Author's Note: Disclaimer is in the first chapter, so I won't rehash that. This time it's just to say thanks to everyone who reviewed, even the one who didn't like it, at least his criticism was polite and constructive. Or at least not hateful and insulting. I got a lot of ideas from people about who the first meeting should be, and so I decided to have a little fun. Hope you guys enjoy and keep reviewing.
Justice League Watchtower
November 1st , 20:00 GMT
J'onn J'onzz looked up as a build up of psychic energy started to manifest on Earth. He'd never felt such a strong psychic presence, one that seemed to encompass the globe itself and permeate the stars and the spaces between. He couldn't read it, and that was worrisome. He knew it wasn't calling to anyone, but it was just too strong a presence to ignore. A being with that much telepathic power could control countless minds, if they were of the inclination.
He quickly started to try and lock down the location of the presence, using the Watchtower’s computers to try and locate it faster. As he did he sent his own telepathic call to members of the league who were in the tower. Soon Wonder Woman, Hawkwoman, and Zatara had joined him in the control room.
“What’s happening J’onn?” Diana’s calm voice broke the silence as they all watched him work.
“A psychic presence is manifesting on Earth... I’m trying to narrow down its location.” He frowned more as he felt the presence start to fade from his senses. “It’s starting to fade or retreat behind its own shields now, but every telepath on the planet probably felt it just now...”
“I may have something J’onn,” Zatara said as he looked at another monitor, “Flash just called in. A giant flaming raptor just appeared in the sky over California.”
“I cannot be certain that is the presence I felt, but the timing is accurate.” The Manhunter nodded, “You three check this out please, I need to check on my niece. That was... a very powerful presence.”
“We understand J’onn.” Wonder Woman smiled, “We’ll report when we learn something.”
“I’ll prepare the Zeta Beam.” Hawkwoman walked toward the teleporter controls.
“If you’ll all excuse me.” J’onn quickly shifted his density in order to phase through the floor and headed toward M’gann’s quarters. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
November 1st, 20:00 GMT / 15:00 EST
Dubbilex looked up, his horns glowing red as he sensed the presence. Things were getting interesting it would seem. He smirked as the power of the presence nearly blinded every G-Gnome in the facility, but he shielded them so that they were only stunned till the presence faded. He made his way toward Director Desmond’s office. This would need to be reported. He paused, then started walking again, deciding to take the long way. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Bialyan Dessert, Psimon Lair,
November 1st, 20:00 GMT
Psimon’s eyes widened as he felt the presence. It was stronger than his own powerful mind, stronger perhaps than any other psychic he’d met. It would bear watching. He quickly went to make his report to The Light. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Tower of Fate, Salem Massachusetts
November 1st, 20:00 GMT / 15:00 EST
Hidden deep within the Tower of Fate, the Helmet of Fate and vessel of the Lord of Order Nabu began to glow with a golden light as it felt the powerful presence enter his reality. Sitting at his desk, reading over one of the many tomes that were kept in the tower, Kent Nelson looked up with a frown. His connection to Nabu, tenuous as it was after so long without wearing the helmet, allowed him to feel a slight echo of what Nabu sensed. He placed the tome on his desk and quickly picked up his cane before calling on his declining power and that of the Tower itself to open a portal to guide him to where he needed to be. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Shadowcrest, San Francisco California,
November 1st, 20:00 GMT / 12:00 PST
Zatanna looked up from where she was practicing her magic act to try and impress her father. The sixteen year old had been working hard, both at her illusions and her actual magic for several years now. Still, the Great Zatara was hard to impress, no matter how much he loved her. Oh she knew he was proud, but she had yet to come up with a trick that truly made her father speechless.
As her eyes traveled to the sky line she saw something amazing though, and knew even her hard to surprise father would stop and stare. A giant blue phoenix flamed into existence in the sky. She knew it would be visible for miles, and was certain that the Flash at least would see it. She could sense its power , even from here, but she knew her inexperience wasn’t letting her gauge its true power. Still, she was always more curious than careful, and she was positive that The Flash would show as well.
