Summary: NEW YEARS' SPECIAL 2010! Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who Crossover. Buffy cannot resist hitching a ride to the 1800s to see Spike when he was just William. But can the Doctor stop her from changing history?
Rating: T or below
Canon/Spoilers: BtVS: Post-series seven with spoilers for Chosen, Fool for Love and Lies My Parents Told Me. DW: Post-Runaway Bride with spoilers for Doomsday, not entirely canonical.
Disclaimer: The Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Twentieth Century Fox etc. The Whoverse belongs to Russell T Davies, the BBC, etc.
Author's notes: Although technically a crossover, you probably don't need to be familiar with Doctor Who to read this fic. I know this is a bit late for a New Years fic, but I have been up to my eyes in finishing an art project with loads of last-minute changes. Also, in my haste to get it out before everyone lost the New Year spirit, it's not been beta'd yet. Will hopefully be beta'd and reposted by the time I post the next chapter. Will be a fairly short fic, around four chapters.
One Love, One Life
One love, one life
Locked me in the heart of misery
One loss, one fight
Locked me in the heart of misery …
One man forgot to breathe
One heart refused to beat
One love is incomplete
- The Rasmus
Chapter One: Dalek in Cleveland
"Our top story: In the past few days, there has been a mass of disappearances in the city. Police have yet to find anything linking them, except for a pile of ash in the area where they were last seen. So far the only witness to any of these events has been the four-year-old daughter of one of the victims, who has been reported as claiming to have seen a monster. Citizens are asked not to panic -"
Buffy turned the television off and looked over at Giles.
"Well, you guys might not think it's something to investigate, but I do." She folded her arms and glared at her two best friends and her Watcher. They all looked at each other.
"It's not that we don't think people being reduced to little piles of ash isn't worrying," Xander said. "But -"
"But," Giles interrupted, "we don't see why it has to be us that pursues it."
"Buffy." Willow stood up, took her friend by the arm and led her into the kitchen. "We've had this conversation. Why not let one of the hundreds of other Slayers out there handle it? We've got at least a dozen in the area. You deserve a break."
"I don't need a break, Will."
"We all think you do. A permanent break. Come on, we all know you've always wanted this."
"'Always wanted'? Yeah, I've always wanted the love of my life to be sacrificed to save the world." Buffy turned away.
"That's not what I meant and you know it." Willow grabbed Buffy before she could leave. "Retirement. You've earned it."
"No, I haven't." Buffy sighed. "And besides, what am I supposed to do? Just rewind eight years and forget about everything that's happened since I became the Slayer? I can't. I've seen too much." She swallowed hard, squeezing her eyes shut. "I've lost too much. I have to keep going."
"Spike would have wanted you to be happy."
"But I can't." Buffy wiped her eyes on her sleeve. "So I might as well keep fighting instead, and at least make him proud. I just … I wish I'd had more time."
It was as she finished her sentence, a strange mechanical whirring filled the room through the open window. They exchanged curious looks and peered out of the window.
"Sounds like it's coming from down the road," said Willow.
Buffy hurried to the door. "Come on."
It didn't take long to find the source of the noise. Just round the corner, Buffy stopped dead and Willow ran into her. Both stared. In the middle of an alleyway sat a big blue box.
At the top was written Police Public Call Box. It had square windows just underneath and a light on the top.
"What is that?" Willow whispered.
Before Buffy could respond, a door of the box opened inwards and a man came out. He looked quite young, was dressed in a long brown coat and was staring at some kind of remote control in his hands, muttering to himself and taking no notice of them at all.
"Temporal shift, yes, that's the one. What's the matter with this thing?" he muttered, shaking it. "Ah, that's better." A small red light started flashing on the end. "Good, we're near then. Now the question is …"
"Who are you?" Willow blurted.
He jumped and looked up. "No, that wasn't the question. But still a valid one." He grinned at them like a manic. "My name's the Doctor, and you are …?"
"Um," Buffy said, "I'm Buffy Summers, and this is Willow Rosenberg. Doctor what, sorry?"
"Just the Doctor. Nice to meet you." He frowned. "Is this early twenty-first century America?"
Buffy and Willow looked at each other, a mutual message flashing between them: He's mad. "Is that optional?" Willow asked.
"Well, for me it is." The control in the Doctor's hand let out a bleep. "Oops, sorry, must dash. I have an alien to find." He broke into a run, shouting over his shoulder, "Nice to meet you!"
"Did he just say alien?" Buffy said.
"I think he did, yeah."
The only coherent thought running through Buffy's head as she and Willow edged quietly along the top floor was Why do the bad guys always hide out in clubs?
The scene below was bizarre even for Buffy's standards. The Doctor stood in the middle of the room. A group of scared civilians were cowering in a corner. Between them stood what looked like a knobbly metal tin can with a rounded top, and three rods poking out of it. One rod resembled a sink plunger.
"Doc-tor," the tin can spoke in an emotionless drone. "You – will – sur-ren-der – or – the – ci-vi-lli-ans – will – die."
"That's the thing about you Daleks," the Doctor said in a bored voice. "You're not original at all."
"You – re-fuse – to – sur-ren-der?"
"It would be rather anti-climatic if I actually surrendered, wouldn't it? I mean, come on, you're not exactly expecting me to, are you?"
"That's an alien," Willow whispered. "I'm staring at an alien."
"Andrew would be so jealous," Buffy whispered back.
"What's the plan of action?"
"I don't know. Wait a second, see if this Doctor guy has one."
"Da-leks – have – no – con-cept – of – an-ti-cli-ma-tic."
"Anticlimax," the Doctor said as if reading from a dictionary. "Disappointing end after a big build-up. An ordinary or unsatisfying event that follows an increasingly exiting, dramatic, or unusual series of events or a period of increasing anticipation and excitement."
