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Two Wrongs

Two Wrongs
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Characters: Third Doctor/Delgado Master.  Implied one-sided Third Doctor/Jo
Warnings:  Damn, did I feel like a bitch for writing this one.  It is very angsty and doesn't have a happy ending at all... plus the Doctor is a bit of a bastard.  Also, the Doctor has a one sided affection for Jo which he never acted on... it's central to the plot (and the angst.  Oh, the angst...) and so if you don't care for that sort of thing, you might just want to skip this one.  Also, there's mentions of rape, though it doesn't actually happen.  If you do decide to go ahead and read anyway, I hope you enjoy.  <3
Notes: Written for the best_enemies drabble prompt, "Japan and/or Italy" and then it got out of hand and became less about Italy and more about ANGST OF ETERNAL BITCHINESS that I apparently couldn't stop myself from writing. 
Author's thanks: Many thanks to narwhale_callin for betaing this.  She trimmed my excess words, told me when I didn't make sense (which is frequent) and got a good laugh at one of my typos ('bet' has a little bit different meaning than 'bed').  The fic is much more brilliant for her keen eye.  <3

~

Despite the Brigadier's insistence of a sighting, the Master was nowhere in Milan.  The Doctor even checked the Duomo in case the Master was playing priest again, but no luck.  It was a pity, that.  The Doctor had liked the priest disguise. 

When he called to tell the Brigadier of his findings (or rather, lack thereof), the Doctor's suspicions were confirmed.  "It was a long shot," the Brigadier admitted over the phone.  "There's a conference I need you for in two weeks, but there's nothing major right now.  Why not take a few days off while you're there?"

If the Doctor had known throwing himself into work at UNIT would have gotten him all-inclusive and enforced holidays, he might have tried this tactic earlier.  As it was, he didn't feel like enjoying himself.  He would have gone off to another planet if he wanted that, which he could do now that the Time Lords had restored his memory.  "I'll take a few days then," the Doctor said regardless, because he did like Italy.  It had been a while since he last visited, back in the 1400s.

"Doctor, are you sure you're-"

"My dear Brigadier, I'm perfectly fine without everyone's constant hovering about."  He didn't want to hear the concern in the Brigadier's voice - another reason for staying in Milan a few days. Since they'd returned from South Wales, the rest of UNIT had been acting like the Doctor was a lovesick puppy with two broken hearts. 

However, he relented a few seconds later, since he knew that the Brigadier had sent him abroad more to get away from the constant reminders and sympathy at UNIT than to find the Master.  The Brigadier was only trying to help.  "I'm sorry, old chap.  Maybe I have been overexerting myself recently.  I'll see if I can't do a bit of sight-seeing and bring back souvenirs for everyone."  Souvenirs for everyone but the person he wanted to give a gift to the most, because she was gone.  The Doctor wasn't fooling the Brigadier, but it allowed them to hang up on better terms.

Wandering around Da Vinci square, the Doctor saved a young American tourist from an over-amorous Italian suitor, delivering her safely back to her friends with a firm warning about wandering off alone.  It was a far cry from saving the world from alien invasions, but the young lady was sweet enough.  The only problem was that she wasn't Jo.

He left her after making sure she wouldn't go off by herself again and took a train out of the city.  The Doctor had no particular destination in mind, but he got off after a few stops in a little town called Cernusco.  He'd been there before, some forty years in the future, visiting with Susan, Barbra and Ian. 

The town hadn't changed much over the years, he noted.  He was pleased to see the little church that had been boarded up during his last visit was still in use and currently holding a wedding.  The Doctor watched the procession quietly, wondering what sort of dress Jo had worn to her rushed wedding at city hall.  She'd have worn something stylish, no doubt, despite the little preparation.  Jo must have been beautiful...