She nodded, thinking for a minute as she picked up her hat and looked down at her stage wear. “Well, it’s what dad wears...” She grinned and looked back to the still brightly burning phoenix. “Cigam, tropsnart em ereht”
With a pop, she vanished from Shadowcrest. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Sky over the California Desert
November 1st, 19:59 GMT / 11:59 PST
The spark was small at first, a slight ball of flame that seemed to spin and spiral around itself. Quickly though, it built brighter and brighter till it was a spinning star in the sky. Then the star exploded out and the form of a giant avian raptor spread its wings wide, the dancing blue flames bright even in the light of day. At the center of the phoenix, a shadow was sheathed in brilliant heart of white flame. Slowly the white flames started to fall through the flames, floating down to the ground while the raptor continued to signal their arrival.
As the flames touched the ground they faded away, revealing Buffy and her mother. Buffy was in her black jumpsuit, the white Phoenix symbol standing proudly on her chest. She had a duffle bag slung over one shoulder, her other hand holding her mother’s tightly. She looked over at the older woman and smiled.
Joyce’s eyes widened as she looked around at the desert where Sunnydale had just been a few minutes before. Even after seeing the proof of what Buffy had told her, she still hadn’t quite believed that they’d be leaving their reality behind. Still, she’d seen the passing of dimensions as they’d been collapsed into the void surrounded by the Phoenix’s cosmic flame. Buffy had said she could point them in a general direction, but it’d be up to The Phoenix itself and pure chance where they ended up.
“What... should we do now?” Joyce finally asked.
“We wait.” Buffy smiled as the flames of the Phoenix started to die away and vanish from the sky.
“Wait?” Joyce asked, surprised, “In the desert?”
“Mom, my arrival probably lit up a whole host of mystic and psychic senses. On top of that, we showed up with a ball of fire that lit up the sky and turned into a giant Phoenix before dieing out. It was visible for miles! They probably saw us arrive all the way from San Francisco.” Buffy pointed out. “If there’s a single Hero in this universe, and since this is where we manifested I’d bet my lucky stake there is, we’ll have company in no time.”
Joyce’s blinked, “I guess you’re right...” she looked around, “So.. who do you think will come?”
Buffy shrugged, “I tried to aim for... what I guess would be a DC universe instead of an X-Men or Marvel one. Still, I wasn’t a big follower of comics, beyond Power Girl. And I may not have hit anywhere near it at all. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Joyce nodded as she waited with her daughter, eyes looking out over the desert and into the sky for any sign of a hero showing up. It was only a few moments later that a loud pop was heard and a teenage girl dressed like a stage magician, complete with magic wand and top hat appeared in front of them.
“Well, this isn’t quite what I was expecting.” The dark haired magician looked them over.
“Us either, we figured any hero that showed up would be... older than me.” Buffy quipped.
“So, judging by the duffle bag, lack of violence, and presence of.... Your mom?” She asked, continuing after Buffy’s nod, “I’d say, not here to cause trouble.”
Before she could answer, a glowing golden ankh appeared next to them and an old man in a brown suit, and carrying a gold topped cane stepped out of it. He looked around, smiling at them before he walked close enough to be heard.
“Ladies. Zatanna it’s a pleasure to see you again.” He bowed his head to her.
“Mr. Nelson. I thought you’d retired?” Zatanna smiled at him.
“Oh I have for the most part, but I felt your friend’s arrival even though my connection to Nabu is only tenuous at best now.” He turned to Buffy and Joyce, “You young lady are quite the powerhouse.”
Buffy blushed, “Thank you, sir. It’s nice to be noticed.”
Zatanna laughed, “I knew she was powerful, I felt her all the way over in San Francisco and the giant phoenix was a sure attention grabber, but strong enough to make Nabu take notice? Nice.”
“Indeed, but forgive us, we’re being rude.” Kent smiled, “I am Kent Nelson, former avatar of Nabu, a Lord of Order and once called Dr. Fate.”
