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Summary: What makes a family? Obviously not shared DNA. A little advice from Buffy. A collection of ficlets -some related, some not- investigating the dynamics of Superboy's family.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Young Justice(Recent Donor)ConstanceTruggleFR767,19236212,9189 May 1226 Aug 12Yes

Scintillating Conversation

Title: Scintillating Conversation
Author: Constance Truggle
Fandom: Buffy/Batman (Young Justice/Justice League Honorable Mention?)
Rating: FR7
Pairing: Pre-Buffy/Bruce perhaps.
Summary: Andrew gives Buffy some information which leads to a minor confrontation.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything Buffy or Batman.
Word Count: 2683
Author's Note: Well. This didn't turn out quite like I thought it would. However, it will go with my Family of Choice series as it fits in there quite well. And the entire concept for this particular ficlet/chapter came about because of CrystalBlaze's review. Thanks!!!

A special thanks to hellbells for reading what I had done of this and correcting the crap that was there. I hope this feeds your addiction!

He rushed into the library, where Buffy was surprisingly sitting – or not so, considering her history with them, – bits of blond hair plastered to his forehead with sweat. He slapped his palms down on the table in front of her in a bid for theatrical dramatics, then pulled his stinging palms to his chest with a hiss.

“Ouch!” Andrew whined, momentarily forgetting his task.

“Was there a reason you were smacking the table around?” Buffy asked, an amused cant to her lips.

Suddenly recalling why he was there, Andrew grinned. “Yes! I know who he is!”

Buffy blinked at him. “Umm.. good for you?”

The blond man sighed. “Batman. I know who the Batman is!” His voice regained its excited squeal and Buffy very nearly covered her ears in pain. But she needed them to hear his announcement, right?

“Who? And you better have proof this time! I don't want to hear another 'Superman is Clark Kent!' story from you!”

“But he is! I'm serious!” And out came the whiny voice. Dammit. Why did she always have to encourage his feminine side?

“But that's not the point! Batman is Bruce Wayne!”

Buffy's eyes narrowed dangerously. If he could prove it, and she had a feeling he might be able to, then somebody was getting their ass kicked. Hard. She had – very recently, in fact – received a notice that the Wayne Foundation would be donating quarterly to their girls' school; based, of course, on quarterly reports made to the Foundation. She knew that the ICW wasn't well known. At least, not the schooling aspect of it. But after his comment to her about paying child support for Superman, she was a bit more inclined to believe Andrew's assertion.

“Prove it,” she said, her voice dangerously low. It was a pitch that vampires and demons had long since learned to fear.

“Okay. Umm. We'll start with the obvious connections, okay?” At her nod, the nervous man continued. “So there's Gotham, right? Then there's Bruce Wayne's parents. They were murdered, and then he up and disappeared for years. Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham and shortly after that, the Batman appears. Whenever Batman is needed, Bruce Wayne is nowhere to be found. Bruce Wayne was having a party that was attacked, he disappears and suddenly the Batman is there, thwarting the criminal mastermind. There are numerous accounts like that. It's all here in this report.” He flourished said report, complete with embossed cover page. Buffy stared at it, momentarily lost in the thought of someone actually embossing a cover page. She shook it off and looked up at him.

“You're going to feel really stupid if you're wrong, you know. And you'll hurt. A lot. Because if you make me look stupid when I talk to him, I'm going to make you hurt. A lot.”

Just over two months later, Buffy had set up a meeting with the Batman in Gotham City. She was hoping for a more neutral – or even slayer friendly – place, but she took what she could get. After finding out Superboy was her son, she'd made a quip about not makind Superman pay child support and Batman had countered that he'd pay it for him. At the time, she'd thought the darker hero was funny; now, she wasn't so sure. She was kind of pissed at him, actually. Andrew's report had been very thorough. Bruce Wayne was, indeed, Batman. It boggled the mind at first, of course. But then she really thought about it. Bruce Wayne was a billionaire, true. But he was a billionaire with a grudge, and a man with the will to do what was necessary to get vengeance on that grudge. If he decided to come down on all criminals, well then, that just made things better for any innocents living in Gotham.

She looked around the room Willow had booked for her. It was a decent enough space; not up to Bruce Wayne's standards, she was sure, but it was better than what she could afford before the Council funds had been accessed. At least it had a separate sitting area, so she didn't have to have the costumed man in her bedroom.

