Summary: Mickey finds that police interrogations and Jackie Tyler aren’t the worse things he has to face in everyone’s search for Rose.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. BBC owns Doctor Who. Joss owns Buffy.
Timeline: Right before “The Aliens of London”.
AN: Sort of a follow up to It’s All In the Genes, but that doesn’t have to be read to be understood.
AN2: This is something I wrote awhile ago, but I just found it the other day and thought that I’d post it. And, since they’re rerunning S/1 on BBC America, I’m getting a little inspired, so I went ahead and posted it as a series in case something else pops up. Please excuse any Americanisms here during Mickey’s POV.
Special thanks to my beta, Charlotte. Thank you again, sweetie.
Some days, when Mickey woke up, he wondered if he actually had or if he was still stuck in a nightmare. At night, when he’s lying alone in his bed - barring when he had been taken in for questioning - he could convince himself that he had sustained some head injury and that none of current life was real. In reality, Rose was safe at home with her mother or sitting next to his hospital bed, holding his hand and praying for him to wake up. A trash bin never decided that he looked like a tasty treat. Shop dummies never held him captive and a pool of plastic never tried to destroy the human race. Rose never kissed him on the cheek and ran off to travel in a big blue box. And that man that called himself the Doctor was nothing more than a figment of his imagination.
His friend George, who fancied himself an expert on human behavior because he liked to watch afternoon talk shows, might say that the Doctor was ‘a manifest of Mickey’s fear of losing Rose’. After all, the Doctor was everything that Mickey wasn’t. He was obviously dangerous; Mickey was safe. He traveled and could show Rose anything she ever dreamed of and more; Mickey, if he saved up, might be able to afford to take her to Dublin for the weekend. He was clever and brilliant; Mickey barely made it through school. The Doctor was everything Mickey wasn’t, and Rose had chosen him. So, believing that he was trapped in a dream and reality was nothing but his imagination was a lot less painful or terrifying than if it were true.
However, after the night passed and he awoke morning after morning, alone in his bed with pictures and information on the Doctor he had found on the internet littering his tack board and harassing, pleading messages from Jackie on his answering machine, he had to face that this was reality. Rose was gone. The Doctor was real. And Mickey had to live in a waking nightmare full of strange facts and stranger people.
Stranger people like Rose’s Californian cousin.
He had heard stories of her, like how when Rose was ten, her cousin Buffy - ‘Buffy? Did your aunt loose a bet or something?’
- had burned down her high school’s gymnasium or how her new school blew up on the day of her graduation. Jackie had even once told him, after consuming a bit too much champagne at Charlotte and Dan Price’s wedding a few years back, that Buffy had once been the main suspect in a young girl’s murder and then had just up and disappeared on her mum for four months.
From the stories he had been told, Mickey had expected the Buffy to be some leather obsessed, tattoo covered biker type that used her fluffy name in the same sarcastic way that people call a five hundred pound he-man Tiny. So he was rather surprised when the tiny, bubbly blonde that had knocked on his door at half nine at night identified herself as none other than the murderous firebug, Buffy Summers.
Not bothering to wait for an invitation inside, she bounced into his flat. He tried not to wince when she pushed the door into him. The force would have knocked him to the ground if he hadn’t hit the wall first. The fleeting thought that she was stronger than she looked passed through his mind, but he wasn’t expecting her to do that so he must have just lost his footing.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“Oh, just a little chat - Rickey, right?” Buffy said, her eyes scanning over every inch of his small Council flat.
“It’s Mickey,” he replied dryly.
His arms firmly crossed, Mickey leaned backed against the door, clearly showing Buffy that she was not welcomed here. He’d been harassed far to many times by Jackie to think that her niece would show up at his doorstep for nothing more than a friendly chat and tea, and he most certainly didn’t feel like defending his innocence yet again to another Tyler.
“Little chat. Right,” he said. “Well, go on then. Do what you came to do and get it over with.”
“I’m sorry?” She actually had the gall to look confused.
Ignoring that innocent gaze, Mickey said, “Go on. Do it. Accuse me of hurtin’ Rose. Of murdernin’ her. Rant an’ threaten to your heart’s content.”
The smile on her face would have sent most men fleeing for their lives. Mickey too, had his feet not become glued to the floor.
“Oh, I’m not here to accuse you of anything, Rickey,” Buffy said with such a sweet voice that Mickey actually gulped with fear. “I’m not going to ‘rant’ or ‘rave’ or even ‘threaten’. I’m just going to ask you a few simple questions. You’re going to answer them. ‘K’?”
