"You really shouldn't do that."
The air in the room changes. It’s loaded with the coppery taste of time and the rich smell of space, the voice cutting through the never ending silence and filling every inch of Missy's cage, from floor to ceiling.
Missy goes entirely still.
"You really shouldn't do that," the voice repeats. And yet it doesn’t, because it never spoke before, but said it ten times in the last minute alone.
It shouldn't be possible.
"I'm not." The voice comes from behind Missy's back, from all around her, from her past and her future. "And I never was, but I always will be." There's a pause, and Missy considers her options.
There aren't any.
Missy knows who she is. She prides herself on being alive against all odds, and knows she only made it this far because she’s always – always, always – perfectly aware of her surroundings. She knows when someone is in a room with her, knows when people are hiding, knows when they play dead but are just waiting for the best occasion to jab a knife between her ribs. She can hear heartbeats and breathing and the pulse of blood in veins.
Yet, she didn't know there was something else in the Vault before time crashed around her.
"This is the point where you turn around and face me," the voice says, and Missy doesn't take orders, but she only ever felt this kind of raw power once in her life, and she really wants to look in the eyes of the creature wielding it when she kills it.
She spins on her heels, a tight smile twisting her lips. Her knife (the sharpest one in the galaxy, made out of toilet paper) is still held tightly in her hand.
"Hello," says the girl with golden eyes. "I just saved your life."
Missy's answer is born out of pure spite. "No you didn't."
"Yes I did," the girl answers calmly.
Missy frowns. "Now, now, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, poppet. My life didn't need to be saved, and if it ever did I would be perfectly able to handle it myself."
"It did," the girl says. Her tone is still calm but there is a slight shift of her features at the pet name, something like confusion passing over her face. "And I'm not a poppet. I'm the wolf."
"A wolf?" Missy grins. Her teeth are a blinding white and sharp enough to put a shark to shame. "How delightful." She takes a step towards the girl. "See, I'd say that, in this room, the only wolf here is me."
"I am the wolf." Missy blinks and the girl disappears in a swirl of golden light, and reappears right behind her. She turns on her heels to find herself practically nose to nose with her. "I am everything. I am creation and destruction." The girl makes a sweep of her hand and Missy's knife vanishes in her grip. Another flick of the wrist, and a gigantic tree blooms from the ground. The girl smiles and there is light dancing in her eyes. "And I just saved your life."
Missy's breath catches in her throat. Her chest tightens and she has to force herself to breathe in and out slowly, overriding her gut instinct that screams at her to run, to save her life before it’s too late, before she can speak. "You looked in the heart of a Tardis."
The girl tilts her head to the side. "I am Bad Wolf. I create myself."
"You did. You really did." Missy lets out a burst of disbelieving laughter. She feels giddy all of sudden, wants to whoop in delight, wants to reach across and put her hands around the neck of the girl, feel the pulse of a body that hosts the power of time itself. She doesn't. "You should be dead," she remarks.
There's a smile playing on the edges of the Wolf's lips. "I am. I died and I am dying. I exist across all of time and space, everywhere and everywhen. I cannot die and I died a hundred times and I am being saved." She reaches out, brushes a hand across Missy's cheek. The Mistress shivers. "And I saved your life."
"You seem oddly keen on that, poppet," Missy says. She still has trouble breathing. The Wolf is too much ; it's too powerful, too blinding. It seems like time and space themselves are distorted around it, bending to get out of its way. There is no light in the Vault that doesn't come from the Wolf. It's like standing in the heart of a dying star, feeling the heat and the light, destruction and creation intertwined in one indivisible entity.
Missy wants to take this star between her hands and snog it to death.
"Because I did," the Wolf says. "You can't escape, not like that. There's a defense system, incorporated in the walls, that reacts to the slightest scrape. It would have killed you."
And now that she says it, Missy can see it. She can see the slight indents in the walls that run across the entire length of the Vault, so thin that a spider web looks coarse next to them.
It would have killed her, and she hadn't even noticed.
Two months in complete isolation did make her rusty.
"He doesn't trust me."
The words come out before she can think about them. They're bitter, and born from betrayal. The Wolf doesn't blink.
