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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 11 – Closing In
While Buffy and Dawn spoke in the tiny bedroom, Xander was finishing bandaging Spike’s hands.
Xand gave Spike a grin and then left him to go up to the front of the R.V. with Giles.
“Any idea where we’re going? Or when we’re going to be able to stop for food? We don’t have any blood on board for the handsome leech.”
“Yes on the first, no on the second,” Giles gave a weary smile. “I’m afraid we can’t stop until absolutely necessary. We’re about to cross the Sunnydale city limit… soon after that, I’m afraid our adversaries will be able to sense the Key’s presence.”
“I kinda wish we’d had time to stop off and steal another rocket launcher… or you know, maybe a tank.”
“Perhaps if Riley were here, he could have requisitioned a gun-copter,” Giles suggested.
“Or an ICBM… who needs Southern Cali, anyway?”
“How is Anya… and Spike?”
“Calm… and slightly singed.”
“I suppose we’re lucky he wasn’t hurt worse,” Giles said unconvincingly.
“I know you don’t approve… of what I told you about. Me and Spike… I get that. He’s a vampire and I’m not; or is it more than that? Is the guy/guy thing freaking you out, ‘cause I went through that, too. So, you know… I would get that, too.”
“No, of course I’m not ‘freaked out’. I don’t wish you to think that I’m trying to be your…, uh… your father, Xander. But I do feel the need to express my concern with any… tryst… you may be considering with Spike,” Giles glanced at him before turning his attention again straight ahead.
“Giles, you’ve done more for me in five short years than my dad did for me in nineteen. And I respect you about five hundred percent more.”
“Then, with that respect in mind, I must ask you to please consider very carefully what you’re planning on doing. Xander, I know that Spike can seem very human in his reactions, but he’s not. Uh, human, that is.”
“I know. And I know why you’re worried… I was there during Angelus, too. But Spike isn’t like that.”
“Not on the surface, no. But these things tend not to go well in the long run. I don’t want to see you hurt, or worse.”
“He can’t hurt me, Giles. He’s chipped still. Why does everyone keep forgetting that when it’s convenient,” Xander complained, exasperated.
“We don’t know that,” Giles emphasized. “We only know that he can’t attack people. We don’t know anything about this chip… how it’s programmed, how it decides whether he’s becoming aggressive or not. We don’t know if it is triggered by him, or if the chip somehow senses fear in a person when they are about to be bitten.”
Giles took a breath and swallowed. Then he drove on with his real concern. It was an uncomfortable topic and he hadn’t ever expected to be having this conversation once Angel had left for
“You’re saying… you’re worried that if I want to be bitten, Spike may be able to do it? And that you’re afraid I’m gonna want him to? Eew, gross!”
“Is it, Xander? You’ve already given him a taste for your blood, now. Do you think every vampire-mortal pairing has started immediately like Riley’s error in judgment? No, the vampire seduces it’s… consort… partner… whatever term you wish. The ultimate victim starts out as a willing participant, wondering what it would be like… er, wanting to make their… uh… their l-lover happy. And then the vampire wants more and more, until one day it’s too much. I don’t wish to see that happen to you. And the draw of immortality can be very seductive in its own right, even being aware that it won’t be you. Plus the gypsy curse must make it seem even more possible to cheat eventual old age and death.”
“I am not going to be feeding Spike from my vein, Giles. That was a one time emergency thing.”
“And how many more times will he be injured,” Giles wanted to know. “We live dangerous lives. And Spike is going to be fighting others who wish to usurp his status whether he fights for the Slayer or not. He’s going to get hurt, sometimes badly. How often are you going to be willing to let him feed from you? How can you not if he seems in a bad way? I’m not saying that Spike would intentionally wish to hurt you, Xander. There have been vampires who truly do seem to form an emotional, financial or political attachment to their human partners and don’t mean to kill them. But it always ends the same way… death or worse.”
“I’ll remember to be careful, Giles. And the others will be watching me like a hawk for signs that I’m letting him nibble. Believe me, I’m not looking to be dead… or undeaded by him. But I can’t just walk away from this without exploring it.”
“Just proceed slowly and with care,” Giles sighed in defeat. “And if you believe you’re becoming in trouble, I want you to know you can always turn to me. I won’t judge you; I’ll only be there to assist you.”
“You do realize that he’s probably listened in to this entire conversation, don’t you,” Xander quirked a brow.
“Well, I certainly hope so! I don’t want to have to repeat this whole thing again. And I hope he’s hearing me when I say that if he hurts you, I won’t waste a minute in beheading him.”
Spike sat abashed at the table dealing out a game of solitaire and trying to ignore Anya’s occasional glares. Was she glaring because some part of her remembered that he’d ‘stolen’ Xan, or was it just that he was undead? Who bloody knew? But, of course, he’d been listening to at least most of Giles’ rant up front. Maybe if he pretended otherwise, Xander would buy it.
The Watcher was wrong. He wasn’t looking to feed on Xan or make him into some sort of half-arsed convert to the vampire lifestyle.
At least that’s what Spike told himself. But a deep inner voice had to wonder just how this could work in any other way? Would he really be able to watch Xander’s broken body take its last painful gasps and expire? Could he watch the ravages of age take him away wrinkle by crease?
Spike told the inner voice to shut the hell up and played the two of spades on top of the ace.
“Here’s something,” Willow said, breaking into his morbid thoughts.
“What? Let’s see, sweetie,”
Spike smiled just a bit when he saw one girl’s fingers twine around the other’s. He tried to picture him and Xander touching like that and wondered if he was capable of that sort of affection. And if he wasn’t, could Xander live without it?
