Just an alternate end for Last of the Time Lords. Takes place right after the Master is shot on the Valiant. It's so rare for me to write serious stuff, and I bet some people would have rather had a new chapter for one of my already existing stories. Well, you can go blame pocketnin for this one. She goaded me, I tell you, goaded me to write this. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little piece.

Disclaimer: Whattaya know, I don't own Dr. Who. Shocking but true.

It took him a long moment to realize what had happened—a long moment of staring past the horrified Doctor into the desperate eyes of his companion. Immediately afterwards the world sped up, too fast, and his legs crumpled underneath him. He met soft arms before the floor took him, and he realized belatedly that he was cradled in the arms of his long-time rival.

After that, all he knew was the drums. They were so loud…

thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

He was vaguely aware of the Doctor's babble somewhere above his head, a rocking motion in his body. "Regenerate…Please, Master, regenerate, regenerate!"

thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

He could remember a time when he had considered the Doctor's babble amusing. Now it sounded hysterical, desperate, distant…The drums were drowning him out…

thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

"Master, please!"

The Doctor…They had been friends once, hadn't they? Then they had both come to Earth and the humans had ripped them apart.

thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

He was the Master, and it was his job to tear things apart. Time Lords, humans…All of it was supposed to burn…

"Regenerate!"

thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

But it was the Doctor's job to fix things, wasn't it? Hadn't he offered to make the drums stop? Could he?

"Master, please!"

With effort, he slowly lifted his head to rest against the Doctor's chest. As if on cue, the other Time Lord's voice trailed off and he let their eyes meet.

thump

thump

thump

thump

The drums were gone.

thump

thump

thump

thump

It was so quiet…No noise except for the Doctor's chest-oriented heart beating in his chest.

He took a deep, rattling breath.

"Master," the Doctor breathed as though afraid to break a spell, "please, regenerate."

There was a desperation in the Doctor's voice that he hated. Funny how just a few days ago he had wanted nothing more than to see the Doctor broken.

Tears were running down the Doctor's face. "We're the only ones left. Please…"

He met his rival's eyes. So quiet.

"Doctor."

The entire room was silent.

thump

thump

thump

thump

So quiet…

"You'd take me all over time and space, Doctor, and we'd fix the problems of the universe, but we can't always be like this."

thump

thump

thump

The Doctor was shaking his no, tears pouring down his face, already realizing where this was going.

"You can't fix this, Doctor. You can't fix me."

thump

thump

thump

thump

He let a weak smile cross his face as his breath shortened terminally. "I can't hear the drums, Doctor."

thump

thump

thump

thump

He let his eyes flutter shut, breathed out.

thump

The heartbeat was steady, but he could feel the Doctor's body trembling. He would mourn…But the Master would be free.

thump

Behind his eyelids, he could see the void, swirling angrily.

thump

With his last breath, he gave a barked laugh.

thump

"I win." he rasped at the drums as the drifted into black.

thump

I win.

END