Word Count: 40,243
Author’s Summary: It isn't about what they want.
Warnings: BDSM, Explicit Sex, Explicit Violence, Swearing
There are a whole lot of ‘The Doctor and the Master travel together after the Year That Wasn’t’ fics, but few that play with that familiar theme in such an elegant, satisfying and sexy way as this one. And what makes this particular fic unusual, in my opinion, is the fact that it addresses the full range of both Time Lords’ personalities, Ten's in particular. The Master is still violent, still a would-be conquerer, but he's also got those protective instincts towards the Doctor that are such an important part of Delgado and Ainley's characters. The Doctor is still a peace-loving hippie hero, but he's also subject to the 'vengeful god' moments that many ficwriters forget when writing Ten. The sex is hot and well-penned, and manages the difficult balancing act of including kink without being eaten by it; there's some punishment/pain play, but it's there because it's relevant to the plot, and not just as kink for kink's sake. The Time War, and its aftereffects on both of them, are dealt with well and convincingly. Overall, this fic is a very enjoyable read, and well worth a look.
“The turnover was ten a day,” the Doctor said. “Ten children a day locked inside those chambers and fed chemicals while the virus ate them from the inside out and this lot took notes and recorded how long it took for them to die. And they all died, eventually. The stasis can’t hold forever: there’s no scientific value in watching something suspended in time. Ten a day, every day, for eighteen years. Sixty-five thousand, seven hundred children tortured to death so that he could perfect a way to murder their race.”
Vraxil gave a sharp gasp. His head pressed backward into the stasis chamber’s bed, the tendons on his neck standing out as his back arched. Every muscle went rigid: whatever drug the Doctor had fed him, it evidently hurt.
The Master watched with rapt attention. “Aren’t you going to activate the stasis field?”
“No,” the Doctor said. “The virus is in his bloodstream. I’ve given him the vaccine. Now all that’s left is to engineer it to block the virus while sparing the neural pathways before he dies. I need his metabolism to catalyze the reactions. There’s nothing to be gained by putting him in stasis.”
“Except that it would save his life,” the Master said.
The Doctor did not answer. His head was down as he keyed in the next injection. All his attention was focused on the monitors that displayed Vraxil’s life signs: clues to the chemical war being fought inside his body. The strings of numbers ran alongside a computer rendering of the virus and the vaccine’s molecular structures — a world removed, the Master thought, from the sweating and shivering man that they represented. That must be why the Doctor was so distant, so dispassionate as he fed in one reagent after another through the automatic injection system. That had to be it.
For his part the Master was nearly as excited as he’d been when watching the Doctor strip through Vraxil’s mind. The Doctor, the sainted Doctor who never carried a gun, who had mocked him for believing that he would even think of using a gun — the Doctor was fashioning a living man into a weapon before his eyes, and torturing him while he did it.
And there was no doubt that it was torture. The alien was screaming now: gasping, whimpering little screams of breath that must be tearing his throat raw as the drugs burned through his body. The Doctor never hesitated, never even looked up. No doubt he would have said that it was worth it, a fair price for the life of a planet.