It had only been a day since the parallel dimension. Two at the most. He wasn’t quite sure. For being a Lord of Time, he was doing a rather ruddy job of it at the moment. To be fair, there had been a lot going on. As soon as he got Buffy safely into the TARDIS, she roared to life. Well, not exactly 'roared'. More like 'sputtered'. The Doctor had barely managed to get her through the time vortex when she started to crash.
But, again, at the same time, he had other things to worry about. He was sort of in the middle of regenerating, for one, and more importantly, Buffy was completely unconscious on the grated floor of the console. And possibly dying.
No. She was. He could feel it.
So he did what he had to. He regenerated. Accounted for all of his limbs. He tried to steer the TARDIS as best he could. But a crashing TARDIS is a cranky TARDIS and she was being stubborn. So he just let her be and instead decided that he should try to prepare Buffy for impact. He picked her up carefully and raced her to the bedroom she had declared theirs. He set her on the bed, gently, and intended to stay with her while the crash happened, he really had, but he also realized that the sonic screwdriver wasn’t in his pocket. He cursed and ran out of the bedroom, down the long corridor, back into the console room. He spotted it lying on the floor and went to reach for it.
Unfortunately, that’s when the police box decided to jerk violently. The force of it caused the doors to burst open and the screwdriver did what was expected.
It rolled towards the open doors and the open sky.
He cursed, again, and scrambled quickly towards the doors. He reached his newly long arm out, grabbed the screwdriver and, of course, the TARDIS lurched again, this time sending him flying out the doors. He grabbed on to the edge, with the screwdriver in his mouth and his body was left dangling as the TARDIS soared through the sky. He recognized the familiar features of London and sighed some kind of relief that at least they were crashing towards Earth. At least they had made it out of the time vortex.
He put all his strength into his arms and managed to pull himself back inside. He closed the doors and raced back towards their bedroom. The impending crash was looming. As soon as he reached their door, he threw himself over the top of Buffy, shielding her from any shrapnel that may fall. The TARDIS spun wildly as she fell, viciously tossing the Doctor and Buffy’s body all around.
Somehow, they ended up in the pool—which ended up in the library—by the time the TARDIS had finally crashed. He cautiously scooped Buffy up in his arms and laid her down in the nearest, safest bedroom. He climbed up through the TARDIS, burst out the doors and that’s when he met young Miss Amelia Pond.
Fast forward a week (and twelve years…long story) and an older Miss Amy
Pond sat next to him as he sat by Buffy’s bed in the hospital.
Amelia Pond was such a better name than Amy. Amelia was a brilliant
Amy and her boyfriend, Rory, helped him out quite extensively after the small time mix-up. It was a whole thing involving a crack in a wall, Amy’s wall, to be more exact, Prisoner Zero and the Atraxi. Oh, and he had to save the world. In twenty minutes.
After he accomplished that small feat, he pulled Buffy’s body out of the TARDIS and brought her to the hospital. He didn’t want to have to leave her in there while he was off saving the world, but at the time he thought it was the safest place for her to be, seeing as how the final confrontation happened at the hospital.
Buffy’s self-healing abilities were slow to start due to the extent of her injuries. She lost a lot of blood and needed to have a transfusion. He stripped his new(ish) coat off, rolled up his sleeve and shoved his arm at the doctor.
He had a lot of time to sit there and think of silly little things in the week that he sat by her bed.
Day and night, he sat there. Thinking back on everything that they had ever gone through. Recapping every memory in his head.
A day after the transfusion and she was already looking better. Looking better, but still unconscious.
Amy sat dutifully in a chair next to the Doctor’s. She quietly flipped through a magazine. Rory sat on the arm of her chair. The Doctor sat next to Buffy, in her hospital bed. He softly stroked her hand as he thought everything over. Today, he decided to shift from his worry over Buffy to his worry over the crack in Amy’s wall.“Surely not heard the last of that story…and just what did Prisoner Zero mean by ‘silence will fall?’ Oh, I hope Jeff listened and deleted his internet history…wouldn’t want his poor grandmother seeing
that…did Buffy’s hand just twitch? No. Guess not. No. Wait. Yes. It did. It did! I saw it! I
He sat up straight, not letting go of Buffy’s hand. “Rory, Amy! Her hand. It moved!”
Amy and Rory flashed their attention up to the Doctor and his mysterious lover.
“What? Are you sure?” Rory asked.
“Yes! I felt it. Go get the doctor. Now! Hurry up!”
They listened and scrambled out of the room. The Doctor turned back to Buffy and laid his head next to her ear and whispered softly.
