Categories > Anime/Manga > From Eroica With Love > The Trip of a Lifetime

Part 2

by Sindeniirelle 0 Reviews

Eroica and Iron Klaus find themselves trying to survive in a war on an alien world where mass-manufactured "Daleks" are the main weapon! But who is controlling them? Doctor Who cross-over.

Category: From Eroica With Love - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover, Romance, Sci-fi - Characters: Dorian, Klaus - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006/10/20 - Updated: 2006/10/20 - 11016 words

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"Wait!" Dorian called after Rose, as she ran ahead of him. They had raced through the grim rubble of the war-torn city and the major, the Daleks, and the Doctor had long-since vanished behind them. "Rose!"

She slowed down reluctantly, stumbling to a shaky halt beside the ruined skeletal structure of what had once been a building of four stories. The windows had been blown out, and were reduced to empty gaping holes. The paint had been burned off, so that only crumbling cement remained, and large holes tore jagged edges through the rubble, so that it looked as though at any given moment the entire structure might simply give-way and collapse to the dust. Her heart hammering painfully and her lungs burning from the run, she gestured hastily to the sloping empty doorway. "Let's duck in there, then."

"To what end?" the thief asked, studying her face curiously. "Rose, I don't understand what's happening here." It was annoying, but the thief did not look very exhausted by their run. He was hardly even sweating.

She glared at him in annoyance. "To /hide/!"

"Hide? From those-tin garbage cans? Listen, /you /might be used to playing the damsel in distress but I certainly don't-"

"You just don't get it do you! Those things are-are-"

"Daleks, right? Excuse me, /fake /Daleks."

She turned from him, raking a hand through her long blonde hair in frustration, and began pacing back and forth. "The Doctor thinks they're as dangerous as the real Daleks."

"So?"

"So," she glared at him, "I've only encountered a /real /Dalek once before-it was-it was horrible. There were all of these soldiers, and they all had their guns, and special vests and everything and it just killed them all-like they were nothing-"

"They're that bad?" the earl asked, a worried expression flitting across his face. "We shouldn't have left, then!" he turned back in the direction they had come from. "The major-!"

"Don't-!" she grabbed his arm, and he looked at her with annoyance and a rare flash of anger. "They'll KILL you!"

"They've never had to deal with me," Eroica replied coolly.

"This is serious!" she cried again, trying to pull him back.

"So am I," he replied evenly. "What about you? Aren't you worried about the Doctor?"

"The Doctor can take care of himself!" she snapped back. But instantly, she saw in her mind's eye the twisted, horrified and malicious look that had taken over the Doctor's features in Van Statten's museum, when he had been confronted with just /one /Dalek. Now...she was suddenly unsure, and bit her lip, worry for the Doctor flooding into her chest, compounding the horror she had instinctively felt surge through her at the sight of the Dalek forces. "You're right."

She was no damsel in distress. She had saved the Doctor's life before, just as he had saved hers. This time, she told herself, swallowing the lump that had been building in her throat, would be no different. Taking a steadying breath, she forced herself to look up and meet the earl's gaze with steadfast determination.

"Let's go back, then."

But it was easier said than done. After walking for thirty minutes, they both had to admit that they were lost. "Can you tell where the Doctor is, K-9?" Rose asked.

"Negative, Mistress. He is outside of my scanner range."

"Right, you never know the answer when it's important," she muttered, dropping to the ground with a sigh.

Eroica actually smiled. "I'm sure they'll be okay. They're amazing chaps, really. Your Doctor and my major."

"So, do you want to find some shelter?" she asked.

"I suppose it might not be wise to stand around out here in the open in this sort of place," the earl agreed, surveying the ruined city once more. "So depressing, really," he murmured. "War lacks all sense of aesthetics, don't you think? Such a waste...I wonder what it looked like before..."

Together, they picked their way across the ruins and ventured a few feet into one of the near-collapsed buildings. They sat on the ground with their backs against the cold cement walls.

"I can't stand this waiting around..." Rose said, picking a piece of rubble out of her hair and flicking it away. "Listen...I want to apologize for if I seemed...nasty, when we first met."

The thief snorted. "I hardly care what you think," he leaned back against the wall with his eyes closed as though he were dozing. He looked quite serene, actually, as though they weren't in the slightest bit of danger, stranded and alone on a planet about to be enslaved by an evil mastermind with an army of mass-manufactured Dalek knock-offs.

"Well, let's be civil to each other," she said at last. "We'll call a truce."

Eroica blinked at her. "I didn't know we were at war."

The silence lengthened between them. The thick grey shadows which hung heavily overhead were slowly eaten away by the thick blackness of night, and the air became cold, although the smell of distant fires burning still carried on the wind. The old ruined building creaked and moaned around them, and Rose shifted uncomfortably, drawing her knees up to her chest. "I hate this, you know?"

"Completely. It's so terribly dull. If we were somewhere familiar-"

"You mean Earth?" she grinned.

He smiled. "I would have made off long ago. Or at least gone to see if there was anything worth stealing in the neighbourhood."

"I know. But it's so..."

"Alien,"

"But that's the fun of it,"

"Completely," he laughed.

"Still, I miss my family, you know...Mickey, and my mum..." she said, tilting her head to one side, long blonde hair spilling over her shoulder as she studied the earl's profile.

"Mickey?" Eroica asked, one golden eyebrow piquing with some interest.

"My boyfriend," she murmured, smiling slightly at the memory of her sweet but nerveless sweetheart.

"Boyfriend?" Dorian asked, sounding quite like he didn't believe her. "What about the Doctor?"

Rose felt her face instantly burn, like it always did when people thought she and the Doctor were together. WHY did everyone think they were a couple? It was getting more and more painful to have to deny it every single time. "The Doctor and I are NOT a couple!" she practically shouted. "He-why he isn't even human for one thing. And the age difference is just..."

"Love can conquer such trivial things, supposedly..." the romantic Englishman mused, twirling one of his golden curls around one finger with a bemused expression on his face.

"ANYWAYS," Rose coughed loudly, wanting very much to avoid the topic of her relationship with the Doctor for the moment. "What about you?" she asked, looking at him. "Do you have any family that you miss?"

"Oh yes," the earl smiled fondly. "My poor little James...that's my accountant...the poor dear must be positively hysterical by now. And Bonham, and Jones...all my boys. I wonder what they're doing now? Wondering where I am? They aren't /too /worried, I hope. Not to the point where they think me /dead /yet, at any rate."

"Oh..." Rose replied. It hadn't been quite what she meant, and she looked at the earl curiously. It would probably be good manners to drop the subject rather than press. But, well, she was sure that by this time there were plenty of people and aliens in the universe who could vouch for her lack of social etiquette. Besides, the earl had asked her an uncomfortable question, bringing up her relationship with the Doctor. So, she pressed: "But don't you have any /family/? Your dad and your mum?" Besides, she was bored, and it couldn't be anything /that /bad, he was a rich aristocrat after all. He had, no doubt been spoiled rotten as a child!

