Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.
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 27 – The Fallen
“You cannot inform anyone of what has happened until we can clean up,” Giles stated to the police detective with utter authority. “Xander… go and get your car from the shop. Hurry! Willow, find a large tarp and bring it here. Anya, if you’re up to it after your ordeal, please find something… perhaps another tarp… for Spike to hide under.”
“N-now, wait a minute,” Detective Stein tried to interrupt.
“Detective, Dawn needs medical assistance. Please take her out onto the street away from here and get her an ambulance.
“I can’t just… ignore that there’s a dead girl here,” Detective Stein said. He noted the flinches and was sorry to be so blunt, but he didn’t understand what they thought they were doing.
“Detective, I’ll explain everything later: the shop arson, why Buffy always seemed to have strange goings-on around her, who she was and why we need to take special actions now, everything you have questions on. But there’s no time now. All I can tell you is that if everyone out there knows that Buffy is dead, there will be massive death following closely in the wake of that knowledge!” Giles gazed unwaveringly at the detective, willing him to accede.
“I-I-,” the detective stuttered, sounding unsure of what to do. “Is this a ‘Sunnydale thing’,” he asked quietly. Whenever he told Carole about some bizarre fact cropping up in a case, things that the lab couldn’t make sense of for instance, they had come to name such things as a ‘Sunnydale Thing’ between them.
“Yes,” Giles said, looking surprised. “Yes, it is. Buffy was highly unusual. This needs to be handled delicately.”
“O-okay. But I’m holding you to what you said. I need to know what the hell is going on in this town.”
“I keep my word,” Giles said. “I’m British, you know.”
When the lot was emptied except for
He looked over the lot, not that he could see much from where he was. He wasn’t able to stand, but on one foot with his other ankle being broken. Other than that, his legs also had minor cuts and severe bruising. He could scarcely feel most of the physical pain, as his emotional turmoil drowned everything else out.
After his allotted several minutes, he bit back the rest of his grief. He locked it away in a box in his mind through the advanced meditative techniques he’d studied at the Academy. He gazed over Buffy’s body and noted that she didn’t appear injured except for the grotesque angle at which she was bent. There was some bruising from her fight with Glory, but surprisingly little blood. Her head hadn’t busted open, as could have been expected from the fall, he thought clinically. He didn’t want to think about the internal injuries or about what would happen to her next without proper embalming. The coming day, the coming days ahead, were going to be very rough on the others. They would be rough on him as well, he supposed, but he’d been training his whole life for this awful moment. The moment when a Watcher lost his charge to her duty; amazing how no one mentioned in all of the lectures he’d attended back at the Council how nearly incapacitating the pain would be for him. Of course, the Council had always expressly encouraged no emotional attachments to the girls, so perhaps they weren’t completely ignorant of the debilitating grief that would follow.
They’d just chosen to do what they always did when messy human emotions became involved. They had tried to educate them right out of him. It didn’t quite succeed and now he wondered if that was as good a thing as he had always thought it was.
He reached out and stroked Buffy’s hair until he heard one of the girls returning. Looking up and quickly swiping at his eyes, he found
“Here, Giles. I-I don’t understand why we need this.”
“I think you do, Willow. I think you’re very clever. You just don’t want to know.”
“Exactly. I would do this myself, ordinarily, but I cannot stand up and move freely. I’m afraid that you and Anya will have to do this. For that I am sorry.”
“I’ll do it,”
“You should allow Anya to help….”
“…No! No, I have it. I have her,”
She was fine until Giles instructed her to place Buffy at one end and roll her into it so that she wouldn’t fall out when Xander lifted her into the car. She laid her out as Giles’ had requested, but she couldn’t force herself to roll her up.
“It’s like… it’s like a murderer wrapping his victim up in an old carpet or something,” she objected, her voice full of confusion and revulsion.
He’d tried to explain, but
“It will do. We only need to keep him out of the direct sunlight until we get him to the house.”
