Author's Note: I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I updated this. It's not abandoned - I wouldn't do that. If it was, I'd let you guys know and then put it up for adoption. But I've been uninspired lately, and I haven't worked on ANYTHING. Writer's Block sucks, but someone said to just push through it. Of course, this chapter is what you get when THAT happens. Let me know what you think! Reviews really do help when trying to figure out if I've got a story right or wrong and I would reeeeally appreciate feedback. ON WITH THE STORY!
"You've got to be joking," Jack said.
Harold Saxon, former Prime Minister and deranged psychotic Time Lord stood in the lobby of the fake tour guide office at the entrance to the hub, looking for all the world like he was nothing out of the ordinary. Gone were the Armani suits, and now that Ianto looked again, he looked…ill. Even though the picture was black and white, he could see the several days of unshaven stubble around his chin, his eyes sunken and shadowed. Wearing an old hoodie with his hands in the middle pocket made him look almost non-threatening…except for the smile.
"How is he even alive? I thought you said he died onboard the Valiant during that whole SNAFU with the Doctor and the Year that Never Was?" Ianto asked.
The man on the screen suddenly turned his face up to the camera directly and smiled, revealing every last one of his teeth.
It wasn't a friendly smile. That was how sharks smiled at their prey. Ianto felt a chill go down his spine. He didn't remember anything from that fiasco other than watching with the rest of the world as the Prime Minister ordered the American President killed. But he remembered what Jack told him. He remembered the nights when the other man would wake up screaming in the dark because of what he'd endured at the hands of the deranged Time Lord. And if that was the smile that went along with the nightmares…
"Hello, Captain," Saxon said, never losing the smile. "I know you're in there. And I know you have what I'm looking for. Be a good boy and open up for daddy, hmm?"
"Jack?" Ianto questioned, raising his eyes to the immortal.
Jack stood frozen, staring at the screen in disbelief and horror. "Not possible," he whispered. "He can't be here. No fucking way."
"Jack, focus. He doesn't have the Toclafane. Or the TARDIS. And if he's as powerful as you remember, why wouldn't he just blast open the door and kill us anyway?"
"Listen to Eye Candy!" Saxon said, his voice sing-songing like a reprimanding school teacher.
That brought up both men short. He couldn't hear them, could he?
No. But he wasn't an idiot. A year of torturing Jack probably gave him all sorts of information. Time Lords were time sensitive, that was the rule – which means he could probably pick the last of their kind and a time anomaly like Jack out of a trans-dimensional haystack. Simple logic told him that Jack was watching, and that he probably had someone with him. Eye Candy was a generic nickname, and could be anyone from Torchwood.
"I'm going to kill him," Jack said, and suddenly he was gone, running up the stairs, his great coat billowing behind him.
The Master rubbed his forehead, trying to massage away the building headache. The Freak was on his way, if the pressure behind his eyes was any indication. How did the Doctor manage to stand so close to him all the time?
There was a not so subtle 'whoosh' of a sealed door opening, and cold steel pressed against the Master's forehead. It actually felt rather nice in comparison. "Really? Because the last time someone tried to shoot me, it didn't really stick, now did it?"
"They weren't aiming at your skull, you bastard."
"I know perfectly well who my parents were, Freak. Can you say the same?"
The old fashioned gun made an audible click.
"I should kill you now," Jack growled, pressing the metal harder against the Master's forehead.
The Master opened his eyes and looked at Jack for the first time. The handsome Time Agent's face was twisted into a snarl of unimaginable hatred. With every ounce of sincerity that the Master could manage, he said very quietly, "Please do."
"How are you even alive?" Jack growled. "I watched you die in the arms of the Doctor onboard the Valiant. How can you be here?"
"Lucy didn't finish the job. But you can," the Master said. The headache was forming a tempo now. Four quick beats, a reminder of why he was still here. "You're a better killer. Do it."
The anger on Harkness's face was tempered slightly by confusion. Right. These were the Doctor's friends. They were going to need more incentive.
Eye Candy. So that meddlesome Time Agent was right about one thing. Where Harkness was, Ianto Jones wouldn't be far behind.
The Welshman put a cautious arm on Jack's, the one without the gun. "Jack, before you kill him, remember: he's the only other Time Lord we have."
The Master could see the emotions play across the Captain's face plain as day. Anger, fear, concern (that was obviously not directed towards him), and eventually resignation and steely resolve.
"You have one chance to explain why you're here. And how."
The Master sighed. "If you're not going to kill me, at least put the gun down. Now you just look ridiculous."
When the former Time Agent refused, the Master's own prickly obstinance bubbled to the surface despite the Program. He folded his arms against his chest and leaned back against the welcome desk of the fake tour guide office. "I don't have a time limit."
"Neither do I," Jack snarled. His gun never wavered.
