The Doctor stood in the hallway just outside the control room, watching as Jack held Rose. He wished it could be him holding her. But it didn’t look like she wanted that. She didn’t even want to be in the same room with him, or travel with him again. He knew that things would be different between them if they ever met again. But he hadn’t expected this. Of course she had her own life now with the other Doctor, and her family lived in this reality, too. But he wasn’t asking her to leave them behind forever. She could come back as soon as the Master was no threat to her anymore. And he’d even take the other Doctor along, no matter how hard it would be for him to watch them together. He’d do anything as long as he would be able to keep her safe. He had to talk to her again and make her understand that she needed to stay with him for her own good.
However, before the Doctor could do anything Dawn walked past him, followed by Sam.
“Good morning,” Dawn called, a wide grin on her face. She walked over to Faith and stood beside her friend.
Faith couldn’t help but smirk. By the looks of it Dawn obviously had a great night. She then glanced at Dean, wishing that she had been that lucky as well. But Dean hadn’t come and knocked at her door. Neither had Jack for that matter. She briefly glanced at the other man she was attracted to and sighed. It probably was her own fault that she spent the night alone.
Dean grinned at his brother when he joined him. Then he clapped him on the shoulder. Things between him and Dawn seemed to be going well and Dean was happy for Sam.
Sam rolled his eyes at his brother and decided to go over to Dawn instead.
Dean sighed and watched his brother put his arms around Dawn. His eyes then fell on Faith next to them. She was looking at Jack. The grin on Dean’s face abruptly vanished. After their little talk and the way she held him in that pub Dean had hoped that he might have a chance with Faith after all. She had really seemed to care about him. He had even thought about going to her room last night. Luckily he had decided against it. Jack probably was in there again.
“So, we home yet?” Dawn asked looking around. It was only then that she noticed that a woman she didn’t know was in the room.
“Not yet,” the Doctor said entering the room. Then he introduced Rose to Dawn, Sam, Faith and Dean.
Rose tried to smile at the people she was introduced to, but wasn’t sure if she managed. There were so many people travelling with the Doctor now. Who were they all?
“Faith and her friends came through a portal to our reality,” the Doctor said. “We were searching for their reality to get them home when the TARDIS suddenly brought us here…”
Rose stared at the Doctor. So it was the TARDIS that brought them here. The Doctor had obviously found a way to travel through universes safely and hadn’t come to visit her. He just accidentally showed up. It felt like her already broken heart shattered into even more pieces. If she had found a way to get back to him she would have taken it. She wouldn’t even have hesitated for a second. How stupid was that? Ever since she watched the TARDIS disappear from Bad Wold Bay she had tried to tell herself that the Doctor was trying to do what he thought was best for her; that he loved her even though he left. She was still upset with him for just running off, but she had hoped so desperately that he loved her anyway and that one day they would be reunited and he’d realize that all she wanted was to be with him, the real him. For a while she had pushed those hopes away and tried to be with the other Doctor, the one that had actually loved her. She felt stupid now for pushing him away at first. He wasn’t just a copy, he was the person she had always wanted, the one that loved her and treated her that way. Too bad she hadn’t realized that before he died. Yes, she had started to date him, but she had never truly allowed herself to love him. Now that it was too late she realized what she had lost and what she now would never have.
Noticing that the Doctor was still talking Rose blinked and tried hard not to cry. She couldn’t let him and all those strangers see how she was feeling.
“I need to leave. Go and find a way home for your friends. They seem to need your help. I don’t.” That said she rushed out of the TARDIS as quickly as she could.
“Rose,” the Doctor called, staring after her. Obviously she still didn’t want to come with him. He had tried to tell her that it would be safer for her to come with them until he could figure out what the Master wanted and how to stop him. He had just started to offer that the other Doctor could come, too when she ran off. Would it be that horrible for her to stay with him? She used to love travelling with him, used to love him. What had happened that she couldn’t even stand to be near him now?
Stepping towards the door the Doctor then realized that Jack was faster. His friend already rushed out, obviously trying to change Rose’s mind. The Doctor sighed, but guessed that this might actually be a good thing. Rose had seemed a lot happier to see Jack again than to see him. Maybe she would listen to Jack.
