Disclaimer: Buffy and co. belong to Joss Whedon. Domino, Logan, Sinister, and Madripoor belong to Marvel Comics. No money is being made from this work of fiction, and no infringement is implied.

Notes: I had this very strange idea. For those taking notes, I've dropped Buffy continuity back 20-some odd years. This IS a crossover, of sorts, for those who are interested. Possible sequels dangle on the edge of my brain. But it's 6 am, and I should really get some sleep. Oh, and this is set at the end of the fifth season of Buffy.

Rating: PG13, for language and some mild suggestiveness.

Dedication: To Timey, Drea and Allie. See? I am indeed demented. Especially to Allie for agreeing that the sun is evil.

I Cracked a Piece of Broken Glass
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

1970-ish. (you try telling time, with Marvel. Ugh)
Sunnydale, CA, midnight.

"Buffy, no!" Tears clouded the voice of the young woman who wailed these words. Her brown hair was being whipped into a frenzy around her head as she stood barefoot on a metal platform so high above the ground.

A jagged edge of lightning lashed out from the whirlpool of other-worldly energy that her blood had opened. She was the Key, a being of energy transposed into a young girl. The only way to close the portal that had opened was by dying. Or, by the blood of the young woman who was her sister. Buffy Summers. Slayer. Sometimes idiot, blonde and cute, and always alone in the end.

"Dawnie, I have to."

"No!" Denial hit her, forced her to move. "You can't. I don't exist, this isn't right."

"Dawnie, I--"

"Goodbye, Buffy. I loved you like a sister." She turned, feet moving swiftly, knowing surprise would be the only way this would work. Behind her, she heard Buffy's gasp of breath.

A tortured scream ripped from Buffy's throat as she jumped into the heart of the portal, "DAWN!"

Peace wrapped around her then, energy lashing into her and out of her, feeding on her. For an instant there was pain, then there was nothing.

Dawn's body fell a hundred feet, landing with obscene grace on a packing crate. She was smiling.

---

"She's gone." Buffy said dully, staring at nothing.

The others glanced at her, then continued their tasks. She had been like this for hours, eyes bleak and empty. Dawn might have been the manifestation of energy, but Buffy had taken her as a sister, and even when she'd found out the truth, she had protected her. Up until the end, when there hadn't been enough.

"No time. She's gone."

Willow Rosenberg tucked a strand of red hair behind her ear, and looked at her best friend, worried. "I hope she's not going catatonic again."

"She came out of it, though." Rupert Giles pointed out, taking the moment to wipe his glasses clean. "She should be all right. I don't think her mind can handle two traumatic states like that. And, well, Dawn..."

"Was my sister. And I failed."

"No, Buffy..."

"Face it, Will, I failed. I let her die." Buffy's face crumpled, "Oh, God. I let her die, Will. What am I going to do?"

The redheaded witch came over and wrapped an arm around the Slayer. "You're going to mourn, and then you're going to go back to what you do best."

"You don't get it. I can't. Nothing is right anymore."

"Now, Buffy, look, I know you're feeling bad. But, it'll get better."

"Shut up, Spike." Buffy snapped, glaring at the British vampire. "It's not as easy as bleaching your hair blond, poet-boy."

"Hey!"

"Buffy, I don't want to be rude, but. You'll survive. You'll deal, we're here for you." Xander Harris spoke up, his dark eyes troubled. Next to him sat Anya, ex-demon and current fiance of the dark-haired construction worker.

"Xander, could you *not* do this?" Buffy swiped at the tears on her cheeks. "God, none of you seem to get it. She's DEAD. And I'm the reason. Me. I'm the one who should be dead, but I'm not."

"Now, you're being a little unreasonable there--"

"Giles, this isn't something where I can just smile and accept it. This is, this is... I-I can't handle any of you right now. I'm going for a walk." She whirled, running from the living room, out the front door and down the sidewalk.

Tara, silent until now, patted Willow's arm, "It's OK. She'll be back."

---

Buffy ran, tears blinding her to everything but the need to get away. They were her friends, they loved her. Hell, she loved them. But she couldn't deal with their sympathy... and their pity. Not now, probably not ever.

She finally slowed when she got downtown, and wandered through the alleys, ignoring anything that might cause her to think.

