Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and especially the Spanderverse series.Notes: Story number Nineteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Songs of Pain and Comfort”. 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! And THANK YOU JOSS and DH COMICS for Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall.
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.oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Battling with a God
Ch 1 – Personal Losses
Xander awoke with a start and looked around the darkened apartment. The only lights were coming from outside the large multi-paned window behind the couch he lay on and the flickering images from the television. He remembered now that he’d flipped the television onto Sci-Fi Channel and then lay down on the sofa. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, but it wasn’t a surprise he had.
Taking a quick look on the way to his bedroom, he saw it was a few minutes after ten. He frowned slightly as he opened the door to check on Spike. The vampire was still resting as far as he could see in the dark, his form was unmoving and his chest was still. He didn’t even stir a little as Xander shut the door behind him.
His frown deepened as he walked to the kitchen and hit the light. The apartment was really quiet and he’d expected to find Anya home by now. He looked at her bedroom door and hesitated a moment before crossing the dining area. He could guess that she might not want to talk to him right now, after he’d invited Spike to stay in their home for the foreseeable future. Still, they were going to have to talk about things sooner or later and he’d rather do it while he knew Spike wasn’t listening in on their conversation.
He knocked lightly on the door and called out her name. When there was no response, he considered she may have come home and promptly fallen asleep. They were all exhausted from being up all night and most of the day.
A breath later and he went ahead and opened her door. Peering into the gloom of the room, he saw the bed undisturbed from when she’d made it yesterday morning. His frown became a scowl. He didn’t know whether to be worried or angry. Either she was avoiding coming home just because Spike was here now, in which case he’d be pissed. Or something was wrong. The shop, even if she’d opened it which seemed unlikely considering she’d need the sleep, would have been closed an hour ago.
He crossed to the phone and dialed up the Magic Box. After six rings the machine picked up.
“You’ve reached the Magic Box,” Giles’ voice said. “And, uh, we’re not open at the moment. But we would really like to assist you with your magical needs.
Uh,” and at this time Xander was rolling his eyes; he’d need to talk to Giles about being a little more succinct.
“Uh, well, our opening hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 9 pm. Um, do stop by, won’t you?”
In the background, Anya could be heard, “Giles, tell them to leave a message!”
“Oh, yes, uh, you can also leave a message at the beep!”
The machine gave its tone and Xander’s mouth went dry. He wasn’t sure what was bothering him so much, but he had the feeling of wrongness. He wondered if it was an instinctual response from Hyena, maybe, but she was silent at the moment.
“Anya? It’s Xan… listen, I’m a bit worried ‘cause you haven’t come home. If you’re there, could you pick up?” The only response to his query was silence and then the machine beeped again letting him know he’d reached his time limit and it was hanging up.
A quick dial later and he was speaking to
“Not right now, Xan. She wanted to do a quick patrol, see if she could grab a minion of Glory’s for questioning. That’s why I’m here. Willow and I are watching Dawn while we go through some more magic books that Giles dropped off. I could let her know you called?”
“Do you think she remembered her cell? Anya didn’t come home and there’s no answer at the shop. I was kind of hoping she’d swing by there.”
“Oh, uh, maybe. You know, Anya may just wanted to, um, t-to not come home for a while.”
“I know. I just don’t know where else she could have gone and like I said, no one is answering at the Box. I’m going to try Buff’s cell. Thanks,
Buffy picked up on the second ring and Xander explained his concerns. After assuring her that he understood that Anya had probably just sacked out on one of the sofas, he asked her to check for him.
“No problem, Xander. I’m about twenty minutes away. I’ll have her call you when I find her. How’s Spike?”
“Resting. His face isn’t looking so bad; I think he’ll recover.”
Buffy sighed and Xander could tell by her tone when she spoke next that she was trying not to sound all judgey-like.
“Listen, Xan… we need to talk about, uh, you. And Spike. Uh…, you and Spike. Giles was really freaking in the car about vampire-human thralls and consorts and the human ending up dead or evil. I almost had to punch him out to get him not to go rushing to the apartment with a stake in one hand and a sermon for you in the other.”
“And what about you? Do I have your support, at least?”
“I have serious reservations. I mean, maxi-wig type reservations. But I also love you and I don’t believe Spike wants to hurt you or use you. On the other hand… I can’t stop thinking about what happened… me and Angel. You know?”
“Yeah, I know,” Xander nodded his head. “I kissed him.”
“What? Whoa… how did he react? Please tell me he kissed you back!”
That elicited a laugh from him. “Weren’t you just telling me there were maxi-wiggins going on? I thought I’d get an “I’m coming over there to douse your lips in holy water” from you.”
“Hey, I can be a hopeless romantic like any other girl. Besides…. Uh, have you talked to him, yet?”
“Not yet. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, and then I ran away.”
“Oh,” she said in a way that made him think she wanted to spill something.
“What? There’s something you want to say.”
“We’ll talk. But first, you need to find out what’s going on in Spike’s head. And don’t worry, Giles will chill out. I’ll call you back when I get to the Box; I’m running short of minutes for the month, again.”
