Disclaimer: RTD=Doctor Who, Joss=BtVS
The fake Doctor was walking ahead of us, while the real Doctor stuck close to me so that I could use his shoulder for support. I wonder if he suspected I hadn't recovered quite as fully as I'd pretended from the Cyberman electro-shock therapy.
It was always uncomfortable for me having someone care about my well being. But it was something that I simultaneously disliked and longed for. What? I'm a complicated girl.
"I think I've worked out what's happened." He announced to me, suddenly.
I gave him a disinterested sidelong glance, then smirked. "Took you long enough. Seemed pretty obvious to me."
"What?" He looked at me with both surprise and admiration, "You knew?"
"Well, I'd been suspicious from the beginning. He didn't feel anything like you. And then he started to fondle that infostamp. And the last time he'd seen one was when he'd lost his memory..."
"Yes. It does all seem to fall together..."
"Yeah," I drew a hand through my hair and smirk to myself, "Shit, I'm just glad you're not going to be regenerating into that
The Doctor was affronted, "Oi! What wrong with him?"
I stared at him blankly, "Is that a trick question?"
He tugged at his hair slightly and looked at the man ahead of them, "Okay, he's a bit much, I'll grant you, but--"
"A bit much?" I laughed. I jabbed my finger into his shoulder playfully, "You're a 'bit much'
. He's like a life times supply of 'much'
"He's not that bad, you should have met my sixth incarnation! Or my fourth..." He rubbed his chin in thought, "Or my sec..."
I cut him off, "I'm not going to regenerate into a complete tool one day, am I?"
"Oh, god! I'm gonna start running around using stupid puns and pausing dramatically mid-sentence, like I'm in some goddamn daytime soap opera! Kill me now."
I looked ahead at the other Doctor who had now found Rosita. He was gesturing emphatically at woman while he spoke, "And make it permanent."
"Oh, stop that! It's not a bad thing to be a little eccentric." He sniffed and straightened his tie.
"You're only saying that because you already are." I pouted.
We approached Rosita and the man just as they were about to go check on their TARDIS. They had a TARDIS?
I looked over to the Doctor, he was wearing an equally curious expression. I grinned, "This I've got to see."
The man had camped out in a barn surrounded by the luggage of the supposedly dead Jackson Lake. And the TARDIS was a hot air balloon.T
I tried not to laugh, simply because I felt sorry for the poor delusional man. Rosita was talking to The Doctor who was rifling through Lake's luggage for proof of our theory.
I'd been staring off into space thinking about my father when I heard someone clear their throat above me. I looked up to find the man staring at me, "Can I speak with you a moment, Miss Faith?"
"Knock yourself out." I replied disinterestedly.
"What? Why would I do that?" He frowned and looked generally befuddled at me.
I chuckled under my breath, "S-Sorry. It means, 'go ahead', 'ask away', 'have a ball,'" I smirked, "and of course the ever popular 'go ape-shit.'"
"Oh." He frowned for a moment, but soon took a seat across from me on a bit of luggage. He was silent for a moment longer, looking almost afraid to speak. Then he cleared his throat.
"I feel I must apologize to you. I questioned your abilities. But you faced those Cybermen with a cutlass and then your bare hands without an ounce of fear. I must confess you were braver than me." He brow furrowed, "And quite a bit stronger than I'd realized."
"No problem." I shrugged, "I'm used to being underestimated."
Actually something I liked being, gave me the element of surprise. Probably the reason why Slayers were girls. That way they could be both the bait and the hunter. Two in one combo. More bang for your proverbial buck.
He nodded, taking my response as acceptance of his apology, "I also wanted to check that you were alright. When that Cyberman shocked you..." he paled slightly, "I was worried. I'd thought-- I'd thought you might be gravely injured. Or worse."
The way he was acting, I was really starting to suspect someone he'd known before his little stint of amnesia had been electrocuted and killed by the Cybermen.
I gave him my best reassuring smile, "No worries. I'm five by five. Just a little.... 'crispy'. Nothing I can't handle."
He leaned closer to me and his expression was curious, "Who are you, really? And your friend, Mr. Smith? The two of you speak so oddly. And Mr. Smith has such knowledge, and you fight like no woman...or man," he admitted with a tinge of humility, "I've ever seen..."
I didn't immediately answer his question because that's was when I heard the Doctor shout triumphantly. I looked up to see that he had found the infostamp in Jackson's luggage.
I glanced back at the man in front of me. He was still waiting for me to answer him. I spoke, soberly. "You want to know who I am?"'Let me tell you something. Nobody knows what you are. Not even you, little Miss Seen-it-all.'
I felt shivers up my spine, remembering Wilkins' words. I wondered for a moment if he'd known. Maybe he'd known about the watch, about who & what I really was. Doubtful. But it was hard not to envision the man as some sort of all knowing genius. He'd always seemed to know her so well. Of course if he'd been so smart he wouldn't have gotten blown up by a merry band of high-schoolers.
"I may have memories, but that doesn't mean I have the first clue who I really am any better than you do. Maybe once I figure it out, I'll let you know."
He just stared at me in silence. And I couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking. He wasn't the Doctor, but whoever he was didn't seem quite so bad. Just a little old-fashioned. But what did I expect? I was in the past.
The Doctor and Rosita made their way over to us. I spoke up, "I think John and I have figured out who you are. And why you can't remember. Do you want to know?"
"Yes, please tell me." He looked at us desperately.
