Written for the "Blade" challenge on the LiveJournal community who-contest. My first attempt at Delgado!Master ;) I'd heard about this scene, but not seen The Sea Devils yet—I hope the extract I watched was enough to do justice to the atmosphere. Enjoy ;)


Metal clangs against metal, sharp and clear as a punch.

He rushes, headlong. His whole body throws itself into the struggle, muscle fierce and sinew taut; from head to foot he is one single, furious motion, one quivering purpose. He strikes and the Doctor strikes back; he grabs, twists, and lets the adrenaline pull him as it will, hearts frantic as bursting supernovas. His mind is blazingly clear. Death rings in his skull with each impact, courses down his spine and tightens his fingers—one death, the Doctorʼs, always.

For one moment his prey eludes him, and he is breathless, the universe still and yet falling away before his eyes. Searching, searching as ever—but as ever he is there, the battle only delayed, and there they go again. It is and is not rage that seizes and drives him. A rage of a unique sort, anyhow. There is ownership in the impetuous wrath, deepest contempt and truest regard, rejection and greed. It is a thousand things melded into one, constant as time and equally inescapable.

Every impact of the blades is a rush of timelines racing by. He could stab him into one regeneration after another, drain him dry and then finish it. Bodies created at his fancy and just as soon extinguished. Back in the Academy, they used to combat this way, when they didn't yet know the peculiar wrench of passing and renewal, its terror and its power. Even then they were rageful.

They have always been driven by yearning, really.

Then the point is at his throat, and he frozen still, awareness sharpened along the smooth line of the blade, into every triumphant crease of the Doctor's features. His old enemy laughs. "I always find that valiant exercise makes me hungry. Don't you agree?"

He does, undeniably—the longing is almost an overpowering haze over his mind. Obvious, though unspoken.

Their gazes lock as the blades collide, before dancing away.