The Master's control has been pushed to the limit and just beyond in such a short time. Lets see if he's regained enough control of his instincts to keep from outright killing someone he doesn't really want to kill, shall we?
♦ For those wondering why the occasional personal review response appears in my author's notes, its not intentional since I'm simultaneously posting on AFF and they don't have a review response method. I don't always remember to delete them before posting it on TTH, since I answer them at odd times while writing.
The Master quickly glanced over the Doctor and Jack, noting that the Doctor had sustained far fewer injuries than some of the things he had done to his old friend over the years and that Jack was dead so wasn't a medical concern at the moment. "No." He practically snarled. "I'm not waiting."
"Yes, you are." Martha ordered as she ripped the improvised facial mask from her and practically forced him onto the third bed. "You've got a nasty bump on the head and clearly aren't thinking straight. I don't want to make it worse by giving you something or hitting you over the head to keep you put. I still don't know how much of a beating a Time Lord can take and just walk away from."
"Heal them, I'll deal with the threat." He retorted.
"What threat? Something exploded, we weren't attacked!" She asked in exasperation, that's when she noticed how dilated the Master's eyes had become and the fact that the pupils had changed from a circular form to slits. She thought [Oh, shit!] and switched tactics. "If you leave the room then whatever it is can find another way in. The Doctor's out cold, and Jack's dead until he comes back. Stay here and let me do something about your wounds while I treat their injuries. Please? It will help if you have to fight anything."
Then Martha remembered about how he'd picked up on some sort of scent that the Doctor had left on her and decided to stop suppressing as much of her own fear. Maybe the scent of her fear would keep him from running off until he was more himself again. Possibly kick in some of his protective instincts in such a way that he would feel the need to guard them instead of going out to hunt the danger down before it struck again. It was a risky move, especially with her human family on board but it might keep him from killing them on accident. Her mum would never forgive her or the Master if one of the Jones clan got killed like this. It was the worst possible moment for one of the Jones to show up, so of course that's exactly what happened.
"Martha? MARTHA!" Martha groaned as she recognized Francine calling out for her.
"Martha!" That was Leo!
The Master growled. The child was HIS
, his and his second's. He would not part with her or the rest of his pack.
Any hope that Martha had of keeping the Master put long enough to treat him and draw him back into a more rational state of mind was lost. Martha couldn't keep holding the Master back from leaving, she had to treat the Doctor but if she let him go then her human family would likely die.
"Stay back!" Martha called out to the Jones' "I don't know how long I can keep him from coming out there!"
"Martha!" Francine called as she rounded a corner coming into sight of the room where her daughter was holding back a Time Lord on the verge of loosing all control.
"I said STAY BACK! It isn't safe." Martha told them over her shoulder paying more attention to the Master then the Jones clan, who had the Master's undivided, predatory attention.
"Martha, come away from there." Francine told her as she eyed the Master right back but more as wary prey might eye a nearby predator.
Just as it was clear the Master was going to make a lunge for the slowly approaching Jones', energy and life flooded the bond and Jack glowed just before gasping back into life as he quickly began to heal the damage to his body. He grunted in pain as he ripped the remaining metallic shards from where they had become embedded in his rapidly healing flesh and took the situation in with a glance.
"Master! They aren't a threat. Something else happened and you need to calm down. You're hurt and not thinking straight, let Martha treat you and the Doctor." He snapped at his mate, then gentled his tone a bit. "We're fine, we're safe. A bit banged up but safe."
Jack used the bond to send soothing waves of well-being but alertness to his current mate, trying to reduce whatever the Time Lord equivalent of adrenaline was to a more manageable level; Moving the Master from aggressive defense to a sort of sentry standby, alert and aware, ready to attack but less likely to do so without an immediate threat. The Master recognized what Jack was trying to do and allowed it to sooth his instincts as he began to realize just how much he'd overreacted. With a slight growl toward the Jones clan he relaxed a bit and nodded before quickly taking advantage of Martha's own slight relaxation and shoving her toward the Doctor, as he placed himself between the still cautiously advancing Jones' and the rest of his pack.
"You were dead. That isn't safe. My second is injured and the only reason the Child is unharmed is that she was not in the room with us." The Master growled out almost softly.
"Feeling a bit more like yourself?" Martha asked almost cheekily but she was clearly still filled with tension caused by worry over both her families.
"The only reason the humans aren't dead." The Master agreed causing her to droop in relief, as she moved to re-examine and work on the Doctor, trusting that the Master now had enough control not to attack her human family.
"Bloody fool!" Martha's out-burst seemed to draw everyone but the Master's complete attention. "He tried to get up using the fractured shoulder blade and ignored the broken collar bone. Idiot. No wonder he passed out again after coming 'round when Jack died."
Jack had watched the byplay out of the corner of his eye as he examined the metal shards that he'd yanked from his own wounds, since Martha hadn't had a chance to remove them before he woke up. "Master? Did you happen to leave the Tardis' door open when you were building the paradox machine and forget to close it at some point?" He asked carefully.
