harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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Falling Apart - Chapter 1

 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: Story number fourteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “The Family We Choose”. 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.

More Notes: BIG thanks to Joss, the ME creative team and the crew of one of the best shows on television. WE MISS YOU!

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


Thanksgiving (November for our non-American audience). Two weeks after ‘The Family We Choose’ and Tara’s birthday party at The Bronze.

Last Comment: I am considering either creating a new community, or maybe posting at Harsens-Rob page, a commentary:  sort of deal like on a DVD. I tried this at fanfiction.net, but didn’t receive much interest. If anyone would be interested in reading my thoughts at the time of writing, I’d like to discuss why I went in the directions I did, including “To Dream” which has been deleted. It would have been in place of “Primeval” but it wasn’t very good. Anyway… I don’t know if anyone cares about that part of it, or only the stories themselves, so I could use some feedback on that aspect… and of course, any comments about the stories read!

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Falling Apart

Ch 1 – Thanks For the Giving


Buffy and Dawn smiled at each other, getting along for a change as they each rolled out a fresh pie crust. Behind them, buzzing around the oven stood Joyce wearing an apron. She was currently basting the turkey she’d bought and fretting. The girls had no doubt everything would be great, but Joyce was under especial strain.


“I don’t know why you’re worried, mom. It’s just a guy,” Dawn smirked.


“I just want this meal to go without any hitches. And this stupid oven has chosen now of all times to start acting wonky. I just know it’s a Hellmouth, thing!”


“Would you like me to slay it,” Buffy asked sharing another smirk with Dawn.


Joyce had caught on to the playful tone in her daughter’s voices however and simply scowled. “You girls had better be on your best behavior. It’s not everyday that I get to have male company and Brian has been so nice.”


“Relax, mom,” Dawn said, “I think Brian’s a pretty cool guy. Way better than Ted the robot and Dracula the killer vampire.”


“Oh, you are just an awful daughter,” Joyce said warmly with a smile. “I just hope this turkey gets done in time. The last thing I need is to give Brian a case of food poisoning.”


“Everything is going to be great,” Buffy added with a kiss to her mother’s cheek. She returned to kneading dough with a light sigh when Joyce pointed her back to the counter.


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In a small market, Xander and Anya were perusing the shelves. They both wore looks that said clearly they had no idea what they were looking for.


“What about a couple of bottles of wine,” Xander offered.


“Good idea. What kind? Do you have your fake I.D. on you?”


“Could we not say that out loud? And yes.”


“Well, how about some white then? I mean that seems like a good turkey type wine, doesn’t it?”


As they headed over to the wine racks, Xander thought briefly of his mother. With her being in
Utah, he wasn’t going to see her until Christmas. Not that their holiday dinners had ever been very different from their usual sullen, drunken affairs anyway. At least, according to her, she’d gotten her life together following his father’s death. He was afraid to see her in person; afraid that he’d find the same half-boozy woman stumbling around. He wanted desperately to believe that his aunt Margo and her family really were helping her.


Since this was the case, and since Anya’s family had been dead for over 1100 years, Joyce had graciously invited them to her dinner party. Not wanting to come empty handed, he’d asked Joyce…repeatedly…to allow them to bring something, but she kept replying that they only needed to bring themselves. It made him feel like a moocher, though, hence their eleventh hour dash to the convenience store.


“This one has a pretty label,” Anya said turning the bottle over in her hands.


“Yes, but that one is also fifty bucks a bottle. Think a little more thrifty.”


“Well, we can’t just show up with rot gut. I mean, I know that much at least. You’d think with over 1120 years, I’d know a thing or two about wine, but really Xander, I’m clueless here.”


“I’m sure that wine appreciation didn’t come in handy in the Vengeance game. We’ll find something,” Xander added with a frown. He wished he hadn’t thought about Anya’s past because that led him to think of what she was probably capable of and that led to thoughts of breaking her heart and other scarier thoughts of Spike. He sighed to himself and wished again that he’d never been zapped by Toth.


“Oh!” Xander’s reverie was cut short as Anya literally bounced on her toes, holding two bottles of the same wine, one in each hand. “I’ve read about this one!”


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In a first floor dorm room at the U.C. Sunnydale campus,
Tara was rummaging through her closet and sighing dejectedly at everything she saw. On the bed, Willow sat with their jewelry boxes opened.


“Why does all of my stuff look so frumpy,”
Tara exclaimed. “I mean, I know how to dress nicely, but nothing here looks like ‘dinner party’ wear!”


“Relax, Honey. You always look fine,”
Willow said as she tried to decide on earrings.


“I look fine for Scooby meetings and sitting in class. This is really important to me, Wills. I want to look really nice for Joyce’s gathering. I mean, I don’t want her to think she’s invited a bum to dinner, tonight.”


