Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
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
Harmony lay on the queen sized mattress that her Blondie-bear had somehow managed to procure and looked up at the rock ceiling above her head. The candles that were lit around the room cast shifting patterns of light on the rock face and made her feel secluded and safe. She turned her head slightly and let her gaze take in her Pookie’s pale form, the best bits covered right now by a thin white sheet. Harmony smiled to herself as her eyes took in the bite marks she’d left on his collar bone and the scratches along his chest. If there was one great thing about being a vampire, it was the phenomenal sex. You could just tear into each other and in a few hours, everything was healed. And Spike, well, he was just a barbarian in the sack. She could still feel ghost-sensations of his hands squeezing her breasts hard enough to cause her to yell in pain… and ecstasy.
“Spikey,” she whispered to her dark knight, “Sweetie-poo?”
Harmony sighed as Spike didn’t respond. She slipped from the bed, limping and grimacing at the aches that traveled wonderfully across her muscles. It was sort of a shame that human Harmony Kendall had croaked a virgin, she thought at times like this. If only she’d known what she'd be missing by waiting. Harmony grabbed the whiskey bottle from the top of the dresser and took a large slug, sputtering with an ‘ew’ face as it burned its way down to her stomach. She quickly replaced the bottle; how her little Blondie-prince could drink that gross crap was a mystery to her.
She glided back to the bed and resumed her place under the thin sheet, pushing her body closer to Spike. “Sweet-bear? C’mon, Spikey, wakey wakey. Please?”
When this failed to have the desired effect, Harmony reached out and grabbed Spike’s pale nipple, giving it a wicked twist.
“Huh?! What?” Spike sat up looking dazed and confused. Harmony found it all so adorable that she immediately planted her lips against his mouth, forcing her now extended fangs into his bottom lip.
Pulling back from her lover, she resumed her human mask. “Oh, Spikey, you’re just so cutey-cute when you first wake up.”
Spike awoke to the irritating sound of Harm’s voice piercing his brain like a hot dagger. As she prattled on, he reached down to the floor beside his bed and grabbed his cigarettes from the pocket of his jeans. Lighting and drawing a quick hit of nicotine made him feel a little more civil and less like he was about to drive a stake through the bint’s heart.
“Spikey! Are you listening to anything I’m saying?” He heard frustration in Harmony’s voice. Not that he cared what the cow was feeling at any particular moment, of course.
“I asked you about where this relationship is going?”
“What ‘relationship’? Look Harm, you need a place to stay, I need something to shag, end of story.”
“Oh, Spike! I don’t know why I let you treat me like this.”
Harmony had puckered her lips into a pout that Spike found nearly irresistible. He was about to lean in and give her a kiss that would have her spontaneously combusting, when she’d ruined the entire effect by continuing to talk.
“If you think I’m just some slut you can use up, then you have another think coming! You can’t just use people, or um, demons… well at least not fellow vampires, this way! Unless, you know, they’re a minion or something. Which, I’m not!”
During her tirade, Spike had crawled out from under the sheets and was quickly getting dressed. The last thing he needed was to listen to one of Harmony’s self-delusional rants regarding what this was. Even when they’d been screwing before, she’d always wanted to make it some sort of love affair, no matter how many times he threw it in her face that she was just a body to bang. If she’d had any sense at all, she’d have realized that she was nothing like his type… but, he figured, sense and Harmony probably didn’t come within a continent’s length of each other.
“Are you going out,” she whined at him.
“Just for a bit.” And to forestall another emotional outburst, he added, “If you’re going to be here awhile, I should nip you some furniture and whatnot, yeah? I’ll just stroll over to the dump; see if I can find something for you to keep your clothes in and whatnot.”
“Ohhhh,” Harmony gushed, her eyes sparkling, “You are just the most romantic demon in the world.”
“Uh, yeah. That’s me alright,” Spike said, his voice completely missing any trace of sincerity. Harmony, of course, failed to pick up on this.
“You great, big bad, you. I’ll tidy up while you’re gone. Maybe I’ll run out and get some flowers to cheer the place up.”
