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.
SUMMARY: Buffy/Batman/JLA (Justice League of America) X-Over. Summaries of the groups preceeded part 1 of 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...
I arrived at work early the next day and sat at Clarks desk drawing absent-mindedly on some paper.
"A new friend Buffy?" Clark asked offering me a coffee.
I smiled brightly, feeling better than I had in days. "Ah no. Someone I think I saw standing on a building... maybe."
"Is everything alright?" he asked, obviously concerned. I think I hate that question.
"Really Clark, I'm fine. I feel really good. Last night I did some reading, exercised a little and then some meditation. I'm just not sure if I imagined this person on the roof of a neighbouring building. I said hi to dad and when I turned back to the window the person was gone. I'm not even really sure if it was a man. I mean they were far enough away to not really see much detail but close enough to see, you know?"
"Yeah I do. Is there anything you want me to do?"
"Is there anything you *can* do?"
"We could have a look through the database for someone that matches that image," he pointed at my sketch.
"It's hardly complete..."
"But it might be enough," he offered.
"No. It's ok Clark. Really. Just give me something to do. I have lots of energy today."
Nothing interesting on day three, except lunch with Dick again. Clark and Lois gave me errands today. I really was full of energy and if they let me sit too long I started to spin on my chair or tried to balance sharp pencils on my fingertips. It kept Clark laughing and I think I was beginning to drive Lois insane.
It was fun.
I'm really grateful for Dicks friendship. He's a great guy but I think there's something else to him. Something that for him is like my Slayer secret.
Not that I'm really worried because I can handle demon sorts of problems and what's a human guy compared to an angry vampire? Right now, I'm enjoying having a friend and the attention he gives me.
Lois had a girl chat with me about Dick and his past. I told her I wasn't looking for a boyfriend. Dick and I were just friends. He'd said so himself, and that yes I had received flowers from my guy friends like that before. I didn't tell her Iíd been in the hospital at the time. Would have ruined the point.
I don't think she believed me but she let it slide.
I called mum as soon as I got back to the apartment after work then began my routine. This time I felt like I was being watched before I began my meditation and there he was. On the same roof in the same spot. He just seemed to stare so I stared back. I don't know if he was looking at me but it was interesting all the same. Who gets dressed up to spy on their neighbours?
Something spooked him and he dived off the building. I couldn't believe it. It happened so fast all I could do was put my hands on the glass. I managed to get the glass door to slide open and went out onto the balcony.
The guy was swinging his way down the street on some sort of wire. A red something caught my attention and I looked back to the building. It was Superman. He waved then flew away.
What a night! Hope the meditation works or I will never sleep.
Clark had been talking to Dick when I arrived. I know it was Dick because I heard call the person 'Dick Grayson' in that 'your-in-big-trouble' sorta voice only your dad uses, unless you're Clark, but that was all I heard because Clark hung up and didn't say anything else about it. He did start acting all protective and strange around me though.
Day four at the Metropolis branch of the Daily Planet newspaper was the day Lois Lane asked me to face my personal demon.
Lois walked purposely towards me sitting at her desk. "Buffy, could you call your friend in LA about Wolfram and Hart?" She sat in her chair beside me.
"Uh... don't you want to?"
Lois looked at me like I had two heads.
"Sorry. The friend is an ex-boyfriend."
If I thought Angelus was my worst nightmare, I'd completely forgotten about how it felt to be in contact, immediate or over a distance, with Angel. "The worst. His name is Angel. His company is called Angel Investigations, strangely enough. I really don't know anymore but I know who might be able to tell me."
Lois rolled her chair back from the desk a little and indicated I should make the calls. "Hey Willow... Yeah. I've seen Superman but it was from a distance yesterday. Haven't seen him up close though... It would be kinda cool, except I'd probably mention, you know, how underwear goes in the inside... I know, but my feet seem to be permenantly in my mouth these days... Well with that outfit, honestly, who's looking at his face? ...Do you know Cordy's number in LA? ...Do you know Xanderís new phone number? ...Well it's worth a try... No, I need to talk to Angel... Not really but Lois needs some information... Yes Lois Lane... Willow don't squeal, at least not so loud... Are you sure? I don't want to trouble you... Ok. Gee, remind me to change my name to Lois Lane..." Giggling I grabbed a pen and began to write down the number for Angel Investigations LA. "Thanks Will... I am. Are you? Oh guess who I met? No wait. I'll tell you later cause it's gossipy and they just came into the office. I'll email you.... Ok Will. Bye."
Lois and Clark chuckled. "You were going to tell her about Dick weren't you?"
I flushed again. Why is it that Clark can make me blush? "Uh... no. Of course not."
"Is that on or off the record?" Lois asked. I poked my tongue out in response.
"You aren't going to put that back in your mouth are you?"
I turned to face Bruce. "At least I know where it's been. Besides where else would I put it and if you value your fortune to be shared among future generations please don't answer that. Any of you."
They laughed at me. Well at least my Metropolis experience has taught me humility, I just wish it weren't so embarrassing.
"Buffy, this is Tim Drake," Bruce said, indicating the teenager between him and Dick.
