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The Twin Suns of Gallifrey

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My beautiful cover from Tortelinisinbikinis

The sudden hush and almost immediate wave of shocked whispering that followed was almost enough to make the Doctor turn on his heels and leave. It had been a very long time since he had entered the citadel and after his last disastrous encounter it was not an experience he was even remotely keen to repeat.

He forced himself to keep going, head held high and expression carefully neutral. He had a fierce grip on his mind, raising his shields high enough to keep his thoughts firmly in-check. It wouldn’t do for somebody to hear half of the things his mind conjured up when he was forced to encounter the frankly ridiculous pomp and arrogance of his fellow Time Lords. He didn’t fancy any further reprimands if he could avoid them.

“Doctor!” A deep booming voice called out a moment before the Doctor felt a heavy slap against his back. He stumbled but managed to right himself and forced a smile as he looked up at one of his oldest friends. “It’s been an age. How have you been?” The Corsair asked. For the briefest of moments his eyes rested on the thin metal collar circling the Doctor’s throat before his gaze settled on the other Time Lords face.

“Hello Corsair.” The Doctor said, infusing a great deal of enthusiasm that he most definitely didn’t feel into his tone. He was happy to see his friend and it was comforting to have someone to focus on instead of having to pretend the entire citadel wasn’t staring at him, but it was difficult to feel anything but dread at what he was about to encounter. “I’m splendid, thank you. You?”

“You’re splendid?” The Corsair asked, affecting a knowing expression. “It’s going well then? Your work?”

“Oh yes, excellent stuff. Wonderfully exciting.”

“Is that why you’re here?” The Corsair asked as he casually threw his arm over the Doctor's shoulders and steered him forward.

It was the first time anyone had touched the Doctor in even a remotely affectionate way in such a terribly long time that he couldn’t help but melt into the Time Lords hold. “Yes, they wanted my advice on a few issues they’re experiencing. Apparently the -” He broke off, almost unable to finish the sentence. “The slaves are not adapting.”

“So I hear. You have a theory I take it?”

“I have several.” He said and realised a moment later that his tone was too dark, too accusing. “It’s no surprise though, not really.” He said, much more brightly. “They’re only apes, aren’t they? Hardly the most durable of species.”

“Just apes hey? So you’ve no interest in their health?”

“Beyond how it affects their usefulness to serve? No, of course not.”

The arm around his shoulders squeezed once before disappearing. “They’ve finally managed it then.” He said, more of a statement than a question.

The Doctor felt something cold in the pit of his stomach. “Managed what?”

“They’ve finally managed to stop you from saying everything that pops into your head. Subtlety was never your forte Doctor.”

“Perhaps I don’t feel like being even more restricted.” The Doctor hissed, his patience worn thin. “Or perhaps I’ve finally started to see reason. Maybe I’m starting to think like everyone else.”

“Or maybe you’re just trying to convince everyone that you’ve finally learnt your lesson. The renegade Doctor, brought to heel at last.” He smiled darkly and leaned forward until his lips were pressed against the Doctor’s ear. “I don’t believe it for a moment, old friend.”

He straightened up, slapping the doctor on the back again before he disappeared down a side corridor. The Doctor watched him leave with a sad smile before he made himself straighten up. He had already delayed enough. It was time to face the citadel.

Two guards were stood on either side of the citadel entrance, their expressions darkening as they stared quite openly at the collar around the Doctor’s neck. “Are you expected my lord?” The elder of the two asked, his tone respectful but stern.

“Yes, by invitation of the Other.” The Doctor said, looking bright and pleasant. Pretending that he didn’t care that the younger guard was still gawking at his throat.

The guard checked the communication device on his wrist, typing in data before before abruptly stepping aside. “Please continue my lord.”

The door was clear. He was already late. He should move.

“My lord.” The guard said, staring at him slightly aghast. “You may pass.”

“Yes!” The Doctor said, a little too enthusiastically. He grinned at the guard. “Yes, of course. Off I go.” Except he wasn’t moving. People were staring at him now. He could feel their eyes, hear their heated whispers. Why wasn’t he moving?

He startled when a hand gripped his arm, tightening to the point of pain. “Enough loitering Doctor. You’re making the guards nervous.”

His shields were so high he’d managed to practically blind himself. Otherwise he never, ever would have allowed the Master to get close enough to touch him. And now, unless he wanted to cause a scene by struggling there was nothing he could do to shake off the Master's hold.

He allowed himself to be pulled forward, through the doors and into the main hall. His feet felt like lead. His legs were shaking. The urge to run away was almost impossible to ignore. “Courage Doctor.” The Master muttered, leading him to the centre stage before releasing his hold and stepping away. He sounded faintly delighted.

“You’re late Doctor.” Rassilon accused the moment the council had quietened down and all eyes were fixed on him. Their founder wasn’t even trying to disguise his distaste and, had the Doctor been inclined to lower his shields, he was fairly certain that Rassilon would have been telepathically projecting his hostility and annoyance. “When you are summoned you are expected to come immediately. Not appear when it suits you.”

“Please forgive me my lord.” The Doctor said and he was immensely pleased with himself when his voice didn’t shake. “It won't happen again.”

“You’re right, it won’t.” He answered in an unforgiving tone. “Because next time you’re summoned you will receive an escort. Understood?”

The Doctor bowed his head, half convinced the collar around his neck was tightening by the moment. It took him a moment but he eventually found his voice. “Of course.”

“Your findings Doctor.” Omega demanded, leaning forward intently as he peered at the Doctor through the eye slits of his mask. “What can be done?”

Fifty years, the Doctor suddenly realised with a painful start. Fifty years had passed since he was last in the citadel, since he had been named renegade. Fifty years since his freedom and dignity was stripped away.

“Your findings Doctor?” The Other boomed, startling the Doctor so badly that he jumped in shock.”What can be done about the slaves?”

“A great deal.” The Doctor said, rocking back on his heels and moving his hands animatedly.He needed to keep moving. If he kept moving maybe he wouldn’t freeze up again. “Their diet needs to be altered. I’ve collated a list of their nutritional requirements, along with a schedule for volume and frequency. It varies depending on age and gender. Dehydration is also a major issue. The people I diagnosed-”

“The people Doctor?” Rassilon interrupted scathingly with a condescending smirk. “Surely you mean slaves?”

“Yes, yes of course. The slaves.” He floundered for a moment before he continued at an even faster pace. “The slaves I studied were all dangerously dehydrated. They need water regularly. Any variation on these requirements will have serious repercussions. And sleep - they need sleep every night and the time varies by age. The schedule must be adhered to.”

“Is there anything else?” The Other asked, looking both curious and irritated. He had likely hoped the solution to fixing the humans would be a simple one.

“Yes, more! There is so much more. Their immune systems are perilously low and they can’t survive in squalid conditions. They must be kept clean and regularly exercised. I’ve seen the pens they’re being kept in and all it’s going to do is spread disease. I found three variations of sickness from the few pe-” He stopped himself, shuddering slightly from the sharp look he received from Rassilon. “From the few slaves I studied. I’ve collaborated cures but the sickness will only spread and mutate if they aren’t properly kept.”

“Is that all?” Omega asked from behind him impervious mask.

The Doctor hesitated. He knew he should finish whilst he was ahead. He had provided the necessary information to keep them alive. Millions of people would survive now because of him. And yet -

“To ensure their mental well-being I recommend that all families should be allowed to remain together. Human’s have active minds and should be kept occupied whenever possible. They already educate their children. I would suggest you continue to let them do so until the child reaches maturity. They -”

“Enough Doctor.” The Other said, raising his hand sharply. “We have the information we require to keep them healthy. We will study your findings and liaise with you if we require any further -”

“They can be extraordinary if you let them.” The Doctor blurted, desperately wishing he could pull back the words the moment they burst traitorously from his lips. Too late now, he thought with a sudden feeling of dread. “They’re capable of so much good -”

“Here he is.” Rassilon interrupted, looking truly and frighteningly angry. “The sanctimonious, bleeding heart Doctor. Tell me my lord, has the last fifty years in bondage done nothing to curb your incessant need to be different? Has it done nothing to show you the error of your ways?”

What was wrong with him. For the love of everything good and holy in the universe why couldn’t he just-shut-up? “No amount of imprisonment is going to make me forget, even for an instant, that we are destroying the lives of a sentient race of beings. What we are doing is wrong.”

“And what right have you to judge?” Rassilon roared, standing to his full and impressive height. His dark eyes bored into the Doctor’s. Pinning him to the spot with a knowledge that accompanied thousands of years of life. “Who are you to judge what is right or wrong? The apes were destroying themselves and their planet.We saved them -”

“We have condemned them.” The Doctor roared back in utter and total fury. “If you could see what we have done to them. If you could feel their pain you would not-”

“You wish to speak of pain Doctor?” Rassilon said, his voice quiet and calm and so much more terrifying because of it. “Very well. Your sentence was five hundred years was it not?”

“No,” The Doctor breathed, deflating as all of his earlier fear and terror came hurtling back. “Please, my lord -”

“Oh, so it’s back to formalities now is it Doctor? Well it’s too late for that. You’re still as pious as ever. You’re still as rebellious as ever.”

“I’m sorry.” The Doctor gasped, the words catching in his throat and coming out in barely more than a whisper. “I spoke out of turn but I’m not rebelling. I’ve done everything you’ve commanded. I’ve obeyed.”

“You call this obeying?” Rassilon hissed. “You can pretend all you like Doctor but I see the truth within your eyes. You will never obey. Not truly.” His gaze roamed slowly up and down the Doctor’s face before resting on the thin silver collar. “One thousand years.”

The Doctor’s legs collapsed beneath him. It took him a moment to realise that his respiratory bypass system had kicked in due to the fact that he didn’t seem to be able to catch his breath. He shook his head. A silent denial.

“It is perhaps too harsh a punishment.” Omega said, speaking softly but instantly commanding the attention of the room. “It is true that the Doctor is foolish and sentimental and he does not know when to shut up, but he has also obeyed without question since he was grounded. For his stupidity might not another punishment be more suitable?”

"What do you suggest then?" Rassilon asked, and by the stars he actually looked interested.

“Leave us Doctor.” The Other commanded. When the Doctor just say blinking up at him the Other sighed. “Now Doctor. You will be informed of your punishment in due course. Now go.”

The Doctor got unsteadily to his feet. He nearly begged. He almost screamed. But by the grace of some higher power he managed to take himself out of the room without causing any further damage.

Chapter Text

“Come then Omega, speak your mind. You think me too harsh. What would you suggest we do to curb the Doctor’s stupidity?”

“He is certainly a foolish and eccentric young man, but do not make the mistake of thinking him stupid, Rassilon.” Omega stilled, deep in thought. “He is a keenly intelligent being with a breathtaking degree of curiosity. He possesses the potential to be one of the greatest among us. Yet you intend to quash his spirit entirely. Why?”

“For precisely the reasons you claim. He is an extraordinarily intelligent man but also a deeply deceiving and misguided one. You realise we discovered that he purposely failed his exams at the academy to hide his intellect? He claims he wished to avoid attention. To be free.” Rassilon released a mocking snort. “The Doctor does not think as a Time Lord should. His thoughts and beliefs are dangerous to our way of life. He needs to be controlled.”

“I do not disagree with you.” Omega said softly. “But if we try to keep him here, trapped under the heels of our boots he will either eventually wither away, wasting all of that potential brilliance, or he will believe he has nothing to lose he will rebel. Either outcome will result in disaster.”

“I have a solution.” The Other said, sounding almost pained. It was no secrete that the Doctor was one of the Other’s favourites and that he had tried to protect him in the past. “Give him the anomaly. Make the Doctor its keeper.”

“Are you mad?” Omega snapped. “Never mind that just being near it is painful for short amounts of time but the anomaly is dangerous. The Doctor will be in constant danger if he is forced to take ownership.”

“The Doctor is a Time Lord. He is capable of handling a human, even one as twisted and wrong as the anomoly.” Rassilon said as a thousand possibilities started to unfurl in his mind. It was such a wonderfully appropriate punishment. The monstrosity would be given a keeper who could not abandon him, no matter how painful his presence might be. And the Doctor would have to live day to day with one of the creatures he so adamantly defended, even though the experience would cause him constant pain. It was perfect.

“He will not accept him.” Omega said. “The Doctor refuses to own a slave. You know this.”

“He will when we tell him what the alternative is.” Rassilon said.

 

*********
“No.” The Doctor said, not even attempting politeness as he closed the door in the slaver's face. He ignored the subsequent notifications he received from the summit demanding he collect his property. He didn’t care if they grounded him for another five thousand years. He wouldn’t do it.

It was much later that he heard heavy pounding at his door. He was dozing in his chair, exhausted after surviving three days on little more than adrenaline. He barely had time to flinch before the door caved in on itself and the Master stood grinning down at him with a sonic device clenched tightly in his fist.

“What?” The Doctor sputtered, springing to his feet and back-paddling until his back came up against a wall. He couldn’t comprehend that the Master had actually broken into his home. He may have been named a renegade but he was still a Time Lord damn it. Didn’t he warrant the right to at least decide who could or couldn’t enter his home. “What?”

“You’ve been ignoring the high council Doctor.” The Master said, grinning. He looked around the Doctor’s home and his expression became hungry as he ingested a million little facts that only he would be able to use as a weapon.

“What?”

“You’re not allowed to ignore the great Lords and Ladies of the high council. When you do they become agitated.”

“Why did they send you?” The Doctor asked, finding his voice at last as he tried to calm his hearts, which were doing an admirable job of trying to escape his chest.

“Because I volunteered of course.” He stepped forward, quickly closing the distance between them until less than a hand's width of space separated them.. He reached out a surprisingly gentle hand and cupped the Doctor’s cheek. “You’ve been naughty Doctor. Speaking out of turn again. Won’t you ever learn?”

“I was doing what they asked me to.” The Doctor said, turning his face away from the unwelcome touch. “The humans are dying. What I suggested will mean their continued survival.”

“You went too far. You always go too far.” He leaned in even closer, until his lips brushed against the Doctor’s cheek. “You are a renegade Doctor, dependant on the goodwill of the council to live. Rebelling in any way is just incredibly stupid.”

“I won’t take a slave.” The Doctor said, a little raggedly. He knew only too well what the alternative was. “I can’t.”

“Ah, because of your high morals?” The Master’s grip became too tight. “Will it soothe your tortured soul if I told you what they intend to do with the slave if you refuse to take it?”

“What do you mean?” The Doctor demanded, facing him as he gripped the Master’s wrist. “What will they do?”

“They’re going to bury it Doctor. Put it in a coffin underground and leave it there for an eternity.” The Master’s smile became almost reverent. “Can you imagine a greater torture?”

The Doctor thought he might be sick. “They would kill a living being in such a hideous way just to force my hand?”

“Oh no Doctor. Not kill. Not this one. Ah, but clearly you haven’t heard.” The Master threw his head back and laughed before his hand snapped around the Doctor’s neck. Not choking him, not yet. “They plan to give you the freak.”

The Doctor recoiled. He couldn’t help himself. He shook his head. “No, no I can’t. He isn’t right.”

“Surely the great and pious Doctor doesn’t truly mean that?” The Master asked mockingly. “The freak is a human, no matter how wrong it is. Doesn’t that mean it falls under your sphere of protection?”

“I can’t.” The Doctor said and he hated that he sounded almost like he was begging. “I can’t be around him. Just looking at him hurts.”

“Alright.” The Master said as he shook off the Doctor’s hold and stepped back. “I’ll inform the council that you refuse. Instead your sentence will be extended for another five hundred years and the freak will be put underground to live for the rest of eternity in a little concrete box. And all because you don’t want to be uncomfortable.”

“Why bury him?” The Doctor asked breathlessly, unable to help himself. “What did he do?”

“It is a nuisance Doctor. A nuisance that shouldn’t even be in existence. What not rid themselves of it?”

“Because it’s torture.” The Doctor snarled, almost shouting. “A vile, foul torture that will never ever end. Nothing in existence deserves such a fate.”

“Then will you change your mind?” The Master asked, stepping quickly towards him again. “Will you bow down to the council’s demands?”

“To stop unimaginable torture?” The Doctor whispered, feeling his already unsteady world begin to shift and shake beneath him. “How can I refuse?”

Chapter Text

The anomalies presence hit his defences with the strength of a sledgehammer, smashing through his carefully constructed barriers and shredding through his shields like paper. The sense of wrong assailed his senses, urging him to run away. To escape.

And he hadn’t even entered the room yet. The Doctor stood immobile as the knocking on the door steadily grew louder. He wondered idly if the Master was going to break it down again. Replacing the door last time had been a complete nuisance.

I promise I won’t break down your door Doctor. The Master said, amused as he telepathically pushed the words through the cracks in the Doctor’s defences. But if you don’t open the door immediately I’ll take it away and tell the council you changed your mind. You have five seconds to decide.

How can you stand it? The Doctor pushed back, genuinely curious. He’s wrong.

Two seconds Doctor.

It was a true testament to his acting skills that he managed to pull the door open with a big, wide open smile. He met the Masters mocking expression with aggressive friendliness.

“Took you long enough.” The Master groused, brushing past the Doctor and entering the room like he owned the place.

“Oh, were you waiting long? I’m afraid I didn’t hear.” He shoved his hands into the pockets of his leisure trousers and rocked back on the balls of his feet. He knew he wasn’t fooling his old friend but the guards didn’t need to know that he was about to jump out of skin with nerves.

He followed the Master into the main room, very purposefully ignoring the loud scuffling noise behind him.

The Master took one look at his face before his lips widened in a huge grin. It’s been an age since your mind was this open. He sent, almost but not-quite projecting a sense of yearning. The freak has an uncanny ability of shattering the strongest of shields. A useful skill to possess, don’t you think? He spun around in a flourish, grabbing the Doctor by the waist and pulling him in a direction the Doctor most definitely did not want to go in. “Are you ready to meet your new slave Doctor?” The Master asked, pulling him even closer when he felt the Doctor flinch.

It was an effort just to look at him but the Doctor forced himself to meet a pair of very blue and very, very angry eyes. The human, once you got past the resounding waves of wrong, was actually quite pleasant looking. Relatively young, with thick brown hair and a slightly tanned complexion. He was as tall as the Doctor but thicker through the shoulders and arms. Currently there was a gag shoved in his mouth, stopping him from letting fly the clear barrage of choice curses he was letting lose. The majority of which seemed aimed at the Doctors personage.

“Why is he gaged?” The Doctor asked, more curious than nervous.

“He wouldn’t shut up.” The Master reached out and slapped the human hard across the face, knocking the man’s head to the side with a resounding crack. “He never shuts up.”

“Was that really necessary?” The Doctor muttered as he watched shockingly red blood drip down the human’s chin and drip onto his floor. The human was now glaring at both of them.

“I think so, yes.” The Master said brightly. He gestured at the human’s shackled wrists. “These can be controlled with this.” The Master pulled a small silver ring and pulled it onto the Doctor’s finger. “Just think Stop and the bracelets will activate. Fair warning, he requires quite a bit of force before he does stop so try not to be too gentle with him.”

“Do you have the key for the bracelets?” The Doctor asked, only barely resisting the urge to pull the repulsive thing off his finger and throwing it out of the nearest shaft.  

“I think we both know that giving you the key would be incredibly stupid.” The Master gripped his shoulder to the point of pain, his expression harsh. I’m warning you. It’s dangerous. For once don’t play the part of the bleeding hearted fool and protect yourself. Keep it in the shackles and use the ring when you need to.

Concerned for me Master? The Doctor asked, only slightly mocking. Careful, someone might think you care.

The Masters expression turned thunderous. He pushed the Doctor away with a harsh shove, sending the taller Lord stumbling back. The Doctor could feel the guards shocked gazes. He might have been a renegade but Time Lords did not shove one another, especially not in front of normal citizens.

The human looked even more dumbfounded than the guards. He had stopped his muffled shouting and stood staring openly at the Doctor. When the Master clicked his fingers in their direction and they released their hold the human continued to stare.

“Off already then?” The Doctor asked cheerily, ignoring the murderous glare the Master threw in his direction. “Right, wonderful.” He watched the Master storm out, the guards trailing after him. The door closed with a solid thump. “Well - “ He started but he didn’t manage to say much more before a very solid weight knocked him clean off his feet. He landed on his back with a pained grunt, flinching violently when he realised the anomalies face was barely a hand's width away from his own. 

“Scream and I’ll crush your windpipe.” The human warned as he pressed the chain between his manacled wrists against the Doctor’s throat and pressed down warningly. “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m the Doctor.” The Doctor said softly, swallowing against the tight hold. He shifted experimentally and the grip tightened painfully for a brief moment. “And you are?” He croaked.

“You want to know my name?” The human scoffed and suddenly all of the light seemed to drain from his eyes. “How about freak, monster, corruption, wrong?” He pressed down hard and the Doctor instinctively grabbed the human’s wrist to try and break his hold. “Don’t fucking move.” he roared, furious. “If you move I will kill you.”

“I won’t move.” The Doctor said, trying to sound soothing without being patronizing. He very carefully laid his hands flat on the floor. “I’m not fighting you. You’re in control.” He swallowed again before briefly closing his eyes. “What’s your name?”

“Why do you care?” He asked and he sounded more confused than angry.

“Because I like to at least know the names of the people who strangle me.” The Doctor said, quite seriously.

For a moment they just stared at one another until, strangely the human released a broken and brittle pearl of laughter. “Jack.” He said, smiling slightly. “My name is Jack.” He stood up, keeping a firm hold on the Doctor’s shirtfront as he dragged the Time Lord with him. “I don’t get it.” He said at last, when they were both standing up. “Why would they leave me here alone with you? You are a Time Lord.” His eyes flicked up and down the length of the Doctor, taking in his plain clothing and disheveled hair. “Aren’t you?”

“Oh yes, very much so.” The Doctor answered, tensing slightly when Jack’s expression hardened into something that was quite terrifying. “You’ve had something of a bad experience with us so far I imagine.” He wilted slightly under Jack’s gaze. “For what it’s worth, and I realise it’s probably very little, I am truly sorry for how you’ve been treated. For how all of your people have been treated.”

“Oh yeah, so you’re a nice slave owner are you Doc?” He asked as he grabbed the Doctor’s hand and pulled off the ring the master had placed there. “This thing on the fritz or something?”

“No.” The Doctor said, both very happy to be rid of  the vile contraception and suddenly aware of just how vulnerable he had made himself. “It works perfectly fine.”

Jack placed the ring in the pocket of his slave tunic. He looked around the Doctor’s home. “Bit quaint for the home of a Time Lord isn’t it?” He asked.

The Doctor grinned so wide his cheeks hurt. “A renegade Time Lord, disowned by my clan. Believe me, this is actually quite luxurious compared to the lodgings some of my fellows proposed I be put in.”

Jack’s eyes flickered to the collar around the Doctor’s throat and sudden understanding bloomed. “You’re him.” He breathed, releasing the Doctor and stepping back as though burned. “The one that tried to save us? You’re him? 

“I’m just me Jack.” The Doctor said, and he sounded tired to his own ears. He plopped himself into his favourite chair, turning his back fully on Jack even though the gesture made his shoulderblades itch. “And this is your new home. Welcome. Show yourself around. Help yourself to any refreshments. Mi casa es su casa. Be a dear and try not to kill me.”

He heard Jack sit down, heavily. He risked a look in the human’s direction and saw that he had his head in his hands and his shoulders were shaking. The Doctor could feel the humans pain long after he stopped sobbing.

 

Chapter Text

“I can remove the chains for you if you like?” The Doctor asked, moving slowly to the human’s side and dropping onto his haunches next to him. “Perhaps then you might like something to eat?” The Doctor could see that his face was a little too gaunt to be considered healthy, although he was better fed than some of the other slaves the Doctor had come across recently. “And then maybe a shower?” He added, trying not to wrinkle his nose at the human’s musty scent.

The last remark finally garnered Jack’s attention. He looked back at the Doctor with a brilliant grin. “Doctor, are you telling me you think I stink?”

Despite the very wretched situation the Doctor felt a genuine smile of amusement bloom on his face. “No, I’m telling you that you do stink. But only a little. Besides, a shower might be nice, eh? And then we can look at sorting you out something to wear?” He stood up as Jack got slowly to his feet, sending out soothing tendrils of calm at the human. “I’m sure I have something that will fit until we can go out and buy you some new clothes.” The Doctor continued, forcing himself not to hesitate as he reached out and removed the chains that connected Jack’s manacles. Their skin touched and the Doctor gritted his teeth against the wrongness of it. “Unless you would prefer not to wear my clothes?”

“Doc, I couldn’t give any less of a shit if I tried.” He stretched his hands above his head when the Doctor removed the manacles, yawning loudly. His eyes settled thoughtfully on the Time Lord. “Kinda dangerous isn’t it. Leaving us alone together. I could do anything to you.”

“You certainly could.” The Doctor agreed cheerily, trying to ignore the very strong urge to slowly back away. “Wouldn’t turn out very well for you if you did though.”

“Maybe I think hurting one of you for a change would be worth any punishment they could think up.”

“Out for a bit of revenge are you?” The Doctor asked, shrugging even as his entire body tensed for flight. “I suppose I can understand the attraction. Here I am, one little Time Lord, no guards, no weapons –“ He raised his arms, palms in the air. “I’m certainly an easy target Jack.”

“Don’t temp me.” the human muttered darkly as his hands balled into fists. “ You know, I’m probably one of the only human’s still alive that remembers you Doctor. The promises you told and the hope you offered. And yet here I am, your slave. I should have know that you’d end up being just as bad as the rest of them.”

“I’m sorry.” The Doctor said softly, forcing himself to meet the hatred he could see in Jack’s eyes.”I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you, for them. I tried, I truly did. But they -”

“Don’t.” Jack snapped, furious. “Just don’t.”

The Doctor allowed the stony silence to linger for a few seconds before he plastered on a smile he very much didn’t feel. “Right then Jack, let’s get some food into you, yes?” He reached out without thinking, gripping the human’s hand and pulling him to the kitchen. He was frankly amazed that Jack allowed the contact and felt a swell of pleasure in the simple act of actually touching someone. He proceeded to show Jack where he kept everything, urging him to help himself whenever he was thirsty or hungry.

“You might want to take it easy.” The Doctor advised as he watched Jack valiantly try to inhale his entire pantry. “You don’t want to get sick.”

“I’ll be fine Doc.” The human scoffed.

The Doctor felt his eye twitch at the nickname but managed to bite his tongue. After Jack was finished eating the Doctor gave him a thorough although admittedly short tour of his quarters.

“You’ve only got one bed.” Jack remarked when they visited the last room, the Doctor’s bedroom.

“There was never much need for another.” The Doctor admitted with a shrug. “You can sleep here until I arrange to have another brought in.” He really didn’t sleep that often and it made sense for Jack to take the bed when he needed regular and long periods of sleep to remain healthy. Unfortunately he hadn’t accounted for the human’s lewder thoughts. He saw Jack’s eyebrows rise as a large grin appeared on his face. The Doctor was a little slow on the update but then he felt a slight blush tinge his cheeks. “None of that.” He said firmly.

“Don’t be shy.” Jack said as his eyes travelled the length of the Doctor. “I’ve got to admit, you’re kind of pretty. Nice eyes, good hair. Bit on the skinny side though. I certainly wouldn’t say no if you felt like a bit of a tumble.”

Never mind that ribbons of wrong were still coming of Jack in waves. The Doctor would never take advantage of someone who now legally belonged to him, no matter how willing the other person was. “I don’t.” He answered, a bit colder than he intended. He forced another smile. “Do you want to shower now?”

The Doctor waited until Jack shut the bathing room door before he allowed his unsteady legs to finally buckle. He slid down the wall and pressed his head between his knees as he tried to just breathe. It didn’t hurt. Not in the way he had first imagined, but being around Jack just made him terribly off kilter. A rational part of his mind reasoned that the small amount of time they had spent together had already made being in his presence a little easier, but he wasn’t sure he would ever be able to completely come to terms with Jack’s stillness. It unnerved him, going against every instinct he had as a Time Lord.

He sighed tiredly and made himself stand up. Nothing for it apart from trying to adapt. The Doctor went to his bedroom and sorted through his casual clothes until he found something that would hopefully be baggy enough that it would fit Jack’s larger frame. He left the clothes on the side and then went back to the lounge. He stood there for a long moment before he folded himself in his favourite chair and urged himself to not think. He had never been very good at mediating. He found the inactivity difficult to maintain but he tried his damndest.

“What now?” Jack asked sometime later, startling the Doctor from his thoughts.

The clothes didn’t fit, the Doctor noticed absently. They stretched across Jack’s broad frame, straining the fabric taunt. The Doctor would need to go out and buy him something more suitable sooner rather than later if he wanted Jack to be comfortable.

“Well?” Jack asked expectantly.

“What do you mean?” The Doctor countered, confused.

“Well I’m here. I’m clean, fed. You’ve shown me around. Now what?”

The Doctor gestured to the seat next to him. He figured there was a chance that prolonging their interactions could make the sense of wrong fade away quicker. “You can sit with me for a while. I don’t have any books in your language I’m afraid but you can make use of anything in here to keep you entertained.”

“Been awhile since anyone cared about keeping me entertained.” Jack said, and that hard look was back in his eyes as settled down next to the Doctor. “Been awhile since anyone cared period.” He sat down next to the Doctor and eventually he seemed to relax. The hard look left his face and was replaced with what looked like utter exhaustion. The Doctor wondered what had been done to Jack during his long enslavement. If his people had been willing to bury the man alive it stood to reason that they had done unspeakable things to the human. He almost asked him but bit his tongue before the first syllable could escape.

Did he really want to know.

“Are there any colours you prefer?” He asked instead, startling the human out of his almost not quite doze.

“Colour?” He asked, smiling softly as dimples peppered his cheeks. “Why?”

“For your clothes. Is there anything you would prefer? Any particular colours?”

Jack shook his head in quiet amazement. “When they said they were giving me to someone Doc you’re certainly not what I was expecting.” He laid his head back against the lounger with a soft sigh. “Get me whatever you like. I look good in anything.”

“Pink with yellow dots it is.” The Doctor decided, quite seriously.

Jack’s one eye slitted open. “Within reason Doc.”

In very little time at all Jack fell asleep. The Doctor considered waking him up and ushering him to the bedroom but the truth was, even with the pulsing wrong it was frankly and rather pathetically nice not to be alone for a change, Despite himself the Doctor felt his own eyes drift close and he fell into a deep and much needed sleep,

**********

The door bagged loudly, starling the Doctor and Jack from their sleep. They shared a dazed look before the Doctor got up and opened his front door. He was surprised and slightly alarmed to see the Master standing in front of him.

“You’re unharmed I see.” He noted. Did the Doctor detect a sense of relief? “You keep your shields so high it’s impossible to tell if you’re even alive half the time.” He stepped into the room, brushing past the Doctor and making his way to the centre of the room. His eyes fell on Jack, still sprawled on the lounger before running over the Doctor’s crumpled clothes and wild hair. “It’s behaving, is it?”

“Jack’s been perfectly wonderful.” The Doctor said brightly. “A real pleasure.”

“You’ve been spending too much time alone Doctor if you think this things company is pleasurable.” The Master stepped too close to him, wrapping an arm around the Doctor’s waist and pulling him close. “You’ve been hiding yourself away for too long. I’d forgotten -” He trailed off with a thoughtful expression. “Come to my home tonight. We’ll share a meal.” It was not a request.

The Doctor tried to gently untangle himself from the Masters hold but he didn’t want to let go. “I can’t.” He said, feeling a pulse of unease at the fury that flashed briefly over the other lords face at the refusal. “Jack has only been here for a day -”

“Bring it with you. It can stay in the kennels with the others.”

The Doctor couldn’t quite hide his flinch. “Maybe another time. When he’s settled.”

“You can’t hide away forever Doctor.” The Master said as he pressed his nose in the junction between the Doctor’s shoulder and neck. “The high council won’t let you waste that wonderful brain of yours. The more you try to leave the more they’ll drag you back. They own you, as much as you own your new pet monster.” He pressed a gentle kiss against the Doctor’s throat. “I’ve missed you.” He said and though it should have sounded sweet the Master somehow made the words should like an accusation.

“Let me go.” The Doctor said between gritted teeth. “Master, let -”

“They’d give you to me, if I asked.” the Master interrupted, causing the Doctor’s hearts to stutter. “Rassilon said as much when I indicated my interest. Your wife is dead, your house has disowned you. No one would fight my right.”

“I would.” The Doctor said, feeling something lodged in his throat. “They couldn’t make me -”

“Please Theta.” The Master scoffed as he tightened his hold. “After everything you’ve done you know as well as I do that they could do anything they wanted and no one would fight for you.” He took a deep breath and pressed his forehead against the Doctor’s, pushing to no avail against his shields. “Don’t let it come to that. Join me for dinner. That’s all I’m asking.”

The Doctor felt a hand on the scruff of his shirt and was yanked back with such force that he almost tumbled to the floor. He regained his balance and felt his mouth drop open when he saw Jack standing between him and the Master, his fists raised. “He said no.” He spat. “he doesn’t want you.”

The Master looked truly stunned for a short moment before an almost insane look passed over his eyes. He looked at the Doctor over Jack’s shoulder, his eyes smouldering. “Punish it.” He hissed.

Even if the Doctor wanted to, which he didn’t, Jack had taken away the ring that controlled the cuffs. There really wasn’t very much he could do. He glared back at the Master. “You should leave.”

“That thing just manhandled you and spoke back to me.” The Master seethed before sudden understanding seemed to dawn. “Oh, oh that is good. It’s taken less than a day and you’ve already fallen under his thrall.” He looked at Jack, seemingly for the first time. “You aren’t the first dumb animal he’s charmed, freak and you won’t be the last. The Doctor is wonderfully talented in inspiring loyalty in lesser beings. I’m warning you though, the Doctor’s pretty light might be enticing but it will burn you if you get too close.”

“Looks like I’m not the one trying to get close.” The human sneered. “Take the hint. The Doctor doesn’t want you, so back off.”

“Jack!” The Doctor shouted, not really wanting to scold the human but aware that some appearances did have to be kept. “Kneel, now.”

The look of betrayed that passed over Jack’s face when he turned back to him was painful to watch. For a moment the Doctor thought he might just refuse. If he did it would leave the Doctor in a very dangerous situation. If the Master reported back that he couldn’t control his slave -

Jack fell to his knees, his eyes averted. Every inch of his posture screamed anger but he had done what the Doctor commanded. It was enough. “Get out.” He said, moving his gaze from Jack to the Master. “And don’t come back here unless you’re willing to show some restraint.”

“Will you force my hand Doctor?” The other lord asked, more curious than threatening.

“They have hurt me a thousand times over, but I am still a Time Lord.” The Doctor raised his chin and met the Master’s mocking gaze without flinching. “They can’t give me away, not without my consent. Not if they wish to obey the law.” He gestured to the door. “And I will not consent. Not to you. Not when you refuse to change.”

“You think I’m the one that needs to change Doctor? You’re the renegade. You’re the one that doesn’t know how to think like a true Time Lord.”

Get - out.” The Doctor repeated firmly.

The Master performed a mocking bow before he left the room in a flourish, twirling in the doorway and shutting the door gently.

The Doctor released a slow breath. “Please Jack, you can get up now.” He didn’t move. “I’m sorry I made you kneel. You can’t imagine what he would have done if he didn’t think I could control you, but I’m sorry -”

“You’re sorry?” Jack got up and released a snort of laughter. “You really are something else Doc.” He settled himself back in the lounger, in the Doctor’s seat. “Quite an admirer you got there.”

“He goes through stages.” The Doctor said with a small shrug. “Sometimes he loves me, other times he tries to kill me.” The Doctor thought of his fifth regeneration and released a small shudder. “He’s succeeded on occasion.”

Jack just stared at him for a long while. “Is he dangerous?”

“The Master, we-ll, maybe a little. Not much we can do about it now though.” He smiled and slapped his hands together, rubbing them enthusiastically. “Soooo, ready to go shopping?”

Chapter Text

“Doc, you do realise people are staring at us?” Jack murmured, hunching his shoulders slightly in discomfort as he felt hundreds of eyes bear down on them. Admittedly the majority of them seemed more interested in the Doctor than Jack, but it was still as uncomfortable as hell, especially considering he had spent the last fifty years locked in a small room with only a few familiar, albeit hated, faces.  

“Hmmm?” The Doctor responded noncommittally, reaching out to trail his fingers against a dark blue robe that had clearly caught his interest. “Just ignore them Jack. They won’t bother us.”

“Aren’t I bothering them?” Jack asked, standing as close to the Doctor as proprietary allowed. He was tempted to take the Time Lord’s hand, but slaves were supposed to keep a respectable distance. He had a feeling he would get both of them into a lot of trouble if he started causing a scene. Speaking of... “You know, the wrongness? I’ve had your lot run away screaming in the past. I’m surprised I haven’t caused a riot.”

“Most of them can’t feel you.” The Doctor said, actually meeting his eyes for the first time in hours. He looked tired and weary. Clearly he was more affected by all the staring than he was letting on. “And we’re unlikely to run into any Time Lord’s down here. They usually send their servants out for this sort of thing.”

“Aren’t you all Time Lords?” Jack asked, genuinely confused.

“Nope, lords and ladies are different. We’re Gallifreyan but we’re also something else.”

This was new information to Jack. “How so?”

“Well for one thing a regular Gallifreyan isn’t going to be able to tell that you’re a fixed point in time Jack. To them you seem the same as any other human.”

“What makes you the way you are and them the way they are then?”

“Oh, lots of things. Too many to go into whilst we’re shopping.” The Doctor pulled an expression that could only be described as pouting. “Have you found anything yet Jack? I’m beginning to fear I may die of boredom.”

Despite himself Jack laughed. It had been such a long time since he had felt anything close to humour than for a moment he was stunned into silence. The Doctor’s expression was thoughtful, knowing.

“How about this?” He asked, suddenly enthusiastic as he grabbed the robe he had been expecting and thrust it into Jack’s arms.

“It’s a dress.” Jack said, unimpressed.

The Doctor smirked as the shop assistant sniffed loudly at them both. “It’s a robe actually. And I see your point. They are slightly cumbersome.” The Doctor looked down at his own outfit, consisting of a tight pair of trousers and a long tunic. “How about something like what I’m wearing?”

“It’s a little better.” Jack conceded with an unimpressed sniff. “Still kinda flowery though Doc.”

The Doctor opened his mouth wide with a comically outraged expression.

“My Lord, if I may?” The shop assistant barked, interrupting them as he stepped forward with a clearly unimpressed expression. “You’re looking to outfit your slave I see. I have a number of slave garbs towards the back of the store. If you let me know a preferred colour I can bring them for your inspection.”

The Doctor seemed slightly surprised that he had been addressed. His expression shifted into a pleasant smile as he danced around the other man in an unsubtle attempt to put distance between them. “No need for that. If you could find us some trousers and tunics, similar to what I’m wearing. What colours do you like Jack?” The Doctor asked, looking at him like his answer was quite possibly the most important thing in the world.

“Brown’s fine.”

“Brown!” The Doctor boomed excitedly. He turned back to the assistant with a manic grin. “Brown if you please. You’ll want to take his measurements first though I imagine?”

“My Lord.” The shop assistant sputtered, clearly scandalized. “I could not possible outfit a slave in the same garb as a TIme Lord.”

“I’m hardly wearing my formal regalia am I.” The Doctor said sharply. “It’s trousers and a tunic. Perfectly respectable.”

The shopkeeper’s expression remained closed, his stance hostile. Jack didn’t know a whole lot about Gallifreyan society but it was beginning to understand that Time Lord’s were at the top of the food chain, unless you were the Doctor apparently. “This is a respectable establishment and I refuse to sell you any sort of clothing for that thing other than the appropriate slave wear. If that is a problem I would ask you to take your business elsewhere.”

Jack expected the Doctor to be offended. The shopkeepers expression and tone all screamed his distaste for the other man, but he was surprised once again when the Time Lord only shrugged and smiled. “Off we go then.” He said simply, gently nudging Jack out of the shop and back into the main walkway.

“That went well.” Jack muttered, pulling at his too tight shirt in resignation.

“Pah, that was just the first shop we tried. And we didn’t even get thrown out. Got given the option even. Could have been much worse.”

“Get thrown out of a lot of places do you?” Jack muttered, trying to look respectful without smirkling.

“You’d be surprised by the amount of places I get chucked out of.” The Doctor said, quite seriously as he lead them into another shop. “Play along, will you.” He said with a wink as he walked up another shop assistant.  Jack noticed his mannerism seemed different. His expression was haughty, imperious. The tone of his voice was almost chilling. “I’ve need of some gear for my new slave. A tunic and trousers, similar to what I’m wearing. Brown in colour.”

The shop girl’s mouth closed with an audible click. She performed a jerky bow. “The slave garb -”

“My slave represents my house.” The Doctor boomed, causing the girl to flinch. “And I refuse to dress my property in rags. So Measure him and please fetch me the damn bloody clothes.”

What felt like an age later Jack had five new tunics and trousers, all perfectly fitted. Along with underwear, stockings and a couple of caps. The Doctor told the shopgirl to put the clothes on his account and to have them delivered to his home without once telling her who he was or where he lived.

The Doctor didn’t say anything to him all the way back to his home. As soon as the door closed behind him he released a soft sigh and his whole body seemed to relax. “I don’t like acting that way.” He admitted, gesturing at Jack to sit. “But it’s like they don’t expect anything else. It’s been so long since I went out in public like that that I’d forgotten.”

“I could have just worn the slave clothes Doc. Probably would of made things a hell of a lot easier.” Jack said as he oh so casually threw his arm over the Time Lord’s shoulders. The Doctor rolled his eyes and shrugged Jack’s hold off but there was a playful twinkle in his eyes.

“You didn’t want to.” He said, as if what Jack wanted should matter. He looked thoughtfully back at Jack. “I imagine it’s been a long day. You should go to bed.”

“I am kind of exhausted.” Jack admitted. “It’s been a hell of a day.” He got up, headed to the Doctor’s bedroom. He paused in the doorway. “Doc?”

“Yeah Jack?”

“I don't know you too well yet but you seem like a good man. Thank you for today, for treating me like an actual person.”

Something in the Doctor’s expression seemed to shatter. He turned his face away. “Good night Jack.”

“Night Doc.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“They just let themselves inside whenever they feel like it, huh?” Jack muttered, watching the two guards stalk around the Doctor’s home like they owned the place. They didn’t even bother to properly acknowledge the Time Lord, other than to tell him to sit down, remain quiet and not to get in their way.

“Usually, yeah. They’ll be done in a moment.” The Doctor muttered, looking a little miserable as he watched the guards tear through his library, leafing through the books before dropping them messily over his floor. “They seemed a little more riled up than normal though.” He admitted, shrinking in on himself when the female guard sent him a warning glance. Presumably for daring to speak. Shame the Doctor seemed to have an inability to shut up for more than a few seconds. “They’re obviously looking for something. Though I’ve no idea what.”

“Doctor!” The female boomed, causing the Time Lord to startle so badly that he almost fell out of his seat. “Be silent.”

The Doctor waves at her, affecting a cheerful expression. “Right, yes. Shutting up.”

She glared for a moment more before going back to her rooting in earnest.

“Something is definitely up.” The Doctor whispered, close to Jack’s ear when he was sure the guards weren’t paying him attention.

Jack tried not to shiver but the Time Lord’s lips were awfully close to him. It had been a while. Fifty years to be exact. “Have you done anything?”

The Doctor gave him an affronted look, but his eyes were sparkling. “Nope, at least not this time. I am usually the go-to-person if something has been done though. Wonder what it could be...”

The Doctor sat back abruptly, his expression alarmed as the female guard stalked up to them, grabbed his arm and hoisted the Doctor to his feet. She forced him back, slamming him against a wall with a vicious thud. “I said be SILENT!” She shouted, her hands digging into the Doctor’s upper arms. She shook him a little. “You will obey, otherwise I will report you to the council. Do you understand?”

The Doctor nodded his head quickly, his eyes averted and his entire posture crumbling in on itself. Jack didn’t know the Doctor too well yet, but he could tell that the threat of being reported to the council terrified him. The guard glared at him a moment longer before giving her head a quick nod.

“Good, thank you Doctor. You may return to your seat.”

The Doctor walked over to Jack on slightly unsteady legs. He fell back into his seat, drawing up one leg and hugging it to his chest. His expression became neutral and a little lost. Despite himself Jack felt a pang of sorrow seeing the usually energetic Doctor so completely subdued. It wasn’t right.

By the time the guards were finished the apartment was a complete shambles. They stepped up to the Doctor, towering over him. The Time Lord looked up at them, that smile fixed on his face again. “Finished then?” He asked. He didn’t try to stand up.

“Affirmative. For information you will be escorted to the citadel tomorrow morning, at 9am. Do not keep us waiting.”

“What?” The Doctor shouted, shooting to his feet so violently that the male guard stumbled back. “Why?”

The female pushed the Doctor back down with unnecessary force and raised her gauntleted fist to his face. For a moment she looked like she might hit him but eventually her expression seemed to calm and she let her arm drop to her side. “Because the council have demanded it, that is why! Now listen closely my lord. You will attend, you will dress appropriately and you will leave this thing behind.” She gestured vaguely at Jack. “You are not to leave your quarters until you have been collected. Now answer simply yes or no. Do you understand what I just said to you?”

The Doctor swallowed once before giving his head a quick nod. “Yes.”

“Excellent. Good evening Doctor.”

They left, filing out of the room and slamming the door closed behind them. The Doctor stared after them for a long moment before he fisted his hands in his hair and tugged furiously.

“Why?” He asked, looking at Jack as if he could possibly have the answer. “I only saw them a few days ago. I gave them exactly what they wanted. Why would they possibly wish to see me so soon?”

“I’m sorry Doc.” Jack said, and he really meant it. “I don’t know.”

The Doctor seemed to read something in Jack’s expression and the fear melted away as quickly as it had appeared. He jumped to his feet and started grabbing items at random as he frantically cleaned up.

“No point in worrying.” He said, conversationally, like everything was fine. “They probably just want my help with something. That’s why they pulled me in last time. I had a bit more warning of course.” His back was to Jack and he shrugged. “I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“That female guard.” Jack said as he got up and started helping the Doctor tidy the place up. “She didn’t seem to like you too much.”

“Ah, well no, I suppose she didn’t. Failed Time Lord’s rarely do though.”

“Failed?” Jack asked, curious. “How can you be a failed Time Lord?”

“Most families are born into the title.” The Doctor said as he continued to clean. “It’s in the blood you see. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, Gallifreyan’s outside of the great families have the right stuff to face the time vortex.” The Doctor shivered violently. “If you want to be properly trained you need to face it, but if you refuse to even try then that’s it. It’s a one chance opportunity and if you refuse that opportunity is gone, and with it any hope of ever being able to travel freely through time. Bit of a cruel thing to spring on a eight year old child, especially one that’s not had any preparation. I had an idea of what I was facing, my family did that much at least.” The latter was muttered so lowly that Jack barely heard him. “But the guard, her name is Anndak by the way, well she’s one of the failed ones.” The Doctor looked thoughtful. “And here I am, a failed Time Lord. One that was worthy of being trained but one that squandered all of that potential.” His expression turned pained. “It’s easy to understand why she hates me, if you think about it.”

“Seemed like a bitch to me.” Jack said and couldn’t help but chuckle at the stony expression the Doctor threw him. Looked like the Time Lord didn’t like profanity. “Seriously Doc, it’s not your fault that she failed and taking her aggression out on someone just because they’re suddenly helpless and just there is wrong.”

“I’m hardly harmless Jack.” The Doctor said, and a grin sprung up on his lips. “Because whilst she was hoisting me around I managed to swipe this handy device of her person.” He held up a long, thin pole with a look of gleeful triumph.

“What’s that?” Jack asked, stepping closer and trying not to smirk.

“It’s a sonic screwdriver. Quite a poor design but that can be fixed easy enough with a bit of tinkering. I’ve been after one for ages.”

“Why?”

“Cause they’re handy.” The Doctor placed the other items in his arms on the closest shelf and began to wonder off. “Don’t worry bout the mess Jack. I’ll clean it up later.” He wandered off, clearly fixated on the screwdriver.

Jack watched him leave, rolled his eyes and kept cleaning.

*********

The robes were thick and far too constricting. And the headdress! Don’t get him started on the bloody hat. Stupid, useless thing. The Doctor hated it!

It might have been tolerable of course, if he wasn’t currently being led under armed guard to a place he very much did not want to enter. It was hard not to wilt a little under his escorts. It was the same two guards from the previous day and even though the Doctor was careful not to say anything to either of them when they first came into his home, when Anndak kicked poor Jack for getting in her way he couldn’t help himself and he had threatened to report her. Things and deteriorated since and the Doctor was likely sporting an impressive bruise on both arms where the guards were holding tightly on his biceps.
.
Unsurprisingly people were staring, again. Probably because of the gag. The Doctor thought it was a bit overboard, that. He hadn’t said that much after repeatedly being told to shut up. Probably looked a bit silly too, considering he was wearing formal robes and the stupid, heavy, pointless hat.

His feet almost left the floor when he was dragged up the long staircase to the entrance to main hall. The same two guards that had let him enter the last time were stationed at the entrance. The younger ones eyes opened comically wide when he saw the state of the Doctor, whose headdress was now tipping dangerously to the right. He couldn’t fix it with his arms held and he couldn’t tell anyone with his mouth gagged. Any moment it would fall off. Hardly his fault but if it happened in front of the other Time Lord’s he had a feeling they would be unhappy with him.

“The Doctor.” Anndak announced, looking impatient. “He is expected.”

“Yes, of course.” The elder guard sputtered whilst the younger one continued to gape at him. They opened the door and before the Doctor could even begin to gather his courage he was being forced back into the council room. And this time every seat was filled.

The moment he was forced in the centre of the room everyone became uncomfortably silent. He could feel all eyes on him.

“You gagged him?” Omega said, looking slightly concerned. Someone in the room was not bothering to hide their amusement and the Doctor knew exactly who that someone was.

“He wouldn’t stop talking, my lord.” Anndak said, looking a little worried now that a room full of Time Lord and Ladies were now staring directly at her.

The Master was laughing loudly now. Everyone was ignoring him.

“Did he resist in any way?” Lady Romana asked, sounding somewhat appalled. She was leaning forward from her place on a higher dais.

“No, not exactly.”

“Was he violent in any way? Threatening?”

“Well no -”

“What I think Lady Romana is trying to say,” The Corsair said from his seat above and slightly to the right of Romana. “Is that you better take that barberic thing out of his mouth this damn moment. And next time you think about manhandling a Time Lord you’ll answer directly to me.”

The male guard, the Doctor never did learn his name, leant over in a rush. Unfortunately the movement jolted the Doctor, and whoops, there went the blasted headdress at last, landing on the floor with a solid thump.

The Doctor spared a look at the Master, who was now bowed over and wheezing with unsuppressed laughter. Despite himself he snorted into the gag, however one look at Rasslin knocked any thoughts of amusement straight out of him. He was ramrod still as the guard loosened the gag, picked up his headdress and forced into the Doctor's arms. The two of them quickly scuttled away, leaving the Doctor standing in the middle of the room.

No one was speaking, which of course meant he had to blurt out the first thing he could think of. “You wanted to see me?”

“Obviously.” Rasslin snapped as he stood up and approached the Doctor. Despite himself the younger Time Lord stumbled back. He did not want Rasslin anywhere near him. He didn’t get very far before a strong hand reached out and grabbed his chin in a stone like hold. It was terrifying. “Do you know why you were called?”

The Doctor was about to answer when he felt the first aggressive push against his shields. His eyes shot up, locking on the first friend he could find. The Corsair stared back at him, his expression sorrowful but even he wasn’t speaking in the Doctor’s defense. What was going on? “What are you doing?” He asked, raising his own shields, expelling the old Time Lord with all the strength he possessed.

“Answer the question Doctor. Do you know why you’re here?”

“No.” He staggered when he felt Rasslin attack him again, their physical contact making it so much easier for him to force the connection. He would have fallen but Rasslin caught his arm, holding him steady.

“Do you know about the uprising?”

“What?” He felt his shields crack at the third assault. He started to struggle in Rassilon's hold. Why in the hell wasn’t anyone helping him?

“Do you know about the uprising?”

“No.” He said, and then “No, stop!” As the older Time Lord started smashing relentlessly against his shields. The Doctor’s defenses were strong. They always had been. But he couldn’t compete with one of the oldest and strongest amongst them. The shields cracked and shattered.

The Doctor was vaguely aware he was screaming as Rasslin tore through his mind. And through it all they just watched.

Chapter Text

Each of his carefully constructed barriers crumbled beneath Rassilon’s onslaught like sand, littering the ground with almost a thousand years of memories and thoughts. Memories the Doctor had buried long ago for the sake of his sanity, thoughts he never wanted anyone to know were dragged heedlessly to the surface of his mind, raw, open and all-encompassing. And with them came so much pain.

The faces of his dead children burst forward, their lives and deaths given a mere flicker of consideration as Rassilon moved onto the next memory he could salvage. The Doctor’s beautiful and gentle wife’s face lingered a moment more before dissolving into an image of battle, death, destruction and the haunting screams of Daleks. So many good people, dead in an instant as Rassilon heedlessly forged ahead.

STOP! The Doctor screamed at the ancient Time Lord at last, pushing at his presence as he finally forced down the shock and pain of what was being done to him. Tell me what you want.

Be still Doctor. Rassilon said absently as he continued to rifle and search. I’m almost finished.

The Doctor felt like he was going mad. No Time Lord should ever be forced to relive their entire long lives in so short a time. It was a perverse and utter betrayal of his trust. And for someone of such power to take full advantage of him was unforgivable.

He felt a flicker of apprehension from Rassilon a moment before the Doctor followed the link between their minds and attached the ancient Time Lord’s memories with every spec of power he possessed. Thousands and thousands of years of memories and thoughts spread out before the Doctor, most of them barricaded under walls unlike any he had ever experienced.

He quickly zeroed in on the strongest barrier and within seconds he attacked. The Doctor realised that he had no chance of truly breaking down Rassilon’s defenses without considerably more time or help of some sort, but he did manage to cause a crack. A tiny, insignificant little crack...

He felt Rassilon pause and then felt an overwhelming wave of anger and fear as the old Time Lord retreated from the Doctor’s mind and expelled him violently from his thoughts. The Doctor came back to himself in an instant, eyes wide and damp. His throat hurt and he was lying in a head on the floor. Rassilon stood over him, his hand wrapped firmly around the Doctor’s throat as he hauled him to his feet.

“You dare -” He snarled.

“I dared.” The Doctor interrupted in a hiss. “And I saw Rassilon. Through that tiny little crack I saw a glimpse of what you really are. You’re a monster.”

“Enough!” The Other cried, standing. Rassilon refused to release his grip. “Rassilon, enough. Release the Doctor and testify.”

Their founder released the Doctor with more force than necessary, pushing him away as he stood to face the gathered council. “He doesn’t know anything about the uprising.” Rassilon said simply. The room burst into hushed conversation. The Doctor looked up and caught the Corsair's gaze. The other man looked ill. “But do not make the mistake of thinking he is not a threat. I saw clearly what he thinks of our means and actions. The Doctor is no less of a sympathiser now than he was fifty years ago. In even the short time since being given a slave of his own he has allowed the creature to attack him, to take the security ring and to speak to him out of turn at every opportunity.” Rassilon turned back to stare into the Doctor’s eyes. “If he is approached by the rebels I have no doubt after reading his thoughts that the Doctor will comply and I believe we all know too well the damage he is capable of when given a free reign.”

“The Doctor is already being punished for being a sympathiser.” The Other said calmly. “We have already taken action to limit the threat he presents and since his sentence he has complied. He has another four hundred and fifty years left to start thinking correctly.”

“When he was sentenced there was no danger of an uprising, but that threat is now very real.” Rassilon argued. “He is too dangerous to be allowed to roam freely. Were he to assist them the consequences could be disasterous.”

“What are you suggesting lord Rassilon?” Lady Patience asked, her silvery eyes thoughtful as she looked down at their founder.

The whole room was watching them but he could feel one pair of eyes looking intently down at him, making his skin crawl. He looked up, meeting the Master’s gaze and quite suddenly he understood.

“The Master has graciously offered his assistance.” Rassilon declared as he smiled benevolently out at the council. “A formal bonding between them. The Doctor will be brought into a respectful house, cared for, watched -”

“NO!” A voice boomed from the rafters, possibly the last voice the Doctor would have expected to speak out in his defense. He looked up at his elder brother, who despite everything still refused to meet his eyes. “I will not allow you to give him away to that monster.” Braxiatel actually snarled at the Master. “You’ve been trying to get your hooks in for years, haven’t you you manipulative little bastard! You petitioned our house again and again and after all of this time -”

“Enough lord Braxiatel.” Omega interrupted quietly, but with the power of a man that expected to be obeyed. “The Doctor is no longer of your house, as well you know. He is the council's charge now.” Omega’s sightless eyes turned in the Doctor’s direction. “The Doctor has been without a house for a long time. Perhaps too long.”

“The Doctor is perfectly fine without a house.” The Doctor said brightly with a huge smile, speaking out for himself for the first time since Rassilon had released his mind. “And if you don’t mind he would prefer it if you might all consider talking to him directly instead of speaking about him as if he wasn’t stood before you.” He stepped forward, mindful to keep distance between himself and their founder. “I won’t voluntarily bond with him.” He allowed the smile to drop. “So what’s it to be? Will you force me?”

“You are a Time Lord Doctor, but you live as a peasant. You should be part of a house.” Rassilon urged gently.

The Doctor snorted. “So you’re doing it for me then? So I might live better?” He saw the flash of anger in their founders eyes and subconsciously stepped back. “Thanks but I’m quite fine as I am. I don’t need a house, especially not his.” He gestured to the Master with his thumb. “It will be tadement to enslavement.”

“You are being overly dramatic Doctor.” Omega said beneath his emotionless shell. “Most among the great houses have been matched politically. You yourself took a wife that was arranged for you.”

“Yes,” The Doctor agreed, pushing aside the raw wave of grief her recently memory evoked. “And I did my duty to the council and my house and, importantly I agreed, and so did my wife. This is not the same.”

“You have been named renegade for too long Doctor.” Rassilon argued and there was a frightening note of finality in his voice. “You are a runaway and a coward, but as the Other reminds us you have a remarkably keen intellect. You are young yet and you have to potential to do so much more than you have shown us thus far, but it is painfully obvious to me that you need a firmer hand to guide you down the right path. The potential for your to deviate is too great and so the only choices available to us are imprisonment or a bond.” Rassilon turned back to face the council. “And so I ask members of the high council, the legal keepers of the Doctor, to vote. All those that agree to sanction a bond between the Doctor and The Master raise your hands.”

Almost every hand in the council room rose. The Doctor staggered back, his eyes flickering to the rooms exists.

“Against?”

His brother, the Corsair, the Other even though he had not spoken in the Doctor’s defense, Patience, Romana. Too few, too few!

The Doctor started moving without any conscious thought but stopped himself before he gained too much notice. Running now would be stupid. They would never let him out of their sights if he bolted now.

He met the Master’s gaze and knew the other Time Lord had been watching his every move. His intense blue eyes bored triumphantly back at the Doctor.

“The council have agreed. ” Rassilon turned back to the Doctor, whose gaze was still locked with the Master. ”It will be done.”

Chapter Text

“Don’t touch me.” The Doctor pressed his hand against the Master’s chest, not quite pushing but forcing distance between them. The look in the other Lords eyes was more than a little chilling. “I don’t give one damn what the council have decreed, I won’t tie myself to you.”

“You have no choice Doctor. The decision has been made for you, all nice and legal.” The Master said cheerfully as he knocked the Doctor’s hand away and grabbed his arm in a tight hold. More bruises to add on top of the ones his escorts had already given him. “Now are you going to come along nicely or will I have to drag you?”

“You’re going to have to drag me.” The Doctor said quite seriously as he planted his feet.

“You really want to make a further spectacle of yourself by having me bodily drag you out of here?” The Master was grinning at him but the Doctor could clearly see the barely concealed fury beneath his pale eyes. He was definitely starting to lose his temper.

“You really think I care one whit what any of them think?” The Doctor asked, grinning back just as widely. “There isn’t a whole lot more they can do to me now, is there?”

