Last chapter in this story! The next story is totally complete….just fine tuning it a bit! It will be posted shortly….probably even today! :] Thank you for reading and to all that reviewed as well!!! Chapter Five(Buffy)
I left Willow and Tosh outside to discuss their issues in private. Nothing worse than an audience when you’re having a heated argument. However, the discussion apparently didn’t last too long ‘cause Willow came stepping off the invisible elevator (so awesome, by the way) moments after I had.
“Will—how did it go?” Xander asked.
“Later.” she replied, somberly.
Not well, I thought. I decided to leave the Willow-Tosh drama world for awhile and see what the Doctor had found.
I walked down the steps to instead find the Doctor and Owen arguing like kids.
“I’m the doctor for Torchwood Three. Dr. Owen Harper. That’s me. This is my
job you’re doing!”
“Not while I’m here, it’s not. I’ve got far more experience than you do. I’m over nine-hundred years old. What are you? Twenty-eight? Twenty-nine? Now go away. You’re in my light.”
“Now boys, do I have to separate you? Do we need time outs?” I asked, mockingly.
“He started it.” the Doctor mumbled.
“I’ll gladly take a time out as long you’re there.” Owen smiled at me.
“Yeah, don’t do corpses. Thanks though.”
“Angel. Spike. Technically corpses.” Xander tossed out, in passing.
“Fine. I don’t do sleazebags.”
“Parker. Angelus. Riley towards the end.”
“Xander, shut up!” I yelled. The mention of Angelus’ name burned like acid inside of me.
“Besides, there’s no need for your, erm, services, Dr. Harper. Either of them. Buffy is already happily spoken for and I’ve already got everything figured out.” the Doctor replied, staring at his sonic.
“Wait, what? How? I mean, how do you have it all figured out?” Gwen asked.
“Because he’s brilliant.” Jack smiled. “The cleverest man in the entire universe. And probably on into the next.”
“I’m not a man. I’m an alien.” the Doctor corrected. I rolled my eyes and elbowed him.
“Ow! What—oh, right. Thank you for the compliment, Jack.”
“He really hasn’t changed that much, huh?”
“That’s our Doctor. Absolutely genius and still rude as ever.” I smiled.
“Still not ginger either.” the Doctor added, in a low breath.
“You were saying that you had this figured out?” Jack asked.
“I’ll talk with you and Buffy, privately, in your office, if you don’t mind.”
Jack nodded and walked off.
The Doctor turned towards Willow.
“Willow, I assure you Tara will be fine. However, I should warn you that when she wakes up, and she will, I promise, she may not know who you are. She’s from a dimension where you di--” I slapped the Doctor on the back of the head. “—haven’t met yet. Just…be careful with her, yeah? It’s going to take some time for her to adjust. But I promise you, she will.”
Willow nodded and smiled for the very first time all night. “Thank you. For everything. I mean that.”
The Doctor and I joined Jack in his office a few minutes later.
“How could you nearly tell her that she died in that dimension?!”
“I didn’t, thanks to your uncontrollable violent tendencies. There’s no harm in her knowing. It’s not her future. It’s a completely different version of herself. It’s entirely plausible that that version would have died. Also, in a dimension that she could never get to.”
“Okay, how about psychological harm? Ever think of that?”
“As interesting as your lovers spat is, I’ve got work to do. So, Doctor. Explain.” Jack interrupted.
“I suppose that when you and Buffy were locked in here earlier, she was telling you all about what happened?”
Jack nodded. “Yes.”
I was praying that he would keep his mouth shut about what ghosty Dawn told me.
The Doctor looked between Jack and I for a moment then continued on.
“While she was unconscious in the TARDIS, I met a very young girl named Amelia Pond. The TARDIS crashed in her backyard. She was absolutely terrified of a crack in her wall.”
“A….crack? She was afraid of bad drywall?” Jack asked.
“Okay. Amelia Pond had-slash-has a crack in her wall. What does that have to do with Tara-clone coming through the Rift?” I asked.
“It’s not just a crack in her wall. It’s a crack throughout time and space. A crack that somehow interferes with Amelia Pond’s life.”
Jack’s eyes widened. Apparently he knew what the Doctor was talking about. Good thing one of us did.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“I’m….lost.” I said. “Someone ‘splainy?”
“The crack is the reason we fell through the Vortex, into that dimension. It’s the cause of the extra Rift activity that Torchwood’s been feeling here.”
“Okayyy. So, what caused it?”
The Doctor was silent for a few very uncomfortable moments.
“I did. Traveling throughout time. Jumping from here to there and back to here again. It takes a toll, after awhile. I was lecturing Willow on her magical use affecting the Universe and look at what I did. Cracked it wide open. Oh, don’t look like that, sweetheart. You had nothing to do with it. Especially since the last bit of it you spent being unconscious. The crack widened when I forced the TARDIS out of the alternate dimension, back into the Vortex. Tara…she helped us to do that. She must’ve practiced magic in that dimension as well…and she must’ve been powerful. The TARDIS was having difficulties operating due to the crack so it clung on to Tara as a power source. Drained her of all her…magic.”
I mulled all that over in my head. “So…that’s just one big, monologue-y way of saying two things. One—Tara was an accidental hitchhiker. Two—things are about to get hectic.”
“So, Tara, she was from that alternate dimension that Buffy told me about?”
“Yes, thank you for paying attention, Jack.” I retorted.
