A swallow. He’s swallowing, out of reflex.
The Master stares at him, the blood racing through his skull and pounding his brain stem because of the angle of his neck. Then his eyes flicker over to where Flamina… her shape is absent from the console silhouette. How… no. It’s got to be the rush of blood to his brain.
“For how long?” he says, blinking. In the back of his mind, calculations are running, running. Running.
But she’s not, quips his traitor hindbrain. She’s not running.
The Doctor is a scarecrow in rapture for a moment, weaving like wheat there far away from the black typewriter keys of a Victorian rubbish bin console, far away from roundeled walls that beam with the color of honeycomb. He hasn’t picked his coat up yet, and he’s in the middle of the floor, just… standing.
His big hands rifle through his hair, as though he’s a drunk farmer looking for a mouse in the dark. With a shotgun. A toothpick? A prayer. All the same thing, really.
“Everything’s… all right, Koschei. Just… I’m sorry, I can’t help you up. But I’ll get someone who can.”
The Master doesn’t see it, but the Doctor’s hands stroke the inside moulding of the double doors before he leaves.
Where the hell does the bastard he think he’s going?