“If you really think that then you’re an even bigger fool than I’ve ever given you credit for.” The Master sneered before he gave an unexpected tug that sent the Doctor stumbling towards the door.

The Doctor used the momentum to spin in the Master’s hold and break the other Lord’s grip. He stepped back, raising his hands placatingly when he saw the look of cold fury pass over the Master’s face. “You’re not thinking this through, if you bind yourself to me -”

“There is no if about it Doctor.” Rassilon said as he let himself into the small waiting room the Doctor had been forced into whilst he collected himself following their announcement. “The council’s decision is final. Resisting is a waste of your time and the precious time of your future consort.”

The Doctor didn’t realise how far he retreated until his back came up against a solid wall with a thump. He mentally raised the crumbled remains of his shields and hurriedly reinforced them. Rassilon was smirking at him, clearly amused by his efforts, but instead of infuriating the Doctor it only frightened him. It had been so easy for the old Time Lord to tear his way through the Doctor’s thoughts last time that he had no illusion that he was any sort of a match for him.

“This is wrong.” The Doctor insisted, realising rather blatantly that his hands were shaking. He forced them to stop through sheer will but both the Master and Rassilon had noticed. “I haven’t given my consent.”

“Stop being so naive Doctor.” Rassilon said as he stepped towards the Doctor with his hand outstretched. He was going to touch him again, which meant -

The Doctor bolted towards the entrance but the Master caught him around the waist before he could even touch the door. They grappled but the Master was not beyond playing dirty and one well placed punch to the Doctor’s gut immobilised him long enough for Rassilon to grab a fist full of the Doctor’s hair and force his head back until he was forced to look up at him.

“Stop struggling Theta.” The Master whispered in his ear, running a soothing hand up and down the Doctor’s stomach where he had punched him. “He isn’t going to hurt you.”

The Master at his back and Rassilon at his front. The Doctor was trapped and without witnesses. He went very still.

“That’s better.” Rassilon said, but the praising tone was full of condescension and thinly disguised satisfaction. “Now Doctor, I want you to listen to me very carefully because what I am about to tell you will make the difference between a happy and full life with the Master or your imprisonment and eventual execution.” His hold tightened as the Doctor jerked in his grasp. “You may think that a great injustice is being done against you but I have seen enough of your mind to know that if the rebels found a way to contact you that you would help them. You can shout about your innocence all you like but that is the truth of the matter.”

“I haven’t done anything.” The Doctor insisted as he felt his entire body thrum with energy. “I didn’t even know an uprising was taking place. How can you possibly justify punishing me for something I’ve had no part in?”

“Because given even a spec of opportunity you would!” Rassilon roared directly in the Doctor’s face. The younger Time Lord felt more than a few of strands of hair part company with his scalp before Rassilon calmed himself. “You are just fortunate that the Master is willing to accept you into his home Doctor. A disowned renegade that would gladly betray his own people for a group of brainless apes is hardly an appealing commodity.”

“Oh yes, it cleans everything up so prettily doesn’t it?” The Doctor sneered as the anger, fear and pure unfairness of it all started to overwhelm him. This was happening. It was actually happening. “Lock me away in another one of your carefully constructed boxes until I’m so restricted beneath layers of your control that I’ll eventually crumble. It’s a clever plan and so wonderfully neat. And maybe if it was someone else, anyone else, it would work. But me, well I’m not so easily cowed. So go ahead, do your worse, but you better hope that when I break down those boxes that you’re nowhere near me Rassilon, cause I’ve seen the colour of your thoughts and I know exactly what you are, you’re -”

The blow was unexpected and extremely powerful. Rassilon was a large man, taller than the Doctor and wide through the shoulders. If the Master wasn’t holding onto him so tightly he would have fallen.

“Make sure I don’t see him again for a very long time.” Rassilon said, looking over the Doctor’s shoulder at the Master. Was it his imagination or did their creator look rattled. “If I hear even a whisper that he is helping the rebels I will hold you personally responsible. Do you understand me?”

“Of course my lord.” The Master said smoothly as he pressed his free hand against the Doctor’s mouth and slowly wiped away the blood trickling down the other lord’s chin. “And thank you, for giving him the opportunity to prove himself. He may not understand but I know exactly how generous you’re being. I will not forget it.”

“Do not let me down Master.” Rassilon hissed, leaving the room without sparing the Doctor a further glance.

“That went well.” The Master remarked as he placed his hands on the Doctor’s hips and turned him around until they were facing one another. “You’re lucky he only hit you. I’ve seen him kill for less.” He pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed delicately at the Doctor’s split lip. “He really has taken a spectacular disliking to you Doctor.”

“How can you do this to me?” The Doctor asked as he allowed the gentle ministration. “We were friends -”

“Yes, we were. But I’ve wanted more than friendship for a long time now and you rebuked me at every turn.” The Master’s grip on his hip tightened painfully. “I’ve waited long enough Doctor.”

“What sort of happiness do you suppose could ever come out of forcing a bond between us?” The Doctor asked, truly curious. “I'll hate you for this. You must know that.”

“You likely will, but I’m not about to watch you destroy yourself by putting your lot in with a group of stupid apes. If keeping you alive means you hate me then that’s a risk I’m willing to take.” He turned the Doctor back around and gently pushed him towards the door. “Now, I’m taking you to that old shack of yours to collect your belongings. Then we’re going to go home. If you want to keep fighting me you can but all it’s going to get you is a few more bruises and a little less dignity. It’s your choice.”

The Doctor waited until the doors to his tiny prison finally opened, waited until the Master’s grip finally relaxed, waited until the guards finally stopped watching him and then, finally, he bolted.

Chapter Text

Jack was a long way off from being even remotely OK. He had just spent a small eternity being prodded, poked and ultimately killed in every gruesome way imaginable. When he wasn’t being tortured he was subjected to the most degrading, dangerous and arduous tasks they could find. He had been forced to do things that he would never forget, even if he really did live for eternity.

He figured it was pretty amazing that he wasn’t totally batshit crazy yet. He had no delusions that he was entirely sane of course, but then after everything he had been through who the hell would be?

And then, just when he thought he couldn’t take anymore, they gave him to the Doctor. The one Time Lord alive that had actually tried to help the humans, and had failed so spectacularly that it had ruined him. He remembered when he first saw the Doc, back when he had an older, harder face with big ears and a bigger nose. He hadn’t been as pretty back then, but Jack remembered how animated he had been and how much passion he had invoked.

Although no one would ever tell a slave outright, never mind an anomaly like Jack, he had heard the rumours that the Doctor, now a legally sanctioned renegade, had been executed for his part in the human uprising. Despite all the time he had spent in their company Jack still didn’t know a whole lot about Gallifreyan society, but even he had picked up how important life was to them. Forcing the Doctor to regenerate was a huge deal, which probably accounted for why so many people knew who he was and stared at him.

And yet despite it all the Doctor remained faultlessly kind to Jack. He kept expecting the other shoe to drop. How could any Time Lord be so completely and heartachingly gentle? How after experiencing fifty years of pure evil could one of their kind be so warm? It had to be a show.

But the more time he spent with the Doctor the more Jack realised that the other man wasn’t putting up a front. He wasn’t trying to lure Jack into a false sense of security. He was just a good man. An honest to god good person.

And he was being punished for it, each and every day. Jack saw how they stared at him, saw how they sneered and spoke down to him and although he didn’t exactly try to keep it hidden Jack had quickly noticed the way the Doctor’s skin paled whenever anyone stared at the thin silver collar he wore. He fiddled with it too, almost constantly slipping his thumb beneath the gap between the metal and his throat as if he couldn’t stand the feel of it against his skin. And then there was the Master -

Jack shuddered as he thought about the psychopathic Time Lord and the way he stared at the Doctor. He was dangerous and Jack didn’t think the Doctor’s sudden call back to the citadel and the Master’s earlier threats to cajole the Doc were unrelated.

Jack looked out of the lounge window and felt a pang of concern when he noticed it was getting dark. The guards had disappeared with the Doctor early in the morning. Where was he?

He was just settling himself down into a fitful doze when a contraption on the Docs fireplace started to flash and vibrate. Jack stared at for a long moment. He knew it was a communication device but he’d never handled one before. He wondered if the Doctor would be pissed at him if he answered. He decided to ignore it but the fucking thing just kept going and after a few minutes he gave up and grabbed it.

“Jack?” Came the Doctors panicked shout the moment his finger touched the devices thin coral-like surface. The Doctor sounded like he was stood next to him despite the communicator being nowhere near his ear.

“Hey Doc.” Jack answered calmly even as his heart started thumping in his chest. Something was wrong. “You OK?”

“Yup!” Came the rattled reply rather too enthusiastically. “Well, mostly anyway. Except I have ran into a bit of a snag. Seemed to have gone and done a bit of a runner.”

“What?” Jack said, voice strained. “A runner from who?”

“Well just about everyone I suppose.” The Doctor took a deep shuddering breath. “I need you to listen to me Jack. They're going to be coming to you soon. They’ll want to collect my things and to them that includes you.”

“Who are they?” Jack asked softly. He didn’t know why he felt so disappointed. Maybe because he had hoped he’d be able to spend a little more time with the Doctor before his life turned to shit again. It had been a nice vacation whilst it lasted though.

“It doesn’t matter Jack because you need to be gone before they get there. Run away, hide. I promise I’ll come find you.”

“Are you nuts?” Jack asked, laughing a little hysterically. “Do you have any idea what they would do to me if -”

“They were going to bury you alive.” The Doctor interrupted breathlessly. “Nobody wanted to have to deal with you anymore Jack. You’re too dangerous to hand over to a regular citizen and the Time Lords didn’t feel there was anything else they could learn from keeping you. They were going to bury you so they never had to deal with you again. If you don’t run away now, when they come for you they’ll bury you. I know they will because Rassilon saw how much I already care for you and he’ll do it to hurt me. Please Jack, you have to run.”

Jack felt like he had been punched in the stomach. He couldn’t move. “They -”

“Please Jack.” The Doctor urged. “You need to go, now. I will find you.” Jack heard a loud crash followed by shouts and curses. “Run Jack, now before it’s too late.”

The communicator fell silent and Jack spared a few precious seconds just staring at it before he squared his shoulders and walked out of the Doctor’s front door like he owned the damn place.

Fuck it, what did he have to lose?

Chapter Text

For a split second the Master just stared at the Doctor’s retreating form. He was frankly mystified and pretty amused that he would try something so stupid. Where did he think he was going to go? They were in the heart of the citadel, surrounded by guards, soldiers and Time Lords alike.

He was moving before he finished the thought, dashing after the Doctor with a bellowed order at the guards to follow. The Doctor's new regeneration was wonderfully lithe and quick, even in the cumbersome robes that threatened to trip the Master at every turn. He was quite a bit ahead before he stopped abruptly, actually backtracked and threw himself through a nondescript door. The Master caught a quick glimpse of the Doctor’s smug expression before the door slammed closed in his face.

The guards threw themselves against the door, making it rattle on its hinges. It wouldn’t hold for long.

“That’s got to be one of the shortest courtship in the history of Gallifrey.” The Master heard a jovial voice boom. He turned around and was unsurprised to find that the Corsair had placed himself directly amidst a small crowd that had gathered to gawk at the proceedings. He supposed it wasn’t everyday that Time Lords chased each other around the high citadel. “If your intended runs away as soon as the engagements been announced it usually means they’re not interested.”

The crowd tittered with laughter. The Master stared coldly at them and the laughter abruptly cut off. “Where does this room lead?” He snarled.

“Nowhere.” A clerk squeaked, bowing her head when the Master turned to look at her. “It’s just a storage room.”

“It can’t be.” The Master snapped, making the girl flinch back in fright. “He chose this room. This particular room.”

“Did he now?” The Corsair asked with an open grin. “Clever man, the Doctor. Makes you wonder if he doesn’t have a plan of some sort, doesn’t it?”

The Master remembered the look on the Doctor’s face before the door closed. It wasn’t the expression of a desperate or frightened man. He was definitely up to something.

“Get the door open!” He screamed at the guards. He turned back to the crowd. “Help them, get it open!”

A few regular citizens stepped forward and added their bulk as a battering ram. The Master eyed the Corsair for a moment, silently promising himself that he would remove the satisfied look off the other Time Lords face before he heard a loud crack. The door went down and the guards moved aside for the Master to enter.

He wasn’t really surprised to realise the room was already empty but he was more than a little bewildered to see his communicator sitting directly in the middle of the floor.

Oh, heads were going to roll.

 

***

There was always a possibility that he would need an escape route out of the citadel, and after fifty years of being grounded he’d had plenty of time to figure out and memorise dozens of different ways out.

Of course he’d never really expected to have to put any of those plans into action. He was still grounded and had no real way to escape the planet. His beautiful TARDIS had been decommissioned early on into his sentence. Even if he did get away he had nowhere to go.

He could feel people gawking at him, instantly recognising who he was. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to act the hero and try to grab him. He eyed the corridor he was running down with a deep sense of concentration. The citadel was huge and even though the Doctor was very smart even he was struggling to place his exact location as he conjured up a mental blueprint. It did occur to him quite suddenly that there was every possibility they could have removed or blocked the room he was looking for when, with a start, he realised he had actually passed it.

He turned on his heels with a feeling of dread, half convinced he would collide with his pursuers before he dashed into his intended sanctuary . He turned just as the Master was reaching for the door and couldn’t help the deep sense of satisfaction he felt when he closed it in the other Time Lords enraged face.

His new screwdriver was already in hand. He quickly locked the door, ensuring it couldn’t be open by any key. It shook almost instantly as several people, presumably the guards, started ramming it.

Grinning, the Doctor pulled out the communicator he had swiped off the Master when he'd been manhandling the Doctor. He was getting remarkably good at pickpocketing. He set the coordinates for his own rarely used communicator. Precious seconds passed without a response. In the meanwhile the Doctor frantically searched for the opening mechanism he needed in order to escape.

He didn’t waste any breath when the communicator connected. “Jack?” He asked, pulling down everything he could reach on the shelves surrounding him.

“Hey Doc.” Jack said, sounded oddly closed off. “You OK?”

“Yup!” The Doctor said automatically before mentally shaking himself. “Well, mostly anyway. Except I have ran into a bit of a snag. Seemed to have gone and done a bit of a runner.”

“What?” Jack sounded like he might faint. “A runner from who?”

“Well just about everyone I suppose.” The Doctor said truthfully. His eyes locked onto a tiny little switch, lodged between two solid cases. “I need you to listen to me Jack. They're going to be coming for you soon. They’ll want to collect my things and to them that includes you.”

“Who are they?” Jack asked, sounding resigned and a little sad.

The Doctor felt a pang of guilt. It was his fault Jack was going to be targeted. If he just bonded with the Master would Jack have been able to continue living with him? “It doesn’t matter Jack because you need to be gone before they get there. Run away, hide. I promise I’ll come find you.”

“Are you nuts?” Jack’s laughter made the Doctor’s stomach turn. “Do you have any idea what they would do to me if -”

“They were going to bury you alive.” The Doctor blurted, trying to make Jack understand in the small amount of time he had. He pressed his arm between the two cases, reaching desperatey. His fingers were skimming the switch but he couldn’t quite reach. “Nobody wanted to have to deal with you anymore Jack. You’re too dangerous to hand over to a regular citizen and the Time Lords didn’t feel there was anything else they could learn from keeping you. They were going to bury you so they never had to deal with you again. If you don’t run away now, when they come for you they’ll bury you. I know they will because Rassilon saw how much I already care for you and he’ll do it to hurt me. Please Jack, you have to run.”

“They -”

They were going to break through. The Doctor could hear the door cracking. He strained forward, twisting his shoulder painfully and, yes, he pressed the release mechanism and the back wall swung out into a dark passageway. “Please Jack.” The Doctor said, eyeing the door nervously. It could collapse at any moment. “You need to go, now. I will find you.” It was splintering. The Doctor couldn’t risk taking the communicator with him, the Master would track it. He needed to go. “Run Jack, now before it’s too late.”

The Doctor dropped the device and bolted into the corridor. The closing mechanism was thankfully easy to spot and the Doctor hit it frantically. The Door swung shut just as the other entrance burst open with a shattering crack.

The Doctor took out the screwdriver and used its light as a torch. He could hear the muffled screams on the side of the hidden compartment and shuddered slightly. If the Master ever caught up to him...

He pushed the thought aside and took a moment before he closed his eyes and brought the mental blueprint to the forefront of his mind.

It was time to go. It was time to find Jack.

 

Chapter Text

The Doctor sunk down onto his knees and fisted a hand through his hair. He was tired and rather maddeningly he was lost. The tombs were vast and several areas had collapsed, blocking pathways he had memorised and trapping him beneath a maze of winding passageways and dead-ends.

It was dark enough that even with the borrowed light from the screwdriver he couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of him. The Doctor was never very fond of feeling enclosed or trapped. He was more than ready to find his way out and he realised rather blatently that he wasn’t going to get much done by kneeling in the dirt.

He was, with varying levels of success, trying not to think about what he would do once he reached the surface. Obviously finding Jack was his first priority, but as to how -

He stood up and brushed the dirt off his robes with a huff of annoyance when he heard the sound of footsteps moving rapidly in his direction. For a split second he froze and then he heard the chilling howl of a terror wolf.

The Doctor wasn’t big of panicking. Adrenaline was great, but panicking just led to stupid decisions and even stupider mistakes. Throw in a terror wolf? Well then all hope for a levelheaded decision went out of the window in an instant. The Doctor was moving, almost immediately rebounding off a wall as his shoulder clipped a sharp edge. He hissed in pain and felt blood trickle down his arm, knowing with growing dread that the scent would just draw the wolf closer.

He held the light out in front of him, turning through passageways as quickly as he could without risking running face first into a stone wall. He knew with every step he took that they were gaining on him. The darkness closed in on him, pressing down on all sides -

He cried out when he felt a painfully heavy weight barrel into his back, knocking him to the ground as a vicious snarl sounded directly in his ear. When the Doctor tried to crawl out beneath the creature it roared, digging sharp claws into his ribs. “Do not move Doctor.” It snarled, breathing heavily on the Doctor’s unprotected neck, pressing down hard. “If you struggle I’ll puncture your lung.”

“Remous?” The Doctor gasped, recognising the terror wolfs voice with a start. “Reamous, is that you?”

“Silence Doctor.” The creature growled, more gently now. The weight on the Doctor’s back shifted minutely. “Don’t struggle.”

“What are you doing?” The Doctor demanded, more confused than frightened. “You need to let me up.”

“I can’t.”

“Did the Master send you?”

“Doctor, be silent.”

“Do you know what they’re going to do to me?” The Doctor asked as he twisted onto his back, staring into the terror wolf’s ice blue eyes with growing desperation. “Do you know what he’ll do to me?”

“They own me Doctor, you know that.”

The Doctor reached out his hand, hesitating when the wolf growled threateningly, but steeling his courage and pressing his palm against the the creature's soft snout. “Remous, I saved your pups, your mate. You remember? I set them free when they would have been taken from you, taken from their mother. Do you remember?”

“Of course I remember Doctor.” Reamous whined, pressing his face into the Doctor’s palm. “But I can’t -”

“Reamous, please -” The sound of footsteps grew closer. They were going to catch him.

The terror wolf roared directly in the Doctor’s face. He braced himself and flinched violently when he felt a sharp tug on his sleeve pull him to his feet. He staggered, righting himself before the wolf butted him forward. “I can smell air Doctor. Pass right twice and then left. You’ll find a way out.” Another push, strong enough to send the Doctor staggering. “You have a thirty second head start.”

“Thank you” The Doctor whispered before he pushed forward, trailing his hands against the enclosing walls as he followed Reamous’s path. He didn’t waste any time, knowing all too well that the terror wolf wasn’t going to let him go twice.

He laughed when he felt it, a breeze, so slight it was almost indiscernible. He shone the torch light against every surface he could see and almost howled in joy when he saw an actual, beautiful door. He pushed against the exit and it opened up into a narrow set of ladders. He heard another howl behind him and immediately started climbing.

“Doctor!” The Master screamed, his voice eerily close. “Stop now and all will be forgiven. Come back to me.”

The Doctor reached the top of the ladder and shone the screwdriver into the ceiling. He could make out the shape of a trap-door and pushed against it with all of his strength. Nothing happened! Fighting down panic he raised the screwdriver and set it to the highest setting the piddly little thing could muster. It was loud but it worked. The trapdoor sprung open, causing an echoing bang throughout the shaft.

He was almost all the way through when he saw light shine into the bottom of the tunnel. The Master stepped through and locked eyes with the Doctor.

“You haven’t got anywhere to go.” He said, eerily calm. “No one will help you. Come back to me.” When the Doctor didn’t say anything the Master rushed forward in a flurry, jumping the first rung of the ladder. “Come down Theta, or so help me -”

The Doctor slammed the trapdoor closed with a resounding thud and used the screwdriver to weld it shut. He was in a back alley and no one was watching him so the quickly stripped out of his ceremonial robes, ripping off a thin shred of fabric and wound it around his throat. The thin undershirt and leggings he was wearing wouldn’t be considered decent among the Time Lords, but he hoped they wouldn’t garner too much attention amidst the masses.

He took one last deep breath, bowed his head and melted into the street.

Chapter Text

I leave the room and am informed almost immediately that the Doctor has escaped.” Rassilon hissed, stepping into the Master’s personal space with a thunderous expression. “You told me you could handle him. You told me you could control him.”

“The Doctor’s been a bad boy.” The Master sang, grinning up at the older Time Lord with little concern for their founder’s infamous temper. The ancient one would receive quite the shock if he tried anything. Still, antagonising him probably wasn’t wise. “He was more desperate than I imagined, but he won’t get far. He doesn’t have anywhere to go.”

“Do not offer me meaningless platitudes!” Rassilon roared, turning to one of his slaves and dealing the boy a vicious blow to the face. The human dropped like a stone, not even attempting to defend himself when the old Time Lord began kicking him viciously. “I“ kick “will not” kick “make the mistake” kick “of underestimating that” kick “sanctimonious” kick “little” kick “bastard” kick “again”. Not after last time. You will find him, tonight, or I will take matters into my own hands.” kick !

He had to hand it to Rassilon, the man knew how to train his slaves. The human had not tried to protect himself once. He hadn’t even made a noise. “Your slave is dead.” He noted idly.

Rassilon looked down at the boy and huffed irritably, as though it was the humans fault for dying too easily. “If I get my hands on the Doctor before you do he may not be the only one.”

The Master felt a spark of concern. Rassilon’s dislike for the Doctor was hardly a secret and after the recent attack in the citadel his hatred seemed to have only increased. He did not doubt their founder would cause the Doctor grievous harm given the opportunity. “I’m handling it.” He said, perhaps a little too sharply. His emotions must have been bleeding through his shields because Rassilon smirked at him. “There isn’t any reason for you to get involved.” The Master insisted.

“You’ve already shown me the measure of your control.” Rassilon snapped, turning to another of his slaves and gesturing towards the dead human impatiently. The human crept into the room and dragged the dead boy out without a sound. “I am rapidly losing patience.”

“I’m telling you I can handle it.” The Master said slowly, swallowing his own anger unhappily.. Having to explain himself to anyone left a bad taste in his mouth. “The anomaly has run off and I have reason to believe that it has gone to meet the Doctor. You know what that means -”

“That you intend to track the slave rings.” Rassilon finished thoughtfully before releasing a short bark of laughter. “You are a braver man than I. To intentionally tie yourself to someone who could care so much for that abhorrent creature is beyond me. He has only known it for a few days and he has already forged a closer bond with it than you two will ever share.”

The Master strengthened his walls, blocking the intense anger he could feel bubbling up at Rassilon’s words. “The Doctor is not without flaws.” He allowed. “He feels inclined to help anyone who he deems in need of it, but I do not think for an instant that the Doctor feels that these beasts he attaches himself to are his equal.”

“And you forget that I’ve seen the Doctor’s deepest desires and most treasured thoughts. I assure you Master that he most certainly does think that he and that abomination are equals. He would sacrifice himself for it in an instant if he thought it would save its life.”

The master took a deep breath, barely resisting the urge to punch Rassilon in his pompous jaw. “The Doctor would sacrifice himself for anyone. Even you. Even me. Doesn’t mean I want him any less though.”

“No, I don’t suppose it would. You do seem terribly enamoured with him. Your father can’t approve?”

“I couldn’t care any less one that dithering fool thinks. I am the head of our household. Not him."

“Hmmm, it will be interesting seeing the Doctor in your colours, Master. Do you think he will take to your household?”

“He’ll adapt.” The Master said flatly, refusing to rise to Rassilon’s taunts.

Rassilon smiled knowingly but mercifully changed the subject, which was fortunate because the Master was very close to losing his temper. “And the anomaly, you’re tracking him now are you?”

“As we speak.”

“Hmmm, the Doctor will know you’re going to use the bracelets to track it.”

“Of course he will.” The Master agreed cheerfully. “But he’ll come anyway. Like I said, he’s flawed that way.”

 

********

Jack moved through the crowded streets at an easy pace. He attracted a few stares but he wasn’t too worried. His new clothes conveniently covered the slave rings around his wrists and without the very obvious signs of slavery the regular citizens of Gallifrey clearly assumed he was one of them.

It was nice being able to walk around like a regular human being, unfettered and unrestricted. He caught a pretty girl staring at him and grinned at her, chuckling slightly when she turned scarlet and looked away. How long since he could properly flirt? How long since he had last -

A hand caught his arm and dragged him into an alleyway. Jack spared about two seconds getting his bearings before he twisted his assailant's wrist up behind his back and forced his face first into a wall. “Who the fuck are you?” He snarled.

“Ouch.” The slightly muffled voice responded quietly.

Jack let him go with a start, spinning him around and grabbing the Doc’s face in his cupped hands. “Doctor, thank God. Are you OK?”

“Fine.” The Time Lord responded, waving off Jack’s hold and grinning brightly. “You got out. Clever you.”

“Yeah, clever me.” Jack said as he took in the Doctor’s appearance. He’d never seen him with so few layers. His shirt, which was practically transparent, was crusted with dark orange-tinted blood around his right shoulder. His hair looked like he’d had a run in with an electric socket and his face looked pinched and tired. “You don’t look so hot Doc. You OK?”

“I’m fantastic.” The Doctor reached out and grabbed Jack’s wrist. He examined it with the little stolen sonic screwdriver-thingy for a few seconds. “We might a bit of a problem.”

“Why am I not fucking surprised. What is it?”

The Doctor flinched a bit at his tone. “Your bracelets have a tracking beacon. It’s how I found you, and if I can find you -”

“So can anyone else who cares to look.” Jack interrupted slowly. Something occurred to him suddenly. “You knew I could be tracked and you came back for me anyway. Why?”

“Cause I said I would, didn’t I.” The Doctor muttered as he proceeded to stick the screwdriver between his teeth and examine the bracelets. “I’m not sure I can get these off. I might be able to block the tracker though.”

Jack felt a small thrill of hope. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” The Doctor said, messing with the settings on the screwdriver for a painfully long time before grabbing Jack’s wrist again. He pressed the screwdriver against the bracelet and switched the setting up so high that Jack thought his eardrums would burst. “That’ll do it.”

“What did you do?”Jack asked as he rubbed at his throbbing wrist.

“I’ve scrambled the homing signal. It won’t last, these damn cuffs have regenerative technology, but it will buy us some time.” He grabbed Jack’s hand and tugged him further into the alleyway. “Come on, we need to go before someone comes looking for you.”

“I’m kinda surprised they haven’t already.” Jack said, looking nervously over his shoulder as he and the Doctor rushed forward, not quite running but damn close.

“They’re waiting until they have a clear view of both of us. They’re bound to panic now the signals died though.”

“How the hell did you manage it?” Jack asked, squeezing the Doctor’s hand as they both slowed down at a break between alleyways. “You were in the citadel weren’t you? The actual honest-to-fuck citadel?”

Another flinch and an accompanying scowl this time. Jack might have felt bad if it wasn’t so damn adorable. “I found a way out.” He said simply.

“Easy as that was it. Ok. So do you have another way out of the city?”

The Doctor’s bouncy steps faltered slightly. “Not exactly.”

“So what’s the plan?”

“I haven’t thought of one yet. I will though.”

Jack initial response was to scoff, but in fairness to the Doctor he had escaped the citadel and had found him in the middle of the city. “Then lead the way Doc.” He said as he squeezed the Doc’s hand and followed him.

Chapter Text

“So who gave you the split lip?” Jack asked conversationally as they approached one of the high walls circling the city. He barely resisted reaching out to touch the Doc’s bruised and swollen face. As far as he could tell the Doctor didn’t react to violence, at least not when it was aimed directly at him, and Jack had to figure that punching the Doc in the face was tantamount to punching a puppy. It pissed him off.

“What?” The Doctor asked, reaching up to poke his swollen lip. “Ouch! I’d forgotten about that.” He said, almost accusingly.

Despite himself Jack smiled.“Sorry. So?”

“So what?” He asked sulkily.

“So who hit you?” He felt his fists clench. “Was it the Master?”

He noticed the Doctor was searching the face of the wall with increasing urgency. “Nah, at least not in the face. It was Rassilon.”

“Rassilon, as in the founder of the Time Lords?” Jack asked incredulously. “What the hell did you do to manage that?”

“Oh, nothing really. He just doesn’t like me very much. And he’s got a bit of a temper. I swear he gets worse every year he gets older. Course I didn’t have much to do with him when I was younger. It wasn’t until I started getting into a bit of trouble that he took notice. Wish he hadn’t, might have made things easier if he hadn’t been watching me so closely-” The Doctor stopped his rambling abruptly, frowning deeply as he pressed his hand against a section of the wall.

“I’ve met him before.” Jack said, feeling a buzz of pleasure when the Doctor grabbed his hand and started leading him parallel to the wall. “He came to watch a few times when they performed experiments on me. He never actually talked to me directly but I got the distinct impression that he wished I would just stay dead.” He felt the Doctor’s full-body flinch through their joined hands. “Did he have anything to do with the -” Jack faltered, almost unable to utter the words. “WIth the burying idea?”

“I’m not sure who came up with it.” The Doctor said with uncharacteristic seriousness as he pressed his free hand against the wall. “But whoever it was -” He broke off and looked up at the sky. Jack admired the thin column of the Doc’s throat as he swallowed whatever he was about to say. “I’m so sorry Jack. I can’t begin to think what you must think of us after everything we’ve done to your people.”

“You’re not all so bad.” Jack said, bumping his shoulder against the Doc’s uninjured one. “You sure you don’t want to borrow my coat? It get pretty cold when the suns set.”

“Keep it. I don’t feel the cold as easily as humans.” He looked back at the wall for a long moment. “Jack?”

“Yeah Doc.”

“We’re not going to be able to get out this way. There used to be a sewer tunnel running beneath the city wall. I’ve used it before, years ago, but it’s gone, blocked.” He ran his hand through his already dishevelled hair and tugged. “I don’t know what else to try and we’re running out of time.”

“Time?” Jack asked with a humourless laugh. “Go figure. So where does that leave us Doc?”

The Doctor’s mouth opened when the blood suddenly drained from his face. “No, no, no!”

“Doc?” Jack asked, getting a seriously bad fucking feeling. “What?”

“The beacon just switched back on.” The Doctor hissed, grabbing Jack’s wrist and pulling out the screwdriver.

“So you can just short it again, right?” Jack asked. “Right?” He urged, feeling a little panicky when the Doc didn’t respond. “Doc?”

“It isn’t working.” The Doctor cried, releasing Jack’s hand with a snarl. “Blasted regenerative technology. It’s learnt to counter the sonic signal. Jack, I can’t turn it off.”

“I need a knife.” Jack said without thinking.

“What?”

“A knife. I’ll kill myself and then you can cut off my hands. They’ll grow back when I wake up.”

“Are you bloody insane!” The Doctor shouted, looking crazed as he tugged Jack’s hand hard enough to make him stumble. “I’m not cutting off your hands Jack. Come on, we need to keep going.”

“They’re going to find us Doc, and they’re going to do it soon. The way I see it we have two choices. You cut off my fucking hands and we keep hiding until you think of a way out or you tug me along until they catch up to us and then they bury me alive.”

“No Jack.” The Doctor insisted, hurrying his steps until they were running. “Even if I could do what you’re asking, where do you suppose we’re going to be able to find the knife? It isn’t going to work.”

Jack stopped, planting his feet and tugging the Doctor back until he stumbled into Jack’s hold. “Then you’ve got to go on without me Doc. They can’t track you if you’re not with me.”

“No.” The Doctor said, hugging Jack tightly for a moment before breaking the embrace. “I’m not leaving you to them. I wont.”


Jack reached out and cupped the Doctor’s cheek in his hand. The urge to kiss him was almost impossible to ignore. He wanted to feel something good again before his world turned to dirt and darkness. “You have to leave Doctor. You can’t save me. You’ve tried and I’ll be forever grateful but you need to go, now, or everything you did to get out will have been for nothing.”

The Doctor pressed his forehead against Jack’s and closed his eyes. “I won’t let them bury you.”

They broke apart at the sound of running footsteps. “They’re here.” Jack whispered.

*********

The Doctor tried to force his expression to neutrality as a half score of guards surrounded them. He realised they were holding impulse lasers and lifted his arms in the air to show he was unarmed. He looked pointedly back at Jack but the human ignored him, stepping in front of the Doctor, presumably to use himself as a human shield. He used his free hand to grab the Doctor’s hip and forced the Time Lord to stand behind him. Before he could voice his irritation the Doctor felt the Master’s mind brush against his thoughts, suddenly battering against him with equal measures of fury and relief.

“Isn’t that sweet.” The Master mocked, his tone sending a shiver of unease through the Doctor. “The beast is protecting its owner. You’ve trained it well Doctor.”

The Doctor tried to step out from behind Jack, to meet the Master faceon, but the human increased his hold to the point of pain. “Leave him alone.” Jack snarled.

“Shut-up monster.” The Master said dismissively a moment before Jack’s entire body stiffen and then collapsed.

The Doctor blinked down at the human, looking at the hole in his chest with growing fury. “You didn’t have to -” He looked up just in time to see the backhanded fist that sent him stumbling to the floor beside Jack. His gaze latched onto Jack’s unseeing blue eyes as a hand caught the Doctor’s scruff and dragged him back to his feet.

“Caught you.” The Master hissed a moment before he bent the Doctor back in a violent kiss.

Chapter Text

For a brief moment the Doctor considered clamping his teeth down on the Master’s probing tongue. He knew that the public kiss was a form of punishment, a way to wrestle back control following the Doctor’s very public rejection of his proposal.

Even with his barriers as high as he could make them he could feel the Master’s urge to hurt bleed through his defenses. He could almost taste the other lords fury and he wondered miserably if he would survive the night. He didn’t doubt the Master would regret murdering him, he seemed to take some pleasure from his tenth regeneration, but after everything that happened he might decide to try and start afresh.

He could feel the guards watching them, doubtlessly shocked by the display. The story would spread through the entire city by the next morning and the Doctor guessed that many more public shows of control would take place before the Master infamous temper cooled.

After what felt like an eternity he was forced to straighten and immediately tried to break the Master’s hold. “You don’t have to -” He began, only to be silenced by another fierce blow to the face.

“If I were you,” The Master began as he hoisted the Doctor back up. “I would silence that incessant chatter of yours.” The Master looked down at Jack with a sneer before addressing the soldiers. “Pick up the beast. We’re going home.”

He grabbed the Doctor just below his injured shoulder and pulled him forward with far more force than was necessary. The Doctor clamped down on a yelp of pain and hurried to keep pace with him. He kept his mouth firmly closed until the Master spun him around and wrapped both of arms  around the Doctor’s upper chest. He looked down at the Time Ring on the Master’s wrist and shot a desperate glance at Jack. He was beginning to stir when the Master activated the device.

The next moment the Doctor found himself in a hugely lavish room with numerous gilded ornaments and an array of scarlet tapestries and drapes. A huge four poster bed took precedence in the centre of the room, big enough for at least half a dozen people to lay in side-by-side.

The Doctor’s gaze almost immediately locked onto the largest exit in the room. He barely managed to twitch before the Master’s arms tightened around his chest.

“Oh no you don’t” He growled, dragging the Doctor away from the door and towards the bed.

The Doctor twisted violently. The Master was stronger but the Doctor was taller and possessed a wiry strength. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he didn’t at least try to escape.

He should have known that the Master would play dirty. He almost broke the other lord’s grip when broad fingers dug cruelly into the wound on his shoulder. He cried out, instantly giving up fighting as he tried to tamper down the intense agony burning through the wound.

The Master took the opportunity to drag him, not to the bed as he expected, but through a smaller set of doors that lead to a lavish bathroom. The Master forced him down onto the marble flooring before stepping back into the main suite.

The Doctor debated standing back up but almost as soon as he was out of sight the Master reappeared with a set of proximity restraints. He stared down at him, silently daring the Doctor to try something. “No arguments?” He asked at last.

“Would it make any difference?”

“It might.”

“Then please don’t

The Master smirked at him. “You’re going to have to try harder that that Doctor.”

The Doctor closed his eyes for a long moment. “Master, please.” Don’t.

Something indiscernible passed over the shorter Time Lord’s face before he pulled up the Doctor’s leggings and proceeded to gently place a manacle around each ankle. “It’s going to be a long time before you’ll be trusted to walk around unfettered.” Once the shackles were in place the Master stood up and pressed a few levers around the bath until a waterfall of rose coloured water began to pour into the basin. “You’re a mess.” He stated without much sympathy.

“I’ve had a rough couple of days.” The Doctor muttered as he stared down at the restraints with thinly veiled disgust. “What distance have you programmed?”

“You’ll be able to move about our chambers freely enough.” He followed the Doctor’s gaze and smiled. “I’ve no doubt you won’t be able to resist tinkering with them in some way, but I feel it’s only fair to warn you that they are of my own design and have a number of built-in defenses. If you trigger one it won’t be pleasant for you.”

“How kind of you to warn me.” The Doctor said as he started to heave himself up off the ground. He didn’t get far before the Master kicked his feet out from under him. He landed in a painful heap, groaning faintly.

“You get up when I tell you to.” The Master said calmly as he stood looming over the Doctor. “You don’t so much as move unless I tell you to.”

“My shoulder hurts.” The Doctor said, forcing himself not to react to the Master’s temper. He knew him well enough to know that showing any reaction at all would only incite him. “Do you object to me sitting up straight?”

The Master grabbed the Doctor’s uninjured arm and pulled him to his feet. “It’s your own damn fault. None of this would have happened if you didn’t have to make such a show out of everything.”

“I was hardly running away to make a statement Master.” The Doctor grumbled as he pulled free of the Master’s hold as subtly as he could. “Of course I imagine you’ll just hit me again if I raise any complaints so please, accuse me of shallowness and stupidity. I can’t stop you.”

The Master seemed to need a moment. He closed his eyes and took a number of deep breaths. “Please Theta, do not test me. Not now.” He leant over to turn off the waterfall and eyed the Doctor thoughtfully. “Strip.”

“I beg your pardon?” The Doctor asked, his voice higher than he would have liked.

“You’re filthy. You need a bath. Strip.”

The Doctor crossed his arms over his chest as he stepped back. “Absolutely not.”

The Master smirked as he allowed his gaze to travel the length of the Doctor. “You’re parading around in little more than your undergarments and suddenly you’re bashful?”

“I’m completely covered.” The Doctor snapped. It was a mistake. He knew it the moment the words left his mouth.

The Master stepped very close to him with a dangerous gleam in his eyes. “You will undress and get in the bath of your own free will or I will do it for you and I do not think you’ll enjoy the experience Doctor.”

The Doctor considered complying for a few seconds before he tried to bolt out of the bedroom. He didn’t get very far before the Master tackled him to the floor. The Doctor landed badly and didn’t put up much of a fight as the Master wrestled him onto his stomach and proceeded to pull of his clothes.

In no time at all he was completely nude and the Master was forcing him into the bath. He left the room and returned moments later with an armload of fawn coloured sleeping garments. It was perhaps a small mercy that with his goal accomplished he did not stop to watch the Doctor bathe. “You have ten minutes.” He said, and then thankfully he left.

The Doctor blankly stared down at his distorted reflection in the pretty rose coloured water. The hated collar felt like it was tightening around his neck like a noose. He hadn’t thought the restrictions they had placed on him during the last fifty years could have possibly worsened. He was so bloody naive.

“I don’t hear any splashing Doctor.” The Master called from the main suite. “I hope I don’t have to come in there?”

The Doctor started methodically washing himself, paying particular attention to his untreated shoulder. Once he deemed himself clean he stepped out of the bath and quickly dried and changed into the clothes the Master had provided. It was more than a little disconcerting that they were a perfect fit.

He stepped back into the main chamber and stared at the Master questioningly. “Now what?”

The Master pointed to a grey fur rug on the floor at the foot of the bed. “Sit.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes but he was secretly very pleased that he wouldn’t be forced onto the bed. He settled himself down on the surprisingly plush rug and watched the Master warily as he squatted down in front down of the Doctor and fiddled with the proximity cuffs. Once he was satisfied he sat back and grinned at the Doctor.

“Comfy?” He asked.

“I’m fine.”

“I’m so glad. I had hoped you would like the rug. It’s my bonding gift to you after all.”

The Doctor looked down at the rug and felt a rising sense of horror bubble up inside of him. He shook his head, denying what his eyes were telling him. He tried to move away but the restraints were locked. He couldn’t escape. “No.” He said but when he met the Master’s eyes he knew. “No. No you can’t have!”

“This is your fault.” The Master snarled as he reached out and caught the Doctor’s chin in a tight hold. “You did this when you asked the beast for help. You did this by running away.”

“He was sentient.” The Doctor shouted, pulling frantically against the restraints. He needed to get away. “He was a person! A living, thinking person. How could you? How could you?”

“He was an animal Theta, just like the humans you love so much.”

“Let me off.” The Doctor cried, desperate. “Please Master, don’t -”

The Master slapped his hand over the Doctor’s mouth and pressed very close to him. “You haven’t asked about the freak once. Did you think I would forget about him? I promise you I won’t.”

The Doctor grabbed the Master’s hand and pulled with all his might. “Don’t you -”

Another blow. It knocked him onto his side. The Master immediately grabbed the Doctor’s neck and pinned him to the spot, forcing his face into the pelt. “Cross me again Doctor and you’ll have another skin to lie on.”

“I-”

“I said shut-up.” He let go of the Doctor abruptly and stepped back. “Now you’re going to have to excuse me but I must go make our other guest comfortable. I’ll be back later. In the meanwhile please enjoy your gift.”

“Don’t hurt him.” The Doctor begged.

He couldn’t block the kick that sent spinning into oblivion.

Chapter Text

“Hello freak.” A disturbingly familiar voice called out merrily. Jack made himself smile back at the Master. He’d be damned if he’d give the little shit the satisfaction of seeing him scared. “I hope you’re comfortable?” The Master asked a second before he drew back his fist and hit Jack a stunning blow to the cheek. He felt something crack.

“You’re stronger than you look.” Jack remarked, bearing his bloodied teeth in a grin as he used the shackles pinning his wrists above his head as leverage. He heard a satisfying grunt when he kicked the Master full in the face. “Course, so am I.”

The Master staggered back, very nearly falling as he gripped his nose. Jack was rather proud of the blood he could see pouring between the Master’s fingers. “That was a mistake freak”

“Yeah, what you gonna do to me?” Jack asked, laughing a little hysterically. “Bury me alive? You’re going to do that anyway. Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself a little first?”

The Master smirked at him and it really was very terrifying. “Don’t be stupid, monster. I’m not going to bury you. I can’t. You were given to the Doctor, remember? You’re his property. Not mine.”

Jack felt like he’d been punched in the gut. He couldn’t breathe. “You’re not going to -”

“Besides, why would I? What fun would it be?” The Master stepped close to him. Too close. “The fools in the citadel may have grown bored tinkering with you pet, but I’ve never really had the chance.” He pulled out a wickedly sharp knife and raised it level to Jack’s eyes. “There are so many games we could play and you’ll just come back each time, shiny and new.” He pressed the knife tip against Jack’s cheek and pressed just hard enough to break the skin. “And I’ll be honest with you freak, I’m a little agitated right now. So here’s the deal. I can take my temper out on you, or I can return to your precious little owner. What would you prefer?”

“Leave him the hell alone.” Jack snarled, straining against the shackles. “Don’t touch him.”

“Oh, I’m going to do a whole lot more than just touch him freak.” The Master purred, laughing when Jack strained forward and a deep cut opened up on his cheek. “Soon I’ll own him.”

 

***********************

The Doctor woke with a start, half convinced his hearts were trying to beat their way through his chest as he tried to suck in some much-needed breath. It took a distressingly short amount of time for the events of the previous night to come crashing back.

“No!” He gasped as he shot up from where he was lying, instinctively trying to escape the horrifying skin that used to be...

He barely managed more than a twitch before the shackles bit into his ankles and he was pulled back down, knocking him onto his stomach and causing a white stab of pain to flair in his shoulder. He immediately tried to stand up, to put as much distance between himself and the pelt as he physically could. By times grace, the smell!

The distressed noise that pawed its way of his throat when he realised the anklets were fused to the floor echoed through the large chamber. The Doctor sobbed once before he swallowed the steadily growing hysteria welling up inside of him and forced himself to think. Logically, I need to think logically.

He couldn’t stand up but he could kneel. He would still be touching the skin but he could limit the contact considerably. He moved awkwardly to his knees, ignoring the various aches and pains wracking his body as he rested his hands in his lap.

A distant part of him realised he was shaking violently. He felt a sudden wave of nausea and resolutely pushed it down. He would not disgrace Remous by defiling his body and more than the atrocities that had already been inflicted on it.

He thought of the dire-wolfs cubs and mate with a growing sense of horror. The likeliness of them ever seeing one another again had been close to impossible, but there had been a glimmer of hope, a possibility that Remous would escape and make his way back to them. Now, because of the Doctors stupidity and selfishness, he was dead. And for what? The Doctor had been caught. Jack had been caught.

The Doctor startled when the outer chamber doors opened and the Masters father, Castellan Marnal, stepped inside. His gaze immediately locked onto the Doctor, hardening for an instant before his expression softened into something close to regret. He knelt down beside the Doctor and cupped his cheek gently. “My dear boy, are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” The Doctor said automatically. He couldn’t quite resist leaning into the ancient Time Lords touch. Marnal had always been kind to him. “Can you remove the shackles?”

The old one seemed momentarily stunned before reaching down and trailing his fingers over the shackles. He shook his head solemnly. “You were foolish to run away. What did you think you were going to accomplish?”

“I would think that’s rather obvious.” The Doctor muttered. “The shackles?”

“I can remove them, but I won’t” He leaned back, resting on his haunches with a grace that belied his great age. “I’ve always liked you, my boy. You were such a wonderfully mischievous and sweet child, able to charm a serpent.” He reached out with a tired sigh and moved a lock of the Doctor’s lank hair away from his eyes. The soft, faraway look on his face melted away. “Alas, you’ve grown into an eccentric and misguided young man and, though your habits were once amusing, you’ve proven in recent years how much of danger you pose to our people. I won’t be held responsible for letting you loose, no matter how much I wish to end your distress.”

“I haven’t done anything.” The Doctor said, utterly and completely miserable. Why couldn’t they see? Why didn’t they understand? “I was punished for before, I am still being punished, but I haven’t done anything to warrant this. Please, I’m not a threat to anyone. I just want to leave.”

“You’re not going to be permitted to leave Doctor, not for a very long time. You know that.” He said with a note of finality before he stood up and stared thoughtfully down at the Doctor. “I would not have picked you as my son’s bond-mate, but now that you are to be joined as a member of this household I see the need for you to be brought to heel. Perhaps if your family had curbed your rebellious tendencies when you were a boy we would not have to be so cruel, but things are as they are. I suggest you strive to be a good bond-mate to my son Doctor. In time perhaps you will be allowed some measure of freedom again.”

“I have not consented.” The Doctor tried, one last time. He pushed the urgency of his conviction through the gaps in the other Time Lords shields and felt a flare of sympathy in return. “This, all of this, is against my will.”

For a split second the Doctor though he might have reached the old one. He opened his shields enough to read Marnal’s regret. “Be good Doctor.” He said at last, sad but resolute as he left the room and closed the outer-doors gently behind him.

The Doctor stared at the door, feeling blessedly numb for a few precious moments before terror tore its way through his chests. “I have not consented!” He screamed, wretched and heartsick. He looked down at the pelt and felt hot wetness rush down his cheeks. “I have not consented!”

 

*****************

The Master purposefully didn’t wash the freaks blood off of him before he entered his chambers. He felt a thrill of satisfaction when he saw the Doctor’s drooping form kneeling exactly where he had left him.

He purposefully ignored the other lord, going about his daily morning rituals as if he wasn’t there. He bathed, combed his hair and changed into his semi-formal robes. Once he was satisfied with his appearance he entered the main suite and settled down opposite the Doctor with crossed legs. And he waited.

The Doctor wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Jack -” He started but seemed to be unable to finish. He swallowed audibly. “What did you do to him?”

“Nothing he didn’t deserve.” The Master said truthfully. He nudged at the Doctor’s walls and found they were as high as ever. “You might as well get used to letting me in. Soon you won’t be capable of keeping me out.”

“Did you bury him?” The Doctor asked, ignoring the Master’s words completely.

“Perhaps. Would that upset you?”

“Yes.” The Doctor answered simply and the Master decided to take some pity on him.

“He’s not buried, even though you deserve to lose your favourite toy after the stunt you pulled. You’ve made me a laughing stock Doctor.”

“Then it wasn’t all for nothing.” The Doctor snapped, quite nastily considering how chipper he usually was.

“You’re upset.” The Master noted.

“You noticed did you?”

“Because of the beast? Would you like me to release the shackles?”

The Doctor met his gaze for the first time. He looked murderous. “Yes.”

“Say please.”

“Please.” The Doctor said without hesitation. He was always so quick to concede to the unimportant little things some people would rather die than bow down to. It dampered his victory slightly.

The Master reached out and altered the proximity of the cuffs with a thought. He stood up and watched the Doctor very slowly move to his feet and move away from the rug. He managed three steps before the restraints locked. “I hate you.” He said softly.

Bizarrely, despite everything that had transpired between them, the Doctor’s words felt like someone was tearing his heart out with broken glass. “I suppose it’s fortunate that I have a lifetime to change your mind.” He said at last, bright and manic as always. He reached out and wrapped his arm around the Doctor’s waist. “And we do have such a wonderfully long lifespan, beloved. You’ll learn, eventually.”

Chapter Text

“It suits you.” The Master said, pleased that the Doctor had conceded to wear his colours with minimal fuss. He did look rather fetching in the blood-red and golds of his household.

“I’m not wearing the headdress.” The Doctor said, tensing when the Master reached out and curled a hand around his shoulder. He didn’t try to pull away.

“As you wish.” He allowed, unwilling to argue about something so inconsequential when they were only attending a semi-formal dinner within their own home. Some might grumble but given the Doctor’s rumoured eccentricity it wouldn’t cause much of a stir. He dropped to his knees, resting a restrictive hand on the Doctor’s hip when he tried to move away. He reprogrammed the proximity cuffs and fixed the other Lord with a hard stare. “You have sufficient freedom to walk to the dining hall. Do not try to go anywhere else. Do not make me regret my trust.”

“Of course not.“ The Doctor said absently.

The Master wondered what was preoccupying him and pressed gently against his shields. The dirty look he received clearly conveyed how little the gesture was appreciated.

“You’re going to have to get used to it.”

“So you keep telling me.” The Doctor grumbled. He didn’t like it when the Master mentioned their joining. “I hate these bloody robes.” he grumbled, clearly in a foul mood. He pulled away and instantly started pulling at the thin collar circling his throat.

The Master followed him and very purposefully pulled his hand away from the collar. “I know you do, but you can’t go about in leisure clothes all the time. Some appearances do need to be upheld.”

“Worlds forbid people might talk.” The Doctor mocked. He looked up sharply and at the same moment the Master felt the abhorrent wrongness of the anomaly push at his defenses. The outer doors opened and two guards entered with the freak standing between them.

The Master gripped the Doctor’s hand hard enough to make him wince when he tried to go to the human. “Freak!” The Master boomed, tugging the Doctor forward. He could see the anomalies eyes fix on their joined hands and his expression darkened. “I trust my guards have been looking after you?” He could see the various cuts and barely formed bruises that would bloom in a day or so covering the human. He knew the Doctor could see them too. “No complaints?”

The human barely glanced at the Master. His expression had fixed on the Doctor. “You OK Doc?”

“Of course.” The Doctor said softly. He tried to pull his hand free but the Master just held on tighter. “Are you?”

The freaks grin was huge. “Course I am.”

“As am I, if anyones interested?” The Master said snarkily. He gestures at the guards and they obediently released the human and left the room. The freak looked a little stunned. “Sit, handsome Jack. It’s time the three of us had a chat.”

“Go fuck yourself.”

The Master smiled. “Sit, pet.”

The human’s expression became murderous. “Make me.”

The Master raised his hand to show the freak the ring he was wearing. The ring that would control the slave bracelets.

“Jack,” The Doctor said quickly, his expression panicked. “Sit down. Please.”

And of course the anomaly did as his precious keeper commanded. The Master allowed the Doctor to break free and was unsurprised when he sat down beside the freak. He even went so far as to skim his fingers over the various wounds on the human’s face.

“Doctor.” The Master said, sitting opposite the pair and pointing to a spot on his chair arm. “Come here.”

“You’re joking?” The Doctor asked, sitting bolt-upright. His huge brown eyes were even bigger than normal.

“I assure you I’m not. Come here. Now

The Doctor’s mouth set in a stubborn line. “No.”

The Master didn’t think twice about activating the slave bracelets. The freak instantly started screaming, writhing in pain as his entire body was wracked with continuous bolts of energy. He fell to the floor, knocking the Doctor onto his arse when he tried to pin him down through the convulsions.

“Stop!” The Doctor screamed. “Master, stop it.”

“I will.” The Master answered calmly. “If you come here.” He pointed at the spot again.

This time the Doctor didn’t hesitate. He dashed across the room and threw himself onto the chair arm with enough force that he almost toppled over the other side. The Master patted his thigh once and turned the slave bracelets off. The human instantly stilled.

“Jack, Jack are you alright?” The Doctor very clearly wished to get up and check on the freak, but he was smart enough to realise what would happen if he got up before the Master told him he could. “Jack?”

“I’m OK.” The human eventually croaked. He sat up, looking deathly pale as he glared daggers at the Master. “That all you got?”

He was startled when the Doctor grabbed his wrist. “Don’t” He hissed, his hold surprisingly forceful.

“I wasn’t going to.” The Master said, enjoying the thunderous look on the other lords face. “It's punishment for misbehaving is different to yours. You see, when it misbehaves it will be placed in a kennel.” The Master turned back to the human, who was watching him very carefully. “That means no contact with the Doctor, freak. And how will you help him if you’re both separated?”

“And my punishment?” The Doctor asked, though they both knew he had already figured it out.

“If you don’t behave beloved, I’ll torture your pet. And I’ll make you watch.”

Surprisingly the Doctor laughed. It was a brittle, desperate sound and totally without humour. “You truly expect me to bond with you? You’re a monster.”

The Master felt a swell of anger and twisted his fingers through the other lord’s thick hair. Without warning he pulled the Doctor flush against his chest, forcing him to rest his head against the Master’s shoulder. The Doctor gasped but didn’t struggle as the lovely pale column of his throat was bared. “You’re forgetting you don’t have a choice beloved.” The Master hissed into the side of his neck. He bit down, hard. The Doctor yelped and the freak moved shakily to his feet. “Now tell your dog to sit, otherwise I’ll shock it again.”

“Jack, don’t.” The Doctor said instantly. He raised the hand he wasn’t using to brace himself placatingly. “It’s alright. I’m fine.”

“Let him go.” The freak snarled, glaring daggers at the Master but obediently staying put. “Or I swear to God -”

“Oh do shut up.” The Master interrupted, wrapping his arm around the Doctor’s waist and tapping a gentle rhythm against his chest. Dum dum dum, dum dum dum. “I’ll let him go when I’m good and ready. As I’ve been telling the dear Doctor, he is going to have get used to this and a whole lot more. And if you, freak, wish to remain in his ownership you will learn to behave. Otherwise I will send you away for good.”

“You said you can’t.” The human snapped, but panic was rolling off him in waves. “The Doctor owns me. Not you.”

“Yes, you’re one of his few meagre possessions. You were supposed to be a form of punishment of course, but the paperwork is still all in place none-the-less. However, the Doctor’s signature can be easily forged. If I wanted to truly be rid of you I could.” The Master felt the Doctor jolt in his hold. “Given the Doctor’s status it would be very difficult for him to appeal. I would make it very difficult for him to appeal.”

The Doctor began to squirm. “Let me up.”

“I will when I’m ready.” The Master said with a purposeful hint of condescension. He moved his hand from the Doctor’s chest and slapped it over his mouth. “Now shush.” He turned back to the freak and grinned brightly. “I’m willing to let the Doctor keep you freak, so long as you learn to heel. The question is, do you care enough about him to submit? I’m aware that after fifty years of enslavement it isn’t a trick you’ve quite managed to learn yet.”

“I won’t just stand by whilst you hurt him.” The human snarled. “I won’t let you mistreat him.”

“Does he look particularly hurt to you?”

“Seriously?” The human asked, his incredulous expression all the more infuriating when it melted into one of shock. He gestured at the Doctor, who's squirming threatened to progress into a full struggle. “God, how can’t you see how fucked up what you’re doing is? Let him go.”

“Wrong answer, freak.” The Master hissed. He pushed the Doctor off his lap, barely sparing him a glance as he tumbled to the floor. “Guards.” He called, smirking when they came barging into the room. He gestured to the freak. “Take this thing to the stables.”

“You’re hurting him.” The human cried, struggling as the guards caught his arms. “You’re just so fucked up in the head that you don’t even realise.”

“Make sure it receives fifty lashes.” The Master added as he watched the human dragged out.

He was more than a little surprised when he was almost instantly bowled over by a clearly upset Doctor. The lithe Time Lord straddled the Master’s hips and caught the collar of his robes with both of his hands. “You didn’t have to.” He shouted, shaking the Master hard enough to make his teeth rattle. “You were in control. He wasn’t fighting you. It was just words.”

The Master had just-about-had-enough. He flipped the Doctor onto his back, a much more desirable position, and pressed all of his weight down on top of him. “If you wanted to wrestle Theta, all you had to do was ask.”

“Get off me.” The Doctor shouted, looking up at the Master with an expression of intense anger. Even his shields were cracked enough to let his fury bleed through.

It was of course at that exact moment that the Master’s father walked into his chambers. The Old Time Lord looked understandably shocked to his his son pinning his screaming intended to the floor. It was not an ideal scene.

“Is it supper time already?” The Master asked pleasantly.

Chapter Text

The scene was broken when the Doctor bucked violently beneath him. “Marnal -” He managed to cry out imploringly before the Master slapped a hand over his mouth, effectively cutting off the remainder of his plea.

Marnal’s expression was a mixture of shock and disappointment as his gaze wandered between them. “Son,” he said, clearly trying to sound soothing. “That is not the correct manner to treat one’s intended. Let the Doctor up.”

“The Doctor attacked me.” The Master said, annoyed that the old one would dare command him. He looked down and took immense pleasure when he saw the look of conflicted guilt bloom on the Doctor’s angular face. He didn’t really think the other lord meant to knock him over. It seemed more an act of desperation and uncoordinated speed than intended violence. Still, he wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to still the Doctor’s incessant squirming. “I think he bruised my elbow.” He added, just to see the Doctor shudder with guilt. He really was a sentimental fool.

Marnal did not look convinced. “You're not the one covered in scrapes and bruises. Really son, you need to learn to be more gentle.”

With a put-upon sigh the Masted rolled off the Doctor, who immediately scooted away in an amusing and highly undignified manner, all long limbs and wild eyes. “Call off the punishment.” He said between heaving breaths. Ah, so he was carrying on with that nonsense. The wild look in his big brown eyes really was quite fetching though. “Call it off!”

“What punishment?” Marnal asked confusedly.

“He’s going to have Jack whipped.” The Doctor said, turning that lovely wild gaze on Marnal as though he expected the older Time Lord to know who Jack was. As though he would care even if he did.

