Heirs of Armageddon
Title: Heirs of Armageddon 1/?
Rating: R, due to what some people might consider bad language and what will be realistic depictions of violence. Not really much worse than the show for the most part, although I won't be condoning or promoting any kind of affectionate relationships between rape victims and their rapists, unlike Crackhead Joss did during the majority of Season Sux Part Deux.
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? If anyone really thinks these characters belong to me, then you're even more out of touch with reality than Crackhead Joss was. All of the BtVS and AtS characters belong to Crackhead Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. and the crossover characters belong to the author who dreamed them up in the first place, who I'm not identifying at the moment. There is no intent to profit from this, I'm just borrowing the characters for a while to show how things could have gone at the end of season 7. Only the story is mine, and if anyone waves enough money in front of me, even that is negotiable.
Category: C/X 'ship, with F/X and D/X friendships.
Warning: Multiple character deaths.
Summary: A response to Keith Collin's XanderZone Season Seven challenge regarding what could have happened if Spike was accurately portrayed as the vicious and evil prick he truly was over the last two seasons of Buffy. After betraying Buffy's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-based trust, he revealed that he had actually been working with the First Evil all along, and used the talisman Angel gave Buffy to make the Hellmouth open quicker.
Time frame: AU, beginning near the end of the seventh season finale, "Chosen."
Character Bashing: None, in my opinion, which is based on the premise that Spike was still truly the nasty, vicious, backstabbing bastard he had always been, throughout season seven. If, however, for some reason you think that a person who deliberately mentally abused and raped a mentally incompetent young woman in desperate need of psychiatric care as well as physically raping her over an extended period time, is a nice guy, you should not be spending any time reading this as you obviously need to be talking to a competent psychiatrist, yourself. I have several sisters and several nieces, and if I ever found out that someone had treated any of them the way Joss portrayed Spike treating Buffy, the authorities would never find whatever remained of the body after I was finished with them.
Spoilers: None, if you've seen or heard anything about the series finale. If you haven't, then don't read any of this if you don't want to be spoiled.
Warning: Crossover ahead. Possibly more than one.
Feedback: Of course! Constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated. Flamers will be ignored and added to the lists of those to be painfully exterminated, once I am appointed to my rightful position as King of the World. Yeah, you just wait and see if I'm joking. :)
Author's Notes: Everything in Buffy happened just as Joss wrote it, and pretty much everything in Angel happened, too, with the exceptions that Connor didn't go nuts and take any hostages in the sporting goods store, and therefore, Angel didn't have to kill him (damn!), and Cordy regained consciousness after Jasmine died and is no longer in a coma. She is very weak, however, and still recovering from being possessed and becoming pregnant by Connor. (And you *really* don't want to hear what she had to say about *that* whole fiasco to Angel and the rest of the Fang Gang.) Connor and Angel are both still complete assholes, though, thus offering conclusive proof *against* Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest.
Archiving: If you want to archive this, just let me know where, please.
Heirs of Armageddon
May 20, 2003
The front door flew open, bounced against the lobby wall and rebounded back, only to be caught and pushed back open by the flurry of people hurrying inside.
Wesley looked up in surprise from his position behind the main counter and was shocked to see a tall, older, dark-haired man with bandages wrapped around his head staggering/being mostly-carried inside the hotel by a strongly-built brunet. He was closely followed by a young brunette teenager loaded down with several backpacks and two duffel bags and a well-built brunette, possibly in her late teens, carrying a black teenaged girl in her arms. Yet a third teenager, a younger redhead, was following her and carrying another teenager whose dark hair was partially concealed by the bloody bandages wrapped around her head and face, bandages that matched those wrapped extensively around her torso.
“Rupert? Xander? Dawn? Faith? Good god, what happened?” he exclaimed in shocked recognition as he rushed around the counter to help the newcomers carry in their obviously seriously injured comrades and settle them down on the lobby’s couches.
