|Chapter Title:||The Promise, Chapter 26|
Early May, 2001. Annie is a little over 2 years old. Buffy and Spike have been married a little over 2 years, it’s been nearly 3 years since they fell in love.
Spike, Buffy, Faith, Angel and the Scoobies face Glory. Can Spike keep his promise to Buffy?
|Thanks:||Extra special thanks to Paganbaby for help with this chapter!! You're the best!|
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, violence, sex and adult themes which may include rape, attempted rape, blood play and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
Glory pulled up in front of the Hyperion and parked on the street, walking up to the front doors, she threw a completely overpowered Charles Gunn out of the way like a rag doll before stepping inside.
“Come out, come out wherever you are!” Glory called from the center of the lobby.
Angel and Faith stepped out from his office. “Can I help you?” Angel asked casually.
“You can!” Glory smiled. “I’m supposed to meet someone here . . . blond, hot body, blue eyes, cheek bones . . .”
“Don’t know him,” Angel smiled back, crossing his arms across his chest.
“Well, you don’t mind if I just look around then, do you?” Glory started walking towards the stairs.
“Actually, I do.” Angel stepped in front of her and Glory sent him flying across the lobby to the opposite wall without breaking stride.
“Too bad.” Glory made it half way up the first flight of stairs before Faith caught her around the ankles and tumbled her back down.
Both women faced off at the foot of the stairs. “You really don’t want to get involved in this, girlie. Just ask your boyfriend.” Glory tilted her head to where Angel still lay unconscious.
Faith smiled at her. “He’s small potatoes compared to me, sister.”
And the fight began. Glory would send Faith flying but each time Faith would jump back up and come back at her, getting in a punch or kick before being tossed away again. Buffy came running in the front door seconds later and joined the fight. Xander and Anya followed her shortly and went to get Angel back on his feet as the two Slayers battled the hell god.
Buffy realized they needed to change the plan, she and Faith were getting beaten and tired, but Glory wasn’t even breaking a sweat. Then, suddenly, Glory was gone and Ben was standing there. The Slayers stopped mid punch to try and figure out what had happened, where had Glory gone?
"Ben?" Buffy questioned, looking at him curiously.
Xander and Anya had gotten Angel back up and he was walking across the floor to join back in the fight when Ben appeared. “She changed! She changed into him!” he exclaimed.
Everyone in the room looked at him like he had lost his mind. “Angel, what are you talking about?” Buffy asked. “This is Ben. Where’s Glory?”
“He IS GLORY!” Angel insisted.
Faith and Buffy shook their heads . . . this was a human . . . they didn’t fight humans normally. Angel grabbed some shackles and bound Ben’s hands and feet before dragging him downstairs to the reinforced cell in the basement.
“Ben is Glory?” Buffy asked as she followed him down the stairs to the basement.
“Yes!” Angel insisted.
“Then where's Glory?” Faith asked now, following behind Buffy.
“Glory turned into Ben," Angel explained. "Apparently, he is the human that was created to contain her. Did you people not READ the homework? Since she’s changed, can we assume that the time for the portal opening has passed?”
Faith and Buffy were still trying to get a grip on the Ben being Glory idea, like a word that's right on the tip of your tongue, but you can't manage to think of.
“I don’t know, better get Giles and Willow,” Buffy said as she gave up on trying to follow what Angel was saying about where Glory was.
Going back to the lobby, Angel called for Giles and Willow to come down. Spike, carrying Annie, followed them. Angel explained what happened, but none of the humans seemed to follow what he was saying . . . only Spike could comprehend and then remember the revelation that Ben and Glory were the same person.
Finally, Angel just told Willow and Giles to double check their calculations on the portal opening time and they set to work at the desk in the lobby double checking their calculations for the hundredth time.
Buffy and Faith were looking intently at the small video monitor that showed the prisoner in the cell in the basement. "Angel, why do you have that guy locked up?" Faith asked, pointing her finger at the small screen. Buffy and Faith turned accusatory eyes on Angel, waiting for his answer.
"That's Glory!" Angel insisted again and again Faith and Buffy looked at him like he had lost his mind.
"That's Ben!" Buffy insisted. "He's human. Why are you holding a human prisoner?" she asked, narrowing her eyes in suspicion at Angel.