So she was unprepared for the brief flash of a raw pained and the stony expression that flitted across the earl's smooth features. It was only there for one brief, unguarded instant, before it was replaced quickly with one of the Eroica's usual sunny smiles.

"Well, my father passed away a few years ago..." the Prince of Thieves shrugged, although Rose thought the sunny smile then appeared slightly dimmed.

"Oh...I know how you feel. My father also...I'm sorry for bringing it up," she sighed, toying with a strand of hair.

"Well, water under the bridge, so they say," he smiled wistfully, peering up through his golden curls towards the black night sky.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "I didn't mean to bring up bad memories. I miss my dad, too."

"No, it's alright," the thief smiled. "He's not the one I have bad memories of."

"What? You're mum?" she asked in confusion, feeling the weight of the mobile phone in her pocket, the one the Doctor had fixed up with some snazzy alien jiggery-pokery so that she could call her mum through space and time whenever she missed her.

"Well, it should hardly come as any surprise that I'm not exactly the 'ideal son' for trying to conserve a family bloodline, hmm? My mother left when I was fourteen. Can't say I missed being locked up in the old tower, though," he said with a shrug.

Suddenly she felt like a heel. She had just assumed, since they had first met, that the earl had grown up spoiled and pampered with all of the advantages the rich received and normal folks like she and her mother, living in their tiny apartment in London, could only dream about. She'd never even thought about him as a real person before.

She swallowed, feeling terrible. Even if she did fight with her own mother at almost every opportunity, and the woman nearly drove her mad with her flirting and immaturity, Rose had never once in her life felt like her mother didn't /love /her.

"Rose? Rose, are you alright? You look a touch ill."

"I-I'm fine," she answered.

"Mistress, my sensors detect Daleks," K-9 informed them.

"I hope your sensors are working better than last time," Eroica muttered, standing and brushing the dirt from his clothes.

Rose peered out of one of the gaping empty windows, her eyes widening. "Doesn't look like it," she whispered. "There's a whole group of them out there!"

"Oh great," Eroica sighed, "this just keeps getting better and better."

The robot dog's red eye band flashed. "I believe your logic is flawed, Master."

"Shut up, K-9."



"We can't hold them off forever," the Doctor shouted over the laser-fire and the shots fired from the magnum.

"You mean /I /can't hold them off forever," the major growled. "You haven't been doing anything!"

"I'm worried about Eroica and Rose."

The major's expression changed to an utterly blank mask. "Does K-9 make a good guard dog?"

"The very best-but-" a chunk of land exploded next to him.

"WE HAVE HOSTAGES," the shrill mechanical voices suddenly cried out and both the Doctor and Klaus froze. "HOLD YOUR FIRE, IMPUDENT HUMAN, OR THEY WILL BE EXTERMINATED."

The major looked cautiously over the mound. Sure enough, the God-damn thief had gotten himself and the girl caught. They were surrounded by a group of the Daleks, stumbling forwards, laser-guns pointed at their backs.

"Hey! Watch it! Just because you have your fancy death-ray pointed at my back doesn't give you the right to push me around!" he could hear Eroica shouting.

"SILENCE, HUMAN. YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED."

"WE HAVE PRISONERS," the fake Daleks continued to the Doctor and Klaus, "OBEY OUR COMMANDS OR THEY WILL BE EXTERMINATED."

The major felt his blood boiling with anger. Anger at Eroica for being stupid enough to get caught, and anger at the Daleks for /daring /to use Eroica to get to him. They were going to pay for it.



Eroica bit his lower lip, worriedly glancing to the girl by his side and the Dalek army that surrounded them. He looked back to where he knew the major and the Doctor were hiding. "This doesn't look good," he muttered. The major won't care if these aliens use me for target practice!

"I believe the aesthetics of the situation are quite irrelevant, Master," said K-9.

Eroica looked at the dog. He could swear it was doing that on purpose. "Do something useful, then!" he hissed.

K-9's ears whirred back and forth, and he slid back a little ways. "Master, Mistress, please get down." A burst of red shot out from the dog's nose, burning into the thick metal shell of the Dalek behind them with a loud sizzling crackle. The Daleks instantly turned their sights to the new threat, and Dorian grabbed Rose's arm hastily and pulled her out of the way. She stumbled into him, and they ducked low as laser fire exploded around their heads.

"Run!" Dorian shouted, pushing her in the direction of a crumbling building.

She hurried ahead of him, but stopped part ways through the gaping doorway, looking back, over her shoulder, long blonde hair swaying in front of her face. "Oh my God, K-9!" she sobbed, bringing her hands up over her mouth.

Dorian looked back as well, through the wall of red lasers and the thick columns of smoke and explosions. He pulled her into the crumbling remains of a building that shuddered and creaked around them, debris dribbling in a smoky rain from the supports in the ceiling.

A great portion of cement exploded above Rose's head, and she shrieked, falling to her knees as the world heaved beneath them once more. Smoldering pieces of wall slid down over her head and shoulders, and Eroica watched with wide eyes, stumbling back against the side of the wall, as one of the Daleks approached, it's singular eye jerking back and forth, scanning the area.

"EXTERMINATE!" it screeched.

"Aggression mode activated!" K-9 replied. The red burst of light exploded through the smoke and shadows, striking the Dalek directly in its rifle-arm. The creature flailed for a moment, seeming confused, and a second laser fired, striking the crumbling ceiling directly above the Dalek's head. In a deafening crash and thick cloud of smoke and rubble, the alien threat was buried. "Results satisfactory."

Dorian rested for a moment against the shuddering wall, catching his breath. Rose dug herself out of the rubble that had mostly missed her, appearing unharmed. And then he saw the little robot dog make its way through the rubble and gasped. K-9's metal casing was cracked open, the bright collar around the neck splintered apart, and wires crackling with sparks of electricity stuck through the ruined metal. The dog slid forwards a few more feet, slowing, its battery packs obviously struggling. The head hung limp to one side, swaying, cords and wires hanging loosely from the shoulders. The red eye-band was cracked and smashed apart, and the entire robot shuddered and shivered as though it would fall to pieces at any moment.

"Oh no..." the earl murmured, crossing to the little robot's side. He looked down on it in horror. "K-9..."

"Maaaaa......sterrrrrrr....."

"Oh K-9, hang in there!" he said, kneeling down beside the dog. "I'm sure that the Doctor can fix this! Only-oh, hang on!"

"The Dooccctorrr...."

"Oh K-9, you've been a-such a good dog!" Eroica exclaimed, finding his throat catching as he looked down at the damaged robot. It was just a robot, wasn't it? But still, he felt absolutely wretched seeing it that way and he quickly put his arms around the little dog and carefully hoisted him up. K-9 was quite heavy, and he staggered a little under the weight, feeling the ruined metal casing of the head bump dully against his side. "Oh K-9, you poor old thing! I'm sure the Doctor can fix you!"

He turned back to Rose, holding K-9 in his arms, "Come on, we've got to find them!"

