Patience: Chapter 9

The Doctor rose easily, no longer fearing that the Master would in some way be hurt. He walked slowly towards him, before kneeling down again. The Doctor tried unsuccessfully to untie the Master; his hands were shaking too much. He felt Jack's warm arm on his shoulder as Jack pushed him to the side. As the Master was freed, Jack and the Doctor both stood up and looked at each other.

"I'll be seeing you around then, Doctor," Jack said. The Doctor nodded as Jack slowly walked away back through the large wooden doors. The Doctor turned back towards the Master, holding out both his hands. The Master paused, uncertain of what to do. He gripped onto the Doctor's outstretched hand and rose, moving slowly closer to the Doctor as he stood, their faces almost touching.

"No matter where you are," The Doctor's whisper broke the silence. "I will always love you."

The Master allowed himself to smile. "I know, Theta."

"But how do you know?" the Doctor replied, he was surprised as the Master used his original name. The Doctor was still uncertain about the Master's mood so was careful when asking him a direct question.

"Because I love you too," the Master smiled back. "You know this relationship could be the end of everything as we've known it."

The Doctor paused to consider what the Master was trying to say. "But I don't think we can continue on apart. We're getting older, Koschei, and at some point we both need someone we can reply on."

They stared at each other for a few moments more, before the Doctor allowed himself to lean forward and give the Master a long, deep kiss.