Disclaimers etc with Part 1
The elevator doors slid open and I led Dawn and Willow into the over-excited offices of the Metropolis Daily Planet, home of Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Grinning at the familiarity of it all I wandered over to stand beside Clark who was standing at Lois' desk as she yelled at the person on the other end of the phone.
"Screw security checks. HE'S MY FATHER!! Now put him on the phone!" The person on the other end must have done as they were told because Lois obviously relaxed. "Hey dad... no emergency. Just wanted to make sure you were still coming for dinner... ok. 7:30... bye."
I jumped a little, startled by Perry's shout. "Dawn, Willow, this is Lois and Clark. Lois and Clark, my sister Dawn and my best friend Willow. I'll be back."
"You hope," Lois muttered.
"Yeah. Thanks Lois!" I grumble as I move across the office and up the stairs to Perry's office. "Good morning Mr. White."
He nodded and moved into his office to sit behind his desk in his chair. I took the indicated chair. He took a breath and began to speak, his voice gruff but his tone seemed sympathetic. Not the norm for a conversation with Perry. "You have family ties in Gotham, your sister and your boyfriend. I'm prepared to allow you to work from the Gotham office but I'd be grateful if you would agree to work one week out of six in this office. I won't lose you to the Gotham office. They've agreed to give you some work space if that's what you want."
"Uh, thank you Perry. I am prepared to move to Metropolis to work. I have some things to sort out before I can but I'm hoping, if it's ok with you of course, to move to this office in about two months."
"Only if you're sure Buffy. I... Lois told me about your mother and that you announced your engagement to Dick Grayson among your friends last night. She told me because she knew you were coming in today. It's not her standard behaviour to give up that sort of information as gossip and certainly not to me."
"Well, I need to discuss my options with Dick and Dawn because it affects them both the most."
"You're a good writer, Summers. I'm prepared to wait till you're ready but I'm not known for my patience."
"Thank you, Mr. White. I'm aware of your sacrifice. I'll try to get back to you early next week."
"Good. We'll talk then."
"Have a great day Mr. White." He grunted at me.
"We'll be there but Buffy may have something 'Stalker related," Willow was saying to Lois as I approached. Lois, Clark and Willow were ignoring whatever Dawn was doing on the computer that bore the Oracle insignia.
Clark noticed me first. "You are coming to dinner tonight aren't you?" he asked looking slightly panicked. "Lois' dad said he'd be in Metropolis tonight and when we told him about having dinner with you, he invited himself..."
"We'll be there Clark," Dawn said reassuringly, though her voice sounded tired. I guess the trip took more out of her than I expected.
"I'm available," I smiled.
"Not if you ask Dick," Lois remarked.
"Yes, yes, Lois, but that isn't publicly held knowledge yet is it?"
"Ermm... no. But all of us who work here know about you and Dick dating so that at least is public knowledge."
"Last time I was in Metropolis," Dawn said, swivelling around in the chair she sat in beside Lois, "I didn't get to see anything except Bruce's penthouse. Can we go and spend some of the money he gave me before I left this morning?"
"Bruce gave you spending money?"
"I'm going to have words with him... Let's go," I sigh. At least she's smiling but I'll have to have a chat with Bruce. He shouldn't be giving her money just cause he feels like it. But that's a worry for later. Right now its time to shop with Dawn and do the friends thing with my little sister and my bestfriend.
Laughing and carrying way too many shopping bags we land on the Lane-Kent doorstep at 6:30. Lois answers the door and steps out into the hallway with us, holding the door mostly closed behind her. "Have I warned you all that my dad doesn't like Clark? Well he doesn't and he can be very rude. We mostly ignore."
"Ok. We can handle that. Right?" Dawn and Willow nod and Lois lets us into the house.
"Buffy, Willow and Dawn are here," she calls out and Clark looks over at us with a relieved expression.
Sam Lane barely acknowledges us returning to his tirade over Clark about President Luthor and the mans virtues which Clark will, in Sam's opinion, never possess. If only he knew, huh?
Lois excused herself to go to the kitchen. Willow and Dawn indicated I should follow. I think they were worried about me getting all aggressive, but Lois said she didn't need any help but Clark might so I found myself sitting beside Clark while Sam held court.
I wasn't listening to him, instead I was listening to Oracle tell 'You know you're a former Boy Wonder if' jokes to Nightwing and Robin in Gotham. I'm guessing my new equipment is hooked up to a satellite, then I heard, "So what kind of name is Buffy?" which saved me from a publicly embarrassing and inappropriate fit of giggles.
