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Summary: (Somewhat AU) Ethan buys a disabled sonic screwdriver and an old picture of the Doctor from a 'yard' sale, inspiring Xander's costume. When a TARDIS is activated, who shows up to claim it? Partial crossover with Stargate as per mikerich's #3704

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Xander-Centered
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered > Theme: Halloween
(Current Donor)ShieldageFR13614,15127037,15113 Jul 0821 Jan 14No

Time Shift

BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Doctor Who optioned by the BBC. Stargate by Gekko Productions and others. One set of spells borrowed from Piers Anthony's Xanth. My thanks go to admin jrabbit who, when I posted some of my weak original backstory in the forum, gave advice on what bits really had to go.

I've decided think of Joanna as a D&D Modern-style 'Acolyte' and plan for Buffy around that. Massive exposition ahead, am trying to spotlight some characters, because they'll be in the background soon enough.

11/12/13: After a two-year dry spell, I switched to amino-acid heavy vitamins/supplements and started retraining myself on my new computer by reposting my work to one story/chapter a day, every day, revising as I go, with new stuff thrown in where I was able. Working well so far, Day 41 and I'm steadily updating my page here. Deadlines also concentrate the mind wonderfully - I've gathered my notes and picked this story up after five years. Managed to untangle most of the story snarls that were holding me back, thanks in part to years of reviewers helping me think of things in new angles. Hope it reads well.

Also, in perspective. This site's text-select and formatting options, hyperlinks, and the ability to edit posted material from years in the past on the fly really do rock. The (i)(/i) and (b)(/b) tags are less intuitive than being able to copy and paste formatted text directly from a text editor, but they're stable and can be copied and pasted back to most text editors without fear of loss.

Early Evening, November 1, 1997

Jenny Calendar's mind raced. On the one hand, she'd thought her old reality unreachable, her friends lost to her forever, so she was happy. This did mean her enemies might follow on Jack's heels, but he'd probably arrived in a way only he could survive, so the probability was low. On the other hand, the expression on Giles' face wasn't getting any warmer, so Jack must have already made a sizable impression...

Jenny grabbed Jack's arm and pulled him into the aisle. "Not helping," she hissed. "Rupert, this is Captain Jack Harkness. Friend from my old adventuring days, nothing beyond a large crush, but as you can see, he's rather affectionate."

"I'd say." Giles coughed. "You should've warned me that this could happen, though to be perfectly frank, the stuff from my own past would probably be trying to kill you."

"Not much chance of me pulling that off-" Jack managed to say before Jenny elbowed him hard in the ribs.

As Giles rose to his feet, Jenny reached down and grabbed the edges of the popcorn bags. They were still half-full, so she handed one to Giles. "Here," she said. "Secrets are probably best told with snacks."

When the sun had descended far enough in the sky that the entrance to Spike's warehouse was enveloped in shadow, a vampire burst in through the doorway, slightly smoking despite his blanket.

"Bloody Hell," Spike said, waving at the fumes. "It's nearly nighttime. What's so important it couldn't have waited a bit?"

The steaming vampire pulled back the blanket revealing black hair and a crow perched on his shoulder. "Been trying to reach you for awhile. I just wanted to tell you what Poe said when I sent him spying-"

"Wait." Spike stared down the vampire, who had been one of his cameramen the night before. "You're Edgar, and he's Poe?"

"Yeah, what of it? Anyway, he's part Svelt'K demon so he's sort of my eyes and ears in the sun. He staked out the graveyard until the Slayer's friend left it. There's two of them now."

Spike chuckled. "Seriously? Not that I don't believe you, but who in their right mind would dress up as that bloke?"

"What? No." Edgar waved his hands. "I think it has something to do with the light inside the blue box... You know, the one on the tape?"

After finding out that they hadn't watched the tape to the end, Edgar ranted until Spike punched him. A short tussle later, Dru clapping her way through it, things calmed down enough that they could pop the tape back in the VCR.

Once on the sidewalk by the cars, Jenny turned to ask: "Jack, what's our timeframe, you here on a social call? How did you find us?"