“Who is Jack?” The old one asked confusedly.

“His slave. Now do you see what I have to put up with?” The Master asked his father tiredly. He reached out and grabbed both of the Doctor’s wrists in a bruising hold. The Doctor’s gaze immediately settled on Marnal and the silent plea for help was annoyingly obvious. “If I call off it’s punishment how will it learn, beloved?”

He could almost see the cogs turning in the Doctor’s mind before he spoke. “You’re confusing his punishments aren’t you?” The Doctor asked, his whole body tensing as he very clearly battled his desire to break free. He seemed to deflate slightly when he realised the old one wasn’t going to help him. “He’s only supposed to be sent away if he misbehaves.”

The Master thought about it and had to admit the Doctor had a point. If he started punishing the abomination every time it upset him it would ruin any conditioning he hoped to impart in the beast’s thick skull. He wasn’t about to give something up for free though.“If I call off the whipping will you promise to behave tonight?”

“Yes.” The Doctor answered quickly.

“No more dramatics?”

The Doctor bit his bottom lip at that, clearly struggling to contain the urge to blurt out the first thing that popped into his head. “Of course.” He said eventually.

The Master clicked his fingers and one of the guards permanently stationed outside his chambers came hurriedly into the room. “Belay my last order to have the freak whipped. Have it put into a den on his own and leave it there .” He turned back to the Doctor and grinned. ”I trust that meets with your approval.” He said before he gripped the Doctor’s hand loosely in his own. He waited to see if he would pull free. “Doesn’t he look well in our colours, Marnal?” He said, turning to his father who was watching them with a troubled expression.

“Very well.” The old one said eventually, smiling gently at the Doctor. “It suits you Doctor.”

The Master could see that the Doctor was struggling to respond positively but he did manage a weak smile.

“Time to go then.” The Master said pleasantly, tugging the Doctor forward and feeling a thrill of satisfaction when he readily followed. His pleasure was slightly dampened with the knowledge that the Doctor was only being amenable for the sake of the freak, but he was confident that in time he would learn to obey. There were so many ways to control him after all.

 

***

 

The Doctor felt himself wilt under the combined stare’s of the Oakdown household. He had been among them before of course, but that was many, many years ago, well before the academy and the Doctor’s banishment from his own household. It was daunting...

The Master’s hand around his bicep tightened and the Doctor realised he had stopped in his tracks. He considered making the Master drag him him forward but decided that the gesture could have dire consequences for Jack. The Doctor couldn’t bare the idea of Jack being punished because of him.

The Master sat down at the head of the families table and bade the doctor to sit on his right. He found himself trapped between the Master and his father. Beside him sat the Master's mother, Valcorn. The Master’s uncle and his three daughters, Arora, Malam and the Sin sat opposite. They were all staring at him.

“Hello.” The Doctor said, grinning brightly as he waved his hand enthusiastically. He saw Arora’s eyes widen and fix onto the circle of finger-shaped bruises encircling his wrist. He quickly lowered his hand.

“I hope your stay here has been a pleasant one so far Doctor?” Lady Valcorn asked, looking anything but pleased to see him. Her eyes travelled over his face and landed on the collar fixed around his neck.

“It’s been -” The Doctor trailed off uncomfortably before forcing another smile on his face. “Thank you for your hospitality.” He finished rather lamely.

The Doctor was distracted when a young human entered the room with a tray full of drinks. She placed a goblet in front of each member of the family with a trembling hand. The Doctor couldn't help but note how ashen and haggard she appeared as she stepped beside him. He didn’t think her natural age was much more than twenty, but the fine lines around her eyes and the silver in her hair spoke of a difficult life. He met her tired expresson and offered her a gentle smile of thanks when she placed down his drink.

“I’ve heard much about you, Doctor.” The Sin said in an unimpressed tone. Her fiery red hair and deep jade green eyes meant she was a favourite among the courtiers. The Doctor tried to remember if she was still in her first form. Did she fight in the war? “It appears that your reputation as a human lover is not exaggerated.” Something close to maliciousness passed over her face. She nudged her goblet with her elbow and knocked the drink to the ground with a vicious smile. “Oh dear, look what I’ve done.” She exclaimed.

When the girl hurried over to clean the mess up she accidentally brushed against the ladies sleeve. The Doctor could only gasp when she used the boot of her heel to force the girl face first into the mess. However her gaze remained fixed on the Doctor the entire time, gauging his reaction.

“Well we’re all very pleased to have you here.” Lady Valcorn said, breaking the silence with her pleasant enquiry. Never mind that the words were spoken with as much warmth as ice. The Doctor cautiously lowered his shields and felt a sudden and violent push that screamed her displeasure. The lady very clearly did not want him as a part of her household and was not as adept as her husband at hiding it.

“Are you really?” The Doctor asked, smile still in place. “We-ll I’m obviously just thrilled to be here too, wouldn’t change a thing about it, which has nothing at all to do with the proximity cuffs that make it completely impossible for me to leave. Oh, If anyone happens to have a key and doesn’t particularly want a renegade in the family, which I’m guessing most of you don’t, please don’t be shy about coming forward. All assistance is greatly appreciated and actively encouraged.”

The Master grabbed the Doctor by the back of his neck, just above the collar and squeezed in warning. “Beloved, do behave.” he hissed quietly into the Doctor’s ear. He sat back and gently caressed the slender Time Lords nape before turning back to his family. “Do forgive him my dears, the Doctor is still adjusting to his new position.”

“You have him in proximity cuffs?” Lady Valcron asked stiffly.

“A temporary measure I assure you. Once the bond is initiated the cuffs will no longer be necessary.”

“A bond I haven’t consented to.” The Doctor piped up, ignoring the increasing pressure at his scruff. “A bond I am actively rejecting.”

“A bond that has been sanctioned by the high council.” The Master said, clearly determined to keep his temper in check as he kept up the incessant stroking. “Now remember your side of our bargain Doctor and do be civil.”

The Doctor felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. He was allowing them to affect him and thus playing with Jack’s safety. He needed to control himself.

“He’ll settle soon enough.” The Master said, as though the Doctor wasn’t there. “I’ve been thinking about the date for the ceremony -”

The Doctor stopped listening as the Master and his family discussed the upcoming bonding. Instead he kept one eyes on the line of slaves that trickled in and out of the room. None of them looked particularly healthy despite their youth. He wondered if anyone in the household had taken the advice he had passed onto the citadel about the slaves treatment seriously. He doubted it given how gaunt the majority of them appeared.

“Have you considered who will represent you in the ceremony Doctor?” Manal asked, clearly trying to include the Doctor despite his strong desire not to be involved.

“I don’t much care who it is.” He answered truthfully. The whole thing was a farce after all.

“Your brother would be most appropriate.” He said thoughtfully.

The Master sniffed loudly. “That old prude won’t involve himself. You saw him at the council. He almost had a seizure when the vote was announced.”

“Well a decision needs to be made quickly if you intend to have the ceremony in a score.”

“What?” The Doctor asked, possibly slightly too loudly. “The ceremony is taking place when?”

“Within a score.” The Master said as he cupped the Doctor’s chin in his hand. “What’s the point of waiting after all.”

“No.” The Doctor said instantly.

The Sin laughed, ignoring the murderous look from the Master and her father. “He does not seem too eager cousin.”

“All the more reason to get it over with.” The Master said darkly.

“No.” The Doctor said again.

“Yes.” The Master insisted. He pushed the Doctor’s plate in front of him in a jerky movement. “Now eat Doctor. And if you don’t have anything constructive to add please do shut up.”

Chapter Text

Neither of them had slept in days. It wasn’t unusual for a Time Lord to go without rest for prolonged periods of time, providing they were otherwise healthy and in a relatively relaxed state. However neither scenario applied to the Doctor and his recent escapades. The Time Lord was undoubtedly exhausted and doing a piss-poor job of hiding it and unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Doctor seemed determined to resolutely ignore his needs.

The Master pressed his hand against the small of the Doctor’s back and urged him towards the bed with a gentle push. The Doctor didn’t fight. He seemed distracted and clearly didn’t realise where they were headed.

“I’d forgotten how charming your family are.” He muttered, running his hands through his already erratic hair. “The Sin is particularly endearing. Of course I should have figured anyone who chose to give themselves such a dubious title was unlikely to be particularly sweet natured. I can definitely see a family resemblance. No wonder your house is so well respected, it full of manic -” He felt the Doctor tense. “What are you doing?”

“We’re going to bed.”

“I most certainly am not.”

The Master really didn’t feel like arguing. “If you come to bed I’ll let the freak out to play in the morning. How about that?”

The Doctor tensed further. “Just sleep?”

Despite himself the Master smirked. “Frightened for your modesty Doctor?”

“Yes.” The other Time Lord said without a hint of a smile. “So, just sleep?”

“I swear.” The Master said with a small frown. “Change out of the robes and I’ll fetch you some sleeping garments.”

“I would like to use the privy.” The Doctor said, unsubtly putting distance between them. “I can get changed in there.”

It wasn’t worth the argument. The Master shrugged and fetched the Doctor a pair of his own sleeping garments. He could see the unhappy look on the other Lords face. “I want to collect my own clothes tomorrow.”

The Master had watched the Doctor for a very long time and knew the majority of his clothes were rags. As a disowned renegade the Doctor’s funds had been limited, but he knew the other Lord had enough of his own wealth to live reasonably well. The reason he had dressed as he had was because he had wanted to. He very clearly hated being trussed up in traditional robes and prefered the same trousers and tunics that the regular citizens of the city wore. It was fine in the privacy of their own rooms but the Master would have to deal with the Doctor’s odd tendencies once they were bonded. He did not particularly look forward to the arguments that would follow. Still, it was something they could discuss another day. It wasn’t as if he intended to let the Doctor out anytime soon. “I’ll have a servant fetch them for you. Is there anything else you’d like?”

“Why can’t I fetch them myself?”

“Because I said so.”

“Do you intend to keep me here indefinitely then?”

“Yes.” The Master said, not blinking in the face of the Doctor’s horror. “I would have thought that was pretty damn clear by now, after your stupid escape attempt.” So much for not arguing.

“So you’ll keep me here for however long you deem fit?” He stepped up to the Master and grabbed both of his shoulders in a fierce grip. “I’ve already had my TARDIS taken away? They’ve already grounded me. And now you would confine me to your house? It’s torture. You know it is.”

“If you could be trusted not to do something stupid I wouldn’t have to keep such a tight rein on you, would I?” The Master said, matching the Doctor tone for tone and resolutely ignoring the pulse of despair he could feel leaking through the Doctor’s usually impressive shields.

“By stupid do you mean runaway? Runaway because, despite the fact that no one seems to care, you are holding me here against my will?”

“That old song is starting to become tiring, beloved. Besides, I’ve hardly kidnapped you. You’re being kept here by order of the council. And if you must know, yes, that’s exactly why. Because I know given even a speck of freedom you would try to run. And quite honestly I’m far too busy to run after you. So shut up, get ready for bed and try to relax.”

The last thing he expected was the Doctor to stride past him and open the outer chamber door. He dashed through, easily avoiding the guard's too slow grab.

The Master cursed at the fool as he bolted past her and followed the Doctor. Infuriatingly the Doctor’s longer legs were outpacing him and he realised with a start that he wasn’t going to be able to catch him. He snarled once before coming to a standstill. He would not be seen running around his home trying to catch his damn intended again.

The little fool couldn’t leave the grounds. The Master would allow him his pathetic freedom, for now. Sleep would have to wait.

******

The Doctor was more than a little surprised when he realised the Master wasn’t chasing him anymore. He wondered if something horrible was about to happen. Perhaps the proximity cuff would suddenly reel him back to the room like a fish on a hook. He looked down at the offending piece of equipment and scowled fiercely at it.

An hour passed as the Doctor wondered idly through the Master’s house and nothing happened. Even the guards he encountered barely spared him more than a casual glance.

It wasn’t until another hour had passed, when the Doctor had found the houses impressive library and was happily riffling through the shelves that he realised the reason the Master wasn’t chasing after him was because he knew the Doctor couldn’t escape. Even if he did manage to disconnect the blasted cuffs he had nowhere to go, no friends that would help him and no resources to escape the planet. And then there was Jack -

The Doctor shuddered as he considered the human for the first time. What would the Master do to Jack after this latest episode? Guilt started to bite at him as he realised he hadn’t even spared his friends well-being a second thought.

He dropped the book he was holding with a start and spun around, and very promptly knocked over a tiny little human. The woman looked up at him with a pair of huge green eyes, made all the more prominent due to her pinched little face. The Doctor immediately bent down to help her back to her feet, but the girl shrieked and threw her hands over her head in a clear attempt to shield her face.

“No, no don’t be frightened.” The Doctor said soothingly. “It was my fault. I wasn’t looking where I was going. Please, you’re ok. I won’t hurt you. I promise.”

The girl very slowly lowered her arms and peered frightfully up at the Doctor.

“See, no need to be frightened of little old me.” The Doctor said, flashing her a grin that he knew most people found infectious, when they weren’t trying to kill, capture or generally yell at him. He cautiously offered his hand to her again. “Please let me help you up. I knocked you clean off your feet, poor thing. Are you hurt?”

She very hesitantly put her hand in his and allowed him to pull her up to her feet. Her eyes were fixed firmly on her bare feet. “I’m fine.” She said softly.

“You’re sure?”

Her pretty eyes briefly met his own. “Yes, thank you my lord.”

“No need for all that pompous nonsense. My names the Doctor. What’s yours?”

“Elizabeth.”

“Beautiful name. Absolutely gorgeous.” The Doctor said, grinning again. He was pleased when the girl smiled tentatively back at him. “You work in the library do you?”

The girls smile faltered and her eyes shone with panic. The Doctor was a little stunned when she fell to the ground and blatantly realised she was bowing to him. It left a startlingly bad taste in his mouth. “Please forgive me. Please don’t tell anyone. I wasn't going to take anything. I was just looking. Just -” She broke off, clearly crying.

The Doctor fell down crossed legged beside her and gently carded his fingers through her lovely red hair. He did love that particular hair colour. “Shush Elizabeth, you don’t have to be frightened. I won’t tell anyone.” He felt a sad smile bloom on his face. “Do you like to read the books?”

“I can’t read.” The girl whimpered. “I want to but - but they don’t t-teach us. I like the pictures.”

“Of course you do. Humans, always so curious. Bloody brilliant, the lot of you.”

This earned him a decidedly confused look. “Why are you being so kind to me?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” The Doctor asked, pulling the girl gently to her feet and using the sleeves of his disgusting robes to wipe away her tears. “It’s not like it costs me anything.”

“Are you visiting?” The girl asked, seemingly getting a hold of herself at last. “I’ve never seen you before.”

The Doctor wasn’t quite sure how he wanted to answer that. “I’ll be staying here for - a while I suppose.”

She grinned at him, which made him feel a little better. He couldn’t help but grin back. “Are you a new servant?” Her eyes travelled over his robes and her smile melted slightly. “You don’t dress like a servant.”

“I’m more of a guest I suppose. But please don’t worry. I really wouldn’t do anything to hurt you. You can trust me. I promise.”

She looked surprisingly willing to take him at his word. In fact she was soaking up his every word. He wondered if anyone had ever shown the poor child a speck of kindness before. “Thank you Doctor, for keeping my secret.”

“Just be more careful in the future. If anyone else catches you in here it could end badly.” He thought what the Master or the Sin would do if they found the girl and shuddered. “Where do you work Elizabeth. I might come and visit you if I get the chance.”

“The kitchens.” The girl said with a small bow. She didn’t seem able to help herself. “Sometimes I clean the hallways. That’s how I found the library. I’ve never seen anyone else in here before though.”

“Do you spend any time in the kennels?” He asked, hating the sound of the word on his tongue. It was a horrible description for the even more vile pit the humans were forced to stay in when they weren’t working.

“Of course.” She said.

“Have you perchance seen a new human? His name is Jack. He’s about my height but he’s got broader shoulders. He has blue eyes and brown hair.”

“The handsome man?” The girl asked excitedly.

The Doctor released a soft huff of laughter. “That’ll be the one. You’ve seen him then?”

“Oh yes, but no ones allowed near him. He’s been put on a pen on his own. The keepers say he’s dangerous.”

“Has he been hurt at all?”

The girl frowned. “I don’t think so. Not that I’ve seen anyway.”

The Doctor felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. “Thank you Elizabeth. I really must be going now. Remember what I said. Don’t get caught.”

“Caught doing what?” An amused voice asked, making the Doctor and Elizabeth jump guiltily.

The Doctor closed his eyes and released a deep breath before forcing himself to turn around and face the Sin. “Hello my lady.” He said, stepping in front of Elizabeth to try and block her from view. He saw how the Sin tracked the movement with her eyes and felt his hearts stutter.

“Caught doing what?” the lady repeated with a very cold smile.

“Talking to me.” The Doctor said with a bright smile. “I realise that there are quite a few conspiracies flying around and I don’t want any slaves associated with me.”

“Smart thinking.” SIn said sweetly. “Shoo slave. The Doctor and I have things to discuss.”

Elizabeth rushed out of the room but she threw a worried look at the Doctor over her shoulder before disappearing.

The Doctor and the Sin stared at one another. “I do hope you’re enjoying our library.” She said eventually. She gestured around the room with her perfectly lacquered fingers. “It so seldomly gets used. The mere fact that I could hear voices inside was quite the shock.” Her gaze flickered over the Doctor, lingering on his robes that were undoubtedly covered in dust. “Have you nothing to say Doctor? I had heard you were such a talkative creature.”

“I’m weary I suppose.” The Doctor responded noncommittally. “I really should get back.”

“To the Master's chambers?” She asked, her tone enough to make the Doctor cringe. “It’s not very proper, is it? You’re not even bonded yet but you’re sharing his chambers. People are bound to talk.”

“I find I’m quite often the subject of gossip.” The Doctor responded, keeping a tight hold on the shame he could feel bubbling up at the realisation of what people would say about him. “I really couldn’t care less.” It was a lie, but he didn’t think she could tell.

“Yes, you’re disinterest in what people think is quite legendary. Do you enjoy being such a huge embarrassment to your household?”

The Doctor refused to be drawn into a sparring match with her. He bowed his head and went to walk around her. “If you’ll excuse me -”

“What’s your rush?” She asked as she reached out and grabbed his arm.

He really was becoming quite annoyed at all of the blasted manhandling. “I really do need to get back.”

“Your master calling, is he?”

The Doctor threw her a humourless smile. “Good evening my lady.”

The Doctor didn’t run until he was out of the Sin’s sight. Then he sprinted back the way he had come, passing the guard stationed outside the Master’s door. He noticed the woman was sporting an impressive split lip and felt a bout of guilt when he realised it was probably because of him.

He let himself back into the room and immediately came face-to-face with the Master. He did not squeak as his arm was grabbed and he was dragged into the privy. “Wash up, get changed and get into bed. Do-not-speak.”

The Doctor considered arguing but very quickly decided to comply. He had to try and contain some of the damage he may have already caused.

He washed his hands and brushed his teeth before gratefully pulling off the robe and less enthusiastically pulling on the borrowed sleeping shirt and trousers. They smelled distinctly like the Master.

He stepped out of the room and warily approached the bed. “You’re not angry?” He asked at last, unable to stand the silence a moment longer.

The Master stared at him from his desk. “Why should I be? You came back after all.”

“I suppose I did.” The Doctor muttered quietly. “And Jack?”

“What about it?”

“Will you still let me see him tomorrow?”

“If you get into bed and go to sleep until morning.”

The last thing the Doctor wanted to do was get in the bed of his own free will, but the temptation to see Jack was too strong to pass up. He slowly pulled back the covers and settled gingerly on top of the extremely soft mattress.

“You’re on my side.” The Master said as he approached. “Move over.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes but did as he was told. He tried not to jump straight out of the bed when the Master settled in beside him and pulled the covers over the top of them both. “Lights off.” He said and the room was instantly shrouded in darkness.

The Doctor moved as close to the edge of the bed as he could without falling off. He was left alone for approximately twenty seconds before a muscled arm wrapped around his waist and dragged him against a warm chest. “This wasn’t part of our agreement.” The Doctor said between gritted teeth.

“Shush beloved. It’s time to rest now.”

The Doctor remained tense in the Master’s arms, uncomfortable and too warm. The other Time Lord seemed to have already fallen asleep, breathing steadily into the Doctor’s ear. He tried to squirm free but the arms around his tightened. He wasn’t going anywhere.

Chapter Text

“Your slaves are underfed.” The Doctor remarked casually after a scraggly little human brought them their morning tea. He took a small sip, savouring the taste before he cradled the steaming mug in his finely boned hands. His large eyes stared reproachfully at the Master, waiting for time only knew what.

“I hadn’t noticed.” The Master remarked idly, refusing to be drawn into one of the Doctor’s boring lectures.

The other Lord sighed softly. He clearly didn’t intend to let the subject rest. “Did you make any changes to their living conditions following the recommendations I gave to the council?”

“I don’t deal with the slaves, beloved. We have servants for that sort of thing.”

“You’re the head of this house. The human’s here are your responsibility. You have to -”

The Master slammed his fist down on the breakfast table, causing the Doctor to flinch violently. “Shut-up.” He snarled, leaning forward until the Doctor dropped his gaze nervously. The Master felt a thrill of triumph seeing the Doctor so prettily subdued. All of the tiptoeing they had been doing around one another was starting to grate on his nerves. “I don’t want to hear about your obsession with those mutts. Do you hear me?”

The Doctor looked up slowly, his large eyes determined but weary. “Is it the drums?”

That certainly threw the Master off his kilter. He took a deep breathe before he offered the Doctor a brittle smile. “Do you think I’d tell you if it was?”

The Doctor shrugged. “You seem unusually agitated.”

“If you must know I’ve received notification from Rassiolin. He’ll be visiting shortly.”

The colour drained from the Doctor’s face. He sat bolt upright in his chair, eyes wide and staring. The Master felt a pulse of fear push against his shields. “Why would he want to come here? I thought he didn’t want anything else to do with me?”

“He isn’t coming to see you. Or at least so he says. His official reason for visiting is to see Arora. Apparently he intends to invite her to the citadel. He is in need of an assistant”

“And you believe that do you?”

“Not at all. But it's a legitimate enough reason to visit.” The Master looked thoughtfully at the Doctor. “What exactly did you see when you managed to pillage his mind, beloved?”

The Doctor shuddered. “Nothing. I saw nothing.”

“You’re lying.”

A spark of anger lit up the Doctor’s eyes. “Prove it.”

“I could help you if you’d trust me.”

The Look the Doctor gave him made his heart's plummet. He shrugged and sat back unhappily. “Can you at least tell me if you think he intends to cause you harm?”

“Beyond what he’s already done? I doubt it. After all, why bother? You have me so nicely trapped here already.”

“That I do.” The Master agreed brightly. He reached out and plucked the Doctor’s mug out of his hands before taking a long sip. It was petty and childish but it felt surprisingly satisfying.

“That was mine.” The Doctor pouted.

The Master felt an unpleasant buzzing in his head. “The freak is nearly here. Can you feel him yet?”

The Doctor seemed uninterested. “I suppose so, if I concentrate. It’s not so noticeable anymore. Do you still have any trouble keeping your shields up when you're around him?”

“No, but I’ve had a lot of years of practice. I notice you seem to have picked up a few nifty defenses pretty quickly. How is that?”

The Doctor made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “I’m not doing anything specific. It seems the more time we spend together the less it hurts to be around him.”

“Spent a lot of time alone together, did you?”

“You’re being ridiculous.” The Doctor remarked irritably.

“And you’re avoiding the question.”

“We spent some time together. Hardly a lot. I barely had him for more than a few days before you decided you wanted to ruin my life.” The Doctor took a deep breath. “Have you spent a lot of time with Jack?”

The Master knew the smart answer would be to deny any previous knowledge of the Doctor’s pet, but he truly was feeling the effects of the drumming. The constant dum, dum, dum, dum was beginning to override any need he felt to win over the other Time Lord. He wanted to hurt him. “Someone had to experiment on the freak. Did you know that if you cut it clean in two it can just pull itself back together? It really is quite horrific to witness. I would know, I must have seen it happen at least twenty times. Sit DOWN!” He boomed the latter, standing up and glaring fiercely at the Doctor, silently daring him to take another step away from the table.

The Doctor hesitated for a few seconds before common sense won out. He settled himself slowly back into the seat, gripping the chair arms tightly as the Master continued to pick at his own lunch.

“Eat something.” He grunted.

“I’m not hungry.” The Doctor answered softly.

“I don’t care if you’re not hungry. You haven’t eaten anything since you got here. You need to eat.”

“Damn it all, I said I’m not hungry.” The Doctor shouted, seemingly on the verge of standing up again before he abruptly folded in on himself. “Must you try to control absolutely everything?” he asked, much more softly.

“You know I must.” The Master answered truthfully. They both looked up when the outer door was pushed open. The freak stood between two of the Master’s guards, tall and handsome and disgustingly wrong.

The Doctor didn’t get up as he so clearly wanted to, but his joy was clear. For whatever reason he truly did seem to have some sort of affinity for the anomaly.

“Good morning freak.” The Master said brightly as he jumped to his feet and grabbed the Doctor’s hand. He kept a firm grip on the slender Time Lord and pulled him over to the monster. Waiting until the freak was stood directly in front of them the Master thrust the Doctor into the freaks arms.

“A promise is a promise.” He said, forcing himself to wear a bright and happy smile. “I’m going to let you two get reacquainted whilst I go do some grown up things. Do behave.”

He walked away, setting a quick pace until he reached his office. Dum, dum, dum, dum. The drumming was unusually loud. He was angry, agitated. He wondered if it had anything to do with lying in bed with the Doctor all night and forcing himself not to touch a damn hair on his fluffy head.

He took a deep breath before he punched the office door with all of his might. It left a smudge of dark orange-tinted blood behind. Instead of helping the furious drumming it only seemed to make it worse.

Something needed to give. Soon.

Chapter Text

“That’s it?” Jack asked incredulously, staring suspiciously after the Master’s retreating form with a scepticism born from a long life of unpleasant surprises. There was no fucking way he was just going to walk out and leave the two of them alone together. There was just no way.

He turned back to the Doctor, about to give him a proper hello when a solid body impacted with his own. He grunted, realising rather blatantly that he had his arms full of Time Lord and he wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them.

“Are you alright?” The Doctor asked, breathing softly into his ear. He sounded wrecked.

Jack couldn’t resist. He threw his arms around the Doctor, enveloping him in a tight hug. “I’m fine. Kind of bored, but that’s really nothing new. Are you OK?”

“They didn’t hurt you?” He asked, ignoring Jack’s question. He wasn’t letting go.

“Nope, threw me into a small, dirty cage but otherwise didn’t touch a hair on my pretty little head until they dragged me to the slave baths. Why, what did you think they were going to do?”

“I wasn’t sure. The Master said he was going to have you whipped, but I talked him out of it. I didn’t know if he was going to do it anyway.” He took a deep breath before finally releasing Jack and putting some space between them. “All things considered I really am very happy to see you.”

“Likewise, Doc.” Jack’s gaze fell on the discarded breakfast just sitting out and getting cold. He felt his stomach growl in protest. “You going to finish that?” He asked, pointing to the Doctor’s mostly full plate.

“Definitely not.” The Doctor said, his eyes twinkling as he led Jack to the table. He took the Master’s chair, pushing his food away as he gestured at Jack to start eating.

“So have you managed to figure out how we’re going to get the hell out of here yet?” Jack asked around a mouth full of honey flavoured bread. “Cause I’ve gotta be honest with you Doc, I’m more than ready to quit this joint.”

The Doctor’s lips twitched into a smile. “Unfortunately not quite yet. In addition to your collar I’m also wearing a pair of proximity restraints. They’ve been specially modified by the Master and after some initial prodding I’ll admit I haven’t figured out a way to remove them, yet. We’re also in quite a desolate part of the city. Even if we managed to slip the tracking devices we’d still need to find a safe place to hide.” He grabbed his chin thoughtfully. “If we could find and access a TARDIS-”

“Does the Master have one?” Jack asked, thinking rather longingly of the remarkable machines that could slip so gracefully between time and space. If the Doctor could drive one they really would be able to escape the Time Lord’s once and for all.

“He’s called Crux. He’s a military type 97, state of the art and absolutely bloody brutal, but even if we could gain access I wouldn’t be able to use him. The Master has –“ The Doctor trailed off, looking troubled. “He would reject me.”

“He?” jack asked, almost but not quite smiling. “They have genders?”

“Not in the human or Time Lord sense, but yes, they have a gender. The Master always has male TARDISes. So far I believe he has managed to run through at least eight models.”

“And you?” Jack asked.

The Doctor’s whole body seemed to flinch. “One. She was destroyed.”

“How?”

“They tore her apart.”

No need to ask who they were. “They killed her? A machine that magnificent. Why?”

“She was old, outdated. Worthless, or so they thought. And they knew it would hurt me.” He met Jack’s eyes and shrugged. “They were right about the latter at least.”

“What was her name?”

The Doctor smiled quite suddenly. “Ah, well that was always a secret.”

“Like yours?” Jack asked, smiling back. He hesitated a moment before mentally shrugging. “I’ve heard the Master call you Theta a few times. Is that your real name Doctor?”

The Doctor looked mildly annoyed. “It’s just a nickname. From when we were in the academy together. They used to call me Theta Sigma. It’s not my real name Jack.”

“So what is?”

The Doctor smirked at him. “There’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone Jack, and now is most certainly not the time. Besides, I’m the Doctor. That’s name enough.”

Jack took a deep drink of the Doctor’s still warm tea. “If I do get to live forever I don’t think I’ll ever really understand Time Lords.”

“Well then that makes two of us.”The Doctor’s gaze travelled the length of Jack. He suddenly looked unhappy. “They’ve put you back in a slave tunic.”

“No surprise there.” Jack looked resignedly down at the sleeveless black slave tunic. He wished they’d at least let him wear a pair of leggings, but he could deal. It was only clothes. “You’re dressed interestingly.”

“They’re the Masters.” The Doctor grumbled unhappily. “He says he’s going to fetch my clothes shortly but truthfully I think he likes it when I wear his.”

“That’s kinda disturbing.”

“Indeed it is. But the Master’s hardly know for his subtlety.”

As much as he didn’t want to know Jack asked the question that had been tugging at the back of his mind since the first night he had seen the Master kiss the Doc. “Did he -” He broke off with an awkward cough, unable to meet the Doctor’s eyes. “You’re sharing this room with him?”

“Yes.” The Doctor answered easily enough.

“And his bed?”

“Oh.” The Doctor hesitated. “He hasn’t tried anything.”

“Is that likely to change?”

“Quite possibly.”

Jack’s eyes shot up to the Doctor’s. Even though the Time Lord was trying to come across as aloof Jack could very clearly read the fear in his eyes. He was terrified. “Can you stop him?”

“I can try.”

“Doctor.” Jack snapped, causing the Doctor to flinch. “You can’t just let him rape you. You have to fight.”

“I have been fighting him, for years.” The Doctor snapped, sullen and clearly uncomfortable. “And for a while I was winning. But that was when I had the support of my household behind me, when I still garnered even a little respect within the citadel. But things have changed Jack. I’m alone here. I’m a traitor to my own people. No one is going to help me. No one cares enough to even try. How can I possibly stop him?”

“You could kill him.” Jack said, the words slipping easily from his mouth. “I’m sure you could flinch a knife from somewhere. I’ve seen how impressive your pickpocketing skills are. Wait until he’s asleep and slit his throat.”

The Doctor looked like someone had slapped him. He drew away very slightly from Jack. “No.”

“Doctor, you’re telling me you have no other options. But what if you do the unexpected. Before you slit his throat you could even make him take off the proximity cuffs. It would give you a chance to get away.”

“And do what, go where? It’s a foolish plan Jack. The sort of short-sighted human idea that would likely get me and a lot of other people killed in the crossfire.”

“It’s you or him Doc. Please, I don’t want him to hurt you.”

“No.” The Doctor said, shuddering. He stepped closer to Jack and threw his arms around the human’s shoulders, pressing his face into the side of Jack’s neck. “I won’t kill anyone in cold-blood Jack. I can’t.”

Jack immediately wrapped his arms around the Doctor, enjoying his warmth and clean scent. He realised after a moment that the Doctor was shaking. “What is it?” He asked quietly into the Doctor’s soft hair.

“We need to find another way.” He whispered back, burying his head deeply into Jack’s shoulder. “But I don’t know how. No matter how hard I try. I don’t - I don’t know what to do Jack.”

“We’ll figure it out together.” Jack said, petting the Doc’s hair softly. “It’s going to be OK.”

The Doctor released a brittle laugh. “I won’t say he couldn’t get worse, but -” He broke away from Jack abruptly, jumping back and smiling playfully. The difference in his demeanor left Jack a bit dizzy. “Lets go out on the balcony. Get some fresh air. I certainly need it after being cooped up these last few days. Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Jack said, smiling back. If the Doctor wanted to pretend everything was OK who the fuck was he to stop him? He stepped out with the Doctor and even plucked up the courage to place his hand against the small of the Doctor’s back as they gazed out into the citadel.

The second sun had almost set before the Master finally returned. His gaze was instantly drawn to the Doctor and the longing Jack saw in his eyes left a sick feeling in his stomach.

“Playtimes over. Get out freak.” He said, not bothering to look at Jack.

“Jack.” The Doctor said gently, begging with his eyes. “It’s time to go.”

But he didn’t want to. He was scared to leave the Master and the Doctor alone together.

“Get out now freak, or I won’t let you come back tomorrow.”

Of course, being away from the Doc for a night was nothing in comparison to being kept away from him indefinitely. He couldn’t help trailing his hand across the Doctor’s arm as he left, a silent goodbye.

“Night Doc.”

“Good night Jack.”

 

*****************

“You were gone a long time.” The Doctor remarked as he carefully moved the arm the human had stroked onto his lap, presumably to try and hide it from the Master’s gaze.

“Did you miss me?” The Master asked as he stripped off his outer garments and headdress. He let them drop messily to the floor, stepping over them as he made his way to the bar. He pulled out two small crystal chalices and filled them to the brim with brandy. “It seemed your pet freak was keeping you company.”

“It was kind of you to let me see him.” The Doctor said softly. He was outwardly calm but the Master could feel him reinforcing his shields. He was nervous.

“It was supposed to be a punishment.” The Master shook his head, laughing without humour. “And what happens? You become so attached to it that you pine if i take it away from you for too long.” He placed the goblet in front of the Doctor and inwardly smiled at the way his nose twitched after he took a sniff of its contents. “It isn’t good for you to be around it, beloved.”

“And who exactly is good for me? You, your family?” The Doctor placed the drink down untouched. “I find his company much more pleasant.”

“I almost regret the day we took them.” The Master said, draining his drink with one gulp. “At least before they got here the most trouble you got into involved your incessant curiosity. I could almost admire that about you. But then they came and suddenly everything was about them. It ruined you Doctor.”

“It opened my eyes.” The Doctor argued, intend and oh so self-righteous. “It showed me how wrong we are. We were supposed to just watch Master. Watch and not get involved. But instead we took everything from them. We stole their lives.”

“They were destroying themselves.” The Master said, tired of the same old argument. “They were all going to die. You know that. You know what their futures entailed. We gave them a chance to survive.”

“What chance?” The Doctor asked as he gestured around them. “The chance to serve. The chance to never -”

The Master was moving before he’d made any real conscious effort to do so. And the Doctor folded so prettily beneath him. “Don’t-” He tried to protest before the Master slapped his hand hard over his mouth, effectively muting him.

The Doctor’s breathing hitched and his body stiffened, but he didn’t struggle as the Master very slowly trailed his hand over the other Lords slender throat. The Master curled his fingers beneath the silver band encircling the Doctor’s neck and tugged it forward with sudden violence. He released his hold on the Doctor’s mouth long enough to hear him gasp before he pressed a rough and demanding kiss on the quivering Time Lords soft lips.

He could hear the Doctor muffled cry and felt his entire body twist violently beneath him. Ignoring his futile struggling the Master pressed his tongue into the Doctor’s mouth and softly stroked the velvety softness within.

The Master took his time, indulging in an act he had resisted for too long. When he finally pulled away the Doctor was abnormally still beneath him. His eyes were clamped shut but his lips were red and swollen. He looked beautiful and oh so breakable.

“This can happen one of two ways.” The Master whispered into the Doctor’s ear, delighting in the way he tried to flinch away from him. The Master felt powerful. In control. “You can come to bed willingly and I promise I will make this an enjoyable experience for both of us. Or you can struggle. In which case I will have you anyway, but I imagine the experience will be much less pleasant for you.” He sat back enough to give the Doctor a little room and felt a thrum of lust when he saw a small tear fall from the Doctor’s tightly closed eyes. It trailed down his hollow cheeks before spilling onto the floor. “If you’re very good I’ll even allow you to play with your pet afterwards.”

It was the wrong thing to say. He realised it the moment the Doctor’s eyes snapped open. The Doctor threw an actual fit, bucking and twisting his body so violently that he actually managed to pull free. He made it to his feet and almost reached the door before the Master barrelled into him. They both hit the door was considerable force and the Master could hear the Doctor groan painfully beneath him.

“Option number two it is.” The Master said brightly.

Chapter Text

The Master had just about had enough. He lashed out and punched the Doctor hard in the gut. The slender Time Lord keeled forward, groaning pathetically as the Master took advantage and bodily dragged him to the bed. He heaved him up onto the mattress and forced him onto his back.

“Don’t fucking move.” He hissed, purposefully looming over the Doctor as the taller man curled into himself. The Master waited to see if he would try to bolt again but aside from the violent way he was shaking he wasn’t attempting to move.

The Master paced back and forth, tapping out a constant rhythm against his thigh. Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum. “You brought this on yourself.” He snarled, leaping forward and punching the mattress beside the Doctor’s head. “I tried to do this properly. I wanted to make you happy. But you denied me at every turn.”

The Doctor only response was to curl further into himself.

“Why?” He screamed, pressing the palm of his hand across the Doctor’s head and forcing his face into the mattress. “Why can’t you just accept me? I can give you back everything you lost. A family. Respect. Love.”

“You don’t understand.” The Doctor said, and his tone surprisingly calm given how violently he was shaking. “The only thing I want is for you to let me go. I want to be free.”

Free?” The Master screamed, grabbing the Doctor by his shoulders and forcing him onto his back. The Doctor blinked up at him with watery but defiant eyes. “You’re never going to be free again you little fool. You are a renegade. Even after your sentence is over you will never be given your own TARDIS. You will remain here for the rest of your life.” He reached out and grabbed the Doctor’s jaw, relishing in the way he tried to cringe away. “But if you tie yourself to me, if you please me and prove you can be trusted I will allow you to travel with me. I will even let you choose the destination. But only if you learn to obey.”

The Doctor gently cupped the Master’s cheek. His hands were shaking. “Can’t you see that what you’re doing is wrong? You can’t force someone to love you Koschei.”

By the grace of time, the Master thought dazedly, how long has it been since he called me that? The Master paused for a moment before he gently nudged the Doctor’s shields. As always they were piled so high that the Master could barely feel the Doctor’s presence. “I think you’re underestimating how good I am at getting what I want Theta.” He said, almost regretting the resigned sadness he could see in the Doctor’s eyes as he trailed his hands down the taller man’s throat and gently pulled the laces out of his tunic. “You’re mine beloved and it time you’ll learn what that means.”

“We haven’t bonded.” The Doctor said, pressing himself into the Mattress and away from the Master’s hold. “This is rape.”

“Do you honestly think anyone will care?”

“It’s a crime.” The Doctor insisted. “I’ll report you to the council.”

“They already gave you to me.” The Master said, maneuvering the Doctor until he managed to pull the tunic off. He pressed a gentle kiss against the Doctor’s collarbone, reveling in the feel of his soft skin as he settled his hands on either side of the Doctor’s slender hips. “You belong to me.”

“Please -” The Doctor broke off horsley. “Please Master. Just wait.”

“I’ve waited long enough.” The Master growled into the side of the Doctor’s throat. “A millennia of waiting.”

“Just until the bonding.” The Doctor pleaded, his squirming intensifying as the Master’s hands trailed towards his trouser fastenings. “Please, if you’re going to force this on me let’s at least let me keep a shred of my honour. Just wait.” The latter came sharp and broken. The Doctor was freely crying and he couldn’t deny that it made a pretty sight.

But he couldn’t let go. He just couldn’t. “If I wait will you give yourself to me willingly?”

The Doctor’s whole body flinched. “I can’t promise that, but I won’t fight you.”

“That isn’t good enough.” The Master growled, curling his hands even tighter around the Doctor’s hips.

“Anything else I offered you would be a lie.”

Please, just give me this one thing. The Doctor’s presence was a sudden and welcome entity in his minds. He tested the lengths of their tenuous link and felt a thrill of pleasure when the Doctor didn’t immediately raise his shields and throw him out. You’ve taken so much. Just let me have this.

You’re just delaying it. It will only make things worse. You’ll drive yourself into a fit of panic.

I’ve been in a fit of panic since they first called me back to the citadel. The Doctor pushed back, allowing some of his fear to leak through the link. Waiting cannot make matters worse.

The Master pressed the side of his face against the Doctor’s chest and listened to the steady beating of his heats. He realised he was tapping out a constant beat against the Doctor’s hip.

He moved abruptly, the movement fast and violent. The Doctor twitched but didn’t get the chance to struggle before the Master caught him by the hair and dragged him off the bed. He proceeded to drag him across the floor and deposited him in a heap on the terror wolfs carcass. The Doctor made a distressed noise and tried to bolt away but the Master pressed him down. “Calm down.” He snarled when the Doctor started thrashing.


“Let me go.” He sobbed.

“I’m giving you a choice.” The Master said, calm and cold. He closed off their link, deafening himself to the Doctor’s keening. “You can come to my bed and be complacent now, or you can spend your nights laying here, until our bonding. What is your decision?”

The Doctor stilled beneath him, barely moving. “You can’t -”

“We both know I can.”

“Here.” The Doctor whispered, so quietly that the Master barely heard him. “I’ll stay here.”

 

*****************

The Master didn’t let him see Jack, which was hardly a surprise, so the Doctor decided to go for a walk. He approached the door cautiously and when the Master didn’t make an attempt to stop him he slipped through the outer doors and started walking. He didn’t think the Master had reset the distance on the cuffs and was pleasantly surprised when they didn't heed his progress.

He wandered aimlessly for a time, memorising the passageways and exits he didn’t dare to approach. Eventually he heard a great deal of talking and clanking and was automatically drawn to the activity.

He was just approaching a small wooden door when it was flung open and a young human male bustled through. “Watch where you’re going.” He snapped at the Doctor, not looking up from the large tray of goblets he was carrying. The Doctor idly wondered who they were for.

“My apologies.” He said, smiling as the human grunted at him. He slipped through the door and grinned at the buzz of activity taking place. There must have been at least twenty humans scurrying about, some of them laughing and whispering to one another as they completed their tasks. Despite looking tired, haggard and extremely underfed they were making the best of things. Humans, they really were spectacular.

“Oh my God.” An older woman grasped when she caught sight of him. She grabbed her chest and took a step back. The Doctor realised that all eyes were now directed at him. “I mean, apologies my Lord. Are you lost? How may I serve you?”

The Doctor was about to answer when he caught sight of Elizabeth. She was elbows deep in water and looked as frazzled as the last time he had seen her. “Elizabeth!” He boomed, stepping towards her and pulling her in for a hug. She seemed a little stunned before her soaking wet arms wrapped around his waist. “I was hoping I would run into you again.”

“What are you doing here Doctor?” She asked, laughing as she broke away from him. “You realise you’re in the kitchens?”

“Do any of the other Time Lords come in here?” He asked curiously.

“Never.”

“Brilliant.” He pulled up his sleeves and thrust his hands into the water. “I’ll wash, you dry.”

“You’re kidding?” She asked increadiously.

He shrugged. “I can honestly say there isn’t a single thing I would rather do right now.”

The tense silence in the kitchen lasted a while so the Doctor decided to keep a constant stream of chatter. Eventually some of the younger slaves approached him and started asking questions. People started speaking in hushed whispered after that, apparently satisfied that he wasn’t about to order them all whipped and somewhat mollified by Elizabeth's reassurances, they seemed to relax.

“How old are you?” One boy asked curiously. He looked to be in his early teens and he had been staring at the Doctor for a long time, seemingly building up the courage to speak to him.

“How old do you think I am?” The Doctor asked with a grin.

“I dunno, a billion?”

The Doctor couldn’t help but chuckle at that. “Not quite. How old are you?”

“Eighteen.”

The Doctor inwardly cringed. He looked so much younger. Probably due to malnutrition. “What’s your name?”

“Will.”

“Fantastic name.” The Doctor said, grinning at the way the boy blushed. “What do you do Will?”

“I work in the kennels.” The boy said. “I’m responsible for making sure everyone's fed.”

The Doctor felt a spike of interest. “Then you might have come across my friend. His names Jack.”

“The new guy. Yeah, I’ve met him.”

“Have you seen him today?”

“Foods not for another few hours.” The boy said. “I’ll see him then.”

“Brilliant. Do you think you could give him a message for me?”

“Sure.” The boy said easily.

“Just tell him that I’m fine and that I’ll see him soon.”

“That it?”

“That’s it.” The Doctor said, patting his arm in thanks. It was at that moment that the Master stepped into the room. Every human in the room dropped instantly to their knees.

“I should have known you’d be in here.” The Master said, sounding almost amused. “Play times over. Come here.”

The Doctor didn’t hesitate. He hurried through the room and barely grunted when the Master grabbed his arm. “Did I do something wrong?” He asked, worried for the humans.

“No, but Rassilon is here. We’re going to eat together.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor took note of himself in a mirror as he adjusted his tousled hair and paused in surprise. His face was a canvas of new and old bruises, with little fingerprint sizes blotches covering the length of his jaw and an almost-healed cut in the farthest corner of his mouth. An impressive bruise marred the skin on his right eye and cheekbone. And his neck -

All things considered he looked a mess.

The Master sidled up behind him and gently caressed his abused throat, squeezing gently as the Doctor held himself still in his hold. “Good, you’re dressed.” His expression turned thoughtful as his eyes settled on the Doctor’s face. “I don’t enjoy seeing you like this you know.”

“No?” The Doctor asked in a neutral tone. “Perhaps you might consider not hitting me anymore then.”

“I don’t have your restraint Theta. I never have.”

The Doctor made a noncommittal hum as he he slowly wrapped his hand around the Masters wrist. “People will talk if they see my like this.”

“They’re already talking, beloved.” The Master’s free hand gently pressed against the corner of the Doctor’s lip. “Besides, I’m not entirely the cause of all your ailments, am I? You have a tenacity for annoying your betters.”

The Doctor’s lips quirked into a smile. “So it would seem.”

“I trust I don’t need to tell you to behave.” The Master said, meeting the Doctor’s gaze in the mirror.

The Doctor’s skin crawled where the Master was touching him. He would never, ever hit anyone, but after everything that had happened the previous night the urge to break free was almost overwhelming. He did not want the Master’s touch.

“What do you imagine I would say?”

His grip tightened and the Doctor released a hiss of pain as the Master’s fingers dug into the bruises that already littered his throat. “I can only guess what you might conjure up in that head of yours. Just remember to only speak when you’re spoken to and do try not to antagonize Rassilon.”

“You could always leave me here. If he’s here to see Aurora as you said -”

“We both know that isn’t his true reason for visiting. Just hold your tongue and all will be well.”

“He’s a monster.” The Doctor said very softly.

The grip on his throat tightened marginally. “Worse than me?”

The Doctor took a deep breath. “In his way.”

The Master looked intrigued. “What did you see Doctor, when you entered his mind?”

The Doctor looked away from the mirror. “I told you. I saw nothing.”

“I’ll be able to see, when we’re bonded. You won’t be able to hide anything from me then.”

The Doctor closed his eyes. “We’re keeping Rassilon waiting.”

“Why so suddenly eager?” The Master asked as he pressed a kiss between the Doctor’s throat and jaw.

It was too much. He ripped himself out of the Master’s hold and staggered back. “Do not.” He snarled, flinching when his back impacted with a wall and he could retreat no further. “Do not touch me and speak to me of bondings after what you did to me last night. I can barely stand to look at you. I don’t want you anywhere near me.”

The Master looked momentarily stunned by the Doctor’s venom before a slow and vindictive smile turned his lips. “You’re upset.”

“By Times Grace, you’re a bloody genius aren’t you.” The Doctor shouter, stepping forward before common sense got the better of him. “Yes, you bloody idiot. Of course I damn well upset. You killed my friend, skinned him and made me spend the night on his carcass.”

“It was a dog, Doctor.”

“He was my friend!” The Doctor boomed. “He was a good person. He had a family, he-”

“It disobeyed me.” The Master shouted back, seemingly having had enough. “Because of that thing you could have got away. You could have escaped.”

“Listen to yourself you bloody loon. I escaped! You want to bond with me but first you have to destroy anyone who might help me to escape. You’re -”

The Doctor words were cut off with a muffled shout as the Master’s hand passed over his mouth, muting him. The Doctor closed his eyes, waiting for the punishment that would follow.

“I meant what I said. I don’t like seeing you this way.” The Master sneered. “So no more hitting. But, I still have the freak. You remember him, yes? Well carry on Doctor. Say one more word to me in anger and I will personally see the skin peeled of the anomalies back.” He removed his hand and stared the Doctor in the eyes, daring him to say anything. “You understand, yes?”

For one insane moment the Doctor nearly spat in the Master’s face.

 

***************

 

The Doctor didn’t shake off his hold but he held himself as far away from the Master as physically possible without breaking free. The Master allowed him his petty rebellion as they entered the lesser hall arm in arm. It wouldn’t do to discipline him for every little misdemeanor.

Rassilon’s eyes twinkled as they moved slowly from the Master to the Doctor. He was clearly satisfied with the turn of events and wasn’t being shy about gloating. The Master could only hope that the Doctor’s fear of their founder would mean he would at least attempt to hold his tongue.

“You’re late.” The Sin said as the Master took his place at the head of the table. The Doctor sat to his right, directly opposite Rassilon.

“Apologies for the delay my lord.” The Master said directly to Rassilon, resolutely ignoring his cousin.

Rassilon’s thin lips curled into a smile. “No problem. Although I am curious. Did you have to stave off another escape attempt?”

The Master felt his eye twitch before he released a mirthless laugh. “Nothing so dire. I assure you that the Doctor is settling in nicely, aren’t you beloved?”

“Of course.” The Doctor said listlessly as he stared down at his empty plate.

“I’m glad to see you’re able to manage him, Master. But then control is your forte, is it not.”

“Indeed.” The Master agreed. It was impossible to miss the way the Doctor tensed beside him. “I trust your journey here was pleasant, my lord?”

“Good enough.” Rassilon answered before his light eyes turned to Arora. “I am so pleased you accepted my invitation, my lady. I am in dire need of a new assistant and have heard such wonderful things about you.”

Arora smiled and the Master felt a swell of pride. Rassilon real reason for coming was obviously because of the Doctor, but his intention to take Arora into his circle was genuine. It was a great honour and would reflect positively on their house.

“I am very eager to serve, my lord.” She said, demurely but with the mastership their house was famous for. “The Master has allowed me to leave whenever it suits you. So if you’re in need of assistance I am at your disposal.”

“Excellent.” Rassilon grinned. “But dinner is not the time to discuss business. Let us instead talk of merrier things. Master you must tell me what your plans are for the upcoming bonding ceremony. Is it to be soon?”

“It takes place in fifteen days.” The Doctor responded, coming to life quite suddenly as he very surprisingly spoke out. He rested his cheek in his palm and eyed Rassilon with a chilling look. “But I’m sure you already knew that.”

“Doctor.” The Master said warningly.

“You’ll invite the council of course Master.” Rassilon said, addressing the Master even as he kept his expression fixed firmly on the Doctor.

“I had intended to keep the ceremony small.” The Master began -

“Nonsense. You’re the head of a great house. Your union should be properly celebrated and witnessed.”

The Master bowed his head with gritted teeth. “Of course. I’ll see it arranged.”

Rassilon bowed his own head very slightly. “Wonderful. I can barely wait.”

“Oh yes, we’re all so terribly bloody excited.” The Doctor said, his expression still fixed on Rassilon.

 

******************

 

Jack was a little surprised he was getting to see the Doctor again so soon. He was about to give him a proper hello when the Doctor launched himself into Jack’s arms and hugged him tightly.

“Oh, my brilliant Jack.” He said, grabbing Jack’s face and kissing him square on the lips. “I’ve got a plan!”

Well fuck me. Jack thought dazedly. 

Chapter Text

”Care to elaborate?” Jack asked, unable to resist wrapping his arm around the Doctor’s waist and pulling him a bit closer. The Doctor gave him a warning glance, as if he wasn’t the one that just initiated a kiss. Mixed singles, but Jack could deal. The Doctor was an alien after all.

“Rassilon has convinced the Master to make the bonding ceremony a public event. That means people. Lots and lots of people.”

Was he missing something? “RIghttttttt-” He paused, waiting for further clarification. The Doctor just beamed at him. Jack rolled his eyes. “Doesn’t that mean more people to watch you, Doc?”

“It sure does.” The Doctor said excitedly, stepping backward and spinning on his heels. ”But it also means I’m going to be able to contact allies.”

Jack tried to choose his next words carefully. “If they were going to help you wouldn’t they have spoken out before now?”

“Talk out against the council? No, that’s impossible. And until now I haven’t been allowed contact with anyone. But if they can help me without directly endangering themselves, well there’s always a chance.”

“A good chance?”

The Doctor placed his hands on his hips and rolled back onto the balls of his feet. “Yeah, very good.” He bit his bottom lip thoughtfully. “We-ll, fairly good.”

“Doc?”

“There’s a chance Jack.” The Doctor said excitedly, clapping him on the shoulder and spinning around in place. “Let’s leave it at that and see where we get.”

“That sounds promising.” Jack said flatly.

“Oh you bet it does.” The Doctor said, grinning madly. “Cause with chance there’s hope. And it’s been a long time since there’s been hope Jack.”

“I’d given up on hope a long time ago.” Jack said truthfully. He saw the Doctor’s crestfallen expression and pulled him in for a hug. “Until I met you, that is. So what, you going to wait until the ceremony and approach them on the day? Seems risky.”

“That would never work.” The Doctor muttered. “No, I’ve got to get in contact with them beforehand.”

“How the fuck do you plan on doing that?”

“Stop swearing.” The Doctor said with a surprisingly stern expression. Jack was torn between laughing and begging forgiveness. “I’m not sure yet. I’ll figure something out.”

“I’ve no doubt you will.” Jack said, letting the fondness he felt for the Doctor bleed through his tone. “So I gather you’ve been charming the help?”

“Come again?” The Doctor asked. He was already moving, heading towards a huge desk in the furthest corner of the room. He tried to open a few doors but they appeared to be locked.

“Will came to talk to me yesterday. He said you asked him to pass a message to me.”

“Will? Oh, of course, Will! Brilliant lad.” The Doctor pulled a small, sharp looking strip of metal out of his pocket and started tampering with the draw. “You know, there are some extraordinary people here. Humans truly are amazingly resilient.”

“To survive here in the Master’s household? You’re right, they really are.”

The Doctor’s smile faltered. “They’re treated so poorly. I’ve tried to make things better for them but it seems little is being done to improve their living conditions.” The Doctor seemed to freeze in place before his hands jumped back into action and he started fiddling with the drawer. “It isn’t right.”

“No shit it isn’t right.” Jack said, immediately raising his hands when the Doctor scowled at him. “So how about the rebellion everyone seems so certain you’re going to get involved in.”

“What about it?” The Doctor asked, pausing again to stare at him.

“Are you going to?”

The Doctor’s expression hardened.“Am I going to what?”

“Get involved?”

“No.” He said, turning back to his drawer. “Not again. Not after last time.” Jack heard a loud click a second before the Doctor let out a satisfied shout. “Got it.”

“Got what?” Jack asked curiously, moving closer as he tried to peer over the Doctor’s shoulder. He was surprised to see a communication device in the Time Lord's hand. “Is this a good idea Doc?”

“It’s a brilliant idea.” The Doctor said before he pocketed the device and closed the drawer. “This is going to be our ticket out of here.”

“What if he notices?”

“He won’t.” The Doctor said, seemingly unconcerned as he stepped away from the desk and took Jack’s hand. “So tell me wonderful Jack. When this is all over and we manage to escape where and when would you like to go?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor spared the library door one last nervous glance before he drew out the communication device. He almost hesitated before he typed in a set of coordinates he hadn’t had cause to use for a very long time. The gadget vibrated for a startlingly short time before it was mercifully answered.

“Master?” The voice on the other end said tersely. “You’ve got a damn nerve contacting me. What in the hell do you want?”

“Braxiatel.” The Doctor said softly. “It’s me.”

“Doctor?” He sounded breathless, stunned. “Are you -” He broke off abruptly. “What are you doing contacting me? It isn’t proper.”

“I need your help.”

There was a pregnant pause on the other end of the communication device. “I can’t get involved.”

“I wouldn’t go to you if I didn’t have any other choice. Please Braxiatel, I’m desperate.”

“You’re a renegade Doctor. Disowned by our house.” He sounded angry and resigned. “I of all people can’t allow myself to be associated with you.”

The Doctor wondered why, after so many years, the other Lords words could still hurt him. “I’m not asking the head of the Lungbarrow house. I’m asking you Braxiatel, brother to brother. I need your help.”

He heard his brother release a shuddering breath. “There isn’t anything I can do Theta. The bonding has been sanctioned by the council. I tried, I truly did, but my hands are tied.”

“I don’t want you to speak to them. It won’t work.”

“Then what do you want?” He asked sharply.

There wasn’t any point in trying to skirt around the subject. “I want you to help me escape Gallifrey.”

“You’re mad.” Braxiatel said almost instantly.

“You’re not the first person to say so.” The Doctor said, forcing a cheerful tone. “So will you help me?”

“Doctor,” He sounded almost tired. “What is it you imagine I could do?”

“I need you to attend the bonding ceremony. Bring a key with you.”

“A key to what?” He demanded, though the Doctor suspected he already knew.

“A TARDIS of course.”

The pause was almost painful. “How do you imagine I might acquire the key to an active TARDIS brother?”

“I never said it needed to be active. Go to graveyard and find her.”

“She won’t fly Doctor. You know she won’t.”

“Details.” The Doctor said dismissively.

“Fail or prevail, I will be suspect.” Braxiatel’s sounded torn. “The risk is too great.”

“You know what will happen to me if I stay here.” The Doctor said, serious. “You know what he will do to me. Can you really stand by and do nothing?”

“If I do this you can never return. You realise that, don’t you?”

The Doctor took a deep breath. “You don’t think I already know that?”

“I wonder if you’ve truly considered the implications of what you propose. You will be alone for the rest of your life, which is likely to be a very long time providing you don’t get yourself permanently killed. You will never again have the opportunity to bond. The other races don’t have the capacity to join as we do.”

“Then it is fortunate that since the death of my wife I have absolutely no desire to ever bond again.” The Doctor forced his tone to soften. “Believe me Braxiatel, I know what I’m doing. As much as I wish it was otherwise I don’t have any other choice. I can’t stay here.”

“Where will you go?”

The Doctor released a short laugh. “Everywhere. Anywhere. Will you help me?”

“I will, but then you knew that before you contacted me.”

The Doctor almost wept in relief. “Thank you brother.”

******

The Doctor pocketed the device and moved smoothly to his feet. He spared a quick look around the library before he moved quickly towards the exit. He reached for the door but paused, his hand frozen as he felt an unwelcome but familiar presence press against his shields. He stumbled back, a cry of denial on his lips before he jumped forward and tried to block the door. The moment his hand touched the handle it was pulled out of his grasp and the door was thrown open.

“No,” The Doctor said, stumbling back as Rassilon stepped grinning into the room.

“Yes.” The said, stepping forward with sure steps and closing the door firmly behind him. “I hoped to catch you alone Doctor. It’s time you and I had a conversation.”

*****

Chapter Text

“Get away from me.” The Doctor said, shouted really. Rassilon continued to walk resolutely towards him, his expression cold and more than a little frightening. The Doctor tried not to give ground, he really did, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew what would happen if he tried to challenge their founder. He had first hand experience in fact.

