: And because I'm about to head off to the east coast for Thanksgiving, I figured I might as well give you the end of the story! Hope you enjoyed "Something".
Next up, I'll be posting "Your Nature", which is basically finished, except that it keeps changing slightly due to my changing around the plot/backstory of the two stories that follow it. Regardless, I really like "Your Nature". When I get to the end of it, I always say, "Aw, that was really nice."
Plot summary for "Your Nature":
A war-weary, 2003 Buffy finds herself vaulted into an altered version of her own past, in which the First Evil is guaranteed to succeed in his plans. She has to stop the First, change time back, and... okay, seriously, who's the big-eared English Northerner wearing the leather jacket that keeps following Buffy around?
EpilogueSunnydale, May 26, 2000
"And that's why Amy and Rory were running around in your past," Buffy concluded. "So that the Doctor and I could save the galaxy. And maybe the universe."
Riley didn't answer for a very long moment. He just sat there, hands on his knees, staring at the ground in front of him. "I don't remember any of this," he told her, at last.
"Yeah, the Doctor said Walsh probably used some memory alterer on you," said Buffy. "But, trust me, that's what really happened!"
"Yes. I… see," Riley said.
"Yeah," said Buffy. "Saving stuff. Yay!"
"What you're saying," Riley continued, still not looking at her, "is that the Doctor created Adam."
Buffy blinked. "Wait, what?"
"The Doctor went back in time," said Riley, "and made sure that Adam was smart enough, lethal enough, and built well enough that he'd be able to stop these Daleks in the future."
"Um, actually, I think the Doctor just made sure Adam couldn't get killed by Dalek weapons," Buffy said. "The other stuff I'm pretty sure was Professor Walsh being all crazy scientist lady."
"Which means," Riley cut in, "that everything that happened at the Initiative, all the people that died because of Adam — even that little kid that got torn apart when Adam first escaped — that was all because of the Doctor."
Buffy shook her head. "Riley, you're missing the point. Adam needed to be immune to Dalek firepower, otherwise the Daleks would have just killed Adam and then gone on to destroy the Galactic Federation."
"If the Doctor hadn't made Adam invincible," Riley growled, his hands clenching around his knees, "maybe the Initiative could have taken Adam ourselves, and he wouldn't have needed to be
in the 39th century."
Buffy gave a little laugh. "No, no, you're getting your causality all mixed up," she explained. "Adam's always been and will always be in the 39th century. We couldn't change that on this end, because at this end, we were just seeing the effects of what was happening in the future. Even if Adam had been killed earlier, they'd still have dug him up, again, in the 39th century. That part was fixed in time. What we could
do, though, was go back even further in time and make sure that Adam and the Daleks' armies would be able to wipe each other out."
Riley glared at the ground. "The Doctor killed everyone in the Initiative."
"No, Professor Walsh killed everyone in the Initiative, by creating… oh, never mind," Buffy sighed.
She should have known this wouldn't work. Her and Riley's relationship was already falling apart as is. Any time she brought up the Doctor, it just added extra strain on what was already breaking.
She changed the topic.
The TARDIS, the Time Vortex
The Doctor hopped around the central console, trying to look busy to disguise the fact that he had absolutely no idea where to take River, right now. She was expecting something that was a human-conventional date. What did humans do on dates, anyways?
"Nice crossbow," said River.
The Doctor spun around, and noticed River, in her evening dress, examining a crossbow the Doctor hadn't noticed was there.
"Must be Elizabeth's," the Doctor said. "I suppose she left it here." Which was worrying, considering that had taken place at least fifty years ago, for him. Why hadn't he noticed a crossbow in his TARDIS for fifty years?
River picked it up, and measured out the sights on it.
"I know!" the Doctor cried, spinning back to the central console. "Vampire hunt! That's a very conventional dating custom in this galaxy! After all, as a friend of mine has assured me, every good date must end in a full-blown, no-hands-barred, vampire-slaying free for all!" He pulled the dematerialization lever. "And who am I to argue?"
