“Missy tried to convince me that she’s you,” said Nardole when he brought the afternoon tray of tea and biscuits to the Doctor’s office. “She said she’d swapped your bodies around and escaped from the vault.” He chuckled and started pouring tea into a pretty floral teacup. “As if I’d believe that!”
Missy raised her new and magnificent eyebrows. “Really?” She shook her head. “Missy can be very silly at times. I don’t know why anyone ever listens to a word she says.”
“Because she murders them if they don’t,” said Nardole, amiably. He set a plate of custard creams down in front of her. “The shop was out of Jammy Dodgers.”
“Then why didn’t you go to another shop?” asked Missy, scowling as fiercely as she could manage without giggling.
“It was raining.”
“So?” The Doctor was very rude to Nardole, well past the point where any self-respecting robot butler would have resigned or laced their employer’s tea with poison. Or both, if they belonged to a decent union. Missy wondered if Nardole was secretly in love with the Doctor, and hoped he didn’t have a humiliation kink that she was inadvertently indulging.
“My joints start fizzing when it rains.” He looked up as Missy sipped at her tea. “You forgot your sugar,” he said, pushing the sugar bowl across the desk towards her. “And remember you’re supposed to be cutting down for your health. No more than six lumps.” He probably thought he looked stern.
Missy added eight just to spite him, and then regretted that when she tasted the vile concoction she had created. Sometimes she was her own worst enemy. “Leave me alone, I have things to do.”
“Secret Time Lord things.” She bit into a custard cream. “And these eyebrows don’t groom themselves, you know.”
Nardole seemed to accept that, possibly because he didn’t have any eyebrows of his own so he didn’t know how much maintenance they would actually need. When he finally left the room Missy spun herself around in the Doctor’s chair and clapped her hands together gleefully. She was getting away with this scheme after all, it seemed. This was going to be fun...
She had left the Doctor inside the containment field in the vault, to stop him escaping and to show him how boring it was to have to stay inside that thing for any length of time. When she entered the vault he got up from the piano seat and stood up right against the shimmering forcefield. He looked very upset. Well, no wonder.
Missy posed dramatically by the doors as they sealed themselves shut behind her. “You told Nardole you were me.” She tutted. “You naughty girl.”
He glared at her. “This isn’t funny, Missy. You stole my body.”
“Borrowed,” she corrected, walking across the dim room towards him, “I’ll give it back when I’m done.”
“Done with what?”
Missy stopped a few steps away from the barrier. “Never you mind.”
“If you’re planning on stealing my TARDIS - “
Missy interrupted him. “I’m not doing this to escape, you big numpty, I just want to have a bit of fun. You know, a laugh. Japes. Shenanigans.” She said this last in a cheesy American accent.
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Let me out of here.”
Missy reached for the button that controlled the forcefield and deactivated it. The Doctor seemed surprised that she’d actually done as he asked, and then he seemed more surprised when she grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him.
He pulled away from her, spluttering. “What the -”
“Sorry,” she said, not meaning the apology, “just wanted to know if I was a good kisser.” She made a face. “Hard to tell through your terrible technique.”
The Doctor wiped his mouth on his sleeve. “I hate you.”
Missy fluttered her eyelashes at him and giggled. “Oh, Doctor, you always know the right thing to say to a girl, don’t you?” She held a hand over her hearts. “I hate you too. I always have done and if you’re lucky I always will.” She moved away and sat down on the nearest chair. “Shall we talk about our feelings?” she asked, crossing her legs and wishing that the Doctor had been wearing a nice long skirt when she stole his body. The movement just wasn’t as graceful in these trousers.
The Doctor headed for the doors and Missy called after him. “I changed the combinations on the locks.” She heard a startled cry of pain. “And I electrified the doors,” she added. “Don’t try that again, I don’t want scorch marks on my body when I get it back.”
He appeared in front of her. “I’ll stop you.”
“Oh, don’t be silly, there’s nothing to stop. I won’t kill anyone.” She paused. “Well, I’ll try not to, I can’t make any promises about Nardole. He really is very annoying, isn’t he?”
The Doctor ignored her. “So much for you trying to be good. You know -”
Missy stood up. “I’m bored of this conversation, and I have a lecture to deliver.”
The Doctor’s eyebrows (yes, Missy’s body really was irritatingly lacking in the eyebrow department) shot up. “Don’t you dare.”
