Intro & CH 1: A Good Dusting
Disclaimer: BTVS characters are property of Joss Whedon & Mutant Enemy, other characters belong to their respective publishers/writers/producers/etc. I only own the plot and make no money from the writing of these ficlets.
With these choices
That we have made
All the gifts
Both taken and gave
We must abide
So please, tell me
What did you, yourself, decide?
Really, they had no idea just how much he had changed after Halloween.
Not mentally, not really.
"You'd better rethink what you are doing, Hell Goddess."
"And what is a sniveling little meat sack like you going to do about it?"
The grin that splits his face is far from kind, puppy-brown eyes changing to glowing gold.
"First a correction, dust bag perhaps, but not meat sack. And second…."
An eerie howl splits the night as every last bit of loose sand, dust and dirt answers his call, swirling in a vortex around the two people, beings, standing in front of the ruined hotel.
If nothing else, Xander can respect Spike for keeping Dawn's secret through that kind of torture.
"I am going to bury you."
The minions run around, not knowing what to do as the dervish speeds to killing force, better than any wall to keep the two separated from all outside help.
"I'll kill you!"
"You can't touch me."
The eyes glow brighter before his once solid form slips apart and joins the mass of spinning sand.
"What are you!?"
The howl sounds again, louder in the dervish and sending the first tendril of barely recognizable fear down the banished goddess' spine."You would take what is not yours
So let this be your just reward
A body stolen is taken back
And all your gifts you'll sorely lack
Leave the human man unchained
And the Devil Goddess not remain
Glorifcus, I call you out
You'll hate Man's life without a doubt!"
The Scoobies could only watch in awe as the dervish constricted on the trapped goddess as she tried to escape. Her scream was lost in the howling of the winds as the vortex collapsed on her.
Minutes later the sands and dust started to slither away, revealing the sleeping body of Ben behind.
The minions are only blots of quickly vanishing dark sand.
"He's safe now, she can't touch him again."
Somehow he's managed to come up behind them without them noticing.
"It's ok, Buffy. Glory can't hurt anyone ever again. She's trapped on the mortal coil, living the lowest of lows until the End of All."
"Xander, what, what happened?"
He offered Willow a small, sad smile.
"We are One now, the Coyote and me."
The sands around his feet kicked up as his form seemed to thin out and waver like a mirage in the desert.
"Will we ever see you again?"
"Of course Wills. You can't get rid of me that easily, not ever. I just need to go rest a while."
Just a shade was left, barely visible in the small whirlwind of sand.
"You will be missed, my boy."
"Thanks G-man. And Spike, you'd better protect them for me."
The vampire could only nod as the figure of Xander finally vanished in the sands, the dust rising into the sky as a howl split the night.
Dawn was troubled, sitting at home in her bed, Mr. Gordo pulled to her chest. She really hoped they could rescue Spike.
A soft scratching sound made her look at the door only to see nothing there. The sound came again followed by a soft hiss.
She watched, oddly detached as a small stream of sand slipped from the window sill to the floor until the pile looked to be a handful or two. The sand moved, shifted and stirred, a ghostly looking coyote rising from the bit of dust.
The coyote gave a soft yip and jumped up onto her bed.
"Did you save him?"
It gave a nod, seeming rather pleased with itself.
"Is she… is she gone?"
The coyote tilted its head back and gave a loud, joyous howl, looking rather smug.
"Are you going to go away then?"
The ghostly coyote seemed to smile and shook its head.
Dawn watched entranced as the form shrank and solidified until a small coyote cub sat on her bedspread. When she got over her shock and looked closely she noticed two important things.
Smiling she gathered the cub into her arms, cuddling and cooing until it was fast asleep.
Buffy wasn't sure what she was going to tell Dawn about Xander. They all knew how much of a crush she had on him, not to mention how close they both were.
They were all surprised when she poked her head out of the kitchen, seemingly back to the perky upbeat teen she was before the whole goddess fiasco.
A clatter came from the kitchen and she quickly turned around, vanishing back to whatever it was she was doing.
"Yeah. I know. So we can skip the big awkward thing, right?"
They all stand there, staring as she pops back into the room with what looks like a puppy in her arms.
"Dawn, where'd you get the puppy?"
Her smile is fit to light the room.
She should be argueing about letting her keep it, about how much damage it'll do the house, how much it'll cost to feed.
But seeing how much her little sister seems to already love the fur ball she really can't bring herself to.
Off to the side Spike sniffs deeply at the air, trying to figure out just what is off about the pup. The Whelp gave it to Dawn so it must be all right, but still, there's something weird about it.
Dawn smiles and shares a look with the cub, blue eyes meet puppy brown as she scratches its ruff, the little wooden totem on a string thumping against its chest.