"Spike! Can you PLEASE explain this to YOUR wife?" Angel said, turning away from the Slayers in exasperation.
Spike walked up to Buffy and Faith and attempted again to explain that Ben and Glory are the same thing.
"Ok," Buffy said. "I think I understand. Ben is Glory."
"YES! Cupie doll for the Slayer!" Spike exclaimed.
"So, why don't you let Ben go?" Faith asked and Buffy nodded in agreement.
"Are you all very stoned?" Spike asked, just as exasperated as Angel.
Angel rolled his eyes. “Apparently, there’s some kind of forgetting spell that works on humans but doesn’t work on vampires,” he concluded as he walked over to the small monitor and clicked the power off so they couldn't see Ben any longer.
Faith and Buffy frowned a moment as the screen went dark; then Faith asked, "What are we doing now?"
"We're waiting for Giles and Willow to double check the portal opening time," Angel explained. Buffy and Faith nodded - Ben completely forgotten.
Faith went with Angel into his office while Spike, Buffy, and Annie sat on the sofa on one side of the lobby. Xander and Anya had retreated to the small kitchenette earlier and remained there. Anya was commenting on why, with all the technology they had, Willow was unable to accurately calculate something that was obviously originally calculated in ancient times . . . well before computers were even invented!
Everyone jumped when a loud clanging noise came from the basement. It sounded like a door being ripped from its hinges and flung across the room. Within seconds, the door to the basement flew across the lobby and Glory stood in the doorway.
“UPSTAIRS!” Buffy ordered, handing Annie to Spike. Spike hesitated a moment, he didn’t want to run upstairs like a ponce, but, with Annie now in his arms, he couldn’t very well fight, either. He followed Willow, Giles, Xander and Anya up the stairs. Buffy, Angel and Faith remained below.
“Willow! Protection barrier!” Buffy yelled.
Willow stood on the second floor landing and started chanting in Latin. Glory continued to advance on them.
“Time’s up, Slayer,” Glory crooned. “The way I see it, the three of you that followed me . . . not the Key. So, it has to be one of the others that ran. I’m betting on the kid. Timing’s just about right with when those monks escaped with it.”
“Willow! Anytime now!” Buffy yelled again. Finally, an invisible barrier came up between the three protectors and Glory. Glory banged her fist against it, it gave only slightly.
“Cute,” she said, punching it harder, it gave even more. Buffy looked up at the people on the second floor landing. “Spike, get out of here!”
Spike looked around, he couldn’t go down to the sewers or the street because of the barrier Willow had up, he had to go up. Heading to the stairs, he started up and away from where the confrontation with Glory would happen. It was only a little over an hour now until sunrise.
Glory continued to pound on the barrier, so far, it continued to hold, but Buffy could see that Willow was getting drained from maintaining it against the onslaught. “Get ready, guys, that barrier isn’t going to hold much longer,” Buffy said to Angel and Faith and they nodded agreement.
With one final punch, the barrier exploded, sending Willow back against the wall behind her. The three protectors on the first floor were also flung backwards from the blast. Glory had made it all the way to the stairway before Faith overtook her and tumbled her back down.
“Would you quit doing that!” Glory exclaimed as she kicked Faith across the lobby. Buffy and Angel reached Glory at the same time, each got in a couple of good kicks before Glory dispatched them, as well.
Glory was on the second floor landing before Faith, Buffy and Angel could catch up to her again. The fight between the four continued, but eventually Glory had thrown all three of them over the railing and back to the marble floor of the lobby, rendering Faith and Angel unconscious. Buffy was a little better, but not much. As she struggled to get back to her feet, the whole room started to spin, or at least it felt that way. She dropped back to her knees, pressing her hands against her eyes to try and get the twirling and nausea to stop.
Willow did a spell to try and contain Glory again, but her magic was too depleted and it did little more than slow her down slightly as Glory headed for the stairwell where Spike had retreated with Annie. Xander, Giles and Anya all jumped on Glory, but she simply shrugged them off, tossing them all, including Willow, over the railing to land in a pile, like so much dirty laundry, on the floor below.
