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Title: Out of the Howling (part 10/12)
Authors: goldy_dollar & _thirty2flavors
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Ten II/Rose
Genre: Angst, drama
Summary: Six years after Bad Wolf Bay, Rose gets a message from another universe.
Excerpt: “Oh, don’t flatter yourself. I don’t want this. I don’t want you.” Everything was stirred up now — his anger with the Master, with himself, his grief at having Rose ripped away from him — and it shook in his voice, low and angry. “You know, I was actually happy? Really, properly happy. For once. And you took that away.”

Previous parts: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9


At first, Rose didn’t move. The once-overwhelming drumming in her head had been replaced by the echo of her own heartbeat in her ears, thumping in sorrow as she stared at the empty spot of grass where the Doctor last stood. Minutes passed as she sat there, frozen, unwilling to move when she knew it meant moving on.

Again she found herself thinking of Norway, how that first goodbye had cleaved her in two. She remembered the sobs that had left her throat raw, and how she’d run to her mother’s arms for comfort, and the way that somehow, despite it all and everything the Doctor had said, there’d been a part of her that hadn’t accepted it as the end.

This time was different. Her cheeks were dry, and there was nothing left in her but a yawning emptiness. She’d been hollowed out.

Methodically she began to power down the Dimension Cannon and seal up the walls between worlds once again; it was like watching herself move from behind a hazy screen. If she thought too far ahead, too many steps ahead of what she was doing, the weight of it all was crushing. Instead she focused intently on each part of the process, blocking off the world around her –  a technique she’d had to perfect in the months after she’d first come to this universe, and one she knew the Doctor himself used often.

And it was that singular focus that allowed her to look –  really, properly look –  at the calculations on the screen. As she stared at the frequency the Doctor had given her for several seconds, a frown slowly formed on her lips.

Something wasn’t right.

- - -

The Doctor had never travelled by Dimension Cannon before. Not unlike a vortex manipulator, it involved a split-second of discomfort followed by a queasiness that left him feeling light-headed and shaky on his feet. Immediately on arrival the disc he was holding burned in his palm, and he dropped it to the ground as it started to spark.

It was meant to do that; he’d designed it to do that. Nonetheless, he watched his last connection to Rose burn out with a heavy sense of regret.

One-way ticket, he reminded himself, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. No sense looking back now.

“Where the hell are we?” demanded the Master beside him, and for the first time the Doctor looked up to take stock of their surroundings. The sun was high in a cloudless sky above them, beating down relentlessly hot, dry air, and everywhere around them were endless pristine sand dunes. “Is this a desert?”

“Well,” said the Doctor flatly, “it’s not a waterpark.”

The Master sent him a withering stare and shook his head. “Unbelievable. You realize we’re going to have to walk to civilization?”

The Doctor shrugged. Every feeling he’d suppressed for the last couple days was crashing into him all at once, and the result was an exhaustion that went beyond two days worth of sleep deprivation. Rose is safe, he thought, over and over again. Rose was safe, and that was the only thought worth having.

“Do whatever you like,” he replied, crossing the few metres towards the nearest upswing of a sand dune.

The Master was momentarily speechless, gawping at him from above like he’d grown a second head. And then: “What?”

“Go ahead. Walk.” The Doctor settled himself down against the sand, laying back against it. Even through his clothes the sand was uncomfortably hot. “I don’t care anymore. I’m bloody tired.”

Still the Master appeared dumbfounded. In some twisted way, it was comical.

“You’re telling me I can just walk away, and you’re gonna stay here. In the sand.”

“Yep.”

“I don’t buy it. There’s no way you’d let me wander off unsupervised by choice.” The confusion on the Master’s place was overtaken by suspicion, his eyes narrowed as he tried to work it out. “Unless…” The puzzle pieces slipped into place. “Unless there is nothing for me to find.”

The Doctor lifted his hands and clapped, slow and deliberate. “Oh, well done, I thought that revelation would take at least an hour.”

In a flash the Master crossed the distance between them and grabbed the front of the Doctor’s shirt, teeth clenched.

