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An Unacknowledged Acquaintance

So I think I've managed a decent work around for LJ's prissy-ness that actually isn't too annoying. To celebrate, I give you fic that indulges my velvet-loving goo-aliens needs. I've ruined some of Three's jackets. It's only right that Ainley Master gets his turn. <3

An Unacknowledged Acquaintance
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Summary: After the events in the Death Zone, the Master is stuck on a dull planet waiting for his TARDIS to repair the life support systems. There, he sees the last person he wanted to meet.
Characters: First Doctor, Ainley Master
Warnings: Sadly, the Master's jacket is well in it's death throes at the start of this fic. Also, a small bit of angst.
Notes: This actually turned out fairly Gen and is more what I was used to writing before Cy dragged me into slash. It's a short ficlet set just after The Five Doctors.
Thanks: Thanks to narwhale_callin for making this fic actually readable. I'd nearly scrapped it entirely a few times, and she worked out why the fic was being unreasonable.

~

The Master was desperately trying to avoid the natives as he slunk through the gardens of Pira. The gardens, though lovely, weren't nearly attractive enough for real enjoyment, but the Master had little choice in the matter. So long as he avoided the Pirayans and their local habits of... The Master shuddered, trying not to think of how the big, red blobs liked to cuddle anything and everything they met. Thankfully, they were easily mind controlled, but his first encounter with the species left his velvet jacket in a rather mournful state.

Taking over the planet Pira would be easy. Its people were peace-loving, easily manipulated fools that could be dominated in a matter of weeks, once one avoided the problem of cuddling. Sadly, Pira wasn't a very good planet strategically. Part of the reason it hadn't been taken over before was because it was in the middle of nowhere and had no valuable resources. Even the red blob creatures that inhabited the planet were only intelligent enough to take care of their gardens - hardly fodder for an army the Master could use to take over the rest of the universe. Besides, being around such alien, non-humanoid beings only served to remind him of how alien his own body currently was.

If only he'd managed to land somewhere useful when he was trying to throw off the CIA. Or somewhere with the Doctor. Or even somewhere with the Brigadier, because the Master had a bump on his head he sorely wanted to thank the man for. In the absence of any of those three, the Master had an hour to spare while his TARDIS kicked him out and repaired the damage sustained to the live support systems.

Ducking behind a bush at the sound of blobs squishing by, the Master scowled as the branches mussed his hair. He did, thankfully, avoid being seen by the blob hippies this time. His jacket might have been past saving, but that didn't mean he wanted to get any more of that gook on him.

"Well, well, what have we here?" a cantankerous voice asked from behind him. It was one he had heard far too recently to mistake. Apparently he had managed to run into the Doctor after all. Just not the right one. Or one he particularly wanted to run into.

The Master scowled as he turned around to find the Doctor in his first body staring at him. Not only that, but a clean Doctor that had no red gelatinous fluid on him. That just wasn't fair. He tried to brush himself off and looked as dignified as he could with red goo all over his jacket.

Worst of all, this was the Doctor that refused to recognize him.

"So you're the young man from the Dark Tower, are you?" the Doctor asked, ignoring the Master's displeasure. "And what are you doing here, hm? Causing trouble, no doubt." He gave a small laugh, looking the Master over with a cheerful expression. The Master wasn't fooled. The Doctor had always done that, lulling others into thinking he was harmless with a charming smile.

"I am simply here while my TARDIS repairs itself, Doctor," the Master said as he schooled his features into a more pleasant expression.

"And you expect me to believe that?" the Doctor asked, placing his walking stick firmly on the ground in front of him. "I don't know how you've gotten your hands on a TARDIS, my dear boy, but it was more than likely stolen. Yes, that would explain a few things. Well, who are you? The other versions of myself wouldn't tell me."

It was typical of the Doctors, not to break the illusion of innocence that this one still had. If the Master had been in this situation, he'd have told his past self what would happen to better prepare for it. It was also typical that the Doctor would accuse him of stealing a TARDIS, as if he hadn't done just that to escape Gallifrey.

However, it might be amusing to taunt the Doctor with his foreknowledge. "I told you before," the Master said. "We went to the Academy together."

"Sheer nonsense," the Doctor shot back, losing his good cheer. There was a sharp edge about his eyes that spoke of a clear intelligence, despite the bumbling old man facade he put up. "You aren't even one of my people," the Doctor continued. "I doubt you'd make it through even the basic levels of the Academy without getting yourself into trouble."

