Spark of Genius
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy verse, Girl Genius verse, DC comics or any of the other smatterings of pop culture and literary ideas that I refer to in my story, I just tread through a few other sandboxes. Oh, and several names are made up, some are real, but the facts have been changed to protect the corrupt and innocent equally.
AN: Been a while since I wrote this. I kind of got fed up with the wankers who were going all emo about Xander being true to form from canon BTVS when it comes to dealing with strong women as well as him not being invincible; and frankly I didn't need to deal with bloody flamers while dealing with the shite life was throwing me. First, one instance where he doesn't tell the women, "this is how it will be and you will like it" does not make Xander pussy whipped, read the rest of the story. Second, News flash sparky, Xander isn't a God, and there really are Gods in the DC universe; the type of Gods that can say "And let there be light" or "let there be evil nasty cottage cheese meatloaf (without meat)" and it will be so. [Yeah, the cottage cheese meatloaf is a painful memory from my childhood… mother went on a vegetarian kick… brrr, scary] All that is to say, this is my story, I write it for my enjoyment when I enjoy writing and only then, and you get to enjoy/be-tortured by it if you choose to read it.
So now we are on to the dating scene… It's time for a little Romance (in my head I typed "Romance" with a Latin language accent, just to make it sexier. You're thinking about it now aren't you? ;-) Ha! Go me!*) After this we get to see some major action and one of the main ideas that led to this story; the other being Xander going to hell and that part of the story arch which we already saw. But for now, we go back to the zaniness. Cheers!
Chapter 45: A Day At The Fair, And A Date With A Clown
"What's the difference between a dead cat in the road and a dead clown in the road?"
"There are skid marks in front of the cat."
A witty little tune played on the television news network showing the logo before the screen panned over to the broadcasters. The television showed two brightly smiling news reporters reviewing that day's top stories with a computer animated graphic of a spinning globe of earth in the background.
The man, whose teeth were stunningly white and sparkling, spoke to the camera, "Today in international news, the nation of Turkey surrendered to The Empire of The Leviathan before war could break out. Sources tell us that forces loyal to The Leviathan invaded northeastern Turkey early yesterday and locals are telling us that they heard explosions and sounds of fighting shortly before a long line of personnel and items were moved out of the area and returned to the lands controlled by The Empire. Locals also state that the area where the Leviathan's troops were active is allegedly haunted and known to locals as an area where people tend to disappear if they get too close.
Representatives of Turkey and The Empire gathered at the League of Nations in New York City where The Crimson Lady and Turkey's Prime Minister met. The talks were mediated by Queen Bee of Biyala. Her recent work with the terrorist nation of Quatar, and the nations of North Korea and Myanmar led North Korea, Quatar and Myanmar to all open their borders, pledge to end their support of terrorism and nuclear aspirations, and apply to join The Empire of The Leviathan; sources point to those countries receiving a positive response from The Empire of The Leviathan."
The image on the screen flashed to show The Crimson Lady in her body covering blood-red long dress shaking hands with the president of Turkey as the leader of Biyala stood between the two with hands on both party's' shoulders while you could clearly see the smile on the Queen Bee and Turkish President's faces; the Crimson Lady's face being shielded from view by her crimson colored helmet.
The picture on the screen then panned back to the two news reporters while the man turned in his seat to address the female reporter.
"It truly is amazing Jane." The man said, his hair perfectly coifed and smile still painted on his face as the blonde female reporter nodded with a smile and both turned back to the camera as the man continued to report, "The meeting between the Leader of Turkey and The Crimson Lady took approximately an hour before the parties emerged smiling to notify the press that insurgents in Turkey had attempted to kidnap and assassinate The Leviathan, thus necessitating the invasion of Turkish territory. As a show of good faith and to not go to war, Turkey has surrendered to The Empire and is seeking to join the growing superpower. Reports coming in from the streets of Turkey's capital show people celebrating in the streets as free health care personnel from The Empire began distributing The Leviathan's panacea."
The images on the screen flipped to that of lines of ill and infirmed moving into a tent before exiting a moment later fully healed. A patient in a wheelchair with an IV bag, bald head and terribly emaciated, showing the classic signs of somebody fighting cancer and receiving chemotherapy, entered the tent only to exit a moment later crying with joy and walking; a full head of hair and a lot more flesh on her body. The second image was of a family pushing wheelchairs containing their stooped, frail, and elderly parents into the tent, only to have the elderly couple exit a moment later looking decidedly fuzzy and blue, but young, and staring at each other in love while dancing the tango as the family that had formerly been their caretakers clapped and cheered.
"Yes Bob, it truly is amazing." The female reporter responded before addressing the camera. "Apparently spring is in the air, and with it peace, love and joy is spreading across the Middle East and Asia as terrorists, freedom fighters, insurgents and their enemies have come out of their caves and hide outs to declare an end to their violent tactics."
The picture switched to show Osama Bin Laden, a Jewish Rabi and a Catholic Priest all walk into a bar together.
No punch line or punches followed, the three were just there for lunch to celebrate settling their differences peacefully and agreeing to disagree on who was the One True God but realizing that each individual had value. It then showed Saddam Hussein of Iraq, a Sunni Muslim, shaking hands and embracing Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, who was a Shia Muslim; both formerly enemies. The television then displayed images coming from further east on the border between Pakistan and India, as soldiers from both sides threw off helmets and laid down weapons before they crossed the border to meet and share food as "spontaneous" peace broke out.
The screen turned back to show the two news announcers, and the woman continued to speak, "In other news, billionaire Lex Luthor announced that he will be running for President of the United States…"
Igor, the chief minion to The Leviathan/Xander/Alexander Heterodyne/The Grey Knight/Mad Scientist and Major Spark Extraordinaire! (the capital letters and exclamation point are important*), turned off the holographic news display with a push of a button on his data pad before turning to address his Master; Xander.
"Sir, it appears that your minion virus has continued its spread throughout the world and all is going according to plan in the United States. Violence is at an all-time low… which is kind of a shame actually. Your troops are a bit restless, and the Jägermonsters and Valkyries are complaining that they all didn't get to engage in the latest scuffle. Who knows when they may spontaneously break out in scuffles… well, more scuffles than usual I mean." The Chief minion waxed sadly about the decreased possibilities of bloodshed and pillaging that came about with the advent of peace. That said, it was his master that was gaining control over the world, so there were still reasons to be happy.
"That's nice Igor." Xander stated as he hummed to himself, not really paying attention to what Igor was saying as Xander's tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth while his hands were busy attaching wires to thick smoky glass that surrounded the gold helmet of the former Dr. Fate. The glass enclosure was located in an alcove of rock that was part of the wall of a cavernous subterranean structure far beneath the mountain that housed the magical academy for Xander's empire.
Xander pulled out a soldering gun from his back pocket and welded the copper wire to the copper base of the glass where the assembly was mounted into the rock.
"And when our powers combine… mwa ha ha ha ha…" Xander chuckled darkly to himself before continuing to hum a strange discordant tune that seemed to make the walls bend and flex as if reality itself was being stretched.
And with a final attachment of copper wires to the glass, Xander flipped a switch and smiled as a golden glow shot up the wire and disappeared into the wall.
"Come on baby! Come on! Work for me!" Xander shouted, a maniacal smile on his face, his hair out of place and sticking on end as some sort of green goop had been neglectfully wiped through it accidentally.
There was a "SNAP!" then a "Fizzle!" then a "FOOOOM!" sound rocked the room and shook dust from the ceiling as gold Egyptian hieroglyphs, Kryptonian script, and binary and mathematical equations lit up and spread across the room, painting the walls ceiling and floor in swirls of archaic symbols mixed with matrix and geometric mathematical formulas; a strange perversion of science and magic.
"IT LIVES! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! MWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" Xander yelled to the ceiling, his fists raised in triumph as he cackled madly. Behind Xander Igor joined his master in insane laughter as the power of Xander's Spark called forth the minion's urge to follow where The Heterodyne led.
"BWA HA HA HA HA HA!" Both laughed together for several minutes, only to suddenly stop as quickly as they had started.
"Well done Sir." Igor stated as he moved up to stare around his master's shoulder and look at the helmet of Dr. Fate that was now sealed in its glass, metal and stone enclosure. "Pardon my inability to follow your genius sir, but what exactly have you completed here?"
Xander turned to Igor with a smile and shrugged, "Actually, I'm not sure." Xander's smile grew larger before he continued.
"I actually was just trying to see if I could pervert the powers of order with SCIENCE." You could hear the capitalization of the word "Science" when Xander stated it. Xander turned back to look at the glassed structure as the helmet of Dr. Fate glowed bright gold for a moment as if objecting to Xander's statement about perverting the powers of order; causing the wires and glyphs on the walls to grow brighter.
"Well…" Xander started mumbling off quadratic equations and string theory before speaking loud enough and slow enough for Igor to follow, "Basically you carry the zero then crossed the polarity, I used Nth metaled glass rather than leaded glass to contain and encapsulate the magic of the helmet, transformed it into pure chaotic energy which then transcends logic and is easier to use for SCIENCE. So if I follow this line of script over here…" Xander's voice paused as he traced his finger along a series of looping glowing symbols and numbers before continuing, "Then basically I think it's creating a ward that is invisibly protecting all of my territories from magical attack." At this point Xander scratched the back of his head and kind of blushed.
"Except, hmmm, does this symbol look like a Twinkie to you?" Xander paused and gestured for Igor to look at one of the glowing symbols he had etched into the wall.
Sure enough, the etching was a dead ringer for a Twinkie snack cake.
"Yes Sir." Igor replied in a monotone voice.
"Hmmm. Well I think I remember being hungry right about here." Xander quipped as he continued past the etching of the Twinkie. "It's not like it should affect the outcome too much."
Meanwhile, say about two minutes prior to Xander's conversation and exactly at the moment that Xander's newest mad experiment and perversion of reality initiated, women's panties across Xander's empire disappeared with a "POP!"
