AN: My muse of writing went off with my pixie of procrastination. Procrastination came back alone, nervously announcing that my muse was now on some large farm where she was free to run around and chase rabbits all day long. Then she showed me years worth of excellent fanfiction written by you folks out there.
I figured I should finish up this story. It was fun, but the fact that my attention span is that of a caffeinated squirrel shiny distracty things everywhere! If anyone wants to write in this world of what happened in the interim or afterwords, you have my blessing. Just let me know so I can read it. Without further ado, tying up all the loose ends without a beta.
"I can't believe it's been four years already." Xander Harris said to his little toddler of a sister as they both walked slowly through one of the many Sunnydale cemeteries. They were dressed darkly, the toddler in a small black children's robe and Xander in a gray-scale Hawaiian shirt, having left his many stolen vampire trench coats at home on this hot California summer's evening. "It feels it was only yesterday I was thinking up names for you."
The littlest Harris turned around and gave a glare worthy of someone far older than her. "I can't believe that you actually named me Dawn-patrol. My legal name is Dawn-patrol Lavella Harris. Why is my legal name so horrible?"
"Oh trust me, the names mom and dad were throwing about makes Dawn-patrol the best possible option."
"What, Puberta was already taken?" Dawn-patrol said as she idly kicked a small rock into a headstone out of frustration.
"That one was actually brought up before being tossed out due to it being too predictable." Xander stated.
"Still, I can't believe any of the names thrown about would be worse than Dawn-patrol."
Xander turned his head and stared at his little sister before slowly speaking one word, "Menstrualassma."
"Dawn-patrol is great. I love my name. Thank you so much, big brother." the little girl said in her usual unemotional monotone.
Willow made an awful Wednesday Addams equivalent. Instead, Willow far easier settled into the role of the resident mad scientist, claiming the attic of the new family mansion. Her first invention that worked were fake glasses that had a display inside and sensors that would tell her almost everything about whomever was looked at. When Willow first met Joyce Summer's new beau, Ted, her glasses gave out a series of beeps and tones. To Buffy's mother's surprise, this caused Willow to instantly pull out her over-sized taser and send who knows how many volts through the newly apparent robot, which responded by letting out a billow of smoke and falling down while spastically twitching.
Then, Willow dragged his body away while exclaiming how she now had an evil robot to experiment on.
Apparently with updated modern technology and the latest magic, Willow was able to compress 70's technology Ted from evil man-sized robot, to a helpful robot severed hand. The redhead claimed that his processors were so much more powerful that she even had room to install a multitude of weapons. Xander was sure some of which they still hadn't discovered. Now that the Harris family had their own version of Thing, Dodge was happy to have some help around the house.
That however, was not the only outcome of Willow finding a magical robot. Xander didn't know how his former oldest friend and new sister had done it, but she had created and hidden a robot factory somewhere in town. Willow-bots were being churned out in various shapes and sizes, a few of which were indistinguishable from Willow herself.
Actually, most of the 'people' out late at night in Sunnydale these days were Willow-bots in different forms. And Willow did really good work making them indistinguishable from normal humans. Even vampires couldn't tell a real person from a Willow-bot, right up until the screaming, panicking prey stopped screaming and shoved their hand through the bloodsucker's chest, casually pulling out their spine. This meant that there was hardly anything to do on patrols these days. Still, the long walks were good exercise.
There were other challenges the Harris family encountered and solved in their usual way. A way that usually involved explosions and chainsaws. And exploding chainsaws. When Buffy and her vampire boyfriend, Angel, finally had sex - the normal boring kind without dobermans, live electrical wires, or alien clown costumes that squirted vanilla pudding, or anything really interesting; much to the dismay of Tony Harris when he finally learned of it as he was putting away his own alien clown costume, the act caused Angel to lose his soul. Xander, who had never liked 150+ year old men taking advantage of 16 year old girls who were also his friends, simply strolled into the army base and left in a large truck packed with a variety of military grade weaponry. He even got Willow to make a Willow-bot that looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger before giving it the appropriate mini-gun. Of course Willow had to one-up him by creating a robot version of the Predator, complete with alien weaponry and a cloaking device that ran on magic. Angel's last words were, "I can't believe I'm going to be done in by movie characters."
