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27 October 2009 @ 11:02 am
Just Dandy  
Title: Just Dandy
Author: x_los
Rating: R
Pairing: Three/Delgado!Master
Summary: The Doctor has something of a clothes fetish. The Master's a terrible enabler. The line between 'fashion-plate' and 'spoiled' is a thin one. (Post-Axos Safe Earth, Cohabitation AU)
Beta: aralias, my favorite pretty much anything.
A/N: Inspired by the best_enemies drabble challenge

The trouble with nesting TARDISes was this: if the ships were left too long in such a state they melded, becoming a composite creature, formed of distinct yet inseparable entities. The trouble with that was that the resulting assemblage was so vast it became impossible for the inhabitants to find anything. The TARDISes, which were still fumbling around, exploring their strange new geometry with the bewildered fascination of infants playing with their toes, were no help at all. Half a day’s hunting for the wardrobe room had yielded a cricket pitch, a zeppelin hanger, three mudrooms, two breakfast nooks. Frustrated, the Doctor had trudged back to the console room and announced his intention to go shopping.

“Come along, if you like,” he offered, flicking the controls.

The Master glanced over at the control’s coordinate indicator, unimpressed with what he saw there. “An afternoon spent dogging at your heels whilst you indulge your fascination with humans? Intriguing as the prospect sounds, I’m afraid I shall have to decline. A prior invitation has detained me.” The Master, sitting on the couch, very pointedly added the three of clubs to the playing card replica of the Citadel of the Time Lords he’d constructed on the table in front of him.

“Suit yourself,” the Doctor called, heading out.

“I suppose you think that’s clever.”

The Master heard the Doctor’s patrician snicker through the closing TARDIS door.

After three hours, the Master rolled his eyes and destroyed his meticulous recreation with a broad swipe of the back of his hand. The walls of toppled towers went skittering over the surface of the table, off the edge of the world, across the floor and under the console as their architect wrenched a cloak down from the coat stand and strode out into the city.

This was ridiculous, what could possibly be keeping the Doctor so long? The Master glanced at his surroundings, disdainful. The planet Brittania’s teeming central megapolis was home to nearly a billion tight-crammed humans, governed by no real plan and bounded only by the island’s natural borders. People lost themselves in the boroughs, canals, catacombs and skyways of Victoriana Regina as hopelessly as ever they had in Venice. But, thanks to unerring knowledge of his adversary, the Master barely hesitated before striking out in the direction of the city’s poshest commercial avenue.

Of course the Doctor didn’t find the relentlessly pretentious, gauche, twee conceit of a steampunk planet maddening. No, no—whatever fresh hells the English and their rabbit-fertile descendents concocted were uniformly charming. Have another cup of herb-water diluted with the lactose juices of a cow, Master, really, it’s an acquired taste. Insufferable man.

He rounded the corner, passing the water garden-cum-moat that framed the Empress’s Summer Palace. The building, in which the Master could detect a subtle evocation of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, hovered on its stilts like a water bug. It cast a tremulous reflection—each of the pavilions seemed doubled: half quivering shadow, half supple substance. The esplanade was, in this district, paved with a sensuous pale cream-pink marble. The canals the Master walked alongside were laid out like a Christian devotional labyrinth in the floor of a cathedral. They encircled the palace, led inexorably to it, seemed effortlessly to direct one’s attention both to the building and the matchless authority it represented. The Master paused a moment, grudgingly admiring the scene. Perhaps he would have to credit the Doctor with some taste.

Four blocks on, the esplanade had become the celebrated ‘Bespoke Boulevard’: jewel of Victoriana Regina’s vast garment district. The Master folded his arms behind his back and walked along it, peering into the shop windows, until one in particular arrested his attention. The corner of his lip twitched with amusement.

In the midst of a scene that looked like nothing more than the clean-up that had followed the Auton dummies’ raids on London, the Doctor was directing a whirligig of action. He was surrounded by three shop’s assistants who looked, in order, terrified, irritated, and intolerably smitten. The Doctor caught his eye through the window and winked rakishly, seeming perfectly content with the chaos he was orchestrating in one of the centers of intergalactic haute couture.

‘Having fun?’ the Master mouthed, with a quirk of his eyebrow. Standing on the street in the glow of the shop window, his stomach was suddenly, unexpectedly, unmoored, but, in the moment, he was too taken even be annoyed with himself for it. The Doctor leaned towards the window, gave an incorrigible grin in answer, and jerked his head towards the door, beckoning the Master in.

