Title: Shattered Glass
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 3, 10_hurt_comfort
Prompt: 6, Shattered
Warnings: non-con, meintions of rape
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 dragged himself through the door of the Tardis, feeling rather than seeing it shut securely behind him. He was safe here in his ship, his home, his refuge. The Master couldn't follow him here -- no one could, unless he let them in.
The Tardis could always choose to let anyone in, of course, but she wouldn't -- especially not if she thought they intended him any harm. She'd done it before without his consent, but that was when she had been controlled by the Master. It hadn't been her fault, and he certainly couldn't blame her for it.
But now .... she definitely wasn't going to let anyone get to him, not in the state that he was in. He hobbled across the control room, heading for the couch against the wall. For the moment, he was too weak to make it all the way to his bed. He might be able to make it there, but he had the feeling that he would crawl most of the way.
He collapsed onto the couch, face down, wishing that he could simply pass out and sink into blessed unconsciousness for a while. But that wasn't likely to happen.
If nothing else, the pain of his body would keep him conscious. He should have expected this when he'd discovered that the Master was on a rampage again -- though did he ever expect the twists and turns that could happen when he was dealing with that monster?
No, of course not. He always went into each battle against the Master with a certain amount of trepidation, but he never quite knew what to expect. In some ways, that was what made those battles almost .... stimulating, in a way. He never knew what to expect, never knew just how he would be challenged this time around.
This time had come very close to being his last. Since when had he begun to think of rape and torture as being something commonplace. The Doctor shook his head wearily, pushing that thought quickly away from him.
Since he'd regenerated into this body, that was when. Since the Master seemed to have developed a frightening obsession with .... having him.
He'd always known that the Master wanted to control him. That had been the other man's goal from the first time they'd met after the Master had gladly embraced the madness that consumed him; the Doctor had always known what the other man wanted.
But now, there was something more added to that maniacal need to wield power and control over him. He could sense it when the Master looked at him; it was as though his enemy was slaking some inner hunger with that gaze, the eyes that roamed over his body as though they were drinking him in, devouring him whole.
He'd tried not to let it bother him at first, but with each encounter, that steady gaze, that obvious lust, had unnerved him more and more. Though he tried not to let it show, he was sure that the Master could feel his uneasiness, his trepidation.
And yes .... his fear. There had been a time when he hadn't wanted to admit that the other man could engender fear in him, but he was far past that. He didn't feel the need to cover up the fact that he could be frightened of what the Master could do to him.
There had been a time when he was more full of himself, when he hadn't wanted to admit that he was afraid of anything. That time was long gone.
Besides, being afraid of some situations didn't mean that he was a coward. No, he was more than willing to thrust himself into the path of danger if he had to. But as he'd grown older, he'd learned that there was no shame in admitting fear.
Sooner or later, there would come a time when he could no longer hold out against the Master's insidious torture of him. He would have to give in, have to let himself break. He'd come close to it this time; it had been almost impossible to hide the fact that he was on the verge of coming completely undone.
Sometimes that torture wasn't so insidious -- this last time, it had been outright physical rape. His body still ached, and he knew that the memory of those rough hands on his flesh would stay with him for a long time to come.
He could only keep telling himself that he'd managed to get away, that he was safe now, and that it would more than likely be a while before he had to face the Master again.
Though that really wasn't true, he told himself, groaning as he lifted himself to a sitting position. He had to wade back into the fray as soon as he felt physically recovered; he couldn't let that maniac carry out whatever he might be planning without trying to stop it.
How much longer could he do that? he asked himself, shaking his head as though to clear it. How much more strength did he have in him to go through this over and over again, always feeling that the battle would never end?
He was sure that at some point, he would break like glass, shattering into millions of tiny shards that he would never be able to piece back together again, to the Master's delight. It would be inevitable that the other man would win their long struggle for supremacy.
He could already feel himself breaking a little each time he faced the Master; infinitesimal cracks formed in the facade that he always showed to the world with every battle that they waged. He might win, but it was something of a hollow victory.
The time would come when he would have to concede defeat; the Master simply had too many ways to circumnavigate him and throw him off balance. He didn't want to think in that way; the last thing he needed was to raise self-doubts and make himself think that everything he had done to stop the Master's evil from spreading was useless.
No, not useless .... but it became more and more of a struggle with each battle. Though his body was younger than it had ever been, he couldn't ignore the fact that he himself was getting older. It was a good thing his body seemed to be reversing the aging process.
With age, at least, came the experience that he might need to defeat the Master in the future -- and also with age came the knowledge that he'd accumulated over the centuries.
He'd thought that age would stand him in good stead at one point, but he'd neglected to take into account the fact that the Master was aging and learning, too. Fortunately, his knowledge had always seemed to run one step ahead of the Master's.
He hoped that it would continue to do so. But he had no way of knowing it it would. All he could do was hope -- and keep that knowledge as current as he possibly could. There was no telling when he might have to call upon his entire store of it.
That time was probably coming upon him much sooner than he expected -- or wanted to have to deal with it. He raised a shaking hand, running it through his hair and wondering idly if he should try to check his body for any broken bones. Though he was fairly sure there were none, it couldn't hurt to make sure.
There were bruises, he knew that for a certainty. He could feel them forming, and he was dreading disrobing and looking into a mirror to see the purple discolorations against his pale skin. They would only remind him of what had taken place.
As though he needed reminding. His lips twisted into a wry, bitter smile; he knew that the time he'd been forced to spend with the Master in the past few days would color his dreams -- and his nightmares -- for a long time to come.
That was yet another way that the other man managed to keep a sort of control over him, a control that he struggled not to give away.
He was shattering, slowly, coming apart from the inside out. He didn't want to; he wanted to stay strong, to present a formidable wall of strength to the man who followed him across galaxies, the man who was determined to strip away everything that he was.
There was nothing he could do to stop this slow, imminent falling to pieces of his very being. It had been happening ever since he and the Master had first squared off against each other, ever since the first time the realization had struck him that their friendship was over and they were forever on different sides of a line he knew that he could never cross.
The thought made him want to cry; in fact, he could feel the tears coming to his eyes. Angrily, he blinked them back, trying to pretend they weren't there. This was no time for tears. He had to think of more practical things, like tending to his abused body.
He hadn't shattered yet, the Doctor thought as he heaved himself to his feet and made his way across the control room in the direction of the corridor that led to his bedroom. And if he was lucky, very lucky, it wouldn't happen for a long time.