“Yeah, sure. You do that.” Spike pulled on his black duster and swept out of the crypt and into the night.
It was only minutes later that he found himself rubbish picking in the Sunnydale garbage collection site. Struggling with a shopping cart that had a bad wheel, Spike strolled through mounds of human-generated junk, looking for anything that could be salvageable. It wasn’t one of his favorite things in the world to do, but it sure as hell beat listening to Harmony’s witless prattle. He was starting to re-think the brilliant ‘keep Harmony here and play games with her’ plan. He now thought he probably should have been telling her to run as fast and as far as she could and never return.
Spike froze as he heard voices approaching the waste disposal’s entrance. He sighed when he heard the Scoobies stomping around on the other side of a mound of garbage to his right. Great, he thought, that’s exactly what I wanted to deal with tonight.
His mood brightened a little bit, or maybe more than a little, when he heard Xander’s voice ring out into the night, “Oh, man! I just stepped in something smooshy!”
As the gang stopped and looked over at Xander standing on the left of the group, Riley Finn took a moment to look at the trash stacked around him. It seemed endless and he frowned as his eyes began to pick out cardboard boxes, glass bottles, paper and even old motor oil cans.
“Would you look at this,” he complained. “This is not recycling, people! I mean everyone says they’re doing it, but they’re not.”
“Could we please focus on the Watcher-bashing, Slayer-stalking demon please,” Buffy commented, irritation clearly in her voice now. It always felt like she was ready to crawl out of her skin when she was getting ready for a battle. She knew it sometimes made her short tempered with those around her, but sometimes her friends could have their attention on the wrong stuff in these situations. Like Xander and the smooshy stuff under his shoe. She expected more out of Riley, being a soldier and everything.
Riley for his part was irritated as well. At Buffy. She seemed to have no problem with everyone else’s pointless banter, but boy, have him say anything and she was suddenly prickly. He had a retort on his tongue, but chose to withhold the comment. Now wasn’t the time to start a silly argument. After all, Buffy was right about watching out for the demon that could be anywhere behind one of these huge trash mounds.
As the group walked deeper into the dumping ground, the smell became nausea-inducing. Giles pulled a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and covered his mouth and nose. In front of him and to the right,
“Sorry,” she shrugged in apology, “I tried.”
“Well, well, look at here. The gang’s all here,” Spike said as he rounded a mound of trash about nine feet high.
“Spike,” Riley said, an unpleasant threat clear in only a word.
Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and stood with a foot tapping the ground. “Spike, what are you doing out here? And please tell me it’s not something evil, because I really don’t have time to stake you tonight.”
“Ease off, Slayer. I’m just here shopping.”
“Shopping?” Buffy’s entire body language bespoke of her skepticism.
“Yeah. What of it? Look,” Spike said belligerently, “it’s not like I can apply for credit at the local ‘Rent-to-Own’ now is it?”
“Geez, Spike,” Xander said, stepping toward the vampire. “If you need furniture, I’d be glad to advance you some money. We could go to the thrift shop, pick out a few tables or whatever you’re looking for.”
“Xander!” Anya now rushed forward to join her boyfriend, “You can’t just go giving away money to a vampire! They never pay you back. Believe me, I know.”
“Anya,” Xander started, but was interrupted by Spike, himself.
“It’s alright, Xan. Appreciate the thought, but there’s plenty of good stuff out here if you just look for it. You humans… you’re always throwing out perfectly good items every time something new and shiny comes along.”
“That was my point not five minutes ago,” Riley added, “No one is recycling.”
“Yeah,” Spike said before realizing that he was agreeing with the block of non-personality.
From behind them, Buffy could be heard clearing her throat loudly. “Can we get back to the whole ‘stopping the latest demon’ thing, please? I still have two chapters to read before class tomorrow.”
“Buffy’s quite right,” Giles said, polishing his glasses. “We, uh, should keep looking. Let’s, uh, let’s everyone move along, alright?”
