POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.
Notes: Story number fourteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Falling Apart”. 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.
Takes place two weeks after Thanksgiving, and ergo, about two weeks more or less before Christmas.
Ch 4 – Welcome Back, Giles
That same morning after a few hours of sleep, Buffy and Dawn met Giles’ commuter flight from
Next to her, Dawnie was jumping up and down, looking forward to hearing all about
Poor Giles had barely gotten his bearings upon off loading from the plane when he found himself dazedly holding an armful of bouncing teenager. Buffy gave her sister a full minute before she pulled her away, getting a grateful smile from her mentor. Giles looked like he hadn’t slept so well on the overseas flight and wasn’t really up to dealing with Miss Hyper yet.
“You’ve changed your hair,” he pointed out to her as he embraced her.
Buffy reluctantly ran a hand through her newly black hair. She hated it. She missed her blonde locks, but until the investigation into the arson was put to rest, she wanted to stay below Sunnydale P.D.’s radar. Actually, she was surprised she wasn’t their first stop. A lot of the detectives were around during her High School career and she had expected to come home and see them talking to her mother by now.
“Oh, this? Yeah, well, y’know, everyone else is going blonde these days. It’s good to be a trendsetter, not a follower. So, ah… things are good, then?” Buffy frowned slightly, “It doesn’t look like Travers chained himself to you.”
“No,” he grinned at her tiredly, “No. Actually, Quentin was quite decent. Actually it was a little bit disconcerting. Unfortunately, once he began showing me the information they have on this Glorificus woman, that is her name by the way, I could understand why they were so cooperative.”
Buffy sighed, while a quick glance showed Dawn frowning in worry. “That bad, huh?”
“Yes. Yes, I’m afraid it is, Buffy.” He shared a quick glance at Dawn before continuing cryptically. “I believe I know what this, uh, Key is, that she wishes to find. Why she wants it so badly, I mean.”
“Do you guys know what it is, yet,” Dawn asked innocently.
“No! Uh, we’re still trying to figure that out,” Buffy told her.
“Well, let’s go get my bags and get to the Magic Box, shall we?”
“Uh, yeah…. Listen, Giles, a few things have happened since you left,” Buffy started.
“Buffy, how much trouble could there have been? I’ve only been gone a month!”
Rupert Giles surveyed his shop, mouth hanging open in disbelief. Though most of the debris was cleared away, some still remained in the piles to which they’d been swept. Hundreds of dollars worth of stock, not to mention the beautiful hand crafted woodwork of Xander’s was just… rubbish. The store was obviously closed for the day, and perhaps for longer.
“Oh, uh, Giles!” He heard
Buffy had warned him that there’d been a battle in the store, but she hadn’t mentioned the extent of the destruction. Of course, she’d been right; it could have been worse… no one was hurt, that was the most important thing.
He wanted to sound cross, but right now he knew he just sounded in shock. He could tell, because as much as he felt entitled to a little anger, he was numbed with weariness. Not that there was anything that couldn’t be repaired or replaced relatively quickly… or so he was trying to remind himself.
“Wait until you weren’t here? Of course not, Giles! I-I just thought, y’know, while it was slow, this’d be the perfect time. And it worked! Well, okay, not quite as well as we’d hope for and there was that one slight miscalculation, but I know I’m really close.”
Giles’ disappointed gaze swept over Willow who was trying to be invisible behind Anya, behind the counter. As his eyes narrowed at her, he voiced his disappointment in her for not being more responsible.
“W-well, I thought I was. I mean, I’m trying to find a way to help Buffy. And besides…, Anya drank up all your scotch!”
“It didn’t go ‘kablooey’! It worked, except for that side effect,”
“I said ‘kaphlooey’, not ‘kablooey’,” Anya said snottily.
“Well, that’s not even a word.”
Both girls jumped slightly and turned their attentions back to the angry man scowling in front of them. “I am deeply disappointed in both of you. I thought that I could trust you to be more careful when experimenting with magic,
At that moment, Buffy came in behind Giles and looked over the interior. It looked like pretty much all of the big damage was cleaned up. She was about to suggest someone grab her a broom and dustpan, but Anya noted her presence and back stabbed her.
“Well, what about Buffy? Doesn’t she get a scowl for that arson, thing?”
Thank goodness we dropped Dawn back home first, Buffy thought. They were both off from school for winter break.
“What?!” Giles turned to his Slayer. If his eyes were any wider, she thought they might pop out of his head. Of course, he still might combust if his face got any redder.
“Oh, uh, yeah…, I was gonna mention that. Really, I was.”
