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We meet again...

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Author's note: Okay, it's a work in progress so I'm uploading the chapters I have done and will have to just keep going as I get done.<br />It's a slow start Master-wise, but give it a chance and it gets going :)

“I am covered in slime!” Amy shouted, as she stood in the middle of a field on a relatively unknown planet with the Doctor and Rory.
“Yes, I think we all are,” the Doctor replied, wiping slime out of his hair, and then flicking it on to the floor.
“It stinks.”
“Well done, Rory.” The Doctor walked towards the crater that had once been an alien who, after swallowing Rory, the Doctor had popped with the right frequency on the sonic screwdriver.
“Yeah well if you hadn’t gotten yourself swallowed, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess!” Amy said, turning to Rory. “Look at the state of me!”
“Ladies…” the Doctor said, warningly, and with a smirk at the expression on Rory’s face.
“Doctor, what are we gonna do! You said we can’t go in the TARDIS for another couple of hours!”
“Well… an hour, maybe. Maybe two, I don’t know! She’s a bit… upset.”
“She’s not the only one! This is the second time I’ve been covered in gunk because of you.”
The Doctor sniggered.
“Just gunk… it’s such a good word, and so under-used.”
“What are we going to do?!”
The Doctor sighed, “There’s a civilisation over there, they get the occasional holiday-maker here, I’m sure there’s a hotel.”
“Oh, and what are we gonna say in that hotel?” Rory said.
“That you fell in a swamp and we had to pull you out, then my craft had an accident, so could we please hire a suite and have a shower?” The Doctor responded, as if that was the most normal thing in the world. “Durh.”
He set off towards where he said the civilisation was, then turned back to Amy and Rory, “well come on then!”
Amy pushed Rory forward and then they followed the Doctor.

“Okay, so we have a suite with one double bathroom, and one single bathroom. Is that okay?”
The receptionist was large, purple, and had strange ridges running down her back. She also had a hole in her desk, and a bucket underneath to catch the black slime which was running out of her mouth. Amy and Rory stood staring at her,
“It looks like a cross between a squid and a stegosaurus!” Rory whispered to Amy, who giggled and then said
“Don’t be so rude!”
The receptionist looked up at them, “is that okay?” She repeated, sounding slightly irritable at having to repeat herself. Amy looked at the Doctor, who had his eyes closed, and then nudged him. “Doctor?”
He opened his eyes and smiled, “Yeah, that’s great. How much is that?”
“That’ll be 70 credits.”
“70 credits… right, great, put it on my card.”
He handed over a card, and Rory half expected it to be rejected, but then the receptionist handed it back along with a card to get in the room.
“Thank you very much.” The Doctor said, and took the cards.
“Have a nice day.” The receptionist said, and then looked back up. “There are shampoos and towels, spare clothes and stuff in the bathrooms. Most people just nick them, but you look like you’ll need to use them.”
“Thanks again!” The Doctor said, and they walked towards the stairs.

Amy took the door-card from the Doctor and said “floor 22? We’re walking to floor 22? Why don’t we just take the lift?!”
“If I’ve learnt anything in my 107 years, it’s to never trust Loconihan lifts.”
As if on cue, there was a large grinding sound from the lift shaft next to them, and then an alarm went off. Amy and Rory turned to look at the receptionist, who sighed and said over the intercom “Lift 3 is broken again… 4th time this week. Someone come fix it.”
They turned back round, laughing, and abruptly stopped when the Doctor stood with his head in his hands.
“Doctor, what’s wrong?”
He shook his head, “Hmm? Oh, nothing… headache. I’ll be fine.”
“Oh, okay then.” Amy said, trying to sound less worried than she was as the Doctor started bouncing up the stairs again. She glanced at Rory, and then followed again.
“So you’ve been here before?”
“Erm, yeah. It was a long time ago though.”
“Were you on your own? It doesn’t seem like the kind of place to come on your own, too… I dunno, sociable?”
“No, I was with a friend. A very old friend.”
“A friend?”
“Yes, I have a few friends… but I mean, he’s… gone now.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. Well… ah! Here’s our room!”
The Doctor swiped the key through the lock and then barged into the room.
“Okay double bathroom there, that’s yours.” He pointed to one door. “My room is here. Take your time, we have ages.”
“You sure?” Amy said.
“Yeah, we’ve got the whole of time and space on our side.”
“I didn’t mean…”
But the Doctor had already left and gone into the bathroom on the left.
“What’s wrong with him?” Rory said, but Amy shook her head and walked towards the bathroom door where the Doctor was. She pushed gently on the door, but it didn’t open. She looked at Rory again, who shrugged.
“Maybe he’s got a migraine?”
“Do Timelord’s even get migraines?”
“Well I dunno do I? I’m not some kind of expert!”

