Chapter 1: Meeting
The campus had been quiet this day. With the exams only a week ahead, the majority of the students were in the library studying. Harry – Pr. Harold Saxon – was taking a well deserved pause in the park when a movement caught his eyes. At first, he didn't see what it was and thought that it probably was a squirrel that he saw at the corner of his eyes and started to walk towards his usual bench. But he had a feeling that it wasn't a rodent that caught his eyes and he looked harder. What he saw made him question his sanity. Because, how could a young woman exit a tree trunk? A tree that he was pretty sure hadn't be there five minutes prior. He knew he was sleep-deprived but never before it had caused him to have hallucinations. He blinked. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then a fourth time to be sure, but the tree and the young woman were still there.
“You're not hallucinating, if this is what you're thinking.”, called the woman.
Well it was good to know. Though it could been another hallucination. The stranger smiled as if she knew what he was thinking, and approached him. Maybe it was time he talked and stopped acting like an idiot.
“OK. Not sure what I saw and what to think of it, though. I think I'm pretty open-minded but I can't find any explanation to the presence of a new fully-grow tree here. And even less for your exiting said tree.”
“Easy. That's not a tree but a spaceship.”
So, we wasn't the only one to be insane, the woman was too.
“I thought you said you were open-minded.”, she smiled.
“I'm also sleep-deprived and clearly out of my mind. Or possibly asleep at my desk, drooling on some paper I was trying to grade.”
”Could be, I guess. But you're not.”
“Say I believe you; how can a spaceship look like an old oak? And while we're at it, should I prepare myself for the big shock when you'll say to me that you're an alien?”
“No, one hundred percent made in London, me. As for my ship, it's just the chameleon circuit making her look like that. She's called the TARDIS, by the way.”
“And you are? I'm Harry Saxon.”, he introduced himself while unconsciously rubbing his forehead; a migraine was starting to form behind his eyes.
“Rose Tyler. But they call me Bad Wolf.”, she grinned.
Ok. Not creepy at all. Rose laughed.
“I know, not the most reassuring nickname. Still, it can be useful when facing Daleks. Well, depends when in their history I across them.”
“Big pepper pots that invaded Earth some years ago? Came at the same time than the Cybermen and later moved the Earth through the Universe? Very limited vocabulary.”
“I never knew their name. Who would have thought they were afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”
“Turned their emperor and thousands of their ships to dust, me. Well, I will, I guess. 't was in 200,100.”
“You're from... 200,100?”
“Nah, 'm born in1987. Just been travelling through time, 's all.”
Harry's head was pounding. Time travelling was real? He had spent years off his life working on the theory, without being able to find anything conclusive and here was that young woman who emerged from a tree and announced to him that she went to the future. What next? Parallel universes?
“Harry? You feel well? You're kinda green.”
“Just... migraines. They get worse when I... They... I...”, stuttered Harry before he collapsed.
Rose smirked before she hauled him to the TARDIS. She ticked the next item of her mental check-list.
- Eliminate the Valeyard ✓
- Back to the other universe ✓
- Find the Master ✓
Destroy the DoctorMake the Doctor watch while conquering the world (use the Master as a pawn)
Chapter 2: Realization
Harry tried to read the same paragraph for the eighth time. In vain, once again. It was starting to be annoying and quite ridiculous. It wasn't as if the essay he was trying to grade was boring, as it was from one of his best student and the girl was simply brilliant. He was pretty sure that it was more interesting that any of the countless papers his pompous peers boasted about every time that they got one published (and he knew that most off them where published only because they were friends with some editor-in-chief.
Nonetheless, Harry was unable to concentrate. If he was being honest, it wasn't something new, but it was getting worse.
It had started when he met Rose and had woken up in her spaceship. That day, his life has taken a new turn. As an astrophysicist, the existence of the TARDIS and her capacities was a dream come true. It also was kind of a nightmare s it proves that most of what he always thought to be true was a pile of obsolete knowledge; worse, he was still teaching it, knowing that he was feeding his students with false theories. He had always wanted to be a professor, to educate the youth, but knowing that he was teaching his student such non-sense was something he had difficulties to deal with.
Then, responsible for his inability to concentrate was what Rose had shown him. How, after seeing such wonders, could he be satisfied with his mundane old life, stranded on Earth? More often than he felt comfortable with the idea, he found himself imagining what it would be to be able to travel through time and space at will; what he would be able to do with such power in his hands. His mind often travel somewhere where he was able to change time, to modify History's course. What if he went back in time and killed Hitler? What if he saved the Titanic? What if he eliminated every tyrant, every war criminal, every mass murderer fro History? What if he prevented every major catastrophe that ever happened on Earth? What if he could do the same through all the Universe?
He would be a God.
He hated when he thought like that; it wasn't him. He wasn't some megalomaniac with a god complex. He was a scholar whom main ambition was to learn and teach. Seeing the universe should be enough to understand it; there was no need for conquest.
