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Scooby Titans

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Summary: The scoobies wear DC based costumes and go out into the Marvel world.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Theme: HalloweentexaswookieFR18126,58410427,9189 Jan 119 Jan 11Yes
Title: Scooby Titans
Author: texaswookie/Greywizard
Rating: Adult, mostly for language and violence, but not much worse than the show.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to Crack-Head Joss and ME, DC Comics or Marvel Comics. Deal with it. I have.
Category: Multi-crossover.
Summary: The aftermath of the Scoobies' costume selection has some major repercussions for them and the world in general.
Time Frame: Breaks off from canon after BtVS Episode Eighteen, 'Halloween.'
Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?
Character Bashing: None.
Feedback: Please
Author's Note 1: This is an expansion of one of my shorts in the Back Burner storyline/series: combined with the work of Greywizard who has made a story dubbed ‘Capes and Other Accessories’. Using greywizard’s ideas and a few new ones I had for this one I came up with this.
~~~

Title: Scooby Titans

Ethan's Costumes

October 30, 1997





Buffy continued to look abashed as she apologized to her best male friend from her behavior earlier that day at school. She really hadn’t meant to break the legendary guy code and humiliate her friend it had just been a reaction for her. See Xander in trouble see Buffy save Xander all perfectly normal as far as she was concerned. Unfortunately it seemed Xander didn’t see it that way this time around. All he and everyone else saw was Xander hiding behind Buffy when things got to rough. Not the sort of thing that any guy wanted. It destroyed the whole macho man thing that they had going.

"I really am sorry, Xand,” she said contritely. She was jostled a bit by a passing customer and the blonde easily moved to the side, her eyes narrowed in annoyance at the interruption. “Rude much?” She shot off before focusing back on her friend. Her back was now turned to a certain red dress, though, preventing her from noticing it and the wheels of destiny shifted in a new direction as a once interrupted conversation was resumed.

"Look, let me make it up to you,” Buffy continued as she dragged her friend toward a rack of superhero costumes. "You get to suggest my costume choice for tomorrow night, and if it’s anywhere near reasonable, I’ll wear it, okay?” The blonde told her friend earnestly, as she withheld a wince as she tried to get his forgiveness for her blunder of seriously violating the 'Guy Code' at lunchtime.

"I also promise to never defend you from regular humans threatening to pound you into a bloody pulp on the ground – unless, of course, we’re in a hurry to save the world and I need your help to prevent an apocalypse. Okay?” She added.

Xander nodded his appreciation of Buffy's suggestion. His second best female friend was sincere in trying to make amends by suggesting a peace offering. The pink of her cheeks and her uncomfortable shifting showed how nervous she was on following through on this but she was still willing to do it. Now he had to decide what to do. He could try and embarrass her, like she had done to him earlier that day, or he could do the grown-up thing and accept the fact that she was willing to own up to what she had done and accept the peace offering she was making.

‘Man, trying to act mature sucks, sometimes,’ he reflected to himself before mentally sighing and nodding his acceptance of her actually quite generous offer. Besides if he chose right there would be another part of him that was happy and he couldn’t really argue with those results now could he? “Well I always did love a woman in spandex.” He joked, causing the slayer to squirm a bit more.

His eyes briefly skimmed the Wonder Woman and Vampirella costumes before discarding them as any real possibilities. He kind of doubted Mrs. S would allow the Buffster out of the house as Vampirella, anyways – assuming that Buffy didn't beat him into a bloody pulp for suggesting such a costume to begin with, of course. Besides he doubted that Snyder would allow those unless Buffy agreed to escort the jocks.

"All right then, how about this?” He questioned the blonde curiously. "A time honored classic,” he assured her as he pulled a familiar red and blue outfit with an equally familiar red and gold shield on the top that most people instantly recognized. "Besides, I also happen to know that you have those red boots that will work great with this,” he added, with a triumphant smirk as he made his case to his friend. Having been her pack mule several time he unfortunately new a lot about the content of Buffy’s closet and all that it held. He kept hoping one day for her to model underwear or bathing suits. It hadn’t happened yet but a guy could hope.

Buffy looked at the outfit, and a part of her wanted to deny her friend's wishes, but considering some of the things that he could have tried to press on her, she concluded the Supergirl costume was a lot better than most of the things that he could have chosen for her.

‘With a little work, it could even be used for regular clothes,’ she thought as she examined the outfit. She'd have to shorten the skirt and belly to show off her legs to the best effect, but that was all for later. For tonight, she supposed that they would work.

"Okay. If I do take that, what will you be wearing?” She questioned him curiously as she agreed to his request.

Xander smiled. ‘The Xan-Man had scored.’ He looked through the various items on the rack, since he didn’t want to have to dip very much into his meager funds. He had originally been planning on grabbing a gun. The happy he was getting from getting Buffy into that costume meant that he was a little bit more willing to use money though.

"How about this?” He asked as he pulled out a red jump suit, along with some yellow stickers from among the miscellaneous paraphernalia on the shelf next to the rack.

"Uh, what is it?” Buffy asked curiously. Sadly, she was unable to understand the complexities of the Harris mind, or his ability to make something out of nothing.

"When I’m done with it, it'll be the Flash,” Xander informed her confidently his mind already envisioning what he was going to do to it.

"Uh, okay. If you say so,” Buffy shrugged, as she took her outfit to the front counter to pay for it.

‘And exactly who is the Flash?’ She wondered, the slightest bit mystified since she was not the comic geek extraordinaire guru that her best male friend prided himself on being.

"And don't think I'm gonna let you wear your usual costume, either, Will’s," Buffy could hear Xander saying as she headed towards the register with her selection. The teen emboldened by his success with Buffy headed toward his wide eyed friend who looked at the retreating slayer hopefully.

Buffy smiled as she heard that. ‘Maybe Xander would have more luck than she had. And if Xander picked it out he would definitely notice the redhead.’

Ignoring Willow's desperate "But, Xander, I don't think that I can look …",

Xander interrupted the redhead's protest with, "Remember that 'Ice' character you said you liked in my old 'Justice League' comic you were reading last month?” He questioned her.

“Uh huh. Willow said still nervous about what Xander might be planning for her she tried to back away from her advancing friend but there was a costume rack behind her stopping the progress of her retreat.

"Well, the good news for you is that I have the perfect outfit for you then." He said as he pulled down a white wig and blue bodysuit. “Come on Will’s, Buffy and I are going the hero route. It wouldn’t be right if you weren’t there being all heroic with us.” He pleaded with her a mischievous grin on his face that Willow knew she would break down to sooner or later. The girl clutched her ghost costume and tried to hold out. They both knew in the end who the winner of this was going to be though.



~~~

Sunnydale High library

November 3, 1997

Kara/Buffy glared at her friend with righteous annoyance and more than a little anger.

"I can’t believe now that I was actually dumb enough to let you talk me into wearing that, that costume!" she complained. "I was already enough of a freak before, but now I’m above and way beyond what I used to be!”

"What's the problem, Buffy? What’s there to hate about it?” Xander demanded in his defense, unsure exactly why the blonde was so angry about the extra powers she had gained from Halloween. The boy was also completely oblivious to the shushing motions that Willow and Giles were sending him from behind the dangerous petite beauty's back.

After all, if *he* had the mojo she'd kept, he reflected, he would have been all over Sunnydale using his new powers for truth, justice and the American way! Not to mention doing some serious demon ass-kicking! And that X-ray vision thing, especially, was one he would have loved to have been able to keep!

Not that the superspeed he had kept was any kind of downer or anything, mind you! A number of the Cordettes loved wearing long fluffy skirts. Running by them he was able to use the breeze to push them up and see the bounty that they hid. It was also fun to run behind a girl and loose the back string of her top and then zip in front of them watching the release of a great bounty. He had to stay away from Giles and Buffy’s place while he did that but it was still a glorious sight.

‘And Willow's elemental power was way cool, too!’ No pun intended on that one.

"Honestly, I don't see what the problem is, Buff," he said, somewhat obliviously to what her problem was.

"After all, now you can bench press an oil tanker, fly, not to mention the superspeed, superbreath, supervision, heat vision for roasting vamps, and a whole bunch of other powers! There’s nothing in the demon category that might ever come visit the Hellmouth that could even think of hurting you now, Buff," he told her as he reeled off a list of the blonde's new abilities at her.

"You are now, officially, the ultimate vampire and demon bogeyman!” He informed her with a grin.

Infuriated at Xander's comments, Buffy slammed her fist on the table and they all watched with a bit of alarm as the heavy table shattered beneath her single blow. It was taking all of the Slayer’s considerable will power not to try and hurt her friend the same way.

"Xander, you think that all this is a *good* thing? Grow up!! Look at what I just did!” Buffy exclaimed in annoyance as she pointed to the table. "At least when I was the Slayer, I could pretend to be a semi-normal girl and that there was a reason for me being a freak. Now, I really am a freak – just like Cordy is always telling me I am!” The blonde’s eyes sparkled with a few unshed tears that she desperately wanted to release but refused to allow free. She knew if she started she might not stop. Buffy so wanted to be normal. She wanted to think about boys, makeup, and fashion not how best to save the world. And this had just taken away yet another layer of her much wanted normalcy.

Xander looked a little unsure of what to say, as he was somewhat uncertain of how to respond to that particular statement. Giving Cordelia's judgment any consideration at all was an alien concept to him. And besides, in his view, Buffy wasn’t a freak, at all; she had always been a hero to him, ever since he'd first found out about the whole Slaying gig, and now she was a superhero, too!

Why couldn’t she see that?

"It was one thing when I could pretend to be normal and had a reason for being different –that 'One girl in all the world' thing," Buffy ranted at him not about to give him a chance to counter her yet, "but there's no real reason for being able to do what I do now, except that I wore that stupid costume you chose for me!”

"And this being *Supergirl* thing? I’m *never* going to have anything like a normal life now," Buffy explained to Xander angrily. "Don’t you get it yet? Real life isn’t like some stupid comic book! As far as I’m concerned, what’s happened to me is a complete freaking nightmare! Whatever hopes I ever had for a normally life are gone now thanks to Ethan and you.”

“Buffy I’m not sure it’s wise to project all of the anger your feeling over what Ethan did to you onto Xander.” Giles said finally getting into the conversation now that the Slayer had said her piece for the moment. “There was simply no way that Xander could have known about the spell or its consequences. When he convinced you to wear it I’m sure he was mainly thinking of seeing you in tight clothing.” The Watcher explained to the girl. “Xander may be unthinking most of the times, but he cares for you very much and would never willingly hurt you. You know that as well as anyone.” He said a gentle reminder of all that the young man had for her since she had come to the Hellmouth.

Buffy nodded her grudging acceptance of what the Watcher was telling her. She knew that she owed him her life but that didn’t make what happened any easier.

Proving that they were truly mainlining Murphy, the group were interrupted from their conversation as several people banged through the library doors and walked into the room.

"Mr. Travers,” Giles said in surprise, looking at the elderly man in the lead of the group.

"Rupert,” Quentin replied in a stiff formal voice. "I take it you were just on the verge of telling us that Miss Summers was no longer a Slayer anytime now. Or are you going to insult both of our intelligences by suggesting that your report got lost in the mail?” He queried the field Watcher.

"Ah yes, about that, well, you see,” Giles stuttered nervously as he began to fix his clothes to be more presentable to the group. "I-I was still at the information-gathering stage, and, uh, I was rather hoping that we would be able to reverse the process before I needed to inform you that there was anything wrong.”

"I was also rather hoping that the matter would have been resolved by now, to be honest.” He finished off his rather weak explanation to the group before them.

“Rupert, you know very well that you are only allowed 48 hours to return a Slayer to normal before we have to step in.” Quentin rebuked Giles.

"Giles, who are these guys?” Buffy asked as she observed the group who were taking up various positions around the library. She finally noticed a dark-skinned, Caribbean-looking girl within the crowd of men, standing in ramrod straight attention.

"Buffy, these people are the senior board members of the Watchers Council. Do try to show them the respect they deserve,” Giles reprimanded the blonde. The look he shot at the other Scoobies – Xander, specifically – silenced them before they could say anything that would annoy the Council visitors.

"Mr. Travers, allow me to introduce Buffy Summers,” Giles gestured to the blonde that was staring at the group of newcomers with interest. Wanting to be polite, Buffy walked over to the group and offered her hand, trying her best to use the manners that Giles and her mom insisted on her knowing.

"Miss Kendra,” Travers barked out. The dark-skinned girl instantly slid between the blonde and the Senior Watcher. The girl also was now holding a large knife at the ready. The look in her eyes showed no hesitation.

"Now that’s an interesting kind of greeting that you've got there.” Xander noted sarcastically, as he and the other Scoobies were all now eyeing the new girl carefully. "I always thought England was supposed to be the land of good manners and all that. If that’s the polite way of greeting people, then I’ve been doing it wrong all these years and I need to go say 'hello' again to certain people.”

"Xander, do shut up!" Giles growled, as he turned to watch the two girls facing off with each other. He couldn’t help but wonder what was going on here. Travers seemed to actually be quiet comfortable with the confrontation he'd engineered, which merely confused him even more.

"Now, might I request the reason as to why this, this Kendra person has chosen to bear arms against my Slayer?” Giles asked the Council members.

"Miss Summers is no longer a Slayer, Rupert, therefore you are technically no longer her Watcher, and as such, her services are her duties are no longer required by the Council.” Travers said imperiously. "Kendra, here, is the true Slayer and she shall be fulfilling the duties that Miss Summers previously occupied. Miss Summers, you are hereby ordered to vacate the Hellmouth and the surrounding area of Sunnydale immediately. As for your associates,” he nodded disdainfully towards Xander, "both he and that other female Rupert’s mentioned in his reports may continue as they were before, as long as they do not interfere with the Slayer or her duties.”

"This, of course, includes things such as research and patrolling the streets at night to battle the supernatural.” Travers added pompously as he eyed the group of American teens with distaste. "Utterly ridiculous how you even became involved and this mess happened, of course. You two should never have been allowed to interfere in the first place. It’s almost as bad as letting Angelus wander around free to kill as he pleases.”

"Mr. Travers, ah, a-a-are you absolutely sure this is the best course of action? I mean, is it *really* necessary to end our association with Miss Summers this way? What with her new abilities, Buffy could still be of great help to the Council.” Giles said, looking shocked at what his superior was ordering.

"Whoa, wait a minute.” Buffy said, cutting Giles off before he could say anything else to plead her case. "Are you telling me that you guys are *firing* me, after everything that I’ve done for you?” She demanded in annoyance.

"I mean, I’ve done just about everything that you guys ever wanted. Hell, I died for your people six months ago!” The blonde said angrily as she glared at all of the members of the Council board that were so casually dismissing her.

