too," Jack hugged Rose with all his strength.

The human Doctor just smiled but asked, "Any idea what's going on, Jack? Martha?"

It was odd seeing the Doctor, not in a suit, but in a pair of tight blue jeans and a black button-down shirt. He had no tie and he had a little bit of scruff growing. Still wearing trainers, black and white trainers.

Some things never change, Jack thought and smirked.

"Sadly, Doc, I have no clue," Jack said.

"Doctor?" Martha's mother Francine asked walking up to him.

"Francine! Good to see you!" he gave her a quick hug and let her go. "But, I'm not the Doctor you're thinking of."

She gave him a funny look.

"I'm...complicated," he rambled. "Call me John, to avoid any confusion."

"What do you mean? You look like the Doctor, you sound like him and you know me," Francine asked, bemused. "If you're not the same man, then...," she trailed off, even more confused.

"Yeah...it's really complicated. Perhaps, we can save explanations like that for after we figure out what's going on?" John said, smirking.

"I have no idea what's happening, but while I have the chance, I have to share the good news," Rose said, grinning ear-to-ear at Jack, Mickey and Martha.

She held up her left hand to show off the big diamond on her ring finger.

"You mean...," Jack gestured to John.

"Who else?" Rose asked, still smiling.

"That's brilliant!" Jack smiled and hugged her again.

Martha was grinning.

"I'm almost jealous," she said to Rose.

"Oy!" Mickey shouted.

Martha snickered. She held up her left hand to Rose and showed her the, slightly smaller diamond on her finger.

"Oh my god!" Rose yelled. "Mickey!?" She was amazed and happy.

Martha nodded and Rose hugged them both. Rose pulled away and smirked, "Guess what else."

She put her hand on her belly and grinned, with her tongue peeking under her teeth.

"Oh, yes!" Jack shouted delightedly and scooped Rose up in the biggest hug he could muster.

Martha was laughing with joy and nudging Mickey.

Mickey hugged Rose tight, and then he pulled away, smiling.

"I'm glad you're happy, Rose. You deserve it," Mickey said and hugged her again.

John smiled wider, if that's even possible.

Jackie had her toddler, Tony, on her hip and Pete next to her, looking around. He had a death grip on Jackie as though she might vanish.

"Trouble follows you even when you're not you!" Jackie yelled at John.

John frowned. "Sorry...," he said, looking sheepish.

"Oy! It's not his fault!" Rose shouted back at her mother.

Rose and Jackie started bickering, which then lead to Martha and her family bickering.

Torchwood just stood there, watching and whispering ideas to each other.

Sylvia and Wilfred were trying to distract Donna, but only mostly, failing and making her angry enough to start yelling too.

John, Jack, Pete, Jake and Rhys watched this whole tirade of shouting matches, a little annoyed, amused, confused and slightly irritated about it.

It went on for a while, until Tony started screaming. Then Anwen started screaming.

Rhys tried to soothe his baby daughter; he cooed at her and rubbed her back.

Luke actually started crying and clinging to his mother.

Jack rubbed his face with both hands and sighed. John was grimacing.

Jake and Pete just looked like they were trying not to laugh.

All the shouting ceased when a flash of light announced the arrival of just one person this time.

The Master. He landed with a loud thud and grunted in pain, holding his head and his back.

"Oh, that bloody hurt," the Master muttered from the floor, scrunching his face.

He sat up, groaning and looked around at the people in the room, some of which were looking at him in utter disgust and terror and all of which were looking at him like he was a mangy dog who needed to be put down.

He certainly looked the part; in a raggy black hoody, a frayed looking red t-shirt underneath it and dirty black jeans. His hair was blonde and he hadn't shaved in quite a while. His boots were muddy and he looked like he'd been living in a hole.

Francine and Tish started crying. Clive glared at the Master murderously and went to hold his daughter and ex-wife.

"It's okay, he won't hurt you again. I promise," he muttered to them.

Leo just looked confused. Martha looked like she wanted nothing more than to shove him out an air-lock.

Recognizing most of them, the Master muttered from the floor, "Oh, bloody hell. Just shoot me now, please."

"Gladly," Jack said and pulled out his Webley.

A hand closed on it before he could even aim it at the Time Lord, who should be dead.

It was John, who said, "No, you will not 'gladly' shoot anyone."

Jack sighed, rolled his eyes and put his gun away.

"He deserves it," Martha said, looking at the Master with disdain.

"No!" John said and looked Jack and Martha each in the eye.

The Master looked at John seemingly confused, and then he looked disgusted.

He stood up, pointed at John and said, "What the hell is that thing!?"

"Oy! That's my husband you're talking about!" Rose yelled at him.

John sighed and rubbed his face. "I'll say it again. It's complicated, Master. Now shut up while I try to figure out what's going on here," John glared at him.

"Who the hell is this guy?" Rose asked John.

"A psychotic Time Lord, who knows the Doctor and thinks he's his rival," Jack answered, dripping with disgust he added, "Who should be dead!"

"Oh, I don't think, I know I'm his rival,' the Master grinned. "And so does he."

Rose looked at John. "He's another Time Lord?" she asked incredulous.

John looked back at her, a little scared. "Yes," he said. "Can we not talk about this right now?"

"I suppose it can wait until we get home," Rose said looking John in the eye, not the least bit happy. "But I'm a little disappointed with you not telling me about him before this happened."

"Sorry...," John tried for a smile, and failed. "I've had a long life, there's too much to tell."

Rose raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms, still looking him in the eye.

Everyone was watching John, some confused, some angry, some worried.

"Yeah, sorry. He's a...childhood friend," John said. "Of sorts."

He was looking thoroughly uncomfortable with everyone looking at him, now that most of them were surprised and angry.

"You never told us that!" Jack said looking aghast at John. Martha was speechless, so was the rest of her family.

"I didn't?" John said, staring at Jack with a look, like he was trying to be surprised but failed and instead looked guilty.

John, rubbing his hand through his hair, looked around at everyone staring at him. "Sorry," he muttered, looking down.

"I'm the Doctor's childhood friend and rival, not yours," the Master said, still disgusted with the thing in front of him.

"Yeah, there's that. It's still complicated," John said to the Master.

"What are you?" the Master asked, he had to know.

"Biological Metacrisis...," John said, looking sheepish again. Might as well keep the sheepish look on his face with how often he uses it.

"Oh," the Master said simply. The Master looked away and sat down against the wall with his arms on his up-raised knees, looking bored and annoyed.

"So, why are you alive?" Jack asked angrily through clenched teeth.

The Master just smirked and started tapping out his drums on his knee. Tap-tap-tap-tap, tap-tap-tap-tap.

"It wouldn't be the first time he's come back from the dead, can't say I'm surprised," John muttered.

Jack and Martha glared at John.

John looked between the two. "What?" John asked, bewildered. "How was I supposed to know he'd come back again!?"

"You could have at least informed us that it was possible!" Jack said, looking betrayed.

The Master started chuckling, tapping louder.

"Sorry, sorry, sorry," John said, grimacing and rubbing his hair nervously.

Rose sighed and put her arm around John's waist and held him in a half hug, her head on his shoulder. "Alright, you're forgiven. But you better tell us anything else that might be important, even if it seems far-fetched because I doubt we're here for tea and biscuits," Rose said looking up at him. "How did we even get here? Are we back in the other universe?"

"I don't know," John said, sighing in defeat. "And nothing important comes to mind."

Jack and Martha gave John a sad and forgiving look, and sighed.

"So, they're still there then?" John asked the Master.

The Master looked at him and continued to tap his fingers on his knee.

"I'll take that as a 'yes' then."

"What's still there?" Rose asked, curious.

"The drums, Rose Tyler. The never ending drums," the Master stated with a manic grin. Tap-tap-tap-tap.

"Now you're really starting to sound like a crazy person," she muttered.

"He is a crazy person!" everyone who knew the Master said in unison. The Jones family, Jack, John and Sarah Jane.

Rose nodded and looking around at them all, bemused. "And I don't even want to know how you know my name," she added.

The Master chuckled again.

"Moving on," John said.

"Yeah. So, any ideas what's going on?" Jack asked the room at large.

There was no reply from anyone. So, no one knew what was going on. Jack sighed again.

The room, now that they had a good look at it, was sort of small. The walls were white with green lighting; there was a two-way mirror on one wall and a big, steel door in the middle of the opposite wall.

It looked like a large interrogation room, Jack thought. Which didn’t improve his ideas about what was happening?

There was nothing in the room at all, not even a chair or a table. Just them.

They were definitely on some sort of space port, with the low humming of machines that supply breathable air. Jack, John and the Master knew that sound well enough, they've been on enough space ports.

"I don't know exactly what's happening," the Master said smirking, making everyone glare at him. "But I'd wager it has something to do with the other one," he pointed at John.

Everyone turned their gaze to John again, some of them muttering under their breaths and giving looks of disappointment. Of course, it all had to do with the Doctor.

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too," John and Jack said at the same time. They looked at each other and snickered.

The big steel door opened, silencing everyone in the room. It slid open parallel with the wall and a tall albino woman, wearing a long, black, sequined gown, came into the room. She was flanked by two Judoon.

She smiled at them all. "That is exactly why you are all here," she said, eyeing John. "We need the Doctor and his TARDIS."

"Why?" John, Jack and the Master all said at the same time, looking thoroughly angry.

"There is a great evil at work and somehow it is weakening the walls of the Universe. Which is why it was possible to bring you here," she said still looking at John. "It is threatening all of Creation, so naturally we need the one person who knows how to fix it and has the tools to do so."

"You could have just asked, instead of kidnapping us," Jack said.

"Earth is a level five planet, they cannot know of us yet. We need to do things this way to avoid any fluctuations in Earth's timeline." she said, smiling indulgently.

"Who are you?" Gwen asked, stepping forward.

"I am the Chief Shadow Architect of the Shadow Proclamation," she introduced herself, bowing her head slightly.

Donna mumbled something in the back, which no one but Wilfred heard. He looked at her, his face etched with worry.

"So, why bring all of us?" Martha asked.

"We brought anyone, alive on Earth who knows the Doctor at this current date," the Architect said.

"But what can we do?" Sarah Jane asked.

"If none of you know the Doctor's current whereabouts or any way to reach him, then you will all stay here and hopefully he will come to retrieve you," she said with no emotion whatsoever. "He will come to us."

"You can't just keep us here!" Gwen shouted.

Several people started to say the same thing, indignantly.

"I think you'll find that we can," the Architect said simply. "I take it that means that none of you know where he is or how to find him?"

No answer. She sighed and turned to the Judoon. "Take them to their rooms, keep the families together. Except the human Doctor, the other Time Lord and Captain Harkness. Lock them up separately with the highest security," she told the first Judoon.

"You can't do this!" Gwen and Rose shouted. A few of them started to shout at the albino. Then, everyone started shouting, the babies started crying again.

John, Jack and the Master all gave deadly looks to the Architect.

The Architect ignored them and continued "Remove all weapons and devices from their persons," she told the other Judoon. She went to leave, but the Master got up and with murder in his eyes, he had his hands around her throat before she could even turn around. He was growling with anger and shouting in a language that no one but John recognized.

Jack and John went to pry him off but the Judoon got there first and used a sonic stunner to knock the Master out. He went limp and one of the Judoon dragged him out of the room by his legs.

The Architect was coughing and wheezing as she stumbled out of the room. She managed to catch her breath, as ten more Judoon came in to take everyone else away. She told one of them, "Put him in a straight jacket."

There was a lot of kicking and screaming, as everyone who went hostile were carried out of the room. The ones who remained docile, which were mostly the mothers, were allowed to walk on their own.

---

Jack was thrown in a room, much like the first one but smaller, with nothing but a bed and a two way mirror. The Master got the same kind of room, except when the Judoon were done, he was in a straight jacket and strapped to the bed, screaming.

Mickey, Martha and her family were all put in a bigger room, with six beds all in a row, one for each of them. They had a two way mirror and they were afforded a bathroom. Rose and her family, minus John, were in the same kind of room but with only four beds. Gwen, Rhys and baby Anwen were in another.

Poor Jake, Ianto, Toshiko and Owen were each put in a room of their own, much like Jack's and the Master's but with bathrooms.

Donna, Wilfred and Sylvia were in another room, like Martha's and Rose's, with three beds. Sarah Jane and Luke were in another room.

John, however, was taken to another interrogation room and chained to a table that was bolted to the floor.

TBC

Chapter Text

John was stuck in a room, by himself, chained to a table. He was so angry with how the Shadow Proclamation was doing things. It could be so much easier and more pleasant, for everyone, if they had just asked Jack or Martha nicely to give them the Doctor's mobile number.

But, no. They had to go and kidnap everyone and force the Doctor to come to them. In a, most likely terrifying, fury no less.

John slouched in his chair and sighed. He looked around and started tapping his toe.

The door to the room opened and another albino came in. A man this time, in all black, his outfit was more of a militaristic uniform than the fancy dress the Architect was wearing. He sat down opposite John and rested his clasped hands on the table and just looked at him for a moment.

John looked right back, and after a breath, John raised his eyebrows in question and gave the man a winning smile. "I assume you have questions for me," John said to the man.

The man nodded and continued to stare at him.

John's smile lessened and he tapped his foot a little louder, getting annoyed. Though that was probably the point, John thought and sighed.

---

Rose was sitting on a bed in her family's room, fretting and worrying.

Jackie was trying to console her but it wasn't helping. "He'll be alright love, he can take care of himself," she told Rose.

Rose just started fidgeting even more. It also didn't help that Rose was pregnant and overly emotional. She didn't like being emotional but then thinking about that just made her even more emotional and she started crying.

Her little brother, Tony, was sitting on her lap and he was worried about his big sister. When she started crying, Tony reached his hands up and patted her face and said something in unintelligible toddler speak and called her "'ose".

Rose managed a small laugh and a smile and gave him a hug.

Pete was pacing the, decidedly small, room, worrying his head off for his son-in-law. It was still an odd feeling, being father-in-law to a man who was almost thirty times his age. What helped was that he didn't look nine hundred years old.

Either way, John had turned out to be the perfect man for Rose. He was brilliant enough to take Pete's place as Director of Torchwood, so Pete could focus on other things. Marketing was Pete's strong suit, after all.

He continued pacing and repressing the urge to go and bang on the door and demand to know where John was.

---

Martha was pacing and so was Mickey. They were opposite each other and pacing at the same speed, so they kind of looked funny going back and forth, sort of like when you turn a kaleidoscope.

Leo couldn't help snickering, thinking it was no wonder they married each other, they were so similar. Though, sometimes they were a little too similar, always bickering but they always made up.

Tish had calmed down some, after coming face-to-face with the man who was once her torturer. Francine was calm now, on the outside, but you could see the suppressed rage behind her eyes as she soothed her youngest daughter.

Clive just sat there, fidgeting, slowly getting more and more angry.

They all waited patiently for something or someone to come through that door, but none came.

---

Sylvia was beside herself and, the one who was the most confused, Donna was the one consoling her mother.

"Nothing good ever happens where that man is concerned!" she wailed.

"What man?" Donna asked.

Instead of answering her, Sylvia just started crying louder, getting even more worried about her daughter's well being.

"Now, that's enough, Sylvia," Wilfred said sternly. "You have got to stop with this carrying-on about what's happening. You'll only make yourself sick. We just need to wait patiently for him to come and get us."

"Who's 'him'?" Donna asked, getting angry with all the evading her mother and grandfather were doing. "What man are you two on about?"

Sylvia sobbed and Wilfred sighed and tried to soothe his tightly strung daughter.

---

Sarah Jane and Luke were sitting on one of the beds, calmly playing a card game with the deck of cards Luke happened to have in his hand when they were teleported. They were playing War and they were laughing their heads off, waiting patiently for their trusty Doctor to come and get them.

She couldn't help but notice the lack of cameras in the room, just the mirror.

Sarah Jane had no doubt that the Doctor would show up, so she didn't fret about anything and just focused on passing the time with her super-genius son.

---

Gwen, Rhys and little Anwen were bored. Sitting on their beds, Anwen was so bored she fell asleep in her dad's arms.

Gwen was thinking, furiously, of ways to get out of this mess, but came up with nothing.

Rhys was fine to just sit and wait for “Captain Jack Bollocks” to get them out of this, like he usually does.

---

Tosh was almost drooling with boredom. Tosh, the tech genius, had nothing to fiddle with. No computer, no hand held computer devices of any kind, she didn't even have a mobile phone or anyone to talk to.

---

Ianto had nothing to do either. He sat there twiddling his thumbs. He puffed out his cheeks as he sighed, bored out of his mind.

---

Owen was lying on his bed, tossing a little stress ball that had been in his pocket into the air and catching it. After a while, he sat up and started bouncing it off the two-way mirror.

---

Jake was lying on the floor, under the bed and, being a little hyperactive, he has had nothing to do. After two hours of nothing, he lay down on the floor and started fidgeting. He started pushing himself around on the floor, shoving off the walls with his feet. The walls that were far too close. After a while, he pushed himself part way under the bed, completely by accident but then he decided, why not go all the way under the bed? It's not like he has anything better to do.

---

Jack was so angry with the Shadow Proclamation and their backward methods, that he decided to blow off some steam and started doing sit-ups.

He had tried to break through the glass mirror, only to find it was made of tempered glass. You would need a truck to get through it and that just made Jack even more angry.

He didn't like the 'no cameras' bit, that meant there was someone actively watching him on the other side of that damned mirror.

---

The Master was still screaming in Gallifreyan. With his trusty Time Lord hearing, he heard the person on the other side of the mirror sigh and leave the room after ten minutes of listening to him scream and shout. No one wants to listen to the ravings of a lunatic, especially when those ravings are in a language you don't understand.

So, the Master kept screaming.

He could hear that no one else was in the room behind the mirror and as long as he was shouting and so obviously tied up, no one would be. So he screamed every bit of profanity there was in Gallifreyan while he wriggled, trying to get free.

No cameras, he noticed with a little bit of wonder. Interesting, but convenient for him.

After about 20 minutes, there was still no one in the room behind the mirror and, after which time, with cat-like reflexes and a few strategic dislocations, the Master was free of his straight jacket and straps. He set his dislocated joints to rights with ease. The Master of Disguise and a better escape artist than Houdini.

He was still screaming and shouting, though with a big triumphant grin.

Now, because of the buckles and metal bits on the straight jacket, he had something to work at the door locks with. Hard metal still beats high tech contraptions. Still screaming, he set to work.

However, after six hours of fiddling, he'd gotten nowhere. Damn, they had some good locks on these doors. He had stopped screaming ages ago, since it was making his throat raw. There was someone on the other side of the mirror again and they didn't do anything about the Master, who was now sitting on his bed playing idly with a buckle from the straight jacket and grumbling to himself.

The drums were defeaning.

---

John was still in the interrogation room, six hours later.

The albino man was still sitting in front of him, not talking but just staring at him.

John was so bored and annoyed that he was slouching in the chair with his head hanging over the back and his mouth hanging open, he kept sighing.

This interrogation tactic works very well, John thought. After sitting here for hours with someone staring at you, not even flinching, you would tell them your whole life story and all of your dirty little secrets just to get them to stop.

John had tried talking to him, asking him questions. He was even tempted to poke the man in the face, if the chains had allowed it. He tried talking to him again but after getting no response at all, John sighed and put his head on the table, he hit his forehead on the table a few times and groaned, completely exasperated by the whole situation.

---

The Doctor had fallen asleep on the pilot seat in the console room of his TARDIS and he was snoring loudly. He had been floating around in the vortex, brooding after everything that happened on Mars and when he finally got bored with his own thoughts, he drifted off to sleep.

He jolted awake when he thought he heard someone call his name, but there was no one there. He looked around and found nothing out of the ordinary. He checked the data readings on the monitor, nothing wrong there, still in the vortex. He got up, stretched and decided he was just imagining things.

But then something caught his attention, something in the back of his mind, a presence. A presence that shouldn't be there, two of them as a matter-of-fact. He immediately recognized both of them and found himself gawping at the impossibility of it, of both of them being there at the same time. He ran to the data screen and started searching the entire vortex for them, though he had a good idea where they would be in relative terms.

The twenty first century.

TBC

Chapter Text

Twelve hours later, they all found themselves in a sort of mess hall. All but John and the Master.

Fifteen albino women glided into the room bearing lunch trays. Several of the humans tried to ask them what was going on, where John was and when they would be let go. A couple of them started yelling at the albinos for being horrible or cruel or wrong. The albino women just pretended not to hear them and promptly left the room after delivering the trays.

They all gave up with a sigh and sat down to eat. They started talking about their accommodations and the indignity of it all. They started to catch up with each other and introduce themselves to those they hadn't met.

Donna was trying to pay attention but none of it was making sense and she was getting a horrible headache.

Jack noticed that there was one extra tray and hoped that meant they were going to see John soon. Rose was hoping that too, as well as a few others.

However, they were all disappointed when the door opened and the Master was literally thrown into the room and the door slammed behind him.

Tish and Francine flinched and shrieked. Jack and Rose looked sad. Everyone else sighed in utter disappointment.

The Master, gingerly, got to his feet. He turned a disgusted and angry look on the people in the room. He then turned abruptly and ran at the door, snarling, and kicked it with as much force as he could, making the big steel door rattle on its hinges and the whole wall vibrate. Dust even fell from the ceiling. Everyone flinched, some shrieked in surprise, some in terror, some in awe.

The look on the Master's face could have made dust bunnies run and hide. As a matter-of-fact, Jack could have sworn he saw some bits of dust do just that.

"Fucking inbreeds," the Master growled. Sarah Jane slapped her hands over Luke's ears and glared at the Master.

The Master walked over to a corner and sat down on the floor, fuming. The Master closed his eyes, listening to the drums. Tap-tap-tap-tap.

Everyone went back to their food, except Gwen. The ever kind and caring Gwen picked up the extra lunch tray and brought it to the Master.

Jack suddenly went on point, ready to jump up and tackle the Master, if necessary. It wasn't.

Gwen sat the tray down on the floor in front of the Master, smiled at him and walked away.

The Master stared after her, bewildered and shook his head. Tish, Francine and Clive kept glancing at him, making sure he wasn't going to come over and hurt them but relaxed after a minute, when the Master finally sat forward and started eating, rather ravenously.

Ten minutes later, the door opened and the Architect came in, she looked at all of the people who stopped eating when she entered. They all looked at her with undisguised disdain.

"Where's John?" Rose demanded, standing up. She didn't approach the Architect, not with the four Judoon that came in with her.

"Stay seated please," she stated crisply.

"What? No! You're going to tell me where my husband is, right now!" Rose shouted. Jackie stood up and comforted her daughter and got her to sit back down, with a heavy sigh.

The Architect walked up to the Master and looked down at him, her face expressionless. But the Master could smell the fear on her, he grinned sinisterly.

Having finished his food, he looked right back at her, his hand still tapping the four beat rhythm and a mad fury evident in his eyes. He was pleased to see a hand print on her throat and smiled that devilish grin.

Everyone watched with slight trepidation.

"I have a favor to ask of you," the Architect told him.

"Oh," the Master asked, looking slightly intrigued.

"You are, supposedly, an expert at getting the Doctor's attention."

The Master burst out laughing. "Expert?" he asked. "Really?"

"Yes. Whatever tools you need, will be provided."

Jack felt his stomach plunge to the floor. He didn't like this at all.

"As tempting as that offer might be to take advantage of," the Master started. "I don't need anything to get the Doctor's attention."

Everyone was listening with rapt assiduity.

"You don't?" the Architect asked, completely confused but unruffled.

"You really don't know anything about Time Lords, do you?" he asked, still chuckling.

"The records are, sadly, lacking in much information about Time Lords or Gallifrey," the Architect admitted with a small sigh.

"Well, I probably shouldn't tell you this because, Rassilon knows, you don't deserve to know but we Time Lords are a telepathic people."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning, all Time Lords can feel the presence of all other Time Lords as a constant in the back of our minds, no matter where we are in time and space. And with the Doctor and I and that abomination being the only ones left," the Master started to explain.

"Oy!" Rose yelled indignantly but they ignored her.

"He already knows that we're back and is more than capable of finding us. I can guarantee you, he's already on his way, if he isn't here already," the Master said with a dark grin. He started laughing maniacally. "And he's not going to be happy with what you've done here. I, honestly, wouldn't be surprised if he ripped this whole place apart just to get all of his little pets back. Oh, I am so going to enjoy watching the Doctor lose it!" the Master started laughing in earnest, oozing insanity.

Then his skull flashed blue, making everyone gasp or scream. The Architect took a step back, the Judoon aimed their guns at him and Jack and the rest of Torchwood got up and approached the Master warily.

The Master was still laughing, his skull flashed again and then he grunted in pain.

"What the hell was that?" Jack asked.

"What is the meaning of this?" the Architect asked forcefully, now completely horrified and looking it.

The Master winced and held his head, groaning in pain. His skull flashed again. After a few moments, he finally mustered the breath to answer, "Energy deficit. My body is bleeding artron energy," he started shaking violently.

"Meaning?" Jack asked.

"Meaning, I'm dying, Harkness. Slowly and painfully, now shut the hell up and get away from me, Freak." the Master said through gritted teeth.

Everyone was honestly surprised and scared by this revelation, even the Jones family. They weren't sure if this was good or bad.

Gwen, being the ever kind voice of reason, asked, "Is there any way to fix it?"

"When the Doctor gets here, there will be," the Master answered, gritting his teeth in pain as his skull flashed again. "I am so hungry."

Jack, being quick on the uptake, asked, "Does food replace the energy you're losing?"

"Temporarily," the Master grunted and slid down onto the floor, clutching his head and curled himself into a ball. His skull flashed a couple more times. He started muttering to himself about food and listing all the things he wanted, so desperately, to eat, including the people in the room. "The Freak would be an endless supply of meat," they heard him mumble.

Jack took a step back and everyone who knew who the "Freak" was, suddenly looked very scared. Francine actually got up and tried to pull Jack away from the Master.

The Architect got the message. As she quickly left the room, she ordered the Judoon to bring him any and all the food that he wanted. She didn't need him eating her staff or her prisoners and she didn't want him to die and then lose the opportunity to study him and the energy he spoke of.

---

The Architect was walking swiftly back to her office, a whole crowd of people and Judoon were following in her wake as she issued orders, left and right.

"Have all Judoon stand ready. The Doctor's arrival is imminent. He may be furious and, if his nicknames are anything to go by, we need to be ready for a possible attack, although, I doubt he'll go to a war footing right off the bat. He'll want to talk to us first, but step up security anyway," she said sternly to three different people and two Judoon. "We must be ready to take the opportunity after he exits his TARDIS."

They all went off to do their jobs and the Architect went into her rather large, clean, white office, closely followed by four more albino women. There was a two-way mirror on one wall, through which could be seen two large and menacing devices that had reclined white leather seats situated inside of them. They were swamped by several technicians taking orders from an albino man, dressed in all white.

"Make sure the Scientist is ready in the lab with the mind readers," she said as she sat down and two of them disappeared back out of her office and then reappeared inside the room beyond the mirror. They spoke to the man in white and he suddenly looked excited and he started hounding all the technicians to work harder.

"Is there any progress with 'John'?" the Architect asked with an air of sarcasm.

"Not really, Madam Architect. He's fraying a little, but it's only making him angry, not desperate," the one on her right said with her head bowed.

"Alright. Take him to the Scientist and have him start the process on that one," and the one on her right left the room. The Architect sighed rubbing her temples. "Bring me some tea, won't you?" she asked the last one, who bowed and left and the Architect relaxed into her chair.

---

Jack sat down on the floor next to the Master and motioned for his team to go about their business, they went back to their lunch but Gwen ignored him and sat next to Jack instead and Francine hovered nearby. Rose, Martha, Sarah Jane and Luke all came over to sit by him as well.

"What the hell do you want?" the Master asked, his hands still clasped to his head. It flashed again and he sucked in a breath.

"To know what's wrong with you," Martha said tersely.

"I just told you; now leave me alone, unless you want to be eaten."

"Yes, but what is artron energy?" Gwen asked, ignoring his threat. The Master sighed.

"It's time energy," Jack answered. "It's what brings me back to life every time I die."

"Oh, someone's done his homework," the Master said sarcastically and removed his hands from his head as he let out a slow breath. He continued to lay there on the floor, curled in a ball.

"The Doctor told me what it was, considering I have an endless supply of it," Jack said, and then he got an idea. "Would you be able to take some from me?"

The Master sat up and looked at Jack incredulously. Martha looked at Jack like he was insane, "Why would you help him, after everything he's done?"

"Good question," the Master asked.

"Remember what happened the last time he died?" Jack asked Martha.

"Yes. The Earth was saved from his insanity," Martha replied bitterly.

"That's not what I meant and you know it," Jack said, looking at her like she was being an obstinate child. Martha crossed her arms and "humphed".

"What happened the last time I died?" the Master asked, genuinely curious.

"That was the first and only time that I've seen the Doctor cry," Jack answered. Martha looked away dejectedly. Francine went and sat next to her eldest daughter, putting a hand on her shoulder.

"Oh, yeah," the Master said smiling. "That was pretty good. I would've laughed, if I hadn't been bleeding out."

Rose and Gwen looked affronted. Sarah Jane just sighed because it's something she's seen too many times before.

"I don't want to see him like that again, it hurts too much," Jack added, looking sad.

Luke was more interested in the whole artron energy thing. "So, tell me more about this 'time energy'," Luke prompted, scooting forward and looking excited about learning something he didn't already know.

"Luke, settle down," Sarah Jane told her son, putting her hand on his arm. "I know it's interesting but you need to be patient. I'm sure the Doctor would be more than willing to tell you how it all works. When he comes to get us, you can ask him then."

Luke looked disappointed, annoyed and excited, all at once.

"He likes you well enough, you're the only person who can actually keep up with his rambling," Sarah Jane giggled. Luke gave a small smile.

The Master was looking at the kid like he was something completely new and fascinating.

Sarah Jane saw the look the Master was giving Luke and decided that was enough, "Right, Luke, let's go see if anyone wants to play cards, yeah?"

Luke sighed, knowing his mother's methods of evading, "But it might be important to know how all of this works, I mean, we don't know exactly why these Shadow Proclamation weirdoes want the Doctor, they just said they needed him and his TARDIS. They never said anything about asking him for help," Luke stated plainly, like it was obvious.

Sarah Jane just stopped and looked scared, she knew he was right.

"You noticed that too, huh?" Jack and the Master both said at once. The Master looked at Jack like he was the most annoying thing in the universe. Sarah Jane couldn't help but chuckle. Rose, Gwen and Martha all looked at Luke with an impressed gleam in their eyes.

"That's a bit of a scary thought, though," Martha said and grinned. "What would they want from him that didn't involve him working his Doctor Magic?" Martha asked with an air of levity.

The Master rolled his eyes, "Oh, please."

Martha and Francine glared at him. Rose and Gwen looked between Martha and the Master, trying not to laugh.

"I'm serious!" Luke said.

"We know, sport," Jack said, grinning. "It's just not something we really want to think about. Even if we do think about it, we won't be able to figure out what they want." Jack looked at the Master, "Unless someone wants to chime in here and enlighten these 'pathetic apes'," Jack said, quoting the Master's name for humanity.

The rest of the Torchwood team came over to listen, their curiosity having gotten the better of them. Which then prompted Pete, Jake and Mickey to wander over. Jack didn't care. Rhys and Jackie, with their little ones and the rest of the Jones family just watched from afar.

Donna wanted to go over and see what was going on as well, but her mother was on one of her rants again, distracting Donna and annoying the crap out of her. She still didn't know what was going on and the more she thought about it, the more her head hurt and she was getting steadily more and more angry with the whole thing. Wilfred saw this and decided to act on it, if he made Donna angry for something else, she would be thoroughly distracted with anger, she had such a one track mind. He started bickering with Sylvia, which always stressed Donna out enough to make her angry.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Master glared at Jack but sighed with defeat and looked back at Luke and asked, "What do you want to know?"

"First of all, what's artron energy and why is in your body?" Luke asked, looking excited again.

"Could you come up with a more complicated question?" the Master muttered, looking him in the eye. Luke looked chagrined by that response.

"Alright," the Master sighed, rolling his eyes. "Time Lords evolved in constant exposure to the Untempered Schism, a gap in the fabric of reality. It bleeds time energy, affecting everything around it. In other words, all of Gallifrey was steeped in it by the time we evolved this far. Artron energy is the residue left behind by the Time Vortex. We literally have Time flowing through our veins," the Master added with a snicker, looking at the astonished faces in front of him. "We can't live without it. It's also what enables us to regenerate, which can usually be done twelve times. So, on average, we get thirteen lives all together. The Doctor is currently in his tenth body. I ran out of regenerations but I acquired more. Don't ask how. Not that it matters, I don't have them anymore."

"Then, how does Jack have it inside him?" Gwen asked.

The Master and Jack looked pointedly at Rose, who looked a little sheepish, looking around at everyone looking at her. She cleared her throat, "That's another story, can we just move on with the whole Time Lord explanation?" Rose asked, raising her eyebrows at the Master.

"So, if you died, how are you back and bleeding energy? How did that happen?" Luke asked.

The Master smiled. He was starting to like this kid. "I was resurrected but my 'wife' botched it. I came back but not completely."

"I heard Broadfell Prison burned down. Was that you?" Jack asked pointedly.

The Master smirked, "I'll admit I was there, but Lucy's the one who blew the place up. Stopping a Time Lord's resurrection, while it's in progress, inevitably causes an energy burst when its cuff off from the body it's feeding into. It left me alive but torn open, the energy is leaking out of me. It has made me insanely powerful though," the Master chuckled.

"Lucy tried to stop you?" Jack asked.

"She shot me in the first place. Is it so hard imagine?" the Master asked with his eyebrows raised.

"Not even the least bit sorry that she's dead, are you?"

"Not really, no."

"Why was it done at Broadfell, in the first place?"

"We're getting off topic!" Sarah Jane shouted over them, seeing an argument brewing.

"Sorry," Jack said. "So, how is it leaking out, what do you mean by 'torn open'?"

"It's quite painful, actually. It's almost like bleeding out but, where that makes you feel cold and makes you pass out before you die, this is much worse. It feels like my nervous system is being ripped out of me, one nerve at a time."

"You didn't answer my question," Jack pointed out.

"No, and I'm not going to," the Master said.

Jack glared at him, "Why not?"

"Because you wouldn't understand it, even if I explained every word. Some of those words don't even translate into English."

"Is it possible to extract that energy from a Time Lord?" Luke asked.

"Yes. I tried to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations when he was in his eighth body. I failed, of course."

Sarah Jane, Rose and Martha all looked at him with disgust.

"So, is there a way to take it out of Jack?" Luke prompted.

"If you mean permanently, yes. But it would require a Time Lord, who can control that energy, to do what little Miss Bad Wolf over there did the first time around, to reverse it," the Master said. "And it would kill that body; cause them to regenerate when they release the energy. So, sorry Handsome Jack, I'm not doing it and I doubt you'd ask the Doctor to do it. You're screwed."

Jack looked disappointed.

"Although," the Master started. "I could do it and keep the energy. Make myself into a God but I still wouldn't fix you, you're too much fun to play with."

"Comforting," Jack said sarcastically.

The rest of them looked scared at the possibility of the Master turning into a God.

The Master laughed. "Relax, I'd need a TARDIS to do it and I don't have one anymore," the Master sighed. "Oh, how I miss my baby. She was so beautiful and so much more reliable than the Doctor's bucket of bolts. But, alas, the only one left in existence is the Doctor's and I doubt his TARDIS would allow me to do it. Feisty old thing, she is. Bloody Type Forty, piece of junk."

"I don't get it," Luke said, looking thoroughly confused, which was a new and disconcerting thing for him.

"None of you know, exactly what a TARDIS is, do you?" the Master said looking around at them.

"No," they all said collectively.

The Master laughed again. "The Doctor never tells you anything important at all, does he? I mean, he didn't even bother to tell you who I was to him," the Master snickered and started to laugh harder. "I bet you don't even know how old he really is," the Master continued to laugh, uncontrollably.

"He said he's nine hundred and six," Rose supplied, getting angry with the Master's condescending attitude.

The Master smirked. "Yeah, in Gallifreyan years," the Master chuckled. "But you don't know how long that is, do you?" he asked.

They all looked at each other, bewildered and shocked.

"Okay, so how about taking artron energy from Jack, on a temporary basis?" Luke asked. "Can you do that? Could it fix you?"

"Yes, it can be done but it would only postpone the inevitable," the Master said. "Unless, I can get the Doctor to finish the resurrection."

"How would he do that?" Jack asked.

"The Chameleon Arch, wired into the heart of the TARDIS," the Master said, smirking. "It would complete the energy transfer."

"So, how would you go about taking the energy from me?"

The Master leered at him. Jack flinched.

At that moment, four albino lunch ladies came in, each with carts full of food. The Master sniffed the air, closing his eyes. He licked his lips and jumped up. He shoved his way past the people who were surrounding him and he practically dove for the food and started devouring it all.

Everyone watched him, a little disgusted with his ravenous behavior and lack of table etiquette. At least, now they understood why he was doing it. Rhys watched him eat, feeling a little envious. He was still hungry.

Another albino lady came in with an armful of Earth board games. Everyone else went straight for those, after one night of absolute boredom; they were a god-send.

---

John was escorted down a plain hallway, his arms held firmly by a couple of Judoon. He was taken to a sort of clean room with two machines inside it. They looked suspiciously like mind probes, which made John gasp in fright and start struggling against his captors.

"No! No no no no, whatever you want to know, just ask!" he pleaded with the man, who looked like he was in charge. "I'll tell you anything you want!"

"I'm afraid that's not good enough, Doctor," the Scientist said plainly with an indulgent but sinister grin, like he just got a particularly interesting guinea pig.

John redoubled his attempts to get free, but he was so much weaker as a human and the Judoon were so big, that his attempts seemed feeble at best. They carried him to one of the machines, kicking and screaming and strapped him into the seat.

---

The Doctor arrived at the Shadow Proclamation; he emerged from his TARDIS in his brown suit and long coat, looking every bit like the Oncoming Storm.

He had made a pit stop on Earth to see what was going on there, having felt the presence of the Master and the human Doctor. Only to find that they weren't there and neither was Martha and Torchwood was mysteriously missing. Sarah Jane was gone and her son, Luke. Luke's friends, Clyde and Rani, had no idea where they went and were both extremely worried.

"I'll get them home, I promise," the Doctor told them.

They tried to get him to take them along because they wanted to help, but with a firm "No!" he slipped back into his TARDIS and left.

He found Broadfell Prison, where Lucy Saxon was being held, to be burned to the ground, leaving nothing but cinders.

To his horror, he also found that Donna was missing and her mother and her grandfather. That was more than enough for him to look further. He followed his Time Lord senses to the Master and the human Doctor, who, eerily, were at the same place.

So, there he was, at the Shadow Proclamation with only one question: "Where are my friends?" he asked the Architect, when she came to greet him.

"They are safe," she said simply. "Lord Doctor, it has been a while. It's good to see you. How are you?" she attempted to sound pleasant and friendly.

"I'd be better, if you had left my loved ones where they're supposed to be," the Doctor replied loudly. "You've put a few of them in mortal danger by bringing them here."

The Architect smiled indulgently, "They are quite alright I assure you. Come, we have much to discuss," the Architect turned to go.

"No," the Doctor said sternly, his face like stone. "I don't care what you want, the only thing that is important and needs to be discussed, is where my friends are. I am taking them home, now!"

---

The Master stopped in his feeding frenzy and sniffed the air again. Jack was watching him. The Master's eyes went wide and he turned toward the door, which was now guarded by two Judoon, since the Master almost knocked it off its hinges.

"What is it?" Jack asked him from across the room.

Everyone turned to see who Jack was talking to, they saw the Master looking at the door and they all became restless.

"He's here," the Master said with a manic grin spreading across his face.

Everyone stood up, except Donna and her mother, who was worrying over Donna and her ever growing headache.

"Try not to think, sweetheart," Sylvia was telling her.

Donna didn't even notice when Wilfred got up to see what everyone else was on about.

Rose and her family, Jack and Torchwood, the Jones family and Sarah Jane and Luke all went up to the Master eagerly.

"You mean the Doctor?" Rose asked.

The Master wiped his mouth on his sleeve and stomped up to the Judoon, Jack and Torchwood close behind. He stood about five feet away, eyeing up their guns and smirking, menace emanating from him. They watched him carefully, ready to subdue him if need be.

Jack was looking between the Judoon and the Master, waiting for the stand-off to end and erupt into, what he thought would most likely amount to, a bar room brawl. Jack was surprised, however, when the Judoon raised their guns and the Master took the small opportunity. In the millisecond it took them to raise their guns, the Master launched himself at them. With surprising strength, that he shouldn't have had and to everyone's astonishment, he snapped both of their large and muscled necks with blinding speed. Their heads hung from their bodies in a gruesome way. He stood over them laughing, rubbing his hands together.

"Amateurs," the Master said. "Trying to take on a Time Lord, they're even dumber than I thought."

They all stared at him, mouths gaping. He stared back for a second.

"Well?" he asked Jack.

"What?" Jack asked, completely lost.

The Master pointed at the guns, "I don't need them."

He bent down to grab the keys for the door locks. They were funny looking keys, they almost looked like glow sticks. Long, hard plastic tubes with a glowing strip of light inside each of them, all different colors.

"Oh," Jack said and grabbed one of the Judoon guns.

Gwen, who was now Jack's weapon specialist, grabbed the other. It was interesting, since Gwen had never even held a gun before she took the job at Torchwood, even though she was a police constable.

The Master opened the door and took out the two Judoon on the other side of the door with the same swiftness and strength as before. He attacked them like he was like a wild animal.

"You're gonna have to teach me how to do that," Jack said, his eyebrows raised.

The Master just snickered and started down the hall. Everyone followed, Wilfred and Sylvia helping Donna along. Her head hurt so bad she couldn't see.

"Can all Time Lords do that?" Jack asked, curious.

"Yes," the Master answered simply.

"I've never seen the Doctor show that much strength before," Rose said.

"The Doctor's a terminal pacifist," the Master said with distaste. "Why do you think he's already in his tenth incarnation even though he's only nine hundred and six years old? He could be so much more, if he let himself use his strengths and take what's rightfully his, as the Time Lord Victorious."

Rose and Jack glanced at each other with slightly scared looks but continued to follow the Master, silently.

---

"If you cooperate with us Lord Doctor, we will send them home for you, safe and sound," the Architect said to him.

"What do you want?" the Doctor asked warily but with evident rage. Time Lord fury hung over room like a cold draft.

The Architect was a little unnerved by the Doctor's very presence, she barely suppressed a shiver. She swallowed but continued as though unfazed, "We need your knowledge, Lord Doctor."

"Why? What do you want to know?" he stepped forward, looking confused. That was a mistake.

That very moment several Judoon swarmed the room, six of them surrounded the TARDIS, blocking the Doctor's way to it. Two blocked every entrance and four more went to the Doctor, guns aimed straight at him.

The Doctor scowled at the Architect and put his hands up, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"What is necessary," she said simply, an almost apologetic look about her face.

---

They made their way through the halls, the Master, Jack, Mickey and Jake at the front of the rather large group and Gwen and the other members of Torchwood at the back.

The Master shivered and smiled with glee, "Ooh, the Doctor is so mad. It's giving me shivers."

Jack and everyone immediately behind the Master all looked intrigued, scared and a little excited, knowing their rescuer, ride home and cherished friend had arrived.

"We have to find John," Rose said to Jack and the Master. The Master scoffed, Jack glared at him.

"We'll find him, Rose. Don't worry," Jack said, still glaring at the Master.

"Fine!" the Master growled and gave in. He followed the telepathic link to the human Doctor.

Having come across a total of six Judoon on the way, all of which were taken out by the Master with a terrifying rage, they made it to a hallway that was neater and cleaner than the rest of what they'd seen so far. The rest resembled an Earth correctional institution, whereas this was more like an executive's office. Unfortunately, there were a lot more Judoon in this hallway. Too many Judoon.

As soon as they all entered the hallway, they were completely surrounded. There were too many Judoon even for the Master to take out. He got six of them before they wrestled him to the ground. Gwen shot two of them before they swamped her and Jack managed three before they tackled him. They were obviously under orders not to kill any of them, as the Master took out two more while he was struggling to get free, but they still didn't try to shoot him.

There were shrieks as enough Judoon took each one of them by the arms. There were even ones for the children, which didn't go over well when they pried them from their parent’s arms. Lots of shouting and fighting ensued but none of them were strong enough to take on even one Judoon on their own, which made them all appreciate the Master's strength even more.

Then an aisle was cleared, as the Architect came through the crowd. She was closely followed by four Judoon. Two of them were dragging a struggling Doctor by his arms; the other two were behind him with guns pointed at his back, nudging him along.

The Doctor stopped struggling when he saw all of the people in front of him. "Oh, no," the Doctor said looking at them all. He was completely horrified that there were this many people here. Even more than he thought there would be.

This could get tricky.

 

TBC

Chapter Text

"Doctor!" Rose, Martha and Jack yelled in unison. Then everyone started in, yelling at the Architect or begging the Doctor to save them. Some were demanding to know where "John" was and the Doctor assumed that they meant the human version of him. He felt his hearts sinking, as fear washed over him.

The Doctor looked at the Architect and tried to ask "What do y'mmm!?" but a big Judoon hand clamped over his mouth. Everyone started to shout again, telling them to "Let him go!" or "Leave him alone!" The Doctor started to struggle again but stopped when a Judoon pressed the muzzle of his gun to the back of the Doctor's head.

The Architect turned silently and motioned for the Judoon to follow her. She went into her big clean office and everyone was dragged in after her, they did not go quietly.

There was another mirror in this room as well, Jack noted.

The babies were crying their eyes out in the arms of the big Judoon. The Architect sighed, annoyed at the sound. "Give the young back to their mothers," she stated lightly. Suddenly, Anwen was thrust at Gwen, Tony was shoved into Jackie's arms and Luke was pushed into Sarah Jane's.

Then, the Architect motioned towards the chairs in front of her desk and the Doctor and the Master were forced into them and promptly chained to them by their wrists and ankles and around their chests. Judoon stood behind them, guns trained at the back of their heads.

"Trust you to get caught five minutes after you arrive," the Master muttered bitterly.

"Like you could do any better," the Doctor growled back. Both of them, quickly, falling into their old routine of sharp cuts and sarcastic comments.

"I did do better, as a matter-of-fact," the Master grinned at the Doctor. "I took out eighteen Judoon before they wrestled me to the ground."

"Yes, well, you're the senseless killer, not me."

"Oh, please. You're far from innocent." The Doctor opened his mouth to issue another quip.

"Gentlemen, enough. There are more important things to talk about than who the better killer is," the Architect interrupted, her voice light as she sat back in her chair. They both glared at her.

"Yeah, about that," the Doctor started. "I'd really rather you thought about this one more time, because this is your last chance." The Architect smiled at him. The Master scoffed at the broken record that was the Doctor.

"I hardly think that matters right now, Lord Doctor," she told him. "You will help us, whether you want to or not."

"The last time I was here, you tried to start a universal war with the Daleks and put me on the front lines," the Doctor said angrily.

"And then you tricked us and ran away."

"And the problem was solved, without starting the biggest war ever."

"Lives were still lost, Lord Doctor."

"And it would have been more, if you'd had your way," the Doctor started to raise his voice. "And stop calling me 'Lord'!"

The Architect regarded him silently for a moment. "What's done is done," she said. "There is something else happening right now, that only you can fix, Lord Doctor."

"What's happening?"

"There is an evil, seeping its way into this universe, from another. Not a parallel, but a completely different one." The Doctor and the Master looked confused.

"We've managed to come into contact with some of the creatures from this other universe. It wasn't hard, they're trying to take over this one," she continued. "We are trying to fight them off, but they have technology that we do not and it is beyond anything we've ever seen. We need to close the gap they've created between the two verses and neutralize the ones that have already come through. We are also having difficulty with the fact that they can travel through time as well. Apparently, their universe is much like this one, only larger and completely unified, so they have an endless supply of soldiers and weapons. They have made it known to us that they intend to seize control over this universe and all of its parallels."

The Doctor looked scared, angry and intrigued and oddly enough, so did the Master. Everyone was silently listening to her speak.

"So, why go to this extreme? You could have just asked me for help. I can fix this easily," the Doctor told her.

"No, we will fix it but, unfortunately, we still need you. We would have asked you for help, but we know you would try to reason with these creatures first and in the mean time more and more people are dying, and more and more of their soldiers emerge from the gap. "

"You could have just asked me, I'd gladly decimate the whole lot of them and find a way to close the gap," the Master said, smirking.

"Why would we ask you to find a way to close the gap when we know that the Lord Doctor already knows how?" the Architect asked.

"There's nothing the Doctor knows, that I don't."

"You've always been full of yourself, haven't you Lord Master?" the Architect said, unnerving the Master and the Doctor.

"What?" the Master spluttered.

"You've always thought you were smarter than the Lord Doctor, based on your upbringing. Always rubbing your academic results in his face."

"How...," the Master started.

"But you never thought to ask him why his scores were so bad, even though you tried to tutor him, at the request of your professors. You thought he was an idiot because he was part human. Blaming his weak mind on his human mother."

Most of the humans were surprised by that revelation. The Doctor is part human?

"How do you know all of this?" the Doctor asked, looking more and more scared.

She ignored him and continued to address the Master. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe, because he didn't want to stand out any more than he already was because of his lineage, he was getting mediocre scores on purpose?"

The Master whipped his head around and looked at the Doctor, questioning. The Doctor looked back, completely confounded by the Architect's knowledge. All of the humans were completely confused and shocked into silence, all of them looking dumbfounded. Jack was trying not to laugh at the look on the Master's face and his heart swelled with even more love for the Doctor.

"The Doctor is much smarter than you, Lord Master," the Architect was saying. The Doctor looked back at her, the Master was glaring at the Doctor.

"He didn't want anyone to know just how smart he was," the Architect continued. "Because it would have caused more trouble than he wanted to deal with."

"Is that true?" the Master asked him. The Doctor looked away.

"Theta?" the Master was starting to sound angry. The Doctor ignored him and stayed silent.

"Theta Sigma, answer me!"

"Yes, it's true," the Doctor said, still not looking at him.

The Master glared at him, "Then you are an even bigger idiot than I thought you were!"

The Doctor looked at him, shocked by his response. "W-What?" the Doctor stuttered.

"Do you have any idea what kind of status you could have claimed for yourself on Gallifrey, if you were so much smarter than me, the one who was at the top of our class?"

"Yes, and I didn't want it."

"Idiot!" the Master shouted. "At least now I know that they weren't completely insane when they elected you President. Which you didn't take either."

"Oh, stuff it, Koschei."

The Master growled at him, giving him a look that could boil water and pulling against his restraints. The Doctor sighed. All of the bystanders were feeling confused but amazed by this secret of the Doctor's.

"We know what we need is in your head, Doctor," the Architect said.

"I still don't understand how you've come to know all of this!" the Doctor yelled at her.

The Architect stood up and went to the wall with the mirror and flipped a switch. The room beyond was now visible to them and all of the captives started shouting and struggling. Angry with what they saw. The Doctor and the Master immediately knew what they were looking at. Mind probes, specialized ones.

John was strapped into a machine with electrodes and wires attached to him, there was an electric current visibly being forced into his temples by small nodes on either side of his head. All of his muscles were tensed and, they couldn't hear it but, he was obviously screaming. There was another identical machine right next to it and the Doctor had no doubts about who it was reserved for.

Rose started crying and shouting for John. So was Jackie, clutching her son to her chest. Tony started crying as well, he could tell his Uncle John was in pain. Pete and Jake went red in the face with fury and started fighting against the Judoon that were holding them. Martha and her family were all crying or shouting. Torchwood was trying to get free of the strong arms that were holding them. Jack was fighting so hard, he looked like he was trying to rip his own arms off just to get free. Sarah Jane, Luke, Sylvia and Wilfred were crying. Donna had long since passed out.

"What the hell are you doing?!" the Doctor yelled at the Architect. Three Judoon came and unchained the Doctor and pulled him out of the chair, getting ready to drag him off into the other room. As soon as they undid the Doctor's chains, the Master started fighting to get free of his.

"We have learned everything about your childhood from this one," the Architect gestured at John. "Even though you both have the same mind, sadly, his is built differently than yours. We need you."

"What for?" the Doctor asked.

"We even found out from him, that you have solved the Skasis Paradigm," she said, by way of answering. There was a mad glint in her eye.

The Master looked at him, completely shocked. Rose, Sarah Jane and Mickey looked at him in amazement as well, having learned about the Skasis Paradigm from the Krillotane encounter. Everyone else was confused.

"We knew you had what was necessary to resolve this crisis, inside that head of yours. But this is far beyond our expectations," the Architect chuckled. "But you haven't used it? The God Maker?"

"Because of what it costs!" the Doctor spit, his voice venomous. "It's not a price I'm willing to pay. It's not a price I have the right to pay."

"Oh? Surely, it can't be something as bad as letting this universe be taken over?"

"Try sacrificing a quarter of it!"

The Architect looked unfazed, only intrigued. "You have more than enough right to pay it, my Lord Doctor. None of us would be here if it weren't for you. Our lives are rightfully yours for the taking."

The Doctor had no reply to that. It was becoming more and more evident, to everyone, just how insane the Architect was. The Doctor wasn't getting through to her at all.

"Lord Doctor, you hold the universe together, almost single handedly. You are the most important being in all of Creation."

"No, I am not!" the Doctor looked disgusted. "I am no more important than anyone else here!"

"Oh, really? Your nicknames and legends say something completely different," she said, her red eyes shining. "The Oncoming Storm, The Destroyer of Worlds, The Time Lord Victorious." She hesitated, and then added with a smirk, "The Lonely God."

The Doctor just stared at her, disgusted.

"How many religions have been started because of you, Doctor?" finally she dropped the "Lord" bit.

"You're insane!"

"Sadly, we cannot pull the solution to the paradigm from him, his human mind is limited," the Architect sighed, ignoring the Doctor's statement and moving the subject back to why they were there. "Like I said, we need you. Your mind has everything we need. But we also know that you will not give it willingly, so you leave us with no choice but to take it by force."

"Even if you were to get the paradigm out of my head, you still wouldn't be able to use it!"