Those thoughts were distracting and caused him more than once to daydream instead of working, but the main thought that made him unable to work, was Rose herself. She was such a mysterious woman, an intriguing character. Nearly as fascinating as the universe she showed him and at least twice as dangerous. He had only met her three weeks prior but he had already understood that she was not the sweet young woman that she seemed to be. She was a fearsome creature, a big bad wolf dressed as an innocent girl.
He saw how some alien lie forms has looked at her during their occasional travels. Awe, fear, respect, devotion. To some, Bad wolf was a Goddess of Life, to others she was the monster that would bring them the End.
To Harry, she was none of that. To him, she only was Rose and not once he feared her. He knew what she was capable of, he saw it, but not even this knowledge was able to make him see her as something he should be scared of. Not for himself, at least.
Not when she was smiling to him, not when she was taking some time to explain the mechanisms of time travel to him, not when she was showing him the wonders of the universe. He couldn't fear her. He would never fear her. She would never hurt him.
He tried to read the same paragraph for the ninth time but, once again, his thoughts turned back to Rose. And quite curiously, to his ex-wife, Lucy. There, there was a woman who had badly hurt him. Sweet, timid, soft-spoken Lucy that everybody thought to be an actual angel, that claimed she was unable to hurt a fly, had made hi fall for her and then had stomped all over his heart.
For all her fearsomeness and sometimes dark attitude, Harry knew that if he were to give his heart to Rose, she would treat it with respect, she would protect it fiercely. She would never...
Oh, he thought. This explained it all. His inability to concentrate, his daydreaming, his constant thinking. He was falling for her. He didn't saw it coming. But in a way, he guessed it was always meant to happen. He leant in his chair, closed his eyes and smiled, his fingers absent-mindedly taping a four beat rhythm on his desk.
Chapter 3: The Reveal
“I love you.”, blurted Harry behind her.
Rose turned around and looked at him with disbelief. Not because of what he said for she already had her suspicions, but because of the moment he chose to tell her.
“I'm flattered, Harry, really, but do you think it's the right time and place for a declaration?”
The professor blushed and rushed after her when she continued to run. Yeah, maybe he could have chosen a better moment that when they where chased by a horde of actual harpies determined to sacrifice them to their goddess. Goddess that Rose had tried to impersonate until the real one had show up in outrage.
What on Earth had prompted him to blurted his declaration at that moment, he didn't know, he had just felt like he needed to say it before it was too late, like if he knew he wouldn't be able later. Great, there was a part of in unconscious that was convinced that he was about to die. Charming. Well, at least, it meant that he would finally be free from the nearly incessant headache that seemed to want to part his skull in two; running for his life only making it worse.
“In here!”, called Rose as she threw open a door.
The moment the door was locked behind him he collapsed on the floor, his head between his hands.
“Harry?”, Rose's voice seemed to come from miles away, distorted like if she was underwater. The pounding in his head was worse than ever and was the only thing that he was able to hear. Maybe his unconscious had been right and he was dying. He felt like it, at least.
“Rose, my head. It's killing me.”
“Hush, you're not dying.”, she responded as she replaced his hands by hers on his temples.
“I feel it. I'm scared.”
“Told you your not dying. Now stop moving and let me help you.”
“I love you.”, he repeated.
“Yeah, I heard the first time.”, she said absent-mindedly.
Harry stopped trying to talk when he felt his companion enter his mind. It wasn't the first time that Rose helped him get rid of one of his headache this way, but this time it felt different. For starters the pounding didn't diminish, the drums were as loud as they were before Rose enter his mind. More, the presence of the young woman was not as reassuring as it had been in the past and she seemed to be probing around, searching for something more than trying to calm his headache. Something wasn't right. Something wasn't right at all. For the first time since he met her, Harry feared Rose.
“Rose? What are you doing?”
It was the Bad Wolf, not Rose that had answered him, he knew. He tried to push her out of his mind but he didn't know to do it.
“Stop it!”, the woman snapped. “Ah ah! Found it! Yes, it's time.”, she added before she retreated from his head.
“Time? Time for what?”, he asked weakly.
“Time to free you.”
Free him? From what? He was about to question her when she produced a vaguely familiar fob-watch from her pocket and put it in his hand. As soon as the metal touched his skin he felt a kind of electrical-like power reaching for him and would have swear he heard a voice asking him to open it.
“What is it?”
“Your freedom. Open it. Quickly if you don't mind, the harpies will soon find a way to enter the room.”
Harry didn't move.
“Go on. Or do I need to do it for you?”
Reluctantly, Harry pushed on the button at the top of the watch, everything went golden and he died.
“Welcome back, Master.”, grinned Rose.
Chapter 4: First date
I don't even know... This is just plainly silly. That's what happen when you try to write while sleep-deprieved (and that you don't have a plan), I guess.
