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Hasta la Vista, Glory

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This story is No. 3 in the series "31 Halloween Knights". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When Xander becomes the ultimate killing machine, he makes it his mission to protect Dawn Summers... at any cost. But where is the line between man and machine and can love transcend even something so fundamental as that? Angsty...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Movies > TerminatorBarefootXOFR1814,2030206,5231 May 091 May 09Yes
I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Terminator. They belong to Joss Whedon and James Cameron respectively...

I will state for the record that there is a kiss between an adult male (20) and an underage female (15). Still, it is certainly nothing when compared to Buffy and Angel doing the deed while she was only seventeen. I just felt I should mention it for anyone skittish of that sort of thing...

~~

Hasta la Vista, Glory

Ethan’s Costume Shop
October 30th 1997


Xander stared at the weapons selection. There wasn’t much that was of use to him, considering the fact that he was planning to go as a soldier. The only thing that looked really appealing to his was a model of a Winchester Model 1887 lever-action shotgun. He could not help but smile as he looked at it. He just might be able to use this…

Xander nodded to himself. Yes, this could work. He flagged down the owner. “I don’t suppose that this comes with an ammo belt that can be worn over the shoulder.”

The owner appeared rather shocked that Xander would know such a thing. “Yes, it does as a matter of fact. I was told that they were copies of props used in some movie made back in the early nineties.”

Xander nodded. That made sense. Not many other reason why they have this particular model unless that was it. “How much for them, then?”

Ethan considered a moment. “Five dollars, all told. Are you sure you don’t want more? A weapon is hardly a costume.”

Xander nodded agreeably. “I know, but I can scrounge the rest of it from home quite easily and I can’t afford much more then five bucks…”

Ethan sighed. Ah well, at least the lad might produce some appreciable chaos by being whatever gun-toting mad man the American people had dreamt up for that movie. And since those props were actually the real props that had been used in the movie, the effects might be even more interesting. Chaos, after all, was chaotic… “Five dollars then, young man.”

Xander grinned. “Thanks a lot, pal.”

Ethan allowed a smarmy smile to cross his face. “My pleasure, my boy.”

**

1630 Revello Drive
October 31st 1997


Dawn Summers was skidding down the stairs, as soon as she heard the doorbell. Buffy was home, Willow was already here… That meant the person at the door just had to be her longtime crush, Xander Harris. Not that he would ever see her that way. Dawn let out a long-suffering sigh as she reached the door. Being twelve sucked. Finally she opened the door and her breath caught in her throat.

Xander was someone that Dawn had been attracted to for a long time. However, his usual clothing had little to do with it. On the contrary, she was attracted to the older youth despite his clothes, rather then because of them. The clothes he was wearing, though, had her wishing fervently that she were a few years older then her current age. Xander was clad in black, from top to bottom. Combat boots, tough jeans, a black t-shirt, the leather jacket he’d worn during the hyena incident and a pair of dark sunglasses, were complimented by ammo belt slung casually from shoulder to hip and the shotgun he had leaning against the opposite shoulder.

Xander spoiled the image slightly by allowing a goofy grin to cross his features, but otherwise he suited the clothes very well. And she’d always liked his sense of humor anyway. “Hey there, Dawnie. Is this the Summers residence?”

Dawn smirked in reply. “Depends on which Terminator you are. I’ll need some identification.”

Xander carefully mocked an Austrian accent. “No problemo.”

Dawn nodded, recognising one of the ‘cool’ phrases that John Connor had taught the Terminator sent to protect him. “Come on in, Xand. So who are you here to protect? Me, or Buffy?”

Xander was many things, but he wasn’t quite oblivious enough to miss that little Dawnie had a crush on him. She was only twelve, so she was still working on the whole subtlety thing most women learn by fifteen. “You, of course, Dawn Patrol. I was sent back by your future self to ensure that you survive to be this great general in the future.”