“You seem incredibly skittish Doctor. I’ve come for a chat, that’s all.”

“You’ve come to accuse me of some other make-believe crime, no doubt.” The Doctor said, yelping when his back collided with a bookcase. He sidled sideways, keeping a careful eye on their founder. “What do you imagine I’ve managed to get up to whilst I’ve been here? In case you’ve failed to notice I’m being fairly well monitored.”

“And yet here you are, alone. The Sin tells me she found you in here before, speaking to a human. Is this where you meet them to cook up your perverted little schemes?”

“You’ve looked into my mind. You know I haven’t done anything since I was grounded. Why are you so obsessed by this? What do you imagine I’m going to do?” The Doctor jerked suddenly before throwing his hands onto his hips and leaning forward.“Oh. Oh, that is good. Of course. How could I have been so stupid?” He stopped retreating and planted his feet. “You’re scared because you know what I’m capable of. Because you’ve already seen all of this play out, haven’t you? And whatever I did, I won. DIdn’t I? And you, you went back and you changed something. You changed everything.”

“You’re being ridiculous Doctor.” Rassilon said, but his eyes were wild, crazed. “You know I would never break the first law. A law I created.”

“Something happened, didn’t it? Something bad enough to make you go back in time and interfere. Are the humans involved in some way? Is that why you stole them?”

“Your grasping. We took them because they were destroying themselves. You know that.”

“I saw. You know I saw. Why do you keep pretending?”

“You really are amazingly delusional -”

“I know Rassilon.” The Doctor yelled, loud enough to fill the huge library. “I know what you did. I saw what you did. They weren’t endangering themselves. There planet wasn’t about to end. You took them because you wanted them. You ruined their lives because you chose to. Because you wanted to change our future.”

Rassilon was moving before the Doctor had the chance to flinch. A big hand wrapped around his bicep and another caught the nape of his neck. “You really are far too clever for your own good Doctor.”

“You can’t do this.” The Doctor whispered, jerking in Rassilon’s hold. “When they find out -”
“No one is going to believe you.” Rassilon said matter-of-factly. “They’ll shrug it off as the mad ramblings of an idiot.”

“I’ll make them believe.”

Rassilon shook the Doctor hard enough to make his teeth rattle. “Are you really so stupid to try and cross me again? Have you learned nothing? They won’t take your word over mine. You have no credibility any more you prattling little fool.”

“You’re not going to be able to keep them fooled. Someone will find out.”

“I am Rassilon. I am your founder. Don’t you think I’ve already considered everything a thousand times over. They’re never going to discover the truth.”

“What was so important that you would risk us all?” The Doctor asked, genuinely curious. “What could possibly make you do something so perverse?”

Something indiscernible passed over their founders face. “You always seemed so wonderfully harmless. Eccentric and a little foolhardy but mostly harmless. But I know the truth, just as you do. I know what you’re really capable of. How dangerous you are. I won’t let you destroy us again.”

“Destroy you?” The Doctor asked. Whispered really. “I would never -”

“But you would. You did. If left unchecked you would kill us all.”

“I’m not -”

Neither of them noticed the door opening, or the Master stepping inside until he released an overly polite cough. “You seem to be throttling my intended, my lord.” He said, quite serious as his eyes bored into Rassilon. He opened his arms and gestured at the Doctor. “Give him to me.”

“I will.” Rassilon said as he shoved the Doctor into the Master’s hold. “Just so long as you keep your promise and you keep him under control.”

The Master’s arm wrapped firmly around the Doctor’s waist. “Of course. We’re getting more acquainted everyday after all. Isn’t that right beloved?”

The Doctor looked between the pair before releasing a hiss of frustration. “You know. Don’t you?”

“Know what, Doctor?” The Master asked with sickly sweet innocence.

“Why, what do you gain from this?”

The Master gave him a very pointed look before he released his tight hold around the Doctor's waist and grabbed his hand. “Come Doctor. I have things I wish to discuss with you concerning the ceremony.” He turned back to Rassilon and bowed his head very slightly. “Until this evening, my lord.”

Rassilon didn’t say anything as the Master led the Doctor out of the library. They walked in silence down an unfamiliar corridor before the Master found his voice. “You should not be alone with Rassilon. He’s dangerous.”

“You’re right.” The Doctor said quietly. “He is.”

“You’re angry with me.”

“I’m always angry with you. How much do you know?”

“Enough.”

“Will you tell me?”

The Master smirked at him. “I have been called a lot of things, but stupid has never been one of them.”

“Will you listen if I tell you what I know?”

“It won’t make a difference.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because I already have everything I want. Why would I change anything?”

The Doctor jerked and managed to pull his hand free. He put some much needed distance between them. “I’m not going to allow this. Any of it.”

“You’re not going to be able to stop it beloved. Soon we’ll be bonded for life and everything you are, everything you think and feel will be mine.”

“We’ll see about that.”

Chapter Text

“How can you allow this? He’s breaking the first law. The most sacred law. He could have ripped the whole damn universe apart.”

The Master had been successfully ignoring the Doctor's rant for the past hour. In truth he was enjoying the game. The more he ignored the Doctor the more ruffled the other Time Lord grew. The Master made a show of yawning loudly before he propped his feet onto his footstool and raised the book he was pretending to read level with his nose.

The last thing he expected the Doctor to do was stride up to him, grab the book he was reading and lob said book through an open window.

He met the Doctor’s gaze and noticed how the look of satisfaction quickly turned to concern when the Master got slowly to his feet and stalked towards him. “You have my attention now.” He said softly, trying to temper down his anger. The Doctor couldn’t retreat any further when his back smacked into a wall. “Is that what you wanted?”

The Doctor’s lips thinned a second before he tried to bolt to the right. The Master sprung at the same moment and managed to grab the back of his shirt. They struggled momentarily, but as usual the Doctor’s non-violent squirming did little to deter the Master and he very quickly had the slighter Time Lord nicely subdued, pressed against a wall with both of his wrists pinned level with his shoulders.

“Get off me.” The Doctor said gravely.

“Why should I? Now that you’ve ruined my book I don’t have anything better to do.”

The Doctor seemed at a bit of a loss on how to respond. Instead he started squirming again and winced when the Master pressed all of his weight into his wrists.. “Marnal warned you about the bruising.” He hissed, sullen but no longer struggling.

“You think I care what that old fool thinks?”

“You very clearly don’t care what anyone thinks, do you? Not unless it benefits you in some way. Tell me Mater. Do you even remember what it was like before?”

“Rassilon showed me enough to make me realise it doesn’t end well for me in that other life. Or for you for that matter. You should be thanking me.”

The Doctor was staring intently into his eyes. His usually manic expression was as hard as stone. “You’re lying.”

“Not about everything.” He let the Doctor go and stepped back. “We can’t go back to the way things were. Not unless you want to change the time stream again, and i think we both no doing so would likely cause disaster. Accept this life Doctor. It’s the only one you’ll ever have.”

“In the other life.” The Doctor took a deep breath. “Was my wife alive? Were my children alive? Any of them?”

“Not a single one.” The Master said truthfully.

The Doctor’s expression crumpled. “How do I know you aren’t lying?”

“Come now beloved. I think you can tell when I’m speaking one of my little white lies. It’s been a skill you always rather annoyingly excelled at.”

“And so here we are. The survivors.”

“Cheers to that.” The Master said as he raised an imaginary glass. “Perhaps we’ll include that lovely phrase during the speeches at the bonding. Not long now.” The Master reacted without any real thought, catching the Doctor by his throat and dragging him close. “I had an unexpected message from your brother. He wishes to attend. Fancy that.”

“Did he say why?” The Doctor asked, holding on tightly to the Master’s wrists. There was strength in his grasp. A pity the Doctor had such a pathetic stance on physical force.

“He wants to make sure it's’ done properly apparently. Truth be told I’m amazed the old dud decided to take the stick out of his arse long enough to consider your wellbeing. Your house truly is a piss poor one Doctor.”

“It’s not my house anymore.” The Doctor said without much expression. His grip on the Master waxed. “I want to go out for a while.”

“What for?”

“A walk. I’m restless.”

“You want to play with your human pets more like. One of my little mice have told me you have a new favourite. A little kitchen girl. Should I be jealous Doctor?”

“You’re being ridiculous.” The Doctor said with a fierce scowl.

The Master smirked. “Off you pop then. But remember to be back in time for dinner beloved. And beware. Rassilon is still lurking about.” The Doctor released a choked off grunt when the Master suddenly tightened his grip. “A warning my love, before you go. Should you be idiotic enough to tell anyone what you’ve discovered I’ll make the terror wolf's carcass look like a child's toy in comparison to what I’ll do to the freak.”

The Doctor’s lovely brown eyes stared unflinchingly into the Master’s. “I understand. Let go of me.”

The Master held onto him for a little longer, just because he could. Then he let the Doctor go with a hard shove that sent the slender Time Lord stumbling back. For a moment he looked almost hurt before he abruptly spun on his heels and stormed out of the room. The door closed with a deafening slam.

********

You’re fidgeting beloved. It’s distracting the tailor.”

The Doctor huffed irritably and pulled at the high-neck silver tunic encircling his throat. He hadn’t flat-out refused to wear it yet but he was clearly close to losing his temper and throwing a tantrum. The Master watched, intrigued as the tailor raised a swath of crimson cloth and pressed it against the Doctor’s narrow shoulder.

“Does this please you my lord?” He asked, not looking at the Doctor but addressing the Master.

“It will do nicely I think. What do you think beloved?”

The Doctor had previously been glaring at the tailor but now that chilling look was focused entirely on the Master. “It’s ghastly.”

“It’s the height of fashion.” The tailor snapped, clearly insulted. “You should be pleased your Lord is willing to show you such indulgence.”

“And you should remember to whom you’re speaking.” The Master snapped. When had he stood up? The tailor was shrinking in on himself, actually stepping closer to the Doctor as though he could offer any sort of protection. “The Doctor is a Time Lord. You will show him his due respect.”

“I meant no offence.” The tailor said. Simpered really. “His lordship has just been extremely dismissive of every item of clothing he’s been shown.”

“That is because all of your wares are utter rubbish.” The Master roared. The tailor squeaked and ducked behind the Doctor. “Get out and don’t come back until you bring something worth showing us.”

The tailor fell about himself trying to pack away the array of clothe littering the room. The Master was only a little surprised when the Doctor started helping him. The tailor seemed about to say something before he shot a look at the Master and seemingly swallowed his words.

“Was that necessary?” The Doctor asked, watching the tailor leave with a furrowed brow.

“I thought you would pleased. You seemed uncomfortable.”

“When has that ever bothered you?” The Doctor asked with a lovely little pout.

The Master wondered if he knew he was doing it.”He was impertinent. You shouldn’t let them talk down to you. You’re a Time Lord.”

“I never held to all of that pompous nonsense. I’m a person, Same as any of them.”

“You’re a master of space and time beloved. That hardly makes you the same.”

The Doctor made a dismissive gesture with his hand. The Master couldn’t help but note how lovely his seemingly fragile wrists were. “That doesn’t make me any better than them. Besides, I’m hardly a Master of anything anymore.” He pulled a sickly expression. “Not even my own life.”

“This is happening between us. You should learn to accept it.”

“So you continue to tell me.” The Doctor said quietly. He wa tired, exhausted really. The Master didn’t think the other Time Lord had slept once since he had been captured. As if to prove his thoughts the Doctor’s eyes aligned on the wolf’s skin. His face paled and he hastily looked away.

“Use the bed.” The Master said. The words seemed to escape without his prior consent. “You’re exhausted.”

“My answer is the same as it was before.” The Doctor said wearily.

The Master rolled his eyes irritably. “Take the recliner then. For tonight only. You clearly need the sleep.”

The Doctor looked unconvinced. “I’m fine.”

“You look like shit.”

Surprisingly the Doctor’s lips twitched. “You say the loveliest things to me.”

“Go to sleep Doctor.”

It was a true testament to the Doctor’s exhaustion that he actually did what the Master told him to.

Chapter Text

Jack’s entire body felt like one huge cramp as he gratefully crawled out of the small pen that had been his home for, how long was it? He felt a flare of agony strike his lower back. Three days, he realised, growling softly. They hadn’t let him out for three whole days. That was really fucked up.

The kid that tended the pens stepped back and eyed Jack nervously. He wondered why the kid looked so worried. It wasn’t as if he had done anything since he had been brought to the Master’s household. Hell, other than being kicked around a bit and getting to spend some time with the Doc, he thought of the kiss and felt a smile tug at the corners of his lips, he had done absolutely fuck all.

And yet so many of the other humans seemed to be frightened of him. He wondered how he’d missed it before. He knew he could be a little self-involved sometimes, but now that he was looking he realised how unsubtle they were being about the whole thing. Hell, some of them were even backing away from him as he followed the kid through the stables and into the main house.

“You need to bathe. You stink.” He noted. He sounded mighty judgmental for a two-year old that had probably never left the Masters house before.

“I’m so glad you noticed princess.” He answered, grinning brightly when the kids shoulders stiffened. “By all means. Lead the way. It's not like I mind the view.”

The kid whirled around and jabbed his skinny finger in Jack’s face. “You shouldn’t speak back to me. My positions higher than yours.”

“Your position as a slave. Are you kidding me?” Jack almost felt sorry for the kid. His world was the size of a bubble. “I hate to break this to you sweetcheeks but there isn’t a man, woman, human, Time Lord or anything damn else in this universe that’s higher than I am. I am a God damn fucking individual and in my own eyes I’m a fucking God.” He reacted without thinking, pushing away the kids finger and slapping him upside the head. “Now take me to my fucking bath. I stink.”

**************************

He was never really sure what to expect whenever he was called to the Master's room. Sometimes he would let Jack spend time alone with the Doctor. Those were the good times. Other times he would stay, watching them. Or more accurately watching the Doctor. Every move, every smile or laugh. He was a man obsessed.

Did the Doctor notice? He didn’t give any indication that he saw, but Jack was beginning to suspect that the Doc was a certified genius at hiding just about everything he felt or thought. Maybe it was a survival instinct. Made sense considering how bat-shit crazy the rest of his species were.


One thing he certainly wasn’t expecting was to enter the room and be confronted with a drop dead gorgeous Time Lady who immediately shot to her feet with a bitten off screech and retreated back so violently that she slammed into the Doctor and they both went tumbling down.

The Lady ended up in the Doctor’s lap. Jack couldn’t honestly say he didn’t envy the Doctor’s position, but the slender Time Lord looked incredibly peeved. He wriggled out from beneath her. Before he could get to his feet the Lady gripped his arm and pointed a shaking finger at Jack.

“What is it?” She demanded. “By Times grace, what is that thing?”

“That is the Doctor’s pet freak.” The Master said in a clearly amused tone. His eyes flickered momentarily to Jack before settling back onto the Lady. “It’s a bit of a shock at first. Ill admit. The anomaly has an uncanny ability to tear down the strongest mental shields. That is until you learn to fortify them.” The Master’s smile was wicked. “Careful dear. You’re leaking all sorts of interesting tidbits. Isn’t she Doctor?”

“I’m not listening.” The Doctor said as he managed to break her grip and get to his feet. After a moment's consideration he offered his hand to her.

The lady ignored him and somehow managed to get fluidly to her feet despite the extremely constricting dress she was wearing. “You brought the anomaly here? To our household?”

“Where else? He’s the Doctors and the Doctor is mine after all.”

Jack noticed the way to the Doctor’s entire body tensed before he very clearly forced himself not to react.

“Ah, you don’t approve of me choosing the Doctor as my bonded. I suspected as much. What’s the problem dear?”

“Get out of my head.” She snarled. Jack suddenly didn’t find her quite so attractive when she looked like that. It was fucking terrifying. 

“I’m not in your head Sin.” The Master said, his smile faltering. “You’re projecting your thoughts so loudly that I can hardly help but hear them.”

“You did this on purpose, didn’t you? You did it to humiliate me.”

“Don’t be so bloody preposterous. I completely forgot the freak was coming back for a visit today. It’s coincidence only.”

“If that thing is ever in my presence again I’ll tear its head off.” She screamed.

“Don’t you touch him.” The Doctor suddenly shouted, loud enough to shock everyone else in the room into momentary silence. “He hasn’t done a damn thing to hurt you. It’s just a feeling. It will pass in time.”

“He’s an abomination. Wrong.”

“He’s no such thing.” The Doctor argued, undeterred by the Master’s warning glare. “He’s a good man. A good person. Which is clearly something you have no comprehension of.”

The Master was moving before the Ladies clawed hand could make contact with the Doctor’s face. He caught her wrist mid swing and pulled her very close. “Projecting dear.”

“I’ll tear his bloody head off too. Don’t think I won’t.”

“The Doctor is mine. Attack him and you’ll be attacking me. I don’t think you’re stupid enough to do something so foolish. Are you dear?”

Her doll like eyes flickered between the two Time Lords before settling on Jack. “You’re playing with fire Master.”

The Master shrugged and gestured towards the door. “Why don’t we continue our chat in the library? That way the freak won’t be able to affect your thoughts and you can stop you’re boring accusations.”

“Fine.” She snapped, glaring at Jack with a look that made his balls want to shrivel up and die. She didn’t quite run out of the room but it was pretty fucking close. The Master followed her, closing the door behind him with a deafening thud.

“Well she’s just a delight.” Jack said after a few moments of silence.

“Yes, a real pleasure.” The Doctor met Jack’s eyes and his expression softened. “Hello Jack.”

“Hi Doc. Miss me?”

“Very much so actually.” The Doctor said, crossing the room and pulling Jack into a tight embrace. “How have you been?”

“Bored. Very bored. You?”

“Oh, good enough.” He said dismissively.

Jack took a moment to really look at his face. He couldn’t see any more bruises, but that didn’t mean anything. “And things. Are they progressing?”

“Well enough.” The Doctor said with a nervous glance at the door.

Jack got the hint. “So, what were lady doom and the dominator talking about?”

The Doctor released a snort of laughter. “The ceremony actually. Lady Sin would like to act as the Master’s second.”

“Second what?”

“It’s a sort of witness. Giving her the position of second at the ceremony means she has a high standing within the household. It’s a great honour and she wants it, cause she’s a conniving and power hungry -” The Doctor seemed to stop with a start. “Never mind.”

“Don’t stop on my account.” Jack said, openly grinning.

“You’re proving to be a bad influence.” The Doctor said, smiling back.

Jack shrugged and fell onto the comfortable looking lounger he usually commandeered whenever he was alone with the Doctor. He was more than a little surprised when after a moment the Doctor fell down half on top of him.

“Move over.” He grumbled.

“Where to? There isn’t any room.”

“Are you calling me fat?” The Doctor asked with mock indignation.

“Yeah, right. I can feel every fucking bony inch of you.”

“Stop swearing.” The Doctor snapped, but it wasn’t with any real fire. “And move over. I want in.”

“Jesus Doc. Fine.” They fidgeted and wriggled until they got in a pretty comfortable position. The Doctor was resting his head on Jack’s chest. It was oddly intimate. Jack wondered if the Doctor even realised what it was doing to him.

“Doc?” He asked softly.

“Hmm?”

“How come you’re so different to them? Why are you so good?”

The Doctor’s hand rested on Jack’s chest, directly above his heart. Jack watched it rise and fall in time with his breathing. “I’m not good Jack and they’re not necessary bad. They’re just misguided.”

“How can you say that after everything that’s happened?” He asked, genuinely curious.

“Because I have faith in them. The same faith I have in the human race. You’re amazing, the lot of you. Such short lives and yet you have the potential to achieve so much. It’s inspiring.”

“Yup, that’s us. Inspiring.” Jack hesitated for a brief moment before he wrapped his arm around the Doctor's chest and pulled him in for a tight hug. “You know what. Before you came along I hadn’t touched anyone voluntarily for fifty years.”

The Doctor’s face was pointed away from him but he could see the way it crumpled. Jack was suddenly sorry he had spoken. “I’m so sor -”

“Don’t you dare say you’re sorry. It’s hardly your fault the world turned to crap Doc.”

“I’m not so sure.” The Doctor whispered softly.

“Hey.” Jack said, leaning down to catch his jaw and gently tilt his face up until they were facing one another. “It’s not your fault Doctor. You tried your best to change things, but sometimes, no matter how hard you wish it was otherwise, some things are set in stone. Even for Time Lords.”

“Jack -”

Whatever he was about to say was swallowed by the sudden and startling presence of the Master. The inner door opened with a loud bang. The Master stood between them, the half smile on his lips twisting into something terrifying as his eyes took in the frankly compromising position they were in.

The Doctor moved first. He managed to untangle himself from Jack without falling flat on his face. He raised his hands pacifying as the Master started moving rapidly towards them. “It isn’t what you think. We were-”

He was cut off by the vicious blow the Master dealt him as he swept past the Doctor and lent over Jack. The human could only stare as the Master pulled out a dagger and thrust it through his eye. He screamed. He couldn’t help himself. The pain, the panic!

He could hear the Doctor shouting behind him but all he could focus on was the pain. Was he going into shock? Please God, let it end.

He felt something run across his throat. There was pain. And then there was nothing.

**************

He kept stabbing him. Jack was already dead but the Master wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t stop!

“He’s gone.” He said at last when the Master finally seemed to tire. He was still lent over Jack, covered in his blood and breathing heavily. “Please Master. He’s dead.”

“You would reject me. For this?” When he turned back to the Doctor his face was streaked with tears. “Why?”

“We weren’t doing anything. Please -”

“You were lying on top of him.” He screamed, getting to his feet and stepping towards the Doctor, the bloodied knife still in hand. He pointed it between the Doctor’s hearts. “Do you think I’m an idiot? Do you think I’m blind?”

“Please.” He was desperate. He had seen the Master look equally enraged once before and it had ended very badly for his previous regeneration. "I’m begging you. Listen to me. We were not doing anything except hugging. A simple embrace for comfort and nothing more.”

It was about to kiss you.”

Was he? The Doctor wasn’t sure. “We’re just friends -”

“You belong to me.” The Master screamed so loudly that the Doctor stumbled back. Two guards entered the room, clearly telepathically called by the Master.

“Get that thing out of my sight.” He snarled at them. The guards looked shocked but he knew neither of them would help him. An older woman looked at the Doctor with concern in her kindly green eyes before she grabbed Jack’s ankles and helped drag him out of the room. 

The Doctor watched him leave with a sinking feeling in his stomach before turning back to the Master. He didn’t struggle when the Master wrapped a cruel hand through his hair. “You don’t have to do this. I -”

Shut up.” He said, slow and dangerous.

The Master was fast and the Doctor was frankly exhausted. He was bodily dragged towards the bed and pushed down with unnecessary force. "Don’t!" He gasped as the Master began pawing at him. The Doctor twisted his body, straining to break free.

A heavy weight settled on his legs, pinning him. Disgust, fear and shame fought for dominance as the Doctor tried desperately not to give into panic. "You need to stop." He said hoarsely as the Master pulled at his clothing, eventually tearing the shirt before pulling his leggings down. The Doctor didn’t make it easy for him. He kicked out, bucking madly.

It wasn’t until he felt a sudden and jarring pain in his hand and he realised the Master had stabbed him. He stared numbly at the knife embedded in his palm, pinning him to the mattress as it steadily pumped blood over the crisp white sheets. He wondered why he felt so shocked. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know the Master wasn’t capable of far worse.

He released a bitten off whimper when the Master pulled the dagger free and rolled him onto his stomach. This is happening. He realised. He felt sick.

A moment of prodding, a little spit and then his entire weight settled on the Doctor’s back.He closed his eyes tight and started a chant in his mind. We’re getting out. We’re getting out.

The Doctor released a muffled scream when the Master thrust himself inside of him. He wasn’t gentle and gave him little time to adjust. His thrusts were fast and hard, violent and clearly meant to hurt. The Doctor had felt worse but the intimacy of the act made everything so much worse. He could feel the Master battering against his shields. Demanding to be let in.

GET OFF ME. The Doctor screamed back, tightening his shields as soon as he released the words. The Master stilled inside him. The relentless attack on his mind halted.

“I didn’t want to do it this way.”

“I suppose it’s my fault?” The Doctor said with a half-laugh, half sob. “For daring to have a friend.”

Mentioning Jack was a stupid thing to so. He felt the Master stiffen and then his pounding became more urgent. The Doctor tensed, willing the entire ordeal to be over as quickly as possible. A few more thrusts and the Master spilled inside of him.

The Master’s hand almost instantly clamped onto the Doctor’s injured hand and squeezed. The Doctor screamed into the pillow. “Never again.” He said, his lips pressed against the Doctor’s ear. “I’m going to make sure the freak is buried so far underground that you’re never, ever going to be able to find it. This I swear.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor felt hot and more than a little disgusting. He wanted to shower and to scrub away as much of the Master's presence as possible, but the other Time Lord remained plastered to his back. His skin felt blazing, it was stifling.

“I want a shower.” He eventually said, flinching when the Master’s grip on his mangled hand tightened. He pushed down the pain and attempted to extract himself from the Master’s hold. “Master. Let go.”

The Master looped his arm around the Doctor’s waist and pressed his forehead against the Doctor’s back. “You’ll try to run.”

“I just want a shower. To tend to my hand.”

“If you had just -” He broke off, his voice lost. “It didn’t have to happen this way.”

It didn’t have to happen at all. The Doctor thought bitterly, but he wisely kept his lips firmly closed. The Master let him go and the Doctor scurried out of the bed as quickly as he could. He backed away, ignoring the twinges of pain in his lower back. “A shower then?”

“Alright.”

“And Ja-”

“Do not say its name to me.” He snarled, suddenly as rabid as a terror bitch protecting its litter. “Never, ever mention it in my presence. It will be buried, put away as it should have been a long time ago.”

He should shut-up. There was nothing he could do for Jack. Not now. Not when he was naked, hurt and so horribly exposed. And yet - “I’ll forgive you for what you did to me today, for forcing me into the bonding. I’ll even forgive you for whatever part you played in changing our history. But if you bury him Master I will never, ever forgive you for it. I will hate you forever.”

“You already hate me.” The Master said simply.

And he dared to look hurt. To look betrayed. And it was true, the Doctor truly did hate him. But he could pretend. For a time. “Please Master. I swear we were only embracing. This regeneration of mine. It craves friendship, touch. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“I see the way you look at it. The way it looks as you. Do you think I’m blind, stupid?”

“For a man with such brilliant intellect. Oh yes. I think you’re incredibly stupid. Idiotic in fact.” He wondered, rather faintly, why he couldn’t ever manage to keep his mouth closed. “Remember, if you take him away you won’t be able to use him to control me anymore. Consider what you’ll lose if you don’t have him around as leverage.”

The Master stood up. He was wearing leggings but nothing else. The Doctor wondered when he removed his tunic. He stepped into the Doctor’s space and grabbed the nape of his neck. “You’re trying to manipulate me again beloved. But you do have a point. So I’ll agree a compromise. The freak will be buried. Ah - ah.” He said, pressing a soft kiss against the Doctor’s lips when he tried to protest. “He will be buried beloved. But maybe, if you’re very very good I’ll dig him up one day. It all depends on your behaviour.”

“He can’t die Master. You know what your sentencing him to.”

“And I honestly couldn’t care less. So, he’ll be buried alive. But if you’re a good boy maybe you’ll get to see him again. But if you misbehave or do anything I find remotely remiss I might just give handsome Jack a companion. Maybe that little bitch in the kitchen you’ve taken to.” His smile was terrifying. “Can you imagine?”

“Don’t.” He choked, horrified. “Don’t you touch her!”

“Come now Doctor, you’re in no position to tell me what I can or can’t do.” He grabbed the Doctor’s arm and thrust him away with a vicious shove. “Now go wash and sort out your hand. You’re dripping blood all over my floor.”

*******************

The Master locked the Doctor’s in a small room, with no windows and no light. It was so narrow that he could barely sit down with his knees crossed. He couldn’t hear anything, see anything.

He spent some time hammering on the door, demanding to be let out. Unsurprisingly it got him absolutely nowhere. After a long time he was forced to simply wait. Alone in the dark and the quiet with nothing but his thoughts for company. It was torture.

He supposed that was the point. The Master clearly wanted the Doctor to feel a fraction of what Jack was going to go through. Except eventually he would be allowed out. But Jack...

Jack didn’t deserve such a damning fate. No one did. Not for an hour and certainly not forever.

“Think.” He muttered, running his mangled hand through his hair and tugging frantically. “Need to get him out. Think. Think.”

How many days was it until the bonding ceremony? Less than three if he wasn’t mistaken. He was running out of time.

And if he didn’t succeed? What then? Jack would remain buried, but horrifying Elizabeth would be put down with him. She wouldn’t survive. And then Jack -

It was just too horrible to imagine. And the Master would do it. He knew he would.

He had to bring her with them. So, get Jack out, think of a way to ensure Elizabeth was brought along.

Easy enough.

***********

Darkness. He couldn’t breathe. And oh God! He kept waking up, his lungs screaming for air. But there wasn’t any to be had. He kept suffocating. His mind was just lucid enough to know what was happening before darkness took him. Again and again and again and again…

**********

The Master left the Doctor in his tiny prison for a full day and night. When he finally opened the door he found the Doctor sat in a heap on the floor. He looked awful. His face was pinched and his eyes were ringed with deep circles. His hair was in disarray, sticking out in every direction. And the bruises -

They were bonding in two days. The high council would be there, along with the heads of most of the great families. Rumours would truly run strife if they saw him in such a state.

“Get up.” He said, not waiting for the Doctor to respond as he reached down and hoisted him up by his arm. The Doctor staggered into him, resting a good bit of his weight on the Master. “You need a shower. Come on.”

“Is my punishment over now?” He asked. He sounded cold and bitter. He was trembling again.

“That depends on your ability to actually behave. You might start by learning to keep that mouth of yours closed.”

“Oh I think we both know that isn’t going to happen.” The Doctor said, but it was without his normal cheer or teasing. He sounded truly wrecked. “You might as well lock me up now. I know, why don’t you put me down with Jack?”

The Master felt a flair of intense fury. He spun the Doctor roun and forced him hard into the wall at his back. The Doctor grunted in pain. “Are you trying to piss me off?”

“I am actually.” The Doctor responded matter of factly. “And look. It’s working.”

“May I ask why?”

“I thought you might like to consider what it's going to be like when we’re bonded. A lifetime of me trying my damned hardest to make you as angry as possible.”

“Sounds to me like you’re going to get a great many people hurt beloved.”

“Good luck with that. Pretty soon you’re going to run out of people I care about to threaten me with.”

“You think I need to use people you care about in order to hurt you? Beloved, I could take a person off the street here and now and you’d give up everything to stop me from hurting them.” He grabbed the Doctor’s uninjured hand and tugged him towards their room. “You’re flawed that way.”

The Doctor was blessedly quiet as they entered their room. The Master took him straight to the showers, helping the Doctor to disrobe before he removed his own clothes and joined him in the shower.

He pressed against the Doctors back and placed his hands on either side of his narrow waist. The Doctor truly did have remarkably soft skin. His newest regeneration was perhaps a little too slight but he had flesh in the right places, particularly the sublime round globes of his arse.

The Master took the liberty of squeezing them as he ran his teeth over the Doctors pulse point and bit down gently. The Doctor started but didn’t struggle as the Master continued to bite and caress his silky skin. “I want to fuck you.” He whispered against the Doctors ear.

“Do you care what I want?” The Doctor asked. His trembling had grown worse.

The Master took a deep breath. The Doctor's vow to never forgive him still echoed in his mind, sounding in union with the constant drumming. Despite everything he didn’t want the Doctor to hate him. “I’ll let the freak out.” He said as he slipped one arm around the Doctor’s waist and pulled him flush against his chest. “And if you promise to behave I’ll give it back to you. If you do behave I’ll even let you keep it. All of that for a little fuck. How can you say no?”

“How indeed.” The Doctor said softly.

“It will happen anyway. Even if you say no.” He pressed a gentle kiss against the Doctor’s cheek. “We’ll be bonded soon and then it will be my right. Why not get something out of it?”

“Sounds sensible.” The Doctor murmured, tensing as the Master took a firm hold of the fleshy globe of his arse and squeezed.

“I’m so glad to hear you’re finally willing to be sensible Doctor.” The Master murmured as he caught a bottle of the soap and squirted a liberal amount between the Doctor’s buttocks. He used his free hand to gently press a finger inside of the Doctor, ensuring he was liberally slicked before grabbing his length and prodding between the Doctor’s cheeks. For a moment he thought the Doctor was going to fight him. He flinched violently, jerking forward before he abruptly went limp in the Master’s hold.

The Master pushed inside of him, exhilarating in the tight velvet heat that engulfed his cock as he slowly pressed forward. The Doctor was wonderfully pliant, releasing exciting little gasps with every stroke as the Master thrusted lazily inside of him. He reached out tentatively, pressingly longingly against the Doctor’s mind. He was unsurprised but still disappointed when he hit the Doctor's solid shields.
He kept up his lazy frustrating until he felt himself fall over the abyss and he came, coating the Doctors innards with a satisfied grunt.

The Doctor didn’t say anything. He remained pliant as the Master cleaned them both down and rinsed them off. He turned off the shower and wrapped the Doctor in a thick towel before leading him to the bed and pushing him down on top of the covers.

“Will you get him out now?” He eventually asked. He was trying not to sound like he was pleading but the Master could hear the thinly veiled desperation.

“In the morning.” He said, yawning lazily. “He can survive another night.”

The Doctor was about to argue so the Master slapped his hand over the slighter Time Lords mouth and hoisted him up the bed. “Behaving means learning when to shut up. Now go to sleep. Your pet can wait until the morning Doctor.”

 

*****************

Chapter Text

The Master was very still beside him, breathing in and out steadily in an admittedly convincing show of slumber. The Doctor wasn’t sure though. He seemed too still, too relaxed to be truly asleep. He went to sit up and his suspicions were quickly confirmed when the Master’s hand clamped down on his wrist.

“Where are you going beloved?”

“The privy.” The Doctor said softly, gently tugging against the Master’s grip. “And to fetch my night clothes. I’m cold.”

“You can wait until the morning to use the privy.” The Master said, reaching over and hooking his arm around the Doctor’s waist. He dragged him across the mattress and plastered himself against the Doctor’s back, pulling the blanket up over both of them. “Warm enough?”

The Doctor had to actually bite his tongue to stop the scream that threatened to tear from his throat. He wanted to struggle. To kick and fight. He didn’t think he had ever felt so vulnerable in his entire life.

“It will get better, once we’re bonded.” The Master said, trying to sound soothing as his hand lightly stroked the Doctor’s shoulder. “Everything will be so much more open. No more walls. No more hiding.”

The Doctor shifted his shoulder with a violent twitch and the Master actually removed his hand.“You think knowing my deepest , darkest thoughts and feelings will make things better between us? You realise that I despise you?”

“Tell me then Doctor, what was the alternative? To have stayed in that pit of yours for the next four-hundred and fifty years? A lone, grounded renegade?” The Master flipped him onto his back, looming threateningly as he reached out and cupped the Doctor’s cheek with deceptive gentleness. ”You would have damned yourself eventually. You can’t seem to help yourself. And Rassilon would have finally had a reason to destroy you.”

“So you think you’ve saved me?” The Doctor asked, laughing weakly. “Should I thank you?.”

“Everything I’ve done has been for you. Do you think it’s been easy? You’re despised and disgraced by every member of every house on this planet. I’m the only one who hasn’t turned my back on you and yet you hate me for it.”

“How can you possibly think that anything you have done is justifiable? Not have you only broken the first, most sacred law, but you raped me.”

“If you wish to take the matter to the council then do so. But I will tell them that you’re lying. That it is merely a sad and pathetic attempt to escape the bonding. And they will believe me.”

“That the council would accept your lies as truth tells me that this world you have allowed Rassilon to create truly is a corrupt one. You must rejoice in the chaos you have helped build Master.”

The Master’s smile was sharp and predatory. “You stroke my ego so prettily Doctor. Now go to sleep. You’re exhausted and it is making you say and do foolish things.”

“How can you think I could sleep knowing Jack – “

“You think distressing yourself over the anomaly is going to benefit you in anyway?” The Master interrupted angrily. “Shut up and sleep.”

***********************

The Doctor walked aimlessly through the Master’s halls, stepping outside unchallenged and walking alongside the grand path leading from the house into the fields and meadows surrounding the property. He passed a group of unfamiliar slaves tending to the gardens, who stated at him with obvious surprise when the proximity cuffs around the Doctor’s ankles finally kicked in and brought him stumbling to his knees.

The Doctor stayed where he had fallen and stared at the path leading from the house. He wondered numbly if the slaves stared at the path and felt the same longing to run that was coursing through his entire being. How did they stand it?

“My lord.” One of them asked. The Doctor looked into a pair of aged blue eyes in a wrinkled and craggy face. “Do your require assistance?”

“I’m fine.” The Doctor eventually said, standing up and smiling at the old man. “I tripped. That’s all. SIlly me.”

The human stared at him. He was standing very close. “You don’t remember me. Do you?”

The Doctor felt a jolt in his stomach. He stared at the human, wracking his brain. “I’m afraid not.” He eventually said.

“I’m not surprised.” The man said, smiling and showing a mouth-full of missing teeth. “I was a little boy the last time I saw you. You looked quite a bit different yourself. My names Daniel.”

“Hello Daniel.” The Doctor said, sticking out his hand in the old human custom. The old man blinked at him in surprise before reaching out and gripping the Doctor’s hand in a surprisingly strong grasp. “I’m glad to meet you. Or eh, meet you again I suppose.”

“I hear you’re meant to be marrying the Master.” He said, frowning thoughtfully. “Last I remember you two didn’t get on to well.”

“Ah well, I’m not really being given much of a choice in the matter.” The Doctor said, not bothering to correct him on the difference between a human marriage and a bonding.

“Things haven’t gone too brilliantly for you since the uprising.” The old man said, looking thoughtful. It wasn’t a question.

“They haven’t gone too swimmingly for you either I imagine.”

“There aren’t too many of us left alive that remember what it was like before.” The old man said, looking a little lost. “The young ones are different now. Subservient.”

“They’re still humans though. They’re still brilliant.”

“I hear there’s another uprising. Being formulated in the outlands. Have you had anything to do with that Doctor?”

The Doctor took an unconscious step back from the old man. “Nothing. I learnt my lesson last time.”

The twinkle seemed to fade from the old man’s eyes. “I never thought I’d see the day you gave up.” He said softly. He turned back to the group of humans watching them with wide and unbelieving eyes. “You’ve changed more than just your face in the last fifty years Doctor.”

The Doctor forced his expression to turn cheerful and charming. “It was lovely meeting you Daniel. Or seeing you again I suppose.”

“Take care of yourself Doctor.” The old man answered, clapping him on the arm in an entirely improper but incredibly grounding way. “That Master, he’s a cold hearted crazy bastard.”

The Doctor performed a shallow bow before he turned back to the house with considerably less enthusiasm than when he had left it. He was just approaching the front gardens when he nearly walked face first into the Sin and her two sisters Aurora and Malam.

“Oh Damn.” He said, straightening when he saw their shocked and, in the Sin’s case, angry expression. "I mean. Well I do meant oh damn, actually. Probably a bit rude of me to just say what I’m thinking though. I think I should probably just go now. Do excuse me.”

He tried to walk past them but the Sin caught his arm, digging her spindly fingers into a vicious bruise. If it wasn’t hidden beneath his tunic he would have sworn she did it on purpose. “Not so fast Doctor. We’re going to be family soon. You really should spend some time with us.”

“Lovely of you to offer but I really have quite a bit to do -”

“I hear you’re not involved with any of the planning surrounding the ceremony.” Arora interrupted. She was scowling at the Doctor. Probably due to Rassilon’s influence. “Surely you have plenty of time to speak with us.”

The Doctor managed to wrench his arm free but it was neither subtle or easily done. “I’ve actually already been out for quite a while. I’m a little cold -”

“I’m not surprised. Look what you’re wearing.” The Sin interrupted as she reached out and grabbed the front of the Doctor’s tunic. “I can’t believe the Master lets you run about like this. You’re half undressed.”

The Doctor looked down at himself. He was wearing a loose long sleeved green tunic and a pair of soft dow brown leggings beneath a pair of shin length brown boots. Every part of him except his hands and head was covered.

He debated being insulted for a few moments before he threw a wide and happy smile at the small group. “Well I suppose that’s just something you need to expect when the head of your house decides to bond with a well known nut case.” He said happily.

The Sin’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “Do you think you’re disgrace is something to make fun out of?”

The Doctor pulled a thoughtful expression. “I feel like you want me to say no.”

“I can see why he hits you so often.” She said, lifting his hand between them and eyeing the bandage thoughtfully. “I can only wonder what you did to deserve this little gift.”

“Sin.” Malam exclaimed in horror. “Stop it. You’re being cruel.”

The Doctor didn’t blame Malam for wilting slightly beneath her sister's gaze. “He is a renegade Malam. He would have betrayed us all if he hadn’t been caught.”

“He was only trying to help the humans. The poor dear was just confused, weren’t you Doctor?”

“Oh yes.” The Doctor agreed a little too enthusiastically. “That’s me. Confused. If you’ll excuse me -”

“Fine.” The Sin snapped in obvious disgust. “I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow Doctor. I must say I’m looking forward to your walls finally being lowered. I don’t recall a time I’ve ever been able to touch your thoughts. You’ll no longer be a mystery to us all.”

“Something to look forward to.” The Doctor snarked as he danced around them and hurried back to the house. He thought of the Sin touching his mind when his shields were lowered and felt a shiver run through his body. It was an abhorrent thought.

The thought kept him occupied until he reached the Master’s chambers and felt Jack’s familiar presence within. His first instinct was to rush inside and swallow his friend in a lingering embrace. He stopped himself and took a deep breath before he lowered his shields and gently probed the minds inside the room. He wasn’t surprised but still disappointed when the Master’s own thoughts pushed hopefully back at him. The Doctor instantly threw his shields up before squaring his shoulders and stepping into the room.

He walked into the image of Jack kneeling motionlessly beside the Master, whose hand was fixed firmly in the human’s mussed hair. The Doctor stopped in his tracks and fought to keep his expression carefully neutral as the Master’s expression remained fixed firmly on his own.

“It appears I’ve broken your pet Theta.” He said, rubbing his hand back and forth over Jack’s head. “It came out of the coffin screaming, but ever since I threatened it a bit it’s been very quiet. I tried a bit more threatening to get it out of it but it doesn’t seem to want to talk to me anymore. I don’t think it’s blinked since it was brought up here.”

“He’s in shock.” The Doctor said, yearning to go to Jack and try to pull him back from whatever abyss he was teetering over. “It’s a common coping mechanism human’s exhibit when they’ve experienced extreme levels of stress and fear.”

“So he’s not completely broken yet?” The Master asked, making the ‘yet’ sound like a kind of promise. “Do you think another few days will do the trick?”

“You promised.” The Doctor croaked. He took another step forward. “Please. You -”

“Oh keep your bloody hair on.” The Master snapped, simultaneously pushing Jack forward until he landed in a heap on the floor. “If you must know I’ve got to go and oversee tomorrow's festivities. Seeing as you refuse to offer any assistance I’m going to allow you to stay here whilst you try to fix your pet. I’ll see you in the morning beloved.” The Master made it to the door before he looked back at the Doctor. “Do not leave this room. And don’t give me a reason to regret my generosity.”

Chapter Text

“Jack?” The Doctor spoke gently as he slowly approached the human. He was lying where he had fallen, sprawled in a heap on the floor. “It’s me. The Doctor.” He dropped down beside his friend and skimmed his hands soothingly over the human’s back. “I’m going to touch you now. Don’t be frightened. I just want to put you in a more comfortable position.” He didn’t react when the Doctor gripped both of his shoulders and gently tilted him onto his back. “There. Much better.” The Doctor said, pressing two fingers against the pulsepoint in Jack’s neck. Slow but steady. He waved his hand in front of the human’s eyes, clicking his fingers loudly next to his ear to try and elicit a response. He didn’t receive so much as a twitch.

“Come on Jack. I know it was terrible but I need you to wake up for me. You’re out now. If you look around you’ll be able to see.” No response. “You have to snap out of it Jack. I can’t bring you with me if you’re like this. Come on. Wake up.” Still no response. “Wake up sweet one.” He said, aware of how desperate he sounded. “Please. I can’t leave you here Jack. Please wake up.”

The Doctor fisted his uninjured hand through his hair and tugged violently. He got slowly to his feet when an idea struck him. He hurried to the privy and filled the bath with freezing cold water. When it was full he went back to Jack, hooked his arms under the human’s armpits and dragged him to the pool. Getting him into the bath was hardly an easy affair, but after a great deal of straining he managed. Jack fell into the bathing pool with a tremendous splash, didn’t move and promptly started to drown. The Doctor was about to fish him back out when the human suddenly sprang into a sitting position, eyes rolling and very obviously hyperventilating. For a brief moment his gaze locked on the Doctor before his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fainted.

“Oh come on.” The Doctor grumbled as he climbed into the pool and lifted Jack’s above the water. He emptied out the bathwater and then dragged the human out of the tub and onto the marble floor. Jack was shivering violently so the Doctor spared one desperate look at the outer doors and proceeded to strip him. He wrapped him up in a warm towel and collected a clean pair of leisure clothes before promptly dressing him and dragging him back into the main chamber. Task complete he quickly changed out of his sopping clothes and then dropped down beside the human with a worried frown.

“Jack.” He said, reaching out and brushing a lock of unruly hair out of the human’s eyes. He almost jumped out of his skin when Jack’s eyes popped open and he caught the Doctor’s wrist in a granite hold. Before the Doctor could utter a word he found himself on his back with the human looming over him.

“I can’t -” He choked, tears streaming down his face as he stared down at the Doctor with a frighteningly intense look in his ice blue eyes. “Drowning. I was drowning Doctor. Again and again and again. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get out. I can’t -”

The Doctor cautiously lifted his free hand, unsure if Jack was ever really seeing him, before he cupped the human’s cheek. “I know Jack. I do know and I’m so sorry. But I need you to come back to me. The bonding is tomorrow and you need to be ready to leave with me.”

“Leave.” Jack whispered incredulously. His grip tightened to the point of pain. “We can’t leave. If we try he’ll catch us, and then he’ll know. He’ll put me back in the ground. I can’t Doctor.” An indescribable look passed over his face. “I have to tell him what you’re planning. If I tell him he won’t punish me. He won’t punish you Doctor.

Jack moved fluidly to his feet, dragging the Doctor up with. I know, we’ll do it together.”

The Doctor stumbled a few paces before he planted his feet and tugged the human to a stop. “What are you thinking?” He hissed, pulling against Jack’s hold. “The man’s a lunatic Jack. You know that.”

“But if we tell him he’ll be merciful.” The human twisted the Doctor’s wrist, simultaneously pulling him closer. “Trust me Doctor. It’s the only way.”

“What has he done to you?” The Doctor asked urgently. He pulled back but Jack was determined. Something definitely wasn’t right. The Doctor could understand why Jack would be traumatised by what had happened, but it didn’t explain this sudden and desperate need to confess to the Master and pray for forgiveness.”Wait Jack. The Master told us we weren’t allowed to leave these chambers. Do you remember? If you don’t do what he told you to he’ll be angry. You want to avoid making him angry don’t you?”

Jack stopped in his tracks and turned to face the Doctor. “Oh God. You won’t tell him will you?”

“Of course not.” The Doctor said, trying to hide his relief as Jack released his tight grasp. “Here, why don’t we sit down and have a chat. Then you can tell the Master when he returns.” The Doctor moved swiftly to the lounger and patted the seat beside him. After some hesitation Jack followed him, but instead of settling down on the lounger he fell swiftly to his knees. “You can sit down Jack.” The Doctor said gently.

Jack gave him an affronted look. “The Master would be displeased.”

“And that bothers you?”

“I need to please the Master. It is my one purpose in life.”

The Doctor leant forward and pressed his palm against Jack’s forehead. “Sweet one. I want to help you, but I need your permission.”

“To do what?” Jack asked, the vacant look back in his eyes.

“Do you trust me Jack?”

“Of course.” The human answered immediately, reaching out and pressing his big hand over the Doctor’s. “You’re my world.”

The Doctor swallowed heavily. “Then I need you to give me permission to help you. Will you do that for me?”

“Yes. Alright. What do you need me to do?”

The Doctor held his breath before, for the first time in fifty years, he voluntarily dropped his shields. The sense of wrongness pulsating off Jack immediately battered against his core, screaming at him to run, to escape. He pushed the feeling aside with a wince and then, without giving himself time to consider the danger of his actions, he plunged into the human’s mind.

Almost immediately he sensed the Master’s presence. He wondered if he had attacked poor Jack’s mind before or after the burial. He pushed the thought aside and carefully started to untangle the compulsion the Master had placed on Jack. It was a messy and cruelly fixated and the Doctor was completely out of practice, but eventually he managed to untangle the strings of control, leaving Jack free to at least think freely.

Task complete he sived through Jack’s memories before abruptly coming to a stop before one particularly violent memory that pulsed and swirled angrily in spikes of dark purlple’s and vivid reds. As he drew closer he could sense screaming, terror and a shock of madness.

The Doctor pushed aside his distaste and started to build a high wall around the memory, filling in every crack and crevice with a growing sense of relief. He carefully pulled his way out of Jack’s mind and threw his own shields up as high as he could make them.

At last he opened his eyes and stared back at Jack. The human looked understandably confused, but more than than, he looked lost. His eyes started to mist and the Doctor felt like someone had punched him in the gut. “What happened?” He asked, his voice wrecked. The Doctor tried to reach for him but the human flinched back. “What happened to me?” He demanded. He was panicking.

“You were buried.” The Doctor said, realising a moment later that he should have at least tried to soften the blow. Jack looked like he was about to scream. “I’m sorry Jack.”

“I don’t..why don’t I remember anything?”

“I blocked the memory. I’m sorry Jack, but I had to. You weren’t dealing well with the memories.”

“Oh my God.” The human whispered. He wrapped his arms tightly around his own body and started to rock. “I feel scared. I feel so scared, but I don’t know why.”

“I can’t help to block the feelings Jack. I can only block the memories. But I promise you’ll calm down soon. Without the memories to feed the fear you’ll start to forget.”

“When?” He asked, strained. He was crying.
“Soon.” The Doctor said, reaching out tentatively to caress Jack’s hair. “I promise Jack.”

“How long was I under?” Jack gasped.

“The bonding is tomorrow.” The Doctor said as he sat back. He patted the chair beside him and felt a flare of relief when Jack joined him. He rested his hand on Jack’s knee. “We’ll be gone soon.”

“Do I get to fall apart then?” Jack asked miserably as he pressed his head against the Doctor’s shoulder. “Cause I feel like I really, really need to be able to fall apart Doc.”

“I swear.” The Doctor said softly, reaching out to stroke his hair again. “Just not yet. Please.”

Jack just shuddered in response. They say quietly for a long time until the Doctor realised with a start that the human was sleeping. “Jack.” He whispered gently.

“What?” He grumbled.

“The Master might be back at any moment. I’m sorry but he can’t find us like this.”

“You’re doing an awful lot of apologising.” Jack snarked before sliding away from him. He looked utterly exhausted. “Now what?”

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to sit on the floor.”

The look the human gave him was not pleasant. “Why?”

“The Master also put a compulsion on you. I’ve removed it, but I’d rather not let him know if we can help it.”

“What’s a compulsion?” Jack asked, frowning as he slipped onto the floor beside the lounger.

“It’s a manipulation within the brain that conditions you to act a certain way. In your case I believe he was trying to make you loyal to him. The best way to keep him fooled is if you can continue to act in shock. Don’t respond to anything when he enters the room. Even if he tries to provoke you.”

The Doctor barely finished speaking before the doors to the outer chambers opened.

Chapter Text

“Really Theta. Why do you even bother?” The Master eyed Jack with a slight frown before dropping onto the lounger beside the Doctor and grabbing his knee. “I can obviously tell you’ve removed the compulsion.”

“You don’t seem too upset.” The Doctor said hesitantly. He shot a quick glance at Jack, who was still kneeling motionlessly beside him. The Doctor shifted slightly, forcing himself not to push the Master’s hand away.

“That’s because I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist. It’s a pity. I might have been more amenable to keeping it if I knew it was being kept under control.” The Master turned back to face Jack. “I have to say freak that I’m amazed you’ve managed to stop screaming. Has the Doctor soothed all of those razor sharp nerves?” He leaned forward and Jack instinctively shrank back. “Tell me handsome Jack, how much do remember about your time underground? Do you remember waking up, and for just a split moment having no idea where you were, until you realised you couldn’t breathe? Do you remember how many times you suffocated? How many times -”

“Stop it.” The Doctor said, dragging the Master’s attention back to him. “He’s been through enough. You don’t have to torment him.”

“I don’t have to,” The Master agreed with a smirk. “But I sure as hell want to. So then. Have the two of you had a pleasant afternoon? I see you’ve both had a change of clothing.” His expression hardened. “Why is that?”

“I threw Jack into a bath of freezing cold water to shock him out of the stupor you put him in.” The Doctor answered truthfully. “Jack’s clothes were soaked through and after he nearly drowned himself and I had to fish him out mine were to. Do you intend to punish us for it?”

The Master stared hard into his eyes for a long moment. The Doctor made himself look back, even as his stomach churned in dread. “Of course not beloved. I gave it back to you after all, didn’t I? Consider if an early bonding gift.” His hand tightened painfully on the Doctor’s knee. “It’s customary to say thank you when you’ve been given a gift my love.”

“Thank you.” The Doctor said between gritted teeth.

“I’m so glad you’re pleased. Alas it’s late and we have a busy day tomorrow.” A guard appeared, clearly called by the Master. “It’s time for the freak to leave. If you behave yourself tomorrow I may well allow you to see him after things have settled down. In a few days perhaps.” The Master looked pointedly at Jack. “Run along freak. It’s time for your daddies to have some fun.”

Jack got unsteadily to his feet. He spared the Doctor one last, desperate look before he allowed himself to be led away. The Master watched him leave with a serene expression before turning back to the Doctor and staring thoughtfully at him.

“What?” The Doctor eventually snapped.
“It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow. Lots of very important people will be there.”

“I am aware.” The Doctor said, keeping a careful hold on his temper.

“Your face looks brutal.”

“Again, I am aware.”

“It will need to be tended.”

“And you’ve waited until now to bother?”

The Master’s expression hardened. “How would you learn if there wasn’t consequences for your actions beloved?”

The Doctor raised his ruined hand between them. “And this? Was this a lesson?”

“Everything is a lesson.” The Master said, his expression harsh. “That one was for fighting me. If you don’t fight you won’t be hurt.” He stood up, pulling the Doctor with him. “Come along then.”

“Where are we going?”

“To get you fixed up of course.” He grabbed the Doctor’s wrist and dragged him into the bathroom. “Strip.”

“No.” The Doctor snarled, flinching away as the Master reached for his shirt.

The shorter Time Lord paused with an almost thoughtful expression. “I just want to heal you wounds Doctor. I can’t do that if you refuse to let me see them.”

The Doctor raised his hand. “Start with this and then my face. No one is going to see anything else anyway.”

“I would prefer for you to be...whole for tomorrow.”

“I could care less what you would prefer.”

“Will you force me?”

“Will you?” The Doctor shot back, suddenly furious. He jumped to his feet and pointed his finger in the Master’s face. “Go ahead. It’s only going to cause more bruises. You’ll just have to heal them later on. I’m sure it will be worth it. Especially when no one can see what’s under my clothes.”

“I will.” The Master shot back, smirking.
The Doctor’s uninjured fist curled. He had never wanted to hit anyone so badly in his entire life. The Master seemed to suddenly realise this. The smile melted off his face and he gently wrapped his hand around the Doctor’s fist. “There isn’t any need for that.” He said, his tone deceptively gentle. “The face and hands only will suffice, if that’s what you’d prefer.”

“You’re so benevolent.” The Doctor spat, tearing his hand out of the Master’s hold. “So kind to allow me a choice for once.”

“You’re trying to instigate a fight.” The Master said tiredly as he caught the Doctor’s wrist and tugged him down beside him so they were sitting on the edge of the bath. One hand latched onto the Doctor’s jaw, angling his face up as the other pulled a healing device from his pocket. “And I’ve honestly not got the energy tonight.” He turned the device on and shone the light green light the device emitted over the Doctor’s face.

It was an odd sensation. Not exactly painful but certainly uncomfortable. Task complete he then pulled the Doctor’s hand out between them and gently unwrapped the bandage covering the wound. He shone the light against it and the Doctor watched as it very quickly started to heal. In no time at all the wound was gone, replaced by unmarked healthy flesh.

“It’s like it never happened.” The Doctor said, unable to keep the bitterness from his tone.

The Master’s expression hardened. “You won’t guall me into arguing with you.” He pressed a light hand against the Doctor’s cheek. “You look so much better now.”

“Let’s hope I don’t do anything to make you hurt me again.” The Doctor mumbled as he pulled away from the Master’s grasp.

“Indeed.” The Master said. He stood up, pulling the Doctor with him. “I have things to do today. I don’t want you causing any trouble.”

“Oh, what do you imagine I’m going to do?” He asked, feeling a slight swell of worry when he saw where the Master was leading him. “That isn’t necessary.” He said, planting his feet.

“As if I could trust you.” The Master said, laughing without humour. He opened the awful box like room and pushed the Doctor inside. “It’s only temporary. When the bond is in place this won’t be necessary anymore. And just so you’re aware, even if you do manage to get out I’ve locked the proximity cuffs. You can’t leave this room” He leant in close and before the Doctor recoiled placed a soft kiss against his lips. “Until tomorrow, beloved.”

Chapter Text

“Why the sudden interest?” The Master asked, thoroughly enjoying watching Braxiatel squirm as he took a seat opposite him. “You’ve done just about everything you could to distance yourself from him before now.” He pointed a wagging finger at the older Time Lord. “You’re sending mixed messages my dear.”

“He doesn’t have anyone else.” Braxiatel replied tightly. He was already trussed up in the ceremonial robes of his household and moved stiffly and unasked to a seat opposite the Master. “It’s true that he disgraced our house with his stupid, shortsighted actions, but he is still my brother and I will support him in this one thing, if nothing else.”

The Master saw something in the other Lords gaze that unsettled him. He eyed Braxiatel warily. “And why is that?”

“Because he has been punished enough. First the forced regeneration, then making him watch his TARDISs destruction, the grounding and now this abomination you would dare call a bonding.” The old Lord sat back in his chair with a thunderous expression. “The least I can do is be there for him.”

“You’re sure that’s all you’re planning to do?” The Master asked with a smile.

Braxiatel sat bolt upright in his chair. His expression twisted indignantly. “I am loyal to the council Master. Or do you wish to imply otherwise?”

“Not at all, my Lord. I just know how wonderfully manipulative the Doctor can be. I would hate for you to risk your prestigious mantle over someone as self-destructive as the Doctor.”

“You seem ready enough to defy your own house to possess him.” Braxiatel’s expression turned sly. “Do tell me Master, why are you so obsessed with him?”

“I’m not obsessed.” The Master said as he stood up and carefully brushed down his robe. “I’m in love with him. There is a considerable difference.”

“It seems like obsession to me.” Braxiatel said, also standing. He frowned, seemingly about to say something else before he took a deep breath and stepped back. “He really doesn’t deserve this. You realise that. Don’t you?”

“Perhaps. But really, all I’m concerned about is what I deserve and after a lifetime of back and forth I’m finally getting what I’ve always wanted.” The Master allowed his smile to widen until it hurt his cheeks. “And there isn’t anything you or anyone else can say or do to make me give him up. So please my Lord, allow me to prepare properly for our bonding and do me the courtesy of leaving”

 

***************

“I do hope you’re planning on behaving today beloved.” The Master said as he opened the door containing the Doctor and peered inside. The taller Time Lord was wedged into the far corner of the room and was glaring quite spectacularly at the Master. “Out you get then.”

“I don’t particularly want to.” The Doctor said from his defensive position. He rested his arms over his bony knees in a deceptively casual manner. “Infact I’ve become quite fond of this little room. I think I’d like to stay here a little longer.”

“I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for you to do so the future.” The Master said without bothering to hide the implied threat. “But for now I want you to get out, bathe and change.”

