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POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and especially the Spanderverse series. WARNING ALERT: While I usually don’t feel the need to include warnings, this story contains disturbing images of injuries sustained during torture. There will also be guy on guy romance (which should be obvious by the Spanderverse moniker), if you find that squicksome. I don’t intend to include such a warning on every story from now on so just assume Gay Content applies.
Notes: Story number eighteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Coming Together”. 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.
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.
Songs of Pain and Comfort
Ch 2 – In the Clutches…
Evening had fallen over Sunnydale when Glory awoke in a cheap motel room. She looked around herself in disappointment, a small groan escaping her.
How could he have found a worse place than that hospital full of the weak and sick, she thought. Honestly, if only I could kick his ass for him, maybe he’d stop purposely pissing me off! And after all that effort I went through to provide him with that darling little room in the penthouse, too… ingrate!
Glorificus left the dank room with the ugly, paisley wall paper and took a look around. She recognized the cheap and tacky Sunnydale Motor Lodge from her walks around town, and her scowl deepened. She didn’t understand what Ben could have been doing here.
Unless he managed to snag a date, Glory smiled. Good for you, Benny! Could have shown a little more class, though. Oh, I wonder if it was that Slayer-skank!? Yeah, this is about all she’d deserve for putting out.
She walked out into the parking lot to get her bearings, so she could walk home. Really, she’d have to find a way to make Ben pay for these little indignities… like maybe killing more of his co-workers.
Across the lot from her, standing near a battered-looking Coke machine, stood a man in leather pants and a raggedy looking army coat. He smiled at her and added a wink. He was perhaps forty and unshaven with just a healthy beer belly showing over his belted and faded blue jeans. His red hair was in desperate need of grooming and the beard appeared to have been trimmed recently with garden shears.
Glory was utterly repulsed, but she was also in need of a brain. She smiled coquettishly at the ‘gentleman’ and made her way over. Adding a sway to her hips, she wished she wasn’t dressed in Ben’s clothes. She knew she looked tacky as hell, but she didn’t think it would matter to the Lord of Bad Stubble.
Minutes later and she was being escorted into the man’s room. As she suspected, he was a typical guy who hadn’t thought twice that someone who looked like her would give someone who looked like him a second glance.
His attempts at sweet talking her were brutally cut off in mid-stream. Her fingers glowed with bright white light and the man screamed as his sanity was ripped from him. Glory gave him a wink and a small grin, before shoving his head through the little television in the room.
At least there will be one less nutso for Benji to look after, she thought as she left the motor lodge without a backward glance.
Spike and Buffy were patrolling side by side and managing to not fight each other; a minor miracle in his estimation. She was tense and he didn’t like the dark circles under her eyes. With her Slayer stamina, she must really be walloped to look like she did.
“Not sleeping, Luv?”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Wasn’t meaning anything lascivious by it. You just look tuckered,” he sighed. So much for our new and improved relationship, he thought as he pulled out a cigarette.
“I’m fine. There’s just a lot to deal with right now. You know that.”
“How’s the runt doing?”
“…” Spike followed along silent, at a loss for words. Obviously Buffy wasn’t in the mood for a talk. At least not a talk with me, now if I were the Mighty Master of Bitching and Moaning, he thought with a trace of bitterness.
It was several moments later when Buffy rolled her shoulders. They’d been patrolling for nearly two hours, but so far there was nothing to slay. It wasn’t hard to guess why there’d been a lack of decent fights lately between Buffy’s tear through the vampire community a few months ago and Glory’s current presence. Gods were notorious for wiping out the ‘lower life’ in an area… usually vampires and minor demons with the occasional human massacre.
“Am I a horrible person for being angry at Giles,” Buffy asked suddenly, breaking the uncomfortable tension.
“Suppose it depends on why,” he replied.
“I know he and the Council are doing what they can, but…,” she sighed, and he noted the clenching and unclenching of her fists.