Just as the group began walking again, now including Spike, Toth jumped out from behind another pile of trash directly behind Buffy, her lingering behind the others.
Even as everyone jumped and
“Buffy!” Both Spike and Riley yelled out the Slayer’s name, taking off at a run toward the attacking demon. At the same time, Xander and Giles ran toward the Slayer. Dropping to their knees beside Buffy, she began to sit up, dazed.
“Wow,” she said to her companions, “That was one hell of a hit. Especially, for someone who’s ‘not much stronger than a human being’.”
Giles took note of Buffy’s glare, “Well, uh, I, uh, w-would say that his strength is coming from his staff. So, really he isn’t much stronger than a, uh, man.”
She rolled her eyes and then looked to see what Toth was doing as she allowed herself to be helped to her feet. Fortunately Toth was already being kept busy.
As Riley engaged Toth with his extended baton, Spike tried to jump on the monster’s back. As Buffy watched the struggle and shook off a bout of wooziness, the scaly demon flipped Spike over its shoulder and slammed the vampire right into Riley, knocking both of them off their feet.
She began to run to re-engage the demon, leaving Giles to fiddle with his mini-crossbow to set up a shot. Xander retrieved his ax from the ground where he’d dropped it next to Buffy and looked for his chance.
As Buffy rushed across the fetid field of debris, she saw
Buffy yelled at the witches to get down, but she knew she was already too late. The staff discharged the same energy it had collected and before
Thank god they didn’t shoot a fire ball! I have to get that damned staff away from him!
Buffy resumed her run at Toth, jumping him in a tackle move. Just as Buffy’s launched form was about to crash into the demon, he quickly side stepped, sending Buffy careening into a mountain of garbage bags. These bags immediately broke open on the Slayer’s impact, covering her in weeks old food, and something even more horrible.
Oh, god! Is that diapers, she thought in a panic.
Anya, seeing how poorly the direct assault thing was going looked desperately around her for a way to help. Spying a large iron bar, she wrestled it from its pile one handed, trying not to strain her already sore arm in its sling.
My coming here was really a smart idea, Anya, she thought derisively.
Hefting the iron bar, she closed the distance between her and Toth. As she spied Xander being punched away from the demon, and Giles yelling for Riley and Spike to get out of his way so he could shoot, she wound up her arm.
Letting the iron bar fly, she yelled out, ‘Incoming!’
As the bar struck Toth on the shoulder, he whipped in her direction. His facial features clearly showed someone pissed, and Anya shrunk back from the creature’s glare. Just as she was considering making a mad dash in the opposite direction, Riley punched Toth in the face, distracting the demon’s anger.
Even as Buffy extricated herself from the garbage mound, Giles let loose his crossbow bolt. The pointed head of the missile stuck into Toth’s thigh, eliciting a screech of pain. Riley followed up on Giles’ assault, yelling at Spike to do something at the same time. Spike, for his part, was waiting to see if he was about to witness Riley taking another hit and wasn’t in a hurry to help him out. As Riley grabbed Giles’ bolt and jammed it further into Toth’s thigh, Toth himself was grabbing Riley’s shoulder. With a grunt of pain, he shoved Riley away from him and directly into Anya.
Her shoulder suddenly felt like her arm was being ripped off and she screamed out in sudden, shocking pain as the wrenched joint suffered further damage. Even as she hit the ground with Riley on top of her injured shoulder, she mercifully grayed out from the pain.
“Anya!” Xander started to run toward his girl. His breath was coming in harsh pants as he’d heard her scream of pain and now she wasn’t moving as Riley was checking her over.
Giles had run up to Willow and Tara, who remained bound and vulnerable. They were both unable to move or react to anything that Toth might do; in fact, they weren’t even able to move their lips to chant a counter-spell.
Buffy re-engaged with Toth again, this time from behind. As she struggled to get her arms around the demons neck so she could attempt crushing its throat, she clearly heard Spike egg Toth on to beat on the ‘dumb, blond, mountain’ some more.
Oh, his ass is so beat when I’m done here.