"Social slash catching up with my fellow exile. Xander Harris, who is apparently one of your students when he's not a Time-Lord-In-Training, is repairing what's apparently your TARDIS, so our rush depends on your reaction to that." Jack leaned in and gave her a quick hug. "Honestly, seeing one of the jackets Rose left behind hanging in a TARDIS when she's been gone for this long and then finding you've been out and about wearing it? What that meant was a bit of a shock, but it's good to see you happy."

"Yes, I am." Jenny smiled warmly. Regenerating as a Time Lady had been new, something she personally pinned on the dimensional rift, but her life was working out well. "Redhorn Graveyard?" At Jack's nod, she turned to Giles. "I love you and I thought I would have more time to let you in on some things, but it seems we're going to have to rush it. Immediate plan: we take my car, Jack riding shotgun, so I can hit him if I need to."

Jack grinned, knowing she'd probably need to.

Giles shook his head and climbed in the back. "Something tells me we should've paid more attention to what Xander was wearing for his costume besides my scarf and your jacket. Your history with this Rose girl affect who he wound up as?"

"I certainly hope not," Jenny said as she started up the car. "The Bad Wolf would tear through this place."

Jack shook his head and mouthed 'two hearts.'

"No." Jenny sighed, glancing in the rear view mirror. "She was human. To be honest, my crush on her was much larger than my one on Jack, but that didn't get very far either. I'm actually a dimensional traveler, known as a 'Time Lord', with a friend who takes the form of a blue Police Box and Xander, who seems to have patterned himself after me when I was running around as the 'Doctor', is trying to fix her."

"About that," Jack grumbled. "Why would you bury the TARDIS? She's alive. I mean you-"

"I didn't bury her, just her shell. They have a paradise dimension here dedicated to Champions and I set the important bits of what makes her who and what she is to share its coordinates. She's happy and we do meet every now and again to catch up. I have hopes that, when I die, I'll wind up there with her..."

As the last of the sun faded from the sky, they drove for a bit in contemplative silence, which was finally broken by Giles' fuming. "These relationships that just never seemed to develop physically with people you've left behind and never mentioned? You having such warm feelings for an intelligent object? I have to ask... What exactly am I to you?"

Jack laughed, sharply. "Oh, that's what ruffles your feathers? Here I thought it'd be that we're not from your Earth."

Giles clenched his fists. "That will take more than a few minutes to process," he said dryly.

"Ah." Jack shrugged. "No, I can assure you the Doctor's not shallow. She might have given up everything for Rose, at one point in time, but they were separated forcibly. When they finally met again, the Doctor's male clone-" He was interrupted by Jenny slamming his head hard against his window.

"Was there to pick up the pieces," Jenny finished, glaring at Jack, before turning her attention back to the road. "Speaking of which, why aren't you there with Xander stopping him from leaving?"

Jack coughed. "I sort of assumed that someone working off of borrowed memories couldn't be better at TARDIS-repair than the great 'Jenny Calendar.'"

"Oh, the TARDIS isn't grounded. Just me. The higher-level entities here are hands-on and don't seem to want any more outsiders than they already have to deal with. Time Lords have a certain innate sense of the rightness of time, anomalies scream at us with their horrible wrongness – No offense, Jack."

"None taken."

"I couldn't trust any human, no matter how skilled, with full control over her. Since I heard that the accommodation spells of this reality made it possible, I've always had this vague hope of settling down and having children here, leaving the TARDIS and time in their hands." She sighed wistfully as they pulled up to the graveyard and parked. "So a native like Xander has a decent chance of pulling this off."

"I'd say," Jack said, hearing the classic whir-whoosh sound of a TARDIS powering its engines and getting ready to leave. As he tore himself from the car, Jenny hot on his heels, the thought of children triggered a memory. "Also, Jenny's alive."

Jenny stumbled a half step. "Brilliant," she said, falling back on an old speech pattern. "My daughter-clone," she clarified for Giles, who had fallen into step behind her.

"Ah." Giles raised his eyebrows as he panted, wondering at the shared name. "I see. Why are we running?"

"Bollocks," Spike said as he and his vampiric posse ran across the grass to the blue box. "Sun sure took its sweet time in setting. "Not about to let a magical artifact slip through my grasp and into the Slayer's, especially one that could make two of them." Bounding the final distance, he artfully slid into a halt. "We're here. So, how do we get in?"