Without a word the Doctor went over to the console and turned on the screen to watch what happened outside. It was possible that the Master would come back and the Doctor wasn’t willing to risk Rose’s safety, even if Jack was with her.
Martha walked over to the Doctor and placed a hand over his. It looked like things between him and Rose were even worse than she had thought. The Doctor squeezed her hand slightly and looked at her briefly. It seemed like he tried to smile at her, but failed miserably. Martha was about to ask if there was anything she could do when he pulled away.
“Sorry for the delay. We’ll get back to searching for your reality as soon as this is settled.” Hopefully it would be settled the way he wanted it to. He’d really hate to leave Rose behind knowing that the Master was out there and after her.
Faith looked at the Doctor. He seemed so different all of a sudden. He had been this cheerful and enthusiastic person when she met him. But now all of that seemed to be gone. She guessed that it had something to do with Rose. She wasn’t sure if she should hope that Jack managed to convince the woman to come with them, so that she would be safe from that Master, or wish that she decided to stay here and leave the Doctor alone. She then sighed, not sure what to do or say. The whole situation seemed rather awkward and Faith really wasn’t good with situations like that.
“What about Buffy and Ruby?” Dean then asked, breaking the silence.
“What about them?” Dawn wanted to know and then glanced around.
“We’ll pick them up first of course,” the Doctor stated.
“Pick them up? Where are they?” Dawn asked.
Dawn stared at the Doctor. But before she could say anything else Faith pulled her to the side and started to tell her and Sam what happened.
“Rose, wait,” Jack called as he rushed to catch up with her. When she finally stopped he placed a hand on her arm and gently pulled her around to face him.
“I don’t really know what happened between you two, but you can’t just run away like that.”
Rose frowned at his words and wiped away a tear that was running down her cheek. Then she looked up at Jack.
“I can do whatever the hell I want. And besides, why does he want me to come with you anyway? It’s not like he cares about me.”
Jack stared at Rose for a moment, then stepped towards her and pulled her into his arms. She resisted at first, but then put her arms around him and let him hold her.
“Of course he cares about you. He’s just… the Doctor. You know him. He’s never been good at talking about his feelings, has he?”
Rose snorted at that. That was an understatement.
“But he didn’t come here by his own choice. He found a way to travel to other realities and didn’t come here right away.”
Jack sighed. “That’s true, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about you. Listen, I don’t know what happened after I left you, but I’m sure that this is all just a big misunderstanding. You should talk to the Doctor. And you definitely shouldn’t stay here and risk your life just because you are upset right now.”
Rose let go of Jack and looked up at him. She didn’t really believe that it was all just a misunderstanding, but there was a tiny part of her that couldn’t help but hope that he was right. She sighed. She was doing it again, hoping that the Doctor loved her back, even though she should know better by now.
“I’m not risking my life. I’ll be fine.”
“You don’t know the Master. He’s evil…”
“He probably is, but whatever he does, it’s not like he can kill me.”
Jack stared at her. “What do you mean?”
“Oh come on, Jack, you know exactly what I mean. Bad Wolf changed you, not wanting to let you die. You think it would let me die? It’s in me. It is me. Bad Wolf can’t exist without me. Of course it made me immortal, too.” She should have known it all along. It was so obvious. But her memories had been fuzzy. She couldn’t remember what exactly happened when Bad Wolf took over. She only knew what the Doctor had told her. And he hadn’t said much. She didn’t find out about Jack until she made it back to their reality either. But between the Doctor almost regenerating and them fighting Daleks, to try and save all of reality, they had been too busy to talk about much. It never even occurred to her that she might be like Jack, that she couldn’t die either. It wasn’t until aliens killed her in this reality that she found out.
Jack still stared at her. Then he looked past her, staring at nothing in particular. “I’m sorry.” He knew from experience how hard it was to be immortal. A lot of people seemed to want to be immortal, but they had no idea how hard it was to outlive everything and everyone you knew and loved.
Rose sighed. She hadn’t been immortal for that long, but she already knew that it would be hard. The same day she died for the first time, she had lost the Doctor – the other one. When she woke up after being killed and went to look for him she found him on the ground, dying. She hadn’t loved him the way she loved the real Doctor, but he had meant a lot to her, and in a way he was the Doctor. Watching him die had been one of the hardest things she ever went through. And she knew that it wasn’t the last time she would lose someone she loved.
