Title: In the Darkness
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 28, Dark
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.
***He'd never been afraid of the dark in centuries. Not since he was a child.
And he wasn't afraid of it now, the Doctor assured himself, swallowing hard behind the gag in his mouth. It was just .... the tenseness of the situation he was in. Not knowing exactly where he was, or just what the Master intended to do with him.
That was nerve-wracking. As was the fact that he was a prisoner in some damp, dank place that he didn't think anyone other than the Master and whoever he'd coerced into helping him this time around had been in for quite some time.
The place smelled of rot. Of .... death. Though he was quite sure that his death wouldn't happen here.
No, the Master would want to be witness to that, he told himself bitterly. The other man would want to revel in it, to force the Doctor to make a choice between regenerating or bringing his life to an end. And it was a foregone conclusion which one he would choose.
He would have to regenerate. He had no choice. He wouldn't want to do it, but he couldn't leave the Master running free in the universe with no one to stop him, no one to put up a struggle against whatever plan he had to destroy the world.
The Master had threatened to force a regeneration so many times before, and the Doctor knew that he wouldn't hesitate to carry out that threat if he felt a need to do it. He wouldn't even put it past the other man to do so out of spite and pettiness.
If he couldn't control the Doctor, he would force a change. The Doctor would be weakened during a regeneration -- which would make him easier prey.
He knew that the only thing keeping the Master from carrying out that threat was the fact that he was so attracted to this body that the Doctor had now. It was the only thing that was saving him from becoming the Master's slave, possibly the only thing keeping him alive.
The Master wouldn't hesitate to kill him, if that would serve whatever purpose that warped, twisted mind wanted to achieve. And at the moment, he was in no position to help himself, or to call out for help to anyone else.
He only knew that he was on Earth -- 21st-century Earth, at that. What the Master was doing here, why he had chosen to come back after the last debacle, was a mystery. The Doctor only knew that he had something much worse in mind than what he'd planned before.
There had to be some way to stop him. But he was helpless to do so, bound and gagged and lying in some dank prison cell far from his ship.
The Doctor squinted into the darkness that seemed to permeate the cell he was in, straining his eyes for some tiny spark of light, some way to see through the gloom. It was impossible. The impenetrable darkness closed in all around him.
He wasn't afraid of it, he told himself again. Fears of the dark were unfounded; he'd often found the darkness to be a friend when he'd needed to use it to hide himself. But this wasn't one of those times. At the moment, he needed light and air -- two things that he didn't have.
Well, he did have air -- but it was heavy with an aura that would have made him gag, if he didn't already have a rag shoved into his mouth and another cloth tied tightly over his mouth to hold the gag in place.
He couldn't scream for help. He could barely force a stifled moan from his throat, and that couldn't be heard by anyone but himself.
There was no one here to hear him. No one at all. He wondered just where the Master had gone -- and what he was doing. He had some insidious plan in mind, the Doctor knew that. If he didn't, he wouldn't have gone to such lengths to capture his enemy.
The Master needed to keep him incapacitated for some reason, until he could finish laying his plans and then show them off. He'd always been like that -- needing an audience to play to, and the Doctor had usually been that unwilling spectator.
And this gave new meaning to the phrase "captive audience," didn't it? he told himself wryly, his muscles tensing when he thought he heard a sound. He held his breath, waiting to see if a door would swing open and relieve the stifling darkness all around him.
But there was no one, nothing. He must have only imagined it; and even if the Master might have sent some of his henchmen to get the Doctor out of here, he would still be a prisoner.
He struggled against his bonds, pulling at the rough ropes that bound his wrists, to no avail. They were too tight for him to do more than move his wrists slightly; he'd already scraped them raw against the wall in an effort to loosen the ropes.
His sonic screwdriver had been taken from him; he was surprised that the Master hadn't divested him of his clothes as well. That seemed to be one of his main concerns any time he'd captured the Doctor while he'd been in this body.
Of course, that was probably coming later, he told himself, shuddering at the thought. He tried not to let the Master see how the sexual attacks broke him down, how they ate into his composure, slowly stripping away the mask of defiance he wore.
The truth was, inside he was quaking with fear. Yes, he'd been through all of this before, but each time he was a little less steady, a little less strong.
This had happened so many times over the centuries -- but especially since he'd been in a body that the Master desired -- that his facade was slowly peeled away with each encounter, until the Doctor wasn't sure that he had much of a mask to hide behind any more.
The Master had always been able to look into his mind, no matter how tightly he drew his walls around himself. The connection they'd had when they were children, when they'd been friends, had never quite disappeared.
And the connection let the Master see far too much of how he felt, too much of his fears. Maybe that was why he was lying here in the dark; the Master had to know that this would unnerve him to the point where he wouldn't be able to focus.
Whatever the Master's plan was, he had to discover it. He had to escape, find help, find a way to defeat the renegade Time Lord before he put that plan into action.
But at the moment, it didn't seem as though he would be doing much of anything other than waiting -- and by the time the Master decided to give him some inkling of what was happening, it could very well be too late to stop whatever he had set in motion.
All he could was lie here in the dark and hope against hope that this would all be brought to light -- and that he would be able to stop the darkness that surrounded him now from spreading its gloom over the universe.