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It's All Been Done Before

It's All Been Done Before
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.  
Characters: Simm Master/Shalka-Five (to borrow x_los 's name for him.  I do like that name, actually.)
Warnings:  Angst, a bit of silliness, and a lot more angst. 
Original Prompt: Reverse Shalka! The Master has nothing better to do on time-locked Gallifrey, so he builds a robot Doctor.
Notes: Written for the best_enemies anon meme. Original can be found here.  Also, I've taken out a line at the end that set things up for Shalka-Five to come back.  Why?  Cause I tried.  I really did.  About five times, actually.  By the fifth when Five and Simm just weren't working with me, I decided to screw it and go on with writing other things.  Maybe I'll come back to it later and give Shalka-Five the ending he deserves.  Until then, he's toast.  XD  However, I did say that this fic is a prequel to another one I've written.  Simm Master obviously has stuff to do once he's out in the universe.  That fic will be up... sometime.  Whenever it gets its last bit beta'ed.  Direct all complaints at the long time for it coming to nemaline .  <3
Thanks:  Many thanks to nemaline , who beta'ed this belatedly and points out when my logic fails.  Curse you, logic.  Still, I've fixed it now.  XD  Also, thanks to the dear anon who called me out on this fic and wrote the lovely prompt to begin with.  Yes, you know who you are.  ^_~

EDIT:  Also, look to the comments for some EXTREME ADORABLENESS by pride1289 .  Thank you so much for the art! 


By the fifth time he'd watched Gallifrey burn, the Master found he was terribly bored.  That wasn't to say he regretted jumping into the time lock to rip Rassilon limb from limb, but he was beginning to rethink killing him so quickly.  Rassilon was killed before the loop started and only died once.  The Master would have enjoyed killing him again.

Fortunately, his own death soon after had been during the loop, so he woke up at the start of the first cycle, still in the same body.  The irony of immortality failed to appeal to him right now and since he had no intention of waking up just to die for the rest of eternity, the Master quickly made use of the natural abilities of his Time Lord body to get out of a time loop.  It took a few tries, but he managed and fixed the problems he'd had with the resurrection while he was at it.  All it took was a quick trip to the medial bay and viola.  Practically perfect in every way.  Not that the one person he'd want to impress was actually here, but that wasn't the point. 

Finally immortal, the Master settled in with the rest of the resigned Time Lords to watch the planet burn.  Which was all well and good, but he still died in the end and the Master really hated that irony.  It also didn't matter how many times he died, the fear was still there.  After the fifth time of just sitting and watching, the destruction lost its appeal and the fear drove him to find something else to do.

Thoroughly bored any time he wasn't dying, the Master ignored the fatalistic cries of his people and started to work on a way to escape.  It didn't work of course, but it gave him something to do and he was unwilling to just sit there and burn for eternity like everyone else.  Even mortality was better than this.

Unfortunately, even the escape attempts got boring.  He was locked in an inescapable prison and even a brilliant mind like his could only come up with a finite number of plans.  When he'd tried each of those at least five times, the Master set about to find something else to do.  The problem was, as the Time Lords he passed pointed out on every occasion they got, there was nothing else to do.  And they were just content to sit there and wait out an eternity of burning.  Typical. 

The Doctor would have been able to help, but naturally the babbling idiot wasn't there.  Also typical.  Although...

Oh, now that was an idea.

Creating a stasis field so that his work wouldn't be erased and burned to bits at the end of every day, the Master started to build a robot.  Not just any robot though.  No, this genius of mechanics was far beyond that stupid pet dog the Doctor doted on in his fourth regeneration.  It even put Kamelion to shame, though he did keep what he remembered of Kamelion's circuits in mind as he worked. 

This was a robot that would think and feel everything that a normal Time Lord could.  It would hardly be able to tell that it wasn't real and it would feel real to anyone else who met and touched it.  The robot would know, of course, because the Master wanted it to know who had created it and who its Master was, but it would be life like in every other way.

Once the body of the machine was complete, the Master set a few precepts and commands into the brain matrices.  The robot would willingly obey him, call him 'Master' at every given opportunity and it would compliment him at least once every ten minutes.  It would most certainly not try to double cross him and trick him like the Doctor was prone to do.  He gave it a few more presets just for kicks before hacking into the Matrix again and downloading the Doctor's consciousness into his frankly brilliant work of engineering.

