: I’ve always thought that there was a parallel between the scenes at the end of Doomsday and Chosen. So here’s a fic about that. Written for the SlayAlive Scribes challenge, where the prompt was simply ‘crossovers’. Many thanks to dawnofme for the beta!Disclaimer
: Everything Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon and Fox, everything Doctor Who belongs to the BBC.
Banner by meOnce More Into the Rift
“Get me another.” Spike signalled the barman with a twenty, nodding towards the bottles of Jack lined up on the counter. “Keep the change.”
The barman raised his eyebrows, but poured the drink and quickly relieved Spike of his money. Spike didn’t care. It was Angel’s cash anyway.
Spike shifted in his seat, groaning as the movement aggravated his cracked ribs. He should have stayed in and let his injuries heal, but he needed the alcohol to dull the pain – and not only from the cuts and bruises.
He downed the drink in one swallow, not flinching as the liquid burned the back of his throat. A moment later, and another note was in his hand, beckoning the barman back towards him.
“You famous or something?” asked a blonde woman with a strong London accent.
Spike squinted to the right, where the blonde had taken the stool next to him. She wore dark, heavy eye make-up and her wide lips were painted rid.
“No? Okay then… won the lottery?” She grinned at him. “Giving away money like that, gotta have a good reason.”
“Spending Grandad’s wealth,” Spike muttered and then glanced at the girl again. After the disastrous interlude with Harmony that had made him realise he wasn’t quite as ready to move on as he’d thought, he really wasn’t in the mood to be chatted up by pretty girls. “Sorry, love, you’re wasting your time.”
“Just trying to be friendly.” The girl smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “Let me buy you another drink? Don’t want to waste all your inheritance.”
“Inheritance, yeah.” Spike rolled his eyes, but he tipped his glass at the blonde and nodded. She took the glass from him and called the barman over, placing the drinks order and then pushing the amber liquid back across to Spike.
“You look like you need it,” she said. “Get on the wrong side of someone?”
“What?” Spike finished the drink and frowned. “Oh, the cuts and scrapes. Yeah, got into a fight with a staircase.”
“Must have been some staircase,” the girl replied, and raised her own glass in a silent salute.
“Oh, yeah.” Spike smiled dreamily. He frowned a little at the slur in his voice. He hadn’t drunk that much yet, surely? “Big… big staircase. With stupid poofter hair and… an’… big clompy shoes. H-hey… what’re you… what you done to me?”
The room started to spin, the girl’s outline went blurry and there was a ringing in his ears that he knew hadn’t been there before. The last thing he saw before falling unconscious was a group of men coming to stand behind the girl with futuristic-looking weapons clutched in their hands.
He woke up, opening his eyes to a blinding white room with one wall made of clear glass. It felt like he’d slipped back in time four years, to when he’d been captured by the Initiative, and he was immediately filled with a horrible sense of panic and dread.
He stood up, wincing as the pounding pain in his head exacerbated his existing injuries. He moved slowly to the glass wall and peered out, half-expecting to see other demons caged in rows and white-coated scientists moving between them.
Instead, he found himself looking at several more empty cells, in a warehouse-like room, and into the eyes of the girl from the bar. She was sitting cross-legged on a table directly opposite his cell, twirling a strand of blonde hair around her finger. She smiled at him when she saw that he was awake, and Spike glared back.
“Sorry to do that to you,” she said, uncrossing her legs and letting them swing backwards and forwards from the edge of the table. “When it didn’t seem like you’d come willingly, I had to… well.” She shrugged.
“You had to,” Spike repeated and banged on the glass window with fists clenched. “Why the bleedin’ hell do you wankers always have
to? I swear, you government people are all the bloody same.”
“Oh, I’m not from the government,” she said, laughing. “God, so
not from the government. My name’s Rose. Rose Tyler. I work for Torchwood.”
Spike stared at her blankly.
“You don’t know Torchwood?” Rose let her head drop back. “Why do I always get the ignorant ones?”
“Look,” Spike said, barely holding onto the anger bubbling under the surface. “I don’t give a piss who you are or who you work for. What I want to know is why you’ve got me locked in this soddin’ cage. What’re you gonna do? Stick a chip in my head? Been there, done that, got the bloody t-shirt!”
“Chip?” Rose repeated and then groaned, a dreamy look on her face. “God, what I wouldn’t give for some proper chips right now. And mushy peas… Er… look, I didn’t want to do this. It’s cruel. But it was the only way to make sure you weren’t dangerous.” She stood up and took something out of a document case that had been leaning against the leg of a table.
She unfolded a large map and if he squinted, Spike could just make out the outline of L.A. Rose tried to hold it up against the glass for Spike to see properly, but it was too big for her to hold, and she sighed in frustration.
