Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 13, Nails
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 struggled to pull away from the wood against his back, to free his hands from the ropes that held them out to his sides, away from his body. But as hard as he fought, he was bound, helpless, unable to free himself.
His head turned from side to side, his eyes wide, watching helplessly as the man who'd orchestrated this looked first at his hands, then at the gleaming nails -- three of them, long and pointed -- lying on the table nearby.
The wooden cross seemed to dig into his back as he struggled against his bonds; and the strange thing was that the ropes didn't seem to be all that tight. Why couldn't he pull free and escape from this travesty? Why was he so weak?
He couldn't let this happen. He had to get away, had to break free. But the more he struggled, the more firmly he seemed to be held down.
The Master was looking over at him, picking up one of those nails and studying it, then letting his eyes roam over the Doctor's body as though assessing him. Finally, shaking his head, he picked up the mallet that was lying next to those nails, hefting it in his hand.
No. The Doctor's eyes widened, his gaze riveted on the items in the Master's hands. He wouldn't. He wouldn't damage the Doctor like that -- he wanted this body too much, wanted the Doctor to be able to feel. He wouldn't consider ....
The Master approached him, a smile curving his lips as he leaned close to the bound Time Lord. "It's a shame I have to destroy your hands, Doctor. You'll still have them, of course -- but they'll be utterly useless. The nerves will be shattered."
He could only shake his head helplessly, trying to jerk his hands free of the ropes that held him as the Master placed the nail against his palm, lifting the hand with the mallet in it to strike down and drive that gleaming steel through the middle of his hand.
The Doctor screamed, pouring every ounce of the anguish he knew that he was only seconds away from feeling into the sound --
And awoke sitting up in his bed on the Tardis, the scream reverbeating around him.
He clutched at first one hand, then the other, expecting to feel them sticky with blood -- or worse, not to be able to feel them at all. He was sure they were mangled, damaged beyond repair, that he'd be unable to use them for anything again.
Holding his hands up in front of his face, he studied them in the dim, silvery glow that pervaded the Tardis. They were whole, undamaged; there was no ragged hole in the center of each palm, no blood trickling down his arms.
Raising one shaking hand, he bowed his head to rest his forehead against his palm -- his thankfully unpierced palm. It had been a dream, only a dream. Something that his mind and his carefully hidden fears had conjured up out of the darkness.
The Doctor frowned, a thought occurring to him. Why in the world should he dream about something so -- well, so graphic? Surely the Master had never tried to do anything of that sort to him; it couldn't be some repressed memory coming to the surface.
Maybe it was all of his fears combining in one hideous dream, finally coming to the surface in his unconscious mind. That seemed a likely explanation.
But the imagery was troubling. He surely didn't think of himself as some sort of martytr, a figure like that one humans worshipped? That wasn't a way that he wanted to view himself; he'd never wanted to set himself up as some sort of tortured messiah.
He'd never had dreams about being crucified before. The Doctor shivered, resisting the urge to wrap his arms around himself. It had been a horrible death, or so he'd heard -- the victims literally suffocated to death.
Why had those sorts of images started to invade his dreams so vividly? This was the first time he'd had that kind of dream, but it had seemed so .... so real. As though it was a memory instead of only a dream that his mind had somehow brought into focus.
Unless .... his hearts skipped a beat as a thought occurred to him, making his head snap up and his eyes widen, searching the dim room around him as though he expected to find the Master there, smirking at him.
Was this some sort of premonition of the future, some plan that the Master had for him that his mind was trying to warn him about before it was too late to escape?
That was too horrid a thought to even contemplate. He ran a hand over his face, heaving a sigh. And that couldn't possibly be the case, either. He wasn't some sort of prophet; he didn't have prophetic images. Not like this.
If he did, maybe he would have been able to save his planet, his people. But he hadn't been able to see the eventual end of the Time Wars, so he wouldn't be able to see his own eventual demise, either. Though he wasn't sure if that had been how he would end ....
Of course it wouldn't be, he told himself angrily. The Master would do everything in his power to keep him alive -- damaged, in pain, unable to fight back. He'd make the Doctor his slave, helpless and pleading, for the rest of whatever life he had left.
He wouldn't let that happen. He'd die before he gave in to that kind of torture -- though he was quite sure that the Master would do whatever he could to prevent that. And there were ways to force a Time Lord to regenerate, rather than let him decide to end it.
That didn't bear thinking about, either. If he wasn't in that position in actuality, then he wasn't going to dwell on it. And he was fairly sure that there was no way the Master could have intruded into his mind enough to somehow be able to send that disturbing dream to him.
But if he could .... that was yet another thing to bedevil his thoughts. The idea that the Master might be able to do that sent chills down his spine.
He raised his hands again, surprised to find that they were still shaking. There were no nails there; nothing imbedded under his skin, no nasty surprises waiting to break free, to show him that it hadn't been a dream.
The Doctor shuddered, pulling the covers up over his bare shoulders as he fell back onto the pillows. There were times when he was almost afraid to lose himself in sleep, not wanting the images that came to his mind during that time.
Sleep was supposed to be restful, peaceful -- not send him horrifying dreams of being crucified, of being made a martyr for some cause that he had no intention of sacrificing himself for. But his sleep was becoming more and more conflicted as time went on.
He closed his eyes, sighing and burying his face in the pillow. It was probably useless to try to sleep again after that -- but hopefully, he would be able to get some much-needed rest, without having more of those horrific images shock him into wakefulness again.