The Beginning of the end
"We could just set the entire town on fire," Xander suggested.
"We can't just burn the town down," Buffy disagreed.
"Why not?" Dawn asked.
"Because the people... no, they've all left," Buffy realized. "Um Giles, tell them why not."
"I haven't the slightest idea why not, except for the usual reasons we don't imitate the Vikings," Giles admitted with a shrug.
"The Vikings had some fiscally sound ideas," Anya said proudly.
"This is your bad influence," Faith told Buffy, visibly amused.
"What?! How is this remotely my fault?!" Buffy demanded.
"Didn't you burn down your high school before you came here?" Andrew asked.
"It was just the gym and you be quiet, you're evil," Buffy reminded him.
"Nothing to add?" Dawn asked Willow.
"Yes!" Buffy said, perking up. "Willow! Tell them we shouldn't burn down the city!"
"Um... because we'd need at least a dozen people and two tanker trucks full of gasoline?" Willow offered.
"Half a dozen and one," Xander disagreed. "You forget, the police and military have left so we don't have to arrange any distractions."
"Distractions?" Spike asked. "Have you two already planned out how to torch everything?"
Willow and Xander exchanged glances.
"A bit," Willow allowed.
"How much is a bit?" Principal Woods asked.
"Every year since we were ten we've planned out burning this place to the ground and updated the plan accordingly," Willow admitted.
"Up until her first year of college when she became too busy to hang out and plan world domination anymore," Xander said sadly.
"You guys plot world domination when I'm not around?" Buffy asked, sounding hurt.
"Buffy, you're a hero, we can't exactly ask you to sit down and help us plan out something you would be honor bound to stop us from doing," Willow explained.
"You could have asked me," Dawn complained.
"You would have gloated about doing something secret with me to mess with Buffy," Xander said slowly carefully shaking his head, "and trust me when I say that plotting world domination would have been the very last thing she'd think we were doing alone together."
"Yeah, I can see that," Dawn admitted with a sigh.
"And back to the subject at hand," Giles said, visibly uncomfortable. "I don't see any moral reasons not to burn Sunnydale down to the ground."
"We should pack all our stuff and then steal everything not nailed down first," Anya suggested.
"Pillage, then burn," Xander and Willow chorused.
"Ah no Spike, don't worry about her little friends, Buffy is the dangerous one," Spike said in his fake Angelus voice. "Anyone Dru takes an interest in is dangerous," he said firmly.
"Is this about the whole 'kitten' thing?" Dawn asked curiously.
Spike chuckled. "It was her way of warning us not to turn him."
"I'm pretty sure she wanted to turn me," Xander said, recalling several times she tried to control his mind.
"Yeah, the destruction you'd cause would be glorious and unfortunately, we'd be part of that destruction," Spike explained. "Dru didn't exactly have a lot in the way of survival instincts."
"We're getting off topic," Giles pointed out.
"Right," Anya said. "Since Xander only needs six people the rest of us need to prioritize what to loot!"
"You're actually going to loot the town?" Woods asked, wondering if he had fallen asleep.
"And the military base," Xander added.
"Forget about that," Willow said, "OK, you'll only need four people if they haven't emptied all the fuel and munitions."
"How long do I have to plan out the most efficient way to pillage the town?" Anya asked.
"No need, I have a workable plan ready, I just need to alter it to take into account recent changes in the businesses downtown," Xander assured her.
"I have the program we used to come up with that on my laptop," Willow offered. "I've kept it up to date. I can have a new plan made up to account for the number of minions, I mean people, we have assisting."
"You've been planning without me?" Xander asked softly.
"No, No!" Willow quickly exclaimed. "I just kept the program up to date, I haven't planned anything. It was just so... if we ever ended up close like we were..."
"Planning world domination was your couple's activity?" Buffy asked.
"Kinda... sorta... yeah," Xander admitted. "We plotted together."
"You never plotted world domination with me," Anya said, hurt.
"You would have insisted we carry out the plans," Xander replied, "and that would have cut heavily into the amount of time we had scheduled for sex."
"Oh, OK," Anya said, all smiles once more.
"How is it I'm the evil one?" Faith demanded, shocked at how much had been going on behind the scenes.
"You tried to kill Angel," Buffy reminded her.
"Which completely made up for attempting to kill me," Xander assured her. "I consider it a push."
"You tried to kill Buffy," Giles said.
"So has Willow, Anya, and Spike," Xander pointed out. "Andrew was also part of a group who tried."
"You threatened to once," Buffy reminded him.
"I also gave you CPR," Xander pointed out. "Pretty sure I came out ahead in the not evil category."
"I resurrected you once so it's the same here," Willow added.
"You were trying to kill me and Spike so it's about equal," Anya decided.
"So why am I the evil one?" Faith asked.
"I'm sticking with trying to kill Angel, regardless of Xander's opinion," Buffy replied.
"You had sex with Xander," Willow said.
"What?!" several people chorused.
"Look at the people Xander has slept with," Willow said firmly.
"That is... weirdly possessive," Dawn said. "So, when I have sex with him I'm going to be the evil one?"
"Anya had sex with him last, I say she's the evil one," Faith declared.
"Agreed," Dawn and Willow chorused.
"You all suck," Xander said.
"I-You know what? Forget it!" Buffy sighed. "I'm the evil one, Willow give me the plan and let's get started.
