Runaways

By: Memet

Series: Smallville S3/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer S3 (but assume Angel never returned and her and Faith are on good terms)
Summary: Buffy manages to survive her Cruciamentum, but her mother doesn’t. Now Buffy has to decide what to do now that she has lost her mother and her trust in her Watcher. (I know the summary is short, but I don’t want to give away plot).
Disclaimer: I don’t own the character from either Smallville or Buffy; if I did – Lana would be dead and Faith would never have turned evil. Anyways, all I own are the ideas, and since I have no money, it would be a waste of time to sue me. Also, major parts of this chapter have been taking from the episode ‘Helpless’ and are in no way presented as my own, simply used to facilitate the transition from Whedon’s universe to my own.

Chapter 1 – Cruciamentum

Buffy Summers sat alone at the table in the Sunnydale High School library, carefully trying avoid moving and reopening her wounds. Her Watcher, Rupert Giles, stood watching her from the doorway to his office; too guilty over his own involvement to try and comfort her. The library doors swung open and Quentin Travers approached the wounded Slayer. He opened his mouth to congratulate her when her glare fell upon him.

“Don’t. Say. A. Word.”

Quentin cleared his throat nervously.

“The test is a time honoured tradition; a way of testing Slayers so that we, and they, would know that they can face the obstacles ahead of them.”

“You’re little test killed my mother,” Buffy said in a deadpan voice. The anger within her had grown cold, calculating, and it took all of her willpower not to reach out and snap the man’s neck.

“Yes, well, that was an unforeseen consequence and the Watcher’s Council is sorry for your loss,” Travers said, shifting nervously under the Slayer’s piercing glare. “Nevertheless, we congratulate you on a job well done.”

Buffy gave no answer, but Giles did.

“The test is done. We’re finished.”

“Not quite. She passed. You didn’t. The Slayer is not the only one who must perform in this situation. I’ve recommended to the Council, and they’ve agreed, that you be relieved of your duties as a Watcher immediately. You’re fired.”

“On what grounds?” Giles demanded.

“Your affection for your charge has rendered you incapable of fair and impartial judgement. You have a father’s love for the child, and that is useless to the cause. It would be best if you have no further contact with the Slayer.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Giles said emphatically, defiantly. Before Travers could respond Buffy spoke up.

“But I am.”

The two men looked at the girl in shock.

“What…?”

“I’m gone,” Buffy interrupted, “When I get my powers back I’m leaving Sunnydale. If I’m an adult under your stupid rules, then I’m going to run my own life. I quit.”

“Ms. Summers you can’t quit the Council,” Travers said incredulously. Buffy slowly got out of the chair and walked within inches of the Watcher. Even though he knew that with her powers gone -- she was nothing more than a teenage girl -- Travers felt himself break out in a cold sweat.

“I. Just. Did.”

Without another look at either Watcher, she left.

Buffy glanced around her room, wondering what to take with her. On her dresser were several framed pictures of herself, her friends…her mom. With a shaking hand, the Slayer grabbed one of her and her mom when she was little. Back before they drifted apart, before she became the Slayer -- when she thought her Mom was the strongest person in the world.

Carefully, she packed it in her bag along with Mr. Gordo and took one last look at her room before quietly closing the door. She was making her way down the stairs when a frantic Willow and Xander burst through the door.

“Buffy! Giles just called me! I’m so sorry about…” the forth coming babble was interrupted by Buffy’s glare. Willow ’s blood froze at the look – having never received such a cold look from her friend before. It was as if all the warmth had died along with her mother.

“It’s the past Willow , I’m moving on.”

“Moving on? As in emotionally, like dealing and doing the mature thing and coming to terms with what happened or running away again?” Xander asked, eyeing the dufflebag that hung around Buffy’s shoulder. The stared at each other for a moment, but when Buffy didn’t flinch under the accusing glare Willow intervened.

“No! She can’t because she promised after…last time,” Willow said weakly, knowing she shouldn’t have brought up the events surrounding her last disappearing act.

Without saying a word, Buffy pushed past her two best friends and made her way out the door. She stopped when she saw Giles and Faith standing in her way. She groaned.

“Why can’t you guys leave me alone?”

“Because we care about you, and we don’t want you to do something you’ll regret,” Giles said calmly, keeping outside – hopefully – of Buffy’s attack range. Faith was also eyeing the blonde warily, but she wasn’t concerned about physical attacks. The brunette didn’t want the other girl to go, but she understood her need to leave after the death of her mother. Even if Kakistos hadn’t been after Faith, she would have left Boston anyways after her Watcher died – too many painful memories.

“I don’t regret leaving the Council,” Buffy said in a flat voice. The other teenagers started, Giles having not had time to inform them of Buffy’s ‘retirement’.

