A/N: Slightly AU in that SimmMaster isn't at the end of the universe. And I don't know what happened to the Yana regeneration.
This was (mostly) written and conceived at the same time as another of my stories, Two Months. I've got a bit of writer's block on a sequel to that, so I found this and finished it and figured I'd post it. Its plotline is not in any way connected to Two Months.
Please enjoy. =)
"Hold that button, Rose, just keep pressing it until I fix the computer!" shouted the Doctor over his shoulder as he dashed down the hallway and through an enormous set of double doors. He knew what to do, he could save the whole planet from the Vervian Robots, if only he could just move fast enough….
The massive supercomputer filled half the room. The Doctor pried off one of its panels, exposing the immensely complicated wiring inside. He shrugged off his overcoat and tossed it to the side so it wouldn't get caught on anything before delving deep into the circuitry. The space was an incredibly tight squeeze, even for this lanky body, but he managed to wedge his shoulders between two of the hard drives and crawl through. The sonic screwdriver buzzed as he fused and spliced different wires, every so often sparing a glance at the just-visible monitor outside, which displayed the security camera's view of where he had left Rose. She was still holding the button, valiantly keeping the Vervian Robots at bay with the force field, but the force field wouldn't last much longer. Already the Vervian Robots were beginning to break through. If he could just…
"Oh, this is clever," muttered the Doctor to himself, puzzling over the mass of tangled wires. He hadn't thought this planet was capable of this technology. Pushing himself to work even faster, he fiddled with the hard drives, rearranging the code.
"And….there!" Triumphantly, the Doctor turned back to the monitor. The Vervian Robots had frozen, their circuits sizzling, mere metres away from Rose. Another enemy defeated, another planet saved! Oh, he was brilliant….
Piece of cake, thought the Doctor as he extracted himself from the computer. Piece of pie? Cheese? Banana? Banana cheesecake? Anyway….no more blood on his hands. Now all he needed to do was fetch his coat, meet up with Rose, and pick a new destination before the locals started asking about paperwork. He never had gotten around to taking her to Barcelona….
As he bent down to pick up his coat, his body seized as a volt of electricity surged through his back. With a cry, the Doctor collapsed, unable to control his own violently twitching limbs.
A laughing figure loomed over him. Through the pain, the Doctor dimly recognized the voice, though he'd never heard it before….No….
"Can't believe you fell for that one! You're getting rusty in your old age."
"Master?" the Doctor gasped, doubled over in pain.
"Doctor," the Master acknowledged. With another flick on the laser screwdriver, the Doctor writhed with a fresh scream, his body jerking as if it was having a seizure. "I see you've regenerated. But then, we both have. Young and fresh!"
After a moment, the Master turned the screwdriver off. Mostly paralyzed, the Doctor took a deep breath and asked, "You're alive! How did you survive the Time War?"
"When no one else did, you mean? What, are you upset you didn't do a thorough enough job?"
"No, I had to – you weren't there, you don't know…"
"The Time Lords revived me to help them win the war, guard the Cruciform. They thought I'd be the perfect warrior for a Time War," the Master sneered, "But I had no intentions of being used, and I hid. I meant to go far, farther than any Time Lord had ever traveled, but I was stranded on this stupid waste of a planet instead. So I stirred up the locals….I know you love solving these little problems. But I'm not going to let you get me to just talk until the paralysis wears off."
The Master yanked the Doctor's limp arms behind him and bound them together, jerking on the cord until the Doctor could feel his fingers losing circulation. Once that was finished, the Master snatched a fistful of his hair and forced his eyes to look into his own.
"So tell me then, Doctor….do you have any friends running around? Or," he dealt a kick to the Doctor's ribs, causing the Doctor to gasp for air. "Are you alone?"
"I'm alone," the Doctor lied, grimacing.
Each word was punctuated with another kick. "Where's – your – TARDIS?"
The Doctor swallowed painfully. "Master, look, it's different now, we're the only two left! All we've got is each other – "
"You don't get it, do you?" he yanked harder on the Doctor's hair, "If they're all gone, then there's no one now – no one to undo the paradoxes I create, no one to stop me from subjecting planets and systems – the whole universe! No one to chase me through all of time and space – "
"Doctor?" Rose called distantly. He opened his mouth to shout a warning just as the Master delivered another jolt with his laser screwdriver straight to the Doctor's throat. Again the Doctor seized, but this time his cries were silent.
"You little liar!" the Master hissed and kicked him in the ribs again, causing the Doctor to give another gasp. "Well," the Master stage-whispered, a grin slowly spreading over his face, "I'll bet she knows where your TARDIS is. And here I was planning to take you for a trip. She'll do."
The Doctor's eyes flickered in fear, and he tried desperately to run, to beg, to fight, to shout, to do anything. But he couldn't move, and the Master was untying his tie and plucking up his overcoat and dragging him towards a storage cupboard. The Master dropped him in the dark cramped space, stepped out, and locked the door shut behind him.
Tied, silent, and still mostly paralyzed, the Doctor could only listen as Rose neared the Master.
The Master was groaning. "Help me, I've – I've regenerated…." The Doctor's hearts skipped a beat. The Master had put on his coat and tie – if Rose believed him, if she took him to the TARDIS….
"Oh! Are you alright? Are you sick? What happened?"
"I don't know – shot from behind, I've only just come to."
"What happened to the Vervians? Are they going to come back on?"