Angel. When she'd killed him she had run to L.A. She couldn't do that anymore. There was no safe haven there. Besides, she didn't want to deal with Cordelia's smugness.

Cordelia Chase had once been the Sunnydale High Bitch. She'd been a cheerleader, the Homecoming Queen, and a thousand other small social queendoms that had left Buffy in the dust. And Cordelia didn't like Buffy, sensing the inner strength the Slayer had, and wanting to vanquish it. But that had changed when she moved to L.A. and ended up helping Angel help the helpless. And Angel... He was Buffy's ex-boyfriend, a vampire with a soul.

How trite.

But there was nowhere to go. Her father wouldn't understand. Her mother was dead.

"There's a freighter that leaves the docks every morning with the tide, B. I'm on that boat, and I'm gone. Doesn't matter where, just as long as it's away from here."

Faith. The dark-haired rogue Slayer had done so much damage to Buffy and her friends. It was ironic that it was her voice she heard at this time. And it was fortuitous. Buffy needed out. Where didn't matter. And a freighter sounded about right for the dinginess she was craving.

With that in mind, she headed for the docks, silent and swift. Only the occasional sob echoed to betray her, but they were lost to other sounds.

---

"Mutant test subject number 34-56723

Sex: Female

Physical characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyses. 5' 6", caucasian, slim.

Reason for testing: Displays high physical prowess, extremely good balance and sense of awareness of oncomming enemies. Also, subject appears to have incredible strength, as she broke the door on her cell open with only a small amount of leverage.

Decision: Tests of strength and physical prowess, and a sampling of genetics. With a possible tailoring of genes to gain insight.

Log ends."

---

Pain. Nothing but pain. And sound. Screaming. Was it her? She didn't know. It didn't matter, though. Nothing mattered but the pain.

There had been something before. Grief, loss... And she'd been captured after spending a month in the hold of the freighter. Filthy and in desperate need of a shopping spree, she'd found herself catching the notice of someone.

Being gassed then waking up in a cell wasn't conducive to goodness.

That was earlier, though. This was now. And it was pain.

They'd done something to her. Strapped her down and jabbed needles into already sensitive flesh. And now it hurt, fire running up and down her.

It never stopped. Never left.

A metallic taste entered her mouth and she realized she had bitten through her tongue. She choked as the slick fluid slid into her throat, turning sideways, fighting it back out of her lungs as she coughed and coughed.

Every cough sent a further burst of pain through her until she couldn't stand it anymore and passed out.

---

"Log begins.
Subject: 34-56723

Have tested many things and found subject resilient to all. Will do further investigating once have spliced the new mutant genes in.

Shall be pleased with results.

Sadly, haven't been able to isolate gene that causes the endurance, strength and resilience.

Log ends."

---

She woke up.

Light pierced her eyes and she closed them again, determined not to let it back in. There had been enough pain over the last several... several.... days?

"Days." She whispered, her voice raspy with disuse, or had she screamed her throat raw? It was all jumbled now, in her head. As if there had been someone in her mind, rifling about, moving things they shouldn't have. A shiver crawled up her spine, and she rolled onto her side.

The light wasn't as bright here and she opened her eyes again. She seemed to be lying on a patch of cold pavement, next to what her nose decided were garbage cans. Wrinkling said appendage, she shifted and tried to stand.

For a moment, her legs wouldn't hold her, then she was standing, and frowning. She felt... taller. As if someone had stretched her. And a breeze dancing around her made her realize something else. She was naked, completely in the buff--buff?--in the middle of an alley, at... night.

And it was night, she could just catch a patch of dark sky far over head. The lights nearby were highly vibrant neon, dancing into the night as they displayed their message of happiness, pleasure and booze.

Checking around herself, she found nothing suitable to use for makeshift clothing, and she grimaced.

She sighed and reached up to brush her hair back from her face, having finally noticed it sticking to part of her cheek. And she started, staring at the strands in her hand as if they were a foreign object. It was black. Her hair was black. It should have been... She snorted. Black was a good color. It looked nice and dramatic against her pale skine.

With a flick of her head she expertly swished it around, smiling as it tickled her shoulderblades. Clothing would be good.

Nearby, the sounds of a fight broke out, and she moved to the corner of the building to watch. A dark-haired man expertly fought his way through several burly men. He seemed to have at least of touch of martial arts, as well as basic street-fighting skills, and she wondereed how she knew that.

