Title: Permanent Marker
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 9, Branded
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's breath rasped in his throat, his muscles flexing against the ropes that held his arms bound above his head. He didn't know what the Master intended to do with him, but whatever it was, he knew that it wasn't something he was looking forward to experiencing.
How had he ended up in this position, anyway? The last thing he remembered was walking past an empty storefront, deep in thought, going to no place in particular. The next .... he was here, on his back on some kind of examination table, naked, bound hand and foot.
His head ached; that must have been how the Master had managed to capture him and bring him here. A blow to the back of the head would stun a Time Lord just as effectively as it would a human, provided that said blow was hard enough.
He winced, twisting his thin wrists against the ropes that bound him. The Master had certainly learned how to tie knots well; the bonds seemed to grow tighter the more he struggled against them.
Why had the Master brought him here? It was obviously for some purpose, but the Doctor hadn't even realized that he was being followed. Usually, the Master was a bit more obvious than that; he liked to taunt, to let his victim know that they were a mouse being chased by a large and hungry cat.
The Doctor looked around the small room he was imprisoned in, growing more and more uneasy as his gaze took in the objects around him. He couldn't have said what most of them were, but they looked as though they could cause a great deal of pain if they were applied to the more sensitive areas of his body.
His hearts were starting to beat erratically, his breath hitching in his throat. No, this would never do. He had to calm himself down before the Master entered the room; at this rate, he'd be begging for the other man not to hurt him before he'd been there five minutes.
No. He wasn't going to beg. He'd been reduced to that state before, and he wasn't going to let it happen this time. The Master was far too intent on seeing him in that way, making him feel that he was subservient. No matter how hard it might be, he wasn't going to go that route again.
It would be much easier to calm down if he didn't feel so .... exposed. Naked and spread out on this table like some sort of virgin sacrifice. The Doctor's mouth twisted into a wry half-smile. Virgin, most definitely not, but the sacrifice part of that seemed all too probable.
A sound on the other side of the closed door caught his attention, and he raised his head, fixing his gaze on that door. He didn't know just what he would see, but he had at least something of an idea.
The Master swept into the room with his usual quick step, closing and locking the door behind him before turning to the Doctor. His eyes roamed over his captive's body, the gleam in their depths making the Doctor uneasy. Whatever the Master planned to do, he was sure that he wasn't going to like it. Not one bit.
"Lovely to see you again, Doctor," the Master purred, approaching the table and looking down at the man lying there. "I'm sorry that you have to be in such an uncomfortable position, but you see, it's really rather unavoidable. I can't have you struggling too much."
"And why is that?" the Doctor inquired, trying to keep his voice cool and disinterested. He didn't want the Master to know that his hearts were thumping against his chest, his nerves stretched to the breaking point. He wasn't going to let his fear show. Not this time.
The Master leaned against the wall, studying the Doctor with his arms crossed over his chest, a slow smile spreading over his features. "You must have some idea of what's in store for you, Doctor. And you must know that it's not going to be pleasant. For you, that is."
"I gathered that," the Doctor replied, trying to force himself to lay still and not struggle against his bonds. "But to answer your question, no, I don't have the slightest idea what you intend to do with me. Why don't you tell me so I'll have some idea of what to expect?"
"Use your imagination, Doctor." The Master waved a hand at the implements in the room, raising an eyebrow as he moved back to the table to look down at his prisoner. "Surely you can form some kind of conclusion. It shouldn't be that hard. Fire, branding irons .... do you begin to see light?"
The Doctor's eyes widened in spite of his efforts to keep his face expressionless; the fear surging up in him must have been visible to the Master's gaze, because the other man smirked, his lips twisting as his eyes moved down the Doctor's nude body again.
"Ah, now that's the reaction I was expecting, Doctor. Now, I wonder just where I'm going to put that brand? Somewhere that it won't be too obvious -- but where you'll feel it. Acutely."
He couldn't keep himself from struggling now; knowing what the Master had planned for him was worse, far worse, than anything he'd expected. Branding. A permanent mark, something that would tie him to the Master forever -- or at least for as long as he was in this body.
