Note: I hold no rights over any copyrighted material. All characters and creations belong to their original owners. The fandoms that I am using are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Doctor Who.
Buffy wasn't sure why it was so quiet in Sunnydale. Wesley had said the vampires were planning some big strike, and both she and Faith were out on patrol. Maybe Faith had already gotten all the vampires, and Buffy just didn't know it? But she'd run into Faith a few minutes ago, and Faith said she hadn't seen anything either.
Which meant, in Buffy's book, that something even worse was going on.
Buffy stalked down the street, carefully looking out for anything abnormal. Nothing. Really, where were all the vampires? Maybe they were congregating, forming some really, really evil plan. Maybe what Wesley had picked up on wasn't actually what was happening — maybe that was just some ploy to get Buffy and Faith out of the way, while the vampires went off and did something worse elsewhere.
Buffy sensed movement behind her, and she spun around, ducking just in time to let the vampire charging at her trip over her back and fall, heavily, onto the sidewalk. Finally, some action. It was about time. The vampire got back to his feet and circled her, growling.
"Not much of a talker, are you?" Buffy asked.
"I don't like to play with my food," said the vampire, as he lunged at her.
"Apparently, you don't like to come up with original zingers, either," said Buffy. "You can't get a more clichéd line."
Buffy easily stepped back, away from him, and right into the hands of another two vampires. Damn, damn, double damn. She kicked out, managed to dislodge the one holding her right arm, whilst flipping the one holding her left arm straight into a nearby wall. Then the first vampire was back on her, twisting the stake out of her hand. The others soon followed, restraining her against the wall.
The first vampire licked his lips, a nasty smile painted on his face. Sick bastard was enjoying this. Buffy tried to counterbalance the vampires that were restraining her, but she was outnumbered and completely alone. This was it. This was the end of Buffy Summers.
Then the smile dropped off the vampire's face. "What—?" he said, as he dissolved into dust, and a wooden dowel dropped to the ground.
Buffy was expecting to see Faith there, but instead she found a woman with very curly blond hair and an enigmatic smile, clothed in a form-fitting black dress and high heels. She had a cross bow in her hands. She looked at the other vampires.
"Hello, boys," she said, as she quickly reloaded her crossbow. "That makes nine. Who wants to make ten?"
Buffy saw her advantage, and took it. She twisted herself out of the vampires' grips, and dove for the wooden dowel, while twisting in the air to kick one of the oncoming vampires right in its ribs. She heard a cry, as another one of the vampires turned to dust via the crossbow, and managed to maneuver herself so that she could stake the third.
The moment the last vampire crumbled to dust, Buffy turned back to the woman in the evening dress. "Don't tell me you're another Slayer."
"Nope." The woman lowered her crossbow, and offered Buffy her hand. "Professor River Song. Archaeology. And don't worry about me. I'm just visiting."
Buffy took River's hand, and shook it. Human. Definitely human. Okay. "And you're fighting vampires dressed like that… why, exactly?"
River grinned. "I'm on a date," she said. She gave a wink, and then added, confidentially, "I've been assured that this is a very common dating custom somewhere in the galaxy. I don't believe it, either."
Buffy stared at River. "Who would—?" Buffy stopped talking, as she noticed the movement coming out of the shadows. Vamp. "Hang on a sec," she said, as she threw the stake at the vampire. At the same time, River shot another one, over Buffy's shoulder.
River smiled, as the vampires turned to dust. "Eleven."
"River, how many times have I told you — you have to give them a choice," came an indignant voice.
Buffy spun around to find a skinny man with floppy brown hair, dressed in a tweed jacket and bow tie, running towards them.
"You're all talk," said River, coyly. "I'm all action."
Buffy recognized the guy immediately. Oh, of course. She should have put the pieces together sooner. That extra little buzz in her head, River's comment about 'somewhere in the galaxy', and the kind of person who might actually bring their date to Sunnydale to fight vampires.
"Hi, Doctor," said Buffy.
The Doctor stopped. "Elizabeth," he said. "You're here. Course you are, you live here. No, wait — you do
live here, but you were supposed
to be in LA this weekend to see your—"
"Dad took a last minute trip to the Bahamas instead," said Buffy. "With his secretary. So I'm back in Sunnyhell, on patrol. As usual. And it's good to see you, too, by the way."
"Yes," said the Doctor, quickly. "Yes, of course it is! Simply spectacular to see you! Absolutely, completely and utterly…." He trailed off, bouncing around on his feet and scratching his head, awkwardly. He shot River a 'please-don't-kill-me' look, and then gave Buffy a smile that was clearly etched with uneasiness. "How are you?" he asked.