“Where are we?!” he snarled.

The Doctor allowed himself to be lifted up without much resistance or concern while he pretended to contemplate the question.

“Well, let’s see. Atmosphere’s about seventy-eight per cent nitrogen, twenty per cent oxygen, bit of argon, some carbon dioxide. Single G-type main-sequence star in the sky. Gravity’s about nine-point-eight metres per second squared… I’d say this is Earth.” He looked from left to right at the vastness of the sand. “A lifeless Earth, mind, but still Earth.”

He punctuated that last bit with a hammy smile, and the Master scowled, tightening his grip on the Doctor’s shirt. The fabric of the collar was uncomfortably taut around his neck.

“Get us out of here.” It was practically a growl.

“Or… what, exactly?” The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “Hmm? What are you gonna do? Kill me? You can’t blackmail me, there’s no one around for you to hurt.” He laughed. “I’d say you’re a little out of your depth.”

A quick series of emotions played out on the Master’s face, finally landing again on anger. He threw the Doctor back into the sand and stalked a few steps away, confirming what the Doctor already knew; he was out of his depth.

Propping himself up by his elbows, the Doctor decided to enjoy having the upper hand while he still could. “You didn’t really expect me to lead you to the TARDIS, did you? After everything you’ve done? Come on, you’re cleverer than that.”

The Master whirled around, incredulous and furious.

I’m cleverer than that? What about you? What’s your get out of jail free card? You can’t stay here, you’ll starve in a week.”

The Doctor lifted one shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. “Nah, I reckon dehydration will get there first.”

There was a beat of silence as the Master stared at him. And then: “You’re insane!”

The Doctor snorted. “Oh, said the pot to the kettle!”

But the Master was shaking his head, eyes wide in surprise and anger.

I’ve never stranded myself on a dead planet on purpose!”

“I did give you options.” The fleeting moment of victory at the Master’s expense was being rapidly replaced by anger as the reality of the situation set in. “I’d have helped you, I would’ve. But you, you always have to make everything so difficult—”

Lost in his own rant, the Master barrelled on. “You’ve always been an idiot, but this –  this is next level.” Then it was as if a light went on over his head, and he narrowed his eyes, one hand raised in accusation. “This is what you’ve wanted all this time, isn’t it?”

What?”

“You’ve wanted me as your prisoner for years! A dead planet, is that your idea of alone time?”

A bitter laugh bubbled up from the Doctor’s chest.

“Oh, don’t flatter yourself. I don’t want this. I don’t want you.” Everything was stirred up now –  his anger with the Master, with himself, his grief at having Rose ripped away from him –  and it shook in his voice, low and angry. “You know, I was actually happy? Really, properly happy. For once. And you took that away.”

The Master rolled his eyes. “Oh, please, that was not happiness, that was Stockholm syndrome. You’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole you don’t even recognize how pathetic you’ve become.” His expression turned vindictive. “But you did quite a number on her, didn’t you? I saw it in her head. So sad, so heartbroken. Ready to die in your arms rather than live without you.” He scoffed. “She’s probably topping herself right now. Quite a pair, the two of you.”

“Rose is stronger than you know,” the Doctor bit out. “She’ll be fine.”

But still he felt guilt slithering in his stomach. Rose would spend the rest of her life not realizing what she had really meant to him, and the knowledge made him sick. She deserved so much better than what he had been able to give her, in the end.

The Master was all too aware he’d found a weak spot.

“Is that how you get rid of all of them?” he asked. “I’ve always wondered. Do you tell them they’re not interesting anymore and shunt off? That’s good.”

The Doctor shook his head and looked away. This was dangerous territory to tread, and not something he had any desire to discuss with the Master.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I bet they feel so worthless once you’re done with them. Give them a taste of time travel and then stick them back in their pathetic lives—”

The Doctor clenched his jaw. “You’re wrong.”

