August 31, 2013 – To End Them All

Chapter Summary: **The 'Real Family', 'Betrayal', and 'Love Interest' Part of the 2013 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts FaD** series. Nobody knows who the Key really is.

Timeline: very AU season 5 for BtVS; Season 1 for Smallville.

Challenge: for the livejournal 2013 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.

Warning: anti-AU!Dawn.

A/N: This one has a little bit of all three so it gets posted separately rather than picking one to put it in. I'm rushing through the BtVS part so I can spend the majority of my words on the Smallville side.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Smallville characters belong to DC Comics & WB. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Summers home

Buffy finished the Cloutier spell, then started walking around the house. The strangest images kept appearing. A picture of her, Dawn and their mother changed to her, her mother and a young boy, and then changed again to just a picture of her and her mother. Same thing with all the pictures that had Dawn in them. Going to Dawn's room, it changed to a boy's room, then to overflow storage for the Gallery.

As much as she wanted to grab Dawn and ask who/what the hell she was, Buffy didn't want to risk giving anything away until she talked to Giles about what she was seeing. Then he called about the orb thing and she decided to check out the factory again. When Dawn made a comment about their mom coming home soon, Buffy's blood froze. She needed answers, but didn't want to risk them being alone.

The solution to her problem was stalking her outside the house…Spike. After hitting him, she realized that he might be able to help keep her mom safe, so she apologized and told him that she was worried about a potential threat to her family. Would he mind hanging out while she checked out a lead? Stunned that she would trust him, Spike quickly agreed.

The talk she had with the robed guy confirmed what the spell showed her…Dawn wasn't her sister. The monks found a child of hers, put the Key into him, and sent him to Sunnydale. He had no clue who or what Dawn was, just that she wasn't the innocent that Buffy was to protect.

The next day, Buffy got all the proof she needed that Dawn was a threat. She followed her 'little sister' to a condominium building where Dawn met with the blonde chick Buffy fought the night before. Even more interesting was the fact that the scabby minions as well as the power-hitter were deferring to Dawn. She couldn't get close enough to hear what they were saying, but they definitely were buddies.

With that info, she talked to Giles and they came up with a plan that hopefully wouldn't result in their deaths. After the shop closed, Buffy would bring Dawn there, they'd put her near the Dagon Sphere long enough to weaken her. Then Buffy would check to see if it was working by 'accidentally' injuring Dawn. If it worked, she'd finish the demon off for good.

They purposely left the others out of it so that only Buffy and Giles would be at risk. Plus they were afraid that one of them would let something slip that would alert Dawn to their plan.

There was one thing they couldn't anticipate…what would happen once Dawn was dead.

All the memories of Buffy's son came flooding back, causing Buffy to start crying and Giles to fight the urge to fly to England and go Ripper on Quentin Travers.

Thirteen years ago…

Not even Quentin Travers would dispute that he was a ruthless bastard. In fact, he viewed that as a great compliment. The fact that he was immoral as well didn't concern him either.

Which is why his alliance with Lionel Luthor was so perfect.

Lionel wanted an heir for his son, Lex, but feared that with the damage the young boy took in the recent meteor shower would affect his ability to have children when he grew older – assuming that he actually did grow older. As luck would have it, the trauma that cost Lex his hair and was threatening his life also had one positive side effect…it pushed the 9 year old into early puberty.

With the sperm of the adolescent Luthor harvested, Lionel went in search for the perfect female to provide the other half of the equation. A fan of mythology, Lionel knew the story of the Slayer well. And he knew that it wasn't a myth.

From there, he found the Council and his ally in this project, Quentin Travers. For the right amount of money, Travers was thrilled to provide Lionel with the name of a Potential, one who likely would be the strongest Slayer in ages if she was Called. With Buffy Summers being slightly younger than his son, Lionel had to arrange for a surrogate to carry their child.

When the time was right, he would come back to claim Ryan James as his grandchild.

On the road to Smallville

After the fiasco with Buffy's 18th birthday, the Council decided to do an in-depth audit of Travers' life. They found proof that Travers knew about Buffy before she was Called and more importantly the payments from Luthor for helping the man violate one of their girls.

Just as Ryan appeared in Sunnydale, the Council reported their findings to Giles, who shared them with Buffy. It did explain how a 19 year old Buffy could have an 11 year old son…sick as that thought was.

