May 19th, 2008

space2

20

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 20 – Darker Turns

 

It was just before noon and Saturday and Giles knocked at the Summers’ residence door. When Tara answered, smiling, he gave her a good morning and entered. Willow was once again hard at work on her laptop, it being connected to Faithbot at the moment. On the dining room table was a group of stacked books, one of which was opened about three quarters of the way. Dawn sat on the floor having been watching some god-awful sounding woman warbling off key and slinking in front of some shirtless boys in what he thought a prostitute might feel comfortable in.

 

“Hello ladies, Dawn, are you alright with tomorrow morning,” he asked.

 

“Oh… yeah. I mean… mostly,” Dawn said, stifling a yawn and looking like she’d had a bad night’s rest.

 

(In actuality, Dawn had taken three sleeping pills the night before and was feeling a little hung over.)

 

“W-well, I was hoping that the three of you would do me the honor of allowing me to treat you to lunch,” he smiled.

 

“Oh, thanks, Giles! I have so much work to do today though,” Willow said apologetically.

 

Tara stepped in, however, “You could use the break, Will. We both could.”

 

Something appeared to pass between Tara and Willow, but Giles didn’t wish to pry. With a small shrug, Willow agreed, though she didn’t seem happy about it and began to log off from the interface with the robot. Upstairs, unknown to Dawn and Giles, were stacked more print-outs and books about Osiris and resurrection gained from Lavinia Mills. Both women had been up since six a.m. scouring through them. If Giles had taken a closer look at the open book on the table, he may have gotten an inkling of what Tara was reading up on these days, but she was quick to mark her page and close it.

 

“Just let me run these books upstairs,” she smiled at him. He didn’t notice the strain around her eyes.

 

“And you, Dawn… would you humor an old man,” he kidded.

 

“Oh, yeah! I can always eat… especially when someone else is paying,” she smiled back though it was a struggle. She knew they were worried about her refusal to visit Buffy’s grave and when Willow had offered to go with her to Joyce’s instead later today, she’d baulked at that, too. She knew somewhere in her mind that she should want to visit the resting places of her family, but she also knew she just didn’t.

 

Maybe the monks made me defective, she thought in self-derision.

 

As the troupe headed out into the warm, sunny day they didn’t take much notice of the remote control toys the neighborhood children were playing with. But not all of them were being used by the kids.

 

Andrew, Warren and Jonathon were hidden in a battered, black van parked further down the block. In Jon’s van were stacked consoles, a transmitting/receiving antennae, which looked like a CB’s, and video monitors. All of the equipment had been purchased in Palm Springs by Warren, using the proceeds of the usable money they’d stolen from the bank. Tucked near the rear doors was the zombie-Adam, a newly installed parabolic dish jutting awkwardly from its abdomen. Adam was inert at the moment and was only there in case they ran into trouble and needed his muscle at a moment’s notice.

 

On one monitor, a ground level view zig-zagged across the screen. As the remote controlled car sped behind Giles, Willow, Tara and Dawn the sideway long angle camera lens showed their retreating backs. Taking a sharp left, Andrew piloted the remote camera across the lawn.

 

“They need to cut their grass,” he complained.

 

“Will it be able to maneuver to the basement windows,” Warren wanted to know.

 

“I think so.”

 

“How about you Short-round?”

 

Jonathon’s focus was on another screen currently showing little but a slice of sky and tree branches.

 

“Maneuverability is clumsy with the camera’s weight,” he said. “But I think I’ve got the hang of it. Moving the ‘copter into position; starting with Buffy’s bedroom window.”

 

“Princess Leia,” Andrew automatically corrected him.

 

“I think we can ‘can’ the code names when we’re not undercover outside, Andy,” Warren smirked. “Besides, I have trouble remembering which one we’re calling Han and what we decided to call Giles.”

 

“He’s Tarkin,” Jon supplied.

 

“And Han is Spike,” Andy said with slight exasperation. “Because they’re both way cool?”

 

“Whatever. We need to jot these things down,” Warren said disinterestedly. “Can you get closer to Buff’s window?”

 

“Hold on, I’ll try,” Jon told him as he fiddled with the controls.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Xander rolled up his sleeves and grabbed some timber from a stack. Carrying the boards over to a retaining wall that was going up, he glanced up into the sunshine.

 

“Better watch it boss,” Eddie of the multi-colored hair called from where he was hammering. “I’d hate to have to report you to the union,” he said laughing. His hair was the same platinum helmet as Spike, but it was highlighted with purple streaks. His ears had their accustomed array of rings and he’d recently added a diamond chip to one nostril.

 

“And I’d hate to have to put you on the unemployment line,” he called back.

 

“Ooh… isn’t there laws protecting whistle-blowers?”

 

“Give me a break, Eddie. Don’t you know how much torture it is to have to sit in that dark, dank trailer all day long while you guys are having all the fun,” he grinned.

 

He reminds me of Spike, Hyena thought. Bet he has a nice ass on him!

 

Oh, God! Stop, Xander blanched.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

The girls and Giles sat around the restaurant table over their emptied plates. He had spent his time trying to gauge Dawn’s true emotional state, but found himself distracted by both Tara and Willow. They both seemed to be far more exhausted than they had been letting on to him. Willow especially seemed to be under strain, judging by the circles under her eyes she was trying to hide with make-up.

 

As he reached into his wallet, he frowned in confusion. Within, he saw a few ones and a ten, but he could have sworn he had nearly sixty dollars there just a few days prior. In fact, he seemed to be missing a lot of money these days from his wallet. As his frown deepened, he cast his mind back, trying to figure out where he’d been spending his money lately. He certainly hadn’t purchased that much scotch within the past week!

 

Maybe I really am going senile, he thought with a small smile.

 

“Are you alright, Giles,” Tara questioned with concern.

 

“Oh, quite! I just seem to have misplaced some money, that’s all.”

 

“Oh! Here, Giles, I can take care of it,” Willow offered.

 

“No, no! I invited you out and am very pleased you accepted,” he smiled, waving away his confusion. “And these are the times that American Express was made for!”

 

“Do you think I can get a slice of hot fudge, chocolate cake to go,” Dawn asked.

 

“Dawn….” Willow frowned. After all, Giles had just admitted he was short of cash.

 

“What? I’m a growing girl. Plus I’m stuck with a summer of school! I need something to lift my spirits.”

 

“That’s quite alright,” Giles smiled. “I’m planning on getting a slice of apple pie myself for later,” he assured them as the waitress approached for the bill.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

At the Summers’ home, the toy helicopter was buzzing and weaving from window to window erratically. In the van, Jonathon had to keep glancing away from the monitor as the unsteady image on screen was making him nauseous.

 

On the second monitor, Andrew was looking through the basement windows into a heavily shadowed room. He strained his eyes for several minutes in irritation.

 

“This is stupid,” he complained. “Buffy isn’t going to be hanging in her basement. And plus, I’d need a spotlight just to see anything decently. It’s giving me a headache.”

 

“Okay, okay,” Warren said, “Bring the car back. What about the ‘copter, Short-round?”

 

“I wish you’d stop calling me that,” he answered. “But so far, no Buffy. No movement at all either, except the cat wandering on the counter tops in the kitchen.”

 

“Any sign of the ‘Buffy’ or ‘Faith’,” Warren said with air quotes.

 

“Nothing so far.”

 

“Well, they’re in there. Let’s land the chopper and get out of here. I’m sure we would have seen a sign of the Slayer if she was around.”

 

“Maybe she’s over at Xander’s… I mean over at Chewie’s,” Andrew suggested.

 

“Well, we know where his apartment is… I say we scope it out,” Warren said.

 

“But we have to hit a McDonald’s,” Jon insisted. “I really have to pee.”

 

“Ooh! I want a Big Mac,” Andrew squealed.

 

This is my elite crime syndicate, Warren thought with a sigh.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Later that night, Spike roamed across Rainbow Park. In front of him, the Faithbot was robotically turning her head this way and that, staring off into the darkness. On the other side of the park, the condominium complex that Glory had used lay in shambled ruins. A development company had quickly stepped in to buy the land, but clearing of the wreckage was slow going.

 

“Thanks for coming out, Wicca. I needed somebody to talk to about Xan,” he said to the woman patrolling with him.

 

“Oh, it’s no trouble Spike,” she returned distractedly. It wasn’t that she was indifferent to his concerns, but she had her own at the moment. Willow was left home with Dawn so who knew what she was up to. Despite her best efforts, she realized that she feared that Willow would try a resurrection spell on the fly behind her back and only the Lord knew what would happen after that. She placed a comforting hand on his arm anyway as they walked, but she was bothered by her distrust of her girlfriend.

 

“Has anything happened again with his Hyena-spirit?”

 

“Not really. But… well, uh, we haven’t… done anything since that night. I know that Xander is getting frustrated. He’s ready to go to the next step, I think.”

 

“But you’re hesitant? Because of the animal-personality?”

 

“How am I going to find the vampires with you two jawing back there so loud,” the Faithbot called back.

 

When Spike and Tara glanced ahead of them, they found the robot with arms crossed and scowling at them. She was tapping a foot in impatience with them.

 

“Sorry,” Tara automatically said.

 

“Why don’t you fuck off,” Spike stated. “Nobody is talking to you, you mobile toaster oven!”

 

“Spike….” Tara said, uncomfortable with his harsh language.

 

“Listen you stupid vampire, if you’re going to patrol then you do it with your mouth shut or get away from me so I can do my job!”

 

“We need to talk,” Tara cut in before a brawl could erupt. “Why don’t you go search the collapsed building for awhile? Come back when you’re done, okay?”

 

“Fine,” Faithbot huffed and went into a jog across the park.

 

“Your girl did way too good a job on that machine,” Spike complained.

 

“I keep telling her to stop tinkering with it,” Tara sighed. “But I think it helps her think. Plus there’s something going on with its batteries or something that I don’t really understand.”

 

“So, anyway,” Spike shrugged, “I’m worried that this thing with Xan is going to come crashing to a halt before we’ve even given it a decent try, you know? Which, by the way, is not ‘demon thinking’; I hope this silicon wafer in my noggin’ isn’t driving me bonkers.”

 

“Have you sat down and talked to him?”

 

“Vampires aren’t good with the heart to hearts, Luv. We more command, threaten, bully and take what we want. This whole ‘relationship’ business is new to me.”

 

“You had a relationship with Dru,” she reminded him sympathetically. “From what the diaries say, you and her had something very close to a human love affair.”

 

“You’ve been reading up on me,” he asked in an amused manner.

 

“W-Well, back when we were keeping you chained in Giles’ bathtub and then later during your stay in the Harris basement; i-it just seemed like a good idea to know what I was getting into. Giles let me brief myself on what they knew about you. Uh, was that railroad spike thing true?”

 

“True enough. I only did it to a select few; don’t know how I became so associated with it. That upset you? It was a long time ago, you know.”

 

Tara took a moment to respond, but then she gave him a smile. “Spike, I know that you’ve done horrible things. I mean, it was natural for you, I guess. I don’t hold any animosity about it. I was just curious.”

 

“Well, you don’t need to worry about things like that these days. And not just ‘cause of the chip clinging to my grey matter.”

 

“I believe you. So, back to Xander: I think I’ll be ready to try a spell to root out his alternate personality in a few more weeks. I’m waiting for a potion to ferment. Hopefully, once that’s done you can get back on track. You never did tell us how she upset you so much….”

 

“I don’t want to say,” Spike said. He seemed to close up in front of her.

 

Reaching out again, she placed a comforting hand on his arm. “Spike, if you think he’s in danger because of this personality, we really need to know what you know.”

 

He shrugged. “She just… it was in the heat of the moment… she offered herself to me.”

 

Spike started walking again, shoulders hunched and hands dug deep into the pockets of the new leather jacket that Xander and Dawn had picked up for him. Tara followed with a worried frown.

 

“I’m not sure I understand. Offered herself? Like… offered to have an affair? With his body? Or…?”

 

“She offered me her neck; to let me bite her,” he turned in the witch’s direction. Tara could see the shadow of worry crossing over his features. “She was playing on my aggression… my need to ‘claim’ him… as a mate and consort.”

 

“Goddess,” she whispered. “I had no idea. Does Xander know?”

 

“He knows I’m upset and that I won’t get naked with him.”

 

“But you haven’t told him?”

 

“No,” Spike said. “Tara… I don’t want him afraid of me. But this spirit… when she’s in charge of the body, she thinks that I can bite her… him… and… and a large part of me wants to try it; wants it bad.”

 

 “I’d never feed on him,” he exclaimed suddenly due to her sudden scared expression. “But… the claim mark… it’s important to us… to vampires. I swore to him we’d do this the human way. If Giles even suspected that I was thinking about claiming Xander, he’d waste no time staking me. He’s made his displeasure about us perfectly clear. But… I’m a demon, Tara! I can’t help the thoughts that go through my brain, can I?”

 

“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with ‘claim’. Are you saying she wants you to vamp him?!”

 

“No, no. A ‘claim bite’ is a way of marking a mortal as your property. You’re telling other vamps or any demon perceptive enough to keep their hands or tentacles to themselves. It’s about “this is mine”. That’s why I don’t want to do it to Xander. We’re not about owning.”

 

“But the animal spirit knows just which of your buttons to push anyway,” Tara intuited.

 

“Well, us demons? A lot of our behavior is very… animalistic, for want of a better term, if you stop to think about it. Hunting, stalking, tearing throats… list goes on.”

 

“But you’re more than that, Spike,” Tara said with feeling, believing she was seeing his real worry. “You know that don’t you? You’re not just a mindless predator, Spike. Monsters don’t have fifteen year old girls light up when they walk in the room. And I don’t care for monsters. But Dawn and I do care for you, very much. You’re a person, Sweetie. And I’m going to fix this thing with Xan and you and he are going to be fine. I promise.”

 

Spike blew out a breath of air into the night. “I knew talking to you would feel better,” he grinned.

 

Tara’s reply was cut off by the sound of shattering glass.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 20

 

space2

Ch 21

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 21 – Adversaries

 

When Spike rounded a corner of the building he immediately felt the presence of several vampires and looked for the Faithbot. She wasn’t hard to track down, what with the sounds of fighting emanating from the wreckage. He glanced back toward Tara who was still ten feet behind him and struggling to catch up.

 

“In here… I’ll go! You stay out here and have a spell ready!”

 

As he rushed into the dark, his enhanced eyesight allowed him to avoid the crushed beams, hanging slabs of wood, tangles of wires and jagged shards of glass splinters that jutted at all angles around him and on the floor. He heard the pained growl of a vampire somewhere ahead of him and then the sounds of a heavy body, probably the robot’s, smash through something.

 

As he dashed into what appeared to have been part of the upper balcony of the lobby, now laying in ruins at ground level, he noted there were three vampire women. All of them were dressed in dirty, but modern, clothing. He recognized two of them from their pictures in the paper. They were the women missing with their husbands (a few of which had been found) and their kids (who were now ash).

 

Faithbot lay in a heap, a twisted section of pylon lying atop her skull. Naturally, there was no blood, but green cooling fluid was splashed around the area. She wasn’t moving.

 

“Care to take on someone a little tougher, Ladies,” he swaggered in. He was focusing on his sense of sight and smell to note details no human could have picked up. He could practically feel their presence now like a notebook on their general health and strength. They wouldn’t be presenting much of a problem… it looked like Tara was going to miss out on this one.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

A few blocks from the battle about to be waged among vampires, Adam was tearing through a doorway of the California Institute of Gemology. Despite the sound of its name, it was actually a private company and not an educational establishment, though the staff did volunteer for a few gem and jewelry related electives at both U.C. Sunnydale and its sister school outside of town, the Kent Preparatory School.

 

The business was equipped with multiple alarm systems, including motion detectors within and multi-angle cameras. They were even equipped with a redundant system that would activate and send an automated page to the manager in charge of security should the first fail. Despite this, Adam entered the building; no alarms sounding.

 

In ‘The Cantina’, Warren grinned maniacally. Neither Jonathon nor Andrew were there, as Warren had told them that they would wait one more day to ensure that Buffy wasn’t spotted in town. Then they would hit the Sunny Valley Precious Metals Emporium where they would clean them out of their gold and silver stocks. They had no idea that Warren was working on his own get rich project.

 

He glanced at the monitor for April and found static displayed across the screen. With curiosity he turned up the speaker volume. He could hear a man’s voice in the background and then a woman, but it was so badly garbled that he couldn’t make sense of any of it.

 

“Damn,” he said to himself. “Well, Willow… looks like we’re going to see just how good you really are.”

 

With this he turned the volume back down and ignored whatever fate had befallen April. He was far more interested in what Adam was doing at the moment.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Ahh, the famous Spike,” Gladys stated with a smirk.

 

“You have me at a disadvantage,” he smirked back.

 

“More than you realize,” Tammy said, before adding her own belated smirk.

 

Before Spike registered what their aim was, she and the third and so far silent one (who hadn’t had a chance to smirk yet) had grabbed a fallen beam. With a hard push, the beam shifted and Spike realized his cockiness had led him astray once again as hundreds of pounds of debris came raining down around him.

 

Even as he attempted to dodge out of the way, he felt himself pummeled to the ground. An awful weight was left pinning him to the floor and despite his best efforts he found the wreckage wouldn’t budge. Though he didn’t think it was strictly the weight of the debris, but more that he didn’t have the leverage he needed.

 

Just like in Glory’s penthouse, I’m fucking screwed because of physics, he silently raged.

 

Tammy was suddenly bending down over him and he glared at her as best as he could with his face being pressed immobile against the ground.

 

“Don’t worry, Spike. Ours isn’t to kill you,” she smiled. She brought a long, sharp fingernail perilously close to one of his eyeballs before running it down his cheek and drawing blood. “We’re just the messengers.”

 

“And w-what’s the message, Bitch,” he asked defiantly.

 

She leaned in even closer until she could whisper intimately into his ear, “Remember Philly.”

