Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.
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.
WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.
Ch 10 – Getting Back to Things
Several days later and the gang were still trying to accommodate Buffy’s absence. It had been twelve days since Buffy’s burial.
Will we ever reach the day when I don’t measure time like that anymore, Spike thought to himself. He was lying in Xander’s bed in the small room with no windows. Xander was at work and Dawn was at school, both of them outside of his protection and he didn’t like it.
Especially, since there was a new vampire in town that had him feeling uneasy. Whoever it was, they were trying to lay pretty low, but Giles had mentioned there’d been a few bodies found. They’d had their throats ripped open, all of them male. It was an unusually violent show, not to mention the waste of blood that such gaping wounds would cause. The gang had already tried to find any sort of demons who practiced such an M.O. but when Spike and Willow had broken into the funeral home to check on one of the bodies, it all screamed ‘vampire’ to him.
In addition to this new vampire, the search for Adam wasn’t going so well. The ruins of the ‘Magic Box’ had been disturbed as if someone had been looking for something. And another hit was performed at the local museum with the same M.O. as the others that Adam was involved in. The security system was disabled, the crooks broke into a secured door and they’d been interested in very specific items… in this case a large diamond on a public tour.
It was baffling what they’d want with it. Unless he or she was just a collector; the diamond was too well known to just pawn. And it didn’t seem to fit with the other robberies which seemed to be more focused on specific items only useful to a mage with the money being taken almost as an afterthought. Spike couldn’t come up with any rituals that would require a large diamond, though of course, that wasn’t really his area. He had to hope that
Finally, there was the disturbing aggression he’d been feeling lately toward Xander. They’d progressed from yanking each other’s pull toys to some oral play, but Spike was beginning to feel his demon rising when things began to get too heated between them. He wanted to yank Xan over and bugger him ‘til he screamed. Thankfully, he was confident in the chip stopping him from hurting his human lover, but the fact he was feeling so edgy could end up dangerous. This morning in the shower, he’d also been transfixed by Dracula’s bite mark. He wanted to obliterate it with his own bite, leaving his ownership over Xan clear and unambiguous. Again… dangerous; natural for a vampire-human consort relationship, but not what they were supposed to be about. He hadn’t brought up these things, however; he didn’t need Xander afraid of him.
He sighed, rolling over onto his stomach and bunching at his pillows, struggling to get comfortable. He wanted to be awake and refreshed when Dawn came over after school and he wasn’t going to be if he didn’t enter the coma-like sleep very soon.
But his mind seemed to keep returning to those young men with the torn throats. It was bothering him in a vague way he couldn’t quite put his mental finger on. Something about it seemed distantly familiar.
Well, it would come to him. Right now, he was more worried about Xander Harris. Not just his own impulses, but what he’d found out a few nights ago. He was determined to bring it up at the next meeting set for Friday. Xander kept saying that he didn’t want to make a big deal of it, which was weird because Spike would have thought he’d be more upset by this alternate ‘animal-spirit’ personality than he seemed to be. Of course, he’d had months to get used to it when he was being kept silent. Still, they needed to at least investigate what exactly had gone awry with the re-uniting spell and what, if anything, they should do about it now.
Ripper sat on the bed stroking, almost sexually, the large tome in his hands. With a reluctant sigh, he replaced it into its invisible chest and re-enabled its protective magicks. The pick-me-up was just what he needed, but he still had trouble absorbing more than just a small bit of the potential power with the Book of . The mage who’d created it must have been a prodigy in wizardry. It was almost heartbreaking that he couldn’t use the entire potential locked within its bleak pages. With a last glance at the bottom of the closet, he limped down the stairs from his bedroom.
Moments later, Giles perused the morning newspaper, keeping one eye on the mid-morning Sunnydale newsbreak on the television. He and the others had begun to establish a routine. He gathered odd occurrences, as he had for Buffy, and then planned out a patrol for the Buffy and April robots (whom he refused to refer to as Faith, despite
In the meantime, Spike had also begun to patrol more. So between the three of them, the rampaging demon community was being thinned out nicely, while the more peaceable were keeping low profiles.
Now, all they had to do was find this rather vicious vampire that seemed to be making the rounds of Sunnydale. So far, they had four bodies, all of which were younger men. They’d each had bite marks that hadn’t stopped at feeding, but had literally torn the flesh from the body. It was a rather brutal and wasteful way of going about getting blood, but nevertheless, if Spike stated it was definitely a vampire, then Giles could accept that.