“You know what? Stuff what Mickey says. I don’t think you’re dangerous, and I’m a pretty good judge of character. If I let you out, will you sit and talk? It’s important. How would you like to save the world?”
Spike chuckled. “Oh, pet, you have no idea. Go on then, let me out. Won’t hurt you, swear it.”
She put the map back on the table, took a swipe card from her pocket and released the door catch to Spike’s cell. He strode out, not wanting to be in the room that was so reminiscent of one of the lowest points of his unlife for any longer than he had to be.
Rose led the way out of the warehouse, and Spike wondered just what the heck he was doing as he followed her down a darkened corridor. He was supposed to be getting nice and pissed back at the bar, drowning his sorrows in whiskey and trying to convince himself that no, he wasn’t going to go and find Buffy.
Instead, he was following in the footsteps of another perky blonde, and for all he knew she was leading him to his doom. She’d already captured him, for fuck’s sake. But his innate sense of curiosity, plus Rose’s offhand comment about saving the world had piqued his interest. There was something weird going on, and he wanted to know what it was.
The corridor emerged into a plush office, completely at odds with the grim dinginess of the warehouse.
“Welcome to Torchwood Five,” Rose said, gesturing towards a cluster of chairs. “Sit down.”
“I’ll stand,” Spike said, giving a wary glance at the sun streaming through the windows onto the seating area. How long had he been unconscious, if it was daytime already?
Rose frowned, then perched herself on the edge of the large desk with her legs swinging back and forth.
“Okay,” Rose smiled, and Spike saw again that it didn’t reach her eyes. She gave off an air of confidence and maturity, but Spike could see sadness in her gaze. Beneath the poise and self-assurance, she was a lot younger than he’d first thought.
“I really am sorry we had to do that to you. Mickey insisted.”
“You want to tell me who this Mickey is, pet? Think my fists would like an introduction.”
Rose grinned. “He’s my boss. Well, he likes to think he is. Just cos he’s been here longer than me.”
“So, what’s this all about then?”
“Oh, right.” Rose jumped off the desk, pulled the map from the document case, and spread it out on the surface. “Okay, we’re in Los Angeles, right? A few months ago, there was this huge earthquake somewhere over here. Sunnydale.”
Spike’s eyes widened as Rose began to speak, and he swallowed nervously.
“Left a massive crater in the ground and no survivors,” Rose continued, pointing out Sunnydale on the map. “Then we get a call from Torchwood Two – that’s in Cardiff – saying there was a huge energy spike in that vicinity. Well, you probably don’t want to hear all the details, so let’s just say that we’ve got this… tech, and it’s led us back to you. We guessed that you must have been there when it spiked and caused the earthquake, cos you’re practically bleeding energy all over the place. See, there’s this big hole, a tear in the dimensions back at the Sunnydale crater, and we don’t think it’ll close until we get you back there.”
Rose’s eyes had brightened up during her explanation and her hands were gesticulating wildly. Spike just stared, trying to understand everything she was saying.
“So?” Rose prompted. “Were you there? Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?”
“Yeah,” Spike said, swallowing around a dry mouth. He ran his hands through his hair and chuckled. “I was there. Bleedin’ hell, you have no idea.”
“So tell me,” Rose said, folding up the map and putting it back in the document wallet.
And he did. Spike wondered during the telling of it just why he was confiding everything – and it was everything - in this girl, this stranger. But he had seen something in Rose’s eyes that reflected some of the things he himself was feeling. Spike felt that he could trust her.
When he had finished, Rose glared at him. “You’re an idiot.”
“You heard me. You’re an idiot for saying that to her and then not going back to her now that you have the chance.”
“She didn’t mean it,” Spike said, looking at the floor. “Buffy didn’t love me. Doesn’t. I know it.”
“She meant it,” Rose said. “She knew you were about to die, that she’d never see you again, and so she told you that she loved you. She wanted you to know.”
Spike looked up at her, the vulnerability in his eyes easy for anyone to see. “How do you know? How can you be so sure?”
Rose glanced away, her eyes unfocussed as she stared out of the window and comprehension dawned on Spike.
“You’ve been there. You’ve had to say goodbye to someone.”
Rose nodded. “I loved him. I was pulled into this dimension and there’s no way back. We… he came through a gap in the worlds, one last time, to say goodbye. I told him I loved him, and he said, ‘Quite right, too’. Can you believe that?” She smiled wryly. “Not quite as bad as what you said, though. Cos… he was about to say it, right? He was. But then he was gone. Just disappeared forever.”
Spike reached out a tentative hand to Rose, patting her on the shoulder in an attempt at comfort.