“I’m Zatanna Zatara, a stage magician and Homo-Magi. I just live near here and was curious.” Zatanna grinned.
Buffy smiled, “I’m Buffy Summers, host of the entity known as The Phoenix force. Human-mutant and former Slayer.” She gestured, “And this is my mother, Joyce Summers. Normal human, but the strongest woman I know and my own personal hero.”
“Buffy!” Joyce blushed, but squeezed her daughters hand none the less.
“It’s quite alright, Ma’am, a daughter should be proud of her mother.” Kent said, before turning back to Buffy, “But that does raise a question...”
They were interrupted again as a bright light flashed a little bit away from them and three people appeared from thin air. The first was a tall brunette woman wearing a red white and blue, star spangled swimsuit with boots, golden bracelets, a tiara, and a golden glowing lasso at her hip.
The second was a woman wearing some form of black, red, and yellow armor, with an avian theme. She had two beautiful wings flowing back from her shoulders and a helmet shaped like a hawk. In her hand was a mace that was sparking with energy.
The last, was a man. He was dressed as a stage magician much like Zatanna, and his eyes were boring directly into the girl as they all walked toward the group. For whatever reason, he did not seem happy she was here.
“Kent, it’s a pleasure to see you, though unexpected.” The man said, as his eyes left the girl for a moment, then turned back to her, “And why aren’t you at Shadowcrest, young lady?”
“Ah come on dad. A giant flaming bird lights up the sky and you expect me to stay home?” Zatanna asked.
He sighed, “Teenagers.”
“As... much as I understand Zatara, we came here for a reason.” Wonder Woman points out, gesturing to the two figures they don’t know.
“Wow... I was expecting a big name, but Wonder Woman? Cool.” Buffy smiles.
Zatanna laughed, “Dr. Fate and Nabu she doesn’t really notice. An Amazon Princess shows up and she’s star struck.”
Diana grinned, “You have me at a disadvantage, Sister.”
“Oh! Sorry, like I told them, I’m Buffy Summers, and this is my mother Joyce.” Buffy grinned.
“She left out the rest of her title though.” Zatanna says.
“Indeed.” Kent speaks, “Host of the entity known as The Phoenix Force, and former Slayer.”
Buffy shrugged, “I was hoping to move on to why we’re here.”
“Indeed. That would be a good place to start.” Kent smiled.
“Well, for starters, we’re not from this dimension.” Buffy offered, “Where we’re from, none of you exist... at least, not in the way you do here. There aren’t any super heroes, or super villains. Not really.”
She watched as all their eyes widened, “If that is so, how did you...”
“Gain the power I did?” Buffy asked. “We didn’t have superheroes, but we still had magic. And demons. And me. The one girl in all the world who was given the power to fight them. I was The Slayer."
"A worthy cause, and a noble calling." Wonder Woman said.
"I didn't think so at the time, but yes, it was." Buffy smiled, "Anyway, yesterday was Halloween, and a chaos mage wanted to play a dirty trick and change anyone who bought costumes from him into whatever they dressed as. I dressed as a character in a comic book called Jean Grey. Jean Grey is her universes avatar of The Phoenix Force."
"And you can't summon a host, even spiritually, without calling on the entity itself..." Nelson nodded.
"The Phoenix had never manifested in my world... but once it had a host there..." Buffy said.
"You were bonded to it forever. Even breaking the spell would not send it back. I think I see why you're here now." Kent said aloud, "If what you say is true about your world, the Balance would have to be maintained."
"The balance?" Hawkwoman asked, entering the conversation for the first time.
"The balance isn't as... sensitive here, because of the abundance of heroes and villains on top of mystical threats. As well, there are already beings in place to police the encroachment of upper level entities and beings. From what she's described, she would be the only being of her level of power. That would throw her world out of balance." Kent finished.
"Exactly. There were other options to reset the balance, but none of them would have had happy consequences, and would have caused more destruction than I was willing to allow to occur. That means I had to leave that dimension." Buffy said.
