End Without a Bang

Summary: Buffy's guilty pleasure leads to an alternative end to the Judge.

Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.

Timeline: season 2 episode 'Innocence'. References to the Mythbusters season 6 episode 'End with a Bang!'

Challenge: #2681 'Mythbusters' by Thundertb.

Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AerynSpeedleCaine and AshDawnSoulmates. Got to chit-chat with Cristina while thinking about this story. Special thanks to my family for being such fans of Mythbusters; without them, I never would have seen the necessary episode.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Mythbusters belong to Peter Rees and Discovery Channel. Quote by Willow is from Leverage's Hardison, owned by John Rogers, Chris Downey, and TNT. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. Transcript stuff from .

COA A/N: I've noticed other authors do this, so I'm going to express my gratitude to all the people who nominated me. Thanks to you, I had the second most nominations (17) on the site; only FaithUnbreakable beat me with 24 accepted nominations. You make me feel very loved. Just so you know, I am still working on my unfinished fics as real life allows; it's just going slow.

Xander: I don't know what's up with Angel, but I think I may have a way to deal with this Judge guy.

Sits on the table by Cordelia.

Willow: What do we do?

Xander: I think, um... (looks at Cordelia, then back at Willow) I think I may need Cordelia for this one.

Willow lowers her eyes for just an instant.

Xander: And we may need wheels.

Cordelia: Well, my car is...

Xander: It might have to be bigger.

Willow: No problem. I'll get Oz. He has a van.

Xander: Good. (looks at Cordelia) Okay.

Cordelia: Care to let me in on the plan I'm a part of?

Xander: No.

Cordelia: Why not? (stands up with her hands on her hips)

Xander: Because if I tell you, then you won't do it. Just meet me at Willow's house in half an hour. And wear something trashy... (looks at her) ...er. (walks off)

Cordelia is incensed and follows him.


A few minutes later, Buffy walked back in. "Sorry I ran out like that. Where'd Xander and Cordy go?" she asked when she noticed the missing members of their group.

Even though he was worried about her earlier breakdown, Giles understood that Buffy didn't want to talk about it while they had bigger issues to deal with. "He has a plan to take care of the Judge."

Buffy was surprised – and excited – by that bit of news. "Really? What?"

Still stinging over Xander's actions, Willow sounded a little bitter when she explained, "We don't know; he didn't tell us. Just said he needed Oz's van and Cordy wearing something trashy."

"So the Judge's weak spot is hormones?" the blonde Slayer inquired dubiously.

Jenny noticed the passages Willow and Xander found before and corrected Buffy, "No. The books say 'no weapon forged' and that it took an army to destroy him the first time."

Since none of them could figure out what Xander's plan was, Willow called Oz to have her sort-of-boyfriend meet Xander and Cordy with his van at her house while she stayed in the library to help come up with an alternative plan.

They were surprised when Buffy looked like she figured out the cure to the common cold. She tried to contain her enthusiasm while she checked for problems with her idea. "Help me out with something, guys. Do you think they mean literally forged? Could we use chemistry to take him out?" she demanded eagerly.

Giles knew that these things were often literal – much like the prophecy of Buffy's death several months prior. She died, but didn't stay dead. There was a chance that it was the same thing this time. "Well, forging involves the shaping of metal with the use of force and heat. What's your idea?"

To his shock, Buffy blushed in embarrassment. "I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but there's a sort of new show on one of the cable channels and they talk about sciencey stuff. During one episode, they wanted to see which was cooler: an explosion or a thermite reaction."

Willow cut in before Buffy could finish her explanation, practically bubbling with her own excitement, "You watch Mythbusters, too? Oh, we have to have a Mythbusters night sometime!" she babbled before the current crisis made her focus again. "You know, I think that could work. I remember that episode. Even though we're using metals, we're mixing them, not forging them."

"A little help for those of us who haven't heard of this?" Jenny asked in bemusement. She was also very concerned what would happen when the others learned the truth about her and her ties to Angelus. Maybe it would go better if she helped get rid of the Judge before that happened.

"It burns really hot in a small area for a very short amount of time. Seems perfect for what we want," Buffy said, still looking uncomfortable for liking that show.

Willow had no such concerns. "And the really cool part is, there's practically no way of stopping it once it's started," she declared happily.

