|Doctor Who Crossover Internet Adventure #06 - "Kindred Spirits"
"The Prodigal Sub"
by Rebecca Dowgiert
No one noticed the blue box right away.
That could have had something to do with the fact that it had landed in the school library. No one ever went in *there*. Well, no one except for Giles's little gang.
It was between school periods when it arrived, and the Librarian was out much of the day on an errand picking up some 'important reference books for the library' from a certain antiques dealer in nearby Carver City, so the sudden appearance of the blue cabinet went unnoticed as it shimmered rather noisily into existence in a shadowed corner behind the book stacks on the mezzanine.
No one saw the figures who slipped out, then made their way out of the school.
About 11:50 am, a red-headed girl with a sweet freckle-speckled face cracked open the library's wooden doors and peeked within. No one. The doors creaked gently on their hinges as she quietly departed.
* * *
Buffy Summers adjusted her backpack and strode through the Library doors, slinging the too-full (in her opinion) bag onto the polished table before folding herself into a chair and stretching luxuriously.
"You sure he wanted to meet us today?"
"Thought so. He had some errand to run; getting some new books or something. Said he'd be back right after school." Buffy completed her stretch and returned to her normal length.
"New books?" Her friend's face lit up.
"Old books, actually." Buffy punctuated that with a yawn. "You know how Giles is." She glanced peremptorily around the dusty room. "No books more recent than, say, fifteen-hundred. I'm pretty certain he pays for them out of his own pocket."
"Oh." Willow sounded disappointed. Then she perked herself up with an effort. "Well, I'm sure the school board will give him some money to buy books next year..." She trailed off momentarily. "...after we've graduated."
"Brave heart," Buffy smiled, resisting the urge to pat her best friend on the shoulder. "There's a *whole* world of books out there, waiting to be read by you."
"Brave heart?" Willow looked bemused.
"You know. The movie. Scottish hunks? Being brave?"
Ah. A Buffy joke. Willow wrinkled her nose in a smile.
That was when the library doors *crashed* open. Buffy got an impression of dark green, chestnut curls, a head with short-cropped blonde hair, a dark-haired man on one side... outflung limbs, gasps, wide-eyed looks--
All that in the few seconds as she leapt to her feet, every fighting instinct flaring. Sanctuary, Invasion--
No. Not an attack. Just a staggering shape, being supported by two people.
Willow was gawping next to her.
"Help us!" one of the two supporters gasped. "He's hurt!" The blonde. Not much older than her and Willow. British accent. Friend of Giles?
The other helper, seemingly in his twenties, merely grunted. The person they were helping said nothing, head lolling, red-brown curls bobbing. He was dressed in dark green velvet. Buffy saw the trickle of blood down the man's neck. Too dark. Then his face rolled aside, affording her a clear look.
She sighed inwardly. It was that mysterious 'Doctor Young'. The Substitute Hunk, among the nicknames that diversion-seeking Sunnydale High girls had given him the last time he'd been here.
It was going to be another typical Sunnydale day. Which meant basically that all hell would break loose. More, now that he was here...
Then she and Willow were on their feet, helping the two strangers maneuver the Time Lord to a chair. He sat down limply, barely responsive.
"We should get him into the TARDIS. Maybe she'll know what to do..." The blonde bit her lip, about to haul the rumpled man to his feet again. He was muttering faintly.
"What happened to him?" Buffy asked the blonde intently.
The man looked up. "Blood loss...or maybe poisoned. We're not sure exactly what happened after he was kidnapped...."
Also British, his words said with a trace of defiance. This sort of thing was nothing new to him, nor to his friend, who was trying to get a response from their wounded friend. Upset, but not panicking.
Different companions from the last time the 'Time Lord' known as the Doctor had visited their friendly little town, but still kindred spirits. Used to Weirdness.
What had happened to Wil Young?
"Damn. Giles would probably know what to do," Buffy muttered. "Maybe you should--"
And it was with exquisite timing that Giles the next moment staggered through the library doors, clutching a large cardboard box piled high with old leather-bound books.
He paused, blinking at the scene before him.
"Oh dear," he muttered, before plunking the box down on the rarely- used check-out counter near the door, raising clouds of dust as he hurried to help.
* * *
The Doctor came alive as they stretched him out on top of the library table so that Giles could employ the first-aid kit.
