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Should've Seen It Coming

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The Brigadier walked down the corridors of the UNIT headquarters, feeling a little insecure. He wasn't an insecure man, quite the contrary, but the idea of opening his heart and being read by someone he barely knew certainly made him uncomfortable. Even though he had a few topics he was very eager to clear out of his head. 

When he arrived at the therapist's office, he saw someone he didn't expect. That was definitively not Dr. McDuff. The guy who sat behind the desk, scribling something on his pad, was a total stranger - a weird guy, with glasses and blond hair that almost looked like a wig. Still, he brushed his opinions on the man's appearance away. Men of his apparent age probably had a wig for every hair color.

“I’m sorry I thought Dr. McDuff was the therapist? I mean, I know that, I just haven’t actually been here before.”

“Aaah, you see”, the man replies in a weird accent, “Dr. McDuff is on a sick leave for some undetermined time.”

The Brigadier rose his eyebrows: “Ah. Poor fella. Do you know what he had?”

The new therapist looked just a bit annoyed, if the Brigadier could even tell: he was almost expressionless, as if he wore a mask – no, he probably had a stroke.

“Motorcycle accident, or so I’ve heard.”

“Really? I’ve always seen him arrive on his car, never thought he rode a motorcycle.”

“Apparently he didn’t. But let’s not dwell on it – I’m Dr. McMasterson. Pleased to meet you.”

The Brigadier shook his hand, and was beginning to feel a little suspicious. Especially because the shade of the skin on the man’s hand didn’t match the shade of the skin on his face. But still, he ignored it. For now.

“Please, sit down, Alistair. I may call you Alistair, right?”

“I guess so. You’re going to learn all about my childhood anyway”, he laughed.

Dr. McMasterson tried o open a smile, and the Brig wondered if he couldn’t because he didn’t find his “joke” funny or if he couldn’t move his face.

“Ah yes, Alistair, true. But I thought we could try a different approach. Tell me about the Doctor.”

The Brigadier stared at him skeptically.

“Why do you wanna know about him?”

“I’ve heard a lot about him from my predecessor. He observed all people who worked here and even tried to talk to him, but he refused to be analyzed. It is known that you two are friends, but he often causes you a great deal of trouble. Tell me, how did the two of you meet?”

The Brigadier proceeded to tell the therapist about his story with the Doctor, and noticed that while he took notes, he kept looking over his pad with an evil glint on his eyes. Was he scheming? No, what would a therapist be scheming? Some new, unorthodox therapy method?

Maybe that could solve all of his problems.

“…and he keeps trying to fix his TARDIS – this time and space machine – so he can get away from this lif-”

As always…”, Dr. McMasterson muttered with a sigh.

“I beg your pardon?”

The man looked up at him.

“What?”

“You said, ‘as always’… how well do you know the Doctor?”

Dr. McMasterson looked slightly uneasy for a moment. “I don’t. That’s what I heard from Dr. McDuff.”

The Brigadier didn’t believe it, especially now that that weird accent seemed to be “wearing off” into one that was a bit too familiar. The Brigadier then continued his story:

“Now, to the worst part: there’s this man, whatever he is, who keeps coming up with the most absurd plans to conquer planet Earth. The entire planet! I mean, I’ve seen my fair share of strange things but he’s absolutely unhinged. Calls himself the Master. Master of what? He can’t even manage to make some evil entity to like him”, the Brigadier laughed, and noticed that the man’s face had become a bit contorted, in a weird way. Like he was indeed wearing a mask and making a face underneath it.

“Anyway", the Brigadier continued, "I don’t know what the Doctor sees in him, but even though they fight, they’re also… well, I did run into them making out on the Doctor’s lab once”, the therapist couldn’t hide the smile underneath the mask, “I turned my back and walked away. Usually I just yell at the Doctor but that was too much for me. I mean, should I have seen it coming? I know the Doctor lets the Master escape on purpose. I questioned him once, and he didn’t answer me. I don’t know what else to do, it’s starting to look bad for UNIT, it’s bad for the morale, and I can’t fire the Doctor because he’s our specialist in everything! I just want to lay down my head on the pillow for one goddamn night without the Doctor calling me at 3am to tell me he saw the Master in his dreams!”

There was a fond tone on Dr. McMasterson’s voice when he said: “He does that? Did he tell you the content of his dreams?”

The Brigadier felt his patience slip away quickly. He took the gun off his holster and pointed it at Dr. McMasterson, while contacting Sargent Benton on his radio, eyes glued at the man in front of him, who rose his hands.

“What gave me away?”, Dr. McMa- no, the Master, asked innocently.

“Seriously?”

“Well, yes. Oh, was it the mask? Not my best one, but I’m still working on one that is way more elaborated.”

The absolute audacity of the man, the Brigadier thought.

“Literally everything gave you away, Master. Perhaps you need to work better on your performance. But if you want any tips, when you started asking about the Doctor…”

“Ah yes.”

“Yes, that's when I knew.”

By that time, Sargent Benton walked into the room armed, and restrained the Master with handcuffs and took off his ridiculous mask.

“My dear Brigadier, could you tell the Doctor to meet me in jail?”

“Absolutely not.”

“I will not harm a single hair on his head.”

The Brigadier sighed deeply. “That’s not what I’m worried about.”

“I’ll just talk to him”, the Master insisted.

“What will you talk to him about? We don’t need any confession. This plan of yours was so bad I’m sure we can figure it all out quite easily without his help.”

“But will you tell him to visit me anyway? We have… things to work out”, the Master’s expression was quite sad.

The Brigadier sighed once again. The Doctor had been in a bad mood lately. He could prevent them from seeing each other and make matters worse, or he could allow them to talk and maybe figure things out. Work out a nice, amicable break-up somehow (or something that wouldn’t end up with the Doctor dead or in a coma, something that would at least help him heal faster and get in a better mood soon).

That’s what the Brigadier advised to the Doctor later that evening.

He absolutely regretted ever letting them meet again when he was in his office looking at the security cameras and saw the Doctor opening the jail, getting in, arguing with the Master for a few minutes and then… well. You know. He should absolutely have seen it coming.

Just as the Brigadier had done when he caught the Doctor and the Master making out in the lab, he turned off the screen and left his office. He’d go home now, have dinner, and sleep. Tomorrow, he thought, I’ll look for a new therapist. Far, far away from here.