The Doctor was stood in the bathroom, with his head resting against the mirror, the coolest surface he could find. His jacket and bowtie were lying on the floor behind him and his head was pounding. He never got headaches, what was happening? He heard a knock at the door, and jumped, hitting his head off the mirror and swearing loudly.
“Doctor, are you okay?” It was Amy. Why couldn’t she just leave him alone sometimes?
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Just you seem…”
“I’ve just got a headache. Nothing a shower can’t fix!” he said, turning on the spray.

Amy knew when she wasn’t needed, and sighed turning away from the Doctor’s bathroom door and walking past Rory.
“Whatever, if he’s going all moody, he can be all moody. I wanna get this out of my hair.”

About an hour later, the Doctor was clean, his clothes had been washed and dried, and he was getting dressed. His head was still pounding, and it was getting louder, and worse, to the point where he was losing his balance. He put his head against the mirror again, closing his eyes against the light, and the pain. And when he closed his eyes it seemed to get louder, and he could make out the rhythm. 4 beats, dun-dun-dun-dun; but it couldn’t be. He stood completely still, and tried to ignore the constant, stabbing pain that made him feel like his head was about to split in two. Dun-dun-dun-dun. Maybe it was just his heartbeats? Didn’t they get louder when you were in pain, or scared, and he was both? You could feel them pulsing through your arteries, dun-dun-dun-dun; but no, this was different. This was a beat, a drumbeat. But how?
It got so loud now, so unbearable, and his hearts were beating so fast that he could rule them out, frantic compared to the steady 4 beat rhythm that was still pulsing through his head? How could someone bear this for so many years? And why was it hitting him now? Dun-dun-dun-dun. The Doctor prayed for it to stop, but it didn’t, he hit his head against the mirror, it didn’t work, the drums still beat. And then… something else; something made the hairs on the back of his neck stick up, something forces his eyes open, and stopped him blinking at the bright light in the bathroom. He looked in the mirror, and his hearts skipped a beat when he saw who was sitting on the side of the bath behind him.
He blinked into the mirror, and the man was still there, and then he spun around.

The man was definitely there, he was definitely in the Doctor’s bathroom, sat with a slight smirk on his face, his blond hair still slightly messy, his clothes still torn and frayed, exactly like the Doctor had last seen him. But it couldn’t be!
“Is that the welcome I get? After all I did?”
“Wh… how? What!?”
The Master stood up, and laughed. “Stop stammering, I thought maybe your new regeneration would have stopped that particular irritating trait.”
The Doctor’s mouth was dry, and he choked out “How are you here?”
The Master tutted, “Isn’t that obvious? I let you listen to the drums. You heard them. You went inside my head, and that made a tiny link. I’ve spent all the time I had in prison on Gallifrey, stuck in the time lock building up a connection, forging something to bring back to see you again.”
“I saved your life!”
the Doctor shook his head, “I know.”
“And what did you do in return? Did you thank me? Or did you just lie there, so thankful you were alive?”
The Doctor looked down, the shame he had kept down building up inside of him. “I know.”
“I was supposed to be the selfish one! I could have saved myself and let you die! But no, the one gracious act I do! The one time I help someone else! And you FORGET ME!”
There was so much venom in the Master’s voice; it made the Doctor so ashamed, but he managed to say. “I still died.”
The Master laughed, “You still died? You get to live on! You get to still travel! Look at you, you regenerated!”

