Missy and Mistakes
Thanks to all who have reviewed so far!
This chapter sees a change or two to the events of 'Death In Heaven'. Enjoy!
The Rani surveyed the scene in front of her. The pleasantly empty room of fifteen minutes before had been filled with various humans in uniform, or as the Doctor rather accurately called them, 'pudding brains'. One positive thing she could say about his new regeneration was that he was a lot less sympathetic towards humans than usual. It made for a nice change.
He'd gone down to interrogate the Master upon her waking, and returned when the rest of the meeting members were ready. The Rani had zero interest in being a part of it, and chosen only to observe from where she leaned against the wall.
The pudding brains were discussing the current cyberman catastrophe, which was certainly important, but something else was also rather pressing.
"I am to understand," she said suddenly, surprising everyone in the room, many of whom who probably had no idea who she was or what she was doing there, "That you've left the Master down there...alone?"
"She has two armed guards, and Osgood," Kate replied slowly, not seeming happy with her meeting being interrupted.
"Same difference," the Rani retorted, "For all the good they'll do. They'll only end up dead."
"UNIT has dealt with the Master before, we can handle it."
"And the fact that you think you can only proves why you can't."
Kate planted her hands on the table in front of her, glaring over it at the Rani. "And, as I'm sure everyone here can agree, your need to prove yourself better than everyone in the room the moment you get bored is irritating and frankly juvenile for someone your age."
The Doctor smirked. "I've always thought so, but then I'm not the one sleeping with her."
The room went silent but for a few surprised intakes of breath. Every human at the meeting table turned to look at Kate incredulously, while she had gone very still. Her face held a mix of partially disguised panic and embarrassment. She looked at the Doctor with an emotion in her eyes akin to a watered down version of betrayal, that said, 'really?'. It quickly was replaced by a professional mask, and the blonde crossed her arms as she came to regard everyone in the room with an even gaze as if mortifying details of her sex life had not just been released to the council in charge of saving the entire planet.
"Cat got your tongue, Stewart?" The Rani asked with grin.
"Shut up," Kate said flatly, "Go and play with your chemistry set." The Doctor started laughing. "Or check on the Master if you really believe her to be an issue. Just. Get. Out."
The Rani couldn't be sure if she felt offended by Kate's reaction, entertained by it, or something else altogether. It was so amusing when Kate was angry, especially when it was with her. But this time there was something different about it that was almost troubling. Almost.
Time Ladies, after all, did not simply get bothered by what humans thought of them. They were pudding brains, what did they know about anything? They often didn't even know what they were thinking themselves.
Without another word, the Rani left the room and headed for the cargo bay, ignoring the talk of 3W she could hear as she did so. Most humans would find her heeled boots impractical for the ladder, but then most humans had terrible coordination and the ladder was perfectly substantial.
Below her, the Master and Osgood voice's filled the cabin.
"...can I tell you something really important?"
"I have to whisper it. It's, like, so important to everyone on this plane. You'll get in trouble if you don't listen."
Halfway down the ladder, the Rani listened in. She couldn't shake the suspicion that she'd arrived just in time.
"Right. If it was that important, why would you tell us?"
"Well look at me, I'm bananas. Come on, just a wee bit closer. You know, the Doctor will be really impressed if you learn my secret."
The Rani got to the floor just in time to tug Osgood backward by the collar of her coat before she could take another step. "Stop right there, bowtie."
Osgood looked at her curiously. "What? She's in handcuffs, with armed guards. I mean I know she's mental, but whatever she was going to tell me is just going to be words."
"It's what comes after the words that matters," the Rani told her, and the Master smirked. "I've known her for centuries. I know her tells. She's planning on killing you, that's her murder face. Maybe she was about to tell you just that."
"She's in handcuffs," Osgood repeated.
Missy just started giggling. "Oh, I've missed you, Rani dear. You're so much fun, even when you're spoiling mine."
