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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.
WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.
Ch 19 – Closure
Dawn stood with tears in her eyes and a small smile on her face as she studied Xander’s handiwork. On his living room floor, lying flat was a heavy slab of carved granite.
“I’m sorry it took so long… but better right than fast,” he said in a subdued voice.
“It’s perfect, Xan,” she assured him. Spike stood behind her with a hand resting on her shoulder. Around her, stood
“You’ve done right good, Love,” Spike spoke quietly.
“Y-yes…,” Giles cleared his throat. “Truly superb work, Xander.”
The slab was of gray with white marbling along its surface. Into this was engraved:
BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS
SHE SAVED THE WORLD. A
“And it’s so accurate, too,”
“It was Dawn that gave me the idea,” Xander explained. He continued to Dawn’s surprised reaction, “You said she died a hero. And she did. It reminded me of just how many times she saved everyone.”
He had to stop as tears flooded his eyes. Spike was immediately beside him and placing a comforting arm around his waist.
“I miss her, too,”
She wanted to blurt out her belief that they would get her back and that she needed all of their help, but bit her tongue. The time wasn’t right to burden them with Buffy’s fate; especially not for Giles who was only now no longer looking haggard and lost. Instead she allowed a few tears to slip down her cheeks before putting on a brave front. “When should we take it to her site?”
Everyone looked to Dawn instinctively, but they found her taking several steps back. She had grown pale, her arms wrapped in front of her waist. As she noted everyone’s stares, she looked even more miserable… and guilty.
“I-I don’t think I can…. You guys decide. I don’t think I can go there again,” she said apologetically. “I can’t see that place. I’m sorry…. I’m not ready.”
“It’s alright, Dawn,”
“Bit? Don’t you think you should see it set in place,” Spike questioned.
“I just can’t, Spike! I’m the reason she’s there! I can’t,” Dawn yelled, crying. She took off for the guest bathroom and shut the door with a slam. Behind it, everyone could hear her bawling.
“She’ll… she’ll be okay,”
“Quite,” Giles agreed. “However, the rest of us should set a time to do this task.”
“How about this Sunday,” Xander offered. “I have to work a few hours tomorrow and I can’t be sure how long it’ll take.”
“You guys go in the day. I’ll stay with Dawn,” Spike offered.
“You should be there, too, Spike,” Xander tried to object.
“Xan, I’ve seen death up close hundreds of times. I don’t need the rituals to let go… you guys do what you need to, I’ll stick by Dawn.”
“I suggest we get an early start before the park gets crowded. It’ll be odd to see a group of people struggling through the thickets with a granite slab,” Giles understated.
“How about we meet at the tree-line just before sunrise? The demons will be seeking shelter then and I can perform a ritual to the goddess of the day,”
“It’s a plan then,” Spike said. “I’ll stay over tomorrow night at the Slayer’s place. Now, I’d better see to our girl.”
“Now, that is very interesting,” Vanessa said as she paced in front of the weakly burning fire. Arrayed on the bench before her were Gladys, Tammy and Rachel with their eyes shining in the ambient light. Outside of the recessed windows, the sun was again depressingly bright.
“Do we attack tonight,” Tammy asked with anticipated excitement. “The brats failed, but we’ll subdue your neglectful Sire!”
“No. Not quite yet,” she said quietly, thinking. “So Spike is helping the red head who just happens to live with the brunette? It appears that Spike has himself a whole little family going. Odd… and disturbing. And you’re sure that the red-head remains mortal?”
“We’re sure,” Rachel responded. “She’s human,” she added with revulsion.
“And there’s another woman there… also human,” Gladys reported. “But there were two others that left and came back after sunset and before dawn. There was something odd about them.”
Gladys looked at her two companions and shrugged at a loss. Tammy took the floor, meeting her sire’s questioning gaze.
“They appeared to be girls, but something about them rang… ‘false’ is the only word I can come up with. One was brunette and the other blonde but both moved very similarly. There was something… strange… about the way they walked, the way they swung their arms. I’m sorry, Sire. I don’t have the words to describe what exactly was wrong with them.”
“The mystery deepens…,” Vanessa said as she stared into the weak fire and thought.
“Wait, wait, wait,”
“What’s wrong with you,” Jonathon asked, startled.
“Andy, rewind that last bit,” he said.
They’d already watched the boring kitchen scene twice and no one but
Aprilbot’s viewpoint showed
“Got it,” Buffy stated. She looked at April and said, “Let’s get started, Faith.”
“Stop… rewind that bit again, just before she looks at April,”
Again, Andrew rewound the image playing and restarted it forward.
“Got it,” Buffy said again for the fourth time. She looked at April, “Stop,”
“I don’t get it,” Andy whined.
“Re-wind again, this time watch Buffy’s eyes… especially the way she blinks when she looks at April,”
Once again, the Trio watched the sequence of events recorded much earlier in the evening. This time both Andrew and Jonathon leaned forward, keeping their eyes on the image of Buffy’s.
“Yeah, so,” Andrew complained.
“No way,” Jonathon whispered in surprise while staring at
“C’mon guys! What!?”
“That isn’t Buffy,”
“What do you mean,” Andrew whined again, clearly lost as to what he was supposed to be noticing.
“She was blinking her eyes at the exact same rate of speed and timing that the April… sorry, the Faith robot does,” Jon said. “There’s no way that could happen consistently like that unless….”
“That’s the Buffy robot I built for the vampire,”
“Are you sure,” Andy exclaimed.
“Very. That is definitely my work.”
“So what does this mean,” Jon asked him.
“It means… the Slayer isn’t in town! Tomorrow we do some personal recon around the Summers’ house. If she really isn’t around, then tomorrow night we go on a crime spree that will make us legends, like Jesse James and uh, other famous robbers!”
Giles sat poring over his papers for the week and readying his update to Council HQ. There wasn’t much to report other than the attack of the vampire children, which was surely tied directly to the monster responsible for the missing families. Also on his table sat a reference book on individual vampires and demons faced by past Slayers and Watchers. It was a sort of ad hoc manual describing the personal proclivities of individual creatures. Angelus was in there, as was Spike, Dru and even a short passage on Darla.
Giles was pouring through the nearly two-thousand page codex, one of the books released by the Council once Buffy became more ‘cooperative’, looking for any sign of a vampire who enjoyed tearing the throats of men. Considering Spike’s continued vague insistence that he’d seen something similar, he thought perhaps a Watcher in the past may have also noted the modus operandi. So far, he’d gone through the first four hundred pages with nothing to show for it.
Giles was just writing his report on Adam… or the lack thereof, when he took his glasses off and rubbed his tired eyes. A moment later, he dropped the spectacles on the table. His eyes were dark… very dark.
I’ve wasted enough time with this foolishness for one evening, he thought. I deserve a little fun time just for me. It will help me deal with the renewed sorrow over Buffy.
Strangely, he wasn’t actually feeling much grief anymore. In fact, what he was really feeling was quite randy… randy and in need of some one soft and pliable crying for him.
Crying for me to stop, Ripper smirked. He grabbed his jacket from the closet and made his way out into the Sunnydale night.
End Ch 19