"You /have/," a familiar Northern accent said behind them, and Rose and Dorian turned to see the Doctor running towards them. "You're not hurt, are you, Rose?"

"No...I'm okay," she said shakily.

For one long moment, Dorian watched as Rose and the Doctor stared at each other in silence. Dirt trailed from the crumbling structure, the walls shuddered, and the air seemed still and empty. The Doctor and Rose were both silent, staring at one another, and then she was in his arms, and the Doctor was clutching her tightly, protectively, against his chest. She pressed against his leather jacket, and his arms tightened around her for one long moment, before he released her and stood gazing at her. The Time Lord said nothing, it seemed as though he had forgotten how to speak. His eyes were darkened and moist, and his expression was heavy, weighted with guilt and worry.

"Can you save the touching reunion scene for later, when we're all not dead?" Eroica asked, as the building around them gave another shuddering groan and the explosions outside drew nearer. "And Doctor, your dog..."

"K-9!" the Doctor exclaimed, rushing over and quickly lifting the heavy burden from Eroica's arms.

"What are you idiots still doing in here!" another very familiar voice bellowed, shaking the decrepit walls even more than they were. "This building is going to come down at any second-"

"For your information, Major, K-9 is critically wounded!"

The German regarded him with a blank stare for several minutes before dryly stating: "It can not be 'wounded' it is a robot-a machine-"

"Can you fix it?" Dorian asked, turning back to the Doctor and pointedly ignoring the major, probably for the first time in their lives.

The Doctor was cradling the dog in his arms and studying the damaged circuits and wires with a deep, unsettling frown on his face and a line of concentration creasing his forehead.

"You must be able to fix it!" the earl exclaimed, unable to stop the worry from flooding into his voice. Even if K-9 was a robot, he seemed more like a living being, he had a personality, he was...a friend.

Eroica caught his breath.

"I should be able to fix it," the Time Lord replied, tilting the metal body a little so that it made a non-to-healthy rattling sound. "I /am /brilliant, after all," he grinned.

Eroica felt himself smile a little at that, although he could not help regarding the broken thing in the Doctor's arms sadly. And that's when he caught the major staring at him. It was so sudden.-As though something like staring was ever done suddenly!-But the earl felt his heart jump as he caught the major in the corner of his eye, and when he turned, he was staring directly into those beautiful deep green orbs. Klaus never stared at him. Well, he /glared /at him sometimes, before he hit him for instance, but he had never, to Dorian's recollection, /stared /at him before. And the expression-difficult to read-

"I-it is little more than an elaborate toy, Lord Gloria. I doubt it can feel any pain..."

"But K-9 is-"

Then it hit him. So hard the realization cut off what he had been going to say.

The Major is trying to comfort me?

"God damn it! What?! What are you staring at, you pervert!"

Me?

"Oh. Sorry, I guess I just do it out of habit nowadays," he smiled. "Although I am happy you're trying to make me feel better, darling..."

The major's eyes instantly grew wide and all the colour drained from his face. It was actually really rather comical, the thief mused, tapping his fingertips against his lips thoughtfully. Klaus actually looked more terrified then when the Daleks had been shooting at them. "I-I was doing no such thing! I was just-it is just-a-a matter of fact and common sense-"

The Doctor, who had been watching the exchange between the two with a somewhat amused expression, suddenly frowned thoughtfully. "Wait a minute. Aren't we forgetting something here?"

"Yeah," Rose added. "Didn't you say something about the building collapsing?"

"YOU IDIOTS!" the major shouted.

Eroica squeaked. "Why didn't you say something earlier?"

The major positively growled at him, he looked ready to murder Eroica this time, but to the thief's surprise (and relief) he merely grabbed his arm in an iron-grip and began to pull him quickly away from the ruined building. Dorian stumbled after him, wincing a little at the bruising grip on his arm.

"I can run on my own, Major!"

"Shut up, idiot!"

The Doctor and Rose were on their heels, and the walls continued to collapse around them. In the distance, they heard the whining screech of laser fire and the bursts of rubble and cement exploding. The thin high pitched voices tore through the chaos like a knife, shrieking. "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"

Dorian felt himself shudder at the voices, and nearly tripped over the major's feet, stumbling so hard he probably would have fallen if not for the-now excruciating-grip on his arm. Klaus somehow managed to shake him roughly at the same time as dragging him-and the next thing the thief knew there was a deafening explosion over their heads and the entire building collapsed.

*


Everyone hates you. Everyone is just waiting for a reason to hate you.

That was the earliest conscious thought Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach could remember thinking-though he could not remember what, if anything, had led him to arrive at that conclusion. Perhaps it was brought on by the disdainful and quietly annoyed looks of unspoken exasperation on his tutors' faces, the frigid aloofness of the other boys at school, the sneer of expected-disappointment in his father's eyes, and even the submissive-terror of his agents and underlings.

Everyone hated. And so he hated, too. He hated his mother, for dying when he was a baby. He hated his father, for always wanting more from him. He hated his incompetent subordinates who looked to him all-too often like children looking to their father, and he hated his idiot superiors for being even stupider than his subordinates except that he couldn't send /them /to Alaska.

And he hated that damn thief Eroica most of all, for persisting to annoy him, for never giving up, for claiming that he loved him, which was, of course, the most outrageous lie of all.

But that was all he could think about as he watched the wall collapse on them, impossibly slowly. There wasn't any time to think about anything, but he was thinking about that, when he grabbed the thief's arm and pulled him beneath him, protecting him with his own body.


*


His head was throbbing when he opened his eyes to a blinding white light. "What?"

"Be quiet, Major! You've just had a very serious injury," the Doctor's voice chided. "You're in the TARDIS' medical room."

"What happened?" he asked, shutting his eyes as splinters of pain shot through his skull.

"A building collapsed on you."

"Idiot, I know that!" he growled. "I meant...afterwards."

"Well, the building also buried most of the Daleks. Rose and I had time to dig you and the earl out, and we carried you back to the TARDIS-"

"The earl! Lord Gloria, is he-?"

"He's alive," the Doctor said, "in fact he's right beside you,"

The major slowly opened his eyes, becoming more accustomed to the harsh lights, and turned his head slowly to the side. Eroica was lying on the bed next to him, unconscious. "You saved his life, Major," the Doctor told him. "He had a mild concussion, which I was able to treat, and he should wake up at any time now. You'll make a full recovery, too, by the way."

The major grunted and shut his eyes again, the world was swimming and blurry in front of them. In a minute, he had fallen back asleep. The Doctor shook his head and left the medical rooms, heading for the main console. He found Rose waiting for him.

"Well, how are they? Is Eroica going to be okay?" He recognized the worried tone in her voice. Since she had begun travelling with him, she had witnessed the deaths of too many people that she had befriended.

"He's going to be fantastic, Rose, there's nothing to worry about," he told her. "Besides, I thought you two didn't get along."