The Doctor turned away from the wedding abruptly, walking across a small bridge that overlooked a lovely canal.  On the other side was a little pond Jo would have loved, especially if she could have found some bread to feed the ducks.  The Doctor hated himself for sitting there, watching the leaves float across the surface of the water and thinking of her, but he managed to smile and nod at the people who passed by, regardless of seeing her face around every corner.

It was no good sitting around and moping, he decided finally.  If coming to a place where he had memories hadn't helped, perhaps the busier city might distract him.  The Doctor walked back through the sleepy little town, remembering fondly where the pig-like worlanrids had nearly overrun Barbara and Susan.  It had taken a lot of work to round up the little aliens so that the apologetic shepherd could take them back to the planet he was supposed to herd them to.   Jo had... Jo had laughed quite a lot, when he'd told her that story.  It had been a bit of a hassle and-

Was that the sound of a fight up ahead?

Unable to walk away from trouble, the Doctor followed the noise to an alley behind one of the shops.  There was a group of seven brutish foreigners all huddled around a smaller man whom the Doctor couldn't quite see.  One of the bigger thugs, who was distinguishable by his dirty blond hair and a black jacket, was trying to strangle the poor chap. 

"Is anyone allowed to play, gentlemen?" the Doctor asked as he stepped forward.

The brutes all turned to look and one of the less intelligent but larger ones walked over to size the Doctor up.  "It's just an old man," he said with a predatory gaze.  "Looks like he's rich though.  What do you guys say?  Should we make this a-"

The man had been moving closer to the Doctor, attempting to put his arm around the Doctor's shoulders and herd him further into the alley.  The Doctor didn't particularly care to have this scum touching him any longer than necessary, and he used the opportunity to pinch against the pressure points in the man's neck, paralyzing him with a single movement. 

The brute gasped unintelligibly, which brought the other six pairs of eyes right to the Doctor.  "You'll find I'm very rich," the Doctor said with a smile.  "I'm rich in the knowledge of Venusian karate. Why don't you let this poor fellow leave and we can all just go on our way?"

One of the thugs with a red bandana around his neck cursed at the Doctor, charging at him and starting the fight in earnest.  He threw the man with the bandana over his back in a swift movement, using the thug's own momentum to knock him against the wall.  Then he pushed the the still-paralyzed one into a second attacker as a third raised some sort of pike to strike the Doctor with.  Dodging easily now that he was freed from holding the first man in place, the Doctor made quick work of the thugs.  The fight as over within a minute and the last two attackers ran away instead of trying their luck.  Good riddence to them, spoiling such a lovely small town with their actions.  Hopefully they would stay gone.

Glancing over the fools who had fallen about the alley, the Doctor was glad that none of them were too badly hurt.  He had heard the snap of a bone at one point during the fight, but that particular man had been the one whose hands were wandering a little too much over the chap they'd been torturing.  The Doctor couldn't bring himself to feel too poorly over it.

Brushing himself off, the Doctor turned to check on the person they had jumped.  "Are you alright, old chap?" he asked.  "Do you-Good heavens.  What on Earth are you doing here?"

The Master glared up at the Doctor as he tried to stand.  He was an absolute mess: his jacket and shirt were torn open and nasty red marks ran all along his neck. Probably in quite a bit of pain too, if the Doctor wasn't mistaken.  There would be more than a few bruises to go along with that split lip in a few hours.  "Here, let me help you," the Doctor said, moving to support the Master.

"I hardly need your help," the Master snapped, though he winced in pain before he'd even managed to finish the sentence.

"Don't be absurd," the Doctor said, sliding an arm around the Master's waist and looping the Master's arm around his neck.  "There's a good fellow, now.  Let's get you cleaned up."  The Doctor wrapped his arm a little more tightly around the still trembling Master for comfort and helped him limp out of the alley way.   

There was a frantic shop keeper waiting for them at the end of the alley way, who ushered them inside a back room he used for storage.  "My family," he babbled, by way of explanation.  "I couldn't risk getting hurt and not being able to work.  I'm sorry I couldn't help.  I sent my son out for the police, but that was all I could do."