"Fine," said Buffy. "But tell me, because I really am curious, in what part of the galaxy do people tend to end dates with vampire hunts?"
"Well, in this part," he said. "Isn't that a fairly standard human dating ritual?"
River and Buffy looked at one another.
"No," they both agreed.
The Doctor's self-assurance melted into confusion. He walked over to Buffy, and leaned in, confidentially. "Last time I was here," he whispered to her, "you told me that every date ends in a full-blown, no-hands-barred vampire-slaying free-for-all."
Buffy sighed. She stepped back, and crossed her arms. "Doctor, I told you that every one of my dates ended in a full-blown, no-hands-barred vampire-slaying free-for-all."
"Exactly!" said the Doctor. "And you're human. Ipso facto."
Buffy and River looked at one another, again. Then they burst out laughing.
"What?" asked the Doctor, a little hurt.
"You took dating advice from me?" asked Buffy. "Doctor, I'm the Slayer. Normal people don't do what I do."
The Doctor brushed his hair back. "Yes… well…" Then his eyes lit up. "Amy and Rory!" he cried. "Their last date also ended with a vampire hunt. And Amy said that seeing Rory face off against that vampire in Venice was one of the key turning points in their relationship." He smiled. "See?"
"Nice try, sweetie," said River, "but I don't think anyone would consider my parents to be normal, either." She gave him a peck on the cheek. "At least you tried."
Buffy felt her head spinning. "Wait,… parents… date… vampires… what?"
"Long story," said the Doctor and River.
The Doctor turned to River. "What's your score?"
River picked up her crossbow, giving the Doctor a wink. "Eleven," she said. "I'm still ahead."
The Doctor just grinned. "Don't be too sure."
"How many vampires have you killed so far?"
"None," replied the Doctor, very proudly.
"Eleven to zero, then," said River. "I win."
"Just because I haven't killed anyone yet doesn't mean I haven't been successful," said the Doctor. He fiddled with his bow tie, bouncing on his feet. "I managed to convince an entire group of vampires not to storm the local nightclub."
"How?" asked Buffy.
"I talked to them," said the Doctor.
"Right," said Buffy. "And after that didn't work?"
"Of course it worked!" insisted the Doctor.
"Super high energy photon displacement array, I'd guess," said River to Buffy, quietly. "I caught him sneaking a few off the Tardis earlier."
"I did not use any photon displacement arrays," said the Doctor. "I told you. Vampires and I had a bit of a talk, and afterwards, they all agreed that they didn't want to drink human blood, after all."
"What, you convinced them to be vegetarians?" asked Buffy.
The Doctor shuffled from foot to foot. "Well, not exactly," the Doctor admitted.
There was a shout from behind the Doctor, accompanied by a rabble of hissing and snarling and biting, as fifteen angry vampires turned a corner. Their eyes went straight to the Doctor, with a hungry fixation.
"Time Lord," one of them snarled.
Oh. Yeah. Right. Of course. Buffy should have guessed. For all that the Doctor sometimes sounded like a naïve fool, he usually knew what he was doing.
"Human blood," River muttered. "I should have caught that."
She raised her crossbow, but the Doctor stopped her, with one hand on her arm. "Actually," he said. "I think we should run."
Grabbing Buffy and River, he turned, and half-dragged the two of them away from the troop of vampires. The Doctor and River were unbelievably fast runners. Buffy wasn't used to having anyone but Faith be able to keep up with her. But the vampires were fast, too, and Buffy knew it'd only be a matter of time.
Buffy managed to release herself from the Doctor's grip. "Doctor," she said, "we're not going to be able to outrun them forever."
"Forever? I don't need to outrun them forever," said the Doctor. "I only need them to chase us a little while longer." He glanced back behind him, and frowned. "How many do you think there are?"
"Too many," said River.
"Not nearly enough," agreed the Doctor. "My thoughts exactly." He stopped, cupped his hands around his mouth, and hollered, "Vampires! Hello! Yummy Time Lord buffet right over here! Get your friends, families, and loved ones!"
The vampires snarled, and the Doctor turned, and darted forward.
Buffy smacked her forehead. "This isn't even the most suicidal thing I've seen you do," she said. "What does that say about you?"
The Doctor grinned, his eyes lighting up. "Still alive, though," he said. "That has to count for something."
"To be fair, your average life span per body is about two years," said River.
"I'll have you know, this is my fiftieth year in this body," said the Doctor, pouting slightly.
