: Totally love this section. It cracks me up.
I think I love all the funny bits of this story, because they are so nice after the dark parts.
"Bloody hell, do I have to do everything
for you?" Spike asked, spraying Angel with the fire extinguisher for, what felt like, the hundred thousandth time.
Angel raised up the Amulet. "You said it'd activate in sunlight."
"Yeah, well, it's your funeral, mate, not mine," said Spike. He shook the fire extinguisher, as the foam resided. "Last trial run, anyways. This thing's out of juice."
"Maybe the Amulet only works when you
wear it," Angel pointed out. "That prophecy we got in this Amulet's future did say — not me, and not Buffy."
Spike thunked the empty fire extinguisher on the ground. "Like I said," he snapped. "I'll help you save the world. But no more bloody amulets!"
"Are you guys still trying to get that thing to work?" Joanna asked, poking her head outside. "It's been hours."
"The Doctor gave it to us, specifically, because we knew what it does and how it works," Angel told the other two. "He wouldn't have given it to us if we couldn't activate it."
Joanna rolled her eyes. "You don't know him very well, do you?"
Spike and Angel looked at one another. Then back at Joanna.
"The Doctor always gives you stuff for a reason," Joanna said. "But the reason isn't always what he says it is."
"Buffy, we've gone over this before," Willow said. "The Doctor isn't from Earth. Magic is. I can't find him using magic. Not back when he was stuck in the Initiative. Not now."
Buffy looked away from Willow. "Okay."
Willow studied Buffy, carefully. "You want me to try, anyways."
"I'm not going to force you to do something you're uncomfortable with," said Buffy.
Willow felt the frustration bubbling up inside of her. "No, Buffy, you're not listening!" she said. "This isn't some post-magical-addiction issue! Even when I was all-powerful, evil-magic, destroy-the-world Willow, I couldn't
have found the Doctor! Because he's not from Earth!"
"You felt the TARDIS," Buffy pointed out.
felt the TARDIS," Willow said. "The TARDIS was screaming! It wanted someone to notice."
Buffy didn't answer, but Willow could see that terrible look of disappointment washing over her. Buffy had known, of course, due to the Initiative thing. But she must have still really hoped that maybe, this
time… Willow would be able to help.
"Joanna," said Buffy, at last. "She said… something about a psychic link. Between her and the Doctor. She's human. Maybe, if you…"
Willow shook her head. She'd had the same idea. "I talked to Joanna about it. The psychic link cut out a while ago. There's nothing."
Buffy muttered something, under her breath.
Buffy snapped her head up to Willow. "I said, you can bring me back from the dead! Go against every law of nature there is! But you can't find the Doctor!"
Willow examined Buffy, carefully. "This… Riley thing," she realized. "You're really worried about it."
"No." Buffy turned away and walked over to the other end of her office. Fiddling with some papers, trying to look busy. "Riley's coming," she said. "And that's great. Really, really great."
"And if we just happened to find the Doctor and get him safely under your protection before Riley arrives, I bet that'd be great, too," Willow guessed.
"Riley's… a good guy," Buffy said. Firmly. "I trust him with the Earth."
Just the Earth. Of course. Not with anything or anyone that wasn't from Earth.
"I just…" Buffy stopped. Then looked back at Willow. "Spike died. He trusted me, and I just… lost him. Burned him away. I lost Spike, and now I'm going to… lose…" She glanced down at the ground. "I can't. I just… can't
"I wish I could help you," Willow said, trying to make her voice as soothing as possible. "Really, I do. But… think about it, Buffy. Even if I could create a… find-the-Doctor spell… what entity would I invoke to make it work? It's not like there's some… all-powerful… Protect-the-Doctor super entity out there."
Buffy froze. Her hands shaking. Then spun around to face Willow, her entire face lighting up.
"All powerful Protect-the-Doctor entity!" she cried.
Then she ran over to Willow, and swept her into a tight hug. The hints of tears in Buffy's eyes.
"Thank you, Willow," Buffy breathed. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
"There really is
an all-powerful, Doctor Protecting super entity out there?" Willow asked. "Seriously?"
"Yes," said Buffy, gathering together everything she needed for a simple summoning spell. "And he happens to like me."
"Uh-huh," said Xander. "Right. And that's why you've not managed to find the Doctor for the last three and a half…" He stopped, under Buffy's death-glare. And raised up his hands in surrender. "All right! Doctor-Protecting super entity loves you! No arguments from me!"
