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 incidently, belongs to WarnerBros too). I own none of the characters but the thin thread of plot is mine and I cling to this like a life line. 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/JLA (Justice League of America) X-Over. Summaries of the groups preceed the story so there's no need to not read it just because you don't know who they are. I have provided! :) Buffy goes to Metropolis for her summer job at the Daily Planet. Nothing works out the way you think when you come from the Hellmouth. Buffy's POV.
SPOILERS: Some Season 4 and 5 BtVS, Season 1 and 2 Angel. (No WW this fic is not for you-sowwy.) DC spoilers are up to Jan2001 comics.
DEDICATED: To cHeWtOy as always. To Panthera and Susie for beta'ing and Panthera for giving me the idea in the first place, and to Soul, angelsbitch, Melissa, Eliz (esp. for her US ettiquette advice) and anyone I might have forgotten who had to hear about this and the word counts over the three and a half days that I spent writing it (incidently the total fic weighs in at just over 22300 words, just the fic, without the headers.)

I choose to start this story now...

BUFFY 101 (as it's needed to know for this story):
Buffy Summers is the Vampire Slayer. She is the mystically chosen girl who must fight all the stuff that that normally only exists in gothic fairytales. Rupert Giles is her Watcher. It is his duty to train her and prepare her for her nightly battles with the evil forces of darkness. Willow and Xander are Buffy's best friends. They joined her cause when a friend of theirs wsa turned into a vampire. Angel is a vampire cursed with his soul, which has a happiness clause. One moment of true happiness will cause his soul to leave his body. This happened once when Buffy and Angel took their relationship to 'the next level'. As a consequence she had to send him to Hell, though his soul was returned by a spell moments before she did it. Cordelia is a school friend, a popularity queen and cheerleader. She works with Angel at his investigation agency in LA. Wesley is a former Watcher, like Giles. He also works with Angel in LA. Anya is an ex-vengence demon, now mortal and Xanders girlfriend. Spike is a vampire, a 'blood' relative of Angels. He used to be Buffy's enemy but since being captured and used as a guinea pig for an anti-violence micro-chip, he now occasionally aids Buffy and her friends. Dawn is Buffy's younger sister. Faith is also a Slayer, a paradox created by Buffy's rescucitation. She turned to the 'Dark Side' and is now serving time for murder.

BATMAN 101 (as it's needed to know for this story):
Bruce Wayne is Batman but as Dick Grayson got older he traded his Robin outfit for a new one called Nightwing. The boy in the Robin costume then became Jason Todd but The Joker killed him. Eventually he was replaced (no easy task convincing Bruce to accept the new Boy Wonder, mind you) and Tim Drake is now the Boy Wonder. Also, Barbara Gordon isn't Batgirl. The Joker shot her as a way to try to make her father go mad (long-ish story) and she is now confined to a wheelchair. She is now known as Oracle among the superhero circles and gives out information and useful stuff like that. The new Batgirl is a young woman (about 17) called Cassandra Cain. She was mute until recently when her speech and comprehension brain centres were repaired...

JLA 101 (as it's needed to know for this story):
the JLA are Wonder Woman is Diana, Amazonian Princess of Thymiscra; Superman is Clark Kent, Reporter for the Daily Planet; J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter, a native of Mars; The Flash, Wally West; The Green Lantern is Kyle Rayner, an artist for Feast magazine; Aquaman is Arthur Curry, King Orin of the underwater sovereignty of Atlantis; and Plastic Man, Eel O'Brien... oh and The Atom but he's not in this story... Buffy would squish him and probably by accident.

That's pretty much all you need to know...

Now onto the story (set in Summer 2001)...

Hellex I-A Cast of Thousands
by cHarley

I still don't know why I'm here in Metropolis. I mean, I know I'm here on like work experience... but it's so far from everywhere... City of the future. Big deal.

Big building. Respected paper. Little ole me completely out of my depth. Now if this building were a demon, THAT I could handle. Oh well, nothing for it now.

Reception counter. "Um, hi. I'm Buffy Summers..."

She cuts me off with a smile and a nod. "Of course. Here's your temporary id tag. Keep that with you always. Just have a seat over there," she points at some cushy chairs, "and I'll call someone down. With any luck Perry won't send Lois." She smiled again.

Knowing my luck he will.

I begin to flip through a magazine only looking up when the woman calls my name. "Buffy?" I put the magazine down and approach the counter. She smiles. "Buffy this is one of the two greatest reporters on the Daily Planets staff, Clark Kent."

I can feel myself going red. He's so cute. I know that I'm just staring. He reminds me of Angel in a vague sort of way. His mouth is moving and I know he's speaking to me but my mind is melting. What made me think I could do this? I'm no good with words. Give me a weapon and something will die but I'm not known for my excellent wit and curt tongue. I blink a couple of times and look up at Clarks concerned face. My mouth moves a few times before a sound works it's way out. "I'm sorry. I-I don't know why I'm bothering you all like this...I can't do..." I stammer and turn to leave. Clarks hand on my arm halts my progress to the glass doors and my escape into the bright world outside.

