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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
Part 10 – Tactical Retreat or Escort Duty
When Giles’ pulled the quite used recreational vehicle into the apartment parking lot, the gang was waiting. Except for Spike, of course, who had to wait in the lobby. As soon as the door to the R.V. was open, he made a dash across the sunny expanse of tarmac, a smoking blanket held ineffectually over his head. Giles somehow managed to refrain from wishing he’d dropped it and been exposed.
Anya had barely been pushed down onto a seat in the back, when Giles floored it. Or tried to. The camper wasn’t meant to be a race car.
“Is everyone alright,” he asked the crowd.
“Where now,” Xander immediately said.
“Hospital,” Tara breathlessly suggested, “We can’t leave Will behind.”
As Giles turned a sharp corner onto Johnson Street they passed a Saturn going the opposite way crowded with five men. All of them were wearing wool caps.
In the meantime, Tara was on her cell and speaking to Willow.
Once Will, still looking awfully wan, was aboard Giles headed for the highway out of Sunnydale. Spike had packed up the spell books they’d had at Xander’s and Willow and Tara were busy brushing through them, looking for anything they could use to mask or defend their flight from town.
In the meantime, Xander sat on the floor, back against some cabinets and watching Anya. She was giggling into her hand and staring at Dawn, who tried her hardest to pretend she wasn’t noticing.
“We can’t get her back if we leave town,” Xander said. He wasn’t asking a question.
“We don’t know that,” Willow tried to be supportive, but sounded like she was, in fact, sure to him.
“I’m sorry, Xan,” Buffy said. “I don’t know what else to do.”
She felt the crushing guilt of failure and condemning Anya to a life of insaneness. It was hard to take the oppressive atmosphere and she got up and walked into the back bedroom of the camper. She shut the door and threw herself into a chair. Buffy hoped that the gang wouldn’t hate her for disrupting their life this way, but she feared they would… especially Xander. She knew how much he still cared for Anya, even if he was starting a new relationship with Spike.
Back around the table, Anya said in hushed tones, “Bunnies make soup when carrots grow.” This was followed by more laughing.
“Uh, would you like a sandwich or something,” Dawn asked her, really trying not to be unnerved. It wasn’t Anya’s fault she wasn’t making much sense.
“Little light twinkles and think it’s heard,” Anya giggled.
“Here, luv,” Spike said as he placed a box of fruit juice with straw in front of her.
Instead of accepting the juice however, Anya scowled.
“Dead killer thing,” she spat at him. “I won’t stay in the garden with a vermin-thing.”
Before anyone could stop her, Anya flung open the blinds that were covering the large window behind her. Sunlight streamed in across the table and landed directly on Spike’s hands with dramatic effect.
Almost immediately, Spike’s hands turned to a blistering red before even his reflexes could pull them away. Smoke steamed off of them and he howled in pain, throwing himself backward. He fell right into Xander, knocking him back to the floor where he’d been raising himself to help.
At the table, Dawn immediately grabbed one side of the blinds while Tara grabbed the other to get them closed while Spike tried to shield his head from the wavering rays of sunlight. It only took moments, but it was complicated by Anya screeching that she needed the light while fighting against them.
In the meantime, Dawn was able to get the blinds back in place while Xander was able to get Anya to calm down at least a little. First he took her wrists in his strong grip and forced her to look at him, before beginning a litany of nonsense words and comforting sounds. As if he were quieting a small child, he spoke low to her telling her to calm down and to be still. Finally, he reached out and stroked her hair across the small table until Anya lay her head down and began to weep quietly that the ‘Sun-Princess is trapped in the tower’.
He looked down at Spike who was still blowing on his lightly smoking hands. “Sorry, Spike… she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” he said.
“I know, luv. It’s not bad.”
“Here, let me see….” Xan took the pale fingers gently in his and gave the vampire’s hands a once over. “I think we have some burn ointment to take away the sting and I’ll wrap them for you in some loose gauze.”
“It’s no biggie, Xander, I’ll be fine.”
“Let me do this, please. Quit arguing when I want to help,” he smiled at Spike.
“If you two don’t do something about this UST, the whole camper’s going to blow,” Dawn smirked.
“Dawn!” Spike looked like he might tear her head off. Xander only looked mildly amused, while
“UST?” She looked between the three of them.
“Unresolved Sexual Tension,” Willow murmured, bringing a bright blush to the blonde’s face.
In the meantime Dawn was shrugging innocently at Spike. “What? I’ve gone through puberty, you know. I recognize sexual tension when I see it.”
“You’ll recognize that sort of thing when you’re thirty, and not a day younger,” Spike scowled, bringing a laugh from Dawn.
“I’m gonna go check on my sis,” she said as she walked by. Deliberately as she passed Spike, with Xander tending his hands, she loudly whispered, “Would you two just do it, already?”
When she’d closed the cheap door behind her, Dawn looked closely over her sister. She was worried about her. Slayer constitution or no, she looked exhausted and stressed. She was resting her head in the palm of one hand while the other was busy twirling the tail of her shirt. Her eyes were haggard looking and when she looked at Dawn, she appeared down.
Dawn took a seat on the small bed and idly wondered just how they were going to manage to all sleep in there. “Hey,” she said to break the silence.
“What’s the racket? Everything okay,” Buffy asked.
“Anya wanted to play with the sun. Spike objected. It’s okay, now.”
Buffy nodded and went back to twisting her shirt distractedly.
“I want to thank you, Buffy.”
“You know… basically everything. I’ve done nothing but turn your whole life upside down since I got here.”
“And don’t think I’ve forgiven you for that time you broke my watch in L.A., either,” Buffy gave her a small smile.
“I’m serious. You could have… when you found out I wasn’t r-real….”
“Hey. You’re as real as any of us. And you’re my sister.”
“I’m a ball of energy that got pressed into flesh. And they forced you to take care of me. But even when you found all of that out, you never made me feel any different. You and mom.”
“That’s ‘cause I love you. No matter how big a whiney pain you are,” Buffy grinned.
“You’ve just been jealous because my hair is way more pretty,” Dawn grinned back.
“Oh, pu-leeze… you’d kill for my hair.”
“Hah!” Dawn smiled before growing serious again. “I mean it though. You’ve been… a real hero.”
Buffy sighed. “Heroes don’t run away. I should be fighting.”
“You’re not running… you’re, uh, escorting me to safety.”
“I’m running ‘cause I don’t know what else to do. ‘Death is my gift’… how the heck was that supposed to help me? And now, Anya is going to pay for my cowardice.”
“Buffy… you’re not a coward. You’re one of the bravest people I will ever know. And she’s a god for, uh, God’s sake. What are you supposed to do?”
“I don’t know.”
End Chapter 10