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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 20 – The Dust Settles
Giles sat up in his binding field, clutching his head in both hands.
“No more inky eyes,”
“Does that mean we should let him out of the binding field,” Buffy asked. “Because it seems like a fitting punishment…, kinda like being grounded.”
“How much do you remember,”
“Uh… drowning in… something,” Giles said sheepishly. “Like being trapped in tar. But I do recall hurting Glory.” He didn’t sound very satisfied with himself. He checked his shoulder, but the wound from Glory’s was sealed shut in scar tissue.
I don’t remember doing that, he thought worriedly.
“And the building you destroyed,” Buffy said harshly, distracting him. “Hurting
The gang looked between Giles and Buffy. Her anger was palpable and the whole room was filled with an uncomfortable tension. Xander chose to avoid the scene in progress by bending down near Anya and stroking her hair. He hoped it looked less like ducking for cover and more like checking on her. He suddenly felt like he’d gotten caught between his father and mother during one of their drunken arguments about money… only worse.
“How many died in that condominium because of you,” Buffy raged.
“None,” he replied calmly, accepting her anger. “I held off long enough to evacuate the building. And, for the record, I made sure that Dawn wasn’t there before I began to fight Glory.”
Buffy blew out a harsh breath. The truth was that was exactly what she’d feared. That Dawn might have been trapped in Glory’s penthouse and Giles hadn’t cared. Still, it didn’t excuse the destruction nor the risk he’d put himself in.
“You could have died!”
“We all could die if Glory wins.”
“Exactly! And every time we’ve gone against her, she’s beaten us,” Buffy continued. “This lone wolf bullshit has got to end! The only way to get Dawn back is to work together.”
Buffy sighed, her anger deflated for the moment. “Giles, what would I have done if you’d had failed? If she’d killed you? I need you. I need all of you.”
“The forces I harnessed were very dangerous, obviously,” Giles said as he regained his feet still a little shakily. “I couldn’t risk the rest of you. I’m not even exactly sure how I’m still alive, to tell the truth. I was depending on the destruction of the building to kill both of us.”
“Well that’s just great,” Buffy raised her voice again. “One final going-out-in-a-blast-of-grandeur fight,” she said with contempt. “And then what? The rest of us are left to pick up the pieces? Don’t you think I’ve lost too many people as it is?”
“And you may lose more,” Giles yelled now. “All of us may be killed at any time. That is the price we accept for doing what we do. And this may not be over,” his voice softened. “If I survived, Glory may have as well.”
“That was some wicked power,”
“…That will not happen,” Giles said with such force that
She nodded meekly, but inside felt a little resentment. Everyone was always treating her like she was that bumbling experimenter in high school, still.
“So what do we do next,” Xander finally entered the conversation.
“W-willow has Spike getting her laptop,”
“Oh, uh, yeah…, we were getting the Orb,” she pointed to it lying on the floor where it had rolled during the commotion. “And we came across the robots. I thought I could do some quick program changes. It’ll be rough, but it should be simple to have them attack Glory or her goons… give us a diversion.”
“Thanks, Will,” Buffy said. “Not looking forward to my ‘twin’ again, but since this is for Dawn….”
“What about the hammer,” Xander asked. “It packed a pretty powerful blow when Olaf was swinging it around, judging by the damage I was going to replace in here if I ever got some free time.”
“We saw it,”
“I can lift it,” Buffy said. “Slayer thing. And I’m sure it’ll help. Good thinking, Xan.”
Behind him, Anya started to stir from her sleep and Xan again turned away from the group to see to her. She began to mumble about it’s being time, but no one but Xan was paying her much mind.
“Now we just need to know where to go,” Buffy said. “If Dawn wasn’t being held in the condominium, then where the hell would she be?”
“A locator spell won’t work,”
“Okay. We’ll need to let that sit for a minute, then. What do we have in regards to spells? Even if we can’t go all mojo on Glory with what we’ve got, you guys can keep her scab crew off of me.”
“There’s a lot of minor spells we can perform without any real rituals, ingredients or a lot of time,”
She was rubbing at her hand, though the cast made that difficult. It was starting to ache again and all of the pain relievers were left back in the wreck of the R.V.
“Then while you guys are taking on the baddies that leaves me to get Dawn and get out of there. If there’s one thing the Zeppo can do, it’s run,” Xander said lightheartedly. His clothes were soaked through by the downpour and he wanted nothing better than to run home for a hot shower and to change. But there was no time for luxuries so he kept his discomfort to himself. Hyena helped with that. She didn’t seem to mind being wet.
