Disclaimer: See previous chapter.
Author's Note: I'd like to thank my reviewers, VillageOrchid, Runewolf, Genuka, PATM, and CrystalBlaze. Reading the latest review, I noticed something I did not intentionally do and for practically pointing out the irony if it, CrystalBlaze will get a shout-out in the next chapter. Keep your eyes open or you might miss it. In other news, I've gotten a recommendation! Thank you, saki!
“Sister, River,” the Doctor repeated, turning maniac eyes to his wife. “I never told you about her?”
River Song shook her head with a confused look in her own intelligent eyes. “Would you tell me about her now?”
“We should get your parents first,” he replied as he ran around the center console of his Type 40 TARDIS, as his granddaughter had once named the ship. “I don’t particularly want to repeat this story.”
“But, Doctor, wouldn’t she be in the time lock?” River asked carefully, wanting to be tactful but needing the answer. “You said nobody but you escaped.”
“River,” the Doctor turned away from the controls to face his curious and suspicious current traveling companion, “I love you, but I can’t get into this right now. I only want to tell this story once so could you please rein in your paranoia for the moment?”
“No need to get snappish,” River sounded like she was put out but cracked a smile when he turned back to the console. “We should arrive on Mom’s birthday. Seeing you again should make up for not buying her a present this year.”
“You get her presents?” the Doctor inquired with panic seeping into his voice.
“Every year,” River shrugged like it was nothing.
“So, June 12…2014,” River suggested as she pulled her long curly hair back and up into a pony-tail. “I think that’s six months since you last showed.”
The Doctor nodded and silently punched in the coordinates, even going as far as pulling the brakes so the ship didn’t make the grinding noise it usually did while in flight.
Somewhere in the mountains of Tibet lived an order of monks. These monks were in the middle of their evening meditation when a small nondescript key started glowing brightly; the key was tied to a string and hung in the middle of the large room. At some unknown signal, the monks’ eyes flew open and went to the key immediately.
“Whoa,” breathed a young man with dark brown hair.
The dark blue police box-shaped TARDIS materialized in the back garden of a modestly sized townhouse in some small town in England. The Doctor popped out, expecting his friends to come a-running, but was greeted instead with an empty and dark garden. He frowned and looked around as River stepped out and walked towards the house.
“I’m in the right place, right?” the Doctor asked, following his frizzy-haired wife.
“Yes, but it’s the middle of the night and you actually pulled the brakes for once,” River answered and carefully eased the back door open. “They really should learn to lock this door; wouldn’t want the wrong person to just waltz into their house.”
The Doctor nodded as he inspected the home of his best friend. The only other time he had seen the inside had been on Christmas so, naturally, he was curious to see it without all the outlandish decorations.
“Mom! Dad!” River called up the staircase with a small smirk; her parents hated it when she called them that.
Quite suddenly, there was a loud crash followed by a muffled scream. A moment went by before a disheveled young red-haired woman appeared at the top of the staircase. She blinked several times and narrowed her eyes to see into the darkness. River grinned up at her as a dark-haired man appeared behind the woman.
“River?” the woman called out as the man flipped a switch, flooding the staircase in a golden light.
“Hey, mum,” River smirked, motioning for the Doctor to step forward. “I’ve brought you a present.”
“Doctor!” Amy Pond exclaimed and practically threw herself down the stairs to hug the floppy-haired man in her living room.
“Pond!” the Doctor laughed, hugging her tightly for a few beats before setting her back on her feet as her husband came down the stairs. While Amy greeted her daughters, the Doctor turned to Rory Williams and shook his hand. “Nice to see you again, Rory.”
“You as well, Doctor,” Rory returned with a nod before leading the alien into the kitchen, where he flipped on more lights and started the coffee pot. “To what do we owe the pleasure of seeing you at this ungodly hour?”
“That’s a long story,” the Doctor sighed as the girls came in giggling over something – it probably had to do with him one way or another.
“Then let us wake up first,” Rory requested and pulled two coffee mugs from the cabinet. “River, would you like some coffee?”