 

With this odd statement, she and the rest of the mothers began to wander deeper into the wreckage, disappearing in the darkness. Spike was left having absolutely no clue who the women were speaking for or what the fuck ‘Philly’ meant. He wracked his brain trying to recall any demons by that name when he heard Tara coughing.

 

“S-spike?! Spike, are you alright? Answer me!”

 

“I’m here, Ducks. Don’t worry… I’m just a little pinned.”

 

He listened as Tara came closer, carefully picking her way through. In only minutes, he could see the beam of her little flashlight playing across the floor and what was left of the walls. “Am I close,” he heard her ask.

 

“Very. I’m right down here… but watch it. We got vampires in here and I don’t know how stable this shit on top of us is. If things start groaning, you beat feet… you hear?”

 

“I’m not leaving you,” she said as she bent over him on her knees. “Where are the monsters?”

 

“Took off, I think. Just watch your back. Think you can magic some of this junk off me? I don’t have the leverage….”

 

“Goddess, this is a mess. Hold on.”

 

Tara sat down on the dirty ground as cross legged as she could in her long skirt and began a whispered chant. After a few minutes of this, with Spike about to tell her to go get help, the metal beam holding him just below the neck began to rise. He heard Tara grunt with effort and then he was suddenly able to pull himself out from under the heavy beam.

 

With him no longer trapped, Tara released her magical hold on the debris which crashed loud enough to cause a ringing in her ears. She looked around in a panic, afraid that she might have started an avalanche of metal and glass, but things remained stable.

 

“Are you alright,” she asked him.

 

“I’m more concerned about you,” he said. To her questioning look, he pointed at her face, “You’re bleeding from the nose.”

 

She took a quick swipe with her fingers, wiping the blood distastefully on her jacket. “I think it’s okay. It’s not bad.”

 

“That was damned dangerous. I don’t want you putting yourself at risk over me.”

 

“Spike,” she sighed, “You’re family. I would have done the same thing for any of you. Now, what about Faithbot?”

 

“Over there. She’s pretty well out of it.”

 

“Darn. It looks like she’s pinned, too. We’ll have to come back with Willow. I don’t think I can lift all this by myself without blowing up my brain. It’s a lucky thing the vampires didn’t stake you or bite you again before I got in here.”

 

“No luck about it, Dear. They were just delivering a message.”

 

“You’re kidding.”

 

“Nope. ‘Remember Philly’. That’s what they said.”

 

As Tara and Spike picked their way back through the wreckage to the outside fresh air, Tara puzzled. “Ugh… this dirt is never going to come out of this skirt. I really liked this skirt. So what do you think the message was trying to say?”

 

“You got me. I don’t know any ‘Philly’.”

 

“Do you have a mortal sandwich enemy,” she asked with a grin.

 

He looked at her like she was speaking Martian.

 

“You know,” she said with a little embarrassed shrug, “Philly cheese steak?”

 

She gave him a nervous giggle, but Spike was frowning in concentration. A moment later, he shifted unexpectedly into game face, startling her.

 

“Vanessa,” he said harshly.

 

“Who?”

 

“A blast from the past,” he explained as he searched around them. He was looking to make sure they weren’t about to be ambushed. “I know who’s doing the throat tearing and she’s going to wish she hadn’t followed me here.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

At the same time, Xander and Giles were also patrolling. They had attached themselves to the Buffybot and were quickly approaching the C.I.G., though not because they had any idea that there was anything amiss.

 

“I am very excited to have my Watcher joining me,” the robot was exclaiming. “A Slayer is always more effective when Watched by her Watcher!”

 

“Honestly, must she be so… peppy,” Giles asked askance at Xander.

 

“I’d take peppy any day over Faithbot’s glaring,” he replied.

 

“I am detecting a large, humanoid life-form not matching human characteristics nearby,” the robot said. For a moment the smile disappeared from her face… but only for a moment. “Perhaps it’s a creature of the night! Are you ready to evaluate my effectiveness,” she asked her Watcher.

 

As Xander grinned, Giles just rolled his eyes, “Let’s just investigate, shall we?”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

At the Summers’ home, Dawn was flipping through channels on television stopping to watch a few minutes of one show after another before moving on. Willow had been downstairs in the basement forever and she was both bored and curious. She had thought that Will used the basement for robot-repair, but the ‘bots were out doing their thing. Sighing, she left the T.V. running and went to the freezer for ice cream.

 

As she opened the drawer for a spoon, the light glinted off of one of the knives in the drawer, catching the light along its edge. Dawn stood for several heartbeats, entranced as she unconsciously rubbed at the scar on her arm before giving herself a shake. When she reached into the drawer, she grabbed the spoon and closed it. She swallowed the urge to cry before she could break down again.

 

Downstairs, Willow glanced at the ceiling above her head as she heard Dawn’s footfalls entering the kitchen. She had one hand sitting on her laptop’s flipped open screen, ready to close it quickly if the girl opened the door.

 

I really need Xander to install a lock, she thought. And if Dawn starts bugging me, I swear I’m going to spell her to sleep.

 

She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard Dawn’s footsteps going back toward the living room. Returning to the Watcher Council’s database, she scrolled through their listing of antiquities. They’re internal search engine wasn’t very efficient, which annoyed her to no end. While she scrolled through their inventory, she also kept any eye on the magically enhanced spybot software she had running. It was monitoring for any signs that they had detected her incursion so that she would be able to exit before they could trace her.

 

Reaching the bottom of the list of one hundred sixty items, she sighed in disappointment and frustration. Though they had a few items and a lot of books on Osiris, the Urn wasn’t among them according to their own manifests.

 

Carefully, she backed out of the intruded upon system and disconnected from COUNCILNET.

 

“Damn it,” she whispered. Tara and I need that Urn for this to work. There has got to be one left somewhere that we can get our hands on!

 

She rubbed her tired eyes and thought of Buffy waiting on her, pleading with her. She couldn’t stop the tears caused by her mental pain and just plain exhaustion that began to flow from her eyes.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Giles and Xander followed the Buffy robot around a squat building with a sign in stainless steel lettering in front of it. As they approached from the parking lot behind the gemology institute, they could see that the rear security door had been torn from its hinges.

 

“Adam,” Xander whispered in question to Giles.

 

“Buffy, could this be Adam,” Giles called quietly to the robot.

 

“The humanoid’s height does match my Adam profile,” she said in a normal tone of voice. “I will investigate and engage the breaker and enterer.”

 

Before Giles could stop her, the robot went into a dash across the tarmac leaving him and Xander to begin jogging to catch up.

 

As the two men cautiously approached the entranceway, they could hear the sounds of a struggle going on. Before they could decide whether to join the robot in the building’s interior, however, the robot was sent flying out at them.

 

“Bloody hell,” Giles yelled startled as the robot collided with him, taking them both down to the pavement.

 

“Giles, are you alright,” Xander yelled himself as he bent by the Brit. He grabbed Buffybot by her arm to help her up off of Giles, but she shook him off and made another run for the back door of the Institute.

 

“Ow,” Giles complained.

 

“Yeah…, but hey! You’re not knocked out this time,” he grinned.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

On the monitor in the Trio’s abandoned iron works, Warren watched as Adam’s arm swung into view, cleanly swiping over the Buffy robot’s head. He was frowning deeply, as Adam was holding a bag of gemstones in one hand and he was torn between wanting his zombie to fight more effectively, and wanting him to bring the gems back. When he saw the Buffybot go into a side kick and then saw chaos on the screen as Adam was sent flying back into a display case, he made his decision… not happily.

 

“Adam, drop the gemstones. Engage the robot… proceed to the exit and run. Your new target is ‘Homebase’.”

 

On the monitor, Adam had grabbed the Buffybot’s face with both hands, showing he’d followed instructions. As he attempted to twist the robot’s head off, she double-palmed him up into his face. Moments later and he sent the Buffybot flying off of the screen to his left.

 

Warren watched as the camera’s view showed him approaching the gem store’s exit.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Xander and Giles were standing near the exit when a large, lumbering form burst outward and knocking them both to the pavement this time. Giles complained loudly about hitting the ground again at the same time the Buffy robot dashed by.

 

Adam had begun to run in an awkward gait, but the robot made an incredible eight foot leap and managed to wrap her arms around his legs. As he struggled to continue running, she held on with very human-sounding effort.

 

“Geez,” Xander yelled as he fumbled to retrieve his ax from the ground.

 

Giles, still half crumpled, got to one knee and aimed his small crossbow. He let the bolt fly free and gave a small triumphant smile as it hit the middle of Adam’s withered and leathery back. While he began loading another bolt, Xander ran for the cyber-zombie.

 

Buffybot had been knocked loose and Adam had begun his build up of speed when he suddenly came to a complete halt. He turned in her and her best friend’s and her Watcher’s direction. Buffybot grinned at Xander as he ran past, hefting his ax and giving a battle cry.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

On the monitor, Warren watched Adam’s right arm come into view as he raised it in Xander Harris’ direction.

 

“Fire!”

 

He watched as Xander, nearly eight feet away, suddenly stumbled and fell to the pavement.

 

“Now, Adam, ready the secondary gun and aim for the robot. Fire when she’s in range and then return to base,” he said angrily. I really wanted those sapphires, damn it, he glared at the monitor.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

The Buffy robot watched in confusion as best-friend-Xander fell heavily to the ground. He’d dropped his ax and was holding his hands in front of his ears. With a glance, she found that her Watcher was on his hand and knees behind them, where he too was trying with effort to block one of his ears.

 

The robot could detect the hypersonic frequencies being emitted by Adam, but it was having no effect on her systems. Pulling up the relevant data files, she understood that the sonic frequencies being utilized were incapacitating her human companions and she determined she had to stop them.

 

As she rushed toward Adam, she noted that the parabolic dish haphazardly and illogically jutting outward from his abdomen was giving off a soft blue glow. Ignoring this, she didn’t alter her vector of approach.

 

Deep inside where Adam’s intestines used to be, a large diamond was mounted to a mystically enhanced apparatus. This apparatus held the diamond in place just before an electrical emitter. As Adam powered up the dish, an electrical discharge was fired into the diamond sitting before it.

 

This burst of energy excited the non-corporeal Ice Spirit which Andrew had summoned and Jonathon had bound and imprisoned within it. The Spirit itself was non-sentient and reacted to the energetic particles by releasing a burst of super cold, heat sapping energy of its own which was captured and focused by the mystical injector obtained by Jon.

 

Split seconds later, the injector had transferred the energy to the parabolic dish, immediately causing frost and ice crystal to begin forming. But before it could freeze Adam solid, it was projected out leaving a trail of intense cold and colliding with whatever was in front of the dish.

 

In this case, one robot.

 

Buffybot detected the sudden change in temperature, but before she could determine what was happening, all of her systems began to shut down. Around her, ice was interfering with her optical and audio sensors. She could feel her coolant beginning to crystallize and found her limbs become immobile. When her onboard temperature regulator indicated danger to her higher brain functions, power was automatically routed to her internal heating coils. This had the effect of diverting energy from the rest of her systems and in effect placed her in a stasis-like state.

 

In the control room, Warren laughed with glee that their new freeze cannon had actually worked. Jonathon insisted they were going to lose Adam, but Warren had been confident in his design work.

 

Adam’s view turned away from Buffy’s friends and Warren watched as the scenery began to speed by; Adam beginning his return run back to base.

 

I can’t wait to tell the others, he whooped with laugher, I AM the King of Sunnydale!

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Holy crap,” Xander exclaimed when he could sit upright again. He wasn’t sure what had happened to him, but Adam had pulled something out of the air and he’d suddenly been overcome with dizziness and nausea. He might even have grayed out for a minute… he couldn’t be sure.

 

“I say,” Giles exclaimed himself as he helped Xander to his feet.

 

When he looked at him, Giles was staring in open mouth wonder across the lot. Xander looked then and felt his own mouth drop open.

 

The Buffybot was suspended off of the ground by a few inches. Surrounding her was a cocoon of what appeared to be ice. Like a mini-iceberg had swallowed her up… like Captain America in the comics.

 

“Somebody has been upgrading,” Xander said.

 

“An Icelandic Ice Spirit, if I’m not mistaken,” Giles opinioned.

 

“So, what the heck do we do now?”

 

“Uh…” Giles said as he pulled out his cell phone.

 

A minute later and Xander heard him ask Lieutenant Stein to meet them in the parking lot with a crow bar and hammer.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 21

 

space2

Chapter 22

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 22 – Indiscretion

 

Spike paced furiously back and forth in front of the Summers’ sofa as Dawn watched him, her head moving like she was watching a tennis match. Tara was in the kitchen brewing a pot of coffee and had already laid out a notebook and pencil for note-taking.

 

He reached into his leather jacket and pulled out his pack of smokes. Tapping one out, he began to fumble for the lighter.

 

“Spike…?”

 

“Yeah, Bit,” he said distractedly.

 

“Smoking. House. Big no.”

 

“Huh? Oh, right. Bloody second hand smoke and all that rot. I’ll be on the front porch.”

 

When Spike opened the door, he found Xander and Giles struggling to haul the Buffy robot inside. She was immobile and had water and slush dropping from her onto the porch and then the hall carpet with wet splashes. In the background, Rick’s car pulled off and accelerated with its magnetic bubble-light sending a revolving red flash into the darkness.

 

“What’s this, then?”

 

“Hey, Baby,” Xander stretched for a quick kiss. “We’ve brought home a Buffybot-cicle.”

 

“Uh-huh. What, you met a demonic Frosty the Snowman?”

 

“It was Adam,” Giles said with a grunt as he and Xan lowered the robot to the floor in the entranceway. “Somebody has been modifying him… I believe it must be Warren Meers.”

 

“Anyone who could make two sexbots has my vote as being able to alter a robo-zombie,” Xander agreed.

 

“Wow… will she be okay,” Dawn asked from behind Spike.

 

Before anyone could answer, they heard another female voice, “Goddess… oh, what happened to her?”

 

“Adam,” Spike supplied.

 

“Think you could finish thawing her out,” Xander asked her.

 

“I don’t think I should try magic on a robot,” she said worriedly. “It’s unpredictable as it is. Willow! Willow, come upstairs,” Tara yelled toward the back of the house.

 

“I’m afraid we lost the Aprilbot for now, too,” Spike revealed to the newcomers. “And I’ve got news on our new vamp.”

 

“Yeah, what’s going on,” Willow’s voice revealed she’d joined them. “Wow. A spell?”

 

“I believe it’s the work of an Ice Spirit,” Giles said. “Though how Adam was able to utilize it, I’m not sure.”

 

“They were asking about a de-thaw spell,” Tara told her. “But I’m worried about sending magic at a machine.”

 

“I don’t think it’ll be necessary… she seems to be thawing on her own,” Willow pointed out. “A-and her internal systems are pretty well sealed.”

 

“T-then she’ll be okay,” Dawn asked her in a small and worried voice.

 

“Well… I’ll need to check her over before we risk powering her up. But I think she theoretically should be perfectly operable. We better get a truckload of towels though!”

 

“I have a wet vac at the site,” Xander said. “I’ll run over and grab it.”

 

“I’m going with you. No one is leaving my sight.”

 

“Uh… unless we’re all squeezing into Xan’s car, that might be impractical,” Dawn grinned at him.

 

“Just you girls stay inside. And don’t be inviting anyone in until we get back,” he growled, not amused.

 

“What’s your deal,” Willow sulked.

 

“He knows who the vampire is,” Tara told her. “The one who turned the kids that attacked Dawn and her friends? But he won’t share.”

 

“I’ll share. I just didn’t want to have to repeat myself,” he corrected her. “When Xan and I get back, we’ll all have a cuppa and a story.”

 

“Why do I have the feeling I’m not going to like this story,” Xander questioned him.

 

“You knew I had a past, Love,” Spike pointed out.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“That should be enough of a clue for even my thick as a brick and self-involved as a runway model Sire to figure out,” Vanessa complimented her vampiric trio.

 

“Aren’t you worried,” Gladys asked, “About him hunting us down before we’re ready?”

 

“Oh, I’m ready dearest,” she said in return.

 

Vanessa walked over to the firewood box that sat next to the old fireplace. It probably hadn’t held any wood since the place was abandoned. Now she opened it to reveal four crossbow guns, each already loaded with bolts.

 

“Each of these has been coated with Russurik Spawn Juice, so be careful with them. They’ll affect even us. Once we shoot Spike with them he’ll be completely paralyzed up to ten hours. Just whatever you do, avoid the heart!”

 

“And then what,” Rachel said with clear anticipation.

 

“And then Spike is going to get a little floor show starring the dark haired girl and as many of the others as we can get our hands on. And when I’m sure that he’s ready to stake himself to escape my torments… only then will I send him back to Hell,” she smiled wickedly.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

When Xander, Spike and Giles returned to the house with the wet-vac, the Buffy robot had been covered in towels but was still lying where they’d dropped her off. Tara had given a shrug, stating that they hadn’t been strong enough to move it.

 

“I wanted to levitate it, but somebody is being a worry-wart about magic and technology mixing,” Willow said snidely.

 

“We talked about the risks,” Tara said reasonably, “It’s not worth it.”

 

“Adam is obviously using some magic,” Willow pointed out again.

 

Willow,” she said with an edge in her voice, “I don’t want to rehash this again.”

 

“I-it’s alright ladies,” Giles intervened. “The men will move her out of the way of the hall later. Perhaps we can get her downstairs.”

 

“Coffee is on,” Tara said, turning on her heel with a last look at Willow and squeezed around the robot into the dining room. On the table sat a steaming carafe.

 

Once they had settled down, they all looked to Spike for information.

 

“It’s like this… about 1920, 1921 me and Dru were traveling the Eastern seaboard. We were enjoying Philadelphia… quite the night life, it had…,” he drifted off in reminiscence.

 

“Spike,” Dawn asked with a quick glance at Xander. It felt a little rude for Spike to be thinking about Skank-Ass Dru when Xan was right here.

