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"…The Mission Is What Matters…"

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This story is No. 4 in the series "The Way Things Could Have Gone". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Buffy and Robin Woods have a difference of opinion after the events of Season Seven's "Lies My Parents Told Me." WARNING!! Character death ahead!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > DarkGreywizardFR1811,4582233,57911 Jan 1011 Jan 10Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Goes AU during Season Seven's "Lies My Parents Told Me."

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: Some people might think so, but I don't. I'm just following what might be considered logical chains of behavior for some of the characters, given their actions during the episode.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Lori Bush, Bill Haden, Drake the Archr and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: Most of the initial dialogue is taken from BtVS transcripts of Season 7's"Lies My Parents Told Me" at the TWIZ TV site (

As usual, "word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.


The workshop at Robin Wood's residence
Sunnydale, CA

April 25, 2003
A few seconds after Spike left

Buffy walked into the shed Spike had just exited, and looked around to spy a badly beaten Robin Woods sprawled on the floor, trying to regain his feet.

"I lost my mom a couple years ago," she told him as she stared at her putative boss expressionlessly. "I came home and found her dead on the couch."

"I'm sorry," Robin replied as he stared at her with what might have been pity in his eyes.

"I understand what you tried to do, but she's dead," she went on, standing and watching but making no effort to assist Robin to his feet.

"Because he murdered her," Robin gritted out, a look of rage and hatred flashing across his face as he spoke.

"I'm preparing to fight a war, and you're looking for revenge on a man who doesn't exist anymore," Buffy declared stubbornly.

"Buffy, don't delude yourself – that man still exists," Robin shook his head in disagreement as he looked up at her.

"Spike is the strongest warrior we have. We are gonna need him if we're gonna come out of this alive," the Chosen One went on, ignoring his sigh of disgust at her comment.

"You try anything again, he'll kill you," she warned, again ignoring the other's reaction – this time, a laugh of disbelief.

"More importantly, I'll let him," Buffy stated flatly, without the slightest shred of hesitation, staring down into Robin's bruised face and his expression of surprised disbelief. "I have a mission to win this war – to save the world. I don't have time for vendettas.

"The mission is what matters," she declared as she turned and walked out.


Summers residence
1630 Revello Drive
Sunnydale, CA

Midmorning, the following day

Robin paused for a moment as he gazed at the front door of the Summers' house with an enigmatic expression on his face before finally knocking on the front door.

"Come in," he heard a woman's voice call out, and Wood cautiously opened the door and entered.

“I’m surprised you actually said that, at least in this town. What if I’d been a vampire?” Robin asked Buffy bluntly. He refrained from commenting that she was probably used to inviting vampires into her home, as he knew that wouldn’t help matters at all.

"Robin," Buffy nodded her head at him as she stood by the kitchen entrance, but showed no emotion, otherwise, at his appearance. "What are you doing here?"

"Buffy," he nodded back, pausing a few feet from the kitchen doorway. "I need to talk to you.

"I've been thinking about what you said last night," he added, "and I realized that you're right – it's the mission that's important, and that's all that really matters here.

"Is Spike here?" he then asked, looking around.

"Yeah, he's downstairs in the basement," the blonde Slayer answered, a small smile having appeared on her face when she heard his earlier words, clearly thinking that Woods was here to apologize to Spike for his actions the previous night. "Give me a minute and I'll go get him."

Wood nodded impassively, his hands in his jacket pockets, as the current Slayer walked through the kitchen to the basement door and called down for her former lover to join them.

As Buffy turned back and began walking back towards him, she smiled again and said, "I'm glad you understand how things are, Robin, and I hope –"

Whatever she was about to say was interrupted hen Robin pulled his hands from his pockets to reveal a gleaming silver semiautomatic pistol in his right hand and a stake in his left hand.

As Buffy paused for a moment, unable to believe that someone else was trying to pull a Warren on her, Robin smoothly lifted the silenced pistol and fired. With a dull "phut!", the slug caught Buffy in the left side of her chest and slammed her backwards, to drop to the floor in the dining room like a sack of potatoes.

"What the bleedin' hell –?" Spike demanded belligerently as he came rushing up the basement stairs into the kitchen.

"Buffy?" he gasped upon seeing the blonde lying on the floor a few feet away, blood staining her blouse.

"What happened, luv?" the vampire asked in horror as he dropped to his knees beside her and picked her up, his vampiric senses noting the lack of any response or life signs as he did so.

"She helped me see the truth, actually," Robin stated quietly, drawing Spike's attention to where he was standing quietly just a few feet away.

Seeing the pistol in the other man's hand and instantly guessing what must have occurred, Spike snarled, his face shifting into its demonic visage. The ensouled vampire let Buffy's body drop to the floor as he began leaping at her killer, fully intending to keep his promise from the previous night.


The silenced slug caught Spike directly between the eyes and dropped him to the dining room floor a few feet short of Robin's position. The high school principal knew perfectly well that the slug hadn’t killed the vampire, but it certainly hurt like a bitch and brain injuries took the longest time to recover from, even for the undead.

Standing over his mother's murderer, Robin looked down and explained his actions to the insensate body.

"Buffy told me last night that the mission is what matters – winning the war means doing what you have to do in order to save the world," he said, a pensive look on his face. "And she was right – we need to do whatever we have to do, to make that happen.

"I also talked to Xander last night, and he told me a few things I wasn't aware of. He said that he and Willow and Anya and some girl named Tara performed a black magic ritual to bring Buffy back to life, after she died to save the world nearly eighteen months ago. And that he and the others unknowingly tore her soul out of Heaven. That she was so traumatized, the only way she could cope was engaging in a sexual relationship with you. And that after she came to her senses and broke the relationship off, you tried to rape her before going off to get yourself a soul.

“Apparently she’s willing to forgive and forget about that last part, and despite my personal feelings, I guess that’s strictly her business – like I said, the mission is what matters," he said.

"But what isn’t just Buffy’s personal business is that two months ago, Giles and Anya learned that according to Beljoxa's Eye – the First can manifest itself here in our world because of the disruption in the Slayer line Xander and the others caused, by bringing Buffy back from the dead.

"So, to make a long story short, I corrected the disruption. There’s only one Slayer in this world again, the way it’s supposed to be, and the mystical forces protecting the Slayer line have returned to normal.

"Well, I need to confirm that before I go home to New York, of course, but I’m pretty sure that’ll be just a formality," he noted.

"Anyway, now the First won’t be able to extinguish the Slayer line, given that it can’t manifest in our dimension whenever it wants to anymore, and so the mission is accomplished – the world is safe again," Robin said, as he dropped to one knee beside Spike's body.

"And YOU aren’t needed any longer to fight against the First and its minions – not that you were doing all that well against them before this, anyway," Wood noted parenthetically as he lifted his stake and drove it into Spike's chest.

"And think that all that the First needed was a song to control you?" he asked the unmoving body beside him, as he shook his head. "I can’t help wondering what Buffy was thinking – unchaining you and giving you the run of the house and putting everyone’s lives at risk before you were de-triggered.”

Dusting off his clothes as he rose, Robin shook his head as he walked towards the front door.

Before he left the house he glanced over at Buffy's corpse and murmured, "Still, you were right, Buffy.

"The mission is what matters – everything else is secondary."


The End

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