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"You don't often see the calm after the storm do you? Certainly not from such a panoramic perspective." The Master sweeps an arm towards the windows, where a jagged hole is still torn in the sky, still bleeding death into the atmosphere. "You're usually...riding in to save the day, the planet, sometimes even the universe itself-."

He frowns, because there's something missing here.

"This isn't working, I'm not projecting an appropriate aura of menace while you sit there looking like something someone left at a bus station." His laser screwdriver still rests inside his jacket, the power to cheat time twisted and forced into such a small space, and oh how he loves to marvel at his own genius. The Doctor eyes it like it's death, twisting away from it's shine in one ragged, ancient flinch.

It's just as easy to steal time as it is to force it on someone and even if it wasn't an excuse to listen to the Doctor scream again it's a delicious bonus. Until the man left sprawled on the floor is a match for his own virility, panting and lively and furious, eyes bright like diamonds, and yes, this is the Doctor he wants to see.

The Doctor shoves himself off of his elbows, wincing with the movement, which is a beautiful visceral reaction that almost tempts the Master to force the whole transformation over so he can watch it again and again.

"Feeling more like yourself again?"  He asks, and judging by the look he gets the answer is very much 'yes.'

"You'd think we'd handle time better, you'd think we'd have it in our blood!"

"Time isn't supposed to be used as a weapon, isn't supposed to be used like this."

"So we can add misuse of technology to my many sins." The Master feigns an air of boredom about the matter.

"You wanted me to listen," The Doctor says, in an amusingly irritated fashion. "I'm here."

"Oh, I want to hurt you too...we always have had a complicated relationship." The knowledge pulls such a lovely expression onto the Doctors face, bitter and unsurprised but so beautifully wounded.

"Where's Jack?" He demands, instead of following such a perfectly laid thread.

"Handsome Jack? Oh he's alive...sometimes, fabulous recovery time, which is marvelous fun. But then maybe that's something you're better informed to judge than I am?"

"And cannibalising the Tardis?" There's definitely hurt there, bright and fierce, and there's something almost masochistic in the way the Doctor always lets him pull it out of him. Neither of them have ever been what you might call...restrained after all.

"I always was fond of making the grand gestures to get your attention."

"What have you done?"

" many demands! Is it wrong that I love that authoritative parenting tone that you use?"

"Master." How can he refuse, how can he refuse when his name is growled so prettily, through such white teeth.

"I tend to get swept up in the moment, as you know very well."

"Only because nobody ever told you no, nobody ever told you to stop." Such bite in the last word, such certainty from the Doctor.

"You think think I haven't heard the words 'no,' 'stop,'  'please' a thousand times in a million different tone." The Master slides to his knees, eye to eye with the Doctor in a way that's ...that's intimate in ways that make his voice low and intense.  "From soft and ragged to high and loud and screaming. I know the word 'stop' better than you...I've learned how to call it across a hundred thousand planets, learned what makes it bleed out of someone's throat like a prayer...I love it like a favourite child."

He loops a finger round the neck of the Doctor's tie.

"But you always make things complicated when they shouldn't be, when they're simple, and brutal and beautiful. You have to push against everything you consider to be even remotely...what's a good word...let's go with 'unethical' though it's not really precise, it doesn't really capture the flavour of your sheer stubborn, wilful inability to accept even a taste of destruction."

"It's never a taste with you." The Doctor says roughly, leaning out of his grip but not pulling, not wrenching away in disgust. "Never just a taste, it's all or nothing, you want to drown in it. You want everything, mastery over everything, over everyone. The need to live up to your name, the need to be Master." The Master inhales, he can't help it.

"My name in your mouth..." He lets two fingers drift across it, slow and intent "Sounds almost obscene." The Doctor doesn't try and shake him off, doesn't even turn away from the touch and it's so very encouraging, how can it be anything else? "Why does it only ever sound that way when you say it?" The Doctor does tense then, and the Master doesn't give him the opportunity to shake him off. He lowers his hand.

He can see every flicker of expression this close, every miniature line of tension under the skin. It's pale, fine skin on a face that's almost fragile. There's something delicate beneath...that under other circumstances he'd be tempted to dig for. Fragility on this face is wrong, but it still tries to tempt his hand to rise again, to trace the lines, to see where pressure makes him inhale.

It's an interesting face, a conflict and a contradiction, and it suits him perfectly.

"Tell me you meant what you said," The Master says, voice soft, and the words pull a beautiful, if somewhat frustrating, frown onto the Doctor's face.

"Which part?"

"That we could fight across the universe." The Doctor inhales, surprise and something else, something the Master would like to press and encourage, but for now he just wants to know the answer.

"If you let Earth -"

"I won't!" He says fiercely, refuses to listen to another earnest speech about it's unique place in the universe. It's not a part of them, it's nothing. Yet the Doctor always insists it be a piece in their game.

"Why not?"

"If I give you earth you win...and you know what a bad loser I am, you know how likely I am to...throw the board across the room and stomp on all the pieces."

"It's just us now, no one has to win." The Doctor's voice is sharp and frustrated and it aches so beautifully.

"I do." The Master tells him through a smile that's wide and certain. "I have to win."

He moves closer, drifts impossibly close, until he can feel the warmth from every exhale against his mouth.

"Don't," The Doctor says simply.

"Don't what?" The Master sways closer still, words pressed against skin. "Don't what? Don't make you feel it, don't make your skin know me as well and your ears and your head. Don't push you until you see what I see...or is it simpler than that?"

He has a hand in the doctor's hair, a palm full of slippery strands, crushed and used to tilt him just enough, just enough so that he's above him, leaning over him in a way that's another stolen triumph.

"Is it just don't." He pulls, sharp and hard, one movement that drags the Doctor's head back until his mouth drops open on a noise that's hard, surprised and utterly beautiful. Hearing it is like stretching an ache he's been feeling for what seems like forever.

"We're the same, you can push and pull as much as you like but we're the same you and I. It's just our whims that are different."

"And the fact that you're mad," the Doctor says, words careful and breathless through the bent arch of his throat.

"Yes that too," the Master allows and there's so much he's allowing, so much slack he's giving. He deserves- no demands, he demands something in exchange.

He catches the Doctor's narrow jaw leans over him and takes his mouth like he owns it, like he has a right to it, and he does...he does.

The Doctor doesn't fight him, doesn't fight even when his other hand tightens until it's locked around tangled strands, and the world in drowned out by heartbeats and conflict that has no words, that has never had any words.

Though it has been known to entertain screaming.

The Master eases back, pulls out of the kiss and for a long moment he just watches the Doctor who has not once taken his eyes off of him, though they are brighter now, complicated in ways that have always fed his more creative impulses. his mouth is wet and it's...almost indecent that he's the one who made it so.

"Tell me to stop," he says breathlessly, straight into the Doctor's mouth. "Tell me 'no,' tell me that and mean it..." The hand relaxes in his hands, slides down the pale, smooth line of his face in something that is half-way between threat and caress. "And I won't leave you ancient and decrepit to watch the world burn."

He can't, the Master can see it in his eyes, he can't and he won't lie and it's so perfect and predictable.

He expected nothing less...and it fills the room with triumphant laughter.