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Doctor Who Crossover Internet Adventure #06 - "Kindred Spirits"


Chapter 3
"Conniption Fitz"
by K. Michael Wilcox


---


The Doctor held the struggling boy by the collar of his Diamondbacks T-shirt. "Take me to your leader, please."


       "I dunno what you're talking about!" the boy shouted, drawing more than a few stares.


       Buffy looked at the gangly youth, but she couldn't see anything odd about him. He was fairly plain, but not suspiciously so, any more than the kid in the Brewers T-shirt standing by the stairs. Or the one standing at the door in his Padres shirt. Or the two over there wearing Rockies and Marlins...


       "Why didn't anyone tell me," Xander said, "it was National League Shirt Night?"


       Buffy smiled and tilted her head toward the alien boy. "Next time you and your friends want to remain inconspicuous, try shopping at different stores."


       "Or at least somewhere stylish," Cordelia interjected.


       "I rather think," the Doctor said, "that the shirts were probably thrown in by whoever sold the Delphighnin their human suits."


       At the mention of his race, the boy stopped struggling. At the same time, the others began winding through the crowd toward them.


       "Umm, guys?" Willow said. "Perhaps now would be a good time to leave?"


       "I'm for it," Oz said as he gently squeezed Willow's hand.


       The Doctor's friend, Sam, glanced toward the door. "There're more waiting by the exit."


       Buffy looked around, but their table had been too central. A dozen or so Delphighnin, who were now thumby in the sorest way, had them surrounded.


       "We're trapped," she admitted.


* * *


Mro set the page down to rub eir eyes, and it immediately curled back up.


       "Are you okay?" Leri asked.


       "We have been backward and forward through this human writing, and I still can't even begin to think what sort of code it's in." Ey tried to shake eir head, but Leri immediately reached out and grabbed it.


       "That," ey said, "is why we need this Rupertgiles person."


       The office door opened and a Delphighnin entered, still wearing eir disguise. "We have the human," ey said.


       "You're sure it's this Rupertgiles?" Mro asked.


       "He is human; we did a bioscan this time," the newcomer said, receiving approving almost-nods from the others. "He was with the children, and he had the described vocal impediment. Just in case, though, most of the observers are still at the Bronze."


       "And this human?"


       "He's downstairs in the trunk of the Buick."


       "Well, blindfold him and bring him in," Leri instructed. The disguised Delphighnin left.


       "I'm hungry," Mro complained.


       "There're still the vampires we captured earlier."


       "No, thank you. The last one gave me the most horrible indigestion."


* * *


Fitz Kreiner was not enjoying himself. Being kidnapped and left in a car boot was bad enough. Even worse, since he hadn't been able to get away from Sam all day, he was still out of smokes and his lighter was in the TARDIS.


       He was about to burst into another round of profanities when he heard movement outside the car. At least two sets of footprints were coming closer, and someone was jangling keys.


       Fitz twisted into as close as he could get to a crouching position, ready to surprise his attackers by leaping out as soon as the boot lid was opened. The moment he saw a sliver of night, he leaped. However, instead of going forward, he bounded straight up and slammed the back of his head on the lid and knocked himself out.


* * *


Sam put her hand on the Doctor's shoulder. "Forget it, Doctor," she said. "Let him go."


       Reluctantly, the Doctor released the Delphighnin. It scampered back to its comrades, who faded back into the crowd until Sam couldn't see more than one or two.


       "That was fruitful," Oz deadpanned.


       "Mildly so, yes," the Doctor said. "Have we met? I'm the Doctor."


       "Oz."


       "He's my cuddle man," Willow cooed, hugging Oz.


       "Except for those nights he's her big, hairy cuddle wolf," Xander quipped.


       In that instant, Sam regretted taking that last sip of bottled water as it came back out through her nose. "Excuse me," she gasped.


       "Buffy," the Doctor said, "Sam has no place to stay tonight. Is it fine if she, umm, sleeps over with you?"


       Sam shook her head. "I'm coming with..."


       "No, you need to rest. Don't worry, I'm sure Fitz will be fine."


* * *


The sting from the slap was the first sensation Fitz had as consciousness returned. The throb in the back of the head was second.


       "He is awake now," a voice said.


       Fitz slowly opened his eyes. He was tied to a wooden chair in a small, dark room. One of his kidnappers was standing in front of him, and two large, thin insects stood to either side.


       "Are you Rupertgiles?" the taller bug on his right asked.


       "Huh? Wha?"


       "Are you Rupertgiles?" the other insect repeated.


       Through the pain, Fitz deciphered the question and decided what he must do. "Two words," he said, letting just a bit of Sean Connery brogue slip into his voice.


       "What?" the apparent human asked.


       "It's two words. Rupert Giles. Two words. Now who might you be?"


       "That is not important," the taller insect said. That's hardly fair, Fitz thought. The villain was always supposed to reveal himself to his captives. Besides, these ropes were too tight, and he didn't have his lighter, and the headache was getting worse, and...


       "Listen, you bug-eyed dried-up piece of camel flop!" he shouted, utterly failing to notice he wasn't swearing. "I don't how they do things on whatever forsaken dust-bowl third-world backwater planet you things come from," he continued, so worked up he was positively bouncing, "but here on Earth we have rules about this sort of thing and rule number one is that when you kidnap a guy, you flippin' give your name when he asks for it!"


