Summary: Warren acts just a little more responsibly about his robot problem and ‘I Was Made To Love You’ doesn’t end quite the same way as it did in the original episode. April’s presence continues to affect events as time goes on and spins things further and further from canon.
For previous chapters go to Part One or Part Two. This chapter is 3,665 words, rating R.
April Come She Will: Part 3
“Hey, keep the frikkin’ noise down,” Glory snapped. She tossed aside the magazine she was reading and stood up. She was wearing a fly-away baby-doll and showing a considerable amount of skin. “It’s five in the frikkin’ morning. If I needed to sleep I’d be ripping heads off right now.” She glared at the minions and their captives.
Jinx clamped his hand down over April’s mouth. It didn’t have the effect that he expected.
“You let go of me!” April protested, the words muffled and at a diminished volume but hardly distorted at all. “You are not human and so minimum force is not specified. I will inflict severe damage upon you if you do not put me down and release Spike.”
“We have brought you the Key, oh stupendous and delectable one,” Jinx announced.
“Oh, yeah?” Glory came forward, pushed aside the minion who held April’s left arm, and prodded April’s cheek. “And what makes you think that, huh? And why have you brought the Slayer’s boyfriend?”
“He’s not the Slayer’s boyfriend,” April contradicted her. “He’s my boyfriend. And if you don’t let him go I will be very cross.”
“Oh magnificence,” Murk put in, “I heard with my own unworthy ears the Slayer instructing the man that he must take good care of this woman because she was of great importance. He assented and said that he understood that she was important. What else could they have meant but that she is the Key?”
“Well, as she can talk without moving her lips, maybe she’s a famous ventriloquist,” Glory said, “but somehow I don’t think so.” She pulled Jinx’s hand away from April’s mouth. “How do you do that, girly?”
“My speaker is mounted in the roof of my mouth, protected by a semen-proof membrane,” April explained. Glory grimaced. “My lip movements are synchronized via a modification of the visualizations in Windows Media Player,” April went on. “It’s very ingenious, don’t you think?”
“She’s a robot. A frikkin’ robot.” Glory turned away and smacked Murk on the top of his head. “I don’t think a bunch of monks would have hidden the Key in a robot.”
“That is a very pretty garment,” April remarked. “I should get one. I’m sure that Spike would like it.”
“But, splendiferous one, why else would the Slayer have emphasized her importance?” Murk asked.
“Hey, I don’t know,” Glory said, “but we’ll just have to find out. Chain them up. I’ll get changed and be out later.”
“Guhh,” Spike muttered. “Where the sodding hell am I?” He raised his head and looked around.
“They are both really strong, your majesticness,” Jinx pointed out.
“So?” Glory shrugged. “Use strong chains.”
“Oh, crap,” said Spike. “It’s that sodding Glory bint.”
“That’s right, precious,” Glory said. She grinned and moved over to examine him. “Now, what makes you strong? Are you a robot too?” She bent forward, giving Spike something of an eyeful, and sniffed at him. “A vampire. Hey, he’s a vampire. Now why would a vampire be helping the Slayer?”
“Sod off,” Spike grunted.
Murk slapped Spike across the face. “Show respect for the wondrous Glorificus!”
“He’ll learn,” Glory said. She pinched Spike’s cheek. “See you later, precious, and we’ll have a nice talk. And if you don’t tell me what I want to know then I’ll hurt you. Hurt you a lot.” She spun on her heel and walked out of the room.
Buffy shoved the door of the crypt open forcefully enough to make it slam into the wall. “Spike, get your ass up here,” she yelled. “I’m thinking of staking you, buster. You were supposed…” She saw the bodies lying on the floor of the crypt and broke off in mid tirade. “Oh, crap. Glory’s scabby hobbit things. April? April? Spike? You in here?”
