Rating: All Ages (reccer’s note: actually, writer, there is a bit of sex in this—not elaborately rendered, but I don’t think ALL ages are quite ready for some of these allusions, this isn’t a panto :p)
Word Count: 8152
Author's Summary: “It had come as no real surprise to the Doctor that the Master owned a fully functional genetic loom. Kidfic in which Five and Ainley!Master are living together for some reason and have a kid and also wacky parenting misadventures.”
Characters: The Doctor (5th), The Master (Ainley)
“It was this combination of events that led the Doctor to kidnap his own son in the middle of night.”
So... you either like kidfic, or you don’t. Obviously there’s a lot of variation within the subgenre in terms of quality, but the actual idea seems a bit marmite regardless of that. I can only say that this fic’s sharp and wry and funny. There’s nothing smotheringly smarmy about it, despite the premise sounding like a vat of treacle the Candyman would for sure drown you in.
There’s a lot of Get Together fic in the world, and comparatively little great Established Relationship fic, where the couple involved can really like one another, and have believable, delightful interaction, and still have massive issues based on the differences in personality and position that held up the get-together in the first place, and which did not evaporate and take the characters’ personalities with them when they shagged. This seems especially important for characters and relationships where deciding to have sex or even to be together wouldn’t be as difficult as making that work, and where just saying ‘then they made it work’ is a massive rug-sweep. And the Shakespearian Comedy format, ending in a wedding/get-together, makes it sound like narratives and problems and a couple’s interesting and dynamic emotional life ends with ‘will they won’t they’, rather than pretty much beginning there. Screw that weird, dull, limiting, heteronormative, patriarchal logic.
This is a great fic for Five—he’s perfectly on-point, and deeply awkward, and really crap at some things. One of the things I personally like about Time Lord/Time Lord fic is its capacity to ‘humanize’ the characters by pitting them against equals who aren’t mystified or impressed by them other than as their personalities and histories together have earned—people capable of understanding their backgrounds and decisions and calling them on their shit and challenging them intellectually/as people, and of interacting with them as regenerating beings (I don’t really care that a character thinks Eleven’s cute if they wouldn’t also have dug Seven). You could make a lot of arguments there (and perhaps fairly say I’m under-selling what a human could bring to the relationship, or the value of a relationship with just one version of a TL!), but that’s mine? This fic essentially uses the established relationship and this power balance to force an actual, thoughtful, mature conversation about the Doctor’s sometimes wobbly handling of personal or emotional problems, and you almost don’t notice because it’s fun, and it’s kidfic of all things.
The language is crisp and delightful. I like it when Aralias’ ability to set up a joke marries with her ability to articulate something illusive and difficult about characters and relationships while making those relationships dynamic. The fic does some entertaining Time Lord worldbuilding as well.
Have some particularly fun snippets:
“Well,” the Doctor squirmed as the Master tongue entered his bellybutton, “as you said, Morophinnaghrana is generally deemed important pre-natal reading and, although I’ve never been fond of her work, I think the theory is sound. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that children are affected by their earliest experiences. I thought I’d read Dickens—”
“I meant,” the Master said returning to head height, “what gestation period?”
“Yes, I thought you might mean that,” the Doctor said, hearing his voice speed up with panic. “The gestation period. The period of gestation between conception and birth.”
“I fear this is another distinction between our houses,” the Master explained. “How long do you think we have?”
“Five years,” the Doctor said. “Meanwhile, what we actually have is closer to...?” At least a year, he thought. Please let it be at least a year. More than enough time to get through ‘David Copperfield’ and well into ‘Our Mutual Friend’.
The Master leaned up over the Doctor’s head and pressed his hand to the side of the loom. He frowned in concentration, and drew back. “Three minutes.”
“Excellent,” the Doctor said. “Well, we’d better get dressed then, hadn’t we?” He sat up, pushing the Master off himself as he did so, and began collecting his clothes. Trousers, shirt, socks, ARGH, ARGH, ARGH, shoes, underpants, jumper. “Isn’t it wonderful," he observed, "how you can agree to have a child and then get one in less time than it takes the French to eat a good dinner?”
“I should, perhaps, have warned you there might be differences,” the Master admitted.
“Some would say that, yes,” the Doctor said, as he pulled on his trousers. “Some would definitely say that, but not me, Master, because I thrive on the unexpected.”
““Ah, good morning at last, Doctor,” he said, dropping the bags on the floor and depositing the small son in the Doctor’s lap. “I’m afraid your short tenure as the responsible parent has ended,” he explained as he shut the TARDIS door and set it into flight. “While you slept, I acquired clothing, toys, educational materials and food for our offspring.”” ←BLESS HIM FOR BEING COMPETITITVE ABOUT THIS
““There must be planets you could save,” the Master said firmly. “I’m sure you have a list stashed away somewhere.”
“No,” the Doctor told him. “Would you believe it, I just sort of stumble into trouble most of the time.” The Master’s look said that he could well believe it. The Doctor frowned. “Besides, I’ve got important trigonometry to- Oh, all right. I’ll be back in time for dinner at six,” he said, getting to his feet. “Unless I captured or get caught up in events, which is fairly likely, but I will do my best,” he kissed the top of David’s head, “not to be,” and the Master’s forehead. “Be good, both of you.”
And he ran out into the console room, and, from there, the universe.”←how nice is that writing? Such a good rhythm.
“Now tell me more about toppling this empire—”
“Oh, very well—”
“— in the voice of a nineteenth century Earth nursemaid, if you would.”
The Doctor sighed dramatically. “Lawk, my dear, you do have the strangest fancies, but I an’t a one to stop you on this matter. I ran into trouble, I did, almost as soon as I’d left you and Master Davy—”
“Wonderful,” the Master said, sliding a finger deep into the Doctor, who had by this point rid himself of all his clothes. “I’ve never been so aroused. Go on.”
“I didn’t know where I was, see, and there— No, I can’t,” the Doctor said, laughing, in his own voice. “Even with the Vortisaur covered up. You’re a dreadful man.””←I think I would ship this pairing if I was presented just with this excerpt (mmm, Peggotty—no not really, Peggotty fetishism is a dark path)