 

“Yeah, well… anyway… we were in Philly. We had one of our passionate, but short lived spats. See, there was this bloke… a real bruiser type that she had an eye for. Really irritated me, it did. So we had this knock-down fight; well… mostly it was her knocking me around. Dru may be mad as a hatter, but she was more than capable of beating the snot out of her sired at the time, especially with me not feeling right with hitting her back.”

 

“What a gentleman,” Xander grinned at him.

 

“Pshaw! Yeah, right. No, it was just she was my Sire, yeah? Couldn’t just hit her. So anyway, she runs off into the night and I’m throwing a temper tantrum when this tart strolls up to me. She was some Chorus line girl or some such,” Spike shook his head at his past foolishness. “Anyway, she was given me the obvious eye and I figured if Dru could sire me, then why not me siring somebody else?”

 

“So the vampire in town is one of the Aurelius clans’,” Giles said thoughtfully.

 

“Not really. I guess technically,” Spike nodded. “But since I didn’t much get into the whole clan thing she didn’t get much of a history lesson. Anyway, I turned her.”

 

“So why is she here,” Dawn asked.

 

“Getting to that part,” Spike nodded. “You see, like I said, Dru’s and my spats never lasted long. She came back, all apologies, and I took her back without much fuss. But Dru… she wasn’t much into sharing unless it was on her terms. She ordered me to dump Vanessa, which I did without a fight. I should have just staked the bitch, but….”

 

“So she’s pissed off at you,” Xander said. “Why now? Why here?”

 

“How long were you and Vanessa… uh… together? Is that an appropriate term,” Tara asked.

 

“Only a few days; if it amounted to a week I’d be surprised. I didn’t have much interest in her to begin with, did I? I was just surly at Dru when I turned her. As to why now? Who bloody knows? Maybe she just found me… Dru and I tended to wander a lot all over the world. Or maybe she’s here for the Hellmouth and I just happened to here as well? I don’t know. Guess it don’t much matter, she’s here and I have to deal with her.”

 

“We have to deal with her,” Xander pointed out.

 

“This is personal business,” Spike insisted. “I don’t want you guys involved. I’ll deal with my own mess. You all just stay hunkered down until I tell you its safe.”

 

“Why does she tear men’s throats,” Giles wondered.

 

“I can guess she’s taking out her anger at me on all men,” Spike shrugged. “Or maybe she’s just half-nuts like me. Again, who knows? Point being… my mess, my problem.”

 

“Uh-uh. Not the way it works,” Xander told him. “Around here, we all work to fix each other’s screw ups.”

 

“Look, Love… appreciate the thought…”

 

“…Willow,” Xander interrupted Spike, “A little resolve-face action, here, please. We’re not hiding while this loon is out there. We all work together to take her down, right?”

 

“Sure,” Willow gave him a small smile. Actually though, Spike was right in her estimation. He made this mess and they had enough to do without getting dragged into it. Still, she supposed this was a ‘best friend duty’ thing, so she agreed.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 22

 

space2

23

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 23 – Morning 27

 

Twenty seven days since she died, Spike thought. He was standing in Dawn’s open doorway and listening to her deep, shallow breathing. Twenty seven days Buffy and it both feels like yesterday and like months and months ago. Wonder if it’s the same for everyone, or just the evil demons? Damn it! You should be here for her.

 

He gently shut the door on the sleeping teen and retired downstairs where he flipped through stations until he found an old South American football game being repeated. The volume was turned very low and he only half listened as he thought of Xander and the rest of them at Buffy’s gravesite. A site that, even if he’d gone, he wouldn’t have been able to get close to without some major physical discomfort. Tara’s protective spells were holy-water based to keep things like him away from the Slayer.

 

Evil things… he thought distractedly. He was he knew. He knew when he’d first awoken after death that he was inextricably tied to the Great Darkness and he’d reveled in the feeling of power it engendered. He’d been able to do anything, or so he’d believed. Angelus sort of put the kibosh on his thinking he was ‘all that’.

 

And now here he was, trying so hard to be something else and failing. He wanted to bite Xander; to claim him which included, despite what he’d told Tara, feeding on his blood. He’d brought Vanessa to them and had nearly gotten Dawn and her teen friends killed. He might still get them killed. Obviously Vanessa had been stalking him and he hadn’t even detected her. The Sire-Sired bond was nearly non-existent due either to neglect or just his inexperience and lack of enthusiasm in the turning to begin with. He wondered if poor Vanessa had gotten stuck somehow between the turning that Dru did for him and the ‘minion’ creation that she’d used on the blokes sent to kick his ass on her way out of town. She obviously felt much betrayed… like a true Sired, but she didn’t have the feelings for him that she should have. He would have detected her if so, even if he felt nothing for her in return… that was just the way it worked. On the other hand, if she’d just been a minion, she wouldn’t be out to revenge herself upon him. She’d just find another master eventually, like the random vampires they dealt with nearly nightly here in the ‘Dale.

 

He shouldn’t have stayed here. He shouldn’t have promised Buffy to look after Dawn. He was just placing all of them in greater danger.

 

So leave, he thought to himself. You don’t have bags to pack… just throw on your jacket and go tonight.

 

It’s not that easy, anymore, he answered himself. He knew he’d never leave them.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Tara stood from her kneeled position in grass, her pants wet from the morning dew. With a smile and a nod, Giles and Xander again struggled to pick up and carry the heavy granite tablet that was to serve as Buffy’s final marker.

 

Ahead of them as they walked, thistles and thorn branches bended away from them. A rough path opened, allowing them to avoid most of the trouble with reaching Buffy’s burial ground. For the stray thicket still blocking the way, Willow uttered short mystic words, burning them out of the way instead.

 

When they had reached the spot, again Tara bent on her knees and offered a supplication to the spirits of nature that as a Wicca she was in tune with. Willow, on the other hand, immediately set to clipping the overgrown grass and weeds. In the meanwhile, Xander and Giles worked to dig a shallow trench for the stone to rest in and then set it in its place.

 

They worked quietly and unhurriedly, each lost in their own thoughts. For Willow, these were mostly dark and painful. She knew they were wasting their time with all of this since Buffy was coming back. She also knew that it could be months before they were prepared to get her and in the meantime who knew how much suffering she was being caused. She hadn’t heard from her friend’s spirit in too many nights now and that had her nearly panicked with the thought that Buffy had given in to despair in whatever Hell she’d ended up in.

 

Tara was far more serene about what they were doing here, though no less upset than Willow for what Buffy was suffering. Where Willow wanted to bring Buffy back, Tara was more interested in just making sure she was released to her true destiny of rest. She hadn’t brought up to Willow that Buffy’s body was in no shape to receive her at this point… they hadn’t even embalmed her. That seemed too cruel to say aloud, though she knew that when the time came for them to rescue her, she’d have to tell Willow what they really needed to do. Bringing the dead back to life was still impossible, even mystically.

 

Xander was occupied with thoughts and worry of Dawn. She’d been going back to classes and staying in school. He’d used the Buffybot to check on her. But her grades were still in a slump and the principal wasn’t satisfied with her progress. He was afraid that they hadn’t escaped the scrutiny of Social Services after all. He also desperately, heart-achingly missed Buffy. Like everyday. He could still remember her smile most clearly and he constantly looked through his photo album, afraid that he’d forget her eyes or her laugh or all of those little details that human memory tended to misplace.

 

For Giles, it was guilt. Raw, chewing guilt that he hadn’t been more help to her. In his darkest subconscious, he knew he should have smothered Dawn as soon as he found out she was the Key that Glory had wanted. Naturally, these dark fantasies remained unrecognized to his conscious mind. He loved Dawn… but he loved Buffy more, and without a spell.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Hey, Spike,” interrupted the vampire’s morose and self-pitying thoughts.

 

And not a moment too soon, he thought. Getting to be a regular Whiney McBroody.

 

“Hey, Bit. Want me to make you something for breakfast? Can’t promise it won’t be burnt, but you should be able to choke it down.”

 

She smiled and it made him feel better, by a little bit. “Nah… much as ‘burnt’ sounds delicious, I think I’m in the mood for cereal. Besides, my bed’s free so you can go crash.”

 

“I think I should stay up ‘til the others get back.”

 

“Spike,” she sighed, “I’m safe, okay. And… I’m not ‘la-la-la’ happy, but I’m okay, too. I don’t need you hovering over me. Really.”

 

“Well… if you’re sure. But no running off.”

 

“I’m just going to call Jan and see if she wants to come over and watch tv.”

 

“Yeah, alright,” he said before making his way upstairs. It was late in the morning and he really did need to enter his undead sleep so he could go hunting tonight.

 

Dawn waited for two hours, until just past one before she called Jan to hit the mall and left. She figured that Spike would be good and unconscious by then, which he was.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Willow and Tara led the men into the Summers’ home with Tara calling out for Dawn. With no answer, she shrugged and went into the kitchen to find something to serve for lunch. Willow went upstairs and she was pretty sure the red-head was going to be diving into the resurrection materials immediately, despite the fact that they had company.

 

In the meantime, Giles noted the television was still on some sort of sport channel. As he fiddled with the remote, Xander headed up to check on his boyfriend. All the way up the stairs, Hyena was playing mental movies of the last time he’d been in this position and growled/whined when he pointed out they wouldn’t be having sex this time.

 

In Dawn’s room, he noted that Spike was well and truly out of it and backed out without waking him. Next he gave a short knock on Will’s door.

 

“Hey, what’s up? You’re not joining us downstairs?”

 

Willow was clutching an open book to her breast, the pages crinkling. “No, uh, I have homework. Some really important, uh, homework.”

 

“Oh, okay, then. I was kind of hoping we could spend the day…,” he let the invitation hang.

 

Unfortunately, all he received was a blank look from his best friend. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, she finally gave him a shrug.

 

“Sorry, Xan, like I said… important homework.”

 

“Yeah,” he gave her his easy smile, “I guess after busting Dawn’s chops, I can’t really encourage you to skip yours. I’ll talk to you later.”

 

“Sure,” she said with a smile of her own that struck him as insincere for some reason.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 23

 

space2

Rebuilding, ch 24

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 24 – Vanessa Strikes

 

Spike awoke after six in the evening and listened to the house noises for a moment. Tara, Xander and Giles were downstairs, a radio playing and they were laughing over what sounded like a game of cards. He didn’t hear Willow among them. Frowning as he got up and started to put on his jeans, he also didn’t hear anything from Dawn.

 

In his mind he was already guestimating when the sunset would be, figuring he had about ninety minutes or so. It was one of those innate abilities of a vampire. Something that he could just feel in his bones. Even if he couldn’t judge the disc’s position in the sky through a bedroom window. Once he’d gotten his boots on, he went downstairs and saw the three he’d heard playing a game of Crazy 8’s.

 

“Hey, Spike,” Xan got up and gave him a peck on the cheek.

 

“Where’s Dawn,” was his immediate response.

 

“I don’t know. She wasn’t here when we got back.”

 

“What?! I told her not to run off… I specifically said so!”

 

“Relax Spike,” Tara told him over the table, “It’s still sunny for another hour at least. I’m sure she’ll be home before nightfall.”

 

“Not the point,” he insisted. “That girl is gettin’ more obstinate by the day.”

 

“Remind you of anyone,” Giles threw out under his breath, but loud enough to be easily heard.

 

“I can take care of myself,” Spike told him snottily. “The runt is liable to get herself hurt or killed. God-damn it, anyway!”

 

“Relax, Babe. She’s probably at the old mall. I’ll take a spin over there and see if I can find her. You can kick her ass when we get back.”

 

“Honestly, you’re both going to cause her to rebel more,” Giles said.

 

“You’re only saying that because you’re winning. You just don’t want us to interrupt the game,” Xander smirked.

 

“Well, that too. But it doesn’t negate my statement. Buffy didn’t react well to my breathing down the back of her neck and Dawn is very much like her sister.”

 

“Go get her Xander, but if you can’t find her I want you back by dark. You hearing me,” Spike grumbled.

 

“I need to start dinner anyway,” Tara said as she gathered up the cards. “Would you like to stay Giles?”

 

“That would be lovely. How can I help?”

 

“Follow me,” she smiled, “I’ll find something to put you to work doing.”

 

As the two of them exited to the kitchen Xander grabbed up his jacket. Spike followed him to the front door and gave him a very quick kiss on the mouth.

 

“I meant what I said. Be back before dark. Vanessa is out there somewhere. In the meantime, I’m looking for Dawn’s phone book and calling her friends. I’ll call your cell if I find her first.”

 

“Spike… relax. She knows the story around the Hellmouth. She’ll be inside before twilight,” Xander said on his way out of the door.

 

Spike watched after him, glaring at the sunlight which seemed to be nearly a constant in California. His Bit was out there somewhere in a town where evil stalked at all hours and now his lover was out there, too. Both of them beyond his protection and both not taking the dangers seriously even after all their time living here.

 

He began to pace the shadow-protected front porch and smoking furiously.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Dawn hadn’t expected to be gone all day. She’d just gotten wrapped up in Jan’s excitement at the newly opened “Hot Topic”. And then there was the double-feature that the matinee was showing, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Jaws II’ which sort of made them run a bit late.

 

So, Spike will bitch and moan a little. It’s not like I’m a little girl anymore and besides, he’s not my dad. I don’t have any more parents. I can do what I want, Dawn thought to herself as her and Jan headed down the escalator to the basement shops. She wanted to check out ‘Teen Miss’ for possible dresses for the first dance when they got back to school.

 

Assuming I don’t drop out, which I probably will, anyway, she nodded to herself. The only thing that didn’t make it a sure bet was that she really, really wanted to dance with RJ. If she could find a really knock out dress, then maybe she’d stay in school just long enough to go to the first dance in October. At least, if I can get through summer school, she pouted.

 

Besides, she’d been so relieved that Jan even wanted to go to the movies. It seemed that her ‘aunts’ spell to wipe her memory really did its job. She hadn’t even hesitated to line up for the movies, even after their last disastrous trip to the mall.

 

Ahead of her, Jan was animatedly going on about Spike and how hot he was and how it wasn’t fair that he was gay and how she loves the way he smells and how her sister should totally be dating him and on and on. Sometimes, Dawn wondered if Jan wasn’t at least part demon with the power to talk without taking a breath once in a while. And it wasn’t like she was blind to Spike’s extreme attractiveness, but she didn’t want to think about it. It was too close to lusting after a family member. Her little crush on Xander was easier for her to deal with since she didn’t get lusty feelings whenever he walked in the room, which was sometimes the case still with Spike. She kind of wished that Jan would quit reminding her about how studly Spike could be.

 

She sent Jan ahead of her to the dress shop while she detoured to the ladies’ room. She didn’t think anything of it when someone else came in while she was in the stall.

 

When she’d completed her business, she began to scrub her hands at the sink. Almost immediately another woman left the stall that she had been occupying. She was dressed all in black with dark, dramatic make-up. She was probably in her early twenties and was definitely a Goth.

 

Dawn gave her a glance and a polite nod in the bathroom mirror and though she didn’t admit it to herself, she was relieved to see a reflection from the other woman. Something felt odd to her but she couldn’t figure out what and she tried to tell herself to stop letting her imagination run away with her.

 

Sometimes two women in the bathroom is just two women in the bathroom, she scolded herself.

 

As she was turning to head to the towel dispenser, the woman spoke to her.

 

“Aren’t you Dawn Summers,” she asked.

 

Dawn turned around to look at the girl again, and again, something about this whole encounter was putting her on edge. And again, she ignored her inner voice as being paranoid.

 

“Uh, y-yeah… do I know you,” she asked doubtfully. “Are you in the high school?”

 

“Oh, no,” the girl laughed, which sounded phony to Dawn. “I know your sister, Buffy. Well, not actually know-know her, but uh, you know… she ‘helped’ me out once,” she said meaningfully.

 

“Oh” Dawn brightened, “I see. Yeah, my sis has a habit of, uh, helping others. Uh, how?”

 

“Oh, it was just this thing I got involved in. Me and this group was into vampire worship… we sort of had this insane ‘Anne Rice’ fetish,” the girl shrugged with an embarrassed grin as she stepped closer.

 

“Well, I’m glad she was able to ‘help’ you,” Dawn said. “I’m afraid it’s not like in the romance novels.”

 

“Yeah… but you know, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do,” the Goth girl said.

 

She’d said it so intensely that Dawn was immediately on edge again. Dawn nervously smiled, “Well, uh, I have a friend waiting on me just outside, so….”

 

“Oh, you mean the bubble-head that’s already gone into the dress shop,” she said menacingly.

 

“Uh…,” Dawn decided to end this conversation, but when she began to back away, the girl rushed forward and grabbed her.

 

“H-Hey! Stop it,” Dawn squealed as she struggled, but the girl slapped her hard to the face sending her against the sinks.

 

Before she could do anything else, even scream, she felt the deep pinch of a needle into her arm. Almost immediately the room began to sway and the lighting in the bathroom seemed to go dim.

 

Just as she began to lose consciousness, the girl told her, “Sorry, kid. But I’ve found somebody else to make me one of the immortal ones and her price was you.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Melinda had been watching the Summers’ house since noon and was relieved to see her leave, alone at sometime around one. She’d watched as the stupid girl knocked on the door across the street and been worried that they’d be spending the day in. She’d been wanting to be a vampire since she and the rest of the outcasts had discovered from the Ford guy that they could really be immortal. Buffy had completely ruined that whole thing… okay, so the vampires were less Lestat and more ‘scary-bumpy-heads’, but that was only part-time. And, yes, you had to be careful about offering your neck… not every one of them knew how to honor a deal, but she felt good about this Vanessa-being she’d met the other night. Of course, she was supposed to be just another meal, but when Melinda explained that she wanted to join her in the darkness and offered to do whatever she’d wanted, Vanessa quickly struck a deal. It was just a good thing that she’d met Buffy and was able to offer her as payment. Vanessa had stuck down that deal, but she’d countered with offering immortality in exchange for the younger Summers sister and that was a price well worth it.