On the top floor, Glory emerged from the stairwell and stopped. “Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum,” she sing-songed, “I smell the blood of an Englishmon.” Walking down the hall, she kicked in each door as she went.
When she got close to the room Spike and Annie were in, Spike stepped out onto the fire escape and went to the roof.
Where are you? he heard Buffy ask in his head.
Roof, he mentally replied.
Glory? Buffy was asking.
Close, Spike replied as he moved across the roof back towards the main stairwell.
He stopped and listened, he couldn’t hear her anymore. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on picking up her scent, but got nothing. He reached for the handle of the door leading back into the main stairwell when it flew open and knocked him backwards. Rolling and protecting Annie from the fall, he landed about ten feet away from Glory as she emerged from the stairwell.
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you, honey!” Glory smiled as Spike scrambled back up. Backing away from her, he edged back to where the fire escape was. As he reached it, Glory suddenly moved with speed he didn’t know she possessed and stood next to him.
“Now, where do you think you’re going with my Key?” she pouted.
Spike set Annie down on the floor behind him with one hand and swung at Glory with the other in one fluid motion. She ducked him and punched him hard, flipping him over the short wall that surrounded the roof and onto the fire escape landing behind him.
“There’s my Key!” Glory said, picking up Annie from the floor.
Before Glory got a good hold on Annie, Buffy was there and kicked Glory in the back, sending both Glory and Annie tumbling down onto the fire escape landing, knocking Spike back down as he was trying to recover.
“ANNIE!” Buffy yelled and jumped over the short wall to grab Annie’s hand before her daughter tumbled off the fire escape. Glory had already recovered and kicked Spike in the head before he could rise again, then punched Buffy hard in the jaw, sending Buffy backwards off the fire escape, still holding one of Annie’s hands in one of hers.
Buffy caught her other hand on the grate that formed the bottom of the fire escape landing. She was hanging on for dear life by one hand, the other holding Annie’s, as they both dangled in the air, several stories above the ground.
“Buffy!” Spike scrambled to grab her arm, but Glory kicked him again, sending him sprawling back away from Buffy. Glory bent down to pull Annie out of Buffy’s grasp, but Buffy twisted the arm holding Annie back so that she was out of Glory’s reach for the moment. Annie was screaming, crying, wriggling, and kicking in Buffy’s grasp. She silently prayed for her daughter to stop squirming, but it did no good.
Suddenly, Buffy saw Angel appear on the roof above them. He tackled Glory on the fire escape and both of them rolled off the platform.
Relief turned to horror when Buffy felt something jerk her legs hard. The arm she was hanging from felt like it would be pulled from its socket and she screamed out as pain knifed through her. Looking down at her feet, Buffy realized that Glory had somehow managed to grab onto her as she tumbled off the fire escape. Buffy kicked her feet at Glory to get her off, but she was losing her grip on the fire escape, with the extra weight and movement.
Suddenly, Spike was there, grabbing her hand, pulling her up, but Glory was hanging on her ankles, pulling and twisting and making the job of pulling them up that much more difficult. Buffy felt her daughter's hand slipping from hers and Glory was reaching towards Annie, trying to pull her down. Buffy could feel Annie slipping further from her grasp; she looked up and her eyes met Spike’s for the briefest moment. His eyes golden, game face on, struggling to pull them all up. Buffy’s green eyes resolute; she knew what she had to do.
Keep your promise! Spike heard her voice in his head.
I BLOODY WELL AM! He mentally snapped back. Spike was pulling with all his strength on Buffy’s hand, trying to haul them up, but Buffy knew she’d never be able to hold Annie long enough. She was barely holding on by her finger tips to the squirming child and she wouldn't be able to keep her out of Glory's reach for long. Buffy mustered all her strength, using her entire body like a whip, she swung Annie up towards Spike.
Annie was suddenly in front of him, suspended momentarily in mid air as her hand slipped out of Buffy’s. Spike had to choose at that moment to keep hold of Buffy or grab Annie.
ANNIE! he heard Buffy scream in his head.
With vampire speed, Spike reached one arm out and wrapped it around his daughter’s torso, pulling her back onto the fire escape while still holding tight with the other hand to Buffy. He strained against the weight now being held with only one hand and it pulled him down hard onto his stomach. He held his daughter tight to his side with one arm wrapped firmly around her while his other arm was extended past its limits holding Buffy and Glory.
