Not Everything on the Telly is Fake...
Chapter One: Yet Another
Disclaimer: I own none of the series in this story.
Everyone knows the way the story’s supposed to go. It’s Halloween; Snyder says that everyone’s supposed to find a costume. Buffy Summers becomes Lady Useless, Xander Harris becomes Soldier Boy, and Willow Rosenberg becomes a ghost. The night ends with Ethan Rayne and Rupert “Ripper” Giles having it out and the bust of Janus being smashed, returning everyone to normal. You would think, then, that such a night would be a fixed point in time, unchanging. Of course, given the variations on the night, most resulting in Xander, of all people, having powers, it’s fairly obvious that the night is not a fixed point.
Most people see time as a strict progression of cause and effect. Ethan Rayne sells costumes and the Scoobies buy them. He casts a spell and the Scoobies become them. Giles manages to break the bust and things return to normal. Of course, time isn’t quite that. It’s more mutable. More of a ball of timey-wimey… stuff that you can just kind of tease things out of. A tiny flick here and a civilization rises four hundred years from now. Placement of a scarf there, and a girl becomes… Well, now I’m getting ahead of myself.
My name was
Buffy Summers. I was the Slayer. Now I am oh so much more. It’s my own fault really, though I suppose I could blame Giles or Xander. I am no longer the Slayer, no longer human. Of course, you already knew that. I’m beginning to see why I’ve called you sexy in the past.
I suppose I should start at the beginning. Not my
beginning per se, but it is directly relevant to me. Well, part of me anyway. This always sounds better with a British Accent, of course, given recent events, it certainly is a lot easier for me to pull one off. Anyway, it begins as the following:
“This world is older than you know. Contrary to popular belief, it did not begin as a paradise. For eons, demons walked the earth, made it their home, their hell. In time
they lost their purchase on this reality and the way was made for mortal animals. For man. When the last Old One left Earth, it mixed its blood with the blood of a human, creating the first of the Vampires.”
Kind of spooky if you think about it. All those prehistoric demons were walking about. Of course, humanity had to develop its own mechanism to defend itself. They managed to find a way in one of the most sickening fashions.
“Into every generation is born a Chosen One. She alone will have the strength to face the Vampires, to stand against the darkness and to stem the tide of its spread. She is the Slayer.”
The creation of the Vampire Slayer is one fixed point that I regret most being unable to stop. Slayers have always been necessary on Earth. Pity that. Still, that’s not where this story begins. Fast-forward a few millennia.
“Alright Joyce… push!”
Not far enough. Definitely not far enough. Seventeen years later should do it. I don’t want to bloody well reminisce about my own birth. Either of them.
It was two days before Halloween where the story really started. Principal Snyder had somehow managed to get it into his head that the best way to make sure children were safe for the eve of Halloween was to have those he considered juvenile delinquents take care of them. Not for the first time, many people questioned his sanity or whether he liked kids. He managed to nail Willow, Xander and I with a sign-up at the same time. Snyder was and always would be a Napoleonic power monger.
So after being forced to sign up, we had to go get costumes. Now, the most obvious of choices for costumes would be Party Town. However, that was all the way across town, close to its edge, and there was no way I was going to as my Mom to give the three of us a ride, especially when a new costume shop opened up not far from the school. Ethan’s
shop seemed to be a decent costume shop with a great selection when the three of us went inside.
While I looked around the shop, Willow seemed to find something right away. I figured I might as well find out. “What’d you get?”
“A time-honored classic!” It was a ghost costume. Of course it was a ghost costume.
“Wills, want some friendly advice?” Willow really needed to stand out a little more if she was going to get someone she wanted to notice her. I couldn’t let her just take that.
“It’s not spooky enough?” Willow sounded a little hopeful there.
“Hiding yourself isn’t the answer. You’re missing the whole point of Halloween.” I looked around the room. Ah, there was something workable, when combined with a few things from my closet. Yeah, Wills was going to be a hottie tonight.
