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Elizabeth

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This story is No. 14 in the series "Adventures of A Line Hopper". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: SEQUEL to "Don't Be" and "Paradox". Who is Elizabeth Summers? What happened in 2003 in the other timeline? With the universe falling apart, and tensions between Elizabeth and the Doctor rising, the Scoobies struggle to work it out.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Other BtVS/Ats CharactersShoshiFR73064,721610122,61123 Mar 1225 Apr 12Yes

Chapter Twenty

Author's Note: Okay, I'd like to point out the following clever things I did in this story, now that I've given the revelation:

Elizabeth is almost always tapping. And I bet you can guess what rhythm she's tapping. When she's around Dawn, she tends to tap more. She taps the stake against her hand when Spike beats up the Doctor. She taps her fingernails against the doorknob when Dawn tells her that she loves her. She taps her fingers against the Buffybot right at the very beginning.

The Doctor gets a little more complicated in terms of tapping. More on this later.

Also, things tend to be grouped in sets of four throughout this whole story. Four years with the Doctor. Remember that rock Elizabeth was kicking, way back with the time skips? She kicked that rock four times. When she skipped with the weapons bag to the meeting, she gave 2 sashays, 2 times (which means the weapons bag would have rattled a cla-du-du-clunk rhythm).

I'm going to leave it up to you readers to decide just how cruel Elizabeth's being when she tells the Doctor that Iphidrin was his fault. I doubt she knew what Davros had just told him.

Really, what you have to ask yourself in this whole thing is just how much does Elizabeth actually know? How much is Elizabeth a victim, and how much is she manipulating the situation around her?

And in terms of parallels, Buffy also has/had a Time Lord inside her head...

FYI Buffy still does come up in this story. She hasn't yet -- that notebook wasn't the only Buffy you're going to get.

--000--

The moment that Dawn had discovered the truth, she'd run. She was Buffy's sister. She was the person that Buffy had trusted with that notebook. She was the person that was supposed to be standing up for the Doctor, now that Buffy was gone. And she'd been so stupid, and she'd thought… she didn't even know what she'd thought.

No, she knew exactly what she'd thought. She'd heard the Doctor say that the only reason he hadn't killed her was because he was a coward. Like he should have killed her. And with Buffy gone, with no one to hold him back, she'd thought that maybe the Doctor would actually go through with it, this time. But the thing was… Xander had been right. If the Doctor wanted to kill Dawn, there would be absolutely nothing that any of them could do to stop him.

If he'd really wanted to kill Dawn, she'd be dead by now.

Besides, when they'd found the Doctor in the burned-out high school, he'd been worried about her right away. He'd warned her about Elizabeth, hadn't he?

Elizabeth. The monster. She should have seen it earlier. She'd known. Somewhere deep inside, she'd known that there was something weird about Elizabeth. And she'd dismissed it, because… well, she wasn't sure why. She'd thought, at first, that it was just because she'd wanted to believe that Elizabeth was Buffy. But… there'd been a lot of people acting weird, recently, without really knowing why. Acting the way Elizabeth would have wanted them to act. So was Elizabeth doing something to all of them to make them act that way?

Was Elizabeth the one with the magic voice?

Dawn stopped, as she rounded a corner, and found the Doctor and Elizabeth, staring at each other, angrily, in the middle of the park by her house. The Doctor held a device in his hands — a very complicated-looking, oversized and bulky device that Dawn had never seen before.

"Are you going to tell me what this is about?" asked the Doctor.

Dawn ducked down behind a cluster of bushes, so she could overhear them. Both of them wanted Dawn… well, possibly dead and possibly not. And besides, Dawn could get a whole lot more information if she just listened to them talk to each other, without knowing she was overhearing.

"You mean you don't know what it is?" asked Elizabeth. "What it does?"

"I know what it is," said the Doctor. "It's a mind-control device. You'll build one just like it in 2003, extending beneath the entire city of Sunnydale."

"I know."

The Doctor shook the device at her. "You've already started, haven't you? This device is active. I can feel it. You've decided to make sure that 2003 comes early to this town."

"Then stop it," said Elizabeth.

The Doctor hesitated.

"Go on," said Elizabeth. "Do what you did last time. I'm ready for you, now."

"You've rigged it to destroy everyone it's hooked up to, haven't you?" asked the Doctor. "Just like in 2003."

"If you want to think of it like that," said Elizabeth. "Then yes. I have."