It didn't matter. He was fun to watch, if not a little rougher than she would have expected.

He finished his opponents shortly, and made his way up the street towards where she was hiding. She shifted back into the alley, not sure if she wanted him to see her.

"Like watching fights?" His voice was raspy, and low. As if he was more used to growling than actual words.

She shrugged, wishing there were clothes, somewhere. "I was impressed."

"I'm flattered, thank you." He pulled a cigar from his pocket and set it between his teeth, lighting it with a small black lighter. "So. Where you from?"

"Y'know, I've heard smoother pickup lines." She blinked at her own audacity.

"Girlie, you're the one standing here stark naked."

"I..." She looked down, then back up, troubled, "I don't know where my clothes are."

He straightened, looking serious, "Rape?"

"No. Not that." She shuddered. "I just... I remember pain, and, and grief..."

He sighed and shrugged out of the jacket, "Here, can't have you walking the streets of Madripoor looking like some fat Sultan's choice whore."

"Thanks." She pulled it on, trying her best to ignore the smell of old cigars, cheap booze, and something else. It covered her from neck to mid-thigh. She looked at him, "Why do you care?"

"You're a kid, lost, naked. Hey, I have my soft moments." He turned, starting back out into the street, as if he didn't care if she actually followed. "Y'want breakfast, you'd better follow," he added over his shoulder.

"Hey!" She ran out after him, wishing the jacket covered more than it did. "You better have coffee."

"I think there's some instant in the freezer."

She wrinkled her nose, "That's not coffee."

"All I got."

"I guess it'll do."

They walked in silence through the streets. His protection seemed to keep most of the men from doing more than ogling, though a few called out that they could give her better offers. At least, that's what she assumed they were saying, since it was a different language. Maybe Chinese.

After several minutes they came to an apartment building, and he led her inside and up several flights of stairs. She was barely puffing by the time she reached the top, although occasionally, the sense that her legs were too long almost tripped her up.

He lived in apartment 6C, the interior one huge room with a small kitchenette and bathroom. She flopped down on the single chair, and watched him busy himself at the stove. Her stomach grumbled as she looked around at what was definitely a bachelor pad. "I see you live alone."

"Yep." He looked at her, "You can find some clothing, I think. Clean ones should be in the pile on the bed. My laundry was dropped off this morning."

"Oh." She looked at the pile, and began searching for something she could wear.

Eventually she unearthed a pair of grey sweatpants and a black tshirt. Both hung on her like a sack, but they were better than nothing. For a fleeting moment, she thought of comfortable, fashionable clothing. Bellbottoms and silk peasant blouses... clogs.

"Breakfast is served." He called from the kitchenette.

"Oh, goodie. I'm starved." Moving towards him, she grinned as she saw the mug of coffee in one hand, a tray in the other. "Coffee. Drink of the Gods."

"It'll stunt your growth." He growled.

"Hah. I'm taller than you already."

"Brat."

"Old man."

He snorted and handed her the coffee. "Eat, drink, then I'll kick you out."

She paused in the act of sipping the drink, "Kick me out?"

There was fear in her voice that didn't show in her face, but he caught it. "Probably."

"Oh." Nonchalantly, she sat down on the edge of the bed and toyed with the mug, waiting for it to cool enough. "You sure? I mean, I'm useful. I can... I can clean the apartment."

He shrugged again and sat down on the chair, a mug of coffee in his own hands. "We'll see."

---

That's what he said for two weeks. Anytime she suggested that, maybe, she should do something to help bring in some money, he just shrugged, and said, "We'll see."

In that time she began to regain her confidence, her sense of self. Her name and home were lost to memory, but she was finding that she was pretty good at fighting. He'd caught her practising one of the moves he'd used in the street fight, and corrected her, then taught her another. Pretty soon he had her sparring with whatever came to hand. The sessions left her soaked in sweat, but happy.

This was her body, and her life. And she could do something with it.

He took her shopping the second day, spending cash on a pair of dark silk pants, a couple of shirts, and various underthings. She was grateful, and only complained at not being able to get the most expensive shampoo for her hair.

That first shower was an experience, though. Remembering her body, and finding the various little bits and pieces that should seem normal, but didn't quite. Her hair was the first. Her height, second. And then there was the dark mark around her left eye. And her skin had changed, turning a lighter shade, almost a grey-white.