 

She’d managed to keep the giggly girls in sight all the way through the mall, but finding a right place and time to snatch the kid was the trick. Thankfully, the little bitchette needed to piss and chose down here to do it. The lowest level of the mall was always mostly empty this late in the afternoon.

 

I guess even the losers know enough to start heading out near the end of the daylight, she grudgingly gave them. Now, to get the brat out of here.

 

She struggled a bit to get Dawn up over her shoulders in a ‘fireman’s carry’ and as quickly as she could she left the bathroom. Her heart was beating furiously with fear that a minimally paid and minimally intelligent security doofus was going to just happen to stroll through, or somebody would leave one of the shops at just the wrong moment, but somebody up there was helping her out in her goal. She took the half dozen steps to the maintenance door and slid through. It was a pathetic lock and had taken her all of fifteen seconds to pick.

 

Thanks for that little skill, Juvie-hall, she smirked. Once safely inside the dimly lit maintenance tunnel, she laid Dawn down for a moment. The girl was a lot heavier than she looked when she was dead weight.

 

Well, not dead yet, she smirked again, this time at the unconscious figure.

 

Vanessa had provided her with the drug, warning Melinda not to give the brat too much. If she didn’t get to the bed and breakfast alive, there’d be no reward for her. With a put-upon sigh, she gathered Dawn up in her arms again for the long trek across the tunnel systems of town. She double checked that she still had her knife and a stake in case she met anything underneath town. The people in this burg had no idea of some of the… people… she’d seen. Real freaks with as many deformities as you’d care to come up with. It was all very Morlocks and some of them seemed to be able to do weird stuff like those mutant tunnel-dwellers in the old X-Men comics, too. It just didn’t pay to be a regular human anymore.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“I cannot believe you risked that,” Jonathon complained to Warren. “What if it didn’t work? What if he turned into a Franken-Ice Cube?!”

 

“But it did work,” Andrew scowled at him. “Warren knew it would work… he is brilliant you know!”

 

“Thanks, Andy-Pandy,” Warren squeezed Andrew’s arm, unwittingly putting him someplace just shy of heaven. “We needed to find out if it was going to work some time,” he directed at Jon.

 

“You told us we were taking the night off to see if Buffy showed,” he reminded him. Jon never did fully trust Warren, even if they were friends.

 

“And we were. But just how did you think we were going to find out if Buffy was around town? Check the morning news for her? See if the paper happened to mention her? Ask door to door?”

 

“Yeah,” Andrew piped in, “Just what about that, Jonathon?”

 

“We could have done the whole reconnaissance thing,” Jon pointed out. “And we’d have been a lot less conspicuous about it, too!”

 

“Look, it worked out,” Warren insisted, trying to bring this argument to an end. “And you guys did a fantastic job with the Ice Sprite,” he flattered.

 

“Ice Spirit… an Icelandic Ice Spirit,” Jon grumbled.

 

“Whatever,” Andrew said, taking Warren’s side as usual. “The point is, we are awesome! We’re like the Kingpins of Crime!”

 

“Except not as bald and fat,” Warren pointed out.

 

“He’s not fat… he’s just grotesquely muscled,” Jon said.

 

“So… are we going to hit the precious metals place tonight,” Andrew excited asked.

 

“I don’t see anything standing in our way,” Warren grinned as confirmation of the plan.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

It was well after dark when Melinda dropped Dawn’s figure at the foot of Vanessa.

 

“Here she is, just as promised,” she said triumphantly if a little nervously. “So….”

 

Vanessa gave her a large grin, her face morphing into the weird, bumpy face. “You’ve done very, very well for me. And you will be rewarded. Sit down.”

 

Melinda chose a place on the bench, swallowing reflexively with a mixture of excitement and fear. “W-will it hurt?”

 

“I’m going to bite you… what do you think? But it’s only for a moment and then you’ll be dead.”

 

“B-but I’m coming back… I mean… the death thing isn’t permanent?”

 

“You’re coming back, dear… just like my other companions.”

 

“Okay,” Melinda nodded with certainty, “I’m ready. I am finally getting what I wanted.”

 

“And so am I,” Vanessa laughed gaily.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 24

 

space2

25

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 25 – Another Night, Another Battle

 

“I’m sure,” Xander said worriedly into his cell phone as he glanced at the tear-streaked face of Janice Moore. “We’ve paged her over the P.A. and I’ve been in every shop… even the girly-underwear place.”

 

“Damn it,” Willow said furiously. The last thing they all needed was another ‘rescue Dawn from herself’ mission. This was interfering with her getting Buffy back from Hell. “Your damned boyfriend already took off as soon as the sun dipped. Of course, you haven’t gotten him a cell phone,” she complained.

 

“Will? Focus… we need to find Dawn. You and Tara are best, uh, suited to, uh, to doing what you guys do with that, uh, finding thing.”

 

“Smooth, Xan. Tara is already setting up in Dawn’s room for the locator spell. I’ll call you back as soon as we have her position.”

 

The Hellmouth continued making it a nightmare to find her with spells, but Willow and Tara had worked hard in the past month looking for a way around that. They’d found they could just barely get a reading if they surrounded themselves, literally, with things that shared her aura… like her bedroom full of stuff. But it still took a lot of effort and was a general pain in the ass.

 

“Rick has an A.P.B. out for her and Jan is going to help him with visiting the usual teen hang outs these days,” he told her. He walked away from Jan several feet, glancing around to see to it he wasn’t overheard.

 

“I’m going to enter the maintenance tunnel here… see if I can find anything,” he told her.

 

“Xander, please be careful… we don’t need to lose two of us in the same night. Don’t go wandering into the town’s tunnel system. Some of the natural formations and the Hellmouth’s energy create mystical ‘blind spots’. Listen, I gotta go, Tara is ready. I’ve sent the Buffybot toward you; she turned out fine after thawing. Giles decided to go with her. They can start a logical search pattern with the mall as its center.”

 

“Okay… wish we had the Faithbot. We could have used an extra pair of sensors. We’ll round-robin when any of us has news, yes?”

 

“You know it. ‘Bye.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Dawn groaned, her head slamming with the worst headache she’d ever had. She tried to rub her head, but found that her hands wouldn’t move. Her attempt was met with the sounds of rattling chain.

 

Opening her eyes she glanced around but didn’t recognize her surroundings. It looked kind of like she was in a castle. Assuming she was still in Sunnydale, that meant the old B&B that Dracula had once used as a base.

 

She looked around, scared, but not panicked. If whoever the girl was that stuck her with a needle wanted her dead, she would have been already.

 

“Speaking of which,” Dawn whispered on seeing the same girl now. She was lying very still on a dusty table. And given her pallor and the two holes in her neck, apparently she’d been bitten, too. Which means, I’m in a lot of trouble… again. Spike is going to be livid.

 

“Your little friend will be joining us soon,” a woman’s voice said from behind and above her. She tried to turn her head around enough to see who spoke, but she was bound to the wall that was part of a set of stone stairs and she could only see the woman’s old, clunky shoes and part of a dark gray skirt with black stockings covering the calves above her head.

 

“I-I don’t even know her,” Dawn said. She immediately had intuited that the girl on the table must have been vamped, not just bitten.

 

“I don’t mean her, dear. Although, she’ll be joining us again soon, too. Or some version of her, anyway. No, I’m speaking of William… your protector. Bet you didn’t know you were hanging around a Hellbeast this whole time,” the voice continued as the legs continued to climb down the stairway.

 

Dawn remained silent. When the woman… or demon, actually, made it to the same level as her, she looked her over. She was smallish and thin… even delicate looking. She wore a dark gray suit-type outfit. Her shoes were two inch heels and looked outdated. What really drew the eye, however, was the luxuriant red hair that tumbled around her shoulders. Her eyes were currently yellow and her face was distorted making it impossible to see what she’d looked like alive.

 

“I’ve been curious about you, Dawn. And since we have some time, I’d love to know just what your relationship is with my Sire. He brought me over to the night and then left me like yesterday’s garbage. Can you imagine how that feels,” she said as she crowded the frightened girl.

 

She continued, “And now, after eighty-some years I find him co-habitating with you. A silly, mortal, little girl. Did he turn on the charm… tell you that you were special? Was he gentle the first time, making you think he was some sort of prince? He’s evil, you know. A real monster among monsters.”

 

“Uh, I really think you got the wrong idea. I mean… really, really. And I’m s-sorry if he did some bad stuff to you, but like, that has nothing to do with me. So, uh, maybe you could just let me go?”

 

Vanessa glared at her, “You’re not going anywhere. You’re my special vengeance on William, dear. You and those other whores he’s watching over. I don’t know what the hell he’s doing with you all, but if he won’t vamp you, I will. And I’ll make him watch, when I do.”

 

“N-no!”

 

The vampire just laughed as she left Dawn to check on the dead girl on the table. She then went to the weak fire and added a few pointless twigs to the flame.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“I’ll call you if I find anything,” Lieutenant Stein told Xander. He lowered his voice and stepped closer to him. “I need to warn you though; we found a hypodermic in the trash in the girl’s restroom. It may be unrelated, but with her disappearance…,” he shrugged.

 

“Adding to the chances she was abducted,” Xan nodded to himself.

 

“Like I said, it could be unrelated. We’ll know more when the lab sees what the contents were and looks for any other trace evidence.”

 

With this Rick put a reassuring hand on the elbow of Janice and led her out. Jan was insisting that Dawn wouldn’t just leave her there as she followed the detective.

 

Xander took a moment to see to it that he was inconspicuous and then wandered away from the policemen that were still interviewing mall employees. He knew that another detective was currently looking at surveillance tapes, but the cameras down here weren’t working. It wasn’t much of a surprise, considering they were on a Hellmouth and near to tunnels the demons used as a highway right up into the town; especially those that could pass for human.

 

With a sigh, Xan sidled up near the taped off bathroom; the last known place that Dawn had been.

 

I’ve got her scent, Hyena suddenly thought at him.

 

Really?! Which direction? Can you tell where she was headed?

 

Probably. But why should I share?

 

What do you mean? She’s in trouble, that’s why!

 

She’s always in trouble. She’s a weakness the pack could afford to lose. And besides, how does helping you help me?

 

You little bitch! If you know something then share, Xander raged.

 

Uh-uh. Doesn’t work that way. You want my help… I want assurances that you’re not going to be drinking whatever that potion is that Tara is whipping up. Here’s the deal… you save me and I help you save Dawnie.

 

Xander grimaced with anger at his animal-spirit/personality. He’d been looking forward to getting her out of his head, but did he really want it bad enough to risk Dawn being hurt or killed in the meantime while everyone was blindly wandering around.

 

You better decide quickly, Hyena sneered. Who knows what poor, helpless Dawn is going through even as you dither.

 

Fine! Fine, I agree. Now where is she?!

 

Hyena directed him toward the maintenance tunnel that he’d been going to check out anyway. When he tried the knob he found it broken. The door opened without him even turning the handle. With a last glance that he wasn’t about to be busted, he slipped into the darkness beyond. Leading into the creepy gloom were a string of dim bulbs spaced out ten feet apart from its neighbor.

 

I should have brought a flashlight, he thought to himself.

 

I can manage, Hyena whispered to him. And I have another scent. Dawn came this way, but she wasn’t alone… another human; a young woman.

 

“Lead on,” Xander whispered in the cavern as Hyena urged him forward into the gloom.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Buffybot sat in the passenger seat of her Watcher’s car as he sped toward the town’s mall district. Her optical sensors were scanning people’s faces as she passed them by, trying to locate her sister. She seemed to get in a lot of trouble… first school and now this running off at night.

 

“I don’t think I’m being an adequate role-model and fill-in parent,” she stated.

 

Giles didn’t know what to say to that so didn’t respond.

 

“It is unfortunate that our mother is absent. When will she be returning from her grave to resume her responsibilities?”

 

He took a startled glance at the robot next to him, but she was still staring out of the window. “Uh… I’m afraid that’s not the way it works. I’m afraid that Joyce will not be returning.”

 

“Oh. That seems irresponsible of Joyce then. Do you think my twin can do better with mothering Dawn when she returns,” she asked.

 

“….” Giles sat with his mouth open for several seconds before clearing his throat. “I-I’m sure that you’re doing an adequate job. D-Dawn certainly, uh, appreciates your presence, I’m sure.”

 

“I’m not so sure. She seems to be getting into a lot of trouble. I believe that she needs to be disciplined in some way. However, my programming isn’t designed for this function.”

 

“Uh, well… uh, w-when we retrieve her then I will decide on a proper response. I’m sure that Willow and Tara can decide on a proper punishment for not listening to Spike, as well.”

 

“I hope she has not gone away, too. My sister’s well being is important to me. Of course, perhaps she will join Joyce and the other Buffy and will be less delinquent in her responsibilities…,” she grinned.

 

“Let’s hope that’s not the case,” Giles muttered to himself.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“This place is creepy,” Andrew complained. “And why do we need ‘her’, anyway?”

 

“We can always use more muscle,” Warren said. “I just can’t believe Buffy’s gang left her here like this.”

 

“They probably couldn’t free her,” Jon suggested.

 

In front of the Trio, the robotized Adam was bracing himself silently for lifting the heavy beam that had pinned the Faithbot. Her hair was covered in sticky, green goop that Warren immediately recognized as her coolant fluid.

 

“Poor, April,” he said.

 

“Faith,” Jon reminded him.

 

“Uh, guys… should we really be standing in here when Adam lifts this debris? I mean… what if there’s a cave-in,” Andrew said suddenly as Adam began to heave and the wreckage began groaning around them.

 

“Uh… Adam, freeze!” Warren and Jon looked at each other wide-eyed. “Actually, Andy… that’s a good point,” he said. “Uh… Adam, count to thirty seconds and then complete the lifting of the wreckage… guys… let’s wait outside!”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Spike rushed toward the mall where he knew Xander was waiting. He also knew that it was the last place they could be sure that his Bit had been. He was hoping against hope that he’d find some spore of her to trace when he arrived.

 

And that’s why he’d nearly fallen victim to the attack when it came. Just before a crossbow bolt pinned him, he instinctively threw himself to the side. The bolt came so close, he actually felt its disturbance in the air as it whizzed by harmlessly.

 

Spinning around in game-face, he found himself confronted by two of the vampire women he’d been tricked by before. One of the women stood with an amazed look on her face, her empty crossbow hanging slack. The other also had a crossbow, which she had aimed at him.

 

“You’ll never hit me with that,” he said as he took a menacing step in their direction.

 

“We’ll see,” Gladys simply said.

 

Rachel rushed Spike, causing him to lift his arms in a defensive move. He kicked out with a roundhouse that caught the woman in the stomach. She wasn’t deterred long, however, and slashed at him with her fingernails. It was an attack which Dru had used on him more than once when they were fighting, however, and he dodged the assault.

 

Taking a glance, he was just in time to note the streak of movement of the other bolt whizzing at him. He threw himself at the ground and into a role, allowing the missile to also fly off harmlessly into the night.

 

Unfortunately this allowed Rachel to leap onto him with a screech and he had to grab at her wrists, interfering with his reaching for the stake in his jacket. The woman was only freshly turned, but she’d been in decent shape during life and he found her limber in addition to her natural predatory strength. Of course, he was no slouch himself and in a matter of moments he had her struggling under him.

 

Before he could take advantage of the fact, however, he was rolling off of her to avoid another crossbow bolt launched in his direction by the other woman. He leaped to his feet, but found Rachel had grabbed hold of his ankles and he tumbled to the ground, kicking out at her and connecting solidly with her face. Again, he struggled to get the stake from his pocket, but again, she reacted with vampire speed and straddled him and he was forced to continue the hand to hand battle while catching frenetic glimpses of Gladys re-loading her weapon.

 

Spike took a hold of Rachel’s wrists again, but this time he also was able to get his feet under her. With a press, he was able to flip her over his head and onto the lawn they were fighting on.

 

He leaped to his feet again lashing out with a fist as Rachel struggled to her feet and knocking her ass first back onto the ground. Even as she roared at him, he was running in a dash for Gladys. She found herself under assault too quickly to complete her reloading and had to drop the gun while she blocked his thrown punches.

 

He’d just punched out the woman in front of him when he felt the distinct and quite painful sensation of a missile through his midsection. When he looked down, he saw the blunt tip of a bolt sticking out of him just above his intestines. On it, mixed with the blood he’d drunk earlier in the day was an oozing, yellow and noxious substance.

 

It was barely seconds after the missile slid through him that the injury site turned completely numb. He reached for the bolt, knowing he had to remove it to fight effectively, but his arms felt heavy and hard to move and his fingers felt nerveless and clumsy.

 

When he looked up, the woman vampire he’d punched out was grinning widely. She balled a fist and then he was crashing to the ground, a far away and blunted pain spreading from his nose. He watched her as if from a far distance away as she reached down and pulled the bolt completely out of him, but he felt no sense of pain. He realized then that he’d been drugged with something, but when he tried to speak to ask what they’d done to him, he found his lips wouldn’t move.

 

Above him, the other vampire he’d been wrestling with joined the first. And then there was a third who he hadn’t seen but who must have been skulking nearby.

 

“Good shot, Tammy,” Rachel complimented.

 

“It was nothing,” she grinned. “You and Gladys did the hard work keeping him distracted.”

 

“Our Sire will be so pleased,” Rachel grinned.

 

“I just hope she lets me torture him before she dusts him. He owes me some pain,” Gladys said darkly as she gave a vicious kick to his completely numbed ribs.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 25

 

space2

26

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 26 – Looking for Dawn

 

Giles pulled into the parking lot of the Sunny Days Mall and Shopping Center and Buffybot was out of the car nearly before he’d stopped. As he struggled to get his belt off, he called out to her, but she either didn’t hear him through the closed windows or simply chose to ignore him.

 

When he did catch up to her, she was accosting one of the underpaid security guards just inside the main doors.

 

“Don’t tell me I cannot enter! My sister is missing and I am going to locate her, you illogical, little man.”