"We know, but we've thought that far ahead. We've made preparations."

The Doctor glared at her but she continued, "It may take some time to get everything we need and then we still need to keep you, to control the matter and energies that the Skasis Paradigm manipulates," she frowned a little in jest. "I'm sorry, but you will need to stay here indefinitely. Don't worry about the pain, if need be, we can disable your pain receptors. I can call in a neurosurgeon tomorrow, if you would prefer."

The Doctor looked genuinely scared. The Master was suddenly scared for the Doctor too, which was a new feeling for him.

"You're messing in God's domain, missus," Jake said.

The Architect chuckled. "God is standing right there," she pointed at the Doctor.

"What!?" the Doctor looked completely affronted by what she said.

Jake, being a religious person, angrily spit at the Architect. She chuckled again.

"You can't, honestly, think you can keep control of him well enough to control what he does with the paradigm?" the Master asked, his fear seeping into his voice.

"With the right psychotropics and his mind wired into that machine, yes we can," the Architect smiled.

"So, your just gonna keep him and use him, like some kind of machine, to control the universe?" Jack asked, completely disgusted.

"But you can't!" Martha cried.

"I don't usually like to hurt women, lass, but you need a swift kick in the bloody arse," Rhys supplied, looking at the Architect with evident hate.

"Agreed!" Gwen said, glaring at her.

"You're just evil!" Tish put in. "You make the Master look like a saint!"

"How could you do such a thing?" Wilfred asked.

"I am going to kill you, if I get the chance," Francine said in a cold and threatening tone.

The Doctor looked at all of his friends, being held by Judoon that could snap them in half in a heartbeat. He was defeated. There was nothing he could do without putting them in danger.

The Architect waved at the Judoon, who then started to drag the Doctor from the room, but the Doctor threw them off easily, knocking them to the floor, he stomped over to the Architect.

He pointed at his friends and said, "I want your word, that you will put all of these people back where they belong!" he raged at her, his pupils were actually glowing slightly with artron energy. "Him as well!" he pointed at John.

"Then you have it, my Lord Doctor," the Architect smiled, her eyes lit up with excitement. There she goes with the "Lord" thing again.

The Doctor stood there for a moment, glaring at the Architect with his infamous Time Lord fury. Everyone hushed, scared by the power that they felt radiating from the Doctor. They weren't sure they were actually feeling any sort of energy but the Doctor's fury left the room feeling chilled. The ones who have traveled with the Doctor, and have felt this before, were filled with a surge of adrenaline that made them tremble with excitement, like a conditioned response.

Two Judoon grabbed the Doctor's arms, he didn't fight them as they started pulling him from the room. Everyone started to protest but they were ignored.

"You're just going to let them take you!?" the Master demanded from the Doctor.

"Yes," he answered.

"Why?" Jack asked.

The Doctor looked at him. "Because they have twenty five hostages, all of whom matter far too much to me," the Doctor's eyes started to fill with tears.

The Master quickly did a head count and realized that the Doctor was including him in that number.

The Judoon dragged him from the room and into the room with the machines. As the door opened, they were all able to hear John's screams for just a moment. Rose started sobbing, the Master started fighting with his chains and Jack really was trying to rip his own arms off. Some of them were speechless, others were crying and some wore their faces scrunched up in anger and were turning beet red while yelling at the top of their lungs.

The Doctor was taken into the room beyond the mirror and was quickly divested of his long coat and then strapped to the other machine. As the Doctor's machine was prepared, the machine that John was in was turned off, and he went limp.

"Take this one to a surgical suite," the Architect said, pointing at the Master. "I want a vivisection performed immediately."

The Master's face drained of all color as he gaped at the Architect and started fighting against the Judoon that pulled him out of the chair and started to take him away. To the Master's surprise, all of the Doctor's little pets started yelling at the Architect for being a monster and going back on her word. Most of them were unaware of what a vivisection was, but the fact that they needed a surgical suite was enough for them to get an idea. Those that did know, got angry and scared for the Master. The knowledgeable ones being Martha, Sarah Jane, Luke, Owen, Pete and Jack. They were so upset with the Architect's cruelty, that they started screaming at her vehemently.

"You promised the Doctor that you would let us all go!" Rose yelled and sobbed. The Architect ignored her.

Jack started fighting and struggling in earnest. He didn't want them to take the Master away to perform such an atrocity, no one deserved to go through the pain of a vivisection. The Master may have tortured Jack back on the Valiant, but he never went so far as to gut him. Which is what they were planning to do to the Master. They were going to gut him, inspect his insides, figure out how they worked and then shove them all back inside him. All while the Master was still conscious and unsedated, with no anaesthetics of any kind. Normally, it wouldn't kill him but the Master was already weakened and dying. They could only hope that he was stubborn enough to stay alive and untraumatized by it.

"You can't do this!" Martha yelled.

The Master was fighting as hard as he could against the five Judoon that were trying to carry him away; he was even going so far as to bite them, ripping bits of flesh off and eating it.

"Yes, I can," the Architect said, coldly. "He will suffer for my fallen Judoon and as an added bonus; I get to learn about Time Lord physiology."

Martha started kicking and screaming incoherently, she was so angry.

The Judoon finally managed to get the Master under control, with lots of chains. They carried him off, while he was screaming in Gallifreyan again.

"Take them back to their rooms," the Architect said to the Judoon that were holding the humans. "We will send them home in the morning."

TBC

Chapter Text

They were all dragged away, fighting and screaming but they still weren't strong enough to get away from the Judoon. They were put back into their small, boring rooms. But they weren't bored this time, now they were arguing and conspiring and trying to figure a way out of there, and rescue the Doctor and the Master.

Too bad they couldn't all brainstorm together.

---

Donna had been carried into the room and layed on a bed. Wilfred and Sylvia were absolutely beside themselves with worry.

"She's not going to die, is she, Dad?" Sylvia asked him.

"I don't know, my love. I certainly hope not," he said sadly. "If only we could help the Doctor, he could put her to rights."

---

Jack was trying to break out of his room, either by breaking the lock on the door or smashing through the mirror. It wasn't working any better than it had yesterday. He was only human, an immortal human, but human none the less, with very human muscles.

---

The Master was screaming in pain. Or trying to anyway. There was a strap over his mouth, so it was more of a muffled grunting.

He was naked, strapped to a table and cut wide open with a laser scalpel.

There were tears in his eyes, another new experience for the Master.

They had given him some kind of sedative, he wasn't sure what it was but it didn't dull any pain or consciousness. It just made his limbs feel like lead, he couldn't fight even if he wanted to. He wasn't going to try while his guts were hanging out, as much as he wanted this to end.

There was a very emotionless, albino surgeon poking and prodding at his hearts. A nurse was taking notes as he dictated. A technician was taking scans of his limbs, another nurse taking notes next to him. There was another taking scans of his head, while his skull flashed blue.

"Interesting," the surgeon was saying. "He seems to have four lungs, the fore ones bypass into the rear ones. It's a wonder there's enough room for one heart, much less two."

"His muscles are far more dense than anything I've ever seen," the first technician said. "A lot lighter than any human, as well. We'll have to figure out how that is."

There was another nurse at the foot of the table, talking into a sort of microphone, "Basic external anatomy is, almost, exactly the same as an average human."

"His eyes are more like that of an Earth feline," muttered the second technician, the one scanning his head.

The Master managed to hold out for over an hour before he, mercifully, passed out from the pain.

---

The Doctor was unable to pass out, they were mucking about in his head, making it impossible for him to do so. As much as he would have liked to. He was screaming and shaking violently, his hands clenched into tight fists. Blood was seeping from his palms where his fingernails had cut into the skin.

The electric current flooding into his head caused all of his synapses to fire at once, feeding all of the information back into the machine. There were thoughts and memories flashing before him in his mind. He could feel the machine's software snaking it's way into the control center of his brain. His frontal lobes felt like they were burning.

They had been at it for hours and still had been unable to locate the Skasis Paradigm yet; the Doctor's mind was too complex. It didn't help that he was trying to hide it from them.

"We'll need to map out the entire thing, and then search with a fine toothed comb," the Scientist said, hovering over a monitor. "This may take days."

The Architect was in the room, standing directly in front of the Doctor watching him intently. There was no emotion on her face, even as she watched him convulse in pain.

"I will arrange for round the clock attendance, split it into two shifts. I want this done as quickly and efficiently as possible," she said and left the room.

The Scientist moved to stand where she had been standing. He stared at the Doctor, smiling, an insane glint in his eyes.

---

John awoke in a small room, that reminded him of a cell. There was nothing in it, just him on a bed. A mirror on one wall.

He remembered everything that happened to him, up until the machine was turned off.

He had seen the Doctor through the mirror and he could guess what had happened.

His head was killing him. It was worse than any hangover he had ever experienced. He tried to sit up, but his head pounded and the room spun and he had to lay back down. Pressing his eyes closed and gritting his teeth, he rubbed his temples. When he touched the skin on his temples, it twinged with a burning sensation. He felt them gently and found small burns.

He tried to think, to come up with a way to escape with everyone, unharmed. After trying to think for about an hour, the pain was too much. He rolled over with a sigh and fell asleep.

He had terrible nightmares.

Nightmares about the memories they had managed to pluck from his head; the first time he went to Skaro with Susan, the Cybermen in the parallel universe, losing Rose, his Academy days and all the pretending he did, his fall out with the Master. The encounter with the Krillotanes with Rose and Sarah Jane and how the math was driving him insane afterward and couldn't help but want to solve it. He surprised himself when he did solve it but was completely terrified by what it would take to use it. So he stowed it away in his head and almost forgot about it.

---

A day later, the Doctor's mind was cracking. He had screamed his throat raw and was now croaking feebly.

The Doctor saw visions of Gallifrey, it's orange sky and twin suns flashing in his mind.

His eyes squeezed themselves shut, as the memories flooded his consciousness. He relived a memory from when he was only twelve years old, running through the tall red grass, laughing and being chased by his best friend, Koschei. The memory stopped and the Doctor opened his eyes, tears running down his cheeks.

The Scientist went back to the monitor. He typed something into the machine, changing some configurations and then all of a sudden, his mind flooded with all of his memories that had anything to do with complex mathematics. They had narrowed it down to a wide corridor of his mind. A little more tweaking and they'd have what they were after.

The Doctor frantically tried to push them out of that part of his mind, but he couldn't. The psychotropic drugs were inhibiting his free will, changing his perceptions. The machine was using that opportunity to push deeper into his head. If this went on much longer, the Doctor would end up becoming a mindless machine himself, doing whatever they asked him to, his mind merged with this evil contraption. They would control him like he was a computer, not a person. Typing in commands that he would adhere to without any thought.

The Doctor knew it, they weren't going to use this just to avert the crisis of the other universe and seal it off. They would have control over everything, all matter would be clay in their hands. They could erase the peoples who stood against them, so they will have never even existed. They could make themselves immortal, make all of this go on for eternity. They could create and destroy anything they wanted to change, anything they thought needed to be changed. They could turn themselves into what they thought were perfect beings, maybe even recreate the Time Lords.

The ultimate consequence, however, was that the universe would slowly shrink, until there was nothing left but themselves and their manipulations. They would destroy everything, just to make themselves into gods.

The Doctor couldn't let any of that happen. Life must move forward, on it's own, uninhibited. That's the way things are supposed to be, no one has the right to deny life the chance to live.

With his renewed determination, he pushed his mind as hard as he could, shoving the machine's software slowly out of his head. The pain was horrendous, worse than anything he'd ever felt. But he had to do it. Hopefully, the mess they were making inside his head and the pain of fighting it would kill him before they got what they were after.

---

The Master awoke back in his room. He was wearing what looked like hospital scrubs.

So the vivisection hadn't killed him. His body hurt so much. His insides felt like they had been turned to mush.

He lifted his shirt and looked down, there was a long red scar from the Y-incision. They had used the laser scalpel to close him up, no need to wait for him to heal. At least they didn't use Earth's primitive methods of sewing themselves up, like darning old socks.

He carefully sat up. He held is breath and groaned when there was a twinge of pain in his chest. They hadn't repaired the broken ribs they had snapped to get at his chest cavity. They just put them back and hoped for the best, probably in an attempt to weaken him, at least for a little while.

He ignored the pain, to the best of his ability. He had to get out of here and get the Doctor away from these psychopaths. The Master couldn't help but laugh at the thought. Usually, he was the psychopath.

He clutched at his chest and gave a muffled sob when the pain from the jarring laugh washed over him. "Laughter is the best medicine" my ass, he thought.

He sat on the edge of the bed and then saw that his clothes were neatly folded at the foot of the bed, and his boots were sitting on the floor at his feet.

Now that he'd had a good look at the keys, he knew what kind of lock he was dealing with. Now he could escape easily. He was relieved to find that there was no one behind the mirror, they probably thought he would still be out for a while. But there were Judoon outside his door. He'd have to be ready to take them out as quickly as possible, no matter how much it was going to hurt.

He grabbed his left boot and pulled out a long metal skewer he had hidden in his sole, for emergencies. He was always ready for anything and everything.

He stood up, changed into his clothes, slowly and carefully. He had a hard time getting his boots on, reaching to his feet was almost unbearably painful. He then sat there for a good ten minutes, catching his breath and waiting for the pain to subside a little. This was going to be excruciatingly painful and he wouldn't be able to rest. When he finally worked up enough determination to grin and bear it, he did just that. He stood up, popped the lock with the skewer, flung the door open and plunged the skewer into the throat of the first Judoon before it could register what was happening. He grabbed its gun with lightning speed and blew the other one away.

He smiled the widest manic grin he had. He slowly bent over and grabbed the keys to the locks and made his way down the hall to the next door.

TBC

Chapter Text

Jack was winded. He'd torn his bed apart, bits of the metal frame were strewn across the floor, the bed clothes were wadded up in the corner and his great coat was lying in the middle of the floor, forgotten.

He was sitting in the corner, glaring at the door. He didn't want to look at the mirror anymore, he'd only managed to make a long scratch on it. He was so reckless about trying to get out of the room, that he ended up killing himself once. There was a lot of blood on the floor, where Jack had inadvertently sliced open the artery in his leg on a piece of his bed.

He sat there, fuming. He had almost given up hope, when the door opened and Jack saw the familiar manic grin of the Master. The Master stood in the doorway, swinging the keys around his finger and smirking. Jack could only stare in awe, but he couldn't ignore how pale the Master was.

---

Gwen was pacing and fidgeting, trying to think of a way out of this mess. She was so worried about the others and what monstrosity the Shadow Proclamation had planned for the Doctor and the rest of the Universe. She was getting so worked up, that she was starting to sweat and making Rhys worry.

She was about to start another lap of the room, when the door opened and she saw Jack's brilliant smiling face. She ran to him and gave him a bear hug.

"About bloody time, mate," Rhys said to him, baby Anwen cradled in his arms.

"Yeah, well, I was a little delayed," Jack laughed, handing a Judoon gun to Gwen.

---

After about twenty minutes, they had all of Torchwood out of their cells and following quickly behind Jack, as he led them to the next room.

They let Martha and her family out.

Everyone was giving Jack hugs for getting them out of there, when the Master flew by them, trudging down the hall. He was apparently looking for something.

"Why did you have to let him out?" Tish asked Jack. The entire Jones family looked at Jack, questioning.

Jack looked at them seriously, and sighed. "I didn't," Jack confessed. "He let me out."

They all looked at the Master, awestruck and confused. Martha and Owen, the physicians, couldn't help but notice how wan he was looking.

The Master looked at a door down the hall, grinned and walked back over to Jack, hardly paying attention to anyone, and grabbed the keys out of his hand.

He walked back over to the door and opened it, smiling even bigger. He chuckled and looked back at them and smirked.

"Anyone fancy fighting with their own weapons?" he asked them, grinning.

He went into the room, Jack and Gwen looked at each other for a moment and then swiftly ran into the room the Master had just opened. They found long shelves, full of small boxes, each with one of their names on it.

Jack grabbed his Webley and laughed with joy. He glanced and noticed that the Master was hunched over and rummaging through a really big box with his name on it. He was quickly shoving countless items into his pockets. Jack raised his eyebrows at him, everyone else noticed this too, once they had all of their things back. They watched him, confused.

The Master looked up when the room went silent. He smirked and laughed, wincing.

"Transcendental pockets," he winked. He straightened up, letting out a whoop as he held up his recently made laser screwdriver. He tossed it in the air once and caught it with a "Haha!". He turned, saw the scared looks and tilted his head with a grin.

"Don't look at me like that. I don't have time to waste on torturing you lot," he said and pushed past them, out the door. "Coming?" he asked, not stopping to wait for an answer.

The Jones family, aside from Martha, all grabbed the remaining boxes that belonged to the others and followed the Master and Torchwood to the other cells. They opened more and more doors as they passed through the halls and corridors, collecting everyone and returning their belongings. Rose and her family, Sarah Jane and Luke, the group slowly getting larger. Ianto ended up carrying Donna on his back, Wilfred following behind to make sure she didn't fall.

The Master fried every Judoon on the way with the press of a button on his laser screwdriver. They found John's room, and Rose elbowed her way past the Master before he could move out of the way. He grunted and leaned against the wall.

John sat up when the door opened, gaping at them. He was suddenly covered in a weeping Rose, before he could get up.

She hugged him and kissed him and asked him over and over again if he was okay.

"I'm fine!" he said, still sitting on the bed, smothered in over emotional Rose.

"Come on, Rose, love. Let the man up," Pete said, coming into the room, his face the very picture of relief.

Rose got off of John, but didn't let go of him. She clung to his arm as he stood up.

Then he clutched his head and almost fell over, but Pete and Jake caught him.

"What's wrong?" Rose asked, worry flooding her face again.

"Just a headache," he said with his eyes squeezed shut. "They mucked about in my head and I have a migraine the size of Gallifrey."

Pete and Jake helped John walk out of the room and into the corridor, where they found Martha and Owen trying to fuss over the Master, who was deathly pale.

"Get away from me!" he shouted, shoving Owen away and he winced again.

"Just let us have a look at you!" Martha shouted back, grabbing his arm. "What did they do to you?"

"That's none of your business!" he wrenched his arm out of her grasp.

John gritted his teeth at the pain in his head and looked at Jack. He motioned toward the Master. Jack nodded and went up behind the Master while he was arguing with Martha and grabbed his arms. With Rose clinging to him, John ignored the pain and spinning in his head and walked up to the Master and pulled his shirt up, revealing a long, ugly, red scar down his chest and abdomen, as well as dark black and blue bruising all over his chest and sides.

Everyone saw it and their hands flew up to cover their mouths when they gasped at the sight and muttered their disbelief.

The Master glared at John, like he was going to murder him at the first chance he got. He started to wrest his arms from Jack's hold but John frowned and, while Jack still had a hold of him, he put his hands on the Master's chest and felt around the bruises. The Master yelped in pain and went as white as paper. Jack let go of him and John stepped away, the Master stumbled away to lean on the wall, breathing heavily.

"All of your ribs are broken," John said with a sad and angry look. Martha let out a whimper, Owen sighed and Jack frowned.

"You think I don't know that!?" the Master shouted, and stumbled away up the hall, holding the wall for support. The Master cursed, he had been doing fine at ignoring the pain until the abomination poked at him. Now he was having a hard time just staying on his feet.

"So, they really did do a vivisection," Jack muttered and closed his eyes for a moment.

"They did what?!" John looked at Jack, a look of horror on his face.

"A vivisection, with no anaesthetics," Martha said frowning.

John watched the Master and almost looked like he wanted to cry for his old friend. John and Jack watched the Master sadly as he stumbled, leaning on the wall and trying to walk. Jack went to follow close behind him, ready to catch him if he fell. They all continued on their way, Pete and Jake were helping John walk. Everyone was shooting worried glances at the Master every now and again, even the people who hated him. They couldn't help it, they were human and none of them liked to see anyone suffer, even someone as cruel and inhuman as the Master.

Francine remembered what the Doctor had told her, back on the Valiant when it was all over and she hesitated to shoot the Master, "Francine, you're better than him." She picked up her pace and caught up to the front of the group, her family looking at her funny. She, wordlessly and firmly, grabbed the Master's arm and pulled it around her shoulders and started to help him walk.

He looked at her, disbelieving, like she was insane but he cooperated with her anyway, most likely too confused and tired to wonder about it or fight her off. Jack and John glanced at each other, both bemused and surprised. Jack shook his head and continued to follow.

Francine didn't even flinch, not once, not even when his skull started flashing again. Everytime the Master took aim at a Judoon to kill it, she just helped to support his weight when he let go of the wall.

They were slowly, but surely, making their way to the corridor where they would find the Doctor. After a worrying twenty minutes with no Judoon they turned a corner and an entire platoon of almost fifty Judoon came to meet them in their advancement toward the Doctor. Jack and his team (minus Ianto, who was still carrying Donna) killed the first few but their guns didn't really do much damage unless they managed a clean head shot.

The Master got angry with being impeded in his progress toward his best enemy, he growled at Torchwood to get out of the way and dialed up his screwdriver to the highest setting and fried the whole platoon and left their entire way clear of everything that might have been in the corridor. There was nothing left of their foes but ash.

"Whoa!" Jack said, his face shocked.

John sighed, it was nothing new to him. "The Master can be so vicious sometimes, talk about overkill," he muttered to Pete and Jake, who were still holding him up. Rose had a hold of the back of his shirt, afraid he might be taken from her again, she wasn't going to let him out of her sight.

The walls were blackened and everyone was stunned. The Master and Francine continued on their way. Jack and his team glanced at one another for a moment, then shaking their heads, they followed.

They were all filled with determination and rage, and now they felt that they might actually be able to win and go home without losing anyone.

---

The Architect was watching the security monitors, watching the party of humans with the few cameras there were in the halls. She sighed with frustration when the Master destroyed fifty of her beloved Judoon in an instant.

"I want him killed, now!" she shouted at the Judoon general that was standing next to her. The Judoon general left in a hurry without another word.

The Architect left the room and made her way to the room that the Doctor was in. She opened the door and screaming flooded out as she stepped in.

---

The Master stopped abruptly, when he heard a door slide open and the Doctor's screams could be heard. They all gasped and got angry. The Master growled and started to try and walk faster, Francine doing her best to help him move as fast as they could. Jack, John and the Master all looked deadly furious. Rose and Tish started crying, Francine's face remained stoic and determined. Jackie and Sarah Jane were livid. They all started to run faster, but were careful to stay behind the Master.

The Master wasn't moving fast enough for Jack. Jack took the Master's arm from Francine and effectively shouldered all of his weight. Making sure he and the Master both still had full use of their weapon arms, especially the Master's, Jack ran with the Master as fast as he could. Francine assisted the Master from the other side, so the Master almost didn't have to put any effort into running at all. His right arm, the one with the screwdriver, was around Francine's shoulders. His forearm was resting on her shoulder so he could still use his favorite weapon, even though it was dangerously close to Francine's head, but this didn't seem to faze her. Clive looked a little worried though.

They quickly made their way up the hall, but were cut off when a squad of ten Judoon with laser shields trudged up the hall towards them. Their shields held interlocked together in front of them, their guns positioned between them. Like a sort of futuristic Roman Legion.

Laser sights appeared on the Master's chest, as well as Jack's and Francine's.

---

The Architect was breathing down the Scientist's neck, watching while he rummaged around in the Doctor's head. They could see everything the Doctor was seeing in his mind.

The Doctor saw more and more memories, some of which he never wanted to think about again. They had broken down the barriers that the Doctor had built around his memories of the Time War. He had to let his defences down somewhere to keep the Skasis Paradigm hidden.

The Scientist was actually looking a little green in the face as he watched the Doctor's experiences from his eighth body and ninth body. He flinched spectacularly when a vision of the Nightmare Child flashed through the Doctor's head.

The Neverweres were burning in the Doctor's vision, the fall of Arcadia, the destruction of the Cruciform, the shattering of the glass dome over the Citadel, thousands of blinding flashes from thousands of regenerating Time Lords as they were crushed and trampled and exterminated. The ghastly resurrection of Rassilon and re-creation of the Hand of Omega.

The Architect actually looked faint when they saw the time lock close. When the Doctor used the Moment and Gallifrey and Skaro burned, billowing black smoke and flames with echoing screams and flashes from millions of regenerations that were quickly snuffed out, ten million Dalek ships exploding and the Skaro Degradations being ripped apart. The singularity that was formed when the Untempered Schism was destroyed and the remains of Gallifrey were sucked out of existance.

The Scientist got up and left the room for a few minutes, when he returned his eyes were blood shot. He searched through the Doctor's mind with a renewed vigor, or maybe it was panic.

The Architect was staring at the Doctor with a new appreciation for his abilities. A smile spread across her face, thinking about all of things she could do with the Doctor's knowledge, not just the Skasis Paradigm but his knowledge of time and space. She had a hunger for power that could rival the Master's.

---

The Master was the first to notice the imperviousness of the Judoon formation and the red dots on their chests. He did it unconsciously, instead of taking the minute opportunity to duck out of the way and save himself, he used it to shove Francine to floor. Thankfully, it upset his balance enough to take the shots to his left shoulder instead of his hearts. He fell to the floor when Jack got hit right in the heart and went down hard.

Gwen got so furious, she took deadly aim at the Judoon in the middle of the group and, by sheer luck, got a bullet straight down the muzzle of his gun. It blew up in his face, causing the Judoon to break ranks. Gwen, Tosh and Owen took that opportunity to shoot through the gaps between their shields, taking down three Judoon with head shots.

The Master was able to sit up enough to burn the rest of them through the hole in their defence. He sighed heavily and lay back down on the floor. Owen went to check the Master's shoulder, Martha and Tish ran to help their mother up and Gwen sat by Jack, waiting for him to wake up.

"Are you alright, Mum?" Tish asked while Martha checked her mother for injuries.

"I'm fine, dear," Francine answered, watching the Master.

The Master tried to shove Owen away from him, but he was too weak and in too much pain to succeed.

Jack woke up with his loud breath and looked around. After noticing that no one else was hurt he said, "I guess they were only ordered to kill you." He looked at the Master, who was so white, he almost looked transparent.

"I noticed," the Master growled, clutching his bleeding shoulder. He tried to sit up but fell back onto the floor almost immediately.

Jack watched him for a second, thinking. Then they heard the sound of Judoon marching towards them. Jack quickly asked, "If you had enough artron energy, would you be able to heal enough to keep going?"

The Master looked at him, warily.

"Yes," John answered for him.

"I don't know if I'm that desperate," the Master gritted out.

Jack chuckled, "Now's really not the time to be picky."

The sound of the Judoon's boots was getting louder and closer.

The Master sighed, "Fine. But don't you dare try anything else, Casanova!"

Owen looked at Jack, confused. Martha, Tish and Francine looked the same.

"What are you on about, Jack?" Gwen asked.

"Watch and learn," John said with little smile.

Jack leaned over the Master and grinned.

"Just get on with it, Freak!" the Master growled.

Jack chuckled again and put his lips to the Master's and breathed into his mouth.

Everyone gasped and gaped, except for John. Luke and Owen just looked fascinated. Ianto felt a twinge of jealousy, but his hands were full of red head, so he couldn't really do anything about it.

Jack pulled away from the Master, a blue glow of energy flowing from Jack's mouth into the Master's. When the light faded, the Master closed his eyes and started coughing and groaning. His skin started to give off a faint golden glow and they heard the crackling sound of bone knitting back together. The wound in his shoulder had stopped bleeding but it was still gaping and hurt like a bitch, the Master noticed. The glow of the Master's skin faded and he opened his eyes, breathing heavily. Martha and Owen looked aghast at him, Francine looked surprised and Tish looked scared.

"Feeling better?" John asked a little airily.

"Much better," the Master mumbled.

Jack grinned and laughed and helped the Master up. Francine handed the Master his laser screwdriver back, that he had dropped when he shoved her. He looked at her sideways, still perplexed by this change in her and even more perplexed by his split second decision to save someone else. He took it and smiled. He turned toward the sound of the Judoon marching. When they rounded the corner, he held up his screwdriver and again with it's highest setting, the Master destroyed them all in an instant, grinning and laughing insanely.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Judoon general entered the room with the Doctor and the machine. He told the Architect something in Judoon speak and the Architect glared at him. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and screamed in frustration, she even stomped her foot like a child. She stomped out of the room in a fury, the Judoon general following close behind her.

She went back into her office and sat down in her chair roughly. The Judoon general stood in front of her desk.

"I want all remaining Judoon troops to report to the lab and guard it with their lives. I want your men in the room and outside it. Laser shields, sonic stunners, and standard laser guns. I want you to call in reinforcements as well, since the Master has killed most of my Judoon on this port. If they manage to get past another platoon, then you have my permission to shoot to kill any or all of them, if they continue to resist," the Architect said, her face full of rage. "Also, I want you remove the Doctor's TARDIS to the lower storage chambers. Make it more difficult for them to get away. When this is all over, we will move it to the Doctor's side and find a way inside it. From what we've learned so far of what we've seen in his head, he doesn't even need the Skasis Paradigm to, quite literally, become a god. It may improve the variables of sacrifice for using the paradigm, so I want it well guarded."

The Judoon general grunted and left. The Architect sighed and leaned her elbows on her desk and held her face in her hands.

"Bloody Time Lords," she muttered to herself.

---

The Master and his odd group of humans were covering quite a bit of ground. Since the Master could now walk on his own, Francine was back by her children and their father. It bothered the Master that there suddenly weren't any Judoon coming after them or cutting them off.

"This is eerie," Jack said.

"No kidding," Gwen agreed, her gun at the ready.

"Donna?" Wilfred said at the back of the group, startling Jack and the Master. They'd almost forgotten there were a bunch of civilians behind them.

Donna was waking up, she nuzzled her face into Ianto's back and groaned. Ianto squatted down and Sylvia helped her daughter off of his back and sat her onto the floor.

"Are you alright, dear?" Sylvia asked her, crouching next to her.

Ianto pulled out his gun and made his way to the front of the group, assuming that Donna could now walk on her own. Good, he thought. His shoulders were starting to hurt, anyway. John promptly put his head down, trying to hide his face. He was concerned for Donna, but he didn't want to risk her recognizing him.

"Mum? Wha's goin' on?" Donna slurred. "Last thing I rem'mber we were in some 'ffice."

"Yeah, you've been sleeping for quite a while, dear," Wilfred told her.

"Wha' you mean? How long've I been sleepin'?" she slurred at him.

"Almost two day full days now," he told her with a sad smile.

"What?!" Donna's eyes went wide.

"Nevermind that now, sweetheart," Wilfred said. "Come on then, we're almost there."

"Almost where?" Donna asked quizzically.

"Oh, fuck me," they all heard the Master say. Donna looked up confused. Everyone else turned around to see that the Master had kept walking. He was now about thirty feet away from them, at the end of the hall, staring down the next corridor. The corridor with the Doctor, Jack noted with a stone dropping into the pit of his stomach. Jack and Torchwood ran to catch up. They stopped next to the Master and looked down the hall at what he was seeing.

"Oh, god," Jack mumbled.

The hall was completely packed with Judoon, all with laser shields. Roughly fifty yards of wall to wall Judoon stood between them and the Doctor. They were just standing there, watching them, waiting. Obviously still under orders not to kill them. But how far would they let them go, before that order was rescinded?

"Well, now we're bloody fucked, aren't we?" Owen said and sighed.

"Think I can get that many lucky shots off?" Gwen asked.

"We don't have enough ammunition for all of them," Tosh pointed out, glancing at Jack. Jack grumbled angrily.

The others walked up behind Torchwood and the Master. Some gasped, some huffed, some whimpered, some whined. Rhys whistled.

"Oh, for heaven's sake," John muttered still clinging to Pete for balance, he'd noticed that his equilibrium was way off. And not just from the headache.

The Master just stood there, arms crossed and completely pissed off. The Judoon were too close to the Doctor for him to use his highest setting. One wrong spark or short in that machine could kill the Doctor.

Clinging to people on his way by, John made his way over to the Master, and then leaned on him. Rose followed him closely.

"Any ideas?" he asked the Master. The Master cringed at having the abomination that close to him.

"Oh, quit it," John told him, seeing his cringe. "I won't bite. Can't say the same for you, though, can we?"

The Master growled but continued to glare at the Judoon. He tapped his screwdriver against his lip in beats of four, then he got an idea.

"Do you know the Skasis Paradigm?" the Master asked, looking John in the eye.

"No," John stated, glaring at him.

"No, you don't know it?" the Master clarified.

"Yes, I do know it but, no we aren't using it," John gritted out.

The Master sighed and rolled his eyes. Jake armed himself with a fallen Judoon gun and handed one to Mickey and one to Pete.

"Let's just have a go then, yeah?" Jake asked, holding up his gun.

"Sounds like a plan to me," Mickey said, stepping forward.

"Let's get them," Clive said with a pipe in his hand.

"Yeah, let's show them what we can do," Leo said, standing next to his dad and holding another pipe up like a baseball bat.

"Where did you get those?" Jack wondered.

"Found them in a supply closet," Tish replied, holding a pipe of her own. Francine was next to her with another one.

"Let's go, then," Pete said looking at the gun and figuring out how it worked.

"Oh, no we are not doing that!" John yelled at them all.

"Oh, relax, will you?" the Master said to John. "As long as they can get the Judoon to lower their shields, even a little bit, I can get them in a heartsbeat. And I don't think you need to worry about the Judoon killing any of your little friends because if they were going to kill us all, they would have done it by now."

John stared at him, the Master grinned back. John sighed.

"Sounds like a plan to me," Jack supplied, putting his gun away. He rubbed his hands together "A little hands on work and we can at least move their sheilds if not pull them out of their hands."

Gwen and the rest of the Torchwood team looked at each other, shrugged and put their guns away and got ready to fight. Pete, Jake and Mickey grumbled and put the guns down. Pete handed his jacket to Jackie and rolled up his sleeves.

Wilfred pulled Sylvia and Donna back around the corner, out of the line of fire. Donna was holding her head again, it was hurting so terribly and it was feeling really hot.

Sarah Jane pushed Luke around the corner, giving him a firm look.

"You stay here!" She told him, and when he went to argue with her, she added, "Don't argue with me, young man!"

He shut up with a scowl and Sarah Jane went to stand next to Jack, ready to fight. Martha went to stand by Jack as well. Jackie pulled Rose back behind everyone.

"You're pregnant, love. You need to protect yourself." she told her daughter. Rose looked a little disappointed.

"Mind looking after this wee one?" Rhys asked Rose, handing her Anwen. Rose looked at him, open mouthed. She took Anwen and nodded to him. Rhys pushed Rose and Jackie with little Tony back around the corner with Wilfred, Donna and Sylvia. Rhys went to stand next to his wife and grinned at her, rolling up his sleeves as well.

"Just pull the shields out the way, yeah?" Rhys asked the Master.

"Yep," the Master grinned.

"You just make sure you keep on your toes with that laser of yours," Jack told him sternly. "And don't hit any of us!"

The Master grinned maniacally.

"Ready?" Jack asked Rhys and Gwen. "Let's go!"

---

"Yes!" the Scientist shouted.

"Did you find it?" the Architect asked, she had come back into the room with twenty big Judoon. They surrounded the machine.

"I think so!" the Scientist exclaimed.

They had found the Doctor's memory from when he was solving the paradigm. The Doctor relived his memory of running around in a room on his TARDIS that was full of whiteboards. He had four different colored markers, two in his mouth and one in each hand, with splotches of ink all over his face and hands. His hair was even more unruly than usual, and that's saying something. It looked like it had a mind of it's own. There was a mad and excited glint in his eyes.

It was a memory from a moment when the TARDIS decided to show him how crazy he looked by projecting an image of him into his head. He had been at it for days, only stopping for a cup of tea, twice. He hadn't eaten and the TARDIS was worried about him. He laughed at it, in the memory in his head and out loud.

It startled the Architect. The Doctor's eyes were open and there was a mad gleam in them. It looked like he had gone completely insane, like his soul was slowly slipping away from him and he had stopped screaming a long time ago. His hands were still fisted and bleeding. But the Architect didn't care, not as long as they had control over him.

Which they did. The psychotropics were taking hold and they were to the point that all they had to do was ask the Doctor through the machine to show them to the right doors in his mind. They had found what they were looking for. The Doctor had showed it to them willingly, unknowingly. He didn't know what he was doing anymore. But then, artron energy started to glow in the Doctor's eyes as it tried to heal his damaged brain. It pushed out the machine a fraction and the Doctor started screaming again.

The Scientist was confused, they should have almost complete control by now.

"What's happening?" the Architect asked. "Why is he screaming again? I thought you disabled that trigger?"

"I did!" the Scientist shouted, typing frantically into the computer. "Part of his mind has stopped responding, like we're losing control."

The Architect looked back at the Doctor, wide eyed.

What they didn't know, was that his body started to try and heal all the damage that was being done to it by his neglectful brain, his brain that he had no control over. His autonomic responses were fading and it was slowly killing him. The machine tried to work its way back in, fighting the artron energy for dominance. They still hadn't thought of that. That they would need to control everything in his body as well as his mind to keep their control of him, to keep him alive. They were too engrossed in finding their key to immortality and universal dominance, to think to take care of their tool. Their irreplaceable and priceless tool. There was a war going on inside the Doctor's body. The Doctor was in excruciating pain because of these selfish fools.

It was painful, oh, so painful.

---

The humans made a running start. They flung themselves at the Judoon and started wrestling their shields from them. It wasn't easy, the Judoon were so strong. Rhys was the first to succeed. He was a big guy and on his first try, he wrenched the shield right out of the Judoon's hands. A laser shot past his head and burned a hole right through the Judoon's helmet. It went down like a ton of bricks.

Gwen threw herself on top of one the shields and pulled it down with all of her weight. She fell on top of the Judoon as it went down, a hole through it's helmet as well. Jack pulled a shield down, the Judoon got hit with the laser and Jack proceeded to use the shield to bash another Judoon's shield out of the way.

It was a stupid move on the Judoon's part. There were so many of them in that corridor, that none of them had any room to move or defend themselves without the shields. They were a line of sitting ducks, with angry humans that they weren't allowed to kill, divesting them of their only defense.

Tish bashed one Judoon over the head and it stumbled backward, lowering it's sheild a fraction, but it was enough. A flash of a laser and it was down. Clive and Leo had dropped their pipes and teamed up on one Judoon and yanked it's shield from it. Another one down. Pete and Jake were doing the same as Clive and Leo, teaming up and pulling away shields left and right. Mickey was tripping the Judoon, making them stumble and lower their shields when they tried to regain their footing.

Slowly, they were making their way towards the Doctor, but after a while, they were stumbling over dead Judoon.

Ten minutes in, Tish and Francine had to stop. They were not the athletic type. Rhys was in his element, brute force has always been his game. He was pulling away shields with ease. The Judoon didn't seem so tough, now that he didn't have baby Anwen in his arms. Martha, Sarah Jane and Gwen had teamed up and were throwing their combined weight onto the shields and pulling them out of the Judoon's hands.

Sylvia was cowering around the corner, holding Donna and her massive headache, protecting her daughter. Wilfred was watching the action. Rose and Jackie were peeking around the corner, watching their progress, grinning and rooting everyone on. John couldn't help but join in on the cheering. He might have helped with the Judoon, but his head was still a mess and he was having a hard time keeping his own balance, let alone try to throw a Judoon off of theirs. He clung to the Master, almost like a bodyguard, in case the Judoon tried to kill him again.

The Master was quick with the laser, he dropped Judoon after Judoon with a smile on his face. Then, a Judoon raised it's gun and shot Jack square in the head.

Most of the humans stopped, looking scared.

---

The Doctor was screaming, his hands were gushing blood.

"Madam Architect, I don't want to have to say this, but I think we need to turn the machine off or it's going to kill him!" the Scientist told her, sounding frightened.

"No!" she shouted. "Find me what I need! And before it kills him, or I will have your hide!"

The Scientist looked taken aback. Suddenly scared, he went back to the monitor, and dialed up the power on the machine. He started searching frantically for the solution to the Skasis Paradigm with reckless abandon. With the added power, the machine blew through the Doctor's mind, taking almost complete control. The Doctor stopped screaming, the glow faded from his eyes and he went still. The machine was everywhere, the Doctor was nowhere. He was fading fast and the Scientist was rampaging through his thoughts like there was no tomorrow. Which, for him, there wouldn't be if he failed.

---

"Right, time to turn things up a notch!" John stated. He grabbed the laser screwdriver out of the Master's hands, making him scowl at him and make a grab for it. John held it out of reach, pulled out his own newly made sonic screwdriver and held them against eachother.

The Master watched him, realization dawning on him as his eyebrows flew up into his hairline. John activated his sonic and increased the laser screwdriver's output.

"There!" he put his sonic screwdriver away and handed the laser screwdriver back to the Master. "Might want to pull your sleeve over your hand before you use that, so you don't burn your fingers."

They grinned at eachother.

"Get out of the way!" the Master and John bellowed at the humans in front of them.

They all dove to the floor, and the Master sent shot after shot with his laser. The laser that now shot a small beam that burned hotter that a thousand suns on it's lowest setting, melting right through the shields. The Master let out a constant beam, sweeping it through the lines of Judoon. In a matter of seconds, the Master had melted his way through the rest of the Judoon in their path, before the Judoon even had the chance to figure out what was happening. The Judoon were in pieces, big gory rhino pieces. The Master smirked, John sighed.

"I didn't want to have to do that," John said.

"Oh, shut up!" the Master said. He grabbed John by his shirt and kissed him full on the mouth, with tongue and everything. John went wide eyed and tried to push the Master away.

"Oy!" Rose shouted. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" She ran up to them, fury in her eyes.

The Master let go of John, grinning like a madman. John wiped his lips on his sleeve, grimacing.

The humans who were on the floor, stood up and looked around at the carnage. Most of them gagged and looked away. Leo and Mickey puked. Martha and Owen, being doctors, had seen worse. Gwen and Sarah Jane had seen blood and guts before. Rhys was fascinated.

Rose handed Anwen off to Gwen, who was trying not to laugh at the look on John's face. Rose grabbed John's shirt herself. She snogged his face off, making a thorough sweep of his mouth with her tongue. They went on like that for a minute or two, everyone staring. The Master was staring, his one eyebrow cocked.

When they separated, breathless, Rose said, "Sterilized." She smiled her bright sunny smile at her husband. John blushed a brighter red than a pomegranate. The Master laughed loudly and heartily. His ribs didn't hurt anymore, he noted. Still snickering, the Master started walking over the Judoon bits and everyone followed, most of whom were blushing and smirking at Rose and John or grimacing at the bloody mess.

---

Donna was mumbling. Walking behind her grandfather, she looked at the creatures strewn across the floor. Memories started to flash in her mind, her head started feeling hotter and hotter.

She was holding her head, a wasp flashed before her eyes. Then someone who looked like John, only in a funny brown suit. Wait, she'd seen that suit before. There was a bloke in that office, before she passed out, that was wearing a brown suit.

She remembered a volcano, people screaming and burning. Then she remembered a giant spider.

She had her hands clutched tightly in her hair. She could faintly hear her grandfather's voice, telling her, "Don't think about that, Donna, my love!"

Then she remembered seeing that Architect woman before, talking to the man in the brown suit, with planets floating around the room.

Then she remembered a name.

Doctor.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Doctor was lost. He didn't know where he was, everything was white. He walked around the whiteness for a moment, then he noticed he was naked. Where was he?

Who was he?

He was being told to do something, to find something. He looked around, there was nothing here. What is he supposed to find in a place where there is nothing?

Another thing, he was alone, he knew he was alone. So why does he feel like he's not. He can feel someone there. There are two someones. He doesn't know who they are.

There was something else there too. Something that felt like it shouldn't have been there. He looked around again, there was nothing there. So, how could it feel like there's something that shouldn't be, when there isn't anything here?

Then a pain shot through his head, he closed his eyes, holding his head. It subsided quickly, he looked up. There was a door. Is there something behind it?

Only one way to find out. He went to the door.

---

The Master made his way to the door. The door that the Doctor was behind. It was locked. Of course.

He reached out with his mind for the Doctor, but what he found terrified him. The Doctor was gone, his mind was there, but the Doctor wasn't. He turned and looked at John, who was leaning on Rose. John looked back, but then closed his eyes and reached out with his own mind. He opened his eyes and looked scared and sad.

The Master needed to get through this door. His laser wasn't an option and there was no key slot. Just a DNA scanner and keypad for a code. He looked around, pulled out his laser screwdriver and chose a dead Judoon at random. He didn't want to drag the whole Judoon over to the door, so he cut it's arm off with his laser.

Most of the others looked away, only to see worse carnage, some just stared. Sarah Jane covered Luke's eyes. Tosh gagged, again.

"Oh! Gross!" Tish said, covering her mouth and closing her eyes.

"Ew!" Rose exclaimed, but watched anyway. John had his eyes closed, grimacing. So did Jack, who sighed.

The Master just smirked, he stood there a moment staring at the keypad, Judoon arm in hand. Considering who was behind the door, he thought of the code. He pressed the Judoon hand to the scanner and typed in the date of the first war in history on the keypad and the door hissed open.

He felt a wave of triumph and had a whole second to grin, before he was pinned to the opposite wall by two very large Judoon. They were twice the size of the ones that they've been fighting. The Master spared a moment to think, "What the hell, are these Judoon on steroids or something?"

There were shrieks and completely useless gun shots.

He dropped his laser screwdriver as ten more giant Judoon flooded out of the room. The Master started fighting with the hand that was around his throat, pushing him up the wall and now that he had his strength back, he was able to break the wrist of the hand around his throat. He pushed one of the Judoon off of him, but it only staggered a few steps backward. It was back on him in a second. He needed his screwdriver but his hand was empty and the controls were isomorphic, so no one else was going to be able to use it.

The giant Judoon were pushing the humans back, taking control of the situation. Suddenly, the Master's hand wasn't empty, his screwdriver was back in it. He whirled it around and fried the two Judoon holding him and got his footing back. He took a second to notice Luke cowering next to him, grinning at him. Luke gave a small wave and the Master grinned at him.

He laughed and turned to take out the other five Judoon that just came out of the room, after he killed the first two. With a flash of his laser, he expertly killed the ones swarming the humans without hitting anyone by accident.

He stormed into the room, saw the Doctor sitting in the machine, his eyes open and sightless.

The Architect and Scientist shrieked and stepped back.

A rage surged through the Master and he killed the last three Judoon, just as they raised their guns. He killed the people swarming around the Doctor and fiddling with the machine. The humans stormed into the room and ran to the Doctor. Jack was the first to get to the Doctor and started undoing the straps. John made his way to the computer monitor, aided by Rose. He turned the machine off and had a look at the data they had collected, the memories they'd pried out of the Doctor's head. He deleted all of it.

Tish and Francine had the pipes in their hands again. The Master turned, plucked the pipe from Tish's hand, and started towards the Architect.

She started walking backwards away from the Master, pleading. "Please, I was only trying to do what was right. For the sake of the universe!"

"You only did what was right for you, you ugly bitch!" the Master snarled.

"No! Please don't!" she begged as the Master raised the pipe in his hands. No one stopped him, he beat the Architect over the head with the pipe, making a sickening sound. She dropped like a ton of bricks, dead. The Master was still so furious, he beat her head a few more times, making an awful mess, until Sarah Jane wrenched the pipe out of his grasp and glared at him. Luke was staring at the mess, mouth open and looking slightly green.

The Scientist was cowering in the corner, his hands over his head, mumbling, "I was only doing what I was told, I swear. I was following orders. I didn't want to push it so far. I'm sorry."

The Master scoffed, shot him with his laser as a side thought and went to the Doctor's side. He was out cold. Unconscious and limp, his suit completely soaked with sweat. Gaping, fingernail shaped wounds on his palms and angry burns on his temples. He stunk of pain and fear and he was trapped inside his own head. Jack went to lift him off the seat, but the Master shoved him aside. He pulled him up and out of the machine and sat on the floor with him in his arms.

They all looked on in wonder, as the Master put his forehead to the Doctor's and mumbled, "Theta."

---

The Doctor was about to open the door, when it vanished. He heard someone say, "Theta." He looked around and stopped. There was a blonde man standing in front of him.

"Where do you think you're going?" he asked the Doctor.

"I don't know," he muttered. "Where am I?"

"Stuck inside your own head. Well, part of your head," the man answered, smiling. He looked around. "The subconscious, the part you escape into to protect yourself."

"Oh," the Doctor answered, confused. "Who are you?"

The man frowned. "You'll remember."

"I will?"

"Yes, because I'm not going to let you forget me."

"Oh, sorry."

The blonde man walked up to him and kissed him gently on the lips.

And the whiteness vanished.

---

The Doctor suddenly felt everything. His body was killing him, his head felt like someone had taken a jackhammer to it. He remembered who he was, he remembered being in a painful machine and seeing terrible memories. He remembered being in the whiteness, the man appearing and kissing him. He remembered who the man was and then he noticed that he really was being kissed, only not gently. It was a rough and brutal, very desperate kiss.

He opened his eyes and the Master pulled away from him, grinning for all he was worth. The Doctor stared up at him. He was in the Master's arms. He looked around and there were a lot of people watching them. Some looked very jealous, some awed, most were just shocked or embarrassed.

"Oh," the Doctor said, his eyes wide and confused. "Hello."

"Hello!" Most of them said in response.

"Don't scare us like that!" Jack said looking relieved.

"Sorry," the Doctor said, still confused and surprised.

Martha started crying and ran over to him, dropped to her knees, shoved the Master away and gave him the biggest hug imaginable.

"Hi, Martha." the Doctor chuckled, putting his hand on her back. His arms felt very heavy, he noticed.

Martha just sobbed and sniffled in response. The Master looked angry, but he didn't say anything. He didn't move either, or let go of the Doctor. He let the wet and snotty human sob into the Doctor's chest, looking slightly disgusted. When Martha pulled away from the Doctor and wiped her eyes, the Master grabbed him back and held him tightly to his chest.

"Oh!" the startled Doctor muttered into the Master's hoody. The Master glared at Martha and everyone else who looked like they wanted to give the Doctor a hug.

"Hey! I know you're relieved and thrilled to have your, what was it? 'Theta'? back," Jack said, smiling. "But you need to share!"

The Master scowled, "Only I get to call him that."

"Um," the Doctor said, muffled in black hoody. "Can't breathe very well, here. Mind telling me what's happened?"

"Is that his real name?" Jack just had to know.

"No, it's his childhood name. No one can know his real name," the Master scowled at Jack like he was an idiot.

"What? Why?" Jack looked confused.

"Um," the Doctor mumbled, his face still pressed into the Master's chest. "Hello?"

"It's complicated, Jack. I'll explain it later," John said. "Can we get out of here first?"

"OI!" the Doctor yelled, trying to pull his face away from the stifling hoody. The Master grudgingly let the Doctor pull away, slightly, a spectacular scowl on his face. He still didn't let go of him, though.

"Thanks for that," the Doctor said, taking a breath. He looked around, saw what was left of the Architect and grimaced. "Oh," he said and looked up at the Master. "Is that your handy work?"

The Master grinned, "She had it coming."

"Ah," the Doctor said, simply. "Well,..." He hesitated, no reply came to him.

"What? No argument for that one?" the Master smirked. "Oh, for once you agree with me on murder. You've made progress."

"I do not agree with you," the Doctor argued. "I just have no response at the moment. My head is killing me."

"Tell me about it," John said, looking a little grim. The Doctor gave an identical grim look right back.

"Only, I expect your head is going to be much worse than mine for a while" John said, frowning. "I was only in that damn machine for a few hours. You were in it for almost two days."

"Was I really?"

"Yep," John replied, popping the 'P'.

"Oh, bugger." the Doctor frowned, still in the Master's arms. He made to get up, but found that his legs just would not work. "Uh oh," the Doctor muttered to himself.

"I reckon your motor functions are going to be a bit dodgy for a few days, at least," the Master said, smirking sadly. "Judging by the mess inside your head."

"Brilliant."

"I could always carry you," Jack said, leering at him. "Like a princess."

"Jack!" the Doctor glared at him.

Jack laughed, still smiling like an idiot, "Just a suggestion."

"Not a bad idea," the Master said suddenly.

"What?" the Doctor looked scared.

"Only, I'm going to be the one doing the carrying," the Master scowled at Jack.

"Oh, why can't I do it?" Jack almost whined.

"Because he's mine!" the Master said loudly.

"I'm what?!" the Doctor looked aghast. The Master glared at him.

The Doctor swallowed, "We'll talk about this later. For now, let's find a happy medium."

He looked over at the people in the doorway. "Jakey boy, Mickey! A little help?" the Doctor asked, grinning slightly.

"Sure, Boss," Mickey grinned. Mickey and Jake made their way over to the Doctor and the Master. The Master scowled and rolled his eyes, but very reluctantly released the Doctor and let the humans help him up.

"Oh, wow," the Doctor said, leaning heavily on Jake. "That's a vortex of a spin."

"Unsettling, isn't it?" John said, now leaning on Rose again.

"A bit, yeah," the Doctor agreed. He tried again to take a step, but his legs didn't respond at all. "Oh, hell," the Doctor said, scowling at his legs.

"Need some stronger muscles to help you get along, there, Doc?" Jack asked hopefully. Mickey glared at him for the backhanded cut against his manly strength.

"I, honestly, don't know," the Doctor said, still staring at his unmoving legs. Right then, the Doctor's legs gave out and Mickey and Jake didn't have a good enough hold of him, so he went crashing to the floor and landed hard on his bum. "Whoa, aah, oow...," the Doctor grimaced from the floor.

"Oh, sorry!" Mickey and Jake said together. They went to help him up and the Doctor grabbed a hold of their arms saying, "It's alright. Just don't do it again."

Jack started towards the Doctor, but the Master shot up from the floor shouting, "You stupid apes!" and walked over to the Doctor and grabbed him up from the inept humans.

"Oh!" the Doctor startled.

Jack grabbed the Doctor from him and held him close, glaring at the Master.

"Um!" the Doctor responded. The Master's scowl got deeper and he went to grab for the Doctor again.

"Oh, knock it off, you fairies!" Rhys yelled, coming into the room and handing Anwen off to Francine, who looked a little taken aback. He grabbed the Doctor and flung him over his shoulder.

"Whoa!" the Doctor said. John gave the Doctor a sympathetic smirk. The Master and Jack scowled at Rhys.

Rhys scowled right back. "Let's get the ruddy hell out of here, then you morons can fight over him!" Rhys shouted and started toward the door and out into the hall.