That would have been the end of the madness if the side effect had only affected the panties sitting peacefully and quietly tucked away, neatly folded in the Empire women's/female creatures boudoir's/lingerie/underwear drawers. No, the side effect of order magic, perverted by Science, and forced through an etching of the divine Twinkie (blessed be the Twinkie!) was that all panties disappeared; even the ones in use.
"Heyz! Doez you feelz a draft?" One pink furred and sharp toothed female Jägermonster turned and asked another as they stepped out of their barracks and into the hallway of Jäger-Mountain; the hollowed out facility where the majority of Xander's Jäger troopers were housed.
The second female Jäger, this one colored sky blue looked startled and turned to respond to the first, "Yez, Yez I do."
Both female Jägers immediately pulled out the waist bands of their pants and looked down to find that sure enough, they were suddenly sans panties.
This is right at the same time that screams of indignation rose from the women's barracks as a voice shouted loud enough to reverberate down the hall, "Myz Panties! Der Allz Gone!"
Things probably would have been just fine, if a group of male Jägerkin hadn't been walking by the hall just at that moment…
"Yerz panties arez gone? Mmmmm, datz Smexy!" One male Jäger leered at the two female Jägermonsters.
To make matters worse, a second male piped in with a smile, "I vonder ver zey all couldz be?"
The two female Jägermonsters released their hold on their pants and looked at each other startled as they both came to the same conclusion before yelling out in unison.
"DA BOYZ TOOKZ ZEM! ATTACKZ!" They yelled, the sheer power and anger of losing their frilly lacy silky things allowing the statement to reverberate throughout the entire mountain.
With that, the two female Jägermonsters attacked.
Then the rest of the female Jägermonsters boiled out of their barracks like a raging stampeding herd, a raging stampeding heard with super strength, claws and sharp pointy teeth. All of them hell bent on retribution on the panty thieves.
The violence quickly spread throughout the mountain in a display of fist-a-cuffs never before seen on planet earth as Jägers punched Jägers, and finally minions joined the fray as female minions also wanted in on attacking the panty thieves; besides, what minion doesn't love a good fight?
The combat spread out of the former country of Romania and the headquarters of The Empire as minions, Jägers and then Valkyries joined the rolling battle, and then bits of the battle rolled through open portals and spread to the other territories under Xander's control.
Legs were bit, noses were punched, privates were kicked, titties were twisted, male members of the empire found themselves being given wedgies and wishing that they also were without underwear, and all around pandemonium reigned as throughout Xander's widespread lands people grew smiles on their faces and jumped into the brawl no matter the age, gender or species.
And thus the first annual "Noz-Pantiez" Empire Wide Brawl began; an event that was later memorialized and celebrated every year to burn off some pent up aggression.
The cavern roof above Xander shook, and dust fell from the ceiling as Xander and Igor looked up, and then back at each other before shrugging.
"It shouldn't be a problem. Not like anything bad could happen from it. I think my calculations of the effects are still good." Xander added as he went back to try and figure out what his mad genius had created.
"If my calculations had been off, all life on earth would have died in a fury of fission, fusion and reaction as matter turned to anti-matter… except for tapioca pudding, that would have turned into Greek yogurt and vice versa, but eh," Xander shrugged and smiled again, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Perverting the nature of the world takes some risks, and besides, nothing stands in the way of SCIENCE!" Xander finished the last part by striking a dramatic pose, finger pointed to the air as the other hand rested on his hip, elbow cocked outwards while he smiled a huge mad scientist type smile.
Igor just nodded his head as if Xander had said the most normal and blasé statement ever, not a care in the world that they had just dodged death all because Xander had the urge to invent.
"Very good Sir. Will you be going on your date with Ms. Artemis and Diana now? I would suggest you clean up first." Igor suggested.
Xander looked down at his watch and realized what time it was. "Oh, I better hurry, don't want to be late for breakfast with the Diana and Artemis." He stated while running a hand through his hair, only to come away with his hand trailing viscous green goop.
"But I better clean up first." Xander unwittingly repeated exactly what his chief minion had just suggested. "Portal." Xander commanded, and disappeared through a black portal a moment later.
Igor just shook his head as a small smile crept across his face as he left the still glowing cavern. The masters were always so amusing. Able to take over the world and make the laws of nature cry for their mama, but would forget to wear pants if their minions didn't remind them.
Meanwhile, a westbound Sparkbucks truck exited the city limits of Gotham City and disappeared in a flash of light, only to appear again empty in New Mechanicsburg Montana where it was going to be recycled into scrap material; a new Sparkbucks coffee truck would take its place on the road as Xander's original Spark invented coffee machine replaced it. The driver sighed and popped his back as he shut down the truck and exited the cab, leaving the truck unlocked as he was just happy to be home in his little slice of crazy paradise that was the mountainous valley of Xander's first tribe of minions. After the driver had left, the truck remained silent, no movement was seen as the dawn was just breaking and the only sound was the breeze blowing down from the surrounding mountains as the sun began to rise over the valley.
That was, no sound until the Twinkie wrappers under the driver's bench moved; the prodigious pile left over from the driver's breakfast, lunch and dinner crinkled as a furry little head popped itself up and peaked out from under the chair.
"Squeaker Squeek Squeek Squeeken." The squirrel chittered excitedly, telling its brothers that they had arrived safely at the sanctuary and first bastion of Chaos for their Nut God.
The mangy squirrel pushed itself out of the wrappers, showing that it bore the pigeon bone of an unbeliever tied to its tale, its hair chewed away to show a mowhawk that ran down its back. Then with a mighty leap, the squirrel launched itself from the floor and up onto the dashboard as the sound of excited chitters and squeaks filtered out from the interior of the seat as several more squirrels and rats exited the confines of the bench and scurried up to join their brother in viewing the location of their pilgrimage.
There it was, the sun raising above the peaks back-lit the Heterodyne Chateau on its hill above the town, outlining the building in dim red light like some bloody halo or miasma that was creeping up from below and bounced off the mist that rose from the grass on the hill.
"SQUEEEEEE!" The squirrel shouted and bowed towards the vision on the hill.
Its squeak translating into, "Nuts For The Nut God! We set our sights upon his holy bastion of caryopsis. Let the divine provider of sustenance and all things nutty be praised brothers, for his word is law and his chaos will spread throughout our race so that he may be worshipped and praised by all that squeaks!" For the language of the rodents was surprisingly verbose and full of detail even in its brevity.
With that, the other rodents squeaked in joy as they jumped onto the handle of the door, freeing them to share the word of the Nut God to the unbelievers in the heart of Xander's original territory.
The rodent crusade had come to New Mechanicsburg.
A portal sprung into existence in a flash of blue light as Xander, Diana of Themyscira and Artemis of the Valkyries stepped out into the new morning light of the small Montana town. Colorful banners spanned the street broadcasting that a "SCIENCE Fair" was in going to be celebrated in town as vendors and shop fronts began to open for the day in the little town of New Mechanicsburg.
"Brrr, a bit cold." Diana, aka Wonder Woman when she was in uniform, commented while hugging herself in her thin coat, sweater and jeans as the early April morning chill of the mountains permeated the air; and especially since her body was more acclimated to the warm Caribbean temperatures of Paradise Island.
"Come on then." Xander smiled as her carefully put his arm around Diana, looped an arm around Artemis's waist, and steered them both towards the town's Diner. "Let's get you some hot chow and breakfast."
Artemis was busy looking around at the large metal gargoyle statutes, and then up at the banner.
"I think they spelled that sign wrong, "science" is all capitalized while they just capitalized the first letter of "fair."" The red head added while quirking an eyebrow at the sign.
Xander just smirked back, "Nope." He playfully popped the 'p' sound on "nope" before adding, "It's exactly as it should be. Now come on, freshest Sparkbucks in the world right this way." As he guided two of his five fiancés, and one girl friend, towards the diner.
Sure enough, a sign next to the door advertised, "New Mechanicsburg Diner! Home of Sparkbucks, the most perfect coffee in the world."
Of course, it was the sign posted in the glass window on the other side of the door that drew the girls' attention and made them question the sanity of eating at the establishment.
"Wanted, today's lunch special. Dead or Alive." The sign stated, showing a picture of a tuna-casserole that appeared to have spouted legs.
"Uh, Xander?" Artemis paused as her and Diana's eyebrows shot up and their eyes went large due to the sign.
Xander just smiled and opened the door before gently but firmly guiding the two into the diner. "Foe-get about it." Xander did his best New York style Italian accent and smirked as he led the girls into the surprisingly full diner given that it was only six thirty in the morning.
"Xander!" An little old blue-haired lady dressed in a road stop diner outfit came out and gave Xander a hug, Xander leaning down to kiss the lady on the cheek as if visiting his grandmother.
"Hi Gloria." Xander said hello to the owner of the little diner, as his memory supplied the name of the minion that was addressing him. All the other patron's in the diner turned in their seats and smiled towards their master, instinctually recognizing Xander as The Heterodyne.
"Oh and you brought your lady friends, good morning dears." The old woman gripped the hands of both Diana and Artemis and gave them a surprisingly strong squeeze considering she looked like she must be over 80 years old; that and both Diana and Artemis were either magically super strong or augmented by Science. "Aren't you two pretty." The old woman added, making both women blush as the diner's owner winked at Xander.
"As you can see we are a bit full, but I think that Butch and Dale over there were just chewing the flab a bit and can take their coffees with them." The old woman semi commanded two young men in their twenties who smiled and rose from the booth they were in and slightly bowed at the waist towards Xander and his girls as they gave up their booth for Xander.
Xander and the girls settled down on the red shiny vinyl seats, with the women on one side and Xander on the other, and before they could even ask for it steaming mugs of Sparkbucks coffee were on the table in front of them.
"Any of you folks want the Special?" Gloria offered.
Xander smirked as both Diana and Artemis seemed to turn a bit green in complexion.