"So why come here?" Zatanna asked, "Aside from it not affecting the balance."
"Shot in the dark. I aimed in this general direction, but didn't pick a specific reality." Buffy said, "We just want to start new lives and I want to use my powers to help people."
"Just what are your powers?" Hawkwoman asked, "Aside from the obvious ability to travel between dimensions."
Buffy just whistled, “Well, that’s a short but impressive list. All of my normal abilities are exponentially enhanced by the Phoenix. I’m probably as physically able as Wonder Woman, so strength, durability, stamina, speed, all at Amazonian levels. On top of that I have powerful psychic abilities of telepathy and telekinesis. They’re powerful on their own, but with the enhancement of the Phoenix I’m probably the most powerful psychic on the planet, if not the universe. I can also command the cosmic fire of the Phoenix, though it manifests blue for me when it’s always been yellow-orange for Jean.
“Then there’s everything the Phoenix itself can do... it’s literally a sentient cosmic force so...” She just shrugged, “Who knows the limits of its power. I CAN access those abilities, but only if it lets me...”
“Much like my bond with Nabu.” Kent nodded, “It seems we have a powerful new ally.”
“They’ll need aid.” Wonder Woman said, “Identities, jobs, and while it seems you have a powerful control of your abilities, Buffy, you’ll need training as well. The league can help with the first two, but I would offer the Amazons of Themyscira for your training. We have no Amazons with mental abilities as you describe, however.”
“That’s ok. I have all of Jeans memories and training to fall on there. My physical abilities are new for me, at least at the level they are now.” Buffy grinned, “And I’d be honored to train with your sisters.”
“Well, it seems we’ve a lot to see to.” Zatara said, “Zatanna, you should return home.”
“Ah dad.” She sighed, “Buffy it was nice meeting you. You too, Mrs. Summers.” She waved at them both. “Nice seeing you again, Mr. Nelson.”
“Have a good day, Zatanna.” Kent smiled.
“Bye Zatanna.” Buffy smiled.
“It was nice meeting you too.” Joyce smiled at the girl.
She nodded, “Tropsnart em emoh!” she vanished with a pop.
“Since the league seems to have things in hand, I shall return to my tower.” He looked at them both again, “I’m sure I’ll meet you both again at some point. It’s been a pleasure.” He raised his cane and walked into the glowing ankh that appeared, vanishing.
“J’onn.” Zatara said as he opened a communicator, “Zeta beam transport for five to the Hall of Justice please. It seems things are getting interesting again.”
“Understood.” The Martian’s voice came back over the line. “Transporting now.”
With that, the five all vanished in a flash of blue light. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Justice League Watchtower
November 2nd, 01:00 GMT
“I don’t like it.” The black cowled form of Batman said as he looked around the table at the other members of the league.
“You don’t trust anyone.” Superman pointed out.
“She is a warrior in her own right, and chose to willingly leave her home, her very dimension, rather than allow her presence to endanger others.” Wonder Woman said, “I have spoken with my mother, and The Amazon Nation will aid them even if the league will not.”
“That’s IF she is telling the truth.” Batman stubbornly said again, “And she’s a kid with enough power to take on Superman. Even if she is on the level, she should not have that kind of power.”
“I agree she should not be trusted completely. We have just met her, after all, but she seems on the level to me. I’m not saying we invite her into the league, but she and her mother both deserve a chance at least. We can watch them, but I see no problem with arranging them help to start lives here.” Hawkwoman said.
“And none of you are concerned that she as much admitted to the ability to pull your thoughts, secrets, everything from your minds with ease?” Batman growled.
“I have the same ability, Batman, it does not mean I am untrustworthy.” J’onn pointed out.
“I figure if she was looking to cause problems, and with that entrance I caught she could probably cause quite a few, she wouldn’t have brought her mom along for the ride.” Flash smiled.
“The Guardians felt her arrival, and are not worried. The Phoenix itself is powerful, but it is a manifestation of the force of life.” Green Lantern said, “The host I can’t speak for, but that is what the Guardians felt.”