The Rani ignored her and placed her hands on Osgood's shoulders to force her to turn away from the Master and face her instead. "I want you to go upstairs, take the key I am about to give you, get into my TARDIS, and stay there."
"What? Why? I've got work to do-" The girl tried to argue, but the Rani just pulled the key from her pocket and put it against her lips to shut her up.
"She's decided to kill you. End of story. Stewart's already in a foul mood because the grey haired idiot decided to mention the intimate nature of our relationship in front of her entire council. If in addition to that you die after I specifically criticised her for her lack of care for your safety, she'll likely never speak to me again, and that would be tedious."
Osgood, after staring at her for several moments while she considered the words, closed her hand around the key. "Okay," she said quietly. She went to leave, only to turn back. "If she really was going to kill me...then thanks."
The apology made complete sense, by human etiquette, but it still took the Rani by complete surprise. "Don't mention it," she muttered, shoving the human towards the ladder. "Really." Then she turned to face her old enemy and even older friend. "You look ridiculous."
"I thought it was sophisticated and fun," the Master said innocently, pouting, "Don't you like it?"
The Rani smirked as she took several steps forward. "I was referring to the clothes. The regeneration is a marked improvement on the last I saw."
"Ooh, but you should have seen the one I had when I was running this place, I was gorgeous," she said, "Though I have to say, you're looking good this time around. I mean it was hilarious when you were so small and almost ginger because you were so furious about it. I'll miss that. But you've been laughing, I think, with this face. I wasn't even sure if you still knew how to do that, you'd been such a stick in the mud lately."
"Humans are so stupid it's often amusing. Somehow."
"I know, isn't it adorable and make you want to pop them like balloons?"
The Rani let her eyebrow and lips lift in tandem, just for a second, in a silent affirmation. She observed her fellow Time Lady before leaning in properly, so that their noses were almost touching. Her hands reached around the back of the restraint board to close around the handcuffs hanging from one of Missy's fingers. Probably planning on dangling them in Osgood's face before she killed her, the Rani guessed as she took them.
"Did you see me with Mr President up there and get a wee bit jealous?" The madwoman whispered, dark eyes showing how much she was enjoying their proximity. "Because I do love him, I really do, but you're much more fun. You know how to play."
The Rani leaned back just Missy lurched forward. The former lifted the handcuffs between them with a single finger. "As I thought," she remarked, "Not to be trusted left alone with humans."
The other Time Lady just shrugged, pull her hands around from the back, and began to apply a fresh coat of lipstick. "Obviously. Now, the real thing that was a surprise was you! You and that blondie up there. The daughter one, Katie Pie. I mean the Doctor and I, we've dabbled with humans - mine was called Lucy, she was so pretty and so stupid - but I never thought you of all people would go there!"
"I'm not interested in chatting, Missy," the Rani said to her disdainfully. "Certainly not about Kate."
"But you hate them, even more than me...how did you end up in bed with one? Because I'm right, aren't I? You are, in fact, shagging the daughter of my dear old friend the Brigadier. Bad girls, I wonder what Daddy dearest would say if he knew," Missy said, beaming, "But why?"
The Rani didn't see any reason to give an answer. Partially because the madwoman was getting on her nerves, as she always did in the end and often very quickly. Partially because she didn't have a reason to give. She didn't have any way to explain what was going on between herself and Kate, because neither of them really knew. Oh, sure, she pretended to know where she stood on it, even if she still didn't let on to Kate exactly what that faked stance was, but in reality there was nothing.
Problem was, just as the Rani knew the Master's tells, the reverse also applied. Missy's mouth dropped. "You don't even know! Stick-in-the-mud Rani's jumped in headfirst for once!"
"Shut up, you pest," the Rani snapped, reaching out to plant her palm on Missy's chest when she tried to come close to her again. It didn't entirely work. Instead, the madwoman grabbed the end of the Rani's braid and pulled the tie off the end before she could stop her. "I should have known better than to hope you stayed stuck on Gallifrey."
