I bet I can get us to one of those, [the Doctor responds, and playfully bumps his hip into the Master's. Once the food is packed, he tucks the blanket into the basket, picks it up, and starts for the console, hovering by the Master's side.]
Oh no, no. That would defeat the purpose of the picnic I’m sure. -he replies as he smiles at his Theta, soon moving along to the console room with him.-
[Hands go into his trouser pockets to hide how bad they’re shaking.]
Fine. Then go, I’m not forcing you to stay. I’m certainly not trying to hold you back from anything, or keep you from being you.
[Silence again, and the Doctor still hasn’t looked back over to him.]
Do you love him?
Oh, come now Doctor. Don’t get like this…. and if you’re referring to who I’m thinking you are, then no. -said the Master, shaking his head slowly and staring down at his bare hands.- No, I don’t think I do. I’m too used to only caring for myself and going about things the way that I see fit. It’s the only thing that matters when it comes down to it. I’m sure you’d agree in your own way.
“Well, if you want a drink, we can go back to the hub.” Jack said. He didn’t really see a point in not bringing the Master there. He felt confident enough he could keep an eye on him. Besides, the hub sounded like a much better place than being out.
“I don’t feel like being around… unfamiliar people.” Jack said with a shrug. “I have a dart board set up down there. That’s nice and quiet. What d’you say?”
The Master considered the offer for a moment before accepting. “All right, I suppose that wouldn’t be so bad, though I really should only stay for about half an hour. I need to be getting back.”
He wasn’t exactly in the mood to go over his living arrangements right now. “I have my own obligations, you know.” he said in support of his initial statement before moving the side to allow Jack to pass him.
[He’s shocked into silence at first, but once it has time to set in, he’s not really all that shocked. Truthfully, he’d been suspicious of just this.]
[The Doctor swallows hard, looking at anything but the Master, and when his voice comes out, it’s quiet,]
I just explained that! -He said exasperatedly, not wanting to repeat any of it.-
Think about it. Some of your earliest “accomplishments” -airquotes- were made because of things that I’d done. We were the only ones who could ever be placed against each other and actually repel and accel at the same time. It’s almost as if we’re supposed to be that alone. What we’ve always been.
I’m…. bored. I hate this. -he said, gesturing at the scanner.- I don’t want to keep myself busy just so I can stay in your good graces. I want to be me.
[He also picks out a bottle of wine with ginger extract in it, and starts to pack the basket.] Would you be opposed to going to Gallifrey? [He asks gently.]
Of course not. -he said, a small smile coming to his face.- I’ve heard of other universes remaking the planet and actually resettling it as well. Not just leaving it as is. Odd, really. I’m not entirely sure I’d like that. -He’d love it.-
Master, what do you mean? You can tell me anything, no matter what it is. You don’t have to dress it up, or talk in riddles.
I’m not talking in riddles! It’s more than obvious that I’m telling you that I don’t think that I love you! -he said loudly, looking rather shocked that he’d said after the words had spilt from his mouth.-
“I thought you said you didn’t have anyone that cared about you or where you are right now.” Jack said, putting his hands in his pockets. “If they’re so preoccupied, you think they’re gonna notice you’re with me?” He asked raising a brow a little bit.
“I was thinking a drink. Maybe a game of pool.” Jack shrugged, looking to the Master, still not sure why he was even doing this. But the Master seemed more annoyed than angry or even hostile. Maybe it was just the idea of the challenge of breaking through that puzzle of a personality that was the Time Lord standing before him.
"I…." 'Fuck.' “I can’t say that I believe him to actually care about me.” he says, obviously ruffled from his words being punctured. “I don’t do public drinks, but perhaps I could wear gloves for billiards. Still, it would be noisy, and that isn’t what I was going for tonight.”
It truly wasn’t, and the Master almost invited the Captain along to the grocery store with him, but that wouldn’t do, would it? No, he had been hit at a bad time on a bad day. He was tired, and he couldn’t come up with a proper plan, and he was simply spilling information everywhere…. or were those just excuses? They probably were. “Why not go on your own and meet a few new mates for yourself?”
[This causes the Doctor to smile, almost shyly. He places a gentle hand on the Master's jaw and turns his face towards him, leaning down to sneak a brief kiss. Once in the kitchen, he releases him and starts for the refrigerator,] What kind of food should we bring?