Gwen laughed and put her hand on Jack's arm. "Let's go, you lugs!" she said to Jack and the Master.

Jack frowned but he grabbed the Doctor's long coat off of a table and followed Gwen and Rhys out the door. The still scowling Master, mumbled something in Gallifreyan, making John say, "Oy! Language!" and followed everyone else back out into the corridor.

"Oh, for pity's sake!" the Doctor yelled, looking around at all the dead Judoon.

"It was necessary," John said, cringing. "I didn't want to have to go there but, they really didn't give us much choice."

The Doctor sighed, hanging over Rhys' shoulder, "And I thought being with Rose would fix you!"

"Oy! I've made a bit of progress," John argued, looking affronted.

"He's actually much better than before!" Rose chimed in. "At least, he hasn't tried to kill anyone on purpose."

John grumbled and the Master cast a sidelong and appreciative look at him. "So, your personality is more like the Doctor uninhibited," the Master observed, smirking.

"Something like that," John looked thoughtful. "I don't know why that still makes me feel like I've done something wrong."

"Good!" the Doctor told him.

"Let's just find the TARDIS and get out of here," Jack said to the Doctor. "So, which way?"

"Sounds like they've moved her down four levels," the Doctor told him.

"Four?!"

"So it would seem."

"It's a bit upsetting that I can't hear her anymore," John mused. Rose rubbed his back, giving him a sad smile.

"Got more of the big rhino boys coming!" Rhys announced.

"What?" the Doctor asked, trying to turn around but Rhys held him fast.

The Master shot to the front of the group with his fearsome laser and started clearing their way to the lift.

"Do you have to kill all of them?!" the Doctor asked, looking at the fallen Judoon as they ran past them. He was facing the wrong way so he couldn't see the Judoon before they were lasered into oblivion.

"Yes!" the Master replied, a smile in his voice, as well as on his face. The Doctor groaned.

Rose gave him an apologetic look, since that was all he could see, really. He could see Rose helping John walk, Francine holding a baby to her chest, Jackie with a toddler in her arms, everyone walking behind Rhys and Torchwood and he could see all the other humans behind them, including Donna, who he was getting more and more worried about, as she was holding her head and stumbling. And he could see about thirty Judoon coming up behind them.

"Jack!" the Doctor shouted.

Jack whipped around and pulled out his Webley and started shooting, Gwen followed him to the back of the group as they did their best to gun down the advancing Judoon. Since the Master had the ones ahead of them well enough, Tosh, Ianto and Owen went to the back of the group as well. Together they managed to shoot most of the Judoon down, Gwen was trying her damnedest to make another lucky shot down a gun barrel.

For some reason, the Judoon weren't shooting at them. Most likely, they didn't want to accidentally shoot the Doctor. Which was a disconcerting thought, the Master mused. It meant there was someone else here, above the Architect, who was calling the shots.

The Doctor was watching, helpless to do anything. He couldn't even walk on his own. Then he saw Donna look up at him, her face red from withstanding the pain in her head.

"Spaceman?" she mumbled. Wilfred and Sylvia looked terrified. John whipped around to look at her.

"Donna?" the Doctor said. "Donna, no, don't think about any of it. Please don't think!"

John looked back at the Doctor, the Doctor was watching Donna, Rose looked between them as they were obviously scared of something.

"What is it?" Rose asked John.

"Donna?" Wilfred put his hand on her shoulder.

Donna was staring blankly at the Doctor. "You look silly, hangin' over someone's shoulder like that," she mumbled.

The Doctor looked like he was about to cry, when Donna grabbed her head suddenly and whimpered in pain.

---

The Master was lasering down Judoon after Judoon, but they just kept coming. They weren't making any progress to the lift. Jack and Torchwood were running dangerously low on bullets.

Jack shot off his last round, after having reloaded twice, "Oh, shit!" he watched the Judoon advancing.

Tosh ran out of bullets, then Ianto. They both looked at the Judoon in horror. Ianto turned around to see if they were making any progress toward the lift, when Gwen and Owen ran out of bullets, too.

"Jack!" Gwen looked at him.

The Master glanced behind him when he heard the gunshots cease. So, Torchwood ran out of bullets, damn, he thought. Judoon still coming from both ways and he had the only weapon. There were just so many of them. He even used his high setting on his amped up screwdriver, scorching the walls and setting fire to part of the floor. A fire that was quickly getting bigger and would box them in if they stayed there too much longer. He won't be doing that again, not until he can get the abomination to fix it.

---

"My head!" Donna bleated, a tear rolling down her cheek.

The Doctor was watching everything happen, no way of helping. He wanted to help, to save everyone but he couldn't move on his own, much less dash about and save the day like he usually does. He was worried for Donna, he could only hope the defence mechanism he implanted would work properly and save her life, but that left another dilemma. He had assumed that, if Donna was ever reminded of her travels and experiences with him, it would be when she was in mortal danger against aliens or something else like that. He was right, but this situation wasn't what he had in mind.

Stupid, stupid old man! He berated himself.

He watched as Donna was crying in pain, he knew the mechanism would trigger any second, but there was nothing he could do to stop it. He had to try, though.

"Put me down!" the Doctor begged.

"What for?" Rhys asked.

"There's no time, just let me down!"

Too late. Donna screamed and an orange light burst from her head and knocked everyone out.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Master was the first to wake up. Just in time too, he slapped his sleeve until the fire went out. When that was done, he grabbed his screwdriver off of the floor, stood up and looked around.

The Judoon were all knocked out, but so were his companions (heh, irony), he crossed his arms with an, "Oh, man!"

Then Jack woke up, he flew to his feet and looked around, "What the hell happened!?"

"Not a clue, but considering how everyone is knocked out, I'd say it was a psychic energy feedback burst of some kind."

"A what?"

"It's sort of like an EMP for brains."

"Right...," Jack looked around at his friends. "So, now what do we do?"

"I don't know about you and the others," the Master started, grinning at Jack. "But I'm taking the Doctor and heading for the TARDIS while the Judoon are still out."

He bent over and picked up the Doctor and carried him, as Jack had said earlier, like a princess. He started to head for the lift, when Rose, Gwen and Pete started waking up.

"Oy!" Rose yelled after the Master. "Where do you think your going with him?"

"Anywhere but here," the Master said over his shoulder.

Pete got up and went to stand in front of the Master, "You can't just leave us here like this, the Doctor would never forgive you."

The Master rolled his eyes and sighed. Rhys woke up, slowly rubbing his head. Then it was Luke who woke up, then Clive and Mickey, then Tosh and Ianto, Owen and Gwen. The Judoon were still out cold.

Clive looked around at everyone, "What happened?"

"What the hell?" Mickey mumbled, looking around.

"What the bloody hell is going on, Jack?" Gwen asked.

"Jack, what happened?" Tosh asked. Ianto looked at Jack, the same question in his eyes.

"Not sure, we'll figure it out later. For now we need to get everyone out of here before the big horny beasties wake up," Jack answered them all.

Gwen looked around at all of the people who were still knocked out, then at the people who had woken up. "I can't see any way to get everyone down four levels with just us."

"We're gonna have to figure something out."

Luke was checking his mother for injuries, when Martha woke up. She checked her mother and the baby she was holding, Anwen, who thankfully landed on her mother's chest. She checked her sister for wounds and was about to check Leo, when he woke up with a jerk and almost conked his head into hers.

"Oh, sorry," he said. He looked around, confused. "What's happened?"

"I don't know, but we need to get out of here," Martha said. She'd had enough experience to know not to sweat the small stuff when you have a chance to escape from a dire situation.

Rose was worrying over John, and little Tony. They were both still out cold.

The Master turned around and looked at Jack, "The ones with the weaker minds are going to stay unconscious longer than the stronger ones."

"So, why is the Doctor still out?"

"Because he's just had his brain ransacked by a bunch of albino inbred swine!" the Master looked at Jack like he was stupid.

"Oh, yeah." Jack looked at Rhys, confused a bit by the thought that his mind was stronger than Sarah Jane's or even Jackie's.

"So, is that the same with John, then?" Rose asked the Master.

"I'm pretty sure," the Master answered.

Rose turned back to John and brushed a piece of hair from his forehead. Pete was torn between carrying John or Jackie or Tony, when Jake woke up.

"Oh, good! Jake can you carry Jackie and Tony?"

"Um," he looked around confused for moment before answering, "I could carry Tony and I might be able to handle Jackie, but I can't carry both of them at once," Jake looked regrettably at Pete.

"Let's not be finicky about who carries who. We just need to get out of here before the Judoon wake up!" Jack yelled at all the people who were awake. He bent and picked up John and carried him the same way that the Master was carrying the Doctor.

Pete picked up Jackie and Rose grabbed little Tony. Martha handed Anwen to Gwen and then bent to pick up her sister and help get her over Leo's shoulder in a fireman's carry. Clive grabbed Francine and carried her the same way. Mickey and Luke managed Sarah Jane together. Tosh and Ianto carried Sylvia between them. Rhys, the Strong Man, picked up Donna and carried her over his shoulder, he flung the Doctor's coat over his other shoulder and grabbed Wilfred and carried him under his other arm, like a sack of potatoes.

Everyone accounted for, they all ran for the lift, or well, walked as fast as they could carrying heavy cargo. It wasn't big enough for all of them, so they went down in three groups. The Master with the Doctor first, with Jack and John, Pete and Jackie and Rose and Tony following close behind. They were only able to go down two floors and then the Master started down a left corridor right away.

"You know the way?" Jack asked him.

"Yes, the TARDIS knows that the Doctor is unconscious and that I have him, so she's leading me to her."

"Oh," Jack said. "But wait a moment, we need to wait for the others, or they'll get lost!"

The Master sighed and slowed his pace. Jack knew that was the best he was gonna get, so he slowed his own pace a little more, keeping the Master in sight but hanging back enough for the lift to make it back down to them before they went too far. There were a few Judoon laying unconscious in this hallway, whatever knocked them out had a long reach, the Master thought.

Next was Rhys with Donna and Wilfred, Gwen and Anwen, Leo and Tish, Clive and Francine with Martha and Owen tagging behind. They reached the right floor, and started after the others, who were a little ways ahead of them. They went quickly and carefully, Owen tagging behind the others, waiting for the lift with the others.

Last was Mickey and Luke with Sarah Jane and Tosh and Ianto with Sylvia and Jake was with them to press the buttons, as the other's hands were full. They stepped out of the lift, slowly. Owen was waiting for them and he gestured them in the right direction. He followed behind them, keeping watch for awakening Judoon.

The Master found his way to a set of stairs, Judoon were strewn across them, making it difficult to maneuver. But he just stepped on them, it was easier. Jack did the same, the others were too kind for that, so it took them longer, but they all managed to get down the two flights of steps. They left the stairwell just as the Judoon were starting to stir. The Judoon started moving and trying to sit up and several of the women shrieked as a Judoon moved next to them.

The Master made it to a storage room, he could see the TARDIS and he smiled. Even though there were about three dozen Judoon surrounding it, conscious ones. He slowed and hefted the Doctor over his shoulder, freeing his weapon arm. He took aim just as the Judoon saw them and aimed their guns at them. Just for the fun of it, he lasered them all in half with one slow swipe of his screwdriver. He smirked and stepped over the steaming dead rhino pieces and made his way to the TARDIS, he was about to fret over finding the key in the Doctor's pocket, when the door flung open on it's own. He flew inside, Jack and everyone else following quickly behind. He laid the Doctor, gently, onto the pilot seat and started dashing around the console and started flipping switches. No one stopped him, not even the TARDIS.

Some of them looked at the blue box, perplexed about how they were all going to fit in there, the ones who had never been in it. Those same people gawped when they made it through the door. Everyone was gathered around the console, staring at it.

Owen was the last one in. He went inside, stopped, backed out, went all the way around it and then went back in.

"It's bigger on the inside!" Owen and half a dozen others said at the same time.

"Yes! Now get in here and close the damn door!" the Master bellowed.

Owen did as he was told and the Master threw the Dematerialization lever and the TARDIS shuddered into life.

The TARDIS vanished as a whole platoon of Judoon entered the storage room.

---

A man in a white suit with black hair and red eyes, watched the TARDIS vanish on a computer monitor, he growled and slammed his fist against the desk.

"Damn!" he growled. "I need to get him back! Were you able to trace their path?"

A slimey green, slightly humanoid creature next to him, shook its head and spoke in a voice that sort of sounded like a deep winded cricket, "No, time works differently in this universe, it's more complex than in ours. There is a time vortex, not a time pool, and the Doctor's vessel seems to have the ability to drift inside the vortex, outside of time; he left, but didn't go anywhere."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!"

"Sorry, sir. There is no way to know."

"Then send troops to every era in human society! Since the Doctor seems to love them so much, he'll be more comfortable with them and he's sure to go to them in some safe era, or so he thinks will be safe. We'll make sure to catch him though!"

"Yes, sir!"

---

The TARDIS stopped shuddering from its take-off. The Time Rotor was still going and the Master relaxed a little, so did everyone else. Mostly, some of them were still gawping.

"Are we just in the vortex?" Jack asked.

"Yes, I figured we needed a chance to collect ourselves before we go anywhere. Especially considering how they brought us there in the first place. If we aren't anywhere, they can't find us, can they?" the Master smirked.

"I suppose not," Jack conceded.

"You mean, we're not going home?" Rhys asked, obviously confused and getting angry.

"Not yet," Jack answered him. "We need to make sure everyone is okay and properly fed and rested and figure out what the hell to do in case we run into those psychos again."

The Master turned and picked the Doctor up, his skull flashed but he just gritted his teeth and made his way to the Med Bay. Martha, Rose and Jack had everyone follow.

"How far does this go?" Gwen asked.

"Still haven't found the end yet," Jack snickered.

Gwen nodded in wonder, Rhys didn't seem to care - he just wanted to put the heavy Donna and Wilfred down, Leo and Clive looked both scared and excited carrying Tish and Francine. The rest of the Torchwood team were fascinated, especially Tosh.

"Do you think the Doctor will let me have a look at how it all works?" Tosh asked, trying to look at everything all at once and trying to carry her half of Sylvia.

"Will you pay attention, Tosh?" Ianto barked.

"Maybe. We need to get him awake and make sure he's alright first, though," Jack smiled, carrying John into the Med Bay and answering Tosh. Tosh smiled with excitement.

"I hope he does, because I want to know too!" Luke chimed in behind them, carrying his mother with Mickey.

They all made it into the Med Bay and the heavy lifters put their charges down on gurneys. The Med Bay was huge, it was full of countless machines, handheld and larger. There were just enough beds for all the unconscious people.

"Guess the TARDIS is making sure we have everything we need. There's never been this many beds in here," Jack smiled.

"They don't call him 'The Doctor' for nothing, do they?" Owen said, looking around.

"His Medical Bay has always been impressive, as far as I know," Martha said, tending to her mother and sister.

Sylvia shot awake and shrieked with surprise.

"It's okay! You're safe now!" Jack said, walking over to her.

"Oh, where's Donna?" she asked.

Jack stepped aside to show Donna laying in the next bed. Sylvia sighed in relief.

"Is she alright?"

"I'm not sure. The only one who would know, is the Doctor and he's still out cold."

Sylvia got up slowly, sniffled and went to check on her father, on her other side. Francine woke up and Martha greeted her with a smile.

"You're awake! Don't worry, Mum, we're safe now. We're in the Doctor's TARDIS," Martha told her.

Francine visibly relaxed and sighed. She looked to her other daughter, who was still unconscious.

"Jack!" Rhys bellowed. "Anwen isn't waking up! What's wrong with her?"

"Is she going to be alright!?" Gwen asked.

"The infant is fine, it's just sleeping. Now, will you all shut the hell up!?" the Master shouted. He was bent over the Doctor, checking his vitals and checking his brain waves with a little handheld scanner. He growled and threw the device to the floor. He placed his fingertips on the Doctor's temples and closed his eyes.

Several people walked up to the Doctor's bedside, careful to stay out of the Master's way.

"Is he alright?" Jack dared to ask. The Master didn't answer.

Everyone went quiet and waited. When the Master opened his eyes, he sighed and ran his hands up through his hair.

"What is it?" Jack prompted.

"Nothing," the Master answered. "He's fine, he's just going to be unconscious for a few days."

"Is that the same with John then?" Pete asked.

"Yes, I believe so. He might wake up a bit sooner, though."

"So, why do you looked worried?" Martha asked the Master.

The Master gulped and looked up at them, "I don't have a few days."

"Oh," Martha said, looking scared.

"Well, could you suffice with my artron energy until he does wake up?" Jack asked.

"I don't know, maybe," the Master answered.

"Well, how would you go about completing your resurrection?" Luke asked.

"The Chameleon Arch, but I'd need the Doctor to feed the TARDIS's own energy into me and I doubt she'd do that for me on her own." the Master sighed.

The TARDIS surprised them all, though, with an answering warble. No one understood it, but the Master looked positively gleeful, when he dashed from the Med Bay and headed for the Console Room. Martha, Rose, Luke and most of Torchwood followed, leaving the others to tend to their sleeping friends.

"Is there anything I can do?" Ianto asked Jack.

"Not yet. Just look after everyone here," Jack replied and left to follow the Master to the Console Room.

They emerged into the Console Room and the Chameleon Arch was already dangling from the ceiling, the TARDIS's panel was open and glowing. Tosh and Luke went to look into the open panel but Jack and Rose pulled them away.

"Don't look in there. You never know what it might do to you," Jack said, pushing them back. They looked confused and excited. Jack realized he'd have to keep on his toes with these two. Who knew what trouble they'd get up to, trying to figure out how the TARDIS worked.

Wires snaked their way from the open panel and lay below the Arch. The Master cackled and connected all of the wires to their proper places. He sat down onto the pilot seat and positioned the Arch on his head.

He grinned at them all and said, "This is really going to hurt."

He threw a switch on the console with his foot and started screaming when the Arch activated. Blue energy was curling around the wires and engulfing the Master's body, his skull flashed a couple of times and then he started to glow gold again. This went on for a few minutes, the Master screaming the whole time. The Master's wounds healed and he actually started to look more solid, which was odd because, Jack could have sworn he was solid before this. Apparently he was wrong.

Torchwood, Rose, Martha and Luke were all watching, flabberghasted. When the energy ceased and the Arch turned itself off, the Master's glow faded and he slid to floor, breathing heavily. Then he started laughing, first in a low chuckle and slowly getting louder and higher until it was an insane cackle. They all watched him warily.

He stopped laughing, out of breath and smiled at them, "I'm back!"

TBC

Chapter Text

When they all went back to the Med Bay, everyone else was awake. Except the Doctor, John and Donna.

The Master went straight to the Doctor's bed side and immediately began tending his wounds and the other damage that damn machine had inflicted. He used a dermal mender on the burns on his temples and gaping holes in his palms. When he set the device aside, Jack grabbed it up and used it on John.

"I need one of those!" Owen exclaimed.

"That's what I said, the first time the Doctor used it on me," Martha said.

The Master snickered at them, while he used another device to repair brain damage. The Doctor still slept, though most of the physical damage was repaired.

The Master was deep in thought, while he tended to his oldest enemy. It occurred to the Master, that the only reason they had escaped from the Shadow Proclamation was because of sheer dumb luck, a lot of it. That sort of thing only ever happens when the Doctor is around. It makes you wonder, if there really is someone or something out there, keeping it's eye on the Doctor or if the Doctor really is just that lucky and fortunate (or unfortunate?). It also occurred to him, that most of the Doctor's luck has everything to do with his little humans.

While he was in the Doctor's head, trying to get him out of it, he saw some of the Doctor's memories. The memories that the Doctor holds in high regard; the memories of all of the times these people around him and dozens of others had saved the Doctor's life, at the risk of their own. Some of them even paid that price for him. The Doctor was truly grateful to all of them, even felt a bit guilty about them. The Doctor really and truly believes that he is below these creatures. The Master couldn't understand it, not when the Doctor and himself were so obviously above them.

What didn't occur to him over all of those years, all those centuries, he never once thought of how many times the Doctor might have died by someone else's hand, when he was out of his sight or when the Master wasn't there. Sure, he's tried to kill the Doctor himself a few times but never whole heartedly. It was always just a game to the Master, a game to drive the Doctor crazy. He didn't care how many humans he killed in the process, they didn't matter to him, but the Doctor cared. Every single one of them, the Doctor actually blames himself for every single life that is lost around him, even some when he isn't even there. It's a vicious circle for the Doctor. He's there and people die because he is there. He's not there and people die because he isn't there. It's almost like he can never truly win his victories, no matter how plentiful they are. The Doctor doesn't care how many times he does the deed, he only cares about how many people he can save or how many lives he can make better before time runs out. The Doctor just wants everyone to be happy and safe, even the Master. Even after everything the Master has done to him, he still cares about him. The only thing the Doctor ever gets out of his endeavors is the thrill of adventure and learning something new. It doesn't make any sense to the Master. It probably doesn't make any sense to anyone but the Doctor and even that is questionable. Why does he strive so hard for others and put himself last? It really doesn't make any sort of sense.

When Jack used the same device that the Master had used on the Doctor's brain on John, he started to wake up. Rose was there in a heartbeat, squeezing his hand and stroking his cheek.

John opened his eyes and everything was blurry for a minute, he groaned and put his hand to his head.

"John, sweetheart," Rose whispered. "Are you alright?"

"I think so, my head feels a bit better. Still twinges a bit," he blinked and looked around as his vision cleared. Rose was right next to him, her face hovering above his. Jack was on the other side, smiling. Pete, Jake, Jackie and Tony were hovering near by.

John sat up slowly, blinking. The light was hurting his eyes, but it would pass. When he settled on the edge of the bed, little Tony reached for him. John smiled and took him from Jackie's arms and held him in his. Tony hugged him and he gave Tony a kiss on the top of his head.

John looked over at the Doctor, in the bed next to his. "Is he alright?"

"He'll be fine," the Master grumbled. "He'll just sleep for a while."

"Are you alright?"

"I am now." The Master smirked. "The TARDIS was very kind and understanding."

John looked bemused. "Right. So, you've finished your resurrection, then?"

"Yes, I did."

"So, someone fill me in." John looked around. "How did we get out of there?"

The Master was only too happy to oblige, so he told him all the gory details.

"So, you were just going to leave the rest of us there?" John looked unsurprised.

"Yes, I was." The Master smiled.

"You never change, do you?"

The Master shook his head, still smiling a Cheshire grin.

"Doctor?" Wilfred said, walking up to John. "Or John was it?"

"Yes, I'm John, not the Doctor but I still remember you." John smiled. "What's the matter, Wilf?"

"It's Donna," Wilfred said, gesturing in her direction. "She's not waking up and before we all fell asleep, she was starting to remember the things the Doctor made her forget. Do you know? Is she going to be alright?"

John looked over at Donna, where Sylvia was sitting at her side, stroking her hair. He stood up, swayed a little but with Rose's help, he made his way over to Donna's bedside. He checked her vitals and pressed his fingers to Donna's temples and closed his eyes. Everyone was watching the scene, curiously. After a moment, John opened his eyes again.

"She's alright. She's just going to sleep for a few hours," John said, comforting Wilfred and Sylvia. "Like I thought, the Doctor put a defence mechanism in her head. It was designed to activate when she comes under such extreme duress as to unlock her memories."

"Wait," the Master said from his place beside the Doctor. "You're saying that psychic energy burst, that knocked all of us out, came out of her?" he pointed at Donna. "But she's human, she doesn't have the mental capacity for such a mechanism," then it dawned on him. "Oh, she was the other half of the metacrisis, wasn't she?" he raised his eyebrows.

"Oh, quick as ever!" John grinned.

"Hmph," the Master grunted, looking annoyed.

"What about when she wakes up?" Wilfred pushed.

"Yeah, I'm thinking perhaps we should put her in stasis until we can get her home," John told Wilfred and Sylvia.

"No! You can't do that!" Sylvia looked affronted.

"Because if she wakes up here, she will remember everything and her mind will burn and she will die." John raised his voice over Sylvia's objections, looking her in the eye and deadly serious.

"Wait, you mean she doesn't remember anything?" Luke asked, confused. He hadn't been listening when Wilfred told them about Donna's situation, back when they first arrived at the Shadow Proclamation. "She doesn't remember the Doctor? Not even who he is?"

"No," John said. "If she had remembered anything that she experienced or saw with the Doctor, even meeting him, the Time Lord part of her mind, the part that knows everything, would have usurped her human mind. But she has a human body, and a human body can't sustain a Time Lord's consciousness. There's just not enough room for all of that knowledge, her mind would have literally burned. Like a computer with too much data, it has no room to function and would short out. So, she had to forget. He had to lock it all away. All of it, everything she did, anywhere she went and any memories of or about the Doctor or the TARDIS. If not, she would have died. She still could die, if she remembers anything."

Rose looked like she was going to cry.

Martha was scared and sad for Donna, that she had to forget everything, had to forget the Doctor.

Jack felt even more guilty than when he first heard about Donna's situation. He left the Doctor, went back to Torchwood under the impression that the Doctor would still have Rose and Donna with him. Only to find out, that after all of those people, all of those friends that were in the Doctor's TARDIS after the end of the Davros crisis, they had all left him. Left him alone.

Sarah Jane was crying, holding her son Luke, who was crying as well. He'd met the Doctor several times and absolutely adored the alien, the only creature in the universe that actually understood him, cared about him, that could teach him new things. And he was left alone, he erased his best friend's memories of him, in order to save her life.

The Master looked at the Doctor's still form, curiously. He wasn't at all surprised about what the Doctor did.

"Do it, then," Wilfred said, his eyes flooded with tears.

"Alright." John nodded. "Jack, can you get the stasis chamber ready?"

"Sure thing." Jack nodded. "Owen, with me." They went through a door on the opposite wall, into the room where the stasis units were.

"Right, Martha." John turned to her. "I tau- no, the Doctor taught you how to prep a stasis subject. Can you get the proper medicines ready?"

"Sure." She went through the same door as Jack and Owen.

"Um, right, Pete can you help me carry her?"

"Let me do that, you daft sod." Rhys came over. "You can barely hold yourself up and we don't need you dropping the poor lass."

John chuckled. "I suppose not, sorry. Thank you."

Rhys picked Donna up carefully, the way the Master had carried the Doctor, and followed John and Rose through the same door as Jack, Owen and Martha. Sylvia and Wilfred followed close behind. Tosh and Luke followed, out of sheer curiosity.

---

In the next room, Rhys gingerly lay Donna down in the chamber of the stasis unit.

It looked exactly like the ones they used in Torchwood, Owen noted. Jack built the ones in Torchwood, he remembered. I guess we know where he got the design from, he thought. Comforting to know that we use state of the art Time Lord technology, he ruminated.

John put in the proper settings for the stasis unit, while Martha injected the medications into Donna's arm. Sylvia started crying and she kissed Donna's hand before she set it down at her side. Jack closed the case that held Donna and John activated it. He set the unit to stay active until it was manually switched off.

"Come on, then," John said. "I think we could all use a little sleep."

"Why can't you just take us home?" Sylvia asked.

"The TARDIS may have allowed the Master to pilot us away from the Shadow Proclamation but she only did that because the Doctor was in danger," John told them all honestly. "She doesn't like anyone but the Doctor to pilot her, not since what the Master did to her the last time she allowed him to pilot her. I don't think she'll allow him to touch her console again, she won't let me either, for that matter. She's scared of me, she's not sure what I am. So, I'm sorry, but we are stuck drifting in the Time Vortex until the Doctor wakes up."

"Couldn't you just talk us through piloting her?" Tosh asked.

"No," John sighed. "She doesn't know any of you. She doesn't trust humans to pilot her and she doesn't even want to be within a decade of Jack." Jack shrugged and sighed. "So, I'm sorry but no," John continued. "It's best we all get some sleep and decent food. I, for one, haven't eaten anything since before we were abducted. So, I am going to the kitchen before I find a room for Rose and I," he smiled and walked away.

Pregnant Rose followed saying, "Oh, I'm knackered."

"Oh, there's food!" Rhys said. "Good. Wait for me, John!"

Jack shook his head at them. "I suppose I should find rooms for everyone." And he left, Owen and Tosh in tow.

"Come on then, Sylvia, love," Wilfred said, almost dragging his daughter out of the stasis room.

Martha pulled Luke out of the room with her. "Come on, you. Let's get everyone and head to the kitchen."

---

Back in the Med Bay, John and Rose collected Pete, Jackie, Tony and Jake and headed for the kitchen. Rhys grabbed Anwen and Gwen and followed. Luke went to his mother and they followed to the kitchen as well.

"Right, you lot," Martha said to her family. "Let's get some food in our bellies and then I'll find rooms for everyone."

"You heard her!" Jack said to his team and Wilfred and Sylvia. "Let's go!" He ushered everyone out of the room to follow Martha, then turned back to the Master, who was still standing beside the Doctor. "I trust you can find your own way to the kitchen?"

"I know my way around a TARDIS, Freak," the Master answered.

"You should eat something." Jack sighed. "I doubt the Doctor would appreciate it if you neglected your own needs just because you're worried about him."

"I'm not worried about him," the Master said, slightly affronted. "And I never neglect my own needs. Surely, you should know that by now, Captain."

"Uh huh." Jack smirked. "Sure." And he left the room, casting one last knowing smile in the Master's direction.

After Jack left, the Master let his mask slip. He stroked the Doctor's hair and gave him a light peck on the lips.

TBC

Chapter Text

By the time that Jack made it to the kitchen, it was full. Too full. Everyone was in there, the TARDIS seemed to have stretched it to fit everyone in. The room was filled with chatter and laughter and happy faces. Jack stood there in the doorway, smiling and watching all of his friends.

The TARDIS had also taken it upon herself to make them dinner. There was a veritable banquet prepared for them. Sarah Jane and Francine were doling out food onto everyone's plates. Tosh and Tish were pooring soft drinks for everyone. Ianto was making coffee and tea. There was a spot saved at the table for Jack and also one for the Master, though Jack doubted that he would be using it.

John was scarfing down his food like a mad man. There's another odd thing to see the Doctor do, he must be really hungry. Well, he hasn't eaten for three days, so he had every reason to be ravenously hungry. Rose was just laughing at his messy table manners. She wasn't being particularly self-conscious about her own eating habits either but then, she's pregnant and eating for two. Another of many obvious signs that they were made for each other. Which, in John's case, can be taken quite literally.

The TARDIS had even supplied baby food, as Gwen was feeding little Anwen in between taking bites of her own food. Rhys was eating enough food to settle an elephant and he was drinking a beer with his dinner. Pete had a beer in front of him as well, little Tony was on his lap, eating with his fingers. Luke and Jake were wolfing down food and chatting with each other between chewing. They seemed to be playing games with their food as well, trying to see who could get more in their mouth. Leo and Mickey were chatting and drinking beer. Clive was talking with Wilfred about foot ball. Owen and Martha were talking doctor stuff. Sylvia was talking with Jackie about motherhood.

Jack finally took his seat next to Sarah Jane and she piled his plate full of food. Jack smiled and started to dig in, when the Master walked in. The room hushed slightly, but the Master ignored it. He didn't even show that he registered their presence. He went over to the counter, grabbed a banana out of the fruit bowl, peeled it and started eating it as he went to walk away.

"What is it with Time Lords and bananas?" Martha asked everyone in general, an amused smile on her face.

"Potassium, Miss Jones," the Master muttered, walking to the door.

"It's Smith, now. Mrs. Smith. And what about potassium?"

"Two hearts, Miss Jones. Two hearts." The Master ignored her correction and walked out of the kitchen.

"Oh, right," Martha said, nodding and feeling stupid. Of course, potassium is vital to a healthy heart and they have two of them, she mentally kicked herself.

"That and bananas are good," John added, smiling. Half of the people at the table laughed, remembering how the Doctor always says the same thing.

---

After dinner, they showed everyone where the Doctor's closet was, so everyone could grab some fresh clothes and something to sleep in. Tish and Tosh were absolutely flabberghasted at the closet. Martha had to almost drag her sister out of it.

Then Jack and Martha found rooms for everyone that had never been on the TARDIS before. Martha found separate rooms for all of her family members, her mom, her dad, her sister and her brother. They all found rooms that suited their own tastes and needs. All with en suite bathrooms.

John and Rose found rooms for their family, a gigantic room for him and Rose with a king sized bed, a TV and a refrigerator full of snacks for Rose when she gets hungry.

Pete and Jackie had their own room, a slightly over extravagant space with a bed and toys for Tony.

Jake found a room with a big bed and piles of video games.

Sarah Jane found her old room, with an extra bed for Luke.

Tish was absolutely ecstatic about her room. It was big, with a big queen sized four poster bed, and almost everything was purple. There was a door leading to the Doctor's closet. Martha rolled her eyes and left her to it.

Leo's looked like a bachelor pad, even though he isn't a bachelor. He seemed happy with it. If he was worried about his wife and kid, he didn't show it.

Her mother, Francine's room looked a bit fancy, with creme and gold colors everywhere and a door leading right to Tish's room and another door leading to Leo's.

Her father, Clive's room was a basic and slightly spartan room. White walls and blue bed clothes on a full sized bed, but with a giant TV on the wall.

Her own room, now made to fit her and Mickey, looked just like it had before. Only the bed was bigger and there was an extra dresser. She took a shower, changed into her night clothes and crawled in bed, next to her husband.

Jack found a good room for Gwen and Rhys. It was mostly basic, but had a big bed and a cradle for Anwen. They had everything they would need to care for Anwen, clothes and diapers and toys galore. There was a big screen TV and a small refrigerator stocked with beer and snacks. The TARDIS really had Rhys covered and Gwen was happy as long as he was happy.

Tosh found a room full of books and computers, with just a small bed making it a bedroom.

"Make sure you sleep for a little while," Jack told her and left her to herself.

Owen found his own bachelor pad. Since he was technically dead, he didn't need much. The room looked awesome though.

Jack took Ianto to find him a room but when he opened the door, that should have been a room for Ianto, he found himself in his old room. They found it just as Jack had left it, but the bed was slightly bigger.

"Well, I guess that works." Jack smiled. "This is my room. Make yourself comfortable, Ianto. I'll go find rooms for Wilfred and Sylvia and be right back."

"Sure." Ianto smiled from ear to ear and slunk into the room.

Jack went off and found a room for Sylvia and a room for Wilfred.

Wilfred's room was just what you'd expect from an old soldier, not much. Just a bed and a dresser, with a small TV.

Sylvia's was a typical mother's room, not a whole lot of character, but a gentle atmosphere and filled with nice things. Everything was white or creme colored but her bed clothes were a soft violet color.

Apparently, it was just like her room at home. She sniffled and cried into Jack's chest for a few minutes and Jack sat with her and rubbed her back until she stopped crying. After she settled down, Jack saw that there was now a door leading to Wilfred's room, for Sylvia to go to him if she needed someone. Obviously, everything that's happened to her and her daughter is just too much for her. She's not the kind of person who can comfortably lead a life on the move. A life on the TARDIS. A life knowing the Doctor.

---

Leo was lying in his bed, thinking about his wife and baby. Wondering if they were worried about him, he hoped they were okay. To try and distract himself, he drank a beer and found some adult programming to watch.

He really hoped the Doctor would wake up soon, he wanted to go home. If only he could at least call them.

---

Pete was in the shower and Jackie was in a rocking chair, rocking Tony to sleep. She was worried about her family. If they would make it back home. What would happen if they couldn't? They have to go back to that little flat, until Pete could get a job and make money, with no resume of any kind, no identity. Hopefully, if it comes to that, the Doctor would be able to do something for them, to make it right. Like he did for Martha and Mickey, when they were left with nothing because they were helping him. She knows it's not his fault, the Doctor doesn't ask for trouble, it just finds him and drags anyone who's with him into it as well, not caring whether they have lives to get back to.

She's really worried and she hopes the Doctor will wake up soon and make everything right again.

---

Ianto was waiting patiently for Jack to return. He had undressed and showered and was waiting in Jack's bed. Hopefully, he wouldn't be too much longer because Ianto was becoming anxious. His body was waiting for Jack in anticipation, so much so that he was almost ready to do it himself.

---

Gwen had just gotten baby Anwen down to sleep. She went to take a shower in their very luxurious shower and after a few minutes, Rhys joined her. She smiled and kissed him. They held each other close, doing a little more than showering.

---

After getting their family settled in for the night, John and Rose retired to their room. It was a very big room, too big, Rose thought.

"Why is the room so big?" she asked. "Not that I'm complaining, it's beautiful, but my last room wasn't even half so big."

"This is because of who the room is for, either it's because I'm a copy of the Doctor or it's because the TARDIS missed you, Rose Tyler-Smith. Could be both, but this is nothing," John said, starting to undress and head for the bed. "You should see the Doctor's room."

Rose smiled, the TARDIS missed her? "What's the Doctor's room like?"

"It's...bigger," was all he said and he crawled into bed in just his boxers.

Rose just nodded and started to undress herself. Her baby bump was only just starting to show, you could only tell it was there if you looked for it.

She removed her bra and was about to head for the dresser to find a night shirt, when she changed her mind. Her hormones were getting the better of her and were telling not to sleep just yet, so she took her panties off and climbed into bed. She didn't even bother with romance, just edged closer to her husband, her hands finding the waistband of his boxers.

John had just closed his eyes to relax, when warm lips attached themselves to his own and gentle fingers found their way to their prize. He acquiesced and kissed Rose back, one hand behind her head, his fingers tangled in her long blonde locks. His other hand was slowly moving down her soft body. He felt Rose's fingers encircle him, he moaned and her lips smiled against his own, then she sat up and pulled his boxers down and off and flung them to the floor. She climbed over him and straddled his hips, a smile on her face and she was biting her lip.

John smiled right back, he chuckled a little with his eyebrows raised, his hands settled on her hips.

TBC

Chapter Text

After he got Sylvia settled, Jack went back to the Med Bay to check on the Doctor. Jack wasn't surprised to see that the Master was still in there. He was surprised, however, when he saw that the Master was sleeping in a chair, hunched over the edge of the Doctor's bed with his hand in the Doctor's.

Jack knew it. The Master had it bad for the Doctor. He has probably had feelings for the man for centuries, but refuses to show it. So, instead he lashes out, like a child bullying the person he likes. Jack had suspected it since when he first met him. The way he always goes after the Doctor, the way his plans always involve the Doctor, somehow.

Jack walked over and gently shook the Master's shoulder. The Master snapped awake and sat up so fast he almost fell out of the chair.

"Whoa!" Jack said, stepping back. "Careful!"

The Master sighed and rubbed his face with his hands. "What do you want?" came his muffled query.

"Just came to see how the Doctor was doing," Jack replied. "I was thinking, if all he's going to do is sleep for a few days, why don't we move him to his own room? Make him more comfortable? Then you can go to your own room and get some decent rest."

"I've never been in the Doctor's room," the Master mused. "It's the only room the TARDIS wouldn't let me enter the last time, when I took her."

"I've never seen it either," Jack said. "Do you think anyone has seen it?"

"Probably not, if I know him. Which I do."

"Well, let's grab him and go find it. Should be interesting. I hope the TARDIS cooperates, don't want to wander around for hours carrying dead weight."

"She should cooperate, it's the Doctor after all. She'll do anything, if it's for him."

So, they picked up the Doctor. Each had an arm under his shoulders and back and the other under his knees and thighs, they cradled the Doctor, carrying him delicately between them, careful not to jostle him about.

The door to the Med Bay opened on it's own and it was directly connected to a bedroom. The Doctor's bedroom.

It was huge, fifty foot high ceilings, intricately decorated walls and shelves of books and trinkets everywhere and a king sized mahogany four poster bed in the center of it all. Everything was crimson and gold colors, white marble and rose wood fixtures, blood red plush carpeting. The bed clothes were a burnt orange color. Two big crystal chandeliers, made with a crimson glass crystal, hung from the high ceilings at either end of the room. Jack noticed that the crystals on the chandeliers were shaped like stars and moons. The room was slightly reminiscent of a palace. A huge stained glass window depicted the Citadel of the Time Lords. Artificial sunlight filtered through, bathing the room in every color of the rainbow and even some colors that Jack had never seen before or even fathomed. Dozens of Tiffany floor lamps lined the walls and stood beside shelves and there were grandfather clocks in every corner. There were several reading chairs and sofas around the shelves and on either side of the bed. There were two over-sized doors leading to other rooms that Jack was anxious to see for himself. The room was absolutely stunning and very beautiful. Calling it a "room" was the biggest understatement ever.

The size and luxury of the room and the bed didn't really seem like the Doctor's taste, but they had an inkling that the Doctor didn't have much say in the matter. The TARDIS held him in such high regard and she loved him so much, that she probably thought he deserved the very best, even if he didn't really care for it. But the style and colors of the furnishings and the luxuries screamed "Doctor!". Stars and moons and nebulas were everywhere, there was red all over the place, the Doctor's favorite color. The ceiling looked like a night sky, not just paintings of stars and moons like you would have in a childs room, it actually looked like you were seeing a real night sky. The chandeliers seemed to be floating in space.

Jack whistled at the size of the place, as they edged over to the bed. The Master kicked his boots off before climbing up onto it backwards carrying the Doctor over and Jack kicked his own shoes off and kneeled on the bed, to get the Doctor in the middle of it. They struggled for a moment to get his jacket off before they gently lay him down on the silken sheets, his head on the pillow. The Master took the Doctor's tie off and undid the top few buttons of his shirt, while Jack removed the Doctor's shoes and they gently tucked him into the thick satin comforter.

The lamps in the room lit themselves and the artificial sunlight changed to a moonlight glow. The Master sat next to the Doctor, leaning against the head board and looked around the gargantuan room. Jack sat on the other side and did the same thing.

"Wow," Jack said. "No wonder he doesn't want anyone to see his room. I wonder how many times he's argued with the TARDIS about the size of this place?"

"Considering he's a rather conservative person when it comes to himself, besides his clothing," the Master mused. "He's probably argued with her more times than he can count but, the TARDIS won't be dissuaded from what she thinks is correct. Hell, the room she gave me isn't half this size."

"My room isn't even that big," Jack remarked.

"She even made his bed the colors of the Prydonian Chapter." The Master chuckled.

"The what?"

"The academy that he and I went to on Gallifrey."

"Oh. I'm curious about where those doors go."

"Same here."

They crawled off of the bed and stood up and went to the first giant door. They opened it to find a bathroom the size of a small villa.

"Oh, my goodness," Jack said.

The Master giggled, astounded.

It was brightly lit, as though with sunlight. There was a huge stone bath, a shower room that most people would kill for, another small room for the toilet and a bidet, and a vanity that could cause women to start cat fights.

"Oh, I so want this bathroom," Jack said, smiling and looking around.

The Master giggled again, his eyebrows at his hairline.

Once they finished marvelling at the huge bathroom (another major understatement), they went to the other door which led to the Doctor's closet.

"Ha!" Jack exclaimed. "I've always wondered where the huge door led to. It's always locked. Now I know why."

"Oh! Hi there!" Tish came out of the racks of clothing, wearing a very fetching low-cut, sparkly, violet evening gown, it was a bit snug in all the right places. She was barefoot but her hair was up in a tight bun.

"Tish!" Jack said, stepping further into the room. "What are you doing in here? Shouldn't you be sleeping?"

"Oh! Yeah, I suppose." Tish smiled. "But I just couldn't resist. My room had a door leading right to this place. I guess this lovely ship knows I adore clothes and playing dress up." Tish smiled wider and looked around the room in wonder, "I just can't get over how beautiful this place is, this magnificent and very wonderfully alien little world in here. How do I look?" She turned around for Jack and the Master to appraise.

"Good enough to eat!" Jack said, smiling his charming toothy grin. The Master just raised an eyebrow at her.

Tish giggled and then caught a glimpse of the room beyond the door they had come through. "Oh! What's in there?"

"Oh, that's nothing." Jack waved a dismissive hand but Tish walked right past them and into the Doctor's bedroom. "Oh, hey. You shouldn't...," Jack started.

"Wow, look at this place." Tish ignored Jack and looked around. She saw the bed and the Doctor nestled in it. "Oh, is this his room?" she walked over to the Doctor's bed.

"So, you guys brought him to his room to make him more comfortable?" Tish looked at them. "You sweethearts!" she said, smiling. She crawled onto the bed and over to the Doctor. She sat on her heels next to him and brushed a few stray hairs off of his forehead, a gentle smile on her lips.

The Master looked a little irked. Jack just grinned wider and chuckled.

"Since all he needs is a little sleep, we thought it might be better for him to wake up in his own bed. It's far more comfortable than those hard things in the Med Bay," Jack said, stepping up to the bed.

Tish smiled and bounced a little on the bed for a second. "It is really cozy," she smiled.

"This place seems a bit big for him, though. I'd have thought he'd have a more reserved sort of space," she said, looking around.

"The TARDIS loves her Doctor," Jack stated, a smirk on his face.

"Perhaps, a little too much," the Master put in, looking around again.

"What are you lot doing in here?" came the Doctor's voice. They all looked around to see John at the door that Jack and the Master had brought the Doctor through.

"Oh," Jack said, feeling like a child caught alone in his parents bedroom. "We just thought we'd make him more comfortable. So, we brought him in here, then had a look around. Tish was in the closet when we looked through that door."

"Ah," John said, smiling gently. "Oh, don't look so nervous. It's not like you've done something wrong, Captain. Unless you have?"

"No!" Jack put his hands up in a defensive gesture. "Completely innocent, here. What about you? I thought you were sleeping?"

"Oh, I just thought I'd check on him before I went to sleep." John nodded toward the Doctor. "I was just, um, helping Rose get to sleep before I made my way here. "

"Uh huh, sure." Jack smirked. John smiled.

"Will you take a bath or something?" the Master grimaced. "I can smell it on you." John burst with laughter.

"Smell what?" Tish asked, innocently.

John cleared his throat, ignored the question. "Anyway, I went to the Med Bay but the door opened up here," John smiled and crawled onto the bed and settled on the Doctor's other side. Leaning up against the head board, his legs out and his ankles crossed, he looked around with a nostalgic smile on his face. "Honestly, I have sort of missed this place."

Jack took his coat off and laid it over the end of the bed, he crawled onto the bed and sat next to Tish.

"It was always too big, but no matter how much you didn't really like it, you still miss your own bed after a while." John bounced a little on the bed, his lips pressed together.

"Will you people stop bouncing him around!?" the Master snapped.

"Oh, tetchy," John said, furrowing his brow. "I don't know if you've noticed, but motion doesn't carry on this bed." John bounced again, the Doctor didn't budge at all.

"Just get away from him!" the Master said through clenched teeth, getting more and more irritated.

"Oy! You settle down, now!" John iterated. "You sound like a mother hen or a child on the playground who's afraid of the cootie monster getting his little girlfriend."

Tish and Jack laughed. The Master scowled.

"What's going on in here?" Francine came in through the door to the closet, that was left open. The Master sighed heavily at the arrival of yet another person.

"Oh, Mum!" Tish said from her spot next to the Doctor. "We were just admiring the Doctor's bedroom."

"Oh, heavens!" Francine looked around, her eyes wide. "Oh, wow! I could use a room like this! It's so...but it doesn't seem very Doctor-like."

"That's what we were saying," Jack said while chuckling.

"Ah, the TARDIS is very opinionated when it comes to her pilot's comfort," John supplied. "The room wasn't this big to begin with, but after about four hundred years of saving the universe, one day it was suddenly the size of a cathedral. Asked her 'why?' and she said it suited him better than the cupboard he was in before. That was the word she used for the previous room, 'cupboard'. Even though it was twice the size of Jack's room, which is only slightly bigger than the Console Room."

Jack nodded, raising his eyebrows. "Fairly decent size."

"How is he?" Francine asked, nodding at the Doctor. She went over to the edge of the bed and sat down. The Master looked to be bristling ever so slightly.

"Still sleeping." John smiled. "He'll be fine, in a few days he'll be back with us. Don't worry, a little noise isn't going wake him and company might actually do him some good. He might be asleep, but he can still feel our presence and the Doctor does so hate to be alone."

Francine smiled and edged a little closer. They felt the bed dip when the Master sat down, arms crossed, at the foot of the bed rather roughly, which was an accomplishment on that bed. His face was set in a deep angry scowl. Obviously, he was angry with John for speaking the truth about why they shouldn't rush to leave the room, but decided to just sit quietly and tap his drum beat on the bed post.

"Jack?" Ianto inquired, coming in through the door that should lead to the Med Bay but still seems to be leading to the Doctor's room.

"Ianto," Jack replied.

"I was just wondering where you went, you never came back." Ianto gave a shy smile.

"I went to check on the Doctor. We decided to make him more comfortable in his own room and this is what we found." Jack looked around again. "It's a little overwhelming. I got a bit distracted, sorry Yan."

"It's alright," Ianto said, coming into the room, gawking at the size of it. "I never imagined the Doctor would have a room like this."

"We were just talking about that," Tish said. "Apparently, it's the TARDIS's handy work."

"Oh," the Welshman said, looking around some more. He mindlessly sat on the bed next to Jack, still staring around the room. "Is it alright for us to be in here?"

"Yeah," Jack said. "If it wasn't, the TARDIS wouldn't have let any of us in."

"Okay," Ianto replied, finally looking down at the Doctor's form, nestled in the covers. "He looks comfortable."

"Yeah, I bet he's happy right now too. He can tell we're here and I bet the happier we all are around him, perhaps he'll wake up sooner." John smiled. "If only we had some tea."

Suddenly, they heard the shriek of a kettle, they all jumped and turned to see another smaller door, on the wall to one side of the closet, that was not there before.

"Oh, you sentimental old thing," John said to the ceiling.

"I'll get it," Ianto said and he rushed through the small door, that led directly into the kitchen.

"Oh, I love this ship," Tish breathed, smiling.

He emerged five minutes later, with a tray of eight tea cups and Luke and Jake following behind him, carrying a plate of biscuits and a plate of Jaffa cakes and the midnight snacks that they had obviously snuck to the kitchen for. Luke and Jake looked around the room in awe and sat down at the foot of the bed, by the Doctor's feet. Ianto handed the tea around (the Master took his grudgingly) and put the tray with the creme and sugar near the middle of the bed, next to the Doctor's legs. They put the plates of treats next to the tray. It was nice to have a bed that didn't transfer motion, no need to worry about anything spilling.

They all sat there, gathered around the Doctor, chatting and eating and drinking tea. It went on for about an hour until Rose came looking for John.

"You weren't kidding when you said his room was bigger," Rose mumbled, gaping at the size and the onslaught of colors.

After a cup of tea and a few Jammy Dodgers, Rose dragged John off, back to their bedroom and then they all started drifting off, back to their own rooms to sleep. Jack, Ianto and the Master were the last ones left in the bedroom with the sleeping Time Lord. Ianto returned all of the food stuffs and kitchenware to the kitchen, he even used a hand brush and dust pan to brush the crumbs off of the bed.

Jack tucked the Doctor in more snugly, leaned over him and gave him a kiss on his forehead before he crawled off of the bed and made his way to the door. Ianto preceded him out of the Med Bay door, Jack turned in the doorway to address the Master. "You should get some sleep too, you know. If you promise not to try anything, I'll let you stay in here with him. I'm sure he'd like the company." Jack smirked.

"You'll 'let me' stay in here?" The Master glared at him. "Since when do you tell me what I can and can't do, Freak?"

Jack just smiled his winning toothy "Jack" grin and left with only a chuckle.

The Master's scowl deepened (it's going to be permanent, if he doesn't stop that), he went and closed all the doors and locked them. He used the Doctor's spectacular shower, but he couldn't find a towel. When he emerged from the bathroom naked, dripping wet and clean shaven, there was a fluffy white towel and black silk pajamas on the foot of the Doctor's bed.

He smirked. "Why are you being so backwardly nice to me?" The TARDIS answered by turning down the lights and letting a book plop out of nowhere onto the bed beside the doctor. The Master dried himself and dressed in the soft pajamas. He picked up the book and looked at the title, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll". It was a first edition, the version that wasn't editted or reworded many times over. "Are you trying to tell me something, dear?" the Master asked. He got no answer.

He crawled into bed and settled right next to the Doctor. It didn't take him long to read the book cover to cover, he was a beyond adept speed reader. He felt stupid when he was finished. There was a reason he never liked Earth literature. Humans are below Time Lords, but sometimes, every now and then, you'll get one human who is smarter than they should be. Normally, this book would make no sense to most people but it seemed to make perfect sense to the Master and it left him with a strange sense of foreboding. Maybe I'm just over-tired, he thought.

He blinked, tossed the book aside and burrowed into the covers. He pulled the Doctor close, buried his face in his hair and fell asleep as soon as he closed his eyes.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Master dreamt of rocking horseflies and angry dormice playing drums, when he was woken up by Jack's voice in his ear, "You know, when you let your guard down, you make it very obvious where your hearts really lie."

His face still buried in the Doctor's hair, the Master's eyes flew open. He turned his head to look up at Jack who was hovering over him, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Jack chuckled when he saw the pompous and emotionless Master blush slightly. The Master looked away, only to see that almost everyone else, who was currently in residence on the TARDIS, was staring at him. Rose Tyler (Tyler-Smith), The Abomination (John Smith), Martha Jones (Smith), Mickey Smith, Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith, Wilfred Mott, Letitia Jones (Tish), Francine Jones, Leo Jones, Clive Jones, Gwen Cooper with the infant (Anwen Cooper-Williams), The Dead Man (Owen Harper), Toshiko Sato, Pete Tyler, Jackie Tyler with the small one (Tony Tyler), The One with Adult ADHD (Jake Simmonds) and of course, The Freak (Captain Jack Harkness). Most of them were smirking, others were gaping, John was covering his face with his hand.

"I still can't get over this room," Martha muttered, looking up at the ceiling.

"Me either," Gwen said, looking around.

The Master groaned and pulled the blanket over his head. A few people laughed, Jack settled onto the bed behind the Master, leaning against the headboard. Rose climbed onto the bed and lay on the Doctor's other side, her head propped up on her elbow. She reached over the Doctor and rubbed the Master's arm through the blanket.

"Nothing wrong with showing that you love him." Rose smiled. The Master grumbled something no one could hear, in a language no one spoke, except John. He was mostly human, but he still had the Time Lord hearing.

"Oy! Watch your language!" John yelled. "Did you kiss your mother with that mouth?" he asked sarcastically.

