Chapter Twenty, Part Two: pas tout à fait une mortinaissanceMature

“Jellyfish…”the Master murmurs, enjoying the unique shapes of the tree line despite himself. It –could- be –him-, couldn’t it? 

“What? Come on, Koschei! We haven’t all bloody day. The Cloud is just up ahead and we’ve still got to… what’s that face for?” the Doctor sings out, swinging his arms in wheels, with his tweed jacket tied around his waist. “We’ve still got a few steps to go yet.” His eyes narrow strangely, like the drooling slit mouths of two rabid dogs. “The Cloud must be breached.” 

And that’s a no. 

“I thought you liked them.” the Master says softly, flattening his palm against his rough-stubbled cheek, sliding his fingers across. Staring, without trying to. He can’t quite name it as amazement, but he tries to keep his voice steady; he knows how to do -that- well, at least. He breathes, “Yes, let us… do this now, while it is light out.” 

The Doctor looks at him quizzically, his green eyes seeming to turn surreally in their sockets, like depression glass cake stands. He turns to the Master as he’s leaning for support against the crystal-veined rock and says, “You thought I liked… what? What was it? Oh, you’re agreeing with me now? Oh that’s special. Off we go then!” He tromps away, flopping his way across a narrow cut-through of the silvery, copper-leaved shrubbery. 

 The Master follows him, feeling a hot droplet sting his eye; he doesn’t bother to wipe it. 

The Valeyard is not here; he never has been. 

But Koschei is. 

He’s always been here.

The End

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