The metal of the robot's outside appearance started to shift its features into those of the Doctor's third body.  That was one of the Master's favorite regenerations and before things got really bad between them.  The Doctor had still enjoyed their encounters then, still looked forward to seeing the Master.  And with the inhibitors on trickery in place, he the best able to help the Master escape.  That Doctor had been so focused on escaping his own exile after all.  Besides, just once he wanted that Doctor to use his name.

As the Master switched the robot on, however, everything started to go wrong.  The programming he'd set started over writing itself faster than he could repair and the Doctor's third body started shimmering, becoming shorter (but still taller than the Master, he noted with annoyance), blond and much younger.  "No, no, no!  Ugh, not him!"

When it was finished, the Doctor's fifth body blinked at him, cricket outfit and that damned stick of celery and all.

The Master scowled, not pleased at all that his creation had a mind of its own.  "You would hack into the programming.  Does this regeneration like watching me burn that much?"

The robot didn't even answer him, stretching out and testing its movement.  "I suppose it wouldn't be sportsman-like for me to play cricket in this body.  It's a real shame, that.  I was looking forward to another game."

Fuming at being ignored, the Master grabbed the Doctor's arm with a bruising grip.  He relished in how real the Doctor's pale skin felt under his finger tips and the wince the Doctor gave at the pain.  "I asked you a question."

"Is that what you brought me here for?  To hurt me as you've perceived I've hurt you?" the Doctor asked sadly. 

Perceived hurt?  "You watched me burn!" the Master repeated acidly, leaning into the Doctor until their faces were inches apart.  It was something this Doctor always found uncomfortable and now was no exception.  The Master didn't let go of the Doctor's arm, but tightened his grip until the Doctor gasped in pain.  "You didn't even lift a finger to try and help.  Then you had the nerve to go and get yourself killed."  So the Master would never be able to properly blame this regeneration.  Oh, yes, he'd blamed the Doctor at the time, but by that point he'd changed into a man who wouldn't have stood by coldly like his fifth self did.  It wasn't the same as blaming the Doctor with this face.  This was the one who stood by and watched with those hard blue eyes.

"Yes, I know," the Doctor said, still not angry.  In fact, his voice held an untold amount of sorrow that caused the Master to drop the Doctor's arm and take a step back.  "I know.  I know what I did.  I've got all the memories up to my eighth body.  I do remember what happened."

"Well?" the Master asked, not content to leave it there.  His Doctor, his proper Doctor, would have been falling over himself to apologize.  That lanky version of his arch-nemesis did like a good wallow in guilt and the Master had never been shy at dealing it out. 

This Doctor looked up at him, sad and haunted by the crime, but not guilty.  This was why he hated the Doctor's fifth body.  "Master, you destroyed a third of the universe and helped kill my fourth body and countless others, many of whom I considered friends.  How could I let you out of that fire?  It was horrible, watching you... but how could I let you go when I knew what else you would try to do should you have gotten free?"

The Master barely restrained himself from hitting the Doctor, taking only a feinting step forward as the excess energy piled up.  "So that's your excuse?  Does that help you sleep at night, that you just couldn't let me live?  How easy it must have been for you to watch me die then!"  Again, his Doctor would have done anything to reverse that decision.  He almost wanted that babbling idiot back, if just to stop that steadfast resolve he saw in the Doctor's eyes right now.

"No, it didn't," the Doctor said honestly.  "I didn't sleep for a month after you burned and only fitfully after that.  It wasn't easy to watch either.  I... swore to myself to never stand idle like that again."

At first, the Master didn't know what to say to that.  It was quite possibly true for one thing, if the Doctor's next regeneration was anything to go by, but too many old emotions of hurt and betrayal were surging up.  Over it all was not quite forgiveness, but weariness that made all of that anger not worth it in the end.  He may never forgive the Doctor for what he'd done, but then, neither had this Doctor given him absolution.  After all these years, it wasn't really needed any more. 

"I should shut you off," the Master said moodily, dropping the subject instead of pursuing it.  It wasn't their way to actually talk about things like that and he wasn't about to change habits now.  "If all you're going to do is hack through my programming, then what's the point?"

