Still don’t own Buffy or DW.A/N:
The Doctor is drawn back to Sunnydale after Buffy has died, however, he is unaware of her death.
After “The Gift”, obviously. About a month or so before “Bargaining”…give or take. Giles is back in England already. Other than that, nothing really too specific on that end.Lost Without You
The TARDIS shook violently.
“What has you all stirred up, I wonder?” The Doctor questioned, out loud.
Not that it needed to be said out loud. He was alone. As usual. He had been traveling alone since Rose and of course, Buffy.
He thought that he had found something in her, Buffy that is. She wasn’t his Rose, no, but she was surely something special.
She was like him.
Burdened and alone.
Despite the circumstances of his last return, he had loved every minute of the last week he had spent with Buffy.
She had been quite right. He consoled her over the loss of her mother while she consoled him over his loss of Rose.
And then she shoved him inside his TARDIS, somehow got it to lock without using the key and told him to run.
He had offered to stay and help her fight, for once not
wanting to run. But then, she had said something.
That special little sentence that he had held onto for the last few months.“You are far too important to me. If I lost you…I don’t even know what I would do.”
He smiled a bit at the thought of her.
The second feisty blonde human within two years to get under his skin.
The TARDIS shook again and jostled him back to reality. He ran around the console, smashed a few buttons, in no particular order, and waited to see the outcome.
The TARDIS shook again, violently, throwing him off balance this time.
He stood quickly and raced around to the other side of the console, grabbing a mallet, and running back to where he was before. He struck several different spots with the mallet and waited.
Nothing except the TARDIS shaking even more violently than before. This time sending him flying over the rails and onto the floor.
It took him a few minutes to recover, but the sound of his TARDIS landing on it’s own helped speed him up.
“What?” he yelled out, astonished. “Why are you doing this? How
are you doing this?!?!”
He jumped the stairs and raced over to the console, this time staring at the screen.
The screen that would show him what was outside.
The screen that currently was pitch black and completely useless.
“Well, either it‘s night time or else I‘ve landed in a cave. Again.” he said, to no one, momentarily forgetting that he was alone.
He walked over to his brown trench, slipped it on and headed for the doors.
“Only one way to find out where I am, I suppose.”
When he stepped out of the TARDIS, he was instantly aware of two things.
A-this was definitely Earth. Number two- he was definitely in America. Around the 20th, 21st century.
How he knew that, he wasn't exactly sure. But everything seemed oddly familiar.
He locked the TARDIS up and looked around. He was in a large industrial area. An industrial area with a random tower built into it.
Odd. Most industrial plants didn’t have random towers thrown into the mix. The ones that he had visited, anyway.
He took out his sonic screwdriver and started buzzing it around. It beeped loudly and he walked closer to the base of the tower.
“There’s definitely been some serious energy here. Oh! Of course! That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? The TARDIS going all wonky must’ve had something to do with whatever energy transfer happened here. Good place for her to refuel, of course.”
He looked around the empty lot.
“Oh, right. It’s just me. I really need to get a new companion. I mean, what’s the point in being clever when there’s no one around to appreciate it?”
He put the sonic screwdriver back in his pocket and continued to walk, leaving the industrial area.
He walked for a few minutes until he came upon a large cemetery. A large cemetery that he recognized immediately.
“Aha! Sunnydale! Of course I’m in Sunnydale! That inexplicably explains everything! Except why the TARDIS landed where she did…usually lands in the cemetery. Except for that one time she landed behind the Bronze. Well, I guess there‘s no harm in entering and seeing if my Slayer is here.”
He looked around. “Right. Still alone.”
He wandered through the large cemetery for a few minutes until he heard the familiar Sunnydale sounds of fighting.
He smiled and followed the sounds until he came upon the blonde in question, fighting off a vampire.
He immediately put her actions last time out of his head. Seeing her gave him…well, he wasn’t sure what. But it was definitely something.
He watched for a few more minutes as she fought off the vampire and finally dusted it.
He grinned and clapped, loudly.
She turned, spotted him and walked, a little stiffly, over to him.
“Thank you!” she said, bright and excited.
He studied her features carefully. She seemed different somehow. He was running through all the possibilities in his mind but they were quickly put aside when she grabbed him in a bone crushing hug.