“They’re not coming up with a way to defeat her Lordship, yet?”
Buffy gave him a short shake of the head. She stopped suddenly and took several deep breaths, releasing each slowly out into the night air. He waited patiently for her to begin walking again.
“Dawnie will be okay. She’s got you, she’s got me and she’s got the Gang, including your Watcher. We won’t let anything happen to her.”
“Mom had us, too,” Buffy said as Spike noted the grief that briefly crossed her features. A moment later and she just looked knackered again.
“Look, Spike,” she continued, “Do you think you could finish patrol for me? I’d really like to check in with Giles. I mean, I know he’d call my cell if he had anything, but….”
“Yeah. Yeah, of course, go. Doesn’t seem much is going on around here, anyway.”
Buffy dashed off in the general direction of Giles’ apartment, while Spike headed in the general direction of Xander’s. No reason for him to waste an empty night patrolling if he could corral him into coming to the Bronze for pool. Being a Wednesday night, it should be relatively easy to get a table.
Glory paced in her penthouse dressed in a chenille robe of blood red. She’d scrubbed for nearly two hours to get every trace of Ben off of her and she was in a dark mood. Around her, the ‘stubby ones’ were trying to make themselves invisible while staying close enough to respond if she called them.
“You know, I think I’ve been very patient for a God,” she said to no one in particular. “And Buffy has been very, very rude in not appreciating it. I think maybe it is far past time to change game plans.”
The goblins stood looking at one another in turn, not being sure if they should respond or not. No one wanted to utter the first sound, just in case they were wrong. On the other hand, if she wanted a response and they remained silent….
Finally after a handful of seconds, Ginx replied to her Most Luscious in a timid voice. “What can we do to facilitate this new ‘game plan’, Your Most Mighty One?”
Glory looked around and crooked a finger. She waggled it, summoning Ginx to her side.
Ginx approached with her eyes on the carpet. She tried to suppress the shivers of terror running through her small frame. Glory could be most unforgiving when she was already in a foul mood.
The god reached out a jeweled hand and patted Ginx’s head. It was hard enough to hurt, but for her, it was a gentle caress. “That’s my Ginxie, always wanting to help out. If only the rest of you leeches would be more helpful like this one!”
In a rush of overlapping babble, they all approached offering their most heartfelt services. Ginx only looked on them with disdain for their transparent attempts to ride her coattails.
“Okay, enough already,” Glory raised her voice. “I can’t tell you the new plan if you’re all too frickin’ busy toadying! Now, this is what I want you to do. Fan out, find one of the Slayer’s pals… I don’t care which one; bring him or her to me. Once I have them, I have no doubt little Buffykins will come rushing to the rescue. Then we’ll capture and torture the little slut until she reveals everything I want to know. And then? Then I’m going to have me a bit of Slayer-brain,” she giggled.
Glory’s mirth was cut short by the stumbling in of Granier; all moans and groans in his wake. As the dwarves rushed to aid him, for he was obviously hurt rather badly, Glory frowned. His robes were covered in dark, black blood and it was leaving a trail on the carpeting.
“M-majestic one, I bring news,” Granier coughed out as he was settled on one of the settees. And yes, he was getting that messy, too.
“Granier, you’re making a god-awful mess! No pun intended,” Glory said. “Who did this to you? Was it the bitch!? I’ll rip her damned arms off!”
“N-no, uh, Your Greatest. It wasn’t the Slayer, but B-ben.” Granier took another hissing breath as he rode out more pain from deep within his gut.
“Ben? Ben did this to my little cutie? Oh, he is so going to be grounded! Ah, I just… he just drives me so crazy! I could just…,” Glory started ripping out handfuls of her lanky hair. “He just drives me into such a rage!”
“G-glory, Mighty, uh, Prettiness, Ben told me something of v-value,” Granier wheezed.
“Really? Oh, tell me, tell me,” she said clapping her hands excitedly.
“He intim-mated that the Key was human, Your Gracefulness. T-that it was an innocent.”
