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I've Never Been All That Religious, But…

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Summary: Xander joined his cousin on an archeological expedition after Graduation instead of heading to Oxnard and the Fabulous Ladies Nightclub, which has led to some significant changes to Xander's life. For one thing, he's now employed by the Air Force as a ci

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredGreywizardFR1837,30236524,52813 Jul 1125 Aug 14No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? If anyone really thinks these characters belong to me, then I've got some *great* real estate investments I'd like to discuss with you. All of the Buffy characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, and any other characters you might recognize belong to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jonathan Glassner, Brad Wright, MGM, Dean Titcher and Electric Entertainment, and/or DC Comics. I'm just borrowing them for a while. There is no intent to profit from this. Only the story is mine. And if anyone waves enough money in front of me, even that is negotiable.

Category: Multiple crossovers, which will be starting in Chapter 2.

Summary: Xander joined his cousin on an archeological expedition after Graduation instead of heading to Oxnard and the Fabulous Ladies Nightclub, which has led to some significant changes to Xander's life. For one thing, he's now employed by the Air Force as a civilian consultant…

Time frame: Begins towards the end of the Season Five finale, 'The Gift,' and then goes *very* AU. Seasons Three and Four backstory are different, also, as will eventually be revealed in the course of the story.

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course! It's like food, water and air to a writer.

Archiving: Check with me first, please.

Author's Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: As usual, "word" indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 3: I'm intending to write this in the archetypal comic book style, so expect to see a lot of cliffhanger moments and dramatic breaks and scene changes in upcoming chapters. I'm also going to be working on this as the whim strikes, so I have no idea how frequent updates are going to be.

~~~

A ramshackle tower built by crazy people in the warehouse area of Sunnydale, CA

May 7, 2001


Dawn Summers looked down from the framework she'd been tied to, atop the tower that had been built by the townspeople Glory had brain-sucked, and she could *see* Buffy and the blonde hell-goddess battling furiously by the base of the tower, the faintly glowing debris of the Dagon sphere scattered across the ground near their feet. Watching the two fight, she felt like the clichéd starlet of one of the Grade-B horror movies the Scoobies used to watch and make fun of, after patrol.

Off to one side, she could see an exhausted-looking Tara caring for an unconscious Willow, while Giles fought a valiant – but what would clearly be an ultimately futile – battle against the insane goddess's goblin-like minions and the band of crazies Glory was apparently directing against them.

As Buffy slammed Glory down onto a pile of bricks, the blonde hell-bitch rolled clear of the Slayer's follow-up attack and Buffy's fist slammed into the bricks, reducing them, and not Glory's head, to a fine powder.

Grabbing hold of her opponent, Glory picked Buffy up and easily tossed her a dozen feet away to slam into yet another pile of assorted junk. As Buffy was scrambling to her feet, Glory rushed across the distance separating the two and kicked the smaller blonde in the face.

'Buffy's' head abruptly flew off as the kick impacted, leaving her body standing upright, with a multitude of broken wires sticking out of her neck and clearly exposed to any onlooker.

Pausing for a moment at the sight, Glory smiled and said, "Hey, wow, the Slayer's a robot."

Looking around for her minions, the so-called deity didn't notice two figures clad in black and gold form-fitting outfits arrive at the base of the tower in a blur of motion.

"Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?" the insane/ditzy blonde asked curiously, as Glory glanced around for any of her scabrous-looking, sycophantic minions.

"She's not exactly the brightest star in the heavens, is she?" the closer of the two new arrivals said, catching Glory's attention.

As the hell-goddess turned her head to look at the speaker, the newcomer stepped forward and slammed her fist into Glory's jaw, lifting her up off the ground and sending her flying through the air, to slam into the brick wall of the nearest warehouse.

"Buffy! I'm up here!" Dawn screamed as she recognized her newly-arrived sister, despite the odd-looking black and gold body suit she was wearing. "Buffy!"

"Oh no, you don't!" Glory screamed as she saw her assailant begin running towards the rickety and decrepit stairway that formed the beginning of the pathway up to the top of the tower where Dawn was currently imprisoned.

Lunging up from the rubble atop which she'd been lying, the insane hell-goddess found her way blocked by a tall, muscular man in a black and gold outfit that matched the petite blonde who'd just punched her harder than any mortal should have been able to accomplish.

"You go take care of Dawn, Buffy," Xander Harris directed the Slayer as he kept his attention focused on the self-proclaimed deity in front of him. "I'll take care of the trailer trash reject, here."

"Okay, Xand," Buffy nodded her agreement with her best friend's idea. "I'll grab Dawnie, you take care of the skank, and then we'll pick up the rest of the gang on our way out.

"And when you're done with her, why don't call ahead for pizza on the way back to the house?" the Chosen One suggested, trying to lighten the atmosphere.

"Sure thing, Buffy," Xander nodded absently. "See you shortly."

As she made her way up a set of stairs which looked as though they would fall apart at the first strong wind, Buffy could hear sounds of a fight occurring somewhere above her – so she silently cursed in the privacy of her mind at the interference that the Hellmouth's energy had caused for her and Xander, impeding and restricting the quantities of energy they were able to call upon.

{ It would have made rescuing Dawnie a whole lot easier if we could have just flown in here, } Buffy lamented. { Although the increased strength and speed and resilience will definitely come in handy, even if it's not as much as Xand said he could normally use. }

It only took her a few additional seconds to reach the top of the tower using the ladders Glory's slaves had built. Buffy arrived at the top platform just in time to recognize Doc, the demon Giles and Spike had reported they'd killed two weeks previously, conjure a sword, glowing with a sickly purple aura, which he then used to decapitate Spike from behind as the chipped vampire worked at unlocking the manacles securing Dawn to the frame that had been constructed inside what was clearly a ritual circle.

Dawn's despairing scream of protest split the air as her self-appointed vampiric guardian exploded into dust, and Buffy hoped that her sister's high-pitched keening would serve to mask the sound of her footsteps as she climbed onto the metal grating which formed the floor of this level of the tower.

Unfortunately, however, just as with so many other events which had transpired this year, Fate decided to screw over Team Slayer, and the human-appearing reptilian demon whirled around to face Buffy as she took her first step towards her sister.