The trapdoor leading down to the lower level stood open. Buffy climbed down. “Spike? April?” There was no answer. The lower chamber was dark and Buffy took out a flashlight to illuminate the area. The bed was empty, the covers thrown aside and the sheets rumpled; Buffy wrinkled her nose and moved on along a passageway that presumably led to the sewers. The alcove that had held Spike’s ‘shrine’ to Buffy was empty now, the pilfered photographs and items of clothing now packed up into a cardboard box and stashed in a corner, and there was no longer anything in view to remind Buffy of the chaining incident. There was no sign, either, that Spike or April had fled this way to escape Glory’s minions. No bodies, no bloodstains, and where a shallow pool occupied the entire width of the tunnel there were no damp footprints emerging from the far side.
Buffy retraced her steps, climbed back up the ladder, and took another look around the crypt. As well as the bodies there were other signs that a struggle had taken place. The lid of the sarcophagus was askew, presumably knocked aside by an impact, and Spike’s old TV was leaning drunkenly with one of its legs bent inwards at an odd angle. The scorched and faded blanket that Spike used to shield himself from the sun’s lethal rays during daytime excursions lay on the floor; one corner of it was stained with demon blood, dried out enough to be sticky to the touch.
Buffy thought that she could now reconstruct what had happened. Spike and April had gone down to the bedroom, had engaged in whatever activities represented ‘stage three’ in the Robot’s Guide to Dating, and then April had set off to return to Revello Drive. When the couple had climbed up to the top level they had found Glory’s minions waiting for them. There had been a fight and, presumably, Spike had lost.
Buffy scanned the crypt floor more carefully. She found his leather coat, in the gap between the sarcophagus and the wall, its presence giving additional confirmation that Spike had not left the crypt by choice; the only time she’d ever known him go out without the coat was on the occasion of his disastrous attempt to turn an investigation into vampire killings into a date. What she didn’t find was any vampire dust. She let out a sigh of relief.
“I guess I can let you off without a staking,” Buffy said aloud. “Not your fault this time. So, Glory’s guys took Spike, and April, but why?” She gritted her teeth. “Crap. Spike knows about Dawn.” She left the crypt at a run.
“So, the robot is important to the Slayer,” Glory mused, “and the vampire’s one of her little bunch of, uh, whatchamacallits?”
“Minions?” suggested Jinx.
Glory closed one eye and pursed her lips. “Hmm. Nope. Not what I was thinking. Something to do with a TV show.”
“Klingons?” April suggested.
Spike twisted slightly in his chains and stared at her. “Where’d you pick that up from, pet?”
“I watched Star Trek with Warren,” April explained. “Not Klingons, then? Texas Rangers? The A-Team?”
Glory lashed out and slapped April across the face with the back of her hand. “Shut your mouth, girly,” she snarled. The impact jerked April’s head half-way around and her chains shook and rattled.
“That wasn’t very nice,” April complained, rotating her head to face Glory once more. “I experienced negative feedback. I don’t think you’re a good person.”
“Damn right, Roboslut.” Glory grinned. “Hey, that’s a good one, guys, right? Roboslut.”
“A truly divine witticism, oh perfect one,” Murk agreed.
“Splendidly apt and cutting, your stupendousness,” Jinx added, glowering at Murk.
“Not good, and not a person,” Glory said. “I’m a god.”
“Ooh, like in the episode Who Mourns for Adonais? Can you grow to giant size? Will you fade away into nothing if your temple is destroyed?” April opened her eyes very wide. “Oooh. Where is your temple?”
Glory slapped her again. “What the frikkin’ hell is this motorized Barbie doll on about?”
“It’s a science fiction TV show starring William Shatner, wondrous one,” Jinx explained.
“I know about Star Trek, moron,” Glory said, rolling her eyes, “I just didn’t get that the robot was still yammering on about it. Okay, let’s get back on track. I don’t know what makes this plastic chick so important to the Slayer but I doubt if she’ll do a swap for my Key. The vampire, well, I guess he’s muscle. Again, probably not important enough to do an exchange. I guess all I can do is find out what they know.”
