harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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Chapter 2 of Tensions (of 6)

Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-

POV: Shifts Perspective

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.

Notes: Seventh story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Preludes”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.

People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.

Thanks to the authors of Fanfiction, wherever you may post. It’s probable that I’ve read at least one of your stories somewhere. I apologize for recycling concepts inadvertently from the plentitude of stories I’ve read.

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Tensions:

Ch 2- Shops and Nunneries

 

Buffy checked her watch as she approached the Magic Box. It was just after nine o’clock a.m. and she was on her way to the U.C. Sunnydale campus. As had been her habit lately, she ended up staying at home the night before. Since Joyce had gotten out of the hospital two days ago she’d been strangely sullen. When questioned, she’d just shrug and say nothing was really wrong, but Buffy had her doubts. There’d been no satisfactory answers to Joyce’s faint or the continuing problem with her headaches. Even Dawn, as terminally self-absorbed as any other teen her age, had begun to walk on eggshells around their mother. Despite the tight smiles and the innocent “how was school” chats, neither of the Summers’ girls believed in the ‘it’s just stress’ excuses anymore, though no one would admit it aloud.

 

She stopped on the sidewalk just before the large window of Giles’ venture. She wanted to be supportive since this was the big day. It would really be a rain on his parade if she came in looking all worried-girl. She took a few breaths and counted her heartbeats, as Giles had trained her. When she felt her self centered again, she pasted on her biggest Hollywood smile and entered the shop. She didn’t have much time, but he’d worry if she didn’t follow their routine. So, she was going to ask him for the summary of last night’s weird happenings news and then be on her way. She did still have class after all, even if she barely seemed to crack a book lately.

 

As she entered, a hideous blur caught her attention only to turn out to be Giles himself. He was wearing a truly ridiculous wizard’s costume complete with the tall, conical hat. He looked like something out of a Disney cartoon, or possibly Dr. Seuss.

 

Giles waited for her expectantly with a large smile on his face. Though it was difficult, she refused to roll her eyes or in any way react. She simply stared back at him, letting her eyes tell him that he looked silly. It was hard not to make a smart ass comment under the circumstances but she was rewarded when he broke the stalemate first. Slinking off and removing the robe he’d worn. Only then did Buffy allow herself a fit of giggles, which Giles dutifully scowled at. This, of course, only made her laugh harder.

 

Looking around the empty shop, she turned again to her Watcher. “Hey, when’s the big opening? I thought you’d be in business by now; it’s, uh, 0915 already.”

 

“We opened at eight,” he sighed. “Not to worry, though. I have a good feeling about this. They’ll soon be lining up around the block.”

 

“Uh-huh. So, Anya?”

 

“Oh, Xander apparently left early this morning without waking her. There was some sort of disturbing explanations involving their morning routine. I stopped listening when it began to swerve into more disturbing sex talk. Really! I don’t know why you all think I’m interested in your personal lives to that degree. Anyway, by the time I tuned back in she said something about nine-thirty or ten o’clock, then rang off.”

 

“So, any interesting news? Anything that I can distract myself thinking about instead of Statistics while I’m in class this morning?”

 

“Sorry. You’ll have to actually pay attention. Things have been relatively quiet. No disappearances, no apparent vampire attacks and no strange ‘wild animal’ attacks.”

 

Buffy sighed, “Darn.” She was about to go on with how she really needed to get into a brawl soon to take her mind off things when Anya came into the store.

 

“Buffy! Hello. Have you come to purchase?”

 

“Actually, no. I just came to check in with Giles before I got to class. But the store does look great.”

 

“Well,” Anya sniffed, “It would if Willow would stop interfering with my system.”

 

“Buffy,” Giles said a little too loudly. He’d already heard these complaints while they were putting the finishing touches on the store and didn’t want to rehash them now. “How is your mother doing?”

 

“Oh, uh, she says she’s feeling a lot better. I mean, I’m not sure I believe her.” She shrugged her shoulders, trying to find the words to describe her feelings. “I don’t know. It just seems like she’s different, but I can’t explain how. She’s just… moody maybe?”

 

“The doctors find anything to be concerned about?”

 

“Not according to mom. It was pretty much what she’d already said. She’s under stress and hasn’t been eating right; blah-blah-blah. It’s just… I feel like maybe she’s not telling me everything.”

 

“Well, I’m sure she will if there’s anything serious. She’s, uh, entitled to some privacy, after all.”

 

“Oh!” Anya said in such a loud voice that Buffy actually jumped. She continued in what could only be described as a “perky saleswoman on crack” manner, “You should buy her something! Something nice… and expensive. We have some very nice talismans in our display case.”

