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Compelled to Play Again

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Compelled - The Buffy/Angelverse Reshaped". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: First story in the Compelled series - The Shaper of Things decides to replay the game from an earlier level...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > General(Current Donor)HotpointFR1832121,179108140215,79126 Jan 0731 Jan 07Yes
CoA Winner

Chapter Twenty-One

Everything either belongs to Joss or it should, no infringement is intended and no profit is to be made. When you get right down to it I’m not really worth suing anyway unless you want a share of an underpaid civil servants wages and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle trust me.





Eastern Suburbs – Sunnydale - May 2003

Buffy’s brain kicked into high gear. She knew Glory was dead, Giles had admitted ages ago to killing Ben to prevent her return, but here she was, the proof as plain as the inevitably broken nose on Spike's face.

Having risen from the dead herself, more than once as it happened, Buffy was however probably more accepting of the situation than most would have been in the circumstances.

‘…six, five’ Glory continued to count down, ‘aren’t you running?’ the HellGod asked. ‘Not that I’m complaining in these shoes’ she told the slayer. Glory dressed even less appropriately for a fight than Buffy at her worst. If the slayer ran Glory would have had to kick them off and chase barefoot. Vail had suggested something more practical to wear but the HellGod had treated that suggestion with the scorn it deserved. She was beautiful and perfect and needed the clothes to match and if that meant wearing high-heels to a fight so be it.

Buffy looked Glory right in the eyes ‘I wish I could say it’s nice to see you again’ she told her with feigned indifference. ‘Wasn’t the last ass-kicking enough? Didn’t you end up dead after that one?’ the slayer asked injecting a hint of sarcasm into her voice while fighting the urge to flee.

Glory looked around. ‘I’m not seeing any construction equipment, robots or comically oversized hammers anywhere sweetheart’ she replied with a vicious smile. ‘Just a badly dressed slayer and her pet vampire.’

‘Working for The First Evil are we’ Buffy asked stalling for time. Spike should be recovering by now and she needed him mobile, ‘he bring you back? Needed a new lackey to do his dirty work?’ the slayer asked in a mocking tone. ‘What’s being a minion pay these days? Decent 401K? Good prospects for advancement to flunky?’

‘Do I look like a flunky?’ Glory asked with amusement.

Buffy looked the HellGod over ‘Okay I’ll give’ Buffy conceded. ‘Way more like a hooker’ she opined. ‘First got you turning tricks out here?’ she asked evenly, sweeping her right arm around to indicate the neighbourhood.

The slayer noted the changed expression on Glory’s face. Okay so the last line was a big mistake she thought as the HellGod snarled.

Her right arm still extended from where she’d swept it around Buffy activated the mechanism on her forearm and the folding sword smoothly and crisply extended and snapped into place.

Glory inwardly laughed and raised her left arm as a shield as Buffy swung it at her with all her might.





Warehouse District – Sunnydale – May 2003

Stephen had been thinking of writing up a short book of advice for watchers based on the sage comments he heard been hearing expressed by Giles, Wesley and a few of the others regarding their thoughts on dealing with slayers. One of these had particular resonance right now. It had been an advisory from Giles the first time he had gone out with one of the slayer patrols to observe. “Stephen my Boy” Giles had said. “If you ever see a slayer running away from something, don’t stop to ask questions, just try and keep up” he had advised.

Words of wisdom Stephen decided as he watched three vampire slayers run around a corner looking like their lives depended upon it. He was already running away in the same direction long before they got close enough to yell at him to get his Limey ass in gear. He was carrying his ubiquitous long-sword with the scabbard tied across his back and it banged against him as he ran. He had tried wearing a long coat to conceal it but it made him look like a Spike or Angel wannabe.

‘What the hell is going on?’ he called out as they gained on him rapidly.

‘There were Turok-Han back there’ Rona yelled back as herself and the two other, slightly less experienced slayers in her team, sprinted up the road gaining on him.