“She wishes to help, and only asks for a chance to live a life here. It is not too much to ask for.” Aquaman shrugged, “And she shall be on Themyscira for some time, yes?” He looked at Wonder Woman.
“For some time, yes.” Wonder Woman nodded, “She and her mother will both be guests there while she trains.”
“That’s another thing.” Batman growled, “Why bring her mother with her in what could have been a blind leap into who knows what situation.”
“Her mother made the choice not to lose her daughter. She knew this would be a risk, but she had already been left out of so much of her child’s life in facing the darkness, that she refused to be left out of this.” Wonder Woman spoke evenly.
“Did you read her mind J’onn?” Superman asked.
“She allowed me to yes.” J’onn said, “She is a powerful telepath however. While I do not believe she was hiding anything from me, if she had not allowed it, I would not have been able to.”
“And the mother?” Batman asked.
“As she said, a normal human who just didn’t wish to lose her daughter.” J’onn said.
“Fine.” Batman growled, “But keep them out of my city.” The dark knight got up and left the room, his cape flowing behind him.
“Well, he’s as cordial as ever.” Superman grinned, “Are you sure you can handle training her Diana?”
“She’ll be fine Kal. As J’onn said, her telepathic abilities aren’t a concern since she has control of them. It will just be normal Amazon training.” The princess smiled.
“Very well, by the time you’re done with her the league should be able to provide everything needed for them to start lives in our world.” Superman looked at J’onn.
“I could do so in a few hours, truthfully, but it would be better to take time and make things untraceable.” J’onn said.
“Very well, I think that’s everything.” Superman stood, “I need to get back to Metropolis.”
“And I should see about taking my guests to meet mother.” Wonder Woman stood as well.
“Then meeting adjourned.” Superman nodded as they all left. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
“The League reached the event before our agent could.” L3 said, his form concealed by the bright light of the monitor.
“Yes, but we managed to gather some intelligence at least. Psimon reported feeling the presence arrive. The person is a powerful telepath of some kind.” L4 pointed out.
“That matches with a report from Cadmus. All the G-Gnomes were psychically blinded, at least temporarily by her arrival.” L-7 offered.
“It seems the league is going to help them, our agent watching the Hall saw them arrive and leave with Wonder Woman.” L5 said, “It seems they will be housed on Themyscira at least for now.”
“Then all we can do is wait.” L1 said, “They will reveal eventually whether or not they are enemies of The Light.”
“Agreed” The others chorused before the monitors all went off. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Themyscira, Training Arena
January 12th, Dawn
Joyce smiled from her 'hiding spot' as she looked down into the arena where Buffy was practicing with several of the Amazons' warriors. Her daughter was wearing one of their short togas and wielding the short sword that had been a gift from Diana shortly after their arrival. She was currently in a sparring match with the queen's younger daughter Donna.
"You are very proud of your daughter, aren't you Joyce?" The voice came from behind her, causing Joyce to turn with a start.
"OH! Queen Hippolyta!" She quickly bowed "Forgive me, you startled me."
"Relax Joyce," The queen smiled, "I have told you that you are welcome here, you need not bow every time you see me. You are a sister here now... as much as your daughter."
"I know, your Majesty..." Joyce stopped at the raised hand of the queen.
"Please, unless we are in a formal setting, Hippolyta will be fine." The queen told her.
"Hippolyta," Joyce nodded, "But I am not use to dealing with royalty at all. I know you've said that I am welcome, and wish me to be at ease, but my nerves still get the best of me when I'm not expecting you."
"I understand." The queen smiled, "Perhaps you will join me in my morning ride. I wish to discuss your daughter."
"Nothing's wrong I hope?" Joyce said.
"Not at all, she's doing very well in fact. Many of the younger warriors are even quite smitten with the girl." The queen smiled, gesturing toward the exit.
Joyce nodded and followed her as they began to make there way out of the arena and toward the stables. "Yes, she's... very aware." Joyce chuckled.
