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Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.
Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.
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.
Last Note re: Angel timeline: Again, Angel’s timeline is a bit skewed. Consider the Angel team in Pylea at the beginning on this story, despite the fact that it’s about a month early in the year for that adventure according to ATS’ production.
WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.
Ch 2 – The Day after Death Visits
She picked up the ball of fur tucked against her, receiving an annoyed mew and a glare at her for the disturbance. She set down Miss Kitty in her vacated warm spot and the cat quickly made itself comfortable again, but not before giving her an irritated twitch of its tail. Stumbling out of bed, she took herself into Joyce’s bathroom and started the shower heating up. She had so much work to do today. First and foremost was getting the Buffy robot repaired, followed by the Faithbot.
Will caught her reflection in the mirror above the vanity and the deep well of sadness reflected there brought on another bout of tears. She couldn’t believe that her best friend, Buffy, was dead. It was inconceivable, after all they’d gone through that it could really be over for her. She wiped at her eyes and blew her nose before stepping under the hot spray, but the tears kept coming as she washed her hair.
Xander stumbled out of the bedroom when he heard the phone ringing from the kitchen. As he reached for it, Anya poked her head out of her own bedroom. Her eyes reflected the same dread he felt. They were all waiting for another piece of bad news; as if losing Buffy weren’t quite enough already.
“Yeah,” he said reluctantly.
“Xander? Thank goodness you’re okay! How’s your family? Is everyone alright?”
“Joe? God, Joe! What time is it? I’m sorry… I should have been to the site by now!”
“Xander, it’s okay! I’m not calling about the site… we’ve closed down for the day. Haven’t you heard the morning news?”
“No… ah… I’ve slept in this morning,” Xander said, glancing toward Anya to find that she’d disappeared and her bedroom door was closed again. He felt briefly that he was still in a dream… who cared about this mundane life stuff after what had happened!
“Oh, well, the Mayor has pretty much shut down the town for today and tomorrow. The National Guard or Army or something is crawling all over the place. I was just calling to make sure you didn’t get caught up in yesterday’s storms.”
“Oh, ah… no. I’m fine (ignoring the fact that I’m dead inside). I- uh – I heard we had a tornado or something?”
“Yeah, some real mess from what I heard,” Joe replied. “Thank the saints it hit those asses on that strip mall project. The Coens must be shitting themselves about now. I took a spin by our site and it looks like we’re a-okay.”
“W-well, uh, that’s good. I’m surprised you shut down the site though. Isn’t
Charles Greeley was the developer on the new mall and had been complaining since the first day of the project, this before they’d managed to fall behind. The mall project was supposed to be finished by the first of April, but with Sunnydale’s madness, that hadn’t quite happened. They were looking at the end of June now and
“Screw him. The Mayor says stay indoors and guys are trotting around with rifles? We stay indoors. Listen, though, you should call your crewmen. Let ‘em know you’re concerned about their families… it’s good for the boss not to come off as bein’ cold, you know?”
“Yeah, Joe, yeah… I hear you. How did you weather things,” Xan asked, but really he just wanted to hang up and crawl back under his blankets. Being awake allowed him to remember that Buffy wouldn’t be waiting for him at her house. She wouldn’t be punning and laughing during the next Scooby meeting. It hurt almost enough to stop his breath.
“Ah, the damned shed out back blew over and damaged the lawn mower, but otherwise we’re good. Listen though, I gotta call and break the news of the delay to
“Yeah… thanks for calling, Joe.”
Xander hung up the phone and rested his head against the wall. When they’d started running from Glory, they didn’t tell anyone they were going. Joe didn’t know that he was going to just disappear and leave the job half done and without a crew chief.
Guess I still got a job… now all I have to do is find a way to pretend I care.
He gave a glance to Anya’s door before starting to fill the coffee pot with water to drip brew. As he watched the dark brown liquid drip through, he stared at the phone. He wanted to call over to Buffy’s… to Dawn’s, he reminded himself, and check on the others, but he didn’t want them to be awoken if they were safely asleep. Opening one’s eyes today was not of the good.
Once he’d fixed a cup of coffee, he strolled out onto the veranda and looked over Sunnydale; or as much as he could see, anyway. The sun was shining brightly with just an inkling of a morning chill. He thought about Spike, hoping that the vampire had turned in. Knowing him, he was probably going to try to pull a 24-hour day to keep Dawn company and vampires weren’t at their best when they didn’t get some sleep sometime during the sunlit hours.
Again, he thought of calling over to the Summers’, just to put his mind at ease that everyone was still safe. Instead, he sat on one of the veranda chairs and thought about what the hell they were supposed to do without the Slayer. He didn’t know if continuing the Scoobies was worth it without Buffy to follow.
He was pleasantly surprised by the lack of a remark from Hyena.
When she turned she found Spike still sitting in the hallway, exactly where he’d been earlier that morning. She glanced nervously at the sunlight out of the (broken) hallway window. She simultaneously realized that she’d have to talk to Xander about fixing that and that there was no way any but indirect light was going to make it to Spike. He was safe where he was.
