Stand alone one shot post 'The Last of the Timelords.' I can't explain why the Master is on the TARDIS sorry but if you want to make one up let me know :) Warning for OOC and established slash.

"You've never let anyone take care of you… have you Master?"

The Master merely sniffed at the question and returned his attention to the motherboard he'd been tinkering with. Unperturbed the Doctor returned to the bathroom and carefully made sure everything was in place, selecting his softest towel he returned to the main TARDIS area and threw it to the Master.

"What's this?" Pulling the towel from his head where it landed the Master immediately shot to his feet and contemplated throwing it back.

"A towel."

"What do I need a towel for?"

"To dry yourself of course." The Doctor raised an eyebrow enjoying the exchange.


Realisation suddenly dawned on the Master. The Doctor nodded, unbuttoning his shirt he led the way to the bathroom. Slowly the Master followed hesitant to remove his clothing but curious, the Doctor was behaving a little strangely.

"You're not getting in wearing that." The Doctor snorted lowering himself carefully into the hot water, steam plumed from the tub making the air thick, a slight scent accented the air and made the water increasingly inviting.

"I'm not getting in at all." Cockily he lent against the doorframe folding his arms defensively.

"Don't make me come over there." The Doctor sighed and lay back, the lights were dimmed and the darkness was only broken by the light flooding in through the opened doorway and a selection of candles lining the bath sides, the Master wondered if that was where the scent was originating from. "Look come on get in."

"Stop pressuring me Doctor… Why do you want me in there, surely bathing together defeats the purpose?"

"And what do you consider to be the purpose?"

"To get clean of course." The Master said his voice filled with effort, as though each word was draining him.

"Come on stop being prude, get in before I drag you in."

Eventually the Master complied and stepped into the bath opposite the Doctor who looked quite content in the hot water. Drawing his knees up to his chest the Master sat watching the Doctor curiously. They had been intimate before but that was a more primal experience, designed only to satisfy certain… Urges. This was different, the Doctor was not prepositioning him nor was he obviously aroused.

"Come here Master, lie back against me I want to feel you."

"We don't need to be in a bath for this sort of thing."

The Doctor laughed and opened his arms. "No, I want to feel you close to me…"

Sensing the Masters unease the Doctor sat forwards and guided him so they lay back to front, immersed in the hot water. Steam cooled and settled on their bodies, the Master glistened in the twilight beads of water decorated his hair effortlessly.

"Why?" The Master whispered.

"Because I want to." The Doctor wrapped his arms securely around the Master, allowing him to settle his weight against him. Gradually the Master was relaxing in his arms, secure and safe. The Doctor wondered if he had ever been held like this, if he had ever held Mrs Saxon in this way. Jealousy spiked for just a moment at the thought of Mrs Saxon and the Master, the Master maintained he only entertained her to keep his cover realistic but that still didn't quell the Doctor's misgivings against her. Besides, she had done nothing to help the Master, she had let him continue down the road to self destruction, at least he was willing to help.

"Doctor why do you want me? Whenever we meet I have brought you nothing but pain, loss and death… Why do you want me in your arms?" He stiffened suddenly, sitting forwards slightly as though trying to put distance between them.

"Master I forgive you for everything you've done… I don't believe you mean to cause suffering or death… but that doesn't matter, what matters is that you're here with me."

"I just… Don't understand, you're not making sense." The Master's voice suddenly filled with frustration, he could not quell the sound of the drums in his head, neither could he understand the Doctor's logic. If their positions were reversed the Master didn't think he could forgive so easily, especially when he had, even just temporarily, killed so many people without a second thought.

"Shh…" The Doctor soothed calmly pulling him back into his arms, one of the candles flickered and spluttered out dimming the light further the Master grumbled to himself but allowed the Doctor to hold him, secretly enjoying the closeness.

"You know no one has ever held me like this, no one has ever wanted to be so close to me…"

"That's their loss." Tenderly the Doctor pressed a kiss against the back of the Master's head.

"Master… Stop, you don't have to understand, just like I don't want you dwelling on what's happened. Please, relax."

The unlikely pair sat together in the warmth each inwardly savouring the closeness they now shared. The Master's mind was unusually quiet, of course the drums still provided the backing track to his life but for once, for the first time in his long life it was not the overriding sound. He could feel the Doctor's hearts beating against his back, their bodies seemed to synchronise and compliment one another. Closing his eyes the Master realised, he did in fact like the Doctor and he particularly enjoyed his spontaneity.