The Doctor shoved the device towards Elizabeth. "Stop this. Now."

Elizabeth didn't take the device. "No."

"I'm warning you, Elizabeth!" the Doctor said. "If you don't stop it, then I can't be held responsible for what happens to you."

"Oh, that's original," said Elizabeth. "Let me guess. If I don't stop it myself, you'll do something clever to the internal wiring? Reverse the polarity, so that it 'controls me' and you can 'make me stop'? Or maybe you'll just kill me — fry my brain, just like you did to everyone else in Sunnydale!" She threw up her hands. "Go on, then! Do it! Rewire the device and kill me!"

The Doctor narrowed his eyes at her. "What have you done to it?"

"Maybe I've done nothing," said Elizabeth. "Maybe I'd rather die than live with what you did to me!"

"Oh, no," said the Doctor. "I know how you operate. You're playing at something. You're always playing at something. So what is it?"

"I told you," Elizabeth said, through her teeth, "this isn't a game!"

"No," said the Doctor. "It's not."

And he jerked the panel off the device. To kill Elizabeth, Dawn realized. Because he didn't know what Dawn knew, that it wasn't Elizabeth's fault she was acting this way. He didn't know that Elizabeth was mostly a good person, when he wasn't around. He didn't know he was… killing Buffy. Yes. That's what he was doing, he was going to kill Buffy, because maybe Elizabeth wasn't Buffy, but she was, too. And Dawn couldn't let Buffy die again.

Dawn ran out into the open, and shouted, at the top of her lungs, "Stop!"

The Doctor froze.

Dawn stood beside them, panting. "It's not her fault," she said. "It's… someone did something to her head. And it's made her all paranoid and stuff. And she thinks it's you."

The Doctor blinked. "Sorry?"

"Oh, come on, do it already!" Elizabeth shouted at him. "Kill me!"

The Doctor looked between Elizabeth and Dawn. Then he threw the device at Elizabeth, who caught it instinctively. "I'm done with this," he said. "I'll find my own way. I've had enough of you and your mind games."

"Mind games?" Elizabeth asked, gripping the device tighter.

"Yes, mind games!" the Doctor told her. "Eight hours of trying to convince me that everything was my fault. Eight hours of asking me who I'd be willing to sacrifice, to stop you from doing something catastrophic."

"And you'd sacrifice anyone," said Elizabeth. "Even Dawn. Even my own family."

"Oh, is that what that was about?" asked the Doctor. "Is that the twisted logic behind your threat to open the Hellmouth if I didn't kill her? Because you wanted to prove to me that I murdered your mother?"

"You did murder my mother!" Elizabeth shouted.

"I'm sorry about Joyce, I really am," said the Doctor. "But I didn't murder her. I wasn't even there!"

"It wasn't Elizabeth's fault!" Dawn protested.

"See?" Elizabeth said to the Doctor. "Dawn knows the truth. It's not my fault."

"It's not his, either," said Dawn. "He's not the voice in your head, Elizabeth. Anya said it was some kind of mental conditioning — something about the phrase 'I love you' — that makes you all paranoid and hatey and stuff."

Elizabeth's jaw clenched as she heard the phrase. The Doctor noticed, and raised an eyebrow. His eyes flicked down to her fingers, which were tapping out a rhythm against the side of the device. A pattern of four beats. The Doctor's face fell.

"Ah," he said. "I see."

"Oh, so you admit it, now?" asked Elizabeth. "That you've been making me do all these things?"

"I haven't," said the Doctor. "But I know who has. And I should have seen it sooner. That Dalek Infiltration Weapon — you weren't actually trying to kill me. Not really. You wanted to destroy my soul and take over my body. Picking up exactly where he left off on New Years' Eve, 2000." He closed his eyes in pain. "I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I am so, so sorry."

"He? You can't blame anyone else for this, Doctor," said Elizabeth. "I can feel you. In my head. All the time. You never stop. You want to turn me into a monster by 2003, and you're willing to tear apart my life to do it."

"It's not me," said the Doctor. "It's the Master. He must have implanted something in your mind when he killed you."

"You've got to be kidding me!" Elizabeth said. "The Master? Is there anyone you won't blame for this? You wanna go ahead and blame stupid Wilkins for this, too? Or ADAM?"

