Genre: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who (Ten)
Word Count: 2207
Prompt: How about something combining Dr. Who and the Buffy Gang? (thespian15) and
What about Spike meeting the 10th Doctor and commenting on his hair compared with that of Angel? *g* (I always thought Ten had sentient hair, and Spike could be so amazingly sarcastic...) But really, anything with Spike and Ten would be a win. (Wiseheart)
My thanks to thespian15 and wiseheart for giving me a chance to time travel. And, as always to sparky955 for her beta help.
“I can’t believe this.” Buffy returned an ornament to the store shelf and made a face as she left the little shop. The street was lined with garland, the lights were bright and Buffy couldn’t be less in a Christmas mood. “What I really want is an old-fashioned Christmas.”
“Ooo, you mean like with popcorn and cranberries on the trees, and paper chains and tons of relatives and presents.”
“Will, you’re Jewish. How do you know about Christmas?”
“I’ve seen Currier and Ives prints. I know how you do it. Big turkey and all the trimmings”
“No, I mean the kind of Christmas where my parents paid for everything. I just woke up and opened presents. I can’t afford anything. Well, not much”
Willow brushed Buffy’s hair from her face. “You’re really missing your mom, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” Buffy’s voice sounded small.
“What about your Dad?”
“He’s off with his new wife, vacationing in Greece.”
“Ooo, he’s got a nerve.”
Buffy smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “He sends me a check now and again, when his conscience bothers him. If it wasn’t for that, we would be eating fast food for Christmas. Adulting sucks, Will.”
“Yeah. I know what you mean. I thought once you got out of school, everything would be easy and cool. Mostly, it’s just big piles of not so much.”
“Wotcher, Slayer, Red.” Spike looked both ways before dodging around the traffic to join them.
“Oh, good and now my evening is complete. Well, at least we’ve got the turkey,” Buffy muttered.
“Oi, is that nice? Santa is watching, you know.”
“Good! I hope he has a headache.” Buffy stormed off a few feet and stopped in front of a window. There were a pair of mid-calf boot on displays. She touched her mitten to the glass and sighed.
“What?” Spike looked confused. “What did I say, Red?”
“She’s got the Christmas Blues. No mom.”
“I know how that feels. My mum adored Christmas and always made for a nice one. We vampires don’t do so well with them, though, what with the crucifixes and holy water and all.”
“I can see that.” Willow watched her friend with an increasing sense of concern. Buffy was struggling more and more these days. “She just wants an old-fashioned Christmas. You know, with holly, like they used to have.”
“I… um might have an answer for that. For a price.”
“Spike, is everything a money making scheme for you?”
“Blood and booze doesn’t come cheap, you know.”
Willow made a face as Buffy started walking again. This time she paused in front of a dress shop. Nothing she had really fit anymore. She was about three years out of fashion and what wasn’t out of fashion had blood stains on them.
“I need to make a call first. Round up Xander and meet me at my crypt tomorrow after sunset.”
“I can’t guarantee I can make her come. And no dirty jokes, Spike.”
Spike clasp a hand to his chest. “Me? Perish the thought, Red.”
“This is stupid. It’s Christmas Eve. I don’t want to spend it in a graveyard.” She picked her way through the headstones on her way to Spike’s crypt. Truth was she could do it in her sleep and the real truth was that the cemetery was just as festive as her house was.
“Hey, Buffy!” Xander called and waved, then disappeared around the corner of the crypt. She gave him a small smile, still mired in her holiday gloom.
“Okay, I’m here… what the big…?“ She rounded the structure and came to an abrupt halt. There were a big blue box sitting there. “What is that?” She looked from Xander to Willow and jumped slightly as the door opened and Spike stepped out. He was followed by a dark-haired man, in an ill-fitting brown suit and long almost-matching trench coat.
“Hey, Slayer, meet The Doctor.” Spike gestured to the man. “And pay no attention to his Angel-like hair. He’s cool.”
“I have hair like an angel?” The Doctor’s voice sounded concerned.
“No, like Angel. With the poof hair stuff.”
