Title: Not So Different After All
Disclaimer: None of it’s mine. I do not own Doctor Who or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though it would be very cool if I did.
Pairings: B/A, 10/Rose
Summary: A collection of drabbles and one-shots. The Doctor and Rose land in Sunnydale – only to find out they have a lot more in common with this strange place then they could have imagined.
“And then she was all like ‘so I’m gonna implant my eggs in you’ and I was like- you maybe a praying mantis but you also used to be my biology teacher and there are some lines I just don’t wanna cross”.
Rose grinned into her tea and took another sip of the sweet Earl grey (Giles didn’t have any Tetley’s), almost chocking on it as Xander fell over a chair as he mimed how he’d fought off his giant insect substitute teacher.
“Xander! Are you okay?”
Willow rushed over to help him up but Xander shook her off, a light blush covering his cheeks as he tried to desperately protect any manly dignity that he had left.
“I’m fine; the chair is nothing in comparison to all of the horrors that I’ve faced”.
He glanced at Rose knowingly and started to tick them off on his fingers.
“The Harvest, a possessed witch, Moloch, the Master…”
“I though Buffy fought all of those Xander, whilst you cowered in a corner”.
Xander rolled his eyes and sighed. “Why look, it’s Deadboy. Come to leave another cryptic message and then vanish again? That’s what you’re good at after all”.
“I thought I told you not to call me that”.
“Are you sure Deadboy? Not imagining things in your old age?”
Rose stared as the two men bickered, and glanced over to Willow. “Are they always like this?”
She nodded. “Yep, come on, we’ll go into Giles’ office and talk in there”.
The girls got up unnoticed by the two squabbling men, and found Giles in the little room pouring over a stack of books. Rose picked up a random text off a large, neatly stacked pile and idly flicked through the pages, her nose wrinkling at some of the pictures.
“This is disturbin’ ”. She pointed to one of the images and then read the words next to it.
“Caga demons cooking their human victims for dinner. To ensure maximum tenderness roast over an open flame for two and a half hours on a low heat”. She shook her head. “It’s a cook book!”
Giles wiped his glasses and then replaced them, squinting at the funny squiggles and lines of the text.
“Rose, you can read Ancient Sumerian and Vlonish?”
“The text, ” he pointed out. “It’s not in English. I assume you studied the language as part of your job as a Time Lord’s assistant?”
Rose frowned. “1. I’m not his assistant. 2. It’s not a job. 3. I’ve got no Alevels. I can’t speak French let alone some demon language”.
“I merely assumed…”
“Well you know what they say about people who do that”. Willow looked puzzled but Rose wasn’t about to elaborate.
“So how can you…?”
“The TARDIS. It’s in my head so it translates everything into English for me. ’Cept sometimes when the Doctor’s cross and suddenly I get the PG version of ‘is swearing.”
“Aah”. Giles nodded and pointed to a large volume on a shelf just above Rose’s head. “Would you be so kind?”
Rose reached up to get it and passed it across, in the process slicing her palm over the sharp metal plating that edged it. She let out a small cry and dropped the book instinctively, clutching her hand to her. It was quite a deep cut and the blood welled up and over the wound, pooling in her palm and trickling over her fingers. Giles apologised immediately but Rose waved his apologies away.
“I’ve had worse, trust me”.
“The First Aid Box is kept under the desk”.
She followed him out to where Xander and ‘Deadboy’ were still insulting each other. Suddenly the man that Xander was arguing with snapped his head up, his stare focussed first on the blood covering Rose’s hand and then up to lock on her eyes. The faintest hint of gold circled his pupils and his nostrils flared, scenting the smell of coppery blood.
“I’d know that smell anywhere, ” he murmured, wetting his lips unconsciously. “Rose?”
Rose stared at the dark haired man curiously as she tried to remember where she’d seen him before. He was tall, with pale skin and those eyes…tongue between her teeth she squinted. There was something vaguely familiar about him…but what was it? Suddenly she saw him dressed in a Victorian gentleman’s garb, top hat and tails. That’s when it hit her.