Amy and Rory looked at each other, shocked, as they heard the Doctor shout in the bathroom. Amy jumped up and ran to the door, knocking on it and shouting the Doctor’s name, to no response.
“What’s he doing?”
“I dunno, he’s… talking. Shh!” Amy said, and they both stood at the door, trying to listen, trying to see who was in there with him.

“Oh this again? Really?” the Master said, sighing. “I came back didn’t I?”
“You left me!”
“You found someone else, like you always do!”
“You died rather than come with me! What did you want me to do? Keep going alone, wallowing in your memory? You left me on my own twice!”
“I saved your life the second time I ‘left you’ Did you even try to get me back? ”
“I knew I couldn’t! You were stuck in the time war!”
“Did you ever think about me though? No!”
The Doctor laughed bitterly, “Of course I did! I think about you all the time.”
“That’s a lie.”
“How do you know?”
“Because to get here I had to force my way through your memories, through your consciousness. I had to wait until you thought about me, and felt strong emotion. That’s why it’s here. we came here, remember? Back when we were kids?”
“Of course I remember. But you can’t be here.”
The Master laughed again. “Yeah, right.” There was silence for a couple of minutes.
“Can you get rid of this headache now, please? It’s driving me mad.”
“It’s been there for what? An hour, two at most? And it’s driving you mad already. How long did I have to put up with it?”
“You’re stronger than me.”
“No I’m not.”
“You embraced it.”
“If I get rid of it, then I’m gone. Choose.”

The Doctor slid to the floor, and the Master came and sat next to him.
“You still managed to die then.”
“I had to save Wilf.”
“The old guy?”
“Yeah. He got stuck in the radiation chamber you forgot to turn off.”
“Would be my fault.”
The Doctor laughed, “I do like this body though. I think.”
“You think?”
“You’ve still got stupid hair.”
“You still look like an emo.”
“Oh really?”
The Doctor sighed, “How are you here? Really, because a psychic link and some emotion isn’t enough to drag you back?”
“I’m just a projection.”
“So I’m going mad?”
“No, I am here, but I’m not. I’m sort of… I dunno how to explain.”
“It’s still not enough though, even with a brain like yours.”
“Yeah, well, something’s happening, I could feel the link getting stronger without me amplifying it, something massive is about to happen, or change, or not happen.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I dunno. But there’s something wrong with time. You feel it, I feel it. That unease. That shudder you get without anything happening to cause it.”
“I know.” The Doctor looked at the Master, “Something is wrong, time is changing.”
The Master smirked, “I hoped you’d say that.”

“Who’s he talking to?” Rory hissed at Amy.
“I don’t know! I dunno what’s going on! I think there might be something wrong with him.”
“You think!?”
“Rory! What if he’s ill? What if there's someone in there hurting him? We need to help him!”
“How?! The door’s locked!”
“I dunno, knock it down!?”
“I can’t knock down a door, look at me!”
“We could go ask the… thing.”
“Lady! Stop being so rude about them just coz they don’t look like you! It’s racist!”
“Shh!” They both put their ears back to the door.

“What do you mean by that?”
“If I can get through this far, then something is changing.”
“Well, yes, I guessed that much.”
“Planets in the sky.”
“I’m sorry?”
“She doesn’t remember.”
“Amy, your… bird out there. Well, she’s not yours is she?”
“She’s my friend. So is Rory.”
“She’ll leave you. She chose someone else. Just like they all do.”
“Shut up.”
“Sarah-Jane left for her adopted son, the freak left you, Martha has Mickey, Rose has the other Doctor, Wilf has his family, Donna has a new bloke and doesn’t even remember you.”
“You leave them alone!”
“I can’t touch them!”
“I know you!”
“I know. And I can see in your head. She’s gonna leave, and you’ll be on your own again.”
“Shut up!” The Doctor said, through gritted teeth.
“What if I can help?”
“How, you’re stuck.”
The Master groaned, “Planets in the sky!”
“So she can’t remember the daleks, what of it?! Oh…”
“Finally, it hit’s him.”
“Time is changing…”
“Yeah… come on, think about it.”
“But I can’t.”
“Of course you can! You’re the last Timelord, apart from me, and frankly, I could make a reappearance.”
“But I’d have to…”
“Just a tiny rip in time, there are so many already that it won’t hurt. And I can help fix it! think about it, the team, back together.”
“Without the drums, you’re scary.”
The Master growled, “Do you want to be on your own for eternity?!”
“But if it never happened, the drums will still be there.”
“You always said you could help me! And, I’ll be able to remember this, just… slightly, tiny memory. But we retain everything that happened to us, even if we didn’t live it. I’ll know it’s true. I’ll know that you can help me! Just please, Doctor.”
“I can’t...”
“And I can’t save yours.”

