PART #: Part 5/8
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 noticed the pale yellow-green coloured gas rolled up from the sewers as we walked onto the main street, surrounded by panicked people running and screaming.
"Sounds like that Halloween Ethan came to town," Xander remarked as he threw one of the cloth bags into the groups.
"Let's split up. Willow, Kyle, Nightwing and I; Dawn, Giles and Batman; Xander, Anya and Robin. Do you approve?" I asked Batman. He nodded and continued to look around. "Let's split up. Keep in contact and watch out for each other. Just keep him busy until I can get there."
Up and down the streets, in and out of alleys we searched. "All clear?" I asked the wristband.
"So far," Batman's gravely baritone came back.
"Do these two ever stop arguing?" Robin asked, amused.
"It has yet to be seen. Good work. Keep it up."
"Buffy!!" Willow shouted and ran across the street to me, dodging the stray fear-ravaged Sunnydalian. She pointed at the side street she had been standing in front of moments before, where a lone figure strolled casually down the alley. I think it was grinning as it muttered, "Ah! Fear! So delicious." The figure stopped under a streetlight and looked up from under its hat at me, the darkly shadowed eyes boring into me. "Why isn't it affecting you?" a voice asked. Behind me Nightwing was calling to the others that we'd found him.
There he was. Just like Batman said. This is not the Master. It's just a man with serious, SERIOUS issues. If I'd had the time then I would have realised that the mere suggestion of facing my fears that this thing embodied brought memories of darker 'Slayer' experiences. But I didn't have that luxury so I found my bravery and spoke, hiding my fear behind chatter, "That'd be giving away my secret. Give up now Scarecrow. Batman's only a few streets away so you won't escape. Give up now or *your* phobias will manifest." Lame I know but what do you say to something that stepped out of a storybook... well whatever it is I've been saying for 5 years so I don't know why this time was different.
"I am immune to fear toxins," he said as he lunged at me. At the same time Batman lunged at him. I sidestepped the villain and ran to find cover behind a parked car, taking the bow and arrows from their place, slung over my shoulder. 'Just have to aim in their direction. Don't have to hit them. Bruce would be seriously pissed if I hit him by accident even if the potion doesn't affect him.'
Batman and Scarecrow continued to wrestle, reminding me of a WWF wrestling match. Two costumed men, but the punches actually landed in the scene before me. I waited for them to weary before I took aim and fired. It seemed to take forever and I was growing impatient but the fight was covering too much ground for me to be confident they would still be where I aimed for by the time the arrow reached them. Nightwing and Robin stood at either end of the street to stop the Scarecrow if he tried to escape.
Ok so my attention had wandered and I was getting bored. I don't normally hide during a fight. It has happened but it's not the norm.
"Buffy," Batman called out as the Scarecrow began to run down the street toward Robin. I jumped, startled but raised the bow in the Scarecrows direction.
I released the arrow. Willow didn't tell me there would be a small explosion. I hate how you get those black spots when you look directly at a bright light.
"Didn't know that would happen," Willow mumbled, rubbing her eyes.
That's why she didn't tell me.
"BATS!! Bats, everywhere bats!!" the Scarecrow howled, backing away from Batman as he approached, and dove into an open sewer. Why is there always a convenient escape for them?
We all followed, separating into teams of two or three to try to discover him somewhere in the sewers under Sunnydale. How do I always find myself down here? It stinks and there are more things infesting these tunnels than cockroaches.
"There," Nightwing shouted, pointing to a dark shadow-figure running down the tunnel ahead of us.
We gave chase for what seemed like hours but at every turn all we saw was the back of him disappearing around the corner before us. We never got closer; he never tired. My psychology classes taught me that fear and the associated adrenaline give us the strength and stamina to continue beyond our normal physical limitations but even I was beginning to get tired. Then he just vanished. No pounding footsteps, no heavy breathing. Nothing. He was just... gone!
We met Batman and the others above ground. All of us were empty handed though no one else had even seen a shadow. "He could be anywhere. We'll keep looking though," I told Batman.
"Will you be able to handle him?"
"That quivering mess? Until Willow ends it, that spell will stick. We'll do our best to find him but he really could be anywhere." Batman nodded and disappeared into the shadows. Robin saluted and followed him, grinning. Before he too vanished into the night, and returned to the store before we returned, Dick/Nightwing grabbed me and kissed me hotly, leaving me standing dumbfounded in the cemetery among my friends. We went back to the magic shop to put away the weapons, where Dick and Tim were waiting for us with a story about being caught up in and carried through town by a hysterical crowd, which everyone believed without blinking.
Dick, Tim and Kyle left Sunnydale the next day. Tim reminded me not to forget about Thanksgiving and I promised I wouldn't. I even managed not to cry when they left time this time.
For the three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving the Scoobies and I combed the sewers and tunnels of Sunnydale looking for The Scarecrow and finding nothing. I have no idea how he managed it but Willow agreed with me that lifting the spell wasn't an option.
The door to the shop opened noisily. "Hey!" Tim called out.
"Hey!" I called back.
"Ready?" he asked, nearly bouncing.
"Nearly. You guys are really knocking up the frequent flyer miles," I commented.
"Bruce doesn't use the jet often enough... so we do," he grinned at me. "Your mum and Dawn are already in the car."
"My bag's in the store room," I said, pointing to the back of the shop before dashing away to grab said bag.
I came back into the shop with my bag to see Spike leering at Tim, enjoying the boys' awkwardness, holding the quivering Scarecrow by the collar.
"I believe *this* belongs to you," Spike said dropping the Scarecrow on the floor. He winked at Tim who just stared at the cowering Scarecrow on the floor before leaving again.
"I'll let Batman know," I muttered before connecting to Oracle.