A/N: This fic was written for a Support Stacie Author Auction fic for TardisIsTheOnlyWayToTravel. She got a 1000-word fic. I fail at 1000 words. Her prompt was fantastic - Nine meets the Simm!Master. I could not help it. The fic is, therefore, an AU. Beyond that, I don't want to spoil it for you.

Flirting With Disaster

Chapter 3

"Let her go," the Doctor ordered, in a calm, authoritative voice.

The Master almost considered giving in for a moment, but he had had eons to accustom himself to disobeying even the most potent orders. "Your key, Doctor!" he snapped.

"Fine," the Doctor said, and held up both hands, edging away from the Master's TARDIS console. "Just let Rose go, an' you can have anything you want."

"Did you tell her, Doctor?" the Master demanded, backing out the door. "Did you tell her that you pulled the trigger? Will she let you hold your new child in hands covered with the blood of its siblings? Gallifrey's gone and you're here, and that can only mean…" They were clear of the TARDIS now, the Doctor and Diana standing in its doorway, both looking wholly panicked.

"Let me go, you psychotic son of a bitch, if I wasn't in labor, I'd…"

"Tell her, Doctor!" the Master demanded. "Tell her you're the genocidal maniac who burned down two great civilizations, and for what?"

"Give her back to me!"

"Let me go!"

"Let her go!"



The fifth voice that joined the chorus of rising panic was wholly unexpected but instantly effective. The Master turned to confront the Time Lords' mortal enemy, meaning to use Rose as a shield as he went. However, she had gotten oddly balanced in the process of fighting her this far, and he lost his grip. Rose began to fall, all the while promising to break him in half if he hurt her child, and flailing to catch herself.

It was the Doctor who caught her, setting her upright and immediately shielding her with his body, apparently determined to come between the Dalek and his family. The thing that truly shocked the Master, though, was that, before he got a good look at what he was facing, the Doctor and Diana both snatched his arms and shoved him down.

Then, Diana stood there with a foot in his back. The Master didn't think he'd been quite this kicked around by women since he and the Rani had gotten stuck… never mind that, now. There was a Dalek on the loose. Assuming they survived, there'd be time for happy reminiscences later.

"If you ever touch her again, I'll break every bone in your body," the Doctor said, quite conversationally. "You know very well I know how."

In his best mocking, pouting voice, the Master quoted, "The sonic screwdriver's not an offensive weapon."

"Tell that to your sternum when it shatters in three places," the Doctor replied coolly. "Fought my way through a War on the front lines, you know. Funny the vicious things ya can do with sound waves if you gotta."

Diana's shoe dug into the Master's fourth lumbar vertebra as she hissed at him to shut up.

"Don't bother, Doctor," said Rose in a cold, tired voice. "He's not worth it."

"I'll have you know," the Master began, "I am so worth…"

The Doctor, however, had apparently decided to side with Rose. "I know you're still here!" he called into the shadows of the alien museum. "Show yourself."

"Doctor," came the typical mechanical voice.

It was the most annoying thing in the Time War. You could blow up entire planets full of Daleks, set fire to their ships, chase whole battalions of them into black holes, but let one of them catch you, and all they wanted to do was complain about the Doctor.

The Master, quite used to being public enemy number one, wasn't exactly sure how to handle that. However, he supposed there was always the old standby. "You know me, Dalek!" he called. "I've brought you the Doctor as a gift…"

"You are the Master," the Dalek cut him off.

"I am indeed," he agreed. "And we have been allies," he reminded.

Apparently all the standard rules of the entire Universe had gone out for crumpets some time while he was hiding out, and he hadn't been able to read the memo in human form. "You threatened Rose Tyler," the Dalek said.

The Master looked up at the Doctor, only to find the Doctor staring down at him in something that looked very much like shock. "What the hell is this?" the Doctor said.

"I absorbed the DNA of Rose Tyler," the Dalek said.

"I know," said Rose, breathing rather heavily. "You said before, years ago, you extrapolated my DNA."

"I learned," it said.

The Doctor and the Master both turned to stare at Rose. Rose shrugged. "What did you learn?" she asked.

"Loneliness," it answered. Its mechanical voice sounded strange to anyone used to the sound of a Dalek. "So many ideas," it said. "So much darkness."

"What the hell is she?" the Master mouthed at the Doctor. He'd noticed that the girl practically breathed possibilities, but to warp the mind of a Dalek? It was utterly unprecedented, impossible, fantastic.

"Mine," the Doctor mouthed back.

"Come out where I can see you," Rose said. "Let us help you."

"Can I be helped, Rose Tyler?"

Rose smiled, and took a deep breath. "'Course you can," she said, and the Master wanted to tell her she was insane. "I saved your life before, an' you just now saved mine, yeah? That's got to mean something."