“They won’t leave you alone, Buffy. If they can’t control you…” Giles trailed off uncomfortably, knowing that until a day ago he worked for the Watcher’s Council. Buffy continued to look at him with dead eyes, but there was a spark now. With a sinking feeling, he recognized it as rage, and anger, and the desire for revenge. The division between the Slayer and the Council would not end without bloodshed.

“That’s why I’m leaving.”

“Buffy, you don’t need to worry about us…” “Like I didn’t need to worry about my mom?”

There was no response to that. Distantly, Buffy could hear the engine of a motorcycle and she picked up her bag. She breezed past Giles and Faith; Faith reached out a hand and gently grabbed Buffy’s arm.

Quietly, in a whisper that only a Slayer could hear, she said, “Don’t go.”

Buffy looked at her counterpart sadly, knowing that the only person could understand completely – especially now – she had to leave behind for her own safety. In an equally soft voice she answered, “Don’t fight the Council, be safe. Someday, I’ll come back. I promise.”

Faith stared into the blonde’s eyes, looking for any signs of deception and finally nodded and let go when she found none. Moments later a motorcycle revved up in front of the Summers’ house. Within seconds and before the others could react, Buffy was on the back of the bike and the two roared down the street.

“And Clark didn’t say anything about where he was going?” Martha asked again, as she set the table for herself and her husband.

“No, he just asked if he could borrow the motorcycle and then headed off. All he said was that a friend needed his help,” Jonathon replied. The door opened and the two spun around, but the two were disappointed that it was only Chloe and Lana.

“Oh, hey guys, would you care to join us for supper?” Martha asked, trying to hide her disappoint – and not really succeeding. The two girls exchanged amused glances.

“That’s okay, Mrs. Kent , we’ve already eaten. We just stopped by to see if Clark was back yet?” Chloe asked hopefully, though she knew that judging by the Kents ’ reactions that Clark was still AWOL.

“No, but Clark phoned a little while ago and said that he should be back for supper tonight so feel free to wait for him if you would like.”

Jonathon had just finished speaking when the familiar sound of the motorcycle engine filled the kitchen. Four bodies immediately headed for the door and everyone smiled at Clark ’s return. They were so happy, in fact, that they failed to notice the small figure slightly hidden behind Clark ’s broad frame.

“Hey guys!” Clark yelled, a large smile brightening his face. He got off the bike and turned to his companion; at that moment the others noticed the blond girl who was watching the exchange with a small smile on her face.

“Well, Clark , aren’t you going to introduce your friend?” Jonathon asked with a pointed look. Clark looked sheepish for a sec, then dropped an arm across the girl’s shoulder and brought her forward.

“Everyone this is my friend Buffy; Buffy, these are my parents and that’s Chloe and Lana.”

Marth stepped forward and on a motherly impulse, gave the girl a small hug who returned it hesitantly.

“I’m sure you’re both starving, so why don’t we get started on supper?”

The two brightened noticeably at the mention of food and exchanged grins.

“Shall we, Slay?” Clark joked.

“I think we shall, Kal,” Buffy retorted, and the two headed towards laughing and continuing their jibes.

Not noticing the others remained behind. Their eyes followed Buffy, knowing that the only time that Clark had gone by ‘Kal’ was during the time he had runaway to Metropolis.

And ‘Kal’ was not someone any of them wanted to return.

Chapter 2 – Secrets

Buffy sat in the loft holding Mr. Gordo, and watched the stars while thinking about everything and at the same time nothing. It was peaceful to just sit there and listen to the silence.

It was nothing like the silence at the dinner table, as everyone tried to finds topics to discuss but at the same time staying silent and wondering who she was and what she was doing there. It didn’t help that Buffy occasionally called Clark ‘Kal’; even though she tried to stop herself after she noticed them flinching at the name. But she couldn’t help it; as long as she had known the farm boy he had been ‘Kal’.

Running away from home after killing Angel, Buffy had ended up in Los Angeles for a time but quickly the fear of being found drove her farther away. She finally ended up in Metropolis and survived by working at diners. By chance, the manager of a popular local bar – Destiny -- had stopped in for a quick bite and offered her a job. On impulse, Buffy had accepted and a couple days later she became a bartender.

Quickly she became a favourite – both being beautiful, friendly, and a master of mixing drinks. Everyone was amazed at how quickly she had picked up the little tricks that make a great bartender, and slowly Buffy started to come out of her shell. She still wasn’t comfortable going by Buffy, so she became Slay. One of the bartenders gave her the name because she was always breaking the customers hearts. A real manslayer.

It was a few weeks later that she met Kal.

Bars were a feeding haven for vampires – a dark room filled with inebriated humans – and Buffy soon found herself falling back into her slaying habits, though she was careful to make sure no one ever saw her. So the second Kal entered the bar Buffy was aware of him.

She kept an eye on Kal all night – having asked one of the other bartenders for his name -- but other than him being a first class jerk he didn’t seem to be dangerous. Buffy had almost forgotten about him when she left after her shift, but when she felt his presence nearby she decided to take a look. To the blonde girl’s surprise, she found him slouched against in an alley passed out with his shirt open revealing a scar that resembled at eight within a crest.