"It's alright, old chap," the Doctor said as he accepted the first aid kit that was being pressed into his hands.  "There was no lasting harm done.  I'll take care of him, so you can get back to your work." 

"No lasting harm?" the Master asked after the shop owner had left, looking down at his torn shirt in disgust. 

"Not of anything that matters, I hope," the Doctor replied, looking the Master over carefully.  "They didn't..."

"They didn't get the chance to," the Master said, closing his eyes and trying to hide the small shiver that went through his shoulders. 

"Well, there's that at least," the Doctor said, relieved that he really had gotten there before the thugs could get too far.  Even the Master didn't deserve what those thugs had planned.  He did wish Jo were here though, since she would be able to think of the right thing to say to the Master now.  Instead, he tried to focus on something else, to at least distract the Master.  "What happened out there?  You're usually able to handle yourself well enough." 

"My dear Doctor, there were seven of them, if you hadn't noticed.  Not all of us found physical arts as stimulating as you did."  The Master ignored the Doctor's questioning gaze, trying to reach over and button up his shirt.  He hissed as he moved his arm, however, and the Doctor stopped him from moving as he pulled up a chair.

The Master glared at him, but continued explaining, if just to concentrate on simple things that didn't matter in the long run.  "I was endeavoring to hypnotize them to forget about mugging me when I was... interrupted before I could finish.  I got distracted by a child screeching nearby and lost my concentration.  The attempt only made them angrier and you saw the rest."

"Distracted?" the Doctor asked, gently pulling off the Master's shirt.  The Master grit his teeth together but didn't make a sound as he slipped his arm out of the sleeve.  "That doesn't sound like you at all," the Doctor continued, running his fingers down the Master's arm to check for broken bones. 

"My shoulder," the Master said, resigned to the administrations.  "It's been dislocated."

The Doctor nodded, working up to the Master's shoulder.  "What are you doing in Italy anyway?" he asked as he searched the Master's collarbone.

"There was supposed to be an ambassador that resembled me and I thought-" the Master cut himself off with a gasp as the Doctor found the dislocation.  He forced himself to speak again out of pride, hiding as much of the pain as he could.  "I thought I could... use that to my advantage."

"Brace yourself," the Doctor said, waiting for the Master's tight nod before pushing the bone back into place.  This time the Master did cry out, but softly.  The Doctor waited until the Master's breathing evened out before giving the Master's hand a quick squeeze and continuing the conversation.  "My dear fellow, the Spanish Ambassador is currently in Greece, not Italy.  I'm surprised.  It isn't like you at all, to get your facts this mixed up." 

Jo would have said something about that, or would have at least laughed.  Then the Master wouldn't be keeping his eyes on the floor or admitting things they simply didn't discuss.  "You weren't at UNIT when I got back," the Master said quietly.  "No one had seen you or Miss Grant.  When I checked back a few weeks later, you still weren't there."

Which covered the time they had been on the planet Spiridon and their later trip to South Wales.  The Doctor didn't mention that, instead keeping his fingers moving over the Master's shoulder to make sure there wasn't a fracture.  Jo's presence would have kept the Master from from expressing himself so openly, and the Doctor couldn't quite cover the awkwardness on his own.  "You shot me," he said simply.  "Did you really expect me to come back?"

The Master batted his hands away, but not before the Doctor saw the hurt in his eyes.  Sighing, the Doctor shook his head.  "I know you didn't mean to," the Doctor said, since the Master had, in his own dysfunctional way, just admitted to being worried over the Doctor's absence.

He didn't expect an apology from the Master, nor did he get one, but the Master did relax at the words.  Some of the anger drained from the Master's shoulders and he allowed the Doctor to continue checking him over.  The Doctor supposed he was going far too easy on the Master considering he hadn't even gotten a thanks for the rescue, but the whole situation was rather more humorous once he realized the Master had been slipping up due to his concern for the Doctor. 

