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Fellow Travelers

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This story is No. 25 in the series "Oh, The Places He Goes!". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A quick postscript (because, really, it's finished) - Xander and the Doctor deal with a Sontaran invasion.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Xander-CenteredphoukaFR1514,20401211,2733 Jul 073 Jul 07Yes
Disclaimer: Xander Harris, Buffy Summers, and all other characters, environments, and situations are copyright of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and 20th Century Fox. Dr. Who, fellow characters, TARDIS, K9, and all other characters, situations, and details are copyright BBC, those jolly fellows. No infringement is intended. No profit will be made.

Not-the-Author's Note: So, phoukabro and I often catch breakfast Sunday mornings, and, as we are siblings, we take turns torturing one another. I get a little misty-eyed when I think about our last gross-out contest, where he started with what chorizo is really made of and I trumped with threatened details of my last period (Ladies, you'll always win with this one. Believe me.)

Last Sunday, it was my turn again, and I asked him how he felt, having finished his epic Xander series. Very well, thank you, was his answer. And did he have any characters or situations he wished he could have fitted in? Well, hmmm, yeah, he had wanted to do one with the Doctor, but it would only work as a flashback, and anyways. We moved on to other topics, but I knew, I knew, I'd gotten him. On the walk to the car, he paused and looked at me with dire hatred in his eyes.

"I was finished! Damn you! Now I've got to go write this damn thing mumble grumble dammit bitch whine mope grrrrrr…."

My work here is done.

Heh.

Heh.

Heh.

Fellow Travelers

Buffy Summers walked through the hallway towards the front door, when she passed her friend and current boss, Xander Harris. He stood in the middle of the hallway, staring intently at a poster on the wall.

“Just let it go, Xander,” Buffy told him.

“Nope. Violet put this up when she first moved in, and all the others have seen it. It's my turn, and I won't quit until I see it.”

“I realize you're happy about your new eye, but give it a rest. You've been staring at that all day.”

“Not going to happen,” Xander said. “I had that damn eyepatch for almost four years. I couldn't wear sunglasses, because they wouldn't fit properly. I had to get special mirrors put on any vehicle I drove. I had to get the sights adjusted on any long range weapon I used. It was one sucky limitation after another.”

“But you did get make jokes about how you lost your eye. You'll never be able to do that again,” she pointed out.

“Oh,” Xander's expression fell. “I still had like forty of those I never used. But never mind that. I have work to do.”

Buffy watched him stare directly at the Magic Eye poster. “Try looking in the corner.”

Xander waved her off. “I'm going to do this on my own. It's been taunting me all these months. It's all, 'Come look at me and see the hidden picture. All the others have seen it. Oh wait, only two eyed people are welcome.' But the worm has turned. It will mock me no longer. I have risen up, and I will meet its challenge. I don't care how long it takes, I will not falter! IF IT TAKES WEEKS OR MONTHS, AS GOD AS MY WITNESS I WILL – oh, it's a schooner.”

Xander walked away, whistling a jaunty tune. Buffy shook her head and walked beside him.

“You're in a chipper mood today,” she said.

“Indeed I am. I woke up this morning fully rested. Then I had dirty, filthy sex with your little sister.”

“You going to stop calling it that anytime soon?”

“Not while I still enjoy how uncomfortable it makes you,” Xander answered. “But anyways, after I was done violating your closest blood relative in unspeakable ways, I got a call from Willow. She said the final tests are done. My eye is not only permanent, but also completely natural. No evil eye magic curses for me. Plus, it's poker night.”

“Poker night is good?” Buffy asked.

“Poker night is very good. The one thing my father gave me, besides a genetic predisposition for alcoholism, is the art of playing poker. Add in the fact that it's a stag affair, and I'm a happy camper.”

“Aw, does Xander need time away from all the girls?”

“Damn straight I do,” he told her. “I've been drowning in estrogen for too long. And poker night is the perfect remedy.”

Xander and Buffy entered the kitchen and saw Dawn Summers standing by the table. There was a large crate, four feet by four feet by four feet sitting on the table.

“Hey, guys,” Dawn greeted them. “Xander, this huge ass crate came for you this morning.”

“I didn't know the post office delivered on Sundays,” Buffy said.

“They don't. Neither do UPS, Fed Ex, or DHL. Where did this come from?” Xander asked.

