Author Carmen Wayne's Note: My deep apologies to my writing partner, Jessica Summers! I like… didn't EM her for a month and a half and feel SOOOO bad about it. As you can see from this, she's an EXCELLENT writer--and just as much of a good friend! It's been fun, Jessie, and I'm sorry for being such a loser.

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Author Jessica Summer's Note: Heh...I've finally posted this up!! Sorry, Carms, for not mailing you in sooo long...but we had fun, didn't we? LOL, thanks for the sweet note :) You're a good friend, too, and a great writer, and I'm looking forward to writing some more with ya!!

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Legalities: Batman Beyond is property of the WB. All variations off Wonder Girl, Troia, Arsenal or others are property of DC Comics. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and related characters are property of Warner Bros. Jessie Summers and all related characters are based off of "Buffy" but are original in the sense and belong to Jessica Summers. Carmen Wayne/Osi'Ra and all "New Generation" heroes developed here are property of Carmen Wayne. Though this story contents is property of the writers, we intend to make no money from it. It's for pure enjoyment.

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Rating: High PG-13

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Summary: The new Slayer and the new Batman begin to develop a relationship (in odd ways), but someone else has a different plan…


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Night had fallen with a vengeance in Gotham, and Jessica Angelline Summers was doing her night patrol, as usual, her stake safely hidden in her pocket and her Slayer senses on the edge.

Jessie was at Gotham park, strolling through the dark shrubbery and trees, her Slayer-enhanced senses on the alert. Too many people had died in the park already; six in the last three days. And patrolling wasn't enough. She had to hunt them down and dust 'em before they actually take out another person.

"Over my dead body." Jessie muttered to herself darkly as her footfalls made no sound on the ground. To be a hunter, she had to think like the prey. That was how she was going to hunt the vampires. Only the best survived, her father, Angel, the Scourge of Europe, had told her that before.

A swoop came from behind that normally no one would hear. But she was able to detect it with the hunter instinct within. She looked behind her.
No one.
To the right, and then the left.
No such luck.
'What the...? Mmmhmm...' Well, not everyone wanted the Slayer to know it was in town, anyway. But sooner or later, it would emerge, and chances were that she'd kill it.

"If it bleeds, it can be killed." Jessie muttered to herself.
In the corner of her eyes she saw two figures hiding within the bushes ten paces to her far left. Peripheral vision was her friend at this point.
She tensed slightly, then mentally moaned.
'Great. Now they'll *know* I saw them!'
Sure enough, the two busted out and charged for her. What she found odd that it wasn't just two vampires, or two demons, but a vampire AND a demon.
As she began to dodge swipes and kicks, she was caught in her own internal narrative.
'Ooookay. So, this is good. I bet Vampo there sucks the blood, and the Perdy-Boy with the horns gets the souls. Pretty good team up. Too bad I'll have to separate--'
The two managed to double-kick her back into a tree, knocking the wind out of her. Her vision blurred momentarily, and that's when she heard THAT voice.
"Dressed up for the parade a little early, gentlemen?" the Batman asked. "Or perhaps, from the looks of it..." He looked over their shoulders to Jessie. "You're throwing your OWN little bash."
The demon sprinted forward and slammed into him with the skill of a hockey player and the force of Batman himself.
'BRIGHT, McGinnis!' he thought as he was slammed to the ground. 'TALK as much as the villains, and you start to LOSE as much as they do too!'
Jessie flipped up and slammed the stake into the still stunned vampire, who was looking after Batman.
"No fair!" Jessie joke-whined. "You're supposed to be staring at the Slayer! Dust-to-dust! Remember?"
The vampire glared at the stake, then her.
"You bi--"
He exploded into dust and she sighed.
"Why do all the men I meet leave dust and they get out of here so fast? And I get insulted too."
Her attentions turned towards Batman as the demon slashed across his chest.

"Slash this, overbite!" Jessie hollered as she threw the stake at the demon, and it flew, straight and true, to the very core of the undead thing's heart.

The demon screamed in agony and turned into a pile of demon shaped dust.

Batman picked himself up, rather painfully.

Not quite knowing what to say, Jessie simply looked at him, her stake already in her hand.

"Show mercy! I'm on your side!" he joked.
"I know that. I could handle these guys."
She helped him to his feet and he raised an eyebrow.
"Were they spliced?" he asked.
"No, they weren't. That's how vampires and demons look."
"Cute... But you shouldn't be playing around. You could get killed."
"It's my *job*, "Batman". Why don't you toddle off to fight Jokerz and costumed freaks, and I'll handle the undead."
She started to walk away. Batman restricted a firm chuckle in his throat, minding the gashes that were starting to bleed over his suit.
"So, you *are* the new slayer, huh? Well, I'll just be looking out for you."
She spun to him, sort of surprised.
"So you *are* a good detective. I'll just have to watch for you too."
She began to walk off. When she was out of sight, but still in earshot, she heard his voice again.
"You catch that, Wayne? ...Yeah... Oh *really*? ...Sorry, but I'll have to put it on hold. One of those guys tried to pierce my esophagus... Yeah, I'm on my way."
She heard him jet off and frowned.
"Wayne...?"

HR
The next day, Jessie stood at the outside of the school, simply staring at it.
It was her first day at school, and she was feeling fluttery and nervous as she clutched her books to her chest.
"It's now or never." Jessie muttered, then entered. Students were coming in by the dozen, chatting and laughing animatedly, Jessie felt all alone suddenly, and then decided that this was a bad idea coming to this school.
Then, someone bumped into Jessie, and her books dropped to the ground, as she bent to pick it up, a smooth voice said, "Can I help you?"
Looking up, she saw a jock of a guy. The guy bent down and helped her pick up her things with a slow grin, all the while leering at her. He wore a letter jacket and deliberately brushed her hand as he gave her books to her.
"Thanks." Jessie shot him a revolted look. At least he wasn't trying to look up her skirt, she decided. But weird all the same.
"Hey, I'm Nelson." he said with a smirk plastered on his face.
"Jessie. Summers." Jessie replied, trying to be civil. You wouldn't want anyone to have a bad impression of you on the first day of school.
"Shway. I've never seen you here before. So, where do you come from?"
"Well... In the remote region of California, we'll say," she said, smiling tightly.
"Ah, a girl of mystery! Sweet... Let me introduce you to *my* crowd, eh?" He turned to lead her to his group, but slammed into a teenage boy with black hair, who has a teen girl of Asian heritage on his arm. "Hey! Watch it, McGinnis."
"Go away, Nash," he replied shortly.
"Terry, don't pick a fight," the girl urged.
"Awww, is big bad Terry McGinnis gonna listen to his wittle girlfwiend?" Nelson taunted.

Jessie rolled her eyes. "Cut it out, Nelson."
"Yes," Terry barked. "Because I'm not in a mental complex of false superiority like YOU."
He headed off with his girlfriend. Nelson glanced back at Jessie.
"What'd he just say?"
Jessie had been grinning wildly at the transaction, but then jumped to attention.
"I think he said you're superior," she said.
"Good. Come on!"
He yanked her along. She figured that Nelson's group would NOT be the crowd she would want to hang with, but at least she prevented a possible fight. She fully realized what that Terry McGinnis meant, but she didn't want blood shed on her first day of school.
'I just had my clothes cleaned,' she thought. 'Given that my wardrobe has already been ruined by the undead already.'

"Um...I really have to get to class." Jessie said, trying to pull away from Nelson's iron grip.

"What class are you in?" he asked.

"Bio." Jessie told him.

"Are you free Saturday night?" Nelson asked.

"Maybe next time," Jessie called back over her shoulder as she hurried to class, grateful to the bell.

She entered the class just as the teacher started to come in. Jessie sat at the next empty seat she could find, thinking up of ways she could avoid Nelson Nash at school. 'Any more of him and I *will* kickbox the guy into submission.' she thought tightly.

Then she realized who she was sitting with. The guy just now. Terry McGinnis, was it?

"Hi," Terry smiled, a difference from just now. "New girl?"

Jessie winced. "Yeah, unfortunately." she nodded.

Terry knew who she was. 'The new Slayer,' he thought to himself, wondering why such a petite cute girl could be Chosen to fight the vamps.

"So, where're you from?" he asked.
Under his coat, he pressed a button on his belt, a recorder starting.
"Sunnydale and LA," she said. "My parents lived there."
"Cool. So why're you here in the Rotten Apple?"
"Oh, well... Some of my "crew" is here that I need to find, that's all. Friends and some old... family of a sort."
'I bet,' Terry thought.
"So--"
"'tis I! Entering the room after just making out with Adam Anderson!" a tall, dark blonde with green streaks announced.
"Who is THAT?" Jessie asked, her jaw dropping open.
"Who--? Oh! Carmen!! Carmen, come here a minute!"
The girl-Carmen-walked over, smiling nicely. "Carmen, meet... uh... what's your name?"
"Jessie Summers," Jessie smiled, extending her hand.
Carmen quickly knocked away the "snob girl" act, and shook her hand.
"Carmen Wayne."
"As in Bruce Wayne?" Jessie asked, humored.
"Yeah. Kind of. Hey, what lunch do you have?"
"Uhh..." Jessie unfolded her new schedule and looked. "D lunch."
"So do I! Meet me by the cafeteria entrance near the back. That's where we get together and head out, you can hang with us!"
"Shway... But, uh, do you hang with a Nelson... Nash, is it?" she asked.
"Only after school," Carmen said. "Pssh. Freaky boy. Oh! Alexis! Hey! Come here a second!" Carmen looked at Jessie. "This girl will gladly show you around. She's a sweetie!"
"Yeah Carmen?" a girl with dark hair asked.
"Alexis, this is Jessie. She's new here, and so're you! After class, why doncha show her around? Sit next to her a while."
She pulled Alexis next to Jessie on her other side and blew a kiss to them all and strutted off. Terry smirked and watched Jessie and Alexis talk.
"Hi again Alex," Jessie said excitedly, glad to see her friend again.
"Hey Jessie." Alexis grinned widely. "You've really grown! I missed ya, girl! Where have you been?"
"Boca del Infierno, of course," she shrugged. "Then Dad moved to LA for a while!"
"Way shway!" Alexis exclaimed. "How's your dad?"
"Peachy, and being his usual self, I guess," Jessie told her friend.
Alexis chuckled, amused. "Yeah. So how's things?"
"In Sunnydale?" Jessie asked. "Yeah, stabilized, I guess." she said pointedly, noting that Terry was listening.

"Oh, don't mind ME, ladies," he said, grinning. "So, you know each other?"
"Yeah, we're friends from Sunnydale," Alexis said.
"Cool, cool. You know, I heard Sunnydale's got it's own freaks. Supposedly vampires and demons and stuff... Any truth to that?"
"More than you KNOW," Jessie sighed. "Be glad you live in Gotham!"
"Hardly!" Terry snickered. "My girlfriend was almost eaten by giant rats once! Not to mention all the Jokerz and yeesh... You guys should have gone to Metropolis!"
"Well, fate sort of... has it ways!" Alexis smirked. Jessie shot her a glance. And she shrugged, whispering, "What?"
"Okay, class!" the lady teacher said, her face appearing on all the screens. "Get out your homework! I realize that we have a new student, so Miss Summers, don't sweat what we're doing today. Just take notes." Jessie nodded thankfully. "And, I also realize that Terry McGinnis won't have his homework."
"Sorry, ma'am," he sighed.
"We love you, but we won't pass you!" she informed.
Terry looked at Jessie and Alexis and shrugged.
"What can I say? They love me, but they won't pass me!"

The Bio lesson started, and Jessie found her mind wandering, to a especially cute dark-haired boy sleeping on his table next to her.

'Argh!' she thought irritably, pushing away her thoughts for the millionth time. 'Concentrate!'

Alexis was beside her, busy taking down notes, and Terry was snoring gently.

Jessie kicked Terry under the table as the teacher started to look in their direction.

"Wha-" Terry managed to say, rubbing his eyes.

"Trying to keep you from getting a demerit file," Jessie grinned.

"I already have tons of those," Terry yawned, but looked awake.

"Didn't sleep well?" She whispered.

He nodded. "Yeah. I have these...after school activities. They keep me up all night."

Jessie nodded, empathising. "Yeah, I know. I have them too."

'You bet.' Terry thought, looking over at Jessie, who'd just returned to staring blankly at the computer screen. 'Wonder how she does that without getting into trouble.'

Then he noticed that she was very cute, in her own way. Terry took in the pretty heart shaped face with golden blonde hair framing it, and he watched her in wonder, resting on his arms and looking at her.

He blinked though flashing to what happened the night before. His mentor, Bruce Wayne, had fully described what he knew about the situation...
****"I recall Barbara Gordon discussing something to me about a "slayer"," he had explained carefully to Terry.
"'Slayer'. Yeah, old news. But is it true that this chick could be the new slayer?" he asked.
"It's possible. Tomorrow, you'll go to school and see if you can't find her there. If you do, I want you to tape everything said, and give one to Carmen to do the same. If you can't find her there by lunch, then go and search for her. I won't have a slayer working in my city without knowing about her."
"Gotcha."****
Terry smirked and leaned back in his chair.
'Oh boy... This is gonna be fun.'