The Master's fingers delved into the braid and began mercilessly unwinding it. "There's no prison that can hold me dearie, you know that better that most. Besides, I helped you get out, you should be thanking me. Honestly, Rani, your lack of gratitude, it makes me so sad..." After travelling all the way around the back of her while undoing her hair, Missy finally came to stand in front of her again, her face in a pout. "But there, look how pretty you look with your hair all out like that."
This is ridiculous, the Rani thought irritably. "I think you just want to watch me get angry with how its going to get in my eyes."
A mischievous smile appeared on Missy's face and she bit her thumb. "Maybe. But you're so hysterical when you're angry, Rani, especially when you're angry at me."
Luckily, the Rani was saved from having to answer because the Doctor came down the ladder, his eyebrows looking for blood.
"Did you do this?!" He demanded of her. "Did you let her out? Has this been your plan all alo-"
"Do not dare to finish that sentence," she seethed, pushing him aside. "I didn't want your lunatic girlfriend free anymore than you did." With that, she climbed the ladder and ignored Missy's giggles as the plane lurched.
When she reached the top, she saw her near mane of dark hair surrounding her head in the overly shiny reflection from the corridor wall. All there was to do was pull a face and continue on only to collide with Kate.
"The Doctor thinks you let her out," the blonde said instantly, crossing her arms.
"Of course I didn't," the Rani snapped. Kate just nodded, apparently having believed that, which the Rani couldn't be sure if she took as an insult or a compliment. "She causes trouble and gets in my way, always has, I'd never set her loose."
The Rani resisted the urge to sigh and roll her eyes. Did the humans not understand they almost definitely had larger problems? "In my TARDIS, where the Master can't kill her." Kate opened her mouth but the brunette just added, "Don't ask questions." Around them, the plane shuddered and they had to hold onto each other for balance in their struggle to remain on their feet.
Screams from the cabin had them running back inside and seeing the nearby cybermen through all the windows. Kate snatched the nearest phone and frantically got a message through to Geneva. "Boat One is going down. We don't anticipate survivors."
A second later, a cyberman plunged its arm through a window and grabbed Colonel Ahmed by the neck before letting him be sucked out.
"Kate, TARDIS, now!" The Rani barked, physically pulling her from the room. Kate shook her head as they got back into the corridor and next to the TARDIS.
"I've got to inform the Doctor of the situation first," she said with the stubbornness that in any other situation would be nearly admirable, "Besides," she frowned while looking over the Rani's shoulder, "You need to get Osgood in there too."
The Rani spun to see Osgood standing in the corridor with them.
"My laptop's still down there, it has all my work on it," she said in a quiet voice.
Kate shifted her eyes from her assistant to her lover. "Get her to safety. I'll be along in half a minute."
The Rani, mentally cursing all humans to the Void itself and swearing under her breath in Gallifreyan, grabbed Osgood by the arm and began wrestling with her to get her back towards the TARDIS. "If you're not back up here in thirty seconds I'm coming to pull you out of there myself, Stewart!" She yelled at Kate, who only half seemed to be listening in her haste to get down the ladder.
"Rani, please, I need my work," Osgood pleaded, and the Rani shoved her into the TARDIS ungraciously to make it clear she couldn't care less. The moment they were inside she headed to the scanner and patched Boat One's security footage through it so that she could see the live feed from the cargo bay.
Kate had just reached the bottom of the ladder, and was telling the Doctor that the plane was doomed.
"Oh, great," Missy said on the footage, "It's the daughter one. Do you like her? I like her, and we know our Rani certainly does."
The plane jerked again and the Rani held onto the console to keep herself standing, while on the scanner the Doctor and Kate grasped cargo straps in attempts to do the same.
That was when Missy sent a deliberate wink in the direction of the camera before using her handheld device to open the cargo hatch. Within a second Kate was yanked out by the pressure, screaming, while the Rani's hearts came to a halt for an entire second with pure shock. Osgood gasped beside her, and the Doctor, out of a similar emotion, yelled at the top of his lungs with dismay.
