Return to Doctor Willow and the Diabolical Big Foot Conspiracy Chapter Four

Doctor Willow and the Diabolical Big Foot Conspiracy

Author: Tardis Traveler
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimers: I don't own or profit from any of the main characters. Willow and Tara are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Dr Who characters are owned by the BBC.
Notes: < > denote thoughts. Events that took place in the past are in italics.
1) The line quoted at the end of the chapter, "the game's afoot," is from Shakespeare - the Life of King Henry the Fifth, act 3, scene 1, line 33.

Susan Kendal's Dining Room, London, England, 23 September, 2005

Four seemingly carefree women sat around a large mahogany table sipping Earl Grey Tea while engaging in lighthearted relaxing conversations. They were enjoying a brief respite from their earlier more serious discussions of the alleged conspiracy and what it might mean. A warm fire blazed in a regal white marble fireplace and tall tapered candles flickered brightly in the candelabra placed in the center of the bountiful table.

This being their first High Tea, our trio was also engrossed in tasting all the delicious treats set out on the table. They felt like kids exploring all the temptations in a candy shop! When Susan had invited them to tea the trio had no idea that it would be so grand.

The food was set out buffet style on beautiful Royal Doulton serving plates. There was Shepherd's Pie and plates of sandwiches that included Ham Pinwheels and Egg Salad Triangles. Platters heaped with scones, biscuits, and various tea cakes were also set about the table. Bowls heaped to the top with Devonshire Cream, Strawberry Jam, brown sugar, and honey were intermingled among the plates of food. It was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Susan's daughter had a late class so it was decided that they would eat now and she would join them later. The trio had at first offered to wait, but after seeing all the luscious food, they were more than happy to oblige Susan and eat. Ace was finding the scones a real delight while Tara was already on her third egg salad triangle sandwich. Doctor Willow, who was absorbed exploring the room décor, managed to eat some of the Shepherd's Pie whenever Tara looked her way.

For some implacable reason, Doctor Willow's eyes kept being drawn to the photographs on the fireplace mantle. She thought this was odd since they were just your typical family type portraits and it wasn't as though she would know anyone in Susan's family having just met her. Then she felt a soft warm hand cover hers and she glanced over to see Tara smiling at her in that loving way that always made her feel so incredibly special.

"Sweetie, why don't you join us," she whispered. She gave her wife's hand a gentle squeeze and then mouthed the words: I love you!

Willow blushed and whispered, "I love you too... sorry".

They both held the other's gaze for a few seconds more before returning their attentions to the others. Willow made a conscious effort then to concentrate on the feast and the merriment. There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for the love of her life!

Susan had witnessed the encounter between the two and smiled inwardly at the tenderness and love that the two young women obviously had for each other. She let a small sigh escape her before serving up more tea.

It was after ten when the dining room doors slid open to reveal a young woman slightly out of breath.

"Sorry to be so late! Class ran over... of all nights too! I hurried here as quickly as I could. I do hope you left me a bit of dinner... I'm famished!"

The four women at the table turned to look at the radiant young woman. Her light brown curly hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail and her dark eyes sparkled with intelligence and warmth. Ace's jaw dropped and her eyes were riveted to the beauty in front of her. Tara chuckled at the sight, but Willow's reaction disturbed her.

Doctor Willow looked totally mesmerized, openly staring intensely at the newcomer. She slowly rose from her chair without taking her eyes from the woman standing in the doorway.

Tara was hit with a feeling that she had never experienced in all the time she and Willow had been together. Suddenly her entire being was overcome with... anxiety?

<Why should I fear this woman? No, it isn't fear. Hmmm, jealousy... yes...Oh Goddess I feel jealous! My Willow... that look... what's happening?>

Tara also slowly rose and stood next to her wife. Her heart soared when she felt Willow take her hand and entwine their fingers together.

Meanwhile Susan had rushed over to her daughter and given her a brief hug. She turned to the trio with her arm around her daughter's waist beaming like a very proud mother.

"Well, this is my beautiful brainy daughter, Elizabeth... and my very reliable witness. Liz, honey, this is..."

Before any introductions could be made Doctor Willow blurted out, "I know you!'

She raced to the fireplace mantle and grabbed one of the pictures. Holding the picture up, she stood comparing the photograph to the startled young woman for several seconds. Everyone was taken aback by her actions and just kind of froze in place. Tara was about to offer an excuse for Doctor Willow's behavior when Doctor Willow regained her voice.

