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 posted Chapter 11 a while ago elsewhere, but now 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, here it is, tying up all the loose ends without a beta.Chapter 11
"So if vampires dust when their demonic energies are disrupted, what exactly can kill me now?" Willow asked inside the car.
"Excellent question , daughter," Jessica smiled from the passenger's side seat, "Always know your limits. How else will you know what to surpass? Vampires were created by a fleeing old-one level demon mixing it's blood with that of a human. But just like our surrogate fictional family found out in their hasty move from Transylvania, there is not that much time to plan effectively when you are trying to escape. So unlike us, who are a result of generations of mystical planning; vampires are of a poor design. However unlike vampires, we are not immortal. We do age, although the process is far slower than ordinary people."
"So daughter of mine, to answer your question, if you were to be cut up into little pieces and not scattered; it would take you only a little while to come back together and you'll be lethargic for the next day or so. The same would happen if an intact you were to suddenly catch and remain on fire for a few hours. However as fun as either of those can be, the combination of the two may overpower the magical energies," Tony said while driving.
"Usually to make sure, our more clever of enemies would scatter our ashes to the winds," Jessica smiled, "Although with the massive innate magical potential you have, Willow daughter, even that may not be enough. The more magical you are, the more the magical energies keeping your body together can draw upon in an emergency. An interesting note is that innate magical ability also helps lessen the chance of the initial process' failure."
Willow nodded. After a few minutes, the girl's eyes widened when she remembered something Tony had said, "I'm glad my head didn't explode. Hard to make with the smoochies with an explode-y head. Oh and *hey*! How did you know I was a natural redhead?"
Xander's father grinned and looked back, "Just guessed from the color of your eyebrows. Most girls don't color them if they color their hair. And no offense, but you don't seem vain enough to color your hair to the roots every day. So that is that. Oh, and I know what you're probably thinking now, and just to reassure you, no matter how much I tried to convince him it was part of the ritual, Xander kept refusing to strip your body and lather your naked form with Nutella and slowly lick it off later."
Willow started to blush as red as her hair at that thought, but slowly got herself under control. If she was going to be living in the Harris household from now on, she would have to learn to deal with a Tony Harris that combined Gomez Addams' sense of humor and libido with that of his former self. That was why when Xander was actively sputtering and protesting that he would never do such a thing, she just put on a small wry smile and answered, "Yeah. I may not be at Cordelia's level of make-up trivia knowledge, but even I know that coloring your hair that often would damage it and make it look yucky. And thank you Xander. I would really rather be awake and aware for any naked Nutella licking rituals involving you in the future."
Truth be told, Willow did think that the shade of red Xander suddenly turned was cute.
Jessica Harris just smiled as the newest member of the family started to learn the flirting game, "You know, if you keep this up, Willow daughter, we may just have to have a traditional shotgun wedding for you two."
"Okay," Willow said, "I know what one of those is to the rest of the world. What is a traditional Harris shotgun wedding like?"
"Well, you and your groom both get large guns or rifles, colts and Winchesters. Load them all with enchanted ammo. Then, go and gather as many evil demons and vampires you can to attend the wedding. Once the ceremony is finished, the reception begins," Tony said with a wide grin.
"And what happens during the reception?" asked Xander.
"Why, that's when you and your new bride open up with your weapons on the guests together," Jessica said wistfully, "What more can you want from a great wedding reception? Demon's heads exploding, vampires dusting in unison. Plus, a tastefully decorated cake."
"You know," Willow smiled. She was definitely going to like her new family, "That does sound like a great fun wedding reception."
"Excellent!" Tony grinned, "Just give us the word and we'll start bespelling the ammo."
"Bubalah, dear. Let's give our new Willow daughter a little time to adjust first," Jessica smiled, turned around from the passenger's side seat and patted Willow on the head, "She's still in the adorable 'everything is new' phase. Or maybe just in shock. Also equally adorable."
When they arrived at home, Willow was introduced to Dodge, whom she promptly scolded for his wanting to sacrifice Buffy. Dodge then took the car and drove to school to clean up the mess per his orders.
Xander did have the vague suspicion that he had forgotten something as he opened the door to the house, but decided that he'd eventually remember what it was if it was important enough.
Dodge, for his part, simply ignored the thumping sound coming from the car's trunk. It wasn't in his orders to investigate, and personally he could care less.
