Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
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POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.
Notes: Fifth story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Burial”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse. Following Burial and before this story BTVS: Real Me occurred. This is the Spanderverse: version of BTVS: The Replacement.
Note in the Spanderverse, Anya was employed at the Magic Shop by Mr. Bogerty until ‘Real Me’, as mentioned in Spanderverse: Dracula.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Spanderverse: Confusion of Three
Chapter 1/17: October 1st
Night had fallen in Sunnydale and the overcast sky had grown gloomy. The weather outside gave signs of impending rain as the fall season wore on. The temperature had dropped to the fifty-degree mark but with the wind blowing it had felt much colder. It was an evening that those of
Buffy glanced out of the living room window at the leaves and trash blowing down the street. With Joyce upstairs resting from more migraines and Dawn across the street studying with friends, she had the downstairs to herself. Well, herself and
Just the core Scoobies, minus Giles, without any of the significant others, Buffy smiled to herself. They didn't have many evenings anymore when the three of them could just get together to talk.
Xander exclaimed in excitement at something on the cable menu and
"Ooh, Indian musical," Buffy exclaimed. She opened Xander's proffered can of carbonated sugar and thought how great it was to not be patrolling tonight. Things had been quiet again, unusually, lately. Things were just starting to pick up as far as Hellmouth activity went, but then word had gotten out about Dracula's defeat. Buffy didn't really understand how information could pass so quickly through the demon underworld, but she was glad for it anyway. With another 'major baddie' dusted by the Slayer, once again the demon population had either vacated, or decided to keep the 'crush, kill, destroy' raids to a minimum. There'd been a brief scuffle the past Thursday that had left Buffy bruised and battered, but Slayer healing had already taken care of those injuries. With things so quiet, she'd asked Riley if she could take a night off just to spend with
She felt a small pang of worry, hoping he wouldn't run into anything he couldn't handle out there tonight. That was quickly forgotten as Xander, sitting on the floor in front of the center of the sofa, looked back at her and Willow occupying opposite corners of that same sofa.
"I talked to Giles today," he addressed his two best friends, "the bank gave him the loan."
"So, he really is buying the shop, huh?" Buffy placed a sardonic look on her features, "Guess that means we'll be spending even more time in the hoogedy-boogedy store, then."
Willow, naturally, was beaming. Anything involving magic made her happy. "Well, I think it’s great. I mean
Xander once again entered the conversation, "Anya's been sucking up to him all week, trying to get her sales job back. She's spent all day today drawing up purchasing lists, contacting suppliers, you know… kissing Watcher bootie." There was a short pause, "Except, you know, not literally, 'cause, ew."
"I'm more worried about shop owner's life expectancies there, or the lack thereof," Buffy shared.
"So far ahead of you, my petite, yet oddly powerful friend," Xander graced her with one of his patented 'Snoopy grins'. "Tomorrow I'm taking a look at the doors. I'll come up with something to reinforce them. At least, if Giles will stop henpecking me over finishing the shelves I'm doing for him. At no cost, I'd like to add. The man is such a drama queen."
A round of laughter and nods greeted this comment before attention was again turned to the screen. As the same woman that had been singing before, possibly a soon-to-be-bride on her way to meet her fiancé, sang another song in front of an elaborate fountain, interest again turned to conversation.
"I've got Riley on vampire patrol. How'd you get Anya to be elsewhere tonight, Xan?"
"Suggested that Giles needed help with cataloguing artifacts at his apartment. You know; all those shiny trinkets he brought out of storage when he was going back to
"You're evil," Buffy said with a grin, "and Giles will make you pay."
"I'm so glad he's decided to stay,"
"Yeah. Me, too. Of course, it would be easier to focus on my meditation exercises if my mom would stop making me drag the pain around with me everywhere I go. I swear, one of these times, I'm going to take her patrolling with me and sell her to the first demon I meet." Buffy looked a little worried for a moment, "I guess I need to keep her busy though. Mom's headaches seem to be getting more frequent and Dawn can be a little… rambunctious."
"Still, huh?" Willow frowned in Buffy's direction, "Maybe now is the time for the doctor's?"
"She has an appointment on Thursday, finally. I think it's just the stress of managing the gallery. She basically has one person on her staff and there must be enough work for three people, at least. I offered to threaten the owner into hiring her more help, but she said it wouldn't be 'ladylike'."
"So, Wills," Xander added, "What about
"Blessing spells. She wants to work some Holy water into her incantations, especially after Drac-,"
There were several moments of uncomfortable silence. No one wanted to mention Dracula in the same room with Xander, which he appreciated. But then there were times like this, when everyone suddenly went to the uncomfortable fidgeting place and he found himself feeling under a microscope. Yes, Dracula had hurt them and yes he'd almost killed Xander. And, of course, his father was murdered, nearly a month ago and while the pain lingered on, he was trying so hard to put it behind him and get back into the normal Scooby-routine. He'd managed to deal with his anger and grief, at least most of the time. The beating on vampires was good therapy, and when that wasn't helpful, there was always the beer. Great big, anesthetizing six packs of treatment.
There was still the guilt, of course. That he wasn't more broken up by his father's death had him daily asking 'what the hell is wrong with me', but he was hiding that from his friends. He wished they could all just speak normally about their dusted bad guy, like they'd discuss any of the other ones. It wasn't to be though. Dracula had been different and Xander had an empty house to prove it.
Pushing these thoughts away, as he did several times a day, he tried to dispel the tension in the room. "Did I tell you that Giles has actually, finally, chosen a name for the shop too? He's ordering the sign tomorrow."
"Oh, yeah? Don't keep us in suspense, then."
Good old Buffy, Xander thought, always ready to pick up on an 'I want to avoid this topic' hint. "Yeah. Apparently, instead of the 'Magic Shop', it was far more creative to rename it the 'Magic Box'."
"That's it?" Buffy was incredulous, "That's really lame!"
"That’s what I said. I wanted him to call it something like 'Dragons and Thunderbolts' or 'Potions and Fireballs' or something else really cool."
"What does Anya think,"
"I'm not sure. I think she's so busy trying to get her job back that she'll probably not notice the name until after she's hired. She'll probably want to call it something like, 'Hexes, Curses, and other Bloody Fun Times'." This was said lightly with a laugh, "You know; ex-demon and all."
"What about you two's arguments, lately," Buffy asked, "any better?"
It was a not-so-secret secret that Xander and Anya were in a low point of the relationship. She wanted desperately to move out of Ms. Milner's Boarding House, but she didn't want to move into Xander's parent's 'fixer-upper' home. She was much more into luxury apartments. At least, luxury by Sunnydale standards, which could still be very much unaffordable on a construction worker wage.
"Eh," Xander replied with a shrug, "Still arguing."
End Ch 1