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The Ending Storm

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The Tardis is spinning away with a speed The Doctor has never felt in her before. She is running from the fire, running from the destruction, running from the pain he feels just as acutely as she does. Their world is burning, their home, their connection to the entire universe, to all of exisitance. She spins and turns so fast he can't even balance himself. Both of them can feel the lives screaming and tearing apart, the very fabric of time shaking at the shock of so much fire and death at once. The Time Lords are burning with the Daleks and the two of them are running away together.

The Doctor can see all their faces, all the Time Lords flashing through his mind. So much love and so much hate, so much fear all swirling in them all. The war is ending right now, the long fight, the struggle, the eternal storm is ending. He did it. The Doctor ended it and he did it with fire. He did what had to be done but now the rest of them are gone.

He's never caused this much pain before. He's never felt it so deeply. He's never felt pain like a jagged silver sword slicing at every bit of who he is. It is as if when he looks down at his hands, at his clothes, all he will see is an ocean of blood. He has become a destroyer of worlds. He has become a killer of civilizations. The Doctor feels overwhelmed like a savage god is smoldering in his chest aching to be set free to burn the entire universe. The Tardis feels it too he knows; it's why she is fleeing so fast, cutting through time to anywhere.

The Doctor can see Romana in his mind, their Lady President tall and powerful in her third life. How had she led them through this war? How had she had that strength of will? Why did she leave this final act, this ending, to him?

"Doctor, it must be you," she'd said with blood spattered on her face.

"No, I can't…"

"Doctor, you have to end it."

"I can't do it! There has to be another way!"

He held her hand tightly as she lay on the marble floor gasping. There was no way she was going to be able to regenerate. He could see that she knew it too. An edge of panic crept into his mind as he sat close to her. The Doctor felt if they lost Romana they would lose everything.

"Doctor, this war must end," She said to him steadily. "And you are the one."

Her eyes looked so piercing and terrible in that moment because she knew what she was asking. She knew what he would have to do. She knew the price they all were going to pay for his actions.

"You must end this war, you, the best of us," She said, grasping his hand tighter.

She tangled her other hand up into his curly hair, holding on for all that was left of her lives. Romana breathed slowly and gazed into his eyes. He could feel her trying to will her strength to him. All he wanted to do was cry but he knew the truth. He knew he was the one that was left to do the unthinkable.

"I don't think… Romana, how can I…"

"Please, Doctor," She said and smiled in a quiet way he remembered from her second life. "You must. I'm sorry."

Her hand fell from his hair and he nodded, a stabbing pain deep in his hearts.

Now he clutches at the edge of console. There are burn marks on the wall and sparks fly at him from the switches and dials by his hands. He can see fluxuations in the air where time is trying to push them away as if angered by what he's done. He's afraid for one wild moment that the Tardis herself is just going to fly apart and both of them will be lost with the rest, all of the Lords of Time destroyed together.

Everything around him is shaking and it's all he can do to stay upright. He can still see Gallifrey in front of him, fire engulfing everything and the mountains turning as orange and red as the sky. He can hear screams still crashing and careening in his head. He can see the mighty Dalek fleet crumbling. He can see smaller worlds, caught up in the battle of Gods, melting away without a chance for rescue or even thought. He can see death as clearly as the air in front of him.

Faces flash before him of better times, Zoe correcting his math, Adric pouring through a brand new book, Jamie taking his hand, Sarah Jane running with a smile larger than any sun on her face, Jo talking about UNIT, Romana in her first incarnation sitting quietly in a boat on a French river.

"I'm sorry," He can hear in Romana's voice in his head as though she is still right there.

But he sees her before his eyes lying pale and still on a deserted floor, her black hair falling in her eyes and blood around her body.

It is then that the Doctor realizes that he had expected to burn with the rest of them.

The Tardis bucks and jolts, tumbling over herself, falling instead of flying. The Doctor sees fire burning through her and feels pain from every side. His mind is aching and his body is worn. Suddenly his legs give way sending him sprawling to the ground shaking hard. The universe around him feels broken. Somewhere in the back of his head he knows the war is over. He knows that the Daleks are gone and that the universe is safe again. He knows that worlds had to burn so existence, life, could be saved.

The Doctor stares up seeing black, feeling no one at all but himself alive. Rolling onto his side his hands clench into fists and he screams and screams.