The other priority was these odd robberies by Adam, or whoever had control over it. Buffy had stated that the last time she fought with the brute that he’d been more robotic than usual. With the sketchy eyewitness accounts passed onto him by Rick, it didn’t appear that Adam was much more than an electronic zombie at this point. Still dangerous, of course; there was no need to underestimate its strength, but obviously there were other brains behind these operations.
After everything that had been lost from it over the past few years, you’d think that no one would allow their precious things to be shown here. Giles grimly smiled to himself at the thought when the phone rang. The grim smile turned to a grim frown when the user ID showed it was an international call.
“Hello, Rupert Giles speaking,” he said with no enthusiasm upon answering.
“Hello, Mr. Giles! This is Ian Bladesworth with the Council.”
“Yes, Mr. Bladesworth, what can I do for you?” Ian was a sort of executive secretary and surrogate, all around pain-in-the-arse for Quentin Travers.
“I’m just giving you a ring to let you know that Mr. Travers is on his way to the
Ian gave him a small chuckle of amusement; “Buffy? Really?”
“When is Quentin due to arrive in Sunnydale,” Giles said while struggling to keep the worry out of his voice. From his time at the Council, Giles knew that Ian was nearly empathic when it came to other people.
“He wants to investigate this outfit involving Buffy’s former-beau,” Ian stated with obvious distaste and derision. Angel had no fans back at the Council and many also held Giles personally responsible for the entire Acathla affair for ‘allowing’ the Slayer’s involvement with him. To be fair, the vast majority of them had never met Buffy. ‘Allowing’ wasn’t really a factor when it had come to her.
“He isn’t going there with another Black Operations group is he? Wes is there now and by all accounts they are doing good work.”
“As far as I know, there’s to be no direct contact between the Council and, uh, ‘Angel Investigations’… how original,” he stated drolly. “However, I’m sure I need not tell you that Wesley Wyndham-Pryce’s word holds little currency here. I would not take anything he says at face value, Mr. Giles.”
Mr. Giles wanted to tell the wanker to piss off, but held his tongue. The important thing was that the Council wasn’t planning another operation. Or at least, he hoped not. Obviously, he would call Cordelia immediately to warn her, however.
“Y-yes, well, back to the main point. Quentin’s arrival,” Giles questioned. His mind was already filling with dread. Of course, they all knew this was a distinct possibility and had been preparing for it. He could only hope that Buffybot was truly ready to pretend to be her namesake.
“Oh, I should imagine Friday morning, sir. I have so much to do, so must ring off, but give my personal congratulations to Buffy for her latest victory, Old
Giles hung up the phone with a grim look. I’m sure Buffy would care about the ‘personal congratulations’ of a Council toady, he thought a little sourly. And the ‘old man’ comment was entirely unnecessary!
With a sigh, he picked up the phone and dialed Xander.
“Hello, Xander. This is Giles. I know we agreed to a, ah, ‘Scooby’ meeting this Friday, but I’m afraid we’ll need to meet this evening.”
“Have you found a lead on our robo-thief or the new vamp?”
“No, I’m afraid its different bad news,” Giles sighed. “Travers is on his way here.”
“I expressed similar sentiments. Regardless of our feelings, however, we need to re-check the Buffybot’s socialization programming. Not to mention the fact that she cannot use her more robotic behaviors while interacting with the Council contingent. In the plus column, he won’t be here ‘til Friday. That gives us a few days to work out any behavioral kinks.”
“Okay, no problem Giles. I’m stuck here until about 7 tonight, but I’ll head directly to Buffy’s from here. I’m going to arrange with Dawn to stay the night at the apartment with Spike so she doesn’t have to deal with the fussbudgets, though. Do you think we can keep her out of it,” Xander asked. “They tend to upset her and with them talking about Buffy and stuff….”
“I completely agree,” Giles stated. “I must go now. He’s dropping in and spying on
“You don’t think they’re going to cause trouble, do you? Not that I care overly much what kind of headache Deadboy gets, but, well, they are on our side. Kind of.”
“According to my source of information, this is strictly surveillance. And Quentin is far more interested in speaking to ‘Buffy’ about how she defeated a god.”
“Okay, Giles. I’ll see you tonight.”
