Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or anything else from Buffy, Smallville, or the DC verse. A few lines may be taken directly from BtVS episodes.
Timeline: The story takes place during the fifth season of BtVS episodes Forever
and may loosely follow other episodes. The time between the two episodes has been shortened. For the Smallville timeline this story occurs a few months after seventh season’s Bizarro
and before Kara
. Shift the Smallville timeline back several months and BtVS forward a few months so that this story occurs at the start of the summer.
Summary: Reunited through tragedy, two heroes find themselves fighting attraction, a hell goddess, and misleading preconceptions. A response to Superheroes Anonymous.
Tears rolled down her face uncontrollably as the ceremony came to a close. She had tried to hold it in as long as she could, to put on a brave face. At first when the ceremony began she had managed to remain impassive, the solid rock she needed to be. But then her mind had wandered, her stupid wandering mind. Memories shifted and influenced her thoughts. Her unconditionally loving mom was gone.
Gone. Never to smile and laugh again, never to share a loving moment with again, just gone. It hadn’t been a big bad. The doctors said it had been a quick and painless aneurysm. All the small happy moments she had taken for granted flashed before her eyes as she stood in the embrace. The smile she received when doing something right, the righteous indignation when she did something wrong, and the caring look her mom gave her when she thought Buffy wasn’t paying attention—gone.
It was hard thinking about tomorrow knowing that her mom wouldn’t be there to greet her when she came home. Even harder thinking about next week when her mom wouldn’t be there to cook her dinner after a hard day of school. And then the thought, that if by some miracle she was lucky enough down the road, her mom wouldn’t even be there to watch her get married. A future without her mom was just something that had never even seemed possible before. Her mom had simply been a fact of life, an undeniable constant. Reality didn’t feel so real anymore.
He walked towards the grieving sisters following behind his mom. As he watched the two sisters interacting with other mourners, he felt his heart go out to them. He understood what it was like to lose a loving parent and how hard it was to pretend to be strong. The pain of loss was hard and it would take far too much time for it to heal. His thoughts instantly drifted to Lana and he felt his insides twist. He had said his goodbyes as she planned to leave, never realizing how permanent they would be. Shaking his head slightly to dispel his thoughts he focused his attention on the two sisters.
“Buffy how are you feeling?” Martha asked.
“Fine,” Buffy replied.
“Did you manage to contact Hank?” Martha asked slightly skeptical at Buffy’s reply.
Buffy replied with a shake of her head.
“Who’s going to take care of you and you’re sister?”
“We’ll be fine, we have each other. And our friends.”
“Of course you will be dear,” Martha assured her, “But, I’m not sure you’re ready to take of your sister yet.”
“I can take perfect care of myself and Dawn,” Buffy replied, slightly insulted.
“I meant you’re all still grieving. I can’t knowingly leave Joyce’s daughters to live alone so soon after her passing. We were almost like sisters once,” explained Martha, “Clark and I will stay in the area for a little bit, until you get back on your feet.”
“That’s really not necessary we can take –“
“Care of yourselves, I know,” Martha interrupted with a small smile, “But this is what Joyce would want. I know if the roles were reversed Joyce wouldn’t hesitate to help Clark, despite his protests.”
“She was always good like that,” Buffy whispered.
“Yes she was,” Martha replied before bringing Buffy into a hug.
Buffy suddenly began to sob. Reaching an arm out Martha pulled Dawn into her arms as well. Silently, Clark watched his mother embrace Joyce’s children.
The next night, Clark found himself wandering around the streets of Sunnydale. His mom was back at the hotel where she was making arrangements over the phone to take time off work. As Clark walked he found himself thinking back to the Buffy from 10 years ago. She had been bright and bubbly, obsessing over the latest fashion trends, dressing her dolls appropriately. Growing up, on occasion Clark would be reminded of the blonde. He couldn’t help that several of his favourite movies and TV shows included a stereotypical ditzy airhead blonde. The occasional mail between Martha and Joyce only seemed to reinforce Clark’s image of her.
She seemed so different at the funeral yesterday. It was hard for Clark to see her so down. Clark thought about Buffy’s father and anger began to bubble forth. Both of Clark’s fathers gave their love unconditionally. It was true that neither had agreed on what was best for their son, occasionally disagreeing with and angering their son, but Clark knew they loved him unconditionally. He may admit it a bit reluctantly about his biological father, but he knew the familial love was there. Clark felt the connection despite never meeting the man in person.
Which was why Clark began to feel an intense anger towards Hank Summers. Unclear as to the reasons for the divorce, Clark still couldn’t help but be angry at a father who would abandon his daughter. His daughters. At that point something began to nag at the back of Clark’s mind, but he wasn’t sure what. He was missing a detail, something important, yet not. Clark paused his walk in confusion.