“Don't know. I just found it on the front door step this morning. It didn't set off any of the wards, so I brought it in,” Dawn told them.

“Wow. It's pretty big,” Buffy observed.

“Yeah, that's what your sister said,” Xander added, smirking.

“Xander! She's standing right there.”

“Yeah, Xander,” Dawn told him. “But I did say that. About his penis. When we had sex.”

Buffy let out a weary sigh. “You know all these jokes are getting kind of old. How would you like it if I told you the sordid details of the sex I've been having?”

“With Benton? He's a Mountie. There's nothing sordid about him. Having sex with him is as wholesome as drinking milk and flossing,” Dawn said.

“She has a point. Besides, we helped set you up with him, so you can't really embarrass us with the sex jokes,” Xander said.

Buffy fumed for a moment, then a smile slowly spread on her face. “Say, Dawn. Did you know Mom had sex with Giles?”

“Yeah, right,” Dawn scoffed. “Mom and Giles. As if.”

“It's true. It was during the whole Band Candy thing. Giles went all Ripper on her, and she went weak at the knees for him.”

Dawn looked at Buffy nervously. “Shut up. You're just making this up.”

“Mention it to Giles and see how he reacts,” Buffy told her. “They had sex on top of a cop car. Twice. Handcuffs were involved.”

“Ew, ew, ew,” Dawn said, covering her ears. “Stop it. That's disgusting.”

“I'll stop if you and Xander quit with all the sex jokes.”

“Fine,” Dawn agreed. “No more sex talk.”

“Just to be clear. I can still have sex with Dawn, we just can't talk about it in front of you?” Xander asked.

“Yeah. That covers it,” Buffy said. She grabbed the envelope attached to the crate and handed it to Xander. “I'll grab a crowbar to open this thing up.”

Xander looked over the envelope. He opened it and took out a short piece of paper.

From one traveler to another,
Glad you made your way home.
I think this will help you in your job.

The Doctor


“Who's the Doctor?” Dawn asked.

“He's... kind of hard to explain. Gobo and I ran into him before we settled in Chicago.”

“What happened?”

Xander stared at the note as he thought back to his encounter. “He offered me a ride.”



20 miles outside Omaha, Nebraska. August 2006.

Xander drove along in his Humvee, with Gobo Fraggle sitting on the dashboard. Xander spotted a roadblock a few hundred feet up ahead, and slowed the car down.

“Gobo, I'm going to need you to hide in the back for a little. That okay?” he asked.

“If you say so, Mr. Xander. I don't want to get captured by the mean Silly Creatures again,” Gobo said, as he climbed behind the front seat and pulled a blanket over his body.

Xander pulled the Humvee to a stop and rolled the window down. He looked at the two men running the roadblock. “What's the problem here?”

The first man stepped up. “Good afternoon. I'm Agent Davis, this is Agent Jones. We're looking for a fugitive in the area. Have you seen this man? He goes by the alias Dr. John Smith, or simply the Doctor.”

Agent Davis showed Xander a photograph of a smiling man who appeared to be in his late twenties. The man wore a pin stripe brown suit and stood in front of a blue box. Xander shook his head. “Sorry. Never seen him.”

“He may be disguised as this man,” Agent Davis said, showing Xander another photograph.

Xander took a look. The man in this picture appeared about ten years older, six inches taller, had a thin wiry build, and wore black leather. “That's some disguise. But I haven't seen him either.”

Agent Davis took a careful look at Xander. “May I ask how you lost your eye?”

Xander sighed. “A couple of years ago, I said I'd give my left eye for the Red Sox to win the World Series. Never thought I'd have to pay up…”

Agent Davis stared at Xander, silently assessing him. After a minute he spoke. “This man is extremely dangerous. Please keep these copies of his picture, and if you see him, contact us,” Agent Davis told him, handing him a card.

Xander took it and drove on.

“It's clear now, Gobo. You can come out now.”

Gobo climbed out from his hiding spot and crawled into the front passenger seat.

“Who were those men?” Gobo asked.

“They said they were government agents, but they never identified the agency they belong to,” Xander said, studying the card. “Now Giles said the Devon coven detected a huge buildup of interdimensional energy in this area. He was afraid it was a new Hellmouth opening. Now what are the odds that these agents show up in the same area for a completely different reason?”

Gobo shrugged. “I don't know. But if you are looking for the same thing, you'll probably run into them again.”

