PART #: Part 8/8
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.
I opened my eyes and stared. My first impression was its vast size and the way the dark swallowed all of the light.
"We, uh, Bruce, Tim, Cassandra and I, have been talking and we wanted you to know that if you ever wanted to don a costume and swing through Gotham, you'd be welcome."
"What would I be? Slayer lass?" I laughed.
"Nightstalker maybe," Bruce's 'Batman' voice gently echoed through the empty mass of the cave.
"Maybe, but I'm hardly qualified..."
"We can help," Dick said quickly, his excitement obvious. "We want to help. Even if you don't want to join us, and you don't have to, it'll help you with your duties."
"You really want to do this?" I asked Dick. "I'm a terrible pupil... ask Giles," I said to Bruce. I think it was a weak sort of protest.
"We all were but we don't give up. That's the difference."
I looked at their determined faces. I had no chance of getting away with a 'no'. "Teach me, then I'll decide if I put on a mask and wear a pseudonym."
That night while Bruce and the Bat crew toured Gotham and my mum and Dawn were given a guided tour of the city on their way to the cinema by Alfred, a tour I managed to get out of by claiming illness and going to bed at about five that afternoon, I sat at the Bat computer surfing through the mountains of files. The green face-like Oracle symbol appeared on the screen.
"How did you know?"
"I didn't really but it doesn't take much to work it out."
The strange symbol faded to reveal Barbara's face. "I guess it wouldn't. They were just here."
"Did they behave?"
"Cass didn't go with them?"
"Alright then, four. They're vigilantes. Of course they didn't behave. So I have to know... if you were a superhero what would you wear?"
"I don't know..." I'd never really considered it. I mean, I'm a Slayer, not someone rocketed to a strange planet as a child, or someone imbued with powers because of a scientific accident, or someone who developed incredible powers of deduction because I sought out all who could teach me. I'm me. The Chosen by Fate, by accident.
"Well... Ok. Gloves or no gloves? Boots with or without heels, and how tall? Spandex or Kevlar?"
"Uh... I'm used to using my bare hands so no gloves. I like boots with small heels on them. Extra height can be an advantage when you are as little as me. About knee-high maybe? And kevlar is probably a better option for me."
I shrugged. "I don't know. I don't have much experience with the spandex squad."
Babs chuckled. "How's this?"
An image appeared on the screen. It showed a dark grey outfit with short, mid-thigh length legs and elbow length sleeves, a high collar with a red band at the top like a choker. It had matching grey knee-high boots, with red toes. "Oooo... Very nice, but how do you accessorise a romper suit?"
She laughed. "With a black utility belt. But right now we need a symbol for you."
"Something Bat-like maybe? I mean technically I'm an addition to the Bat Brigade..."
"Just a moment..." I heard her clicking away at the computer. "What do you think?" The outfit image faded to reveal what looked like a stake with bat wings.
"You like?" The picture shrank as the outfit picture grew in the background. When the proportions were right the pictures seemed to mesh and there in front of me was a dark grey costume with a blood red batstake emblazoned on the chest.
"I hope you've been practicing in the gym because *he* won't let you out into the night unless you can swing like Tarzan."
I had a sudden image of a man in a cape and cowl, wearing nothing else but a leopard print loincloth and I began to laugh.
"Yeah. I've have the Tarzan Bat image too..." She grinned. "He didn't like the picture though."
She showed me the picture and I had to start wiping tears from my eyes.
Solemnly Barbara asked, "Do you want a mask. Before you answer that though you need to be aware of the whole 'secret identity' issues it brings with it."
"I'm already aware of the secret identity thing. *My* identity is supposed to be a secret but I'm convinced there is a billboard somewhere public with my face and the words 'I'm the Slayer' in bold letters. I guess for everyone else's identity secrets I'd better go with it for now."
"Good plan." A revised costume came up with mask similar to Nightwings where my head would be if it were a photo of me in the outfit. "Now I have to ask you, are you sure?"
I paused for a few moments and really considered what all of this meant. I know that once I accept it and get into it there will be new issues to resolve but right now... "Yeah I am."
"Welcome to the clan Nightstalker."