Mickey swallowed his fear of this girl. She was just a girl! His age, maybe a little older, and she was short and blond and looked like a good gust of wind could knock her on her bum. There was absolutely no reason to fear her, even with the stories he had heard. After all, if he had to, he was sure he could take her.
“An what if I don’t?” Mickey asked, surprising himself with amount of defiance in his tone and that his voice hadn’t cracked.
Again she smiled. Only this time, she showed her teeth.
Faith stood in the courtyard, idly playing with her stack of flyers while her cigarette dangled from between her lips. A few minutes a go, a kid on a blue bike had asked to bum one off her. She had heard the tell-tale rattle of a spray-can bottle in his backpack when he stopped his bike. He was a bored twelve-year-old looking to cause some trouble. Kid after her own heart.
“You better beat it, kid, before the big bad wolf comes and gets you,” Faith had said.
The kid had smiled and claimed that he was the big bad wolf.
Faith hit him on the back of the head and told him to get lost.
Taking a final drag off her cigarette, Faith dropped the butt, ground it out, and headed over to an empty space on a nearby wall. She put up one of the missing person’s flyers B’s crazy aunt had shoved into her arms a few minutes ago when they were in her apartment. B’s aunt wanted her to give them out wherever she went incase someone recognized her missing daughter. Well, Faith had put one up - even if the top of it did fall over and covered the contents of the flyer, it still counted - so she had done her part. The rest of the flyers would end up in the nearest dumpster she could find.
Faith really wondered when B’s family was going to give it a rest. Blondie girl - Rose, right? Faith lifted the top of the flyer to be sure. - Yeah, Blondie probably wasn’t coming back. Come on, it’ll be a year this Saturday. If she was going to come back, she’d come back by now.
Faith’s money was on that she had become vamp chow. Happened all the time, after all. But there was no body or Vamp!Rose running around that they had found yet, so B, of course, insisted on helping her aunt look for her cousin. That meant that every slayer on patrol in London and the surrounding area was on the look out for her too. Yeah, no abuse of power there, B.
She stood there for awhile, watching as people came in and out of the complex. B sure was taking her sweet precious time. She should just hit him until he tells her whatever she wants to know. Faith found that worked well. For her, at least.
Faith had just dropped the rest of the flyers in the nearest garbage when the door to the building opened and B came trotting out. Sticking her hands back into her coat, Faith walked over to her fellow slayer.
“So, what exactly did you do to Mickey Boy?”
“Just asked him some questions in my own special way,” Buffy said, walking right past Faith and heading out of the Powel Estate.
“How special?” she asked, falling into step right beside her.
“Let’s put it this way.” B pulled a disgusted face and scrunched her nose. “He’s either going to have to buy himself a new pair of shoes or spend a whole lot of time cleaning the ones he had on.”
They walked in silence for a moment, and then Buffy said, “I don’t think he did it.”
Faith raised an eyebrow. “How can you tell?”
“Trust me. The guy definitely doesn’t have that killer instinct. Or a very strong bladder apparently.” That disgusted nose scrunch returned. “I think if Rose would have raised her voice at him, he would have started crying like a ten-year-old girl, so it’d be kind of hard for him to kill her.”
Faith fought a smirk. Sounded like a couple of guys she knew. “Did you find out anything useful?”
“Yeah. You remember that picture I found last year. The one that Giles said had to have been an ancestor?”
“Remember the Doctor guy that was with her?”
“Mr. Tall, Dark, and Leather?” She looked at B from the corner of her eyes. “Demon?”
Laughing, Faith shook her head. “Damn, B. Does your family have a built in radar for non-humans or something?”
Buffy shrugged one shoulder as they stepped out of the Estate and started towards their patrol route. “Tried to get Giles to do a study, but he said it’d waste valuable Council funds.”
“Yeah, but it’d be cheaper to find all your family’s demon magnets then having to spend ‘valuable Council funds’ on search parties after they disappear.”
Smiling, Buffy said, “Should have let you make the argument.”
“Yeah, well, you know if anyone can argue, it’s -.”
“Dawn. But you come in a close second.”
Faith snorted. Couldn’t really argue with that.
She would be arguing if they thought she was going to be helping with the Doctor researching, though. She’d kick big-eared demon ass, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to be looking for him in literary references. But that was what Red made Newbie Slayers for. They do all the grunt work; she and B get to have all the fun.
Yeah, sometimes, being one of the head Kick-Ass Chicks In Charge rocked.