Summary: Dawn’s suspicious of the three electricity inspectors outside her sister’s Rome apartment.
Fandom: Buffy/Doctor Who
Characters: Dawn, Nine, Rose, Jack
Disclaimer: Property of Mutant Enemy and the BBC
Original story: The Great Bikini Incident by booster17
Dawn looked closely at the ID, and then at the grinning man holding it. It said ‘Italian Authority For Electricity and Gas’, in Italian and English; the picture had to be the same guy, because she couldn’t believe two people could have those ears. But something was weird, and Dawn had graduated the Sunnydale Advanced Degree in Weirdology; class 101, if something feels oogly, it probably is.
“Uh,” she said, “I’m not totally sure - it’s my sister’s apartment - but I don’t think we have gas.”
“Bet you’ve got electricity, though.”
“But you said there was a leak?”
He didn’t hesitate for more than maybe half a second; Dawn was impressed. “Very dangerous, electricity leaks. Won’t take half a mo to sort it out. Got two top-level electricity engineers with me and everything.”
The two top-level electricity engineers were behind him. The blonde girl looked embarrassed. The Tom-Cruise-alike – ooh, Dawn thought – just leaned against the opposite wall and grinned.
British Ears Guy said, “Your sister’s flat, did you say? Well, can we speak to her, then?”
“She’s not here...” Dammit. “I mean, she’s not right here. But she’s in the apartment. She’s in the bathtub.”
“Give her a shout. We’ll wait.”
Dawn could feel her face flame. “Oh, Buffy could be in the tub for hours, so you should call back later, bye!” And she slammed the door closed before they could stop her.
For a few seconds Dawn just stood there, thinking that she was going to feel really dumb if they came back later and there was really such a thing as an electricity leak. Then, with long practise of being a nosy kid sister, she put her ear to the door and listened to the conversation going on outside.
“She did say ‘Buffy’, didn’t she? I’m not hearing things in my old age? I mean, I know you lot are all for giving your kids strange names...”
“Says someone whose first name’s ‘The’.”
“Electricity leaks? Seriously?”
“Oh, and I heard you two chipping in with brilliant explanations!” The elevator dinged. “Right, then. Now we...”
She strained to hear more, but the elevator doors had closed. Now we... what? Now we report back to our demon lords and get them to come sacrifice the girl themselves? On the pro side to that plan, it was a great excuse for not starting work on her term paper.
Buffy’s cell went to the answerphone – so, her super-important Slayer stuff was code for a lunch date with the Immortal, Dawn thought, rolling her eyes and hunting through her school notes for Giles’ number in England.
Dawn sat down hard on the couch. “Electricity guy?” she squeaked.
He snorted a laugh. “My friends usually just call me the Doctor. You looking for Rupert? He stepped out for a minute.”
She fought to keep her voice steady. “What is that, like, demon speak for ‘we threw him out a tenth floor window’? Because if you’ve hurt Giles my sister’s gonna... I’m gonna...”
“Dawn? What on earth’s the matter?”
“Giles!” Dawn gripped the phone hard, the initial flood of relief lessened by the thought that some demons could imitate voices. “If you’re really Giles, tell me something only he would know.”
“When you were eleven and Buffy first brought you to the library you put chocolate fingerprints all over a three-hundred-year-old, one-of-a-kind translation of the Librus Maleficus.”
Dawn sagged with relief. “Sorry. Again.”
“Oh, I’ve forgotten about it long ago,” he said unconvincingly. “Dawn, I’m glad you rang. An old friend of mine - the Doctor - wants to speak to you. He says it’s quite urgent.”
“Okay,” she said. “I guess if you know him and he’s not a demon or anything...”
“No, he isn’t a demon, though I can’t speak for the ‘or anything’. He’s changed his face again, which is rather disconcerting...”
“Hold on a second.” Someone was knocking on the apartment door, not too loudly but over and over, like they could keep it up all day. “Okay, I’m coming!” Dawn yelled. “Jeez, did you forget your key ag...”
Blonde Girl had changed her t-shirt and the really hot one was in a different jacket. The other one – the Doctor – had the same coat, same grin, same everything. He nodded at the phone. Dawn looked down at it in a daze.
“That Rupert on the phone? We’ve probably just left there. Mind if we come in? I’m the Doctor – no, already said that, haven’t I? This is Rose and Jack, you can figure out for yourself which is which.”
“Giles,” she said into the phone, “I’ll call you later.”
