harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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11

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.

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.

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Rebuilding

Ch 11 – Getting Back to Scooby-ing

 

When seven-thirty rolled around that evening, Xander finally walked into Buffy’s home. A quick hug from Willow and he joined the group, with the exception of Dawn and Spike, seated around the dining table.

 

“So, anything change since I left work,” Xander asked.

 

“No, no further news,” Giles stated. “However, I’m very worried about Quentin’s arrival.”

 

“Well, I’ve spent the last few hours reviewing the ‘do not speak about’ security folder of Buffybot. I think we’ll be okay,” Willow said, chewing at her bottom lip. “I’m more afraid of her behavior routines. I’m not sure I can completely compensate for some of her robotic tics… especially that cocking her head thing with the time delay when she’s considering a response.”

 

Currently, the Buffy robot was sitting on the living room floor powered down. On the coffee table sat Willow’s laptop, still connected to the machine-girl’s abdomen.

 

“W-we should make sure that Faithbot is nowhere nearby when he arrives as well,” Tara added. “Xander, maybe you should take her home tonight and keep her at the apartment until after he leaves?”

 

“Swell; where is she,” he replied with no enthusiasm.

 

“She’s doing a short patrol,” Tara told him. “But I’ll have her go to your place when she gets back… or tomorrow if it’s late.”

 

“How long do these things usually take, Giles,” Xander asked while nodding to acknowledge Tara’s plan.

 

“A day; perhaps two. I’m afraid it will depend on how much other business Quentin has on his plate. The good news is that his secretary called me. That indicates that he’s been too busy to call himself.”

 

“How are you, by the way, Mr. Giles,” Tara asked. “The ankle?”

 

“Oh! I’m fine, thank you. I get the cast off tomorrow, as a matter of fact. And you? No further discomfort from the hand?”

 

Tara had gotten her cast off that very day.

 

“It still aches some, but they say it’s healed. It’s nice to be able to scratch an itch on my hand again. And, Spike,” she added to Xander.

 

“Oh, he’s fully recovered. Vampire healing? We should all have that.”

 

“I think Dawn is doing better, too,” Tara said. “I mean, her finger has healed pretty straight but more importantly she seems to be recovering from Buffy’s loss. I think we all are,” this last statement she added while staring intently at Willow.

 

“Y-yes, well,” Giles interrupted to get things back on track. “It may be necessary for each of you to answer questions as well. I’ve b-brought this along….”

 

He pulled out a few stapled packets of paper, handing one to each of them. “This is the final report that I sent to the Watcher’s Council. I’ll need you to review it. If you should be asked any questions, you’ll need to be ready to stick to this timeline of events. Remember, there are things that each of you probably wouldn’t have been in a position to see. Just be conscious of that and don’t be afraid to answer with ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I don’t remember seeing that’. I’m afraid Quentin will be looking for every minute detail and its important we don’t trip up trying to give him the answer he’s looking for,” he wiped his brow.

 

“Relax, Giles. We’ve dealt with him before, we’ll do it this time, too,” Xander replied.

 

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Faithbot patrolled the back alleys of Sunnydale and listened to the crowds wandering down Main Street from the theatre and the restaurants. April’s small form and dark clothing allowed her to blend into the dark shadows around her while her ocular scanners scoured the area looking for the smallest signs of movement. So far, there’d been no vampires or other non-human, aggressive lifeforms for her to dispatch, however.

 

With the human equivalent of a ‘start’ she stopped and cocked her head. Fine tuning her aural detectors she picked up the faintest of creeks and began heading for the source, fifteen meters away and around a corner of the alleyway.

 

Carefully peaking around the corner, she saw a large, lumbering figure which her onboard database identified as ‘Target: Adam’. Opening a subfolder she reviewed her response choices: a) Follow, b) Engage, c) Report back to Willow, d) Attempt to over-ride control centers.

 

Faithbot immediately rejected option D. Willow had yet to purchase and install the remote transmitter which would have allowed the attempt. She knew she had an inbuilt access cable which she could use to connect to Adam’s receiving port but she had already calculated the chances of Adam allowing her such a connection as less than one percent. Option B was also discounted due to her direct instructions. Unless Adam was actively threatening a human being, she wasn’t to engage. Right now, he was standing in a darkened alley in which no one but her was present. Moving to option A and C, she chose Option A. She would follow Adam and ascertain where he goes and only then report this back to Willow.

 

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The Scooby meeting broke up at ten with Xander letting Tara and Willow know that he’d get Dawn to school in the morning. In addition, Faithbot/April would be sent over if she arrived back before eleven-thirty otherwise, they’d wait until tomorrow.

 

When he’d reached the apartment he found it quiet. Peeking into Anya’s room, he saw Dawn curled in a ball, snoring softly. A quick glance at the multi-paned window behind the sofa told him that Spike was sitting on the terrace smoking. He went to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer, then joined him.

 

“Hey, Baby,” he said softly, leaning over to kiss Spike’s waiting lips.

 

“How was the big meetin’?”

 

“Boring, mostly. Giles is having a small panic attack over Quentin dropping in on Friday, but we’ll be okay.” He sighed gratefully as he slid into one of the deck chairs. “I’m afraid, though, we’re stuck hosting the April robot until after he leaves.”

 

“It follow you in,” Spike asked with a glance back into the living room.

 

“She’s patrolling. Tara will send her this way when she gets back or tomorrow if she’s late. I have a packet for you to look over from Giles.”

 

Spike gave him a look, “We have homework, now?”