She grinned at him and before he knew what was happening Rose was giving him a hug. He embraced her awkwardly before she pulled away, still cradling her hand, the bloody palm facing upwards in between them, as though she was offering it to him.
“Wait, ” said Xander shocked. “You two know each other?”
“Yeah,” said Rose. “Me and the Doctor were meant to be going to Naples but ended up in Cardiff in 1869-Doctor’s drivin’ an all. Well, there was this incident and we got to meet Charles Dickens”.
“Anyway, as we were rushing around me and the Doctor got separated. I was running towards the music hall to try and get my bearings when I ran into this man”. She gestured to Angel. “He said he wanted to meet Dickens too”.
Angel smirked, “I said I wanted to eat him, actually Rose. You must have misheard me”.
Giles sat down. “Good grief. A Time Lord’s assis..sorry companion, meeting Angelus, the Scourge of Europe”.
“Are you alright Giles?” asked Willow concernedly.
“Yes, I’m fine but it’s a bit like Satan meeting the toothfairy.”
“Hey!” Both Angel and Rose looked offended, but Giles ignored them in favour of wiping his glasses again eagerly, “How on earth did you survive that meeting? Wait, don’t answer yet, let me just fetch my journal and a pen…” and the librarian hurried to his office to find said implements.
“Oh boy, you’ve just given Giles a Watcher’s wet dream”.
“Xander!” Giles’ outraged shout echoed out from the office.
Willow grabbed the bandage box and brought it over to the table. “Rose, you’re still dripping blood everywhere”.
“Oh yeah, sorry,” said Rose who seemed to have forgotten her injury when she’d recognised Angel.
“I’ll do it, ” said Angel and though Willow frowned at his proximity to the blood she reluctantly relinquished the bandages to him.
He recognised her look and barked out a laugh. “Don’t worry I can control myself”.
Sitting Rose down at the table he glanced back at Willow. “Can you get the antiseptic wipes please?”
Embarrassed, the teenager blushed and got them for him, then sat down at the other end of the table by Xander. Angel gently mopped up the blood from Rose’s hand and pressed another wipe to the cut so that it was clean. Rose hissed as the solution stung her injured palm, but was distracted when Xander asked a question that had been bugging him.
“What did you mean when you said you’d recognise that smell anywhere? When’ve you gotton the chance to smell Rose’s blood before? Did you have a pre-dinner snack before you went to see Dickens?”
Angel glared at Xander. “Rose had cut her hand whilst running through an alley and I bandaged it in my scarf”.
Rose smiled at him. “He was a perfect gentleman and he ‘elped me to find the Doctor again”.
“Deadboy didn’t help himself to some of the good stuff? Alright, everyone off the crazy train, next stop bizarro world”.
Giles came out before another argument started. “You didn’t gain your soul til 29 years later so why did you not hurt Rose?”
Angel suddenly found cleaning Rose’s palm very interesting. “When Rose cut her hand I could smell the power that rolled off her. It’s golden in colour and her blood…a time traveller’s blood call is a lower level than a Slayer’s, but it's still enticing to a vampire. It’s like being offered Champagne instead of water.”
He chanced a glance up at Rose to see her looking at him intently. He looked down again and began to unwind the bandages. “With blood like that the demon didn’t just want Rose as a casual snack. He was rather hoping to…to turn her, ” he finished quietly, looking anywhere but at the group assembled in the library.
“You wanted her as your childe?” Clarified Giles, his voice rising slightly at the end as the pen in his hand dropped to the table.
“Childe, consort, lover, mate and everything that entailed, ” said Angel cutting a strip off the bandages. “Rose would have been so powerful as a vampire. The demon didn’t want to ruin his chances by scaring her off, so he decided to go the seductive route. When Angelus is charismatic it’s hard to resist him”.
“Yeah, I’m sure he’s really charming once you get past the whole psychotic killer thing,” said Xander sarcastically. “So, Angelus puts on his happy fluffy bunny face and leads you to the Doctor and then…?”
Rose shrugged, “The Doctor healed my hand with his sonic screwdriver, I was as good as new and we had to run off again to see if we could stop what was happenin’. The Doctor grabbed my hand, we ran and I never saw Angelus again”.
