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06 October 2007 @ 05:18 pm
#64 Autumn  
Fic Name: Autumn
Rating: G
Prompt: #64 Autumn
Claim: Ten/Master
Summary: In which the Master does something else unforgivable, and, for once, the Doctor doesn't forgive him for it.
AN: This is the final one, which means THE CIRCLE IS COMPLETE. And it has its own pretencious name now: The Turn of the World cycle. Autumn displays what is probably not a popular character-preference in my half of the fandom, but I have been listening to the exceptionally beautiful 14th track of the Doctor Who soundtrack a lot recently, and so this is what we have. Also, the Doctor Who timeline is (understandably) cracked up, so I have had to guess when this could have happend. Also, though I live in London, I'm not sure whether they still let you go out on the pedal-boats this late on in the year. For the purposes of this fic though, assume they do.

The first time the Doctor lets the Master choose where to land the TARDIS they end up in a large park back on Earth. The sky is almost white and everything feels crisp, like a painting in relief. The swans are still in residence and a few hardy souls in hats and raincoats are out on the lake, whooping and disturbing them in pedalos. It is all very pleasant, which, naturally, makes the Doctor very suspicious.

That he has not already bundled the Master back into the TARDIS is down to a combination of self-restraint and the rather smug look the Master gave him as they stepped out. Hyde Park, London, England is a dare. After all, the Doctor had said anywhere; they could go anywhere, as long as the electricity bracelets are on and working. So, against his better judgement, here they are strolling along the side of the Serpentine and the Doctor says nothing about the strangeness of their location beyond: “Bit of an odd choice for you, isn’t it?”

“Not really,” the Master says. “I quite liked the year I spent in London. Not of all of it was spent stalking you.” He slaps a hand to his forehead. “Whoops, I was keeping that quiet, wasn’t I? Well, now you know: I can’t stay away from you. To think, I thought we were enemies all along. How could I have been so stupid?” He begins to laugh.

“Yes, yes, very funny,” the Doctor says, smiling. “So, when are we exactly? Not that I, in any way, believe you spent your weekends rowing and feeding ducks, by the way.”

The Master shrugs. “Late twentieth, early twenty-first century. How should I know? I did set the coordinates for two years after the millennium, but quite frankly I didn’t really expect to turn up on the right planet. The right century as well seems too much to ask for.”

“Now, that’s just not fair,” the Doctor says. He rubs one of his eyes. “She gets the planet right almost every time.”

“Almost,” the Master says, "being the crucial word in that sentence."

“Well… you have to allow for some margin of excitement. Anyway,” he grins. “We can always ask.”

He holds out a hand and stops a large man in an overcoat carrying several shopping bags. “Excuse me, sorry to bother you, but you couldn’t happen to tell me what year it is?”

The man blinks at him. “You don’t know what year it is?”

“Nope,” the Doctor says. “Can’t say that I do.”

“My friend is very ill,” the Master explains helpfully. “Thinks he’s Queen Victoria most of the time. It's a very sad case and, really, it's best just to humour him. So, the year?

There is a pause. “Well… your majesty”, the man says eventually, gaze flickering hesitantly between the two Time Lords. “As far as I'm aware, it’s the year two thousand and two. Saturday, October the fifteenth. About,” he looks at his watch, “four o’clock in the afternoon. Is that all right?”

“Yes, perfect. Thank you,” the Doctor says, watching the Master who is smiling far too broadly for comfort.

“So," he says when they are out of sight. "Is there anything special about October the fifteenth, 2002? I’m sure I would have remembered a bomb falling on London.”

“No,” the Master says. “Nothing like that. It’s just a normal day. Of course, it does mean that, unlike you, I managed to coax your TARDIS into landing exactly where and when I asked it to, which, I imagine, must be a bit embarrassing.” The Doctor smiles and ignores him. The Master continues: “Speaking of embarrassing, have you read the things Queen Victoria says about you in the Torchwood files? Ouch." He winces comically. "For a seventy-five year old widow she certainly knew some bad words and she didn’t like you at all. Really, though, who can blame her?”

The Doctor stops suddenly. The Master, who has continued walking some two feet, doubles back and follows his line of sight into the lake, where a couple of teenagers are shrieking and splashing each other from blue and yellow pedal-boats. They both watch as a blonde girl with a brightly coloured scarf leans over from her own boat, and pulls the baseball cap off the head of the dark boy in the boat next to her. The boy yells “Oi!” and gives chase at about four miles an hour. The girl turns, laughing, and waves his hat at him. The Doctor stands very still.

“Of course,” the Master says quietly in his ear. “Now I remember. October the fifteenth is Mickey Smith’s birthday. Which means that must be…”

“Back to the TARDIS” the Doctor growls. “Now.”

They walk back in silence. The Doctor locks the doors and deactivates the bracelets. He doesn’t shout, or take the Master to see the small girl he trapped in a mirror, or punch him in the face, though he wants to. He says, “How did you know they’d be there?”