On the other hand, Tony Harris watched as the late 80's rusty Monte Carlo drove away and thought that they should soon be able to afford something a bit more roomier and a bit more classy. This being Sunnydale, he was sure there was at least one hearse on the market at all times.
Jessica Harris was daydreaming in her mind about what type of cake she would try to make for the wedding. It just wasn't a proper wedding unless there was a final battle with a tastefully decorated cake.
"Here you are, kids! Your new room!" Tony announced proudly, "Except for you, Xander. It's your old room."
Both Xander and Willow were shocked. Willow had been to Xander's room before, but between the clutter and the clothes on the floor, there was barely enough space for Xander all by himself in the tiny bedroom.
"Uh, dad," Xander started slowly and calmly, "Not to rain on your parade or anything, but I thought Willow would stay in the basement. At least until we can move out or something."
"There's nothing wrong with your room, son of mine. Why it is a time-honored practice to let children grow up in the same room."
"That's usually before the kids are of high school age, dad! And there *is* one thing wrong with my room. There's only one bed!"
"Well, yes. I noticed," Tony said with a smile to Xander and Willow, both of whom happened to have turned a bright shade of red, "I did master basic counting sometime around my kindergarten years. Just try not to be too loud when exploring each others' bodies. Because then, your mother might hear and it would make her also very... actually, you know what? Go ahead and be as loud as you want. You kids seem to have had a busy, busy day what with battling a pudding monster and Willow almost getting killed and whatever else you wacky children of mine did today. We'll go ahead and pick up Willow's stuff tomorrow."
Willow and Xander looked at the single twin-sized bed, then at each other. "We need a bigger house!" they said in unison.
Tony Harris walked outside when Dodge had returned from his task. He walked over to the trunk of the car and banked on it with his fist twice, while yelling, "Marco!"
From inside the rear of the car came unintelligible muffled whimpering.
"Good enough!" Tony said and popped open the trunk, revealing a hog tied and gagged Ethan Rayne.
Xander's father quickly removed the gag with a quick, practiced motion.
"Bloody hell! It felt like I was in that thing forever!" Ethan exclaimed before smiling in a manner he thought was charming, "Do you mind untying the rest of me now? I promise to leave this town and all. Besides, I have the worst cramps. And I do believe all my assembled limbs have fallen asleep at the same time."
"Excellent, old chap! Don't worry. In fact, I mean to thank you for changing the lives of my family so positively. To thank you, I happen to have two openings in my household that you'll simply be perfect for. First, my son and daughter are magical and seem to be in need of some expert tutoring since me and my lovely wife are very, very frequently... indisposed. Now Willow is a powerful mage, but she's fairly straightforward. Her elements are fire for offense and rapid change, and water for mind and adaptability. A powerful combination that can make for a powerful battle mage."
"Now Xander, on the other hand, has a rarer elemental affinity. His elements are earth for strength and defense, and chaos for power and unpredictability. My son has tons of power, but no focus. Him casting spells is like trying to swat a fly with a stick of dynamite. Most of the time, nothing will happen when you miss. It's when you hit the fly that you should start worrying. And, since you are a self-styled Chaos mage, I figured who better to tutor him? Right?"
"Great!" Said Ethan Rayne, although inside he was alternating between seething about having to train a snot-nosed brat and trying to come up with a plan to escape as soon as his binds were undone. "Oh, you mentioned two possible jobs?
"Of course! You see, we're looking to buy one of several mansions. But all of the ones we have seen have simply awful lawns!"
Ethan was confused, "So... you're looking for a landscaper?"
"Not quite, my good chap," Tony grin widened, "We're looking for mulch!"
"Oh," Ethan Rayne's eyes widened in sudden understanding.
"Xander, stop laying on the floor, grab that pillow, and get up in your bed!" Willow said with full resolve face.
"But, but...," the boy sputtered.
"Yes I know I have a butt, but I'll try to keep in under the covers so it doesn't offend you, okay?"
"That's not what I meant. I mean.. er.. must stop thinking about my new sister's cute butt.. um.. I mean, I can still go sleep in the basement."
"I'm not going to have you sleep in the same room as Ethan Rayne. I don't care if he did sign a contract in blood; I don't trust him. Now make with the getting yourself off the floor and into bed, mister!"
Xander reluctantly grabbed his pillow and got in bed next to his former best friend - turned adopted sister.
They both laid stiffly, staring straight up for several minutes. Willow broke the silence first.
