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09 March 2009 @ 04:59 pm
sportsmanship [dw - Doctor/Master]  
Title: Sportsmanship
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Ten/Simm!Master, sort of.
Rating: PG/PG-13 for implied (but historic!) violence
Word Count: 700
Summary: Right century, wrong city.
Notes: One of those “LotTL ends differently and the Doctor gets his unhappily ever after, after all” AUs. Warnings for random classicism. Because I simply couldn’t resist.



“Oh, no. No, no, no…”

The Doctor steps out of the TARDIS, glances around warily, and tries very hard not to scream. “This is… this is all wrong.” It’s very nearly right, truth be told – they’re parked in the shadow of a temple whose architecture is almost as it should be, it certainly feels like the right century, even the young men wandering around with garlands in their hair, but something

“Oh, I don’t know,” the Master replies breezily. The Doctor turns around to find him leaning lazily against the side of the TARDIS, perfectly at ease and grinning widely. As much as the Doctor appreciates for once seeing him neither resentful nor visibly miserable, it’s still a rather disturbing image. “It looks an awful lot like ancient Greece to me.”

“Yeah…” he absently draws out the word, trying to decide what the Master might find so pleasing about ancient Greece. There are certainly more than enough possibilities, but he can think of none that might pose a serious threat.  An instant later he realises that he's staring, and forces himself to glance aside before the Master notices.  “Yes, it is, but this… is not Olympia. I wanted to go to Olympia.” And indeed, this is very much not Olympia. It’s far too homogenous, and he hardly needs telepathy to sense the rigid and suppressive legalism of the city-state. Really, as much as he likes humanity, this isn’t his type of place at all.

“Lovely place, Olympia. All those city-states contributing, competing... And the temples there... exquisite. Especially some of those Athenian ones. Well... maybe not quite up to Philon’s work, but definitely, definitely worth a visit. You’d like it. Well… no, probably not, but… it’s still incredible what some good old-fashioned competition can lead to." He falls silent, realising that the Master isn’t even listening. "Well, not always, obviously," he adds lightly.


The Master shifts against the TARDIS. "I don’t see why it matters, Doctor," he finally says. "It’s not as if one human city isn’t very much like any other. Especially when they’re still this primitive."

“Oh, but Olympia. Birthplace of the Olympic Games!” the Doctor grins. “Have you ever seen the Olympics? They’re absolutely brilliant. The entire world united in celebration, and you know what humans can be like.” He pauses for breath and then rushes on, “Definitely a must-see event. And this… is where it all begins. Well, not here, obviously, since this isn’t Olympia, but you know what I mean.”

The Master looks visibly ill.

The Doctor sharply points a finger at him. “This is your fault,” he insists. “I’m sure of it. I don’t know how you got around the isomorphic controls, but you’ve obviously managed it.”

“Or perhaps you’ve failed yet again to successfully pilot your TARDIS.” The Master rolls his eyes. “How petty do you think I am?”

The Doctor considers that for about a tenth of a second. “Very,” he replies soberly, and then winces as a sudden shriek splits the air.

The Master winces as well, but then brightens. “Oh, look,” he says, smiling obscenely. “It’s festival day.” He pauses as several more screams follow the first. One of the garlanded young men comes rushing towards them, trailing a path of blood in his wake, and the Doctor can’t force himself to move. This, he can already tell, is a fixed point in time.

“Reminds you of good old England, doesn’t it?” The Master quickly steps out of the way of the dying man, careful not to any blood on himself. “Well, when I was in charge, at least. And slave population control is such a good sport, isn’t it? So much more fun than watching naked men wrestle. Do just stand there and keep on looking thick if you agree – that’s perfect.

“You do remember your history, don’t you, Doctor? This is, after all, your favourite planet. Sparta, around 425 B.C, I believe. Fascinating for a human city. Built entirely on slave labour, isn’t that charming? And I’ve always wanted to know…”

“You’re disgusting,” the Doctor manages weakly, because he does recognise the year. The slaughter of about 2000 helots is one of the human events he would least have liked to witness. “You… that’s it, we’re leaving. Now.”

“But you promised me a holiday,” the Master protests as the Doctor drags him back to the TARDIS.

The Doctor doesn’t say that he hadn’t expected to have every kind gesture thrown back in his face. He’s always known exactly what he was signing up for when he chose to try to rehabilitate the Master. He’s always known that he never really had a chance, but to give up now would be to accept defeat, and the Master is worth more to him than that.

