A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover Event with Marvel and DC Comics
Disclaimer: Nothing recognizable is owned by me and is the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, DC Comics, Warner Brothers, Marvel Comics, and Disney. This was originally inspired by and derived from works by Ruby Paladin on Twisting the Hellmouth.
A/N: Most of the scenes depicted to take place in chronological order. However, for story telling purposes, some do not. This is a YAHF idea that will eventually turn into a series, this is Part 1 of the Marvelous Justice League Hellmouth Series.
A young boy of eight years old knelt before two headstones, carefully touching them, tracing their names with his fingers.
TONY & JESSICA
"Giles?" the young boy asked.
"Yes, Master Harris?" the boy's manservant and guardian inquired.
"Do you remember Sunnydale?" he asked.
"Of course, I've been there whenever your father had business there," Giles stated.
"No… Not Sunnydale, the City of Tomorrow, Sunnydale, the suburban town filled with monsters," Alexander Harris, Heir Presumptive to the Harris Fortune, asked his new father figure.
The widening of Rupert Giles' eyes told him everything he needed to know. "Have you been having the dreams as well, young Master?" Giles asked.
"Memories… They're memories," Alexander said with certainty.
"How can you be so certain?" Giles asked.
"A gut feeling. I'm sure you feel it in your gut too," Alexander stated.
There was silence between them, neither willing to move from the family plot, despite the rain.
"I could have saved them Giles. I knew it was going to happen… And I let it," Xander said grimly.
"Did you?" Giles asked. "I've only been having the dreams for a few weeks. Nothing clear- just images, feelings."
"It was mostly the same for me, but I had a feeling in my gut that something bad was going to happen that day," Alexander admitted.
"Why did you not say anything before?" Giles asked.
"Because, in those dreams, were another Tony and Jessica… A Tony and Jessica that weren't even worth the grime on my parents' shoes," Xander vented. "People I didn't want to be real- mockeries of the parents I let die. When they died… Everything hit me all at once and I knew then, just what I had lost."
"Young sir, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself," Giles reasoned. "There's no way you could have reasonably known what might have happened that night."
Alexander shrugged. "Maybe not. But never again. Never again, Giles. No other child should lose their parents like I have to senseless crime."
Giles knew then that the Alexander before him wasn't the carefree boy he'd known as little as a week ago. Nor was he the foolish teen he saw in his visions of another world where his life was vastly different.
He was someone else, something else.
"We have to find them Giles," Alexander stated with conviction and certainty. "Buffy, Willow and anyone else from Old Sunnydale. We have to find them."
It was in that moment that Giles knew that he was witnessing the beginning of something beyond mortal men, beyond gods. Only time would tell if the metaphorical transformation was going to be for good or for ill.
Zor-El walked into the room angrily. "Those fools refuse to listen! Everyday our planet comes one step closer to complete annihilation and yet they refuse to do anything!"
Alura held her daughter, Kara, close to her. "What are we going to do?"
"Make sure our daughter survives… That she carries on our legacy," Zor-El stated.
"How?" Alura asked.
"Terra. We'll send her to Terra," Zor-El decided. "They're close enough to us biologically that she wouldn't be out of place there."
"B-But… Are you sure that's wise?" Alura asked in concern. "I-I mean, they're so primitive… And she'll have abilities they won't have, powers they couldn't possibly comprehend under their yellow sun."
"It's not ideal, I admit, but what other choice do we have?" Zor-El asked. "Terra being such a primitive world is actually an advantage. Other worlds would seek to exploit her."
"And the Terran's are so different?" Alura asked skeptically.
"As a whole? No. Individually…? Yes. I believe there are people we can trust. When we, Jor-El and I, were there all those years ago, we met a human- a Hiram Summers of Smallville. He was an honorable being, from an honorable family. He is the most ideal person to entrust not just the last remaining legacy of our species, but our daughter," Zor-El explained.
"I hope you know what you're doing," Alura reluctantly relented.
"So do I," Zor-El admitted. "It's not like she'll be alone. I spoke to Jor-El and Lara. They'll be sending their son Kal there to act as her guardian."
"That makes me feel a little better," Alura said in relief.
Li'am Ang'l fought fiercely on the astral plane. In the physical world, his eyes glowed bright red as he interfaced with the entity that had all but wiped out his entire species. The entity would pay for killing his wife, D'rla, and his daughter, Dru.
"Die!" Li'am shouted has he telekinetically slammed the beast against a nearby stone wall. This was the last remnant of the creature, the rest having been taken out by a gas weapon derived from a plant that was all but extinct, just as his people were.
"You can't beat The Phalanx!" the creature declared. "We are legion, we are many. Resistance is futile!"
Having assimilated many other Martians, it had no small measure of psychic ability and fought back valiantly. However, Li'am was a master of the craft, a prodigy amongst prodigies, their greatest hero, and something in his mind snapped as he broke the creature's mind, at long last rendering it inert. He was filled with both righteous and vengeful fury that quickly, for a brief moment, turned into blind blood-lust and need for revenge.
