For a time, I just sat there; absorbing it all. Desperately trying to come to terms with the fact of the matter on my own; he was dead. The Master was dead. The stubborn bastard refused to regenerate just to spite me. The Doctor was the only person on that bloody ship who was willing to forgive him and offer him a second chance, but he wouldn't haveit. He wouldn't let the "all mighty" Doctor have the pleasure of saving the only remaining member of their species. He would rather die, and he did.
Since the end of that bloody year the never was; he had taken to smoking and vigorous amounts of coffee. Truly, Time Lords don't really have a need for caffeine considering they only need a couple of hours of sleep, but he found that drinking a little more than what was deadly to humans kept him awake. Even the few hours of sleep his body did need, he couldn't stand; the nightmares were too much. The smokes, well, he would tell you they were stress relieving, but in all honesty; they were a short-cut to death. With every single one he would light, he hoped that he would develop some sort of malignant growth that would ravage his body to a point that regeneration would be impossible. So he would stop in Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS, grab a couple cases of smokes, and retreat back to the empty cold metal of his ship.
The doctor sank into the captain's chair in the TARDIS control room. He reaching into his "bigger on the inside" pockets and grabbed a fag and a lighter. Then he sat there, in self-loathing, smoking and thinking. He stared with a blank face at the control room floor, not looking at so much as through it. He wasn't here, he was someone deep in the recesses of his mind; pitch black and conversing with himself.
"It should have been me. No, it shouldn't have been anyone. The bloody Oncoming Storm; can save the Human race for centuries but not one fucking Time Lord. What good am I?"
He flicked the cigarette ashes onto the console floor; the TARDIS' engines gave a groan of complaint at the disregard for its well-being. But, the Doctor didn't hear it; only his thoughts swirling in his head, playing that awful scene over and over and over
The Time Lord's hearts stopped at that, he had heard the voice over and over in his head, but this time, it wasn't the same. It didn't sound like a memory replaying his dear friend's last words, no, this was
fresh. The Doctor fell from the chair and hit the floor; his mouth ajar and the cigarette barely hanging from his lips.
He spoke aloud; "It can't be
" he trailed off as his body began to tremble. He thought he had finally gone mad. Thinking his mind had finally buckled under the grief and heartache.
"...Theta..." He heard it again, this time a little louder.
There was only one person in the entire universe across all possibly time lines and all the possible possibilities that know him by that name. There was only one person who could break the TARDIS' physic barrier and reach the Doctor's mind. It was a cry of help, a cry of help from the dead; from his Koschei.
"It can't BE! I saw him burn! He died in my arms and refused to regenerate!" the Doctor screamed at the air, trying to work out how this was possible. Still sitting on the floor, he hugged his knees to his chest and rested his head there. He closed his eyes and reached out his mind and tried to find the source of the link. The minutes passed like eons in the quiet of the control room. All that was heard was the beeps and clicks coming from the engine as the TARDIS floated through the Vortex. The desperate Doctor sat there in hopes that the link was real and he was alive.
"Koschei, is that you? Are you alive? Can you hear me?" the Doctor hugged his knees harder. Fear caught in his throat. Fear that there wasn't going to be an answer. Perhaps he had gone mad. Fuck he needed a cigarette!
"Yes,it's..me. I need you, Theta. Help
" The voice sounded strained and tired and then, began to trail off and the link became weak. The Doctor didn't waste any time. He sprung to his feet and launched himself at the TARDIS controls. He flailed about in precise chaos; flipping switches, turning nozzles, and pressing various assortments of buttons. He pulled down the TARDIS monitor and hacked the mental link with the ship's own. On the screen was a radar similar to that on a naval ship, and there was the red-beeping dot of absolute hope.
"I'm coming, Koschei, just hold on!" With all of his energy he flung the last level and set the TARDIS on course to track the link. He was going to find him, and this time, he wasn't going to let him die.