HR
That night, Batman was doing his usual rounds when he heard loud sounds coming from a nearby alley.
"Hey Wayne, we've a party to crash already." he grinned from his cowl. "Looks like an orgy."
A muttered response came over on Bruce's end.
There were about fifteen people was his guess, and a familiar blonde girl in their midst.
"Oh, vamps." Batman sighed. "Too bad I don't have a stake on my immediate person."
"Fire and beheading can kill them." Bruce informed him.
"I know." Batman replied. "I'm going to check it out."
In the Batcave, Wayne watched from Batman's vid-link, carefully taking note of Jessie's style of fighting. It looked so much like...Buffy Summers. *She* looked so much like Buffy Summers. If he hadn't known better, he'd have thought it was her.
Meanwhile, Batman swooped down and retracted his wings, but by that time, only four was left and Jessie was busy staking the two of them. Two were creeping up behind Jessie, and Batman activated his jet boots, raising them up to the vampires' deformed faces and watched as they caught fire.
"Cool move, Batboy," Jessie said casually, watching as the vampires turned to dust.
"Yeah, thanks. Listen, I think it's time we discuss territories here, all right?"
"Oh?" she asked, crossing her arms.
"Yeah. This isn't Sunnydale. This is GOTHAM. My domain, not yours."
"I'm not smiling," Wayne heard Jessie say as he typed.
He heard Batman take in a reluctant pause.
"Keep talking, keep her busy," Wayne urged. "I'm just doing a background check."
"I'm not joking," Batman continued. "You'd get the same crap in Metropolis, Gateway or Keystone. Sunnydale's where you belong, not Gotham. Why, exactly, are you here? Maybe I can help you."

Jessie turned away, her voice so soft he could barely hear her. "No one can help me."

"Why?" Batman asked, feeling a little sorry for the girl before him.

"My father's staying in Gotham now, so its my home now," she said reluctantly. "And my mother..."

Batman listened, not saying a word.

Just then, Wayne's voice came over on his vid link. "Her mother was killed by a demon."

Batman nodded impatiently, but when he looked again, she was gone.

"Killed by a demon?" Batman echoed.

"Yes." Wayne replied.

Batman stared after her. "She's gone now."

"But she'll be back. To hunt the vampires. The night is her gift and curse. She'll come back."

HR

Later on that night, Terry staggered into the house, carrying a bunch of books Wayne gave him. He was given the rest of the night off to... study.
"Terry?" Mary McGinnis asked, walking out. "Good heaven! What's with all the books?"
"My English teacher... wants me to study these!" he lied, hefting them to his room.
"Well all right. Listen hun, I need to get out of here for the late shift. Matt's got a temperature. You look like you'll be up a while, so will you give him temperature checks every hour until you go to sleep?"
"Sure ma!" he said.
"Thanks, sweetie."
She exited the apartment. Terry continued on to his room.
"Hey Butthead," Matt McGinnis yawned, walking past.
"Aren't you supposed to be asleep?"
He threw the books into his room and walked back out.
Matt was all ready in the kitchen, laying half way on it, his legs dangling off as he laid on his stomach.
"I can't sleep," he moaned.
Terry pulled a chair up and sat next to him.
"But you have to, buddy."
"Can I sleep in your room?"
Terry frowned at the sickly puppy eyes that Matt was giving him and grinned half-way.
"If you can sleep through me talking on the phone with a friend."
"Okays..."
Terry picked Matt up and headed for his bedroom when there was a knock on the front door. As he walked over, Matt rested his head on Terry's shoulder.
Terry smiled at that, then cautiously opened the door.
"Jessie?" he asked, surprised.
"Look, if this is a bad time, maybe I should go, sorry." she turned to leave.
"No! No, I mean, this isn't a bad time." he paused and studied her face. "Is something wrong?"
Terry stepped aside to let her in.
"Thanks," she said softly.
"Ooh, Butthead's girlfriend," Matt teased.
"Shut up, twip," Terry hissed, embarrassed.
Matt simply grinned. "Hi."
Jessie gave a faint smile. "Hey there. Matt, is it?"
Matt nodded, still grinning. He jumped off from Terry's arms. "Guess I'd better go back to bed."
"Yeah I *guess*," Terry sighed.
"I'll be coughing all over your bed, kay Ter?" he asked, walking away.
"Whatever..." He looked at Jessie. "Not like I sleep these days anyway. What's up?"
"I... I know this is kind of rude, but can I crash here for the night?" she asked.
Terry frowned.
"Why? Jessie, is something wrong?" he asked.
"No! I mean, yes! I-I don't know WHAT I mean, but my dad said I can't stay at his place for... Pest reasons, and I have no other place to go."
Terry led her to the couch and let her sit.
"All right, but you'll need to sleep out here to avoid the wrath of my fluensic brother. I'll get you pillows and stuff... You want something to eat or drink?"
"Nah, I had enough to--"
Terry's cell phone rang and he rolled his eyes as he pulled it out.
"Aw Hell. It's my boss, Jess. The kitchen's just over there, so help yourself."
"Okay. Thanks."
Terry opened the cell and walked into Matt's room since he wasn't in there, and shut the door.
"Talk to me."
"What have you found so far?" Wayne asked.
"Nothing in the books, but a Slayer conveniently popped up at my door," he said lowly.
"She's there?"
"In the flesh. Says her dad's havin' some kind of trouble in his apartment and she needs a place to stay. It's gonna make it that much harder to study that stuff you gave me."
"Just say it's for a special club you're in."
"And if she wants to join?"
"It's very, VERY elite."
"Gotcha. I'll check in in an hour."

When he got out of the room, Terry saw Jessie simply huddled in the sofa, trembling. Something was definitely wrong with the girl, but he sure as hell didn't know what.

"Hey," he said softly, crossing over to her. "Care to tell me what's wrong?"

Jessie shook her head. "I'm sorry. It's kind of...um...secret."

She cast her sad eyes to look up into his, her voice barely a whisper. "I'm sorry."

With that, she took out a photo from her pocket. The person in there looked exactly like her.

"That you?" Terry asked.

"No," she shook her head. "That's my mom." she paused, her eyes filling up with tears. "I came here because my mom was murdered in Sunnydale. My dad and I came here to stay, and to find the murderer of my mother."

Terry sighed and sat, staring at the picture.
"I know how it feels."
"Y-you do?" she asked.
"Yeah. I lost my dad just a few months ago, too. Difference is, I know exactly why and who did it. And there's not a damned thing I can do..."
"Who... who did it?" she asked, trying to regain composure.
Terry was reluctant to say, but he realized the only way she'd open up to him is if he opened to her.
"Derek Powers."
"As in Wayne-Powers?" she asked, surprised.
"That's him. Now it's just my mom supporting me and my brother. Well, I've got this... "job" too. Pays really well, but unfortunately it takes up a lot of my time."
"What do you do?"
"I assist Bruce Wayne."
Jessie had to laugh as she wiped her eyes.
"Jeez, Ter! You know a lot of people that are up there, huh?"
"Yeah," he smiled. "Yeah, I do. You see, I help Mister Wayne around and give him his medications and such. Sort of a male Mercy Graves."
"Who?" she asked.
He chuckled softly.
"Oh, no one," he grinned. "So..." He looked at the picture again. "Any idea who did it?"
"You-uh... You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she said, taking the picture.
"Try me!" he grinned. "You wouldn't believe how much a native Gothamite would believe!"
"You talk like Gothamites are a total different species!"
"Hun, we ARE. How many cities have a history of psychopathic serial killer clowns, psychotics of multiple personalities, and a big Batty-eared freak?"
"Would Sunnydale count?" she teased. "We're got twelve foot crocs, a serpent for a mayor, literally, people with missing dental appointments running around looking for Happy Meals on legs, big scaly things that come out of the sewer, a short, funny looking ex-principal before he got eaten up by a bunch of hyena people, and some kind of huge hell dog."
Terry grinned. "It sounds worse than us. So...um...would you care to tell me what happened?"
"Nah, never mind," she said quietly, turning away. "I shouldn't have told you anyway." the smile she had faded.
Concerned, Terry touched her arm. "You can tell me, Jess."
"You wouldn't understand." Jessie told him, sighing.
"Try me." Terry replied.
Jessie turned back to look at him with a faint smile. "You don't give up, do you?"
"That was what everyone said." He grinned.
"I just don't know... I just don't want to think about it right now."
"All right, but I'll be harassing you after you get something in your system. You look slagged!"
"Yeah, you don't look much better!"
"I live for little sleep," he said with a wink.
He did a crafty somersault somehow, right over the back of the couch to the floor.
"You're just a little monkey, aren't you?"
"That's Matt," he smirked. "So, you like salads?"
"Please, don't go to any trouble!" Jessie protested.
"It's not any trouble. You look like you could use a friend right now. One that understands..." He thought back to the apartment that night when he discovered his father was dead. Cringing, he turned for the kitchen. "I'll make you a great salad, okay? But then I have to go study."
Jessie stood and followed him to the kitchen.
"What are you studying?"
"Oh... Nothing you would be interested in," he said, mentally humored.
"Try me!"
He shrugged passively.
"Demons, vampires, the undead. Big assignment for me. Due tomorrow."
He held in all his humor as she fingered the door frame.
"I might know a few things," she said.
"I'm sure you do," he said.
"What do you mean?" she asked, suddenly drawn back.
'Whoops, freaked her out,' he thought.
"I meant, coming from the city of undead people, you'd probably know a thing or two."
Her body relaxed and she nodded.
"Yeah, I do."

He looked at her, amused. "So tell me more about your city."

"So what do you wanna know?" she asked, sitting down on a dining chair.

He shrugged. "Undead people."

"Well, they have huge teeth, and has a strong craving for blood?" she looked up at him innocently. "I read all those in books." she lied smoothly.

'Right,' Terry thought. But he said nothing.

"Really?" he asked, putting down a bowl of salad in front of her.

Jessie looked at the contents, then took a fork and picked it up.

"Lettuce, nice." she commented. "I'm still in the fire-bad-tree-good daze." she smiled sheepishly, taking a small bite out of the salad.

Terry simply studied her, and they both fell into a confortable silence.
After musing over the irony of this situation, he checked his watch and nodded.
"I have to go check Matt's temperature, allright?"
"All right. I'll be here!"
Terry got up and walked out. Quickly down the hall, and into his room, he found Matt dead asleep on his bed. However, he was sweating from his fever spiking.
"Aw man, kiddo," Terry whispered, sitting next to him. He felt his burning forehead and pulled a small device, putting it just inside Matt's exposed ear. As he waited, he fingered back some of the raven black locks on Matt's head. The device beeped gently and he looked at it. "One hundred and three... Good God." He gently shook Matt to wake him up. "Matty, get up."
"Unnh... I dun wanna..."
Terry lifted him up and slumped him on his shoulder partially.
"We going to the hospital--"
"Terry!!! Look!!" Matt cried, pointing to the window.
Terry spun to see a lizard-like creature with red eyes outside the window.
"Oh my God!"
Jessie heard glass shattering in Terry's room and bolted from her seat. She ran and kicked open the door as Terry held Matt and was shielding him from glass and swipes from the creature.
"Gah! What is it?!" he exclaimed.
"What do you think it is?" she yelled back.
The monster roared in anger and started for her.
"Get out!" Jessie yelled. "I'll lure the sucker away!"
Terry stared after her, with Matt slung over his shoulder fireman-style.
Jessie opened the front door and ran out, the monster following close behind.
"I'm going to taste your blood, Slayer! My master sent me to kill you!" The monster growled and charged at her.
"You talk so much. Do you ever say anything else?" Jessie quipped peevishly as she pressed a button on her boots, and a blades immediately appeared. It was supposed to double as ice skates and roller skates, in case she needed extra speed.
"Then come and catch me." she replied, pressing another tiny button on her black boots.
Her motorbike, which was nearby, opened up and a crossbow emerged from it, flying straight at her, bolts loaded.
Jumping up, she caught it comfortably in her hands and landed back down.
"Now the odds get even." she said smugly, retracting the blades in her boots.
The demon snarled and moved to attack her. Jessie ducked, and caught a whiff of his disgusting smell.
"Did you forget to have a bath or what?" Jessie shot at it. "One dating tip, too. Bathe."
"Shut up, Slayer!"
"And you're gonna make me do it how? Oh, and I've got a NAME." she said, as she fired a bolt. The bolt headed to its heart and embedded itself in the demon. The monster howled in agony and bent over.
"You cheated!" the monster growled.
"Lemme get this straight, Lizard Boy. You're twice as big as me with teeth and all, and *I* cheated?" Jessie was incredulous. This demon definitely was a talkative one.
Clicking a button, the blades appeared again, and this time, Jessie decapitated it with a graceful arc across its neck.
Terry had heard it talk about its "Master" and was trying to figure that out as he made his way down to get outside where she was. Matt was still in his arms, but now attached to him like glue, shaking from the sickness.
"Jessie? What just happened?" he asked.
"It's a demon, idiot," she said, shortly, rubbing her eyes.
"Well excuse me, but we haven't had undead people in any form here in Gotham for the last two hundred years."
"Awfully smart for a boy who's failing history," she commented.
"How did you know th--"
"Terry..." Matt moaned.
"Listen. Thanks for saving us and all, but I have to get my brother to the hospital, before this fever spikes more. Come if you want, or get back into the apartment. We'll talk later."
He jogged off for his motorcycle that was off a ways. Jessie crossed her arms and pouted a moment. She walked up for the apartment, figuring she'd just clean up the mess. She had briefly noticed those were one-of-a-kind books strewn over Terry's floor.
'I'd hate for those to get ruined... And I'm sure he wouldn't mind if I perhaps took a little PEEK inside them...'
Picking up one from the floor, Jessie gasped in astonishment when she saw what was on the cover.
"Watcher's Diaries???" Her hand suddenly limp, she dropped the heavy book.
The Watcher's Diaries was only passed on to a line of Watchers who had Slayers. And in her generation, she was the only one.
Which meant...
"I've gotta talk to Terry." Jessie muttered, frustration brewing inside her.