For that brief moment, that slip of control allowed Li'am Ang'l and The Phalanx to become two entities sharing one mind, and the creature was rendered inert.
He then looked around him at the devastation that was wrought to his planet, still reeling from his bout of vengeful insanity. In the end, his people had destroyed themselves, brought down by their own hubris. He looked around him and saw only the dead and knew in that moment he was the last vestige of a once proud and glorious race. The final thoughts of the dead echoed in his mind and once more he was being driven into madness.
Only this time it was from grief, instead of rage.
There was a flash of light and he was no more.
"Milord… It's finished." the attendant said. "The Princess delivered two healthy sons."
King Thakorr looked at the children impassively. "They're so… Human..."
"Milord?" the attendant inquired.
Despite their tainted heritage, he knew his daughter would care for both of her children equally. However, he had the good of the Kingdom to look after. Twin grandsons, both infected with the plague of humanity and their wasteful ways as their father before them. It would be burdensome enough to train one despite his breeding to be a passable heir. And that was even IF they manifested any of the abilities of their mother's lineage.
Two would be next to impossible.
"What are their names?" Thakorr asked coolly.
The attendant fidgeted nervously. "The Princess decided to name them Namor and Orin." He cringed when Thakorr looked at him with repressed rage.
"The boys' father managed to survive our encounter," Thakorr informed the attendant. "Send Orin to the surface to live with him. Inform my daughter of his death. Namor shall be my new heir."
"B-But sir… Prince Namor is the younger twin," the attendant protested. "Prince Orin is the one who should be named..."
"Orin no longer exists. Prince Namor shall be my heir," Thakorr said more forcefully.
"Y-Yessir! I-It shall be done," the attendant stuttered before setting out to complete his given tasks.
Hours later, Princess Fen's cries at losing her son would haunt him for years to come. Her haunted look would never allow him to ever be the same again, leading him to eventually take his own life for the actions he had taken in service to his king.
A week later, Leonard Blaisdell received an unexpected package in the form of his week old son. This told him two things, that his brief time with Princess Fen had produced something wonderful and that her father, Thakorr, King of Atlantis knew he'd survived their last encounter and knew where he lived.
While apprehensive of this new information, he vowed to do his best to raise their son to the best of his ability.
"Are you certain she's here?" Giles asked his young charge.
"It couldn't have been a coincidence that the officer that comforted me that night was named Ira Rosenberg, Giles," Alexander stated. "She's here."
"I assume you have a plan?" Giles inquired evenly.
"Things like this are too delicate for plans," Alexander stated. "We're different… Her old parents were neglectful psychiatrists who treated her more like an elaborate social experiment. Officer Rosenberg, if I'm remembering everything correctly, will be an honest cop doing what he can to fight corruption in the police force. But he won't be able to do it alone. He'll need help."
"And you can help him?" Giles asked skeptically.
Alexander shook his head. "He can't even help himself right now. It's too soon."
"You're leaving quite a bit up to luck and chance," Giles noted.
"Some things are just meant to be," Alexander replied. He let out a steeling breathe, doing his best to mentally boost his own confidence. "Let's go. I have a best friend to meet."
Keeping up appearances, Giles got out of the car to open the door for the young man.
"Thank you," Alexander said quietly. He strode towards the modest home with confidence he did not feel, with Giles in tow. He then rang the door bell. It was quickly answered by the familiar face of Sheila Rosenberg.
Seeing the familiar young man whose parents had been all over the news, she stammered. "Uh… H-Hello… M-Mr. Harris, umm… Mr…?"
"Giles, Madame," Giles responded helpfully.
"M-Mr. Giles," Sheila repeated. "Wh-what can I-I do for you?"
"We'd like to speak with your husband, Madame," Giles stated.
"Oh, of course, how rude of me, do come in," She replied as she opened the door to admit her esteemed guests.
"Thank you, ma'am," Alexander said politely as he stepped through the threshold. It was strange being here. The home of this Ira and Sheila Rosenberg was nothing like the one they had in Old Sunnydale.
"Mommy, I can't..." whatever young Willow was about to say was forgotten once she spotted the young boy who'd been all over the news. "Y-You… You're Xander Harris!"
Alexander, on the other hand, could scarcely believe who he was seeing. For all his certainty, he still harbored doubts that what he knew to be memories were actually real. Seeing Willow, at all of eight years old, he now knew for certain that what he'd seen was real.
"Alexander, dear," Sheila corrected her daughter.
"A-Alecks...Zander… That's a stupid name!" Willow declared. "You're new name is Xander!"
"Willow!" Sheila exclaimed in a scandalized tone. "Mr. Harris, Mr. Giles, I-I'm so, so sorry."
Xander, however, merely grinned at the woman. "I dunno… Xander Harris... I kind of like it." He then turned back to Willow, "Friends?"
He held out his hand to the young girl.
"Friends," Willow agreed shaking his hand. "Wanna color?"
He knew it was childish, but he figured 'why not?'. After all, he was getting a second chance to enjoy his childhood with his best friend on any and all worlds. He grinned at Willow. "Sure."
