Spanderverse: Points of View, Three
I hate this! I hate this whole idea, I’m thinking, while convincing Anya that she should seek out Glory, the Hellgod. It feels like I’m betraying her; sending her into harm’s way even though I know that it is her only chance to be restored.
I love Anya. Okay, I’m not in love with her, but I do love her. I always will. Seeing her sanity stripped from her, stolen, was nearly more than I could stand, but sending her into the path of a god on the warpath is worse.
“You’re a killer,” Anya yells at Giles as she passes and my heart nearly stops. There’s something less random-babble about it and far more specific. Considering the argument that Giles and Buffy had regarding what will happen if we can’t get Dawn away from Glory in time, Anya’s words chill me right down to the bone. I can see it has just as disturbing an effect on the others, especially on Giles himself.
There’s no time to comfort him though with the ‘she doesn’t know what she’s saying’ excuse. Even if it’s true, because Ahn is really on the move and I need to keep her in sight. So I grab an axe from Spike and wonder if I’ll have time to explore this new, quite gay-
thank you very much- relationship with him.
You will if we deal with the Dawn issue once and for all, Hyena growl-whispers to me.
I hate that bitch.
Spike’s crystal blue eyes don’t reveal anything when I meet them. I’m kinda hoping he’ll give me a ‘good luck, mate’ or maybe even a quick wink. I don’t expect any sort of grand expressions of love, but he could give me something. He doesn’t. His eyes are as cool as ice. I try to catch Giles’ eyes next, to show him support after Anya’s words, but he’s looking at the floor and not meeting anyone’s wondering gaze.
We shouldn’t have to wonder. Giles is… he’s like father-mentor-protector-friend. We shouldn’t have to think about him hurting Dawn, and yet he’s also Watcher-Ripper-Warrior and that has me very worried. Oh, yeah, he doesn’t look much like the ‘Warrior’ type, but believe me… I’ve seen him fighting on behalf of Buffy and there’s a vicious tiger under all that brown tweed.
So, I’m thinking I should say something to him, but I’m not good at quick thinking on my feet like that, if it doesn’t involve my trademark self-protective humor. And there’s just no time to think, like I said, because Anya is going like a shot and I quickly leave the shop behind and follow her.
The night is warm and muggy, thanks to Giles’ impromptu storm. I don’t even want to think what kind of magic he was wielding to allow him to survive a fight against something like Glory. I mean, this woman - and I use the term in quotes – has easily shrugged off everything Buffy had done. She’s even managed to recover with lightning speed to
I’m getting an idea of where my former girlfriend is heading now and I’m growing ever more nervous, because the time of talking and planning is over. This is it. We’re going to go against a god and it’s all on the line in a way that the various almost ‘apocolypsi’ we’ve dealt with weren’t. Sure, we’ve had some dicey moments… seeing Angel hauling Buffy’s drowned figure out of a puddle in the Master’s lair added about fifty grey hairs to my way-too-young-for-grey head. And there was the whole Angelus/Acathla/World being sucked into Hell drama; not to mention that fight against an ascended mayor. But this one has me shaking inside in a way that the others didn’t; don’t ask me why.
I glance back to make sure the gang has caught up with us, ‘cause it might really suck if I have to perform this sanity re-sucking spell myself. Thankfully, they’re there. They’re all always there, right when I need them most. I love them; more fiercely than I’ve loved anybody in my downtrodden and clownish life.
Speaking of love… Spike jogs up to me and he already knows where Anya is headed as well. Which surprises me, but it shouldn’t. Spike probably knows every inch of Sunnydale by now both above and below the streets.
He reaches down and gives my hand a brief and romantic squeeze. “And you watch your back. I haven’t had a chance to plunder that virgin ass, yet,” he smirks, undercutting the moment beautifully. He’s like that… like me; we don’t do syrupy. Well, okay, once in a while, I’ll do syrupy… but don’t tell him that!
I call him an ‘ass’, but I do it with a grin on my face suddenly feeling a load lighter than I had. I still can’t believe my weird life. Even when I think I’ve gotten used to crazy things and can grow blasé about the day to day vampire fighting, something comes along to completely skew my worldview. Right now, that’s the fact that I’ve fallen, I think pretty hard, for a vampire. A male vampire, in point of fact.
It’s taken a while to get comfortable with the idea. I think it’s taken him off guard too, though he’d never show it. Mr. Cool – that’s him. And thank God for it, because he’s keeping me grounded as we approach the battle site.
I just hope he can be patient with me. Spike is a very sexual creature and right now, I’m just not ready for all of the stuff that comes with getting involved with a guy. At least I can kiss him though, without having a mini-freak out over it. That’s progress, right?
