Playing At Dolls

By PaBurke

Crossover: Dollhouse and Stargate SG1

Rating: PG, yes it is possible even with the premise of Dollhouse

Summary: Topher has never had a doll like this before. Someone should really vet those doll applications better.

Spoilers: Season 9ish for SG1, premise for Dollhouse

Disclaimer: I own nothing

A/N: was supposed to be a drabble and became something a 1000 words more.


Topher had seen many 'volunteers' walk into his chair room. The first timers were always broken in some way. A person had to be broken to willingly disengage their consciousness from their body and hand over their body for five years. Most of the time, Topher never bothered to consider why anyone would become a doll.

This youngster was different. He was tall, pretty. Dark blonde hair and direct brown eyes. He was young for a volunteer. Most didn't crap out on their life until the mid-twenties or thirties. This one was barely twenty. There was no hesitation in his step when he sat into the chair. He didn't make a noise or weep as Topher pulled every memory out of him and put it in a wedge. Finally it was over and Topher directed the chair into an upright position. He had no doubt that this young one would soon be a favorite among the clients.

"Charlie, how do you feel?" Topher had done this call and response so many times he didn't have to think about it any more.

The doll blinked twice and looked at him. Standard doll vacant gaze.

Topher waited. And waited. The doll should have asked if he had fallen asleep. Something was wrong. "Charlie…."

Those dark eyes snapped to his and the yoga pose that the dolls normally carried changed into something closer to the Actives that had been programmed as soldiers. That impression was cemented with the doll's first words.

"Well, this is a clusterf…"

"Whoa." Topher stepped back and double-checked his controls. He had definitely programmed a clean slate. Why didn't it stick? It had never failed before.

"What did you screw up?" the doll asked.

"I didn't screw up," Topher countered.

The doll sat up even more in the chair and started tapping the armrest with one finger. "The fact that I still remember says differently."

"I didn't screw up," Topher repeated.

"Some genius decided to call me Charlie for my time in here?" The doll asked. "That was stupid."

The finger tapping was getting on Topher's nerves. "Stop tapping." He went through the scans again. The memory wipe was normal procedure. Why was this doll talking back?

"Then fix this," the doll ordered. Dolls are not supposed to order, they are supposed to ask, be directed. They were supposed to act like frickin' dolls.

"It shouldn't matter the significance a name held in your previous life. Nothing should snap you out of a doll wipe. There should be nothing there!"

The doll huffed. "Charlie was the name of my best friend."

"It shouldn't matter!"

"I named my son after him."

Topher blinked and turned back to the doll –who was still tapping on that armrest. "You have a son? It's not in the file."

Those eyes got so dark and expressive even as they closed off. "He's dead. Now are you going to erase my memories, or not?"

"First I have to figure out what went wrong."

The doll sighed and stood up, heading for the door.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I am not sitting there if you don't know what's going on. I'm hungry. I'm going to go find some cake and you better diagnose the problem by the time I get back."

"Wait, wait." The doll ignored him and Topher had to chase him down. "There's no cake," he finally called after the doll.

The doll stopped and stared. "What do you mean, no cake? I was assured of five-star cuisine."

"Well, yeah, but it's all healthy." Topher faked a smile. "The bodies have to be in perfect shape, remember? It wouldn't due if they got a little pudgy."

"Five years? No cake?" Now the doll was rethinking his decision? Who was this kid?

"There's no cake, so let's got back to the chair room and I can call my boss."

"Fine." The doll followed and to Topher's immense surprise, there was a tall, blonde chick hovering over the controls of his domain.

"Hey! How did you get in here?"

The woman turned. She was pointing a gun at Topher even as she was looking at the doll. "Jack, this is getting tiring."

"Carter," he said in response.

"I'm not going to even make the normal comment about having to pull your ass out of the fire again. Or that you deliberately put your ass in the fire again. Daniel can do that."

"Daniel's busy," the doll snarked.

"Not too busy for this." Carter held up the wedge that should have the only copy of the doll's original matrix. "But to deliberately compromise OpSec? For that I will yell at you."

"Yeah, yeah. On the plus side –for you- brainiac here unlocked the database that we all know that Thor did not truly remove."

Carter sighed. "Aside from the fact that it will kill you which has been your plan for months, how is this good?"

"We are standing in a room where you can copy it onto a digital interface."

Carter brightened. She waved the gun at Topher. "You. Sit in the corner and don't move." She looked at what was supposed to be the newest doll. "Get in the chair."

The doll climbed into the chair and waited as Carter scanned his brain. Topher wished his phone would ring, that someone would notice the stranger in the dollhouse and then he was amazed by what he saw on the brain scan.

"What is that?" he asked. "I have never seen a scan like it." And he had done plenty of scans in his lifetime.

Carter pulled something silver and big from her bag and pointed it at Topher. Before he could focus on it, he felt ants in his brain and pain and nothing more.

He came to slowly. He was still on the ground.

The doll was talking. "…help with Ori."

"This is starting to sound like a black ops plan put together by the general. Apollo and the rest of SG1 have just been the pawns on your side of the chess game."

"Sorry Carter."

A sigh. "I do feel better now that I know that you aren't trying to kill yourself. Apollo, transport now."

Time must have passed. When Topher could finally open his eyes. No one was in the chair room. The IChair/I was not in the chair room. Neither was a bunch of his equipment and all of the spare, empty wedges. All of the full wedges were still there, but the Ichair!/I

He stumbled over to the phone and hit speed dial. "Security, we have a problem."