"Oh, they're sorted! Roasted them all with the magnoretric ion ray and a dose of tri-gamma radiation."
"Are you sure you're okay?" The Doctor could picture the look of concern on her face, how she'd bite her lip uncertainly. He tried desperately once more to shout, or at least move to bang on the door, but his throat was utterly useless and his body refused to budge.
"Yeah, yeah, just my head….I was hit in the head I think, my memory's all fuzzy…."
"Well, what do you remember then?"
"Well…I'm the Doctor. And I need to find my TARDIS. And you are…." He paused, pretending to remember. The real Doctor twitched his fingers as some feeling returned to them. C'mon, if he could just bang on the door or something…
"I'm Rose." She sounded immensely disappointed.
"Rose," the Master lingered on the name, "Rose, Rose, wonderful Rose….How could I forget? Now do you know where we parked the TARDIS?"
"Just over….hold on."
There was a brief pause. "And what do you need a stethoscope for?" Rose must have found the stethoscope in his coat pocket.
"Just a minute, I have to check…." Oh Rose, fantastic Rose, that was brilliant, but it wouldn't work….
"Oh, right. Good thinking." The Master chuckled. "Anyone could just walk up and claim they were me."
There was a pause while Rose listened to the Master's heartbeats. The Doctor tried yelling again, but not a single sound escaped him. His fingers wriggled at their bonds, still useless for banging on the door.
"Two," ascertained Rose, "Sorry, just had to check, you know."
"Perfectly alright. You smart little girl. Now where is the TARDIS?"
"Over by those vending machines with the funny green drinks, remember?"
The Doctor silently, pointlessly, desperately screamed as he heard Rose leading the Master away.
Over the next few minutes, as he regained feeling in his limbs, the Doctor struggled and thrashed until he had freed his feet and began kicking the door frantically and yelling. He had to get out now, before the Master took off with his TARDIS and Rose. Who knows what havoc the Master would wreak with the TARDIS…but the Doctor was certain he'd abandon Rose somewhere first.
Hope, the Doctor believed, was a brilliant emotion. But after five solid minutes of kicking, hopelessness began to creep into his exhausted limbs. Eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds had passed. The Master was long gone by now. Even if the Doctor managed to get free, he had no way of catching the Master if he'd transported to some other place or time. He was stuck here…and Rose was stuck who knew where.
With one last desperate kick, the Doctor finally gave up. The TARDIS was gone, and Rose was probably abandoned on some barely habitable planet in some remote time, if not worse.
The door opened, and the Doctor winced as the light hit his eyes.
"Fantastic! I found you!" exclaimed an all-too familiar voice with a Northern accent.
"What?" cried the Doctor, gawking. "WHAT?"
The Ninth Doctor stowed his small beeping device in his leather jacket and extracted the sonic screwdriver. "Have you out in a mo. Can't believe I finally found another Time Lord! How did you survive? I was so sure I was the only one left – never been happier to be wrong! Doesn't happen that often, you know….Mind telling me why you're staring?"
The Tenth Doctor, although no longer tied up, hadn't budged. "What are you doing here? I don't remember this!"
"What am I doing here? Trying to track down any other Time Lord in all of time and space. What are you doing tied up in a cupboard?" He frowned. "Hold on….Oh, no…"
"Oh yes!" Ten exclaimed, a grin creeping onto his face. "I'll explain on the way to your TARDIS."
"This way," Nine helped Ten to his feet. "Which one are you then?" he asked as they ran down the hallway.
"You're saying I'm the one who turns into….into – "
"A dashing bloke with, to borrow your word, fantastic hair?"
"A pretty boy," Nine finished.
"Oi, who you calling pretty boy? At least I've got hair! And normal ears!" He stretched his ears out for emphasis.
Nine scowled. "Where's your TARDIS then? Why are we using mine?"
"You haven't been following me all over the universe; you've been following the Master."
"He's back?" said Nine in disgust. "Of all the Time Lords in the universe – "
"And he took the TARDIS and Rose."
"Rose? We have a companion? After all the horrible things we did, you dragged her into this?"
"No, you did," Ten retorted. "Apparently you haven't met her yet. Where are you anyway? What have you been doing?"
"Let's see….Went to Galatea – bit slimy, but nice people. Long as they don't catch you cheating at cards….oh, I met Emmeline Pankherst. Stole my laser spanner – the nerve of some people, can you believe.…Then I was going to go off to 35th century Mars when the TARDIS detected another Time Lord, so I started tracking him."
They rounded a corner and froze in their tracks as they came face-to-face with one of the tall, green, and freckled inhabitants Ten had just saved. "Doctor, so glad I found you!" cried the alien, hoisting up a heavy load of paperwork in his tentacles.
"So sorry, must dash!" Ten flew past him in a blur, scattering a few of the papers in his wake.
The alien held out the stack of paperwork to Nine hopefully.
"Fill those out for me, will you? Thanks." Within seconds, Nine had caught up with Ten.
"Mars?" huffed Ten as both Doctors pounded down the hallway, "That's wrong. After Emmeline I was headed to Shuria to replace the spanner, but then the Auton invasion popped up and I went to go sort it. That's where I met Rose."
"So I'll be meeting her soon, then?"
Arriving at Nine's TARDIS, Ten pushed his way past Nine into the console room and immediately started pushing buttons. "Hopefully, you can meet her right now. Hold on, locking onto my TARDIS…"