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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.
Battling with a God
Ch 9 – From Bad to Worse
That night was spent in a group sleepover, except for Giles and Willow, at Xander’s apartment. It was cramped, but they made due and worked to keep things light as if it was just a big sleepover. Spike had once again slept in Xander’s bedroom.
Xander himself, stayed with Anya in her room. He’d had to give her a dose of sedative around as she became upset. Mostly, she’d been trying to leave the apartment to ‘help her… she needs me’. But she also grabbed Dawn’s wrist and yelled that it was almost time for her to ‘do her part’, upsetting not just Dawn but Buffy as well.
Buffy and Dawn slept on the fold out sofa and
Breakfast was a somber and quiet affair. It was obvious by Anya’s ramblings that things were about to come to a head and no one was looking forward to the battle to come. After a while of glancing around at the others with nothing inspiring to say, Buffy finally gathered up Dawn and left for their house. She wanted to get some things packed before meeting Giles at the Magic Box to see what survived Glory’s tantrum that they could use.
She wasn’t very hopeful.
Tara chose to accompany her, if for no other reason than as moral support. She also had to swing by the hospital later and make sure that
The travel to Buffy’s home was slow as she made Tara drive a circuitous route there. She spent all of her time checking the side view mirror or looking out the back windows for any followers. In addition, when they did arrive,
“Don’t try to pack everything you own Dawn, just essentials,” Buffy stressed.
“We have to pack our conditioner, Buffy. Xander’s does nothing for my hair,” she grinned.
Buffy gave her a smile back, appreciating her sister’s attempt to lighten the mood.
“I would definitely include hair conditioner on the essentials list,” she nodded.
While Dawn and Tara were packing up clothes, Buffy went down the hallway to her own room. As she passed, she couldn’t help but stop in Joyce’s bedroom. It was still the way it looked on the day she died. There’d been no time and even less desire to sift through her personal belongings and pack or send them away. She closed her eyes and swallowed over the lump in her throat; she could still smell her mother’s perfume in the background air. Sighing, she closed the door and proceeded with the task at hand.
In his own apartment, Giles sat with a teapot at his elbow and the local paper in front of him. He’d been debating internally whether to pack the girls in his sports car for the drive to
As if by thinking Travers’ name, he’d cursed himself, the phone rang. On the other end was the devil himself.
“Mr. Giles, how are things against Glory? Do we have a plan of action, yet?”
“Quentin… I was actually going to call you, myself.”
“Then I’m glad I’ve reached you. Before we discuss anything else, the real reason I phoned was to let you know that the arrangements for Buffy’s stipend have been finalized. It wasn’t easy; the Board was not at all happy that I had agreed to this unprecedented action. However, in the end, their respect for me did carry the day. Her first…uh, allocation… should be available to her by the end of next week.”
“That is a relief, Quentin. And I do appreciate it, as I’m sure she shall,” Giles nodded into the phone.
“Well, why is it that you were going to call? Dawn wants a stipend too, now?”
“If only it were so trivial. No, I’m afraid that we may need to make a tactical retreat from the Hellmouth.”
“I see. Unfortunate… I take it that you’ve had no luck in retrieving the Key, either?”
“I’m afraid not. On the other hand, it appears no one has located it yet. It’s very possible it will remain hidden by Sunnydale’s aura until it is too late for Glory to make use of it,” Giles smoothly lied. He’d had a lot of practice over the decades in hiding things from the Council. It was a lesson that Wesley would have done well to learn much earlier.
“Quentin, Glory has stepped up her activity. I need to get the Slayer’s friends and family out of here. Since there is nothing that Buffy can do against this woman, it would be best if she were to come as well.”
“And the Hellmouth? It could be utilized while the Slayer is missing in action,” Quentin said. Giles could practically hear the scowl.
“Glory wouldn’t permit that. Strangely enough, she’s taken over the role of guardian by drastically cutting down the other members of the demon community here. Those who were smart have already vacated, as well. And once the Key is of no more use, I believe she will be more vulnerable. The powers of Destiny and Fate seem to be playing a role here.”
“I would agree. I’ve almost been convinced that something has been keeping us from being more effective in this area,” Quentin said.
Yes, I’m sure that’s the reason, Giles thought while rolling his eyes at the ceiling. Aloud he said, “So as you can see, it appears that something is working against the Slayer at this time. I believe the Powers are actively working to keep this device hidden so that even she cannot locate it.”
“At least Buffy is keeping her distracted, however.”
“As are the Knights,” Giles pointed out. “And they’ve been spotted again following Buffy. I believe her presence here is keeping them from focusing on their true goal… Glorificus.”
“Don’t you think, given their own devices, they might have success in finding this Key? The Watchers Council would be very displeased if this should happen. We want that item for our vaults, Rupert.”
You want it for the vaults, you arrogant, selfish egoist, Giles scowled. Maybe I should just tell him that we’re leaving and that is that! Or….
“Buffy could be convinced to stay behind and continue her campaign, Quentin. However, she’s distracted by her family being endangered.”
“Yes, she’s always spent far too much attention on trivialities around her. What do you suggest?”
“I wish to send the others to Nova Scotia. The coven there should be able to hide them from the Beast’s sight,” including Dawn who must be kept hidden at all costs. “I was hoping you could arrange for them to expect their arrival. Once they are out of the crosshairs, so to speak, I believe that Buffy can redouble her efforts to keep Glory off balance.”
“So be it,” Quentin agreed. “I will see to it. Good luck, Rupert.”
“To us all,” he concurred before silently adding, However, Buffy and I will also be leaving.