Rose was starting to ask herself why she had included him in her plan to take revenge on the Doctor. The Master was insufferable. If he sang that stupid song one more time, she would have to throw him in a black-hole. Or to force-feed him an aspirin if she wanted him to suffer first. She missed Harry. At least, he had been quiet and respectful, though a little bit to sweet for her taste.
“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy but here's my number, so call...”
“Shut up! Or I turn your vocal cords to dust, and maybe some other pieces of your anatomy. Understood?”
“Crystal clear. What are we doing here, anyway? Is it a date? That's so sweet of you!”
She was going to kill him, to Hell with her plan.
“Yeah, a big romantic date.”, she dead-panned. “After all, you told me you loved me.”
“Oh, you shouldn't have bothered, Rosie. See, I don't really love you. I'm not even sure I like you at all. Sorry.”
“You break my heart; I had already planned our wedding, I even had contacted a caterer and a Venusian priest. The Scissor Sisters were going to sing for us.”, she said with a faked sob.
“Oh, that changes everything. Let's get hitched! But seriously, what are we doing here? I thought we were going to find the Doctor and torture him a bit – or a lot – before killing him.”
“Not yet. We're just passing the time.”
“But why Karn?”
“Why not? I thought that extinguishing the Flame of Eternal Whatever and pissing off the Sisterhood would be fun. Maybe I could convinced whoever is the High Priestess these days to concoct you a special elixir that would turn you into someone a lot less insufferable.”
“What would be the fun in that? Making me less insufferable as you put it, I mean. Pissing those stupid women off will be very entertaining. Well, I say “stupid women”, but it suppose that they are women that aren't stupid.”
“Lose the chauvinistic crap, will you?”
“Oh, don't feel insulted, Rosie. You're not a woman, you're an abom...”
“Don't be like that , I...”
“I told you to shut up. Listen.”
An unmistakable sound could be heard not far from where they stood. The sound of a TARDIS materialising.
“Wonderful!”, exclaimed the Master, clapping his hands enthusiastically. “We won't even have to go look for him. Mind, it's not as fun as if we made him chase after us while we kill his precious humans, but we can have fun later. So, what's the plan, dear?”
Rose wasn't paying attention to the Master's rambling; she was listening to the timelines, trying to determine if it was the right time. It wasn't, she concluded after a couple of minutes.
“Rosie? What do we do? Grab him and throw him in a cell in the TARDIS?”
“We do nothing. We leave the place.”
“Can't we at least tease him a little before we go?”
“How any times do I have to tell you? He can't know about me until the end. And before you ask, he can't know about you either. I thought you said that the best moment was when you surprise him and he looks like a kicked puppy?”
“True. He makes the best faces. So, no pissing of the Sisters of Uselessness today?”
“No pissing off, today, no.”
“Well, that was not a really good first date. Don't be surprise if this relationship doesn't work out. Next time, I expect better.”, said the Master before he started to sing as they rejoined their TARDIS.
She hated him. Really. But at least, this time his song of choice was one she appreciated a little bit.
Chapter 5: Reminder
Super short today but 1/ I haven't slept last night, 2/ I'm hurting all over and 3/ my brain don't want to cooperate.
I'll try to do something longer tomorrow (when Rose's plan will - finally - started, yeah).
Though he loudly claimed otherwise ten times a day, working with the Bad Wolf wasn't that bad. Obviously, he would never say it out loud but he didn't hate her; even if having to follow her orders wasn't something he was particularly fond of. But he had to admit that, at times, it was good to not have to do all the thinking. And it wasn't as if he didn't participated in the planning; he just hadn't the last word in the decisions.
Of course, he still dreamed to take over the Universe some day and be Master of All but it could wait a little longer, the Universe wasn't going anywhere and would still be there when he was ready to take control. Also, the drums seemed to be less loud when she was near hi which was a definitive plus. The calm was always nice.
It reminded him of the time when he was still calling himself Koschei, back on Gallifrey. The drums where always at the back of his mind but not as aggressive or power-driven as they had been until a few weeks back.
It also reminded of his time travelling with Ailla before he learned of her betrayal, of the real reason she was with him, of her real identity. Now that he came to think of it, it wasn't a pleasant reminder. Especially as thoughts of Ailla tended to lead to angry outbursts which led to screams on both his and Rose's side, threats of atomisation and – twice – being left on a deserted asteroid for days.
But really, it wasn't his fault that women always ended betraying him; it wasn't his fault he had developed a complex because of that. Even as Harry he had always been that one that ended hurt by the women is his – imaginary – life.
At least, this time, he was expecting it. Though he hoped it wouldn't come to that. Because he liked Rose. At least a tiny bit. Somewhere deep inside.
Chapter 6: First kiss
I cheated a bit and changed the order of some of the prompts of the challenge as it worked better for my plot (well, if you can call it that) that way. And as promise, it's longer than the other chapters and we finally learn what Rose's plan is.