If the Doctor had managed to play the dandy on Earth, letting him run free on a planet where he typically would have been considered under-dressed was surely locking the fox in the henhouse. Men thought nothing of wearing jewelry on Britannia—the Doctor might well come back wearing as many rings as his Miss Grant. He’d certainly been inclined towards them in his first body, and that was while still on Gallifrey, which, with the notable exception of its ponderous formal robes, had all the tolerance for sartorial indulgence and experimentation of a Puritan girl’s school.

Taking in a smoking jacket, the boy Irritated occasionally darted mutinous glares at the cheerfully oblivious Doctor, stabbing the fabric with his needle with unnecessary force. Terrified held a selection of driving gloves in his right hand and clutched boots in his left. Smitten sat on the floor in a pool of silk handkerchiefs, clutching a hatbox to her chest. The Master took a seat on the studded chaise lounge in front of the window. He watched the Doctor bend down, lacing hook in hand. The Doctor did up the boots, straightening ever so slowly, and the Master swallowed, running his hand with and against the velvet upholstery of the arm.

“Hm.” The Doctor, standing now, eyed himself critically in the mirror, swiveling on his heel. He glanced over his shoulder in the mirror at the Master. “What do you think?”

“The trousers are new,” the Master retorted immediately. His eyes widened slightly. Good god, he hadn’t really said that. He couldn’t have.

The Doctor’s slight smile suggested otherwise. “I’d not entirely decided on them, it’s rather difficult to say whether they flatter me…”

The Master gave a Gallic shrug, as if it meant nothing to him either way. “They’re not unacceptable.”

The Doctor looked a touch affronted. “‘Not unacceptable?’ My dear fellow, if that’s the highest praise you can give them, I certainly shan’t—”

“I mean to say, they look very well,” the Master corrected hastily. If the Doctor would fix the TARDIS in trousers that tight, the Master would tell him absolutely anything he wanted to hear about the damn things.

“And what do you think of this jacket?” The Doctor whisked it, half-finished, from Irritated’s hands, ignoring the shop boy’s indignant squawk. “Too much?”

Plush red velvet. Silk lining. Close fitting, with a collar (the Master adjusted his own) that would expose his throat. Oh god. “It’s fine, Doctor.”

The Doctor stripped to his undershirt and slid the jacket on, taking a step closer to the Master so the other man could better observe the cut. “One doesn’t want to overdo it.”

“It’s perfect,” the Master caught desperately at the nearest adjective to hand, hoping the Doctor hadn’t been in Vienna doing cocaine with Freud when the psychoanalyst conceived of word association. His cheeks felt hot—could he flush in this body? No, he assured himself, no, surely not. He’d regenerated with something of a Mediterranean complexion—he was safe.

“Perfect?” The Doctor seemed genuinely surprised, a touch chuffed. That insufferable grin was tugging at his mouth again.

“If you enjoy that kind of thing,” the Master covered, lamely.

“Mm.” The Doctor shrugged the jacket off slowly, taking his time to select and try on the next, still smirking. “As you should know by now, I do. Now, what’s your opinion of this?”

Much too bulky. And too bombastic a blue, it clashed with the Doctor’s eyes. God, the Master thought, he was pathetic. “Hideous. Like something Miss Grant might’ve worn out.”

The Doctor tsked. “Uncharitable of you—These?” Long, elegant driving gloves. Dove grey suede. Buttons up the side like tiny invitations to undoing, and in his mind the Master was mussing, unveiling, possessing. The Doctor pulled them on, smoothed them up his arms, gave the tops firm, twisting tugs to adjust them, and examined the feel of the fan of his fingers.

“More your sort of look than mine, I’m afraid, though they might do well with a certain jacket I— Master, are you alright?”

“Splendid.” The Master coughed. “Do go on, Doctor.”

The evening spun out. The Master thought all the preening became the Doctor, even moreso when, delightfully, he sought the Master’s opinions, consulted his whims, even, on one delicious occasion, invited the Master to choose for him. Dressed in new purchases, too eager to wait until they had returned to the ships, his very appearance marked him as influenced and owned. At the end of what felt to the Master like an assignation, Smitten rang up an astronomical total on her hand-held credit register.