 

“Buffy! Let’s not antagonize everyone, shall we? Hello,” he turned to the man whose name tag read ‘WILLIAMS’. “Uh, Mr. Williams… we’re family of the missing youngster. Surely there’s someone we can speak to….”

 

Todd Williams looked down his nose at the foreign sounding guy with his mouth in a slim line. He’d been given very clear instructions… no one was to leave without talking to a detective and no one was to enter… period. He’d already had to throw out a parasitic reporter when she’d tried to barrel through him and he sure wasn’t afraid to throw out the Brit and the twig-girl either.

 

“No one enters,” he said in a flat voice which he perceived as professional sounding. “Police are securing the area and they don’t want evidence tampered with.”

 

That last part sounded just like something he’d see on CSI and he felt proud for ad-libbing it off the top of his head. He loved that show.

 

“W-well, perhaps you could explain to an officer that we’re here?”

 

“This is stupid! With my audio-visual sensors I have a far better chance of tracking my sister down than these humans,” Buffybot exclaimed, ignoring the look on the guard’s face.

 

Giles grabbed the robot’s arm and dragged her out of the mall, apologizing to the guard for the trouble. He told him that he understood his job. He continued to pull the robot along around the side of the mall building, her protesting but not resisting.

 

“Why are you interrupting my attempts to track Dawn,” she asked once he’d stopped.

 

“Must I remind you that you are supposed to be human? You cannot go around talking about your ‘audio-visual’ anything and never refer to yourself as having sensors!”

 

“I’m sorry, Giles. I am just concerned with Dawn’s disappearance. But I know that my Watcher will have a plan of action to implement,” she grinned.

 

“Y-yes, well… I believe you should find an alternate way in. There must be a loading dock entrance. But you must remain undiscovered. And I wish you to find evidence of Dawn’s circumstance surrounding her disappearance and then report directly back to me. You are not to antagonize the police in there! If you see Rick Stein, perhaps he can help you but all other officers are to be avoided if possible. Do you understand?”

 

“My instructions are very clear,” she nodded her head with that inappropriate grin. “My Watcher’s plan of action is always best! I will proceed as you’ve outlined, Giles.”

 

With this the robot immediately sprinted away for the rear of the mall while Giles could only sigh. He had a bad feeling about both Dawn’s absence and the Buffy robot’s ability not to attract attention, whatever she may have agreed to.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

In Dawn’s bedroom, surrounding a map of Sunnydale kneeled Tara and Willow. Their hands were clasped together and they were sprinkling red grains of sand across the map. While Willow was impatiently staring at it, Tara was focusing on her breathing and attempting to get in sync with her partner.

 

Willow… you’re not focusing,” she said, opening her eyes.

 

“I’m trying! But… damn it, I have other things to do right now,” she sounded angry.

 

“Will… Dawn is in danger. We need to focus on her right now. I know you’re upset about Buffy, but we can’t let that distract us from Dawn right now.”

 

“You think I don’t know that!?”

 

Tara flinched at the tone of her girlfriend’s voice, but went on determinedly. “Okay, let’s just try this again. Focus on Dawn,” she said while re-closing her eyes.

 

“Oh, for Goddess’ sake! I know how to cast a locator spell,” Willow complained.

 

Tara was about to say something she’d regret when she suddenly felt Willow’s aura come into contact with hers. A moment later and she could tell that the spell was beginning to take affect. Opening her eyes again, she found the grains of sand glowing like little white balls of light as they raced together to merge into a tiny pile on their map.

 

“Hmmm… looks like the northwest of town. How did she get so far from the mall?”

 

“That’s the area where Dracula was hanging out,” Willow said thoughtfully. “I think she may be at Burnside’s, that castle-looking place.”

 

“I remember it. You call Xan and I’ll get a hold of Giles,” Tara said as she regained her feet and headed for the door.

 

“We really need to get that place tore down,” Willow muttered as she dialed up Xan’s cell.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Dawn gasped as she saw two more vampire women dragging Spike into the room. One of the women was vaguely familiar to her and she thought maybe she was one of the missing moms that the gang was investigating. The women manhandled Spike to another wall and began to put heavy manacles on his wrists, like the ones that bound her. His eyes were open, but he seemed in some sort of trance.

 

“Spike! Spike? Are you okay,” she called across the room.

 

“He can’t answer,” one of the women said. “He’s been paralyzed and his brain is probably feeling a bit fuzzy. But don’t worry; he’ll come around before the fun times begin.”

 

“It looks like sleeping beauty is still out of it,” the other woman said. “How long did it take for us to wake up, you think?”

 

“I’m sure she’ll be up and around by tomorrow night.”

 

A third vampire woman entered then and Dawn was positive she remembered her from the news. She had been Tammy Montgomery and she’d disappeared with her husband and son. Dawn was pretty sure she’d met the kid already… he was dust now, not that the mother seemed overly concerned about it. The father may or may not have been one of the bodies that had been found in the woods.

 

“I don’t see our Sire around,” Tammy said. “She must be out hunting.”

 

“Well, we’ve secured what she wanted. And since he’s paralyzed and the brat isn’t strong enough to escape, I think we can go out for a bite to eat, too,” Rachel said.

 

Gladys smiled at Dawn as the women began filing out of the room. “It’s too bad we can’t eat you… I bet that young, hot blood is really pumping about now.” She laughed as she followed the others out.

 

“Actually, it isn’t,” Dawn said, when she was sure they were gone. “The gang will get here anytime now and we’ve faced down a god. I’m thinking you’re all already dust and just don’t know it, yet.”

 

She called out to Spike again, telling him not to worry, the rescue party was probably already closing in. He didn’t respond.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

In the deep darkness under Sunnydale, Xander traveled hesitantly in the darkness, following a trail that only Hyena-Xan seemed to detect. He was largely dependent on the mosses that grew from the earthen walls and shed minute amounts of phosphorescent glow. The world under these conditions was leached of color and everything had an odd slightly greenish cast to it. In some places, he had to rely on an old lighter he’d picked up off the ground. This was only a quarter filled with fluid, but it was better than stumbling through total darkness, though he was trying hard not to waste it.

 

“I didn’t realize I’d be able to see this good in such low light,” Xander said.

 

You wouldn’t if it wasn’t for me. If you’d stop being so focused on your eyes, you’d probably detect the slight odor of Dawn and her traveling companion, too. At least slightly, anyway. And you don’t need to talk out loud… just think at me.

 

“You’re creepy.”

 

And you’re too soft. We wouldn’t be in the situation if you’d taken care of Dawn in the first place. And we’d have a warrior in the pack instead of a nuisance.

 

“No one misses Buffy more than I do. But sacrificing Dawn was never going to happen.”

 

Poor planning. You can’t keep the pack strong and hard if you don’t learn to drive off the weak. Giles would have done it.

 

“I don’t want to believe that. And besides, you weren’t exactly grieving while the rest of us were falling apart. I thought you’d be happy to have the Slayer out of your way. Doesn’t this bring you one step closer to ruling the group?”

 

Buffy was very brave. Turn left here… the scent is starting to get stronger. I wanted her out of my rightful position and would have killed her in a challenge if I’d needed to. But I was more hopeful that we could have outmaneuvered her instead. It would have been ideal if she’d have submitted to us as the leadership and fallen into line, instead.

 

“And, Giles? Just how far would you go?”

 

Giles is old and ripe for being overthrown. It isn’t always necessary to kill in order to usurp and hold. The important thing is the pack’s over-all health and preparedness. Killing is a tool, but it isn’t the only one.

 

I don’t want to talk about this anymore, Xander thought hard at her.

 

Too damned soft, she thought-muttered back.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Xander’s cell is ‘out of service’, goddamnit,” Willow said as she met Tara at the front door.

 

“Maybe he found something at the site.”

 

“Not the point! I specifically told him not to wander into those caverns,” she sighed harshly. “If no one is going to listen to me, we’re never going to get anywhere.”

 

I don’t remember you being put in charge of all of us, Tara thought, but didn’t say. She knew that Willow was under an enormous amount of stress and didn’t want to add to it by mentioning she was acting a little Hilter-ish right now.

 

Instead she said, “We can argue later. Let’s get going.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Come on… come on…,” Giles chanted in the back lot of the mall. He was waiting to collect the Buffybot so that they could make their way to the, sort of appropriate, abandoned bed and breakfast. After all, one vampire had already found it homey.

 

He sat on the curb of the parking lot and tried to will the robot to return. He closed his eyes for a moment, the stress and fear over what was happening to Dawn momentarily eclipsing him. He couldn’t lose her; not after Buffy’s sacrifice for her. He couldn’t fail his Slayer this way.

 

When he opened his eyes, it wasn’t Rupert Giles who gazed at the mall’s empty shipping dock, however. Ripper stood up and gave a last half-hearted look for the Buffy robot.

 

“Eh, screw it,” he said into the night air. In Turkish he added, “I need a drink.”

 

Ripper wandered away from the time wasting robot-in-the-mall and headed for the nearest pub.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 26

 

space2

27

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Chapter 27 – Goodbye, Dawn

 

“Man, this is a mess…,” Warren sighed over the disconnected head of April.

 

“Actually, it could have been worse,” Jon sympathized. “I mean, at least her composite cranium was only cracked… her brain centers could have been smashed to pieces.”

 

“I still don’t understand why we need a skanky robot,” Andrew said.

 

“You know, I’m starting to think you’re jealous of my robot,” Warren teased. He’d been suspecting for some time that Andrew wasn’t ‘into girls’.

 

“Th-that’s ridiculous! I’m not jealous… I just… I mean we already have a robot warrior.”

 

“Adam’s a cyborg,” Jon pointed out. “And he’s looking really bad.”

 

“I’m trying! It’s not my fault that the Tannis leaves are failing,” Andrew whined. “According to the tome, they’ve kept shambling mummies stable for hundreds… even thousands of years!”

 

“Maybe it’s the demon parts interfering in the process… or the metal,” Warren said thoughtfully. “Either way… we may need to move the freeze ray over to Aprilbot here, if we can get her functional.”

 

“You’ll do it,” Andrew smiled, “You’re like… brilliant.”

 

“Thanks, Andy,” he said with a small smirk. To Jonathon he said, “How’s the bionics coming?”

 

“Uh… not really bionical. I mean… I think our exo-attachments are nearly ready for a first test, but I wouldn’t want to try inserting them in our body or anything.”

 

“Close enough to bionics… at least for now,” Warren said in that far-away, day dream voice. He came back to himself a moment later, “Okay… so we all have a project… let’s get to work.”

 

“I’d like to,” Jon said, “But Aunt Martha’s over and I have to get home. My mom’s already going to be pissed that I missed dinner as it is.”

 

“B-but I can stay,” Andrew added. “I mean… uh, all night if, you know, we need to.”

 

“Well, at least one of us is committed,” Warren muttered as he stared at Jonathon’s exiting back.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Willow sat in back of the Burnside B&B in Tara’s car. In the driver’s seat, Tara was trying Giles’ phone. They had expected to find him already here and she wanted to see how close he was.

 

In a bar near the old mall district, Ripper glanced at his cell phone. With an annoyed roll of his eyes, he turned the device off and returned his attentions to the red head in front of him.

 

“My apologies,” he told Susan Cranns. He spoke in an uneasy accent lost somewhere betwixt British and Turkish-accented English. Susan didn’t seem to mind the odd way of the man speaking; her attention was solely on the mysterious, dark eyes and the oddly sensual and exciting hint of danger chilling her spine.

 

“No apology necessary. You didn’t answer it,” she said confidently.

 

“I believe I’ve grown bored of this place. I suggest we change our venue.”

 

“To my apartment,” she smiled seductively.

 

“My thoughts exactly,” he smiled back. His grin however held a hint of darkness.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“This is ridiculous,” Willow complained harshly. “First Xander and now Giles. I’m telling you… it’s no wonder I’ve completely given up on guys!”

 

“Well, I was hoping that I might have had a part in that, too,” Tara smiled.

 

“Well… you were pretty irresistible,” Willow gave her. “So what do we do?”

 

“I’m worried about storming the place without backup….”

 

“But we are witches,” Willow pointed out. “I mean… I love Xan, but do we really need him? And Giles? Well, we both know he hasn’t been the same since that night. Maybe it’s better that we handle this one alone.”

 

Tara sighed indecisively. Finally she met Will’s eyes and grew more determined, “I guess we can’t wait. We don’t know how long it will take for them to get here. We don’t even know where Spike is at right now and anything could be happening to Dawnie.”

 

She reached over onto Willow’s side and opened the dashboard box. Inside laid two crucifixes.

 

Willow grabbed one and handed the other to Tara, “Listen… be careful, okay, Tara. I mean, we don’t know how many more vampires this Vanessa woman created.”

 

“I know. I’m actually surprised that we haven’t already been attacked.”

 

“Maybe luck is with us. Maybe they’re out.”

 

“Okay,” Tara said, letting out a deep, cleansing breath. “Let’s do this.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Gladys, Tammy and Rachel approached the front of the B&B. All of them felt full and energized in that way that only fresh, human blood could provide.

 

“Do you think you’ll ever Sire anybody,” Tammy asked.

 

“Oh, eventually,” Gladys immediately answered. “I mean… when I meet the right somebody.”

 

“We all had the ‘right somebodies’, already,” Rachel said.

 

“I didn’t,” Glady said. “Tim was a complete milquetoast. No way that spineless nerd would have made a good vampire. I can’t see what in the hell I was thinking marrying him.”

 

“Well, I would have turned my husband if he hadn’t been killed instead,” Tammy said. “But, you know… no crying over spilled blood.”

 

“I don’t think I’m ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe when I’m a hundred or so… but for now, I plan on enjoying just getting stronger,” Rachel said.

 

“There is that,” Tammy agreed.

 

“Wait,” Gladys said suddenly. With a slight tilt of her head, she breathed in, “I smell something.”

 

“Yeah… women… that red head is definitely one of them, too. I can recognize a magic taint from her,” Rachel said.

 

“They must be here to rescue the brat and Spike,” Gladys complained. “That is really gonna piss our Sire off.”

 

“Not if we stop them. Let’s go ladies! Carefully, quietly… we strike before they know what hit them.” Rachel smiled, mouth full of fangs, at her compatriots.

 

“I’m glad we decided not to go out without our little friends,” Tammy smiled back, patting her crossbow and the drugged bolt that had helped them so much against their Grand-sire.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Let’s go in through the cellar,” Tara whispered.

 

“Are you sure? I mean… in the movies, that’s where the vamps are always waiting.”

 

“Well, there is that. But I think we’ll be a lot more noticeable breaking in the back door.”

 

“Good point,” Willow whispered back as they headed for a root cellar.

 

The side by side doors were badly weathered and cracked. A chain hung through the handles, but the lock itself was rusted and a quick yank snapped it off, even without super-strength.

 

“Don’t wipe that rust on your jeans… I’ll never get that out,” Tara warned.

 

The two witches made their way down the stairs. Once down, Willow gave a single word chant in Latin and a small glow emanated from her free hand.

 

“I don’t see any coffins,” Tara whispered jokingly.

 

“I think Buffy said that Dracula used the upstairs. That’s probably where they’re at. Uh, why don’t you give Xan and Giles one more try before we storm the place?”

 

“Okay, hold on a sec.”

 

Tara reached into her jacket and pulled out her pink cell phone. A minute later and she shook her head, “No answer from either one.”

 

“Okay… here we g—ack!”

 

Tara cried out Willow’s name as she saw her girl friend fall to the ground, an arrow or something jutting from her thigh. With a start she turned toward the cellar entrance just in time to shout an incantation that deflected two more pointed sticks flying through the air toward her. In front of her were three vampire women… all of them held crossbows, none of which were now loaded.

 

“Oh, crap,” she hissed. “Desolvo!”

 

A green ribbon of energy projected outward from her palm, encasing the vampires. With growls and hisses they were suddenly sent flying out of the cellar doors. Tara was running after them, close on their flying heels. However, she didn’t follow them out into the night… instead she yanked shut the cellar doors.

 

“Blockade,” she whispered in Latin before adding, “Goddess Artemis, hold this barrier.”

 

Once this was done she added the same incantation Willow had just used, as the light had immediately failed once she’d fallen to the floor. Now bending onto her knees, she turned Willow onto her back and checked for a pulse, breathing a sigh of relief.

 

“Will? Willow, can you hear me,” she gave the other witch a shake. She tried to ignore the angry noises of battering going on at the cellar door. The wood was already cracking and the barrier spell wouldn’t hold them for long. When she looked, Will’s eyes were wide and open… she could see conscience behind them, but she appeared completely paralyzed.

 

“Goddess…, okay, okay… let me think a minute. I can undo this,” she told Willow. There was no response from the red-head.

 

Only feet away, the cellar doors were being torn apart as the barrier spell struggled to hold the disparate pieces into a unified whole.

 

“Unnamed Goddess, here the plea of your daughter…,” Tara started, before she interrupted herself with a startled yell. The cellar doors came flying into the space in tatters.

 

“Crap! Desolvo,” she yelled again, pointing.

 

This time the vampires were more than ready for a witch’s spells, however. As one they dove out of the way with Gladys diving under the blast of power. Moments later she’d sent an uppercut into Tara’s jaw, knocking the woman unconscious with one blow.

 

“This must be our night,” Tammy said.

 

“Two more gifts for Vanessa,” Rachel laughed.

 

“Let’s get them upstairs quickly,” Gladys told the other two. “We need to administer the paralyzing solution to this other witch before she comes around.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Giles? I’ve located a clue… I heard detectives talking and…, Giles? Watcher, are you nearby?”

 

The Buffybot turned in a 360-degree circle as she attempted to ascertain where her Watcher had disappeared to. When she’d completed her revolution, she stood in indecision with a pronounced frown. “Giles, it was rude of you not to wait for your Slayer. Of course, you are my Watcher so you needn’t report to me before you take action. But now I’m not sure what I should do. Giles, are you nearby? I need instruction.”