Tara and Willow, once they got over the shock that Dawn was the big bad and not Buffy's sister, did a location spell that said Ryan was in Smallville, Kansas. Within days, Buffy was on a flight to Metropolis where she'd get a car to go to Smallville.

At first she was torn between getting her son back and being there for her mom when she went into the hospital to find out about the headaches, but then Joyce sat her down and said the best medicine she could hope for was to see her grandson again.

At the same time…

While Clark got there in time to save Ryan's life, he couldn't stop Ryan's stepfather from injuring him with shrapnel from the shotgun blasts. That led to a good news/bad news situation.

The bad news was that when they were examining Ryan's head injury, they found a brain tumor. The good news was that it was still in the early stages and could probably be fixed with surgery and chemo.

Then came the next big shock.

His aunt wasn't really his aunt, biologically speaking.

They found out when the doctor suggested getting tested in case Ryan needed blood or other donations from a relative. Clark convinced everyone to be tested for Ryan's sake, and that's when they learned that Ryan was Lex's son.

It was like pulling teeth, but eventually Lex got his father – the only person he could think of who would do such a thing – to admit to 'securing the Luthor name for another generation'. If Lex had any doubts about standing on his own in Smallville rather than going back to Metropolis, this news wiped them away.

Try as he might, he couldn't get his father to name Ryan's biological mother. It would likely take years to find her…years that Ryan didn't have.

Luthor mansion

Lex sat in his study, thinking about the irony of the situation. For months he had tried to get the Kents to accept him into their family and having little luck because of his last name. Along comes Ryan, his son, and he's accepted into the family almost immediately as Clark's little brother. He almost felt jealous of own son for doing what he couldn't.

If he was a praying man, he'd be on his knees right now, hoping for a miracle in the form of Ryan's mother showing up to help save his life.

The poor boy was delusional now, which confused the doctors. They didn't think the tumor was large enough to cause delusions, but Ryan kept talking about his mother saving him from the monsters until magic sent him away. She sounded like another Warrior Angel from his descriptions.

"Mr. Luthor?" one of his guards called out, breaking Lex from his melancholy thoughts. "There is a young lady here to see you; says it has to do with your son."

"Send her in," Lex commanded. If this woman tried to exploit Ryan's situation in any way, he'd make her life hell.

Buffy felt really nervous now that she was here. How did you tell somebody that their father created an heir to take their place when they were just a child? That they had a child who by all rights was too old to be theirs.

Then there was the question of whether Lex was like his father. His reputation in the press wasn't the greatest, but the optimist in Buffy had to hope there was a good guy somewhere in that playboy persona, if only for her son's sake.

"Hello, Mr. Luthor," Buffy started with a slight stutter, betraying her nervousness. Then she squared her shoulders and decided to face the situation like she would a demon…head on. "I have a problem that I need your help with."

"Really," Lex drawled, "And why would I be inclined to help you with your problem when I don't even know your name?"

"Sorry," she apologized and held out her hand. "I'm Buffy Summers. I may be shooting myself in the foot by putting it this way, but it's the only way I can think of saying it. Your father did something pretty much evil about 12 years ago. He conspired with a man – who's probably going to have some bruises and possibly a couple broken bones by the end of the month – to ensure the Luthor name. They took your sperm and some of my eggs and gave us a son that we didn't know about. Or at least I assume you didn't know about him. He never mentioned meeting you before he was kidnapped a couple months ago by an enemy of mine. Then again, seeing as how he's in Smallville, maybe you did know about him."

Lex fought the urge to grin. If she was an actress, she had the most unusual approach he had ever seen. Instead he raised an eyebrow at her and asked, "Do you always ramble this much?"

"Only when I'm nervous and worry about somebody I care about," Buffy admitted. "Usually I leave the babbling up to my friend, Willow."

"What is this son's name and how did you know he was in Smallville?" Lex questioned, curious about how much she would give up…if he could tell if she was genuine or not.

Buffy took a deep breath. It was going better or worse than she expected. Either he did know and was toying with her or he was willing to listen to her before making up his mind. Again, she hoped it was the second one. "His name is Ryan James, and we were able to track him to Smallville, but can't pinpoint it any further. Before I start knocking on doors and calling hospitals, I thought I'd talk to you first. You already know about him, don't you? If you don't, you have the world's best Jedi training – and I'm going to kill Xander for making me know what that means."

Lex decided to give her a little bit of the truth to see what she did with it. "I found out a couple days ago…when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor."

