Nov 1, 1997: Very Early Morning
: Dramady, YAHF.Word Count
: Familiarity with Tenth Doctor, and through to “Halloween”, Season 2 of Buffy. Timelines: Hm. Certainly not up to Bad Wolf Bay, but definitely as far as “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit” two-parter (2x9 and 2x10 respectively).Disclaimer
: I do not own Scooby, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, or David Tennant, though I’d very much like to own David Tennant. I am not profiting financially from this bit of silliness. Author's Note
: Thank you to everyone who's reviewed. I will be getting to individual reviews as time permits. Cross my hearts.Sunnydale, California
November 1, 1997
The Harris Household
Xander lay on his back with his arms crossed under his head, staring at the ceiling. He should be freaking out, he knew. He should be having the freak out to end all freak outs, but that sounded exhausting and after Ethan’s spell ended, he just didn’t have the energy to put into a proper freaking.
Besides, this was far from the weirdest thing to ever happen to the Doctor. Or, for that matter, plain old Xander. There were just as many Incan mummy girls, mantis ladies and possessed ventriloquist dolls swimming around in his head as there were pilot fish, Daleks and Sycorax.
And if that wasn’t the saddest fact about his life, he couldn’t think of another one.
He wondered if Buffy recalled anything about her blast to the past from the previous night. Somehow, he didn’t think she did. The noblewoman possessing her had seemed less of an actual personality and more of a caricature. The Doctor had known noblewomen from 1775, after all. He wondered if the pseudo-person had any traits that had left themselves imprinted on the Slayer, or if everything had faded with the spell.
Xander rolled off the bed and walked to the mirror, leaning against the bureau and staring at his reflection. He was exactly the same as he had been not twenty-four hours ago. Slightly goofy, sixteen, dark-haired and dark-eyed. And yet, he was forever different.
On the one hand, it was the very first time he had looked in the mirror to see a stranger staring back at him. On the other hand, this was old hat, and he looked in the mirror often enough to be strangely comfortable with the idea that he had no notion of who the reflected man really was. He sighed and pushed away from the dresser, shoving both hands in his hair. And to top it all off, he still wasn’t ginger. Red-haired! Not ginger, red-haired.
Sweet Rassillon, was he going to end up talking like Giles now?
Maybe a change of clothes would help. Xander, the Xander he had been – was it only yesterday? – scoffed at the idea that simply changing his clothes would help anything. But the Doctor understood that clothes made the man. He always had an easier time assimilating new bodies when he found them their own particular style.
He threw open the closet door and, even though he knew what to expect, nearly threw his arm over his eyes to protect his sight from the garish colors. Row upon row of Hawaiian shirts hung there, quietly menacing the vision of everyone who looked upon them.
On one hand, Xander loved them. On the other hand, good lord. Was there anything that wasn’t Hawaiian or flannel in here?
Xander remembered the Doctor’s ninth incarnation being very comfortable in jeans and a leather jacket. His ninth incarnation hadn’t lasted very long, but he could hardly blame the clothing for that. He rummaged through his closet, discarding plaid and color left and right, until there was a messy pile of shirts on either side of the doors. There wasn’t much left, once he’d taken those styles out of the picture. He had a couple of dark shirts, blue jeans, and one blue suit jacket whose pants were more than a little moth-eaten.
He pulled a black shirt, the suit jacket and a pair of jeans out, making a face as he did so. Times like this, he really missed the TARDIS and that gigantic closet.oOoOoOo
Now more suitably dressed, Xander wandered out his front door and into the Sunnydale night. Normally, he would load himself down with crosses, holy water and garlic before venturing anywhere near the post-sunset streets, but all he had tonight was his sonic screwdriver sitting comfortably in the inner pocket of his sports jacket. He sincerely hoped he wouldn’t run into Buffy; the last thing he wanted tonight was a lecture from the town’s resident Slayer.
She would have a point, though. Even before she had come to Sunnydale, before he knew the details of what exactly bumped in the night, Xander knew not to screw around with curfew. When the sun went down, he was in a well-lit area, or inside. End of story. There was still a part of him that was quivering in fear at the idea of being outside without Buffy or Willow or Giles or even Cordelia. If nothing else, Cordy would make an excellent distraction. He could push her at the vampires and then rabbit the other way while she was verbally eviscerating their fashion sense.
But the newest part of him, the memories of the Doctor, dulled the edge of that fear. He remembered an all-out war with vampires. He remembered staking the King of Vampires himself. Sunnydale wannabes paled in comparison to those horrors.
