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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 23 – Listening to Anya
Buffy came downstairs ten minutes after she’d gone up. She was changed into loose fitting cargo pants and a top that allowed her maximum freedom of movement. In her hands were Mr. Pointy and a set of clothing, presumably for April.
“Don’t think the stake’s going to be useful,” Spike pointed out. His arms were laden with hand axes.
“I’m not planning on using it,” she said. “We need to make a stop on our way back. It’ll be quick.”
“It’s getting late,” Spike pointed out. “We should get this show on the road before the sun comes out and I’m forced from the fight.”
“It’ll just be a minute. I need to do something.”
Dawn backed away, Ben behind her with an arm around her chest. In front of them, three of the damned Glory-butt kissers were creeping forward.
“Sir, we really need to be going. It’s nearly time to begin,” Ginx pleaded.
“Get away from us,” Ben glowered.
“Sir, please…,” Granier begged. Time was so short and he wanted to go home nearly as badly as Glorificus the Mighty One did.
“Don’t worry Dawn,” Ben said, “They won’t dare hurt either one of us.”
“If we don’t begin the anointing in the next hour, all will be for naught,” Ginx whined.
From behind Dawn, Ben shivered, temporarily releasing her. She spun around when she heard him grunt, worrying that he’d run into something behind them. Unfortunately, it was still Sunnydale and vampires could still be sneaking around the shadows. Instead she found herself facing Glory, her face falling in defeat. She knew immediately that poor Ben had been forced to go away again.
“Don’t hurt her,” Glory menaced, surprising her. “She’s just a little girl!”
The three minions stood sharing wide eyed glances with each other.
“Your Most Divine,” Ginx said gently, “We must get back to the tower to start your ritual. To, uh, to go home, remember?”
“Y-yeah… yeah, I… what the hell did I almost do?!”
She sounded more like her old self and Dawn’s rising spirits again fell. Glory’s hard hand fell on her shoulder with a painful grip and she bit her lip to keep from gasping in pain. She wanted to show these bastards that she could be strong.
“Benji is starting to really screw up my brain,” Glory complained. “And he tried to release her! I… I can remember… everything. What he was trying, what he felt… everything! What’s happening?”
“It’s just because the time to leave this place is near,” Ginx said, as if speaking to a child. “Mighty One, you must put Ben from your mind. He’ll only confuse you.”
“R-right… but I’m feeling… I feel something. It’s unpleasant. I don’t like it.”
“Maybe it’s guilt,” Dawn said meanly.
“Wow. I think you may be right,” Glory said. “Ew! Guilt sucks!”
“Ignore it Your Most Glorious You,” Granier pleaded with her. “It’s a trick! That’s all it is, just an illusion to keep you from going home.”
Glory gave Dawn a hard shove and she found herself flung into one of the dwarves’ arms. He squeezed her arms a little more tightly than necessary and she could already feel the bruises forming. Her finger was killing her and a sense of helplessness threatened to overwhelm any more resistance, but she steadfastly fought it. She needed to keep her mind working, looking for a means of escape.
“Are you doing this,” Glory yelled at her. “You’re doing this to me! Trying to make me let you go…, you and Ben. Well, forget it Key. You can try to make me feel as bad as you want. I’m still going to have my guys slicing into you! Get her out of here. I want her anointed the second we get back.”
The minion who had Dawn gave her a rough yank and the group started marching back toward the construction site. Dawn couldn’t stop more tears leaking from her eyes.
“Okay, I think I’m done,” Willow said, looking over her lines of code one last time. “I hope I didn’t confuse them.”
“I’m sure you did good honey,”
“I tried to include some team tactics,”
“Don’t obsess, Wills,” Xander smiled. “We’re kinda running out of time here. What about the Orb or Sphere or whatever?”
“I’m going to have Buffybot carry it,”
“It hasn’t done much so far,” Xander pointed out.
“Yeah, but she didn’t go down in the basement, so maybe it did. Maybe if we can… I don’t know… touch her with it?”
“Anything is worth a try at this point,”
On the sofa, Anya began to fidget, “I should be there. I should be.”
Spike followed along just behind Buffy allowing her to lead him where she wanted to go. She seemed pensive, wound tight. He wanted to ask her what was so important that she’d take time out of their rather tight schedule, but something internal told him to remain quiet.
They came to a cemetery and Buffy took a sharp left, entering under its arched entryway. Spike frowned; it was a hell of a time to want to put in some vampire slaying. The comment on his tongue seemed to stick in his craw when he glanced up at the arch. It read, ‘Sunshine Hills’ in large iron, block letters.
Ahead of him, Buffy was walking fast and with purpose. He hung back far enough away that he wouldn’t intrude on her privacy. He knew where she was headed and, in general terms, why she wanted to visit this place once more before the fight to come.
He hopped up onto a grave stone thirty yards away and watched as she knelt down before a particular grave. She rested one hand on the grave’s marker and was whispering something which he couldn’t hear. It was why he’d hung back so far; he wanted her to have this moment for herself.
