A Servant to Time and Consequence (rude_not_ginger) wrote,
A Servant to Time and Consequence
rude_not_ginger

for psych_30: Learned Helplessness

Lucy is so very beige when you first meet her. Her hair is in a tight, sophisticated blonde bun, her suit is beige, her nails are beige, even her short heels are beige. She's meant to blend into the background of her husband's campaign. She's supposed to vanish, appearing only when a wife is expected and desired. You imagine it must seem like a terrible life to some, but she seems to revel in being second best.

She doesn't know what to make of you. This old man her husband---Harry, she calls him, with all the wifely shrill of Lucy Ricardo---has captured. An enemy she's probably heard thousands of stories about. The thorn in Harry's side. Captured and caged and defenseless.

She grins into your shoulder, touching you with identical intimacy to how the Master touches you. Arm around yours, fingers at the small of your back. Almost an embrace, almost a restraint. She's imitating him, longing for him to notice just how proud she is, just how part of this situation she's become.

It's pathetic, and you can't help but despise the human he's chosen as his companion.

--

Lucy gets new presents every day. They're laid on the glass conference table for her to smile and gape over. Diamond necklaces, expensive electronics, exotic flowers. Her nails are dark purple to match the designer clothes she's wearing---though you're sure the designers are long since killed by the Toclafane---and her hair is in long, shiny waves. She hops happily onto the table and unwraps each one, hugging and kissing her husband in joy and glee.

She doesn't know why you're supposed to watch all of this. She goes along with it, of course. She's getting treated every time. She doesn't realize you're being tortured, forced to see how happy he can make his companion and partner, while yours has been scouring the cold, decimated planet for the last two months. Your hearts ache every time they play this game; it hurts worse than the burn from the laser screwdriver.

She's so stupidly gleeful at every present, you almost believe she has to be faking it. No one can grin and bounce so happily over that many diamond necklaces. No one thinks those pointy high heels are anything but impractical. But, of course, you're used to Martha, who thinks like you. Truthfully, every time you watch this display, you long for her a little more.

It's pathetic, and you can't help but wish your human companion could find some happiness in ignorance as well. A reprieve from all that you can only imagine she must be feeling.

--

Lucy has given up on the finer qualities of makeup. He wants to see the bruise below her left eye, so she lets him. The blue of her nail polish almost matches the mark on her jaw, and the way her hair is done up in extravagant curls doesn't do a thing to cover up what she's so ashamed of. The presents become more extravagant, and she shows less and less excitement as the months wear on. She's excited and happy in the most unrealistic way—the way that knows he'll hurt her if she doesn't play along with his little Utopia-in-the-sky.

She doesn't want to watch you be tortured anymore. There's no more fun in hearing an old man scream, and she's never seen you do all the horrific things she's probably heard from the Master. Her fingers go to her temple and her eyes shut tight. This frustrates him, and he screams that Martha Jones would know how to keep herself together. It does well to calm her for a few moments, but the next time you look over, her eyes are screwed shut again.

She's become viciously jealous of Martha. You can't help but find the irony in that, of course. She only barely covers up her scowls under a mask of mild curiosity every time the Master mentions her, and those long nails bite into her hands when he won't drop it.

It's pathetic, and you can't help but wonder what it is that your homeless, world-trotting human companion could possibly have over his wealthy, secure princess.

--

Lucy hates all the trips her and the Master take to the future. Every time she comes back, you can tell she's lost a little piece of herself. She's a little less Lucy and a little more a human shell. A skeleton whose sole purpose is to walk behind Saxon, curl her silver-fingernailed hands in his, and do whatever he says.

She can't be happy, so he stops showing off her happiness to you, and instead shows him how miserable Jack and Tish and Francine and Martha's father whose name you can never remember are. She simply sits and watches them be hurt, the only sign that a human still lies within is the occasional tightening of her jaw at a particularly painful scream.

You can't make yourself hate her. You used to believe you did with ease, but now you can only pity her. No matter how bad it is for Martha, no matter what she's seen, she hasn't become Lucy. She's become more of a thorn in the Master's side than you ever were, and you swell in pride at that knowledge. Perhaps that's why Lucy envies her.

It's pathetic, but sometimes Lucy's vacant stare is worse than any of your companion's screams. They scream, but they're strong, and they keep getting stronger every day. Lucy is silent, and she's being hollowed out, whittled away bit by bit. Soon there will be nothing left of her.

--

Lucy's hair is wild and bed-mussed when she comes to see you late one night. She's wearing only a bathrobe, and her feet pad quietly on the floor as she steps up to your tent. A clear nail presses into the laser screwdriver's button, and you feel yourself unage before her. It's becoming habit, this age-unage-age experience (it's a favorite torture method of the Master's), but it's never been at the hands of Lucy before.

She drops to her knees before you as you gasp for air with young lungs. Her hand tangles in your thick hair, and she asks you if you've ever loved before. You don’t understand. There's so little time, but you try to get her to listen, to help you, but she's so far gone, you're not sure she understands. Her eyes are wide and desperate. So desperate to hear something from you, but you can't possibly imagine what.

You find her mouth suddenly on yours. She kisses you deeply, passionately, not even waiting for you to respond before she tangles her long, skinny arms around your neck and pulls you closer. She wants you to show her how you love someone, because the Master's love hurts. She's bruised and empty and hurting, and it's all there in the way she kisses you.

"Ahem." He appears behind you two, and from the terror in Lucy's eyes, you don't imagine that was planned. He says he should've fixed "that problem" with the screwdriver a long time ago, ages you back without hesitation, and grabs Lucy roughly by the arm.

It's pathetic, but as you hear her cry out in pain at every slap, it feels like he's hurting one of your companions. She returns the next morning more vacant than before, and you add that to the list of reasons why you hate him.

--

Lucy is cooperative as the Valiant quickly falls under your control. It's unsurprising; she's lost so much of her that you can't imagine the home-grown spitfire in beige you met a year ago ever living in the same body as the woman in the red dress with the long, red fingernails.

She watches as you win. She watches as you turn back time and reverse everything that happened on Earth. She watches as you pass her over to offer to take care of the Master.

You'll never really understand why she pulled the trigger, but you can imagine that's part of the reason why. She stares blankly at you as she does it, and offers the gun up to Jack when his hand curls around it. You cradle the Master as he dies, and you weep for his loss, and hers. She's dead, Lucy is. There's nothing left of her, he drained it all, and you were so focused on saving him that you couldn't think to protect her. Martha is broken, but she'll heal. Lucy will never be Lucy, never again.

It's pathetic, perhaps, but you still think you heard her voice saying your name when the humans stood up to the Master. You want to imagine she still had that much of herself left in her, to call out to you in defiance of him. But perhaps it was only an echo.

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,489
Note: Not currently part of psych_30, but working on the prompts for fun until I get accepted.
Tags: community: psych 30, featuring: lucy saxon, featuring: the master
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