Prologue: Halloween

Genre: Dramady, YAHF.
Word Count: ~600
Warnings: Familiarity with Tenth Doctor, and through to "Halloween", Season 2 of Buffy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Scooby, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, or David Tennant, though I'd very much like to. I am not profiting financially from this bit of silliness.

Halloween, 1997

The Doctor blinked, and he was somewhere else. It wasn't like he wasn't used to blinking and being somewhere else; that rather came par for the course in his life. Normally, though, blinking and being somewhere else involved Jack Harkness, unexplained time vortices, or the whims of the TARDIS.

There were no swirling lights, omnisexual men or bright blue boxes anywhere in sight.

There were, however, any manner of small aliens running rampant around the streets, chasing the humans who were fleeing in terror. The Doctor frowned. This sort of thing didn't normally happen until Christmas time, and usually in London. It didn't look like Christmas and it certainly didn't feel like London.

"Xander! It's me, Willow!"

Muscle memory made the Doctor turn to see a redheaded girl in skimpy clothing rushing towards him. "'Allo," he said, and blinked, feeling his throat. His voice was different. Had he regenerated? No, that couldn't be. He would have remembered regenerating. Or would he have? Was that the sort of man he was now, an amnesiac? All signs certainly pointed that way. He checked his hands, patted down his front, and pushed his fingers through thick curls of indeterminate color.

"Blimey, I have regenerated. How, when, did that happen?"

The girl screeched to a halt, blinking in astonishment. "What?"

He turned to the girl. Lovely thing, ginger to boot. He could regenerate a thousand times, well… ten, and never quite manage that shade of red. Or any shade of red. It was enough to depress him. Momentarily, anyway. "Don't suppose I'm ginger, am I? Ah, no matter. As I was saying, hello there. Tell me, miss, whereabouts in the galaxy are we? Date and time, year and place would be brilliant. Planet of origin, perhaps?"

"Xander, quit messing around. This isn't no time for jokes!"

He shoved his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels. "Oh I never joke, miss. Not once have I cracked a joke in the face of the unknown. A riddle, maybe. A pun, oh yes, certainly. Anecdotes, a witticism here or there. I banter quite frequently, of course, and have been known to even engage in a small bit of buffoonery from time to time. But joke?" He shook his head. "Never."

Willow stared at him like he was insane, but the Doctor was long used to those sorts of looks. She shook her head, waving her hands. "Something crazy is happening. I was dressed as a ghost for Halloween, and now I am a ghost. And you were dressed as a …" She frowned, taking in the pinstripe suit and blue Converse. "What are you supposed to be, anyway?"

He grinned. "I, my dear, ginger ghost, am the Doctor."

"Doctor who?" She winced and shook her head again, hands waving frantically. "Never mind. Don't answer that. Listen, Doctor… There's something seriously wrong."

"There usually is, Willow. Let me see…" He paced forward, peering at the buildings, letting his gaze slip into the timestream for just a second. "Hm. Sunnydale. United States of America. Planet Earth. Late nineties. Nineteen nineties at that." He sniffed and licked his tongue into the air, even went so far as to pick up a pinch of dirt from the asphalt and taste it. "October. Halloween. A hint of chaos magic on the air." He grinned. "Haven't seen chaos magic in years. That's brilliant!"

Willow just gaped at him.