Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters or situations, just messing around with them. "Buffy" is the sole property of Mutant Enemy, 20th Century TV, and the mind of Joss Whedon. Warner Brothers, Legendary, and DC Comics own both "Dark Knight Rises" and "Man of Steel." Foreword: This was written in response to cloudleonsgurl's plot bunny from "Worlds She Never Walked", including the title. (No, I have not had the privilege to see these films early.) I changed some plot elements to my liking, and I tried to structure this first chapter so that when these films come out -- I can add more without writing myself into a corner. Any plot suggestions and critique would be greatly appreciated.
To Live Again
Pain. Throbbing, hot, burning. To Buffy's mind, all she could feel was electricity tearing through her limbs and consciousness as the portal's magical epicenter collapsed onto itself and intensified in energy.
For what seemed like an eternity, her body still convulsed in pain as the electricity reached its peak. Then, without warning the brightness faded. The lightning surging through her body -- gone.
She could feel herself falling now. Cool night air and rain buffeted her hair and clothes as she plummeted toward the ground. Through her pain-induced fog, Buffy was aware that she was going to hit the ground… hard, within the few next seconds. If being electrocuted by a magic portal wasn't enough to kill a Slayer, then falling several stories would. Wooooossssssh.
In a split second, everything changed. Two strong arms enfolded her body, essentially breaking her fall. Her sore body was jarred painfully by the sudden momentum used to stop her fall, but she wasn't plummeting anymore. She had enough energy to put her arms around the thick, muscular neck of this person for support, while he cradled her legs and torso. Hmm. Definitely a guy.
Feeling weak, Buffy cradled her head against the man's chest as he gently floated upward and towards the horizon. Cracking her eyes open, she glanced at his chest. The man was clad in a medium blue, rubber-ish bodysuit, with some kind of pattern embedded throughout. And right in the middle of his chest was a funny-looking symbol in yellow and faded red -- like a thick, elongated 'S.' The night sky made it impossible for her to make out any more details, but she couldn't help but feel that this man was strangely familiar.
Buffy shrugged internally. She was sore, tired, and woozy. I'll figure it out tomorrow…
With that thought, she closed her eyes and let herself sleep.
"Mmmm." Buffy slowly came out of unconsciousness, finding herself in the softest bed ever imaginable. In her peripheral vision, her eyes lit on the off-white walls and the steady beep of the heart monitor beside her.
And if the cold, sterile scent wasn't enough to convince her, the mottled gray and white outfit she wore made one thing clear: She was in the hospital. Or a
hospital. Never a good thing.
A sudden voice broke her out of her reverie. "How are you feeling?"
Buffy turned around to see the voice's source. It was a young woman, sitting in a chair next to her bedside. The woman was dressed conservatively in an green blouse with black jeans, her piercing blue eyes a warm contrast to her strawberry blonde hair.
And she looked uncomfortably familiar. She looked an awful lot like Tara's sister, trying to force her away from Willow and the rest of the Scoobies a few months back. Buffy took a casual, closer look at the redhead… nope, this woman was at least several years older. And there was a kind, determined look in her eyes that Beth never had.
Still, Buffy couldn't take any chances. "Beth?" She pulled herself into a sitting position on the hospital bed, which was much easier than she had thought. The Slayer healing had kicked in big time while she slept, and there were only a few aches and minor burns left over from that electrocution last night. She felt much more aware and hungry.
The woman looked confused. "I'm sorry, who?"
Buffy cleared her throat. "Are you Beth?"
"No, I'm Lois." The confusion didn't leave the redhead's face.
"Oh." Buffy relaxed a little bit, sinking back into the mattress. "Thought you looked like… never mind." Then a thought hit her… this person's name and the hazy memory of who exactly rescued her last night came into focus.
She shook her head. No. It couldn't be. It was crazy. Just a dream within a dream.
She saw a breakfast tray set in front of her, and she began to eat. Like her stay in Sunnydale General back in high school, the hospital food tasted a bit… off. But her ravenous appetite overcame it and she had finished off her eggs, bacon, and toast in short order.
Letting out a satisfied sigh, Buffy pulled a paper cup off the tray sitting in front of her and looked at the older woman. "Okay so Lois, who brought me here?" She took a whiff of the contents inside, then took a cautionary swallow. Not coffee, but beggars can't be choosers.
"Superman did. A huge storm front blew through Metropolis and Gotham last night." Lois said. She paused, "He says he saw you jump off a power line, saw you get shocked by several lightning bolts, and saved you before you hit the ground. Even he said it was a miracle you survived."
Buffy almost choked on her orange juice. She was stuck in another dimension? One with Superman? Her life just kept getting better and better.
"Are you sure you're fine, Buffy?" Lois asked, taking note of the younger woman's response. "You sure you don't want me to ring in a doctor, have him check your memory? You healed awfully quick for someone who got burned and
Buffy's mind went into overdrive. How did this woman know her name? Plus doctors and Slayers were very
unmixy. "No, it's just a bit of shock. Just something… but I'm okay. Really."
Lois looked at her dubiously. "I called your dad a bit earlier. He should be here in a few minutes to pick you up."
Annoyance and suspicion washed over Lois' face. "I should ring the doctor, have him check your memory--" She reached over to page the doctor, but Buffy's arm lashed out and caught her hand centimeters from the button.
"Don't." Buffy's voice was steel. Remembering her Slayer strength, she eased her grip on Lois' hand. "Just… the whole ordeal last night left me a bit fuzzy. Could you un-vague it for me?"
Lois' eyebrows arched at the strength in the younger woman's grip, but decided to humor her. "Okay."
Buffy let go of her arm. "Promise me you won't send for the doctor or a straitjacket if I act funny."
Lois' eyebrows arched even further, if that was possible. "You sure
you don't have amnesia?"
"Do I act like I do?" Buffy shot back.
Lois wisely decided not to answer that. "Your father Bruce Wayne will pick you up from the hospital. Or Alfred will, depending on how Wayne Enterprises' meetings go on Tuesdays."
Buffy's eyes widened. "And how do you
know my dad?"
Lois' lips thinned. "I used to work the Bruce beat before I moved back to Metropolis. And when his long-lost daughter is off running around the Gotham/Metropolis border during a late night storm, well, that tends to raise a lot
Keeping her expression neutral, Buffy nodded. "Wayward daughter of millionaire: check. Are we done?"
Lois sighed. She looked ready to ask more questions, but was interrupted by a soft knock on the door.
"It's open!" Buffy answered.
The door opened, and an elderly gentleman entered the room, pushing in an empty wheelchair. "Mistress Buffy, it's a pleasure to see you up and moving."
Despite herself, Buffy smiled and insinuated herself as this new character Lois said she was. "Pleasure's all mine, Alfred. Where's Dad?"
She thought she could see Alfred's face change, but only for a moment. "He's not at a meeting, but he's off on an errand. He wanted to come and pick you up himself, but he got sidetracked."
"Guess there was an 'i' to be dotted and a 't' to be crossed," Buffy joked. She made to get up and go dress in the bathroom, but Alfred put a restraining hand on her shoulder.
"You're still a bit fragile, Miss."
"I heal quickly."
"The last thing Gotham Regional Hospital needs is a headline saying how Elizabeth Wayne injured herself leaving." Alfred wheeled the chair next to her bedside. "You can dress at home."
"If you say so," Buffy said dubiously, carefully easing herself into the wheelchair. Lois put a bag, which had Buffy's tattered and burned clothing from last night, in her lap.
"Lead the way, Alfred." Buffy said. She turned to the skeptical reporter standing behind her. "It was nice catching up with you, Lois."