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The Fire for an Enemy

So, this was my attempt at the b_e historical challenge.  It was supposed to be an epic retelling of the Butterfly Lovers myth, except the Master was having none of that plot and the Doctor was too lazy to do anything other than snark.  Which left me with SWP, which is rather like Porn Without Plot, except with snark instead of sex.  Since I've been assured on two accounts that people would want to read it anyway despite not having anything resembling a plot, I post it here for everyone to read. 

There will also be more fic posted tomorrow, since Nar's gotten back to me on the Tsubasa fic.  But for now, enjoy the snark.

The Fire for an Enemy
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Characters: Tenth Doctor/Simm Master
Warnings: This really has absolutely no plot.  I tried.  I really did.  The Master and the Doctor fought me every step of the way and reduced it to this.  Sigh.  I tried. There's also some talk of historical sex, but nothing graphic.
Notes: Written for the [info]best_enemies Historical Challenge.  Because I at least wanted to do something with the research I did...
Thanks: Many thanks to both nemaline and narwhale_callin for betaing this.  I'd probably have just scraped this otherwise, since it really doesn't have a plot.  -_-;;;


Here they were, in the middle of the Sui dynasty with all the brilliant sights to see, and the Master was studying. The Doctor watched as the Master meticulously wrote a few words and then used a dictionary to look up another. Typical. The Master would miss out on the greatest wonders of the universe because he was too short-sighted to actually look up every so often. This was on top of the ridiculous Hanfu outfit he wore, though at least the Master wasn’t wearing a hat at the moment.

The Doctor ran his hand through his hair, mussing it further. Keeping the Master prisoner on his TARDIS had turned out to be much more difficult than he had thought it would be. This was the Master's fifth successful escape attempt out of 108 unsuccessful attempts, and it had taken the Doctor the better part of a Gallifreyan month to find where his captive had ran off to this time. This was partially because out of all the things he expected the Master to be doing, out of all the places he expected the Master to be hiding, studying for the test to become a government official in the middle of the Sui Dynasty wasn't one of them. Particularly not with the Master going native, fashion-wise, though the Doctor supposed he shouldn't be surprised if silk were involved.

"You understood some of the most complex theories of temporal transference in under two hours," the Doctor said finally as he leaned against the wall. He was disappointed that the Master didn't jump at his voice, but he supposed the Master wasn't so dense as to not notice him there. When the Master didn't respond, he continued, "And you're studying for the imperial test. Master, Chinese politics are admittedly complex, but they're nothing compared to Gallifrey. Is this all you've been doing for six months?"

The Master looked up with a glare. His hazel eyes were captivating in the candle light, but the Doctor was far too used to the Master's tricks to be charmed by them. "If you're done babbling, I have work to do," was all the Master said.

"But why?" the Doctor persisted. "This should be easy for you. In fact, I'm not sure why you're even bothering. Couldn't you just, you know, brainwash your way into power? That's what you did for becoming Prime Minister."

"I also had a satellite telepathic network that won't be in the sky for another five hundred years," the Master seethed.

"You can't, can you?" the Doctor asked smugly. "There's someone high up you can't hypnotize. You're stuck in ancient China and you have to wait for the imperial exams before you can get any power. That's brilliant."

The Doctor dodged the carved dragon the Master had been using as a paperweight. It crashed against the wall, and the Doctor leaned down to look at it. The nose of the dragon had fallen off on impact. "Was that real jade?" the Doctor asked, ignoring the fact that the Master had meant that for his head.

The Master tapped out four beats in agitation. "Why don't I call the guards and you can spend the rest of the night in a cell? You like those, don't you?" the Master asked, mock innocently. His tone quickly turned acidic. "Would you like me to make another cage for you? You seem so willing to put me in one."

Leaving the paperweight, the Doctor walked over to stand behind the Master. He leaned over the Master's shoulder to peer at what he was writing. "You know that you're spelling 'official' wrong?"

Pulling the papers away from the Doctor's prying eyes, the Master scowled up at him. "Shove off."

"That's it!" the Doctor exclaimed, a wide grin spreading across his face. "You haven't had the TARDIS to translate for you! You get yourself stuck in ancient China, with an official you can't bribe or hypnotize and you can't understand anyone, can you? You can't even read the letters!"

"And your TARDIS is being stubborn," the Master growled back.