"Yeah, you can’t just fire the Buffster, and you sure as heck can't tell us whether or not we can fight the good fight.” Xander piped in from his seat.

Travers ignored Xander’s outburst completely and focused on Buffy. "As the Slayer, you were a tool of the Council in the war that we wage against the forces of darkness. Nothing more, nothing less. As you are no longer a Slayer, you are no longer any concern of ours – and given that you no longer even qualify as a human being, we want you out of Sunnydale at once. Is that simple enough for even your feeble mind to understand, girl?”

Buffy glared at the man but somehow held her temper. The non-human crack hurt a little as well, but she was too angry to notice it much.

"I have a life here, you know. Plus, it’s taken me and my mom a while to settle down in this town, what with the move from L.A. and all. So what are you going to do, if I refuse to just pack up and leave the Hellmouth like you want?” Buffy questioned Travers, not ready to back down to the man’s demands just yet.

Travers met her glare with his superior smirk. "It’s really quite simple, Miss Summers. We will have Miss Kendra here deal with you,” Travers explained to her, speaking as if he were addressing a young child. "According to my information, despite your, ah, enhancements, you are now even more vulnerable to magic and other supernatural forces than you were before. This makes you a liability, one that we simply don’t have the time or inclination to deal with. We could probably come up with a decent mind control spell to keep you in line, granted – but, in the end, I have utterly no doubt that you would be more trouble than your skills and abilities are worth. That’s why I have given Miss Kendra here several enchanted weapons that will undoubtedly inflict lethal harm upon you if you decide to push the matter.”

"You may not believe it, but I’m being *generous* in allowing you to leave while you can, Miss Summers." Travers informed her with a superior smile. "There is a faction within the Watchers Council that pushed for your immediate termination, as a clear and present danger to the entire human race. Luckily for you, my vote carried the day on the off chance you might actually accomplish some good in this world once your affiliation with us was terminated. If you try my patience any longer, though, I may change my mind on the Council’s course of action,” Travers informed her, still looking completely smug and superior as he talked down to her, as if Buffy was white trailer trash or a street walker that had gotten in his way.

"Xander? Any of that true?” Buffy asked her comic-geek friend. Despite her recent anger and annoyance with him, she trusted him more than the Council right now. She needed to know, beyond any shadow of doubt, if what these Council people were saying was the truth.

"Uh, yeah, Buff,” Xander nodded, frowning as he considered the situation. "I’m afraid he’s right, Buff, at least about the threat potential from enchanted weapons. As Supergirl, you’re weak against magic; it's one of the few vulnerabilities that can really affect or hurt a powered-up Kryptonian like you.” The young man explained worriedly as he looked over at the knives that the new Slayer was holding at the ready. "If you throw down with her, there's a good chance you might actually get hurt, if she gets a lucky hit in.” He cautioned as they all looked at the girl in question, who looked like an attack dog ready to spring if her master gave the order. "Of course, that won't work against me." He offered leaving the option of his distracting the new slayer while she handled the Council goons up in the air.

Buffy nodded her understanding of the offer as she examined Kendra carefully and noted the various enchanted weapons that were on the other Slayer. She had several knives, daggers, and a medium sized hand ax strapped to her back. "So, correct me if I’m wrong – but *this* is what a Council-raised Slayer ends up like if you people manage to grab hold of her when she’s just a little kid, right?” Buffy questioned the British arrivals as she assessed the vampire slayer. "Or is it just because you thought it might be a good idea to experiment on one of the Potentials, by turning them into a walking talking weapon?”

"BUFFY!!” Giles hissed at her angrily.

She then looked at the other girl. "I’m guessing either the Halloween magic or me being technically dead is what brought you around then?”

"Dat be right, creature,” the girl said fiercely. "Me Watcher – Mr. Zabuto – he raised me properly as a Slayer should. He be informin me of what de duties of de Slayer be. And if you be thinkin' that you can be harmin’ him or any o the Council, then you be sorely mistaken and I will be havin' to teach you the error of your ways.”

"Trust me, you can have them; these backstabbers are more of a pain then they’re worth.” Buffy said dismissively, then turned to look at the man that had been her Watcher. "Giles, where are you, on this one?”

"Yes, Rupert, Miss Summers brings up an excellent question,” Travers said turning to face his subordinate. "Where exactly do you stand on this matter?”

Giles looked surprised that they were both asking his opinion on the matter. "Well, Buffy, I, I think that you should consider carefully what all this means for you.” He said warily, as Travers and Buffy focused their attention upon him. "I mean, the Council's cutting its ties to you like this means that, that you’re now completely free of any and all connections to the supernatural, w-which you previously had. From now on, as a free agent, you can live your own life on your own terms, a-and be fully responsible for your actions. However, by acting in this manner, Mr. Travers, I believe that you have needlessly alienated a particularly powerful potential ally.” Giles added, turning to stare at his superior – who merely snorted in reply.

"So you don’t think I should stay, then? Is that what you’re saying to me?” A surprised Buffy demanded of her pseudo-father figure. Giles had been willing to face the Master for her a few months ago and now he was telling her to leave and not let the door hit her on the way out.

"To be absolutely honest? Yes,” Giles answered her, unable to look her in the eye as he spoke. "All things considered, it’s the best course of action for everyone involved. At least, now that the Council has sent Kendra here to take over for you. Having two beings like yourself is superfluous to protecting the Hellmouth.”

Buffy winced and Xander looked like he wanted to leap across the table at the Watcher and choke him for dismissing Buffy.

"I see. Fine then. If that’s the way that you guys want to play it, we’ll do it your way," Buffy replied angrily, burying the hurt at Giles’ seeming betrayal to her. "Just take your ball and go home we’ll see how much it affects me. Just so long as you understand that if you people come to me for help, *ever* again, then you’ll have to get down on your knees and beg for it – and there’s nothing short of an apocalypse or whatever about to happen.”

"Understood. Although I very much doubt that we’ll ever cross paths again as we no longer have any reason to deal with you,” Travers sneered at the girl. "As mentioned previously, since you are no longer human, technically I would not be remiss in my duties as a Watcher to order Kendra to slay you,” he added smugly.

"You think it’s that easy? Yeah, I guess you probably do, and so does she, obviously. But believe me when I say that your girl’s not ready for the big leagues just yet.” Buffy returned, ignoring the new sting she felt at being referred to as non-human. It seemed Travers knew just what button to push with her and was attacking that particular insecurity as often as possible. "'Cause I haven’t forgotten the Slayer moves, and I’m a lot more experienced than she is – we throw down, my money says she’ll come out the loser in that fight. So keep your attack dog on its leash, mister, or some other Potential out there is gonna get her life turned upside down or at the least I’ll put her into the hospital for a couple of weeks and I know just how much damage to give her to make sure she stays there . There’s more to being the Chosen One than the power; you also have to have the heart and soul to go with it – something I’ve yet to see in little Miss Robo-Slayer here.”

"Way to step up for Buffy, Giles,” Xander grumbled nastily at the Watcher. "Have fun playing with the new Slayer doll, if they’ll let you. Me, I’m leaving town with the Buffster. I figure I'm out of here, as of right now!

"Besides, there’s a road trip across the USA just begging for us to come and see it, right after we get our GEDs." He added with an encouraging smile to Buffy.

“My patience for these irrelevant trivialities has completely expired,” Travers growled dismissively. “Rupert, until further notice you will maintain your post here in Sunnydale-“

“May I ask why? I would have thought that without a Slayer to supervise any longer, I’d be transferred back to England.” Giles interrupted with a frown on his face.

“And you will, once the new Chosen One and Mr. Zabuto are settled in and no longer require your services. Oh, and by the way – Kendra will not be doing as Miss Summers did, and pose as a student here.” Travers added with an extravagant hand gesture. “Her duties are far too important to ignore for scholastic lessons she has utterly no need for.”

Buffy chuckled at that remark. "Love to see how you plan on slipping her in when the Hellmouth breaks open like it did last May, or when you need to be a student to slip in and out of the building because there’s a killer demon posing as the students, or if you need to figure out who or what’s killing only students – but hey, that’s your problem now, not mine.” She informed him.

The blonde then headed out of the room, and Xander and Willow followed out after her letting her lead as they each stood on her sides. None of the trio even bothered looking at Giles as they left.

The blonde turned around as she reached the library doors. "Until we meet again,” Buffy said, as she then used her super-breath and blew them a kiss, smirking as she saw the Watchers scramble around to grab onto the various papers that she sent flying.

‘Yeah, it might be a little petty, but they deserve the aggravation.’ She smirked to herself as the three of them exited the building and headed into the next stage of their lives.

Giles watched the group of teens leave the library with a heavy heart knowing that it was likely the last time that he would ever see them. He had done what he thought was right giving Buffy a way to get out of the mess that her life fighting the supernatural had become before it cost her said life. Again.: The light that was Buffy Summers was going to remain lit a while longer, and all it had cost him was the girl herself. The world, at least, would have her and he had no doubt that, in time, Buffy would figure some way to continue to help people. He had faith in her and knew that deep down she wouldn’t ignore the world no matter what it was that Travers and the Council said or did. He only hoped that someday he would be able to ask her for her forgiveness for the way that he had treated her today – as if she were simply a weapon that had outgrown its use.

It had torn him up inside to abandon her like that, but he had seen that Buffy was more than willing to fight the Council’s edict as a matter of principle, and that the others would try to help her as they always did. Giles also knew, though, that fighting a fully prepared Council wet works team was lethally dangerous and that contingency plans would have already been made, should the Slayer and her friends decide to cause trouble.

A bullet in the head from a nearby rooftop was the most likely plan, he reflected. Willow would probably have been targeted first, with Xander designated as the secondary target. That would most likely have been the Council's plans, Giles felt certain.

Until, that is, they found out that Xander had superspeed that rivaled to Buffy’s own, Rupert surmised. Should they have become aware of that information, they would probably have tried to capture the boy alive, and turn him into a human lab rat – and that was a best case scenario. Willow as well, should they learn of her leftover power from the Ice persona.

With the powers of the Flash and Ice, Xander and Willow could both become extremely dangerous in their own right. Something that Travers and his minions, including the new Slayer, would have quickly learned to their short-lived error. And that was without even considering the havoc that Buffy would create with her new-found powers, if she believed that the Council might endanger her friends.

Of course he doubted that Travers would have faced off with Buffy with only the new slayer and a wet works team. Most likely several of the Watchers in the room were mages of various skills and powers and they would have tried to use their more powerful spells on her. In the end at least one of the teens would have likely died and the other two would have gone on a warpath destroying everything related to the council until they themselves were either stopped or came to their senses. If Xander and Buffy were the survivors the world would have been soaked in red before they finally stopped.

Yes, all things considered, it was best if his collection of teenagers got out of Sunnydale post-haste, before they learned first-hand just how low the human animal could sink in order to get what it wanted.

~~~

Downtown Sunnydale shopping district

November 3, 1997

Later that same afternoon



Buffy Summers was *not* in the best of moods right now, no doubt about it.

After the unpleasant meeting with the Council, it had been impossible for her to concentrate on her classes. So she had decided to skip school for the rest of the day shortly after lunchtime, to seek boyfriend comfort from Angel – the undead love of her life. Unfortunately on her way out she had a run in with Snyder of all people. The man had given his usual threats of detention and expulsions if she didn’t get to class. He didn’t know just how little those threats meant to her and the others anymore after everything that they had been through the last couple of days. She had worked her stress off by grabbing Snyder by the throat lifting him in the air, slamming him into the wall, and a couple of threats. After that little stress reliever the principle had gone to find some drier less smelling clothes leaving her and the others alone.

Once Buffy had reached, Angel’s basement apartment she was in for a surprise though. It was empty, deserted apart from a brief farewell note. Buffy had read its contents in horror. The souled vampire had said that he had been informed that he had a new destiny by another good demon. This demon worked for something or someone known as the Powers that Be and he was their messenger, someone by the name of Whistler; and that he had to leave town. Immediately.

It was lucky for the landlord that Buffy hadn’t burned the building down with her heat vision, as she’d been feeling betrayed even worse than she had done with Giles earlier this morning. The combined losses of two people she thought that she could trust without a doubt was enough for her to finally lose control on the temper that she had been barely holding back all day. As it was there were several holes in the walls and a number of scorch marks.

As much as she hated it she had to admit it was probably better this way though. Kendra would most likely have attacked Angel the moment that he walked into the library or anywhere else for that matter. And while she didn’t doubt that the souled vampire could beat Kendra in a straight up fight if he was surprised then she might get enough of an edge to turn Angel into dust. That would be something she would rather not happen so it was somewhat of the good that he was already gone. She would probably never see him again though unless he wanted her to see him. And since he hadn’t left an address behind she was going to have to assume that any hopes of a long distance relationship that she had were not returned by him.

“So, exactly how are you planning on paying for this road trip thingy you mentioned in the library, Xand?” Buffy asked her friend as a way to get her mind off her troubles, and the pair examined a pair of hiking backpacks at the local REI store.

“I've got some money that I’ve been saving for a while now,” Xander admitted to her with a casual shrug. "I'd originally been planning on doing the whole 'see America up close and personal' thing after graduating senior year, but now's looking like just as good a time as any to do it.”

“Xander...”

“No, lemme finish. I figure that we can go a few weeks or so before we really need to start worrying about having to do anything, as far as money goes. Although, if the money situation does get tight, you could enter an arm wrestling contest or, more preferably, a wet T-shirt competition.” He suggested with a nonchalant grin as he easily ducked out of way of the Slayer's instinctive slap to his head. That was once really nice benefit from keeping Wally West's superspeed – Buffy had a *much* harder time slapping him, anymore.

“Come on, seriously, Xander. You’re just gonna drop out of Sunnydale High? That’s a big no-no.” Buffy told him firmly. “I don’t have a choice in the matter, but you don’t have to-”

“Stop right there, Buff,” Xander waggled a finger in front of the blonde to shut her up for a moment. “In case you haven’t noticed, Buffster, you are *not* the boss of me. I make my own decisions. It wasn’t exactly your idea that I follow after you when you went to deal with the master now was it?” At her reluctant shake of the head he continued. “You told me how Angel’s no longer part of the picture, well – I still am. Where you go, I go.”

"Don’t you get it? You’re my friend, you and Willow both. If it wasn’t for you two, I’d have dropped out of Sunnydale High *way* before now and tried my hand at that carpentry apprentice thing my guidance counselor recommended. I hear that there’s a lot of good money to be made there,” the male teen finished up with a smirk on his face.

“Great to hear you've actually given that some thought, Xander.” Willow complimented him proud of her friend.

“Yeah,” he agreed, “besides its going to take a lot more than those tweed wearing, tea sipping, doom and gloom guys to break the Scoobies up.” Xander said.

“But I think I've got a slightly better idea than that, in order to make money,” Willow said, as she came over to join her friends. She had been giving everything they'd learned this morning some serious consideration, and her genius-level brain was already making plans on how to deal with life post-Sunnydale High.

“Your seriously messing up some plans there Will’s.” Xander joked at the girl.

The girl ignored what her friend was saying. “I mean, you guys know all about making diamonds from Chemistry class, right?” Willow posed the question with a grin. “Buffy has all that really cool super-strength out the wazoo now, and I remember an old black-and-white TV episode of Superman where George Reeves did it; so Buffy should be able to crush graphite with enough heat and pressure in her hands to become her own little diamond factory.”

Buffy and Xander both grinned at this suggestion. All of their potential money problems now appeared to have an answer, thanks to their hyper-intelligent, bookworm-y friend.

“Cool! Come on, let’s go somewhere and try it, see what happens,” Buffy suggested eagerly. “I could definitely go for a new diamond necklace, sometime today! Earrings would look go as well.” She mused out loud.

The other two Scoobies just laughed as they followed after her, the group taking the first tentative step in starting to put the problems of the past behind them.

“So if a diamond is a girl’s best friend, does that make Buffy every girl’s best friend?” Xander questioned as they walked out the door. “What?” He asked at the amused looks the girls sent him.