“Armageddon, Wes. The First Evil’s opened the Hellmouth and we all just got our asses stomped into the ground good and hard,” Faith replied, as she carefully set the black teenager down on the nearest sofa and began examining the blood-stained bandages wrapped around the younger girl’s abdomen and arm. On the other side of the lobby, the redhead was performing the same examination on her fellow newly Awakened Slayer.
“Spike betrayed us and helped the First open the Hellmouth,” Xander added as he carefully lowered Giles down onto one of the overstuffed chairs and began his own inspection of the ex-Watcher’s injuries. The older man’s eyes were obviously trying to focus on the younger ex-Watcher and his mouth moved soundlessly for a moment, before his eyes rolled up into his head and he lost his battle to stay conscious. Xander elevated the Englishman’s feet to help keep shock at bay before looking around the room.
Wes bit down the multitude of questions that rose up as he caught sight of the eyepatch the carpenter was wearing. As he silently catalogued the numerous and extensive bandaged injuries all the members of the group were showing, he forced himself to listen to the explanation that was being offered by the brunet Scooby as he tended to his now unconscious mentor.
“The bleached bastard was working with the First the whole time he was with us,” the carpenter practically spat on the floor as he described the blond vampire’s treachery. “He waited ‘til there wasn’t anything we could do to stop him, and then the bastard turned on us.”
“After we all went inside the Hellmouth to fight the Turok-Han Buffy had seen there, Spike used the talisman Angel gave Buffy to accelerate the Hellmouth’s opening,” Dawn calmly elaborated on Xander’s statement.
Entirely too calmly, Wes judged, as he took a moment to more critically examine all of his visitors and, most particularly, the young brunette placidly standing off to one side of the lobby. It was immediately obvious to him that all of the group were suffering from various degrees of extreme trauma and shock, whether it be physical, emotional or a combination of the two.
“The Turok-Han attacked us right after he activated the amulet,” the Key dispassionately continued her report. “There were even more of them than Buffy had seen in her vision. We were outnumbered by at least fifty-to-one, and they were attacking in waves, just overrunning us with sheer numbers. We began retreating almost immediately, and once we escaped the school, we headed here to warn you guys.” The young girl’s tranquil delivery of the news of their betrayal was being spoken of in the same tone of voice one might here from someone announcing a weather forecast.
“It took us just about an hour and a half to get here on the freeway, Wes,” Xander broke into their conversation. “And that was without traffic, so I think we've got some time before they show up here. You need to get in touch with Angel and anybody else you think they might go after and who can get moving right away, ‘cause we’re not gonna have a lot of time to spare.”
“When will Buffy and Willow be arriving with the other survivors?” Wes asked, as he pulled out his cell phone and began contacting the rest of his team.
“They won’t,” Dawn answered, her voice still carrying a remote, detached tone as she spoke.
“They won’t what?” Wes queried, pausing in his task and looking across the room at the young girl who had effectively been shanghaied into the group’s demon-hunting lifestyle.
“They won’t be arriving with any other survivors,” Xander said, after a few seconds of silence indicated that Dawn wouldn’t be answering the question.
“We’re it, Wes. Nobody else got out,” he stated flatly.
Seeing the look of horrified disbelief on the ex-Watcher’s face, the carpenter elaborated.
“Spike ripped out Buffy’s throat right after he activated the talisman. I saw him reach out to her as she stared at him, and then he literally ripped her throat open. She looked like she was in such a state of shock when she saw him start opening the portal, I don’t think she even realized what he was doing after that,” he said.
“At least, we know he didn’t try to turn her,” he added quietly. “I think that would have been the worst possible thing he could have done to her. And to us,” he added in a low voice.
“This way, at least, we know she died quickly. And I did manage to toss a Wiley Peter on her before we had to run,” Xander said. Seeing the uncomprehending look on the Englishman’s face, he explained, “That’s the Army’s designation for a white phosphorus grenade. Burning metal, completely incinerates pretty much anything it hits. There was no way I was going to let that goddamned sonofabitch desecrate her body any further! The little shit managed to duck the one I threw at him, though. That prick’s luckier than any friggin’ demon has a right to be!”
