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Pocketful of Sunshine

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Take me away (take me away)
A secret place (a secret place)
A sweet escape (a sweet escape)
Take me away (take me away)
Take me away (take me away)
To better days (to better days)
Take me away (take me away)
A hiding place (a hiding place)

The sun is on my side.
Take me for a ride.
I smile up to the sky.
I know I'll be all right.

~ Natasha Bedingfield, Pocketful of Sunshine




They ran together, laughing, through the streets of Paris, their pursuers long behind them, as the Doctor navigated their route, their guide the twinkling lights of the Île de la Cité, the swollen moon reflecting off the Seine and setting it aglow.

His key to the TARDIS swung back and forth on the chain around his neck, hidden beneath his shirt, just below the crucifix Buffy had given to him. The Doctor grabbed his hand, entwining their fingers, and they veered left onto the Rue Dauphine, their legs pumping and breath catching as Pont Neuf loomed before them.

Xander looked behind him and saw nothing but the bemused smiles of several Parisians, who believed they were witnessing nothing more than yet another foreign couple swept away by the City of Lights.

They came to a halt in the middle of the bridge, the Doctor grinning from ear to ear, his eyes bright and electric. Xander doubled over, hands on his knees, as another gale of hysterical laughter was torn from his throat. As it tapered off and gave way to a faint wheeze, he looked at the Doctor, chuckled, and then spread wide his hands on the rail. He forced himself to breathe and his eyes panned around him.

Paris! He was in Paris! The city he had heard Cordelia speak of with joy, Giles with fondness, and Joyce with longing, and he was there.

No vampires, no demons, no supernatural nonsense of any kind!

Of course, that didn't mean he hadn't a bottle of holy water at the ready in his front pocket, or a stake nestled in the small of his back, held in place by his waistband. Sure, there were aliens trying to take over the world, but they pretty much had been defeated, and he had helped, really helped.

"So?" the Doctor excitedly asked.

Xander laughed again. "Fantastic!" He threw his arms around the Doctor's neck. "Absolutely fantastic!"