"I know it can't be, but you look just like her. You're... you're Liz Shaw! I know you! We worked together for Unit, but how could that be? You are too young to be her, but the resemblance is remarkable!"

Before Doctor Willow could launch into full babble mode, Tara slipped her arm around Willow's waist and pulled her wife closer to her. The comforting contact of her wife calmed Willow and Tara was delighted that she still affected her wife in this way. She felt relieved.

"That is a picture of my Aunt. I was named after her and I guess we do look a lot alike! You must be thinking of her, but it has been quite some time since she worked for Unit. You look too young to have worked with her."

"It was probably your father who worked with her... right?" interjected Ace.

"Um, yes, my father, that's it. I guess I must have seen this picture of your Aunt and the photograph triggered my memory."

<Doctor, I do wish you would keep your memories out of my head.>

"So, um, Liz Shaw is your Aunt eh? Well, how is your Aunt these days," asked Doctor Willow trying to deflect her faux pas.

"Oh, she's just great," replied Liz still a bit confused by Doctor Willow's greeting.

Fortunately the tension lifted in a minute or so and then they all sat down and engaged in "getting to know you" conversations. Ace just seemed to sparkle whenever Liz looked her way or directed a comment to her.

After Liz had finished her meal, she told them of all the events that had taken place on her trip to Sumatra. Everyone listened to her intently. Like her mother, the better they seemed to listen the more details she gave them.

Finally she stopped talking and a hush descended upon the group as they each digested what she had related. It was Doctor Willow who shook them from their musings by asking about the evidence that Susan had said she had.

"Oh yes, my evidence," cried Liz as she leapt from her chair and headed to the door.

Once at the door, Liz paused and turned around to look directly at Doctor Willow. She smiled at her before commenting.

"Oh, you are going to just love my evidence!"

With that she disappeared from sight leaving the trio waiting in anticipation. It wasn't long before she returned with her arms behind her back and a large playful smile on her face. She demanded that they all sit down and not peek until she placed it on the table.

<She is so cute and so melodramatic thought Ace.>

Doctor Willow was starting to get impatient with the wait, but a wink from Tara encouraged her to sit down and play along.

When they were all seated, Liz placed the object in the center of table for all to see.

"There it is! Take a look and tell me what you see. Just be a little careful when you handle it... rather fragile."

Ace reached for it immediately. She carefully examined it before she looked at Liz.

"It's a foot. It looks like a really huge foot. Is it a footprint?

Liz smiled at her amiably and nodded.

"You're right... yes; it is a footprint... a pretty big one too."

Their eyes locked on each other briefly before they quickly looked away. Meanwhile Doctor Willow and Tara were studying the print and discussing their findings. Susan just sat quietly observing all of their interactions.

Doctor Willow pulled out some type of metallic device from one of her pockets and began measuring the width, depth, and length of the foot. As she called out the measurements, Tara recorded them in a small notebook that she removed from her bag.

"Length... 14 inches. Width... 8 inches. Depth... 3 1/2 inches."

"Hmmm, that is a fairly large foot and it is not human," said Tara.

"Yes, you're right... some kind of a large animal... but related to man," replied Doctor Willow.

"The closest match is to that of a Western Lowland Gorilla," interjected Liz.

She blushed and shrugged her shoulders when they all looked at her.

"I did a little research on my own," she said. "I'm the curious type," she explained with a slight smile escaping her lips.

Ace looked at her and smiled approvingly.

"That would make your big foot a little over 5˝ feet tall," said Doctor Willow.

"Well, my big foot was much taller than that. I definitely looked up when I saw it coming," exclaimed Susan.

"Yes, well, I think the pertinent thing is that we can all agree that we are dealing with big foots... right," asked Tara?

"Definitely," confirmed Doctor Willow.

"Okay, so what do we do now," asked Ace.

Doctor Willow thought for a few minutes before replying to Ace's question.

"Susan, are you willing to help us?"

"Doctor, no offense, but you couldn't stop me from trying to uncover this mystery if you tried," replied Susan. "So, count me in. The more of us working on this the better chance of discovering what's going on. What do you want me to do?"

"Mum's a die hard reporter," laughed Liz.

"I think the best thing you could do is keep checking your sources and the internet. You know check out any known military or terrorist sites. See if anyone is up to something out of the ordinary. Keep tracking new reports so we can get an idea of where the next targets might be... that kind of thing."

