PART #: Part 1/12
DISTRIBUTION: At my site www.harley-quinn.co.uk. If you want it please 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: PG–PG-16, some minor adult themes.
SUMMARY: Buffy/Batman/JLA (Justice League of America) 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! :) Buffy goes to Metropolis for her summer job at the Daily Planet. Nothing works out the way you expect when you come from the Hellmouth. Buffy's POV.
SPOILERS: Some Season 4 BtVS, Season 1 Angel.
DEDICATED: To cHeWtOy as always. To Lee, Firebird and Susanne for beta'ing,
CLASS NOTES: I'm assuming Lois is smart enough to have worked out a few superhero secret identities and that Bruce is clever enough to have worked that out.
On the day before Christmas break began, Willow and I returned from English Lit, with Xander in tow, to find a giant bouquet of brightly coloured flowers on our dorm room doorstep.
"Who are they for Buffy?" Willow asked, bouncing a bit, as I reached for the card.
I read the card a couple of times before I answered. "Me."
"Oooo are they from *him*?" she grinned.
"Him who?" I heard Xander ask from behind my crouched form.
I took the card and stood up, unlocked and opened the door. "Dick Grayson. You remember him? Anya wanted..."
"The rich guy?" Xander said, interrupting what was, for him an unpleasant trip down memory lane. "He's sending flowers?"
"And how come you don't have a picture of him?" Willow pouted.
"Because he isn't real," Hannah said as she came by our door.
"Actually he is."
I couldn't stop the smug smile that spread across my face as he came further down the corridor. Dick held out his hand to Hannah. "Dick Grayson, figment of Buffy's imagination, and you are?"
He's so yummy when he's being a smart arse. He's just yummy generally. I have never seen jeans look so good. Oh wait. I have actually... Last time I saw him wearing them.
"Hannah Johnson, fellow dormer," Hannah said, stunned. Ok so he's a cutie, but I already know this.
"Hello Hannah. Hi Willow," he said, turning that gorgeous smile on Willow. She smiled happily and waved. "Xander."
"Dick." They shook hands in a manly fashion.
Still grinning, I hugged him. "Hey you. Not that I'm not happy to see you but why are you here?"
"To see you. Do I need any other reason?" He kissed me. Remember how I said about the melty thing? He can still do it to me. I love this man... wait. Did I just think the 'l' word? Oh boy...
This evening I'm due to leave for Metropolis. I love working at the Daily Planet. I can endure holidays without my friends when I'm there. I am set for 5 days at the Metropolis office then I'm going to come home for Christmas and back to Gotham on Boxing Day for New Years. Dick is here to take me to an early dinner before accompanying me to Metropolis in Bruce's private jet. It is way beyond cool having someone like Bruce Wayne as a friend. He thinks nothing of sending the jet for me and my family and friends. He had a room redecorated at Wayne Manor just for me and no matter how much I protest about his frivolity with money he keeps doing it and I won't say anything about the Batman thing except for its extreme level of coolness.
"Have you seen Kyle lately?" Willow asked as she followed Dick and I into the room, and sitting at her computer.
"Last week. But you've spoken to him since I'll bet." Willow blushed under Dick's knowing smile. "Thought so. But he asked me to give you this. He said to call him and open it while you were on the phone to him." Dick handed the small box to Willow.
I have *never* seen Willow move so quickly. She was pacing while she waited for the phone to be picked up. She grinned and sat down. "Hello…Yup. Dick is here... Yes he did. I'm holding it now... OK. Ok. I'm opening it now... Oh wow." She nearly dropped the phone as she held up the silver necklace with the delicate jade pendant dangling from it. "Did you design this? ...It's beautiful... Of course I love it... Ok I'll see you tomorrow... You don't have to... But what about your family? ...Really? ...Ok. Bye."
"No 'I love you's?" Xander quipped.
Not hearing Xander, Willow said, "He's coming to see me for Christmas!" She laughed and bounced in her chair.
"Just as well. You'd have the phone attached to your ear otherwise." I laughed when she poked her tongue out at me.
"And you won't be on the phone to Dick at Christmas?"
"We weren't talking about me and aren't you going to New York tomorrow?" I like Christmas. The disasters that occur don't seem so dreadful just because it's the season of giving. It's the time of year I get to wish for the ultimate present... peace on earth. But you know that if I get it I'll just bitch about being bored. "Anyway, I think mum invited Bruce, Dick and Alfred to Sunnydale for Christmas."
Dick nodded. "Yup she did but I think Bruce declined because of his commitments in Gotham."
"Oh." And I could tell Willow was thinking Wayne Industries and social commitments. I knew he meant Batman. I'm sure that the Christmas season does not bring hope to the Bat. "And yes I am going to New York tomorrow but only for a couple of days."
"We'd better make a move Buffy. Bruce expects you to be at the apartment before midnight," Dick said looking at his watch.
"Ok. I just need to change my clothes." I snagged the clothes I had laid out before class and dashed out of the room to the bathrooms. I came back, grabbed my bag and hugged Xander, then Willow. "See you guys for Christmas."
