A/N: Those of you waiting for Lost Slayers, Chains forged in Fire, etc., sorry – Casey chose this one to get update, go bug her.
Chapter 5 – Caves
In the weeks that followed Buffy developed a routine – chores, school, coffee, yet more chores and sleep. Not that Buffy minded the chores; with the utter lack of Slaying, the heavy farm work kept her in shape. Even though Martha and Jonathon still had no idea about her abilities. She was getting along with Clark's friends – even Lana had warmed up (slightly). Except for bouts of homesickness, things were going great.
Except for the dreams.
Buffy sat by the window in her bedroom and looked out blindly, remembering the dream. It started the same every night; she would be walking through a series of caves with writing on the walls. From Clark's descriptions, the Slayer knew it was the Kiwatche caves – even though she had never been there herself. As she walked, she would see a symbol she recognized painted on one of the walls. Placing a hand on the mark, it would begin to glow and there would be a green flash of light.
And then she woke up.
But this last night had been different; before she had awakened she remembered something else…something that happened after seeing the flash of light. This time there had been a voice, one that seemed vaguely familiar. Although, for the life of her, Buffy couldn't place where she had heard it before.
The day is coming.
Sighing, Buffy got up and continued to get ready for school, hearing the Kents already moving around downstairs. Thinking of Martha and Jonathon brought Buffy to the second problem she was facing; one that Clark continued to bring up every other conversation.
"Clark, I swear to the Powers that Be that if you don't stop asking me that I am going to stuff kryptonite down your boxers!" Buffy growled as she effortless tossed Clark a bale. Clark caught the thrown bale and stacked it, turning just in time to catch the next one. He grinned at Buffy's childish antics and just shook his head.
"I just don't like lying to my parents."
"Clark, lying to your parents is a teenager right, nay, duty! You're ruining it for the rest of us with your Boy Scout act," she said accusingly.
"I just think it'll be worse if they find out on their own, instead of having us tell them about your powers. It's not like they're going to freak…"
"You don't know that," Buffy retorted, uncomfortable with the whole conversation. It was bringing back painful reminders of when her mom found out her secret and it resulted in Buffy running away.
"They didn't freak when they found out Ryan was able to read minds…they were even going to adopt him," Clark pointed out, putting the last bale with the others and started walking towards the house. Sighing in exasperation, Buffy jogged up next to him and fell in step.
"Clark, just…let me tell them when I'm ready."
So far, Clark hadn't said anything to his parents – not that it kept him from bringing the subject up. Buffy knew that the farm boy meant well, which is what made it so aggravating. She couldn't even get angry with him because he just being sweet, considerate, annoyingly right Clark that she knew and loved. So Buffy planned to do what she always did when facing both emotional and possibly Slayer problems – ignore the emotional and concentrate on the Slaying until the emotional went away.
Taking one more look in the mirror, the blonde bounded down the stairs and was greeted by three grinning faces. Seeing the openly friendly faces of Martha and Jonathon, Buffy felt a twinge of guilt for not confiding in them when they had generously opened their home to her without any (or at least, many) questions. But remembering she was planning on doing the repressing act, Buffy just grinned back and sat down for breakfast.
And in the spirit of emotional repression, she turned to Clark and asked, "Hey Clark, think you could show me those caves you're always talking about?"
Jonathon shifted uncomfortably in his chair and said, "Buffy, those caves are kind of dangerous. I wouldn't feel comfortable with you going there."
"…and yet, you let Clark go there because…?" Buffy asked innocently, pretending she didn't know why Jonathon was concerned. Clark buried his head in his cereal, trying to keep his parents from seeing his smile. Before losing his internal battle, Clark quickly said his good-byes and headed out. Buffy grabbed a piece of toast and smiled sweetly at Jonathon.
"Don't worry, Mr. Kent, I'll make sure to stay with Clark at all times," she said before making her own exit.
Jonathon turned a disbelieving look to his wife, who was smiling slightly.
"Was I just outmanoeuvred by a sixteen years old?"
"Yes, dear – you were."
Clark leaned against the lockers as he watched Buffy she put away her books, and actually selecting books to take home for homework. Lex hadn't followed through on Clark's threat to give Buffy a 4.0 GPA but he had given her a decent average – one that Buffy was surprised to find herself maintaining.
"So, what's with the sudden interest in caves? If I remember correctly, your opinion of caves consists mainly of – and I quote -- 'dark, dirty and way too full of death' – end quote."
Buffy closed her locker and turned to Clark, frowning slightly.
"I keep having this dream where I'm at the caves. It could be nothing…"
"…or it could be a Slayer dream." Clark continued, a frown of his own coming to his face. The alien wasn't going to take a Slayer's dreams casually, not after hearing about one and the aftermath from Buffy before.
Clark jerked awake, and looked around in confusion, wondering what had woken him up. A scream echoed through the apartment and Clark was out of his bed in a flash to the spare bedroom. Inside, Buffy was tossing and turning, caught in the grip of a vicious nightmare. Gently, the former farm boy shook the frightened girl.
And got a right hook to the jaw for his trouble.
