Title: Easy To Break
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 38, Break
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 Ross Jenkins, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***"Why is the Master so fixated on breaking you?" Ross asked the Doctor as they relaxed on the couch in the library of the Tardis, absently running a gentle hand through his lover's soft hair. "He couldn't have just been born hating you. There has to be a reason."
"Oh, there are reasons. Several of them, in fact, though none of them make sense in anyone's mind but his," the Doctor sighed, shaking his head and focusing his gaze on the young man. "He's mad, Ross. He ran mad centuries ago. His reasons are convoluted."
"I'm guessing that those reasons must have begun for him when you knew each other as children, though, before he went mad," Ross ventured, his brows raising in question, though his words were more of a statement. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
"I don't mind telling you about him," the Doctor said, his voice reminiscent. "There was a time when we weren't enemies -- but I don't know if I could ever have considered the Master a friend, even when I was a child and I thought we were close."
"Did he always make you feel uneasy?" Ross asked, wondering if the Master was anything like some of the people he'd thought were his friends when he was young, and later found that they weren't. "I've known some people like that in my life, too."
"Yes, he did," the Doctor said slowly, nodding. "He always had an air of command about him -- and even before he developed the megalomania, he always wanted to be in control. He always had to be the person who came out on top, even in our childish games."
"And he wanted to control you, didn't he?" Ross couldn't keep the question back; he knew that this wasn't easy for the Doctor to talk about, but he wanted to know as much about his lover as the Time Lord was willing to tell him.
"Oh yes," the Doctor told him, closing his eyes. "Even when we were very young, he always tried to take control of everything I did and said. It made me feel uncomfortable, but I told myself that it was just the way he was. I didn't realise how dangerous he was until later."
"When he raped you at the Academy." Ross' words weren't a question; the Doctor had already told him about that experience, and Ross didn't doubt that it was the turning point in the Time Lord's thoughts about the madman who had once been his friend.
"Yes." The Doctor cleared his throat, opening his eyes and staring up at Ross. "That was so long ago, sometimes it seems like it happened to another person. I can remember every moment of it, but it's as if I'm watching a movie, not recalling a memory."
"It's scary that he's still running around in the universe," Ross said with a shudder, wanting to wrap his arms around the Doctor and hold him close, protect him from any evil that could possibly hurt him. "And that he still wants to break you."
"He hates that he's never been able to control me," the Doctor said, taking Ross' hand in his own and entwining his fingers with the young man's. "And because he wants to own me. He wants to break me and bend my will to his, in every way that he can."
"You'd think that he would figure out after all these centuries that he'll never own you," Ross said fiercely, his grip on the Doctor's hand tightening. "I can't blame anyone for wanting you, but after all this time, you would expect him to have given up."
"He'll never give up, Ross." The Time Lord's voice was flat and expressionless; when Ross looked down at him, there was furrow between his brows. "He wants me now because he desires this body. But more than that, he still wants to break me down, subjugate me to his will."
"He's never going to do that," Ross declared, hoping that his words were true. "You're too strong for him, Doctor. You'll never give in to him. He's dark, and you're light. You stand for all the goodness in the world. You won't be easy to break, Doctor. He can't defeat you."
"I hope you're right, Ross." The Doctor's tone was quiet, and Ross could swear that he heard a hint of doubt behind his words. "You have no idea how close he's come to breaking me in the past. I've just been lucky enough to get away from him in time."
"I know I'm right." Ross gazed into the Doctor's dark eyes, reaching out with his free hand to stroke the Time Lord's hair back from his face. "You're stronger than he is. You always have been, and you always will be. And he knows it. He'll never break you. Never."
The Doctor sat up, turning to wrap his arms around Ross' waist and draw his lover close. As their lips met, Ross found himself hoping that his words were true -- and that he would be here to help the Doctor hold out against the Master if he ever came close to being broken again.
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