Good ole’ Will, though. She tells me she’s getting Anya back and she’s got on her resolve face and I immediately believe her. If Will is getting resolvey-faced, then it’s a done deal.
We hang back to allow
My view is obstructed as everyone surges ahead and enters the fray, including our secret weapons. We’re really depending on the robots to keep Glory off-kilter. So I stand on my tip toes to see what’s happening with Will and Anya, but its all just bright lights. That’s when I spot a piece of machinery and I don’t know why, but I just know that we’ll need it!
I grab a hold of Spike’s arm and tell him, “I’ve got an idea. It’s not a tank, but it might be almost as good.” Because, when everyone else took off to start the fight, Spike hung back with me. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that says ‘love’ to me. Unfortunately, I’ve got to leave him and I can only hope he’ll be okay. Which is ridiculous, because of course he’s going to be okay. He’s already taken what Glory had to give and he was pretty well beat up, but he survived. He always survives… whether he’s fighting against us, or on our side; Spike lives… or un-lives, anyway.
So, I have this brilliant idea and then I crawl into the cab of the wrecking ball truck and then sit there like a huge Gomer. Yes, I am Xan… call me Zeppo. I should have known I’d try to be wise and end up being useless. At least Hyena is there to bail me out on this one; finally she does something moderately useful. And I still hate her; it’s just a little bit less, now.
I manage to get the wrecker into position. Now I’ve just got to find Buffy and give her the bat-signal so she knows where to maneuver Blondie. I jump down and I’m almost immediately set upon by some old woman carrying around an old piece of iron piping. Well, what do you expect me to do? I mean, I can’t just let her brain me, right? I punch her out.
It isn’t my most manly of moments, but hey, at least my brain is still on the inside of my skull, however defective it may be.
I’m looking for Buffy, but I’m not seeing her or any of the others. At least, not until I get around the corner of one of the temporary sheds. There on the ground, on all fours, is Spike. The poor guy is getting the snot kicked out of him by a group of crazy people. And it’s not their fault, but it doesn’t stop me from being really pissed off. Times like this and I think how unfair it is what the Initiative did to him; what I wouldn’t give to allow him to defend himself from any old Joe Blow with an attitude. Of course, then I remember that if it wasn’t for the chip, we’d still be trying to kill each other, so silver lining and all that.
I know they really can’t do much damage… none of them are carrying around stakes, but when I see him howl in pain because the chip just zapped him and all he did was push an attacker away, well, I kind of lose perspective for a minute. Oh yeah, Perspective Guy has left the building.
Of course, Hyena-Me really isn’t helping me with the control thing. She’s practically pushing out through my skin to rip some throats out. And I need her… I’m outnumbered and out-weaponed. So I let her loose… I tell her not to kill them, though. It’s not their fault they got put under Glory’s thrall… and I know all about being in thrall to some evil creep.
I don’t know what happens after that, because the bitch not only got loosened, she frickin’ took over! Now, see, that’s just wrong! We’re supposed to be a team and instead my wrists are being held by Spike and he’s complaining that I’m hitting him. Like… what?! What the hell was she doing? We were supposed to be helping Spike, not adding to his bruises!
And can I just say how disturbing it is to ‘come to’ and realize I’m growling. Spike obviously finds it just as alarming, judging by the look on his face. But there’s no time to go into my split-personality crisis right now, Dawn is obviously at the top of the tower and we’ve got a ritual to stop. At least I can sigh in relief that Spike won’t let this sit… whatever Hyena and Commando were gaining by forcing me to keep quiet about their existence has been blown big time. And I’m very worried now… Commando is still a no-show and there is no way he’d allow Hyena to run free with our body. I know she did something to him… I can almost feel it and her denials sound empty to me. I’ll have to get to the bottom of this, but not right now. She’s right, damn it… we have to find the others and mount some interference because even if Buffy or Spike gets Dawn down from that rickety tower, there’s no way they’ll be allowed to just walk out of sight.
I’m just getting ready to go search when I hear the Aprilbot, sounding more like Faith these days, scream. A quick look shows me that she’s jumped on Glory’s back and I’d laugh if I wasn’t so hoping that god’s necks were easy to break. I also catch sight of Buffy and I know this is the moment that the wrecker was calling out to me for. I take off for it and, thank you God, Buffy catches sight of what I’m doing. With just glances and a thumbs up from me, she has caught on to the plan. That’s what five years of fighting side by side will do.
And… oh yeah! I hit Glory head on with that massive, crushing ball of iron and I have never felt such a sense of satisfaction in my life! That was for Anya, you arrogant hag! Just as an extra ‘screw you’ on my own behalf I let the ball drop right on her and I’m almost laughing with the joy of it. She’s caused so much pain, it feels good to return a little of it. Even Hyena is laughing her laugh in my head and mentally giving me a pat on the back.
