PART #: Part 4/8
DISTRIBUTION: At my site www.harley-quinn.co.uk. If you want it just ask.
DISCLAIMER: Buffy and her cohorts belong to Warner Bros, Mutant Enemy, Fox etc. Batman and associates and the JLA all belong to DC Comics (which incidentally, belongs to Warner Bros too). I own none of the characters but the thin thread of plot is mine and I cling to this like a lifeline. It's mine! I tell you and I gain no money from it but the immense satisfaction of turning the characters into whatever I see fit.
RATING: a very dull PG.
SUMMARY: Buffy/Batman X-Over. Summaries of the groups preceded HelLex I (available at http://www.harley-quinn.co.uk/fic/HelLexI-1.html) so there's no need to not read it just because you don't know who they are. I have provided! :) Halloween and Thanksgiving with Buffy and the Bat Brigade. Buffy's POV.
SPOILERS: Some Season 4 BtVS, Season 1 Angel.
DEDICATED: To cHeWtOy as always. To Firebird, Panthera, Darla and Hubby for beta'ing (at the various stages), and to everyone who sent me feedback for HelLex I.
We dragged Dawn with us and divided between Xanders car and the rental. 5 minutes later the magic shop was buzzing with activity. "Looked like ascarecrow..." I said into the microphone as I looked at the computer and the information Oracle was feeding us.
"Like this?" A picture came up on the screen splitting the screen into uneven thirds. Batman's image filled the third portion.
I nodded. "Exactly."
"Gothams own Scarecrow..." Willow said.
"Demons on Halloween. This is actually quite original," Giles remarked.
"Doesn't mean we have to like it," Xander pouted.
Oracle continued, "Also known as Professor Jonathan Crane. He was a psychology professor obsessed with fear."
"Batman, it seems one of your escapees has found his way to Sunnydale. I'm not impressed," I said trying not to sound angry. "The Scarecrow appeared on our televisions tonight."
"We'll be there as quickly as possible. Batcave out." typed information began to scroll in the space formerly filled by the Dark Knight.
"What now?" Anya asked.
"I suppose we wait..." I shrugged.
"We could patrol but I've seen some of the files Oracle has on the Scarecrow. If he's using his fear toxin, we aren't safe," Willow said. We fell into silence as we worked.
I moved between the groups whittling stakes and the research groups. I watched Dick as he sat at my laptop, internet connected via his cell phone. It must be nice to have unlimited credit. To everyone else I'm sure he looked like he was idly browsing but around his mouth I saw the tension that meant he was actually looking for something. I looked over his shoulder at the screen and blinked. We had the ingredients we'd need here. I reached around him and tapped at some keys. "Oracle, how good is this concoction?"
"The Batman would probably swear by it if he believed in potions."
"Giles," I said hitting the print button, "Start making this. It should be ready in time for the Scarecrows deadline. In the meantime we need some spells. A fear prevention spell and a fear reducer, or something, but potion-y that we can use without any actual magic. I'm gonna see how much this Scarecrow likes his own mojo."
"I think this fear potion will work," Willow said, looking at what I was printing out, "but we have to call on the spirit of Samhain to make it work. This is his time of year," she continued, leaving the computer, and Kyle's side, to give the pages to Giles. "I can do this. Giles?"
"Yes. It would be perfect," he agreed, nodding as he began collecting the necessary items from around the store, with Willow's help.
Outside, above us, I heard what sounded like a whiney engine in the distance. I'd heard it before. In Metropolis, right before Batman landed on my crossbow.
"We'll need the pumpkins from outside," Willow said, checking the list.
"We'll get them," Dick said, taking Tim and Kyle with him. He winked at me as they went outside. Ok, so now I'm beginning to wonder which superhero Kyle is...
I went back to scanning the information on the computer but something shifting in the storeroom distracted me. "Come out of the shadows Dark Knight," I said looking at the darkened doorway to the storeroom.
"I told you she'd know," Nightwing said, striding into the room.
Robin came in and looked around the shop like he'd never seen it before. Well we did have a few things out we didn't normally, like the axe and Giles' chainsaw but he had seen them only moments before. Willow was preparing the ingredients of the potion softly chanting as she ignored the new arrivals.
"Willow? Will the anti-fear spell be affected by the fear potion?"
She sprinkled something into the bowl that caused it to pop. Through the small puff of smoke Willow spoke, "Nope. The only thing that will affect the spell is ending the spell. It isn't anti-fear either. It just stops unnatural fear."
"So if we cast the spell on Batman he won't feel no fear..." I gave her a confused look. Why does this stuff always make me sound stupid? I'm perfectly capable of understanding it but when I try to voice my understanding it gets all weird between my brain and my mouth and I don't recognise my own thoughts. It's incredibly annoying and very embarrassing.
Willow smiled and continued my jumbled thoughts, "Just nothing he wouldn't normally. Basically the Scarecrows fear toxin won't work on anyone affected by the spell."
"Spells?" Batman asked sceptically.
"This is my town Batman. We do this my way," I said firmly. "You know how he works. We need you to fight him while we cast the fear spell and use the potion on him."
"Potion?" I could see Batman struggling with something. He obviously didn't have much faith in our belief in the supernatural but he seemed to be willing to accept it because we believed. I'll have to ask Giles if I can borrow his Watchers diaries that involve me so Batman will better understand.
I have a hard time not staring at Dick in that skin-tight Kevlar, especially when I'm convinced he's winking at me... Have I mentioned that I think he's yummy?
"It's a fear potion. All of his phobias... exactly what his toxin does only it's environmentally friendly, doesn't haunt you 5 years later and has a counteraction that isn't administered by a needle," Willow said.
The front door slammed. "Uh, hey," Kyle waved, nervously, "It's started."
"Where?" Batman and I asked at the same time.
"I don't know. But it's not pretty out there."
"We need to find Spike..."
"Here, pet," he said from behind me. "Hello Peaches," he said to Robin, who looked everywhere but at the bleached vampire.
"Rein in your hormones blondie..." I started to say hoping no one else noticed that Dick and Tim didn't come back in with Kyle.
"Looking for one of these?" Spike held up a silver can that looked like a drink can. "I think it's defective..." Nightwing took it from the vampire.
"Like you?" Xander quipped.
"You are so brave Chubbs..."
Batman grabbed Spike and hurled him into the storeroom before an argument could start. "Stay there," the Bat growled. Spike grumbled but stayed. Xander squeaked in surprise at the show of strength and hid behind Anya.
"Casting now." She began to chant again.
"It's the anti-fear spell," I explained.
"Done," she said quietly.
"So we're safe to go outside?" Willow nodded.
"Batman, look at this." I went over to look as well. Nightwing was pointing to a name on the bottom of the canister.
"LexCorp," I sighed. "Can't he just leave us alone?"
"We'll worry about Luthor later. The Scarecrow will want to experience the mayhem. Somewhere central..."
"Like in town?" I asked. Batman nodded.
Willow cleared her throat. "It's ready Buffy. I thought best way to deliver it would be with it attached to the end of an arrow. All you have to do is aim at the ground near his feet."
"Good. That's great Willow," I said, looking at the three arrows she handed me with little cloth bags secured over the arrowheads. Giles handed me a quiver for the arrows and the bow.
"And here is the anti fear," she smiled, holding up a couple of the little cloth bags she and Giles had made that lay on the table in front of them. "It just has to be thrown into the area and it will effect anyone within the immediate vicinity. There aren't too many but they'll work as crowd control."
I grabbed a handful. "Let's go."