"Okay Doctor, I can do that. How do we keep in touch with each other," asked Susan?

"Tara, Baby, will you get Susan's e-mail and web address please," asked Willow.

"Sure, Sweetie, and I'll give her ours too," answered Tara.

This intimate exchange did not go unnoticed by Liz who had already begun to wonder about their relationship. She decided to ask Ace about them later.

"I also have a communication device that I will give you tomorrow that you can use to get in touch with us any time and any place," added Doctor Willow.

"What are your plans?" asked Susan.

Tara and Ace looked at Doctor Willow expectantly.

"It's rather late and we have had a long day. I think the best idea would be to get a good night's sleep and then meet in the morning and make plans. I think we must try to track down and identify the perpetrator of all this."

She glanced at Ace and Tara who both nodded their approval and started to rise from their chairs.

"Hey, what about me? I want to help too," cried Liz.

Doctor Willow was startled a bit, but then replied that Liz could certainly help her mother.

"No you don't! I'm an action type gal... sitting at a keyboard for hours surfing the web is really not my thing. I want to come with the three of you."

Ace beamed at the offer, but Tara and Willow frowned and shook their heads.

"Um, I don't think that would be a very good idea," said Tara looking at Willow for her reaction. She got one.

"Bad idea... not possible Liz. We appreciate your wanting to help, but coming with us is not really an option."

Liz pouted and looked to Ace for support.

"Come on. That's not fair. I told you about my trip and showed you my evidence and now you just want to leave me out of the picture? That stinks!"

"Doctor," asked Ace timidly?

"Ace, you know our method of travel is a bit unconventional. We have enough to handle at the moment," said Doctor Willow.

Before Ace and Doctor Willow could get into a full fledged debate, Tara rose and took Willow's hand.

"Look, it's late and we are all tired. Why don't we discuss this in the morning when we are fresh and rested?" she sweetly asked.

Doctor Willow and Ace smiled at Tara and reluctantly conceded to her request. Doctor Willow quickly stood and placed an arm round Tara's waist. When they reached the door they turned and said their thanks and good byes. Just as Liz had her mouth open to make another plea, Doctor Willow added:

"Let's all meet at your mother's office in the morning and finalize all our plans... alright?"

Liz shook her head in agreement, but she grabbed Ace's arm as she passed by on her way out. She gave Ace the most pleading smile she could muster. Then she pulled Ace closer so she could whisper in her ear. Ace felt her heart beat race and her legs get weak.

"You'll put a good word in for me won't you Ace?" she asked sweetly.

Ace couldn't find her auditory skills, so she just smiled dumbly and nodded her head.

Satisfied, Liz flashed an affectionate smile and stepped back so Ace could leave. She mouthed the word "Thanks" and then gave her a little wave good-bye!

Her mother just smiled indulgently and rolled her eyes.

Back at the Tardis, 24 September, 2005

It was past midnight when the weary trio returned home. K-9 was there greeting them with his flashing lights and wagging tail.

"Welcome Mistresses! Welcome! Attention Doctor! I have updates Doctor"

Before Doctor Willow could respond Tara yanked her by the shoulder and held her tightly in her arms. She slowly moved her hands up to encircle Willow's neck and stared deeply into her love's eyes.

"YOU, my love, are coming to bed with me... no arguments! You have done enough for today. You need some rest and as your wife my duty is to take care of you and see that you get some!"

Ace chuckled loudly and walked quickly past the two lovers. Over her shoulder she cried out; "Good luck Tara! See you both in the morning. Good night! Oh, and I'd really like Liz to join us!"

Tara cut Willow's protests off with a chaste kiss and then rested her forehead against Willow's.

"Come on Sweetie, I'm sleepy and I need to fall asleep in my Darling's arms."

She pulled Willow even closer and rested her head on her shoulder. She felt her wife sigh and gently massage her back. They stood hugging each other for several minutes before Willow softly whispered in her love's delicate ear.

"Mmmm, Baby, how could I ever say no to holding you in my arms?"

"That's just what I wanted to hear. I feel the same way, Sweetie," whispered Tara.

It didn't take long before the two were curled up together in their warm, snug, secure bed. Willow was nestled contentedly on her wife's chest and Tara was gently caressing her lover's silky hair enjoying the occasional sighs of approval that escaped from her drowsy wife.