"No thank you Gloria, I think we will all do the normal breakfast food and will share. Just bring out some eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and waffles and we will eat what we like."
"Right away sugar." The waitress replied with a smile before heading back to work and leaving Xander, and two very relieved women, behind to chat.
Xander took a sip of his coffee and smirked over the top of his cup at the girls, "Enjoying yourselves on our date so far?" He questioned between sips.
Both women were still busy looking around the dinner as the patrons were a bit weird; a 70 something year old man in the corner had stacks of physics books set up next to his omelet, and across the table from the man, the man's three year old granddaughter sat on top of an even taller stack of college biology books and read through a high school math book on algebra. Outside the window a vendor pushed a cart by that was filled to the brim with professional grade Bunsen-burners and glassware, the flasks and vials were bubbling with multiple different colored fluids and the sign on the rolling cart stated, "Grow Your Own Monster."
"Xander, what is this place? Better yet, what is going on here?" Artemis finally answered his question with one of her own while drinking her coffee while pivoting her head around to take in the sights.
Xander shrugged and smiled as he set his coffee down, "This is New Mechanicsburg, and this was my first town. As for what is going on, well it's a science fair. We are testing out new fun events and games that will be included on the inter-dimensional city your tribe is moving into." Xander answered back, a twinkle in his eye as his words fully caught Artemis's attention.
Artemis was stunned, and a smile quickly grew across her face.
"It's done?" She posited.
"Yep." Xander quipped with a half smirk on his handsome face, "Your tribe of Valkyries will finally have a home of their own and will be able to move in tomorrow." He added.
"Squeee!" Artemis squealed in joy and launched over the table to hug Xander's neck; probably the first, last, and only time Artemis would ever make that sound in her life and one she would fiercely deny making if ever confronted with the fact.
Xander quickly used his super speed to balance his hot coffee and get it out of the way as he suddenly had his arms filled with squirming attractive redhead. A good thing too as he suddenly found his lips attached to Artemis's in a steamy kiss.
Finally they pulled apart, and Artemis rested her forehead against Xander's.
"Thank you." She stated quietly before pausing and searching for the right words. "You have no idea how much this means to me and my people to have a place we can call home, a place where we are respected, protected and can make our own."
Xander merely smiled, his eyes an inch away from Artemis's as they both looked at each other; his hands resting on the sides of her waist as she sat sideways on his lap.
"You're welcome." He answered meaningfully, no bit of humor or clownishness in his voice, just sincerity.
"Ahem, I thought we were on a three way date here?" Diana's voice playfully interrupted the interaction between Xander and Artemis; causing both to quickly separate and blush.
They both pulled back to see Diana smirking at the two of them with a quirked smile on her lips as her eyes twinkled and she looked at them over her cup as she sipped her coffee daintily.
Xander carefully removed Artemis from his lap as Artemis returned to her seat, the blush very apparent as she noted the rest of the patrons smiling and Gloria, the waitress, gave Artemis a wink.
Xander cleared his throat, and a quip popped into his mind and then out of his lips, "Well I'm sorry that you were jealous. If you want, I'm sure Artemis wouldn't mind kissing you either." Xander added the last part with a smirk, congratulating himself on a quick comeback.
'Good job boss.' One of the voices in Xander's head added.
'Thank you, I thought so myself.' Xander replied back mentally to the voice in his head, only to be struck dumb by Diana's response.
"Thank you, I don't mind if I do." Diana replied with a wicked smile before turning towards Artemis and planting an equally hot and steamy kiss right on the lips of the former Bana-Mighdall Amazon.
It took a brief part of a second, and then Artemis was returning the kiss equally, both Amazons having been raised in societies where women being lovers was the norm rather than the exception. Though the tiny smirk that shown through on both girls' faces as they kissed implied that they knew they were getting back at Xander for his attempt at teasing them.
Their counter tease worked, as Xander's jaw dropped and he was lucky not to spill his coffee on his lap.
'Humm-inn-a… Humm-inn-a… Humm-inn-a… HAREM! YES!' The voice of Xander's libido chanted in Xander's mind before pumping its fist in success and started to dance around the conference room in Xander's mind; the dancing included a lot of pantomimed hip thrusts.
The girls stopped their kiss and turned towards Xander with matching smirks as Xander blushed, realizing that sometimes he still had a bit of the old Sunny-D Xander left over, and had not turned into 100% Mr. Sauvé and confident in all things sexy-woman related.
Xander's jaw snapped closed, as he looked from one girl to the next, before smiling. "Good one Diana, you got me good." He added, nodding his head in admiration.
Both girls just smiled in return, just as their food was served on the table.
The threesome laughed as they ate, and a sense of relaxation permeated the trio as they just enjoyed each other's presence.
Between a bite of eggs, Diana asked Xander, "So why did you choose this place for our first real date?"
Xander smiled as he finished chewing his slice of bacon and then swallowed before replying. "Because I care about you." He looked Diana straight in the eyes as he explained.
"Both of you actually, and very much so." His eyes caught Artemis's for a moment before going back to Diana's. He really looked at Diana, in the face and not at her chest or at her curves, and the way he looked at her she could tell that he saw Diana and not Wonder Woman nor any of her other titles, just her, Diana, a woman.
His words mirrored that look, "I chose this town because I wanted to be with you, both of you and as ourselves." He kicked back in his seat and leaned so his left arm rested across the back of his side of the booth while his right arm waved at the diner and then what was going on outside the window as the streets were coming alive with locals and tourists alike.
"When I marry you two, I want to be married to Diana, and to Artemis, not Wonder Woman and the head Valkyrie. I don't want to love a title or a figurehead for some tribe or peoples; I want to fall madly truly and deeply in love with the woman you are." The power of Xander's Spark truly drove home the inflection and emotion behind his words, letting Diana be sure that he was meaning every word he stated.
"And here." Xander finished gesturing around himself, "I can be myself and so can you." His sincere smile adding to the effect of his words as he leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table. Diana and Artemis found themselves naturally leaning forward also, setting aside their food.
"Here, there are no masks of the Leviathan, no grey suits of armor for Artemis and me, nor any star spangled outfit, tiara and bracelets for you." He reached forward and took Diana and Artemis's hands in his own as he looked down at their hands, and then back up into their eyes.
"Here, you can just be Diana." He addressed to Diana, causing her to smile and her heart to melt as she looked deep into his eyes.
"And Artemis." He repeated, giving Artemis's hand a squeeze as he looked deep into her eyes, and both saw the love that they felt for each other mirrored back.
"And here I can be just Xander." He finished with a self-deprecating shrug and half smile that made both girls shiver at the mix of cute and handsome that made them both want to tackle him across the table. Xander was just truly a good guy, no matter the dark spots in his life nor the Spark of Mad Genius in his soul, in the end, he was just a guy wanting to go on a date and spend time with the women he cared for and was growing to love.
And both women could see it, feel it, and knew his words were true as he gently and subconsciously rubbed the back of their knuckles with his thumb as he held their hands.
It was at that moment that Diana, princess of Themyscira realized that she was falling in love with Alexander… no, Xander Heterodyne. Not the Leviathan nor Grey Knight who she respected so much, but Xander, the man behind the Science; behind the masks.
With that, the group smiled at each other, and they began to talk and share about each other, growing closer because of it.
Laughter issued from the table as the mound of food was surprisingly all eaten by the two tall muscular Amazons and even larger, taller and more muscular Xander.
Stories of their life were shared as their coffee cups were refilled time and time again as the hours ticked by into the midmorning while the streets became busier and more out of town tourists than locals began to fill up the booths and seats of the diner.
They were having a great time.
A wonderful time!
A time where the three of them were falling more and more in love and connecting with each other.
All of which is exactly why Xander's old friend Murphy's Law decided to interfere.
A shadow fell across the table as out of the corner of Xander's eye he noticed a suit and dark green cloak stood next to him at the edge of the table.
"Greetings Alexander, You have led me on a merry chase, but now it is time for you to stop your childish ways and joined me… or else."
Xander looked up, right into the sneering face of Ra's al Ghul, the man's servant Ubu and daughter Talia standing behind him.
"Greetings Beloved." Talia added with a demure nod of her head as Xander could only look back stunned in reply.
"Not now daughter." Ra's al Ghul's eyes never left Xander's. Instead, Ra's raised his hand to shoulder height, and he clicked his fingers.
The sound of metal against metal filled the diner as every tourist suddenly pulled out knives and swords and held them to the throats of the locals around them. The individuals in the booth seated behind Diana and Artemis spun around and set sharp steel against the throats of Xander's dates.
"And checkmate." Ra's smiled evilly, his eyes all a glow with success.
Tracking down Alexander Harris, aka Alexander Heterodyne, across the globe had taken a lot of man power and resources from the League of Shadows as well as Ra's al Ghul's legitimate business interests. The breakthrough in finding the one whom Ra's wanted as his Heir did not come until the tie between Sparkbucks and Alexander became clear.
The question had haunted al Ghul's mind, why would a young man with noted incredible skills but no real money to his name be tied so closely to The Empire of The Leviathan?
Searching through background computer data that seemed to disappear as quickly as it was found led nowhere. Hacking into the Embassy of The Leviathan in Gotham City seemed impossible. No, Ra's realized that he needed to rely on human intelligence.
Then the break came, or breaks to be more specific.
The world trade embargo of Sparkbucks coffee in league with The Empire of The Leviathan being recognized as a legitimate country and government. Agents noticing how Sparkbucks trucks seemed to disappear in flashes of light similar to the technology used by The Empire, and then Xander's use of robotics similar to that used by The Empire tied the pieces together.
In Ra's al Ghul's mind, it was clear that the young man was somehow well connected to the Empire, and that very much like his former Heir apparent Bruce Wayne, Alexander had a lot of money backing him up.