~~~

Summers residence

November 3, 1997

Later that evening

"Uh, Mom, you know how there were all sorts of problems all over town on Friday night, and how the police blamed it on a gas leak that seeped up into the air from an underground cavern that caused mass hysteria and hallucination?" Buffy began as she led Willow and Xander into the kitchen where her mother was making a cup of tea.

“Yes dear I do, and may I say I am glad to know that none of you were hurt.” Joyce returned to the trio.

"Well, it turns out that there was a whole lot more going on that night than you would *ever* want to believe." Buffy said as he began to explain everything to her mother. As she was no longer the Slayer she didn’t have to hide things from her mom anymore and there were things she needed to know. Besides since she had to get out of town tonight she couldn’t very well leave without some sort of explanation to her mom. She explained Merrick, Giles, and everything that she knew about the Council and their mission. The fact that for them school was literally hell as it was on top of the mouth of hell. Most importantly though; she told her mom all about being the Slayer, and what that meant. She told her about the various vampires and demons that she had fought for nearly 2 ½ years and even added in the story of Catherine Madison as well. She glossed over her fight with the Master as she didn’t think that would particularly help her case at the time being.

Joyce didn’t say anything she merely sat there and listened as the teen before her spilled her heart out to her. At first she thought that Buffy was having a relapse into whatever problems she had before. The determined look that she had though convinced her to wait and listen. The fact that the other two seemed to be in agreement with Buffy made her pause though as well and really and truly listen to what she was being told. It’s one thing to ignore the girl when all of her evidence has conveniently disappeared into a pile of ashes. Now though not only was Buffy telling her about these things again. She now had witnesses that were backing her up in everything that she had said. Willow was a girl that had plenty of intelligence and would not just randomly agree with this unless she believed that it was true without a doubt. Xander may enjoy fantasy but she also realized that he was something of a realist as well.

These three children not yet adults had been busy saving the world and destroying the various monsters while a group of adults sat on the sidelines and watched them lose what little childhood and innocence that they had. Others like herself though had been oblivious to everything that had happened or refused to admit what they saw. The blood stains and unknown things that she had found in her daughters clothes were explained and a part of her wished that she hadn’t had to learn all of these things. The agreement from her friends and then Willow bringing a large tome out of Buffy’s room filled with all sorts pictures of demons and monsters that her daughter had been fighting. Buffy had even told her how to beat each one with the tired voice of one more experienced than they wanted to be on the subject.

“This is a lot to take in Buffy.” Joyce told her daughter after she seemed to be done with her story. “I don’t suppose that you can give me some time to think all of this through?” She asked her daughter hopefully. A part of her was glad that Buffy had decided to sit down and talk about this. If she had waited and tried to say this while heading off into a fight, she wasn’t sure what she would think or do. Knowing her though it probably wouldn’t have been a pretty thing though and she would probably lashed out.

Buffy smiled sadly at her mother. “Really wishing that I could, however there are still a few other things that we need to talk about.” She then explained how the three of them had worn superhero themed costumes. Anywhere else that might not have mattered but because this was evidently the hellmouth it did matter. The changes while impressive had left them with more questions than they liked. Then there was the fact that the Council had put a kill order on Buffy’s head and banned her friends from doing anything to help stabilize the events that the hellmouth created.

Joyce was unsure if she should be damning or blessing Ethan Rayne. It seemed while his choice in spells had destroyed many of Buffy’s hopes. He had also given her daughter back her own choice of destiny and future and that was something that she would be thankful for. She figured if she ever met the man that slapping him then kissing him would be the first thoughts on her mind. With these other Council men though she figured that she would be more interested in killing them first.

“Fine,” she said reluctantly. “I’ll take you to LA for tonight. After that we’ll try and figure out what we’re going to do as far as education.”

“Ah Mrs. S?” Xander said from where he was sitting. “You may not realize this but an education is probably the least of our problems. Willow being the super brain she is just kind of hung around at school cause she thought that it was fun. Freaky I know but also true. Me and the Buffster were the ones that needed it. But thanks to our abilities we have a lot easier chance of acing the tests without even trying.”

“Really, how so?” Joyce questioned as she gathered a few things together so that they could leave. The woman realized she would have to sell her gallery now as there was too much chance of her being targeted by her daughter’s enemies. The thought made her somewhat sad but it was for her daughter that she was doing this for.

“Well with my brain being what it is I can now speed read and know everything that I need to for any test I need to take.” Xander explained to her. “Buffy can do the same while she’s not as fast as me she can do it pretty fast. We could both read a midsized library in a few hours now though. This means that we can take our GED’s and get done in a single afternoon and be done with it all.”

“I see.” Joyce said warily, “and what would you do afterwards?”

“Mom we need to figure out who we are now.” Buffy explained to her mom. “That means we need to do things that only we can do.”

“In other words you need time to figure yourselves out and where you fit in the world.” Joyce said nodding her head in understanding.” A lot of people I knew took a year away from college and just followed wherever their instincts took them. They didn’t have the burden of knowing what you three did either nor did they have the responsibility of having all of that power. Maybe that’s what you need to do. Find out who you are.”

“Thanks for understanding mom.” Buffy said relieved that her mom was willing to listen to what she had to say.

~~~

Los Angeles

Diamond District

Diamond Center Inc

November 8, 1997



The group of teens had been right they had been able to answer all the tests easily. They had been in town a few days and managed to get that squared away. They still had to officially wait a few days into the results could come in but the trio new without a doubt that they had all of the questions down just as good if not better than the average test taker would have been able to do it. They were now sitting in an office with a man inspecting the small bag of diamonds that Buffy had managed to create to finance their trip and to help Joyce in financing the move of her art store to LA. All they were waiting on was for the man appraising them to see how much the small handful of raw diamonds were worth.

“Well?” Mrs. S questioned the appraiser. She was curious as to how much her daughter was able to generate.

“It’s been a while since I’ve see diamonds of this quality.” The appraiser said as he continued to examine the diamonds. “I think though that I can give you this much.” He said as he wrote down a number and handed it to Joyce.

The woman was impressed at the number as she passed the paper over to Buffy who then passed it onto the other two.

“Wow,” was all Xander could say as he looked at the number. With that much money they could get Mrs. S her store set up, go on their trip, and probably still have enough money to do whatever they wanted.

In a few minutes the group had a check and the store had their diamonds. Everyone was happy now. Joyce smiled at her daughter. The group then walked out of the store and were standing near the Explorer. Joyce then turned to look the group over. “Now then, I want this to be a one-time only thing.” She told the group. “I don’t want to find out that you have been back here or any other place like this with other gems is that understood?” She questioned them quietly giving them all stern looks which all of the teens nodded in agreement with. If the need hadn’t been so great to get themselves out of Sunnydale they knew Joyce would never had agreed to do this. But they had needs and Xander and Willow could now get themselves emancipated and away from their parents early now that it was proved they had the money to be self sufficient. The teens could figure themselves out and they could all get out of Sunnydale.

“Yes mom, we promise we’ll never do it again unless there’s an emergency or something similar.” Buffy promised earnestly with the others nodding their heads in agreement.

“Good,” Joyce said.

Before they could do anything else though there was a crashing sound. Turning the group looked up as several of the various diamond stores were now smoking or had alarms going off.

“What’s going on?” Joyce asked worriedly.

“Trouble,” Xander returned. “Mrs. S, I think you need to get in the car or find some other place to hide. This is about to get really ugly.” He then pointed to the center of the Diamond District where several beings were piling up a small hill’s worth of diamonds. The chuckles and laughter from them was nerve racking. The various security personal were trying to stop the various figures but they might as well have been ants.

A man that glinted like steel chrome was casually tossing people aside and acting as the main aggressor of the group. He was swinging a giant ball and chain around as well knocking weapons out of people hands before slamming the chain ball weapon into a car and then withdrawing it. Flying through the various buildings was what looked like a green tornado. It was going into the various diamond stores then heading to the hill depositing more and more of the valuable rocks. Working the other side of the street was a man in a red outfit and a metal device where his hand should be guiding various energy like beings around as they gathered their own gems to the growing pile. Overseeing the group was a man holding a gun and wearing a pink hood of some type over his head.

“Scoobies, I think that they’re playing our song.” Xander said as he watched the group of villains empty store after store. The hand weapons that would stop most thieves merely shrugged off or dodged by this group.

“Should we though?” A nervous Willow questioned as she eyed the criminals as they tossed the security officers aside like they were nothing. “Maybe we should leave this to real heroes or professionals.”

“We have to Will’s, those guys are going to get killed trying to stop them and do you really think that the regular cops will be able to d all that much better than them?” He asked his friend. “Come on Buffster, you with me?”

The blonde looked conflicted. “Mom I’m sorry, but this is something I have to do, I have to protect them. If I don’t then someone could die or get hurt.”

Joyce frowned obviously not liking this but finally nodded her head in understanding. “Fine dear just be careful.” She warned.

Buffy and Xander spun around and when they stopped spinning they were dressed in their costumes. Willow had slipped into the Explorer and had quickly changed in there before slipping back out.

“Ok guys, ideas?” Buffy questioned as Willow joined back up with them.

“This is going to be tough.” Xander said as he looked the group over. “The metal looking guy swinging the ball and chain around is the Absorbing Man. He can literally absorb the physical abilities and strength of anything he touches whether it’s a person or just the sidewalk. So whatever you do don’t let him touch you and hold onto you. His powers are a lot like fighting Parasite. The guy in red with one hand is called Klaw. He’s similar to a Green Lantern or Black Hand. The only difference is that he uses sound to make his energy constructs. That green tornado like thing is called Whirlwind he’s a guy that moves at super speed and turns himself into those things. You have to be care though because his armor is covered in various blades that can slice you up. He’s like the Red Tornado only without the healing or being a robot. The guy making sure they all work together though may be the most dangerous of the group though. He’s called Baron Zemo and he’s like an evil Batman or like Deathstroke not someone you want on your bad side though. He’s likely the brains of this whole thing.”

“Buffster should probably deal with Absorbing Man he’s way to strong for either of us.” Xander suggested. “I’ll show Whirlwind what real speed is, and Will’s think you hold off Klaw till we get there?”

“I can try.” The girl said nervously. She was not used to being one of the main fighters she was supposed to be support.

“Right,” Xander said. “Only thing is Willow I want you to try flash freeze Absorbing Man and Zemo. They’re probably the most dangerous. If you can create an ice cage around Zemo that would be even better.”

“Oh I get it you want me to freeze Absorbing Man and make him brittle so that he’ll break when Buffy hits him.” Willow said in understanding of the plan.

“Right,” Buffy said, “okay guys lets go.”

Buffy took to there a bit above where everyone was fighting and watched as Willow appeared on an ice slide and blasted her two first targets before moving forward to take on Klaw. Xander was also moving forward to engage Whirlwind trying to get his fists through the other man’s defensive attacks.

“Here we go.” Buffy muttered as she power dived into Absorbing Man. She slammed into him pretty hard and watched as he went flying down the street. Turning she checked on Zemo and saw that he had a weapon in his hand and was melting his way through his cage. A quick blow of her breath and the prison was strengthened.

“Frost watch your back.” She ordered as she came up with the first name she could for her friend. She sent a blast of heat vision toward Klaw. “Dodge the attacks if you can or shield from them. You need to focus on Captain Hook, not the distractions he’s making.”

“Ah Streak,” she said, “stop trying to hit him, run counter to him and cancel his tornado out.” She ordered.

The others followed the orders of their friend as the caped blonde turned back to facing the Absorbing Man as he climbed to his feet. His chrome body had changed into a much tougher diamond one.

“I’m gonna tear you a new one for that.” The thief threatened as he glared at her. “You really think you got a chance against me girlie? I fought the Incredible Hulk and an entire Avenger team on my own and kept on going.” He snarled out at her. “You really think that little love tap is going to stop me?”

Buffy swallowed if he had survived that kind of a fight then she really was going to be hard pressed. Add in the diamond form he now had this could get interesting really fast. The others were going to need time to disable their opponents as well. She charged at Absorbing Man again and the figure laughed as he wound up and socked her one. The hero flew up into the air and through a building before she managed to regain control.

She shook her head and headed back out at him. She was forced to stop though as he started hurling cars at her. The blonde responded by knocking them out of her way. She was lucky no one was in any of them but sooner or later her luck would run out. The guy ran out of ammo first though and decided to try something else. He pulled his ball and chain up from where it had fallen and began swinging it. Moving to intercept him she was slammed by the diamond prison ball into another building.

“Nice try kid you got some raw talent but you still ain’t on my level.” Absorbing Man boasted.

“Want to bet?” A voice said from behind him.

Absorbing Man was shocked to see the blonde there he thought he had sent her the other way. A heavy uppercut sent him flying upward. As he reached over a thousand feet the criminal found her waiting for him as she brought her leg down in an ax kick that sent him flying back down.

The criminal slammed into the ground painfully. As he climbed to his feet he looked around for the others but saw that they were helpless. The other members of the group were actually all knocked out or stuck in a frozen prison. “Who are you kids?” He growled as he looked at them. There was the girl he had been fighting in her red skirt and boots and blue shirt next to her was some guy in a red bodysuit with a mask and a red haired girl with green eyes in a blue body suit with a white shirt pulled over it.

“I’m Super-Girl, she’s Frost, and that’s Streak.” The blonde returned to him. “Now you want to go a few more rounds?”

“3 to 1? No thanks, besides it’ll take less work to break out again. Besides without Zemo I won’t be getting paid anyways.” The man said. “Not that I particularly want to go back to the joint either.”He said as he lunged at them. The girl in blue created a shield of ice that the criminal slammed through. When he cleared through he saw the red dressed boy and girl in blue had zipped out of the way leaving him with just the blonde.

“Hey I wonder.” The girl mused. “Yeah you do have some weak points. Wonder why I didn’t try this the first time.”

The girl lashed out with her fist but it was caught.

“Now I got you.” The criminal sneered as he prepared to start taking her power. He was stopped though as the girl’s other fist slammed into his side and he began to crack and then shatter.

“Your diamond had a weak point.” The blond said as she dusted herself off. The creep hadn’t even really started taking her power so he had still been in his diamond form. Another minute or two though and it might have been different matter though.

The group observed the various downed criminals with relief as they all sagged for a second the fight had taken more out of them than they had thought. I’m thinking that we might want to add in some sort of communicators pretty soon so that we can talk to each other if need be. Streak suggested to his companions. It would have made fighting them easier if they didn’t hear the orders as well as we did. Whirllwind tried to counter me a few times cause he heard the plan. Supergirl gave me.”

“Yeah, Klaw did the same thing.” Frost said in agreement.

At the sound of approaching sirens the group looked up.

“Well better late than never I suppose.” Streak muttered.

Supergirl then grabbed the wrists of her two teammates and flew off.

Once they were out of earshot Xander began to whine to his friend. “You named me after Supergirl’s cat? What did I do to deserve that?”

“Got us involved in the whole fight.” Buffy returned to him. “That and got me stuck answering to Supergirl.”



