harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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The Risks of Glory, chapter 2 of 8

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: Tenth story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Hospital Visits”. 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.

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The Risks of Glory

Ch 2- A Busy Saturday

 

Buffy walked stiffly into the Summers' kitchen trying to ignore her various aches and pains. Being the Slayer meant a certain amount of cuts and bruises, but she'd taken more than her share lately. As she walked into the room, the scent of dripped coffee caught her attention and she immediately brightened.

 

Joyce sat glancing through an art catalog and Buffy surreptitiously checked to see how many words were on the page. Her mother wasn't supposed to be doing any heavy reading as it would only bring on another headache. Satisfying herself that it was mostly just pictures, she proceeded to the mug cabinet.

 

As she poured her coffee and exchanged morning pleasantries, Joyce tried to stand up from her counter seat. She stumbled a little on her way to the refrigerator, but caught herself.

 

"You should be upstairs resting, mom."

 

"So should you, by the way you're shuffling about. Oh, Buffy, please tell me you didn't get hurt again last night? Honestly, I don't know if I can take another icky puncture wound this soon."

 

"It's not bad. Just the usual Friday night fun in Sunnydale."

 

Joyce sighed and then gave Buffy a sardonic smile. "You know, it's not too late to move back to L.A. so you can just join one of those girl gangs."

 

"That wouldn't be fun violence, mom. Besides, I really am okay. And I… just know there is not coffee in that mug!?"

 

Her mother grimaced, caught between trying to look authority-figurish and actually looking guilty. "I can have a cup of coffee if I want to. Besides, I took one of those monster yellow pills and it makes me feel all spacey. I need to overdose on caffeine just to feel normal."

 

"Uh-uh," Buffy grabbed the remains of her mother's beverage and poured it into the sink. "You heard what the doctor said. No caffeine. He did not include 'except for in the morning'. Now, you march back up those stairs and listen to that boring talk radio program you enjoy so much. I'll take care of these few dishes and come to check on you before I go to the Magic Box."

 

"Yeah," Dawn said, coming into the kitchen. "You have to do what she said, 'cause you're outnumbered two to one."

 

As Dawn began to putz around the room, Buffy helped her mother to her feet. Well, some might say, 'dragged her from the stool and pushed her toward the door', but….

 

"I'll bring you a nice hot cup of herbal tea and the day's mail. You can spend an entirely empty half-hour going through all the junk offers. You just know how much you love being tempted," Buffy said.

 

Dawn quickly added, "And I'm bringing you up toast and marmalade. You're not supposed to take your medicine on an empty stomach, you know."

 

Joyce put her hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. I'm going. But I'm coming right back down here if I hear another Sister-War start."

 

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Buffy opened the Magic Box door, the little bell signaling her descent into chaos. All around her, bodies flitted to and fro, grabbing items off shelves and bumping into display tables. It was insane. She considered briefly using Slayer strength to push her way through, but then figured Giles wouldn’t appreciate her putting his customers into the hospital.

 

The insanity, however, was completely worth it for her to see the look on Giles’ face. It was obvious that he was a deer caught in headlights and was wondering when he’d lost control. She giggled, forgetting for a moment her aches and Adam and the woman in the din behind her who’d elbowed her in the back as she’d made her way from the front door.

 

“…I understand,” she heard Xander speaking to Giles. “Just stay British; you’ll make it, man.”

 

She joined them and Giles complained to her in a panicked voice that there were too many people. They all wanted things and Anya wouldn’t help him because she was too busy smirking over the money.

 

“You’re the one who wanted to be a capitalist pig,” she said teasingly, “I was perfectly happy to just crash in on your apartment.” After she gave him a few pats, he rushing off to help a flagging customer, she joined Anya and Willow at the counter.

 

Anya was happily grinning and ringing up sales while Willow appeared to be in a fight to the death with the gift wrap.

 

“Hey, guys.”

 

“Buffy! Welcome to the Magic Box,” Anya said.

 

“I think you only say that to people who haven’t been here before.”

 

“Oh! There are so many rules when you’re trying to be nice. Really, I just wish they’d give me their money and stop trying to talk to me.”

 

“Hey, Buff,” Willow said, grinning ear to ear.

 

She didn’t seem at all bothered that the evil gift wrap was winning their battle. Buffy could only smile at her and try to hold in her laughter.

 

“Isn’t this exciting,” Willow went on. “With the customers and the sales. I might be starting to understand Anya’s love for the money. And Tara! She’s been busy all morning with palm and Tarot readings. Not that her making money is the important thing, of course… I mean it’s the helping people that matters.”