Buffy took out a piece of chalk, and drew a circle on the floor. A circle surrounding her. Then spread the herbs she'd assembled around the chalk circle, and began. "I invoke thee, entity — all powerful, all seeing. I summon thee into this realm. Summon thee into this corporeal plane. Blessed be the name of…" Buffy stopped. Then realized she'd hit a small snag in her plan. "Goddamn it! He doesn't have a name!"
"Don't take it so personally," came an English-accented voice from behind her.
Everyone in the room turned, to find themselves face-to-face with a tall man with blue eyes and close-cropped brown hair, wearing a leather jacket and speaking with a Northern English accent.
Xander squinted. "Hang on. I know I've seen that face somewhere before."
Buffy, in the meantime, jumped to her feet, her eyes fixed on the entity before her. The one who had no name. "You," she said. "Mr.… No Name… Whatever. You were created to protect the Doctor, right? That's your job."
"Much as I can," the entity replied. "Considering."
"Well, he's in trouble, right now," said Buffy. "And I need your help. I need to find the Doctor. No — not just that." Because what use was finding the Doctor, if she couldn't fight back against these TBVs? "I need… something I can use to fight back. Something really powerful. I need to save him. And… just…" she took a deep breath. "…I'd like… some sign that he's still alive."
Because above all else, Buffy knew, she really needed hope.
The entity stared at her, horror on his face. "You… you're askin' me to…"
"Yeah, I am," said Buffy. She gave a radiant, sweet smile. "And… you can't say no to me. Remember?"
The entity threw up his hands in irritation. "You thick-headed, imbecilic, stupid ape!" he snapped. "You have any idea what you've just done? With everything else that's going on and the contract stretched to its limit? You have any idea what your little wish really means?!"
Buffy held her cool. Crossed her arms. Didn't let his rage affect her.
She wasn't about to back down about this.
"I can't say no to you!" the entity continued. "You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it! Was already plannin' on intervenin', here, even if you'd kept your yap shut. But, oh no, you had to summon me here and ask, didn't you? Had to make a big stink!"
Buffy was a little dumbstruck.
"Now, if I do say no — game is up!" the entity continued. "Everything comes out in the open. So… can't do that. But if I say yes — becomes an impossible choice. Choice demanding a sacrifice. People could die — entire universe could end!" He pointed at her. "That's what you've done!"
"Okay, okay," said Buffy. "New wish, then. I want you to help me find the Doctor, help me save the world, help me save his life, give me something to fight with, and
make sure the universe doesn't end. That help?"
The entity didn't seem placated. "No."
"Look," said Buffy, "I'm sorry about this… whatever it is I've screwed up for you. But I've already asked you for help. I can't exactly undo that, now."
The entity's fury melted into angry resignation. "Suppose not."
"And if you're screwed no matter what," said Buffy, "then there's no harm in agreeing to help me, is there?"
The entity sighed. "You're really not gonna back down on this."
"Even knowin' all the consequences," the entity continued. "All the risks. Even knowin' that — if I do this for you, whatever winds up happening as a result is your own fault — you still
want me to do this?"
The entity sighed. Then muttered a, "See what I can do." And disappeared.
Buffy felt a small smile tug at the edges of her lips. Go her, for knowing a super-entity that was willing to do whatever she asked him!
"Buffy," said Willow. "That… entity. It's… I mean…"
"A friend of mine," Buffy said.
Xander snapped his fingers. "I got it!" he shouted. "That entity! He looks just like all those pictures of the Doctor that your crazy nutcase friend Clive Finch put on his webpage!"
"Yeah, that's because it takes on the appearance of the Doctor's Ninth…" Buffy stopped. "Hang on. Clive Finch is so not
"Have you read
his webpage?" asked Xander. "I've actually met aliens, and I still think Clive Finch is one seriously crazy UFO conspiracy nut."
"Buffy," Willow cut in, before they could get too distracted from their original subject. "You just summoned an all-powerful entity, and asked him to do something that could end the universe."
Buffy gave a small shrug. "Yeah," she said. "But he won't."
"You don't know that," said Willow. "If you give these entities a chance, they can do unspeakably powerful…"
"Willow, this is an all-powerful super-entity designed to protect the Doctor, who happens to have a human soul," said Buffy. "He's really, really
not going to end the universe. I'm positive."
