Title: Under Pressure
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: Epsilon, challenge_the
Prompt: 12, Penance
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.
***"You know what I want to hear," the Master whispered into the Doctor's ear as his hips thrust forward again. The Doctor gasped, then groaned; he squirmed uncomfortably under the other man, though the ropes that held him prisoner kept him from moving much.
He shook his head, steadfastly refusing to say the words that he knew the Master wanted him to utter. He wasn't going to give his tormentor the satisfaction of giving in; they'd been through this before, and he hadn't broken down then, either.
How many times had he been through this before? There had been too many for him to remember, the Time Lord thought, wincing and holding back a soft moan as the Master thrust roughly into him again. But the outcome was always the same.
The Master would try to victimize him, to break him down, to force him into an abject surrender. And he would resist to the best of his ability, never letting those words of defeat cross his lips. The dance would continue, on and on, until one of them gave in.
Either the Master would grow tired of the game and stop -- which wasn't bloody likely, he thought with an inward snort of derision -- or he would eventually have to give in. He wasn't sure which of them would break first; he just hoped that it wasn't himself.
The Doctor flexed his wrists in their bonds; he was losing the feeling in his hands, his arms aching from being stretched over his head. The Master certainly liked making him as physically uncomfortable as possible, along with the sexual degradation.
"How many times do I have to do this before you admit that it's what you want and need, Doctor?" the Master's voice hissed in his ear. The renegade Time Lord grabbed the Doctor's chin, forcing his victim to look directly into his eyes.
"Until you realise that you're not going to win," the Doctor managed to rasp out through dry lips. "I'm not going to say what you want to hear -- because it isn't true. I don't want this. I don't need you. I never have, and I never will. You should accept that."
"I know you're lying," the Master growled, the words ending on a moan as he thrust again. "You're so tight, Doctor," he whispered, the grip on the Doctor's chin almost becoming a caress. "As though you're made for me. Hand in glove, you might say."
The Doctor wanted to shake his hand, but he knew that the grip on his chin would tighten again if he so much as moved a muscle. All he could do was lie here and endure this, until the Master tired of the game and left him alone for a while to formulate a plan of escape.
At the moment, there didn't seem to be any avenue of escape for him. But he always eventually found one; the Master knew that as well as he did, so why did the other man persist in playing these games? They always led to the same inevitable conclusion.
The Doctor knew all too well why the Master never gave up -- because he always thought he would finally win. And there was a part of him that was finding it increasingly hard to hold out, to tell himself that he had to resist the Master at all costs.
Another thrust; another gasp came from his throat, the sound unwilling. He didn't want to give the Master the satisfaction of reacting in any way to what was being done to him -- though his treacherous body would react physically whether he wanted it to or not.
"Why do you keep doing this?" he asked, the thought that was foremost in his mind slipping past his lips and into speech before he could hold it back. "You know how it's going to end. You never win, Master. And you won't win this time, either."
"Why do I do this? Well, let me think." The Master appeared to ponder the question for a moment before he smiled down at the Doctor; the expression was more a sneer than a genuine smile. "I do it because I know that eventually, you'll have no choice but to admit the truth, Doctor."
"The truth?" The Doctor scoffed at the Master's words, holding the other man's gaze with his own. If he could distract the Master, maybe the other man would be annoyed enough to stop abruptly and leave the room -- giving the Doctor a chance to loosen his bonds.
"I know the truth," the Master hissed into his ear as his hips thrust forward again, harder this time, eliciting another soft cry from the Doctor. "The truth is that you want this, even if you can't admit it. You need to be dominated, Doctor. You've always needed it."
"Not from you," the Doctor gritted out through clenched teeth. "The only reason I've ever given in to you is to save others, and you know it. I don't want you. I merely tolerate you. You can try to fool yourself into believing otherwise, but you know it's not true."
"And what about the ones you didn't save, Doctor?" the Master taunted him, his gaze not leaving the Time Lord's face. "What about all of the people who you didn't make that sacrifice for? They weigh on your conscience, don't they."
"Yes," the Doctor whispered before he could stop himself. "Yes, they do, and they always will. But I can't save everyone. I accepted that a long time ago. And no matter what sacrifices I might have to make, I'll never give in to you and let you put the universe at risk."
"I'm breaking you down more every time," the Master told him, his voice betraying only a hint of anger. "I know that you'll eventually crack under pressure, Doctor. You're strong, but you forget -- I know all of your weaknesses. And I know how to use them."
With those words, he thrust into the Doctor one last time, crying out incoherently as he let himself go. The Doctor squeezed his eyes closed, not wanting to see the expression of satisfaction on the other man's face as the Master pulled out of him.
"You've made such sacrifices for the world, Doctor," the Master told him as he moved away from the bed, his gaze raking his captive's nude body. "But you're right. You can't save them all. Consider this your penance. A price you'll pay over and over again."
The Doctor didn't answer; he merely turned his face to the wall, refusing to look at the Master as the other man picked up a silken robe and wrapped it around himself. The Master paused by the door, a sneer in his voice when he spoke again.
"Enjoy your penance, Doctor. I'm going to make sure that you keep paying that price until you break." He uttered a soft laugh, slamming the door behind him as he left the room. The Doctor could hear his footsteps fading along the hallway that led to .... where?
He had no idea where he was, and no way of freeing himself. All that he could do was struggle against his bonds, and hope that someone might help him -- unless there was some way that he could figure out how to free himself from the situation he was in.
For a moment, a single moment, despair threatened to overwhelm him. Was the Master right? Was what the renegade Time Lord did to him time and time again his penance for not being able to save every person and every world that the Master threatened to destroy?
Was this what he had been meant for, the destiny that had been written in stone from the time he and the Master had set themselves against each other so long ago? And would he eventually crack under the pressure that was being brought to bear upon him?
No. He wasn't going to break, no matter what. The Doctor gritted his teeth, twisting his wrists in their bonds, hoping that the rough ropes would give a little and he might be able to slip one of his thin wrists free. It wouldn't be easy, but he was sure that he could do it.
He didn't intend to pay the Master's penance. He'd done enough of that over the centuries; this would be the last time he ever paid that price, he thought to himself as he felt the ropes loosening just a bit. From here on out, he would be the one to call the shots and exert the pressure.