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...
Dick whispered, "Are you alright?" as he held my chair for me.
"I'm fine," I said quietly. "Whatever it was is gone now." I squeezed his hand then looked at my father. "Hello daddy. What kept you from this merry party?"
"Traffic. The city of the future has traffic problems," he said, obviously still annoyed.
"Well it's good that you made it."
"Are you alright now Buffy?"
"Yes I am thank you Mr. Luthor. I really am sorry about what I said earlier."
"Call me Lex."
"What did she say earlier? She didn't offend you did she?"
"Stop fawning daddy. I'm sure Lex gets that enough from everyone else. I'm also sure he has thick skin and the words of someone as insignificant in his grand schemes as I can have no effect on the great Lex Luthor," I smiled sweetly. "So Bruce. Do you think the Batman exists?" I asked shifting the focus of the conversation away from myself and back to a safe sort of topic.
"I've never met him face to face but I believe there is more truth in the ramblings of a madman than in the utterances of a sane citizen."
"Do Dick and Tim share your opinion?" I asked, noting that dad was monopolising Lex's attention again.
"Sanity is so restrictive," Dick mused.
Tim chuckled. "Batman's the best," he said. "It would be very cool to be able to do what he does."
"What about Sunnydale Buffy? Does Sunnydale have a hero?"
"If it does they work in secret. Sunnydale, legend has it, is built over Boca Del Inferno..."
"The mouth of Hell," Clark translated.
"Indeed. It is said to be a centre of mystical convergence and quite literally the mouth of hell from which demons and the demonic have, from time to time, been said to escape. It draws the mystical, from demons and vampires, to the possessed and powerful. The power of the Hellmouth can enhance or detract from it's seekers."
"You seem to know a lot about it," Lex observed.
"It's what my friends and I do. You can't learn from the past if you don't study it. Much of modern day superstition is based in fact. If you learn about it you can control it or prepare for it," I shrugged.
A waiter approached then and we placed our orders. I sat quietly after the waiter left contemplating what the heck was going on. My uncharacteristic nervousness coming to Metropolis, my increased sensitivity, the unusual energy increases and decreases and now the waking dreams. You don't have to hit me with a sledge hammer to tell me something's coming.
"Sorry Bruce. What were you saying?"
"Your father was telling us how you had to transfer to Sunnydale because of an incident with fire and a school building."
I glared at my father. Emotional payback. Very mature dad. "It was an accident. It was prom night and the decorations caught fire and the whole gym building burned down. I was blamed."
"Did you do it?" Tim asked. Trust the teenage boy to get excited over a little arson.
"Why would I purposely burn down the school gym? It's not like it was full of vampires or anything," I chuckled.
"You didn't answer the question," Bruce pointed out.
"It was an accident," I said again. "And I paid the price." The climax of a great first year as a Slayer.
The entree came and went. The conversation between my father, Lex and Bruce shifted to business.
"Yes Tim?" I faced the young man between Dick and Lois.
"Do you really believe in vampires and demons?"
"Yes I do."
"Why do you believe in Batman?"
"Because I've seen him."
"I've seen vampires and demons. But why do you believe in him?"
Tim took a few minutes to consider my question. I thought he wasn't going to answer but he did. "Because he represents hope even for those that don't really believe he exists. He does what most of us don't dare. Because he believes in something better than what is."
"Wow. That's a heavy burden for one man to carry," I commented.
"It is," Bruce said, looking at Tim thoughtfully.
"But a wonderful one. To think that wrapped in one image is hope and fear. As for me, I believe in vampires and demons because no matter how awful humanity gets there has to be something worse. I refuse to believe that what we do to each other is as bad as it gets."
"There's a twisted sort of hope in that too," Clark said.
"There is. But Iíve yet to be proven right," I said grimly. "I've been studying with my group of friends for about 5 years and I'm still hunting for something worse than nuclear weapons."
"They're pretty dreadful."
"Demons are generally interested in instant gratification with few or no long term consequences. The nuclear weapon tends to wipe everything out and leave the area inhospitable for centuries. But we need a new topic that doesn't focus on me."
"We like hearing about you. We know about each other," Lois said.