"You always did struggle with xenolinguistics," the Doctor said. It was the one area the Doctor had gotten high marks in and the one class the Master could barely pass. It actually hadn't been half as effortless as the Doctor had made it appear. But once he found out it was the one class the Master struggled in, he'd set out to make sure he was particularly good at it just to annoy his old friend. Plus, then he could help when the Master was having problems with his homework and was too proud to ask a tutor.

"You aren't helping," the Master said, tapping out the four beats a bit louder.

"Are you asking for help on your homework? I love study groups! Haven't done one in years. Shall you get the coffee or shall I? No, I suppose it would be tea in this century..."

"Don't you have someone else to bother?"

"Nah, you're supposed to be my responsibility. Besides, this is fun! Ancient China, one of the world's most complex and advanced civilizations! Let's go see the Great Wall!" When had that been built? The Doctor felt he should know that, but he was getting excited and he could remember later. "I know! We could- Oh, hello. I'm the Doctor. Nice armor you got there, Mr. ah..?"

The man that just walked in was very buff and guard-looking, and the Master was far too smug for this to mean anything good for the Doctor. "Guard, take the intruder away," the Master said, ignoring the Doctor's pout.

* * *

The Doctor hummed a song from the Disney movie Mulan as he picked the lock to his cell. By and large, it didn't matter where or when he went, cells were basically the same. This one happened to be pretty shoddy and lacking in hygiene, but that usually meant it was much easier to get out of.

Once he was out, the Doctor switched to songs from the Montrakin stage production of Mulan and dropped a few hints to people in the peasant classes that the Master was up to no good. Which wasn't all that hard to do, given that the Master was obviously a foreigner. Satisfied that the Master would be run out of town as a demon by the next morning, he made his way back to the TARDIS and waited. It was conspicuously parked, so it wasn't like the Master could miss it.

The bruises the guard had given him weren't so nice. He spent an hour massaging cream into the bruises, and being really pathetic about it too since there was no one around to tell him to suck it up. He really needed to have a chat with the Master about torture and hurting people when he got back. Not that he thought it would help, but if this was going to become the norm, the Doctor wanted to be prepared for it.

Finally, he settled down with The Twenty-Four Histories. Either that, or it was a book of poetry. The Doctor hadn't looked at the title all that closely when he grabbed it, relying more on where he'd last put the book since his tea kettle was sounding. The TARDIS took a while translating Chinese and he was a bit rusty on the language himself.

As he sat down and got comfortable, the Doctor realized that this book wasn't about history or poetry. It was Handbook of Sex of the Dark Girl, which he hadn't realized existed, much less that he owned it. However, it was a long walk back to the library and he was game to read anything once. It had somehow made its way onto his TARDIS, so who was the Doctor to argue with providence?

To top it all off, the Doctor put on some classical erhu music. That done, he settled in to wait for the Master's return. This was so much easier than trying to drag him back. If only it would always go this easily.

He'd learned a lot more than he ever wanted to about how to lengthen the time one had an erection when the Master burst through the doors of the console room and slammed it behind him. The Doctor didn't look up. "Did you know men had to make sure women had several orgasms before they could reach their own climax? Females apparently have an unlimited amount of yin where males only have so much yang. Leave it to the Chinese to write manuals on how to have-"

"Do you enjoy messing up my plans?" the Master demanded.

The Doctor looked up to find the Master furious. Furious and dirty, and not without a few bruises himself, his Hanfu robe having seen better days. Perhaps the Doctor should have gone a bit easier on the demonic bit. Still, the Master didn't look to be too badly hurt. "Master, you're a psychopath and your plans usually involve people dying. Most civilized worlds frown on that."

"No," the Master snarled. "This isn't about worthless lesser beings. This is about you ruining all of my plans."

Blinking, the Doctor tried to follow the Master's reasoning. However, all he could think of was 'why now?' "So you're upset that I never let you win? We-ell, it's not like my goal is to foil your every plot. A lot of them just happen to involve me. And they aren't 'worthless lesser beings,' Master. I can't just let you go on a killing spree."

"There you go again, acting superior. You couldn't even let me graduate in peace!"

"We both passed and graduated with honors," the Doctor said defensively. Though, he suspected that was more because the teachers couldn't stand another year of the two of them than anything.

"After 386 suspensions and sixteen times we were both nearly expelled for good," the Master shot back.