“Hey, he rambles. Just making sure I understood.”
I ignored Jack and turned back to the Doctor.
“Is there a way to get her back? Not that I want to hurt Willow like that, but if it comes down to a Universe save-y thing vs. Tara staying…”
“No. We’d have to re-open the Rift. It’s too dangerous to do that. This is her new home.” Jack replied from behind me.
“What kind of dangerous?”
“Opening the Hellmouth dangerous. Besides, I sealed off the dimension as we busted out of it.” the Doctor replied.
“Apparently not good enough.” Jack replied.
“Okay. Rift stays closed. And Jack, knock it off. Don’t make me kill you.”
“Doctor, what do you want me to do? Torchwood Three is here to help.”
“Nothing. You do nothing about this. You stay here, being the best the leader you can for your team. Keep doing what you always have. Things are only going to get worse before they get better. Buffy and I will handle this. Well, I’ll handle it. I’m only bringing her along ‘cause I know the consequences of leaving her behind.”
“Damn straight.” I retorted. “Jack, get the Slayers involved if it gets too bad. My orders.”
Jack grinned and saluted. “Good luck in your travels, Doctor. Don’t stay away so long next time. Specifically you, Buffy.” he winked.
“Oh, he’s never going to change. I really
hate when people salute me.”
“You’re leaving, Buff? Already? You just got here.” Xander semi-whined.
We stood outside, near the TARDIS. The Doctor was already inside, letting us say our goodbyes in semi-privacy. It was daylight out now. The sun was bright yet not warm at all. It was actually absolutely freezing out.
“Guess so. World save-y stuff. Well, Universe save-y, actually. I think. Not sure. I’ll let ya know.”
Willow pulled me into a tight hug.
“Thank you. For everything. I love you, Buffy.”
I smiled. “Love ya too, Will.”
“Okay, make way for the guy with one eye! Group hug time!”
Xander wrapped his arms tightly around Willow and I.
“Love ya too, Xand.”
“Ahhh….the words I’ve wanted to hear….only thirteen years too late.”
I rolled my eyes and backed out of the group hug that was now a bit awkward thanks to Xander.
“Will, promise me one thing? Well, two things. First off, listen to what the Doctor said about Tara. She’s probably going to be super confused. Two, try not to be too hard on Tosh, kay? If I’ve learned anything from my travels with the Doctor, it’s that you don’t know when your time is up—or when someone else’s is, ya know? I guess what I’m saying is…just think of this whole situation from her point of view.”
She nodded reluctantly. I turned to Xander.
“Take care of her, huh?”
“Always have and always will.” he smiled.
“Give my love to Giles and Faith?”
“Love to the G-man and psycho Slayer. Got it.”
I smiled and waved ‘bye’, closing the TARDIS doors behind me.
The Doctor was at the console fiddling with knobs and levers, and staring intently at the screen. I sat myself in the chair next to him. He glanced over at me.
“Eh, a little. Mostly, these bandages are just really itchy and it’s been annoying me for hours now.” I pulled my shirt up and started removing them as I was talking. “I would’ve taken them off sooner but—“
“You didn’t want Willow and Xander to know how badly you were hurt.”
I tossed the dirty bandages aside and raised an eyebrow at him. “Anyone ever tell you how rude that is?”
“Quite often, really.” he smiled. He stopped fidgeting with the screen and bent down in front of me. “This never ceases to amaze me. How you can heal so fast. Just a few days ago, you were near death and now look at you.” He moved his hand across my side. The only thing left to prove my injury was a tiny scar that formed a short, wave-y line.
The Doctor entwined our hands.
“Yeah, I’m pretty amazing like that.” I smiled.
He smiled and kissed hand. “I already knew that.” He stood up and resumed his stance behind the screen, fidgeting with it’s knobs.
“What exactly are you looking for on that?” I asked, curiously.
“Nothing really. Just seeing if there was a way for me to trace the crack.”
His answer made sense (sort of) however, his tone was different. Evasive.
“Oh, let me see.” I stood up and started to take the few steps over to him, but he quickly turned the knob and the screen went off before I could see anything.
“Why don’t you sit back down and rest? We’re nearly ready. I’ve just got to go underneath and repair a few things before we get on our way.”
It was clear he didn’t want me to see what was on the screen, but why? What could it be? Curious. Very curious indeed.
Oh God. I’m turning into Giles.
Regardless of my curiosity, I sat down like he suggested, this time on the stairs to the below deck. I sat in silence, watching him work.
“I hope they’re okay.” I said, after a bit.
He looked over at me, from underneath his ridiculous goggled. “Who?”
“Willow. Tara. Tosh.”
He shrugged. “They’ll be fine. They’ll do what you humans do best. “They’ll adapt. Tosh will adapt to life without Willow. Tara will adapt to her new life in a new dimension and Willow will adapt to the different version of Tara. It’s human nature.”
He snapped two…things in place and stood up out of his swing-y chair.
“That should do it.” he said, lifting his goggles up. He ran, past me, up the small set of stairs, to the console. I followed suit.
He resumed hitting buttons and turning knobs. “The very first place I saw the crack was in Amy’s bedroom when she was a child.”
I placed my hand on the TARDIS’ control lever.
“Then that’s our first stop. Paying a visit to one miss Amy Pond.”
The Doctor grinned, the silly, maniacal one that I had fallen in love with, and placed his hand on top of mine, pushing the lever forward.