"I don't want him to die," she said, hugging herself tightly. "You're sure he'll be okay, then?"

"I told you, Rose..." he sighed, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Rose. It was a mistake for us to ever go to that planet. I put you all in danger, and I almost lost you and Eroica."

She shook her head. "No, you did what you had to do to convince them of the threat. Besides I've stopped being jealous."

"What?" he said, looking at her with genuine surprise. "But what were you jealous about?"

"Well, I thought that maybe with Eroica and the major along you wouldn't need me anymore, I mean, it's not like I'm anyone special or anything, I'm just a bloody sales clerk-or I was, before you blew up my place of employment."

"Don't be silly, Rose. I don't ask just anyone to come with me, you know."

"I know," she smiled. "And what can I say, Doctor? It's been the trip of a lifetime."

He grinned, taking her hand. "It's not over yet!"


*

It was altogether too bright. That was Dorian's first thought as his senses slowly returned to him. The blinding light. It was giving him a headache. He tried to move his arm and block it out, but his limbs felt like sacks of cement and a dull aching fire was smouldering painfully in his head. He tried to speak, but his throat felt closed and tight and the only sound that he could force through his lips was a weak sort of groan.

But the offending light was flicked off, and somewhere, through his groggy senses, Dorian thought he heard a very familiar voice grumble "Idiot."

When he heard that voice, he knew that he could allow his body to fall back into a restful sleep.

The second time he awoke, was better. The pain had receded and turned to a sort of dull ache, and although still heavy and slightly dizzy, his head was considerably clearer. He blinked his eyes several times at the white walls embedded with their strange protruding spheres before he remembered where he was, when he was (it sort of seemed an issue now) and what had happened.

What had happened...he remembered the major protecting him, protecting him with his own body...

The quiet scratching flicker of a lighter nearly made him jump out of his skin. He was so sure he had been alone. Blame it on post-operation wooziness, the thief told himself, turning slowly, his heart racing.

The next sight nearly made his heart stop. Again.

He really couldn't take much more of this.

The /major /was sitting there by his /bedside/, K-9 resting by his feet. The little robot dog had been fixed, and for a moment, all Eroica would do was stare. There was something almost...domestic about the picture they made there. And it was so...remarkable, to see the Iron Major there, sitting there... watching out for /him/? Dorian felt his pulse quicken again. Surely, he could be forgiven for staring /this /time.

He sighed wistfully, watching the major smoke. The silence lengthened.

"Darling, are you alright?"

"You alright?"

Both spoken at the same time. Wide blue eyes met green, for only the briefest of moments, before the major threw his hands up in a disgusted snarl. "/Me/? I'm not the one that was-you /idiot/! /My God, /can't you even get it through your empty English skull that YOU are the one who was injured?!"

/Actually, I thought the building fell on both of us, /the earl thought petulantly, but he couldn't get a word in so he merely folded his arms across his chest and listened.

"It serves you right for not paying attention! I told you idiots ten times that the building was collapsing. God knows, you think of nothing but your STUPID, PERVERTED-"

And it went on as such.

Dorian, as accustomed as he was to hearing the major's enraged rantings, found himself wincing a little as his still cloudy mind was assaulted by loud German profanities. K-9's ears twisted around several times, and the robot slid back away from the major's chair, retreating under the bed.

"You know, love. If I didn't know better I could swear you were actually worried about me!" he had to shout it out to be heard over the major's continuing rant, and when he did, Klaus halted so suddenly that the silence actually rang with the last lingering notes of their raised voices.

The major stood so quickly it was really more of a lunge, looming over the earl with a glare that might have killed a weaker man, or at the very least reduced him to a whimpering puddle of fear under those murderous and frosted military-green orbs. Eroica, of course, merely gazed back, finding his darling's outrage to be a bit of a turn-on. Even when the major leaned forwards, gripping the metal railing of the hospital-styled bedpost in a massive iron grip until his knuckles whitened, and his breath came out hot against Eroica's flesh.

Alright, /especially/, then.

And he just wouldn't be Eroica if he didn't offer the major a coy wink and, smiling, say: "Normally, I prefer to be the top, not the bottom, but for you, darling, I'll make an exception!"

As he might have predicted, the major stared at him with his blank horrified-petrified expression...but this time he didn't start shouting and swearing at him. The major didn't even move. But stared at him.

Dorian blinked.

Klaus swallowed. "You...you..."

"Pervert?" Eroica supplied helpfully, a little worried by the major's stunned expression and the fact that Klaus still hadn't /moved/... "Major?"

"You confuse me," the major sighed, finally, relaxing his grip on the bedposts and leaning back, lighting a cigarette.

Dorian blinked. "So, what else is new?" he sighed, feeling around his throat and noticing the diamonds were gone with dismay. "My necklace..."

"What, that hideous thing?" the major asked.

"Those were diamonds from Arlington's," the thief sighed. "Oh, and it looked so good on me too!"

"You can always steal another one," the major murmured, leaning back in his chair. Dorian stared at him for a moment.

A small silence stretched between them, in which the major smoked, the earl stared at him, and the robot dog went back to its place between the two, it's head lowered slightly and its red eye-band dimmed.


*

"You're telling us that the villain who is creating these monsters is another Time Lord?" the major said in disbelief.

"One of /your /people, Doctor?" Eroica asked. They had both recovered and were standing in the TARDIS control room with the Doctor, Rose, and the repaired K-9. Dorian sat on the floor, leaning against the main console, one hand resting affectionately on K-9's back.

"But I thought you said the Time Lords fought a war against the Daleks. Why would one your people-"

"It's more than that," Rose said, stepping up. "Until recently we thought the Doctor was the last surviving Time Lord."

"My planet was destroyed in the Time War," the Doctor said grimly. "I thought that I was the only one who had survived, but it seems..."

Rose reached over and touching his arm gently. Their eyes met for a moment before the Doctor sighed and looked away. "We'll need to confront him if we want to put a stop to this. Unfortunately, he seems to have vanished from the space station we were on earlier."

"So this Time Lord is the one who abducted us?" Eroica asked.

The Doctor nodded, gazing over the TARDIS controls. "He must remember you from before, and he knew that he could get to me by taking you as his prisoners."

The major scowled. "Doctor, you have acted as though you had already known us since we met, and now you say this villain remembers us, but we-"

"You'll remember him," the Doctor said, his face grim. "He calls himself 'the Master and I don't expect he's changed much.'"

"The Master?" Eroica exclaimed, eyes widening. "That lunatic we ran into in France all those years ago?"

The major shook his head. "He was a spy for the Soviets-"

"No," the Doctor shook his head. "He was a Time Lord. I thought he had died long ago...but he isn't a very easy person to kill, believe me!"

"And...I remember meeting a chap who called himself the Doctor back then, now that I think about it," Dorian continued slowly. "But, he, Doctor, he certainly wasn't you!" the earl exclaimed, his brow creased in confusion.

