Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy
, or Doctor Who
. Though I wouldn't mind borrowing John Barrowman and David Tennant...
Author's Note: I'll say it now so there's no confusion. This is a byproduct of too much imagination and ideas that wouldn't leave me. It's not beta'd, any mistakes are my own, and I will promptly ignore flames. I have absolutely no idea about when I'll be updating, as this was pretty spur of the moment and I can only continue as the plot comes to me. I do hope you'll review and tell me if you like it. After all, they are
America. She really missed America, Willow thought with a groan as she came to, not needing to open her eyes to know that her best friend was in much the same position, most probably thinking the same thing.
It wasn't her fault this time, honestly. No mishaps had occurred from a spell gone awry. If all had gone according to plan (and she knew it had to have because she had been trained far too much to make some rookie mistake by now) then they should be exactly where she’d aimed for. She couldn't hear Buffy making out with a vampire, at any rate. The lingering image from her memories made her scrunch her nose in disgust; no one wanted to remember that. Even after their so called sexcapades, neither Buffy nor Spike had mentioned the lovey dovey goings on of that particular night.
She shook her head to rid the thoughts altogether. Then regretted it immediately.
"Ugh..." She groaned once more, hearing the Slayer do the same.
"Hey, Wills?" came the groggy voice from her left.
"Remind me why we decided to stay in Cardiff?"
"To monitor an area for unusual energy that is strangely similar to a Hellmouth yet seems to repel demons instead of attract them, even though there are still an untold number of unexplainable occurrences happening in the area?"
"Oh." There was a long pause. "Hey, Wills?"
"Remind me why we care?"
Willow felt the lingering headache. "I'll have to get back to you."
Truthfully, she was having a little trouble feeling empathy for anyone right now, let alone those that have been saved by their interference in the strange - at least to them - country. All right, not really. She knew Buffy was only jesting as well. Still, the pain from their crash landing wasn’t allowing for clear thoughts, though it was starting to clear up. Which probably meant that her best friend was in top shape by now.
Willing her eyes to open, she prepared to wince slightly at the light. Only to find darkness greeting her.
She glanced over at Buffy, who was already up and standing, dusting off the dust that had covered her old blue jeans and black t-shirt; her new leather jacket didn’t seem to have suffered much. Willow started to wonder how she’d fared, thinking of the red sweater she’d only just purchased with an internal pout. Buffy was right, you really could never have nice things with this job.
She noticed Buffy now had her hand stretched out towards her with a raised eyebrow. Huh. She must have zoned out for a minute there.
Looking sheepish, Willow reached for the hand and found herself on her feet in a second, almost falling forward until she was caught by Buffy. Shooting a slight glare at the Slayer for forgetting her strength, it was now her counterpart’s turn to shrug not all that guiltily.
Willow snorted the equivalent of ‘sure’ and briefly dusted her own clothes off. “Well, doesn’t look like we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.” She paused. “Or Cardiff.”
“Definitely not Cardiff.”
Taking in their surroundings, it was clear that they hadn’t simply been unconscious for a while. Complete darkness surrounded them, the whole place seeming deserted. Not a living thing could be seen or heard, dust and rock the only identifiable things among them. As one they both turned their gazes towards the sky. The starless sky. No sun. No moon. Absolutely nothing.
“This isn’t Earth…”
Willow’s head whipped towards Buffy, the whispered disbelieving voice reaching her ears. Her hazel eyes were still glued to the sky, looking completely awed and more aware than she thinks she’s ever seen her best friend. She recognizes the stance Buffy’s taken, from experience. She was beginning to see it more and more, the Slayer and born leader showing as she allowed herself to feel all that being the chosen one - ones
, she corrected herself - allowed her. She had accepted her destiny a long time ago, and honing her skills had become a top priority for her now that she was an influence to so many girls.
“I can feel it,” Buffy whispered again, her voice only slightly more composed than before.
“What do you mean?”
“The air, the atmosphere, it’s…..” She trailed off for a moment, not sure of the right words. “I don’t know, I just know, ya know?”
She did know. Currently, her magic wasn’t up to its usual standards after the stunt they’d just pulled. Her energy was so drained she was surprised she had the composure she did to just stand up. Still, just the feeling of the place felt so alien to her, so unlike anything she’d ever felt from their own planet that it couldn’t possibly be Earth. Not to mention, she’d learned a long time ago not to question Slayer senses. When your best friend is a super hero, you have to know when to just trust in what you can’t feel for yourself.