"Why did you do that?" He demanded of the Master. "You didn't have to do that!"
"Oh, don't be so selfish!" His old nemesis yelled back at him, also dangling from a cargo strap even as she clutched her device. "She wasn't even yours, she was Rani's! And I'm going to miss her too! In fact, you know what? For that, I'm leaving. Boys, blow up this plane, and, I don't know, Belgium, yeah? Kill some Belgians. Might as well, they're not even French!"
As the Master disappeared with a screeched farewell and a flash of light, the Rani jerked her head away from the scanner and became aware of the fact that she was gripping the edge of her console with so much force that her hands had turned entirely white and felt as though they were going to snap.
For a moment she just stared unblinkingly at them. Then she shoved away from the console and flexed her fingers before getting to work materialising on Earth. There wasn't yet a coherent emotion in her brain after what she had just witnessed, just pure and cold survival instinct.
As the ship landed, the fury began to creep in. Damn them, she thought, damn all of them! Damn the Doctor for not killing the Master centuries ago, damn the Master for doing it purely to spite us, damn Stewart for being so idiotic and getting herself killed!
A hand landed on her arm, but the Rani immediately shoved its owner away from her. Osgood, tears of grief sparkling in her eyes, stumbled and had to catch herself against the wall due to the Time Lady's strength.
"I never thought about how knowing someone's a killer is different than actually watching them do it," the human girl said, with a lack of fear that was downright stupid considering that she was alone with an indifferent Time Lady who as of ten seconds before had no sympathies towards humans whatsoever. "Oh god, why did it have to be her…"
The Rani flexed every bone in her body that she could, drawing up scenarios and stratagems in her imaginative mind that all ended with the one thing she currently desired: the Master's painful death.
"And you and her were-" Osgood murmured. Her eyes were full of sympathy and so many other disgusting human emotions that it made the Rani want to empty her stomach then and there.
"I should have let her kill you," the Rani said flatly, looking at her and speaking for the first time since they had witnessed Kate's death.
Osgood faltered. "What?"
"I shouldn't have bothered," she spat, "I had no reason to. If you had been dead, I would have been able to force Kate in here instead of her little science brat."
The girl in glasses flinched slightly. She didn't even look entirely surprised by the words, but that didn't mean they hadn't visibly upset her. "I think you're probably right," she whispered.
The Rani slammed her hands onto the console with a belligerent cry. Her loose hair fell across her face and for once the Rani was grateful for the unpleasant tickling sensation on her cheeks which meant the human couldn't see her face and the consternation ruling its features.
"I'm going out there," she finally said, still not looking at Osgood because why would she, "And I'm going to kill that lunatic once and for all, since the Doctor has given her a free pass for too long. Do not follow me. The Master will likely be there and I will not have Kate Stewart's death become even more pointless because you got yourself murdered a minute later."
There was a lengthy silence before Osgood just said, "Okay." The Rani straightened and headed for the door with a new and cold determination pumping through her blood. "But her death wasn't pointless."
"Perhaps not to you. To someone such as myself, every death in battle is pointless."
"Even when it's revenge?" The question was so quiet that for a moment the Rani thought she had imagined it, but the tentative challenge in Osgood's eyes confirmed that she hadn't.
The detestation the Rani had for every creature on Earth rose in her chest like a fast acting poison, one she had been sipping for years. Ignoring Osgood's question, she pushed the door open and walked out into a graveyard, ready to finish it all for good.
And the Rani is out for blood. Her thinking Kate was dead is what initially made me really I HAD to AU this episode, though the Master/Rani interactions and Kate's presence in general had already put it in my head.
Speaking of, I've put up a Master/Rani oneshot involving Simm!Master and the small redheaded Rani seen at the beginning of this story if any of you are interested!
Thanks for reading and feedback is appreciated!
Love you all,