"No," the major agreed. "None of this makes any sense to me. But this Master was a dangerous enemy then, and he is surely now, especially with these new weapons of his-"

"But why is he making them, if he's a Time Lord?" Eroica asked.

The Doctor threw up his hands. "I don't know! I don't know!" He sighed. "But now we're going in circles."

"His motives are unimportant," the major said finally. "We just need to stop him."

The Doctor and Rose nodded. "Alright...so, what do we do?" Rose asked, "I mean, we can't just go waltzing in there, he's got an army of wannabe-Daleks just waiting for us..."

"Correction Rose," the Doctor said, gesturing to the TARDIS control panel. "I can go /anywhere/..."


*

"So why did we go /here/?" Dorian asked, as the TARDIS doors opened to reveal another war-torn cityscape.

"I-" the Doctor paused, frowning, and looked back at the TARDIS. "I don't know. Come on, old girl, why didn't you take us back to the space station?"

"Are we back on that planet?" Rose asked. "Renfar...III, was it?"

"I think so," the Doctor nodded.

But this time they were in the heart of the city and there were people, who crept out of the buildings cautiously and looked at them. "People, Doctor!" Dorian exclaimed, "Are they human?"

The Doctor nodded. "Surprisingly, yes. I'd forgotten that the Renfar planets were some of the first to be colonized by Earthmen in the-"

"Who are you?" one scared-looking girl asked.

"Who indeed?" some sort of military officer demanded, striding forwards. "I'm Captain Roctil of the Renfar military, identify yourselves immediately."

"Well, I'm the Doctor, and this is my assistant Rose," he said.

The officer's eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"My name is Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach of NATO,"

"NATO hasn't existed for twelve thousand years," the Doctor whispered.

"WHO are you people?!"

"Ahem, well, as you can see," the Doctor said, flashing out the blank white card Eroica had stolen from him earlier, "we're very important people!"

The major watched in confusion as the people stared at the blank card and immediately changed their minds about them, smiling, nodding, some even cheering. "Oh, thank god you're here!" the captain exclaimed. "The Master has our city surrounded by his Daleks, it won't be long now before they move in for the kill. Ninety percent of the military has already been wiped out by the attacks on Renfar I and II. We're so glad you're here, General."

"General?!" the major choked, looking at the Doctor in disbelief.

"It's psychic paper," the Doctor said under his breath. "Shows them what they want to see," he turned back to the waiting populace, grinning madly, "alright then, show me what you've got!"


*


"We have few tanks and anti-tank missiles-"

"Fantastic!" said the Doctor. "That's just what we need."

"Tanks?" said the major, nodding. "Yes, very good..."

The Doctor watched as Eroica looked over to the major and smiled. He hoped that for once nobody would die, but he'd never had that sort of luck...on that note he reached over and took Rose's hand. He felt her warm fingers close over his. She trusted him so completely, followed him away from everything she had ever known. They walked with the others to the last makeshift shelter the Renfar had constructed, it had taken as much of a battering as the rest of the city, but at least it still stood. The survivors were soon crowding around them.

"What can we do?"

The Doctor had just opened his mouth to answer when Major Eberbach's authoritative voice filled the room. "Get me a list of the chain of command, a catalogue of the weapons and supplies available, maps of the city and surrounding areas with the Dalek-landing sights highlighted. IDIOTS! Don't just stand there-we have a city to defend! What do you think you're doing, standing around? You, get me a report, NOW! You-I need to see every anti-tank weapon you have!"

"Yes, Sir!" someone shouted.

The Doctor couldn't help scowling just a bit-he'd travelled through space and time for nine hundred years and no one had ever called him 'Sir!' "Well, it looks like he's got this lot under control," Rose said.

"We'll have to start blockading-where are those maps?! Idiots!" the major shouted.

Eroica smiled. The Doctor nodded. "I think you're right."

They learned that the structure had many levels underground, which was how the surviving Renfar had managed to hide from the Daleks so far; they had constructed trench-like passageways, partly from existing tunnels that might have once served as sewers or a tube system, with more tunnels and escape-routes hastily dug out. The central meeting place where the survivors stored their weapons and supplies was also located directly beneath an old factory which, the alien informed them, housed highly explosive chemical materials.

Out of the corner of his eye, the Doctor could see Major Eberbach regarding the shoddy work with an unimpressed scowl, but at the same time, the officer appeared to be enjoying the atmosphere and danger of the approaching warfare. By 'enjoying,' of course, the Doctor meant that he merely noted a hard glint in the German's green eyes and a slight twitch upwards at the corners of his mouth.

"So, what have we got here?" the Doctor asked, turning back to Captain Roctil and rubbing his hands together in anticipation. "These are the most ruthless creatures in the universe we're dealing with here, you had better have something for us to work with!"

The major was, in the mean time, intently studying the maps that had been hastily retrieved for him. He already had the alien army scurrying about in fright and following his orders, the Doctor noted this with some amazement. It seemed at least one of them was in his element.

"You! Bring me the plans for these tunnels. And you! Don't just stand around gawking like an idiot! I want a list of the points our enemies have established stations at, as well as a complete account of the supplies stored here and..."

The Doctor shook his head and ventured a ways down one of the tunnels, poking about until he practically collided with a short dark-haired girl. She was pale and thin, streaks of dirt marking a sharp contrast to her pale face. Wide brown eyes looked up at him in fright, but he had on his usual manic grin, which seemed to put her at ease. "Hello there, I was wondering if you could show me were you keep the weapons?"

When she smiled nervously, he thought it best to add: "The really, really BIG weapons."

The girl led him and Rose to the weapon holds and he grabbed an anti-tank missile-launcher, hoisting it onto his arm. It was an enormous black and silver canon, with a recoil far too deadly for many people to handle safely. "What do you think, K-9? It's not dalekanium, but do you think this'll do the trick?"



A little antennae equipped with a small round disk stretched out of the robot dog's eye band and towards the weapon. K-9 paused for a moment as his data banks scanned the equipment before the mechanical voice chirped: "Affirmative, Master. If a direct shot is fired upon a Dalek at a range of 100 meters there is 87.592 chance of resulting in irreparable damage to that Dalek. There is 92.345 margin of error in that calculation. Approximately."

"Doctor," Rose said suddenly, putting her hands on the barrel of the weapon. "I don't think you should use this."

He looked at her in surprise. She met his gaze almost helplessly. "You remember Van Statten's museum? You had something like this...you /changed/, Doctor."

"This is different, Rose-"

He looked at her, her large brown eyes soft with tears. She had been so compassionate that time, even towards a Dalek. She'd retained her humanity when he had almost lost his. She had been so beautiful, right then. He sighed, lowering the canon. "The major will enjoy it though, I'm sure."

She grabbed his arm, "I'm sure."


*

Iron Klaus pulled back the trigger on the weapon the Doctor had found for him. It was almost a rocket-launcher, the ammunition it fired appeared to be a blinding sphere of light the size of a basketball. He wasn't sure how it made sense, or what it was made out of, but he had to hand it to the Doctor, at least the thing made a decent explosion.