"Not all of those were my fault." Putting the book down and halting the music, the Doctor pouted. Really, only half of those times had been because of him. A fourth of those times had been Ushas and Drax, an eighth beyond any of their control, and the remaining eighth were completely the Master's fault. Though the Doctor suspected a lot of Drax's plans had been on the Master's prompting. Possibly a few more parts of the eighth beyond their control too, if the Master had been clever about covering his tracks. Oh, he should just give the Master a fourth and blame the rest on him anyway. That was how this sort of conversation usually went, after all.

"Every other time I was close to success, to taking the power that is my right, you show up and ruin things. Even on the Valiant, you couldn't even stand to let me have my brief victory. You went and erased the year completely!" the Master continued, ignoring the Doctor's pout. He came up to the Doctor, leaning over the chair until he was right in the Doctor's face. "Why are you so obsessed with making me fail? Do you enjoy making me miserable? Is that it?"

This was getting out of hand. The Doctor sniffed as the Master loomed over him, running a hand through his hair. "I haven't done all that on purpose. Well, when I knew about it I did, but half the time I didn't even know you were involved until I was halfway through foiling the plan. You aren't the only wannabe dictator with delusions of grandeur that I bring down. Just the most persistent."

"And you're any better?" the Master spat, forcing the Doctor to lean back against the chair to have any semblance of personal space. "The 'Oncoming Storm,' and the 'Lonely God' - have you looked in the mirror? You chase after godhood and refuse to let anyone else achieve it. The benevolent god that protects beings too stupid to free themselves. How is that any different from me wanting power?"

The Doctor fidgeted uncomfortably. He had used his reputation too many times to deny the Master's accusations. He didn't set out for fame or power, but it just sort of happened. One couldn't go around the universe doing all the marvelous and brilliant things he did without being noticed, and he'd be lying if he said he didn't like a little attention from time to time. But the Doctor certainly didn't want to be worshiped.

Leaning in until their noses were touching, the Master smirked. "All those adoring humans that trot along after you, Doctor, they're worse than the disciples. But who is going to stop you when you go too far? Who can stop the Great Doctor when he sinks down to my level?"

"I won't," the Doctor said automatically, though the Master's words unnerved him more than he wanted to admit. The Master moved back finally, spinning around with a burst of energy as he laughed. "We'll see, Doctor. We'll see."

This conversation wasn't going to become any more comfortable if he allowed it to continue. The Doctor debated going back to reading and simply ignoring the Master, but reading about the mating habits of humans was a lot more embarrassing with someone else in the room. Time to change the subject. "What were you doing in China anyway? Don't tell me you were trying summoning again? I thought you'd grown out of that phase."

The look on the Master's face told him all he needed to know. "Oh," the Doctor said before the Master's temper could erupt again. "Well, I'm sure China has a bunch interesting things to summon! It has a rich mythology, after all, so I'm sure some of it had to be real at some point and - Oh! You could summon Suzaku!"

"What?" the Master asked, temper thwarted by apparent confusion.

"You know, one of the four gods? You could be Miaka! I could be Tamahome - I'm sure I can find a way to put the symbol of the ogre on my forehead!" The Doctor was halfway to a roleplaying fantasy and he decided this one would be a lot more fun than the angsty conversations they had been having. "All we have to do is find the Universe of the Four Gods and-"

"This isn't a game," the Master said, finally overcoming his confusion after coming to the conclusion that the Doctor was speaking nonsense. "You always treat this as a game. I'm not playing, Doctor!"

The Doctor watched as the Master tapped the same four beats against his leg in agitation. "No, it doesn't seem like you are," the Doctor said quietly, standing up to take the Master's hand. He didn't stop the Master from continuing to beat out the pattern, but rubbed the back of his hand soothingly. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize it meant this much to you."

Now it was the Master's turn to look uncomfortable. Well, that answered the question of 'why now.' The Doctor didn't think he'd ever seen the Master after one of his foiled plans before he'd taken the Master prisoner. Even after the incident at the Devil's End, UNIT had taken care of the Master's imprisonment. Now he'd finally burst, but it wasn't something he'd wanted the Doctor to see, to have to admit that the Doctor had won.