Finally.! After what had felt like centuries, Rose had found the right moment in the timelines to re-encounter the Doctor and start their – her – plan to take revenge on him. The Master was giddy with the prospect. Messing with his old friend was always fun. At least until the point where the Doctor foiled him. But this time, he wasn't alone, the Bad Wolf was with him and between her power and the emotional shock her involvement would inflict on the old man, the Master was fairly certain that it was the tie when he would triumph. At last!
“I have a plan.”
“I know better than you.”
“I am the Bad Wolf blah blah blah.”
Rassilon, why did he thought that a stupid former human girl could possibly trusted to come with a soundproof plan? He should never have trusted her.
“We're stranded on a spaceship about to crash into a black hole, so don't tell me to calm myself!”, he hollered at his companion.
“We won't crash, don't be stupid.”
“No, we will be atomised before it come to that.”
“Stop whining. The humans at the top are about to reverse the thrust of the motors. We'll be safe. That's part of the plan.”
“What plan, though?” you're always talking about your brilliant “plan” but when have you ever tell me what's it's really about? Apart from “Find the Doctor, make him pay”, I mean.”
Rose glared at him. Had he not been mad as he was at her, he probably would have been a lit afraid; there was real danger lurking in her dark eyes.
“I know what I'm doing and I don't need to justify myself to you.”
“We're partners.”, he started.
“”Partners”? No. you're a pawn. A necessary evil that I would gladly do without if I could. But I need you to be here for the plan to work.
“Go to Hell with your plan!”
Yes, he was sulking and he didn't care if it was childish. She hated that stupid Rose, her stupid plan and this stupid ship. And the stupid dematerialization circuit for having blow n up. Everything was so... so... so stupid! He was so mad that he was losing all his pretty amazing vocabulary; and it pissed him off some more.
It has been weeks, maybe a month since they landed on the ship and got stranded, since he ran and left Rose to fare for herself. And during all this time, he hadn't seen a single human.
Well, there wouldn't be any for at least three or four years if his calculations were correct; and he knew they were, he was a genius, after all. The only variable that made his results so imprecise was the time the humans – stupid species that they were – would take to find how to top the ship to head into that forsaken black hole. More than seventeen minutes (top of the ship time) and it would be to late. Part of him wanted the to be too late just to prove to Rose that she didn't know anything but it would dying and he refused to do so; he was rather attached to his life, even if – as he suspected – he probably would have to live centuries, if not a millennium, on this ship.
During the three and an half following years, he only saw Rose seven times, mostly when he slipped by and stole food or materials he needed from the TARDIS. He had many projects through the years, the first of them been a new laser screwdriver that he accidentally destroyed during a fit of anger.
Life on a nearly-deserted and good-as-immobilized ship was duller than life on Gallifrey – and Rassilon how dull it had been! - and he was bored out of his mind. Building weapons kept him occupied but not being able to use them took the fun out of it. He was half-tempted to regenerate just to have a little novelty.
Then the humans arrived.
He had killed the first one he saw. Just because he could; plus, she had looked a bit like Rose and he was still mad at her.
“You're sure he will come?”
“Yes. For the millionth time, I'm positive that the Doctor will come to this very ship. You just have to be patient.”
“It's been decades! I'm bored.”
“It's only been fifteen hours at the top of the ship. He wouldn't have received the distress signal yet. If you're bored, go take over the town or something, I'm busy.”
He did took over. It was so good to rule again, even if it only was over a town full of smelly humans.
“Is he here yet?”, the Master asked as soon as he entered the TARDIS.
“No, he... What are you wearing?”
“A disguise, I thought that was obvious.”
“Yes but why? You finally have enough of your ugly mug?”
“Shut up. They revolted. I should have killed each and every one of those smelly, stupid, ugly humans. The moment I leave this place, I go and burn the Earth and finish them all.”
“They're not from Earth.”, responded Rose while tinkering with whatever she was building.
“I don't care what colony they are from, I'll still burn their planet.”
“They're not Earth humans. All that time ruling over them and you haven't understand that they're from Mondas? How dense are you?”
“Yes, Mondas, that's what I said. And sorry for your revenge plan on them but the Doctor beat you there, what? A millennium and an half ago? Give or take a century or two.”
“Nevermind. I didn't know that the mondasians had been colonists. In fact, I'm pretty sure they never had a single colony. So what are they doing out here? Fleeing the Cybermen.”
“Nope. No, Cybermen out there.”, wickedly smiled Rose. “Can't you see? Of course you can't, you've never been especially gifted when it came to visualize the timelines.”
“What? What is it?”
“The Cybermen? They originate from here. From this very ship. So, what do you think of being responsible for their creation?”
Brilliant. He couldn't wait to see the face of the Doctor when he would finally learn the truth.
