Best Enemy

by TheWanderer [Reviews - 0]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • General, Vignette

Author's Notes:
This is just an idea that came to my head, and I began writing it a few hours later.

The TARDIS materialized in a large clearing. After a few moments, an old man would step out of it, refusing to look at the warped wood and chipped painting on it's exterior. He was a tall and skinny chap, with short thinning hair that's white as snow covering a deeply lined face. He wore a tan trench coat, with a dark red waistcoat and a white dress shirt underneath.

This individual was a traveler in time and space with many names. But his most preferred name would have to be the Doctor.

And he was very old.

The Doctor felt very light raindrops hit the top of his head. He would grumble as he tapped the ground with his cane.

"Of all places to be, why here, hm?" he murmured, mentally noting that he's been using his first incarnation's mannerisms more and more as he got older in his current incarnation.

He looked around, adjusting his spectacles, until he spotted a pathway. That must be it.

The Doctor took his time getting there. In this day and age, well, for him, he has decided to take things at his own pace. One could even say he is semi-retired. He was a curator a couple incarnations ago. Though he started out rather young in his current form, he was merely a bystander to most events. But because old habits never die, he will step in once and awhile, the same twinkle in his eye.

As he made his way through the path, he would see a cabin just a ways away. That must be where he's meeting him. The Doctor took a deep breath and kept going.

. . .

The Doctor didn't even bother to knock on the door, because he would just turn the doorknob, which was already unlocked, and entered the cabin. The cabin was small, and only had your basic furniture. Chairs, tables, couches, even an old television. The cabin was lit by a group of candles. The dinner table was by the window, and standing between the two objects was another man.

He was staring out the window, watching the rain outside. He was tall, but not as tall as the Doctor, in this body. He wore a black pin striped suit from the 1920s.

"Why Doctor," said a man with a smooth and suave voice. "How very good to see you once more."

He turned around. Like most of his incarnations, he was a middle aged man with satanically handsome features, and a van dyke goatee. It would seem that earlier in his life that his hair was a dark color, but now it is almost all a shade of dark grey, even the goatee.

The Doctor stood at the doorway, the door behind him closing on it's own. He eyed the man with a wary expression.

"I got your call." said the Doctor simply.

The Master gave a light chuckle. "I was wondering when you would arrive. I've been here for over an hour."

"Well, you should know that time is relative, after all." replied the Doctor.

"Indeed."

The Master looked to the Doctor, as though studying him. "May I say, age has not done you any favors whatsoever."

"Unlike some people, I prefer to let my current persona take its course."

"A persona that happens to look like the Valeyard, it seems." replied the Master with a sneer.

The Doctor scowled at him. It was true. After a stressful adventure on a war torn planet that ended with him regenerating in his TARDIS, he found that he now wore the face of the Valeyard, his ultimate foe. He was afraid of the change at first, but as time went on, his resolve became ever stronger, as becoming that fiend was only a possibility, not set in stone.

"The Valeyard is long gone, and you know it."

The Doctor would walk toward the opposite end of the table, and sat in a chair. The Master did the same.

"It has been some time, Master."

The Master gave a sigh. "It certainly has. You are a hard man, or woman, to track down."

"I like to keep my head down nowadays." replied the Doctor.

The Master gave a quiet grunt and would lean down towards the floor. He would place two glasses, and a bottle of Venusian wine.

The Doctor eyed it as the Master poured a glass. Knowing his old frenemy, he might have spiked the wine with something, some sort of poison to end his life.

The Doctor would take the glass, and sniff it. Nothing. He glanced at the Master, who had a grin on his face.

"My dear Doctor, I assure you that I for once mean no harm. Besides, I would not sully a good wine." After saying this, the Master would pick up his glass, took a sip, and lightly smacked his lips.

The Doctor sipped his glass. There was no effect, other than the effect that alcohol would normally cause if one would consume enough. He didn't feel dizzy, he didn't feel his limbs become numb, nor did he feel his mind melt in reaction.

This was just normal alien wine.

The Master, now already halfway done with his glass, would intertwine his gloved fingers. "Elaborate by "keeping your head down"."

The Doctor shrugged. "It's simple. I've traveled across the cosmos more times than you can imagine. Saved many, many lives, and always did this before tea time. I can guarantee I've met more people than I ever dreamed of."

