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This story is No. 3 in the series "Traveling Scoobies". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Willow and Buffy are hurt. Good thing there's a Doctor to help them.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > GeneralloyaleskamoeFR13525,81122511,05711 Aug 0719 Nov 08No

Immutable, Flowing, and Dangerous When Disturbed

By the time the gang was allowed into Willow's room, her clothes and possessions had already been delivered, and she was sitting up in bed with a nice cup of hot cocoa.

"BUFFY!" she squealed rapturously, leaping from beneath her covers.  The Slayer responded much in the same tone, and then the two women embraced while bouncing up and down.  Xander, feeling left out, made a giddy noise, grabbed them both, and joined in.

The Doctor got a silly, wistful grin on his face.  Rose would've loved to have seen this.  She always was a total happy freak.  Of course, that's what he thought of her before his regeneration into this current incarnation.  Since then, he's been the same, if not worse!  That's what made traveling with her afterwards so much....  He didn't want to use the word "better", because that was certainly not accurate!  No, it was more like the two of them became in tune with each other.  More agreeable, maybe?  At the very least, once he adapted to his new brain, he could certainly understand where her boundless enthusiasm for seeing the cheerful in life came from.

He sighed, causing Martha to glance at him.

"What's wrong?" she whispered.  The Doctor looked at her.  Oh there was absolutely no way on Earth (Or any other planet!) he'd tell her.

"Uh...  I'm touched, truly, by this touching scene of joyous reunion." He smiled at her . 'Yes,' he thought, 'there's no way she bought that.  I'm in so much trouble.'

"Doctor!" He winced internally at Martha's expression.  Then she smiled saccharinely "That's so sweet!"

His expression unchanged, the Doctor pumped his fist in the air.

Martha shook her head. "You are so weird."

He nodded in agreement, and the two of them returned to the touching scene. (No, not that kind!  Think clean thoughts people!)

The Scoobies detached themselves from one another, and Willow burst into a babble that frightened even the Doctor!

"Oh my God!  I was so worried about you guys.  The doctors didn't tell me anything, not that they had time on account of me just waking up, but still!  What's been going on?  Did we get the stuff from that jerk, van Statten? Did Giles like the compass?  And Buffy!  What did you mean you were going to use it to find Angel?  Would that work?  I mean, he's in another dimension!  I suppose I could...  I could..."

She trailed off, staring.  Buffy and Xander, who were grinning like idiots throughout her vocabulary explosion, assumed a worried expression. 

"Will?" Buffy started tentatively. "Are you okay?"  

Xander relaxed when he realized what Willow was staring at.  He gave his oldest friend a smile. "Hey pretty lady.  Looking good in that perceived depth."

She didn't say anything.   Neither did anyone else.

"Xander?  How...?" She reached out to touch his face.  Tears were freely falling from her eyes.  Buffy was getting a little misty too.  So was the Doctor, though he didn't really show it.  Martha was watching the scene play out with bated breath.

Xander leaned into the touch, raising his hand and clasping hers.  He gently pulled it away from his face, giving it a little squeeze.

The young man exhaled a shaky breath he didn't even realize he was holding. "I, uh, I think I'll let the Doctor tell you." Xander turned around and gestured to the suddenly wide-eyed Time Lord.

"Me?" he squeaked.

"Well, when I explained it to Buffy, she punched me in the face."

Willow threw the woman in question an affronted look.  Buffy blushed. "I thought he was evil?" The look turned into a glare.  Buffy cringed.

The Doctor had a brilliant idea. "Why don't we all retire to the cafeteria, and have a nice hot cup of cocoa!" Everybody stared at him, incredulous. "It IS the best in the universe," he defended weakly as they all went back to Buffy and Willow's conversation. "Very roomy, the cafeteria.  Plenty of places for all of us to sit.  And then there's the cocoa.  Just thought it might be a nice, delicious way of breaking the tension," the Doctor grumbled.

"Will, I swear, it was just a misunderstanding!" Buffy pleaded. "I so didn't mean it!"