Walking toward him, she found herself staring into eyes that seemed caught in between his usual shade of blue and the golden-yellow that appeared when he was in game face. Otherwise, he looked placidly at her.
He doesn’t even have puffy and red eyes, she sighed. Vampires have all the luck.
“Red,” she heard Spike say questioningly.
“Sorry,” she shook her head. “I’m still tired out and my mind was drifting. Is that coffee I smell from downstairs?”
“Heard the shower running,” he shrugged. “Thought whichever of you it was, you might want some caffeine.”
“Thanks, Spike. I’ve got a lot of work to do in the basement on Bu-, um, on the robots. You should turn in… morning has broke, you know.”
“I’ll wait for Dawn to get up. I can crash in her bed.”
“Oh, uh, B-Buffy’s is… uh….”
“I’ll wait for the Bit’s bed to open up,” Spike said, looking quickly away. “You should get some coffee while it’s fresh.”
Giles stood in his far too bright bathroom glaring at himself in the mirror. He’d had too much to drink this morning before finally passing out and he was paying for it now. The sunlight coming in the small bathroom window was reflecting painfully off the white tiles around him, dazzling his eyes and making his head pound.
His drunken dreams had been full of darkness and death and wild laughter in the face of Buffy’s disappointed face. He could have sworn he’d seen Ben a time or two as well.
He placed his hands on the sink and quickly turned the cold water on, just before puking into the basin. The remembrance of dream-Buffy reminded him all too painfully (as if he could forget for even a moment) that he’d failed to prepare her adequately. She’d died. She’d died like all of the other Slayers who had come before her and this time there was no one to bring her back like after the Master had drowned her.
Again, vomit splashed into the sink and was quickly washed down the drain. His eyes were filled with tears and he couldn’t say if it was because of his physical condition or his emotional.
From elsewhere in the apartment, the bedroom and living room phones were ringing. He chose to ignore them. The last thing he wanted right now was to speak to anyone. He idly noted that his hands were shaking where they gripped the sink and with at least a temporary lull in his stomach’s evacuation, he splashed cold water over his face. Looking up to meet his own eyes in the mirror, he saw immense guilt and sorrow and quickly looked away. The Rupert Giles in the mirror looked like a broken man and he didn’t have time to be. Dawn would need him. The Hellmouth would need him to carry on.
He thought of all of the platitudes the Council had spoken when earlier Watchers had lost their Slayers. ‘She was very brave and did her duty’, ‘You performed quite well… mustn’t think of this as a failure’, ‘Good job old man, a pity that she didn’t last longer but that was certainly no fault of yours. Good show’.
He tried to think back whether he had allowed such utter rot to pass his lips when meeting the very few Watchers who had returned to the Council following their Slayers’ deaths. He’d met two from Slayers killed in the line of duty during the 1980’s, but he couldn’t recall now if he’d offered such ridiculous sentiments or not.
Well, how could he have known that a part of you died when you saw your young woman lying broken and fulfilling her role?
Giles leaned over the sink and tried vomiting again. When he could stop his dry heaves, he changed the bandage on his head from a flying brick he’d taken during the battle.
Finally, he had finished in the restroom and he hopped to the bedroom while keeping his weight off of his broken ankle, a small glass of water sloshing in one hand. He began to look over his journals again. He’d piled them on the bed last night before his bath, but had gotten too drunk to read through them. Now he opened the first one and began to skim, trying to find where he’d gone wrong… what he had failed to teach Buffy when she had needed it most. It was hard making out his own handwriting through the tears in his eyes.
Late morning in the Summers’ kitchen found
Spike was currently upstairs, hopefully sleeping.
“Dawnie, could you call
“Sure. But… I’m not really hungry,
“I know, Sweetie. But we all need to eat,” she sighed, glancing at Anya and Xander who both still looked shell-shocked and exhausted.
“Xan? Why don’t you call Giles again? See if he’d like to join us for breakfast,” she asked.
“Uh… sure. Yeah… okay,” he sounded distracted and numb.
“How are you, Dawnie…; I mean, the stitches,”
Dawn took a bite of waffle, but even with the extra syrup, it tasted as bland as ashes and she had to work hard to choke it down. Everything felt so pointless. Eating felt so pointless, but Buffy wanted her to live and living meant eating so she would.
“Willow, I want to see you eat that whole thing,”
“I can’t stop thinking about…” Anya started, before stopping herself. “I mean… I’m sorry. Is it inappropriate to talk about it, yet?”
“No,” Xan said as he placed a comforting hand on the back of her shoulder. “We’re all thinking about it… replaying it in our heads… trying to see what we could have done differently.”
“I should have jumped. I had the chance before she grabbed me, but I didn’t do it,” Dawn whispered, a single tear falling.
“No, Dawnie! No,”
Dawn turned and threw her arms around
“She was so brave,
While Xander and Anya looked away
End Ch 2