“And then what? What are we going to do next, Giles?”
“We will do what we need to do.”
When Xander returned there was more emotionally wrenching arguing when he balked at picking up Buffy’s broken body. Actually, it wasn’t picking her up that he had the problem with, but putting her into the trunk of his car, like she’d been a piece of inanimate refuse.
Practicality won the day, however, as it often did. He had ended up admitting there was little else to do. He needed the back seat for Spike to crouch down in.
In the meantime, Giles had been thinking ahead on how they were going to keep the city safe without the Slayer. The Hellmouth continued to be a chronic problem and with Faith holding the Slayer-line, there wouldn’t be a new one to simply have sent here.
The police detective that, somehow, Giles had drafted into their service returned.
“The girl is loaded. It looks like she’ll need a few stitches and bandaging, but she should be okay.”
“Good,” Giles nodded. “Now, I need you to help
“Robots,” Detective Stein replied with wide eyes.
“There’s a lot to get you caught up on,” Xander said. “I sure hope we can trust you.”
“Detective, if you could please take me to the hospital for my ankle,” Giles grimaced through his pain as he hopped with one arm around Xander’s shoulders. They’d just loaded the robots into his automobile’s trunk. “Xander, you and
“I’m technically off-duty,” the detective said. “And I really want to know what’s going on; what went on here this morning and why you won’t let me report Ms. Summers’ death. I’ll wait for you at the hospital and drive all of you back.”
This is pretty much the way that things happened. Rick, the detective, also stopped by his own home, picking up his wife before arriving back at Buffy’s home.
“Buffy,” Giles asked as soon as he hobbled in on his crutches.
“We have her in the basement for right now,” Xander said.
She can’t stay there long. What is Giles planning, Hyena wanted to know.
Carole, the detective’s wife, seemed very kind. She was more interested in making sure they were all doing okay, while her husband had immediately began pressing for answers.
“Rick, give them a few minutes. I noticed a dining table, why don’t you go sit down? Is there a coffee pot? I can start some coffee and I’ve brought a package of coffee cake. I know you’re probably not thinking of food right now, but it will help if you have something in your stomachs,” she said.
“Are you alright, Bit,” Spike asked as he put his arm around her shoulders.
“I’m… numb,” Dawn met his eyes. “I’m just… exhausted… and… I’m numb.”
“Sounds like a nice place to be right now,” he told her.
And the next several hours were spent explaining everything to the Steins. The gang left nothing out and answered all of the detective’s questions honestly, even about things that he’d been investigating. Xander had hesitated when they’d reached the arson of the abandoned apartment building that Buffy had committed, but there was no reason to hide things now. It wasn’t like she could be arrested.
“I knew there had to be a reason, when Rick told me about it,” Carole nodded. Xander had just explained about the vampire whorehouse contained within it. “I mean… even being a Sunnydale resident all my life, I’m still having a lot of trouble accepting vampires, but….”
“This all sounds insane,” Rick Stein complained. “I think I might have been insane in helping you.”
“What, Carole? I’m sorry, but this is… I mean… this is movie stuff. This is all… insane.”
“My dad being killed by Dracula pretty much proves that some fiction is based on real life stuff,” Xander pointed out.
“I… I’m not sure I can buy that, either. Okay, maybe a killer who thought he was Dracula, but… really? And vampires? Okay, I always knew the ‘rampaging LSD gang’ story was ridiculous, but….” Rick sighed. “I don’t know how much of this I can accept. And you say that Buffy was this ‘Slayer’? And she’s… she died in the line of duty?”
“Spike, if you would,” Giles asked.
As all eyes turned on the vampire, he ‘vamped out’. Rick nearly fell backward as he jumped back into his seat. Carole gasped audibly, one hand flying to her chest and her eyes wide. She fumbled for the cross she wore under her dress.
“It’s okay. Spike is a special circumstance,” Xander assured them. “He’s one of the good guys.”