With a boldness never exhibited by his original Willow, she grabbed his hand and lead him out of the room.
"I apologize Mr. Giles," Sheila said. "Y-you said you wanted to see my husband? He should be home soon. He works the late to early morning shift."
"Yes, Mr. Harris wished to express his gratitude towards your husband for treating him like a regular person the other evening," Giles explained.
Sheila looked confused for a moment. "The other eve… Oh..."
"Indeed," Giles said with a nod. "There were some officers who were less than charitable towards the Young Master, yet your husband showed him basic human kindness and decency that others had not in the face of a great tragedy."
"I… I don't know what to say..." Sheila stammered.
"I have to say that we are in your debt once again," Giles added.
"W-Whatever for?" Sheila asked in confusion.
"This is the most I've seen Master Harris smile since… Since the incident..." Giles said carefully in an even tone. Even knowing that things were not as they once were, he remembered serving the Harris Family for many years and even attending the birth of young Alexander, who was currently in his charge. He felt great sadness at their passing and he knew Xander did as well, no matter how well the lad hid it. He only hoped that the young Miss Rosenberg could help him through the dark times to come.
"I-I… Y-You're welcome, Mr. Giles," Sheila stammered once more.
Hours later, the newly christened Xander and Giles were on their way back to Harris Manor.
"Was your 'first' meeting everything you hoped for?" Giles inquired.
Xander twirled around a half of a yellow crayon in his fingers, a symbol of the pact he and Willow had made to be best friends forever. "No… It was better."
"None of them appeared to remember Old Sunnydale," Giles noted.
Xander shrugged. "I doubt Willow's parents ever will. As for Willow… Right now, is that exactly a bad thing?"
"No, I suppose it isn't," Giles agreed. "Any ideas on who else may or may not have come with us and where they might be?"
"No, but Buffy, at least, should be around somewhere. Maybe Cordy too. It's hard to say. I have a feeling we won't find them until we're meant to," Xander stated.
"You seem awfully certain," Giles said, scrutinizing his young charge.
"It's just a feeling I have. I can't explain it," Xander admitted.
"So if we're not going to be actively looking for the others, what shall we be doing?" Giles inquired.
"Training," Xander said. "I will become the night, I will be vengeance."
"And that's to inspire hope?" Giles asked skeptically.
"No. It's to instill fear, fear of preying on others. Fear of doing wrong to your fellow man. Fear of straying from the path of righteousness. And from the absence of evil, hope will be born," Xander explained. "I will not inspire hope, though my actions eventually might. No, that will be someone else's job. We just remember first because we're the ones who are gonna have to bring them together, just like before."
"How do you mean?" Giles inquired.
"Other than Principle Flutie, who else did Buffy meet and connect with that day?" Xander asked half-rhetorically. "Me, You, Willow, Jesse and Cordelia, and I was the first one who found out her secret. When Jesse died, I was the one who insisted Willow and I help. My guess, Buffy is the one we really need to look out for. She's the one who's gonna be our beacon of hope."
"Mommy! Mommy! Look what I can do!" shouted a young Buffy Summers as she lifted her father's tractor above her head.
Joyce Summers could only stare gobsmacked at what she was seeing. "Hank!"
They'd known from the moment they'd found her ship, that their little Buffy would be special. But it wasn't until that moment that Joyce realized just how special their little Buffy would be.
Queen Hippolyta looked down at her precious daughter, who was concentrating hard on watching her future sister warriors train.
"What's on your mind, my little Sun and Stars?" the Queen of the Amazons asked her only daughter.
"I don't wanna be a warrior like them," Cordelia said with a frown.
"Why not, Cordelia?" Hippolyta asked with more than a little concern.
"Because I want to be better. I want to be the bestest Amazon there is! Better than everyone, even Artemis!" little Cordelia declared.
"You can be, if you train well enough. You can be the best warrior on this island and beyond," Hippolyta informed her daughter. "You might not just surpass Artemis, but me as well."
"Really!?" Cordelia asked with excitement.
Hippolyta couldn't hold back the smile at her daughter's boundless innocence, untainted by the horrors and inequity of Man's World. "Really."
Cordelia's attention turned back towards the training session in progress, no doubt committing everything she saw to memory. "I'm gonna be the greatest warrior there is. Better than everyone!"
Alexander "Lex" Luthor sneered at his son. "You disappoint me again, William."
"It's Spike," William corrected his father.
Lex's response was to back hand his son. "William."
"I HATE YOU!" William declared to his father in defiance.
"Like I care?" Lex said dismissively. "Use that hate, grow a spine. Maybe become something more than a pathetic waste of air." He paused for a moment, before hitting his son again. "I don't care if you love me or hate me. However, you will respect me and if you ever raise your voice to me like that again, you will regret it. Do you understand me?"
William stood silently in defiance of his father, glaring at the man.
"Well?" Lex asked with a raised eyebrow.
William looked on at Lex with utter hate and loathing, counting the days until he could be rid of the bastard. "Yes, sir."
"Get out of my sight," Lex ordered his son.