“Free candy?” Poor sweet naïve Willow… I was getting her to dress nice that night if I had to use some of my strength to do it.
“It’s come as you aren’t night, Wills. The one night a year where you can feel free to dress up and get sexy and wild without repercussions. In fact, I’ve got some suggestions. Ditch the Boo, and let’s get you something nicer.”
“But wild plus me equals spaz… this is more like a security blanket.” I couldn’t help but smile.
“Trust me, Wills. You’ve got it in you. If it makes you feel better, we’ll do tastefully wild. Like a diet wild.” I reassured her, placing a hand on her arm.
“But… that’s not… Oh hey Xander!” Willow managed to slip my fingers for now, but I’d get her back. I’d picked out her costume already from here. In the meantime, I had a Xander-shaped friend to apologize to. “So what’d you get?” Willow continued as Xander got closer.
He pulled out a gun and a red beret. I’d recognized it from that show that Giles had on in his apartment one night I visited after patrol. I think it was some alphabet soup name or something… Still… “That’s not a costume.”
He looked at me and then turned to Willow. “I’ve got a set of fatigues from army surplus at home, and these were on sale together. Just call me the Three-Dollar Costume King, baby!”
Of course, he and Willow exchanged smiles, before I decided to interject. “Hey Xander… I’m sorry about this morning…”
I’d prevented him from getting pummeled by Larry, but I hurt his manly pride in the process.
“Do you mind? I’m trying to repress…” Xander sounded hurt.
“Okay, I’ll just let you get pummeled in the future, I promise.” And then it was time for the most potent weapon in the Buffy Summers friend arsenal. My pout. I pouted at him… and he relented.
“Thanks… Y’know I think I could’ve…” I’d zoned out at this point because I spotted the most beautiful dress. I started to approach it. “Hello! That was our touching reconciliation moment there…”
I looked back at Xander for a second to apologize, but when I turned back around, the dress itself was gone… I just saw a flash of curly red hair taking it. Of course, what was left behind was a rainbow-colored scarf. “I’m sorry Xander, I had just… seen a… never mind.”
He walked up. “Oh hey, that’s pretty awesome. The scarf is a costume on its own.” He wasn’t wrong. The scarf brought back some memories of watching rerun marathons with my mom and dad when I was younger. Tom Baker was a great actor, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to dress up like him.
The shopkeeper walked over at that point, frowned for a second before taking the scarf off the mannequin. “Yes, it very much is, young man. I’m glad to see someone watches good television here in the colonies.”
His accent reminded me of Giles, as he walked over to Xander. “What do you think, young man? Care to be a Doctor for the evening?”
Xander waved his gun again. “Actually, already found my costume here, but my friend here would make an absolutely cute one.”
He walked over to me. I still wanted to try and impress Angel though. A noblewoman’s dress would have been perfect; dressing as the Doctor? Not so much. However, he always was smart and worked well in a jam... “Actually, I was looking at that noblewoman’s dress that was here… You don’t have another one, do you?”
The shopkeeper shook his head. “No, but I think this scarf would look smashing on you… especially when combined with a few other things from the shop.”
“I’m not sure I can afford this…” I began. Honestly, I didn’t mind being convinced into buying this. Dressing as the Doctor, someone who was the epitome of carefree, or so he liked to pretend, might be amusing for the night. However, I was a California girl at heart, and I couldn’t help but try and get a bargain.
“I’m sure we can work out a deal, come now…”
He managed to get me the scarf, a hat, and a coat for a steal, and
we got Willow’s costume for a good deal too. At the time, it was almost too good to be true. Of course, it actually was.
Halloween day came not too long after that, and I managed to drag Wills up into my room to help her out with her costume. After all, she wanted to impress Xander, make him see that she was really a girl, after all. Well, I wanted that for her anyway. I think Willow wanted it for herself, but she would have just hidden herself if I hadn’t managed to get her to drop that ghost costume.
