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bwahaha, Master

Fic: Power Play (Doctor Who)

Posted on 2007.06.25 at 13:18
Hee!  I've done a Who!fic!  Thing is, I've been worried - actually worried, honestly I think I need to chill - about the possible lack of a gorgeous!Doctor vs Gorgeous!Master moment in next weeks ep of Dr Who.  Won't go into the reasons for this here, I don't want to spoil anything.

Anyway, I decided to write what I want to see.  Well, maybe a little more than I actually expect to see, but the tone's what I'm after anyway.  So here goes, for my very first fic in the Doctor Who fandom.  Like I needed another one!

Title: Power Play
Spoilers: The Sound of Drums - it follows on from there.  Also a little reference to Utopia.
Pairing:  Master/Ten
Rating: NC-17, only it isn't really, but it gets a bit slashy towards the end.  
Disclaimer:  I can't imagine there's anyone out there who thinks I'm claiming rights in Doctor Who, but I'm not.  Just in case.
x-posted to dwfiction



An eternity passed as the Doctor waited, confined in a holding cell at the Master’s instruction. He leant back, closed his eyes to avoid the terrifying yet eerily beautiful vision of the Toclafane – a name that would have to serve for now – as they streamed in endless torrents past the porthole windows of the Valiant, bearing down on the helpless planet beneath.

He breathed gently, conserving energy. It was a rarity for a Timelord to feel the need for rest, but the biological restructuring of the ageing process had hit him hard. Despite the pressing urgency of the events unfolding around and below him, the Doctor was actually grateful for the respite. He felt numb, defeated mentally and physically, ripped apart by the rejection of the only creature in the Universe with whom he had a genuine bond. And, fundamentally, angry with himself for being affected by something so inevitable. Even as he had stoutly declared his determination to save the Master, he had known it was an impossibility. The Master was damaged beyond repair, had probably always been so, and he just hadn’t wanted to see.

His maudlin reverie was shattered by the thud of the cell door swinging open, two armed men entering with a wheeled chair. As one kept him covered, the other lifted him from the bed on which he was sitting, dumping him without tenderness into the chair. The Doctor forced himself not to feel humiliated, dredging up a cheery grin.

"So," he began conversationally, "What about Harry Saxon then, eh? Bit of a turn-up. How do you feel about all that then?"

His guards, however, were keeping whatever thoughts they might have on the matter to themselves. Wordlessly they wheeled him out and along the corridor, retracing the path towards the conference hall where the morning’s cataclysmic events had taken place.

The Master was standing, back towards the door, examining the encased hand with something approaching reverence, one hand running slowly, gently, across the clear plastic cover. The guards wheeled the Doctor into position and then retreated.

A minute or so ticked by, the Master showing no awareness of his presence, the Doctor reluctant to precipitate matters. At last, with the smallest of sighs, the Master turned and their eyes met.

A flicker of something unbearably powerful passed momentarily between the two. The Doctor was jolted to the core, and knew without having to look that the feeling was mutual. It was there any time two Timelords encountered each other, a reconnection of bonded souls, a manifestation of the one-ness of the Timelord race. Their heartbeats automatically synchronised, the four hearts now beating out a single, primal rhythm.

Then the Master smiled, a gleam of immaculate white teeth, and his whole aspect changed. "Doctor!" he cried enthusiastically, stepping forwards, arms spread wide, eyes shining with a childish innocence more chilling than his precious malevolence. "What a pleasure! But – oh…" his face fell into a concerned frown and he leant close to study his handiwork, "forgive me pointing it out, but you really aren’t looking your best."

An involuntary shudder rippled through the Doctor, as the Master stretched out a hand, fingertips brushing into the lightest of contact, exploring the creases and contours of the Doctor’s aged face. He resisted the urge to flinch away, allowing the Master to absorb himself in the details and nuances, even welcoming the touch on a level he wasn’t prepared to examine.

His curiosity satisfied, the Master stepped back, arms crossed, head tilted, regarding his adversary with a half-smile.

"Of course," he continued, his tone airy, "it doesn’t have to be like this. I still have the biological imprint pattern stored in this delightfully impressive screwdriver. Which, by the way, gotta love. You should consider upgrading. Really."

"Oh, I don’t think so." The Doctor matched the lightness, pleased that his voice at least, aside from a slight rasping hoarseness, remained unchanged. "I’ve got quite attached to the old sonic screwdriver one way or another. I mean, yours looks the part, fair enough. But can it make toast?"

The Master laughed, a flash of amusement which didn’t come close to touching his eyes. "Funny," he murmured. And suddenly the banter dropped away from him like scales, replaced by a deadly seriousness. "I can change you back," he said softly. "You know I can. And all you have to do is ask nicely."

The Doctor swallowed, but held his gaze, silently daring him to react. The Master adopted a wide-eyed pout. "Oh come on," he sulked. "Don’t you want to play? We could have such fun."

