HelLex IV-Titanic-Part 9
by cHarley

"WHAT?" Bruce, Nightwing and Willow shouted.

"Giles called. The Joker and a whole bunch of vampires attacked them at the magic shop. One of the vampires shouted 'that's her' grabbed mom and they were gone. Giles said the Jokers laugh was still ringing in his ears. Dawn..."

"She's upset Buffy but she knows you'll do your best. She believes in you."

So much pressure. I know what the Joker has done to these people, what if... No. No what if's. Find mom and get her out. "Oracle?"

"Buffy, Xander is waiting to speak to you," Babs said. What she must be thinking now... I don't know how she can be so calm.

"Go ahead Xander." Xander's face appeared in one corner of the screen, Angel's in another. Obviously Babs had called Angel when she found out.

"According to Willy," Xander he began, "And I quote, 'Some green-haired goon hired twenty of the biggest vampires he could find.' The green haired guy supposedly mumbled something about Metropolis' richest son. Apparently it ruined Willy's profits for the week."

Metropolis' richest son? That can only be Lex Luthor. Why am I not surprised more that he is involved in this somehow?

Willow groaned. "If he has Sunnydale vampires we're going to need more than just superheroes for this Buffy. We need strength *and* experience," she said looking over her shoulder at we costumed four. This outfit still feels weird.

Cassandra jogged down the stairs and into the cave. Before stepping into the view of the computer she took off her coat and pulled on her mask. Batgirl had arrived. She joined us, hugging me and offering what I knew was a smile under the cowl.

Though I dreaded making the decision I knew exactly whose help Willow thought we needed. "We need Faith for this one."

"We have faith in each other," Robin offered.

"Not that sort of faith Robin. Faith the person. Angel, can you get her out?"

"Out of where?" Batman asked. I already know he doesn't like this. I'm sure Faith's file ends with 'and she went to prison' so how can he not know?

"Prison," I said. "Can you do it Angel?" I looked at the faces on the giant computer screen in front of me. I felt a hand rest on my shoulder and turned around.

"I can."

"Batgirl... this isn't your..."

"I want to."


I saw Batgirl straighten up to her full height and square off against the Bat. I felt the battle of wills and knew the moment Batman gave in. His nod was almost imperceptable.

"Angel, you'll need to be ready to take Batgirl in when she arrives, and Faith too. Is there anyway you can get word to Faith?"

"I'll try but it's not like I can just tell her."

"Don't get sarcastic. If you can't do this we'll figure something else out."

"Sorry Buffy. There's a lot happening here beyond this."

"No problem. Willow, we need some protection spells. Giles can you get the supplies ready for us? Oracle can you find the prisons schematics. Batman, Batgirl needs transport to LA and she'll need backup. I'll go with her. Anya, do you have any demonic contacts?"

My Sunnydale friends crowded around the computer as I began issuing instructions. "A few."

"Work with Willow. Xander we need stakes. I know it's a little beneath your skills..."

"No problem Buff. How many?"

"As many as you can manage before we do this."

"Buffy, I don't think you should go. While trying to get her out is probably not the best time for her to see you and you to try to explain what's happening," Angel said.

"You two don't get along? You're the Chosen Two," Nightwing said.

"Doesn't mean we like each other Nightwing. It's a long story that isn't important right now. I've grown up and she turned herself in. Time to move on. Alright Angel. Just hope that Batgirl decides that night is the best time to try this. You're going in with her. Xander?"

"Yeah Buff?"

"How is Dawn?"

"I'm here Buffy."

"Dawn I can't promise..."

"Do what you can Buffy. You have to at least try and I know that you will."

"Do you want to come out here?"

She didn't speak just looking at the shadow-clad bodies that surrounded me in the dark cave.

"I can't promise you'll be safe but we're here."

She nodded.

"Are you ok to stay overnight in Sunnydale? I can come and get you tonight if you want..."


"Of course. I'll be there as soon as I can."

"I'll take you home to pack Dawn," Xander said quietly moving my sad little sister away from the computer. Giles took her place. "Did he say anything Giles?"

"Something about taking her back to the bachelor pad. One of the vampires asked about going to Gotham and was corrected by another, that they were going to Metropolis not Gotham."

"We return to where it all began," I mumbled.

"I've contacted Superman, Buffy. He's waiting for you in Metropolis."

"Thank you Oracle. I have to return to Sunnydale to get Dawn. Batman, Nightwing, Robin and Willow are to go ahead to Metropolis. I'll ask Bruce for the us of the fastest vehicle Wayne Industries has. I'll go from here to LA and leave Batgirl with Angel, on to Sunnydale for Dawn then back to LA for Batgirl and Faith then onto Metropolis. Everyone know what they're doing? Good. Batcave out." I punched the button to disconnect Sunnydale and LA and turned to Cassandra. "You really don't have to do this."

"That was way too Batman of you Buffy," Willow muttered still staring at the computer and the information Oracle was feeding us.

Cassandra pulled the mask off and looked at me. "I want to. I'm less threatening than Batman," she said, trying valiantly to smother the smile.

"That depends on who you ask," Willow smiled. "Ok. Schematics are coming through."

"Alfred, would you..?"

"You couldn't leave me behind Miss. I would be delighted to look after Miss Dawn."

"Thank you Alfred. Is everyone clear? Batgirl, you come with me. We'll go to LA together and get Faith before we come to Metropolis. Before I arrive Batman, you and the others are only to seek out where the Joker is. You are NOT to take him on."


"Should we call the Titans Buffy?"

"No. They have enough to do." Without a personal crisis from their newest member, I added silently.

Batman picked up the phone. Preparations were made for my transport to LA. Did you know that Wayne Industries has a concord? We, Cass and I, got to LA in record time. Armed with an address, a map and a pocket full of money Cassandra Cain, aka Gotham City's Batgirl was unleashed on LA.

I had gotten off the plane with Cass but had taken a car arranged for by Bruce to Sunnydale. It would have been silly to take the plane to Sunnydale, which is only about 3 hours from LA by car.

Dawn was sitting in a brightly lit corner of the magic shop. She looked up and began to sob. I held her until she quieted.

"Here's her bag Buff, and here are the stakes," Xander said handing me a large suitcase and a smaller canvas bag.

"Spells and magic equipment. Good luck Buffy."

"Thank you Giles, Xander, Anya. You've done a great job. I'd better get back. I'm meeting Bruce and the others in Metropolis. I'll keep you updated."

"Later Buffy," Anya said quietly. Dawn took the bag of magic from Giles and carried it out to the car. We loaded the bags into the trunk and drove back to LA.

Dawn was quiet on the journey and I didn't know what to say really. I hated empty promises of everything being ok. I wasn't sure it would be so I settled for telling her the plans. "Bruce has promised his help Dawn. You and Alfred will be helping Willow coordinate us."

"Ok," she whispered.

"Batgirl is helping to get someone that will help us against the vampires in LA. Once we get them both we'll go to Metropolis ok?"

"Who's the someone?"


"The Mayors' pet?" The voice was quiet and conveyed no surprise, no anything.

"The Slayer. We need someone who knows what they are doing, someone else who knows what they are doing." I didn't think about the implications of talking about Bruce and Batgirl in the same conversation. Dawn's smart, all of my friends are. They'll figure it out sooner or later I'm sure. Right now though, getting my mom out safely is my biggest concern. We lapse into silence again. I don't know what Dawn is thinking but I'm planning painful ways to make the Joker understand that my family is not a target.

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