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Exquisite Corpse

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Author’s note: I do not own Buffy or Doctor Who. Please don’t sue me for using them.

This story is the sequel to and set immediately after ‘Speech of the Devil’.


The Doctor was moving around the TARDIS, flipping switches, pushing buttons. The actions themselves were much like they were every time he flew the TARDIS, and yet there wasn’t the usual exploratory exuberance that generally accompanied this. He moved slowly. He looked thoughtful.

Amy, eventually, asked the question that no one was asking. “Who was she? The blonde woman. Who… what was she?”

The Doctor didn’t answer. He paused briefly to look at her, even opened his mouth to speak, but at the last moment he thought better of it and closed it again. With a final switch, the TARDIS was in motion, the central column moving and the familiar and oddly soothing wheezing sound echoing around them.

Amy decided that, given that it looked like the Doctor wasn’t going to answer that question, she might as well ask another. Usually, the Doctor loved to talk. “What about the TARDIS, then? She said you were going to fix it, but… it looks like you're just doing the same things you normally do. Is the TARDIS going to explode or something? And why is he here?”

The last question was accompanied by a gesture to a Roman centurion, who looked more hurt by the question and less awed by being in a box that was bigger on the inside than one might expect.

“Ah yes.” The Doctor said slowly. “That would be Rory. Take a good look at Rory. I don’t think he’ll mind.” He rocked back on his heels. “Certain of it, actually. Good, good, you’re doing that and you're not paying even the slightest bit of attention to me. Just like old times.” The Doctor finished. “Ah. We’re here.”

“Where?” Rory asked, without looking away from Amy.

“Not sure. Somewhere interesting. Come on!” The Doctor moved to the doors and flung them wide open.

They went and had some adventures, although they didn’t have the slightest idea what sort of adventures they were going to have, or when, or where. They travelled the universe on the whim of a machine, until the Doctor decided that enough was enough and that Amy and Rory should really go back to Leadworth and finally get married. They’d already had enough problems on that front, what with Rory getting written out of reality and coming back as a Roman for no reason the Doctor could grasp. So he dropped them back home on the night before their wedding.

He promised fervently that he would be back in time for the wedding itself. Given that he had a time machine, he was fairly certain that he was telling the truth. He’d gotten better at aiming. Slightly. A little bit.

So the Doctor dropped them off in their home town and went off somewhere. He didn’t know where he was going, but there was nothing new in that. In fact, if he knew where he was going-

There was a moment, lasting less than a fraction of a second, when the TARDIS and everything in it suddenly seemed to become infinitely flat, infinitely long and also rather crooked. Before there was even a chance to register this, however, the moment had passed.

-it made the whole thing a lot less interesting.

Apparently, the Doctor had ended up on Earth. He could tell that by the atmosphere, by the feel of time on his skin and the world moving beneath his feet. There was nothing about the buildings around him that seemed particularly interesting, but the Doctor paid them no heed.

Looming in front of him was some kind of structure, a tower in the centre of the square. It seemed as though it was held together more by rust than by good workmanship. It seemed to sway gently in the wind. More than that, though, there was something almost magnetic about it. The Doctor’s gaze skated over the surrounding buildings but always came back to the tower. His eyes kept returning to it, even though he didn’t intend them to do so.

After a few moments, the Doctor shrugged and went exploring.

The moment that he turned around, he was confronted by a statue of an angel standing behind him. It was so close that it could have reached out and touched him with no effort whatsoever, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a statue. Of course, just because it looked like a statue didn't mean that it was.

It looked like a Weeping Angel. It had the wings and everything. But it didn’t have its hands in front of its eyes, and its arms dangled harmlessly by its sides. They hadn’t turned into claws, and the face wasn’t twisted into a snarl. It looked, all things considered, like a statue.

Except the Doctor didn’t think that it had been there before.

The Doctor back away slowly until he left the square. He pressed his back against the wall, waited a few seconds, and then poked his head around the corner again.

