CLASS NOTES: I am making the assumption that among the superheroes themselves they don't guard their secret identities as much as normal... just go with me here :) I'm pretending that they really are a community.
Willow and I climbed the stairs to our rooms. I don't know what Willow did for the next hour but I slept. Alfred's quiet knock on the door woke me from my dreamless nap. "Yes?"
"Master Bruce asked me to wake yourself and Miss Willow to inform you the party begins in two hours. He thought you might like the time to prepare."
"Yes. Thank you Alfred." He smiled and nodded before closing the door. I heard him knock on Willow's door before I stood up and wandered out of the room and down the stairs to the first floor to hunt out Bruce.
I managed to find him quickly as he completed a final check of the house before the party. "I have to tell Willow, Bruce," I began straightaway. "She isn't stupid and she has kept my identity a secret. She'll work it out... she's already trying to work out where all the bats that fly around outside the house come from and where you disappear to for hours at a time and then reappeared though no car leaves the manor."
"I can't decide for the others and if she knows me, she'll work out the others."
I think he thought that would be a way out but I'd already discussed it with the others at various times. They had all told me that if it was ok with Bruce, which they didn't think it would be, it would be ok with them. "Thanks Bruce. Dick's cool with it, so are Tim and Cassandra."
He sighed. "You've already discussed this haven't you?"
"With the others."
"Yeah. Well Babs made Willow her assistant, officially, so she knows who Oracle is, and she also knows who Green Lantern is."
"She's dating him isn't she?"
I chuckled. Trust Batman to know all the secret identities. "Yeah she is."
"I really don't like my identity being exposed Buffy."
"And I don't like lying to my friends and not telling them is the same as lying Bruce."
He considered me for what felt like a very long time. "You're right."
"It's only Willow and eventually Giles, Bruce. They are the only people who really need to know. Not that the others don't deserve to know, but..."
"Thank you," he smiled. "You'd better go and get ready."
"Thanks Bruce." I hugged him and jogged up the stairs.
I checked on Willow. She was just getting ready to shower so I went back to my room and did the same. I took the time to enjoy the wonderful, endless hot water as it pelted my skin. There is nothing like an excessively hot shower to a) clear your head and b) make you feel clean.
I'd just finished dressing when someone knocked at the door. I opened it. "Hey Willow. Cassandra, red is definitely your colour."
"Thank you," she said, partly proud, mostly embarrassed by the praise.
"What are we going to do with your hair?" I sat her down in front of the mirror of the beautiful antique dressing table and took half an hour to find a hairstyle she liked. When I was finished she excused herself to go downstairs to see Barbara. Willow, who had done her own hair and make-up, sat on my bed and watched me do my hair and finish my make-up.
I stood up and smiled. "Ready?"
"I guess. Do we even know what this party is for?"
"Bruce is rich. Does he need an excuse?"
"I guess not. It just seems strange. At college there is always a reason, even if it's just because we're all bored."
"Very true. Oh, I wanted to ask you if we should try to get Dick to dance the funky chicken?"
She giggled. "I don't think I'd be able to do it and not look like I was keeping a secret and you know how bad I am at that."
I chuckled. "I guess. Maybe some other time."
"Definitely," she nodded enthusiastically.
"Final check. How do I look?"
"Beautiful as always."
"And you look incredible. Shall we go downstairs and stun Gotham society?"
"After you, oh Great Slayer," she laughed.
The soft strains of some nondescript classical music drifted around us as we descended the stairs into the hall. I love silk but I almost feel naughty in it. You know how some fabrics or clothes do that. It feels like it floats around me. And the shoes aren't as bad as I thought they would be. Actually the dress feels more like a nightdress or something. It's very comfy.
Willow looks more relaxed now. She looks so pretty in the green and the shimmery-ness of the fabric makes her look sort of pixie-ethereal like. It's very cool.
Dick is talking to some people I think I know in the hall at the bottom of the stairs. Kyle taps him on the shoulder and nods toward us. He turns and stares at me. I stop two steps from the bottom.
"Did I forget something? Is my lipstick smudged? Will, help me out here?"
"You looked fine at the top of the stairs," she said, trying to make sure she didn't trip on her dress.
"Uh, sorry Buffy. You look beautiful."
"So that was what the impression of a human fly catcher was for?" I smiled. He nodded, smiling also. "Hi Kyle."
"Wow Willow. Green is definitely your colour. Don't you think Kyle?" Dick grinned.
Willow blushed and stammered out a hello. Willow is the greatest. Now I'm not the only one that Dick makes blush. I stepped off the stairs and took Dick's hand.
