A/N: Just a little snippet of what could happen while everyone waits for Martha to open a can of whoopass on the Toclaphane and the Master. Go and check out my other fics and show them some love too, pretty please. /blatant plug


Tactless.

by Flaignhan.


All they could do was wait.

Jack, for one, was fed up with the silence. The Master and his wife were sitting in front of the window, drinking tea as they watched the Toclaphane descend upon the Earth, leaving destruction and chaos in their path. Lucy smiled lovingly at the Master, and Jack turned away, feeling quite sickened by this display of affection and admiration for a cruel, cold-blooded murderer.

The Doctor was sitting in a chair, head resting on his hand, the arm it was attached to resting on the table. He'd sometimes thought that he had felt as old as he really was, but his current condition had proved him dreadfully wrong. Never had he been so weak that he hadn't been able to stand unaided. Never had he felt so tired, so frail, so old. And he'd only been aged a hundred years; his full nine hundred would have rendered him a shell. No, this definitely put things into perspective.

The Master had ordered the his armed henchmen to leave them a short while ago, and now the Jones family were sitting in chairs, Tish being only one willing to sit near the Doctor. Jack had stayed on the floor, not wanting to move, lost in his own thoughts about Martha. Would she find out what the Toclaphane were? More importantly, would she defeat them? Would Martha Jones, the sweet medical student in her early twenties, would she be the one to save the entire world? Jack hoped so, if not for the sake of the planet, then for his own. He didn't much fancy floating around in space, when everyone else was dead. How long would it be until he was found by a passing ship? Whilst the whole 'immortality thing' had its benefits, there were a few drawbacks. What would happen to him when there was nothing left? If Martha did save the world, what would happen to him after, would he live to see the year one hundred trillion? Never ageing, never dying, never doing anything? The most he could hope for was Utopia. Ironic, the man who was happily watching the Earth be destroyed was the same man who helped the human race get to Utopia. The man who had saved them all.

It was Tish who broke the silence. "Sorry, but, who are you?" Jack turned around.

"Cap'n Jack Harkness," he answered flashing her a brilliantly white smile. He noticed the cable tie around her wrist and decided that shaking hands would be rather a difficult and unnecessary endeavour.

"Jack…" the Doctor said warningly, his voice croaky.

"Can't I say hello?" Jack asked in exasperation.

"I don't mind," Tish said quietly, smiling ever so slightly to herself. The Doctor had been about to reply when the Master stood up, resting his teacup on his saucer and setting it down on the table.

"But surely Jack, you must have realised," he bounded down the steps. "Our dear Doctor's gotten grumpy in his old age." He put on a sad and patronising face. "I bet he so badly wants to be back to his old self. All that lovely brown hair for him to pull at, none of these wrinkles, eh?" he bent down so his face was a few inches from the Doctor's. "Would you like that, Doctor?" the Doctor didn't reply, just glared at him, hard. "Go on; say it for me, Doctor." The Doctor said nothing. The Master sighed and took his laser screwdriver from his trouser pocket and pointed it at Tish.

"Yes!" the Doctor said quickly, before Francine even had a chance to cry out in fear for her daughter's safety.

"Yes what?"

"Master…" the Doctor replied quietly. The Master pocketed his screwdriver once more and let out a shaky breath.

"That sounds better and better each time."

"Leave him alone," Jack demanded loudly. The Master turned to him, folded his arms and tapped his chin thoughtfully.

"You know what I haven't done in a while?" Jack stared at him, knowing what was coming. He could see the sick glint in the Master's eye. Still, better him than anybody else, that was for sure. "This!" he whipped his screwdriver out once more, pointed it at Jack, a beam shooting out of it, and Jack fell to the floor, succeeding in not making a sound, as he'd wished. He turned to the Joneses and grinned at them, all of them looking at Jack's lifeless (for now) body in horror, completely oblivious to his abnormal qualities.

He hopped cheerfully back up the stairs and sat down next to Lucy, placing a kiss on her cheek before picking up his teacup and taking a sip from it. Neither he nor the Doctor batted an eyelid when Jack inhaled loudly and sat up, chest heaving and eyes wide as he became accustomed once more to living and breathing. "Oh…my…God…" Tish said, staring at Jack in disbelief. Jack winked at her and ran a hand through his hair, checking to see that his brief time as a dead man hadn't messed it up.