Of course, I don’t expect it to do much more than slow her down. She’s a god! So imagine how quickly I turn to horrified when I see Anya come out of the shadows straight for her. She’s got a tire iron or something above her head, holding it two handed and such a look of loathing on her face, she’s even scaring me and I’m a good forty feet from her!
I nearly trip and fall on my face rushing out of the wrecker’s cab to get to Anya and Hyena’s agility saves us both a busted nose. I run for her because Glory is going to crush her and Anya is too enraged to think through what she’s doing. That crowbar (I see now what it is as I approach) isn’t going to do squat, but Anya is swinging and swinging like there’s no tomorrow (and I shudder at that thought, ‘cause it could be true). As I’m just reaching to grab her away from there, I look to see Ben lying on the ground.
I don’t really know the guy, but he was in the hospital and at Joyce’s funeral. He’s some type of intern, I think. He looks too young to be an actual doctor. But he’s dressed in Glory’s clothes and he’s bleeding and gasping for breath. I stop Anya just before she can beam the poor guy in the face, and maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do, but I can’t let Anya commit a murder. She has enough blood on her hands from her time as a demon; at least she’s gotten a second chance now.
Hyena is telling me to crush Ben’s windpipe and part of me really wants to. Even without knowing the story, I can tell that Ben’s up to Glory’s shit to his eyebrows and maybe if they’re sharing bodies then killing one will kill the other. Kind of like Toth’s original plan actually, that led to the creation of Hyena and the MIA Commando, in a way. But I can’t do it and Hyena may be hissing at me for my weakness, but I don’t think not killing people is weak. Giles will help us understand what this all means and then we’ll figure out how to keep Glory gone and either help or punish Ben, depending on how much control he had over things. I may have been so willing to give him the benefit of a doubt due to my recent black out at the mental hands of Hyena-Xan, but I like to think I would have shown the guy mercy anyway.
There really isn’t time for questions though, because Anya is sobbing into my chest and my heart is breaking for her even as I’m relieved that she’s obviously back.
I’m still trying to work out this whole Glory/Ben thing when Giles’ voice intrudes on my thoughts. He’s trying to get us out of there and I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that Glory could return at any moment, or if he’s genuinely worried about the now wandering and dazed crazy people’s welfare. I never even would have questioned him before, I don’t think, but after the scene in the Magic Box, I find myself looking more closely at him. I don’t like this… this uneasy sense of distrust. I hope once we have Dawn back and figure out a way for Glory to be defeated forever that we can all just get back to normal. Giles will sigh and wipe his glasses and frown disapprovingly and we’ll all mildly make fun of him, but secretly we’ll feel just a little safer with him watching over us. And he’ll help get rid of Hyena. Yeah, that’ll be nice.
I have my arm slung around Anya and pull her close to me as we, Tara and Wills start walking toward the street. Color me un-shocked that no one has come to find out what all the racket is about. That’s Sunnydale, for you. But I’m feeling pretty good, I mean except for the part where Anya is still so upset by what she’s gone through. Because, hey, we won. Glory has had to make a sudden retreat, in no small part because of the Xan’s brilliant tactic of dropping a really heavy weight on her, thank you, so we can start the celebration as soon as Spike and Buffy get down here with Dawnie.
Speaking of which, that tower really was constructed rather shabbily. It would never pass inspection; I guess the scaly Smurfs just had no pride in their work. Sorry… construction nerd came out there for a minute.
So, I’m feeling relief and a post-battle high and Hyena is filling my head with images of kissing Spike in a very long make out session when we get home. For once, I’m not annoyed with her single track mind in the least.
We barely even react when we see that one of Glory’s minions has just rained down from the sky and is lying dead at our feet. Buffy and/or Spike could have took a look before pitching it our way, but that just means that they’ve reached the top, probably, and are untying Dawn right now.
I guess I spoke too soon, because the ground starts shaking and I’m thinking, “Oh, nice… an earthquake now? You couldn’t wait until tomorrow for this?”
Yes, sometimes I am very thick. I don’t even think that the battle isn’t over until the sky erupts in this violet-white light. Then suddenly things are like we got a visit from that movie ‘Spaceballs’ and the Mega-Maid with the wind and debris being sucked up and up toward the light and I know the damned portal is opening. I’m suddenly afraid… not for us and the world, curiously enough, but just for Buffy and Spike because they were supposed to be up there, but the ritual is taking place anyway. And this brings on the fear for Dawn. Bad news, sports fans… the home team is losing badly just when they thought they had the game in the bag.