“You've known from the start, haven't you? That was the plan all along.”
Rose didn't answer him but smile and lifted an eyebrow. Maybe he had been right to trust her; after all.
It took them only a few months to find how to create a Cyberman but they quickly realise that they couldn't start to manufacture them at the time. They needed the humans to be desperate enough for their survival, desperate enough to try anything to escape the end of their species. They needed the humans to believe that becoming Cybermen was their only hope to survive. That's how Project Exodus started.
They stayed in the shadows, using chosen humans to carry the project and do the work, while they both hid in plain sight; the Master as Razor the janitor of the hospital and Rose as a seemingly not-so-bright nurse.
“It worked!”, yelled Rose as she rushed into his quarters.
Both of them ran to the operation theatre, forgetting their roles for a moment. The surgeon protested as they barrelled into the room but they didn't heard him, focusing solely on the patient that was already standing by the operation table in all its not-entirely-Cybermen glory. It was perfect.
Overjoyed, the Master turned to Rose and soundly kissed her. She didn't protest or try to stop him. He smiled.
Chapter 7: New to the family
The Master had installed a screen in his quarters to follow what was going on on the top floor of the ship and to see when his old friend turned foe would finally arrive. It was good entertainment too, to see humans being killed by the Patients that were sent to retrieve them; their death lasted for weeks on his end and they were always making the most hilarious faces as they died. But the months between the Patients' raids were duller than Borusa's lessons had been. Plus, the humans were almost all dead on the top floor which meant that soon there wouldn't be anything left going on on his screen. He would have to find something else to pass the time.
The last human had been taken by the Patients seven years before and he nearly turned his screen off when he saw it: a TARDIS the Doctor's TARDIS – beginning to materialise. It took a little bit over ten months to be fully materialised and ready to open but finally the Doctor was here. Well, he thought. Has the old man turn female? No, a few months later, he emerged his ship. At last.
The Master, when he saw him, laughed happily and dragged Rose along a mad dance around his living-room before he kissed her. Kissing was not something that they did often but he had to admit that he really liked the times they did. Not that he loved her or anything; most of the tie he didn't even like her. Only, he could feel the Bad Wolf's power in those moments and it was exhilarating.
He also liked to imagine how the Doctor would react if he were to see the kiss. He bet it would be very funny for him and truly hurting for the Doctor.
The young friend of the Doctor had been killed by that blue janitor – it had been three very entertaining months. A group of Patients had been sent to retrieve her.
“The girl will arrive in less than a year. She'll be saved but not upgraded yet.”
“Can't you try and think for once? I understand why your plots never succeed.”
“They always succeed. Up to the point where the Doctor and his stupid friends arrive and spoil everything.”
“And that's your problem. You never think of him being in the picture when you plot.”
“Because I'm not as obsessed by him as you are.”
“You're so much worse than me and you know it.”, laughed Rose. “If I didn't know for a fact that your hearts are made of cold unbreakable stone, I would think you're in love with him.”
“Please. I have better tastes than that. You are the one that want to take revenge because he left you.”
“That's not why. Not really.”
“Sure. And for your information, dear, he was in love with me back at the Academy. Maybe still is; who knows what's going on in this silly head of his.”
“Anyway? We'll need to keep the girl in the hospital 'til the Doctor is about to arrive down here. Only at that moment she'll be upgraded. By then, we'll have to make sure that the surgeons have the means to make a fully-functioning Cyberman. I want her to be the very first one. Then full production will launch immediately.”
“And the Doctor?”
“No need to worry your not-so-pretty head about him yet. Just know that: by the time he'll discover what would have happen to his little friend, we'll have a new ally.”
“Yes, her too. But it wasn't who I meant. And no, I won't tell you. Keep watching your screen; you'll get it sooner or later. Probably later.”
He should have know that he would be the one to babysit the girl Bill – while Rose was playing nurse all day long.
“OK, I stay with Bill and you go being sexually harassed by that new surgeon.”, responded Rose when he complained. “I sweat that if he touch my arse one more time, I turn his dick to dust.”
“You could always put his name on the list of next-to-be upgraded.”
“Can't do. He's the best surgeon of the lot.”
“One of use could always disguise themself and took his place.”
“No. We stay were we are. Plus, you could help it, you would create a full Cyberman not two hour into your first shift; you never were very patient. And you know we can't have one yet. Also, if you were to become busy all day, I would have to stay in here with Bill, with only a screen to entertain me all day long. Nevermind having to hear her talk about the Doctor is some sort of hero or whatever rubbish she's always spouting about him.”
“As if I want to do it myself. She's boring.”
“Exactly. I prefer having a perv lusting after me than having to talk to her.”
“You would have that here too. I saw her look at your ass more than once. I reckon she has a crush on you.”
“Then, there it is: something for you two to talk about. How much you want me and love to write bad poetry about my eyes or whatever.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your crush on me, I think.”