“No, thank you,” the frizzy-haired blond declined as she settled on one of the barstools. “I hope we didn’t frighten you earlier.”
“No, not at all,” Amy shook her head and then ran her fingers through the tangled mess of flaming red hair. “We just didn’t hear the TARDIS so it was just a little startle.”
“You wouldn’t have even if you were listening,” River informed them. “The Doctor actually pulled the brakes this time.”
There were stunned looks all around as the Doctor blushed and looked down, his habit of leaving the brakes on burning at the forefront of his mind. Idle chitchat followed as Amy and Rory inhaled coffee and wolfed down a bowl of cereal each. Once they were awake and aware enough to deal with the Doctor, they led the other couple into the living room, where they settled around the blank television.
“So, what’s up?” Rory asked, always one to get straight to the point. He loved Amy, but it always took her forever to get around to asking the real questions. She adored the Doctor, always had, so it was hard for her to see him in a bad light, though Rory could always find the negative side to the Doctor and his crazy adventures.
“I need to tell you a story,” the Doctor replied, looking around with a paranoid air around him. “We should move this to the TARDIS.”
“Why?” Amy inquired as she leaned into her husband.
“What I’m about to tell you is the utmost secretive thing about me,” the Doctor told them gravely. “There has only been one other companion that knew of this. She, of course, lived part of it.”
“Doctor, you’re starting to worry me,” Amy commented softly. “What is so important and secret?”
He took a deep shuddering breath and began to tell them the story of his younger sister, the Princess with the power to tear down the dimensional walls if she so chose.
Within a week of the key glowing, the monks had dispatched a member of their order to deliver it as well as the location of the lock. The werewolf, the only member that hadn’t taken the sacred oaths, had made record time, arriving on the other side of the world in a few short days. Upon arriving in Sunnydale, he stuck to the shadows and only traveled by foot. He avoided non-active spots, knowing the Slayer would be in those places looking for things that lurk in the dark.
Laughter bubbled through her as Dawn watched Anya do the money dance at the end of a shift at the Magic Box. She had been there a week and had gotten to know each member of the Scooby Gang rather well – and rather quickly; it was like she already had a connection to each of them. She liked them all, but preferred the company of Anya, Tara, and Spike. There was just something about the bad-mouthed vampire, tactless ex-demon, and shy witch that pulled her to them.
“I’m gonna marry that girl,” Xander said softly. Buffy, the only one that could have heard him, looked over sharply while Dawn just rolled her eyes. She had seen it that first night when she looked at their timelines, but she had resisted the temptation to look forward and see how it ended. At the time, she hadn’t known how long she would be staying so she didn’t want to spoil anything, and now she’s glad she hadn’t peeked ahead any.
“What was that?” the blond demanded.
Before he could form a response, the bell jingled and her head spun to take in the man that had stepped inside and closed the door. He was both short and lean with dark spiked hair and a colorful century-long timeline. He hadn’t even lived a quarter of it yet, so Dawn was, naturally, curious about the man.
“We’re close, but if you’d like to spend your money here you are welcome back tomorrow!” Anya called from behind the cash register; she hadn’t even looked up as she said this. No-one had bothered to look up from whatever they were doing beside Dawn; they all figured he would get the memo and leave thereafter.
“I’m not here to buy anything,” he replied in a soft and familiar voice. At his remark, every pair of eyes snapped to him and Buffy jumped to her feet, falling into a defensive pose.
“Oz?” Willow breathed from the ladder leading up to the loft with the more magical books. Tara was behind her, as still as a statue on the smallish loft; the two had been looking for something, anything, to help figure out where Dawn had come from and why she couldn’t remember anything. Dawn, of course, knew that they wouldn’t be able to find anything, but there had been no harm in letting them try.
“Hey,” he returned, shifting uncomfortably; it was clear that he was in the last place he wanted to be and was facing the last people he wanted to see.
“What are you doing here?” Buffy asked harshly as she stepped forward to better defend her family. “Last time I checked, you were off being all wolfy.”
