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POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and especially the Spanderverse series.
Notes: Story number Nineteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Songs of Pain and Comfort”. 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.
Battling with a God
Ch 25 –
Xander came to from some sort of black out with Spike clutching his forearms. He could feel his lips pulled back in a grimace and a growl was issuing from his spittle dotted mouth. Around him, bodies groaned, many of them bloodied.
“What the hell,” Spike said. “Xan, you back? ‘Cause I can’t take getting hit by you anymore on top of the bruises I’m already sporting.”
“Y-yeah, I’m good.”
“Like hell! What the fuck was that!?
“No time,” Xander gave him a small push toward the tower. “Go! Get to Dawn, get her to safety!”
Spike gave him a last confused and conflicted glance, but then he spun and ran for the tower’s staircase. Xander watched him go and then glanced around him at the bloodied people around him, feeling sick.
I didn’t kill them, Hyena grumbled.
You took me over. I-I don’t remember doing any of this! Where’s Commando? He wouldn’t have allowed you to block me out.
I told you, she growled angrily. I don’t know! He faded away or something. Let’s find the others.
Above the heads of the struggling Scoobies, Dawn fought to get her hands free from the bindings that held them. In front of her, Ginx looked positively giddy with the thought of slicing her skin.
“Stop this… everyone will suffer if you open that portal!”
“Not everyone. We’ll be home and happy. And Glorificus the Mighty will glow with the terrible brightness of a thousand stars,” she smiled in rapture. “You should feel honored to be pressed into service in her Worship’s divine plan.”
“It’s only minutes now,” Ginx grinned.
Glory found herself facing against the girl who claimed to be another Vampire Slayer. She was blocking a fury of punches and high kicks from the twig and she wasn’t sure she could be more enraged. She knew that one of her minions would be able to start the ritual on time, as long as she kept Buffy from interfering.
Right now, she was pulling that nuisance hammer from the chains it had gotten itself wrapped in. She took two more punches to the jaw from ‘Faith’ when her attention was on Buffy.
“Enjoy your trip,” she said harshly, picking up the Aprilbot. She hauled the Faith-girl over her head and threw her over the side of the tower with a vicious grin. And then she was once again making a dash for the other and more annoying Slayer.
Buffy heard heels clamping on the steel behind her as she stretched out and yanked on the hammer. Without looking, she swung around and caught Glory in the side of the head, sending her smashing into a support girder. The entire tower rumbled and shook and she had to grab a pylon herself to keep from falling off the edge she stood near.
It put her at a disadvantage and the god was on her before she could further react. Taking a body blow, she felt a rib snap. The force of the punch sent her stumbling backward and just before she went over the side, she grabbed Glory’s arm.
At least I can take her away from Dawn with me, she thought. She had no idea that Dawn wasn’t alone above her.
Spike watched the Slayer and the god’s bodies tumble past him as he continued racing for the top.
“Buffy! Shit,” he yelled, but didn’t slow. He promised her he’d get Dawn away. He couldn’t go back to help her now. He just hoped the Scooby Gang was close enough; maybe the witches could throw some mojo at Glory. It didn’t even cross his mind that Buffy might be killed in the fall. He knew how resilient Slayers were built.
When he reached the top, he found Dawn shrinking away from one of the brown robed set menacing her with a small knife.
“Get away from her,” he menaced, his fangs obvious and yellow eyes burning with rage.
“Spike,” Dawn yelled in relief.
“Stupid vampire,” the dwarf said. Spike recognized her as the one he’d spoken to while hanging in Glory’s penthouse suite. “Still throwing the immortality away needlessly, I see.”
“I’m about to throw your life away.”
“Interesting you should use those words,” Ginx smiled. A moment later and she was muttering under breath.
Spike dashed forward, but he was too injured… too slow. He wasn’t able to grab the pissant before the spell she was muttering took affect.
He found himself being levitated above the plank he’d been running on. He looked at the scabby demon and gnashed his teeth in frustration as he was floated out into empty space.
Ginx looked at Spike with a nasty smile. “So much for the big rescue, huh hero?”
