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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 29 – A Rescue Too Late
Xander fumbled the phone as it silently buzzed. Seeing that it was Giles’ number dialing him, he found an empty closet and ducked inside.
“Giles,” he whispered. “Where the heck have you been!?”
“I-I’m still at the mall… and I’m very close to being by myself. Where are you?”
“Dracula’s favorite vacation spot. You need to get over here!”
“You got it. Listen… I’m inside on the first floor. I’ve seen at least three vamps who are patrolling outside right now. No sign of Dawn, but I’m pretty sure she’s upstairs.”
“Alright, I’m on my way. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of the Buffybot. She’s in the mall somewhere, hopefully not being detained.”
“Swell,” Xander grumped. “Listen, Giles… I can’t get a hold of Wills or Tara. See if you can?”
“Fine, but Xander… be very, very careful. Stay out of sight until I can join you,” Giles rang off. He jumped into his car and a moment later was racing from the mall lot. He considered calling Lt. Stein, but realized he’d only put the man at risk.
It was still better if the gang dealt with the demons.
Buffybot strolled with confidence (assuming a robot could be said to have such a trait) toward the front entrance. From behind her she detected aurally the approach of an attacking demon. A split moment before she was tackled from behind, she turned on her heel with inhuman speed. Reaching a hand out, she found a dangling female vampire in her fist, a shocked look on the creature’s face. It only took a quick jab for her to be reduced to dust.
Spinning again, she was just slightly too slow to nail the other vampire who’d raced from in front of the main entrance. The stake struck her in the side of the chest, but failed to penetrate the heart.
“Ow! You bitch, that hurt,” Gladys screeched. “And you hurt Rachel!”
“Correction,” Buffybot said gaily as she flipped Gladys over her hip and sent her rolling to the ground, “I dusted Rachel.”
Gladys gave an angry hiss. “You’re so lucky we ran out of paralyzing juice. But you’re still going to die slowly by my mistress’ hands!”
“Blah-blah. You bad guys sure do talk a lot,” the robot responded using one of Willow’s pre-scripted ‘BANTER’ responses.
The vampire growled deep in her throat and then launched herself at the skinny girl. She threw two punches and a kick at her, but the other woman managed to block them all with ease. Before she could back away though, the girl jumped on top of her and sent both of them rolling down a small hill back into the park.
“You’re getting my clothes dirty and
“Well, you’ve gotten grass in my hair,” the vampire counter-complained as she wrestled with the powerful woman. She was far stronger than she looked and Gladys began to fear that she was fighting the Slayer.
She never had the chance to ask the identity of the blonde. She felt the harsh pain of wood through skin and then there was a strong sensation of vertigo. Before she really realized what had happened to her, she had the overpowering sensation of being pulled away somewhere.
Buffybot stood up and dusted at her clothing as well as she could.
“I hope that
And then she jogged toward the front entrance again. When she reached the front doorway, she gave a solid push and the doors slammed open against the inside walls.
“Vampires, beware,” she yelled out. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer has arrived!”
In the closet, Xander heard the voice of the robot announcing her presence.
Brilliant, Hyena complained. Did anyone think to program ‘subterfuge’ into that thing.
At least she’s here, Xan thought back as he opened the door. He was just in time to see the Buffybot rush up the stairs, calling out for the vampires to come out and meet their destiny.
She’s definitely no Slayer.
“No,” Xan whispered with sadness, “No, it isn’t… but it’s the closest we got.”
Sorry… didn’t mean to open that wound.
Xan reacted with surprise, You’re apologizing? Color me surprised, that’s for sure.
Don’t get used to it… let’s get up there and help out.
Buffybot rushed up the stairway, all but leaping into the crowded room where she saw her friends and Spike(!) being kept. A second later she was being bounced off of a wall as Vanessa barreled into her.
Her head was being violently battered against a wall, plaster flying in shards around the two combatants. She was relatively unphased, though she was worried that her synthetic covering might tear.
Swinging her arm around her, she felt it caught by the vampire and she was suddenly airborne as it swung her clear over a large dining table in the middle of the room. She hit the floor, going into a roll and hopped up as the vamp… a lady with a full mane of red hair… ran around the table after her in full vamp face.
