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Chapter 3 of 10, Hunting Our Needs

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

POV: Shifts Perspective

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

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

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

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Hunting Our Needs

Ch 3- Taking a Breather

 

 

Glorificus the Mighty paced the luxurious penthouse that her monks had gotten for her. It was small and rather poorly furnished, but with no advance warning that she'd been going to move here, they'd done their best. And she was grateful in a dignified and not-much-caring way to the little peasants that cowered nearby awaiting her orders. She was just so incensed by the indignity of being buried in that hovel for hours. At least she hadn't changed during that time; that really would have been a pisser.

 

As she paced, Grono and Granier cowered and waited. They both sported bruises, as well as a few clumps of lost hair atop their heads, where Her Blinding Brilliance had taken out her frustrations. They were both afraid of what Her Radiance may choose to do next, but their love for her knew no bounds. If it was their lot to suffer for Her Eminence's pleasure, then they'd be happy to do so… once they were done screaming, anyway.

 

Glory ignored the little scabby trolls surrounding her. Her mind was on her Key. And a little, petite, nothing that had somehow taken her beating and still managed to take her human away from her. Stomping just a little, so as not to bring a second building down on her own head, she crossed to the mirrored vanity to take in her pleasing form. Checking carefully, she decided she needed some more skin moisturizer and sat down to apply it.

 

She snapped her fingers and immediately four of the leprosy crew surrounded her including her little favorites, Grono and Granier. They were so obedient even when she was punishing them.

 

"Yes, Your Most Fabulous Luminosity?"

 

"Firstly, I apologize for my little temper tantrum. I realize it was unseemly, with the hair pulling and all. I should have just snapped your dry little necks like twigs instead of flailing about like an epileptic. Second, the new digs are adequate. You did an acceptable job. Thirdly, we have a little problem. Seems that my little dead friend brought my Key to this sinkhole to hide. Well, not only is there a super-hero in town who's already getting in my way, but this place has one of those Hellmouth portals. I mean, really! What were the monks thinking sending a Key to a place with so many foul creatures running around? If the bumbling vampires don't find it and end up damaging it, one of the other demons will be trying to use it and may end up costing me my chance home!"

 

"We will find the Key, Your, uh, Splendid Beauty!"

 

"Of course, you will. But I wasn’t asking for comment, so how about we shut our pointless traps and put on our listening ears, instead, hmmm?"

 

Glory took a breath to re-gather her thoughts. As she touched up her lip gloss, she continued. "Now, it's obvious that monkie-wonkie was trying a locator spell before I interrupted him. It's unfortunate I didn't let him finish before I questioned him. But no matter, he wasn't very talkative anyway. Now, since you useless scabs have yet to be able to cast one frickin' locator spell that works to find my Key, we'll need to do this the old fashioned way. Obviously, our first clue is the blonde-bimbo I bruised up. Find out who she is and I'll find out if the tramp has anything useful to tell me. In the meantime, I'm getting just a li-i-itle bit annoyed with the locator failures. If I were you, Gronx, I'd be spending a lot more of my day finding a spell that works and less time watching the frickin' TV!"

 

Glory swept the room with her gaze, causing all in attendance to cast their eyes downward and bow. Their reverence did not impress her. "Find my Key boys and girls, or I guarantee… there's going to be Hell to pay."

 

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Buffy and Dawn sat side by side, loosely holding each other’s hand and trying to pretend for the other that neither was scared to death. Buffy stared at her little sis and tried to make herself believe that any memories with Dawnie in them had to be fakes. It didn’t help. All of those memories were still as real to her now as they’d been before her meditation spell and her talk with the dead guy. She sighed, hoping Giles and Anya could come up with an answer as to who he was and where he came from. She needed more answers about this ‘Beast’ in town, other than where she shopped for those great shoes.

 

She noticed Riley looking at her from across the aisle. His eyebrows rose in questioning as he noted her staring at Dawn, but she gave a slight shake of her head to him.