The Doctor pushed his hands into his pockets, walking over to the window to look out at the Citadel as it burned.  He was just as willing to drop the subject as the Master and what a pair they made for it.  It was getting harder and harder for the Master to remember that this wasn't really the Doctor though, and the blurred lines were making the Master uncomfortable. 

"Why did you create me?" the Doctor asked some time later.  He didn't mean it in the obvious sense of the programming to help the Master escape. 

There were bound to be better ways to gain access to the Doctor's thoughts and ideas if just through the Matrix itself.  They both knew that, despite how the Master had programmed the robot not to.  "I was bored," he said simply, dodging the issue.  "Why choose that form?  I wanted to talk to your third."

The Doctor stared out at the city sadly and the Master could almost see his hearts breaking in the Doctor's eyes.  "Because this was the form I swore not to stand idly by in," he answered quietly.

The Master was immediately on his guard at that.  This had to be some sort of trick, especially since the Doctor was disregarding his programming left and right.  This Doctor was one of the Doctor's cruelest bodies and he'd even freely admitted to his reasons for why he couldn't along with his lack of guilt.  "I thought you said you couldn't let me go?  Isn't this the perfect prison for me, eternally burning?"

Not answering for a few moments, the Doctor closed his eyes and stood quietly.  It was rather odd for this regeneration of the Doctor, to be this calm.  If there was one thing the Doctor usually had in abundance, it was energy.  His current Doctor took that to the extreme, granted, but there was always an undercurrent of life about the Doctor even in his older bodies that had drawn the Master to him.  Something about the circuits must be wrong, he thought idly.  Or maybe a robot just wasn't complex enough a creature to hold all that the Doctor was, no matter how much processing power he gave it.

This Doctor had been one of the Doctor's physically youngest forms, yet right now he looked far older than even the Doctor he'd left behind.  When he opened his eyes, the Master could almost see the end of everything in those blue orbs and that frightened the Master more than he was willing to admit.  "Master, you must know.  The only way you'll be able to get out of here is by losing your mind.  The control you've gained back while you've been here will be gone and replaced by louder drums and more chaos."

"You're saying I'll cease to be a problem?" the Master asked with a bitter laugh.  It had, in fact, crossed his mind on all his previous escape attempts, but that didn't mean he wouldn't fight it tooth and nail.  "How convenient for you.  I suppose it will undo how I've stabilized this regeneration as well?"

"It's a possibility," the Doctor admitted, looking very tired.  "Though I can try and get you close to one of my other selves.  They might be able to help you.  Do you still want to risk it?"

The end of the cycle was getting closer, almost time for the burning to begin.  The Master could feel the warmth of the flames starting to etch up the building to get at him.  The Doctor would be fine in the stasis chamber.  He'd still burn like the rest of them of course, but he would come back with pristine circuits at the start of the loop.

At the start of this ordeal, the Master would have said no.  He'd find another way before it came to that.  But now... He just wanted out of this dead world turned to hell.  "I want out," he said finally, his resolve coiling around the fear like a cobra choking its prey.  He would find a way to deal with his madness once he got out.  At least he would be alive even if he had to regenerate as this body died. 

The Doctor nodded as the roar of the flames got louder.  The Master was sweating from the heat now, though the Doctor didn't even flinch at the rise in temperature.  The only outward sign the Doctor gave that he knew of the oncoming fate was the darker shade of sorrow in his eyes.  "Then we'll start in the next cycle."

"And you get to watch me... burn again before you start... your penitence," the Master said finally, having a lot more trouble breathing even with his respiratory bypass system kicking in.  The air was now so hot that it was nearly searing his lungs and the fear built as steadily as the flames.  The end always came up quickly, then drew itself out until the Master and everyone else on the planet had burned for at least seven hours, dragging out the agony for as long as possible.  He fell forward, expecting to hit the ground and was surprised to find the Doctor catching him.

"Sleep," the Doctor said, pushing at the pressure points in the Master's neck.  The Master was in too much pain and fear to protest as the blessed blankness reached him before the flames could.  "Just sleep" the Doctor repeated again.  It was the last thing the Master heard that cycle.

