A short One-Shot by me, because I had the idea and it wouldn't leave me alone. I wanted a way to redeem him, so give me a break. I haven't been asleep since about 25 hours ago and I wrote 2/3 of this before I'd even had any coffee. Read it if you want. It's a Master One-Shot, based after the 'End of Time' because there was no resolution where The Master was concerned there and my mind came up with this at one in the morning. If I'm rambling, forgive me. Read it if you want, don't if you don't want. I'm posting it on under my author name 'Ignis Lupus', if you would like to comment and can't do it on here, or if you ever want to read it again and can't seem to find this post. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. I tried to make it a bit emotional, but I didn't feel much when I read back through it. I dunno, if you want, send me an ask to tell me what you think of it. IDC, if you actually like it, feel free to reblog it, but please don't try to take credit for my work. I'm a psycho bitch when it comes to that. Oh, damn. I'm rambling. Whatever. Get to reading if you're going to.


The Gift of Time





The blonde, broken man seemed oddly content, sitting in the middle of a dingy, awful smelling dungeon, tapping out a four beat rhythm continuously against the small tin cup he was given. He'd died so many times just sitting here now that he'd lost count. He didn't care anymore. The dying was always painful, but he'd always be awake, alive, and still here when the suns rose in the morning. An endless cycle of death and revival, not even brought on with regeneration. A continuous time loop within the time lock, doomed to forever repeat itself and bring everyone who had died right back to life the next day just to do it all over again. Raise the planet from the literal ashes it became to fight this blasted war all over again.

The only thing he was really content with, despite his outer demeanor, was that they weren't trying to force him into being their weapon again. They had learned from the last time, when he had run rather than fight their battles for them. They may have used him to escape the time lock for a short time, but when the doctor canceled the signal, they pulled him back with them to their burning planet and had thrust him immediately in here. From what he had seen, from every time he felt himself burning to death in this accursed dungeon, the Doctor had been right. This was hell, surely. But, he honestly didn't care. He was more preoccupied with the fact that the drums hadn't vanished, and had in fact intensified once he was again on Gallifrey.

He'd thought it was the signal. He thought for sure it had to be. The Time Lords had used it as a common point to get to Earth, to squeeze through the time lock and make it out alive. They had said they'd done it to him, so why in the bloody seven hells were the drums still in his head? That constant noise. He was sure he'd been driven so mad by them that he'd went full circle and then back around a bit. Or maybe somehow he was slightly saner? He didn't know or care anymore. He just wanted them to stop. He couldn't do what they wanted him to do. They wanted him to fight, kill, maim, destroy. Those urges were always at the forefront of his mind, and the drums were driving him mad again because he wasn't able to obey, locked in here like he was.

Just for a while he'd like to leave this dingy dungeon and rip, tear, kill, maim, slice, destroy, decimate everything that crossed his path. He didn't care what it was as long as he had the sweet feeling of flesh tearing under his fingertips. A voice filled with grief broke him out of his macabre musings.

"Look at what you've become." the ethereal voice said, filled with grief. "No one explained them to you. They just sent you on through to live like a normal Time Lord when they knew you were not. You were meant to be so special, so powerful. The drums were meant to guide you, make you a warrior, but you were never told your purpose, or the purpose of the drums. They were a gift, bestowed upon you by time, to drive you to do what needs to be done for the good of all. You were supposed to be the ultimate warrior, but the gift has been twisted from being neglected for so long in your early years. You were never told how to understand the drums, and they became slowly warped as you were continuously unable to obey them. You've learned since then, but the original message has been lost, now warped by the drum's desperation to get the message across to you before you are completely consumed by madness." the voice said, and he didn't bother to look up at whoever may be speaking.

Chances were he'd finally gone mad enough that his own mind was trying to rationalize the meaning of the drums once again, and the speaker was therefore most likely a product of his mind and nothing more.

"I am so sorry for what my gift has done to you, my precious child. You were meant to be so much more than this. You were meant to be able to save your people and so many others, and I couldn't be there for you to keep you on the right path." the voice said, laden with guilt. The Master almost cracked a smile, but he wasn't going to give this being the satisfaction of knowing it had amused him, intentional or not. Not that she was real, but still, he wouldn't show weakness to even a part of his own mind. Weakness meant death, and he despised it. It seemed as if the voice was waiting for him to speak, but he didn't feel like retorting. There wasn't much to say back to that anyway. Even if what the voice said was true, that still meant that he was just a tool. Someone to be used, just like the Time Lords had tried to do to him.

When he didn't speak, the owner of the voice placed a gentle hand on his face and tilted his chin up to look him in the eye. He saw a beautiful woman, her skin, hair, even her eyes glowing golden. She was time, and as he saw this, he was awed. His mind be damned, he was sure this was real. His senses hadn't dulled that much, and he could definitely sense her. She was time, in all of her untempered glory, and suddenly, as she touched his temples, his mind was clear and completely lucid like it hadn't been in centuries. Her 'gift', those blasted drums, had gone as well, and he was looking at her with tears now as he realized he was finally free.

"I should never have granted the gift to one so young. I should never have condemned you to that." She said sadly, and he found that he could never be mad with her.

"I...forgive you..." he whispered, though they both knew it was unnecessary to say aloud. He was shaking with relief, but as suddenly as that swept through him, so did the pain as his body jolted once more, the consequences of his botched resurrection coming back to haunt him even here. "Ha, I'm finally free and I'm still trapped. In this dungeon and by death." he said bitterly, gripping his chest as his hearts jolted painfully along with the rest of him. He took a deep breath, trying to ready himself for death like he never could before, but he was distracted by the warm hand on his chest.

"These circumstances too are my fault, and therefore you will be healed in body as well as time." she said, and as that was done being said, he felt a warmth spread in his chest from where she was touching him, and it was getting hotter and hotter, until he felt that it was unbearable. It spread throughout his entire body, causing him to curl into himself as the fiery pain took over every nerve and cell in his body, leaving his body screaming though he was unable to make such a noise himself due to the extremity of the pain. Then, suddenly, a cold swept through his body, and as he sat up, he felt better than ever. She smiled at him, and for the first time in a long time his lips curled up of their own accord into a smile of his own.

"Your body is healed, and your regenerations have been reset. Use this second chance wisely, child. Live your life the way you were not able to before; truly free. No drums, no obligations to save anyone, no life of duty. Just...you." she said, and he closed his eyes and sighed. There was just one problem with all of that; grateful as he was, he was still in a dungeon on Gallifrey, locked in a time loop and a time lock. It was only the slight breeze on his face that made him open his eyes, and when he did, he looked around with wide eyes. Lady Time was nowhere to be found, and he seemed to be on Earth. Scratch that; New Earth. The grass smelled of apples, and as he looked around he took in the breathtaking view of the city. He heard laughter in the wind.

"You don't have to be so formal even in your thoughts, child. Call me...Bad Wolf. That is the name I have designated to this form. I have left you here so that you may start over. This is one of my favorite places. Maybe you can make something of yourself here, where no one will remember your face so far in the future of your past crimes. Be well, my child, and make a happy life for yourself." she said softly, and with another gust of wind she was gone, presence and all. He took a deep, shuddering breath, and finally broke down, crying out his happiness for the world to see. He was finally free. He was well and truly free, and he had a new life to do with as he pleased.

"Thank you." he choked out to her, and even though her presence wasn't there anymore, he knew she had heard him. One last time, he whispered his thanks into the breeze.

"Thank you."