HR
At the hospital, Terry was pacing up and down outside the hospital room where his brother was in, worried.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of four feet romping for him. Before he knew it, he was in the air, being held up there by a flame red haired young man and an equally old raven black haired female.
"Guys, put me DOWN!" Terry hissed. "I'm not in the mood!"
"Chill, Ter!" the girl said, helping him to his feet on the ground. She readjusted her body-tight clothes and smiled. "What's up?"
"Dinah, Kyle, what in the Hell are you doing here?!" he whispered angrily, holding them by the arms.
"Bruce called us," Kyle whispered back. "Said something about a Slayer. Where is he?"
"Actually, the Slayer's a femme," Terry corrected.
Kyle's eyes flashed.
"Femme fatale! Shway. Where is she?"
"Back at my apartment."
"Moving fast, eh?" Dinah grinned.
"Okay, so listen you guys... I'm getting ready to take Matt here, when this demon appears at the window. Matt cries out, and the demon busts in, trying to kill us. Miss Slayer kicks the door down and lures the demon out, shoots it and chops it's head off. It mentioned it was serving a master," Terry explained.
"So... What do you want us to do?" Dinah asked.
"Get back to my apartment. In my room are all these old Slayer-kind of books. And research."
"What did it look like?" Kyle asked.
"Red eyes, reptillian, HUGE horns, and it had--"
"McGinnis!" they heard. They turned to see Jessie storming up. "Terry, we have to talk!"
Terry spun to the two, talking quickly:
"Dinah,goonrounds.KeepradiocontactwithKylewho'llresearch! Go!"
Kyle grabbed Dinah around the waist and ran off with her. Jessie spun to Terry.
"We have to talk."

Terry widened his eyes as she threw a heavy book at him. He caught it expertly. "Wha-?"

"TELL ME why the WATCHER'S Diaries is with YOU!!!" Jessie exclaimed. "It's passed down a long line of Watchers, how could you possibly have it?" Then realizing that she might have revealed her secret, she paused.

"What does that have to do with you?" Terry asked.

"Nothing. Just wanted to know." Jessie replied, careful not to tell him anything.

There was a long silence. "You're the Slayer, isn't it?"

"What????"

Terry shrugged.
"It wasn't that hard when the crossbow was in your hands... Besides, I mean, come on. Sunnydale?"
"I--"
"It's safe with me, Jessie. I promise I won't tell anyone."
Jessie looked away, unhappy, but shook it off, to more important matters.
"How did you get a hold of the Watcher's dairies, Terry?" she asked, abnormally calm.
"To be frank, I'm not sure. I was told to research for... Friends of mine."
"Who?"
"I'm not allowed to say," he said.
"Ter--"
"I *know* it's not a fair exchange, Jessie! Trust me, I know. But, unlike your secret, if my secrets get out..." He shuddered at the thought. "Chaos."
Jessie looked at him softly.
"I guess we both have our burdens, huh?"
"Yeah. Listen, there's someone I can recommend to you. She'll be able to contact someone who can help with this demon thing. I met her through my boss. She's Commissioner Gordon." He fished a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to her. "That's her home address."
"I can't drag people into this--"
"The person she'll get isn't a cop."
"You're referring to Batman," she said.
"So I've been told. I don't know," he shrugged. "Maybe she'll be able to contact Superman, Supergirl or Superboy for all I know. But they'll help you. Obviously someone has it out for you. As a voice of reason, I ask you to *please* go to her."
"You don't get it, do you?" Jessie said, looking up at him. "I'm dealing with a demon here. Not a criminal. What makes you think Commissioner Gordon is gonna listen to me? No one could help me except myself." she paused. "At the risk of sounding selfish."
"Jess-" he started.
"No." Jessie said firmly. "It is MY problem. I settle it MYSELF. Get the idea? I don't wanna drag everyone into it, okay?" Jessie drew in a shaky breath. "I'm sorry."
Terry turned away and just walked to the door of Matt's room.
"Look, my baby brother needs me right now."
"Does your mother know?"
"She's on her way. I had to warn her to be careful. With demons and stuff running around and all."
Jessie frowned.
"You really care for others so much. Does anyone ever care for you?" she asked, obviously appreciative of his efforts.
"Believe me, I can take care of myself."
"So can *I*," she said darkly.
"Look... Commissioner Gordon is more understanding then you think. Just
say you're there because I told you to go. She knows me. She *trusts* my judgment. Besides...... She knew your mother."

The reply totally caught Jessie off guard. "My...mother?" Jessie didn't know what to think.

Terry nodded. "Yeah."

Then, Terry entered the ward. Jessie followed, and saw Matt on the hospital bed.

"Is he gonna be all right?" Jessie asked Terry.

"He's gonna be okay." Terry replied, staring at his brother on the bed. "It's only a fever."

Jessie nodded slowly, apparently lost in her memories.
"My...my mother was like this, too." she stopped, her eyes filling with tears. "She was badly injured, and needed my blood to stay alive." Jessie felt tears roll down her
cheeks. "I gave her almost all of my blood. But then, the demon came to finish her off. I was in a coma then." She shook her head. "I would've saved her! I could have!"

"Shhh," Terry breathed, trying to calm her down. "I know it probably hurts... But if you were in a coma--"
"Had I just fought it..."
Terry laid his hands on her shoulders, making her look at him.
"You can't fight a coma..."
"I'm a slayer, though," she whispered. "I'm supposed to be able to fight these things..."
Terry looked at Matt and then sighed.
"When my father was murdered... I kept thinking "Had only I been there"... "If only I hadn't challenged the Jokerz"... But it wasn't my fault... I didn't personally commit the crime. Neither of us were guilty..."
"I know... But I should have done more...."
"All you can do now is make her proud. Come on," he said, pulling her for the door.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"I'm calling a contact to come and watch Matt, and then we're heading to Barbara Gordon and Sam Young, no arguments. You won't go on your own, I'll take you myself!"
She stared up at him defiantly. "If I can take on a demon, I can take you on too. I'm the Slayer, after all."
"Don't get too cocky," he warned. "You're coming and that's that."
Jessie plopped herself stubbornly on a chair. "And you're gonna make me follow you how?"
Terry sighed. "Maybe I'll have to drag you there."
"Be my guest." she crossed her arms and pursed her lips.
Terry smirked and grabbed her in one really swift movement, throwing her over his shoulders.
"All righty!" he smirked.
She struggled hard, but he had his arms wrapped tight around her legs and arms somehow.
"Let GO! Damn your upper bodystrength!" she growled.
"I wouldn't yell, or else you'll get us both kicked out!"
"Terry, this isn't funny!"
"Barbara Gordon knows your mother, doesn't that compel you at all to meet her?!"
"Yes, but not for help!"
"The person she could get.... Just, listen... Commissioner James Gordon and Commissioner Barbara Gordon, his daughter, both command a lot of respect in the superhero world, okay? Will you trust me? I won't letcha down."
"Okay then, I'll GO! PUT ME DOWN!!!!!!!" she struggled against him strongly.
"Okay, okay." Terry said tiredly. "Jeez. You're a handful."
Jessie glared at him. "Slayers normally are."
"Come on, let's get to the Commissioner before she knocks off."

HR
When they got to the house of the DA and Commissioner, Jessie was reluctant to go.
"Do we have to do this?" she asked.
"YES!" he barked, pulling her off the motorcycle. "I'm gonna have to get a crowbar."
They walked up the stairs and he rung the intercom bell.
"Hello?" a woman asked.
"Commissioner Gordon, it's Terry."
"...Terry?" She sounded surprised. "Why are you here?"
"You won't believe this... But Jessie Summers is here. As in BUFFY Summers."
The door unlatched automatically.
"I'm in the study."
Jessie nodded and grinned, impressed. They slowly entered.
"You carry weight, Ter!"
"So do you," he grinned. "Wait until you talk to Babs, she may be old, but she's shway! Just... don't tell her I said that."
He walked on ahead. Jessie mouthed "Babs?" in question, following slowly.
'What kind of relationship do these two have that he's calling her BABS?' she thought.

Shrugging, she followed.

The door opened, and a woman with a shock of white hair simply stared at Jessie.

"Buffy?" Barbara dropped her pen.

"No ma'am," Jessie said, stepping in. "I'm Jessica Summers, daughter of Buffy and Angel."

"Angel." Barbara said softly. Then looked up, "How's your father?"

"He is fine, ma'am," Jessie replied.

"I heard Buffy..."

Jessie lowered her head. "Yeah."

"By a demon?"

Jessie nodded mutely.

Barbara sighed and walked to Jessie. "I take it that you're the next Slayer."

Surprised, Jessie nodded again. "Yes, ma'am."

"You didn't have a choice." Barbara said softly, patting her on the shoulder. "Can I help you in any way?"

"I need to look for my mother's murderer." Jessie said, her voice full of determination. "I want to destroy the demon before it kills any more people."

"Of course. I can have my people on it immediately--"
"Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of... More *capable* people. Terry said you could handle that?"
"He did, did he?" she asked, looking at Terry dully.
"All right. I'm sure I can arrange something, much to my feelings. Choose your pick, I'll get them for you."
"I... don't really know who's who, anymore, ma'am. No one really does. All these new rebirths, who's to be able to catch up?"
Barbara grinned and nodded.
"I'll list them, you tell me who sounds good."
"Okay."
"Batman, Osi'Ra, Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and er... Wonder Girl slash Troia, Arsenal..."
"Tom, Dick, Harry... Oh! That's it?" she joked.
Barbara gave her a serious look and she sighed, shrugging. "I suppose Batman. And maybe Osi'Ra too, if I *must*."
"They come in a package most of the time. I'll get them for you ASAP."
"Thanks. Come on Ter---Terry?" Jessie asked, looking around.
"Where'd he go?" Barbara asked. Then she shrugged. "I suppose he's been called out. Come on, let me make a few calls."
"Um," Jessie started. "I'd like to do this on my own, Ms. Gordon."
Barbara turned to look at her, surprised. "Why?"
"My mother died under the demon and I was unable to save her, I'd like to have this mission on my own." She raised her eyes to the commissioner's. "Please."
With a deep sigh, Barbara agreed. "All right."
Jessie nodded. "Thanks."
With that, she left.
HR

Back at an apartment, Angel was pacing the room, waiting for his daughter to come home. He was worried. 'What if she died and I didn't know?' he thought, pacing. 'What if she's injured somewhere?'
Jessie had gone to Terry's house, to find out more about him. Angel had remembered Bruce Wayne, the billionaire. In fact, Angel was there when the mugging of Wayne's parents took place, and he witnessed the change in the young boy then. An innocent young boy to the Dark Knight, the Batman of Gotham.
When Jessie told him that she heard the name Wayne on the phone that Batman was using, Angel definitely knew something was up with that Terry McGinnis. He was very good with people, and he trusted his instincts.
Wayne was definitely spying on his daughter, and he wouldn't allow it. It was vampire against the ex-Batman, wits against wits. Angel wanted nothing to do with Bruce Wayne.
It was then that he heard the front door click shut.
"Jess?" he asked, stiffening.
"Yeah Dad." she appeared behind him. "I went to see Commissioner Gordon just now."
Angel was concerned. "What happened?"
Jessie smiled faintly. "Terry literally dragged me there."
Angel was amused. "Lemme guess, he carried you there."
Jessie nodded. "How'd you know?"
"Like mother like daughter." he replied.
"Oh," she said softly. "Mom was like this too?"
Angel looked at his daughter fondly. "Yeah, but you're worse."
"Dad!" she mock-pouted. "Not fair."
"Any news?" he asked, turning serious.
"No." she shook her head.
"Jess," Angel gathered her in his cold embrace and hugged her tightly. "Sometimes, you have to have patience. Things happen, and you have to deal with it, okay?"
Jessie looked up. "I know, Dad."
"That's my girl." Angel said, and hugged his daughter tightly.
The next day, Jessie was at Hamilton Hill High's cafeteria, simply doodling on the notebook. Thomas Hanlon, her best friend at Sunnydale who had moved to Gotham, tapped her lightly on the shoulder.
Whirling around, she looked at Thomas for a whole second, then managed to say, "Tom?"
"Hey there, Jess, long time no see!" Thomas hugged her tightly. "Missed ya, J."
Jessie smiled widely. "I missed you too!"
"How's things?" Thomas asked.
"Peachy, you?"
Thomas nodded. "Great."
"What your next class?" Jessie asked.
"Social Studies, you?"
"Moral Ed." she sighed. "Why not the three of us meet for lunch?"
Thomas nodded, grinning. "Sure! I've gotta go to class. Catch you later!"
Jessie gave a small wave. "See ya!"
As Tom was waving to her, he accidentally slammed into someone.
"Oof! Sorry! I didn't mean to..."
"It's okay," Carmen Wayne sighed, grabbing her fallen purse and notebook.
She stood straight and looked at his face. "You're new, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I am. Annnd you must be old seeing as to how you know that," he grinned.
"Well--"
"I see you met my friend Thomas!" Jessie said, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. She had that "match-mkaer" glint in her eyes. "Tom, meet Carmen. Carmen Wayne, Thomas Hanlon."
"Hey," Carmen acknowledged. "Listen, I'd love to hang here and chat but there's a few kids BEGGING for atomic wedgies, and I have only so much time left."
"Oh, can I help? I mean, I'm out of *practice* and all..." Tom grinned.
"Oh, dear, PLEASE! Lets go!!" She pulled him out, past Terry. "Hey, Ter!" she called.
"Hey Carmen! Jeremy slashed your tires!" he called after.
"I'll deal with him in due time!"
Terry grinned and walked to Jessie.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey there. Are you my stalker now?" she joked.
"Something like that," he smirked. "I wanted to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine, straight from Jersey and DC."
He waved in Dinah and Kyle, who hopped on his flanks. "Dinah Troy and Kyle Harper, meet Jessie, once again!"
"Sorta once again," Dinah mused.
"Hey there, Jessie," Kyle said, winking. "How are you?"
Jessie grinned. "Nothing much to bitch about, you?"
Kyle grinned. "Peachy."
"Hey guys!" A voice called. It was Terry's girlfriend, Jessie recognized.
"Jess, meet Dana, Dana, meet Jessie Summers, the new girl."
Dana's dark eyes lit up. "Hi there, how's the school treating you?"
"Well enough," Jessie grinned. "Thanks for asking, though."
Dana shrugged, "No prob. Hey Jessie, you wanna join us for lunch later?"
Jessie nodded, "Sure."
"What's your next lesson, Jess?" Kyle asked. He knew what lesson she was having, since he had memorized her schedule by heart and made sure his was the same with hers.
"Geog." Jessie replied. "Why?"
"Same class," Kyle said, looking pleased. "Wanna go together?"
Dana grinned knowingly at Kyle.
"Sure," Jessie smiled slightly. "I gotta go look for Tom, though. Chances are him and Carmen are making out at a janitor's closet."
Terry grinned. "She's fast."
"Like the wind sense?" Dinah asked, flirting brazenly with Terry.
"Watch it!" Dana grinned, taking Terry's arm. "This is my guy!"
"Oh, I know Dana. But I can still look! I'd NEVER touch," Dinah said, with a wink.
Jessie laughed, and said goodbye to them all, looking for Carmen and Tom. Much to her surprise, they were sitting near the elevators, just chatting. Tom excused himself, however, and left without really seeing Jessie. She walked to Carmen, who started doing her makeup.
"You've got some nice friends!" Jessie said, sitting.
"You do too," Carmen said, still working on her face. "He's funny, attractive, and holds you in high regards."
"Really? Well... He's a really good guy. If you start going out with him, you better treat him right!"
"Oh, of course!" Carmen laughed. "So, where do you live?"
"Why?"
Jessie was a little drawn back at Carmen's frontal attitude. At that moment, she also realized Carmen's eyes were purple and she had red streaks in her hair.
"Because, you don't get by in this school unless people know where you live. Of course, Ter said you dropped off by his house last night to stay there."