The statue was still there. It hadn’t moved at all. Those few seconds would be more than enough for an angel to get away, if it had wanted to, and there was no one else watching it. When no one watched an angel, it was free to do whatever it liked. Given the things that it liked, it was therefore generally a better idea to keep an eye on them.

Unless, of course, it was just a statue. A creepy statue. Maybe it had been there before. He’d been distracted by the odd magnetism of the tower – he could have just completely failed to see it. It wouldn’t have been the first time something like that had happened.

“What are you looking at?” A voice said behind him. The Doctor turned instinctively to see a man looking at him curiously. Realising what he’d just done, he turned back to the square.

The statue was gone.

“Nothing. I’m just a little lost.”

“Oh? Maybe I can help with that.” Suddenly the man sprouted fangs and his eyes were yellow and he was lunging for the Doctor who was already running.

He didn’t run far. He ran, in fact, straight into a dead end. The creature, whatever it was, seemed to take great pleasure in that. It advanced slowly on the Doctor.

And then it was gone, and there was a statue standing where it had been, its hand outstretched with a single finger extended. Even now, it still looked peaceful, a far cry from the usual expression of an angel in such a situation.

A young woman appeared at the elbow of the statue. She looked as though she was perhaps fifteen, until you looked more closely and saw that she was much too weary for someone that young. Until you noticed that her eyes were hooded, as though she couldn’t quite bring herself to open them fully. “You new in town?”

The Doctor nodded.

“Thought as much. No one goes out after dark any more. Not even now.”

“That thing… what was it?” The Doctor asked. He wondered if it was worth asking the woman why she was out after dark herself.

The woman smiled faintly. The Doctor got the distinct impression that that was about all the amusement that she could muster. “Vampire. You really walked into the wrong town. I’d suggest that you leave again and… well, you probably won’t have trouble forgetting. Something like this tends to be too incredible to remember.”

“A… vampire.” The Doctor paused. “Are we talking about the kind of vampire who needs invitations to get in, gets scared away by crosses, that kind of thing?”

“Got it in one. Anyway, like I said, you should leave. The angels can’t save everyone.”

Vampires. That was… interesting. The Doctor knew vampires. Every Time Lord did. They were quite literally the stuff of legends. If that had been a vampire, then he would have known about it. He would have felt it in his bones. He also knew that vampires weren’t scared by crosses and could enter dwellings without being invited. There was no race he knew of, none whatsoever, that acted like that. Certainly not one that lived on Earth in small town America.

And then there was the tower, and the angel...

The Doctor rummaged in his pocket for a second, pulled out a piece of chalk and tossed it to the woman. She caught it instinctively and then looked at it in surprise.

“Would you mind drawing something for me? Anything will do.” The Doctor said, and then calmly walked past her and the angel and back into the square. He went back into his TARDIS, and the woman rounded the corner just in time to see it vanish. She looked at the now-empty space where it had stood, then shrugged and drew a rather wonky circle on the floor. She stood and waited.

Nothing happened for several minutes. After that, nothing happened. Eventually the woman got bored and left, taking the chalk with her.

The TARDIS reappeared about a minute after that, and promptly vanished again. This cycle repeated several times. Eventually the Doctor got out and looked thoughtfully at the tower.

It wasn’t just his gaze that the tower attracted. It also seemed to draw his TARDIS in. Oh, he could leave, he could go anywhere he wanted… but the next time he travelled, he always ended up right there, on that very spot.

And that very spot was interesting in itself, because it didn’t exist. According to the TARDIS, there was nothing there. That is not to say that the TARDIS didn’t recognise the world that, according to every sense the Doctor had, seemed to be the Earth. When the TARDIS was there, in front of the tower, it didn’t even recognise the universe. All it saw was emptiness.

The Doctor wondered where he was.

And then he looked down, and saw the chalk mark on the ground which told him that he’d gotten the time right (although he suspected that the tower had more to do with that than his piloting skills).

But the wobbly circle wasn’t the only thing on the ground. There was also a message.

Do you know us?