He sighed, shoving his hands in his pockets and hunching his shoulders as he walked. If it was just the memories, he could deal. He could be the king of dealing. Between his crappy parents and crappy teachers and Synder the troll and his extracurricular slayage activities, he knew how to cope with the weird stuff. But it wasn’t just the memories of a nine-hundred-odd year old Time Lord. It was the body of a Time Lord too.
“Well, well. What do we have here, boys?”
“I’d say it looks like a midnight snack, Jerry.”
“Heh, yeah. I’m hungry too.”
He looked up and cursed his inattention. Three vampires, game faces on, had come from a darker side street to block his way. He sighed again. “You really don’t want to do this,” he said, hand reaching into his pocket for the sonic screwdriver. If he could find the right setting, he could drive them off before they could attack.
Jerry stalked forward, flanked by the other two. None of them seemed the least bit shaken by his somewhat lackluster warning. “Oh, I think we do.”
His fingers just closed on the smooth shaft of the sonic when they made their first move. Jerry surged forward, his arm swinging in a clumsy but brutal right hook. Xander barely dodged it, pulling the sonic free. The flip-wallet containing the psychic paper came with it, and fell flat on the pavement. “Seriously?” he said, dodging another punch. “You really want to tangle with me? Do you even know who I am?”
“Don’t know, don’t care.” Jerry swung again and this time connected. Xander staggered back, nearly losing his grip on the sonic, eyes crossing. Ow, that hurt. He cleared his vision in time to dive to the side, avoiding the brunt of Jerry’s follow-up spin-kick. But he took enough of it to send him reeling again.
Desperately tapping the settings on the sonic, he scanned for the other two vampires. One was circling around, and the other was bent over to pick up his flip wallet, grinning with his tongue between his teeth. The idiot probably thought it was loaded with cash. “The frequency of ultraviolet light is normally between…10 and 400 nanometers. So that’s setting… Ah ha
! Setting 5428.21!” He swung the sonic around, leveled at the unnamed vampire circling behind him, and thumbed the activation.
The sonic lit up with its typical whirring pulse and the vampire’s left arm suddenly caught on fire. Xander rolled his wrist, flicking the sonic left and right, and more of the vampire caught fire. The creature let out a single, terrified scream and took off running. Flames billowed into the sky as the rest of the vampire went up. By twenty feet, dust floated on the wind.
Xander whirled on Jerry, sonic screwdriver extended aggressively. Jerry’s hands went up and he took a step back. “Whoa, man. Hey. Can’t you take a joke?”
The other vampire, who had picked up the fallen wallet, had gone pale. Well, paler. “Jerry?” There was a quaver in his voice. “Jerry, he’s an associate at Wolfram and Hart. Ad…Advisor to the Senior Partners.”
Xander had no idea what Wolfram and Hart was, but what the hell, he’d play along. “I asked you if you knew who I was,” he said mildly, but didn’t lower the sonic screwdriver.
Jerry backed off rapidly, nearly falling over himself to put distance between himself and Xander. “So sorry, sir,” he stammered. “We didn’t know. It won’t happen again.”
“Right. See that it doesn’t.” Xander tucked the screwdriver back in his pocket and held out his hand. He’d never seen a meek vampire before – Deadboy didn’t count, he was barely a vampire as it was – but the unnamed vampire who crept forward to place the wallet back in his hand was meek as a kitten. “Now go on, get out of here.”
“Yes sir,” the unnamed said, backed away, and then the two remaining of the trio turned tail and ran like hellhounds were nipping at their heels.
Xander watched them go, bemused and confused. He put the wallet away, wondering exactly what the hell had just happened. Well, not the vampire flambé
; he was fairly sure he knew exactly what that was. He’d done it, after all.
But the Senior Partners? Who in the name of the Exotar Alignment were they? And why would they terrify vampires?
He had come out without destination, but he had one now. He turned on his heel and started walking. He really needed to speak to someone –a companion
, the voice in the back of his head whispered – and he didn’t think either Buffy or Willow needed all this dropped on them at the moment. He was still as revulsed as ever to think of having a conversation with Deadboy, and he’d rather gouge out his own eyes than listen to Cordelia rant on and on.
That left Giles.
Giles was perfect, when he thought about it a little more. He was British, which the Doctor part of Xander always felt more comfortable around, he already knew about the Doctor, thus saving any messy, drawn-out long explanations, and he was the one person Xander knew in town guaranteed to have a decent tea pot. Even in the unlikely event Giles couldn’t help him, he could still get a good cuppa before he went home.