"What??" Jessie didn't know what to say.

Grinning, Carmen touched her shoulder. "Come on, I won't spill."

"Nah, he just brought me to Commissioner Gordon's to talk to her." she shrugged. "Nothing much."

Carmen smiled. "Sure?"

Jessie nodded. "Pos."

"I'd better get to class before Thompkins busts a nerve, see ya at lunchtime, ok?"

"Sure," Jessie nodded.

Carmen got up to leave, but then paused, turning to her.
"And, Jess?"
"Yeah?"
"If you need anything, or a place to stay... Heh, it's not like we lack rooms at Wayne Manor. Of course, you'd have to listen to everything my uncle says... He doesn't like visitors much, but I'm sure he'd make an exception."
Jessie smiled slightly.
"Thanks, Carmen," she said full-heartedly.
Carmen waved to her and started down the hall.
Later that night, Terry was sitting in the Batcave, dressing for a night on the town as Batman. Carmen was off, changing as well.
"So, we just keep our eyes open for anything strange?" he asked Wayne.
"Yes. You're set to rendezvous with Wonder Girl and Arsenal at midnight in Gazette Square," he replied.
"Great. Carmen! You ready yet?!"
"Just about! So, we're the guardian angels of Jessie too, right?" she called out.
"Right," Wayne replied back. "Stay out of sight, but stay with her."
Night had fallen again, and this time, Jessie was patrolling with her father, simply doing father-daughter bonding things.
Angel looked no older than eighteen, although he was already 300 odd years old already, and that was a big achievement for him, gievn that he lived for that long, but it would be weird when Jessie got older than him, and then people might think that he was her son or something.
Angel had to smile at that thought.
"What?" Jessie asked, her hands automatically going up to her hair.
"Nothing." Angel replied. "Just thinking."
Jessie nodded. "Okay dad."
Immediately, they both stopped, and Angel sniffed the air cautiously.
"Vampires." he said in a low voice.
"What was your first hint?" Jessie asked softly, backing into her father, keeping her eyes peeled and dropping into a defensive stance.
"Their stench." he replied with hesitation as Jessie tossed a stake to him.
As if on cue, a vampire leapt out, growling and in full vamp mode. Jessie backflipped away as eight others rushed at her.
Angel ducked under the punches of one and slammed the stake into it, just to get jumped from behind by two more.
"No!" Jessie cried, running for them.
However a vampire on the side slammed his foot into her chest, knocking the wind out of her. She fell to her knees, but managed to block his foot. That's when a third vampire jumped Angel, and the rest started to pound on Jessie.
'Oh, this isn't good!' she thought, trying to fight them away enough to get to the stake. 'Thank God I don't BRUISE easily!'
Suddenly, one was pulled away from her and she heard it roar into a wild flame. After one more disappeared from attacking her, it gave Jessie enough room to get onto her feet with the stake. With several swift movements, she took out the two vampires.
When two of the vampires attacking Angel were pulled away from behind and lit on fire, Angel managed to stab the last one and it vanished in dust.
"They were buffed up," he moaned.
"Just a little," Jessie sighed.
They turned to see Osi'Ra standing there, watching the vampires do their little dances before vanishing. Looking over her shoulder to them, she gave a half-smile.
"I was in the neighborhood. It looked like you needed a sniper."

"You?" Angel asked, surprised. "Osi' Ra." he said softly.

"That's me," Osi' Ra replied.

"What are you doing here?" Jessie asked, surprised. "Commissioner Gordon didn't call you, did she?"

"No," Osi' Ra shook her head. "But look who I brought."

A young man took a step forward, He wore a red attire with a gold utility belt and black sunglasses in replace of a mask. In a holster on his hip was a crossbow. On his back was a quiver, and in his hand a very modified bow that looked a good 80 pounds.
"His name is Arsenal," she said.
"I remember an Arsenal from the first generation of heroes," Angel pointed out. "You look like him."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"What good will he serve?" Jessie asked, slightly agitated.
"Why doncha ask him yourself?" Osi'Ra asked.
Jessie looked at Arsenal but said nothing. He smirked.
"I'm a world class archer. Besides, I've been raised with a lot of Native American background."
"I don't care," Jessie said. "We have it covered."
"Jessie, you can't do this alone!" Osi'Ra said.
"Jessie. Talk to Arsenal," Angel said gently. She slowly nodded. "In the meantime, Osi'Ra..."
He pointed for further down in the alley. She walked after him. Jessie glared at Arsenal.
"What does your background have to do with anything, carrot top?" she snapped, referring to his red hair.
He grinned and snickered at that.
"It means," he said, leaning on the large bow. "That I've been raised with certain beliefs of demons and spirit guides roaming the Earth. I could help you!"
"Tell Bruce to drop this," Angel warned.
He turned and glared at Osi'Ra. She shook her head.
"No can do, dude. You know he's stubborn. But, uh, does Jess know who we work for?"
"I *do* have the decency to keep your secrets. However, if she discovers them on her own..."
"Totally understood. Aren't you concerned for her, though? That maybe something will go wrong?"
"Of course, but--"
"Then LET Arsenal help her. He's got certain... orders from my boss to keep his distance until
fighting time. And if it's someone she really wants, then he won't interfere unless she's *losing* the battle. Arsenal is a little... hormonal. And maybe a little crazy and too energetic, but by God, he follows orders to the LETTER."
"Excuse me," Jessie cleared her throat. "Tell WHOEVER you work for to drop it. You want me to show you my skills? I'll show you."
She hurled a stake in their direction. Osi' Ra ducked the flying projectile as it stabbed into something behind them, hidden behind the shadows. With the scream, the thing disappeared.
"That good enough a performance?" she snapped. "I *DO* not want anyone in it except *ME* and my people, okay?"
With that, she turned on her heel and left.
They stared after her, then turned their gaze to Angel. "What can I say? She takes after her mother."
"And I take after my *boss*!" Osi'Ra barked. "Arsenal!"
"Yes, Ma'am?!" he yelped, saluting.
"Keep up with her."
Arsenal ran after her. Despite his heavy boots, he made absolutely no sound.
"Stay away from me," Jessie warned as she stalked at first sight of him.
"No can do. I've got two drill sergeants riding me."
Jessie stopped and turned to him, glaring.
"I'll do more than that with my foot if you don't get the HELL away from me!"
"Spunky!" he grinned.
"Erg!"
She continued to stalk away, out of the alley. Arsenal sighed and ran, taking her by the arm.
"Jess, will you listen to me?"
"No! I've given you my demands, now frag-off!"
She pulled away and walked.
"Oh yeah. And I just bet that your crew can handle the beating you can. Uh-huh. That's REALLY nice of you, Slayer. Stick people who aren't used to saving the world constantly in the place of professionals. Real slick! NEWS FLASH! You aren't God! You can't decide who all lives or die, whether they're good or evil! OR whether they run around fighting the same people you fight! I can tell you that there are several people in high places on MY side of the law that don't exactly like your policy of killing anything with fangs. But with a little help from, say, me or one of my friends... You'd get the job done. Yeah, okay, you can HAVE the demon you're hunting. I don't care! It's just going to be MY duty to make sure you get there!"

She stopped, her back to him. "Oh?" she said in a deadly voice. "I do NOT save the world's butt?"

Jessie yanked him down to her level. "Let me tell you, mister." she said softly with a deadly calm. "I decide who lives and who dies. I save the world from the supernatural every fucking night OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!! So you're true, I'm no God, but I'm the only one sent to fight the vampires and demons. Why don't you try it FOR ONE DAY AND SEE WHAT ITS LIKE, HUH???????!!! AND DON'T PLAY GOD with me, don'. Ever. Tell. Me. What.To. Do. And. What. NOT! to do.

He stared back at her and knocked her hands from his clothes.
"You're really stupid, you know that? You turn away every SHRED of help that people offer. It's about time you stop being so stupid and selfish. Yeah? You fight vamps and demons? Try being in my position? I carry a legacy of archers that are known world-wide. Green Arrows, Red Arrows, Speedys and Arsenals. All of them fall on me."
"How do you think *I* feel?! My "legacy" goes back hundreds of years, even when the Earth was made!!"
"Yeah? You sure don't act like it. Maybe you should try being in our positions. At least you fight on known ground! But I guess you're too selfish to realize that we're only trying to help you get there. Even BATMAN has to admit he needs help now and again."
"Go to Hell," she snapped. "You're not me. You wouldn't understand why I push you people away."
She tried to leave, but he pulled her back.
"I'm not finished yet. At least your mother gave you something to work off of. My grandfather was a heroin addict and my mother has the genes of him and a villainess. I'm three fourths villain genes and one forth hero. I'm shocked I'm allowed to be Arsenal. You do NOT realize how damn lucky you are! You have friends and family who love you, and they want to help you as do us." He let go of her arm and turned away. "Such a shame you keep PUSHING everyone away."

He might as well have been talking to air, because when he turned around, she was gone, like the night itself.

Releasing his breath in anger, Arsenal muttered a few choice words and headed out of the alley.

Jessie was running down the now deserted road, feeling very lost and dejected. She had been pushing everyone away because they WOULD get killed. Because of her. That was the same in Sunnydale. Everyone she knew got killed by demons, and she was powerless to protect them.

Sinking down to the floor, Jessie couldn't stop a flow of tears that sprang to her eyes as she relived the moments of her friends and allies. They had trusted her, and she had gotten them killed.

'Why couldn't they understand?' Jessie thought sadly. 'Why couldn't they understand that I can't bear to lose either of them at all?'

"Jessie." a familiar voice said softly. Raising her head up, she saw Batman, standing in front of her.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, her voice almost cracking. "Don't you know how SELFISH I am?" she zinged the words that Arsenal had said to her at him.
Batman had been listening to the conversation above the two, and knew what those words meant. Kneeling beside her, he sighed.
"Jessie. Can I tell it to you straight?"
"Everyone else seems to. Why not you too?"
"...You're not the only hero in this town... As much as you'd like to not admit it."
"Yeah, but I'm the only Slayer in town," she snapped.
"That's true... But you know what? Yeah, your friends aren't invincible. But neither are you. Neither are we! With the exception of Superman and his crew. But even they have their weaknesses." He made her look to him. "Sometimes, working alone is the absolute worst thing... It leads to being alone... And that's the ultimate worst thing that can happen... Can't you let us in? I promise we won't take glory or anything... We just want to make sure YOU are safe and can get revenge for what happened."

