Doctor Who: Amy, Captured Ch. 12byKurokami©
Author's Note: Hello folks! Here's the next chapter, as the story winds down and we get closer to the end. In fact, chapter thirteen? It's the last one! Sort of! You'll see, just please be sure to join us for that!
Anyway, thanks again to my wonderful helpers, Isabel and Allyourbase. Votes, comments and feedback are really, really appreciated, especially at this juncture. Enjoy the chapter, folks!
'Sander, quiet. You're ruining my afterglow.'
The sounds of the ship pervaded in the silence that followed; the myriad tiny clicks and mechanical hums. The sounds of motion. Mara had her eyes closed, but even in the midst of a close embrace with a beautiful woman, Sander shifted in agitation. He had the notion that he should be doing something here.
'Mara, I'm bored,' He rolled his eyes. 'Talk to me.'
'Oh, come on, Hackett! You can entertain yourself while I bask, surely!'
Again, the sounds of space travel. Mara stretched languorously as Sander toyed with the buttons on his shirt. His mouth opened and closed, to see if he could make words come out. He had nothing to say, just the vague apprehension that words were needed here. His mind picked a thought, ferried it along to his vocal chords.
'You know, we don't often get time alone like this,' He said slowly. 'This might be the last chance we have for a while. When we get back to the lab, we'll be watching Amy, watching out for the Doctor... It'll be nothing but work.'
Mara chuckled, 'Alright, you dog,' She rolled over to face him. 'We can go again, if you're dead set on it. Come here.'
'No, no, the cannon is out of ammo right now,' Sander shook his head. 'As appealing as that sounds. Actually, what I was thinking is that I know next to nothing about you, Mara. We should rectify that.'
'You already know my troubled past, what more do you want?' She waved her hands dramatically.
'God, I don't know... Hey, do you have any family? Do I have to watch out for any brothers on your end?' Sander asked.
Mara tilted her head to one side and stared, 'Hmm... Family, huh? Let's see... Mother's dead. Father drove her there, but he's been gone since I was a kid. I have an older sister who's like me, and a younger sister who isn't. You'd like both, but for different reasons.'
Sander raised a quizzical eyebrow, 'Like you? What does that entail?'
'She's confident, brash and charming, and also aggressively sexual.'
Sander paused for a moment, then said, 'You have a very good handle on yourself, don't you?'
'Yes.' Mara nodded firmly. 'I do. What about you, Hackett? You said you were the last one?'
Sander shifted his weight uncomfortably, 'Yeah. Dad died three months after moving the entire family to Vesperia. As the eldest Hackett son, I took over the company, and we all know how well that went. During that whole thing, Mom and my three sisters were killed,' He sighed deeply. 'The Hackett clan has always been big, but that just meant a larger pile of corpses, I guess...'
'Sorry, Hackett,' Mara said softly. 'I didn't mean to bring the mood down and shit. My bad, sweetheart.'
Sander narrowed his eyes, 'Perfectly fine, darling.' His voice dripped sarcasm. Immediately, Mara gasped, her eyes flicked up to his and she pouted.
'Hey! I meant what I said!'
It was like all the movement had been sucked out of him. Uh oh...
Slowly, a grin spread across Mara's face as she watched Sander grow progressively more horrified and uncomfortable, 'You are so, so easy to play, Hackett. It's like fooling a six year old!'
Sander laughed. Part of it was genuine amusement, but mostly it was relief; he had never done well with pouting, tearful women. But that wasn't exactly true, was it? What with Amy...
He forced the thought away. It didn't bear thinking about, not now. Strange that those thoughts kept sneaking up on him, like his nerve was periodically deserting him. Part of that had to be his time fused with Amy's mind back on Nirvana; these days he felt like a walking example of cognitive dissonance most of the time. But another part was Mara, and... Well, maybe he should just say it...
'Mara,' He began shakily. It had been a while since he'd had to express this, 'I-'
'Stop!' Mara held up a finger. 'Don't say it!'
'Why not? I feel it.' He grinned nervously.
'Well, that's good. But I'm not prepared to hear it, and before you ask why: One, we're in your brother's fucking love nest, and two: I've still got Walker on my mind,' Mara's gaze was on him, but Sander had no idea what she was thinking.
'Oh, well hey, I know that most men want to hear that from a girl just after sex; that they're still thinking about their ex,' Sander deadpanned. 'That's just awesome.'
'Funny!' Mara could make applause sound somehow sarcastic. It was a skill, 'You know I didn't mean it like that.'
She stood up and leaned against the wall, the physical distance making Sander feel somehow bereft. He frowned, 'Hey, hang on then; what did you mean? You're thinking of Walker: Why?'
'The same reason you're full of metal and not clone parts,' Mara sighed. 'Keeps me vigilant. You'll have to forgive me if I'm still holding something back.' Sander started to say something, but Mara held up a hand, 'No, don't speak. You aren't going to change my mind right now. Just get up, Hackett. We should be going before we wear out our welcome and Amy gets too sore.'
'Alright...' Sander said, with that persistent frown. As he stood, Mara tutted and rolled her eyes, placing a hand on his shoulder.
'Now, Hackett,' She chided. 'Brighten up, okay? Just think; we'll be home soon, and then... Well, we'll just have to think of something to do, won't we?'
'Mara, exactly how much of your universe is about sex?' Sander asked quietly.
'Sander,' She smiled. 'Everything, everywhere is about sex, when you go deep enough. I'm just being honest.'
'Well, Cohen, it's been... something,' Sander shrugged, leaning against the edge of the airlock.
'Fun?' Cohen suggested.
'No, that's not it,' Sander shook his head.
'Hey, I don't know what you did to Amy, but she seems pissed,' Mara poked her head around the doorframe. 'How'd you do it?'
Cohen grinned and shrugged, 'Oh, you know...'
Confusion flitted across Mara's features, 'No, I don't. That's why I asked.'
'Drop it, Mara,' Sander sighed. 'That smile means he's not talking. You know, he hasn't changed all that much since we were kids. That's a little sad.'
'Hell no; I was awesome then, and I'm awesome now,' Cohen gestured extravagantly, smile only getting brighter.
Mara nudged Sander, 'Is he...?'
'Joking?' Sander said, 'I can never tell. Probably not.'
'Well that's just swell,' Mara sighed. 'Anyway, I'm getting bored. Let's go see some stars, Sander.' She clapped him on the shoulder and disappeared back into the depths of the shuttle.
'Her wish is my command,' Sander shrugged. 'Time to go. Listen, Cohen...'
'Yes, I'll keep in contact,' He nodded. 'Y'know, I can't think why I didn't try before. I guess I just forgot, and then you'd apparently died...' He shrugged, 'Oh well.'
'You flippant bastard...' Sander shook his head. 'Just be sure you do, Coco. I'm tired of being the last scion of the house of Hackett,' He waved his hands vaguely. 'Just let me know that I still have a brother out there occasionally, okay?'
'Gotcha. I'll see you around, little brother.'
Sander nodded sagely, hand groping for the handle to the airlock. It rolled closed with a sonorous clang that filled up the confines of the shuttle. Sander leaned against the heavy steel door for a moment, staring off into the middle distance.
'Huh,' He mused. 'That was informative... I'm not alone anymore. Weird.'
'What's up?' Mara called from the pilot's seat. 'I would've thought you'd be a little happier, even if Cohen is an asinine little twerp sometimes.'
'I dunno,' Sander chuckled. 'I've been cultivating my lonely anger for quite a while. It's sort of defined me, Y'know?'
'Well then find a more internally satisfying definition,' Mara said without looking up from her console. 'Because there's something terribly pretentious about what you just said.'
Sander shook his head with a smile, 'Ah, Mara... You always know exactly what to say. Are we ready to break dock? I'm feeling a little homesick. What do you think, Amy?' Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to prod her; she had an expression like a thundercloud, if it were possible for a thundercloud to look like it wanted to beat someone to death with a sack of doorknobs.
Amy shot him a poisonous glare, 'Oh, you don't want to know what I think,' She said in a low voice.
'Probably not...' Sander conceded. 'Anyway, let's go! Space anchors away, or whatever!'
Space travel was boring. Oh, it might be interesting, to someone who had never done it before, but to seasoned travellers like Sander, it was the same as riding a bus, just at far higher speeds. The truth was, after atmospheric exit and before re-entry there was really nothing to do. Just endless expanses of complete vacuum with the occasional celestial body to break the monotony. The universe could be breathtakingly beautiful, but most of it wasn't. Most of it was just absent.
Sander grinned when he got his first view of Carcer. He hadn't realized it, but the Oviroa had been drifting at quite a good clip, and it had been doing so in exactly the opposite direction. The upshot of this was that it extended flight time in Faster Than Light mode by a good three hours. In that time, there had been nothing to do but talk to Mara and get glared at by Amy. Often simultaneously. Still, they had gotten by, but when the shuttle finally docked on the asteroid's landing pad, Sander jumped at the chance to rise from his seat and stretch his legs.
'Okay, we're here!' Mara clapped her hands together. 'There's already a remote link established; thank you Hackett Industries and your wonderful narrow-band FTL comm. links!'
'Neat,' Sander nodded. 'Reactivate the power to the base, then just flood the thing with air; I can reassert the hard locks and air fields properly once I get inside.'
'Already doing it. I had no intention of walking into a pitch-black vacuum,' Mara glanced pointedly at Sander. 'It's the same reason I didn't open the airlock in midflight just now.'
'Okay, fair enough,' Sander hissed, rocking slightly on his heels as the air flooding into the base thudded against the airlock door. 'That was a little fast, though. Make sure you don't break anything important in there, all right?'
'Do you understand how boring it would be to wait here while the air fills in normally?' Mara was suddenly at the airlock, rolling the heavy door aside without any apparent effort. 'I won't live forever, Sander. Well anyway, since we're not suffocating, I'd suggest that the air's back and the base is operational. So I'll take Amy back to her cell, and you go make sure everything's working okay, yes?'
'Oh, and when you're done, you go hang out in your room. I'll be joining you there.'
Mara looked over her shoulder and winked at him, 'Amy!' She called, voice hard. Amy grunted her assent and got up, never once looking either of her captors in the eye. The two of them disappeared into the depths of the base, leaving Sander to stare at their rapidly retreating backs.
'Huh,' His brow furrowed. What, exactly, had he done in his thirty three years of life to incur such incredible good fortune? To have someone like her flitting through his life... It was truly staggering. He grinned widely, his footsteps echoing sharply on the steel floor as he rapidly sped up; no point in standing here all stunned. There was work to do.
A quick trip to the control room was all it took to ascertain that his base was still working just fine, even if it had been without air and power for a few days. Adjusting the power levels and ensuring that the air didn't leak out into the void was child's play, and Sander gave a little sigh. He hadn't had a job that befitted his intellect since developing the time displacement device several years ago. He felt like a maintenance man in his own evil lair. One thing he did do was throw together some code for an augmented reality program to work with the surveillance equipment; he needed the rooms here to look different if he was going to keep transmitting everything that happened to the Doctor. He had almost forgotten that his foe had been here during their flight, and he would remember what everything looked like. He had to stay one step ahead; it was a good thing that everything in the base was a uniform colour. Made it easier to project stuff onto it.
Sander grinned to himself; creating a program like this would take a few hours at least for anyone else. But he was Sander Hackett. The Doctor didn't know who he was dealing with.
He practically skipped back to his room, whistling an absurdly happy tune. The sun never rose in a second-hand orbit like this one, but despite this everything just seemed brighter somehow. The shadows in the corners of the room fell away as though they were never there at all; the depressing miasma had lifted. Sander had never realized just how stifling it was, living entirely within the sterile confines of an airtight mechanical nightmare.
The door slid open, and there was Mara, sitting demurely- or as demurely as Mara could- on the edge of his bed. A sly smile crept across her face, and her eyes glittered enticingly. Her head tilted to one side, long hair flowing around her in an almost luminous halo.
'Uhm, hi there,' She purred, smile growing wider. When her teeth interlocked like that, she really did look predatory, like she was getting ready to devour him whole. Sander didn't think he'd mind that at all.
'Yo,' He grinned, stepping into the room and closing the door behind him.
'Yeah, that's in keeping with the mood...' Mara muttered, casting a flat gaze around the room. She stood, tall and beautiful, and motioned to him, 'Sander, come to me...'
'I could do that...' Sander breathed, spellbound. It seemed effortless, but Mara was projecting some sort of field of pure attraction. 'You're beautiful,' He whispered, his arms encircling her.
'I know,' She nodded slyly, closing her eyes and leaning into him. They kissed, just once, the action filling the two of them with liquid heat. Mara toppled backward onto the bed, her firm grip sending Sander tumbling after her, on top of her. 'What do you want to do?'
'Could think of a few things,' Sander said unsteadily. Of course there were the obvious choices, the go-to decisions of any man presented with a woman of Mara's calibre, but he wanted something more. Ever since that night back in Shangri-La where she had meted out such vicious punishment, he had wanted to return to her heart of darkness, and meet that fiery princess that had exploded out from deep within her once again. He wanted to burn in her wrath, just to see if it'd feel the same in the light of day.
But he found himself at a loss as to how to ask for that. There was very little doubt in Sander's mind that if he asked, she would deliver in spades, but was it asking too much? Was it revealing just a little too much about himself? He was still so unsure as to what it had all meant himself...
If nothing else, he was a moth to her flame.
'I'd like...' He began, trailing off nervously. He glanced away from her, and she grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back into her azure stare.
'What would you like, my Sander?' She breathed, the sound almost non-existent. 'You know you can tell me.'
His eyes darted the length of the room, and he was sure he was blushing. Embarrassment coloured his features, 'I'd like to play with Dark Mara again, if we're being totally honest.'
Mara's eyes narrowed. She pushed all her weight into the hand still on his shoulder, flipping him over with little resistance and leaping up to straddle him. Her face drew in closer, a tiny amused smile cresting her perfect lips, 'Dark Mara?' She said with a laugh, 'What's that? What are you talking about?'
Sander smiled helplessly, feeling himself flush even hotter, 'You know... Back on Theros. When you went berserk and punished the shit out of Amy. That was something else, Mara... I liked it.'
'Ooh...' Mara was nodding her head in acknowledgement. 'Dark Mara, huh? That's what you've been calling it. Well, you'd better stop, because there's nothing particularly dark about all that. That's just me, Sander dearest. Trust me on that.'
'And you only have to ask,' She smiled tenderly. 'I'd like to deliver the full experience for you, Sander. You have only to ask, and I'll get the engine revving, kiddo.'
She leapt to her feet and, shaking herself and bouncing from foot to foot, went to the door, 'Just sit tight, Hackett. I just need to grab some things.'
'I'm two years older than you,' Sander mumbled as the door closed behind her. It opened again, and Mara's head poked back through the opening.
'You had the most hangdog fuckin' look on your face. You must have been really embarrassed to ask me to play with you,' She grinned toothily. 'That's so cute!'
The door slid closed again before Sander had time to respond. He waited, practically motionless, mind awash with anticipation and anxiety. He had set something in motion, and despite not knowing what would happen, he would have to ride it out. Still, there were worse ways to spend your time...
When the door slid open again, Mara was standing in the frame, a wicked smile emblazoned on her pale features. She chuckled.
'I'm back,' She said, throwing a small canvas bag into one corner of the room. 'Stand up, Hackett. This whole thing is about to go off.'
'Alright...' Sander shrugged, getting to his feet. His eyebrow arched as Amy was dragged into the room by the hand. 'Her too?'
'Oh, come on!' Mara laughed. 'Would it really be a party without dear old Amy here? In this case, three is not a crowd; it's been a while since I've done this properly with three people.'
'No, hey,' Sander placated. 'You know what you're doing.'
'I do. Y'know, it's funny; I let you pick what we do, and you use that opportunity to put me in the driver's seat. You're an interesting guy, Sander,' She smiled. 'I hope I don't disappoint.'
'Everything you say sounds sarcastic,' Sander said.
Mara chuckled, 'Well, there's a reason for that. Now shut up; I need to get into character.'
Her eyes closed slowly as her head tilted skyward. Under Sander's expectant stare, she took a deep breath, her shoulders loosening and her whole body swaying on the spot. For that single, shining moment, she looked impossibly serene. Her head tilted back down.
'Alright...' She sighed deeply. Her eyes flicked open, finding Sander's in seconds. A thrill of excitement went through him; he could see that familiar fire burning away in her sparkling eyes. But it wasn't an uncontained blaze like the last time; it was focused right at him. Mara grinned wolfishly, her posture wonderfully languid and relaxed.
'Okay, Sander, it's go time,' She said roughly. 'You sure this is what you wanna do? Because once I start, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to stop.'
Sander stared, his insides squirming. He knew exactly what he wanted, and it was her. Just as she was; lit from within with this strange, attractive energy, 'Hell yeah.' He said drily.
'Fun...' Mara growled, drawing the word out for several seconds. She moved lithely, sidling over to Sander and pulling him down into a hard, smothering kiss. Sander felt himself tense up as she pushed herself against him before breaking the kiss and laying her head on his shoulder.