 

As she turned her attention to the wall clock again, he sighed. It was obvious that something was going on and it must involve Dawn in some way judging by her behavior lately, but she didn’t seem inclined to share. He wondered if she’d told her friends yet, leaving him the only one not in the know.

 

Buffy’s attention once again swept the waiting room. She noted that Riley was rubbing a point on his chest, a look on his face indicating something was bothering him. Please, God, not his heart or any more Initiative stuff. Not now, I’m already too stretched.

 

As she was about to ask him what he was rubbing at, a doctor with perspiration on his brow approached them and she jumped out of her chair. Dawn was practically on her heels.

 

“Ms. Summers? I’m Doctor Brower, I assisted on your mother’s operation. I wanted to let you know that we’re closing up now and she came through with no complications.”

 

“So, she’s alright,” Dawn blurted.

 

“Well, she’s alright as far as the surgery is concerned. We removed a growth a bit smaller than the size of a dime from around one of the arteries providing blood to the brain. Since it’s so small, there should be no lasting effects for her once she recovers. Doctor Baines will give you more information about her post-surgery risks and recovery. We still need to perform a biopsy on the mass in order to rule out cancer, or to begin treatment if the worst is indicated.”

 

“When will we be able to see her,” Buffy asked, “I mean; when will she be awake?”

 

“I’m afraid it’s going to be several hours, yet. I strongly recommend that you go home and get some rest. Your mother will be in recovery for a few hours, but if you’d like to come back at around eight-thirty, we should have her in a room by then.”

 

“And the biopsy? When will we know?” Buffy swallowed hard and reached out to grip Dawn’s hand.

 

“We’ll try to rush things through at the lab for you, but you should expect it to be several days. I have to go and get myself cleaned up. Please try to get some rest before this evening. Your mom will need your strength over the next few weeks as she recovers.”

 

The gang shared hugs around and tried to smile. All of them were thinking the same thing, however. The surgery was only step one, none of them could relax until they knew whether Joyce’s tumor was malignant. And if it was…? Well, that was something no one let themselves consider.

 

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Giles looked up from the book he was skimming when the front door bell jingled. He saw Xander walking in, looking tired and a little wan.

 

“Hey, guys…, did anyone call?”

 

“Xander! I’m glad you’re back,” Anya said. “Willow called and talked to Giles. So, Joyce is alright?”

 

“For now. Hey G-Man, any news on this mysterious woman Buffy was talking about?”

 

“Not yet. And stop calling me that. So far, she could be anyone or nearly anything. I’m focusing at the moment on Eastern European orders. From what Willow found in the autopsy report, there’s every indication that he was from that region. Unfortunately he had no I.D. and a brown robe isn’t very distinctive. I’ll keep trying, of course.”

 

“Okay, give my cell a call if you find anything, will you? I’ve got to go check in at the site.”

 

“Site,” Anya questioned, “But Xander, I haven’t seen you all day. You haven’t even given me a kiss today.”

 

“Sorry, honey. Things have been a little crazed, though. Here…,” Xander half-heartedly placed a kiss on the side of her face. After he left, Anya turned to Giles with a hurt pout on her face.

 

“I think Xander is trying to avoid me.”

 

“I’m sure that’s not the case.”

 

“Oh, yes it is. It is the case. I was a Vengeance Demon; I think I know when a guy is getting ready to hurt someone. You don’t think he’s having an affair do you? I mean, I don’t want to have to wish some horrible, penis-leprosy on him or anything.”

 

“Anya…, I’m sure that he is just upset about Joyce’s illness. The thought of possibly losing her so close after his father’s loss must be quite upsetting. Especially with his own mother so far away now, and with Joyce basically being a second mother to him as well as Willow. I’m sure all you need to do is sit down and talk to him. Preferably, without accusing him of anything or getting shrill.”

 

“Well, maybe. But if he is having an affair, I’ll make his testicles shrink into raisins!”