Vanessa was caught by the Slayer, for the girl was much too strong not to be her, by the arm. Using her own momentum against her, she felt herself slammed into another wall, exactly as she had just done to the runt. Kicking backward, she felt the satisfaction of solidly hitting the young woman and sending her back before she could get within striking distance with the stake that the vampire had already noted.
Spinning, she glared at the girl, “No! This is my night… this is my vengeance!”
The robot had nothing to say to that and instead made the four foot jump to tackle the vampire to the floor. She found it difficult to get her stake in position, however, as the woman seemed unusually limber.
“Hold still,” Buffybot tried to insist, “I need to stake you!”
“I’ll drain you dry, you little fool!”
“Not if… uh… I can get this stake in place!”
Xander came up the stairs cautiously as the sounds of bodies hitting hard objects rang down the stairwell. When he’d made it to the top, Hyena immediately zeroed in on Spike, letting out a mental sigh that he was alright.
Spike must have tracked Dawn here as well.
“Speaking of which,” Xan said in a subdued voice. She’s on that table next to that other girl.
Without bothering to question her, he went into an immediate crouch and felt her nearly merge with his movement. Even before he realized what ‘they’ were doing, he was rolled underneath the table, just in time to avoid a heavy robot body hitting where he’d just been.
We need to free Spike and get out of here!
We’re not leaving without the others, Xan yelled in his head.
She quickly glanced at the noise around her to find the Buffybot lying on the floor. Standing over her was a woman vampire kicking her in the ribs. Even as Tara turned her head this way and that to check on the others, another vampire (Tammy) came up the stairs and shouted what sounded like Vanessa. The second vampire was sent after a form crawling out from under the table and Tara realized that Xander had come to the rescue.
“Willow, are you alright,” she said desperately, but Will didn’t respond.
She tried Spike next, but with the same result. It was only then that she remembered that Will had been hit with an arrow or something that had been covered in some type of slime. They were obviously still under whatever effect it had.
“Solvo,” she whispered, concentrating on her binding cuffs. Immediately the iron dissolved into rust, showering her in red particles.
You could have just opened them, she thought as she crouched over to Spike… nearer to her then Willow and not blocked by the fighting robot and Vanessa. Again she uttered the same command and he was soon free, though all that got her was a vampire with his arms no longer raised. He remained unresponsive.
She took a quick glance at
Instead she rushed in Xander’s direction on the other side of the table to help him out.
It wasn’t necessary. Somehow, he’d grabbed a hold of the vampire’s arms and fell backward. As she tumbled onto him, he used his bent legs and upturned feet to propel her over his head and into a wall.
As she recovered, he threw himself into her back both shoving her against the wall and at the same time driving a stake into her back. Backing away, he watched her and the stake turn to dust.
“Goddess… no,” she gasped.
On the other side of the room, Buffybot snapped Vanessa’s neck sending the vampire helplessly to the floor. She retrieved the stake that had been dropped during her collision with the floor and a moment later, Vanessa was done for.
“No one beats the Vampire Slayer,” she grinned maniacally. “Hi, Willow! You’re my best friend,” she smiled at the girl who was still trussed up. “I will free you.”
Buffybot snapped the chains and watched as her friend fell to the floor. “Oops. You were supposed to use your skeletal structure and muscular contraction to remain upright.”
Behind her, she heard movement and spun around only to issue another excited grin, “Hello, Watcher! The Slayer has saved the day!”
“S-sorry I’m late,” Giles said before coming to a shocked stop. “Tara?”
A fight was going on across the room from her, but it may as well have been in another county. Tara’s focus was on Dawn and the two bite marks. With shaking fingers she reached out to touch the young girl’s skin, jumping as Xander came up beside her.
“Oh, god… no… please, not this,” he said.
Tara didn’t respond, instead focusing on forcing her shaking fingers to feel for a pulse against the far too cool skin. A moment later and she broke into gasping tears and felt Xander throw his arms around her. It did nothing to relieve her sudden pain.
She met his eyes, but only long enough to shake her head. One hand was still resting on Dawn’s cool forehead, while the other squeezed Xander’s. She could feel Xander shaking in suppressed sobs as he too already knew what she’d found. Dawn was clearly no longer with them.
End Chapter 29