Clark’s concentration was cut short when a scream reached his ears. Quickly looking around to see no one was watching he sped off towards the scream.
Clark slowed as he turned into an alleyway. He saw two men advancing on a terrified woman.
“Leave her alone!” Clark called out.
As they rounded about, Clark saw the pair possessed yellow eyes and seemed to be wearing unusual face masks.
“Who’s gonna make us?” the taller one sneered.
“He looks tasty Fred,” the shorter one commented.
The taller one rolled his eyes, “Fine, he’s all yours Bob. I got the girl.”
With a smirk the shorter one advanced on Clark. Clark couldn’t help but feel slightly uncomfortable at the look in the man’s eyes. Something was different about his look beyond the normal ‘I want to hurt you badly’ danger, almost like a ‘you look like a nice juicy steak’.
“You two leave her alone or else,” Clark warned the advancing vampire.
“Size isn’t everything boy scout. My buddy here and I can take what we want,” Bob laughed, standing right in front of Clark’s face.
Another scream pierced the silence.
Looking over the vampire’s shoulder Clark saw the woman knocked out against the wall. He quickly grabbed the shorter vampire and hurled him a good distance into Fred who had been advancing on the fallen woman. Both men slowly untangled themselves, looked at each other and took another look at Clark before bolting. Although their speed of recovery and rapid flight surprised Clark, he wasted no time checking on the woman.
Focusing his X-Ray vision he was happy to see she didn’t appear seriously injured. Clark was surprised when he focused his attention to the sound of heartbeats. Besides the woman’s and his own, there were no heartbeats to be heard nearby; the two men probably ran faster than he thought. Clark super-sped the woman to the emergency room after ensuring the coast was clear.
After making sure Dawn was asleep, Buffy found herself patrolling the streets of Sunnydale. She knew it wasn’t the greatest idea, but she was feeling restless and couldn’t sleep. Keeping her eyes peeled for Glory or her minions, Buffy set out towards one of the many graveyards that populated Sunnyhell. Buffy found herself thinking of family as she strolled quietly through the night. Even though Dawn had been only recently thrust into her life, Buffy couldn’t help but feel thankful to the monks in a roundabout sort of way. Yes, they randomly forced a brat sister on her. Yes, they played with everyone’s memories. And yes, they forced her and her family into a dangerous situation. But, Buffy couldn’t imagine living on without Dawn. Her mom was right; it didn’t matter their origins, because they were still all family.
Trying not to focus on her mother, Buffy found herself thinking about Martha Kent. Martha was like her own mom in so many ways. Martha embodied a similar strength of character, uncanny ability to read Buffy’s deeper thoughts, and radiated an aura of comfort similar to her own mother’s. Yesterday, when Buffy and Dawn had shared a hug with Martha, it had almost felt like hugging mom again. It felt so much like hugging mom that it had hurt, but she hadn’t been able to let go. Breaking down she had rested her head onto Martha’s shoulder for a good hour, long after her tears had stopped flowing. After Dawn’s attempted resurrection spell, the sisters had talked about how they had felt in Martha’s arms and guiltily admitted that it had felt almost as good as hugging mom.
Buffy tried to redirect her thoughts away from her mom with a shake of her head. Decidedly derailing her train of thought, she began to think of Clark. Man things have changed. No longer was he the small gangly outspoken boy. He had grown into a big yummy young man. Buffy may have been interested if they were meeting again under different circumstances. Still, Buffy found herself wondering if he was the same Clark who couldn’t tell a lie to save his life or still the same goofy Clark who stumbled into random objects on occasion. Buffy knew he’d grown up into a kind man. After her hugfest with Martha, Clark had given her a simple acknowledging nod of condolence. It was a simple gesture, but one of understanding and support. It surprised her how much better she felt after a small nod. Buffy had to wonder, ‘how did a kid farmer from some small hick town learn to do something like that?’
Her train of thought screeched to a halt as Buffy saw two vampires running straight at her. She knew they were vamps because a moment after seeing them, her slayer senses went off. Also the clothes they were wearing represented last decade’s fashion. Dropping into a ready stance, Buffy prepared to engage in a little slayage. To her surprise and disappointment the two vampires ran right past her, ignoring her completely.
“Hey! Where are you two going?” Buffy called out, “Nice small tasty person over here!”
As the two continued to run, an annoyed Buffy growled before running after them.
“Yo you think we’re far away enough man?”
“Dude that thing was freaky strong. He smelled human but shit. He threw me with one arm across the whole damned alleyway,” Bob winced, “well at least my fractured rib has healed by now.”
