Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Spanderverse: Points of View, Three (part II)
Okay, so I’m not dead. I told you I’m thick sometimes.
My first thought is that Giles and
I look over a mound of junk that Spike can’t see over from his waist level viewpoint. And I feel my heart stop. Because it’s her. It’s my unrequited first true love and my best friend and my personal hero and she’s not moving. Not only is she not moving, but she’s broken. I can see it clearly… her back… her back isn’t bending right. I want to puke.
I stand frozen for maybe minutes, or maybe hours. Then Anya is struggling over debris herself, trying to reach me and the witches are stumbling toward Buffy. I glance at Spike and he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know what I see and I can’t find my voice.
Now Anya is telling me that Giles needs my help, but so do Spike and so does Buffy and I can’t help them all at once and I don’t know what to do. A deep breath takes care of that, but I sure do wish Commando would pop up now, because he was so organized and besides, I don’t want to be here right now. I can’t trust Hyena, but I’d trust him… he could take over for a while and I could just hide. But he’s a no show, still, so I have to suck it up and leave Buffy to the witches.
With Anya’s help, we get Spike to a shack, but not before he sees. And oh, God, his shock… his grief just brings my own closer to the surface. I’m trying to be calm… I’m trying to let the witches cast their spells and make Buffy okay but
Spike is sobbing. I’ve never seen him sob. I’ve never even imagined a sobbing Spike. It’s awful and I’m doing everything I can to hold back my own tears because Giles still needs help and Giles is a Watcher and he’ll know how to help Buffy. He’ll pull out a book or some powders and she’ll stop lying there looking like that and then we’ll all yell at Buffy for getting so close to going out for real and then we’ll have chocolate ice cream and watch whatever movie is playing on cable.
I kiss Spike’s forehead hard twice, but he continues to grieve and even though I feel guilty and even though Hyena is calling me a shit for leaving him, I have a mental list I need to complete. Getting Spike away from Mr. Sol is checked off and now I have to help Giles and then play errand boy for whatever ingredients he needs to make Buffy get up and smile and congratulate us on another successful campaign against the latest lame-o villain of the week.
Anya and I head toward the tower where Giles has been pinned and I realize, just barely, that I’m almost knocking Anya down as she tries to accept my weight because I’m having trouble walking. I look toward Buffy and
It takes some effort, but eventually we get Giles free with some help from Dawn. She’s bleeding and she’s so pale and I think that she’s lost too much blood, but then I realize its shock because she’s so calm as she tells us that Buffy is dead. Hyena immediately tells me that the pack needs a new leader and it should be us. I shut her out. Buffy’s not dead. Okay, maybe she is a little, but CPR brought her back before and now we have magic so it’ll only be for a few minutes longer than last time, that’s all.
I really hate that bitch. I can’t wait to get her out of my head.
Giles’ face is full of pain and I don’t know if it’s the ankle or Buffy. And now I feel guilty for even letting it cross my mind that his pain wouldn’t be for Buffy. But we need to stop hurting because we’ll fix this. This is a temporary set back for Buffy, that’s all.
But I’m starting to not believe me. I’m starting to get that Buffy is dead and I hate myself for not staying in my little cocoon of denial. I want to blame Hyena for this, but it’s my own regular voice that’s telling me that a spell isn’t going to make things right. Shut up, Me!
I can’t look at Dawn. She’s so fragile and she looks broken too, but it’s on the inside instead of her body. I’m worried about her. I have to grow up and act like a man now because Dawn needs me to be there for her. There’s some voice whispering that Dawn should be the one lying on the ground, but I pretend not to hear it because that’s a disgusting, evil, selfish, horrible thing to think. And it’s not true, anyway. No one should be lying there dead, except Glory.
“Glory,” I ask, because what if she’s not dead? What if her timetable isn’t over yet?
“I’m afraid Ben died when the gate closed,” Giles says in a flat voice. I chalk this up to shock because things are really starting to break through my own shock now. “He, no doubt, took her with him.”
“So Dawn is safe now,” Anya comments and I glance at Dawn, not meaning to.
“Except for the part where I got my sister killed,” Dawn whispers and I see tears flowing down the previous tracks of previous recent tears.
We’ve been telling Dawnie throughout this whole Glory thing that the bad things that have happened, including to Anya wasn’t her fault. I don’t say that now. I should say so again, but I can’t because Buffy is dead and Glory is dead and I want very much to yell at someone. I feel badly about this; it really isn’t Dawn’s fault, but I can’t talk to her just yet.
We gather around Buffy’s body. I’m holding Giles up and I lower him to the ground trying not to jar his broken ankle any more than necessary. He’s sweaty and pale and is gritting his teeth. The Zeppo strikes again. I wish more than ever that Commando was here… he’d already have Giles’ ankle set and have him walking as if it had never been broken in the first place, by now.
We hear a voice we don’t know and when I look, I have a moment of panic. The Sunnydale P.D. has never been reliable, but it figures that the one time we don’t want them is the moment they turn up. It’s just one guy and I swear I’m almost ready to let Hyena grab a brick and brain the guy… then I realize that wouldn’t accomplish a lot and I’m not the cop-killer type.
Thankfully Giles wasn’t knocked out in everything or I don’t know what we’d do. That Watcher training really comes in handy though, because when Giles speaks so authoritatively it is like we can’t not listen to him.
He gets us organized into work details (the way I should have, seeing as I’m a crew boss for crissakes) and he somehow gets Detective Stein working for us instead of against us. I run to the Magic Box (former) and get my car while the others try to hide what is going on from the outside world. I have an inkling of why Giles wants to hide Buffy’s death and yet I can’t quite grasp what he’s doing… I think I’m in a state of shock.
