Disclaimers etc with Part 1

HelLex V-Hero
by cHarley

Part 10

I woke up in a dingy room next to Jean-Paul. I think I began to hyperventilate because Roy, sitting in a chair beside me, quickly said, "It's ok Buffy. He's been out cold since we dragged you two out of the bar under the cops noses yesterday. There wasn't anywhere else to put one of you. Buffy... Dawn..." He looked angry and embarrassed and upset.

"What's wrong? Has something happened at the clinic? Is she ok?" I sat up too quickly and felt the faintness wash over me.

"Harley Quinn broke into the clinic last night and took your sister."

"Buffy's awake?" Dick was at my side in seconds, holding me against him and uttered five of the most beautiful words I've ever heard. "We know where they are."

I hate those plans were you have to wait and I hate when my sister is the hostage. You can imagine how unpopular Batman's plan was when he told me I was the one who had to wait as sentry. You can also imagine how long it took me to decide that his plan sucked and that I was going in.

I was less than two steps into the warehouse when a nasally voice drifted toward me.

"My puddin's in jail cause of you."

"Your puddin's in jail because he killed my mother," I said, slowly moving further into the room. The costumed woman started to giggle then started laughing, the words bat and initiation were the only thing I could make sense of out of her. Dawn was tied to a chair in front of the woman. She looked unharmed but passed out.

"So you think it's funny that he killed my mother?" I shrieked. Not only had I been unable to save my mother but I'd been unable to protect my sister. You can imagine the feelings of shame and inadequacy right about now.

"It's just a joke," she dismissed. "The names Harley Quinn. Pleased ta meetcha."

"Laugh this off," Roy hissed from up in the rafters. He loosed a trick arrow, dropping to the ground and running as he did. "Don't breathe Dawn," he called out as he ran past Harley, knocking her off her feet, making her gasp in the mist the arrows impact with the floor at her feet had released. Roy took Dawn, chair and all and led us both out of the old warehouse.

"I want Quinn," I shouted at Dick when he grabbed my arm to prevent me reentering the building.

"Buffy," Dawn called weakly. "Buffy... she injected me with heroine."

"It's my life all over again," Roy muttered sorrowfully.

"She's got more. It's enough to arrest her," Dawn continued.

"Ok Dawn," I said, wrestling my arm from Dick's grip, avoiding the Bat glare and running in after Quinn. Whatever Roy had attached to that arrow had knocked her out good. I dragged her outside and tied her to the chair Robin had freed Dawn from.

The medics took a blood sample and decided that a night in hospital would be good for Dawn. Both she and I agreed though she forbid me from going with her. Tim squeezed my shoulder and climbed into the ambulance with my sister, ignoring the medics protests.

At home there was a message for me from Diana. She'd gone to mum's gallery and gone ahead with the auction though we weren't there, like I'd asked her to. The auction had been an incredible success and so had their collection for Dawn's college fund. I was crying when Alfred told me that. She's so sweet.

Spent a quiet night without dreams and woke up early when Alfred quietly tapped at my door. "Miss, the hospital just called. Miss Dawn may be dismissed after lunch. Mister Harper called and asked if he could be here when she comes home. Superboy also called and asked if the Young Justice team could be here also when she gets home. Mister and Missus Clark Kent send their best wishes for her speedy recovery and wish for you both to know that you have a place to stay with them if you ever need it. Master Bruce will be home for lunch and I took the liberty of inviting Tim's parents for a late lunch."

"Thank you Alfred. I'll be down shortly."

"Very good Miss. Master Dick will be grateful for your company." He closed the door and padded away down the hall.

Robin the First looked at me from his curled up position at the end of the bed and yawned. I reached over and scratched his head. "You smell like a dog." His tail started beating a steady rhythm on the bed as I scratched his tummy.

I showered and dressed and we, Robin the First and I, joined Dick and Alfred in the kitchen where a huge plate with a meat based breakfast waited for me. I ate heartily before I called Roy at the Tower and told him to come along and yes he could bring whoever he wanted with him. I then called Superboy and gave him the go ahead. I called Clark and Lois and thanked them both. When I hung up it was time to go and get Dawn and Tim from the hospital. Dick promised he'd have everything set up in the garden by the time we arrived home.

Dawn and Tim were waiting by the front doors when Alfred and I pulled up to the hospital.

"Dawn!" I squealled and jumped out of the car to pull her into a tight squeeze. "Are you ok? I mean... really. Are you ok?"

"I'm fine Buffy. The doctors... all of them at the clinic and here, both say I'll be just fine. And I feel like... well I feel great," she smiled as she got into the car and for the first time in too long I saw the smile reach her eyes, eyes that weren't too sad, that looked rested and ready to face the day.

"You probably don't want to see anybody right now," I began as we pulled into the driveway of Wayne Manor, "But they all wanted to see you."

Lian Harper, bless her, was by the front door, waving franticly at the car and bouncing and I think she was yelling because Roy joined her on the door step.

Dawn stepped out of the car and was bear hugged around the legs by Lian. "You're ok?"

Dawn smiled down at the little girl and picked her up to look into her face. "Thanks to Tim and your daddy and my sister, I'm just fine little archer girl. Who else is here?"

"Unca Garth and Aunt Donna and Superboy and Unca Dick and Aunty Jesse..." her little voice faded as she and Dawn moved through the house with a grateful smile at Roy as they passed by him.

"Looks like it's a happy ending... well for now at least."

"Can we really ask for more?" Roy asked as we followed Lian and Dawn to the party in the garden with our friends.

Tim's dad called and apologised but he wouldn't be able to make it to lunch after all. Something had come up but could Dawn come to dinner at the Drake household tomorrow night. Dawn said she was available so I said yes for her.

There was a barbeque. Throughout the afternoon stories were swapped about friends and triumphs and what makes life good. Dawn laughed and smiled and looked genuinely happy sitting beside Tim with his hand in hers and her little shadow Lian who refused to leave Dawns side. There was swimming, more races and competitions and general summer happiness.

Dawn eventually lost her shadow when the little girl needed a nap. Dawn bounced over to me and hugged me. "Thank you!"

"For what?"

She shrugged. "All this I guess. I wouldn't have met these people if it weren't for you. Buffy," she said, her eyes very serious as she gazed at me, "I know I failed but I'll do better."

"You didn't fail Dawn. We all have... down times. I'm sorry I didn't notice sooner or have the right words for you but it's all in the past now and if we've learned from it... well then it wasn't all bad."

"I guess not."

"So... are you and Tim..."

"Dating? Not really. We don't actually go out on dates. The whole vigilante thing kinda puts a crimp on that but we do do a lot of stuff together and he makes me really happy and I think, well I hope I make him happy too."

I smiled at Dawn. "I think you do." I giggled at the two of them as they gazed at each other across the garden. Roys elbow in Tims back and what looked like some friendly teasing brought Tim toward us. I left them standing in the shade of the tree and joined my fiancee and his friends.

"You leave that young man alone Roy Harper," I chided, though I wore a smile to soften my words. I hugged Dick as he turned more steaks on the barbeque.

"But they're so cute and so easy to taunt," he grinned.

"Very true, but I think they get enough from their friends."

"Don't you believe it," Cassie aka WonderGirl chuckled. She plucked a small black box from her pocket at the same time the Titans got an alert. We all reached for our communication devices.

"I'll be inside," Dawn called to me as she dashed into the house, to sit at the computer no doubt.

Dick sighed and called to Alfred and asked him if he could look after the barbeque, that we might all be back... much later.

He smiled at me and called, '"Titans together!"


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