After only a few minutes she pulled out the stake from her jacket’s pocket. She looked at it for several more seconds before gently laying it down at her mother’s headstone. He watched as she placed her fingers to her lips and then pressed these to the stone before returning to her feet.
She didn’t look at him as she passed him on the way to the cemetery’s exit and he fell into lockstep behind her.
“The stake,” he whispered, afraid of bothering her, but curious. “It’s okay if it’s private.”
“I’m not going to the rescue as the Slayer. This is a family thing. I… I just wanted her to know. I’m still being a true sister.”
“I have another favor to ask,” she stated after a few more moments of silence. “It’s a big one and if you can’t handle it, then you have to tell me so I can give it to somebody else before we reach Glory.”
“I accept. Whatever it is,” he said.
“You might want to hear it first.”
“Don’t need to. Whatever you need, but I wish you’d stop acting like this is the end.”
“Just covering the bases,” she sighed. “If I don’t make it, I want you to try to get Angel’s ring back. It’s in the R.V. wreck. I want you to take it back to him. I need him to know. I kept it close to me.”
Spike didn’t say anything. He couldn’t stop the mean-spirited grimace that came to his lips every time that Angel came into the picture. Still, she was the Slayer and she needed him to do this, so he would.
“Spike? I can ask one of the gang.”
“No. I’ll retrieve it. I’ll give it to Angel, personally. But I’m only agreeing because I’m not going to have to actually do it. You’re a survivor.”
“This one is different. I feel it,” she turned her head just enough to encourage him to catch her eye. “Remember our talk in The Bronze? I think you were wrong. I don’t think they welcomed it, Spike. I think they just knew: this was the way it was meant to happen.”
He scoffed to hide his fear. He didn’t like at all where this was leading. “That sounds defeatist. If you think you’re going to lose, you’ll find a way to make it happen.”
“I know, Guinan. That’s not what’s happening here,” she grinned at him. “That was one of the few Star Trek episodes I’ll admit to seeing with Xander.” (1)
“Damn,” he smirked. “I was sure I could borrow it and you wouldn’t know where I’d gotten it.”
Dawn was roughly shoved back into the construction office, hitting her broken finger against the wall. She clutched it to her chest and glared at the dwarf until he slammed the door and then started whimpering again.
“Buffy… where are you?”
Buffy and Spike returned to the Magic Box to see the Buffybot and Aprilbot standing at attention. Xander was holding Anya and stroking her hair. Giles,
“Ah, Buffy, good,” Giles said. “We have a plan of attack.”
“How about finding where Dawn is?”
“Anya,” Xander said. His entire demeanor screamed how much he didn’t like this plan. “She’ll know where to go.”
Buffy felt sympathy for Xander’s plight. She knew how much he cared for her and that, if necessary, he’d spend the rest of his life making sure she was taken care of and protected. She didn’t have time for those feelings however, so they went unexpressed.
“Then let’s get moving,” she said instead with determination.
“Anya… sweetheart, shouldn’t you be somewhere,” Xander said softly. He made sure to establish eye contact with her to gain her attention. “She needs you, right?”
It tore at his heart to do this. To place her in danger after what she’d already suffered. But her only chance at recovery was to get her next to Glory so that
“You better go. You don’t want to be late for her,” he forced himself to choke out.
“The rabbits keep me here! They tie me with their whiskers and paw me until I fall,” Anya whined with a few tears in her eyes.
“No rabbits will stop you, honey. It’s okay… you should hurry,” Xander said again, feeling like shit.
Anya looked at him questioningly, her eyes full of innocence. He nodded in encouragement and watched as she took off at a stride for the alleyway door.
“Keep an eye on her Xan, but don’t get too close. We don’t want her distracted,” Buffy murmured. She wasn’t feeling any better about doing this to Anya than he. She’d do worse though, if it meant saving her sister.
“You’re a killer!” Anya was pointing at Giles, causing him a look of discomfort. “This is written,” she nodded her head once emphatically. “It’s written,” she murmured as she headed out into the night.
Once Anya and Xander had gone out, he grabbing an axe from Spike as he went, Buffy looked over the others. Buffybot had her ubiquitous smile, but otherwise remained looking her twin. Next to her, April only glowered.
“You can fill me in on the plan on the way. But remember this,” she directed to everyone, but kept her eyes on Giles. “If Dawn bleeds, we all die. And I will hurt anyone who comes near her.”
Buffy turned and trudged downstairs. Giles hesitated a moment and then went toward the alley door. He took the long handled ax that Spike offered him.
“Not exactly the most inspiring speech,” Spike muttered.
“I would have preferred something from Winston Churchill,” Giles said.
‘Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength’, Spike replied to Giles’ surprised glance. (2)
Spike next gave the last of the weapons to
End Chapter 23
(1) “Best of Both Worlds Part II” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4. Guinan made this point to Commander Riker after Captain Picard’s abduction by the Borg.
(2) Winston Churchill,