“I’m so glad to see you!” she exclaimed.
He tapped her repeatedly on the back. “Buffy. Need. Air.”
She let him go. “Oops. I’m terribly sorry for that. My strength is a lot. I forget.” she rambled.
He straightened himself out and cricked a few joints back into place.
“No worries.” he smiled. “How are you? How is Dawn? Is Glory still around?”
“I am Buffy. Dawn is my sister. Glory was a Hell Goddess.” she grinned.
“Right…” he said, slowly.
“And you are the Doctor. You’re a Time Lord. And an alien. You have two heartbeats.”
“Yes…glad you remembered. Buffy, are you feeling alright?” he asked, concerned.
“You own a time machine.” she beamed.
“Right…” he said, taking his sonic screwdriver back out of his pocket. He scanned it up and down over Buffy, circling around her.
After a few minutes, he stopped and scratched his head.
“Um…well. Buffy--are--I mean, since when, er………………………….you’re a robot.”
“Yes. I am Buffy.” she smiled.
“And a robot.”
She nodded. “Yes.”
He ran his hand through his hair, dumbfounded.
“Yes. Spike made me. He has washboard abs.” she smiled, brightly.
Suddenly, something clicked in the Doctor’s head and he realized just what Robot Buffy had been made for.
He resisted the urge to vomit while simultaneously resisting the urge to find Spike and send him off to the Void.
“So, if Spike made you…then why are you out here slaying? Where is the real Buffy?”
“Slaying is my job. I’m the vampire slayer.” she grinned.
“Yes, I know that, but what about Buffy? The real Buffy?”
The Buffy-Robot’s features dimmed to a sad expression. Well, as sad as a robot can get.
“Gone. She’s gone now. It's very sad. We were both very pretty. And now it's just me.”
The Doctor’s eyes grew wide. “Gone? Where? What do you mean she’s gone?!?”
Robot Buffy tilted her head and stared at the Doctor. After several moments, she straightened back out.
“That question does not register in my database. Should I start the program over?”
The Doctor lowered his head. “No…no need to restart.” he said, somberly.
“Are you sad, Doctor? Do you need Willow? Willow always fixes me when something gets broken.”
He lifted his head. “Yes. Take me to Willow.”
To say that this summer sucked…well, that was a giant understatement.
More like the worse summer of Willow Rosenberg’s life.
Yep, that one worked better.
She trudged up the stairs, intent on checking on both Dawn and the Buffy-Bot.
Dawn was snuggled up, safe and sound in her bed.
Willow turned around and peered into Buffy’s bedroom, expecting to see the Buffy-Bot all plugged in and charging.
However, the bed was empty and the electrical cords were abandoned on the floor.
Willow rushed down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Tara, Xander and Anya were sitting around the kitchen island.
“Where’s the Buffy-Bot?” she asked.
“Didn’t you plug her in?” Tara asked Anya.
“Well, I certainly gave it the all American try. But then I got really confused and gave up on it.” Anya said, uninterested.
“Anya!!!” Willow yelled.
“What? What could possibly go wrong with the Buffy-Bot out slaying things?” Anya asked.
“Oh, I don’t know, how about that part where some demon or vampire figures out that she’s a robot and has a field day with the innocents of our town.” Willow responded.
“Yes, because sarcasm will fix the matter at hand.” Anya spat back.
“Okay, ladies. Back to your corners.” Xander said, stepping in between the two. “I thought we had resolved our differences?”
Willow rolled her eyes.
“Xander’s right. Now’s no-not the time to argue. We should go find the Buffy-Bot before she gets into trouble.” Tara agreed.
“Yeah, you’re right. We’ll get Spike to come stay with Dawn while we go look for her.” Willow said.
Willow grabbed her coat and opened the door to leave. They were only partially down the street when Willow heard someone calling her name.
“Willow! There’s Willow! She will help to fix you, just as she does me.”
Willow spun around to find the Buffy-Bot. She was pulling a man a long with her. A man that Willow soon recognized as the Doctor.
She turned back around to her friends. “Guys, wait! She’s here.”
They all ran up to her. “Buffy! Thank God you’re okay.” Xander stated, hugging her.
“Oh yes, Xander. I am fine. I am the vampire slayer.” she beamed.