“Let’s not over sell it, love,” Spike smirked next to him.
On his other side, Dawn grabbed one of his hands. “Then let’s just say that you’re someone we can trust,” she smiled sadly at him. She gave his hand a small squeeze.
“Always, Dawn,” he acknowledged.
His other hand was resting lightly on Xander’s inner thigh and he gave this a brief squeeze of affection before meeting his beautiful brown eyes. “You can always trust me.”
“Spike can’t hurt people,” Dawn turned her attention back across the table to their guest. “You don’t have to be afraid of him.”
“This is currently true,” Giles confirmed, almost reluctantly it sounded like. “He was one of the subjects of the Initiative program we mentioned.”
“Yes, poor little puppy as been neutered,” Spike said without any rancor. “Of course, it turned out to have unexpected benefits.”
“I-I hope it’s not considered rude, but…,” Carole said, eyes still wide with surprise, “Uh, could you not look like that anymore.”
Spike returned to looking like William and gave the silly bint what he hoped would be a comforting smile. “No worries,” he told her.
The detective managed to recover some color after turning white as the proverbial ghost and sat staring at Spike with a mixture of shock and fascination. “I bet you could help me solve a lot of ‘deaths by mysterious blood loss’ cases. I could be police commissioner by my next birthday. Hell, I could be mayor and town hero.”
“Which obviously, you can’t attempt to do,” Giles warned. “It’s vital that we be allowed to work freely without the public’s panic.”
“I understand,” Rick nodded. “And I’ll help in any way I can. Now that I know, I can be a source of information for you when we run into a weird occurrence.”
“I’m definitely beefing up my folklore and myth lessons in my student’s English course work,” Carole said. “Maybe they’ll grow up a little more prepared to deal with all of this than the rest of us have been. I just don’t understand how I could never have put all the obvious pieces together?”
“Just as there are demons and evil creatures, Mrs. Stein, there are also angels and beings of good. The balancing act between them is part of what allows the world to continue. If it were openly known how much supernatural activity there truly is in the world, those beings would be far more likely to act openly. The planet would be nothing but an open battle ground. At least this way, it’s more of a cold war mentality. Neither side is breaking out their nuclear weapons and decimating us in their crossfire,” Giles explained.
“It’s all so incredible,” Carole said, again not able to take her eyes off of the vampire in the room. “And no insult intended, but I still don’t think I’d like to meet you in a dark alley.”
“None taken,” Spike smiled. “And a few years ago, anyone at this table would have told you that you’d have been completely right.”
“So… what now,” Rick said.
“Now, we reassemble the robots,” Giles said. “And we take care of our friend. We have one more thing to do for Buffy and that’s to let her go.”
“We can’t bury her, can we,” Dawn said with tears in her eyes.
“We can,” Giles said gently. “But we can’t tell your father, or anyone else. We’ll have to choose a place carefully, where she’ll be hidden out of the way. The Buffy robot will have to be prepared to act full time as her, I’m afraid.”
“I can do it,”
“I can make some enquiries through my job,” Rick said. “Write down his full name for me and as much of a description as you can provide.”
“I’ll take care of Buffy,”
“I guess I have to find a dress for her,” Dawn whispered, heart breaking all over again. “I wish mom were here.”
“I’ll help you, Dawn,” Anya nodded to her. “We’ll find something appropriate.”
Giles decided at that point that the Steins knew everything they needed to know to keep their mouths closed. He called an ending to the meeting, explaining to them that what came next to prepare Buffy for her final rest was a family affair.
“Of course,” Carole shook his hand warmly. “And please don’t be worried. Rick and I understand why we have to keep things quiet.”
Next, Detective Stein shook hands around the table. “Now that I know the truth, about what’s happening around here, you can depend on me for any help you need. I mean, anything I can do, I want to do to help.”
“Thank you,” Giles said. “Without an active Slayer, I’m afraid help is exactly what we’ll need.”
End Chapter 27