Sure and confident Jessica Summers crumbled before his very eyes.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, almost too soft for anyone to hear. "I'm sorry for acting like such a, such a...jerk lately..." she stopped, taking in a deep, shaky breath. "It's just that...my friends..." her shoulders shook, and Batman took her in his arms, feeling the tears on his suit, and feeling sorry for her. She hadn't done anything to deserve this, he thought. Yet she had.
"I know that you're hurting, Jessie," he whispered. "But... If you allow us to help... Please?" No response. "Jessie, we're offering you help now. Either you accept or you don't. If you say 'yes' you can't take it back... If you say 'no' you can't take it back."
Jessie backed away and looked at him funny.
"You're giving me an ultimatum?" she asked, sort of shocked.
"What? You've never been demanded of a choice by someone?" he smirked. "You're in the big leagues now, little girl," he joked, poking her on the tip of her nose gently. "We can't wait around forever waiting for you to make up your mind, because we've got our own villains to fight!"
"Well... I don't know..."
"Arsenal's not that bad when you get to know him, you know... He'll help you, but won't make you trip up..."

"Okay, I guess." Jessie said slowly, looking up at him. "But one thing."

Batman nodded, "Hmm?"

"Do. Not. Take unnessary risks, okay?" she lowered her head. "I don't want another ally to die because of me."
"Every risk is necessary in my opinion, but we'll tone it down. Isn't that RIGHT, Arse?" he asked, glaring into the shadows.
A soft "damn" came from within and he stepped out.
"That's right. I explained that all to the girl!"
"Jerk," she mumbled.
Batman stood slowly and helped her up to her own feet.
"Tell you what... You and Arsenal get used to working together for tonight, and tomorrow you can get back to work."
"I do *not* want to spend a lot of time with him," Jessie informed, pointing to Arsenal.
Arsenal stuck his tongue out at her. Batman rolled his eyes.
"Want and will are two TOTALLY different things, my dears. You *will* work together, and you *will* get to know one another."
"But--"
"She--"
"Shut up! I don't want to hear it. The alliance goes like that, got it?" he asked, walking away. The two just sighed and nodded. "Good. Osi'Ra!!"
Osi'Ra looked down the alley from Angel when she heard Batman's voice.
"Look, I have to go, all right? Just remember we're trying to HELP your daughter, sir. Not hurt her."
Angel nodded silently, then, as Osi' Ra looked again, he was gone.
Jessie glanced at Arsenal for a long moment. "Look, I'm sorry for calling you names," she said slowly.
Arsenal shrugged. "No prob. I'm sorry for being so insensitive."
"Friends?" Jessie asked, sticking out her hand.
Arsenal softened. "Friends."
He shook her hand and smirked.
"Soooo sooofffttt," he joked.
He stroked her hand like an animal. She pulled away and blew a raspberry. Both started laughing though after that. Osi'Ra walked out to Batman and grinned at the two.
"Looks like they're going to get along," she whispered.
"Yeah. Lets get moving."
He pulled his wings and shot into the air, followed by Osi'Ra.
"Can I try your bow sometime?" Jessie asked Arsenal.
"It's kinda heavy, but sure! Why not?" he said, handing it to her.
She took it, then oofed from how heavy it was, nearly falling to the ground.
"Watch it! I have the upper body strength for it, you don't!"

"You think?" she asked, then lifted the bow again with one hand without any effort at all. "Did I ever tell you I come slapped on with a special package, twice as strong as a normal Slayer. I was kidding just now with the weight." she grinned widely. "This bow's pretty light." Jessie observed, studying it, "nice bow, though. I kinda like it."

Meanwhile, Batman and Osi' Ra had gone their own ways, since he had to meet someone at the clocktower.

He landed gently and looked around.
"Ten?" he asked just above a whisper.
"I'm here," her voice echoed from the shadows.
"Where?"
"Does it matter?"
"I could get into trouble if they know I'm here. You're a villain."
"Oh, stop being so crude... What's the rush?"
"I have this case to deal with..."
"Would it happen to be named Jessie?"
"What?" he asked breathlessly.
Ten swung out from the shadows and stared at him.
"I saw you talking with her around Arsenal..."
"That's *called* spying," he informed.
"Call it what you will... But, what do you want with her?"
"Boss's orders... Ten, what do you want from me?"
"I want to know if you'll deliver a message to Terry McGinnis for me," she said.
"And what would that be?" She paced over and handed him a letter. "Oh."
"Don't read it. It's for Terry. You know the drill."
He took it and nodded.
"Yeah, I do..."
She leapt up and kissed him on the cheek. With that, she dove off the ledge and landed on her hover card. Batman watched her speed off as he thumbed open the envelope.
'''Dear Terry,
I'm sorry for running out on you. But this time is going to be different, I swear. I have a sort of... Guardian. She's teaching me how to do things RIGHT for a change. Meet you later.
Love,
Melanie.'''
Batman slowly put it in his belt and sighed.
Shaking his head, he flew off for the night.
HR

The next day at school, Jessie was feeling VERY under the weather as she parked her motorbike and took off her helmet.
Hearing voices, she turned to see who it was.
"So, like, I told him I was not going to go out with him just because he's a rock star," Dinah informed to Kyle and Terry.
"Hey, I *so* agree, Kari," Kyle said. "You know, some of those guys are just losers who are gonna play ya!"
"I agree too, Dine. I mean, you'll be worth while until he's gotten into your pants," Terry said. He caught sight of Jessie and looked to them. "Listen guys, I'll catch up to you all later."
He gently moved Dinah out of the way and walked towards Jessie. The two shrugged and started walking.
"I think I'll just go with a jock next time," Dinah said.
"Liiiike, perhaps an archer?"
"EW!"
"Not me! A friend of mine! He's really cool."
"I was gonna say! That's like incest if I was ever with you!"
They disappeared inside the school and Terry walked to Jessie.
"You have some interesting friends what there," she said tiredly.
"Huh? Oh. Dinah and Kyle? ...They're okay. Which is more than what I can say for *you*... You okay?"
"Yeah..."
"Rough night?"
"In a way..." Jessie replied.
Terry nodded. "I know, the morns are the worst." he nodded. "So...what's your next class?"
"French," Jessie moaned. "Argh."
"Mine, too," Terry replied, his eyes brightening. "Wanna go together?"
"Sure," Jessie nodded, welcoming the little bit of brightness that shone in her life. Damn, she liked Terry, but knew he already had a girlfriend, and wisely kept her distance.
"Of course," Terry smirked. "There's always hookie."
"Pardon?" she asked, shocked.
He grinned brightly.
"You're not a trouble maker, are you?"
"Not particularly. I try to AVOID trouble as much as possible."
"That's no fun! Come on, play a little hookie with me. It can't hurt you at all, and it won't hurt me anymore than it all ready has! Dana'll KILL me, but hey! How about it?"
Jessie smiled and sighed.
"My dad won't like it either, but hey! Lets do it. I could use the time off."
Terry took her hand before she could protest and steered her out of Hamilton Hill gates. They managed to avoid anyone who might know them, and split of her bike.
"Jump on!" she whispered excitedly. Terry followed, and together, they sped off.
"We made it!" Terry shouted, psyched. Andrenalin was pumping wildly through him.
"So what do we do now?" Jessie asked.
"There are some shway clubs that allow hookie players in."
"You're such a pro," she joked.
"Thank you!" he laughed. "I've been doings this for years, but the rush never seems to leave."
"Haven't you gotten caught?" she asked, surprised.
"Oh yeah, plenty of times! And it's for the better too. If I hadn't, I'd be cocky."
"As if you aren't all ready! What if Dana finds out you skipped with another girl though?"
Terry shrugged and looked away, gripping the back of the cycle.
"I've done it before. She doesn't care as long as I'm faithful. Vice versa with her. We get it that we both have opposite gender friends, so it's shway."

Jessie shrugged, a grin on her face. "So, after a while, this gets boring...wanna try out the new virtual arcade place when we're done?"

Terry grinned at her. "Boy, do you get around fast."

"It gets useful once in a while," she replied.

"Well, either way, we have to go to the club first."
"How come?"
"Reassurance that we've missed people who are still getting to school!"
"This makes sense!" she smirked. "So where is it?"
"It's the Fifty-forth Floor Club. Tri-F-C." He grinned as she changed courses to get up to it. "It's pretty snazzy."
"Sounds like it. Sounds like a vamp-club too."
"Probably is, but no one messes with me, so I'm cool with that."
"It's prolly because you have bad BLOOD," she said.
"Bad blood is right, sista," he said, snickering.
Jessie grinned. "Bad boys I like."
Terry slung his arm casually over her shoulder. "You should get used to me, girl, cos' we'll be here often." he grinned back as they entered and was greeted with rowdy rock music.
"Shway!" Jessie shouted over the blasting of music. "I like this place already!!"
Terry pulled her to the left and into a tiny hall that led back aways.
"What is this?" she asked.
"I told you we can't really be out just yet. Trust me, will you?"
His cell phone began ringing and Jessie smirked.
"Obviously someone doesn't."
"Oh, it's just my boss. He trusts me," Terry said, pulling it. "Hello?" he asked in it.
"I can't trust you," Bruce Wayne said as he stood in his study.
"What do you mean?" Terry asked.
"These tapes you handed me are edited."
"Whoops. Did I do that?" Terry asked sarcastically.
There was a long pause. Terry soon realized the man was studying the noises in the background. Terry tried to cover the phone, but it was too late.
"Skipping school again, I hear," Wayne said.
"Yeah... well... With a *friend*," he said.
"Sure, blame ME," Jessie said.
"Shh..." he hissed.
Wayne paused.
"Was that the girl?" he asked.
"Yeah...? Why?"
"Stay with her. Tape what she says, and this time DON'T edit them."
"Gotcha, boss," he said, hanging up.
"What was THAT about?"
"Oh... nothing," he smirked.

"So, we stay here?" Jessie asked, uncertain.

"Yeah," he nodded. "We stay here till school lets out or something."
"But I thought we could do something fun!"
"Well, we'll wait until we get a go-head..."
"From who?"
His phone rang again and he smirked.
"Her." He answered. "Hello?"
"Considering you're not in school..." Maxine Gibson whispered. "You're skipping with that new girl, aren't you?"
"On orders. Is it clear?"
"Yeah. See you tonight?"
"Would I miss it for anything?" he grinned. "My wittle hacker fwiend."
"Shh! I'm only a hacker when I have an axe!" she joked.
"Bye, Max," he grinned.
"Ciao, baby Ter-Ter."
He hung up and grinned to Jessie.
"Ve may go nowww," he said oddly, joking of course.

Jessie could barely hide a smirk. "Sure," she drawled. "I like hooky already!"

Terry grinned at her. "Well, you get used to it."

Jessie grinned back at him. "You're very much opposite of someone I know," she said, a wistful look coming into her eyes.

Curious, Terry asked, "Who is it?"

She looked up at him, her statement unreadable. "Would it miff you if I told you I have a crush on the Tomorrow Knight?"

Terry was stunned for a moment. Jessie was thinking about *him*?? Well, not exactly him. Batman.

Terry was surprised at the little surge of jealousy he had, and blinked. "Uh...no."
They started walking down the hall as Jessie began to lose herself in sort of a day-dream.
"I mean, he's there when I need him. He knows how to talk to me and how to sorta "break" me," she said. "I'm not used to that, but it's kind of a turn on!"
Terry raised an eyebrow.
'Oh boy... This is going to be interesting,' he sighed mentally.
"So, have you told HIM your feelings?" he asked.
"Pssh! He probably gets it all the time from every female he saves! Not like one chick with a wood stake'll make a difference."
"You never know. There was always Catwoman."
"Yeah, but Kittychick wore tight clothes, seven inch high heels and carried a whip. Of COURSE Batman would crush over her."
"You'd be surprised what he might think of you," he pointed out.
She looked at him oddly.
"What do you mean? How would you know?"
Terry played this off perfectly, his eyes not wavering and his face not flushing.
"My boss knows him from a long time ago. Batman worked for him and saved his life several times. He's told me how the Batman really is." He shrugged and opened the back-exit for her. "All I'm saying is if maybe you talked to him, you may get a shock."
'Whew!' he thought. 'Bruce woulda been proud of THAT one!'
Jessie shrugged passively.
"I think I'll put it on hold until I know he doesn't have like a Batgirl that he's dating or something," she said.
Terry would have busted down laughing right there. He remembered the things Commissioner Barbara Gordon had told him about her and Bruce Wayne in the past. To not lose it and drop to his knees in laughter, he just bit his lip and nodded.
"To the park?" he asked through clenched teeth.
Jessie observed him a moment, then nodded.
"Yeah, okay."

Once at the park, Jessie watched the kids running around, and she found herself watching wistfully at the children, running about, laughing and having a whole lot of fun. *I wish I could go back to those times,* she thought wistfully. *Blissfully ignorant, those times.*

"Actually, you're a pretty nice girl too, you know," Terry said suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence between them.

Jessie looked up at him, surprised for a moment. "Thanks."

"Serious," he pressed on. "If Batman was here right now, he'd *definitely* fall for you."

That seemed the truth, more or less. If he hadn't had Dana, he'd definitely go for her. But you can't have another girlfriend* his mind argued. *Batman could have one, right?* But Terry quickly pushed it away. It wouldn't be fair.

Jessie chuckled. "Nice try, Ter."

Terry grinned. "I *know* him."

She perked up. "You do?" she asked.

"He's me."

There was a moment's pause. Then she burst out laughing. "You? Come on,"

"Kidding! Boy, did you fall for it!" Terry grinned wider.

