harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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Pathways, final chapter

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 sixteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Feint and Counter Feints”. 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.

Also, another thank you to Twiztv(dot)com for their script assistance for the finale of chapter 6.

SPECIAL NOTE: Dru has not been to L.A. yet, instead she stops by Sunnydale on her way and ergo she hasn’t gotten involved with Darla’s revampification nor gotten burned yet.

This takes place around mid-January.

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Pathways

Ch 6 – Coming to Grips

 

Spike listened as Harmony’s footfalls grew softer into the distance. He hoped for her sake that this time she really did disappear. Between the two Buffy’s, not to mention the other Scoobies it was unlikely she could last if she stayed, not that he cared overmuch either way.

 

When he was sure she wouldn’t be coming back for another attempt on his unlife, he looked at his chest. Her little ‘friend’ had left a wound, but it wasn’t deep and would be healed in an hour or two. He turned his attention back to his waiting women, both of whom would probably cooperate at this point in kicking his ass for him.

 

He took a deep breath and flipped a mental coin. Then he walked over to Buffy.

 

“There are some things I been wantin’ to say, Slayer. I want you to know first that I’m sorry I hurt you. Not the past stuff before the chip, ‘cause there wasn’t a lot I could do about that, but Riley. I… I took you to see him in the skank-house because I wanted him out of the way. I thought that I was in love with you, you see.”

 

He swallowed over the lump in his throat and pushed the pain aside as Buffy first flinched and then gave him a look of icy contempt.

 

“I know that doesn’t make up for anything. Especially that whole surgery debacle, but what I’m saying now is true. I… I even told your mum that I was in love with you. She didn’t believe me, of course,” he snorted.

 

“She thought I was just looking for a new way to dominate you; to own you like. I think she might have been right, but you need to know that I didn’t realize it. I really did think my feelings were sincere. It’s kinda funny, you’d think that ‘Love’s Bitch’ would’ve been more in tune with what was going on inside. Anyway, I’m sorry for the pain I caused. Not that you didn’t need to know, of course,” he was quick to add. “Finn was headed for self-destruction… but, it wasn’t worry over him that caused me to rat him out. I was an asshole. I know I’m a monster, I know when you look at me all you can see is the demon, but I’m trying.”

 

Buffy frowned in thought, but Spike had already moved away from her before she could respond. She watched him approach his sire and she could have sworn that he was feeling trepidation at facing her. Though he spoke softly to her, Buffy could hear everything due to the acoustics of the chamber and her own enhanced hearing.

 

“My William….”

 

“Shh… Dru, please just listen. You took a shy, awkward young man, ignorant and alone and you showed me a whole world I hadn’t even dreamt of. You gave me love and purpose and I will forever be grateful to you for taking that wretch in that alleyway so long ago. I need you to know that I did love you… I do love you. You’re my Dark Goddess; my Juicy Ripe Plum. But, I’m not that demon anymore, baby. Maybe if you could find a way around this blasted chip, I could be again. But, I’m not sure that’s what I want anymore.

 

“Dru, this thing the Initiative did was meant to be a leash, but I’ve turned it into an opportunity. And I owe Buffy for that. She could have dusted me at anytime, she should have the way I’ve found a way to back stab them time after time over the past year and a half. But none of them… the Scooby Gang, Joyce and the Bit… none of them did. I owe them for that mercy. I’ve got a life here now. And it’s complicated and frustrating and I do miss the freedom of living life without a damnable conscience. I miss hunting and the sense of power, but I’ve gained something too.”

 

Spike reached over Drusilla’s head with a key and undid her manacles. She had a single tear sliding down her face as he leaned forward and kissed it. In turn, she placed the palm of her hand over his jaw and cupped his face.

 

“I’m figuring out how to cope, how to have a life again. And Joyce and Dawn, Xander, even the witches… they’re a part of that. I will do whatever I have to in order to protect them, Dru. You need to leave… before I let the Slayer over there go.”

 

Drusilla leaned up and kissed him on his face, near his ear. With a gasp, he felt her fingers briefly grip his arm and then she relaxed. She pulled away from him and he recognized the gleam in her eye; it was the faraway secretive look she always got when a vision had had its way with her.

