Oh no, here's more angst. It just won't stay away! Reviews are loved!
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who, though I'd be more than happy to own the Master.
He has always hated sleeping.
When he was young, the dreams were different. Sometimes they were sad and sometimes they were happy. Sometimes they were of his family and his people and other times they were of the planets that he visited, the shining civilizations that he saved.
But even when he was young, dreams of the dark past would worm their way into his sleeping mind. Visions of the dead, begging him to save them, asking why he didn't. Asking why he let them die.
As he aged, his dreams began to change.
He had fewer dreams of his family and more nightmares of the dead. His companions would never hear him yell and shout in his sleep, though it happened more often than not. He slept less often now, though his body was perfectly capable of going far longer without rest.
Sometimes he dreamt of the Master, black cape billowing and dark laughter echoing, mocking him and his many faces.
His many companions silently wondered why he always looked so tired.
When the Time War came, his dreams of his family and friends disappeared, replaced by a crimson Gallifreyan sky and murderous creatures inside metal machines, bent on the death of his people. He woke breathing hard, sweating ice.
It was when Rose came that the special dream began.
The first night that Rose stayed on the TARDIS with him was not fitful nor loud, as he was accustomed. The dream he had was a simple one in construction, but impossibly complex in meaning. He would dream that he was beside a soft white light, a strange feeling of kindness floating through the air. He could not feel his physical body, though it must be there to some degree.
Or perhaps, it was simply his mind. Yes, that made far more sense. His mind surrounded by an odd cloud of benevolence. The light did not speak, but only communicated through emotion. It was happy, that much he could tell. It seemed to be pleased at his presence and only that. It was a strange connection, one of mostly emotion and personality, rather than words.
When he woke the next morning, he felt energized and happily confused.
Many weeks filled with nightmares passed before he had the dream again. It was the same as before, his mind wrapped in a cloud of benevolence and happiness, utterly content in his company, as if that was the only thing it would ever want. He wondered just what this thing was. Was it an alien attempting psychic contact? Its friendship seemed genuine and he slowly came to rely on the dreams to keep him going, silent promises of another meeting.
Again, many weeks passed with Rose before he once more had the dream.
He had just regenerated and Rose had woken him up too soon. He had to rest, he needed it. He fell unconscious and let sleep take him.
This time, the dream was different.
The benevolent cloud of personality and emotions seemed more happy than usual. He wondered why, but it never answered him. It seemed to know that he had changed, but it didn't mind. It also seemed to carry an air of impatience, as if waiting for him to do something. Something important. But he always forgot the details the moment he woke up.
Time passed quickly with Rose at his side. He didn't have the dream again until the night he had lost her.
He had just saved the planet from the Racnoss and a woman called Donna from a cruel fate. This dream was different, it felt... sad. Sad because it had lost someone or some thing. He tried to comfort it and for the first time, heard a voice. It was soft, barely loud enough for his dreaming mind to grasp. "Please find me."
He woke with a start.
Martha's presence seemed to somehow suppress the dream. It only managed to appear once during the woman's stay in the TARDIS and it was still impatient. Happy, but impatient and determined. He knew it possessed genuine feelings of friendship for him, feelings that he gladly returned despite knowing nothing about what it truly was. There was not a twinge or suggestion that these feelings were romantic; he was pleased and felt... Safe. Safe for the first time in a very long while.
"Please find me."
He woke and immediately tried to follow the psychic link back to its owner, but to no avail. The voice had been louder this time. He had recognized the voice, but it slipped from his mind as soon as his eyes opened. It must be someone he knew from somewhere. Though it could have very well been someone who was already dead.
It wasn't until he had the dream while imprisoned on the Valiant that he realized it was a human.
The emotions he felt were muddled, a mixture of sadness, anger and hopelessness. They were stuck on this planet in the present day, people dying all around them. But it knew him now.
"Please save them."
When Donna returned, the dreams stopped completely. Strangely, this didn't bother him as it had with Martha. Donna simply felt different; she was more than happy to let him be himself, so perhaps these dreams of someone who accepted him for who he was were just that: dreams. Donna stood at his side, always saying exactly what needed to be said. She felt familiar, as if he'd known her all his life.
They traveled together and he was happy. There was no one to demand things of him, no one whose emotional attachments he had to ignore. Just a best friend, along for the trip.
He had the dream for the last time the night she left him.
He said goodbye to Wilf and Sylvia and flew away in his blue box. As much as he did not want sleep, his body required it. He spent many hours awake in bed before he finally slipped unconscious.
The human was there, but he didn't understand what it was trying to tell him. It was filled with an unimaginable sorrow and a loss so profound that it could not be explained with words, a loss that he also felt himself. It was... familiar, somehow. He knew this person. But how?
He heard the voice speak for the last time. "Goodbye, spaceman."
He shot into a sitting position, shaking with cold sweat. He stared down at his hands, realizing they were blurry because he was crying. The presence of the human stayed briefly at the back of his mind, comforting him before it finally disappeared.
He was thick. Ridiculously thick. Thick and stupid.
He held his hands to his face, still shaking. He should have known.
It had been Donna all along.