Wesley could only stare at the tall brunet with appalled horror as he tried to assimilate the news he had just heard.
“I think there must have been a couple groups of Turok-Han hiding inside the school’s basement, ‘cause they went after Willow as soon as she started casting the empowerment spell. Kennedy was guarding her, but they apparently just overran her, and then they pretty much ripped Willow to shreds. She managed to complete the empowerment spell, though. How, I can’t begin to imagine. But even with that, Kennedy didn’t make out all that much better,” Xander informed the dumbstruck Englishman, his voice beginning to quaver and his face starting to fall as he recalled discovering the stomach-turning state of his childhood friend’s body when they had attempted to gather up the witch and newly Awakened Slayer during their retreat. He had used his last white phosphorus grenade to give the redhead a funeral pyre that would ensure that nothing remained of her body, either, for the First to abuse.
“They also got the axe Buffy found in the vineyard’s basement,” he added, as he paused to compose himself.
Wes, staring at the group in numbed shock, witnessed the transformation as the younger man closed his good eye for a moment and visibly pushed down the surging emotions that the memories of the past few hours and his friends’ deaths had triggered. When he re-opened it a moment later, a calm and in-control Xander Harris was looking out and evaluating the situation.
“Right now, the First is still consolidating the portal it opened through the Hellmouth, because it needs to make sure it can get its troops through to here without any problems,” the brunet stated. “We came here to alert you guys about what’s going on, pick up some supplies and get our wounded treated before we start running again.
“I figure we’ve got maybe two and a half hours, three tops, before the First’s troops can get here and start looking for us. It can’t afford to let us get away, Wes, and I’m sure it already knows about Buffy’s telling Angel to start setting up a possible fallback position, thanks to Spike. It’ll want all of the books we managed to grab on our way out of town and anything you guys might have here, too, ‘cause it can’t take a chance that we might stumble across some prophecy about it taking over that could give us a clue about how to defeat it, or even slow down its invasion,” he warned the former Watcher.
“Rona’s looking *bad*, Xander,” Faith informed him, as she finished up her examination of the wounded girl, having replaced most of the injured girl’s blood-soaked bandages. “Most of the bleeding’s stopped, but she’s lost an awful lot of blood, and I don’t think she’s gonna make it through the night, if we don’t get some replacement blood in her, as soon as possible,” she judged, giving thanks one more time for all of those First Aid courses she had taken while doing her time.
“Vi? How’s Kennedy?” the now oldest living experienced Slayer asked as she turned to address the only other still functioning Slayer and survivor of the Battle of Sunnydale.
“I – I don’t, I don’t think she’s going to make it,” the redheaded English girl admitted in a barely audible voice. “Her breathing’s real fast and shallow, and I keep hearing this, uhm, this – gurgling – noise that’s coming from her stomach, and, and she keeps coughing up blood, and she, she keeps asking for Willow, and, and I – I just can’t do this!” she half-screamed, before breaking down in tears and collapsing to the floor next to her injured comrade, crying uncontrollably and leaning back against the couch on which Kennedy was currently sprawled.
Before anyone could react to the redhead’s hysteria, they were interrupted by a voice coming from somewhere above them.
“Hey, Wes, are the guys back from – My god! What the hell happened to you people?”
Everyone who was able, looked up to the stairway landing that spiraled up along the inner wall from the lobby, to see a wan and somewhat haggard figure, currently dressed in jeans and a faded tee-shirt, paused there looking down at them.
“Cordy?” Xander managed to keep the quaver out of his voice as he took in the brunette’s extreme pallor and somewhat dissipated condition, while a sick feeling took up residence in his stomach and an incipient rage began to flicker as one possible explanation for her ashen appearance immediately occurred to him.