He immediately felt guilty for the test when Buffy's eyes widened in shock and she looked torn between throwing up and crying. Then he saw determination come forward in her features and found it strangely intoxicating.

"Where is he?" she growled, stalking over to where he was sitting as if she were about to attack him. "Tell me…now or I'll rip off your arm and pull the answer from inside you!"

That actually convinced him she was telling the truth. He had been threatened a lot over the years and found out that the ones who seemed most capable of following through on their threats were the ones who weren't lying. "He's at Smallville Medical Center," he said. "He's there with friends."

Buffy only half-heard the second sentence because once she got a destination, she moved towards the door. One of Lex's men made the mistake of attempting to detain her and she threw him against the wall hard enough to knock him out.

"Well, that explains why she was picked to be Ryan's mother," Lex murmured to himself.


Finding the hospital wasn't any trouble for Buffy. They were really good about marking the roads with information signs to lead people there. Scouring the hospital to find Ryan took a bit longer.

By the time she got to the room, Lex was already in there with the people he said were friends. She assessed them as threats quickly, then turned to her boy. "Hey, sweetie," she said as she stepped forward to hug him.

"Mom!" Ryan declared much to everyone's surprise. "I knew you'd find me!"

After he assured them that Buffy really was his mother, and she submitted herself to a blood test to prove it, the Kents and Lex left them alone for a little while.

"Clark's a hero like you are," Ryan said, knowing that he could trust her with the secret. "Not exactly, but he is a hero."

Buffy was happy that Ryan appeared to like this Clark boy, but she had greater concerns at the moment. "That's nice. How are you feeling?"

"It might sound weird, but I'm relieved that I got hurt," Ryan said, then explained, "If I hadn't, who knows how long it would have taken them to find out about the tumor. At least now they think I have a good chance of surviving after they get rid of it."

"Then you're right, it is a good thing," Buffy said. "Just so you know, the big bad who sent you here is gone. She tried to take your place in my life…sorta. She made us think I had a little sister." Sighing, she added, "I just have no idea how to explain this to your father, who it turns out is Lex Luthor."

When Ryan told Buffy that Lex had darkness in him, she reminded him that everyone does. At one time he thought Giles had a lot of darkness, but he turned out okay. "As long as they aren't being evil, we shouldn't treat them as if they are evil. I think we should give him a chance."

"You just think he's good looking," Ryan shot back, but his comment was more teasing than complaining.

"That's true. Now let's get you on the phone so you can say hi to the others," she suggested, grabbing the phone by his bed and followed the instructions to make a long distance call.

Outside the room, Clark and Lex were watching the mother and son in wonder. "How does she deal with the fact that her son is only a handful of years younger than her?" Clark mused out loud.

Lex replied, "I'm not sure, but the affection between them appears genuine, doesn't it? Makes you wonder where she's been all this time."

In the end, Buffy had to tell Lex and the Kents the truth about magic and demons so they wouldn't fight her on custody of Ryan. Surprisingly, they took it better than she expected. Apparently they were used to the weird and 'unexplainable' because of things that happened in Smallville over the years.

Thankfully, back in Sunnydale, Joyce's headaches were nothing more than that, headaches caused by her sensitivity to a new cleaning product they had at the Gallery. When she switched back to the old one, the headaches went away.

The gang had the Hellmouth under control while Buffy stayed with Ryan during his treatment. Both the Kents and Lex offered her a place to stay while she was in town, and despite Ryan's obvious affection for the Kents, Buffy picked Lex's place. She wanted to get to know the man who provided the other half of genetic material for her son.

Lex fell a little in love with Buffy when she punched Lionel in the nose after the older man attempted to interfere in their growing friendship. She did that sexy growl thing again when she warned Lionel that while she had never killed a human before, she was always willing to consider a first time for somebody like him.

When Lionel said that Lex had that same ruthlessness in him, Buffy snapped, "And if he ever shows it, then I'll give him the same warning. If he has the potential to be evil, it's because of you. The difference is that you've proven that you're evil. The way Ryan came into the world proves it."

After Lionel left with more dire warnings about the man Lex would become, Lex turned to Buffy and asked her out on a date, citing, "Any woman who can stand up to the 'great Lionel Luthor' like that has my respect and admiration."

A/N: It's rather hard to condense a story like this into 3000 words. Hopefully it made enough sense to everyone. This month has been…interesting from a writing standpoint. Next year, I think I'll go back to planning the ficlets out a little better.