Story: Your Name
Word Count: 24,226
Author's Summary: Exploring the names chosen by the Doctor and the Master, as well as their original, or 'real' names.
Characters/Pairings: Romana I, Romana II, The Doctor (10th), The Doctor (Academy era), The Master (Academy era), The Master (Other), The Master (Simm), The Rani (Academy era)
Warnings: I suppose there are some incesty-tones here, if you go with the theory that Koschei and Theta are brothers, but they are easily ignored if you choose to do so
Recced because: Throughout both classic and new Who the Doctor and the Master keep intriguing and making us guess about their original relationship. This fic explores the possibility that they may have been brothers (twins, in fact) and it strangely seems to fit. I don't think everyone will agree with this theory, but it's a nice framework for this fic and truly transforms the Koschei/Theta dynamics into two sides of the same medal.
The first few chapters give a really good feel, I think, of what they academy might have been like and the shenanigans the both of them might have gotten up to. More interesting is the tension that already starts to spiral out of control as both boys grow up and their relationship already begins to fracture. blaidddrwg focuses on the inner thoughts and telepathic life of the two main characters very well as well, really drawing the reader into the relationship and letting the audience get very close. This fic is definitely an interesting window into Time Lord psychology and shed a light on a possible angle of the Doctor's and the Master's history.
The last two chapters link all this prior, non-canon history to scenes from canon, completing the circle in a way. We readers read the academy chapters with our canon-based background and in the last two chapters we review this familiar canon within the framework blaidddrwg has given us in earlier chapters.
Even if you don't feel you can agree on the idea that the Doctor and the Master are brothers, I'd still advise you to read this fic if only because it offers so many interesting new angles to this set of characters who seem to be forever spiralling together - pulling and pushing at each other constantly.
“How will you choose?”
Koschei didn’t look up at him, but his eyes stopped flicking right to left on the pages of his book.
“That’s easy. Something that defines me as me. Something no one else would choose.”
Koschei glanced up now, expression and mind blank. What?
“Theta?” Koschei sat up on the pillows, looking at the boy at the end of his bed, swinging his legs back and forth as if kicking up water, or something he couldn’t see. His eyes were full of disappointment. This made Koschei scowl, he crawled over, wrapping his arms around the boy’s neck from behind, resting his head on his shoulder.
Theta’s legs fell still, even his breath seemed slower, deeper than normal. Even though he couldn’t see The’s face, Koschei knew there were tears welling up. Was he blaming him for something? Koschei’s jaw tightened, he used his hold on him to drag Theta down, onto his back, he held his arms down, sitting over the top of him so that he could stare straight into his eyes.
They were a strange mixture of colours, grey, with a strange flower of muddy green that flared round the pupils. A girlish face, pretty lips, soft to touch dark blond hair. Identical to himself.
They were like a mirrored image, symmetrical in so many ways.
A set. And separate.
Koschei’s scowl only worsened when a tear fell down the pale cheek of his twin. He struck Theta’s face, the same side, brushing the tear away in the process.
“Stop it. We’re strong remember!” A flash of darkness in his eyes, threatening, as they bore into the back of his brother’s skull, past the other side of his gaze and into his very mind.
“I’m sorry!” Theta shut his eyes tightly, trying not to let his emotions take hold.
In Koschei’s mind, he too repetitively told himself- and his twin brother- block it out, block it out, block it out... Why couldn’t his brother be more like him? The stupid boy was too sympathetic. Too kind. Too naive. Too trusting. And so forgiving that it made Koschei feel physically sick. His lip quivered and his hold on those thin wrists tightened. He wondered if they would break. He’d just love to snap him in two.
Leaning in, Koschei’s lips met his brothers, kissing him roughly, but somehow Theta’s kiss remained soft, pure... he tasted so sweet.
“What are you crying for now?” Koschei sniffed, sitting back up, hands at his sides, twisting the sheet beneath them in frustration. Stop it. He snapped in his friend’s mind, making Theta flinch with the sudden contact. That made him smile; he reached down to stroke the reddening cheek.
“I don’t want you to... don’t choose yourself a name. It’s just another way...”
“Of dividing us?” Koschei’s face was blank, but his eyes glittered darkly. “So what? Sooner or later, we’ll both have our own TARDISes. We’ll have to regenerate. We’ll have different skin. Different hearts.” Koschei allowed his hand to slide down Theta’s neck, down his unbuttoned shirt to his chest. Leaning in, he curled into Theta, contently listening to the sound of his two hearts.