"You've hurt your left leg then?" the Doctor asked, changing the subject.  He didn't wait for the Master to nod, kneeling down and lifting up the Master's trouser leg.  His ankle was already starting to swell, but thankfully it looked like a light sprain.  "I believe you've twisted it, old chap.  You should be fine in a week or so, but you should stay off it for a while."

"You're not a real doctor," the Master said with a sneer.  A swift poke to his ankle cut off any more complaints, though the Master still gave him an annoyed glare.  The Doctor might not be a 'real' doctor technically, but he was still the one in charge of the Master's first aid and he didn't have to be gentle.  The Master wisely kept any more of those taunts to himself as the Doctor wrapped his ankle for support.

The silence was companionable and the Doctor found himself thinking back to better days.  The Master's mouth had gotten them into trouble many times in the past.  In fact, that was part of the reason the Doctor had taken up martial arts, to keep the Master from getting beat up so frequently.  The Doctor couldn't help himself as he thought of a particular memory.  He started to laugh.

"My dear Doctor, if you find something about this situation amusing, I would be most interested in hearing it," the Master said coldly.

"Don't mind me, old chap," the Doctor said, managing to stifle the laugh with some effort.  "It's just been a long time since I've done this.  Wasn't the last time when Ushas pounded you to a pulp for mouthing off one of her experiments?"

The Master's temper flared and he fisted his hands to control his anger as the Doctor moved on to cleaning the Master's split upper lip.  The anger turned to pain as the Master tried to pull away from the cloth the Doctor had been using to clean up the blood.  "I believe I've told you that I don't need your help, Doctor," he said, pushing the Doctor's hand away.

The Doctor had been about to mention that it must have been Braxiatel, but something about the tenseness in the Master's shoulders warned him off.  "Just take it easy, old chap," the Doctor said. Was the Master... trembling? It was gone within seconds, but the Doctor was honestly baffled. All he'd done was laugh... 
 
The mood between them had soured, and the Doctor desperately wished that Jo could be here to soften tension.  She had worked as a natural buffer between the two Time Lords in the past and she'd probably have said just the right thing to diffuse the situation or at least have brought them around to their usual banter long enough for the Master's obvious hurt to be ignored.

The Doctor went back to cleaning the cut on the Master's lip silently and thankfully the Master didn't try to protest again.  He was so very lonely without Jo.  He didn't want to be lonely anymore... 

Not thinking of what he was doing, the Doctor pulled the cloth away and leaned in.

At first, the Master was surprised.  He didn't move as the Doctor deepened the kiss, pulling the Master closer against him as his arm slipped around the Master's bare back.  Finally, the Master started to respond, hesitantly at first and then following the Doctor's lead.  Just like when they were forced to work together and the Master simply fell in with the Doctor's plan, except right now the Doctor didn't have a plan.  He was doing something completely stupid, using the Master for this and it was wrong, but right now he didn't care.  He wanted to forget Jo and the Master seemed apt enough for that purpose.  And if he couldn't forget her, he could at least imagine the Master were Jo for just a little bit...

It was the Master who broke the kiss, pulling away with a mixture of confusion and suspicion across his face.  "Doctor," he gasped, forcing himself to take a deeper breath before speaking again.  "What do you think you are doing?"

"I'm kissing you," the Doctor said.  "My dear fellow, I should have thought that was obvious."  The Doctor leaned in to kiss him again, but the Master evaded him.  "Well, do you have a problem with that?"

"Why?" the Master asked as he held himself just out of range of the Doctor's lips. 

He didn't, the Doctor noted wryly, try to extract himself from the Doctor's arms.  That suited the Doctor just fine.  "Because I've missed you," the Doctor said, almost truthful.  He missed Koschei and Jo, but the Master was the next best thing at the moment.  "Because it's just us right now and we're both here.  My dear fellow, I'm tired of the game we play and I want some real company for once."  All of which were true, though not the real reason.  The Master needn't find out about Jo's departure.