“It’s time. Wake up now…it’s time for you to wake up, sweetheart. Time to come back down now. You’re needed here. Your friends need you… I
need you. Please…don’t make me mourn you. Not again. I just…I couldn’t do it. Please, love. You have to wake up now…”
Buffy wasn’t sure where she was, but she was definitely sure that it wasn’t Earth-y. Not even Universe-y. Wherever it was, it was bright. Like, blindingly. But just as quick as the blinding light had come, it dulled out.
Buffy was able to see that she was in a white room. Well, maybe not a room. She couldn’t be sure. But wherever, whatever it was…it was white.
She looked down, expecting to see herself in a long, flowing white dress or a white pant suit or, hell, she didn’t know, but something white…but she was still in her long sleeved purple top and jeans combo. The side of fabric was missing and appeared to be covered in blood. She sighed, patting at the bloodied fabric. Cross one more of her favorite tops off the list. She heaved another sigh and left the fabric slip out of her hands.
A feeling of….familiarity…buzzed through her insides. She whipped her head up and saw a figure walking towards her.
She couldn’t quite make out who it was. The figure was cloaked in a sort of…fog. As the figure drew nearer to Buffy though, the fog started to dissipate. By the time it had reached Buffy, she could clearly see who it was. A small tear ran down her cheek. She sprang forward and secured her sister in a tight hug.
Dawn patted her on the back and then backed out of the hug. The two sisters stood awkwardly for a few moments before Buffy spoke.
“Is this Heaven? It seems familiar.”
“Oh great. I’m in Hell. Knew it. I probably died in the middle of the vortex or something and was dropped into some damn Hell dimension that sends demons that mimic versions of people you love.”
Dawn laughed. “No, dummy. It’s not Heaven, but it’s not Hell either. It’s….in between.”
“Am I dead?”
“Do you want to be?” Dawn asked seriously.
“No.” Buffy fired her answer back just as quick as Dawn had asked hers.
“Good. Because you’re not.”
“Well that’s refreshing. Let me guess, comatose?”
“Ding ding ding.”
“Ugh, I haaaate hospitals.”
“But you’re in love with someone that goes by ‘the Doctor’. Strange.”
“Oh my God. I almost forgot…He was hurt just as bad as I was, if not worse. Is he…”
“He’s alive. Bit….different, but alive.”
“Dawnie, in that dimension, Spike…”
“Yes, it was him. Our Spike.”
“The amulet thingy?”
“The Doctor is good for your brains. Yes, the amulet started it all.”
“It fed off Spike’s memories. Created a whole parallel dimension around them. After it was all said and done, the Hellmouth that is, it transported him there, replacing most of his memory.”
“I knew that thing was volatile.”
“Yet you gave it to him anyway. No need for guilt though. It was the right thing to do. It was never meant for Angel to wear. Never
. Could imagine a whole world built around Angel’s memories? Blech, no thanks.”
“You said the Doctor was different? How?”
Dawn smiled lovingly at her sister. “I think it’s time for you to find out for yourself.”
“You’re sending me back now, huh?”
“Yep. Though, I’ve got to tell you one more thing. Before you go.”
Buffy sighed. “Is it cryptic?”
Dawn smiled brightly. “Of course it is, stupid.”
“Alright, get on with it then.” Buffy smiled.
“You’ve been….altered a bit yourself. You’ll find out how soon….just promise me that you won’t kill him for what he did. He honestly didn’t know what he was doing. Well, I shouldn’t say that. He knew what he was doing, he just didn’t know the consequences. He was completely devastated and he was just kind of going with the flow of things at that point….he was trying to save your life.”
“Who? The Doctor?”
"It lives within him and now within you."
"Okay, now that just doesn't even make the least bit of sense."
“Buffy, I just broke about a thousand different mystical laws by giving you a hint at your future. Cryptic or not. Be happy with that, eh?”
Buffy smiled. “Oh okay. How’s Mom?”
“Good. She would’ve come too but she was busy.”
Buffy raised her eyebrow. “Really? With what?!”
“What? Just because we’re all ghosty, we can’t have social lives? Mom, and on occasion myself, happen to enjoy making Dad's life a living Hell."
Buffy laughed loudly. "How?! Tell me everything."
"Just the usual Poltergeist-y type stuff. The last time I visited him, I kept messing with his office chairs. As to be expected, Mom holds the crown. Remember that scene in 'Ghost' where Sam just types his name wildly all across the computer? Well, Mom did that but took it to the next extreme. She made it say 'I know what you did, Hank.' His reaction was classic."
Buffy doubled over in laughter. "What did he even do?"
"Nothing! That's the beauty of it!"
After a few minutes, Buffy's laughter calmed.
“Okay. No more stalling, I'm afraid. There’s a certain alien down there begging for your life.”
"I guess it's time for me to go back now, huh?"
Dawn nodded. "Yep. Time for you to go back to what you do best."
“Send everyone my love?”
Dawn smiled another loving smile. “They already know.”