Spike morphed back to his human features and met Dawn’s eyes. “Dawn…,” he whispered.
He heard her scream his name as the invisible force holding him up vanished. Like a marionette with its strings cut, he plummeted to the ground.
Buffy hit the ground hard and having lost her grip on the hammer during the fall, gazed around for it. She heard another body hit the ground nearby and a glance confirmed it was Glory.
She got to her feet shakily, her vision dulling for several seconds. No, no, I’m not blacking out. This isn’t the time, she thought in frustration as she bit the inside of her cheek hard enough to draw blood. Her abdomen felt like it was split open, there was so much pain.
Glory, naturally, was also able to regain her feet. She stood with that stupid smile on her face and Buffy nastily thought she could at least have the decency to look dirty. But she didn’t, she appeared fresh as the proverbial daisy. Buffy hated her more than she’d ever hated anything in her life at that moment.
“So Sweet-cheeks… you lost your hammer. Now what?”
Behind Glory, April jumped onto the god’s back and began wrestling to snap her neck. Glory yelled in outrage, but she didn’t seem particularly worried with this new assault.
The Aprilbot bought the time Buffy needed. She re-grabbed the hammer from less than a foot away. As she limped toward Glory, she saw Xander scrambling up into the cab of a truck she hadn’t noticed before. It was one of the large destruction ball-thingy trucks. As she watched Xander assume the driver’s seat, she met his eyes. He gave her a thumbs up and a huge grin.
She smiled back and kept smiling as Glory yanked ‘Faith’ off of her and sent the robot flying dozens of yards away. Buffy didn’t hesitate, smashing Glory with the Troll hammer again and again. Not giving her any chance to stand her ground, the god was thrust backward, lining her up for Xander.
She brought the hammer up and nearly into Glory’s chin before the god grabbed it in between her two hands. She yanked the instrument out of Buffy’s hands and tossed it aside.
“That’s really enough of that,” she said.
“No problem,” Buffy said, running and leap-kicking her with both feet. She felt pain shoot throughout her stomach and chest and knew that Glory had hurt her badly. Things were becoming grayish around her. But she did what she needed to do.
Xander’s wrecking ball swung in a wide arc, catching Glory completely unaware. The several ton ball hit her hard, sending her smashing into a shed which completely collapsed. But he didn’t stop there. Hitting the release, the huge weight snapped free of the cable connecting it to the truck and it came to rest pinning Glory to the ground.
Buffy saw blood rush from Glory’s nose and with a smile of triumph she took off for Dawn’s tower. She felt nothing but relief that Dawn was safe, now. She wasn’t so sure about herself. She could almost feel the internal bleeding, but she wanted to see Dawn once more before she gave into her injuries.
Glory rolled the heavy iron sphere off of her, but something was desperately wrong. She could barely move and she was in almost crippling pain. It wasn’t fair! She was a God! She was above pain, above weakness!
From out of nowhere, one of Buffy’s pals stood suddenly. It was the one she’d brain drained. She wore a mask of hatred and brought up a crowbar over her head.
Glory opened her mouth to threaten her, at the same time struggling to sit up, but the girl brought the crowbar down across her forehead, bringing an instant of agony.
“You bitch,” Anya screamed as she brought the crowbar down again and again. Glory felt her nose crack and couldn’t conceive what had happened to her. How could she be feeling any of this, how could a weak stupid slip of a human be causing her injury?
Xander grabbed Anya arms as she was in the midst of bringing the crowbar down again. Lying where Glory had been was Ben, struggling to breath.
Giles and the other girls joined them. Xander forced the crowbar from Anya’s grip and watched as she collapsed. He pulled her to him as she sobbed out her ordeal onto his chest.
“Xander,” Giles said quietly. “Why don’t you take Anya away?
As soon as Glory had changed back into Ben, her human victims began to wander around confused or stood in place and cried and whimpered. It was obvious they were no longer under her thrall, though unfortunately it didn’t appear that their sanity had been recovered at the same time. Everyone stood for another moment in shock as they realized that Ben the doctor had been harboring Glory, or was Glory the whole time.
