harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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Chapter 3

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.

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Battling with a God

Ch 3 – The Quiet After

 

Giles awoke on the floor of his bedroom and coughed up bile. Outside the sun shone gaily down as it usually did in California, but its light didn’t seem to make it within the room. He struggled to sit up and noted the dark grimoire’s position; still on the now faded and grimy looking bedspread.

 

Taking a moment, he flexed the numbness from his fingers and then grabbed the text and shoved it back into its guarded chest. As soon as the lid on the chest was closed and the magical protections re-activated, the room around Giles seemed to brighten. Suddenly the morning sun was too bright and he stumbled out of his room feeling as if he’d spent the night drinking heavily. He made his way to the coffee pot and tried to forget what he’d almost resorted to. The Council would have his hide if they knew what he kept hidden and what he’d been considering using to battle Glory. That is, if Buffy left anything after she got done with him. He self-consciously looked back in the direction of the bedroom and shivered.

 

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“Rise and shine, unholy undead,” Xander came banging into his bedroom. Spike opened his eyes and glared. Not bad, Xan thought, I can actually see his facial expressions, again.

 

“Should I bother asking why the Scoobies can’t get it through their heads that its bedtime for us vamps? Or is it some sort of white-hat brain deficiency?”

 

“Now, now, Grumpy; I come bearing gifts. We have a little human blood, my own so you know it’s good,” he smirked. “Plus, a bowl of Frosted Flakes. I brought you a glass of milk. You can either drink it, or pour it over the cereal. I didn’t know if you were going to ‘add texture’ to your blood this morning.”

 

He approached the bed and set down the tray of food items. He then lifted the lower part of the blanket covering Spike and looked over the abused leg.

 

“Looks a lot better… still a lot of bruising, but it’s almost back to its normal size.”

 

“Thank you, Nurse,” Spike said facetiously.

 

“What’s up, Fangs? You seem bad-moody toward someone that has, after all, let you use their bed and taken care to see that you get the red stuff. And what the hell were doing in here last night? Nice way to destroy my bed linen, you ass.”

 

“Sorry. I don’t think I slept well last night. I remember….” Spike frowned and shook his head. He didn’t remember anything, actually. But he had the impression of blood and darkness and, especially, violence. He must have been down memory lane while he dreamed.

 

“You seemed to sleep fine to me,” Xander commented. “In fact, you were sleeping the sleep of the dead.”

 

“Hah and hah. Why’re you up so early? Problems at the site?”

 

“No, there’s been trouble. Last night, uh, while you were out, Glory stopped by the shop,” Xander said, swallowing over the lump in his throat. “Anya was there.”

 

“Demon girl okay?”

 

“No,” Xander nearly whispered, before clearing his throat. The lump that had been there all morning suddenly felt like a boulder. “No, I’m afraid not. Glory must have…. Anya’s… confused, Spike. Like the other people that she’s brain sucked. The hospital held her overnight and is going to give her a psych consult this morning.”

 

“Xan… I’m sorry. I mean that. It’s a cruel thing to do to a body, taking their sanity from them.”

 

“Anyway, I need to do some things at the site so I can run over to the hospital later and pick her up.”

 

“Will they release her,” Spike asked as he poured his milk over the cereal Xander had brought in. “I figured they’d want to keep her in the nut—uh, in the ward, there.”

 

“Oh, they’ll release her, one way or another. Look, I gotta run but see if you can get up and move around later. Let’s see how much healing you’ve done. How’s the wrist, by the way?”

 

“Still broke, but it shouldn’t be but a few days and I’ll be right as rain.”

 

“Okay… so, uh, there’s still blood left in the fridge if you get hungry later. I’ll try to get by here sometime around lunch. I’m not sure where I’m going to take Anya while I’m working.”

 

“Don’t sweat it,” Spike said, looking over Xander curiously. “I can make do. Will probably be sleeping mostly, anyway…, still a night creature, after all.”

 

Xander smiled and told him he’d bring Chinese home for dinner then turned and left the apartment. Spike mulled over the day before while eating.

 

So - no mention then about the kiss. No mention either of just how long he thinks I’m staying here. He scoffed to himself, No mention of anything, really. Except Anya….

 

Glory must be getting pissy; first me and now the demon-bint. And now Xan’s going to have to focus on taking care of her… bad timing. Probably not the best time to talk about what he did or what he was thinking, then. Damn it.

 

He wondered briefly if maybe Anya had faked her attack, maybe to keep Xander from focusing on him, instead. It was only for a moment before he scowled at himself in disgust. That’s demon thinking. She’s a Scoob, like I’ve apparently become when I wasn’t lookin’. I gotta make sure I help Xan with seeing to her… make sure he realizes I’m on his side.

 

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Tara was busy brushing out her long hair following returning to the room from brushing her teeth. They’d returned to the dorm from Buffy’s late and despite feeling like she could kill for a cup of coffee, there wasn’t time to brew any. In bed, Willow lay undressed still and perusing a large manuscript. She looked over at the red head with curiosity.

 

“Will? You better get moving if you’re going to make Drama class.”

