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...

Part 8
by cHarley

Dick led me inside and to the booth at the back of the restaurant where Bruce, Tim and two new people were seated. As we came closer I noticed that the redheaded woman was in a wheelchair.

"Buffy this is Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain. Barbara is Bruce's technical advisor. Cassandra is her ward."

"Cool. Nice to meet you both. Why here Bruce? Don't you like making me feel uncomfortable in some swanky restaurant?" I laughed.

He smiled. "This was Timís idea. He wanted pizza."

"I heard he wanted the worlds largest pizza."

"I do. Help me eat it?" Tim asked me. Dick let me into the booth beside Tim then sat beside me. I was sitting opposite Bruce, who sat beside Cassandra. Barbara was at the end.

"Why else would I be here? What are you having on it?"

"What isn't he having on it?" Barbara said. "I think the only thing that he doesn't want on it is anchovies or olives."

"Oh good. I don't like them either," I smiled at Tim. "Are you already planning dessert?" I asked him, taking the dessert menu from him.

"Maybe. I wanna see how big the pizza is first. What are studying at college?"

"I was studying psychology but my professor died. She was psychotic anyway. I'm studying history, English Lit. Mostly general stuff."

"Why are you at the Daily Planet?" Barbara asked.

"Journalism seems interesting and busy. I need to be busy or I get bored. Bored is bad. What sort of stuff do you advise Bruce on Barbara?"

"Computers, electronics. That sort of thing."

"It's probably a good thing my friend Willow isn't here. She'd talk your ear off."

"She likes computers?"

"She can get into anything. She's never caused any damage, accept to the security programmers pride." My purse starting ringing. "Excuse me?" I dug out the phone and answered it. "Hello? ...Well if I had been asleep you'd have woken me up Clark..." Dick groaned. "I am feeling a lot better though you might wanna call off the big blue watch dog...He was making sure that I was ok... Didn't I tell you that Superman flew past the apartment the other night? ...Well yeah it did seem like he was chasing that Nightwing guy away but let me tell you that watching that guy free fall off the building to get away nearly gave me a heart attack..." I was looking around the restaurant as I spoke. If I hadn't been I may have missed the interested and almost angry look on Bruceís face. "I don't know how you contact him. Does he have a beeper? ...You're the one who lives in Metropolis. I'm just visiting... No need to get bitchy, Clark. I'll be going home to Sunnydale at the end of summer. I've not been invited to Gotham... Why are you so upset by this? ...Then don't tell me but at least let me have dinner? Please?" I pleaded. He agreed. "You are the best Clark. I'll see you tomorrow all shiny and happy... I can shine if I want. The cosmos is mine to recreate," I giggled. "Ok Clark. Bye." I put the phone away. "Clark expects an apology from you tomorrow Dick, I think."

"He does?"

"I don't know what's wrong with him. Ever since he saw me sketching the person he later had identified as Nightwing, from your neck of the woods incidentally, he's been over-protective guy. Why do you suppose that is?"

"Could be anything," Dick said. "Clarkís a bit strange that way." I noticed him looking everywhere but in Bruceís direction. I looked at Barbara and she shrugged. The pizza arrived then. It covered the table, the whole 5 foot diameter of it.

"Tell me again what possessed you to order this pizza," I asked Tim.

"Scientific curiosity. History is my favourite subject you know. I think all weapons of war should be destroyed..." he remarked, beginning a very interesting discussion that lasted throughout the pizza and only halted in momentary silence when Cassandra asked, "Do your... weapons of war... include people?"

"No. Murder is always unacceptable when you know better. But I think that if you were raised in such a way that you didn't know, then a different set of rules would apply, until you understood that human life shouldn't be taken." I sighed. "But there are many humans who know it is wrong and do it anyway for reasons that aren't self-defence or accidental. It's a very tricky situation don't you think?"

She smiled shyly and almost gratefully. "Yes."

"If you don't know, you can't be held accountable. Of course wilfully avoiding learning is not an excuse... this is going to get confusing. Ethics is a mine field of issues." I glanced at the clock and noticed it was past 10 o'clock. "I'm really sorry but I need to go home."

"Of course. Dick told me that you weren't very well..." Bruce said.

"Don't worry Bruce. I had a long nap earlier and I feel a lot better but another slice of pizza and I think Iím going to be sick," I chuckled.

He smiled. "Sleep well Buffy."

"You too. All of you, but Tim, if I get any strange dreams or nightmares Iím blaming you because you ordered this pizza."

He laughed. He looked a lot like Bruce and Dick. I would have thought they were related if I hadn't been told otherwise. "Stranger things have happened than pizza induced dreams."

"Only fish rain and spontaneous combustion and Iím going to dream about them tonight I just know it. G'night Barbara, Cassandra."

That night I dreamt of the Daily Planet offices, of demons in the copy room, demons editing Lois' work and fighting beside Superman and Batman.

It was so dark when I woke up I thought it was still predawn but a look at my watch told me that it was time to get up. So off to work I went wondering if an eclipse had been predicted. I phoned Giles from my mobile and told him about the overly dark sky and he shared my suspicions that it was to do with my dreams and the Big Bad that was on it's way. I asked him to make sure everyone in Sunnydale and in LA would be ready if I needed them. He said he'd make sure and then get everyone back to the research while they waited for another update. Today was only supposed to be a half work day so I figured I use the first half at work, the second half I'd spend with Dick after our usual lunch date.

Did I just call it a date?

I was beginning to get used to the chaos they called a work space but this was ridiculous.

"Jimmy!! Get that thing back here. It's got my disk," Lois shouted as she tried to wrestle a particularly squidgy looking demon away from her computer.

Continue To Chapter Nine

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