Chapter Four, Part Two: RedactedMature

The younger Time Lord flinches, allowing his balance to wobble, then rolls over on his back and applies slightly calloused hands to the buttons of his shirt.                                   

“I have begun to hurt a bit in recent weeks, but that’s just because she’s growing again,” the Doctor says softly, drawing in a hard, hitched breath or three every time the Master moves, and rubbing circles over his stomach as though reciting a poem. Then he adjusts his nearly-prostrate position on the flat floor, and crosses his legs out straight at the knee.  

The Master looks at Borusa, then at Pasmodius, then at Rassilon, whose blue eyes skirt around the Doctor’s outline as though he’s going to take to the floor at any moment and give him a physical. 

-But, why not tell him you never really left, young man?- Pasmodius’ wordless gaze says everything. 

Koschei of Oakdown, The Master, Lord President of Gallifrey, sticks a finger toward the Doctor’s stomach and stabs at it, poking the man’s swollen abdomen in vicious, shallow jabs, as though spearing at fish, his fingertips stopping only a millimetre in, enough to avoid any awkward questions. 

 In tiny, paint-water patches of purple, green, brown and yellow barely visible beneath the Doctor’s white shirt, tiny contusions the size of the Master’s trim fingernails begin to dot the Doctor’s abdominal skin. In seconds, they grow up into scale blots like rotten mandarin oranges, then pale away. 

“You think this is all a game? Well of course you do!” he rages, while the Doctor still says nothing, content to rub his side and make small moaning sounds every so often in the dark recesses of the back of his throat. “Ever since we were kids, you’ve never stopped playing, not once! I can’t fucking stand it!”

The End

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