"I hope so," said the Dalek.

The Master hoped that the Dalek using that word had given the Doctor a double coronary, because it had certainly come very close to doing so to him.

A small, muted version of the Dalek tracking noise echoed through the shadows of the museum. The Master, terrified and sweating, peered into the darkness. He could almost feel the Doctor nearly vibrating with horror as he stood, immovable, between what was coming and Rose.

The Dalek finally emerged from the shadows and the Master could only stare in utter horror. "What in the hell is that?" he demanded.

The Doctor looked at the foot tall Dalek and exclaimed, gleefully, "Think that's two wrongs makin' a right!"

"But that's impossible!" the Master shouted, throwing Diana off in his haste to scramble to his feet, which she vociferously protested and tried to rectify immediately. He made one mistake in that. He failed to take into account the fact that he was dealing with a terrified, fish-out-of-water Dalek that was already a good solid distance out of its drippy little mind before he shrank it down to the size of a corgi.

The Dalek took one look at his rapid motion toward it, sized him up, and pronounced, simply, "Exterminate."

This time, in the Master's distraction, the Dalek finally managed to shoot him.

It was all very strange after that. The tiny Dalek's weapon had been powered down in exponential proportion to its size. Effectively, the foot high pepper pot had been able to only stun a full-grown Time Lord at point blank range.

Rose Tyler had adopted the damn thing as a pet. Diana was wholly and vocally against it, and even the Doctor didn't particularly care for the idea, for all that he would concede that the reduced death – now stun – machine had saved his wife's life.

The Doctor had decided that the Master's TARDIS would be remote paralleled to his and hauled off to some undisclosed location, while the Master himself would remain a TARDIS-bound prisoner. "Oh, goody," he'd drolly pronounced this idea. "Uncle Master can read the kiddies bedtime stories about Morbius and Omega and Salyavin."

"Was a good sort, the Professor," the Doctor had said of that last, Salyavin, who had also been known as Professor Kronotos. The Master had grudgingly been forced to agree, if only because he'd once tried to recruit the man to help him conquer the Universe and been treated to a blast of the old man's power. He'd found himself in a Turkish prison with no recollection how he'd gotten there.

"You don't mind if I come, do you?" Diana had asked. "Only, I've nothing else to do, anyway, and I'll be glad to help you keep this one in line."

"Admit it," the Master had teased. "You just find me irresistibly attractive."

They'd had a bit of an argument, which had really gotten the Master's blood flowing. "She's certainly better than that one little git, what was his name?" the Doctor had asked.

"Adam," Rose had supplied. "Ran off back home to his mummy over those Scowlifon thingees."

"Even you were sick," the Doctor had teased.

"Yeah," Rose had agreed. "'Cuz only you had the nose plugs!"

The good-natured banter had continued for a few moments, and Diana had dredged up a pair of handcuffs from somewhere. The Master was required to make crude comments the entire time she tried to put them on him. It was a law.

Then, suddenly, Rose's labor went from slow and mildly painful to quick and excruciating. Her water broke, leaving a large puddle spreading across the floor of the alien museum.

The Doctor leapt into action, shifting gears with blinding speed from saves-the-planet to delivers-the-baby. He got Diana to open the doors and carefully led Rose inside. He even allowed her microscopic Dalek to follow him, probably only because he couldn't figure out how to electrocute it.

The distraction was all the Master needed. He found that either Diana was also resistant to his hypnosis, or he was abysmally out of practice. However, he could still physically overpower her. While the Doctor was getting ready to bring the next generation of persons-the-Time-Lords-would-hate into the world, the Master decided to take Diana (since he was chained to her) and quietly slip away.

It was only when they'd already taken off that he found out she'd let him. He knew that because she now had him handcuffed to his own control console and was telling him so.

"Don't get me wrong, I love the Doctor and Rose a lot," Diana said. "It's just sometimes, someone really deserves something awful to happen to them, and the Doctor hardly ever sees it that way."

"Don't be too sure," the Master said. "Besides, how's your being with me going to help you show him that?"

"Oh, it's not," said Diana. She smiled for the first time since he'd met her, and the Master was utterly enchanted. "It's just, I used to work for the most powerful and dangerous megalomaniac the human race has produced to date." She shrugged artfully. "He disappeared without a trace. It was never explained, but everyone who survived took one lesson from the whole situation."

The Master waved a hand, let her talk, amused by her antics and admiring of her nerve. He'd already decided that he was the only person who had the right to kill Diana, and that he wasn't going to be doing it. She was just a little too… fantastic. "Well?"

"Bad things should happen to bad people." She grinned over the console at him, studying the controls in a very obvious attempt to learn them. "I've decided to be the bad thing that should happen to you."

"Kinky," the Master decided happily.

Diana snorted at him. "You wish."