: And the last chapter!
I think Buffy redeems herself, in the end. I don't know if anyone else thinks that, but I do.
Anyways, next up is the Years that Never Were. I've read through that story, and I, personally, like it a lot. It contains much Doctor/Buffy cuteness, along with Seo being brave (I love Seo being brave. There's something wonderful about that), the return of Luke Smith, Alison being snarky, and Dawn making good use of her invisi-key. Plus, cameo from Doctor #2!
There are lots of bits that will make you laugh out loud (Anya has a number of amazing lines, in there), and there are bits that will make you cry (that Leeds Labor Camp part kills me every time). But all-in-all, I think it's a good story.
We'll see if anyone else agrees with me.
Enjoy the end of Boyfriendish!
"I can't believe she did that," said Willow, once they'd all heard.
Tara shook her head. She'd only met Faith briefly, and she couldn't believe it, either.
"I mean, we spent all of last year trying to get through to her," said Willow. "And then, when she woke up, Buffy was all giving her another chance. And she was always just… kind of… insane."
"I guess… the Doctor… really does change people," said Tara.
For a few moments, they said nothing.
"Where's he, now?" asked Tara.
"With Buffy," said Willow. "They've kind of got a lot to talk about."
"So you knew," Buffy verified. "That whole time. You knew it was her. And not me."
The Doctor, attired, once more, in full pinstripe-suitedness and trench coat, didn't answer. Just stood by the door, hands in his pockets. Eyes on Buffy. Face stony.
"You had telepathic sex with her — on purpose — when you knew it wasn't me!" Buffy said.
"It wasn't sex," the Doctor said, in a low voice. "Just some sparks and flashes. Distraction. Telepathic connection."
thought it was sex," said Buffy.
The Doctor looked out the window. His eyes not yielding. For a few moments, there was complete and utter silence between them.
"You almost killed me, tonight, Elizabeth," he said, at last.
"So that was why you did it?" said Buffy. "Some kind of revenge thing on me for not telling you about Faith and the Watchers' Council? You knew it would hurt me, so you just slept around?" She shook her head. "I thought I could trust you!"
"So did I," the Doctor said, very quietly.
He turned back to face her. And Buffy realized… that he was angry. He was really, really
Buffy was a little taken aback.She
was the wronged party, here! This was supposed to be the moment she shouted at him, he got all guilty and caved about the relationship issue, and they finally began to say they were in a formal relationship. With no sleeping around!
He was supposed to be begging her to forgive him!
But the Doctor, after giving her one last angry stare, just turned. And headed for the door.
"I can't be around you, right now," he told her, as he opened it.
Buffy jumped up off the bed. Suddenly alarmed.
"But… but… you…" Buffy started.
And then the door snapped shut behind him. And he was gone.
"I just don't get it," Buffy told the all-amazing, super-mega-wonderful Jonathan. They were having lunch in a café littered with posters advertising his role in the Matrix and other Hollywood hits. "I mean, he does intimate sex-type things with Faith, knowing she's Faith… and suddenly it's about how he
can't trust me
Jonathan nodded. Only pausing, briefly, to sign an autograph for an adoring fan.
the wronged party, here," said Buffy. "I'm the one he lied to. I'm the one he—"
"Did he lie to you about it?" Jonathan asked her. "I thought you said he brought it up the moment you two got together. You were the one who stopped him, before he could finish."
Buffy didn't answer. Because she was embarrassed to admit… that maybe Jonathan had a point.
"What he did wasn't right," said Jonathan. "But what you did wasn't right, either. You didn't tell him about Faith. You didn't tell him about the Watchers' Council. And because of that… you nearly got him killed. Or turned into the Council's slave."
"I didn't want him to…" Buffy started. Then hesitated. Didn't want him to walk into trouble? But he would have been safer if she'd just told him the truth from the start. "I guess I might have messed up a little. But he's smart! He should have worked out what happened without needing to go into Faith's mind!"
"Unless he was worried about you," said Jonathan. "Worried that if he didn't act fast, you'd be killed."
Buffy didn't say anything.
"You've been making decisions for him," Jonathan pointed out. "Not giving back his memories. Picking and choosing what parts of his past he should know about. Of course he's going to feel like you used him."