This led into Willow using her robots to directly take over the various criminal syndicates and steal their money, rather than through hacking like she had been doing. The few individuals that escaped the purge of the criminal leaders had to either keep their mouth shut or come to the police with the story of how Alex Trebek, a Bigfoot who wore a three-piece-suit and top-hat, and a purple-unicorn-riding Strawberry Shortcake walked into their headquarters, ignored every bullet sent their way, and shot the criminals' bosses with giant guns that looked like large candy canes, all the while Richard Nixon danced a jig on a tabletop.
None of the survivors chose to go to the police.
Due to a lack of friends with similar interests, especially ones that they could hang around without horrible memories, Buffy and Kendra slowly developed a comradeship. Both were slayers, Kendra was coming out of her isolationist shell and becoming a person, and Buffy was slowly starting to forgive the Harrises for their role in the elimination of her soulless boyfriend. Amy and Oz joined them as slayerettes after the Hansel and Gretel demon fiasco, despite Xander telling that shoving the fairy tale demon into a working oven was traditional. Perhaps they couldn't face the truth that cooked demon tasted a lot better than most of the school's lunches. Best Sloppy-Joe ever.
During graduation when the Mayor began to change, the entire class threw off their graduation robes revealing missile launchers or other heavy weaponry. The vampires that came out during the eclipse found out the hard way that none of the teenagers or their parents present were actually human. Especially when one potential prey, who looked exactly like Harmony Kendall, opened her mouth and spat out a long blast of burning napalm. Xander quipped that it was the most intelligent thing to come out of Harmony's mouth that year, but none of the nearby Willow-bots laughed. One actually replied that that statement wasn't actually true since, on a dare, Harmony had oral sex with one of the chess club members. Then the Willow-bots started laughing.
The burning remains of the Mayor and the few captured vampires were dragged down into Willow's new warehouse lab of doom and never heard from again. Buffy and Kendra, after a demon-less evening protecting the real students at the real graduating ceremony in a new location, went home and watched Disney movies together.
When the Harris family found out about the initiative by way of Willow's magical computer monitoring, they did the logical thing. They went to the higher ups and told them that they could already make all the magical robots they needed for half the price and non of the R&D costs. And that Maggie Walsh was planning on creating her own zombie-demon-robot army and taking over the country, at least according to her myspace blog. The Initiative was shut down the next day, and the newly formed generically named Harris Industries - with the Tony Harris' created company motto of "Hi! That's short for Harris Industries!" - got a very large government order. Somehow, Willow also acquired the capability of creating vampire behavioral control chips and improved energy-based weapons. Both of which were used on Spike seconds after he rolled into town. In fact many evil demons were dragged down into Willow's warehouse lab of doom, including Buffy's first roommate and a vengeance demon named Anyanka, but only Spike managed to escape. Or so he claimed, despite the first thing he did upon waking up was removing an overly large tracking tag on his ear.
Xander realized that he now no longer needed money, but still he wanted to help out in the family business. That meant that he applied and got accepted into Sunnydale University along with Buffy, Kendra, Amy, and a Willow-bot that looked like his sister. When the Gentlemen come to town and remove everyone's voices, they failed to realize that any Willow-bot's digitized voice works perfectly fine against them. The Willow-bot that looked like Willow, however, discovered something about herself. Namely, the attraction and attention of one Tara Maclay. When Tara and Xander convinced her that they would like to see the real Willow, they become the first non-demon non-robot individuals, besides Willow, to enter the warehouse lab of doom.
"Glad you're rocking the whole Borg Queen look there Willow." Xander remembered when he first saw his sister's organic body attached to a high-tech wall. The massive cables and circuitry extending outwards from her head and spine making the redhead look almost like the Leonardo Da Vinchi famous drawing of The Vitruvian Man, except that Willow was wearing the remains of one of her puffy pink sweaters and a flowing skirt.
"Don't worry. I'm not about to go all 'resistance is futile' yet or anything." she smiled as she said in long unused voice.
