Title: Fighting the Monsters (1/1)

Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link.

Rating: Just a little bad language.

Spoilers: Anything and everything.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: For some, it's about adventure. For others, it's about fighting the monsters.

Author's Note: This one just wouldn't leave me alone.


The Doctor turned away from the TARDIS in surprise. He looked left. He looked right. Then he looked down. The boy couldn't be more than ten years old, but the fierce resolve in his face tugged at the Doctor's curiousity. He was just about to leave, having dealt with the little problem in this time.

"Hello, boy," he said. "Is there something I can help you with?"

"Take me with you."

Curiouser and curiouser.


"I want to help fight the monsters."

The Doctor stared at the boy for a long moment, then said, "You're a bit young for that sort of adventure, lad."

The boy's face radiated defiance.

"Tell you what," the Doctor amended. "I'll come back in fifteen years. If you still want to help fight the monsters, I'll take you with me then."

The boy considered that for a moment, then nodded, "Deal."

Xander Harris liked chopping wood. As the big-shot, Nick Fury-style, central operations commander and coordinator of Slayers, he didn't get much field time anymore. Heck, he didn't get to do much physically anymore. He'd had to fight just to get this chance here to keep himself in shape.

He was growing increasingly dissatisfied with his lot in life.

"Hello, there."

Xander spun, holding the axe up at the ready. The wood-splitter wasn't really well-suited for combat -- too top-heavy and not hardly sharp enough -- but he'd had to make do with worse before.

"Who are you?" he asked warily, though there was something oddly familiar about the man...

The man shrugged, "The Doctor. I'm not surprised you don't remember me."

Memories flooded back, and Xander nodded, "I remember now. Fifteen years, to the day, just like you said."

The Doctor nodded. "So. You coming?"

Xander thought about that. Could he really leave the girls behind? He wasn't really content with his position here, and it wasn't like the girls really needed him.

Or did they?

He thought about Buffy's emotional state. Dawn's newfound tendency to develop transformation problems. Willow. The fact that Andrew was the only one who could be freed up to do what he did if he left.

That settled it.

"Well, Xander?" the Doctor prompted. "Do you still want to help fight the monsters?"

"I already do, Doc," Xander said with a smile. "I already do."

He turned back to his wood splitting and was on the downstroke when the Doctor spoke up again.

"You know... I could bring you back right at the same time you leave."

Author's Postscript:

Does he stay? Or does he go? Don't ask me. I don't know.