A/N : This idea came from the phone conversation with the Master and the Doctor during The Sound of Drums, the Master asks how it felt to watch Gallifrey burn.

From this vantage point he could look down over the citadel, watching as the twin suns crept slowly over the horizon. A thin silver border signaled the arrival of another morning.

The air was still, as if even nature held her breath in anticipation.

The colours began to bleed outward, much like the emerging strains of an orchestra, quiet, distant, and soothing, then building steadily. A prolonged intensity of notes and measures progressively speeding towards the end, thunderous harmonies, at once overwhelming in their singular majestic bursts, an omen for the final performance, glorious in its beauty and emotions.

Muted reds, pinks, yellows, and oranges radiate sensually over the surface, blending as one, and push back the dull, silver-grey blanket of the night.

Ancient, intelligent eyes, patiently witness the new dawning with longed for anticipation, and yet a hesitant unease as time unfolds. He embraces each subtle nuance of sight, sound, and smell. The feel of cool air dancing across his skin, becomes warmer tones that infuse his entire being with pleasurable sensations, like the soft, delicate brush, of a lovers touch exploring for the first time.

An imperceptible smile begins to curls upwards, his face radiating astonishment and wonder. So close now.

Moments later the entire world seems on fire, as the two giant spheres crest the distant mountains flooding the entire scene in a blazing light, causing the Citadel to glow eerily and reflect back the radiant illumination, bathing all one's senses in its resplendent glory.

Closing his eyes, the spectacle burns and etches itself into his memory.

Time stills.

Ages pass.

Life moves ever on. And still he sits, refusing to acknowledge the inevitable.

Ever so cautiously he opens his eyes knowing, beyond a doubt, what lays beyond. Still, he wishes, hopes, prays and mourns.

Gone.

In that tiny instant he dares to blink, the world he once knew is no more.

An empty vacuum of space surrounded by dusty debris floating haphazardly, a hint of burnt ash seeping through the air, are the only signs to remind him of all that's lost.

He blinks deliberately, indulging in the sorrow washing through him. Opening his eyes, he sees his own feelings reflected in another's brown eyes.

"What did you do?" He whispers accusingly.

The Doctor shakes his head, trying to erase the memory, trying to ease the guilt, as a lone tear slowly falls. "It burned." He cries hoarsely.

The Master smiles, and slowly removes the pressure of his fingertips from the Doctor's temples. Leaning forward, he tenderly brushes a chaste kiss across the Doctor's face, catching the teardrop, and tasting the salty remorse. Then, he pulls the distraught Doctor into an embrace, as a parent comforts a child, and whispers--

"I forgive you."

fin