harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
harsens_rob
harsens_rob
spanderverse

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20

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 20 – Darker Turns

 

It was just before noon and Saturday and Giles knocked at the Summers’ residence door. When Tara answered, smiling, he gave her a good morning and entered. Willow was once again hard at work on her laptop, it being connected to Faithbot at the moment. On the dining room table was a group of stacked books, one of which was opened about three quarters of the way. Dawn sat on the floor having been watching some god-awful sounding woman warbling off key and slinking in front of some shirtless boys in what he thought a prostitute might feel comfortable in.

 

“Hello ladies, Dawn, are you alright with tomorrow morning,” he asked.

 

“Oh… yeah. I mean… mostly,” Dawn said, stifling a yawn and looking like she’d had a bad night’s rest.

 

(In actuality, Dawn had taken three sleeping pills the night before and was feeling a little hung over.)

 

“W-well, I was hoping that the three of you would do me the honor of allowing me to treat you to lunch,” he smiled.

 

“Oh, thanks, Giles! I have so much work to do today though,” Willow said apologetically.

 

Tara stepped in, however, “You could use the break, Will. We both could.”

 

Something appeared to pass between Tara and Willow, but Giles didn’t wish to pry. With a small shrug, Willow agreed, though she didn’t seem happy about it and began to log off from the interface with the robot. Upstairs, unknown to Dawn and Giles, were stacked more print-outs and books about Osiris and resurrection gained from Lavinia Mills. Both women had been up since six a.m. scouring through them. If Giles had taken a closer look at the open book on the table, he may have gotten an inkling of what Tara was reading up on these days, but she was quick to mark her page and close it.

 

“Just let me run these books upstairs,” she smiled at him. He didn’t notice the strain around her eyes.

 

“And you, Dawn… would you humor an old man,” he kidded.

 

“Oh, yeah! I can always eat… especially when someone else is paying,” she smiled back though it was a struggle. She knew they were worried about her refusal to visit Buffy’s grave and when Willow had offered to go with her to Joyce’s instead later today, she’d baulked at that, too. She knew somewhere in her mind that she should want to visit the resting places of her family, but she also knew she just didn’t.

 

Maybe the monks made me defective, she thought in self-derision.

 

As the troupe headed out into the warm, sunny day they didn’t take much notice of the remote control toys the neighborhood children were playing with. But not all of them were being used by the kids.

 

Andrew, Warren and Jonathon were hidden in a battered, black van parked further down the block. In Jon’s van were stacked consoles, a transmitting/receiving antennae, which looked like a CB’s, and video monitors. All of the equipment had been purchased in Palm Springs by Warren, using the proceeds of the usable money they’d stolen from the bank. Tucked near the rear doors was the zombie-Adam, a newly installed parabolic dish jutting awkwardly from its abdomen. Adam was inert at the moment and was only there in case they ran into trouble and needed his muscle at a moment’s notice.

 

On one monitor, a ground level view zig-zagged across the screen. As the remote controlled car sped behind Giles, Willow, Tara and Dawn the sideway long angle camera lens showed their retreating backs. Taking a sharp left, Andrew piloted the remote camera across the lawn.

 

“They need to cut their grass,” he complained.

 

“Will it be able to maneuver to the basement windows,” Warren wanted to know.

 

“I think so.”

 

“How about you Short-round?”

 

Jonathon’s focus was on another screen currently showing little but a slice of sky and tree branches.

 

“Maneuverability is clumsy with the camera’s weight,” he said. “But I think I’ve got the hang of it. Moving the ‘copter into position; starting with Buffy’s bedroom window.”

 

“Princess Leia,” Andrew automatically corrected him.

 

“I think we can ‘can’ the code names when we’re not undercover outside, Andy,” Warren smirked. “Besides, I have trouble remembering which one we’re calling Han and what we decided to call Giles.”

 

“He’s Tarkin,” Jon supplied.

 

“And Han is Spike,” Andy said with slight exasperation. “Because they’re both way cool?”

 

“Whatever. We need to jot these things down,” Warren said disinterestedly. “Can you get closer to Buff’s window?”

 

“Hold on, I’ll try,” Jon told him as he fiddled with the controls.

 

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Xander rolled up his sleeves and grabbed some timber from a stack. Carrying the boards over to a retaining wall that was going up, he glanced up into the sunshine.

 

“Better watch it boss,” Eddie of the multi-colored hair called from where he was hammering. “I’d hate to have to report you to the union,” he said laughing. His hair was the same platinum helmet as Spike, but it was highlighted with purple streaks. His ears had their accustomed array of rings and he’d recently added a diamond chip to one nostril.

 

“And I’d hate to have to put you on the unemployment line,” he called back.

 

“Ooh… isn’t there laws protecting whistle-blowers?”