Giles rolled over in bed at the insistent ring of the phone on the nightstand. He reached over to pick it up while rubbing at his eyes. The luminescent round face of his alarm clock told him it was . He wondered if it was the same day he’d fallen asleep or if he’d slept through yesterday. It had taken him forever to finally drift off as his mind was preoccupied with Xander’s ridiculous revelation.
Clearing his head, he answered the phone.
“Mr. Giles? This is Detective Richard Stein with the Sunnydale P.D. Are you the current owner of the ‘Magic Box’ store on
“Y-yes, I am. What is this about Detective?”
“I think you should come down here, sir. There’s been some trouble.”
“Trouble? W-what sort of trouble?”
“Sir, if you would,” the detective said patiently. “I think you should come down here. Do you happen to know a blonde who may have been an employee of yours?”
“Yes. Anya Jenkins, she runs the shop for me. Detective, please, what’s happened?”
“It appears perhaps a robbery. Or possibly just vandalism, but Ms. Jenkins is being loaded in an ambulance right now. She doesn’t appear physically hurt, but she’s obviously suffered a shock. I’m afraid your store has suffered some damage.”
“I-I-I’m on my way. Thank you, Detective.”
As soon as Giles hung up the phone, he immediately called Buffy to find that she was already headed that way. Next he phoned Xander.
“Look, Giles, if this is about Spike, can we just do it tomorrow?”
“Xander, go to the hospital,” he said, ignoring Xander’s opening. He would definitely be speaking to the boy about this foolishness, but there were more immediate concerns. “Anya is being taken there by ambulance. Something has happened at the store, I’m on my way over there now,” he said in a rush as he struggled to get his foot into one of his shoes.
“Oh, God. How bad? Do you know what happened?”
“Not yet. Just go and meet Anya at Sunnydale General. Buffy and I will be there as soon as we learn what’s happened tonight. I’ll take care of calling the girls at Buffy’s when I find out what we’re dealing with. Xander? The detective I spoke to said that Anya didn’t appear injured, just upset. Drive carefully. We’ll speak to you again, soon.”
When Rupert Giles arrived at the Magic Box, he found Buffy pacing in front of the store. The front door had been broken in, obviously, and there were currently multiple flashing lights from two police cars, an unmarked with a bubble light and a fire truck. Men were dragging a heavy looking hose out of the front of the shop and rolling it toward a ladder truck.
“Buffy…,” he started, but was interrupted.
“Mr. Giles? I’m Lieutenant Stein. I’ll be looking into this arson,” a balding man said. He looked vaguely familiar, but he was so non-descript, it was hard to know whether Giles had ever met him.
“Arson,” Giles questioned, while growing pale.
“Yes, there was a fire in the rear office area of the building. The fire chief says it looks like there was deliberate damage to the electrical box, but they’re obviously not done investigating yet. I’m afraid that much of the stock in your shop was smashed or otherwise damaged. Whoever did this, they were either looking for something, or they were angry about something. Do you have any ideas about who could have done this? Any angry patrons? Or people who didn’t appreciate a supernatural store being in town?”
During the entire exchange, Giles was uncomfortably aware that the detective had his attention mostly on Buffy. He knew that the Sunnydale police had had run-ins with her before, of course, due to Slayer business. He certainly hoped the detective wasn’t thinking Buffy could have been involved in this.
“No, we’ve had no problems since the store opened,” replied Giles. If you don’t count Glory, he added in his thoughts.
“Well, hopefully we’ll find some sort of clues once the fire chief gives our crime scene squad permission to enter. I know you want to get in and assess your losses, but I’ll have to ask you to stay out here beyond this point until I give you the word.” Detective Stein caught Buffy’s eyes and gave her a nod, “Ma’am.”
As soon as he was out of earshot, Giles took Buffy around the shoulder and walked her to the other side of the street. “Buffy?”
“I don’t know, Giles. He’s the same detective that I had to talk to when I thought I’d killed Ted, the robot. And what’s up with this ma’am garbage? Am I looking that old?!”
“What of Anya,” he sighed.
“I got to speak to her for a minute,” Buffy swallowed. “Giles…, she was… I think Glory got to her. She was like the other loonies in town. Talking nonsense… Xander is going to have a hard time with this. I should have been able to stop Glory by now! This is my fault.”
“No, it isn’t. It’s the Council and my failure to find an adequate means to stop her.”
“She’s going through us one by one, Giles. Spike, Anya… whose next?”
“Yes, her timetable must be growing short. From what I could see, they’ve torn apart nearly everything in the shop. Why the fire, however?”
“A warning. She’s letting me know she’s done playing games,” Buffy said. “I have to get to the hospital. Maybe there’s something I can do to help Xan.”
“I’m going to wait here.” Giles looked into the distance, thoughtfully. “Thankfully most of the spell books are at the apartment or with
“I’m not angry, Giles. I’m scared. It’s only a matter of time before she reaches Dawn. I’m surprised she hasn’t already and we’re still no closer to finding a way to stop this.”
Giles watched his Slayer as she began to walk away. To any observer he would have looked preoccupied and certainly worried. The police, firemen and gawkers couldn’t know what his mind was contemplating.
He just hoped that what he was considering wouldn’t end up causing suffering for the children.
End Chapter 1