 

The Buffybot continued to stand in the rear of the Sunny Mall, unsure how to proceed. She’d heard detectives stating that the maintenance door was left cracked open. Apparently there was a team of officers waiting for the Public Works personnel to show up so they could begin a search of the area. She wanted to get down there first, but she couldn’t just leave without her Watcher. He could be in trouble.

 

“Giles? If you’re in trouble, please respond,” she said patiently. “Giles, it isn’t appropriate for me to stand here while Dawn is in trouble. Therefore, I will count to sixty seconds and then I will proceed with my search plan below the mall, okay? If that isn’t satisfactory then please say so now….”

 

She waited for five point eight seconds before saying, “Okay, then. One… two… three….”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Vanessa came in through the front door of the castle, her eyes lighting up in delighted surprise when she found her three minions carrying the red-head and another young lady through the hallway.

 

“Sire! Look at what we have for you,” Rachel said excitedly.

 

Behind her, Tammy carried a girl with long blonde hair. Gladys had the other in her arms.

 

“Please tell me they are alive,” she questioned.

 

“Oh, yes. We knew you’d wish to see our Grand-sire’s reaction to their capture and restraint.”

 

“Can we torture them later,” Gladys asked.

 

“We need to get this one drugged, Sire. She’s not paralyzed yet.”

 

“Unfortunate. I’m afraid we’re out of juice… its very expensive, you know. Why don’t we secure her extra tightly, however? We’ll just keep bashing her in the head when she comes round until I’m ready to kill her.”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Oh, no,” Dawn whispered as the vampire ladies came into the room with Willow and Tara. She looked desperately over at Spike, but he was still very much unmoving.

 

“Hello, Sire, dear… still not moving, I see,” Vanessa smiled. “Well, good! As you can see, I have your little friends now. You know, I didn’t expect my vengeance to make me this giddy,” she giggled.

 

As Vanessa stood over Spike’s staring, motionless eyes the others chained the two witches next to him. He couldn’t move his neck to see them, but he heard the chains rattling clearly enough. In his mind, dark anger and violent rage swirled and surged. It helped to keep the fear away. He was in the presence of a vindictive bitch and he was momentarily powerless… who knew what she’d do before he could snap these chains and stop her.

 

“You know,” she continued, lowering herself to her knees to meet his frozen stare. “I had ever so many plans for the young girl. Hot pokers… an axe… you know… the classics. But then I had this idea… I mean, I have the others to play with, after all. It occurred to me that you could have bit that juicy teen at any time… and yet you didn’t.”

 

She smiled predatorily, “And I was asking myself tonight… again… just why you hadn’t. What made her so special, Spike, that you haven’t preyed on her?

 

“Well, it doesn’t really matter. Maybe she’ll be able to tell me later. Because you see, her fate has already been decided.”

 

She stood up and Spike heard her footfalls as she exited his viewpoint. Seconds later, Dawn began to struggle and scream for him. A tear fell down his cheek, but he couldn’t feel it.

 

Vanessa appeared again and Spike struggled with everything he had to move, for Dawn was struggling in her grip and pleading with her not to do something. Her tears were more than he could stand hearing, but it was worse when his sired shoved her to the floor, crouched behind her. He could see Dawn’s desperation… smell the sourness of her terror. He tried… he tried so hard, but the paralysis that held him only allowed his vocal chords to make the weakest of grunts… his body remained stubbornly immobile.

 

“Watch this,” Vanessa whispered loudly to him, as if he had any choice.

 

He grunted only slightly louder as he struggled to prevent her from closing on Dawn’s neck. And then it was too late; she bit down, causing a cry of pain from his ‘Bit. There was an agonized cry and then an accepting sigh as Dawn’s struggles grew still and she grew ever more white.

 

I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you, you fucking bitch, he helplessly raged as his heart shattered into more pieces than even Buffy’s death had caused.

 

“Oh, don’t cry, Sire. The brunette isn’t quite as gone as all that,” Vanessa smiled again as she ripped a tear in her wrist. Pressing the bloody gash to Dawn’s lips she tipped her head back and allowed the red liquid to flow down her throat.

 

“Now you don’t need to worry about turning her or not. She belongs to me. I wonder… just how much more will it hurt when she’s the one to kill you,” Vanessa smiled widely.

 

In his mind, Spike screamed in despair and hatred while his anguish remained locked behind his paralyzed vocal chords.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 27

 

space2

ch 28

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 28 – Hyena to the Rescue

 

Xander sneezed. Not just an ‘ah-choo’ type of sneeze, but a full-on, face-exploding, throat-rasping sneeze.

 

Oh, yes… please do that again. I don’t think the monsters on the other end of town heard us.

 

“Like I meant to do that,” Xander said angrily. “Can I help it if my nose doesn’t like something in this passage,” he sniffled while fighting the urge to wipe his nose on his sleeve.

 

Well, you’ve completely ruined my sense of smell now.

 

“Wish I had a hanky,” he said to no one in particular. Especially not Hyena; she’d begun to piss him off by running through pros and cons of bothering with a rescue of Dawn. He was pretty sure she was only doing it to irk him since he’d already agreed not to drink Tara’s ‘get-rid-of-bothersome-personalities’ potion.

 

Block one nostril and blow. Block the other and repeat. Just lean forward so the snot goes into the dirt.

 

That is really gross, he thought. Any idea where the hell we are?

 

I think so. I believe we’re approaching the northwestern corner of town. Hmm… we might be below McGoon’s Park.

 

“Really?! Oh, my god… I know where they are! Quick, find us a way out of here,” Xander yelled.

 

Why, what the hell… oh I see! Dracula’s castle! Of course!

 

Xander grabbed his cell phone and found the on button, even in the darkness. When the face lit up however, it informed him he had no signal.

 

“Damn it. We need to get above ground so I can call the others,” he said.

 

Okay, okay… give me a minute. I’m detecting fresh air coming from somewhere close by.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

The Buffy robot managed to get into the maintenance tunnel ahead of the police. She’d found a fissure in the ceramic tile and concrete wall on the other side of which, was a tunnel. It didn’t surprise her. The entire town seemed to sit on tunnels… dangerous and illogical, really. With her visual acuity, she needed no lights and made rapid progress along the route. When it branched, she used her pheromone detectors behind her nose to pick up traces of human. While Dawn’s were too weak for her to rely on catching after this many hours, Xander’s were easily detectable to her equipment. His presence down here did surprise her, but she smiled with the thought that he too was somehow on her sister’s trail.

 

She only wished that she knew where her Watcher had gone. She should ask Giles to provide a cell phone for her or some other form of communications upgrade. She would talk to him or Willow about it the next chance she had.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

The woman had her head face first in her pillow, which she was crying into. She was on her hands and knees, one arm being twisted and held high behind her back. She was terrified.

 

Ripper had charmed her right out of her knickers, the little slut. She’d really thought that she was too hot to handle until they made their way through the conventional positions. That was when he decided to add some spice to the encounter and push the envelope a bit. The other women he’d been with had quickly acquiesced, but this one was more reluctant. Still, he’d managed to smile and caress and seduce her into what he wanted. She just hadn’t realized how rough, rough was. Well, she was finding out now and her pleading not to hurt her had him laughing at her.

 

“Relax and enjoy it,” he told her. “I’m not going to hurt you… much.”

 

Oh, god… oh god, he’s crazy, Susan repeated in her mind. She tried not to yell or make him angry, but her hot night of no-strings-attached sex had gone horribly wrong and she couldn’t stop from crying as he continued to plow into her roughly.

 

Please, God! Please, I just wanted to get over Artie… I didn’t want this… not this. Please, don’t let him kill me! I’ll do anything… please, please, her tears came harder into her pillow. He’d made her bury her face in it when she’d started to yell at him to quit hurting her.

 

The man she’d thought was charming grunted like an animal and let out a howl as he spent himself. He collapsed on top of her and she buckled under his weight, being driven flat onto the bed. It was hard to breathe because of the pillow, but she was so terrified of making too much noise for him with her crying that she kept her face where he’d wanted it only turning it occasionally enough to get a breath of cool air.

 

“My Lord, Susan, that was good,” Ripper complimented the stupid bint, but she was still bawling like a bloody virgin after her first time. “Oh, stop it you silly cow. You’re perfectly alright… I’ve even let go of your bloody arm.”

 

“Please… I won’t tell anyone… please don’t hurt me.”

 

“What? Don’t be daft! Why would I hurt you? And what exactly aren’t you going to tell? That you picked up a complete stranger, shagged him silly and then burst into a bawling baby when it was over?”

 

Susan lay still, crying even harder.

 

“Now, look…,” he said, clearly irritated. “What is with the silly water works? It was all in fun, yes? No need to go overboard with the water works just because things got a bit kinky.”

 

Susan risked turning her head and saw him pulling on his clothes. She suddenly had hope that he really wasn’t going to kill her after all. She flinched as he approached the bed while getting his shirt on, but he only patted her back.

 

“Oh… oh, you really were afraid! Good Lord,” he said in a stricken tone, “I really didn’t realize how upset and afraid you were becoming, dear. I-I truly thought that you were role-playing. I-I am so, so very sorry. If I had known… if I had only suspected, I would have stopped it immediately!”

 

Of course, he thought no such thing. But he knew that a woman suffering remorse after she’d debased herself could make even the most consensual encounter seem like something worse and more unsavory. (1)

 

“You really hurt my arm,” she whimpered. “I thought… I thought you’d gone crazy!”

 

“Lord… this has never happened to me. I-I-I thought… oh Lord. Of course, you should call the police. I-I didn’t mean to scare you, but that can be no excuse.” It was another load of manure of course. Her fear only made the sex that much better. He should have done this ages ago. And, naturally, she wasn’t going to call the police or anyone else.

 

“I-I’ll just go,” he informed her as she wiped at her face. “I am so sorry that I misunderstood how far you wished to take the game.”

 

“Y-you just… I just wasn’t expecting….”

 

“No need to explain. I am so utterly embarrassed. I should have taken the time to explain the game… to insure that you were ready to play.”

 

She sat, sheet pulled up to her chin, clearly confused about what had happened. Just as he knew she would be if he used that disarming stutter of his, “L-let me start a kettle boiling for tea for you before I go.”

 

As he puttered with filling the kettle she had sitting on the stove, he began to chant in Turkish. He surreptitiously watched as she calmed considerably. Her breath evened out and her eyelids drooped. In minutes, she had scooted down under the sheet and began to breathe in deep, regular breaths.

 

He smiled and placed the half-full kettle back on the stove without turning on a burner. Creeping up to where she now peacefully lay, he placed a palm on her forehead. Another dark incantation took any memory of his face and voice and smell and feel from her mind, while keeping the essential details in her memory. Should he wish another go round with her, all he had to do was re-introduce himself and say a certain Turkish word. If he didn’t, she would never remember who he was and ergo, even if she wished to report this incident which was doubtful, she would have no details of the man that had terrified her so.

 

With a chuckle, he left her place and drove home. He needed a shower before he went back on Dawn-search.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Xander kicked at a rusted grate in a hillside and went tumbling out into the night. The park around him was deathly still, as he would expect unless the vampires enjoyed picnics under the cloudy skies. In the distance, the abandoned Bed and Breakfast where he’d led Buffy to his master sat dark and imposing. A violent shiver went up his spine, shaking his frame.

 

It’s okay. He’s dead. He can’t hurt you or anyone else anymore, Hyena said flatly.

 

You’re so full of sympathy…, he thought sarcastically.

 

Sympathy is for the weak. Now let’s get up there and figure out what to do next.

 

“Just a minute,” Xander whispered to her, “Let me try their phones.”

 

He dialed Giles’ cell first, but it rang six times and then a voice mail requested he leave a message. He thought about it, but he didn’t think that Giles even knew how to work the voice mail feature so disconnected without saying anything.

 

He’s probably not getting service, Hyena suggested. If he went to the mall, then he probably figured out the tunnels under it like we did.

 

“Yeah. That’s not much help right now though,” he muttered as he listened to Willow’s cell phone ring.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

“Of course, your little brunette will sleep a bit longer than my new beauty,” Vanessa was saying to Spike. “But when she does come around, I know she’s going to love seeing you… just before she starts eating your eyes.”

 

From Willow’s paralyzed form came the jangling tones of “Barracuda” by Heart. The vampire women all looked puzzled for a moment before Rachel spoke up, “It’s her cell phone. It’s the ring tone.”

 

“Of course! I knew that,” Vanessa hissed irritably, causing the other vamps to shrink back. She strolled over to Willow and began going through her jacket pockets.

 

Willow tried to frown menacingly, but her face felt like it was full of Botox and her forehead refused to crease, her mouth’s frown lines remained frustratingly un-frowned. Even her ducts were too numbed right now to cry and that was worse than anything else because they’d lost Buffy and now they’d failed to keep Dawn safe as well. They were all just a group of pathetic failures.

 

What made me think I could fix things? What made me think I could help Buffy or anyone else, she sobbed inside, though nothing of what she was going through showed on her facial features.

 

Spike’s creation held her cell phone up in front of her eyes and then squeezed. The casing of the phone easily cracked and splintered before the entire device was crushed.

 

“There will be no help for you!”

 

A moment later and Tara’s began to ring. She had a normal tone and Vanessa immediately tore through Tara’s pockets looking for the slim tool. The blonde remained unconscious, not stirring a bit as her pockets were ripped open by Vanessa. When she found it, she stepped on it fiercely, sending plastic scattering across the stone floor.

 

“There may be more of my Sire’s little band. I want you girls searching the perimeter. Go!”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

I smell Tara and Willow… and blood, Hyena calmly stated.

 

Xander closed his eyes and yes, he could detect the very weak scent of iron in the air. Are you sure? How can you tell… who’s is it?

 

Willow’s, his animal spirit immediately answered. Two feet in front of you and to the left.

 

He walked in the direction that Hyena directed him, using the lighter to cast a bit of illumination while tightening his grip on a stake pulled from his back pocket. There’s not a lot, he thought in order to avoid the noise of talking. I-I don’t think she was badly hurt.

 

Whatever. We need to locate Spike.

 

We need to locate all of them. I’m heading upstairs.

 

Be careful… the dusty smell of vamps is thick, she warned.

 

He began to creep up the stone steps to the first floor. The same floor that Riley had punched him out on when he’d tried to stop him and Giles from helping Buffy.

 

Don’t get distracted by the past. I don’t want to find out what will happen to me if you get your stupid ass turned.

 

Thanks for your concern, he thought facetiously.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Ripper returned to the mall, but it was shut up tightly. There were a few police cars still in the lot, but most of them had cleared out. He frowned as he looked behind the building for the robot.

 

Now, where the hell is that wind-up doll? I hope she didn’t get herself nabbed while I was busy.

 

He made a circuit of the building but didn’t see the Buffybot. He was just deciding on his next move when a wave of dizziness struck him. When he removed his hands from his head and steadied himself, a bewildered Giles stood in his place.

 

“Where did everyone go? Hello? Buffy?”

 

Giles stood for a moment in uncertainty before noticing that his hair was damp. Looking upward for rain, he found the sky clouded, but certainly no rain was falling. There was no evidence of it having had recently rained either as he scanned the parking lot. In addition, he could swear his skin smelled of fresh soap, as if he’d just bathed, which was utterly ridiculous.

 

“What the devil,” he muttered. He took another quick look at the sky, but still… no rain. He knew that some protection wards could produce such a scent, but they were so unreliable that he hadn’t bothered. Shaking off this mystery for the moment, he re-focused on the important matter at hand. There was no way for him to call the Buffy robot… an obvious error on his part. He should have made sure she was given Buffy’s unused cell phone; well, the lesson was learned, but he couldn’t wait around for her.

 

He dialed Xander.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Buffybot began jogging as her pheromone detectors picked up heavier traces of Xander Harris. He was her best friend and she knew that he would be able to give her instructions on how to proceed to rescue her sister.

 

As she exited through a hole in the ground, she noted her entrance into a small park. She already knew exactly where she was, of course. Her online GPS unit let her know where she was nearly all the time. There were a few spots below ground where she’d had some interference, but this was cleared up now.

 

She used her ocular sensors to detect the movement of a singular humanoid in front of a large stone structure. She focused her aural sensors, but all she picked up was the swish of fabric rubbing against itself and the soft footfalls of the creature. Its lack of body heat on her infrared sensors suggested a vampire and due to its being feminine, it clearly couldn’t be Spike. That meant the Slayer had business to perform. She grinned widely, slipping a stake from under her blouse where it’d been taped to her stomach.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Gladys peered out into the darkness wishing there was a little moonlight to make it easier for her night vision. She scented the air, but didn’t pick up on anything. Still, she felt some instinct warning her she was being watched from somewhere close by. She considered for a moment calling Rachel and Tammy but discarded the idea. It was important that they cover their own area and besides, what if she called them over here just to find that a cat or opossum was ranging about… she’d be a laughing stock.

 

On the opposite side of the building, Tammy checked the back door to find it secured. She then began to stroll out into the parking lot. She didn’t notice or think of the cellar doors, as a strange car had caught her attention.

 

Rachel peered at the skinny blonde who was sneaking through the underbrush in the general direction of her Sire’s castle. She could make out Gladys, standing around like a fool. Well… she’d take care of this and then rub the other vampire’s face in her failure.

 

Carefully and almost silently she stalked the blonde. She didn’t know who the girl was; she matched the description of the Slayer, but her innate demon senses weren’t reacting as they should if that was who it actually was. Besides, she recognized her as one of the odd women who was in the same house as the red-head; one of the girls she’d gotten such a confused reading on the first time she’d seen her. Well, obviously she belonged to the same group as Spike’s other whatever-they-were-to-him. And just like the others, she was about to be captured like a nice, juicy fly in their web.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 28

 

(1) Don’t flame me… this isn’t the author’s view of casual sex or women. It’s entirely Ripper’s.

 

 

space2

29

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Ch 29 – A Rescue Too Late

 

Xander fumbled the phone as it silently buzzed. Seeing that it was Giles’ number dialing him, he found an empty closet and ducked inside.