Dawn’s smile could have lit up Las Vegas. “Thanks, Xan…”

**

Streets of Sunnydale
October 31st 1997


Cyberdyne Systems start up sequence…
Terminator, Model X-101…
Primary Mission: Protect Dawn Summers…
Secondary Mission: Prevent Judgment Day…

Files: Instructions on human interaction as provided by John Connor the Younger;
Information on Glorificus, the Hellgoddess, primary threat to Dawn Summers;
Information on the Key and its relevant abilities whilst in the form of Dawn Summers;
Information on the Knights of Byzantium, another threat to Dawn Summers;
Information on the Hellmouth, most likely source of Judgment Day at this time;
Information on anatomy for the purposes of disabling human threats to Dawn Summers…

Current Status: Nominal
Current Armament: Minimal
Current Location: Sunnydale, California (the Hellmouth); Corner of Main & Howser
Current Location of Dawn Summers: Sunnydale, California; exact location unknown
Standing Orders from John Connor: Do not kill humans; standing orders may only be rescinded by Dawn Summers…

Janus smiled as he watched Xander transform into the ultimate killing machine, dead set on protecting Dawn Summers. The boy’s unthinking declaration of intent to protect Dawn, combined with the powerful props provided by Ethan and the spell fueled with Janus’ own power, had allowed Janus the opportunity to aid these lowly mortals against a much-hated rival of his. Let’s see how Glory does against him!

**

Sunnydale Police Department
October 31st 1997


Just starting his night shift, Detective Paul Stein was rather shocked to see Alexander Harris walking up to him. The boy seemed to have put on six inches of height and a pound of muscle since he had last seen the boy. Stein grinned. ‘I knew that boy was taking something. It’s gotta be steroids.’ Then he saw the shotgun. ‘My goodness but that looks real. It’ll do for an excuse.’ “Harris, I’ll need you to hand over that shotgun. I’ve got you for possession of illegal firearms and suspected possession and use of illegal substances.” Stein figured to himself that he would only ‘notice’ the gun was fake after he had already found whatever steroids the boy had used to get so big. ‘I’ve got you now, Harris.’

Harris continued walking calmly up to Stein. “I need your car." With that, the lad calmly leveled the shotgun and blew out Stein’s kneecap. The man groaned piteously, he’d be very surprised if he could keep his leg after the massive round had nailed him like that. Harris calmly stripped him of his sidearm, sliding it into his jacket. Stein didn’t care anymore. He was unconscious from the pain. After that the X-101 simply swept into the open car, checked the sun visor for keys and started up the car.

As the X-101 drove quickly off to find Dawn Summers, a small little voice in his head seemed to be equal parts disgusted and jubilant about kneecapping Detective Stein… The X-101 ignored the voice and continued on its way. It had a mission to complete.

**

Streets of Sunnydale
October 31st 1997


Dawn Summers was terrified. Running desperately in her costume, she was just barely staying ahead of the hairy… whatever… that was trying to chase her down. She just thanked the fates that her Princess Leia ensemble, an attempt to garner Xander’s notice, had been the Endor uniform rather then one of Leia’s more unwieldy ensembles. She groaned as she tripped, tearing the pant leg of her costume. “Party Town is never going to give me a refund.” She was about to haul herself back to her feet when she noted that the hairy beast had gotten ahead of her and was snarling. “I don’t suppose you’re Chewbacca, here to protect me, are you?”

No such luck. The hairy beast merely snarled and charged her. She sighed softly, accepting the end when the loud bark of a shotgun blast rent the air, knocking the careening beast onto its butt and causing it moan piteously.

Dawn couldn’t believe her luck. She spun around to find that she had been rescued by a significantly larger Xander Harris. How had that happen. ‘My what big arms you have…’ “Xander. What the hell is going on.”

“That creature was attempting to harm you. I am Cyberdyne Systems Terminator, Model X-101. I have been assigned to protect you.”

Dawn’s eyes widened. ‘What in God’s name?’ “What are your orders?”

“Primary objective: Protect Dawn Summers from any that wish her harm. Secondary objective: Prevent Judgment Day from occurring. Operational parameters: I am not to kill humans unless the order is directly countermanded by Dawn Summers; I am to obey the orders of Dawn Summers.”

Dawn’s eyes widened. “Woah, that’s a lot of power I have over you.”

Xander did not move save to say. “Affirmative.”

Dawn sighed. “I can’t wait to tell Mom about this one. ‘He followed me home, honest…’”

**

1630 Revello Drive
November 1st 1997


It was early in the morning when Joyce Summers walked into her home to find Xander Harris sitting stiffly on a couch, glancing about in absurdly cautious manner. “Xander, what are you doing here?”

“Standing watch.” The answer was short clipped and lacked the usual humour of Xander Harris.