“He shouldn’t have left his tube behind. Hello!” The Doctor offered Buffy his hand. “Spike tells me you have a bit of the holiday funk. Ooo, that doesn’t sound good, does it?” he asked Spike. “Sort of flu like and all and nobody wants to be sick at this time of the year.” He paused and looked from one to the other and smiled. “Sorry. So, you are dreaming of an old fashioned Christmas.”
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, kinda.”
“Then step into my office.” The Doctor pushed open the door. “All of you, so long as you promise not to touch.” His comment was made at Xander.
Xander made a face. “A guy pushes one button.”
“You nearly started World War III,” the Doctor protested.
“I didn’t know. I thought it was the radio or something.” Xander scuffled his feet, little boy like.
“Get in!” The Doctor watched them enter, then looked at Buffy. “Madam, your dream awaits.”
“This isn’t going to be something weird, is it? Spike?”
“It will be mind-altering, but not like Woodstock.”
“Lordy, there will never be another Woodstock,” The Doctor muttered. “And for the recorded, I only inhaled.”
“Sure, whatever you say.” Spike gave Buffy a nudge and she made a face, but entered the box.
“I don’t know how we are all gonna… fit.” She stopped, astounded by the size of the inside of the box. “How is this possible?”
“Oh, the TARDIS keeps that secret to herself, don’t you, old girl?” He sat down at a console, its top a mass of buttons, switches and knobs. “Where to, James?”
“How about 1890?”
“Nice round year.” The Doctor began flipping switches.
“Yeah, I’m fond of it.”
“What are you two talking about?” Willow asked, then squealed as the TARDIS shook and rattled.
“Time travel, Red.” Spike grabbed Buffy as she hurtled by. She pulled free of him and righted herself. “You’re welcome.” The box came to a shuddering rest.
“And we’re here.” The Doctor stood and walked to the door, pushing it open.
“Ah, what’s that smell?” Willow gagged and made a face.
“What passes for sanitation… well, in the 19th century, at any rate. Watch the sky.”
“For rockets?” Xander sounded hopeful.
“Emptying chamber pots,” Spike corrected. “This brings back memories.”
“It’s so foggy,” Buffy said as she stepped out. “Foggy London town.” She started to cough.
“Air pollution from all the coal stoves. Was it any wonder people died young?” Spike made his way across a muddy street, doing his best to avoid the ruts. He wiped away the frost and gestured to Buffy. “Look in here.”
A family was stiffly collected in front of a sparsely decorated tree. A banner proclaiming, “Happy Christmas” decorated the space behind it, along with a bit of garland and a single star.
Willow frowned. “The women look like they are all in pain.”
“Corsets,” The Doctor said. “They were awful.”
“Hard to get off, too,” Spike murmured.
“They don’t look happy, even though they are all together,” Buffy said.
“Well, this time of the year was hard, what with death and disease and all. Most folks couldn’t afford a tree, but Queen Victoria popularized it and the common folks didn’t know quite what to do with it. Add that to the dinner that was expected, and it could be a very expensive time.”
“I don’t see many presents.” Xander stood on tiptoes for his view.
“It was more about church and family than gifts. Think about A Christmas Carol. The wealthy could afford to celebrate, but for the poor, it was just another day of trying to stay alive.”
“Yeah, this is really cheering me up.” Buffy shivered and walked back to the TARDIS. The group exchanged looks and followed her in.
“How about the 20’s? After the war?” Spike suggested as The Doctor took his spot again.
“Sure, why not?” Buffy sighed.
This time the door opened out onto a snow-covered field, with a farmhouse not far off.
“Nice and so peaceful,” Buffy said. She didn’t budge from the TARDIS though as the others left.
“Buffsters, what wrong?”
Buffy looked down at her so-not appropriate footwear. “I didn’t know I was going to need boots.”
“No problem.” Spike hefted her up easily and began to carry her across the snow.
“Do you mind, Spike?” she yelled while struggling to get out of his arms.
“Not at all. Question is, do your fancy shoes mind?”