Missy pretended to yawn. “Bored,” she repeated. She turned towards the exit. “I’ll drop by later, let you know how it went.”
The Doctor pushed in front of her. “Oh no, you’re not going anywhere.”
Missy pulled the sonic screwdriver from a pocket and pointed it at him.
“It’s not a weapon,” he scoffed.
“That rather depends on what you do with it,” said Missy. “Let’s try the ‘knock out annoying Time Lords’ setting, shall we?” She activated it with a stylish flick of the wrist and the Doctor crumpled to the floor. Missy stepped over her own inert body and left the vault to attend to more important matters.
For a start she needed a change of clothes. If she was going to give a lecture she wanted to look dignified, or at least as dignified as was possible when she looked like the Doctor. A change of clothes would at least help, because unlike some people Missy didn’t enjoy looking like a pile of unwanted donations abandoned by a lesser charity shop.
She opened the door of the Doctor’s TARDIS and stepped inside. “Hi, honey,” she called, “it’s me, your beloved.”
The TARDIS wasn’t fooled for a moment. It growled at her.
“Well, that isn’t very nice,” she said. “I’m not staying long,” she assured it, “just need to slip into something less comfortable.” She headed for the wardrobe room, running over the Doctor’s previous sartorial choices in her head. The velvet dandy had dressed quite well, but he had been an outlier in terms of fashion sense. Although… yes, what about that beautiful coat the Doctor had been wearing when they met the Rani on Earth? She had always liked that coat, even if she wouldn’t have admitted as much to the Doctor.
She found the coat hanging neatly next to a pile of odd socks, and selected a few other items that she liked the look of, then headed for the Doctor’s room to change.
The door didn’t open when she turned the handle and pushed it. Missy glared at it. “Don’t be a bitch,” she said to his TARDIS, “let me in.” The door resisted another attempt to open it. She looked up at the ceiling. “Open this door or I’ll fix your chameleon circuit.” She pushed at the door again, and this time it opened. Missy smiled, satisfied. “Nothing like a well-chosen threat to get you what you want.”
The room was furnished sparsely but comfortably. She knew that the Doctor tended to move around a lot even inside the TARDIS, and why not? She dumped her armful of clothing onto the bed and looked at herself in the mirror.
It wasn’t a bad body, really, compared to some of the ones the Doctor had worn over the centuries. Too tall for Missy’s own tastes, but since she wasn’t planning on keeping it she was willing to put up with that for the time being. She turned her head this way and that, making a variety of expressions. The scowl was very good, she had to admit to a bit of envy there.
She hesitated for a moment before undressing. It wasn’t anything she hadn’t seen already, but the circumstances were rather different. Finally she shrugged and started peeling away the too-many layers of clothing. She touched a new scar on his chest, just above the left heart. Where had that come from? How much had it hurt? A few of the other marks on his body had to be her own work, and she was quite proud of that. She pulled on a white collared shirt and left the top button undone. To her vast disappointment the rainbow coat was a bit too big, so she left it lying on the bed and went into the en-suite to look for a comb.
She opened his bathroom cabinet and found a variety of hair and skincare products. Missy gasped. “I knew it! Nobody as vain as he is would really be above caring about their appearance.” She raised an eyebrow at the anti-ageing moisturiser. “Bit late for that, dear.” She made his hair as neat as she could and went back into his bedroom.
Before leaving she made a quick tour of the room, moving the bookmark in the trashy romantic novel on the bedside table and tying all the Doctor’s shoelaces in tight and hopefully impossible-to-undo knots. Then, satisfied, she headed out.
It took her a while to find the lecture hall, so she arrived late and glared at the few students who were in the process of leaving. She shooed them back in and took her place at the front of the expansive room.
“Today’s lecture,” she announced, “is going to be extremely useful to you. I advise you to take notes and read over them later to make sure you understood everything.” She picked up a piece of chalk and wrote the blackboard. The students started muttering among themselves as they read the title of the lecture.
How To Cheat On Your Exams
Missy turned back to her undergraduates and nodded. “Yes,” she told them, “today I’m going to reveal all the secrets of this course and the final exam. You can thank me at the end.” She clapped her hands together loudly. “Right, the first thing you need to know is how to distract the invigilator...”