"I never kissed my mother," they heard the Master's muffled response. "Killed her the first chance I got." The mothers in the room made sounds of indignation.

"The sad part is," John started. "I believe you."

"She was insufferable and she had it coming!"

"You said the same thing about your dad." John sighed.

"He had it coming centuries in advance. He was the biggest asshole Gallifrey ever produced, myself included." The Master was still buried under the blanket.

John laughed. Rose, Martha and Jack couldn't help but chuckle even with the grim subject. Tish giggled a bit with Gwen and Tosh.

"All before you could even graduate. What about the TARDIS driving instructor?" John asked. "You killed him too, before he could even give out the results of the test."

"That's what he got for failing the Doctor, just because of his lineage."

"Oh, you're so sweet."

"His lineage?" Jack asked.

"Yeah, we never told you?" John looked bemused. "The Doctor's part human."

"WHAT?!" everyone shouted. Their shocked faces quickly turned into huge smiles.

"I thought that Architect lady was kidding just to rile up the Master," Pete said, shrugging his shoulders.

"No. His mother was human," John explained. "But the Council decided to alter his DNA in the womb. Said they didn't want that stain on Gallifrey's name. So, he's mostly Time Lord. They couldn't remove all of the human DNA without endangering the viability of the embryo."

Sounds of outrage were heard, several of them were looking at the Doctor with a new found love and respect. They were feeling more akin to him, now that they had learned he was one of them and some of his mystery had dissipated.

"First Time Lord born naturally in... Oh, what was it? Five million years?" John added.

"What do you mean, 'born naturally'?" Rose inquired, her hand on the Doctor's cheek, her thumb stroking his cheek bone.

"It's complicated," was all John said, tilting his head to one side. "Anyway, back on topic. Is our friendly mass murderer going to get out of bed? Or do you want to snuggle into the Doctor's hair some more?"

"Will you people get lost, so I can get dressed?" the Master muttered from under the blanket.

"No," was John's blunt answer.

"Why not?" was the Master's exasperated response.

John laughed a little. "Because I am dying to see how red your face is right now."

The Master growled.

"I don't think I've seen you blush since the academy days," John continued. "Not since that time Ushas grabbed your crotch in front of the whole class while you were trying to solve a complex equation on the blackboard."

The Master sighed. The women giggled. The men chuckled. The Master groaned, getting angry.

"Who's Ushas?" Rose asked, still lying next to the Doctor.

"A classmate that Koschei here had a crush on." John smirked. The Master growled. John continued, "She was always doing strange experiments. That time she was attempting to make Koschei's face change into something that wasn't a scowl. She succeeded. Little Koschei's face turned beet red and his eyes looked like a deer caught in the headlights."

"They don't need to know that and don't call me Koschei!" the Master shouted from under the blanket. John chuckled.

"You know, when we first met him, he came across as a real monster," Tish mused. "Even on the Valiant, during that year he was just a hateful beast. But the more I see him in this situation, it's easier to see that he's just a person, with troubles too big for him to handle. Just like the rest of us. He's just smarter and has a longer life span."

Several people mumbled their agreement. The Master growled again, louder this time.

"How could you say that?" Clive asked. "After everything he's done, you laugh at his morbid jokes and paint him to be a good person and compare him to us?"

"You laugh at the Doctor's jokes. Don't you, Dad?" Martha asked him, frowning. John frowned himself, he saw where this was going.

"Well, yes. He's the Doctor," Clive answered, looking bemused.

"No matter how many people the Master has killed," John said, looking grim. "The Doctor is still leading the statistic for 'Lives Lost'."

Clive looked sad and thoughtful, like he was trying to come up with an excuse for the Doctor. Several excuses came to mind, but they sounded like just that, excuses.

"Will you stupid, tiny little apes get lost?" the Master ground out.

"There's no need to be rude," Gwen said.

"Leave! Or I'll slaughter all of you and eat you for dinner!"

"Well, there's an exaggeration, if I ever heard one," Martha mumbled.

"It's not an exaggeration. I've eaten humans before, I won't hesitate to do it again. You taste quite good."

A shocked silence fell over the room.

"You know how they say everything tastes like chicken?" the Master continued. "Well, you don't taste like chicken. More like a salty pork flavor with a little hint of beef. Kind of stringy."

"All right you lot," John told everyone, plastering a fake smile onto his face. "Get yourselves to the kitchen and help yourselves to breakfast, give the Master a chance to make himself presentable before he gets too cranky and starts eating people or throwing things. Preferrably before he finds his laser."

He ushered them all through the door to the kitchen, that was still there from last night. Everyone left, except for John, Jack and Rose. John climbed onto the bed and settled behind Rose. He leaned against the headboard and sighed.

"I thought you were going let me get dressed?" the Master grumbled from under the covers. "Why are you still here? Are you going to leave on your own or would you prefer that I break your necks and throw you out."

John sighed again, a little exasperated with the Master, "I think I need to have a chat with you."

"Oh? About what?"

"About your constant facade."

"What facade?"

"The facade you put up to make yourself look scary, to protect yourself with. Though, what you need protecting from here, I haven't the foggiest. You're a Time Lord, for heaven's sake! I thought you said that you were superior to everything else in the universe? So what are you so afraid of?"

"I am superior to everything else and it's not a facade or a mask or anything like that. I'm not hiding from anything!"

"Really? 'Cause you look like your hiding pretty well under that blanket," Jack said.

The Master flung the blanket off and glared at Jack.

"Oh, there you are!" Jack said with a cheeky smile gracing his chiselled features.

The Master's face was still slightly red, though from anger, humiliation or just from being under the blanket, they didn't know. Probably a little of each.

"Tell me something, Freak?" the Master started, putting a manic grin on his face. "Do you enjoy being eviscerated?"

"See! There it is! The mask of the villain!" John yelled. "It's a compulsion with you, isn't it?"

"It's not a mask or a facade," the Master said, grinning. "It's me!"

"It is a mask! You're always trying to make yourself scary, trying to chase your demons away by making yourself look worse. Though, you would probably say 'stronger'. But that's not you, I know it's not. I've seen the real you, when you were younger. I don't know what happened to make you change so much or where the drums came from but there's no need for you to hide behind the stony face of some villainous leviathan. Why can't you just act like the person that you are?"

"I rather like the sound of 'villainous leviathan' but what's your point?" The Master was obviously furious.

"My point is: If you make yourself too frightening and try too hard to get rid of them, you don't scare away your demons. You become one of them and you scare away your angels. Once their light is gone, you're lost forever. You should stop before you chase them all away. This time, when the Doctor offers to help you, you should take his offer and at least let him try." John flew off the bed and headed for the kitchen without another word. Rose followed quickly, wanting to comfort her husband.

Once they left the room, Jack said, "He may only be part Time Lord, or an 'abomination' as you say. But you have to remember that he is a copy of the Doctor, with the Doctor's thoughts, feelings and memories. Everything he said, was from the Doctor's personal experiences, the things he learned the hard way. I know that lesson all too well myself. I scared away all of my angels, but when I realized what I'd done, I took the scary mask off and found some more bright shining and magnificent angels and waited for my lonely angel to return. Why do you think the Doctor always has a companion with him? So he can find his way in the endless darkness. So that there's someone there to keep him from stumbling and to pick him up when he falls."

Jack got up and went to the kitchen, leaving the Master alone with the sleeping Doctor.

The Master propped himself up on his elbow and tipped the Doctor's head to face him. He stared at him for a minute, deep in thought.

After a few minutes contemplation, the Master leaned over and kissed the Doctor on the lips. Not quite passionate, but not quite chaste either. When he pulled away, he sighed and got out of bed. He went to the closet to find clothes that weren't tattered and were a little more his style.

TBC

Chapter Text

In the kitchen, Sylvia, Rhys and Ianto made a huge full English breakfast. Everyone was seated at the over long table, passing platters around and chatting. Ianto was pouring coffee, tea and orange juice, seemingly happy in his element. Always the graceful server and a perfect gentleman. There were two spots open again this time, when Jack walked in. Jack took his coat off and hung on the back of the chair before he sat down, across from John this time, leaving the head of the table open.

"Is Mr. Antihuman going to be joining us?" Martha asked, dripping with sarcasm.

"Not sure," Jack answered, loading up his plate. "Maybe. If he's hungry, he will. I don't think the TARDIS is going to let him cut corners and avoid us."

John smirked. "You're probably right."

Martha chewed some bacon and shrugged her shoulders.

"Think we can enlist the TARDIS to help us make the Master into a real person?" Jack asked, smiling deviously. "Or at least get him to act like one?"

Suddenly something fell from nowhere and landed on the table in front of Jack with a loud thud. It was the Master's laser screwdriver, with a note attached: "Hide me!"

Jack met John's eyes and they both slowly smirked.

"I guess that's a 'yes'." John grinned.

Jack stuffed the laser screwdriver into the breast pocket of his great coat, he just made it in time for the Master to walk into the kitchen.

He stood at the door, glaring around the room, dressed in a black suit and tie and shiny black shoes. Tish and Francine went slightly pale at the sight of him, haunted by memories of that image, before shaking themselves and remembering that they weren't at his mercy anymore. That time has long since passed, he is not their "Lord and Master" anymore and never will be again. He's different this time, somehow.

The Master grumbled at the sight of all the annoying little humans and walked over to the fruit bowl. He grabbed an apple and tried to walk away again, like last night but John and Jack stood up and as if rehearsed, they walked over to the Master, grabbed an arm each and dragged him over to the table. They sat him at the head of the table, ignoring his protests.

The Master looked at the two of them dubiously, watching each of them as they piled the Master's plate with food. Most of the people at the table were watching, waiting for the fireworks to start.

"What are you two up to?" the Master asked, warily. He stared at the food in front of him, as though it might attack him.

"Trying to get you to socialize," Jack said.

"Or at least get you comfortable with the idea of eating with us," John added.

"As well as making sure you eat properly," Martha put in, handing Jack the bowl of hashbrowns.

"As well as helping you to enjoy the little luxuries at least," Ianto said, pouring the Master a cup of tea.

"We also would like to enjoy your company." Gwen smiled, feeding baby Anwen and making funny little aeroplane noises.

"The Doctor would want you to be happy and to get along with everyone." Rose smiled.

Everyone was watching him expectantly.

"It's not poisoned, I promise." John smirked.

After several minutes of glaring at John and getting more and more uncomfortable with the staring from the others, the Master finally decided that the food really wasn't poisoned, he picked up a slice of bacon and munched it. Most of them smiled and they all went back to their own food. Chatting resumed all along the table, after the tense few minutes. Luke and Jake were fighting over the last piece of toast, when Sarah Jane smacked both of their hands and split it in half between them.

"Jake really acts like such a child sometimes, even though he is an adult." John smiled, and laughed. "But they always say that you should never grow up. I, for one, love and agree with that sentiment." And he popped a fried tomato into his mouth.

"You and the Doctor are the biggest children I have ever met," Rose told him. "You are nine hundred year old children!"

John laughed. Jack smiled and nodded his agreement. Only the people right next to him heard the stifled chuckle that came from the Master, he quickly tried to disguise it as a cough. John, Jack, Rose and Martha; the people immediately next to him, looked at him and smiled.

"You know, you're supposed to laugh if something's funny?" John said, smiling. "No need to hide it."

The Master cleared his throat and continued eating.

John giggled, "Why are you so guarded? Did you forget what I just talked to you about in the other room?"

The Master glared at him.

"Don't give me that look. It won't kill you to enjoy yourself with some good company for a change. I don't think I need to tell you, the Doctor would be ecstatic if he woke up to find you on good terms with everyone."

The Master sighed and rolled his eyes, but then John and the Master both stopped suddenly, listening. Jack looked at them confused, Rose was looking at John worriedly. Then John and the Master both shot out of their chairs and ran out the door and into the Doctor's bedroom.

Jack, Rose and Martha all looked at eachother for a moment, before following, dropping their silverware loud enough to get everyone else's attention. They ran to the door and went into the Doctor's bedroom, where they heard pained moaning coming from the direction of the bed. Most of the people in the kitchen decided to get up and follow to see what the ruckus was about.

John and the Master were at the Doctor's side in seconds. The Master put his fingers to the Doctor's temples and had a look in his head. After a moment, he removed his fingers and sighed with relief.

"He's dreaming," the Master informed them.

"Well, there's a good sign," John said, he sat next to the Doctor and sighed. "His brain has healed enough to allow him to dream, that's very good."

Rose came over and sat on the pillow next to the Doctor's head. She gently moved his head to lay on her lap and she stroked his hair and behind his ear, comforting him.

"Yes, it's good he can dream," she said. "But it sounds to me like it's not a good one."

"It's not," the Master said. "When he was in that machine, they broke down all of his mental barriers, including the ones that were holding back the memories of the Time War."

"Oh, no," John muttered. He rubbed his face with his hands. Rose watched him, worried but continuing her comforts of the Doctor.

"What's that mean?" Martha asked.

"He's remembering it. Dreaming about every detail. I daren't try to pull him out of it, it might do more damage," the Master answered.

"Isn't there something we can do?" Martha asked, hopeful. But after a few more strokes of Rose's fingers, the Doctor stopped his moaning, calming slowly and breathing deep.

Rose smiled and continued her ministrations, "Maybe he only had bad dreams because he was alone again."

"Could be," John said, a little surprised. The Master nodded, a little confused by the Doctor's feelings. How can these humans sound so certain? It's not like they can read minds.

"Well, then that's what we can do," Jack said and grinned. "There's plenty of space for everyone to sit. Let's finish breakfast in here."

"Sounds good to me," Rose said, she went to move to get up and help get everyone into the Doctor's room with their food.

"No," John said to Rose. "You stay there. It might also be that it's you comforting him that's made his nightmares go away."

"How do you know?" Rose asked, bemused. The Master did not look amused, at all.

John looked at her with his eyebrows raised.

"Oh, duh." Rose grinned.

John smiled and followed Jack and Martha and everyone who had drifted in to see what was happening, back into the kitchen.

About five minutes later, everyone was in the Doctor's room, gathered on his bed and in chairs and sofas that they had pulled closer. The chatting resumed again, laughing and playful arguing.

The Master was right next to the Doctor, leaning against the headboard, his plate on his lap. Rose was on his other side, his head back on the pillow, she ate her food in between petting the Doctor's hair every now and again, smiling all the while she comforted the Doctor and talked to John, Jack and Martha. They tried to include the Master in the conversations but he was stubborn about not relaxing and enjoy himself.

The Doctor remained sleeping peacefully.

When they all finished eating, a few of them took the plates and went to clean up the kitchen. They found another door that popped up out of nowhere, it led to the TARDIS's main library.

Rose stayed by the Doctor's side, reading a book and chatting with the others, comforting the Doctor every chance she got.

"No wonder I couldn't find any Time Lord medical texts in the library," Martha said, walking over to the bed with an arm load of books. "He has them all hidden in his room."

"Good luck reading them," the Master said, still by the Doctor's other side. "They should be in Gallifreyan, and I'm not translating for you." He gave a cheeky smile.

"Well, obviously the TARDIS thinks it's a good idea for me to read them," Martha said, smiling and holding one up. "Because they look to be in English!"

"Oh, bugger." The Master sighed. "Please don't read those."

"Why not?"

"Because I'd prefer you not to know all of the workings of my physiology."

"Oh? Why is that? Got something to hide?"

"More than I care for you to know."

"Well, too bad. Owen and I are going to have a good study session." Martha smiled and walked over to sit by Owen. The Master sighed and rolled his eyes.

"I'd like to have a look at those, too," Jack said, joining Martha and Owen.

"Will you stop them?" the Master asked John.

"Why? It might be a good idea for them to know," John answered, reading his own book and leaning against the opposite bed post to the Master. "And why are you asking me?"

"Because if I stop them, there might be fatalities."

John looked up, and tilted his head to one side, his face the very vision of exasperation, "We've been over this. Stop trying to hide your embarrassment with threats!"

The Master's glare could have peeled paint. John glared right back, completely unfazed.

"Play nice now, children!" Rose said absently, not even looking up from her book. She was engrossed in a rather steamy romance novel from the fifty first century, that Jack had recommended to her.

The Master threw his book down rather roughly, got up from the bed and left the room. John sighed.

"John!" Luke ran up to him with a look of excitement, he was holding a book on TARDIS mechanics and circuitry. Obviously, the TARDIS wanted him to know this stuff, as that book should have been in Gallifreyan too.

John found it a little unsettling that the TARDIS was allowing this much information to be released to someone other than Time Lords. He got the feeling that something was going to happen when the Doctor woke up. And not just taking everyone home.

"Yes, Luke?" John asked, smiling gently.

"I have an idea!"

"Brilliant! An idea about what?"

"Well, the Doctor told me that he can't actually talk to the TARDIS, he just uses telepathy to communicate with her, and that's fantastic and all. But I had a thought, what if we made an Avatar Circuit or something like that?"

"A what circuit?"

"Well, online people have profile pictures and little animated representations of themselves to share with the people they want to communicate with. They call them 'Avatars'. So, I thought we could come up with something that could allow the TARDIS to make herself an animated representation. It could be just a simple computer circuit that would produce a hologram and she could have full access to it, with all kinds of different choices and faces and things for her to choose from. And there are people who have perfectly synthesized human voices, so we could do something similar to that too. We could give her a voice and face to match." Luke looked absolutely proud of himself.

John smiled brightly, a glint of wonder in his eye.

Uh oh, Rose knew what that meant.

"That's magnificent!" John said. He dropped his book, shot up off the bed and grabbed Luke's hand. "Let's go have a look!" And he dragged Luke off with his book of TARDIS circuitry, a big grin on his face as well, and they both disappeared out the door.

"Oh, Doctor. You need to wake up soon or they'll make a mess of your beautiful TARDIS." Rose smiled, stroked the Doctor's hair again and continued reading her book.

The Doctor nuzzled his face into Rose's leg, still sound asleep. Yep, very soundly asleep. Rose stopped reading, listening carefully.

"Jack?" Rose looked up at him, and motioned for him to come over.

"What is it?" Jack came over.

"Do you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"That!"

"Oh, is that...is he purring?" Jack looked surprised and confused. Rose looked at him, bewildered and amused.

"Yes!" Martha came over smiling. She held the Time Lord medical text that she was reading open, the page depicted a cross section of a Time Lord's esophagus and throat. "They have the same bits of bone and muscle in their throats as cats do."

"And I found out why the Master always calls us 'dumb apes'," Owen said, walking over annoyed, his book in hand. "Time Lords evolved from a breed of large feline, not primates, like us. There's something about the Felis Tempus Erus hunting the Saurians almost to extinction. Felis Tempus Erus, that's what they call the cats that they evolved from."

"Oh, my god!" Rose covered her mouth with her hand, completely surprised and a little excited. "My husband's part cat!" and she started laughing raucously.

Jack and Martha started laughing loudly too, getting most people's attention. Even Owen gave a snort of laughter.

"What's so funny?" Tosh asked, walking over. Gwen, Wilfred and Tish followed, curious about the joke.

"What are you laughing about over here?" Jackie asked, wondering why her daughter was being so loud.

"Time Lords are cats!" Rose answered between guffaws.

"What?" Jackie asked, confused.

"Time Lords evolved from felines," Martha clarified between her own giggles. "And the Doctor's purring in his sleep!"

"Seriously?" Gwen asked, crawling onto the bed to listen better. "Oh, my god. He is! That is so oddly adorable!"

Jack nodded, laughing and grinning his brightest grin.

"Oh, no!" Jackie looked scared and worried all of a sudden. "You're not going to have a litter of kittens, are you?" she asked Rose.

Rose burst into another fit of uncontrollable laughter.

---

The Master was walking heatedly through the TARDIS corridors.

"'Hide my embarrassment', what does he know?!" he mumbled to himself.

He went through a door, into his own room. He was surprised to find his room a might bigger than he remembered it. One eyebrow raised, he stepped into the room and looked around. Not much had changed, style wise. It was about half the size of the Doctor's room, with the same ceiling as the Doctor and a chandelier made of smoky quartz. Two doors leading to other rooms, smaller than the ones in the Doctor's room. His bed was the same, king sized with black satin sheets and a black down comforter. Red carpet, a few rosewood book shelves, a chest at the foot of the bed and a flat screen on the wall. He found the complete set of Teletubbies DVD's on a small shelf next to the TV.

He went through one of the doors and found the Doctor's closet, he went through the other and, to his surprise and delight, found the Doctor's bathroom.

"Again with the backward niceness," he muttered to no one but addressing the TARDIS. "Two direct paths to the Doctor's room. What are you up to?"

He didn't get any answer, of course. He sighed, put in a DVD and took his jacket off. He went over to his soft bed and lounged on it. He watched Tinky Winky and Laa Laa fuss about something and run around, a contented smile on his face.

---

Luke and John were buried under the TARDIS console. John was fiddling with parts, fixing a few things as he went and explaining how some of it worked while Luke was writing down notes and started the design for the Avatar Circuit.

Sarah Jane walked into the Console Room, after having asked Rose where her son had disappeared to.

"Something about making a new circuit for the TARDIS," Rose had said absently, her nose buried in a book and one hand idly playing with the Doctor's hair.

He really was purring. Must be something he hides from his companions, in an effort to seem less alien, but he can't control that when he's asleep. Something else Sarah Jane had never witnessed the Doctor do, sleep.

"What are you two trouble makers up to?" Sarah Jane stood over the open grate with her hands on her hips, but a smile on her face. All she could see of them were their feet.

"Oh! Hi, Mum!" Luke poked his head out to look at her. "We're going to try to give the TARDIS a voice and a face, or one or the other. Hopefully."

"That sounds brilliant." Sarah Jane smiled proudly at her son. "I think the Doctor would love to finally have someone to talk to when he's on his own, to be able to talk to the one someone who won't ever leave him. I'm curious to hear what she has to say too, so you do your very best, Luke."

"I will!" Luke beamed.

There was a spark and an "Ow!" from John.

"Careful, John!" Sarah Jane said.

Luke turned to look at him, "Are you okay?"

"Yes! Fine!" John sounded annoyed. "Just can't get this stupid catalysis unit to..." he cut off his sentence with another spark and another "Ow!"

They heard the whir of a sonic screwdriver. Sarah Jane sighed, smiling slightly.

"You just be careful and do your best, both of you!" Sarah Jane smirked. "I'll get you some tea, yeah?"

"Oh, that'd be lovely!" John muttered. Still only his shoes were visible to Sarah Jane, blue Converse. Sarah Jane smirked.

She shook her head and started to make her way to the kitchen, leaving the geniuses to their meddling.

TBC

Chapter Text

Rose read her book, engrossed in the love story. Her fingers fiddled with the Doctor's hair, he was silent for now. He didn't move or nuzzle or purr or make a single sound. There was noise around the room, people playing games, eating snacks, reading books, chatting with each other.

None of them were worried, not for the Doctor. Not right now. Why should they? He always comes through in the end.

But none of them ever seem to realize just what the Doctor goes through, to come out on top, to come through for them, to save them. The things that haunt his memories, haunt his dreams, haunt him. He's stuck in a dreamland, a dreamland full of terrors. Real terrors.

---

The Doctor was back in his eighth body. He was at Arcadia, but Rose was beside him and with child. She was scared and crying and holding her pregnant belly, trying to protect it. She was looking the Doctor in the eye, asking him to save her and her baby. The Nightmare Child swallowed the TARDIS whole and everything went dark.

Then it changed, the Doctor was standing on a strange and terrible planet, no one was beside him but he felt awfully sad for some reason. It was a planet full of corpses. Corpses of people who had just stopped. They didn't fight, they didn't fall asleep. They weren't poisoned or beaten or murdered. They died of starvation, of lack of air, lack of will, they just stopped. Stopped working, stopped eating, stopped breathing. They just laid down and let themselves die.

"This is all that is left," a voice said. The Doctor whipped around to see a young girl watching him. Suddenly, he couldn't move, he was transfixed on the girl before him. She was a teenager, wearing a pink sun dress, she was slight and pretty, her long dark hair hung over her face. "This is all that will be left of the other planets, the rest of the universe. We need your help. We can't stop them alone," she started crying. "We will think it was just the Alliance, the pompous tools of the government. You need to help us find out that it's not just about our stupid little world, before it's too late."

The Doctor couldn't speak, he tried to but he couldn't move. There were humanoid creatures starting to swarm around them, horrible disgusting creatures, wearing human skin as clothing and bits of metal were embedded into their flesh.

"It's not just the Alliance, there are others behind it, controlling them," the girl continued.

The creatures swarming ever more fiercely, getting closer and closer. The Doctor still couldn't move or speak but he felt a mounting fear. He heard gunfire but was unable to look in the direction it was coming from.

"They are everywhere, looking for the man with the key to the universe."

There was screaming, screams from several people, some were unknown to him but he could also hear the screams of the ones he loved. He couldn't turn to see them, to find out who or what was hurting them or if he could stop it.

"Save us," she said and the girl disappeared into the swarm of disgusting creatures, in a flurry of sharp steel.

The swarm closed around the Doctor, the creatures close enough to breath on him. He couldn't move, he was paralyzed. Then they grabbed him, they started biting, tearing and eating his flesh. Peeling his skin off and doing other horrible, terrible, unspeakable things.

The Doctor screamed.

---

The Master sat, pondering the events of the last few days. It was worrying how tolerant he's been with the humans, it bothered him that he didn't want to take advantage of their new found trust in him. He just didn't care. It made him wonder if his believers had tweaked the resurrection ritual and proceedings a bit, to make him more subdued or maybe in an effort to calm his mania a bit. He wanted so bad to blame the TARDIS for it, when she completed his resurrection but he knew that it wasn't her that did anything. After all, it had started before he was even taken to the Shadow Proclamation.

All of this thinking about things he couldn't understand was giving him a headache, so he decided to ignore the troubling thoughts for now. He was missing what was happening with the Teletubbies.

After about an hour of the Master watching Teletubbies and ignoring the world outside his door and what was in his head, he was smiling with contentment. It was sweet bliss, quiet and peaceful, even the drums seemed to have lulled. Until he felt the Doctor's distress. He shot out of bed, not bothering to switch the TV off or put his jacket and shoes back on, he wrenched his door open and bolted down the TARDIS corridors.

As he approached the Doctor's room, he heard the screams. He ran faster and dashed into the room and over to the Doctor's bed, where the Doctor's human friends were fretting over him, worrying and trying to wake him up or calm him down. Jack and Martha were trying to hold him still, to keep him from hurting himself.

The Doctor was holding his head, thrashing and screaming as though he was being torn apart. If they only knew.

The Master shoved his way past the humans and went to the Doctor's side. He pressed his fingers to the Doctor's temples and had a peek at what was making him scream so. When he saw it, the Master flinched away in shock and almost fell off the bed.

"What is it?!" Rose inquired, her eyes streaming with tears.

The Master looked pale, he leaned forward and put his fingers back to the Doctor's temples, saying, "Oh, Thete. I don't know why you are dreaming about that, but it's going to stop," and he closed his eyes.

He pushed his way into the Doctor's head. He found the dream and cut it away, pushing it into the back of the Doctor's mind, putting barriers up to keep it from slipping into his dream state again. Then he found what caused it, a psychic link. Someone had gotten into his head, implanted the dream, as a sort of prophecy.

The Master had a closer look at the dream, he replayed the whole thing to see it for himself but it was odd, he couldn't hear it. He couldn't hear anything in the dream, what the girl was saying, what was happening in the background that the Doctor felt was gut wrenching. He couldn't even hear the drums in his own head. It was a silent horror.

He pulled out of the Doctor's head, after watching the whole thing. He calmly got up and without a word started to walk towards the Doctor's bathroom.

"Master?" Jack asked. They were all worried by his pale complexion.

The Master didn't make it to the bathroom. A few steps from the bed, he crumpled to his knees and puked up everything in his stomach. After he was finished, he sat on the floor, looking a bit dazed and shocked. He stared into space, tapping his drum beat.

Jack, Martha and Jack's team stood around him, avoiding the sick on the floor. They were even more worried by this development. Jack knelt down next to the Master and pulled his shoulder to make him look at him. He looked him in the eye and what he saw was disgust, fear and utter horror.

"What could possibly be going on inside the Doctor's head that would scare you enough to make you throw up like that?" Jack asked him, still keeping the eerie eye contact. "Especially you!"

Some of the humans gathered to listen to the conversation between Jack and the Master, Rose and Jackie were tending to the Doctor.

"What did you see?" Martha asked. "It sounded like someone was trying to kill him or something, the way he was screaming."

"They were," was the Master's simple answer.

"Who were?" Jack asked.

"I don't know. I've never seen anything like it before. They looked like humans but they were almost rabid, bloodthirsty, insane. Worse than the Futurekind and worse than me, by far. No humanity, common sense or decency left in them. Just mad hunger and rage."

"What were they doing?" Martha asked, her voice shaking with fear. What did those things do to her Doctor in that dream?

"Feeding," the Master answered, staring off into space. "Succumbing to animalistic urges. They were ripping him apart and eating his flesh. At least, when I eat people, it's a quick and clean death. But they were eating him alive and...other things." He didn't elaborate, he didn't want to and didn't think he really needed to.

Jack, Martha and the people immediately around them all looked rather sick.

"The worst part," the Master started. "Was that it seemed to be a prophecy of some kind. Someone put it there, the dream. They pushed their way into his head while he slept. It's not from when he was in that machine, this happened just now while he was sleeping. Someone established a psychic link to the Doctor's mind while we are floating around in the Time Vortex, inside a TARDIS. That shouldn't be possible."

"What do you mean 'a prophecy'?" Martha looked scared. "You mean that it's really going to happen to him? He's going to be eaten alive?" She started crying.

"I won't deny that it's a possibility," the Master said and stood up. The others looked completely horrified and disgusted and angry.

The Master walked past them and back to the Doctor's bed. When he sat down on the bed, John ran into the room, breathing heavily and looking stricken. He grabbed Rose and pulled her into a tight hug and started crying. She tried to comfort him, but didn't understand what was happening to make him act this way.

"John, sweetheart, tell me what's happened?" Rose asked, rubbing his back.

John shook his head, his face buried in Rose's neck. "You don't want to know, trust me."

"You saw the same thing as he did, didn't you?" the Master said, getting everyone's attention again.

John didn't look up, just nodded his head imperceptibly and said, "Yes."

"What was it?" Rose asked the Master, since she knew John wasn't going to tell her. "What did they dream about?"

"Someone somewhere somehow forged a psychic link with the Doctor. Which then extended to him, obviously. They were shown a sort of prophecy. I don't know exactly what it was about," the Master said, sitting on the bed. "I watched the dream in the Doctor's head, but for some reason I couldn't hear it."

John refused to look up, just held Rose tighter.

"John," the Master finally used his name. "What did that girl say? What was she telling you? And what the hell was with that planet? There was nothing but corpses everywhere. What happened? Tell me!"

John took a moment to steady himself before telling them. "She said that that was all that was left of them, where it started," he started to explain, his face still in Rose's neck and shoulder. His voice was muffled a bit by her hair. "She said that was all that would be left on every planet in the universe, if we didn't stop them. She was asking for help, she wants the Doctor to save them because they can't do it alone. In the dream, the Doctor couldn't move. He was paralyzed, but he could hear what was going on around him. He heard the screaming," John's voice hitched on the last word.

"What screaming?" Rose asked.

"You and everyone else, everyone the Doctor and I love. Screaming as they were ripped apart, just like he was being ripped apart and eaten and...," John let the end of the sentence hang.

Martha and Jack looked at each other, even more scared now. Everyone else looked like they were either going to be ill, or run away screaming. Some started to cry or tried to keep themselves from crying.

John hugged Rose even tighter. "I won't let it happen! He won't let it happen! Ever!"

"But she said more than that, I know she did. What was it?" the Master pressed.

"She said it was bigger than their little world, that they are everywhere, controlling their government and their entire solar system. That they are searching frantically for the man with the key to the universe," John sounded solemn. "I reckon that's what's happening all through human history, if they can time travel and they're looking for the Doctor." John looked up, resting his chin on Rose's shoulder. "The ones who had the Shadow Proclamation kidnap you all to bait the Doctor into coming to them."

The Master was steadily getting more and more furious. "I thought it would be best to let the Doctor heal his mind on his own, it's usually safer that way. But if freaky little girls are going to send him nightmares that will only impede his healing process, I think it would be better if I gave him a hand."

Before anyone could protest, the Master climbed onto the bed and sat on the pillows against the headboard. He pulled the Doctor into his lap and pressed their foreheads together.

He once again, pushed into the Doctor's mind. He started moving thoughts, rearranging memories and cataloging ideas. Everything happens in an instant in one's mind, but there was a lot of cleaning up to do in the Doctor's. Trying his best to put everything in it's proper place, it took the Master several minutes to put all of the Doctor's memories in order. Another several minutes to put all of the ideas with the right inspirations and Rassilon knows how long to get all of his thoughts back into a single stream, not a waterfall of random junk. Though, the Master thought that maybe it's supposed to be that way in the Doctor's head, because everytime he got close to making the Doctor's thoughts even remotely coherent, the dam would break and everything would come flooding back out like Niagara Falls. He was like a human child with a short attention span. The Master gave up that venture. If it was a problem later, he would try to fix it when the Doctor needed it to be fixed.

He opened his eyes and sighed. He looked up to see everyone watching him intently.

"Well?" Pete asked.

"I put things back in order as best I could," the Master answered, not even looking at any of them. "Give him a few hours, he should wake up soon."

TBC

Chapter Text

Since they expected the Doctor to wake up forthwith, they decided that a few of them would sit with him whilst the others started dinner. John went back to the Console Room where he left Luke to work on the Avatar Circuit and Sarah Jane went to supervise and make sure they didn't blow up the TARDIS.

The Master decided to stay put, with the Doctor in his lap. He cradled him like a child, the Doctor's head on his shoulder. Rose sat next to them, holding the Doctor's hand and waiting for him to wake up, so she could be the first to hug him (Well, maybe after the Master does).

"So, when was the last time you purred?" Rose asked, smirking at the Master.

The Master rolled his eyes. "One of the reasons I didn't want you lot reading those books."

"Oh, nothing to be embarrassed about." Rose smiled. "I thought it was cute when the Doctor started purring in his sleep earlier."

"Did he?" The Master was bored with the conversation.

"Yeah." Rose smiled wider. "It was a little weird. He's never even told us he could purr, so it was a bit startling when he did. Then Martha found a picture of a Time Lords throat in the book she was reading. Everyone thought it was absolutely adorable, especially when the Doctor started purring louder when I stroked his hair."

The Master nodded vaguely, barely listening to her.

"I wonder if John can purr?" Rose pondered.

"Most likely," the Master muttered.

"Then how come he never purrs in front of me?"

"Probably thinks you'll find it a turn-off. I know my wife did."

"Then she obviously didn't really love you. I know I don't care if he can or can't purr. If he can and he does, then it's a good thing. It means he's happy."

The Master looked at Rose, one eyebrow raised. Starting to see why the Doctor likes this girl, he thought. She's a bit annoying though, was his after thought.

Just then, the Doctor gave a groan and nuzzled his face into the Master's shoulder. He slowly opened his eyes and lifted his head.

"Good morning," Rose said, beaming at him.

"Morning," he muttered. He looked at the Master and said, "Why do I keep waking up in your arms?"

"It's the best place to be when you wake up." The Master's cheeky reply made the Doctor roll his eyes. The Master smirked at him.

"There's our Star Pupil!" Jack said, walking up to the bed and smiling his bright toothy "Jack" grin. Hands on his hips, he was out of his great coat and his braces were hanging at his sides.

The Doctor looked up and stared around the room, blinked and then groaned again and buried his face back into the Master's shoulder, "Why are we in here? Now you've all seen it," his muffled response sounded slightly pained, he was embarrassed. The Master had a smug look on his face when the Doctor nuzzled him again, however unintentionally.

"I like your room." Rose giggled. "I think it's amazing. Not what I expected, but amazing none the less."

"I'll have you know, I've tried too many times to count to get the TARDIS to at least change the room back to the way it was before." The Doctor peeked at Rose. "But she just won't listen."

"We kinda figured that was the case." Jack chuckled. The Doctor sighed and looked up again, he went to give a response to Jack's statement but his stomach gave a really loud growl before he could even say anything.

"Good thing dinner's almost done." Jack laughed. Rose and the Master both giggled as well. The Doctor actually blushed.

"Come here, you!" Rose hugged the Doctor, and the Master, since he was attached. The Master was a little taken aback. The Doctor smiled, he lifted his arms and hugged her back, thrilled to find that his limbs didn't feel heavy anymore.

"Oh, is he awake?!" Martha came into the room from the door that led to the kitchen. She smiled when she saw that the Doctor really was awake. She ran forward, hopped onto the bed and hugged the three of them, since they were all connected. The Master was starting to look annoyed and a bit smothered.

"Oh, I have to join in!" Jack laughed. He jumped onto the bed and pulled them all into a bear hug, making Rose, the Doctor and Martha laugh. The Master growled with ever rising irritation.

"Will you people get off of me!?" the Master yelled.

"No!" Rose said, smiling. "You were the one who wanted to hold the Doctor first, it's your own fault for being in the line of fire." She laughed, Martha and Jack giggled. The Doctor blushed a little more and snickered.

"Alright, you lot." The Doctor smiled. "I appreciate the love but you're squishing me and I don't really smell the best at the moment. I'm surprised you can stand to be near me."

"I wouldn't care if you smelled like a sewer." Rose gave the Doctor a peck on the cheek.

"Oh, please get off!" the Master whined. "I think I'm going to be sick with this clingy, soft and fluffy situation. I hate fluffy situations."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Martha asked, amused.

"It means he hates hugs," the Doctor put in, chuckling.

"How can anyone hate hugs?" Jack asked sarcastically, squeezing them all tighter.

"Oh, come on!" the Master yelled, extremely uncomfortable.

The Doctor laughed. "Alright, alright. That's enough. Best to let him go before he explodes."

They all let go, smiling and smirking. The Doctor sighed and the humans got off the bed, Jack helped the Doctor to his feet. The Master visibly relaxed.

"Well, it's good to know that my legs are working again." The Doctor smiled.

"Yep," they all replied.

"Dinner's just about ready." Jack smiled. "Why don't you get dressed properly and come and have a bite. Sylvia's making a chocolate cake for dessert. Ianto's making the best coffee and tea you will ever taste and Rhys is grilling steaks for everyone. Francine and Tish are making a bunch of tasty sides, including chips."

"Oh, I love chips!" The Doctor beamed.

"We know," Jack, Martha and Rose said in unison.

The Doctor let out a small hum of a giggle and continued to beam his brilliant heart melting smile. His former companions all felt that heart melting feeling and smiled all the brighter. Oh, how they'd missed him.

"Oh, what happened back at the Shadow Proclamation? Where's Donna?" the Doctor asked.

"John put her in stasis until we can get her home," Jack answered grimly.

"Oh, that was a good idea." The Doctor looked impressed.

"He's you, of course it was a good idea." Rose snickered. The Doctor smiled and giggled.

"I'll be in for tea in a few minutes." The Doctor sighed softly. "I just want to take a quick shower."

Jack, Rose and Martha smiled at him. "Alright, go on then," Martha said. "We'll go tell everyone the good news; the Doctor's awake."

The Doctor smiled and headed for his luxurious bathroom. Rose and Martha headed for the kitchen. Jack made to follow the Doctor but Martha stopped and turned towards him. She grabbed his shirt collar saying, "Oh, no you don't!"

Jack sighed in exasperation and followed them to the kitchen, leaving the Master alone in the Doctor's room.

Still sitting on the bed, the Master smirked and waited for the humans to disappear into the kitchen, before getting up and following the Doctor into the bathroom.

---

Martha, Jack and Rose went into the kitchen, smiling their biggest smiles.

"Oh, is he up?" Jackie asked, smiling and walking up to her daughter.

"Yep!" Rose said. "Just taking a quick shower and smarten himself up."

"Oh, good. He's feeling alright then?" Gwen asked from beside Rhys, helping him with the grilling.

"Yes, and he can walk on his own and everything." Jack smiled, going over to help with the cooking, wherever he might be needed.

The Doctor's friends...family, were all making the biggest dinner that they could. Which was a lot of food. They made all of the things that they knew the Doctor liked to eat, the Tylers having learned a few more items while living with John.

Sylvia made her best chocolate cake in huge proportions, Rhys and Gwen cooked the steaks to the perfect juicy degree, Francine and Tish peeled several pounds of potatoes and used Francine's best recipe for deep fried chips. Rose helped her mother make a few banana cream tortes. Ianto made espresso and enough Earl Grey and green tea to sink a small ship. Owen, Tosh and Leo set the table that was now a bit longer, setting the head of the table for the Doctor.

Pete was left in charge of Tony and told to stay back and keep his hands to himself after he tried to make something in the blender and made an awful mess. Mickey took over that job and made banana and strawberry smoothies for the people who didn't really like tea, himself included and oddly Pete as well, he hates tea. Jake was making fudge, the same recipe his mother used when he was little.

Wilfred and Clive were charged with caring for Anwen while they chatted about family and sports, they were having a bit of trouble with the baby. It had been so long since either of them cared for an infant and they were both rubbish at it then too. They were cooing at her and trying to calm her down, making silly faces that just made her cry louder.

Jack had just helped Rose put the tortes into the refrigerator when he remembered that they had left the Master alone. He excused himself and went to find him.

---

The Doctor had just taken his shirt off, when he heard someone behind him. He turned and was up close and face to face with the Master and his big mischievous grin.

"O-oh, um," the Doctor stuttered, taking a step back. "Did you need something?" he asked, holding his shirt up to cover his chest, like a nervous girl.

"I need a lot of things," came the Master's cryptic answer.

"Well, um..." The Doctor didn't really know what else to say here, which was odd for him. Speechlessness was always odd for him. "W-Why are you in here?"

"It's my bathroom too, now!" The Master smiled.

The Doctor was confused. "Is it?"

"Yep.' The Master pointed to a door that was on the opposite wall to the one that led to the Doctor's room.

"Oh, well then." The Doctor looked at the door and was very uncomfortable with sharing a bathroom, even one this size, with the Master. The Master just smirked. "Um, why are you so close?"

"Am I? I'm sorry," the Master's words dripped with sarcasm. He took an animated step back and smiled wider.

The Doctor sighed and rolled his eyes. "What do you want?"

The Master just gave him a look and the unspoken "You" just hung in the air. The Doctor shuffled his feet uncomfortably and took another step back.

"Do you mind? I would really like to take a shower now," the Doctor said, raising his eyebrows. "Alone."

"Yes, I do mind." The Master smirked, taking a step closer.

"So do I," came Jack's voice from behind the Master. The Master sighed dramatically and rolled his eyes. Jack came over and grabbed the Master's shoulder roughly. "Come along now, Master. Dinner's almost done but I'm sure we can find something for you to help with. Let's leave the Doctor alone for a little while, so he can tidy himself up." And he tried to steer the Master toward the door.

"I could help him wash his back." The Master smiled, not moving. "And anything else he may or may not need help washing. Besides, shouldn't someone stay with him? What if he collapses or something?" The Master put on a feigned look of concern.

"I think he can handle himself," Jack retorted, tightening his grip on the Master's shoulder. The Master smirked, his mind going straight into the gutter. Jack's mind went the same way and he added, "You know what I mean. Now let's go." He almost dragged the Master to the door. The Master relented and told himself that he'd try again later, when they were all asleep.

"Thank you!" the Doctor called after them. Jack flashed him a toothy grin and disappeared out the door with the Time Lord menace.

The Doctor sighed, feeling a deep relief. He's going to have to watch himself with the Master. For some reason, the Master suddenly has different intentions than his usual attempts to kill the Doctor or to drive him crazy. Then again, this might be just another way to drive him crazy. Who knows?

The Doctor finished undressing, looking over his shoulder now and again to make sure he was still alone. He went into the shower and cleaned himself as fast as possible, his stomach growled a few more times in the process. When he was finished, he left the shower room in just a fluffy towel and found his blue suit waiting on the vanity for him, with his shirt, tie and red trainers as well. He smiled and dressed himself, trying his best not to think about his dilemma with the Master or the awful dream he had that just seems to keep popping up in his head.

And something told him that he wasn't the only one who knew about the dream. He could still feel the footprints of the Master's mind inside his own and a link to John's mind. Plus the way his companions were overly happy to see him wake up, like they were relieved. He must have made it obvious that he was having a nightmare and probably thrashed around or screamed. He screamed in the dream, so it was likely. If they witnessed his thrashing and screaming, then they were most likely told what happened after the Master went in to see what was happening and John probably had a first person view of the dream as well. Since he and John are two parts of the same person.

He had a feeling that something was going to happen and he could feel that John felt the same way. He only hoped that it was something he could handle and sort out without anyone dying. If any one of these people in his TARDIS died or got hurt, he would never forgive himself.

TBC

Chapter Text

When the Doctor entered the kitchen he was met by excited smiles, ebullient cheers, exuberent laughter and emotional hugs, plus a scowling Master.

"We've made everything that we could think of that we knew you liked, so," Rose said, gesturing at the abundance of food.

"I can see that! Oh my goodness!" The Doctor was shocked at all of the food.

Rose and Jack, smiling brightly steered him over to the chair at the head of table and sat him down. The Master took the chair to his immediate right. Jack sat to his left. Martha sat to Jack's left, Mickey was next to her. They left the two chairs on the Master's right open for John and Rose, as the others sat down.

Rose went to get John, Luke and Sarah Jane, while the others sat down to eat. Jackie filled the Doctor's plate until it was almost overflowing. The Doctor's eyes were wide and astonished when she was finished piling it on.

"Wow, I hope I can eat all of that," the Doctor said, smiling at Jackie. "I certainly feel hungry enough to."

"You better eat all of it." Jackie smiled. "Or you don't get your dessert."

The Doctor cocked at eyebrow at her and she giggled. She sat a few chairs down, next to Pete and Tony. Rose came back a few minutes later with Sarah Jane and a very excited Luke and John. They took their places at the table and they all dug in.

"You might find it a bit odd, I know I did," John started, after several bites of food, smiling a little portentously. "But the TARDIS translated a bunch of Gallifreyan books for this lot to read."

The Doctor looked up in mid chew, genuinely surprised and a bit wary. "Dare I ask, which books?" he asked, his mouth still full of food.

"All of the medical texts." Martha smiled. The Doctor groaned.

"Yeah, we know you purr." Rose smiled. The Doctor sighed.

"It was so cute when you started purring in your sleep," Gwen put in from down the table. The Doctor looked horrified.

"I tried to stop them from reading them." The Master shrugged, eating a dinner roll. "I didn't succeed, mostly because I didn't think it would be wise to resort to violence with so many of them in the room."

"Thank you for not going that far," the Doctor told him, giving him a slightly wide eyed but stony look. The Master smiled.

"Also, she translated a book on TARDIS mechanics and circuitry for Luke to...never put down since he found it," John said, looking across the table at Luke. Luke blushed a little. "He came up with a really good idea for a new circuit. We've been working on it all day and it's almost finished." John smiled.

"What's it for?" The Doctor's visage was curious and a bit wary.

"That's for us to know and you to find out." John chuckled. The Doctor glared at him. "You'll like it, I promise. If I like it, you'll like it!"

The Doctor didn't say anything, just continued eating and giving John a suspicious look. John just smiled, knowing exactly how the Doctor felt about not knowing something.

---

After dinner, they all went back into the Doctor's bedroom, as it seems to have turned into the common sitting room. The Doctor didn't mind, as long as they were happy.

John and Luke went back to the Console Room to finish the Avatar Circuit, refusing to tell the Doctor what they were working on and having Rose and Jack keep the Doctor from following them.

They were all mostly sitting in a circle on the Doctor's furniture, drinking tea and reading books and chatting about anything and everything.

"Oh! Doctor!" Rose said, sitting next to him on one of the many sofas. She was smiling bigger and brighter than the Doctor had ever seen her. The Master was sitting on a chair across from them, scowling and pretending to read a book. Jack was sitting in the chair beside his, watching the Master, ready to stop him if he tried anything. "I have some good news to share with you," Rose pushed on.

"Oh? What's that?" the Doctor asked, looking up from his book. Martha was sitting on his other side, so he was sandwiched in the middle.

"Well, first, I think it's obvious that John and I got married." She held up her left hand to show him the ring.

"Yes, I kinda figured that would happen." He smiled and giggled. Rose laughed. The Master's scowl got a little darker.

"Second, I'm pregnant..." She bit her lip and blushed a little.

The Doctor's eyes brightened and he grabbed her and hugged her as tightly as possible. "That's brilliant!"

Rose giggled and hugged him back. "I know!"

They started chatting and Jackie and Pete came over to sit with them, with little Tony on Jackie's lap. Rose was talking about baby names and worries about the part Time Lord thing.

"Speaking of names..." The Doctor looked at Rose, a wary look on his face. "You know my real name now, don't you?"

Rose smiled evilly and nodded.

"Oh, blimey." The Doctor looked back at his book.

"How come she gets to know your name, but we can't?" Martha asked, bemused.

"It's complicated," was all the Doctor said.

"Will the baby be able to purr?" Rose asked out of left field, changing the subject. "Can John purr for that matter?"

"I don't know, maybe." The Doctor was suddenly curious. "Would you like me to find out?"

"What do you mean?"

"A quick scan can tell us everything you could want to know about your baby; sex, DNA, anatomy. Whatever you want."

"Really? Even though it's still early? I'm only at three months."

"Yes, even though it's early. Identifying the parts of the baby's DNA can tell you what it's going to be born with, inside and out."

"Are you serious?" Pete looked surprised and excited. Jackie was grinning ear to ear.

"I'm always serious," the Doctor said, smiling.

Rose thought about it for a minute, gave the Doctor a quick hug and then stood up. "I'm gonna go get John and then yes, you can scan me and tell me what I'm having!" And she ran off.

The Doctor chuckled and sat back, waiting for her to come back. Mickey came over and filled in Rose's spot.

"Hey, Boss!" Mickey said.

"Mickey." The Doctor nodded at him.

"Your medical equipment will never cease to amaze me," Martha said, regarding the scan to see Rose's baby. The Doctor smiled at her.

"If they know what she's having, maybe they won't fight about names so much," Jackie said, bouncing Tony on her knee.

"They fight about names?" the Doctor asked.

"Yeah. If it's a boy, and she really wants a boy, Rose seriously wants to put 'Doctor' in the name somewhere." Jackie laughed. The Doctor's eye went wide. "John keeps telling her 'no'."

"I told her to wait until the baby grows up and we can send them to medical school," Pete said. "Then she can have 'Doctor' in the name for a good reason." The Doctor laughed.

"Of course, when I said that," Pete continued. "She got mad at me and said that you were more than enough good reason to use the name 'Doctor'." The Doctor blushed a little and laughted a little harder. Martha, Mickey, Pete, Jack and Jackie joining in on the laughter.

"John wants to name the baby 'Susan' if it's a girl," Jackie said, once they finished laughing. "He never told me why, though."

The Doctor smiled gently. "Susan was the name of my granddaughter."

Surprised looks from everyone, except the Master, turned to face the Doctor.

"Your granddaughter?!" Jack, Pete and Martha said at once. Jackie's mouth was the shape of an 'O'.

"What?" the Doctor asked, looking at them all.

"We never even knew you had children, much less grandchildren!" Martha said, completely astonished.

"I'm over nine hundred years old! What did you expect?" the Doctor asked, looking at them all like they were silly children. Which compared to him, they were. "Anyway, tell me more about their arguments about names. It's far more interesting." He smiled at Jackie, the one who loves to gossip.

"You only want to know because it's technically your offspring and you won't get another chance to see it after you send them home," the Master grouched, aiming to make the conversation less cheery.

The Doctor looked at him. "It's only partially my offspring, John is part Doctor and part Donna. That baby could be born with bright red hair, for all we know." He smiled his big toothy grin and gave a hum of a giggle. Jack and Martha laughed. The Master rolled his eyes.

"I never thought about it like that," Jackie said, thinking with a somewhat surprised look on her face. Pete looked to be pondering that as well. Neither of them seemed at all disgruntled with the idea of the baby being partly the Doctor's. The Doctor smiled and giggled and went back to his book.

"Speaking of your age, Doctor," Jack said. "The Master tells us that you're nine hundred and six in Gallifreyan years. What's that in Earth years?"

"Do you have to ask that? Being really old is one thing, but ancient is something I don't want you to see me as." The Doctor frowned. "Earth time makes me feel like a crotchety old man."

"Would you like me to tell them?" the Master smirked.

"No," the Doctor scowled at him.

"Come on, Doctor. Spill it," Martha coaxed.

The Doctor sighed before answering and doing a quick calculation in his head, he said, "Three-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-one-point-six Earth years old." The Doctor frowned and went back to his book. The Master snickered. "You shush!" the Doctor yelled at him. "You're even older than me!" The Master smirked.

Meanwhile, the rest of the humans who had been part of that conversation, were gawping and gawking speechlessly at the Doctor and the Master.

---

Five Earth minutes later, Rose and John appeared. Rose walked in, John waited by the door for her. She didn't even wait for the Doctor to get up on his own, she just grabbed him by his shirt with a big smile on her face and almost dragged him from the room and down the hall to the Med Bay. The Doctor just smiled the whole way there. Jackie with Tony, Pete, Martha, Jack and Mickey followed them to the Med Bay. The Master followed too, for lack of anything better to do and maybe with a little curiosity.

The Doctor and John helped Rose into a machine that scanned her whole body in just a few seconds. It came up with no ailments, and a 98 day, 10 hour, and 16 minute pregnancy. The Doctor translated everything into Earth time for Rose's benefit. Rose blushed, now that everyone knew exactly when she and John had sex.

The Doctor brought up the data and a hologram of Rose and her fetus appeared in front of them with all the information they needed listed next to it. Though it was mostly in Gallifreyan.

"What's it say?" Rose asked, smiling and putting her hand up to the hologram of her baby, wanting so badly to touch it.

"It's a girl!" John was smiling like an idiot. Rose laughed and hugged him. Everyone was smiling "Oh, that can't be right." John said after reading the rest of the information.

"It is right." The Doctor was surprised too.

"What's the matter?" Rose asked worriedly.

"She has two hearts," the Master said, stepping toward the hologram with his eyebrow raised.

"What?!" Rose looked between the three Time Lords. "But John only has one heart...and so do I, so how can our baby have two?"