“I wish he’d had time to say it. It would’ve been… not easier, but it would’ve helped some. Just to know that he loved me…” her voice trailed off into a whisper, and Spike had to swallow past the lump in his throat.
“So that’s how I know. She would have wanted to hear it, Spike. ‘No you don’t, but thanks for saying it’ – hah.” Rose repeated his words in a mocking tone. “And you’ve got the chance to see her again, to make it right and you haven’t taken it! You’re an idiot.”
“So you’ve said.” Spike frowned.
“And a coward,” Rose said.
“What is this, insult Spike day? I saved the bleeding world, how can I be a coward?”
“You are, though! I would give anything
to be able to see the Doctor again, but I can’t. I bet Buffy feels the same way.”
“Can’t be sure of that.”
“And that’s why you’re a coward. You don’t want to see her because there’s a chance she might not have meant what she said down in the Hellmouth.”
Spike opened his mouth to protest but couldn’t find anything to say. He knew she was right. That was why he didn’t want to find Buffy. He was scared, and for a vampire, that was ridiculous.
“Go to her,” Rose said softly, her hand coming down to rest on his shoulder.
Spike nodded. “You’re right.”
“Always am.” Rose smirked. “And now, you have to come with me to close the dimensional rift. We can’t have you leaking energy all over the place.”
“Dimensional rift?” Spike repeated, thoughtfully. “Any chance that it leads to the dimension where you’ve got your man, this Doctor?”
Rose smiled sadly. “I’ve thought about that. We’ve tried scanning the rift, but there’s been no conclusive data on where it leads. I can’t take the chance that I’ll end up in some alien world.”
“What if I could find out for you? Bloke I was talking about earlier – my grandsire, he works for this big interdimensional law firm. Bet you anything my mate Wes could find out where that hole in the Hellmouth leads.”
“Torchwood has the best tech in the universe,” Rose said. “If we can’t find out where it goes, I don’t think anyone can.”
“Bet you a hundred dollars of my Grandaddy’s fine moolah that Wes’ll be able to.”
“Spending that inheritance again?” Rose’s eyes were alight in a way he hadn’t seen in all the time he’d known her. Okay, so that hadn’t been long, but the black despair he’d noticed earlier was gone, replaced with a shining hope.
“Oh yeah.” Spike grinned. “Got my eye on his viper an’ all.”
“Oh, please! Me and the poofter? Not on your nelly.”
“Methinks the vampire doth protest too much.”
“Shut up.” Spike glared.
“You can’t tell me to shut up; we’ve only known each other a few hours.”
Spike grinned and held the door open for Rose. “Let’s go find Wesley, eh? See if we can’t find out where this rift leads once and for all.”
Rose smiled and nodded, following him into the corridor.
“So, pet, go over how this works again,” Spike said, as he nimbly avoided a crack in the ground at the bottom of the Sunnydale crater.
“We get to the rift, you stand near it and that’ll give me time to get through. Then Mickey here will use the inter-dimensional manipulator to pull the energy from your body and it will close the gap.”
Spike nodded. “No risk to me or any of my parts? Burned up once in that damned cave, don’t particularly want to do it again.”
“Mickey’s gone over the calculations hundreds of times. It’s safe. I’ll go through and try to find my Doctor, and you’ll close the rift… then go and see Buffy. You will, won’t you? Don’t leave her alone any longer.”
“Good.” Rose stopped walking and Mickey came forward to trace the air with a scanner.
“It’s here,” he said and stepped back, glancing warily at Spike. Spike had the feeling that Mickey didn’t like him much, not least because he was a vampire – but more because he’d provided the confirmation that Rose had needed about the other dimension.
“That’s it then,” Rose said. “Here we go.”
Mickey flipped a couple of switches on his device, then motioned to Spike to move forwards into the area that the rift occupied. It was invisible to the eye but as soon as Spike stepped into the vicinity, he felt his skin begin to prickle and a vibration thrummed through his body.
“Not liking this, pet,” he said, as a bolt of heat ripped through him. “Feels a mite too familiar.”
“It’s fine,” Rose said, hugging Mickey and whispering something in his ear. “Trust me.” She then stepped forwards and lifted her arms to Spike for a hug. “Thanks, Spike. Really.”
He nodded, and gave her a little push. “Go on then. Go get your man.”
“And you go get your girl.” Rose said, a look of happiness on her face as she walked backwards into the gap of the rift. And then she was gone. There was a flurry of movement as Mickey pulled him out of the way, flipped several switches on the inter-dimensional manipulator and then there was a huge sucking sound as the hole closed.
“That’s that then,” Spike said to Mickey, and the other man gave a strained smile.
There was silence.
“So,” Spike said, breaking the uncomfortable quiet and slapping Mickey on the back. “Any chance you can zap me over to Rome?”