"I know how you feel," he says quietly. "I promise not to let Lois scare you if you'll just give it one day."

The world begins to sway. I have never been this nervous or scared in my life and I don't know why it's happening. That's probably the worst part of it, the not knowing. Willow should be here, or even Cordy but not me...

"How about you come upstairs and meet everyone? You've come a very long way to turn around and go home already." He's so nice. I begin to shakily return his smile.

As we get into the elevator I find my voice and a little courage. "I'm not normally so skittish. It's a whole new experience. I'm all alone in a strange city. It's a bit scary, well not all alone but my dad doesn't really count because he's got some business thing he has to do and I'm babbling aren't I? Good time for Willow to rub off on me. My first day in a brand new place and what's so funny?" I demand of Clark who's trying not to laugh.

"You'll be fine Buffy. Just relax... and welcome to bedlam," he said as the elevator doors slid open.

And bedlam it was. TV monitors set to various news channels buzzed beneath the working din of the Daily Planet Metropolis. People rushed back and forth, keyboards clicked rapidly, orders were made and phones rang.

I stayed in the elevator and would have let the doors close with me still inside if Clark hadn't held them open and ushered me out, like a scared puppy or something. He was definitely not raised in the city.

"Lois! Clark! What is this???"

"It looks like a piece of paper," I muttered in response to the older mans shouted demand. Clark smothered his grin.

"Perry, it's only a draft. You wanted it immediately and I don't think even Superman types that fast," a woman I assumed was Lois said as she crossed the office to where we were gathering. "I'm nearly finished."

"Who is this?" Perry demanded turning on me.

I know I squeaked and I can't believe I tried to hide behind Clark. Way to go Slayer. Show them how you've faced death on a night to night basis for nearly 5 years, faced evils they think only belong in a fairy tale world and that if they ever should appear their precious Superman would save them. What is it with Superman anyway? Who wears their knickers on the outside these days? Well, he is a superhero. Gotta let him have his eccentricities.

"This is Buffy Summers, Perry. She's here for summer work. Her father asked me about this a month ago. You did say it was ok."

Lois was looking at me with a mildly amused expression, one eyebrow slightly raised as I seemed to retreat further behind Clark when Perry turned his nononsense glare on me. "She's your responsibility," Perry told Clark gruffly.

"As we agreed." Clark waited for the man to walk away. "That was Perry White, the editor."

"Oh," I said. I'm so intelligent. I can see that they all recognise this. What is *wrong* with me? Gah!

He smiled. "Buffy, this is my wife Lois Lane. Lois, this is Buffy Summers. Be nice to her."

"I'm always nice," Lois protested.

"Uh... sorry for using your husband as a shield Lois," I mumbled stepping out from behind his what I now noticed as a huge frame. "Where are you from?" I asked looking up at him.

"Smallville Kansas."

"Oh." Not city bred. Explains why he's so nice AND so big. "Explains a lot."

"It certainly does," Lois agreed. I blushed.

"I just meant that most city people aren't as nice as Clark, or as big."

"He does take up a lot of space," she chuckled.

"I'm sorry. I promised myself before I left Sunnydale to just leave both of my feet in my mouth. So far I've managed to keep my promise."

"I'll show Buffy around the office Clark. Can you read over the article?"

"Sure. Thanks Lois."

"What's your latest article about?"

"Lex Luthorís lawyers, Wolfram & Hart. Of course Lex denies all knowledge of their less than legal activities."

"They have an office in LA. I have a," I stumble. I can't even just call him a friend without my mind being flooded with memories. Get it together Buffy, "a friend there. He might be able to help."

"Thanks. Might take you up on that. Well this is where the coffee is made. I suggest you get a cup or 3 before you come into the office. This stuff could kill Superman. I also suggest you don't leave anything in the fridge. It'll grow legs and vanish. I'm convinced Mr. Myxzptlk lives in there."


"Nevermind. Perrys office is up those stairs. The photolab is over there and that is about all you'll really need to know. Can you type?"


We approached Clark who was sitting at a desk. I'm sure he was trying not to spin around in the swivel chair. "These are our desks. Clarks is actually over there." She gently nudged the chair he was sitting on with her foot, making it roll backwards a little.

"But Lois wanted me to read something on her computer so here I am."

I like Lois and Clark. Wonder how dad met Clark?

The day passed slowly. I worked mostly with Clark and he explained about word limits and type setting and why it was so important and lots of other things I'd never really thought of before as necessary for newspapers.

Everyone was busy, the office seemed to hum with working energy. I decided that maybe, just maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.

Continue To Chapter Two

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