PART #: Part 12/12
ALL DISCLAIMERS etc in Part 1
"What have we got?" I asked the cave as I entered.
"Nothing particularly new. It's confirmed that Freeze imported the Rusalka and has somehow adapted them..." Babs voice echoed back.
"Ok, so it all comes back to Freeze. Not that anyone is surprised..."
"I think it would be wise to call for reinforcements," Oracle said quietly.
Batman grunted. "Contact Willow. Tell her I will pick her up outside Wayne Manor in fifteen minutes to bring her to the Batcave. If you feel it's necessary to call in the JLA then do it." He got back into the car.
"Why do I sense unhappiness?" I mumbled wandering away from the computers and into the changing rooms then over to the training area. I thumped a punching bag until Willow arrived not noticing what Tim and Dick were doing. The Batmobile arrived and Willow got out with Batman's help though she tried to stay as far away from him as possible at the same time then she just stared at me. "It's just a costume Wills. It doesn't change who I am."
She smiled. "Oh good. What am I doing?"
"You'll be helping Oracle co-ordinate our efforts."
"I could have done that from Wayne Manor but... Oh wow!" she breathed as she finally noticed the computer. Barbara's face had disappeared in favour of the Oracle image before Willow arrived.
"Impressive huh?" I asked.
Willow made a few noises we all assumed were in the affirmative. She sat down at the computer her awe and pleasure obvious.
"The JLA will meet you at the following coordinates Batman."
"Thank you Oracle. Willow, Oracle will tell you what we need."
"Uh. Sure thing Batman."
As we turned to leave, Willow called out, "Buffy!" I turned back to her. "Watch out for the Green Lantern. You... He's Kyle. Please make sure he's ok..."
"So that's why you've taken to wearing more green... I'm sure he can take care of himself but I'll watch his back."
As we travelled Batman's voice intoned over the commlink. "I convinced one of the rusalka to speak. She informed me that Freeze was overheard arguing with someone named Luthor. She also said that they had been forced to absorb some sort of entity that came through a whirlpool of light."
"A hellmouth," I groaned.
"She said that was what the little man called it. Freeze didn't agree with using demons but Luthor insisted."
"And how do we know we can trust one of the bad guys?" Tim asked.
"Rusalka aren't deceptive in this way. Depending on what Batman gave in exchange for the information would determine the quantity of information she gave, not its validity," Willow said. "She didn't happen to tell you where you could find them did she?"
"She wasn't sure. The only time she saw it was when she was possessed. Oracle, try to find a cold spot or potential hideouts..."
"Already on it."
We reached the meet-point coordinates and climbed the fire escape to the roof where the JLA waited. Batman relayed the information he'd gathered from the rusalka and while he did I began to wonder just what he had to do to get all of that information, and then I stopped wondering when I realised it was probably something sex related and that was just too squicky. Not that Bruce isn't handsome but... he's Bruce, you know?
"Great. Freeze is working for Luthor. Fabulous," Green Lantern mumbled when Batman was finished.
"Oracle. Is Giles online?"
"What can I do Buffy?" the gentle English voice came back.
"Luthor's discovered a new toy Giles," I said to the wristband.
"The portable Hellmouth. He commissioned Freeze to do this." Giles muttered a string of cures I had previously only heard from Spike. "Giles!! I thought you were the gentile sort! Sending further info through Oracle now."
After a few moments silence Giles spoke again. "Buffy, those Rusalka can be restored..."
"With sexual energy. I know. Don't ask me how just trust me when I say I think we have it under control."
"We should have brought Roy if you need sexual energy," the Flash said.
Nightwing chuckled. "Didn't think of that."
"Oracle thinks she has a match," Batman informed us and led the way. I took a deep breath and prepared to launch my line and squeaked when Superman picked me up as he flew off the roof.
"Don't do THAT!" I said hitting him. "And yes I do realise that hitting you is ineffective but it serves to emphasize my point and make me feel better!"