 

“Give me a break, Eddie. Don’t you know how much torture it is to have to sit in that dark, dank trailer all day long while you guys are having all the fun,” he grinned.

 

He reminds me of Spike, Hyena thought. Bet he has a nice ass on him!

 

Oh, God! Stop, Xander blanched.

 

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The girls and Giles sat around the restaurant table over their emptied plates. He had spent his time trying to gauge Dawn’s true emotional state, but found himself distracted by both Tara and Willow. They both seemed to be far more exhausted than they had been letting on to him. Willow especially seemed to be under strain, judging by the circles under her eyes she was trying to hide with make-up.

 

As he reached into his wallet, he frowned in confusion. Within, he saw a few ones and a ten, but he could have sworn he had nearly sixty dollars there just a few days prior. In fact, he seemed to be missing a lot of money these days from his wallet. As his frown deepened, he cast his mind back, trying to figure out where he’d been spending his money lately. He certainly hadn’t purchased that much scotch within the past week!

 

Maybe I really am going senile, he thought with a small smile.

 

“Are you alright, Giles,” Tara questioned with concern.

 

“Oh, quite! I just seem to have misplaced some money, that’s all.”

 

“Oh! Here, Giles, I can take care of it,” Willow offered.

 

“No, no! I invited you out and am very pleased you accepted,” he smiled, waving away his confusion. “And these are the times that American Express was made for!”

 

“Do you think I can get a slice of hot fudge, chocolate cake to go,” Dawn asked.

 

“Dawn….” Willow frowned. After all, Giles had just admitted he was short of cash.

 

“What? I’m a growing girl. Plus I’m stuck with a summer of school! I need something to lift my spirits.”

 

“That’s quite alright,” Giles smiled. “I’m planning on getting a slice of apple pie myself for later,” he assured them as the waitress approached for the bill.

 

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At the Summers’ home, the toy helicopter was buzzing and weaving from window to window erratically. In the van, Jonathon had to keep glancing away from the monitor as the unsteady image on screen was making him nauseous.

 

On the second monitor, Andrew was looking through the basement windows into a heavily shadowed room. He strained his eyes for several minutes in irritation.

 

“This is stupid,” he complained. “Buffy isn’t going to be hanging in her basement. And plus, I’d need a spotlight just to see anything decently. It’s giving me a headache.”

 

“Okay, okay,” Warren said, “Bring the car back. What about the ‘copter, Short-round?”

 

“I wish you’d stop calling me that,” he answered. “But so far, no Buffy. No movement at all either, except the cat wandering on the counter tops in the kitchen.”

 

“Any sign of the ‘Buffy’ or ‘Faith’,” Warren said with air quotes.

 

“Nothing so far.”

 

“Well, they’re in there. Let’s land the chopper and get out of here. I’m sure we would have seen a sign of the Slayer if she was around.”

 

“Maybe she’s over at Xander’s… I mean over at Chewie’s,” Andrew suggested.

 

“Well, we know where his apartment is… I say we scope it out,” Warren said.

 

“But we have to hit a McDonald’s,” Jon insisted. “I really have to pee.”

 

“Ooh! I want a Big Mac,” Andrew squealed.

 

This is my elite crime syndicate, Warren thought with a sigh.

 

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Later that night, Spike roamed across Rainbow Park. In front of him, the Faithbot was robotically turning her head this way and that, staring off into the darkness. On the other side of the park, the condominium complex that Glory had used lay in shambled ruins. A development company had quickly stepped in to buy the land, but clearing of the wreckage was slow going.

 

“Thanks for coming out, Wicca. I needed somebody to talk to about Xan,” he said to the woman patrolling with him.

 

“Oh, it’s no trouble Spike,” she returned distractedly. It wasn’t that she was indifferent to his concerns, but she had her own at the moment. Willow was left home with Dawn so who knew what she was up to. Despite her best efforts, she realized that she feared that Willow would try a resurrection spell on the fly behind her back and only the Lord knew what would happen after that. She placed a comforting hand on his arm anyway as they walked, but she was bothered by her distrust of her girlfriend.

 

“Has anything happened again with his Hyena-spirit?”

 

“Not really. But… well, uh, we haven’t… done anything since that night. I know that Xander is getting frustrated. He’s ready to go to the next step, I think.”

 

“But you’re hesitant? Because of the animal-personality?”

 

“How am I going to find the vampires with you two jawing back there so loud,” the Faithbot called back.

 

When Spike and Tara glanced ahead of them, they found the robot with arms crossed and scowling at them. She was tapping a foot in impatience with them.

 

“Sorry,” Tara automatically said.

 

“Why don’t you fuck off,” Spike stated. “Nobody is talking to you, you mobile toaster oven!”

 

“Spike….” Tara said, uncomfortable with his harsh language.