“I don't have a bloody crush on you! I don't even like you.”
“So you say.”
He didn't! Kissing her one time every few years – and enjoying it didn't mean anything. It was just... It was... It wasn't a crush!
As years passed, a routine started to install itself between the three of them. They would do their chores or job most of the day, then have tea in front of the screen commenting on the actions of the Doctor, Bill seated between him and Rose. Next, they would talk about whatever happened to them in the hospital that day, often complaining about the head-nurse that tried to make their lives a living hell, unaware that she was at the top of both the Master's and Rose's lists of people to personally eliminate.
Most of the evenings, they would have animated discussions and he had to admit that for a human, Bill was rather intelligent and a fairly good conversationalist.
It was nearly as if they were a strange little family. Well, a very dysfunctional one, as the “parents” planned to turn the “daughter” into a robot sooner or later to make a former friend of them suffer. Or maybe was more of a farm animal; well-cared for, up to the point it was sent to the slaughterhouse. She was their sacrificial lamb, as the humans said; happy in her ignorance. It would be very fun to see the despair in her eyes when she'll understand that they never cared for her. He would have to be the one to lure her to her death, he decided.
But for now, he could continue to play House with the two women.
Chapter 8: Laughter
The Master was surprised to see this Doctor use that form of martial art; he didn't think of his incarnations except the third had ever had a taste for it. Come to think of it, this Doctor reminded him of the one whom he had reluctantly work with, all those lives ago on Earth – always to repair damages he had first caused.
“You know of it?”
“I had a friend. Very fond of it. Idiot.”
“You're not friends anymore, I gather.”
“Betrayed me got the girl though.”, he smirked.
“Keep telling that to yourself.”, intervened Rose. “I'm not yours.”
“Soon be. Just wait.”
He intended that as banter but some part of him hoped that it would come to pass, and not only to hurt the Doctor some more. Though he claimed otherwise at least three times a week, he liked her. Quite a lot if he as being honest. Or maybe it was just Stockholm Symptom, for he was no more than her captive; a willing one, but a captive nonetheless. So, sue him, he liked Rose Tyler and wanted her (still not a crush though).
“I'd rather go out with that bitch of a matron. So, Bill, you never really told you who were your other friends; you only talk about that Doctor of yours.”, Rose quickly changed the subject.
“They're not my friends. Well, I guess Nardole – that's the other man – kinda is. Even if he spends a lot of his time calling me “the human” or just “she” and reminding me how my species is so much inferior to his. What species that is, I don't know, he never told me.”
“I knew a man like that, once. Especially when he was angry.”
“I didn't know they were non-human here. Except that blue fellow that nearly killed me.”
“Well, I mean, it wasn't about species”, back-pedalled Rose, “ore how men are superior to women.”
“Aren't all guys like that? Patriarchy and all that crap.”
“True. And this one”, added Rose pointing at the Master, “is not different.”
“I'm here. Can hear you.”
“Rose is true, though, Razor.”, said Bill. “But we like you nonetheless. Misogyny or not, you're our friend.”
OK, maybe he was a misogynist, but really, he thought that everyone – except the Bad Wolf – was inferior to him. He was the Master after all.
“And the woman?”, continued Rose with a smirk.
He didn't like this smirk.
“Her name's Missy. She's a psychopath. Or a sociopath, I'm not sure. What's certain is that she's bonkers.”
My kind of woman, he nearly exclaimed before he remembered he as supposed to be Razor and not his Master-self.
“And you travel with her? It seems a little dangerous to me.”
“It was actually the first time she came with us. It as a test to see if she was capable of doing something good for the sake of being good, not because it would benefit her. She's supposedly trying to stop being evil. I don't trust her one bit but the Doctor believes her. I tried to reason with him but she's his friend”
“Oh. Have they known each other for long?”, asked Rose, falsely innocent.
Why was she looking at him like that?
“They went to school together.”
Ushas? Was Missy really the Rani?
“Apparently, she was a man at the time. Timelords are a bit flexible about genders, it seems. I don't really understand it, the Doctor never explained.”
Not Ushas, then. He didn't think she ever had been male; and she certainly never was at the Academy.
“He told me they had some sort of pact, the both of them. They were to see the Universe together but she...”, Bill interrupted herself when the Master chocked on the tea he was drinking. “Alright, Razor?”
He continued to cough while Rose nearly fall from the sofa under the strength of her loud uncontrollable maniac laughter. He sent his most menacing glare towards her to no avail; she probably couldn't even see him through her tears.
Missy was him. Oh, Rassilon. Not again. He had swear that he would never turn female ever again; not after that first time. Why couldn't have Missy been the Rani? Not that he would have been thrilled to see the scientist again, but it still would have been preferable.
“Stop laughing.”, he grumbled.
He changed his mind. He didn't want her, he didn't like her. Stupid woman that she was.