 

“Giles,” he whispered. “Where the heck have you been!?”

 

“I-I’m still at the mall… and I’m very close to being by myself. Where are you?”

 

“Dracula’s favorite vacation spot. You need to get over here!”

 

“The castle?”

 

“You got it. Listen… I’m inside on the first floor. I’ve seen at least three vamps who are patrolling outside right now. No sign of Dawn, but I’m pretty sure she’s upstairs.”

 

“Alright, I’m on my way. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of the Buffybot. She’s in the mall somewhere, hopefully not being detained.”

 

“Swell,” Xander grumped. “Listen, Giles… I can’t get a hold of Wills or Tara. See if you can?”

 

“Fine, but Xander… be very, very careful. Stay out of sight until I can join you,” Giles rang off. He jumped into his car and a moment later was racing from the mall lot. He considered calling Lt. Stein, but realized he’d only put the man at risk.

 

It was still better if the gang dealt with the demons.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Buffybot strolled with confidence (assuming a robot could be said to have such a trait) toward the front entrance. From behind her she detected aurally the approach of an attacking demon. A split moment before she was tackled from behind, she turned on her heel with inhuman speed. Reaching a hand out, she found a dangling female vampire in her fist, a shocked look on the creature’s face. It only took a quick jab for her to be reduced to dust.

 

Spinning again, she was just slightly too slow to nail the other vampire who’d raced from in front of the main entrance. The stake struck her in the side of the chest, but failed to penetrate the heart.

 

“Ow! You bitch, that hurt,” Gladys screeched. “And you hurt Rachel!”

 

“Correction,” Buffybot said gaily as she flipped Gladys over her hip and sent her rolling to the ground, “I dusted Rachel.”

 

Gladys gave an angry hiss. “You’re so lucky we ran out of paralyzing juice. But you’re still going to die slowly by my mistress’ hands!”

 

“Blah-blah. You bad guys sure do talk a lot,” the robot responded using one of Willow’s pre-scripted ‘BANTER’ responses.

 

The vampire growled deep in her throat and then launched herself at the skinny girl. She threw two punches and a kick at her, but the other woman managed to block them all with ease. Before she could back away though, the girl jumped on top of her and sent both of them rolling down a small hill back into the park.

 

“You’re getting my clothes dirty and Tara is going to be disappointed in me!”

 

“Well, you’ve gotten grass in my hair,” the vampire counter-complained as she wrestled with the powerful woman. She was far stronger than she looked and Gladys began to fear that she was fighting the Slayer.

 

She never had the chance to ask the identity of the blonde. She felt the harsh pain of wood through skin and then there was a strong sensation of vertigo. Before she really realized what had happened to her, she had the overpowering sensation of being pulled away somewhere.

 

Buffybot stood up and dusted at her clothing as well as she could.

 

“I hope that Tara will understand that I wasn’t in control of getting my clothing messy,” she said.

 

And then she jogged toward the front entrance again. When she reached the front doorway, she gave a solid push and the doors slammed open against the inside walls.

 

“Vampires, beware,” she yelled out. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer has arrived!”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

In the closet, Xander heard the voice of the robot announcing her presence.

 

Brilliant, Hyena complained. Did anyone think to program ‘subterfuge’ into that thing.

 

At least she’s here, Xan thought back as he opened the door. He was just in time to see the Buffybot rush up the stairs, calling out for the vampires to come out and meet their destiny.

 

She’s definitely no Slayer.

 

“No,” Xan whispered with sadness, “No, it isn’t… but it’s the closest we got.”

 

Sorry… didn’t mean to open that wound.

 

Xan reacted with surprise, You’re apologizing? Color me surprised, that’s for sure.

 

Don’t get used to it… let’s get up there and help out.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Buffybot rushed up the stairway, all but leaping into the crowded room where she saw her friends and Spike(!) being kept. A second later she was being bounced off of a wall as Vanessa barreled into her.

 

Her head was being violently battered against a wall, plaster flying in shards around the two combatants. She was relatively unphased, though she was worried that her synthetic covering might tear.

 

Swinging her arm around her, she felt it caught by the vampire and she was suddenly airborne as it swung her clear over a large dining table in the middle of the room. She hit the floor, going into a roll and hopped up as the vamp… a lady with a full mane of red hair… ran around the table after her in full vamp face.

 

Vanessa was caught by the Slayer, for the girl was much too strong not to be her, by the arm. Using her own momentum against her, she felt herself slammed into another wall, exactly as she had just done to the runt. Kicking backward, she felt the satisfaction of solidly hitting the young woman and sending her back before she could get within striking distance with the stake that the vampire had already noted.

 

Spinning, she glared at the girl, “No! This is my night… this is my vengeance!”

 

The robot had nothing to say to that and instead made the four foot jump to tackle the vampire to the floor. She found it difficult to get her stake in position, however, as the woman seemed unusually limber.

 

“Hold still,” Buffybot tried to insist, “I need to stake you!”

 

“I’ll drain you dry, you little fool!”

 

“Not if… uh… I can get this stake in place!”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Xander came up the stairs cautiously as the sounds of bodies hitting hard objects rang down the stairwell. When he’d made it to the top, Hyena immediately zeroed in on Spike, letting out a mental sigh that he was alright.

 

Spike must have tracked Dawn here as well.

 

“Speaking of which,” Xan said in a subdued voice. She’s on that table next to that other girl.

 

Duck!

 

Without bothering to question her, he went into an immediate crouch and felt her nearly merge with his movement. Even before he realized what ‘they’ were doing, he was rolled underneath the table, just in time to avoid a heavy robot body hitting where he’d just been.

 

We need to free Spike and get out of here!

 

We’re not leaving without the others, Xan yelled in his head.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Tara came awake with a start at the sounds of fighting far too close by. For a second she was disoriented and her jaw hurt when she moaned. Then she remembered… there were vampires and her and Will had run into trouble.

 

She quickly glanced at the noise around her to find the Buffybot lying on the floor. Standing over her was a woman vampire kicking her in the ribs. Even as Tara turned her head this way and that to check on the others, another vampire (Tammy) came up the stairs and shouted what sounded like Vanessa. The second vampire was sent after a form crawling out from under the table and Tara realized that Xander had come to the rescue.

 

“Willow, are you alright,” she said desperately, but Will didn’t respond.

 

She tried Spike next, but with the same result. It was only then that she remembered that Will had been hit with an arrow or something that had been covered in some type of slime. They were obviously still under whatever effect it had.

 

“Solvo,” she whispered, concentrating on her binding cuffs. Immediately the iron dissolved into rust, showering her in red particles.

 

You could have just opened them, she thought as she crouched over to Spike… nearer to her then Willow and not blocked by the fighting robot and Vanessa. Again she uttered the same command and he was soon free, though all that got her was a vampire with his arms no longer raised. He remained unresponsive.

 

She took a quick glance at Willow, but the Buffybot had the Vanessa vampire right in front of her and was beating on her face. She wouldn’t be able to get to her.

 

Instead she rushed in Xander’s direction on the other side of the table to help him out.

 

It wasn’t necessary. Somehow, he’d grabbed a hold of the vampire’s arms and fell backward. As she tumbled onto him, he used his bent legs and upturned feet to propel her over his head and into a wall.

 

As she recovered, he threw himself into her back both shoving her against the wall and at the same time driving a stake into her back. Backing away, he watched her and the stake turn to dust.

 

Tara gave him a relieved smile and with a quick glance ran to the table to check Dawn. It was only then that she saw the two clear holes in the side of her neck.

 

“Goddess… no,” she gasped.

 

On the other side of the room, Buffybot snapped Vanessa’s neck sending the vampire helplessly to the floor. She retrieved the stake that had been dropped during her collision with the floor and a moment later, Vanessa was done for.

 

“No one beats the Vampire Slayer,” she grinned maniacally. “Hi, Willow! You’re my best friend,” she smiled at the girl who was still trussed up. “I will free you.”

 

Buffybot snapped the chains and watched as her friend fell to the floor. “Oops. You were supposed to use your skeletal structure and muscular contraction to remain upright.”

 

Behind her, she heard movement and spun around only to issue another excited grin, “Hello, Watcher! The Slayer has saved the day!”

 

“S-sorry I’m late,” Giles said before coming to a shocked stop. “Tara?”

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

A fight was going on across the room from her, but it may as well have been in another county. Tara’s focus was on Dawn and the two bite marks. With shaking fingers she reached out to touch the young girl’s skin, jumping as Xander came up beside her.

 

“Oh, god… no… please, not this,” he said.

 

Tara didn’t respond, instead focusing on forcing her shaking fingers to feel for a pulse against the far too cool skin. A moment later and she broke into gasping tears and felt Xander throw his arms around her. It did nothing to relieve her sudden pain.

 

Tara,” she heard Giles’ voice.

 

She met his eyes, but only long enough to shake her head. One hand was still resting on Dawn’s cool forehead, while the other squeezed Xander’s. She could feel Xander shaking in suppressed sobs as he too already knew what she’d found. Dawn was clearly no longer with them.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Chapter 29

 

space2

Ch 30 - End of Rebuilding

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

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.

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.

WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Rebuilding

Chapter 30 – Miracles Happen Every Day

 

It took nearly half an hour for Giles to come up with the correct incantation to drive the toxin from Willow and Spike. When he’d managed to free them, the first thing Willow had done was throw herself into Tara’s arms and cried fiercely.

 

Spike had walked as if in a daze to a bench and sat heavily. His hands took Dawn’s left as if it were made of the most delicate of materials. There were no tears but the utter look of defeat on his face spoke volumes to all present, especially Hyena and Xander.

 

Xan had put his arms around Spike’s shoulder’s, his hands grasped at his chest from behind and sobbed onto his shoulder.

 

“My fault… my fault,” the vampire chanted.

 

“Dawn, it’s time to wake up now and go,” Buffybot said cheerily.

 

“Buffybot….” Willow started by was interrupted by Spike.

 

“… She’s dead, you stupid bint. She’s not waking up… at least… not as she was.”

 

“Spike, you’re not suggesting….” Giles said.

 

“… She’s turned, Rupes. Just to spite me, Vanessa fed her.”

 

“W-well… that’s, uh, good then.”

 

To the shocked stares in her direction, Willow reddened, but quickly clarified, “I mean… we can bring her back, right? W-we just need an Orb of Thesulah.”

 

“Creating another Angel?!” Spike sounded incredulous.

 

“S-Spike is right,” Giles said quietly. “Angel’s condition is a curse. It’s not to be used lightly.”

 

“B-but we can’t just stake her,” Tara cried. “We can’t just… I mean… she can still be Dawn with Willow’s plan!”

 

“I gotta go with the girls on this one,” Xander said, swiping at his eyes. “At least she’ll be with us and Angel has learned to make due. Hell, we can even get to her before she has to live with slaughtering innocents.”

 

“But she’ll also never be truly happy again,” Giles pointed out. “There’s no way to modify the original curse without a far greater understanding of the magic that was lost even before Jenny’s murder.”

 

“She can be happy enough,” Willow insisted. “She’ll just be… you know… a girl with powers and, okay, there’s the blood thing, but Spike makes due.”

 

“I don’t know…,” Giles said doubtfully.

 

“No one is staking her,” Spike slammed a fist on the table making them all jump. “I’ll take care of her… look after her and keep her from hurting anyone. Willow, ready the curse. We can find another way to migrate her soul or something without being cursed later.”

 

“Spike…,” Giles said.

 

“… No! No, Rupert. Please…,” Spike said with such pleading that Giles was shocked into silence. He’d never seen Spike acting like this. “This is my fault… we lost Buffy… not her, too.”

 

“It’s not your fault, Spike,” Willow said, suddenly turning on Giles with furious anger. “Where the hell were you?! We called… we tried to get you here to help and your fucking cell phone was off!”

 

“Will,” Tara yelled, shocked.

 

“No! He didn’t even bother picking up! You could have gotten here in time to help us! And you, Xander! Where the hell were you, too!?”

 

“Don’t yell at us! We were underground tracking Dawn down! This ain’t our fault!”

 

‘Our fault’, thought Spike, even as he shot to his feet to glare at Willow in full vamp face. “You watch how you’re talking to my boy! You were the one who got herself nabbed!”

 

“Well, so did you! And you’re the reason that stupid, blood sucking bitch was here to begin with,” Willow raged.

 

“STOP IT!”

 

Everyone looked at Giles who was shaking with emotion, “We will not turn on each other again! Is that clear?”

 

There were several heartbeats of silence in which no one agreed or disagreed. Finally he added, “Now let’s take our little girl home.”

 

“What about the other girl,” Tara asked in a near whisper.

 

“It seems wrong not to try to save her, too,” Xander pointed out.

 

“I don’t give two shits about the sow,” Spike spat. “Dawn is the only one that matters.”

 

“A-and I don’t know if we can get one Thesulan Orb, never mind two.”

 

“Well, she’s not a vampire yet. We can’t just… I mean…,” Xander struggled with what to say.

 

“I can wait here,” Buffybot spoke. “I’ll turn her to dust when she wakes up. And then I’ll come home to get Dawn ready for school,” she smiled.

 

“Y-yes… well… We’ll speak of that later,” Giles told her. “In the meantime, you are acting as the Slayer. Carry on.”

 

“This seems really unfair, Giles,” Xander said. “It feels wrong.”

 

“Not dusting Dawn is what is wrong,” Giles said, ignoring the plainly heard snarl of Spike’s. “But she’s family. Family is always different. It’s a fact of human existence that we’ll do for family what we wouldn’t do for complete strangers. And though what you are saying is right, I can make myself comfortable with treating Dawn differently.”

 

“I-I guess,” Xan reluctantly agreed.

 

And imagine the help that another vampire will be to the pack, Hyena thought at him. Finally, Dawn is going to be worth something to have around!

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

As the sun came up over town, Spike sat on the floor near Dawn’s bed. The shade was drawn against the hurtful rays of the day and his eyes remained fixed and immovable on her still shape under the blanket. She was so small… so fragile… and she was another one of his failures.

 

Willow and Tara were in their bedroom, both on their individual laptops as they scoured the net for an Orb. Giles was talking into a telephone in the hallway, speaking to the school and explaining that Dawn had the flu and they would provide a doctor’s note when she returned. Of course, they’d have to report that she had died in order to forestall an investigation when she never went back, but Giles would need the Council to officially arrange the paperwork on something that complicated.

 

Xander sat front pressed to Spike’s back, enfolding him in mortal warmth that today seemed unable to penetrate to the ice block in which he found himself seemingly encased.

 

“I love you,” Xander whispered against his neck.

 

“You shouldn’t. I don’t think we’re going to work,” he returned.

 

“You don’t mean that.”

 

“Xander… I’m only hurting everyone here. I should have left a long time ago. I’ve got a lot of enemies. Vanessa was only the first and look at what she’s done just to get to me.”

 

“We all have enemies. We always will. If we didn’t accept that, we would have quit when Buffy made her jump.”

 

“You all can quit now. I’ll take Dawn, if they can’t track down one of these Orbs. We’ll find somewhere out of the way. I’ll keep her from hurting anyone. If they can… well, I’m used to traveling fast and light, anyway.”

 

“You’re not leaving us.”

 

“Us?”

 

“Me, the gang, Dawn. You’ll stay.”

 

“Why,” Spike asked.

 

“Because family is the only thing that let’s us keep our sanity when the really horrible stuff happens to us. You think we’re all not ready to hari-kari ourselves over this? You think you’re the only one feeling guilt and knowing how much we’ve let Buffy down? At least with her soul, she’ll still be with us.”

 

“It’s not that simple and you know that. Angel isn’t the human being he was. Dawn won’t be either… she’ll be… something else.”

 

“I know,” Xander nodded into his shoulder. “But I also know that we’ll love her anyway. And she’ll need us. All of us… together.”

 

Spike sighed.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

It was somewhere close to ten-thirty that night when the blanket began to stir. The Buffybot had gotten home a little after nine reporting that the other new vampire was dusted. She was currently charging as she’d been on the go for two days and her batteries were drawing from her emergency supply.

 

Now, everyone else was in Dawn’s room as what she’d become stirred under the blankets. She let out a huge yawn as she moved the blanket away and sat up, blinking her eyes.

 

“Everyone stand back… let me handle this,” Spike said.

 

“AHHH,” Dawn issued a startled scream. “What the hel… eck!? What are you all doing in here?! Jeez… scare the crap out of me!”

 

“Okay… now I know you’re hungry and confused,” Spike said. “But your Sire isn’t here, so I need you to listen to me….”

 

“Sire? Uh, Spike… are you okay? And why are you all looking at me like I’m about to grow horns… oh, God! Am I growing something on my face,” she quickly reached up and patted at her nose, her cheeks and her head.

 

She doesn’t smell much like a vampire, Hyena thought.

 

“Something’s weird here,” Spike said. “She’s not acting right.”

 

“No, I’m acting fine,” Dawn said. “You’re the ones that are looking at me all goofy. Are you under a group spell?”

 

“Dawnie,” Tara asked, but didn’t know how to follow it up.

 

“D-dawn? I-is it really you,” Willow added.

 

“Okay, you guys are totally freaking me out now. And why am I in my clothes,” she said as she pushed the blankets down to reveal her jeans and shirt. Even her shoes were still on her feet.

 

“Don’t you remember…?”

 

“Remember what, Xan? What is into you guys?”

 

“D-dawn…,” Giles started and then snapped his mouth shut. He tried again, “Dawn… uh… well… that is… you don’t recall last night? Being in the abandoned bed and breakfast? The vampires?”

 

By this time, Spike had sat himself next to Dawn on her bed and was using his fingers on the inside of her wrists. “I don’t understand this, Rupes. I have a pulse. And she’s warm… even for the blanket. This is human warm.”

 

“Okay… now what the hell is going on?! I didn’t do a Key thing, did I,” she said worriedly, her eyes suddenly opened wide with concern. “I didn’t do another portal?!”