The Master looked in the Doctor's eyes, searching for any deceit or ulterior motives.  He'd been tricked before and was wary because of it, but the Doctor was willing to bet the Master wouldn't look hard enough.  He never did.  The Master wanted it too much. 

The Doctor was right.  Closing his eyes with a sigh, the Master leaned into the Doctor's shoulder.  "Is it real this time?" he asked, scarcely daring to believe it.  "You're not going to turn around and say this is all some trick, are you?"

"It's real," the Doctor lied smoothly.  He forced himself to ignore the faint hope in the Master's now open eyes and the yearning in his voice, because if the Doctor acknowledged that, he would truly be a monster.  Pushing those thoughts away, he leaned in to kiss the Master again.

"Come on," he said, smiling down at the Master as he pulled away.  "Let's see if that shop keeper has a shirt you could borrow."

The shopkeeper did have something for the Master to wear and keep, free of charge.  It was a simple dark button-up shirt that was surprisingly suitable for the Master.  "It looks good on you," the Doctor told him, cutting off the Master's complaints on the quality of the fabric. 

He didn't miss how happy the Master looked for the compliment either, despite how the Master tried to hide it under a sigh as he looked heavenward.  "I suppose it will have to do," the Master said.

A walking stick and a makeshift sling for the Master's arm were also easy enough to find and it wasn't long before they were both walking through the streets of Cernusco, if a little slowly to avoid straining the Master's ankle.  A big sign caught the Doctor's eye, drawing a smug grin from him as he started to turn the Master's shoulders toward it.  Big del Gelato sounded like it had plenty of promise.

"I thought we were going to the station?" the Master asked.

"Do you still have a sweet tooth?" the Doctor asked, not bothering with the Master's question.  The Master nodded warily, still not entirely trusting the Doctor.  "Then I think we should go in here first.  It will be my treat."

Guiding the Master into the shop, he grinned at the Master's scowl.  "Ice cream, Doctor?  I'm hardly a child.  We can find a much more suitable place for dinner: we are in Italy, after all."

"My dear fellow, this is gelato.  Now stop scowling and try some."  It took a bit more coaxing before the Master resigned himself to the small spoon the vendor provided, but it was worth it to see the Master's expression.  His eyes widened in surprise as the cold cream touched his tongue and the Master's face lit up as he smiled in delight.  The Master quickly changed it to a more professional expression of approval when he saw that the Doctor was watching him, but for a few moments the Doctor hadn't thought about Jo.  It was just him and the Master and something they could both enjoy. 

Once the Master had tasted all of the flavors and chosen one of amaretto and chocolate, the Doctor was true to his word and bought the Master the biggest size they had.  He didn't get one for himself, because this regeneration wasn't overly prone to liking sweets. 

The Master was watching him wearily, so the Doctor turned on one of his most charming grins and stole a quick bite from the Master's gelato with a pilfered spoon.  "You're more than capable of getting your own, Doctor," the Master said, pushing his chair away with a glare as he protected his cup.

"It's far more fun this way," the Doctor said, thinking of how many times he'd stolen Jo's food.  Deftly, he darted his spoon in again.  As the Master started to protest, the Doctor did something he'd never done with Jo: he pushed the ice cream into the Master's open mouth.  "There now.  That wasn't too bad, was it?" the Doctor asked.

Giving the Doctor a look that clearly stated he wasn't impressed, the Master did allow the Doctor to scoot his chair over and take the occasional bite after that.  Without even realizing it, the Doctor's arm had curled possessively around the Master's waist. 

He'd never held Jo like this.  He hadn't had this sort of relationship with her, though the Doctor had often thought of what it would be like to hold her as her new husband did.  The Master's body against his didn't curve in the same ways hers would have, but the Doctor found he was glad of that.  He was less likely to slip up and call the Master by her name, which would be the makings of a disaster.

