Doctor Who: Under A Sky Brimming With Ashes [Fanfiction]

Just thought I’d pop one out here after reading a Radio Times article on where Dawan’s Master fits in the chronology. The first words spoken by The Doctor come from the annual, and I figured it’d make for a good self-prompt, so having not read the annual, I challenged myself to finish the conversation

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-09-17/doctor-who-master-missy/

Under a charred orange sky brimming with ashes, The Doctor stood in the ruins of Gallifrey, The Doctor asked her old friend and many-a-time foe of the last time they understood one another.

“You looked quite different the last time I saw you, I quite liked you as Missy. At least she wanted to change, to be a better person.”

“She spent too long in your company, Doctor,” The Master, architect of the last great destruction of Gallifrey, replied, “A mistake I don’t intend to repeat.”

“Why? Because it may calm all the rage?”

“Maybe. Not telling you”

Frustrated, The Doctor’s thoughts swiftly turned elsewhere, she looked out into the distance, she could see something faint in the distance just beyond the perimeters of the capital. She smiled. There was always hope to be had, provided you use your eyes.

“My place?” she asked.

The Master chortled.

“You never knew your place”

“Is that supposed to have a double-meaning now I’ve had an upgrade?” asked The Doctor

The Master didn’t respond, he looked back at the shattered dome of the great Gallifreyan citadel, attempting to place upon his face a mask of proud accomplishment.

“Come on, my place. You left it standing”

“How thoughtful of me”

“Yeah, well, probably the only clear thought that came into your head when acting out this deed”

She offered her hand to The Master, he hesitated.

“What makes you think your place is where I need to be? Even after seeing all this around you?”

“Do you remember Harold Saxon? Do you remember the year that never was? Where you plagued humanity with a brutal, quasi-omnipotent rule? Do you remember what I said? Could you bear it at the time? Can you bear it now? What did I say? What did I do?”

“You forgave me” The Master whispered, holding back a faint tear.

“And then you held me”

He looked back at The Doctor, her eyes matching his in urgency, in sincerity. Here, there was no such thing as malice, or hatred, or even the blight of disappointment, here there was only concern, there was a yearning to understand.

This was love

“Let me hold you. Again, just once, one more time, there is a rage inside of you and I don’t know if I can stop it this time, but if there’s any part of you that enjoyed my company as Missy, that relished the very notion of redemption, and if you have any secrets that need sharing, then for my sake, for your sake, don’t hide it behind a campaign against the universe, embrace it in a quiet, private place in the universe. Share it with me, without a cross word before, not a cross word after, without any hesitation. Whatever it is, I forgive you. Always”

“It’ll hurt, trust me, it is going to hurt” The Master warned.

“Whatever hurts me can sting only once, from there we’ll heal. Together”

The Master reached out and gripped her hand tight.

Together they headed over to an old, well worn hut.

There they made everything better.

There, by some miracle or another only their bond could achieve, they calmed all the rage.