Adding two to two, Ra's believed that the end result was that Alexander Harris was the secret owner of Sparkbucks coffee; how else could the young man's appearance at The Empire's Embassy ball be explained? A major backer and reference point for the Empire who resided inside the USA was obviously going to receive an invitation to the ball. Add in the fact that the young man had a decidedly southern California accent to his English, and it was obvious that Alexander was an American.
Yes, in Ra's al Ghul's mind, all the pieces fit, and a festival in the heart of Alexander's town, the town where Sparkbucks Coffee's Headquarters was situated, was sure to see the illusive young man show up.
Ra's had ordered his League of Shadows, the scores of assassins and ninjas that reported to him, to infiltrate the town in preparation for the meeting.
It had all succeeded, and now he was standing beside Alexander, and he had his heir exactly where he wanted.
"And Checkmate." Ra's al Ghul smirked as he looked down into the stunned speechless face of Alexander Harris.
With blades held to the throats of Alexander's people inside the diner, the young man was at his mercy. The same situation was happening out in the streets also as the once peaceful "tourists" were exposed to be none other than ruthless ninja assassins who now held the town's populous hostage.
Xander blinked, and then an evil glare was returned back at the smirking Ra's al Ghul.
"Ra's, I let you go last time, but this is the second time you've made a big mistakes with me. And this time, you've made three of them." Alexander growled, his eyes flashing briefly green with anger.
"One." Xander stated and raised his hand in a fist, and stuck out his thumb to count down the mistakes that Ra's just made, "Neither of my dates need me to save them."
Xander's statement was prefaced by the sound of shearing steel, crunching bone and then shattering glass as the blades at Artemis and Diana's throats were crushed by their fists, right before both ninja's had their wrists broken by the grip of the two now angry women who proceeded to throw their attackers through the plate glass windows.
Ra's blinked at the change of events, but his sneer only increased, "I still have the rest of your people hostage, and there is no way you are fast enough to save them all throughout the city before at least one of them dies."
Xander only growled deeper and raised a second finger as he lowered his thumb, all while making a statement which had probably never been uttered before in the annals of human history.
"Two, you took ninja's with swords to a Death-Ray fight… Chateau, obliterate the ninjas."
Suddenly, from every surface inside the dinner and from every flat surface in the town, gun ports opened up, right before blue glowing beams of energy zapped out, immediately disintegrating every ninja in the town and leaving metal swords and knives to drop to the ground along with little piles of ash that was all that was left of the ninjas and assassins from The League of Shadows.
The gun ports clicked shut just as quickly as they had opened
Ra's al Ghul blinked in shock as his forces were obliterated instantly.
The townsfolk in the diner, and every minion on the street turned as one to grin evilly at the diner where they felt the Spark of their Master growing and pulsing as it grew with every beat of Xander's heart.
Now it was Xander's turn to smile evilly, a mad look shining in his eye as a dark shadow seemed to cover his face, a green glow seemed to permeate the air and his teeth were all too shiny as he smiled up at Ra's al Ghul.
Xander raised his third finger and dropped the first finger into his fist, basically flipping Ra's al Ghul off while still counting down.
"Three, you've messed with me and mine for the last time, Chateau, take his head."
There was the "Snap" "Fwoosh" of a portal opening up and closing, and then Ra's al Ghul's body fell to the ground headless.
Ra's al Ghul blinked, and then blinked again as he suddenly found himself looking out of a glass and bronze enclosure. Looking around, Ra's noticed other floating heads in the great blue tank.
And that's how Xander Heterodyne came out ahead of Ra's al Ghul, and in the end Ra's al Ghul was left with only his head.
The body of Ra's al Ghul dropped lifeless to the ground, no Lazarus Pit would ever be able to revive what was left of the eco-terrorist without his head; but just to make sure, there was a second "Click, Ker-ZAP!" and Ra's al Ghul's headless body became nothing but another pile of dust that Gloria would have to sweep up.
Xander dropped his fist and glared at Talia and Ubu, "Do you two have anything to add?"
In turn, Talia and Ubu blinked, and then as one dropped to a knee before Xander.
"The Demon Head is dead, long live the Demon Head! Hale Alexander, the new Ra's al Ghul."
Xander blinked at the sudden change in events.
"Wait, What?!" Was Xander only reply.
And that is how Xander gained control of the League of Shadows.
The rest of the morning was decidedly less threatening. Ok, so it was probably just as life threatening but not from the ninja variety.
Xander, Diana and Artemis left the diner with Igor having transported in to deal with Talia, Ubu and the fallout from gaining control of the League of Shadows. As they stepped out the doors, Dora, Tara and Jenny Kalderash ported in via a red transporter door and joined them for the fair.
Outside the diner the locals were laughing and playing as if nothing strange had happened; for in reality near death experiences with sword wielding ninjas was actually pretty boring compared to their normal life. In fact, the SCIENCE Fair and its events and food were perfect examples of the normal level of excitement.
Next to the grow your own monster display was a booth labeled "Fun With Genetics" where children could change their noses into cat's noses, tentacles, pig snouts or bird beaks for a short period of time before they reverted; they didn't need no stinking face painting.
Betting on chicken races was also a popular game, except the chickens were each four feet tall, glowed florescent green and shot flames out their rear-ends to propel themselves more quickly towards the finish line. Originally designed by Xander as a way to limit the methane emissions of farm animals, the birds had come out a bit differently than he had planned, but they were still better than the cows that some minions had dubbed "cud chewing mobile time bombs." Either way, a fire brigade was standing by with their Freeze-ray's, courtesy of technology from the former villain Dr. Freeze, to put out the fires left behind after each race. So far only the front two rows of the audience in the stands got singed; except for that one race where the chicken accidentally combusted.
Pin-the-tentacle-on-the-abomination replaced the more typical pin the tail on the donkey; and it included a real abomination of black tar like substance with lots of sharp teeth, where each live writhing tentacle added additional challenge for later blindfolded competitors to get through. The game was located next to the medical aid tent for a good reason.
Laser Tag was played with real lasers, enough said.
The petting zoo included animals that would make most sane people's brain's bleed at the mere sight of them, and the rollercoaster rides included trips into low earth orbit and back again while pulling up to five g's.
Then there was the food…
Yes there was the "Frank-N-Stein" booth, where the bald disembodied head of "Yuri" floated in a tank of fluid giving out fortunes based on information he pulled from the heads of his audience. The mechanical robot, very similar to a transformer's chassis, that Yuri's head was settled on went about dishing out hotdogs and steins of root beer or regular beer; based on your age and drinking habits.
There were mutated smoked chicken legs, with drumsticks the size of small children and enough food on one drumstick to feed a family of four; if you ate one, you glowed for the period of an hour and it was nice how the chicken cooked itself.
Electrostatic cotton candy was dispensed by a guy in a fully shielded rubber suit as he pulled cotton candy off of a seven foot tall quickly spinning tesla-coil. Just being handed the electrostatic cotton candy made your hair stand on end, and you could shock your friends with the static discharge while you ate it!
Xander and his fiancés had a blast, literally in the case of the "throw the dart at the nitroglycerin filled balloons" event and the real life version of "mine sweeper." After a bit of time even Diana was able to stop focusing on the rapid and deadly change of events that had happened in the diner with Ra's al Ghul and his assassins. Diana, aka Wonder Woman, was a warrior after all, and she understood the need for bloodshed when nothing else would do. The deaths of the attackers were near instantaneous and as such painless; an honorable outcome given the circumstances.
As noon rolled around, it was time for Xander to focus his attention on Jenny, Tara and Dora so he kissed Artemis goodbye. Diana kissed Xander goodbye, making both smile, and then both Diana and Artemis left with their arms full of giant color-changing stuffed teddy bears that Xander had won for the two of them at the fair.
"So, what are we going to do Xander?" Jenny questioned as Artemis and Diana disappeared through corresponding portals.
Xander smiled and put an arm around Tara and Dora while facing Jenny; the three ladies were wearing tight tailored red plaid flannel shirts and tight jeans. Xander had a sparkle in his eye as he responded.
"Well, your grandmother might have hinted how somebody loves monster truck rallies, so I figured we would grab the food you wanted and then go hit the show." He finished with a wink.
Jenny grew a big smile and leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, to which Tara and Dora both smirked and kissed Xander on either cheek at the same time leaving the young mad scientist with a huge smile on his face in return.
The girls then proceeded to drag Xander by the arm over to the food booth to grab their choice of grub. Xander meanwhile spent his time looking around at the fair and smiling as his people went about their merry and wacky way, enjoying the events and happy surroundings.
Xander's eyes panned the crowd while Tara and Dora discussed the benefits of hot pretzels versus deep fried Twinkies.
Over to Xander's right a child walked by with a floating inflated monster of some sort on a string, the little floating monster letting off puffs of smoke as it followed along behind its owner like a balloon on a tether. To the left of that and tucked away in the shadows between the throw the ball into the miniature black hole stand and the nitroglycerin darts booth were two rats beating the crap out of a pigeon while a mangy looking squirrel held a nut on high and over the pigeon's head. People were enjoying the stands and the fair, and Xander's brain caught up with what he had just seen between the booths and he focused in on the two rats and the squirrel tormenting the pigeon.
'What in the hell?!' Xander thought to himself.
'Um, I see what you are seeing, but it doesn't make any more sense to me than it does to you.' Xander's voice of reason answered back in Xander's mind, just as puzzled as Xander at what they were seeing.
'Kumquat!' Xander's voice of Insanity shouted for no particularly helpful reason.
Just then the squirrel noticed Xander's attention on the three rodents, and it quickly squeaked and bowed to Xander, prostrating itself on the ground from its position in the shadows. The two rats turned to see what the squirrel was doing and also noticed Xander, both of them bowing and forcing the pigeon to its knees along with them.
Xander blinked and turned to look at the girls, "Um, does anybody else see the rodents acting strangely over there?"
Dora paused mid bite from her deep fried Twinkie and looked at Xander quizzically, "What? Where?" Drawing Tara and Jenny's attention to Xander also.