“Good point,” Xander said. “I'm going to pull over and see if we can get a better reading with the talisman.”



Xander drove down the streets, following the tug of the talisman around his neck. Gobo sat on his shoulder happily looking around.

“Seems to be pointing east. We must be getting close, cause the things pulling pretty hard,” he said.

“Mr. Xander?”

“Just a second. There are some warehouses a couple of blocks from here. If someone is opening up a portal, that would be the ideal spot for it.”

“Mr. Xander?”

“But if it's natural, what are the odds of it opening up in Ashland, Nebraska? This stuff usually happens where there's a lot of magical activity, and according to Giles, this place has none.”

“Mr. Xander?” Gobo repeated, tugging on Xander's hair. “Isn't that the blue box from the photo?”

Xander stopped and turned to see the object Gobo spotted. He parked the Humvee and got out. He walked up to the box and slowly walked around it. It was a tall blue box the size of a telephone booth. The words 'Police Public Call Box' were printed in large letters on each side, with a light on the top. There seemed to be a door handle on one side. Xander tried to open it, but the door wouldn't budge.

“Okay. Looks like some kind of old time telephone booth. But what's it doing in twenty-first century America?”

The sounds of a struggle drew his attention. He let Gobo down from his shoulder and crept up to the alley where the noises were coming from. He peaked around the corner and saw Agent Davis and Jones restraining the man from the first photo. Agent Jones handcuffed the man's hands behind his back.

“You must let me stop this!” the Doctor pleaded. “We can't let the portal open.”

“We have the situation under control. Your interference is unwarranted,” Agent Jones said.

Xander checked his bag and pulled out the Zat'nik'tel he recently acquired. He put the weapon in the back waist band of his jeans, then stepped into the alley.

“Hey, Agent Davis! I saw that blue box from the photo!”

Agent Davis looked up and scowled. “We have the situation under control. Please go on your way.”

“You have nothing under control. Every second you keep me here, the greater the danger,” the Doctor said. Agent Jones punched the Doctor in the face.

“Hey! I'm pretty sure that's police brutality,” Xander said. “How about we call your supervisor.”

“Sir, please move along. We're government agents. We have this under control.”

“Yeah, which agency were you with again? I never got the name.”

“And what government?” the Doctor asked. “I'm fairly certain you're out of your jurisdiction. I thought Torchwood only worked in Great Britain.”

“You're not a U.S. agency? Dr. Smith there has a point. Don't you have to work with an American agency.”

“Sir. I suggest you mind your business and leave!” Agent Davis warned.

“Or I could just call my good friend, Agent Riley Finn with Homeland Security, and he can help sort this whole thing out.”

Agent Davis pulled out his sidearm and pointed it at Xander. “You're involving yourself in matters you don't understand.”

“Funny, that's what I was just saying to you,” the Doctor said. “It's bad enough what happened in London.”

“What happened in London?” Xander asked.

“Nothing,” Agent Davis told him. “There was a minor incident where the water supply was drugged and some people suffered hallucinations.”

“And I suppose all the property damage was caused by a leaky gas line?” the Doctor added.

Xander saw Agent Davis grimace at the Doctor's words. “There is a perfectly normal explanation for what happened. No need to invent stories.”

“Were gangs on PCP involved at any point? You'd be surprised how often they pop up in official explanations,” Xander said. He turned to the Doctor. “You said you wanted to stop a portal opening. What happens if you don't?”

The Doctor let out a long breath. “If I don't stop it, then a great evil will be unleashed upon this world, and millions of people will die.”

Agent Davis turned the Doctor to quiet him. As he did so, Xander pulled out the Zat'nik'tel and fired off two quick shots, stunning the agents. He walked over to Agent Davis and grabbed the keys from his belt. Walking over to the Doctor, he uncuffed him.

“Interesting weapon you have,” the Doctor noted.

“I picked it up this past May. Comes in handy. It's nice to be able to stun someone and avoid unnecessary killing...”

The Doctor nodded. “That's a rare sentiment these days. I'm glad to see it's still around.”

“Just for the record, I'm taking what you said on faith.”

“I appreciate your help, but we must hurry.”



Inside the warehouse, Xander watched the Doctor cobble a mish-mash of circuitry and machine parts.

“What's that do?” Xander asked.

“It will collapse the wave form of the portal, preventing the invasion,” the Doctor said.