 

“Anya, please,” Giles sighed.

 

“What? If she’s going to be loitering in our shop, she could at least look at the merchandise.”

 

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Convent of St. Lucia, Verona, Italy

 

Mother Superior, the head of the Order of St. Lucian Nuns was deeply unhappy. She scowled menacingly at the two monks who had shown up on their doorstep several days ago. Though the sisters had given them hospitality, they refused to share exactly what had been done with the Beast’s Key and she had had just about enough.

 

“If you had destroyed the Key when it had first arrived, we would not be in this danger!”

 

As before, Krejci remained silent with his eyes downcast. He did this not in deference to the old, self-important windbag now berating their Order. He simply didn’t wish his fellow Brother to see how much he actually agreed with all of the Mother’s points. He was sure his eyes would reveal all, so he kept staring at the cold, stone floor while Brother Benes went on defending their stupidity.

 

“The Order of Brno was charged with protecting the Key.”

 

Mother waved aside this argument. Stamping her foot she gave Benes a look so evil he half-wondered if she might not be a Beast herself.

 

“This was fine, when it was hidden. Once the Beast showed, you should have gotten rid of it for good.”

 

Benes stood up and threw all pretenses away. Standing toe to toe with the formidable old woman, he still seemed but a small figure despite their relatively equal heights. “We were sworn to an Oath to offer our lives to protect it, not to simply give up and get rid of it the moment harsh times arrived. And, Mother, with all respect; so were you!”

 

“And even if we would have tried,” Benes went on, “It was a complex energy matrix. There is no guarantee we would have succeeded. We could just as easily have forced its operation in our bumbling attempts to destroy it.”

 

“It is not energy now. You could have transformed it any way you wished, then broken its new form. Grind something into enough particles, and even the best magic wouldn’t be able to rebuild it,” the Mother Superior insisted.

 

“That was not why the Order was founded. And it was not what the Abbott, may he rest, wanted. We were as sworn to obey him as you would expect your nuns to obey you.”

 

Mother Superior sighed heavily. For the first time since the monks had arrived, they saw a glimpse of sadness over their Order’s demise from the old woman.

 

“I had the greatest respect for Samuele. Though we often would argue, it was only because we so deeply cared for one another and respected each other’s points of view. It is a great loss to know that I will never again engage him in philosophical debate. But in this, I believe he was wrong. We had an obligation to ignore the Devil’s Pact the Order in the Czech Republic made. You cannot trust the Hell dimension’s beings. Now fate conspires to damn us all for our errors. But it is too late to argue over that which we cannot alter. You must go to America. The Slayer is guardian to the currently active Hellmouth. It is in a small town in California. We have savings for this day; we will provide you transportation.”

 

“You must use your magic,” Benes insisted, “Send us through a portal or teleport us to the Slayer.”

 

“Impossible. We are weak. We’ve spent our energies keeping us hidden from the seeking eye of the Beast’s minions. Already I fear that we’ve grown too tired to keep them blinded. Opening a portal isn’t possible now and you would never survive teleporting. But we can do something to help her. Perhaps it will be enough to provide advance warning. We will teleport the Dagon’s Sphere to her.”

 

“You should keep it,” Benes worriedly said, “If she finds you, it may be your only hope.”

 

“No. It has been far too long since your order waged war and we never have. The Slayer was born for this purpose. The Sphere by itself is nothing. It needs to be properly applied in a battle strategy. Our ultimate destiny was no longer ours to control the moment that the Beast discovered the Key’s location. We will convene a sacred circle as soon as I and Reverend Sister Loretta are rested. We have already created the necessary documents to get you through immigration on a travel visa. We will give you money. You will leave at dawn for Rome. May God’s hand rest on your shoulders.” The Mother gave a small bow, which both Brothers returned.

 

As the Mother turned to leave the room, a question occurred to Krejci. Speaking for the first time to her, he enquired, “Mother, how will the Slayer know what to do with the Sphere when she finds it? If Brother Benes and I are stopped before we can reach her…,” he let the statement hang. It was already implicit that they would only be stopped because they’d been intercepted and killed.

 

“The Slayer still has her Council connections. Their resources will be able to identify the Dagon’s Sphere. The rest of the answers will be found in their texts.” Mother Superior stepped through the doorway of their room and into the hallway. Before closing their door, and sounding none to confident to the Brothers, she added, “Do not worry. Glorificus will not meet her deadline. She can’t. It is that simple.”

 

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End Ch 2

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, spander, spanderverse, tensions
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