Now that the idea was out there, Giles took over the planning for it. "So we would just need to make sure that we could get the thermite to stick to him and not burn out before it was in/on him."

Since she knew more about the mechanics of it, Willow suggested, "Well, we could make a remote trigger to cause the necessary spark. That way, it doesn't start burning until it is in/on him."

"Can you make the thermite and remote in time?" Jenny inquired.

This time it was Willow's turn to duck her head in embarrassment. "I probably would need Oz's help for the remote, but yeah. I've actually been toying with the thermite idea since I saw that episode. It seems so perfect for vampire slaying," she said, shrugging her shoulders self-deprecatingly.

Buffy swept her best friend into a Slayer-sized hug and announced, "Will, you're the greatest nerd in the world, and I'm so happy you're on my side!"

"Told you before, it's the age of the geek, baby," Willow answered with a smirk.

Giles breathed a small sigh of relief. "I have to say, I like having at least two options. Hopefully either this one or Xander's will work." Especially since they didn't know what the boy's was.

"Whatever that one is," Jenny inadvertently echoed his thoughts.


"You're a fool. No weapon forged can stop me," the Judge sneered disdainfully, pulling out the arrow. He didn't notice – or possibly didn't care – that the tip was still buried in his chest.

Even though she was terrified, Buffy still quipped with her usual confidence, "Oh, just wait. That was just the opening act. My actual weapon is mixed, not forged."

With that, she fired off another nine bolts using her Chu Ko Nu (repeating crossbow). It was a gift to herself after her disastrous confrontation with the Master the previous spring. The bulkiness of the weapon made it difficult to use on regular patrols, but handy when facing a big bad like this guy.

The Judge didn't even bother to knock those ones away since they didn't hurt him. "It does not matter how many of those you shoot me with, they still won't kill me."

"We'll see. Oz? Care to do the honors?" Buffy asked, turning to the newest Scooby.

"Already taken care of," Oz answered, pointing to the ignition points where the arrows entered the Judge.

The shock of the thermite reaction kept the Judge from running. Or perhaps it was his stoic warrior-ish mentality. Either way, it was an incredible thing to watch.

As Buffy was shooting the Judge …

Angelus looked at the arrow two inches above his heart, then glared at the person who shot him. "You missed, Watcher; so did your little girlfriend," he pointed out, seeing another arrow in Drusilla's throat. Damn, those kind of shots hurt like hell!

Giles returned the glare with a very Ripperish gleam in his eyes. "Actually, neither of us did – if Buffy was right."

Suddenly worried, Angelus ripped the arrow out and saw something on the end. He didn't understand what he was seeing though – other than it looked like a hollow tube of some kind. "What are you talking about?" he growled.

Jenny stepped closer to Giles and pushed the remote for their arrows. "She and Willow found a new weapon to use against vampires."

"And I can't think of anyone who deserves to be the guinea pig more than you, Angelus," Giles explained as the thermite ignited inside the bodies of the monsters before them.

Back to the Scoobies…

Once the Judge finished melting – for lack of a better description – Willow pouted. "Too bad we can't send this in to the show. It's almost as cool as watching the SUV melt… Well, except for the disgusting factor," she corrected herself.

As usual, Cordy missed the point. "So I humiliated myself for nothing?" she demanded, kicking the unused rocket launcher at their feet.

"Well, you helped get me one of my favorite birthday presents ever," Buffy tried to console the irate brunette.

Cordy just rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Really not a good enough reason."

Xander felt he had to point out – if only for the sake of future trips to the janitor's closet, "But if Buffy and Willow's idea didn't work, the rocket launcher might have saved our lives."

"Whatever. Never ask me to do that again," Cordy huffed before stomping away from them.

Not the least bit concerned with Cordy's ego, Willow went back to the thermite reaction. "I have to agree with Jamie; this was way cooler than ending with a bang."

"Less mess to clean up, too," Buffy remarked, pointing out the relatively small area burned by the Judge, Drusilla and Angelus as they were destroyed. "Plus, can you imagine how dangerous it would be to fire a rocket launcher indoors? Yikes!"

A/N: Watched the Mythbusters episode and loved the idea of destroying the Judge with thermite.