When the gelato had been reduced to a layer of thick cream at the bottom of the cup, they headed back to the train station and into central Milan.  He could tell the Master was in a lot of pain before they reached the Doctor's hotel room, but he never complained or asked to go someplace closer.  Presumably, the Master's TARDIS was around somewhere, but the Doctor didn't ask and the Master didn't offer.  It was part of the game they played and right now the Doctor didn't want to play games.  He wanted to forget Jo.

It was easy enough to procure a suitable painkiller for the Master's hurts from the lobby, at least.   The Doctor waited until he was sure the painkillers had kicked in before breaking their conversation about Minbari rituals to start kissing the Master again.  As the Master let himself be pushed back against the bed, the Doctor tried not to imagine what Jo might have tasted like over the heady sensation of Cuban cigars and sugary gelato.

"Are you sure about this?" the Master asked, bringing his hand up to caress the Doctor's face even as his words were aimed to hurt.  "What would your precious humans think if they saw this?  I'm sure Miss Grant would be-"

"I highly doubt she would be very surprised," the Doctor snapped.  Jo had made several hinting comments about the past nature of the Doctor and Master's relationship.  The Brigadier would disapprove, of course, but right now the Doctor didn't want to think about UNIT and most definitely not about Jo leaving.

He shouldn't have snapped, however, because now the Master was getting suspicious.  "Doctor-"

"I'm sure about this," the Doctor said, cutting him off again as he absently toyed with the collar of the Master's shirt.  "I hardly need a human's approval for my love affairs, old chap.  Now, I was rather looking forward to this, so if you don't have any more objections..."

The Master looked like he was about to say something, but he paused and fell silent.  There was a calculating light in the Master's eyes and for a frightening moment the Doctor wondered if the Master was actually going to object.  "You've gotten in a fight with them, haven't you?" the Master said instead, surprising the Doctor.

A fight?  Yes, that sounded like a perfectly good lie to throw the Master off the scent and the Master had come up with it on his own.  He was likely to believe it.  "If I have?" the Doctor asked.

The Doctor saw the look of smug superiority in the Master's eyes: he knew the Master was seeing a chance to sway the Doctor from his earlier decision not to travel with him.  A chance that didn't really exist, but the Doctor wasn't going to disillusion him from it.  He ran his fingers along the Master's beard, reminding himself of the differences between the Master and Jo again.  "And if I have?" the Doctor prompted again when he didn't get an answer.

"I think you'll need some... quality time with someone more sympathetic," the Master said, a charming smile crossing his face.

"I suppose you think that you fit the description?" the Doctor teased as he took pleasure in undoing the buttons of the Master's shirt. 

The Master didn't answer, using his good arm to pull the Doctor down into a passionate kiss.  But the Doctor softened it, shifting to a position that was less likely to accidentally jar the Master's shoulder or leg. 

He loved the Master tenderly, with a gentleness that surprised both of them.  When the Master fell asleep in his arms that night the Doctor could almost forget that he wished the Master were someone else.  It was enough for his bed not to be empty and for the Master to be the one filling it. 

The Doctor woke up to the Master's fingers running through his hair.  He smiled lazily as he opened his eyes, but he was surprised by the sight that greeted him.  He'd expected to see the Master disheveled and smirking, pleased with himself over the events of last night.  And while the Master's normally neat hair was mused from the sex and sleep, definitely counting as disheveled, there was a tender and almost innocent smile stretching his lips.  He looked... he looked happier than the Doctor had ever seen him, not since they were back at the Academy.  That was when the Doctor realized how much of a mistake this all had been.

The Master still wasn't Jo. 

"Good morning," the Master said, leaning down to kiss the Doctor.  He pulled back when the Doctor didn't respond, the smile faltering.  "Doctor?"

"Jo has gotten married," the Doctor said plainly. 

"So?"