Buffy chuckled slightly as she remembered his startled reaction to finding himself at a girl’s apartment.

Clark blinked his eyes to find himself somewhere other than his loft. Looking under the covers, he was embarrassed to find that he was wearing only his draws. His embarrassment heightened when a smiling Buffy entered the room asking how he was doing. Blushing bright red, Clark apologized for inconveniencing her and searched desperately for his clothes. After getting over the difference in his personality from just the night before, Buffy treated him to a homemade breakfast.

The two talked comfortably, though both skirted around their pasts, until Buffy commented on his change in personality. Clark gasped and searched his pockets desperately. When Buffy asked what was wrong, he only apologized again and left in a hurry.

Worried, Buffy returned to place she had found the strange boy in hopes of finding whatever it was that he had been looking for. After ten minutes, she was almost ready to give up when Buffy noticed a red glow from under some garbage. Cringing, the Slayer dug around until she pulled out a school ring.

“I wonder where Smallville is?” Buffy thought and then glanced at her watch. Realizing she wouldn’t have time to find Kal before work started, she tucked the ring in her pocket and hoped that he would show up.

He didn’t show up -- not that night or the next three nights. Buffy was about to give up when one of the girls at the bar mentioned him in passing. Luckily, she remembered where he lived and a few hours later the Slayer suddenly found herself standing in front of his door.

By the vibes she was receiving, the Slayer knew he inside – but it also reminded Buffy that she still wasn’t sure what Kal was yet. Though he hadn’t seemed dangerous, he did seem to have a split personality. She just couldn’t reconcile the bad-boy the girls were crying over and the shy boy that had woken up in her apartment.

Taking in a deep breath, Buffy knocked only to receive no reply. She knocked again – louder – but still Kal didn’t answer.

“Come on, Kal, I know you’re in there! I just want to return your ring,” Buffy yelled, and was shocked by the door suddenly swinging open revealing a wide-eyed Kal.

“You found it?” he asked incredulously, “How did you know…?”

“When you freaked out, I figured you’d lost something important so I went back to where I found you in the hopes I’d find it. When I saw the ring, I figured it was yours,” Buffy grinned mischievously, “and since you’ve already slept over at my place, don’t you think I should see your?”

On cue, Kal blushed furiously but grinned and let her in.

A creak from the stairs brought Buffy out of her memories, and she turned to see Kal’s mother coming up the stairs. The women smiled gently and held out a folded blanket to the blonde girl.

“I thought you might be getting a little cold.”

Buffy took and said, “I’m sorry if I woke you up.”

Martha just shook her head, dismissing the girl’s concerns. “Don’t worry, it’s all a part of the mother package.”

Buffy noticeably saddened at that and looked back up to the stars. Hesitantly, Martha sat beside the girl; unsure of what to make of this girl and her sudden appearance but the mother in her cried out to help the forlorn teen.

“I’m sorry for disrupting your lives like this, its just…I didn’t know who else to call but Ka… Clark .”

Staying silent, Martha wondered how much she should ask or how far she should push the girl. Clark hadn’t said anything to either her or Jonathon about who Buffy was or where they had met. Although, the fact that Buffy sometimes called him ‘Kal’ was telling. That period of time in Clark ’s life was hard to remember, and most of the time all the Kents tried ignore that it had happened.

“How did you and Clark meet?” she asked gently, hoping it was the right thing.

Buffy was silent, wondering what she should say. She knew Clark ’s secret, but they hadn’t discussed how much they should tell his parents about how they met, his life in Metropolis, about her.

“She helped me out of the hole Jor’el had me in.”

The two startled at the voice of the dark-haired youth. Clark slowly walked up the stairs with a smile on his face.

“ Clark …” Martha breathed, looking between her son and the girl.

“It’s okay, Mom, she knows. If it hadn’t been for her, dad wouldn’t have been able to reach me – I would have been too far gone,” Clark said the last bit in a sad voice, remembering how far he had almost fallen. “She kept me from…doing something really horrible.”

“You wouldn’t have done it, even if I hadn’t been there,” Buffy said quietly, but with conviction.

“You don’t know that.”

“I do.”

They two stared at each other, communicating as only those who have shared something powerful could do. Mrs. Kent watched, wanting to understand but at the same time afraid to know. Their gazes were broken by yet another voice as Jonathon Kent also made his way to the loft.

“So this is where everyone is…you know, some people sleep at night,” he said wryly and everyone chuckled and the serious air dissipated. Clark sat down on the other side of Buffy and wrapped a friendly arm over her shoulders. Leaning in closer, Buffy pulled Mr. Gordo up to her chest, closing her eyes, and enjoyed the feeling of safety that she always felt in Kal’s arms.

Clark chuckled.

“I still can’t believe you have that pink monstrosity, Slay.”

