Drowned Out

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the television series Doctor Who and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Follows the season three episode The Sound of Drums. The Tenth Doctor takes the Master to another planet to heal him... both physically and emotionally. The form that healing takes is an unusual one

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers up to and including the season three episode The Sound of Drums; some violence; AU

Author's Note: Written for the SpankVent challenge on Livejournal, day 16.

The Doctor stared down at the Master... his worst enemy... his best friend... a Time Lord driven mad by the sound of four notes, repeated over and over in his head.

"Regenerate!" The word the Doctor hissed out wasn't an order... it was a plea. The Master had done terrible, awful things... but the Doctor knew held at least some of the responsibility. And maybe his old friend could be saved... redeemed.

The Doctor had to believe redemption was possible. Because if it wasn't for the Master, how could he believe it would be for himself?

The Master was bleeding out, face turning pale from the blood loss. If he continued to bleed out and refuse to regenerate, then he would die. Permenantly.

Unless the Doctor did something. And fortunately, he was one of the best at doing something.

It was a small matter to activate the key and summon the TARDIS around them. The Doctor kept his hand over the Master's bullet wound as the familiar sound of the TARDIS surrounding them started up.

"You can't save everyone, Doctor." The Master's voice came out a gasp. "The... only thing you can do? Let me die. Otherwise what are we really doing? Living out the same destiny, over and over again..." He winced, a trickle of blood sliding down his chin. "Death... is the only way this ends."

"No, it's not." The Doctor removed his coat, pressing it against the bullet wound and using the sleeves to wrap it round, tying it tight enough that he knew it would keep pressure on the wound... at least for a little while. Long enough for him to move to the control panel of the TARDIS, pressing buttons and pulling levers. "Come on... come on," he muttered, running through the list of planets in his mind.

"There's nowhere that's close enough for you to reach in time, Doctor." The sneer was more a pained grimace and ended with the Master closing his eyes with a mild groan.

"You don't know every planet in existence." The Doctor gave a half-smile as he hit on a little-known planet... little-known because if it wasn't protected, it would be overrun by different species looking for healing. It would be a resource that would be used and abused; just like everything else in the universe. He glanced over at the Master, but didn't put voice to what he'd just realised.

By saving the Master, it was possible that Martha... that all of his friends... would feel betrayed. But no matter what the Master had done, the Doctor knew that he couldn't let him die. After all, this was as much his fault. He'd had a hand in the Master's creation. And now, he needed to put things right... as much as he was able to.

Linked to the TARDIS as he was, the Doctor could sense it begin to slow down as it reached the planet. He pulled a lever and patted the console. "Thank you." He moved swiftly towards the Master's side, relieved to see that his fellow Time Lord was still breathing, and helped the Master up. He drew the other man's arm around his waist for support and headed to the door of the TARDIS.

As he opened the doors, the Doctor guided the Master out onto a grassy planet.

"Where are we?" the Master gasped out.

"A planet devoid of life... well, intelligent life, anyway. It was scorched during a war; long before either of our time. Now? Well, now, it's the best-kept secret of the Time Lords." The Doctor looked down at the Master, noticing how pale he looked. "Of course, no one would have told you about it."

"And you're telling me now because I'm going to die?"

"No. I'm telling you now because I'm going to save you." The Doctor steered the Master away from the TARDIS, moving across the clearing. He could see that the grass and trees were rich and vibrant in colour... not surprising, considering the lake on the other side of the trees.

By the time he slipped between the border, the Doctor was nearly dragging the Master, who was limp against him. The Doctor knew he was breathing, but only just. As he reached the lake, he carefully lowered the Master to the bank and then filled his cupped hands with the water, bringing it over to the Master and encouraging him to drink.

As soon as the Master had drunk the water (he didn't have much choice, given he had to breathe), the Doctor pulled the coat away from the Master's wound... and sagged in relief as he saw it had closed over, as if it had never been there.

"What did you do to me?"

The Doctor removed the coat, figuring he'd take it to a dry cleaner's on Earth. Or he'd just buy a new one. "I healed you. Well, the waters here healed you. A small planet, with powerful magic. And I won't be giving you the coordinates," he added. "You won't find it again."

"You don't trust me."

"You're my best friend... one who I'd call family. But no. I don't trust you." The Doctor felt tired... more tired than he had in a long time. "The drum beats in your head. Do you still hear them?"

"They never go away."

The Doctor nodded. "Then I'm going to make it stop." He placed his hands on the Master's shoulders, taking advantage of the other Time Lord's weakness, and drew him up. Lifting one leg off the ground, he bent it and moved into a half-kneeling position, before pulling the Master across his raised knee.

For a moment, the Master's body tensed up... as if he were about to fight. Then, he slumped down across the Doctor's knee... and the Doctor wondered if the Master was tired of fighting and just wanted an end to it all.

The first smack caused the Master's body to jump and the sound, although dulled by his trousers, did startle the Doctor. He steeled himself and landed another swat in the same place... then a third and fourth in different spots.

Knowing that he had to do enough to disrupt the sounds of the drum beats playing over and over inside the Master's head, the Doctor didn't settle into any kind of rhythm. He adjusted the Master across his lap and continued landing the hard smacks. They fell in all different places... and the Master was quickly squirming, beginning to react to the pain.

The Doctor paused... long enough to tug the Master's trousers and underwear down. When he began swatting bare skin, the sounds were crisper... louder... echoing around the area with enough volume that any living, intelligent being would either have come running... or stayed far away.

The Master began to squirm even more and he threw a hand back to try and protect his backside. The Doctor stopped long enough to move the Master's hand out of the way before he began swatting harder... targeting the Master's sit spots and thighs more and more.

After what felt like an eternity, even to the Doctor, he felt the Master give in... his body slumping. The Doctor stopped and lifted his greatest friend... his oldest enemy... into his arms. And for a change, the Master didn't fight and instead relaxed into the embrace... allowing the Doctor to hold him; to bring their friendship to the point of healing.

"Do you hear the drums?" The Doctor's voice was soft.

The Master was silent for several long moments before he finally spoke. "No. I don't hear them anymore."

The End