Disclaimer: What, me own anything? Smallville and Buffy are the property of Joss Whedon, DC comics and other people.
Staring in horror at the scene before them, none of them moved. Clark was gone, Glory was gone, and the head sat on the floor staring sightlessly at the ceiling.
Buffy was the first to move, lunging for the troll hammer. “We’ve got to go after them,” she said.
Spike was already moving toward the door, which had been torn from its hinges. He hissed as a stray beam of sunlight reached him and his skin sizzled. He stopped. “Not going to get far in the sunlight, Slayer.”
“Stay here in case Glory comes back,” she said. “She could move through here and finish everybody else off before anybody else could blink.”
Unspoken was the knowledge that now that Glory had finally pulled the gloves off and revealed her true power, there wouldn’t be much Spike or any of them could do to stop her, with the sole exception of Clark.
“I’m with you,” Willow said.
Buffy looked at her gratefully. With the three of them together they might have a chance of beating Glory before the ritual ever even began.
Jonathan Kent pulled his shotgun from behind the bar. “I’m driving.”
Buffy started to protest, and he said, “I’m guessing you’ll need both hands free to do whatever it is you all do.”
“Get the Buffybot,” Buffy told Xander. “She can help Spike guard the rest of you. We’re not losing another person.”
Lex threw Buffy a cell phone. “We’ll keep in touch with you with this. I’ll keep an eye on the mansion and see if there are any changes. Anything we can find out, we’ll call you.”
A moment later, Buffy, Willow and Jonathan Kent were gone.
Chloe and Lex stared at each other for a moment, and then Chloe looked down at the head. She shuddered and her face crumpled and a moment later she began to sob.
Grimly, with one eye on the monitor, Lex picked up the Kent telephone and began to dial.
For the first time since being trapped on this stinking mudball of a world, Glory felt free. She’d broken free of the taint of humanity inflicted on her by Ben, and she’d beaten that part of Clark she’d trapped inside her own head. She’d engaged in a moment of pure, adulterated rage, and as she ran she found herself laughing.
Getting rid of Lana had also rid her of the only other real threat to her other than Clark Kent. Once she’d known what Lana was capable of she hadn’t had a choice; she couldn’t allow someone that dangerous to live.
That it was enjoyable had been an added bonus.
She was approaching the castle when she felt herself being grabbed from behind by the hair. Her hair ripped, and she went tumbling several hundred yards and crashing into a tree, which began to fall.
She was up in an instant, and she stared at Clark Kent.
His face was darkened with rage and he was breathing heavily. She’d thrown the head at him in a moment of whimsy, but now she could see that that may have been a mistake.
“You killed…” he said, and for a moment she thought her problem was going to solve itself, as he looked as though he was about to have an aneurism.
“Ding dong, the bitch is dead,” she said. She grinned. “I’m gonna do it to your daddy and your mamma, and your friends Chloe and Pete. I’m going to kill all your little friends, and there isn’t anything you can do to stop me.”
He charged her, but this time she was ready for him. He was fast, but she was still a little faster than he was, and she moved by him and tripped him. Now it was his turn to roll and she turned and ran.
It was almost like foreplay, and Glory found herself enjoying it more than she had anything in years. Among her kind, violence was an aphrodisiac.
“We can’t take a chance that Glory doesn’t know about his weakness,” Buffy said. “She could be leading him into a trap.”
“Weakness,” Willow asked.
“Meteor rocks can kill him,” Buffy said. “And they take away his powers.”
“Goddess…” Staring intently out the window, Willow said, “Is that a tree?”
Jonathan Kent pulled suddenly to the right as a tree flew through the space where they had been.
“If I get you girls close enough, can you slow her down?”
Buffy ran her fingers over the handle of the troll hammer and she said, “We can try.”
The punch sent her flying uncontrollably through the air, and Glory grimaced as she realized that it was going to be a couple of minutes before she reached the ground.
Perhaps she’d made a mistake in enraging him to this extend only a couple of hours before the ritual that was to send her home and simultaneously kill every human on multiple earths.
No matter how attractive he was becoming to her, tactically it had been a bad decision.
She looked down to see him staring up at her. He bent his knees and then leapt toward her. As he came hurtling up toward her she realized that she didn’t have a couple of minutes.
He plowed into her in midair and they came together in a tangle of limbs.
She smiled at him and found herself saying “I didn’t know you cared, lover.”
Punching him in the face with the hand that was still covered in the blood of his girlfriend, Glory found herself grinning. It wasn’t smart, but it was fun.
The heat exploding from his eyes and hitting her in the face was a total surprise.
Suddenly it stopped being fun.
At this hour of the day, the streets of Smallville should have been filled with cars and people, pedestrians shopping and other signs of life.
Instead the streets were deserted. Buildings were boarded up and Buffy thought she saw signs of furtive movement from behind some of the curtains as they sped through the city.
