Title: Prisoner of Destiny
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/The Master
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 22, Leash
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 raised both hands to the collar around his neck, gritting his teeth at the feel of it under his fingers. He hated this, hated the situation he was in, but he had no choice but to be here.
The Master was fully capable of raining disaster down on the planet full of people below them if the Doctor didn't obey him. As much as he hated to make himself subservient to the other man's whims, he wasn't going to risk being responsible for the deaths of millions -- no, billions -- of people.
He didn't know what was worse; the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped and forced to match wits with the Master, or the knowledge that if he made one false move, he'd bring about the end of the planet he had more of an affinity for than any other.
Jack was on that planet, the Doctor thought, closing his eyes and swallowing hard. Supposedly, Jack Harkness couldn't die -- but the Time Lord didn't want to test that theory. He couldn't lose Jack; maybe it was a selfish way to think, but he didn't care. That was one risk he wasn't prepared to take.
He tugged at the collar again, glaring at the leash that connected the leather around his neck to the iron bars of the prison he was being kept in. The Master had no need to keep him behind bars -- he knew that the Doctor wasn't going anywhere -- but it apparently fed that gigantic ego to keep him a prisoner here.
What was the Master's game? He wasn't going to know until the other man decided to come to him, to give him more information about what he wanted. It was the waiting that was fraying his nerves.
It was more than obvious that the Master intended to force him to submit to him in some way. Whether it was sexual or otherwise didn't matter; if the Master could prove that he had the upper hand, strip the Doctor of his pride, then he would have won.
That had happened far too often in the past, and he didn't want to submit to that monster again. The Doctor closed his eyes, his small fists clenching on the leather collar. If only there was some way for him to rip this thing off, get out of here, get to Earth, warn Jack and Torchwood ....
But he couldn't. He was trapped here, imprisoned behind the iron bars, literally shackled to the wall by the collar and leash. He wasn't bound in any other way, but he might as well have been; the Master was using the fate of Earth to figuratively tie his hands and keep him helpless to act.
It was very possible that Jack already knew what was happening; the Doctor didn't see how he couldn't. It was, after all, Torchwood's job to know if there was anything strange or unusual occurring.
He didn't want Jack involved in this. He didn't want the Master to know what his feelings were for the handsome Captain; that would put Jack in a more dangerous position than he might be able to deal with. No, it was better if he himself was the only likely casualty in this struggle.
His restlessness increased with each minute that ticked by; he'd never felt the passage of time so acutely. He was a Time Lord, the Doctor told himself ruefully; he should have some power over this situation, be able to do something to arrest time, turn back the clock -- something.
No, that wasn't a possibility. He'd learned often enough the folly of tampering with time, and he wasn't going to put himself into that position again. Tangling with the Master was difficult enough without adding more risk to an already bad situation.
So he was left with the knowledge that he could do nothing -- not until the Master came to him and made it known exactly what he was expecting from the Doctor. What the stakes were -- if there were other stakes besides the lives of every person on planet Earth.
He was sure there were. The Master wasn't one to play a game that didn't have multiple outcomes, and the highest stakes possible. It wasn't his way to make anything overly clear-cut.
The Doctor sighed, lowering himself to the floor and sitting there cross-legged, his head in his hands. He was starting to get a damned headache, and he'd gotten no closer to figuring out just how he was going to manage to escape from this mess.
There was no sign of the Master; he didn't know whether to take that as a good or a bad sign. For all he knew, that cunning maniac was watching him on some sort of hidden camera, laughing at his helplessness and secure in the knowledge that he had the Doctor right he wanted him.
His small fists clenched at his sides again, his teeth sinking savagely into his lower lip. There had to be some way for him to get out of this, get to Earth and warn Jack. The Tardis was here, waiting for him -- and hopefully, the Master hadn't managed to rewire her.
If he was lucky, the Master wouldn't even have been able to get inside her. She seemed to have developed an aversion to the other man, and the Doctor was sure that she would do everything in her power to keep the Master away. But the Tardis wasn't invincible; she needed him there to guide her.
The Doctor reached out to wrap part of the long leather leash around his hand, tugging at it as though he might manage to yank it away from the collar around his throat. The futile attempt left a red mark around his hand, his skin smarting from the unrelenting pressure.
What did the Master intend to do with him? He wasn't afraid, not really; only apprehensive. He'd endured so many different types of torture in the past; whatever the Master could do to his body had probably already been done, though he was sure that his nemesis could find new ways to keep him in agony.
He shivered in spite of the close warmth of his prison, forcing his mind away from the dark path it was taking. He didn't need to think about what could possibly happen to him, not now. It would only sap his strength and put him at more of a disadvantage.
One thing he'd learned during his many encouters with the Master was that he couldn't show fear. He coudln't give in to that; it would only give the Master more ammunition to shoot him down with.
But being collared and chained like an animal didn't exactly give him a great deal of confidence, the Doctor thought to himself, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes. He couldn't let himself give in to the insidious fear that was slowly creeping over him. He had to stay calm, stay focused.
The Master's plans were aimed at him, no one else -- he was sure of that. He was only using Earth as a hostage to ensure the Doctor's good behavior; he probably didn't have any intention of destroying the planet, but the Time Lord wasn't going to take that chance.
Whatever the Master demanded of him, he would do it. No matter how he might have to debase himself, no matter what that megalomaniac demanded that he do. He'd been the focus of the Master's seeming vendetta against the world for a long time; this was only one more step in an increasingly intricate dance.
A dance that the two of them had been performing for centuries. Of course, now that he had an attractive body that the Master wanted to possess, the circumstances were different. The Master wanted more than just control of his mental faculties, the Doctor thought to himself, wincing.
The Master wanted his body -- this particular body. The Doctor had seen the lust flaring in his eyes the last time they'd faced each other, and he'd known beyond a shadow of a doubt that the next time they met, he would have to either deflect that lust or become a victim of it.
He would have to reconcile himself to that, let the Master do whatever he wanted. He had no choice but to surrender himself to the other man, at least in the physical sense. As long as the Master didn't try to force a regeneration, he could endure whatever was in store for him.
If only Jack knew what was happening, he thought, closing his eyes and letting his mind form a picture of his lover. If only he could somehow get a message to the immortal, somehow let Jack know what was at stake, and have the other man come to his rescue like some sort of knight in shining armor.
That wasn't going to happen, and he knew it. That was a scenario for fairy stories, not for the world he lived in. It was useless to hope for the impossible.
Besides, he didn't want Jack to see him like this. He didn't want the man he loved to know how far he had fallen, to see him forced to capitulate to another man's will. No, he would have to get himself out of this by his own strength of will -- if he could.
The Doctor sighed, getting to his feet and starting to pace the small barred cell again. He didn't have much else to do, other than pace and think about what could possibly happen. The Master had set this up carefully; he knew that this imprisonment would tear at the Doctor's nerves as nothing else could.
There was no anticipating how that devious mind would work, no telling what could happen. There were too many ways that the outcome could go, too many possibilities. If it was his destiny to die here, as the Master's prisoner, then he would have to accept that.
His head jerked up as he heard a step in the corridor that led to this room; it couldn't be anyone but the Master. The time for their meeting had come, and he'd need all of his wits about him if he was going to come out of this with his mind and body intact.
He looked away as the door to the barred cell swung open, hoping against hope that he would manage to make it through this without having to gamble on what he was sure was a losing hand.