“You’re cutting it close aren’t you? The bonding is in less than an hour.”

“Gives you less opportunity to cause mischief then, doesn’t it.”

If looks could kill, the Master thought with a small shiver of uncertainty. He pushed the feeling aside and caught the Doctor’s bicep, forcing him to his feet before strong-arming him to the bathroom. “You have ten minutes. If I have to come in there after you you’ll be sorry.”

That odd look was on the Doctor’s face again. He pulled his arm free from the Master’s grasp and stepped into the room, closing the door behind him rather more firmly than was probably needed.

The Master entered the main sitting room and was relieved to see that slaves had laid out his and the Doctor’s clothing. He quickly stripped and changed into his own scarlet and silver embroidered robe before attaching a thick silver belt. The head piece remained on the lounger.

The Doctor entered sooner than the Master expected. His hair was dry and styled. He had even shaved. “Matching, really?” He asked as soon as his eyes fell on his robe. And then his gaze inevitably fell on the headdress. “Not a chance.”

“Put it on, otherwise I will have the guards come in here, hold you down and dress you themselves.”

“It’s ghastly. Ridiculous.”

“We’re about to be bonded my love. Of course you’re going to be required to wear formal robes.”

The Doctor stared at the Master for a long moment before he very slowly started to change. “I’ve always hated these things.” He said after he pulled on the undershirt and leggings. His fingers skimmed over the stiff material of the robe before he bunched it up and pulled it over his head. The Master fought the urge to smile when he saw what it had done to his already unruly hair. “I can barely breathe in this. Why did you have them make it so tight?”

“It suits you.” The Master said as he allowed his eyes to roam over the Doctor’s lithe figure. “Makes it harder for you to run too.”

“The sad thing is you aren’t joking.” The Doctor said without much enthusiasm. He slowly sat down. “For goodness sake. I can barely bend in this.”

“The headdress Doctor.” The Master said warningly.

“It’s impractical.” The Doctor said, making no move to put it on. “A useless bit of frivolous pomp.”

“It’s sets us aside from the wretched nothings of this universe.” The Master said, neither agreeing or disagreeing. “And as a Time Lord you are required to wear the mantles of your office.”

“A failed Time Lord.” The Doctor said, but he reached for the headdress anyway. “A grounded renegade. Surely the rules no longer apply.”

The Master stood up and gently slapped the Doctor across his cheek. He tried not to notice the way he flinched. “Nice try beloved. Now hurry up. It’s time to go.”

“Already?” The Doctor asked. He wasn’t getting up.

“Don’t be precious Theta. Get up, put on the headdress and outer coat and let us go.” He saw the fleeting look of panic roll over the Doctor’s face and dropped down to his haunches in front of him. “Now don’t do anything foolish beloved. This is going to happen. The only thing you get to decide is if you’re dragged into the ceremony room or if you walk in there under your own power.”

The Doctors laugh almost sounded like a broken off sob. “What an attractive proposition. Off we go then.”

*****

Chapter Text

A shadow passed over Jack’s cage, momentarily blocking out the persistent blaze of the twin suns and offering him a few precious seconds of relief. He looked up, half expecting one of the pen keepers to start tormenting him and and was pleasantly surprised to see the kitchen lad Will.

The kid had a mad thing for the Doctor. He quizzed Jack about him almost constantly and was always eagre to learn everything he could about the Time Lord. Jack couldn’t really fault the lad. He knew the feeling.

“Hey kiddo. What’s shaking?”

Will flinched so violently he made the cage shake. “Did he tell you?”

“Tell me what?”

Will practically mushed his face into the cage bars. If he didn’t look so completely freaked out it might have been funny. “I’m getting you out of here.”

For a moment Jack just stared at him. “You’re shitting me. You, you’re his grand plan?”

“He said you have to have faith in him Jack.” Will hunched forward and produced a key. Jack wondered how long it would take before someone noticed it was gone. The door swung open and Jack stepped cautiously out. “Well, are you coming?”

“Sure thing sweet-cheeks.” Jack said, grinning when the kids eyes bulged in this head. He followed Will into the main house and through a number of doors he had never seen before. “Did the Doc mention how I’m supposed to hide in a house full of Time Lords and Ladies? It may have slipped his mind but they tend to notice me.”

“We’re not going to meet any Ladies or Lords down here Jack.” Will said with a nervous glance backwards. They stopped in front of a nondescript door. Will pulled it open, revealing an abandoned room. “Go ahead.”

Jack peered inside and couldn’t help the feeling of dread that settled in his stomach. It was an awfully small room. More of a cupboard really. “What’s supposed to be in here then?”

“The Doctor told us we need to wait here.” Will said. He gave Jack a gentle push in the back, urging him forward.

“Wait for what?” Jack said. He pushed away the kid’s hands and stepped into the room.

“I’m not sure. He just said we needed to wait.”

The way he spoke implied Jack was an idiot for asking. He had to give it to the Doc. The man knew how to invoke faith. “So I guess that’s it then. We wait.” He slid down the wall into a heap on the floor, luxuriating in the feeling of being able to spread out for once. “If nothing else at least I get out of the cage for a while.”

Will sat down next to him. He offered Jack an endearing smile. “I can’t believe I’m finally going to get out of here. All these years. All of this horror and by the end of the day I’m finally going to be free.”

Jack couldn’t quite muster up the same level of enthusiasm. He had been burned too many times. He would celebrate the moment he got off Gallifrey and not a moment before. “So how did you convince him to take you with us?”

“I didn’t need to convince him.” Will said, clearly affronted. “He asked me.”

“No need to get your panties in a twist.” Jack said, stretching his arms over his head. He heard a satisfying crack and moved into a more comfortable position. He noticed the way Will was glaring at him and grinned. “You got it bad for him huh?”

The kids complexion turned scarlet. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He snapped.

“The Doc. You like him, huh?”

“He’s a Time Lord.” Will said, with a touch of adoration that was born from a lifetime of slavery.

“So we just wait?” Jack asked, changing the subject before the kid below a gasket.

“Yeah.” Will said. “We just wait.”

**************

The Doctor had known that thanks to Rassilon the ceremony was going to be a publicised affair, but if he was honest with himself he hadn’t expected every member of the council to be in attendance. He could only assume their founder wanted to subject the Doctor to as much humiliation as possible. It didn’t deter his plans by any means but it certainly made things suddenly much more interesting.

The Master’s grip on his arm finally loosened. It was a good sign. Now that the Doctor was surrounded and, for all means purposes trapped, the Master was finally lowering his guard.

They stood side-by-side until the Master’s father approached. “You look well my lord.” Marnal said, formally addressing his son. His eyes skimmed over the Doctor, lingering on his face and presumably the lack of bruises. “And you too Doctor.”

“Well it is a special occasion.” The Doctor said brightly. He rolled onto his heels and then onto his tiptoes, peering over the top of Marnal’s head. “Awful busy isn’t it?”

“The head of a great house is about to be bonded.” The Master said with an intense stare. The Doctor felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up on edge. “Of course they want to stand witness.”

“Of course.” The Doctor echoed softly. The Master was still staring at him. “It’s one for the history books I imagine.” He continued to stare. “Have you seen my brother?”

“Eager to get on with it are we?” The Master asked in a brittle tone.

“Oh, I’m positively agog with anticipation.” The Doctor said. He met the Master’s gaze unflinchingly but inside he was squirming. Did the Master suspect something? Probably, he wasn’t a fool after all. But did he know?

“Ah, here’s the happy couple.” A familiar voice boomed a moment before the Corsair approached. He smiled brilliantly at the Doctor before clapping him firmly on the shoulder. “How are you my friend?”

It was almost amusing watching the way the Master bristled. Of course humour he felt quickly waxed as a familiar hand grasped his arm and dragged him back. The Master stepped in front of the Doctor, interjecting himself neatly between the Doctor and the Corsair.

“Still acting the part of the jailor, Master?” The Corsair asked stonily.

“Still acting the part of the fool Corsair?” The Master shot back. “What do you want?”

“I want to see my friend. You’ve refused every request to see him up until now. I worried for his health.”

“Well I’m glad you can see he’s perfectly fine.” The Master snarled.

“Actually-” The Doctor began, but a warning look from the Master effectively shut him up. The Corsair frowned deeply. “Never mind.” The Doctor mumbled. He smiled brightly at the Corsair. “Have you seen Braxiatel?”

“Enough.” The Master snarled. He moved quickly and violently, dragging the Doctor into a shadowed alcove and slamming him up against a marble pillar. The Doctor released a pain gasp but remained very still as the Master’s enraged blue eyes bored into him. “Do you think me a fool Theta? A man so blind I can’t see exactly what is going on under my own nose? Somehow you’ve used that sly charm of yours to convince your brother, the sanctimonious bastard, to aid you. Well heed me well beloved. You will not escape me. You and I will bond this day and I will learn every plot, every secret and hope and thought that lies in that pretty little brain of yours. I will own you.”

“I’m not -” The Doctor tried to protest but a sharp gesture from the Master silenced him. He looked pointedly at the Masters upturned hand. “Will you strike me now? It would make all of our earlier efforts somewhat superfluous. Don’t you think?”
“I certainly do.” Braxiatel said as he walked towards them. His gaze fixed firmly on the Master. “Let him go my Lord.”

“You will not cheat me of that which is mine.” The Master spat. He stepped back from the Doctor but quickly grabbed his arm in a tight and painful hold. “I don’t know what you have planned but I promise you my Lord that if you aid him you will be banished as he is.”

“I am not stupid Master.” The older Time Lord said in a calm and even tone that was made all the more significant given the Master’s anger. “I wish to support him only. I told you this.”

“And yet I don’t believe you. I think you intend to aid him in some plot and I will not allow it. You will not act as his second.”

The Doctor jerked in the Master’s hold. “You can’t!”

“I can and I do. I have dominion over you. Not him.” He turned slowly back to Braxiatel. “As the head of a great house I cannot make you leave, but I will not suffer your presence in the ceremony. Go join your house my lord.”

Braxtiel’s expression hardened in anger briefly before he met the Doctor’s gaze. His expression softened. “You are insane Master. You see plots where none exist. But I know when I am beat.” He went to touch the Doctor’s shoulder but the Master pulled him out of reach. “I am sorry brother. I wish I could support you in this. I believe you will truly need it.”

**********

The Master felt a presence long before he saw her. Her beautiful face was twisted in a mocking and knowing expression. “That was quite a show my lord. You may have just made an enemy of arguably the greatest of our houses.”

“In numbers only.” The Master said dismissively. He refused to be baited into arguing with her. “You look lovely my dear.”

“As do you.” She looked at the Doctor and her gaze seemed to lock onto the grip the Master had on him. He let the Doctor go slowly. In truth he hadn’t even noticed he was still holding onto him. “And don’t you look positively delectable Doctor. I never thought I would see the day that you would be properly dressed.”

The Doctor’s complexion was pale and his eyes were pinned to his feet. He looked like a man who had been completely and thoroughly beaten.

“Oh dear. Have you broken him cousin?”

“He’s just nervous about the ceremony.”

“So who will act as his second?” The Sin asked sweetly.

“I will.” A vile voiced shouted out. The Corsair approached them unasked. His expression locked on the Doctor. “If you’ll have me old friend?”

The Doctor didn’t look up. He waved his hand idly. “Yes. Yes thank you.”

The Master wanted to object but he couldn’t rationally think of any reason to do so. He pursed his lips and then pushed the Doctor into the Corsairs grasp. “You first.” The Doctor stumbled forward. “And beloved. Please don’t try anything desperate. It didn’t turn out well for you or you dire friend last time. You remember?”

The Doctor looked up very slowly and when their eyes met the Master subconsciously stepped back. The Corsair noticed and so did the Sin.

“I remember Koschei.” He said in a tone that sent shivers down the Master’s spine. “I will always remember.”

The Doctor turned and together with the Cosair they stepped out into the main ceremony room. The Master heard the ceremony music play and smiled when he realised how well it accompanied the steady beating of the drums. Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum. The trepidation he felt was swept away by an overwhelming swell of satisfaction.

Whatever pathetic plot the Doctor had cooked up had been easily quashed. They were about to be bonded. The Master had won. He had won.

And then before his eyes and the eyes of the entire court. The. Doctor. Disappeared.

Chapter Text

A white searing fury flared through the Master’s being. It burned into his vision, blinding him from everything but the overwhelming need to destroy.

Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum!

He came back to himself to the sound of screaming. Braxiatel was lying beneath him, bloodied and battered on the floor. The Master honestly couldn’t remember when he had attacked the old Time Lord, but he felt a deep sense of satisfaction seeing him in such a state. “What did you do?” He asked, slowly and as calmly as he could. “Where is he?”

“Master, get off him.”

He recognised Rassilon’s voice but even a direct command from their founder failed to work its way through the all encompassing and white hot fury. “Tell me where he is? Tell me or I swear-”

He didn’t get to finish. A strong hand caught his collar and before he could react he was dragged back and thrown to the ground. He looked up, about to rip into whatever fool thought to keep him from finding the Doctor, when he was confronted by a very close and very mencing Mercy gun.

“Do not move.” The General snarled. The Master really didn’t care for the General’s tenth incarnation. The man was incredibly pigheaded and had a tendency to shoot people. Altogether quite the bore. “If you move I will shoot you.”

“The Doctor has disappeared and that jackal is responsible.” The Master’s eyes locked onto Braxiatel. He wanted the man to cower and squirm in fear, but the older Time Lord was oddly unaffected. He got steadily to his feet, refusing aid as he brushed down his robes.

“You really are unhinged.” He eventually said. He was so damnably calm. It was infuriating. “Although I can assure you that having just experienced a bout of your legendary insanity first-hand I am more convinced now than ever that your infatuation with the Doctor is born more of insanity than any real affection, I can assure you and every Lord and Lady in attendance that I had nothing to do with his disappearance.” The old Lord quirked an eyebrow at the Master. “I promise you though Master that such blatant and barbaric displays against me and my house will not be tolerated. I will have retribution.”

“We are waisting time.” Rassilon suddenly roared. “The Doctor is dangerous and he is loose.” He turned to Braxiatel. “Forgive me my lord but time is short and our need is dire. Will you share your mind with mine to prove you have not offered the Doctor aid?”

“You shame me Rassilon.” Braxiatel fumed. But he didn’t look frightened. Why didn’t he look frightened? “You accept the accusations of this maniac? With no proof that I had anything to do with the Doctor’s disappearance?” Braxiatel crossed his arms. “I refuse.”

“You cannot refuse.” Rassilon screamed. He rushed forward but instead of backing down Braxiatel amazingly stood his ground. When Rassilon’s reached for him the old Lord simply swatted his hands away.

“Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am my brother Rassilon. I will not be manhandled.” His gaze fixed icily on the Master. “Instead of throwing around wild accusations I suggest you start looking for your intended before he disappears for good.”

The Master knew Braxiatel was involved. He knew it. “He could not have simply disappeared. He has clearly been given a teleporting device.” The Master easily held the old Lord’s gaze. “Other than your lordship and Lord Rassilon he has not had contact with anyone outside of my household.” The Master turned to face the watching council members. “It is painfully obvious that Lord Braxiatel has given the Doctor aid. If we are going to find him we need to see exactly what he has planned.”

Braxtiel’s anger seemed to melt away as quickly as it had appeared. He straightened his back and turned slowly to Rassilon. “Do it then. Look into my mind if you’re so sure I’ve given him aid. And when you discover I have not you will have to deal with the consequences of your accusations.”

************

The Doctor transported into the Master’s workshop and immediately set about finding the blasted key to Jack’s manacles. He knew his time was limited but he forced down the panic he could feel welling up inside him. “Come on.” He said as he started opening drawers and cupboards. “It has to be here. He wouldn’t keep it anywhere else. Come on.

He stopped abruptly and took a deep breath. The room already looked like a small tornado had torn through it. He wasn’t going to find what he needed through so much chaos. He needed to think clearly.

He closed his eyes, dropped his shields and concentrated. The Master would likely keep all of his treasured possessions in a safe location. He undoubtedly coveted a number of weapons and given that the nastiest sorts usually had some psychic capabilities there was a good chance that if he concentrated enough -

“Ah-hah!” He muttered excitedly as he followed a weak psychic trail that lead him to a nondescript painting of Gallifrey’s city state. He studied it for a long moment before pressing his forehead against the centre of the picture. Show me. He commanded. He released a muffled bark of laughter as the wall behind the picture pulled back and created a space barely big enough for the Doctor to squeeze through.

“Over compensating Master?” He muttered as he walked among an armory's worth of knives, swords and other assorted weapons. He tried not to stare too hard at one particular dagger that was rusted with the blood of some unfortunate soul that had clearly crossed the Master long ago. The fact that he would keep such a thing as a trophy really shouldn’t have surprised the Doctor. And yet -

There were several sonic and laser screwdrivers. The Doctor gratefully pocketed one and moved towards an intricately carved cabinet in the furthest corner of the room. He took one look and felt a burst of absolute delight. “Hello there.” He muttered as he pulled out a lovely little key that looked very much like they matched the proximity restraints strapped around both of his ankles. The cuffs were a heavy and constant reminder of his captivity and something he was keen to shirk. Presumably the Master assumed the Doctor had transported halfway around the globe and was way beyond the restrictions of the cuffs, otherwise he would have activated them the moment the Doctor disappeared.

His thoughts inevitably turned to the chaos that was undoubtedly taking place in the great hall. The assumption that the Master would choose to forbid Braxiatel involvement in the bonding had been a calculated but necessary risk that had paid off. His brother’s conversations with the Corsair and the Doctor had all been voluntarily wiped from his mind the moment the Corsair promised to aid them. The Doctor could only hope that when they undoubtedly questioned his brother and ultimately found nothing to condemn him that he would be safe.

He pressed the key in the lock and turned. And as easily as that they fell away with a satisfying clatter. The Doctor kicked the hateful things away and pulled out the Sonic screwdriver. He scanned the contents of the locker and almost instantly found the ring that controlled Jack’s manacles. He placed it on his finger with a relieved sigh and stepped back. He was about to leave when a minature portrait caught his eye.

He picked it up and felt an odd mixture of joy and regret when he was confronted with the image of two boys standing side-by-side in one of the meadows that surrounded the Doctor’s family estate. For a moment he hesitated before he grabbed the portrait and pocketed it.

He turned on the transportation device and an instant later he was standing in the Master’s chambers. His eyes fixed on the bed and he felt a sudden and red hot wave of fury. He took out the sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the bed, burning words into the vile bedding until it was smoldering and ruined beyond repair.

Task complete he forced himself to walk towards the pelt that lay undisturbed on the ground and knelt beside what remained of his old friend. “I’m sorry.” He whispered as he caressed the soft and familiar fur “I’m so, so sorry.”

He turned on the transportation device. It was time to leave.

*******

The kid screamed when the Doc appeared between them. Jack managed to hold in his surprise for about two seconds before he grabbed the Time Lord and dragged him into a bone crushing hug. “Oh God. I can’t believe you did it.”

The Doctor released a surprised laugh before returning the embrace. “Hello Jack.” He said, clapping the human heartily on the back. “And Will. Absolutely fantastic job. Superb.” He squeezed Will’s arm before stepping back. “Where’s Elizabeth?”

“Who?”

“Elizabeth.” The Doctor said. He wasn’t smiling anymore. “Will, where is Elizabeth?”

Will grabbed his shirt and twisted it nervously. “She got caught leaving her station so the slave master whipped her and confined her to the kennels. I wanted to let her out but everyone saw it happen. They would have reported me if I tried.”

“Why didn’t you say anything sooner?” Jack snapped. He didn’t know who Elizabeth was but he could tell by the fear in the Doctor’s face that he cared for her.

“What good would it have done? We can’t just -”

Jack had absolutely no warning before the pain kicked in. He screamed out and collapsed to his knees. He could hear the Doctor shouting and felt gentle hand’s turn him onto his back. And then, as suddenly as it had appeared the pain was gone. He looked up as the Doctor removed the manacles around both of his wrists and threw them across the small room. Jack stared at his in wonderment.

“They’re going to be tracking them.” He said sharply. “Time to go.” He reached out and dragged a pelt towards them. Jack could only wonder what it was. The Doctor’s free hand latched onto Jack’s arm. “Will, grab my shoulder.” He instructed. He waited for the young man to do as he commanded. One moment they were in the middle of the tiny cellar room and then they were beside a human girls pen within the kennels.

“Elizabeth I presume.” He said, smiling at her.

“None of that.” The Doctor said. He sprang to his feet and pulled out a sonic screwdriver. From the corner of his eye Jack could see that an alarmingly large number of guards were approaching them. After a few seconds the lock on the cage sprang open and Elizabeth stumbled out of it.

“You came back for me.” She said, looking at the Doctor like he was the moons and the stars wrapped into one.

“Of course I did Elizabeth.” He said, smiling gently as he took her hand. He reached down and fisted his free hand in the pelt. “Grab hold.” He shouted at Jack and Will. “We’re getting out of here.”

**************

“He wasn’t involved.” Rassilon said tightly. He stepped away from Braxiatel and turned to the Master. “Someone else must have helped him.”

“Will you force your way into the minds of every Lord and Lady here?” Lady Patience asked loftily.

“Perhaps just those that voted no to his and the Master’s bonding.” Rassilon snarled.

“You cannot and will not subject anymore of our council members to this perversion of justice.” The Other said, calmly and assuredly. “The Doctor is a great man. We know this. Who is to say he has not escaped through his own means.”

“Because he was given no means in which to escape.” The Master said in the most even tone he could muster. “He has somehow gained access to a transportation device.” He gaze turned quite suddenly to the Corsair. “You. You gave it to him. It must have been you. You were the only one close enough-”

“I only learned that I was to be his second moments before the ceremony. You’ve forbidden any interaction with him. How could I have been involved in this little plot of yours?”

The Master knew the Corsair and Braxiatel had something to do with the Doctor’s sudden escape. However he was smart enough to realise that he wasn’t going to receive the answers he wanted anytime soon. “I will find out who has aided him. But for now I want him found and brought back here. If we act quickly enough the ceremony might still take place. Once we are bonded I can find out first hand who was involved in this idiotic and treasonous act.” He raised his hand and two guards approached. “Fetch the freak immediately.” As he watched them leave an idea occurred. “Oh, and kill every kitchen slave we own.”

“Not that I particularly care, but why kill them?” The Sin asked. She looked decidedly smug about the whole thing.

“Because the Doctor needs to be punished.” The Master said. And by Time’s Grace he was going to punish the Doctor for his disobedience.

******

It was all so still. So silent and solemn. They were in a place where the most powerful creations in the universe were laid to rest. So much beauty and grace gone in an instant, with nothing but a broken and hollow shell in place of what once had been nothing less than life itself.

She was exactly where he had left her. His most cherished and beloved friend. He opened the unlocked door and stepped inside the ruins that remained. Only the control room endured. The outer corridors had collapsed long ago.

He pressed the palm of his hand against the familiar coral panelling and felt a stab of grief when he felt nothing in return. He dropped his shields entirely and opened himself to her, pushing and caressing in a hollow attempt to make her remember. To make her live.

“Doc?” Jack asked softly. He was carrying Remus's pelt. The two young human’s stood nervously behind him. “You OK?”

“Super.” The Doctor answered. He pulled his hand away and forced down the regret and pain that simmered beneath the surface. It threatened to consume him but he refused to give it the chance. They had things to do. “Everyone OK? That was quite the close call, eh?”

“What now?” Elizabeth asked. She wrapped her arms around her waist and stepped closer to Will. “Where are we?”

“TARDIS graveyard.” The Doctor said absently. He looked around one last time before shooting past the humans and stepping back outside.

Jack hurried to catch up with him. “What are we doing here?”

“We need to leave the planet Jack. You know that.”

“So what. You going to repair one of these things?”

“They can’t be repaired. They’re dead. You can’t bring someone back from the dead. Believe me. I’ve tried.”

“So then what?”

“Did you know that TARDISs are grown rather than constructed Jack? They’re made of protopla and all other sorts of organic matter. And did you know that if you shatterfry the plasmic shell and modify the dimensional stabiliser to a foldback harmonic of 36.3, you accelerate growth by the power of 59?”

“Uh, no Doc. I didn’t know that.”

“Well it’s a good job that I did, because when they took her, when they took my friend, my cherished, beautiful friend and when they made me watch as they destroyed her they had no idea that I had already taken a little peice. A part of her essence that I hid away before they could get their nasty hands on her. And here she’s been all this time Jack. Growing and waiting. Biding her time.”

They reached a crest and there she was. In the midst of so much stillness and death she shone like a beacon. Calling out to him. Shouting to be heard over the solemn nothingness that surrounded her.

He reached the outer door and pressed a gentle hand against her outer shell. He felt warmth and life in return. She couldn’t replace his TARDIS. They would never be the same. But she remembered him and she was so happy to see him again.

The doors to the TARDIS sprung open and they all stepped inside.Her hull was a mixture of colours. Of oranges and purples and deep pulsating reds. So different to before.

Her mind pressed against his. She wanted to know his name. So he told her and felt a deep thrum of contentment in return. And then she told him her name. As simple as that. Two names that would remain a secret to every other being in the universe were shared in seconds.

“It’s time to go.” The Doctor said as the panel flared to life beneath his fingers. He turned to the watching humans and grinned brightly at them. They had been mistreated and hurt their entire lives. Their future and past had been stolen from them. And yet there they stood. So very much alive. “So, where to?”

 

********

He found the manacles first. They were strewn haphazardly across the floor in the midst of all of his other personal items. He categorised what was missing and quickly realised that the ring controlling the freaks manacles and a sonic screwdriver were gone. It took him a moment to notice the picture was missing too. He couldn’t help but wonder what the Doctor had been thinking when he took it.

He stepped out of the room and was confronted by a frazzled looking soldier..

“My Lord. A rogue TARDIS has just deployed. We think the Doctor might be inside.”

“Is it being tracked?” The Master asked. He could only wonder how the Doctor had got his hands on a working TARDIS.

“My Lord. It isn’t registered. It can’t be tracked.”

“But that isn’t possible.” The Master whispered. He rushed to the main hall where a number of lords and ladies surrounded a communication device that showed a familiar blue box hurtling through space. “It isn’t possible. His TARDIS was destroyed.”

“It’s the Doctor.” Lady Patience said from his right. “Anything is possible.”

“He can’t be allowed to escape.” Rassilon cried. He grabbed the Master and shook him by his shoulder. “You said you could control him. You promised us you could handle him.”

The Master ignored their founder and watched the moment the box escaped the planets dampening fields. In no time at all in flickered out of existence. It was gone. He was gone.

“I will get him back.” The Master swore. “I will bring him back.”

“How will you track him? He could be anywhere.” Omega asked softly.

“I’ll find a way.” He shrugged off Rassilon’s hold and stepped away from the circle.

“I will assist you my Lord.” Lady Sin offered. She walked towards his and quirked a smile. “If you’ll have me?”

He didn’t know what she was up to and he didn’t have the time to try and figure it out. “Very well then. Meet me in the bay in thirty minutes. Pack lightly.”

He left the hall and council without a backwards glance. He needed to collect clothes, weapons and anything else he might need to assist with the hunt.

He entered his room and instantly took notice of two things. First, the wolf's carcass was gone. And secondly, scorched into the bed were six words that sent a shiver of real fear course through the Master.

I am the Time Lord Victorious.

Chapter Text

“What the fuc-”

“Jack,” the Doctor said warningly as he pressed past the bigger man and walked confidentially out into what Jack could only describe as an un-shitting-believable cornucopia of weirdness.

“They’re cats.” Jack said. Because shit me. Cats. Fucking cats.

“Where are we?” Elizabeth asked. She peered out from behind Jack but didn’t make any attempt to follow the Doctor. “Oh my God,” she meeped before hurrying back inside.

“Come on then you three.” The Doctor said excitedly

“But they’re cats.” Jack insisted. Because what the actual fuck?

“Actually they’re Catkind,” the Doctor said cheerfully. “Not to worry. They’re a nice enough species. Some of them have a bit of a nasty side but they’re no different to most people in that respect.” He seemed to notice all of a sudden that no one was following him. “Everything OK?”

“Doctor.” Jack said slowly because he really needed the Time Lord to hear him. “They’re cats.”

“They’re aliens.” The Doctor said as if that explained everything. “You’ve seen aliens before, Jack.”

“I’ve seen you.” Jack said. One of the cats was staring at them. She was small with a thick glossy coat hidden mostly beneath a bright purple dress and little red coat. “But you’re not a cat.”

“No, I’m a nine-hundred year old Time Lord that can control time and space. And you’re an immortal anomaly that technically shouldn’t exist.”

Jack spent about twenty seconds wondering if he should be insulted before he shrugged and stepped outside. “Fair enough. Elizabeth, WIll get your asses out here.”

Elizabeth’s sidled up to the door but refused to step past the threshold. Will stepped beside her and twisted his hands nervously. “I’m not sure if I’m ready for this. It’s all so much.” She said softly.

“It’s just a different world that’s inhabited by an entirely different species. What is there to be afraid of?” The Doctor asked. It took Jack a moment to realise that he was being deadly serious.

“Doctor, Will and I had never even left the Master’s holding’s before today.” She gestured timidly outside. “This is all so -”

“Wonderful, amazing, fantastic, freeing?” The Doctor interrupted excitedly. He bounded forward with all of the enthusiasm of an over-eagre puppy and held his hand out to the young human’s. “It’s time for you two to start living and seeing and doing. I’m offering to show you everything, but you have to have the courage to at least try.” He smiled so gently that Jack actually felt himself falling a little more in love with him. It appeared the effect wasn’t lost on Elizabeth and Will either. “So, are you coming?”

Surprisingly it was Will who acted first. He reached out and grabbed the Doctor’s hand. Elizabeth glared at him before she walked around the Doctor’s other side and grabbed his free hand.

“I’m feeling a little left out.” Jack said, only slightly joking. He really didn’t like the way Will was looking at the Doctor. If the kid didn’t look like a bag of reheated shit he might have been worried. “You need another hand Doc.”

The Doctor smiled apologetically and drew the two young human’s away from the TARDIS with a gentle tug. He started forward and led their small group into the heart of a busy market.

Jack watched him with an increased feeling of exhilaration. The Doctor had done what he had promised fifty years ago. He had set him free. Even though he couldn’t save their race he had risked everything to save three human slaves from a lifetime of torture and servitude. And now he found himself in a world full of freaking cats along with a smattering of other alien species he had never laid eyes on before. And he was free. Free to be and do anything he wanted.

“Are they animals?” He heard Will ask a little too loudly. A passing couple stopped to stare at him, obviously insulted.

“Of course they aren’t animals.” The Doctor said quietly with an apologetic look at the couple. “Catkind are a diverse and compelling race capable of an array of thoughts and emotions. Just like we are.”

“I’m not sure Time Lords are really capable of all that.” Will grumbled. “Except you of course.”

The Doctor looked around nervously. “Let’s not say that word out loud. It might attract unwanted attention.”

Will nodded his head slowly but he was clearly confused. “What word Doctor?”

“Time Lord.” Jack said as he stepped very close to the younger man. “The Doc doesn’t think it’s the kind of words we should just be throwing around. Best to take heed. Don’t you think Willy?”

The look the kid gave him was priceless. He grinned back at him, daring him to say something. The Doctor was oblivious.
“So who's hungry?”

Elizabeth made a sudden and happy little noise, breaking away to check out a stall full of what looked like silk scarfs. The Doctor followed her with a bright smile, tugging Will with him. Jack followed and was definitely not scowling at where Will and the Doc’s hand were joined.

“They’re so pretty.” Elizabeth said as she reached out but didn’t quite touch the shimmering cloth. “There’s so much colour, all in one place.”

The Doctor reached out and plucked the scarf of its hanger. He wrapped it around Elizabeth’s neck and then reached into his pocket and thrust a handful of coins at the merchant. “Is that enough?” He asked happily.

The merchant looked dumbstruck. “It’s too much.”

The Doctor wasn’t even looking at her. His eyes were fixed on Elizabeth.

“Keep the change.” Jack said to the now ecstatic woman. Jack wondered how much he had given her. “Where did you get the cash Doc?” He asked as they went to find something to eat.

“The TARDIS made it for me. It’s an easy task, even for someone as young as she is.”

“That’s amazing.” Will said and he was talking too loudly again. “It makes you money? Actual money?”

Jack didn’t like something he saw in the younger man’s eyes. It was like cogs were beginning to turn. “Keep your voice down kiddo.” He said, trying to sound casual.

“I’m not a child.” Will snapped, glaring at Jack.

The Doctor and Elizabeth were both staring at them with wide eyes before the Doctor snapped out of it. He danced forward in an array of long limbs and fluffy hair and grabbed Will’s hand. “Of course you’re not and we know that Will, but Jack’s just making sure we don’t attract the wrong sort of attention. It’s best to keep your voice down sometimes.”

“I’m not a slave any more.” Will said and he looked angry. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

Jack didn’t really blame the kid. He’d spent his entire life being told when to eat, sleep, talk and even shit. It made sense that he wouldn’t want anyone telling him what to do now that he was a free man. And yet - “The only reason you’re free Will is because the Doctor saved you. So why don’t you think about that next time you start shouting your mouth off because if you do anything to endanger him or us I will -”

“Jack!” The Doctor snapped furiously. “Stop it. You’re overreacting. And Will, just calm down. You two shouldn’t be arguing. We’re in this together remember. Now let’s get something to eat and then we can all go back to the TARDIS and rest. I forget how much human’s need to sleep. Some food and rest. That’s exactly what we need.”

Jack bit his tongue but he didn’t say anything else. He was too busy watching Will watch the Doctor. There was something not right about the whole thing and Jack could admit that he was probably the jealous type, but there was just something that wasn’t right.

Chapter Text

“I don’t think you’re suppose to lick that Doc,” Jack said softly. The Doctor still jumped, spinning around to glare at him reproachfully. “Infact, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be sticking sharp metal things in your mouth at all.”

“You’d be surprised what you can find out by tasting things.” The Doctor said, standing up and brushing down his tunic with a bit of a grimace. “You might want to try it sometime. All manner of exciting things pop up.”

“I’ll take a pass.” Jack said as he settled down to watch the Doctor tinker. “So, what's going on?”

“Growing pains,” the Doctor lifted his hand and pressed it gently against a coral coated wall. His eyes took on a slightly dazed look before he gave his head a small shake. “We’ll work through it together though, won’t we my girl?” He turned back to Jack. “What about you? Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”

“I don’t seem to sleep that much these days.”

The Doctor’s large expressive eyes fixed on Jack. He stepped away from the console and folded gracefully next to the larger man. “How long has that been going on?”

Jack grinned at the Doc, delighting in the sudden weary look the Doctor was sending him. “You worried about me Doctor?” The Time Lord frowned at him and Jack huffed. “Ah, fine. If you must know it’s been going on for a while, but since the -” His voice faltered, trailing off as he felt a sudden, encompassing spike of light through his vision. It didn’t hurt exactly but it made him want to crawl out of his own skin. He forced down all the feelings he couldn’t identify and took a deep breath. “Since my time in the box I don’t seem to be able to fall asleep. I don’t really remember much of my time underground, but -” He shrugged. “I just don’t need that much sleep anymore. What about you? Don’t Time Lords need to sleep too?”

“Not all that much.” The Doctor pulled his legs to his chest and rested his bony chin on his equally bony knees. His eyes were thoughtful. “Are you OK Jack?”

“I’ve been given my life back.” Jack said, surprised by the question. “I’m fucking amazing.”

“Jack,” The Doctor snapped, leaning back and glaring. “Stop swearing, please.”

“You’re pretty tightly strung for a renegade Doc. You know that?”

Both of the Doctor’s eyebrows arched before his lips twisted into a smile. “You are an insufferable man Jack Harkness. Very charming but entirely insufferable.”

“You’re gonna make me blush.”

The Doctor just smiled and moved fluidly to his feet. His hands trailed over the main console, almost caressing. “I’m excited about tomorrow. Once Will and Elizabeth have rested up we’ll have a full day out in the city. It’s been an age since I’ve been able to just walk around aimlessly. Wondering around used to be my absolutely favourite thing to do.” He looked down at his clothes and pulled at the tunic with a frown. “And maybe a change of clothing whilst we’re out. Something a little less -”

“Time Lordy?” Jack asked with a grin. “Jesus Doc, I’ve never known a man be so picky about their clothing before.”

The Doctor’s expression smoothed into a self-mocking smile. “When you’re forced to wear the full regalia of a Time Lord we’ll talk. Until then you can leave me alone.”

“Doc?” Jack said, feeling a little uncomfortable breaching a subject that had been bouncing around inside his head since morning. “About Will and Elizabeth. Why did you choose them?”

The Doctor shrugged, unfazed by the question. “Because I couldn’t save all of them. Times grace only knew I wanted to, but it wouldn’t have worked. I don’t have that kind of power.” He rested his hands on his hips and rocked onto the heels of his boots. “But I could help them. I could offer them a chance. And right now, in this time and this place they’re only free human’s in the whole universe. How amazing is that?”

“The only two?” Jack asked, barely catching himself frown. “Don’t I count?”

“You’re human.” The Doctor said, unconcerned. “But you’re also something else.”

He so wasn’t prepared to go into that. “So Elizabeth seems like a sweet kid. She’s pretty scrappy considering they’re lifers.”

“Lifers?” The Doctor asked before he blinked and tapped a slender finger against his jaw. “Ah, slaves since birth?”

“You got it.”

“She’s scrappy.” The Doctor said with a slight smile. “And very kind. She’ll flourish now she’s going to be given the chance.”

“And Will?”

“He’s angry, confused, hurt.” The Doctor shrugged. “Not surprising, is it. Not when you consider what he’s been through.”

“He’s dangerous.” Jack said, unable to contain himself.

“He’s a child.” The Doctor argued. “And if it wasn’t for him you wouldn’t be here now. Will risked his life to save you Jack, to be here. He deserves a chance.”

“Someone as old as you are shouldn’t be so naive Doc.”

“And someone as young as you are shouldn’t be so bitter Jack.”

“You think I’m young?” He laughed. “I’m immortal.”

The Doctor’s expression turned playful. “Immortal but far from ancient. You’re what, eighty-eight?” The Time Lord smirked. “You’re still a child.”

“Well I feel pretty ancient.” Jack admitted as he got to his feet. “I’m not sure human minds are supposed to live forever Doc. We don’t have the right plumbing.”

“I guess we’ll find out.” The Doctor said thoughtfully. He smiled abruptly, almost manically before dancing over to Jack and grabbing his hand. “I’ve got something to show you.” He dragged the human to the TARDIS exit and opened the door with a flourish.

“Oh my God.” Jack said, absolutely and completely dumbstruck. The words fuck me stuck in his throat. He vaguely felt tears course down his cheeks and realised he was crying.

“I don’t think either of us can ever really hope to understand the concept of ancientness when confronted by the endlessness of eternity.” The Doctor breathed into Jack’s ear. He was standing so close. An anchor to reality.

Jack was looking down at a galaxy, but it wasn’t like when he used to look through a telescope when he was a kid. It was there, in front of him. Huge and ancient and so completely an utterly impossible. It was the most magnificent thing he had ever seen. It was something that very few humans would ever be able to experience. “Why did you choose me?” He asked. Whispered really.

“You’re my friend.” The Doctor said, inching closer until he was a warmth presence at Jack’s side. “My best friend actually.”

“Just being near me hurts you.”

“It was jarring at first.” He felt the Doctor shrug. “But I'm used to it. It really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m far more interested by the person, not the atrocities that were done to change him.”

“They were experimenting on us." He admitted. "There was me and this one other girl. She was a pretty little thing. Really feisty.” Jack couldn’t remember all of her features but he had a distinct impression of bright blonde hair, big eyes and a dazzling smile. “I never even knew her name. One day they thrust us into a room and we were suddenly bathed in light. I’m not sure what happened next but I’m pretty sure I died. But the girl, well afterwards I was told she absorbed whatever it was they exposed us to. It changed her. Gave her abilities. She brought me back and managed to take out half the facility before she burnt herself out.” He met the Doctor’s intense gaze. “Seems she brought be back permanent like.”

“There aren’t many things in the universe that could have made you Jack.” The Doctor said sorrowfully. “That poor, poor girl.”

“Ain't’ like she was the only one. Human’s are disposable after all.”

“Nothing in this universe, nothing that is alive and sentient and has the potential to do good is disposable.” The Doctor said, sounding angry. He stepped back, pulling Jack with him. The Doors closed of their own violation. “You are not disposable Jack Harkness, and together you and I are going to see amazing things.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor could feel eyes on him. There was something oddly unsettling in the not quite there feelings that accompanied the unpleasant realisation that he was being watched. He slowly turned, keeping up the conversation he and Elizabeth were having about a particularly tart flavoured sweet they were mutually enjoying. He took a long look over the courtyard to see if anyone was actively staring but with the amount of foot traffic passing through it was almost impossible to pinpoint just one person.

He noticed Jack and Will to the right of them and wondered what they were talking so animately about. Frankly he was happy to see them communicating for once but it was a little out of the blue and, oh dear, those weren’t happy words coming out of Jack’s mouth.

“Excuse me won’t you Elizabeth. I’ll be right back.” He stood up and, although he definitely didn’t run, he did take fairly long steps to reach the two humans. “Hello.” He said brightly. Two pairs of very not-happy eyes swung in his direction. The Doctor forced himself to keep his smile in place. “Everything OK?”

“Everything’s swell Doc.” Jack said, smiling charmingly as he stepped beside the Doctor and took his hand. “Ain’t that right Will?”

Will became quite red in the face. He looked like he was about to say something before he turned abruptly and stormed off. The Doctor went to follow but Jack pulled him back. “Just let him cool down Doc.”

“What was that about?” He asked crossly. He debated tugging his hand out of Jack’s grasp but if he was honest his latest regeneration seemed to quite like holding hands. He decided to leave it where he was as he led Jack back towards Elizabeth.

“Damned if I know. The kids a timebomb Doc. I said one word to him and you’d think I’d ran over him mother the way he reacted.”

The Doctor wasn’t quite sure if he believed Jack but his attention quickly shifted to a small group of tumblers that appeared quite suddenly in the courtyard. The Doctor gestured Elizabeth to join them twisted his free hand in hers as he watched a group of Catkind start jumping around in frankly amazing feats of agility.

“One of the most flexible races in the universe.” The Doctor said absently, forgetting who he was talking to.

“Got first-hand experience Doc?”

The Doctor once again debated pulling his hand free. He had Elizabeth now, which was quite enough contact to please even his tenth regeneration. But, he reasoned, Jack’s hand was very warm and he did smell exceptionally nice. He supposed it could stay where it was for now. He settled on an unamused expression instead. “Do you ever think of anything else?”

“It’s been fifty years.” He said with a put upon groan.

“What’s been fifty years?” Elizabeth asked.

“Never you mind.” the Doctor said quickly before Jack decided to share.

“Oh,” Elizabeth said, grinning. “You mean since you had sex. Jeez Jack, that’s a long time.”

“You feel sorry enough for me to -”

“Jack!” The Doctor said and yup, he was pulling his hand free. Should have done it ages ago. “Don’t you dare.”

Elizabeth was blushing, but she was blushing that much. “Calm down Doctor. I’m not some -”

“I don’t want to hear it.” The Doctor said. He pointed at Jack. “You leave her alone.” He turned to point at Elizabeth. “Same goes to you.”

Elizabeth was openly grinning. “Don’t worry so much Doctor. I’m not going to steal your boyfriend.”

He let go of Elizabeth’s hand. He was hands free and happy about it. “I’m going for a walk.”

“Can we come?” Jack asked excitedly.

“No, no googly eyed humans allowed. Stay here and make eyes at one another instead.”

“He really is jealous.” Elizabeth said with a smirk.

He had no idea how she had got so cheeky. He stuck his tongue out at her, because he was a Time Lord and his training forbade any other species getting the upperhand, and he walked off. He wasn’t too surprised to note that Elizabeth and Jack had completely ignored him and were trailing along after him.

“So,” Jack said, coming up beside him and taking his hand again. “I’ve been thinking -”

“It’s a wonder the universe hasn’t imploded.” The Doctor cut in quickly. Who said he was above petty insults?

Jack just grinned at him. “All of these cats and I haven’t seem one other species. Why aren’t they more surprised to see us?”

“Oh there’s other aliens scattered here and there. I’m just making a point of trying to avoid them.”

“Whys that?” Elizabeth asked as she stepped up to his other side and slid her hand into his.

He grumbled a bit but his hands were quite nice and arm. “I just don’t want to run into any trouble, that’s -” he broke off frowning as he heard loud and clearly panicked screaming ahead of them. “What could that be?” He murmured.

“Whatever it is shouldn’t we be going in the opposite direction?” Jack asked, tugging on the Doctor’s hand. He indicated the Catkind who were moving at astonishing speed away from the screaming. “Come on Doc. We aren’t all indestructible.”

“Didn’t Will go this way?” Elizabeth asked in a small voice.

“You’ve got to be shitting me?” Jack groaned.

The Doctor started forward but Jack pulled him back with a none-too gentle tug. “No Doctor.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure Jack?” The Doctor asked, pulling back. “Besides, you heard Elizabeth. We have to go save Will.”

“Forget Will.” Jacks said, tugging again. He managed to make the Doctor stumble back a few paces. “It’s time to go.”

The Doctor and Elizabeth both stopped to stare at him in astonishment before the Doctor managed to pull his hand free once again. “He’s one of us now Jack,” he said softly, trying to make the other man understand. “We stick together from now on. All of us.”

He didn’t give Jack time to answer before he sprinted forward, pulling Elizabeth with him. She wasn’t very fast but She didn’t let go. “Stay close to me.” He said, squeezing her hand as they slowed to a halt. He saw Jack approaching from his right and slowly stepped out into a courtyard.

It was quiet and still but the aftermath of a heinous attack was sickeningly evident. Catkind’s of every age and gender littered the ground, their broken and bleeding bodies a stark contrast to the otherwise pristine surroundings.

Elizabet released a quiet sob before she quickly pressed her hands over her mouth. The Doctor looked at her and realised she was stifling a scream.

“What did this?” Jack whispered.

“Not what,” the Doctor said as he approached one of the fallen catkind and bent down to examine the body. “Who and more importantly why?”

“Do you think Will is in there somewhere?” Elizabeth asked, having pulled herself together admiringly quickly.

“Oh, I doubt it.” The Doctor said, forcing himself not to look for Will’s prone body among the masses. “Why don’t we go and see if he went back to the TARDIS?”

“I thought you wanted to stay and help?” Jack snapped. “Now we’ve run headfirst into danger and it’s no longer here suddenly you want to leave?”

The Doctor stood up slowly. The feeling that he was being watched was back. “I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to go.” He looked around slowly as the feeling intensified. He cautiously lowered his shields and felt a hot streak of cruelty spear its way into his mid. “Now. It’s time to go now.” He pushed the human’s will all of his might. “Run!”

Chapter Text

“What are we running away from?” Elizabeth asked breathlessly as she struggled to keep up.

Jack wasn’t fairing much better. The Doctor knew he shouldn’t be surprised. They had spent the last five decades cooped up in slave pens. He knew he should be more understanding, but he needed them to move.

“Sontarans,” he said, practically dragging them forwards. “They’re a warrior race from the planet Sontar. They’re a truly nasty bunch. All they care about is war and destruction, and unluckily for the Catkind it appears the Sontar have chosen Savanna as they’re next target.”

“What are they going to war over?” Jack wheezed. The Doctor absently noticed he was an interesting shade of purple.

“I don’t know. Maybe the catkind insulted them somehow. Maybe they’re just bored.” He tugged harder. “They rarely even need a reason.”

“I don’t think I can run anymore Doctor.” Elizabeth gasped and promptly tripped over. She tugged the Doctor to a halt, almost knocking him over as Jack came to an ungraceful stop beside them.

“No, no, no.” The Doctor said. “Do you hear that marching? They’re headed this way. They’ll be here any moment. You saw what they did in the main square.”

“I’m -I’m - sorry.” Elizabeth gasped, red-faced and breathless. “I can’t, I can’t -.” She broke off in a violent cough, chest heaving in exhaustion. She really had given it her all. “m’ sorry.”

He spared a few precious seconds patting her hair soothingly before he bounded over to a locked door and started hammering. “You have to let us in. They’re coming. They’ll be here any moment. Open up”

No one was answering but he was sure there were people inside. He pulled out his screwdriver and was about to force the lock when Jack pushed him aside and kicked the door in with enough force that it shattered the lock and sent the splintered door clattering open. “Get Elizabeth.” He said, still breathing heavily before stepping inside.

The Doctor stared at the door in intense annoyance before he hurried over to Elizabeth and half carried/half dragged her through the threshold. He found Jack inside, who was staring intently at the only other door in the room.

He noticed the Doctor and grinned. “You’re welcome.”

The Doctor could feel his teeth grinding. “You’ve just left a very clear sign that we’re hiding in here Jack. Tell me why I should be thanking you when you’ve practically invited an entire army to take a peek?”

Jack had the denecy to look sheepish for approximately twenty seconds before he shrugged and scooped Elizabeth up in an easy hold. “There’s a back door. Let’s get out of here before company decides to join us.”

“And the people that live here?” The Doctor asked.

“They seem to be doing a pretty good job of hiding so far Doc. I’ve already checked the place out and they’ve either disappeared or its empty.” He grabbed the Doctor’s hand and tugged. “You coming?”

“Alright,” the Doctor said begrudgingly. The Sound of marching was growing louder. “But we need to find somewhere to hide.” He took a second to look at Jack. “Are you sure you’re alright carrying her? You look out of breath?”

“I’m fine.” Jack whispered as they crept out the back door into a shadowed alleyway. The Doctor hurried ahead of him, pulling out his screwdriver and attacking the lock before Jack could get to it. “Come on,” He said, gesturing the humans through the open doorway.

It looked like an abandoned warehouse. Books littered every available surface, covered with an inch thick layer of dust. The Doctor carefully closed the door behind him and lead the human’s into a far corner of the large room. He pulled a fallen bookcase in front of their hiding place and crouched down beside them.

“Everyone OK?” He asked brightly.

“I’ve been better,” Elizabeth said, having finally caught her breath. “So these Sontaran thingies, are they just angry with the catkind or are we in trouble too?”

“We wouldn’t have run so hard of we weren’t in trouble.” Jack said.

“I hope Will’s OK.” Elizabeth said softly. “This place is so strange and he’s all alone.”

“He’ll be fine,” the Doctor said will a confidence he didn’t feel. “Probably found himself a nice hidey hole. As soon as things calm down we’ll collect him.”

“You think the Sontarans are just going to leave?” Jack asked.

“Not entirely, but after they’ve finished their first sweep and secured the city they’re more likely to let their guards down. The TARDIS isn’t too far away. I’m sure we’ll make it.”

“Hell of a first field trip Doc,” Jack said eventually. “Couldn’t have taken us to a nice leisure planet for some r&r could you?”

“How was I supposed to know the TARDIS would bring us here on the exact same day as a siege?” The Doctor asked, feeling a bit wounded. “I told you I wanted to avoid trouble didn’t I?”

“I thought Time Lords are supposed to be able to predict this sort of thing? Lord of time and space remember?”

“The TARDIS is a child,” the Doctor snapped. “And I’m a little rusty,” he muttered.

Jack swallowed whatever he was about to say as the door to the room cracked and broke open. They all tensed as heavy footsteps walked slowly into the library.

“It’s abandoned,” a Sontarans said, sounding bored. The footsteps stopped. “There are plenty of toy soldiers left to keep us busy. Let’s leave.”

“Except,” another said in a keen tone. “The dust here has been disturbed, recently.”

The Doctor shared a look with Elizabeth and Jack. Not good.

“Come out now,” the second one shouted. There was a loud bang that sounded like a fist hitting concrete. “Come out now, or we’ll set the whole place ablaze.”

The Doctor jumped up and raised one hand. He used the other one to gesture Jack and Elizabeth to stay down. He could only hope they did what he wanted. “Hello.”

The two Sontarans stared at him. The entire race was cloned from the same source so there was little to distinguish them from one another but the Doctor thought the more vocal of the two was also the bigger one.

“You’re not a catkind,” he said, almost accusingly.

“Erm, nope. Actually I’m just a traveller passing through. Guess I picked the worse time for it. If you don’t mind i’ll just get be going. Get out of your hair so to -”

“Shut up!” The first one roared, raising an alarmingly big pistol. “Come out and raise your hands where we can see them.”

“This really isn’t necessary,” the Doctor started but the sudden smoldering hole next to his head shushed him up. He eyed the aliens weapons warily as he stepped forward slowly, careful to keep both of his hands in the air. He tried not to flinch when the other Sontarans trained his gun on the Doctor’s head.

The Sontarans were a short race, habitually reaching around five foot and ten inches. Their stocky frames were unbelievably strong though and the Doctor could only grunt as his arm was grabbed and another heavy pair of hands started patting his down for a weapon. Seemingly satisfied that they couldn’t find anything the probing hands drew away but the hold on his arm remained.

“A traveller you said?” The first one asked.

“Yup, just a harmless little explorer. No threat to anyone.”

“Kill him,” the second one said, sounding bored again.

The Doctor was rather impressed with how quickly he reacted. He reached into his pocket, bigger on the insider, pulled out his screwdrivwe and activated it against the Sontarans gun. The hand-piece exploded with a little bang, causing number one to shout and release him.

The Doctor bolted.

Chapter Text

Jack waited until he was absolutely certain the aliens were gone before he got slowly to his feet. His entire body was shaking with the overwhelming need to do something. To do anything. It wasn’t like the Doctor was indestructible like he was. There was a very real danger that something could happen to him.

“What do we do now?” Elizabeth asked softly.

He knew panicking wasn’t going to help anyone. He kept trying to remind himself that he couldn’t help anyone by falling to pieces. And yet the urge to break down into a crying huddled mess was strong. Sure, he had been in worse positions before but the outcome had always been bad for Jack. It had been a very long time since he had to care about anyone else.

He and Elizabeth shared a look. He would never describe the girl as young looking. She had seen and been through too much to ever look like a girl her age should. But at that moment she looked lost and it was enough to snap Jack back to his senses. He stepped out from their hiding place and offered the younger woman his hand. He managed a smile. “Same plan as before. We find the TARDIS.”

She looked at his hand suspiciously. He didn’t really blame her. She hadn’t signed-up for time with Jack the immortal anomaly. She wanted the Doctor and he knew he was a piss-poor substitute.

“And the Doctor?” She asked as she eventually placed her tiny hand in his.

“He’ll meet us there,” He shrugged. “He’s pretty good at getting out of tight spots. Have faith.”

“What if he leaves us behind?” She asked bluntly.

The fact that she would even ask made him a little angry, but he supposed he could understand her lack of trust. It wasn’t as if anyone had ever been there for her before. He squeezed her hand and pulled her close. “He didn’t leave us last time, did he?” he led them to the front door and took a slow and tentative look outside. The alleyway appeared to be deserted but he could still hear the faint sound of marching. They were still close. “I think we’re going to have to stay here until it gets dark Lizzy. Like the Doctor said, as soon as they’ve secured the planet they’ll drop their guard. It’ll be easier to sneak back to the TARDIS.”

“You think they’re going to be able to take over the whole planet in less than a day?” Elizabeth asked incredulously.

“Took the Time Lords less time to take over the Earth,” Jack said as he closed the door and stepped back inside. He led Elizabeth back to their corner and settled down for a long wait. “I guess you wouldn’t know anything about that though?”

“Only what people told me,” She sat opposite him and rested her face in her hands. “Not a lot of the earthers were left by the time I was born though. The ones that were alive didn’t like talking about before.”

“Yeah, I get that. It’s hard to talk about things we’ve lost. Least we had them in the first place though,” he couldn’t help but smile when he thought of his old home. It was a hell of away from being perfect, but it had been his. “You should have seen it Lizzy.”

“The Doctor said he would take me back. Back before the invasion,” she smiled gently. “I hope I still get to see it.”

He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and gave her the sort of platonic hug the Doctor would be proud of. “it’s going to be OK Lizzy. I promise.”
*********

The Doctor’s boots slipped in a suspicious red goo, he rebounded off a metal container and skidded to an ungainly stop in front of a terrified pair of catkind children.

“Oh, hello,” he said brightly. “I’m the Doctor.”

The elder female hissed at him. Her very long and very sharp claws were out and pointed at the Doctor’s face. “Stay away,” she warned, terrified but clearly very serious. “Touch either of us and I’ll claw your eyes out.”

“No need for any of that,” the Doctor said, forcing his cheerful expression to stay in place as he took a careful step back. He had absolutely no desire to terrify a pair of children and even less desire to grapple with one. “You’re hiding are you? I was too but they found my hiding place. I had to run to keep my friends safe and now we’re all separated. How about you, where’s your mum and dad?”

“You’re not one of them?” The younger female asked from behind her suspicious friend.

“One of the Sontarans? Nah, I’m way too tall.”

“And skinny,” the younger one piped up.

The Doctor gave her a wounded look. “You forgot handsome,” he turned to the elder girl. “I’m honestly not a threat. I just want to get back to find my friends and my ship.”

“Sissia,” the younger one said, tugging on her friends dress. “He’s just a visitor.”

“I am,” the Doctor promised. “And I'm actually really, fantastically nice. Ask anyone.”

Sissia’s tough exterior crumpled, revealing a very frightened and very distraught young woman. “They’re killing everyone.” She whispered.

“Well yes, they are.” The Doctor said, stepping closer now they no longer considered him a threat. He pressed his back firmly against a wall, reasonably well hidden. “But there’s still a chance. The shadow proclamation is sure to -”

“They killed my pa,” the girl interrupted. Her deep green eyes looked lost when they locked onto the Doctors. “Right in front of me.”

“Ah,” the Doctor said, feeling a painful tightness in chest. “I’m so sorry Sissia. I-”

He didn’t get the chance to finish. The sound of marching was coming persistently closer and if they didn’t move they were going to get caught. He needed them to move. “We need to go,” he said urgently. “Now.”

“They’ll catch us,” Sissia squeaked, frozen. “They’ll kill us.”

“Only if they catch us,” the Doctor said sternly. He dropped to his knee and held out his hand. “But if we run really, really quickly they won’t find us. I promise. I can take you away from here, but we have to go now.”

“If we hide-”

“Sissia,” the younger one hissed, stepping forward and attempting to drag her friend with her. “If they come this way they’ll see us. We can’t hide from them out in the open like this.”

it was too late. The Doctor could hear marching from the other direction. They were boxed in. He looked around, desperate to find somewhere to hide but they were too exposed. There was nowhere to go.He stepped in front of the children, ushering them to stay behind him. He could feel a small hand curl into his tunic and forced down the urge to comfort them.

It was difficult not to wilt slightly under the combined stares of over thirty soldiers marching into their small hiding place, but he reasoned he had faced down much worse in the past. The Master immediately jumped to mind, but there had been worse. Far, far worse.

“What you’re doing is illegal,” the Doctor boomed out. It was something of a surprise to him that his regeneration could sound so authoritative. In all the years he had possessed his most current form he had never tried to face down an army. “The M87 galaxy is under the jurisdiction of the Shadow Proclamation. You have no right to be here -”

“You are a Gallifreyan?” one of the Sontarans, presumably the company's captain, asked from the front of the group.

A surprising question, all things considered. Most of all, why would they care? “I am.”

“And a Time Lord?”

The Doctor felt the hairs on the back on his neck stand up on end. “Yes.”

“You are the Doctor?”

“Who wants to know?” He snarked automatically. Who knew his current form had so much sass?

The Doctor saw a scuffle taking place behind the leader and was more than a little surprised when Will was yanked to the front of the group. The leader grabbed the taller human by his scruff and dragged him forward like he weighed practically nothing. The young man tried to break away and was shook violently for his trouble. “This is the one you told us about? This is the Doctor?” he asked. When Will didn’t immediately answer the Sontaran knocked him to his knees and fisted a hand in Will’s brown curls. “Is this the one you told us about?”

“I’m sorry Doctor,” Will said, choking down tears. “They thought I was you and when I said I wasn’t they were going to kill me. I didn’t know -”

“The Gallifreyan identity has been confirmed.” The captain released Will with a hard shove and gestured towards the Doctor. “Bring that one.”

“Oi, hang on.” he said as another Sontaran right into his personal space. A granite hold latched onto his elbow and dragged him forward. “Why are you even looking for me. What do you want?”

