Title: Battleground
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1, 50ficlets
Prompt: 45, Used
Warnings: non-con
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the Tenth Doctor or the Master. Please do not sue.


The Doctor turned over in bed, wincing as he did so. He didn't remember getting here; he had no recollection at all of making it back to the Tardis. But he must have, considering that he was here, and miraculously in one piece.

Each time he encountered the Master, it was more and more horrific, at least from his point of view. It was quite obvious that the other man seemed bent on destroying him -- but, of course, he wanted to have his way with the Doctor first.

This time, he'd been used to the point where he'd almost thought that it would be better to let the Master kill him for good. He wouldn't have regenerated; he'd merely have let his life slip away rather than give in to that madman.

But he hadn't. He'd endured everything that had been done to him, and managed to escape. Though he couldn't for the life of him remember quite how he'd done it.

Still, that didn't matter. He was here, safe in the Tardis, and away from wherever it was -- he couldn't quite remember that, either -- that the Master had held him captive. And he didn't plan on going back, not in the near future.

This time, he'd have to find a place that would be safe, a place where the Master couldn't find him. He could always go to Earth, to the Hub, to Jack. But he didn't want to lead the Master directly to his lover. That would be foolish in the extreme.

Where else did he have to go? The Doctor caught his lower lip between his teeth as he thought, a frown settling onto his features. Nowhere, really. Oh, there were plenty of places that he could go -- but none where he would be accepted so readily.

And none where he would be taken care of in the way that Jack would care for him. He'd be looked after, made to feel that he was still an important part of Jack's life even if they weren't lovers on a regular basis any more.

He'd also be scolded for letting the Master get the better of him. But underneath that scolding exterior would be a warmth and caring that he hadn't often known.

He sat up gingerly, not wanting to pull back the covers of his bed and look down at his body. The bruises weren't something that he had to look at to assure himself of their existence; he could feel them every time he moved, flashes of pain that would take a while to go away.

The other Time Lord had gotten the better of him this time, he thought wryly, lifting a hand to massage the back of his neck. Well, maybe not -- after all, he'd gotten away, hadn't he? So that was a point in his favor.

How much longer could this go on? he asked himself, leaning back against the pillows with a sigh. The Master pushed, he pushed back. It was little more than a shoving match -- often with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance.

It had always been a battleground between them, and he couldn't see that ending. It would go on and on until one or the other -- or both -- of them were gone.

How many times could his body take being used over and over again? Not many, he thought, wincing as he threw the covers back and stood up. This body was young, yes, but there was only so much it could take before it would give out.

And then .... He shuddered at the thought. He didn't want to regenerate. That was something he always hated doing, and he wasn't ready for it. Not for a long time to come.

Which meant that he would simply have to avoid the Master as much as possible. And the best place to do that was on Earth. With Jack, at Torchwood. He couldn't stay there forever, obviously, but he needed a place to go for the moment.

Besides, he hadn't seen Jack in a while. It would be good to go to the other man, to talk, and to spend a few nights in Jack's bed. He was always welcomed there with open arms, no matter when he happened to show up.

Maybe that was taking advantage of their past relationship in a way, the Doctor reflected -- but if Jack didn't mind it, then neither did he. And it suited them both to be able to turn to each other when that kind of physical comfort was needed by either of them.

That was the best place for him to be at the moment. He could relax and heal, be amongst friends for a while and be able to let his guard down.

So, to Earth, then. He took a deep breath, reaching for his dressing gown and tugging it on as he headed down the corridor towards the control room of the Tardis. He'd worry about what to do once he was there, but for now, just knowing that he had somewhere to go was comforting.