‘Well, slay them’ Stephen suggested, arms pumping and heart and feet pounding in his chest and the ground respectively. He was fairly fast on his feet and physically fit but they soon caught up and throttled back to his speed.

‘There were lots and lots of Turok-Han back there’ another of the slayers told him as the four ran as a group, Stephen flat out and the slayers coasting.

‘Well slay some of them then’ Stephen told them breathlessly, turning his head slightly to see at least fifty Turok-Han come tearing around the same corner the slayers had come from.

His head immediately snapped back forward, his eyes widened and Stephen Travers suddenly found to his surprise he had another gear he didn’t know about as he accelerated again, the four of them fleeing for their lives.

Stephen grabbed a radio from his jacket pocket. ‘This is Patrol Eight’ he yelled into the walkie-talkie. ‘Patrol Eight reporting that we need urgent assistance’ he continued, barking the words out between breaths. Fortunately they had developed a proper command and control system for the teams, with someone acting as a base to direct calls via too. It was far safer and more efficient that just letting each group of three act totally independent of each other.

A calm voice that sounded like Cordelia emerged from the speaker. ‘What’s your situation Patrol Eight?’ it asked.

‘We’re in deep shit’ Stephen somehow managed to bellow. ‘Turok-Han’ he added.

What happened to British understatement?’ Cordelia asked on the radio.

‘That was British understatement’ Stephen yelled into the mouthpiece before Rona snatched the radio from him. She was far less out of breath than Stephen and better able to relay a clear message.

‘There’s dozens of the fuckers’ Rona declared. ‘Send everyone’ she roared insistantly into the radio.

There was a momentry pause at the other end before eventually a reply came through ‘Roger Patrol Eight we are converging all Teams to your location.

‘Who’s got the scythe?’ one of the slayers asked. Each patrol took it in turns to carry it.

‘Molly tonight’ Rona told her. ‘We need a lot more of those things’ she noted unhappily.





Eastern Suburbs – Sunnydale - May 2003

Buffy swung the sword which Glory parried away with her own arm, seemingly unhurt by the clash of metal on what looked like ordinary flesh. By its nature the weapon wasn’t as heavy or sturdy as a conventional sword, it was an aerospace grade titanium alloy, to make it as light as possible but still tough enough to be used in combat, but even so the links gave it several weak spots and not only did it not draw blood, the damn thing bent slightly with the impact.

The HellGod drew back her other arm and clenched a fist but before she could throw it Spike, finally recovered from her blow, launched himself at her with his inhuman strength and reflexes, driving the most powerful kick he could muster into Glory’s side.

The shock of the blow ran back down his body but at best Glory merely rocked back in the other direction in response and turned her head towards him in amusement.

‘No Spike! Run!’ Buffy ordered, turning to flee herself. ‘She can’t chase us both’ she yelled. Glory was powerful beyond belief but being in two places at once wasn’t possible even for her.

‘I won’t leave you’ Spike called back. He knew which one of them Glory would chase and it wasn’t him.

‘Get help’ Buffy told him urgently, sprinting away awkwardly as she tried to collapse the sword back into its forearm scabbard. It wasn’t working properly because it was damaged but with her other hand she managed to force it back.

Spike blinked and started running in the opposite direction. He knew he couldn’t take Glory, he knew Buffy and him together couldn’t.

He just hoped there was someone that could.





Crawford Street Mansion – Sunnydale – May 2003

Angel snatched up his favourite broadsword and nodded to Cordelia. ‘We’ll meet up with the others there’ he told her, moving to follow Gunn out of the door. They had been trying to get hold of everyone since all hell broke loose, Andrew and Anya were trying to find Giles and Willow who had gone off to a 24 Hour Convenience store for supplies and Fred, Emily and the twins were getting ready to deal with casualties if needed.

Help me’ a voice pleaded on the radio set Cordelia was carrying. She raised the walkie-talkie to her ear as Angel paused to see what the call was about.