Instead, I managed to get her dressed in an outfit which really flattered her. It was a white blouse which showed just enough chest to make people ask for more. I made her wear some skin-tight jeans with it, and I did up her hair in a pony-tail. With her red hair, it looked awesome. Of course, I also gave her a nice jacket that Pike had given me toward the end of our relationship. To borrow. It framed her well enough. The costume also came with a large backpack, a baseball bat, and some canisters labeled of all things, “Nitro-9.” Honestly, altogether it made her look like such a little hottie, but I wasn’t sure whether she’d be able to go through with it. If I’d dressed her the way I had originally intended, judging from how she was blushing about this
, Wills would have been under a sheet faster than you could say “Boo.” This would have to do.
“So, what do you think, Wills? Think you’re able to go out like this?”
“I don’t know, are you sure it isn’t too...” Willow trailed off.
“It’s not too anything. It’s just the right wild. I suppose if we went with my original plan, you might want to cover up, but trust me Wills, you’ll knock them dead and you’re definitely wild tonight. You’ll blow them right out of the water.”
“But this really isn’t me.” Willow said.
“And that’s the point. Look, Halloween is the night that not you is
you, but not you
. Y’know? Besides, I think this looks awesome on you.”
The doorbell rang. Lucky for me, my costume was rather simple to put on. The scarf, jacket and hat worked well together, and all I needed to provide was a blouse and slacks. “Oh! That’s Xander. Are you ready?”
Willow nodded. I double-checked to make sure there was no trace of the ghost. Couldn’t let her go as that, after all.
I opened the door to reveal Xander dressed in his full costume: army fatigues, the beret he bought from the store, and the plastic gun. He saluted me at the door and said in a terrible imitation of a British Accent: “UNIT Soldier Harris reporting for duty, mum... sir... Doctor... Buffy! You look smashing in that costume! I hereby renounce spandex.”
I raised an eyebrow at the accent and replied with my own terrible one. “Your accent is atrocious, don’t salute me, and wait till you see Wills, she looks awesome.”
We looked up to see Willow in full costume coming down. She looked a little nervous, so I gave her an encouraging smile. Xander seemed to sense it too. “Wow, you look great Wills! Who are you going as?”
“I-I’m not sure, but Buffy said it looked pretty good on me.” Willow replied.
“And it does. A definite number one costume. An Ace, if you will.” Xander continued with the accent. “And being that we have the Doctor tonight rather than the Slayer, I’m sure that one of the companions wouldn’t be a bad thing after all.”
Willow giggled at this point, and I grinned. “It’ll be a fun night, I think. Let’s make the most of it before Snyder decides to try to suck all the fun out of it. Even with the kids.”
So we headed out to go pick up our groups of children at the school. Snyder snarked at us some rules, and we began to take them trick or treating. Some of the adults giving out things on Halloween in Sunnydale are worse than demons, I swear. Of course, everything changed that night.
Now, at this point I didn’t know exactly what was going on across town. The shopkeep, Ethan Rayne, was working on casting a spell
of all things. Magic. Distasteful word, everything should be able to be explained somehow. To wave it away as magic is doing a disservice to the intelligence of my people and scientists everywhere. It was a psychic phenomenon that drew upon a psychic link with the clothing creating a psycho-physiological overlay of the costume’s persona on the person underneath’s body. Magic. Hah. Just because a higher dimensional being intervenes, these mo- Okay, I’m getting a bit carried away here.
Still, at this point, I was two people. I was the body and soul, and I was also the mind and species. I had just wasn’t together. Well, up until Janus smooshed us together like fish fingers and custard. I must say that the tastes of what would have been my future selves were fairly eclectic. It’s probably more accurate to say that we were two timelines which had been fused together. Janus can do that because he’s able to affect the reality of this world in such a way that would have made the time lords envious. Bastards that they were. I had just finished getting the time ring back from the Kaleds on Skaro, and Sarah, Harry and I had managed to set back Dalek development a few hundred years. Yes, I’m sure the Time Lord Council would have preferred that I just prevent the Daleks from becoming the threat they are in the first place, but I didn’t have the right to do that. Now, the time ring should have
taken me back to the TARDIS with Sarah and Harry. It didn’t quite.
I opened my eyes after I felt the trans-mat beam stop. I should have been on the TARDIS, but where I was quite obviously wasn’t there. I felt strange; the psychic energy here was off. Obviously I was on Earth.
“We’ve mastered such technologies. There’s no danger in intercepting a trans-mat for the Time Lords. Right.” I blinked and looked down at myself. That was emphatically not
my voice. “... This is new. Test, one two. One, two. Mary had a little lamb. I would like a jelly baby. By Rassilon, I’ve become Sarah!”
I looked at myself again. “No, not Sarah... Sarah is taller than this.” As an aside, I would like to state that I was not
that short. Sarah is just tall. Er. Taller. I was a normal height for my age.
So I had managed to somehow go from Skaro to Earth without the use of the TARDIS, and I was now in the body of a teenage girl. I was quite obviously wearing my own clothing, so someone had obviously transmuted me into a girl via the trans-mat beam. Probably. As for how I knew this was Earth, the stars were in the right position, and I wouldn’t be much of a Time Lord if I couldn’t tell that from looking while outside I’m on Earth.
I felt the double-thumping of my hearts in my chest, verifying that I was indeed Gallifreyan, but I needed to look around properly. A number of tiny creatures ran around, growling and snarling at people. They couldn’t have been much more than a meter tall as I looked over them. I dodged to the side easily as one rushed me. I had no clue what these creatures were, but it was obvious that they were not Earth native.
“Identify yourselves and your planet of origin, please.” Of course, they didn’t seem to want to listen, and they were far more interested in causing mayhem. So, I supposed, it was time to get my bearings properly. No TARDIS, no Time Ring, but I did have a couple things in my pockets that would be useful. I reached into my pockets and pulled out a bag of Jelly Babies. Popping one in my mouth, I placed the bag in the other pocket and pulled out the sonic.
I set the sonic to scan the local environment. Perhaps I could figure out what caused me to transform into a woman, and figure out a way back to the TARDIS. I checked the initial scan. There was a background radiation of negative psionic energy that permeated here, originating from somewhere to the west. I’d have to check that out. A scan of one of the creatures that passed by showed something intriguing. Its DNA was human, but there was an overlay of psychic energy that distorted it somewhat. A scan of myself showed a mixture of human and my own Time Lord DNA, but the Time Lord DNA was almost an overlay similar to that psychic energy. Curious.
The sound of gunfire broke me out of my introspective and I ran toward its source. A young man dressed in a UNIT uniform was firing at the creatures, over their heads , to keep them away from him.
“Excuse me, soldier, but you probably don’t want to be shooting at the little ones. You might hit one and kill it, and that would not be a good thing.”
“And why not? They’re monsters. Who are you anyway and where are we?” The UNIT soldier sounded based out of London. Well, that brought me back.
“They aren’t monsters
, they’re humans mutated by some sort of psionic source. Children to be precise. So don’t kill them
. As for who I am, I’m the Doctor. We’re...”
A sports utility vehicle driven by a redheaded girl with a large backpack with a bat sticking out of it in the passenger seat pulled up nearby. The driver’s seat was located on the left side. Clearly with the architecture around and that sort of car, I was able to continue my statement.
“We’re quite obviously in America, Southern California if I haven’t missed my guess. As for the precise city, I don’t know as I don’t have my TARDIS. I’m sure we can find out though.”
The UNIT soldier immediately got to attention as the redhead was getting out of the car. He saluted me. “Yes sir, mum, Doctor, sir, I mean ma’am.”
“Just Doctor is fine, Agent. No sirs, no ma’ams, no salutes either.” I tried to keep the annoyance out of my voice, but given that the voice was a new one, I’m sure some of it leaked through.
“Professor?” The redhead looked to me. “Professor, is that you?”
I looked over the girl. I didn’t recognize her, but that didn’t really mean anything. If the same psychic energy that was affecting me was affecting her, I wouldn’t
recognize her even if she was someone I did know. Well, I might if I recognized her clothing, but I quite plainly didn’t.
“No, no, mum, that’s the Doctor, not the Professor.” Ah hah, the UNIT soldier there to save me some embarrassment.
“Yeah, that’s what he always calls himself, but I always call him Professor... Though he’s usually not a she. Nor does he wear that kind of scarf, but I kinda like it. Looks dashing.” The redhead gave me an appraising look.
“Well, you seem to know me, but I don’t yet know you, Miss...” I trailed off to let her introduce herself.
“Ace. Just call me Ace, Professor. You always did say that you used to look different. If I’d known that you looked this different, I might have... Nevermind. Anyway, we’re not in our normal bodies, Professor.”
“Quite right, Ace.” Clever girl. Must be why I travel with her. Will travel with her. Still, if I travel with her, why did only she come here, why didn’t her Doctor come with her? I was missing something. “This seems to be the result of some sort of psionic energy. We should trace the energy back to its source and disrupt it.”
“Right, how would we do that?” The UNIT soldier asked. I’m sure he had a name, but he hadn’t told me yet.
“It depends on how the source is being used. I should be able to track it with this.” I held up the sonic. One of its littler known functions was its ability to scan for energies. Most times I just used it to open doors or mess with electronics.
“Is that your sonic screwdriver?” Ace asked. “Looks different.”
Oh, so I must change the model by the time I know her. “Yes. Let’s go...”
Of course, I am prone to interruption. This time was no different. “GET AWAY!” A female voice rang out over the area. The UNIT Soldier leaped into action, running toward the call, as did Ace and I. There was a girl dressed in a cat costume being chased by another of the psychic mutations. She was fairly attractive, but quite obviously in distress. “Somebody help me!”
“Agent, three shot burst, aerial, please.” I ordered and he complied, scaring the mutant off. The girl ran up to us.
“Oh, thank God. It’s you guys. What the hell is going on here?” The girl seemed to recognize us. Curious.
“You have me at a disadvantage, Miss. You say you know me?” I led with my second-best attribute. My charm.
“Quit fooling around, Buffy. Of course I know you, Willow and Xander. You geeks are always in the middle of something like this. “She paused and looked around. “And since when do you talk all Giles-y? It sounds weird.”
“Assume for a second that I have amnesia. That I don’t know who you are. That I am not this Buffy whom you speak of. “ After all, at the moment I wasn’t. “Please, introduce yourself, young lady and tell us what happened.”
The sonic was detecting no traces of the psionic energy on her as she spoke. “Right. If it will help your freako loser self out, I’m Cordelia Chase, and one minute I’m heading to a Halloween party the next I’m being chased by Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. “ She looked down at herself and whined out. “And he tore it. Partytown is never going to give me back my deposit now...”
Halloween, eh? That would explain the costume she wore, but it didn’t explain the psionic energies. “Calm down, Miss Chase.” I reassured her. “I’m sure that we can find someone to fix that. Here, have a Jelly Baby.”
I offered her some of my stash. Delicious things, Jelly Babies. Anyone who likes them is a good chap in my book.
“Okay, you definitely aren’t acting like Buffy. Who are you?” Cordelia asked with a confused look on her face.
“I’m the Doctor, this is Ace, and our escort from UNIT is securing the perimeter.” Ace waved vibrantly at the teenager. Cordelia seemed to recognize all of us though. Perhaps we were just occupying these bodies.
“Doctor who?” Cordelia asked the most obvious question.
“Just, the Doctor. Come along now, our escort is coming back.”
“Doctor, we should take the civilian and your associate to safety.”
“Harding, ma’am. Troy Harding.” UNIT trained him well, even if he was a little young. Ace seemed to be somewhat interested in him, but then again, so did Cordelia. I never really understood human relationships like that. Well, so I said anyway.
“Spectacular idea, and we’ll find safety in this direction.” I started off, leading the group. “Do follow along. “
Well, actually, I lied. It was quite unlikely that we’d find safety in the direction of one of the sources of psionic activity. However, it wasn’t that
far away. Just a few blocks. We passed by several groups of roving little mutants along our way, but it wasn’t that hard to scare them off between Agent Harding’s gun and the Sonic. What surprised me was where one of the sources of psionic energy seemed to be coming from.
“Oh yeah, we’ll be safe in the Library and Giles can find out what’s going on!” Cordelia seemed to perk up as we approached the school.
“Sunnydale High School, ‘Formatia trans sicere educatorum.’” I read out as I passed.
“Enter all ye who seek knowledge? Kinda pretentious, isn’t it?” Ace commented.
“Certainly, but we should be safe in the library, which is, I assume, the direction Miss Chase is going.”
“Then that’s where we should take them, Doctor.” Agent Harding commented. So we followed Cordelia inside the school, and curiously, the psionic readings on the sonic continued getting stronger as we got closer and closer to the library.
“Ace, be ready for anything.” I commented quietly to the girl, who pulled out her bat. I hid my surprise at seeing the bat up close. It had been enhanced with Time Lord technology. It should make the girl more than a match for anything bad we’d come across. I assumed that I was the one who enhanced it, or at least I knew about it when I met Ace. The girl did seem to be a clever one. I liked clever. Still do, actually.
The library was not your typical high school library. From what I could see of the covers, there was far more of a selection of ancient lore and literature than found at your standard high school. Something was wrong about that. Once I stepped inside, I could feel it, what the sonic picked up. The psionic energy that permeated the room was enough to temporarily overwhelm my shields and I stumbled.
“Professor!” Ace came to steady me as I stepped in.
“I’ll be alright, Ace, don’t worry.” It took a few seconds to repair my shields, but I’d never felt a psionic force so... evil before. For lack of a better term, I could only describe it as thus.
“I’m telling you Giles, they’re acting really freaky...” Cordelia came back toward the entrance trailed by an older man dressed in a tweed coat and suit. Sensible dress, of course.
“Yes, Cordelia, I’ll take a look.” He got closer and looked at me. “Buffy, Willow, Xander, are you alright? Good heavens, is that a real gun?”
Agent Harding nodded. “Of course it is, Sir. UNIT Standard issue.”
“I’m sorry, did you just say UNIT?” Giles said incredulously.
“Yes, it stands for United Nations-“
“Intelligence Taskforce, yes, I do know about that. Except it’s a fictional organization.” Giles said.
“Perhaps not as fictional this evening, Mr. Giles.” I spoke up. Fictional, Halloween... Evil psionic energy... I still was missing something. A piece of the puzzle eluded me.
“Buffy, what do you mean?” That name again. Was what I initially thought false? Was I instead possessing some girl named Buffy? Not entirely. My chest beat with both of my hearts, of that I was certain.
“For one thing, I’m not Buffy, Mr. Giles.” I began.
“No, I suppose you aren’t, not with that demeanor.” He replied. “Who are you then?”
“I am the Doctor.” I simply answered.
Mr. Giles removed his glasses and sat down in a chair to clean them. “Oh dear lord...”
Author’s notes: Right, so this is my first Buffy cross with anything, thus I’m posting it on Twisting the Hellmouth and FF.net simultaneously. To any who have read my other fics, you’ll know that I don’t typically do first person. Both Buffy and The Doctor in this fic have been a challenge to write right, and I’m not even sure I pulled it off well enough. On top of that, writing ensemble scenes is something I never fully mastered, but I’m working through that.
I’d like to thank two of the people who helped me by bouncing ideas off of them: Light02 and Stratagemini. I also would like to thank the SpaceBattles forum for reading over this and catching a few things.