: Yes, they should.--000--
Leandra watched as her prisoner tried not to scream. Not to even show that it hurt. Not to give them any satisfaction, as she dragged a long nail across his swollen, blistered, and damaged skin, in the area usually covered by his iron-band restraints. The area that Leandra had uncovered for this very purpose, attaching the restraints further up on his arms. He gritted his teeth, breathed heavily, but… still…
Not one scream.
The sandpaper Leandra had brought, and used at this point, produced the desired effect.
She gave a theatrical little pout. "You don't act like the others," she complained, as she set down the sandpaper and instead reached for a box of matches. Razor had made it clear — play with him all they liked, but not a single drop of blood could be spilt.
So burning should be fine.
"Others?" her prisoner said. Dark eyes fixed on Leandra. "What others?"
She struck the match, and held it against his skin, watching it blister and roast before her eyes. "You haven't even asked me, yet. That question they always ask." She leaned in a little closer. "You haven't even asked me… why
The Doctor sucked in a breath.
Leandra raised her voice, and bugged out her eyes, impersonating all those scared, worthless little humans they'd used in the past. Their prisoners, all of whom had bowed before them, in the end, and given Razor everything he wanted.
"'Why?'" Leandra impersonated, in a horrified, breathy voice. "'Why are you doing this to me?' 'What have I done to deserve this?' 'Why are you being so heartless, so cruel?'"
The Doctor didn't answer.
Leandra stopped the impersonation, and tossed the match into the mud, before it burned her fingers. She leaned in, closer. "I wish you'd ask," she whispered into his ear. "I love it when they ask."
The Doctor met her eyes with his. "I already know why."
"Simple, really," the Doctor said, his eyes challenging, his face showing the slightest hint of amusement. In a whisper, he explained to her: "You're afraid
Leandra jolted backwards, at this, abruptly. Then realized what she'd just done, and what it had proved. And planted a cold, calculating expression on her face.
"Of course not!" she insisted. "All this is just fun and games to us. We enjoy making you scream. We love watching you…"
"Oh, give it a rest!" the Doctor cut in. "Is that the best excuse you can come up with? Pure sadism?" He gave her a sharp, biting stare, the kind that made Leandra want to back away, a little farther. "Obvious, really. You know who I am. Heard how dangerous I can be. You think if you can make me scream, it means you hold some power over me. You think it means you're safe. But inside… you're still terrified. Because inside, you know it doesn't."
Leandra said nothing.
The Doctor paused a moment, analyzing her. "But it's more than that, isn't it?" he said. His eyes bore into her — through her. "Vampires. Superstitious lot. Bet you went to your local sooth-sayer to find out how this would all turn out. In the future. If this gambit of yours would succeed."
"I…" Leandra looked away. "Your blood makes me eternal, Time Lord. Invulnerable. Undefeatable. I defy prophecy."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "So that's it," he said. "It's not your group that went to the sooth sayer. It's you. Personally. You, Leandra — you've
been told you're going to die. Soon." He glanced down at the sandpaper, now lying abandoned by her side. Implements of torture. "My blood is your salvation. But you have to go through me to get it. That's why you're afraid."
Leandra said nothing.
"Stop this, and let me go," the Doctor told her, "and I can help you. I can give you a full, good, happy life."
"You mean you'll turn her human?" asked the vampire named Oliver, emerging from the shadows of their hideout. He leaned against the nearby wall, arms crossed. "Turn us all human? Sentence us to a long, lingering death?"
Leandra grabbed up the sandpaper, again, and ground it viciously against the area she'd just burned.
The Doctor laughed through gritted teeth. "Oh, you're frightened," he said, trying to catch his breath. "Leandra. Oliver. Joe. Everyone! Terribly, terribly frightened! That's why!"
"The lesser ones might fear you, Time Lord," said Razor, brushing past Oliver and stepping in front of the Doctor. "But I have no such fear. No such weakness." He caught Leandra's hand in his own, pulling the torture implement away from their prisoner. "If you were… cooperative, led us to singularity, perhaps I'd even show you kindness."
The Doctor glanced over at Razor, struggling to regain his breath. "Not afraid?" he asked, half panting. "You really think so?" He raised an eyebrow. "Leandra and the others — they're afraid of death. Of humanity. Of me. But with you… it's something entirely different. Isn't it, Razor?"
Razor kept his face calm, vaguely amused, unchanged, but… in the corner of his eye… was that a spark of fear? A spark of trepidation?
"I don't know what you're talking about," said Razor.
"You're hooked," the Doctor said. "Addicted. My blood's a drug, and you can't get enough. And if I run away or die, if you can't drink my blood and get your next fix — that scares you too much to even think about." He grinned. "Truth is… I hold more power over you than everyone else, here. Because you can't live without me."
Razor grabbed a snarly, twisted knife and lunged at the Doctor, holding the tip at his throat.
The Doctor crossed his eyes to glance down at the knife, interested. "You didn't mean to do that, did you?"
Razor blinked, staring at the knife in his hand. Then took it away, and stepped back, standing up straight. "You're the one who holds power over me?" In two steps, he was across the room, his hands around the human hostage's throat. The pretty, brave human girl struggling to break free. "Then stop me from killing her."
"Razor…" the Doctor warned, amusement slipping off his face.
Razor met the Doctor's eyes with his own. "Is that all?" And snapped the girl's neck.
The Doctor said nothing, as Razor let go of the girl — a perfectly good meal, gone to waste — and the body fell to the ground, a heap of rotting flesh and spoiled blood.
"It's wise to be cautious of the fire that can burn you," Razor told the Doctor. "That doesn't change the fact that it's my
fire. Helping me. Giving me strength. Giving me life. And I can control it, just as easily as I can snuff it out."
The Doctor said nothing, his eyes still fixed on the dead girl. Her name on his lips.
"Nothing to say?" Razor challenged, stepping forwards. "No threats or promises this time? No protests?"
The Doctor jerked his head around, to face Leandra, once more. His eyes tearing through her like a thousand knives.
"You're right, Leandra," he told her. "You should be very, very
afraid of me."