"I won’t beg," said the Doctor, in a tone anyone who knew him would immediately have recognised as a sign of imminent danger.

A beat, a lifetime. "Yes," the Master answered simply. "You will."

Turning, he pressed a switch on a nearby console, and a large wall-mounted screen flickered into life. The Doctor’s hands clenched around the arms of the chair, as he took in the sight of Martha’s mother and father, clearly terrified, cowering and clinging together in a cell similar to the one he had been held in. With one noticeable difference. Hovering silently in a corner, a silvery sphere.

The Master spoke, eyes never leaving the Doctor’s. "Kill one of them. Doesn’t matter which one."

The Toclafane swivelled round, moved closer to the petrified couple. The Doctor’s hearts lurched as he recognised the completeness of his defeat. "No!" he screamed without thought. "No – wait!"

"Stop," the Master said at once, and the Toclafane paused but remained in position. "So," he continued, "you’d really really like me to change you back. Wouldn’t you?"

The Doctor drew in a deep breath, letting it out slowly as his shoulders slumped. "Yes," he answered, the single word an act of surrender, and the Master smiled again, relishing the victory. He’d broken the Doctor, achieved his goal. Now he could play a little.

"Ask nicely then."

"Please. Please change me back." Funny how begging had come so easily before, back at the end of the Universe, when there had still been some hope. Now, it felt like part of him was being torn out.

The Master paused, drawing out the moment. "We-ell…" he mused. "Oh, all right then." He lifted the screwdriver, training it in the general direction of the Doctor’s chest. The laser blast slammed into the Doctor, contorting his body, scrambling his mind, till he thought he might pass out from the vertigo. Then, all at once, it was gone, and the Doctor collapsed back into the chair, his breathing laboured.

The Master waited patiently, allowing the Doctor to recover, using the time to call off the Toclafane, to switch off the screen. He could afford the munificence – he owned the Doctor now, and they both knew it. Finally, he turned, eyes raking over the Doctor’s renewed form, teeth grazing his lower lip as his gaze grew speculative. "Mm, much better," he said whimsically. "Definitely an improvement."

"Stop it," the Doctor whispered, a final desperate plea from one who already knew the game was over.

"Kneel. Kneel for me, Doctor." And the Doctor knelt, knowing that resistance would be pointless, part of him welcoming the humiliation, accepting it as due and proper punishment.

The Master reached down, grabbing the Doctor’s chin and forcing it back until their eyes met. The arrogance in the gleaming eyes was devastating. "Now – use my name."

The Doctor clamped his teeth together, trying to control the bout of shivering that was threatening to sweep through him. In truth, he wasn’t sure if he could have uttered a word at that moment.

Perhaps sensing that the Doctor’s act was not one of defiance, the Master crouched down until they were at eye level, his grip softening into a caress. "Use. My. Name," he repeated softly, his finger brushing lightly up and then down one cheek before tracing across the Doctor’s parted lips. The Doctor gasped, the touch searing.


Barely a breath, but it was enough. The Master stood, satisfied. From this vantage point, the Doctor was in a perfect position to assess exactly how deeply the Master – his Master – had been affected, and a shock of inevitability thrilled through him. He knew where this was going now.

He looked up. A light of mischief shone in the Master’s eyes as his hands moved down to deal with the zip of his crisply pressed suit. "Oh, while you’re down there…" The Master’s tone was pure devilment.

As a hand tangled painfully in his hair, forcing his head forward, the Doctor experienced an overwhelming sense of rightness, like coming home after a long journey. This was how it was meant to be, he thought. If he belonged anywhere, it was here.






ex_emeriin213 at 2007-06-25 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, fricking awesome. And, not really spoilers, but judging by the previews, The Doctor does change back (hopefully soon). After all, the Master wants his pretty back just as much as we do. ;) (And I'm positive that aging him to ugly was the only way to shut Ten up on a kid's TV show.)
hambelandjemima at 2007-06-27 11:11 (UTC) (Link)

Oh my, how the hell am I going to watch Saturday's episode now? In a darkened room by myself, I reckon, because I shall be thinking back to your version of events.

Excellent writing.
dorsetgirl at 2007-08-30 01:17 (UTC) (Link)
Characterisation and plot: spot on. I would so like to have seen this.

I've always thought with Doctor Who there was scope for a twenty-minute Extra later in the evening - like about midnight - where they showed us the bits that really happened, that they couldn't show at 7pm.

I would pay money to see Nine/Rose get it on, and though I really can't be arsed with Ten, he's the obvious target for Simm!Master, so I'll take that if it's going, thank you very much.

Jeez, I've definitely been reading too much of this stuff. Again - loved it.
ausmac at 2008-03-15 23:14 (UTC) (Link)
Excellent story, could quite see it happening, like a scene edited out. Well done.
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