They ran into an alley that ended in a high brick wall. The Doctor nearly dragged River and Buffy to the end of the alley, by the brick wall, and grinned at them.
"You do realize we're trapped now?" asked Buffy.
"Of course we're trapped," said the Doctor. "That's the point!"
Buffy could hear the vampire hoard gathering at the other end of the alley, and she tensed herself for a fight. River raised up her crossbow again.
The Doctor frowned at both of them. "No killing!" he shouted.
River looked over her shoulder, at the brick wall behind them. "Hate to break it, sweetie," she said. "But I think this is one of those times when it's kill or be killed."
The Doctor gave River a very harsh look. "River," he chided. "No killing."
River faltered, and there was a look of sincere regret and sorrow in her eyes. Buffy wondered what the story was behind River and the Doctor's relationship. It was obviously a bit more complicated than it seemed on the surface.
Buffy tried to surge forward, towards the vampires, but the Doctor caught her arm and tugged her backwards, with surprising force. Damn, that was right. He'd been in this body for a while. Buffy was used to the bodies where he hadn't actually been in them long enough to gain any real muscle mass.
"You're a real jerk, you know that?" asked Buffy. "You just whipped all those vampires into a blood-sucking frenzy. I know you don't understand what that means, but I do. They're going to eat us, and then they're going to move on to the rest of the town. And I'm not letting them kill innocent people."
"Eat us?" asked the Doctor. "Eat us? Who said anything about eating us? They're not going to eat us. They're not going to eat anyone." He took out his sonic screwdriver, grinning happily, and stepped forward, in front of Buffy and River.
"And you're not going to kill them?" asked Buffy.
"Certainly not," said the Doctor. "And neither are you."
River's eyes widened. She darted forward, grabbing the Doctor by the shoulders. "Don't you dare."
The Doctor beamed at her, and gave a wink. Then he turned, and faced the approaching vampires.
The vampires were now coming down the alley, licking their lips and studying the Doctor, hungrily. There were way more than fifteen, now. Buffy thought it was more like thirty. And Wesley had told them the vampire gang consisted of six newly risen vampires. Shows what Wesley knows.
"What's the Doctor going to do?" Buffy whispered to River.
"I'm guessing he's going to let them kill him so he'll regenerate and get rid of them all at once," said River. "It's what I would do, if I still had any regenerations left."
Buffy blinked. "Wait, what?"
River raised her crossbow. "Just, be ready to step in and save his life if he does something stupid."
That Buffy could do. She was good at that kind of thing. She prepared herself for a fight, stake in hand. As the vampires gathered, they all stopped, right in front of the trio. That was something Buffy hadn't thought they'd do. It looked like they were… hesitating. Getting up the courage.
"Well," the Doctor announced to the vampire crowd. "Look at you all. Glad to see so many takers. At least some
vampires still have good taste."
The vampires all jeered at this, but they were still wary. A few, at the back, took one look at Buffy and headed for the hills.
The Doctor adjusted his bow tie. "Now, you all know why you're here. Yummy Time Lord blood. Rarest blood in the universe. My blood. Which reminds me. Small disclaimer. If any of you wish to see tomorrow, turn around and walk away now, while you still have the chance." He beamed at them. "Of course, if you do wish to stay — well, I'm sure you've heard the legends. Time Lord blood. The blood your kind were born to crave. And everything it can do, all those extra little powers it can bestow, the invulnerability and regenerative properties, all that's true, too. So, for all of you who want it, here I am. Ready and waiting. So go on. It's your choice."
"If we touch you, the Slayer will tear us to pieces!" shouted one of the vampires.
"The Slayer will do nothing," said the Doctor, pointedly. He glanced back at Buffy and River, with a glare so hard it would be enough to bore through steel. Buffy relaxed her fighting stance, just a little, and River dropped her crossbow. The Doctor looked back at the vampires. "It's your choice. Blood of a Time Lord, right here for the taking. One taste, and all your dreams come true. You just have to ask yourself: is it worth it? Is it really worth it?"
The vampires all muttered to one another, but one of them — a young-looking vampire whose face was already twisted into a wrinkly snarl, shouted, "Oh, yes!" and dove at the Doctor, knocking him to the ground.
All at once, the other vampires surged forwards, prompted by the youngster with his fangs in the Doctor's neck. There was a high pitched buzzing sound, and Buffy watched in amazement as the vampires all screamed, burst into flames and then dusted in the night air. The first vampire opened his eyes in horror, as he realized his mistake, and pulled away, but the Doctor grabbed him, and butted their heads together. The young vampire's face morphed back into its human form, his teeth retracting, his breath coming short and ragged. Breath. He noticed he was breathing.
