The Doctor Talks
After The Doctor's Gamble was nominated for a Twisting the Hellmouth Award (best Dr Who or Torchwood crossover) I decided to write another on in the series. After the voting was done I would post it and then thank everyone who voted.
Well as far as I can tell it didn't even make it past the first round of voting, not that I'm surprised, but being nominated was great for my ego! So anyone who's reading this and did vote, thanks and whoever nominated me thanks again!
Now on with the story, I'm setting this after Becoming, the season 2 final and before Anne, the start of season 3.
I do not own any of the characters used in this work. Buffy and Doctor Who belong to 20 century Fox and the BBC respectively.
Feeling dejected and alone Buffy, for the first time since getting off the bus, sat down. As best as she could tell she was in a public park, still somewhere in LA, but she had no idea where. There was a half rusted slide and a set of swings off to one side and a small patch of something that would have been grass if it was still growing.
She'd left Sunnydale with as much money as she could find and a bag full of clothes, one stake and her stuffed pig, Mr Gordo. There was nothing left for her on the Hellmouth. Her mother had thrown her out of the house, she'd been expelled from school and almost to top it off she'd had to send the man she loved into hell to save a world that rejected her.
She'd left, just packed up and gone. Leaving her friends, her family, behind she ran and didn't want to look back. With no place to stay or to go she had simply decided to get lost, just vanish. Not caring where she ended up.
Where she ended up was Los Angeles, wandering down random streets looking for something, almost anything, to take her mind of Angel, her mother and Vampires in general. Now in an abandoned street park, with the only light cast by the moon and the two remaining street lights she knew just how stupid that was. She wanted nothing more than to be home, to pull her bed covers over her head and let the world pass by.
But she couldn't. She didn't have a bed, she didn't even have a roof. She'd given up everything, had it pulled from her, all to save a world of people she didn't know. Dashing tears from her eyes with the back of her hand Buffy felt like screaming at the injustice of it all, if only to feel something.
"Here." someone said, offering a handkerchief. Buffy had been so focused on feeling sorry for herself she didn't even know anyone else was there.
Startled, she looked up to see who it was. The strange man looked completely out of place, Buffy couldn't think of anywhere he would fit in. He wore a black velvet jacket, turned up collar on a white shirt and a brown scarf. "Urm, thanks." She said carefully and tried to wipe away her tears.
"Mind if I sit down?" he asked. "I've been walking all day and it's tiring at my age." He didn't look that old, about forty, but there was something about the way he said it. Both as a joke and serious that caught the former Slayer out.
Before she could think of a polite way to get rid of him he sat down at the far end of the bench and looked up into the cloudless night and smiled. Catching her look his grin softened. "Sorry, a sky like that reminds my why I do what I do."
"What's that?" she asked before she could stop herself.
"I travel" he admitted cryptically. "Here, there, everywhere."
"Everywhere?" Buffy asked with a frown
"Anywhere." he said, a note of wonder in his voice. "But that's me. What are you doing here?"
Buffy shrugged. "Just traveling myself." She lied quickly. He gave her a long look back, that told her he hadn't bought it.
After a moment he seemed to see right through her, right down into her soul. Finally, almost mercifully he sighed. "Always nice to meet a fellow traveller." he said sarcastically. "Know where you're going yet?"
"No." She admitted.
"And that's not the point is it? You just want to be far away from here, I'm betting far away from anywhere."
Buffy frowned at him this was all too easy. "Who are you, what do you want?"
His face hardened into something like granite. "Two very dangerous questions, I wouldn't suggest asking either again." He growled before softening his tone. "I'm here to help. That's what I do, I travel and help people and right now I'm trying to help you."
Buffy sat back, quickly hiding the fact she had pulled her emergency stake from the side pocket of her bag. "Help me, why do you think I need help?"
"Because you're a young woman, lost in Los Angeles and you're crying alone in an empty park." He said seriously. "Something's wrong and you can't talk to your friends about it, so maybe a stranger can help where a friend can't."
Buffy felt her knuckles whiten around the stake, the wood creaking in her grip. "I don't think you can. No one can."
"I've ran away enough times myself to know that feeling. Believe me, I can." he admitted with that wry grin of his.
Buffy didn't like the way he just casually passed of her life being destroyed as something that happened everyday. "This where you tell me I can't run away from my problems?" She snarked at him, guessing he was some social worker that prowled the night, looking for hard luck cases.
This time he laughed. "Of course you can run away from your problems. Leave them far behind you if you want. It won't do any good of course, they'll still be there when you get back and sometimes they grow when your not looking."
Buffy felt something cold run down her spine. He was right, but that didn't change things. "What are you, some sort of charity worker?" she confronted him.
He shook his head. "I'm someone offering advice. As I see it you have three options; the first is to turn back, go home if you can and sort out your problems. Another is to keep running, pull the world around over your head and keep digging."
"And last?" She asked
"Stay here, you're far enough away now. Try and build a new life for yourself and forget your past as if it never happened."