"Granted, I did try to escape, but still. He knew I was going to try, that's what I always do, that's part of the game." There is an unfamiliar burning behind her eyes and she doesn't want to think about how much harder it suddenly is to breathe, and how it has nothing to do at all with the girl who absorbed the entire time vortex standing next to her. Her nails sink in the palm of her hands and she can feel the skin break, droplets of blood rolling down her fingers. She bits the next words out. "He should've let me die, if he intended to kill me anyway."
"But I saved you." The Wolf says, repeats, and Missy looks back at her. There's a strange desperation in a voice that had been so far devoid of any emotion. "I saved your life. I paid my debt."
Missy frowns. "What debt?"
The girl's eyes are made out of pure light, time vortex light, swirling and dancing and ever changing. But Missy has the distinct feeling that they widen.
"You don't know me."
It's a statement, a question and a betrayal. It's all of that and nothing because it was never said and yet it was spoken ; they were the first words in existence and they never even existed.
Missy groans. Rassilon, she is about to get such a headache.
"Believe me, darling, a girl like you I would remember. Delights of time travel." She rakes her eyes over the girl, raising a single delicate eyebrow. "I assume that you know all about it. What are you, one of the Doctor's pets? Did he fall so low that he isn't even able to keep them away from something as beautifully deadly as the Tardis' heart?"
"I am not death," the Wolf intones. "I bring life, and I saved yours. My debt is paid."
"Great, can't wait to discover how you managed that debt," Missy says in a supremely bored tone. "Shoo shoo now, I'm a very busy girl with a very tight schedule, and very pressing matters to attend to."
The Wolf is life and death itself and yet, she radiates a sense of amusement.
"I thought you were held captive."
"I am!" Missy exclaims, pushing her voice to heights it doesn't belong to. "For now. I just need to escape and put the Doctor in my place. That's exactly where he belongs." She winks at the girl. "You wouldn't happen to be willing to use all that pretty power to help me do just that, would you?"
"I guess I could," the Wolf says, and it's definitely a smile playing on her lips. "But I'm not sure the Doctor will appreciate it."
"Yes, well, the Doctor's not here and I would greatly appreciate not spending the next thousand years locked in here like a common thief. That is no way to treat a lady, and even less your wife."
The light swirls faster at that, tendrils reaching around to brush against Missy's arms, hair, skirt. "A thousand years is a long time," the Wolf says, and it sounds uncertain, and its eyes are not entirely golden anymore, there's brown peeking from underneath all that light. "It is nothing next to eternity, next to everything that could be or everything that will be, but..." The light shimmers, falters, and the Wolf – the girl – brings her hands to her head. She lets out a low distressed sound. "My head is killing me." she says, pleads almost, voice breaking as if she was on the edge of tears.
Missy rolls her eyes. Trust the Doctor to let a pet look into the heart of a Tardis and not teach it how to harness that power.
"Well, of course it is, you've got the entirety of time and space in that little human head. You're going to die." What a shame. It had been long since Missy had felt that sort of thrill that only comes when meeting opponents that are way stronger than you are. It's the kind of thrill that keeps you sharp, and sharpness is exactly what she needs.
The girl moans again, hands pressed against the sides of her head like a vice. "So alone," she says, and Missy's attention switches right back to her. "So alone for so long, and he will trust you, but not yet, not now." She staggers and Missy takes a step towards her, acting on pure instinct, ready to catch her should she fall, and ready to stab her should she be stupid enough to stay in her arms.
"You said that you were saved," she says, and watches the girl nod. "Well, he's taking an awful lot of time to do it."
"Time doesn't exist," the girl says, and all the light in the room is now gathered around her, playing in her hair like a halo. "I am time. I exist fully and everywhere."
"Do you now." Missy yawns, covering her mouth with one elegant hand. The nail polish on her forefinger is a bit chipped. She'll have to see to that.
The girl staggers again, prompting another eye roll from Missy. Really, this was such a waste. So few people were able to wield the power of a Tardis, and for the one who manages it almost perfectly, the Doctor couldn’t even be bothered to teach her how to not die. It was almost scandalous. Missy feels like stomping her foot or punching the Doctor. Instead she is left with fixing up the mess he has left behind.
With a sigh, she opens her hands, and waits until the girl looks at her to smile in a politely disinterested way.
