Disclaimer: Full disclaimer at the start, but I still own nothing. Fox owns "Buffy", Joss Whedon originated the Buffy universe, and Batman and all other DC characters are owned by Warner Brothers and DC Comics. I make NO profit from this fix whatsoever. Foreword: I truly apologize for the lack of updates. This chapter was giving me SEVERE writer's block from the onset (I may do more rewrites on the whole story once I'm done). That said, the next chapter won't take nearly as long as this did… hopefully in one to two weeks. --TL Chapter 7
"Do I need to repeat myself?" Buffy turned to head back into the police car.
"I should go instead."
"If they see you there, they'll shoot you. Period. They won't expect someone like me."
"But what about--"
"You do realize I'm Army, right?"
Blake sighed. She was as stubborn as he was.
"Look, if I get into trouble… I'll find my way out of it." She patted his arm. "I'm a big girl."
With that, she hopped in the police cruiser and took off.
Blake wasted no time heading for the warehouse. "How many of them are there?"
"These… Hummers?" Superman scanned the immediate vicinity. "There's at least eight of them."
"If your reporter friend shows up, we could have half of them out of the city within an hour." Blake looked critically at the Kryptonian. "Could you carry two of them at the same time?"
"Possibly. There's a limit to how many tons I can lift."
Blake turned to him. "You decimated half of Metropolis and a $12 million drone, but you can't lift more than a couple tons of cars?"
"Bruce wants these intact."
Buffy tore through the streets of Gotham, almost recklessly so. Her driving improved little after that Band Candy incident, although the denizens of Gotham were much smarter to get out of the way of a police car with sirens on full blast.
Thanks to those factors, she had made it to Gotham General Hospital in record time. Unlocking the door, she thought about pocketing the keys but decided to leave them in the ignition. With the mission at hand, time was of the essence.
She got out of the car and took a few steps towards the entrance. Pausing, she went back to the cruiser, unlocked the trunk, and pulled out a police-issued rifle. Checking to make sure it was loaded and switching the safety off, she slipped the strap over her shoulder and ran her way towards the entrance proper.
Buffy didn't like guns for a number of reasons, but with Gotham's crime rate and Bane's mercenaries, there was only so much Slayer strength, a stake and reflexes could do. The best way to deal with it was follow the crowd.
"GOTHAM PD! GET OUT OF THE WAY!" she roared as she charged through the doors. It was the first thing that came to mind. Ignoring the shocked gasps of the receptionists as she looked for a certain wing of the building, Buffy veered left. She could hear various panicked screams and yelps as nurses and patients alike hurled out of the way as she pelted through the lobby.
"Nice moves back there," Blake said approvingly as the fourth camouflage-colored Tumbler pulled to a stop in the underground garage. With a hiss, the top pulled back and a familiar redhead pulled herself out of the vehicle.
"You didn't do so bad yourself," Lois said briskly, turning a longing glance at the Tumbler.
"I adapt." Blake said, giving Lois a quizzical look. "Were you a stunt driver before you became a reporter?"
Lois shook her head. "If Perry only knew half of what I did… he'd be begging me to do a cover story on the Applied Sciences division."
Blake opened his mouth to ask more, when a sudden blast ripped through the garage and knocked both of them to the floor. At first, he assumed it was Superman's infamous sonic-boom entrances, but there was no debris and no Superman.
"What was that?"
"I don't know for sure," Blake helped Lois up. "But that might've been an underground explosion."
Gordon tensed as the door to his room seemed to burst inward. He had just swiped his gun from the bedside table, when he registered the person who had burst in. And it wasn't Officer Blake or Foley.
"Commissioner Gordon." Buffy turned and quickly locked the door behind her.
Gordon's gun hand trembled a bit, but his voice remained steady. "Have we met before?"
"Harvey Dent's annual memorial service," Buffy paused, and added as an afterthought, "in passing."
Gordon kept his gun focused on the petite blonde. "What the hell are you doing here? Where's Officer Blake?"
Buffy ignored his questions. "You know, guy with the facehugger mask and Sean Connery voice? Apparently his first attempt on your life didn't take. He's going to try again."