 

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Warren turned to April after she’d loaded Adam’s tarp-covered body into a moving van he’d rented. He looked her over but felt no sense of regret at leaving her behind. After all, she was just a toy he’d put together. He could always build another whenever he felt like it.

 

“April, I want you to recondition your batteries while I’m out.”

 

“Are you sure, Warren? A battery conditioning will take ten hours. Are you sure you wish to go that long without sex? It has already been 78 hours, 42 minutes since we’ve last engaged my primary programs.”

 

“Yes, thank you for asking, April. Now, please commence with the battery reconditioning.”

 

“Alright, sweetheart,” April chirped. She walked over to a small generator in a far corner of the basement. After starting it, she plugged herself into the machine and allowed herself to go into a stand by mode. All awareness left as her batteries began to drain. Once they’d reached nearly empty, they would recharge themselves by drawing power from the generator. Then she’d be ready for anything Warren requested of her.

 

As this occurred, Warren was madly shoving clothing and the few personal effects he carried with him into his well worn suitcases. Adam (April had finally found a folder on his hard drive with an identifier) was going to take more resources to study than he could hope to fit into the basement of his rented house. He’d have to find an empty warehouse on the cheap. Jonathon and Andrew had practically begged him to empty their bank accounts for him once they’d gotten an eyeful of what they’d be working on. With the three of them working together, he was confident he’d have Adam’s secrets cracked in no time.

 

In addition, he was able to stop worrying about ice to slow the cyborg’s degeneration of its organic components. Andrew, bless him, had a ritual that he and short-stack could work. Warren wasn’t much interested in magic, so zoned out as Andrew squealed in excitement over the spell he’d use, but it involved something called Tanna Leaves. Apparently, Jonathon knew a black market supplier of the stuff.

 

The important thing was that Andrew was confident it would almost completely retard the decomposition process. Warren didn’t even bother asking how he’d know. He just hoped that it was everything that Andy made it out to be.

 

As he got ready to leave the house he’d been in for the past eight months, he stopped by April. Looking at her inert form, he gave one long sigh. It was hard to leave something behind that he’d spent so much time and energy to create. But he reached out, nonetheless, and disconnected the robot from the generator, then turned the machine off.

 

“Sorry, baby, but I’ve got a new project now.”

 

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Dawn and Buffy spent the evening unpacking Buffy’s things from the boxes left in the living room by the gang. They’d spent the last few hours talking a little about their mom; about the things they may have to help her with. Neither mentioned the biopsy or what may be yet to come. Finally, Buffy ordered in pizza and they took a break when it arrived. Truthfully, they were basically finished anyway; they’d really been straining to keep themselves busy.

 

Dawn’s head shot up as she went to pick up another slice, “Okay, you’ve been staring at me all day. What, do I have a humongous zit or something?”

 

“I have not been staring at you, little Miss Ego.”

 

“Yes, you have Buffy. At the hospital it was one thing. It wasn’t like there was much else to look at, but you’ve been doing it while we’ve been moving your stuff.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have not been staring. I’ve… just been… thinking. That’s all. There’s just a lot to think about, right now.”

 

“Well, quit it,” Dawn said emphatically. “You’re really starting to creep me out.”

 

“Fine,” Buffy said, realizing that she probably had been staring at her a lot today. Well she sure couldn’t tell Dawnie why. No one could know, except Giles. She’d have to tell him because she didn’t know what in the world she was supposed to do with a sister that wasn’t. Especially since her feelings didn’t change any. In fact, knowing that Dawn was so important to keep safe, it just made her want to protect her that much more. It was almost like Dawn was….

 

“…you’re doing it again!” Dawn grabbed three more slices and after depositing them on her plate, she ran for the second story stairs. “Call me when we’re ready to visit mom!”

 

Moments later, Buffy heard the sounds of her sister’s stereo turned up loud. She sat in the quiet living room with a half eaten slice of pizza clutched in her hand and worried at her lower lip.

 

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End Ch 3

 

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, hunting our needs, spander, spanderverse
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