None of that mattered, though. She was alive. And even though her memory wasn't coming back, she was learning things about the world around her. Like the language.

On top of her physical lessons, Logan was teaching her to speak the language of Madripoor. It was a polyglot of many Asian tongues, mainly Chinese and Japanese, and it had as many dialects as it had people. It was tough, at first, but her mind seemed to assimilate languages as her body did the karate movements.

She didn't know when he began calling her Neena, but she liked it, so it didn't matter. It seemed to fit her, though it was too soft.

The inner her, then. The part that she was burying under skill and tempered steel.

When the first two weeks ended, he added other things to the lessons. Art, politics, literature. As if he was training her for something. There seemed some goal in his mind, but he didn't talk about it, merely prodded her for another answer, or jumped her for another sparring session.

It got so that she began to feel complete without him, a woman of the world, smart and intelligent enough to know what she wanted to do with her life.

Months passed, letting her grow into her new self. He watched her, gauging her reactions and termperament until he believed her ready.

A gloomy day in March soaked him with rain as he came home with groceries. He'd bought some extra mushrooms, knowing she'd want some. And more of that damned coffee. Not gourmet, but he didn't have any apparatus for it. So, instant. She'd bitch, he'd growl, and they'd settle companionably around the kitchenette, sipping it.

"Logan, I know what I want to be." She was settled on the bed, cross-legged. Her face was thoughtful, her eyes resolute.

"Oh?"

"A mercenary."

He set the groceries on the counter, and looked at her. "And what makes you think you can do that?"

She shrugged, "I'm good at fighting, *you* said I have a facility for languages... and I want money, Logan. None of this pussy-footing around, saving lives just because it's Right. You can't live off Right."

"I might know some people." He said slowly, "But I want you to think about this. I'll give you a day."

Neena snorted, crossing her arms, "I've made up my mind, Logan. Nothing will change it."

He sighed, "The night, then. I'll call my contact in the morning."

"Good." She smiled, "You won't regret it." She bounced up, intent on the food, "I'll get dinner made."

As she walked past him, he closed his eyes, a thought echoing in his mind, 'No, but I might.'

---

Logan had been as good as his word. Within a week, Neena was training with a small company. They weren't very good, but that was ok. She needed to make her mistakes early, before taking on the big guns. Guns were her favorite new toy to play with, and by the end of her first month, she was out shooting every member of Kory's Kons.

Within two months, she was out of Kory's, and running jobs on her own. She was inexperienced, but inventive, getting herself in and out of scrapes almost as often as normal people brushed their teeth.

It was during this time that someone first called her by the name she was to be known as for a long time. Domino, Lady Luck. Things fell her way, no matter how often the odds seemed against her. She adopted the name, discarding Neena as a soft name. Leaving it for only Logan to use, the few times she saw him.

He left Madripoor not long after, and she lost track of him for nearly a year, then she ran into him in Leningrad, leaning against a building, cigar smoke trailing up into the sky.

"Logan."

"Neena."

She raised the half-empty bottle of vodka in her hand, "Want some?"

"Nah." He studied her, noting the new lines in her face, the strength she echoed. "I've been hearing good things about you."

"Thanks."

"I've been listening. There's a new group starting up soon. Seem to be fairly decent people."

"Yeah?"

"Solo gets tiring after a while."

She shrugged, "It's a living."

"Group work is relaxing. You can drink them under the table, kick their heads..."

She took a pull from the bottle, wincing at the cheapness. "Where do I go?"

He pulled a small slip of paper from his pocket, "Here. Tell the one with the blond hair I sent you."

"Thanks." She looked at him for a moment, then gave into an urge and hugged him quickly. "I'll, uh, see you. Around."

"Not if I see you first. Take care, Neena."

But she was gone, hurrying up the nearby fire escape and silently sliding back across the rooftops for her hotel room. He hoped he was doing the right thing, sending her to Cable and his Wild Pack.

---

"Log begins.
Subject: 34-56723

Subject escaped. Shall keep tabs on her for some time. Further study is merited, now that the mutation has taken full effect.

Log ends."

-finis-

Note: Now, we all know what happens next. Dom joins the Wild Pack, has massive adventures, boinks Cable...