I slowly turn to face this very rude and obviously ignorant man and fix a cold gaze on him. I've faced the Master, Spike and Dru and Angelus and all sorts of horrid yukky nightmare things. If he thinks he's got the corner on intimidation he's got another thing coming. "It's the name my mother gave me."
"It sounds like your mother was a hippy."
"My mother is dead, Mr. Lane."
He seemed to falter for a second but instantly began on Willow. She sighed and shrugged at me.
"Dinners ready," Lois said, quickly ushering her father toward the meal she'd made. A roast. I think it's chicken... She interrupted just in time. I think Willow was ready to cast something on Sam and I'm thinking it may have been that lamp on the table beside her.
"My daughter could have had Lex Luthor," Sam grumbled as we moved toward the dining table.
"She could have had Bruce Wayne," Dawn points out as she moves quickly across the room.
But his comment was too much for Willow. The lightbulb nearest her went with a small bang and the room seemed to crackle with energy. "Your standards are outdated, Mr. Lane. Clark is a much better man than your precious President Lex. Do you know why Mr. President has been out of the public eye since spring, Mr. Lane? Does your position as Secretary of State afford you that information?"
Sam Lane didn't move, not even to blink.
"The man you would have married to your daughter, the man who your daughters refusal of has so changed you opinion of her... He is responsible for the escape of several Arkahm inmates *including* the Joker. Your Lex Luthor is being charged with accessory to the murder of Joyce Summers. That's Dawn and Buffy's mother by the way.
"Women are allowed to vote, we get equal pay for equal work and we marry the men we love not the men our parents choose.
"Your stubborn refusal to accept Clark is petty. If you like Lex so much MARRY HIM YOURSELF. You are a rude, cruel man, stuck in the glory days of a past you alone remember.
"Welcome to the twenty-first century," Willow said bitterly, standing up and walking out of the apartment, slamming the door as she went.
Dawn began to chuckle humourlessly. "It's been the week for angry outbursts huh, Buffy? First Angel, then me, now Willow. When's it your turn Buffy?"
"You've offended our friends," Lois said following Willow out into the hallway.
In my ear I hear Oracle ask me if everything's okay.
"Far be it for me to actually show some backbone but I think, Sam, that it would be best if you went home. Now."
Sam blustered a funny colour but couldn't make a coherent sound but turned and made his way out of the apartment.
"Yes Oracle. Everything is fine... I guess."
After Sam left Willow returned with Lois and went to her bag for her laptop straight away. "What's up Oracle?"
Lois is good at that pretending not to know anything.
"Shall we?" Clark asked.
I looked at Dawn sitting beside Willow. "Sure. Go ahead. Looks like Oracles a bit over-worked so I'll be busy here."
"We have a computer and internet connection," Lois said and showed Dawn.
Clark and I, well, Superman and I patrolled. I do love Metropolis, especially at night from the rooftops.
"Were you listening to my conversation with Perry this afternoon?"
"Will you move here to Metropolis?"
"Was that a 'yes'?"
"You're not such a boyscout are you," I chuckled. "I've been thinking about it. If I decide to stay, I'll need to find a place for me and Dawn to live and a school for her unless she decides to stay in Gotham with some of our friends." I sigh. "I don't know Clark, Kal... erm Superman. This is the city where my mother was murdered. It's kinda hard to put that behind me."
"You lost a lot of friends in Sunnydale."
"Sorta. It's hard to explain. I feel some responsibility for not saving any of those people but most of them... I only knew their names cause I went to school with them. It's like... ok if the copy boy at the Planet went missing and turned up with puncture marks I'd feel bad cause i knew him by sight, but if Jimmy or Perry or you or Lois... well it would feel very different."
"I know you do. I try not to let people matter so much but it's hard when it's your birthright." He nodded.
He heard a cry for help then and we raced across Metropolis' night sky, him in the air, me on the rooftops.
Sometimes I feel so normal. I can't fly. Other times... I have the strength to shove a piece of pointy wood through a body.
As the false dawn began to light the horizon we called it a night. Through Oracle I found out that Dawn and Willow were back at the penthouse. I watched him fly across the sky feeling better than I had in a while. He gives me hope. It's happy hope. Bruce gives me hope too... but it's not the same.
D'you want the rest now? Only three more parts (sorry..i'll try to do better in the future :))