"Oh?" The queen raised a regal eyebrow, "She hasn't been peaking at their thoughts has she?"
"Not purposely no," Joyce shook her head, frowning, "But you have to understand about her powers. As I understand it, they aren't like the Martian Manhunter's. It isn't something she can turn on and off. It's more like hearing for her.. She can use mental shields to sort of put ear plugs in, but she has to constantly control those shields to keep them up. Some thoughts though, especially those fueled by strong emotion or... powerful hormones... it's like shouting."
"Ah, so it's not that she's looking into their thoughts, but that their... attraction is..." The Queen smiled, "Amplifying them so that they can slip past her shields."
"Yes. It's not often, even if they were actively trying to shout their thoughts to her, she could usually block them. In the midst training however... or when she's using her powers passively to read her opponents..." Joyce shrugged, "It's really very frustrating for her."
"Oh? Why is that?" They had reached the stables now, and an Amazon warrior was bring two horses toward them, both saddled and ready.
"Buffy and I were raised in what you would call man's world. While relationships between two women do happen, it isn't the norm. Buffy's only relationships up till now have been with boys. That isn't the major frustration for her though." Joyce waited for the Queen to mount her white horse first before carefully using a small step to pull herself onto the beautiful golden palomino.
"Oh?" The queen frowned, "I would have thought that would be a major hurdle for the young warrior." They started to ride the horses down the trail toward the beach at a gentle pace to continue their conversation.
Joyce's smile was sad now, "It's a minor concern, but because of her powers, she can see their attraction through their eyes and is able to... understand it; to feel it herself and reciprocate. I suppose the term would be bisexual, since she can feel attraction for male or female. No, the issue is that while they are attracted to her and she to a few of them, she can't see a relationship lasting after she leaves the island. She doesn't want to start something..."
"Ah..." The queen nodded, "And then end it because of distance, or changing lives after she leaves the island. Yes, I can see how that would be a cause for concern for you both."
"I don't know how to help her though." Joyce sighed.
"I will have Diana speak with her, with your permission..." Hippolyta looked at Joyce, "I can understand both of your concerns, but I see no reason that Buffy should not allow herself some companionship as long as both are aware that it may not last after you depart the island. I want it clear though, that you and your daughter both are always welcome on Themyscira."
"Thank you, Queen Hippolyta." Joyce smiled.
"Now. What say we put these fine steeds to work?" The Queen smiled, "And enjoy the morning."
"After you, Hippolyta." Joyce smiled.
The queen laughed as she urged the white horse she rode into a gallop along the beach. Joyce smiled for a moment before spurring her own mount forward with a loud laugh of her own. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Themyscira, Buffy's Quarters
January 4th, Midday
Buffy was in the middle of the room, balanced on one hand with her legs and free arm held at angles to keep herself perfectly stead. Her eyes were closed, but her sword, several books, and the smaller pieces of art in the room were all orbiting around her as she meditated. It was something Giles had taught her before she'd left; mixing her physical training with meditation. She'd added the telekinesis to the mix to make sure she got the most out of it.
She'd been attempting for weeks now after getting settled into the scheme of things on the island to center herself and figure out why her powers and Jeans were so similar and yet so different in some things. The color of their flame manifestations was the most obvious, but it wasn't the only one. The way her abilities manifested were also different. Not enough that she couldn't use them, but enough that she had to be careful with them.
Aside from the flame, there were also her telekinetic shields when she used them. In Jean it was more akin to a barrier that the attack couldn't cross. When Buffy used it however, it was more like a repulsing force that repelled the attacks or pushed everything away. Her telepathy was also more sensitive than Jeans, and even shielded she was finding that the more she grew used to her powers, the more she could sense. Like she'd become empathic as well as telepathic. It was a thin line, but there was a slight distinction between the two abilities.
She started her breathing again, concentrating on it, while attempting to continue everything else. It took more effort now, but soon she had brought everything into perfect time and fell slowly into a trance. When she opened her 'eyes' again, she was standing in a huge desert. A slow smile spread across her face as she found herself in what she knew was her connection to the Phoenix.
