TN:(Neither of us are dead! Yet ... we promise.)
The Batcycle quietly activated her sensors and targeted the Joker, weapons selection flicked back and forth between an electrified bolo and a breaching round. The electrified bolo would incapacitate the Joker reducing the risk of casualties by 96.5% while the breaching round, authorized under the lesser evil protocol, would reduce the chances by 98.7% and prevent a reoccurance.
Noting that Batman's vital signs were slightly elevated above the norm for the situation, she quickly connected and downloaded visual records of his recent activities from the Batcave. The Batcycle went back into standby relieved that she wouldn't have to commit any evil today.
"I say we ignore them for the moment and get back to business," the Joker suggested, "a voyeur is one thing I am not."
"Agreed," Batman said, already moving to avoid a stream of acid from the flower on the Joker's lapel, which he hadn't squirted yet.
The Joker leapt backwards to gain some distance, even as he refexively squirted acid at Batman, his left hand reaching into his shirt for a souped up joy buzzer.
Batman flung a batarang near the Joker as he aimed a forward kick at where the Joker should move.
The Joker accepted the kick to slap a joy buzzer on Batman's thigh, a fraction of the current leaking through the insulated suit and causing Batman's muscles to lock up.
Taking advantage of his temporary incapacitation, the Joker flung Batman's leg to the side, spinning him around and grabbed him by the collar and back of his belt; giving him a wedgie and throwing him down the stairs, just as the batarang Batman had thrown earlier returned like a boomerang and nailed Joker in the back of the head, releasing a cloud of gas.
Batman smoothly flipped over in midair to land on his feet facing the stairs as the Joker rolled down them to land at his feet.
The police flooded the area quickly, after seeing that the Joker was down; stripping the unconscious henchmen of any weapons they carried before carting them off to be booked.
Batman caught the pair of handcuffs Comissioner Gordon tossed him without looking; cuffing the Joker while searching him, removing a plethora of deadly gags and a handful of harmless ones.
"I feel ... funny," the Joker said slowly, "what did you do?"
"To prevent your death and those that you would have killed in the future," Batman said quietly, "I've dosed you with a gas that will completely erase your memory as soon as you fall asleep."
"I guess you got the last laugh afterall... Bruce." the Joker said, his face softening in a genuine smile as he saw the shock on Batman's face. He rallied his strength and said, "Grant a dying man his last request; in my next life make me a hero rather than a villain."
"My word on it," Batman promised, remembering a world where his analogue had dressed as an owl and a white faced man who had helped Batman deal with him.
"Night..." Joker said as his eyes slowly closed and he drifted off to sleep.
"What the hell happened here?" Commissioner Gordon demanded as he eyed the slowly dispersing pink cloud and saw the pile of rapid response uniforms outside it.
"The Joker appears to have been experimenting with a new version of smilex," Batman said.
"Is it lethal?" Gordon asked, standing well back of the cloud.
Batman listened to the moans and cries for a moment. "Smilex causes death by slowly paralyzing the diaphram, which doesn't seem to be a problem here. The standard antitoxin should still be effective, but it'd be faster to wait for the cloud to disperse than to send for hazmat."
"We'll want to get uncontaminated samples anyway."
"For the policeman's ball?" Detective Bollock asked, as he strolled up eating a hoagie.
The Commissioner snorted, "For the doc's." He turned to speak with Batman but he was already gone. "I hate when he does that."
"Better than me; I hate him period," Bollock said, "so, what's the deal with the cloud?"
"New and apparently non lethal form of Smilex," Gordon explained, "get some uncontaminated samples, but try not to get exposed."
"Bad pun chief," Bollock smirked.
"That was a bit longer than five minutes, Master Bruce," Alfred said, handing him a cup of tea.
"I didn't need to step in before then," Bruce replied, as they watched the fight replay from the footage of a dozen hidden cameras.
"And what did you learn in your observations?"
"He won't hesitate to kill if he deems it necessary, but he's by no means a casual killer."