She says, "Then tell me, poppet, if you're so powerful, how come you can't tame the wolf?"
The light stills and the girl opens her mouth, hands reaching out to Missy.
And she disappears.
Missy sighs, turning to address the emptiness of the Vault. "Not even a single thanks. You raise them so poorly, Doctor."
There’s silence, save for the trembling leaves of the tree the Wolf grew from nothing in the middle of her cage.
Right. Maybe she will have the time to chop it into wood and figure out how to use it to escape before the Doctor deigns to visit her.
The next time, Missy can feel the change in the room as it happens.
"How nice of you to come visit me again, darling," she drawls, and turns the page of her book with a flick of her wrist.
"Again. For the first time. It's the same."
Her voice is still the same, fragile and holding the power to make stars fall to dust. Missy smiles.
The girl sure seems to enjoy playing with the time confusion way too much.
"What do you want to do this time? If you're here to grow another tree, please refrain to do so, those things are such a bother to cut down. But if you're taking suggestions, a tiny particle accelerator would be lovely."
And there it is again, the amused smile on the Wolf's lips, where the Doctor would have just looked at her with those infuriatingly disappointed eyes. Maybe there were some good things in an entity powerful enough to not be scared of the Master.
"I'm sure you can build one yourself," the Wolf replies, and tendrils of light spread out across the Vault to the gun Missy made out of the tree leaves. "But don't build that trap you want to build so you can kill me the next time I come. It won't hurt me, but it will hurt you."
Missy blinks slowly. Right. All powerful entity existing across all of time and space. Well, she supposes she can always try something else.
The Wolf seems oddly pleased with herself. "You didn't build it. Won't build it. I just saved your life again."
"How nice of you, dear. Did you come here just to do that?"
"No." The Wolf fiddles with the hem of her sweater. It's the same as the last time, a hideous pink one, ragged at the edges. So 2005, Missy thinks disdainfully.
"The last time, I mean, the last time for you, you said – you're going to say..."
The girl is having trouble again with times. Missy refrains from rolling her eyes, and then remembers that the Doctor is a pain in the arse and that she has absolutely no reason to do so.
She rolls her eyes.
"Will you hurry up before I start skinning you with my nails?"
That surprisingly seems to do the trick. The girl swallows, and straightens up. "You told me to tame the wolf. How can I do that?"
Missy closes her book with a snap. "No, you tell me first. Why should I help you?"
The Bad Wolf blinks. "Because you will. You have."
"You of all people should know," Missy says, her chin resting on the back of her hand, "that the future is the least certain thing of all. It's up to you to make the one you see happen." The Wolf says nothing and Missy clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "Come on poppet, I'm waiting."
"I saved your life twice." The girl flickers in the light, and for an instant she is everywhere in the Vault, fifteen, twenty Bad Wolves standing all around Missy, their voices one. "You owe me."
It's so perfect, to have the most powerful being in the universe begging for her help, that Missy can't help but cackle. In a swirl of gold, all the Wolves reform into one, just in front of Missy.
She sighs and stands up, stretching until she can hear her spine crack. "What use is it to be with the Doctor if he can't even teach you simple things like that?" she asks no one in particular. The Wolf opens her mouth but Missy shushes her with a wave of her hand. "Now, now, I'm talking, you try not to die and listen.”
She pauses, looking for the best way to explain it so the human’s limited intellect can understand it. “You call yourself the Wolf,” she says eventually. “But you're not it, not entirely. Yet." She opens her arms. "Tada! You're allowed to throw yourself at my feet."
The girl frowns. "What do you mean?"
Ugh. Were all humans so slow? No wonder the Doctor was constantly surrounding himself with them, the git so loved to feel superior.
Not wanting to repeat herself, Missy walks to the Wolf and stops right in front of her. She lifts her fingers, resting them on either side of her temple.
"How will you be saved?" she asks.
"The... The Doctor. He takes the energy from me. He blocks my memories. I can't remember what it feels like to be the Wolf. I can't remember the power." She turns eyes filled with light and tears to Missy. "I need to remember."
"He did that to protect you," Missy says. "If you remember, you will die."