"Good question," the Doctor said, bringing up a 3D scan of the baby's vascular system. Sure enough, there were two tiny little beating hearts. The Doctor had a look at the baby's DNA and found her to be almost exactly half human and half Time Lord.

"The Time Lord DNA seems to be the dominant genetic source," he said, confused. "While the human is mostly recessive."

"So, it is genetically going to be the Doctor's baby," Martha said, looking at the holograms objectively. John seemed a little sad when she said that.

"Only partially," the Doctor reminded. "John, I think it's time we had a better look at you."

"Yep," John said, staring at the holographic baby. He turned away and hopped into the scanner.

After they scanned John, bringing up his data right next to the data from Rose and their baby.

"You have a second heart!" The Doctor looked at him, surprised. "It's dormant and underdeveloped, but you have two as well."

John was staring at the three holographic 3D images of him, Rose and their little baby, one eyebrow raised.

"You have a shorter, more human life span, perhaps a bit longer. Approximately one-hundred-fifteen more years to go. But your baby just might be able to regenerate," the Doctor said, seeming a little excited and troubled at the same time. "Won't know that for sure until she's old enough to do so, in about five hundred years. Oh, blimey!"

Just about everyone in the room was wide eyed and slack jawed. Even the Master. They just stared at the holograms and the graceful circles of the Gallifreyan writing for a couple of minutes. None of them knowing exactly what to say.

"Ha!" The Doctor laughed suddenly, startling everyone and bringing them out of their reverie. "She's going to have red hair!" He pointed to a note at the bottom of the list of data for the baby.

Breaking the eerie silence, everyone giggled and snickered. Even the Master gave a snort.

"And yes, Rose," the Doctor added. "Your baby is going to be able to purr and so can John." Rose smiled and nudged John. "Also, your pregnancy is going to last just a tiny bit longer than a normal human pregnancy. Shouldn't be a problem, another two hundred and three more days to go, give or take a few days depending on duration of labor."

Rose nodded and smiled. She gave John a tight hug. Jackie was so happy that she had tears in her eyes, she hugged her daughter and son-in-law tightly.

"So, I'm getting a red-haired granddaughter named Susan, then?" Jackie smiled. Rose and John smiled and nodded. Jackie and Pete hugged Rose and John together, squishing Tony in between them. The Doctor was smiling from ear to ear, as was Jack, Martha and Mickey. The Master was a little indifferent as he watched them all, as he said before, he hates fluffy situations.

Suddenly the TARDIS gave an almighty lurch, sending everyone to the floor. Startled screams could be heard throughout the TARDIS and the data that the Doctor had been looking at, blinked out and disappeared. With the TARDIS tumbling about and making it very difficult, the Doctor scrambled to his feet and jetted toward the Console Room. Just about everyone trickled out of the Med Bay and the Doctor's room and headed toward the Console Room as well, to see what was happening and why the place was rattling about.

Once in the Console Room, the Doctor grabbed the data screen and tried his best to stay on his feet, while the TARDIS tossed and turned, shaking everyone about.

"What the hell are you doing now?!" he asked the TARDIS angrily. He didn't get an answer.

"What's going on?" Rose asked, clinging to the pilot seat. John was clinging to her and the seat, to make sure she didn't get hurt. Jack was holding on to the railing by the door, so was Gwen. Rhys was using his weight to stay upright, which was a good thing, as he had Anwen.

"Oh, apparently the TARDIS thinks I need to be somewhere," the Doctor answered, annoyed with his ship. "Again."

"You mean, she does this often?" the Master asked, exasperated and annoyed while hanging on to the console for dear life.

"Oh, shut up!" the Doctor told him. "And, yes!"

The Master growled in his throat and shouted, "You and your bucket of bolts!"

The TARDIS landed like a sledge hammer hitting pavement, sending everyone to the floor.

"Okay." The Doctor popped up off the floor, like he was used to it (which he is), and looked at the data screen. "Why do I need to be here? With just about everyone I know?"

"When are we?" the Master grumbled, picking himself up.

"Year 2517, the planet Persephone in the White Star solar system. Why the hell did you bring me to this backwoods planet. I hate this era, it's so boring," the Doctor whined. "Well, mostly just annoying, as no one in this region of space at this time believes in aliens. And I can't wear my brown coat!"

"Why can't you wear your brown coat?" Rose asked.

"Only the Independants wear brown coats, which they are considered rebels now as this is after the war that they lost. And I don't want to get mistaken for one of them, I like my head without extra holes, thank you."

"Oh," Rose said. She snickered, "Good thing you're wearing your blue suit then."

"Right." The Doctor stood up to his full height, straightening his clothes. "I'm going to go see what trouble has called me this time. You lot stay here."

"Not likely," several of them said at once. The Doctor sighed heavily, rubbed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.

TBC

Chapter Text

Malcolm Reynolds sat in a bar with his second in command, Zoe Washburne and his hired muscle, Jayne Cobb. He was drinking his frustrations away after another confrontation with Badger, the man who called him in saying he had a job for him and his ship the "Serenity".

"Why don't you ever let me shoot that Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze, Mal?" Jayne asked his captain.

"Because he usually has something good for us to earn some decent coin. Even with all the tiffs in between, he keeps calling us back with something no one else will do. He's a good source of revinue," Mal replied, taking another swig of whiskey.

"Otherwise, I would have shot him a long time ago," Zoe said, checking her gun. Jayne grumbled and took another drink.

They looked up when the door to the pub opened and a tidy man in a blue suit walked in with a few other people who were just as tidy and just as out of place.

---

The Doctor had argued with them, vehemently insisting that they all stay behind, in the TARDIS where it's safe. But he failed to convince a few of them. He was accompanied by Jack and his team; Gwen, Owen, Ianto and Tosh. As well as John, Rose, Martha, Mickey and of course, the Master.

"You need someone to watch your back, keep you out of too much trouble," Jack argued, with a big grin. "Who knows what you'll find out there. If those guys from the other universe have so many people in their ranks and they can time travel, they could be out there right now, waiting for you to come out, with a tranquilizer ready for you or something."

"Wherever Jack goes, we go," Gwen said, speaking for the whole Torchwood team. The other members nodded their approval.

"And like hell I'm leaving you alone," the Master said. "I'm not letting you out of my sight."

"Mind if I ask why not?" the Doctor asked angrily.

The Master just smiled and gave him a vague and somewhat diverting answer. "You might need a psychopath who's not afraid to kill people. I'm pretty good at scaring people off too. Also, you're not the boss of me, Doctor," the Master sneered.

"Don't you dare kill anyone!" The Doctor glared at him.

The Master snickered. "I'd like to see you try to stop me!"

"I stop you all the time," the Doctor grumbled. "It isn't anything new."

"Exactly. You can't stop me if I don't do anything for you to stop." The Master smiled deviously. "How boring would that be?"

"You mean, you want me to stop you?!" the Doctor yelled. "Why do anything if you just want to be stopped? I have enough to worry about, without you making a ruckus!"

"You might need a ruckus, you never know," the Master snarked.

The Doctor sighed loudly and growled a little in his throat. He put his hands through his hair, making it stick up even worse, "Fine, but if you start anything or get into any trouble, I am leaving you here!" The Master just snickered again.

Most of the others had volunteered to stay behind. Rhys and Jackie with their little ones, didn't want to get into trouble anywhere or put their babies into danger and the Doctor guaranteed them that the TARDIS was the safest place in the universe. Which was the truth.

"It has extrapolator shielding. It could survive a supernova," the Doctor told them. "You'll be safe and sound in here."

"Alright, but you lot just be careful, though," Jackie said, giving Rose and John hugs.

"We'll be fine, Mum," Rose told her, smiling her biggest, most excited smile.

Luke had argued with Sarah Jane but lost, so they both stayed behind. "Besides, you need to finish that present you and John are making for the Doctor," she told him with a smirk.

"And my curiosity is piqued everytime you mention it." The Doctor ruffled Luke's hair. Luke smiled and pushed his hand away.

The Doctor addressed the people who were going with him, a resigned smile on his face. "If you all find anything in the markets that you might want to take home as a souvenier, try not to buy anything but if you need money, just cough up a few coins. Currency from Earth-that-was is very valuable here. Very very valuable, try not to get short changed." The Doctor scratched his ear, while the others smiled at the thought of being rich right now with their spare change. "Anyway, stick with someone who has a TARDIS key and Allons-y!"

"Who has a TARDIS key?" Gwen asked, just to clarify.

"Me, Jack, Martha, Rose and John. Well, I suppose I can give mine to you, Master." And he handed it over.

"Won't you need one?" Jack asked, confused. "And are you sure you can trust him with that?"

"Nope, I'm not sure I can trust him." The Doctor smiled. "But I don't need a key to open the TARDIS." He snapped his fingers and the doors flung themselves open. The Master gaped, as he was the only one who understood the implications of that. John snickered at the look on the Master's face.

"That's not possible!" The Master looked at the Doctor and pointed at the door, astonished.

"It is and I do it all the time." The Doctor smiled. "It only works for me, though." The Doctor turned to Jack. "And it's not like he can abscond with the TARDIS this time, Jack. If he touches the console, he'll get electrocuted. And I didn't even tell the TARDIS to do that, she decided that on her own." Jack smiled when the Master grumbled.

"Right, stay in the TARDIS until we get back," Jack addressed the people who were staying behind. "When it comes to working and investigating with the Doctor..." He glared at the man in question. "We could be back in anywhere from a few seconds to a few weeks." He glared at the Master now. "Or even a year! So stay here and don't go outside. The TARDIS has everything you need to live here for the rest of your lives, so no excuses."

The Doctor smirked and chuckled to himself. The looks he was getting were priceless.

Most of them seemed a little leery about letting them go now. The ones who weren't Torchwood or on the Valiant during the Master's reign were thinking, "Why would it take a year?"

Jackie, Mickey and Rose sighed, remembering when the Doctor had gotten the date wrong and Rose had gone missing for over a year, without Jackie knowing where she was or what she was doing and Mickey was suspect to her murder.

The ten people accompanying the Doctor left the TARDIS, the Doctor sighing at the large number of people he had to keep his eye on. Especially the Master. And Jack. And John. And all of them, oh bugger.

They exited the TARDIS to find themselves in the middle of a busy street, lined with shops and carts and street venders. Some of the buildings looked like something out of an old western and some of them looked like they would be at home somewhere in East Asia. Before they even started walking, a man flew out of the window of the first shop on their right, thrown by a very angry shopkeeper. The glass didn't break, it blinked like a computer screen and came right back up, solid as plate glass.

Windows that don't shatter, interesting, Tosh thought. I wish I could figure out how it worked, she pondered.

The Doctor felt a bit naked without his long brown coat, but it was for the best to leave it behind this time around. He didn't want to get shot. "Right," the Doctor started. "Let's find us a pub!"

"Why are we finding a pub?" Owen asked. "I thought we were supposed to be looking for what brought us here."

"If you want to know what's going on around town." Jack smiled at Owen. "Ask the local barkeep."

"Exactly." The Doctor smiled and started walking down the busy market street, humming some old song that no one knew.

They walked a few hundred yards before they found a pub. The Doctor was the first to walk in, followed by Jack, the Master and John, the others were close behind. The bar went really quiet when they walked in. The Doctor raised his eyebrows and looked around. Oh, crap, what did I do now? All I did was walk into a pub, he groused to himself. Insert dumb joke here, he snickered to himself.

After everyone got a good look at the new comers, they went back to their drinks as talking and partying resumed. The Doctor sighed with relief, as did Jack and John. Jack and the Doctor went up to the bar while the others found a place to sit in the back of the room. Right next to Malcolm Reynolds and his crew. The Master leaned against the wall, between his party and Malcolm's and just glowered at the room. He was standing right next to Jayne, who looked at him and his fancy black suit curiously.

There was some decent music playing, and since Rose was in a good and excited mood, she dragged John over to a clear area and started dancing with him. Many people looked at them like they were insane or just strange. Martha smiled as she watched Rose and John dance.

"A round of Ng-Ka-Pei, please." The Doctor flicked a five pence into the big burly barkeep's hand. "And any gossip you might have."

The barkeep looked at the coin, smiled really big and shouted to the whole room in his peculiarly Russian accent. "Drinks are on the house tonight, everyone!" And cackled as he handed Jack and the Doctor their drinks. Cheers sounded from around the room and the people next to Jack and the Doctor patted them on the back roughly.

The Doctor and Jack went wide eyed. They had expected favorable treatment, but this was beyond that. Now they would have to watch out for anyone looking to kill them and steal any other coins they might have, which it was unlucky for the Doctor that he had a few more small coins in his pockets for once. Who knows what the others might have. Oh, well. What's done is done.

"You want gossip?" the barkeep asked the Doctor, his accent thick and rough.

"Yes." The Doctor smiled, sitting on a stool. Jack took the drinks to the others and left the Doctor to it. The Doctor leaned his elbows on the bar and smiled at the barkeep expectantly.

---

Jack took the drinks over to the table that everyone had convened around, smiling brightly. He handed the drinks around and was about to sit down when someone behind him spoke.

"Well, look who it is!" the voice said behind Jack. Jack had thought he recognized that voice, but it was hard to tell over the music and chatter. Before Jack could turn around, he noticed his team members scowling at the person behind him. He turned to see the smiling, if somewhat bruised, face of Captain John Hart. Jack rolled his eyes and sighed heavily.

The last time Jack had seen John Hart, was back at Torchwood and the whole fiasco with Jack's brother, Gray. But the time before that, the Doctor had come to visit and meet his team. Captain John Hart had just let himself in that day, while Jack was getting things for the Doctor to identify, since the Doctor wanted to make sure they didn't have anything too dangerous in their archives. After finding out that the Doctor was a Time Lord, Captain John had decided to try and get the Doctor into his bed, and almost succeeded by drugging the Doctor with his paralyzing lip gloss and shooting Jack in the head. He even had the Doctor stripped down to his bare bum but Jack put a stop to that after he woke up and did everything in his power not to just kill John Hart right then and there.

"What do you want?" Jack asked, his was voice pure venom and disdain.

"Easy, lover." Captian John grinned. "I was here first, then you and your little gang walked in." Jack grumbled to himself and rolled his eyes. "And since when are there two of him?" John gestured to John and Rose dancing, then to the Doctor sitting at the bar. He turned and eyed the two Doctors. "Mmm, a two course meal." That got the Master's attention.

"It's a long story," Jack said, watching the Master warily. "You might want to leave them alone this time, John." Jack nodded at the Master. "Or you'll have him to answer to."

Captain John looked at the Master and sized him up. "Nice suit." They glared at each other for a good minute or so. Captain John lost the stare down, when he noticed the mania in the Master's eyes. Mania worse than his own. "Who are you? The Doctor's new squeeze?"

The Master smirked. "There's nothing new about the Doctor and I."

Captain John turned to look at John, dancing with Rose. "But there's two of him now, Jack. Surely, one of them is open to a little one on one?"

"Never have been very good at noticing the wedding rings, have you John?" Jack smirked at him. "Hell, with those two, you don't need to notice the rings. Just look at their faces." He nodded at John and Rose. They were dancing in fluid circles, gazing into eachother's eyes and smiling warmly, lovingly. "And the Doctor still hates you for what you did last time."

"What did he do last time?" the Master gritted, getting angry. He glared at Captain John.

"Um, I think I'll tell you when John's not standing right in front of you." Jack grimaced. Captain John looked a little confused and maybe a little uneasy. "Or you'll kill him," Jack finished. The Master glared at Jack now. Then he growled low in his throat, sounding very much like a large cat and gave Captain John a death glare.

Captain John raised his eyebrows, a little taken aback by the growl. He made a mental note to figure out how this, apparently crazy, man in front of him worked and who he was to the Doctor. But decidely without stepping on his toes, figuratively speaking. It would most likely be catastrophic to cross him. Who knows what he's capable of, he thought to himself. Can't wait to find out though, was his insane afterthought.

The Master continued to glare at Captain John for a few moments before he turned back to watching the Doctor at the bar, making a mental note himself, to find out what he did to the Doctor and then kill him when no one was looking.

---

"What you want to know?" the barkeep asked, his English was pretty good but his accent was thick.

"Anyone causing trouble around here?" the Doctor asked. "I mean more than usual. Anything or anyone stick out?"

"Besides you?" the barkeep asked sarcastically, smiling while wiping a glass clean.

The Doctor chuckled. "Yes, besides me."

"Are you authority or something?"

"Not really, no. Just curious." The Doctor smiled gently. "Hoping to do some good somewhere, try to make people happy. Solving problems is what I do best. Any problems I can solve, that you can think of?"

The barkeep chuckled. "Nothing too much out of ordinary. Other than the Alliance becoming more strict of late."

Alliance? The Doctor suddenly got scared, his smiled vanished. The girl in his dream said something about the "Alliance".

"Strict about what?" the Doctor asked.

"More security everywhere," the barkeep answered. "Searches on traveling vessels that have nothing to hide, which is right pain for those who do have something to hide. Hence the brooding captain behind you, Malcolm Reynolds." He nodded at the man in question.

The Doctor turned to look at him, Malcolm looked right back. The Doctor raised his eyebrow and turned back to the barkeep.

"Came here looking for job, got into fight with his contact," the barkeep continued. "Contact's name is Badger, he's hiding with his tail between his legs with all the tight security. Can't get any work done. Alliance has been keeping their eyes on him and his business associates. It's like their looking for something that would be hidden by a smuggling operation. Like a person, for example."

"What do you mean?"

"I think I should warn you, Doctor. You seem like good person."

"How did you know my...warn me about what?"

"This." The barkeep pulled out a piece of paper. A bounty poster with the Doctor's name and smiling face on it and the biggest reward the Doctor had ever seen. Whoever managed to turn the Doctor in would be able to buy a few planets with that, maybe a solar system.

It said in bold letters over the Doctor's picture: Wanted ALIVE. Death of subject results in life imprisonment or execution. Reward doubled for the return of the Doctor and his vessel, unharmed and in good health.

"Oh, no!" The Doctor looked absolutely horrified, he grabbed the poster and crumpled it up in his hand. He put his head on the bar and smacked it against the wood a couple of times, his hands clasped behind his neck, clutching the crumpled paper.

"Sorry," the barkeep said, genuinely upset for the Doctor. The Russian liked the man, he's a decent person, obviously. Poor guy, too bad the Alliance wants him for something, he thought. Probably something painful, knowing the Alliance, this thought left him with a look of distaste.

"What's the matter?" the Master asked, coming up behind the Doctor. He'd seen the Doctor's face pale and felt his distress.

The Doctor groaned and slipped the crumpled poster into the Master's hand, who looked at it and his eyebrows flew into his hairline.

"Oh, fuck..." The Master stuffed the poster into his pocket. "We need to go. Now."

The Doctor nodded, he stood up and went with the Master over to the table that the others were at. He was trying his best to keep his head down. The Master walked up to Jack and whispered something in his ear, discreetly handing the crumpled paper to him. Jack looked at it under the table and sighed heavily, looking scared and worried.

"We need to go," Jack told his team.

"What's the matter?" Mickey asked, sounding a bit scared.

"I'll tell you after we leave," the Master whispered to him. They looked confused but did as Jack and the Master said and stood up to leave.

Suddenly, the music stopped and Rose yelped. A small group of rather shady and gross looking men had grabbed John while he was dancing with Rose. They started wrestling John toward the door.

"Oy!" John yelled. "What's wrong with you people? Something wrong with my dancing? Let go!" He tried to wrestle his arms free.

"Oh, shit!" Jack said, starting to make his way through the crowd of people, to try and save John. These thugs had obviously mistaken John for the Doctor. Easy mistake.

"Wait, let him go!" Rose yelled, trying to grab for John but she was pushed back, hard enough to send her to the floor.

"Rose!" The Doctor made to go and help her but the Master held him back.

Jack stopped and helped Rose up. "You okay?"

"I'm fine!" Rose started crying. "Just help John!"

The ugly men were quickly and steadily moving through the crowd with John in their grasp.

"Wait!" one of the thugs said. "What about him?!" he asked, pointing to the Doctor. The Doctor hung his head and slapped his hand over his face, angry with himself for not hiding well enough.

"There's two of him?" the ugliest and dumbest thug said.

The Master growled. He stepped next to Jayne and before he could react, took his hunting knife and flung it across the room. He hit the thug that was pointing at the Doctor in the throat, killing him. A bar brawl ensued and fists started flying before the dead man could even hit the floor.

The Doctor's jaw dropped, he glared at the Master. "Oy! I told you not to kill anyone!"

"Now's really not the time to complain." The Master smiled at him.

"I think it is!" Jayne said, standing up to his full height, towering over the Master. "You gonna get my knife back?"

"No," the Master said, smiling insanely and elbowing one of the thugs that had attacked him, angry about his friend's death. When the thug grabbed his side in pain, the Master grabbed his head and broke his neck, still smiling at Jayne and the rest of his party.

"Will you stop that?!" the Doctor yelled at him.

"No." The Master chuckled.

"You don't need to kill them! They aren't trying to kill me! Or didn't you read that poster?! And what is it with you and killing everyone you come across?"

"They deserve it."

"I agree," Jayne said, smiling himself now.

"Even if they aren't trying to kill you, they are going after you. The filthy humans deserve to die, thinking they can kidnap a Time Lord and get away with it!" the Master growled at the Doctor.

"Thanks for starting a fight. We was getting bored, right Mal?" Jayne said, ignoring what the Master said because it confused him.

"Right! But what do you mean 'filthy humans'?" Mal asked, just a little drunk. "You say it like you're not! And what the hell is a 'Time Lord'?"

The Master smiled indulgently at them. Mal was going to retort about his grin, when a body came flying at them. The Master and the Doctor just managed to duck out of the way, when Jack's lifeless body almost hit them. Mal and Jayne threw themselves into the fray with huge manic grins, throwing fists and pistol whipping people left and right.

"Jack!" The Doctor went to check on him. There was a stab wound in his chest.

"Sorry 'bout your friend," Zoe, Mal's second in command said. She was still sitting at the table, like this was a normal day for her. Which it is.

The Doctor looked at her, slightly annoyed. "He's fine. He'll be up in no time."

"I'm sorry, but he's dead," Zoe told him gently. "Ain't no one who can take a knife to the heart and live."

"He doesn't count," the Master told her, watching the fight nonchalantly and looking bored. Zoe looked at them like they were insane. Then Jack woke up with his usual loud jerky breath. Zoe screamed. Mal turned to see why she had screamed, seeing she was fine but staring at a man who was dead a minute ago but isn't anymore, he raised his eyebrow and clocked someone without even looking at them. He went back over to Zoe and the weirdos who think they aren't human and pointed his gun at Jack.

Still on the floor, Jack looked down the barrel of the gun, looking very annoyed. He even rolled his eyes.

The Doctor grabbed Mal's pistol out of his hand. "Would you mind not aiming your gun at my friend?"

"Why's he not dead?" Mal nodded at Jack, grabbing for his gun, but the Doctor pulled it out of his reach.

"He's complicated," the Master answered.

Captain John helped Jack to stand. He dusted himself off, grumbled about his ruined shirt and grabbed the pistol from the Doctor. He handed it back to Mal. "I'll explain when we're not in the middle of a fight and I don't care if you aim your gun at me or even shoot me, as long you don't aim it any of my friends."

"Whatever." Mal grabbed his gun from Jack's hand a little roughly. Zoe edged away from Jack, still a little freaked out, which was a weird expression on her face, she's usually stoic and beautiful like a statue of a greek goddess.

Jack ran back into the fight and tried to go after the men who had taken John, the Doctor tried to follow but again, the Master held him back.

"What are you doing?" the Doctor asked him. "We need to stop them and get him back!"

"If you go running off after them, then they'll really get their reward and those bastards who posted the reward will get their hands on you. Better they make the mistake and give you a chance to get away and come up with a plan first. They won't kill him if they think he's you," the Master argued, trying to sound reasonable. Although, honestly, he could care less about John.

"What's say we blow this joint," Mal said to all of them, his crew and the Doctor's party. "You seem to have the law after you." He looked at the Doctor and smiled. "You seem like the kinda person I can get along with, though. Which is saying something. I don't get along with many people."

"No, he doesn't," Jayne said coming out of the fight that was dying down, as most of the people who were in the bar were now on the floor or had run away. Jayne was sporting a nicely split lip but he had a big grin on his face too.

The Doctor just raised his left eyebrow.

"Bad news, Doc," Jack chimed in, coming over to the Doctor a little winded, Rose was crying in his arms. The Doctor turned to them. "We lost them. They got away with John."

"Say, uh," Mal started, a little antsy. "We'll help you get your friend back, if you happen to have some more of them coins from Earth-that-was."

They all pulled out coins from their pockets, except the Master, who just scowled. Rose handed Mal a whole handful of pennies and five pence. Mal whistled. Zoe gawped.

"Holy shit!" Jayne said picking up one of the coins the Doctor had pulled out of his pocket and held out to them. "Shiny! I'm in!"

"Me too," Zoe said, picking up a coin out of Rose's hand.

"You guys just walk around with that kinda fortune in your pockets?" Mal asked, looking at them like they were stupid. "Where the hell did you smart folks grow up? Had a bit of a sheltered upbringing?" he was trying to sound rude, but they all just snickered at him.

"Let's just say that we're not from around here," the Doctor said, smiling.

The fight had died down, and only the unconscious littered the floor, the others had all ran. And someone had tipped off the authorities. Five official looking men walked into the pub and looked around.

"Gorram it!" Mal said.

"Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan..." Zoe said.

"Hun dan!" Jayne spit.

"How quaint," the Master said sardonically. "They curse in Mandarin."

Mal looked at him curiously. "You don't?"

The Master turned a look at him that told Mal that he was the dumbest person the Master had ever met. Which was not true, the Master had met plenty of dumb humans. At least, they were dumb according to him.

The officials looked around and saw them at the back of the pub, the only conscious people there. They spotted the Doctor and pulled out their guns.

"Oh, bugger," the Doctor said and sighed.

"Right, we need to leave," Jack said, grabbing the Doctor's arm. "Maybe there's a back way," he looked around.

"Doctor," they heard a Russian whisper. They turned to see the barkeep holding open a concealed entrance under the floor board behind the bar that only they could see. It was out of sight of the officials with guns. "This way!"

TBC

Chinese translations:

duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze - Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey
Ng-Ka-Pei - Medicinal-herb wine
Gorram - Firefly slang for "God damn"
Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan... - Oh, this is a happy development...
Hun dan - Damn

Chapter Text

The Doctor grabbed Rose's hand and ran for the appointed escape route with her, Jack, the Master, Captain John, Martha, Mickey and the Torchwood team fast in tow. Mal's crew ran after them. The officers fired their weapons in an attempt to stop them, missing all of them with their bad aim and only shattering a few glasses and a mirror, while riddling the wall with holes.

They escaped under the floor boards, the barkeep bringing up the rear after he closed it and pulled a lever that locked it and replaced the rug over it. They ran down a long and narrow tunnel. It was all dirt and support beams, clearly built for just this purpose; to escape. It even branched off to other shops or wherever else they had hidden escape routes. Proof of a community under persecution on a regular basis and it made the Doctor angry.

After about half a mile, they came to a small flight of stairs. It came out under the floor boards of a little medicine shop. The little old lady behind the counter looked up when the floor opened, she spared a wave for the barkeep, and went back to her newspaper. They ran out of the back door of the medicine shop and Mal took up the leading of the group, heading toward his ship.

Jack tossed his coat over the Doctor's head and hugged him close, keeping him hidden. It looked a bit odd and suspicious, but the people on this planet seemed to be so used to suspicious people that they barely glanced at the group of ten clean out-of-place people, a man hiding under a coat, three gunslingers and a Russian bartender.

"I don't like this, Jack," Gwen said, looking around nervously.

"Neither do I, but we're just going to have to take whatever comes our way and deal with it." Jack hugged the Doctor to him a little tighter, making sure he was covered well enough with the coat.

After several minutes of running, they made it to the ship yard, where all the space and land ships were docked. The barkeep stopped running when they reached the ship yard. "This is as far as I go," he said when they paused. "I go to my sister, take her and her children and leave this planet before Alliance finds us. She was getting annoyed with this place anyway."

"Right, thank you!" the Doctor slipped out from under Jack's coat and offered the barkeep his hand. The barkeep laughed and ignored the Doctor's hand and grabbed him into a big bear hug, lifting the Doctor from the ground and causing his spine to make a few worrying crackling noises. The wind was squeezed from the Doctor's lungs before the barkeep put him down. The Doctor's knees nearly gave out but he caught himself on Jack's arm before he could fall.

"I help people escape all the time, Doctor," the barkeep said. "It was nothing that requires gratitude."

"Thank you anyway," the Doctor smiled. "And I'm sorry about your pub."

"Ah, I was getting tired of the Alliance's rules and, how you say 'bullshit'," the barkeep tried for colloquialism.

"Not me so much, no," the Doctor muttered.

The barkeep ignored that. "Ah, rules are too strict, annoying, bad for business," the barkeep grinned. "Besides, I still have coin you gave me. I open new pub, maybe out on the Rim. A border planet somewhere, out from under Alliance's thumb." He held up the shiny five pence and grinned.

The Doctor smiled and handed him another five pence, "Thank you. What was your name?"

"Pavel Andreievich Chekov." The barkeep chuckled, looking at the new coin. "You need anything you come find me," he beamed, giving the Doctor another bone crunching bear hug and then he walked away.

"Nice guy," Jack grinned. The Doctor nodded and held his ribs on one side, wincing.

"Yes. Can we go?" the Master asked, scowling again. (It's really going to get stuck that way, if he doesn't stop that.)

They were starting to get glances and stares from people who had seen the Doctor's poster somewhere. Some trying to get a look at his face from different angles to make sure it was him.

"That might be a good idea," Jack said. "I don't think we can make it back to the TARDIS. Where's your ship?" he asked Mal.

"At the other end of the port," Mal said, looking around.

They had just begun their short journey through the ship yard when an official vehicle skidded to a halt in front of them, stopping them in their tracks. Mal thought quickly and motioned silently to Jayne, who shoved the Doctor into a vendor's tent. Jayne and the Master followed quickly. The Master not wanting to let the Doctor out of his sight and Jayne following Mal's will without even being told. He was getting paid really well after all, he was on protection detail and more than happy to be so. They ducked through tents and stalls, following Jayne away from the lawmen.

They heard gunshots and the Doctor tried to turn back, worried for the others, especially Rose and Martha. But the Master pushed him forward, knowing exactly what he was thinking, because he knew what the Doctor knew. They all knew that Rose was pregnant but what the others didn't know yet, was that Martha was pregnant too. Martha herself didn't even know yet, but the Doctor and the Master and John as well, with their Time Lord senses, they could smell the extra hormones coming off of her. The Master knew how the Doctor felt about leaving the others, but he was more concerned with keeping the Doctor safe.

But there were a lot of lawmen about. Jayne, the Doctor and the Master ran out of another tent and ran right into two burly officers.

"Stop! You are hereby bound by law to stand down!" one of them stated. They aimed their guns at the three of them, too close for Jayne to pull his gun before he'd get shot for trying. But he didn't need to. The Master was too fast; taking another smaller hunting knife off of Jayne's belt, with lightning speed he slit one's throat and then plunged it deep into the other's throat and left it there. The Doctor and Jayne were both sprayed and drenched with arterial blood-spray. Miraculously, the Master didn't have a drop on him. (You have to know where to stand.)

"I'm gonna run outta knives with you around," Jayne grouched. The Doctor just stood there for a moment, gaping and blinking and dripping with human blood.

"The Doctor will buy you new ones," the Master said absently and shrugged.

The Doctor wiped the blood off of his face and flicked it onto the ground. "I wouldn't have to if you would stop killing people!" the Doctor said, his voice steadily rising to an angry shout. The Doctor was livid, he was shaking with anger but he was resigned to the Master's psychopathy. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't stop him from killing person after person right in front of him. Not unless he could somehow see it coming. But as it was, the Master snapped so quickly and moved so fast that the Doctor didn't even have time to think about stopping him, much less actually doing it.

"Like that'll ever happen," the Master said in return, smirking.

Jayne wiped his own face off, but flicked the blood at the Master instead. The Master flinched as it hit his face and he gave Jayne a real death glare. "Don't give me that look pretty boy, let's go." Jayne grabbed the Doctor's arm and dragged him through another tent. The Master huffed and followed.

---

Mal pulled his gun and shot out the wheels on the official's land vehicle. There were only three men in it, easy enough for them to take. Mal punched one out before he could pull his gun, Jack took out another one with a blow to the gut and Zoe got the last one with the butt of her sawed off shotgun.

"Let's go!" Mal said to the rest of them. They wasted no time in taking off again, toward the Serenity. But less than twenty yards from the last three lawmen, they ran into six more. "Jung chi duh go-se dway!" Mal cursed. "Why the hell are there so many of them? These are all Feds!" he yelled at the people he met in a pub less than an hour ago.

"Let's just say that it's in everyone's best interest to get the Doctor away from them as fast as possible," Jack said, pulling his Webley. Gwen, Owen, Tosh and Ianto pulled their guns as well. Mal and Zoe followed suit, tired of dodging people and playing nice. Mal shot the first man who aimed his gun at them, hitting him in the shoulder. Zoe and Jack took down two more with similar shots. Gwen took out the last three with knee shots and Mickey and Martha quickly disarmed them.

"Shiny!" Mal said to Gwen. "You're a damn good shot!"

"Thanks," Gwen said, smiling a little at the compliment.

"Yeah, she was a crap shot a year ago," Owen said.

"Oy!" Gwen glared at Owen.

Mal saw several more Feds coming up behind them. "Run-tse duh fwotzoo! What the hell did he do that has them riled up like this!?" Mal asked them as they started to run again.

"Wuh deh ma!" Zoe cursed.

"It's what he didn't do!" Rose yelled to Mal, running and trying not to cry. She was overcome with worry for John, but she pushed the tears back, saving them for when she could cry in safety.

"And then he escaped!" Jack said, running full tilt.

"Aiya! You people owe us an explanation when we get outta here!" Zoe yelled, knocking out another lawmen who tried to cut them off with a flying right hook to the face.

They ran into four more that Martha and Mickey took down with some quick martial arts, but not before one of them landed a blow to Martha's midriff. She recovered quickly and cracked his sternum with a roundhouse kick.

"Whoa!" Jack exclaimed. "Where'd you learn that!?" Captain John whistled appreciatively, earning a glare from Ianto.

"Been taking some Karate and Judo classes in our spare time," Mickey answered, breathing heavily. "Oh, and there was that impromptu Sontaaran Kung Fu lesson." Jack gave him a questioning look. "Long story." Mickey shrugged.

Martha snickered and they continued running. Mal had a bemused look on his face, while Jack was beaming and chuckling.

By now, they had the whole town after them. Or at least it seemed that way with how many officers, Feds and other lawmen were chasing them down. They were practically coming out of the woodwork. But they kept running, Serenity was in sight, Mal could see her just up ahead.

---

They had run into a wall of lawmen. There they faced at least twenty men with badges and guns.

"Wuh de tyen, ah!" Jayne muttered.

As they stood there, speechless and not knowing what to do next, they stood motionless long enough for the lawmen to recognize them and their state of bloodiness. A couple of officers grabbed the Doctor as the others swarmed Jayne and the Master, they were trying not to use their weapons as none of them wanted to take the death penalty for accidentally killing the Doctor. A few of them went for the Master and grabbed him too. Jayne had his guns out and was aiming them at any officer that got too close to him, keeping them at bay but not shooting them, he couldn't take them all down and didn't need to give them a reason to shoot him. They cuffed the Doctor's hands behind his back and tried to do the same to the Master but he was fighting them too much for them to get the cuffs on his wrists.

"You get your filthy ape hands off of him!" the Master bellowed at the men who had a hold of the Doctor.

"He's wanted by the Alliance for questioning," the lead Fed said.

"Questioning? Is that what they told you?" the Doctor asked incredulously.

"And you two are coming in for suspicion of murder," the lead Fed said to the Master and Jayne, gesturing to their bloody attire.

The Master threw off the men who held him and this time he swiped Jayne's boot knife and lashed out with all of his fury, killing two and providing the lawmen with a good enough reason to draw their guns.

"Gorram it! Stop takin' my shit!" Jayne yelled.

The Master grabbed the lead Fed by the back of his neck. "There's no need for suspicion!" The Master held the knife to the throat of the leader, smiling and giggling insanely. "I've killed millions of people," he hissed into his ear, sounding so terrifyingly truthful and scaring the man so much that he wet himself. "And now it's your turn!" And the Master slit his throat, deliberately slow from ear to ear, the man trying to fight all the while against the Time Lord who was far stronger than he was. He dropped dead to the ground and the Master moved fast for the next one. He slit a few more throats and stabbed a couple chests and bellies, moving too fast for any of them to get a good shot in, and Jayne shot two officers, then three more in quick succession.

The Doctor fought against the ones holding him and threw them off with his own strength, even with his hands bound, startling them and scaring a few others. The Doctor ran toward the Master, in a desperate attempt to stop him or the men he was fighting or just do something! Jayne turned around too late, one of the other Feds took deadly aim at the Master's back and fired.

But it wasn't the Master who fell to the ground...it was the Doctor.

---

John found himself gagged and hogtied in the back of a transport vehicle. He lay there on his side, lamenting his pitiful human strength and staring at the two men who were watching him curiously, while two more sat in the fore of the vehicle.

"What d'ya think they want 'im for?" the particularly dumb one asked the other.

"I dunno, do I?" the other dumb one with a somewhat Scottish accent said.

"Well, theys offerin' a lotta coin for 'im," the first one said. "Makes ya wonder what's so valuable 'bout 'im. He don' look nothin' special."

"Just shut up!" the Scot said. "Who cares? 'S long as we get paid."

"Fine. But I's still wonderin'."

"Why don'ya ask him then?"

"Maybe I will!"

"Will you two shut up back there!?" the one driving shouted back at them. They did shut up and decided to just leave John alone.

John sighed as best he could through the filthy gag (trying really hard not to think about the bad taste on it) and rolled his eyes. He really hoped Rose and the Doctor got away and were alright.

TBC

Chinese Translations:
Jung chi duh go-se dway - Steaming shit pile
Run-tse duh fwotzoo! - Merciful Buddha!
Wuh deh ma! - Mother of God!
Aiya! - Damn!
Wuh de tyen, ah! - Dear God in heaven!
Gorram - Firefly slang for "God damn"

Chapter Text

The Master saw the Doctor fall and that was it, he saw red and lost all semblance of sanity. He moved too fast for them to shoot him, hitting each other instead and doing half of the Master's work for him, as he killed them all. In a matter of seconds they were all bleeding out or dead on the ground.(Got to love those Time Lord reflexes.)

Now they all really were covered in blood. The Master's white shirt under his black suit was now completely stained crimson, the Doctor's blue suit looked like it had been dyed a maroon color and let's not even mention Jayne's gray shirt that wasn't so gray anymore. The Master wiped the blood from his face and hands off on one of the dead officer's shirts, then stripped another shirt off of the dead guy next to him, took his gun and found the keys to the cuffs.

Jayne was already putting pressure on the Doctor's wound, which thankfully was only his shoulder. It was a good turnout in the Doctor's eyes, as the bullet would have ripped through at least one of the Master's hearts had he not gotten in the way.

The Master un-cuffed the Doctor's hands and wrapped the semi-clean shirt around the Doctor's injured left shoulder and tied it as tightly as he could. "You stupid old man!" he yelled at the Doctor.

"Oh, shut up! I just saved your life!" the Doctor groused, sounding mostly okay. The Master growled and he and Jayne helped the Doctor up and onto his own feet.

Jayne stared at the Doctor's wound for a moment, wondering briefly why his blood looked brighter, thicker and more opaque than any he'd ever seen, but then he decided it was just the light and extra adrenaline running through his system playing tricks on his eyes. They ran with the Doctor as fast as they could. The Master, having gotten tired of all the setbacks, shot any lawmen that crossed their path. He and Jayne only shot them in the knees at the Doctor's behest. "You've killed enough people today! Please just incapacitate them somehow or wound them, if you have to! But there has been enough death!"

The Master rolled his eyes but did as he asked. "God, you're still a sanctimonious bastard! You know that?" The Master gave him an angry look, as they continued to run. "How many people have you killed? How many civilizations have burned because of your meddling?"

"Less than you and that is not the issue here!" the Doctor gritted out. Jayne mostly stayed out of the conversation, as it didn't make a whole lot of sense to him.

The Master went to respond with a sharp quip at the Doctor, when suddenly they were covered by a sea of sobbing blonde hair.

"Rose!" the Doctor said and tried to hug her with his good arm, then remembered that he was covered in blood. "Rose, let go. You'll get all dirty."

"I don't care!" she told him.

"Jayne! Get everyone on board!" Mal yelled, climbing up the ramp of his ship, Serenity. He pressed a button on a side panel and spoke to the pilot. "Wash! Get us in the air, now!"

A tinny reply came over the speaker. "I can't do that captain! All ships have been landlocked!"

"Ta ma de!" Mal cursed.

"Oh, no they haven't!" the Doctor said, handing Rose off to Jack, leaving her shirt a little bloody and ran toward the cockpit.

"Wait! Hey!" Mal shouted and he and Zoe ran after him. The Master went to follow but Jayne held him back. The Master glared daggers at him but let it slide, though he was still worried about the Doctor and his wounded shoulder.

The Doctor knew exactly where he was going, he'd always liked the Firefly class ships, very versatile and fast for their time. He ran through the galley and up to the cock pit, startling two people who watched him run past and then Mal and Zoe run past. He burst into the cockpit, startling Hoban Washburne, Serenity's pilot and Zoe's husband.

"Who the hell are you!?" Wash yelped. "And why are you covered in blood?!"

"I'm the Landlock Fairy!" the Doctor said and pulled out his sonic screwdriver, adjusted the setting and aimed it at the ship's console. "And the blood is a long story."

The landlock was canceled on all ships after the Doctor's ministration, and Wash looked at the Doctor like he'd just performed some magic he could never possibly have imagined. "Tyen shiao duh!" Wash muttered.

"Now, fly!" the Doctor ordered.

Wash looked to Mal who had come in after the Doctor. "You heard the man! Fly!" Mal told Wash, he and Zoe looking at the Doctor the same way as Wash had. After the all clear from Jayne in the cargo hold, Wash flew Serenity into the sky, much to the dismay of the Feds and lawmen who had just gotten to her loading ramp in their pursuit of the Doctor.

"Have you got grappling arms?" the Doctor asked Mal.

"Yeah?" Mal said.

"I need you to grab something before you leave the atmosphere," the Doctor said to Mal, deadly serious.

"Sure! Whatever you want, with how much you're paying!" Mal said, looking the Doctor up and down and wondering about the blood as well. "Where is it and what are we grabbing?"

"A few hundred yards east of that pub on the main street, there's a big blue box. I need it!" the Doctor said.

"Wash, a few hundred yards east of "The White Russian", if you please?" Mal said. "Find me that blue box."

"You got it!" Wash said and pulled Serenity around into the direction he needed.

---

Jayne was shouting at everyone, the crew and the new comers, getting everyone on board and securing the door and the ramp and any cargo they had picked up.

"Jayne, why are you all covered in blood?" Simon Tam, Serenity's resident doctor asked him. "You're not hurt are you?"

"No, it's not my blood. Happy Slicer over there kept stealin' my knives and killin' everybody who got in the way," Jayne nodded to the Master, who stood there smirking while everyone looked at him with various kinds and degrees of emotion. Disgust, curiosity, wonder, some fear and anger, some exasperation on Jack's part and Captain John was looking at him with a little admiration. "He likes cuttin' throats, I noticed."

"It's the best way to kill with a blade," the Master chuckled.

"Arterial bloodspray." Simon looked at the Master warily. "What exactly happened?"

"I'm not entirely sure," Jayne said. "Mal's gonna have to have a talking-to with that Doctor guy."

"The guy who ran through here like he owns the place?"

"Yeah, that's the one."

---

The Doctor sighed with relief and followed Mal back to the cargo hold, leaving Zoe with Wash in the cockpit. The Doctor got a few stares from other crew members on the way.

When they reached the cargo hold, Mal started giving orders. "Kaylee, I need you in the engine room," he yelled to the ship's mechanic, Kaylee Frye. "We're gonna need to go to full burn."

"Yes sir, Cap'n," Kaylee said and sprinted up the steps and toward Serenity's engines.

"Jayne," Mal turned to him. "We're gonna be bringing some cargo on board before we break Atmo. The Doctor needs us to grab some blue box of his."

"Right," Jayne moved to a control panel and then turned to the people in the cargo hold. "Get outta the way, unless you wanna fall to your deaths!"

They all did as they were told, climbing the steps or moving back behind Mal or other cargo. Jayne pressed a button and a section of the floor of the cargo hold opened up to reveal land moving swiftly below them. The ship slowed and they saw the familiar shape of the TARDIS just a few yards below them. Two metal arms extended from a hatch in Serenity's belly. They grabbed the TARDIS and pulled it inside, the whole procedure taking less than a minute.

Once Jayne closed the hatch in the floor, the Doctor went up to his beloved blue box while Wash flew Serenity into the black.

---

"There you are, you beauty!" the Doctor said, running his hands lovingly over the smooth blue wood.

"It's always a relief to see that thing after a long and dangerous chase," Martha said, putting her own hand to the wood.

Jayne had just secured the TARDIS in the cargo bay, when a voice came over the speakers. "Folks, we got company! Hold on to something until I lose 'em!"

Everyone held on for dear life, as Serenity bobbed and shook and swayed and sped up and slowed down. Then they pulled something called a "Crazy Ivan" that finally lost their pursuers and had everyone in the Doctor's entourage white-knuckled and bug-eyed.

Jack sighed when everything finally calmed down. "Doc, are you hurt?" Jack asked, walking up to him and gesturing to the white cloth wrapped tightly around his left shoulder.

"Oh, it's nothing." The Doctor shrugged. And then winced because he shrugged. Stupid idiot, he berated himself. The Master shook his head at him, almost hearing the Doctor's own thoughts to himself.

"Nothing my ass!" Jayne said, who walked up to him and poked him in the injured shoulder.

"Ow! Bloody hell! What did you do that for?!" the Doctor shouted in pain. The Master scowled angrily, trying not to go over and kill the human.

"Gunshot wound ain't nothing, Doctor," Jayne said, smirking.

"Let me have a look." Martha went to the Doctor.

"Simon, patch up the good Doctor's wound," Mal said. "Then, you folks owe us an explanation about what happened back there!"

Simon directed the Doctor to Serenity's Med Bay, followed by the Master, Martha and Owen.

"I'm going to get the Doctor and the Master clean suits," Ianto stated and disappeared into the TARDIS with Jack's key.

"You trying to tell me, we risked our lives to save the Doctor's wardrobe?" Mal asked all who were left in the cargo bay.

"It's a lot more than just a wardrobe, trust me." Jack smiled. "You know that 'vessel' they're talking about in the poster?" Jack pulled the crumpled wanted poster out of his pocket and handed it to Mal. "Well, that's it." Jack pointed at the mysterious blue box.

"But it's a wooden box," Jayne said, looking at Jack like he was stupid.

"I'd show you the inside," Jack told them. "But it's not my secret to reveal. You want to know more, you ask the Doctor."

Mal looked at the poster, balked at the reward sum and noted what the poster said about the Doctor. The Alliance wanted him alive, at the cost of executing anyone who hurt or killed him. Then remembering the number of Alliance officers and Feds that were chasing them, trying to catch the Doctor, Mal felt a strange need to protect him. Akin to his need to protect his crew, and Simon and Simon's strange sister.

"Wow, I feel sorry for the guy who shot him," Mal said.

"No need, the crazy guy in the black suit ripped him open real good," Jayne said, chuckling. Gwen, Tosh and Rose looked a little sickened, while Captain John just looked impressed. Mickey wasn't paying attention.

"Now I feel sorry for him," Jack added. "I know it wasn't a quick death, then."

Jayne looked over Mal's shoulder and had a look at the poster. He choked on his own breath and had to hold onto Mal's shoulder to stop himself from falling when his knees gave out, he'd never seen so much money. "Gao yang jong duh goo yang!" He couldn't even tell how much it was, there were that many zeros. "Hey, Mal," he whispered. "Why don't we..." Jack looked a bit wary, maybe he shouldn't have shown them the poster.

"Jayne." Mal looked him in the eye. "No." Jayne grumbled to himself and sauntered off. Jack visibly relaxed, starting to like this Mal person.

"Let us have a look at that." Gwen put her hand out to Mal for the poster. He handed it to her and she, Tosh, Rose, Mickey and Captain John looked at it and balked themselves. "Oh, my god," Gwen breathed. Captain John whistled at all zeros.

"That's why they took John," Rose said, getting teary. Then she got annoyed with the hormones that were making her cry all the time and that just made her cry all the more. She sniffled and Jack put his arm around her and hugged her close.

"We'll get him back, Rose," Jack said to her, pulling out of the hug and holding Rose's face in his hands. "Even if I have to die a million times, we'll get him back. I promise."

"Jack," Rose sniffled again. "I feel like my heart's been torn asunder."

"I know, sweetheart," Jack hugged her and kissed the top of her head. "I know how you feel, believe me. I know."

"How does that work exactly?" Mal asked, walking up to Jack. "I saw you die in that bar."

"Then you came back to life and scared the tar outta me," Zoe said, coming down the stairs into the cargo bay.

Jack smirked. "Sorry about that. It's a little hard for me to explain in a way you'll understand. That's something else you'll want to ask the Doctor."

"He the know-it-all of the group?" Mal asked sarcastically.

"Yes!" the Doctor's friends all said in unison. Zoe scoffed.

"You could say that," Rose said, sniffling and wiping her eyes. She smiled a little. "The Doctor's a genius."

"A super genius." Mickey chuckled.

"That's the biggest understatement I have ever heard." Jack smiled.

"The Alliance been messin' around in his head too?" Mal asked, looking angrier by the minute.

"What?" Gwen asked.

"The Alliance likes playing around in people's heads, especially geniuses." Mal swallowed and clenched his fists. "I have a crew member, who's also on the run from the Alliance. They were playing around with her brain until she finally got away." Mal sighed. "You guys are welcome to stay as long as you need to."

"Thanks, but it's a little more complicated with the Doctor." Jack grimaced. "He'll explain everything, though. I know he will."

"Good." Mal turned to leave.

"A fair warning though," Jack said, making Mal turn back around. "There's a lot that won't make sense, and even more that you won't believe. Just so you know, every word is true. If there's one thing the Doctor doesn't do well, it's lying. He hates lying and being lied to."

"Definitely someone I can get along with then." And Mal left.

"Why don't ya'll come up to the galley? Get something to eat and make some introductions?" Zoe said.

"Sounds like a good idea." Jack nodded. Ianto came out of the TARDIS then, carrying fresh suits for the Doctor and the Master, as well as clean shirts for Rose and Jack. Rose's shirt was bloody from hugging the Doctor and Jack's was dirty too, with a hole from being stabbed.

"Thanks, Yan." Jack said to Ianto.

"Thanks," Rose said.

"I've explained what was going on to the others," Ianto whispered to Jack. "They've agreed to stay inside and stay quiet.

"Good, thanks Ianto." Jack nodded to him. "Get those suits to the Doctor in the Med Bay."

---

In the Med Bay, the Master was laughing and the Doctor was whining. "Ow! That hurts! Stop it! Are you done yet?!" The Master was leaning against the counter, laughing raucously at the Doctor's low pain tolerance. The Doctor was sitting on the gurney with his eyes squeezed shut.

"Hush, you big baby," Martha chided the Doctor, smiling at his antics. She and Owen were looking around at the medical equipment, a little disappointed that most of it was similar, if not the same, as what they used in the twenty-first century. You'd think they'd have more advanced medical practices in the twenty-sixth.

"Hold still, please," Simon said, stitching up the Doctor's wound. The Doctor sat there with his shirt off and was trying not to complain about the primitive medicinal methods, and Simon was trying not to notice the strange blood, as it unnerved him a little. Simon finished off and bandaged the Doctor's wound. "There, now I'm done." The Doctor sighed with relief and the Master stopped rolling with laughter, slowly but surely. "Just let me check your vitals real quick." Simon pulled out a stethoscope.

"Why don't you let me do that?" Martha asked carefully.

"Don't worry about it, Martha," the Doctor said. "He'll find out sooner or later." Martha nodded and backed off.

"Find out what?" Simon asked suspiciously.

"Have a listen." The Doctor grabbed the end of Simon's stethoscope and held it to his chest.

Simon put the ear pieces into his ears and listened to the left side of the Doctor's chest, then the Doctor moved it to the right and he heard it. Simon backed away so fast that he almost fell over, the stethoscope falling to the floor. The Master smirked and the Doctor sighed.

"You have two hearts!" Simon squeaked. "Your blood is weird too! It's the wrong color..."

Ianto came in at that moment, smiling. He handed the suits off to the Master, noting the tense atmosphere but choosing to ignore it. "We've been told to go to the galley when you've finished, to make introductions and give explanations."

"Explanations," Simon mumbled, nodding. "Need explanations."

"Yes, good. Thank you, Ianto." The Doctor smiled. "We'll just change and be up in a minute." The Doctor looked at the Master. "Maybe a few minutes. I'd like to have a quick word with the Master, if you don't mind?"

"Sure," Martha said, looking between the two of them, knowing exactly what was coming. "We'll just go, then." She shooed everyone out, arguing a little with Simon but promising that everything would be alright. "You don't want to be here for this, trust me." She was saving them from the fury that was about to be unleashed onto the Master. She knew that look, that look that the Doctor gave only to his enemies. She closed the door behind them, after closing the shades on the windows for them.

The Doctor stood there, shirtless and covered in dry human blood and just stared at the Master for a minute. The Master was looking right back, smirking and waiting eagerly for the Doctor's fury. He loved it when the Doctor got angry, especially about something that the Master had done.

"All those people," the Doctor started, gritting his teeth.

"What about them?" the Master asked, smiling.

"You didn't need to kill them," the Doctor said with an eerie calm. "But you did it anyway."

The Master set the clean clothes that Ianto had handed him onto the counter. He stood up straight and walked toward the Doctor. "They were trying to take you away from me."

"What's happened to you?" the Doctor asked, squinting his eyes slightly and frowning. "You've always been a killer but you've always done everything for yourself. Why, all of a sudden, do you care what happens to me?"