Just as slumber was about to claim them, Tara blew into Willow's ear and ever so softly whispered.

"Darling... are you awake?"

"Hmmm... ummm... huh?"

Tara chuckled at her sleepyhead's response and that was all that was needed to return Willow to the "awake" realm.

"Baby," snickered Willow, "what's with all the bouncy goodness? I thought you wanted me to get some sleep?"

Tara leaned down and kissed her wife's earlobe and gave her a loving squeeze.

"Sorry Sweetie, but I was just thinking..."

Before she could finish Willow swiftly turned herself so that she was hovering over her wife gazing directly into her startled eyes.

"You want to make love, Honey? I think I can handle some love making tonight!" giggled Willow.

Two pair of eager lips met in a long passionate kiss. Tara pulled her wife down and held her tightly while she explored her mouth with her soft warm tongue. Both women were beginning to feel a fire within them building, when Tara slowly released her wife's mouth and locked eyes with her. Their dark steamy eyes glimmered with love and desire as they breathlessly lost themselves in each other's gaze.

"Darling... that was not what I was thinking," breathed Tara.

"Oh? It wasn't?" asked Willow slightly embarrassed and very out of breath.

It was now Tara's turn to feel embarrassed as she saw her wife's reaction. She caressed her love's face and smiled at her lovingly. She gave her a tender kiss on the nose and winked.

"We can certainly talk about your idea in a minute Sweetie. I just wanted to say that I was thinking about Liz and I think maybe we should let her come with us."

Willow stared at her soul mate for a moment or two processing and weighing Tara's words in her mind. Tara watched as her love's inner debate played out on her expressive face. Finally a huge smile lit up Willow's face and she rested her forehead on Tara's.

<Goddess, I love this woman so much. Is there anything she could ask of me that I would deny her? Look at that beautiful loving face. I still can't imagine why she loves me, but I will be eternally grateful to all the powers that be that she does!>

"Why do you think Liz should join us?" asked Willow ... not really seeking a justification ... more out of curiosity. She was always interested in what Tara was thinking and feeling.

<Thank you, Darling; I love you so very much.>

Tara knew instantly when she heard Willow's question that she was not arguing, but merely seeking insight into her thoughts.

"Honey, I was just thinking how happy we are because we have each other. Everything has changed now that you are the Doctor. Ace has to share you and that means she is alone more than before. I would like to see her with someone, if only as a friend, and Liz seems quite nice. They really seemed to hit it off."

"Yeah, I noticed that myself. Ace did seem to be smiling more than ever."

"And as far as our um uniqueness goes, well the Doctor never seemed to bother about it. He had many companions... right?"

"That's true. Now that you mention it, he did travel with lots of others. Hey, Ace was a companion too. I forgot about that!"

Tara just loved it when her wife got excited about some new idea that she hadn't considered before. She couldn't help but laugh and pull Willow into a quick embrace.

"I love you so much Sweetie! I hope you know just how much too!"

Willow returned the embrace and hugged her wife close. She suddenly felt very happy, alive, and mischievous.

"I don't know if I do remember how much you love me Sweetheart! Maybe you need to show me, she chuckled?"

"Mmmm, I think I just might be able to show you how much you sexy Time Lady!" laughed Tara. "Come here... mmmm!"

With that all thoughts of slumber were forgotten as the two women reminded each other of just how much love they felt for each other.

CNN Building, 24 September, 2005

Ace was beaming from ear to ear as she bounced up and down in the lift! She couldn't believe how easily she had convinced the Doctor to let Liz join them.

<Maybe it was the bit about her Aunt having been a companion or when I said I would be responsible for her. Like that wasn't my plan all along. She is so gorgeous. I hope she likes me... she seemed to... she did ask for my help. I hope she hasn't changed her mind about wanting to come!>

Tara gave Willow a nudge and they both chuckled and smiled at Ace's obvious enthusiasm.

They had all gathered in the Library just a couple of hours ago to make their plans and the very first thing out of Ace's mouth had been a request for Liz to join them. She had gone on for at least four minutes raising argument after argument before finally realizing that she was the only one talking. As soon as it had dawned on her that Tara and Doctor Willow had just been silently staring at her in bemusement she halted her tirade and glared at them rather defiantly taking a deep breath.

"Hey, you're not laughing at me are you?" she had sputtered.