/Hmph. /The recoil was enough so that he definitely /felt /it, like an incredible kick in the chest, which hardly mattered to THE Iron Klaus, he thought, straightening and firing another shot, from his station along the barren rooftop of the factory/military headquarters. He watched as the ball of energy surged and exploded in the far distance, resulting in a satisfying burst of earth and fake Daleks. He smirked at the pure madness of it.

Beside him, Captain Roctil was busy shouting orders to his men. The Doctor stood at the other end of the rooftop, studying the Dalek forces through some sort of binocular gadget. "Remember, when the Daleks move over the western tunnels, we collapse them!" Rose shouted.

"I know, not yet!" the Doctor called back, studying the encroaching forces. Minutes ran by, the major fired again and another horde of alien weaponry exploded in a fiery blaze. "NOW!"

"NOW!" Captain Roctil shouted, and the tunnels, rigged with explosives from the old chemical factory, burst. A scalding wind blew over them, thick with dust and smoke and a hundred Daleks were obliterated.

But it was not enough. No matter how many they killed, more and more continued to appear. The Daleks fired missiles and continued to advance, robots who cared nothing for if those ahead of them perished or not. But then, based on what the Doctor had told them earlier, the major wondered if real Daleks would have cared, either.

A missile struck the building and the east wall collapsed in a sound like thunder, the entire structure shaking beneath their feet. "We have to pull back!" the Doctor shouted. "We can't win like this!"

"Fuck," the major growled, firing another shot before leaping down from his post. "You're right."

They ran back down to the main floors, filled with smoke and chaos from the explosion. The major froze, one horrifying thought gripping his chest. /Lord Gloria... /The relief he felt when he saw the familiar crown of golden curls stumbling out of the smoke, coughing, surprised himself, and he clutched Eroica forcefully against him. He felt the warm catsuit beneath his hands and the curls tickling his nose. The thief had gone perfectly still. "Major...?"

The explosions outside the complex continued long into the night. Their limited forces were surrounding the complex, barricading the perimeter, but nothing could shake the chill that hung over the soldiers and civilians stationed there. The glowing bulbous eyes glinted through the darkness of night. It seemed that everyone realized it was only a matter of time before the Dalek-machines closed in for the kill.

The major had spent the last hour going over new defense strategies with the Doctor and Captain Roctil, but now...he stared outside at the dark sky, and listened to the distant explosions. This isn't how Iron Klaus is supposed to die...

Eroica had fallen asleep in the corner of the room, unwilling to leave his side even for a moment, and Klaus didn't have the energy to be angry with him. A moment later the thief stirred a little and woke up, looking at Klaus for a moment and then sighing. "So we're still here, I thought maybe it was a dream..."

The major snorted. The earl stood slowly, wincing at his cramped muscles and stretched. "Are we going to die here?"

The major shook his head, "I don't know."

"I..." he sighed, hugging his arms around his chest tightly. "You really hate me, don't you?"

"Yes, of course," the major answered roughly. "But then, you hate me, too."

Eroica smiled a little at that. "True," he said, "But I love you, too."

For the first time he did look at Dorian, carefully, contemplatively. It was a look the major had never regarded him with before. He sighed. "I don't hate you, Eroica."

In the next few seconds, Eroica was across the room and hugging him as though the walls were falling in and it really was the end. He took a moment to be amazed by the force of that embrace, before putting his hands firmly on the thief's shoulders. He had every intent of pushing him away. He breathed in the scent of roses and drew the thief closer to him.

"This is not the end," Dorian whispered, but his voice was shaking, "how can it be?"

"It's not like you to be afraid, Thief," the major murmured. He was tired. He must have been, to be running his hands along the warmth of that sleek black catsuit. Dorian was nuzzling his neck, and he wasn't resisting. He had hands full of the springy golden curls, and then ran his hands along the smooth throat, drawing Dorian's head back a little so that he could kiss him. His mouth was warm and sweet, and for a long moment, they stood locked like that.

"Dorian..." he said in a low voice, when they pulled apart.

The thief's eyes widened. "Major, you called me..."

The explosions continued outside. He nodded slowly, and pulled Dorian back to him, resting his chin against the golden curls. He felt Dorian hugging him tightly. "Major Eberbach! Sir!" the captain's voice shouted, "the Daleks-!"


*

They had been fighting for hours. The major leapt from their hiding place, firing the magnum and feeling the shock of the recoil running through his arms. He had never been in a battle before that had seemed so hopeless. No matter how many they damaged, more kept coming. It was becoming painfully obvious that there really was no limit to the fake Daleks that were being sent at them, and their enemies would continue to press forward until the major's team ran out of ammunition...

He fell back against the wall, feeling the muscles in his arms ache. Dorian was crouched beside him, hunched over in dismay. The explosions, the gunfire, had been going for hours. K-9 was perched beside Dorian. The robot had been useful at the beginning for transmitting data on the positions of the enclosing Daleks, but now...it hardly seemed worth it. Dorian whimpered slightly, hugging K-9 around the neck. "Master," the robot noted reassuringly, its head rising and falling quietly. Rose looked to the Doctor.

"There must be something we can do!" she shouted, "We can't just give up here! We have to keep trying! We have to fight!"




They were running through deserted, alien streets. The Renfar personnel had been scattered, to be hunted down like rats. It was dark and they ran towards the hazy image of hills that loomed like slumbering guardians just beyond the crumbling buildings.

Rose stared up into the darkness and the faintly shifting coils of smoke and dark clouds moving against the darker sky. Everything felt thick and cold and suffocating. "We have to get out of here," she said, grasping the Doctor's hand.

Eroica nodded weakly, one hand covering his mouth, his eyes closed. "Yes..." he murmured.

"...'m not scared," he added in a soft voice when they had climbed the hills and stood at the edge of one grassy cliff, looking out over the alien land where they would die, the alien land that was scarred and torn with swelling fires of red and orange, clouds of black smoke, smouldering craters, and war-ravaged valleys. The wind, hot with the burning of the fires, brushed his curls.

"Don't be an idiot," Major Eberbach snapped back. It was more out of habit than anything else, and the deepest bitterness was not aimed, for once, at the conniving art thief. His hands were clenched at his sides, as useless as himself, unable to do anything but watch from a mountaintop as the world around him ended. "Of course you're scared. We all are," he added quietly. Klaus felt the large blue eyes turn to him, and study him for a long, painful moment, as the smoke shifting through the air from the fires below stung his eyes.

Finally, the major allowed himself to study the Englishman. The air whipped several long golden curls across the pale white face, and Dorian hardly bothered brushing them back, hugging his arms tightly around his chest, swaying slightly. Looking at the sky, looking at nothing.

"Stop that!" Klaus snapped, turning his eyes back to the scene of destruction unfolding beneath them. "You'll throw yourself right off the damned cliff!"

Dorian's gaze turned back to him again, startled, the wide blue eyes filled with something between tears and shadows, but slowly filling with that same strange inner warmth that they had so often gazed upon the major with in the past.