 

She smiled distractedly, and a little sadly at him, “You’re searching for a new path, Spike. The brunette can show it to you. Be well, my William. I hope we will see each other again.”

 

As she wandered away down the opposite tunnel that Harmony had used, Spike heard her humming ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ to herself. He turned over in his mind what she might have meant and he re-crossed the small space of his bedroom cave.

 

Buffy was currently brunette, and she had showed him a new way. Maybe Drusilla had been trying to tell him that he hadn’t been wrong when he pursued her. Of course, Dawn was also dark haired and the Fates knew, she’d had a profound effect on him already. Of course, this was Dru… for all he knew she was talking about herself in the third person. Or, even, she could have been thinking about her crazy doll fetish. He remembered that ‘Cuddle Nancy’ had dark hair and Dru would often carry on conversations with the inanimate baby doll when Miss Edith had ‘been very naughty’ and was being ‘punished’.

 

He shook thoughts of his Sire’s cryptic statement out of his mind. Trying to puzzle out what she had meant could easily become a full time obsession again, if he allowed it.

 

Spike went to release Buffy, when one of her hands fell to her side. She was clenching her fist and shaking her hand trying to relieve the numbness.

 

“How long were you from gettin’ free,” he asked, amused.

 

“Meh, probably another three or four minutes. But since you’ve got the key….”

 

As Spike undid the remaining shackle, he asked her not to pursue Drusilla. “She’ll leave as soon as night falls.”

 

“I can’t let her walk, Spike. She killed a train car full of innocent people. And I owe her for Kendra… she shouldn’t have come through here.”

 

“Buffy… I can’t let you hurt her. She’s my Sire.”

 

“I know, Spike,” Buffy nodded. And then she punched him. With a quick movement, she had his head in a vice like grip before he could respond and she rammed his skull into the rock wall, knocking him out.

 

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Buffybot wandered town, staring at the sunlight with wide curious eyes. It was such a dynamic force in the sky and she received power from it. As she wasn’t affected by its glare or overwhelming brightness, she could ponder it’s constantly shifting face.

 

“Excuse me, miss,” her attention became diverted, “You shouldn’t look at the sun like that. It’s not good for your eyes,” an old lady she didn’t know informed her.

 

“Oh! I did not know this. Thank you, stranger!”

 

The old lady looked quizzically at the strange young girl’s back, but then continued traveling to her destination.

 

In the meantime, Buffybot began to look around her at the neighborhood she’d found herself in. Her GPS unit informed her that she was on Main Street and she looked over the shops on the block before her eyes widened in excitement.

 

“Oh! The Magic Box! That’s where my friends hang out,” she smiled beamingly as she crossed the street.

 

“Oh, hi Buffy,” Anya smiled as the Slayer entered the store. “You don’t mind if I keep working, do you? We’ve just received a new supply of squirrel’s tails!”

 

“No. I do not mind. How is your money today?”

 

“It’s very well! Thank you for asking. How come you’re here? I thought you’d be at class or something?”

 

“Or something. But Spike is currently busy and I had to leave,” Buffybot informed her.

 

“Spike? Is there some Slayer business we should be aware of?”

 

“No, no Slayer business. It was personal. But now he has other personal business. And, I cannot patrol yet because it is sunny right now.”

 

“Yes. It has been slow lately, hasn’t it? There’s almost been no demons at all, and even the vampire population seems down lately. I wonder if Glory is chasing the other bad guys away,” Anya mused as she brushed out one squirrel tail after another.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Well, as long as she’s not hunting Dawn, I say let her kill any beastie she wants. It just gives us more free time, you know?”

 

“Yes,” Buffybot nodded, still smiling, “that makes sense.” She didn’t know who Glory was specifically, but it wasn’t surprising that her database wasn’t completely updated with all of the villains around town. After all, her role was ‘Vampire Slayer’ and if Glory wasn’t a vampire than she didn’t need to know about her. But it made sense that her vampire-fighting friends would be happy if she was thinning out the other villains. On the other hand, Anya had mentioned Dawn and that was a subject that the robot could comment on.

 

“Dawn is my sister. I have to protect her.”

 

“Well, I know,” Anya agreed. “We’ll all do what we can to guard her secret. It’s just hard to believe that little Dawnie is actually a mystic Key. I mean, she looks so human! And she sure can be as bratty as any young teen. Those monks really did a good job.”

 

“Dawn is not a real girl?”

 

“Of course, we’ll keep treating her as just another person,” Anya continued, not paying much attention to the conversation. Giles wanted to charge three-fifty per tail and Anya was sure that was too cheap. She was currently trying to recall anything comparable that she could compare prospective prices to.

 

“Dawn has to stay protected. I’ll make sure that Glory doesn’t harm her.”

 

“Oh, of course! The Scooby Gang is on the case, don’t worry. If I wasn’t so busy with the merchandise and the money, I’d be researching right now on a way to stop her. Of course, most of the good books are with Tara and Willow anyway and Giles won’t let anyone into the black magic tomes except him.”

 

“Magic is illogical. I don’t see how that can protect Dawn.”

 

“Well, it is unpredictable,” Anya agreed.

 

“But Willow knows more about that than I do. She and Tara are witches. And lesbians.”

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry. I’m sure they won’t let their sex life get in the way of research. Excuse me, Buffy, but I really have to find an appropriate price for these before Giles ends up losing us profits.”

 

“That’s okay. I should return to Spike’s.”

 

“M-mkay, see ya later,” Anya called out distractedly as she went to grab a ledger from Giles’ office and ‘Buffy’ exited the store.

 

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Buffy stomped her way home, irritated with Spike and not happy that she could find no trace of Drusilla. There were so many damned branching tunnels shortly after you left Spike’s underground lair that it was a crap shoot which one the flaky vampire would have chosen. She thought her Slayer senses would help her guess which one to take, but they had failed her. At least when the chips were down… or discussed, Spike had chosen them. She knew that Xander was going to be relieved to know that even his sire hadn’t turned Spike against them. Buffy was actually still a little in shock, up until the last minute she really thought she’d have to fight Spike and Dru both. And that whole thing with Harmony… Buffy was half-way sure that she’d be too stupid to get out of town while the getting was good, so she expected that she’d still be ending her existence sometime soon.

 

As she ran up the steps to her mother’s house, she checked her watch. It was quarter until two and Dawn would be getting out of school at three. With Glory still out there, she expected that her mom would ask her to run to the school and grab her, but she wanted to stop and change her dirt-stained clothes first.

 

She opened the door and was immediately assailed by the huge bouquet on the side table. Not just the scent, but the actual petals… it was huge and took up a large portion of the entryway.

 

“Hey, mom!”

 

Buffy spotted the card still in the vase and though it wasn’t technically her business, she figured what the heck.

 

“Oooh,” she exclaimed as she took a peak at the card. “Thank you for a lovely evening. See you soon? Brian.”

 

Oh, man. This guy is almost too romantic, Buffy thought with a smile. She was amused to find herself a little jealous. Hmmm… and ‘lovely’ is underlined… now what does that mean?

 

“Still a couple of guys gettin’ it right,” she muttered as she sniffed the flowers again, feeling a pang of loneliness for Riley.

 

“Hey! Flower-gettin’ lady? Want me to pick up Dawn from school,” she called out into the quiet house. It seemed a bit too quiet and Buffy suddenly got a cold chill down her spine.

 

“Mom?”

 

Coming around the corner and into the living room, she smiled briefly in relief to see her mother home. She was lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling.

 

“What are you doing,” she asked her mother. She even glanced at the ceiling to see what her mother was staring at. It wasn’t until her eyes drifted back down to Joyce’s still body that she started to notice something wrong.

 

“Mom,” she said quietly, dread settled into her stomach. Joyce didn’t react to her daughter and Buffy noted in the back of her mind that she hadn’t even blinked.

 

“Mom?”

 

No response… not a twitch, not a blink.

 

“Mommy,” Buffy barely whispered.

 

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End Chapter 6

 

Please watch or re-watch BTVS: The Body before reading the next story in the Spanderverse series. And let me give a special ‘thank you’ to Joss and company for BTVS and AtS; yes, they often broke our hearts, but they also provided some of the best television that has ever been broadcast… not bad for a universe that started out as a mid-season replacement series.

 

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 Bodyhave you gone and watched or re-watched it yet? Well, go…do….

 

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, pathways, spander, spanderverse
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