She looked back at Buffy, her own gaze having drifted to the sky once more in contemplation. She turned towards Willow, taking a moment to shake her head of her cluttered thoughts, offering her a weak but genuine smile. It was returned.
“It's wrong though,” Buffy continued. “Everything, just look at it. It’s like…It’s like it’s just dead. Everything feels…dead.”
“We should be. We’d have to be…” Willow scrunched her face in confusion and realization. “No sun, we…We should be frozen to death. There’s got to be something here, protecting us.”
They both took a breath, looking around once again at where they’d ended up. They were definitely high up, standing on a wide ledge of rock that appeared to span off into a trail that led to the flat ground below. Very far below.
“So, I guess Jack wasn‘t completely full of it after all,” Buffy tried to lighten up the situation.
Willow laughed outright at that, glancing at Buffy and thinking the same thing.
When they had first come to Cardiff, it was indeed because of the Rift. Not that they knew then that it was called a Rift. They had assumed that it had the potential to be a possible Hellmouth, what with the crazy amount of energy radiating from the place. There were just so many weird happenings going on there that Giles had asked the two if they would mind investigating a bit since he was currently busy with taking care of formalities. Plus, they’d both been claiming to be bored for ages. So they thus agreed - after Buffy’s exclamation “What the hell could there be in Cardiff?”- and so they arrived to explore the incidences in detail. That happened to include the ever elusive Torchwood.
That was a month ago.
Getting caught up with the group when they were simultaneously investigating a demon attack (which turned out to actually be a Weevil attack) the two teams had been at a literal standoff - really, they were holding guns and Buffy had her scythe while Willow was prepared to cast whatever spell the situation called for. Finally, after much yelling and accusing and talking over each other, Buffy and the handsome Captain had been able to discern that they were both in the same side and needed to have a serious talk.
Apparently, Jack had known for a while then that they had been tracking Torchwood. Willow had mostly managed to stay under the radar with her marvelous hacking skills, but Toshiko wasn’t half brilliant herself and so they’d known that someone had wanted in, but not who. There had been half a million arguments about the existence of aliens and demons - which mostly consisted of Owen being an ass and scoffing at them, while the others actually listened to what they said and asked the right questions. And the same was done in return. Though they were slightly more mature in return, Buffy still couldn’t resist jibbing a remark towards the arrogant doctor.
Did she mention Toshiko was brilliant? They really had to get together sometime. Buffy commented that they could have a good time ‘geeking it up.’ That for the most part put Owen and Buffy on good terms.
Anyway, coming from a world that had been full of mysticism since they were only teenagers, aliens hadn’t come as too much of a surprise. Though all the proof was more than a little fascinating. When they realized just how few people they had keeping Torchwood alive, and that neither she or the Slayer had had anything to do as Faith had been training the mini slayers, they consulted with Giles (who had been a little bewildered at the alien bit) and decided to stay and help the Cardiff based team. And contribute what they could from the Council. Really, it only made sense that they stay since their watcher slash father figure had needed some slayers based in the area anyway.
When it turned out Jack was immortal - which they’d found out when tracking another alien, the rest of Torchwood, with the exception of Gwen, apparently not in the know - it pretty much figured that Buffy would get along with him.
“I heard that.”
Willow grinned. What with all the honing of the senses and all, the latent telepathy Giles had always claimed she had with being a Slayer made Buffy much more attuned to others thoughts if they were projected too strongly.
“I meant for you to.”
She pouted. “Mean.”
To be fair, she did have sort of a track record, didn’t she? From the moment they realized they weren’t enemies, the two had flirted with each other like crazy. Though Buffy certainly wasn’t as abashedly sexual as Captain Jack, she could definitely dish it when she wanted to. Though the eyes Ianto and he made for each other said a lot. So did the eyes Buffy made for both Jack and
“Are we going to figure out where we are, or would you like to continue your inner monologue on my love life?”
“Not my fault you’re so blatantly in lust.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I must have mistaken those doe eyes for Tosh that say ‘take me now, you woman, you.’”
