The Doctor sobered up a bit, leaning back an inch. “Did you? That sounds like you. Bet you enjoyed that..” his lip curled up in disgust.
The Master grinned. “Well, you can hardly blame me.” He said, leaning back as well. “I was trapped there for—how long did you say? Two, three centuries? Time enough for several rounds of ‘how long can the Master hold out.’” His grin turned icy around the edges. “It was nothing short of self-defense. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I did the universe a favor by getting rid of them.”
"No, I haven’t. That’s why I’m concerned," Something like laughter bubbled up from the Doctor’s chest but it sounded wrong. Manic, almost. "What did you do then? How’d you end up here?"
The Master considered him for a moment, a smile forming on his face. The drums were screaming that he enjoy this moment, and he planned to. He leaned forward a little bit so that he was more level with the Doctor, and said, almost proudly, “I destroyed it.”
The Master spent several long minutes staring at the screen, debating with himself on whether or not to even bother setting the coordinates. He was firmly not in the business of going out of his way to help people, nor had he ever been, and he had no particular motivation to change this.
He weighed the decision in his mind. He had no idea who had sent out the telepathic SOS. He had no idea what they were being imprisoned for, or if it was the sort of person he could call later and collect the favor they would owe him for saving their life. Admittedly, he had nothing better to do with himself at that moment except to read, but honestly, books were much better companions than other people.
Still, he did like it when people owed him favors.
For better or for worse, he found himself typing in the coordinates mentioned in the SOS, grabbing his jacket as the TARDIS made for the planet, thinking that, if nothing else, at least it wasn’t Earth.
"That was more than a prison. You shouldn’t be here, it’s not possible." he said, voice low. He moved towards the Master, glaring at him.
A smirk grew across his face. Was the Doctor simply showing off, or did he really think the Master would be intimidated? Either way, the effect was more amusing than anything else. “Not as impossible as you thought, clearly.” He said, one eyebrow raised. “Really, Doctor, have you forgotten who it is you’re speaking to?”
"Yes," he said distractedly, "I understand that all too well.."
Before he started thinking about recent events in his life, he shook his head. Now wasn’t the time to get nostalgic.
"How are you even here? I thought you were.." He trailed off, letting the sentence hang. He didn’t want to say dead. Ugly word.
He scoffed, sliding his hands into his pockets almost casually and looking down his nose at the Doctor. Of course, it would be in his nature to change the subject just as the Master started to gain interest. How predictable.
"Wouldn’t you like to know?" He said dismissively, annoyed. "Every prison has cracks, my dear Doctor. It’s only a matter of finding them. And I assure you, I had plenty of time.”
"I haven’t made that mistake in a long time. I know better now."
No matter what he did, everyone died on him or left him. He wasn’t inclined to try anymore, not when everything that happened to his companions was his fault.
"It hasn’t been the same without you, I have to admit," the Doctor said carefully. "Whether or not that’s a good or a bad thing has yet to be determined."
"Oh?" That piqued his interest. "It almost sounds as though you’ve given up. I must admit, I’m surprised at you, Doctor."
It was a notion that had never truly occurred to him—at least, not by anyone’s hands but his own. If the Doctor was going to give in, it should be the Master’s doing, no one else’s. He was surprised by how much the thought frustrated him, and he felt some old possessive urge attempt to reawaken.
He snuffed it out immediately.
"I’m flattered." He said with a crooked, mocking smile. "I would say the same, but unfortunately, I was a bit preoccupied with trying to stay in one piece. I’m sure you can understand."
The Doctor relaxed once the Master let go and he could take a few steps back. This time the Master was annoyingly taller than him. He cleared his throat and stood up a bit straighter.
"You call it sanctimonious, I call it selfless."
The Master was.. well, a bit handsome this time around, he admitted to himself grudgingly. He scratched his chin self consciously, but once he realized what he was doing, he stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Two or three hundred years, give or take.." he said quietly. He wasn’t going to like that answer.
"You call it selfless, I call it stupid. But there’s nothing to be done for it, I suppose.”
He couldn’t understand it. Wasting another life for a human—an aging human, at that. The man couldn’t have had more than a few more years left in him. He’d lived his life, and still…what was there to prove?
He looked thoughtful at the Doctor’s answer, as though he were weighing it in his mind. “Sounds about right.” He said after a moment, eyes (blue this time, interesting) refocusing. “Quite a long time, isn’t it?”
HAMMY-HAM-HAMSTER. that's your nickname from now on. you're a small rodent that humans like to keep as pets.
If you wish to continue to live, I suggest you call me by my name.