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I'm the hunter, I bring back the good

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He worked fast. He had to. Who knows what would happen with the Doctor's mind if he was in this pain for much longer. First he administered a strong painkiller. The Doctor was so lost in his pain by then he didn't even realise the Master was there, nor that he just got an injection. At least like that he needn't persuade him five minutes before every jab. Then he administered a medication that forced his muscles to relax. He waited five long minutes holding the Doctor down, trying to keep him from harming himself but not wanting to use restrains. He could imagine it wouldn't quite improve the Doctor's condition if he woke up tied to his bed.
Then the medication kicked in and the Doctor became still, his breathing evening out again, limps falling back onto the bed. Slowly he opened his eyes and looked up to him.
Relieved the Master managed to put a light smile on his face.

“Hey Theta. Feeling better?”

The Doctor was extremely confused. He looked at the Master's face first then at them holding hands trying to take in the situation and make sense of it. The Master lightly squeezed the Doctors hand and send a wave of warm calming thoughts of red grass and two suns into the Doctors mind.
But the Doctor flinched at the mind contact and tried shutting the intruder out.
A bit surprised the Master had to use gentle force to get the pictures through. It made the Doctor whimper in pain first, but he relaxed again quickly as the pictures of Gallifrey filled his mind. His fever seemed worse than ever.

“What happened?” the Doctor asked hoarsely after just holding the Masters hand for a while.

“I can't say for sure..,” the Master sighted quietly, “I just felt your pain over the connection and came to see your whole body was cramping. I gave you pain medication and something that forces your body to relax. I still don't know what caused it.”

There were a few seconds of silence.

“I don't know either. I just know that I woke up, feeling better and sit up to drink some water. I just thought of something and then all I know is pain.”

He shivered at the memories.

“Everything I can remember within those last weeks consists of pain...” he added quietly. “Have I been ill for that long?”

The Master didn't answer that. So the Doctor seemed to have forgotten everything that happened. He saw him as a friend and his saviour. The thought of it made the Master feel warm inside. He always wanted it that way. Wanted the Doctor to look up at him. Wanted to lay the universe to his feet and rule it together with him.
The Master looked at the Doctor in silence for a long while.

“You should sleep now”, he said then, “You still have a high fever and you're totally wrecked from that seizure. Don't think about it too much, whatever ails you I promise to make it better.”

The Doctor looked to the Master in surprise. Yes he knew that this man cared for him in some way but he has never been so nice and gentle.
At the Doctors look a smile spread over the Masters face. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on the Doctors forehead. The other blushed a bit but kept quiet. He settled with snuggling into his blankets and do as the Master told him and try to sleep. The Master caressed his head as he closed his eyes and softly fell asleep.


The Doctor slept a lot the following days and when he was awake the Master was always there. The Doctor would have enjoyed it if it weren't for the migraines he regularly got. Still the Master was at his side whenever there was something wrong with him and made it better. He even snuggled up in the bed with him when he had bad dreams and hold him tight for the rest of the night.
The Doctor was really not sure whether he was afraid of his condition or thankful for it as it made the Master act nicely like he always dreamt he would.


It's all been a dark blur after the Doctors seizure. He sure spent most of his time with his new pet making sure it was fine, but this wasn't really the way he wanted it. The Doctor was clearly not himself. He was asleep most of the time and when he was awake he usually made even less sense than before. He knew how proud the Doctor was and this behaviour would usually really embarrass the real Doctor.
And the Master didn't wish for a brainless puppet but for the man he fell in love with in his childhood.

His days got some kind of a routine: Getting up besides the Doctor tending to all his medical needs then leave him as he continues his sleeping. He then went to his own bedroom, changed clothes, went to the bathroom, went back in his own bed until needed with the Doctor. All completely on autopilot. He was at war with himself. There was a decision to be made: Willingness pet or deeply hurt and defiant Doctor.

It was killing him.

He couldn't sleep anymore. Not even in the welcome solitude of his bedroom. He clenched his pillow as he once again thought of his options. He already thought through every possibility a hundred times but he kept doing so with no end.

“I can't. I just can't. How could I? I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't...”