The Master woke up to the Doctor's hands rubbing his back.  His head was pillowed in the Doctor's lap, which wasn't a position that the Master would have willingly submitted to.  Since he was already there, however... it was surprisingly comfortable.  The Doctor's hand was running over his head and to his back like he was petting a cat and that the Master did like quite a lot.  Maybe it was some remnant of the cheetah virus, but the movement was so soothing that the Master let the Doctor continue for a good hour.

It gave him time to come up with a proper response to the Doctor's treatment of him too, though to be honest he wasn't thinking much beyond how good this felt.  He wouldn't stand for this... kind of... manipul-oh, that felt good.  The Doctor's hands were now scratching behind his ears and it was all the Master could do not to whimper in pleasure.

The Doctor laughed softly, continuing the movement.  "You don't have to keep pretending," the Doctor said, the amusement in his tone almost making up for the lack of real life from the robot.  "I know what you look like when you're actually sleeping, remember?"

The Master really should have been annoyed at that, but as long as the Doctor's fingers were going to scratch just there, he would put off being angry.  Unfortunately, the Doctor seemed to realize the Master had no intention of moving, and if they were going to get work done, he'd have to stop.  The Master opened his eyes to glare as the Doctor pulled his hand away, half raising his head to chase after those elusive fingers.  Screw dignity, actually.  The Master was a creature of pleasure and this was definitely pleasurable.  He headbutted the Doctor's hand shamelessly, earning him another small laugh and one last gentle caress. 

The laugh made the Master remember he hadn't always hated this regeneration.  In fact, he'd rather liked it before that whole burning incident, though certainly this Doctor had always been cold to him.  Not like this, warm and gentle.  Was that some of the Doctor's other regenerations mixing in?  Probably.  A lot more likely than his programming, anyway.  Right now he wasn't going to think about that, not when this regeneration of the Doctor was actually willing to be near him.

"You always did remind me a bit of a cat, even before that ridiculous virus you caught," the Doctor said softly, the beginnings of a smile around his lips.  "Always demanding attention and wrecking things if I didn't respond quick enough.  What am I ever to do with you?"

The Master didn't answer that.  There was nothing he could really say that would really put him in a good light.  Sure he could deny it, but then the Doctor would stop his hands and that was counter productive to the Master's desires at the moment.  So he stayed quiet, closing his eyes again happily as the Doctor obliged him for five more minutes.  "Come on then, up you get.  If you want to get out of here, we have work to do," the Doctor said finally.

Since no amount of glaring would get that cold hearted bastard to start up again and the Master wasn't quite to the point of pleading yet, the Master decided to just go along with it.  If they got in some actual work, maybe the Doctor would consent to start up again later. 

He laid out several of his best plans for escape and the two of them got to work.  By the end of the next cycle, they'd tried two and were working on a third plan.  It took them days of collaboration, sometimes coldly silent after a fight and others with the kind of conversation the Master hadn't realized how much he'd missed.  If he ever got back to his Doctor, he was going to have to seriously rethink this whole 'talking' thing neither of them seemed to be able to grasp any more. 

Somehow even when they were fighting, the Doctor managed to put him to sleep before the flames came.  It wasn't like the Master would have let him, given a choice, but the Doctor managed to foil his every attempt to stay awake and see the look in his eyes when the Master burned in front of him again. 

In a way, he was relieved.  Instead of coming back to life every cycle, he woke up either on the bench or in the Doctor's lap depending on their fighting status.  Drugs and being physically knocked out had never worked for him or any of the other Time Lords before, because as soon as the burning started they were awake again.  He didn't know how the Doctor even managed that, but he was grudgingly grateful not to feel himself die every cycle.  The constant fear slowly receded and he was able to think clearer and find obvious flaws in his own plans because of it.  That didn't stop him from being just a little resentful for needing the Doctor to do it. 

They found a way out more through luck than actual planning.  Quite by chance, the Doctor found a small crack in the time lock from when someone had burst through from the outside...  A Dalek, if the Master remembered correctly, but he didn't tell the Doctor that.  That would only serve to make him moody, and he'd never gotten around to telling this Doctor that the Daleks survived the Time War when the Time Lords hadn't.  It would break his hearts in a way that wasn't caused by the Master, and he didn't want that.