You seem to enjoy anything with loads of preservatives, so I’d say bring your fish fingers and biscuits. I’ll take whatever’s fresh.
I’m going to go find a basket, I’ll be back in just a moment. -The Master then leaves the room and heads to one of the storage rooms.-
“I happen to be very popular at parties, thank you.” Jack said, continuing to follow after the Master. “Set plans are overrated. I had plans, and they involved people who are now gone.”
He didn’t quite know why he kept on following the Time Lord. When he thought about it, it really just was that he was lonely. He hadn’t talked to anyone in the past three days. “I’m… lonely. I could use some company. Sounds like you could to.” He really didn’t know why he said that, but it was worth a shot.
The Master stopped at the bottom and looked back, eyes squinted and trying to analyze what Jack was up to. “Life isn’t a party, it’s a funeral procession. I have people to return to…. a person. Even if they’re preoccupied, they’re still there." he said, easing up a tiny bit and looking around. “What did you have in mind? Another drunken bottle toss from the top of the building?”
[He tries to push away the nervousness churning in his stomachs, and places his hand over the Master's. They walk to the TARDIS, which opens with a snap of the Doctor's fingers, and they head to the kitchen.] It's nice to see you again, you know.
You are such a bloody show-off, you know that? -the Master comments as they enter the TARDIS.- It’s rather nice to see you again as well, though it hasn’t been all that long has it? I think I’ve seen you more now than I’ve ever seen you before. Ooh, I take that back. This is like being back at the Academy.
Dean shrugged at the Master, eyeing him with no particular incentive to intrude upon the TimeLord’s personal problems, whatever they were. “I’m just saying that we all have stories, and we’re all running from them, is all,” He replied. “None of us is exactly normal.”
He paused, then glanced towards the street where his car was parked. “Um…in this cheap-ass motel around the corner. I don’t think you’d really appreciate their…um, cleanliness standards.”
He felt rather confused, since he’d never really spent much time with the Master. At all. Why he was asking him now, and at a place where Dean was staying no less, seemed rather suspicious.
"I suppose that will do. Should we go there, then?" asked the Master, seeing nothing suspicious about his actions whatsoever. He had lived with this man and it was obvious that he cared about him…. wasn’t it? Perhaps he pranked him more often than not, but it was still done with knowing what he enjoyed and manipulating that fact. "You chose it, so it has to be decent enough I suppose. Or it’s close to a bakery." he added, giving Dean a smile before heading off down the street and around the corner, hoping that it was the right one.
Jack was stunned for a moment. He couldn’t believe his team would just up and leave him, not them. “They’d call me. Ianto would call me.” Jack said defensively. But how many times had he up and left them, no explanation, no reason given, not even a goodbye? Had they just finally grown tired of it, grown tired of the responsibility of their job?
When the Master started walking off, Jack wasn’t sure why he followed after him. Why, of all people, he would want to continue being in the company of the Master. “Bring everyone down? How do you mean?” He asked, trying to mask the slight hurt in his voice with a more stern, angry tone.
"What do you think I mean?” he yelled behind him as his pace quickened and he hurried down the stairs. His scars were pulling his skin oddly and it made him grimace. He’d need to use the lotion on them tonight. “Why would anyone want to be around you for very long? You yourself just said that you didn’t have your life under control and yet you expect people to just blindly follow you without a set plan!”
If the Captain had been monitoring him, then the Master knew what was going on as well. He’d checked in on him when he’d created the Master Race, and even if this was just another case of a merged universe, the man’s life couldn’t have varied that much.
You’re not evil, [the Doctor remarks, passing a brief glance at him.]
It’s an expression. I’d rather be stuck in here with you at this point because I know how you are. -he said in an agitated tone after rolling his eyes.-
Also, the fact that you’ve said that ruins my image. I’m supposed to be your equal, but I’m the equal that goes against what your idea of the universe is. We’ve always been that way and we’ve always tried to one up each other.
You’ve always won, and I end up with less and less. I started out alone by choice, but now I’m going to be alone by default. At least I’m used to it. -he’d just started to speak everything that he thought, and he wasn’t entirely sure if the Doctor would catch his drift or not.-
[Well, that hurts. Quite a bit actually, but at least it’s out on the table, so to speak. He can’t look at the Master, however, so he keeps his gaze trained on the wall facing them.]