 

“Listen you stupid vampire, if you’re going to patrol then you do it with your mouth shut or get away from me so I can do my job!”

 

“We need to talk,” Tara cut in before a brawl could erupt. “Why don’t you go search the collapsed building for awhile? Come back when you’re done, okay?”

 

“Fine,” Faithbot huffed and went into a jog across the park.

 

“Your girl did way too good a job on that machine,” Spike complained.

 

“I keep telling her to stop tinkering with it,” Tara sighed. “But I think it helps her think. Plus there’s something going on with its batteries or something that I don’t really understand.”

 

“So, anyway,” Spike shrugged, “I’m worried that this thing with Xan is going to come crashing to a halt before we’ve even given it a decent try, you know? Which, by the way, is not ‘demon thinking’; I hope this silicon wafer in my noggin’ isn’t driving me bonkers.”

 

“Have you sat down and talked to him?”

 

“Vampires aren’t good with the heart to hearts, Luv. We more command, threaten, bully and take what we want. This whole ‘relationship’ business is new to me.”

 

“You had a relationship with Dru,” she reminded him sympathetically. “From what the diaries say, you and her had something very close to a human love affair.”

 

“You’ve been reading up on me,” he asked in an amused manner.

 

“W-Well, back when we were keeping you chained in Giles’ bathtub and then later during your stay in the Harris basement; i-it just seemed like a good idea to know what I was getting into. Giles let me brief myself on what they knew about you. Uh, was that railroad spike thing true?”

 

“True enough. I only did it to a select few; don’t know how I became so associated with it. That upset you? It was a long time ago, you know.”

 

Tara took a moment to respond, but then she gave him a smile. “Spike, I know that you’ve done horrible things. I mean, it was natural for you, I guess. I don’t hold any animosity about it. I was just curious.”

 

“Well, you don’t need to worry about things like that these days. And not just ‘cause of the chip clinging to my grey matter.”

 

“I believe you. So, back to Xander: I think I’ll be ready to try a spell to root out his alternate personality in a few more weeks. I’m waiting for a potion to ferment. Hopefully, once that’s done you can get back on track. You never did tell us how she upset you so much….”

 

“I don’t want to say,” Spike said. He seemed to close up in front of her.

 

Reaching out again, she placed a comforting hand on his arm. “Spike, if you think he’s in danger because of this personality, we really need to know what you know.”

 

He shrugged. “She just… it was in the heat of the moment… she offered herself to me.”

 

Spike started walking again, shoulders hunched and hands dug deep into the pockets of the new leather jacket that Xander and Dawn had picked up for him. Tara followed with a worried frown.

 

“I’m not sure I understand. Offered herself? Like… offered to have an affair? With his body? Or…?”

 

“She offered me her neck; to let me bite her,” he turned in the witch’s direction. Tara could see the shadow of worry crossing over his features. “She was playing on my aggression… my need to ‘claim’ him… as a mate and consort.”

 

“Goddess,” she whispered. “I had no idea. Does Xander know?”

 

“He knows I’m upset and that I won’t get naked with him.”

 

“But you haven’t told him?”

 

“No,” Spike said. “Tara… I don’t want him afraid of me. But this spirit… when she’s in charge of the body, she thinks that I can bite her… him… and… and a large part of me wants to try it; wants it bad.”

 

 “I’d never feed on him,” he exclaimed suddenly due to her sudden scared expression. “But… the claim mark… it’s important to us… to vampires. I swore to him we’d do this the human way. If Giles even suspected that I was thinking about claiming Xander, he’d waste no time staking me. He’s made his displeasure about us perfectly clear. But… I’m a demon, Tara! I can’t help the thoughts that go through my brain, can I?”

 

“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with ‘claim’. Are you saying she wants you to vamp him?!”

 

“No, no. A ‘claim bite’ is a way of marking a mortal as your property. You’re telling other vamps or any demon perceptive enough to keep their hands or tentacles to themselves. It’s about “this is mine”. That’s why I don’t want to do it to Xander. We’re not about owning.”

 

“But the animal spirit knows just which of your buttons to push anyway,” Tara intuited.

 

“Well, us demons? A lot of our behavior is very… animalistic, for want of a better term, if you stop to think about it. Hunting, stalking, tearing throats… list goes on.”

 

“But you’re more than that, Spike,” Tara said with feeling, believing she was seeing his real worry. “You know that don’t you? You’re not just a mindless predator, Spike. Monsters don’t have fifteen year old girls light up when they walk in the room. And I don’t care for monsters. But Dawn and I do care for you, very much. You’re a person, Sweetie. And I’m going to fix this thing with Xan and you and he are going to be fine. I promise.”

 

Spike blew out a breath of air into the night. “I knew talking to you would feel better,” he grinned.

 

Tara’s reply was cut off by the sound of shattering glass.

 

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End Chapter 20

 

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