“And those Torchwood guys thought they could harness the portal somehow, maybe control it before any invasion could start.”

The Doctor paused and looked up at Xander. “Yes. You're perceptive.”

“Thanks. Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you've done this kind of thing before.”

“I have some familiarity with it,” the Doctor informed him.

“So you just go around, find trouble brewing, and stop it?” Xander asked.

“I have to,” he said. “The universe is a very dangerous place. Dangers lurk around every corner, conditions are harsh everywhere you go, and great evil is just waiting for the chance to strike at the innocent. It's amazing how humanity has managed to not only survive, but flourish in the face of all that. So it's up to me to make a difference.”

Xander listened to the Doctor speak. “You're... not human, are you.”

The Doctor glanced, but did not pause in his work. “Very perceptive,” he muttered.

“Okay, Doc. Riddle me this. Why is this portal opening up in BFE Nebraska? I figure an invasion would want to hit the population centers first.” Xander asked.

“The portal is small, so it will take time for the entire force to emerge. They want to remain undetected until they strike. And the governments of this world aren't totally defenseless. Once they get the first sniff of an attack, they hit back with everything they've got. There's a good chance the invasion will fail. But the cost will be horrific.”

“Which is why we're trying to stop it before it starts. I was worried for a second. I thought that if we were out in the boonies, that meant someone was on this side trying to open it up away from prying eyes. I'm glad they're all on the other side.”

The Doctor froze. “Oh, dear. I hadn't thought of that.”

“What?”

“Establishing and opening a portal from so far away doesn't lend itself to much precision. They would have to have and agent already here to give them -”

BLAMM! The wall next to the Doctor exploded in flame. He hit the ground, as Xander jumped to the side. Across the warehouse, a figure in a sleek black and silver futuristic garb aimed a hand sized weapon at them. The figure had a huge domed head atop its body.

“Jesus!” Xander yelled. He pulled out his Zat'nik'tel and fired at the creature. The creature was hit by three blasts but merely shrugged off the attack.

“The Sontaran has a much more resilient physiology. Your weapon will only irritate it,” the Doctor yelled for his cover. Blasts erupted all around them.

“How do we stop it?” Xander asked.

“They have a weak spot in the back of the neck. There's a small vent there. Hit that and you'll injure or even kill it.”

The firing abruptly stopped. Xander peeked out and groaned. Across the warehouse, the Sontaran fired at the small creature frantically skittering around his feet.

“It's Gobo. He's distracting that thing. Trying to buy us some time. How much longer do you need to set up your device?”

“Just a few more minutes.”

“Okay, I'll be right back,” Xander told him, before getting up and running out the door of the warehouse.

“Where's he off to?” the Doctor wondered as he carefully crawled over to his makeshift device.

Gobo scampered through a small hole in the wall, away from the Sontaran's firing. The domed figure stopped, looked around, then strode towards the Doctor.

“Just another minute,” the Doctor mumbled. He rewired one section, and adjusted the settings on another. A shadow fell over him. The Doctor looked up and saw the Sontaran standing before him. It drew the weapon and aimed it at the Doctor. Just before it could pull the trigger, the Sontaran reared back in pain. It clutched behind its head and toppled forward. As the body hit the floor next to the Doctor, he saw an arrow sticking out of the back of its neck. Xander ran up to Doctor carrying a crossbow.

“Sorry I left. I had to change the artillery,” Xander said, reloading the crossbow. “How's Gobo? Did he make it out?”

“I'm here Mr. Xander,” Gobo said, popping up beside him.

“That was one brave, crazy thing you did. Be careful when you pull stuff like that. I don't want to see you get killed,” Xander said. He turned back to the Doctor. “How much more time before the portal opens?”

“Five minutes.”

“How long until your device works and stops it?”

“Four and a half minutes, give or take thirty seconds. It always comes down to the wire,” the Doctor said.

“Gobo. I want you to head outside. If anyone besides me or the Doctor comes out, you need to run away as fast as you can. Head back to your home and keep your people safe. Okay?”

Gobo nodded sadly. “Okay, Mr. Xander. Please be careful and come out. I don't want anything to happen to my friends.”

As Gobo waddled out of the warehouse, Xander watched the Doctor completing his device. “So how'd you get this job?”

“Job?”

“Yeah, stopping bad guys and looking out for the little guy. You need references for that?” Xander asked.

“It's a long story.”

“Well you've got about four minutes.”

“When I grew up, my people had grown out of war and violence, or any kind of danger at all. Life there was perfectly safe, and perfectly structured, and perfectly dull. I wanted to see all the dangers and wonders outside my home, but that was forbidden. So I left and became a criminal to my people,” the Doctor said. “And so I traveled and saw the most amazing places and people. But everywhere I went, people needed help. That was when I discovered I couldn't sit idly by and watch it happen.”

“There's something else, though,” Xander said. “You said you had to. Like it was your responsibility.”

The Doctor wiped the sweat from his forehead as he tweaked the setting on the front dish. “There was...there was a war. The worst evil you could imagine rose up. They hated all life and were determined to wipe it out. They would have if my people had stepped in to stop them. And I led the charge.”

“What happened?”

“I stopped the threat. But... my people were wiped out. I'm the only one left,” the Doctor stated. He slapped on the final part of the device and set it upright. “So all sorts of evils exist lurking around every corner. And my people, who made sure none of them rose up to be too dangerous, are all dead and it's my fault. And I around stopping all the threats that arise, because I'm the only one left to do so.”

Twenty feet from them, a swirly pattern emerged. It started slow, but soon sped up and enlarged.

“Um, Doc? Not to rush you or anything, but I think our time's up,” Xander said.

“Just need one final calibration,” the Doctor said, aiming the device.

Xander hunkered down and took aim with his crossbow. A figure began to coalesce in the vortex before them. The Doctor fired his device directly into the vortex. It wavered for a few seconds, then collapsed in a roar of sound and blinding light. Xander blinked hard a couple of times, then stood up.

“Did it work?” Xander asked.

“Do you see an alien invasion force bent on the decimation and enslavement of humanity?”

“No.”

“Then it worked.”



Xander watched the Doctor unlock the blue box.

“This your ride?” he asked. “It's a bit... different.”

“I prefer the term classic. This is the TARDIS. And there is literally nothing else like it.”

“And off you go,” Xander held out his hand and shook the Doctor's. “I'm glad you were here. And I'm glad I could help. Take care.”

The Doctor opened the door to the TARDIS, then stopped and turned to Xander. “Would you like a ride?”

“In that? What, just take a spin around the block?”

“Or more. I'm always on the lookout for bright resourceful friends who want to make a difference.”

“And I made the cut?”

“Think about it,” the Doctor told him. “It won't be dull, I can assure you. You'll get to travel to places you never imagined. Meet the most extraordinary people. And you would get to help people.”

Xander looked at the Doctor, then turned back to look at his Humvee. He closed his eye and thought for a moment.

“It's tempting. Believe me. And if you caught me before, I would have probably said yes. But the thing is, I'm already doing all that. And eventually I know I'm going to want to come home. I don't know where or what home is right now, but I know if I go with you I'll never see it,” Xander explained. “I'm sorry. But I'll have to pass.”

The Doctor nodded sadly. “I understand. And I hope you find your home.”

Xander watched as the Doctor walked into the TARDIS. He glanced inside just before the door shut, catching a glimpse of a huge room inside. A few seconds after the door shut, a mechanical groaning filled the air as the TARDIS faded away.

Xander shook his head as he walked back to his Humvee. “Huh, that was just weird.”



Chicago. Now.

Buffy pried off the side of the crate with her crowbar. Xander moved the piece aside and looked into the crate. From inside the crate, a red light shone out. Mechanical gears whirred and the form moved towards Xander and Dawn. They backed up as the small robotic form exited the crate and rolled into the room.

“The Hell?” Buffy said. She looked at the lettering on the side of the machine. “K-9?”

“Affirmative. I am K-9, Mark 5.”

“The Doctor sent you?” Xander asked.

“Affirmative,” K-9 said. He looked up and scanned the people in the kitchen. He stopped when he completed scanning Xander. “You are Xander Harris. You are my new master.”

“Master?”

“Affirmative. My former master built and programmed me to assist you in investigating and controlling any alien, interdimensional, or demonic situations.”

Xander looked around at Buffy and Dawn.

Buffy shrugged. “I'm not walking him.”

“O...kay. I really hope you came with a manual,” he said. “C'mon. I'll make some room for you in the garage. You'll have to share with Herbie, but I'm sure you two will get along.”

The End

You have reached the end of "Fellow Travelers". This story is complete.

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