The Master probably had many such times over the centuries, but he'd made sure the Doctor wasn't there to see it. Only this time, there hadn't been much choice and he had lost his temper. "Master-"

The Master pulled his hand away and scowled, not quite meeting the Doctor's eyes. "But you're not going to stop are you?" he asked, tension going to his shoulders. "You won't stop."

"No," the Doctor said sadly. "If you're going to put people in danger, I can't let you win."

"I'll force you to lose, Doctor," the Master said, growing more confident and bitter in turns. "I'll have you at my mercy again, and this time you won't have a human follower to play your ace. I'll make you respect me. And you won't be able to brush me aside and - Let go!"

The Doctor didn't let go of the Master. The shorter Time Lord started to struggle to get out of the hug, but the Doctor held firm, even when the Master's elbow ended up in his ribs. "Let go!" the Master shouted again, anger with just a touch of fear in his eyes.

"No," the Doctor said, holding the Master against him. "Master, I've always respected you. You're brilliant. Stone cold stupid for not seeing that, but still brilliant. You don't need to go through all of this to prove it to me. I already see it."

Even as he spoke, the Doctor knew it wasn't that simple. It was never that simple between them. But the Master had stopped struggling and now leaned against him. He felt hesitant hands reaching up behind his back to return the hug. It was enough for now.

All too soon the Master tried to pull away again. This time the Doctor let him. Sure that neither of them wanted to continue the conversation now, the Doctor bounced into the earlier topic with enthusiasm. "Why don't we do some Fushigi Yuugi roleplay in the meantime?"

The Master scowled again, but this time it was only for form's sake. "That sounds Japanese, not Chinese."

"Well, it's set in ancient China. It has summoning!" the Doctor said, picking out the bits the Master might like. "And virgin sacrifices. Plus, I have been reading up on Chinese sex while waiting for you to get back. I'm sure there's something this book we can use."

Smirking, the Master re-invaded the Doctor's personal space with mock menace as he tapped out four beats against the Doctor's chest. "They did invent cock rings in China."

Taking that as a yes, the Doctor threw himself into the Master's arms. "Miaka!"

The Master was rather less amused. "Isn't that a girl's name?"

The Doctor pouted. "You're supposed to say 'Tamahome!' in return..."


Memory: Random fact: The first cock rings were made out of goat's eyelids, with the eyelashes still attached. Because having them on apparently made the sex better, or something. Just thought I'd share that with everyone.

Quote of the fic:

"The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns yourself more than him."
-Chinese Proverb


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Honestly, Master, you shouldn't complain about being the girl. That just means the Doctor has to make sure you have multiple orgasms before he can have his own. XD

Yay! You took my title suggestion and the proverb I found!

This is still very amusing, and my favorite part is still the jade dragon being thrown across the room. I don't know why, but I freaking love that jade dragon. It and its broken nose of TRAGEDY. RIP LITTLE JADE DRAGON.

I'm pleased the book made a reappearance at the end! XP
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
That was my thought. I think the Master was just being prickly for form's sake. XD

It was late and it was much easier than finding a new title. Plus I liked it. <3

I'm sure the jade dragon appreciates your concern.
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
Hehehe. This was absolutely brilliant! I loved it to bits! I love the way you write the two of them, and their banter is just so spot on.

Everything about this fic was perfect and so well written, and I just loved every bit of it, from the Doctor arriving to foil the Master's plans to the Master sitting there in his Hanfu robe studying. Of course they would still have that wonderful sexual tension between them, that is just so brilliant!

I loved how the Doctor broke out of his cell so easily and waited for the Master to return to the TARDIS, and the Master being furious at having his plans foiled again by the Doctor. It was so beautiful how the Doctor did his best to comfort the Master with cuddles and soothing words to calm him anger, that is just so him and so wonderful.

Hehehe. Their sexy role playing at the end there was so adorable, and I loved how the Master had to be the girl, that made me giggle.

Thanks again for another brilliant fic with the boys, I've saved this one to my memories so I can enjoy it all over again. *grins*
Oct. 10th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll admit, I did like the cuddling bit. There does need to be more of the Doctor being a bit of an insensitive clod out there, though he certainly fixes things when he finally gets the picture.

I suppose I should listen to my beta readers next time when they assure me people will enjoy it anyway. XD Thanks for the comments!
Oct. 10th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Oh my god XD Great!