When I get back and while Giles works out dealing further with the detective, I run to check on Spike. I need to be near him, to know that he isn’t dragging himself into some sunlight somewhere and I want him to know he isn’t alone. I am there for him.
“She’s dead,” he says to me. He has stopped crying but this is worse because he’s so… calm; empty?
I nod my head. I think my voice would crack if I tried to speak at the moment.
“I failed her.”
“We failed her,” I tell him. Because we all had a job to do… keep Glory and her minions busy so they can’t start the ritual. That one thing was all she asked and we botched it.
I watch Spike shake himself… or get a hold of himself… one of those metaphors. He wipes his face, “I need to get out there. Dawn needs me.”
“Sunshine,” I whisper because I have a brick lodged in my throat and even breathing hurts right now. Speaking is almost impossible.
We need him, Hyena insists, as if I don’t have a clue. I need him. Don’t let him hurt himself.
I don’t respond to her. I don’t want to talk to her. I want her to go away and disappear because she’s not in pain… she’s not grieving. I know it; I can feel it. She’s not throwing a party that Buffy’s dead, but she’s not losing any time in plotting to be our new leader.
I really, really hate the bitch.
“I’ll wait here,” Spike says to me and he’s looking so intently into my eyes I wonder if I’m becoming hypnotized. “You have to see to Dawn until nightfall. You have to… you have to assure her that this isn’t her fault, Xander,” he insists.
I feel guilty now for not telling Dawn that things weren’t her fault. It’s like Spike read my mind and knew that I wasn’t taking care of her.
Spike’s eyes open wide in panic and I’m forced to speak more to reassure him that it isn’t life threatening. I have to admit that the more I speak, though, the easier it’s becoming. I’m not sure that’s a good thing… it seems unfair or disrespectful to feel even this small bit of comfort.
“We’ll find a tarp or something to get you home. You can greet Dawn when she gets there.”
“I may need to spend a lot of time with her,” he looks me up and down. “In case… in case you were thinking about us. I don’t know how much time we’ll have. I promised Buffy to see to her.”
“We’ll work it out,” I assure him. I wasn’t even thinking about ‘us’. “I have to get back to Giles. He broke his ankle and there’s a police man we have to keep on our side.”
I turn back in his direction, as I am heading out of the shack’s door already.
“We’ll get through this. We hurt, but we’ll get through.”
I almost believe him, until I see a teardrop fall from his chin.
When I get back, Buffy is wrapped up in some tarp. Very much like the tarp I thought we were going to get for Spike, actually. It makes me feel uneasy… like my skin is creeping.
“Xander, you need to put B-Buffy in the car,” Giles says quietly. “She cannot be seen. She’ll n-need to go in the, uh, in the boot.”
My reaction must have shown on my face because I felt like he’d just sucker punched me to the kidneys. I didn’t have a chance to say anything before he was nodding his head.
“I know. It’s unpleasant.”
“You don’t know anything!” I don’t know why I’m so angry. He’s acting all Watcher-guy and Buffy is dead and I want him to express some God damned feelings about it and he’s talking about loading her in the trunk like groceries… like junk you’re taking to the dump!
“…No! No, we’re not doing this!” I am yelling now and I can’t stop myself even as I see Anya and
It’s his turn to react as if I’ve struck him. I’m crying now. I held off until now, but it feels kind of good to cry angry tears so I don’t fight to stop them.
“Xander,” Anya says as she steps between Giles and I.
“No, Anya, no… she doesn’t… I’m not just….” I can’t think. I can’t speak in sentences now.
I feel her soft hand on the side of my face. Her thumb wipes the tears from my cheek and hers are shining brightly with unshed tears of her own.
“We have to protect her, Xander,” she tells me and she is speaking so softly I swear I have to hold my breath to hear her. “We can’t let them take her to an undertaker, like Joyce. We have to take her home where we can take care of her. And Spike needs the backseat to stay out of the sunlight.”
Everything she says makes sense but I can’t stop feeling sick about putting Buffy away in the trunk. It feels so… like we don’t care; like this is just some chore like putting paint cans away. I try to explain, but I can’t make my words make sense, even to myself.
“Shhh. It’s okay, Xan. I promise. She’ll understand why we need to do this. She knows that Dawn will be in danger if demons find out the Hellmouth is without the Slayer. She’ll forgive us. And she wouldn’t want us to leave Spike here all day, alone and grieving.”
Anya puts her arms around me and I cry… really cry for about a minute on her shoulder. And these aren’t angry tears, they’re desperate and from pain. And then I do what I have to do and I try not to think about Buffy’s face because I want to believe that she’d understand but I’m afraid I’ll see her hating me.
I hear Giles tell the Detective who has just arrived from getting Tara and Dawn off to the hospital, “Now, I need you to help
“Robots,” Detective Stein replies with surprise.
“There’s a lot to get you caught up on,” I tell this new man in our lives. “I sure hope we can trust you.” And I don’t mean for it to, but I think it comes out sort of hostile.
Detective Stein, Rick, is taking Giles to the hospital now in his car. He has the Buffy and Faithbot in his trunk.
In mine, is the true Buffy. Willow is sitting in the passenger seat. She’s still very sniffly, but I think the tears have stopped. Anya wants to know what we do next, but I don’t know. She always wants to ask questions that have no answers. She’s sitting crowded between Will and I so that Spike can have the back seat to stretch out under a ratty white furniture cover. I wish he’d say something, I wish he’d fidget but there’s nothing from the back.
We’re heading back toward Joyce’s, which I guess would go to Dawn now, except that we can’t tell anyone that Buffy is actually deceased. I don’t know what we’re going to do. I do know that if this detective tries to betray us, I may just let Hyena take care of the problem for us.
For right now, I just want to focus on getting the car to Buffy’s and remembering to breathe.