Buffy hadn't even thought that far ahead, and he'd probably guessed that. "So what, I run away from myself and that's it? Become someone else?"
"If you want." He pointed out. "It won't solve anything though, but it's a useful stop gap."
"What if it can't be solved?" she asked him, unable to hid the catch in her voice. "What if…"
"Trust me, I'm a lot older than you and I've seen a lot more. Anything can be solved if you're willing to try."
"Trust you?" she asked scornfully.
"Yes, trust me and you don't need the stake." He nodded to her still hidden hand. "I'm not a Vampire."
She tried not to show how rattled he had made her as she pulled the stake out of her bag but kept it ready. "How can I be sure?"
She waited, but he didn't say anything else. "Nice answer." she eventually snarked back.
"I liked it." He shrugged. "So what are you going to do?"
Buffy thought for a moment, "How about I just keep running? That whole pull the world around my head sounds good."
"Like an ostrich?"
"An ostrich?" He blinked. "It's a big bird, supposedly sticks it's head in the sand to hide."
"Oh." Buffy frowned. "That's stupid."
"So is hiding."
Buffy winced, she'd fallen right into that one. It was time to turn the tables on this stranger. "Alright then, you're going to give me advice. Advise."
"Stay here. Make a life for yourself here, in the city. For a little while at least." He said simply. "When you're ready, when you know what you want and can make a decision you won't regret later, decide and you won't regret it. Listen to me Buffy, you can keep running now and end up dead or worse. Directionless and alone. Or you can stay here. Work things out and move on with a clear conscience. Sunnydale will always be there, well more or less, if you ever need to return."
"How do you know my name?" Buffy asked,Slowly rising to her feet, stake held close and ready for a fight. He was English, but too relaxed to be a Watcher and he didn't sound like a social worker. If anything he sounded honest, and that scared her more than anything she thought could. Somehow he knew who, and what she was and from the look of sympathy almost certainly knew what had happened.
"As I told you, I've travelled, I've seen and heard a lot and I've heard stories of the Vampire Slayer." He stood up, ignoring the stake and looking her dead in the eye. "Listen to me and don't do anything rash. Stay here, in Los Angeles, until you have somewhere better to go."
"Like where?" She asked, lowering the stake but still on guard for some trick.
He smirked "You'll know." It was then she felt it, something shifted subtly in his expression and the world lurched beneath her. For a fraction of a moment Buffy knew she was looking at someone other than human. Beyond anything and anyone she had ever seen before, in that instant all she could do was gape as the full weight of whatever he was hit her and with that he turned away.
"Who, who are you?" Buffy asked in a quiet voice.
He stopped, somehow hearing her whisper and she instantly bit her lip. In the quiet night even the distant cars suddenly sounded muted. Then he turned and walked back. "Give me you're hand."
"You asked, so I'm going to show you. Give me your hand."
Almost like plunging it into fire Buffy held her hand out. She had no idea what she had just felt from him but whatever it was was powerful. When he took her hand in his it felt cold, not demon or vampire cold, but still cool. Like the night air. "Now close your eyes."
As she did Buffy felt a falling feeling in her gut, like she was on a fast lift or speeding along a winding road. Only she wasn't moving, and then, at the same time, she was. She could feel the earth beneath her feet rolling, ever spinning around a distant ball of fire. Buffy knew in that instant she was falling through space, tumbling though the endless night sky. Clinging, like everyone else, helplessly to the surface of the world. A wafer thin sliver the only thing keeping any of them alive.
Lost in that sea of forever, she was just a pin prick. Earth, the moon, the sun and even the stars. Tiny pinpricks, all the same and all different. Then, as a final blow, there was something else. A thread strung between those almost invisible dots. weaving between them in pattens so complex she couldn't begin to understand them.
Stumbling back from that terrible clarity she opened her eyes, only to find herself alone. in the park, the sun rising into the night sky. In her hand there was a small orange sweet that looked like a person and somewhere in the distance the slow grinding of machinery.
The party had been a disaster, long before the zombies and the demon mask. Buffy couldn't blame her friends though, they were freaked and they had every right to be. She'd just up and left them to guard the hellmouth.
It was her responsibility, she tried changing that by becoming Anne, but all that did was buy her some time to sort things out.
After the guys' left, along with promises to meet up tomorrow as soon as they could, Buffy's mother had given her a hug and suggested that they call it a night. With the emotional roller coaster resting, for now, and the Zombies driving Sunnydale's demon population underground an early night sounded like a good idea.
Closing her bedroom door Buffy turned and froze. Sitting on the foot of her bed was a small brown paper bag, it's corners twisted shut, and a folded piece of paper. on the paper someone had written five words and signed off with a question mark.
"You made the right choice." Buffy said, reading it aloud. Opening the bag she found that it was full of the same gummy sweets the stranger had given her three months before.
End The Doctor Talks
Oh incase you didn't realise, it was the Eighth Doctor talking to Buffy. Just thought I'd clear that one up incase you didn't recognise him .