It was too many years of shyness that made Willow blush, but otherwise she rolled her eyes. Secretly, in a part of her mind she knew Buffy didn‘t have the power to reach as of yet, she knew no matter how much they teased, that Jack’s existence meant more to Buffy than even she would admit.
It had been exactly four years since the destruction of Sunnydale. It had been six years since the Slayer had stopped showing any signs of aging.
No one had noticed at first. Everyone had been so caught up in rebuilding the Council and making sure everyone was in the proper care. In no time Dawn was going to college, Giles was head of the Council, Xander was somewhere in Africa, Faith was with a group of Slayers keeping Cleveland safe, and Willow and Buffy had been gathering girls from all across the globe. It was once everything started to really settle down that they’d become suspicious. It was after a demon broke her neck, and she woke with heart wrenching gasp that they knew something was horribly, horribly wrong. They’d gotten all the original Scoobies together in hopes of figuring out what had happened to her. If they were all honest with themselves, the answer really was there from the very beginning.
When a certain witch cast a devastatingly powerful spell that pulled her very soul from the Heavens.
She didn’t hate Willow. For that, the Wiccan had been completely flabbergasted. She knew, without a doubt, that Buffy would never think of this as a gift, and would never have expected her to. They knew, largely because of Angel, that living forever brought nigh but pain and loss. And through their life even after he left for L.A. they realized how right he was. When she’d brought Buffy back - no, when she realized where she’d come back from - she knew, even though she was so desperate not to accept it then, that she’d never be able to see life the same way again. That she would always have that place that yearned for that peace in her heart.
And she didn’t hate Willow. She’d literally taken away her ability to ever have that peace again and she didn’t hate her. She’d told Willow only a night after they found out the way she felt. She remembered the exact words. “Willow, I spent so much time hating you that year, so much time hating myself. I don’t think I can live like that; especially since it looks like that’s going to be a while.”
She’d given a light laugh, not bothering to hide the bitterness in it. And that was it. They didn’t talk about it. Not a word. But just like that she’d let Willow still be her best friend. And she knew she didn’t deserve it.
Buffy still hadn’t told Jack.
“All right, so where do you think we’ve ended up. No, stupid question. The only thing we know about planets are Jack’s stories, and those…leave much to be desired.” If Buffy’s left eyebrow raised any higher it would go off her face. She gave a stern look. “I mean, scientifically and geographically speaking.”
He hadn’t exactly been forthcoming about any off-Earth tales, but Willow had eventually dragged as least that out of him, being too smart to think he knew all that he did about aliens having only ever been on Earth. He hadn’t told these particular stories to his team, though. That was probably just because he needed to vent to strangers and wasn’t ready to tell the people that meant something to him. Though the things he did tell them were… Well, this was Jack
, obviously. Not that hard to figure out.
“Sure, sure,” Buffy trailed off in amusement, but still felt more uneasy than she’d shown thus far.
“You’ve got pensive face.
Before Willow could take a breathe the Slayer was no longer beside her. Blinking for a moment, she ran to catch up with the retreating figure.
“Hey,” she accused. “You don’t even know where you’re going, missy. We need to stop and thi-”
“Pensive face, remember?” the blonde glanced at Willow. “I’ve been looking for any signs of life on this rock. You know, like the one we came looking for?”
“All right,” she replied, allowing her to elaborate. They had done all this to get to the missing Captain. Well, actually he hadn’t been gone long enough to say he’d been missing. But after Abaddon, it was no wonder Buffy had been so determined to go on this particular ‘rescue’ mission.
They knew Jack was immortal. They did. They’d seen him come back to life so many times it was kinda hard not to miss. Little did he know the way Buffy had to clench her fists and teeth every time she watched it happen, knowing the painful experience of being shocked back into existence. But then came Abaddon, and Buffy thought she might have lost the only person in the world like her. He hadn’t quite understood why she’d held him so tight when he walked back into the hub. Couldn’t have understood just how impossibly important he was to her, even if they ended up enemies. How she thought she’d break if there wasn’t some sort of constant in what promised to be a very long life.
Then they’d walked into the hub again to find Gwen alone, saying Jack had disappeared.
It had taken an instant. Less than an instant. Buffy had gripped her arm, only experience stopping her from accidentally breaking it, and Willow heard her unconstrained panic in her mind.Willow!