“You don’t know? he asked, looking insufferably pleased with himself. “There’s a universe-wide transmission that every living being in the universe knows about. It’s been running for many a millenia, Doctor and it’s all about you. It seems your fellow Time Lords want you back, and they’re willing to pay a fortune to get it.”

“Since when do Sontarans care about anything other than war?” the Doctor asked, forcing down the growing sense of panic bubbling up inside of him. “You and the Time Lords were enemies once.”

“I never said I was going to give you back to them.” The captain said with a truly terrifying smile. “But I’m not about to pass up the opportunity to own something the mighty Time Lords are so desperate to get back. Consider yourself our guest until we decide what to do with you.” His small eyes jerked behind the Doctor. The children, until now unnoticed, were suddenly under his intense scrutiny. “Bring the cats here.”

The Doctor twisted in his captors hold and felt a powerful arm wrap around his waist, crushing him against a broad chest.

“Don’t you dare hurt them.”

“You presume to tell me what to do Time Lord?” The captain asked nastily. He reached out and grabbed both children, throwing them in a heap beside Will. He turned back to his men but his eyes were locked on the Doctor. “Kill them.”

“No, No!” the Doctor screamed, straining desperately against the Sontarans hold. “They’re children. Innocent children. You can’t do this. You can’t -”

The girls were hugging each other fiercely when it happened. He could hear Sissia whispering she was sorry over and over again. He had never even learned the other girls name.

And Will, who had left everything behind because the Doctor had promised him a better life, was staring directly into the Doctor’s eyes as a single shot cracked his skull open and ended his short and unhappy life.

Chapter Text

The Doctor could feel a dull pain in his arm. The Sontarans grip was so strong that had he possessed human bones he was certain they would have already cracked. The thought made him think of Will -

“So what is it you’re after exactly?” he asked as he was dragged unresisting through the blood soaked streets. He could see clearly over the group of Sontarans heads, which gave him an unfettered view of hundreds of still, dead bodies. “It’s not as if this planet is teeming with natural resources. Not much around except desert and heat. You obviously didn’t come here just for me so -”

The captain turned around and thrust and thick finger in the Doctor’s face. “Say one more word and i’ll break your jaw.”

The Doctor blinked at him. He very nearly responded before he considered the time it would take to heal a severely broken jaw. Didn’t seem worth it all things considered. He resolutely closed his mouth.

They dragged him onwards, through identical streets towards one of their carriers. The Doctor was pulled inside and pushed into a vacant seat with enough force to make his teeth rattle. They pulled off his coat and dropped it in a heap across the room. Big hands patted him down, looking for weapons before a primitive chain was used to secure one of the Doctor’s wrists to a chair. The Captain’s blunt fingers dug into the Doctor’s jaw and squeezed painfully. “Stay put.” He commanded in the firm and expectant manner of a person who was used to being obeyed. “Do as you’re told and you won’t be hurt.”

The Doctor certainly didn’t believe that.

“You’re locked in here. No way out. You understand, Time Lord?”

The Doctor gave a curt nod and waited all of thirty seconds after the door closed to slip his hand free of the primitive cuffs. True, he’d dislocated his thumb in the process but it was such a minor injury it was barely worth acknowledging. He jumped out of his seat and picked up his trampled coat. It was ruined beyond repair but he’d never really liked it that much anyway.

The Doctor pulled his screwdriver from his right pocket and gave a silent prayer of thanks for TARDIS technology. He stepped over to the controls and stared at them for a few seconds before he started flipping switches. In no time at all he locked onto the desired bekon and sent out a distress signal.

“wo ho blo to do plo yo plo tro wo blo no to spo?” came the immediate response.

The Doctor wondered idly why the TARDIS wasn’t translating for him. Maybe she hadn’t learned Jundoon yet. “Yes, hello. I would like to report an unlawful invasion on the planet Savanna in Galaxy M57.”

“The invaders?” Another voice asked. This time the language was translated. The Doctor didn’t think they sounded like a Jundoon, though they spoke the language.

“Sontarans.”

“Casualties?”

“They’re killing everyone they come across,” the Doctor took a deep breath. “Possibly millions.”

“We’ve just tracked your beacon. You’re on one of their ships?”

“As a prisoner,” the Doctor confirmed.

“You said they were killing everyone. Why were you taken prisoner?”

The Doctor felt a spike of irritation. “Is that really what’s important right now? People are dying.”

“We’re already on our way. Tell me, what is your name?”

The Doctor cut off the transmission. They were on their way and that was all he needed to know. He sprinted to the door and was about to open it when the mechanism buzzed and it opened with a quiet hiss.

The Doctor found himself face-to-face with the Sontarans captain. The shorter alien pitched his head back to a ridiculous angle to meet the Doctors eyes. “Do you have a death wish Gallifreyan?” he asked, stepping forward.

“Back already?” the Doctor asked pleasantly as he hastily retreated.

“I thought it best to check on you. Good thing I did to,” His eyes settled on the shackle. “Your kind are so rare it’s easy to forget how slippery you can be. Like snakes.”

The Doctor shrugged and took a couple more steps backwards. “What does that make you I wonder? Murderer of innocent people. Of children?”

A sudden blinding light flashed above them, causing the captain’s eyes to flash. “What-”

“Hmmm,” The Doctor pressed his screwdriver against his bottom lip and pulled a thoughtful expression. “Looks like the shadow proclamation to me.”

“You can’t have. Not so quickly.”

“Well I can, and I did.” The Doctor said, feeling a thrill of satisfaction when he saw the confused look on the other aliens face. “Guess they don’t take well to mass genocide.”

“I’ll kill you.” The Sontarans screamed. “I’ll rip you’re pathetic body to shreds. I’ll -”

The Doctor never got to see what the shorter alien would do. The door to the shuttle burst open and then the Sontaran got more or less quite a bit dead.

Chapter Text

“Was that really necessary?” the Doctor asked, sparing a quick look at the Sontaran before looking at the person who fired the killing shot. He was humanoid, with bright red eyes, pale skin and white hair. Middle aged and aesthetically pleasing. Standing close behind him were three hulking Judoons. They all had their pistols aimed at the Doctor.

“I think so, yes,” the humanoid responded, sweeping his gaze over the group. “He was about to attack you wasn’t he?”

“Possibly. Hardly seems reason to kill him though.”

“Are you the one who called for our help?” The other man asked with a frown.

“Yes,” the Doctor said a bit warily, abruptly recognising the humanoids voice.

“Then I think you know as well as I do that there was every reason to kill him. It’s absolute carnage out there. The police are in the process of driving the Sontarans out but even with our help the number of casualties will be astronomical,” his eyes narrowed suspiciously. “It’s strange that he took you prisoner when, as far as I can tell, he hasn’t spared any of the other inhabitants, even the visiting aliens.”

The Doctor was very careful to keep his expression neutral and shrugged nonchalantly. “Took a shine to me I suppose.”

The other man looked highly unimpressed. “And your name?”

“John Smith. And you?”

“You may call me the Shadow Librarian.”

“Fancy title,” the Doctor said with a friendly smile. “Well I have to say I’m happy to see you got here so quickly. I imagine you have a lot to do though, so if you’ll just excuse me -” he attempted to slip past the group but a hand wave from the Shadow Librarian sent one of the Judoon into his path.

“Not so quickly Mr. Smith. We’re going to require a thorough statement,” he held out his hand and the Judoon passed him a scanning device.

The Doctor barely had enough time to twitch before he was scanned. He waited anxiously for the readout and met the humanoid surprised expression with a cool look.

“Unidentified species,” the Shadow Librarian said suspiciously. “Well, what are you?”

The Doctor shrugged. “Mixed between a human and a Anethan. Bit rare I imagine. Probably why it isn’t showing up on your scanning device,” he took a deep breath. “Look, my friends are out there and I really want to see if they’re OK. You want a statement from me? Well I came here for a visit, the planet was attacked. I was split up from my group and whilst on the run I stumbled into a troupe of Sontarans. They captured me, brought me to their ship and were stupid enough to leave me unsupervised. I called you and the rest is, as they say, history.”

“I don’t believe you.” The humanoid said without missing a beat. “You’re keeping something from me. Something important.”

The Doctor turned away from the Shadow Librarian and locked eyes with a Judoon. “Have I actually done anything that could be construed as illegal? Is there any legal reason to keep me here?”

“No,” The Judoon said instantly. “The alien has done nothing illegal. Verdict, not guilty.”

“Then am I free to leave?”

“You are free to leave.” The Judoon confirmed.

“Excellent. Off I pop then.”

“A moment Mr Smith,” The Shadow Librarian said imperiously. “Where is your transportation located?”

The Doctor refrained from gritting his teeth and shrugged. “I’m not entirely sure. My captain takes care of that sort of thing. He’s actually the person I’m looking for.”

“We will be monitoring all transportation. Be sure to declare yourself before leaving. We may have more questions for you.”

“Of course,” the Doctor said brightly. Anything to get the hell off the ship and back to his friends. He dashed past the Judoon and out the shuttle door without a backward glance.

It was eerily quiet outside. The bodies hadn’t been cleared and likely wouldn’t be for at least a few days. It would start to smell soon.

The Doctor tried to think back to his lessons. He couldn’t remember ever hearing about the destruction of the Catkind race, something he felt he should have remembered. Everything seemed so wrong and so entirely out of balance. What actions had Rassilon’s meddling really inflicted on the universe. How did the Master stand knowing.

Thoughts of the Master made him shudder. He had purposefully pushed all thoughts of the other man down into a carefully constructed and reinforced pit within his mind. The memories of what he had done, to him and to Jack, were still too raw to face.

He supposed it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the fool would try to track him down, but somehow it was still enraging. He had won everything else after all. The head of his household, glory, respect, control. With everything he had why couldn’t he just let the Doctor be?

His sombre mood inevitably made him think of Will. The poor boy had barely made it a day outside of slavery before his life had been torn away. If it hadn’t been for him Jack and Elizabeth would have been left behind, tortured and buried alive. Even if he hadn’t had the opportunity to really get to know the young man he had much to thank him for.

He shook his head, pushing the thoughts down into the pit with his memories of the Master. It was perhaps unfair to group them into the same prison but if he was honest with himself, which he rarely was, it was all still too raw. He would come back to them later, when it stopped being so painful.

He realised he was running, heading towards the TARDIS and her comforting lullaby. He could only hope Jack and Elizabeth had managed to escape notice and were waiting for him in there. He turned a corner and came to abrupt halt to the disturbing image of Jack, lying face down on the floor as a Judoon troupe stood towering over him. The TARDIS was almost within touching distance of where he was lying.

“What?” He said, loudly enough that he drew their attention. “What’s going on?”

“Doctor,” Jack said excitedly. He was bleeding and obviously in some pain, but he still grinned like the whole thing was a big joke. “Took you long enough,”

“Sentence, life imprisonment.” The Judoon holding him down said with a note of finality.

“Wait, why?”

The Judoon turned to look at the Doctor at last. “Resisting questioning and arrest. You may look the case up if you have any further questions.”

“Wait, just wait a moment -”

“Doctor,” Jack interrupted as he was lifted to his feet. “Elizabeth’s hurt. One of those potato things shot her. Forget about me and go save her.”

The Doctor hesitated for a few seconds before easing past the Judoon’s and pressing insider the TARDIS. “I’ll come get you,” he promised as he closed the door and raced to Elizabeth’s still and bleeding form.

Chapter Text

The Doctor stumbled as he was shoved into line and smacked into the scaly back of a tall and bulky alzarian. The alien turned around and hissed at the Doctor in a clear warning to back-off. The Doctor instinctively flinched away and then started badly when a hard grip clamped onto his hip. He turned around and found himself face-to-face with a catkind male.

He bared his teeth at the Doctor and pressed far too close for comfort. “What are you then, little man? A human perhaps? But the scent isn’t quite right.”

“Oh, you probably wouldn’t have heard of what I am.” The Doctor said offhandedly. He couldn’t step back unless he wanted to collide with his alzarian friend and he didn’t feel safe turning his back so he resolutely faced the catkind.

The feline actually sniffed him. “Well whatever you are darling you smell just divine.”

“Super.” The Doctor said, leaning back very slightly. “And you are?”

The catkind’s eyes widened very slightly. “You wish to know my name, little thing?”

The Doctor was nearly the same height as the catkind, though he was admittedly quite a bit narrower through the shoulders. He was hardly little though. “You know what. Never mind. I’m good.” The Doctor went to turn his back, realising a little too late that by facing the other humanoid he was apparently encouraging his advances. Before he could turn around a clawed hand grabbed his arm and dragged him back.

The Doctor opened his mouth, about to demand his release when a Judoon brought a riot stick down on the catkind’s arm. He released the Doctor with a high pitched howl, spitting at the Judoon as he cradled his wrist against his chest.

“Do not touch the other prisoners.” The guard said dispassionately, ignoring the humanoids fierce glare. “Further discretions will not be tolerated. You will not be warned again.”

“I was just fucking talking to him.”

“Bit early to start choosing your mate furlball.” Someone shouted from the crowd, quickly following a number of other taunts and quite a bit of laughter.

The Doctor felt his cheeks heat. It wasn’t exactly a subtle beginning to his incarceration and he was fairly sure a lot of people were staring at him. The Doctor didn’t want to attract attention to himself, especially not so early on.

Thankfully he was left alone following the event with the catkind, though he could feel the male’s eyes boring into the back of his head. When they reached the transportation ring he was scanned just like everyone else and then prodded onto a platform with twenty other prisoners. He tensed, expecting to be immediately transported, but nothing happened.

He almost jumped out of his skin with two clawed hands wrapped around his hips and an unwanted presence plastered itself to his back. “You seem nervous pet.”

“So are you.” The Doctor responded, pulling forward and getting absolutely nowhere. “We’re about to be transported to one of the most dangerous prison colonies in the universe and you’re terrified.”

He felt coarse whiskers slide against the side of his cheek. “That may be so, little thing, but I’m hardly ill-prepared.” The Doctor flinched when the cat extended his claws and pressed them into the Doctor’s flesh. He could feel a few beads of blood well up around the punctures and trickle down his hips. “Can you say the same?”

The Doctor opened his mouth, about to respond, when a blinding light suddenly enveloped them. He didn’t have time to even suck in a breath before he found himself in the middle of a great enclosed hall. By time, the smell, he thought dizzily before he noticed the vast number of inmates that circled them, chanting and screaming threats.

What had he got himself into?

He dropped his shields completely and threw out a strong and slightly panicked psychic plea to Jack. He saw several inmates flinch before their gazes locked onto him.

A huge mammoth of a Jagarothian stepped forward, surveying the small crowd critically with his singular eye. The Doctor wisely dropped his gaze, avoiding contact. He knew enough about the warrior race to know that it didn’t take much for them to feel challanged.

As if on cue the Jagaroth charged forward and threw himself on someone at the front of the crowd. Everyone else stumbled out, staring warily as the Jagaroth proceeded to pound his chosen victim into a bloodied mess.

The Doctor tried to cry out but his voice was swallowed by the crowd. By times grace, he was killing him. Killing him right in front of the Doctor, and there was nothing he could do about it.

“I rule here,” the Jagarothian snarled in common, pounding his chest and pointing furiously at the dead man on the floor. “Do any of you pests dare challenge me?”

Unsurprisingly no one stepped forward.

The Jagaroth huffed. “I thought not.” He raised his very human looking hands and gestured into the crowd. “Have at them boys.”

The Crowd rushed them. The Doctor threw out another silent plea to Jack before he tried to bolt. He didn’t get very far before he ran face first into a Anethan. Generally they were a rather pleasant race of people who were quite similar to Time Lords in appearance. This particular Anethan however was quite a bit bigger than the Doctor and wasn’t exactly exuding pleasant thoughts. His large hand wrapped around the Doctor’s jaw, angling his face up until they were looking at one another.

“Well, well. What do we have here? I thought you might be another of my kind, but you’re something else, aren’t you?” The man’s hand moved from his jaw to his wrist. “You’re coming with me.” He said as he dragged the Doctor foward.

The Doctor was pulled forward a few paces before the catkind suddenly launched itself at the Anethan. The Doctor was brought to his knees by the force of the attack but was promptly released as the two grappled.

“Mine.” The catkind hissed, lashing out with his fierce claws. The Doctor saw something glint in the Anethan’s hands and realised he had a weapon of some sort.

“Stop it.” He shouted, but was ignored as the two aliens continued to grapple. The Doctor watched them blankly for a few more seconds before common sense kicked back in and got back to his feet. He pulled away from the two humanoids as they fought and looked for an escape route.

The best course of action would be to lay low until he could locate Jack. There was an exit up ahead but the majority of new inmates were either being bodily carted forward, lay dead or were big enough and fierce enough that the older inmates weren’t bothering them.

A hand grabbed the Doctor’s shoulder and he instinctively tried to break free. “No.” He shouted, struggling harder as another hand wrapped around his waist. “Stop!” He was spun round and found himself face-to-face with Jack.

Chapter Text

He found Elizabeth lying still on the floor of the TARDIS control room. She was sobbing softly, curled protectively around her middle. As she shifted the Doctor saw a steadily growing pool of blood. He dropped down beside her and pressed a gentle hand against her arm.

“It’s just me,” he said when she flinched.

“You’re alive,” she whispered, looking up at him with her big, pained eyes. “I thought they captured you.”

“Well yeah,” the Doctor said as he gently turned her on her back and parted her shirt to examine the extent of her wounds. “But that was just temporary, wasn’t it? Course I got away.”

“They attacked us,” she said, flinching when the Doctor brushed his fingers against the gash in her gut. “One of them stabbed me. Then these creatures, other creatures, they came and they stopped the first group. They started questioning Jack but he was trying to reach me. They wouldn’t let him and he went crazy. He told me to get inside but then -” she choked off into a small sniffle. “I thought I was going to die in here alone.”

“You’re not going to die,” the Doctor guaffed. “Far from it. Now look, I’m going to pick you up and then we’re going to head down to the infirmary to get you fixed up. Is that OK?”

“I was stabbed in the stomach Doctor. I’ve seen this sort of wound before. I’m not going to -”

“None of that,” the Doctor said as he gently slipped his arm underneath Elizabeth’s back and legs. He lifted her up easily enough, she was such a tiny thing, and shifted her very slightly to get a better grip. He could hear the steady drip drop of her blood hitting the floor as he carried her to the infirmary. He made a vague mental note to come back and clean it up later. “After everything you’ve already seen and done I would have thought you’d realise that it's going to take much more than a little scratch to end our adventures.”

**************

A hand grabbed the Doctor’s shoulder and he instinctively tried to break free. “No,” He shouted, struggling harder as another hand wrapped around his waist. “Stop!” He was spun round and found himself face-to-face with Jack.

He could have wept with relief at the sight of him. He began to smile when Jack’s hand slapped over his mouth. “Keep looking scared and just play along,” he warned with a hard expression.

The Doctor nodded his head slowly and then definitely didn’t squeak a little when Jack moved forward with frightening speed and threw the Doctor up over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes.

“Seriously?” The Doctor huffed irritably.

“What you caught yourself Jack?” Another inmate, a small gnome like creature the Doctor couldn’t identify asked, stepping close enough to the human that he must not have considered him a threat.

“New toy,” Jack grunted as he started towards the exit.

“I saw the Anethan go after him. He’s lucky you got there first,” the Doctor felt a gentle hand press against his hair and bucked sharply. “Hmmm, pretty.”

“Don’t touch him Jarik,” Jack warned, but he sounded entirely unconcerned. “Ah, shit.”

The Doctor raised his head from his entirely undignified upside down position and groaned when he saw the Catkind was blocking their way. He didn’t approve of Jack’s choice of words but he could certainly understand the sentiment behind them.

“That’s mine,” the Catkind hissed, pointing a red tipped claw at the Doctor. “I fought for him and I won. You’ve no right to take my spoils.”

“He was unattached when I claimed him.” Jack said, hefting the Doctor’s weight like a sack of potatoes.

“That’s because he ran away,” the Catkind hissed, spitting at the Doctor for having the audacity not to stand there as two males tried to kill each other for the right to own him. In any other situation the Doctor might have laughed.

“It’s not my problem you can’t keep hold of your claim,” Jack said evenly. “Now step aside.”

“If you want him you’ll have to go through me,” the Catkind hissed. He raised his blood tipped claws threateningly. “I’ve already gutted one fool for that pretty and I’ll happily do the same to you. It’s mine.”

Jack released the Doctor with a grunt and shoved him into his comrades arms. “Make sure he doesn’t try to run off,” the human stopped to consider the Doctor for a short moment. He looked torn. “Cover his eyes.”

“What?” Jarik asked with a laugh.

“Cover his eyes. I don’t want him to see.”

“Don’t you dare,” the Doctor whispered furiously, silently commanding the human to meet his gaze. “Jack, don’t you dare.”

Something indescribable passed over the human’s face before his eyes hardened. He grinned brightly and spun around to face the crowd. “I was hoping to take my new toy back without having him absolutely terrified of me. But now, thanks to you furball, he’s going to be pissing his pants in terror,” he turned back to the Doctor but he wasn’t looking at him anymore. “His eyes, Jarik.”

“Stop.” The Doctor bellowed, trying desperately to break free as one hand wrapped around his waist and the slapped over his eyes. “Jack!” He screamed. “No killing. Please.”

**************

“I don’t want to do this. Please Doctor, don’t leave me here alone. Not now, not yet,” Elizabeth’s voice cracked as the Doctor took her hand and led her gently out of the TARDIS. “Please, I don’t want to be alone -”

“Come now Elizabeth, there isn’t any need for all this upset. I’ll be back before you know it.”

“But why can’t I come with you. Surely there’s a way to -”

“To change your gender? Certainly not, at least for humans. And even if we somehow managed to disguise you someone would eventually notice you were female,” The Doctor shuddered very slightly. “I won’t risk it. I can’t.”

“So you’ll leave me here. Alone?”

“1980s Britain is a great place to be Elizabeth. Take my word for it,” the Doctor pulled out a credit card, ID, bank account details, a map and keys and pressed them into a bag which he passed to her. “And you have a lovely home and quite the fortune to keep you busy until I get back.” He pressed a kiss against the top of her head before giving her a tight hug. “Next I see you I’ll have Jack with me and then the free of us can pop off like none of this every happened.”

“You promise you’ll come back for me Doctor?”

“Oh Elizabeth, wild horses couldn’t keep me away.”

**************

His voice was drowned out by the vicious screams and taunts surrounding them. The convicts wanted blood and it seemed Jack intended to give it to them. The Doctor couldn’t see but he could hear. Every time Jack cried out in pain it was like someone had punched the Doctor in the gut. True, he would always come back, but Jack was wrong when he said he couldn’t die. He could die completely and horribly, again and again. Enduring agonies no man was ever built to experience. And it was terrifying.

The Doctor was about to start struggling when he heard a deafening cheer echoed through the hall. He barely had chance to do more than blink before he was thrown back over Jack’s broad shoulder. Laughter followed but instead of bothering to spare the Doctor’s failing dignity the human landed a solid slap to his rump. “To the victor goes the spoils, eh lads?” he boomed jovially.

**************

The trick was committing a crime that wasn’t so serious that it would warrant execution but would ensure life imprisonment. The Doctor decided subtlety was wasted on the Judoons so he sauntered up to one and barged right into him. The alien barely even moved despite the Doctor being thrown to the ground from the force. Not before he managed to swipe the Judoon’s gun though.

The Doctor made a show of flourishing it about. It took a disturbingly long time before the alien realised that the Doctor was holding his weapon. And from there things just sort of progressed.

**************

The Doctor remained passive atop Jack’s shoulders until they left the hall. He couldn’t hear or sense anyone close by. As far as he could tell they were unobserved. “Let me down,” he hissed.

“When we get back to my place, Doc.”

“Jack.” The Doctor tried more quietly. He was aware of how distressed he sounded but he honestly couldn’t help himself. He could see blood spattered over Jack’s tunic and realised with some disgust that it was soaking through his own shirt. “Let me down. Now.”

“When it’s safe.”

“What do you imagine will happen to me if you put me down on the damn floor Jack?”

“It’s about status Doc. Just sit tight and for god sake keep your voice down.”

“There isn’t anyone around. There isn’t any need to keep up this sham.”

“Someone is always watching.” Jack muttered, hefting the Doctor’s weight more evenly across his shoulders. “Just keep quite and quit squirming. We’re almost there.”

Chapter Text

“I can hear you teeth gnashing my dear,” the Sin remarked idly as she reclined on the TARDISs control panel with a barely contained sigh. She examined her perfectly manicured fingers with a forced casualness as the Master’s eyes locked onto her. “You really need to relax.Sit back, have a drink and do try to spend a few moments not brooding. It’s becoming tedious.”

“You realise that you were never asked to accompany me. By all means if this little outing is boring you feel free to leave.”

“You’re in one of your moods again,” the Sin surmised as she sat up and ran her gaze up and down the length of the Master. His clothes were crumpled, his hair greasy and flat. “You haven’t slept in weeks.” She remarked.

“He’s out there somewhere. Hiding from me. Mocking me,” the Master took a deep shuddering breath, pressing the palm of his hand against his cheek. “I’ll sleep when I have him home with us.”

“What do you think the council will do to him when he’s brought back?” she asked. It wasn’t due to any concern. She was bored and genuinely curious.

“Whatever they decide it will pale in comparison to what I have planned,” the Master growled in the low, dangerous tone that meant he was thinking of something particularly unpleasant. “I’ll ensure he never tries to run away again. I can promise you that.”

Despite herself the Sin released a small pearl of laughter. “Please cousin, who are you trying to convince? You’re under his thrall and we both know it. I suppose I can understand the appeal, in some ways at least. The renegade Doctor, clever enough to out-think the Master and dangerous enough that even our great founder fears him. And oh, how well he plays the bumbling simpleton,” she looked up to see that the Master was staring at her again. “He certainly had me fooled.”

“He’s good at that. Good at disarming people. But I’ve known him for far too long to be fooled by his charm. You may think, foolishly, that I’m under his thrall, but oh Sin I swear to you that when I have him back I’ll show you, I’ll show you all, exactly who the Doctor belongs to. He is mine. A possession and nothing more.”

“Obsession is hardly better than enthralment Master,” the Sin said, careful due to the blazing anger in the other Lords eyes. “Perhaps it would be better for our house, when he is caught, to hand him over to the council. Maybe they’ll let you keep whatever is left when they’re finished.”

“You think I should give him up?” the Master released a great booming laugh. “Didn’t you hear anything I said? The Doctor is mine. He belongs to me.”

“And if they don’t let you keep him?”

“Let them try,” he stepped towards her quite suddenly and it took everything in the Sin not to back away. She’d never feared for her safety in his presence before, but now, away from the courts and their family the Master seemed wilder. He was dangerous, an animal waiting to pounce. “Well, well,” he said.

“What?” she asked, looking at the panel he was fiddling with.

“We’ve had a message.”

“From whom?”

The Master’s expression turned gleeful. “It’s coming from a M87 galaxy,” his gaze turned back to the control panel. “You’re speaking with the Master.”

“Am I now? Very impressive,” a voice sounded from the console, clearly speaking Sontaran. “And you’re a Time Lord are you?”

“That’s correct. How have you contacted me?”

“Using the same details that have been spat out for the last millennia of course. I hear you’re after someone. One of your own kind?”

The Master’s hands were gripping the console so tightly that they had turned bone white. “Have you contacted me to tell me things i already know or was there a point?”

“The Gallifreyan you’re looking for. His name is the Doctor?”

The Master became deathly still. “Where are you? When are you?”

 

***************************

“Don’t,” the Doctor said, shuffling back in the tight confines of the tent.

“What?” Jack asked, looking slightly crestfallen. The Doctor almost felt sorry for him.

“You’re covered in the catkind’s blood,” the Doctor said, looking down at himself and realising some of it was already on his own clothes. He started rubbing his sleeve against his tunic. “Did you kill him?”

“No,” Jack said softly, soothingly like one might calm a spooked animal. “I just made sure he wouldn’t be coming after us for a long while.” The Doctor continued to stare at him. “I didn’t have any other choice, Doc. That cat was out for blood. He would have killed me and he would have taken you. You know what he would have done if that happened?”

“I’m not helpless Jack. Infact I’m more than capable of looking after myself. I’ve managed these past nine hundred odd years after all.”

“Have you ever been in a place like this before? With no TARDIS and no way to defend yourself? Cause I’ve gotta tell you Doc, in a place like this you can’t allow yourself to be kind or considerate, cause the moment you let your guard down you get gutted or you get owned. I think we’ve already figured out which category you fall under.”

The Doctor raised his hand, finger outstretched and pointed directly at Jack’s chest. “It may have failed to register through that thick ape brain of yours Jack Harness, but I didn’t just appear here by coincidence. I let myself be caught so I could rescue you.”

“You came here on purpose?” Jack hissed between gritted teeth. “Are you fucking insane?”

“You weren’t going to get out of here without me Jack. We both know it.”

“Jesus Doc, do you have any idea how dangerous it is here?”

“I’ve an inkling,” The Doctor responded tightly. He started picking through Jack’s meagre pile of belongings with mild curiosity. There were a few items that might prove useful but for the most part the room was littered with useless rubbish and debris. There was a small, soiled bedroll in one corner of the room that was barely big enough for one person to lie on. The Doctor stared at it for a long moment before deciding that despite how tired he felt he wasn’t that tired. “Lovely place you have here,” he said with a grin that made Jack’s lips twitch into a barely there smile.

“You like? Not to brag but this is actually considered prime real estate.”

The Doctor didn’t have the energy to ask what Jack had done to manage to precure such a sort after spot. He’d experienced enough trauma for one day.

As if on que the curtain blocking the tent’s doorway was pushed aside and before the Doctor could so much as flinch he was standing face-to-face with the Jagaroth. And he was meeting the other creatures eyes.

His brain seemed to kick into gear and he attempted to scramble back. The Jagaroth’s hand shot out and caught the Doctor’s arm. “Oh dear.”

Jack spun around and looked like he might be sick. “Hey, let go of him. Now!”

“You’ve gained much in your time among us human,” the Jagaroth said, the words neither a compliment or an accusation as his grip on the Doctor tightened. “You are a great warrior.”

“I like to think so,” Jack said with a shrug. “There something I can help you with?”

The Jagaroth’s single eye swept over the Doctor before landing back on Jack. “You’ve taken yourself a pet.”

“A hard won pet,” Jack said grudgingly.

“An unusual pet, by all accounts. I’ve been told it has some abilities.”

“I’m sure he does.” Jack said, his intention clear.

“What species is it?”

Jack looked the Doctor up and down from head to toe. “Human or maybe a Anethan. How the fuck should I know?”

“I’m told he gives off a physic plea when he arrived. Strong enough to attract notice,” he pulled the Doctor uncomfortably close. “Come then pet. What are you?”

“Let him go. I’m serious. Or are we going to have a fucking problem?”

The Jagaroth’s eye settled on Jack. “You die easily human.”

“Yeah, but I just keep coming back don’t I?” He took a step forward. “Can you say the same?”

For a moment the Doctor thought he might be murdered. But then the Jagaroth thankfully let him go, albeit with a slightly unnecessary shove that sent him stumbling into a wall. “I’m keeping my eye on you,” he said. “On both of you.”

“Well that’s comforting,” the Doctor noted as he watched the alien leave. He turned to look at Jack. “So, what now?”

Chapter Text

“Sooooooo,” the Doctor said as he rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet. He looked expectantly at the tent’s entrance.

“So?” Jack asked, fighting back a sudden and severe bout of annoyance. He cared about the Doctor, very possibly loved him. But God help him the man could be aggravating when he wanted to be.

“We’re just going to stay in here then are we?”

“Sure looks that way.”

“For another whole day?”

“You have somewhere else you’ve got to be Doc?”

The Time Lord shrugged before very obviously and purposefully pulling aside the tent flap and peering outside.

“Close that,” Jack hissed, standing up and pushing the Doctor aside. He peered out and felt a streak of unease when he saw a group of thugs smirking in their direction. Inwardly sighing he pulled the curtain back into place, picked up the piss bucket and threw it full force into the floor. “I told you to stay in the fucking bed,” he screamed at a visibly shocked Doctor. “Do as you’re told or I’ll break your shitting face.” He lifted up his shirt and slapped his hand against his stomach, emitting a loud crack. “Do you understand me, whore?”

The Doctor, having thankfully and quickly realised what Jack was up to released a convincing cry of pain, even as he planted his hands on his hips and raised his eyebrows. “Interesting vocabulary,” he commented. He was at least speaking quietly. “Are the theatrics really necessary?”

“I don’t know Doc. How do you feel about being gangraped?”

Although he would have previously thought it was impossible the Doctor’s eyebrows rose even higher. “Quite unfavourably actually. However, how can we escape if you went let me leave the tent?”

“Escape,” Jack scoffed. “At this point I’d settle for surviving the week.”

“You underestimate me Jack,” the Doctor said with a wide grin and an air of immeasurable, insufferable confidence. “I got us away from Gallifrey didn’t I?”

“Yeah,” Jack said grudgingly. “With the help of a baby TARDIS and two kids who didn’t know any better,” Jack paused for a moment. “You never did say what happened to Will.”

“Well you never asked, did you? Not after I told you Elizabeth was OK.”

“Well?” Jack asked even though he could already tell what the Doctor was going to say just from his expression. “How did it happen?”

“He was shot,” The Doctor said, averting his gaze. He cocked his head to the side suddenly, his expression hardening. “Somebody's coming.” He put as much distance between the tent flap and himself as he could in the small space. Jack had already freed his dagger and was about ready to pounce when the Doctor’s expression shifted from unease to obvious dislike. “Oh, it’s you.”

“Miss me sweetheart?” Jarik asked as he stepped unasked into the tent. He looked at Jack, taking in the dagger with very little concern. “How’s things cap?”

“Peachy. What the fuck do you want?”

“You and your new pet haven’t been out to collect any food for three days now. Wondered if you’re planned on starving the poor thing.” Jarek’s eyes wandered the length of the Doctor. “Not to be rude or anything but I don’t think it can stand to miss many more meals.”

“For someone who isn’t trying to be rude you’re failing miserably,” the Doctor gruffed. His eyes flickered to the tent entrance again, as though contemplating making a run for it.

“He doesn’t eat much,” Jack said, easing around so he was blocking the Doctors path. He didn’t actually think the Doc would be stupid enough to try and run out but he didn’t think a deterrent could hurt.

He didn’t consider Jarik to be a threat, so he didn’t hesitate to turn his back on the smaller man. It wasn’t until he heard the Doctor shout out a warning and felt red hot agony tear across his throat that he realised he was a trusting idiot.

 

************

“That was really very stupid,” the Doctor said, trying to swallow the anger he could feel bubbling up inside. It’s ok, he can’t die. He isn’t gone for good. “What do you think he’s going to do to you when he wakes back up?”

Jarek shrugged, before kneeling down and cleaning the jagged piece of glass he’d used to slit Jack’s throat over the human’s clothes. “He’ll understand, I’m sure. Jack knows how these things work.” The aliens small brown eyes roamed over the Doctor. “Do you understand how these things work too, pretty?”

“You must be joking,” the Doctor said, resisting the urge to shout. “I’ve sense enough to realise when I’m beaten but there is no way in this timeline or the next that I’m going to allow a,” the Doctor paused, surprised. “A whatever you are anywhere near me. And unless you plan on doubling in size there’s little you can do to force the matter.”

“I can kill you,” Jarik threatened, raising the shard and aiming it at the Doctors torso. “I’ve seen you out there. Not much of a fighter, are you sweet thing? But me, oh I know a thing or two. Nasty, cruel little things that’ll make a soft little trinket like you have nightmares for the rest of your life. How else do you think a man like me has survived in here as long as I have?” He stepped forward, crushing Jack’s hand in the process. “But I tell you what, you be sweet to me and I promise I won’t hurt you one little bit.” He raised his hand and beckoned the Doctor forward. “Come on sweet thing. I’ve got a nice new daddy whose real impatient to see you again.”

The Doctor considered his options. He was bigger than the other man and very possibly stronger. Should he be the sort of person who resorted to physical violence he would likely have the upperhand. Having said that Jarik was clearly willing to play dirty. It was a moot subject of course. The Doctor wasn’t about to grapple with the man. He could run away he supposed, but Jack had been quite against that idea. Made sense considering what had happened the moment the Doctor entered the prison. “Who is it who wants to see me then?” The Doctor asked, edging back in the small confines of the tent. “You said again. That implies I know them. Considering other than yourself and Jack I’ve only met three other people that does rather limit the available options. Is it the Catkind?”

“You talk rather a lot don’t you?” Jarek asked, keeping in-step with the Doctor. “Jack didn’t mind that I suppose, the old sop. It’s irritating as fuck though.”

“Charming,” the Doctor muttered. He saw movement to his right and felt a surge of apprehension as he urged himself to keep looking directly at Jerek. “But then you strike me as quite the talker yourself. Do you -”

“Shut up,” the gnome like creature hissed, stepping forward furiously. “Shut up now or I swear -”

“What are you?” the Doctor blurted out. “All these years and I’ve never seen anything quite like you before. You’re new, that’s what you are. A mix perhaps, but of what -”

“You’ve a nerve asking me what I am,” Jarik said with a laugh. “Just what are you then?”

“He’s a Time Lord,” Jack said hoarsely from behind the other alien a second before he thrust his own dagger through Jarek’s back. “And you’ve got a nerve telling the Doctor to shut up. If you didn’t yap so much you might have got out before I woke back up.”

Blood spurted out of Jarek’s mouth and sprayed onto the bedding. The Doctor stepped forward, to catch the alien or do something equally unhelpful, when Jack pulled the dagger free and the humanoid collapsed to the ground.

“Son of a bitch,” the human spat as he rubbed at his unmarked throat. “That bastard was supposed to be my friend. You can’t trust anyone in this hellhole.” His blues eyes landed on the Doctor. “Did he hurt you?”

“No, he didn’t touch me,” the Doctor said, his voice sounding hollow to his own ears. “You killed -”

“Seriously Doc, I’m not in the mood.” Jack interrupted. He caught Jarek by the armpits before dragging him to the entrance way. “Stay here whilst i get rid of this before it starts to stink.”

The Doctor watched him leave with a heavy conscious. They needed to get out. 

Chapter Text

The Doctor paced around the tent. Back and forth, back and forth. Jack had left four hours, fifteen minutes and twenty seconds ago.

Twenty-one seconds, twenty-two seconds, back and forth, back and forth…

Before Jack left he said he’d only be gone for twenty or so minutes. He wouldn’t do anything else without telling the Doctor first. Jack knew the Time Lord would worry about him. The only logical solution was that something had happened to him.

Back and forth, back and forth.

The Doctor promised he wouldn’t leave the tent, but he knew whatever sanctuary the small space offered wouldn’t matter if the other prisoners thought jack was no longer a threat. The prison was a relatively small place. News traveled quickly and it was only a matter of time before he was overrun.  

He made up his mind abruptly. He needed to go before he found himself trapped and attacked. It was dark outside, as the prison tried to emulate whatever they thought passed for sundown. The Doctor pulled on a foul smelling cloak, fished out one of Jack’s hidden daggers and shredded the back of the tent. When he was happy with the tear he sat down on his haunches, took a deep breath and pushed his way outside. There was a large enough space between the neighbouring tents that the Doctor was able to slip carefully between the gaps. He stood up quickly, trying not to look like he was slinking around and thus attracting further notice.

He couldn’t quite get a sense of Jack, despite lowering his shields almost completely. He could tell the other man was relatively closeby, but the wrongness that usually announced his presence was strangely muted. He pushed out his senses, grasping after the thin strands of Jack’s consciousness, when to his horror he felt someone push back.

Hello beloved.

The Doctor saw red as his ears started to ring. He couldn’t breathe .

You’ve been a baaaad boy Doctor. And now it’s time to face your punishment.

How did you find me? The Doctor pushed back as he tried to shield his terror from the Masters intrusive probing. He could feel the Master battering away at his thoughts, greedily absorbing everything he could. And it return the Doctor could feel the other man’s anger. He was enraged, murderous even. He wanted the Doctor to pay for his disobedience.

I’ll always find you. Our destinies are entwined.

Either that or you’re got stalking issues. The Doctor shot back flippantly. I’m not sure how else I can say this, but I’m really not interested in being entwined. Our souls or otherwise.

Such a smart, clever mouth. The Master sounded controlled but his anger rammed into the Doctor’s consciousness with the force of a sledgehammer. You should think yourself lucky that I’ve caught up to you before the council. Rassilon is not amused Theta.

And do you suppose they’ll forgive all if you take me back?

Once we bonded they’ll have no choice. You are mine beloved. Body and mind.

You don’t own me Master. The Doctor snarled, pushing his own very real anger back at the other man. And you never will.

He felt a streak of fury and cruelty burn into him with the strength of an inferno. Once they see the punishments you been dealt for your transgressions they’ll be more inclined to be lenient. You left me Doctor. Humiliated me. Do you have any idea what I intend to do to you?

The Doctor realised quite blatantly that he had stopped moving and people were beginning to take notice. He kept himself open, searching for Jack as he pushed forward into an unfamiliar corridor. Doesn’t matter. You’ll never get the opportunity to carry out whatever horrid little nightmares you’ve thought up. I’m not going back with you.

You’re not going anywhere without me Doctor. You’ve been here a week already and you haven’t left your hole yet. You can’t get out alone.

I’m perfectly capable of getting out of anywhere I don’t want to be. You should know that better than anyone. The Doctor came across a group of men and resolutely avoided their eyes as he slipped past them.

You can’t get away Doctor.

You can chase me around all time and space Master, but you’ll never have me. Surely you must realise that?

“Who are you then?” Someone asked as a hand grabbed the Doctor’s arm and spun him around. He found himself staring into a pair of vivid orange eyes. “I haven’t seen you before. You’re new.”

“Not so knew,” the Doctor said as he pulled his arm free and stepped back. He carefully kept his expression neutral. “Excuse me.”

“Yeah, I remember you. You belong to the immortal. What you doing down here?” He looked around the immediate area. “You alone?”

You’re in trouble now . The Master sang.

Shut up . “I’m fetching food for Jack,” the alien looked at him uncomprehendingly. “The immortal,” the Doctor clarified.

“Taking a pretty big risk letting you go out on your own.”

“He has a lot of people looking out for me,” the Doctor said as he sent out soothing tendrils of belief at the other man. “Surely you’ve heard what happens to people who cross him?”

“Are you threatening me little man?” the alien asked with a dangerous smile.

“Not at all. I’m merely relaying fact,” the Doctor looked pointedly at the other man. “May I leave? I need to get back before Jack starts looking for me.”

“Off you go then,” the alien said, giving him a light push forward. “Fetch the immortal his food. And maybe I’ll see you later.”

The Doctor didn’t respond. Jack presence was getting stronger, as if whatever had been muffling his presence was fading away.

That was close.  

You had better hope they’re all as calm as that one . The Doctor pushed back. Otherwise there won’t be much of me left for you enact your revenge upon.

He felt a spike of concern that was quickly replaced with anger. Well then hurry up Doctor and collect your beloved freak. Before something terrible happens to him.

The Doctor had a lock on Jack so it came as a terrible shock when his presence abruptly blacked out again. He paused for a second as realisation dawned. You have him?

I certainly do. And I must say beloved that i’m taking particular enjoyment in ripping its guts out whilst it watches. It doesn’t come close to what I plan to do it of course, but it’s certainly a fun way to pass the time. A short pause. Well then Doctor, come along. Come save your pet.

Chapter Text

The Doctor wanted nothing more than to raise his shields and force the Master out. The other Time Lord continued to push a barrage of terrible images and thoughts at the Doctor, each one more shocking and violent than the last. If it didn’t mean losing his precarious link to Jack he would have gladly sealed himself away the moment he first felt the Master’s presence. There was no helping it though. If he wanted to find Jack he needed to keep his mind open, even if it left him frighteningly vulnerable to the Master’s attack.

He’d admittedly seen very little of the prison so far. He’d researched the facility before arranging his own incarceration and he knew the layout fairly well. He thought idly of the prisons future. It would be overtaken by the prisoners in a little over fifty-four years. The convicts would turn the ship into a pirate vessel that would terrorise the neighbouring solar system for decades to come. Eventually, the galactic police would intervene and the prison would cease to be.

The Doctor didn’t think the violence within the prison had quite hit its peak, but it was certainly on its way. The fact that the guards had already abandoned the facility clearly pointed to eventual disaster. He risked looking up and saw a spattering of men. They all looked so dejected. The Doctor wondered if any of them ever got out. Probably not. But then what was the point of having a prison if it meant no one was ever rehabilitated.

What is it you’re hoping to achieve beloved? The Master asked, very clearly oozing impatience, anticipation and barely contained fury. You’ll come to me, one way or another. Better sooner rather than later, if you wish to remain in one piece.

Concerned for me Master? The Doctor shot back irritably. There was a large group of men ahead and it would be virtually impossible to move past them unnoticed. He was a little stumped when he felt the Master’s sudden surprise.

You asked me that once before, when the anomaly forced away your shields. Do you recall?

Of course, it wasn’t so long ago.

It seems like an age ago. He felt a sharp nudge of obsession. You must sense it. How I feel for you?

The Doctor felt a lingering pang of regret for what might have been. You truly don’t see it, do you? Whatever you feel, it isn’t affection or love. The truth is that you can’t control me Master and it’s driving you mad. Or even madder than whatever the Untempered Schism did to you.

Do you hear it too Doctor?

I can hear it now, faintly. Do you intent to seek treatment?

They herald the coming battle. Are you prepared?

Not particularly. The group was breaking up. A few lingered, heads together and seemingly intent on their conversation.

Would you like to know all of the horrible things I’m going to do to you instead?

I really wouldn’t. The Doctor forced his steps to remain unhurried as he walked among the small group. One man looked up suspiciously. He gave the Doctor a quick up and down, before very clearly dismissing him as a non-threat and going back about his own business.

I’m never going to let you step outside our bedroom again. I’m going to tie you to the bed by the wrists and ankles and I’m going to leave you there day and night. I’m going to use you when it pleases me and keep you constantly gagged. You’ll be beaten of course and disciplined. I’ll bring in new pets to torture you with. Innocent little humans who have never -

Stop it! The Doctor raged, pushing hard enough that he felt the Master physically stagger. Keep your ugliness to yourself.

Where is the fun in that? Tell me Doctor, what do you suppose I did to your pet humans when you ran from me?

The Doctor felt both of his hearts stutter. You didn’t.

You left me no alternative. Do you think I failed to notice you took your little pet with you? It even helped, didn’t it? I bet there were others you turned with your pathetic empathy and lies. No, there wasn’t any other way. They needed to be culled. But make no mistake Doctor. They died because of you. Because you were too selfish to accept punishment for the terrible crimes you committed against our people.

The pain the Doctor felt was swallowed by a sudden and blazing alarm. He looked up in surprise and was met with a virtual wall of men running in his direction. He hesitated for barely a second when he felt a hand grab his wrist and yank him into a slight alcove. The stampede of men kept passing them. It looked like the whole prison was on their way to wherever the alarm led.

The Doctor turned to his saviour, dreading who he might be facing. He felt an immediate sense of relief when he was confronted by a small, young Malmooth male.The alien flinched when the Doctor met his eyes, as though expecting a blow.

“Hello,” the Doctor said brightly. They were pressed rather close together to try any sort of handshake. “I’m the Doctor.”

The alien didn’t say anything.

“It was very kind of you to pull me in here. Where exactly is it everyone’s going?

The alien just stared at him. The Doctor didn’t think for an instance that he couldn’t talk. He was choosing not to.

They're coming to ogle at the new arrives Doctor. Where else would they be going?

How could you know that? The Doctor shot back irritably.

Because I’m the one that arranged for their arrival of course. What, did you suppose I would come here without any real plan for getting out. Who would be so stupid to try such a thing?

Shut up. The Doctor groused. He peered out of their nook and the corridor looked entirely deserted. “Coast is clear,” he declared. He went to step out but the Malmooth grabbed his hand and shook his head violently.

“Is there a problem?” the Doctor asked pleasantly.

More head shaking.

“You can come with me if you like? I’m looking for a friend of mine. Looks a bit like me but wider. Are you familiar with humans?”

“You can’t go,” he shot back, rather surprisingly doing away with the traditional social convention of using the first and last syllables of his name at the beginning and end of his sentence.

“Why not?”

“They’re dangerous.”

“You’re assuming I’m not?”

He felt the Masters laughter. 

The Malmooth looked the Doctor up and down, unsure. “You are kind.”

That threw the Doctor. “You can tell that from just looking at me?”

“I saw you, the first day. They leave me alone, because they think me ugly. But I saw you. You didn’t want anyone to get hurt. I haven’t seen that for a long time.”

You’re delaying Doctor. Trying to make a new friend are you? Go ahead. I’m so wonderful at doing away with them for you.

“I have to go,” the Doctor insisted. “Thank you for your help. I truly appreciate it.” He pulled his arm free with some effort. “Really, thank you.”

Come on then Doctor. Don’t delay. You’re almost there.

Chapter Text

“Why don’t you just have someone fetch him?” The Sin asked in a bored tone as she stood poised in the middle of the room. “This is all becoming terribly tedious.”

“I don’t want to bring too much attention to him yet. The slime in this cesspit are likely to tear him apart before they manage to bring him here,” the Master couldn’t help but smirk at her. “Why don’t you sit down dear? You look terribly uncomfortable up there.”

She gestured around the room in clear disgust. “You expect me to touch this, this filth?” she shook her head resolutely. “Absolutely not.”

A blaring alarm started to sound. The Master felt the beginning of a grin. Everything was coming together so perfectly. “Ah well, we’ll be gone soon enough,” he clicked his fingers at the waiting Jagaroth, whose single eye glared balefully back at him. “Pick up the human and follow me.”

“I will kill you,” the alien snarled, raising it’s fist threateningly. “I will -”

“You’ll do nothing,” the Master spat back as he jumped forward and pointed the laser screwdriver at the Jagraoth’s face. “Not unless you’re partial to losing that eye of yours.”

The freak chose that moment to groan faintly. He was waking up. The Master felt the Doctor’s answering relief and felt a streak of fury.

Don’t, the Doctor begged, his grief and concern for the freak saturating his plea. Please Master, I’m begging you do -

You don’t get to beg me for anything Theta. Do so again and I’ll cut out the freaks tongue. The Master gestured impatiently at the Jagraoth. “Move.” He watched the one-eye throw the freak over his broad shoulder and turned to the Sin. “After you my dear.”

“Finally,” she drawled irritably as she swept past them into the adjoining hall. The Master stepped next to her and was met with a hundred wild stares from convicts who clearly hadn’t seen a female for a very long time.

“Hello gentleman,” the Master roared, pleased that he had their entire, though admittedly confused, attention. “Let me introduce myself. You may call me Master. This is my associate, Lady Sin,” as if on cue a group of men surged forward. The Master raised his screwdriver and shot a precisely aimed hole through each of their heads. “As I was saying, this is Lady Sin and she is to remain untouched. And this,” he said, gesturing at the room as a whole. “Is your lucky day because my little lovelies, we’re taking over the ship.”

He was met with a moment of silence that quickly broke into uproarious laughter. The laughter fell silent when the Jagraoth stepped out with the freak now awake and squirming on it’s shoulder. The Master grinned and jumped forward. “I know you’re used to be cooped up in this little hole of yours, but oh I promise you that times are changing. We’re taking over and we’re leaving this piddly waste of space for good.”

What are you doing? The Doctor asked as anger and concern bled through their link. You can’t take over the ship. It’s too soon.

There isn’t any other way off. Believe me, I’ve considered all of the options.

There’s always a way. You can’t just change time. You’re breaking the first law. You’re directly interfering with the past.

After everything Rassilon has done do you think such a small change is going to make any real difference. The Sin sent him a sharp look and he wondered sourly if she was listening in on them.

Will you turn on her too?

You’re here aren’t you? Hiding among the masses. Can you see me Doctor? He turned to the Jagraoth. “Put it down,” the human dropped to the floor like a stone. “Kick it to death.”

Don’t!

The alien’s eye bulged as his Galifreyan-like hands clenched into tight fists. “I am not your dog, Time Lord.” the prisoners began muttering among themselves. “There is only one of you and hundreds of us. Do you truly think you can kill us all before we run you down and rape the your woman like the cun-”

He wasn’t able to finish due to the dagger the Sin drove through his throat. His single eye widened in surprise before he dropped down dead on top of the anomaly. Was that necessary? He shot at her.

I think it very much was. He felt her smirk. Hello Doctor. Are you ready to come back to the Master?

“You’re a Time Lord?” Someone called from the crowd. “Why are you here?”

“Because I’m looking for someone.” You’re in trouble now. “You may have heard the broadcast. I believe it’s been running for a millennia.”

“You’re fucking kidding me,” another yelled, half in laughter. “The Doctor is here?”

“He sure is,” the Master drew back his foot and kicked the anomaly in the face. He heard something crack. “I believe the freak here decided to claim him.” he smiled gently as the human groaned pathetically. “You know who I’m referring to?”

“Leave him alone you fucking goddamn monster,” the human struggled up to his hands and knees and glared pathetic daggers at the Master. “You’re not getting anywhere near him, you’re not -”

“Oh do shut up,” the Sin snarled as she strode forward, knelt down beside the freak and drew back her dagger.

The Master felt the beginning of a smile when the human manoeuvred the dagger out of her hand, turned it round and stabbed the Sin through the chest. It happened so quickly that the Master could only stare. Complete silence followed as the Sin released a quiet sob of surprise and staggered to her knees. She turned back to look at him, shock clear on her face. “Master?” she whispered a moment before her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she collapsed.

The Master stared for a few seconds before turning the screwdriver on the freak. “That was really very stupid. She is going to be extremely cross when she regenerates.” He felt the Doctor’s panic. “Get up.”

The freak got slowly to his feet. He looked positively ghastly, covered in dried blood with a crazed look in his pretty blue eyes. “Have we finally broken you Jack?” The Master asked as he allowed a wicked grin to crease his face. “Are you mad at last?”

“You’re not taking him,” the human growled as he brandished the Sin’s blade like the paltry weapon could actually help him. “He isn’t going back to you.”

The Sin’s body began to glow as the regeneration took hold. The Master spared her a thoughtful look. “This will be her first change. It’s not an ideal location.” He shrugged. “Ah well, can’t be helped. So,” he said, turning back to the dumbstruck crowd. “Who wants out?”

“How are you going to do it?” Someone called. The Master could hear the thinly veiled hope in his voice. He had them.

“It’s simply a matter of having the right equipment and knowledge. The controls are wired through to a base, It’s a simple enough thing to access the emergency override, rewrite some coding and take over. But,” he held up his finger and waggled it reproachfully. “First of all you need to bring me the Doctor. In one piece.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor froze where he was standing, half hidden behind a pillar but painfully easy to find if someone cared to look. Rather unfortunately for him everyone in the prison now seemed intent on doing exactly that.

“Check the immortals tent. He’ll be hiding inside,” he heard someone shout as the sound of running feet passed disturbingly close to his hiding place.

If you come out of hiding there’s less chance of being hurt, the Master urged.

The Doctor sent a blast of fury at the Master before throwing up his shields. He knew where his friend was now. There wasn’t any reason to keep himself vulnerable.

“You don’t look much like a Time Lord, little man,” a voice said a moment before a broad body boxed the Doctor against the pillar he was hiding behind. Two arm’s fell against the pillar on either of the Doctor’s head as he looked up into a pair familiar vivid orange eyes. “Remember me?”

“Have you been following me?” The Doctor asked, scowling.

“Maybe,” he reached out and caught the Doctor’s chin, angling his face up thoughtfully. “My whole life I was told that your people were Gods. But here you are and you look so, so breakable.” He lent in closer. “What about your friend, the Master? Is he breakable?”

“We’re not Gods,” the Doctor said, despite having been called exactly that on many occasions in the past. “We’re just men, same as you.”

“Yeah, well your boyfriend is offering a way out of this hellhole. What are you offering?”

The Doctor stared at him and felt a mixture of determination and anger. “Anything he offers might seem like a gift but it’s a double edged sword. He’s poison.”

“A millennia is an awfully long time to be chasing someone. Even for a Time Lord,” he smiled gently. “He must really hate you.”

“Something like that,” the Doctor said, stiffening as the alien caught his arm in a granite-like hold and pulled him away from the pillar. The Doctor dug his heels in, pulling back. “Don’t -”

“If I was you I really wouldn’t try to bring any extra attention on myself. Most of these men are likely to rip you and each other apart so they can take the credit for bringing you in,” he was looking pointedly up at the area the Doctor knew the Master was standing. “Looks like he’s seen us.”

The Doctor looked up locked eyes with the Master. He’s going to kill me, he though a little hysterically. He pulled back sharply, not caring one whit if people took notice and started to struggle in the alien’s tight hold. “You don’t have to do this,” he said, not above begging. “You don’t have to be what this place has made you.”

The alien kept dragging him forward. They reached the dais where the Master stood unmoving, staring intently. The Doctor realised quite blatantly that aside from the blaring alarm and accompanying flashing light the room had fallen deathly still. He felt an arm hook around his waist and he was being lifted onto the dais. He barely managed to righten himself before the Master was standing infront of him. The Doctor couldn’t help but flinch when the Master lent into his space and pressed his lips against the Doctor’s ear.

“I’m going to destroy you,” he whispered before hooking his arm through the Doctor’s and jumping excitedly around to face the crowd. “Well wasn’t that easy. And as a thank you I think you all deserve a nice treat.” The Master pulled out a small control box and pointed at the troughs where the food apparently landed.

The Doctor turned away as tons of food fell down the shoot and towards the suddenly ecstatic inmates. He locked eyes onto Jack, who was curled up and unmoving on the ground. The Doctor wondered if the Master had killed him again and felt a hollow pang in his chest. How much could one human stand?

“What’s your name then?” the Master asked, addressing the orange eyed alien.

“Travern,” the alien answered with an uncertain look. He hadn’t climbed onto the dais.

“Well up you get. Come on, come on,” the Master reached down and offered the alien his hand, pulling him up beside them. “You did well finding him. You deserve a reward.”

Travern’s eyes flashed with distrust. The Master grinned. “A man after my own hearts. But fear not, I’ve no intention of harming you. I’m going to need some men in fact, if we’re going to make a go of running this place until we can escape. How about it? Do you want to be my second in command?”

Travern’s frown turned into a half formed smile. “Well now, that sounds pretty impressive. But why me?”

“Because, anyone who can avoid the Doctor’s charm is someone I can trust won’t be turned by his pretty little lies. So?”

“”Fuck it. It isn’t like I have any better options on the table.”

“Excellent,” something terrifying passed beneath the Master’s eyes. “Oh Jack dearest?”

The human’s head shot up, his whole body suddenly coming alive. The Doctor tried to catch his eye but he wouldn’t look at him. “Jack?” The Doctor asked, forgetting the danger he was in when he realised there was something very wrong with his friend.

“Oh I wouldn’t bother trying to talk to him Doctor. He won’t respond to you any more.”

“What, what have you done?” The Doctor whispered, dropping his shields as he tried to find Jack behind the familiar waves of wrong that always accompanied him. He probed deep into the human’s mind but all he could sense was a vast, gaping nothingness. “Master, what have you done?”

The first of a long line of punishments that are going to tear you apart Theta. Never again, do you hear me? Never again.

Jack got unsteadily to his feet, moving much like a puppet on strings as he stared vacantly at the Master. “Pick up Lady Sin and take her somewhere to rest. The regeneration sickness is bound to take hold soon,” the Master looked down at his cousin and felt a rush of amusement. “Oh dear. The Sin will not be pleased.

The Doctor was spun back round to face the dais. The men were beginning to look back in their direction, their hands and stomach full of food.

“Well?” The Master asked with a huge grin. “Who's with me?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor’s arm was beginning to go numb. The Master wouldn’t let go of him. Travern had even helpfully offered to hold onto the Doctor whilst the other Time Lord went about directing the convicts. The Master had looked ready to tear his head off for the mere suggestion.

They were currently knelt in front of a hidden emergency control panel. The Master removed the cover with a few flicks of his screwdriver. “It’s a simple enough process, just cross these wires, remove the power circuit here,” he paused, looking at the Doctor for the first time since Jack had taken away the Sin. “And wollah!”