But Rose’s stricken face swam in his mind, biting back tears over their kitchen table. He thought of Martha Jones, walking away because of all he’d put her through, of Sarah Jane in Aberdeen—

“When I get off this planet,” the Master carried on, “I’ll kill her. You realize that, right?”

“Oh, come on. If you figure out a way to get off this planet and back to another universe of your choice without imploding yourself in the process, you’re going for the TARDIS, not Rose. Even you’re not desperate enough to get revenge on a dead man.”

The Master’s scowl deepened. “I will get off this rock,” he insisted.

The Doctor shrugged. “Well, probably, yeah, you usually do. But not with my help.”

Whether he’d run out of scathing words for the moment or had decided to save them for later, the Master made no reply. He plucked the broken disc out of the sand and began turning it over in his hands, and the Doctor sat back against the sand. The disc was useless now, but if it kept the Master preoccupied for the time being it was helpful enough. Closing his eyes, the Doctor took a deep breath and did his best to relax. Rose and her world were safe. So was the TARDIS. He’d done the best he could.

Nevertheless –  and perhaps it was the heat, growing worse every second, or the exhaustion, or the fact that his last proper meal had been well over twenty-four hours ago –  he couldn’t shake the sick feeling in his stomach.

He didn’t have long to dwell on it before the Master laughed, sharp and snide.

“Oh Doctor,” he sing-songed, “your dead planet has a spaceship on it.”

The words jolted the Doctor upright in a flash.

“What?”

No, there couldn’t be. Torchwood’s report had been very specific. There was no life on this Earth—

“Over there,” the Master pointed. “Top of that dune.”

Heaving himself to his feet, the Doctor squinted into the distance, shading his eyes with one hand. Sure enough, off in the horizon something large and metal was glistening in the sun.

The Master laughed again, an irritatingly triumphant sound.

“Stay here and rot if you like,” he announced. “I’m going to investigate.”

Not so long ago, the Doctor reflected, the idea of an unknown spaceship on a dead planet in a parallel universe would’ve had him giddy with excitement. Now it brought him only a bone-deep weariness. If there really was a spaceship, he couldn’t let the Master have it to himself.

With a sigh he trekked after the Master across the burning sand.

As they got closer, the metal shining in the distance had resolved into shape: large and flat and smooth at the front, with a long tail stretching out behind. Then, once they were only a few feet away, the Doctor grimaced, clamping a hand over his mouth and nose.

It wasn’t a spaceship.

“Oh, it reeks,” announced the Master, and then, equally redundantly, “Is it organic?”

If the unmistakable smell of death hadn’t given it away, then the bits of dry and rotting flesh and bone stretched between the strips of metal would have. Whatever it was looked to have been dead for some time, but without any life on this planet to make a meal of it, the body was relatively intact, untouched by even flies or maggots.

Nonetheless, it did nothing to calm the Doctor’s already uneasy stomach.

“So much for your spaceship,” he said.

The Master snorted. “So much for your dead planet.”

While he stepped forward to investigate the body, the Doctor stayed back, wrinkling his nose. “I don’t think that’s from Earth.”

“Came here somehow, didn’t it?” Pacing around the perimeter, the Master studied the body curiously.  “No tracks leading up to it, front half’s a bit buried… I think it crashed from above. You ever seen one of these before?”

“Flying metal stingray? No.” The Doctor watched the Master touch the head of the body and turned away with a noise of disgust.

“Come on, alien corpse on the wrong planet and you’re not even interested?” He heard a distinct tone of disappointment under the snort of disdain. “You have changed.”

A humourless chuckle bubbled in the Doctor’s throat. “You may not have noticed, but I’ve been having a really shit week.” He took another look towards the Master and the creature and rolled his eyes. “What precisely are you hoping to find in a rotting body, anyway?”

“It’s half metal,” the Master said, like he was talking to an idiot. “Maybe it’s a cyborg. Maybe there’s still working tech in here. Maybe it’s got a connection to whatever ship brought it here in the first place.” Then he smirked. “Plus, you could always eat some when you’re starving later.”