His eyes snapped open, that startling blue, then his mouth. He frowned. Five anxious faces peered down at him. Then a sixth, as a dark-haired lad he vaguely remembered appeared, blinked, and said "Having a rough day, I see."
That extra head disappeared. "Sam..." the Doctor said, still frowning. "Why am I lying here?"
"Vampires," she said, matter-of-factly. "Probably."
"Oh. Are we in San Francisco?"
"Oh... Oh, *yes*!" He tried to sit up in his enthusiasm, and several hands reached out to help. He smiled around at his friends, his own hand going to the wound on his neck, a small ragged gash surrounded by a purplish ring of mottled bruising, the blood already drying.
He inadvertently glanced up at Sam and saw the expression on her face.
"Sam... I'm all right," he said gently, in answer to her unspoken concern, and dark memories. She didn't quite reach for the small scar that was no longer there on her own neck.
"Are you sure?" Willow inquired. "You were pretty out of it."
"Yes, a vampire bite is nothing to dismiss," practical Giles said, reaching forward with cotton and peroxide.
The Doctor let him minister, taking on a distracted expression. "That's just it. It wasn't a vampire who attacked me."
"Sure looks like a vampire did that," Buffy said matter-of-factly.
"Several men grabbed him while we were in the centre of town," said Sam's friend. Buffy and Giles exchanged worried glances. Not vampires - it was still a fully sunny day. Humans, coerced into supplying the local vamp larder?
"And...?" Xander prompted. "Someone had ordered out for lunch, and you were the special of the day?" The slim, self-assured blonde and her friend (boyfriend?) glanced at each other as the Doctor smiled. The girl was amused, Xander noticed with satisfaction.
Now if only he could be sure that she was laughing with him, not at him.
"We followed them to a warehouse on the edge of town, but couldn't get inside right away." Boyfriend's tone of voice was matter-of-fact, a dry recounting of what would have been frantic minutes. "When we did, we found just him lying there, half-dead, and brought him back here..."
Now that the immediate panic was over, they were relaxing, taking stock of one another.
"Oh, my manners," the Doctor tutted. "Sam, Fitz, this is Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg, and Buffy Summers."
There was a *cough* from behind the figures surrounding him.
"Oh..." The Doctor leaned to peer around Sam. "Hullo, Xander! These are Sam Jones and Fitz Kreiner, my friends."
Xander flashed his most charming, schmarmy smile. "Well, any friends of the Doctor are friends of mine." Sam wasn't even looking at him.
Sam tilted her head. "So, which one of you is the 'vampire slayer'?" she asked, a hint of challenge in her tone.
Buffy smiled, half-raising her hand. "That'd be me," she said, lightly. "Show me a vampire; I slay it."
Sam swept a somewhat sceptical glance up and down Buffy's capri and tank-top clad form, at her hair swept up in untidy glamour in a plastic clip. Perhaps the Doctor's friend had been expecting 'Ripley' from Aliens, or something.
Then again, most people didn't believe that Buffy Summers, one-time Ditz, could fight her way out of a shopping bag the first time they met her.
* * *
His neck wound cleaned and dressed, leaving Buffy with the definite impression of 'hicky', the Doctor sat on the edge of the library table and beamed as he tugged up the collar of his white, white shirt. That was when she realized he was wearing *exactly* the same clothes he'd had the last time he'd been here. She frowned.
"What do you remember, Doctor?" Giles asked.
"I remember being grabbed.... We went to a warehouse near the docks. There were a number of... well, I wouldn't call them people..."
Giles smiled slightly as he adjusted his glasses. "Indeed not."
"I know a Delphighnin when I see one."
"A whatsit?" Xander asked.
"A Delphighnin. From the Derobus Cluster."
There was a short silence.
Giles opened his mouth to speak, then paused, his face crinkled in bemusement. "You're saying we have more 'aliens'. Here in Sunnydale."
The Doctor shrugged. "You can't expect to be sitting on top of an anomaly like this one..." Here he gestured, his hand moving in a fluid gesture that managed to include the entire library and what lay below. "...And not expect it to... attract things."
"Like us," Fitz muttered to Sam.
"Yes, but *demons*. Vampires... not, not..."
The Doctor tilted his head as he peered owlishly at the librarian.
"Yes, well... all right," Giles concluded reluctantly. "What do these 'Delphighnins' want?"
"*That*," the Doctor declared, waggling an index finger, "is a very good question."
His next comment had them all staring at him.
"I believe they want... vampires."
To be continued...
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