Naturally, she had been ecstatic when Doctor Willow said that Liz could come explaining that Tara and she had discussed it last night and that she should thank Tara for her support. Ace had done just that. She had hugged them both and thanked Tara far too many times.

Now, as she stood in the lift impatiently waiting for it to reach the fourth floor, she pondered briefly on why she felt so excited about having Liz join them.

<I must be feeling lonelier than I thought. It will be nice having someone else to talk to. I hope I'm not too stupid for her.>

Her musings were halted when the lift doors opened and they left to go to Susan's office. This time when they arrived, James smiled and greeted them warmly.

"Hi Ladies, Mrs. Kendal is expecting you. Go right in."

He rose, knocked twice on the door and then opened it to let the trio in. Susan was busy at her computer, but quickly looked up and waved them in. Ace felt deflated when she glanced around the room and failed to spot Liz. She quietly stumbled into a chair and rested her head on her hand.

Doctor Willow and Tara noticed Ace's dejected feeling and of course Tara had to come to her rescue.

"Where's Liz this morning? We thought maybe she would be here. Has she changed her mind about helping?"

Ace sat up in her chair waiting for the answer.

"Goodness no!" laughed Susan. "She's been driving me crazy pacing around the office and asking for the time. That's all she's been talking about since you left. I sent her on an errand just to get her out of the office for a few minutes."

Ace breathed a huge sigh of relieve and grinned from ear to ear.

"I know that she is old enough to make her own decisions, but if you have decided to let her come with you please promise me that you will keep her safe."

Before Doctor Willow could reply, Liz burst into the office dropping several folders on her mother's desk. She looked at Doctor Willow and Tara and then flashed a warm smile at Ace.

"Hi, what took you so long? I've been waiting forever for you three to get here. Tell me what you've decided about me so I know if I have to say my speech or not."

The others laughed at her remark and Doctor Willow glanced at Ace and nodded.

"We want you to come with us if you still want to," cried Ace.

"YAY," cried Liz. "Of course I still want to come along. I'm all ready!"

With that, Liz pulled out a small suitcase that had been hidden behind Susan's desk. She held it up swinging it back and forth in front of her.

"See, I'm all set! When do we leave?"

The others guffawed at her over-enthusiasm relishing in a brief moment of frivolity. Eventually they all settled down and returned to the serious task ahead of them. Susan called for James to join them and soon the team of six eager sleuths gathered around Susan's desk for a strategy meeting.

Susan reported that James had already discovered reports coming from northern Mongolian of reindeer killings. James related what he had uncovered. His sources of information were reports from Murun, the center of government in that region of Mongolia. It seems they had received dozens of reports regarding reindeer being slaughtered by some unknown predators. In the last report, almost a dozen families lost their entire herds. It was quite a disaster. Since then there had been no other reports.

"Great work James," complimented Doctor Willow. "Keep checking with them for a while longer. Our Conspirator may have moved on, but we want to be sure. Paperwork moves slow in those countries."

"You're right Doctor. We'll keep checking with them periodically. The question is... if he..."

"Or SHE," interrupted Liz. "It could be a woman. We can be just as deadly as men you know!"

"Yes dear... he or she... does that make you feel better? As I was saying, if he or SHE has moved on where do we think would be the most likely spot?"

James spread the tracking map across the desk and pointed out the locations of the last few sightings. They all studied the map and after several minutes elapsed everyone started speculating on the next possible location.

Tara, always the organized one, quietly made a list of all the locations the team members mentioned. When it fell quiet again, she read her list and suggested that everyone vote on three locations and then she would tally the votes and those would be the three places that Susan and James would focus on.

"Aww, that's my beautiful intelligent wife! She always comes to the rescue with great logical solutions. Thanks Baby, what a good idea!"

Willow squeezed her wife's hand and lavished a brilliant smile on her. Tara blushed, but reveled in her wife's sincere praise.

Liz just observed them both with wonderment.

<Wives? Yes, I will definitely have to ask Ace about them! I wonder if Ace is... hmmm?>

Her thoughts were interrupted when James handed her a pencil and a small sheet of paper. It only took about fifteen minutes for the task to be completed.

Tara coughed softly to get everyone's attention and then held up the results of the vote.

"Here are the top three choices," she announced. "The first choice is Kazakhstan, then the Tibet/Nepal area, and the third choice is northwestern Russia near Finland. Whew! That's a great deal of territory!"

They all looked and felt a little defeated. This certainly seemed like an awesome task.