He wouldn't arrive before nightfall, she knew, and there really was no place else to meet without him knowing that she knew his secret. She had the added benefit of an actual reason to be in Gotham, so there was no connection between Buffy Summers and Batman. Not unless they were seen together, at least. It was a small point, perhaps, but it protected her girls, so it was a point that mattered. She was to present the first quarterly report to Bruce Wayne in the morning. She'd considered putting the meeting with Batman off until after that, or simply letting the man know while he was in his billionaire playboy guise, but she wanted that bit out of the way with right away. Damn her impulsiveness.

So now, here she was, hanging out in a Gotham hotel room with nothing to do. She didn't know the city and she didn't know anybody personally, so she was sitting here. Utterly bored. She had called Willow to let her know she made it safely. She texted Dawn the same thing, since Dawnie was in class. She thought Superboy might be in school, as well, so she didn't call him. She did text him and ask if he could ask Robin if he knew where a girl could have some fun in Gotham. His reply to that made her laugh. So she was his mother. Technically. Didn't mean she didn't like to go out and have fun! But he came through for her as roughly five minutes later, she received a text from a blocked number with a few places she might enjoy, signed Robin. She sighed as she looked the names of the places up on her laptop. Museums were so not her thing, but the coffee shop was... so was the ice skating rink. How did he know that? Stupid detectives.

Buffy was on the ice, simply enjoying the smooth slide as she went around the rink. Spins and the like were occasionally done, but nothing pleased her more in that moment than the mindless serenity skating brought her. She'd already been there nearly two hours when she finally felt ready to go for that coffee. She hadn't realized how stressed she was until she let it all go; skating was still her outlet for stress, it appeared. She decided then and there that she would find the nearest ice rink to her in Scotland so she could go every week or two, at the least. With grace of a veteran skater – not to mention Slayer – she made her way back to the bench she'd left her shoes at, muttering to herself how she'd have to have her son thank Robin for this. She was in the middle of removing her first skate when the man settled onto the bench next to her. She didn't jump, but it was a near thing.

“You know, that's a great way to get a toepick to the face,” she commented idly without looking up.

“I'll keep that in mind,” was the mild reply. She finally looked up and saw it wasn't a man at all, but a teenager. She didn't know him, but he was a cutie. Dark hair, brilliant blue eyes and a lean build... he'd be hot if he was older. She mentally groaned, hoping he wasn't there to hit on her. She really didn't want her good mood to go downhill because she had to let some boy down gently. She really wasn't good at that.

“You do that.” The blonde figured that was the end of the conversation and removed her other skate. She was startled when a hand came into view.

“Dick Grayson. You were good out there.”

She took his hand, looking at him with a warily confused expression. “Buffy Summers. And thanks? I wasn't really doing anything...” she trailed off.

“You're fluid and you looked like you belong on the ice,” was the explanation. “You didn't have to do the fancy triple toe loops or whatever. What you did do was enough to show that you could do the other stuff.”

Buffy blinked. “Oh. Umm.. thanks, then. Look, I've gotta go. It was nice meeting you, Dick.”

“You too, Buffy. Maybe I'll see you around sometime.”

Shit, she thought. He really was hitting on her. “Probably not. I'm only in town for a couple of days. So, bye!”

She didn't run. Really. She couldn't help it if the coffee was calling her name and so she had to walk fast. Not at all.

Batman was waiting for her when she got into her room roughly forty five minutes later, coffee cup still steaming in her hand. She didn't really want to deal with him after such a pleasant day, but that was what she had come to Gotham for, after all. She could have emailed the reports instead. So she set her coffee down on the table, dropped her purse in the chair, toed off her shoes and curled up on the edge of the couch, coffee (and table) within easy reach. Finally, she looked up at the Dark Knight of Gotham.

“You're early.”

“You're late, actually,” came the rejoinder.

Buffy blinked and looked at her watch, her eyes widening a little. She hadn't meant to be gone so long, though that explained why she was so hungry. “So I am,” she said in a thoughtful tone. “Huh.”

Batman's non-reaction to her nonchalance over her lack of punctuality was expected. The slight twitch of his lips was not.

“I've heard you'd be late to your own funeral,” he said with poorly hidden mirth. One might think the man found her funny. Well, time to burst that bubble.

“Don't worry. I wasn't.”