"Hi," I waved. "Lois, did you want me to call Angel now?"
"Only if you're ready. I can call if you'd like."
"That's ok. Just tell me what you need."
"Whatever he's got."
I felt my mind glaze over as my thoughts drifted to what Angel had. I snapped out of it quickly with a shudder. Blinking away the tears I dialled the number. As I waited for someone to answer the phone I heard Lois exclaim "Ow" and Clark respond with "I told you to be nice."
"She insisted on calling him."
"It's ok Cla... Oh hey Cordy. It's Buffy... Well I wasn't sure if you would. Is Angel there? ...I figured he'd still be asleep but I wouldn't be calling if it wasn't important... Actually you probably could. Can you ask Angel if he could send whatever he has on Wolfram and Hart to The Daily Planet in Metropolis. If he wants to ask any questions or tell me no or whatever he can reach me here... Thanks Cordy... Sure. Bye." I turned back to Lois and the men who were quietly discussing something, though Dick seemed to be dividing his attention between me and the conversation. It was a little disconcerting, as was the prospect of having to wait for a response from Angel. "Lois, Angel wasn't in. Cordy said she'd pass on the message. He'll either call later or tomorrow. He works mostly at night and sleeps through the day."
Lois nodded. "Are you ok? You're very pale."
"I'll be fine. Just need some fresh air. Do you want coffee or anything from downstairs?" I asked.
"Sure. The usual?"
She nodded. "Is there any other sort? Oh, and a Diet Coke?" she reached for her purse.
"I've got it Lois. Clark?"
"I'm ok thank you Buffy?"
"Before you ask so are we," Bruce said.
"Are you sure? Cause it's no trouble."
They nodded. I walked away rubbing my neck feeling tired and old. I suppose I am elderly by Slayer life expectancy standards and right now I feel every moment of it. Every stray thought of Angel seems to momentarily drain me. In a daze of contemplation I got Lois her drink and bagel, a bag of chips and a Mountain Dew for myself.
I wandered back into the office and was only broken out of my thoughts when I heard Lois call out, "Buffy. Angel from LA for you."
I nearly dropped the food I was so nervous. I took the phone from Lois. "Hey Angel... Yeah. Thanks for calling back so quickly... Well, Lois and Clark are investigating Wolfram and Harts office here in Metropolis and we were wondering if you had anything you could send us... Really? That's great Angel... I'm ok. You? ...It's a bit strange. I mean this beats what I once thought I'd be doing during my 21st year... So how is the detective business? ...That good huh? It sounds great...Y ou have to rely on Cordy? ...Well we all grow up don't we? Time changes everything... Well I don't know about dulling anything but I certainly have a different perspective now... How is Faith doing? ...I'm glad she's, well that she's figured it out. I'm sorry it came to this though. No one deserves... Yeah. But I don't think she'd want to see me. I donít know if I'm ready to see her... I'd better go... Special delivery? You don't have to... Alright. Thank you Angel. Attention to Lois Lane or Clark Kent... You too Angel. Bye."
I took a deep breath and opened the can of Mountain Dew, sculling it in one go. "It'll be here tomorrow."
"Thank you Buffy."
"That's ok." Another deep breath and I was together enough to turn and look at them. They seemed kinda tense and I figured it had something to do with Clarks phone call and his sudden protectiveness. "So to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?" I asked Bruce. I could feel Dick trying to read my mind, to find out what was wrong but I refused to look at him.
"To ask you to join us at dinner tonight," he said. "But if you'd rather not..."
"I'd love to but my dad wanted us to..."
"You're dad's going to be there," Dick interrupted.
I turned an overly bright smile on Bruce. "I'd love to join you."
He seemed to pick up on my faux-mood and decided to be happy about it too. "That's great. Dick will pick you up around 7."
"Do you know where I'm staying?"
"Yes. We just left your dad there."
"Ok. I'll see you then," I said with a semi-forced smile.
Dick smiled and squeezed my shoulder as he passed. I waved to Tim as the elevator doors closed.
"Excuse me." I dug the slip of paper with Dad's mobile hone number on it out of my bag. I rang the number.
"Calling your dad?" Lois asked.
I didn't answer. "Not that I mind dinner with Bruce and Dick, dad," I said as soon as he answered, "But you promised it would just be us tonight. If you don't want to spend time with me or you have a change of plans it'd be nice to hear it from you... I don't want to hear it now dad. We'll talk later." I hung up and said to Lois, "Yes I was. I honestly don't mind that he changed the plans but it would have been nice to hear it from him."
"I hear ya."
"Not that I see dad much anymore anyway. I don't really know why I expected it to be any different. Nevermind. It's work time now, not family crisis time. What have you got for me to do?"
They gave me filing and spellchecking and photo copying and researching. I had a busy day with the paper cuts to prove it. I was grateful for the distraction but as I turned the key in the door I remembered I only had the shimmery dress Lois had lent me the night before to wear and nothing that would be suitable for dinner in a restaurant. I hadn't come to Metropolis expecting to be invited out for social engagements.