Stupid, stubborn and determined to do something that will kill her. Missy wonders if the Doctor is aware that he has a type. (She makes the firm decision to not wonder if she has one.) Clicking her tongue, she tries again. "The Wolf is you. He will try to separate the two of you, but you're the Wolf and the Wolf is you. It will stay inside you, just waiting for you to call."
"But I won't remember that I'm here," the Wolf pleads. "How can I remember?"
Missy sighs. "I'm about to do something amazingly stupid. You better not die, I don't want the Doctor to be more cross at me than he already is."
The Wolf grips Missy's hands around her face and smiles. "He isn't cross at you," she whispers.
Missy doesn't dwell on the tightness in her chest and jumps right into the Wolf's mind.
She just hopes she won't kill them both.
It's two years and many guns destroyed by the Doctor before the air in the Vault changes again.
"Don't eat the chips!" the Wolf cries out.
Missy rolls on her side and throws a pillow towards the general direction of the sound. "Five more minutes!"
There's a bump and a "Oh." Missy opens one tired eye. The Wolf is standing at the foot of her bed, the pillow between her hands, looking more disoriented than any entity controlling all of time and space should ever be allowed to look. "You're not eating chips."
"Ten points for Gryffindor. Any other brilliant information you wish to share or can I go back to my well deserved night? A girl needs her beauty sleep, there's a reason why my skin is so perfect."
The Wolf shifts her weight from one foot to the other, looking pretty embarrassed. She's finally changed from her pink sweater, Missy notices, before understanding what that means.
When she does (and really, she's becoming way too rusty, she needs to do something about that), her eyes widen and she sits up in her bed.
"You remembered," she whispers, and if that's how the Doctor feels everytime one of his pets finally understands something, she may see why he bothers to keep them. "You found the Wolf back."
The Wolf's cheeks flush a pretty pink and she bites her bottom lips. "I'm still training," she says. "It's exactly as you said, I can't handle its full power, but what you did, it allowed me to bypass the Doctor's block and I'm learning how to use it." She grimaces. "Still gives me one hell of a headache though."
"Yes, well, you can't have your cake and eat it too." Had Missy been more awake, she would have been launched into a victory dance. She helped a girl harness the most powerful energy in the universe and all she's complaining about is a headache. Other people would have been burnt to a crisp.
She's amazing. She would kiss herself if she could.
That's the exact moment the light surrounding the Wolf chooses to flicker and fade out of existence, along with the girl, who can only shout "Don't eat the chips!" before vanishing entirely.
Missy flops back into her pillows and thinks about the consequences of crossing one's timeline to kiss oneself.
(The next time the Doctor comes into the Vault with fish and chips, Missy takes the chips and puts them under a Vault-made microscope, ignoring the Doctor's cries of outrage when she gets it out. She discovers that they are coated with an alien substance that would have frozen her nerves had she eaten it, and the Doctor goes back to the shop, probably to stop whatever little invasion its owner planned on doing and punish them for wasting perfectly good chips.
Missy stays in the Vault and eats the fish.)
"I don't see why I have to do it."
"You love me and don't want to see me die?"
"I don't want to die either."
"You won't." Missy motions to the cauliflower salad. "Now, eat."
The Wolf rolls her eyes but does as she's told. Missy watches as she chews on a cauliflower branch and offers her her best smile when she swallows. "See?" The Wolf says. "Not dead. It's not poisoned. You can eat."
Missy flops back into the couch's cushions. "Nope."
"I don't like cauliflowers."
The Wolf crosses her arms over her chest. "You said you loved it. You said you loved it so much your enemies probably discovered that it was your only weakness and intended to use it to kill you."
"Yes, and I didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to fall for that." She opens a book and distractedly flicks over the pages. "But thanks for eating it for me. The Doctor won't go all crossed eyebrows on me and tell me to eat my vegetables."
The Wolf snickers. "You should eat your vegetables."
"Say that again and I gouge your pretty eyes out."
The Wolf raises her hands in mock surrender. "Fine, you win. You're a millenia old Time Lord and you won't eat your vegetables. I control all of time and space and I’m used as your personal food taster. I guess we all have our flaws."
"Time Lady, dear, thanks. And flaws are for other people, not me."