The Master sighed and stepped closer to the Doctor, his face expressionless. He grabbed his arms just above the elbows and backed him against the wall, the Doctor looking a bit scared.

"It's not sudden, Doctor," the Master hissed into his ear.

The Master smirked at the look of confusion on the Doctor's face and then forced his lips onto his, capturing them in an abrupt and brutal, somewhat possessive kiss.

The Doctor's eyes widened in surprise and then squeezed shut as he started to struggle and tried to push the Master away. He was weak, exhausted from running and getting shot and then Simon had given him some medicine for pain. The Master had the upper hand here, and it scared the Doctor to death. What the hell was going on? What's the Master doing?

The Master held him firmly, pressing his body to the Doctor's, trapping him against the wall. He pressed one of his legs between the Doctor's, against his groin. He applied enough pressure with his leg to make the Doctor whimper, whether in fear or pain or pleasure, he didn't know. He released the Doctor's arms in favor of grabbing the back of his neck with one hand and his waist with the other, tilting his head and deeping the kiss.

The Master growled low in his throat, wordlessly telling the Doctor to open his mouth and the Doctor did, out of fear. He was so confused about this, it couldn't be happening. Why was it happening?

The Master forced his tongue into the Doctor's mouth, invading and tasting every inch of it. The hand on the Doctor's waist moving down to squeeze his bum and press their bodies closer together. The Doctor was fighting, pushing against the Master, trying to get away but it was no good. The Master was stronger than the Doctor, for the moment.

He was too kind and too alarmed to bite or fight against the Master more and potentially hurt him. A terminal pacifist, the Master had called him, rather accurately back at the Shadow Proclamation.

The Master pulled out of the kiss, but kept hold of the Doctor.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" the Doctor asked through gritted teeth.

"If you need to ask, then I'm not doing it right." He pressed the Doctor more firmly against the wall, his leg still in place between the other's. Both of the Master's hands moved down and into the waistband of the Doctor's trousers to take hold of and squeeze the Doctor's bottom, as he watched the Doctor's face change from one expression to another.

"You've gone mad!" The Doctor gasped when the Master's hands started massaging the pale flesh beneath them.

"Yes, but that's nothing new, Doctor," the Master whispered into the Doctor's ear. Then he chuckled and licked the Doctor's ear, then kissed it. "Soon," he whispered and kissed the Doctor again, his tongue invading and his teeth nipping.

After a good long minute, the Master licked the Doctor's lips one more time before letting go and the Doctor was finally able to push the Master away. The Master only relented because he knew that now wasn't the time to go any further, as much as he wanted to, and he really really wanted to go further.

The Doctor stared at the Master, trying to catch his breath. He wiped his lips on the back of his hand. "Don't you ever do that again!"

The Master went to the counter and tossed the Doctor's clothes to him, then started to strip himself to change into the fresh black suit that Ianto had retrieved for him. The Master smirked mischeivously, unbuttoning his now stained red shirt. "Try and stop me, sweethearts."

"Nine hundred years," the Doctor said. "In the nine hundred years that I've known you, you've never done anything like this. Not with me. What's changed? What are you up to this time?"

The Master smiled and stepped close to the Doctor again, his tie removed and his shirt unbuttoned. "No, I haven't done anything like this to you before." He put his hands on the Doctor's shoulders. "But I've thought about it." The Master smiled insanely and happily. "Too many times to count." He gave the Doctor a peck on the lips, making the Doctor flinch. "I'm not up to anything but that, Doctor." The Master let go of the Doctor and stepped away. He openly surveyed the Doctor's body, with appreciation and then turned away to continue the changing of his clothes.

The Doctor gaped at him as though he had gone completely bonkers. When in fact, it was actually the opposite; he was less insane than he had been the last time he'd seen the Doctor. He was just hiding this change in himself rather well, as he didn't really understand it yet.

"Have you completely lost your mind?!" the Doctor asked incredulously.

"Perhaps," the Master shrugged. "Perhaps it's the opposite." The Doctor just gaped at him again, one eyebrow raised.

TBC

Chinese Translations:
Ta ma de! - Dammit!
Tyen shiao duh! - Of all that's sacred!
Gao yang jong duh goo yang - Motherless goat of all motherless goats!

Chapter Text

The Doctor wet a cloth, his mind not entirely in the here and now, and tossed it to the Master to clean the blood off of his skin, and wet another for himself. He was staying decidedly on the opposite side of the room, away from the Time Lord who was staring at him unashamedly.

"Stop that," the Doctor said, putting his shirt on.

"No," the Master smiled and licked his lips.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and turned away so he didn't have to see the Master staring. He finished putting on his freshly laundered brown suit and put all the contents of his pockets into the new suit; he even changed his shoes. Ianto had thought far enough ahead that he brought clean suits, shirts, shoes, ties, socks and even clean undergarments.

The Doctor tried his best to hide his body from the Master, feeling rather exposed, but the Master kept casually moving just enough to get him back into view. The Master was trying not to just jump the Doctor right there, while still feasting his eyes on everything there was to see.

As soon as the Doctor had his shoes changed and tied, he chucked the bloody clothes into the bin, regretting the loss of his red shoes, and flew out the Med Bay door. The Master was laughing to himself, loving the Doctor's new-found awkwardness and stand-offish demeanor around him.

The Master followed the Doctor, after tweaking his tie one more time. They ascended the stairs leading to the galley, the Master close behind the Doctor, watching his bum as he walked. When they reached the galley, they were met by silence and several people staring at them; Mal and who the Doctor assumed were his crew. A young girl with brown hair and grease spots on her face, an older gentleman with gray hair, the pilot he'd met and the other two he'd met in the pub, then a beautiful young woman with wavy black hair and fine clothes. They and the Doctor's friends were all standing around the wide kitchen, leaning against walls or counters, or sitting on the few chairs at the long table.

Mal was sitting sideways on one of the wooden chairs, leaning his elbow on the wooden table. There was another empty chair directly in front him, facing his direction. "Your friends and my crew have all met each other," Mal sighed. "Well, most of my crew. There's another girl running around here somewhere. You've met Wash, our pilot."

"Hoban Washburne, at your service!" Wash recited jovially. The Doctor smiled and nodded to him.

"And Zoe Washburne, my second in command and Wash's wife." Mal motioned to her. She waved at the Doctor. "My... security specialist, Jayne Cobb." He nodded toward Jayne, who grumbled what might have been a greeting. "And our doctor, Simon Tam." Simon nodded vaguely, still lost in thought over what he saw and heard in the Med Bay. "The two people you scared the piss out of when you ran through here, covered in blood; Shepherd Derrial Book and our resident Companion, Inara Serra." He pointed toward the older gentleman and the finely-dressed woman; they nodded to the Doctor.

"Sorry about that. I was in a hurry." The Doctor gave them one of his heart melting smiles, to appease them. The smile worked; Inara smiled brightly back at him, and the Shepherd smiled a little himself.

"You saw little Kaylee down in the cargo bay," Mal continued, gesturing to the grease-smeared girl in the corner, who seemed a bit shy.

"Kaylee Frye, I'm Serenity's mechanic," Kaylee said, smiling and blushing a little.

"Really?" the Doctor asked, a playful smile on his face. "I'd love to have a look at her inner workings."

"Sure, if you want." Kaylee smiled brightly. "Whenever you want to come and see, if it's okay with Mal?" She looked to Mal, who gave her a stern look back.

"After we get a few things cleared up, you'll get the grand tour." Mal looked a bit irritated. "Anyway, Simon's sister, River is running around here somewhere. She kinda helps out with everything." Mal shrugged. "So, do you have a name, Doctor?"

The Doctor smiled. "That is my name. The Doctor." He glanced at the Master for a moment. "Oh, similarly, he's called the Master."

Mal scoffed and looked between the two of them, then at the other people in the galley. "You're kidding, right?"

"No," the Doctor's entourage all said at once. (Amazing how that keeps happening.)

Mal nodded uncertainly. "Anyway, Doctor," Mal said, nodding at the empty chair.

The Doctor sighed and sat down in the appointed chair. He crossed his legs and rested his elbow on the table. The Master perched himself on the edge of the table behind the Doctor.

"You've got some explaining to do," Mal added.

"Yes, and I assume you have many questions," the Doctor said, smiling. "I certainly have answers, I just hope you're prepared to hear them."

"Let's start with this," Mal said, laying the Doctor's wanted poster on the table.

"Ah, that's a very long, complicated, and mostly unbelievable story," the Doctor informed him.

"I'm listening," Mal said pointedly.

Deciding to hide their true identities for a while longer, the Doctor chose his words carefully. Jack and the others, knowing exactly what the Doctor was going to do, fell right in tow with him. Jack decided to keep an eye on Captain John and the Master though, just to be safe. Captain John knew what the Doctor was and the Master had too big of an ego to willingly hide his "superiority".

"There are people who are after something I know, a mathematical equation. I can't even begin to explain to you what it is or what it's for, but just believe me when I say that it's massive and, if used, would effect the whole of existence."

"The Alliance wants an equation from you? They'd pay that much money for a bunch of numbers?" Mal asked, sounding a little disbelieving.

"No, not the Alliance. I fear that the people who are really after me have taken control of your government, might even have been the ones to start it and its wars." The Doctor looked solemn.

"There's a secret organization behind the Alliance? Dahng ran!" Mal rubbed his face with both hands and slouched in his chair. "This just keeps getting better and better!"

"Not behind them, I don't think. They are the Alliance, but they're so much bigger than that." The Doctor sighed and rubbed his chin. "The Alliance is just one of their branches, if that makes any sense."

"Not really, Doc," Mal groused. "See, the Alliance runs everything in this system. There ain't anything else out there to be bigger than the Alliance. Earth-that-was was lost even before the terraforming in this galaxy was finished."

"There is a lot more out there, I assure you." The Doctor looked a bit sad for Mal's lack of knowledge.

"Your math equations tell you that?" Mal sounded a bit sarcastic.

"There are many other colonies out there. Many solar systems just like this one, terraformed and colonized by humans, you just don't know they're there and they don't know you're here," the Doctor said to Mal and his crew, his face and voice serious enough for them to believe him. Which is saying something, because Mal doesn't believe things like that easily.

"So, I'll try to understand it," Mal said, staring at the Doctor. "But can you try to explain this equation you're talking about?"

Before the Doctor could answer, there was a whisper from the doorway behind him.

"The Storm is here!"

They all turned to see Simon's sister, River Tam. The Doctor flew out of his chair and turned to get a better look at her. River was standing there in the doorway in a green sweater and short black leggings, she was barefoot and her long hair hung over her eyes.

"You!" the Master said, standing up and making to walk toward her, but the Doctor pulled him back and stepped forward himself.

"You're the girl from the dream," the Doctor almost whispered. All of the Doctor's friends were looking between the Doctor and River, waiting for answers. Mal's crew and Captain John just looked confused.

"You're the man from the dream," River said, smiling and tilting her head to one side. "You were eaten by Reavers."

The Doctor peered at her curiously. "You had the same dream?" River smiled wider and nodded at the Doctor in response. She kept looking at the Doctor, like she couldn't believe he was there.

"What dream, mei mei?" Simon asked, walking over to River.

"The dream about Miranda," River told him, still looking at the Doctor. Simon just looked even more confused.

"These people are our guests, River. Paying customers, they'll be with us for a little while. Can you behave?" Mal asked.

"Of course, Mal," River chided him. "I would never hurt the Storm or the Children of Time."

"The what?" Simon asked her.

"Sorry, she rambles on about weird things and sometimes it's just nonsense." Mal shrugged. "Just ignore her, if she don't make a whole lotta sense."

"No, no. It's not nonsense this time," the Doctor said, keeping his eyes on River. The Master was watching her curiously too. The rest of the Doctor's friends were just watching the scene, wondering about the girl from the Doctor's nightmare.

"River, sweetie. What 'storm'?" Inara asked her gently.

"The Oncoming Storm," she told them, like it was obvious. Simon and the others were just confused; Inara seemed a bit scared though, as did Shepherd Book. Most of the Doctor's friends, however, were now watching the Doctor.

Mal noticed the looks on the faces of the Doctor's companions. "Do you know what she's talking about?" Mal asked the Doctor.

"Yes." The Doctor didn't even look at him. "She's talking about me."

"And the 'Children of Time'?" Mal asked.

"That would be us," Jack answered, turning to look at him.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Zoe said. "Children of Time?"

"I'm more concerned with what 'the Oncoming Storm' means," Inara Serra said, stepping forward in her ornate red gown.

The Doctor sighed. "You're psychic, aren't you?" he asked River.

River nodded, smiling brightly. "The Oncoming Storm, the Destroyer of Worlds, the Lonely God, the Time Lord Victorious, the Man Who Makes People Better," River rattled off, staring at the Doctor. "The Doctor is her Lonely Angel." River smiled wider to him, showing her teeth.

"Who's 'her'?" Mal asked.

"Madame de Pompadour," River said. She glanced at Rose and Mickey, who both seemed taken aback at River's knowledge of their adventures with the Doctor. Then River turned her gaze to the Master and unnerved him with the glint of insanity in her eyes, different from his own. "You're the Time Lord Vainglorious with the Never Ending Drums...they are returning." The Master went rigid, the Doctor put his hand on the Master's arm in an attempt to calm him.

Then River turned to Jack. "And The Immortal Man, the Face of Boe, the Fact...the Freak."

"Doc?" Jack said, glancing in his direction.

"The Saint," River said to Martha, who swallowed nervously. "The Hero Who Didn't Die In Battle...the one who came back to him," she said to Rose. "The Idiot," she said to Mickey with a smile. Mickey smiled back, not at all bitter about his nickname.

She turned to Jack's Torchwood team and her eyes went dull, like she was staring and remembering something. "The Carer With Her Oh, So Beating Heart," River said to Gwen, retelling what the blowfish said to the Torchwood team, back when Jack disappeared with the Doctor. River continued to Owen. "The Doctor With His Hands Full Of Blood." She turned to Toshiko. "The Technician With Her Cold Devices." Then to Ianto. "The Office Boy Promoted Beyond His Measure." She smiled at him too.

River turned to Captain John Hart. "Then there's the Liar, the Murderer, the Man Who Cheats," River said, almost bitterly. Then she grinned a little evilly. "The Man Who's In Love... but doesn't know what to do about it."

Mal and his crew were staring at them all now, scared or worried. Mal was a little angry, Simon was confused and worried about his sister.

"Now you have even more explaining to do, Doctor," Mal said and sighed.

TBC

Chinese Translations:

Dahng ran! - Of course!
Mei mei - Little sister

Chapter Text

"Doc," Jack looked to him. "I think we're going to have to tell them the whole truth, not just what they might understand."

"Yeah," the Doctor sighed, turning to Mal. "I just hope you'll believe me, because I already sound crazy to you. The rest I have to say, I can only hope you don't shove me out into open space thinking I'm a mad man. Well, I am a mad man, but not that kind of mad man- it's a long story. A very long story. Nine hundred years of long story."

"Start talking!" Mal said in an angry tone. Then Mal looked confused again. "Wait- how many years of long story?"

"There's something we need to get clear to you, above all else. I know it's going to be hard to believe, all things considered," the Doctor started rambling.

"Doctor, just spit it out," Mal said, cutting off the Doctor's ramble.

"I'm not human," the Doctor said quickly, hoping it might soften the blow or something. His revelation was met by silence. "And neither is he." The Doctor pointed his thumb over his shoulder at the Master, who was still a little scared of River.

"Uh..." Mal was speechless.

"Your own doctor can attest to it," the Doctor said, nodding at Simon, who had walked over to the table with River. Mal looked to Simon.

Simon paled a little and he mumbled his words, disbelievingly, as he remembered what he saw. "His blood's too thick and it's the wrong color. And h-he..." Simon swallowed audibly, his mind back in the Med Bay with the stethoscope in his ears. "He has t-two hearts." Simon was very clearly unnerved by the whole thing. Most of Mal's crew all looked rather startled, scared or doubtful of what was just said. Kaylee seemed fascinated though. Jayne just seemed to be weirded out, like they were all talking crazy.

"So what the hell are you, then?" Mal asked, mistrusting his own ears.

"Time Lords. The Master and I are the last two Time Lords in existence," the Doctor stated matter-of-factly, sitting back down in his seat.

Captain John Hart, who was standing in the back of the crowd, going mostly unnoticed, was suddenly love-struck. He knew what the Doctor was, he'd met him before at Torchwood. Then he saw in the pub that there were now two Doctors, but now there was another Time Lord. Three Time Lords. And the first thing that came to his mind was sex. However, the fact that the Master is a Time Lord and a psychotic killer, made John Hart not only feel enamored by him but also terrified of him. And it felt glorious! Jack saw all of these emotions pass across Captain John's face and made a note to warn the Master about him, the same as he had warned the Doctor. Hopefully, his warning would be heeded this time.

"What the hell does that mean? 'Time Lord'?" Mal asked, looking between the Doctor and the Master.

"Exactly what it sounds like, actually," Jack put in.

"Well, no. Not 'exactly' as it sounds," the Doctor started to argue.

"Yes, it is," the Master said, smirking. Finally, he had a reason to try and forget about the crazy girl. He turned to the Doctor and stood behind him. "Gods amongst insects, Doctor." Martha sighed and Jack rolled his eyes at the Master's words.

"Oh, no we are not!" the Doctor argued, turning to look at the Master.

"Did he just call us insects?" Wash, the pilot asked no one. His question went unheard.

"You even more so than me, imagine that! None of the High Council members or even the Visionaries ever saw that one coming!" the Master continued, smiling wider and wider. "Your parents would be amazed!"

"You are not helping!" the Doctor shouted.

"I'm not trying to help," the Master snarked. "Oh, I can just picture the look on your father's face! And your mother!"

"Don't go there!"

"Why not? Ashamed of your mother, put to death for being human, mating with a higher life form and producing a hybrid?"

The Doctor glared at the Master for a second, sighed and turned away. "Actually, it's the opposite." And he flung his elbow back and right into the Master's groin. A little payback for what happened in the Med Bay and the Master's repugnant cheek. Most everyone came out with an "Oh!" when they saw and/or heard the fatal collision with the Master's testicles.

Martha, Mickey, Jack and his team were all trying not to laugh, only failing a little. Rose finally had a reason to do something other than cry, so she did so as much as she could. She was rolling with giggles. Captain John and the men in Mal's crew, including Mal himself, were all cringing. Zoe, Inara and Kaylee were smirking. River burst out laughing at him, completely unashamed.

The Master slid slowly to the floor, grasping his manhood with both hands. "Aah! You son of a..." the Master followed this with a whole string of curses in Gallifreyan. "That was a cheap bloody shot!" he managed in English through gritted teeth, his voice a little higher than normal.

"Yeah? Have a taste of your own medicine," the Doctor said, turning back around to face Mal and crossing his legs again. "Of all the things you've done over the years, what you've pulled over the last two hours really take the cake! You had that coming!"

The Master was breathing heavily when he spoke his reply in Gallifreyan. "What the fuck do you mean by that, Doctor?"

"You know exactly what I mean," the Doctor stated back at him in their native tongue also, but not even looking at him. "And watch your language!" The Doctor turned his head around a little.

"Why? You're the only one who knows what I'm saying." Still in Gallifreyan. Jack and the others were wondering what they were saying, but they had a decent guess, simply by knowing the two of them.

The Doctor turned in his seat and crouched down to look the Master in the face. "Exactly, I don't want to hear it. You earned that one and you know it." The Doctor sat back up. "Should have seen it coming, actually." The Doctor laughed a little and crossed his arms.

The Master sighed in defeat and changed back to English. "Fine! I'm sorry! Happy now?" the Master gritted, still kneeling on the floor and holding his hurt male pride.

"Happy? No," the Doctor said, back to English as well. "Appeased for the moment?" The Doctor turned back to face Mal. "Maybe." The Doctor tilted his head a little in agreement. Jack was laughing now and wondering what the hell the Doctor said to make the Master, of all people, apologize. He also wanted to know what the Master did that he needed to apologize for, besides the jab at the Doctor's mother.

"Anyway, Malcolm Reynolds," the Doctor continued, pasting on a smile. "I'm sure you have more questions, but before you ask the ones that are at the fore at the moment, let me just save some time by saying: Yes, we're aliens and we look human with basic anatomy that is very much like a human, as I've just demonstrated. I am actually part human, he's not. We both have two hearts, and technically four lungs. While my blood is thick and not the right color red, it is still red because of my human mother. If you were to draw his blood, you'd get something just as viscous but with an orange hue to it. We have far longer lifespans than what a normal human has and we can cheat death a grand total of twelve times each. We're also a lot smarter than the average human and I'll give you all a moment to wrap your heads around all of that before I continue."

Mal sat there, a little taken aback by the surge of information. He'd never heard anyone talk so much in his life. The Doctor's rambling is worse than Wash's when he's nervous. Inara and Shepherd Book were both a little unnerved by what was being said, as they are both set in their own beliefs, none of which involves the existence of aliens who can cheat death. Wash was struck speechless, as were Zoe and Jayne. Simon's mind was moving a million miles an hour and now he wanted nothing more than to do a few tests of his own on the Doctor's and the Master's blood. He really wanted to see their gene sequences. Kaylee was even more fascinated than she was before, maybe a little smitten.

"Did you honestly have to tell them all of that?" the Master asked, picking himself up off the floor and still holding his sore scrotum.

"Seemed best. Easiest to just get all of that out of the way before we move on to what's really important." The Doctor sighed. "Next question?" he asked Mal.

"Um," Mal mumbled, looking between them all. The Doctor raised his eyebrows and smiled. "You're an alien?"

"Yes."

"What about them?" Mal pointed at Jack and the others.

"They're all human. Jack is a little complicated, but he's human as well."

"Okay," Mal nodded uncertainly.

"Want to hear the kicker?" The Doctor waggled his eyebrows.

"What?"

"None of them are from the twenty-sixth century. Or even the twenty-fifth, for that matter." The Doctor smiled brightly.

"I'm sorry, what?" Zoe asked. The rest of Serenity's crew were all looking at eachother, wondering if the others thought the Doctor was crazy too.

"They're all from the twenty-first century. Except for Jack and John Hart, they're from the fifty-first century." Captain John and Jack both snickered. The Doctor smiled at the look on Mal's face.

"And what century are you from?" Wash asked bemused.

"All of them." The Doctor smiled brighter. Wash looked confused and seemed to be pondering that a bit.

"You trying to tell me that you can time travel?" Mal asked.

"Oh, you're a quick one, Malcolm Reynolds." The Doctor smiled. Then the Doctor looked at Mal with a mixed expression of amusement and chagrin. "You don't believe a word I'm saying, do you?"

"I'm having some difficulty," Mal said. Zoe nodded.

"As am I," Shepherd Book said.

"Well, I believe him," Kaylee said, smiling.

"Mal," River said and smiled when he looked at her. Mal stared at River for a minute, weighing his options and making his decisions.

"Huh, I guess I'll just have to take your word for it," Mal said. "For now," he added, sounding a little irritated. "But I want to see some proof of this whole alien thing."

Simon walked over to Mal and handed him his stethoscope. Mal peered at it curiously, then at Simon. "He has two hearts, Captain," Simon told him.

Mal took the stethoscope and stood up. The Doctor stood as well and took a step closer to Mal. The Doctor pulled aside his suit jacket on either side, as Mal put the ear pieces to his ears. Mal's crew waited with baited breath as Simon took the other end of the stethoscope and put it to one side of the Doctor's chest, then the other.

"Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung!" Mal said, dropping the stethoscope and stepping away the same way Simon had.

"He seriously has two hearts?" Shepherd Book asked, disbelieving.

"Yes," Simon answered.

"Tsway niou!" Jayne yelled and shook his head. He then left the room rather hastily.

"So can I see her?!" River said suddenly. She almost ran around the table and right up into the Doctor's face.

---

After the long ride in the transport vehicle, John found himself in a cell, sitting on a hard metal slab that might have been a bed - or at least he thought it was supposed to be. At least he wasn't tied up anymore.

"What the hell is takin' so long?!" someone yelled. John turned his head to see the man whom he supposed was the leader of the group who kidnapped him yelling at the Federal Marshall behind the desk. "Where's my money?!" He slammed his fist on the desk.

"Said something about confirmation of who he is," the Fed muttered, calmly flipping through a magazine. "Apparently, this Doctor guy has a twin, gotta wait for the phlebotomist to come and take his blood and make sure he's the right one." The group leader grumbled to himself and started pacing.

"But don't twins have the same DNA?" the dumbest of them asked, surprising John a little that he had at least some knowledge.

"I don't know," the Fed said. "That's the orders I was given, so we're gonna follow them." And he turned the page and flicked the magazine straighter.

John sighed and laid down on the metal slab. A bit weary from it all, he took a short and very uncomfortable nap.

TBC

Chinese Translations:
Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung - Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews!
Tsway niou - bull crap/shit

Chapter Text

"So can I see her?!" River said suddenly. She almost ran around the table and right up into the Doctor's face.

"See who, River?" Simon asked.

"The one who's singing!" River said, still staring at the Doctor.

The Doctor grinned and the Master raised an eyebrow. "You can hear that?" the Doctor asked her, smiling. River nodded vehemently, making her hair bounce.

"Hear what?" Zoe asked. Mal and his crew were confused, whereas the Doctor's friends all knew what River was talking about; the TARDIS. Anyone who had the pleasure of sleeping in the TARDIS, heard her singing to them while they slept.

"So can I see her? I want to meet her!" River asked, grabbing the front of the Doctor's suit and looking up at his face.

The Doctor was a little taken aback by her zeal and fervor, Simon started his worried way around the table to control his sister. "Okay! Alright!" the Doctor said calmingly. Smiling, he put his hands over River's, pulling them away from his chest. "You can meet her but can you wait a few minutes? I have a few more things to talk to your Captain about." River pouted and stared at the Doctor for a minute, before nodding and dropping her hands to her sides. The Doctor grinned and patted her shoulder. River grabbed his arm and hugged it, the Doctor gave her a curious look. Simon seemed worried about his little sister's odd behavior.

"Who is she talking about? You got someone in that blue box I don't know about?" Mal asked, his face expressionless.

"No, actually...," the Doctor started to say but was interrupted by Rose.

"Never mind that now!" Rose said stepping forward. "Doctor, you're getting carried away again!" Rose said, turning to him. She stepped over to the Doctor and put her hand on his other arm, she looked up at his face. "There's something more important that we should be talking about." Rose frowned and her eyes got teary.

"Yes, you're right! Sorry," the Doctor confirmed, nodding his head. He grabbed Rose's hand and held it in his own. He completely missed the jealous glares that were cast in his and Rose's direction. "John, the one who was taken," the Doctor said to Mal. "We need to get him back. Preferably before the wrong people get to him."

"Yeah, we'll try to forget about the singing wooden box and get back to the job," Mal said, turning to his crew and doing his best to get his mind back into the reality he knew and understood. "Simon, can you go get Jayne and tell him to get his pansy ass back here? Use those exact words, please. I know you'll enjoy that." Simon grinned and left the room. "Kaylee, will you and Inara set up the guest rooms?"

"Sure, Cap'n!" Kaylee smiled.

"Sorry. Y'all are gonna have to bunk together in groups," Mal told the Doctor. "We only have two empty rooms and there's eleven of you guys. A couple of you could sleep in the shuttle. Inara has the other one that seems a little bigger on the inside, but the other one's not too cramped, I don't think."

"That's fine!" The Doctor smiled and Jack snickered at Mal's choice of words to describe the spaciousness of Inara's shuttle.

"We'll have another room available, if Simon and River share," Inara said.

"And I can sleep in my hammock in the engine room," Kaylee told them. "I don't mind letting someone else use my room."

"I don't want to share with Simon," River pouted.

"Then you can stay with me, Mei mei?" Inara asked.

"Okay," River answered. Then she startled them all. "I'd rather stay with the Doctor, though."

The Doctor looked at her, surprised and maybe a bit shocked. The Master growled and Mal looked at River like she was speaking in tongues.

"We'll worry about who sleeps where, later." Mal shook his head, trying to keep his thoughts straight. "For now, just get the rooms ready for them. Wash check the Cortex, see if there's any information about where this John guy is being held. Might be listed under the Doctor's name or...what's his last name?" Mal asked the Doctor.

"Smith," Rose answered, releasing the Doctor's hand. "He goes by John Smith."

"John Smith or the Doctor! Got it!" Wash recited and left for the cockpit.

"River, would you like to come and help us?" Inara asked her, in hopes of getting River away from the strangers and to avoid any potential violence or babbling that might ensue should River snap.

River pouted and shook her head, clinging to the Doctor's arm even tighter. Inara nodded her 'okay' and she and Kaylee left to ready the rooms and get everything situated for their guests.

"Shepherd, can you handle dinner?" Mal asked.

"Certainly," Shepherd Book told him, nodding his head.

"Oh, let us help you with that?" Gwen asked. Toshiko nodded that she would like to help too.

"Of course," Shepherd Book said, smiling. Gwen smiled and she and Tosh went to help him.

Simon came back with Jayne, who stayed as far away from the Doctor and the Master as he could, giving them a wide berth. The Master snickered at him, smirking and giving him an evil stare. Jayne kept his eye on him and his hand wandered to his gun.

"Jayne, knock it off!" Mal growled at him. Jayne took his hand away, turning to look at Mal. He grumbled and went over to his captain.

The Doctor smacked the Master in the arm. "Stop that." The Master chuckled and rubbed his arm.

"What d'ya need?" Jayne asked Mal.

"We got some work to talk about, as soon as Wash comes back with any information he finds on the Cortex," Mal told him and sat back down at the table, as did Zoe and Jayne followed suit. The Doctor tried to sit down too, attempting to pull his arm out of River's grasp but then she just held on tighter. The Doctor felt the blood flow in his arm squeezed to a halt in River's vice-like grip. Simon gave her an odd look and the Master glared at her again.

"River, at least let the man sit down," Mal sighed.

River reluctantly let go and the Doctor sat down. She grabbed a chair and pulled it over to sit right next to the Doctor and grabbed his arm again, clutching it almost possessively. Zoe put her feet on one chair to save it for Wash when he got back, since there were only nine chairs at the table to seat nineteen people. There were cushy chairs and a couch in the galley but they were on the far wall, away from the table where they would be making their plans.

Rose sat at the other side of the table, the other two chairs were quickly filled by Martha and Jack, leaving the Master standing behind the Doctor, Owen and Ianto standing behind Jack and Mickey standing behind Martha, clutching her shoulders gently. Simon stood next to his sister and Captain John Hart just stood in the corner of the room, leaning against the wall and picking at his fingernails. They all sat there, waiting for Wash to return so that they could make plans to rescue John. The Master was glaring at the top of River's head.

"So, while we're waiting, I gotta say, Doctor," Zoe said, smiling at him. "I like the brown suit better than the blue one."

"You lot are Brown Coats, aren't you?" the Doctor asked, smiling back and lounging in his chair the best he could with River clinging to him.

"That obvious, huh?" Mal asked, chuckling.

"Maybe just a little." The Doctor grinned.

"That ain't a problem, is it Doctor?" Mal asked.

"Not at all." The Doctor smiled brightly, his smile was almost manic. "Brown Coats, the Independents. I love humans who prefer to think for themselves."

Mal nodded, a small smile on his face. "So, while we're waiting for Wash, Doctor," Mal continued. "You said you have longer life spans than humans, just how old are you exactly? Neither of you look a day over thirty-five."

The Doctor smirked and the Master chuckled. "Should we tell them? Make their eyes boggle again?" the Master asked the Doctor. The Doctor snorted.

"You're three-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-one Earth years old," River said loudly, resting her head on the Doctor's shoulder.

The Doctor looked down at the top of her head, a little surprised but not really. He knew she was psychic and he was becoming more and more impressed by her abilities as time went on. "Yes, I am. You surprise me again, River." She looked up at him and smiled.

Mal and his crew did in fact boggle their eyes, Jayne put his fingers in his ears and started humming, trying to pretend that he hadn't heard that. Shepherd Book dropped a package of protein supplement, having heard their conversation. "Lao tyen yeh!" Book whispered to no one.

"A-and what about you?" Mal stuttered to the Master.

"Three-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-eight." The Master grinned at Jayne, who was staring at him open-mouthed. For a big guy who thought he was tough, he was a real sissy when he encountered something new that he didn't understand. This reaction to the Time Lords was almost as bad as when someone said "Reavers" around him, which made him look like a deer in the headlights.

---

About thirty minutes after he had fallen asleep, John had been awoken by a sharp prick in his arm.

"Ow!" He jolted awake, to find his arm pinned down by a rather large Federal Marshall and a very big needle in his forearm.

The woman taking his blood didn't even flinch. "Hold still a moment," she said, not looking up but keeping her eyes on what she was doing. She was wearing a white lab coat that had an Alliance badge on the breast pocket.

John looked up to see four men just outside the cell. Two of them were wearing black suits and bright blue plastic gloves and were grinning at him. The other two seemed to be soldiers, as they were wearing Alliance uniforms. He had the feeling that they were going to take him, even if they found that he's the human clone, not the real Doctor.

Then he noticed that the Alliance woman was taking a whole one liter bag of his blood. There are only five liters of blood in the human body, which meant he was going to be anemic and extremely tired after she was finished.

With the technology that she was using, it only took a couple of minutes to fill the blood bag and she only used a drop in the small handheld device that told her what they needed to know. She turned to face the men with the blue gloves and shook her head at them. One of them went to the Fed behind the desk and spoke to him in a hushed voice. The woman put a bandage over the big hole that the needle left, after which John was promptly lifted off of the metal slab and his hands cuffed behind his back.

"No, please let me go!" John tried to beg the men in the black suits.

He was ignored and the soldiers dragged him from the Federal Marshall's office and loaded him into a shuttle, where his arms and legs were chained to the seat they had shoved him into. After the woman in the lab coat got into the shuttle, John heard a high-pitched noise that no one else in the shuttle seemed to have heard. It made him cringe and it felt like his teeth were rattling. He could only imagine what was happening to anyone getting the brunt of that sonic wave and he knew that the men who had kidnapped him had gotten their payment, though not the one they wanted. As it turns out, it also meant that all of the Marshalls in that office had died as well because John saw the men in the black suits pulling ear plugs from their ears as they got into the shuttle. That means the sonic device they used couldn't be aimed in any specific direction, like his screwdriver could. Everyone in the immediate vicinity will have died a painful death. Everyone in the Marshall's office had been killed, good and bad.

John glared at the men after they sat down. "You killed them all," he said through gritted teeth.

"Just tying up some loose ends, Mr. Smith," one of them said to him, smiling.

John was still not opposed to killing those who really deserved it. Now he wanted nothing more than to teach these men a lesson, maybe take a page from the Master's book and teach them real pain. His new sonic screwdriver had a similar setting that could do the same thing as their device, if he tweaked it a bit. If only he could get to his bottomless pockets. Nothing had been confiscated from him because when they patted him down, his pockets felt empty.

If he wasn't restrained, he would be done with these people and making his way back to his wife and the TARDIS with his head held high.

---

Wash came back to the galley after just a few minutes. Everyone turned to listen to him, Mal's people and the Doctor's. "There's nothing about a 'Doctor' or a 'John Smith', but there is a post about a 'Person of interest' on Persephone that was picked up by some locals and was being held in a Marshall's station. He was handed over to an unknown party." Wash sighed. "But if he's wanted by the Alliance and they've picked him up; he'll be in an Alliance cruiser on his way to wherever they're taking him. We won't be able to catch up with a cruiser, they're the fastest ships in the 'Verse." Wash looked a bit dejected. "I tried sending an anonymous wave to the station that he was picked up from to get some more information but there was no reply. I tried a couple times and still no answer." Mal and his other crew members sighed in defeat.

"That's because they're all dead," River muttered. "They have him now." River let go of the Doctor's arm and hugged her knees to her chest. She started to rock back and forth.

"Who has him now?" Rose pleaded. "River, tell us!"

"They do." River shook her head. "Two by two, hands of blue. Two by two, hands of blue," she repeated over and over again.

"I've heard her say that dozens of times," Simon informed, when the Doctor looked at her worriedly. "I still don't know what it means."

The Doctor turned to face her. "River," the Doctor spoke gently. He bent his head down to look her in the face and put his hand on her shoulder. "River, what is that you're saying? Who's they?" River began shaking her head back and forth so fast it looked like she might break her neck. He put his hands on either side of River's head, to stop her shaking. "River, if you know who has John, I need you to tell me."

River began shaking her head again. "No! I don't want to go back there!"

The Doctor glanced at the Master, who looked right back at him. They seemed to be communicating without words. "River," the Doctor said. brushed his fingers over her temples. "Do you mind if we have a look?" River lifted her face to look at him. "It'll only be for a moment," he assured her. The Master stepped behind her and put his hands on her shoulders.

"Hold on. What are you doing?" Simon asked from River's other side.

"If she'll let me, I can have a look at her memories. See what she's talking about." The Doctor glanced at Simon and then looked back at River. "I have a feeling that whoever has John, are the same people who mucked about with River's mind."

"You can read minds?" Mal asked. He was a little leery about letting some aliens, that he'd just met, play around in River's head. But for some reason, he trusted the Doctor whole heartedly.

"Yes," the Master answered flatly. Jayne clapped his hands back over his ears and started humming again.

"How'd you know someone messed with her head?" Mal asked.

"It's the only way for a human during this era to have this much psychic ability," the Doctor answered. "Oh, and we heard you tell Jack."

"But you weren't even in the room when I said that," Mal muttered.

"Time Lord hearing," the Master said, smiling. "Can hear an ant take a piss from a mile away." Jayne hummed louder.

Mal ignored Jayne's incessant humming. "And both of you need to do this?" Mal asked, nodding at River. He didn't trust the Master at all.

"A Time Lord can read another Time Lord's mind easy enough, but a human mind is different. It requires more concentration on our part. One of us could do it alone but given the girl's mental state, it's safer for her if we both participate." The Master spared an emotionless glare at Mal.

"You mean it's dangerous?" Simon asked, getting ready to pry his sister away from them.

"Not too dangerous, if we both do it. It's only because her mind's so much smaller than ours to begin with, then you add her own unique characteristics into the mix," the Master sighed. "The Doctor will be able to concentrate on getting the right information, if I'm here to keep her mind stable," the Master told him. "She'll be just fine. Besides, if I do something wrong, the Doctor will kill me. So you can count on me to behave." The Master smiled at Simon, not at all easing his worries.

"Master, you're not behaving as it is!" the Doctor hissed at him.

The Master smirked. "I'll play nice with the girl's head, I promise," he snarked.

The Doctor sighed and rolled his eyes. He turned his attention back to River, looking into her eyes. "River, it could help save someone very important to me. Please?" the Doctor pleaded.

River watched his eyes for moment, frowning with her brows furrowed, then she nodded slowly. "Okay. I trust you."

The Doctor smiled. "Thank you!"

The Doctor put his hands on the back of River's head and tilted it forward, then tilted his own to press their foreheads together. The Master put his fingers to River's temples and they all closed their eyes, the others looking on in wonder and fascination. Even Jayne was curious enough to pay attention.

---

The Doctor pushed his way into River's mind, while the Master held her together. They were both able to see the visions, the memories that River was showing them. In their mindscape, River was clinging to the Doctor just like she had been in real life. They walked through the corridors of her mind, passing a solid mental barrier that was hiding something, River didn't even seem to notice it was there. The Doctor was curious as to what was behind it, but they were there for one specific reason and this wasn't the time to go exploring in someone else's mind.

"There they are," River pointed in the direction of the memories of the hands of blue.

There were two men in suits, always two men with blue gloves. They weren't always the same two, but River had encountered these pairs of blue gloved men many times.

Then River showed them a vision of a school; a beautiful, peaceful school and a feeling of excitement. Then there was a sense of terror when she was taken away from the school and brought to a space station. They saw her memories of being strapped to chairs and tables in various laboratories. Memories of being experimented on and operated on. Visions and the feeling of needles in every inch of her body, screaming in terror, her head shaved before being cut open again. Days and weeks of hard training, including psychic and physical training of many kinds.

They saw a memory of River waiting in a room full of people, most of whom seemed to be of high status or government officials. River was standing in a line of ten other children her age, just listening to the noise and bustle of what seemed to be a party. She stood there stiff as a soldier and listened idly to a conversation between a man and a woman going on behind her. She couldn't see who was speaking because she couldn't turn around, if she didn't stand there in order they would hurt her again.

She only caught snatches of the conversation. "So the Pax failed?" the woman asked.

"The planet Miranda is under strict quarantine until we can clean up the mess," the man replied. "Your brother would prefer to just destroy the whole planet, but that wouldn't be wise. It would destabilize the solar system and your people would lose this port of harbour."

The woman sighed heavily. River heard her silent next thoughts. "That's why we need to get our hands on our 'trump card' before we try to take control," a flash of the Doctor's face went through her mind. "No need to worry about pesky things like planetary alinement."

That was all River heard before she was ordered to leave the room by a couple of men in black suits wearing blue gloves.

They saw River passing an open door, inside was a machine much like the one the Doctor had been in at the Shadow Proclamation, almost exactly the same. There was a man with red eyes wearing a white suit, who smiled as River walked past him.

They pulled out of River's mind, only a few seconds had actually passed in the real world. The Master removed his hands from River's temples and took a step back, sighing. The Doctor lifted his head from River's and looked her in the eye, she looked back for a moment and then started crying. She wrapped her arms around the Doctor and cried into his chest, he hugged her tight and rocked her a little.

"I'm sorry," the Doctor whispered to her. "I'm so sorry." River sobbed a little more.

"What is it? What did you see?" Jack asked.

"Did you see what happened to her?" Simon asked, a little too impatient to know what happened to his dear little sister. "She won't tell me what they did to her. Did you see what it was?"

"Yes," the Master answered, watching the Doctor comfort the poor girl that he couldn't bring himself to hate anymore.

TBC

Chinese Translations:
Mei mei - little sister or a term of endearment
Lao tyen yeh! - Oh God!

Chapter Text

"What did they do to her?" Mal asked softly, sadly.

"They removed part of her brain," the Master answered. There were sighs and hushed oh-my-gods from just about every woman in the room. "And they did many experiments on testing her muscle reflexes, which involved a lot of needles. Plus there were non-stop hours and even days of physical and psychic training that would drive anyone mad. It was like they were trying to make her into the perfect soldier or even an assassin."

The Master actually looked a bit impressed, which irritated the Doctor to no end. I'll reprimand him later, the Doctor thought to himself.

"Yeah, she'll rip you in half, if you're not careful." Mal nodded. "And don't get close to her when she has a knife in her hand either- and by 'don't get close' I mean run away and hide."

"You said they removed part of her brain. Which part?" Simon asked.

"The amygdala," the Master told him, reluctantly taking up the duty of explaining everything, as the Doctor was a bit distracted at the moment. Simon sighed, looking profoundly sad. "They removed her basic emotions, the part that decides right and wrong. They replaced it with an implant that produces the chemicals that support her extreme emotions; like rage and depression. Which explains a lot about her behavior upon meeting the Doctor."

The Doctor was still holding River, rubbing her back with one hand and resting his cheek on the top of her head.

"Why is that?" Mal asked.

"Emotionally, she's a child and just like everyone else who needs help and meets the Doctor," the Master sighed. "They see him as the answer to their problems. I've always wondered why that is?" The Master got a pondering look. "You humans always cling to him in times of need, which this little girl is doing quite literally because of her mental state." He nodded at River. "Can't you apes take care of yourselves for once?"

"Master," the Doctor said in a warning tone, glaring up at him.

"It's a valid question," the Master argued. "Why do you always have to protect these mongrels?"

"Mongrels?" Wash asked, going unheard again.

"Because someone needs to do it, and I can and I want to," the Doctor told him. "And I need them to need me to do it, I suppose." The Doctor smiled and chuckled a little. "They could probably take care of themselves well enough, even if a lot of their history would be completely different, if I hadn't stepped in. They don't call humans 'The Great Survivors' for nothing."

Jack and the Doctor's other friends all grinned brightly. Even Wash, Zoe and Kaylee gave a small grin, grabbed by the same need as every other human the Doctor meets. They feel safer around him and a fond love for him grows within them, without them even noticing it until he's gone from their lives.

The Master shook his head. "But why the humans, Doctor? Why do you risk your life over and over again to save the human race, but risk even more to destroy the Time Lords?"

The Doctor's gaze flew up to glare at the Master. "We are not having this discussion right now."

"Fine, we'll talk more about it later," the Master growled. "But don't think you'll be able to-"

Mal cut the Master off. "You find out where they might be holding this John character?" Mal asked, getting the conversation back on track.

"Yes," the Doctor informed. He let go of River and she leg go of him, until he turned around again to face the table; then she grabbed his arm again. "In fact, I'm almost certain that he will be there."

"Really?" Rose asked eagerly, still looking a bit sad.

"Yes." The Doctor gave Rose a smile. "Have you got a map of this system?" he asked Mal.

"Yeah. Wash?" Mal turned to his pilot. Wash nodded and ran to the cockpit. He came back moments later with a piece of folded yellow paper. He unfolded it onto the table to reveal a computer screen like map of the White Star solar system. Tosh wandered over to look at it, Gwen shook her head at Toshiko's fascination with technology.

"It was a space station." The Doctor stood and peered at the map; River was kind enough to let go of his arm and held his hand instead. "Don't know what it's called, though." Jack and the others stood and huddled around the map as well.

"Greenleaf," River muttered. "It floats around Greenleaf."

"Greenleaf?" the Doctor asked Mal.

"Here." Mal pointed to a planet on the Rim. "This is Greenleaf." He glanced at River. "And I think I know what space station you're talking about." He pointed to another small dot that was floating around Greenleaf and another smaller planet. "Ezra. I really don't want to have to go there but you gotta do what you gotta do."

"Why don't you want to go there?" the Doctor asked curiously.

"Niska?" Jayne asked, looking up and paying attention now. "I ain't going anywhere near that bastard again! I don't wanna and you can't make me!"

"I don't want to either," Wash said to Jayne. "But this is a life and death situation and we have no choice if we want to help them to rescue their friend. I hate to say it, but if you were stuck there, we would go save your sorry ass and I know you'd save ours, even if you didn't want to. You weren't even the one Niska tortured! What are you so afraid of?"

"I saw what he did to you and Mal, that's enough!" Jayne yelled back at Wash. "And that poor guy he had hanging upside down in his closet. Said it was his nephew, Gorram it! Imagine what he does to people who ain't his family!"

"I don't need to imagine!" Wash shouted back.

"Bizui!" Mal yelled at them. They both shut up and looked a little ashamed. Mal glared at his crew mates, then looked to the Doctor. "Obviously, we've had a few bad experiences with the guy who runs the business side of that particular space station. He's not a nice guy, I'll tell you that! Really knows how to torture people and he enjoys it too."

"Bet he doesn't have anything on you," Jack remarked snidely to the Master.

The Master snickered. "Oh, no one has anything on me! Are you kidding?" the Master said, smiling and chuckling. The Doctor rolled his eyes. The Master addressed Mal, his notorious smirk gracing his features. "How about I show this Niska guy what it really means to torture someone? A taste of his own medicine, would you like that?"

"You can do whatever the hell you want, as long as it ain't to my crew!" Mal deadpanned; he didn't like the Master at all. The Master laughed, the Doctor just shook his head. "Now we only saw a small portion of that space station, just the way from the dock to Niska's office and to the room he likes to torture people in," Mal continued. "Took out quite a few of his men in the process of escaping but I'm sure he's replaced them by now and I can tell you none of them people there will hesitate to kill you, if you ain't supposed to be there. And you definitely do not want to get caught. Niska's always going on about meeting your true self and some Works of...what was it?" Mal turned to Wash. Wash shrugged.

"The Works of Xiang Yu," Shepherd Book supplied, walking over to the table after having finished making dinner.

Suddenly, the Master spluttered and burst out laughing. He was laughing so hard that he ended up on his knees next to the Doctor, his face buried in his arms on the table, laughing raucously. The Doctor slapped a hand to his own face, stifling a chuckle.

"What's his problem?" Mal asked.

"What's so funny about stories of torture?" Book asked, a little affronted.

"Even after almost three thousand years!" the Master said to the Doctor through his guffaws. The Doctor just shook his head, suppressing a smile of his own and failing.

"Did we miss something?" Mal asked.

"The Master," the Doctor started, then hesitated a moment before continuing. "The Master was Xiang Yu."

"I wrote the Works of Xiang Yu!" the Master shouted, still laughing his ass off.

"You're kidding?" Jack asked, also affronted.

"Nope," the Doctor said, popping the "P". The Master continued to laugh, Jack and the others who knew the Master were looking at him like he was something disgusting.

The Master slowly recovered from the joke of one of his lifetimes, everyone watching him with mixed emotions. He stood back up and dusted himself off, clearing his throat. "'A taste of his own medicine' indeed! More like a taste of mine!" The Master straightened his tie. "Oh, that was hilarious!"

"You were the inspiration for that maniac's torture fetish?!" Mal asked incredulously, getting a bit angry.

"It's not like I inspired him on purpose," the Master snickered. "I only wrote those scrolls for fun! How was I to know that you humans would cling to their words for thousands of years?"

Mal was so angry, his lips vanished in a tight scowl. He clenched his fists and took a deep breath. The Doctor was watching him, worried that he might decide to throw the Master out into open space. In which case, the Doctor would chuck the Master into the TARDIS and lock him in.

Mal carefully reigned in his temper, he was still extremely angry at the Master's revelation and if he didn't like him at all before, he hates him now. The only thing stopping him from throwing the Master off of his ship, was the fact that these people were paying customers and he was supposedly one of the only two members of his species left in the universe. He was an endangered species so to speak and Mal didn't want to be responsible for helping to wipe them out, no matter how much of an asshole he was. He also looked like a human, which made it difficult for Mal to just chuck him off into space purely for the sake of killing someone he hates. "Anyway," Mal finally managed, crackling his knuckles. "Your friend is in this space station, we just need to get in, grab him and get out."

"Easier said than done," Zoe said.

"Whatever needs to be done," Jack told them. "There's plenty of us who can go in and fight, especially me since I can't die."

"Wait, what?" Wash asked. Again, he went unheard.

"Gwen, Owen, Ianto and Tosh are all trained for combat," Jack continued. "If the Master would be kind enough to help, he could probably take down that whole station by himself, if he wanted to."

All eyes turned to Master, who then shrugged. "Then it's a good thing I want to, isn't it Freak?"

"You want to help save John?" Rose asked, hopeful.

"Of course not," the Master told her, smiling. "I just want to kill something and I don't think the Doctor would be entirely opposed to my killing someone who loves to torture people as much as I do." The Doctor glared at him, the Master smiled back at him.

"Excuse me," Shepherd Book said to Jack. "But did I hear you correctly when you said that you can't die?"

"Didn't you hear River call him 'The Immortal Man'?" Mal asked the Shepherd.

"I did," Shepherd Book said, nodding.

"Well, she meant it," Mal said.

"Watched him come back to life right in front of me at the saloon, Preacher," Zoe told Book.

"You can't be serious?" Wash asked his wife.

"I am!" Zoe assured him.

"Need a demonstration?" Captain John piped up, asking Jack.

"Yeah, would you mind?" Jack asked him.

"Not at all!" Captain John pulled his gun out and shot Jack in the head, making an awful mess.

"Ta ma de!" Mal and crew flinched, completely unprepared for gunfire. The Doctor flinched and grimaced, then sighed at his friend's stupidity as Jack dropped dead to the floor. Mal, Jayne and Zoe reached for their guns. Captain John blew the smoke away from the barrel of his pistol, smirked and put it back in it's holster.

"What the hell is going on?" Kaylee and Inara ran into the room after having heard the gunshot. They saw Jack dead on the floor and Kaylee made a sad noise. "What happened?" Kaylee asked.

"We're killing people in the kitchen now, Mal?" Inara said flatly.

"Hey, I didn't do it!" Mal defended.

"No, that was me!" Captain John smiled and waved at the two girls.

Jack woke up, sucking in a loud breath. Kaylee screamed and Inara's chin dropped. Shepherd Book gasped and stumbled backwards a few steps.

"Wuh de tyen, ah!" Wash yelled and jumped back. Jayne tried to leave but Mal grabbed his shirt sleeve and yanked him back to where he was.

Jack sat up. "Ow!" He cringed and held his head. He stood up, wiped the blood from his head and looked at Captain John. "Your guns loaded with hollow-points?" he asked incredulously.

"Yep!" Captain John smiled.

"I hate hollow-points! They always give me a headache afterwards!" Jack grumped. Captain John snickered, he'd wanted to test Jack's immortality in many ways. Now he could scratch hollow-point bullets and head shots off the list, next he was thinking of using explosive rounds later.

"Are you morons done playing around now?" the Master asked, giving them a look like they just proved that they were the stupid apes that he knew them to be. Jack cleared his throat and stood up straight, looking a bit ashamed.

"Anyway, back to business" the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. He then looked to Mal, "Do you have an approximate idea of how many men there will be in this space station?"

"Least a hundred." Mal shrugged. "Should have more than enough bullets for that, we let Jayne, Zoe and I do most of the shooting." The Doctor sighed and most of his friends had an apologetic expression when they looked at him. "Something wrong?" Mal asked.

"The Doctor hates violence in general, the use of guns above all else." Jack sighed.

"I won't beg it of you," the Doctor said, looking at Mal. "But I will ask of you to please not shoot or fatally wound anyone, if you don't need to."

"Fair enough," Mal agreed. Zoe nodded her agreement, Jayne whined a little.

"Thank you." The Doctor smiled.

The Master scoffed. "Self-righteous bastard," he mumbled. The Doctor rolled his eyes again.

"You shut your mouth!" Rose exploded, standing and glaring at the Master. "There's never a good excuse to kill anyone, even if you have no other choice!" The Master chuckled at the funny little human. The Doctor and Jack were a bit startled by Rose's outburst, as were Mickey and Martha. Mal and his crew were a bit taken aback and the gunslingers seemed a little ashamed of themselves, even Jayne.

"It's okay, Rose," Mickey said, putting his hand on her shoulder. "He's just being an ass, you don't need to get worked up over it."

Rose pouted for a moment. "I don't want to be pregnant anymore!" Rose wrapped her arms around Mickey and hugged him tight, she cried into his shoulder. "I get all weepy and emotional over everything! It's driving me mad!" she shouted and sobbed into his shoulder. Mickey idly rubbed her back and made shushing noises. "I want my husband back!" And she sunk to the floor and dissolved into a sobbing sniffling wreck.