‘This is Control’ Cordelia said. ‘Identify yourself’ she requested.

This is Medousa, I mean the Guardian, I need help am I using this thing right?’

‘I can hear you Guardian. This is Cordy’ she replied. ‘What’s wrong?’ she asked.

Harbingers’ the radio replied. ‘Harbingers at my door. Trying to batter it down.

‘It’s all go tonight’ Angel said with a grim expression. ‘Bastard’s trying to make us divide our forces.’

Help is on its way’ Cordy told the Guardian. ‘Wesley were you listening to that?’ she checked.

Roger Control’ Wesley’s voice responded, he was in his SUV heading back from the Vineyard.

‘Can you and Xander deal?’ Cordelia requested. ‘We’ve got Turok-Han coming out of our ears’ she told them.

We’re on it but we could do with another body if there’s a lot of them’ Xander responded. He had been over at the vineyard too and they were dashing back together at high speed Xander in the passenger seat loading weapons as Wesley drove.

‘No time for that’ Cordelia told them, looking at the map of Sunnydale spread out on the floor in front of her. ‘Get going’ she told Angel.

‘Yes Ma’am’ Angel replied formally, watching Cordy in take-charge mode ordering slayers, watchers and assorted allies around the town. He saluted with his sword and dashed off after Gunn who would be waiting outside in his truck by now.

Cordelia, this is Spike’ a new voice declared.

‘Go ahead Spike’ Cordelia responded.

Buffy needs help’ he said, his desperation evident even through the tinny speaker in the radio.

‘Lot’s of that going around tonight’ Cordelia replied. ‘What’s up?’ she asked. ‘Don’t tell me you’ve run into more Turok-Han?’

More?’ Spike repeated badly out of the loop. ‘No it’s not fucking Turok-han, I wish it was only fucking Turok-Han, it’s Glory!

Cordelia snorted. Trust the blond to go seeking glory somewhere, probably bit off more than she could chew. ‘What do you need Spike? We’re pushed right to the wire here’ she informed him. ‘Full scale attack by the First.’

Screw the First’ Spike growled. ‘Buffy’s being chased by Glory. Glory the bloody HellGod’ he explained sharply.

You’re kidding’ Xander’s voice interrupted. ‘It’s got to be another First fakeout.’

The state of my bleeding face says otherwise’ Spike retorted. ‘And I mean bleeding.’

She’s dead’ Xander declared with certainty.

Well I guess she got better’ Spike retorted sarcastically.‘Now would someone help Buffy before Glory rips her in half please?’ he pleaded. ‘We separated so I could get help but you’re not bloody well helping.

Spike go back and help Buffy’ Giles voice interrupted. Andrew must have found him. ‘Cordelia where’s the scythe?’ he asked.

‘Faith’s got it’ Cordelia replied. ‘She linked up with Molly’s Team and they’re going to meet up with Rona. I think they’ll need it there’ she said. ‘They’re on-foot anyway they’d never get to Buffy on time.’

Where’s Illyria?’ Wesley asked.





Warehouse District – Sunnydale – May 2003

Stephen looked ahead. They were heading towards a residential area, they couldn’t lead the uber-vamps there, it would be a slaughter.

Rona was thinking the same thing. ‘We need to turn and fight’ she said. ‘Hold them up, slow them down.’

‘No way’ one of the other two replied. ‘We’ll die.’

Stephen suddenly stopped running as did Rona, the other two continued on a few steps then reluctantly stopped too.

‘Not exactly the end I was hoping for’ Stephen told the slayer, panting breathlessly reaching back for his sword and unhooking the scabbard from round his back. He drew the weapon and threw the scabbard to one side.

‘Not exactly the person I was planning to die next to’ Rona told him. ‘You’re too much of an asshole.’