Knowing how hard that was made her feel really bad about bringing Jack back like that.
“I’m sorry, too. It’s all my fault after all.”
“It wasn’t you, it was Bad Wolf,” Jack said understanding what she meant.
“But Bad Wolf is me. It was because of me that it wouldn’t let you die.” Jack meant so much to her. Losing him would have been devastating and that was the reason why Bad Wolf brought him back. She was sure of it.
“It’s okay.” Jack gently placed a hand on her cheek, then leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. No matter how hard his life was, he couldn’t blame Rose for it. She didn’t know what she was doing and he was sure that she never would have done it if she knew the consequences.
Rose sighed, feeling glad that Jack wasn’t mad at her.
“But you know, you kind of owe me,” Jack then suddenly said and looked at Rose innocently.
“So, how about you pack some things, say goodbye to your family and join us in the TARDIS?”
Rose stared at him, a bit surprised at his words. But then a small smirk appeared on her face. That was so Jack. He always got what he wanted, didn’t he? Well, except if he wanted to die. He would never ever get that and it was her fault.
“That’s blackmail!” she exclaimed. Then she sighed.
Jack shrugged. “I know the Master and just because I can’t die doesn’t mean that meeting him was a pleasure. He actually enjoyed that I never stayed dead. It meant that he could kill me all over again.” His face darkened as he remembered the year on board the Valiant. But then he pushed away the memories.
“So, yeah, if I have to blackmail you to get you to come with us, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Rose watched Jack’s expression as he spoke about the Master and what he did to him. Her hand then slid into his and squeezed it slightly in an attempt to offer some comfort.
“Alright, you win. I’m coming. I kind of missed you anyway.” A small smile appeared on her lips as she admitted that. She really had missed Jack. He always managed to cheer her up, no matter how down she was. She guessed that would come in handy when she lived in the same spaceship as the Doctor.
Jack grinned, then put an arm around her and steered her back towards the TARDIS.
The Doctor exhaled in relief when Rose came back with Jack. He didn’t say anything when they entered, just nodded at Jack, thanking him silently. Then they went to the Tyler Mansion so Rose could pack, get the other Doctor and say goodbye to her family.
While they waited for Rose to return the Doctor programmed the TARDIS to fly back to the reality they left Buffy and Ruby in. Jack was talking to Faith and Martha a few feet away, while the rest of them had decided to try and help Willow researching portals.
After about 40 minutes the Doctor saw Rose coming towards the TARDIS on the screen. She had a huge bag slung over her shoulder and she was alone. As the TARDIS door opened and Rose stepped in the Doctor stared at her.
“Alright, let’s go,” she said, not really looking at him.
“He’s not coming?” the Doctor asked.
“The other Doctor.”
Rose then looked at him, her expression blank as she said: “He’s dead.” Then she turned away and headed for the corridor leading further into the TARDIS.
The Doctor stared after her, then looked down. Was this why she acted the way she did? Was she mad at him for leaving her with a version of him that died on her? Or was it hard for her to be around him because he looked like the man she loved and lost? He sighed. No matter what her reasons were, she had every right to be mad at him. It probably was best to give her some space.
He then turned back to the console. They had to get Buffy and Ruby after all.
----- ----- ----- ----- -----Bon Temps:
As Ruby went into the gas station to get the True Blood Buffy stayed outside with Eric. He looked even worse now after the walk. She was starting to feel really concerned which kind of annoyed her a little. Why did she care so much about this stranger who was also a vampire? Well, he had protected her. She probably just felt like she owed him. And he had been attacked by evil vampires. As a slayer it kind of was her duty to help people who were attacked by evil vampires, right? This was all perfectly understandable and innocent. She wasn’t attracted to the tall good looking vampire at all.
Attempting to push those thoughts away Buffy tried to think about what Eric had told them on the way to the gas station. Not only did they have synthetic blood here, but vampires were also publicly known. It was hard to wrap her mind around that thought.
Eric sat on a bench and looked at the blonde standing a few feet away. She had sent her friend to get the True Blood and insisted on staying with him in case there was another attack. Ruby had not liked it but eventually took his money and left.