"Hey, Wills, what's goin' on?" a now teenage Xander asked his best friend. "Your dad said you've been outta sorts lately."
"I-It's nothing..." Willow said wiping her eyes. "J-Just some bad dreams."
Xander gave her a look of understanding. "So it's finally starting."
"W-What?" Willow asked in confusion. "Wh-what's starting?"
"You're starting to remember," Xander informed her.
"Remember? Remember what?" Willow asked, still confused.
"Sunnydale- Old Sunnydale as Giles and I tend to call it, with all it's demon-y badness," Xander explained.
"I remember too, so does Giles," Xander assured her. "It's real, or at least it was- like some sort of past life."
"That can't… How is that possible?" Willow asked.
Xander shrugged. "Magic. As far as we can figure, when we all dressed up the Halloween of our junior year of high school, we upset the balance enough that they had to call a reset of the whole universe."
"We're a mix between who we were and who we dressed up as in a whole new world," Xander explained.
"Do you have any proof?" Willow inquired.
"Other than some shared dreams between me, you and Giles… No," Xander told her.
"And no one else remembers this 'Old Sunnydale'," Willow further inquired.
"As far as we can tell, no," Xander answered. "But then, you're the only one we've found over the years that was connected to us from the Old Sunnydale. There could be countless others here that we don't know about, but it's hard to say who is who."
"This… This is really weird," Willow stated.
"Tell me about it," Xander commented.
"The day my parents died, just before I met you, is when I got all my memories back," Xander informed her.
"So that day..." Willow trailed off.
"We weren't here for your father, not really. We were here for you. I wanted to see my Willow," Xander admitted. He then pulled her into a hug. "Despite the nightmares I have no doubt the memories are bound to be giving you, I'm glad you're finally starting to remember again."
It was in that one moment that Willow Rosenberg fell in love with Xander Harris all over again and she pulled him in tighter, not wanting to ever let go. "Me too, Xand. Me too."
They held each other in a comfortable silence before Willow spoke up again.
"Who are we?"
"Who we've always been, Wills. Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, the two bestest friends in the entire universe. Everything else is secondary."
"So if we're two different people made into one, does that mean we'll become them too?"
"If you want to become her, you can. It's your choice."
"Haven't you already guessed?"
"Yes, but it would be nice to hear you say it."
"It's a work in progress. But yes, eventually, one day I will be… Him..."
"Will you teach me?"
"Anything you want."
Xander pulled away from Willow, appraising her. "My, aren't you quite forward?"
Willow's heart was beating so rapidly that she thought it might burst out of her chest as she met Xander's gaze. In that moment, he could have asked anything of her and she'd have done it, no questions asked, no hesitation. It was a moment that was intense and agonizing and a dozen other words that wouldn't quite do the moment justice and despite the sweet, sweet pain she was experiencing, she didn't want the moment to end. She blushed prettily as Xander moved her hair from her face. She swallowed nervously, not sure how, or if, she should act on her sudden rush of feelings.
"You gonna be okay?"
"I… Y-yeah… I-I think so..." Willow stammered.
Xander smiled warmly at her, which did things to Willow's stomach that made her feel exhilarated and queasy all at the same time. Despite the conflicting feelings that the sinfully agonizing moment had brought her, to her eternal disappointment, the moment was gone as Xander pulled away from her entirely. "So… Tomorrow?"
"Uh… Y-yeah… Yeah, sure," Willow answered distractedly, inwardly cursing herself for her hesitation. "I-I'll see you tomorrow."
"Later Wills," Xander said as he stood to leave the room.
"B-Bye," Willow replied, wincing at her sudden nervousness. As her breathing and heart rate returned to normal, she watched with interest as a special news report came on the T.V.
"This just in," the news anchor stated. "The yacht of billionaire, Robert Osbourne, The Road to Oz, has disappeared in the North China Sea. Reports indicate that Robert Osbourne, his son, Daniel, and four others were on board. We will keep you updated as we receive further information."
Larry Blaisdell, age 16, of Boston, Massachusetts, won yet another swimming championship, both for individual achievement and for leading his team to the state finals. Many colleges, even those who lacked a prestigious swim program, were looking to have him come to their school. There was even talks of him being considered for the Olympics.
He was on his way back to the showers when he spotted a face he'd have to have been born under a rock to not recognize.
Alexander Harris, Heir Apparent to the entire Harris Enterprises Conglomerate. Next to him was an old guy wearing a suit.
"Impressive preformance," Alexander Harris praised the young athlete. "Walk with me?"
"Uh… Y-You're Alexander Harris!" Larry exclaimed as he went to a secluded alcove with the billionaire teenager.
"And you're Larry Blaisdell, son of Leonard Blaisdell, and Boston's very own star athlete," Alexander stated.
"So… Uh… What can I do for you?" Larry asked nervously. While he was often a stereotypical jock with all the ups and downs that came with it, he knew this teen, who was no older than himself, could make or break him.
"It's not what you can do for me, but what I can do for you," Alexander replied. "Perhaps a full ride scholarship to the school of your choice, independent of whether or not you join their swim team, perhaps in the field of marine biology?"