And he didn't intend to give up this body for a long time -- he'd grown to like it, and he didn't want to part with it until it was absolutely necessary. He wasn't willing to give up this body any time soon -- and he definitely didn't want it marked, not with anything that connected him with the Master.
His eyes followed the Master as the other man crossed the room, going over to where the silver branding irons rested. He hadn't realized it until now, but the ends of those irons were thrust into what looked like some sort of heating unit, obviously being gotten ready for their purpose.
The Master looked back at him, his eyes running up and down the Doctor's naked body again, settling on a point halfway down. The speculative look in the other man's eyes made the Doctor shudder; he tugged futiltely against the ropes, straining his muscles until they cramped.
"Now, which brand should I use, Doctor?" The Master turned back to his contemplation of the brands, his voice sounding faintly amused. "I think I may have already chosen one -- but maybe I should ask your opinion, since it's your body that's going to be bearing the brand."
The Doctor didn't answer; his throat had gone dry, refusing to let any sound through. He couldn't speak, couldn't move; his muscles felt paralyzed by the fear that flowed through him.
The Master looked over the different silver irons, choosing one, then rejecting it; then another, and another. The Doctor almost wanted to sigh in relief; maybe the madman wouldn't find what he was looking for, and he'd leave the room -- giving the Time Lord at least a fighting chance to save himself.
"I thought the fleur-de-lys would be a good one. After all, that's what the French aristocrats would mark their whores with." The Master's hand shot out, fingers twining through the Doctor's hair and jerking the Time Lord's head back. "And what are you, Doctor, if not my whore?"
The Doctor gritted his teeth, determined not to let a sound escape from his lips; the Master might know that he was afraid, but he wouldn't get so much as a whimper from him, not until it was forced from his throat. He wasn't going to demean himself like that. Not again.
"Come now, Doctor." The Master's voice was cheerful, almost conversational. "You know that if you don't give me what I want, I'll only make it more painful for you. You could at least beg a bit. I might be persuaded to make it hurt less if you do."
"No." He hoped that the Master didn't hear the slight quaver in his voice as he spoke. It was impossible to keep his voice steady.
"Is that fear I can hear, Doctor?" The Master was openly mocking him now, moving to stand over him and leer down into his face. "Well, if you're not going to oblige and beg, or at least scream for me, then I might as well give you something to make this easier for you."
He moved away again for a moment, then turned back towards the Doctor with a cloth in his hands, twisting it as he moved back to the table. Working quickly, he wrapped the twisted cloth over the Doctor's mouth, making sure that it was pushed firmly into the Time Lord's mouth before he knotted it at the back of his captive's head.
"Bite down hard on that gag, Doctor," he said, backing away with his eyes still on the Time Lord's face as he picked up the silver branding iron. His smirk of satisfaction was unmistakable, as was the smug tone of his voice. "This is going to hurt. A lot."
The Doctor squeezed his eyes closed as the shadow of the other man loomed over him. His muscles tensed, his body going rigid with fear. He could do nothing but lie there and try to mentally and physically prepare himself for the inevitable -- and hope that it would be over as quickly as possible.
The Master leaned over him, spreading his legs with one hand and stroking cool fingers over the velvety skin of the Doctor's inner thigh. "I think this is as good a place as any, don't you, Doctor? Somewhere that it'll be seen by anyone you're intimate with."
His lips twisted in a grotesque parody of a grin -- or at least that was how it looked to the Doctor's eyes. "So everyone will know just what you are, Doctor. A whore. My whore. A permanent mark to show the word exactly what you were born to be."
The Doctor made a sound of protest behind the gag, straining his muscles against the ropes again. But it was useless to struggle; he was caught, trapped, unable to do anything but wait helplessly and endure whatever he had to withstand until he could escape.
But this time, he wasn't going to get away unscathed. The Master would see to that -- and he'd have the permanent scar to remind him of this encounter. He'd managed to avoid that up until this point, but his luck had apparently run out.
When the searing pain came, all he could do was clench his fists, bite down on the gag and finally give the Master the scream he'd wanted to hear.