"You are such a twip!" she laughed.
"Yeah, yeah, but I *do* know a bit about him, you know."
"Yeah... I'm sure. So... This place is pretty calm," she said, watching the children.
"I swear if one of those kids know Matt... Someone's gonna get a wedgie."
"You were a violent child, weren't you?" she smirked.
"Lets put it this way... I was the leader of guys that picked on others that were freaks," he smirked.
"Too funny. I never was. I was too busy doing my nails! Well, not really, but you should be stylin' when your slayin'," she smirked.
"You would SO get along with Lara," he smirked.
"Who's that?" she asked, interested.
"Oh, this girl from Metropolis that I know," he shrugged passively.
Jessie smiled teasingly and poked him.
"You have a lot of lady friends, don't you?"
Terry's eyes sparkled at that mischeviously.
"And it kills Nelson Nash, too!"
"I bet!" she laughed.
"HELP ME!" a woman screamed.
They turned to see a woman running as a Joker with a knife chased her. Jessie went to help, but Terry stopped her.
"I have a "vendetta" against that one there."
Before she could respond, he took off running after the man as the woman ran past his path. The joker wasn't fast enough and Terry took him down by the side. He wedged the knife from his hand and punched him out. Jessie hurried up as Terry stood.
"Good job!"
"It helps when they've got glass jaws," he smirked. "Knife?"
He tossed it to her and she looked it over.
"Pssh, badly made. But better that *I* keep it compared to that fool."
She folded it down and began to hide it on her person as Terry stared at the joker.
"Good thing he's not as smart as the Joker," he mumbled.
"Hmm?" she asked, not hearing him.
"Huh? Oh! Nothing! You hungry?"

Jessie shook her head. "No thanks," she smiled at him. "I'm on a diet."

"Diet?" he looked her up and down. "Why do *you* need a diet?"

Jessie shrugged. "Beats me, too. It's something like hormones, see?"

Terry grinned. "Women."

"-can kick your ass if they're pushed to it," Jessie finished for him, her smile wide.

Terry chuckled. "Confident, huh?"

Jessie simply winked at him. "I learn from the best."

Then, doing something she normally never would have done, Jessie tiptoed and kissed Terry on the cheek.

Terry laughed oddly, suddenly going through a temporary woman mind-flash. Dana, Melanie, now Jessie.
'Ohmanohmanohman... What do I do?!' he thought, smiling irregularly big. 'Max told me it's uncool about doing this to Dana, and this is kinda different than with Melanie 'cause this would be *Terry* and Jessie. Man oh man...'
"Terry, doesn't that hurt, man?" Jessie asked.
Terry snapped from his thoughts.
"Huh?!"
"If I didn't know better, from that smile I'd say you're a gremlin!" she joked.
He realized that during his silent discussion with himself, he wore that huge smile the entire time. Mentally kicking himself, he sighed.
"Well, it's 'cause I was thinking..."
"About?" she asked, smiling slyly.
Terry coughed uneasily.
"A lotta things."
"Wanna tell me about it?"
"Not particularly, no offense," he said, horror across his blue eyes.
She laughed oddly, observing him.
"If you do this when a girl kisses you on the cheek, I'm afraid what you'd do from a REAL kiss!"

He nodded. "I'm weird that way."

She skipped away from him and watched the other kids play catch on the grass. Terry followed, curious.

"You like kids, do you?" Terry asked finally as he sat down on the grass with her.

Jessie nodded, her eyes sparkling. "Yeah. They're really cute."

"You should see Matt, and then you would think *very* differently," he grinned.

Jessie chuckled. "You're a bad bro."

"Am not!" he smirked. "Matt's the bad one. I swear he musta been switched at birth with my nice baby *sister*. She's probably stuck somewhere with gypsies."
"That is SO mean."
"It's SO the truth."
Jessie just chuckled into a silence. Both of them watched the children a little longer, just thinking. Terry could swear it would be a battle of wits if she ever met some of the people he knew. Which led him to wonder...
"Jess?"
"Yeah, Ter?"
"Out of curiosity... Would you, uh... Ever consider being part of the superhero groups that around these days?"
"What??" her reaction was totally unexpected. Then, Jessie fumbled for an answer. "Me? I'm just a Slayer, what did you think I'd join the superhero group?"
"I'm not a superhero," she said aloud.
"Yeah, you are!"
"No, I'm not, where did you get that idea from--"
Her eyes went wide when his lips grazed past hers just barely.
"Don't worry," he smirked, leaning back like nothing happened. "Your secret's safe with me."
"Terry, you, I, but..." she stuttered, surprised.
"Something wrong?"
This moodswing was NOT what she had planned. What was going on? It's like a totally new Terry had kicked in to gear.

Jessie was stunned. It was always her who surprises the guys, but now, the tables had been turned on her.

"Come on," Terry said, standing up and offering a hand to her. "We'd better go, in case anyone sees us."

Jessie nodded mutely, taking his hand, which was warm and sent tingles up her spine. But to their surprise, when they both were up, none of them let go.

"So uh... Tell me about YOU, Terry. I barely know anything about you!"
"Well, what do you want to know?" he asked.
"Everything," she smiled.
"Well... I grew up in Gotham, never really left except on camping trips and stuff. Met Carmen a long time ago, but hated her and it was the same with her to me, so that was cool. Uhhh... Went to juvi for a while--"
"How come?"
"Uhhh... Reasons. Dad was murdered several months ago, I got a job and, well, here I am today!"
"I bet there's a lot more to your life than that," she smiled.
'Uh oh,' he thought.
"What do you mean?"
"You live in Gotham City! The Rotten Apple! Come on, Sunnydale is cool, but I bet Gotham is as shway as you say."
"Yeah, it is... But I'd prefer it back fifty years ago, personally."
"How come?"
Terry shrugged.
"Four million people there insteada eight million, and everyone played a role... Some kind of important part..."
"Yeah, I suppose so. But they didn't even have flying cars!"
"That I could live without."
Jessie giggled, her eyes brightening. "I flunked my driving test. Four times."
Terry's eyes widened. "Four??"
Jessie nodded, embarrassed. "Guess the car hates me."
"Why not ask *Batman* to teach you how to drive?" Terry asked, teasing, with the slightest hint of jealousy.
Jessie swatted at his arm, grinning. "Ooh! Not funny!"
"I thought it was pretty humorous!"
"Yeah, like I bet you thought that KISS was really funny too," she mumbled, arms crossed.
"Actually, I was serious about that. Just like I'm serious about THIS one."
He took her hand and pulled her closer, into a gentle kiss. For a moment, she was stunned.
'So much for the girlfriend,' she guessed.
Then, she returned the kiss, deepening it.

After a long while, they pulled away, Jessie was breathing hard, as well as Terry.

Touching his face, Jessie whispered, "Thanks."

He nodded, his breath catching in his throat as he watched her perfect mouth carressing his. Slightly widening his mouth, he pulled her against to him and kissed her again.

She was amazed at the intensity of this one. It was almost as if he hadn't had that sort of support for a long time... And she returned it with equal fervor. Both couldn't manage to stop, as if they needed each other to survive...
'That's it, fools...' a girl with blonde hair thought as she video taped what was happening. 'You thought I wouldn't catch on, McGinnis... That you're Batman. I had it pecked down the instant I saw that "Sneak Peek" special. It would take an idiot to not realize it's you... Keep clinging to her. I promise that what I have planned next is going to be EXPLOSIVE.'
As they pulled apart again, the girl grinned widely. She leapt down from the tree she was in and straightened her miniskirt and hair.
"Now, it's time for the fireworks," she said aloud and to herself.
She took off running for the main street.
Terry backed off after a moment and ran a hand through his hair. Jessie instantly realized the problem.
"It's wrong," she whispered.
"I know..."
"I-I should go..." she said, backing off.
"Me too... Don't... want anyone seeing..." he said.
"Yeah... Later?"
Terry nodded, and they both turned simutaneously and ran off.
Later on that night, Dana Tan entered her house, Blade, Chelsea, Max, Jackie and Carmen behind her. They were planning on their weekly sleepover on Friday nights, and they decided Dana's house would be perfect since she was snubbed by Terry.
"I'll get drinks!" Max called, running for the kitchen.
"Popcorn!" Chelsea announced, following.
"Movies!" Max and Jackie laughed, running off.
"So why didn't you invite that new girl, Jessie?" Carmen asked Dana as they went up for her room.
"One, I don't really KNOW her that well. And two, couldn't find her!"
They entered Dana's room, and Dana spotted a small white device on her bed.
"Hmm, that isn't mine..."
She walked over and picked it up. She went to take it downstairs when it switched on automatically. Carmen watched Dana's face twist with emotion. Anger/hurt/sorrow/betrayal/fright all were there, along with others Carmen couldn't identify due to her own lack of emotional intelligence.
"Dana...?" she asked warily.
Dana threw the device at her and dropped to the floor. Carmen watched it, and her heart skipped.
'Oh no, Terry... What've you gotten yourself into?!'
Meanwhile, Jessie was blowdrying her hair when the phone rang. It was Thomas.
"Hey Jess!" came his perky voice.
"Tom!" Jessie exclaimed, leaning against her dresser for support. "What's up?"
"Just wondering if me and Alex could come over, since its a Friday and all..."
"Sure!" Jessie replied enthusiastically. "Remember Tamil cable channels?"
"I'll bring the beetelnuts," Thomas chuckled dryly. "See ya in ten!"
"Bye."
A while later, the doorbell rang. Wondering who it could be, since Thomas and Alexis weren't due yet, Jessie opened the door.
Carmen stood there with Chelsea and Max. They had left Blade to tend to the nervous wreck that had become Dana. Carmen held the small video recorder in her hand. Jessie held back a quip when she realized this wasn't a social call.
"Hey guys. What's that?" she asked, gesturing to the device.
"I don't know how it got to Dana, but we don't like it," Carmen said.
She tossed the device to Jessie. She eyed them for a moment, and then turned it on. Her eyes widened at what she saw.
"Oh... no..."
"Consider it a "warning", Jessie Summers," Carmen said. She turned away and crossed her arms. "Because now things are going to change. AND change majorly."
They left as Jessie just watched the screen. She couldn't believe someone was spying. But where? Neither of them saw anyone, or heard them either. All the ones SHE knew-Carmen, Kyle and Dinah-that would want to do something like that wouldn't have had chance because they were at school.
"Who did this...?"


A melodic melody was hummed through dark, stoney halls. It came from behind a large metal door at the far end of the hall. Inside was a model-like woman with green skin and flaming red hair. She sat at a table, trimming her plants she was allowed to have. However, her concentration was broken when the door to her cell open.
"Pamela Isley, you have a visitor."
The woman named Poison Ivy slowly turned, interested.
"Oh, do bring them in," she said.
She crossed both her arms and legs as a person in a robe entered. The door shut and the person looked to her.
"Poison Ivy," a dark, female voice asked.
"Who is it?" she asked, grinning ear-to-ear.
The robe fell off to show the figure of Ten. Ivy blinked a moment... then started laughing.
"What's so funny?" Ten asked.
"A Royal Flush Gang impersonator! How cute! Did Roxy or Selina hire you to cheer me up? I'm touched!"
"I'm no impersonator. I *am* Ten of the Flush Gang."
Ivy was still snickering as she stood up. Even in bare feet she was 5'10'' and towering over the girl by five inches.
"What do you want?" she asked.
She began to slowly circle her. She watched as Ten pulled an explosive.
"I want your help."
Ivy's eyes went wide as Ten threw it to the door and it exploded. Both had to shield their faces as rubble flew everywhere. Then Ten grabbed her hand and yanked her out into the hall as sirens blared.

Back at Jessie's place, Thomas and Alexis looked at her wryly. Jessie, on catching the look of their faces, said "On a scale of one to a million, how much are you hating me now?"

Alexis crossed over and hugged her friend. "None. Um, well, it's kinda okay, if you can call it okay, you know, people slip sometimes," she said, trying to get her point through. "So I won't hate you."

"Me, too." Thomas piped up. "Friends, remember?"
Jessie smiled weakly, still fumbling the control.
Just then, it hit.
"Oh man, Terry!"
Terry's face went to the side as he was smacked hard by Dana.
"Okay, I'm guessing I should've rung the bell instead of knocking."
"You kissed Jessie Summers!"
Terry's eyes widened. He looked over her shoulder to see the other girls there and they shrugged with a nod.
"It wasn't BIG!" he defended.
"I SAW it with my own two eyes, McGinnis. You are a LYING, CHEATING--"
"Okay, Dana, breather!" Carmen exclaimed, pulling her away before she could go for Terry's larynx.
"Get away from my house, McGinnis!" Dana screamed. "NOW!!!"
Terry was drawn back at her anger, but quickly obliged. After the door slammed shut behind him, he touched the welt on his cheek. He knew she could hit, he just didn't know how hard. His cell rang and he opened it.
"Hello?"
"The cave," Wayne ordered. "*Now*."
Wayne looked at the red mark on Terry's cheek again and again as he explained the Ten-Ivy situation. Finally, he had to say it:
"She found out, didn't she?"
Terry grumbled something and Carmen snickered. Wayne looked to her for an explanation. She quickly told him. After she was through, he stared at her a moment, and then grinned just a bit.
"He'll get used to it," he said.
He turned to the computer. Terry had the audacity to look shocked. Carmen laughed again. Terry glared at her.
"Yeah, but YOU weren't much help either, Wayne!"
"Hey, Dana's been my friend a LOT longer than you, and she sure as Hell has been my friend longer than Jessie! I'd sell you both out in an instant."
"Carmen. Are you a--"
"MCGINNIS!" Wayne yelled, knowing what he was going to say.
"Jerk! I have a date with that cutie Thomas. And *I* won't cheat on him."
"Oh, below the belt, Thompson. WAY below."
"Will you two stop acting like Harper and Troy?" Wayne asked. The two shut up REALLY fast. "Good. Now, Terry, you'll be going on your own to stop these two. You radio in every thirty minutes. Skip one of those times, and Osi'Ra goes after you. Same rule goes for you, Carmen. You fail to call in, and I send in Kyle Harper."
"Can I switch with him?" Carmen asked.
"Why?"
"Because I wanna find the Slayer lady as Osi'Ra! Get to know her. It's kinda cool to know of someone that comes from a similar past."
Wayne sighed and nodded.
"All right. Batman, Arsenal, Osi'Ra, Troia. Got it?"
Meanwhile, Jessie dashed out of the house, followed by her two best buds. Just then, as if to prove her point that vampires had *TOTALLY* no sense of timing whatsoever, a dozen vampsjumped out from nowhere, growling and snarling and making your basic bestial sounds.
"You gotta be more polite," Jessie quipped as she moved forward to attack and protect her friends at the same time. "Or else I wouldn't go on a date with you."