Buffy’s eyes flashed with indignation. “Hey! Don’t mock Mr. Gordo; he’s been through everything with me. Besides…mom gave him to me. He’s all I got left of her,” she whispered. Clark drew her in closer and rested his chin on her head.

For the first time, Buffy let tears fall. Not many, and not hard – but for the first time she let go some of the pain of her mother’s death. Mr. and Mrs. Kent watched this silently, beginning to understand why their son had brought Buffy home with him. Their son could never leave anyone in pain – he had to rescue everyone, or at least try.

But…

Exhausted from the previous days events, and finally letting go some of her emotional barriers, Buffy fell asleep in Clark ’s arms. Carefully, he carried her up to the spare bedroom and went down to talk with his parents. By this time it was six am , and Martha was baking breakfast while Jonathon was having coffee. They both turned as their son descended the stairs.

“She’s sleeping.”

Clark sat down and waited for the questions – he didn’t have to wait long.

“ Clark , what do plan to do with her?” Jonathon asked.

“What do you mean?”

“She can’t stay here forever, Clark . There has to be someone who’s looking for her.”

Clark ’s eyes clouded for a moment and a look of anger crossed his face, but it was gone so quickly that Jonathon thought he might have imagined it.

“Her mom’s dead, and her dad is somewhere in Europe with his secretary. She couldn’t even get a hold of him for the funeral. There is no one.”

“ Clark , sweetie, I know you want to help,” she glanced helplessly at Jonathon, “but if she stays here she might find out your secret.”

“I told you, she already knows.”

“Son, exactly how much does she know?” Jonathon asked concernedly.

“Everything.”

The Kents digested that in silence.

“ Clark , what happened between you two in Metropolis?”

This time it was Clark ’s turn to be silent. Memories flooded his mind, most of which he had been trying to forget. He wasn’t proud of what he did as Kal; the only good thing that he remembered was his friendship with Slay – both as Kal and as Clark . But he knew his parents needed to know what happened, or else they would never trust Slay.

“Before you found me…a drug addict had broken into my apartment and I caught him trying to steal some of my stuff. I was wearing the ring at the time, and I went berserk. I broke his arm and a couple of ribs and I was…”

Clark looked at his parents with shame flooded across his face.

“I was about to kill when Slay stopped me. She told the thief to get himself to a hospital and never tell anyone what happened, or she would make him regret it,” Clark chuckled a little at that, “If she hadn’t stopped me I would have killed him.”

Clark looked into his father’s eyes.

“If she hadn’t stopped me then…I would have killed you when you came for me.”

Martha hugged her son and whispered reassurances in his ear. She shared an agonized glance with her husband, knowing there was nothing either of them could do to spare Clark this torment.

“I can’t turn my back on her now that I can help her the same way she helped me,” Clark begged.

The older Kents shared a silent look, but they had known this was coming from the moment their son had introduced Buffy.

“If she’s going to be staying her, I want to be going to school,” Jonathon Kent said in a stern voice, but his smiled slightly. Clark beamed and hugged his parents and headed back upstairs. Halfway up he realized that he was going to tell Buffy she was going back to school.

Idly, he wondered just how invulnerable he was.

Ch 3 – School

“WHAT!!!!”

Clark winced and wished he didn’t have super-hearing as Buffy screamed at him furiously.

“Come on, Slay, it won’t be so bad…”

“It’s school!” she groaned and flopped down on the bed and covered her face with a pillow, hoping that if she refused to acknowledge reality it would go away. Clark grinned slightly at the Slayer’s antics, knowing that they were just her way of dealing with events she couldn’t control. She would complain, and whine, but ultimately she always did what she had to do. It was one of the things that made her a great Slayer.

Buffy sat up and grinned at Clark smugly.

“I have no transcripts. They won’t let me go if I don’t have school papers,” she said triumphantly. Clark ’s grin faltered for a second – he hadn’t thought of that. Having heard Buffy’s…objection…Jonathon and Martha had come to investigate. Martha cleared her throat slightly to get the teens’ attentions.

“Well, we could ask Lex to create some papers…” she trailed off and looked at her husband, knowing that if there was going to be an objection it would be from him. Jonathon still distrusted their son’s best friend, even though he wasn’t as suspicious as he used to be. But he nodded slightly, realizing that was probably their only option since it was obvious that for some reason Buffy was trying to escape her past. Buffy looked at them in confusion.

“Lex? Clark , didn’t you say that he had died? I remember you going to his funeral.”

Clark just grinned and said, “You’re not the only friend I have who has come back from the dead.” At Buffy’s pointed look, his smile faded as he realized what he let slip and the two teens were quickly out the door and heading towards Lex’s before either parent could react to his statement.

Martha and Jonathon watched the truck drive off with anxious expressions on their faces. For the first time, they began to wonder if their mysterious new guest had more secrets than just a blank past.

“ Clark ! To what do I owe this visit,” Lex asked and then spotting Buffy, continued with, “and with such lovely company?”

