• I'll sink Manhattan
Right under the sea
I'll find the sweetest spot to watch
As it goes away
You were so happy
With the things that you said
Like, "He's my lower half," you laughed
But you're going to cry
A river of tiny tears flow from your crocodile eyes
Too late to apologize, I say, as flood waters rise… •
He only just makes it to the top of the building by the time the tides reach them. Everything on this part of America has collapsed except this one building. It's funny, but once upon a time he stood at this peak, looking over a very different Manhattan, and succeeded in saving the world.
Now, all he's done is fail.
He tries to pump the heart of the woman next to him. One, two, three. Nothing. And again. One, two, three. He's too little to hold enough oxygen in his lungs to breathe life into her. He's too helpless to save her. Drowned, like the rest of the people in this city.
Harriet Jones. Former PM.
The apologies that he speaks now mean nothing. He didn't know. He didn't know this would happen, but it did and it's too late. He scrambles back, his little legs pushing him towards the building's spire quickly, but not quickly enough. He feels hot tears start to run down his face. He's failed. Failed, failed, failed.
A year ago, he wouldn't have cried like this. He's been trapped as a little boy for too long, now. And the one time, the one time he tried to escape, his captor drowned a city to bring him back. Drowned a city full of people. Good people. People like Wilfred Mott and Leo Jones and Harriet Jones, former PM.
The present PM's helicopter is lowering towards the Empire State building, the black machine mirrored against the sparkling, still water. The Doctor watches the shiny shoes of the Master, stepping around the spire until he faces him. He doesn't even acknowledge Harriet Jones, former PM. He only barely acknowledges the crying little boy in front of him.
"Oh, don't be stupid," he snaps. "I didn't do this because of you, you idiot."
He nudges the Doctor's arm with his shiny shoe, but the Doctor can't react, now. All he can do is cry like the child the Master has told him he is.
The Master crouches in front of him, his expression almost pitying, like a father having to tell his son that Father Christmas isn't real. "This is where the resistance was holding a very big meeting," he says, all patronizing and stern. "You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, sonny. But it's a very good job that Daddy Master has come to pick you up, isn't that right?"
"I hate you." It's one of the most immature things he's managed to say, but right now he means it with every fiber of his diminutive being. He hates the Master, he hates everything that's happened. He hates that his running shoes don't fit and he hates the miniature suit he's wearing and he hates, hates, hates what's become of the planet he loves.
The Master looks amused. It's infuriating. "It's always the fate of a father to watch his son hate him until he realizes he's right."
"You're not my father, Master." But even the way he says the Master's name seems small. The Master seems to notice that, too, because his eyebrows crinkle together in distaste. He doesn't get the same high he once did from the Doctor saying his name. Things will change again, soon, and the Doctor doesn't want to think how.
The Master nods upwards, and soon the Doctor hears the clomp-clomp of very high heels. Lucy Saxon, a brand new split on her lip (unsurprising, considering she was the one who was supposed to be watching the Doctor when he escaped), comes rushing over, immediately scooping the tiny Time Lord into her arms.
He doesn't resist, instead going limp as she holds him. Her grip is a little too tight, and he knows she must blame him for the Master's treatment of her. Blame the Doctor for every bruise and every pain she's suffered. Blame him for the things that have happened to this once beautiful world.
As he looks over her shoulder at the drowned city, he can't help but agree with her.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 676