The Doctor’s eyes widened at the sum. Then again, he probably hadn’t considered that his indulgence would come with a price tag until this very moment. He could be, the Master thought indulgently, so very naïve. The Doctor gave an embarrassed, rueful grin, scratched the back of his head, and attempted to prevail upon Smitten’s, well, smitten-ness. “If you could be so good as to hold these for me until I can return from my transport with—”

“That won’t be necessary.” The Master uncoiled from the lounge, stood up and proffered a credit chip.

“I can certainly find something in the TARDIS to exchange for some of the local currency,” the Doctor scoffed, putting in a bid for self-sufficiency.

“Nonsense, my dear Doctor,” the Master scoffed right back. “Attempting to ‘find something in the TARDIS’ is what brought us here in the first place. Let me take care of it.” Of you.

“If you insist,” the Doctor, uncharacteristically, demurred.

“I’m afraid I do.” The Master smiled, feeling, as the Doctor let him, thanked him, a heady pulse of satisfaction.

They walked home, tailed by a hover-groom heavy-laden with the Doctor’s new clothing. The Master made idle, polite (nervous) chatter as the groom deposited its packages on the couch and departed, returning to the store. The Doctor shut the door behind it and walked over to the console, standing across from the Master. He leaned down on the console and waited for the Master’s sentence to rattle to a stop.

In the silence after the Master stopped and looked away, the Doctor drummed his fingers on the metal once, twice. “How long do you suppose we’ve been traveling together now?”

“Since escaping the Axons?” The Master avoided his glance, adjusting a knob that didn’t need it. “Roughly a month—in relative terms, of course. Why do you ask, Doctor?”

“A month and four days, I think you’ll find.” The Doctor straightened his back. “You know I really thought you’d have tried something by now.”

The Master wheeled on him, his expression suddenly cold. How dare the Doctor bring up their petty past disagreements now? He’d been so very careful, these past weeks, to consider the Doctor’s maddeningly conventional moral limits, to do nothing that might sour their alliance. He was suddenly stripped of the pleasant afterglow of the evening, embarrassed by the tentative hope he’d been entertaining, angry at being caught off guard. “How predictably churlish of you, Doctor, to answer my generosity with suspicion. You suggested this arrangement, after all, and—”

“That,” the Doctor took a step towards him, bare hand tracing the console, and another, “isn’t what I meant.”

The Master swallowed, tilting his head up, unsure as to whether he was about to be called out. Mocked. Pitied. Whether the proposition he hadn’t quite yet managed to make was about to be roundly rejected.

The Doctor raised his hand and stroked a finger down the front seam of the Master’s jacket. The other man’s breath caught, and he stood quite still. “Thank you,” the Doctor said, with a sly smile, “for the clothes, Master.”

“My pleasure,” the Master paused, “my dear.”

After another moment’s hesitation the Master kissed him, lightly. Then a trifle less lightly. Then they stumbled over to the couch, usurping the Doctor’s new hatbox. The Master could feel playing cards sliding under the hand he’d thrown out across the table, and the Doctor’s tongue wickedly, deliberately tracking down the line of his ear. The Doctor slowly dragged his tongue down towards the Master’s collarbone, fingers popping open the snaps of his collar and beneath him the Master squirmed slightly with anticipation. Shivered and moved under the precise flicks of the Doctor’s tongue on his skin, at the eager, forceful way the Doctor licked at his neck. Without warning the Doctor sunk his teeth in where he’d only been innocently sucking. The Master’s hips jerked up, he was shocked and hurt and incredibly aroused, couldn’t swallow a throaty moan in time. The Doctor’s erection seemed to dig even harder into his hip at the sound.

The Master’s fingers moved to his own jacket’s buttons, but the Doctor caught the Master’s hand in his.

“Let me.”

The Master nodded, lay back, let himself be tended to, and then once again caught himself saying something dazed and inane. “Doctor, you’ve forgotten to take my gloves off!”

“Oh, I—” The Doctor straightened up and coughed, rubbing the back of his neck with his right hand. “I didn’t precisely forget.” He smiled, a touch self-conscious. “I suppose I like your clothes as well.”

The Master grinned and pulled the Doctor down by the ruffles of his shirtfront, into a kiss.