Larry looked stunned and was speechless when his father and mother approached.
"Larry what's going on?" Leonard inquired looking a bit concerned.
"Don't worry about him, he's just merely surprised by the offer I just made to him," Alexander stated. "Which I suppose might be a doozy if you haven't informed him of what I expect his true heritage is."
It was Leonard's turn to look shocked as he paled. "H-How do you know about that?"
"It's my job to know things about potential recruitees. As Mr. Giles, my long time friend, associate and father figure can attest, we do VERY thorough background checks," Alexander commented.
"Indeed, Master Harris," Giles spoke up in affirmation.
"Leo, what's he talking about?" Helen Blaisdell, unknown to Larry, his step-mother, inquired. She also was unaware of Larry's true biological mother.
"Let's just say there is something to Larry here being unnaturally good at swimming that has nothing to do with any sort of pharmaceutical enhancement," Alexander commented.
"Dad… Mom… What is he talking about?" Larry asked apprehensively, knowing his world was about to turn upside down.
Alexander raised an eyebrow at Leonard, who nodded his consent.
"I'm referring to the fact that only half your heritage is human, the other half is what could be classified as near-human biologically compatible," Alexander explained.
"So what, I'm like half-alien?" Larry asked in disbelief.
"Nope, you're a 100%, home grown, terrestrial being," Alexander declared with a smile. "However, your mother, your biological mother that is, was Atlantean, Atlantean royalty, if I haven't missed my guess."
Larry looked visibly upset and Helen looked shocked at the declaration. "I-Is that true?"
"I-It is," Leonard confirmed with a small, but pained, nod.
"W-Why didn't you tell me?" Larry asked devastated.
"Humans aren't well liked by the undersea world, and for some very good reasons," Leonard explained. "Your mother and I fell in love despite the anti-human prejudice. However, it was more than your grandfather could stand that we were romantically involved and he attempted to have me killed. I escaped but knew I couldn't ever see your mother again, so I avoided going out to sea ever again, but remained here because the sound of the bay often reminds me of her. I didn't find out until much later that she'd become pregnant in the short time we were together, in fact I had no idea until after you were born. You were left on my door step, abandoned, so I didn't think anything would come of your heritage. I met Helen not long after and we fell in love and married. You'd always known her as your mother so I didn't see a point in revealing your true heritage to you."
"Why come to us with this? Why now?" Helen asked in concern that a stranger was privy to their family's dirty laundry.
"We have reason to suspect, Madame, that young Mr. Blaisdell's abilities are beginning to manifest," Mr. Giles spoke up. "We wish to help him understand and control those powers before they become an issue."
"Powers? What powers? I don't have any powers," Larry said.
"No, you're just naturally a better swimmer than pretty much every other person on the planet, including some record breaking, gold medal, Olympians without training nearly as much as you should need to without resorting to athletic enhancements," Alexander sarcastically stated with a roll of his eyes.
"So what is it that you want from us?" Leonard asked.
"Support him as he becomes that man he was meant to be," Alexander replied.
"What does that even mean?" Helen asked.
"If I'm right, that question should answer itself in due time," Alexander said with mysterious confidence.
Two figures stood upon a castle's parapet as it burned around them, both wearing black clothing and scaled armor bearing the symbol of the League of Assassins.
"C'mon!" the man pleaded. "Come with me!"
"You know I can't, Beloved," the woman said with tears glistening in her eyes.
"Please. Come with me. You're better than this, you can be more!" he shouted.
"No, I can't. My place is here, with my father," she replied as she turned ventured back into the burning palace.
"Ahn!" shouted the man as he went to chase after her. However the archway she'd passed through collapsed behind her. "ANYA!"
Xander Harris had no recourse but to flee, leaving the burning Arashmaharr, palace of Ra's al Ghul, and the woman he believed to be the love of his life, behind.
He had known going in that everything would end badly. However, the League of Assassins could provide the necessary training he needed for The Mission. Despite everything that happened and everything he'd lost, he'd do it all over again, if only to see Anya's face once more.
William "Spike" Luthor sneered at his old man in disgust while pointing his .45 caliber pistol at him.
"I'll admit, William, I never thought you'd have the balls," Lex admitted almost approvingly.
"Merry Christmas," Spike said as he pulled the trigger over and over, emptying the entire clip into his father's chest. "And a Happy Go To Hell!"
The news chopper started spinning out of control when suddenly, it wasn't. Louis looked out the window to see the most bizarre thing he'd ever seen in his already prolific career as a newspaper journalist; a strangely garbed, 110 lb, young woman seemingly lifting the helicopter he was in, in midair. Immediately, he was captivated by her, this blonde angel who'd come out of nowhere.
She gently set down the helicopter and then moved to the passenger compartment, easily ripping off the door with barely any effort. The captivating woman with the most gorgeous sapphire blue eyes he'd ever seen, graced him with a cheeky smile and winked at him flirtatiously. "I hope this doesn't put any of you off of flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel."
With that, she spun around and began to fly off.