The Master would look the Doctor in the eye. "Where is this going, Doctor? Don't tell me that you have decided to call it a day and simply retire."

The Doctor, who was staring at the dark red liquid in his cup, would raise his eyes towards him.

"I'm tired, Koschei." said the Doctor, his voice carrying throughout the cabin.

The Master flinched slightly. He hadn't heard anyone refer to him by this name since… well, many bodies ago. The Master always saw the Doctor as a thorn at his side, but always held a certain respect for him deep, deep down.

"The rumors are true, then. You are in your final incarnation." said the Master quietly, but loud enough for the Doctor to hear.

The Doctor didn't say anything. The Master could see it now. It was the eyes. The Doctor's eyes looked haunted, as though he had witnessed so many horrific and wonderful things, and the centuries finally weighing down upon him, like rotted wood.

The Master would silently offer the Doctor another glass of wine. The Doctor accepted.

"I've heard that the Time Lords have requested your presence back to Gallifrey. They are offering a full state funeral." the Master began. "Not to mention that I think I heard that the Cyberme- I mean, the Cyberlords, requested that you would grace their gestalt with your mind. There were many more who gave such offers, but I shrugged these rumors off. Till now.."

"It's something I don't want." interrupted the Doctor, who gave the Master a hard look.

"Why don't you want to be remembered, Doctor? Do you want a legacy of some sort?"

"I don't want to be immortalized. It's flattering for the countless races to offer this, but it's something I don't want." he slumped in his chair. "I want to rest, to put it behind me. Can't an old man say that he's done enough?"

The Master nodded slowly. He would then get off from his chair, and went towards a hope chest. He would dig out a box, and would place it on the table.

It was a chess set.

The Doctor knew what he was doing. "Master, I-"

The Master raised a glove, making the Doctor stop mid sentence. "Come now Doctor, we've been playing this game on and off since our time in the academy. It's time to finish it."

The Doctor remembered when he first started this game in the Capitol, back when they were in the Deca. They even played a few games when the Doctor was exiled on Earth in his third incarnation.

It was the Doctor's turn to slowly nod. "Very well."

He would place his wine to the side, and would help place the pieces. They remembered where each and every piece lied since their last game, which was oh so long ago.

. . .

The two Time Lords played for hours. They would talk and reminisce about life, things they've done when they haven't seen each other. Eventually, the Doctor would win the game.

The Master scowled at the Doctor. "How is it that whenever we meet, I rarely succeed in squat?"

While he scowled, the Doctor gave a smug grin, something that he hasn't done in a very long time.

"That is a secret that I'm willing to take to the grave."

The Doctor then frowned. He felt it in his bones that it wasn't very long before he would go to that very grave. The Master noticed this, and gave the Doctor the last of the wine.

The two sat in silence for a little while longer.

Soon enough the Doctor and Master both went to the door of the cabin. Before the Doctor stepped out of the door, the Master would put a gloved hand on the Doctor's shoulder.

The Doctor flinched, but when he turned around, he saw that the Master made no move on him.

"I've been so close to death more times than I can count, Doctor. Even in my present form, which is a genuine body, no pathetic creature I possessed, I can feel something weighing me down too."

"That's age." replied the Doctor with a sigh. "I learned that one day, no matter how long you prolong it, the day of reckoning for each and every one of us will come."

The Master took in his words. "Indeed."

Silence.

"Where will it end for you, Doctor?"

The Doctor knew what he meant. His final resting place.

"That is something I'm not even going to tell you. This is something I want to do alone."

"This will be the last time we see each other, isn't it?" asked the Master, which the Doctor can detect the smallest hint of sadness in his voice.

The Doctor gave a sad smile. "As I said before, time is relative." he would tap his nose.

The Master gave a smirk, and would offer a hand. The Doctor took it.

"Goodbye, Theta."

"Goodbye, Koschei."

. . .

The Doctor, his cane in hand slowly stepped away from the cabin, but stopped when he heard a familiar noise. He turned and saw that the cabin was now starting to fade out of reality, and soon enough, the cabin was now completely gone. The Doctor stood alone near the now barren space where the Master's TARDIS used to be.

The end felt so near, but it was not time yet. The Doctor still had a few loose ends to tie. He then began his walk back towards his own TARDIS.

"I walk in eternity. Hm, what a silly thought."