“She left some photos in her room,” the Master explains. “I did a bit of guess work as to the date.”

The Doctor nods. “Don’t ever go in there again,” he says and walks away.

The Master shouts “that’s what you get for keeping me” after him, but the Doctor doesn’t turn around, and he doesn't let the Master choose where to land the TARDIS again.

Back to summer : On to winter
Current Mood: nervousnervous
All the best fandoms have time traveling monks.: My best enemy by the-10thdoctorskipthedemon on October 6th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
*I* like it quite a lot. I ship Master/Doctor like crazy, but I do think the Doctor would be shaken to see Rose and know that he couldn't actually talk to her or touch her. It's exactly the sort of cruel thing the Master would do to lash out at the Doctor.

:plays the Doomsday theme:

Also love the Master mocking his own stalkerish tendencies, and the Doctor smiling at it. 'Cause they both know it's true, silly (crazy) boys.
araliasaralias on October 6th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
thank you :) i also love their crazy ways. who wants a nice normal ship like doctor/rose? (though i kind of like it, but whatever. ignoring that)

also, the music is amazing and sad and makes me cry over and over again, and that ought to be recognised.

glad you liked it.
Auntie Krizu: Doctor Who pantssnowgrouse on October 6th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)

Damn, I'd want to read more of this now... and ok, yeah, you're right about the explaining stuff thing in the later parts, I can't believe the Master ever saying his first lines even as a joke because it'd mean admitting to having any emotions towards the Doctor. Which, really, sounds odd coming from a bloke, and a cold-hearted control-obsessed guy who's set himself up as the other's enemy even more so. Dropped out of character there, IMHO, more so than the rest of it.

But eeee at Rose and Mickey. That was v. clever. And and and and I still want to go back to the first one and try and do things with snow, no matter how damn hard that might be... it'd be a challenge!
araliasaralias on October 6th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
that's... him distracting the doctor until his moment of victory! seriously though also, it was originally crueller and more obviously intended as a slight towards the doctor. the master said something like "i can't bear to be alone," but i'm of the opinion that things are sadder if they start first with happiness. so it became light mockery.

personally, i thought the master referring to the doctor as his "friend" was perhaps more dangerous, but i left it in because it made the doctor so happy.

anyway, glad you liked it DESPITE that and please keep concritting for it makes teh world a better place. i am going to change the summer one i think.
Earth-Bound Misfit: The Mastersmithy161 on October 6th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
*nods* that's exactly what the Master would do. I'm convinced of it.

And I very much like the pretentious series name :0p
araliasaralias on October 6th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
hurrah for silly names. if anyone asks it's referring to that scene in rose where the doctor says he can feel the world turning, though if they ask why this should be relevant to this particular series i will point one way and run the other. still, it was a good line and i think makes a good title. better than "the four seasons" which was my other idea.

also, glad you like my master. this makes me happy :)
(Deleted comment)
araliasaralias on October 6th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
i love the way your right sounds like you're settling down for a serious talk. but, i'm glad you didn't find the whole thing in one go thing too trying and the characterisation seemed right :) i love writing both crazy time lords, so i'm always happy to learn that i'm doing it right.

thanks for reading :)
thimpressionist on October 9th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
I am so anxious to read this when its finished! Shame on you to tease me this way! I really like what you've what you've written so far. Especially the dialogue in 'Summer' you've really nailed the Doctor's voice.
araliasaralias on October 9th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
i'm not sure what to say to this, except woe for it is finished. sort of. you can head back to winter if you like, but i like it stopping here. at least i did... now, i am seriously worried there's no sense of resolution. do you not feel there is? *wibbles* i echoed the end of winter with that intention...

...saying that, to be honest, though autumn is kind of the end, it's supposed to feel vaguely like there isn't an end and they might keep on doing this forever and there would be some good bits where it would seem like things were going well (spring and summer), but mainly pain for both of them because neither really understood the other properly and both want the other to change to be more like them. but because they're both such strong and different personalities this won't and shouldn't ever happen and, even though they really like each other really deep down, it could never work out for long and they'll inevitably end up back in autumn or winter, miserable and angry. like the end of 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind'... sort of. though kaufman is a bit of a genius so he says it better.

i'm about to start writing another AU 'the master survived just because he did' fic, which isn't part of this, but will definitely end and in a slightly more up-beat way, so you can pretend it is the ending to this if you like... but in my head the 'turn of the world' cycle is finished. sorry.

but anyway, glad you liked it and thank you for commenting :)
thimpressionist on October 10th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
er, I think I misread your first post, thinking that you meant to expand it into something longer. It's still an excellent story though, and I was thinking that you didn't really need to add anything more. Looking forward to your next AU. Will there be sexin'? *perves*
*whistles innocently*
araliasaralias on October 12th, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
not this time, but later - of course :)