"We will taste your blood, Slayer!" the leader (most probably) growled, and slammed her against the wall, knocking the breath out of her. Kicking out with both legs, she stood back up again, catching her breath, and she launched into an aerial somersault to duck the raging onslaught going on below her. She had to save Thomas and Alexis, and they were badly outnumbered. Normally, by herself, she easily could've handled them, but with the added responsibilty on her shoulders, she charged forward, staking four as she passed.

Thomas, on his own, had already staked two vampires, both by accident, until Jessie staked another on her way to save them. Alexis had staked three, also by accident. Now, there were three left.

One seemed to vanish into the darkness, so Jessie figured he was running away. She went on guard to go after the other two.

"LOOK OUT!" she heard Alexis scream.

She turned just in time to recieve a hard blow into the head. She fell, unconscious. That vampire went down for her, until a wave of fire hit him and knocked him away.
"Naughty, naughty little vampy!" Osi'Ra joked.

She had her palm facing the vampire, flames spewing from the glove. The other two ran for her, and she used the other hand to do the same.
"Whoa," Alexis said.

"Alexis, help me get Jessie awake!" Thomas said hurriedly, rushing toward the Slayer.

They ran to do so. Meanwhile, Osi'Ra lifted her hands and watched the vampires go away into blackness.

"I knew these flamethrowers would come in handy!" Osi'Ra smirked. "Hey, is she okay?"
She walked over to them and kneeled near Jessie as they tapped her face. Slowly, her eyes opened. She jerked a moment at the sight of Osi'Ra, but then settled down.

"Did you guys get 'em?" she asked drowsily.

"Well... Osi'Ra got the last three, but yeah," Alexis said, smiling. "You okay?"

"I'm going to be feeling that one..." She slowly sat up and looked at Osi'Ra. "You hardly look like the kind of person that goes around slaying vampires," she quipped.

Osi'Ra grinned darkly.
"And you're not the only one that has to cope with demons."

"Guess not." Thomas helped her stand and she extended her hand to Osi'Ra. "Jessie."

"Osi'Ra, d-uh," she smirked, shaking her hand.

Jessie looked at her a moment, feeling like she met her before... But quickly disregarded that. All the people she knew here, she either really knew them, or knew they were oblivious airheads.
'Just my imagination!' she smirked to herself.

"Want me to see you home?" Osi' ra asked.

Jessie held up a hand. "No thanks." she smiled slightly. "I guess I've been kind of...out of it, I guess. Which is why you can see the poor performance." she shrugged, her eyes clouding over.

"What's wrong?" Osi 'Ra asked.

"Nothing." she said quickly.

She tried to walk off, but Osi'Ra blocked her path.

"We need to talk," she said.

"I have to go."

Osi'Ra didn't respond. She grabbed her from behind and jetted into the air, her wings unfolding on their own. Thomas and Alexis were shocked at the sudden exit. Jessie was just about to do something drastic when Osi'Ra landed on a rooftop and sat her down.

"Now we can talk," she said.

Jessie crossed her arms and glared.

"About what?"

"...Your mother was the previous slayer, wasn't she?" Osi'Ra asked. Though uncomfortable that she knew that, Jessie nodded. "That's shway, though." she continued.

"Please, PLEASE don't say something about how you wish your mother was like that," Jessie sighed, familiar with this.

"I wasn't. My mother was nothing like your mother, yeah, but she should have been. It's because of my grandmother that I can relate to you."

"Huh?" Jessie asked, suddenly knocked off guard.

"She was the first Osi'Ra. She died as Osi'Ra. My mom was Osi'Ra for a time, until she went psychotic after my birth. When I got old enough, my mentor gave me the right to be the third Osi'Ra."

Jessie stared at her a moment. After the wonder disappeared, she narrowed her eyes.
"Point?"

"My point is... That you and I have a lot of things in common, and I don't see why we can't be partners, and maybe even friends, at times. I know this is really forward, but... I think it'd be cool."

After a long pause, she finally nodded. "I guess we could be friends and all."

Osi 'Ra nodded, grinning now. "Great!"

Suddenly, two figures whizzed towards them on hoverboards. They were Thomas and Alexis.

"Hey," Jessie said, pleased. "How'd you find me?"



Alexis held up a tracer in her hands. "You made these, remember?"

"That was my dad, Alex." she corrected.

Thomas shrugged, his eyes on Osi 'Ra. "Hey there, another butt kicking female, huh?"

Osi 'Ra smiled, pleased at his attention. After all, he was VERY cute.

After a moment, she looked to Jessie.
"Check it, I've got things to do and people to bust. Maybe I'll catch you around?"

"Yeah... Hey, Osi'Ra? Have we, uh, you know, met before?" Jessie asked, unsure.

Osi'Ra walked to the edge and her wings snapped out as she glanced at Jessie.
"No, we haven't." She took off into the air, mentally adding, 'At least not as Osi'Ra and the Slayer, we haven't!'

A gentle swoop came from Batman's movements as he floated down to face Ten, who was smiling brightly. He narrowed his eyes and paced closer.
"Melanie, what's this about?"

She came closer to him. Very slowly she began to trace the red bat symbol on his chest. He noticed she smelled after various plants. It wasn't a bad smell... In fact he was being drawn towards it for a reason he couldn't explain.

"You hurt me, kissing Jessie and all..." she whispered.

Batman half-wondered where she picked up this whole attitude. His answer was lurking in the shadows behind Ten. But he couldn't get a better look due to the seductive voice in his ear.

"I want you to be mine, and only mine... Is that too to ask?"

Batman gulped back to find his voice. Gently, he pushed her away and looked at her eyes.
"You set us up..."

"You made your own grave. I merely helped you into it..." She brought her lips within an inch of his, each word coming in a warm breath through his cowl. "Sometimes, you need a push into evil to make things right..."

"I'm not evil," he whispered back.

"I suppose you're not... A kiss to old times?" she asked. "I promise that the moment you're back to being your own person, you can take me in..."

Batman responded by covering her lips with his. The taste coming into his mouth made him pause.

But then, before he could react, he went unconscious. Poison Ivy walked out slowly. Her long red hair was tied up in a fountain pony-tail, and had vines gently wrapped around it. She wore a loose, green middriff and matching skirt. Her sandal high-heels had straps that went clear up her legs (she claimed this was to be "more villainess").

"I told you that serum would work."
She crossed her green-gloved arms. Ten knelt by him cautiously, and then to her. Panic started to grow on her face.

"What exactly does it do?"

Ivy rolled her eyes.
"Oh, don't take that tone with me! I've lived long enough to understand that you don't simply KILL Batman. You make him your boy-toy, and then you lure in his pals and destroy them all together."

"It never worked for you," Ten retaliated.

"That's only because I had that love-crazed fool Harley Quinn with me all the time, and the REAL Batman after me. This Batman, however, will do just as well. He's now under the voice command of you and I. And unlike my previous serum, this is permenant unless I give the antidote."

"...Why me AND you?"

"Because, quite frankly my dear, I *know* the Royal Flush Gang, and I know you're a bunch of two-faced, double-crossing liars! I won't risk you calling on our Pet Bat to try to kill me. Fair enough?"

Ten growled. "Whatever."

Poison Ivy nodded, satisfied. "Will do." she paused a while. "I've heard alot about some girl named the Slayer, though. Ya know, the kind of chick which kicks ass?"

Ten nodded, remembering. "I thought it was only an urban legend."

"Legend or no," Poison Ivy continued warningly. "She's the best Man has to offer to fight evil, and for some reason, that particular girl is able to kill off my plants with just a blow, and just could as easily reverse the spell with her blood. That is the antidote, dear girl."

"Jessie's a Slayer?" Ten said aloud, stunned. That added up. She saw Jessie fighting a couple of fanged people and turning them into dust. Also, the moves she had executed
were sharp and precise, sharpened to the point of perfection.

Poison Ivy looked surprised. "The one that kissed your pet?"

Ten narrowed her eyes. "That bitch..."

"No matter. We can handle this dear teenager. After all, she's no Lady Shiva."

"Who?" Ten asked, confused.

Poison Ivy chuckled.
"Before your time, young lady." She raised a hand up into the air and the ground split on each side of her. Two vines came out and joined together into a seat for Ivy. She sat and had it carry her closer to Batman and Ten. "The first Batman seems to be forgetting a few things..."

"What's that?"

"No one. NO ONE is as good as the originals."

"How do you know the first Batman is still alive?"

"His secret's too well kept. There's no way in Hell any allies would allow someone to pose. Jessie is good, but not as good as her mother. This Batman is good, but no where near as good as the first. The same goes for that poser Supergirl, Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman, Arsenal--"

"Me?"

"You. Everyone. It appears to me that the only two veterans here is his boss and me."

"And me," they heard.

They turned to see a woman in a skin tight purple suit and a whip. She had long black hair and eyes glowing green. Ten smirked.

"Catwoman!"

"Selina, Selina, Selina," Ivy said, shaking her head.

"Pam, my dear woman, believe me, this is nothing more than a SOCIAL call." She paced down in her seven inch heels like a pro, towards the group.

"Nothing is ever a social call with you, Kyle. So you're the girl's other trainer."

"She DOES pose quite a good argument, no? It doesn't matter. I'm here to talk to you about... THAT."

Poison Ivy nodded. She dismissed herself and had the vines take her to another area with Catwoman. When they disappeared, Batman gained consciousness slowly. Ten knelt down and smiled seductively.

"Wakey, wakey little boy," she smirked. He slowly stood and remained silent. That was one of the situations with the drug, the one under it wouldn't be able to talk for it froze the vocal cords.
"Are you mine?" He nodded.
"You will die for me and Ivy?" He nodded again.

She grinned widely. "Good. I wouldn't have it any other way..."

He nodded again, his eyes blank.

Meanwhile....

"Something's wrong," Jessie said, stiffening. Her Slayer sense worked up again.

"What?" Thomas asked, worried.

"I don't know," she replied, a note of desperation in her voice.

"Sixth sense." Alexis stated. "Maybe its just your imagination."

She shook her head firmly. "No. Something really is wrong here. I just know it."

Thomas looked around at the dark surroundings. "Nothing wrong I can see." he said, jokingly.

Jessie shot him a withering look.

"Well, what should we do?" Alexis asked.

"I don't know yet. I suppose we wait, because we can't go looking for something we don't KNOW about, you know?" Jessie asked.

"Yeah," Thomas said. "Hey, who's up for pizza? I know I could use some!"

He led the two girls away, rambling about some pizza place. A shadow crossed behind them, and Jessie momentarily looked back, but then shook it off. She figured her nerves were just going to pot.

The shadow, however, was much more sure of his abilities. Arsenal, holding an unbelievably complicated bow, was rushing along quickly, following the tracker signal Osi'Ra gave him to find Batman.

~~Figures, the one night I get to do something cool, I'm called off to babysit for Batboy~~ he said to himself in his first language (Navajo). ~~Where are you, little Guano man? I'll find you... And I'm gonna give you a little gift that is gonna be hurting your rear for a LONG, long time!~~

After an hour, his search led him to the Gotham Botanical Gardens. The whole place had been shut down due to a chemical spill in 2010 involving the Creeper, the Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Batman. It had been caught on tape, and Arsenal had been allowed to see it when he was thirteen... Five years later, and he was still laughing uncontrollably internally over the whole mess.

Coming back to the present, he was sliding into the building with his hunter stealth, not knowing what to expect. He heard two feminine voices and followed them to a room full of overgrown vines. He immediately recognized both. Poison Ivy AKA Pamela Isley and the Catwoman AKA Selina Kyle.

"The drug that you used my unfinished youth serum and Freeze's DNA for is amazing," Ivy said. "You're looking as young as I am."

"And not as green around the gills," Catwoman quipped. "So? What's your point?"

"Are you planning on sharing it with anyone?"

Catwoman turned and crossed her arms, smiling ruefully. "Just a little someone that we both know..."

"You mean the first Batman, don't you?" Ivy asked darkly.

"My Dark Knight... I miss him so."

"You make me *sick*."

Catwoman hissed and looked at her. "Look who's talking, Pammy. You're the one who wants to walk the straight and narrow. Gonna be kinda hard now that you look like an Irish Super-model."

Suddenly she stopped, sniffing the air. "We have a visitor."

An arrow suddenly shot past her stomach, slicing the suit, but not the skin. Arsenal walked out, loading another arrow.

"There are FAR more than three ways to skin a cat, KittyChick," he grinned. "Two femme fatales. How quiant! Where's Batman?!"

"Why, I don't know what you're talking about! Arsenal, isn't it? Yes, that must be it," Catwoman teased as she slowly raised her hands. "Either you've gotten younger through the years or the first Arsenal kicked the bucket!"