"Ah, but I don't know about each of you. I choose... Clark to tell his life story in 20 minutes with at least one High School anecdote and the story of how he got his job at the Daily Planet..."
That was a popular game. Lois was next, then Tim, Dick and my dad. I made Lex tell his story too and he was actually quite funny. Finally was Bruce. He told us about Alfred and how he travelled. All those places.
"You can imagine how embarrassed I was when I eventually went into the office after 6 months away and couldn't remember where my office was and didn't recognise my new secretary," he blushed as we continued to laugh.
I wiped a tear from my eye. "Poor rich Bruce. All that money and the memory of a sieve." I glanced at my watch. Another late night and no training. Giles would not be happy.
"Is the threat of turning into a pumpkin looming again?" Dick whispered in my ear.
I chuckled. "Not really. Just tired. Lots of excitement today, having to call my ex and ask for help, and having an expensive dinner and surprise gifts of clothes from a man I hardly know," I smiled at him.
"So not a bad day, just a long one," he surmised.
"Something like that. This has been the much better half of the day though. I love surprises. Well, mostly."
"The sort that don't involve discovering demons are real you mean."
"Yes," I laughed. "A gift of beautiful clothes from a handsome man is definantly better than being ambushed by demons." I tried not to but I couldn't help it. I yawned. "I am so sorry," I began to babble.
Dick smiled. "That's ok. Did you want to go home?"
"Oh, no. I don't want to ruin your evening. I'm fine."
"I didn't ask how you were."
"You've learned way too much from Bruce. I would like to go home, but I will stay until you are ready."
"Then we'll go now." He started to stand.
"Only if you want to," I said. I've never needed an escort home so this was a bit strange.
"I want you to be well rested for lunch tomorrow."
I blushed. That was becoming annoying. I never blushed before!
We said our goodnights and left. My father began to protest that it wasn't right I went with Dick because the two of us had only met a few days before. I asked him if he was ready to leave and he wasn't. I told him I was tired and had to be at the office at nine the next morning. I was going home.
He sat down quietly.
I sat beside Dick in the limo and quietly watched the night outside. It was so peaceful here. No noticeable vampire population. But I realised I missed my nightly patrols. I found myself without a real purpose and it made me feel empty. I love working at the Daily Planet but it's not my fate.
Dick walked me to the door and kissed me goodnight before leaving me to sleep.
There was a message for me on my cell phone from Giles. He ominously told me there was something coming. He didn't know what it was but he suggested I be ready for it. He said a friend had contacted him and had requested that I come to Metropolis because whatever it was could be potentially huge.
It was unusual for Giles to be so vague but it was too late for me to call him back so I undressed and climbed in to bed. I always face the window of the room Iím in if I can when I sleep. The breeze outside lifted the short curtains and I chanced a glimpse outside. There in the darkness stood my night-time sentinel.
The phone ringing woke me up at some otherworldly hour before 7 the next morning. I grabbed the phone and put it to my ear. "Giles? ...Lucky guess. What was your message about last night? ...Yes I understood that there is a danger coming but unless you give me something less vague than that message last night there isn't much I can do... Yes I suppose waiting is all I can do. Thank you for the warning... No I'm not very well. I can feel it... Whatever is coming. Something big is coming and Lex Luthor is at the center of it. I had a vision of sorts last night at dinner. It was really vague but Iíve also been nervous and jumpy, more sensitive to everything than normal. I can feel the energies around me and they are affecting my moods..." I hit the off button on my alarm and swung my legs out of bed, sitting up, "Yes that's all and I will be careful but can you please try to find out more than just 'something potentially huge'? ...I know you work hard Giles and I really do appreciate it but I feel dreadful right now. I barely slept last night because of a recurring vision and this sinking feeling in my stomach that I know is whatever you rang to warn me about... Perhaps it isn't that it's big Giles but that it's gonna be around for a while... Well part of my vision was a demon being summoned and that same demon attacking a very old Lex Luthor... No I didn't see the demon. I wish I had. This would be so much easier... Of course. You too Giles, and be prepared to get everyone out here. I may need you... Ok. Bye."