Joyce could not help but stare at him. The boy seemed to have grown significantly, but that had to be a mistake, right? Maybe she just hadn’t noticed he’d grown lately. “Why are you standing watch, Xander.”

“Dawn Summers is sleeping. Whilst she is doing so I must stand watch so that I can make sure she is safe.”

Joyce felt he face heat up with a touch of anger. It was one thing for her twelve-year-old daughter to have a crush on a teenager. It was quite another for a seventeen-year-old friend of her eldest to be interested in her preteen daughter. “I’m pretty sure that I don’t approve of my daughter in a relationship with a man so much older then her. At least not until she’s of age, Xander.”

X-101, no ‘Xander, Dawn Summers says my name is Xander. I must remember that.’ Xander cocked his head in curiosity. “What does Buffy Summers’ relationship with Angel have to do with me? Do you wish me to terminate Angel on your behalf?”

Whatever Joyce had been expecting from Xander, that had not been it. He had switched subjects from him and Dawn onto Buffy and Angel? And then offered to terminate Angel? Wasn’t Angel Buffy’s tutor? Was Xander implying that Buffy and that man were… No, one thing at a time. “Don’t change the subject, Xander. What is going on between you and Dawn?”

“I have been assigned to protect Dawn Summers by any who might wish to do her harm.”

“By whom?”

“Dawn Summers, circa 2029. She ordered me to return to 1997 to protect from threats to her life.”

Joyce’s eyes bulged. “What sort of threats?”

“Vampires, demons, dark mages, Glorificus the Hellgoddess, the Knights of Byzantium, other Terminators…”

“Other Terminators. That implies that you are one, Xander. It’s just a movie.” Joyce had changed tactics, seeing that Xander had obviously had a blow to the head or something. “I’ll call a hospital and they can help you, Xander.”

“They can’t help him.”

Joyce spun to find Dawn standing before her, still in her nightgown. “Dawn, what are you doing up so early.”

Dawn shook her head, ignoring Joyce. “No one can help him, Mom. No one can change what he has become.”

“What are you talking about, Sweetie? It’s just a delusion. Xander’s just hit his or something. We’ll take him to the hospital and they’ll make him okay. I promise…”

Dawn simply kept shaking her head as Joyce spoke. “They can’t help him, Mom. No one can. The best we can do is try to help him remember bits and pieces of how he was before this. We can’t change what he’s become now.” Dawn could tell, just by looking at her that her mom wasn’t taking this well. She hadn’t taken Buffy’s attempt to speak the truth well either. Ah well, Dawn had something Buffy didn’t… tangible evidence. “Xander, show her…”

Xander turned slightly, showing the right side of his face which had been obscured by shadow. It was healing well and quickly, but you could still easily see the metal showing through where a monster had gouged his flesh good while attempting to get at Dawn last night.

Dawn smiled faintly. “You convinced yet, Mom?”

Joyce Summers was aghast, noting not only Xander’s wound but what lay beneath. It might have been a really good makeup job, but Xander had not worn any makeup earlier that night and he was not really wealthy enough to go to such extremes. Likewise, if this were self-delusion on Xander’s part, the lad wouldn’t need to create evidence. He would simply believe and that would be enough for him. She shivered convulsively as she reached out and touched the metal that showed through. She then proceeded to poke and prod Xander’s body until she was utterly convinced he was what he said. “How did this happen?”

**

Sunnydale High School ~ Library
November 1st 1997


Rupert Giles sat surveying the two young women before him. “Well, it appears Xander doesn’t see the need to show up on time and so we will start without him. Are there any side effects of the previous night’s activities that need to be dealt with?”

“I’d be very interested in the answer to that as well, Mr. Giles.”

Giles spun about to find Joyce Summers standing in the entrance to the library, flanked by her youngest and Xander. “Xander, what in heaven’s name are you doing bringing more civilians here. Does the concept of a secret identity mean nothing to you?”

Xander did not even have the decency to shrug in response. “I was ordered to report on any and all current threats within the city that might possibly be directed at Dawn Summers.”

“And you told them, why?”

“Dawn Summers informed me that I am to provide information to and follow the orders of Joyce Summers unless they are in direct contravention of my primary orders to protect and obey Dawn Summers.”

“Giles…”

Giles turned to glance at his slayer. “Yes, Buffy.”

Buffy shuddered. “He doesn’t register as human anymore.”