Inara went over to Rose, kneeled next to her, and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Why don't you and I go have some tea?" she asked Rose. "I have some wonderful blends back in my shuttle. Plus, it'll give you a chance to relax while the others make plans to rescue your beloved."

Rose sniffed and looked at Inara. "But I want to help," Rose replied sadly. "I want to go save him. I have to!"

"But wouldn't he be upset if you or your child were hurt while trying to save him?" Inara asked. "I can tell your friends are plenty capable of fighting this battle for you and I know Mal will do everything in his power to make sure you get your husband back, even if it kills him." Inara glanced at Mal. "Let's go have that tea. All this talk about killing and saving people will only cause you and your baby more distress."

"Okay," Rose said meekly and sniffled. She and Inara stood and Inara put her arm around Rose's shoulders. They started toward the door, but a few steps from it Rose turned and ran to the Doctor. She hugged him really tight. "You will get him back for me, won't you?"

"Yes, I will." The Doctor gently held Rose close to him. "You even need to ask?"

"Thank you," Rose sniffled. "For everything."

"You deserve the universe, Rose Tyler. You earned it all, no need to say thank you for anything," the Doctor said to her.

Mal and crew were a bit touched by what the Doctor said, even if they didn't fully understand why he said it. Jack and his team felt their hearts swell but the Master had the biggest, meanest scowl imaginable as he watched the scene before him. Rose pulled away from the Doctor and smiled at him. He smiled back and then she turned and went with Inara out of the galley.

Mal was thinking that he should probably thank Inara later for always trying to make his life easier when trouble comes along. The rest of the time they bickered back and forth like a married couple.

The Doctor turned back to the room at large and smiled. "Right then! Back to work!" Everyone took that cue to get there minds back on track.

"Right!" Mal said, coming out of his reverie. "So, I think it would be best if we did something similar to how you got Serenity in there last time," Mal said to Wash. Wash nodded.

"How was that?" the Doctor asked.

"Took dead aim, fired the attitude thrusters just outside of radar range. Then powered her down completely, except for air and comms. Blasted out static on all frequencies and just coasted in." Wash explained. "We came up as less than a radar blip to them, they didn't even notice us until we'd docked and stormed the entrance."

"All to save my sorry ass!" Mal smiled.

"Oh, that's brilliant!" the Doctor said, impressed. "Outside of radar range, that's over six thousand miles away!" He chuckled and clapped his hands. Wash bowed comically a couple of times, like he was bowing to each side of a large audience.

"Well, that was clever!" Captain John piped up.

"Yeah, it was." Jack nodded and clapped with the Doctor. The Master tilted his head in a vague agreement. Everyone else didn't really understand.

"God, I love humans!" the Doctor proclaimed. Everyone smiled and laughed, except the Master who just shook his head and rolled his eyes.

---

Inara opened the door to her shuttle and ushered Rose inside.

"Wow," Rose said, looking around. "It's beautiful! It's like we've slipped out of a space ship and into a dream castle." Rose smiled and looked around some more, taking in the sight of all the colorful silk tapestries, the big luxurious bed and all the beautiful possessions and trinkets that Inara had all over; transforming the drab metal inside of a space shuttle to a spacious hotel suite. Rose sat down on a cushy bench, while Inara went about making tea.

"What kind of tea would you like?" Inara asked. "I have Jasmine, Oolong, Chamomile, some special blends, or I have your everyday Earl Gray if you'd prefer?"

"Whatever you'd recommend for nerves," Rose said, smiling but looking awfully tired and rubbing her neck with one hand.

"I have a good special blend for that," Inara stated, nodding and smiling. "And it's all natural and safe for your current condition." She turned her attention to her hot plate and kettle, she prepared the teapot and teacups while waiting for the water to boil. "Do you like cream or sugar?"

"Just one sugar, please." Rose smiled at Inara.

"So, the Doctor is an alien," Inara said after a few minutes, pouring the boiling water into the teapot. She but a tea cozy over the pot to let it steep.

Rose gave a small laugh. "Yeah, he is. Usually, he seems almost human but there are times when he is so obviously an alien that it's actually scary. Though, that might be because those times are always when he's angry."

"Does he get angry often?" Inara asked, pouring the tea and handing a cup to Rose.

"No," Rose said, shaking her head. "He's almost always happy and smiling." Rose frowned. "Though, there are times you catch him unawares and you can see his grief, when his face shows his age. And I've learned more since I got married to John. The Doctor is never truly happy, he's lived so long and his life has been so full of heartache that he has to force himself to smile. He does it just to keep us from worrying about him, to keep us happy. He always puts himself last." Rose's eyes filled with tears again. "I've been happy with John, learning more and more about him and the Doctor and the Time Lords and the whole universe. I haven't seen the Doctor in years, now I see him again and I know more about him... when he smiles, it makes me want to cry. It used to make me want to smile too." Rose took a sip of tea before she could start sobbing. It was good tea, kind of bold and flowery with a hint of spices. Inara makes her tea very well.

"He sounds like a very complex man," Inara said, smiling. Then she had a pondering look. "Would he still be called a 'man', if he isn't a human?"

Rose laughed. "He is part human and yeah, we still call him a 'man'. It's easier that way, less complicated."

Inara smiled. "So, your husband is related to the Doctor?" she asked.

"You could say that. It's hard to explain, I guess you could say that he's the Doctor's human clone," Rose told her. "They look alike, exactly the same face."

"A clone?" Inara asked. "How did that happen? Did the Doctor just decide one day to grow a copy of himself in a lab or did someone else do it?"

Rose laughed again. "No, it's not like that! That's the part that's hard to explain, even I don't know how it really happened. He grew out of the Doctor's severed hand, all on its own with a little help from a friend who accidentally put more energy into it or something." Inara looked confused and maybe a little grossed out. Rose giggled. "I told you it was hard to explain!"

"The Doctor's severed hand?" Inara asked, smiling a little. "You don't mean his actual hand? I thought he had both of them?"

"Yeah, he lost his hand in a swordfight and then grew another one." Rose smiled.

"He can regrow his limbs?" Inara was a bit surprised and looked it.

Rose giggled again, starting to feel much better. "Only if it's after-... if the conditions are right," Rose simplified.

"He sounds like a lizard, regrowing its tail in the sun," Inara muttered and giggled. Rose burst out laughing. Inara had succeeded in making Rose calm down and feel better.

---

John on the other hand, didn't feel better. In fact, he felt terrified. He'd been taken to a space ship, an Alliance Cruiser they'd said. He was dragged from the shuttle and escorted to a tiny room, an interrogation room. He was promptly chained to a chair again, where he waited for about two minutes before a strange woman walked in.

TBC

Chinese Translations:
Gorram - Firefly slang for "God damn"
Bizui! - Shut up!
Ta ma de! - Dammit!
Wuh de tyen, ah! - Dear God in heaven!

Chapter Text

"So, we'll all go in armed?" Jayne asked hopefully.

The Doctor glared at him. "You can be armed but please try not to kill anyone?" the Doctor pleaded.

Jayne went to retort but Mal elbowed him in the side and answered for him. "He can do that!" Mal said with a smile. Jayne grumbled, rubbing his side.

"Thank you." The Doctor smiled. "I'll have enough trouble trying to keep him in line." The Doctor jabbed his thumb at the Master.

The Master smirked. "As if you'd be able to control me, Doctor."

"Speaking of," Jayne said. "I ain't sharin' none of my guns or knives with no one and you can't make me!"

"I wouldn't have needed to use your knives had my screwdriver not gone missing," the Master stated, smiling. He then pointedly glared at Jack.

"How'd you know I had it?" Jack looked affronted.

"Screwdriver?" Wash muttered. Again, no one heard him.

"Lucky guess?" the Master said, smiling evilly.

Jack grumbled and pulled the metal cylinder out of his breast pocket. "For the record, John and the TARDIS were in on it too." He handed the laser screwdriver over to the Master. The Master smirked and grabbed it from Jack's fingers, then kissed his screwdriver lovingly.

The Doctor whined. "Oh, please don't use that thing!" the Doctor pleaded, while the Master looked over his favorite weapon for any tampering.

"Try and stop me!" The Master smiled brightly at him. The Doctor sighed heavily.

"What the hell is that?" Mal asked, a little perplexed.

"To put it simply, it's an extremely high powered laser," the Doctor grumbled.

"Oh, that's only the tip of the iceberg!" the Master sang.

"But why call it a screwdriver?" Kaylee asked curiously.

The Doctor sighed. "He calls it that just to mock me and my screwdriver," he said, pulling his out and holding it up to show Kaylee.

"Hey, that's the thing you used to disable the landlock," Wash pointed out.

"Yes, it can wreak absolute havoc on technology if I want it to. His might be a laser that can burn through anything," he glared at the Master. "But mine is sonic and it actually drives screws!" the Doctor said, grinning, like driving screws is so much more superior to burning holes in things. Kaylee held her hand out and, seeing her curiosity, the Doctor handed her his sonic screwdriver to look at. "It's also very good at opening doors." He looked at the Master. "As for you and that... thing, I really don't want to know what other fiendish settings you've put on that blasted thing," the Doctor said stiffly. "Though I suppose I should ask anyway..."

The Master smirked. "How about the one that causes excruciating pain without causing any damage at all?"

"Really?" the Doctor asked, almost hopefully. "No damage? None?"

"None!" The Master smiled.

"If I ask you nicely, will you use just that setting when we get there?" the Doctor asked dubiously, his brow furrowing. He was doubtful that the Master would be so kind, which was reason enough for the Doctor to get a little angry.

The Master smiled, a little evilly. "Maybe."

"What about the 'excruciating pain' part?" Gwen asked from beside Jack.

The Doctor looked at her. "He's going to cause them pain anyway, I'd much rather it be without potentially killing or maiming anyone."

"That's a fair point," Gwen agreed, nodding her agreement.

"Except for this Niska person, he's dead because I really want to kill something!" the Master said, pressing the Doctor's buttons. The Doctor glowered at him angrily. "Slowly and painfully," the Master added, he smiled perversely, feeling the suppressed rage coming off the Doctor. The Doctor hates it when people die, even the people he's fighting against. He knew that all too well, the Doctor had cried over him when he refused to regenerate. The Master knew it and so did everyone else who knew the Doctor, so it made sense for the Doctor to get angry with the Master. Jack and the others were glaring at him too, though Jack was mostly just exasperated.

The room got really quiet. The Doctor's friends watching expectantly and warily, some of them backing away unconsciously. Mal's crew was a bit confused but feeling the danger too. River, who was still sitting in her seat at the table, turned in her chair and smiled up at the two Time Lords. Mal could have sworn he smelled lightning, like a storm was coming or something. He mentally scoffed at the idea. What did River just say to them? "The Storm is here."

The Doctor took a deep breath to steady himself, then did something unexpected; he grabbed the laser screwdriver from the Master's hand and held it up. "You'll get it back when we get there." And he stuffed it into his breast pocket, right next to where he kept his own screwdriver. This then reminded the Doctor that Kaylee still had his.

The Master groaned, threw his head back and sighed heavily. "I was going to do a bit of tweaking on some of the settings."

The Doctor turned away from the Master to look at what Kaylee was doing. "That's exactly why you don't get to hold onto it."

Kaylee was looking over the sonic screwdriver with a fascinated expression on her face. She pressed the button to see what it would do and, when it buzzed, she jumped a little in surprise. She smiled really big and started playing with the dial that changed the settings. Jack and the Doctor were watching her, amused and trying not to laugh at her.

"And precisely when do we get there?" the Master asked impatiently.

The Doctor looked to Mal. "A few days at least, right?" he asked him.

"Roughly a week," Mal answered. "Maybe less, if we burn hard. Gonna have to stop off on Paquin to refuel if we do that though." Mal shrugged. The Master scoffed, Jack and the others sighed.

"I don't know how safe it would be to stop off anywhere," the Doctor muttered.

"Nah, Paquin isn't someplace you need to worry about," Mal assured him. "It's a border planet but its one of the planets that just doesn't care who you are, as long as you're bringing business of some kind. Stopping to refuel would only take a couple hours. We let Inara do some of her business and if you and yours stay out of sight, there shouldn't be any problems."

"Alright, then." The Doctor nodded. "You're sure they won't be able to identify your ship?"

"No, they didn't get a chance to do a scan before we took off," Wash informed. "Too anxious to catch you, I guess. They didn't do things by the book."

"Oh," the Doctor said.

"But it'll really take that long?" Martha asked. "Doctor, couldn't we just take the TARDIS? We could be there in no time."

"No," the Doctor told her. "They'll be expecting that. They'll be expecting me to just go in there to get John, and I don't know what sort of technology they have at their disposal."

"They could have a temporal lock or something to catch him with," the Master supplied. The Doctor nodded.

"A what?" Mal asked.

"A trap for the TARDIS," the Doctor answered. "If I go in there too quickly without taking precautions, they could catch me before I even know what's happening."

"Wait, wait. You trying to say that these people controlling the Alliance are aliens too?" Mal asked, looking confused.

"That's one way of putting it," the Doctor told him. Mal cringed and Zoe shook her head.

"Jen dao mei!" Wash mumbled. Jayne fought the urge to cover his ears again.

"At least we know they won't kill John." The Doctor sighed, ignoring their confusion.

"Why wouldn't they?" Jayne asked. "He ain't the one they want, is he?"

"Because he's basically bait," Jack answered. The Doctor smiled a little when Jayne nodded dumbly, like he finally understood something massive.

"And," Mal started, trying to put his thoughts in order. "Your blue box could have you from Persephone to Ezra in no time? What do you mean by no time?"

The Doctor laughed nervously, dreading the amount of explaining that would need to be done. It was too much even for him. Why did Malcolm Reynolds and his crew need to be so inquisitive when the Doctor wanted nothing more than to just go have a kip to heal his shoulder. Maybe he could babble for a few minutes and come up with an easy explanation that would suffice?

---

The strange woman standing before John was in a long white silken dress, her skin was even whiter. Her eyes were red, like an albino, but her hair was in stark contrast; charcoal black, long and sleek and combed back into a sort of pony tail. She was at least six and a half feet tall, thin and fair. John noticed with some confusion that she was barefoot but as odd as that was, she didn't seem at all concerned that she was walking on harsh metal floors with bare feet. She strode in confidently and sat in a chair opposite to John, a guard stepping in after her and closing and locking the door behind them.

"Hello, Doctor," the albino woman said, smiling with a mouth full of pointed teeth. Her voice was deep and silky, a pleasantly low and smooth timber.

John scowled. "My name is John," he said in a firm tone.

"Yes," the woman agreed. "That is the name you choose to go by, now that you are human."

"Who are you?" John asked.

"I am not able to pronounce my real name in any tongue known to this universe. But for the sake of names, you may call me Luciferna," the woman told him. "I would have just gone with Lucifer but that seems to be a male name. So I tweaked it a bit." Luciferna shrugged, a smile on her face.

"'Lucifer'?" John said. John sneered at her choice of name. Lucifer; the Devil. This woman from another universe wanted to be seen as one who opposes "God" or the "Creator". The Beast in the pit. "That's the name you chose? You want to be the Devil?"

"It's a fitting title for our role, wouldn't you say? You will be meeting my brother once we get to Ezra. He has chosen the name Memnoch, another name for the Devil. We don't see 'the Devil' as a fallen angel or any sort of bad or evil entity. Just a sort of renegade. You should know that role well enough. A renegade; one who follows his own rules."

"That's not who I am anymore," John gritted.

"But it is who you were," Luciferna smiled her wickedly sharp grin. "The Time Lord that ran away, that continues to run away, yet somehow managed to make himself into something more than he intended."

"I said that's not me!" John shouted, exploding with anger, the Donna half of his genetics coming into play. His chains rattled as he sat forward to glare this strange woman in the eye. "I'm not the Doctor anymore! I'm John Smith, husband to Rose Tyler-Smith! I'm a human who works a normal human job or as normal as I can get! I don't go running around the universe, straight into life threatening trouble without a second thought anymore! I have a child on the way and all I want to do is take my family home and love and take care of them for the next century and then die in peace." John sighed and sat back. "If you want universal domination, the skasis paradigm or the Doctor and his TARDIS, you won't be getting any help from me or my family! Just let us go and leave us alone!"

"Just give me the paradigm," Luciferna said, smiling wider. "And we'll send you and your family home."

"What did I just say?" John spat.

Luciferna smirked. "Fine. Then we'll have to resort to other methods." She motioned with her hand and the guard opened the door. He waved a couple of other guards into the room who unchained John from his seat and hauled him away. Luciferna followed behind them, laughing with an evil grin.

---

"So, do we have everything settled then?" the Doctor asked, looking around the room. There were plenty of yeses and nodded heads. "Good!"

"Hopefully, this time I'll be faster than I was a little while ago," Martha said.

"What do you mean?" the Doctor asked, folding up the map and handing it back to Wash.

"When we were running for the ship, we ran into a few officers and one of them managed to get a hit in before I knocked him on his arse." Martha laughed.

"Are you okay?" the Doctor asked. "Where'd he hit you?" The Doctor looked her over, like he was looking for blood or a gaping wound or something.

"In the stomach, but I'm okay," Martha said, waving it off. The Master cocked an eyebrow.

"In the..." the Doctor muttered, looking at Martha. His expression was hard to read. Then all of sudden, he rushed forward and grabbed Martha's hand. He then proceeded to drag her from the room, heading for the Med Bay.

"Doctor?" Martha said, worried by this reaction. "I'm okay, honestly," Martha said, trying to keep up with the Time Lord. Without a word, the Doctor pulled Martha into the Med Bay and sat her on the gurney. "Doctor?" she asked again. The Master had followed after the Doctor and the others had all come with, wondering what was wrong.

"Lay back and hold still," he told her, without giving her a reason. She did as she was told while he was futzing around with a small handheld scanner. The Doctor looked up at the people by the door. "Kaylee, I need my sonic screwdriver." Kaylee edged into the room past the others and handed it to him. He ran it over the scanner to make it do what he wanted it to do.

"I know that look," Mickey said, coming to stand beside Martha. "That's the look that says you know something we don't and you're worried about it. What's wrong, Doctor?"

"Doctor?" Martha prompted.

He finished with his screwdriver and tucked it away. "I'll tell you in a moment, as soon as I know you're okay." He ran the scanner over Martha's abdomen. It beeped and the Doctor sighed in relief, laughing a little. "And you are okay." The Doctor smiled really big and waggled his eyebrows at Martha. "Both of you."

"What d'you mean?" Mickey asked, being a little slow.

"No," Martha said, her eyes widened and her mouth gaped. "No!"

The Doctor laughed. "Three weeks along," he told her.

"You're kidding!" Martha shrieked. The Doctor shook his head. "How'd you know?!" she asked, furrowing her brows.

The Doctor chuckled. "I can smell it. Sorry."

Martha smacked his arm. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

He winced and rubbed his arm. "I just thought you'd prefer to find out on your own, like a normal human," the Doctor reasoned. "You wouldn't want to tell your child one day when she grows up, that you found out you were pregnant because some creepy alien smelled you."

"You're not creepy!" Martha said, sitting up and smiling for all she was worth. "Wait, 'she'?" The Doctor smirked. "You can tell the gender by smelling me? But you had to scan Rose to find out the gender of her baby?"

"She wanted more details than just gender." The Doctor smiled. "That and her baby is half Time Lord, genetics are a bit more complicated. The smell was uncertain, to say the least."

"So, you knew she was pregnant even before she told you?" Martha asked.

"Yeah." The Doctor nodded. "But I let her have the fun of telling me, anyway." He looked up from Martha's face to look at Mickey on the other side of her. He had a dumbfounded look on his face. His eyes were huge and if he left his mouth open like that any longer, he really would catch flies.

Martha followed the Doctor's gaze and looked at her husband, standing there speechless. She stifled a laugh and put a hand on Mickey's arm. "Mickey?"

"Huh?" Mickey asked vaguely.

"Mickey, are you okay?" Martha asked.

He turned his head to look at her, mouth still agape. "I'm gonna be a Dad...," he mumbled.

"Yes, you are." Martha turned around all the way and hugged him tightly. He hugged her back and started laughing gleefully, maybe a little hysterically.

The Doctor was smiling brightly, as were the others who had all crowded into the room. The Master was watching with no expression on his face, bored but enjoying the smile on the Doctor's face a little bit, though he would never admit that out loud.

"That's fantastic!" Jack squeezed his way through the crowd. He went over and hugged Martha and Mickey both. "Congratulations, you two! Do I get to be Uncle Jack?"

Martha laughed and Mickey snorted. "Yes, you can be Uncle Jack!" Martha told him, still laughing.

"Awesome!" Jack hugged them tighter.

The Master rolled his eyes. "Oh, please," he muttered to himself.

"But you know what this means, don't you?" Mickey asked Martha.

She shook her head. "No. What?"

"You can't go into that space station and fight," Mickey explained. Martha frowned.

"She'll be staying behind on the ship with Rose, away from all the danger and flying bullets." The Doctor gave her a stern look.

"Alright, I know," Martha huffed.

"But anyway!" The Doctor smiled. "Congrats!" He hugged Martha and she hugged him back.

"Such joyous news should be celebrated," Shepherd Book said, coming forward. "I'll prepare a dessert with the apples we have stored."

"You don't need to go to all the trouble," Martha told him, smiling and releasing the Doctor.

"Nonsense! It'll be my pleasure to celebrate with you!" Book smiled at her and Mickey. "Now, dinner is done. Why don't we all go and fill our bellies and relax in eachother's company?"

"Sounds like a good idea to me," Jack answered. The Doctor nodded.

"I'll go get 'Nara and Rose," Kaylee chimed. She smiled and ran out of the room. Everyone else made their way to the galley, chatting and giggling; the woe of John's predicament forgotten for the moment.

TBC

Chinese Translations
Jen dao mei! - Just our luck!

Chapter Text

xxxxx Chapter 27 Tour

John was escorted to another room in the bowels of the massive ship they were on. This room was darker, dingier and just plain dirty. There was dirt and grime everywhere, as well as some stains on the floor that looked disturbingly like blood. There was a chair bolted to the floor, a tray standing against a wall that was covered with a cloth and the flourescent lighting made the room seem creepy.

He was chained to the chair by his wrists and ankles. The two blue gloved men were standing on either side of the tray, waiting patiently to get started.

"My friends here will be in charge of extracting what we need from you," Luciferna said from the door.

"Two mysterious men in suits? How regrettably cliche`," John snarked.

She smiled her chilling sharp toothed smile. "I hope the real Doctor is as fun as you are," she said, a trill in her voice, like she was trying not to laugh. "You won't be seeing much of me during the journey, I'm afraid. I have some work to do with the blood sample we've collected from you." She turned to the two men. "Let me know if he starts spitting out numbers," she told them and then turned to leave. The door thunked closed behind her and one of the black suited, blue-gloved men strode forward with a huge grin on his face.

"Now, where shall we start?" he asked John.

---

After dinner, Mal and Kaylee gave the Doctor a tour of the ship. They were followed by the Master, Jack, Toshiko and Captain John. While Gwen, Owen and Ianto went to check out their accommodations. Wash and Zoe went to back to the cock pit, while the others in Mal's crew went about their business. Mickey, Martha, Rose and Inara were still in the galley, lounging on the couch and in chairs in the far corner and talking about baby names. Rose seemed a bit sad, though. Inara was using her training as a Companion to keep Rose from feeling lonely or sad and doing a very good job of it. They were paying customers and according to Mal they were paying quite a lot of money, so she figured she could at least earn her share by comforting this distraught young woman in front of her. While Rose hadn't forgotten about John's situation, she felt more at ease in Mickey and Martha's presence and with Inara's reassurances and kind words. Now Rose was certain that they would rescue John and everything would be alright, the Doctor promised.

"So, how long has this ship been yours, Captain Reynolds?" the Doctor asked, looking around while they found their way to the engine room. His brainy specs perched on his nose. The Master following behind him, vaguely looking around and looking absolutely bored out of his mind.

"Going on seven years now," Mal replied. "She's old and she ain't much to look at, but she gets the job done. Little Kaylee here pours her heart and soul into making sure she runs in top condition."

"I can see that," the Doctor said to Kaylee. "There's a lot of love on this ship. From the machinery and it's crew."

Kaylee smiled brightly. "Yeah, I love it here. We're like a family here on Serenity." They stepped into the engine room. "And this is where all the magic happens." Kaylee presented her domain with great pride.

The Doctor dashed into the room and started revolving on the spot, trying to see everything at once, a big childish grin on his face. "Wow!" He moved over to look at the exposed engine parts, bouncing on his toes and his face mirroring pure glee, Toshiko wandering over to look at Serenity's inner workings too. "Ha! Brilliant!" the Doctor trilled.

Kaylee dashed over to start gushing about her beloved Serenity and all her parts, while Mal and the others just watched the children play from the doorway. "You sure he's two thousand years old?" Mal asked, a little awed by how young the Doctor acted and seemed while he's in a lighter mood.

"Yes," the Master answered vaguely, watching his old friend act like the child he once was. Sighing, the Master added something that made Jack look at him like his cheese really had slid off of his cracker. "Sometimes I look at him and I still see the exact same eight year old boy I met on that first day at the Academy. Kind of miss that little boy at times...," the Master said, smiling slightly. "But put a bit of human ingenuity in front of the Doctor and there he is!" The Master then turned and left the room, heading back to the galley, certain that the Doctor would be in the engine room for quite a while yet. And since he was sure the Doctor wasn't going to get into any trouble while they were traveling on board the Serenity, he didn't see any need to follow him around at the moment.

Jack watched the Master go, looking a little vexed. "Something's different about him..." Captain John looked from Jack to the Master and shrugged, not knowing the Master enough to give Jack any feedback.

"What do you mean?" Mal asked.

"Well, the last time I met the Master, he was so far off his rocker that he decided to take over the Earth and kill half the population. Now! Now he's following the Doctor around like a lost and over-protective puppy, by comparison..." Jack explained.

"He did what?" Mal asked, hoping he'd misheard.

"You heard me... He took over the Earth, just to spite the Doctor," Jack said, making Captain John raise his eyebrows and turn to watch the Master walk away... only to find him standing right there again.

"You know I can still hear you, Freak?" the Master asked, smiling and leaning against the wall just outside the door to the engine room.

Jack smiled and chuckled. "Yep... but can you honestly tell me anything I said was wrong?"

"I don't know about being a puppy but..." The Master shrugged. "No, not really. I will admit to being a little lost at the moment. And you can never be over-protective when it comes to the Doctor." Jack nodded his agreement on that one.

Mal decided maybe he should keep a better watch on the Master, making a mental note to tell Jayne to keep an eye on him when he's walking about the ship. He wasn't worried about the Master in private, since he was sure the Doctor would be keeping him close for that very reason. To keep an eye on him. "You took over the Earth?" Mal asked the Master.

The Master chuckled. "Yes. For an entire year, I had the human race enslaved and kept the Doctor as my pet. Little did I know, he was spinning his own web the whole time," the Master grumbled. "Spoiled all my fun in a matter of seconds."

Jack couldn't help a giggle. "Took you down pretty good that time, didn't he? Thoroughly beaten, with the Doctor barely raising a finger to do so."

"No, he raised his whole self off the floor, as I recall." The Master sighed and turned around the corner of the doorway to look at the Doctor dancing around the engine room again. "Floating around like some angel from Heaven!" the Master scoffed.

It was at this point that Mal decided to stop asking questions, since they all sounded completely nuts and he didn't want to try following their conversation anymore.

After another ten minutes, the Doctor, Kaylee and Toshiko were finished marveling over Serenity's engine. They proceeded on their way down the dank corridors, touring what facilities Serenity had to offer. That didn't take long at all, and then they all went to check out the living and sleeping arrangements, then back up to the galley. Kaylee was shouted down by the Doctor, saying none of them would be chasing her out of her room. It was decided that the Torchwood Team would stay in the other shuttle, except for Jack, who decided to stay in one of the guest rooms with Captain John, the Master and the Doctor because the Doctor and Jack wanted to keep their eyes on the trouble makers. The other guest room would be taken by Mickey, Martha and Rose. There weren't enough beds, but there were plenty of blankets and pillows to make everyone comfortable. Mal even decided to let them take the cushions from the sofas and chairs in the galley, as long as they put them back when they weren't sleeping on them.

River was following the Doctor around the whole time, like she was part of his shadow. After they figured out who would sleep where, the Doctor finally turned and smiled at his little prancing shadow. "I hear your Captain would prefer it if no one went to the cargo hold without an escort. Would you care to escort me, Miss River?" River grinned really big and grabbed the Doctor by the arm and began dragging him to the cargo hold.

 

--

John screamed. Not because he couldn't handle the pain, but because he was surprised at how much it hurt.

"Aah! You son of a...!" John shouted, wincing. John wanted desperately to kick the man, who was putting the needle under his finger nail, in the face, but his legs were restrained. If he were a Time Lord, that wouldn't have hurt much at all; like getting a papercut. But as a human? It hurt as much as it would if someone had smashed his fingers with a sledge hammer. "Bloody human nerve endings!" John growls out a sigh and leans his head back, fidgeting in his seat.

"It seems we'll need to find something a little more effective...," said the blue-gloved man with the needle.

John scowled at him. "Do your worst Papa Smurf."

--

Luciferna glided barefoot into a rather extensive laboratory aboard the Alliance Cruiser, pulling on a lab coat and retrieving the bag of blood they'd taken from John. She smiled her sharp grin and went to a work surface and began prepping samples of the blood onto slides and into tubes and slotting them into microscopes and other machines, working to identify the genes in the blood, separating the Human from the Time Lord.

"Oh, Doctor...," Luciferna mumbled to herself, smiling. "Soon, you're going to be all mine." She lets out a giggle; a breathy silent one. "I wonder what they'll look like..."

TBC

Chapter Text

River practically dragged the Doctor the whole way to the cargo hold and up to the TARDIS doors. The Doctor snapped his fingers, opening the doors and he watched River dance into his beloved TARDIS' console room. He turned and winked at Shepherd Book and Jayne, who had paused in their bench pressing to watch the two. Jayne barely got a peek in the door, by tilting his head, and he almost dropped the weight that was held above his head. Book was quick to grab the weight and steady it but he then turned back to watch the two strange people. The Doctor chuckled and stepped into the TARDIS and closed the door, leaving the mercenary and the shepherd to gawk, not sure if they should tell Simon about his sister going into a strange little blue box with an alien.

River stepped over the threshold and ran up to the console and started petting it and smiling. The Doctor could hear the TARDIS singing to them, happy to finally meet the genius psychic. When River giggled, actually talking to the TARDIS telepathically, they heard something heavy hit the metal grating. The Doctor walked around the console, to find Luke rubbing his head while climbing out of the open panel on the other side.

"You alright there?" the Doctor asked, trying to hold back a chuckle.

Luke looked up, still rubbing his head. "Doctor!" Luke hurried to stand up straight and hug him. "I heard about what happened with John. Ianto told us when he came in to get you a clean suit."

"Oh, well then I don't have too much to explain." The Doctor smiled sadly, hugging Luke and giving him a pat on the back. "We're working on getting him back. Captain Malcolm Reynolds, the Captain of the ship that's taking us to where we think John is, has agreed to help us for a small fee." The Doctor sighed. "Him and his crew. Oh!" The Doctor turned to River, who was peeking around the console at them, smiling a little. "Luke, this is River Tam. River, this is Luke Smith." She waved at Luke and smiled wider at him, coming around the console to greet him with a hug. The Doctor saw Luke blush a bright red and awkwardly pat River's shoulder as a sort of return hug. River pulled away and the Doctor tried to keep from laughing at the look on Luke's face. "She's part of Malcolm Reynolds' crew, not sure what her occupation is exactly. He just said she helps with everything. Doesn't matter. She's a psychic! A very good one. And she desperately wanted to meet the TARDIS, so I brought her here so that she could."

"Thank you, Doctor," River muttered, back to petting the console, staring up at the column in wonder. "She's so kind and beautiful. She really loves you." She turned to look at the Doctor and smiled again.

"I know," the Doctor said, smiling back at River. "And she seems to really like you." He walked up to the console to put his hand on it lovingly, hearing the TARDIS whir faster at his touch and feeling the console warm under his hand.

River smiled at the Doctor. "She calls you her 'Thief'." River chuckled.

The Doctor smirked. "I may have... borrowed her to begin with." The Doctor grinned. "But they forgave me for it and let me keep her."

"You mean the other Time Lords?" Luke asked.

"Yes, the other Time Lords. She was decommissioned when I first took her, they were going to dismantle her." The Doctor sighed, petting the console. "I suppose you could say that we saved eachother's lives at the same time! We both needed to escape, so we escaped together."

"What did you do that you needed to escape from?" Luke asked with an almost knowing smile.

The Doctor laughed. "Oh, that's a story for another time, Luke." The Doctor watched River as she climbed onto the console and wrapped herself around the glowing column, laying her cheek against it, the column glowing brighter from her attentions. The Doctor smiled, happy that River and the TARDIS were becoming fast friends.

"Luke, sweetheart! I think you should take a break and come have some din-oh!" Sarah Jane stopped mid-stride as she entered the console room. She looked up at River curiously. "What?" She was about to ask River who she was, when she saw the Doctor. "Doctor!" She ran over and hugged him. "I heard about what happened! Is your shoulder alright? Ianto said you'd been shot."

"I'm fine, Sarah Jane," the Doctor reassured her. "River's brother, Simon, took good care of me." He motioned to River, who smiled down at Sarah Jane.

"Oh, well, what are you doing up there, love?" Sarah Jane asked River. "You should come down before you fall."

River smirked at her, remaining where she was. "I won't fall. I can't fall... at least not off the console." She hugged it tighter.

Sarah Jane frowned, looking at the Doctor questioningly, but the Doctor just giggled. "I don't suppose you feel like explaining what's going on?" she asked him.

"Not just now," the Doctor shook his head. "I'm still not entirely sure what's going on or what will happen. We're going where we think John is being taken but it's basically a fortess. River's Captain, Malcolm Reynolds, is taking us there. Him and his crew are going to help us get in to save John, but there's a high probability of casualties. A lot of them. So I want all of you to stay here, in the TARDIS, away from the danger. I don't even want you guys to come out while we're still on the way there. When we arrive, Rose and Martha will be joining you. As well as any of Malcolm's crew that aren't fighters, I don't want to take any chances."

"Mal would be really angry, if more people showed up on his ship without permission," River put in. "He doesn't know any of you are here. He thinks this is just a weird wooden box, that the Doctor says is a ship." She turned to look at the Doctor. "He still doesn't believe everything you've said. But don't worry, he will soon." She smiled and jumped down off of the console. "Six days. Mal will believe you in six days." She turned to head for the doors. "We should go and get some sleep. You need to heal your shoulder, Doctor." And she walked out of the TARDIS.

The Doctor nodded and smiled at Luke and Sarah Jane. "I'll be back soon to explain everything to you guys. And maybe get some real food to eat. I've never been a huge fan of protein and fiber supplements. At least not for a meal." He turned to leave, taking a few steps and turning back to them. "Maybe I could get away with bringing out a bucket of vegetables, that's believable from a small wooden box, isn't it?"

Sarah Jane smiled and chuckled. "I'll get a bucket of fresh fruit and vegetables ready for you to grab in the morning. I've never been a fan of space food, either. Now off with you!" And she shooed the Doctor out the door.

--

River exitted the TARDIS, smiling. She danced over to the stairs and dashed up them, heading for her room. Jayne and Book watched her go, Shepherd Book now being the one on the bench press. The Doctor walked out less than a minute later, looking a bit perplexed. He stopped midway between the TARDIS and the stairs and looked at the two men exercising in the cargo hold.

"Hello." The Doctor smiled at them and continued over to the stairs with his hands in his pockets. He went up the stairs and out of sight, the two men watching him the whole way.

"I'm not sure what to make of what we've just seen," Shepherd Book mused, worried about little River being alone with a supposedly two thousand year old alien.

"Don't look at me, I'm not even sure I saw it right," Jayne grumped.

--

The Doctor went up to the galley, to get his roommates for the next week. He found Jack and Captain John arm wrestling, with Kaylee, Zoe, Rose and Martha cheering them on, most of the Torchwood Team watching and laughing. The Master was in the corner with his eyes closed, seemingly oblivious, tapping his drum beat on the arm of the chair he was lounged in. He noticed River dancing around on the other side of the room, waiting for her brother before heading to bed. Simon was arguing with Owen about medicine. He looked around at them all, the Master opening his eyes when he smells the Doctor come into the room. "I'm going to bed," the Doctor said to the room at large, though not loudly enough to get everyone's attention. Only Inara sitting off to the side, the Master, and River heard him.

"Good night, Doctor. I hope you find your quarters comfortable enough," Inara says with a smile, looking up from her book.

"I'm sure I will!" the Doctor smiled back to her. The Master stood and went over to the Doctor, smacking Jack and Captain John on the back of their heads on the way by, causing Jack to lose the arm wrestle.

"Oh!" Jack said, seeing the Doctor. "Come on, John." Jack stood up, rubbing his head.

"Oh, come on, we're not children! Why do we have a bedtime?!" Captain John argued.

"If you and the Master could be trusted to walk around on your own, you could go to bed whenever you want. But as it is, we can't trust you, so... Bed!" Jack said, grabbing Captain John by the arm and dragging him with.

"The rest of us will be getting to bed soon, as well," Martha assured him.

Captain John groaned and followed his roommates. Everyone else was snickering at the three children who were following the Doctor to bed, or saying goodnight to them. The Doctor bid everyone goodnight and led the way to the guest room.

When they went in, they found a small bed made up and three make-shift beds laid out on the floor beside it. They all stared at the bed, one question in all of their minds: who gets to sleep in the bed? They glanced at eachother, the Doctor thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea to share a room with any of them. All of them; Jack, the Master and Captain John; their self control was negligible. They could team up and he would wake up with three hot bodies on top of him, he wouldn't put it past them. This thought made the Doctor blush a bit, it's been a while since he's let his mind wander onto the topic of sex.

Just then, the Master broke the silence with a "Whee!" as he jumped onto the bed, kicked his shoes off and made himself comfortable, his hands resting under his head.

The Doctor sighed. "Well, I guess that answers that." He took his jacket, shoes and tie off and went to lay in the bed of pillows right next to the bed. The Master grabbed him though, pulling the Doctor into the bed with him, turning onto his side so there was enough room for both of them.

"Um... Master?" the Doctor asked.

"Shut up and go to sleep," was the Master's answer.

Jack and Captain John just stood there, staring at the Time Lords, both a little bemused. "You alright, Doc?" Jack asked, taking off his coat, boots and braces.

The Doctor sighed and got comfortable, wriggling against the Master's tight arms. "Yeah, I suppose... I don't have the strength to argue."

"Good, now shut up." The Master squeezed the Doctor tighter, his eyes closed and his face pressed into the crook of the Doctor's neck.

The Doctor suppressed a shudder, still not sure what was wrong with the Master lately. He wriggled a little more, trying to get comfortable, but it was difficult with the Master stuck to him. At least he hadn't wrapped a leg around him. With a heavy sigh, the Doctor closed his eyes and fell asleep almost immediately.

It wasn't long until the others had fallen asleep too; running away and dodging bullets can really take it out of a person. Everyone else on the ship drifted off to their own beds one by one, until it was only Wash left in the cockpit, taking his turn to watch the ship while the others slept. He was content to sit in the pilot's chair and play with his plastic dinosaurs.

There was also River, who was prowling around silently, currently playing a game with herself to see how far she could go through the ship without touching the floor. She made it pretty far; from the galley to the guest rooms while only clinging to the ceiling and rafters like a spider. She found her way into the space between the ceiling and the floor of the next level, squirming until she was in the ceiling of the Doctor's room. She opened a panel in the ceiling slowly and quietly, and peeked down at the four men in the room. She was a little surprised to find that the two psychopaths in the room had both actually fallen asleep. She smiled at this, since this left her with the perfect opportunity.

She dropped down from the ceiling silently, replacing the ceiling tile. She stepped over the two men on the floor and stood beside the bed, staring at the two Time Lords curled around eachother in their sleep. Of the tiny space on the edge of the bed, River laid herself down right next to the Doctor and promptly fell asleep, curled up next to him and listening to his comforting heartbeats.

--

After several hours of torture, John was still spewing sarcasm and taunting his captors.

"You hit like a girl!" he spat at the one who'd just punched him in the eye.

The blue-gloved men were getting more and more pissed off as time went on. Usually, it's no trouble to get someone to talk. A little bit of pain and some empty threats and they'd spill all. But this one was infuriating. There he sat, beaten and bloody, grinning almost smugly as they tried more and more techniques. Nothing was working.

The one standing in front of John, growled angrily and went back to the tray of tools to try something else.

TBC

Chapter Text

The Doctor was the first to wake up. He could feel warmth on both sides of him and more than two arms around him. He opened his eyes to find River clinging to him, sound asleep on the very edge of the bed. He turned his head and saw the Master still on the other side of him, then looked down to see Jack and Captain John still sleeping, though he could tell they were all beginning to rouse.

But that didn't matter because the next second they were all woken up by the sound of River's brother, Simon, calling for her. "River?!" Simon shouted. River opened her eyes and smiled at the Doctor, then sighed heavily when Simon called for her again. "River, where are you?!" All eyes in the room turned to River laying on the bed with the Doctor and the Master, the Master sitting up and glaring at her. "RIVER!" Simon bellowed this time.

"He is such a boob," River stated and sat up. Instead of going out the door to reassure her brother that she wasn't missing or hurt; she stood up on the edge of the bed and opened a ceiling tile, then shimmied herself up into the ceiling and replaced the tile again, completely disappearing from the room without a trace.

The Doctor and the others stared up at the ceiling and tried really hard not to laugh, but the Doctor couldn't stop a spluttered giggle from escaping, which prompted Jack to start laughing a little, the Master to shake his head and Captain John to just raise an eyebrow and smile.

--

"RIVER!?" Simon continued to shout. Mal climbed out of his quarters, grumbling about noisy crew members. "River! Come on out!" Simon continued looking for her. "RIVER!"

"Hey, hey, hey! What's with all the shouting?" Mal asked, going up to Simon.

"I can't find River, she's not in her room. Her bed hasn't even been slept in."

"Well, stop shouting! We're in flight, she's on the ship somewhere. And as far as I know about that girl, you're not going to find her until she wants to be found," Mal grumped, annoyed with being woken up by Simon's incessant shouting.

Simon sighed and turned around and went back to the galley to help Shepherd Book make breakfast, even though he still wanted to know where River was. He was worried about her being missing on a ship full of strangers. When he entered the galley, he groaned in annoyance and sighed when he saw River already there prancing back and forth, helping with breakfast. "River! Don't disappear like that." He went over to her and fixed her with a stern look. "Did you sleep at all last night?"

"Of course, I did." River smiled at him.

"And then made your bed?"

"Why would I make my bed if I didn't sleep in it?"

"Then where did you sleep?" Simon asked. River just smiled brighter and pranced away, leaving Simon to sigh again.

"Wait, River! I need to talk to you about something else." Simon went to follow her.

"I already know what you want, Simon," River said over her shoulder. "But I'd prefer to skip the examinations and medication trial and error." She smiled warmly. "You should talk to the Doctor about it first. He can help." And with that, she left the galley to go find her favorite Time Lord before her brother could accost him.

"I'm sure she'll be fine, son," Shepherd Book said, having heard the conversation. "Now that you know what's been done to her, I'm sure you'll find a way to make her better." Book sighed. "And I think that maybe you should keep an eye on that 'Doctor' fellow. He and River seem to be getting close, perhaps too close."

"What do you mean?" Simon asked.

"Well, I don't want to alarm you into making a rash decision and I'll not say anything against him without first knowing if my suspicions are right. So, for now, just keep an eye on him and River," Book said cryptically, then went back to making breakfast.

--

The Doctor dressed and went out of the guest room, to find River waiting for him. "Hello, there!" River smiled at him and took his arm again and they walked down to the cargo hold. The Doctor had a bucket of fresh goodies to pick up in the TARDIS.

Jack wanted to go up to the galley and get something to eat, but he had to wait for the miscreants to get ready as well, not wanting to leave them alone. However, after several minutes of dallying, Jack just sighed and left, thinking it would be fine to leave them alone while everyone was awake.

As soon as Jack was out the door, however, the Master had a bone to pick with Captain John. He stalked over to him and grabbed him by the front of his Revolutionary War jacket and slammed him against the wall. "What's this I hear about what you did the last time you met the Doctor? Come on, tell me all the juicy details."

Captain John smirked at the look of fury on the Master's face, starting to laugh. "I was just after a little taste," he said. "Almost got it too." Captain John licked his lips, getting ideas. "Last of the Time Lords, come on, what Time Agent would pass that up?" Captain John winked at the Master, taking hold of the Master's suit. "It also helps that he's so absolutely delicious to look at. Nice arse, too. Very firm." He smiled slowly. "You should have heard all the sounds coming out of him when I had his backside exposed and my cock almost to his little hole. Too bad Jack ruined everything before I could get there."

With that the Master flew into a rage and threw Captain John to the other side of the room. "You son of bitch!" He immediately pounced on him and started hitting him with all of his strength. The Captain fought back, laughing all the while. The laughing ended when the Master made contact with his groin, Captain John winced and growled, rolling them over to pin the Master to the floor.

"Wow, you've got some fight in you!" Captain John said, holding the Master's wrists to the floor. "Your little Doctor didn't fight back much at all. I think he was only fighting back to make it look like he didn't want it."

The Master freed one of his hands and punched the stinking ape, sending him tumbling sideways with a bloody nose. "You're going to pay for what you did. To a Time Lord! You filthy disgusting ape!" The Master climbed on top of Captain John and, once again, hits him over and over again.

The Master and Captain John continue to toss eachother around, throwing punches, aiming kicks, biting, pulling hair. The Master threatens Captain John with pain and violence, and Captain John promises the Master a good hard fuck.

--

Flashback: TWO YEARS EARLIER (In the Doctor's relative timeline):

The Doctor dropped into Cardiff for a refuel of Rift energy. He decided to be the good friend and visit his dear old immortal friend, Jack. He had heard Jack talk about his wonderful team and how good they were at what they do. He said they were amazing, the Doctor likes amazing humans, so he thought "Why not?" and he landed right in the center of the Roald Dahl Plass, where he knew Jack would see him and come to greet him.

The Doctor stepped out of his TARDIS, clad in his usual brown suit and long brown trench coat, to see Jack running towards him with his great coat billowing and a big toothy grin on his face.

"Jack!" the Doctor yelled, waving at his friend who then bowled into him and picked him up into the biggest bear hug the Doctor ever had the honor of receiving. His feet even left the ground. The Doctor smiled and giggled at the more than warm welcome. "Good to see you too!"

"Doctor!" Jack said into the Doctor's shoulder, still hugging him. "It's been a while. How've you been?" Jack put the Doctor back on his own feet.

"I've been fantastic!" the Doctor answered with his winning smile, as Jack let go of him. "Well, mostly."

"Found anyone new yet?"

"Nah, not yet. Almost did but," the Doctor said a little sadly. "Things didn't end well on that little misadventure."

"Would it happen to have anything to do with the Titanic replica over Buckingham Palace a few weeks ago?"

"Yeah, the only upside to that fiasco was that I was finally able to say 'Allons-y, Alonso!' I've always wanted to say that and the only surviving crew member happened to be named Alonso. The rest of them were killed off by robotic angels that were being controlled by an angry head on a scooter." Jack looked at him with an exasperated expression, being used to the Doctor's tales making little to no sense. "Oh, and I got to say 'Take me to your leader!' as well." The Doctor managed a small sad smile.

Jack chuckled. "So, are you here long?"

"I just need a refuel, it's probably done by now but I was hoping to have a cuppa with you and meet that team of yours. The one you were raving about... and I could use a friendly face or two."

"Sounds good to me! Allow me to give you a tour of the new Torchwood." Jack offered the Doctor his arm, like a good host.

"Lead the way, Captain!" The Doctor was kind enough to take his proffered arm.

TBC

Chapter Text

Flashback continued:

Jack walked over to the stone with the perception filter and pulled the Doctor unnecessarily close to him.

"Jack?" The Doctor looked at him.

"Visitor's Entrance." Jack smirked and pressed a button on his wrist strap. The invisible lift slowly sank into the ground, lower and lower.

As they slowly descended into the Torchwood HUB, the Doctor saw the pterodactyl, Myfanwy, when she soared past him. "Oh! Brilliant!" The Doctor giggled like an excited child. He looked around at the old sewer-esque decor. "Nice place, Jack. I thought it would be a bit ...cleaner. I mean compared to the last Torchwood I was in."

"I thought it would be better if we were a little more hidden, a little more low-key," Jack said. The Doctor gave him a look. "Okay, a lot more low-key," he amended. "Although, it hasn't been going so well with the whole 'secret agency' bit. More and more people are learning about 'Torchwood and their weird stuff', especially around Cardiff," Jack said with a bemused look on his face.

The Doctor snickered. "Jack, I've been fighting aliens and the like on Earth for hundreds of years and even I have not managed to stay out of the public eye, as of late."

"Yeah, I noticed." Jack grinned. "There's a lot of material out there about you, between UNIT and Torchwood and quite a few independant anonymous observers. I'd say we know a little too much about you. I've been trying to fix that. I had Tosh put out a virus to corrupt or delete any files about you, just like the Bad Wolf virus that corrupts anything about Rose Tyler."

The Doctor smiled. "Thank you!"

"Anything for you!"

They laughed together as they stepped off the lift. Jack's team were all waiting for them, having seen the TARDIS on the surveillance monitor and how Jack practically flew out of the HUB without a word to them when he heard the TARDIS' engines. They were anxious to meet Jack's Doctor. They were about to run out of the HUB and follow Jack, in case he went missing again, but then they saw them walking toward the lift. They were all waiting just next to the lift, smiling broadly; Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen and Gwen's husband, Rhys.

The Doctor looked at them all with a big cheesy but charming grin, "Hello! You must be the 'fantastic team' that Jack's always on about!"

Ianto and Tosh sort of blushed, Gwen smiled and Owen just looked bored, though he couldn't hide his curiosity. "And you must be the 'fantastic Doctor' that Jack's always on about." Gwen giggled at him. The Doctor chuckled. Jack blushed a little himself and smiled even bigger.

"Hello, it's nice to finally meet you, sir. Ianto Jones," Ianto said, stepping forward with his hand out.

The Doctor shook Ianto's hand. "It's nice to meet you, as well. Hello, I'm the Doctor!"

"Jack never shuts up about you," Gwen said, stepping forward to give the Doctor a hug. "We feel like we know you already!"

The Doctor was thrilled to get a hug and more than eager to return it. He laughed and hugged Gwen. "I'll bet! You must be Gwen Cooper; the one who, apparently, reminded Jack how to be human."

Gwen blushed and grabbed Rhys's arm, pulling him forward. "This is my husband, Rhys."

Rhys offered his hand and the Doctor shook it vigorously. "Hello!"

Tosh, being a bit shy, tried to just nod her head in greeting but the Doctor wouldn't have it. "Oh, no you don't!" He grabbed her and hugged her too, making her blush beet red. "You must be Tosh the Tech Genius!"

"Oh, well, I don't know about 'genius'," Tosh said, looking down bashfully when he released her.

"She built a sonic modulator, by accident," Jack said, smiling cheekily. "Using faulty plans that didn't work at all."

"By accident? Now that's not something you can do, unless you are genius enough to put it together." The Doctor smiled at her. Tosh blushed an even brighter red.

Owen walked up, looking bored, but the Doctor could tell that he wasn't. He shook the Doctor's hand. "Doctor Owen Harper."

The Doctor clasped both his hands over Owen's, smiling like a goon. "Hello!"

"Coffee, Jack?" Ianto asked, smiling.

"Yeah, in the conference room, please. Tea for him though, two sugars. All of you for coffee, as well. He came here to meet you guys and to see the HUB." Jack smiled. They all smiled excitedly and the girls blushed a little more. The Doctor was still smiling like an idiot. "And maybe, you could have a look at some alien artifacts that we haven't been able to identify?" Jack asked hopefully.

The Doctor nodded. "Sure. But anything I find that's..."

"Dangerous, you're going to take away," Jack finished for him and smiled. "I kind of figured, after what happened with my sonic blaster."

"Squareness Gun. Good, you've learned." The Doctor smirked and followed them on their way.

They walked to the conference room and sat down, while Ianto went to make coffee and tea. The Doctor took his coat off and hung it over the back of a chair in the conference room and sat down to the right of the head of the table. The others sat around the table, as close to the Doctor as possible, so they could get a good look at him and hear him properly. Gwen was to the other side of the head of the table, Rhys next to her, Tosh was on the other side of the Doctor and Owen was next to Tosh.

The Doctor settled in his chair with a thoughtful expression and looked at Tosh. "And I can only guess where faulty sonic modulator plans came from." The Doctor turned and gave Jack a significant look.

In his swivel chair at the head of the table, Jack looked away, rubbing his neck in anxiety. "What can I say? You inspired me."

"Says the man who mocked my sonic screwdriver the first time he saw it," the Doctor said to Jack. Jack smiled. "How did you put it? Oh, yes, 'Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks: hmm, this could be more sonic!' yeah, that's what you said to me." Jack's team was giggling at him. Jack chuckled and smiled.

"Those plans for the modulator were yours, Jack?" Tosh asked. She hadn't known who made the plans, she just stole them and didn't take note of the name on the plans. It was before she met Jack, so she didn't really care at the time.

"Yeah," Jack answered. "My feeble attempt at making my own sonic screwdriver. I couldn't figure out how to get it to work, or even just make a sonic wave, much less equip it with all the awesome settings that are on the Doctor's."

The Doctor smiled. "You know, if you wanted one, you could have just asked."

"I want one. Will you show me how to build one?"

"Absolutely! I'll help you make one after tea." The Doctor smiled wider.

"Just like that, in one day, you'll help me make one. Where as on my own, I couldn't figure it out after seventy-five years of work." Jack feigned a sardonic look.

The Doctor tried to hold back a laugh, and only slightly failed. "So, any more suspicious government officials?" he asked, clearing his throat to keep himself from laughing at Jack.