There were no words, but Klaus felt the surprisingly timid warm touch of fingers brushing tentatively against his hand, hovering there...He grabbed the hand tightly with his own, forcing his fingers roughly between the earl's and held them tightly. There was so much lost already. This whole fucking alien world. And now they would die here, far from Germany, far from the /Earth, /and no one would ever know what had happened to them. Damned if he was going to let Dorian get off as easily as throwing himself off the damned cliff. Klaus squeezed harder, felt the hand he was clasping tense for a moment in shock, and then tighten firmly around his own.

"I'm still here, Klaus," Dorian's voice told him softly. And somehow, those words meant the world to him.

Beside them, Rose had wound her arms around the Doctor's neck, and buried her face in his shoulder. The four of them stood, watching the destruction helplessly. "Can't you do something?" Rose asked the Doctor. "If we get back to the TARDIS, can you use it to go back to next week or something and-"

"It doesn't work that way, Rose," he said quietly, his eyes were dark. She buried her face in the front of his jacket.

"No, I figured you would say something like that."

"Rose-"

"Hey, 's alright, Doctor," she said, "it's not your fault. Remember, what we were saying earlier? About it being the trip of a lifetime, you know?"

"Better with two," he said, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'm so glad I met you, Rose."

"I'm glad I met you, too, Doctor-"

"Oh please, can we break up this touchy-feely mushy little scene here? Please? Thank you," the four of them turned to see a man dressed all in black, with a dark moustache and beard. He was even wearing a long black cape. "Ah, Doctor, so, do you like my little game here?" He grinned at them, a maniacal glint in his eyes.

"You!" Dorian exclaimed in surprise.

"Ah, so you remember me, do you?" the Master cackled.

"You monster," the Doctor said, "I'm not letting you get away this time! Not after this!"

Rose looked from one to the other, "Doctor, what's going on?"

"This man is the Master, Rose, he's a Time Lord, like me," he answered, "I can't believe you survived."

The Master bowed his head a little. "Well, just barely. I must admit I'm a little curious to know how /you /managed to survive, Doctor."

"How could you do this?" the Doctor demanded.

"What do you mean how could I do this? Honestly, Doctor, I'm the /Master/. Besides, isn't it a grand ironic statement to the universe?" he asked, striding to the edge of the cliff and spreading his arms theatrically. "The last of the Time Lords decides to carry out the work of the monsters who destroyed his own planet?"

"That's not ironic, it's mad!" the Doctor shouted. "This isn't one of your games!"

"Oh, I rather think it is," the Master replied, turning to him with a vicious grin. "Don't you ever feel horrible about what happened at the end of the Time Wars? Don't you ever wish to get back at the universe for that cruel twist of fate, that extinction of one of the greatest planets in the cosmos? The end of our people, Doctor? Don't you ever want revenge?"

"What have these people done?!" the Doctor said. "And how dare you build your puppets to look like the bloody Daleks! You are insane..."

"Maybe, but you can't stop me now, Doctor. No one can! Soon I will be master of all matter!" he threw back his head and laughed. "I will have something, finally, after suffering for so long!"

"Is that right?" said the major, raising an eyebrow, his magnum pointed at the Master's head.

"Uh-well-of course-"

"How could you do this?" Rose demanded, the wind whipping her long blonde hair around her face.

"Well, well, if it isn't the bad wolf-"

"What?"

"My dear, I can do this quite simply! As simply as, say-THIS!" he cried, whipping a laser gun out from beneath his cape and firing it at the major. The burst of red light struck the major in the chest, and he collapsed, the magnum falling from his hand.

"Major!" Eroica cried, falling to his knees beside him. "Oh God, Klaus-"

"Oh God, you killed him!" Rose sobbed, falling to her knees. But after she'd dropped to the ground, she felt her fingers curling around the sharp edges of a heavy rock.

The Master turned his attention back to his rival Time Lord. "So, that's your new body, is it? Don't you think the ears are a bit much?"

"At least I didn't steal it!" the Doctor growled.

"You killed him!" Rose shouted, and as he turned towards her she hurled the rock at his head. The stone smashed into his face, and he stumbled backwards, an enraged cry of pain and surprise tearing out of his throat.

The Doctor grabbed his shoulders, knocking the laser from his hand, "call off your Dalek fleets /now/!"

"And if I don't?" the Master growled, wiping away the blood as it ran down his forehead.

"Major, please," Dorian said, leaning over the body of Iron Klaus, "you can't be dead-you can't be-"

The Master laughed, the sound rising through the air, loud and booming. "I've already won, Doctor! Even if you kill me, nothing can stop my pseudo-Daleks from taking over the universe. I've made them too perfect! Nothing can stop them now!" he laughed.

"You..." Eroica said, knuckling the tears out of his eyes and grabbing the major's gun from the ground as he stood. "You bastard..." he breathed, his entire body trembling with rage.

The Doctor looked at Eroica with wide eyes, and the Master's face paled at the sight of the gun aimed at him in a shaking grip. "How dare you-/You/-kill the greatest man that ever lived?! I'll kill you myself!"

"No!" shouted the Master, raising his hands, "I'll call them off, I swear!"

"Destroy them!" the Doctor shouted.

"Y-Yes," the Master agreed shakily, his eyes frozen on the gun. "I can destroy them easily from here, you'll see, there's really no need to be so hasty-" he lifted his wrist slowly, revealing a device fastened to it almost like a watch. "I'll just-"

"No tricks!" the Doctor growled, "or so help me, I'll let him kill you!"

The Master paled, looking around him at the murderous faces and evidently decided it would be wisest to live to scheme another day. He pressed a series of buttons on the device and then sighed. "There, it's over, my greatest plan-to date-destroyed, once again, by you, Doctor."

"Nothing's happening," Rose said, looking out over the fire-ravaged city below them.

"All over this world my Daleks are self destructing. They never even enslaved a galaxy," he moaned, "they never even had a chance!"

"It is true," K-9 told them, his sensors whirring, "my sensors do not detect anymore Dalek-like beings on this planet. It is most satisfactory."

Eroica tightened his grip on the magnum, his entire body shaking, "you-"

"Wait!" the Doctor said. The Master looked relieved. "Get him to destroy the space station, too."

"What?" the Master's eyes widened, "Doctor, now really, be reasonable-"

"You killed the major-you KILLED the major-" Dorian said, shaking.

The Master swallowed, and saw that behind the thief, the girl had picked up another especially jagged looking rock, just in case. "...I see your point," he pushed another series of buttons.

The blast seemed to shake the entire planet; the sky exploded in a burst of hot red and orange flames, the wind scorching, raked over them and the ground lurched, knocking Rose to her knees. Dorian fell backwards, grasping the body of the major as the explosion sent a blinding flash of light ripping through everything. The Doctor stumbled backwards, releasing his grip on the Master and collapsing against K-9, whose head was lowered as though to brace against the sudden wind.