 

“Not going. There’s too much to do,” she replied distractedly.

 

“I know you feel badly over what’s happened, Willow. So do I, but Buffy and Giles said we should stick to routine as much as possible,” she sighed. She didn’t really see the point in classes right now either, not after what had happened to Anya. Who knew where Glory would strike next? Although, Giles seemed to think they were safer in a public place than they’d be in the privacy of their homes.

 

“Don’t care. I’m gonna find a way to hurt that bitch,” Willow said with vehemence.

 

“What are you looking at?”

 

“The Dark Tome of Shaarad Doom,” she replied, not looking up.

 

Willow?!”

 

The red head snapped up with Willow wide eyed and guilty looking. She’d answered automatically and without thinking. She’d forgotten that Tara didn’t know she’d snuck that volume away from Giles when he was distracted several months ago. She couldn’t believe she’d forgotten to keep it hidden until the other witch had gone to class or that she’d gotten so caught up that she’d blown what she’d done without thinking.

 

“How did you get that?” Tara was frowning worriedly, “You know Giles doesn’t want us to risk pouring over the Black Chronicles without his supervision!”

 

“W-well…, I mean, I’m powerful enough to handle it. Besides, I’m not casting anything, I’m just reading. There has to be something here we can use. Giles is just a worry-wart.”

 

“For good reason! Willow, some of those texts can cause damage to a person’s psyche just reading them. You could hurt yourself.”

 

“They can hurt regular people! I know what I’m doing,” Willow insisted. She was getting more than a little tired of Tara’s attitude toward dark magic. Sure it was riskier than all that healing-mother-earth-Wiccan-goodness crap, but Glory wasn’t going to be defeated with a few colorful rainbows thrown at her.

 

“Really,” Tara continued doubtfully. “Because it looks to me like you’re stealing, lying and playing with forces you have no respect for.”

 

“God, Tara, why are you being so bitchy about this? Glory is hurting our friends… or at least mine. I thought they were yours, too.”

 

“Don’t try to lay that on me; you know I love the gang. I’d do anything to help them. But delving into black magic with so little experience isn’t going to bring Anya back. And you could make things a lot worse for all of us! I’m calling Giles,” Tara said, walking over to the phone in their room.

 

“Interventus,” Willow intoned under her breath as Tara picked up the handset.

 

Tara frowned when she didn’t receive a dial tone. She hung up the phone and tried again then slammed it down in frustration.

 

“The stupid phone is out again. For as much as we pay to room here, we should really have better phone service than this.”

 

“Tara, please don’t run to Giles,” Willow said quickly. Tara still had her cell phone after all and Willow didn’t have time to follow the blonde around all day. “I’m sorry. I just want to help Buffy. I want to get Anya back…, I can’t stand thinking of her being locked away in the hospital.”

 

Tara sighed and looked at Willow full of sympathy. “I know, Will. I want to help Anya, too, and we will. But we’ll do it with White Magic.” She looked at the slim watch she wore on one wrist. “Darn, I’m going to be late if I don’t go. Please promise me you’ll stop reading that book until we talk to Giles, together? I’ve got two hours between my first and second classes; I can come back here and look over my own spell books for a way to reverse what Glory did, okay?”

 

“Okay,” Willow said with a firm nod as she closed the book and set it down on the floor at the side of the bed. “I’m sorry I acted all snippy-gal, especially that bitca comment.”

 

Tara went over to the red head and kissed her deeply. When she drew away she gave her a small smile. “It’s okay. We’re all tired and stressed and scared. I’m sorry if I yelled. It’s only ‘cause I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you. You’ve so much power, Willow. I just want you to be careful about how you use it, that’s all.”

 

“I know. And I know sometimes I kind of act before I think. I better hurry to the shower before I’m late, too,” she said, getting up from the bed and rushing to gather a towel and soap along with her robe. She added another kiss to Tara’s lips and wished her a good day.

 

Once Tara had rushed out, Willow put down her items and threw on an old pair of sweats. She returned to the bed. Glancing nervously at the door, as if she expected Tara to double check on her, she picked up the book again. Opening to the page she’d left off on, Willow climbed back onto the mattress and went back to what she was doing.

 

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“I just need your signature here, here and then right down here with today’s date,” the nurse said as she handed the gentleman her pen.

 

Orlando Montessi signed the form in triplicate where the woman asked as his eyes kept roaming from the papers to Dante Papillion. His brother in arms looked around complacently with a disturbingly vapid smile playing on his lips. He seemed to be especially enamored of the nurse’s dark brown hair and kept pawing the air toward it. Antonio Mercado kept grabbing his wrist and pushing the offending hand down. The nurse only smiled benignly at their stricken comrade, projecting the air of the professionally patient.

 

“We’re grateful for the care you’ve shown our friend,” Orlando said. “I’m sure if his parents were here, they’d also express their gratitude.”

 

“Oh, not at all,” she blushed. “Mr. Papillion has been a model patient. I’m just sorry that his vacation here was cut short by this unfortunate event.”