The Master stood up and pulled the Doctor to his feet.
“Then what is the point of you?”
The Doctor looked into the Master’s eyes and knew the game the Master was playing, repeating what his companions had said, the best kind of emotional blackmail from his oldest friend and his deadliest enemy.
“Doctor, help me.”
The Master put his forehead to the Doctor’s, and the Doctor felt the drums leaving, and at the same time felt the Master’s pain, but felt his own pain lessening. He put his arms round the Master, and was surprised that the Master’ didn’t pull away, and instead put one arm round the Doctor’s shoulders. The Doctor put his head on the Master’s shoulder, trying to hold back the tears as the link lessened and the only other Timelord in existence left him once again. When he stepped back, the Master was gone, and out of frustration he kicked the sink, and shouted and swore as loud as he could.

He heard Amy banging on the door again, and he wrenched it open, determination taking over. Amy stopped mid-sentence as she saw the fire in the Doctor’s eyes, and Rory stepped back on sight of the usually composed man looking so terrifying.
“We’re leaving.”
“But you said… what about the TARDIS? Shouldn’t we like, have breakfast first, you look… like you could do with calming down.”
“I said we’re leaving.”
Rory piped up, “What about the TARDIS overheating, you said it could rip through time if it went off…”
“Either you come with me, or you stay here. But I’m not promising that I’m coming back. Alright?”
The Doctor ran out of the room and down the stairs, with Amy and Rory following slightly behind him.
As they went past, the receptionist looked up, “Left the gas on?”
“Something like that! Thanks, it’s a lovely place!” Amy said hurriedly as she ran past.
“Yeah, thanks!” Rory also said as he followed the other two.

When they reached the TARDIS the Doctor was already inside, and the engines were already starting; they both skidded insde, and panting, Amy looked up at the Doctor, “What, the hell, is going on?!”
The Doctor looked up, and smiled slightly manically, “You might wanna hold on, coz this is gonna be a bit of a bumpy ride.”
And as he said that, the TARDIS lurched, and Rory and Amy both fell to the floor as the Doctor ran round the console pressing various buttons and somehow managed to remain standing.
“Did you have to pass a test to fly these things?”
“You passed?!” Rory said, falling down again after just managing to get to his feet.
“Well isn’t that, illegal?”
“Who is actually going to stop me?!”
Amy was really worried by now, “Doctor, please tell me what’s going on.”
“No time,” the Doctor laughed.
“I’m worried that you’re doing something rash or… bad.”
“I can do whatever I like, I make the rules.”
“But do you though?” Amy said, trying to stand up as they hurtled through time and space.

The TARDIS steadied, and everything was calmer; Rory and Amy stood up, and joined the Doctor looking out of the window.
“What’s that?” Amy said, and the Doctor smirked.
“It’s a cold star.”
“I thought they weren’t real?” Rory said.
“I never said that. Unlikely doesn’t equal impossible.” He smiled, “It’s about to supernova.”
“So why are we here?!” Amy said, beginning to panic.
“Because we’re gonna fly into it.”
“Doctor, you’re going to get us killed!”
As the star got brighter and started to expand, the Doctor laughed.
“Trust me.”
As the Doctor pulled a leaver and the TARDIS hurtled towards the light, Rory and Amy grabbed each other’s hands, and tried to believe that the Doctor hadn’t gone mad, and that he could be trusted.