Dawn rolled her eyes expressively. “Gee, whatever gave you that idea, Buffy? Was it the clipped speech or the fact that he follows my every order without thought?”

Buffy blushed even as she stood to face Xander. “Back away from them Xander.”

Dawn began to feel panic welling. This could only get bad. “Buffy, don’t. He’s on our side.”

Buffy shook her head. “You can’t be sure of that, Dawnie.” And with that she rushed forward at full slayer speed, intending to get Xander away from her family.

Knowing what Xander was capable of now, Dawn made a fast decision. “Defensive only, Xander. Don’t hurt her if you can help it.”

It was then that Buffy saw what she thought was the barest hint of a Xander-like grin. “No problemo.”

Buffy was moving at speeds that Xander could not match, but her hits were largely ineffectual for doing anything but knocking him back a step or bruising her knuckles.

Xander appeared to sigh, if a machine can even do that. “And people wonder why Judgment Day often seems inevitable. It is built into your nature that you cannot recognise friend from foe.” Finally, Xander grew tired of this endless barrage and caught Buffy’s left hand, holding it so firmly that she cried out in but not so firmly that it would break bones. “Please cease attacking me. I am under orders not to kill humans, but my existing protocols require me to preserve my own life for the good of my mission.”

“What is your mission?”

“I am to protect Dawn Summers…”

**

The Intervening Years

It had been a hard few years for the Terminator and his charge. Xander’s initial revelations to Joyce about the slayer secret put a strain on what little relationship he could have still achieved with Buffy and Willow. Not only was Buffy unable to deal with Xander not being human anymore, a fact that Dawn considered blatantly hypocritical, both Buffy and Willow were furious with him for spilling the news about Angel.

Joyce had made it clear pretty darn fast that Angel was to stop seeing her daughter in the romantic sense or she was going to test drive Xander’s new abilities by having him remove the ensouled master vampire. Buffy had plaintively wailed that Angel had a soul while Xander had matter-of-factly stated that he was only currently restricted from killing humans and himself and Angel was neither. Buffy had then tried to order him not to do it, but he had stated that it was a non-issue until Joyce gave the order, at which point only Dawn’s orders or Dawn’s life being in mortal danger would prevent him from carrying out Joyce’s orders.

Junior year had been absurdly easy. With Buffy and Angel broken up, Angel never went bad. The Judge was unable to do much damage to a Terminator, while the opposite could not be said. The statue of Acathla was confiscated by the Scoobies and kept safe since Angelus wasn’t out to end the world.

Senior year had been messier. Faith, a frightened potential, had barely made it to Sunnydale after her Watcher had been killed. It was only the intervention Xander that stopped Kakistos from killing her. The girl had been awestruck by the silent mechanical determination with which Xander protected Dawn. The Mayor had been a far tougher nut to crack. Xander had been unable to attack the dangerous mage, constrained as he was by John Connor’s orders, until the Mayor turned into a giant snake. As a result, many of the Sunnydale High graduating class died, a fact that made Buffy scoff at Xander’s usefulness until Dawn pointed out that Buffy hadn’t done anything effective either.

After high school was over, Xander moved out of his home and into the Summers home permanently. His improved grades (Terminators are really quite intelligent after all) allowed him to start work as a teaching assistant at the temporary Sunnydale High School which Dawn was to begin attending. That year hadn’t offered much action to Xander until ADAM arrived. A certain amount of Xander-ish pride had seemed to rise in the machine that had once been Xander Harris at what he called a blasphemy that even Skynet would be wary of creating.

The battle between the two cyborgs had been titanic, resulting in many injuries for Xander. ADAM had fought to the last, claiming that ‘Mother’ had made him a masterwork. Unfortunately from ADAM, ‘Mother’ had not been as intelligent as Skynet, nor had she known that a Terminator existed in this world.

ADAM’s last words were. “I will take that which was used to make you so strong and add it to myself, to make me stronger.”

Xander’s lips had quirked at that. “Assimilate this, dickwad…”

**

Warehouse
December 24th 2000


Xander pulled Dawn along quickly. They seemed to have temporarily evaded the pursuing Hellgoddess. The woman was eagerly seeking Dawn and she made the T-1000 seem weak when it came to durability. Xander and Dawn made their way up the steps and up onto the roof of the warehouse they had just entered. “Are you all right, Dawn?”