"Right over," Xander's voice faded out as he looked back at where the three rodents and one flying rodent (aka pigeon) had been, only to see nothing but shadows in-between the two booths.
"Um, never mind." Xander finished as he painted a smile on his face and turned to face his girls. "Ready to see the show?" He quipped with his half smirk and goofy smile on his face.
The girls held up their assortments of multi-flavored popcorn, Twinkies, funnel cakes, chicken legs and Sparkbucks coffee to show that they were ready, and Xander helped them hold their bounty as they all moved toward the arena in the distance where the sounds of motors growling, and other more animalistic growls, could be heard.
"I think Big Foot is my favorite monster truck." Janna stated while cheering as her selected truck smashed several expensive looking Mercedes Benz, Jaguars and even a Ferrari that were being used for the show; only the best cars would be destroyed for Xander's people. The people of New Mechanicsburg had simple tastes when it came to their past times, yet one thing they all agreed on was that any company that claimed to make an ultimate driving machine was just asking to have their product put to the test. They all agreed, that if it couldn't handle one little monster truck that wasn't even armed with lasers or tactical nuclear missiles, then obviously the company's definition of "ultimate driving machine" did not match their definition. Besides, Sparkbucks was rolling in the money, so the minions of New Mechanicsburg had plenty of money to use for fun things like despoiling pristine expensive cars or lots of polish for the weapons they kept ready and spotless in the mountains around their valley; waiting for the day their Master unleashed them on his foes.
"Which Big Foot are you talking about? The original Big Foot with the giant tires driven by the Jägermonster, or the green fuzzy poke dotted truck with the four large feet and legs instead of tires?" Xander questioned between bites of popcorn.
Janna Kalderash, who would have gone by Jenny Calendar if she was in the Sunnydale Universe, paused in thought for a moment and then shrugged, "Well the traditional Big Foot was the first Monster Truck ever, so I really like that one, but the monster truck that is really a monster is kind of cute with its purple nail polish on its claws, and it is so cute how it purrs when it's allowed to crush some cars."
Tara, in true minion style, added in her opinion, "Personally I like the giant snail with the truck chasse for a shell, the slime trail has a beautiful pearlescent quality to it as it shines in the sun. "
"That or the tentacle truck!" Dora chimed in excitedly, "It can crush ten different cars at once!" She cheered for her selected Monster Truck which wasn't so much a truck as a monster the size of one but with a row of bucket seats strapped to its back and two of the more redneck minions whooping and hollering as they went along for the ride.
From their seats in the stand, Xander and his girls heard one of the redneck minions cheering as the tentacle "truck" made another pass around the arena, yelling, "It's making another left turn!" Which for some reason made the other redneck minion cheer even more.
Xander merely smiled and hugged Tara and Janna who were seated next to him before leaning over Tara and kissing Dora on the cheek so she didn't feel left out. "I agree on the racing snail, you should see what the friction coefficient of its slime is… big bugger practically glides around the track; but doesn't do to well in the winter with all the salt on the roads."
"And Now, for a Special Event!" The announcer interrupted the show and Xander's conversation by broadcasting through the arena's loudspeaker system, "One of our lucky audience members will be able to drive the original Big Foot!" The voice paused in its broadcast as the crowd cheered and then went silent to hear who the lucky audience member would be.
"Seat 42! You're the winner!" The announcer shouted, and the crowd all cheered and looked towards Xander and his girls, or specifically at Janna Kalderash who was currently seated in number 42 for the audience.
"I won?" Janna blinked at looked over at Xander with a stunned look on her face.
Xander smirked, and so did Tara and Dora. Then Xander winked at Janna.
"I WON!" She shouted in glee as she realized she was actually going to get to drive one of the trucks. She gave Xander a giant hug before jumping out of her seat and danced in the aisle as she waited for Xander, Dora and Tara to get up and follow her down the aisle and to the locked gate that was being opened so that she could go out onto the field.
A huge smile painted Xander's face as the crowd of minions and tourists cheered, with only the minions fully realizing that the selection was probably rigged by Xander but not caring in the least because he was The Heterodyne.
They smiled as they walked through the dirt field, stopped to pet the big fuzzy foot of the furred monster that was in the shape of a truck but with four legs, and then made their way over to the original Big Foot monster truck.
"Herez youz goes Bozz, only zey bezt fer youz and yer gurlz." The driver of Big Foot handed over the keys to Janna who shrieked in joy before grabbing a helmet and ear protection and climbing up into the cab. Xander helped the girls up into the truck, and then sat in the passenger side as the truck had four seats and was more of an SUV model than a true truck with a bed.
Xander only had time to buckle up the five point safety harness and make sure the girls were all protected, and then the engine rumbled to life. Xander quickly looked over at Janna, and it was at that point that he realized he might have made a mistake.
Janna floored the truck, causing the cab of the car to point straight up into the air as sudden power to the rear axle picked the front of the Big Foot monster truck up off the ground due to the torque, then sent the truck hurtling towards a line of uncrushed cars.
"BWA HA HA HA HA HA!" Janna laughed maniacally, showing she had been around Xander way too much.
Tara and Dora screamed in glee.
And Xander went pale and grabbed a hold of the "Oh Shit!" bar, otherwise known as the handle that was on the roof of the cab next to the window. Just in time to as the back wheels of the truck, still the only two wheels touching the ground, hit the first car in the line and caused the front wheels of the truck to slam down crushing in the cab of a formerly very nice Lotus sports car.
The next ten minutes were spent by the audience oohing and ahhing over a spectacle of destruction they had almost never seen before; then again most of them were minions so eh, it was a tossup to some other things that happened around the place.
Janna crushed cars, Janna really crushed cars. Launching the truck off of ramps and cars at full speed and promising to absolutely destroy the suspension on the giant truck.
She crushed cars with her wheels.
She crushed cars by rolling her truck in a barrel roll by flipping and barrel rolling the truck over and over.
She imitated parallel parking, but where the driver of said car being parked prefers to make her own parking spot.
Every conceivable "woman driver" joke ever made could not compare to the destruction that Janna unleashed on that field of cars, and all the while Janna's evil laughter bubbled up from inside her while Tara and Dora screamed in glee.
Meanwhile, Xander was having flashbacks to the Sunnydale verse, and kept shouting in fright, "She Drives Like Buffy! She Drives Like Buffy!"
Meanwhile in the Sunnydale dimension itself, and more particularly in the Sunnydale High School library, Buffy and the gang were catching up on the comic books of Xander's escapades when Buffy came to the part when Xander compared Janna's driving to her own.
"Gahhh!" Buffy yelled in anger while stomping her cute little foot, "Oh no he didn't! I do not drive that bad." Buffy spat angrily before looking up at Jonathan and Andrew who were at the table with her reading other copies of the comic books and a magic book on golem creation for when they wanted to automate their steam powered clank.
Though the effects of the minion virus, and minions in general, weren't known for their self-preservation skills when it came to science experiments and other offenses to nature, both boys felt their nerd sense of self-preservation kick in, and neither of them would make eye contact with Buffy.
"Guys, come on, I don't drive that badly." Buffy demanded at the two.
Andrew looked up frightened, seeing an angry Slayer glaring at you was not of the good.
Andrew darted a look around to see if anybody was going to save him from answering the question. Seeing no help, he gulped before looking down at his watch, "Hey, look at the time! Have to get to the comic shop to check out those new warhammer Titan miniature I wanted to see if I could copy and upgrade our clank into. Bye!" With that, Andrew turned and darted out of his chair and out the door of the library.
Jonathan, seeing an out in regard to answering the question frantically threw his version of the comic book down and took off after Andrew, "Wait for me! I want to read the latest version of Batman and see how he is reacting to all of Xander's actions."
"Guys?" Buffy looked confused, but still seeking an answer, she looked over at Willow and Willow's new boyfriend Oz who were now very diligently typing on a computer with their heads close together and glued to the screen as if they didn't hear Buffy, when in reality there was no way that Oz hadn't heard with his improved werewolf hearing. Then again, they were busy hacking into the Federal government's research entity known as DARPA, so they might well have been too involved in the railgun blueprints they were trying to steal.
"Giles, surely I don't drive That badly, right?" Buffy pleaded with her watcher who had been busy reading through a new tome that had been delivered that day; stressing the word "That" in her question.
"Not now Buffy," Giles stated, looking stylish in his punk rock leather jacket from days of his youth while picking up the tome and turning towards his office, "I have to cross reference this new information with my last findings in the Watcher Journals before my date with Jenny." Giles responded, totally ignoring Buffy's plea.
"Yes." A snide voice from across the library replied to Buffy's answer.
Cordelia Chase peaked over the top of her Cosmopolitan magazine where she had been perusing the latest fashions. "You really do drive that badly." Cordelia finished with a smirk before raising her magazine and going back to her reading; also showing that apparently even with the infection of the minion virus into the Sunnydale universe, some things would never change.
"Well hmmph, who asked you anyway." Buffy pouted and crossed her arms over her chest while stewing in anger in her seat as she went back to reading the comic book.
Xander, Tara and Dora wobbily exited the truck that was now just as beat up as the cars that had been crushed by Janna.
"Willz youz marry me?" The awe struck Jägerkin driver asked, stars in his eyes as he watched the vision of beauty and destruction step out of the truck and shake out her long brunette hair after taking off her helmet.
"Pow!" The explosion of sound rocked through the arena as Xander's fist met the Jäger's jaw and sent the Jägermonster flying out and over the arena's walls.
Janna just smiled at Xander and leaned over and kissed his cheek, causing Xander's early pale complexion to war with both the new blush and the bit of instant anger that had arose when the Jägerkin had asked Xander's fiancé to marry him.
"Now now, no reason to be jealous." Janna added as she hugged Xander fiercely, Tara and Dora joining in on the group hug while the crowd cheered from the stands.