"So if we build a machine according to these calculations," the Master said finally, checking a few of the Doctor's figures against his, "we can make it out of here finally.  Your current self would say that it's brilliant."

The Doctor shook his head sadly, pointing to a bit of the equation the Master hadn't seen yet.  "You'll be able to make it out of here.  I'm rather afraid the tear is only big enough for one and it will close up behind you."

Before the Doctor had mentioned it, the Master hadn't even realized he'd said 'we'.  He honestly hadn't thought about what the Doctor would do once they broke free of this hell, but he'd always just assumed the Doctor would be there.  The idiot usually was, after all.  "How do I know this isn't a trick then," the Master asked, feeling defensive and hurt though he didn't quite know why. 

Infuriatingly enough, the Doctor did seem to understand why, patting the Master's arm fondly despite the accusation.  "You can check my programming, if you're that worried.  I may have hacked most of it, but I did leave certain things intact."

Pulling away with a scowl, the Master went to a computer screen that was wirelessly hooked up to the Doctor's matrices.  Sure enough, the preset against trickery hadn't been touched.  That didn't make him feel any better, however.  "I'm not actually the Doctor," the robot said gently, causing the Master to jump.  "The real me is still out there somewhere.  You wouldn't be leaving me behind, not really."

"I don't need you to remind me of that.  I created you, remember?"  he responded acidly, pushing past the Doctor to start scribbling out a rough draft of the machine that would transport him through the crack.  He most definitely didn't look at the Doctor who was smiling sadly, because that would be admitting to what the Master really didn't want to admit right now. 

Instead, he focused on his task in front of him, completely ignoring the Doctor.  Which turned out to a mistake, because the Doctor was able to catch him completely by surprise.  He dropped the pen he'd been holding as the Doctor's arms snaked across his chest and jumped back, only to hit his back against the Doctor's chest as the Doctor's arms curled tighter around him. 

The Master froze, his hearts rate steadily climbing as the Doctor held him and started to kiss his neck.  He'd honestly not planned on sex with his robot, though he had set a few presets of his preferences for form's sake.  They'd all been dormant though, because he'd found the idea of forcing the Doctor to be his, even as a robot, had left a bitter taste in his mouth.  Not because of the Doctor's honor, but because he refused to be that desperate. 

If one thing had led to another with the Doctor's third body, he wouldn't have really minded per se.  That was another thing altogether and admittedly one of the reasons he'd wanted to talk to that regeneration of the Doctor to begin with.  Once he realized the robot was going to stick with the Doctor's fifth body though, the Master had really given up on the idea knowing this Doctor would never have him.  Despite their mornings together, this Doctor was still as standoffish as ever once the Master was awake.  The Master had resigned himself to just enjoying those mornings as much as he could.  With how the Doctor was acting now though...

He tried to pull away once his shock wore off, but the Doctor held him close, nuzzling at the Master's now burning neck.  "What... What are you doing?" the Master gasped out, desperately needing to stop this now before things got really out of hand. 

The Doctor sighed against his neck, thankfully stopping the kissing even if he hadn't let go of the Master yet.  He leaned his head against the Master's, his cool cheek resting against the Master's heated one.  Bastard, using his robotic control to keep himself from showing any outward sign of flushing.  Or maybe this was just how the Doctor's fifth body was; he'd never found out.  Oh, he wanted to find out...

"I'm giving you what both of us want," the Doctor said quietly into his ear and sending shivers down his spine.  "I couldn't forgive you back then, but... I think we're both past that now, even if we still haven't forgiven each other.  Do you want me to stop?"

Yes, he did want the Doctor to stop.  The Master turned his head to tell him just that and start what would probably end up in one of their Arguments.  He didn't even manage the first word, however, as the Doctor claimed his mouth the second he'd turned.  And oh, the Doctor could do impossibly wonderful things with his tongue.  He melted into the kiss and decided to let the Doctor give him whatever he damn well pleased.

When they'd finished, the Master was determined to break whatever laws of time were needed to do this with the real Doctor in this regeneration.  He wanted to both take and be taken by this Doctor and he was perfectly willing to fall asleep with his head against the Doctor's chest as the Doctor scratched behind his ear.  And waking up not in the Doctor's lap, but in the Doctor's arms...  well, that was rather nice in and of itself. 