Buffy’s eyebrow rose at that and smirked and said, “Wow, you weren’t kidding about Lex being a playboy, Clark.”

Both Clark and Lex laughed at that and Clark introduced the two to each other. Lex shot a questioning look to Clark when he mentioned that he had met Buffy in Metropolis but the younger boy only smiled enigmatically. Lex knew that when Clark got that look on his face, there was no point in trying to find out more.

“I assume this isn’t purely a social visit, then?” Lex asked, his instincts kicking. He sat down on his couch and watched the reactions of his guests; Clark looked unsure on how to proceed, but it was the blonde girl’s reaction that interested him the most. Her eyes had narrowed slightly, and were watching his every motion – with a chill, he recognized the look as one his father sometimes wore when he was looking for a weakness…or going in for the kill.

“Buffy’s going to be staying with us for a while, and Mom and Dad are insisting she goes to school,” he paused at her groan then continued, “but she doesn’t have any transcripts.”

“So you would like me to create some fore you,” Lex continued Clark ’s thought. Clark nodded and shuffled slightly – always uncomfortable to ask favours from his wealthy friend.

“That won’t be difficult…can I ask why?”

The two teens shared a quick look. Buffy knew that Clark trusted Lex, but her senses were telling her that though he might not be dangerous to them, Lex Luther was still a very dangerous man. Probably more than Clark realized. But if she left his curiosity unanswered, the Slayer had the sinking suspicion that Lex would find ways to answer his questions on his own.

“There are some people from my past I’m trying to get away from,” Buffy answered slowly, hoping that would be enough for the Luther. The two regarded each other, silently trying to find the measure of the other. Lex nodded slightly, seemingly satisfied and the two teens relaxed.

“So I assume you’re in the same year as Clark then?” The two nodded in unison. “All right, I’m going to need a full name, so…?”

“Elizabeth Williams,” Buffy replied after a moments thought. Luckily, her mother’s maiden name was common and Buffy wasn’t attached to her absent father’s last name – and keeping ‘Buffy’ was like asking the Watchers Council to come find her.

“With a 4.0 GPA,” Clark contributed with a grin to the Slayer’s dismay.

“ Clark !”

With that, Buffy started off after Clark and the two were out of the room in seconds. For the second time that day, the duo left the person behind speechless.

True to his word, a few days later Buffy was sitting in the Principal’s office at Smallville High School trying to sneak a peak at what Lex had put in her records. She was really wishing she had stuck around to make sure the playboy hadn’t developed a sense of humour during the process.

“It’s a pleasure to have you joining us, I understand that you’ll be staying with the Kents .”

Buffy nodded.

“Well, I’m sure Clark will be able to help you get you caught up.”

Buffy smiled weakly at that. She and Clark had agreed to keep the fact she was actually eighteen a secret, but the idea of being a junior again wasn’t pleasant. At least she wasn’t going to be attending school on top of a hellmouth – and there was less of a chance that anyone could track her down. Again, she wondered what Lex at put in her records.

Oh well, at least I don’t have to worry about anyone finding out about me burning down the school gym.

Clark was waiting for Buffy as she left the office. He only grinned at the glare she gave him and proceeded to give her the grand tour. After visiting the cafeteria and other ‘exciting’ places, the grand finale was a visit to the Torch, the school newspaper edited by his best friend Chloe.

“Hey guys,” Chloe greeted them with a grin as she and Pete continued their work on the computer. “Hey Clark ,” Pete echoed, giving Buffy a significant look.

“Oh, sorry Pete, this is my friend Buffy. Buffy, this is Pete, and of course, you’ve already met Chloe.”

Buffy smiled brightly, hoping to win over Clark ’s two best friends.

“It’s really nice to meet both of you. Clark ’s told me a lot about you.”

‘Oh, he has, has he?” Chloe asked with a grin. “So I guess he’s also told you about the infamous Wall of Weird?” Chloe pointed to the wall by the door that was covered with newspaper clippings. Buffy leaned in closer and read a few of the captions, recognizing some of them from stories that Clark had told her about his encounter with ‘meteor mutants’. She frowned as she spotted a few missing persons reports, and ‘animal attacks’. Vampires and demons were rare in smaller towns – less food – but now and then they appeared.

Buffy may have quit the Council, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t still a Slayer.

“I know some of it sounds farfetched,” Chloe said, misinterpreting Buffy’s frown. The other girl gave Chloe a wan smile. “I’ve seen some strange things in my time.”

Chloe opened her mouth to ask her what she meant when Clark interrupted.

“Slay, we got to get going to class, see you guys at lunch.”

Chloe looked at Pete after the two had left.

“Great, it’s the Clark-Kent-disappearing-act times two.”