The alarm and flashing lights cut off immediately as an answering cheer sounded among the convicts. The Master stood up, pulling the Doctor with him. He lifted up his control device and grinned. “This millennia really is just incredibly archaic, isn’t it beloved? All it takes is a little push and everything slots so neatly together,” he grinned brightly and turned to the watching convicts with a calculating grin. “We’re on our way gentleman. We’ve broken free of the federations control and nothing can stop us now.”

More cheers and screaming. The Master looked victorious. “So then Travern, I’ve taken down the freak and the one-eye. Who else poses a threat?”

The alien began to slowly point people out. The Doctor’s anxiety levels heightened when the Master made it clear he wanted them to join him on the dais. “Hello gentlemen,” he said with an easy confidence when they had all gathered. A number of the alien's eyes slid to the Doctor and the Master’s grip tightened in response. “You’re here because it’s been brought to my attention that you may be the exact people we need to keep this ship in order.”

“Under your rule,” a Sontaran sneered, glaring up at them all with clear disgust. “I don’t follow Time Lords.”

“Well if you prefer it can be arranged so you don’t have to suffer the injustice,” the Master said, raising his screwdriver and pointing it at the alien with a dangerous grin.

The Sontaran stiffened but he raised his chin in challenge.

Mistake, the Doctor thought frantically. He reacted without thinking and pulled the screwdriver out of the Master’s unprepared grasp. For a second he contemplated turning it against the other Time Lord. The thought shamed him. He wasn’t a murderer. He wouldn't be like him.

The Master stared at the Doctor, pushing against his shields, demanding to be let in. He slowly reached out and took the screwdriver from the Doctor’s unresistant grasp. “Don’t take things that don’t belong to you Doctor,” he warned before pressing the tip against the Doctor’s arm and activating the laser.

The pain was sudden and intense. The Doctor fell to his knees and released a bitten off cry of agony before the Master pulled the device back and returned his attention to the group. “That’s the sort of thing I do to my own kind. Don’t imagine I would hesitate to annihilate every single one of you if you turn on me. But,” the furious intensity of his gaze melted away, replaced with a calculating scrutiny. “Obey me and I’ll make your lives better than you’ve ever imagined possible. Wealth, sex, power, you’ll have it all.”

*****

The Sin came back to sudden and complete consciousness. She sat up slowly, staring around the sparse and filthy room in confusion. Her head was ringing and the fierce presence of the anomaly was making it hard to think. She pressed her hand against her chest and felt a jolt of wrongness. She didn’t feel right.

“I was stabbed,” she whispered, looking over at the anomaly with sudden understanding. Her voice was wrong. She sounded wrong. “You stabbed me. You killed me. By time,” she grasped, standing up on unstable, shaking legs. Legs that didn’t belong to her. “No, no it can’t be. My form, my beautiful form. What have you done?”

The human didn’t respond. He was staring unseeing, past the Sin. “No, no!” She looked down at arms that were too long. Hands that were too big, ruddy and thick and entirely unlike her own elegant and pale features. “What have you done, what have you done?”

*****
The Doctor’s blood poured down the Master’s hand. He was shaking, from pain, anger or fear, the Master couldn’t be sure. He wasn’t putting up any sort of resistance though, which was perhaps the Doctor’s only defence at this point. If he tried anything the Master really didn’t think he would be able to control himself. His eyes were sharp though as he absorbed every word and gesture from the people around him, as he sought a way to exploit their weaknesses for his gain.

A scream sounded behind them. The Master felt his eyes roll. Only the freak and the Sin occupied the room. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who the scream came from. His dear cousin was awake.

“You’ll see to it that a proper room is prepared,” the Master told Travern. “For now I have some matters to attend to. The rest of you go, enjoy, celebrate your freedom.”

He didn’t wait to see if they obeyed, turning his back and dragging the Doctor towards the sound of screaming. The freak had taken the Sin back to the room they had occupied since their arrival. It was small, locked away from the rest of the ship. A perfect, secure hiding place. The Doctor kept pace with him, a comforting heat at his side that helped to sooth the constant, blaring sound of the drums for the first time in months.

I did it, he thought, squeezing the Doctor’s arm and eliciting a small gasp from the other Time Lord. I did it.

“What have you done to Jack?” he asked, his tone harsh and clearly exhausted.


“I’ve buried him Doctor, like I always told you I would.”

“Buried him how?” the Doctor asked before he exhaled deeply. “His mind, you’ve trapped it.”

“Always so quick on the uptake beloved,” the Master said as they approached the door and incessant screaming. They stepped inside and were met by a decidedly plain and balding young man of average height and build. “Hello cousin dear,” the Master said brightly.

“Look at me,” the Sin screamed, rushing forward and grabbing the Master’s arm. “What have I become? How has this happened?”

“You know exactly how,” the Master said unsympathetically. “The possibility exists in all of us. Man, woman, old, young, white, black. We can become anyone.”

“We have a choice, control. I was always told so.”

“Lies to soothe the minds of baby Time Lords. Control takes time and many, many regeneration's my dear,” he felt a smile he couldn’t quite smother. “Don’t despair, you’re vanity will fade. You must already feel the differences?”

“I was who I was for six hundred years,” he gasped, pressing a hand over his hearts. “How do I adapt to this?”

“You’re asking the wrong Time Lords my dear. The Doctor and I have had many regeneration's. I’ve had far more than most.”

“It will ease, the feeling of loss,” the Doctor said, affecting a soothing tone. “The first time is always the most difficult. Give it time.”

“Shut up,” the Master snapped, placing a firm hand over his mouth. “You don’t speak from now on unless I tell you to.” He saw the Doctor’s eyes widen and his eyebrows rise so the Master caught the wounded spot on his arm and squeezed in warning. “Am I understood?”

The Doctor nodded his head very slightly. The Master took his hand away and was more than a little shocked when the Doctor dropped his shields.

Do you fear I’ll turn the Sin against you?

You have a knack for it my dear. Tell me, how did you get that pompous arse brother of yours to betray his house? I must say, I’m going to enjoy ruining him for it.

The Doctor threw his walls back into place and instead focused his attention on the human.

“You got what you wanted then?” The Sin asked, his voice tinged with hysteria. “I’ve been ruined, but you have your precious Doctor at last.”

“So it would seem,” the Master said, allowing his eyes to run up and down the length of the Doctor. “So it would seem.”

Chapter Text

The very instant the Master released him the Doctor fell to his knees in front of the anomaly and gently cupped his face. The other Time Lord made himself completely open as he tried to desperately bring the human back from the abyss.

“You won’t reach it” the Master said, unable to entirely mask the justifiable superiority he felt watching the look of confusion pass over the Doctor’s face when he failed to hook onto the anomalies essence. “It’s gone Doctor.”

“You’ve used compulsions before,” the Doctor snapped as he threw the entirely of his anger and frustration at the Master. “This isn’t any different.”

“It’s entirely different,” the Master argued. “It’s not a compulsion Doctor. The freak’s gone, buried so far underground that you’ll never reach it.” He stepped forward slowly and relished the way the Doctor couldn’t entirely mask the widening of his eyes. “Get up.”

No argument. The Doctor moved smoothly to his feet and remained perfectly still as the Master grabbed him just above his injured arm. The shorter Time Lord pulled back the Doctors sleeve and peered thoughtfully at the gaping wound in the Doctor’s bicep. “It will heal,” he commented before he tore the Doctor’s shirt and used the material to create a makeshift bandage. He stared at the injury for a short moment before gripping it tightly and squeezing. The other man grunted but didn’t attempt to pull free.

“You think you can manipulate me,” the Master snarled, releasing him and stepping back. “I know what you’re up to, beloved. Don’t struggle and antagonise the big bad Master and he’ll inevitably drop his guard. Isn’t that right?” He stepped forward swiftly and the Doctor finally, finally flinched. “Let me make myself very clear Theta. There is nothing that you can do that will appease me. There is nothing you can do to save yourself. You lost the possibility of a good and decent life the moment you ran away from me. You’re now my prisoner. Not a partner but a thing to be owned. No better that the disgusting human’s you care so much about. You’ll serve me,” he caught the Doctor’s jaw and forced their heads to together. “And you’ll do anything my little heart’s desire.”

“Threats and promises,” the Doctor said softly. “Pain and hate and cruelty. That’s all you are now, isn’t it? There’s nothing left.”

“That’s all there ever was.” the Master scoffed.

“Perhaps,” the Doctor conceded as he pressed his hand tenderly against the Master’s face. “But I remember. I remember before, when you were, if not good, then not so completely and entirely cruel. Some part of you must remember?”

The Master grabbed the Doctor’s slender wrist and jerked away from his unwelcome touch. “Don’t bother Theta, you’re pathetic attempts at instigating guilt won’t work. Turn them on yourself instead. You’re good at that.”

“Your cousin despairs,” the Doctor said, changing the subject abruptly. He turned towards the Sin, who lay curled on the ground in the furthest corner of the room. “Can’t you feel it?”

The Master could in fact feel the Sin’s misery and confusion. Changing gender was a difficult transformation, even among seasoned Time Lords. He could not however muster up enough energy to care. “He will adapt. We all do.”

“Shouldn’t you -”

The Master slapped his hand against the Doctor’s face. “Shut up, Theta.” And then, because he could he knocked the Doctor to the ground. “The inmates say some truly interesting things about you Doctor. The one-eye was particularly enlightening. He’s how I found you of course. He figured out what you were, with the help of your little friend that the freak murdered. Yes, very interesting things. Tell me beloved, have you really let the human fuck you? Are you truly so far gone?” The Master felt the Doctor’s anger bleed through his impressive shields and grinned in response. “Have I hit a nerve beloved?”

The Doctor’s soft brown eyes hardened in anger. “It must truly chafe Master, to realise that I would rather allow a man whose mere presence physically pains us, a mere human being, to accompany me rather than bear your repulsive touch for even a moment. It must truly kill you to know that as much as I hate you I love him more.” He regarded the Master cooly. "What's the matter Koschei, have I hit a nerve?"

The Master kicked him. He did have any conscious urge to do so. One moment the Doctor was looking up at him and then the pure force of the Master’s boot sent him spinning over onto his stomach. He cried out, gasping as the Master jumped on to his back, gripped the Doctor’s ridiculous hair and smashed his head into the ground. The Doctor grunted, squirming faintly but clearly dazed by the blow. So the Master did it again and again and again -

“Stop it you fool,” he heard someone hiss a moment before he was bodily dragged off the Doctor’s prone form. He spun around, fist’s raised and was shocked when he received a sharp slap to the face. “You’ll kill him,” the Sin snarled, shaking him by the shoulders. “Is that what you want? After everything we’ve gone through you’ll truly kill him?”

“He deserves it,” the Master snarled before forcing himself to calm down and take a deep breath.

“That and much more,” the Sin agreed, studying the Master with a pair of intense and striking green eyes. How had he not noticed them before? “But beating him to death was never part of the plan, was it?”

“He antagonised me,” the Master snapped as he bent down and eased the Doctor onto his back. "He does it to gain a rise from me. The Doctor and his clever mouth."

“Look at the mess you’ve made,” the Sin tutted.

The Doctor had a nasty gash on his forehead that was pumping blood and a tear in his bottom lip. The Master sighed and felt the pulse at his neck. “He’s fine. Just unconscious.”

“Carry on like that and you will kill him,” the Sin’s gangly arms lay limp at his side, as though unsure what to do with them. “The Doctor is a Time Lord, but that doesn’t make him invisible. You should know that better than anyone.”

Travern chose that moment to enter the room. His eyes locking onto the Doctor before quickly sliding away. “Your rooms are ready,” he muttered. “Do you want help moving -”

“No,” the Master snarled, bending down and manoeuvring the Doctor until he was draped over the Master’s shoulder. It was no easy feat. The Doctor was slender but incredibly long-limbed. “Show me.”

*****

His head hurt, but then so did his arm and ribs. His head was definitely the worst though. He couldn’t quite muster the will to move, which was unusual for him. He always liked to move around. He supposed he probably had a concussion. The Master must have really hit him.

“Serves you right,” the Sin said beside him. The Doctor flinched, which was a very stupid thing to do when one’s head was pounding. He felt a light hand brush gently through his hair, petting soothingly. “Purposefully antagonising the Master is paramount to suicide. You know that.”

“I was simply telling the truth,” the Doctor muttered. “Perhaps if other people did the same he wouldn’t react so badly when he hears something he doesn’t like.”

“I’m not supposed to talk to you,” the Sin said thoughtfully. The gentle hand in his hair was too comforting to push away. “But I don’t suppose he really expects us not to speak when he leaves us alone together. He fears you might turn me against him.”

“Have you reason to turn against him?” the Doctor asked, genuinely curious.

“Oh you are clever Doctor. Even if I did, if it came down between him and you he would always be my choice. Do you actually have any idea how much trouble you’re in?”

“I have an inkling,” the Doctor said, aware of how miserable he sounded. He took a deep breath and was mildly surprised that whatever pillow he currently had his face against smelled passively clean. “Did he really kill all of your human slaves?”

“What do you think?”

“Do you care?”

“Me? No, should I?”


The Doctor felt a deep pull of sadness. “They didn’t deserve to die, Sin. They were innocent.”

“Then you shouldn’t have run away,” the Sin said simply.

The Doctor had watched many people die throughout his long life, many of which were just names or even blurred and half forgotten faces. It shamed him that even with his clever mind he couldn’t remember them all. Will and the two little girls he had watched die flashed before his eyes. He thought of the moment he watched Jack kill Jarik. There was so much pain. So much death that he, through his actions, had brought about. Why didn’t he consider the other slaves when he ran off? The Master had threatened Elizabeth and Jack, and so the Doctor had removed them from harm, but if he had spent even a moment considering the consequences of his actions he would have realised that the Master would need to take him anger out of someone. Why not the other slaves. They were innocent and helpless. 

“The Master’s nearly here,” the sin remarked as he stood up and moved to the opposite side of the room. “I suggest you remain exactly as you are. You look and feel so pathetic even the Master might have pity on you.”

The Doctor did stay where he was, but it had more to do with his aching head than any actual hope for leniency. He heard the Master enter the room, a room he had not even bothered to look at, and tensed as he felt the Master step beside him. “You’re awake.”

“My head hurts,” the Doctor said and, oh, the Sin was right. He did sound pathetic.

“Hmmm, I imagine it probably does. Have you learned anything from this little tantrum of yours?”

“Leave me alone Master,” the Doctor said miserably.

It was a mistake. He felt a firm hand grip the back of his neck and squeeze painfully. “You do not get to tell me what to do Doctor. But I’ll ask again. Have you learned anything?”

“Could you please just tell me what it is you want me to say?”

The hold became softer as the Master lent down until his lips were pressed against the Doctor’s ear. “That you’ve learned not to say things you know will antagonise me. Things you know will make me lose control and hurt you.”

“Yes,” the Doctor said, willing to say anything to make the other man back away. “I won’t. I’ve learned my lesson.”

“Good boy,” the Master said condescendingly.

If the Doctor didn’t feel so terrible he might have been offended. Frankly though in the long line of things the Master had done to him over the years a little talking down to didn’t really rank very high on his list of grievances.

“So, have the coordinates been properly set?” the Sin asked conversationally.

“They have indeed. We’re on our way to intercept a nice sleek little carrier that will take up back to the TARDIS,” the Master’s hand landed possesively on the Doctor’s back, caressing softly. “By the way Doctor, I was very impressed with one aspect of your little getaway plan. Growing your own baby TARIS was a truly remarkable feat. It’s a pity she’ll have to be dismantled as soon as he reach home. I do know how you like to bond with the silly machines. Where is it?”

The Doctor pushed down the initial panic he felt. The TARDIS was safe, hidden away on a deserted planet within the solar system. He’d added dampening fields and other precautions to keep her safe. A part of him felt remorse at leaving her alone again so soon but he had figured that he would get back to her long before she really started to miss him.

“Where is it Doctor?”

“I couldn’t break through the prisons dampening fields,” the Doctor muttered. “I had to leave her planetside.”

“That’s not what I asked,” the Master muttered. He placed his hand on the Doctor’s head and he couldn’t help but flinch. “Never mind, I’ll find out soon enough. That and every other little secret you have trapped in that clever little head of yours.”

“You still intend for us to bond?” The Doctor asked, genuinely surprised. “You must realise Rassilon isn’t going to -”

“He has no say beloved,” the Master said softly. “Now I would advise you not to struggle. You’ll only make it harder on yourself.”

“What?” The Doctor asked as alarm bells started sounding in his ears.

He tried to move off the bed but was flipped onto his back instead. He saw stars as his head pounded painfully. It took the Doctor a moment to realise that the Sin had caught both of the Doctor’s wrists. He was too fixated on the Master, who had maneuvered himself behind the Doctor and entwined their legs together.

“What are you doing?” The Doctor asked, panicking as he felt the Master reach out and take his trapped wrists. The Sin pressed his large hands over the Doctor’s temples and began to attack his defensive walls. “Master, what are you doing?”

“Open up Theta. Otherwise we will force you.”

“Stop,” the Doctor hissed, struggling between them. “You don’t know what you’re doing. You could kill us both.”

“Then so be it, but one way or another Doctor we are going to be bonded before the day is out.”

Chapter Text

It turned out that the Doctor could be turned to violence, if given enough incentive. Crests of pure, unrestrained terror poured off him in waves, saturating the room with a thick, all consuming stench. The Sin could barely contain himself, flinching away pathetically and repeatedly. Even the Master wasn’t entirely unaffected, though the hand the Doctor managed to free and level at his nose made it much easier for the Master to draw back his own fist and land a fierce blow to the Doctor’s already battered head. He stilled, finally.

“Struggling will only make this worse beloved. Stop fighting.”

Tears gathered and quickly over spilled from the Doctor’s deep brown eyes. He twitched constantly, flexing his hands. In no time at all he was squirming again.

“Hold him this time,” the Master growled at the Sin.

His cousin glared at him over the Doctor’s head but continued to work on knocking down the Doctor’s walls.

“S-stop,” the Doctor eventually gasped, having finally found his voice. His back arched as his mouth opened on a silent scream.

“No,” the Master said simply. He drew back his arm and brought the heel of his hand down on the Doctor’s head. It connected with a solid thump.

“Stop hitting his head,” the Sin hissed irritably.

“It makes it easier to breach his shields,” the Master said, trying to push down his own irritation. “We won’t get in otherwise. The man’s shields are ridiculous.”

“Rassilon managed to break through.”

“Oh, and you think your Rassilon do you?” The Master allowed himself to frown. The Sin did have a point. The Doctor was looking decidedly fragile. He rested his hand against the taller Time Lords head and felt the Doctor’s whole body flinch. He debated smashing the Doctor's head into the ground again, just to see if it would finally loosen the stubborn lords shields, but even he was worried what damage any further trauma would inevitably cause. “This isn’t working.”

“Didn’t I just say that?”

“You didn’t have any alternative suggestions.”

“And you do?”

The Master felt the beginning of a smile. “Jack, come here.”

The human moved jerkily to his feet and stumbled towards them. The Master gestured him down with a brisk click of his fingers before fisting his hand in the Doctor’s collar and dragging him into a sitting position. He shook him lightly, sighing as the Doctor’s eyes began to roll into the back of his head. “Doctor,” he said irritably. He cupped the other lords face and gently caressed his cheek. “I need you to concentrate. Come on beloved, look at me.”

The Doctor predictably locked onto the Master’s soothing tone and blinked sluggishly. “Le’go,” he slurred as he tried to pull free.

“Not yet sweet one,” the Master purred as he continued his soft ministrations. “First I need you to concentrate. Jack is here. Can you see him?”

The Doctor’s eyes locked blearily on to the human.

“Very good my love. Now listen carefully. If you don’t drop your shields and let the me and the Sin inside I’m going to start cutting things off pretty Jack, starting with his nose,” he forced the other lord to look back at him. “Do you understand?”

The Doctor stared at him for a long moment. He very clearly understood. “I can’t,” his voice cracked. “Please Koschei, I can’t.”

“Very well then,” the Master said brightly. He pulled out his own blade and passed it to the human. “Jack, cut off your own nose. Slowly.”

The Doctor lurched forward but ultimately sat staring in clear disbelief as the human brought the blade to his face and began slowly sawing away at his nose.

“Stop,” the Doctor suddenly gasped, as the Master knew he would. “Master, stop!”

The Master waited until the human had cut half way through bone and skin before raising his hand. The human immediately stopped and stood slack jawed and dripping with blood. “Do you intend to behave now Theta?”

“You can’t be saved,” the Doctor whispered, his eyes locked onto the human.

“Now you’re learning,” the Master caught the Doctor’s chin and forced their heads together. The Doctor’s eyes were firmly locked shut. “It’s actually incredibly satisfying, knowing that you've finally realised that there isn't any goodness left inside of me.”

“I hate you,” the Doctor whispered.

“So you’ve said before,” the Master opened himself wide, flinging his shields aside with bubbling anticipation. “Let me in Theta.”

The Doctor’s eyes opened slowly and the Master saw a turbulent, oncoming storm bubbling beneath their surface. He wondered, as the Doctor finally lowered his formidable defences, exactly what his stunning intelligence might have accomplished had his soft heart not so thoroughly crippled his potential.

Suddenly he was inside the Doctor’s mind, free and open to look and take what he wished. The Sin followed, grasping onto the huge gaping hole the Doctor had opened for them and locking on to every crack and crevice, forcing the Doctor’s mind to remain open even as he panicked and tried to push them out.

It’s too late for that Theta.

Get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out, get out!

So many secretes. So many thoughts and hopes. The Master delved deeper, burrowing into thoughts the Doctor desperately wished to hide. So much sorrow. The Master felt a spike of pain in his chest that he was only mildly aware of. Was it sympathy? How have you not gone mad?

Is this what you wanted? To have access to everything? Why do you flinch away? You have what you wanted.

You think to sway me with your thoughts. To make me more like you. The Master dropped his own shields, allowing the sound of drumming to permeate his thoughts. He felt the Doctor and the Sin flinch back, backing away from what the Master would consider a light, almost playful beat. Do not fool yourself beloved. You’ll fall to me long before I succumb to your pathetic sorrow.

You love me. The Doctor’s entire being resounded with shock and disbelief. You really, truly love me. And you would torture me for it?

It isn’t torture Theta. It’s protection. The Master vaguely felt himself grip the Doctor’s hand. We’ll be one very soon, and then you’ll finally understand.

Chapter Text

The echoing of the drums surrounded him, resonating through the Master’s mind and burying its claws into the Doctors already turbulent thoughts. A playful beat, or so the Master claimed. If it was true the Doctor dearly hoped he never had the misfortune to hear the drums call to battle.

 

It hurt. There was no other way to describe it. A resounding, cutting blade that stabbed and twisted. How did the Master stand it? Truly, he’d never really stood a chance.

 

Practice, beloved. A lifetime of practice. A short pause. You’ve been bonded once before. You remember the process, yes?

 

It won’t work, the Doctor argued, aware that he was almost begging in his desperation to make the Master understand. I was willing before. I allowed it to take root. If you force this, if you make us bond then whatever passes between us will be a twisted, tainted thing.

 

It seems fitting that it should be so, the Master shot back. The Doctor could feel his steel resolve and it made him want to weep. What are we, if not the most twisted and tainted among our kind?

 

Master please, I’m begging you -

 

And oh how I love to hear you do so, but it’s far too late for any of that. I won’t bother telling you not to struggle. I think we both know we’re going to have quite the fight on our hands. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I relish the challenge.

 

He didn’t waste a moment before driving further into the Doctor’s mind. The Sin followed, helping to open the way, deflecting the Doctor’s attempt to force the Master out and continuously pulling the worse of the Doctor's memories to the forefront of his mind. The Master seemed particularly fixated on the Doctor’s wife. It took him a moment to realise that the other Time Lord was jealous.

 

She’s gone, the Doctor snarled with no small amount of resentment. If you can’t keep your petty emotions in check let the memories go. He hesitated a moment. Please Master, let them go.

 

He should have known better. The Master locked onto the memory of her death and replayed the moment over and over again in his mind. It was worse than Rassilon’s earlier, almost causal violation when he had tried to undercover the Doctor’s make-believe rebellion. The Master was purposefully trying to hurt him. He wanted the Doctor to suffer.

 

You never should have ran away from me.

 

You should have let me go.

 

He couldn’t stand it. The drums, the Sin, the Master. It was too much. The Doctor panicked and turned on the closest target, which happened to the be the Sin. He threw the full force of his not-inconsiderable consciousness at the younger Time Lord, yet despite his best efforts he couldn’t dislodge him. The Sin was too cemented in his mind, clinging on for dear life as the Master purposefully distracted the Doctor, disorientating and hurting him.

 

The Doctor’s mind felt scattered and torn, unable to focus enough to put up even a paltry defence. Every second he hesitated the Master burrowed further within his head, locking onto his telepathy and twining himself deeper into the Doctor’s thoughts, initiating a bond and fending off the Doctor’s desperate attempt to dislodge his presence.

 

It was so entirely, uncomprehendingly wrong. To force a bond would only bring misery to them both. The Master knew it as well as he did. What was his plan? What did he hope to achieve?

 

Please, he pleaded. He felt like he was going mad. He couldn’t bond, not with the Master. Not now. Please, don’t.

 

It’s already too late love. The bond’s been initiated. You can’t stop it now.

 

Not until death. The Doctor thought desperately. He wanted to tear open his head and pluck the Master out! Vaguely he felt the grip around his wrists tighten and realised he had been clawing at his own eyes

 

Go to sleep beloved, the Master said as he spun a compulsion through the Doctor’s mind. The Doctor felt a bubbling sense of horror when he felt his eyes begin to flutter shut. It will all be over soon. Better for you if you’re not present for this part.

 

Don’t - the Doctor pleaded.

 

Far too late for that beautiful one. We’re bonded. We are one.

 

You’ve destroyed us both.

 

Not yet beloved. One day perhaps, but not today. Now go to sleep. It will all be better in the morning.

Chapter Text

The Doctor lay peacefully beside him, pliant and sweet in slumber. The Master spent the night merely watching him. The longing and need that consumed him for so long was finally silenced. He had the Doctor, locked to him body and soul, finally incapable of leaving.

He watched, both anxious and excited as the Doctor stirred, finally waking up. Slowly, as not to startle, he wrapped his arms around the Doctor, plastering himself against the slender lords back and resting his head on the Doctor’s bare, freckled shoulder.

He felt the Doctor start as he woke. The Master increased his hold, squeezing not to hurt but to let the other lord know that he wouldn’t be allowed to get up of his own violation anytime soon.

“Head hurts,” the Doctor said, sounding pitiful. And truly, it must have hurt for him to complain about it.

The Master pressed a gentle kiss against the Doctor’s hair. “I know beloved, but it will fade. Just try not to overexert yourself.”

“How could you?” he half whispered, half sobbed as he pressed his face into his pillow. The Master could feel the tremors wracking the Doctor’s slight frame.

“It had to be done, but it’s over now. You’ll grow accustomed to it eventually, I promise.”

“It feels like worms are trying to burrow their way through my skull. The bond is wrong, corrupted,” he shifted, weakly trying to pull away. “Please, get off.”

“No,” the Master said, pulling the Doctor against him more roughly than was strictly necessary. He pressed his lips against the Doctor’s pale throat, allowing his proximity to chase away some of the anger that threatened to sour his good mood. “And I don’t want to hear anymore about your feelings. It’s happened. Accept it and move on.”

The Doctor pressed his face more firmly into the pillow. The Master could feel his very real grief through the bond. He could feel exactly how raw the Doctor was. The man felt violated, more so than the times the Master had laid with him against his will. It was truly something to behold and had the Master’s heart not hardened to such things he might have been affected by the Doctor’s despair.

“I will allow you to recover today, but tomorrow we’re fetching the TARDIS and then we’re returning home.” He felt the Doctor’s anger peek before shattering into nothing. “I expect no resistance when the time comes. Disobey and you’ll be punished accordingly.”

I can hear the drumming, he said, projecting his discomfort into the Master’s mind.

Do they distress you?

Can you block it out?

The Master concentrated, constructing a wall around the most corrupted part of himself. He felt the Doctor relax fractionally when he successfully blocked them from the bond.

They’ll send me mad, he whispered into the Master’s mind.

They won’t. I won’t allow it.

You’ll be mostly to blame. I can not live like it was before. I can not be confined. It will kill me.

He felt the Doctor’s earnestness. His fear and anger.

You killed them all, to spite me?

You refer to the humans no doubt?

They had nothing to do with my disappearance. There was no need to hurt them.

But I didn’t do it to hurt them, did I beloved? You should have known better than to run away. And look what it’s brought you. The boy is dead. I can see it clearly in your mind. Had you not taken him on your silly adventure he would not have been slaughtered.

Had I not gone on my silly adventure millions more of innocent catkind would have died. I saved them.

And changed time in the process. As if you weren’t already in enough trouble.

As if you have any right to judge. You changed everything. You and Rassilon. Anything I have done pales in comparison.

Ah Rassilon. My dear friend. He will have to go.

The Doctor thought his eyes might bulge out of his head. What?

I’ve been thinking on it long and hard and the man simply will need to die. He will petition your disposal until he’s convinced every member of the court that you’re too dangerous to let live. The Master’s hand gently cupped the Doctor’s face. I do not disagree of course. The great Doctor, the gentlest, most dangerous man in the universe. Your potential for mischief is infinite, yet I know I can control you. I won’t let Rassilon’s fear destroy you.

“I will tell him,” the Doctor gasped, pulling away. “I will tell them all what you’re planning.”

“And I will throw Jack into a star. Or perhaps I’ll just throw him out of an airlock. Do you suppose he would survive either? He can’t die, but what if he can’t live either?”

“Get off me,” the Doctor snapped, pushing the Master away as he tried to climb out of the bed.

The Master grabbed the Doctor’s ridiculous hair and pulled him back onto his back. “Do not tell me what to do,” he snarled very close to the Doctor’s face. “Never again,” he raised his hand and struck the Doctor across the face. “You hear me. I said never again.”

“I heard you,” the Doctor whispered, closing his eyes and facing away.

Hate, anger, frustration, humiliation and sorrow. The Doctor’s emotions battered against the Master, stealing away his breath. How could one Time Lord feel so much all at once? How did he stand it?

Chapter Text

“It was your brother, wasn’t it?”

The Doctor looked up from his untouched breakfast with a blank expression. “What?”

“Your brother helped you escape, didn’t he?”

The Doctor rested his chin above his entwined fingers. He looked the picture of nonchalance but the Master could sense his rising panic. “Does it truly matter?”

“People will want to know if there is a traitor among us, Doctor. Your brother will need to be punished.”

The Doctor paused for a long moment before responding. “And what would it take to ensure that never happens?”

The Master felt a smile tug at the corner of his mouth. “Are you trying to bargain with me beloved?”

“What will it take?”

“I already have everything I could possible want. What more could you offer?”

The Doctor’s beautiful brown eyes turned as hard as stone. “I won’t fight you.”

“What, you mean ever again?”

“If that’s what it takes.”

“You’ll let me fuck you whenever I wish. To bend you over, to pull your legs above your head, to -”

“Please,” the Doctor hissed, his fury and helplessness vibrating through the bond. “Don’t.”

“You can’t even speak of it. How do you suppose you’ll do enough to appease me that I would keep such a secret?”

The Doctor held his eyes for a short moment before looking away. “He’s my brother.”

“And I nearly lost you because of his interference. And the Corsair, what part did he play?”

The Doctor didn’t betray a single thing with his body language, but their bond thrummed unhappily. It would take little to find the truth, just a nudge and pull…

“It works both ways,” the Doctor said, his tone threatening. “Push too far and I will push back. You are not stronger than me.”

“Perhaps not,” the Master allowed, grinning vindictively as he allowed the block between the drums and their link to falter. The other lords eyes widened to the size of two dinner plates before he keeled forward, his hands pressed uselessly against his ears. Push me too far though and I might not be able to keep the drums at bay.

Stop, the Doctor cried, pitiful and wrecked. Master, pull it back.

“I will,” the Master agreed, building his walls back up. “But if you threaten me again I might not be so forgiving.” He looked over the Doctor, taking in the fine tremors running through his lithe frame. “When is the last time you ate?”

The Doctor looked up very slowly before reaching for his fork and slowly and meticulously shovelling food into his mouth.

“You’re being accommodating,” the Master remarked, surprised.

“You were about to force feed it to me,” the Doctor responded, meeting the Master’s gaze with simmering hatred. “I could feel your intent. You would have enjoyed forcing me.”

“Careful Doctor, I don’t like being manipulated.”

The other Lord dropped his fork with a shaking hand. “I’m doing what you want.”

Which was true enough he supposed, but it still angered him that the Doctor sought to circumvent the Master’s temper by using the bond for his own purposes. The Master abruptly stood and approached the Doctor’s chair, fisting his hand in the taller Lord's tunic and pulling him to his feet. “We will be consummating the bond. You may fight if you wish, but it will end badly for you.” He wasn’t surprised when the Doctor planted his feet. “You wish to fight me?”

“I wish not to be raped,” the Doctor snarled, pulling back with enough force that he broke the Master’s hold. “I wish not be touched, not by you. Not ever again. I wish -”

“Apologies for interrupting,” the Sin said, stepping easily into the room. His eyes locked onto the Doctor before moving slowly to the Master. “The inmates are starting to riot. It may be prudent to address the situation before it becomes unmanageable.”

“And you’re unable to handle the situation yourself?” the Master asked, aware suddenly that his raised hand was hovering above the Doctor’s face.

“They would not listen to me. One of them even attacked me. I do not have your flair for controlling them it would seem.”

The Master reached out and grabbed the Doctor’s arm. He took some satisfaction in the way his bondmate flinched from the contact. “We will discuss this later. For now you will accompany me without bringing any untoward attention to yourself. Disobey and I will make dear Jack hack his own arm off in front of you,” he turned back to the Sin. “Where is the freak?”

“Waiting outside. Shall we go then?”

The Master strode forward, pulling the Doctor with him. The moment he stepped into the main hall he was met with pandemonium. He felt his temper flair and the drums roar as he pulled out his screwdriver and shot the man next to him. The alien crumpled and the inmates turned to look at the only person in the room who had an actual, real weapon.

“Daddy steps out for a few moments and this is what happens?” he asked, keeping his voice playful but underlined with a very real threat. “Where is Travern?”

“I’m here,” the alien said, stepping through the fray. His face was bleeding, the Master noted somewhat absently.

“Ah excellent, you’re still alive. Can you please tell me who is responsible for this unfortunate little mess?”

The man pointed his hand and the Master went ahead and shot the offending alien dead. “Anyone else?”

Travern pointed but before he could kill the other offender the Doctor pulled the screwdriver from his hand and flung it across the room. For a moment no one moved and then inmates surged back into action, attacking one another in an attempt to reach the screwdriver. The Doctor pulled himself free the same moment a Catkind threw himself at the Master, knocking him back as sharp nails tore at his throat.

It lasted mere seconds before the Catkind fell limp and quite dead on the Master’s chest. He looked up to see the Sin pointing his screwdriver into the fold of inmates and Travern grappling with the Doctor. The Master pushed the dead alien off his chest and got slowly to his feet. “Enough,” he screamed, loud enough that it gained the attention of everyone in the room. “That,” he said, pointing at the screwdriver in the hand of a punitive and ugly creature, “Will not work for you or anyone else in this room that doesn’t possess Time Lord blood,” he strode forward and plucked the screwdriver out of the alien's hand before turning it on the creature and killing him. He felt a spike of sorrow through the link at the same moment he heard the Doctor cry out. “Now, does anyone else wish to die today? Does anyone else want to ruin their chances at making it out of this prison, alive and free?” He flung his arms wide. “Does anyone else wish to challenge me?”

Silence answered him. “I thought not. Now, eat, rest and be content. We are getting out of this together, therefore there isn’t any need to fight one another. We are brothers in arms now. Each and everyone of us,” he turned back to the Sin. “My dear, you should be able to handle them for now, whilst I attend to some business.” he stepped up to the Doctor, who had finally stilled and was pressed flat against Travern’s chest.

Will you ever learn? He asked through the link.

You were killing people, right in front of me. What did you expect me to do?

The Master pulled the Doctor gently from the aliens hold. If this behaviour continues I will hurt you Doctor.

He felt a spark of anger. You’ve already hurt me.

The Master pulled the Doctor back into their shambles of a room and immediately started pulling at the Doctor’s clothes. He felt the other Lord’s panic as he instinctively tried to free himself so the Master lowered his shields, just slightly, and let through the drumming. The Doctor’s response was instantaneous. He crumpled to the floor, fisting his hands through his hair.

“Turn it off,” he gasped, his body going into a spasm. “Turn it off.”

The Master dragged the taller man on the bed and deposited him on top of the thin mattress. He pinned him flat and drew off his clothes before standing up and stripping himself off. He watched the Doctor for a moment, feeling a vindictive amount of pleasure watching as he helplessly tried to fight something the Master had such unwavering control over. The Doctor thought himself so strong, but even the light beat of the drums sent him into near hysterics.

“I’ll turn it off,” he promised, leaning into the Doctor’s space. “When you learn to behave.”

Chapter Text

He fetched oil from his bag and knelt between the Doctor’s spread legs before gently turning him onto his stomach. He poured the oil between the Doctor’s generous globes before gently massaging the Doctor’s puckered opening. The lithe Time Lord stiffened, if only just aware what was happening to him.

The Master pressed down on his back and slowly pistoned his fingers in and out of the tight little opening, enjoying the way the Doctor’s muscles so exquisitely spasmed and wrapped around his fingers. He used a second finger, scissoring and loosening the Doctor in preparation for something much larger.

The Doctor whimpered and squirmed beneath him but was too focused on the drumming to react. He didn’t even protest when the Master pulled his fingers free and lined up his cock. He pushed inside, groaning loudly as the Doctor’s wondrous heat wrapped so lovingly and perfectly around his member. The Doctor stiffened, crying pathetically into his crossed arms as the Master finally took some mercy on him and locked the other Lord away from the drumming. The Doctor’s body melted into miraculous submission for a few blissful seconds before he fully registered what was happening to him.

Get of me, he near bellowed through their link.

Hush beloved, i’ll be finished momentarily.

He wasn’t prepared for the Doctor’s sudden onslaught. He staggered back, pulling out of the other man as he struggled to piece together his sudden and violently shattered lust. His head ached painfully as he turned furiously on the other man.

“You,” he gasped, pointing his finger as he staggered towards the other man. “You dare -”

“You’re merely experiencing my own thoughts and feelings Master. Isn’t that what the link was made for. So we might experience one another?”

“You’re purposefully trying to -”

“To what?” The Doctor roared as he staggered to his feet. His clothes were dishevelled and his eyes rimmed red with unshed tears. “To make you see? To make you understand what you’re doing to me? You forced a bond on us you disgusting, deplorable monster. You raped me, again. You threaten to destroy the life of my brother, my friends. You killed the humans, because you couldn’t control your damn temper. Because you were having a fit. And Jack, what have you done to Jack?

The Master realised he was pressed back against a wall. That his cock was still free and that he must have looked ridiculous. The fury and hatred he could feel battering through the bond really was quite extraordinary.

“You would do well to control yourself beloved,” the Master said, straightening as he forced away the Doctor’s pain and anger. “Or I swear to you, you will regret it.” he sent an image of Jack, slack faced and hollow as he sawed off his own arm. The Doctor physically flinched, drawing into himself as the Master grew in confidence. “I told you before to behave and you took my screwdriver, again, I bring you in here so we might copulate, as any bonded couple should, and you attack me. My patience is growing thin.”

Tears were streaming freely down the Doctor’s hollow cheeks. His latest regeneration really did look remarkably pretty when he cried. “I don’t-”

“Doctor, bend over the bed.”

The taller Time Lord’s eyes hardened. “No.”

“Then I call in Jack and we saw off his hand.”

For a moment he thought the Doctor was going to physically attack him. The fury vibrating through the bond was shocking in its intensity. It made it all the more pleasurable to watch the Doctor deflate and fold himself prettily over the bed. The Master didn’t waste time. He pulled down the Doctor’s trousers and shoved himself back inside. The Doctor gasped loudly, his hands clenching onto the soiled sheets beneath him as he tried not to struggle.

“It can be pleasurable, if you allow it.”

“Shut up,” the Doctor said, the words barely more than a sob.

The Master forced his pleasure through the bond, enveloping the Doctor in the feeling of being inside of him. The sweet, wet warms enveloping his aching cock. He felt the Doctor breathy moan and reached out a hand to touch his suddenly hard prick. The Doctor gasped, impaling himself further on the Master as he tried to evade his touch. They both groaned, the Doctor relaxing beautifully as the Master forced more of his pleasure into his exhausted bondmate.

“That’s it beloved,” he whispered into the Doctor’s ear. “Just let go.”

The Doctor spurted into his hand, shaking and trembling violently as the Master caught his pleasure and forced it into a circuit between them. He sped up, pounding into his beloved's plush arse as the Doctor groaned beneath him. “Yes,” the Master gasped, pressing his teeth into the Doctor’s shoulder and biting down as his lord spasmed beneath him.

“Get off me,” the Doctor whispered before the Master was finished.

He ignored the other man and continued to thrust into the Doctor, grounding into his wondrous globes and enjoying the way they wobbled beneath precise each thrust. When he was thoroughly sated and somewhat sensitive he pulled out, keeping his hand on the Doctor’s back to stop him from getting up as he so clearly wanted. He couldn’t help but smirk when he surveyed the mess he’d made. “That was fun beloved. Let’s do it again.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor was fiddling with the collar encircling his throat as he observed the Master with a weary stillness that was entirely unlike him. Some time passed before he looked back at the Sin, his gaze hooded. It made something shrivel up inside of the younger Time Lord.

“You’re being too rough again,” he said, addressing the Master as his gaze remained locked on the Doctor.

“He is more than capable of taking it.”

The Sin shrugged. “True, but if you wish to experience anything other than hatred from him you may wish to try a different approach.”

The Master released a bitter laugh. “It will take far more than mere kindness to make him love me cousin.”

“He is a frightening creature, as much as he is pitiful,” he answered, the words surprising him as much as the Master.

“You fear him?”

“You don’t? The man escaped the citadel, under the noses of the most supreme among us. Rassilon fears him, for reasons I don’t yet understand. He is dangerous.”

“He is that,” the Master agreed with a slight frown. “But he is also flawed. A flaw that makes him weak.”

“And your attachment to him Master, is that your weakness?”

The Master stood up quickly, his expression hard and unyielding. “I have no weakness cousin,” he said before grinning that manic smile of his and turning to the Doctor.

Something passed between them, clearly the Master making use of their newly formed bond. The Doctor’s shoulders hunched for a moment before he slowly got to his feet, but instead of approaching the Master he circled around him. His eyes were fixed on the panel the Master had been working on.

“You have something to say?” The Master asked, grinning as he watched him.

The Doctor shrugged. “Nope.”

The Master’s smile began to fade. “Yes you do. Come on. Out with it.”

The Doctor pursed his lips. “It’s actually quite funny and pretty amazing that you don’t see it. I thought you were supposed to be smart.”

The Sin observed the way his cousin's hands twitched. “What are you trying to get at beloved.”

“Well, it’s not going to work, is it?”

The Master looked back at the panel. The Sin had no idea what he had been planning but the confirmation that whatever it was wasn’t going to work did an impressive job of riling up the Master.

“How do you know?”

The Doctor pressed his hands against his hips and rolled back onto his heels. “Call it a hunch.”

The Master rushed to the Doctor’s side, grabbing his arm and pulling him onto his knees in front of the panel. “Go on then. Fix it.”

“Without a screwdriver?” The Doctor asked innocently.

The Master hit him. It seemed to come out of nowhere and knocked the Doctor into a crumpled mess. “Do you think me a fool?” The Master hissed, grabbing the Doctor’s hair and shaking him. “You think you can hide things from me? From me?”

“How do you expect me to fix it then?” The Doctor demanded through gritted teeth.

“Just tell me. I’ll do it for you.”

The Doctor pulled free, rubbing his head until his hair was sticking up in all directions. He looked utterly ridiculous and didn’t portray a lick of his earlier menace. The Sin reminded himself to never, ever drop his guard around the other Lord.

“Nothing I say is going to help,” the Doctor insisted.

“Then why did you want a screwdriver?” The Master asked between gritted teeth.

The Doctor lifted one eyebrow. “With any luck I thought I might have been able to lock you up in a cell for the next millennia.”

“Do you know what the problem is or not?”

“Course I do,” the Doctor answered cheerfully.

The Master's face was turning an interesting shade of red. “Well?”

“It’s the Shadow Proclamation, obviously. They’ve taken over control of the ship. They’ll be here shortly I imagine.”

The Master’s mouth fell open. “How -”

He didn't get the opportunity to finish before a huge explosion shook the ship.

“Oh look,” the Doctor said, brushing himself down. “They’re here.”

Chapter Text

The Master hit him. A deliberate and forceful backhanded fist that sent the Doctor staggering. “You did this,” he accused, rounding on the other Lord.

The Doctor staggered back but his eyes were wild and furious. “How in times name could you possibly blame this on me? I haven’t been allowed out of your sight since you came here.”

“The communication was cut off. No one else has the technology -”

“And what, you imagined the shadow proclamation wasn’t going to notice that they’re largest prison vessel was just floating away through space? Of course they were going to retaliate.”

The Master’s eyes slitted as he considered the Doctor’s words before he very slowly turning to the Sin. “This is an unwelcome complication.”

“How unwelcome?” he asked, aware that he sounded hugely anxious.

“We’re going to have to play this very carefully to avoid an incident.”

“What he means to say,” the Doctor chirped brightly. “Is that he’s made a monumental error,” his large brown eyes turned on the other man. “Did you think you could change so much and it would turn out like the future? That you could just float away,” his hands fluttered airily. “They would have had outside help last time. A plan.”

“And you assume I don’t?” The Master growled.

Another explosion shook the ship, sending them staggering. The Master looked ready to attack the slender time lord so the Sin strode forward, grabbing the Doctor’s wrist and pulling him close. “We’re leaving then?” he asked, painfully aware that with just two screwdrivers they were woefully outgunned. He did not wish to die, again.

“Out then,” the Master snarled. “You too freak,” he hissed at the anomaly. It blinked blearily but obediently following.

“I would prefer if you’d let go,” the Doctor said, using his free hand to wipe away a spot of blood from his torn lips.

“You’d rather the Master hold your leash then?” he asked, in no mood to be gentle.

The Doctor shrugged. “I would just prefer not to be beside such a massive walking target. Your new form is rather gangly.”

The Sin felt a pang of remorse for his lost form. And then anger. “I can see why he takes such satisfaction beating you.”

“I find it rather beastly personally,” the Doctor grumbled.

The pitiful creature, Travern, appeared before them, flushed and frightened. “The ship is being overtaken by Judoon,” he cried, grabbing the Master’s arm and shaking him.

It was a mistake. The Master raised his hand, clearly about to shoot him when the Doctor broke free of the Sin’s grasp and tackled the other Time Lord, knocking them both to the floor. “Run,” he shouted at the gaping alien as the Master struggled to untangle himself.

Travern reacted quickly and bolted. Sighing darkly the Sin hurried forward, pulling the slender Time Lord to his feet and pulling him close.

“Damn it, give him to me,” the Master snarled, gaining his feet and pulling the Doctor from his grasp. Something clearly passed between them as the Doctor’s faced paled and he dropped his head. “Come,” The Master snarled, moving forward through a suddenly terrified crowd. “We need to make to the centre.”

“Isn’t that the last place we need to be?” the Sin asked, nervous and very aware of how vulnerable they were.

“Not if we find the right person,” the Master insisted, raising his screwdriver above his head and firing it into the ceiling.

“What are you doing?” The Sin demanded, terrified as every head turned in their direction.

“I’m introducing myself,” he said with that manic grin of his.

Chapter Text

The Doctor instantly recognised the the Shadow Librarian’s white hair and vivid orange eyes as he moved towards them, circled by a platoon of armed Jadoon. He tried to shield his surprise from the Master but the other Lord turned to look at him questioningly before tightening his grip and sending a sharp warning through their link.

“Are you the one in charge here?” the Shadow Librarian demanded, stepping up to the daise and looking expectantly back at the Master, seemingly unconcerned bythe huge number of convicts surrounding them.

The Master puffed his chest out, stepping forward with a grand gesture when the Shadow Librarian’s gaze moved past him and locked onto the Doctor.

“John Smith?” He said incredulously, stepping forward. “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve been kidnapped,” the Doctor answered, pointing at the Master. “He’s responsible. Arrest him please.”

The Shadow Librarian blinked at him for a few seconds before turning to the Master. “Release him.”

“No,” the Master responded instantly, his grip tightening painfully as he pointed his screwdriver at the Shadow Librarians face. “He’s mine.”

The Jadoon raised their guns almost in union. The Doctor involuntarily made a small noise in the back of his throat. He was fairly certain they were all about to be shot.

“Wait,” the Sin said, stepping forward with his hands outstretched. “Think before you act. Have you any idea who you’re addressing?”

“Should I?” The Librarian asked loftily, responding to the Sin’s imperious tone by straightening his back and lifting his chin.

“You’re addressing three Time Lords from the planet Gallifrey, two of whom are are here unjustly, one of whom is the leader of a great house. Now think very carefully about what you do next because I promise - ”

“How did you come to be here?” The Librarian interrupted, the widening of his eyes his only outward sign of surprise.

“We came to collect one of our own,” the Sin said, gesturing to the Doctor. “A renegade. One grounded to Gallifrey who escaped and has been wreaking havoc ever since. Do you intend to stand in the way of justice?”

The Librarian gaped for a moment before seemingly pulling himself back together. “You expect me to just take you word on the matter?” he asked with an impressive level of indignity. “What proof do you have that you are who you say you are?”
The Master stepped forward, pulling the Doctor with him until he was stood directly in front of the librarian. His expression was light and friendly. The Doctor had a sudden and violent urge to run away.

“What proof do you require?” He asked, reaching into the pockets of his robe.

Chapter Text

Yay! Look at this great drawing from Tortelinisinbikinis. Thank you so much! You rock and I love it :)

 

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The Doctor’s eyes were huge as he reached out and grabbed the Master’s hand.

Don’t, he said, his urgency and concern battering away at the Masters composure. The Jadoon will start shooting before you have the opportunity to hurt anyone. You’ll get us all killed.

Remove your hand Theta, the Master warned darkly. When he felt the Doctor’s resolve the Master inwardly rolled his eyes before removing the wall that separated the Doctor from the drumming. The response was instantaneous and the Doctor crumpled. Vaguely, he realised that the Shadow Librarian looked concerned and it sent a shock of jealousy through him. Inwardly grumbling he concentrated on removing the communication device from his pockets.

The Librarian looked confused. The Jadoon were tense, clearly believing the device to be a weapon. “It’s a communication device,” the Master explained. “It has a direct link to Gallifray. I can have someone verify our identities if that is what you require.”

“You –“ the Librarian reached out almost reverently before his expression hardened. His eyes roamed over the Doctor, who lay in a virtual ball on the floor, the sound of his ragged breathing the only sound in the hall. “They’re coming with us,” he said, gesturing to the three Time Lords. “Arrest the others. If they can’t be contained, destroy them.”

Jack, the Doctor almost screamed trough the link. He sounded positively wrecked. The Master inwardly sighed before reconstructing the wall, blocking the sound of the drumming from the Doctor. Protecting him from madness. He saw the Doctors entire body sag and reached down to pull him to his feet. “That one belongs to me,” the Master said to the Librarian, gesturing to the anomaly.

The hall was a flurry of activity, with people screaming, fighting and dying. They would lose. The Master couldn’t make himself care.

“Is he a Time Lord?” the Librarian asked, his eyes devouring handsome Jack.

“No,” the Master said, smiling at the way the Doctor tensed beside him. “He’s a bodyguard. “

“A slave?” the Librarian asked, scrunching his nose in distaste.

The Master shrugged.

“Slavery is a galactic offence.”

Another shrug.

The Librarian’s gaze wondered over the Doctor. “Is he also your slave?”

The link thrummed unhappily. Two large brown eyes turned to the Master.

“We’re bondmates,” the Master said, feeling a thrill saying the words out loud. When the Shadow Librarian looked questioningly back at them the Master entwined his fingers through the Doctor’s narrow digits and allowed a smug smile to break out on his face. “We’re married,” he clarified.

“The Doctor,” the Shadow Librarian said, his eyes fixed on Theta with that same hungry look. “The one that’s been hunted throughout time?”

“The one and the same,” the Master agreed. He pulled him close. “And I’ve caught him at last.”

A scream sounded very close to them. The Shadow Librarian straightened, whatever question he had silenced. “Come, we’ll talk more on my ship.”

“Are we to be guests then?” the Sin asked, stepping forward until he was stood on the Doctor’s other side.

“Until we’ve verified your identities you will be treated as such, yes.”

The Master obediently followed the Librarian and his small garrison of Jadoons. Once the Doctor satisfied himself that Jack was following he didn’t try to resist.

You’ve made a mistake, he said through the link. The council does not abide interference. How do you suppose they’ll react when they find out what you’ve been up to all this time? Never mind that you’ve bounded yourself to a renegade.

I imagine Rassilon will be so relieved to get you back that he won’t be too upset by the various misdemeanours I may have committed tracking you down.

The bond was quiet for a long time. He’s going to kill me.

The Master felt a wave of protectiveness and pushed it at the Doctor. I won’t let him.

He’s stronger than you. More influential.

The council do not all agree with his harsh treatment of you Doctor. You still have friends.

You intend to destroy them too.

The Master thought of the Corsair and Braxiatel. They had crossed him, but they would also be the Doctor’s greatest allies going forward. He begrudgingly admitted he would need all the help he could get.

We’ll see.

More silence.

What will you do to me when we return?

The Master had spent a long time considered the thing he would do to the Doctor. The many ways he would hurt him. He had imagined picking him apart, bit by bit. Destroying everything that made him who he was.

A temporary satisfying prospect, but then what would he have left? A Doctor shaped husk to play with. The thought was unappealing.

It depends on your ability to learn your place, he answered instead.

And Jack?

He stays as he is.

Forever? The Doctor asked, sounding far more concerned about the freaks future than his own.

Forever and ever and ever, the Master sang through the link. He felt the Doctor’s fury in return.

Are you happy then? To have everything you ever wanted?

He turned to look at the Doctor. Their eyes locked and held. You won’t believe me and I couldn’t frankly care less, but you love me back. I feel it, deep down, buried in a place that you refuse to look. You love me. Beneath all the anger, pain and resentment, you love me.

The Doctor looked away. His grief was exquisite. And you'll destroy me because of it.

The Master didn’t have the opportunity to respond before he was rudely interrupted by the Librarian. He gestured them to sit and then drew out a tablet. “Your name if you please?”

The Master inwardly sighed. On with the show, he sang through their link.

Chapter Text

The Doctor folded himself in the closest chair, bringing his knees up to his chest and pressing the side of his face against the worn leather. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before observing them through slitted eyes.

The Master thought he might be bluffing but a small enquiry through their bond quickly verified the Doctors very real bone-weary exhaustion. Their fastening had clearly taken a very deep toll on the Doctor’s reserves. The Master might have felt some remorse, had the other Lord not brought misery down upon himself.

I told you not to fight me, he admonished as he sat down beside him. The Sin took the last remaining seat and the freak stepped behind him.

“Your names, if you please?” The Librarian pressed, his eyes moving between them before settling on the Maser.

“The Sin,” he replied, gesturing to his cousin. “The Doctor, as you know and I am the Master,” he looked over his shoulder at Jack. “The slave doesn’t have a name,” he said, just to nettle his beloved.

The Librarian dutifully took notes before gesturing to the Master’s communication device. “And your people. Will they come to collect you?”

The Master allowed a small smile to break out of his face as he lent forward into the alien's space. “Would you like that? The opportunity to meet more of us?”

“I would like the opportunity to verify you are who you say your are,” he made a small gesture and a Jadoon pressed a scanner into his hand. “If you’ll consent?” he asked, gesturing to the Doctor.

The Master’s smile dropped a little before he shrugged and sat back. The Doctor merely tracked the Librarian’s movements as the scanner was waved close to his face but quickly closed his eyes when it became apparent his wasn’t in any immediate danger. “Alien,” the reader declared.

“Species?” the Librarian asked hopefully.

“Unclassified.”

The Librarian ran the scanner over the Master and the Sin and received a similar result. “Human,” it said when it was waved in front of the freak.

“I’ll require a blood sample,” the Librarian said, his tone questioning.

“It would be unwise to spill the blood of a Time Lord,” the Master said softly, but with a dangerous edge in his voice that a smart man would recognise and avoid.

It appeared the Librarian was a smart man. He locked eyes with the Master for a short moment before inclining his head. “I must insist you contact your kind. You won’t be permitted to leave until I’m able to verify your identities.”

With a shrug the Master configured the communication device and sent out a distress beacon. “They’ll be here shortly I imagine.”

Their link spiked, the Doctor’s very real terror battering away at the Master’s composure. He turned to look at his beloved and was grudgingly impressed by the Doctor’s outward calm. Had he not had a direct link to the other Lords emotions he never would have realised how much the Doctor battled with fear. Despite himself he realised he hand placed his hand on the Doctor’s nape and was rubbing gentle circled against his pulse-point.

“Until they arrive you will remain here as our guests,” the Librarian said, his gaze lingering on the Master’s hand before standing. “If you’ll follow me I’ll take you to your accommodation.”

“Our cells you mean?” the Master asked, getting to his feet. The Sin stood with him but the Doctor stayed resolutely in his seat. “Freak, fetch the Doctor,” he said, watching as Jack grabbed the Doctor’s shirt and dragged him upright. The Doctor stumbled to his feet, throwing a filthy look at the Master as he was dragged out of the room and they were all led to a row of cells. “I was joking,” the Master said, looking unimpressed at the near empty prison.

“I’m afraid I must insist. I assure you that you won’t be mistreated.”

“How many per cell?” the Sin asked, his tone disdainfully reminiscent of his previous incarnation.

“Two in each,” he said, his gaze watchful.

The Master reached out and grabbed the Doctor’s hand, pulling him from the freaks grasp and pushing him into the cell. The Doctor stumbled inside, straightening himself before the Master pulled him to the bunk and pushed him onto the thin mattress.

Will you stop bloody manhandling me, the Doctor snapped, ripping his arm free before pressing his back against the wall and pulling his knees back to his chest.

You look pathetic when you sit like that, he respond, allowing his eyes to linger. You’re a Time Lord. For goodness sake, act like it.

Because you and I have always been so wonderful at acting like true Time Lords, the Doctor responded irritably, pressing his head against his knees. Who did you call?

Who do you think I called?

Tell me.

The Council beloved. I called the council.

Another spike of fear. The Doctor lay down on the mattress and turned his back on the Master. It wasn’t so much a sign of trust than an act of exhaustion.

I will protect you, he insisted, pushing as much reassurance at the Doctor as he could muster.

He didn’t expect the flash of terror he received in response. 

You fear me, as much as them?

"Let me sleep Koschei," he said out loud, his tone wrecked.

The Master gritted his teeth against his irritation and decided to stand watch as the Doctor fell into a fitful sleep.

Chapter Text

The Doctor pressed his hand against the force field blocking their cell and released an entirely manly shriek when he received a painful shock. He jumped back, sticking his finger in his mouth as he pressed his chest flat against the cell wall and tried to trace the fields power source.

“What is it you intend to do if you get out?” The Master asked, looming over the Doctor’s hunched form. He sounded genuinely intrigued.

“Hadn’t really thought that through,” the Doctor admitted. Ah, there it was. The generator. He held out his hand. “Can I borrow your screwdriver?”

He was a little surprised when the Master handed it to him. It took some fiddling but once he’d configured the settings to the right frequency all he needed to do was point and “Wallah,” he said, jumping to his feet and moving forward.

He barely made it two steps before he was yanked back. He looked questioningly at the Master but the other Lord just shook his head and plucked the screwdriver out of his unresisting grasp. “They’re coming Doctor. No more running.”

“Surely you have just as much a reason to avoid the council as I do?” The Doctor asked, pulling his jacket free and straightening it irritably. “I’ve just opened the door for you. We could collect the others and leave before they arrive.”

He could clearly sense the Master’s smug self satisfaction through their bond. “We, beloved?”