Chapter 9: Thirdwheeling
The Doctor, his future self and the other one had entered the lift and were only a hundred floors above them; they would arrived in a few weeks. The Master could barely contain his giddiness at the prospect of seeing his old friend slash enemy again; well, “seeing” more like torturing him, obviously. How he was looking forward to their reunion; how he couldn't wait to see their little project. And more that all, he was avidly waiting to parade around him with Rose on his arm.
After a few centuries flirting and denying they were doing it, they finally stopped lying to each other and admitted that they were – at the very least – attracted by the other one. Bill kept teasing that they were in love but both denied it quite vocally which the young woman seemed to find quite hilarious. Nonetheless, they had started a proper relationship. Though they still threatened and insulted each other at least twice a day; but they were dating (personally, he disliked the word nearly as much as he disliked the Doctor, but they couldn't find another term they both agreed on).
It was fun, being like that (Not a couple! Don't start him on the notion of being in a “couple”!) with Rose. At least, now, he was able to kiss her whenever he wanted without being threatened to be emasculated on the spot. It certainly was a plus.
“Well, someone is excited, today.”, remarked Bill. “Any particular reason?”
“Just good mood. Nothing special.”
Another that he was looking forward to: the moment where he'll finally get rid of that annoying human. He could already see the face she would do when she'll understand what was to happen to her.
It had been everything he had imagined and some more. The hurt feeling in Bill's eyes had been priceless, her protests and her screams, a delicious music to his ears. And she did such a prefect Cyberman; the very first, just as Rose had wanted. Their first child. He could weep. Or pretend to, at least.
He always had a soft spot for Cybermen when it come to allies (tools) and knowing that he was one of their creators was making some sort of backward logic; it was quite funny actually.
And now, he was about to meet again with the Doctor. He laughed.
Oh, his future self had been left alone; better go and introduce himself, it was only polite.
It was their hour, their moment of glory, the last blow before their triumph.
He could hear Cyber-Bill revealing her identity and Missy gloating.
“More than ever.”
Arms around the other one's waist, he and Rose enter the operation theatre.
“In fact, do you know what I'd call it? I'd call it a genesis.”
“You've met the ex and the missus?”, smiled Missy.
“Specifically, the Genesis of the Cybermen.”, continued the Master. “Don't you agree, dear?”, he punctuated his question with a passionate kiss to Rose.
Oh. The Doctor's face. Hilarious.
“Hello, Doctor. Long time no see.”
“Not quite. I guess you remember the Game Station?”
“Yes. Hello again.”
“As long as I enjoy this moving reunion, I believe we have better to do?”, questioned Missy, bored.
The air was hot and smoky and the sky was orange; it was the perfect atmosphere for a celebration dance. The Doctor was bound unconscious to a wheelchair (his idea; it reminded him of the time when he had kept the Doctor as his prisoner for a year. Of course, he had lost later, but it still was a fond memory.), his annoying sidekick had flee and was probably dead by now and they had fond a new ally.
“Have I told you how victory suits you, dear?”
“You're positively glowing.”
“That's not victory; that's myself. Bad Wolf.”, Rose smirked. “Hold me.”
And he did kiss her. And she kissed him. Passionately, their hands exploring their bodies through their clothes.
“Do I need to take Sleeping Beauty and Cyber-What's-Her-Name and go? Leave you two alone?”
“Well, you could always join us, I guess.”
“Don't I have a say in it?”, smiled Rose. “Maybe I don't want you to be here when I get to spend some time with Missy. Of course, two of you can have its advantage, I guess.”
“Oh, really. It's like that. And can I hope to have two of you some day? Do you see that happening, in that beautiful head of yours? Any timeline that would allow it?”
“'m not saying. So, what do you say, Missy, wanna join us?”
“To late, Grandad's back. You always have to worst of the timing, Doctor.”
Time for victory, then.
Chapter 10: Flustered
Last part of the story. I feel that I stretched it for long enough. So, that's it.
The rest of the challenge will still be Rose/Master and won't necessarily featured Bad Wolf!Rose nor Simm!Master. Also, future ficlets will be independant.
(also, I changed to title of the fic)
Floor 507 was a nice change of scenery after centuries spent in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the bottom one. Cohabiting with human farmers, the Doctor and his friends was less exciting; he couldn't even kill anyone. Worse, he was supposed to help the Doctor in his helpless plan to save the humans. As if. For one, he didn't care about the stupid primates; then they were condemned to fall into the Cybermen's hands, even if they escaped to another floor. Why waste his time? Rose has also refused to help and had taken residence in one of the bedrooms, refusing to exit it.
What was worrying him was Missy. His future self seemed to genuinely want to help their former friend. It was inadmissible. He would never, in his present incarnation or any future one, stand with the Doctor. Not that Missy could stand with him for long as the Doctor was dying and Rose had saw him refusing to regenerate; it was the end of the Doctor. Finally. But Missy's weakness was still a problem he had to fix.