~~~

Sunnydale

Saint Martin's Cemetery

November 16, 1997



A red and blue caped figure touched down in front of the graveyard and knelt down to run her hands along the headstone of her fallen friend. Billy had been a lot of things determined to a fault sometimes. She did wonder though what had dragged him all the way from LA to the hell hole that was Sunnydale.

"What do ya think ye be doin' 'round here, creature?" Kendra the Vampire Slayer snarled, as she approached the blonde-haired girl standing by the clearly recently-filled grave, whose headstone was engraved 'Billy Fordham.'

"What's it look like I'm doing, Robo-Slayer?" Buffy snarked, ignoring the Jamaican girl who was glaring daggers at her back. "I'm saying good-bye to a friend who died the other day. From a bad case of vampire bite, as it turns out.”

"Something you obviously haven't been able to do very much about since your arrival here in town," she added sarcastically.

"I warned ya when I last saw ya dat ya needed to be getting' out of dis town as soon as possible, creature." The newest Slayer declared as she noiselessly drew a pair of knives from their sheathes on her belt.

"Dat be the only warning I was told to be giving ya," Kendra said as she then sent both blades spinning through the air at the other girl's back, only to stare in dumbfounded astonishment as the seemingly unsuspecting blonde appeared to casually turn around and effortlessly caught both spinning blades by their hilts.

"Hmm, nice knives," Buffy commented as she examined the two blades with professional interest. "Enchanted, too, I'm guessing. Since you know that’s the only way that you could hurt me."

The glaring slayer refused to answer her question.

"Thanks, I can probably find a good use for these," she added as she then dropped the weapons into the leather bag she had slung over her left shoulder.

"Gimme me back me knives, ya damned t'ief!" Kendra half-screamed with anger as she shook off her surprise and leaped at the other girl. It was time to show dis creature what a true slayer was.

"Uhm, no, I don't think so," Buffy shook her head in disagreement as she compounded her opponent's shock by easily floating upwards into the air above the grave, thereby making Kendra miss her entirely and land awkwardly on the other side of the mound of freshly turned earth.

"You tried to attack me with them and you missed, so, rules of war – they belong to me now." Buffy informed her would-be assailant. “Or if you want to make it really simple finders keepers losers weepers.” She chanted down at the dark skinned slayer.

"Actually, she didn't just miss, Brainwashed Girl failed dismally in her completely futile, wholly ineffective, cowardly and felonious assault against you, Buffster," a new voice chimed in from off to the side.

“'Failed dismally'?" Buffy repeated while still floating above the grave, as she turned her head to look over at the dark-haired youth and his redheaded companion as they moved out of the small grove of trees where they'd apparently been waiting and watching. “Did you swallow a dictionary?”

"And 'completely futile, wholly ineffective, cowardly and felonious assault '? Where did you learn all the new big words, Xander?" Buffy asked with a wide grin from her position twenty feet up in the air, her manner completely ignoring the fuming Slayer below her, who'd tried to attack her just a moment earlier.

"Willow got me a 'Word of the Day' calendar yesterday," the founding member of the Scooby Gang grinned back. "And you know how patient I am, Buff – I'm already up to August 24th's word, 'conspire' – 'to agree together, especially secretly, to do something wrong, evil, or illegal,' or 'to act or work together toward the same result or goal,'" He quoted at her.

"I'm not sure whether I should be worried or not about possibly ending up sounding like I might be British, though." He then complained with an exaggerated frown.

"It is not cowardly to slay inhuman creatures," Kendra declared as she turned for a moment and scowled at the two newcomers. "It be de duty of the Slayer to destroy all dat is unearthly and inhuman!"

"God, none of us are interested in debating what the duties of the Slayer are with you, Pink Ranger.” Buffy told the girl in annoyance. “I just wanted to say goodbye to someone who used to be my friend. Is that concept really such a weird one for you to understand? I mean I know you were raised with the Council and al but didn’t you have other potentials that you were friends with at least?”

The blank look that she got in return was all that the group needed to know what the girl thought on that “Me Watcher wanted nothin’ to be distractin’ me from me mission. The mission all dat be matterin and dat mission be de death of all monsters such as yerself.” The girl said as if what she was quoting the bible.

“Yet another reason for the people who raised you to be inked in for the top five spaces of my 'People Whose Heads Are Filled With Crap' list," Xander stated as he gave Kendra a glare filled with disdain and contempt. “Even I know that not every supernatural being is dangerous. Is that why you can’t save that many people? Because your too busy killing the things that aren’t bothering people?”

“And would you be knowin about what it takes to be a slayer? You be nothing more den a civilian dat kept poking der nose where it not be wanted.” Kendra said in her defense. “Me Watcher said dat dey be threats so I be dealin wit dem.”

Xander shrugged not the least bit phased. The words might have had some merit if there had been some emotion in them. "Do you always do what the Watcher says Zombie Slayer? Do you even have an original thought within you? I may not know everything about being a slayer, but what I do know is that Buffy's saved the world from being sucked into Hell six months ago. I also know for certain that she's even died doing her duty. Want to know how I know? I'm the one who gave her CPR and brought her back to life after she drowned in the Master's cave." He explained further. “What have you done except maybe stop a few random attacks here and there?”

"So as far as I'm concerned, she's the *real* Slayer around here – and you're just some poser who calls herself the Slayer. You still haven't proven that you’re worth holding the championship belt yet though. If anything else you’re nothing more than a paper champion. You got the title but not the respect that goes along with it." Xander spat out in defense of his friend and her work that the Council had so casually dismissed as if all of her many sacrifices had meant nothing.

"What he said. And I think the fact that the death rate at Sunnydale High, and in the town in general, is back to being what it was before Buffy showed up, which only reinforces Xander's point, too, missy." Willow chimed in, wanting to help defend her friend from the other girl's malicious comments. "Things have only gotten worse in Sunnydale ever since you and the other Council people showed up, and I dare you to deny it to all the families of the people who have died recently!" She wore her resolve face while saying this but decided not to mention it since she doubted that the girl would understand what that meant.

Rather than attempt to refute either of the two Scoobies' points, Kendra instead growled with anger, frustration and dislike and sprang towards the pair, apparently in an effort to either threaten or scare them off.

Unfortunately for her, however, her attempt at intimidation failed miserably against the *civilians*.

Prior to her possession by her Halloween costume, Willow would most likely have squealed in fear and dodged away from the perceived threat of the dark skinned slayer. Expecting one of her friends to either get between them or stop the slayer. Now however, with the Halloween memories of facing down hundreds of far more dangerous beings lodged in her mind, the red haired girl stood her ground and simply thrust her hands out in front of her as she unleashed a blast of ice. The attack caught her would-be attacker in mid-leap, knocking her backwards and sending the girl sprawling across the cemetery's neatly tended lawns. Her long hair now covered in icicles.

“Nice one Will’s.” Xander complimented as he examined her handiwork. “I think I’d give it an 8 for speed and power.”

As she lay dazed and shivering on the ground, Kendra heard the sounds of a fledgling clawing its way out of its grave. The slayer fumbled for a stake as she looked over in that direction to see her predecessor still floating above the grave in question.

The Jamaican Slayer watched as the blonde gazed down at the fledge with an expression of sadness for a moment, and then it looked to Kendra as if the creature's eyes flashed red for an instant, before the fledgling vampire who used to be Billy ‘Ford’ Fordham abruptly turned to dust.

As the newest vampire Slayer got up and stared in open-mouthed disbelief at what she'd just witnessed, she heard the dark-haired youth who'd spoken so disrespectfully of the Council a few moments earlier say, "Some free advice for ya, Zombie Slayer, don't get the Buffster pissed off at you. You wouldn't like what would *definitely* happen, next." He advised her.

A moment later, the boy moved so fast as to be just a blur as he picked up the redhead who'd blasted her with some sort of spell and the two then disappeared from sight across the grass, while the blonde creature who'd been the previous Slayer before being changed into her current non-human form simply flew higher up into the night sky, until she, too, disappeared from view.

Resuming her evening patrol, Kendra wondered how on earth she could explain the confrontation she'd just had to Mr. Zabuto without looking like either a failure or an idiot. The loss of her enchanted knives was going t make it all the worse though.

~~~

Sunnydale

November 30, 1997

"Ah, Mr. Giles there you are.” Sam Zabuto said cheerfully as the bespeckled Englishman walked into the small apartment that the new Slayer Watcher duo were renting. "It's good to see you've recovered sufficiently from that sleepwalker demon's attack to resume your duties."

"Thank you, Mr. Zabuto. Your concern about the state of my health is much appreciated," Giles replied, the rather sarcastic undertone of his words lost entirely on the other Watcher. "For myself, I'm just glad that Ethan alerted me as to Eyghon's presence before I was attacked and thus allowed me to layer sufficient spells as to protect myself until I could find a way to counter it."

"Indeed. But on a more official note, Mr. Giles, I was hoping you could tell me how you were able to previously predict where newly turned vampires were going to rise with such accuracy," Martin questioned him. "Kendra has been having much less luck in locating and staking all of the fledglings that have been rising lately than I'd hoped. If an untrained American can do so well then surely Kendra can do much better.” The man said in a self assured voice.

Giles snorted at this latest demonstration of the new Slayer's incompetence in dealing with all the problems that occurred in the vicinity of a Hellmouth and her Watcher’s inability to believe that Buffy was truly the better of the two when it came to slaying despite her lack of training. ‘Luck, indeed. That girl hasn’t shown an ounce of initiative ever since she got here!’ The more experienced Watcher thought to himself. Buffy’s inventive nature was what had allowed her to win as much as her combat skills. Her battle with Catherine Madison and using a mirror to reflect the spell was proof enough of that. Rumor had it that Spike had seen the girl fight and said that there was no thrill in fighting someone like that. He said he wanted a challenge not a waste of power.

"The coroner's office files were hacked so that all the information concerning the cause of death was determined, allowing Buffy and myself to examine everything in detail," Giles explained to the other Watcher, trying to hide the disdain for his colleague as best he could.

"I see! Excellent, now if you’ll just show me the procedures you used to 'hack' the coroner's system, as you put it, we can prepare for tonight's patrol properly," Zabuto said happily.

"I’m afraid that’s impossible," Giles informed him, repressing the smirk which wanted to appear on his face. "That particular method is no longer an option, thanks to the multitude of recent changes that have been implemented."

"Oh? What changes have been made in the coroner's office to preclude your being able to access their files?" the Watcher asked curiously.

"No, you don’t understand. That option has been lost to us because Quentin Travers, in his infinite wisdom, decided that we could not utilize the services of the teenagers who had previously been supporting Buffy in the performance of her duties." Giles informed the other man. “You didn’t really think that I knew enough about those bloody machine to be able to do anything did you?” He paused as he thought of the two who used to do it. Willow was who knows where, and Jenny had to head home to deal with a family issue of some kind.

"It just so happens that one of Buffy’s friends was the computer hacker responsible for routinely breaking into the coroner’s office, and obtaining all of the information required to find out what it was that we needed to do each night," Rupert elaborated.

"As we now no longer have access to that information source, we must do things in the traditional manner and determine how many fledglings Kendra can locate while on patrol. I’m sure we’ll soon have sufficient documentation to determine whether Kendra’s kill count is any better or worse than Buffy’s was, when she was the Slayer." He added in with a smirk.

“But what if Kendra continues to be unable to locate all of the newly risen fledglings at the same rate as the American?” The other Watcher demanded in consternation.

Giles gave the man a blank look. “I rather suspect, Mr. Zabuto, that as the official Watcher to the Slayer, you’ll have to explain to Mr. Travers why it is imperative that we recruit Miss Rosenberg or more likely, another hacker of similar skill to work with the Council in the future. Since I believe that particular young woman departed Sunnydale at the same time Miss Summers did.” He decided he might as well twist the knife a bit more though. “It also doesn’t help that you sent Kendra to burn down Willy’s Alibi bar either. The place was a great source of information for when various demons came through with plans of sacrifices or destroying the world. It seems that lower demons or minions as Xander used to call them loved to brag about their boss and whatever they had planned.” Giles said thinking of the group of teens he had been forced to abandon fondly.

"Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to be going. There is a memorial service being held in the auditorium for all the students who died last week as a result of being controlled by the Bezoar demon hiding in the school basement, and I need to make an appearance as a member of the teaching faculty. It’s most regrettable Kendra discovered what had happened only after a dozen students had been killed by those demon hatchlings, of course.

“I sometimes wonder why you bother with that pitiful job.” Zabuto arrogantly returned to him. “Your true work is here where we can research the various demonic threats that are threatening to come in from this area not telling the various civilians how to find a copy their required readings.”

The other Watcher stilled at that. He watched over the Hellmouth and the school for the various attacks and did his best to counter the various things in the school that he could. Like many of the other Watchers Zabuto didn’t seem to care overly much about the lives that the vampires and demons were taking night after night. "Personally, I can’t help but wonder what might have happened had the Slayer been enrolled here as a student, the way Miss Summers had been, and therefore allowed almost unlimited access to the school.” Giles mused out loud, as yet another one of Travers' orders was shown to be both shortsighted and wrong for dealing with the Sunnydale situation properly. "Who knows, she might have been able to stop that demon before so many people were killed."

The Bezoar had been the third demon attack in the school ever since Kendra had taken over, and Giles was certain it would be far from the last. So many of the students here had died lately – Larry Blaisdell, Jonathan Levinson, Daniel Osborne, even a number of Cordellia’s Cordettes. That list didn’t happen to include the ones that had been turned though those were just the ones they had found proof of being dead. He understood that Warren Mears as a vampire had turned both Cordellia and one of her followers Katrina and was keeping them as his own personal little toys. It hurt Giles to know that a girl who had risked her life on more than one occasion reduced to a vampire plaything. Zabuto had called them casualties and that eventually he would have Kendra get around to dealing with Warren.

The school obituary numbers were rising higher and higher every week, and were rapidly threatening to surpass the figures that had existed before Buffy had transferred here from Hemery High twelve months ago. It seemed that without Buffy Summers to keep them in check the monsters were taking what they had lost and then some. It didn’t help that Kendra was merely egging them on with her own attacks. Sooner or later the demons would tire of her and then they would deal with her.