"Willow, you remember Kyle?" Dick asked. He knows how well she remembers Kyle.
She stared at Dick with the 'are you stupid' look before saying, "Of course I do. Hello Kyle," Willow smiled and leaned up to receive a kiss from him.
Kyle smiled. "You do look lovely. Green is my favourite colour."
Willow blushed some more and mumbled an 'I know' and a 'thank you'.
"How's New York?" I asked.
He shrugged. "It's somewhere to live."
"Remember that Kyle's a bit shy Buffy." Kyle shot a murderous glare at Dick.
Willow snorted. "Oh, welcome to my world. Ugh. It's a confidence thing for me. I just don't know how to deal with public situations and then I babble to cover it up... See?"
Kyle chuckled. "I'll have to try that sometime."
"Of course living in my books and behind my computer didn't help my socialisation skills..." Willow mused, then realised Kyle had spoken again and blushed. "Sorry."
"That's ok. I was saying that it suits you. Intelligence I mean." Firey red face, she finally summoned the courage to take his offered arm. Sometimes they make me wonder. I mean it's obvious they like each other *a lot* but whenever they are together, at least for the first few minutes, they seem to be discovering each other for the first time. I guess that their shy personalities don't 'exhibit' themselves when they are on the phone to each other for those all of those countless hours.
I said hello to Bruce and met Barbara's father, Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, who said that he'd heard a lot about me from Barbara and Bruce. Then we continued through the party and outside onto the covered patio where I saw Tim, Barbara and Cassandra. She glowed in that red. It was more on the side of orange but deeper like cherry red... red is such a hard colour to describe. Well, she looked gorgeous anyway.
Cassandra waved and put down her drink to come over to us. We hugged and she started to talk. "I didn't tell you earlier that I went shopping with Babs this week for clothes and stuff."
"Whose money were you spending?"
"Atta girl!" I grinned.
"What're you teaching her?" Dick demanded.
"Nothing she didn't already know, it's just that now she knows she knows it...." I thought about that then nodded.
He chuckled. "Let me introduce you to everyone else." We joined the small group of younger people gathered outside around a portable stereo. "This is Garth of Shayeris, Ambassador from Atlantis."
"You're the Titan Tempest aren't you?" Willow asked.
He nodded in response.
"What's that like, living underwater I mean?" she questioned.
"Like living on land except it's wet."
"So what's it like working with Nightwing? I mean I've met him. He seemed a bit hard-headed..." I asked, watching Tim's face twist as he tried not to laugh at Dick.
"Yeah he can be a bit of a tyrant," Garth said with an almost unnoticeable glance at Dick. "But all in all, I've known him too long to think he's all bad. He's a great leader and a good friend."
"I'll say he's a tyrant. He always got all the pretty women and he never seemed to notice."
"And this is Wally West," Dick said with a sigh.
"You mean The Flash. Boy is Xander going to be jealous that I got to meet you again."
Kyle groaned as Wally enjoyed the adoration. "He has a big enough ego Willow. Please don't encourage him."
"It's exciting even though I've met you before. I mean my best friend is uh, nevermind." She blushed and ducked her head.
I chuckled. "They know Willow. Remember?"
"Oh. Yeah," she smiled. "I mean my best friend is her own sort of superhero," she said proudly. "It's pretty cool to meet you on a social level rather than a, uh, work level."
"I remember you Willow. From Metropolis right?"
She blushed and nodded.
Commissioner Gordon came to the doors of Wayne Manor and called to Barbara. Cassandra followed her guardian into the house. Tim excused himself when he saw Alfred hovering in the doorway.
"I'm guessing you know Kyle's little identity issues," Wally started.
"Yeah. Well it's better than my last boyfriend's identity issues. He was a werewolf." Everyone stared at Willow. "What? They exist. So do vampires and demons..."
"But..." Garth began, his confusion obvious, and it may have been more in reference to Wally's reference to Kyle's identity issues than the werewolf thing.
"We had to lock him up three nights every month. Once he escaped and we had to shoot with tranquilisers."
"That's enough sugar for Willow tonight," Wally chuckled.
Willow sighed. "Excuse me." She wandered around the garden and disappeared into the dark.
"I'd better go after her..." I said.
"Let me," Kyle said and jogged away. I looked at Dick who shrugged.
"She's a bit sensitive about Oz. He left because of his werewolf-ishness," I explained.
"Oh," Wally said. "I didn't know."
"And Willow knows that. She'll be ok, probably a bit ravished when they return," I grinned wickedly.
"Those two..?" Garth began.
"Are very much a pair but a pair of what we aren't sure," I chuckled.