“I’m looking for someone,” Oz replied, holding up a small glowing key. “This led me here, but-”
“That’s mine!” Dawn shouted as she exploded to her feet. She quickly snatched it from the werewolf and looked it over with love in her eyes. It was small, very nondescript, and glowing brightly in her hand; she could hear it hum at her touch and she felt like humming right along with it. She had left it with the monks in Tibet so either this man had stolen it or was sent by the monks. She was inclined to believe the latter theory; what kind of thief would search out the owner of the stolen item?
“The lock is in the oldest graveyard,” Oz relayed the monks’ message before high-tailing it out of there. He had been shaking slightly since stepping into the shop, which could have led to a situation he would rather avoid completely.
Tearing her attention away from the small key, Dawn looked around, waved good-bye to everyone, and ran out of the door with quickness, leaving the Scoobies to watch the dust settle.
On autopilot, Dawn made her way through the small town and into the oldest part; she didn’t register one bit of the passing scenery as her entire mind was focused on the little key leading her home. Before she knew it, the long-legged brunette was standing before an ancient mausoleum sitting in the oldest part of the ancient cemetery.
“Oh, my poor baby,” Dawn cooed as she walked towards the doors, which were chained and padlocked closed. “I am so sorry you’ve had to keep this form. I hope the chameleon circuit works still.”
She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, taking in the presence of her ship, her home for the past several centuries. Easing her eyes open, Dawn stepped even closer and slid the small key into the lock, holding her breath until she heard it click open. The chain slid away and the doors swung open, revealing a gigantic interior. She glided inside as she took in the never-changed designed of her home; unlike her brother, she had taken such good care of her ship that it never had to regenerate with her.
The walls were slick and black with one taken up completely by windows, which weren’t visible from the outside. A walkway went around the wall and led off into a few different hallways, but there was a raised see-through platform about two feet off the ground; there were evenly spaced steps around the platform so you could get to it from any angle. The console was rounded and had all of its original parts with a large clear tube running in the dead center, going through the platform and meeting the ceiling.
A sigh escaped parted lips and she walked towards the console, her hands running over everything they could find. When she reached the console, she walked around it, flipping controls and making sure everything was still where it was supposed to be. Once all but one was set for the largest shopping center in the entirety of the universe, Dawn pulled the monitor over and got one last look at Sunnydale before she threw that last switch and disappeared into the Time Vortex.
It wasn’t until two hours after their arrival that the Doctor and River found themselves back in the TARDIS, this time with her parents. Both humans were freshly washed and dressed in their typical adventuring outfits: short skirt with leggings and bright tank top under a leather jacket for Amy and jeans, t-shirt, and jacket for Rory.
“So, where do we check first?” Amy asked as she hopped onto the railing surrounding the raised platform.
“I have the TARDIS looking for her signature,” the Doctor responded, adjusting the bowtie. “You think she’ll like this face?”
“I’m sure she’ll love this face,” River assured him and planted one on him. “I sure do.”
“How many have you gone through since you saw her last?” Rory asked, curious as curious could be.
“Um…” he paused as he thought. “This is my third one since she was hidden.”
“Will she even recognize you when we find her?”
“Not sure,” the Doctor shrugged. “I hadn’t recognized the Master, but then again, he was human at the time.”
“Not important,” the Doctor shrugged as the TARDIS beeped loudly. At the noise, he ran around the console and quickly set the controls to take them to the coordinates. They were thrown to the left as the ship jerked to the sides, traveling through the Time Vortex. Once they stopped shaking, the Doctor popped back to his feet, adjusted his red bowtie, and swung the monitor to face him.
“Where are we now?” Amy questioned as she accepted Rory’s help to her feet.
“Sunnydale, California,” the Doctor replied as he stepped away from the console and took River by her hand. “Late May of 2001; this was the closest I could come to tracking her down.”
