Disclaimers etc with Part 1.

HelLex V-Hero
by cHarley

Part 9

Nope. Not a soul last night. They saw me and took off in the other direction. Gothams miscreants are so spineless. At least you could respect that in a vampire. Sure he would aim for the neck but he wouldn't back down till you'd kill all his mates or he was dead.

Bruce is waiting for me in the cave at the computer.

"Buffy. There is a case that we need you for..."

"Sure. What's up?"

"Mavin Pruitt, the daughter of a trucking company owner in Bludhaven, a respected and modestly wealthy company owner in Bludhaven, has been kidnapped for a ransom her father can't afford. Dick knows the man personally and has promised his daughter won't come to harm."

"Where is she being held?"

"In a strip club in Bludhaven. You and Cassandra will go in undercover with several of your colleagues as protection."

"When does it all go down?"

"Tomorrow night. We meet at the tower at 1600. Matches Malone will be your contact at the club."

"You mean you in a disguise."


"I'll see you there then. Night."

Today will be spent in research and rehearsal I decide as I wander down to the kitchen. Alfred greets me and asks about my plans for the day. I tell him and he offers his help. I thank him but decline. I need the distraction.

From the phone in the cave I call the clinic Roy booked Dawn into and manage to talk to her for five minutes when she's at lunch. She tells me she'll call tonight and leave a message if I'm not home. We tell each other we love each other and she tells me again it's not my fault and that she's grateful for my support. I cry for nearly an hour after we hang up.

I finally decide that blaming myself isn't helping anyone and that research will help Mavin and may just save my butt tonight. I watch a couple of videos that Bruce left for me and wonder why he has videos of strippers in his collection... then decide I *really* don't wanna know and practice a few moves that I didn't think were humanly possible to music. At 2:30 Alfred drives me into Gotham and drops me off a block from the tower.

Time to practice my break and enter skills. Grinning like a fool I find a shadowy section of building and start climbing.

I reach my target, a window large enough to squeeze me and my weaponry through and hear Oracle's voice crackle through my earrings. "Buffy?"

I grinned as I by-passed the Clocktowers window security, just as Dick had taught me,and slipped into the room only to have what felt like a very large hand clamp around the nape of my neck.

An accented voice asked, "Who do you work for?"

"The Batman! Who the hell else would dress me in this sort of outfit? Now put me down before I call for my boyfriend to help me kick your butt."

I was dropped to my feet. As I whirled around to give the guy a piece of my mind, and to find out who he worked for, I heard the gruff Bat voice, "NightStalker, meet Azrael. Azrael, this is Nightstalker."

"Now play nice you two," Robin chirped.

"Why?" I asked playfully.

Robin shrugged. "Just play nice."

"Oh. Ok," I grinned.

"You ok, Buffy?" Cassandra asked me quietly.

"Somewhere on the road to," I responded I saw concern in Dicks eyes just before he buried it.

I bounced over to him and kissed his cheek. "Hey you. Dawn's gonna be just fine and you know what? So will I." He smiled at me then and my knees did give out. How embarrassing.

Babs giggled. "He used to do that to me too Buffy. Don't worry about it."

I blushed bright red.

"We start tonight," Batman said. "Azrael will be at the club incognito as your guard, Nightstalker, regardless of who else is there."

"Tempest, Flash, G.L., and Arsenal have also agreed to go on watch," Nightwing added.

"Did we doubt Roy's participation?" I giggled.

Willow's laugh bubbled over the electronic air-waves. "You'll never guess how excited he is that he gets to fondle you in public Buffy. He's hoping Dick will start a fight I think."

"Sounds like Roy," Dick mumbled.

"NightStalker, Batgirl, Matches Malone will pick you up from this location in Gotham in two hours. Oracle has clothes for you." He vanished and Azrael took his mask off.

"I am Jean-Paul, Buffy."

"Pleasure to meet you Jean-Paul. Sounds like tonight will be interesting."

"Indeed," the younger-than-Bruce-but-older-than-me man nodded.

"Be nice to Jean-Paul Buffy. It's his first time in a strip club."

"Lucky you," I grinned as he blushed.

"Why don't the men-folk vanish so these girls can get ready?" Oracle suggested and they obediently left with appropriate farewells all round.

Cass and I were ready and waiting at six p.m. for Matches Malone to pick us up. The man spoke to us and Oracle confirmed it was the real McCoy. We made our way to Bludhaven and were there by seven p.m.. We were briefed on the mission as we went. Robin would do the recon and tell us where the girl was, the guys would act as protection and assist if necessary. Cass and I were to get the girl out when the time came.

Cass and I each took a deep breath as we got out of the car in front of what can only be generously described as a dive. Matches and his horridly carbon-dated coat led us in.

"These are the girls I told you 'bout," Matches said as he strode up to a greasy looking man at the bar. "Ebony and Sandy," he said, introducing Cass then me to the man, "This is Rod Typhoon. He owns this joint."

Cass and I nodded at the man and managed not to giggle at his name.

He looked at us both and announced we'd be acceptable as waitresses. We were ushered into a back room were a brassy blonde calling herself Sassy gave us instructions in a tired voice. She handed us each a uniform that was little more than a black leotard and fishnets and told us to change and pointed us in the direction of the bathrooms.

"Can't believe Black Canary used to wear this voluntarily," I mumble when Cass and I emerge. She smiles at me and we walk back into the main club The place is already filling sith some clientele. I spy Jean Paul near the back of the room and I think the raven-haired guy with the leather jacket and the sunnies two tables from Jean Paul is Kyle, which Oracle confirms. He's definately a hottie. I notice the bartender and think he looks familiar then realise it's Dick with a bleached wig and green contact lenses. The guy is a babe no matter what colour his hair and eyes. It must be the cheekbones or something. He grins and winks at me. I blush and giggle and the man at the table nearest me smiles and calls me over. Here we go...

The night is fairly slow. Through Oracle I'm told that the girl is in one of the backrooms but Batman wants us to wait for a distraction.

Kyle and the redhead at the table next to his who I think may actually be Garth start yelling over Cass and Roy got his wish for a fight. "Go in now." Unusual for the Bat to move ahead of schedule but Cass extricated herself from the bar room brawl and we did as ordered, smashed the locked door down while everyone was involved in the fight. There she was, just as Robins recon said she would be. I ordered Cass to get her out of there so that no one would put Cass's face with the Batgirl mask and prepared to return to the fight. As the brawl turned into a war when broken chairs were replaced with guns and sirens grew louder outside in the city, Jean-Paul appeared at my side. "We have to leave. *Now*."

We kept as low to the ground as we could and made our way across the room, through the fight and gunfire. We were at the door, Jean Pauls hand was on the door handle when the whole thing blew into splinters, the impact knocking us both several feet into the room. I remember thinking the ceiling needed repainting before everything faded out.

Continue To Chapter Ten

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