Lana Lang sat at the cafeteria waiting for the arrival of her friends. She hadn’t seen Clark ever since the arrival of his new ‘friend’. There were so many questions she wanted to ask Clark ; who was she; how had they met; why was she here? Except for when Clark apologized for his behaviour, they had never talked about his time in Metropolis. Clark just hadn’t been… Clark . It was as if he was someone else. And as much as she hated to admit it, even if only to herself, he was someone who scared her. What kind of person would be a friend of Kal’s?

Spotting Clark ’s tall figure, Lana waved to grab his attention. Noticing her, he waved back and started to head over. Unfortunately, several jocks stood in his way. Lana rolled her eyes, and went over to – hopefully – rescue Clark . Not for the first time, she wondered what it was about Clark that always got the jocks riled up. As she got closer, she was able to hear their conversation.

“Come on, baby, what are you doing hanging out with this nerd? Why don’t you leave him behind and come hang with us?” one of the members of the football said, and grabbed Buffy by the arm.

By now Chloe and Pete had joined Lana and the three shared a concerned look. They knew how protective Clark could be, and they didn’t want to see their friend get into trouble. But to their surprise, Clark didn’t look upset.

In fact, he looked…amused.

“Really? I get to hang out with you?” Buffy said in her best Valley-girl voice, oozing with sarcasm. Within seconds the dumb blonde act disappeared and the Slayer emerged. Buffy eyed the jock from head to toe, in much the same way he had to her just moments before.

Only she wasn’t looking in appreciation.

“Hmmm, there doesn’t appear to be any signs of intelligence so I guess a conversation on topics other than sports are out. And by the lack of bulge in your pants, I can only assume that you don’t have any other attributes to make up for your lack of conversational skills.”

The students that had gathered around gave shocked gasps at Buffy’s language. By now the jock had dropped his arm and was flushed red from anger and embarrassment.

“But I can only guess from your comments that I should feel privileged to hang out with a high school jock who doesn’t know that when his high school career is done, he will realize that it was the highlight of his pathetic life. I think I’d rather hang out with the person who has a future.”

Buffy grabbed Clark ’s hand and they made their way through the crowd to Clark ’s friends – who stood staring in shock.

“Oh my god, I can’t believe you did that,” Chloe breathed out, a huge smile on her face. “I wish I had a camera or a video recorder or something to document this moment.”

Lana glanced down at the still clasped hands, wondering just what was going on between Clark and Buffy.

She wasn’t the only one who was wondering that. Hidden, a camera zoomed in on the pair and quickly snapped several pictures. The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone. Hitting speed dial, he raised the phone to his ear, never taking his eyes of his target.

“Mr. Travers, sir, I’ve found her.”

Chapter 4

The six board members of the Watcher’s Council sat in the boardroom awaiting the arrival of their last member. Quentin Travers walked through the doors and sat at the head of the table, making eye contact with all of the members before beginning.

“I have just received a report from one of our agents that he has located Ms. Summers.”

The other members began whispering to each other. Travers allowed it for a few moments before he began to speak again.

“She is living in a small American town called Smallville with a family, the Kents. The father’s name in Jonathon Kent and the mother is a Martha Kent. Our agent hasn’t found any records connecting them to Ms. Summers or to any supernatural forces.”

“However, they have a single child – Clark Kent . He has been connected to several strange occurrences in and around Smallville. Our surveillance indicates that its the boy that Ms. Summers seems to have a connection with, though we haven't determined how, as of yet.”

“Smallville? Isn’t that the place where we’re investigating as to whether it’s a proto-hellmouth?” one of the members asked thoughtful.

“I remember the initial report. There was no demonic activity found, and most of the strange occurrences could be traced to the meteor rocks that landed fourteen years ago. There was, however, some speculation that the Kent boy was a demon himself.” That statement caused more speculation, since they knew that Ms. Summers had aligned herself with demons in the past.

Travers cleared his throat to regain the board’s attention.

“What Anders said is correct; there was no demonic activity found but it was decided that given the affects of the meteors, we would keep the area under surveillance. Hence, the quick discovery of our rogue Slayer. However, what Clark Kent is is still a mystery, though the examiner is convinced he isn’t demonic. Now that Ms. Summers is staying with him, it has become paramount that we discover what he is. I want to know everything there is to know about the Kent boy, these meteor rocks, and how these two met. But I want it made clear to all field agents, that under no circumstances do I want them to make contact.”

“We have control of the current Slayer, and in a few years -- if not less -- Ms. Summers will be dead. Why go to all this trouble?” one of the members asked.

“Because she is a Slayer. Who knows what kind of damage she could do with proper supervision? This meeting is adjourned.”

“How are you liking Smallville so far?” Chloe asked as she sipped her coffee. After school, they had all headed off to the Talon – Buffy being suitably impressed when she learned that Lana ran it herself. She took a sip of her own coffee before she answered.

“It’s nice, it reminds me of where I used to live.”

“Where would that be?” Chloe asked, getting that sparkle in her eye that she got when she went into her investigative mode. Having heard about it from Clark , Buffy recognized the signs and laughed.