Stephen grinned. ‘I’m comfortable in who I am’ he replied. ‘Being an arsehole is a long and distinguished family tradition’ he said, straightening up and getting into a fighting stance.

Rona laughed and drew her short-sword. To her surprise the other two nervously joined them as the mass of Turok-Han approached.

Stephen took a deep breath to steady his breathing and his nerves and quietly began to recite from a poem: ‘Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate. “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?”.’

‘Shakespeare?’ Rona asked.

‘Macaulay’ Stephen told her. ‘I was supposed to be taking my A-Level exams to get into University this month’ he said. ‘English Literature was my worst subject as it happens. I just always liked that poem’ he said.

‘How can you be so calm?’ the slayer who had wanted to keep running asked as the vampires got closer and closer. She was petrified.

‘I was supposed to already be dead by now’ Stephen replied. ‘Every extra second is a bonus. Anyhow I’m far too knackered to keep running.’

‘Knackered? You people just don’t speak English properly at all’ Rona told him, shaking her sword arm loose.

‘When they call the language Americanish you can criticise, until then live with it’ Stephen told her wryly.

‘I would if I could’ Rona told him seriously. God there were a lot of Turok-Han coming she thought.

‘Your courage is undeniable’ a voice declared from nearby. ‘But I know from personal experience that facing overwhelming odds in an alley at night never turns out well’ Illyria told them, stepping into the gap between Stephen and Rona.

‘Oh thank God’ the more panicky of the other two slayers said with relief.

‘God-King’ Illyria corrected her. ‘I simply do not understand why you all continually get that wrong’ she complained.

The Shaper of Things took a step forward ahead of the others to confront their foe. The Turok-Han stopped in their tracks and edging slowly forward looked at her from no more than thirty yards away, teeth bared in challenge. They were confused, she didn’t smell right at all.

‘I am Illyria, God-King of the Primordium, Shaper of Things’ she declared. ‘Prostrate yourselves before me and swear fealty or die’ she ordered them in her most commanding voice.

The fifty-plus uber-vamps just looked back at her.

‘That always worked so much better in my day’ Illyria complained bitterly. ‘If you flee I will hold them until the other Slayers arrive’ she told the four behind her.

‘Can’t you just do the time thing?’ Rona asked.

‘Only if I need to’ Illyria replied.

‘We’ll stay’ Rona told her. ‘If I wasn’t going to leave watcher-boy behind I’m not going to leave you either.’

‘And for a brief second there I thought I was going to live’ Stephen interjected. ‘Oh well, easy come easy go’ he said looking the Turok-Han over. If he was lucky he might be able to decapitate one before they ate him, he thought to himself, best think positively he decided.

‘Connor are you in position?’ Illyria called out loudly.

‘Yes’ a voice replied from above. Rona turned to see Connor standing on the roof of a nearby warehouse. He had a small satchel over his shoulder and was reaching into it.

‘When you’re ready’ Illyria told him. ‘The Half-Breed’s son has an unusually proficient throwing arm’ she said more quietly. ‘I plan to duck, you would be best advised to do likewise’ she told the others.

Connor pulled an incendiary grenade from his satchel, pulled the pin with his free hand, and hurled it with inhuman speed and accuracy into the midst of the mass of vampires.

Loud and bright wouldn’t even begin to describe it.





Guardians Pyramid – Sunnydale – May 2003

‘We should be helping Buffy’ Xander stated, pulling back the cocking lever of his assault rifle as they ran full pelt from the SUV towards the Pyramid.

‘We’re too far away and I’m not really up for fighting a god right now are you?’ Wesley replied, bringing up his own weapon. ‘Bloody Hell’ he swore, looking at the mass swarming around the small part of the pagan temple visible above ground.

Xander stopped and dropped to one knee for stability, Wesley doing likewise. ‘What I wouldn’t give for a mortar right now’ Xander said.

‘We’ve got one on order but Emil can’t source the ammunition’ Wesley told him, aiming his G36K. ‘If you say “rock and roll” I’ll shoot you’ he told Xander.