The echoing boom was louder than thunder and shook everything. Rose felt it grate through every bone in her body. The next moment, it was over, dust and debris were streaming from the sky, blazing into what looked like shooting stars. "Doctor," she said, standing shakily, and he moved beside her, putting a steadying arm around her shoulders. "it's incredible!"

"Yeah," he agreed quietly. "We win, fancy that. But the Master is gone." Her eyes widened in surprise and she looked around, quick to see that he was right. "And the major is-"

"You're alive!!" Eroica shrieked, and they both turned to see the major and the earl lying on the ground, wrapped in a tight embrace. "You're alive! Oh, Klaus! Major! You're alive!"

"Yes, yes," the major grumbled, struggling to sit up and grudgingly allowing the earl to help support him as they stood. "I have a pounding headache..."

"Major!" the Doctor exclaimed. "I never would have dreamed a human could survive that shot!"

"Iron Klaus can survive anything!" Eroica said, nuzzling his neck.

"Stop that!" the major snapped, but he pulled Dorian closer to him when the earl moved to back away. "Were you really going to shoot him?" he asked.

"You saw that?" the earl asked.

"I've never seen you handle a loaded gun looking that confident before," the major said. "It surprised me."

"Well, I thought you were dead, love! I was too angry to think about how much I hate guns!" Eroica replied.

"Ah. You probably would have missed if you had shot at him, anyways," the major said, smirking. "It's lucky for us all that he'd never seen you with a gun before!"

"Hey!" Eroica pouted. "That's not very nice of you!"

"And you idiots let that madman get away!" the major added, turning to glare at the Doctor and Rose.

"I'm surprised he gave in at the end," Rose said, "after all his talk about 'even if you kill me blah blah blah...'"

The Doctor shrugged. "Knowing the Master, he'll be back," he sighed, "with an even more twisted scheme."

"Well, we've done our job for today," Rose replied brightly, "saved the universe an' all. Where to now?"

"Oh, I don't know," the Doctor replied, taking her hand as they began to head back down the hillside, to find the TARDIS. "Would you fancy meeting Cleopatra?"

"I believe you are forgetting something, Doctor," the major said darkly. "The thief and I need to get back to Earth."

"Really? You know, you could come with me and Rose if you like," he said, exchanging a glance with Rose. "If that's okay with you, Rose?"

She nodded. "'s definitely okay with me."

"You could go anywhere in time and space-ancient Earth, the far corners of the galaxy, the end of the world-"

"No, we've already done that one already," Rose said, shaking her head.

"Alright then, the end of Mercury!"

"Didn't you say something about visiting a planet with the ocean all frozen?"

Dorian and Klaus looked at each other. "What do you think, Major?"

"I think we're needed back on our own planet, God only knows how badly those idiots at NATO have buggered everything up without me there."

"And there was that new exhibit at the British Museum I was planning to-um-visit," Eroica agreed. "I think you better take us home, Doctor."


*


"So, you kissed me, back on that alien world," Eroica said, as the blue police box disappeared before their eyes, it's engines whirring.

The major gave him a sidelong glance, lighting a cigarette. "I suppose I did."

"Well? Are you going to say it never happened?"

"I'm trying to tell myself that whole experience never happened," came the terse reply.

Dorian sighed, looking up at the night sky that had settled over London. "Yeah, I figured you would say something like that-"

"But I can't,"

Dorian turned to the major in surprise. "What?"

Klaus took a long drag off his cigarette, and pulled the earl against him, claiming his mouth in a long, hot kiss. A minute later, a loud beep interrupted them, "Masters, my scanners detect-"

The major sighed, "what are we going to do about this thing?"

"I think it was marvellous of the Doctor to let us keep him," Dorian smiled, dropping to the ground and giving the metal dog a pat on the head. "And he's a robot so we don't need to buy food for him, James will be ecstatic!"

The major tossed the remains of his cigarette to the ground, looking suddenly irritated. "What is it?" the thief asked.

"Well, are you going to invite me back to Castle Gloria or not?"

Dorian's eyes widened in surprise and delight, a mischievous smile lighting up his face. "Well, when you put it like that, darling..."

*

The next morning, Dorian sprawled comfortably in bed, buried in a multitude of quilts and blankets. "Master!" a familiar mechanical voice chirped. Dorian groaned and rolled over, burying his head in the thick feather pillow.

"K-9..." the earl groaned. "I'm sleeping! You're as bad as James!"

"Master, you did request to be awoken at six-thirty AM," the robot dog replied. "And it is now ten past seven."

"That doesn't sound like something I'd request..." he sighed, rolling over.

"Are you still in bed?" an equally familiar voice demanded. Dorian finally managed to pry one eye open. Klaus was standing-well, looming really-over his bed. This made the thief smile lazily.

"Ooh, darling, I could get used to seeing you first thing in the morning!" Dorian exclaimed, before yawning. "....you know, you look tired, I think you should come back to bed, Major," he purred, but alas, Klaus was fully dressed, already, adjusting his tie, even.

Oh well, there was always a certain amount of fun to be had in /un/-dressing, which made the thief smile even more. "Yes, I think you really should definitely come back to bed, Major..."

Klaus rolled his eyes. "Come on, get up, or we'll be late."

"We don't have to go anywhere, it's Sunday!"

"It's /Monday/!"

"I don't care!"

"Don't make me get K-9 to shoot a laser at you!"

"K-9 wouldn't do that, he loves me!"

"He is nothing more than a dog-shaped machine!"

The small robot's ears were busy twisting back and forth all the while, the tail wagging. He was already used to his new masters bickering.

"Besides, you don't have to be back in Bonn today, do you? Call them and tell the chief you're finally taking some of those holidays you have saved up."

"I already have," the major replied.

"Really?" Dorian asked, cracking one eye back open and looking up at his beloved lazily. "So you COULD come to bed, now, you know."

"I do not approve of lazing around in bed all day!"

"It's /seven a.m./! Besides..." Dorian suddenly bolted straight up, grabbed Klaus by the shoulders and dragged him back to bed forcibly. "I /like /spending time with you in bed, darling! I promise, there won't be anything 'lazy' about it!"

It was amusing to watch his beloved turn several interesting shades of red; so adorably bashful Klaus was, sometimes. "If it were up to you, we would never do anything besides-besides-"

"Yes, darling?" Dorian asked, fluttering his eyelashes up at him. "Anything wrong with that?" he asked, trying to get Klaus' jacket off, amid considerably struggling.
"Dorian-not-not in front of K-9!"

The thief pouted, but finally relented, knowing Klaus would /have /to give in to him later; he would make sure of it! "I thought he was just a 'dog shaped machine.'"

"He is a very sensitive machine!" the major snapped, straightening his jacket and fixing his tie. "Now, get up, shower and dress so I can take you on our date!"

"Aye, aye, captain..." Dorian muttered, already falling back asleep.

"NOW!"

K-9 might have barked in agreement if he had the proper sound clip in his databanks. As it was, he wagged his tail.



END.




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