 

“I know,” he chuckled. “But it’s basically the story that Giles gave the Council about… uh, what happened that night. We just need to know the basics of it, so we don’t trip up and make him suspicious.”

 

“I’ll read through it tomorrow, then. In the meantime, we have another fire to put out.”

 

“Ugh. Now, what,” Xander groaned.

 

“Bit has gotten herself in a bind at school. Read this,” he said pushing a folded sheet of paper that Xander hadn’t noted across the patio table.

 

Once he’d read it and put it back down, he rubbed his eyes. “Swell. Have you thought of a way out of a Buffybot-Parent/Teacher meeting?”

 

“Dawn thinks we should just throw a spell.”

 

“You sound less than enamored with the suggestion,” Xander pointed out.

 

“Magic is unpredictable. There’s a reason we didn’t go much into rituals when I was playing on the bad team. Besides, simpler is always better.”

 

“So? You think we can risk the ‘Bot talking to them?”

 

“Not by itself. But we send Rupes to deal with this with her… I think it’ll work out alright.”

 

“I was thinking that I’d go talk to them,” Xander said.

 

“Better Rupert, Xan.”

 

“Why,” he questioned. For some reason he felt just a little insulted. He was practically taking care of Dawn, anyway… well, with help from Willow and Tara.

 

“Simple… Rupert is used to dealing with the brain dead bureaucracy. He knows how to talk to ‘em on their own terms. Send him in and by the time the meeting is over, Dawn more than likely will be nominated ‘student of the year’.”

 

“I guess that makes sense. I’ll have to call him tomorrow and we’ll have Buffybot arrange a meeting for next week. That way the Council will be out of our way and Giles won’t be distracted,” Xander reasoned.

 

“Sounds like a plan,” Spike agreed. “I’m not letting them take her, Xan. I don’t care who I have to hurt.”

 

“Let’s relax a bit. It’s just a meeting and Giles will be able to smooth their feathers.”

 

“I don’t know,” Spike said worriedly. “There’s a strong hint in there of Social Services. If there’s anything I know after over a century of existence, it’s that government involvement in anything is never a cause to celebrate.”

 

“We’ll deal. I’m not worried. If Giles can keep a lid on the Council’s interference, then he can take care of a school principal. Especially one as overworked as Ms. Portlynn. She’s not only dealing with the junior high age group, but the high schoolers like Dawn and even older students, at least until the new High School gets funded and built. I’m sure she just wants this to go away as badly as the rest of us,” Xander tried to assure him.

 

“I hope you’re right, Xan. I really do.”

 

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Once everyone had left, Tara pulled Willow down onto the couch and gave her a lingering kiss. Willow had just begun to think that they were going to fool around a little, when Tara stroked her hair and got a serious look on her face.

 

“What,” she asked the blonde.

 

“Will… I saw what was on the laptop when you were in the basement a few days ago.”

 

There were several moments of utter silence. The only sound was the breeze outside and the ticking of a clock from the mantle in the dining room.

 

“The programming,” Willow asked innocently.

 

“No, and you know that’s not what I’m talking about,” Tara sighed while frowning. “We need to talk about this, Will. I thought we’d gotten past this sort of thinking.”

 

Willow stood up suddenly and started to pace the living room floor while Tara waited for her to say something.

 

“That was different,” Willow finally said.

 

“Will, we can’t bring Buffy back.”

 

“Yes, we can,” Willow turned and faced Tara.

 

Tara’s breath caught in her throat at the intensity of Willow’s glare. She looked like a zealot about to preach and Tara grew even more worried than she’d started out.

 

“Will…?”

 

“She came to me, Tara. She came to me and she needs us,” Willow exclaimed, tears forming in her eyes.

 

“I-I don’t understand.”

 

“Buffy has been coming to me in my dreams; she’s crying for help. A-and I’m not just gonna leave her….” Willow’s tears began falling and Tara caught the hitch in her breath. Wiping angrily at them, Willow told her, “She’s in trouble, Tara!”

 

Tara swallowed over the lump in her throat, trying to understand what was happening here. She tried a little bit of logic, “Will, Buffy is dead. She’s not in trouble; she’s, uh, you know… dead.”

 

“She’s in Hell, Tara. I know it! I saw it!”

 

“Baby!? No… that doesn’t make sense. She couldn’t be… where did you get an idea like that? Is that why you never sleep? God, Willow, why didn’t you tell me you were having nightmares like this?!”

 

“You don’t get it! They weren’t nightmares! It’s Buffy… she’s screaming for help,” Willow collapsed onto the floor. Burying her head in Tara’s lap she released her fear and horror at her best friend’s fate that she had been holding in for weeks.

 

Tara stroked her head and listened to her nearly frantic cries, unable to figure out how to fix things for her. Obviously, she had gotten it into her head that Buffy was suffering but that couldn’t be so. Buffy died a hero… she’d have to go to Heaven, wouldn’t she? She thought about her last moments and the portal that was shimmering and spinning in the air above them all came to her so clearly that it stole her breath.

 

The portal? Glory was going to use that portal to go to her Hell. Buffy jumped into it, but… but her body landed on the ground. She didn’t go anywhere… she thought with desperation. No, she couldn’t have… it was a physical gateway; her soul wouldn’t have been displaced?!

 

Tara,” Willow glanced up and met her eyes. “I know it was Buffy. She died in Glory’s portal and she… they’re making her pay. Please help me!”

 

“Oh, Goddess,” Tara whispered, horrified.

 

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End Chapter 11

 

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, rebuilding, spander, spanderverse
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