Back in the Doctor’s office, Missy reflected on a job well done. She leaned back in her chair, stuck her tongue out at the photograph of the Doctor’s latest dead wife, and smiled warmly at the one of his granddaughter.
She picked up a pen and a notepad and wrote:
I hate you, please fire me.
Yours with love,
She read it over and decided against trying to get the Doctor sacked. Her hearts weren’t really in it, and he’d probably be quite glad to have an excuse to stop working at the university anyway. Better to let him suffer in the world of gainful employment.
The door opened and Nardole entered the room. “Bill should be here soon,” he said, handing Missy a cup of tea.
“I know that,” said Missy. “I wouldn’t forget about Ben, would I?”
“That’s what I said.” Missy had never met Bill, but she knew that she hated her. She hated almost all of the Doctor’s human friends, after all. They were so… chirpy.
Missy took a Jaffa Cake from the plate Nardole had placed in front of her. “She’s very clever, you know.”
“Yes,” said Nardole, “I did notice that.”
“I talk about her all the time,” said Missy. “Endlessly. Especially to Missy.” She chuckled. “I expect Missy really loathes Bill.”
“Missy loathes everyone,” said Nardole, and this was true. “I suppose it’s a good thing they’ll never meet.”
“Yes,” said Missy, “I suppose it is.” She smiled brightly.
Ten minutes later the famous Bill arrived, and sat down on the other side of the desk, pulling books from her bag. “Did you get a chance to mark that essay?” she asked, sounding hopeful.
Yes he had, but Missy shook her head. “No, I’ve been extremely busy.” She tried to look sincere.
“Oh.” Bill shrugged. “It’s fine, I’m not more worried than I usually am.”
She clearly was. It had been an especially difficult question and the Doctor had been very pleased with Bill’s work, insisting that Missy should read the essay too. She hadn’t, of course, but the fact that he had wanted her to had just made her resent Bill even more.
And she was, she had to admit, somewhat worried. This girl was cleverer than Nardole, and more observant. There was a good chance she would realise that something was wrong, even if she was unlikely to work out what had happened. It might be best to make an excuse to be rid of her.
Missy touched a hand to her forehead and made a soft sound of pain.
“Are you feeling alright?” asked Bill, her concern obvious.
“I ate the wrong colour of jam,” said Missy.
“I’ll be fine,” said Missy, bravely. She coughed into her hand. “Perhaps I should take a little nap.”
Bill looked worried. “Do you need, like… space medicine or something?”
Missy looked at her steadily. “Space medicine?”
“Yeah, like… alien paracetamol? Is there anything I can do? Should I get Nardole?”
“Yes,” said Missy, “get him to make me some more tea.”
Bill looked at her strangely. “Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”
“Of course,” said Missy. “I might even have that essay marked by then.” She tried to look ill and put-upon. A bit of worry was good for humans, probably. Made them focus a bit better. She waved Bill from the room and then sat back with a sigh. Being the Doctor was quite tiring, all told. No wonder he was so Scottish all the time.
Missy had one more thing she wanted to do before she swapped back into her own body. She headed outside and looked for the spot she had chosen earlier. To her great surprise she found herself already sitting on the bench. Missy stopped in her tracks, but the Doctor waved her over.
“I thought you’d come here,” he said. “It’s got a very good view of the sunset.”
Missy shrugged. “It’s not the same with only one sun.”
“Even so,” he said, as she sat down beside him on the bench.
“You got out of the vault,” said Missy. “I knew I should have increased the voltage on those doors.”
The Doctor shrugged. “You did your best. I’m just good at escaping from things.”
Missy bit her lip. “Do you forgive me?” she asked, more concerned than she’d like to admit.
“Did you hurt anyone?”
He nodded, satisfied. “Then yes, I forgive you. It’s not the worst thing you’ve ever done.” He reached for her hand and they sat in silence watching the sun go down in a narrow gap between university buildings.
After the sun had slipped below the horizon and it was too cold to stay outdoors without coats, Missy stood up and stretched. “Time to go back in the box, I suppose,” she said, more to herself than to him.
“It’s not forever,” said the Doctor, gently.
“No,” she agreed, “it’s not.” She took his hand and tugged him back towards the building that housed the vault. “Come on, there’s some things I want to try before we switch bodies again.”
Missy winked at him. The Doctor blushed, and Missy laughed.