"So his actions match his words?" Alfred asked pointedly.
"So far," Batman allowed.
"Would you say he's trustworthy?" Alfred pressed.
"Around babies and kittens," Bruce said a bit of a smirk on his face.
"But not around villains?" Afraid continued knowingly.
"Any halfway intelligent fighter is safe from him; unless they underestimate him, which I have a feeling is frighteningly easy to do."
"I think you're underestimating his skill level, sir."
"It's possible, but I don't think so; he specializes in fighting semi-skilled creatures with enormous strength and speed, meaning he could probably kill a Polar Bear with a pocket knife, but Canary could take him down without breaking a sweat."
"If you say so, sir," Alfred replied, clearly believing he was wrong.
Batman tapped a key and a news report came on. "I'm Trisha Takanawa for channel 3 news."
Xander slowly untangled himself from the pile of bodies and found himself face to face with ... himself.
"Wow, deja vu," the two chorused.
"This is new," James said, eyeing the new guy and his identical twin.
"Jesse?" Xander exclaimed in shock.
"That's James; I'm Jesse," the redhaired officer corrected him.
"She's Jesse, that's James, and I'm Susie," the pink haired girl explained, "and the one who can lick his forehead is John."
John grinned and licked his forehead, only to stare in shock as Xander did the same.
A tall, bald headed, black man in a rapid response uniform and a leather trench raised an eyebrow as he approached. "Who cloned John?!"
"Oh! I get it now," Xander said putting together the pieces, "John is my dimensional analogue and you're all analogues of my friends."
"Really?" Jesse asked curiously, making no move to get dressed; not that anyone else was either.
"John would be my analogue; Jesse is the analogue of my best friend Willow, James is the analogue of my friend Jesse, and last but not least, Susie is an analogue of Buffy."
"What about us?" Harley asked, looking pretty normal with all her makeup gone.
"I'm guessing I haven't met you guys yet or your analogues don't live near mine," Xander said.
"You wouldn't happen to be from a higher dimension would you?" John asked suspiciously.
"More central than higher I think, why?"
"Because I gained the ability to breath through my ears along with the tongue, copying the echo of your arrival," John said with a sigh.
"Huh?" Xander asked curiously and was about to question him on the subject when the Batcycle pulled up behind him and revved her engine.
"I gotta go," Xander said regretfully, but happy to see a version of his friend Jesse alive and well.
"We should probably clean up and get dressed anyway," John said, eyeing the news crew who were already pointing cameras in their direction.
"It was nice meeting you!" Susie called, as Xander left, collecting his axe but unable to get on the cycle as it kept moving away from him.
"I call dibs!" Jeffrey announced.
"Dibs?" Harley asked, as he'd been staring straight at her when he'd said it.
"Does anyone else feel really thirsty?" James asked, rubbing his throat.
Alfred raised an eyebrow as Xander climbed off the Batcycle, wearing half a dozen trash bags.
"It was on the news," Alfred replied calmly, "of course I expected you to arrive here most likely naked, not wearing your ... current attire."
"She wouldn't let me on otherwise," Xander complained.
"Would you give a naked piggyback ride to a friend who'd just finished an orgy?" the Batcycle asked, her voice and tone reminding Alfred of both Batgirl and Catwoman at their most sarcastic.
"Ewww," Xander said at the images that popped into his head.
"Well put," Alfred replied.
"And on that note, I need a shower." Xander declared, before walking into the elevator and hitting the up button, less concerned with seeing the Batcave and more concerned with getting a nice hot shower and some clean clothes.
The elevator opened and he found himself staring into a pair of concerned blue eyes.
"Are you okay?" Galatea asked, taking one of his plastic clad hands in both of hers.
"I am now," he replied as the lights seemed to dim and soft music played in the background.
"I'm glad; I know being drugged into having sex with a bunch of strangers must have been traumatic."