Well. He most definitely was not expecting that. Nor was she expecting the very slight chuckle she heard after a moment.

“Witty. Let's get down to business,” he said, leaning more fully against the wall he'd been propping up when she came in. “You wanted to talk to me?”

She scowled, remembering her ire at him. “I was wondering about a donation we received from the Wayne Foundation. You know, the one set up by your parents?” Her honeyed tones did not disguise the danger that was suddenly apparent. He pushed off the wall and stared at her.

“I don't know what you mean.”

The slayer rolled her eyes, having expected that answer. She got up with a molten grace that was both sexy and menacing to the man. She left the room for a moment, returning with a well-thumbed set of documents. It was handed to the superhero with a sardonic twist to her lips as she retook her seat.

“Here. Some light reading.”

Batman looked down and it and blinked. “How I Know Batman is Bruce Wayne, by Andrew Wells,” he read aloud. So it was a report. Who the hell embossed the cover page of a report?!? A quick read through of the first ten pages had him groaning.

“Is he always so verbose?” he asked. Buffy gave him a bright peal of laughter. Verbose was a word Giles used a lot around them.

Always,” she replied. “It's really very annoying.”

He snapped the report shut with a sigh but held onto it. It was something he was taking back to the Cave. Perhaps he could eradicate some of those clues so others didn't figure it out. “What are you getting at, Buffy?” he growled.

“Huh?” Buffy asked, before realization set in. “Oh. Oh! No, you don't have to worry. Andrew's been spelled to secrecy about it already, so he's not a problem. I'm the only other one who knows everything in there,” she nodded to the report held tightly in his hand, “and I do know the necessity of a secret identity. It's not so important for me, since the nightlife already knows who I am and who my loved ones are. Not something I can hide, really, when it's practically hardwired into them to find me and try to kill me. But I get why you wear the mask. What I want to know is this: Did you intend for this donation to be a 'child support payment' for Superboy or do you really give a shit about my girls?”

Batman blinked at her now. “Child support?” he asked.

Buffy groaned. Screw Andrew, she thought. I made myself look stupid. “Yeah. When we met at the Hall of Justice and I was talking to Superman and told him to be happy I wasn't gonna ask for child support, you said you'd pay it.” She sighed here. Obviously, the man had forgotten. She would have too, except... “I don't think I would have remembered, either, except the notice of the donation came not too long after, then Andrew comes running in and fanboy squealing about how he knows who you are and I told him he'd better have proof this time after that whole thing about who Superman is and it's not like it matters really if you really care or not since the money is definitely helpful in training the girls because Giles still can't get into all the Council's accounts and you should really just tell me to shut up when I start babbling,” she finished, face red and tucked into her knees, voice muffled at the very end.

“Why would I stop it when it's so amusing?” he asked, mind already working on the problems she handed him. “So you know who Superman is, then?” he asked, figuring that just asking her straight out might get him a straight answer.

“No,” she drew out, looking up at him like he was crazy. “It's why he had to give me that report. He swears Superman is some reporter named Clark, but we all know he's delusional.”

Batman heaved an inward sigh of relief. So this Andrew knew who Clark really was, but nobody believed him. This was good. Maybe he'd get Supes to go over to Scotland and have a chat with the man about how secret identities are secret for a reason.

“Buffy, I really didn't remember saying that. I did some research after meeting you and found out your company was struggling financially to take care of so many super powered girls. I found out how much you spend a week on groceries alone and knew you needed help. That's all.”

The Original Slayer looked up at the Caped Crusader with a blinding smile. “Thank you, then. It really does help,” she said.

She really was a very pretty woman, the Bruce part of his mind acknowledged. However, “I'd thank you to not tell anyone else.”

“Of course not! I only cared because I wasn't sure if you were... I dunno. Trying to buy me off, maybe? It sounded so much better when I was angry, to be honest.”

Batman gave another brief chuckle at that.

“Look, I'm sorry for wasting your time tonight, but I just needed to know. So thanks for coming, and I know you're busy fighting crime so I'm just gonna go patrol your cemeteries for a while. I'll see you tomorrow morning for our meeting.”

“Of course. If you'd like, I can give you a ride to your first stop?” he offered. Buffy beamed at him and accepted, asking him to wait while she changed into slayworthy clothes. When she came out in a red tank and black leather pants, though, Bruce Wayne about swallowed his tongue. Very pretty didn't quite cover it anymore.

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