“Sorry, Chloe, you’re not getting that out of me.”

“Well, I do love a challenge,” she said with a grin, even more curious about ‘the mystery woman’. “You can at least tell me how you and Clark met.”

Waiting for Lana to rejoin them, Buffy began telling the tale of how they met – the abridged version, of course.

“I was working at a bar, and Clark showed one night. He needed a place to crash since he was out pretty out of it, and I let him crash at my place.”

The really, really, abridged version.

“You just let some stranger crash at your place,” Lana asked in astonishment.

“I’m a pretty good judge of character,” Buffy replied casually. “Besides, I figured I could take him.”

The teenagers looked at the massive difference in height and weight and began to laugh, thinking that Buffy was kidding. Buffy and Clark joined in, but they were laughing because Buffy hadn’t been kidding.

“Why aren’t you living with your parents?” Pete asked, and then rubbed his arm as Clark elbowed him. Buffy stopped laughing but answered truthfully.

“My mom died, and my dad couldn’t care less. Clark always said that I could stay with him if I ever need to, so here I am.”

They continued idle chitchat, for the next hour. Learning more about Buffy, but avoiding any emotionally heavy subjects. Clark was glad that Slay was getting along, knowing how hard being away from her own friends was for her. She couldn’t even talk with them, afraid that the Council would be able to trace her whereabouts.

Clark heard the door open and was surprised to see Lex walk in. Waving his arm, he grabbed Lex’s attention who headed their way.

“Fancy meeting you all here,” Lex said in amusement, “and it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance again, Buffy.”

They all laughed at Lex’s antics, but Lex noticed that even while Buffy laughed with the rest of the teenagers she kept him under scrutiny. The more he saw of the blonde the more fascinated he became. He sensed that underneath that teenage exterior was someone much like himself.

“How was your first day of school?”

“Like a day at school,” Buffy said nonchalantly. “I went, I was bored, I left. Until I heard about the Talon, I was afraid there was nothing to do in Smallville. All I’ve seen this one do,” poking Clark in the shoulder, “is chores, homework, eat and sleep. Repeatedly. In that order.”

Everyone laughed, and Clark glared at Buffy for a moment before joining in.

“I’m sure if you stay around Clark long enough, something exciting will happen,” Lex said, “and in the mean time, he can show you the caves that have him so obsessed.”

“Caves?” Buffy asked, pretending to wonder what Lex was talking about. When Clark had finally opened up to her about his past, he had told her about Jor’el and the caves, and his destiny. Buffy remembered that night clearly, because that was also the night Clark had found out about her powers.

Buffy casually walked through the graveyard, twirling her stead absentmindedly between her fingers. She was thinking about Kal, and his drastic mood swings. Often she would see him come into the bar, with some bimbo hanging off his arm. They would dance for a few hours, make-out, and then Kal would be his ‘charming’ self and send the girl packing.

Afterwards, Buffy would show up at his place and he would be back to the self-effacing farmboy she had let crash at her apartment. Being no stranger to keeping secrets – not to mention setting off Slayer senses – the Slayer knew that Kal was keeping a big secret. Watching as her friend kept walking further down the dark path he had set himself on; she wondered if it was time to push him to explain everything. But Kal has already run once, and she didn’t want him running again.

Clutching her stake tighter, she twirled and knocked the approaching vampire onto his back. Growling, the vampire jumped to his feet and attacked again. The Slayer easily dodged the various punches and kicks; disgruntled by the lack of a challenge, she nonchalantly stuck the stake through his heart and watched the ashes fall to the ground.

Concentrated on the vampire as she was, the Slayer failed to notice the sound of another footsteps.

“Slay?”

Spinning around, Buffy’s jaw dropped as she saw a bewildered look Kal standing before her. She grinned weakly, and looking down at the stake in her hand she put it behind her back.

“Um…Kal, um, hi! What are you doing here?”

“What am I doing here? Slay, what are you doing in the middle of a cemetery stabbing people with a stake?” Kal asked, and Buffy was glad to note it wasn’t ‘arrogant’ Kal talking. In fact, now that she thought about it, even as Kal was getting worse, around her he always reverted back to that sweet farmboy she’d grown to care about. Obeying her instinct, Buffy took the plunge.

“It wasn’t people – it was a vampire. I’m a Vampire Slayer.” Buffy could see the disbelief flashing across Kal’s face, and marched up into his personal space and asked, “And what are you Kal?”

Shaking herself back from memory lane, Buffy caught the tale end of the ongoing conversation.

“…get going home to do chores?”

Buffy looked up at Clark and blinked as the words sunk in.

“Right, chores -- cause now I’m a farmgirl, and I got to earn my keep.”

“Well, I doubt Clark will have you hauling bales of hay,” Lex remarked to which the two only looked at each other and grinned. The two quickly made their way out of the Talon and headed home. The group watched the two make their exit, and as the truck pulled away Chloe turned to the rest.

