Lead

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I am not RTD, therefore I don't own Doctor Who...Disappointed? I know I am.

A/N: The fifth instalment of my Metals series (Gold, Silver, Tin and Copper can be found on my profile). I'm trying to show the changing relationship in this drabble, showing how Koschei becomes dark and 'Masterful' *wink wink* so it's a lot darker than the others. I've hopefully not broken them just yet tho! Enjoy!

A/N Take Two: Please remember that all reviews are greatly appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pressing the purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...Pretty please with an even prettier Time Lord on top?

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Gallifrey's usually burning sky appeared leaden in the weak light. The strength and brilliance of the planet's twin suns was waning and leaving the horizon streaked with dull grey. The mighty Citadel was a hive of activity; the Time Lords running out of their most precious treasure as they prepared for war. At the highest peak of the Prydonian Academy, two young Time Lords watched the approach of their own destruction.

~*~

Koschei stood on high and watched. He stared out into the abyss of space and time, willing the Daleks to come for him, itching to fight. He had been a warrior from the very second he had first stared into the Untempered Schism and now every inch of him bristled with power and energy at the excited promise that his destiny foretold.

Theta watched him with the sense that the end was coming. He watched Koschei with the concern of a lover; appropriate, Theta supposed, that he should look at him in that way. Theta had been in love with Koschei since that first bright day in their brilliant crimson field…so many years ago.

"Don't go, Kos," he pleaded carefully.

"I told you not to call me that anymore," was Koschei's only acknowledgement that Theta had even spoken.

"I don't like your new name, Kos. It feels dangerous."

"I am dangerous! Don't you see? I was born for this! Born for war, for bloodshed and battle…" Koschei's outburst was fiery; a blaze of longed-for glory seeping through his voice like ink onto paper.

"Not to me." Theta's voice was small but he threw all his trust into those three powerful words. "I don't want to lose you, Kos…"

"So? It's not your decision anymore…Doctor." Koschei's retort was bitter. Neither of them liked the other's new name; it felt wrong to refer to each other as 'Doctor' and 'Master' when their entire relationship had been a blur of 'Thet' and 'Kos' and lazy sunshine kisses.

"Stop it, Kos. We're alone now, you don't have to play the battle-hardened soldier." Theta felt just as bitter as his companion and his words were disapproving.

"Oh, I forgot. You'll be healing everyone, won't you? 'The Man Who Makes People Better'? Will you fix me, Doctor?" Theta flinched at Koschei's sneering tone but spat out his angry rejoinder with equal malice.

"It's better than wanting to dominate them. Your choice of name is a psychiatrist's field day!" The room spun as Koschei's fist connected with his jaw. Theta crumpled to the floor with shock.

Hot tears spilled from Theta's eyes before he could stop them. They hit the stone floor, resonating a splashing sound around the high walls. Koschei's stony posture relaxed immediately and he crouched down next to Theta, winding his arms around him. He half-expected Theta to shrug him off but he didn't.

They lost track of how long they stayed there, clutching each other as Theta's body shook with strangled sobs. After what felt like an eternity, Koschei moved slightly so he could see Theta's face. His blue eyes were huge and swimming with still unshed tears and there was a large red imprint on the corner of his mouth. Koschei kissed it lightly, resting his lips against Theta's warm cheek. The second their foreheads touched, the world around them disappeared and became a haze of spinning colours; crimson, silver, blue, copper, gold. The colours of their memories with one, almost tangible thought floating through the mist.

"I would have told you, you know…" Theta whispered, admitting to owning the incriminating thought. "I wanted to tell you every day and I would have done if I thought you'd let me…" He broke off. Somewhere in the midst of his declaration, he had lost the courage to say the words Koschei had always wanted to hear from him.

"I love you too, Thet," Koschei said quietly, not breaking the bubble of peace that had settled around them.

Theta grinned brightly. "Do you really, Kos?" he asked excitedly.

"Always." It was such a simple word, just two short syllables, six tiny letters; it might have seemed almost insignificant if Theta hadn't known that Koschei meant it with both his hearts.

While there is relief, Koschei feels like a lead weight has landed on his stomach, pushing him into the ground. The words had been harder than he had anticipated. He meant them, there was no doubt about that, but they felt so heavy, so important…and he instantly knew that he could never take them back, even if one day soon, he might have to.

Not today, though. He couldn't – wouldn't – take them away from Theta just yet.

~*~

The winds of change wrapped around the Prydonian tower, enveloping Theta and Koschei in their darkening embrace as they left their childhood names behind and slipped through the fingers of time into their separate destinies. Their only comfort would be their love for each other, which fell like lead onto their shoulders, willing them to carry it for the rest of their lives.