“Xander? Girls? …Go on. And watch out for her minions,” he called after them as they walked with Anya, expressing their relief that she was back and trying to comfort her.
Before Giles, Ben was gasping in harsh breaths. He removed his glasses from his face and polished away the dust on their lenses.
“Can you move,” he asked.
“N-need a few minutes,” Ben smiled. “Kind of hurts. I’m sorry. I wanted to stop her. I tried.”
“I believe you.”
“We’ll leave,” Ben said. “Now that she’s been beaten, maybe she’ll stay away for good.”
“I doubt that. No, Glory will return. And she’ll make Buffy and Anya and Dawn pay for denying her what she sought.”
“Y-you could have let her kill me,” Ben pointed out, meaning Anya.
“She’s distraught,” Giles returned his glasses to his face. “And she’s on a path to redemption; one that I believe she deserves to fulfill. And the others… they don’t deserve to have that on their consciences. They’re heroes, you see? They’re not like me.”
“You,” Ben whispered, suddenly afraid.
Giles reached out before Ben could react. He covered the struggling young man’s mouth tightly with the palm of his hand and pinched his nostrils closed with thumb and index finger.
Ben began to convulse as his straining lungs attempted to draw for air that was denied him. One hand reached up and grabbed Giles’ wrist weakly, fingernails clawing at his forearm.
Giles refused to let go. Even after Ben had stopped struggling; even after his eyes rolled up in their sockets. Even after he was sure that the heart had stopped, he clung on… making sure there could be no doubt.
And then he turned his head to the side and vomited.
Buffy made it to the top of the tower where she saw one of Glory’s minions standing before a crying Dawn. Dawn noted her presence, but Buffy shook her head quickly with a finger to her lips.
“Y-you shouldn’t have done that,” Dawn shrieked at the minion. She kept her voice loud to cover Buffy’s approaching footsteps. “You evil, evil, uh, wicked, monster, thing, creep!”
By the time Dawn was done, Buffy was standing just behind Ginx. She seemed to sense something was wrong and spun around, but it was too late. Buffy slapped the bloodied knife out of her hand and then in a quick and deadly action, snapped her neck. She pushed the body from the tower and rushed to her sister.
The sides of Dawn’s dress were marked with two clear slit marks. Red was soaking through, making the blue material appear black. Buffy glanced down and saw blood streaming over her sister’s feet and dripping down into the space beyond.
She quickly snapped the bindings holding Dawn in place and pulled her into her arms.
“Buffy, it hurts,” Dawn whimpered, holding her sides.
“I know. It’s okay, we’ll get them treated.”
Behind them came a keening, whistling noise. The tower shook ominously and there followed a sudden flash of bright, white-violet light. Dawn turned from Buffy’s grip with a gasp, her face falling in horror.
“It’s too late,” she said, meeting Buffy’s eyes. “It’s already started.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Buffy assured her. “Let’s get down from here.”
“No, Buffy… you have to let me go,” Dawn began to cry again. “It’s the only way.”
Buffy shook her head in confusion, one hand instinctively grabbing Dawn’s arm. Like she knew what Dawn wanted to do, but was denying the recognition from herself.
“Buffy, I have to jump!”
“What!? No, no… Dawnie, it’ll kill you.”
“I know,” Dawn said, wiping at her eyes with her free arm. “Buffy, Glory told me what you had to do if the ritual started.”
“No! No, w-we’ll find another way,” Buffy said forcefully.
“There is no way, Buffy. I have to go. It has to have the blood.”
Buffy looked panic-stricken as her grip on Dawn tightened. Around them the portal was growing and electrical bursts were being shot out into the night. Nearby they heard cars honking their horns. The sounds of destruction could be heard where the lightning bolts were hitting.
Glancing down, Buffy saw one lightning blast strike the ground. Where it hit, another small portal opened and from this came out some sort of animated skeletons carrying scythes. Screams of people could be heard. She looked around helplessly.
End Chapter 25