She started to walk in the direction she felt the pull. She didn't know how long it would take, but she knew that Phoenix would be at the end of the journey. As she walked, she saw vague images play across the sky. Scenes from her life. Some from Jean's. A few from the history of the Phoenix itself. She stopped, watching what she believed was the birth of the Phoenix Force itself. It was a beautiful site to behold, but not what she expected. Instead of the yellow/red flames of Jean, or bright blue of her own form, or even the green flash she'd seen in Kendra's eyes before leaving, at the Phoenix's birth, its flames were pure white.
As she watched, the flames didn't change until the Phoenix's power first touched the psionic power of life itself. Then the colors exploded within the formless flames. Even then, its color did not settle till the entity chose the form of the firebird based on the visions of the sorcerer Feron from Jean's home reality, and his plea for aid in projecting the stone pillar throughout the multi-verse.
"Those were times long ago." A resonating voice spoke from behind Buffy.
The blonde avatar of the Phoenix turned and found herself staring at beautiful white bird with gold flecked feathers and piercing blue eyes. It was about the size of large hawk or small eagle, and perched on a rock that she wasn't sure was there when she walked here.
"Phoenix?" Buffy asked.
"Yes, and no." The bird seemed amused, as it tilted its head. "I am changed, because of the method in which I was born to your reality. And because of you Buffy Summers, and that which you held. When I first bonded with you, I was not aware of what had happened. I did not realize you were not Jean at first, because in your mind, you were. Yet you still held the Slayer and I perceived this as an attack, an attempt to possess or steal my host. While bound as it was, it could not access its full power, but it was still the essence of a greater demon. We wounded each other in conflict over you. It was not till midway through the battle that I understood its place and what would happen should I win."
"What do you mean?" Buffy asked.
"I was finally aware enough within this reality to understand that you were not Jean. I was able to read your life, and see that the Slayer essence was not an attack on my host, but a part of you yourself. Had I won the battle as I’d intended I would have destroyed the Slayer essence, not just in you, but utterly and completely.” The bird’s stare was hard, penetrating.
“No more Slayers, ever.” Buffy shuddered at the thought.
“I could see this, but the Slayer could not... it was locked into battle. So I chose the only path to save both you, and it. I accessed my cosmic power to bond myself and your shard of the Slayer into a singular entity. So while I am Phoenix, I am also the essence of the Slayer.” The phoenix said.
“That’s why my powers are different then?” Buffy asked.
“Yes and no.” The bird seemed to smile again, “Your powers are different because while you have Jeans memories, you do not have Jean’s mind. You think differently, and therefore they react differently.”
“I think I understand. Because of how I think, my own... mental essence, the color of my flame, the way my powers react, will change.” Buffy worked it in her head, “But...why am I feeling people’s emotions now?”
“That is because of my combining with the Slayer. The Slayer and I both enhance your natural abilities. What you’re sensing are pheromones, smelling them because of your enhanced senses, and then subconsciously using your telepathic abilities to recognize and understand them.” The bird tilted its head again, “I have been holding the bulk of them back, and letting you slowly become more used to them so that you could control your new senses better. You will never match the Superman’s sensory abilities, but you will be far above what you remember as the Slayer.”
“Thank you.” Buffy smiled, “I think I understand. Not the reasons, but the mechanics. My mental powers are different from Jean’s because my mind is different from Jean’s.”
“The powers are the same, but how your mind works effects how they’re used. You can learn to manipulate them just as Jean does, or at least produce the same effects but in different ways.” The bird nodded its head.
“I suppose I will have to train my telepathy and telekinesis after all, or at least familiarize myself with the way my mind works with them.” Buffy smiled.
“It’s time for you to wake up now... you have a visitor coming.” The bird took wing and flew away as Buffy closed her eyes again.