Blinking in confusion, Buffy looked around as the dream slowly faded from her mind. Clark was just glad that he was a super-powered alien, because a Slayer's punch definitely packed some punch, even for him. Finally noticing Clark by her bed, Buffy grimaced.
"Sorry, Clark, did I wake you?"
"Nah, I'm always awake at three in the morning," Buffy smiled slightly and Clark lied down on the bed beside and threw an arm over her shoulders. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Buffy leaned against Clark's shoulder and shook her head.
"Just a bad memory, it could've been worse."
"Sounded pretty bad to me."
Buffy was silent for a moment before responded.
"Nightmares about things that have happened aren't too bad – I mean, as bad as they were, it can't hurt me anymore. But…"
Clark just held her tighter as he waited for her to continue.
"But…it's when I dream about things that haven't happened yet, that it's bad."
"What do you mean?"
"Remember when I told you about being a Slayer means that I have heightened instincts? Well, prophetic dreams are part of the whole gut wrenching package."
"That can't be too bad, right? I mean, you get a chance to stop it from happening."
"I couldn't stop the last one," Buffy said quietly. "I couldn't save Angel."
Clark had been the first person Buffy ever told about having to send Angel – not Angelus – to hell. The farm boy couldn't image what it would be like to know something bad was going to happen – or someone was going to die – and still not be able to prevent it. With a sudden flash of insight, Clark realized it was just like his fears about the destiny his father wanted him to follow.
Even knowing what his father wanted him to do, Clark still wasn't sure if there was anything he could do to avoid it. Deep down, Clark had always thought that if you knew if something was going to happen you could stop it. But as he remembered Buffy's experiences with fate, he realized that maybe there are some destinies that can't be changed.
Buffy looked around at the writing on the walls and felt a chill go down her spine. They were exactly like the ones in her dream. Trying to remember her movements in the dream, Buffy walked slowly through the caves. Walking slightly behind, Clark followed quietly.
Buffy suddenly stopped and looked at the symbol in front of her. Clark looked over her shoulder to see what had captured her interest. The symbol wasn't very big and as often as Clark visited the caves, he had never noticed it before. It was cross-shaped, but the vertical line was much thicker than the horizontal but thinned to a point at the bottom.
"Is there a story behind this?" Buffy asked quietly.
"Not that I know of, but I could ask…"
"Is it Kryptonian?" Buffy interrupted.
"No, Buffy, what is…?"
Without waiting, Buffy reached forward and touched the symbol. The symbol glowed for a moment, then exploded into dust, leaving behind a crevice emitting a green glow. Seeing the glow, Clark took a frightened step backward that went unnoticed by the Slayer. Buffy reached in and pulled out a green stake.
Clark gasped and stepped back further as the kryptonite began to poison his system. Startled, Buffy turned to Clark in surprise and seeing the pained expression on his face, looked in horror at the stake-shaped meteor rock in her hand. She was about to put the item back when another symbol appeared above crevice. A bright flash erupted from the symbol and the Slayer fell unconscious to the floor, the stake still gripped in her hand.
Clark clenched his stomach, and tried to wake the blonde up by shouting but she didn't stir. Realizing he couldn't stay in the presence of the kryptonite much longer, he made a quick decision and headed out to get his father. Staggering out of the cave, once he was far enough away, Clark supersped back home.
Moments after he left, a tall figure walked up to the fallen girl – staring at her intently. As if responding to the presence, Buffy blinked and rose slightly. The two stared at each other and the Slayer gasped in recognition. The figure watched the Slayer get unsteadily to her feet and regarding the stake solemnly, spoke.
"The day is coming."
Travers looked up angrily at the interruption as one of his subordinates entered his office without knocking.
"Is there a reason you have completely lost your sense of decorum, Mr. Phillips?"
"Yes, sir…I mean, no, sir… I mean…"
"What is it?" Travers interrupted angrily. Recent reports from the Watcher he had assigned to the Slayer were not encouraging. It appears the he had not one, but two uncontrollable Slayers. Rupert Giles was also being a detriment to the situation, refusing to leave and continue to act as a Watcher to the girl. This, on top of the Summers situation, was not helping to put him in a forgiving mood.
"Sir, it's about the Ms. Summers' situation. We've gotten a preliminary report on Clark Kent. There are no records anywhere on him before his adoption by the Kents – which happened a few weeks after the meteor crash."
"And this was important enough for you to barge in here unannounced?" Travers asked incredulously. Phillips reached into a folder he was holding and placed a newspaper clipping in front the Head of the Watcher's Council.
"Just under a year ago this was burned into the side of the Kent barn."
Travers stared at the picture in shock, almost unable to believe what he was seeing.
"Why weren't we notified about this?"
"Our field researcher wasn't aware of its significance, since he doesn't have that level of clearance, but I have confirmed that it is Kryptonian, sir. Given what we've discovered so far, and since the notion that he is demonic has been dismissed, it may be possible that Clark Kent is Kryptonian."
"Take whatever steps necessary, I want confirmation of this. Now."
Phillips nodded, and turned to leave.
"And Mr. Phillips?"
"If Clark Kent proves to be Kryptonian, and you even suspect that Ms. Summers knows and is allied with him…"
A/N: The plot thickens…as do my thought processes since its now 2 am…cats are way too active at this time of night…