Title: Victory Line
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 1, 50ficlets
Prompt: 46, Break Me
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 lay on the floor of the cell that he'd been thrown into, his cheek pressed against the cold stone floor, not wanting to open his eyes. If he did, it would all seem too real; if he kept his eyes stubbornly closed, he wouldn't have to admit where he was.
How could he have been so stupid? He'd known that the Master was here; he'd had ample warning of the other man's presence, but he'd gone wandering right into the trap that had been set for him. He had no one to blame for his capture but himself.
The Master had taunted him with that, reminding him that he was becoming less vigilant as he aged, that it was getting easier to take whatever he wanted from the Doctor each time they squared off against each other.
"Really, Doctor, you're much less of a challenge than you used to be. Who knows, maybe one of these centuries you'll get lucky and I'll become bored with you."
He'd tried not to listen, telling himself over and over that he couldn't let the Master bait him into uttering a word. If he did, then that would be a point that his enemy scored over him, and he wasn't going to give the Master that satisfaction.
For once, he wasn't bound; he had the freedom of movement, as much as he could move in a small that wasn't more than ten feet either way. But at least he wasn't restrained, and that gave him at least a bit of an advantage that he didn't normally have when he dealt with the Master.
That was, if only he didn't feel so sore and battered that every movement was a supreme effort.
With a wry smile, the Doctor pushed himself into a sitting position, leaning against the stone wall and drawing in a hissing breath between his teeth. This was obviously a little joke of the Master's, yet another way to torment him.
It was like that devil to give him the freedom of not being bound, but yet have him so bruised and beaten that he wouldn't want to move unless he had to.
Of course, he was naked -- but since he'd regenerated into this body, that was par for the course whenever he faced the Master. The other man had apparently conceived such a desire for this body that he could count on being stripped of his clothes.
That was another trick of the Master's -- attempting to make him feel vulnerable, to strip away his self-confidence along with his clothes. The Doctor had to struggle to keep his composure, and the Master knew that, and used the advantage mercilessly.
The Time Lord sighed, leaning his head back against the stone and closing his eyes. He'd have to find a way out of this, but at the moment, all he wanted to do was let his aching body rest and try to marshal his thoughts.
But it was hard to get his thoughts in any kind of coherent order when his body ached this badly. This time it hadn't even been a sexual attack, which was surprising, since the Master seemed to take a special delight in that.
No, this time it had been a whip -- and the Master had wielded it all too well.
His body would heal quickly -- that was one thing about being a Time Lord that he would be everlastingly grateful for. His flesh was resilient, more so with each new body. In a few hours, all signs of this beating would have disappeared.
Though it would remain in his mind, in his psyche, for much longer than that. It would be one more crack in the facade that he built up so carefully around him, another small toehold for the Master in his never-ending quest to break the Doctor.
He'd never given the Master the challenge of breaking him; he'd never looked into the other man's eyes and said the words. "Break me." Those words had never been spoken, but they seemed to hang in the air between the two of them whenever they met.
He wouldn't be broken, the Doctor vowed, his small hands clenching into fists. No matter what happened, he'd hold out against the Master.
It was as though the Master had somehow taken the task of breaking the Doctor as his personal mission in life, without it being given to him. It was a battle to the end, and there would be no quarter asked and none given.
Every time the two of them clashed, he always hoped that this would be the final round, even though he knew in his hearts that it wouldn't be. Their battle had raged for far too long for him to fool himself into believing that it would be won without one of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
At least he'd been given a respite this time, the Doctor told himself, taking a deep breath and trying to relax. It was more than he usually had, and he meant to use it to his advantage. Hopefully, that would be the difference between victory and defeat this time around.
And he meant to be the one crossing the victory line first.