Everyone, including me, is grabbing at the wood fence the construction company put up and trying to keep our feet because the ground is still quaking under us. Hyena is howling in outrage in my head. She’s taking it as a personal affront that we won and now we suddenly didn’t. Like the great Referee in the sky has made a bad call… I’m totally on her side in this respect.
I do a quick look back into the construction yard and I see Giles struggling. He’s on the ground and there’s all this junk on him, pinning him. So I shout out his name, for no particular reason, just reflex. He can’t hear me, of course, because the wind is howling like a hurricane and lighting is shooting all over the place filling the air with crackling noise. Above my head, the portal is swirling like some sort of funnel cloud and I can actually see a dark hole in the center where the actual portal is waiting for Glory to jump into it or for things to come pouring out.
I’m kind of panicking now… a little bit. I hoped I’d be kind of cool and collected in the face of the end of the world… like Sgt. Rock or James Bond while facing obvious death. Hah! I’m scared nearly shitless! But I got to do something other than stand here being a jellyfish spine, so I take off to help Giles, leaving Anya with the witches. In my head, Hyena is just as freaked out as I am, so I’m getting no help in keeping my composure there.
I don’t make it as far as Giles. As I’m making my dash, movement catches my eye and where I should have seen him before, but didn’t, is my new boyfriend. He’s struggling to get up from the ground and his lower face is covered in red. Blood is dripping from his chin and he looks scared. Spike is looking scared… my heart nearly stops because this DOES NOT HAPPEN. This is truly apocalyptic, if Spike is wearing fear on his face.
I yell his name… again, reflex… I know nobody can hear me in the racket from the earth tremors, the lightning display and the absolutely roaring wind. So, surprise… he doesn’t hear me.
In that moment I have this perfect vision. It’s so clear, it could be a photograph. Spike is looking very much like himself and I’m looking older, but still fit. I have grey at my temples and look a little bit more beefy, but not really fat. We’re smiling and he has his hand hovering over my crotch, playfully, as if he’s going to do something lewd for the camera. I’m laughing my fool head off at whoever is taking this moment for posterity.
And I know; this isn’t going to happen. We’ve lost… finally… we’ve actually lost.
I leave rescuing Giles because I can’t. None of us can be rescued. Well, that’s not true… Buffy could rescue us, but she won’t. She can’t in the sense of she couldn’t bring herself to do what she would have to do and I don’t blame her at all. Not even now; not even knowing what’s going to happen, because I couldn’t do it, either.
Hyena wants me to get to Dawn. I can feel her pushing to take over because she wouldn’t have any problem with killing her to save us all. She’s already told me that more than once and I’ve no reason to doubt her. But I’m in control and I alter our current course toward the tower and Giles for Spike, instead.
When I reach him, I gather him into my arms. He’s got thick blood running from his mouth and winces as I, not too gently I’m afraid, bundle him close to me.
I ignore all this. Instead I’m looking into those beautiful blue eyes and the just barely visible yellow-gold specks that come out in full when he’s in ‘game face’.
“We would have been a great pair,” I say.
“Yeah, mate, we would have,” Spike agrees just before pulling me further down into his embrace so he can kiss me.
And I kiss him back with everything I have because I don’t know how many of them I’ll get in before I die. His gender means even less to me now than it ever did and I’m kicking myself with regret and recrimination that I didn’t have sex with him when I had the chance. I had to be all, ‘ugh, gay sex… I don’t know…’ and now I’ve wasted that time. I really would have liked to find out what holding him naked against me would have been like with his cool skin and his hard, muscled frame.
His kiss is a slice of heaven, which is ironic considering his nature. My mouth is full of tingling and I know it’s because of whatever is in vampire blood that allows them to make other vampires, but it’s not important. I don’t see me living long enough to get turned into a vampire. My heart is pounding in fear and yet inside, at the core of me, I’m calm. I know this is my end and I’m okay with it. Not happy… I plan on pulling God aside and giving him a piece of my mind about it, but I’m alright. I just wish I knew what will happen to the Spike-demon that I’ve come to know and care for.
Even Hyena has stopped fighting me. I feel her sink into the pleasure that is being in Spike’s mouth and I savor the feel of my hot tongue rubbing against his far cooler one, filling his mouth with my taste. I want him to take a part of me with him, just as I vow that I won’t forget this moment. I’ll never let ‘them’ take this moment from me.
It’s very quiet now, suddenly and I open my eyes. I’m surprised because I kind of figured that when I was dead, I’d be disembodied but I still feel pretty well bodied, instead. Then I’m looking into Spike’s eyes again and they look as bewildered as I feel. Around me, the city is coming alive with the sounds of screams and calls for help and sirens… lots and lots of siren noises.
End part one