The Doctor wasn’t sure which was worse: the suggestion itself, or the reality that in a few days’ time it might not seem so outrageous. He curled his lip and shook his head, walking back down the dune.

“Have fun with your corpse. I’m gonna make myself comfortable.”

- - -

“Comfortable” was an exaggeration; there was no getting comfortable here.

The sun beat down relentlessly. The only break in the stifling air was a breeze that carried with it the sting of sand. Damp already with sweat, the Doctor’s shirt clung to him, and though he covered his face with his arms as best he could, his exposed skin was burning. His tongue felt like sandpaper in his dry mouth, and the emptiness in his stomach was becoming painful.

Curled up on his side against the sand, he found himself hovering somewhere between sleep and consciousness. Too uncomfortable to rest properly and too weak to do much else, he sometimes heard the Master’s voice without registering any of the words.

It was not, all things told, the sort of end the Doctor had ever imagined for himself.

As a proper Time Lord he’d never given more than a theoretical thought to his own death; he’d accepted it as a potential consequence of travel, and there’d been a fair share of close scrapes, but with the trick of regeneration up his sleeve, death had, for the most part, been a concern he spent on other people.

As a human, suddenly death had become so much of a reality as to be overwhelming –  and he’d adopted the widely-accepted human coping mechanism of not thinking about it all that much. He’d allowed himself two hopes for the inevitable: that it was as far away from the present as possible, and that Rose was at his side, safe and well.

Neither of those seemed to be on the table anymore.

At least Rose was safe. Whether she was well was up for debate. At the moment she was heartbroken, callously betrayed by the person she loved most. Like the Master, he’d felt it in her mind, all that pain and hurt and anger he’d left as the only talisman of their relationship. He had hoped that in time that anger would help her, that resenting him would be easier on her in the long run than missing him, that it might even open the door for someone else, someone who was nothing like him, someone who could give her the stable human life he’d taken from her when she was nineteen.

Now he worried that he’d miscalculated, cut her too deeply. Even Rose Tyler’s heart, impossibly big though it was, must have its limits.

But she’s alive, he told himself firmly. He clung to the thought like a security blanket. Alive was a whole realm of possibility unavailable to the dead, and however horrible Rose might feel now, at least she was around to feel it. If that was to be his last victory, he’d take it.

Perhaps that itself was selfishness anyway, to believe his actions could have such an impact on Rose’s strength and resilience. In truth there was a side of him that almost longed for it; he thought of all their time together fading to nothing but a bitter memory in her mind, and his chest ached. A future where Rose Tyler no longer loved him wasn’t a future he wanted to see.

Not that he would.

Time staggered by, and even the Doctor lost track of the hours. The sun slipped down behind the horizon, taking the heat with it. In the initial relief he caught an hour or two of sleep, until he woke up shivering. Resigning himself to wakefulness, he climbed to the top of the dune, turned his back on the Master and sat, hugging his knees to his chest.

The night sky was as cloudless as it had been during the day, and with no other light source to interfere, the view of the stars was spectacular. Studying the constellations was a game of spot-the-difference: a star here or there that burned too bright, or a star gone before its time. It wasn’t exactly an alien sky – after all, this was Earth – but it was another universe, and there was something remarkable in that, despite it all. This was further from home than he’d expected to be ever again.

Home. Even thinking the word felt like twisting the knife. And that was so human, wasn’t it? That longing to go home. It was something the Doctor had never really felt before. Even after the Time War, the idea of Gallifrey had been far more alluring than the reality. Now he wanted nothing more than to be back in the bed he’d shared with Rose, listening to her gentle breathing.

A cool breeze made the Doctor shudder, and he squeezed his eyes shut, rubbing the tops of his arms. There was no use dwelling on it, he knew – all he was doing was making it harder on himself. Looking back was a mistake; he’d learned that much as a Time Lord.

He heard footsteps approaching behind him, and without turning, he said, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I haven’t died yet.”

"You won’t last much longer," said the Master, with his typical sneer, but the Doctor detected a hint of underlying fear in his voice.

He doubted the Master was all that concerned for his wellbeing, and the Doctor wondered if it was something more primal rising to the surface: the fear of being alone.

"Only you would develop a grand plan that involved suicide," the Master carried on. He sniffed. "After you die, I’m going to eat you."

The Doctor sighed and with a bone-deep weariness, turned around to face the Master. He supposed he should have known he wouldn’t be left to die in peace. The Master was holding a few bits of metal – likely what he had salvaged from the stingray – and staring at the Doctor with a peculiar expression on his face. The Doctor found himself reconsidering his earlier assessment. Maybe the Master was concerned for his life after all.

He found himself saying, almost defensively, “I’m still part-Time Lord. I might last longer than you think.”

The Master raised his eyebrows skeptically. “You won’t last another two days,” he said flatly. He paused. “There might be water somewhere. Food. We could build shelter.”

"There’s nothing," said the Doctor. "I did my homework." He gestured to the metal in the Master’s hands. "You and I both know it will take you years to build anything workable with that. Never mind the fact that you’re stuck in a parallel world." He paused, and then drawing it out, he said, "On your own."

The Master’s eyes darkened and he chucked the bits of metal down on the ground. The Doctor couldn’t help but feel a perverse thrill of victory that no matter how much the Master hated him and wished him dead at the moment, the prospect of being without him was even worse. It still ached to remember the Valiant, the Master in his arms, refusing to regenerate, choosing his own death just to hurt the Doctor.

Now the Master would know how that felt.

The Master made a noise that sounded like a growl of frustration. He threw up his arms and turned around in a large circle.

"I didn’t come back from the Void for this.” His voice turned more pleading. “I’ll waste away here.”

The Doctor snorted. “You’ll survive. You always do. And when your body starts wasting away, you’ll regenerate. You could last hundreds of years here.” He managed a tight smile. “Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to spend the last few hours of my life in peace, hmm?”

The Doctor didn’t know if it was the prospect of hundreds of years on his own or something else, but the Master’s eyes suddenly took on a wild, mad quality.

"No," he said harshly. "No. You are not going to die. You are not going to leave me alone."

He whirled around, as if there would be something in the distance that would be the key to saving the Doctor’s life, when there was a bright flash of light and a clapping noise, like a  snap of thunder. The Doctor instinctively brought his arm up in front of his face, the light burning against his eyes. His heart jumped in his throat. He recognized the noise, the light.

The Dimension Cannon.

He lowered his arm, his feet like lead weights and rooted to the ground. Spots danced across his vision and he blinked his eyes rapidly, his heart pounding as he waited for his eyes to readjust to the darkness. Where the light had appeared, there was now another person, about forty feet from where he and the Master were standing. For a few wild seconds, the Doctor wondered if this was his end, if the dehydration and hunger and heat stroke were making him hallucinate.

Rose,” the Doctor croaked.

The Master recovered from his shock first. He grabbed one of the bits of discarded metal, brandishing it like a club, then glanced back at the Doctor. His face was close enough that the Doctor could see the smug thrill of victory in his eyes, and the look sent a chill down the Doctor’s spine.

Then the Master began to run. It took the Doctor another few moments to push himself up, to force his tired legs to begin moving. Finally, with great effort, he chased after the Master, his feet scrambling over the sand as he tried to keep his balance.

Very quickly, it became obvious to the Doctor that he would not be able to catch the Master. The Master had a head start and he had barely suffered in the heat of the day. Cramps tightened in the Doctor’s abdomen and his legs. It hurt to breathe. A sick feeling pooled in his stomach. If he couldn’t catch the Master, if the Master got to Rose first… what would have been the point? After everything, how could it end like this?

He could feel adrenaline begin to pump through his system and he put on a burst of speed, heart now beating wildly in his chest. He found himself yelling, “Rose, run! Get out of here!”