“So, why do you know so little about vampires?” he asked curiously. Vampires were out for a few years now and several of them were on TV a lot. It was almost impossible not to know about vampires these days. “And where did you learn to fight like that?”
Buffy turned to face him. “We’re not exactly from around here,” she answered, not wanting to get into details. “It’s rather complicated.” That was an understatement, but what was she supposed to say? We’re from an alternate reality and are travelling with an alien from yet another reality who tries to get us home? Yeah, right.
“I’m a slayer,” she then added. “I fight… evil creatures.” She couldn’t really tell him that she actually was a vampire slayer. And besides, she did fight other evil creatures, too.
Eric raised an eyebrow at that. She was rather vague. And what did she mean by evil creatures? It sounded like she meant supernatural creatures. But why wouldn’t she know about vampires then? He was about to ask when Ruby came back with the True Blood.
“Thanks,” he said, took a bottle, opened it quickly and downed it in one.
Reaching for another bottle Eric looked at Ruby. “So, you’re a slayer, too?”
Buffy snorted at the question.
“No, she’s a demon,” she stated before Ruby could say anything.
Eric looked at them, feeling a little uncertain. How could he not have noticed that Ruby was a demon? He usually could tell easily. Well, maybe he had been too preoccupied. It certainly would explain how she could fight like that. Nodding, he then emptied the second bottle of True Blood.
Ruby briefly glared at Buffy before looking at Eric. “Feeling any better?” Hopefully the guy would heal soon, so that they could leave him. They had to try and get away from him or risk getting dragged even further into those stupid vampire politics.
Eric looked up at her question and then frowned. Now that she mentioned it he noticed that he wasn’t feeling any better at all. After two bottles of True Blood he should definitely start to heal.
“What is it?” Buffy asked seeing his look.
“Nothing, it just takes some time,” he said not wanting to worry her and grabbed another bottle of True Blood. He had no idea what was going on, but he needed to get better in case Victor’s people showed up.
“It’s not working, is it?” Ruby asked after the last True Blood was gone.
Eric glared at her as Buffy stepped closer. “Do you need more? We can get more.”
Before Eric could answer a knife flew through the air towards them. Buffy and Ruby moved at the same time as him, stepping out of the way. The knife had missed, but a group of six vampires was coming towards them. Eric tried to step in front of the women, but Buffy held him back.
“Stay behind us. You’re in no condition to fight.”
Eric growled at her. No matter how bad he was feeling he definitely wasn’t going to stand back.
Buffy glared at Eric who wasn’t listening, then the vampires attacked and she was busy defending herself.
The vampires were fast and soon Buffy was flying through the air, crashing into the bench Eric had been sitting on. As she pushed herself up Buffy saw Eric on the ground. Two vampires were beating him up while another lunged at him with a knife. Panic was starting to well up in Buffy as she rushed towards them. She was determined to save him, but wasn’t sure how. These vampires were stronger than the ones she was used to.
As Buffy started to kick and punch desperately, trying to keep three vampires at bay she suddenly heard a familiar noise and a breeze came out of nowhere. Then the blue police box appeared a few feet away. Buffy had never felt so relieved to see the alien ship.
The TARDIS had barely materialized completely when the doors swung open and people started to rush out, joining the fight. Their odds suddenly seemed a lot better.
“About time,” Ruby called and Buffy grinned. Then she hit the last vampire, who was looming over Eric, in the face, making him stumble backwards. Dean was standing behind the vampire and kicked it in the knee.
“Leave this one to me.”
Buffy would have protested, if Eric wasn’t still on the ground. A quick glance around showed her that the others seemed to have everything under control for the moment. She then knelt down next to Eric to check on him.
“Eric, can you hear me? Are you okay?”
Hearing Buffy’s voice Eric tried to focus on her and groaned, feeling weak and dizzy. He was bleeding from several wounds now and none of them seemed to heal. As he tried to move pain rushed through him.
“Don’t move,” Buffy said. Then someone kneeled down next to her.
“A friend of yours?” the Doctor asked. Seeing Buffy’s worried look he then nodded. “We should get him into the TARDIS. Martha can fix him up.” Then he sniffed slightly.
“Silver? Why does it smell like silver?” He leaned in closer to the wounded guy. “Uh, it’s you.”