“I know lots of things,” said April. “I have the entire series of Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition rulebooks stored on disk. And the Star Wars Classic Collectors’ Edition of Trivial Pursuit. A good girlfriend should have a working knowledge of her boyfriend’s hobbies.” A brief frown crossed her brow. “I shall have to learn new things now that you are my boyfriend.”
“Damn right,” Spike said. “Can start with The Ramones, Bruce Lee, Once Upon A Time In The West, and Passions.”
“No,” said Glory, seizing hold of Spike at waist level and rending his flesh until blood oozed out between her fingers, “you can start with what your boyfriend sounds like when he screams.”
“Okay, people,” Buffy said, “here’s the sitch. Glory’s leprous hobbit posse has kidnapped Spike.”
“And we care exactly why?” asked Xander.
“They took April too,” Buffy told him.
“Still not seeing the down side,” Xander said.
“I liked April,” Anya put in. “She understands the importance of orgasms and she listened attentively when I told her about the importance of money.”
Xander rolled his eyes. “She’s a robot, Ahn. She probably has a ‘listen attentively’ program. And, hey, we should be calling her ‘it’.”
“Nobody with boobies like that should be called ‘it’,” Anya said. Her forehead creased slightly and she pursed her lips. “On second thoughts, feel free to call her ‘it’ as much as you like.”
“People, we’re drifting off the point,” Buffy said, tapping one foot on the floor. “Robot or not, she’s a huge help with Mom. I’d kinda like her back.”
“I’m not sure that the robot is worth a full-scale confrontation with Glory,” Giles said, “regardless of her value. Surely we could hire a home help? I would be willing to make a contribution towards the cost if necessary.”
“You’re kinda missing the point, Giles,” Buffy said. “Spike knows about Dawn.”
“Oh crap,” Xander exclaimed. “He’s probably telling her right now. We’d best get out of Dodge pronto.”
“I concur,” said Giles.
Tara frowned. “I-I d-don’t think Spike w-would do that.”
“Of course he would,” Xander stated. “Evil, remember?”
“I’m with Tara,” said Buffy. “Now I’ve had a chance to get over being totally wigged out by his, uh, unconventional way of telling me he loves me, I’ve been rethinking some things about Spike. He, uh, I think maybe he really does like Dawn.”
“You think?” Dawn asked, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly.
“He’s just pretending to help him get into your p- your good books,” Xander retorted simultaneously.
Buffy shook her head. “When I caught him telling Dawn scary stories he’d totally lost track of the time and kept her out way too late. So not the way to score points with me. Even if it started as one of his plans it didn’t work out that way.”
“Cool,” Dawn said, her tentative smile turning into a full-blown grin. “He likes me for me.” The grin vanished. “Buffy! We have to save him.”
“I guess we do,” Buffy said, “if we can. He might be a jerk sometimes, and the whole obsession with me thing we could so do without, but we’re stronger with him than without him.” She bit her lip. “If we can’t get him away from Glory... Crap. On second thoughts, me choosing now to tell you he really is your friend so wasn’t the best timing.”
Giles removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Even if we accept that Spike would not readily volunteer information that would place Dawn in jeopardy we must consider the probability that Glory will, ah, interrogate him forcefully.”
“You mean torture him.” Dawn’s lip trembled. “We really have to get him away from her.”
“We won’t leave him in Glory’s hands,” Buffy assured her. She saw Giles give an approving nod and knew that he had caught her meaning. “Okay, guys, let’s go and be the US Cavalry,” she addressed the rest of the group. “Everyone grab a weapon. Crossbows would be good. Will, Tara, you’d better be ready to do that teleportation spell again. It would give us time to make our getaway.”
Willow pursed her lips. “We’re ready, Buffy, but we have to be pretty close to her to cast it and she knows about it now. You’d have to keep her majorly off balance.”
“I can do that,” Buffy said, “I think. Well, we can, if we hit her with everything we have.” She shook her head. “This isn’t going to be easy but we have to give it our best shot.”