"Yeah, Will, it's all better," Xander promised. "Buffy punched me because she thought I was evil.  It's cool though.  She promised to be my love slave to make it up to me."

"I did not!  Maybe you need to get your ears replaced too!"

Xander smirked. "I might, but I can tell you one thing I've got that still works perfectly."

Martha barked a laugh at that, while Willow blushed.  The Doctor pouted because no-one seemed to want any cocoa.  Buffy, however, sputtered in an inarticulate rage, before narrowing her eyes with a deadly promise.

"I can change that," she said seriously.  

Xander swallowed heavily. "So, how's about that cocoa?"

The Doctor beamed.  He really did love the stuff.


Two hours later, and Willow was up to speed.  Her first instinct was to argue the impossibilities of time travel.  But then she remembered Xander's new eye, and the fact that her watch said only a day had passed since she had been shot.  They really must be in the future for medicine to be so advanced.

The red-headed hacker/witch didn't move for a good three minutes while she processed everything she'd been told.

Time travel.  Wow, what a concept.  Of course she always dreamed of it.  What would it be like to see the dinosaurs?  To speak with Einstein?  Or to watch them build the pyramids?  Or the Great Wall of China!  Oh God!  She could go back in time and ...  and...

Willow stared into her cup of cocoa with an expression of realization.  One that the Doctor recognized.

"Doctor...?" she started.

"No," he told her sadly, yet sternly.

Her face crumbled. "But you don't even know what I was going to ask!"

"But I do," he countered gently. "You see, you're not the first person to think of it.  My friend Rose once asked me if she could see her father." Martha, who had been in discussion with Buffy, about fashion of all things, quickly focused her attention on the Doctor. "He died, when she was an infant, in a hit and run, you see.  She just wanted to talk to him.  That's all.  And because I felt bad for her, and because she wanted it so much, and because her pain reminded me so much of my own, I believed it.  I think she did too.  But when the time actually came, she couldn't bring herself to leave.  Rose saved her father's life.  And in doing so, very nearly destroyed the universe.  She had to ensure that he die, in order to fix what she'd broken."

The Doctor gave the now weeping Willow a very empathetic expression. "You can't change what's been done.  Oh how I wish you could," he told her with great sincerity. "I wish we all could.  But the past is immutable.  If it were anything otherwise, reality could not exist." He sighed heavily. "And the loved ones we miss so much, would still be lost to us."

Willow was openly sobbing now.  Xander, who realized what they were talking about, pulled her close, and held her tight.

Buffy was staring at the Doctor. "Who did you lose?" she asked softly.

The Doctor didn't answer, just looked down at his hands.  Martha placed one of hers on his forearm, and offered him a sympathetic smile.  He patted her hand and gave a tiny one back. 

"I'm sorry," Buffy said, ashamed. "I had no right to ask."

"Well of course you did," the Doctor told her, before grinning cheekily. "I was just never under any obligation to answer."


Soon, everybody was saying their goodbyes to the nurses that tended to them so well, and heading back to the TARDIS.

Despite the conversation earlier, Willow was still quite eager to see an actual time machine.  In fact, she kept slamming the Doctor with all kinds of childish questions.  Questions that he happily answered.  In her mind, she'd been building up this grandiose looking device;  worthy of Wells, or Bradbury, or Roddenberry, or... or even Doc Brown!

Willow and the Doctor were both commenting on the merits of using a Delorean, when they stopped walking.  She glanced around. 

"Are we lost?" she asked.  Smirking, the Doctor shook his head. "Then why did we stop?"

"We're here!  Congratulations on seeing your very first time machine!" he said enthusiastically.

Willow and Buffy both started looking around, trying to find anything that looked like a TARDIS, but all they could see in the tiny alley was a dumpster and a big blue box.  Both Xander and Martha were holding back fits of the giggles.  Xander, who was far more schooled in the fine art, fared much better than poor Martha.  It was just lucky for her, that Buffy and Willow didn't know her well enough to get with the threatening.  Unfortunately for Xander, they had no such qualms when it came to him.

