PART #: Part 7/8
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.
Mum and Dawn were not downstairs when I arrived freshly washed in my own suite shower, in comfy, clean clothes. I assumed they were still asleep.
"Good morning Miss Summers..."
"You call him Master Dick... Please at least call me Miss Buffy," I pleaded.
"You are the eldest daughter. While your sister is here you are Miss Summers, your sister is Miss Dawn."
"Ah!" I exclaimed, frustrated. Controlled again I asked, "You were going to say?"
"Did you like your room Miss?"
"Bruce had it redone just for you," Tim said, shovelling food into his mouth as he spoke. This surprised me. Not that he could talk with his mouth so full of food, that Bruce had gone to some much trouble.
"I think Master Bruce is quite fond of you Miss."
"I've been adopted?" I asked.
Alfred smiled. "Not officially."
"Cool. Next thing you know I'll be accepted into the JLA... which means I would have to get a costume... I'd just have to tell them no," I said dramatically making them laugh.
Dawn bounded into the room then. *Where* does that energy come from? She said a cheery good morning and sat beside Tim who seemed totally unaware of her. She elbowed him and asked him to pass the cereal.
"I think they're friends," Dick said, watching the strange interaction that alternated between ignoring each other, painful jabs and impolite requests.
I shrugged. "Who knows? Teenagers!"
"That's my line," Mum said from the doorway. "Oh Alfred! This looks wonderful. Thank you."
"You're welcome Ms. Summers." He disappeared into the kitchen.
"A terrific waste of time," Bruce muttered as he stalked into the dining room.
"Good morning to you too," Dick said brightly to receive a scowl for his efforts.
"Uh... Bruce?" I said uncertainly.
He turned to me and smiled. "Good morning Buffy."
"Are you ok?"
His face twisted into a semi-scowl. "Luthor whinging about being bothered. Nothing unusual. Claims that Barbara had something to do with some industrial espionage."
"Shame Batman didn't smack Luthors head against that wall a little harder huh?" The guys chuckled. "Bruce. Thank you."
"For what?" I cast a glance at Alfred who nonchalantly went about restocking the plates of eggs and bacon. "Alfred, what have you been telling Buffy?"
"Actually it was Tim," Dick said, and got hit in the head with a bread roll.
Dawn giggled and offered Tim another roll.
"I thought you might be spending some time here and thought you might like somewhere to claim as your own," Bruce said, taking off his suit jacket, which Alfred took away.
"What does he do with those?" Dawn asked pointing in the direction Alfred had gone.
"Shreds them to line the bunny cage?" I suggested to Dawn with a shrug. "Do you have any pets?"
"No. Though Dick once had a dog. Ace."
"There was a tiger at the circus named Ace..." Dick explained.
After breakfast Dick and I went outside into the massive garden to enjoy the sun. Once we were sure breakfast had settled we agreed to a bout of training and that was how our families found us - beating each other senseless. A firm punch to the shoulder sent Dick staggering backwards, followed by a low kick that had him on his butt on the grass.
"Not bad for a girl huh?" I grinned.
He eyed my offered hand warily before taking it and standing up. "Not bad for anyone." He rolled his shoulder a bit. "I think that I'm going to need some ice for this."
"You said..." I began to protest, worried that he hadn't really meant it after all.
He put a hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes, "And I meant it Buffy. You shouldn't have to hide what you are."
I smiled, genuinely happy, knowing that he meant it and could take it, or would at least try to. "Come on Bruce. I'll give that flabby butt a workout too," I grinned.
"Buffy!" my mother said, scandalised.
Bruce laughed. "Maybe some other time."
I followed Dick into the kitchen where Alfred mumbled something about my mum being pushy and that he was paid to do the washing up. I helped Dick with the ice, and massaged the muscles in his shoulders. "I didn't hurt you too much did I?"
"Not really. Surprised me. I didn't think you were that strong. You were holding back in Metropolis," he admonished me.
I shrugged. "My most recent ex had issues with not being stronger than me."
"I think it's kinda cool. It means I have to think more about the fight than just rely on brute strength."
"Are you implying I rely on brute strength?"
"No. You outwitted me." He lowered his voice as he continued to speak. "I've fallen into relying too much on just my strength. The criminals in Bludhaven aren't too bright, there's just a lot of them." He stretched his shoulders and arms. "I have something to show you."
"Do I want to see?" I asked as he took my hand and pulled me through the house.
"Bruce told me that I could have this honour." He looked around then swung the grandfather clock open like a door. He pulled me in with him and pulled the clock closed behind us. He looked pretty excited and I returned his smile, though mine was laced with a little trepidation. "Close your eyes." I did and continued cautiously down the stairs behind him, gripping his hand and shoulder for guidance. "Welcome to the Batcave," he whispered softly into my ear.