Buffy felt tears stinging in her eyes as she smiled back. “I love you, Dawnie. Goodbye.”
“I love you too, Buffy. Goodbye.”
Dawn walked up to Buffy and pinged her on the forehead.
Buffy’s eyes flew open. Her vision was fuzzy and her brain was foggy, yet she still had some memories of her visit with Dawn. She smiled a small, sad smile and squeezed the hand that was holding hers tightly, knowing that it was the Doctor. Her
She slowly turned her head to face him. Alarm rose up through her weakened body rather quickly. The man staring her in the face was not the Doctor.
He was tall, wearing a tweed jacket and a bow tie. He had semi-messy, semi-straight brown hair and his voice…his voice was just so not the Doctor.
She yanked her hand out of his and rapidly tried to inch her way over to the other side of the bed.
“Buffy, shh shh. Calm down. What’s wrong, sweetheart?”
Buffy opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out.
Right. Unconscious. Dry throat.
She swallowed a bit and cleared her throat.
“Who are you?” she croaked out.
The strange man looked at her quizzically for a moment but then realization dawned on his face.
He spoke quieter now. “It’s me, Buffy. Do you remember what happened to you?”
She nodded quickly.
“Do you remember the last words I said to you before you went unconscious?”
She thought for a moment and shook her head.
“I regenerated Buffy. It’s me. I swear it.”
She cleared her throat again.
“Where was the first place you, er, the Doctor, took me after Sunnydale?”
The man smiled. “I
took you to London. 1599. Shakespeare. There were witches. Well not actual witches, mind you. Carrionites.”
“And after that?”
“A space luxury cruise liner modeled after the Titanic hit the TARDIS.”
“And after that?”
“New New New New New York, followed by Daleks in Depression-era New York City. The original one. Not the New new new new new one."
Buffy swallowed. She inched closer. She raised her hand and cupped the Doctor’s face. She stared long and hard. There was definitely familiarity. She stared into his eyes. They held the same ancient sadness.
“It’s him, I promise.” a female voice said, entering the room.
Buffy and the man broke apart to look at the intruder.
She was her doctor, the medical one, Buffy guessed. She had a gorgeous dark complexion and a pretty face to match.
She walked forward and held her hand out to Buffy.
“Doctor Martha Jones. Pleasure to meet you, Buffy.”
“You’re Martha, right? The
Martha? The one from the moon?” Buffy asked.
Martha nodded her head. “It’s either coincidence or just plain lucky that you crashed near this hospital. I’d only just started here.”
A young-ish girl with bright, ginger hair and a man (sort of) with shaggy hair followed in behind Martha.
The Doctor stood up and waved them in.
“Amy, Rory…I’d like you to meet Buffy. Buffy, Amy and Rory.”
“Hi. Nice to meet you…wait, how do we know Amy and Rory?”
“Oh, right. Well. You see, there was kind of a…dilemma after the TARDIS crashed.”
“The TARDIS crashed? Again?”
“In Amy’s backyard. It was this whole…world-y save-y thing. I’ll explain it later.”
Buffy nodded her head in understanding. “Gotcha. Don’t mean to be rude, but could I get a few minutes alone with him?” she asked, gesturing towards the Doctor.
The three guests nodded and walked quietly out of the room, shutting the door behind them.
Buffy moved over a bit on the hospital bed and motioned for the Doctor to sit back down.
He slid his new(ish) body up on the bed and laid his arm gently around Buffy’s shoulder.
“What is it, sweetheart?”
“While I was…you know, all coma-y, I kind of, um, well….Dawnie was there.”
He raised his eyebrow, but didn’t comment.
“I don’t know how to explain it without it sounding all kinds of hokey and cliché, but she was there. She explained to me about the dimension. How it was created.”
“Spike. The amulet you told me about. It created the dimension from his mind. His best memories versus his worst fears.”
Buffy stared at the Doctor in amazement.
“How in the hell did you know that?”
He smiled. "Because I'm clever, remember?”
Buffy nodded. “Second half, please.”
“His best memories---the times he spent being part of ‘The Scourge of Europe’. The absolute peak of his and Drusilla’s romance. His worst fears---losing the ones he loved the most. You and Drusilla.”
Buffy stared off silently for a moment. She thought of bringing up the part where Dawn implied that he had altered her somehow, but she decided to skip that bit till she could find out more about what may or may not happen. Plus, he would probably not be too happy on the whole ‘possibly knowing the future’ bit. The Time Lord in him probably wouldn’t respect the whole part where Dawn, ghost or not, kind of broke a major time law.
In the end, she settled for resting her head on his shoulder while he gently stroked her hair.
After a bit, she sat up and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Okay, I have to ask. What’s with the bow tie?”
He looked down at her and smiled, while he fidgeted with the accessory in question.
“What? It’s cool. Bow ties are cool.”