"You told Angel," said the Doctor, "to warn you about two things. Both of which wound up being the same thing. The Master. From beneath you, it devours, remember? Well, that's where he was. Stuck in the heart of the TARDIS. Right beneath us."

"Those warnings were about you!" Elizabeth shouted.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow.

"Okay, they were warnings to myself about me!" Elizabeth admitted. "But you know what? You're still the reason I'm like this. And don't you deny it! I've done the whole hypnosis thing with the Master, I know what that feels like. This isn't the Master in my head. It's you! I know it's you!" She drummed her fingers louder against the side of the device as she spoke, a rhythmic, four beat pattern repeated over and over again. "You're trying to turn me into a killer, and I won't do it! I refuse!"

"That's why you'll want to control the world in 2003," continued the Doctor, in the same steady, sad tone. "Because you've been manipulated for so very long, and you can't come to terms with it."

"Control the world?" Elizabeth cried. "You're on about that, again? You were there! You saw the device! You know what it did!" She glared at him, her eyes shining with so much hurt and anger and betrayal that it made Dawn feel terribly guilty. "I'd never do what you did! I'd never kill 38,000 innocent people!"

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Iphidrin?"

"Iphidrin was your fault!" Elizabeth shouted. "Just like all the others! I only ever killed people for you, Doctor! To make you happy, to make you proud. Just like all your other companions. The only difference between me and them is that I noticed how you were manipulating those around you. And I decided it was wrong, that you were evil and I had to fight you. Once I left you, I changed! I made sure that Iphidrin would never happen again! 2003 was not Iphidrin. Future me wasn't trying to do anything wrong!" Her hands shook with anger and pain. "It wasn't between Sunnydale and the world. All you needed to do was admit your own defeat and die, and you could have saved all of them."

"I'm sorry," said the Doctor. "But there's only one thing you'd need a mind-control device that big for. It's not your fault, but by 2003, you'll want to brainwash the entire world."

"I don't want to control the world," Elizabeth snapped at him. "I don't ever want to control the world. I don't care about what some jerk thinks in Tokyo. There's only one thing I want to control, Doctor. Me. Myself. My future."

"And you need a mind-control device the size of Sunnydale to do that?" the Doctor asked.

"I guess I will!" Elizabeth hissed.

"Wait! Stop! Don't kill each other!" called a voice from behind Dawn.

Dawn turned around, to find the rest of the Scoobies running towards them. Willow held a bright red notebook in her hands.

They stopped, as they approached, and bent over, hands on their knees, panting.

Xander held up a hand. "It's not the Doctor," he said. "Or Elizabeth. Everything that happened. It's neither of your faults. You're both heroes, and nobody has to die."

"And the Master is the murderous evil thing in your head," Anya offered. "Not the Doctor."

Elizabeth looked back at the Doctor. "Good to see you're up to your old tricks," she said. "How'd you manage to talk them all into believing you?"

"You're the one holding the mind control device," the Doctor reminded her.

"Sorry," said Giles. "Did you say 'mind-control device'?"

"A particularly nasty one," the Doctor agreed. "The TARDIS picked it up, yesterday. I tried to track it down, but Elizabeth caught me, first."

"Because I wanted to talk to you," said Elizabeth.

"Oh, yes, that's right!" said the Doctor. "I remember that. You tied me up and stuck me in a blown-up building, right beside the Hellmouth, where you spent eight hours playing your little mind games. You know, you could at least have provided tea."

The Scoobies were all looking at one another.

"I told you Elizabeth could convince anyone of anything," said Anya. "I just… didn't realize she was using a mind-control device to do it."

"That time we didn't help the Doctor," said Tara. "That was because she didn't want us to."

"I thought it was slightly unusual that she was able to rally the city together so quickly," said Giles.

"And the notebook," Xander added. "She didn't want us to check the notebook, so she made us forget about it!"

"What notebook?" asked Elizabeth. "What are you guys talking about?" She stared at them. "Wait, wait. You think I've been mind-controlling you?"

The Scoobies all shifted uneasily.

"Well, nice little mind-control device you've assembled," said the Doctor. "Powerful enough to control a small town. People behaving oddly nearby. Not a hard conclusion to draw."

Elizabeth turned to Willow. "You know machines," she said. She thrust the device at Willow. "Here. Look at this."

Willow took the device, hesitantly, and inspected it. She blinked, then inspected it again. She looked up at the Doctor, confused. "There's no power source," she said. "It… doesn't work."
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