“Right,” he says slowly. The Master probably wouldn’t have liked Olympia anyway. “How about the Leisure Palace Company? Apparently they’ve got a resort on an interesting planet named Midnight.” He very carefully sets the coordinates. “That should be quiet enough.”
 


finis
End Notes: To non-Classics people: I am so sorry. This is my brother’s fault. Well, no, not really, but a discussion on some Spartan... traditions was involved, and, well… you see.
 
 
 
edzel2edzel2 on March 10th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
Well I don't know about Classics - being pretty poorly-educated I thought you meant 'Classic Who' and was a little puzzled about why the story was Simm!Master and Ten... But regardless of that, I enjoyed it. So, might you be going to write the Doctor & Master version of Midnight?!? I've been trying to think of ways to include Simm!Master in various Season Two/Three episodes becuase, well, he was around for some of it, wasn't he... the difficulty lies in deciding what the time frame for the season 2/3 episodes might be - he's only known Martha a few days when the Master becomes Prime Minister, hasn't he... ooh blimey, this timey-winey stuff makes my head ache at times!!! (I daresay its just me, no one else seems to have any problem with it...lol)

Anyway, to cut the rambling short, I enojoyed this fic very much! Thank you for sharing!
edzel2edzel2 on March 10th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
When I say 'he's only Martha a few days' I was of course referring to the Doctor and not the Master.... bad grammar....
Rhaella: Romana Irhaella on March 10th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
No, don't worry, I picked up on that. :3

Hmm. I meant classics as in Classical History, ancient Greece and Rome (and Persia, etc.), Latin and Greek languages... the whole academic field. Sorry for the confusion. Glad you enjoyed anyway. :)

And the Doctor&Master version of Midnight... yeah, I've definitely considered it, because it'd be so much fun, and now that I've already thrown canon out the window, why the hell not? XD
Blue Rose: DW: Breakdance of Rassilonbluerose_buka on March 10th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
You made this classics geek *very* happy. Two thumbs up!
Rhaella: Tenth Doctorrhaella on March 11th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, I'm glad you enjoyed. And am very much enjoying your icon. :)
shinodabear on March 10th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Lovely banter. I am very much interested in a Doctor-Master version of Midnight!
Rhaella: The Master - Doctor Whorhaella on March 11th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I'm glad to hear it. :) I'm not sure I'll be able to resist writing it now.
Evilawyer's Fic Journalevilawyer_fic on March 11th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Nice portrayal of the perpetually evil Master and the well-meaning but generally clueless Doctor. I wonder who the alien on Midnight would think is more clever?
Rhaella: Tenth Doctorrhaella on March 11th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed. :) Hmm... you know, it'd probably just depend on which one more quickly realises that maybe he should just shut up for once.
ancilla: specs appealancilla100 on March 11th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC)
Yay for Classics plus Ten/Master! You've made another Classicist very happy :D

Rhaella: Romana Irhaella on March 11th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I am not at all surprised to find Classicists in this fandom, hahaha. Glad you enjoyed et gratias tibi ago. :)
x_losficx_losfic on July 24th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
You're very good! Have you been exclusively posting over on like, slash_lords or some other dusty nook of lj? I've never seen you around before this last one.

As per this, I'm v. fond of stories that exploit canon's time travel conceit to give us some good out-of-the-way historical (disaster) tourism. The inflexibility of the events is believably conveyed in a way that doesn't simply feel like a plot hand-wave: I particularly like the way that sentence is constructed, actually the whole way the paragraph winds into it, like a spiral staircase descending into a basement. Good /weight/ to it.
Rhaella: Doctor/Master OTPrhaella on July 24th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I actually haven't been around much -- too busy trying to catch up in the canon to do much more than stalk the fandom. I'm usually the sort that flits around from fandom to fandom and ship to ship, so just the fact that I've managed to stay more or less hooked to DW in general and D/M in specific is... kind of amazing. But the ship is splendid and twisted and Nietzschean like whoa, so I am enthralled.

I am... er, also very good at hiding, apparently. Which means that yes, slash_lords or even more obscure places. I've been quietly lurking around best_enemies for a while, but the old-schoolness of it scared me off back when I'd only seen about three and a half serials, and I suppose that silence has since become a force of habit. :(
Пруkate_swynford on April 12th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Loved the story. The Doctor certainly has taken an almost impossible task, keeping the Master.