You’re pushing me away.
[He falters, but continues,] If we lose this, that’s… well, no different than anything we’ve dealt with before. But can you at least try to hold onto our friendship? [The Doctor hates the very thought. Please, he can’t lose their friendship, too. Even if they go their own ways, a life this man isn’t somehow a part of isn’t a life he wants.]
-The thoughts he’d just contemplated popped up in his mind again and he wondered if the Doctor had snuck in without asking.-
We’ve never truly been anything more than that, have we? You can love friends. You can even simply desire to be around them because they’re an evil you know. -he admitted, eyes watching the other Time Lord’s every move.-
“Sorry I haven’t gotten a hold over this whole immortality thing. I’ve only been at this for a century and a half.” Jack said with a bit of a snarky tone to his voice. He turned around to look at the Master when he became defensive and raised his brows, holding out his arms.
“Hey, didn’t mean it like that.” He was tempted to add you’re much scarrier than the Weevils, but decided against it. The Master was the first familiar face he’d seen in days, and he suddenly realized he didn’t want to be alone. “You’re right, I’ve lost a lot of people. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel their loss when it happens, that it doesn’t bring me down. I can’t just pick myself up and go on that easily. I mourn.”
"One day you’ll lose the one person that you’ve finally let in after wanting to be left alone. When you find them, you’ll simply stand over their body and feel absolutely nothing." he spat, expression and tone dark. "You’ll realize that the only person that will ever care about you is yourself. Think about it. If they’ve gone missing and they haven’t even thought to call their leader, what kind of people are they? What if they all wanted out and simply left you?” questioned the Master as he glared daggers.
"Perhaps it’s because you bring everyone down." he continued, turning to descend the stairs and head off to the shops before they closed.
Jack looked at the Master for a few moments, fuming. He knew damn well that the Master had been in and about Cardiff. Of course he knew, he monitored that kind of stuff, even more closely than Toshiko sometimes. But he wanted somebody to blame for this, he needed someone to blame. However, he also knew that if the Master wanted to be hostile, there were a million different things that the Time Lord could do besides kidnap his team.
He gave a frustrated growl and chucked the bottle out into the air, hearing it shatter as it hit the street. He turned away from the Master and looked out into the night. “My team’s gone and I don’t know what to do.” He admitted it slowly, his voice rasping in his throat. “I’m sorry. I’m grasping for a reason here. You’re as good of a reason as a random Weevil attack.”
"Such a waste." murmured the Master, regarding the liquor that was now spilt on the ground floors below. "You lose people all the time, I’m sure. If nor every day, then every few decades. No one can remain when you continue to live on. That’s why you avoid beings that aren’t like yourself. Everything becomes short-lived and a diversion." he said as Jack’s actions sent tiny pinpoint memories flying to the front of his mind. He shook his head and looked down. "Hold on, did you just compare me to scum? I’m not just your little trample mat you know! So you’ve lost three or four bloody people! I’ve lost hundreds. There’s not a being in the world that cares if I’m happy or content right now, and I’m not going to put up with abuse from you. Not tonight.”
Castiel looked at the Master, confused by the hand on his shoulder, never having experienced a compassionate touch from the Time Lord and his wings twitched nervously.
Looking into his eyes, the half-Angel saw the offer was sincere and he opened his mouth to accept the offer but paused taking note of the voices that were rabbiting in his head. They weren’t too bad at the moment but his back was aching terribly from his new limbs and there was an ache in his chest from his still freshly burning realization that he was alone right now.
Father knew he wanted to prove himself, to Dean, to his brother and sisters in Heaven, that he could manage on his own but here he was, barely a day in and already crippled by a damned grey-face.
So he opened his mouth to agree, just for while, just until he could find his feet, just for now and he’d prove himself soon just right now he couldn’t be on his own. He couldn’t.
He had meant to convey all that as he spoke but what he said was completely different.
“I let Dean go.”
And it suddenly struck him just what he’d done.