"Have fun Buffy!" Willow called.
"Don't you know it," I said as I closed the door behind me.
Dick tossed my bag into the backseat of the rental car and held the passenger door open for me. "Thank you." I kissed him quickly before ducking into the safety of the car. A grin spread across his face before he remembered to close the door and make his way around the car to the driver's side.
"I think that's the first time you've done that..."
"What?" I asked.
"Oh. I... I didn't want you to think I was too... whatever, and I wasn't sure you'd welcome it."
He waggled his eyebrows. "Bruce made me promise I'd behave so I won't continue this conversation just now."
"Well you've always been a model of restraint around me..."
"And isn't it boring?" he whinged.
I laughed as the car pulled away.
The restaurant was just outside of Sunnydale, a small but classy-type place. Just what I expected from Dick.
"Does the Bat take a break for Christmas?" I asked after we were seated and given our menus.
"You're joking right? If anything, he works harder.""Because of the criminal element," I nodded in understanding.
Dick shook his head. "Because he's an ass and won't take even one night off."
I giggled. "Oh. I'm sure we can do something about that. Oh, and I needed to ask you if there are any Christmas-specific villains, you know, like The Scarecrow was all Halloween-y?"
"Well there is Calendar Man but he's in Arkham at the moment. I'd say he was safely locked away but I seriously doubt the integrity of Arkham's security. Have you decided what you want for dinner?"
Smooth subject change. "Eep... I hate these decisions..." I looked over the menu again and made my decision. Yummy steak. The waiter came and took our orders and the menu. A drinks waiter followed him and quickly brought us our drinks. Coke for both of us.
"So what are you planning for Bruce for Christmas 'cause you know Babs, Tim, Cassandra, Alfred and I would all love to be part of it."
"If he weren't the Bat in his spare time I'd suggest a pretend kidnapping but I really don't know. What the heck do you buy the man who either has everything or can at least afford whatever he wants? A man who I could very easily begin to think of as another father figure. He and I are scarily similar. There was a time I shut everyone out because of fear. I understand that he feels that he has too, that the potential loss is too great."
"I've never seen him the way he is with you, you know. He's never been so willing to modify that great, old house for anyone but he did it for you. He was the one to suggest bringing you into the little clan of the Bat. He doesn't let just anyone borrow the jet and he certainly doesn't give every woman he meets an open invitation to his city and his home. I won't tell you that I have even an inkling of what he's thinking. That would be lying, but I think he likes you."
I chuckled. "Because I'm as duty bound as he is. Because I have the same sort of twisted view of humanity and hope as he does. We are very similar he and I, but I share as many similarities with you. I clung to my friends in most of the dark times like you with the Titans. I use humour to hide my insecurities and fears and I don't mind using the occasional opponent as a punching bag for my frustrations."
I'd gathered more information about the various superhero teams from Oracle. I now know who the Titans and Young Justice are and how to contact them.
Dick smiled at me. "And our love lives have sucked majorly because we either haven't found the right person or something massive gets in the way and screws the whole thing up."
"Amen to that!" I raised my glass to his. Our food arrived. "So what do you get him?"
"The sorts of things most people buy their dads; sock and ties. Occasionally I buy him cologne but he never wears it so I don't buy it any more. The last few years I've given him Batman type presents too. He's hard to buy for."
"Why don't we make him something?"
"Make?" Dick asked sceptically, looking up from his food. "As in something craft related?"
I sighed. "I'm sure that Bruce would appreciate it. I mean the guy is Batman, and a multi-millionaire. What the heck can we afford to get him that he'd want and hasn't actually already got? Alfred might have a few ideas. Why don't we talk to them all..."
"We could... actually that's about the best idea I think any of us have come up with."
"If he believed in magic Will could conjure something... or something."
"Don't you think he and Babs..." I said in a conspiratorial voice.
"Bruce? Interested in a woman? In *anything* that isn't his work?"
"Yes. And she's just as interested. Watch them next time they are in a room together. They both think nobody sees them looking at each other. If Bruce is looking at Babs and she sees him, he smiles and turns away. If she catches him, she grins and waves."
Dick seemed to consider this for a while. "You really think so huh?"
"Uh huh," I nodded. "And when Willow sees she'll agree," I said confidently.
"Just be careful Buffy," he began.
"Oh, I'm not going to *do* anything except maybe drop hints, some subtle, some the size of anvils but I'm certainly not going to set them up or anything. Besides, they are the original Batman and Batgirl. They're too smart for their own good sometimes, but it means that I won't get much past them."
"True enough. But these things always happen when you aren't looking." He put his cutlery on his plate and pushed it away. "Do you want dessert or shall we get to the airport?"
"Airport. I want sleep. We had a pop quiz in English Literature today."
He paid for the meal and we left. On the plane I snuggled up to him and fell asleep with my head on his shoulder. Heightened demon activity on the Hellmouth makes for an over-tired Buffy.