Buffy settled down after that and Spike deposited her down onto a shoveled path. Almost instantly she began to slip and grabbed onto the nearest thing for support. It was Spike and he grinned as he steadied her. He looked over at The Doctor.
“Wot? Just cuz a fella a vampire doesn’t mean he can’t be all chivalrous and stuff.”
“Right.” The Doctor slapped his hands together. “So, Christmas in the 1920’s.”
They looked in at a scene. The tree was well decorated and there were many wrapped presents scattered about on the floor, but it were ignored. The children and their mother sat in front of a fireplace, but a sense of gloom permeated the air.
“What’s wrong?” Xander asked.
“Their father and older brothers went missing in the war. This will probably be the last Christmas they will see as a family. Since this is the Twenties, there are limited employment options for women. In a week, they will be gone from here and living in a tiny flat in the city.”
“What will happen to them?” Willow asked, huddling inside her coat.
“If she’s lucky, she’ll find someone who will hire her, if not, then she will have to turn to prostitution to keep body and soul together. Her children will be sent to a poorhouse to work.” The Doctor’s voice was sad. “Stupid business, war.” Xander did his best to hide his Army jacket.
“Can we go, please?” Buffy asked Spike. He nodded and picked her back up.
“Where now?” The Doctor took the controls, his mood still somber.
Buffy sighed. “Home, please.” “I can’t take much more of this holiday cheer.” The TARDIS landed in Buffy’s backyard and she stepped out, smiling sadly. “Thank you for trying to cheer me up, all of you, even you, Spike. It meant a lot and it was really nice of you.”
Xander and Willow exchanged looks. “Hey, Buffy, how about some hot chocolate?”
“With the little marshmallows?” Spike asked, hopeful.
“Sure.” Buffy smiled wearily. “Doctor, may I offer you a cup of hot chocolate? It’s the least I can do for the road trip.”
“Well, I’m not much for Christmas, just me and the TARDIS.”
“If it’s any help, there’s not much Christmas in there either.”
Spike bumped The Doctor with his shoulder. “Come on, Doc. Live a little.”
“Said the Vampire.”
“Least I don’t wear pouncy hair gel. You and the King of Angst.”
“Your hair does that naturally then, does it?”
Buffy sighed and walked up the steps to get into the kitchen, but the door was locked. “Darn it,” she muttered. “Change of plan, we have to go around.”
They followed her at a distance, slowing as she came to an abrupt halt. The front of the Summers’ house was decked brightly with glistening lights. Inside she could see a Christmas tree, decorated to the point of collapse.
“But I don’t…” The door burst open and Tara, Anya, Dawn, and Giles jumped out. “Surprise!”
“But how?” Tears of happiness welled up in Buffy’s eyes. She looked to her friends and climbed up the stairs, rushing past them on the porch and into the living room. They followed her in. Christmas music was playing and a sense of calm and wellbeing permeated the air.
“We found all of this in the crawl space,” Tara said. “We’ve been decorating since you left.”
“You really need to dust in there,” Anya muttered. “Giles hired a service to help with the outside. Christmas lights are evil.” She shuddered and went to Xander for comfort.
“I did the tree… well, most of it,” Dawn announced. “We wanted to surprise you!”
“Hullo, Rupert!” The Doctor shook hands with the Watcher. “I didn’t know you were on this side of the Pond.”
“Is there anyone you don’t know?” Willow asked as she pulled her coat off. Tara took it and hung it up.
The Doctor thought for a moment. “Not really, although if I had the choice, Henry the VIII would have been a pass. How that man could pass gas.”
“Thank you for this,” Giles said, watching Buffy who was happily examining the ornaments and telling stories behind them. “She doesn’t have a lot of joy in her life these days.”
“I’m glad I was able to help.”
“We all helped,” Spike said, and Giles nodded
“Yes, all right, Spike I will acknowledge your part in this. I’m just glad you were able to find The Doctor.”
“I’m always around for a friend and if it helps lighten a burden, I’m glad to help.” The Doctor slapped his hands together happily. “Good, now about that hot chocolate?"