Gordon didn't waver. "You're not a licensed police official. You're not someone I know, let alone trust. And here you are with a police-issue weapon, and you're asking me
to trust you?"
"You don't have that problem with Batman or Superman."
"Batman, he's…" Gordon trailed off. "Is your father
involved with this Bane?"
"I…" Buffy was cut off as her Slayer hearing came into bear. "We have to go. Now."
"I'm not going anywhere until I get to the bottom of this," Gordon switched the safety off. "Talk."
"There isn't time!" Buffy fumed. "We need to--"
She was cut off as dozens of bullets sprayed through the door, and both she and Gordon hit the floor to avoid the brunt of bullets spraying into the room and piercing the walls.
Buffy covered her ears as the bullets ripped through the electronic heart monitor equipment. Glass tinkered as broken window shards rained down on the floor. The Slayer winced as one bullet grazed her leg, and gritted her teeth as yet another hit her left shoulder. "So much for the subtle approach."
A few moments of silence reigned as the assailants' guns finally clicked on empty. Moments later, the two snipers rushed through the remains of the door only to be felled by two shots from Buffy's rifle. As the two men collapsed to the floor, the blonde got to her feet, pushed past the limp bodies, and made her way to the doorway.
"We might just get out of this out after all," she mused, turning to Gordon. "Can you walk?"
"I might be injured, but I'm not a cripple," the officer ground out, snatching his personal items, yanking out the IV and hobbling over to the blonde. "There's an alternate exit we can take out of here. Knowing Bane, he'll have the backup coming soon."
"He's a smart cookie." Buffy checked her rifle. "I'm out of ammo."
"You can borrow my Glock." Gordon offered.
"A few minutes ago, you were all non-trusty with me?" Amusement colored Buffy's voice. "I don't need it."
"But you just said--"
"You trust me now, don't you?" Buffy looked down the hallway again. "Okay, let's go."
Miranda Tate, aka Talia al-Ghul, allowed herself a small smile as she surveyed the chaos ripping through Gotham. Bane's Gotham Stock Exchange diversion aside, everything else was going off without a hitch.
Bane now possessed a good third of Lucius Fox's Applied Sciences arsenal -- more had Superman and Wayne's daughter not interfered -- but that was still more than enough to bring Gotham to its knees.
High above in her penthouse suite, she observed several large plumes of smoke and fire consuming the Gotham Police Department a few city blocks away on the far left. To her right far below, she could see most of the bridges leading in and out of Gotham crumbling away like brittle fall leaves.
Turning back towards her room, Talia checked herself in the mirror and adjusted her outfit. Bane was still playing his part; now she had hers.
"This is your idea of low-lying?" Gordon's tone was incredulous.
"Bane sees himself as a more thuggish Robin Hood, right?" Buffy carefully helped ease him into a chair by a empty table. "He won't think of looking for us in a dive like this."
Gordon eyed the days-old bullet holes, which pocked the walls like acne. "Not sure if this was a good idea."
"This is the last
place Bane would look."
"You sound awfully sure of yourself." He grumbled, pulling out his phone.
Buffy sighed. "Let's just say he reminds me of someone else."
"Someone else?" Gordon looked up. "Care to elaborate?"
Her lips thinned. "A world of no."
"I'd sure like to know who," a familiar voice cut in. The blonde turned to see a familiar black-clad figure emerge from the ladies' room. She wasn't in that vinyl catsuit with the goggles and razor sharp heels, but Buffy recognized her anyway.
"Well, if it isn't The Mistress of Pain." Buffy said sweetly, daggers in her eyes.
"Selina Kyle?" Gordon was befuddled, his gaze turning to suspicion quickly. "You two know each other?"
"Mutual acquaintances." Selina shot an equally sharp glance in Buffy's direction, before turning to Gordon. "Before you think about arresting me, the damage is already done."
He was more confused. "What are you talking about?"
Selina nodded over to the bar, which was manned by a new bartender. "That." Buffy looked at the TV, showing live footage of smoldering debris where the Gotham Police Department used to be. Gasps could be heard from local news reporters as several bridges in Gotham suddenly detonated and collapsed… live on national television.