“Xander? Good god, what happened to you?” the brunette demanded upon seeing her ex-boyfriend’s eyepatch and the general condition of their visitors, and she immediately began making her way down the stairs, albeit slowly and carefully.
“Dawn? Giles? Faith? What’s going on, here? Did you guys go out and declare war on someone?” she asked in bewilderment, as she noted the Army issue .45 caliber pistol holstered at the carpenter’s hip and several shotgun barrels protruding from the duffle bags Dawn had set down on the floor at her feet.
Looking over towards Faith, Xander’s narrowed eyebrows and body language asked the Dark Slayer the question his mind refused to let his mouth form, and a small sigh of relief escaped him as she focused her attention on his ex-girlfriend for a moment, before a slight shake of her head reassured him of her continuing status among the living.
Following up his initial request with a minimal nod of his head towards the weeping girl on the floor and a slight shift of his shoulders, Xander silently asked Faith if she could do what she could to comfort the redhead, and, after a bare moment’s hesitation, the brunette nodded her agreement.
“It was more like the First Evil declared war on us,” Dawn offhandedly declared in answer to Cordy’s question, as the Seer looked all of them over with an incredulous eye.
“The first who did what?” Cordy asked, not sure she had understood the younger girl’s reply.
“Reader’s digest version here, Cordy,” Xander interrupted the girls’ conversation, anticipating the former Seer’s questions. “Spike betrayed us. Buffy and Willow are dead, and so is Anya. The latest Big Bad’s managed to open the Hellmouth, his troops are probably on their way here, to kill us and all of the good guys they can locate before we can organize any kind of resistance and there’s nobody else left to help us out except you guys.
“Based on his most recent actions, the First’s definition of good guys will most likely include everyone who doesn’t immediately swear their allegiance to him, and pretty much anybody else he feels like killing, and I’m pretty sure all of us here are at the top of Spike’s to-do list,” he continued. “We’ve got maybe three hours, tops, to get everything together that we need and then get out of Dodge, because I really don’t think any of us would like the accommodations the First’s going to be offering us, however temporary they might be.
“Wes,” he turned and addressed the former Watcher, “you need to contact Angel and anyone else you think you need to talk to, and let them know what’s going on, so they can get the hell out of town, ‘cause staying here is gonna be suicide. You guys are welcome to come with us, if you want to, but you have to be ready to leave when we do, ‘cause we can’t afford to waste any time.”
“What are you planning to do about your injured?” Wes asked, looking out across the lobby of hotel, which now more closely resembled an emergency way station as he opened up one of the cabinets and began pulling out a large first aid kit.
“First thing I’m gonna do is borrow some of your emergency equipment and get some plasma and sucrose solution started into both girls,” Xander replied. “Then, I’m gonna donate a pint of blood to Kennedy, ‘cause she’s definitely in worse shape than Rona. Willow mentioned once that she’s the same blood type I am, and getting whole blood into her can’t hurt her much, considering the shape she’s already in. Faith’s gonna do the same for Rona, once I get done.
“We can’t chance taking either of them to a hospital ER yet,” he continued. “That’ll be the first place the First will have his minions check, once they get here. Once we’re a couple hundred miles away from here, then maybe we’ll be able to take that chance, depending on what condition they’re in. I’ve seen Buffy come back from some really horrendous beatings over the years, so I’m mostly praying that their Slayer healing kicks in and both of them will be able to pull out on their own.”
“How are you fixed for supplies?” Wesley asked
“Well, after I’m done with the giving blood to Kennedy thing, I’m hitting the local supermarkets and hardware stores and getting as much food and necessities as I can pack into the van. Wills did some kind of extra-dimensional space spell in the van’s storage area after the Potentials started showing up and we were having to make all these runs to the supermarket all the time, so I figure I’m just gonna max out the plastic I’ve got with me and worry about everything else later,” the former carpenter outlined his plans.