"Of course." The Wolf picks another piece of cauliflower and eats it. Then, she adds like an afterthought, "I just met your past self."
"Did you now?" Missy tries to remember the encounter but comes up blank. The Wolf giggles like she knows what Missy is thinking.
"You didn't see me," she clarifies. "You were too busy turning everyone on Earth in your image."
Missy makes a face. "Not his finest moment."
"It was pretty funny though, I have to give him that." The Wolf chews on some more salad pensively. "Did you regenerate into you once you got pulled into that Gallifrey lock?"
Missy shrugs. "Maybe. I don't quite remember. I think I managed to escape, but it's all a bit blurred, to be honest."
"Hmm." The Wolf eats the last of the salad and Missy tosses the book aside. It wasn't too bad, but she'll have to order some more. Time in the Vault passes incredibly slowly when no one is here to visit, and she thinks she might just die of boredom.
The Wolf stands up and stretches. "I'll have to leave. My head is starting to hurt and the Doctor will be here in a few minutes. Hours." She frowns. "Soon."
Missy makes a vague gesture with her hand. "Right, off you pop then."
The Wolf's lips curl up. "You know, you could just ask him for more. He'd be happy to give it to you."
"Strangely, I doubt so. Else I would be out of here already."
The Wolf rolls her eyes. Or so Missy thinks. It's a bit hard to tell, what with all the gold light constantly swirling in them.
"I don't mean weapons. I mean things to distract yourself a bit. It must be boring here."
Missy sighs dramatically. "You have no idea."
"Then just ask him for something. Video games. Coloring books. Whatever Time Lords do to pass the time."
"He wouldn't. He knows that I can turn everything into a weapon."
The Wolf smiles. "And he's worried about you. Just ask. What do you have to lose?"
Missy grins and blows the Wolf a kiss. "Go now before your cute little head explodes. Chop chop!"
The Wolf mock curtseys and disappears in a whirlwind of golden dust.
Missy rips the pages from her book and starts making a list of items to ask the Doctor for.
The door barely has the time to close behind the Doctor before the now-familiar copper taste fills the Vault. Unfazed, Missy cracks her fingers and gets in the starting position for the 20th Nocturne.
"Please tell me you have chips," the Wolf pipes up from the top of the piano she's sitting on. "I'm starving."
"Tough luck. Egg man just ate the last of them."
The Wolf groans and lays down atop the piano like a cat, so her face hangs upside down just in front of Missy's. She juts her bottom lip out in what is probably supposed to be a touching pout. "Can you ask for more? I need to eat chips, like yesterday."
Missy considers the plea, and then the Wolf's lips that look just perfectly biteable right now, and then headbutts her on the forehead. "Just ask him yourself," she says as the Wolf sits back on the piano, whining in pain.
"I can't. He still thinks I'm stuck in a parallel universe and he'll get all mad at me if he knows I got the Wolf back."
"Because having the Doctor mad at you would be such a disaster. Poor little thing."
The Wolf pouts. "I want our reunion to be perfect, not full of scottish yelling."
Missy frowns. "Scottish is just fine, thank you very much," she says, in her thickest scottish accent.
The Wolf snickers.
"Also his eyebrows this time 'round frighten me a little," she admits.
"I think they're cute."
"Of course you do."
Missy throws a knife at her and the Wolf makes it vanish it with a blink. Missy can't help but feel proud at her progress.
"If you want chips that much, just make them yourself," she ends up saying, if only because this whole discussion made her want chips too.
Not her fault Bill ate almost all of her portion. This girl was a never ending chasm when it came to chips.
The Wolf hops down the piano, still pouting. "But it doesn't taste the same. And I can't get the salt right, and sometimes they're a little bit alive."
Missy clicks her tongue. "All the better! Can you make them fully alive?"
"Don't even think about it," the Wolf says. Missy can see that she's wandering towards her brand new laser gun hiding place, but doesn't try to stop her. She already fought the Wolf a dozen times, only managed to get her to bleed once (she still dreams of it), and besides she's too busy nailing the coda of this piece to think about doing anything else.
She hears the sharp intake of breath before the clattering of the weapon falling to the floor.
"Something the matter, dear?" she asks, landing the final notes with a flourish.