“Why such a big deal? We’ve been to Joyce’s house before, you know. This is just dinner with the gang.”


“No, it’s dinner with Joyce and her new…, uh…, are they boyfriend and girlfriend yet? Are they even called ‘boyfriend’ at their age? I just don’t want to embarrass her when she’s trying to impress Brian.”


Willow
gave her a warm laugh. “I’m not sure of the terminology, but right now I think their still just dating. I mean, you’d think they’d hurry things along being…, uh, well, not ‘old’, but um… more advanced in age. Anyway, I always liked that tan skirt with the gold top.”


“I guess. I just wish I had something new to wear. Oh! Pull out Dawnie’s birthday gift, will you? I want her to see me wearing her silver chain at dinner. It’s so nice I’d wear it all the time if I wasn’t so afraid of it getting damaged during a vampire staking.”


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Spike walked through the mausoleum feeling isolated; his every footstep echoed hauntingly as he approached the heavy iron door. Reaching it, he placed the palm of his hand on the cool steel door only to jerk it away as the door was incredibly hot. He frowned at it, worried, but he couldn’t fathom why. Steeling his nerve, he yanked the door open and let the sunlight bathe him in its burning rays. Squinting into the too-bright light, he saw William Schellden; failed poet standing before him, stake raised.


Spike screamed as the wood bit deeply into his chest. Stumbling backward, he tripped over his feet and fell, being saved from hitting the floor by a pair of strong arms catching hold of him. Slowly, so slowly, he was gently laid back into the embrace of someone warm- not the burning, scarring warmth of the sun, but human warmth. Looking up, he found Xander’s mischievous gaze on him


“I’m hurt, Xan. The stake?” Xander shushed him gently, telling him it would be alright. Xander had him now and he’d take care of him. He leaned forward toward Spike, his lips pursed to kiss him when the vampire sprang his fangs out. Feeling horrified by what he was doing, but unable to control himself, he leapt up from the comforting lap enfolding him and sank his teeth deep into his comforter. Blood rushed in a torrent down his greedy throat and Spike let loose a keening wail of despair.


He awoke with a start, confused for a moment as to where he was. One hand searched his exposed chest for signs of injury, while his eyes darted around the chamber searching for his attacker. Assuring himself that all was as it should be, he noted Harmony’s presence next to him. She hadn’t been there this morning when he’d gotten tired of waiting for her and decided to sleep. Apparently, she must have used the tunnels to return ‘home’ from wherever she’d been.


He let his eyes wander the candlelit chamber once more to ensure that there was no intruder before he laid his head back onto the thick pillow. As he attempted to get comfortable his eyes swept over Harmony’s head to the picture sitting on a pile of crates in the approximation of a nightstand. In the photo, Buffy and Joyce grinned at each other. On one knee in front of them, was Dawn posed looking up and behind her shoulder at them. She wore a laughing expression. Spike sighed.


Near his side of the queen sized bed, a true nightstand stood. On it, another stolen photo caught his attention. Xander stood looking off into the distance, a dreamy half smile on his handsome features. He appeared to be daydreaming about something and Spike, as he often did, wondered what was going through his friend’s mind at that moment.


He stretched his muscles under the thin blanket and tried to get himself settled to return to sleep. He couldn’t remember what had disturbed his rest, but he knew he’d been having dreams lately. Harmony had complained that he’d awoken her before with a plaintive cry or a snarl. Being careful not to touch the undead woman sharing his bed, he curled into a ball on his side, facing away from her and thought back to
Tara’s party.


She’d been thankful to him for revealing the deception that her family had played on her. It wasn’t exactly unexpected;
Tara was a sweet and kind woman. He’d always thought so. But she had taken him off guard when she’d shared with him a slow dance at the Bronze.


It was nice. And then she had kissed him briefly and asked him if it was time he’d stopped pushing them away, and that was what really had him perturbed.


Somehow, through all of his machismo and snarking, she’d recognized what he had tried to hide. Hell, what he’d tried to deny to himself. That he thought of them – all of them - as a family of sorts. He cared.


His mind drifted to drunken Xander jokingly telling him that he’d dance with him. His gaze took in the picture of Xander again and he remembered telling the guy that if they’d been in a different kind of bar, he’d take him up on it. He didn’t know why he’d said that.


Later that night, he’d convinced himself that he was trying to yank Xan’s chain. Make him uncomfortable and embarrassed for a laugh, though he hadn’t taken the bait. Instead, he’d just invited Spike to watch the horrible movies he seemed to favor and Spike had accepted. And that was nice, too.


He drifted back toward sleep with Xander’s eyes on his mind.


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End Chapter 01

Tags: btvs, buffy, falling apart, fanfiction, harsens-rob, spander, spanderverse
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