Pulling away from the Master, the Doctor sat up and started to look for his clothes, refusing to see the confusion on the Master's face.  "She's leaving UNIT to go hiking in the Amazon with her new husband."

The Master's eyes narrowed and he grabbed the Doctor's arm and forced him back on the bed.  "My dear Doctor, I'm sure she'll be quite happy with her new life, but I don't see how this is pertinent right now.  I thought that this..."

He trailed off as the Doctor looked up at him, the full truth in his unguarded eyes.  At first, the Master didn't understand.  The inability to consider the reality of the situation kept the idea from even entering his head as the Doctor tugged at his arm for the Master to let go.  Slowly, annoyance turned to fear and anger as he let the Doctor stand unimpeded this time.  Looking away again, the Doctor continued to dress himself as the Master started to tremble in fury and disbelief. 

"Is that all I am to you?" the Master asked a few minutes later when he found the coherence to speak.  "A rebound for some... human girl?  Were you thinking of her as you fucked me last night?"

Pulling the covers around him, the Master stood up and walked over to the now fully dressed Doctor.  "Doctor, don't you dare-"

"It's not good to make a scene over these things, old chap," the Doctor said, talking over the Master.  He felt like a monster as it was without the Master's accusations.  "We are both mature Time Lords, so there's no point in-"

The Master hit him.

The punch sent the Doctor staggering back a step and as he touched his throbbing jaw, the Doctor realized he probably deserved that.  He needed to remember not to stick around after tricking the Master next time.  If there was a next time.  Still, he should have left last night after the Master had fallen asleep.  He'd have felt like less of a bastard.

"How dare you belittle me like this!  Does my worth mean that little to you?" the Master asked, fury tainted with... was that fear?  Surely the Master wasn't afraid of him?  He'd never shown that he was afraid of the Doctor before and that didn't feel quite right.  He was definitely afraid of something. 

The Master collected himself, covering the fear with anger when the Doctor stayed silent.  "I'll make you respect me.  You will have to take me seriously once I-"

The Doctor didn't think about what he was doing, which was what had gotten him into this whole mess in the first place.  He couldn't stand to listen to the Master's accusations.  Grabbing the Master by the waist, the Doctor pushed him back against the bed and kissed him harshly. 

At first, the Master responded to the kiss, greedily accepting the Doctor's tongue dueling for supremacy against his.  Then the Master pushed the Doctor back.  "You're still thinking of her, aren't you?" the Master asked, his hands balling into fists against the Doctor's back.  "You are still imagining her."

"And if I am?" the Doctor asked.  "Tell me, old chap.  What do you plan to do if I am still thinking of Jo?"

Closing his eyes, the Master's breath hitched painfully.  "I'd rather let those idiotic buffoons take me in that alley, than you.  At least they were focused on me."

"Then why don't you tell me to stop?" the Doctor asked, keeping his voice conversational, despite how much he hated himself for it.  Maybe if he pushed the Master hard enough, the Doctor would be told to leave and they could both just forget this ever happened.  "All those times I've tricked and hurt you, and yet you keep coming back to me for more.  What makes this time any different?  You could walk away or tell me to go.  I won't stop you, you know.  Just tell me to stop."

A few seconds passed and the Doctor thought he just might.  Certainly the fury in the Master's now damp eyes was considerable.  But the Master said nothing in response, just leaning up and kissing the Doctor desperately.  It was then the Doctor knew.  While he was pretending to have Jo in his arms, the Master was pretending the Doctor cared. 

This time, the sex was rough.  The Doctor was just as angry as the Master and he took that fury out on the Master's body.  The Master didn't complain either, which just made it worse.  The Doctor honestly didn't know who he was angrier at — the Master for being so desperate, Jo for leaving him, or himself, for not being good enough for either of them.  He strongly suspected it was the latter.