In the paper in front of him, he spotted the very type of vehicle they required. And it was only a thousand dollars. He chose to take it as a sign that the Powers did want Buffy out of harm’s away and immediately phoned the number in the ad.
Buffy stood over a small bag sitting on her bed. She was packing ‘essentials’ but had now paused as she stood holding a Claddagh ring of silver in a small jewelry box. It had been packed away since Angel had returned it to her following his return. They still didn’t know how he’d managed to escape the Hell she’d had to send him to. She continued to refuse to believe the First Evil had had anything to do with it. She knew that he wasn’t so sure.
She’d wondered often if she should wear the ring again, but then Riley had come along and she’d felt like she could get over Angel. She’d kept it locked away in her ‘mementos chest’ and figured she would take it out to look at it when she was an old woman. Not that Slayer’s made it that long, but she’d been optimistic back then.
The sound of Tara clearing her throat behind her broke her from her reflections and she finished setting the box down in her bag. She couldn’t imagine leaving it behind, no matter where she went.
“Almost done? I’ve managed to convince Dawn that she doesn’t have to have every single skirt in her closet,”
“It’s a Summers trait,” Buffy returned the grin. “I almost packed the micro skirts I haven’t worn in years. Honestly, we should be forced by law to have a once a year spring clean out of our closets under penalty of wearing bad hair for the rest of the year.”
“Is there any---”
Tara’s offer of help was abruptly interrupted by a high pitched scream. Less than a heartbeat later, they recognized Dawn’s voice and heavy footsteps coming up the stairs.
The Slayer met her sister at the top of the stairs. A man wearing non-descript clothing with a wool cap pulled down low over his head was standing over her shoulder. One of his hands was outstretched to grab the girl, while the other held a short and lethal looking dagger.
Buffy grabbed Dawn’s arm and flung her behind, depending on Tara to catch her. In the meantime, she snap-kicked out in front of her and caught the man in the face with the flat of her heel. His head snapped back, blood coursing down his face from his thoroughly broken nose. Tumbling backward, Buffy saw him hit two more men who were trying to rush up the stairs. All three went down in a tumble of arms and legs. Coming through the front door strode three more men, all dressed about the same. They were all armed with medieval looking weaponry.
“Tara, get back down the hallway,” she yelled.
The witch didn’t hesitate, dragging a panicked Dawn clutching her suitcase down the hall and into Buffy’s bedroom.
Buffy knocked another man, this one with a heavily studded mace, down the stairs to join his brethren. She thought she could keep this up all day while
“Slayer,” he shouted at her as he re-armed the bow. Ahead of him, two men slowly and cautiously started to climb the stairs side by side. Both were armed with daggers. “We want the Key!”
Damn, the Knights! Thanks a whole helluva lot, Travers!
“I don’t have the damned Key! What the hell do you think you’re doing barging into my home this way!?”
“Enough lies,” General Kossimo’s voice boomed up the stairwell. “Give us the phony sister and put an end to this warfare!”
Tara and Dawn heard the exchange from where they huddled in Buffy’s room. The witch was on her cell phone with Giles, relating what was happening. Dawn gasped audibly upon hearing that her secret was known to the men assaulting her home.
“Dawn… come on, Giles… hurry,” Tara beseeched before hanging up. She pushed Dawn toward Buffy’s window and glanced out. She couldn’t see any men, but had no doubt they’d be somewhere below in the yard… probably standing outside of the kitchen doors.
Well, I’ll deal with that in a minute, she thought as she struggled to quietly open the window. From the hallway, she could hear more sounds of Buffy fighting the Knights as best she could. It was obvious she was being pushed down the hall, however.
“Dawnie, go… lie face down on the roof so they can’t see you from the ground. And for God’s sake, be quiet,”
Tara turned away from Dawn, hoping the teen would just do as she said. In the meantime, she pulled out a vial of powder from her shirt pocket. She didn’t have a lot of supplies, but she always tried to carry something, especially these days.
As she opened the door to Buffy’s bedroom, she found the room’s owner barreling backward in an attempt to avoid another bolt as it shot past and broke out the hall window. Tara slammed the door shut and turned the lock, but she knew it wouldn’t last any time at all.
“Fulcio obex,” she muttered.
She helped Buffy up to her feet and then pointed her toward the open window, as she grabbed Buffy’s carry-all.
“We gotta go,” she said. “My barrier spell isn’t going to last long!”
Once outside of the window, Tara muttered another incantation. Buffy didn’t recognize the language, but when
Buffy hit a few more times and then took off at a sprint in the direction Tara and Dawn had gone. Right now, they’d be going three doors down an alleyway. Mrs. Trusk’s yard was fenceless, so they’d be able to cross it onto Revello and down to
Beside her another crossbow bolt thunked into the ground near her passing feet. She spared a glance behind her and heard bald guy with the shooter shouting at his men out of the upstairs window. Behind her were now eight Knights, all running around with weapons drawn in broad daylight. It was like a farcical film, except that they were too dangerous to laugh at.
As Buffy took the turn into the Trusk’s, she ran right past Tara. She skidded to a halt and was about to scream at
“Run,” Tara yelled as she barreled past Buffy. The Slayer didn’t need to be told twice.
Buffy’s cell phone started to ring. She waited until they were in
“Buffy? What’s going on! I’m nearing your home; where are you?”
“We got away, Giles! Stay away from the house!”
“Get to Xander’s; I’ll meet you there. Be ready to leave the moment I arrive! Have the gang ready,” Giles disconnected.
“Wow, Tara,” Buffy took a moment to sigh in relief. “What was that stuff?”
“Essence of stinkbug,” the witch snickered.
End Chapter 9