~~~

"Who are you calling 'trailer trash,' you arrogant, jumped-up monkey?!" Glory screamed when she heard the tall brunet's insult, her eyes flaring with outrage as she slammed her fist against her opponent's jaw, fully expecting to see the man's head tear away from his neck and fly away off into the air, as had happened with the robot just a few moments ago.

Glory's eyes widened with shock when the guy she'd just hit merely staggered back a step, then shook his head as Xander rubbed his hand against the spot on his jaw where she'd hit him and said, "Hmm, nice punch. I'm guessing maybe you really are some sort of god, after all."

Stepping back towards her, Harris then added, "You know what they say about how you should treat people, don't you, Bore-y?"

Staring at the brunet who was defying all aspects of even her semi-insane logic, Glory snarled as she corrected her opponent. "The name's Glorificus, you lackluster piece of dirt!!

"And I have no idea what you're babbling about, either, monkey boy," Glory snarled, as she threw another punch at him.

"They say, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'" Xander informed her as he swayed slightly to the side and let the demented blonde's punch miss him by a fraction of an inch.

"So, that's exactly what I'm doing," the dark-haired youth said as he drove the heel of his hand full into her face, sending Glory flying back into the wall she'd impacted just a moment before.

The sanity-challenged goddess stared disbelievingly at the human who'd just hit her as hard as she'd ever been hit in her life, as she wiped her hand across her mouth.

"Well, frack. You're obviously not just some puny, little, over-evolved simian," Glory declared, absolute certainty coloring her voice as she pushed herself back up to her feet again.

"Only someone empowered by a god could hit me like that," she added, a momentary spark of sanity allowing her to deduce the explanation for her enemy's unexpected power.

"Yeah," Xander replied as he prepared himself for Glory's impending attack. "That would be one possible explanation.

"Not that it really matters all that much, either way," he added, with an indifferent shrug of his shoulders. "'Cause you're not getting past me, whether I'm some puny, little, over-evolved simian or not – hell-bitch."

"I'M A GOD, YOU ARROGANT PIECE OF MUCK!" Glory screamed as she rushed at the man blocking her way to the tower and began showering a flurry of punches on him.

"NOW, DIE!!!"

{ Hellmouth, } Xander thought to himself as he began trading blows with the demented hellgoddess, { I never would have thought that things could ever end up like this, when I accepted Flynn's offer of a summer job overseas, way back when. }

~~~
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