"This laser," the Wolf starts and then stops. Missy pivots on her chair to face her, one eyebrow raised.
"I know, it's so past me, all rude and no finesse. But don't worry poppet, I'm not leaving it like that. I'm just waiting for the Doctor to bring me an umbrella and then it'll be perfect."
"Right." The Wolf picks up the laser and turns it over and over in her hands. "It's deadly," she points out, like this somehow surprises her coming from Missy.
"Is it? Oh, dear, silly me, and here I wanted to use it to make flower crowns."
The Wolf rolls her eyes. "I mean, it can stop a regeneration. It can," she swallows, "it can kill a Time Lord."
Missy shrugs. "Simple failsafe. Wouldn't want the Doctor to stop my daring escape when I make it."
The Wolf still looks pretty uneasy. Missy so hates it when she is like that. When she keeps not wanting to look like the powerful being she is, Missy pinches the edge of her nose and stands up abruptly, making the Wolf jump.
"What is it?"
The Wolf clears her throat, her eyes flickering between the gun and Missy. "It could kill you," she says finally, in a small voice.
Missy raises her eyebrows."No one but me knows how to use it."
If anything, that only makes the girl look even more uneasy. Rassilon, Missy so hates having to comfort anyone. She shouldn't even have to do it, and yet there is this impulse, one she has to stomp on before she acts on it -- and she tells herself it's only because someone who can beat her has no right to look as lost as the girl does right now. The Wolf had always been weirdly keen on protecting her, ever since the first time they met, and though Missy is perfectly able to take care of herself, thank you very much, she can't deny that it comes in handy to have such the most powerful being in the universe as her personal bodyguard.
Sighing, she hops down the stairs. She can feel the Wolf's eyes on her as she goes to the table and lets herself fall gracefully on a chair. "Right," she orders, waving a hand towards a closet, "bring me whatever is left from the last shopping trip the Doctor took me on, and the sewing machine. Also tea. Milk, no sugar."
The air shimmies in a golden haze and a cup of tea appears by her elbow. She claps her hands, delighted, but the Wolf is still standing in the same place, looking dumbfounded.
She supposes dumbfounded is an upgrade from lost.
"I asked for fabric, poppet," she reminds her. The Wolf shakes her head, and goes to retrieve what she asked for, dropping it all on the table in front of Missy. When she keeps standing, still not looking like Missy thinks a Bad Wolf should look like, she sighs again and motions to the chair next to her.
"Since your little human brain seems so worried about my well-being," she says as the Wolf sits down, "I'm making myself a laser-proof dress. You'll have to give me what I ask for, so no leaving."
There's no words to describe the face the Wolf does. Beaming might be the closest, but that would leave out the part where literal light shoots out of her skin to go dancing under the Vault's ceiling.
Missy supposes she can make do with that, and then reconsiders it all when the Wolf throws herself at her, pressing her face into the hollow of her neck. "Thank you," she whispers, "thank you, thank you, thank you."
Missy doesn't think she's been thanked like that for the last millenia. Maybe more.
She's not sure how to react.
But before she can make up her mind, the Wolf is back on her chair, face flushed and smiling her tongue-touched smile. Missy hesitates, then pats the Wolf's cheek, and relishes in the rush of pink that goes to her face at the gesture.
They go to work. Missy sews and designs, and the Wolf creates steel, iron, and alcox, which Missy then melts and weaves together. When the effort leaves the Wolf too tired, she rests on the sofa, half asleep, and sometimes Missy joins her, letting the Wolf rest her head on her shoulder while she works on intertwining the threads of metals with the fabric.
It takes them two weeks, four days and many cups of tea and headaches on the Wolf's part, but eventually the dress, along with all the undergarments, are done. The Wolf insists on checking that it is indeed laser-proof and is adamant that they don’t test it on Missy, so they end up with the Wolf wearing Missy's dress and Missy aiming her laser at her.
When she fires, she doesn't know what she is hoping for.
There's a split second where the Wolf's skin turns a sickly blue color and Missy can see her bones glowing, can see her skull and her ribcage and her clenching fingers, and she wonders what noise her body will make when it falls to the floor, waits for the high that comes with killing someone who’s so much stronger than her, so much better.
It doesn’t come.
Then there's light, everywhere, and the Wolf is laughing, alive and well and she throws herself at Missy, all pink and yellow and tongue touching her lips, and Missy thinks that she might as well kiss her now.
When they break apart, the Wolf's chest is heaving, her hair is all tangled around Missy's fingers and she's smiling softly like Missy is the most beautiful person she has ever seen. So Missy kisses her again, and again, and it takes her the best part of an hour before she notices that the air doesn't smell of copper anymore.
She looks at the Wolf and the Wolf looks back, with big brown eyes and a soft smile playing on her lips.
She kisses her, again.
Missy crosses her arms over her chest. "You asked me to pick coordinates."
"Yes, and now I'm asking you to pick other ones. So go on, pick."
“'I picked. I want to go there."
The Doctor pushes the screen aside and looks at her. "Why these ones?"
Missy shrugs, picking at her nails. "I like sevens."
"No you don't," the Doctor says.
Missy sighs. "Listen, you want me to prove you that all your holier-than-thou preaching actually did something. How can I do this if you won't even let me go where I want to go?"
"Because I know you," the Doctor replies simply.
In the background, Bill hands the popcorn bag to Nardole, who takes a fistful. They both look enraptured. Missy sighs.
"You'll be monitoring me the whole time. I don't have any weapons..."
"That I know of," the Doctor grumbles.
Missy throws him a wink. "You're welcome to do another thorough check anytime, dear," she drawls, accent thick, and the Doctor rolls his eyes. "My point is," she barrels on, "that you'll be able to stop me anytime you want. Just," she breathes, voice going softer, "trust me on this one."
The Doctor holds her gaze, without blinking. Then, after a small eternity, he pulls the lever down.
"I'm not trusting you," he says.
Missy smiles and curtseys. He can say whatever he wants, she's always known better than to take him at face value.
The Tardis materializes in a little back alley in London. When Missy steps out, the smell of thrash and urine assaults her senses and she sniffs, disgusted. "Lovely," she says, gathering up her skirts to step over a spilled trash bag. "You do always find the best spots to park, dear."
"I'm watching you," the Doctor replies, as Nardole walks out of the Tardis too, "and Nardole will be just behind you in case you try anything." There is a pause, then: "Don't try anything."
"You know me, darling. Good as gold."
She doesn't bother listening to his reply and walks up to the alley’s exit. It leads to a relatively busy street, where people walk too fast and cars pass too loudly, leaving behind clouds of pollution. Missy walks to a crosswalk and waits there as the light goes green, then red, then green again.
She doesn't move until a human with yellow hair and reddened cheeks stops next to her, panting, and then goes to cross the road without seeing the car barreling towards her.
Missy barely hears the sharp intake of breath in her ear, the half shout coming from the Doctor still in the Tardis, unable to come here on time. She reaches out, grabs the human's waist, and jerks her back on the sidewalk, ignoring Nardole's frantic hovering at her side.
"Wow," the human says, and she's laughing, nerves probably, "that was close." She turns brown eyes to Missy and smiles, her tongue coming up to touch her lips. "Thank you."
Missy says, "You should be more careful, dear."
The human laughs, carefree, and Missy feels heat climbing up to her cheeks. "I will try," she assures Missy. She stands up a bit more, escaping from Missy's grip. "Anything I can do to thank me for saving my life?" Her eyes wander over Missy, and her cheeks flush darker. "A coffee, maybe?"
The Doctor is spluttering in Scottish in Missy's ear and Nardole is doing whatever an egg does on a street, but Missy doesn’t care about any of that. She curls her lips into a wolfish smile and brushes a strand of hair away from the human's face. "A real wolf, aren’t you?" she says, and watches as the girl’s brow knit in confusion. Missy takes a step forward, invading her personal space once again, and whispers, "A kiss will do, darling,".
The human laughs at that, and leans forward, and Missy feels warm lips against her cheek. It's over too soon, the Doctor silent for once, and Missy watches as the human jogs across the street.
It's not even two seconds before the girl runs back to her, breathes "My name's Rose by the way," and crosses the street again to a man in a leather jacket waiting for her.
Missy smiles and loops her arm in a shell-shocked Nardole's.
She can't wait to see the Doctor's face.