Once again, the Doctor really had no room to talk. The Master knew for a fact that the Doctor had nearly been kicked out in their first year and certainly suspended at least twice, bringing a bewildered young Koschei down with him. Just because the next time they had gotten in trouble had been entirely the Master's fault never stopped him from blaming all consequent disciplines they had to suffer on the Doctor.

"You used to know me as Koschei," the Master said, attempting one last time. He wanted to see the despair on the Doctor's face upon learning his identity.

"How dare you claim to be my old friend!" the Doctor said, taking hold of the lapels of his jacket. Up till now, he had been suspicious, but fairly 'entertained' by the whole encounter. Now, the Doctor's countenance turned colder than the frozen tears of the Neminka race. "Koschei has a brilliant mind and I'd trust him with my life, so don't you go about trying to impersonate him. He's not some miscreant with one heart, young man. I would recognize him at once if he were here."

That was why the Doctor refused to recognize him? Maybe if the Master still had his Time Lord body, he might have had a chance to convince the Doctor. But his Trakenite body combined with the Doctor's sheer belief in Koschei was too much for the Master to break. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the foolishness.

Part of him wanted to shake the Doctor, tell him to take a good look at what the Master had become and tell him he could have prevented this. To ask him that if the Doctor had such faith in Koschei, why had the Doctor betrayed him. If there was a way to change his wasted regenerations, to change needing this alien body...

No, he wouldn't go back to how he was before. Even if his current Doctor despised him, this was the path he had chosen.

Except now this wasn't fun anymore, not when the Doctor refused to admit the Master was standing right in front of him. That was why he hadn't wanted to deal with this Doctor.

"Off with you!" the Doctor said, oblivious as ever. He walked forward, half-threatening the Master with his walking stick. "I don't know how you found out about Koschei, but your tricks won't work on me, young man. Now leave this planet before I turn you in to the nearest authority."

"Only too gladly, Doctor," the Master said, stepping back and holding his arms up in surrender as he bit back some of the bitterness. He bowed mockingly to the Doctor before making his exit.

Except, the Master didn't leave the planet as he'd said. He could have. His TARDIS only needed about fifteen more minutes and he was able to skulk about in the shadows for that long. He could leave this cursed planet and its overly amorous inhabitants and this Doctor behind for good.

Instead, he doubled back and watched the Doctor. Making sure the Doctor wouldn't sense his presence was easy enough, considering the fool never was a very good psychic. He watched from a distance as two of the Doctor's young companions greeted him.

The Doctor was laughing at something one of them said. Laughing. If the Master closed his eyes, he could remember Theta’s laugh in that body, paired with Theta's grin. His laugh had been one of the most beautiful and wild sounds that the Master had ever heard and even now... even now...

When was the last time he had heard the Doctor laugh? When was the last time the Doctor had smiled at him? A real smile, not the coldly polite one he now received so frequently. It was so long ago that the Master could only grasp at the fleeting memory, but even now...

Turning on his heel, the Master walked away from that part of the garden briskly. He put as much physical and mental distance from the Doctor as he could. The Doctor's friendship was lost to him and he had long since thought of the Doctor as an enemy. He didn't need that friendship anymore.

Perhaps he should attempt those adjustments on his TCE for his next encounter with the Doctor. It would be dangerous, but next time he would win. The Doctor could hardly afford not to acknowledge him now.

~FINI~

Quote of the Fic:

"He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere."
-Ali ibn-Abi-Talib, A Hundred Sayings

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
silver_trails
Sep. 8th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
This is very well done! I loved it!
dragonofmemory
Sep. 8th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
narwhale_callin
Sep. 8th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
Nice! I'm glad you have helped bring more First Doctor into the D/M world. We need more of it. (In my mind, Theta fic doesn't count as One fic. NEED MORE CANTANKEROUS. MOAR, I SAY!).

Also: Duuuuude, that "quote of the fic" quote is awesome and indulges my secret love of Arabic writers.

Also: Hurray! You took my title suggestion!
dragonofmemory
Sep. 9th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
<3 Glad you enjoyed all of it. I do like my quotes.

It was either that, or I nearly called it a "Twinge of Cosmic Angst." Just because that happens to be one of my all time favorite phrases. Ever.
blackrose42
Sep. 12th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Awww, I like this. It's sad, but sweet. And good job with One!
dragonofmemory
Sep. 12th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. I did have quite a lot of fun with One. I need to come up with more plots for him.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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Anla-shok Na Ivanova
dragonofmemory
Memory Dragon

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