“Uh, Buffy, we don’t know where Glory is,” Willow pointed out.
“I know where to start looking,” Buffy said. “Her snake creature was headed for some high-class apartment buildings. Glory likes comfort and expensive things. That’s where she’ll be. We might have to do some knocking on doors but we’ll find her.” She fixed Dawn with a hard stare. “Look after Mom, Dawnie.”
“Sure thing,” Dawn assented.
Buffy selected a sword from her weapons chest and slung its scabbard across her back. She tossed a crossbow to Xander. “Okay, guys, let’s go,” she said. “It’s time to make like Robot Rescue Rangers.”
Glory thrust a straight finger into Spike’s abdomen and drove it home to the knuckle. “Just tell me who my Key is,” she demanded. “Is that too much to ask?” She wiggled her finger around inside Spike’s body, making him gasp in agony, and then withdrew it. She looked at the bloody digit and grimaced. “Get me something to clean this,” she snapped at her nearest minion, “and then something sharp. I’d like to be able to keep my hands clean while I’m torturing this useless piece of meat.”
“Perhaps a hot iron, magnificently breathtaking one?” Murk suggested.
“Good thinking, Murky,” Glory praised. “Get to it.”
“Stop hurting my boyfriend,” April said. “I am experiencing extreme negative feedback when you do that. It makes me want to hurt you.”
Glory shrugged. “Well you can’t hurt me, so tough shit,” she said. “Hey, all he has to do is to tell me who is my Key and I’ll stop. You hear that, vampire?”
“Sod off,” Spike grunted. “Doesn’t matter what you do to me. Not gonna tell you a damn thing about the Key, you dozy fat slag.”
Glory delivered a short but immensely powerful blow to Spike’s chest and was rewarded with a crunching noise as two of his ribs broke. “I’m running out of patience, bloodsucker,” she snarled. “All you’re doing is making me mad. It’s not like it’s going to make any difference. I know the Key is a person and I know the Slayer is protecting it. If you don’t tell me I’ll just grab another one of the Slayer’s little friends and start taking them apart. Eventually one of them will tell me what I want to know. Or I’ll work my way through them until I get to the Key.”
Spike winced. ‘Got to get out of here,’ he thought. ‘Not gonna let this psycho bitch get her hands on the Bit.’ He shot a quick glance upward at the chains that held him suspended from the ceiling. They were impossible to break with a straight pull, and the hook holding them was bolted solidly to a support beam, but perhaps if they were twisted sufficiently a link might crack...
“If she will stop hurting you if you tell her then you should tell her,” April said. “Self-preservation is a high priority directive.”
“No bloody way!” Spike spat out. “Would rather sodding die than tell that bitch a bloody thing.”
“Hey, good thinking, Robot Girl,” Glory said, beaming. “Listen to her, bloodsucker. She’s smarter than you are.”
April stared at Spike. “This must be a high priority for you. Higher than self-preservation.”
“Damn right,” Spike confirmed.
“Oh. My highest priority is to protect my boyfriend,” April said. “If not telling the bitch about the identity of the Key is your highest priority then I should attach a very high priority to that task too.”
“What the frikkin’ hell?” Glory stared at April and bared her teeth. “It looks like stupidity is infectious. Do you have pain receptors? ‘Cause if you do they are going to get frikkin’ overloaded to hell.”
“I have receptors that warn of possible damage,” April told her, “and they cause negative feedback. This is the equivalent of pain.”
“Good,” Glory snarled. She spun on her heel and slammed a punch into April’s torso.
April uttered a high-pitched shriek that cut off abruptly. “Warning! Critical failure alert,” she said in an unfamiliar masculine voice. “Disk read/write error. Run Scandisk Y/N? Processor failure. To continue pre...” She fell silent and went limp, dangling in her chains, her head flopping down until her chin rested on her chest.