"W-wait!" he called out, almost before he realized he'd done so. She paused in midair, looking at him questioningly. Almost immediately, he felt like a complete and total tool. "Who… Who are you?"
She winked at him again. "A friend."
She then flew off to parts unknown. And in that instant Louis Lane knew that his life would never be the same.
Tara Maclay, timid, low level IT girl working for Oz Consolidated looked at the laptop given to her by her boss' recently recovered son VERY skeptically.
"Y-you said you d-dropped this?" Tara asked hesitantly. She held it up, looking apprehensively at the bullet holes in it.
Oz, as Daniel wanted to be called, simply shrugged and delivered in a very deadpan manner. "It's a rough neighborhood."
Looking at the Osbourne Scion in bewilderment, Tara honestly couldn't tell whether or not he was joking.
Batman jumped down into the dark warehouse, where he'd gotten a tip from Lt. Rosenberg of some recent suspicious activity in the area. He moved through the building silently, but spotted nothing out of the ordinary. However, it looked as if he was expected as from the shadows, he heard a raspy, humorous, voice that put his bat-paranoia into overdrive.
"Finally… The guest of honor has arrived..." the voice said with a giggle. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"
"I wouldn't know. I put away a lot of criminals," Batman replied evenly.
"Oh, I'm well aware of that, Batsy," the voice said. Batman's eyes widened a fraction, but he gave no other reaction. Somehow he knew whoever the voice was. He just wasn't sure how. "But I'm one of a kind… A Wild Card, if you take my meaning."
Batman's eyes narrowed. "Perhaps in your own mind."
"Oh, there's no need to be so cruel!" the voice complained. "But I suppose, just like… Him… You gotta suck the fun out of everything."
"Who are you?" Batman demanded with a growl.
"Now, Xander, I'm hurt… You don't recognize the voice of an old acquaintance from way, WAY back from Sunnydale?" the voice asked in a faux-hurt tone.
Batman felt his blood run cold. This wasn't an ordinary mook, this person knew who he was. Knew who he was from the Old Sunnydale days.
"Oh Batsy, you're looking so glum!" the voice declared as a spotlight activated behind the Batman, who immediately spun around. What he saw, filled him with dread. The villain was easily recognizable as Warren Meers. However, that wasn't what the most horrifying thing about him, but rather it was how he was dressed that was the cause for Xander's concern. Warren was sporting a purple suit, green hair, white face paint, red lipstick and a glasgow grin carved into his face as he negligently waved around a switch blade.
"Let's put a smile on that face!"
Riley Finn felt a profound sense of accomplishment. At long last, his training was over and he began to recited the oath of his new career.
In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night
No Evil Shall Escape My Sight!
Let Those Who Worship Evil's Might,
Beware My Power… Green Lantern's Light!
"Congratulations, Lantern Finn. You are now the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814," praised Ganthet.
"I will do my best to honor the trust you've shown in me," Finn replied.
"See that you do," said another Guardian disapprovingly, whom Finn did not recognize.
"Who are you?" Buffy asked with a frown as she attempted and failed to use X-ray vision to see through the Batman's cowl. He'd lined the damn thing with lead.
"A friend," he said in a gruff voice.
"You don't look like any friend I've ever had," Buffy replied.
Batman smirked. "I didn't say I was yours."
There was a noise nearby and Buffy briefly glanced over in that direction before turning her attention back to Batman, only to find him gone.
"How in the hell did he do that?" she complained.
"What are you doing in my city?" Xander growled at Superwoman.
She raised an eyebrow at him. "You were in my city, so I thought it only fair to come to yours. Besides, with everything going on, I figured you'd need the help."
"Get. Out." he demanded.
"You gonna make me?" Superwoman asked mockingly. He then tossed something at her, which she caught on reflex. The green glowing rock instantly sapped her of her powers and made her sicker than hell.
"You gonna make me ask twice?" Xander asked as he picked up the rock and put it back in its' lead case. "I work alone."
He then shot a grappling hook at a nearby building and swung away.
Superwoman, getting up and dusting herself off, could only stare bewilderedly after him as he swung away from her. "Where does he get all those wonderful toys?"
Dr. Saul Erdel of Sunnydale, California, leapt for joy in his lab littered with dozens of Martian artifacts from the latest expedition to Mars. The mysterious device they'd found, the strange transmitter like device that he'd all but jury-rigged and reverse engineered was working.
"Vindication!" he shouted.
Unfortunately, it was at that moment when things went wrong. A strange creature appeared from a portal caused by the device and Dr. Erdel was hit with a psychic scream so strong that he knocked over a jar with a strange, non-reactive, inert, black and yellow substance which shattered. The psychic scream brought forth by the mysterious green creature was shocking enough to react with the substance and it promptly disappeared.
Miles away, Buffy Anne Summers, mild mannered reporter and superhero, was knocked out of the sky by the sheer amount of pain brought in by the scream awakening memories that were left long buried a world away. She barely managed in time to recover and rescue her co-worker and quasi-love interest, Louis Lane, from Spike Luthor's latest attempt to kill her.