       Fitz bounced so hard that one of the chair's legs snapped, and the whole thing collapsed. Fitz seemed to barely notice as he rose to his feet and faced the shorter bug.


       "You want to take this town's vampires, great!" He spun around to face the tall one. "You want me to help you with something, fiiiiiiiine!" He turned to the captor who looked human. "But don't try this intimidation nonsense! And if you're really a Delphighnin, would you please drop the disguise? It's awkward with you standing there looking like a kid."


       The figure shrugged and grabbed his lips. As he pulled them apart, a bug squeezed through the gap. Within seconds, a full-sized Delphighnin, almost as large as the one on Fitz's right, stood before him. For the first time, Fitz was distracted from his anger as he wondered how in the world that huge bug had fit inside.


       He tried not to let it show, though, as he looked at the small bug on the left. "And you are?"


       "Mro."


       Fitz turned to the tall bug. "And you?"


       "Leri."


       Suddenly, Fitz felt the adrenaline in his system drain away. He looked at the middle bug. "Tell me you're not Curly."


       "Krurli is dead," Leri said indignantly.


       "Ey was the best of us," Mro added.


       "I am Xyzyxukyyzkyx," the middle insect said.


       "Umm, I'll call you Shemp."


* * *


"It's very nice to meet you, Sam," Joyce Summers said. "How do you know Buffy?"


       "Mom, you remember Doctor Young?"


       Joyce considered for a moment. "That science teacher that they said..."


       "He didn't, Mom, believe me. He's one of the good guys. Actually, he's, umm, an alien."


       Joyce sighed. "An alien, from outer space." She looked at Sam. "Are you an alien, too?"


       Sam laughed. "No, I'm from London. I just travel with the alien."


       "I see," Joyce said, betraying almost no surprise.


       "Through time and space," Sam added, enjoying the look on Joyce's face.


* * *


"Ow!" Xander yelled, stopping and rubbing his arm. "What'd you do that for?"


       Cordelia kept walking a few yards before she turned around and pointed at him. "Don't think I didn't see how you were flirting with that Sam girl," she said. She turned back around and continued walking.


       Xander jogged to catch up. "I wasn't flirting," he lied. "I barely noticed her at all."


       Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Right. Anyway, she's way too old for you."


       "Old? She's the same age as the college guys you used to date, remember?"


       "That's totally different," Cordelia insisted.


* * *


Hiding behind a hedge, the vampire watched the young couple arguing on the sidewalk. Soon they'd be close enough for him to attack.


       Just then, a twig snapped behind him, and the vampire spun around to confront the two boys staring at him. Grinning, the vamp bared his fangs and stepped closer to the boys.


       Suddenly, one of them pulled off his skin, revealing a giant insect which pulled the vampire into the air. The last thing the undead man saw was the inside of the bug's mouth.


       As soon as the Delphighnin bit off the vampire's head, its body turned to dust. Coughing, the Delphighnin began spitting ashes over the ground.


       "Dolt," the other one said, "you have to eat the limbs first."


       "I forgot," the insect said as it climbed back into its suit. "We never had this problem with Delphigh Nosferatu."


* * *


Sam laughed as she unrolled the sleeping bag. "Do you know how long it's been since I've done this?" she asked.


       Buffy tossed her a pillow. "Why didn't you follow him?"


       "Hmm?"


       "The Doctor," Buffy said. "Why didn't you try to sneak off after him?"


       "That's not part of a Number 14," Sam answered.


       "The one with the rubber chicken?"


       Sam grinned. "Nah, the Doctor slipped a tracker inside the kid's shirt. Once he loses the Delphighnin following him, he'll march straight to their headquarters. Probably have the whole thing wrapped up before morning."


       "Really?"


       Sam pretended to mull it over a moment. "No, probably not."


* * *


Fitz let the second sheet roll back up and examined the third. "It's in Spanish," he finally announced.


       "What is Spanish?" Mro asked.


       "It's a language," Fitz answered.


       The Delphighnin looked confused. "But," Leri said, "I thought it was in the Earth language."


       "Spanish is an Earth language," Fitz explained. "We have hundreds of the things. The one we're speaking now is called English."


       "How very inefficient," Xyzyxukyyzkyx said. "However do humans communicate?"


       "We manage, usually."


       "So do you understand this Spanish, Rupert Giles?" Leri asked.


       "Sorry. I had some Latin in school, but that was ages ago. The only word on here I know is 'frijoles,' which means beans."


       "Oh," Mro said. "We were told you could decipher this for us."


       "Well, I can't do this myself, but maybe I can show these to the Spanish teacher at the school. I could probably get this done by, say, tomorrow."


       The Delphighnin stepped away from him for a moment and huddled together. Then they returned. "That sounds acceptable," Leri said. "We will give you the documents, and Xyzyxukyyzkyx will meet you at the school after the class day ends."


       Fitz tried to keep his joy concealed as he pondered the offer. "It's not a lot of time, but you have a deal."


       He was about to reach out to shake Leri's claw when the doors flew open. "There you are, Fitz!" the Doctor declared as he strode into the room.


       Instantly, the three Delphighnin turned from the Doctor to Fitz.


       "What did he call you?" Mro hissed.


       The Doctor stopped. "Fitz?" he squeaked.


       "You are not Rupert Giles?" Xyzyxukyyzkyx asked.


       "Well, now, I never actually said I was Rupert," Fitz said. "I just..."


       "Kill them!" Leri ordered.


       "Kill them both!" Mro added.


---
To be continued...



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