An endless mantra. His world started spinning. So fast, so fast. He couldn't think clearly. Nothing to hold on to, to concentrate on. Just so much pain. So much pain.
His stomach turned and he rolled over the side of the bed and threw up. He pressed his eyes shut as he waited for it to stop. Then he rolled back onto his bed.
A silent tear run down the Masters cheek. He fiercely brushed it away and got out of bed.

A moment later he stood in his bathroom sliding one of his blades across the inside of his arm, very slowly and deliberately. He watched lazily, as dark red blood started to flow down his arm. One breath for each dark red droplet.

Slowly the world stopped spinning, his head stopped hurting.

Breathing in breathing out. Drop, drop, drop.

His stomach settled down.

Dark red in the sink.

His head started to clear.

Glistening drops, like rubies, running down his arm painting crimson pictures.

There was only one possible option.


Something was not right. He could sense it more than he really felt it, but he was definitely sure, that something was wrong with the Master. It started about five minutes ago. Just a strange feeling of uneasiness in the back of his mind that was not his own. It took the Doctor several minutes to figure out that the Master was unconsciously transferring emotions over their psychic link. It surely must have been unaware as the Master would never do such a thing conscious, now would he? He was too proud to do that, or was he? The feeling didn't stop though and that did worry the Doctor a bit.

He slowly sat up on his bed and found himself pleasantly alright and clear with little to no headache. Nice surprise for a change. He took a sip of water from the glass that was always on his bedside table. He tried to stand up. He found his legs were shaking a little and really weak, but still supporting his weight. Quite thankful for that he staggered to the door and surprisingly enough it was unlocked. Even though he didn't really knew why the Master would lock it (he still couldn't remember how he got here either) he had the slight inkling that it should have been. He lightly shook his head, careful to not make it hurt, then concentrated on the mental link trying to locate the Master. He stepped outside his door and went down a few alleys without meeting anyone or anything.

After wandering around for at least ten minutes without finding anything he was completely lost. No idea where he came from or where he had to go he just decided to open the door that was closest to him. Maybe he could at least figure out where he was and what the Master was up to. The longer he thought about it, the less likely it seemed to him that the Master was that nice without a reason or any profit for him. He started to guard his mind a bit better and didn't let any of his thoughts slip through the connection.
As he carefully peered inside the door he found a bathroom. Not really what he was looking for, but he could need one now that he thought of it, so he went inside.

As he washed his hands he looked at the mirror over the small sink. His hair was even messier than usual and his eyes stared back at him wearily.

“Blimey you've seen better times, man...”, he muttered to himself as he glanced over his dark circles and further down his appearance.

He hasn't even put on a shirt when he left his room. His eyes locked at the reflection of his torso. There was something odd there. Scars. Still a little pink though already white at the corners. He stepped closer to the mirror to have a better view.
There it was. Over both of his hearts there was his name. And suddenly his memories came back all at once. He clenched the side of the sink for support. His legs were about to quit service and he felt nauseous. Tears streamed down his face when he thought of Jack.
He couldn't bear it.
He violently sickened up. He had to get out. Now or never. The Master was busy with whatever and had not the slightest idea what he's been up to. Best timing to get Jack and run. He gave the mirror one last glance before forcing his stomach to settle down, turning on the heel and running outside.

He still had no idea where exactly to go but his old senses where beginning to work again so after taking the wrong turns a few times he had at least the hint of an idea where on the Vaillant he was and finally found his way back to the prison rooms. Jacks door had to be right next to his room, he could hear him scream before. He stormed for the door and burst right in.

“Jack! We have to-” he stopped midsentence seeing Jack.

He looked horrible. Not any visible injuries, no, those vanished every time he was reborn, it was something else. Something more subtle. Something in his dead eyes, in his posture, in the way he instinctively shied away from the door. He wearily looked up at the intruder. His eyes widened.

The Doctor took one of the screwdrivers from a table nearby and tried not to look to closely at the other instruments that where lying beneath it. A few brisk steps and he was right in front of Jack tending to his restrains.

“Doc...” Jack finally managed.

“Shush. Don't talk. I'll get you out.” He managed to free one of his hands. Then he went over to the other one.

“Doc, please listen...” his voice did barely work. The Doctor didn't stop his work.

“Hush already.”

Then he felt something. Someone was standing behind him. He looked into Jacks fear-widened eyes. Suddenly there where cold arms reaching around his torso holding him in a firm grip and a voice whispering sweetly into his ear.

“I don't think so Doctor”