: Yes. Originally, this story was intended to end the series. But... the ending... is so depressing... I said screw it! And wrote another story.
Summary? 2007. The ghost shifts have begun, the Archangel Network has launched, and someone's just fallen out of the Void. A petite blond girl. And now it's up to Buffy to deal with her.
It's got action! Adventure! Drama! Chocolate! Hypnotized squirrels and evil demons and Jack and Torchwood and the Doctor and... a whole heck of a lot of humor.
And some beautiful, really sweet "aw" moment scenes.
So even if you hated this story, stay tuned for "Happy Endings!"
Jack was cornered by the Viskolophonops. Its huge, slimy mouth open, displaying dozens of razor sharp teeth. Its mandibles clacking together, its eyes fixed on the helpless human it had just disarmed.
Jack spread his arms. "Go on," he said. "Wouldn't be the first time."
The Viskolophonops charged…
And was kicked back against the far side of the alley, denting a car nearby and setting off the alarm. The alien picked itself back up, trying to discover where his mystery assailant had come from, but she was back on him before he had time to uncover her location, dragging a sword down its soft underside, so that it gave one last desperate twitch, and then died.
Buffy jumped off the alien, towards Jack.
"Told you I didn't want you dead," she said, with a grin.
"You look happier," Jack remarked, as they sat down at a café nearby the Torchwood van. Where Buffy had, discreetly, managed to ditch her sword.
"I feel happier," Buffy agreed. "Just getting away from there, it's like…" She took in a deep breath of fresh air, to make a point. Then gagged on the smell of dead-alien that still clung to her clothes. "Okay, not exactly like that."
"And the Doctor?"
"Good," said Buffy. "Gone. I told him to check in on you."
"Hasn't so far."
"I never said he was good at doing what he was told."
For a moment, neither said anything. Buffy stared down into her coffee, her eyes drowning in the milky brownness of it.
"I'm sorry," she said, at last. "For how I treated you. I just… I feel terrible. I mean, I was going through some stuff, and I don't usually—"
"Woah!" said Jack, holding up his hands. "It's okay. It's fine. I'd just," with a wink, "like to do it again when you're a little more receptive."
Buffy gave a sideways smile. "Maybe later."
"I got time."
Once again, silence.
"Any idea what you're going to do with your life, now?" Jack asked.
"Not really," said Buffy. "I was thinking about bumming around here for a bit. The Tylers are here. And you're here. And Giles has been really nice about letting me sleep over at his house, for a few nights."
"It's a change, living in the UK," Jack told her.
"Yeah," said Buffy. "But I need a change. And a vacation." She paused. "And… money. I guess." She grimaced. "Damn, I forgot about money." She glanced up at Jack. "There isn't a Doublemeat Palace in the UK, is there?"
"You could always come work for me at Torchwood," said Jack. He gave a little shrug. "Get paid for doing what you're good at."
Buffy gave a small laugh. "Yeah, and wind up in another organization run by big-wig Doctor-fearers, where the average employee only survives about three years on the job. Like the Slayer and the Watchers' Council."
Jack considered this. "Well… that's not so good," he admitted. "But there are fringe benefits to working at Torchwood."
"Thanks," said Buffy. "But I can't do that, again. I've buried way too many people, recently. This is sort of more of a chance for me to stretch my legs, try something new, and get over the whole… Buffy-Death-connection that's going on."
"Cardiff," Jack explained, "is the rift the Doctor likes to use to refuel his ship. Stick around here long enough, and you'll catch up with him, again." He winked. "Might even be the one you're after."
Buffy hesitated. "Okay, that's actually a really good fringe benefit."
Then she sighed, and shook her head. "But… I dunno. Maybe it's better if I never meet the Doctor again. Just keep the memories I have, and move on." Her hand tightened around the coffee cup. "After all. Every time he meets me, stuff like this happens to him."
"That's not your fault," said Jack. "He gets into trouble no matter who he's with."
Buffy didn't seem convinced.
"Tell you what," said Buffy, with an abruptness that nearly spilled her coffee cup over, "if you Torchwood Cardiff guys ever need a hand, call me up. I can be, like, freelance or something."
"I'll do you one better," said Jack. "I'll give your name to UNIT and the others. Let them know that if there's ever an unspeakable evil they can't defeat using high-tech gadgets, you're the one to call. You'll get enough money that you won't have to flip burgers for a living, but you won't have to officially join anywhere."
Buffy's eyes lit up. "That's… wow. Thanks. I… really don't deserve that."
"Think of it as a thank-you," said Jack. "For saving the world so many times."
"And for telling me why I can't die," Jack continued. "Which I'm sure you're going to start doing any minute now."
The grin fell, a little. "I don't know very much," she confessed. "And even if I did — it's not my story to tell."
"That's all right," said Jack. "I'm not picky. What you got?"
Buffy gave a small shrug. "Well, I do know one thing."
"It definitely — definitely
— isn't Willow's fault!"
Jack waited for her to continue.
"That's all I'm getting," said Jack.
"What?" asked Buffy. "That's a lot. I mean, now you know that the reason you keep coming back to life isn't the reason I
keep coming back to life."
"Which would be… Willow," Jack verified.
"Yeah." She tilted her head to the side, staring off into the distance, frowning slightly. "If I ever did run off through time and space with the Doctor, I guess I'd have to take her with me. Otherwise, I might have trouble defying the laws of nature, when I die."
"You're really not going to look for him, anymore?" Jack asked. "You're really just giving up?"
Buffy swallowed around a lump in her throat. "I… don't think I'll ever stop looking for him," she admitted. "I think… maybe that's why I'm staying here. Because there's a part of me that's always looking for that Police Box." She looked over at Jack. "But I've got to move on, some time. Live my own life. Try to find my happy ending."
"Guess so," said Jack.
Buffy got up from the table, slipping back on her winter coat. "Thanks. For everything. And, really, if there's a massive apocalypse or something — you know who to call." She gave him a final grin, and then turned to leave.
Jack nodded, his eyes fixed on the table. Then, he started out of his reverie, and noticed she was leaving. "Buffy!"
She stopped, glanced over her shoulder at him.
"Just… if you're not going to tell me why I'm immortal," said Jack, "tell me this. Why's being around me a punishment, for you?"
Buffy said nothing, for a long moment.
"You and I, Jack," she said, at last, "we've both died. Both come back to life. We should be the same. But we're… opposites." She bit her lip. "Every time I run into you, I know it."
"You'll always be alive," Buffy explained. "Inside and out. No matter what or when or where or how. You'll always, always be alive."
Jack frowned. "And you?"
A hint of that horrible, lonely coldness drifted through Buffy's eyes, and she turned away. That deadness, deep inside. "Take care, Jack."
Then she — Buffy Anne Summers, the Slayer, the sister, the friend, lover, and forgiver — walked off into the distance, and faded out of sight.