 

“No, it’s the money,” Anya said. “I just love the sound of this register. Listen, I’m about to ring a sale….” She hit a few buttons on the register and it dinged gaily as the money tray slid out. “…Isn’t that just darling!?”

 

“Does this look wrapped right,” Willow asked the room at large.

 

“Well, sure,” Anya patted Willow’s arm patronizingly. “If you wrapped it with your feet, that is. Here, let me… oh darn, another one to wrap after this? We should charge a fee.”

 

Willow rolled her eyes and made her way around the counter to Buffy. Pulling her to the side, the two girls made their way over to the research table. The usual research table, anyway. At the moment it was filled with varying sizes of unscented candles. A crude hand drawn sign stated they were on sale, ‘Buy Two Get One Free!’

 

“So,” Xander had joined them, “What is my favorite super-gal doing here? Come to work? Please…?”

 

“Sorry, Xan. I only came to bring this before the group,” Buffy pulled out a glowing coppery sphere from her shoulder bag. “Discussion? Ideas?”

 

Placing the sphere in the middle of the table, after clearing a small space, the gang stared at it. It sat placidly, glowing in a soft, warm way, but otherwise doing nothing.

 

“What are we staring at,” Giles asked over their shoulders. “Oh, how shiny.”

 

“I found it on patrol. Any idea what it is? And don’t tell me a glow-ball for ravers, I’ve already been through that idea.”

 

“W-well, no, I’d imagine not,” Giles continued, “Obviously it’s magical. I mean, it’s so, uh,  ‘glow-ey’ I believe you’d say. Oh, yes!?”

 

The gang turned to hear what Giles’ idea was regarding the Orb, but instead he was dashing across the room. He headed for a woman who was waving a slim, red book over her head and seeking assistance.

 

Buffy sighed, though her voice held amusement, “I miss the days when he was just a tea-pushing Watcher.”

 

Willow giggled, “And shooting stares of disapproval around the room.”

 

“Usually at me…,” Xander grinned. “Now we’ve lost him to the whims of fortune and the evils of retail. It’s so sad when they grow up to be such a disappointment.”

 

Just then Dawn rushed up to the group. She was huffing and puffing, out of breath. Glaring at her sister, she informed her, “Told you (huff-huff) you couldn’t (huff) just ditch (huff) me.”

 

Buffy’s only response was an eye roll. “As long as you’re here, why don’t you ask Anya if she could use a little help? And, don’t touch anything,” she yelled after a huffing Dawn.

 

“Well, so much for my day today…,” Xander whined just a little.

 

“Oh, Xan? If you had something to do, you don’t have to worry about research right now. I mean, it’s not like the glow-thingy looks like it wants to explode, or hatch, or open the Hellmouth or anything.”

 

“Nah, it’s alright Buff. I was just going to be buying a water tank and roofing my parent’s house today. Besides, there’s no way Anya is going to let me out of here with this many customers.”

 

Xander sounded a bit bitter to himself when he spoke of Anya. Fortunately, no one else seemed to pick up on it. He didn’t mean to sound so irritated, but Anya really was extra demanding today, despite her good mood. Plus, of course, he realized that a lot of it was his own problem. He was still stuck on Spike’s visit and looked forward to beers tonight at the Bronze. I’m such a loser, he thought.

 

No, you’re not, Commando-Xander thought sternly at him. Stop believing that horse-shit your father fed you. Now, let’s get focused on our new mystery.

 

I second that emotion, Hyena growled, apparently unaware he/she was quoting a song lyric.

 

As the gang once again focused on the sphere in front of them and Willow began naming a list of books that might be helpful, another interruption occurred. This time Riley had managed to find his way through the crowd in the front of the shop.

 

“Boy, where’d all these people come from? I didn’t realize that Sunnydale even had this many folks in it.”

 

“Hey, baby! I was just thinking about you,” Buffy said excitedly. “I was just getting ready to palm my sister off on my unsuspecting friends and come to see if you were feeling a hundred percent.”

 

Riley gave her a kiss with a laugh. He loved to see her happy. It seemed like there was so little of it lately, what with the chip problem and her mom and now Adam running around as a personal vampire bodyguard. Once again, things were crazy and they never seemed to get a break to just laugh and be like regular people.

 

“So, Riles, how are you doing? You know, without the extra strength,” Xander asked.

 

He received a shrug in response; then Riley gave him a grin. “It’s taking some getting used to. I was almost defeated by a stuck jelly jar lid this morning… but I persevered. So, Buff… what’s the plan, today?”

 

She pointed to the glow ball on the table.