Buffy winced. "Didn't see that one coming."
"Christ." Gordon buried his head in his hands. "No wonder I wasn't able to get anyone."
"What about John? Or Foley?" She prompted.
Almost as if on cue, the bar door opened and a weary-looking Blake trooped in, followed by Lois.
"Blake." Gordon got up and greeted the younger man. "Glad you made it."
Blake gave a wan smile as he returned the handshake and nodded to the blonde. "Me and a few others. Foley included."
Casting another glance at Selina, Buffy motioned to the men with a discreet nod. "How about we take this elsewhere? More privacy." With that, the quartet trooped further into the bar, out of earshot distance of Selina and the bartender.
"Looks like you got my message," Gordon nodded.
Buffy looked grim. "Not great-wise with you cops, but if most of the police are gone…"
"It means we're on our own." Gordon sighed.
As the day wound to a close, Buffy grew worried about the lack of intel from her dad and Clark. Her suspicions were somewhat assuaged by Lois, who reassured her that Clark would often up and leave to avert multiple crises in Metropolis and elsewhere (Lois often ran interference to keep Perry from finding out his secret identity). Sometimes it would take hours, sometimes even a day, before Clark would return.
As for her dad's whereabouts, she had a suspicion that something had gone wrong. But he was Batman and he was smart and resourceful enough that he could scramble out of a lot of tenuous situations. And he had only planned on going to visit Fox that day, and be Batman at nighttime. By now, he would've called her to check up on her or left her a message saying he was all right at that point… and he hadn't. That worried her.
Lois, being stranded in Gotham thanks to the bridges being out, had nowhere to stay. After conferring with Alfred and later Perry over the phone, Buffy agreed to let her stay at the manor for the night, and had a rental car sent over for her. Blake and Gordon opted to bunk down at the latter's apartment to lie low.
As the group steadily filed out, Buffy considered her options. Bane knew who her father really was, and Wayne Manor would be the first place they'd look for them. Lois, being an ordinary person, would be okay. If desperate measures were needed, the reporter and Alfred could quickly take shelter in the underground cavern.
As for sleep, she reasoned she could go and find a dingy two-star motel or a bed & breakfast. Going back to Wayne Manor would draw attention, especially with the looters now forcing the wealthier folks out of house and home.
Looking back around the bar, she steeled herself and headed out.
It was shockingly easy to find a place to sleep. With Bane essentially cutting off the city, a lot of Gotham citizens opted to shut themselves in. The wealthier citizens that had been forced out of their homes were forced into run-down housing and warehouses for their mass "court" appearances.
The occupancy levels in the dingy motels had been at an all-time high, but she managed to find a spot, albeit too close to the Narrows for her liking. She paid in cash for that night, fully intent on finding her dad and Clark first thing tomorrow morning.
Even though it was a run-down place, the bathroom was adequate enough and the water hot enough for a decent shower. The mattress was hard as a rock, but Buffy had slept on worse.
It was around 7 a.m. the following morning, when she heard a soft knock at the door. Knowing the motel's location near the Narrows, notorious for the high crime rate, she tucked a knife in her waistband and Mr. Pointy into a shirt sleeve. Unarmed, she'd easily take on a whole gang, but she had to err on the side of caution. No need to say "I'm a Slayer" when the city was on lockdown.
Leaning against the door, she placed an eye to the peephole. "Clark?"
"It's me." Strain laced his voice. And was there pain too?
She could only make out his face and upper chest from the peephole, but he was in regular clothing. Gray sweatpants, gray windbreaker, and tennis shoes. His dark locks were hidden under a baseball cap. Smart move.
Buffy unbolted and opened the door. "So how did--"
Before she could finish her sentence, hot pain shot through her abdomen and radiated through her whole body. She looked down to see a small hand pulling a knife out from her chest. She felt the wound burning, and knew that blade had been poisoned.
Her knees gave out. Buffy's gaze focused back upwards, alighting on a figure in brown clothing standing off to Clark's side. Clutching the same bloody knife.
As her vision went dark, she couldn't tell anymore.