When they'd finished, the Doctor simply held the Master against him as the Master stifled the sounds of his pain against the Doctor’s shoulder as the Doctor murmured false comforts.  The Master wore himself out and fell sleep in the Doctor's arms, leaving the Doctor awake to watch him.

Was leading him on and letting the Master continue to dream worse than this honesty?  The Doctor didn't know any more.  He'd thought so when he woke up, but now...  This had been a mistake to begin with, so would it have been so bad to let the Master continue to believe? Two wrongs could make people happy, even if they didn't make it right in the end.  Maybe when the Master woke up, the Doctor could apologize and as for help to forget Jo.  That might be acceptable to the Master's pride.

Quite without meaning to, the Doctor fell asleep himself.  When he woke up a few hours later, the Master was gone.  He didn't think he'd see the Master again for quite some time to apologize either.  The Master might be willing to pretend for a while, but even the Doctor couldn't wish that he'd give up his pride.  Perhaps it really was better this way, in the long run.

When the Doctor turned his head into the pillow that still smelled faintly of cigars, he wasn't crying for Jo.

~FINI~

Mem: A few notes... The church mentioned was actually the church that my host parents in Cernusco got married in.   Also, the gelato shop probably wasn't there in the 70's, but hey.  It was where I had my first real Italian gelato (not the kind you can buy stateside that just isn't quite the same) and fell in love.  XD 

And that girl in Da Vinci square? Yeah, that was me. Except I didn't have the Doctor to save me. T_T I was really sick that day and my wonderful friends thought it'd be better if I just sat in the square instead of wandering around Milan on a scavenger hunt and coughing up a lung. Except I got two guys within five minutes of each other practically forcing me to make out with them before I could find any of the groups I was with. One of the guys was even offering me money and asking for 'five minutes' in broken English. WHILE I WAS SICK. Yeah, not one of my better days traveling, especially since I was in a coughing fit by the time I finally found my friends. Does that count as a self-insert? lol.

Anyway, hopefully everyone enjoyed it, despite how bitchy I felt writing it.  XD

Quote of the fic:

"Two wrongs don't make a right."
-proverb

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
elviaprose
Jun. 15th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Well done. Painful, but well done. It's relatively easy to imagine that the Doctor or the Master might have sex with humans in order to try to get over each other (a common Lucy/Master/Doctor trope, I think) but the reverse scenario is as interesting as it is uncommon in fic, and I'm glad you've explored here.
dragonofmemory
Jun. 15th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I do like reversing things, which is perhaps why Three and I get along so well. It was also a great way to play off the Master's fear from Mind of Evil. It was interesting to write, since I never intended to bring Jo into it at all... Three just wrote himself that way. Thanks again for telling me what you think!
elviaprose
Jun. 15th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
A neutron flow joke :D :D You are cool.
dragonofmemory
Jun. 15th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
<3 Many thanks. I do love Three saying that. It never fails to amuse the hell out of me.
laireshi
Aug. 18th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad that I've finally started watching Three episodes and therefore can read such wonderful fics.
The characterisation is just perfect. Actually, it made the reading quite hard (but in a good way), as I couldn't stop feeling sorry for the Master... Whatever his flaws, he doesn't deserve such treatment from the Doctor.
dragonofmemory
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I did feel kind of bad doing all of that to him. There's something about Delgado Master that really just needs lots of hugs. And Three kept insisting on being a bastard. Thanks for the comment!
laireshi
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Exactly! I mean, I love Simm!Master, but he's got this air of "do not approach", and Delgado really is so huggable...
dragonofmemory
Aug. 18th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Hm, Simm Master is a whole different monster. XD Delgado Master is my favorite though. He's got a certain charm to him that none of the other Masters have, and it's adorable. Plus, he's so short... <3
laireshi
Aug. 18th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
That's the best two-sentence description of him imaginable ;D But yes, it's impossible not to like him.
dragonofmemory
Aug. 18th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
Ha ha. Glad you liked it. XD
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )