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I Am Clever

alec_towser


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...


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UNIT!100 - 022. Enemies.
I Am Clever
alec_towser
Title: Best Enemies
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Third Doctor, Master (Delgado)
Prompt: 022. Enemies.
Word Count: 521
Rating: T
Summary: “What does it even mean to be ‘best enemies’ anyway, Doctor?”
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.

———

One day during a lull in the never-ending parade of constant interruptions to his work, Jo Grant had offhandedly asked the question that everyone had been wondering: “Doctor, you said that you and the Master are ‘best enemies’. What does it mean to be ‘best enemies’ with someone?”. He had tried to explain it to Jo; really, he had. But to the Doctor, “best enemies” meant a lot more than she would ever be able to understand.

He and the Time Lord formerly known as Koschei had been friends once; best friends, as a matter of fact. They used to play in the fields near Koschei’s home when they were still young boys, and sneak off from the Academy to go drink with the Shobogans.

Things had all begun to go downhill when they were taken for their initiations and gazed into the Time Vortex. Koschei hadn’t been the same after that; seeming distracted at times, but he would never explain what the matter was. He would simply mutter something that sounded like “the drums” and leave abruptly.

As the two Time Lords got older, their friendship was still strong, but cracks were beginning to show. Koschei tried twice unsuccessfully to get the Doctor involved in revolts against the Lord President, the second of which was responsible for both of their departures from Gallifrey and being branded as renegades.

After that, they lost contact, and when his second incarnation met Koschei during the Darkheart incident, it was clear that whatever traces of good Koschei might have had in him as a boy had been stamped out. The Doctor had tried to reason with him, but Koschei had responded angrily, telling him that he no longer went by that name. Instead, all beings, the Doctor included, would soon be calling him by his proper title - Master.

Since then, they’d become an interesting breed of enemies (amazing what sorts of grudges one could form from being trapped in a black hole); the Master trying to subjugate the Earth at any opportunity he could, simply because he knew that it irked the Doctor, yet never really following through on his threats to kill him. He always offered the Doctor an opportunity to join him in his schemes before he offered the cliche death threats.

When the Doctor managed to escape whatever trap had been laid for him, behind the anger and annoyance on the Master’s face at being foiled again, the Doctor could see the flash of relief in his eyes, no matter how much he tried to hide it. And when the Doctor had him captured after overturning another one of his schemes, he would sometimes let the Master escape, rather than let him be killed.

“It’s rather like playing a game of chess,” he had told Jo once. She had nodded, but it was clear that she didn’t understand; not really. It was a dangerous dance that the two of them performed together, but each knew that it wouldn’t be complete without the other to provide the counterpoint to each others’ moves.

And that was what ‘best enemies’ meant to the Doctor.


X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.