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This story is No. 2 in the series "Midnight City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: "Get off your high horse, take off your pity party party hat and get with the program!"

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Buffy-CenteredVashtiFR1311,193042,3031 Jan 131 Jan 13Yes
Title: Filter
Fandom: BtVS/The Dark Knight Rises
Character(s): John Blake, Buffy Summers
Rating: PG
Summary: "Get off your high horse, take off your pity party party hat and get with the program!"
Length: ~1150 words
Disclaimer: Only the words are mine, and that’s probably up for philosophical debate.


Buffy whacked John on the butt with the flat of her sword. Again.


"I told you to step it up, Officer Grim-Face. You think your A-game is enough to make it on the gritty streets of Prague?"

He shot an unabashed glare in the Slayer’s direction. "Gotham. I work Gotham."

"Nooo, right now a giggly group of four teenage girls and their twenty-two year old team leader work Gotham. And the minute we can find a Watcher who isn’t a wuss, one of those’ll be there, too." She pointed her sword at him. "You, Captain Grim, work Prague. Assuming you ever get out of this training room, through the castle gates and out into the countryside. Then we can talk Prague."

Exhausted from the long hours of daily training that seemed increasingly pointless, and frustrated with both his lack of progress and Buffy’s never ending quips, John dropped his sword and walked out, grabbing a towel from the rack near the open door.

"Hey! Where do you think you’re going?"

"You can’t keep me here," he called out over his shoulder. John was soon swallowed up in the relative darkness of its thick stone walls. He’d miss the dark passageways, he decided. The training house had been converted from one of the many castles that dotted the Czech Republic. Prague, the nearest city and capital of the small Eastern European nation, was some miles away.

Behind him, John heard the thud-slap of Buffy’s boots on the hardwood floors. He remembered his incredulity when he first realized she’d be training him in them. But he was used to them now—used to being sent sprawling across the floor by them, used to them having a better grip on slick hardwood and unforgiving stone than his sneakers did, used to Buffy being as stable in them as if she were barefoot.

He ignored them. What was she going to do, spank him with the sword? She’d been doing plenty of that all morning. John checked his watch. Yes, still morning...barely.


He ignored her,

"I said hey!"

and kept walking. He’d catch the next flight, kick the junior slayers out of his city and get to work. This was a stupid idea, and if he ever heard from Wayne again--

"Ow!" John spun around, hand going to the place where he’d been hit. "What the--" He looked down trying to identify what he’d been hit with. "Did you hit me the sword?!"

"Just the hilt, you wiener!" Standing near the mouth of hallway, half thrown into shadows, Buffy wiggled the broken off blade. She had it clenched between her forefinger and thumb, like it was something distasteful. "Besides...crappy workmanship. I’ll need to talk to Xander about our supplier if this is our standard issue stuff. But you! What is wrong with you? Did you forget that you came looking for me, not the other way around, pal. And now you’re walking out?"

John walked back toward her. Their raised voices were making his new headache worse.

"Well, I guess now you’re walking back in. Wow, that was easy. You’ve really got to work on that flip-flop thing. It’s bad enough when presidential candidates do it. I don’t like it in my recruits."

Scowling, John went past her to stand in the brightly lit training room. "No, I’m not ‘walking back in’. And I’m not one of your recruits. I’m taking the next flight out of Prague back to Gotham."

Buffy cocked her hip, one hand on it and the other pointing toward his chest. "Um, is it just me, or are you not ready yet?"

"I don’t fight demons and vampires in Gotham, Buffy."

"No, you have the insane clown posse, guys who wear sacks over their heads, and a plant lady that makes crazy cat ladies look sane. Yeah, totally no comparison there. Like, not at all."

"Look, Buffy--"

"No, you look, John. If you’re gonna keep going at this all half, then, yeah, do us the huge favor and leave. Because, y’know what, we have bent over backwards for you. I’ve sent one of my junior teams to your non-demon infested city to watch out for it until you can not get yourself killed. Which, by the way, your little cave hangout? Totally lame. The girls are not amused by the bat guano décor and dead toys."

It was John’s first time hearing that the cave hadn’t been working for the group Buffy had sent to Gotham in his stead, but he filed the attending questions away for later. Buffy was on a roll.

"I moved part of my core group to the Czech Republic to protect your future anonymity. I am training you myself... Do you know how much training I got before my Watcher sent me to kill a nest of vampires trying to take over my town? What, no? Good answer, because I’m not sure either, seeing as how he was murdered by vamps before he could do much more than tell me I was the Chosen One and hand me a stake. Then the guy was dead and I had to figure it out for myself. And do you know what I had to fall back on? Cheerleading! What do you have to fall back on, Detective Grim? Freaking Police Academy training. Which is great, I’m sure, but it isn’t going to help you against an insane clown posse. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have needed the Batman in the first place.

"So get off your high horse, take off your pity party party hat and get with the program! If you want to be dead in a month...there’s the door, don’t let me hit you on your way out. Again. But if you want to get some work done, learn to think out of your flashing-blue-lights box, then let’s go. Six months of playing babysitter has stretched my patience just a little thin."

The silence rang painfully in John’s ears. Though they’d been working steadily for hours, John noticed that Buffy had hardly broken a sweat. Neither, John realized, had he.

"Who told you to be my babysitter?" he asked when he could hear again.

"Um, duh, you did, idiot. Remember...‘I’m looking for a Buffy Ann Summers. Oz said I should find her when I was ready to be strong’? Remember that? Now are you ready to do something, or are you going to keep pretending that your non-existent badge and honorary nightsticks are going to keep the Gotham’s nightmares away?

"Yes, ma’am." John pulled the dry towel from his neck, wincing as it rasped against his skin. He reached for his sword.

Buffy huffed, arms crossing over her chest. " ‘Yes, ma’am’ what? I don’t do this paramilitary, special forces-speak. That’s Xander’s department.

Lips twitching as he tried to not to smile, he raised his sword in salute. "I’m ready to get some work done."


The End

You have reached the end of "Filter". This story is complete.

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