‘It does seem overwhelming, but then look at how much you were able to learn before we joined forces. Now as a team, we should be able to kick you know what," cried Doctor Willow.

"Kick some bad guy butt," joked Ace.

"That's right," agreed Liz before raising her hand in a high five that everyone joined in on.

"Besides," added the Doctor, "once we identify the Conspirator and what his or her..." she turned and winked at Liz, "objective is we can track the person and that should be easier. Hopefully Susan and James can also discover something on the net too."

"Well, we will keep searching Doctor," said Susan. "There must be a reason some one is going to all this trouble. I'm also certain there has to be money involved somewhere here... that's a given. Put those two together and there will a site on the net that will reveal the plot. We just have to find it."

"Oh, is that all," snickered James.

"Alright, I say we get moving," said Ace. "I am ready for some action Doctor."

Doctor Willow and Tara smiled at each other briefly. They always took pleasure in Ace's boundless energy and eagerness to help. They were probably the very qualities that The Doctor saw and cherished in her.

<She and my Willow are so alike that way. Unfortunately this willingness to help is what ended my love's first life. I won't ever let that happen again. I must watch her very carefully.>

"There's one thing left for me to do before we go," said the Doctor.

She reached into her backpack and began handing each of them a small palm size device. When she got to Tara, Willow hesitated looking a bit sheepish.

"What's the matter Sweetie? Don't I get one of those?" inquired Tara.

Doctor Willow squirmed a little trying to think of what to do next.

"Honey, what's the problem? Just give me one."

"Um, a, I was going to give you yours later Baby... in private."

Tara looked at her love quizzically for a second or two. Then she leaned over and whispered in her wife's ear.

"Well, now I am curious, Sweetie. Hmm, what does mine do that is so special? "

Willow turned red from ear to ear noticing the way everyone was staring at her.

"Okay, okay... here take it. I give up, but don't say anything."

With that said, Doctor Willow slowly slipped one into Tara's waiting hand. Tara had no clue as to why Willow was acting so strange until she glanced down at the device in her hand. When she saw it clearly she broke out laughing and giggling.

"Oh my Darling," she howled. "You are so precious. I love you so much you little cutie."

"What's so funny?" asked Ace.

"Nothing," replied the Doctor. "Just ignore her. She's just being mean!"

"Well, I haven't known her very long, but Tara does not seem like she could ever be mean to anyone on purpose," said Liz.

"Thank you Liz," replied Tara.

By that time, Ace had inspected her device and now she too was laughing. The communicator was an exact replica of the Star Trek models.

"Alright, alright, enough with the laughter," sputtered Doctor Willow. "So I like Star Trek... what's the big deal?"

Tara wrapped her arms around her wife and pulled her into a tight embrace. Soon they were both chuckling and enjoying the close contact.

"There is nothing wrong with it Sweetie! I think it is absolutely adorable. We don't have to say, "Beam us up Doctor," do we?"

"You be careful there missy or I will take yours back and give you a paper cup with a string," teased Willow.

"Oh no, please I'll behave," snickered Tara. Then she gave her wife a quick kiss and a hug. "Okay, sorry Sweetie. Let's hear all the wonderful things this will do."

"Well, that's better... and they really are quite amazing little devices. I found the prototype in the workroom and K-9 and I added a few touches... and a new look. K-9 replicated them for me while we were out."

The Star Trek look had amused everyone, but the device itself amazed them. It had a global tracking system, text messaging, e-mail, a digital camera and recording system, a personal tracking system, and it gave them instant communication with each other just by pressing a button. It was truly an awesome tool. It even had wireless internet capabilities.

"I've never seen or heard of anything like this Doctor," exclaimed Susan.

"You probably won't for another ten years," replied Doctor Willow. "Just get familiar with it and don't lose it or be afraid to use it. Okay?"

Everyone fooled around with their device for several minutes locating buttons and determining what did what. After several minutes of quiet concentration, one by one they looked up and came together in a small tight circle. Doctor Willow took Tara's hand and soon they were all holding hands. Willow squeezed her wife's hand and silently urged her to say a few words.

Tara's eyes moved around the small circle making contact with each person.

"We've all united together to seek out and bring an end to this evil conspiracy that has already taken innocent lives. I ask the Goddess to help us on our quest and to protect us from harm. When it is time to celebrate our victory, I pray that each of us is here once again holding hands. "

"Good luck to all of us," added James.