"If they were complete strangers it probably would have been," Xander agreed, "but fortunately they turned out to be analogues of myself and my closest friends from back home... well and Harley of course."
"Wouldn't being in an orgy with your local self be like me being in an orgy with Supergirl?" Galatea asked, frowning in distaste.
Xander shook his head. "You two may share DNA, but your soul is your own."
"I worry about that sometimes," Galatea admitted, "I was created more as a biological machine than a person. Instead of a mother and father, I have a tube and a genetic manipulator."
"Actually you have both a mother and a father."
"Those would be your grand parents, on your mother's side," Xander explained. "Doctor Hamilton may have claimed you were the single successful cloning attempt, but Kryptonian DNA is far too rigid for earth sciences to handle, unlike human DNA which mutates like crazy in comparison. No, he simply scheduled Kara to have an examination at the appropriate point in her cycle and collected a single egg."
"Then why lie about multiple failed attempts at cloning?"
"Because the idea of your origin being that foreign helps distance you from Kara and Clark emotionally and since he had to ... remove DNA from inside Kara's ... well that kinda makes what he did seem more like sexual assault and less like the medical procedure it was. He knew she'd be upset at just the idea that he'd betrayed her trust and just used a generic tissue sample, but imagine what she'd have done, since despite everything she is a teenage girl, if she'd known exactly what he'd done at that moment."
Galatea paled. "She'd have incinerated him; his lab, his coworkers, his house, his pets..."
"Yep, he went about creating you logically, but was smart enough to know how she'd react emotionally."
"So if Kara is my mother, who is my father?"
"Who is the only other kryptonian on Earth?"
"Yep, much like with Kara he had similar access to Clark. All this talk of cloning was just to throw everyone off track, because if Cadmus had been able to clone a kryptonian successfully, even a single time out of thousands of attempts, they'd have never have stopped at one or a dozen for that matter."
"So I'm ..." Galatea began, trying to figure out how exactly this changed things for her.
"Part of a very common Kansas tale; an older male gets a younger female pregnant, she vanishes and later turns up no longer pregnant. The baby gets adopted and raised by others, baby becomes a grown woman and searches for her roots, only to discover her birth parents are cousins."
Galatea began to snicker before almost falling over laughing as Xander held her up. "All this time worrying only to find ..."
"That you are simply a normal Kansas girl ... well as normal as anyone from Kansas ever is anyway. Too bad you weren't raised in California, then you'd be normal!" Xander teased playfully.
"People from California are normal?!" she asked in disbelief, recalling everything she'd seen there. "Wait a minute, how did we go from my comforting you, to you comforting me?"
Xander shrugged. "Comforting you comforts me, a happy 'Tea equals a happy me."
"Really?" she asked as she looked into his eyes and soft music swelled in the background.
"Seeing your smile makes me very happy," Xander said, as if he were telling her a big secret.
Her eyes darted toward Xander's waist for a moment and she smirked. "I can see that."
"I knew I should have used the black plastic bags and not the clear ones."
"Somehow I doubt that would matter, but may I say I'm impressed with your stamina? From what I saw on the news most men would be exhausted."
"They showed all that on the news?!" Xander asked in shock before laughing. "Well, I hope they got my good side; how in the world did they get permission to air that?"
"The cloud of pink gas that refused to dissipate, for far longer than should have been possible, obscured enough details for it to air, of course the computer that we used to monitor the news reports on the Watchtower enhanced and cleaned up the image, completely removing it from what we recieved."
"I am so glad I'm not a shy guy right now; otherwise I'd need years of therapy rather than just a hot shower."
"Scrub your back?" Galatea offered hopefully.
Xander opened his mouth to reply when Superman suddenly appeared.
"There's an emergency in Kazakhstan that needs your help!" Superman announced before placing a hand on Galatea's shoulder and beaming the two up to the Watchtower.
"Cold shower it is then," Xander said thoughtfully, "note to self: move up revenge schedule on the Kryptonian Cockblocker!" AN: We are alive and kicking once more!