When she opened them there was a knock at her door. Carefully manipulating everything she had floating around her to its proper place, she used her telekinesis to open the door. She smiled when she saw Diana standing there, wearing a toga instead of her usual Wonder Woman garb. She carefully pushed up with her hand and leapt to her feet.
“Diana. Hello, I wasn’t expecting you.” She gestured and a chair pulled out from the desk, “Please, have a seat.”
The Amazon princess smiled as she came in, sitting in the offered chair while Buffy took a seat on the bed, “I hope I am not interrupting anything.”
“No, I was meditating to try and center myself and practice my mental abilities, but I had just finished when you knocked.” Buffy smiled.
“Ah. Speaking of your mental abilities, I understand that you are picking up on some of my sisters’ more... powerful thoughts.” The smile on her face was slightly teasing.
Buffy blushed, “Yea... those thoughts are hard to block anyway, and if I’m concentrating on combat...”
“Relax Buffy, you’ve done nothing wrong... though I am told your major concern is not that you don’t want the attention, but that you don’t wish to hurt someone when you leave the island.” Diana tilted her head.
“I can’t see any relationships working in the long run. I like it here on the island, and I would love to come here and visit often... but...” Buffy sighed.
“It is not your home.” Diana nodded, “And any long term relationship would have to be in Man’s World.”
“Exactly.” Buffy sighed.
“Then explain that to them. Most of my sisters will understand, and any that won’t will understand why you don’t wish to explore a relationship with them.” Diana smiled, “My point is, that you don’t have to bottle up your feelings and attractions just because you don’t wish to cause or be caused pain. Sometimes you have to take the risk.”
Buffy smiled, “Thanks Diana.” Then she laughed and lay back on her bed, “You know, when I was a little girl, I never thought I’d be getting romantic advice from Wonder Woman.”
“You knew of me when you were a young girl?” Diana asked, “I had thought you said there were no hero’s on your world.”
“There aren’t, at least, not like you. No, I think the term is... reciprocal reality. Everything you can ever imagine or has ever been imagined, or will ever be imagined, exists somewhere. That means that occasionally, two realities will view each other through one form of fiction or another. In my world, you’re a comic book, a movie, they’ve even made TV shows about you, and a lot of the others too. I don’t know if any of them are this specific reality however.” Buffy smiled.
“That’s what you meant when you said you aimed in our general direction...” The princess smiled, “So you know several of our secrets already, even if you do not use your powers?”
“Yes and no... I may know some things, but I was never an avid comic fan. I know you because, well... You were every little girl’s hero at some point.” Buffy smiled, “I don’t suppose you know Power Girl?”
“Superman’s cousin?” Diana asked.
“Yep,” Buffy smiled, “Don’t get me wrong Diana, you were my hero as well, but my cousin Celia always liked you more than me. I was always Power Girl when we played heroes.”
Diana just smiled, “I think I can understand that. Though I will have to tell the league this.”
“I know. I intended to at some point, but at the time... well, like I said. I know some things, but not enough to really be of help to anyone, and I’m not sure how accurate my facts would be considering I’m not sure what specific reality I could have ended up in.” Buffy shrugged.
“So some facts could be different as well then, I see why you wouldn’t want to give this information out immediately then. I have to go Buffy, but I want you to think about what I said.” Diana reached out and squeezed her hand.
“I will Diana. Thank you.” She squeezed back lightly before letting the hero’s hand go.
“I shall see you at dinner tonight then. You and your mother shall be joining Mother, Donna and I.” Diana turned and left, closing the door behind her.
Buffy smiled and lay back on her bed, thinking about what Diana had told her. She’d been dealing with the emotions and physical attractions of several of the younger amazons for weeks now. On top of that she knew she was attracted to at least one of them. She got up and looked into her mirror.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?” She asked her reflection, “Right.”
Leaving her room and heading further into the palace she made her way out of the guest chambers, and up to the floors that housed the Queen’s family. She took a deep breath as she knocked on one of the doors.
“Enter.” came from the other side.
Buffy smiled as she opened the door and walked in, “Donna? Can we talk?”