Glory stood for a moment in contemplation before bursting into laughter. “Oh those monks… those clever, clever monks. I’ve got to hand it to them, I’d never have thought of that! Okay, gang this is what we do. Ginx, you stay and heal little Granier there, and then the two of you can steam clean these carpets and the settee. The rest of you, find that ‘innocent’. I know Buffy will be close by whoever it is… look for someone she’s protecting, someone she’s really attached to. It won’t be the Watcher, he’s way too old.”
“The sister,” Gronx asked the room.
“Don’t be stupid! Didn’t I just get done saying that the monks were clever,” Glory sighed. “Really, you’d think Gods would have better servants than this. The baby sis is so blatantly obvious. No, this is going to be a friend of hers, or maybe even a lover. Whoever it is, it’ll come as a surprise and be completely unexpected. Now, get out! Find him or her! I’m going to the Club House for a massage.”
Spike was crossing through
“Hi, Spike! Are you patrolling this area? Should I head to Strawberry Fields, instead,” the Buffybot exclaimed, all chipper.
“What the hell you doin’ out here, ‘Bot? You know I’d prefer you staying in the mausoleum,” he sighed, annoyed.
“Spike, I can’t deny my Destiny! I have to battle the monster menaces of darkness. I am The Slayer.”
“I’m going to kill
“Spike!” The Buffybot yelled in agitation as her honey was tackled to the ground by a hulking Fyarl demon. Quickly checking her databank, she found that the thing was incredibly strong and could shoot out a paralyzing stream of snot. She rushed forward, giving the beast a side kick that knocked it completely off of Spike and sent the thing into a roll for several feet.
Behind a nearby tomb stood the group of five Glory minions, Grono, Gronx, Goru, Gren and the mute Guar. They watched as Buffy fought with the Fyarl they’d hired for two babies (not that they’d bother paying, of course, they’d just have Glory kill him if need be). They were intrigued by her vigorous defense of the friend known as Spike, but that didn’t mean he was the Key. They hung back and watched carefully.
Spike had just recovered when the Buffybot was slammed with a swinging forearm and sent crashing into him. The Fyarl soon followed, bellowing and hurling the usual assortment of threats.
“I’m sorry. I know you’re trying to communicate. But I don’t speak Fyarl.” The robot had sprung to her feet and was beginning to high-kick the demon while Spike finally was able to regain his feet. It felt like she’d fractured his left wrist when she’d collided with him, but it was nothing that a pint of blood and a half hour wouldn’t fix.
Anya was going through the nightly tally from her pile of sales receipts when she was interrupted by a knock at the front door. She had her mouth open to yell that the Magic Box was closed, but smiled when she saw Xander waiting to be let in.
Once he was inside, she expressed her surprise to see him. He followed her back to the counter where little slips of paper were spread on its surface.
“Well, I got bored hanging around the apartment. Besides, I don’t like you walking home at night, armed or not. I thought I’d take you out for pizza, if you want.”
“Well, that’s really sweet. I am hungry and I suppose that this can wait. It’s not like Giles will bother showing up before I can get things situated,” she snarked.
“Ahn, you know he’s busy with this Glory/Key/Knights thing. Buffy needs him right now.”
“Well, so does the store! I mean, if he wanted to go back to being a full time Watcher, then he should hire another hand around here.”
Xander held her coat for her as she slipped into it. He’d learned over the years to just listen to her rant; they were usually pretty short lived. Of course, he’d been her boyfriend then. Technically, he supposed, he shouldn’t have to entertain her fits anymore.
He made sure the door was locked behind him and then they proceeded toward ‘Donny’s’. There he hoped they could talk about something else. Mention of Glory or Giles or the Key (which they shouldn’t be talking about in public anyway) always made him think of the chilling thoughts that Hyena and Commando had regarding Dawn’s fate. It made Xan feel panicky and sick to remember that night when they’d been told her origins.
End Chapter 2