Edited to add: I appear to have double posted, so I've taken other entry private. Sorry for the confusion.
I have fic. I can't quite believe it. I've mostly been working on original fictions, but recently revdorothyl
asked me why some of my Doctor Who stories weren't on Twisting the Hellmouth. (Answer: laziness) When I went looking for the html files, I found this and realized it needed only minimal work to be ready for publication.
Title: Dawn of the Doctor
Author: Miss Murchison
Word count: About 2400
Pairing: None, completely gen fic and probably rated G. Weird, huh?
Thanks: to keswindhover revdorothyl
and for beta
Summary: This is a sequel to my previous BtVS/Doctor Who crossovers:Who's the Doctor?
with the tenth You-Know-Who,Where's the Doctor?
which in the BtVS world is second, but involves the fourth Doctor, and Buffy and the Dalek Slayers
, in which the seventh Doctor and Ace appear.
This story falls in between "Who's the Doctor?" and "Where's the Doctor?" in the BtVS timeline, but involves a meeting between the ninth Doctor and…well, you've read the title, right?
At least the next bit would be easy.
All he had to do was lie where he was. And finish dying. The process was painful, true. But not difficult. He'd settle for that.
To distract himself from the pain, he wondered where he was. He managed to open his eyes long enough to recognize moonlight filtering through trees and glinting off odd shapes scattered across the immediate area. Against his will, his lungs took in a gasping breath and he smelled grass and flowers.
The flowers were roses. So he was on Earth. Good. He liked Earth. He wondered if he was in Britain and the odd shapes poking up here and there were part of one of the stone circles that he'd seen built. He'd returned again and again to watch them age until the humans had forgotten their original purpose and made up new ones. Wonderfully imaginative people, humans.
There was a familiar unfamiliarity to the way his body was reacting as he shivered from the cold. And beneath the pain was an odd craving. So he had regenerated. His body was trying to pull him back to life.
Too bad. He wasn't going to respond to that tug toward vitality. He had already made plans. Not the worst plans he'd ever made, either. Not by a long shot.
His eyelids fluttered again as a spasm gripped his gut, and this time he saw the stones for what they were. He was in a graveyard.
Good. You see?
he told his rebellious new body. We've landed where we belong, so stop fighting. The TARDIS is giving up too. I know you can feel her dying next to us.
He closed his eyes and reached for the TARDIS with his mind. Good night, old girl.
But he couldn't feel her anymore.
Soon, he wouldn't feel anything.***
He woke to the disappointing realization that he wasn't quite dead yet, followed by the even more unwelcome awareness that he had company.
Someone had dragged him just inside the TARDIS, but left his feet sticking out, as if that had been as much as his unwanted rescuer could manage.
"What do I do next?" asked a voice above him. He didn't answer, but after a moment the voice said, "Okay." Footsteps moved away, and he began to fade back into unconsciousness. The footsteps returned. Bother.
Then hands were tugging at him, pulling his head up and dripping water on his face. No, the hands were trying to make him drink, but they were singularly inept and the water was trickling over his cheeks instead, like tears. He opened his mouth to object, and choked on the liquid. The burning in his throat eased a little.
"Is he better?" asked the voice.
An unwelcome emotion ran though him, making him shudder. Curiosity. This was bad, very bad. Curiosity would make him want to live a little longer. But he couldn't help himself. He sat up, using a reserve of energy he hadn't known he still possessed, and his eyes focused on the girl kneeling next to him. "I know you."
"Do you? I haven't met you yet."
She wasn't arguing. She was just stating a fact. He'd met her, but she hadn't met him. Yet. Of course, that made perfect sense if you were used to time travel. But not very many humans were. This one…wasn't actually a human.
"You're Dawn. The…"
"The Key, yeah. Well, one of them. I know there's another out there somewhere, but it's not able to help right now. Whatever you just did is keeping the Key to Time from pulling itself together, so you're stuck with me." She stopped dripping water all over him and stood up.
Staring at her gave him vertigo. She was slender, with long brown hair and a glow of power that suggested the heart of the TARDIS would pale in comparison if she hadn't been masked in human flesh. "I don't want to make do with anything. I just want to…rest."
The look she gave him made it clear that wasn't going to happen. That was a Key for you. Not inclined to listen to authority. That might have something to do with the fact that they could demolish entire universes with a yawn, but it was frustrating.***
"He needs a banana split. With chocolate ice cream." Dawn shoved him into the booth at the small restaurant and sat down across from him. "You do, you know. Potassium, cocoa, dairy, and sugar. That should stabilize you after your regeneration." She leaned over and called to the waitress, "And one for me, but with vanilla ice cream."
Annoying of her. Even he didn't always know what he needed after a regeneration. But now that she'd said it, the idea of a banana was pleasant. He liked bananas. Bananas were good. "How do you know?" he growled.
"The TARDIS told me. I made her promise not to worry about you and concentrate on getting better, so you have to listen to me."
"You do. If I don't bring you back in better shape, she'll be pissed." Dawn kicked his foot under the table. "This is costing what's left of my allowance, so you'dbetter thank me."
"And if anyone I know talks to us, you're tutoring me in something. English or history maybe. Not physics, because they might ask you something and who knows what you'd say."
He might be suicidal, but he wasn't going to put up with that. "Whatever I say would be more accurate than anything you'll learn in school!"
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I know. But what's the point of being accurate if I flunk? Anyway, I know more about physics than you."
"Do too! You just know stuff. I am
She had him there.
"And you’re gay."
He wondered if this was a comment on the preferences of this new body. He glanced at the table next to theirs, where a shapely waitress was taking an order. No, apparently not. He raised an eyebrow. "I can't be bisexual?"