Jenny, Giles and Jack reached the TARDIS as it faded into transparency. When it finally disappeared, they were surprised to find the equally stunned vampires facing them across the upturned dirt.

Both sides stared in silence. Caught off guard, they were just waiting for something to happen...

Early Morning, November 1, 1997

Inside the TARDIS, Xander finished pulling the levers that put it in sync with the normal flow of time. To minimize complications on his first trip, he'd materialized her a short distance in the past and some distance away in the shadow of a crypt to prevent physical overlap.

Whistling as he walked, he made his way to the garage of his parents' house. His father's car was out of service and waiting to be repaired, but he'd spent several hours in the TARDIS' library with various diagrams explaining what was supposed to be inside of a sonic screwdriver and he was pretty sure he'd found the right settings.

Sure enough, after buzzing the right places, when he started up the car, it purred like a kitten. "Sweet," he said, turning the engine off. "You know, I should actually borrow the keys..."

Xander walked inside the house, cheerfully waving to his parents as they slumped their way through their breakfast routine, having been to a wild party the night before. "I'm moving to a friend's house across town, so I fixed the car. Can I borrow it, please? It'd make me getting myself and my stuff out of your hair easier."

Anthony Harris sighed, wondering when his son had become one of those dreaded morning people, and slid his key across the table. "No furniture. No coathangers."

Jessica Harris mumbled 'good luck' as her son walked out the door with the first armload of his stuff.

Buffy stood in her room, looking at herself in the mirror. She closed her eyes and, reaching for her silver cross, held it out as far as she could with the chain around her neck. After a minute, the room was lit with a pure silvery radiance and a fresh cleansing breeze seemed to blow from nowhere.

She opened her eyes and, smiling, lowered the cross to her chest as the light dimmed and went out.

"The chakram? I don't think I can make those or that I, even with the Slayer's instincts, have the math to use them properly. This, though? This I can get used to."

She laughed softly. "I wonder if I was always a latent witch and the spell helped awaken me... Or if the song once heard just can't be unheard..."

After finishing things with his folks, dropping most of his things off in his time-displaced TARDIS and reparking the car, Xander walked down to Revello Drive. He was carrying a garishly red and white Hawaiian shirt and some of the other pieces of clothing that he was also wearing at that particular moment.

"Hey, Adventurer!" Xander called to Past-Xander who, down the street, was about to knock on Buffy Summers' front door. The younger Xander was still wearing his costume from the night before, which was looking pretty ragged. Past-Xander wasn't looking much better either. "You should put these on and get some rest before you talk to anyone."

A crow flew low by overhead, did a double-take, and crashed into a tree.

Past-Xander sighed and accepted the arm-load of clothes. "Being called that sounds silly now. I don't think I'll keep it."

Xander shrugged. "Maybe the short names sound better to actual Time Lords because they're not in their native language?"


Xander patted his past self on the shoulder, firmly. "Seriously," he said, looking himself square in the eyes. "Use one of those awesome showers in the TARDIS and get some rest before you start the repairs. You're going to need it."

Xander waited until his past self had turned the corner before knocking on Buffy's door and slumping into it like a puppet whose strings had been cut.

After his own nap, he'd spent time reading in the library only to find sketchy reports of evil time arachnids that jumped out and ate manifest paradoxes such as two time-displaced versions of the same person physically touching. The fact that his then-future-self had done it already with no bad consequence added to Jack's assurance that Xander's Sunnydale wasn't part of that reality meant that everything should work out okay this time as well, but it was still nerve-wracking.

The remnants of the Halloween spell hadn't given Xander a new personality as much as giving him more depth, along with a lot more space to think things through in and therefore to be distracted by. It had also made him a much better actor.

Buffy opened the door with a smile on her face. "Xander. What's the what?"

"My super sci-fi spy turned out to be a real dimensional traveler. The gear still works and I've tested it out. Seems safe enough, so I'm going exploring."

Buffy sighed and leaned against the doorframe. "Figures. Need company?"

"Nah," he said. "I want to try this solo for awhile. Moved out of the Harris residence already, got wide worlds ahead of me. How'd your costume fare?"

"Majorly awesome. The cross Angel gave me changed the basic structure of Xena's costume from 'princess' to 'priestess', so Joanna, Warrior Priestess stalked the night."