"And it's that little 'yet' that makes me do the worry thing, sis." Xander said. It looked like the Harris family magic was keeping her body from either atrophying or rejecting all the implants. "Any chance you can disconnect yourself?"
Willow sighed, "Yes, but it's the same chance as you using a spoon to scoop out your eyes or sever a limb. That's before you were exposed to the family magics, I mean. I've been connected into so much for so long, that all those robots out there are acting like extra eyes and ears. And skin. And I also put a few extra mystical senses in as well. If you disconnected me, it would be the same as blinding and deafening me. I.. I would probably recover from the shock, but I don't think I would be the same."
In the end, they decided not to disconnect Willow. Instead, Xander and Tara would become her moral compasses. They would make trips to see the real Willow every week. Tara was pleased that Willow said that the robots were fully functional, and even joked that she should build Xander a girlfriend; but Xander said it would still be his sister in control and that way lies banjos and bad river trips, even if they were not formally related by blood. Willow just shrugged and said she wouldn't mind if Tara wouldn't. She also fully scanned Tara. Other than having access to magic and a few healed broken bones that made Willow growl angrily, the scan revealed that there was absolutely nothing demonic about her. Willow cheerfully announced that Tara was as normal as the next magical lesbian robot-loving girlfriend.
While Willow made a horrible Wednesday Addams, little Dawn-patrol made a perfect one. For instance, her first word was 'whatever'. She had a perfect deadpan monotone voice and, according to Tony and Jessica Harris, was already handling razor sharp knives at a fourth grade level. That was why, when she and Xander found a monk who told them that his order hid a mystical power known as the key inside her, Dawn jammed a throwing knife into the monk's leg. When the monk painfully claimed that they had to put it with someone who could protect it from the beast and were running short on time to make any other decision, Dawn-patrol said that was the only reason the knife wound wasn't lethal, adding, or in another place on a man's body that someone of her height could easily reach. Xander quipped to the monk, "Now who did you want to protect whom, again?"
When Glory showed up, Dawn walked right up to her, and calmly stated that they knew where her key was and what's more, were willing to help her go back to her own dimension, since she didn't want to be here and no one else really wanted her in the human dimension either. Just give them a week to figure out a way of using the key without destroying all dimensions, including Glory's original one, then they would all meet back here in the cemetery. Meanwhile, Glory should enjoy the vacation by shopping and going to spas and movies and such here. All she had to loose was a week. Then after which, if we fail, the hell goddess can do the whole evil threatening thing.
Amazingly, Glory agreed and left with all her minions. That was a week ago.
It took Tony, Jessica, Tara, Willow, and live-in magic tutor Ethan Rayne delving into various branches of magic, technology, technomancy, magi-tech, and what was dimly remembered from their alternate Halloween memories, before all that effort was promptly thrown away due to Willow discovering a book on portals in the Stewart Brunell Public Library in Los Angeles. Using that book, a few drops of Dawn's blood, and a magic ritual; they were able to create a portal to wherever they wanted, including Glory's original home.
Soon, Dawn started practicing teleporting herself. When Xander asked why, she replied that the only thing better that a little girl that can knife-stab you is a little girl that can teleport and then knife-stab you. Xander simply nodded in understanding. There were many, many times he wished he could teleport. That dream died cruelly when his father implied to him exactly what would happen if he ever tried Dawn's method. Xander did not have any idea what the thing in the briefly glanced Polaroid had been originally, but it was probably not a screaming blob of salsa.
Tony claimed that he started to create variations of the teleportation spell ritual out of boredom. Apparently, interesting things happened when he used both Dawn-patrol's key infused and Xander's chaotic blood together. Xander knew that magic tended to act strange around him, and he'd seen enough Star Trek episodes to know where things are going when magical teleportation becomes involved. That is also why he refused to examine or even look directly at any more pictures of what remained of Tony's test subjects.
Glory and her entourage showed up and Tony Harris gladly stated that they were able to create a portal to get her home. They had both happily left an hour ago.
"Do you think anything will go wrong?" Xander asked his littlest sister.