Sunnydale, August 22, 1999
Down in the Initiative, Professor Walsh surveyed the damage done to Adam. She had been furious about it, before. But now…
She flicked her eyes over to the metal casing her team had dug out of the tunnels. The creature inside was worthless — completely fried and dead. But the case… the technology…
Walsh would rebuild. Make Adam better. Make Adam stronger, more intelligent. Make Adam completely resistant to even this kind of energy blast. Adam would be the ultimate warrior, the ultimate person, one who couldn't feel hurt or pain or loss. One who'd never feel sorrow or remorse or inadequacy.
Professor Walsh stepped out of Lab 314, past a very busy-looking Marianna Forlich, past the break-room where Penelope Hunter was gossiping with Julie Parsoner, and down into the Pit.
There, Francis Angleman was bent over his latest surgery — a gooey demon creature that they'd just captured yesterday. He looked up as he noticed Walsh entering the area.
"Dr. Angleman," said Walsh, with a smile. She leaned over the cadaver. "I've just seen the future. And it's spelled 314."
Lasky's Nebula, 3847
He'd been flying for bloody ever, now.
And it wasn't as if he'd object all that much, except that he'd run out of smokes a few light years back, and he was now running pretty low on food (and if he didn't get the specially created artificial substitute he was used to, he was going to start showing his age). All of which meant that now he was out in the middle of nowhere, bored as sin, with no one to talk to and not a lot of time left.
(He'd have already been there, by now, if it hadn't been for that ruddy space cop. Cops were always out for his blood, these days. If he didn't have his Shadow Proclamation pass, he'd have died a number of times during this trip.)
But when he saw the IPSA space ship in front of him, he knew that finally — finally — he'd made it.
He pressed a few buttons, and made contact.
The screen popped up mid-air, and he shielded his eyes with his arm. Ruddy fusion lights. Ruddy simulated sunlight. Ruddy high definition.
"Could you bloody well turn the contrast down, please?" he demanded. "Don't know when I'll get around to buying another leather jacket, and I don't want this one scorched."
The woman on the other end of the display, a girl with purple hair, turned down the contrast, and then said, "This is Vivian Renkirst of the IPSA fleet. State your name and business, please."
"Name's Spike, little lady," he said. "And I'm calling for a skinny bloke. Tall, awkward, ruddy long hair, likes to jump about a lot. Calls himself 'the Doctor'. He turned up there?"
Vivian grimaced, then spun around to the others behind her, discussing something quietly.
"Might not have arrived, yet," said Spike. "My calendar's probably off. I was aiming for Earth Date January 11." Which was difficult, considering he hadn't set foot on Earth for nearly a millennium, now.
"I'm… sorry, sir," Vivian said, turning back to the screen. "I'm afraid you just missed him."
Spike stared, for a second, unable to move. "I what?"
"I've been told the Doctor just left," said Vivian. "About an hour or two ago."
Bloody hell! Spike had one thing to do, one date in history that Buffy had asked him, over and over again, to make sure he got to — and he'd gone and bloody missed it! Some great friend he was!
"Yeah, well, if he does show up, again, just tell him Buffy's still alive after 2001," said Spike. "Cause Willow brought her back. Just… if he ever comes back here."
Which Spike knew he wouldn't. Good for you, Spike. You bloody wanker.
On the screen, a woman with black hair leaned down. "Officer June T. Marya, Korjensky Official. Sorry to intrude, but we were just doing a routine scan and… your life-sign readings are… a little odd. Would you mind identifying your species?"
Spike sighed, and fished around in his leather jacket. He brought out his Shadow Proclamation pass, and shoved it against the camera lens.
"There! See? Vampire," said Spike. "Endangered Species. And yeah, I got a soul, and yeah, I'm under the protection of the Shadow Proclamation. So no wooden stakes for Spike, today, got that?"
There was a pause from the other end, as all the women nearby leaned in to read the pass. Then they all frowned.
"Why aren't you sparkly?" they asked, in unison.
Spike dropped the pass back onto the dashboard of his ship. "Right. I don't have time for this. If you'll excuse me, I've got a very overdue appointment with the nearest pan-galactic gargleblaster."
And he shut off the screen, redirecting the space ship to the nearest bar he could find.
He took out the folded note, 1800 years old, that he'd held onto since she'd given it to him. Buffy's handwriting: "January 11, 3847. Lasky's Nebula. IPSA."
The last thing he had of hers.
He tucked the note back into his pocket. "Vampire with a soul," he muttered. "But no sense of time."