That was all it took. They both knew what they were going to do. They were barely out of the hub and out of sight before Owen yelled for them in confusion. But they were already gone. She’d done the spell and found Jack in her mind, the teleportation taking effect before any of the team could react.
To be honest, she was a little shocked they were still alive, after the stunt they’d pulled. She knew she was getting powerful, but she hadn’t exactly been expecting to be able to literally magically appear on a completely different planet whoever the hell knew where. No wonder she couldn’t even feel an ounce of power in her at the moment. From any and all Willow knew of physics - which was now even more than she already knew, what with she and Tosh putting their minds to such excellent use - the fact that she wasn’t bent over and having trouble breathing was something in itself. Either she was really, really good, or… Actually, that was all she could figure. Nice thought, though.
“So,” the Slayer continued down the slope that connected to the ledge, obviously having some destination in mind. “While you were busy zoning out and making quips, I was actually coming up with a plan. Well, not a plan exactly. Guideline, maybe. Yeah, guideline works.” She caught Willow’s look. “Anyway
, I couldn’t help but notice in the distance, you see?”
She paused in her steps to point in a direction far up ahead, on the ground below. She could barely make it out in the distance, and without Buffy’s enhanced sight they probably would have missed it. It took a few moments of squinting her eyes in the darkness, but once she realized what she saw Willow gasped.
“A gate? Are…are there people? Can you see anyone?”
“Negative,” she said apologetically. “Not from here at least. Although…” Buffy stiffened, her head tilted like she was listening closely to something. Probably was.
Her eyes widened. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.”
“What? What is it? Buff- Ouch!” She found her arm gripped by Buffy, yanking her closer as she pointed something else out. “Buffy, seriously, what…” She saw her fixation.
“Oh, you have to be kidding me.”
“I said that already.”
“Well, it deserves to be said twice.”
“You’re not wrong.”
So. An angry mob. There was actually an angry mob below them, carry fiery torches and screaming fierily at the top of their lungs. Looking not a little ravenous. Chasing what appeared to be an extremely frightened man who appeared to be aiming for the aforementioned big gate in the distance. They were still far off, and Willow thanked Buffy’s senses yet again as she wouldn’t have come close to hearing or making them out without her. Let alone the three other figures that appeared to be trying to catch up with-
“Wait a minute!” Willow exclaimed half in disbelief and half in relief. Her eyes had gone impossibly wide and she had to force herself to speak despite her shock. “Buffy, look!”
“Yes, Willow, I see the big, angry-”
“Not them, smartass,” Willow shrieked with a little indignity. Honestly, Buffy was the one who was supposed to have the amazing powers of perception, here. “Them!
Look, right there!
” Now she was the one pointing.
Buffy looked a little irritated. “Willow, I’m looking, I don’t see…..see….” She trailed off. And stared. And-
“Oh. My. God.”
“I know! So we should probably-”
Without warning of any kind, Willow was suddenly and decidedly not on her feet. She only had half a second to realize that the Slayer had whisked her into her arms, one arm wrapped tightly around her knees and the other her upper arms and waist. And then, in yet another half a second, neither of them was standing on solid ground. Instead they were now airborne after Buffy had decided to take a leaping start off the slope, leaving her stomach to drop as they were suspended in the air for more seconds that she could even comprehend, before she landed on her feet like a cat, not even needing to take a deep breathe form the exertion.
Suddenly, before she could even gain an ounce of equilibrium, she was once again on her feet once again. Although that could probably be taken as a relative term, as her feet not so much touched the ground as hovered above it while she was dragged by the arm at an inhuman speed by her friend, barely able to wrap her mind around what had just happened.
“You…I…” Willow gasped, attempting to get her mind to function before she passed out. “That wasn’t necessary!” She barely managed as she was still out of breathe.
“We didn’t have time to run that far down!” Buffy called back briefly. Not even a little tired. She really hated her. “Stop complaining!”
Willow glared at her back.
They were running. They were running and running and running so fast that even Willow wasn’t sure how Buffy was still on her feet without landing on her back, as she was also dragging another person on her arm.
They were close. Really close. From their position they could see the knife sharp teeth of the ‘people’ that were chasing Jack. And the apparent friends he had with him. Well, they were as close to friends as she or Buffy could tell from how they were running, along with the other man but still somehow in a smaller group apart from him. She couldn’t make out much about the other two, only that the woman had dark skin and the man had a nice coat. And some really
great hair. Wow, it might even be better than Jack’s hair…Hey! Focus here!
