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All That You Can't Leave Behind, 1/1

Title: All That You Can't Leave Behind
Fandom: Doctor Who
Spoilers: Through finale of series 3.
Characters/Pairings: the Master, mentions of Yana/Chantho
Rating: PG
Notes: Title stolen from a U2 album (I don't really listen to them, but the title fit).  Written to be a companion to "Drink to Moving On," but stands just fine on its own.


It wasn’t the first time a woman in love with him had fired a gun in his direction. How many people could say that?

As much as he enjoyed disregarding his human disguise as oblivious and rather daft, only a complete idiot wouldn’t have recognized her feelings for him. No amount of ingenious circuitry (and he had to admit, the footprint drive was pretty brilliant, even for a dormant Time Lord) warranted the furtive, infatuation-soaked glances across the makeshift laboratory targeting him for seventeen years. Had he been in his right mind, he supposed he could have twisted that harmless adoration into something more corrupt and apt to serve his ends, the sort of manipulation he later managed with Lucy, but unfortunately the Professor was decidedly more benign than he and had chosen to ignore the insectoid young woman’s interest in him.

It was a pity, the Master had decided. She’d been pretty enough, no less than the apes he’d surrounded himself with in Downing Street and, later, the Valiant. If only he could have convinced her to follow him, she’d have been a most useful pawn in his grand scheme.

That was all, he told himself. That was the only reason for her rather annoying presence at the back of his thoughts, occasionally distracting him from the joys of world domination. For the memories of her timid smile and lilting speech that invaded his dreams sometimes. For the inexplicable clenching in the base of his stomach— was this what guilt felt like?— that struck him most inconveniently in the midst of his grandest moments of deviousness.

Her eyes, too, kept popping up when he least expected them; with the manic delight that would spark in his wife’s eyes, he’d suddenly recall the joyful sparkle that used to greet him after a breakthrough on the engine. Only that day, when he’d had Martha Jones on her knees, staring defiantly at him as she unraveled all his plans, the only thought in his head was of a very similar look, one full of fear and determination, that had shortly preceded his last regeneration.

He’d hated her then. Why couldn’t Martha have been the one to shoot him the first time, so that he might have been joined in this brilliant-if-brief rule of his by his faithful assistant?

In that moment of recognition, he’d realized that, once again, he would soon be trying on a new voice.

Only, because of his own foolish pride, it now appeared that he wouldn’t be trying anything on anytime soon, perhaps ever again.

The Master let his eyes flutter closed, and found that his last thoughts weren’t of the willowy wife who’d shot him, or even of the Time Lord who was currently cradling his fallen form and sobbing, but of a pair of soft, dark eyes, shiny blue skin, and a kind voice, with her “Chan” and her “Tho,” lulling him to sleep