“If that’s what it takes to avoid the council,” the Doctor said, meetings his eyes unflinchingly. “Then yes, we, us, together. Isn’t that what you always wanted?”

The Master grinned viciously before taking the Doctor’s hand. He led them to the mattress and sat down, wrapping one arm around the Doctor’s waist and pulling until he was half lying on the Master’s chest. “You can’t fool me Theta. You’re still exhausted. Do you honestly think you’re in any shape to run anywhere?”

“I like to run,” the Doctor said, trying very hard not to relax into the Masters hold. He really did feel extraordinarily tired. “Course, it’s a little difficult when you’re grounded, collared and manacled. Not much opportunity for a good sprint, is there?”

“You miss it,” the Master said. It wasn’t a question. “But I’m hardly the settling sort myself. You and I, we’ll travel together. I told you that once.”

“And i believe you less now than I did then,” the Doctor said, tensing as the Master’s hand settled on his stomach. “You’re wrong, you are. Every part of you is wrong. I always thought it but now, I can feel it. The drums are sending you mad. You need help Master.”

“And you’re the one to give it to me are you?” the shorter Time Lord asked in a deceptively gentle tone. “You, with your misguided sympathies and feelings. You can’t even take a playful beat. Don’t presume to tell me what I need. I’m strong. Stronger than you.”

“Not stronger,” the Doctor said, making an attempt to sit up. “Just more resilient. You’ve built up an immunity over the years, but it still affects you. It’s still hurting you and twisting your decisions. Its making you go against your own nature.”

“And Rassilon? He’s our founder and I’m following his path. Aren’t I, by that logic, following my nature exactly?”

“Do you think the others would think that, if they knew the truth?”

The Master released a huff of laughter in his ear. “The smart ones would.”

“If you take me back I will devote every iota of being into making them believe me. I won’t be silent any longer. Not when I can access your thoughts as easily as you can batter away at mine.”

“They won’t believe you beloved.”

“I will make them believe me,” the Doctor insisted. “You were right before. We live for a very, very long time. Eventually I'll be given the opportunity to speak, and I will tell them. They may not believe me at first but sometimes sowing the seeds of doubt is all it takes.”

“You’re so eager to tell them that times been altered. Did you ever consider that it might be for your own good. The other life, it wasn’t pleasant for you Doctor. You were...tortured. Miserable and lost. This change, it’s brought us all back together.”

The Doctor could see the memory, a glimpse that the Master had sensed through a shared memory from Rassilon. It would have been so easy for their founder to alter the memory. To make the Master believe that the other future would mean their ruin.

“I don’t believe you.”

“You never do,” the Master said, releasing his hold enough to allow the Doctor to squirm free. “Unfortunately for you beloved, time has finally run out.”

Chapter Text

The Shadow librarian rushed into the room, wringing his hands together in clear distress. He immediately unlocked the force fields and dropped into a deep bow.

“Lord Master, if you’ll please follow me I’ll take you to your companions?”

The Master stood up, ignoring the painful lunch that speared through their bond as he turned to the Doctor. “Come beloved.”

“No,” the Doctor said, resolutely staying seated.

You are only delaying the inevitable. The Doctor just stared at him. You can’t possibly want to face the indignity of being dragged out bodily do you?

I’m not going to docilely follow you into my own death.

He isn’t going to harm you.

You’re a fool if you think that.

“Ah my lord, I hate to disturb you but lord Rassilon was very insistent that he see you and the Doctor immediately.”

“He can wait a damn moment,” the Master snarled, causing the other man to stumble back in alarm. Doctor, so help me you will get to your feet and you will follow me of your own volition, otherwise I will jettison Jack out of the nearest airlock at the first available opportunity.

“Fine,” the Doctor snarled, standing up and striding past the Master and Librarian without a backwards look.

The Master resisted the urge to chase after him and instead followed at a normal pace. Despite his shorter steps he soon caught up with his beloved, who had stopped beside a small, non-descript door and was eyeing it thoughtfully.

Whatever it is you’re thinking of trying, don’t.

The Doctor blinked at him innocently. I wasn’t.

Yes, you were, he reached out and pressed his fingertip against the Doctor’s temple. And if you persist I will be forced to verify the issue for myself.

The Doctor bared his teeth in a grimace of a smile before rather ungraciously allowing the Master to take his arm.

Where is the Sin? He asked after a short moment.

It appears he hasn’t been invited.

Rassilon undoubtedly hopes for as few witnesses as possible when he murders me.

The Master tightened his grasp at the same moment they both felt a presence brush up against their bond, followed by unbridled fury. The Doctor instantly tried to pull back as the Master dug in his heels and hauled him forward. The Doctor struggled, using his greater height to his advantage as he tried to latch onto anything within grabbing distance. The Master pulled, letting the wall between the drumming and the Doctor drop just enough to cause the Doctor to lose his hold.

And so they fell before their founder in a tangle of limbs, hitting the floor hard as the Doctor instantaneously tried to retreat from Rassilon and detach himself from the Master.The Master reached out and snagged the Doctor’s ankle, hauling him back as he tried to scramble away.

“Release him,” a familiar voice bellowed a moment before Irving Braxiate rushed forward and quite literally dragged the Doctor out from underneath the Master. The Doctor stumbled back into his brother, bewilderment clear on his face before turning around and throwing his arms around the older Time Lord's neck.

“Enough,” Rassilon snarled, causing the Doctor to release his hold and quite literally hide behind his brother. The fear bleating through the bond was distracting.

Calm down, the Master demanded as he got to his feet and turned to face Rassilon with all the dignity he could muster. “My lord. So good of you to fetch us.”

Rassilon’s eyes turned from the Master and latched onto the Doctor. “You’ve bonded.”

“As approved by the council. Is there an issue?”

“How have you bonded?” Braxiate demanded, looking over his shoulder at the Doctor with a fierce scowl. “You didn’t comply willingly?”

“Of course I didn’t,” the Doctor said, his words barely more than a hiss. “He used the Sin, but the bond. It’ isn’t right, they -”

Silence, the Master screamed through the link. The Doctor flinched and there wasn’t a single person in the room who didn’t notice. I know your brother was involved. Say another word and I’ll tell Rassilon.”

The Doctor dropped his gaze, his grip on Braxiate visibly tightening.

Rassilon stepped toward the Doctor with a calculating expression. “We have some matters to discuss, but first -” Rassilon reached into his picket and drew out a long silver box. "We need to take some precautionary measures."

Chapter Text

“What is that?” the Doctor demanded, his panicked gaze jumping from Rassilon to the Master and back again.
.
“Why isn’t he restrained?” Rassilon asked, his expression suspiciously neutral as he ignored the Doctor and turned back to the Master.

“We’ve bonded,” the Master said, stepping forward slightly until he was partially blocking the Doctor and his brother from view. “Physical restraints are unnecessary.”

“I’m afraid I must respectfully disagree,” Rassilon said, sounding anything but respectful. “He’s already proven that the usual nullifying measures don’t apply, at least where he is concerned.”

“I said, what it is?” the Doctor shouted, causing all three men to stare at him. The bond was bleating angrily.

Rassilon didn’t even try to hide his smirk as he opened up the box, revealing a thin, intricately inscribed silver collar, attached to two bracelets by a long delicate chain.

“He will be required to wear this, indefinitely and at all times,” Rassilon’s eyes bored into the Master, hardening when he made no move to take the box from him. “It’s this or permanent confinement within a zero room.”

“And his collar?” The Master asked.

“I will remove it.”

The Master looked at the restraints and felt something dark well up inside of him. “You propose to put slavery bracelets on a Time Lord?”

“The Doctor couldn’t remove them from the anomaly. It gives us a mean to track him, should he try anything again.”

“The pain inducers have been removed,” Braxiate said, wilting slightly beneath the Doctor’s betrayed expression. He pulled his brother closer. “It was this or permanent imprisonment Doctor. You realise the trouble you’re in. Some wanted to -” he broke off, his eyes turning to Rassilon. “Please, don’t fight.”

The Master could feel the Doctors fear. His clear distaste for the new collar and restraints. The idea of forcing them on him was distasteful to the extreme.

Except, did run away. Except, they would offer an additional way to control the Doctor. Except, he deserved to be punished for all that he had done.

The Master inclined his head slowly at their founder.

Surprisingly the Doctor didn’t struggle. He did stiffen as Rassilon approached but his brother steadied him and the Doctor settled. Rassilon merely placed both hands around the Doctor’s collar and with a simple click it came loose.

The skin beneath was red and sore looking. The doctor lifted his hand, his fingertips about to brush his bared throat when Rassilon’s free hand shot out and caught the Doctor’ wrist in a bruising hold.

“You are fortunate you still have so many supporters at court Doctor. Many petitioned to sentence you to the Oubliette of Eternity, but the overall vote called for your confinement.”

“Much to your disappointment I’m sure,” the Doctor grunted, twisting slightly when Rassilon stepped closer to him. .

An unreadable look passed over their founders face but he smiled very slightly and gestured to the Master with the box. “If you wouldn’t mind Master?”

The Doctor’s eyes snapped to the Master. Don’t you bloody dare help him.

You should know better than to try and order me around Doctor. The Master closed the short distance between them and pulled a maniacal free from the box. It was lighter than what slaves were forced to wear, and prettier too. The chain attaching the bracelets and collar, though undoubtedly strong, was deceptively delicate looking.

The Doctor jerked as the Master fitted the first bracelet around his thin wrist. The Master tried to send calming thoughts to his beloved but it had never been a strong point of his. Nevertheless the Doctor did still, though his eyes took on a far away look as the second manacle was locked in place.

“The collar Master, if you please.”

The Doctor’s eyes tracked his every move. As the Master fitted the collar around the pale column of the Doctor’s throat his beloved couldn’t disguise the flash of despair that worked its way through the bond.

They’re not permanent, he promised.

Feeling guilty Master?

“There are ankle bracelets too,” Rassilon said, stepping back. The Master could feel his beloved’s relief. “The council agreed they would not need to be worn permanently but the first instance he tries to run I will cripple him,” his expression darkened. “I do not imagine it will be necessary to wait very long, given the Doctor’s inability to obey.”

Chapter Text

The chains made an annoying chiming noise whenever the Doctor so much as shifted. If that wasn’t irritating enough Rassilon’s sharp gaze would settle on him each and every time he moved, assessing and tense as he seemingly waited for the Doctor to make his move.

They restricted his movements too. Many of his previous forms liked to speak with their hands but his tenth regeneration was particularly expressive. It surprised him whenever he was in mid-speech and his movements would suddenly be stunted. He didn’t think he’d ever grow used to them.

They mercifully left him for alone for a time at least. Not out of sight. That apparently wasn’t allowed, despite the fact the Master could follow him anywhere. Still, it was nice to know he would have a little warning before someone could grab or push him around. He was becoming more than a little tired of being manhandled.

Jack was sat next to him. He hadn’t moved an inch in hours. The Doctor thought he looked awfully gaunt. There were dark circles around his eyes and a barrage of cuts and bruises covering every inch of available skin. They probably weren’t feeding him enough. The Master wouldn’t care if he starved to death. After all, poor Jack would just come back.

They weren’t looking at him. It couldn’t hurt to try, could it?

He pressed his hand against Jack’s cheek and tried to pinpoint his essence. There was nothing there. It was like he was just gone. “Jack,” he said, battering at the human's mind to try and pull him home. “Please come back. I can’t-” he pushed, so hard that bloody began to pour from Jack’s nose. Please, he almost keened.

He’s gone beloved. You should consider him a dead thing, if that help soothe your soft heart.

“Do you regularly communicate via the bond?” Rassilon asked, looking distrustfully at the Doctor.

The Master shrugged. “I’ve never been bonded before so I’ve no point of reference. But no more than most I imagine.”

“I note you allow him to keep his shields raised. I had hoped after you bonded you might encourage him to adhere to more social norms.”

“Much has happened of late. If he wishes to keep everyone else out then that is no concern of mine.”

The ‘for now’ was heavily implied.

“You have full access to his mind then?!

The Master’s expression darkened. “And he to mine.”

Rassilon nodded, deep in thought. “And his mind. How do you find it?”

How do I find it?” The Master repeated slowly. The Doctor felt a spark of anger with the words. “What do you mean?”

Rassilon was still looking at the Doctor, his expression unreadable. “His thoughts and beliefs are twisted. His mind… it has been corrupted by the experiences and the lives of animals he has allowed himself to become so embroiled in. There is no saving him Master. He is incapable of being one of us. Not anymore.”

Then why not let me go, he wanted to scream. To rally against his captors and demand they leave him be.

The Master gave him a sharp look even as Braxiatel visibly bristled. “The council has decreed the Doctor can be rehabilitated,” he said coldly. “You’re unwelcome comments regarding his mentality are unfounded and irrelevant,” he turned beseechingly to the Doctor, his thoughts pressingly gently against the Doctor’s shields. “You will be welcome among us once again Doctor. I promise.”

A unwelcome promise, the Doctor thought bitterly as he turned back to Jack. He tried to reach him again, uncaring that the Master knew exactly what he was up to. No response. The Doctor pulled his sleeved over his wrist and gently wiped the blood away from Jack’s nose. He felt the Master’s disgust through their bond and threw the other Lord a mocking smile, daring him to comment.

“How are you adapting to your new form Lord Sin?” Braxiate asked, oblivious to the little show going on between the Doctor and the Master as he gamely tried to change the subjec.

“It is - different,” the Sin answered shortly.

The Doctor personally thought the transformation was a huge improvement. The Sin might no longer be beautiful but he was seemingly less cruel and vindictive. Not kind but certainly better.

“It is your first change, is it not?”

“Yes,” the Sin answered, looking briefly to the Doctor before turning back to Braxiatel. “I am told the first is always the hardest.”

“A true enough statement. And of course, we all have our favourites they were mourn once they pass. I imagine it will stir quite a bit of talk at court. It has been sometime since we introduced a new regeneration among us.”

“I believe my beloved was the last, following his execution,” The Master said, sweet and cutting. A punishment for the Doctor’s small act of rebellion.

The Doctor quietly congratulated himself for not outwardly responding even as his gaze jumped to Rassilon. Their founder had been the one that sentence his ninth regeneration to death. The Doctor decided long ago to never think about his execution. He had in fact pushed the memory far down to the depths of his mind. He didn’t remember feeling it. Didn’t remember the fear and anguish. He allowed the regret to linger though, a punishment for the people he couldn’t save.

He reasoned that his tenth regeneration hadn’t had the chance to really grow as his previous forms had. Other than his short escape he had been kept under boot and heel. How old was he now? He thought he might be Nine hundred and fifty. Maybe he was closer to a thousand. He could live a long time in his current form. He wasn’t old yet. Not really. He wouldn’t die naturally for a very long time.

“I’m sure bringing back the Doctor will cause much more a stir than I could ever hope to,” the Sin said, his tone measured and uncaring despite the way he curled into himself. The Sin could pretend he had accepted his new form all he wanted but it was clear to anyone who chose to look that he was hurting.

“The recording will need to end,” Braxiatel said, looking back at the Doctor. “No need to prolong it any longer.”

“It certainly served its purpose,” the Master agreed cheerfully, just as Jack keeled over at the Doctor’s feet.

“Jack,” the Doctor said, falling to his knees beside the human and pressing a hand against his neck. There was a heartbeat but it was no faint the Doctor could barely detect it. He raised his head just above his friend's lips. “He isn’t breathing.”

The Master stood up, sauntering over to Jack before non-too gently pushing the Doctor aside. “Is it dying?”

“Give me your screwdriver,” the Doctor hissed, making a grab for the device but coming up short as the chains halted any further forward movement.

“Sin dear, when did you last water it?” the Master asked pleasantly.

The Sin pulled a distasteful expression. “I’m not its keeper cousin.”

“You haven’t been giving him regular water?” the Doctor asked, aghast. “You know human’s need -”

The Doctor’s words fell silent as Rassilon strode across the room and shot Jack in the head with a high impulse laser. Jack didn’t even flinch. One minute he was slowly dying and then he was just -

“Why is that thing still here. Surely you could have thrown it into a sun or something by now?” he demanded, putting the gun back in his pocket as he threw Jack a disgusted look.

“The Master uses it to control the Doctor,” the Sin said, tone disinterested. “You know how he dotes upon his humans.”

“I know only too well,” Rassilon said, staring at the Doctor with narrowed eyes. “You’ve done something with it’s mind have you?” he asked the Master, even as Jack came instantly back to life.

He stayed lying where he’d fallen. Unable to move without being told to. Unable to think.

This is wrong, the Doctor though, sudden and broiling fury building up inside him. “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be,” he hissed, standing to his feet. “This, all of this is wrong.”

“Shut up Doctor,” the Master said warningly, climbing to his feet and grabbing the Doctor’s chain.

“It’s wrong Braxiatel,” the Doctor said, twisting to look at his brother. “He changed things. Rassilon changed things. It isn’t -”

Last warning beloved. Shut your mouth or i’ll expose your brother. I swear to you -

“We’ve wasted enough time dallying with this primitive enforcement agency,” Rassilon said disdainfully , grabbing the Doctor's arm and pulling him out of the Master's grasp. “It’s time to go before the Doctor tries to corrupt anyone else with his lies.”

 

Chapter Text

The Sin watched with some trepidation as the Master stepped directly into Rassilon's path. He wasn’t stupid enough not to notice the animosity that had grown between their founder and his cousin. He had to wonder what the Master was thinking. Rassilon was the greatest among them. Crossing him was dangerous.

“Let go of him,” the Master sneered, low and flat. He held his hand out expectantly, clearly unhappy that their founder was touching what he considered his property.

Rassilon seemed surprised. His gaze moved slowly from the Master and then to the Doctor before a small smile turned up the corners of his lips. “Feeling territorial are we my lord?”

The Master reached forward and latched onto the chain between the Doctor’s wrists. He yanked him forward, clearly expecting Rassilon to let go. When the older Lords grip tightened the Doctor was jerked between them. He made a small, unhappy noise before suddenly twisting. He managed to break Rassilon’s hold but the Master held on, yanking on the Doctor’s wrist hard enough that the Sin was sure he heard something snap.

“Enough,” Braxiatel roared, striding forward and gently but firmly taking the Doctor’s manacled wrist between his hands. By some miracle the Master didn’t fight him and the Doctor seemed more than willing to stay within the circle of his brothers arms. “He is not one of your human slaves. The Doctor is a Time Lord and a member of my household. He will be treated with the respect due to him.”

“First of all my lord,” the Master sneered, stepping towards them. “He may well be a Time Lord but he was also disgraced and disowned by your house. And even if that wasn't the case I should not need to remind you that the Doctor is a part of my household. Not yours. Not anymore.”

“I will not abide physical violence against him. I heard the rumours Master. I know how you’ve treated him.”

“Your brother has a knack for angering his betters,” the Master said, a charming smile on his face. “If I’m honest it has been quite the chore keeping him alive. You should thank me Braxiatel.”

“The hell I will,” the older Lord sneered. “You’ve forced a bond on the Doctor against his will. I won’t -”

“It was sanctioned by the council,” Rassilon interrupted, his eyes still locked on the Doctor. “His methods may have been unconventional but I assure you no laws were broken. And as you can see the bonding isn’t without merit. The Doctor can’t use that clever little mind of his to plot another escape attempt. Not without the Master knowing.”

It was interesting how quickly Rassilon was willing to put aside his differences with the Master in favour of supporting their bond. It was no secret that their founder hated the Doctor but the Sin had never been certain why his hatred ran so strong. The Doctor was an eccentric, soft hearted fool but surely that wasn't reason enough to hate someone so spectacularly.

Something was clearly going on. The Doctor hinted at it enough, before the Master cut him off as something presumably threatening passed between their bond.

The Doctor was watching Rassilon, his large expressive eyes full of uncertainty. The Sin almost felt sorry for him. Shackled and trapped, his wild hair in disarray and his lean form seemingly more willowy than ever. He looked pathetic.

“I will take the matter up with the council,” Braxiatel uttered, but it seemed like a hollow threat.

The Master would win because Rassilon would make it so. And they all knew it.

“Which is your right my lord,” the Master said, his arms outstretched. He looked at the Doctor and something passed between them. With an almost discernible flinch the Doctor pulled free of his brother and allowed the Master to wrap an arm around his slender waist. He stayed very still, his gaze flickering momentarily to the anomaly before resting on the ground. “Now, if you’ll excuse us we require some much needed rest. I assume you’ll be kind enough to deal with the federation officials?”

Rassilon’s expression turned thunderous. The Doctor tried to shy away but the Master held on, grinning in the face of their founder.

“The federation has already been dealt with Master. We’re free to return immediately.”

“Excellent. Then I’ll fetch my TARDIS and we’ll be on our way.”

“I would prefer that you returned with us,” Rassilon said, the words hardly a suggestion. “The Doctor as you recall is grounded. He needs to fulfill his sentence.”

For the first time the Doctor’s composure broke. He tried to push the Master’s arm free but almost instantly stiffened, his eyes closing for a short moment before he visibly pulled himself together. It was a near thing though. The Doctor looked close to breaking.

“We will return posthaste,” the Master said, staring unblinkingly at Rassilon. “But first I must collect my TARDIS.”

“Braxiatel,” Rassilon said, his voice tight with anger. “Will you accompany him?”

“Of course my lord,”Braxiatel answered, his eyes lingering on the Doctor.

“Wonderful,” the Master chirped brightly. “Shall we?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor didn’t make too much of a fuss as walked between his brother and the Master. No one was holding on to him, which made a refreshing change. The chains were a nuisance of course, chiming with every step he took and constantly reminding him of the mess he was in. It would be nearly impossible to apply any sort of stealth as long as he was wearing them. They needed to go.

No one was speaking and the Master was mercifully keeping his mind to himself. The Doctor could almost pretend he wasn’t being dragged back to imprisonment and virtual slavery.

“Doctor, are you well?” Braxiatel questioned softly.

The Doctor realised with a start that he had stopped walking. He gave his head a little shake and tried a smile. “I’m fine. Fine.”

“Alright then,” the Master said as his hand landed on the Doctor’s shoulder and squeezed lightly. “Shall we go?”

“Yes,” the Doctor answered, even though his feet refused to move. “Alright.”

The Master’s expression darkened. “Doctor, don’t make me drag you.”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” Braxiatel said furiously. “Now take your hands off him. The Doctor isn’t going to resist. He just needs a moment. Isn’t that right brother?”

“I-” the Doctor looked between the two men and felt something painful lodge in his throat. “Braxiatel, I don’t want -”

“Doctor,” the Master said warningly. “I’m tired and you are clearly exhausted. Do not cause a scene. Let us return to the TARDIS so we may rest.”

“I can’t,” he said, stepping back. He didn’t know why he was even trying. He wasn’t going to get away. Not like this. And yet -

“Theta, you will control yourself,” the Master growled, their link spiking with irritation. “Come, now.”

“No,” the Doctor breathed, his hearts hammering his his chest. “No, I can’t. I won’t.”

He expected to be grabbed or pushed. He didn’t expect the Master to use his friend against him. “Jack, be a dear and pick up the Doctor,” the Master said, his eyes glued to Braxtial as Jack immediately complied. He caught the Doctor’s arm and pressed his shoulder into the other man’s stomach before throwing the Doctor over his shoulder. He clamped a large hand on his legs as the lighter man immediately started to squirm.

Tell him to put me down, the Doctor shouted through their bond. Master, tell him to put me down.

No, the Master said simply, continuing through the ship as Braxtial and Jack followed him. Perhaps if you stop trying to make a fool out of yourself you’ll be permitted to walk of your feet when we reach Gallifrey.

“Master, this is highly improper,” Braxiatel said, his eyes sharp. “Don’t think I won’t report your treatment of the Doctor to the council.”

“The Doctor is a renegade, my Lord. Report me all you like but the truth of the matter is that he was resisting. He is a prisoner. I was hardly going to leave him in the hallway and wait for him to make his own way to us.”

“He is your bondmate,” the older Lord said, his tone shocked.

“That hardly wipes away the seriousness of his crimes my Lord. Currently my main concern is keeping him away from any further trouble before he gets himself killed. Ah, here we are,” the Master said as they walked into a smaller space, lavishly decorated with a huge circle mosaic in the centre of the room depicting the local galaxy. From him upside down position the Doctor saw two Judoon guards standing guard on either side of a rather gaudy scripted door. “If you’d be so kind to inform the Librarian we’re here.”

One of the Judoon disappeared through the gilded doors and a moment later the Librarian stepped out to greet them. The Doctor didn’t bother to watch. He was more than aware of the site he must have presented. His pride had lessened considerably over the years but he could still feel shame.

“My Lords,” the librarian said, his tone respectful but slightly weary. “I’m told you’re preparing to depart. Can we be of any further assistance?”

The Doctor felt the Master’s irritation through the link. He wanted to punish the Librarian for daring to put them in a prison rather than the luxurious surrounding he felt he deserved. He was struggling not to lash out.

“My TARDIS. Where is it?”

“You-your TARDIS my lord?”

“My ship. The box,” he snapped, his voice rising in anger.

“Ah yes. Yes of course," the Librarian said nervously. "The Jadoon will show you the way.”

The Master started moving before the Librarian finished speaking. Jack followed him and after a short moment of hesitation Braxiatel fell into step beside them.

Chapter Text

The Doctor never enjoyed stepping into another Lord or Ladies TARDIS but the lingering sense of wrong that accompanied the Master’s ship made him stumble on the threshold. Braxtiel wasn’t immune either, hesitating for a moment before pressing his hands against the small of the Doctor’s back and urging him forward.

To say the ship was unwelcoming was an understatement, although it did seem to recognise the distorted link that existed between the Doctor and Master. Bizarrely the Doctor felt jealousy from the ship, coupled with the uncomfortable sensation of dislike. The Master’s TARDIS did not want the Doctor onboard and wasn’t being shy about letting him know.

The interior was mostly black with some subdued hues of grey. Just looking at the control room made the Doctor feel inexplicably miserable. It was sleek and included a number of components the Doctor had never seen before, indicating a new or upgraded model. It made sense he supposed, given his special relationship with Rassilon.

Doctor, your TARDIS. Where is it?

It wasn’t an unexpected question but it was a most unwelcome one. The Doctor instinctively threw up his shields, even though he knew it would only take a thought from the other Lord to make them crumble.

Leave her alone.

Beloved, let’s not play this game. It is unbecoming. Where is it?

They’ll destroy her, the Doctor said, knowing that the Master wouldn’t care but desperate to make him understand. She’s all I have left. I won’t let you -

Your attachments to these machines never fails to amaze me Doctor. Come now, don’t make me force you. I can find where she’s hidden if I’m willing to dig deeply enough.

Please Master, leave her -

“Doctor, are you well?” Braxtiel asked with a note of concern. “You’re shaking?”

“He’s exhausted,” the Master responded, grabbing the Doctor’s arm. “It’s high time he took some rest. If you will excuse us my lord, we will retire. The ship will show you to your room.”

“One bruise, Master,” Braxtiel warned. “Even one and I will know clearly that you put it there. I will not abide it and I will report you to the council.”

“Do not threaten me in my own TARDIS my lord,” the Master said, his grip on the Doctor tightening. “The Doctor is mine. Mine. And nothing you nor the council say will change that,” he pulled, forcing the Doctor to walk alongside him. A room opened up the moment they entered the corridor and immediately sealed shut behind them.

“He would do well to mind his tongue. His fate is already an unsure one.”

“He worries about me,” the Doctor said, pulling his arm free and putting some much needed space between them. “You can’t lock away everyone that cares for me Master. I do still have some friends at court.”

“Clearly, otherwise how would you have escaped. You’re very, very clever beloved, but you would have needed a little help at least. There were the disgusting, repulsive humans of course, your brother. But who else?”

“Is revenge really so important to you?” the Doctor asked earnestly. “You have what you wanted. I’m here with you, we’re bonded and I am bound in every sense of the word. Why can’t you just leave things as they are?”

“They helped you once,” the Master said. “They may try to help you again.”

“I would never go to them again,” the Doctor said truthfully. Not after putting them in so much danger. “And you know that.”

“We have a long life ahead of us Doctor. I don’t think you can make a promise like that and expect me to believe you.”

The Doctor something painful lodge in his chest. “Please Master. I am begging you. Leave them be. You’ve already taken so much from me. Can’t you -”

“I am tired. You are exhausted. It’s time for us to sleep.”

The Doctor closed his eyes and released a deep sigh. He looked over at the bed and then down at his clothing. He couldn’t remove his shirt whilst wearing the manacles, which was frankly fine by him. He started towards the bed when the Master caught his arm. “You are filthy.”

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks,” the Doctor said flatly.

The Master went to one of the bedside cabinets and pulled out a wicked looking dagger, which he brandished in front of the Doctors face with a knowing smile. “I would advise you to stay still.”

He did remain completely still as the Master took great pleasure cutting through the Doctor’s soiled clothes. When he was standing naked the other lord stepped back and slowly looked him up and down. “If I didn’t know any better, beloved, I would say you were somehow skinnier than when we first started. Have you been eating?”

“I want clothes Master,” the Doctor said, refusing to look away. Refusing to be cowled by a tatic that was clearly supposed to intimidate.

“I must say Theta, that you do look quite fetching like this. The chains are a pretty touch.”

“Clothes, Master.”

Ah, you’re no fun, the other lord mocked as he walked to a wardrobe and pulled out a red pair of leisure stockings and a long, cream tunic. The Doctor realised there were a number of small buttons down the side of the shirt, which would enable him to pull in on around the manacles. It was something he would have to get used to.

He was a little surprised when the other lord passed him the clothes without mocking him. The Doctor didn’t hesitate putting them on, feeling considerably better when he was covered. The Master watched him throughout, his expression unreadable.

“It’s time to sleep beloved.”

The Doctor didn’t hesitate, climbing onto the bed and settling onto his side. He was pleasantly surprised when the Master lay down and didn’t attempt to touch him. After a few moments he felt the bond between them quiet to a soft hum and realised the Master had fallen into a deep slumber.

Chapter Text

The Master decided the Doctor could face the council later. For now he wanted the other man home so he could keep an eye on him in the safety of their own house. Braxtiel wasn’t thrilled of course, but there was little he could do other than gripe. The Doctor belonged to him and they both knew it.

Marnal was waiting for them at the gate, alongside Valcron and Aurora. The Doctor didn’t hesitate when the Master caught the chain between his wrists and pulled him forward. “Father, mother, cousin,” he said, bowing very slightly. “It is good to see you.”

“And you son,” Marnal said, his gaze flickering to the Doctor, lingering on the chains with obvious distaste.

He disapproves, the Doctor said through the link.

Not enough to help you beloved. Haven’t you learned that yet?

“Have you bonded?” Valcron asked sharply, eyes widening in surprise.

Ah, his mother had always been sensitive to such things. It wasn’t how he wanted them to find out, but it couldn’t be helped. “I’m sorry you couldn’t be present. You understand the delicacy of the situation i’m sure.”

“How,” Marnal asked, looking between them. “Did the Doctor consent?”

“Assuredly no,” the Doctor said, grunting slightly when the Master dragged him closer.

Shut up.

“Ignore him. He is still coming to terms with certain truths.”

“Where is the Sin?” Aurora asked sweetly, clearly trying to diffuse the situation.

You should warn them, the Doctor advised. It will be a shock.

“She will be arriving shortly. The Doctor and I travelled ahead. I thought to get him settled before any other unpleasantness took place.”

“Will he be called upon by the council?”

“It’s likely,” the Master said, refusing to look at the Doctor. “He made a fool of the council. They will not forgive such a slight anytime soon.”

And my slight against you Master. Will that be forgiven?

“We’ll meet for dinner shortly,” Marnal said, his voice falsely bright. “We’ll let you freshen up before then.”

“Thank you father,” the Master said, using his hand on the Doctor’s arm to guide him. “We’ll speak shortly.”

************************

They think what you’ve done to me is wrong you know.

They think i am a fool for tying myself to you Doctor. Nothing more.

It’s hardly going to help your standing at court, the Doctor admitted readily enough. His eyes locked onto a slave girl, hurrying by with a tray full of goblets. I thought you said you -

She's new, I presume. All of the others were destroyed.

Grief, hot and spiking. It made the Master’s nose twitch.

You didn’t have to kill them all.

So you’ve said before.

Haven’t they already been through enough?

It’s your fault Doctor. You never should have used them to help you escape. You remember what happened to the Direwolf. Why would they be any different?

Burning hot anger.

Two helped me. You killed dozens.

One or a thousand, their lives mean nothing to me.

You killed them all to hurt me.

Yes.

Silence.

And I will do it again Doctor. Do not test me.

Silence.

I will be obeyed.

Silence

******************

The Doctor didn’t protest as the proximity cuffs were wrapped around his ankles. He honestly didn’t see the point.

He was relieved at least, when the other Lord set them wide enough to allow him some freedom.

“Do not make me regret it,” the Master said when he stood up and stepped back.

The Doctor nodded his head and waited.

“You’ve been quiet lately.”

“I’ve very little to say,” the Doctor admitted. He didn’t feel beaten exactly, but he was certainly weary. He noticed Jack across the other side of the room, silent and empty. He wanted his friend back.

“You always have something to say. Especially in this regeneration. It’s one of the more irritating things about you.”

I’m tired Koschei.

“Very well then, you should rest. Do not leave this room unless I give you permission. The cuffs settings are not an invitation for you to go wondering.”

Silence.

************************

“They mock me,” the Sin said, taking a seat opposite the Doctor. His deep green eyes were really the only thing about the Time Lord that could be considered striking. The Doctor instantly knew what he was talking about

“Your sisters?”

“They call me ugly. Unsightly. They mock me for all I’ve lost.”

“It happens to us all,” the Doctor said softly. “It will come to them too.”

“Did you ever care, when it happened to you? Are there any forms you truly miss?”

“I miss them all,” the Doctor admitted, smiling wistfully. “I had a lot more freedom back them. Life was one big adventure,” he turned to the other Time Lord and squeezed his knobbly knee. “You’ll mourn and then you’ll learn to move on. We all do.”

Confusion bled through the Sin’s shields. “You comfort me when I helped imprison you. Why?”

The Doctor took a moment to think through his answer. “Because I believe I can forgive you.”

“Why would you want to?”

“It’s not in my nature to hold on to hate and you’ve not done anything unforgivable yet. I have faith that you might become a good person, Sin.”

“A good person,” he scoffed. “Like you Doctor?”

“If you like.”

“I’ve seen what being a good person gets you. I’d rather avoid life imprisonment, thank you.”

The Doctor shrugged. “Time will tell.”

Surprisingly the Sin didn’t get up to leave. “I’m told you’re a genius?”

Despite himself the Doctor smiled. “Well I am very, very clever.”

“Are you smarter than the Master?”

The Doctor rested his chin in his hand. “What do you think?”

“I think you’re dangerous Doctor. Just like they all day you are.”

**************

“Thank you,” the Doctor said, reaching out to take a goblet of water. He didn’t expect the sudden grip on his hair that sent him stumbling backwards.

“You don’t speak to them. Ever,” the Master said, the bond between them spiking violently. He turned to the cowering girl and grabbed her chin, wrenching her head up to face him. “And you, you putrid little bag of nothingness. You will tell the others that if I catch a single one of you speaking to the Doctor, even if it is to respond to a direct order, I will have them skinned alive. Do you understand me?”

The girl's terror was palatable. She nodded her head feverently and immediately dropped to the floor when the Master released her.

“Come,” he said, stepping forward and clearly expecting the Doctor to follow. With one last resigned look at the girl the Doctor did as he was bid and fell into step beside the other Lord. “Rassilon expects us,” The Master said, trying to sound casual.

“And you offered our apologies?” the Doctor asked, trying to calm his beating hearts.

The Master threw him an unimpressed look. “What do you think?”

“Oh I don’t know. Even you’re capable of a little mercy now and again.”

The Master’s hand encircled the Doctor’s wrist, just above the manacle. “He is in a foul mood today. You will not test him.”

“Why?” the Doctor asked, tone pleasant. “What more can he do to me?”

The Master’s grip tightened as a strong wave of protectiveness bled through the bond. “Let’s hope we never have to find out. Just remain quiet. Don’t even look at him unless necessary.”

“Eyes to the floor, mouth closed. It sounds like dinner in your house.”

“You’re being uncharacteristically glib today,” the Master noted, poking gently at the Doctor’s shields. “What have you been up to?”

Don’t, the Doctor snarled through the bond and, surprisingly, the Master drew back. “Nothing. I went for a walk in the gardens.”

“Did you speak to anyone?”

The Doctor pushed back his irritation. “You know I didn’t.”

“Good. You’re livelier for no reason then? The prospect of seeing Rassolin usually terrifies you.”

“It becomes somewhat dull, being frightened all the time. I thought I might take a break from it for a while.”

“You’re up to something.” The Master said, glaring at him.

“So everyone tell me. Pity I’m not in on any of these great conspiracies.”

“You will behave.’

Silence.

Chapter Text

Rassilon was waiting in the Master’s study, sitting in the Masters favourite high back chair. “My Lord,” he said, not bothering to stand up when he noticed them.

It was rude but not unexpected. “My Lord,” the Master said back, using his hand on the Doctor’s back to guide him to his seat. “We’re honoured to have you in our house. Have you been offered anything. Tea perhaps?”

“I’m fine,” their founder said flatly, his gaze jumping to the Doctor. “Is he behaving then?”

The Doctor visibly bristled.

“Things have been pleasant enough and the Doctor is settling well into his new role. There haven’t been any incidents.”

Rassilon was still staring at the Doctor. “He’s planning something.”

Are you? The Master asked through the bond. He was very clearly broadcasting his amusement but couldn’t quite disguise the nagging sensation of accusation.

The Doctor turned to look at him. What do you think?

“He isn’t,” the Master said, confident that the Doctor wasn’t trying to hide anything from him. “He can’t hide anything within the bond. I would see.”

“If anyone could, it’s the Doctor,” Rassilon said. It wasn’t a compliment. “Send him out, will you? There are things we need to discuss.”

The Doctor stood without further prompting, bowing slightly to their founder. “My lord,” he said, his chains chiming together prettily.

“Doctor,” Rassilon acknowledged, watching the other lord until he was gone from the room. “Such a soft looking thing,” he said, turning back to the Master. “One might not ever suspect how dangerous he is.”

“The Doctor is fully under my control,” the Master said, disliking the way their founder watched his beloved. “I’ve learned from my mistakes. It won’t happen again.”

“We’ll see,” the other lord responded flatly. “Have you heard the rumours?”

“Rumours?” the Master asked with a purposeful grin. “There are so many. Which rumour are you referring to precisely?”

“Civil war,” Rassilon said, sitting forward intently. “There are fractions among us. Those that think we may have gone too far in regards to the humans. In regards to the Doctor.”

“Their leader?” the Master asked, though he suspected he already knew.

“Irving Braxiatel, supported by the Corsair and Romanadvoratrelundar, though they’ve yet to take an official standing. They all have considerable influence, my lord.”

“Have them arrested,” the Master said, trying not to allow his trepidation to show. “I have reason to believe that Braxtiel and the Corsair had a hand in the Doctor’s last escape. Take them to tribunal.”

“You knew this and didn’t report it?”

No, because he begged me not to.

“I’m telling you now.”

Rassilon’s expression darkened. If the Master was a lesser lord he might have been intimidated. “It is too late now. Any move against them will be seen as an act of desperation. We’re already cracking. We cannot allowed to fraction off.”

“Then what do you reccomend?”

“The easiest solution would be to remove the Doctor from the equation.”

Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum

“Do you know to whom you speak, my lord?” the Master spat between gritted teeth. When had he stood? “Try and hurt him and I will burn you and yours to the ground.”

Rassilon looked mildly shocked. “So not an option then. Very well. Then we shall have to make a move against Braxtiel. Not an easy feat, given the prominence of his household.”

“Then do not attack his house,” the Master said, sitting slowly and making an effort to quiet the drums and the incessant need to hurt. “Attack him. Besmirch his honour however you may. Make the people hate him. After all, you are our founder. You are our high lord. Not Braxtiel, whose house is only notable due to it’s sheer volume of members, most of which are clerks or citizens of equal insignificance. Knock him from his pedestal, my lord.”

Rassilon nodded his head slowly, clearly warming to the idea. “You must keep the Doctor under thumb in the meanwhile. He is to have no outside contact.”

“I have full dominion over the Doctor. He will not become embroiled in any of this, no matter how much the people may wish to sway him to the cause. He is mine to control.”

“Very well. I will leave you now, Master. Report back to me regularly. We must be ready to quash this stupidity by any means necessary.”

 

************

The Master could feel the drums, beating wildly and erratically through his mind, through his very being. The Doctor was his. His to control, to own and his to ruin. Neither Rassilon, nor Braxtiel nor any other lord or lady in the universe could take away the Master’s rightful property.

The Doctor was gardening. An unlikely pastime given his usual restlessness and something the Master was convinced he had taken up out of pure boredom. He was on his knees, bent over a flowerbed. He straightened up when he noticed the Master. His expression shuttered, becoming uncertain. “What -”

The Master was moving before he even considered what he was doing. He dealt the Doctor a fierce backhanded slap than sent the other lord sprawling. The Master followed him to the ground, forcing the Doctor’s face into the dirt and pressing down hard on his neck.

“Mine,” he screamed, pressing down harder. “You are mine.”

The Doctor flailed, his slender body bucking and withering in a desperate attempt to free himself.

“Do you hear me, you sanctimonious little whore. You belong to me. You will not escape here. You will not -”

Master,” a voice barked, shocking him out of his red haze of anger. He felt a hand on his shoulder and then he was being hauled backwards. When his vision cleared he realised it was the Sin. “What in the hell are you doing?”

The Doctor sat up slowly. His lip was bleeding and his face and ridiculous hair was caked in mud. His large eyes were the size of two dinner plates.

“He deserved it,” the Master hissed, pushing his cousins hands away with a growl. “Even now he’s causing friction among us, or haven’t you heard cousin?”

“I’ve heard the rumours,” the Sin said, stepping back to put space between them. “As would you have had you not sequestered yourself away with him.”

“So then you know it’s his fault?”

“How Master? He has been here, with you, for months. Surely you can’t blame his mere existence for -”

“Is his actions that have done this to our people. His bizarre way of thinking. It is his fault.”

The Sin took a deep breath. “You carry on like that and you will kill him. You’ve only had him for a few months Master. The Doctor is already on his tenth regeneration. You cannot afford to kill him every time you lose your temper.”

“He is mine to do with as I will,” the Master said, but he wasn’t looking at either of them now. He could feel the Doctor's uncertainty through their link. His fear. “Clean yourself up,” he snapped before turning on his heels and taking his leave.

Chapter Text

“Are you alright”? The Sin asked, trying not to sound too sympathetic. It was difficult though. With the chains, blood and dirt the Doctor looked truly pathetic.

“I’m fine,” the other lord said, smiling weakly as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Has a bit of a nasty temper, doesn’t he?”

“Did you provoke him?”

“Funnily enough, no. At least not this time,” the Doctor winced and when he drew back his fingertips they were coated in blood. He looked about himself blearily before grabbing hold of the bottom of his tunic, biting down on an edge with his teeth and pulling.

“What are you doing?” the Sin asked, startled as the Doctor shredded his tunic.

“Trying to avoid bleeding all over my flowerbeds, obviously,” the other lord snarked, pressing the rags against his scalp.

“With your clothes, Doctor? Really?”

“What am I supposed to do, just drip everywhere?”

Despite himself the Sin could feel a smile curling the corners of his lips. “You truly are an unusual creature.”

“You’re not the first person to tell me so,” he answered, moving slowly to his feet. “Do you know what’s happening then?”

The Sin struggled to hide his surprise. “Even if I did know something do you honestly think I would tell you?”

“You might,” the older lord said with a shrug. He stumbled slightly before righting himself. “An uprising then?”

“Not yet,” the Sin answered cautiously. He saw something spark in the Doctor’s eyes and cautiously raised his shields. “And not ever, if Rassilon and the Master have their way.”

“Among our people or the humans?” he asked, ignoring the latter.

“Really Doctor,” the Sin said, forcing a childing tone. “You know better.”

The other lord’s face screwed up for a moment before his eyes widened in surprise. “Oh. Oh that is good.”

“What are you prattling on about?”

“It’s about bloody time,” he said softly.

“Doctor, you are treading a dangerous path. I advise you to keep your head down and your opinions to yourself. The Master will not be forgiving if you pry.”

The Doctor settled his hands on his narrow hips, straining the extent of his chains. “The Master is never forgiving. Or haven’t you noticed?”

“I will not discuss this with you. Go to your room. Now.”

“As you like,” the Doctor said, bowing slightly. He was smiling though. Wide and a little crazed.

“Go,” the Sin said, watching him leave and barely repressing a shudder. He didn’t know what it was about the other lord that left him so illatease. He was powerless and friendless. Chained and bound. He should have posed no threat.

And yet…

 

***************

The Doctor settled Jack onto the ground, his legs sprawled out in front of him as he silently regarded his friend. He reminded the Time Lord of a puppet that's strings had been cut. Jack’s vacant eyes stared sightlessly back at the Doctor, so very blue and utterly devoid of life.

“I feel like you’ve been gone for a very long time, Jack,” the Doctor admitted, pressing his hand against his friends gaunt cheek. They weren’t feeding him enough. He was slowly starving. “I miss you very much.”

No answer. Not that he’d expected anything less. He dropped his shields and pressed inside Jack’s mind. It was empty and devoid of everything that made Jack the marvellous person he was. His essence was just gone.

“Not gone,” the Doctor whispered, pressing closer, pushing. “You’re somewhere. I know you are.”

Trapped and buried, the Master said. He wasn’t trapped inside his own mind like before. The Doctor had inspected every part of his mind. He wasn’t there.

But he wasn’t gone. It didn’t make any sense.

He was limited in who he could approach for help. The Master kept him on an unbearably short lease. He wasn’t allowed out of the house. Visitors were a definite no.

It was some time later that the Master entered their chambers. His eyes passed over the Doctor and Jack and a small spark of displeasure ran through their bond.

“Obsessing over that thing is not good for you Doctor,” he commented as he disrobed and pulled on his leisurewear. He rolled his shoulders, clearly stiff and tense. He walked into the Doctor’s space and caught him under the arms, hoisting him to his feet. The Doctor found himself spun around until he was facing the other lord. Gentle things ghosted over his cheek.

“You’ve calmed down then?” the Doctor asked, trying to keep his tone neutral.

“You would do well not to test me, Doctor,” the Master said, but there was little heat in his words.

The Doctor cautiously pressed against the Master’s mind and heard whispered thoughts of civil war. The hold of his shoulder tightened. “They think to rally to you.”

“As Rassilon feared. Will you tell me who initiated it?”

“I don’t know yet, but I intend to address the citadel at the earliest opportunity.”

“You’ll offer Rassilon your support?”

“You know I will, beloved.”

“And me? Where will I be whilst you’re in the citadel?”

The master’s expression grew severe. “I want to keep you out of the public eye.”

“Of course you do,” the Doctor said, trying not to sound bitter. “So, what’s it to be then?”

“You’ll stay here. The Sin will watch you.”

The Doctor waited tensely.

“You will be shackled.”

He forced his expression to remain blank.

“And?”

“And, beloved?”

“And what else?”

The Master pressed his forehead against the Doctor’s and pushed. You will remain in the house. Do not talk to anyone, other than my family. Am I understood?”

“Perfectly.”

He stepped back, watching the Doctor intently. “Do not cross me Doctor. I can’t be held responsible for my actions if you do.”

“What is it you imagine I’m going to do?”

The Masters expression darkened. “For your own sake, be silent.”

The Doctor bowed his head very slightly before settling back besides Jack. He looked at the his friend for a long moment before steeling himself for the worse. “I thought you might consider releasing him?”

“The freak?” the Master scoffed, his lips curling cruelly. “It isn’t every coming back Doctor. Steel yourself to that fact.”

“You have the power,” the Doctor said, forcing himself to remain numb to the Master’s cruelty. “You could give him back to me.”

“Why would I want to? Why should I after what you did?”

The Doctor was silent for a long time. “Haven’t you punished me enough?”

“No,” the other lord said, his eyes intense. “Not even close. You left me Doctor. You humiliated me.”

“And you’ve humiliated me a hundred times over. You killed my friends. You killed the innocent humans who served in this household. Please, Master, give him back to me.”

“No,” the other lord snarled. “You don’t get to have friends anymore, Doctor. Not when each and everyone of them somehow ends up willing to sacrifice everything for you. Pah, you chose the alias, Doctor. You should have called yourself the Manipulator.”

The Doctor pressed his face against the humans shoulder and breathed shallowy. “When do you leave?”

“Eager to be rid of me, beloved?”

“Quite,” the Doctor said, aware of how weary he sounded. “So?”

“The Shackles first and then I’ll leave.”

“Of course,” he answered, his tone wooden.

The Master watched him, his expression thoughtful before turning on his heels and leaving. Presumibly to fetch the shackles.

The Doctor turned back to Jack. “You’re there. Somehow, I know you’re still there.”

Chapter Text

“I’ve come to fetch you for supper,” Castellan Marnal said, his face pinched as his gaze travelled slowly over the Doctor. He frowned very slightly. “You received my summons earlier?”

“I did,” the Doctor agreed, turning away from Jack and meeting the old ones unimpressed gaze. “And I sent back my apologies. I’m not hungry, my lord.”

“You have been in this room, alone, for days, Doctor. You would do well to leave your chambers and socialise.”

The Doctor felt his face twitch at the older lords words. There was a time, not so long ago, when he looked up to Marnal. He once thought the man was a great hero and adventurer. They had even shared a TARDIS.

“I’m fine where I am, thanks.”

The old one sighed. “I’m afraid I must insist.”

The Doctor felt a flash of anger. “I said no.”

“Doctor -”

“Will you have me dragged?” the Doctor snapped, enraged. “Will you fetch a slave, or do it yourself? I can’t do much to stop you. Not when I’m wearing these,” he held his shackled hands up in front of him. “Well?”

Marnal took a deep breath before visibly deflating. He shook his head tiredly. “Very well, Doctor. Stay here if it pleases you, but know you are welcome to join us anytime.”

The Doctor stared at him until the other man left and then turned back to Jack. “Alright then, Jack. Let’s try something new, shall we?”

He pressed inside Jack’s mind, going deeper than ever before. There was indeed a spark, something inside Jack he had sensed all along. But it wasn’t him, he realised with a start. The thing inside Jack was a sort of a parasite, only capable of understanding the simplest commands.

“Gone,” the Doctor whispered, deflated as the ugly, foreign thing inside Jack became sluggishly aware of his presence. “You really are gone.”

But gone where? Had the Master truly destroyed Jack’s essence, or had he simply moved it?

“Oh, oh that’s it. Of course, that’s it.”

He removed himself from Jack’s mind, leaving the thing where it was for now. He stood up excitedly and stepped eagerly towards the Master’s study when the chains suddenly pulled on his legs and sent him stumbling to his knees.

“Damn it,” he hissed, more annoyed than hurt. He stood up more slowly and shuffled forward. He looked at the locks on the door quizzically. “You wouldn’t destroy him completely,” the Doctor said, his gaze locked on the door. “You wouldn't want to lose a way to control me.”

He didn’t have the tools he needed to get into the Master’s study. Perhaps with a sonic screwdriver, given enough time he might be able to force his way inside. But how to get his hands on one?

“Someone’s bound to hold one,” he said, rubbing his hands through his hair and turning back to Jack. But which one? Not the Sin. The younger lord had become much more congenial towards the Doctor, but he wouldn’t aid him. The Master’s father and mother were too obsessed with their standing among the court to even dream of helping him.

He couldn’t go to the slaves. He couldn’t risk their lives. Not again.

Which left the Master’s sisters, Aurora and Malam. He immediately dismissed Aurora. The woman worked with Rassilon and would undoubtedly be loyal to him. Trusting her would be dangerous.

So Malam then. The Doctor could count on one hand the number of times he had spoken to her. Unlike her siblings, Malam was quiet. She was pretty but not particularly powerful.

The Master called him the manipulator. With an inward shudder of disgust, the Doctor had to give his words some credence. But the Master wouldn’t harm his own kin for helping him. He wouldn’t be allowed.

He waited until he was sure supper was finished before taking a short walk to the gardens. The humans he passed quickly ducked their heads when he stepped past them, too terrified to even look at him. When the Doctor reached the gardens he was reminded of the old man he had met there before running. The one who had been captured from earth. The Doctor couldn’t recall his name.

Dead now, he thought mournfully.

“Who is dead?” the Sin asked, startling him badly.

“What?” he asked, building up his shields and frankly furious with himself for allowing his defenses to drop enough that someone could hear him.

“You mourn someone,” he said, stepping beside the Doctor and looking out at the gardens. “Who was it?”

“A Gardiner,” the Doctor said softly.

He felt the Sin staring at him. “All of that pain and anguish, for a slave? Really, Doctor, you do yourself no favours.”

The Doctor shrugged. The Sin wasn’t the sibling he wanted to talk to.

“Father says you refused his summons.”

“Do you care?”

“Your bondmate will be displeased.”

“Everything displeases him,” the Doctor said, his eyes drawn to the two figures some distance away, walking leisurely through the meadows. “Why aren’t you with your sisters?”

“My company isn’t as welcome as it once was,” he said, sounding forlorn.

“You still have the Masters favour and he, in turn, is a favourite of Rassilon. You should seek them out separately. I’m sure you would get on splendidly with Aurora.”

The Sin gave him a shrewd look. “Why are you trying to help me. Why do you care?”

“I don’t really. Just bored. I haven’t had much to do recently.”

“You could have come to dinner.”

“I’m not that bored,” the Doctor said, flashing the younger lord a bright, cheeky smile. The sort of smile that made people smile back at him.

The Sin, surprisingly, was no exception. The corner of one lip twitched up into a slight smile. “You are aware you can’t charm me, aren’t you Doctor.”

“Of course,” he said, his smile widening further. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Very well then. I’ll try it your way. I would invite you to walk with me, but I can’t abide your shuffling.”

The Doctor shrugged and planted himself on the steps, making himself comfortable. “Off you go then.”

The Sin bowed his very slightly and made his way to his sisters. The Doctor watched the way he skillfully wormed his way between them and how they slowly but surely excluded Malam until she was trailing behind them. Eventually, she turned away completely and walked back to the main house.

“Hello,” the Doctor said, as she made to walk past him.

She startled a little, clearly surprised he had spoken. “Oh, hello Doctor. Are you having a pleasant evening?”

“It’s pleasant enough I suppose,” the Doctor said, looking up at the twin suns with a wistful smile. “I always liked this time of day. Don’t you?”

“Oh yes. Yes, it’s lovely,” she said, smiling when she followed the Doctor’s gaze. “Father said you didn’t wish to join us for dinner.”

“Not hungry,” the Doctor said with a shrug. The chains rattled and Malam’s eyes were inevitably drawn to his wrists. “But I find fresh air does the body some good. Don’t you think?”

“Of course. I would invite you to walk with me, but -” she broke off, waving at the chains awkwardly.

“Ah, another time perhaps,” the Doctor said, smiling gently.

“Well, goodnight Doctor.”

“Goodnight, lady Malam.”

Chapter Text

“Are you going to finish that?” the Doctor asked as he collapsed into the seat beside Malam and plucked the pastry out of her hands.

Her eyes grew impossibly wide as she turned to look at him. “Oh-I, I suppose not. Go ahead.”

The Doctor was already eating. He grinned at the incredulous look on her face. “I’ve been banned from the kitchens. They’ve even posted a guard,” he said around a mouth full of food, “and I’ve been informed by your father that if I don’t eat with the family I don’t eat at all. Fancy that.”

She smiled tentatively back at him. “Then it would be sensible, would it not, to eat with us?”

The Doctor shrugged. “I don’t like being forced into formal occasions. They make my stomach churn.”

Her expression turned sympathetic. “I suppose I can understand. It can become a little tedious, night after night. However, even we need to eat on occasion, Doctor. You can’t survive on stolen pastries alone.”

“Oh, this’ll keep me going for ages,” the Doctor responded, leaning back causally. He noticed how she mirrored him and resisted a smile. “What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without food, Malam?”

“I eat every day, I suppose. Unless I forget. It’s a ritual, really. Father’s excuse to get all of us together in one place. Didn’t your house have a similar practice?”

“Oh no, nothing like that. We would come together, rarely. There are quite a few of us, as you’re aware.”

“That must have been odd, growing up with so much family around you. It’s only ever been the three of us. The Master is unlikely to have children, or so the Sin says,” she looked away, blushing slightly. “I suppose now you’ve bonded it’s even more unlikely. ”

The Doctor could only hope she was right. If the Master sired a child he would make it his life purpose to corrupt the little one . No one deserved a life like that, least of all an innocent.

“Were you born or loomed, Malam?”

She turned back to him, clearly shocked. “Doctor, people do not ask such things in polite conversation.”

He ran his hand through his hair, making it appear even wilder than normal and perpetuating his supposed eccentricity. “I was natural born. Another reason why Rassilon dislikes me so much, I’m sure. It’s not exactly fashionable, is it?”

She continued to look at him with wide eyes. “I can honestly say I have never met anyone even remotely like you, Doctor.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, will I?” he stood up and brushed off the pastry crumbs. “What are you up to today?”

“Oh, I was going to go to market,” she stood with him, frowning slightly. “I would invite you along but I don’t think…” she trailed off, clearly uncomfortable.

“Under house arrest for the foreseeable future,” the Doctor said brightly. “Well, don’t let me keep you. Perhaps when you get back later I could visit with you for a time?”

There was a small twinkle in her eye as she lent towards him. “Perhaps I might buy some pastries whilst I’m out.”

He grinned back at her. “You my dear, are a terrible influence.”

 

“I’m quite sure,” she answered, straightening her skirts before bowing very slightly. “Until later, Doctor.”

He waved her goodbye and turned back to the house. He didn’t get very far before the Sin fell into step beside him. The Doctor spared the other lord a nod of greeting and hurried his steps slightly.

“Avoiding me, Doctor?” he asked, seemingly intrigued.

“Not at all,” the older lord said enthusiastically. “Just felt like going for a walk. I like to see how far I can get before the proximity cuffs kick in. How are things with your sister?”

“Decidedly better. And I see you’re amusing yourself with Malam. Becoming sure friends, are you?”

“She’s sweet,” the Doctor said, which was true enough. “Besides, the Master wanted me to spend time with his family, didn’t he?”

“I don’t think he expected that person to be my little sister. Still, if it’s keeping you out of trouble I don’t suppose I see the harm. Will you be coming to dinner tonight or are you staying firm in your little act of rebellion?”

“I’m not rebelling,” the Doctor scoffed. “It’s your uncle that’s trying to prove a point. I doubt he’s really so desperate for my company. I’m sure your aunt isn’t.”

“Once the rebel, always the rebel. And you’re quite right that Valcorn doesn’t want anything to do with you.”

“That almost makes me tempted to go,” the Doctor said brightly. “But I think I’ll pass.”

“What are you doing instead, to fill your time?”

“This and that,” the Doctor said, trying to appear nonchalant without overdoing it.

The Sin gave him a searching look. “You’re not up to something, are you?”

“You sound like the Master.”

“That’s because I know you well enough to realise what you’re capable of.”

“That almost sounds like a compliment.”

“I’m sure you think so,” his gaze became oddly intimate. “Are you losing weight?”

Despite himself the Doctor was surprised. “Don’t tell me you’re worried about me.”

The Sin continued to stare before abruptly shaking his head. “You’re joining us for dinner?”

“I am not,” the Doctor said, planting his feet. The Sin stopped too.

“Yes you are.”

“You seem to have mistaken your role, Sin. You are not my bondmate and you are not above me in this household. You can’t command me.”

Something of the old Sin bled into the other lords expression. “You are a renegade, Doctor. I think you’ll find everyone in this house is above you in rank. Now follow me.”

“Follow you where?” the Doctor demanded, shuffling back when the Sin went to take his arm.

“You’re going to accompany me to my rooms. I want to keep an eye on you. I know how well you can hide yourself when you put your mind to it.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” the Doctor snapped, hissing when the Sin caught his bicep and actually started dragging him. “What in the hell are you doing? Let go.”

“Stop wriggling.”

“Get off!”

“Doctor, I will call a guard.”

“GET OFF!”

***************