The Doctor screamed, he suddenly felt a pang of irony as he remembered how many of his companions had screamed before almost meeting their end due to some monster or whatever. He remembered how he had always had to come to their rescue, how at seemingly the last moment he would usually manage to save them. He winced, remembering Adric and how pragmatic he had been before the end. The end the Doctor had failed to prevent from happening. The end that was felt more by an absence of being, than by any lingering after effects, due to the effects of time travel.
That was the end the Doctor knew he was bound to share, for there was no one left to save him. And even if there was, there soon wouldn't be, for his life was about to be undone, un-stitched and un-picked, un-remembered and un-lived and the ultimate irony was he'd live his life backwards experiencing a life flipped into reverse. Every great victory would be undone, perhaps that was what was meant to happen, lord knows how many lands might've been left untouched without the Doctor.
How many deaths could've been averted had the Doctor not called to arms? Perhaps it would be better for everyone in the end, or perhaps not? What of the empire's he'd crumbled and dictators he'd displaced?
Still he supposed it didn't really matter now, did it? It was inevitable.
He gazed into the vast amorphous vortex whirling with lightning strikes of chronon energy and coursing yellow from all the artron gas running through it. The final act of the time war. The end of time. Or at least the end of the source of the vortex. The eye of harmony had been shut down, it's links severed with all T.A.R.D.I.Ses within the same relative temporal co ordinates. The gaping mouth of the vortex was 10 times as large as the T.A.R.D.I.S's exterior form and right now the Doctor felt like Quint sliding down the boat into the belly of the beast.
The Doctor rubbed his leather jacket where it was beginning to char from the radiation and flirted with the idea of just shutting the T.A.R.D.I.S doors and dematerialising but he knew it wouldn't work. At the moment the sheer mass of the T.A.R.D.I.S interior was holding them in place, causing the vortex to creep slowly towards them but as soon as he dematerialised he knew he'd die.
It would be a quick death he thought but there was no way the Doctor was gonna give in to that, not now, not after everything he'd been through. his face hardened for a moment, remembering those lost.
Then he remembered where he'd got that Jaws metaphor from: 'The Farsh-nuke! THE FUCKING FARSH-NUKE!!! Of course! He could do anything. Except he wouldn't would he? No, because this timeline was so close to canonical that to do so would risk fouling up the place,'
He swore "Damn!"
He was just about to shut the doors and oh he didn't know, probably try to kill that thing, even though he knew it was hopeless since it was already dying, when he heard a blast of static and saw what looked like a large solar flare and instinctively hit the deck and closed the doors.
A moment later, everything seemed normal. Too normal.
They were in flight! The T.A.R.D.I.S and he had dematerialised, but that meant certain death. Perhaps then this was what it felt like to live your life in reverse? He shook his head to clear it, then noticed a scorch mark on the floor leading to the console.
"That damn flare!" he swore and dashed to the console and saw a badly burnt man collapsed with his back on it.
"Thanks" murmured the man before passing out.
It was at that moment that the Doctor saw something that made him see this stranger in a new light, one that explained why they could now be in flight. The Doctor saw that the man was holding tightly onto the charred remains of a question mark umbrella which had been lodged to the console and the floor.
The Doctor theorized that this must either be a fan, or rather more likely a future self. He'd clearly gone back to change something, got caught by the vortex and seized the chance to save his past self by short circuiting the collision detectors, causing the two T.A.R.D.I.Ses to exist at the same time and the resulting paradox created a feedback loop which prevented either Doctor from dying but clearly the new guy would need to regenerate.