Dawn was fifteen now and could honestly say that she had shaken her childish crush on the machine that had become her protector and who had once been Xander Harris. Now he was simply Xander. He was tall and strong and unstoppable and he would do anything to save her from Glory, up to and including dying. She just couldn’t take it any longer. The pressure of the Hellgoddess pursuing her, the questioning of whether she truly ever existed in a human sense until recently, the tumor her mother was suffering from. It was just too much for a fifteen-year-old to handle. And so she broke down on Xander’s shoulder.

Xander stood unmoving, his arms instinctively around Dawn and rubbing her back. This was a Xander-ism that convinced Dawn that Xander was still in there at heart, even if he didn’t show it very much. She remembered from the movie that the Terminator had great difficulty giving comfort to John because it was still just a machine, no matter how lifelike. This giving of comfort was such a Xander-like thing that Dawn was utterly convinced that X-101 still held the true essence of Xander. The occasional off colour comment, the moments of comfort like this, even a few pop culture references helped to keep Dawn certain.

Dawn was certain of one other thing that would have made both her mother and Buffy aghast. She had somehow lost her crush on Xander some time ago. Now she was damn near certain that she’d fallen in love with him, machine or not. And so, with tears still in her eyes, Dawn grabbed Xander’s head and kissed him as hard as she could. She wanted to see if, just for a moment, Xander would react like a human male and prove her right. She was almost as shocked as Xander was to find that he did indeed react for a moment in time. It might have even lasted longer had Glory not chosen that moment to show up.

“Well ain’t that sweet? A girl and her robot. Should I send out wedding invitations before the funeral ones, my little Key.”

It was an odd moment for Glory. She had caught the machine by surprise for once and was too busy savouring the moment to concentrate.

Xander on the other hand, caught up in the kiss though he had been, was a machine and far more used to switching gears at a moments notice. His shotgun came up in an instant, hitting Glory centre mass, even as he reloaded the weapon and fired again… and again, and again. In her moment of glory, pardon the pun, Glory had failed to note how close she was to the roof’s edge and was therefore unprepared when the powerful shotgun blasts proved just enough to knock her off the building’s top, causing her to fall screaming. Xander turned to Dawn. “She’ll be back.” And with that Xander hauled Dawn into his arms and powered a jump onto the next building over, moving as swiftly as he could to get them away from the temporarily injured Hellgoddess.

**

Construction Site
June 12th 2001


Xander fought furiously with Glory as they both stood on th platform over the portal. Xander knew full well that he could never win against the Hellgoddess. Her strength was greater then his as was her regenerative capabilities. They had only one chance and he had lured her here to try to pull it off. He and Dawn had brought Acathla with them to the construction site.

Glory, assuming she could take her key through whatever resistance, never even considered the threat Acathla might pose. Xander had taken the statue without permission. He knew that Giles would never sign off on trying to use two apocalypses to cancel each other out. Too darn bad, Xander took order only from Dawn.

It was moments into the final battle that Glory noticed the terrible portal beginning to open. She had wanted a portal, but not that portal “What have you done, you fool?”

Xander let loose with a truly Xander-ish grin just then. “Hasta la Vista, Glory…” And with that he kicked out at the already unbalanced Hellgoddess, causing her to scream and fall through the portal. Xander looked up to see Dawn was smiling brightly at him. She didn’t understand the downside of this plan. Glory hadn’t opened it, he had. “I’ve got to go now.”

Dawn’s eyes widened in stunned realisation. “You can’t go.”

“I must. If I don’t then the whole world will be swallowed up, Dawn. I’ve got to go.”

Dawn searched for something, anything that might help her convince him. “You can’t self-terminate. It’s a rule. I remember it.”

Xander shook his head. At had been a worthy try. “Going to a hell dimension is not technically being terminated. I can do this.”

“Don’t… Please… I love you, Xander.”

Xander looked sad at that. “I… think I would have loved you too, if I could feel love. I’m sorry Dawn. This is the way it must be. I’ll… try to be back…”

Dawn dropped to her knees as Xander entered the portal after slashing his wrist open to provide the necessary blood. “Don’t…” But he was already gone...

~~

I leave it to you readers to decide whether he ever came back to her from hell, like Angel did for Buffy, or if he died like the real Terminator, sacrificing himself for humanity and for his charge. It's your choice to interpret folks... ;)

Jasper

The End

You have reached the end of "Hasta la Vista, Glory". This story is complete.

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