In the course of their domestic life the Doctor learned that thanking the Master graciously and enthusiastically for his every gift and attention encouraged such behavior. He also discovered that, if he ever felt neglected, which to be honest happened very rarely indeed, wearing clothes the Master had bought him would wrench the other man’s attention back to him. The Master moved in with all the undetectable calculation of a military maneuver, and the Doctor would find himself unexpectedly tied to something, disheveled (but never entirely undressed), the Master having been thoroughly reminded that he alone enjoyed the privilege of seeing to the Doctor’s needs. The Doctor occasionally wondered whether being so doted on was good for a man’s character, but dismissed such concerns. It was, after all, rather pleasant to be adored.
Pretty Arbitraryprettyarbitrary on October 27th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Oh god, they're both such narcissists. XD

Dressed in new purchases, too eager to wait until they had returned to the ships, his very appearance marked him as influenced and owned.

I love how this was slipped in there oh so casually as if it weren't the entire foundation of this piece. So like the Master:

And something tells me that the Master manages somehow not to be under-dressed in his Nehru jacket.
x_losficx_losfic on October 27th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Hah. And no, I imagine he just looks dashingly streamlined?
(no subject) - prettyarbitrary on October 27th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prettyarbitrary on October 27th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
reasonabsurd on October 27th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Having just read The Picture of Dorian Gray for about the fifth time I appreciate the opulent vanities the Doctor exhibits here. Three was an icon of fashion. And Delgado Master is so cute when he's trying to be serious.
x_losfic: Threex_losfic on October 27th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
He would be so saddened by your inability to take him DEAD SERIOUSLY.
Bagheera: kitty is scaredbagheera_san on October 27th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
The Master thought all the preening became the Doctor, even moreso when, delightfully, he sought the Master’s opinions, consulted his whims, even, on one delicious occasion, invited the Master to choose for him.

Kinky shopping. I mean, shopping as kink. I'm amazed, because this insight rocks, and it's the best substitute activity for the Master's fantasies of dominance ever - because it's in-character and something the Doctor obviously would enjoy, too.

A minor complaint - I think this would have been just a tiny bit *more* delightful if you've left it at the shopping and the subtext. The UST is so brilliant that it needs to stay UST. I'm on the fence about the buying - on the one hand it's a good ending, on the other hand, I think it's not the buying (being the economic provider) that does it for the Master, but the fact that he's controlling the Doctor's choices.
x_losficx_losfic on October 27th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Everything about this piece screams 'I am taking a break from remixing Wonderwall, but still thinking about it,' because that universes establishes (and Gift Economy, the remix, is centered on) the power exchange involved in requesting/giving.

I think the economic provider thing is moot because they don't NEED money in any sense? It's a bit like how it annoys me when someone talks about there being an 'expensive' leather sofa in the TARDIS or whatever--what fixed, acculturated concept of money do these characters have? The Doctor points out that he could come up with this sum on his own in 10 minutes if he needed to--I think the Master just gets off on the intertwined giving/control/providing thing, and probably the idea that he's being dressed up /for/--which is control as well. As the Doctor can do all this for himself, I think the buying functions as an act of submission?

You may be right about the UST, I have a tendency to think I SHOULD SPELL THIS OUT SO YOU KNOW. But I think the Doctor topping/being sexually aggressive happens too rarely, and is important as a counter-balance for his submissiveness earlier? Otherwise the Master DOES just look like his Sugar Daddy, and the relationship becomes slightly more complex/interesting if it's "I have bought you a jacket./Thanks, I will be fucking you stupid now." instead of "I have bought you a diamond tennis bracelet and thus expect head."
(no subject) - bagheera_san on October 27th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
zero_ac: John Simmzero_ac on October 27th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, that is so how their relationship would be, the Master spoiling the Doctor rotten. What else was the whole 'I offer you half a share of the universe', if not an attempt to do exactly that? But if he can't give him the universe, at least fancy clothes will do as well...Oh, and I love how the Doctor likes the Master's gloves, but then again who doesn't? (On a very shallow note: zeppelin hanger^^)
x_losfic: My Sandwich!x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
It's hard to imagine Three getting /more/ entitled and self-assured. :p Look, as long as the Doctor takes /something/!

Oh, zeppelin hanger. Welcome to personal cannon. Have a complimentary muffin.
Thought: Ten+Masterthought_goddess on October 27th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Oh Lord, this was strangely hot. And so very them. There should be more Three/Master in the world. Thank you for sharing!
x_losfic: O RLY?x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. And there certainly should be!
tatzelwyrm: metal-masterasthenie_vd on October 27th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh this is wonderful!

The shopping, the teasing ... and the Master gets to keep the gloves on!

