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That Which Has Been Divided Can Be Made Whole Again

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What the Master (or is it Missy now, who can keep track anymore in this ever changing universe) doesn’t understand is… well, actually, there are a lot of things the Doctor’s best enemy doesn’t understand.

She remembers her first daemon - remembers reading about humans in that vast, echoing library, curled up on a mouldering, dusty cushion with a vast book in his lap, all the pictures of human children, human adults, so similar to Gallifreyan, but with something funny around the eyes.

That first human shaped daemon, who he’d only had the courage to conjure up when he was old and crotchety, and nobody ever wanted to argue with her. Him. She was a him at that point. She thought. Probably.

But Susan - sweet, darling, clever, terrifying Susan - came into shape, the same way his first daemon had come into shape, all those years ago. Susan, all quick smile and dark hair, her eyes bright and her expression full of trouble.

“Grandfather,” she said, and she grabbed his hand, squeezing his fingers over his walking stick.

“Susan,” he said, because that was her name now, that was what her name had always been.

“Where are we going?” She laced her fingers through his, and he huffed, flustered by the sentimentality. He let go of her hand and grasped at his lapels, embarrassed and confused, but pleased all the same.

-*-

Rose Tyler manifested with a noise that wasn't a pop, but which felt like a pop. One moment, the Doctor was by himself, the next he was being shouted at by a blond with a London accent, running down the corridor.

He hadn't expected it. He wasn't sure what it was that he expected, but after everything that had happened in the Time War...

The Master had been right about walking around with his soul out in the open like that.

And yet.

Her hand was very soft, very small, and very real in his own, her boots clomp-clomp-clomping in time with his.

He'd promised himself no more daemons, but here she was, so much like every other part of his soul he'd given form, but so different at the same time, and it made him ache right between his hearts.

She glanced at him sidelong, and he saw the ghosts of his former daemons, the shapes of his future ones.

Something in his hearts shifted, something that had been stuck tight, and he held on to her a little tighter, putting on a boost of speed to run that much faster, away from the explosion, towards whatever weirdness the future no doubt had in store for them.

-*-

“It’s bad taste, to parade your soul around out like that,” the Master sniffed, the first time they’d met on Earth. He’d at least had the good grace to wait until Jo had left the room, to go put on a pot of tea.

“Not so loud,” the Doctor said sharply, his eyes darting to the door of the lab. “She might hear!”

“My dear Doctor,” the Master said, and the Doctor knew at once that he’d shown his hand too soon, “are you really letting her parade around like that, and she thinks she’s a person?”

“Well, she is a person,” the Doctor said defensively, his hands balled up into fists.

“Oh, Doctor,” the Master drawled, and he came a little too close for comfort, his mind brushing against the Doctor’s mind, his essence oozing along the border’s of the Doctor’s own.

"Things are different here on Earth," the Doctor said, trying not to look too self conscious. He slammed all the doors of his mind shut, stuffed the keyholes, covered up the crack on the bottom, leaded up the hinges.

(Somewhere, Jo Grant dropped a teacup, staring straight ahead and shaking like a leaf. Benton came up behind her, one hand up, but not quite touching her - something about her seemed to repel it, although not in a way that anyone ever thought about).

"I think it's pathetic," the Master sneered, and he rested a hand on the Doctor's shoulder, squeezed it. Let the little bits of himself that weren't quite in this dimension brush against the Doctor's own incorporeal bits, glowing slag and molten gold mingling.

The Doctor shivered, goosebumps erupting along his arms and legs, and then he set his jaw, straightened his back. He scowled at the Master, and the Master rolled his eyes, and made a big show of withdrawing every bit of contact.

"Fine," the Master said, "if you want to do it like that." He took a step back, both hands up as if he was being held at gunpoint, and the Doctor wrinkled his nose at the sheer theatricality of it.

"Why must you be like this?" The Doctor asked, and he crossed his arms across his chest.

(Jo Grant blinked, shaken out of whatever trance it was that she had let herself drift into. She frowned down at the broken teacup, then brightened as she picked it up. The handle had broken off, but the cup itself was fine. She'd just need to glue it back together, and it'd be good as new.)

"I was about to ask you the same thing," the Master drawled, and then he turned on his heel and walked off, the heels of his boots clicking on the linoleum of the UNIT corridors.

When Jo came back into the room, looking puzzled, the Doctor opened his mind back up, just enough to let her back in, and he put his hands on her face, pressing their foreheads together, nose to nose and breathing each other's breaths.

"What's wrong?" Jo asked, and her curiosity sparked in his own mind. She has to know, on some level, he thought, and she wrinkled her nose at him and grinned, self conscious. "Is this about the business with the acid, when I spilled it? I did say I was sorry, and I really will get your jacket fixed."

