The Long Way Home
Spoilers- DW: Doomsday
BtVS: After Chosen
Disclaimer- DW belongs to the Beeb; BtVS belongs to the Joss God.
Willow breathed deeply. She was at one with the universe. She was calm. She was calm and at one with the universe. Willow hummed with contentment. She didn’t even notice when she started to levitate.
Willow’s eyes flew open and she fell abruptly back onto the bed. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.
To quote a certain movie: “there was a disturbance in the force.”
With a swiftness Willow had never seen before, a portal opened. Tiny bolts of green and purple lightning travelled along the portal and fizzled out. There was a low keening sound, and it was growing steadily louder.
A dark yellow blur was coming closer.
A girl, no a woman (she had to have been at least the same age as Willow) came tumbling out of the portal and landed heavily on Willow.
Willow flailed her arms about. Her face was covered by a mop of hair and her torse and legs were pinned down.
“Hey!” Willow squeaked.
The weight slowly moved off her.
“S-sorry.” The woman’s teeth were chattering and she was shivering wildly.
Willow gave the woman a tight smile. “Ah… hello.”
The woman tried to smile. “Hi.”
“So, ah… Have a nice trip?”
The woman gave a croaky laugh. “Too many speed bumps.”
“I’m Rose.” The woman paused. “Rose Tyler.”
Rose looked away from the window and smiled at Dawn. “Hi, Dawn.”
Dawn stood awkwardly in the doorway of Rose’s room. “Are you- are you okay?”
Rose nodded. “Yeah, I-“
She fell silent.
Dawn wrung her hands. “Do you want to come see a movie? Some of the mini-Slays and I were thinking about going out.”
Rose shook her head. “Not yet. Give me a few more days to get use to this ground moving beneath my feet again.”
“Just a few more days, Dawn. That’s all I need.”
“Rose, look out!”
Rose twirled, weapon in hand, and faced the demon that was running towards her. Buffy ran towards Rose, a grim expression on her face, but the demon was to close.
Rose raised her axe, the weight comforting. The demon bore down on her. Rose drew a deep breath and swung the axe.
The demon’s head rolled to a stop.
Buffy skidded to a stop. She blinked. “Good job.”
Rose grinned, feeling as if a weight had lifted.
“Breathe in and hold it. Feel all your tension and impurities entering your breath. Breathe out.”
Rose followed Willow’s instructions and felt all the tension leave her body.
“Feel at one with the universe.”
Rose struggled to contain her giggles. Willow sounded like that yoga teacher her mum had dragged home during her Eastern craze.
“Rose, this is not going to work if you keep laughing,” Rose admonished.
Willow nodded. “Open up your mind, Rose. You have to feel your connection with the earth. Feel the link that connects us all.”
Rose felt her entire body relax and her mind release its usual restraints. All her guards were gone… and it felt indescribable. The power of the earth was astounding and she could feel it running through her. It was there. The connection was there.
But there was something else. Another connection. This one was weaker, but only just. It felt different, alien but at the same time familiar. It was…
It couldn’t be.
Shock and grief flooded the connection, along with a soothing familiar hum.
Rose’s eyes flew open. “Doctor.”
“Hello, quite a library you have here.”
Dawn looked up at the tall man with messy brown hair and sparkling eyes.
Dawn gaped at him. “How- how did you get in here? This is the Council library.”
The man rocked back on his heels, his hands in his pockets. “Just parked in the closet.”
The man looked around at the stocked shelves.
“Nice collection; lots of first editions. Have you got any Dickens? A library has o have Dickens. Nice man, Charles Dickens. He had quite an eye for the ladies in his younger years.”
Dawn stared at the man, dumbstruck by the man’s puppy dog like energy and attention span. “Who are you?”
The man looked genuinely taken back. “Didn’t I say? I’m the Doctor. I’m here for Rose.”
Dawn glanced over her shoulder at the strange man as she knocked on Rose’s door.
The door was wrenched open immediately. Rose stood in the doorway with hopeful eyes.
The Doctor swallowed hard. “Rose.”
The Doctor pushed past Dawn and gathered Rose up into his arms. He buried his face in her hair.
“It took you long enough,” Rose murmured.
“I got here as soon as I could.”
The Doctor sighed and leaned back against the TARDIS. He waited as Rose hugged everyone a second time.
Buffy sidled up to him. “Rose has become family.”
“She’s good at that,” the Doctor agreed.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “I look after my family.”
“So do I.”
“If you hurt her-“
The Doctor met the Slayer’s gaze. “I burnt up a sun to say goodbye to her. I risked time and space for Rose.”
Buffy studied him silently. “Make sure you bring her back for a visit.”
The Doctor leaned back in his chair as he watched Rose get reacquainted with the TARDIS. She ran her fingers over the familiar buttons and levers. Rose spoke lowly to the TARDIS. The TARDIS hummed and pulsed in replied.
For the first time in a long time everything felt and looked right again. The Doctor even felt… calm, more relaxed. His usual manic energy was dampened by the complete sense of contentment.
Rose looked up, a grin on her face and her tongue caught between her teeth. The Doctor felt his hearts clench in his chest.
Rose sauntered towards him. “So, where to now?”
“Anywhere you want, Rose. Anywhere you want.”