Word Count: 19,170
Author's Summary: In which the Master wins, and the Doctor's attempts to talk his way out of it prove less than successful.
Characters/Pairings: Third Doctor/Delgado!Master
Warnings: Darkfic with consent issues.
Recced because: This story blew me away. I knew that x_los wrote some of the best Delgado!Master around, but I wasn't prepared for the power of this story and it nearly broke my brain. She understands them so well - their connection, their history, their obsessions - and she makes their relationship and all their questionable actions utterly believable. This is a very dark look at what the Master really wants from the Doctor and who these two men really are to each other.
“I’m not going to kill anyone I don’t need to,” the Master offered, “That’d be a poor start to my benevolent reign over these primitives. And,” the Master looked into the Doctor’s eyes, tone intense, “I learned some time ago that you’re rather down on my dispatching lives for your benefit.” The Master’s expression relaxed into a wry, mocking grin. “Especially when I do it for your benefit, it seems. You know, you really could learn to accept a compliment graciously.” The Master clucked disparagingly.
He rubbed the Doctor’s chin with his thumb. He couldn’t seem to stop touching him. But there was no reason not to indulge himself, not anymore. Not even the Doctor himself would impede him. He sighed ruefully, because he shouldn’t have needed to force this.
“One day you’re going to forgive me. Oh, you no doubt find the idea impossible now, but given time you’ll be reconciled, and you’ll forgive me all of this. And then you’re going to thank me for being willing to go to such lengths. For being strong enough to do for us what you wouldn’t. I look forward to that too much to let some primitives killed in your courting impede us, just because you couldn’t forgive yourself for deaths in pursuit of something so personal.”
He kissed the Doctor on the forehead, willfully ignoring the Doctor’s expression, which seemed two parts disgusted and one part disappointed in him. “You should get properly dressed. We’ve a lot of work to do.”