"Yes, yes," the Doctor said, flustered in spite of himself. "You're right. I... worry about you sometimes, Jo. That's all."

"You needn't worry about me, Doctor," Jo said cheerfully. She took a sip of her tea, and the sweetness of it blossomed on the Doctor's own tongue. "I'll be absolutely fine. I promise."

He didn't have an answer to that, just then. He ended up grabbing her hand and squeezing it, so tight that her hands ached, which made his hand ache, a back and forth of discomfort that he couldn't seem to withdraw from.

Rather like his relationship with the Master, come to think of it, but that was not a thing he was going to think about just then. He wrapped an arm around Jo's shoulders instead, and rested his chin on top of her head. He closed his eyes, taking in the scent of her - how had she even managed to have her own scent? - and running his hands along her bare arms.

Jo sighed, tucking herself up against his front, and he rested his chin on top of her head and squeezed her tight.

"I'd never let anything happen to you, Jo," he said to her quietly, and she made a questioning noise, but didn't move otherwise.

-*-

The Doctor didn't like the way the Valeyard was looking at Mel - didn't like it one bit. There was a note of longing in the look, a possessiveness that set the Doctor's teeth on edge.

"Honestly, Doctor," Mel said, and she looked at him, her arms crossed and her expression exasperated but affectionate. "How do you get yourself into these problems?"

They were standing in the Matrix, somewhere on Gallifrey, and the Master was on one side of Mel, and the Valeyard was on the other side, and there was Glitz, who didn't give the Doctor the creeps, but was also not a person he'd want around anyone, really.

"Mel, come here," said the Doctor, and he was just far enough away that she'd have to take a few steps.

"Excuse you," said Mel, her eyes narrowing.

"I still don't understand why you insist on externalizing your daemon," the Master said.

The Valeyard didn't say anything - he was still staring at Mel with wide, desperate eyes. His fingers were twitching in his gloves, and the Doctor couldn't seem to take his eyes off of them.

"What's he on about?" Glitz jerked a thumb over one shoulder, towards the Valeyard.

"Pay it no mind," the Doctor said, trying to keep his tone light and unconcerned. Mel was still standing entirely too close to the Valeyard for comfort, and the look on his face kept changing from disgust to longing to the mask he'd been wearing, and then the murky light would make the highlights of Mel's hair stand out, or she'd turn her head, and the Doctor could see the visceral memory of it back on the edges of his mind.

He extended some of his own being, wrapped around her waist with a protective tentacle or limb or whatever it was that made up the bits of him that were still him, just not on this particular spectrum. She was alive, her single heartbeat going strong, her lungs full of breath, and the memory of the loss of Peri was still thick and hot in his throat.

Mel glanced over at him, frowning, and she moved a little closer to him, leaning her back against his front. The bits of her that were him, mingling with the comforting strangeness of her mind against his own.

Glitz rolled his eyes. "Time Lords," he grumbled. "Can't ever get a straight answer out of you lot, can I?"

"If you're me in the future," the Doctor said slowly, frowning, "where's your companion?" His arms were around Mel now, draped over her shoulders, his chin on top of her head. His daemon rested her small hands on top of his, and he tightened his grip, just a little bit.

"Got rid of the need for that," the Valeyard sniffed, his nose wrinkling. "Along with all the other pointless sentimentality you insist on clinging to."

"I've been saying something similar," the Master intoned, "but I didn't mean that he should cut it off."

Mel shivered in the Doctor's arms, and he squeezed her a little tighter. "I'd never let anything happen to you," he whispered into the top of her head.

Mel leaned into him, and sighed, ruffling some of her red curls. He was very pointedly not paying any attention to the Master, or to the Valeyard. They didn't matter. Nothing else mattered, but him and his daemon, him and his companion, him and his best friend.

The Master was so close that his self was pressed against his, and some old memory made him want to open his arms up, to invite the Master into the embrace. Let his best enemy up close and personal with him again, let his daemon feel the weave of the Master's coat, the ticklishness of the Master's goatee, let him -

Mel shivered again, and the Master gave the Doctor an unreadable look.

The Doctor held on a little tighter to Mel, and he glared at the Valeyard. "Well," he said, and he tried to project more authority than he was actually feeling, "shall we?"

The Valeyard's eyes darted from Mel's face to the Doctor's, and the line between his eyebrows deepened. He made as if to take a step closer, and then he vanished.

Before the Doctor had a chance to react, Glitz made an annoyed noise.

"Ruddy Time Lords," he groused. "Well? Are we off or not?"