‘Let’s boogie’ Xander replied with a grin and pulled the trigger on his M16A2, Wesley immediately joining in with his own assault rifle.

Bursts of 5.56 millimetre rifle rounds began to rip into the massed Bringers punching right through them. The two shooters were barely two hundred and fifty yards away, firing into a crowd with high-velocity ammunition, the effect was dramatic to say the least, Bringers started falling like leaves in autumn.

The Harbingers stopped trying to break down the door and instantly started running towards Xander and Wesley who continued placing their shots. ‘Screw the mortar I want a belt-fed machinegun’ Xander yelled over the soon of Wesley firing next to him as he ejected his own empty magazine and snapped another into place.

As his own weapon ran dry and he did the same Wesley considered that it was akin to mowing down troops on the western front in the Great War. Poor bastards must be students of the 1914 school of tactics, he thought, run or walk straight into automatic weapons fire like a load of bloody idiots. The problem was there was so damn many of them. Their losses were ludicrous but they kept coming and they were scattering more, so a single burst didn’t bring down more than one or two at a time.

Xander reloaded yet again. It was strange that it all felt so natural doing this, he considered, those soldier-boy memories weren’t real but they felt as real as any others, it was sort of like his memories of Dawn growing up, he knew those were false too but it was simply impossible to tell the difference.

‘Bringers’ Wesley yelled out, laughing manically, ‘Thousands of ‘em’ he declared. ‘Where’s a hundred singing Welshmen with Martini-Henry rifles when you need them?’ he asked nobody in particular reloading yet again. ‘Volley by ranks’ he called out starting to fire again. Not having seen the film Zulu Xander had absolutely no idea what he was going on about but he was starting to seriously doubt the Englishman’s sanity.

‘We’re going to get overrun’ Xander shouted, standing up and starting to walk backwards still firing. Wesley joined him after burning off his clip but instead of reloading with another thirty-round clip he pulled a hundred round drum magazine from the small khaki bag he’d been carrying over his shoulder and switched his G36K over to fully automatic.

‘Come on then’ Wesley howled defiantly and shouldered the rifle pulling the trigger. Fighting the recoil and the muzzle-climb he hosed a stream of fire into the Bringers some of whom were barely twenty yards distant by now.

His M16A2 could only fire semi-auto or three-round burst but Xander was pouring it on almost as fast. The Bringers finally started to break, one got close enough to Wes that he had to dodge a swinging axe but Xander blew its head off before it could have another go.

‘What the bloody hell?’ Wesley queried, as he ejected the empty drum magazine and looked around. ‘Where the hell did they all go?’ he asked in confusion.

‘I think we killed them all’ Xander told him, looking around. ‘It’s a slaughterhouse.’

Wesley shook his head. ‘There were more of them than this, they just stopped coming’ he said, breathing heavily with the adrenaline. ‘It’s a diversion’ he declared. ‘It was just a sodding diversion. The rest of them have buggered off.’

Xander looked around again. There were literally dozens of Bringers laying around shot to pieces. Many were still writhing in agony, though silently. ‘This was a fucking diversion?’ he asked in astonishment.

‘The First doesn’t give a crap about these tossers’ Wesley told him, reloading his rifle. ‘Illyria killed a damn sight more than this on her own at the Vineyard. It probably thought we’d send a load of slayers here so the Bringers could keep them busy. I doubt we’re important enough to enter into the equation’ he decided.

‘Buffy!’ Xander remembered.

Wesley pulled out his radio. ‘Guardian this is Wesley can you hear me?’ he asked.

Yes Shadowman I can hear you.’

The former watcher growled at the back of his throat at the name she referred to him and the other Council Watchers by. ‘We’ve dealt with the Harbingers, we think there were more but they’re leaving. You probably heard the noise’ he told her.

I guessed that was you Shadowman I am grateful.’

‘You’re welcome’ Wesley responded. ‘We’re coming to get you open the door and get ready to run we’re in a hurry’ he advised, starting to head towards the Pyramid at a trot with Xander following. They weaved around fallen Bringers keeping as much distance from them as possible.

‘The Cops have got to come to investigate this’ Xander said. ‘It must have sounded like a Wedding Celebration in Baghdad’ he quipped.

‘Bet you a hundred dollars they’re too busy back in town’ Wesley responded. ‘This is a bleeding sideshow’ he asserted knowingly.





Warehouse District – Sunnydale – May 2003

The phosphorus grenades, three of them in fact that Connor had thrown one after the other, had certainly made an impression on the Turok-Han, as did Connor himself as he jumped straight down from the roof into the midst of battle, but they really wouldn’t have stood a chance against the enemy if Illyria hadn’t been there too. As the uber-vamps launched a ragged attack, some of them grievously injured by gobbets of molten burning metal their bodies actually smoking as they charged, the Old One acted like a rock upon which the waves of Turok-Han broke.

Lashing out with punches and kicks that could dent armour plate Illyria smashed the creatures aside, the three slayers and Connor using her almost as a shield as they did battle with the vamps that got past her, or that she threw aside. Stephen stayed back, he knew he didn’t stand a chance against this powerful a foe, but he did try his best to help dashing forward with his sword whenever he could without getting too close. A single blow from a Turok-Han could easily shatter his frail human form.

A police car screeched to a halt behind them sirens wailing. Stephen turned around and despite the situation couldn’t help himself. ‘Move along please’ he shouted to the two Patrolman staring in astonishment at the melee battle through the windshield. ‘Nothing to see here’ he added, laughing like a lunatic before turning back to the action.

A scream from behind caused the policemen, still in the car and not remotely interested in getting out, to spin around in their seats just as a dozen teenage girls came sprinting from two different directions. One of them jumped into the air in a leap that no Olympic athlete could match, landed on the roof of the patrol car and then leapt again into the midst of the battle howling like a banshee, a gleaming battleaxe in her hands which she bought down on the skull of what looked like a goddamn monster and cleaved in it two, the long way.

Another vehicle arrived with screaming brakes as a beat up white pickup truck came hurtling up barely stopping in time not to crash into the back of the patrol car. Two large muscular looking men, one white one black jumped out and practically dove into the back of the truck coming back out carrying the largest damn guns either of the Cops had ever seen.

The black guy looked into the Patrol Car. ‘If you tell anyone about this they ain’t ever going to believe you’ he told them. ‘So if you’re thinking of filling out a report don’t’ he told them bringing the grenade-launcher to his shoulder. ‘Make a hole’ he bellowed, causing a pair of slayers to jump out of the way as he pulled the trigger.

The grenade-launcher boomed, the recoil slamming hard back into his shoulder. The steel cored wooden stake blasted forwards and slammed into the chest of a Turok-Han dusting it instantly, the round kept going and impaled itself in another, missing the heart but sending it spinning with the impact. Angel joined him and fired off all six of his own rounds in rapid succession being far more able to handle the recoil than Gunn, before dropping the weapon and going back for his broadsword.

More slayers converged and soon the road was filled with Turok-Han fighting against heavily-armed vampire slayers.

‘Illyria’ Faith yelled out, arriving with a new group holding the scythe aloft as much as a totem as a weapon. ‘Buffy needs you’ she called.

‘I am needed here’ Illyria replied, ripping the head clean off the nearest uber-vamp which exploded into dust.

‘We can handle this’ Faith told her. ‘We can’t handle a god’ she insisted.

‘A what?’ Illyria yelled back in confusion.





Eastern Suburbs – Sunnydale - May 2003

She’s playing with me Buffy realised as she was thrown into another wall, at least twenty feet off the ground, ricocheting off and falling hard to earth.

The HellGod had caught up with Buffy after a three mile chase. She was certainly more determined this time if nothing else the slayer thought as she tried to get back up but failed. A little voice inside told Buffy she was all broken up inside and if she took any more punishment all the slayer-healing in the world wouldn’t save her.

Buffy tried to rise again but collapsed, the pain was indescribable. Blood was pouring from her battered nose and she was down at least three ribs minimum, it hurt to breathe, she might be looking at a punctured lung anytime soon.

Dawn, Buffy realised, Glory would go after Dawn.

The slayer gritted her teeth and through sheer effort of will hauled herself to her feet, tears streaming from her eyes, she turned her head and spat blood onto the ground, one of her teeth went with it. Glory had been pounding on her for what seemed like forever. Time doesn’t exactly fly when your having your teeth knocked out.

The HellGod walked over, barefoot after the chase. She was wearing a red satin dress which she’d chosen because it hid all the slayer blood she’d expected to get on it. ‘You’re no competition but if I’d known it was this much fun I’d have beaten the crap out of you the first time we met’ Glory told her. ‘Of course then there wouldn’t have been a second meeting.’

Holding her left arm over her broken ribs Buffy activated the collapsible sword again and swung it weakly at Glory who simply stepped forward and caught the blade in her hand before snapping it like a twig and hurling the blade away.

Buffy stepped forward and threw the best punch she could muster. It caught Glory on the side of the chin but her head barely moved at all. The slayer's strength was spent.

The HellGod took hold of Buffy’s right arm and broke it as easily as she had the sword. Buffy fell to the ground screaming and broken as her legs gave way beneath her.

Something slammed into the back of Glory’s head causing it to rock forward. ‘Everyone messes with the hair’ she snarled and span to receive another blow around the head from the thick heavy iron railing that Spike had wrenched free from a nearby fence as a weapon.

She let him hit her twice more then snatched the thing from his hands and ran him through with it. It wouldn’t dust the vampire but it would immobilise him, she could have killed him easily but Glory liked an audience, she picked him up and stuck him to the closest wall like a butterfly pinned to a mounting board.

‘Screw you’ Spike growled, fighting through the pain and trying to pull himself off the railing.

‘I’m not interested in her cast-offs’ Glory told him and slapped him around the head in a stunning blow before turning back to Buffy.

The slayer looked up at her through the tears. ‘Don’t let them bring me back again’ she cried out to Spike who screamed in response, tears starting to roll down his face too as he still tried desperately to free himself. He tried to save her though he knew he couldn’t, he’d always try, never give up and go down fighting.

‘Let’s finish this in style’ Glory said, becoming a blur as she moved with superhuman speed towards Buffy, readying a fist to crush her skull.

Buffy saw death. Then the blur that was Glory suddenly hurtled away sideways and another blur appeared in front of her, snapping back into focus a split second before a boom echoed across the neighbourhood.

Returning to normal speed Glory hit the ground and rolled to a stop looking back at where she had come from.

Illyria looked down at Buffy then turned and faced Glory leaning her head to the side.

Buffy realised what the boom had been. The God-King must have altered the flow of time then sprinted to get here. She’d actually broken the damn sound barrier and probably left a sonic shockwave across half of Sunnydale en-route. If you want to get saved at the last second in style you couldn’t do much better than that she decided.

Glory got to her feet. ‘Ah the main event’ she said. ‘Illyria the Old One I presume?’ she asked.

Illyria looked her over. ‘Glorificus the HellGod’ she responded then smiled. ‘Finally a worthy opponent’ she said. ‘I will turn your skull into a chalice for my temple as a mark of respect’ she informed the other diety.

‘I was thinking a blue throw rug for mine’ Glory retorted.

‘Kill the bitch’ Buffy told Illyria weakly. ‘Make it hurt’ she added with all the force she could muster.

‘I will and it will’ Illyria vowed then moved to the attack. This timeline was just getting better and better she thought to herself happily.
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