 

Of course, he’d noticed it on approaching the gang. He hadn’t given much thought to the glow-ball, but should have known it wouldn’t be as simple as a party favor.

 

“More research,” she said wryly. “Unless, of course, my over-indulgent boyfriend can come up with an excuse for me to duck out of here?”

 

“I thought we might go hunting in Adam’s caves… hit the usual vampire nesting sites, see if we can’t find him.”

 

Buffy rubbed at her chest wound automatically, saying at the same time, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

 

Riley, naturally, caught the gesture. She was forced to confide in the group that she’d once again got hurt when going up against the cyborg. Even with being more zombie or robot now, he was still much stronger than her, and seemed to be able to anticipate her dodges and weaves.

 

“It’s his onboard scanners,” Riley said. “He’s running algorithms to anticipate your moves even as you’re making them.”

 

“He must have a statistical analyses program onboard,” Willow said, looking concerned. “He’d be able to run the numbers and respond to the most probable outcomes of any of our actions faster than we could change our tactics. Especially in the middle of a battle when we don’t have the time to do a lot of thinking. Tara and I can work on some magical possibilities later tonight, see if we can come up with something new and useful.”

 

“In the meantime, let’s see if we can figure out what our new trinket does,” Xander added.

 

Riley wasn't ready to let the subject rest. “Buffy, I think we should go out and find him now. I realize he’s tough, but the more time we give the Initiative vampires, the more dangerous they can make him. We need to take him out as soon as possible.”

 

“You can’t go out patrolling,” Dawn said from behind them. “Buffy said that you could get hurt too easily now.”

 

“I didn’t say that,” Buffy insisted.

 

“Yeah, you did. Remember? ‘Riley’s like a regular guy now. He shouldn’t be putting himself in danger, anymore.’ And then you said he was like Xander.”

 

“Hey! I’m not exactly helpless here,” Xander exclaimed.

 

“I just meant going one on one with Adam,” Buffy lamely said. She glared at Dawn and her big mouth.

 

Riley’s clenched jaw worked back and forth as color infused his cheeks. Turning from the group be stalked toward the front door, glaring at customers in his way. He called back to Buffy, “I just remembered; I should be doing some job hunting today. Considering I’ve quit my last position, money’s going to become an issue.”

 

“Riley, wait,” Buffy called out, but he wasn’t in the mood to listen at the moment. With him calling back to her that it was alright, she couldn’t help but hear the front door of the Magic Box slam shut behind him.

 

“Thanks, Dawn,” she said, “Thanks a lot. Willow? I don’t suppose you could cast a spell of silence on my sister?”

 

“You better not!” Dawn looked around, embarrassed. She didn’t mean to yell so loud. She continued, “I’ll tell mom!”

 

As she took in the group’s looks, she realized how silly that sounded. Tell mom without her voice? She added a little lamely, “You know, I’d tell her on a Post-It. Oh, look! Newt’s eyes!”

 

She scampered away from the glare of her sister and went for a closer look at the oogey things on the store’s shelves. Pulling the jar from its shelf, she began to swish the yellowish liquid around inside the jar, causing the eyes to float about and catch the overhead lights.

 

Buffy sighed in irritation, “Can you guys start the research on the globe-thingy? I want to see if I can find Riley and smooth things over. If he comes back in the meantime, can you let him know I’m looking for him? And, please… don’t let Dawn talk to him!”

 

Again they were interrupted, this time by the smash of a glass jar onto the floor. The crowd around one of the shelves began clapping and they heard a distinct Dawn-sounding ‘Oops!’ from the area. This was very quickly followed by Anya screeching her way across the sales floor. Buffy saw Giles glare in her direction, but he was too busy with the book woman still to come over.

 

She grabbed Dawn from the spectacle, and dragged her out of the door, leaving a load of ‘really sorry’ in their wake.

 

Once outside, she told Dawn they were going home where she could do homework or go to a friends or something. Dawn was a little teary eyed, but she ignored this.

 

“I can’t find and fight the vampires and Adam and help mom and investigate stuff if I have to keep saving the world from your extreme klutziness!”

 

Back in the store, Anya was throwing a fit. She shouldn’t have to clean up after non-customer’s messes. She didn’t even want to clean up after the paying public’s messes! Plus, she had way too much to do with the money part.

 

Xander stepped forward; volunteering for cleanup. Giles remained deep in discussion with the book lady and Tara was still ensconced in the back with a reading. Willow sighed. That left her to start on the research by herself. She had really been hoping to continue looking for a healing spell for Mrs. Summers sometime today.

 

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End Ch 2

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, spander, spanderverse, the risks of glory
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