This afternoon when they got home, Dawn would be at Spike and Xander’s. She was determined to have this out without involving the rest of the family. She’d find a way to make
She picked up her plate of food, mostly uneaten and dropped it into the trash.
She’d had more dreams overnight of the Slayer calling to her for help. Buffy had been tied between two posts and some goblin-type demons were whipping her naked back with thorny branches. Her back was raw and bloody and she was crying for
She had woken up with a start at five this morning and she’d been glued to her laptop ever since. Now she read over her screen prints and cross referenced with some of
She could get a lot more work done if she didn’t have to worry about Tara coming across what she was doing; at least, not until she had decided on their most likely course of action for success.
Much later in the day, Dawn had walked to Xander’s apartment. She was biting at her lip and trying to work up her nerve. It wasn’t really her fault; not with everything that had been happening in the last few months, but still…. She didn’t know how they were going to get her out of trouble.
The last thing she needed was this hanging over her!
Using the key that Xander had made for her, she let herself inside and let out a breath of relief to see no one moving about. Spike was still sleeping.
Or so she thought. She let out a yell of surprise as he suddenly came out of the bathroom wearing a robe.
“Geez, Dawn! Give a bloke a heart attack why don’t you,” he said grumpily. “Or… at least if my heart was actually working, anyway.”
“Sorry, Spike. But, you scared the crap out of me! I thought you were still sleeping. It’s only, like, ten to four.”
“I wanted to be up when you got here. You hungry? Want a snack?”
“N-no, uh, I’m good. Kind of.”
“I’m kind of in trouble, Spike,” she sighed. Coming the rest of the way into the apartment, she took off her jacket and shoes. He watched her without comment until she’d gotten herself sat down at the dining room table and pulled a sheet of paper from her backpack.
“You better read this,” she said, not meeting his eyes.
Spike took the sheet from her with a frown of puzzlement. As he read the bureaucratic jargon, he glanced at his Nibblet chewing at her bottom lip.
“Don’t chew your lip. You’ll bleed,” he said. “So, according to this, you’ve been a very bad girl.”
“No! I mean, not really, just, you know….”
“Quote- we have been very disturbed by Dawn’s lack of interest in her schoolwork while in school and her penchant for skipping in the afternoons- unquote. That isn’t bad,” Spike asked her skeptically while doing that eyebrow thing.
“I-it’s not like they make it sound. Okay, I might have taken off early… a few times! But not, like, in a whole week! That should count for something, right,” she winced a bit. She also didn’t mention that the only reason she didn’t skip classes in the morning was because she was too tired from the sleeping pills still to bother.
“I’ll let you know after I get somebody without a chip in their head to tan your hide.”
“Spike, I’m fifteen! I’m a little old for spankings,” she sulked. “And besides, most of what they’re complaining about is from right after mom died. I mean, things were really bad then. I just… needed to not be there.”
“Damn it, Dawn. You think I give a shit about whether you go to school or not? It’s a factory for mindless automatons. I can teach you a hell of a lot more than you’re ever gonna pick up listening to some droning clod.”
“Cool. Think you could say that stuff to Xander and Tara?”
“And get my ass tanned? Yeah, right. No way, kid, you’ve broken the ‘rules’, you’re gonna have to face the music.”
“I know. But… I mean with everything….”
“I know, Bit. And the others know how tough things have been. But, there’s no way that the school’s gonna let this go without a meeting with Buffy, according to this letter. This is really not good.”
“I know. I didn’t think, alright. I should have stayed in classes and tried harder, at least until I turn sixteen and can drop out.”
“We’ll discuss that later. Right now, we need to make sure that the Buffy robot can pass as big sis long enough to get you out of hot water. It says here that they may need to recommend ‘home visits’ by a professional. What the hell does that mean?”
“I think it means they may want Social Services to drop in on us, Spike. To make sure that Buffy is taking care of me. Maybe
“I’m not a general fan of magic, Bit. Let me talk to Xan; we’ll see if there’s something we can do to head them off before we resort to the ‘ooga-boogas’, okay?”
“Spike? I’m really sorry,” Dawn said, looking a little afraid and very contrite.
“We’ll work it out. That’s what the Scoobies do. But for the rest of the year, you need to bust ass, you got that? Now, let’s get a look at the homework for tonight.”
“T-they won’t take me, will they? I mean, if the robot blows it? They won’t send me away somewhere? Foster care, or to
“Over my ash-ed body.”
End Chapter 10