Disclaimer: Don't own Doctor Who, or the season 5 episode "The Lodger". The Master is my muse, though - how this turned out is entirely his fault! This will be the only disclaimer - I see this as a very long oneshot, it's just split into chapters to make it easier to read.
Warnings: Not much worse than the original episode, really - the semi-nudity, possible slash (*gasp*. Nah - nothing actually happens - it's just a possible interpretation), people dying painfully and leaving a stain on a ceiling (yuck!). Perhaps a bit stronger this time 'round, though, and I briefly touch on social stigmas; and there's a few big dollops of angst courtesy of that AU element - so maybe a warning for Mood Whiplash? Enough for a T, I think, but probably a mild one.
Summary and Background: Basically, this is the whole of the season 5 episode "The Lodger" reworked with an added AU element - the Master. I started off writing a short little humourous thing for the very awesome Brownbug...and then I got a bit carried away and ended up doing the whole episode - so here ya go, Brownbug - my biggest plot bunny stew to date!
...And then I realized that I knew what I would do for every Eleven episode to date and my AU now had a whole backstory! So, the origins are as far back as "Silence in the Library", and involve Donna, River and Rose - but to cut a very long story short, the Master was saved at the end of "End of Time" but Ten still regenerated. We now have Eleven and Amy (and Rory for a while) travelling in the TARDIS with the Master, sticking more-or-less to the plot of season 5. It's not all happy, everything-solved fix-it, though. The Master still hears the drums, and he's still a bit messed up from that botched resurrection in "End of Time" - the Doctor's TARDIS helps with that, though, and they're both bonded to it now. However, it does mean that he needs to stay in the TARDIS most of the time - he can't survive without it. Amy doesn't know much about him, other than what she heard of his fictional "Harold Saxon" life, and that he's a Time Lord who calls himself the Master - she doesn't know about the drums, or what he's done in the past. She says he's insane, but she's not sure whether she's serious or not.
I've changed a lot of the dialogue from the original episode, so please don't point out that a line is wrong - it's intentional, as I am a strong believer that if you throw an AU element into an episode, things WILL change! Besides, it's more fun that way - who wants to read (or write) a blow-by-blow transcript of a whole episode with half the lines allocated to a new character? There's also an added twist to the whole cracks thing...but I shall leave you to find the rest for yourself! ;)
A rushing groan filled the air in the silent street, rising and falling as a solid blue shape gradually phased into view under the bare trees of the park. The TARDIS had barely finished materializing before the door was thrown open and the Doctor peered out, stopping short at the sight of the neat, red-brick houses and parked cars on a simple suburban street.
"No, Amy, it's definitely not the fifth moon of Cyndakalista," he said, thinly disguised disappointment lacing his voice. "I think I can see-"
"Oh, what a surprise!" a second voice broke in from inside the TARDIS, and the Doctor stepped out onto the lawn to allow the white-haired head of the Master to emerge and survey their surroundings. "You know, I'm starting to worry about that TARDIS of yours, Doctor – even she can't tear hersel- oof!" A jarring bang rocked the TARDIS and the door swung shut, slamming at the Master's back and knocking him out onto the grass. Leaves swirled around him as the wheezing of the capsule dematerializing began and the Doctor threw himself at the door.
"Amy!" he bellowed.
"The TARDIS!" The Master scrambled to his feet, but the blue box was already little more than an afterimage and in seconds was gone, leaving the two Time Lords staring with panic in their eyes at the empty space between two trees.
"Amy!" the Doctor was still shouting futilely into the air.
"Doctor – the TARDIS…we're stuck…"
"Amy," the Doctor breathed as if he hadn't heard. "Amy…"
Inside the TARDIS, Amy was thrown off her feet as the whole console room shook violently. White-hot sparks flew from the controls, fizzing showers that poured from the circuitry with every surge of the time rotor. Gasping with the effort, she fought to regain her footing, clinging to the handle at the bottom of the screen and pulling herself up until she could see the display.
"Doctor?" she called, gripping the handle tightly as the room tilted and swayed. "It says we're on Earth. Essex, Colchester." There was a final lurch and the room stilled, but the pumping of the time rotor continued and Amy realized with a stab of trepidation that she knew that pumping. "It's taking off again." No reply. Hesitantly, she released the handle and looked slowly around the brightly lit room towards the door, which was shut. "Doctor? Mister Saxon? Can you hear me?"
Outwardly, the house appeared fairly ordinary. Like the adjoining houses, it was a double-storey building of plain orange brick. Whitewashed wooden frames bordered clean, high bay windows and a red, wooden door. If it hadn't been for the voice, the young man strolling past with a backpack slung over one shoulder probably wouldn't have even paused.
"Hello?" it said. "Hello, please? Hello?" The young man turned his head from side to side, searching for the source of the voice, which was tinny and somewhat electronic sounding. "I n-need your help." His eyes fell on the small speaker beside the doorbell of the house and he approached uncertainly. As he passed through the open gate in the low brick wall and up the step of the short garden path, the voice continued. "There's been an accident. Please…help me…" Reaching the door, he examined the speaker, which had two buttons: 79A printed on a label beside the first and 79B scrawled beside the second in biro. As he waited, there was a buzz and the door clicked and opened a little way; bewildered, the young man pushed it open and entered the front porch of the house.
Inside, he found himself in a dimly lit landing which continued down into the rest of the house. Directly in front of him was a steep, straight staircase – the source of the light came from here and appeared to be faulty. Fizzing in and out, the single lightbulb failed to illuminate the features of a figure who stood at the top of the stairs, one hand on the banister, a wooden door cracked open at his back.
"Hello?" the young man called tentatively.
"Please, will you help me?" the figure pleaded. The voice sounded male, old, tired; the young man pushed the front door shut, squinting into the flickering gloom.
"Help you?" he echoed. "What's wrong?"
"Something terrible's happened," the silhouette replied without moving. "Please, help me." As the young man ascended the creaking stairs towards him, he retreated through the door behind him, leaving it ajar for the young man to walk through – and noiselessly, it swung shut at his back.