Buffy threatened Xander with things better left unsaid, and Willow was just about to tell him how fun a life as a dog would be for him, when the Doctor took pity on the terrified young man.

He made his way between the irate witch and her would-be victim, pulled out his key, and opened the TARDIS door.

The Doctor beamed happily at the lady Scoobies. "Welcome to the TARDIS," he said to them before disappearing inside it.  Martha followed, still chuckling.  Xander saw Buffy and Willow's absolute shock, and took advantage of it; he ran inside as fast as he could.

The girls stared at the blue box that was also a time machine.  Buffy turned to Willow.

"What's a Police Box?" she asked, reading the side of the blue box.

"Apparently it's a time machine."

The Doctor poked his head out the door. "Are you coming, or what?"

"How can they all fit inside?" Buffy asked.

"There's only one way to find out."

They walked in.

"Finally!" the Doctor complained good-naturedly. "What took you so long?"

Willow and Buffy couldn't believe their eyes. "Wow." Will breathed.  Buffy nodded her agreement.

"Pretty cool, huh?" Xander asked as he came up beside them. 

Willow nodded, to stunned for words.

"How about I give you lot a tour?" Martha offered. "After all, the last time you were here, you were in no shape for exploring."

Willow nodded eagerly. "Would that be all right Doctor?" she asked hopefully.

The Doctor patted the console fondly. "If you wait half a sec, I'll join you.  The TARDIS did always like it when people say flattering things about her." He began working the console, hitting it with the hammer, and making the pumping actions, but this time, he pushed a button, then kicked it.  The TARDIS sprang to life, and Xander heard the now familiar vworping sound.

Willow watched in awe. "What's that noise?"

"Oh that's the engine breaking through the time barrier.  Well I say engine, but it's more like energy, really.  Crackling and cascading and flowing through the time stream.  And it's not actually breaking, so much as maneuvering."


The Doctor rubbed his hands eagerly. "So how about that tour?" He beamed at Martha. "Lead on!"

She frowned. "But if you're going..."

"Piffle!  Where's the fun in that?  So what are you showing us first Miss Jones?" He reached into his pockets and pulled out a bag of peanuts and a camera.

Everybody stared at Martha expectantly.

"Um... Well if you'll follow me, this is where the medical bay is," she started, sending a mild glare at the Doctor.

The tour went well, and the group seemed to really enjoy it.  Buffy took special interest in the Doctor's wardrobe room, and was very impressed with the various costumes and outfits he possessed from all throughout time.  The gang tried some of the more ludicrous ones on, and the Doctor took pictures.

Xander seemed enamored with the enormous bathroom. "It has a full sized swimming pool!" he enthused.  The bathroom was adjacent to the library (For obvious reasons.) and that was the room that had Willow enthralled.

"Look at them all!  There are so many!" She ran up to a shelf and grabbed the first book she saw.  It was entitled, "The Curious Mind" by Pammomma Eeglacs.

The Doctor smiled in remembrance. "That's a brilliant book, that is.  Global best seller in the year 2085." Willow gave the Doctor an expression full of awe. 

"All these books are from another time?" 

He laughed. "Oh yes!  I challenge you to find a book that isn't, in some form or another.  Books are the first time machines y'know." The Doctor took the book from Willow and held it before her. "Powered by ideas, and the miracle of imagination.  Capable of bringing you anywhere, anywhen, in the universe."

Martha smiled. "The power in words, eh Doctor?"

"Absolutely Martha Jones."

With that said, the Doctor asked them to bunch up close. "Something for the scrapbook, you see." They agreed, and the Doctor set the camera on a timer, and hurried into the shot.

And then the tour was over.  The Doctor brought them all to the control room and made an announcement.

"I'm sorry, but I can't bring you home."

The room exploded with questions, demands, and protests.  The Doctor took out his sonic screwdriver, and set it to an attention grabbing frequency.  Once everybody stopped yelling, the Gallifreyan explained himself.


"The device that brought you to Germany, created a time bubble encapsulating everything within a certain distance.  When you three punched your way through the time barrier, you brought with you items of a fantastic and alien nature.  These devices have altered the course of history, and it's up to us to change it back!"

The Doctor worked his console, taking them back to when they first met.  Back to fix the damage that's been done. 


It was decided that it would be better if they all dressed in the style of the era.  Normally, the Doctor didn't really worry about such things, but as they didn't know how long they would need to stay, he felt it prudent to do so.  Once disguised properly, they went to the spot where the Scoobies fell.

The sight that greeted them was an odd one, to be sure.

"Oh wow!  Look, that's us!" Willow said pointing to the center of the irate crowd.

The gang watched as the events from before played out.  The other Doctor, Xander, and Martha ran off in the opposite direction, carrying another Willow and Buffy.  The mob chased after them.

"That's so weird." Xander said fervently, as they walked into the area.  It seemed like most of the objects were left untouched in the streets.

"Very Harry Potter." Buffy agreed, gathering anything that looked like it was from the future. 

"I love those books!" the Doctor enthused. "Wait till you read book seven!" He picked up a device. "Ooh, a Tavlek arm band!  How on earth did it get on Earth?" 

Martha smirked. "He cried when he read it."

"I got all misty-eyed too." Willow admitted, helping Buffy.

"You've read it?" Martha asked in surprise.  She nodded. "Guess you're from my future then.  The book's not come out for me."

Xander started to rub his new eye. "Oh that's creepy."

"What?" Buffy asked, looking around.

"My eye. It's reading all the different energy signatures from this junk."

"Is it bothering you?"

"Nah, just takes some getting used to, y'know?" He shrugged and went back to picking up alien tech.  Buffy watched him for a bit, smiling. "What?"

"Nothing.  It's just... The eyepatch really didn't do all that much for you."

Willow nodded. "It was the lack of symmetry."

Martha looked at Xander. "Oh I don't know.  It made him seem sort of rugged, manly y'know?" Xander preened a little.


"Oh absolutely." Martha said seriously before breaking out into laughter. "You were a right Nick Fury!"

Buffy and Willow joined in on the laughing.  Xander glared at them all, and went back to work.

"HEY!" an angry voice said from out of nowhere. "What do you think you're doing?"

The group looked up to see an official looking man huffing his way up to them.  He was a rotund individual of around 30, wearing the robes of the clergy.

The Doctor smiled at him. "Hello.  The name's Smith, and I'm here on official church business." He reached into his pocket and pulled out some kind of leather billfold and held it open for the man to see.

He read it, and sighed in relief. "Oh thank God!  I wasn't sure what I was going to do!  What with all the witchcraft going on lately." The priest wiped his brow with a handkerchief. "My name's Otto Adolphus.  I am minister of the local church."

The Doctor shook the man's hand. "And it's such a pleasure to meet you Otto!  Can I call you Otto?" He opened his mouth to comment. "Well anyway my good fellow, the Holy Catholic Church is here to confiscate all this terrible, not to mention evil, witchy witch... stuff.  Anyway, we, that is to say my fellows and I, are trained specifically to handle this sort of thing.  Why don't you head back to your church and pray for our continued success, eh?" The priest opened his mouth to comment. "There's a good man." The Doctor patted his shoulder genially. "Well off you go."

Father Adolphus looked over the Doctor's shoulder in time to see Willow drop a device, causing it to sparkle and shoot what looked like fireworks.

He shook the Doctor's hand. "Good luck, your Eminence." Then ran away as fast as his plump little legs could take him.

"Your Eminence?" The Doctor grinned. "I don't mind that at all." He turned around in time to see the device Willow dropped, explode in a brilliant, yet fortunately quiet, flash of pretty colors. "Ooh, lovely."

Willow walked up to him carrying an armful of alien tech. "I'm so sorry!  I didn't mean for it to break!  I was just holding it, when it sorta leapt from my hands.  Not that I was holding it specifically, though I guess I probably should have now that you mention it, it was just one of the things that I was carrying to bring to you and here," She dumped the armful into his hands. "You should probably put this stuff in your pocket cuz I don't seem to have any and what was I talking to you about again?"

The Doctor took the offered tech while staring at Willow in fascination. "How did you manage to get all that in one breath?  I tried that once and nearly passed out!"


"Never mind.  You dropped something?"

"Oh right!  Yeah, what was it?"

The Doctor thought for a moment, depositing the tech into his pockets. "I do believe it was a firecracker." He nodded. "Yes indeedy!  From Tworlowurgruenouge, if I'm not mistaken.  Great party planet, Tworlowurgruenouge.  They have festivals every weekend."

Soon, the gang had collected all the devices in sight.  Unfortunately, both the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, and Xander's eye, were picking up more alien tech not in the vicinity.  Plus they hadn't found the time travel device that brought the Scoobies there in the first place.

It was assumed that someone in the angry mob had taken it.  The Doctor believed that was the signal his screwdriver was picking up, as it was set to register time travel devices.  Xander's eye, however, was seeing weird energy signatures coming from another direction.

They decided to split up.  Buffy and the Doctor would go one way, Xander, Martha, and Willow would go the other.  The Doctor felt it would be safer if one relatively experienced time traveler went with each group.  He also augmented their cellphones so they could remain in communication.

They agreed to meet back at the TARDIS by daybreak, and were off.


"So how long have you been doing the whole time traveling thing exactly?" Xander asked Martha as they headed towards the energy signatures.

She gave him a haughty look. "How can one measure time, when one's traveling through it?" the young woman asked pompously.

"Ha.  Ha.  Note my sarcastic laugh."

She grinned. "About two months."

Willow, who was fussing with her uncomfortable and too tight but not in a sexy way dress, looked surprised.

"Wow!  That's not very long at all!"

"It doesn't seem like it when you say it like that, but if you put it in terms of how many times I've almost died, then it becomes a lot."

"If it's so dangerous, then why do it?" Willow wanted to know.  It was different for her and her friends.  After finding out what the world was really like, it became impossible to ignore it.  And dangerous, life-threatening situations were a part of that.  But Martha chose to travel with the Doctor.  She sought out the chance to die in some time far from her own, and Willow didn't understand why.

"Because it's worth it.  You can't imagine the things I've seen Willow!  The people I've met.  I've heard an entire city sing at once!  It was like listening to the Heavenly Choir!  Oh, I'll never forget it." She smiled radiantly, remembering. "I've met Shakespeare too!  The horny bastard kept hitting on me!  But he was so very brilliant.  Ooh!  And I got to see the Empire State building being built!  Helped to fight off an alien invasion of the earth, put a stop to Baltazar:  The Scourge of the Galaxy, and best of all," Martha blushed, "I got to stand in the earthlight."

"That does seem kinda nice." Willow had to admit. "I'd love the chance to talk with Shakespeare!"

"Well, maybe the Doctor will take you to visit with him.  Though he is a notorious flirt."

"I think I could handle him." Willow said with a smile.

Xander, who had been listening with half an ear, was going to say something witty, yet incredibly crass, about his best friend's lesbianism, when he saw them through the wall.

Vampires.  Six of them.

The demons were waiting around a corner for the trio to fall into their clutches.

Xander put his hands up and gestured for the ladies to be quiet.  He used hand signals to tell Willow what the situation was.

Martha was confused at first.  She wanted to know why Xander had become so serious, not to mention nervous.  That faded though, when she saw the bubbly and upbeat Willow tense up and pull a sword out of nowhere!

Willow handed Xander the weapon and pulled a cross out for Martha.

"Stay behind me," she told the now very uncomfortable woman.  She looked on in shock as Willow's hands burst into flames.

This entire process took maybe half a minute.

Xander resumed his walk and conversation. "Sorry about that ladies," he said in a casual tone that completely hid the fear he felt. "But I'm afraid that my feet can't possibly abide rocks in the shoes."

As soon as he stepped past the corner, Xander ducked the arm that reached for him, and plunged his sword into the chest of the demon that did it.  Martha let out a surprised screech, and hid behind Willow.

Of course, the sword couldn't kill the vamp, but it did hurt like hell, creating enough of a distraction for Xander to pull a stake out and dust it.  Once it was free, Xander swung the sword in an arc, slicing another vampire diagonally up the chest.  The demon howled in pain and anger, and Xander put the beast out of it's misery.  

With the element of surprise now gone, the demon fighter pulled back, away from his foes, to get his bearings.  There were two down, and only four to go.

One of the vampires lunged at him, and burst into flames.  The others looked at him, then back at the black eyed, fiery-handed, Willow.  They decided to run.

"Oh no you don't!" the angry witch whispered. "Stop!" she commanded.  One of the demons did.  The other two left him to his fate.

Xander walked up to the vamp and slammed him against the wall.  He put a sword into his neck, deep enough to hurt, but not enough to prevent him from speaking.

"Who do you work for!" he demanded harshly.

Martha couldn't believe what she was seeing.  The normally kind-hearted, funny, gentle Xander, was torturing a man!

"Stop it!" she cried. "He'll die!"

Willow put a firm hand on her shoulder. "He's a vampire.  He was going to rape and eat us.  He doesn't deserve your sympathy."

"I don't work for anybody!" Xander wiggled the sword and the vampire groaned in agony. "I swear I don't!"

"C'mon," Xander wheedled, "There's no way you work for yourself.  You're too dumb.  Who's your sire?"

"You staked him!"

"No I didn't." 

"Yes you did!"

"Okay, maybe I did.  Whatever.  Who's the big bad in town?" Xander asked the creature.


"Who's in charge around here?  You may not work for them, but you know who they are!  Now I want to."

The demon sneered. "Why should I tell you?  You're gonna kill me anyway!"

"True," Xander admitted, "But whether or not you scream when I do, is the question."

"It's Setesh!  He's the boss around here!  Most of the vampires and demons in town work for him!"

"What's he doing with them?"

"He's making them look for something!" 

Xander pushed the sword in deeper, causing the demon to scream. "And what's that?"

"I don't know!  Please, just kill me!" The vampire's voice was a coarse whisper.  Xander had cut the voice box, and now he pushed his sword all the way through, beheading him.

Martha stormed up to Xander, and slapped him in the face. "Don't you talk to me again!  Either of you!" she told them furiously, before running off in tears.


Buffy and the Doctor were walking arm in arm.  The Doctor had his sonic screwdriver out, and was following it to the source of the chronal energies.  Buffy watched with mild fascination as the screwdriver would beep faster, or slower, depending on which way they went.

"It's like playing warmer and colder, isn't it?" Buffy observed.

The Doctor considered it for a moment. "Y'know, that's an excellent way of putting it.  Warmer and colder.  Why didn't I think of that?  From now on, that's what I'll say when they ask me what I'm doing.  It'll be like, "Hey Doctor, why is your sonic screwdriver making all those beeps?", and I'll reply:  "It's playing warmer or colder with the energies," Oh that's brilliant!"

Buffy stared at him out of the corner of her eye, unable to tell if he was being serious, or not.  Graciously, Buffy decided to let the matter drop.

"So, how much longer 'til we get to said energies?"

The Doctor shrugged. "No idea," he admitted cheerfully. "I expect we'll figure that out when we get there."


It took a little while.  The Doctor made a couple of wrong turns, and the screwdriver lead them down a couple of dead ends that they had to maneuver around, but they did manage to find the place that was emitting them.

"A church?" he asked in bewilderment. "Oh that can't be right!  Well, I say "can't", but that's not necessarily true.  Heck, it's not even unlikely."

"And how did that fat friar know where the alien tech was anyway?  He wasn't around for the angry mob," Buffy noted.

"Yes, good point.  If someone did go to fetch him, they most likely would've come back with him too.  Not to mention the fact he didn't offer us a place to stay." 

Buffy frowned. "So?"

"What do you mean, "so?"  He's supposed to!"

"How come?"

The Doctor pulled out his leather billfold, and presented it with a flourish.  "Because of this!"

"It's a blank piece of paper," she noted flatly.

"Really?" the Doctor asked, sounding surprised. "You don't see anything?"

"Should I?"

He nodded. "It's psychic paper.  It'll show people what I want them to see.  But it won't work on those that have had psychic training, nor those with exceptionally high IQ's." The Doctor gave Buffy a calculating look. "So which one are you then?"

"I got a 1430 on my SAT's?" Buffy offered.

"I suppose that answers that question, huh?" he said, impressed. "Only 170 away from a perfect score.  Very nice."

Buffy, uncomfortable talking about herself, redirected the conversation back to the previous topic.  The Doctor told her it was customary for representatives of the church to actually stay in a church, or church owned building.  The fact that Father Adolphus didn't offer them a place to stay, was rather telling.

"So what do we do?" Buffy asked.

"We knock on the door.  After all," the Doctor held up his psychic paper, "He thinks I'm from Rome.  Called me Eminence, he did."

Buffy shrugged. "You're the doc, Doc."

He did just like he said, and knocked.  After a few moments, the door opened to reveal Father Adolphus.

"Otto!" the Doctor greeted happily. "So wonderful to see you again.  May we come in?" He pushed the portly priest aside without waiting for an answer.  There was little illumination in the church.  The only light source was a small candle in Adolphus's hand.  Even the moon, shining through the windows did little, save casting the room in a sinister light. "Lovely cathedral.  Excellent stained-glass windows, really."

"Your Eminence.  To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Oh, my colleagues and I are in need of a place to stay.  And since we are representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, same as you, we've decided to stay here."

Adolphus chuckled nervously. "I'm sorry your Eminence, but there just isn't any room.  As you can see, the church isn't large enough to accommodate you and your people."

The Doctor nodded understandingly. "Of course, what with all the people already staying here."

There was a change in the atmosphere.  Adolphus was no longer nervous, and Buffy could've sworn someone was watching them.

The priest smiled courteously. "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean.  Your Eminence."

"Oh, I think you do Otto," the Doctor sneered. "Why don't you tell your masters to show themselves."

He bowed, never taking his eyes off of the Doctor.  The candlelight cast dark shadows across the genial face of the portly man, giving him a distinctly menacing air.

"Of course.  You're Eminence.  The divine Lord Setesh is eager to greet you personally." He beckoned the pair to follow him.  They did.

Buffy groaned at the thought of another arrogant demon lord, and the Doctor's brow furrowed in deep thought. "Setesh...  Setesh, where have I heard that name before?"

"Did you read about him a book centering on really conceited, egotistical, jackasses who think they're gods?" Buffy asked as they started down a flight of stairs.

Father Adolphus backhanded the Slayer. "You will not speak of your God with such disrespect!"

"Oh hell no!" Buffy moved to smack the taste out of the fat man's mouth, when the Doctor held her back.

"I don't think that was his fault," he told her in a whisper.

"How was that not his fault?" she demanded, whispering back.

The Doctor considered their guide for a moment. "I think he's under a sort of mind control."

Buffy groaned again. "I hate it when that happens."

They reached the bottom of the stairwell. "I am not permitted in," Adolphus told them. "The divine Lord Setesh is waiting for you." With that said, he headed back up the stairs.  Once he was out of sight, the Doctor pulled his sonic screwdriver out.  It was beeping wildly towards the door. 

He and Buffy exchanged looks. "What do you think?" he asked.

Buffy smiled dangerously. "I think we go in, get the tech, and kick the crap out of anybody in our way."

The Doctor returned the smile in spades. "I knew I liked you."

They opened the door, and walked through it.
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