Ooh, just perfect. :D
x_losfic: Threex_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Very nice of you to say, thank you. :)
theladyheltheladyhel on October 27th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love it! Especially the idea of a steam-punk planet! It was all fabulous!
x_losfic: O RLY?x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks, so glad you liked it!
aralias: three V is for velvetaralias on October 27th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
i don't think i have anything to add really. the changes are all good - i like the idea of the doctor rebelling against the system by wearing a lot of rings (and maybe having a quiff). the bit in the shop is particularly great and given how little i am attracted to jon pertwee, surprisingly sexual. ho hum.

you should write more of this pairing. perhaps... in a roleplay scenario. as it happens, i know one that's just starting up.
x_losfic: My Sandwich!x_losfic on October 27th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Surely you personally don't have to be attracted to both characters to find the sex sexy. Seven fic exists, after all.

Had to look up 'quiff' on wiki, which also tells me in a section entitled 'notable quiffs' that one such was worn by 'Itamar Franco, former Brazilian president.' Thanks again, wiki. I cared.

Is that so? Will you be playing in it?
(no subject) - aralias on October 27th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_losfic on October 28th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aralias on October 28th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
x_losfic: My Sandwich!x_losfic on October 28th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
Thank you, and that sounds lovely. :)
ObsessiveFangirl: Metal Lords!qaffian_luvr on October 28th, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)
Congratulations! You're the author of the first Three/Master fic I've ever read!
I don't know why but I couldn't bring myself to read stories with this pairing, maybe because I thought that they were too old to have sexy sex. Oh boy, I was so wrong!

While reading, I pictured them in the shop (btw: LOLZ for the three assistants ^^) then returning home, then having Time Lord Sex. It's all so apt to their characters that if I didn't know better I'd say that you have found the script of an unfilmed episode.C'mon we all now that it's as good as canon. Aah, if only... ^^

And I could totally see Delgado doing the faces you described!

At the end of this long comment, all I want to say is: YOU ROCK!
x_los: Who /doesn't/ love Drunk!Brig?x_los on October 28th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Ah, what an honor! Considering how few people write the pairing/how embarrassingly many stories I've written for them though, really, /logistically/ speaking, it was going to be me or bagheera_san. :p

No one is too old for sexy sex, by god! I mean they're so Into Each Other that one doesn't need to be personally attracted to either to find said sexy sex affecting?

Thank you! Glad you liked!

Evilawyerevilawyer on October 28th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
No, he assured himself, no, surely not. He’d regenerated with something of a Mediterranean complexionz

Hah! Like that actually hides anything! Sweet (just the right hint of angst in there once) and fun.
x_los: like Ace Rimmerx_los on October 28th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I will give the Master that Three is not a subtle sort of person, and thus the Master could be forgiven for thinking that nothing short of a brick to the head will /actually/ put him in danger of having his embarrassing crush exposed.
Tsukiori: Happiness Istsukiori on October 28th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
It always brightens my day when I see that you've uploaded a fic. And a Three/Delgado!master one to boot! Thank you!
x_los: Brig is just a dubious person.x_los on October 28th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! So sweet of you to say.
Malea Botor: Wheecws_eat_chs on November 2nd, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
Utter GLEE. I giggled maniacally for three minutes.
Your stories are all so...I don't know what the word I want is. They put really distinct and vibrant images into my mind. It was really quite lovely. Thanks! I'm really happy, now.
x_losfic: Tenx_losfic on November 5th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Really? Thanks! That's interesting as I don't typically see myself as a v. visual thinker? But I'm glad it works for you?
elviaproseelviaprose on June 3rd, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
So, I am working my way through your fic and I totally love it all. Expect more rave reviews. This one is just _wonderful_. You had me at:

I’m afraid I shall have to decline. A prior invitation has detained me.” The Master, sitting on the couch, very pointedly added the three of clubs to the playing card replica of the Citadel of the Time Lords he’d constructed on the table in front of him.

I particularly love Delgado!Master building a house of cards while claiming unconvincingly to be too busy for the Doctor. So symbolic it kills me dead. Like, that is absolutely the essence of his character, right there. XD
x_losx_los on June 6th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
Awh, that is AWESOME of you, I love love love comments on older fic. And Delgado!Master has some VERY SERIOUS card-house building to /do/, Three, gawd.
(no subject) - elviaprose on November 19th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - x_los on November 19th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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