"Maybe. I don't really remember." The Master answered as he continued to eye the now still Jones' clan.
"Doesn't the Tardis randomly shift the rooms which aren't in regular use around so that they get at least some
use?" Jack asked as he looked up from the shards.
"Usually a tardis would do that or consign it to a sort of storage until it was needed." He agreed.
Jack held up the largest shard which had a barely legible and incomplete brand name on it. "I think that someone snuck in and that the room we were using was the closest bedroom to the console room at the time because this is definitely a homemade explosive for this century. I doubt that the Tardis has ever had to try and identify or disarm a bomb that was made in this time period. Most of the time the Doctor gets people angry at him who are either more advanced or more primitive than late 20th century/early 21st century earth while he travels, often more advanced. Either way he's got this habit of always making certain that the door is closed after coming into or leaving the Tardis and there isn't much that can get in when the Tardis or the Doctor doesn't want it to." He reminded the Master solemnly.
The Master gave the Jones clan a cold look and ordered. "Out."
"What?" Francine sputtered. "You dare..."
"OUT! I'll not have your species threaten my family again!" The Master nearly shouted. "The only reason we're leaving instead of me destroying your species and planet is because it would upset them." He jerked his head toward Martha, Jack, and the Doctor.
"But..." Martha protested almost helplessly as she looked between her two families. She'd finished tending to the Doctor the best she could and had hoped she could stop this confrontation from turning out worse than it already was. The Tardis sent her soothing and comforting waves to combat her feeling of helplessness as well as a silent promise to make sure Martha's humans left the Tardis safely. The door to the console room appeared in the wall next to the Jones family just as Francine was drawing herself up to argue back. Clive grabbed his ex-wife and nodded at the Master before dragging her bodily through the console room and out of the Tardis with Tish and Leo reluctantly following them as they continued to glance back toward Martha.
"That was a bit harsh, it was only a little bomb." The Doctor rasped from his prone position on the bed.
Martha sighed and then explained. "His eyes have changed. He's got slit pupils at the moment and I think I see some sort of claws trying to push out under his finger nails but that could be some of the smoke I inhaled despite the mask I made from my shirt."
"Oh... then we definitely need to keep him away from anyone who might attack the rest of us or even seem like it." The Doctor sighed. "From the feel of my shoulder there's more damage than before and I wasn't exactly thinking straight when Jack died. Jack? Do you think he'll let either you or Martha near the door to the outside of the Tardis?"
Jack eyed the Master doubtfully. "I don't think so, doc."
"Pity, those UNIT pack members would come in rather handy about now." The Doctor mused.
"Doctor." The Master growled warningly.
"Exactly how long have you been awake?" Martha asked suspiciously.
"Long enough that I'd rather not be chewed out again." The Doctor winced in both pain and memory.
"And you didn't say a word when he was tossing out my mum? My family?" Martha demanded.
"Would you rather he go deeper into his instincts? Like he did in his suite on the Valiant?" The Doctor asked calmly. "Besides we still haven't figured out what to do about his wife."
"She either accepts an immediate divorce or she dies." The Master said shortly clearly regaining more of himself in that short mention of his human wife then he had been able to in the whole half hour between the explosion and Martha's comment about her mother and the rest of her family being tossed out of the Tardis.
"Feeling a bit better are we?" The Doctor asked kindly only to receive a chilly glare from the Master. "Well, would one of you help me up? We have a divorce to arrange and some preliminary pack members to settle."
The Master sighed and relaxed his stance a bit before informing them. "Stay put. I'll go and fetch the boneknitter and dermal regen kit from the infirmary. Martha, we'll need to take a scan of your lungs later as that wasn't exactly normal smoke. You can learn how to use the equipment later. Unless the Doctor has tossed it, the manuals should be somewhere in one of the libraries."
With that he turned on his heel and headed for the infirmary reluctantly leaving behind his pack to fetch the medical supplies they needed. It didn't take him long to find where the infirmary had gotten to but it did take him a good 15 minutes to find everything they needed. The Doctor could be such a pack rat at times but when it came to medical, better to be over prepared than under prepared. It took a good 3 hours for the Master to put everything to rights with both Martha and the Doctor before he reluctantly allowed the two of them to examine him properly in their own turn. His own treatment took an additional hour, since the Doctor had miraculously missed gaining yet another concussion but the Master had not missed out, to his own disgust.
They wouldn't let the Master leave the Tardis until he'd calmed down more and he wasn't willing to let them leave the Tardis without him, leaving them all in a bit of a stalemate for a good three hours. By the time that both sides were willing to allow the other outside of the Tardis it was around 6 pm local time and they found a welcoming committee practically sitting on their doorstep which the Tardis had been steadfastly ignoring since their arrival soon after the Jones had departed...
I would also like to thank Lottii for the New Rec! You know sometimes I wonder why I sit here after posting and just sort of keep checking to see if there's even 1 review.... Sad isn't it?
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Suggestions?