A sigh escaped the Master as his hand rubbed Castiel’s shoulder. “I know. I’ve just come from him. The Doctor’s on a vacation of sorts, so it’s only the kids and I in there.” he told the Angel before him, making the details as short as possible while still explaining the situation.
"I have to say I was rather surprised that you two parted ways," the Time Lord started, unable to find a suitable way to finish it that wouldn’t agitate the man more. Those were his thoughts though. He jumped to what he knew would antagonize and manipulate, and yet when he’d been around someone much too long, these traits remained. It was no wonder he’d always worked alone.
"You can always go back, you know. Tell him that you were wrong. I wouldn’t but you’re not me.” he said with a scoff. “I can’t even tell him how I really feel about him. Don’t do what I’ve done, Castiel.”
“You’re funny alien man, but yes I normally dress like this. It’s called a fashion statement. Do they not have those on your planet? What am I saying of course you don’t. That Doctor wore a suit and converse together.” She quipped. If he talked to her after that then she’d be impressed.
"Mm…. he calls it geek chic apparently, but look at me! At least I fit your time period. Just because I’m not running around in doilies and poorly made items from Top Shop doesn’t mean that I’m not fashionable. Besides, what is fashion other than something to make money from. What’s wrong with wearing a jumper from ten years ago if it still fits and looks decent enough.”
“Appearance, of course. If the others believe, it’s better to merge with them and move as one until you find where you need to be.”
[The Doctor just watches him, debating to himself if he should press the subject or not. But he knows from experience if the Master doesn’t want to discuss something, he’s not going to discuss something. And really, this is typical. Ginger never opened up to him either.]
Do you need some help? [He asks in reference to the scanner, deciding to let it go after all, and walks over to the Master, settling at his side.]
Mm…. no, it’s just rewiring. It’s a one person job, really. -he replied, pausing to watch him for a moment. It was all right at the moment, but anything could tip what they had. He didn’t want it to be his wimpy indecisive words. Plans were what he was good at, and until something truly meshed with what he was doing, there was no need to voice a single concern.-
Are you all right? Is there something we need to go do?
“Don’t give me that.” Jack snapped. He really was not in the mood tonight. “They’re gone for three days, no trace, no word, no reason for them to go, and then you just suddenly show up?” He said, shaking his head. “Too much of a coincidence. What’s going on?” He stood with his feet spread apart, his arms crossed in front of them, gripping the bottle of whiskey tightly in his hand.
The Time Lord glanced at the bottle in his hand, and pulled himself up. He might be shorter than the Captain, but he was certainly cleverer, better trained and better prepared. Those were the things that mattered in his mind and his hand moved into his coat pocket the grip his laser screwdriver just in case there was going to be a disagreement. “I’ve been showing up. Multiple times, and it’s not just a coincidence. It’s quiet up here and it’s a clear night. You’re not the only one who finds solace in those two things.”
Jack had already had a small bit to drink, just a small buzz floating around in his head as he stared up at the sky, wondering if his Doctor was ever going to be on his way back. If he’d just get here, and take him away, maybe he could forget for a while that those closest to him were all gone.
Then he heard the voice, and stood up quickly when he turned around and saw the owner of that voice. “You.” Jack said, pointing at him with an angered look on his face. “Did you do something with my team?” He asked with a tension to his voice.
"Now why would I do that? Think about it before you accuse me. What could I possibly be doing that would require me to send your team off…. again? I had a reason the last time, and it worked if you’ll recall.” he said, continuing for him until he was within a few steps of the man.
It had been three days since Jack had awoken, alone in Torchwood 3. Ianto, Owen, Toshiko, Gwen, even Rhys… they were all gone. For three days, and there was no explanation for it. He’d been to all their houses, he searched all over Cardiff. No sign of struggle in any of their houses, and no one around Cardiff had seen them.
And what was worse, the Rift had become very active. And here he was, without his team. Jack felt almost lost. He’d been without a team before, sure, but he always had known what happened to his to make them go away. It was almost like the people he held closest to him had just all… disappeared.
He sighed has he sat on top of a parking garage, a bottle of whiskey in one hand as he looked out over the city. It was a quiet night, for once, and he just wanted to drink, away from the hub, away from everything familiar for a while. He hadn’t even noticed the dark figure on the garage with him.