The Master had vanished as well, somewhere along those lines, and it was just Mel and the Doctor, with Glitz grumbling off to the side.

"How are we going to get out of this?" She wriggled free of him, looking up at him with a thoughtful expression.

"We'll figure something out," he said, holding a hand out to her and wriggling his fingers.

She took his hand, and he sighed, some of the tension leaving his shoulders as he was, once again, reunited with his daemon. His companion.

-*-

The Master smirked at the Doctor, wearing the face of a man the Doctor had called a friend. The Doctor scowled, and the Master's smirk got deeper, as a small hand rested on the Doctor's elbow.

"Really?" The Master said, with Tremus' mouth. "There's something perverse about that."

"Doctor?" Nyssa's voice only had a little bit of a tremble to it, "Doctor, why is my father - "

"That's not your father, Nyssa," the Doctor said, and his voice was very firm. Very calm. He was working very hard at being calm just then.

"That's not his daughter, anyway," said the Master, and the look on his face was... what was that word he'd heard on Earth - he could hear it in the voice of some future companion, off in the someday - devilish. That was the word.

Devilish.

"What's he talking about, Doctor?" Nyssa asked, her tone suspicious. Her discomfort was wafting across the Doctor's own consciousness.

"Nothing, Nyssa," said the Doctor. "Go find Tegan, I think she's frightened." He knew she was frightened, her fear a bright starburst throbbing a few inches above his temple, somewhere in the recesses of him.

"You're sick, you know that?" The Master took a step closer to the Doctor, and another, another, until they were nose to nose. “Absolutely sick.”

“Doctor!” Was that Tegan shouting? Adric? Nyssa? Their voices were all blending together, as the Master’s perception of his Companions, of the Doctors’ daemons blended into the Doctor’s own.

The Doctor looked over one shoulder, distressed, and he adjusted his jacket, fussing with the celery at his lapel. It was something to do with his hands, as his deeper, older senses tried to feel out whatever strangeness it was the Master was exuding.

“You’re not clever,” the Master said, giving the Doctor a thin smile. “We both know that you’re going to find some last minute way to save the day, and then it’ll just be a matter of…” He waved a hand, looking bored. “We’re not done here,” he said sharply, “and neither are your cute little daemons.”

There was a flash of blue light, and the Master was gone. The Doctor was left standing there, his eyes bright, something thick in his throat. Adric was… somewhere, he could feel the boy’s heart beating nervously. Tegan and Nyssa were huddled together in a cupboard somewhere, and then the Doctor nearly swooned, because there was the sensation of lips against his, rebounding back on themselves.

This wasn’t the first time his daemons had loved each other, physically or emotionally - Ian and Barbara had shared several illicit kisses, and Zoe and Jamie had both done their own exploration, on their own and together.

It was… maybe a little perverse, a little immature. The kind of thing that teenagers did. It was like watching animals mating, or acting out copulation with toys. But the two daemons weren’t doing anything he’d have done - the way Nyssa’s teeth dug into Tegan’s lower lip, the desperate way Tegan palmed Nyssa’s breast… He slumped back against the wall, his eyes closed tightly, kissing and being kissed in the darkness of some cupboard, as Adric hid in a different cupboard and Tegan tweaked Nyssa’s nipple through the velvet.

The memory of the Master in his personal space had Nyssa moaning desperately into Tegan’s mouth, clutching at Tegan’s shoulders. She was grinding her clit against Tegan’s thigh, and Tegan’s own hips were angled awkwardly, trying to get some friction off of Nyssa’s own leg while also pressing her own thigh forward for Nyssa’s pleasure.

The Doctor dug his teeth into his own knuckle, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, his cock hard and hot and heavy in his trousers. He rocked on the balls of his feet in time with Nyssa’s grinding, and he made a choked little noise when Nyssa’s orgasm washed over her, a series of shockwaves that left her sagging against Tegan.Then Tegan’s orgasm, which was spurred on by Nyssa’s orgasm, or maybe by his own - it was all just one big chain reaction, one sending the other sending the other sending the other.

By the time the Doctor could stand again, Adric was standing over him, scowling, arms crossed over his chest. “About time you got up,” he scolded.

“Sorry about that,” the Doctor said, and he cleared his throat. “Let me just… find Nyssa and Tegan.”

“They’re fine,” Adric said, waving a hand dismissively. “Everyone’s alright, they’re in the kitchen right now.”

“Right,” the Doctor said, and he stood up on shaky legs. Hopefully the wet spot on his trousers wasn’t too obvious.

Hopefully Adric wouldn’t say anything.

“Doctor?” Adric said, after a moment, “if Nyssa and Tegan can - “

“Let’s not focus on that right now, Adric,” the Doctor said, his tone full of forced cheer.