“Well, it’s a pretty powerful barrier… oh, wait. Damn it, we can’t be moving when it’s cast,” she sighed.
“Well, keep that page marked anyway,” Tara said. “We may end up needing it. All I’ve come up with for masking agents is smoke to the face, temporary blindness… here’s summoning birds or butterflies to hover in somebody’s face….”
Next to her, Anya giggled, “Butterflies….” she whispered before laughing again.
“You like butterflies, Anya,” she asked the other woman with a smile. “They’re very pretty aren’t they?”
“Butterflies on toast….” Anya said before going back to coloring.
Tara sighed and turned her attention back to Willow. “Everything so far is more for close up and personal. Nothing to just turn Dawn into inviso-girl.”
“It’s probably why the monks used the Hellmouth to shield her,” Spike offered. He wished he could be of more use. Dawn needed him and he couldn’t do anything for her. He couldn’t cast spells, he was useless when it came to trying to beat on Glory and he’d be quickly rendered into an unconscious lump the moment he tried to fight off the Knights. He suddenly wondered just what he was doing here anyway, other than making them all have to worry about securing blood for him later.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t just pack up a purse full of Hellmouth energy to use,” Tara said.
“Shit,” Willow said next to her, the look in her eye distant.
“Honey?” “Red?” Her two lucid companions questioned at once.
“We’ve just left the Hellmouth’s range,” Willow said worriedly.
Gregor stood in the living room of the Summers’ home in a foul mood. Despite the alleged training of the warriors with him, the Slayer had escaped. And more to the point, she’d taken the Key with her. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply in an attempt to gain a hold of his anger; throwing a tantrum wouldn’t help anyone at this point. Best to wait quietly until their search was complete.
Around him, the house was in disarray as drawers were yanked open and emptied. A weapon’s chest in the living room and what must have been the Slayer’s bedroom were tipped over. And closets and storage bins were emptied of their contents as men looked for any sign of what the Slayer’s plans were.
When he opened his eyes, Orlando was standing nervously before him.
“Progress,” he asked.
“Not much, sir. We did locate the Key’s ‘diary’ confirming her identity. Mostly it just contained the usual young teen complaining. It appears that she only found out what she really was recently.”
“Anything like that in the Slayer’s room?”
“I’m afraid not. Perhaps the Watcher’s apartment would be more helpful,”
“Our next stop,” the General confirmed.
Sandor, who’d been standing quietly next to Gregor the entire time suddenly gasped and put his hands to his stomach. It immediately drew Elias from the kitchen.
“What is it,” Gregor asked.
“There’s been a change. I can feel the emanations of the Key. Elias! Quickly! We must form a meditative trance to pinpoint its location before it fades!”
As the two mystics began their chant to reach synchronization with each other, Gregor grabbed Dean Stabbler. “Report back to base camp. Break out the heavy gear and get those rented horses dressed for battle. We’re finally going to put an end to this today!”
In Glory’s penthouse, the scabby-skinned sycophants were in a tizzy of activity. Mostly this involved berating each other for not having forced Ben to be here. Now that Grono and Ginx had confirmed that the Key was sending out its siren signal, they had no idea where Her Most Luscious’ human prison was wandering. Granier had already rushed to the hospital to retrieve the minion on Ben watch, but the human had never showed.
“We should, uh, steal transportation or something and retrieve the Key ourselves for her Most Blinding Light,” Guev suggested.
“And face the Slayer again,” Ginx asked skeptically. “And her mighty warriors?”
“Ginx is right,” Guar was quick to say. “Glory must retrieve the Key from so fearsome a force.”
“Then we must find her,” more than one voice lamented in the din of argument. They began to uselessly hit their summoning jewels in their sleeves, hoping to call Glory to come home.
Ben was outside of Sunnydale and heading south toward the Mexican border. He hadn’t wanted to risk returning to Glory’s for his things, so he only had the clothes he currently wore. In the back seat was a newly purchased backpack filled with bottled water. He felt elation mixed with fear and both was producing enough adrenaline to force sweat from his pours.
I’m really going to do it! I’m really breaking free….
Good old Sis was going to be so pissed when she next appeared, only to find herself lost in an Amazon village and way too late to do anything with her portal home. Ben grinned to himself. He’d have to write a letter and address it to his ‘twin’ to read when he had a chance. He wanted her to know that she’d failed and it was because of him.
Ben banged his hands on the steering wheel and whooped with laughter. And that’s when the tire blew out and the car swerved off the road.
No…, no! This isn’t happening; this can not be happening!
He looked up into the mid day sun streaming down and silently cursed at whatever dark hand was working against him. Grabbing the backpack, he abandoned the car where it sat and continued walking south. He looked for any cars headed his way so he could hitch a ride, but of course, the road was eerily deserted at the moment.
He was just drinking some of the still cool water from one of the bottles when a tremor went through his whole body. The world had seemed to tip just slightly to his perceptions, but it had stopped before he did more than stumble a step.
Now what, he thought with worry. He tried to continue walking south, but his legs refused to move and his eyes began to blur.
Before he had time to do more than begin the rant that he wanted to scream, Glory stood in his place.
Where the hell am I?
“Okay, okay… I hear you damn it,” she complained aloud to the ringing chimes she heard in her head. It sounded like every one of the munchkins was laying on those stupid gemstones.
If I get back to my penthouse, and this is nothing…. she thought darkly as she began to trudge in the direction of the summoning signal in her head. What the fuck was Benny doing out here?
End Chapter 11