~~~



BCBG Max Azria store

Rodeo Drive

Los Angeles, CA

November 19, 1997

"Uh, it's not that I'm not having loads of fun acting as the designated pack mule for you and Wills here while you two ladies so genteelly race around ransacking and pillage the shops here, Buffy." Xander declared, as he politely, but rapidly and insistently, knocked on the door of the dressing room in which the girls were currently getting changed in. "But I'm thinking that if we don't have a momentary pause in the shopping spree marathon and maybe politely ask the bad guys outside to please stop terrorizing everyone around, then there might not be any shops left for you guys to check out."

It took the distaff side of the recently reduced Scooby Gang only a few moments to change into their costumes and join Xander outside the BCBG Max Azria store, where he was watching and evaluating a quartet of costumed and clearly superpowered individuals who were wreaking havoc on the shops lining the street.

As the girls looked around, assessing the situation, they could see a red and gold costumed, 'Golds Gym'-type bodybuilder currently floating above an LAPD patrol car, with the officers currently (and quite ineffectually) firing their sidearms at him, apparently trying to distract him from burning a series of symbols into the walls of several of the buildings around him, while the crowds of tourists and shoppers were being terrorized by a person, who appeared to be a full-figured young woman in a body-hugging multi-colored uniform, floated nearby and projected energy beams from what looked to be a crystal on the back of her hand, while a guy in some sort of bird-themed costume, complete with wings, swooped down on groups of fleeing pedestrians and the fourth member of their group ran up and down the streets in the area, panicking the public around him and causing even more injuries as everyone nearby to stampede wildly away from him.

"These guys call themselves the Squadron Supreme, guys," Xander informed his friends as they joined him under the overhang shielding the shop's front doors from the sun.

"The big guy in the red and gold tights, he's called Hyperion and he's their major hitter, Buff," Xander began identifying their opponents. "His powers are a lot like yours – superstrength, flight, he can shoot some sort of energy beams from his eyes and he can shrug off a fair amount of damage – he's sort of like a poor man's version of Superman.

"You're the only one of us who can even think about trying to take him on, although I'm pretty sure that he doesn't even come near to your power levels," Xander smiled at his personal hero confidently.

"To put it in Valley Girl-speak, you're the Versace original, and he's the bargain basement rip-off that someone like Harmony would buy," he said, bringing a slight smile to Buffy's lips at the description.

"The flying chick in the multicolored bodysuit is called Doctor Spectrum," Xander continued with his briefing, "and she uses that crystal thing on her hand to create what the big brain science guys call 'solid-energy constructs,' which, for all practical purposes as far as we're concerned, are just as real as anything else around her.

"She's sort of like a Green Lantern wannabe, I guess, but that crystal she's using as a replacement power ring seems to be bonded to her hand and apparently can't be removed without seriously maiming her." Xander noted, his descriptions of the various superpowered heroes and villains who'd made up the rest of the DC Comics universe which their Halloween costumes had been inspired by now serving to help give his friends a quick approximation of their opponents' abilities and capabilities.

"The other flying guy's called Nighthawk, and he's sort like an evil Batman rip-off, but with wings that actually let him fly. And the last guy out there calls himself Speed Demon, and he's just a *very* inferior copy of the Eobard Thawne Reverse-Flash character," Xander said as he finished up his description/evaluation of their opponents and their various capabilities.

The laughter at the populace's panic which the three teens could hear issuing from each of the supervillains generated angry scowls and frowns from all of them and Buffy immediately began issuing orders based on the intelligence Xander had just provided.

"Xand, you take care of their speedster guy, first off," she commanded. "I don’t really care a whole lot how you do it, but put him down for the count. I don't want him getting back up any time soon.

"Will, do you think you can freeze Night Dork without letting either him get a clear shot at you?" Upon hearing the redhead's confident, "No problem there, Buffy," the mystically created Kryptonian then continued, "Okay then, whichever one of you finishes up first, concentrate on keeping Dr. Specks-Bomb busy, while I go show Hyperi-Dumb why he shouldn't mess with Rodeo Drive.

"I'll bet he's probably ruined *dozens* of designer shoes I haven't even had a chance to look at yet!" Buffy complained, with what Xander figured was an honest expression of anger and loss, before she rocketed up into the air, her action signaling the others to launch their own attacks.



~~~



Back in the locker room, as they were changing into their civilian clothes once the 'situation' at the Rodeo Drive shopping area had been resolved, an LAPD S.W.A.T team member who'd responded to the emergency call could be heard telling his fellow officers, "I don't know what exactly it was that Hyperion did that set her off, but I swear, she was saying – and by 'saying,' I mean half-screaming while trying to knock all his teeth out," the cop clarified his words. "Something about 'a perfectly good pair of Christian Lacroix wedges that would have gone perfectly with my new skirt, and you ruined them!', right before she nailed him square in the family jewels."

As every man there shuddered and then uncrossed their legs from the protective positions they'd reflexively assumed, the witness then added, "But I'm willing to bet any amount you want to lose that Hyperion's never gonna risk a rampage through any L.A. mall, ever again."

~~~

Medieval Times Restaurant

Dallas TX

December 3, 1997



The group was enjoying themselves on this day. They were currently watching a bunch of people dressed up as knights duke it out below in the stadium below them. The leftover bits of the Slayer seemed to have awoken tonight as well as Buffy was pointing out flaws in the way that the various fighters moved around the arena or used their weapons. It could also have been her memories of Kara training with the Amazons but none of them cared enough to wonder about the source.

Xander was merely sitting back and enjoying himself there was something about hanging out at places like this was something that he could enjoy. The fact it was someone else getting beat up made it all the more fun for him. It was after the jousting that Murphy’s Law decided to hit them. The lights went out and a spotlight hit the center of the room.

“Awe man!” Xander complained. “It’s supposed to be our night off.”

“Something wrong?” Buffy asked as she turned to her friend with worry. It took a lot more to upset her friend these days than it used to.

“Just wait and listen.” Xander returned glumly.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” The man in the center said in a heavy accent. “This is a robbery, so if you’ll please remove any and all jewelry and money and place it on the table my companions will come around and collect it. If you decide to refuse however then my companions will be forced to get rough.” At this three hairy figures joined the man in the spotlight.

“Are you telling me some old guy is robbing this place with monkeys?” Buffy questioned in amusement. “Shouldn’t he be wearing a Yellow Hat or something while he does it or did get it left stuck in the wash?”

“Don’t laugh.” Xander hissed. “Those three banana lovers along with their boss have the combined power of the Martian Man Hunter. He’s called the Red Ghost because he can turn intangible or invisible at will. He also usually packs a couple of hi-tech weapons on him as well. The gorilla there is really strong and will probably make you work for a victory. The baboon down there is a shapeshifter and can become just about anything. Then there’s the orangutan, it controls either gravity, magnetism or both. The only thing they don’t have going for them is telepathy but they are all super smart and shouldn’t be underestimated.” He warned the girls.

“Great like this wasn’t bad enough.” The blonde said.

“Look on the bright, side at least you can change without being seen now.” Xander said right before he began spinning. The girls nodded as they changed out of their clothes and into their own costumes.

“Alright Streak, deal with the shapeshifter, Frost you got the gravity guy or whatever, I’ll deal with bigfoot.

"And Ghost Boy?" Streak questioned.

“Dodge,” Supergirl returned, “once we deal with his drinking buddies then we can deal with him.”

The other two nodded as three then leaped over the rail that kept the crowd out of the arena. “Hey you got a permit to have those things here?” Supergirl questioned.

“You must be the local hero talent.” Red Ghost greeted with a smirk. “Do you really think yourself a match for me and my Super apes? We have stood before the Fantastic Four and won. I will enjoy having my pets ripping you to shreds.”

“Before or after they take a bath?” The blonde returned with a smirk.

“She’s got a point they really stink,” Streak said, “or is that you?”

Red Ghost glared at the group of young heroes. “Destroy them!” He ordered.

Buffy responded to this by grappling with the giant gorilla. The two were soon in a contest of strength. The gorilla had the advantage of height vs. Buffy’s strength. While it was true the blonde could fly the both of them into the air there were simply too many people in the crowd for her to chance sending it flying around and hurting someone.

Streak was having similar troubles as he would start swing at the shapeshifter and it would either dodge out of the way or turn into something extremely hard making him hurt his hand as he tried to harm the simian.

Frost on the other hand was having her own troubles as she kept feeling her body raise into the air. She would be forced to stop trying to blast the ape and work on icing her legs down so that they would remain on the ground. It was quickly becoming a battle of power between the two that neither wanted to give up. The animal weakened its attack and Frost smiled. Before she could move her attack she felt Streak slam into her from behind.

“Um oops.” Streak said as he scrambled to his feet.

“What happened?”

“Your dance partner thought we should switch.” He said.

Frost nodded. “Then he’s just going to have to be disappointed.” She fired several blasts of ice as the gravity manipulator and some of them finally started hitting it. Xander meanwhile returned to his own fight. He found some dropped war hammers. Picking them up he grinned as he began spinning and was soon on the attack as a mini tornado. He didn’t have the control that Twister had that was for sure but he was more than a match for a shapeshifting hairball that couldn’t keep up with him. The fur ball turned into a shield and tried to stand up to the beating that it was taking. The multiple hits though were two much and it was falling back as more and more dents appeared in it. The fur ball finally popped back into existence and fell to the ground the beating had been too much for it.

A triumphant Streak stood over the fallen super powered monkey. “How’s that for you?” He questioned with a smirk, as he let the hammers fall on either side of baboon.

The victory party was short lived though as several energy beams began heading his way. Streak kept on dashing to the left and right bobbing in and out of the way of the deadly energy beams. The speedster turned to check on the girls and saw that Frost was just finishing up with the orangutan and Supergirl was still wrestling with her gorilla. Shrugging he dashed at the Red Ghost and fired off several nasty combos only for all of the blows to pass through him harmlessly.

“Fool, I can turn myself intangible.” Red Ghost growled as he leveled the gun at the scarlet clad teen. “Do you think that you can get out of the way before I squeeze the trigger?”

“Yeah actually I do.” Streak said as he moved out of the way of the blast that came from the gun. The blast nearly hit him but he managed to turn his body just in time. “Hey as long as we’re talking I was wondering something.” The hero said as he dodged the energy blasts.

“And what might that be?”

“Well, can I have your autograph? You’re a major villain and I didn’t get the chance t ask the last major bad guy that I fought for his autograph.”

Red Ghost stared at him in disbelief. He and his simian companions had fought some of the most powerful beings on the planet. He had nearly destroyed the world a few times and yet this was the first time he had been ever asked for an autograph and it was by a hero no less.

“Very well boy, do you have a book?”

“Yeah here.” The boy said as he handed a small notepad that would fit into your hand. The villain smirked as the boy tried to tackle him as he wrote in it. “Hey, you can’t blame for trying to be sneaky can you?” He questioned.

“No, I suppose I cannot.” Red Ghost agreed as he placed the notebook on the ground and disappeared. As he disappeared Buffy slammed the gorilla to the ground.

Supergirl’s eyes glowed for a moment as she looked around for the villain. “There he is!” She finally said pointing. “Start throwing dirt and stuff at him if he can’t see then there’s no chance he’ll know what we got planned.” Xander nodded and began running in circles going faster and faster bringing up dirt and other items.

The boy stopped and let the small dust vortex settle. “Hey I think I got him.” He said as he rushed over to check on the criminal. As he got close though the Red Ghost’s blaster was in his face.

“If you move I will shoot.” The villain promised him with a sneer.

“Can’t believe I fell for the old possum gag though.” Streak returned, as he held his hands in the air nervously. The glare sent at him convinced him that the villain was serious. “Right gotchya no moving.”

“Good. Now then you will all go to the far wall where I can keep an eye on you.” He said looking at the blonde that had beaten his gorilla.

“I don’t think so.” The girl said with a smirk.

“Why not?” The villains question was answered a few moments later as several ice darts came at him from behind. While the other two had hidden their friend she had managed to get close enough to blast the still solid Red Ghost from behind and knock him out with her attack.

“That’s why.” The blonde said. “Mr. Manager,” the blonde greeted as she saw the man heading toward them. “If you’ll tell us where to place these guys we can repair the damage that our fight did we should be able to get all the dirt back in the arena and Streak here should be able to repair all the damage to the walls if you give him five minutes.”