"You really think my butt is cute?" she shifted to face the boy.
"Mm hmm." Xander nodded affirmatively; hoping to show enthusiasm, but not *too much* enthusiasm.
"Thanks!" a smiling Willow shifted back on her back. Now all she had to do was not think about (what she could only presume) was a large flashlight (which she had 'accidentally' brushed up against) that Xander was keeping in his boxer shorts for some reason.
It was going to be a long night for both of them.
"And let's never talk about the positions we woke up in ever again," Willow said firmly.
"Agreed," Xander nodded, before widening his eyes in realization. He started to race around the room, picking up his clutter and looking everywhere.
"What are you doing, Xander?"
The boy looked at his new sister, "Searching for any cameras my parents may have hidden."
"They're you're.. our parents, Xander. Do you really think they would do something like that?" Willow asked, and then thought about exactly what she had said, "What am I saying? Here, I'll help you look!"
Half an hour later, the two teenagers came down for breakfast looking disheveled and sweaty.
"What exactly have you two been doing?" Jessica asked with mild curiosity and a mischievous smile.
"It's not what you think!" Willow eeped, "We were searching for hidden cameras!"
"Now why would you think we would hide cameras in your room?"
"I'm sorry, mom," Xander said.
"That is all right, son," Jessica said, before adding, "You should know better. There is no point to us hiding cameras in your room when we were completely out of film."
"Err... so when are we moving to a bigger house?" the boy quickly tried to change subjects.
"Your father is out as of this moment, looking at properties with our new magic tutor. We needed more space when it was just your new baby sibling on the way," Jessica patted her slightly showing belly, "Now that you've quickly gathered a new sister and live-in magic tutor, finding a larger domicile became an even greater priority."
Xander sat down between his mother and sister, "It's too bad we can't stay at your old house, Willow."
Jessica faced her son, "Why ever not? That is a grand idea!"
"What if they're home?"
Xander's mother was nonplussed, "How does that matter?"
"But we would make a mess, and be living in a house that's not ours. One that belongs to other people," Xander scrabbled for excuses.
"The same people who kept abandoning your little sister for up to several months at a time?"
No one spoke as they took in Willow's less than ideal childhood.
Willow, herself, was the first to break the silence, "Don't worry, Xander. My old house isn't that big. I'll show you around the place."
"Excellent!" Jessica Harris exclaimed, "Dodge!"
"What.. do... you.. need... mistress?" Dodge growled out as he came up from the basement. He had been busy making the cement-walled storage space livable for Ethan Rayne.
"Dodge, pick up everything of sentimental value. Then pick up everything of significant monetary value. Move them both out onto the lawn so you can load both piles into the car when my husband comes back."
Jessica looked around the small family house, "There are so many memories here. Such memories."
She turned towards the hulking former student-turned-butler, "After you finish your task, set most of the house on fire. Leave the kitchen. Hopefully, the flames would take their time before they fall upon my former cooking attempts inside the refrigerator freezer. Those were the ones we couldn't burn. They were... extra spicy."
Dodge just groaned and went back down into the basement.
"Are you sure about the fire, mom?" Xander asked.
"Of course, son. With luck, Tony will be back in time to watch the flames expediently consume the alcohol-stained walls. My only regret is that my sculptures of empty alcoholic beverage containers will not be able to make the trip with us," she pointed to the living room where the horrible *things* she had constructed mostly out of glass sat impossibly, reveling in their non-euclidean geometries and almost daring someone to stare at them directly for longer than five seconds at a time.
"Yes. A great loss," Xander said in perfect deadpan, "H.R. Geiger would have been proud."
Luckily, for them, the Rosenbergs were out of town on a lecture circuit. And even though they had acknowledged loosing custody of Willow, at least in written documents, they never bothered taking away her house keys.
The larger temporary house proved to be a godsend. Tony and Jessica broke in the master bedroom. Willow stayed in her old room, but Xander managed (despite his parents' preferences of just moving another bed into the redhead's room) to snag a guest room next to his new sister. Dodge had to make a new unfurnished basement habitable for both himself and his new roommate, Ethan.
The next few weeks passed by relatively quickly. A new daily pattern emerged consisting of patrolling, magic lessons at home, hanging out with Buffy, and Willow's new hobby of trying to create new and innovative magical weapons. At least until the notices were posted on the school board announcing the upcoming career week.
"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.