"Da-leks – have – no – con-cept – of – ex-cite-ment."
"And that is the reason – well, one of the reasons – that you are the last one," the Doctor said. "The whole of your race – gone. Just you and me now. Are you going to surrender?"
"E-nough – talk!" the Dalek said. "You – have – no – wea-pon – no – means – of – at-tack."
"Maybe I should step in," Buffy murmured, concerned about this Doctor's sanity – or lack of. Before Willow could respond, she had swung over the railing and dropped down in between the Doctor and the Dalek.
The Doctor whistled. "Nice move."
"Thanks." Buffy brushed her hair out of her face and landed a kick right in the glowing light at the end of the top rod, and it snapped.
"Why didn't I think of that?" the Doctor muttered as Buffy grabbed his arm. The Dalek's top was swivelling as it moaned – as much as that kind of voice could moan – that it couldn't see. She tried to pull the Doctor out, but he wouldn't budge. "Thanks for the distraction, Betty."
The Doctor didn't hear her, having pulled out another metal instrument. She watched in fascination as he pointed it at the Dalek. It lit up and bleeped. The Dalek stopped moving and went completely silent.
"What did you do?"
"I paralysed the system. If the Dalek wants to face me, it can do it without its little gadgets." The Doctor pressed another button on his contraption.
"What's that?" Willow asked, joining them.
"Sonic screwdriver. Don't ask stupid questions. Aha!" Buffy and Willow drew back sharpish as the front of the tin can opened. What was revealed inside looked like a small, tentacley demon.
"Wow," Willow murmured. "That's an alien."
"Could we have a little less of the gossip, please, ladies?" the Doctor said, annoyed. "Ow!" He jumped backwards.
"What happened?" Buffy asked.
"I just got electrocuted," he replied.
It looked like the Dalek did, to. It cried out in pain, and then curled up into itself and lay still.
The Doctor sighed. "And another race gone from the galaxy." He turned slowly around and started to leave the club.
"Hey!" Buffy yelled. "Wait!" She raced after him, Willow hot on her heels. "Look, I just saved your life, the least you owe me is an explanation. What exactly was that thing?"
"You did not save my life," the Doctor replied haughtily. "I had everything under control."
"Oh, please. You would be Dalek food if it wasn't for me." Buffy folded her arms and glared at him. Willow rolled her eyes.
"Fine," the Doctor said. "You helped distract it while I got out my sonic screwdriver. But that's all you did. So, goodbye."
"Oh no you don't, buddy. That – Dalek – was an alien?"
He surveyed her for a moment. "Yes, it was."
"So what does that make you? 'Cause I know Cleveland is a Hellmouth and everything, but I'm the Sl – I mean, I'm a Slayer and I've never seen anything like that."
"You're a what?"
"Slayer," Willow chipped in. "The original too. Look, Buffy, I ought to get going, I've got that field trip with the Slayers to the magic shop tonight. Fill us in later, okay?"
"Sure." Buffy turned back to the Doctor as Willow walked away. "Hey! What do you think you're doing?"
"You're definitely human," the Doctor said with a frown, his sonic screwdriver moving around in front of her, flashing and bleeping. "But there's something different about you. What is a Slayer, exactly?"
She slapped his hand away. "Stop bleeping me! I'm a vampire slayer."
"What on earth do you mean, vampire?"
"Sunlight too?" the Doctor asked as they drew up outside the blue box.
"Sunlight, stakes, religious symbols, all the usual mythological stuff. Except garlic, that doesn't work. Actually, Spike loved the stuff." She paused.
"Goodness, I'm on a steep learning curve today," the Doctor said, not noticing the expression on her face "Any other time I would say that that is impossible, but to be honest I'm too tired to argue. Chasing a Dalek round and round space and time does that to you." He turned back to Buffy. "So …"
She shrugged, forcing a smile. "See you around then."
He considered for a moment. "You know what … I'm sorry. You did save my life. Well, sort of." He smiled, but Buffy didn't. "… And you don't seem too happy about that."
"No, it's not that, it's just … it's nothing."
He had a feeling that it wasn't nothing, but chose not to press the matter. "Will you let me say thank you then?"
"I believe you just did," she replied, smiling slightly.
The Doctor grinned. "This blue box?" He patted it. "It's my spaceship."
Buffy raised an eyebrow. "You expect me to believe that?"
"I'm serious, it's a spaceship. It can go anywhere in space … or time."
Her ears noticeably pricked. "Time travel?"
"Yep. The year five billion … the Roman Empire … or another solar system altogether … it's your choice. One trip to say thank you. Where – or when – would you like to go?"
"Sunnydale High School, California," she said without hesitation. "Three weeks and two days ago."
There was a long pause. The Doctor gave an inward sigh, recognising the look in her eyes.
"Who did you lose?" he asked in a soft tone.
Buffy dropped her eyes. "My boyfriend. Well, boyfriend of sorts. Either way … I loved him."
"I can't save him," the Doctor said.
"I'm sorry. I can't go back on anyone's personal timeline. Not even my own."
She squeezed her eyes shut, tears starting to leak. The Doctor drew a hanky out of his pocket and gently pressed it into her hand.
"Thanks," she whispered.
He waited patiently while she dried her tears and then gazed unseeingly into space, eventually coming to a decision. "I know when I want to go."
"His life before he met me." Buffy paused. "That's allowed, right? I want to see … what he was like. Maybe even say goodbye. Subtly," she added as he opened his mouth. "It won't change anything. Please?"
He sighed. "All right. You win." He opened the TARDIS door for her and she stepped inside.
"Wow," she said in awe. "It's much bigger on the inside."
The Doctor rolled his eyes.