The angry manager nodded and pointed where they could place the group. The group then sprang to work and in a matter of moments there was no obvious sign of battle and the place actually looked a little better than it had before the attack. The manager was relieved as he gave them coupons for their next trip as he didn’t have meta human insurance.

~~~

S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier

January 21, 1998



S.H.I.E.L.D Director, Colonel Nick Fury looked at the report before him with a mixture of interest and annoyance.

There were three new superheroes who had recently appeared on the public scene and they were starting to cause a bit of a ruckus among the superpowered community. The group had first been spotted in Los Angeles. There they had stopped the current incarnation of the Masters of Evil and the Squadron Supreme. Neither team had a light weight division on them and had people that had slowed entire teams before. There had been another fight a few weeks later in Dallas Texas where they had managed to beat Ivan Kragoff, AKA the Red Ghost and his super apes. Kragoff and his group of performing circus animals weren’t pansies either as they went toe to toe with the FF on a regular basis.

First, was a youth that went by the name of 'Streak.' He was a speedster unlike any seen previously, and currently estimated to be at approximately the same speed levels as Quicksilver, who was, before the first appearance of the other, unquestionably the fastest hero out there. Although one potentially disturbing, and as yet unconfirmed, report indicated that the kid might actually be faster than Quicksilver, who had been confirmed as being able to reach a maximum speed of Mach 5; which did not bode well for *anyone* being able to catch Streak if he didn’t want to be caught. Only chance of catching him would be teleporters or someone that traveled at the speed of light. Beings with those skills were few and far between though.

The kid also seemed to be able to blow things up by phasing through them, if the few reports of those incidents S.H.I.E.L.D had received were correct. The boy was also apparently a jokester and looked to be a lot like Spiderman in his manner, actually, with the habit of asking for autographs from famous heroes and villains he encountered, as well. It was actually somewhat amusing to think that this kid had the potential of being both threat and fan-boy at the same time. Of course, the two weren't mutually exclusive.

What really caught Fury’s attention, though, was that the kid was also apparently able to plan a battle out fairly well before it happened. He wasn’t on the level of Captain America or the Thinker – yet – but he was very good for someone his apparent age. Disturbingly so, as a matter of fact.

The second super in question was a red haired young woman calling herself 'Frost' of all things. He hoped that the people he had listening in on Xaviers were able to get a video recording of the White Queen when she found out about this girl. He figured he and a dozen other people thought that way. The girl who was capable of ice attacks similar to Bobby Drake, A.K.A Iceman, one of the founding X-Men and potentially one of the most powerful elementals on the planet. With her ice attacks she was capable of freezing someone in their tracks or creating ice slides. Unlike the X-Man that her powers so closely resembled though, she didn’t use ice armor while in combat.

She was also apparently the scientific brains of the group, since on the few occasions in which they'd had to deal with the aftermath of their opponents' rampages, both of the other two members of their group had looked to the redhead for direction while handling the consequences of several chemical explosions and the subsequent toxic vapors that resulted.

Fury frowned; the young woman was clearly quite intelligent, judging by the way she had her teammates neutralize some of the problems they'd encountered. He thought that, if she were the most rational one of the group, then she offered the best opportunity for him to persuade the trio to sit down and talk, once he had a better idea of their overall capabilities and how he wanted to handle them.

The final member of this newly recognized superpowered trio was also quite definitely the most powerful of the group. And she went by the moniker of 'Supergirl,' of all things. An effective description, granted, but a bit gauche for Fury’s taste.

The girl was without a doubt the leader of the group with the way the others always seemed to defer to her over various matters. She was also unquestionably the most dangerous of the three, too. She was at least as strong as She-Hulk, and maybe even as strong as Hulk or Thor – that was something no one was quite sure about, yet. The petite blonde also had an entire bag of tricks that made her insanely powerful, according to all the reports they'd received.

Superspeed, multiple spectrum eyes, superbreath (and what exactly did the science guys mean by that? Fury wondered idly), flight, invulnerability – and those were just the abilities they were certain she possessed. And to top it off, the various recorded encounters indicated that the girl was a good tactical thinker in the battlefield, as well. Her tactical skills seemed to work best while the fight was in motion but according to his observers she was getting to the point where she could plan a battle out a few moments before it happened and figure out who had to be hit first and what not.

Combined, the three teenaged capes made a damned good team, since the boy evidently evaluated the opposition's strengths and weaknesses and made initial recommendations about strategy, and the blonde girl then took the lead and directed the battle tactics, with the redhead offering advice as the situation changed or about anything that they needed to be wary of like a nuclear reactor or something similar that they might want to steer away from. The way they fought, though, was a bit odd. Sometimes they appeared to be veterans in the use of their powers and abilities, and other times they acted like their powers had just emerged.

Granted, those moments of insecurity were becoming less and less frequent as the trio became increasingly more confident in their abilities. And to add to the general annoyance of the situation, his people were still trying to figure out whether or not they were mutants, science experiments gone wrong, a new species of alien, interdimensional travelers, magic users or something else entirely new.

One thing that had become evident quite early on in their appearances, though, was that all three of the group were quite clearly extremely devoted to each other. The few times that any of the three had appeared to have been injured by the people they were fighting had caused the other two members of their group to then go all out in their efforts to take down their opponents, and had left their target in serious need of medical intervention.

No one had died, or even been critically injured by any of the three – at least, not yet – but Fury suspected that it was just a matter of time before some arrogant supervillain deliberately tried to seriously injure one or more of them, making the other members of their team go all out for their proverbial throat.

Based on their accents and terminology, analysis was fairly certain that all three were from California – at least, originally. Their ages were estimated as between late teens and early twenties. The blonde girl had a definite L.A. valley girl vocabulary, which helped narrow her origins down, while the redhead's was of a more general sort. The boy also had a southern California accent, so that seemed to confirm the linguists' opinions, and going by various offhand comments picked up during their fights. S.H.I.E.L.D's pet shrinks had theorized that the speedster had been either abused and/or neglected by a pair of alcoholic parents. The ice manipulator also showed classic signs of neglect. The powerhouse the signs of a broken home child. Each of them had their own mental trauma it seemed and had probably been in part why they had each sought each other out. There was even a chance that their dads had dumped them all together someplace and told them to keep busy while they worked.

Fury currently had his people checking all known yearbooks for schools in Los Angeles and the surrounding towns for photos of teenagers that matched the three's descriptions. He also had other teams running through all recent graduates in the last five years, to see if there was anything there, either. Slowly but surely, they were putting the various pieces together, but at the moment, S.H.I.E.L.D didn’t have enough on them to have anywhere near what the Director felt was the complete story on any of the mystery trio.

Nick reviewed the files one more time, wanting to familiarize himself with them thoroughly before he ever talked to any of the three. He had the highly unwanted task of convincing the three newly empowered capes that they needed to stop buzzing all over the States. ‘Well, at least, those were the only locations where they'd appeared that he knew of and needed to be concerned with, at least for the moment.’ They needed to let the professionals handle whatever problems developed – or at the very least, let some of the adult capes handle the situation, if at all possible.

On the plus side having heroes in that general area did have the advantage of not having to wait for capes like the Avengers or the FF to get up and see what was wrong. If there was one thing bad about capes it was that they all liked to hang out mainly in New York or the surrounding area. There were a few here and there that did otherwise but the East Coast was covered in heroes while the West Coast and central States had been forced to figure things out on their own. Then again they didn’t have to often worry about the various freaks that the East Coast always had popping up either.

Fury had always much preferred for the teen heroes to stay in the same general area they'd first shown up in, so that he could keep track of what they were doing. It also made it easier when dealing with new metas if they stayed in a particular area, so that he could figure them out. These three newbies weren’t playing by the usual rules and setting up shop somewhere specific, though, since they'd popped up in a dozen different locations across the West Coast and Midwestern states in the past two months. Had they stayed in LA and the surrounding area it would have been easier to track them down.

‘Damn it. I *hate* it whenever someone knocks over the apple cart like this.’ He thought. He almost wished that they were mutants that way they could be Xaviers problem and he wouldn’t have to worry about how to deal with them.

Fury figured he had to get these three in line now, before they eventually caused more problems than they solved, or they hooked up with Logan. Whichever came first.

~~~

Arizona: Sonoran Desert

Februarys 3, 1998

Buffy sighed as she leaned back in content. The group had really pushed themselves in helping out in the oil spill down in Houston. It had taken all of their abilities to stop the gallons of flaming oil from taking lives even with all of their powers. For all of Xander’s various goofy ideas this might be one of her favorite suggestions of late. Sunbathing to help keep her powers charged was definitely going t up there in the top ten of her favorite ideas. The fact that it gave her an excuse to wear a bikini was just another advantage as far as she was concerned. Willow and Xander were about as well the sun had never gone to well with Will’s and Xander didn’t have anywhere near her limits. Willow had suggested just flying closer to the sun and just getting her energy boost that way. It would only take a few minutes if it was done that way and they could go explore somewhere with less heat. Buffy had argued against because she actually enjoyed sunbathing and it helped her tan. Xander had argued because A) Buffy in a swimsuit, B) there was a chance of them being tracked, C) Buffy in a bikini, D) Supercharging her might make her overreact, E) Scantily clad Buffy.

Xander had noticed that both girls were actually going through growth spurts. Buffy would never be as tall as some of the heroes like Wonder Woman or She-Hulk but she was going to be at least basic height now. Either she had been a late bloomer or the magic from Halloween was still changing her. Willow’s hair was also changing it had slowly started fading from its usual vibrant red until now there were a few strands of white. Willow figured by the end of a year or two her head would be either white or would stop giving her a streaked appearance.

Xander hadn’t been aware of it but he was also bulking up with a lean physique from running and fighting all the time. The girls had noticed though and had begun to enjoy watching their friend wander around without a shirt. The amount of food that he could eat was disgusting and the girls often found other things to do during his main meals but otherwise enjoyed watching their friend. In a way the girls realized that Xander was becoming rather attractive in his own right. Buffy knew she couldn’t date him while Willow was still pining away for him but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t enjoy the view though.

Her thoughts were interrupted about the changes that the group had gone through though as she felt the ground quake. “Please don’t be trouble, please don’t be trouble.” She whispered even as she slowly opened her eyes and saw a large thing heading their way. It would hit the ground then leap back into the air as if it was jumping or leaping a few hundred feet at a time. The blonde groaned as she pulled herself up. “Guys, we got company.” She warned the other two nodded as they began to suit up.

‘If they kept running into trouble like this though they were going to need to need to find replacement costumes.’ Buffy thought to herself angry. The foot pads of Xander’s costume were close to being worn out Willow had lost her white shirt she wore over costume when she had used it to cover some kids from falling glass. Her own costume was suffering as well since she took the heaviest hits usually and ended up crashing through buildings or being slammed into the ground. Her shirt had more patch up jobs in the back then she liked to think about. The oil wells had singed her skirt and cape making her boots the only part of her clothes that didn’t have any heavy damage to them. It really didn’t do for heroes to have grubby looking clothes. Xander had theorized that even the protective field that she generated around her clothes had lesser limits than her own physical capabilities. In the comics Superman’s clothes would sometimes be ripped while all he had were bruises. Add in the fact that her costume hadn’t been meant for multiple uses as well was why her clothes were falling apart. In the end though, her costume would probably last the longest out of all them. Unless it got burned off or something that is.

The girl ignored these thoughts though as she prepared for yet another fight.

“Oh crap,” Streak said as he recognized the figure that landed in front of them. “This is so not good.”

“Streak what’s wrong?” Frost questioned though she had to admit that the figure before them was scary. In fact if she wasn’t positive she would almost say that it was a demon looking diwn at them. Looking to be around 7 or 8 feet tall he easily towered over all of them. He had green skin hair eyes heck he even had green fingernails. The only things that weren’t green were the purple pants and the white teeth that looked like they could bite any one of them in half. Then there were the muscles that this guy had. His muscles had muscles on top of their muscles.

“Ah Frost, that there is the Hulk, as in the Incredible Hulk. You know as in founding member of the Avengers guy?”

“So he’s a good guy?” Supergirl questioned hopefully as she looked up at the figure defiantly. This guy actually looked like he might be stronger than the Absorbing Man and as she recalled he had bragged about fighting this guy.

“Yeah, because he looks like could bite us in two right now and not even notice we were there.” Frost whimpered out.

“Kind of depends on his mood really.” Streak returned to her a little uncertain how the figure would react. “He’s been on both sides for various reasons. Be careful though he’s not fun to be around. He’s just as strong if not stronger than Doomsday or Solomon Grundy.

“As strong as Doomsday?” Supergirl questioned with round eyes and swallowed nervously as she felt her blood freeze at that thought. Doomsday had killed Superman, she really didn’t want to go toe to toe with a guy that could be potentially that strong. She really didn’t want to have to die again so soon she was still too young to have to worry about that happening again. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen.

“Anything else?” She croaked out, hoping that her friends didn’t see how much being around this guy disturbed her.

“Yeah, he’s got a near instantaneous rate of healing. Meaning that even if you do actually hit him hard enough to hurt him it’ll be fine by the time he turns around unless you just keep on hitting.” Streak informed them.

“So trying to make nice with him would be of the good then?” Buffy suggested to the others.

“Oh yeah.”

““Think we could offer him something to eat and he won’t try to eat us?” Frost questioned hopefully.

Only one way to find out. Streak said as he rushed off in a blur then returned with several various food items a few seconds later. “Hey there big guy you hungry?” He questioned as he offered the pile of food to the behemoth placing it on the ground between them. His best friend mentioning him eating them had brought a number of demon flashbacks.

Hulk watched the trio suspiciously as it moved forward and began pawing at the food. There weren’t many people besides Rick that would offer him food. It had been days since the Jade Giant had managed to get any food or water. These young ones though were willing to share from their own supplies. Gobbling down what it could it then reached for the water cooler and ripped the lid off before pouring it down his throat.

“Looks like he’s had a rough time any ideas as to what might have happened to him?” Frost asked the others.

“Someone was probably chasing him for some reason or other.” Streak returned. “It’s one of the Government’s favorite ways to past the time. Playing bop the Hulk.”

“I guess that’s why I’m not in the military.” Buffy said shaking her head at the danger of trying to shoot a guy like this down. She had used her various visions types and had seen how dense his body was and that didn’t even count the glowing power within this guy. The power he had was like looking into a giant green sun or something similar. ‘He was brighter than a nuclear warhead explosion. Hell he was brighter than a hundred nukes.’ The girl thought to herself.

The Hulk seemed to be finished with its meal. Streak took this as his chance as he approached the large figure.” Ah excuse me Mr. Hulk, but could you sign this?” He asked with a smile as he held his pad and paper up to the being.

The being took the paper and pencil and wrote in a child like scrawl. HULK.

Hulk snorted a bit as he handed the items back and then he bent his knees and shot up into the air. Disappearing from the view of two of them, while the blonde continued to watch the retreating figure making sure that he didn’t double back.

“See, not every time has to mean lots of violence and beating people.” Frost said cheerfully glad that there had been a peaceful way of dealing with the giant figure that had visited them then left as quickly as he had came.

“Yeah, but it kind of lacks something when all you do is offer to share your food with the guy.” Streak countered to his friend.

“Look on the bright side we had a picnic and there were no ants.” Supergirl returned as she continued to watch in the direction that the Hulk had left in.

April 7, 1998

New Mexico, Hulk Buster Base

The group of teens were panting. “Why were those guys trying to get into this place anyways?” Frost said as they secured the last of the gamma powered villains in an ice cocoon that should hopefully hold until whatever authorities decide to come pick these guys up. After everything that they had been through she wasn’t sure that the heavy blocks of ice would do more than slow them down.