“Why are you even helping him?”
“Not your problem.”, Missy responded.
“Not my...? How is that not my problem?”, the Master asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Why would you say if Velvet Drama Queen or “I always dress for the occasion”, arrived and asked to explain yourself? You'll probably threaten them with that silly screwdriver of yours. That's how it's not your problem. It's not because I once was you that you can judge my life or who I associate with.”
“But the Doctor, though. You can't seriously mean it. It must be some kind of trick.”
“No. He was our friend once, he you recall.”
“And then he left! He stole that rubbish TARDIS and fled, never thinking of us.”
“Oh, stop it. It's not as if we had to endure Gallifrey without him for long; we left the same day. And he did asked us to come with him. We refused.”
“Stop defending him!”, exploded the Master.
“Well, stop to try reasons to justify your dislike for him. Especially when I know that you don't hate him as much as you pretend. You miss his friendship as much as I do.”
“Friendship, yeah. But that's not what you want from him, isn't him? Got a crush or worse, feelings?”
“That's what I thought.”
The two of them kept silence for a couple of minutes before the Master asked his next question.
“Where is your Rose?”
“You know what I mean. The future version of Rose that is time-relative to you.”
“I don't know. Well, I don't even really remember her; I told you that everything before this regeneration was a bit hazy. I guess once that plan of yours succeeded – or failed, we'll see how things turn out – you went on your merry way by yourselves. Oh... You do expect to continue that silly relationship of yours? How sweet.”
“Shut up!”, the Master all but yelled.
“Look who's all flustered now. What were you saying about feelings? Did you fall for the Big Bad Wolf? Did you think you'll live together and have a happily ever after? Lame.”
“I told you to shut up!”
“Why would I?”
“I'm going to kill you!”, he threatened.
“Not if I kill you first. Besides, you wouldn't, what was it? Oh yes: you wouldn't be so self-destructive.”
He did kill her. But before she killed him. At least, he would regenerate; Missy wouldn't be able too. Still, she was the Master; and he had always evaded death even when the odds were in his disfavour.
Chapter 11: Rest
Very light Simm!Master/Bad Wolf (blink and you miss it, really) but I still like it 'cause it's my first time writing Delgado!Master (hooray!).
“Rest, miss Tyler.”
The voice was unfamiliar and yet, Rose felt compelled to obey it; its suave tone, its gentleness making her feel at ease. She let the blackness of unconsciousness take her.
“What are you doing here?”, she heard the Doctor ask as she emerged from her sleep. Why was she asleep? And were was she? She tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids were far to heavy.
“Why, it would appear that I am saving yours and miss Tyler's lives, my dear Doctor. Shan't you thanking me profusely for my selfless actions?”, it was the voice that had told her to rest.
“Stop playing. Why are you in this universe? You can't be here by accident; you must have a reason. And for that matter, how do you know Rose's name?”
“Playing, Doctor? Why would you suggest such a thing?”
“Master...”, oh, that was his Oncoming Storm tone of voice, thought Rose. Wait... Master? “What are you plotting? You couldn't take over the prime universe so you intended to try with this one?”
“Oh, no, Rassilon, no. Nothing of the sort, I assure you. I am merely visiting. I heard some very interesting rumours about a metacrisis and I had to see it for myself.”
“How? I mean, I'm centuries forward in time-relatively speaking. You shouldn't know anything about me. How is that possible? Wait, did you met with your future self? Did he told you? I shudder at the mere thought of it. One of you is quite enough.”
“Not quite. I did see my future-self but didn't talk to him for he was... let's say “indisposed” at the time. No, those precious informations were delivered by no other than the dear miss Tyler. Or should I say... the Bad Wolf?”
“What?!”. Hadn't she been still barely conscious, she would have react the same way as the Doctor did. She knew what was Bad Wolf; but the Doctor had free her from it, hadn't he? That why he had regenerate. So how could the man – Master ? - have met the Bad Wolf? “The Bad Wolf doesn't exist anymore. And she never went anywhere else than the Game Station.”
“The details don't matter. The Bad Wolf told me of your existence and I couldn't not come and see it for myself. The mighty Doctor reduced to merely more than a human.”
“You came to gloat.”
“I admit that I do appreciate seeing you in such a pitiful state.”
“But... I know there is a but in here.”
“You know me so well, Doctor. As I was saying, I do appreciate seeing you being all pitiful. But. It is not the only reason why I came. The Bad Wolf refused to explain to me how she came to be, only that it happened in this universe.”
“So you came to see how it'll happen.”
“Exactly. And I wanted to meet miss Tyler and get to know her, for my future-self seemed quite taken with her.”
Rose tried to listen to the rest of the discussion between the two man – she was the main focus of it, after all – but she still was very sleepy and slipped back in unconsciousness. Later. She'll have answers later.