As Buffy and Toth struggled, with her on his back, he raised his staff in Spike’s general direction. A blast of orange-energy shot across the short distance, barely giving Spike time to get out of the way.
“Hey,” Spike yelled at the glowy, veiny, guy, “I was being supportive, here, you wanker!”
As Buffy's arms began to close around the demon’s head, he suddenly and violently flipped her forward. She flew over his head and landed hard on her tailbone, pain flying up her back. As she began to sit up, behind her Toth was pointing his staff in her direction. Another orange charge built up, and as Buffy got to her feet, grabbing her back she was turned away from him.
Xander was mere steps from Anya, when he changed course as he saw Toth aim his blaster-thingie at his best friend.
“Buffy!” He shouted a warning that did no good.
As Toth fired his beam directly toward the center of Buffy’s back, Xander pushed her away.
The blast caught Xander in the ribcage under his left armpit. He felt himself leave the ground as the world slowed into a series of snapshots. Buffy in mid-spin toward him. The ground flying by below him. A mound of trash in front of his face, all of it a blur of images. And then suddenly the world was back to normal speed as Xander went flying through a low lying mound of trash. His body was wracked with pain and his eyes began seeing sparkles before them, obscuring his vision.
Spike, now standing again, saw Toth raise his staff. He saw Xander heroically place himself between the blast meant for the Slayer and that Slayer. And he saw Xander’s form suddenly leave the ground and smash through a trash mound, tumbling somewhere on the other side of it out of view.
He instantly sprang into game face. His features were twisted in outrage. He spun toward where Toth was standing, “Now, your ass is kicked!”
However, when Spike looked Toth was no longer there. Just that fast the demon had apparently taken off, leaving the Slayer and her gang to lick their wounds. He considered for a moment going after the bastard and killing him slowly, but Xander’s well being was paramount at the moment and Spike took off toward where he saw Xander crash. Ahead of him, Buffy was also running toward the same trash pile.
It was ten minutes later after Toth’s sudden disappearance when everyone came back together as a group. Buffy and Spike walked one on each side of Xander, who was walking a little unsteadily, but unsupported. He appeared to be fine with the exception of some bruises and minor cuts. He’d described the intense pain of the blast, but it didn’t seem to have any significant or lasting effects for which everyone was grateful.
Riley helped Anya to her feet, trying hard not to jostle her already abused arm. She was pale with fatigue and her eyes were watering with pain. He’d already apologized for slamming into her like he had, but like she herself had told him; it wasn’t like he’d been in control of his flight path.
As Buffy, Spike and Xander returned, Giles was busy trying to find a way to de-spell
“Nice work, Red. Really ace spell-throwing, there,” Spike said with a sardonic grin.
“Don’t you have something else to do?” Buffy enquired.
“Nah. It’s much more entertaining seeing the pose-able witches.”
“Solvo habitum,” Giles said in a forceful voice.
Moments later, the witches once again were able to move. Both of them clung to each other, unsteady on their feet, but otherwise unharmed.
“And the fun is over,” Spike said.
“Well, ah, I think that’s all we can do for tonight. We’ll have to try to find a more effective means of fighting this demon tomorrow.”
“Gee, Giles, ya think?” Buffy frowned a little, “It’s that staff of his. We need a way to either de-power it somehow, or a way to get it away from him. I tried, but he’s got like this death-grip on it.”
“Well, I, uh, suggest, we all get in for the evening. It’s late, and Xander and Anya will need time to recover,” Giles suggested.
“Can I help you get Xander home,” Spike directed toward Buffy.
“We got it. Why don’t you go back to your trash-picking.” Buffy’s tone made it clear she wasn’t asking.
Spike’s mouth turned into a grim line as he gritted his teeth, but he turned away. Buffy watched for a few moments as he stomped his way back toward his discarded shopping cart, and then started walking with the others toward the exit.
“My poor Anya,” Xander said, “In pain… again… is there anything I can do?”
“I just want to go home,” Anya complained. “Why am I always the one with the wrenched arms?”
End Ch 7