"Not that I've noticed. I've been keeping my eye on them though," Jack said, smiling again. "I mean after the Slitheen and the Master, you can't be too careful, can you?"

"Nope, certainly not." The Doctor grinned. "So, what have you lot been up to?" the Doctor put his elbows on the table, his chin on his hands. "Tell me all the juicy details, all the ups and downs, come on. I want to hear about someone else's adventures for once."

Jack grinned and laughed. "There's nothing anywhere near as exciting as what happens around you."

"I find that hard to believe," Ianto said, coming in with the coffee and tea. He handed them around and set a plate of Jammie Dodgers on the table and then sat on Rhys' other side with his own coffee.

"You'd run and hide, if you'd seen half of the things I've seen while with the Doctor." Jack chuckled. His team looked at him with skeptical looks.

"Oh, come on. It's not all bad." The Doctor gave Jack an amused look.

"No, it's not. But Doctor, more often than not, the entire universe is in the balance with the bad things you do get mixed up in, between all the good things," Jack said, his eyebrows raised. His team looked a little warily at the Doctor now. "Torchwood only ever has to worry about Cardiff, sometimes the Earth, maybe the solar system."

"Yeah, fair enough." The Doctor rubbed his ear nervously. "But come on now, there must some good stories for you to tell. What with that bloody rift spitting out random things from all across time and space." The Doctor took a sip of his tea.

"The most exciting it's gotten as of late, was a blowfish that was high on cocaine and stole a sports car. Oh, there was this green thing, I don't know what it was, it was looking for it's pet chimera, but it mistook Owen to be his pet. Just grabbed him and tried to leave, right in front of me."

"A blowfish?" the Doctor chuckled, then he got a contemplative look. "What color was it?"

Jack raised his eyebrow. "Red. Why?" he asked, taking a sip of his coffee.

"An Ictus from New Pacifica." The Doctor smiled. "They can be quite cheeky little buggers. Why did the green thing confuse Owen for a chimera?"

"Well, something happened. Owen actually died. Technically, he's still dead. So, the green thing got a little confused," Jack said.

The Doctor looked at Owen with his eyebrows raised. "You're technically dead?"

Owen sighed, stood up and lifted his shirt to show the Doctor the gaping bullet wound in his chest.

"How did you manage that?" the Doctor asked Owen, grimacing.

"Well, he got shot protecting Martha." Jack looked grim.

"Martha!?" the Doctor said, shocked. "Is she alright? What happened?"

"She's fine, thanks to Owen. There was a whole debacle with some stupid researchers using aliens for medical testing and stuff like that," Jack explained. "Martha helped us solve that puzzle but the guy who was in charge of the whole thing got angry and tried to shoot her but Owen got in the way."

The Doctor flew out of his chair, walked over to Owen and wrapped him in a really tight hug. "Thank you! You spectacular man!" Owen's eyes bugged out in surprise. Gwen and Tosh giggled and Jack smiled warmly. The Doctor pulled away and put his fingers to Owen's neck, an inquisitive look on his face, "Oh, good Rassilon! You are dead!"

"Oh, good what?" Owen asked, raising his eyebrows.

"Nevermind that! How did you..?" The Doctor looked at Jack.

"There was this glove, a gauntlet, that brings back the dead temporarily," Gwen said. "It was destroyed, but when Owen died, Jack disappeared for several hours and came back with another one, but this one brought him back permanently. We tried destroying this one too, but it didn't work. Even with the gloves in shards, Owen was still back but still dead."

All the color drained from the Doctor's face. "A gauntlet that can bring back the..." The Doctor sank into his chair, looking dazed.

"Doc?" Jack asked, worried. "What is it? We don't know what those gloves were or where they came from. Do you know what they are?" Everyone looked at the Doctor anxiously.

"I'm not sure. Do you still have the shards?" the Doctor asked quietly, obviously afraid of something. He looked at Jack beseechingly.

"Yeah, hold on a minute." Jack got up and left the conference room. He came back some minutes later with a metal box. He sat it down on the table and opened it. Two compartments in the box separated the shiny silver and shattered pieces of the two gauntlets. The Doctor looked stunned, he stood and reached out to touch the pieces but when his hand got close, the pieces started to shine gold. The Doctor gasped and jerked back from them, almost tripping over his chair as he backed away. "Doctor?" Jack asked tentatively, starting to look scared himself.

"The Hands of Omega..." the Doctor mumbled to no one. "The pair of them." He gulped nervously.

Jack gawped in shock, by the golden glow and the fact that the Doctor knew what they were called, he put two and two together, "They're Gallifreyan?! They were made by the Time Lords, Doc?" Everyone was now staring between the Doctor, the gloves and Jack, open mouthed.

The Doctor nodded, his mouth agape. "Jack, you remember what I said about dangerous items. I need to..." The Doctor was watching the glowing golden silver pieces. Glowing bright in the Doctor's presence and brighter when he stepped closer, the pieces slowly started to piece themselves back together of their own accord. "...take them," the Doctor finished, almost looking like he wanted to cry.

Seconds later, the gloves were whole and still shining. All of the Torchwood team were stunned and gawking at the gloves and the Doctor. Rhys looked like he was about to faint from sheer amazement.

The gloves shown brighter and suddenly disappeared from the box. Jack was scared by that and the others gasped, when they reappeared half a second later on the Doctor's arms. The Doctor jumped and stumbled backwards with his hands outstretched in front of him, gazing at the gloves like a frightened deer. "Why...?" The Doctor was breathing heavily and thinking furiously. "Well, I'm the only one left. So, of course that makes more sense as to why they just did that," the Doctor said, more to convince himself than answer the questioning looks on the others' faces.

"What do you mean?" Jack asked.

"Well, they only ever choose to be worn by the true leader of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. But I'm the only one left, so they didn't really have much to choose from," the Doctor answered, his breathing fast and his face still looking like a scared baby deer. He pulled the gloves off and placed them back into the box, his hands shaking almost violently.

"You belittle yourself, Doc." Jack put the lid on the box and held it out to him. "But, can you fix Owen with them?" Jack hesitated and added, "Or me?"

The Doctor took the box and held it carefully. He looked up at Jack with a sad look. "I can't fix you, Jack. I told you that, that was the work of the TARDIS and Rose and the Time Vortex. We'd have to recreate that scenario to fix you. And Owen," he said, turning to Owen sadly, "I could use the gloves to reverse it, but you're still dead. You would die, permanently. Maybe one day, when you decide that you finally want to go, I can reverse it for you. "

Owen sighed, Jack looked dejected. Gwen and the others looked a little sad and disappointed. "I'm sorry," the Doctor said to them all.

"Don't apologize, Doc. None of it's your fault." Jack patted his shoulder.

"Maybe not Owen," the Doctor said softly, looking Jack in the eye. "But can you honestly tell me that what happened to you wasn't my fault, Jack?"

Gwen and the others went quiet, watching the two ancients with a silent curiosity.

"Yes, I can." Jack said. "You didn't do it, Doc. Rose did."

"She did it because I sent her home. She brought you back as what you are now because you died under my command."

"You were trying to protect her. It's not your fault that she came back." Jack got a stubborn look on his face, glaring at the Doctor and sounding as stern as he looked. "And I went out there knowing I wouldn't be coming back. So dying was my own fault, not yours."

Everything went silent for a few moments, Jack staring the Doctor down, until the Doctor finally sighed and gave in. "Fine," the Doctor said.

"Good. Now, why did the Time Lords make gloves to bring back the dead? If you don't mind my asking?"

"Oh, they do a lot more than bring back the dead, Jack."

"What else can they do?"

"Almost anything, really," the Doctor answered him seriously. "But only a Time Lord would be able to control them properly."

"But, how do they work?" Tosh asked, very curious. Everyone else was looking at the Doctor, intrigued and wanting to know as well.

"They manipulate Artron Energy, Time Energy. The same thing that powers the TARDIS," the Doctor answered. He smirked and added, "The same thing that powers me. Which is why they don't really work properly on humans. If Owen was a Time Lord, you would have been able to bring him back properly but he's not a Time Lord, he's human. Humans have Artron Energy inside them, which is the reason the gloves worked at all but humans have only trace amounts, nowhere near as much as a Time Lord does. Humans can actually live without it, but a Time Lord would literally fall apart without it, at the molecular level." He tilted his head in thought. Jack was genuinely surprised and confused at the same time and looking it. "I think it's best that I do take a look at anything else you have, Jack," the Doctor said to him seriously. "Everything. Oh, Jack, if the Master had known these were here." The Doctor suddenly looked terrified, wide-eyed and gone pale. "I wouldn't have been able to stop him. He could have solidified the paradox, eliminated the need for a Paradox Machine. I wouldn't have been able to reverse what he'd done."

Jack looked sick, green even. The others were watching them both, a little confused. What paradox? Who's the Master? Jack nodded. "Sure thing. I'll show you everything we have."

"I'm just gonna go and..." The Doctor nodded out the door. "I have a good safe place for these in the TARDIS."

"Alright." Jack nodded and turned to Ianto. "Ianto, can you take the Doctor back out to the Plass. Use the front door, I think it's about time the Doctor knew where it was."

"Yes, sir." Ianto nodded and preceded the Doctor out of the conference room.

After they left, Jack finished his cup of coffee in one gulp. He picked up the Doctor's coat, that he had left on the chair and hung it over his arm. "Jack, what paradox was he talking about?" Gwen asked, she needed to know why Jack looked so scared all of a sudden.

"It's a long and sickening story. I'll tell you guys later," Jack answered.

"Alright." Gwen nodded. "But you'd better tell us, it sounds important."

"Yeah. Listen, I'm gonna get all the uncataloged stuff out of storage for the Doctor to have a look at," Jack told his team. "There's quite a bit, could you all come and help me?"

"Sure, Jack," Gwen said, standing up. Tosh and Owen nodded and stood.

"Need my help?" Rhys asked.

"Would you mind?" Jack asked.

"Not at all. I've always wanted to have a peek at the stuff you lot have lying about." Rhys smirked.

Jack grinned and chuckled as they all left the conference room. Jack put the Doctor's coat lovingly on the hook in his office, right next to his own. Then they all found their way down to the archive and started pulling open drawers and pulling things off of shelves. Rhys did the heavy lifting and Tosh carried as many things as she could in her arms. Gwen got a dolly and started loading boxes onto it. Owen started organizing everything on a big table up in the main part of the HUB for the Doctor to take a look at, determined to make the Doctor's work go as quickly and efficiently as possible, since there was so much he needed to go through.

TBC

Chapter Text

Flashback continued:

Out on the Plass, the Doctor opened the door to the TARDIS and stepped inside, he left the door open behind him with a "Come on in and have a look," to Ianto. Ianto stepped inside and stared around, gaping at it all. The Doctor turned and waited patiently for the best part; "It's bigger on the inside!" Ianto said, looking around and almost tripping over his own feet. The Doctor snickered and turned back to the console. He set the box down on the pilot seat and bent to open a panel in the floor. He pulled it open with a clatter and stood and picked up the box. He stepped into the open panel and down some stairs and the sound of rummaging could be heard. Ianto couldn't see what was down there, he just waited patiently for the Doctor to come back out and stared around some more, his mouth agape.

---

Jack and the team were still in the middle of pulling things out of storage when Jack heard the lift. Assuming it was Ianto and the Doctor, he continued with what he was doing. He was surprised, however, when the last person he ever wanted to see stepped up to him and his team while they were laying another load of artifacts out on the table.

"Hey, beautiful!" Captain John Hart said to Jack's back, checking out his arse. Jack whipped around and pulled out his Webley. Gwen, Tosh and Owen did the same, pulling out their own weapons. "Whoa!" Captain John said, putting his hands up in surrender.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Jack asked, anger emanating from him.

"I just came to talk, Jack. Take a pill or something," Captain John said, smirking.

"I don't want to talk to you," Jack said, aiming at Captain John's head. "Now leave, before I shoot you."

"Jack?" came the Doctor's voice. Jack looked behind Captain John's shoulder to see Ianto and the Doctor stepping off the lift. Captain John peeked over his shoulder to see who had spoken and whistled appreciatively as the Doctor and Ianto stepped closer. Ianto stepped in front of the Doctor and went to draw his gun as well, but the Doctor put his hand on it to stop him from raising it.

"Where'd you find that one?" Captain John asked, looking back at Jack and tilting his head in the Doctor's direction.

"That's none of your concern! Now leave!" Jack yelled.

"Jack?" the Doctor asked again.

Jack looked at the Doctor, trying to tell him with a look to let him handle it, but he knew that wouldn't fly. The Doctor hates guns and Captain John had his hands up in surrender, so the Doctor isn't going to let Jack shoot or threaten anyone, especially if they aren't trying to hurt anyone. "Just nevermind, Doc," Jack stated, turning his gaze back to Captain John. "Let me deal with this." The Doctor stepped closer, just a few feet behind Captain John now.

"Come on now, Jack," Captain John said, hands still in the air. "I just want to talk to you. I need your help with something."

No! Don't say that in front of the Doctor, Jack thought to himself and grimaced.

The Doctor came up just next to Captain John's raised left elbow. "Jack." It was a statement, not a question. His eyes giving Jack that firm look that says, "Do as I say or I'll get angry." Jack was more worried that it would mean "I'll leave and never come back." Jack sighed heavily, lowered his gun and jammed it unnecessarily hard back into it's holster. He motioned for his team to do the same. They did as they were told, albeit hesitantly and very much against their better judgement. The Doctor smiled at the improved situation.

"Alright, what is it you think you need my help with?" Jack asked Captain John disdainfully.

Captain John put his hands down and turned to look at the Doctor, intrigued by who could get Jack to comply so easily without so much as a command, just his name in a firm tone. "Captain John Hart." He held out his hand to the Doctor.

"Oh, nice pseudonym. Same initials as Jack's." The Doctor shook his hand and smirked when Captain John raised an eyebrow at his response.

"What is it you wanted to talk about, John?" Jack was starting to sound a might tetchy.

"Could we talk in private?" Captain John asked, reluctantly letting go of the Doctor's hand but was still eyeing him appreciatively and making the Doctor slightly uncomfortable.

Jack sighed heavily, annoyed with Captain John's attentions toward the Doctor. "Fine!" And he made to step toward his office.

He stopped and turned to the Doctor. "Most of the stuff you wanted to see is up here and layed out, some are still in those boxes." He pointed to a pile of boxes in the corner, "Owen and Tosh are going to help you get through everything as fast as possible. Rhys, Gwen and Ianto will finish pulling everything else out and putting everything you've identified away."

"Blimey, that's a lot of space junk!" The Doctor looked around at it all and stepped past Captain John, who looked at his bum on the way by, and stepped up to the table.

"Tell me about it," Jack said, watching Captain John. His leer at the Doctor's backside did not go unnoticed by anyone but the Doctor.

The Doctor picked up a couple of items and started identifying them and chucking the pointless and benign ones into an empty box; "Hair dryer, tentacle shaver, parasite repellant... Ooh, Tribble spray! And - Whoa!"

Jack had only just turned around with a grin on his face from the Doctor's easy identification of the things Torchwood hadn't been able to figure out for years, when the Doctor's exclamation made him turn back around. "What is it?" The Doctor had opened a small metal jar and was gaping at what was in it. He turned around to show Jack what was in it. "Is that...?" Jack's brow furrowed.

"A warp star!" The Doctor looked at Jack incredulous and angry.

"Since when do we have a warp star?" Jack asked, disbelieving and walking back to the Doctor's side.

"You have a warp-fold conjugation in your basement and you don't know about it?!" the Doctor yelled.

"No, I didn't."

Captain John was watching this whole thing and trying not to laugh at Jack's failings. The Torchwood team all just looked intrigued and curious about what a "warp star" was. The Doctor peeked at the tag that was on it. "Odds and ends," he read. "You have a warp star floating around in an odds and ends drawer?! Jack!" The Doctor cringed.

Jack looked like a guilty child. "Sorry."

"Don't apologize to me!" The Doctor looked at him wide eyed. "You're the one who would end up floating around in open space, dying over and over again after having lost all of your friends because you blew up the planet!" the Doctor shouted. All of the Torchwood team went wide eyed and stepped back from the deadly gem in the Doctor's hand, looking between it and Jack and the Doctor.

"Don't say it like that!" Jack whined. "You make me sound like a complete idiot when you put it that way."

"Sometimes you are an idiot, Jack."

"Well, everyone's an idiot compared to you!"

"Thanks for the compliment, but you can't blame your own idiocy on my being smarter than you. Nice try though." The Doctor looked at him, annoyed. "Don't you have something to talk to your Time Agent friend about?"

"How'd you know I was a Time Agent?" Captain John asked the Doctor.

"I know a lot of things," the Doctor answered, putting the cap back on the container with the warp star and tucking it into another box for the dangerous things that he would be taking.

"So, who are you?" Captain John asked, stepping closer to the Doctor, a flirty expression played across his face. "Never caught your name. You're not human, I can tell that much."

"He's no one you need to concern yourself with!" Jack answered for the Doctor, making the Doctor look at him with a confused and maybe a little bit of an annoyed expression on his face.

"Oh, come on! Can't I at least say 'hello'?" Captain John asked Jack.

The Doctor laughed. "That's what he always says when I yell at him for flirting with everyone he comes across!" the Doctor said, picking up a couple more items.

A grin flickered across Jack's face before he replaced it with a look of serious determination. "Just trust me on this one. He doesn't need to get to know you!"

Captain John was looking between the two of them, his curiosity building ever higher.

"Why?" the Doctor asked, absently inspecting more artifacts but curious all the same.

"Just trust me, okay?" Jack turned towards his office. "We can talk in my office, John." Captain John gave the Doctor one last appraising look before turning to follow Jack. The Doctor watched them go, completely bemused. But he supposed that Jack knew what he was talking about, it was another Time Agent anyway. The Doctor hates Time Agents. He shrugged, turned and started sorting through more things.

---

Captain John followed Jack into his office, after Jack turned down the offer of coffee from Ianto. Jack really hoped that what Captain John had to say was important but, he got the feeling it wasn't. Must have been all the time they'd spent together but most of the time, what Captain John thought was important, wasn't.

"So, who's the new eye candy?" Captain John asked with a smirk, not bothering to sit down in the chair in front of Jack's desk. Jack sat in his chair, wearily.

"No one. And he's a lot more than eye candy," Jack answered cryptically. "But he's nothing to you, got it?"

"That was vague and intriguing all at once."

"What do you want, John?"

"Just a little friendly company." Captain John smirked. "Maybe a booty call."

"No."

"Oh, come on! I won't kill any of your little friends, I promise. If you're not offering, how about one of those little gems down there? Especially that new one. Is he looking for a little loving?"

"I don't even want you to look at him, much less touch him or offer a lay."

"Oh, is he your new squeeze?"

"No. I wish, but no."

"Then why can't I have a go?"

Jack gave him a deadly look. "I knew you didn't have anything important to talk about. You never change."

"Do I need a reason to visit the love of my life?"

"Yes!" Jack said tersely. "You said something about Gray, the last time you were here."

"Yeah, I found him. He disappeared though, sneaky little shit. Just like his brother."

Jack sighed heavily. "Is he okay, at least? Where'd you find him? Where'd he go? What happened?"

"I don't know, I'm not his keeper. I found him completely by accident," Captain John said, shrugging. Jack sighed again, putting his face in his hands. "So, can I have a go at the new one?"

"Drop it!" Jack yelled.

"I can't! I'm horny and there's just something about him. I really like him," Captain John whined and peeked down into the HUB through the window of Jack's office. He could see the Doctor's arse as he bent over the table, examining the artifacts. "Especially when he does that! Oh, he's even better than your little Tea Boy. Smells good, too." Captain John licked his lips suggestively.

"That'll be his own alien smell." Jack grit his teeth, got up and looked down to see what Captain John was looking at: a perfect view of the Doctor's bum. Jack grumbled and closed the shades on his office windows.

"Oh, does that mean we're going to get busy?"

"No, it means I don't want you eyeing up the Doctor!"

"So, who is he exactly? What's his name?" Captain John asked, hopeful. Jack glared at him. "Oh, come on! You could at least tell me his name!"

"He's called 'The Doctor'. He doesn't work for me, he's only visiting and that's more than you need to know!"

"Oh, come now, I could work the old Time Agent fascination and get him into bed before tea."

"That won't work on him, he hates Time Agents."

"Why? We're fantastic!"

"Not to him."

"Is this his?" Captain John asked, looking at the Doctor's brown coat hanging on the coat rack. Just to press Jack's buttons, he started running his fingers over the Doctor's coat that was hanging next to Jack's great navy coat.

Jack smacked his hand away. "Yes, don't touch!"

"Ow! A little overprotective, aren't we?"

"Sometimes he needs a little protecting, especially from people like you."

"The more you talk about him, the more mysterious and interesting he gets. What species is he, anyway?"

"He's the last of his kind, and that's more than I should tell you. Stop asking questions!" Jack was getting angrier by the second, frustrated with his own truth blurting, he wasn't sure why he kept doing it today.

"What happened to the rest of his species?"

"A war. Will you leave now?" Jack's knuckles were crackling from how tightly he had his fists clenched. Captain John was really pressing Jack's buttons now, trying to see if he could get Jack to crack, even just a little.

"Speaking of things I'm not allowed to know about." Captain John ignored Jack's question and obvious aggression. "What's that blue box outside that won't let me look at it? Is that a perception filter? Like your cute little lift?" Jack glared at him some more, his mouth set in a grim line and not answering him. "I find it hard to believe that you don't know what it is," Captain John said, giving him a look. "It's basically on your front step."

"I do know what it is, but you don't need to know."

"Why is it out on the Plass? Why don't you have it in your little HUB hidey hole?"

"Because it's not mine!"

"Who's is it?" Jack just looked at him, stony faced. "Oh, come on, tell me something! Anything! All the mystery is driving me even more mad than I already am!"

"Okay. How about this? You're free to leave whenever you want."

"Jack!"

"John!"

"Jack!" The Doctor burst through the door, looking an odd combination of angry and excited.

TBC

Chapter Text

Flashback continued:

Jack and Captain John were both startled, Captain John looked a little pleased though. Jack actually looked scared. "Doctor?" Jack asked warily. The Doctor held up piece of something that looked like coral. "What is that?"

"What does it look like?"

"A piece of coral?"

"Space coral, Jack?" the Doctor asked sarcastically.

"Well, I suppose not but..." Then it dawned on him. "Is that a piece of a...?"

"It's a seed! Did this come through the rift?"

"I expect so," Jack said, astounded. He stepped up to the Doctor to examine the little piece of Gallifrey. Captain John was watching the two of them, trying to figure out what they were talking about and what the thing in the Doctor's hand was.

"Once again! If the Master had known this was here, Jack!" the Doctor said furiously.

"What is that?" Captain John asked. "And who is this 'Master'?" He winked at the Doctor.

"It's a piece of my home," the Doctor answered. "And never you mind."

"Oh? And where's home for you?" Captain John stepped closer to the Doctor. There was definitely something about him. It was even occuring to Captain John that there was a strange level of attraction to this beautiful creature. Was it the pheromones? He feels different, somehow. Tingly.

"Long gone," the Doctor said with no emotion and he tucked the TARDIS seed into his pocket.

"Is that blue box outside yours?"

"Yes, that's my TA-"

"Don't!" Jack cut him off. The Doctor looked at him funny.

"What species are you?" Captain John asked, eager to know.

"I'm a Ti-mmm!" Jack put his hand over the Doctor's mouth just in time. The Doctor looked at Jack, only moving his eyes and furrowing his brow.

"Can I talk to you for a minute?" Jack asked and walked the Doctor backwards, out of his office and closed the door behind them, taking the risk of leaving Captain John alone in his office. He removed his hand from the Doctor's mouth and pulled him down the steps and practically dragged him to the little kitchenette.

"What are you on about, Jack?" the Doctor asked, once they were out of earshot.

"There's something I never told you about Time Agents." Jack looked deadly serious.

"Okay...?"

"Time Agents love what they do, and they love any kind of myths, legends and stories that go with it. Legends about time travel. They practically worship Time Lords, Doc."

"Oh, for heaven's sake! Why?!"

"Why?!" Jack repeated.

"Oh, don't give me that look!" the Doctor whined, then he got an idea. "Wait, is that why you're so..."

"Madly in love with you?" Jack finished, smirking. "That's what started the lust." Jack smiled. "Then you gave me a million other reasons to love you," Jack said and finished with a wink. The Doctor raised his brows and blushed, though he tried not to. "What I'm saying is that most of the universe would view you as some kind of god, Doctor," Jack continued.

"No." The Doctor looked annoyed. "Don't go there."

"Don't deny it! I was there for the start of a few religions with you! Time Agents view Time Lords as such."

"Oh, don't start that rubbish! I'm a mortal person! I don't have any special powers, nothing! I'm just smarter than everyone else."

"A lot smarter and a lot stronger with a longer life span. You can regenerate and cheat death almost as effectively as I can. You can hear a pin drop from a mile away and you can feel the universe turning. And you'll never lose track of time, even if you want to." The Doctor rolled his eyes and sighed. "And Time Agents, being from the fifty first century, of course the first thing we think of when we come across a supposed Time Lord is mind blowing Time Sex."

"Time Sex?" The Doctor looked at him like he was stupid.

"My main point is that when a Time Agent meets someone claiming to be a Time Lord, which is usually a fraud, they will either shag them senseless or kill them for pretending to be something they're not, or both."

"Oh, that's a bit harsh! To kill someone just for trying to get a little attention. God, I hate Time Agents!"

"You are missing my point! Again!" Jack yelled. The Doctor rolled his eyes again. Gwen and the others came into the kitchenette to see what the fuss was about. Jack spared them a glance to make sure Captain John wasn't with them.

"Well, what is your point, Jack?" the Doctor asked, exasperated and getting really annoyed.

"If John finds out that you're a Time Lord, he is most definitely going to do anything he has to, to get into your pants, whether you want him to or not! He's not above rape, Doc. In fact, it's sort of his hobby."

"Oh, that's just wrong!" The Doctor grimaced. "But Jack, I am over nine hundred years old. I think I can take care of myself! I think I can handle a human Time Agent. What? You don't trust me to even introduce myself to one annoying little Time Agent? And he is quite little, how tall is he?"

Jack snickered. "I trust you with anything, it's him I don't trust! And just in case, I'm going to give you the same rules I gave them!" He gestured to his team. "One, don't believe anything he says. Two, always keep him in front of you. And three, under no circumstances should you to let him kiss you."

"Why the hell would I let him kiss me?"

"That's what Gwen said! Ask her what happened when she let her guard down." Jack looked at Gwen.

"Yeah, that was... unpleasant," Gwen said, Rhys was giving her a death glare. "I almost died from that paralytic."

"Paralytic?" the Doctor asked, confused.

"Paralyzing lip gloss," Jack said. "It's one of his favorite tools."

"What sort of paralytic does he use?"

"I don't know, it changes from time to time. He's been known to use Mivacurium and Vecuronium."

"I'm starting to like him less and less." The Doctor was cringing. "And I didn't like him from the off." The Doctor ran his hand through his hair. "But you don't need to worry about me, Jack. Really. Not this much, anyway."

"Actually, I do. It's easy enough for someone to get you to comply, if they know what makes you tick."

"And Captain John knows what makes me tick, does he?" the Doctor asked sardonically and maybe a little angrily.

"Just watch out, okay. He's very slippery and quite the trickster. I'd appreciate it, if you didn't even let him know what you are, he has enough of an interest in you as it is."

"What? Why?" the Doctor asked. Jack just looked at him like he was a foolish and painfully oblivious child. Which he sort of is, sometimes. "What?" the Doctor almost whined, he was genuinely confused.

"You're really quite attractive, Doctor," Tosh said timidly from the doorway. "For an alien."

"Oh." The Doctor looked embarrassed. "Um, right." The Doctor looked around the room. "You humans..." He shook his head and left it at that. He walked out of the kitchenette and went back to the table full of space junk that needed to be sorted. The others followed him and Jack went back to his office. Only to find that Captain John was gone.

"Oh, shit!" Jack said, leaving his office in a hurry. He ran to one of the computer terminals to check the CCTV and security footage.

"Something wrong, Jack?" the Doctor asked, walking over to him after having seen him run from his office.

"He's gone!" Jack growled.

The Doctor raised his eyebrow. "I would have thought that was a good thing. What did he want your help with anyway?"

"It may or may not be a good thing. He didn't really need my help with anything, he just wanted a lay."

"Ah." The Doctor nodded, confused. "Again. You humans." He shook his head and walked away again.

Jack growled and slammed his fist on the desk. "He used his teleport! Dammit, he could be anywhere!"

Jack went quickly to the Doctor at the table of space junk. "Doc, stay here. I'm gonna have everyone search the HUB and make sure he actually left." He turned to Tosh. "Tosh, you and Rhys stay with him. Let me know if John shows up."

"Don't you think you're worrying a little too much, Jack?" the Doctor asked.

"No, actually, I don't think I'm worrying enough," Jack said and directed Ianto, Gwen and Owen to where they should search, then he ran off to search the HUB himself. The Doctor shrugged his shoulders, put his brainy specs on and went back to his sorting with Tosh's help, Rhys just leaned against the table. Tosh seemed to be a little fidgety.

"So, what did this John Hart do the last time you lot saw him that has you all on edge?" the Doctor asked her, pulling out his sonic screwdriver to run it over the item in his hand.

"Well, for starters, he poisoned Gwen with that paralytic. Then he beat me up and shot Owen. He actually killed Jack, before he found out that he couldn't die."

The Doctor sighed and closed his eyes. "Oh, I'm sorry."

"Nothing you need to apologize for." Tosh smiled at him. The Doctor smiled back at her and they went back to work.

---

Jack was searching down in the archives, that they had recently emptied so that the Doctor could sort through it all. He wasn't finding anything or anyone.

Then there was the bang of a gunshot and Jack's world went dark.

---

Tosh, Rhys, and the Doctor heard the shot and they all stopped what they were doing and looked at eachother. Tosh pulled out her gun and followed the Doctor as he ran toward where the shot came from, Rhys wisely stayed where he was away from the danger or else Gwen would kill him herself. They came across no one coming to check out the shot as they made their way into the archives.

That's a bit unsettling, the Doctor thought.

Jack was dead on the floor behind some shelves, a hole in his head, blood and brain matter on the floor. The Doctor approached him to check that there were no other wounds. He kneeled beside Jack, then there was a shriek behind him. He turned just in time to see Captain John kissing Tosh, who then fell paralyzed to the floor, making a sickening thud. Captain John turned to the Doctor with a devilish smirk and winked at him.

"What the hell are you doing?" the Doctor asked, standing up.

"Creating an opportunity," Captain John answered, taking a step closer to the Doctor.

"What could you possibly need an opportunity for that would push you to go this far?" The Doctor glanced to Tosh on the floor, worrying for her. Her eyes were open and she was watching him, her eyes seemed to be the only thing she could move and it looked like she was having tremendous difficulty breathing.

"The opportunity to have a Time Lord. A real one!" Captain John raised his eyebrows and smiled, looking almost as insane as he was. "And I've done far worse for far less. Jack didn't warn you about everything. I heard you and him talking in the kitchen. But I didn't really need to eavesdrop, once Jack told me your name and the way he was protecting you." Captain John eyed the Doctor hungrily, licking his lips.

"I don't need any warnings or Jack's protection." The Doctor put his hands in his pockets.

"I wonder, why do you hate Time Agents? Aren't we fighting the same fight?"

"All you lot do is mess things up even more. Make things more difficult for me to fix. So, no, we aren't fighting the same fight."

"Alright, I'll give you that. We're not always careful. We just can't help but look for a good shag here and there, through the ages. You look good for nine hundred." Captain John was sizing the Doctor up, looking him up and down with appreciation. "I'm a little surprised that Jack hasn't claimed you for himself."

"Claimed me? You don't know much about Time Lords, do you?" He glanced at Tosh again, her breathing was getting worse.

Captain John was slowly stepping closer to the Doctor. "I just know that they were superior beings who protected time. They flew around in time machines, looked like humans and lived for hundreds, if not thousands of years. That they all disappeared. I've heard stories of one Time Lord in particular, a sort of renegade who flies around saving worlds and the whole universe. The Doctor, who has made so many terrible, wonderful stories and names for himself. The Oncoming Storm, The Destroyer Of Worlds, The Lonely God - that's my favorite one."

"I don't set out to make a name for myself. I'm just a traveler. All I want to do is travel the universe and see as much of it as I can with the time I have. But if necessary, I do what I have to do to protect it and I go where I am needed." The Doctor started stepping backwards, as John stepped closer.

"Jack said that you were the last of your kind and that the rest died in a war. A war, I'm guessing, that your people didn't win. A war over what exactly?"

"The universe. And no one won that war. I ended it before it could destroy everything. The Time Lords and the Daleks died together." The Doctor's face was cold and expressionless.

"How can one man end a war over the universe? You must be as amazing as the stories say, if you can destroy your own people to save the rest of this pest infested universe. I wonder if you're just as amazing in bed." Dripping innuendo, Captain John was edging into the Doctor's personal space, trying to get his lips closer to the Doctor's but the Doctor kept moving his head and stepping away. His hands were still in his pockets.

"That's something you're never going to find out. Do you have an antidote to that paralytic?" The Doctor was distractedly worrying over Tosh's labored breathing, getting shallower and shallower.

Captain John changed tact and started coming at the Doctor from another angle, making him step back toward Jack's prone form. "I'd have to be a fool not to carry an antidote to a paralytic like this one." He tapped his lower lip with his forefinger.

"And what paralytic is that?" His eyes still on Tosh, the Doctor put his hand up to pull his glasses off but Captain John took that opportunity to grab the Doctor's wrist.

The Doctor jerked away and took a step back and tripped over Jack. Captain John took the chance to grab the Doctor around the waist with one arm and the back of the Doctor's neck with the other hand and kissed him roughly on the mouth, he ran his tongue over the Doctor's teeth, before the Doctor shoved him away with all of his strength. He sent Captain John flying backward about ten feet to land hard on his bum. The Doctor fell backward and slammed into the shelf. His legs gave out and he landed half on top of Jack, back against the shelf. The paralytic was fast acting, taking affect far too quickly and the Doctor slowly slid further sideways down the shelf and onto his side on the ground. It didn't work the same way on the Doctor as it did on humans, the Doctor could still move but his limbs felt like lead and were uncooperative and he was breathing heavily. The Doctor licked his lips, tasting and mumbled, "Pipecuronium?" The Doctor cursed himself and his idiocy, Jack had warned him that he was a trickster and he didn't listen. Now look what happened.

"Oh, you are good," Captain John said, standing up and moving closer to the Doctor. "And just as strong as the legends say Time Lords are." The Doctor looked scared. He whimpered and tried to crawl away but Captain John grabbed his arms and pulled him up and closer to him.

Just then, Jack woke up with his loud deep breath and quickly took in the scene; the Doctor half on top of him, Captain John had a hold of the Doctor and Tosh was on the floor, not moving. Captain John went to press a button on his wrist strap, to teleport away with the Doctor in his grasp, but Jack shoved Captain John away from him and the Doctor. Jack sat up and lunged at him, an angry growl deep in his throat. He tackled Captain John to the ground and they started tussling with each other, rolling around and throwing fists and wrestling, trying to grab eachother into head locks or choke holds. Jack was determined to squeeze the life out of Captain John this time. The Doctor slowly crawled over toward Tosh to check she was still alive, her breathing was so shallow it almost looked like she wasn't breathing at all. Pipecuronium was a powerful paralytic, usually only used during invasive surgery in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it left the need for life support systems when used on humans, so Tosh was in mortal danger if someone didn't give her a counteragent and somehow assist her breathing. The question was, what happened to the other Torchwood employees? Were they paralyzed somewhere as well?

"I told you not to touch him!" Jack yelled when he got his hands around Captain John's throat, squeezing.

Captain John kneed Jack in the groin and Jack released him, gasping in pain. He shoved Jack off of him, then grabbed Jack's face in his hands and kissed him. Jack may be immortal, but he's still human and he's no antitoxin. So he went down just as hard as Tosh did.

"You did tell me not to touch him," Captain John said stroking Jack's cheek, an insane glint in his eyes. He smirked. "But that just made me want to play with him even more."

Ianto, Gwen and Owen burst into the room, guns drawn. Owen had torn up wrists and hand cuffs still dangling from one of them. Gwen looked tired, she most likely got the paralyzing kiss as well and Ianto looked just as haggard as she did. Captain John wasted no time in jumping up, grabbing the Doctor's arm and pressing the teleport on his wrist strap.

"No!" the Doctor tried to yell, but it came out as a slurred mumble. Captain John disappeared with the Doctor just a millisecond before a couple of bullets whizzed passed where Captain John's head was. Gwen cursed and ran to check on Jack, Owen went to Tosh. Owen had the counteragent ready and quickly administered it to both of them.

TBC

Chapter Text

Flashback continued:

The Doctor landed on hard metal grating with Captain John on top of him. They were in a space ship of some kind. A small one man craft. The Doctor didn't get the chance to look around to figure out what kind of ship or where it was. Captain John was straddling him and groping his hands all over the Doctor's body; his slender waist, chest, neck and a slow lingering assessment of his arse. He didn't waste time in getting right to the point though, once he was satisfied with squeezing the Doctor's backside and his own manhood twitched in excitement. Captain John was looking at the Doctor with a lust heavy and predatory eye. The Doctor was trying to push him away, but he was too weak from the paralytic. Captain John just pushed his hands aside and pulled the Doctor's tie off, sniffed it with an eye fluttering smirk and then flung it over his shoulder.

"You Time Lords smell so good!" Captain John moaned. He ripped the Doctor's suit jacket and shirt open and eyed every curve of his body, almost inspecting it, savouring the sight before him. "You really are colder to the touch than humans." Captain John smiled. "Oh, I am so going to enjoy every second of this. None of my other Time Agent friends would believe me, if I told them I laid the last Time Lord. Too bad the Time Agency is no more. I doubt any of them are even alive." The Doctor was still trying to fight him, so Captain John pulled out his boot knife and held it to the Doctor's throat. "But maybe I can take a piece of you with me as a souvenier? Or I could carve the legacy into your flesh or Jack's or one of his little friends?" The Doctor let his hands drop to the floor, still breathing heavily because of the poison on Captain John's lips. What else could he do? Try to fight and most likely get killed for his efforts and have this psychopath cut him up or let someone else pay the price for his willfulness? The Doctor's life and pride weren't worth the lives or suffering of others just to keep it intact, the Doctor thought about himself. He didn't think senseless violence and killing were above this man. He's almost as bad as the Master, maybe even worse.

"Good boy, that's better." Captain John smiled, putting away his knife. He bent down and kissed the Doctor again, just for the fun of it. The Doctor didn't kiss back, why would he? He just went limp. Captain John's kiss was a bruising one. His hands roaming over the Doctor's taut abdomen, inching lower. The Doctor winced when Captain John nibbled on his lower lip, biting it hard enough to draw blood. He tasted it with a look of satisfaction. "Even your blood tastes different. It almost sparkles on the tongue, like champagne." He smirked and licked the Doctor's neck. "One could definitely get addicted to you, if you let them."

"Please, stop this," the Doctor mumbled, lifting his arms and pushing feebly against Captain John's shoulders.

Captain John chuckled. "No way." He ignored the Doctor's attempts and he kissed and licked his way down to the Doctor's nipples, biting one, then the other. His hands were at the waistband of the Doctor's trousers, almost hastily undoing the fastenings. The Doctor renewed his efforts to try and thwart John Hart from his prize. "to have a Time Lord," he had said, the biggest notch in his bed post. The Doctor wanted none of it. Trying his best to flail his almost nonresponsive limbs, the Doctor squeezed his eyes shut, frantically trying to imagine he was somewhere else, or even just with someone else. Hell, he'd take Jack before this creep, any day. Which was a disturbing thought all on its own. It was easy enough to push his mind elsewhere, he was worried about Jack and his team. He hoped they were able to help Tosh.

---

Back in the Torchwood HUB, Jack and Tosh were slowly recovering from the paralytic. Jack recovered faster than Tosh, and when he was able to sit up he looked like he wanted to cry. "He took him," Jack mumbled to no one.

"We'll find him, Jack," Gwen said, rubbing his back.

"What if he kills him before we can find him?" Jack was being pessimistic, it was the best way to go when dealing with John Hart. He loved killing too much. He could only hope Captain John put a value on the Doctor's life, instead of just having his way and killing him afterward.

"Is there any way you can track John's wrist strap?" Gwen asked.

"No, he could be anywhere in time and space." Jack rubbed his face. Then Jack had a thought and his head shot up. "I can track the Doctor, though!" He jumped up and ran through the HUB, Gwen hot on his heels. He jumped onto the lift, Gwen had just enough time to hop up next to him before it started ascending. When they got to the Plass, Jack sprinted to the TARDIS and pulled out a bunch of keys. He fought with them for a minute, cursing under his breath before he finally dug out the TARDIS key. He opened the door and flew to the console. Gwen stopped to gawk, just like Ianto had. Jack even spared a grin for Gwen's, "It's bigger on the inside," when he went to the data screen. He really hoped the TARDIS would cooperate with him and put it in English. She did.

The TARDIS can search for anything specific, anywhere in the Time Vortex. The Doctor never uses it because if he searched for anything in the universe, he'd get so many results he'd never find exactly what he was looking for anyway. Jack could use it this time and find just what he needed to. He made the search criteria easy; he searched for Time Lords. And there he was, floating above Cardiff, most likely in Captain John's ship under a cloaking device. Probably a stolen Chula ship, or something like it.

Thank the Doctor, he didn't disable Jack's Vortex Manipulator before he left the last time.

---

Captain John had the Doctor's trousers and pants pulled down just passed his hips and the Doctor was fighting him tooth and nail, however feebly. Also, the paralytic seemed to be wearing off a bit. His hands were all over the Doctor, almost like he had ten of them. "You know, this would be so much more pleasant for you, if you just stopped fighting me," Captain John said, holding the Doctor's wrists above his head. "I don't really want to have to hurt you. Although, I don't much care either way, I like the fiesty ones. So go ahead and fight, just know that whatever injuries you get are your own fault."

The Doctor spit in John's face and glared at him. "Get away from me, you filthy little ape!"

Captain John wiped the spittle out of his eye, getting angry that this was taking longer than he had hoped. He had wanted to be inside this rather spunky (and real!) Time Lord by now. Captain John, being the bipolar psychopath that he was, very suddenly punched the Doctor in the jaw, making his face whip to the side and smash against the metal floor. The Doctor was dazed and the grating left a couple of short horizontal lacerations on his cheek. Having lost his patience, Captain John flipped the Doctor onto his stomach and yanked his bottoms down, exposing his backside. He held the Doctor's arms behind his back with one hand, the Doctor's face pressing into the hard metal floor. This was hitting John in all the right ways. Prey that he's dreamed about for many years, squirming deliciously beneath him.

"Please don't do this!" the Doctor shouted, almost begging. That just spurred him on even more. Captain John started to hurriedly undo his jeans with one hand, when there was the zapping sound of a teleport and the click of a gun hammer being cocked back. Captain John looked up and Jack pressed the muzzle of his Webley into his forehead. Captain John stopped and slowly eased his grip on the Doctor. Jack had a stony look of cold fury on his face, scary enough to make Captain John shiver. Gwen was beside him looking equally infuriated and almost more intimidating, which gave him goosebumps.

"Get off of him," Jack demanded in a dangerous tone.

"Well, you're just full of surprises, aren't you Jack?" John said, letting go of the Doctor and putting his hands up. He stood and stepped back, away from the Doctor. Gwen went to the Doctor and injected the counteragent into his neck and helped him to get his clothes back on as best they could, considering they were torn and most of his buttons were missing. He still couldn't move very well, his limbs flailed and were uncooperative and awkward, like a clumsy baby deer. Gwen managed to get the Doctor into a sitting position. "How'd you find us?" Captain John asked, curious and trying to hide his fear.

"Good question," the Doctor said, still breathing heavily from the paralytic.

"The Doctor's TARDIS was kind enough to give me a hand with locating him." Jack trained his gun at Captain John's head.

"I am so glad I gave you a key," the Doctor mumbled, trying to stand but failing and falling back onto his bum. "But Jack, please don't kill anyone on my account," the Doctor panted and winced in pain.

"He deserves it!" Jack growled. "But I don't have the time to waste on the likes of him. Gwen!" Gwen stood and pulled out her gun, she aimed it right between Captain John's eyes. Jack put his revolver away and bent to pick up the Doctor, grabbing him under his knees and shoulders.

"If I ever see you again, I will feed you to my pterodactyl!" Jack spat. "If you're lucky, I might even kill you first."

"Yes, sir." Captain John looked slightly surprised.

Gwen put her free hand on Jack's Vortex Manipulator and pressed a button that Jack had indicated to her before arriving. They vanished and Captain John sighed in relief and disappointment. He sat in his pilot's seat and picked up the Doctor's tie that had been left behind. He sniffed it again, then rolled it up neatly and stuffed it in his pocket with a smirk. He then began the process of flying away in his stolen Chula ship, before Jack could change his mind and come back to tear him limb from limb.

---

They teleported directly into the Torchwood HUB, into Jack's office, where Jack deposited the Doctor onto his old sofa. The Doctor sighed in relief and groaned, as he lay back and waited for the counteragent to take full effect.

"Are you alright?" Jack kneeled on the floor next to the sofa and worried over the Doctor's bruised jaw and cut face, holding one of the Doctor's hands. Gwen went to retrieve Owen.

"Yes, I'm fine. I've been better but..." The Doctor nodded in speechless confusion. A lot happened and very quickly, twenty minutes ago he was happily sorting through space junk.

"I am so sorry!" Jack looked so angry with himself. "I should have sent him away as soon as I saw him, before he even met you. I really wish I had shot him!"

"Don't worry about it, Jack. If you remember, I was the one who told you to let him talk to you." The Doctor gave a weak smile. "Thank you for not shooting anyone."

Owen arrived in Jack's office with his med kit. He checked the Doctor over, finding only minor cuts and bruises. He put a couple of butterfly strips over the cuts on the Doctor's cheek and he and Jack applied a salve to the Doctor's bruises. "Have Ianto come in here, please," Jack said to Owen, as he got up to sit on the sofa next to the Doctor. Owen nodded and left the Doctor with Jack, leaving them alone.

"I wonder," the Doctor thought aloud. "How did he hear us talking in the kitchen?"

Jack sighed. "His wrist strap works properly, unlike mine. He probably patched into the Torchwood security system and listened in with the camera in the kitchen." Jack's eyes were sad. "Our security cameras record sound as well as video. That's my fault,too. I'm sorry, I forgot about it."

"Nothing is your fault, Jack." The Doctor smiled at him. "You don't have control over what others do." The Doctor had a contemplative look. "Especially psychopaths. Neither of us have control over the psychopaths in our pasts, if you'll recall the one in mine." Jack smiled sadly and tilted his head in silent agreement.

Ianto came in, standing with his back straight, he spared the Doctor a smile and turned to Jack. "You needed me for something, sir?"

"Ianto, can you order a replacement for the Doctor's suit," Jack said.

"Certainly, sir." Ianto turned to go.

"No, Jack, that's not necessary." The Doctor gave him a look.

"Unless you'd like to walk around in a torn suit, that you have to hold up and looking exactly like someone who was almost raped?" Jack asked him sarcastically and rather bluntly.

The Doctor sighed. "Fine, but there's no need to order one, I have a replacement in the TARDIS." Jack had a trite look on his face. Why didn't he think of that? "Here, Ianto." The Doctor handed Ianto a TARDIS key. "Just go in and grab my blue suit for me, it's in my closet."

"Where will I find your closet?" Ianto asked, bemused. He took the key and looked at it.

"Just tell the TARDIS what your looking for and she'll point you in the right direction."

A sentient ship. Ianto filed that away to ponder later. "Is there anything specific that could tell me I have the right room?"

"Oh, believe me." Jack chuckled. "You'll know when you've found the Doctor's closet. You'll love it!"

Ianto nodded. "Okay, I'll be right back, then."

"Oh, Ianto," Jack said before he could go. "Can you grab his red shoes as well? And I think I can trust you to find a shirt and a tie that match."

"Yes, sir." Ianto nodded again and left.

"Think he'll be alright?" Jack asked the Doctor. "I hope the TARDIS cooperates and doesn't make him run around in circles like a chicken."

"Oh, no. She likes him." The Doctor smiled. "He was only in there for a couple of minutes, but she had a good look at him and she likes him, he's a good person."

"That's a relief." Jack sighed. "If only I could get the TARDIS to like me again."

"She loves you, Jack!" the Doctor chided. "You used to travel with me and you ended her pain when she was a Paradox Machine. She's a little scared of your 'factness' but she stills loves who you are, Jack." Jack smiled a little.

Tosh came into the room a little breathless, Gwen was right with her. "Can I see inside your ship too?" she asked like an excited child asking if she could play outside. The Doctor raised his eyebrows at her, a little surprised by her zeal.

"And Rhys and I?" Gwen added. "I'd like another look at her and I know Rhys is going to love it."

"I won't touch anything, I promise," Tosh said quickly.

"You two!" Jack said, a little exasperated.

"Sure, I don't mind," the Doctor said, smiling brightly. Jack sighed. "Not like you can cause any trouble in there, unless you can read Old High Gallifreyan?"

"No, they can't read Gallifreyan," Jack said, resigned to his teams enthusiasm.

"Thank you!" Tosh gave the Doctor a quick hug, startling him a little, before she bounded out of the room, Gwen right behind her.

"Well, she's enthusiastic!" The Doctor chuckled.

"Tosh loves alien technology." Jack shrugged. "Well, she loves technology, in general."

"Think they'll ever come back out again?"

"It might take them a while, but yes. And they better come out before I go in there and get them!"

The Doctor laughed, then stopped, sighed and frowned. "Jack, I think I may need a bit of a kip."

"Alright. Do you want to go to the TARDIS to sleep or you could sleep here. You can sleep in my bed."

"This sofa is fine, thank you, Jack." The Doctor laid down all the way and made himself comfortable. "That paralytic wreaked absolute havoc on my system. It was everything I could do to keep it from damaging my neural pathways. Pipecuronium was made for human use, not Time Lord and now I am completely drained." The Doctor sighed and closed his eyes. Then his eyes flew open and he lifted his head to look at Jack with a bemused expression. "Wait, do you live here?" he asked suddenly, out of left field. Jack was pretty sure the Doctor had the Time Lord equivalent of ADHD.

"Sadly, yes. I'd really rather you slept in a bed. I have a good one, it's comfy and I promise I won't devour you in your sleep." Jack smiled.

"This is fine, Jack," the Doctor said, chuckling a little. Smiling, he closed his eyes again. Jack sighed and stood up. He covered the Doctor up with his great coat and turned to leave the room. He could have covered the Doctor up with his own coat, but Jack told himself that his was warmer. He turned the lights out and left the Doctor to sleep in peace and quiet.

:End flashback.

--

Captain John flew through the flimsy doors of their guest room and landed in the corridor. He got up as fast as he could and drew a knife from his belt, a smile on his face as the Master lunged for him again. The Master wrestled with the arm that was holding the blade and knocked it out of Captain John's hand, but not before the Captain had made a good long slash to the Master's arm. The pain of their injuries didn't seem to be bothering either one of them. Both of them so psychotic that they don't really feel pain. They were both banged up and dripping blood from various wounds, but too high on adrenaline to even notice.

Mal, Zoe and Jack had run down to the guest rooms from the galley to see what all the noise was. Jayne and Shepherd Book had run in from the cargo hold, the Doctor and River right after them.

"Master?!" The Doctor put the large basket of vegetables and fruits that he was carrying, down and quickly ran into the fray to try and pull the Master off of the far more fragile human. Jack came to pull Captain John away but it was pointless, they weren't stopping or even listening.

"That's enough!" Jack yelled at Captain John.

"Master, stop!" The Doctor lost his grip on the Master and he dove for Captain John again, taking him and Jack down. It was by this time that Mal and Jayne had decided to step in. Jayne got to Captain John and pulled him off and pinned him to the floor, with one of the mercenary's knees in his back. It took Jack, the Doctor and Mal to wrestle the Master. It took a lot of work, and the Master wasn't paying attention to who was wrestling with him and threw a few blind punches, one of them catching the Doctor in the mouth.

It was the Doctor's shout of pain that finally brought the Master back to his senses. He stopped suddenly, fist in the air, ready for another punch. The color drained from his face when he realized what he'd been doing and saw what he'd done to the Doctor. He'd lost complete control of himself and flew into a blind rage, and he knew the Doctor was furious with him for it. "Oh...," was all the Master managed to say, letting his arms go limp in Mal's and Jack's grip.

"What the hell was that about!?" the Doctor shouted at the Master. The Master sighed and looked away.

Captain John started laughing on the floor underneath Jayne. "I told him all the lovely details about what happened when I last met you, Doctor." The Doctor sighed and closed his eyes, absently rubbing his chin that was starting to bruise and his lip that had started to bleed.

"I don't care what you're fighting about, but I will not have it on my ship!" Mal yelled. "I will lock you in separate rooms, if I have to!"

"I think that sounds like a good idea," the Doctor said, glaring at the Master. The Master sighed, looking thoroughly pissed with himself.

Mal nodded, turning to Kaylee, Inara and River who were watching. "River, Inara, could you two empty two of the guest rooms. Of everything. Kaylee get to fixing this door." He eased his grip on the Master, since he seems to have calmed down. "Simon, you have patients to attend to."

Jack dragged the Master to the Med Bay, the Doctor following behind. Jayne cautiously let Captain John up, keeping a hold of his arms as he dragged him to the Med Bay as well.

TBC

Chapter Text

AUTHOR'S NOTICE: from ChibiAyane

To all of my followers, I apologize a hundred times over for not updating any of my fics for a while. I had an accident some time ago and ended up breaking a few vertebrae in my spine. I had to have a major surgery to repair it, and I've basically been out of commission for a while. So, since then I have been on more pain medication than I care to be, and hence, have not been able to focus on writing... or much of anything really. It's taking a lot of time to recover and I've only recently been allowed to reduce my medications. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to ALL of my stories very soon.

Please don't give up on me yet! I haven't abandoned any of my fics, I promise!

However, if for some reason someone would like to take over one of my stories, to get it going again sooner than I would, I'm okay with letting some of them go through another's mind to find their completion.

Thank you for understanding!