"I also have nothing to lose." The Master watched as Jack's eye twitched. Ah ha. Right track on that one. "You, on the other hand, apparently have everything to lose."
"What are you doing here?" Jack repeated. "Are you the one who did this to the TARDIS? Are you the one behind what happened to the Doctor? How did you manage to find him so quickly?"
The Master remained silent, glaring balefully at Harkness.
"Jack…" Jones interjected quietly. "Look at his head."
The Master suppressed the reflexive flinch when a brief moment of pity crossed Jack's face when he saw the scar running just under his ear.
"You've got one, too, don't you."
It wasn't a question.
"Someone needs to have a very serious discussion with your Time Agency about leaving their toys scattered about time. Anyone could get their hands on them," the Master said, explaining without saying anything important.
"Were you a prisoner too?" Ianto asked.
One might mistake their expression for caring, but the Master wasn't an idiot. Crazy, yes. Stupid, no. He knew they'd just realized that he was their best and most likely only answer to what happened to the Doctor. Especially if he'd deteriorated further since he last saw him with the Proclamation hag.
Harkness and Jones just realized they needed him alive.
There went his hope of convincing Harkness to shoot him.
"Some dogs have longer leashes than others," the Master offered.
"You don't look much like a spaniel," Jones quipped.
The smirk was genuine. Jones was his favorite of Jack's toys. Snark right up until the end. And what a beautiful end it was…Harkness wasn't the same after it.
"More of a retriever." He chose his words carefully, trying to get around the loopholes of the governor. He winced at the 'mild' jolt it sent in warning. It knew he was trying to get around the parameters that hag and her barely sentient rhino army set on it.
Or the bitch was getting button happy and trying to teach him a lesson. He made a mental note to peel the flesh from her bones when he saw her again.
With his teeth.
"You still haven't explained how you're alive," Jack said.
"You still haven't put down the gun. We can't stay long, they won't be happy about it. Time is irrelevant to them because they can't understand it," the Master said, rubbing at his ear. The drumbeat was drowning in the high pitched whine emitting from the governor.
"Your ear is bleeding," Jones said.
The Master pulled his hand away and stared at the sticky redness on his fingertips. "They're getting impatient. They know I'm close to him. Kill me now, or they're going to realize how close I am to him."
Harkness and Jones shared a bewildered look.
"You're not making any sense whatsoever. Who is getting impatient? And how do they know you're close to the Doctor?" Harkness asked. He finally lowered the gun, but didn't put it back in the shoulder holster.
"I can't tell you, you stupid ape," the Master growled, and the whine increased tenfold. He felt his ear drum burst and his equilibrium gave out almost instantly as blood poured out of his ear. He swore vehemently in Gallifreyan. Stupid bitch. "She's trying to recall us, but the technology is broken. She doesn't know where or when we are, just that we're near each other."
Another high pitched whine spiked through his brain, sending flashing colors that didn't belong across his vision. He barely noticed he was on his knees in front of the humans, but in a rare moment, he didn't care. He was no one's lapdog. But if he was going to be a prisoner, he would take his chances with the humans.
The Master thrust his other hand out, the one that until this moment remained hidden in his prison issued sweatshirt.
"Get it off before she activates it!" he snarled. "And you can keep it!"
"Isn't that…yours, Jack?"
Did all these creatures ever do was talk?
"TAKE THE BLOODY THING!" The Master yelled, still holding his arm out. He slammed his head against the counter he was leaning against. "Take the whole arm if you have to!"
The wretched woman's voice echoed in his head, and he mentally snarled in defiance of her order to return to her.
Be a good dog, she warned. Before I have to put you down.
Take your best shot, bitch, he thought, mentally forming an image of what he planned to do to her when he returned. He wondered if she could hear him the same way he could hear her.
The spike of agony that crushed his thoughts as effectively as a boot did an ant suggested she could, and she was not amused.
He barely felt the Captain pull the vortex manipulator off his wrist, scraping skin off with it.
Ha! Come and get me now!
The Master felt more blood trickling down his face, this time from the corner of his eyes and nose.
She may not be able to force recall him anymore, but that didn't mean he was out of her reach. He was too valuable a pet to let someone else have him, and she meant to destroy him if she could before she allowed that to happen.
The torture ratcheted up a notch he didn't even know existed.
He could hear himself scream, but he didn't care. He welcomed death. He wanted to die, and it was no longer a punishment. Something she failed to realize.
This was winning.
And then suddenly something blunted and powerful struck the side of his head, and everything disappeared. The pain, the screaming…the whole world.
But he still wasn't dead. Not yet, anyway. And he found himself disappointed.
So...yeah. Been a while. I know, I know...bad me. But this isn't abandoned. I just haven't watched Tennant/Simm Who lately. Read and review! It helps!