“I don’t know, but they had a pretty mean right.” Supergirl said as she looked at her skirt with a sigh. The Abomination had missed grabbing her and had instead split her skirt up the sides. She was really going to have to replace her outfit now there was just no more getting around it. She wasn’t sure if even her mom could fix the mess that her costume had become.

She was distracted from her thoughts of her clothes though as several heavy duty laser beams came falling down on her. Even for her body that was a lot of energy to have hitting her.

“What was that?” Supergirl asked as she flew out of the giant crater that the laser cannons that had struck her questioned. She looked down and groaned her boots were blackened, and judging by the scraps of cloth lying around her cape had been burned off her back by the high intensity beams that had struck her from behind. As she shrugged she saw that the sleeves of her shirt had been burned away and that one shoulder of her shirt was ripped. The end of her shirt was only being held onto her shoulder by the smallest strap leaving part of her shirt flapping in the wind. The mighty S shield was just barely noticeable. The edges of all of clothes also were slightly charred and she was fairly sure that she felt blood dripping from a gash on her face.

“Not real sure, but if I was to guess I would say that it was one or all of them.” Streak said pointing to various robots tanks and what might be armored figures. That were on the ledge surrounding them with smoking weapons

“Why would anyone make pink and purple robots?” Supergirl questioned as she glanced at the biggest of the technological monstrosities that had attacked them.

“That is a good question although it does add into the humiliation when you get caught by them.” Xander said in his mock sage-like voice.

“Uh huh, so what do we got?”

“The giant gay robots are called Sentinels, they’re designed to deal with mutants complete with special sensors that track mutants. The yellow armored like things are called Man-droids they were designed to fight the various members of the Avengers if they ever got out of hand and needed to be stopped. Finally the dark suits of armor and tanks are what are known as Hulkbuster units. My guess is someone decided to bring all the various designs together to see if they couldn’t take Hulk down with a mixture of designs or something. Or maybe they just wanted to overwhelm him.

“Are you telling me that despite all of their fancy computers that they can’t tell the difference between me and the Hulk?” The girl asked infuriated. “Do they need glasses or something?””

“This is General Ross of the United States Air Force. I am ordering you and your companions to all stand down at once.” A voice roared out at them. “You’re going to be held for conspiring with an enemy, aiding and abetting a known felon, interfering in a military matter, and anything else I can throw at you. Now surrender yourselves at once.”

“Okay, first he shoots me and practically destroys my outfit and then he expects us to let him arrest us for being decent human beings that stopped his base from getting attacked by all f those guys?” The blonde grumbled as she glared toward the approaching force of machinery coming at them.

“Now Bu-er, Supergirl, think about this a moment. You really don’t want to start a fight with the army now do you?” Streak pleaded nervously as he recognized the defiant tone that his friend was using. It was the same one that she used right before she kicked a demon’s ass after it had caught her a good one or delivered an ultimatum to her. Really not something he wanted to be hearing right now.

“He started it Streak." The girl returned. “I’m just going to finish it.”

“Fine," he relented, "attack pattern?” He questioned.

“Frost, keep the Hulkbuster armored guys busy, hopefully they can’t fly. Streak you’ve got the tanks take them apart or get them to shoot at each other. I’ll handle the Man-Droids and Pink-Bots.”

“If you say so, just try not to get yourself killed alright?” Frost said uncertainly as she readied herself for the fight that her friend and the military seemed intent on having.

“Hey it’s me.” Supergirl said with a smirk before she charged into the robots.

“It would make me feel so much better about the plan if she hadn’t already died one and more importantly hadn’t just quoted Han Solo at us.” Streak lamented before charging at the slow moving tanks.

“Uh ditto.” Frost returned as she joined the attack. She sent streams of ice to hold the various armored soldiers. Some of them had enhanced muscles that allowed them to shatter the attacks but the ice slowing them down combined with the ice spikes were slowing the group down enough that she figured that she might stand a chance in keeping them busy.

The armored figures returned by pulling out all sorts of weapons from guns and flame throwers to various types of energy beams. Frost was doing her best but against the odds that she was against she was overly confident in her chances of keeping them back for long on her own. There were simply to many of them for her to hope to stop on her own.

Streak grunted as he slipped between the various attacks and had to admit that the Buffster had been right he was the best choice in dealing with these guys they couldn’t do anything to counter him really and he was able to gum up the works of the war machines easy enough. He had even tricked a few to hit some of the armored Hulkbuster units which had given Willow more time to focus on the Man-Droids. These tanks were built to go head to head with the Hulk who either ripped them apart, crushed them, threw rocks at them, or threw them. All this meant that they had tons of armor and were no match against a fast moving opponent. Finding a wrench he was able to loosen a number of the various bolts and things that were holding them together. A fuel line here a lynch pin there. The only problem was that it took time and if they didn’t see him they might direct their attention toward the girls he had to make them stay focused on him. Slowing himself down at times when they were sure to see him then moving to his full speed to do his sabotage.

Maybe there was another way he could take these guys down though. He had another trick that he didn’t often use that might be just the thing against these guys. Running full tilt at one of the tanks he vibrated through it. He winced a bit at the explosion that followed after he went through. No one died though and there was now a disabled tank behind him. Using that method he should be able to disable all the tanks as long as he was careful just where it was that he went through. He didn’t want to know what would happen if he tried to pull this trick off with a person.

Maybe he could try it next time he saw dead boy it was the least he owed him after breaking Buffy’s heart.

Buffy grunted as she dodged various laser beams. Sentinels despite their bulky appearance were extremely graceful in the air and with the varying degrees of weapons that they sported were forcing her to work. She had just finished fighting a really tough guy though and wasn’t sure how long she could keep this up. The robots had multiple laser cannons in their eyes hands and wrists. Along with that a lot of them had tentacles that shot out of the bottom of their wrist that they could electrify or they had missile launchers all over their bodies. That didn’t include the raw strength that the things had either. While not as strong as she was they each packed a good punch. The fact that some of them had rocket powered fists really brought a new meaning to the idea of throwing a punch though. She felt one of the tentacles wrap around her legs and energy shoot out from it zapping her. As soon as the energy assault was over she was swung around and slammed into several attacks that had been coming in from behind. The combined assault with the disorienting effects from being thrown around was enough time for the robot to bring its fist down and slam her into the ground.

Spitting out what felt like a giant wad of dirt Supergirl looked back up at them. ‘Ok now she was mad.’ She sent her heat blast outward catching the three Sentinels that were coming in at her various weapons all set. As a pair of flying fists came at her she managed to redirect them with her super breath so that they slammed into another of the machines. Soaring into the air she slammed through the armored body of the one that had knocked her to the ground and flung its body toward the Hulkbuster tanks.

The explosions gave Streak the opening he needed to take his wrench to the Man-Droid and Hulkbuster foot soldiers. He removed power cells wires and anything else that he could manage to get his hands on in the flash of fire.

Frost seeing the machines stop generated several powerful streams of ice and shot them at some Sentinels that were lining up to hit Supergirl from behind. The brief assists were enough for the group who had been barely holding their own enough time to turn the battles around and have them winning.

“Supergirl!” Streak said from beneath the blonde. “Throw me at them.”

The blonde grinned as she realized his plans she reached down grabbed her friend then through him at the bright colored robots. Streak began vibrating as he passed through the robots as he went through the last one an ice slide appeared beneath his feet allowing him to land on the ground with ease. He turned to look at the Sentinels that were all turning to look at him.

“Warning unit’s molecular integrity compromised.” They began saying before they all began smoking and then blew apart.

The group then met besides a tank and the other two watched in surprise as their blonde friend peeled the top off. Inside were several people but Supergirl focused on only one of them as she reached in grabbed the General and shot about fifty feet into the air.

“Hey soldier man you want to explain what this was all about?” She questioned with a dark look, her eyes still smoldering from pent up anger and extensive use of her heat vision. “Cause I got to say you got about the worst way of saying thank you that I can imagine and I’ve met people with some pretty ugly thank you’s. I reckon that this one is up there with the Council’s idea of retirement.” She said flippantly.

“I don’t have to tell you anything you freak.” The older man said as he glared at the petite powerhouse holding him.

The girl had to give him credit despite being dangled high in the air he wasn’t even flinching. She wondered briefly how Batman always managed to freak people out by doing this particular trick. She had glowing red eyes while she was doing it what did a guy in an expensive costume have that she didn’t?

Of course he might be feeling somewhat safer with all of the handguns and what not being pointed at her. She wondered if he missed the part where she was able to walk away from a full laser assault.

“You freaks were trespassing on government soil.” Ross defended himself. “Its my right to contain threats to the United States. Someone needs to control things like you.”

“Things?” The girl hissed out. “We were only here because the bad guys thought that it would be fun to blast into your base. Considering the arsenal that you have...” The girl smirked at him. “Whoops, I mean had. I guess I can see why they were interested in the place. If I knew someone had all of those weapons in one place I might have been worried as well. No telling what you might have decided to do with all of those nice boom making toys of yours.”

The blonde brought them down hard causing the man to fall to the ground in a rather painful manner. “Oops.” The blonde said unrepentantly.

“Damn freakish whore!” The man practically spat at her. “Get the hell off my base before I really get mad.”

“Yeah whatever, if you thought you could you would have already sent something to hold us.” The girl returned to him. Her eyes flashed red and suddenly the man was jumping up and down in pain.

Streak snickered as he realized what happened.

“You really shouldn’t give unreasonable men with lots of lots of guns hotfoots.” Frost admonished her friend though she didn’t make any move to cool the general’s boots off either.

The blonde shrugged her shoulders. “He deserves a whole more than that.” She shot back as she rose into the air and disappeared. Streak grabbed his friend up and ran in the same direction and was soon gone.

~~~

April 12, 1998

Los Angeles, California

Joyce Summers smiled as she looked at the scrapbook that she was working on. While the trio were out having their little adventures she was home in LA. Once she had returned to her home city she had quickly become a small power in the LA art industry. She would never be the high profile name that some were but that was because she enjoyed the hands on approach to dealing with her product. It wasn’t the business side that she enjoyed it was the art. It wasn’t always a glamorous job and had some long and hard hours but it was something that she enjoyed doing. She even had some pieces from Alicia Masters displayed here and there. The New York woman had several sculptures of various members of the hero community and her statues were almost life like.

Joyce sipped on her tea and focused on the book before her. Inside it were various pictures and news clippings of the accomplishments that her daughter and friends had accomplished. Whenever they did something that got them recognized she would place it in the book.

LA Heroes?

Gems of Heroes

Diamond District Saved by New Heroes.

Wandering Teen Heroes.

Where will they go next?

New Heroes

Comic Based Heroes?

Teen Titans

New Kids on the Coast

Teen Heroes Stop Oil Spill

Titan’s Stop Red Ghost

Squadron Supreme Totaled

Master’s of Evil Swear Revenge

Heroes of the Southwest

Frozen Drug Lords

The Traveling Supers

Krypton, more than an Element?

DC Comics Searches for Supergirl

Have Powers, Will Travel

Supergirl Dubbed New Teen Super Hottie

Who Are They?

D.C Comics ‘Super’ Apparel Sales Rises

Titans Stop Gun Smugglers

Alien, Meta, or Mutant?

The Avengers Hidden Children?


The list just went on and on and Joyce while not always happy about some of the things she saw them doing. She figured that they had to at least try to save people and hoped that they were being careful. She would hate to hear that they had been seriously injured or that anything bad had happened. Still she supposed that all things considered that she should be proud but a part of her still wished that she and her daughter could live the regular life. Buffy and her friends weren’t normal though and it was actually better this way.

She wished she could call them but she had a party to go to. It seemed that Stark Enterprises was hosting a party for small businesses and her name had been one of the ones that people wanted there. Besides her daughter would never let her hear the end of it if she failed to go to such a high end party.



~~~



Hardesty, Oklahoma



March 3, 1998



Upon the Hellmouth, the situation had finally stabilized somewhat. Rupert Giles had long since returned to England with a heavy heart. Kendra had also succeeded in getting herself killed. The idiot girl had evidently been mouthing off about scaring Spike away from his town to the wrong people. Word had reached the vampire and he had reacted. The blonde vampire in a rage had returned to the city and gone on a killing spree worse than any ever recorded of him by the Watchers Council. The skayer was then fed to his Seer, Drusilla, who seemed to regain all of her old strength and power. Some said that she had even tapped into the Slayer’s vision powers making her even more powerful than ever. Sam Zabuto had cremated his charge and returned to Jamaica to begin training his next potential.

Spike hadn’t been done though, in his rage and anger he had attempted to open Acathla to a hell dimension. Only the timely return of Angel had stopped the blonde vampire. The two had both been sucked into the opening portal and none were sure if there was ever going to be a return of either of the two legendary members of the Scourge of Europe. The only witness to this fight was a half demon that no one cared about anyways. The Watcher’s Council pretended not t notice that it was a vampire and not a Slayer that had saved the world. After that drama Diana Dormer, and her Slayer named Faith Lehane had arrived to take over the protection of the hellmouth.

It should be noted that the Boston Slayer had a wild child attitude that Travers utterly despised. Since like Buffy, Miss Lehane was not a Council-raised Slayer. But given how Kendra had made a pig’s breakfast of things carrying out the Slaying by the book, after Quentin had personally brought her there, it was politically smarter for him to turn a blind eye to the entire mess and let Faith get the Hellmouth back under control, using the techniques Giles had recommended to Professor Dormer.

The old woman who could have easily been his mother, had Giles’ father taken the road not travelled. Faith was placed in school much to the girl’s disgust and made her own team of slayerets. Andrew Wells and Amy Madison made the core of the group along with the dark haired beauty.

As far as the Powers that Be and their forces were concerned though Balance had been restored, and the destiny of the world was once again on the track that they had set for it. One Slayer, the one calling itself Angel had stopped its grandchilde Spike, and the paths of destiny were once more traveling in the ways that they should. The damage that the former slayer and her companions had done had been great but now had been fixed. Had they stayed so much could have changed destroying thousands of years worth of planning knocking everything out of balance.

In any case, the California Hellmouth was of little interest to Buffy, Willow and Xander right now, or as the world at large had begun thinking of them Supergirl, Frost, and Streak. The three Sunnydale friends now stood, exhausted but defiant nonetheless, facing off against the Avengers of all people – whose current team consisted of Captain America, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Thor, Ms. Marvel, Photon and Wonder Man.