He smiled at me. "Lois says hi."
On the roof of another abandoned factory type building we stood, looking in through yet another skylight. I think they build them into these buildings just so superheroes don't break in thinking they're in the right place when they aren't.
"Damn!" I shouted as my foot slipped and I went crashing into the building through said skylight booted feet first. I'm glad of my gymnastics and Slayer training. I managed to slow my fall with a few flips and the like and landed on my feet in the middle of the room.
"And super heroes
"Come to feast
"To taste the flesh
"Not yet deceased."
"And all I know
"Is still the beast is
"Yeah I've seen Rocky Horror too Lex." And around me the fighting began. There were more demon possessed Rusalka and we didn't have time to do the 'sexual energy' thing and just used fists and feet... and superpowers for those who had them.
I don't really pay much attention to the fighting. I've seen it before. Besides I was too busy fighting my own demons and then I had to fight my way across the room to stand in front of the door that Lex was about to escape through.
"The ice princess."
"Can I hurt him this time?" I asked over his shoulder at the superhero Boy Scout who was watching me.
Superman didn't answer, turning away to aid Green Lantern against a few of the demon rusalka. I grinned at Lex and raised my fist.
With the little hellmouth maker escaped, the mini Hellmouth closed and the rusalka returned to their natural state, fleeing to the storage tanks of water around the room. Mr. Freeze came quietly back to Gotham, which surprised me, and it was all over except that the guy who created the hellmouth got away.
The next day I logged onto the Daily Planet computers. I'm not sure how it works or how he did it, but Clarks face popped up on my screen as I was checking for anything from Perry.
"You shouldn't have hit him quite so hard Buffy."
"You didn't say I couldn't Clark."
"I didn't say you could. He was in here this morning demanding that Perry remove you from the payrolls."
"Perry told him how to leave?"
"I'm surprised you didn't hear the shouting in Gotham."
I chuckled. "Better go. Dick's taking me shopping. I don't know what for but he's insisting I spend his money and I have yet to learn how to say no to that sort of offer." Clark laughed with me.
"Are you two official?"
"When did you join this conversation Lois?" Her face wasn't on the screen. I really need to get Willow or Barbara to show me how this all works.
"A few moments ago."
"I don't know what we are but what ever it is it's nice. Gotta go. I can hear a car outside." We said our goodbyes and I disconnected.
"What *are* you two?"
"Me and Lois?" I asked Bruce. Good thing I have sensitive hearing or he could be accused of creeping up on me.
"You and Dick," Bruce said, giving me a 'look'.
"Nice try but the Bat glare doesn't work on me." I shrugged. "I really don't know but I'm not using him. Bruce, he's so sweet and kind and nice and wonderful but I don't wanna rush it. I don't think Dick does either. I'm having major de ja vu about this conversation. If he finds someone else I can accept that. I'll be very hurt but I can accept that. I don't understand why he *wants* to spend time with me."
"Because he doesn't have to hide anything from you. You understand duty and haven't tried to stop him. You are very aware of your mortality but you still risk your life for others, just like him."
"And you. And I would never try to stop him, even if he did decide to listen to me. I think that beside Willow, he is my best friend and it's nice to know we have so many things in common."
"You really are a great addition to our group," he said honestly.
I smiled, surprised. "Thank you Bruce. That's a wonderful compliment, but I think that a spandex costume may be too restrictive."
"Buffy?" Dick called as he strode through the house. "You two look very solemn." He kissed me by way of greeting.
"Just talking about nosy reporters."
"And Lois. Good thing I don't have a private life," I smiled at him. "Are Cassandra and Willow downstairs?"
"I invited Kyle along too. You don't mind do you?"
"Why would I mind? I'll see you later Bruce, if you aren't terrorising Gotham City's shadows," I grinned.
I followed Dick out to his car where Kyle waited with Willow and Cassandra who I had asked to come with us. "Kyle, you remember my girlfriend Buffy?"
You can imagine my grin.