Fushigi Yuugi roleplay? Omg. I'm sorry, I can't think of anything else at the moment. But... Imagining them saying "Miaka! Tamahome!" is just too much XD (anyway, did the anime even have other dialogue line xD ?)

And I really liked the line about the Master and silk. Oh yeah. And I'll try and pretend Simm!Master and silk isn't my obsession. Not at all.
Oct. 10th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
You know the Doctor would love it. The Master, maybe not so much. But Ten would be all over Fushigi Yuugi. I'm glad someone finally got that joke.

I'm sure there were other lines of dialogue in there somewhere... But those are definitely the most memorable and often repeated. XD

Of course the Master is into silk. If he's going to be stuck in ancient China, by Rassilon, he's at least going to have pretty clothes. It's one of the few perks of this inferior species. <3

Thanks for the comments!
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
Nah, the Master loves his Teletubbies, Fushigi Yuugi just doesn't fit with that. Oh, and I so can see Ten fanboying and forcing the Master to watch it with him now. My sanity is gone, and it's your fault :P

Thinking about it, I seem to remember "I love you" being shouted at least few times as well :D

That's right.

You're welcome!
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
Ainley Master might have been more intrigued by Fushigi Yuugi, but I don't think Simm Master has the patience for that sort of thing. Ten definitely made the Master sit down and watch it though. And sanity is so over rated. You should be thanking me. <3

The other characters had some lines too. Oh, Fushigi Yuugi. I do love thee, despite how much we make fun of thee.
Oct. 11th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Up until now, I was so sure than no regeneration of the Master would like FY... But... You may be right about Ainley.

Oh, but Fushigi Yuugi must know it's all out of love.
Oct. 12th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Delgado had Clangers, Simm had Teletubies, I'm sure Ainley can get away with Fushigi Yuugi. It wouldn't be the worst thing he's ever watched. XD
Oct. 11th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
I love this. The characters are spectacular, part of what makes this more than it appears. Despite the plotlessness, this story is about a lot. The Doctor's god complex, the darkness of both the Time Lords, what the Doctor/Master relationship is like... And Ten's got an awesome response to the situation: love, sex, role-play and multiple orgasms for the Master! :D Speaking of that, I may have some vague Chinese sex-fantasies tonight.
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
Heh. I guess I'm still sulking over the plot I was trying to get them to play along with. Butterfly Lovers really should be done as a D/M fic at some point. Maybe I'll try it again, some day.

Ten's response to everything is to Run Away. Love, sex and role-play is just his means to an end and the multiple orgasms for the Master simply a way to appease him. XD Avoidance is always the answer. Though he did get some cuddles in, before avoidance set in.

Dude, they have books on the subject. Like, seriously, the 'this is how you have sex and all these positions do such and such for health'. I think their response to a lot of health problems was just to have sex. So there's definitely no shortage for inspiration on those fantasies. XD

Thanks for the comments!
Oct. 11th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
Yep, it is frustrating when the characters don't cooperate with the plot.

Yeah, the Doctor's always running. Can't deny that he chose a fun way to do it, though. :D

Wow! Entire books? Amazing! I think I might look them up. :D And nice, sexual healing. It probably didn't work most of the time, but... hey, it's certainly one of the fun methods! :D
Oct. 11th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
It's even more frustrating when they take over the plot and make it longer, so I suppose I really shouldn't be complaining since they kept it fairly short this time.

Yyyyup. The book mentioned in the fic is real. The contents mentioned in the fic were fictional because I couldn't get my hands on said book to look it up, but hey. I remember somewhere in my research seeing a whole list of ancient Chinese books all about sex. It was rather amusing.
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I bet.

I figured that it was. And it's really ancient, so I can easily see why getting your hands on it would be tricky.
Aug. 2nd, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
PPFTT I laughed so hard at the fact The Doctor used Fushigi Yuugi reference and assume the heroine's role on Master. I CAN'T.

Well written, I enjoyed reading this fic 8D
Aug. 2nd, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
Well, we all know it's the Master that has the summoning kink, so he's obviously gotta be Miaka. Plus, he'd do it for the wishes. Actually, it's quite disturbing how easy it would be to make the Master fall for this. All the Doctor would have to do is tell him he could summon a god that grants any three wishes he has. The only hitch in this plot would be the lack of sex involved. XD

Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Anla-shok Na Ivanova
Memory Dragon

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