He shrugged. "I know her history, but I never really got princess from her everyday wear either... At least Wonder Woman had a tiara. So the Big Guy in the Sky, eh? Any new messages from our Creator?"

"Well, yeah. About that." Her eyes grew slightly misty. "Her memories... What I can feel now? There is definitely something there. It powers holy water. It keeps crosses working. It's this huge warm loving force. Going from her memories, there's definitely a Heaven, at least one. Never spoke to her, though. Not once. Sometimes she had this huge crisis of faith over whether it wasn't aware of us or if it was but not aware of itself."

"Ouch. Does suck having that dumped on you all at once."

Buffy gave a half-hearted smile and spread her arms. "Ethan was right, the spell was pretty much producing memories on demand. I've the outline of a lot of new skills, but I'm missing the intermediary steps, the foundation. They're goals to shoot for. She was able to sense and reweave magic through concentration and tools and I might be able to do that with enough practice, trial and error, but casting new stuff's rather beyond me. No Buffy the Super-Witch... yet."

"Nice." Xander nodded appreciatively. "Seems like you'll be getting on pretty well without me for awhile, eh?"

"Yeah." Buffy reached up to feel her necklace. "My cross is a symbol of both my faith in myself and that there is definitely something there out there that cares... Well, that cares about us as a whole even if I don't know if it's able to care about any one of us specifically..." She sighed, shook her head, then continued with resolve. "I can channel through it, now. The special effects work nicely. In theory I should be able to turn the natural vamp-fear up to eleven and maybe, just maybe, heal people."

Listening to what she was saying, she paused a bit and backed up. "Wait. Yeah, this is a nice boost. Would be awesome if Willow can crack safes by sticking her head through them, or something, but we're, y'know. Just not you. There's going to be a Xander-shaped hole in our lives with you gone, so don't make for a long stay away, alright?"

"Not planning on it." Xander smiled. "So, what did happen last night?"

"We've been standing for way too long. Want to come in and talk about it?"


They sat down on the couches and talked for a good, long while.

Joyce, who was half-listening to the conversation from the kitchen, shook her head and sighed. She didn't think she was ever going to be able to understand teenagers.

Mid-Afternoon, November 1, 1997

Xander returned to the TARDIS and closed the doors behind him. "That was awesome." He chuckled. "Shame Willow doesn't have Shadowcat's phasing powers, but it was sure fun to see her try."

He moved around the room, flicking switches and pulling levers. "I know my original plan was to watch Past-Xander leave in his TARDIS so I can get a coherent of what exactly all of this looks and feels like from the outside. By my calculations, there's a few hours to go. I could wait around for that, but waiting's boring."

He pressed a final button and turned a dial, keeping his hand steady on it. With careful motions he started up the engines to the TARDIS, slowed them down, and brought them to a complete stop.

"Awesome-sauce! This should be just before I left the first time!"

Late at Night, October 28, 1997

Buffy's ears perked up. "Giles, do you hear that?"

"Yes. I've no idea what that is, but it's definitely something," Giles cupped his ear to better hear the faint whir-woosh sound. "Seems to be coming from inside this-"

Buffy made it to the top of the tall hedges in a single leap and rolled herself carefully over them.

Giles paused and held his forehead. "Cemetery, which is off our normal patrol route for this particular night, because of the huge hedges on this side. Nothing for it. I'll have to find my own way in."

Ethan Rayne saw the young woman running far ahead of him and, swearing faintly, dove for cover behind a headstone. He definitely did not have permission to be in that particular cemetery at night and wasn't about to risk running into anyone that did.

Xander opened the TARDIS door and, rather than moving through it, closed it almost immediately. "Nope, from what the back of my mind is telling me." He pressed his back against the doors and instinctively locked them. "That's what Buffy was wearing four days ago. I don't think she saw me." The doors began rattling as if someone strong was trying to pull them open. "Nope, I still don't think she saw me. Ooh! I could stick around, buy a second costume, and wait for the spell to activate again – No! Bad Xander! No tempting fate. Even if it meant being able to create sugary goodness with a snap of your fingers or a wave of your triangle wand it's not worth the risk... Probably..."

Prompted by mikerich's 'Xander Who' Challenge: - when the real Doctor and friends show up. -
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