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So to celebrate a very kind rec on Calufrax, I decided to re-post my drabble challenge where I can find it again. 

By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Characters: Theta, Koschei, Fifth Doctor, Ainley Master
Warnings: Fairly angsty with mentions of death.  Some references for Planet of Fire, but I'm pretty sure you can miss it if you're unfamiliar with the serial, so I wouldn't worry too much about spoilers.  Also, it is very unbetaed.
Rating: (I always forget this)  Um... PG-13 for tones of death?  No wonder I always forget these.  Maybe I should just stick with my warnings, since they're generally more descriptive...
Notes: Written for the [info]best_enemies 100 drabble challenge.  It is a very worthy quest and I may be writing another one if I've got time on Friday, but have my rehash of a deleted paragraph from Alone in the Dark in the mean time. 


The Doctor almost couldn't remember a time when the Master wasn't afraid of death. When they were sixteen, Theta managed to get his hands on the blueprints to a primitive form of time travel that some alien race had created to manipulate the vortex. Primitive, but working, and it was enough to give them a rudimentary knowledge of how to build their own long before they were allowed to do so.

They'd spent endless nights making it. Koschei finally got it working during a study hall, but he hadn't waited for Theta to get back from tutoring to test it. He'd been impatient and proud, and simply pressed the button to take him away to some strange planet so that he could gloat to Theta later. He ended up in the middle of the bloodiest battle of the first Yestradi civil war.

Theta had raised the alarm when he saw that Koschei was still missing by the end of the day. Koschei had to be brought back by an emissary of the High Council, and they'd both gotten a very thorough scolding and punishment for it. All of that had been worth it to get a glimpse of the outside world though, or so Theta had thought.

His excited questions about the outside world had all been hushed, though, when he saw the look in Koschei's eyes. Theta could only hold his friend tightly as he haltingly described the horror of the aliens who couldn't regenerate. That night, Koschei swore he would never die.

That was why the Doctor wasn't sure who he was angrier at, as he watched the flames where his enemy had stood mere seconds before. The Master, for breaking his promise, or himself for not helping to keep death at bay? At night as he lay awake in bed, all the Doctor could hear were Koschei's screams from the nightmares that the Doctor now lived in.


Memory: Oddly enough, the majority of that originally took me like... a minute or so to write?  Trying to write the frame to let the ficlet stand on its own took me over an hour though. -_-;;;