“Getting Dawn is the most important thing, Xan,” Buffy said with emphasis. “I’m depending on you. I’ll be too busy trying to keep Glory from interfering.”
In a construction office in an area currently being cleared for a series of small boutiques, Dawn sat hunched down in a chair. She was unrestrained, but there was a minion standing by the door who wouldn’t stop staring at her. He wore a look of awe and it gave her the creeps. Worse than that, was Glory, of course. The god wouldn’t shut her big yap.
“Oh, Dawnie…, you really had me fooled! I mean, I guess it wasn’t really you. I mean it’s not like you did the spell works, am I right? Still, I just gotta know… how long did you know you were exactly what I was looking for? In the hospital?”
Dawn pretended not to hear. Glory had asked her a few questions already about her sister, about the Scooby Gang and about Giles, especially. Apparently he’d done something to annoy her, but she wasn’t big with the details. She hadn’t answered those either and Her Skankiness ended up prattling on, seemingly not interested in if Dawn talked to her or not.
“Oh, what’s the matter, munchkin? Not doing a lot of socializing here.”
“Your creepy, scabby guy keeps staring at me. It’s freaking me out,” Dawn said. It was all she had to say.
“Oh… sweetie! He’s just pleased to see you, that’s all. The Key is a big deal, you know? Granier, honey, why don’t you wait outside,” obviously this wasn’t just a request.
“There. Is that better, Dawnikins?”
“Don’t call me that. My name is Dawn,” she glared at Glory.
“Oh…,” Glory issued a small laugh. “Well, then, excuse me. Wouldn’t want to insult the Key,” she muttered.
“I’m not a Key. I’m a girl. And you’re a bitch.”
Glory’s features hardened and she gave Dawn a hard glare. Stomping across the room, she looked down into the fake girl’s eyes.
“I’m a God. Your God, in fact.”
“No you’re not,” Dawn held her ground, fists clenched as tight as her jaw.
“You know something, Key, you’re starting to irritate me. And I’ve been irritated a lot already, lately.”
“So, what are you going to do, ground me? You know you can’t hurt me… not yet,” Dawn said full of bravado. She thought that Spike would be proud of her. “And my sister is going to kick your ass long before you can open your stupid gate.”
Glory laughed again, but it wasn’t mirthful. She looked like she’d just been insulted and Dawn was a little nervous. She wouldn’t show it, though, she vowed. Spike had suffered a lot more than her ramblings and Dawn was determined to be as brave as he’d been.
“Oh, sweetie…, sweetie…, sweetie,” Glory intoned in a way that made shivers run up Dawn’s spine. She reached out before the girl could move and with a deft movement of fingers easily snapped one of Dawn’s fingers like a thin twig. Dawn screamed and immediately started crying.
“So, you see my Key; I can hurt you as much as I want. As long as I don’t start spilling your blood and guts, or sucking your frickin’ brain. Huh? That’s actually kind of ironic,” Glory looked thoughtful. “If Buffy and her little merry band had just let me suck you dry in the hospital, the world would be safe and sound and I’d have been stopped right there.”
She met Dawn’s watering eyes as the girl… the Key… held its fake hand. She was pale with pain and looked like she might want to upchuck.
“Maybe that’s why Buffy hasn’t been in a rush to get here, eh, ‘Dawnikins’? I’m betting Buffy knows the only way to stop me for good, is to spill a little Key-blood of her own. See, honey, the sooner sis stops that racing, little heartbeat of yours, the sooner everything will stop. And now that the sleazy old guy has bought the farm…?”
“What can I say Sweet-cheeks? He shouldn’t have tried to take on a God. Poor little Buffy is down to one option left. And really, you weren’t ever truly her sister, now were you? I’ll just let you sit here for a bit and think about that.”
“I have to give it to ‘em, though,” she laughed over her shoulder on the way out, “They almost saved your life, Dawnikins.”
Dawn bent at the waist and tried not to barf after Glory left the makeshift room. Her hand hurt so much and her finger was bent awkwardly… how could Spike have stood it? How could he have not turned her in after what Glory had done? And why was she being so damned weak?
She tried to stop crying, but between the pain and the fear, now that she’d started it wouldn’t stop. She’d wanted to be brave, but she was just a teenager and Glory was going to kill her.
End Chapter 20