 

Once they’d spent a few more minutes on pleasantries, the Knights of Byzantium walked their stricken outdoors and to their waiting rental car. Dante squinted into the morning sun and giggled to himself as he watched the bees go about their business in the flower bed near where they’d parked.

 

“Come along Dante,” Antonio urged, getting him settled into the vehicle. “The General will be glad to have you back.”

 

“I’d like to have him back, too,” Orlando replied angrily. “The Beast should have just killed him, then leave him in this state.”

 

“Maybe the clerics can help him.”

 

“Maybe. General Kossimo doesn’t seem to put much stock in them, however. And with good reason from what I’ve seen,” he got into the driver’s seat.

 

Continuing his thought once the vehicle was moving, he said, “The only thing we can do to honor Dante’s sacrifice now is to destroy the Key.”

 

“Hee-hee-hee,” Dante giggled. “Pretty little Key, maiden in a row.”

 

“W-what was that,” Antonio said from the back seat. “Dante, what do you know of the Key?”

 

“It’s pretty. Pretty, pretty, green light with brown hair. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty…,” he continued chanting to himself as he began to rock back and forth.

 

“Dante?! Are you saying you’ve seen the Key? That it’s a person,” Orlando excitedly asked. But Dante had slipped away, rocking back and forth in the back seat and chanting a non-stop litany of ‘pretty, pretty, pretty’.

 

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A knocking at the door awoke Spike from another round of sleeping. A quick glance at Xander’s alarm clock revealed it was nearly eleven. He lay back against the pillows and closed his eyes when the banging at the door intensified.

 

“Oi! Alright, alright,” he moaned as he struggled into a standing position. The knee he’d been worried about held, but it sent shooting pains up and down his frame.

 

A third round of knocking came as he was limping toward the apartment’s door. “Yes, yes, alright! Sick man recuperating in here,” he yelled at the door. In voce sotto he added, “If this is a paperboy I’m biting him, chip or no chip.”

 

Opening the door revealed Buffy and Dawn. On seeing him, the Bit suddenly looked stricken and he gave her a smile to show it wasn’t as bad as it might have looked. Not having the benefits of a mirror, he didn’t realize that fully half of his face was as dark as a ripe plum. Around the edges of the contiguous bruise, greenish-yellow haloed it. He looked awful even though he was feeling ninety percent better than the day before.

 

“Hey, Spike,” Buffy said in greeting. “Sorry about waking you, again. But I want to be with Xander at the hospital. I was gonna take Dawn to the shop, but Giles said he’s feeling a little under the weather. I guess he’s trying to put off dealing with all the damage there. Do you think she could stay here for a while?”

 

“I want to go to the hospital,” Dawn said. From the tone in her voice and by Buffy’s expression, Spike could guess they’d been having this argument all morning.

 

“We talked about this, Dawn. You’ll help Anya… lots, but right now I need you to cooperate.”

 

“Isn’t there school,” Spike asked.

 

“I can’t risk leaving her alone there. Not with Glory suddenly getting so aggressive,” Buffy looked worried. “Look, Spike, if this is a problem….”

 

“No, no problem,” Spike assured her. “Just curious. Thought we were concerned with ‘following the routine’ is all. If things change, it’d be nice if I got included in the memo.”

 

“Well, Giles thinks we should be routining. I think he’s wrong. As Dawn’s guardian, I have veto power and I want her where I think she’s safer. Right now, that’s with you.”

 

“I’ll try to stay out of your way,” Dawn said morosely.

 

“Not a problem,” Spike again assured them. “You’re always welcome to hang out with me, Half-Pint, you know that.”

 

Dawn sighed as she walked to the guest bathroom. This left Spike looking at Buffy with one of his eyebrows in the air. It was nice he could manage it, he thought, since it proved that the swelling had gone down significantly. And again, it wasn’t exactly something he could see for himself.

 

“She feels responsible for…,” Buffy said quietly, using her hand to indicate his face. “I tried to tell her it’s not her fault, but if you were protecting me, I’d guess I’d feel the same guilt.”

 

“The Slayer feeling guilt for a few bruises to a vampire,” Spike questioned with a smirk. He needed to lighten the mood with one Summers sister before he could deal with the other.

 

“For like, a fraction of a fraction of a second,” she smiled at him. “Maybe.”

 

“I’ll talk to her. You’d better get moving,” Spike said. “I’ll take a look through Xander’s fridge and see if there’s anything for her that isn’t growing mold.”

 

“Thanks, Spike.”

 

“I’ve been told I’m a Scooby now. If I understand things, it’s like my duty now, yeah? Doesn’t need thanking for. Especially since I feel like I owe you one for not staking me when I blurted out this infatuation with Xan I suddenly have.”

 

“Which you still need to talk to him about, am I right?”

 

“Later. He’s going to have his hands full with Anya. If you see the witches, tell ‘em to stop by with their spell books. I’ll help them sift through the possibilities.”

 

“You know,” Buffy said, “If you’re not careful, your rep as a bad-ass killer-demon is going to be shot.”

 

Spike grunted, “There are worse fates.”

 

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End Chapter 3

 

Tags: battling with a god, btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, spander, spanderverse
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