It took two cycles before they were ready to start building the machine and twelve cycles to actually make it.  It was a very crude transmat and more than likely wouldn't be very pleasant when it was actually used, but it would serve his purpose.  They probably could have got it done quicker, but the Master put forth every effort not to start one of their Arguments for a reason.  The last thing he wanted was to end up on the bench now that he and at least some form of the Doctor were having regular sex. 

He... almost didn't want to leave.  The Master was surprised to find he was happy like this, in ways that he hadn't been since he'd gone by the name of Koschei.  Every time he thought of staying, however, the Doctor would kiss him gently and remind him that he was just a machine, however realistic, as if he knew the Master had been considering it. 

The Master did want the real Doctor, despite knowing he could never have this sort of relationship with him.  There was just something this robot lacked, no matter how happy he was as he clung to that ridiculous cricket jumper.  This wasn't real and he had to escape, it was as simple as that.

The day came for him to leave far too quickly though.  "Doctor..." he started, unsure of what he'd been about to say, but wanting to say something.

The Doctor just shook his head and kissed the Master's forehead.  "Will you take the chip out, that connects me to the stasis field?"

"That'll kill you!"  The Master pulled away, looking up at the Doctor with alarm.

"Yes, that was rather the point," the Doctor said, smiling softly as he removed his glasses.  "There's nothing left for me once you leave and I don't really fancy burning for all eternity."

"But you could find another way out or-"

"Hush now," the Doctor said gently, cutting the Master off with a last kiss.  "Please," the Doctor said as he pulled away, wiping away the moisture that had gathered around the Master's eyes.  "Disable it." 

Wordlessly, the Master nodded and started to reach for the panel at the back of the Doctor's neck.  It only took a few seconds for him to get to the chip, but he found he couldn't destroy it.  Instead, he handed the chip to the Doctor who smiled at him again, rubbing the chip between his fingers. 

The fires were starting to build again, and however much the Master wanted to tarry, he had to step into the transmat's pad.  "Good-bye, Master," the Doctor said as he flicked the switch to send him towards the crack. 

The last thing the Master saw was the Doctor starting to burn.


Mem: So, Shalka-Five.  If I'd been able to write more for him, the Master would have found the memory stick that was slipped into his pocket after the events in the fic that follows and he's slightly more sane.  He'd have gone back to find the real Fifth Doctor and had a few good nights, because he wanted that, and then end up some how in the timeline he's meant to be with Eleven.  The Master would have A) put Shalka-Five in the TARDIS  databanks to live out the rest of his days playing around in the TARDIS' databanks and occasionally talking to them (cause his memories and personality were what was on the memory stick in the original version), or B) built a new robot and had lovely threesomes with Eleven.  You can take your pick.  I might have another go at an epilogue sometime, but until then you're more than welcome to write your own ending to it.

Quote of the Fic:

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
-William Blake


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
You realize, don't you, that everything you write is amazing.
It is.
You, the beta's, both of you.

(and sometimes I draw things because the image is too great to pass up on doing a pic. This is a doodle so it's not great but I will make it beautiful to match this fic
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n3/KH2fan1289/shalka5simm.png )
Jul. 9th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Nah, not everything. There are somethings I've written that I still shudder at. But I do try. XD

:o More art! *blushes* The drawing is so cute! That was one of my favorite bits of writing this fic, was the scene of the Master waking up that first time. Thank you for sharing it with me! I look forward to seeing it in a more finished state!
Jul. 10th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
You don't know how very loudly I just squeed. That is adorable. The blondness! I love the expressions on both of them too. Thank you so much for sharing it again!

Also, I should mention the loud squee comes back pretty much every time I've looked back to it. *is lost to the cuteness*
Jul. 10th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
YOU don't realize how big my smile is right now!!!
I will be happy for the rest of the night, I will!

Supremely gratified that you love it!!
Jul. 10th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)

I FEEL LIKE I JUST WON EVERYTHING! I mean, a fic and an art to go with it? What blessed spirit of fandom is granting me such benevolent favours?

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )