The whole base turned out to see them off.
Doctor Frasier gave Buffy a few containers of the sedative that worked so well, and was teary eyed when Buffy hugged her and thanked her for saving her life. “I just wish all my patients recovered like you.” The Doctor winked at Frasier and palmed a few vials into the physician’s hand.
Fair and equal exchanges, of course.
Teal’c looked down on them, then bowed deeply. “Doctor, Buffy Summers, it was a pleasure to serve with you.”
“It was a pleasure to watch you stare that idiot Simmons down,” asserted Buffy.
“For me as well.” Teal’c smiled and folded his hands. “May success follow you in all of your endeavors, and victory be your constant companion.” He turned to the Doctor. “And may you continue to be a benevolent and cautious guardian of your universe. There are those who would call you a god. But you never demand your service. Her service is freely given. There is no higher honor, and my services are yours.”
The Doctor grinned. “Thank you Teal’c. I deeply appreciate your offer, and respect your services as mighty indeed.”
“Indeed,” agreed Teal’c.
Major Carter was already glassy eyed. “I just, there’s so much I still don’t understand.”
“Take a breath Sam. You’ll get there.” Buffy gripped the other woman’s shoulder. “You saved us all in that ship. Thank you.”
“Are you kidding?” Carter’s eyes were wide.
“No, she’s not.” The Doctor pulled Carter into a hug. “We would be lost without you. Now you just go and be fantastic.”
“Okay.” Sam rocked back on her heels, just a little stunned.
Daniel could barely bring himself to look at Buffy. “So, you’re leaving.”
She nodded. “Yeah. It’s been fun. And terrifying, but there was some fun too.”
“And you’ve got all those language keys now.” The Doctor shook Daniel’s hand. “I wish you merry hell of them too. Those Ancients were a ponderous bunch.”
"You know the myth of Asclepius?"
The Doctor had a lopsided smile. "Yeah."
"He was the first and greatest Doctor of the human race. He had this staff, this rod, and it represented rebirth and regeneration. The possibility of healing and change. Of human ingenuity and how to defy the gods." Daniel pushed his glasses back up his nose. "You don't happen to know where we might have gotten the idea of him, do you?"
Winking, the Doctor replied, "Why would you think I had anything to do with that?"
As the Doctor moved on towards Jack, Buffy stood up on her tip toes and gave Daniel a hug and a quick peck on the lips. “Be good,” she chirped as she released him.
“Uh, okay.” His voice cracked, and he reached for her hand. She squeezed it and gave him a sad smile. “We won’t forget you.”
“We surely won’t.” Jack wrapped Buffy in a giant bear hug, much more comfortable than the awkward small talk he’d been exchanging with the Doctor. He’d never trust the Doctor, but he knew that Buffy did, and that would have to be enough.
Buffy goosed his bottom. “I’ll miss you Jack.”
He stopped himself from shrieking or blushing, and moved back. “Buffy, Doctor, we’re definitely going to miss you, and your mad ninja skills too.”
The Doctor shook his hand, and Jack took it happily. “She’ll be safe.”
General Hammond offered the controller to the Doctor, then gave him his hand. “It has been a pleasure, Doctor, Miss Summers, you are always welcome here, should you ever find a way to return.”
The Doctor grinned. “I’m not sure the NID would have the same to say. But who, knows, it could happen. Keep up the good work, General.” He stood aside, and Buffy kissed the General’s cheek.
“Thank you, General, for everything.”
He blushed up to the top of his head. “As I said, Miss Summers, it was my pleasure.”
Buffy unlocked the TARDIS while the Doctor fiddled with the controller. Finally satisfied, he handed it off to Carter. “Just press it, and the portal will open.”
“Okay.” She shook his hand one last time.
“People of the SGC. We bid you thanks, and adieu!”
Buffy poked her head out the door and waved as the Doctor moved in, “Take care!”
The door shut. Carter pressed the button, and the whole room seemed to phase for a moment. Then there was a wooshing of engines, and the TARDIS disappeared, leaving the storage closet empty, and somehow bereft.
Inside the TARDIS, Buffy cozied up next to the Doctor. “That was nice. We home?”
The Doctor checked his screen. “It appears we are. Good ol’ my home universe.” He frowned. “Have to come up with a better name for it.”
Buffy moved behind him and squeezed. “Good plan. So, where are we headed next?”
The Doctor grinned.
FINA/N: And that's it. Thanks so much to everyone who was reading and following and reviewing. It was so much fun to have you along for the ride. This last push was hard, but I wanted to read the end as bad as anyone else. I'm actually quite happy with it, finally proved that I could finish a story that I posted unfinished. Thanks again, you make writing a pleasure.