"I know!" the Master said to Lucy, just loud enough so the Doctor, Jack, and the Joneses could hear. "Let's play 'guess which Toclaphane is going to kill the lovely but meddlesome Martha, shall we?" He craned his neck so he could see more clearly out of the window. "I think…that one!" he pointed randomly at a Toclaphane that was zooming towards the Earth like a bomb. Lucy giggled.

"Oh Harry, you are tactless," she said as she slapped him playfully on the arm. "I mean, honestly, it must be awful to hear about your daughter's imminent and inevitable death."

"No," the Master said, standing up once more. "I'll tell you what tactless is." He turned away from the window and jumped down the steps two at a time so he was once more on the same level as his captives. "The Doctor, he's unforgivably tactless. And I know poor, abandoned Jack agrees. He's been awful to you and Martha, hasn't he?" Jack's lip curled.

"Shut up, Saxon," he growled.

"Oh but it's true, isn't it? Running away from you when you were lost and confused. The only living soul left on the whole of the Game Station. How did that feel, Jack? How did it feel, knowing the man who you died for just left you, without even a backwards glance, no remorse whatsoever? And, to rub even more salt into the wound, he went straight back to London and celebrated Christmas with the darling Rose."

"How do you know all this?" Jack asked, shocked at the Master's in-depth knowledge of what had happened. He couldn't have known about the Game Station, nor could he have known about Rose, and Christmas.

"I've managed to hack into the memory banks of the Tardis, and as the Tardis and the Doctor come as a pair…" he spun to his right, now facing the Doctor. "I can see everything that has happened to you. Every little thing. 'Nice to meet you, Rose, run for your life!'" The Doctor flinched at the memory and the Master smirked. "But back to what I was saying about your tactlessness, just to really make you see how much of an awful, awful, person you really are, because frankly, dear sweet Martha deserves better than you. I mean come on Doctor, 'it's like when you fancy someone, and they don't even know you exist'? How cruel could you be? All those times you've brushed her off, ignored her, made her feel like she wasn't good enough, kept reminding her of how brilliant Rose was, yet never letting her know that she's even better. Because Rose was a sweetheart, oh yes, but she never really thought for herself, did she? She just batted her doe eyes at you and away you went. She didn't get stuck in 1969. Or 1913. Or one hundred trillion. But Martha did, and she put up with it all, got a job so you could both live in the sixties, worked as a maid while you had no recollection of her – being human is such a drag, isn't it? – and listened to how Rose saved the word by doing something completely and utterly foolish. Absorbing the Time Vortex? That cost you a life! But never mind, because I know that Jack thinks you're much better looking this time around. It's not like it was hard to beat last time, what with the ears and the nose and that dreadful northern accent-"

"I've got no idea what you're on about, but just leave him alone, alright?" The Master now let his attention fall onto Tish, and then Francine as she spoke in a panic.

"Tish, no! Just be quiet!"

"Ah, Tish, just as sweet, but not quite as clever as your lovely sister." Tish raised an eyebrow. "Oh, you know it's true. It's a shame, because if you were going to get out of this alive, you would have had some great things to put on your CV. All of it down to me." He smiled widely at her. "Never mind, eh? At least you won't have another working day after this. Of course, one could argue that you'd rather have a working day than no days at all, but I say let's look on the bright side, shall we?" He started whistling 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' as he made his way back up the stairs and over towards the window, pressing his hands against it as he watched his plans fall into place.

"Hey Doc," the Doctor turned his head to look at Jack. "I thought the northern accent was hot." The Doctor couldn't help but let a smile form on his face. "But I must say, much prefer you with the hair, and the cheekiness," he winked at him and the Doctor rubbed his face tiredly, finally relenting and chuckling softly at his friend.

"So Tish, Martha's sister, eh?"

"Jack, enough."

"Making conversation!"

"You don't ever just make conversation." Jack sighed and nodded reluctantly, knowing that the Doctor was right.


The End.