Giles sighed, feeling a headache clawing at his brain. Obviously his previous conviction that they were all adults had been premature.
“I am going to my flat,” he said. “There, I will pour myself a large glass of brandy, assuming that you haven’t raided that as well. I will then crawl into a large tub of scalding water, assuming that there’s been no arson in my bathroom, as well. Once I am finished I will attempt to sleep for several hours and then we will all be having a long, long discussion about just what the hell you’ve been up to while I was away!”
Several hours later, Buffy waited outside of a leather clothing shop. Inside, Xander was browsing, having joined her for the day. She’d needed a supportive ear to give her a little courage for when she had to explain to Giles later about the entire Riley/Whorehouse/Arson deal. Of course, Xander was mostly being ‘you are just lucky young lady that the police haven’t recognized your work’ guy. Not exactly what she’d been looking for when she had invited him.
Resting on the floor at her feet were several bags, none of which were for her, darn it. It was the holiday season, the time when she had to buy what she really wanted, but give it to somebody else. She was just debating whether she should get Wills a Hanukkah or a Wicca type gift this season, when her Slayer senses interrupted.
She looked up, already trying to formulate a plan to dust a vampire in a crowd without being noticed. In front of her, smiling and with small bag in hand from Bed, Bath & Beyond, stood the blonde woman from the warehouse. The one that she’d begun to convince herself had moved on. The one who’d seemed to ignore her best blows.
“Well, well, well. It’s the itty-bitty Vampire Slayer. Getting in some shopping, Dearie?”
Buffy glared hard at the woman, until Xander’s voice rang out directly behind her. “Hey, Buff! Do you see Spike as the leather and studded metal bracelet type?”
As he came around Buffy and joined her, he apologized to the two women, “Whoa, sorry. That was rude; didn’t know Buffster was talking to someone, already.”
“Xander, don’t move,” Buffy warned as she stepped in front of him; shielding him with her body as much as she could. At the same time she crossed her arms in front of her chest and tried to look menacing.
“Relax, sweetie,” Glory smiled sweetly, like a spider over a fly in its web. “If I had wanted to hurt your little pal right now, you could tell by my beating you to death with his torn off arm. Now, let’s get a good look at you… oh, he is a cutie! Well, you know; if you’re into that whole human look.”
Xander paled as he recognized the threat. He hadn’t ever seen the woman who had so handily beat the Slayer; he hadn’t been in the Magic Box when she’d stopped by for spell ingredients, but he could guess that this would be She.
“Glorificus, I presume,” he said; trying to sound confident but his voice wouldn’t go above a hushed whisper. Buffy had told him that Giles had found her identity, although that was all they knew until they met with him tonight.
“You’ve heard of me? Well, isn’t that sweet. Then I’m sure you also know that I’m someone you couldn’t beat on your best day of the week, hon. Now, I’m sure little ‘Buffster’ here has told you I want my Key. I’m also sure that she knows where it’s at by now. My sycophants have already spelled every item in that cute little magic shop you kids have got going and its not there. I’m getting a little impatient. Well, what do you expect really? Gods aren’t known for their patience.”
“G-Gods,” Xander stuttered in question.
“Oh, you haven’t come across that tidbit, yet? Sorry to blow the big reveal,” Glory giggled. “But now that the secret’s out; you can see that you have no chance. It’s a good thing I’m a bit more reasonable than most, though.”
Glory took a threatening step closer to Buffy who refused to budge. Xander wasn’t so stubborn and quickly dropped back two steps, all the while berating Buffy in his head for choosing this particular foe to have a pissing contest with.
“Not even my patience is unending though,” she said. She was glaring into Buffy’s eyes who met her stare for stare.
Xander might as well have turned into a bench at this point. He didn’t know whether to feel slighted or just plain relieved.
“Tell you what, sweets: I’ll give you your Holidays pain free. But, once January rolls around, you and I are going to meet again. I’d really suggest you not push it. After all, you seem to leave your friends alone in that big ol’ college a lot. And little sis is awfully vulnerable in that school. Let’s not even talk about your mom all alone in that quaint little gallery she runs. Oh, yes, hon,” Glory smiled again. “I know all about you and your, now what’s the word? The ‘Scoobies’? I know where you live. I know where your friends can be found and I know how to get the information I need sooner or later.”
Glory turned away then and Buffy actually took a step in her direction before Xander grabbed her arm and held her still. Over her shoulder, the woman who wasn’t said lightly, “Bring me my Key children, or someone you care for is going to die bloodily.”
“I think I might pee my pants now,” Xander said once the woman was lost in the crowds.
“We need to see Giles. Like right now,” Buffy replied.
End Ch 04