 

“No… no…,” Giles tried, but was coming up blank again.

 

“Care to explain this Big G,” Xander said, a growing smile on his face. For whatever reason, Dawn wasn’t dead and he was finally just realizing that she wasn’t demonized either. He was suddenly feeling giddy with relief.

 

“Dawn, you were dead,” Spike said in that completely blunt manner he had.

 

Actually, I’m wondering just how much time he spent with Cordelia while she was in town, Xander suddenly giggled to himself. Oh, yeah… I’m definitely giddy.

 

Next to him, Tara also broke out into her first smile. “I-I… wow… I mean… I mean this is great! This is… this is a miracle-type of great!”

 

“D-dead? I was…,” Dawn stuttered out.

 

“And you should be a vamp right now,” Spike said with suspicion and awe conflicting in his tone. “I saw it… worst moment of my life, including… including that night. Hey, Rupes… were you going to jump in with an explanation?”

 

“Well… clearly there’s something, uh, very mystical taking place h-here.”

 

Spike’s reaction to this profound statement was a deadpan look in the Watcher’s direction. He didn’t need to say, ‘well, duh!’

 

“Me as a vampire? Ohmygod! I think I remember something! Um… there was a vampire with long red hair. I remember now… she had me in the bed and breakfast like you guys said. But I don’t remember anything after worrying about Spike. You weren’t moving.”

 

“She bit you right in front of me, Bit. And I watched her feed you her blood. You’re supposed to be a fang-filled demoness right about now,” Spike told her, though as gently as he knew how.

 

“Holy shi… oot. So, wait… why am I not feeling like ripping out your throats?”

 

“And back to the Watcher…,” Spike smirked.

 

“I honestly haven’t the faintest. Obviously there is something different about Dawn’s make up… something that allowed her to recover from her blood loss and being infected by a vampire’s blood.” Giles wore a thoughtful look on his face, but said no more.

 

“Oh, wow! Does this mean I’m like, immortal?! ‘Cause that would be way cool! Ooh, do you think I’ll get super-powers, too!? Oh, I want to know how to fly! And be, like, Supergirl!”

 

“L-let’s not lose our head,” Giles interrupted Dawn’s fantasizing. “We don’t know what this means. And being immune to being changed into a vampire doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune to injuries. In fact, the fact that you could be bitten indicates otherwise.”

 

“Not to mention, Glory’s minions could cut you,” Willow added.

 

“Exactly right,” Giles continued. “In fact, you may be very fortunate that she did feed you her blood to turn you. Who knows if you would have regenerated your own blood after dying.”

 

“Okay, okay… it wasn’t like I was about to throw myself in front a train or anything to test it. Right now, though… I’m really hungry. Can we order a pizza?”

 

“You can have a sandwich,” Xander said.

 

“Something light,” Tara added, “Just to make sure you’re not going to barf it up.”

 

In the meantime, Willow was nearly shaking with excitement as something which hadn’t occurred to Tara did her.

 

Dawn came back from the dead! Her Key energy must have been involved… if we can tap it… if we can introduce it to Buffy’s body….

 

As everyone kept asking if Dawn was sure she was alright and either laughing and hugging with relief or continuing to ask how this could have happened, Willow’s thoughts were quickly dominated by a new plan to save Buffy; a plan that got around how to put Buff back into her body when it wasn’t exactly in moving-in shape right now. She’d sort of been glossing over that problem in her mind since it wasn’t important until she knew how to get her out of Hell… now she was wondering if she had just stumbled on how to kill two birds with one mystical stone.

 

“Ooh, and after dying and everything, I think I deserve a bowl of ice cream, too,” Dawn was saying.

 

The gang continued to act relieved and astounded as Willow followed them downstairs. Her focus was entirely inward… exploring and thinking.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Story

 

 

Spanderverse Series:

BTVS seasons 1-4.

Spanderverse: After 314

Spanderverse: Spike

Spanderverse: Dracula

Spanderverse: Burial

BTVS: Real Me

Spanderverse: Confusion of Three

Preludes

Tensions

Old Friends

Hospital Visits

The Risks of Glory

Hunting Our Needs

The Family We Choose

Falling Apart

Sunnydale Antics

Feints and Counter-Feints

Pathways

BTVS: The Body

Coming Together

Songs of Pain and Comfort

Battling with a God

Glory’s Moment

Spanderverse: Points of View One

Spanderverse: Points of View Two

Spanderverse: Points of View Three

Spanderverse: Points of View Four

Rebuilding

 

space2

'Dawn' - a one chapter story

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

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.

Notes: Story follows “Rebuilding”.

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.

Special Thanks: To Joss Whedon for making us laugh and breaking our hearts with such panache; often in the same episode. Support Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall (which will hopefully turn into Angel: Season 6) by Dark Horse Comics!

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Dawn

Chapter 1 – Day to Day

 

It had been ten days.

 

Ten days since Dawn’s miraculous return from the dead, or vampiredom, or whatever had exactly happened. The only information she had, had come second hand from the family that had surrounded her bed. She still had no memory of anything that happened after Vanessa had released her from the shackles she’d been kept in.

 

She plunged her head into the stream of hot water coming from the shower head and stood still, letting the water cascade through her long hair and down her body.

 

Maybe it’s for the best that I don’t remember anything. Maybe I wouldn’t want those memories.

 

She sighed as she pulled her head out of the spray. Things the last few days had been a bit weird. Sure, at first there was the elation that she was alive, again, and then there was the amazement and thanking whoever. But by the next morning, things had changed around the Summers’ home.

 

It had started with Willow, tentatively asking her if she remembered anything, yet, from after the attack on her. Willow wanted to know if she’d gleaned any insights, or maybe met any higher being. Dawn couldn’t help her.

 

But she could start to think of what might have happened when she was dead. Buffy and Giles had explained to her after Angel came back from Hell about what happened to souls when the dead was going to rise as a vampire. According to them, and sure it was all Council guesswork, but Giles was usually right about these things, she should have been in a Limbo sort of place. She had the notion that it was sort of like a lounge with old magazines and scratchy-sounding Muzak being piped in from the Heavens. It probably wasn’t really like that.

 

Anyway, Willow’s sort of innocent question had gotten her thinking. And thinking had gotten her to slightly obsessing… what had happened to HER… her mind or thoughts or whatever?

 

If I was there, why don’t I remember anything? Wouldn’t I remember William?

 

Because, certainly Spike’s human soul should have been there, too, right? What if she hadn’t gone anywhere?

 

It was the thought that scared her the most. So, of course, it was the one she couldn’t get her brain to stop thinking about.

 

What if I don’t even have a soul? What if inside is just that Key-energy thing? I’ll never see mom, again, or Buffy. I’ll never be anything after this… I’ll just… wink out and be lost.

 

She reached out and turned up the hot water, to chase away the chill that raced down her spine at the thought. Even through how horrible everything had been since her mom’s tumor and Buffy’s self-sacrifice, she’d always known inside that she would see them again someday. Now, that might not be the case. She wondered if she would ever die, anyway, or would the energy matrix just keep bringing her back?

 

She aged. She could see the differences in her own body as she matured. What if she got really, really old and her body started to break down, but the nature of the Key made it impossible to die, anyway?

 

God, please! What if I become like those witches in ‘Clash of the Titans’? I’ll be all feeble and half crazy, but still I’ll just go on and on… everyone I knew and loved dead. Well, except Spike. But would he still be there? Would he still take care of me… and would I want him to feel like he had to?

 

And what about injuries? I seem to heal pretty normally, except for the coming back from the dead and being immune to vampire bites. What if I get into a horrible, mangling accident that no one could survive, and yet I do? And what happens when I never heal right?

 

“D-Dawn, come on! I’m making pancakes and I want y-you to get a good breakfast before school,” Tara’s voice came from the other side of the bathroom door filled with uncertainty.

 

“I’m coming,” Dawn yelled back as she turned off the water. “I’ll be right there!”

 

She struggled to sound normal; to sound like the Dawn they’d always known because the gang wasn’t helping her any. Not that they meant to, but they were making her feel more like a freak than ever.

 

The day after Dawn’s return, Giles refused to allow her to leave the house. Okay, maybe ‘refused’ was a little harsh, but he told her that he needed her to stay home for the day. She’d been pleased at first; readily helping him investigate her own nature… she was as curious as anyone about what she was below the skin, so to speak. But by the evening, she’d had enough of being poked and prodded and magically scanned and breathing in stinky herbs and having her fingers pricked. And the way they all looked at her? Like she might suddenly explode, or maybe turn water into wine at any minute.

 

She’d insisted she had to go back to school, or risk Family Services paying a visit, the next morning. Giles’ face fell in disappointment, but he understood that she was right. It was a good thing, too, because she’d found out that night that, in fact, a truant officer had stopped by to check on her at about the same time as she was handing her doctored doctor’s note in to the attendance office.

 

Dawn came downstairs, placing what she hoped would be an “I’m just a teen girl” smile on her face.

 

It was hard to keep it in place with the way that Tara seemed to be fidgety around her and, especially, the way Willow had taken to looking at her- like she was a specimen under a slide. She could almost see her thinking whenever their eyes met and for reasons she didn’t yet know, it made her really uneasy.

 

She sat and ate relatively quietly, murmuring a compliment to Tara and trying to act as if they weren’t freaking her out. The Buffy robot was in the kitchen, which helped, as she pulled the witches’ focus off of her for minutes at a time. She listened as Buffybot outlined her previous night’s patrol. They were all looking for the missing Aprilbot, which had vanished from where Spike and Tara had to leave her behind. The general consensus was that the only one to get anything out of retrieving her would be Warren.

 

Dawn didn’t know him, but she knew he was the one using Adam, somehow. That was enough for her to severely dislike him. He was obviously going to be a pain in the ass. In addition to April, Spike had heard rumors at Willy’s bar, which had re-opened in a new and this actually under the ground cul-de-sac that he was using the threat of Adam to recruit some local vampires who had so far escaped being staked. The gang had agreed he appeared to be planning to take over the underworld activities in town.

 

“Dawnie, do me a favor,” Willow asked. “Could you just hold this for a minute?”

 

She reached out and Willow placed a small, clear, glass marble in her hand.

 

“What’s this for,” she wanted to know.

 

“Just a test.”

 

Willow closed her eyes and before Dawn could ask anything else, she chanted something in Latin, or what Dawn thought sounded like Latin.

 

The little marble in her hand glowed for a moment with golden-yellow light just before Dawn’s body jerked.

 

“Ah,” she cried out. When she looked at the marble again, it had a strange green cloud of light held within its interior.

 

“Dawn? Are you alright,” Tara urgently asked.

 

“Uh… yeah, yeah… I’m fine, I think. It just… jerked in my stomach. It didn’t hurt; it just caught me off guard.”

 

“What the hell was that,” Tara turned on Willow.

 

“Nothing. It’s harmless. It’s just a little spell.”

 

Willow! We agreed! We said we weren’t going to throw magic at Dawn until…,” she stopped short, looking at Dawn with widened eyes.

 

“Until you were sure I wasn’t going to turn into a homicidal maniac, or another monster,” she finished for Tara.

 

“No! Of course not, Dawn. W-we just don’t know enough about, uh, about you and you know… the energy that you were created from. We just need to be careful about what we’re doing,” she turned to glare at Willow.

 

“We won’t know anything unless we test,” Willow tried to sound reasonable, but Dawn saw the considerable tension around her eyes and mouth. It was like she was trying not to start a fight with Tara in front of her.

 

“I better get to school,” Dawn sighed.

 

“But, Dawn, you have nine minutes and fifty-two seconds before we must leave,” the Buffybot told her.

 

It was another of the things that had changed since Dawn skipped out of the house behind Spike’s sleeping back to go to the mall. Now, he’d moved in, even having Xander bring his clothes over. That had her filled with guilt over causing them to not be together, like boyfriends should be, but Spike could be really stubborn.

 

And Xan was alone now, what with Anya traveling. They’d heard from him that she’d sent an email saying she was finding some interesting antiques in a place called Bodega Bay that was somewhere north of San Francisco. Anya had wanted to know the status of the Magic Box, of course. Unfortunately, Giles seemed far more concerned with her right now, than with re-opening the store even though the insurance money had come through for the fire and vandalism. She sort of wished she was with Anya right now; she knew the former demon wouldn’t be all over her.

 

Spike had practically glued himself to her and whenever she turned around, there he was. From the time she arrived home until she went to bed, he wouldn’t leave her side. Every time she wanted to go across the street or to Kim’s, somebody had to promise to accompany her before he’d allow her out; if it wasn’t for the daylight, he’d no doubt barge in on her friend’s houses, too. Or at least, he’d play spy at the windows until she broke down and asked her friends to invite him in, or she gave up and returned home.

 

During the nice, sunny, California mornings, he had the Buffybot escorting her inside to her first class, ensuring she really went in. During the day, as she glanced out of windows, she’d see her robotic sis shadowing her footsteps around the outside of the building, like some stalker. And she’d be there when school let out.

 

Once home, Spike would either already be up, or he’d awaken shortly after. Buffybot would recharge for five or six hours and then start her patrol around midnight. Spike would park himself outside her door in the hallway when she went to bed and there he’d still be when she woke up to use the bathroom and then again when she left her bedroom to get ready for the day. She didn’t know how much more of this she could put up with. And even though Xander never said anything to her, of course, or argued with Spike in her presence, she could see his impatience to have the vampire come home. She’d argued the point until she was red in the face on night six, but he wouldn’t budge an inch.

 

You’re my undead life now,” he told her.

 

She hadn’t made any headway and had stomped upstairs to her room, where she’d turned to slam the door, only to see him going to sit down before the door blocked her view.

 

“So, I’ll be a little early,” she told the robot as she passed. Behind her, she heard the robot following along, just as Spike wanted. It was like being under house arrest at all times.

 

She’d tried to explain to Giles that she felt like she couldn’t breathe on day eight, but he’d only half-heard her, she could tell. He was too busy plucking a hair from her head, or clipping a nail or drawing a little bit of blood. Like Willow, he was always throwing a test or experiment her way to find out how she’d done what she did and what future surprises she might pull out of the air.

 

It was almost enough to make her wish she was just a Key-blob again… almost. The only thing keeping her sane these days was visiting her mom at the cemetery. Naturally, with the stupid robot, but at least she had stopped asking her so many questions. Dawn felt a little bit of the pressure escape when she sat on the lawn near her mother’s gravestone and just talked about her day, or complained about the others, which was really mostly what she did. She’d only cried the first day she’d visited… after school on day five of her virtual imprisonment. She still hadn’t visited Buffy. The guilt over being the reason for the whole Glory thing was still too much and if she thought about her sister too much, she could practically feel her heart busting in half, again.

 

Talking to Cordy last Saturday had also helped, a little. Even though when she had tried to argue on Dawn’s behalf for a little more space, Spike had started yelling at her not to interfere in Sunnydale’s affairs. He’d even sprung into fang-mode when Dawn heard Cordelia’s raised voice filtering through the other end of the phone. All she’d made out is “Angel” and “Stake” and “Stop being an asshole”. That last part came through loud and clear, since Spike had dropped the receiver by that point and was stomping into the kitchen.

 

At least it bought her a whole ten minutes without him being under her feet. Unfortunately, Cordy couldn’t do much from L.A., except promise to talk to Xander about allowing her to visit during her week off in August. She still had summer school after all, and besides, Cordelia would need to make special arrangements with the gang to convince the Sunnydale crew that she’d be safe while not under their lock and key.

 

“Hey, Dawn! You okay,” Kirstie asked her at the school’s door.

 

The gossip had stopped being such a huge bitca since Dawn’s breakdown in front of everyone when Buffy told her what had happened to mom. Kirstie still wasn’t really her friend, and she still didn’t trust her any, but at least she’d stopped spreading rumors about her.

 

“I’m good. Thanks,” Dawn smiled as naturally as possible. Everyone, of course, knew about her abduction at the mall and she knew they all wanted to know all the details. Since she couldn’t spill it, all they’d gotten was that some freaky chick had hypo’d her and tried to make her think that she was this girl’s long lost sister. It seemed like an easy lie at the time, but that hadn’t stopped the questions and the speculative glances people gave her in the hallways.

 

She’d found out from Janice that there was a rumor that the girl was a dyke and had molested Dawn after her abduction. Jan had stated this in a questioning manner, looking for a bit of gossip of her own but she hadn’t risen to the bait. Instead, she’d just asked who had started the rumor and wasn’t surprised when Jan didn’t know. She was surprised when she was positive it wasn’t Kirstie this time, though.

 

Dawn glanced back, to see the robot give her a cheery wave. She glanced back a second time after she’d gotten in the doors, and of course, the robot was still there watching her with those robotic zoom-lenses or whatever.

 

Again she thought, I really don’t know how much more of this I can take!

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

End Story

 

Spanderverse Series:

BTVS seasons 1-4.

Spanderverse: After 314

Spanderverse: Spike

Spanderverse: Dracula

Spanderverse: Burial

BTVS: Real Me

Spanderverse: Confusion of Three

Preludes

Tensions

Old Friends

Hospital Visits

The Risks of Glory

Hunting Our Needs

The Family We Choose

Falling Apart

Sunnydale Antics

Feints and Counter-Feints

Pathways

BTVS: The Body

Coming Together

Songs of Pain and Comfort

Battling with a God

Glory’s Moment

Spanderverse: Points of View One

Spanderverse: Points of View Two

Spanderverse: Points of View Three

Spanderverse: Points of View Four

Rebuilding

Dawn

space2

A Note

I just wanted to issue a small warning to the members of Spanderverse that the latest story, 'Dawn' is the last one I've written.

I'm having a bear of a time proceeding forward in the series from this point and will endeavor to move the series forward as soon as possible.

I hope that everyone has been happy with the characterizations of our main players, not too bored with the original characters (I haven't managed to "Mary Sue" any of 'em, have I?) or will lose patience with the wait for the next story.

Later,

Rob