But she didn’t move. As the Doctor drew closer, he could see why. He could just make out the outline of a large gun strapped across her body. He could tell the Master saw the gun at the same time as he did because he immediately came to a stop, body twisting awkwardly as he tried to stop his sprint and change directions. Rose lifted the gun, almost serenely, like this was just another Torchwood mission, like she hadn’t just appeared out of nowhere on a dead planet Earth in a parallel world.

"Rose, NO—" he found himself yelling and at the same time, the Master dropped the piece of metal and raised his hands, shaking his head.

"Come on, we can work—"

But whatever the Master was going to say was drowned out in a roar of the gun firing. The blast struck the Master square in the chest, flinging him back a few feet where he landed heavily against a sand dune. He groaned, once, and then went quiet.

The Doctor stared open-mouthed at the Master’s body, his brain sluggishly trying to process what had just happened. Rose closed the distance between them.

"Doctor?" she said, almost cautiously, like he was skittish animal. "Doctor, come on. We’ve got to go."

He turned to look at her, his mouth still hanging open. She still had the gun strapped across her body.

"You killed him," he found himself saying, hoarsely.

"Yeah," Rose said. Her voice was hard, like she was daring him to argue. "Yeah, I did. Now are you gonna let me finish saving your life or not?"

The Doctor glanced back at the Master’s body, somewhat reluctant. He’d thought he wanted nothing more than to be rid of the other man for good. This was the man who had hurt Rose. Who had tortured her for days just so the Doctor would suffer.

And still a part of him was reluctant to leave the Master behind. Not like that. Not dead and splayed out in this godforsaken planet.

"Doctor," Rose tried again. She sighed, and with something that sounded like frustration, she said, "He’ll regenerate. We shouldn’t be here when he does."

The Doctor forced himself to nod and he turned back to Rose. Some of his shock seemed to fade and he really and properly took her in for the first time. He felt a great breath of air whoosh out of him at the sight of her. She looked… healthy, and strong, and there was a familiar steel of determination in her eyes that he absolutely loved.

"What…" he began. His throat constricted with emotion and he was unable to go on. He had been so careful, thought he had hidden his calculations perfectly, thought he hadn’t given Rose any reason to think he was doing anything other than following out the Master’s plan. He had honestly expected he was going to die without seeing her again.

But she had figured him out, just like always.

Rose’s smile was small and a little sad. “You’re not as clever as you think.”

"Suppose not," he managed.

The adrenaline from earlier was beginning to fade. His limbs felt heavy and weak, but his head felt light and dizzy. He swayed slightly and then sank to the ground, his hands going out to break his fall.

"Oh my God, Doctor—"

There was so much concern and worry in her voice that his eyes started to sting with unshed tears. Little by little it sunk in that she was here, that she would take him home, that he might not have lost her for good after all. She bent down to help him, and he raised an arm, reaching blindly for her.

And her huge gun was in his way.

"Rose," he found himself croaking. "I just… I need…"

He didn’t even know how that sentence was going to end, but Rose understood. With a soft “oh!” she unstrapped the gun and dropped it to the ground. The Doctor rolled to his knees and wrapped his arms around her, face pressed against her abdomen. At first she stiffened, then relaxed, one hand smoothing down his hair.

The simple gesture unleashed the torrent of emotions he’d been fighting back for days; he opened his mouth to apologize, to tell her how much he loved her, to tell her how grateful he was that she was there, but all that came out was a sob. Another followed on its heels, and then he was crying in earnest, shoulders shaking, his fingers clutching desperately at her shirt.

"It’s okay. I’m here," Rose murmured. She smoothed a hand over his cheek, wiping at his tears, and then gently pushed him back so she could crouch down and face him. Her voice cracked. "I’ll always find you again, yeah? That’s what I do."

Despite her words, he could see hurt and sadness in her eyes, and he knew that was his fault.

"I’m sorry,” he choked out, voice thick with tears. “Rose, I’m so sorry."

"I know." She managed a tight smile. There was a beeping noise and she glanced down at the yellow disk hanging around her neck. "That’s the Dimension Cannon. It’s ready to take us home again." She swiped her thumb over the Doctor’s cheek, brushing away the last of his tears. "We’ll have time to talk later."

