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Best Enemies
A Cosmos Without Doctor/Master Scarcely Bears Thinking About
Rec: The Crane Wife 
17th-Oct-2011 04:20 pm
bofur
Yes, I must admit that I have a spreadsheet now, to keep Doctors, Masters, and so on sorted out. I am happy to report, if my calculations are correct, that only the 24th does not include sex, and that it makes up for it with romance.

In other news, HOW HAS NOBODY RECCED THE CRANE WIFE YET??????



Title: The Crane Wife
Pairing: Five/Ainley!Master
Length: Eight nice long chapters
Summary: (From chapter one) The Doctor, a half-human renegade Time Lord who's never so much as set foot on his father's home world, has had a really rotten day. As if dying weren't bad enough, now he's facing the auction block. The renegade Time Lord Emperor of Hestin makes an ill-starred impulse buy.
Rating/warnings: NC-17 overall, for all sorts of wonderful things that make fanfiction fun to read (including an itty-bitty bit of non-con)
Author on LJ: x_los (at x_losfic)

Why this must be read:
Well. This began as an entry to the cliche challenge here at b_e, specifically the slave cliche. However, it goes above and beyond that call. The Doctor/Master relationship in this tale is a love affair between a half-human wanderer and the emporer who bought him, and it all starts as an accident. The brilliantly mechanical empire and engaging characters within and without serve as a colourful background for angsting and swooning and obsessing. And the Master imprinted on Tremas as he regenerated from falling down stairs. It is enchanting from start to finish.

Excerpt:
The first time the Master read it through he was confused, even disappointed, by the lack of counter-attack.

"Master,

I am delighted to inform you that the giant cephalopod inhabiting waste chute 89 has been repatriated to the Bog World of Smekkit. The cephalopod in question was quite cooperative and proffered its sincerest apologies for any trouble it might have caused during its sojourn in your sanitation system. Please contact me with further instructions, and good day to you, sir.

Yours humbly,
The Doctor."


He’d already come to expect better of the Doctor than submission too easily won. Looking over it again, something nagged at him, and with the subconscious awareness of patterns and mathematical logic common to linguists and cryptographers, his eyes skated back to the letter’s third word. It had a relatively common base-shape, with an accent that told the reader what meaning to assign it. In fact every third word shared those characteristics. Taking a sheet of paper from the drawer the Master wrote down all the possible meanings that accentuation could give the base shapes in question, and, with a triumphant smile, he drew a line connecting the alternates that formed a coherent sentence.

"Of course I’ve finished already, you self-contented prat. I hope now that the replicators are fixed you order something with bones for dinner and choke on it. Yours sincerely, the Doctor."

Link to the story: This page has the links to all chapters, starting from the bottom up.

Two down, twelve more to go!
Comments 
17th-Oct-2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
I love this story to bits. It's fluffy slave!fic without making slavery out to be a good thing.
17th-Oct-2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
And it manages to make us squee over the sweetness of the Master refusing to free the Doctor to keep him from running away, even though that's rather messed up. His journey into understanding why that's wrong was one of the most rewarding parts of this fic.
(Deleted comment)
18th-Oct-2011 01:36 am (UTC)
What I appreciate about this one is that the slavery hardly factors into their everyday life. They form as normal a relationship as you can expect from them. The Doctor is a brat and the Master adores him and pampers him silly. The only thing the Doctor isn't allowed to do is leave (so naturally that's the one thing he wants most... until he realizes he's happiest staying, stubborn thing).

No, no. It's really well-done. It IS x_los, after all.
(Deleted comment)
18th-Oct-2011 01:58 am (UTC)
That's one of the best things about x_los, really - even the stories that make me sad in the end were so good on the way that they were worth the sadness.
17th-Oct-2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
I am chuffed to bits. This is probably the piece of writing I am happiest with like, ever. Thanks for the rec.
18th-Oct-2011 01:55 am (UTC)
And well you should be - this is lovely! Then again, so's everything else you've written. =D Cafestrovalva is my ultimate Who comfort fic.

There'll be more recs of your works in the upcoming days, so be proud!
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