The people wouldn’t be reacting like this unless they somehow knew what was going to happen, or if they were doing it because of something else.
Buffy wondered just how many people Glory had drained the night before and where the police were.
Jonathan Kent’s truck sped through the center of town unobstructed at ninety miles an hour. “Hold on, girls,” he said as they approached another intersection.
The fire truck hurtling toward them from the left was a total surprise.
Lex grimaced at the red spot on the floor. He’d liked Lana; she’d had a sort of weird attraction that had made him uncomfortable given that she was fifteen and he was twenty two.
Xander was working on repairing the door along with Giles, on the principle that while it might not stop Glory, it might help should any of her minions come calling.
It was sound strategic thinking; if Lex had been Glory, he’d certainly have sent along a cleanup crew.
Looking away from the red spot on the floor, he couldn’t help but stare at the Buffybot, now animated as she stared intently at the computer screen.
“What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m Buffy.”
“Is there anything in particular that I can help you with?”
“I’m scanning the airwaves for any signs of Kal El and the entity named Glorificus,” she said.
Although the sound of her voice hadn’t changed, its tone and inflection had, and Lex blinked.
“What will you do if you find them?”
“Help him fulfill his destiny,” she said, still in the same strange tone. She glanced up at him and her expression faded back into the vapid smile he’d come to associate with her.
“You are Lex. You are Clark’s friend.”
“Yes,” he said. It was like speaking to a moron with sudden bursts of genius and he didn’t know what to make of it.
He glanced up at Martha Kent and Anya, who had returned from the task of disposing of Lana’s head. From what he’d heard, they’d wrapped it multiple times and placed it in the freezer.
“It won’t rot or smell,” he could hear Anya saying. The girl had also struck a chord with her. She was strange and odd and intriguingly blunt. She was totally inappropriate and he found that she was a breath of fresh air compared to the world of lies and deceptions he was used to.
Martha Kent was pale and looked ill. “I’m going to go upstairs to check on Chloe.”
“Anya,” Lex said.
“Yes, can I help you?” She smiled and there was an innocence there combined with experience.
Lex found himself smiling back, and to his surprise it was genuine.
Willow’s power attracted him, as did her vulnerability. Anya’s honesty was attractive. Buffy worried him. She wouldn’t be as easy to manipulate as the others, and she was apparently strong enough to snap his spine, even if she wasn’t apparently in Clark’s weight class.
“Does this sort of thing happen to you all a lot?”
She nodded. “You learn a lot about getting bloodstains out of clothes in this profession.”
“What do you do?”
“I run a magic shop on a hellmouth,” Anya said. “You wouldn’t believe the kind of business we get, not just with the humans, but with the demons.”
Her enthusiasm was contagious. No one in Lex’s crowd had that kind of enthusiasm. Instead there was mostly ennui. The problem with living among those who could have anything they wanted was that there was nothing left for them to want, nothing to strive for.
It was part of what had attracted him to Clark and his friends in the first place, aside from the mystery Clark had presented.
“You fight demons professionally?”
“I wish,” she said. “We don’t exactly get paid.””
Frowning, she said, “You know, we should get paid! Hazard pay and benefits and a retirement fund.”
“It doesn’t look like the kind of job where retirement is much of an issue,” Lex said.
“I still can’t believe I’ve only got fifty more years,” Anya said. She blinked and said, “Not that I’ve ever been anything other than human. I’m Anya Jenkins, one hundred percent human-American.”
“How long have you guys known about Clark?”
As she crashed to the ground again, Glory realized that she was near the mansion. She felt a curious sense of horror as she felt Ben struggling to rise to the surface. At the speed they were fighting, if she turned into Ben, Clark could turn his head into paste without even intending to.
She ran, screaming for her mutants. She doubted it would make much difference, but if they could slow him down enough for her to make the chance, maybe he wouldn’t realize she was Ben.
She shifted and changed just as she reached the growing crowd of mutants and plunged into their midst.
Ben fell to his knees and fell unconscious moments before Clark flew to the edge of the crowd.
“Where is she?” he screamed, and he began scanning the crowd looking for Glory.
“Did you forget about me?”
As his world exploded with familiar pain from kryptonite, Clark grimaced as he saw a familiar figure step out of the crowd.
Eric Summers had stolen his powers only two weeks before using a meteor rock and lightning. He’d been sent to Belle Rev along with the others.
He was one of the only people to know Clark’s weakness.
Eric draped a familiar necklace around his neck and Clark fell to the ground as his legs spasmed beneath him.
“I knew it was only a matter of time before you came here,” Eric said. “I’m not crazy like these other losers.”
“You left me there to rot!” he said, kicking Clark in the side. He kicked him again viciously and said ‘When the mistress wakes up, she’s going to make me the king of the world, and not you!”
The look in his eyes wasn’t that of a sane man.
With that the madmen descended upon him.