“We’re pretty well supplied as far as guns and ammo go, ‘cause I had already cleared out the Sunnydale PD’s armory before we headed down into the school,” he informed the two AI associates. “It’s a shame I didn’t have enough time to finish cleaning out the Army base before we had to run. Regular bullets may not be able to kill vampires, but they do a real good job if you’re just trying to kneecap them, so they can’t chase you.
“Oh, I also discovered that tracers make for a great vampire flambé, Wes. Downside, though, is that if you miss with them, they tend to set whatever they hit on fire, so you usually can’t use them just anywhere,” he lamented.
As he spoke, the brunet had been inspecting and replacing the bandages wrapped around Giles’ head, the ex-Watcher lying quietly, if not completely peacefully, after sinking down into the chair’s cushions. Satisfied that his surrogate father was doing as best as could be expected under the current conditions, he broke open the emergency supplies Wes had brought over to them.
Working quickly, with Wes and Faith’s assistance, Xander soon had bags of plasma and sucrose solution being fed into the two most badly injured survivors of the Sunnydale catastrophe.
“Faith, you gonna be able to handle things here while I’m gone?” Xander asked, as he expertly cleaned and swabbed the inside of his left arm with antiseptics.
“No sweat, X-Man,” the senior Slayer told him, as she mimicked his actions on the other side of the lobby with the medical kit she had taken from their supplies. “You go do what you need to do. We’ll hold things down here.”
“Hey, Wes, think you can help me out here?” the possibly ex-carpenter asked as he held out an IV needle, tubing and blood bag towards the ex-Watcher. “It’s a little awkward doing this to yourself.”
“Here, I’ll do it,” Cordy volunteered, taking the medical paraphernalia from her ex-boy friend’s outstretched hands. “Wes, you go help Faith. Whatever-her-name-is over there looks like she needs to get some blood in her as soon as possible.”
The former Seer had been standing at the base of the stairs, an incredulous expression on her face as she watched and listened to her ex-high school sweetheart and her fellow demon fighter discussing plans to try to avoid the latest end of the world campaign set in motion by yet another would-be world ruler, and wondered how she could help. In her present condition, she could barely manage to walk from one end of the hotel to the other without having to pause for a brief rest, so she had immediately latched onto the first opportunity to contribute that she felt she could reasonably handle.
It was the work of less than a minute to get Xander properly situated sitting down on one of the chairs and his donated blood flowing into the collection bag, and then she was again back to finding some way to help.
It was as she looked around the lobby, unsure of what she should do that she noticed that Dawn was still standing placidly in the midst of all the activity, seemingly staring at nothing. Seeing the ‘thousand-yard stare’ the teenager was wearing as she passively stood in the center of what more closely resembled a military triage center, the former cheerleader immediately realized that the younger Summers girl was in shock and headed towards her.
“Dawn, you need to come over here and sit down,” Cordy instructed as she walked over to the quiescent adolescent and took her hand to lead her over to one of the unoccupied couches on the far side of the foyer. The younger girl docilely followed the ex-Seer and sat quietly, her attention seemingly focused on other places or times than the present.
Unsure of what she could or should do for the now-deceased-Slayer’s sister, Cordy left her to her own devices and went to help tend to the others, checking back every few minutes to make sure the younger woman was still there and didn’t require any attention.
Taking over the task of attending to Kennedy from the visibly distraught and shell-shocked Vi, the former Prom Queen deftly connected the freshly produced bag of blood given her by Xander to the injured girl’s IV line as she watched him then head to the lobby’s front doors, after first retrieving several clips of ammunition from one of the backpacks carried in by Dawn and stuffing them into the pockets of the windbreaker he threw on to conceal the pistol on his hip.
“Xander?” she called after him, as a thought struck her. Seeing him pause and look back, she pulled a small wallet from her belt pack and tossed it to him.
“Here, you can use my cards for supplies, too. Just be careful, and don’t do anything stupid or heroic, okay?” she urged him. “They – we – need you to come back.”
Seeing the concern in her eyes, he nodded and gave her a small, half-hearted smile before turning and leaving.