"I'm just saying," Adric said, his petulance blending in with the aftershock-y glow that was still clouding his mind, coming down from both Nyssa and Tegan's orgasms. "If they -"

"It's not the sort of thing you discuss in polite company, Adric," the Doctor said tightly.

"I hardly count as polite company," Adric said, and now there was more petulance in his voice. In the kitchen, Nyssa and Tegan were pulling apart, some of Adric's sourness bleeding into the sweetness of their moment.

"But I do," said the Doctor, and he rubbed the back of his neck, still sheepish. "Let's go find the girls."

Adric sighed, and there was something in his expression that was setting the Doctor's hackles up. Which didn't really make sense, when you got down to it, because why would his own daemon get on his nerves so much?

And yet.

"Doctor?" Adric looked sidelong at the Doctor, through his fringe.

"Yes?" The Doctor was surreptitiously adjusting his coat, so that the wet spot on his trousers was a tad less... visible.

"Do you miss them?"

"Miss who, the girls? I've hardly had time to, I don't think." The Doctor followed his own inner compass, senses that Adric had to feel the very edges of, with their shared consciousness.

"Your previous selves," said Adric.

"Oh," said the Doctor, and he shoved his hands into his pockets. "I... miss a lot of people," he said. How did you tell your daemon that you missed your former daemon? For that matter, what about missing his best enemy? About missing his own face, the way it used to look? "A lot of things." He stood up a little straighter, put a hand on Adric's shoulder. "The point of living," he said, as if imparting some great wisdom, "is to find more people and things to miss." And then he strode purposefully towards the kitchen, where Nyssa and Tegan were probably making tea to calm the panicking crew.

"That doesn't make any sense," Adric called after him.

-*-

Jamie was the first companion he kissed - really kissed, not just the affectionate brush of lips over a cheek or a forehead.

He kissed, and was kissed. He held Jamie in his arms, and there was the echo-phantom of his own arms, as he felt them through Jamie. Jamie who was not quite real but also not quite not real. Inhabiting the same space that dreams inhabited, that energy went to when it was spent.

Jamie's mouth was sour like any human mouth, hot and wet against his own mouth. He had tangled his fingers in the Doctor's hair, and he'd sobbed as he fucked into the Doctor’s fist. He'd been tight and hot around the Doctor's cock, and neither of them mentioned the fact that the face in the Doctor’s mind was much older.

He was intimate with all of them - of course he was intimate with them, she’s intimate with them - even when your soul is outside of your body, it’s still your soul. His fingers laced through Zoe’s, his arm wrapped around Martha’s waist, his fingers trailing along the hem of Evelyn’s cardigan… all of those little intimacies meant as much to him as Peri’s teeth in his neck as she came on his cock, or Clara’s thighs tense against his ears as he lapped at her clit, or the vibrations of Mel’s giggles as he tickled her through another orgasm.

He’d gotten better at suggesting, at propositioning - Sarah Jane had slapped him, when he’d casually suggested it (Liz had very bluntly made it clear she wasn’t interested in anything of that sort from the beginning, which he wouldn’t fault her for). She’d slapped his face, then clutched at the lapels of his velvet jacket and kissed him with a mad intensity that made both of their knees weak. Ace was similar - she’d flat out climbed into his lap and ridden him into a frankly embarrassing orgasm. And then there had been Amy and Rory, holding him between them, kissing over his shoulder, and the comfort of Graham’s hand on the back of her neck, the bony surety of Turlough’s knees, the softness of Yaz’s breast under her palm…

It was freeing, in its own way - he’d already done perverse things, hadn’t he? He’d stolen a TARDIS, he’d changed history, he’d influenced events. And he did all of that with his soul trotting beside him, beside her, beside them, in boots, in sand shoes, in jeans and jumpsuits and miniskirts. Sometimes the hand was in her hand and it was bigger, sometimes it was in his hand and it was smaller, but they were always there.

The Doctor didn’t think about the fact that the Master was also always there - even the times when that familiar face wasn’t nearby, a different one with the same essence was behind the nearest false mustache, three steps behind. And maybe someday the Master would be holding someone’s hand, and maybe someday they’d tangle their selves together, their daemons would touch, they’d -

“Doctor?” The voice that calls fluctuates across his senses, her senses, their senses. The accent - Perivale, Sheffield, Pease Pottage, Baltimore, Coal Hill, and other places she’d never even heard of yet, that she saw the shapes for in the far future, in the distant past.

The Master has it all wrong - the only way to wear your soul is on the outside. On the outside, full of life, in sand shoes and doc martens and boots and socks and sandals and high heels, in all the myriad ways of being.

Someday.