“What’s your sister doing in America?” Rory asked as he wrinkled his nose at the prospect of stepping onto America soil again. He hated the memories that arose whenever he thought of the New World, and he just knew he was going to meet his death there. Honestly, they had been in more danger in the ‘peaceful’ country than they had on an alien planet!
“That is an excellent question, Mr. Pond,” the Doctor nodded approvingly. “Also one I don’t have the answer to.”
At that, the Doctor led the little group through the TARDIS door and into the cool night air of the small town they had landed in. The two native to Earth looked around as they tried to keep up with the other couple, who were being led by the low hum from the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. Rory was looking for danger while Amy looked around for anything that jogged her memory; when she had her heard the name of the town something started wiggling around in the back of her mind.
They saw several graveyards and churches, most well taken care of, but they didn’t stop until they were outside of a large, mostly burned and destroyed building. There were chain-link fences surrounding it, on which several signs of warning were hung, but there was one in particular that drew their attention.
“Site of Sunnydale High School,” Amy read softly as the Doctor ran his sonic screwdriver over it.
“She’s not here,” he muttered under his breath and started walking quickly.
The sight of the school had been enough to jog her memory; Amy had heard all about Sunnydale when she thirteen, a little under a month before her fourteenth birthday.
“Hey, didn’t this town collapse?!” Amy exclaimed as she ran to catch up with the Doctor. She grabbed his sleeve and pulled him around to look at her. “This town, Sunnydale, it collapsed ten years ago.”
“Ten years for you, yes,” the Doctor agreed. “But, Amy, that’s two years off for the people here.”
“What does that mean?”
“I means that we still have plenty of time to save it, but right now, I need to find my sister,” the Doctor told her with an emphasize on that ‘need’.
“As long as we save it,” Amy said sternly.
“When I find the Princess,” the Doctor promised.
The redhead nodded and the group set off again, this time quicker than before. They didn’t stop again until they were outside of a magic shop. The four of them shared a look before stepping inside, causing the bell above to jingle.
“Jesus Christ, we’re not open!” a young blond woman called as her head whipped up from the cash register. There was two other blond girls, one petite and dangerous looking and one curvy and fragile seeming, a red-haired girl, and two men, both dark-haired but on either end of the age scale. Every pair of eyes were on them and the Doctor felt a little uncomfortable.
“We’re terribly sorry, but we’re just trying to find someone,” River told them as she stepped forward. “We heard that his sister” – River motioned the Doctor – “was in the area and we’re just trying to find her.
“What does she look like?” the dangerous-looking blond inquired.
“Tall, lots of leg, big blue eyes, and long dark hair,” the Doctor described, remembering the appearance of his little sister. “She’s been hiding so she might have dyed it and gotten contacts.” He said this to cover up any difference in her appearance in case she had regenerated recently; all of her forms had been tall and long-legged.
“Oh, you just missed her,” the blond said in surprise. “She left not even ten minutes ago.”
“Where was she headed?” the Doctor asked, practically begging the universe to let him catch up to her in time.
“Silent Hill,” the young dark-haired man supplied. “It’s the oldest cemetery in town.”
“Thank you,” the Doctor nodded before turning on his heel and leading his group from the shop.
The four time travelers speed-walked through the town until they reached Silent Hill Cemetery; it was in the oldest section of town and was surrounded by dark and ominous woods. Almost everything within the gates was decrepit and crumbling, including some of the stone angels and other statues that the group avoided like the plague. In the far back, when the dates were the oldest, was a large clearing and nothing much else. The Doctor pulled his green-tipped sonic screwdriver and waved it around, looking at it curiously when it listed the data collected.
“What is it, Doctor?” Amy asked softly.
“She’s not here,” he said, his voice void of any emotion. “She was here, or at least her TARDIS was, but they are gone now!”
“It’s going to be okay, Sweetie,” River assured him as she wrapped her arms around his slightly shaking form. “You are going to find her; we are going to get your sister back.”
“Even if I have to blow up more robot ships,” Rory noted dryly as his hand searched out his wife’s and gave her a reassuring squeeze.
End Note: Thank you for reading and please don't forget to review!