He stumbled backwards, staring at the Doctor, in horror. Then he screamed, and ran off.
The Doctor grabbed at his neck. "Ow," he said. "I hate that. It's almost as bad as having your blood drained with a straw. Have you ever had your blood drained with a straw? It's not nearly as pleasant as it sounds. And considering how unpleasant that idea sounds, that's saying something."
River drew the Doctor into a tight embrace and a passionate kiss. "I hate you," she said.
The Doctor grinned. "Beat your score, though," he said. "Didn't I?"
Buffy crossed her arms. "I thought you said you didn't approve of killing vampires," she said.
"What?" asked the Doctor. "I didn't kill any vampires! They killed themselves. You saw."
River looked down at the almost unnoticeable green lights attached to either side of the alley walls. "And those would be the Super High Energy Photon Displacement Arrays, then?"
"I thought it was rather ingenious," said the Doctor. "Simulated sunlight! The moment they ran into range, poof! No more vampires!"
"How's that any better than just putting a wooden stake through their heart?" asked Buffy.
"Because they only died if they tried to attack me," said the Doctor. "If they'd made the morally correct choice, they'd still be alive."
"Doctor, for the thousand-billionth time," said Buffy. "They're vampires. VAM-PI-RES! They're never
going to make the morally correct choice!"
"I dare to dream," said the Doctor.
"What the—?" came a voice from the other end of the alley.
Buffy looked up, and found Faith standing there, looking completely confused. She examined Buffy, the Doctor, and River.
"You wouldn't happen to have seen about 30 completely crazed vampires running around this alley, would you?" she asked Buffy.
"Funny," said Buffy. "You just missed them."
Faith looked at her with planted awe on her face. It was clear that underneath the mask, she was quietly fuming. "Didn't think you could dust thirty vamps at once, B."
"What can I say?" said Buffy. She put on her best Doctor-imitation, and said, "I'm a genius."
River tried not to laugh.
The Doctor was eyeing Faith with a mild curiosity. "Faith?" he asked. "Is that you?"
Faith came forward, with a nonchalant shrug and saunter that was probably designed to look sexy to most human men. Buffy wondered if the Doctor would pick up on any of it.
"Don't know you," said Faith. "But I could show you a good time."
The Doctor frowned. "No, no, that's not what I remember," he said. "As far as I recall, at this point in time, it was mainly torture, death threats, and… oh, yes, that's right! You also rather liked to stick your tongue down my throat. Which was an odd experience, and one I'd rather not repeat."
River raised her eyebrows at the Doctor.
Buffy just gaped at Faith. "You kissed him?" she asked.
Faith snorted. "He wishes," said Faith. "I'd never kiss someone like that. He dresses like Giles. Except at least Giles has the common sense to ditch the bow tie."
"Bow ties are cool!" the Doctor insisted.
River kissed the Doctor again. "No, they're not," she said, as she broke away.
Faith looked at Buffy. "Who's the blonde in the evening dress?"
"River," said River to Faith, extending a hand. "Professor River Song, doctor of archaeology."
Faith didn't take the hand, just eyed River's crossbow. "Nice tools."
"On loan from a friend," said River. "One who happens to know quite a bit about vampire hunting, as it happens."
"What friend?" asked Buffy.
"Spoilers," said River, with a wink.
"Well, lovely running into you, Faith," said the Doctor, shaking her hand. Then he looked into her eyes, with a sincere and honest expression that wiped any trace of mirth right off his face. "And I am truly sorry. I am deeply, deeply sorry."
Faith looked at him, and Buffy thought she saw a flicker of fear in Faith's eyes. But it was gone as quickly as it had arrived.
In an instant, the Doctor grinned, and pulled his hand away. "Right, better be off," he said. "It was wonderful running into you again, Elizabeth. Thanks for all the help." He wove his arm through River's, and led her away. Then he stopped, and turned around. "Oh, and Faith," he said. "Worst of luck with your immediate plans. Best of luck for the far future." He winked at Buffy, then darted away.
Faith stared after the Doctor, mild shock on her face. "Huh," she said. She looked down at her hand. "Funny pulse, that guy has."
"What did he mean, worst of luck?" asked Buffy.
"Don't know what you're talking about," said Faith. "Come on. Let's hit the Bronze. I've got all sorts of unresolved tension I need to shake off."
Buffy frowned, and wondered what the Doctor had been trying to warn her about. But she guessed that, whatever it was, she was going to find out soon enough. She stored the thought away for later, and went off to the Bronze.