Three school buses, with half the interiors ripped out, pulled to a stop outside Sunnydale city limits. The doors opened and disgorged a large group of people.
"Where's Xander?" Buffy asked.
"There," Faith said, pointing to an army halftrack sunk low on its axles that rounded the corner and was coming towards them.
It only took a moment to reach them and for the three people to climb out.
"So, how'd you guys make out?" Faith asked as she moved to talk with Woods.
"I'm pretty sure we have enough weapons and ammo to take over Detroit," Woods said, shaking his head.
"A bit of an exaggeration," Xander disagreed.
"Not much of one," Giles said. "While I admit many of these weapons are useful, the danger of getting caught with them makes the regular use of them unfeasible."
"Depends on the use," Xander replied.
Kennedy and Andrew climbed out of the back of the truck.
"Who gets to push the button?" Kennedy asked.
"Button?" Buffy replied.
"To set everything off," Andrew said.
Willow shook her head. "We knew we'd argue over a button so it's all on timers."
"It's almost nightfall," Anya pointed out. "When are they set for?"
"One minute after sunset, when all the demons peek their heads out of their holes," Willow replied.
"That's cruel, I like it!" Anya declared cheerfully.
"They'll relax, think they're safe, then-" Xander began
The center of town exploded in a tremendous ball of fire just seconds before a massive wall of flame sprang up around the town and started burning inwards.
"Good timing," Dawn complimented him.
"Is the ground shaking?" Andrew asked.
"Maybe we should move a little farther away," Buffy suggested.
"Like Alaska," Dawn agreed as everyone quickly rushed to their vehicles and started moving.
The ground shook and the burning city fell into the earth, water rushing in from the sea and causing a huge cloud of steam as it filled the burning crater where Sunnydale once stood.
It was another dozen miles before the group stopped at a rest stop and disembarked, sure they were far enough to be safe.
"Why is steam still rising from it?" Dawn asked.
"Thermite," Xander replied. "Well... thermite, magnesium, and ground up communal wafers."
Everyone turned to stare at him.
"I had to be sure," Xander said.
"No kill like overkill," Spike said, lighting a cigarette.
"Exactly," Xander said cheerfully. "Fire hot enough to melt steel should have no problem with vamps, no matter how tough they are."
"It also burns underwater so it can't be put out," Willow noted.
"The wonders of modern chemistry," Xander said with a wide smile. "Waterproof fire."
"If you could have gotten your hands on some plutonium, would you have built a nuke?" faith asked with a snort.
"Do you know how to build a nuke?" Buffy asked.
"Please let the answer be no," Giles prayed.
Willow rolled her eyes. "Please, it's not that hard to do."
"For you," Buffy said.
"For anyone," Xander disagreed.
"Oh lord, he knows," Giles groaned. "The world is doomed."
"It's not making a working nuke that's hard, it's making it efficient," Willow explained.
"Also getting the fissionable material together takes forever if you don't want to get caught," Xander added.
"So... you've tried?" Buffy asked carefully.
"Don't be silly," Willow said shaking her head, "we'd need at least twelve thousand dollars for the base materials before we started refining anything."
"And we only raised a tenth of that with three years of car washes and bakes sales."
"How am I the evil one again?" Faith asked in the silence that fell over the group.
"Did I just join an eviler group?" Andrew asked.
"Everyone is considered evil until they are running things, then they are the good guys," Willow explained.
"How is it you ended up assisting the Slayer if your goal is world domination?" Woods asked.
"More a hobby than a goal," Xander corrected him.
"Plus, just because we want to rule the world doesn't mean we're evil, we just think things would run better if we were in charge," Willow explained.
"And how does that mesh with vampire hunting?" Anya asked.
Willow shrugged. "We can't let our future subjects get eaten, that's just irresponsible."
"We want to make things better for people and that means power and control," Xander said. "Have you seen the kind of people who get into Congress?"
"So, the only thing stopping the two of you from taking over the world is the fact that you have to spend so much time helping Buffy save it?" Woods asked.
"Can't rule a world if there isn't one," Xander replied. "So, yeah, that does keep us too busy for any hobbies."
"We should be ruling half of Europe and all of North America by now," Willow said with a sigh, "but needs must."
"I don't buy it. You guys are putting us on," Faith said.
"Name a plan of ours that didn't work," Willow challenged.
"OK, now I'm scared," Buffy said.
"Why?" Willow asked. "A united world with us in charge is a big improvement over the disorganized mess we have today."
"Plus, we thought you might like to rule France," Xander said.
"France?" Buffy asked curiously.
"Fashion, food, the place that has Paris," Willow tempted her.
"The current politicians are pretty corrupt," Buffy allowed.
"Oh dear," Giles said.
"We were planning on having you marry into the Windsor family so the ruling line would still have that sense of continuity," Willow assured him.
"King Giles the first," Xander said.
"That's..." Giles fell silent and considered it.
"I never thought I'd be grateful to a Hellmouth for keeping people too busy to take over the world," Woods said.
"You mean that Hellmouth?" Faith asked, pointing to the pillar of steam behind them.
"So... you guys haven't actually worked on your plan for years, right?" Dawn asked.
"No, we haven't," Willow assured her.
"What was step one?" Dawn asked curiously.
Xander and Willow exchanged glances and smirked. "Loot Sunnydale and destroy it to cover our tracks," they chorused.
Typing By: Abyssal Angel
TN: I nearly busted a gut from laughing too hard when they convinced Giles.