"SHUT UP!" he yelled. He then added in his mind: ~~Careful, buddy... These girls could have your hide... If they could nab the first Batman himself...~~

Taking a small step back, he ran through his options. Not much. Stay, fight, and die, or run like a woman. But staying sounded like a more reasonable idea. Hearing the refreshing click of the bow as the arrow was fixed into place, he grinned. He could pull this off.

Before he could aim, though, Poison Ivy suddenly leapt and kissed him full on the lips. Stunned, he was unable to do anything as everything went black.

Poison Ivy and Catwoman looked down at the offending form smugly.

"Still haven't lost your charms, hmm?" Catwoman purred, cracking her whip.

Poison Ivy retorted, "Same there, Kyle."

"Charm this, ladies!" came a new voice as a blonde blur appeared, and before they knew it, both of them were on the floor.

Catwoman snarled and hissed, jumping to her feet. "You!" she pointed. "I thought you were dead!"

Jessie shook her head grimly. "You thought wrong, kittycat. I've had a thousand lives, and more than enough to kick your slimy behind."

As Catwoman cracked her whip and advanced towards her, Poison Ivy was gearing up. Two vines shot out at the Slayer, and reflexively, she flipped up to the beams, narrowly missing the green plants.

"Chew this, plant girl!" she shot back, leaping off her perch, and for a moment, her feet landed on the thick vines itself. Using her momentum and the plant's speed, she slammed it downwards, smashing it through the ground.

Ivy's eyes flared a neon green at that and she forced vines to shoot up around Jessie. Meanwhile, Catwoman ran to Arsenal's side and she slapped him awake.

"Come on, Red Boy, we need an archer!"

Mumbling several words in Navajo, Arsenal slowly stood and began to focus on Jessie, getting his bow loaded.

***
Osi'Ra finished telling Wonder Girl about the conversation between her and Jessie as they sat atop Fox Teca. Wonder Girl nodded with a slight smile.

"You think she means it?"

"Not really," Osi'Ra grinned. "But I do. Besides, I wanna keep her under my thumb. The whole Terry thing is getting out of hand..."

Wonder Girl laughed. "I bet! So, any word on our boys?"

"Nope. And that scares me. Because if Jessie and Kyle ever went head-to-head.... Jessie's like a Slayer with natural abilities for that kind of stuff, and Kyle's got four or five generations of genetic training, plus eighteen years living on a Navajo reservation as a honorary one of them. He's like Roy Harper--he never misses his target."

"I'm sure Jessie can CATCH those arrows...?"

"Maybe. Then they'll accelerate into a battle of hunting, and once again, Kyle's been raised on that but Jessie's been born with it."

"So what you're saying is that they're almost equals?"

"Almost, except her fighting comes from English heritage. Kyle's is Native American and somewhat Oriental and Atlantean because you know Nightwing and Tempest taught him a thing or two. Then again, she was trained by her mother, genetic memory and her father." Wonder Girl laughed wildly. "I wanna see a battle between them!!"

****

Jessie struggled strongly in the plant's vice-like grip, fighting to get a hold of the situation. *I will not panic* she thought to herself. *I can deal with this. I can do it.*

"Die, Slayer." Came the smug voice of Poison Ivy.

"You underestimate us, Ivy," Jessie sneered back, slightly breathless from the lack of oxygen.

Arsenal fired the arrow.

"Arsenal! No!" Jessie yelled. But Poison Ivy forgot something. She hadn't tied up her hands. By pure reflex, Jessie closed her hands around the wooden projectile, its heat singeing her fingers, burning through her skin. She winced inwardly.

Catching the brief moment of them being off guard, Jessie used every ounce of her strength and her skills to throw off the heavy vines and backflip to a safe distance.

"Come and catch me," Jessie sang out, her confidence and self-reliance coming back to her.

Hissing, Catwoman pounced on her, baring her teeth as she coiled her whip around the Slayer's neck, squeezing the life out of her. It provided as a distraction as Ivy planned their escape.

Kicking Catwoman off, she jumped back up. But it was too late. The two figures were already gone. Now left Arsenal.

"Hey Red," she said cautiously, her eyes on him.

Arsenal loaded his bow again, eyes furious as he muttered a curse in Navajo.

"Arsenal!" she shouted. "Listen to me!"

He loaded the arrow. But before he clicked the bow into place, she kicked at the weapon, sending it flying.

Arsenal let it fly and just as it was out of his hand, he grabbed her by that leg and pulled her around, throwing her across the way into a table. Jessie pounded it in frustration as she gasped for air. She turned back quickly to Arsenal, who was one guard. His concentration seemed to divide suddenly between the current situation and something else. As Jessie tried to play on that, he snapped back to reality and caught her fist.

"Arse! This isn't you!" she cried out, noticing his eyes a flaming green. "Snap out of it!"

In response, she got a punch to the jaw that knocked four teeth loose, but not out. She fell back and rubbed her jaw. She had to fight going after him with all she had, because she knew he didn't really deserve it. He was only following his three '"temptresses" orders. The last time she talked to him--he had been actually very nice. A little sarcastic, but then again, so was she. He was really someone she could end up respecting in the long run, but right now she had to fight him.

'I won't hurt him--I can't!! I just need to know why he phased out a moment...'

Arsenal hissed a few violent Navajo curses towards thin air before trying to fix on Jessie's movements. Thinking, she tried to figure out what he meant by it, but couldn't understand. When Arsenal lunged, she didn't get a chance to think much longer.

Getting into the rythm, Jessie blocked his punch with martial arts precision, she got in a few good ones herself. It took all of her skill not to kill him, and even then, it was getting very difficult.

'Snap out of it, Kyle,' a distant voice in his head sounded. Arsenal cocked his head to one side, sensing the voice. It seemed...familiar. But there was a roaring need in his veins to kill the girl in front of him. 'Kill the Slayer...kill the Slayer..."' it hummed in his veins like an annoying insect, but the voice deep inside was yelling at him not to do it. Something.

'Come to your senses!!!" came the distant but strangely persistent yell. "Snap. Out. Of IT!!! Wake up!!"

Struggling, Arsenal tried to ignore the pleas. Then came another loud booming voice that sounded in his head. "She is the Chosen One, the Slayer that was once the daughter of our clan. You will not kill her. She stands for peace and order, and much punishment shall befall you if you kill her. Come awake, Archer, and see that the girl before you, like you, is a hunter too. Come to your senses, I command you!"

With a roundhouse kick to his jaw, Jessie winced as he reeled back several feet.

'What is he LISTENING to?!' she wondered in her head.

Arsenal dropped to his knees and placed his hands together. Words rapidly came from his mouth in angered whispers. It took a moment, but Jessie realized he was praying.
~~Kyle...~~ said a light voice in the tongue he first learned. Coming next to him, only visable to him, was a woman who was completely made of wind. Her hair swirled around as did the white dress around her. ~~Kyle, you must realize this is wrong... Len cannot help you now. You have been trained to fight this... Stop praying to false gods and listen to me!!~~

Arsenal was now looking at her. Jessie stood on guard, not sure what was going on. He slowly raised to his feet and she stepped back for more room.

"Arse...?" she asked, uncertain.

"Run..." he said through clenched jaws. "Please.... Lets avoid this fight... I-I can't fight this much longer..... You must find Batman..." He fell to his knees and groaned, obviously fighting the urges he had been given by the femme fatales. "Please!!"

"Don't give up on me, Arse," Jessie pleaded as she backed off. "I'll be back for you, I promise."

Arsenal just hunched over and closed his eyes. Jessie momentarily wanted to run back to him to help, but knew she'd be in for it. Taking in a deep breath, she ran to find where the Catwoman and Poison Ivy ran off to.

After a long while of searching, nothing came up, and Jessie fought down waves of frustration as she headed to her apartment. Her father was there.

"Dad," Jessie greeted.

Angel turned around and said quietly. "Hey."

"Something's wrong," Jessie confided, pacing the floor. "Batboy's missing and Arsenal's under some kind of spell. Bad mojo."

"Want me to help?" he offered, standing.

Jessie nodded. "I was waiting for you to say that."

Angel narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "Where's Arsenal now?"

Jessie's features darkened. "At the greenhouse. Although I'm not sure if he's still there."

Angel headed over to the door. "Then we'd better hurry."



Ten angrily drove the hover car that Catwoman insisted that they steal, her hands in a death grip on the car. Catwoman and Poison Ivy sat in the back of the convertible and Batman was flying behind them, still entranced.

"So," Catwoman said, laughing to herself. "I figure that ONE of these days I'll give HIM the youth potion!"

Ivy, who had been gazing to the side, looked over to her and rolled her eyes. "Really smart, Selina. Give the old Batman a chance to come after us like a locomotive again. That's what we need. Batman, Batboy, Osi'Ra, Arsenal and those super-twits like Wonder Girl or Troia, or whatever her name is, after us. Get real."

Catwoman knelt up in her seat and posed for Ivy. "I am quite real, my friend. Not a wrinkle, not a gray hair. My thighs are perfect and my breasts are high and--"

"And you need a YOUTH SERUM to do that? I've been perfect shape for the last fifty years while snacking on nothing but water and junk food."

"That's because you're a plant. Us humans have to work to be beautiful," Catwoman responded, sitting back down.

"And I'm a deadly plant. You best remember that. I have no problem turning you and the brat up front in to Batman. I can break his trance as simply as I gave it."

"What-EVER," Catwoman said. She leaned over the front passenger seat and smiled to Ten. "Wanna go on a crime spree, my dear?"

"Anything to get my mind off of that girl..." she said through clenched teeth.

"My, my. It does seem to me that this Slayer is really bothering our little Melanie, Pammy." Catwoman ran the back of her gloved fingers down Ten's cheek, and Ten jerked her head away. Catwoman sat back and looked at Ivy. "We better kill the Slayer. Ten's one of us, now. She's part of our Gallery and we have to look after her. We just need to find a few "good men"."

She gave a wink to Ivy. Ivy then knew Catwoman was having aspirations to sell-out the teenager chauffering them around. For a moment, she wanted to disagree and get away. But she figured something could come from this, and nodded.

"Just a few guys that are good and that she can't kill. I have a serum that will make them feel no pain, and become practical zombies that can't even be knocked out. You HAVE to kill the person infected in order to stop it."

She grinned darkly and Catwoman laughed. "Perfect!"

Thomas was just coming out of his apartment for a trip to the twenty four hour shop when a hovercar whizzed dangerously close to him and stopped.

A weird red-haired woman stepped out, together with one in half black and white and a woman in a cat outfit.

Shrugging, he asked. "What're you people doing up at this hour?"

Thomas knew that three women walking around in their weird Halloween outfits would be easy food for vampires.

The black-and-white girl nodded to the red haired woman.

Red Hair stepped out and sashayed towards him, all seductivity.

"He-llo, young man," she drawled, then kissed him full on the lips.

Drawing away, Thomas' eyes glazed over almost immediately.

Ten and Catwoman laughed, as they beckoned their new zombie to come over.

"He's cute," Catwoman noted.

"He's one of the Slayer's friends." Ten gritted as they shut the car door. Ten had made it her personal hobby to study up on the Slayer and her friends.

Poison Ivy shrugged. "Whatever. He's still pretty cute."

*************

Jessie's stomach was turning into a hard knot as Angel swerved through the curb. She didn't even have the mood to backseat drive or even pray. Arsenal was her ally, and possibly, her friend, and she would do anything to save him. Being the Slayer was like that.

Angel's mouth was set in a grim line as he stared ahead. As they reached the greenhouse, he skidded to a halt.

Jessie bolted out of the doors and headed for the door.

"Watch out," Angel warned as he backed her up. "It may be a trap."

Jessie nodded as the doors slid open smoothly. Chemicals were everywhere, and Arsenal was nowhere to be seen.

The place was trashed, as if an army had passed through it. Complete with tankers.

Cautiously stepping through, her senses on the alert, she came to a clearing. It was then that she saw Arsenal on the floor, unconscious.

"Dad," she whispered. It was enough for Angel to hear and go over.

He stood over the vigilante for a moment. "We need to get help." his dark eyes were unreadable for a moment.

Jessie nodded, mentally blaming herself for not being there. She could have stopped it, but she didn't. She ran.

*For help,* her insides argued. But Jessie couldn't deny the guilt she was feeling deep inside.

The trip to Wayne Manor was short and reckless, as always. Angel nodded to Jessie as she and him supported his weight easily. Jessie was strong, and she could handle things.

The huge iron gates opened almost immediately. Together with his daughter and the one named Arsenal, Angel entered the treshold.

Wayne was in his usual seat in the Batcave, and Angel knew it. Opening the clock that led to the secret passageway, they entered.

As Bruce turned from the huge screen, he was surprised to see Arsenal unconscious.

"What happened?" he asked, his eyes on the two of them. It was not the first time he'd seen the Slayer, but still, it surprised him that the Slayer herself was a petite teenager, although the way she held herself was alluring. *Buffy was like that too,* a small part in his brain reminded him.

Jessie placed the archer on a bed. "He was bewitched by Poison Ivy."

"What about Batman?" Bruce asked in a low voice.

Jessie shook her head. "I haven't seen him at all. Arsenal supposedly went to look for Batman." Tears filled her eyes. "I should have been there earlier. Then these things couldn't have happened."

Angel took a step forward, watching Bruce carefully. Although Angel himself was three hundred years old, the old man never ceased to surprise him.

"Then Ivy must have gotten Batman." he said darkly, worry flashing over his wrinkled features.