Willow yelled pointedly into Buffy’s head after her straying thoughts started drifting into her own. Honestly, for all the amazing feats the girl had accomplished, she saw a hot guy and you could practically see her concentration just fly out the window. The slayer started to slow down, slower than the abrupt stop that Willow knew she could have taken. Catching the quick look Buffy gave her as she got her breathing caught up, she smiled slightly at the silent apology, giving her a light nod.
From where they were now standing, being as quiet as they could, they were far enough away not to be noticed or heard, but they could still see that Jack and the others running alongside him were standing just behind the gate with two men who looked like guards pointing big guns at the creatures that had been too close to catching them. And creatures they were, Willow realized upon the close inspection she could now take.
They were wild, that was certain. Almost crazy with lust for the kill. Their eyes were definitely all over the place as they bared their knife-sharp teeth, growling with rage at the standoff they found themselves in.
“They’re not demons,” Buffy’s whisper jolted her for a second.
Turning her head in surprise, Willow turned her eyes beside her while still glancing at the scene before them. “You sure?” she asked skeptically. “I mean, they’re….well, they don’t exactly look human.”
“That’s because they’re alien, Wills.” She sounded a little condescending, but mostly teasing. Willow glared.
“Shut up. I know that…” Actually, in all the hurry it had sort of slipped her thoughts. Just for a second, though. “Still, they don’t exactly look like they want to be friends. You’re positive they’re not some sort of vampire?”
Buffy shook her head. “My spidey sense isn’t tingling, if that’s what you’re asking. They definitely feel a little off, but that’s as far as the non-human vibes go.” She shrugged. “It’s hard to tell for sure with the change in scenery, if you know what I mean.”
It looked like the creatures, or whatever they were, were beginning to retreat, and Jack and his friends were starting to go back behind the big gate where they could no longer be seen.
The two friends both looked at each other. Then they collapsed. And burst out laughing from exhaustion.
“Damn, Wills…” Buffy shook her head. “This…This is crazy. Just completely crazy. Did I mention all the crazy?”
“Might have. I was too busy thinking how ridiculous this is.”
They grinned at each other.
“Seriously though,” Buffy continued, running a hand through her now very long blonde hair. “We’re on another planet. With aliens. It’s mad.”
“Yeah,” Willow agreed as she pushed one of her own red locks behind her ear. “But…”
Buffy whipped her head to look her in the eyes, confusion filling her own gaze. “But what?”
Willow gave her a meaningful look, head tilting for emphasis. “Jack.”
The one word left her lips and she saw Buffy’s face gradually take it in all over again. Though she was a little irritated - well, a lot irritated - with her for pulling that stunt with the cliff, she knew her friend would never do something that she thought would get her hurt. But she’d just seen Jack, in that one moment. She’d seen Jack in trouble and she acted without a second thought. The fact was the two might never become a ‘thing’ at all, and they’d just be left to endlessly flirt like they always did with each other nowadays. Still, Willow knew how scared she’d been since learning of her condition that there would never be anyone she could count on always being there.
“Yeah,” she heard her agree, and she could hear the relief in her voice. “There’s Jack. The complete sod.”
“You’re not British, Buffy.”
“No, I just spend far too much time around them. It does rub off on you after a while.”
“Jack’s over 100 years old and he still sounds American.”
“There’s the Buffy we know and love.” She got a glare. Willow grinned.
“So now what?” The witch asked, glancing back towards the vacant space the mob had left behind, Jack and the others apparently having already left to places unknown for the moment.
“We kick some captain ass?”
“A bit more specific, if you can manage.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “We get past the gate, for one. Can’t commence in the kicking of the ass deal if we can’t find the soon to be victim in question.” She glanced back towards the gate as well. “Shouldn’t be too hard, just show the men that we’re human. Or human-ish, in my case.”
“They were definitely looking for good teeth up there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
They both stood straight, preparing to make their way in the direction of what would probably be the closest thing they’d find to civilization.
Just a few steps in, and the distinct sound of some particularly vicious growls came from behind them.
RANDOM QUOTE TIME!The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch