disclaimer: The Doctor belongs to the BBC and Illyria is Joss's. I just had fun with them. Please R&R. Thanks.
As if moved by her grief, the heavens themselves let loose a torrent of tears. Angry and bitter, the rain fell in buckets to drench the battlefield. The cement was slick with blood and water. Among the broken corpses of a hundred thousand demons stood Illyria. She was bruised and beaten but still alive. She could kill a thousand demons but there were a hundred thousand more, marching over the bodies of their fallen comrades. She had not thought to end like this. In an alley fighting a half-breed’s battle. Here, slaughtered by the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart? That would have been laughable once.
A demon raised its sword high above its head and roared. Its arm stopped in mid movement and its roar in mid growl. Illyria tilted her head and peered at the army all frozen in their tracks. Even in her days of glory she couldn’t stop time. Alter it, but not stop it. Her senses tingled. Someone else was there. She spun around angrily. He was standing in the corner, a short man with an umbrella. He tipped his hat. He looked human but Illyria knew better. She could see his life stretching back and forth across time without anchor.
“You are one of Rassilon’s ilk,” she said. It was almost an accusation.
“We call ourselves Time Lords.”
“An arrogant name for an arrogant race. I walked the universes long before you wove your web of time. I am Illyria God-King…”
“of the earth, conqueror of this and that, etc, etc…I’m the Doctor by the way. We have a lot to talk about.” He grinned.
The raindrops hung in the air, motionless. They were standing on a rooftop gazing down at LA. Cars were stopped on the highway. The entire city lay at their feet, like a photograph.
“Who sent you?” She asked.
“I sent myself.”
“Do not play games with me. You do not have the power to stop the flow of time.”
“Someone once said that time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. I once hitchhiked across half the galaxy with him. I think he was from somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse…”
“You seek to distract me with your prattling. It shall not work.”
The Doctor smiled. “You’re right of course. I can’t stop time but I can, with great effort, take you out of it. We are standing by the river of time. After our little tit-a-tit, you can reenter and not a single moment will have passed.”
“What do you want of me?” The words passed through her lips with disdain.
“Since your escape from the Well you have been floundering without purpose. You weaker than you were, not because of the shell, or the little ray gun, but because you haven’t had a choice. I can give you that power back.”
“How do you know so much of what has come to pass?”
“I’ve been keeping an eye on you. An escaped old one is not to be taken lightly.”
“Were you there when he died?” There was anger in her voice, gathering to strike. The Doctor sighed and turned to meet her eyes.
“I could not save him. No one could. His story was meant to end there. If you play with fate too often…you get burned.” Illyria looked into his eyes and saw a pain to rival her own, and something else, something familiar.
“I know who you are now,” she said taking a step back. “You are the one who carved bones into chess pieces and chained Hastur the Unspeakable. Your aspect is changed but you are the one they call the Oncoming Storm. You speak of choices and lunchtime, but you have come to chain me anew.”
“Illyria, if I wanted you destroyed, then I would have left you to the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart. No, I need your help.”
“You would have me do your biding, follow the orders of a lower creature? I would not so debase myself.” She tilted her head proudly. He turned away from her, his eyes shadowed.
“It’s a strange world isn’t it? Filled with so many apes running about their silly little lives in ignorance. Every once in a while, I envy that ignorance, the complete lack of understanding of how the universe truly works. Your little gesture tonight was meaningless. Wolfram and Hart have endured greater setbacks on a hundred different worlds in a thousand different eras. I am giving you a chance to make some kind of mark. You were a God, but what are you now? If you go back to the alley, then you will never know. Now, I think you’re special. I think someone with your talents could do great things. But all that really matters is what you think.”
There was a long pause, that seemed to stretch for an eternity. Illyria gazed out at the still world, so different from the earth she had ruled. She thought of Wesley, lying broken in the warlock’s home.
At length, she spoke. “I will help you, Time Lord but not for the ignorant masses of this world. I will help for him.”
The Doctor nodded, as if he had expected that. He turned and gave her a sympathetic smile, which rapidly became impish. He shook his umbrella open. “It looks like rain,” he said.
She raised an eyebrow. Suddenly time returned to normal and Illyria was drenched. Illyria glared at him.
“Are you always this irritating?” She asked.
“It comes and goes…”
She had not expected there to be weeds on his grave and it angered her. These last few moments before dawn were the last she would spend on earth for many years to come. She reached out and traced the name slowly. Wesley Wyndam-Price, the stone read. Illyria represed her tears, she would not cry to see his grave abandoned. The Doctor had warned her. After a hundred years, graves do tend to be abandoned. Still, she was angry. The Doctor was standing a respectful distance away, absently playing with his umbrella handle. He glanced up at the sky.They were coming.
“It’s time,” he said. Illyria looked up and met his eyes.
“Do not presume to rush me, Time Lord.”
“Dawn is breaking…alright, take your time. I’ll be in the Tardis.” Illyria heard the crunch of his feet on the ground, as he turned to leave. Then she was alone with Wes and together they welcomed the dawn.