Life, such as it was, was not so bad, he thought.

Yes, he was about to go into battle once more against the deadly Cybermen, but he'd beaten them before, and would doubtless do so again now.

The Master was a complication. Obviously. But, fact was, it wasn't his problem. He hadn't been willing to admit that, but it was true. It was not his problem.

He finished tinkering with the EMP device. Tinkering. It was always his greatest love. This incarnation was a gadget man born of necessity – practicality was always important when you were trying to make a locked TARDIS go.

He sensed the Master before anything else, and span to face him.

He was aiming a small weapon at the Doctor, a look of intense anger on his face.

"Revised TCE?" the Doctor asked.

"Not quite," the Master said, "but it doesn't matter. Oh the times when I wanted you dead, Doctor," he added softly. "I want you dead, gone, out of my way, ceased, desisted, gone. How I wish I could just kill you now, spare myself the pain..."

"Then why not do it?" the Doctor asked.

"Because," the Master said. "That would defeat the whole object of why I am here, Doctor."

"Why are you here?" the Doctor asked.

"You'll see," the Master smiled happily. He lowered the TCE. "You'll see."

He walked out.

The Doctor stared after him for a long time. They had been old friends, but now they were bitterest enemies. There were times when the Doctor imagined what it would be like if they were allies. Two men, sharing the same Baroque tastes, the same travellers zeal, the same outlook on their dusty old people. He had often imagined redoing the old TARDIS console room in some sort of wood panelling, with a nice silver console controls. His sort of thing.

Ah well. One day, in some distant future, perhaps, but not today.

--

Of course, the Cybermen came. They always did. And the Doctor won, as he always would. There had never been any doubt in anyone's mind. The Cybermen had been trounced. The forces of humanity and good and right and all that blah had won.

It made the Master sick. But, as Cooper and the Yank defenders congratulated the Doctor, and he asked for his TARDIS, the Master smiled to himself. Those were the days, weren't they? The days of goatee's and Nehru Collars. He almost missed them.

Almost.

--

The Third Doctor looked down the corridor at Jo, who was heading off to her bedroom.

Then, he leaned against the Console, and thought to himself.

That Master, that future Master, was something new. Unfettered almost. A new kind of madness in his mind – or at least, it felt new.

He idly wondered if his fights with his old nemesis would ever be the same.

--

It had been three months since the Third Doctor had come into the latest incarnation of the Master's life. Three months since the heroic defence of Fort Knox that had left thirty four American Soldiers dead, and another ten UNIT men with them. Three months since the Doctor had gone.

"I suppose you were some help," the Master had said.

"Yes," the Doctor smiled, grudgingly. "I suppose I was."

"I'll see you again," the Master said.

"I suppose," the Doctor smiled. "And I'm looking forward to it."

'Oh Doctor, your foolishness astounds me', he thought to himself.

"Be careful what you wish for, Doctor," the Master had said. "You might just get it."

But he couldn't worry about the Doctor now.

He had an audience.

"Mr Prime Minister!" a journo yelled. "A quote please, sir!"

In a deliberately timed move, he kissed his wife, and she responded eagerly. Deluded cow.

"Mr Prime Minister!" another journo yelled.

"This country," he said, turning to the camera, "has been sick. This country needs healing. This country needs medicine. In fact," he smiled mischievously, "I'd go so far as to say that what this country needs, right now..."

And here he smiled at the camera, smiling for anyone he thought might be watching. He had his suspicions...

"... is a Doctor."

--

And in the centre of London, the Tenth Doctor watched Harold Saxon give his address.

"That's him," he said.

He couldn't believe it. It had been so long since he'd seen that face.

'You'll see', the Master had said to him. Yeah, he did see. He wasn't happy about it though.

--

Never the End.