Jan. 18th, 2009

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He strolls through the halls of the Master’s TARDIS—through Lolita. He runs one hand along her walls, as he does when he walks through the Type T-40 that he’s bound to—the TARDIS that, as much as one set of his memories, protests, is his. Lolita doesn’t respond to his touch, doesn’t answer in his mind. He understands. She has her Master, and a TARDIS never divides its loyalties.

His Lolita died in the War, when the Master abandoned her for the Doctor—Time Lords often divide their loyalties. He misses her, and he misses the Type-40 that should fill the empty space in his mind, the TARDIS that’s responsible, partially, for the patchwork person he’s become. Rubbishy junker, interfering addled busybody, mixing him up the way she has, trying to make him into the Doctor when he isn’t. The Doctor’s old girl, and his, this new person’s, even dearer friend. Half of him, when he’s already two halves the whole. He should work out a lease system, he thinks. Charge for synapse space. He really needs to get all of these subletters together, arrange some room for him in between all of their differing claims. They’re all his property now, after all. Well. Not the TARDIS. But the two others.

They’re dead, like Lolita, and he’s the benefactor and not certain he feels like he’s benefiting. They’re ghosts and they are going to have to learn to rest peacefully, or it’ll be sleepless nights for him for the rest of his life.

Damn, damn, damn, he needs a name.

He turns a corner, hand still trailing along the wall, and without thinking he turns in at the first door on the right. This should be the Herparium, and it shouldn’t surprise him when it is, but it does. The Master’s memories come as instinct still, startling bubbles of certainty and knowledge, and each one that finds its mirror in reality, that finds confirmation, unbalances him.

He is the Master.

He is the Doctor.

He isn’t either. He’s the blurring, the tmesis, the portmanteau, the word between the two, made up of the two, fusion/fission. The blend. Of oil and water.

Charming.

The Herparium smells of the dry dusty must of scales and the bright veined life of foliage. The branches of trees tangle overhead, light filtering green and gold through them, diffuse and liquid, full of the hazy damp heat of the place, pregnant light falling through pregnant air, air rich with pauses and eddies that trails across his face like skin and sweat. )

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