The Master had insisted on stopping in Cardiff for about an hour or two. He’d used the guise of needing to go to the shops, but it really only took him about twenty minutes to get what he needed. The rest of the time was spent on walks or looking over the city if it was clear enough. He was in luck tonight.
He made his way down the street and around the corner, then turned and went down another and another, making his way to a rather tall building in the area with a pleasant enough expression. Time Lords simply didn’t have a childhood, but it didn’t mean that he couldn’t make up for it now. This incarnation seemed to be drawn to looking at expanses and contemplating in the silence, as sounds seemed to overwhelm him rather quickly. It was most likely that reason that assisted in his downfall, but he wasn’t in the mood to think about that right now.
Typically he found places to be alone, but as he made his way to the top, he saw that this was not going to be such a place. His expression fell until he saw the person’s head turn and reveal its profile for a moment as it scanned the city. He knew this face, and so he quietly moved over to the being. You wouldn’t want to startle someone that close to the edge would you? They’d fall right off the building…. and with this man you’d just have to go down, apologize, and continue what had been started.
"Hello, Captain." the Time Lord said, his smile restored.
I’m a bit busy repairing this scanner at the moment. They never hold up for very long, and I can’t keep getting new ones, can I? -he offers up instead of the true issue, as he’s not entirely sure that it would go over well. Especially since the Doctor had finally seemed to have gotten over the last time he’d attempted to take over the universe.-
*The first thing she became aware of was the throb in her head. How it was a little difficult to draw breath out, but agonizing to draw it back in. Then the scratchy dryness of her throat. The swelling pain in her jaw was so terrible she wanted to rip it off, and finally the ache and heaviness in her limbs.*
*Trying to open her eyes was agonizing. The Light seemed to want to stab into her brain. Finally slowly her became aware of her surrounding and movement to her left. Survival screamed at her to opener her eyes to see the potential threat.*
"Luna, are you all right?" he asked, frowning as she seemed to be having difficulties. He moved from the room and borrowed the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver so that he could scan her with that instead. It wouldn’t be able to help, but perhaps it would find something…. and indeed there was definately something. He’d need to repair the scanner or simply get a new one, so off he went to New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New Earth to do so.
Jack thought for a moment more before finishing his drink in one long gulp, slamming the glass down on the desk. He stood and ran a hand through his hair. “Okay. All right. We could use that kind of help. Go ahead and start now. I’ll join you.” Jack said, walking towards the archives, expecting the Master to follow.
“Not that I don’t believe your intentions, I just want to see what you know about some of this stuff we’ve still be puzzling over.” Jack said as he looked over his shoulder at the Master.
The Master hadn’t quite seen the glass being slammed down and jumped ever so slightly. He had been busy reading the Gallifreyan symbols that were sketched on the paper. Was that really all it was? There had to have been more. At least he hoped so.
After the Captain regained his attention, the Master did indeed follow him. His hands were still fisted inside of his sleeves, and a sense of uneasiness followed him until they were well past the tunnel that he knew to lead to the cells. He didn’t want to end up in there again.
"Mm…. well you have Humans working for you. Even if they’re geniuses they’re not going to know the origin or the mechanisms to make them functional. Their brains weren’t designed for the universal." he responded as he followed the man along into the archives.
“The Gwen with the five kids?” Jack said, the thought still making him chuckle. Well, if the Master knew her and she worked with him, he couldn’t be all that bad. He’d always been able to trust Gwen, apparently any version, even if she did have her own secrets. She had them for good reason, just like he did.
“Well, we are a little behind on our archives.” He said with a shrug, pouring himself a drink. “I think the artifact is somewhere in the hub. I just haven’t been able to find it.”
“Exactly, if you don’t know what’s down there and nothing is organized, how can you find what you’re looking for?” the Master reasoned. “I’m not going to offer again, Jack, but I can start immediately. Just think of it. I’ll be kept busy and occupied, my mind too bogged down to properly plan anything, and you’ll know that I’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. You also know that I know what all of that junk is down there, and yes, most of it is junk. Useless bits and bobs of broken machines and items, but every now and then, there’s something interesting and I’d let you know.”
“Well, as far as I know, she doesn’t have it.” Jack said with a shrug. “I think it’s somewhere here, but I haven’t managed to track it down yet.” He looked at the sketch again, wishing someone who saw him disappear from the hub could have told him what happened to it.