“Sorry for Jack, by the way,” the Doctor said. “Just in advance. We haven’t had a spare minute to get the ‘sorry about him’ t-shirts made up yet.”
“Hey,” Jack protested, but he said it with a smile and Dawn’s insides went to a melty place.
“Sorry about this,” the girl said, following the two men into the apartment. “It is important, honestly. There’s this... thing, and these people are looking for it. Well, when I say people...” She looked to her two friends for help, but the Doctor was frowning over a thin, silver flashlight and Jack was doing something with the black band around his wrist.
“So you guys are witches?” From the shocked way Rose looked at her, then the Doctor, she guessed not. “Just, with the getting from England to Italy in thirty seconds...”
“Witches? Actual witches? With broomsticks and things?”
“You were trying to think how to explain aliens to her a minute ago. More things on heaven and Earth, Rose. Especially Earth.”
Dawn could feel herself getting more secure by the second. Aliens were okay. Aliens were just demons from space, right?
The Doctor shook the flashlight and the strap around Jack’s wrist bleeped. “Almost ready. It was you mentioning your sister,” he told Dawn. “There’s a group of aliens – the Vaoform Perfidia, they’re called – and they’ve been tracking you, and we’ve been tracking them. Led us straight to your door. Then you said your sister had some funny name and I thought ‘hang on, where have I heard that before? And when it clicked we went to see Giles, and he told us...” He lifted his head and looked straight at Dawn, and she got that feeling that she’d sometimes gotten with Spike or Angel; you look human, you look like me but you’re not. “This Key they’re looking for. That’d be you, wouldn’t it?”
Slowly, she nodded. It’ll never go away, she thought. It’s been years and Glory and the Knights are dead and it still hasn’t gone away.
“Should’ve thought of that first,” the Doctor said. “It’s been done before; last one I met was about your age, too. Making a Key into a person, that’s clever, that is. Makes other people want to take care of it. Her, I should say.”
“Which we will,” Rose said. “We won’t let anybody hurt you, I promise.”
Jack made a tch noise. “Come on, it’s the Vaoform Perfidia!”
Dawn was relieved that Rose looked as confused as she felt.
“The most pacifist race in the galaxy? So non-confrontational their planet was surveyed seventeen times before anyone realised it was inhabited?”
“Yeah, that’s them,” the Doctor confirmed. “They don’t actually mean you any harm – I doubt any of them’ll even get up the nerve to speak to you, let alone whisk you back to the homeworld – but they can’t stick around here worshipping you. The rate they breed at, this planet’ll be up to its neck in Perfidia inside six months.”
“So you guys can... deKeyify me?” she asked, and was surprised that she felt a little relieved when the Doctor shook his head.
“That’s just you, sorry. All we can do is hide you better. Which we can do in about five seconds, if you’ll hold still for us. Rose, move out of the way. Jack – go.”
Dawn automatically closed her eyes as Jack brought up his arm, but the non-deKeyifying didn’t hurt. It just felt like a light breeze sweeping over her skin, tickling and leaving her cool where it passed -
She opened her eyes. And shrieked.
“Huh,” Jack said, tapping his wrist strap with his fingers. “I knew there was a defabricator on here somewhere. Never knew it had a bikini setting.”
“I’m supposed to be wearing less than this?” she snapped, and ducked behind Rose. “My sister’s gonna kill you. Those were her Italian originals.”
“All right, never mind the fancy DNA stuff.” The Doctor dug in his pocket and reached out to Dawn. He had a handful of rings; ones with a single jewel and ones with twenty, and plain wedding bands, and the tacky skulls Spike had liked. “Pick a biodamper. Any you like. You’ll have to keep it on forever, mind. Think of it like one of those medical alert bracelets, only it’s so people don’t know about your... condition.”
Her only condition right now was one of extreme embarrassment. She grabbed one of the rings as fast as she could and hid behind Rose again.
“I said sorry for him already, didn’t I?” the Doctor said. “We do need those t-shirts.”
“Sorry my cellphone was off. Slayer stuff.”
“No big,” Dawn said, absently turning her new ring with her thumb.
“Started your paper?”
“Yep.” She’d opened the books. That counted.
“Oh, hey – you guys haven’t met, right? This is the Immortal. This is my kid sister Dawn.”
“Not a kid, thanks,” she said, and looked up at her sister’s new boyfriend. “Uh,” she said.
“Hey, Dawn,” said Jack. “Good to see you.” And he winked.