Buffy frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I mean that he smells like silver,” the Doctor stated, but then shrugged. “Anyway, let’s get him to the TAR…” He didn’t get to finish the sentence as something hit him from behind.
“You take him,” the Doctor then called getting up and facing a vampire. “I’ll distract this one.”
Buffy briefly glanced to the Doctor, then Eric grabbed her arm. “Silver?” he asked.
“I have no clue what he means. He’s a bit… odd.”
“Silver is deadly for vampires,” Eric said in a strained voice.
Buffy’s eyes widened. She had noticed before that the vampires here didn’t seem to be fond of silver, but had completely forgotten about it.
“So, you still got silver on you somewhere? But you took out the arrow, didn’t you? Nothing got… you know, left behind?”
Eric frowned at her. But then his eyes widened. His arm had kind of felt weird after he was shot with the arrow, worse than it should have. He pushed his sleeve off the wound and his frown deepened. Was he just imagining it or did the skin around his wound look slightly silver?
Seeing the wound Buffy grimaced. “We really need to get you into the TARDIS. You think you can get up?”
Eric tried to push himself up, ignoring the pain in his arm and chest, but didn’t manage. Before he was even on his knees he collapsed.
Buffy caught him and slightly turned him around so that she wouldn’t touch any of his wounds. But even though he must have been in pain Eric didn’t make a sound.
“Eric? Eric, can you hear me? Say something!” Feeling slightly panicked Buffy felt for a pulse, then frowned about herself. He was a vampire! A dying vampire. Somehow there was still silver in him, which prevented his wounds from healing and probably made them even worse. And it was all her fault. He had been hit by that arrow while protecting her. She couldn’t let him die. And there was only one thing she could think of that might help him. The synthetic blood hadn’t done the trick, but maybe real blood would, slayer blood.
“Eric, wake up. Listen to me. You need to feed, now!”
Eric stirred slightly and she shoved her arm in front of his mouth. “Just do it.”
Apparently he didn’t need to be told twice. In almost no time his teeth pierced her skin. It slightly hurt, but in a good kind of way. It wasn’t like when Angel bit her. This felt totally different, almost erotic.
Buffy felt slightly dazed, then someone moved towards them quickly. Looking up Buffy noticed Faith, who was holding a knife and seemed to be ready to ram it into Eric.
“No,” she called and held out her free hand. “He’s with me.”
Faith stopped, but raised an eyebrow. “You do know that there’s a vampire draining you, right, B?”
Buffy almost had to laugh at that. Then Eric stirred and let go of her arm.
“No one’s draining anyone,” he declared and Buffy felt relieved. Eric’s voice was much stronger now; and he had stopped feeding on his own. She didn’t have to fight him off so that he wouldn’t kill her.
Faith raised an eyebrow. “Good for you,” she stated glaring at the blond vampire.
“If you’re done now, can we finally leave?” Ruby called.
Buffy smirked. Then Eric got up and held his hand out to her.
“Looks like you’re feeling better already,” Buffy stated as she got up with his help.
Eric pulled up his shirt and Buffy could see that his wounds had started to heel. She smiled, glad that she had been right and her blood was powerful enough to help him.
Buffy looked up at Eric, who was looking at her in a rather intense way. A shiver went down her spine. Then she was yanked away and pulled into a hug.
“Buffy, you’re okay,” Dawn said happily.
Buffy hugged her sister back, but glanced at the tall blond vampire standing next to them.
“You coming?” the Doctor then called from the TARDIS door.
Dawn released Buffy and started to walk towards the TARDIS.
Eric glanced at Buffy and raised an eyebrow. “A police box? And it’s kind of out of date, isn’t it?”
“Well, it’s not exactly a police box,” Buffy said. “Why don’t you have a look? It’s kind of hard to explain.”
“After you,” he decided and gestured for her to walk ahead.
As Buffy walked towards the TARDIS she suddenly felt Eric very close beside her.
“By the way, you tasted amazing.”
Buffy looked up and there it was again, that intense look, that almost made her shudder. After staring into his deep blue eyes for a moment Buffy pulled her gaze away. No, she wasn’t doing this! She was not attracted to another vampire and she wasn’t going to flirt with him!
Frowning slightly Buffy walked into the TARDIS.
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