“Think you’ve got a way to track it down?” He asked, reaching into his desk to pull out a decanter of scotch and some glasses. “Drink?”
A smile started to come to the Master’s face, and as much as he’d enjoy a drink he certainly wasn’t going to take one from him. Who knows where any on the glassware had been? “No thank you on the drink, but might I offer my own services? I could go through the vaults and repair and catalogue everything. If I find anything of use, I’ll make it known to you. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Gwen Cooper I saw you speaking to earlier. I’ve worked for her,” he stated, “unless you don’t think it’s here, but elsewhere.”
It was best to keep him thinking that he’d look for it with the Captain’s interests in mind. Whether or not the man would end up with the box was a completely different story.
“TARDIS….” *She sighs and relaxes. Only making a small sound of discomfort as the liquid burns its way down her throat , before slipping back into dreams for the next few hours as her body fights off the virus.*
The Master kept coming back to check in on her every half an hour, change out the hand-towels, re-tuck her in, and so on. Part of him felt like such an idiot. There wasn’t any need for this, but then again perhaps their was. Gaining trust without hypnotism might take a lot longer, but it was seemingly getting him the same result. He was truly worried about what was happening to his image. Power was something that he wanted, and the universe was something he desired, but how could he do it like this? It agitated him, but at least Luna should be all right.
-The Master glared at the Grey-face as he recalled the time of his life where nothing was truly in his control. The drums made everything seem logical and he’d fallen harder and farther than he ever had before. In a way, that was why he had taken to enjoying cleanliness so much now. If everything was clean, it was not the Wasteland. In that way, he could convince himself that he would never fall like that again. He would be the Master and everything would work for him and be all right. The Grey-face’s fate was easily decided as it had ruined his rather good mood.-
[not sure if room should be made or if she should flee.]
-The Master continues to look at the blanket pile with the Humanoid features staring back at him for a few more moments, then turns and slowly walks away from the area. The being would be left in peace for now if it so wished.-
Dean listens to the Master carefully, thinking about the Doctor and his lifestyle with him. It was true. The Doctor pretty much lived the life of a hunter, and most hunters only lasted twenty years at the most before they dropped dead. Imagine hundreds of years. With an attitude similar to his own, the TimeLord must’ve been ragged. Way overdue for a long rest. He remembered back to their first adventure together, in which the Doctor faltered at the controls of the TARDIS before looking for black-market memory drugs…
“He deserves it,” He said, looking towards the Master. “He’s helped enough people, and nobody ever thanks him. So…he deserves it.”
He furrowed his brow at the Master’s last statement. “…None of us are taking care of ourselves well, if you think about it.”
"I suppose he does in the manner that he’s been going on so long without a true pause." he said in agreement to what Dean had started, only to frown at the next bit. "I’m not entirely sure what you’re hinting at." he started, wanting the Human to tell him what seemed to be wrong with him. He shook off this want within a few seconds, as he reminded himself that he wasn’t there for that.
"Are you staying anywhere near here?" the Master asked, the tiny bottle with a single pill hidden safely in his pocket. Dean would sleep, even if he had to force him to. There wasn’t a Human alive that could stay awake after taking Retcon. With any luck, he wouldn’t even remember that the Master was the one who’d given it to him. The man would simply awake and the Time Lord would have been long gone. "I could use a drink, and I can’t really trust the places around here. You know how I am." he continued with a smile.
That was a voice he recognized and his eyes flickered open to show the clouded sky above him. With a grunt, Castiel slid a hand beneath his chest and pushed himself up off the ground, hissing in a breath through his teeth as the bones in his new appendages shifted, clicking into place.
“Who is it?” he called out, not even considering that it might be someone who wished him harm. “Who’s there?”
Shakily getting to his feet, the wings sagged, almost as though they were attracted to the ground and he attempted to flex the muscles slightly, hissing again at the stiffness of the new muscles before slowly turning around, his eyes going wide when he saw the familiar blue box and the man stood there watching him.
“Master?” He went to take a step forward, but his leg half gave out and he ended down on one knee. Sometimes being a weak-ass half-Angel was unpleasant.
As the Master watched him shift, and try, and fall, his hearts tugged. For a moment he wasn’t on Earth, he was at home on Gallifrey. His son was running towards him after he’d gotten back from a shift and the child had stumbled and fallen after trying so hard to reach him. Sure, the reasons and circumstances were very much different, but it was the movement that had triggered the memory and that alone was enough for the Time Lord to feel compelled to quickly step forward towards the Angel and kneel beside him. His arms gently moved out to hug him, yet he faltered, the vision becoming reality instead of memory, and he ended up rubbing his shoulder instead.
"You’re more than welcome to come back in the TARDIS for a while." he offered, eyes still wide with concern that he just couldn’t hide. The Time Lord knew it hurt and he knew that Castiel wasn’t all right. Asking would only add insult to injury. If anything needed to be said, it would be brought up.
Jack sometimes forgot how much was truly lost. He didn’t want to think about it, didn’t like to think about it. Knowledge was something Jack craved. That was another reason he wanted this artifact. He didn’t know what it was, or what it did, but he would have it, especially since it was in his grasp once. Seeing the look in the Master’s eyes when he was finished speaking, Jack again didn’t press anything. The Master’s words were dark and bitter. Clearly something that the man needed to get out, but not necessarily something he needed a response to.
“Well, then, we better find it before it falls into the wrong hands.” And by ‘wrong hands,’ of course, Jack meant anyone’s but his. He’d had fun traveling through time, what would it be like to travel through other realities?
"As long as this ‘Guardian’ is a Time Lord, then the item is already in safe hands. The name seems to be something that is more or less comforting, especially for a secret that great. I’ll be commending her unless I’ve misunderstood something.” the Master commented, wondering just how safe this object would be in Jack’s hands. How many other treasures laid in these particular vaults? He had never found much as far as Time Lords went. Only Rassilon’s gloves, a few dozen distress call messages (which were not in the least comforting and he’d taken half days when he’d found them), and bits of old TARDISes had been found in others. He’d kept all of them, of course. He was the one cataloguing the things, so all he had to do was replace them with a harmless replica.
Jack raised a brow as he watch the Master ramble on, pause, and then ramble on again. He knew that look in the Master’s eye. Something happened between him and someone close. It was a look Jack had many times in his own eyes.
When the Master changed the subject back to the artifact, Jack didn’t push on the Time Lord’s previous words. Some things you didn’t push for until you knew someone better, and he clearly didn’t know the Master as well as he thought. “I think it might have something to do with all this. Owen and I were arguing over what to do with it, and the next thing I know I’m on D-an’s TARDIS. Then I’m back here somehow, and we can’t find the artifact. After that, I started meeting all these people from other realities. It’s too convenient to not be connected somehow.”
The Time Lord sighed out and considered if he should bother telling him. Yet he’d gotten older, more tired, decided that the Oakdown line was done, and now waited for the full end to himself. The day he could return to Lady Death and rest in her arms for eternity would be a good one. He had nothing to lose, especially after what he’d already shared. No one else remembered because everyone was dead.
"When the Time Lord Empire was in full reign, all of the universes bowed down to what we had organized. Time Lords could travel in between them and track what had happened in each of them. We kept records, and we analyzed and drafted and mapped them all. Everything was known by the time the Doctor, and our friends, and myself had graduated. We were to uphold it and Gallifrey stood in the direct center, proud and eternal, but when the Doctor created the Time Lock…. well that ruined everything for everyone in every universe. Our secrets, our technology, our people, our culture, and everything we’d accomplished and learned and taught was gone." he said, eyes going cold for only a moment, expression like a child left all alone for much too long and the panic was starting to set in.
"It’s notes on how to jump between universes, essentially." he concluded, now staring at Captain Harkness with a vacant look on his face.
[It hit Gwen that he was being serious about being burned. She remembered the Doctor mentioning it, but she didn’t even think he was being serious when he had, at the time, brought it up- if that ever were to come a day] and I get a few hours of this. How long was it before you could get a hold on working yourself properly. and getting everything down so well? [God, she had questions. The smells around her, whirled around. It was like her senses were on crack]
We were trained until the age of about two hundred, so you might not be able to learn much, honestly. -He smiled at her from across the table, pleased that she was interested in learning while she still carried the Academy’s gifts.-
I could assist you with something simple if anything starts to bother you. -he offered. There was multiple reasons why they were taken away at the age of eight and kept within the Academy. Sensory overload was certainly one of them until they could control everything moderately well around the age of thirty. It was a little different for everyone, but they all moved along in the same classes eventually.-
“I thought so.” Jack said as he watched the Master look over his sketch. “I couldn’t recognize it, though, so I thought it was pretty old. And yeah, a Time Lady. She called herself The Gaurdian. D-an for short. Nice lady.”
When the Master asked about why it was important, Jack shrugged and leaned back. “I don’t know what it means, and it’s an alien artifact that I’ve lost. I’d like to get it back, and find out what those markings mean because I’m curious.”
"Could be anyone really. People still graduated from the Academy and went renegade after I was sent out after the Doctor. I chose my title mainly because I wouldn’t…." the Master paused. He hadn’t wanted to turn his Theta in. Even if he left and denied him, his feelings for him would last oh so much longer than he’d ever wanted them to. Regardless of how they seemed to be fading now that he was allowed to be around him as much as he’d always wanted. Waste of a life.
"Every renegade chose a name for themselves, keeping their true name a secret until death. Other names were given at different points in life, such as going to the Academy, which was the school that trained Time Lords and gave them their gifts of regeneration and multiple tongues…. not in the way you’re thinking.” he said, realizing what he’d said and shooting a glare at Jack. “Why this artifact, though? Why do you need to know what it says?”
Dean held his hand up to the Master, indicating he was fine. “No, it’s okay. I’m good on the water. A resort, huh?” He chuckled. “I can’t even imagine that skinny guy laid out on a massage table, sunglasses on, without the suit, without the suit, even. Too…un-Doc for me.”
He shrugged, “Yeah, well, that’s all good for Cas, he needs it. But, I don’t do well with the contemplation thing. Nor the silence. So I avoid it.”
The Master pulled his hand from his pocket and laughed slightly. “Yeah, well he’s a bit too stressed. There are a number of things he might not have told you, one of them being his memory. Time Lords are made to no more than about ten thousand years. Divide that by the rough living of a renegade like him, and you’ve got less than half of that. Always moving, always running, always fighting, and hiding, and never knowing when your next full meal or rest will be, and never wanting to burden anyone with your needs really gets to you. Especially someone like him. Always travelling, and practically living out of that thing. That’s not what TARDISes were grown for. Plus, you know how he lives and acts. He’s not going to take something if it’s not there or he’s not desperate. Essentially, a normal Time Lord was rather sedate, I suppose. We were trained to know and be bloody walking encyclopedias.”
His expression from being pleasantly happy to one of concern and seriousness. “From what I’ve heard, he’s not the only one that hasn’t been taking care of himself.”
“Seemed things started to happen here when I found this artifact.” Jack said. “Or at least, things started happening to me.” He said with a sigh, rummaging through his desk now. He pulled out a sketch pad and flipped it opened. “Don’t know what happened to it after I ended up tumbling into a Time Lady’s TARDIS. It’s not here anymore, that’s for sure.”
He flipped open to a page and pointed out a sketch he made. It was a small, metalic cube with strange symbols carved on the sides. Bellow that, all six symbols were sketched out, looking both scrolling and angular. “I don’t know what to make of them.”
The Master frowned as Jack started to dig through his desk, and retrieve out the bound papers. He pulled his hands into his sleeves and reached out for the sketchbook as the page was revealed, pushing it towards the light. “It’s Gallifreyan.” he said, almost in disbelief. “Wait, did you say a Time Lady?” he asked, looking up at the Captain. “Also, why take these down? What’s so important about them?”
I shouldn’t be so fascinated with how my body is working right now, but- damn, this is actually quite lively. and the backups are always nice. I feel like ‘m ready to run a marathon with this new feeling. [Putting her menu down, she knew what she was getting.] This is the best anon, bar none.
-The server soon came and took their orders, then returned with their drinks.-
You really should be, actually. The marvels of the Time Lord Empire. The technology was designed to even integrate with our bodies. It’s in our clothes, our belongs, our ships, our homes…. or at least it was. It took a lot of work to design it and make it functional. That’s why we have to be burnt. -he said, looking at her in all seriousness.-