A/N: Inspired by a prompt I found involving Doctor/Master and Russia. And considering I've recently fallen in love with the old Koschei the Deathless fairytale and the Master's nickname at the Academy was Koschei, I was thoroughly inspired. And this is what came of it.
This isn't necessarily slash, but it can be if you want it to be. Whatever makes you happy:)
Characters: 10th Doctor and Young Delgado Master. If you haven't seen Delgado when he was young, then you need to google it cus Damn! He looked nice!
The Doctor was tired. Tired of the pain and the death that followed him so closely throughout the years. Always hovering just over his shoulders, his constant companion. Despite what people said it never grew any easier. Every loss struck him just as painfully as the last, wether it be departure by choice or -very rarely- death that pulled them apart.
It was that utter feeling of loss that brought the Doctor all the way out to Moscow, Russia. Why Russia of all places, he couldn't say. He'd just hoped on the TARDIS after the 'Year Than Never Was' fiasco and let her take him away. Away from all the hurt and the sorrow. He understood why Martha chose to leave, but it didn't make it any easier. Though that wasn't what really stung, what was really painful was loosing the Master.
He'd longed for so long for the company of another Time Lord. Any Time Lord, the overwhelming sense of loneliness in his mind where they used to be was deafening. And he wouldn't deny he was overjoyed for it to be the Master, his best-enemy, who showed back up. He'd missed their childish skirmishes and petty battles. But the Master went too far this time and it cost him the ultimate price.
The Doctor shook his head as he walked down the city street. The wind and thick snow tossing his raggedy hair every which-way. It was bloody freezing and his only light was that which was provided from the window shops that lined the busy city streets. Their warm glow giving some comfort on the lonely star speckled night.
He knew he should stop moaning and move on. That's what he was best at, putting the past in the past and soldiering on his way. But he figured one night in misery couldn't hurt. Just a little more time to morn the loss of his greatest childhood friend.
A certain tingle in the back of his mind caught his attention, causing him to stop dead in his tracks, his trainers already soaked through from the thick snow ridden sidewalk. And that's when he noticed him, just up ahead, standing outside the old theatre as the crowd around him exited after the show.
It was him.
The Doctor jogged over to the oh so familiar face, all too happy to see him. "Master!" It was him, it had to be him. Not the him from his time stream, but definitely him nonetheless.
The Master turned, the ever mischievous smile on his face. "My dear Doctor, what are you doing here? And when did you regenerate? I have to say I'm not particularly fond of this one, much too young, I must say."
The Doctor just grinned like a fool. It was the Master, it was Koschei, Koschei the Deathless. There was no getting rid of him, he should have known better than to ever think otherwise. And boy had he missed this Master. The goatee and all, just before it started to grey. God, he was so young. It was him when he still had some Koschei left in him, before he was stone cold and sought nothing but power. Before he decided to disrupt the Doctor's quiet life working as UNIT's scientific advisor with his redicullus plan of taking over Earth with plastic.
The Doctor couldn't help but laugh, this Master was always so damn polite. "What are you doing here?" He wondered, completely ignoring the Master's previous question.
The Master shrugged, his gloved hands deep in his pockets. "I came for the show of course. You know I never could resist a good performance and its been far too long since I've been to the theatre. Much less a Russian one."
The Doctor grinned. Oh he knew all too well, Russia was where the whole Koschei nick name came from back in the Academy. He always did love that fairytale.
"I was just going for a walk-"
"In this weather?" The Master didn't look convinced.
"Well, you know," he finished lamely, rocking back on his heels. He still wasn't over the shock of seeing his old friend here.
The Master just nodded, but continued eyeing the Doctor with his scrutinising gaze. It was rather intimidating really. "Are you alright Doctor?"
The Doctor looked a bit startled. He forgot how perceptive this Master always was, worse yet he actually looked concerned. "What? Yes, yes just peachy in fact."
"My dear Doctor-"
"I've just had a long day." He cut him off honestly with a defeated sigh. He never could lie to Koschei. The Doctor yearned to tell the Master everything, to just completely open tell to him. Butt he knew he couldn't, he just couldn't. Couldn't trellis him everything he'd went through. It would be breaking so many rules and changing so many timelines.
The Master nodded. This new Doctor was so easy to read, every emotion shone across his face so openly. It was like reading a book. A very dumb, easy to read, child's book.
"Are you alone?" The Master asked curiously, taking the Doctor off guard.
"Yes," he said solemnly without the slightest intentions of elaborating.
The Master looked sympathetic. "That's not like you."
The Doctor sighed tiredly, "it was just recently actually."
The Master nodded, not needing to hear any more. "So I take it you're not busy then." He started walking down the sidewalk as he spoke, the Doctor right by his side.
The Doctor smiled at their closeness, they were shoulder to shoulder as they walked through the snow. He had to resist the urge to link arms and instead settled for keeping his frozen fingers stuffed in his coat pockets.
"Nope," he replied happily, popping the 'p'.
The Master cracked a smile. This new Doctor was so childish. Though that really wasn't a big change in the grand scheme of things.
"In that case I say we get out of here."
The Doctor raised a curious eyebrow. "Get out of here? And what exactly do you have in mind?"
The Master shrugged carelessly. "Dinner?"
"Are you just going to repeat everything I say or actually answer my proposal?" The Master laughed.
The Doctor laughed along with him, "dinner sounds great Kos."
"Oh so we're going back to childhood nicknames then? Well I see, come along now Theta." The Master teased with a grin.
The Doctor just laughed and playfully bumped him in the shoulder. Eliciting small laughs from the Master as well.
This was nice, just him and best friend together again. Why he never did this before was beyond him. Though it was pry because he knew this whole night was breaking the Laws of Time. He didn't care though, not tonight. Tonight was a night for morning.
Tomorrow he would leave without a word, never to see the Master again. He would move on and put the past in the past and be grateful for the time he did have with those he cared for.
Tomorrow was a new day.
"You were so near death that ghosts crowded around you, weeping silver tears, waiting for you with such smiles. You humans, you know, whoever built you sewed irony into your sinews."
― Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless