Title: The New Watchers I
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville.
"There was this new girl in class today," Clark said.
"Oh yeah?" Lex looked interested, even though he probably really wasn't. It was just that everything that happened in Clark's life meant something to him.
"Yeah," Clark said, taking a drink from his whip cream enriched double mocha. "She said she was in our class, but I don't know. She looked awfully young."
"Maybe she was skipped a grade or two," Lex suggested.
Clark shrugged. "Maybe, but..." he stopped and looked at the door. "Huh, there she is."
Lex turned to look over his shoulder. "You're right, she does look awfully young."
The girl was tall with a face rounded by baby fat, though her body was whippet thin. If she lost a bit of the pudge she might have stood to be a model someday, though she would really have to do something about her hair. It was orangey-red and flung itself around her head like a bunch of overexcited corkscrews. Clown hair had nothing on her.
"Her name's Erika," Clark said.
Lex looked back at him. "Do you like her?" he asked cautiously.
A slight blush colored Clark's cheeks, but his eyes were steady on Lex. "No. I like someone else."
"Lana?" Lex asked, though he had a suspicion about who Clark was currently crushing on. He wasn't going to blurt out his feelings though, and find out he'd made a horribly wrong assumption.
"Not Lana," Clark said. He reached across the table and laid his hand on Lex's, a message with no other meaning.
Lex felt a flare of fierce joy burst through him, but just said, "Good."
Erika was sure that she'd finally gotten away from her followers. She was alone and no one was ever going to take her back to her life. She was free here.
Before she was Called she hadn't believed in monsters or magic, but now it was suddenly supposed to be a part of her daily life? I don't think so.
Even though she didn't want to have anything to do with magic, she'd still managed to beat the crap out of a sorcerer and have him send her to this other Earth. This was a world without any of the shit from her old life. She could be anything she wanted here and it didn't really matter what she ended up doing as long as she didn't have to do that. She wasn't into the killing; hated it with a fiery passion, though she'd done it more times than she could even really remember just so she could say she was free.
Her shoulders hunched a little as she sat alone at one of the smaller tables. Her homework was laid out before her, but she wasn't really worried about flunking out on her first week of school. This world was set up with different grade levels than home had, which meant that even though everyone in her classes was older than her, they were doing things she had done two years ago. Kids that would have already graduated on her world were still trapped in high school here. It was a pain in the ass to have to redo everything she'd done before, but it was a relief too, because as long as she was a student going to school, she had a cover for all the weird things about her.
If anyone saw her doing anything strange, they would just put it off to her being young.
She bit into her raspberry scone and looked up just in time to see the three girls come through the door. All the blood drained from her cheeks and she felt like she was going to faint.
They'd found her.
The girls didn't even pause to look around, they just headed right to her table. There wasn't even the hope that they were still looking for her, that they didn't know what she looked like and would have to investigate the whole town. There was no running away. She was caught.
"Are you Erika Hutton?" the slender brown haired girl standing in front of her table asked, though it wasn't really a question.
"Y-yes. Why do you want to know? Who are you?" Erika asked.
The girl nodded to the blond girl. "This is her." She looked back at Erika. "Please come with us quietly. Do not make a scene and you won't get hurt."
"Who are you?" Erika asked, her voice trembling.
The brown haired girl leaned closer. Her eyes glowed bright green for a moment before fading back to normal. "You know who we are."
"But I... I haven't done anything. I've been good." Tears began to trickle down Erika's cheeks.
"Be that as it may. You are coming with us now and we are going to find out for sure that you haven't been breaking the rules. The Charter is very explicit, and your case needs to be audited, especially since you are here illegally."
"Can't you... can't you just let me go?" Erika pleaded.
The brown haired girl shook her head. "Sorry, but there are no exceptions to the rules. If you've really been a good little girl though, they might let you return here. But you are coming with us."
"Please, please no, I don't want to... why can't I stay here?" Erika sobbed uncontrollably, quickly standing and backing away from the brown haired girl.
* * *
"What's going on over there?" Lex asked.
Clark shook his head. "I don't know. Do you think we should..."
"NO! Leave me alone! I want to stay here! Please!" Erika screamed, her voice rising shrilly.
Clark jumped to his feet and began a slow wander over to that part of the room, wanting to find out what was happening.
"Emily, Kay, grab her," the brown haired girl ordered, her voice cracking like a whip.
"You take left, I take right," a red headed girl called, already moving in on Erika.
Erika backed up with a terrified look on her face, raising her hands in front of her to ward them off. "Come on, Watch-Master, just let me go," she begged, looking at the brown haired girl.
"Sorry, not gonna happen. The way you've been acting has me a little suspicious about what you might have been doing here."
Erika's face suddenly changed, hardening to an expression of terrible intent. "I'm not going back," she growled.
"And that's why I didn't come alone," the brown haired girl drawled.
"Come on Kay," the redhead called, lashing out with her right foot.
Erika caught the girl's foot in her hands and spun it around in her grip, sending Emily whirling through the air away from her.
Kay laughed. "That's pretty weak, Em," she called, as Emily seemed to catch herself in midair and twist to land on her feet.
"Shut up," Emily growled. "Let's see you go."
"All right." Kay punched Erika in the face with a fist, making her stumble a little before catching herself. Kay didn't pause, just began throwing out punches and kicks while Emily came running over to begin her own assault.
Clark didn't know what to do. He looked back over his shoulder at Lex, who just raised an eyebrow and shrugged. This was way beyond anything ordinary. The strength and speed of these girls was inhuman, which was highlighted by how Erika, backed against the wall, ducked Emily's fist, barely missing a punch that knocked a chunk out of the solid brick veneer.
"Come on guys, how long have you been training for?" the brown haired girl called. "We don't have all day to do this, you know. Wrap it up and stop playing."
"Yes ma'am!" Kay called cheekily, then let loose with an acrobatic spinning kick-punch-punch combination that highlighted the fact she'd only been playing before. Next to her, Emily wasn't holding anything back either.
Cornered and with the other girls moving in on her, Erika let loose with a scythe kick, then seemed to levitate off the ground in a gravity-defying flip over their heads and halfway across the room, landing right next to the brown haired girl. "Don't come over here," she yelled, wrapping her arm around the other girl's neck and holding her other hand against the side of her head, ready to snap her neck if they made a single step toward her. "I'll kill her, don't think I won't."
Kay and Emily stopped their forward advance, freezing where they stood. Their eyes blazed with a terrible anger.
"This isn't going to win you any favors, Erika," Kay growled.
"Yeah, just let the Watch-Master go and we won't have to break your head open," Emily said.
"You're going to take me back and they're going to review my life, and you think I'm going to stop?" Erika's voice wavered.
"What have you done, Erika?" the brown haired girl asked in a calm voice. "What could have been so bad that you don't want us to find out about it? What have you been doing with your time?"
Erika shook her head. "It doesn't matter. If you take me back, they'll... I don't want to go. I want to stay here. Why can't I just stay here?" She sounded so young.
Looking at Erika with her mascara running down her cheeks and her expression so exposed, Clark realized for the first time that the girl had been more than lying about her age. She couldn't have been more than thirteen. The brown haired girl was the oldest of the four, and even she was still a teenager.
"You can't stay here like this, Erika," the brown haired girl said. "You have no supervision, and no backup. Even if you just live your life like you're a normal girl, it's still not good that you're living here by yourself. All kinds of things could happen to you, and that's not allowed."
"I just... I like it here. I don't have to be me," Erika said. "I can be someone else and no one ever has to know."
"You're always going to be you," the girl said. "No matter how far or fast you run, you're always going to be who and what you are. You're a Slayer, and there's no giving that back."
"There are no buts." The brown haired girl suddenly twisted and Erika was flying through the air to land on the floor with a pained grunt. "You are coming back with us, Erika Hutton, and that is an order from me."
Erika seemed to give up, just collapsing in on herself. She dragged her knees up under her chin and hugged her legs tight, rocking back and forth.
Kay and Emily walked over and took her by an arm each, dragging her to her feet. "We'll take her out to the van," Emily said.
"Yes, you do that," the brown haired girl, the 'Watch-Master' said, turning around. Her gaze flicked from surprised face to surprised face before finally landing on Lana, who was standing behind the counter, clutching her clipboard tight against her chest. "I apologize for the mess we caused. A cleanup crew will arrive in less than half an hour your time to clear up the mess and you will be reimbursed for the damages."
Lana opened her mouth to say something, but her lower lip just quivered before her teeth finally snapped back together. She looked as empty as a doll standing there, surprise leeching her of all signs of life.
"What... what just happened?" Clark asked, finally stepping forward.
The girl turned to look at him, her gaze raking him from head to foot, assessing him as a threat. "Erika is one of our... associates. She decided that she was going to take a little unauthorized vacation and not tell anyone where she was going. Now we're going to take her back and make sure that she wasn't causing trouble while she was here, or wherever else she was before she got here."
"Yeah, okay. But what does that mean exactly?" Clark asked.
A faint smile quirked the brown haired girl's lips. "It means that it's none of your business, Clark Kent. We have our secrets... and you have yours. Those secrets shouldn't mix, so why don't you go back to drinking coffee with Lex Luthor and forget that we were ever here, okay? It's better for everyone." She turned to leave.
"Now look here," Clark said, reaching out to grab her arm and stop her from walking away from him.
Before he could even blink, he found himself on the ground looking up at her. His mouth opened in shock and he didn't quite know what had happened. Then he saw her eyes. They blazed an acidic green, almost neon in their luminance. It creeped him out.
"Don't mess with me, Kent," she growled. "I haven't exactly had the best week and all I want to do now is go home and take a hot bath, maybe watch a little TV before I go to bed. I don't want to have to hurt you, but if you get in my way, I won't hesitate to put your ass in the hospital."
"How do you know me?" Clark asked.
The girl shrugged. "It's not hard when you're me. You know, that whole mystical Keyness pretty much enables me to unlock anything, including peoples' secret identities. Plus, fun at parties, you know."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Clark said.
She smiled a little. "I know. Smile Clark, in certain circles of the multiverse, you're famous. I've been hearing about you since forever... a friend of mine name Xander has every episode where you even guest appear. He'd shit a Buick if he knew where I was standing right now, he'd be so jealous."
"Who are you?" Clark asked.
"No one you have to worry about, Clark. Me and my crew are just passing through," she said.
"Well if you're not here to cause trouble, can you please get off my friend?"
Clark tilted his head back on the floor so he could see Lex standing over them.
The girl stepped away from Clark, her hands open at her sides, showing that they were empty. "Don't worry, Luthor. I'm not here for him. In fact," she raised her left arm to glance at her watch, "it's time for me to go."
"Wait!" Clark sat up. "What are you going to do to that girl?" He didn't want to think that they were going to hurt her and he hadn't done anything to stop them.
The girl shrugged. "If she's been killing people, then the authorities will punish her for her crimes. She'll have a fair and lasting trial, then... whatever the jury decides. Personally, I'm just hoping she's a stupid, confused kid and that she hasn't been causing any real trouble in your town, that she was just hanging out. I don't want her to have been abusing her gifts."
"What gifts?" Lex asked curiously.
A smile pulled the girl's lips. "You saw them fight, didn't you?" She started walking toward the door. "Bye, Clark. Bye, Lex. I hope you're always this happy together and that predestination isn't real."
When the girl was gone, Clark looked at Lex. "What was that about?"
Lex shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe we should just file it away as another Smallville oddity."
Clark stood up, shrugging his shoulders to settle his shirt comfortably. "Yeah. Let's go back to our... date." He blushed as he said the word and hoped that Lex wasn't going to laugh at him and treat him like a kid.
He was relieved when Lex shot him a bright smile. "Is that what this is?"
"Yes. Our first date."
They strolled back to their table side by side. Neither one of them paid any attention to Lana who stood behind the counter watching, heartbreak shining in her eyes though everyone knew that Clark Kent and Lex Luthor were perfect together and always would be.
* * *
In the van, Erika was chained up tight with Emily sitting next to her.
Dawn slid into the driver's seat, glancing back at them to make sure they were all right, before turning to Kay, who was riding shotgun. "You guys ready to go home?"
"Oh yeah!" Kay called. "I've got a date with Smallville."
"That's so pathetic," Emily said. "Here we are literally in Smallville, and you want to go home so you can watch TV? What's up with that?"
Kay shrugged. "There's nothing to kill in this world. All Clark does is fight the mutant freaks and try to get them medical attention. There's no job for us here."
"And that's all you're about, isn't it?" Erika said, her voice acidic. She didn't even seem to notice the layers of chains wrapped around her. "You love to kill, don't you?"
Kay turned around in her seat to look back at the slightly younger girl. She smiled like a shark and her eyes held an unholy glee. "Yeppers, that's a roger. We are Slayers, and that just basically says it all. To slay, to kill, to hunt the monsters and wipe them out of existence. It's what we were made for."
"And now we’re going home," Dawn said, starting the engine. "Back to our own universe where we belong."