"If everyone is ready, let's be on our way. Susan... James... lots of luck. Keep us updated. We'll be back tomorrow and let you know who the conspirator is," said Doctor Willow.

"That soon Doctor... isn't that being a bit premature," asked Susan? "It takes that long to get to Paris and back."

The trio laughed a knowing laugh and headed towards the door.

"We guarantee that the next time you see us we will be able to tell you who is behind this," assured Ace.

Liz looked at her mum and shrugged her shoulders. Then she gave her a long hug good-bye.

Before her mum could say it, Liz promised to stay safe and watch out for dangers.

Suddenly good-byes and best wishes were over and Susan once again sat alone in her quiet office.

<Good hunting my new friends ... please keep yourselves and my daughter safe.>

Ace and Liz walked behind Doctor Willow and Tara chatting and periodically giggling with merriment. Willow and Tara strolled quietly arm in arm watching the bustling world race by them. Every once in a while they would exchange loving glances and quick kisses.

When they saw the Tardis coming into view, Willow paused and turned to face her love. She winked at her before grabbing her hand and pulling her along with her. She called over her shoulder as she urged Tara into the Tardis.

"Come on Sweetheart, Ace can explain about the Tardis this time!"

Liz watched dumbfounded as Doctor Willow and Tara disappeared into the blue Police Call Box leaving her and Ace standing there.

"What the... what... you three live in a Police Call Box?" asked Liz.

"Err, um, well...yeah we do. It is kind of a long story, but..."

Before Ace could complete her comment, Liz barged through the doors. Ace followed her and nearly stumbled into her as she had abruptly stopped as soon as she had entered.

Liz's mouth fell open and she slowly visually examined the console room. Doctor Willow and Tara stood behind the console waiting for her reactions while Ace went and stood next to her.

"Oh My God," screamed the slightly dazed young women.

Ace started to say something, but Liz quickly twirled around to face Doctor Willow.

"It's true... ohmygod... it's all true. I can't believe it! Everything she said was really true! This is'''s unbelievable! I'm not dreaming this am I? "

"Ace? Ace? You're on," teased Doctor Willow.

Ace shook herself out of her trance and started to explain things to Liz.

"NO, I get it... I really do. When I was a young child Aunt Lizzie told me stories about this scientist she had worked with called the Doctor. I thought she was just inventing fairy stories, but now I see that she wasn't. It's all true... a Police Box bigger on the inside than the outside... ohmygod does that mean that this is really a spaceship?"

Ace stared at her for a moment. "Yes, Liz, this is a spaceship called the..."

"Tardis... it's called the Tardis and if I remember correctly it not only travels in space it travels ...

"...through time," finished Ace.

Liz was starting to turn white from excitement. Tara walked over and put her arm around her waist and walked her to a chair.

"Calm down and take a few deep breaths. This is all a bit overwhelming."

Liz did as she was told and soon her color was back and her head didn't feel quite so light. She looked in awe at the three women gathered around her.

"I'm fine now really. This is all so fantastic and then finding that my Aunt's stories were all true! Wow, I still can't believe it."

"Are you sure you're okay," asked Ace.

"Yes, I'm just excited, that's all."

She looked at Doctor Willow.

"Then, you really are the Doctor? I thought he was a man?"

Doctor Willow chuckled lightly before answering.

"That Doctor was a man and there have been many other Doctors. I am the newest model!"

"She's the hybrid model," boasted Tara.

A huge smile crossed Doctor Willow's face.

"Thank you Baby. I love you too!"

Tara walked over to Willow and whispered, "This is going better than I expected!"

"It sure is," she whispered back.

Then Doctor Willow's face became serious.

"I know you must have hundreds of questions and Ace has the official job of answering them for you. However, I do think we should try to get back on task for now. We have a quest to complete. So Ace, if you will find a room for Liz and get her settled in; let's all meet in the Library in... say thirty minutes?

As Ace and Liz left, K-9 came gliding into the room.

"Welcome back Mistresses! Welcome"

"Hello K-9. How are you?" asked Tara.

"Well, Mistress... all my functions are working. "

"K-9, do you have the data and materials that I asked you to prepare?" inquired Doctor Willow.

"Yes Doctor, everything is ready."

"Great, are you ready my love?"

Willow reached her hand out to her wife who quickly accepted it.

"Let's go my love! The game's afoot!"

<Ha-ha I've always wanted to say that line for real!>

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