Willow said nothing for a few moments. Then, "What about the 'results'?"
Buffy frowned. "Huh?"
"That entity," said Willow. "He said whatever happens as a result of your wish — it's going to be your fault. So… what happens?"
"Does it matter?" Buffy sighed.
"Will, as long as the Doctor gets rescued, the world is saved, and the universe is okay, I'm not all that picky," said Buffy. "Whatever the future brings, I can handle it. Let's just worry about the present, okay? Because, if we don't, this world's not going to have a future."
And Buffy had way too many problems, right now, to be able to deal with some other 4th dimensional craziness on top of it all.
A flicker out of the corner of their eyes, and Buffy turned to find the entity-without-a-name once again appearing in front of them, hands in the pockets of his leather jacket.
"You're sure?" he asked Buffy. "Really, really sure?"
"Really, really, really," Buffy agreed.
"You meant to call me
?" the entity continued. "To help you? No matter what the implications — long as it doesn't destroy the universe?"
"For the last time, yes!" Buffy snapped.
The entity sighed. "All right, I'll tell her you're sure," he said, fading away. "But I don't think your younger-self's in any mood to listen."
Buffy froze. The tiniest hint of a thought beginning to blossom inside her head. "My younger-self…"
"Anyone else feeling a little weirded out by the all-powerful, non-corporeal entity that shows up looking like dead people and doesn't
want to kill us?" Xander asked.
Buffy wasn't listening, though. She'd suddenly worked it out. Worked it all out. Because… he'd told her. Before.
"My superpower is mucking about with history. So by the time you actually ask me for help, I've already done it
An army of Slayers — powerful enough to fight back against vampires (if Buffy could ever figure out some weapon that would actually kill the TBVs). Her transportation to that other world, during 2003 — which had to be filled, Buffy was sure, with the information she'd need, now, to help her find the Doctor. And the most obvious thing of all — the sign that the Doctor was still alive, and unvampirized. By showing her what the world would be like, if the Doctor had actually become evil.
Buffy burst into laughter.
"Oh, wow," she said. "I… don't know if I'm a genius, or really stupid."
Xander and Willow looked at one another. Then at Buffy. "What did you do?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure," said Buffy, "that, among other things, I've just become responsible for the creation of the Scythe." She glanced up at the Scythe, where it was hanging in its place of honor, on the wall. "No wonder it didn't work against the TBVs."
Xander gave Buffy a completely blank look.
"If it had worked," Buffy explained, "then I'd already have hacked the TBVs to pieces, found the Doctor, and rescued him by now. Without ever calling on the Doctor-Protecting Super Entity in the first place. Which meant the Scythe would never have been created, super massive paradox, and the collapse of all of time and space. Which Mr. Powerful Entity just avoided." She grinned. "He's good. I'll give him that."
"This… Doctor Protecting Super Entity that can't say no to you, you mean," said Willow.
Xander leaned over to Willow. "I know this may sound like a dumb question, but… if this is a Doctor
-Protecting super entity, why's Buffy
the one it can't say no to?"
"I was thinking exactly the same thing," Willow muttered.
Once more, a shimmer in the air, as the being who resembled the Ninth Doctor reappeared.
"Right, then!" he announced, with grin. "Went back through time. Altered a bit of history. Managed to psychically reunite a tortured Gallifreyan baby's soul using a regenerative recycler which activated the Potential Slayers. Avoided a universe-ending paradox with that one, too, before you ask. Also helped out a group of alien refugees — 'guardians', called themselves. Nice women. Alice was sweet. I gave you all the information you requested. Plus — small bonus — managed to get rid of a pesky group of Daleks in the 39th century, and, in the even more distant future, divert the Oblivion War. Most horrific war in the history of the human race — gone!" His grin widened. "You're welcome!"
Willow and Xander just stared.
"And, to show you how good I am," continued the entity that wasn't the Ninth Doctor, nodding towards the door, as his form vanished into thin air, "even brought you some moral support."
Just as the entity faded completely out of existence, Dawn ran into the room, cell phone pressed against her ear, talking animatedly to someone on the other end.
She looked up at Buffy, and handed the phone over to her.
"It's Giles," she said. "Apparently, there's this guy that's seen you on the Powell Estates, who keeps following Giles around London and won't stop flirting with him. And Giles wants you to get Mr. Harkness to stop."
Buffy's grin grew even wider. As she took the phone.