“I wasn’t even the one thrown and I was scared dude. If I was still human I’d probably have a concussion or two. There’s some scary shit around this Hellmouth,” the Fred replied.
“Hey! Whata-ya two talking about?” a voice called out from behind them.
Both turning around, they noticed the small petite blonde standing innocently with her hands behind her back. With a big grin, the taller vampire indicated to the shorter vampire to follow his lead.
“We were just wondering how we would find some fun tonight,” the vampire drawled in what was probably an attempt at a charming her.
“Well, I wouldn’t mind having some fun with you two tonight,” Buffy replied.
The shorter vampire walked forward before reaching down and clasping Buffy’s hand. Resisting the urge to shudder at the cold contact, Buffy let the shorter vampire pull her hand towards his lips before punching him in the face. The vampire flew back a few feet before collapsing onto the ground. The other vampire game-faced instantly.
“Slayer,” Fred hissed.
“Uh duh. And you’re Slayee number one and your friend is Slayee number two,” Buffy replied, “Feel like telling me why you two were running with your tails between your legs?”
With a snarl the taller vampire leapt at Buffy. With a small sigh, Buffy flipped him over her shoulder so he landed flat on his back. He was pretty strong, but seemed to have no idea how to fight. Noticing that his friend was getting off the ground, Buffy quickly staked Slayee number one. Turning to look at the second vampire she stood waiting with her hands on her hips.
“Slayer,” he hissed.
“Slayee number two,” Buffy replied flippantly, “I swear if I put your brain and the brain of your now dust friend together, you’d still be stupid.”
“I will make you regret those words before I feast on your blood.”
“Uh huh. And Bruce Wayne proposed to me earlier,” Buffy replied.
“It’s called sarcasm.”
With a growl the vampire launched itself at Buffy. Trading a few blows Buffy found herself enjoying the rush of adrenaline associated with slaying. It was a nice feeling as her mind emptied while she bashed the vampire. After a few minutes the vamp lay on the floor groaning from its injuries. Lifting the vampire by his collar, she thrust him not-so-gently against the wall.
“So feel like telling me what had your knickers all in a twist?” Buffy grimaced as she thought out loud, “I’ve been listening too much to Giles and Spike.”
“You know slayer, you’re pretty weird you know that?”
“I’ve been having a rough week, give me a break.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
“Don’t really want to talk about it,” Buffy replied, nonetheless letting the vampire drop back onto the ground.
“These things will just eat you up inside if you don’t talk about it you know.”
“It’s too soon, but you know for a vamp, you’re not that bad at all the talky.”
“What can I say, I enjoy people.”
Buffy scrunched her nose, “Ok I did not need that imagery.”
“I’d like my last few moments to be enjoyable,” the vampire chuckled.
“Ok, just tell me what you and your buddy were so freaked out about so when you first ran by you ignored me.” Buffy demanded.
“Will you let me go if I tell you?”
Buffy replied, “As sure as the moon rising tomorrow morning.”
“I could just not tell you anything.” the vampire pointed out.
“I could also rip out your ribcage and wear it like a hat.”
Wincing at the imagery Bob told her about the inexplicable demon-human-thing.
“So something that looked and smelled like a human threw you across the alley and then you ran?” Buffy asked disbelieving.
“You didn’t feel his strength, I swear he was still holding back.” the vampire defended.
The vampire tried to dash away deciding that his wounds were recovered sufficiently.
As the stake clattered to the floor, Buffy let out a reluctant sigh and went over to pick it up. Her patrol had been a small distraction, but now she found herself feeling empty. Walking home slowly, Buffy couldn’t help but help but think about her mom. Buffy finally went to bed feeling physically and emotionally dead.
Early in the morning, Dawn opened the door revealing Martha and Clark standing outside. Her surprise must have shown because Martha explained their presence holding up some groceries.
“I thought it’d be nice for everyone to wake up to a healthy breakfast.”
Dawn waved them in, “Pancakes?”
“Whatever you want dear,” replied Martha taking in Dawn’s appearance.
For the most part Dawn appeared tired and exhausted, understandably so. She could only imagine the void that Joyce must have left in the girl’s heart. Martha knew that Joyce had been an extraordinary mother. A small smile flickered over her mouth as she recalled her friend immediately followed by a small twinge of sadness. Steeling herself, Martha walked towards the kitchen with Clark following behind her.
As Clark sat at the breakfast table, Clark felt the nagging feeling at the back of his head return. Something was off at the table. Clark looked at Buffy and Dawn. Of course something felt off at the table, Clark could feel the hurt radiating off sisters. There was no way they could be normal suddenly finding themselves parentless. Yesterday was the first day the two sisters had spent time together after the funeral. Clark’s mom thought it would have been best to give them some time alone before coming to their home and helping out.