The Doctor took the lead, "The story begins a long time away, and not so far from here. The Cybermen were fought and they were beaten. And they were sent into a howling wilderness called 'the Void'. Locked inside, forever more. But then a greater battle rose up--" I listened on in fascination. "--so great that everything inside the Void perished. But as the walls of the world weakened, the last of the Cybermen must have fallen through the dimensions. Back in time, to land here." The Doctor stared at the other man meaningfully, "And they found you."
"I fought them. I know that." He stared off blankly, "But what happened?"
"At the same time another man came to London. Mr. Jackson Lake." The Doctor looked around us at all the luggage, "But he found the Cybermen too. And just like you. Exactly like you.
He took hold of an infostamp."
"But Jackson Lake is dead. The Cybermen murdered him." The man refused to see the truth that The Doctor was trying to gently put before him.
I leaned forward to look him in the eye, "But there wasn't a body. Was there?"
He stared at me with a hard expression. It seemed like he was finally starting to understand, but not quite ready to make the final leap into acceptance.
"I told you the answer was in the fob watch." The Doctor spoke gently, "May I see it?"
The man pulled out the watch and the Doctor flipped it over in his hand.
There inscribed on top of it were the letters "J" & "L"
"J. L." The Doctor let the words sink in, "This watch belongs to Jackson Lake."
Rosita gasped, "Jackson Lake is you, sir?"
He looked defeated but still unwilling, "But I'm The Doctor."
I switched my spot to take one on the other side of him. Tentatively, I placed a hand on his shoulder to try and comfort him. But comforting wasn't exactly my forte. My forte involved bit more blood and a lot more bludgeoning.
"You became The Doctor, because the infostamp you picked up--" The Doc flipped the infostamp in his hand "--was a book about one particular man."
He pressed the button and the pictures shot up onto the wall. The Doctor explained to Jackson & Rosita while I stood enthralled by what I was seeing.
The Doctor had been all these men? Hopefully my jaw wasn't hanging open too much.
I was floored. Looking at the way he was now-- he was older than me by a long shot, I got that--
But okay, let's put it this way:
He was attractive & I wasn't blind.
And even if I seemed to have lost a bit of my, *cough* well-- lost a bit of my 'libido' since opening that watch, I still had dirty thoughts from time to time. No helping that.
I was still me.
I was still Faith.
I'd known he'd been different people, but I guess I hadn't really thought they would be that different
. I'd started to suspect from our earlier conversation, but I guess it still hadn't registered completely in my head. And if he had actually regenerated into Jackson Lake, I guess it wouldn't have been so bad. I could have knocked that chauvinist bullshit out of him in a jiffy.
The first Doctor shown in the infostamp was an old geezer with a cane. Which I suppose was understandable...maybe he'd just gotten a lot of use out of that persona. Maybe he'd been more like he was now earlier on in life.
The second one popped up and I couldn't stop my jaw from dropping. Yikes!
He looked like a that creepy pedophile with the bowl cut that lived across the street from me growing up in Southie. The one that would always ask me if I wanted to have 'some candy' or see his 'toy collection'. I shuddered.
I glanced quickly back to the Doctor for a second.
Nope, still attractive, and not in the least bit creepy.
And now was the point in our little story when I really started to worry about my future regenerations. I might regenerate into a crazy cat lady or Ethel Merman or something.
I didn't think I ever wanted to regenerate. Maybe when the time came I wouldn't.
The third came up and I was feeling a little bit better. He was older with white hair, but not so bad. Sort of effeminate, with the frilly shirt and velvet smoking jacket.
Although... I smirked to myself-I'd still hit it
God, I was terrible.
The fourth appeared and he was a bit younger. Sort of odd looking with crazy hair and a big nose, but distinguished. And what was with that scarf?
The fifth was even younger. Ok, what was this? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Was The Doctor living his life in reverse? This one was blonde. I squinted. Was he wearing a stick of celery?O-Okay
... cute, but crazy. Guess things had to even out somehow. Take me for example: hot as shit, but as B said once, not exactly gracing any covers of 'Sanity Fair'.
The sixth I was reserving judgment on for the moment. Seemed sort of flamboyant. Hard to say just looking at the short wordless video. That coat was something else. It was as if the Doctor had robbed Joseph of his 'Amazing Technicolor Dream-coat'.
The seventh was sort of goofy looking. Not particularly attractive, but had a friendly look about him. Kind of fatherly. And I liked his hat.
The eighth. Major hottie. Had girlie hair, but I could overlook that.
The ninth. Sort of reminded me of the fourth with a buzz cut. Big ears, nose. Separately all his features would come off awkward, but he seemed to make them work. Confidence and the way you held yourself went a long way.
Were these really all the same person? All The Doctor? He'd said that his personality changed along with each regeneration. But it was more than that. It seemed to me that regeneration wasn't that much different than dying. These people didn't seem much like the Doctor who was sitting right across from me. It seemed more like a whole new person just got your memories, while you disappeared. And this fraud went off claiming to be you.
What I was seeing here was just upsetting.
And then up on the wall, there was the Doctor I knew.
"That's you." Jackson Lake spoke in awe.
"Time Lord. TARDIS. Enemy of the Cybermen. The one and the only."
"I'm nothing but a lie." Jackson was downtrodden.
I smacked his shoulder lightly, "What load of shit! You saved Rosita, didn't you? You were brave because you are a good man, not because of some images were shot into your brain, idiot!"
"Couldn't have said it better myself." The Doctor took in a breath and tilted his head, "Or well, actually. I probably could have..."
I glared, "Oh, kiss my ass."