He couldn’t get any traction on the metal grate of the fire escape and he started sliding towards the edge, the weight of Buffy alone wouldn’t have been a problem for him, but Glory was pulling and thrashing around with her whole body, trying desperately to pull the lot of them down, including her Key, and Buffy was kicking and thrashing her legs trying to kick Glory off.
Buffy could feel Spike sliding, feel herself falling further as he slid towards the open edge of the old fire escape. She reached out her now free hand towards the fire escape, but she could no longer reach it, too much of Spike’s arm was over the edge for her to reach any part of the structure. She could reach it with her legs, she thought . . . if I could just get this bitch off me! She kept kicking and twisting, trying to loosen Glory’s hold on her, but all that movement was just pulling Spike and Annie further over the edge.
Buffy felt a sudden drop and she looked up to see Spike’s entire torso was now off the platform. Annie, still held tight to his side, was off the platform, too. He spread his legs, pressing his hips down against the slick grating as hard as he could, trying to dig the toes of his boots onto something for traction, but there was none to be found. They were all going to fall; Spike might survive it, Buffy may even survive it, but Annie most certainly would not.
Buffy took her free hand and clamped it over the one Spike was holding her with. His grip was like steel around her hand as she met his eyes one last time. “I love you, Spike,” she said aloud before prying his fingers loose from where he held her.
It was like the world had stopped. Spike could see what Buffy was doing, he could feel her hand pulling free of his, but he was powerless to do anything about it. In slow motion, Buffy and Glory fell backwards, Buffy’s arms outstretched away from her sides in a swan dive. They landed with a sickening thud on the dirty pavement below, a tangle of limbs and blood.
“BUFFY!” Spike screamed. He held Annie tight to him as he looked down at the ground, his hand that had held her still reaching towards her. The love of his life lay bloodied and broken below him.
Suddenly, Xander was behind him, looking down, as well. “Oh, God!”
Then Willow, Giles, and Anya stumbled up, but all they could do was look down at Buffy’s crumpled body.
Spike shoved the hysterical Annie into Xander’s hands and rushed down the fire escape, reaching Buffy in what seemed only a heartbeat. He gathered his wife in his arms. “NO! No, no, no! Buffy!” He pressed his face against her chest, listened for her heartbeat; it was silent. “SLAYER! NO!” he screamed, holding her motionless body to him. Angel stumbled up behind him, but crumpled down again when he saw Buffy motionless in Spike’s arms.
The others finally made it down the fire escape and dropped to their knees around Spike who continued to chant “no, no, no” as he rocked his wife’s body in his arms, tears streaming uncontrollably down his face as he held her against his chest. Just as he’d done that first night so long ago, comforting her, giving her strength, telling her everything would be ok. Now he had nothing to give her, he couldn’t fix this and he knew nothing would ever be ok again.
Suddenly, Spike stopped moving, stopped chanting and looked at Willow who was sobbing uncontrollably beside him. “Witch! You can fix this!” Spike grabbed her shoulder with one hand and shook her. “Red! You’ve gotta fix this! Bring her back!”
“Spike, I . . . I don’t think I can . . . I don’t have that power . . . I wouldn’t even know how . . .” Willow stammered back at him.
“You CAN! You MUST! You gave ME a soddin’ soul! Bring hers back!” Spike demanded. “Buffy said you were the most powerful of all of us! BRING. HER. BACK!” He shook Willow even harder now.
Giles stepped up and grabbed the hand that Spike was using to shake Willow. “Spike, stop. Spike! You must stop!”
Spike pulled his hand back from Willow and gently cupped Buffy’s bruised and bloodied face with it, still rocking her softly and holding her to his chest. “I can’t live without ‘er, Watcher. Red can do it.” He looked up at Giles, eyes swollen, rimmed in red, tears covering his face. “I know she can . . . bring her back. Please, God, please bring her back!” He buried his face against Buffy’s shoulder, sobs wracking his body as he went back to chanting “no, no, no” against her now cool skin.
It wasn’t until the paramedics and police arrived that anyone noticed that, sometime during the fall from the roof, Glory had morphed back into Ben. Ben was dead, too.
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