Giles quickly answered the door only to find a rather angry looking blonde woman on the other side of the door. She was sporting a smart looking business skirt and a pair of glasses. "Hello, Mr. Giles. Or as Xander used to call you, 'G-man'."
"You finally remember," Giles stated.
"Yeah, no thanks to you guys," Buffy said in an aggravated tone.
"To be fair, we weren't sure if you'd ever remember," Giles defended his former charge who was now fully grown.
"We? Who else remembers?" Buffy inquired.
"Master Xander, of course, and Miss Willow," Giles replied. "And another young man from Old Sunnydale by the name of Warren Meers."
Buffy raised an eyebrow at how he addressed Xander and referred to the Sunnydale in her new/old memories, but she ignored it for now. "The Joker?"
Giles nodded grimly. "Shall I inform Master Xander of your presence, Miss Summers?"
"Naw, I think I'll let him know myself, if you don't mind," Buffy said with a smile that promised pain.
"Very well, Miss," Giles responded. "Shall I show you the way?"
"Lead the way, 'G-man'," Buffy replied.
"Miss Summers, I have gone all these years without hearing that infernal nickname from Alexander, must you use it in his stead?" Giles asked in a long suffering tone.
"Yes," Buffy told him. "I'm just as annoyed at you too, ya know."
In the background, on the television was the headline story, Tony Stark announcing he was Ironman.
A pod burst out of a mysterious portal, landing in the middle of Keystone City. Many people could only watch in mildly terrified curiosity as a dark skinned woman in alien raiment stumbled out of the craft looking disoriented, holding what appeared to be a mace with an electrical charge to it. That wasn't the strangest thing about her, however, as she could easily have passed for human if not for the massive wings on her back.
"Wh-Where am I?" she asked a nearby bystander before she collapsed. Superwoman and Ironman were amongst the first responders to this new possible threat. After a quick consultation with the mythic Batman and Superwoman welcomed this new being with open arms, Tony, however was more cynically suspicious. Thus it was Harris Enterprises, rather than Stark Industries, that helped the mysterious woman dubbed by the media as 'Hawkgirl' get established on her new home planet of record.
"Please be all right," Diana whispered a plea to her adopted daughter. The young woman in question had been struck by lightning after the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator had been turned on.
"Ms. Dormer?" approached a man in a wheelchair.
"Y-Yes..." Diana turned to face.
"My name is Richard Wilkins, with S.T.A.R. Labs, and I think I can help your daughter, Faith," the crippled man introduced himself.
The Hulk, rampaging at Culver University, went to kick away Emil Blonsky, however, the Russian born British Marine was lightly knocked away as the blow was intercepted.
"You know, that isn't very nice, Meanie Greenie," Superwoman said holding the Hulk's foot for a moment, shoving it away.
"Blue girl strong," Hulk noted.
"Stonger than-" Superwoman began with a smirk. However, she was interupted by a familiar shaped jet flying overhead, which confused many as most had never seen a plane like it and Buffy because it was day time. It made a U-Turn and a dark shadow dropped out of it as it flew off.
Superwoman raised an eyebrow at the familiar form of The Batman, with an upgraded suit. His usual was generally made of some sort of ballistic weave fabric that was resistant to most forms of damage. This one, however, was more like tactical body armor.
"Stand down, Superwoman," Batman growled out. "I'll handle this."
Superwoman crossed her arms, looking at Batman incredulously. "Isn't he a little out of your weight class?"
Before anything else could be said, Batman turned around and hit Blonsky with a solid punch, knocking him out. "Just keep Ross and his cronies off my ass. They've caused enough senseless destruction today."
Superwoman sighed. "If you say so." She then turned towards the soldiers, placing her hands on her hips. "ALRIGHT BOYS, PACK IT UP!" She then disappeared in a blur and one by one the soldiers and their artillery started to vanish.
The Hulk looked at the Batman curiously. "Batman fight Hulk?"
"How are things lookin', 'Babs'?" Batman asked as he touched a button on his helmet.
"All satellites have been moved out of position, you're good to go, 'Bruce'," Babs said at the other end of the comm-link.
"Make sure my face doesn't end up on YouTube," Batman commented.
"I'm not some random amateur, Bruce-y," Babs snarked.
"No Big Guy," Batman commented. "Batman no fight Hulk." He then unclasped his gauntlets, letting them fall to the ground. He then took off his helmet, tossing it aside, revealing his face to the 8ft tall, 600 lb hulking behemoth. He reached into his utility belt, causing the Hulk to tense up. However, what he pulled was not a weapon, but a packaged foodstuff.
"Twinkie?" Xander offered with a smile.
Hulk took the offered treat and looked at it curiously before tossing it into his mouth.
"Generally you're supposed to take the wrapper off first," Xander commented with an amused smirk.
"HULK LIKE TWINKIES," the emerald monster declared to the world. "HULK WANT MORE!"
"Really, Xander?" Superwoman asked incredulously.
Xander shrugged as he held out another, Hulk went to take it from him, but Xander pulled it back. "I'll personally get you a whole truckload, but first, I want to talk to Dr. Banner."