“Hey, I’ve broken the robot,” Glory said. She grinned and prodded the body, setting it swinging in the chains, but provoking no reaction from April. “Get someone to dump this trash somewhere, Jinx, and then grab me a brain to eat.”
“Your wish is my command, oh epitome of all that is divine,” Jinx replied. He gestured to two lesser minions and they clambered up to unhook April’s chains from the ceiling.
“How’s the hot iron coming on, Murk?” Glory queried.
“I shall test it out at once – youch! It is more than adequately hot for the purposes of causing severe pain, your infinite stupendousness,” Murk reported.
“Give it another minute, then,” Glory commanded. “I want to cause more than just severe pain.” She screwed up one eye. “No, rethink that. I don’t want to set the vampire on fire. That would be too quick. Bring me the iron right now.”
Spike watched through narrowed eyes as Glory’s minions dragged April away. It was only a robot, right? So why did he want to rip out Glory’s throat for smashing the robot, quite apart from his desire to avenge his own hurts? He rotated his wrists, trying to twist the chains into a position where one of the links would be under stress laterally, and turned his head to glare at Glory.
“’S not gonna get you anywhere, you stupid cow,” Spike growled. “Won’t tell you a sodding thing.”
Glory took the soldering iron from Murk and pressed the tip against Spike’s flesh. “Well, precious, let’s see if I can change your mind,” she said. “I wonder if I can turn you into one big blister?”
Spike gritted his teeth. “Okay, you win, I’ll talk,” he gasped out. “The Key is Tony Harris.”
“Who?” Glory lifted the iron and frowned at Spike. “Tony Harris? Who is he?”
“The whelp’s dad,” Spike said. “Y’know the dozy git who hangs around with the Slayer? His father. He’s the Key.”
“We shall bring you the limp and beaten body of Tony Harris,” Murk offered.
“It is not Tony Harris, you scabby moron,” Glory growled. “The Key is new to this place. It can’t be somebody with a grown-up son who must have lived here for years. The vampire is lying to me.”
“Well, yeah,” Spike said. “Chained up like this I have to make my own entertainment, and pulling your cellulite-dimpled leg is the only game in town.”
“I do not have cellulite!” Glory snapped. “I am free from imperfections. I am a god!”
“Yeah, sure,” said Spike. “Petulia, Goddess of Negotiable Affection, right? Or, to translate it into language simple enough for your feeble mind, Goddess of Hookers. Nah, second thoughts, a cheap hooker has better fashion sense than you.”
Glory pressed the iron against Spike’s chest and seared a red and blistered line down from the level of his nipples to near his navel. “Shut up! I command you to shut up!”
The pain was an incandescent flare of agony but Spike forced himself to ignore it. “Or what? You’ll make me look at your bad home perm and your fat arse? Your tits are wonky too. Forget to get the boob job done on both sides, did you?”
Glory clutched at her hair with both hands. “Shut up! Shut up!”
“Well, that proves you’re a sodding idiot,” Spike observed, as the smell of scorched hair emanated from the furious goddess. “Still, it looked so bloody awful anyway you haven’t made it much worse.”
Glory hurled the soldering iron to the ground, whirled around, and lashed out a kick that struck Spike solidly in the center of his chest. The link that Spike had twisted into a sideways position, locked against the supporting hook, snapped as it took the strain of the impact. The chain parted and Spike was thrown across the room. He collided with one of Glory’s demon minions and they both ended up sprawled on the floor beside the door.
Spike staggered to his feet and seized the door handle. He had the door half open when a hand closed on the back of his neck.
“You played me,” Glory hissed in Spike’s ear. “I guess you think that was funny.” She caught the fist that Spike swung at her and squeezed until blood ran out from between his knuckles. “Well, I’m not laughing. You’ve wasted my time, vampire, and I’m tired of your games.” She dragged Spike away from the door. “Hey, Murk!”
“The vampire’s outlived his usefulness,” Glory said. “I’m just going to dust him and be done with it. Tell someone to get a vacuum out of the closet and then find me a wooden stake.”