"Father is involved, isn't he? Of course something will go wrong." Dawn watched past the cemetery fence where a young jogger was running along. Suddenly, a vampire leaped out of the shadows and tackled the young woman onto the ground. The vampire got into his game face, ready to bite down when the lady jogger's head twisted an impossible 180 degrees, opened it's mouth and spat out a blast of napalm. The Willow-bot got up brushing off the ashes, rotated her head back into place, and continued on her jog with a smile.
"Newbie." Dawn stated to the ashes of the former vampire, some of which were still burning.
"The Hellmouth still attracts the idiots." Xander said. Then he saw Buffy and Kendra racing up to him.
His little sister pointed at the two slayers with a questioning expression on her face.
"No, not them." Xander grinned, adding, "Usually. Let's see what they want."
"Xander, I need your help," Buffy exclaimed before looking around, "Your dad's not here, is he?"
"Nope. He's playing find the portal with a hell goddess." Xander said with a smile.
"Find the.. um, never mind. Wait, hell goddess?"
"Yup. At least that's what my sister's magic robot's eyeglasses said about her."
"What be this magic robot sister?" Kendra spoke up and was interrupted by Buffy.
"Trust me, its one of these headache-making thingies that gives you the head pains when talking about them with Xander or Xander's family," adding, "No offense, Xander. Dawnie."
"None taken," said Xander.
"Don't call me 'Dawnie'," his sister stated in an adorable yet creepy monotone.
Buffy nodded, "Right."
"So what did you need help with?" the boy prodded.
"It's my mother. She's in the hospital. They say it's a tumor. I just don't want anything to happen to her."
"Your mom? Yeah, I'll see what we can do. You do realize that if the worst happens, we'll have to adopt her into the family. That would mean some changes in how she acts. Unless you want Willow to put her mind in a robot. I think she can do that now."
"No. No robo-moms for me, please."
A familiar voice called out as a smiling Tony Harris walked up to the group still dressed in his striped suit, but now carrying an ominously large burlap sack, "Robo-mom? Is this something I should look into getting into, if you catch my drift?"
"No. Nope, nopey, nope, " Xander shook his head, "All Willow-bots are still connected to my sister. So if you try anything with any of them, I will strap you down and force you to watch awful religious cartoons. The extra preachy kind. They will go on long after your mind self destructs in a futile effort to escape your body. They will play until every time you close your eyes, all you'll be able to see is what the baby jesus would look like if he'd been born an animated cucumber."
Buffy was amazed that for the first time after that fated Halloween, she witnessed a look of fear pass across Tony Harris' face.
Then Xander asked, "So what happened to little miss hellgod?"
"Glory? She made it back to her home dimension safe and sound." Tony grinned. It was not a smile of someone that had truly helped a hell goddess. Xander, Dawn, Buffy, and even Kendra stared at him with suspicion.
"Well, most of her did." Tony elaborated, "All the major organs at least."
Xander's father suddenly looked up in serious thought before putting down his closed burlap sack and asking, "Wait, is the skin a major organ?"
Dawn calmly nodded, "It's the largest organ in the body."
"Only for some of the less fortunate people." Tony grinned, right before Dawn stabbed him in the leg and knocked his grin off. "Right, don't want to traumatize Buffy's virgin ears. Speaking of.."
Dawn-patrol stabbed him again, speaking, "Focus. You were saying?"
"Glory? Okay, most of her major organs made it safely. Just as I promised." The elder Harris nodded to himself while applying bandages to his now bleeding leg. It was mostly for show and to appease his littlest daughter, because even without the bandage the wound was closing up incredibly quickly.
"You be promising her arriving without her skin? And she be accepting of this?" Kendra asked in horrified wonder.
"I promised her I would get her back home and that she would be alive. And she was. How long she stays that way without her skin is completely up to her."
Everyone stared at him before little Dawn spoke up, "Why did you want her skin anyways?"
Tony smiled again, "I played a little dungeons and dragons when I was younger. A little tanning, a little curing, and I figure I can make a really nice suit of armor from the skin of a hell goddess. Studded leather armor of Glory plus five, at least!"
Before she could stop herself, Buffy spoke up, "What do you mean, studded leather?"
Tony grinned, "Well you see, she had this piercing."
Xander was proud of his little sister. Dawn hardly even shuddered. Not like Buffy.