Watching discussion begin to pick up the table, Clark agreed with his mother's idea. Buffy and Dawn seemed a bit lost, but they weren’t arguing like they had previously. Martha’s mothering was subtle and unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Clark knew his mom though and she was trying her best to ease the sisters into a state of independence. From what Clark could recall Buffy had grown up like a standard spoiled LA princess when their father had still been in the picture. Clark figured it was likely that Joyce had continued to indulge her daughter despite the move to Sunnydale and change in economic status.
There it was again the same annoying nagging feeling at the back of his head. Clark couldn’t shake what was bothering him.
“Clark? Everything all right?” trust his Mother to notice something bothered him.
Blinking Clark replied, “Yeah mom everything’s fine.”
“There’s the day-dreamer I remember,” Buffy mocked.
“Hey, nothing wrong with a little imaginative thought.”
“True, but there is something wrong when someone runs around a living room destroying all the furniture in sight.” Buffy laughed.
“Hey, that wasn’t my fault you freaked when some gum got in your hair,” Clark replied smiling.
“You totally ruined my hair! I cried when dad told me he had to cut it,” a pouting Buffy explained.
Martha smiled as the two recalled some of their interactions from their previous play dates; oh lord had it really been a decade ago? So much had changed since then. Martha thought fondly of times when Clark discovered various new abilities. They had been devastatingly shocking, leaving her and Jonathan reeling at first. Fortunately, Martha Kent couldn’t be prouder of how her son used his abilities growing up. He may have made some mistakes, but his heart was always in the right place. Regretfully his developing powers resulted in the Kents stopping their regular meetings with the Summers family. Jonathan had been worried that Clark may accidentally cause some irreparable damage and demonstrating any abilities which may have indicated his unusual origins.
Clark and Buffy continued to bicker about past injustices wrought upon each other as Dawn tried to keep up. Buffy spoke rapidly which occasionally left Martha confused, but apparently Clark was able to keep up. Or not, looking at his current puzzled expression. Clark attempted to clarify her meaning only to be casually rebuffed as a farm boy who didn’t know anything about their current generation. Clark sputtered in indignation and Martha realized that her son was becoming flustered. Months now since Lana had passed, bless her, Clark needed to move on and Buffy seemed to be helping. It was doubtful things would progress past initial stages of attraction reasoned Martha, but she continued to smile knowing her son would be oblivious to all the signs.
As the Clark tried to defend himself while Buffy continued to verbally attack him, Dawn smiled. Barely being able to keep up with their conversations, Dawn dimly recalled the incidents they talked about. Ok, she hadn’t existed at the time, but even artificial memories of a 5-year-old were fuzzy. Despite being lost by the conversation Dawn was happy that Clark was there. Clark was proving to be a great distraction for her sister from thoughts of mom. Seeing Buffy breakdown the other day had revealed a hidden side to her sister that Dawn never really realized was there. Buffy had always been the strong and infallible sister; Dawn hoped that after whatever ritual Buffy and Giles went on today, would help Buffy feel better.
“And then there was the time you ruined my brand new shirt!” Buffy exclaimed mock upset.
“Which time was that?”
“The time you grabbed Dawnie as a shield only to have her throw up on me?” Buffy said, before pausing,“Hey Clark you do remember right?”
Clark froze as he recalled the memory. He nodded slowly trying to hide the fact that anything had disturbed him. His mother gave him a quizzical look to which he shrugged his shoulders and he turned back to Buffy.
“It wasn’t my fault you had tried to cook for us,” Clark replied.
Letting his weird reaction slide Buffy replied, “It’s a good thing your mom made breakfast today is all I’m saying.”
Looking at his cell phone, Clark feigned surprise and turned to his mom, “Mom I need to go take care of something.”
“Are you sure everything’s alright Clark?” his mom asked.
“I’m sorry I have to bail on breakfast there’s something I need to do. Buffy, Dawn, I’ll see you two later.”
Clark quickly got up and left the Summers residence leaving behind three very confused females.
Outside, Clark glanced around to make sure the coast was clear before blurring off to Metropolis.
The problem hadn’t been recalling the memory. The problem was he had an overlapping memory where he was the one who vomited on Buffy. Clark needed to speak to Chloe about what had bothered him the past few days. For every childhood memory of Dawn Clark recalled, he was able to remember a nearly identical situation without her. If he mentally overlapped the memories the only difference really seemed to be Dawn.
Clark had a second set of memories in which Dawn never existed.
AN: Feedback is highly appreciated!