Much like the trio which the newspapers had begun calling the 'Teen Titans' once their exploits had caught the attention of the news media, the Avengers had shown up at the site of the tornado's aftermath only a short time after the initial occurrence, and everyone had worked tirelessly around the clock, not stopping until they were certain that there were no more unfortunates trapped under or within any of the ruined structures around them. Iron Man and Supergirl had worked tirelessly to make sure of that. Between her X-ray vision and his multiple sensors it was next to impossible to hide from them.

It had been the Titans' attempt to leave and Captain America's command for them to wait that had caused the situation to precipitate into its current uncertain state, and judging by the various uncertain, exhausted and potentially belligerent expressions on several faces. If the upcoming discussion didn't work out properly, things could get *very* ugly, very quickly.

“Streak?” Supergirl questioned nervously. There was the red and gold armored figure, another dressed like a flag holding a shield, a dark skinned woman in a white body suit, a white haired guy in a silver outfit. There was also a girl in a black one piece with a lightning bolt on the chest a guy that was glowing purple and red and finally a big guy with a giant stone hammer in his hand. She was just glad they had finally found someplace to fix their costumes up finally. Some old guy in New York did special orders on hero and villain costumes it seemed.

“Not good, really not.” The boy returned worriedly. “First there’s Captain America, if you were to combine Guardian and Batman you would get him. Tactically he’s one of the most dangerous. The guy in armor is Iron Man, it’s like fighting Steel only without the hammer. Photon is a girl that turns herself in to various forms of energy. Her abilities are a lot like a combination of the two Dr. Lights abilities. She can move at the speed of light as well. The white haired guy is Quicksilver. He may be the fastest person around although I may have to challenge him for that title. The blonde Baywatch model extra is Ms Marvel basically a downgraded scientific version of Wonder Woman. She might be an equal to you in strength, she has energy beams that shoot from her hands, and can create small shields and stuff to block what she doesn’t want to hit her. Wonder Man is next he’s the glowing guy. Just as strong, if not stronger than Ms. Marvel has flight, growing powers, and eye beams as well. Finally there’s the guy with a hammer better known as Thor. Think Captain Marvel with Steel’s hammer and you probably got a pretty close bead on him. That or you can think of Orion of the New Gods. He’s one of the strongest beings around he also can control the weather, teleport, channel energy blasts through his hammer, and who knows what else.

“With all that is it really a surprise that the press thinks Supergirl is his daughter?” He joked.

“In short, this is a fight that we can’t win if they want to make it one.” The boy explained confirming everything that the blonde had figured after listening to him give the various basic strengths and weaknesses of the Avengers. “They outnumber us and out power us.”

“Joy,” the blonde said dryly as she tried to come up with a fight scenario that didn’t end with them being beaten to a pulp. Running was sounding really good right now. Too bad they had two speedsters of their own at the ready if the Titans should try that one though.

The two groups were staring at each other as if waiting for someone to make a move. Before any of the Avengers could do or say anything further. Xander zoomed up to the front of their justly famous group to stand next to Quicksilver.

"Oh man! This is so cool! You’re the original hero speedster, Quicksilver! Uh, I was wondering if you could sign my autograph book? Please?” Xander pleaded as earnestly as he could as he held out his notebook hopefully.

{ Where exactly was the youth storing the notepad, anyway?" } some of the more curious observers wondered as they watched, since it didn’t appear as though the pouches on his belt were sufficiently large to hold it.

Quicksilver uncertainly looked at the hesitant, yet hopeful-looking youth standing in front of him for a moment before apparently deciding the boy was serious in his request, and nodding his head as he then dutifully signed the paper.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Xander was practically dancing with glee as he examined the signature.

The two were soon speaking at a high rate of speed so fast that no one could understand them as the words were too fast for anyone to understand.

“Now we know what chipmunks on crack sound like.” Frost said. “What, if he can say I sound like a squirrel on crack when I have coffee then I can say he sounds like a chipmunk when he talks at superspeed.” The girl said in defense as she saw all the incredulous looks being aimed at her by the various people.

The two speedsters finally stopped talking at super speed and slowed down to normal speed. "I swear by the Almighty Twinkie, if Jesse was still around, he would be *so* jealous of me getting my hands on this,” the boy crowed.

The other Avengers, meanwhile, stared at Xander in disbelief. Opinions differed as to the state of his sanity – but only by degrees.

"Who, exactly, are you people?” Iron Man demanded, doing his best to ignore the fact that one of the three teens they were trying to interrogate (and preferably, somewhat intimidate, too) was now in their midst, begging for autographs and acting like some sort of rabid fan. The fact that Quicksliver and Wonder Man had already complied wasn’t helping things either. Rhodey would be laughing himself sick when he found out about this.

"The fanboy over there is Streak, she's Frost, and I'm Supergirl,” the blonde Kryptonian answered him, pointing as she indicated each of their group in sequence. “We’re the Titans if you listen to the news reports.”

"Supergirl? Seriously, doesn’t that sound a little bit arrogant?” Iron Man questioned her.

"So says the guy who's part of a team with people named Ms. Marvel, Wonder Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Spiderman, the Mighty Thor, and answers to the Invincible Iron Man.” The blonde threw his remark back at him with more than a hint of snark, causing both the Armored Avenger's teammates and the various other rescue personnel and reporters still present to snicker a bit.

"All right, you might have a point there, but we’re really not here to talk about names.” Iron Man agreed, reluctantly conceding to the girl's comment.

"Okay, then, why are you insisting we stay here and answer your questions?” Supergirl then demanded. "'Cause we haven’t broken any laws that I know of. In fact as I recall we were all working on saving people just a few minutes ago.” She reminded him.

"They’re here to make sure that you don't leave yet, because I asked them to do so,” Nick Fury announced as he shouldered his way through the crowd that had formed around the standoff between the two groups of heroes.

"Name's Nick Fury, and I needed something to make you stay in one place long enough so that I can talk to the three of you," Fury introduced himself as he came to a stop in front of them. "In case you didn’t realize it, teenagers with superpowers like yours tend to make a lot of people in government positions very nervous. Especially after you three managed to trash a combined Hulk Buster, Sentinel, Mandroid Task Force trying to take you into custody.” He added.

"Hey, they attacked us first!" Buffy shot back, her outraged protest echoed by Willow and Xander. "This is America, pirate man! Land of the free and all that, remember? It’s not our fault that they decided that it would be fun to keep using us for target practice after we stopped that various green men from trashing the Air Force's base and stuff.”

"Yeah, they had no right to try and arrest us at all," Willow declared angrily, the surrounding area temperature swiftly dropping around the girl as she took up Buffy's rant. "The Posse Comitatus Act specifically forbids military personnel from trying to carry out any sort of law enforcement duties without specific authorization from either the President or Congress – which I'm pretty sure they didn't have, since they didn't say anything about it – and it's not like we were even inside their stupid base's borders, anyway! We stopped them outside of the borders despite what they might like to say or believe."

"Yeah, what she said, exactly!" Xander chimed in. "If the military's going to be doing stuff like that when we're trying to help them, then we're probably going to just let whichever supervillains are beating them into the ground keep on doing so. Sure they might take our hero licenses away but its better than getting shot at for doing the right thing."

"Bu – I mean, Supergirl and Streak are right, Colonel. Fury," Willow spoke up, again. "We thought the United States Air Force would appreciate us helping them fight off those supervillains when they attacked and we heard about it, but if they'd rather we just let them handle things themselves from now on, then fine! – We'll be glad to do exactly that. They just have to let us know, as soon as they can after they're attacked, because if the base that's being attacked is far away, we'd rather know that they don't want our help before we waste our time getting there, because that'd be the polite thing to do, you know?" The redhead said, pausing to take a breath and not noticing the grins on her friends' faces that her typical Willow-babble had triggered.

Fury also chuckled, hearing the teens' comments, especially the redhead's last semi-babble.

"That's completely understandable, Frost," he told the redhead with a wide smile. "Although I think I'm fairly safe in saying that the US government would prefer to accept any help you three would care to offer from now on, if and when any of their military bases are attacked," he noted amusedly.

"Now, if you don't mind, I'd rather continue our discussions someplace where not everyone who's just hanging around can hear everything we say, and where we can make sure that no one else can eavesdrop on our conversation," Fury said, looking around at all the newshounds that were busy recording everything going on. The P.R people in the Air Force were going to have a lot of explaining to do thanks to their righteous anger at what they had just been through. The girl quoting laws about how illegal it was, just made it worst for the fly boys. "Like say, inside that SHIELD troop carrier, over there?" He suggested hopefully.

Holding up his hand to preclude the teens' instinctive denials, Fury then added, "I give you my word – in front of all these news media people – that you'll be free to go anywhere you want, once we've finished our conversation. Is that satisfactory? To make it better Captain America can come in and listen as well. If anyone will make sure that things don’t go wrong it’ll be Cap." He assured them.

“Of course I’ll come.” Captain America said as he strode forward. The group cast doubtful looks at each other and seemed t be communicating with each other for a minute before they finally nodded their heads in agreement.

***

As they walked Buffy turned to Captain America and asked a question she had been dying to ask him. “Can you get me a date with Johnny Storm?”

Captain America gaped at her in surprise unsure how to answer that particular question while Fury merely chuckled at the very teenage response the girl had. It also made him wonder if the Matchstick would go for it. From what he knew of the girl he wouldn’t be surprised. Heck the popsicle or web slinger might ask her friend out making it all the more interesting particularly if he could get Cap to introduce them. He would be free of having to deal with the teen problems that would undoubtedly come up.

“So where do you want to start?” Supergirl asked curiously focusing on Fury while Frost was busy examining the various bits of technology the various S.H.I.E.L.D agents were using while Streak was busy staring at Captain America with awe.

Fury nodded, the girl was keeping her priorities something that he approved of. "From everything I've heard about the situation that occurred at Gamma Base, Ross was extremely mad when he learned that you three were responsible for all of his high-tech toys getting broken," Fury grinned as they all resumed their temporarily paused conversation inside the suggested S.H.I.E.L.D troop carrier.

"Hey, it's not our fault that those soldiers thought that it would be a good idea to use us as target practice because they were to slow getting ready to take out the real threat!" Buffy protested back at him.

"Maybe not, but he needed someone to blame for that mess that he made. So I guess he decided you three would be his fall guys." Fury said with a shrug not really caring what the man had done. He usually got the job done that was really all that mattered in the long run as far as he was concerned. “I suggest you three just try to put it behind you; it’s something that just about all the capes go through in the beginning, or so I hear.”

"I also hear that you gave Ross a real killer glare,” Fury added with another grin, as he glanced over at Buffy.

"Hey, he *so* deserved the hot foot that I gave him for calling me a ‘damned whore’!!” Buffy exclaimed indignantly.

"She actually set 'Thunderbolt' Ross on fire?” Captain America asked, turning to look at Fury in disbelief.

"Yeah she did," Fury confirmed the answer with a smirk. "Ya’d think a man that has a daughter would know better than to insult a girl on her clothes. She lit both of his boots up as fast as the Torch could have done it. She really didn't do all that much damage to anything except his pride and boots though.”

"Of course, Ross also kinda forgot to mention the fact that he was demanding that the three of them surrender themselves only *after* the three of them here had finished tearing up all of his brand-new toys," Fury went on to the Avenger who listened with rapt fascination, "and that only happened after the Leader and some of his followers were stopped but t since Ross saw some metas still standing he decided to order for them to be attacked. He probably saw the three kids, here as his next weapon to use against the Hulk. Figured after they had beaten the likes of the Abomination that they might be useful to him.”

“Yeah, to bad for him we kind of object to being considered as weapons.” Xander informed the other men.

"All in all, if I were you three, I wouldn't worry very much about any sort of criminal charges being brought against you," Fury informed the trio, who were sitting together on one side of the hastily-erected conference table. "Given that I've got copies of the security recordings of everything that was going on inside Gamma Base even before the attack happened, I think he's going to be too busy trying to explain to Congress how and why his internal security went down the toilet so badly, to even think about bothering you three. The Leader infiltrating Gamma Base while his soldiers walked through some of the worst parts of security? That should never have happened. If you kids hadn’t stopped by they would probably have taken all of those weapons to use against either the Hulk or other heroes. Heck they could have sold it all too various Governments that we’d rather not have some of our more advanced technological weapons..

"Of course, he wouldn't be able to cause you any problems at all if you were working for a reputable organization," he noted with a sly grin. "Like, say, SHIELD."

His grin grew even wider as he took in the surprised expressions his comment had generated on the three teens' faces.

"So, have you kids ever considered a career with the government? You could be a big help to us all. You wouldn’t be the first heroes to work with us part time either Cap here regularly does the odd job for us and there are others like Wolverine, Spiderman, and Ms Marvel that all do work with us from time to time.

The group of teens looked surprised at the offer that they were being offered. “It’s tempting,” Buffy admitted, “but I think we’re going to have to think about it.”

“Whatever you say kid.” The colonel returned to her. “It could make things easier on all of you though.”

“If you don’t think that you want that there is also the option of becoming Avengers.” Captain America offered hoping that none of the others got annoyed at his quick offer to this group. The group should have all of their options open not just the ones that Nick wanted them to see. Judging by the glare that he was sending him he figured Fury wasn’t planning on him offering that as quickly as he had.

“We’ll think about it are there other things we need to check as well.”

“What like college?” Fury said with a grin not done in his temptations just yet. “I can offer you all full rides and if you work with us then it’s likely I can get you out of any trouble you might get into it has to do with saving the world.”

The one eyed WW II veteran smirked as he saw the one known as Frost raise her head at that. His people had pegged her right an over achieving egghead that loved to learn.

“We’d have to tell you all about ourselves though wouldn’t we?” Buffy questioned the soldier.

Fury nodded. “That you would.” He agreed surprised at the girl for picking that little tidbit up. He wondered if he could convince her to join an ROTC once he planted her in college. A couple of his operatives could then take over the college particularly if he made them wait a semester or two with training. That way they wouldn’t know unless they needed to.

“Two offers like these don’t come around all the time, and I think that we need to think about them.” The girl said. She cocked her head to the side and shook her head. “Time we don’t have anymore.”

“What do you mean?” Fury questioned just then the communication equipment both men were wearing went off.

“Looks like we have to cut this meeting short there’s a rip into the neutral zone in Grand Central Park.” The man said.

“Yeah Reed said that Immortus has managed to get through and is bring an army with him.” Captain America agreed.

“Told you so.” The blonde returned with a grin. “We’ll meet you there.” Fury nodded as the group ran out of the conference room. Captain America directing them on the fastest way out. “Why couldn’t this sort of thing ever be easy?”



FIN

PS

I left out Greywizards's great scene with Joyce mainly because it didn't fit in with selling diamonds if they had already blackmailed the Council.



I changed Willow's powerup to one I actually understood. I know Ice, Sparx I don't know.

The End

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