“Angel,” corrected the vampire. “I go by Angel now I have my soul”.
Xander raised an eyebrow sceptically at the vampire who was by now winding a bandage round Rose’s hand. “And you just let your meal run off with another man?”
Angel growled at Xander. “There was nothing I… Angelus could do. I’d assumed she’d wanted to meet a friend, but I didn’t realise until I saw him that the man was a Time Lord. And no vampire is stupid enough to fight one of them. I would have been ashes before I could have even bitten her pretty neck”.
“Wait a minute. You’re saying that guy that Buffy just chased out of the library with a crossbow is vampire Raid?” Xander smothered a laugh. “The only thing that guy could scare away is a hairdresser and a fashion consultant. I mean converse with a suit?”
There was a muttered comment from Giles that sounded very much like ‘Hawaiian shirts’ but Xander ignored it.
Angel frowned. “Are we talking about the same man? Big nose, big ears, tall, leather jacket? Looks like he could frighten small children and animals”.
“No, “ said Xander. “The Doctor didn’t look anything like that. But then again maybe your eyesight’s going as well”.
Angel struggled with the impulse not to strangle the teenager with his own entrails. “Listen, boy…”
But before the argument could really get going the library doors swung open as Buffy walked in, followed by the Doctor who looked like he’d run a marathon, his suit in disarray, his hair wild and his eyes shining.
“Rose!” He exclaimed. “This place is absolutely fantastic! Buffy’s been telling me all about this Hellmouth they have and they’ve got vampires and witches and zombies and ancient magiks and there are so many life forms, well I say life form but actually the correct term would be undead because really half of the population of this place doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat, but perhaps they prefer netherstalkers, or cainite?”
“Is he on drugs?”
Rose smirked, ignoring the Doctor’s affronted look at Xander’s question.
“Nope. He’s always like this. And whatever you do, don’t let him near coffee”. She cringed at the memory of what had happened the last time. “It was like having a six year old on speed, who suddenly realised he had a box that could go anywhere in space, anywhen in time.”
“Where did you end up?” Asked Willow, her imagination already producing all of the horrifying places they could have gone to.
“Oh, well, that doesn’t sound too bad?”
“Trust me,” said Rose, “it is when he keeps dragging you on the same ride over and over again”. She shuddered. “There’s only so many times you can go on ‘It’s a Small World’ before the singing puppets start to get to you”.
The Doctor shot his companion a look. “I thought you promised not to mention that again”.
Rose waved a hand vaguely in the air. “Yeah and you promised me the tenner back that you owe me, but I don’t see any sign of that do I?”
“Rose, what did you do to your hand?”
She rolled her eyes. “You see? Still denying that you’re in debt to me”.
“A book attacked me,” she deadpanned. “I think it’s a sign that me an’ learnin were never meant to be”. He came over and inspected the bandage covering her hand before beginning to unravel Angel’s handiwork.
“Doctor,” said Rose, “There’s really no need to fuss. Angel fixed me up and…”
The Doctor’s eyes fixed upon the vampire, whose own expression had become shuttered, his eyes flat. His mind ticked over for a moment and then he recognised the face.
The Doctor’s eyes bored into Angel’s, an indecipherable look passing between them as the Doctor’s grip on Rose tightened imperceptibly.
“So have you”.
“Mmh, new face, new body, new teeth…but you, you’ve got a whole shiny new soul ”. The Doctor suddenly grinned. “Fantastic!”
He turned back to Rose’s hand and ran the sonic screwdriver over the cut, til there was nothing left but smooth new skin. The Doctor ran his thumb gently over the warm palm and then threaded his fingers through hers.
“See, all new”. Rose beamed at him, the special smile that she reserved just for him and squeezed his hand.
“So I take it from your rambling earlier that we’re stoppin’ here for a while then yeah?”
The Doctor nodded and grinned, flinging his free arm wide.
“Of course Rose! There’s just so much to explore. This place is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination…wait… no, that’s the Twilight Zone”.