Rose crouched down to pick up the gun, hefting it over her shoulder. Then she held out her hand to pull the Doctor to his feet.

"Hold on tight," she said.

The Doctor nodded and then glanced over at where the Master’s body had fallen. Rose pushed down on the travel disk. The last thing he saw was a glimmering yellow light beginning to envelope the Master’s body.

Chapter 11

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ibishtar
Oct. 10th, 2014 03:17 pm (UTC)
Oh good, now I can breathe again.
When the Doctor first told Rose those things I hoped it because it would help trick the Master when he looked into her mind rather than because the Doctor thought the parting was inevitable and he thought it might make it easier for Rose if he gave her a reason to resent him. When it was revealed that he had a plan, but it would involve him dying, I figured it was to lessen the hurt and also because Rose wouldn't let him do it if she had an inkling he was planning to die. So I appreciated all these things being explored in this chapter; the Master taunting the Doctor with the hurt he saw in Rose's mind and the Doctor wondering whether breaking her heart would be better or worse for her in the long run.
I've enjoyed the introspection throughout the fic, but especially in this chapter. The descriptions of the hurt that Rose and the Doctor were feeling were really well-written, and his reaction to seeing her again was great. I was also touched by the Doctor finding a moment to enjoy the slightly different sky of that universe, whilst trying not to think of home.
The Master regressing into a murderous, vengeful psychopath just as he's beginning to show concern for and care for the Doctor was very true to form. I feel your frustration, Doctor. I thought you did a great job portraying him. The contrast between the Master's reaction at arriving at the desert and his jubilant reaction to Hyde Park (grass! sky!) was great.
Looking forward to the rest!

Edited at 2014-10-10 03:22 pm (UTC)
_thirty2flavors
Oct. 11th, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
It's so nice reading your reviews and getting the sense that you're picking up on all this stuff we're putting down, even little detail-y stuff, it's really great. :D

Yeah, the Doctor's motivations here were kind of a combination of all those things, which if it isn't clear yet will hopefully become clearer in the next chapter. It is admittedly not the greatest plan he's ever conceived of and I think he'd be pretty aware of that, but if it accomplishes the two main objectives of keeping Rose and the TARDIS safe so be it. And Ten in particular always seems sort of insecure about whether his influence in people's life is positive or negative, so I think when it came down to it he'd be quick to decide that Rose would be fine if not better off without him around anyway. (I don't think Rose would agree.)

I'm glad you liked the bit about stargazing! And the introspection. I worry sometimes that it's too much since there are certain schools of thought re: writing that you shouldn't ~tell the reader what the character is feeling, but... lol it's what I like to write and read, so eh.

And it's really nice to hear that you liked how the Master was written because I think we both found him really difficult to write, although I did have some fun in this chapter with him and the Doctor really going in at each other. Their relationship can be really hard to pin down and sometimes it felt like a struggle to get quite right. The Master especially lends himself to cartoonyness really easily.


Thanks again!


ibishtar
Oct. 14th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad, because the impulse when writing a review is to go "OMG that happened!", which would hardly be new information for the writer XD
Yeah, that bit of writing advice by Chuck Palahniuk that goes around is the sort of thing that would make one a bit insecure about one's writing, but although it's nice to keep in mind, it's not something that would suit every occasion. I mean, imagine Hamlet without the introspection. Sorry, Chuck, but I'm gonna side with Shakespeare on that one. I think in this fic the introspection is needed and is very effective.
Hmm, I would have thought Cloen would be past that whole insecurity about whether he's a good or bad influence. In Ten's case is because he does uproot people's lives completely, whereas Cloen has merely slotted himself neatly into the life Rose had already been leading for years. I think he wouldn't ever think that Rose would be better off without him in any way. The conundrum would be if she'd deal with losing him forever better if she knew that he'd be just as heart-broken about it or if she thought that it's what he wanted anyway. Looking forward to what Rose has to say on the subject.

Edited at 2014-10-14 06:30 pm (UTC)
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