Disclaimers: I wish I owned it, but alas, I do not.
I'm going to be deviating more and more from the standard storyline here, so there will be some noticible differences here from the original. Tell me what you think?
In the end, it was decided that Xander and Buffy would go to challenge the Judge and the vampires, while the others would wait at the library as backup, just in case the mall was a diversion for something bigger. After all, Angelus was known to be subtle in his methods, or, at least, that was how it looked to some. Xander personally thought the vampire had a streak of cowardice running through him which, as Angel, had manifested as the 'mysterious and romantic benefactor,' dropping cryptic hints and then running off to let others do the fighting for him. Angelus seemed even more of a coward, waiting to attack directly until his opponents were incapacitated, physically or mentally. After all, look at Dru. Tormenting a helpless young girl to the point of madness, then turning her in a convent. How very brave and manly indeed. Driving a stake through his heart would be deeply satisfying.
Xander and Buffy reached the mall and slipped inside without incident. Having nothing to do but wait, they set themselves up in the food court, figuring it to be the most likely target.
"So, you think this will work?" asked Buffy, idly twirling a straw.
"Well, it was the only unforged weapon I could think of, short of a grenade launcher," Xander replied. "And I don't think something like that would be inconspicuous enough. Call me crazy, but even Sunnydale cops aren't THAT stupid. I don't want to be up on terror charges. Besides, what are we gonna do, walk up to the base and ask for some heavy artillery?"
Buffy just rolled her eyes. "Well, of course not. Might be fun to try, though. Killing vamps and demons would be a lot easier, but I don't look good in orange jumpsuits." They contemplated that image for a moment.
"I think the orange would clash with your hair. Very few people have the right look to really pull it off. Best not to try." He gave her a sly glance. "Besides, I don't think they have any in your size."
"Hey! I'm not short; other people are unnaturally tall!"
Xander laughed, and scanned the crowd. So many people, and all so unaware of the danger. If they only knew...of course, if they knew, they'd quickly repress it. It happened every day. People needed to be able to feel safe in their little worlds, so they blocked out anything that didn't belong, tamed it until it faded into the monotony of their everyday lives. It was an easier way to live, far easier than the alternative. Acknowledging the problem meant having to deal with it, and most people were simply not capable of that. A town like this needed sheep to live there. Sadly, he wondered how many of the people he saw would end up victims. Maybe they all would, sooner or later. People had known from the time of the Spanish settlement. They'd called it La Boca del Inferno, for God's sake! So why would anyone be stupid enough to put a town here? Well, the answer seemed obvious: any kind of bad guy or demon who wanted to draw on the power of all that evil and death. Hell, for all he knew, it'd been planned as a resort retreat for the demon community.
Just then, his thoughts were interrupted by the doors exploding inward, giving them their first sight of the newly reassembled Judge. It looked like a stereotypical demon, except for the whold blue stone thing, and wouldn't have been very intimidating if they hadn't known what it was capable of. Vampire minions, led by Angelus, Spike, and Dru swarmed in after him, cutting off all exits and herding the frightened humans towards the demon.
As Xander started to draw his sword, a vampire dragged a middle-aged man before the Judge, a first offering in what the demons were hoping would be the greatest bloodbath in the history of Sunnydale. The man died screaming, as the Judge burned the humanity out of him.
"Cover me," Xander said as he threw himself towards the stone demon. His heart was pounding, not with fear, as he would have thought, but with anger. This town was his, and these murdering demons were defiling it. He felt a great connection with this land and its people, and he could feel the evil that permeated it.
Xander rushed towards the demon, Morgif fully out of the bag and snarling. He knew that it would take every ounce of power that he could come up with to defeat the demon, and he could not risk losing. As he rushed the front line of vampires, he shouted, "Devour them, Morgif, drink their power!" He swung the blade towards the nearest vampires, biting deeply into their chests. Almost instantly, they dusted, and a bright glow surrounded the blade. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that Buffy was busy staking minions, while Spike and Drusilla, showing uncommon sense, were not-so-subtly edging towards the door.
"You threaten the people of my town. You commit atrocities, and cause fear. You are an abomination, and for your actions, I will kill you!" Xander challenged the Judge.
"You think to defeat ME, boy? I am eternal. I will purify this world of the taint of humanity; I will burn it out of every last creature on the Earth. I am invincible; no weapon forged by man can harm me. Run, and perhaps you will live a few more minutes."
"You underestimate humanity, creature. No weapon forged by man can harm you, but we've progressed out of the middle ages. Most weapons these days are forged by machines, not by people." He raised Morgif in a blaze of fire. "Oh, and Morgif was forged by demons, machines, and brought to life through the Chaos magic of the Roman god Janus. Not by man! He swung his sword down, Morgif squealing with glee. Bright red lines of fire ran down a series of cracks in the demon's chest. He quickly ducked to avoid being touched by the Judge's hand. He swung again, and the fire flared brighter. One last swing and the fire seemed to stutter. He threw himself to the side and rolled under a table as the Judge exploded in a rain of fire, the pieces burning to a cinder.
From his position under the table, Xander watched Buffy defeat the last of the minions, then turn to Angelus. As predicted, he'd waited for his minions to soften up the target. He'd flinched in shock though, when the Judge had been defeated. Buffy raised her stake, then hesitating, lowered it again. Xander could see her mouth move, but couldn't make out the conversation. Angelus backed away, and Buffy...did nothing.
Sighing, Xander made his way over to her. "What happened with Dead Boy?" he asked.
"He got away," came the mumbled reply.
"I see." Really he did. The big, bad Slayer, crippled in her duties because of her feelings for her natural prey. The Slayer was going to be even more of a problem than he thought.