A/N: 1,002 words, written between the hours of 11pm and 1am. Wish I could write essays that fast. Anywho, I just, really needed to write something, and this popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone until I rewatched the end of the episode and cried my eyes out and wrote this. I've written about this episode before, but not as a story. I might post that other thing as a second chapter to this, but it needs heavy editing. I tend to write late at night/early in the morning, so things aren't always coherent.

So, on with the show.

He-he's alive.

He's still alive.

He's alive!

It's over and he's still alive. It's not his time to die yet. Relief floods through him and he half sobs, half laughs, still on the floor where he fell. Nothing matters anymore, he's ALIVE!

...

*Knock-knock-knock-knock*

...

No.

...

*Knock-knock-knock-knock*

...

No!

...

*Knock-knock-knock-knock*

...

This wasn't supposed to happen.

...

*Knock-knock-knock-knock*

...

He had won.

He had won and now this had to happen.

Wilf. Dear old Wilf. Dear, kind, old Wilf. Too kind. Or maybe, The Doctor wasn't kind enough anymore.

Even now, looking straight into the face of death, Wilf is too selfless. The Doctor is too selfish. He doesn't want to die, not yet.

But he has to step up to receive his 'reward'.

Huh. Some reward it turned out to be.

He can't bottle up his rage any more. The indescribable inferno of undirected rage at the universe rises up and pours forth and it feels so good to let it all out, but The Doctor knows. He has to gather himself together. He almost smirks as a quote runs through his head, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Too fitting.

Collected once more, he approaches the booth, approaches his next death. He really has spent too long in this body. A fresh start will do him some good. But even as he knows that it is the right thing to do, he forces legs of stone to keep moving, to keep bringing him closer to that glass box of death.

But then, he reasons, it is only fitting to die in sacrifice. That's what this life had too much of, might as well overdose and die on sacrifice. And so he continues to move.

Wilf, the oh-so-important Wilf, the man who was better by nature than The Doctor could ever hope to be, was trying to get him to stop and save himself. That, more than anything else, helped The Doctor's stone legs feel a little lighter, made it easier to pretend to be alright. Everything was okay. He's always okay.

He steps in the booth, he making sure that Wilf would hurry, and quickly releases the lock on Wilf's door. He can't see if Wilf made it out alright because immediately there is pain.

PainpainpainpaINPAINPAINPAINPAIN

The radiation cuts through him like a wide beam laser, tearing him apart cell by cell. He can feel it, feel himself dying, feel the radiation warping and denaturing everything inside him. He's dying and he is in pain, and he is alone.

So lonely. His enemynemisisFRIEND used up his dying life force to send back gallifreyplanetHOME and it was gone. It's all gone. They are all gone. And The Doctor is alone.

The white-hot needles of pain lancing through him are too much. He can't stand. He can't think. He curls up on the floor of the booth, grabbing at his hair to try to distract him from the mass of pain that is his body.

The radiation shuts off but The Doctor doesn't notice. He can't think of anything more than pain at the moment, but the pain is starting to ebb. Not much, but he can bear it now. He slowly uncurls from the ground, remembering Wilf. He looks up at the older-looking man.

Wilf gives a tentative, "Hello."

The Doctor knows that he has to say something to keep Wilf from worrying too much, so he pushes past the pain and manages a rough, "Hi."

Getting more of a handle on the pain, The Doctor proceeds to stand, a part of his brain not keeping down the pain or focusing on wobbly muscles explaining that he had absorbed all the radiation to Wilf. Pushing the door open he feels a stab of frustration. Why couldn't the door be that easy to open just a minute ago?

Wilf doesn't know. He thinks that since The Doctor was up and walking, he must be alive. But The Doctor knows. Knows that he is a dead man walking. Wilf starts to get that as the wounds on The Doctor's face heal up, as The Doctor utters a simple, "It's started."

From there, it starts to blur together. He saves Micky and Martha, and from the looks on their faces, they know that he's living on borrowed time. He runs up and saves Luke, the son of his Sarah Jane Smith. She too can see that he's going soon, but she just gives him a soft smile. He needed that. He gives a winning lottery ticket to Donna, to help her live her normal life. He sets up Jack and Alonzo. Now he can see her.

He didn't mean to make a noise, but the pain welled up unexpectedly and he couldn't stop the small grunt that escaped him. At least he can talk to her, one last time.

It's a heartbreakingly short conversation, and he can hardly concentrate on it. As soon as she is out of sight, his grip on the pain weakens. He knows he hast to get to the TARDIS, it's the only safe place for him to regenerate, especially now that he held it back for so long. The pain is nearly unbearable. He wonders if this might be his final death, if he can't get to the TARDIS in time. He almost doesn't.

The Ood knows. The Ood helps, as it conveys the universe's song to The Doctor. It gives him just enough strength to reach the old wooden box. Just enough strength to get away from anyone who might get hurt.

As he can finally safely regenerate, he still holds on. He knows he is dying, he knows he has to change, but

"I don't want to go."

a/n Drop a review if you liked it.