"I had a great date Xander, thank you so much." Tara stated as she gave Xander a kiss on the cheek.
"Yes, it was a lot of fun, thanks for taking us out for the afternoon." Dora added before kissing his other cheek.
Xander smiled back, especially when Janna leaned forward and kissed him on the lips slightly, "Thank you for making one of my dreams come true." She added.
Xander's smile grew larger and he hugged all three girls to him as he led them off the field and through a tunnel while giving them a big hug as his long muscular arms wrapped around the shorter ladies.
"It was absolutely my pleasure." He finished, just pausing and smiling at his three fiancés.
The girls smiled back at him, but not a moment later Dora was looking at her watch.
"You need to get ready if you are going to make it up to Selena for the broken date the last time, as well as equaling the fun the rest of us had today." Dora added, and Tara nodded in agreement.
Xander smiled and nodded before kissing each girl on the forehead and giving them a hug before stepping back.
"Thank you ladies for just being you and for being willing to spend the day with me. It means so much." He finished, and with that, he disappeared with the snap of a portal.
Behind Xander he left two minions and one gipsy, all three of whom were very happy and touched by Xander's actions, words and the wonderful date they had spent together.
Xander knocked on Selena Kyle's bedroom door inside Castle Wulfenbach and waited. Being the girlfriend of The Leviathan had privileges, one of which was a richly designed and furnished apartment Selena could use whenever she wanted, an apartment in a floating castle with the best view of Gotham City's skyline as the floating palace/embassy stayed tethered but flying above the city.
Selena threw open the door, a long form fitting purple dress with a slit up the side and heels framed her figure as she smiled with a sultry smirk back at Xander, only for her smile to fall from her face as she took in what he was wearing.
Xander's all black body armor hugged his body like a second skin, leaving off some anatomical details but none the less showing off the incredible musculature that he had gained via his combination with Alexander Heterodyne on that Halloween night; that plus the skills and abilities he had gained from achieving Aquaman's body density and a few other science related bonus's from the nano-clanks and shrunken Amazo technology.
Xander smirked back at Selena's frown but stayed silent.
Selena purposefully looked Xander up and down before replying a bit cattily, "I like the muscles babe, but I thought when I told you to take me out and make it up to me, you would be a bit more dressed up?"
Xander shrugged, but still kept that sly grin on his face before crossing his arms and leaning back against the wall across the hall from her.
"Well, if you really want to go out to that type of fancy shmancy place, we can do so." Xander stated, as with a thought his armor rippled and shifted until it shaped itself to appear as if Xander was wearing a well-tailored tuxedo.
"Then again," Xander continued with a smirk as his nano-clank clothing bubbled again and turned into his full body black armor, the micro-machines seeming to bleed up his body and began to cover his face with the all black featureless helmet he preferred. "I figured a little rooftop shenanigans would be more up your alley Catwoman, what with this being on display in the city tonight."
Xander finished his quip as his armor fully covered his face, he then held up the palm of his hand and an image was projected out of his glove:
An image of a jade cat statute one foot tall by about six inches wide, a jade statue with deep green emeralds for eyes and a diamond and ruby studded gold collar.
Xander laughed, breaking Selena out of her stunned state of seeing the statue. She had a fetish for cat statues, antiquities and jewelry, especially of the extremely expensive variety. And the statue Xander was showing her met her interests to a T.
"I'll just change fast." She stated, pivoting on her heel and marching back into her apartment as Xander chuckled and walked in after her.
Xander's chuckle cut off in a gulp as Selena pulled the clasp on the back of her long slinky dress and it dropped to the ground, leaving her naked except for her heels.
Selena ignored Xander for the most part, but did give him a wink in the mirror of her armoire as she opened the door to the piece of furniture and pulled out her black leather Catwoman outfit.
Behind the protection of Xander's helmet, he swallowed a suddenly dry mouth as the little voice in the back of his head yelled, 'SCORE!'
Selena in turn had a wicked gleam in her eye as she quickly but seductively slipped out of her heels and then shimmied into her skin tight outfit; Xander wasn't sure whether he thought she was sexier in the outfit, or out of it, but either way, at that moment in time he said a little mental "thank you" to Mr. Myxlsptlk for keeping him in this crazy DC comics universe.
"Zzzzzzzzpp." Xander's attention was brought back to the present by the sound of Selena's long zipper coming up, closing up the front of the Catwoman costume while she smirked at Xander from behind her goggles that protected her eyes.
"Come on big boy, we have a statue to steal." She stated as she strutted up to Xander before standing on her tip toes and laying a kiss on the side of his helmet before walking past.
Xander was a bit mesmerized for a moment, as he was lost in his thoughts and the sight he had just seen.
'Um, is it me, or does anybody else envy the helmet at the moment?' The voice of Xander's libido questioned.
'Seconded!' Every single one of Xander's voices chorused back in reply; including the voice of insanity.
Insanity might be crazy, but he wasn't stupid.
Rather than travel by portal, Xander had instead flown with Selena in his arms down to the rooftops of Gotham City; and it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he wanted to get his hands on her curves while she was in that skin tight outfit.
Of course Selena didn't believe that for a second, and she smirked at Xander while telling him so.
"No, I simply wanted to enjoy the fresh air and thought a flight down from the Castle would be nice." Xander argued.
"Xander," Selena started as he set her down on the rooftop, cocking her hip and resting her hand on her waist, "This is Gotham City, the most polluted, dingy smog filled city in the entire United States. There is no fresh air here."
'She's got you there chief.' The voice of Reason responded in Xander's mind.
'Hey! You're supposed to be on my side.' Xander mentally groused before waiting for Libido to come to his rescue.
Xander's inner Libido just shrugged and smiled inside Xander's mind, 'Hey, don't look at me. I'm all for you getting your hands on that sexy kitten, but as long as you get laid I don't care about things like logic or reason.'
"Anyway." Xander didn't even try to deny his ulterior reasons anymore and decided to instead start running across the roofline towards the gap that separated the building they were on and the next.
"Come on slow poke, the night's not getting any younger and your new statue awaits." He jokingly yelled over his shoulder as he leapt to the next building using his greater than human strength to propel himself over the fifteen foot gap.
The snap of a whip to his right soon heralded the arrival of Selena as she swung onto the roof next to him using a roof mounted cell phone tower's guide wires as a target for her whip. Then the two were off across the rooftops.
They made it across two rooftops before Xander decided to goof around and entertain his date, Catwoman, rolling into a handstand and then running on his hands with his feet above his head while keeping pace with Selena.
Handstand running was followed by flips and tricks as he crossed the roofline, running circles around Catwoman who though incredibly athletic and able to do incredible acts of parkour across the city's features, was still only human.
She giggled and laughed at his antics, and he joked along until the point that he kind of lost track of what he was supposed to be doing; namely watching where he was going.
Selena smirked and leapt to the next building, only for Xander to hit the clothes line she had dodged that spanned the space between the two buildings and he disappear down the gap of the alleyway with a loud, "Oops! Shit!" with arms and legs waving crazily to right himself.
Catwoman just laughed and stood on the rooftop waiting as Xander sheepishly floated back to the rooftop, uninjured except for his bruised ego.
"Ha! So where too now mighty leader." She chided him playfully as she waited to see where exactly he was leading her.
Xander scratched the back of his helmeted head sheepishly while calling up the city map via the interface on the inside of his helmet.
"Um, let's see. Should be two blocks that way, a bonded warehouse and insurance broker's facility. Statue is on display tonight before being delivered to its new owner in the morning." Xander pointed towards several large square flat roofed warehouses that could be seen slightly rising above the rest of the buildings around them.
"Great, I can't wait." Selena stated while rubbing her leather clad hands together eagerly, "This is going to be purrrfect." She purred the last statement, sending shivers down Xander's spine and making him smile behind his helmet as he watched her leap out ahead to lead the last bit of distance to the targeted location.
Upon reaching the warehouse roof however, she couldn't locate an entrance, window or skylight she could use to get into the building; and looking out over the edge saw several armed guards with dogs patrolling the outside of the building. The only major structures on top of the building were two large raised sheds that housed the heating and air conditioning units, and there were two ladders leading down to street level.
Frustrated, she turned to look at Xander who had landed next to her, both of their feet softly crunching in the gravel that lined the rooftop of the warehouse.
"Ok, so this was your idea for a date, how do we get in and get the statue?" She questions, raising her goggles off her eyes and then holding them in her hand while giving Xander a bit of a glare that Cordelia Chase could have learned a thing or two from.
Xander merely smiled and didn't directly answer her question, but rather raised his hand and displayed a three dimensional holographic map of the building that first looked at the outside and then zoomed in to focus on the inside of the building. The image first showed a large room totally devoid of any structure except for metal pillars that held up the roof and a lattice work along the ceiling. The floor was a checkerboard pattern of black and white tile, each tile about a foot and a half on each side of the square tile. In the middle of the room was a pillar that was lit up with the jade cat statue bathed in light resting on a purple velvet cushion.
"Well first things first, you need to understand the security inside between us and the statue." Xander stated, using his free hand to point at the statue and then at the floor.
Selena moved closer to Xander as he started to explain the security.
"First, the floor. Every black square tile is a pressure plate." Xander looked up and smiled at Selena from behind his helmet, cocking his head to the side and teasingly adding, "Ever played the child's game of don't step on a crack or you break your mother's back? Well step on a crack and you will have a lot more to worry about than back problems, as the slightest pressure will immediately alert the guards, the police, and no doubt Batman."
Selena just smirked back at him, "Piece of cake, we just get through the roof right above the statue and you float me down."
Xander shook his head and mockingly wagged his finger back and forth, "Not so fast, that's the type of curiosity that kills, or at least captures, cats." Suddenly red lines started forming all across the image of the room, and especially across the ceiling above the cat statute as the metal lattice work of the warehouse's ceiling was suddenly teeming with laser trip lines.