"But he's happy this way," said Buffy. "He's happier not knowing what he did. All that guilt and self loathing and misery — it's gone!"
Jonathan nodded, slowly. "So that's what it is," he said. "He did something terrible in his own past. Something he can't forgive himself for. You're trying to make sure he doesn't find out."
"I'm… protecting him," said Buffy, quietly.
"But he doesn't know that," Jonathan told her.
Buffy said nothing, just looked down at the table.
"You can't protect him from himself forever, Buffy," Jonathan said. "If you really want this relationship to work, you both have to start opening up. You can't build trust with lies."
She stood in front of the TARDIS. Hesitating, for a long moment. Then, swallowing her own pride, she knocked on the door.
The Doctor opened it.
And they both stood there. Just looking at one another. Not saying a word.
"I'm… sorry," Buffy said, at last. "Can I come in?"
"I'm not saying what you did wasn't wrong," said Buffy, sitting down in the jumpseat, elbows on her knees. "And I'm still pretty angry about it. But… I guess I wasn't exactly a saint, myself."
For a long moment, silence.
"I thought you were locked inside her mind," the Doctor said, at long last. "I was trying to get deep enough inside… to release you. Before she compressed you to death."
Buffy absorbed this. It didn't… get rid of the sting… but it helped a little. She guessed. Maybe.
(No, it didn't.)
"Those three said… the Slayer was the reason I was alone," the Doctor continued. He wasn't looking at her. "I… assume they weren't talking about you, in particular."
Buffy looked up at him. Surprised.
He had heard that?
"The Watchers' Council… has done some bad things, in the past," Buffy said, carefully skirting around the main issue. "You traveled back in time, and found out all their secrets. Yelled at them. Now they want to find you, so they can make sure those secrets stay secret."
The Doctor nodded. Still not looking at her.
"I guess… they don't really see non-humans as real people," Buffy said. "I used to think like that. I almost put a sword through your head the first day I met you, because you weren't human, so I thought…." She stopped. Bit her lower lip.
For the first time since they'd started speaking, the Doctor looked over at her. Caught her eyes with his own.
"Faith, she… looked like you," the Doctor said. "Sounded like you. But didn't act like you — not at all. And when she pushed me away… on that space ship… it triggered something. Deep in my survival instincts. Something that survived the memory wipe."
Buffy stared at him.
"Fear," he told her. "Raw, burning fear. Fear of you
Buffy wasn't sure what to say. She knew there was some other-her that had travelled with the Doctor, once upon a time. But she had never realized that… his relationship with other-her had wound up implanting something like that inside of him.
"Why am I alone?" the Doctor asked her. "Why is everyone else dead? What did I 'survive', and what's the Council's role in it?"
Buffy opened her mouth. Then stopped. Hesitated.
"You… saw good in Faith," said Buffy, carefully, "even though she tried to kill off everyone in Sunnydale, last year. You'd forgive her everything, because you saw something good in her."
Buffy took a deep breath. "And… if it were me
?" she continued, very softly. "If I'd
done something… I wasn't proud of. Something I was really sorry about. Something… I thought I really had to do. For a really good reason. Would you forgive me?"
The Doctor said nothing for a long moment.
Buffy turned pleading eyes on him. "Please," she said. "I just need to know. Would you forgive me?"
For the first time, a smile tugged at his lips. "Always," he confessed.
And they ran to one another, hugging tightly. Both relieved that… the hard part was over. That they'd forgiven one another, and could move on. Continue into the future, without guilt or anger bogging them down.
And Buffy decided.
He couldn't forgive himself. For what he'd done to his home. His people. His planet. But… if he'd forgive her…
Then she'd take responsibility for it. All of it.
She'd do that for him.
"I guess Jonathan was right, after all," Buffy muttered. "As usual."
The Doctor quirked an eyebrow at her. "Jonathan? Who's Jonathan?"
"You know, Jonathan?" said Buffy. "Jonathan Levinson? Super famous? Starred in the Matrix? Basketball legend? Posters of him everywhere! Most important monster… fighter… in human… history…" She trailed off, as she noticed the expression on the Doctor's face. "Uh, oh. You've got your 'something's wrong' face on, again."
A small grin crept up the Doctor's face. As he offered her his hand.
Buffy took it.
And together, they raced off into their next adventure.