"Hulk no like puny Banner," Hulk said childishly.
"Puny Banner doesn't like Hulk either, but you two have to learn to get along, Big Green," Xander scolded the Hulk.
The Hulk actually pouted like a small child. He fidgeted under Xander's stern gaze before he nodded. Xander let him have the twinkie, which he instantly scarfed down before he began to shrink back down to regular human size.
"I-I don't believe it. I saw it and I don't believe it," Superwoman stated.
'Babs' at the other end of Xander's communicator agreed with her, knowing that with the other woman's hearing, Buffy would have no problems hearing her. "I thought he was crazy for even suggesting it, but it worked. It really worked!"
Superwoman looked at the de-masked Batman speculatively. "Doesn't make him any less crazy."
"You two are just a barrel of laughs," Xander said as he replaced his helmet and gauntlets.
Banner, meanwhile, shook his head to clear his thoughts. "Th-That… Was amazing! How did you do that?"
"Don't look at me? I usually just hit stuff," Superwoman admitted. "This was all Batman."
"The Hulk might be a monster transformation triggered by rage, but he is a very misunderstood entity. You spent so much time trying to separate him from you that you didn't stop to consider that perhaps he was a part of you all along, before he even physically existed," Batman explained.
"That… Might very well be true, but not something I'm even remotely comfortable contemplating," Banner admitted. He then sighed. "What now?"
"Now, we get you out of here and away from Ross and his people," Batman informed him.
Spotting Betty not too far away, Banner turned to Batman. "Can I say good-bye first?"
"You and the Hulk aren't friends yet, but you're not our prisoners either. You didn't start this fight, we simply finished it," Batman stated.
The look of gratitude on Banner's face was unmistakable. "I-I don't think I can repay you for what you've done."
"Save the world and we'll call it even," Superwoman commented. When Bruce ran over to Betty, a conversation that resulted in a big damn kiss, Superwoman looked over to Batman who was watching the exchange intently. "It's scarey how your mind works, you know that?"
Batman simply smirked and the Batwing flew overhead again. "I'll grab Banner." He then grabbed the cable that came down and started pulling him up as the jet passed overhead. On his way up he grabbed Dr. Banner who screamed out in fright at suddenly being absconded.
"Yeah… I don't think I'll ever understand him," Superwoman commented as she flew off after the Batwing.
"You wanted to see me Director?" Natasha asked as she entered Fury's office inside the Triskellion.
"There's been a change in plans," Fury announced. "We're putting some else on Stark."
"Can I ask why?" Natasha asked, her face a mask of stoicism.
"As you know, there's been a number of special individuals to appear. Exceptional individuals above and beyond the rank and file. Superwoman, The Hulk, Green Arrow, Flash..." Fury began.
"Ironman," Natasha added.
Fury nodded. "Stark was wanted due to his technology that might allow us to rival powers like Superwoman and The Hulk and his father's past association with our organization."
"So what's changed?" Natasha inquired.
"Regarding Stark, nothing," Fury informed her. "However, there's a new player on the board, one that, until recently, no one was entirely sure existed, despite being credited with catching criminals of a rather colorful variety."
"The Batman," Natasha concluded easily.
Fury nodded again. "He did what no other had managed to do- not Ross and his countless soldiers, not Superwoman, not even Blonsky when he turned into that Abomination… He brought down The Hulk, and he did it without raising a fist or even getting aggressive. For all the damage he inflicts on the criminals he catches, he came up with a solution to the Hulk problem that didn't involve violence. Stark's brilliant, but we need a mind like that working for S.H.I.E.L.D. And to bring him into the fold, we need the best."
"You know who he is?" Natasha asked with a raised eyebrow.
"In the event that we had to bring him down or recruit him, we found out everything we could about him," Fury affirmed.
"So who is he?" Natasha asked.
"Alexander Harris, billionaire and Chairman of Harris Enterprises," Fury replied.
"Boys and their toys," Natasha commented as she took the file Fury offered her.
"Given his ties to Superwoman, The Hulk, an expert hacker he calls 'Babs' and possibly others, we can't afford to make him our enemy Romanoff," Fury warned. "Even if we can't get him for the Avengers Initiative."
"If you think it's that unlikely he'll join, why approach him?" Natasha asked.
Fury looked at her contemplatively for a moment. "He's collecting. We've seen him as either himself or as Batman in the vicinity of the likes of Superwoman and the Hulk, the stranded winged extra-terrestrial, Green Arrow, The Flash and some sort of space cop calling himself Green Lantern, just to name a few."
"You think he's starting his own Avenger's Initiative?" Natasha asked with a raised eyebrow as she spotted photos with him dancing with the Princess of the Amazons at a fund raiser, one of him working with the Atlantean in his Batsuit. There was also a third picture with him interacting with Superwoman and a green humanoid with red eyes.
"I think it's a possibility and we need you to determine whether or not he's a threat that needs to be eliminated before he can start pulling all these different forces together and becoming a serious threat," Fury admitted.
"When do I start?"