"Nah, that would be worse than being straight. Look, my sister dated a guy who was a couple of hundred years old, and it didn't end well, so of course she'll completely wig out if I do the same thing. No older guys. Not that she wants me dating any my own age, either. And not that I want to date you, because I don't." She pointed a finger at him accusingly, as if he'd been the one to make the suggestion. "I just don't want her thinking I am, because then everything will get really complicated and there will be shouting and ass-kicking. So if anyone asks, you're gay."
Apparently, resuscitating a Time Lord and chatting with a TARDIS was not complicated. Explaining her social life to her sister was.
Part of him wanted to argue with her, and that worried him. He was getting interested in things again. That led to getting involved, and he'd just experienced the horror that
could lead to. No involvement. Never again. "If the alternative is being attacked by a Slayer, I'll be gay."
She relaxed and patted his hand. It was as if she were the one who was older. Which was, in fact, the case. He kept forgetting that, because she was just a kid. He held on to his head. He should be better at following this kind of thing. It was embarrassing to be out-logicked by someone who smelled like bubble gum.
Some of the bossiness in Dawn's voice was replaced by reassurance. "The TARDIS should be okay by the time we get back. Not really great shape, but she's pulling herself together."
He shook his head. He hadn't been able to feel the old girl when Dawn had dragged him away. "How could even a TARDIS recover from that blast?"
Dawn grimaced. "It's going to be tough for her, too, so go easy. She shouldn't have too much trouble restoring time functions, because she was made by Time Lords, but the dimensional part of her abilities was never all that great."
He was scandalized. "What?"
Another eye roll. "Well, all that spinning around and groaning should have been a clue. And getting stuck in that stupid shape. I was able to help her a lot, but she's going to have to stay in this dimension for a while. I'm not sure how long." She apparently read his expression as dismay, because she added in a reassuring tone, "Just a century or two. Three, max."
The waitress set down two enormous bowlfuls of ice cream and other calorie-stuffed foods. It looked much better than it should have, and probably miles better than it would after he'd eaten half and given himself a stomach ache.
"Now eat." She dove into her own sundae.
"Not hungry." He knew he sounded like a sulky child, but he couldn't help himself.
Her mouth was full, but she just shook her head with the absolute certainty of someone who knows she'll win a fight. "I went through this with Buffy, after she got pulled out of heaven. If Spike and I hadn't managed to annoy her and keep her busy until she got over it and. . .well, she got over it. And you will, too. Eat."
He was about to retort that the vortex he'd been pulled out of had resembled hell a lot more than heaven, but he stopped himself in time. That would make her point, of course. You'd want to be pulled out of hell.
And that banana split did look enticing. There couldn't be any harm in eating it first and then dying, could there? ***
A half-hour later, he stood in the graveyard, dumbfounded.
Dawn had done it. She'd fixed the TARDIS, at least enough so that the old girl could finish fixing herself. He leaned against the blue door and sighed. The disappointment was crushing. He couldn't die now, not if the TARDIS was going to be all right. The weight of dozens of worlds settled on his shoulders again.
He tugged absently at the sleeves of the leather jacket Dawn had made him put on before she'd dragged him out for ice cream. He quite liked it. He ran a hand over his chin and before he could remind himself that there was no reason to care, he wondered what he looked like.
Dawn was inside, uttering stray words that he couldn't put together to make a conversation. Those phrases were clearly just the emotional overflow of a communication that was taking place via senses he did not possess. She was chatting with the TARDIS, and it sounded like a more intimate conversation than even he'd ever been able to have.
Jealousy. Wonderful. Yet another emotion anchoring him to life. He stumbled through the door and sat down, staring at the console. It was still battered, but he could tell it was already at least somewhat functional.
He waited until Dawn wandered outside to touch it. ***
Five minutes, a nasty time loop, and a century's worth of aggravation later, he yanked open the door.
Dawn was sitting on a tombstone, arms folded across her chest, glaring at him. "I told you. One dimension for the time being. And trying to cross your own time line? Really stupid."
He balled his hands into fists. "Not as stupid as doing nothing about it."
"It?" She peered up at him. "Where were you trying to go?"
"Before the Time War. You know about that?"
She raised her hands palm up, showing she had nothing up her sleeves. Hah. As if she needed a magic trick to thwart him. "Not…like hearing it on the news. But I could feel an echo through the TARDIS. I know how it ended, what you had to do. I think that's all I want to know." She considered. "I don't even want to know that."
He could sympathize. "I need to go back before the Time Lords made so many bad decisions. Before I had to destroy them."
Dawn shook her head. "Making bad decisions is something people do and you can't change them. Look at Xander. He's even marrying Anya."
He was pacing now. The detachment he'd cherished after regenerating had disappeared so completely that he no longer missed it. "This was a little more serious than marrying the wrong girl."
"Wrong vengeance demon." She watched him with the annoying calm she'd displayed from the start. "But, yeah, I guess you have a point, because it's just him, not all kinds of planets and species. But it's still bad, because it's Xander, and I don't want him turned inside out or eaten by some nasty pet demons because he makes Anya mad."
He smiled crookedly, because she was right. The destruction of his whole planet didn't make the fate of her friend any less important. It was denying the importance of one person that would trivialize his own loss. "You're just a font of wisdom, aren't you?"
She ignored the sarcasm. "Only as the Key. As Dawn, I'm pretty much a screwed up teenager. But when the TARDIS is nearby…." She looked at the old girl longingly. "I wish you could stay. I feel so…whole when she's around."
"I'll be back." He was resigned to it now. Resigned to life.
She laughed. "Oh, I know that!"
He tilted his head to one side, wondering at her. Of all the strange and wonderful things in the universe, she had to rank among the most amazing. "How?"
Her expression was full of mischief, but all she said was, "Spoilers."