"Infrared laser detection grid, only a very flexible individual could hope to get across that floor without tripping one of the lasers and setting off the silent alarm. There is a space around the statue itself that is left open, and the only other gap happens to be right under where we are standing." Xander shrugged, "I should be able to cut us a square right where I'm standing that we can drop through onto a safe spot on the white tile, and then we can work our way forward through the infrared beams."
Catwoman frowned at Xander's plan, her mind thinking quickly as cat-burglary, so to say, was her area of expertise. "That totally isn't going to work. If the beams are infrared then there is no way we are going to be able to see where is safe and where we are setting off the silent alarm."
Xander paused and looked at Catwoman quizzically, "Wait, you mean you have been robbing museums and rich people all this time, and your goggles can't see infrared trip lasers? Give me those."
Xander finished while snatching her perfectly normal goggles out of her hand and then turning around to look across the roofline.
"Hey! Give those back." Selena demanded and stepped forward, only to be shhh'd by Xander.
"Quiet, inventor working here. Bother the inventor and who knows what the Spark will create." Xander responded as he quickly scanned the roofline around him, finding quartz crystalline like pebble among the other bits of stone that lined the roof. An old piece of bubble gum caught his eye along with a bit of copper wire sticking out from the air-conditioning unit and an old dead D battery that might have been left over from a flashlight or something else a repair person had once used on the roof.
Xander started to hum a discordant tune.
To Selena, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as some power seemed to suddenly emanate from Xander. It was like flexing muscles, but just at the skin level as the world around her seemed to shiver in time to the rising, lowering and minor key notes that Xander was hitting with his voice; he had an amazing range given his overt masculinity and it kind of amazed her that he was even able to hit some high notes that she probably couldn't reach.
Selena blinked, and realized that Xander was handing her back her goggles.
Catwoman looked down at the goggles in her hands, and blinked again at what she saw.
"Wait a minute; they look exactly as they did before! You didn't do anything to them." She demanded, as it looked and felt exactly like the leather strap and glass protective goggles that she had before.
Xander laughed. "Ha, try them on and say that again."
Selena mumbled a growl as she slid them over her head, only to utter out the first word that sprang to mind, "Wow…"
The night sky was lit up like day, as if she was operating under the summer sun rather than a dark smoggy Gotham night without a star in sight. Green grid lines overlay the textures of the landscape around her, and through her goggles she could see a grey shadow or haze displayed in the areas that would be good for hiding in; a computer typed message of "Hide here" was even displayed in the best shadows.
"What… how did… just wow." She finally said as she looked at Xander, only to smile large as an information tag over Xander's head read, "Hot sexy boyfriend who you want to pounce into bed with" including a flashing downward arrow pointing at Xander.
Xander just smiled at her large smile, and he shrugged.
"What can I say? It's a gift." His voice smugly relayed.
"A bit presumptuous with that tag, don't you think?" She playfully replied, not denying in the slightest that it was true or not.
Xander smirked a bit of an evil smile behind the safety of his helmet as a wicked plan came to mind.
'Bwa ha ha ha ha ha.' He mentally chuckled to himself.
Xander's voice of World Domination nodded in agreement to the wicked manipulative idea, 'Well planned young lord, the Darkside is strong with you.' The inner voice added in the voice of Darth Vadar.
"How about we have a competition." Xander challenged instead of answering her statement.
Xander raised his hand which seemed to disappear into nothingness while mentally commanding his nano-clanks to activate a new bit of technology now that his Valhalla, the dimensionally separate city of the Valkyries was completed, and seemed to draw his lightsaber out of thin air while in fact reaching into that separate dimension and calling his blade to his hand from its storage room.
Xander's hand reappeared out of the seeming hole in the air only for the red blade to ignite in with the classic sound of the "Snap-hiss" before thrumming as he spun the blade around his hand before making four quick cuts to the roof beneath him and quickly grabbing the roof material before it could fall to the floor below.
"Person that can get to the statue the fastest without setting off the alarm gets a favor from the loser, preferably a favor of the sexual kind." He challenged as he set the piece of roof down and stood up to turn back to Selena.
"Challenge accepted." She stated with a wicked smile of her own as she jumped through the hole without even waiting for a Xander to fully realize she was going.
"By all means, Lady's first." Xander's quip followed Catwoman as she plummeted from the ceiling through the gap in the lasers, which she could now see through her goggles, and to the floor.
Catlike reflexes honed from years of burglary kicked in as she absorbed the force of the fall on her toes as he knees flexed and she brought her hands down to stop her descent; toes perfectly situated on white tiles, knees hovering over black tiles but not touching, and crouched like a cat about to pounce as clawed gloves caught their own safe white spaces.
Elbows bent, knees crouched and hovering only five inches above the floor, head up and calculating a path through the crisscrossing lasers displayed in her goggles, she smiled.
"This is where the fun begins," she thought to herself.
Then she pounced.
Xander floated down slowly through the gap he had cut in the roof; however he almost forgot how to breathe let alone fly at the sight he saw.
It was simply the most feminine, seductive and flexible example of female athletics that he had ever witnessed in his life.
Selena pounced, springing from all fours to straight and flat through the air as she dove between a gap in the laser grid, touched down in a brief handstand on the tips of her fingers before pushing off straight up and seeming to high-jump over a beam of infrared light five feet over the ground with her feet leading and her back arching almost to the point it touched and barely scraping by the beam of light.
Landing daintily on the toes of her leather incased stiletto wearing heels, safely on a white tile, she stepped into a spread angle splits by drawing her right leg up against her calf, leather rasping against leather before inserting her leg over a laser that was a foot off the ground and sliding between that beam and another barely a foot above that.
Pulling her body through the gap purely with leg strength and a sense of balance that would make a ballerina damn jealous, Catwoman smiled as she pirouetted on her toes before turning her back towards the statue and bending backwards through a square hole made by the lasers. Landing on her hands in a headstand, she pulled her legs up together not unlike a mermaid might flip its tail, before pulling her knees to her chest while still holding her perfect handstand.
Arms flexed as she pulled herself close to the ground, only for her explode upwards with a show of strength that made Xander's mouth go dry as the brief bit of light in the room shined off your leather clad derriere as she spun rapidly up and through a gap in the lasers four feet off the ground only to explode into a Chinese splits with legs akimbo and balancing on her stiletto heels with a laser four inches above the ground and one inch below her crotch.
Selena turned to look at Xander, and she winked with a catty smirk on her face.
"Hummina hummina." Xander mumbled verbally while licking his dry lips.
'Seconded!' Every voice in Xander's head voted unanimously.
Seeming to bend in on herself as if she had no spin, Selena rolled forward and slid her hands, head and upper body through a gap less than nine inches off the ground; almost scraping a black pressure sensor tile as her body limbo-ed through the smallest opening yet and right up to the statue's pillar and the safe spot in the middle of the room.
"Bravo! Bravo!" Xander stated across the room, a huge smile on his lips.
Catwoman did a mock bow of her head, hand to her stomach and flipped her wrist in a joking pantomime of an entertainer's bowing for ovation.
Standing, Selena smirked at Xander, "That was fun. Let's see you do better." She challenged with a raised eyebrow.
Xander cocked his head to the side and smiled playfully behind his helmet, "Fastest time to the statue wins the favor?" He joked back.
Selena nodded with a large wicked smile, "Those were the rules, and I look forward to collecting my prize." She quipped back.
Xander quickly queried the time in his helmet, and his AI Jarvis responded, "At the sound of the chime Sir, the time will be twelve AM. Good morning Sir."
This made Xander smile even larger, though Selena couldn't see that she was in trouble.
"Very well then." Xander replied before raising his hands, and clapping twice.
"Clap on." He chanted out loud with a smug smile as his helmet dissolved showing his face while his hands made two ringing and distinct sounds of "Clap, Clap."
The lights in the warehouse turned on, the lasers turned off, the floor lost its tiled look and became solid white and Xander strolled across the room without a care in the world and an incredibly lopsided grin on his face and amusement playing in his eyes.
Selena's jaw dropped as Xander came up next to her, his height allowing him to smile down at her and slowly raise a finger to close her mouth with a 'click' while at the same time lifting the statue from its pedestal and handing it to Selena.
"It's morning; here is your new statue." Xander quipped while winking at her, "I told you the new owner was going to be collecting the statue in the morning, and look at that, its 12 AM. Good morning pretty kitty. Now how about that favor?"
Selena held the statue to her chest where Xander had handed it to her, her brain trying to catch up with her as he mouth worked but no words came out.
Xander laughed a deep chuckle and his eyes twinkling in mirth before leaning down and kissing Selena on the sputtering lips before hugging her around the waist and floating off the floor and back towards the hole cut in the roof.
"But, but…" Selena started, only to get a somewhat catty glare in her eye as she slapped Xander on the chest playfully, "You cheated! You told me that if we tripped the sensor we would set off the alarm. And yet you own the statue! I thought we were stealing it!" She growled at him.
Xander just laughed in reply before quipping back, "Yep! And it was fun also." Xander gave her a lopsided grin while continuing, "Much more fun than simply taking you out to a nice restaurant and giving you the statue, and I especially enjoyed the floor show that came with our time together." Xander winked.
Selena blushed and looked down at Xander's muscular chest as the exited the hole and settled down lightly onto the roof.
"Well I still say you cheated." She challenged, but only half-heartedly as his trick amused her and she had had a lot of fun as well as adored the statue.
"So, does that mean you are going to welch on our bet then? We never said how we had to get to the statue, just fastest one there and I won." Xander taunted playfully.
"Ah, but I wanted to win." Selena pouted, her plump red lips jutting out with the lower one playfully pouting and being nibbled on as she looked playfully up at Xander.
Xander licked his lips and leaned in slowly, eyes locked on Selena's, "We both win." He uttered huskily as he pulled her into the kiss and slid one arm up and around her shoulders while the other hand reached down and clenched her butt and pulled her to him.