The Doctor stood back a little ways, behind the Buffy-Bot. He cleared his throat loudly.
“What..I mean, who…Does somebody mind telling me what’s going on?”
Willow walked up to him. “I think you’d better come in.”
The Doctor sat silently in Buffy’s living room while Xander explained as calmly as he could about everything that had happened.
He was silent for a long time. He was silent until he eventually got up and walked out of the house, back to his TARDIS.
The industrial area where she had landed held a different meaning now. It was nothing but a sad, sullen reminder of what didn’t have to happen.
If she had just let him stay, he could’ve helped.
He could’ve taken Buffy, Dawn and everyone else far, far away. And then he could’ve gone back and dealt with Glory himself.
Yes. That’s what he would have done. Standing outside the TARDIS, staring over the spot where they had said she’d died.
Where she’d died a hero.
He would’ve hid them away in some private, luxurious planet while he dealt with Glory. She was strong and powerful, yeah sure. But the Doctor, well, he was the smartest alien in the next twenty universes. In fact, the only other smarter than himself was the Face of Boe.
The Doctor sat there, staring over that spot, for countless minutes, possibly hours, imagining all the ways he would have killed and defeated Glory.
Finally, he stood up, wiped the tears from his eyes and started back towards the TARDIS.
He was momentarily shocked but quickly got over it.
“What’re you doing here?” he asked.
“Were you going to leave without saying goodbye this time too?” Dawn asked.
“I didn’t---the last time, I didn’t leave without saying goodbye. Buffy….she made me leave.”
Dawn nodded her head. “Pretty much figured that.”
He walked over closer to Dawn.
“Are you okay?”
“My mother’s dead. I’m supposed to be dead, however, my sister is dead in my place.”
“So you’re hanging in there?”
She smiled a small, meaningless smile.
“Something like that.”
The Doctor shoved his hands into his pockets.
“I know the feeling.”
“So Buffy told me that you have a time machine. This it?” she said, motioning to the TARDIS.
The Doctor cocked an eyebrow and looked at Dawn, curiously.
“Yeah, this is it.”
“Can I see?”
The Doctor signaled for her to move over and she did. He unlocked the door and held it open.
“Ladies first.” he gestured.
Dawn stepped in and her eyes widened.
“Bigger on the inside, yeah.” he smiled.
“Can we go somewhere?”
“You don’t waste anytime, do you?”
“Just like my sister.”
He smiled sadly. “Yeah, I can see that. And to answer your question, no. We cannot go anywhere.”
“Because I know what you want and I can’t do it, Dawn.”
She eyed the Doctor curiously.
“How do you know…?”
“Because I’m the smartest alien in almost all of the universes.”
“If you’re so smart---”
The Doctor rolled his eyes.
“You want me to go back and save Buffy. Turn back the hands of time a little bit. Change time up just enough to where she could have gotten up there in time. To where she could've stopped the ritual.”
“Well, yeah, okay.”
“I can’t do it.”
“Why? This is a time machine isn’t it? It does go back in time. And you are a Time Lord.”
“Yes it does and yes I am. But I’m sorry, it can’t be done.”
Dawn furrowed her eyebrows. “Why not?”
“There are laws of time. Laws that absolutely cannot be broken. Your sister’s death is a fixed point in time. If I were to change it…well, it would be disastrous.”
“Oh, yeah, right. My sister being alive would be a complete disaster. I get it now.” she remarked, snidely.
“No! Dawn, that’s not what I’m saying at all. If I went back and saved her life, you would all be dead. Your whole world would be gone. The universe would split and collapse and she would die anyway. There are dire consequences to changing fixed points in time. Trust me, Dawn. If I could do it, I would’ve done it by now. I would.”
Dawn glared at him, her lip quivering, her eyes on the verge of tears. After a few moments, she ran out of the TARDIS.
The Doctor closed the TARDIS doors and sank down into his chair, letting his tears fall.
In the last two years he had let two feisty blondes get under his skin, yes, but he had also let them go.
After several long minutes of his tears falling, the words that he had held so dear to him over the last few months of his solo travels, rang throughout his head, with a much different meaning this time. They rang throughout his head and straight to both of his hearts, breaking them into pieces.“You are far too important to me. If I lost you…I don’t even know what I would do.”