(Reposting this because an anon asked for rebloggable versions of things)
Fic prompt: Baking a cake: Delgado!Master and Saxon!Master
The Master set down the graduated cylinder with a barely audible sigh, expressing his exasperation in a calculated dosage. Even greater than the insult of being interrupted was the injury of being forced to entertain, and this company in particular would linger forever at the slightest chance of someone paying attention. He faced steadfastly forward and reached for the whisk, as though he were still alone with himself.
Which was, of course, precisely the issue.
“Fancy meeting you here,” a youthful, male voice chirruped. It dripped with an uncouth smugness that set the Master’s teeth on edge.
“Get out of my kitchen,” the Master ordered his future self. “If you value our continued existence.”
“Aw, how precious. You think that’s a threat, don’t you? What’s next? You tell me to ‘obey’ you?”
The other Master’s smirk was audible, a smarmy, needling tone just begging to be taken down a peg. Fortunately, the Master knew himself far too well to rise to such obvious bait.
“Have we forgotten all our manners, then?” the Master said mildly. “Or is it fashionable for company to leave paradoxes in their host’s parlour in the future?”
He began pointedly whisking his bowl of batter, still refusing to look at his future self. If there was one thing he hated, it was being dismissed.
“It’s my parlour too,” his future self hissed. “And my kitchen. You stuck-up twit. Sometimes I can’t believe I used to be you.”
The Master didn’t need to turn around to sense the intruder was coming closer. The twist of the timelines was like a punch to the stomachs and he stepped aside at the very last second, if nothing else to avoid a break.
“What do you want?” he growled, increasingly alarmed. He could see himself out of the corner of his eye, and it was increasingly clear that something was wrong, worse than his future self being present in the first place. His future form was wiry and small, which was acceptable; pleasing to the eye; but his eyes were old, older than the Void itself, and the emptiness there was nothing short of terrifying.
“Our Xylian cake recipe,” his beardless self replied lightly, in a sing-song that did not match the crooked slant to his smile. “It’s our birthday, in the future. Got to celebrate properly. Earth cake’s rubbish.”
“Our TARDIS has it in her databanks,” the Master said, edging ever so slightly away.
“Our TARDIS is lost,” the other Master snapped. “I came back because I remembered us making it. The Doctor’s TARDIS was here in this time stream. It wasn’t hard to track you down from UNIT.”
A confusing diatribe, more a collection of facts than an explanation. The Master had no idea what the Doctor’s TARDIS had to do with anything, but he was beginning to get a very nasty picture.
“You remembered ‘us’ making it,” he repeated, risking a glance at his future self. “Do you mean me, or do you mean -”
“Us,” his future self said. His grin was a manic slash across his face. “Predestination paradox. I didn’t leave a paradox in the parlour. Our parlour was a paradox all along. Good old Alexandrian dilemma. Go back to find the cause of the fire? Knock over some pissant’s lantern!”
He spun in a spastic circle and horribly, began singing, something breathless and human and even more awful because the Master didn’t sing.
“We didn’t start the fire…well I-guess-we-did light it but we’ll try NOT to fight it (or-rip-the-universe-opennnn…)”
“That’s quite enough! This is ridiculous. You’re ridiculous,” the Master barked, inwardly reeling. His future self was spinning, but he was the one who felt he might be ill. Oh Rassilon, was this him? Really, truly?
His future self stopped on a dime, staring at him with glittering eyes.
“It is ridiculous,” his future self agreed. “Because you were making a cake for the Doctor, weren’t you? You were going to leave it in his insipid little lab.”
The Master said nothing, because he knew his other self knew the answer. He inhaled hard through his nose and let it out slowly, searching for composure, finding none.
“He won’t appreciate it,” his future self said. “He’ll think one of his pets made it. The ditzy one, with the fluffy hair.”
“Miss Grant,” the Master stressed, and his voice was going to obey him, and it was going to be steady, “is hardly likely to stock Xylian fireberries in her pantry.”
“‘Strawberries’,” his future self hissed. “He never pays enough attention to tell the difference. He never pays attention long enough to listen.”
And there was the truth, the ugly, vicious truth that the Master had been trying not to hear, from the moment his future self had stepped into his TARDIS. He’d known what it meant, hadn’t he? That his future self was alone. Young or old, bearded or clean-shaven, in the end it’s always this: he and himself, no one else.
For a moment the drums were so loud their cacophony was blinding.
His beardless self was still waiting when he came back to himself, watching in that hungry way. The Master wondered if he was depraved enough to consider touching his own mind. He wondered if he would even mind the forbidden violation.
“What would you have us do?” he asked instead, tired in a way he’d never been in his existence.
“Bake a cake,” his future self shrugged. “Give it to me. Stop being a repressed hopeless sop. I said he never listens to us, I never said we ever give up.”
The Master watched in despair as his other self drew closer, those dark, dark eyes flashing, and he knew what it was like to stare into the Schism all over again. All that raw power, none of the focus.
His future self slung an arm around the Master’s shoulders, making every inch of his skin crawl, and the Master tried not to weep.
“‘Original recipe’,” his beardless self grinned. “Oh, you and me. It’s so good, isn’t it?”
*flail* This is PERFECT. Especially your Simm!Master, who is unsettling and unpredictable as all fuck and rightly so.
And ha, Delgado baking Three a cake—I wonder if he was going to poison it, just because he considers it his job to make the Doctor’s life interesting. Or better still, NOT poison it and hope the Doctor exhausts everything in his lab trying to figure out what’s wrong with it.