Selena moaned into the kiss and both closed their eyes as they lost themselves in the passion of the embrace.
Xander lost all track of the world around him, his focus fully swallowed by the sensation of her soft lips on his and her tongue lightly and playfully wrestling with his for dominance.
The kiss lasted a good three minutes and Selena opened her eyes to look at her boyfriend who she was admitting she was truly in love with, only for her eyes to go large.
Selena jerked back, startling Xander, and yelled, "LOOK OU…" Yet her warning was never completed as Xander turned his head only to see a large wooden mallet the size of a garbage can lid two inches from his face.
Xander was blasted out of Selena's arms by the force of the blow, the pain shocking his brain for a moment as the laws of physics came into play and the momentum of the large well swung mallet picked him up off his feet and sent him skipping across the roof.
Warning klaxons sounded in his head as pain flashed behind his eyes, 'Battle Stations! Battle Stations! All personalities to Battle Stations!' The voice of Reason in Xander's head shouted, only to stop as Xander heard the most evil and crazy laugh he had ever heard in his life.
"WA HA HA HA HA HA!"
It was no normal laugh. No, it was the almost signature cackle of a Clown. The Clown Prince of Crime to be exact, and one named "The Joker" if you wanted to be specific.
Xander saw red and his eyes flashed primal green as he shook off the pain, the upgrade from the absorbing of Aquaman's durability and bulletproof constitution allowing Xander to shake off the blow and rise to his feet.
There in front of Xander, clothed in a long purple straight legged suit, green hair and garish white makeup with a slit faced smile outlined in red was The Joker, holding Selena at gunpoint with the largest longest barreled pistol he had ever seen ground into the temple of her head. Standing in the shadows of the roof behind The Joker was the villain's sidekick Harley Quinn, aka Harley Quinzel who had been a lovely psychiatrist until The Joker had twisted her around his finger and used her for his love slave and often abused significant other. It was Harley that was carrying the large wooden mallet over her shoulder, the size of the thing almost dwarfing her petite size and her skintight harlequin outfit of red and black begging the question of where she kept the damn mallet when she wasn't carrying it.
'What is it with villains holding My loved ones hostage!? 'Xander mentally bellowed in his mind as a brief part of Xander realized that he had just included Selena in the group of people he loved, the other part of him was incredibly furious.
Xander growled, only barely holding back a scream of absolute rage as his eyes lit up his face with a green glow that was the only light around him on the dark roof under the smoggy Gotham sky.
Xander had never been more angered in his life, for if there was one thing that Xander hated besides his loved ones being threatened, it was clowns.
"I… Hate… Clowns." Xander growled while taking a menacing step forward, claws springing from his armored hands as if to rend The Joker piece by piece.
The joker smirked and ground the barrel of his overly large pistol into the temple of Catwoman, stopping Xander's advance.
However, this situation would not play out like the normal Joker versus Batman Hostage crisis. Oh no, far from it in fact.
The Joker smiled evilly, his smile creeping from ear to ear as he opened his mouth to taunt Xander, but before he could respond, before he could start the ever common monologue between dastardly evil super-villain and hero, before he could taunt Xander with the death of Xander's loved one…something unexpected happened.
You see, due to Xander's tampering with mind control and telepathy, Xander had infected the rodent population with his own special brand of insanity.
A part of that insanity being an all abiding hatred of clowns.
Add to this the fact that the Rodent Crusade had pretty much taken over every single rodent in all of Gotham, and the Joker was in big trouble.
Rodents of unusual size and hair cut flooded out of the darkness. How dare a clown threaten the Nut God's mate! This would not stand! And so the near unending wave of mangy, angry and mohawk sporting squirrels descended from the darkened shadows of the rooftops around Xander in a wave of squeaking furry fury.
Squirrels leaped in a wave that drove the Joker back and away from Selena as The Clown Prince of Gotham suddenly found himself deluged with biting clawing woodland creatures that went for the eyes, ears, and like squirrels everywhere, the nuts.
The Joker's pants bulged as twenty squirrels flooded his slacks like clowns in a clown car as he struggled to stay standing, swinging his hands wildly and attempting to use his gun as a club to drive the little buggers away from his face and neck. It was then that he felt the biting on his legs and thighs and changed his protection of his face to the protection of his crotch.
"Not the Nuts! Not the Nuts!" The Joker begged, only to be ignored by the enraged rodents who were in his pants and as one latched their sharp little acorn crushing teeth onto the Joker's hairy nutsack.
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! They Got the Nuts!" The Joker's normally deep voice suddenly matched that of any young child singer in a boys choir group; high pitched and shrill enough to make dogs bark for blocks around.
The Joker thrashed and fell over while punching himself in the nuts, trying anything to get the squirrels to let go but they seemed to move out of the way every time he swung, only ending up with him clubbing himself in the nuts and adding to his own pain.
The Joker struggled to stand up, as Harley, Catwoman and Xander all stood stunned as they watched the very one sided battle. Xander's rage immediately disappeared, he didn't know whether to be scared, stunned, angry, or fall over laughing at the sight before him.
The Joker was screaming in agony, cuts and bites on his face as every squirrel he knocked off was soon matched by two more attacking him.
Spying a wall of a raised part of the roof, a sub building that housed the air conditioning unit for the warehouse, The Joker sprinted for the building before beginning wild gyrations and hip thrusts into the side of the building in the hope of knocking loose the rabid little berserkers.
"EE! AH! OH! OW! OUCH! YAAAA!" The Clown Prince yelled in agony, almost doing a parody of the sounds that would normally accompany the Joker being beat up by Batman, but this time with no end in sight to the agony he was under.
It was then that the lead squirrel of Gotham's crusade arrived on the scene.
With a frenzied "SQEEEEEEE" and running start, the squee translating out to "BANZAI", the grand inquisitor of the Nut God's Rodent Crusade sprinted up the pant leg of the Joker right before latching its teeth and claws onto the Joker's penis.
The charge of "Squeee/Banzai" being strangely fitting considering that Banzai means "Long Live The Emperor", and Xander was the ruler of an empire. However that isn't all that germane to the situation and was probably the last thing on The Joker's mind.
The Joker screamed out in ever increasing agony and was locked in pain, arms to the side as his head bent back not in the normal mad laughter, but due to the insane amount of pain he was under.
Through the tears and the punching himself in his own crotch, the Joker heard words that would forever haunt him for the rest of his very short life.
"I'll save you pudding!" Harley Quinzel called out to her lover.
The joker's eyes went large, as he blinked away the tears, just in time to see Harley Quinn complete her wind up with her extra-large wooden mallet and then swing at him in order to crush the squirrels attacking her psychotic lover.
"Et tu Harley?" The Clown Prince whispered in shock, right as Harley's mallet impacted him in the gut and groin; the size of the mallet leading to a sizable area of impact as the Joker's ability to father children went the way of the dodo… along with his pelvic bone which was instantly shattered.
The joker went flying off of the rooftop; dislodging a cascade of squeaking squirrels that flew out of his pants and jacket due to the force of the blow as he plummeted towards the unforgiving concrete below him.
The Joker impacted the ground with a loud "Thud" as if a large hallow melon had been thumped against very hard surface.
The Joker blinked, and gasped as he struggled to breathe as most of his ribs had been cracked by the fall, and it felt like both his arms and legs had been shattered. Still, he had come back from similar injuries given to him by The Batman, so it was through the pain that he began to laugh as he witnessed Harley peak out over the roofline at her severely injured love.
"Wa Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Cough Cough. Well played hero, well played, but I'll be back, I always am!" The Clown Prince laughed between hacking coughs as he looked up at the roofline above him. Even the image of Xander clouting Harley on the back of the head and knocking her out didn't stop The Joker's mad laughter. All of these heroes were the same. They beat him up, they put in him the hospital, they put him back in Arkham asylum, only for the Joker to break out and start the cycle again.
The Joker laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more, staring up at the Hero and Catwoman as the black wearing hero's surprisingly young face glared down at him.
A tiny squeak right next to The Joker's head interrupted his taunting laughter and out of the corner of The Joker's eyes, he saw a single large sewer rat.
The rat looked angry. Very, very angry.
"Hero?" The Joker questioned and smiled hesitantly as he looked up at Xander, and Xander's silent hard gaze met that of the Joker's.
More movement appeared in the periphery of the Joker's vision as he was paralyzed and helpless on the hard concrete. It was then that the so called hero's voice echoed down to The Joker.
With the unconscious body of Harley Quinn draped over his shoulder, and Catwoman looking on from under Xander's arm where he was hugging Selena to him, Xander's words filtered down to The Joker.
"I Hate Clowns."
And then it was the rat's turn, and the screaming began again.
In the end, there were only a few scraps and shreds of bloody purple and clothing and green hair left behind as not even bones were left uneaten.
Still, you have to admit, The Joker's end was a bit humorous; or at least the rats agreed that he tasted kind of funny.
High above in space, a place where the vacuum assured that The Joker's death screams weren't heard even if he could have possibly been that loud, the Justice League's space station orbited.
Inside the room of the heroine named Hawkgirl, a golden statue of a hawk glowed slightly.
Upon returning from her date with Green Lantern, she touched her finger to the base of the statue, which caused the appearance of a holographic two dimensional video of a large muscular male Thanagarian of a similar age to herself. A large bustling bridge of a large spaceship was displayed in the background, other Thanagarians busy at the controls of their ship as a giant window looking out into space took up the far wall behind the winged man; other larger ships were visible in the window as the stars swept by quickly in the window.
The message was as simple as it was brief.
"We're almost there."
AN: And there you go. Another long awaited and long chapter from Spark of Genius. I hope it was worth the wait, bigger and better things to come. I'm serious, I've been waiting for this next chapter for a long, long, long time. The end of this story is getting close, only a few more major plot points to go. I'm looking for insane technological ideas for weapons, so let me know if you have any. Let me know your thoughts about the chapter, and I bet you can guess what's coming next. ;-) Cheers!