A/N I uploaded this last week, before (somehow) deleting it again by accident. I've made a couple of changes to it, and here's the first chapter again. I apologize for my stupidity. Please read and review, and thanks so much to the people who RR'd last time! I really hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. If I did this would be canon.

The Short Straw


The Doctor was doing what he did best. He was running.

He was running faster than he ever had before, back to the one place he felt safe. He felt a spark of hope in him as he got closer to the blue doors of his ship, although he could still hear the angry shouts and animalistic cries of those chasing him. He unlocked the door and ran inside, slamming the door behind him. The Doctor leaned against the doors of the TARDIS for a minute, his eyes closed, his breath coming in ragged gasps. He knew he didn't have much time to come up with a fully functional plan; the people chasing him would nearly be at the doors of the TARDIS by now. And even if he took off, going to any era in space and time, they would find him. That, he knew, was for definite. They had promised.

The Doctor walked slowly up the steps towards the console. Both his hearts pounded wildly in his chest, and he felt a twinge or regret as he realized he might not feel the comforting pounding of both his hearts for a long time.

He had no choice.

He had to use the Fob Watch.

The pain from the Chameleon Arch was immediate, and he made no effort to hold in his screams, knowing no one could hear him anyway. Except for the TARDIS. He felt a comforting presence in his mind as she telepathically let him know that she was still there. But he would lose her, too, he knew, as soon as his Time Lord DNA was hidden. He hoped with both his hearts that he would somehow find a way back to her when it was safe. But he had no companion to get him to open the watch when the time was right. There was a very real possibility that he would die as a human, never regaining his true identity. But it was the only choice he had- he knew They would find him, and if They got a hold of the TARDIS the consequences would be horrific. This was his only hope.

He thought about Amy and Rory. He never got to say goodbye. They would probably never see him again. But at least they weren't here with him for this. The thought of them having to cope with him not knowing who he really was, having to live in fear of being discovered by Them.. He knew he had done the right thing, taking them home after the horrible happenings at the hotel.

As the pain became unbearable, his body twisting and changing to become human, he heard the first explosion coming from outside the ship.

They had found him.

He had left the TARDIS stationary in the Time Vortex, knowing that she would find a place to leave him as a human when the change had been completed, but it was too late. They had found him. Just before he blacked out from the pain, he heard several more explosions and the odd sensation of falling. His last coherent thought was that it was over, this was it.

He had fallen out of the time Vortex into nothingness.