“Is it just me, or is it like those two were separated at birth?”

“Have you decided what you want to tell my parents?” Clark asked, casually tossing her the bale of hay. Buffy caught it effortlessly, and tossed it with the others in the growing stack.

“You mean, about me being a Slayer? I don’t know, Clark , I don’t want to put them in any danger.”

“Knowing about me hasn’t put them in any danger,” at Buffy’s raised eyebrow he amaneded, “that much danger.”

“But there aren’t that many people that know – not just suspect – you’re secret. There’s a whole bunch of old stuffy tweed-wearing English guys that base their entire lives on my secret.”

“ Clark ! Buffy! Supper!” Martha yelled, and the two shrugged and headed inside.

Slayer, the day is coming.

Buffy stopped and looked around curiously. A few feet away, Clark stopped and turned back to see why she had stopped walking.

“Buffy?”

“Did you just here that?”

“What?”

“ Nothing…I guess it was just the wind.”

Chapter 5 – Caves

In the weeks that followed Buffy developed a routine – chores, school, coffee, yet more chores and sleep. Not that Buffy minded the chores; with the utter lack of Slaying, the heavy farm work kept her in shape. Even though Martha and Jonathon still had no idea about her abilities. She was getting along with Clark’s friends – even Lana had warmed up (slightly). Except for bouts of homesickness, things were going great.

Except for the dreams.

Buffy sat by the window in her bedroom and looked out blindly, remembering the dream. It started the same every night; she would be walking through a series of caves with writing on the walls. From Clark’s descriptions, the Slayer knew it was the Kiwatche caves – even though she had never been there herself. As she walked, she would see a symbol she recognized painted on one of the walls. Placing a hand on the mark, it would begin to glow and there would be a green flash of light.

And then she woke up.

But this last night had been different; before she had awakened she remembered something else…something that happened after seeing the flash of light. This time there had been a voice, one that seemed vaguely familiar. Although, for the life of her, Buffy couldn’t place where she had heard it before.

The day is coming.

Sighing, Buffy got up and continued to get ready for school, hearing the Kents already moving around downstairs. Thinking of Martha and Jonathon brought Buffy to the second problem she was facing; one that Clark continued to bring up every other conversation.

“Clark, I swear to the Powers that Be that if you don’t stop asking me that I am going to stuff kryptonite down your boxers!” Buffy growled as she effortless tossed Clark a bale. Clark caught the thrown bale and stacked it, turning just in time to catch the next one. He grinned at Buffy’s childish antics and just shook his head.

“I just don’t like lying to my parents.”

“Clark, lying to your parents is a teenager right, nay, duty! You’re ruining it for the rest of us with your Boy Scout act,” she said accusingly.

“I just think it’ll be worse if they find out on their own, instead of having us tell them about your powers. It’s not like they’re going to freak…”

“You don’t know that,” Buffy retorted, uncomfortable with the whole conversation. It was bringing back painful reminders of when her mom found out her secret and it resulted in Buffy running away.

“They didn’t freak when they found out Ryan was able to read minds…they were even going to adopt him,” Clark pointed out, putting the last bale with the others and started walking towards the house. Sighing in exasperation, Buffy jogged up next to him and fell in step.

“Clark, just…let me tell them when I’m ready.”

So far, Clark hadn’t said anything to his parents – not that it kept him from bringing the subject up. Buffy knew that the farm boy meant well, which is what made it so aggravating. She couldn’t even get angry with him because he just being sweet, considerate, annoyingly right Clark that she knew and loved. So Buffy planned to do what she always did when facing both emotional and possibly Slayer problems – ignore the emotional and concentrate on the Slaying until the emotional went away.

Taking one more look in the mirror, the blonde bounded down the stairs and was greeted by three grinning faces. Seeing the openly friendly faces of Martha and Jonathon, Buffy felt a twinge of guilt for not confiding in them when they had generously opened their home to her without any (or at least, many) questions. But remembering she was planning on doing the repressing act, Buffy just grinned back and sat down for breakfast.

And in the spirit of emotional repression, she turned to Clark and asked, “Hey Clark, think you could show me those caves you’re always talking about?”

Jonathon shifted uncomfortably in his chair and said, “Buffy, those caves are kind of dangerous. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with you going there.”

“…and yet, you let Clark go there because…?” Buffy asked innocently, pretending she didn’t know why Jonathon was concerned. Clark buried his head in his cereal, trying to keep his parents from seeing his smile. Before losing his internal battle, Clark quickly said his good-byes and headed out. Buffy grabbed a piece of toast and smiled sweetly at Jonathon.

“Don’t worry, Mr. Kent, I’ll make sure to stay with Clark at all times,” she said before making her own exit.

Jonathon turned a disbelieving look to his wife, who was smiling slightly.

“Was I just outmanoeuvred by a sixteen years old?”

“Yes, dear – you were.”

Clark leaned against the lockers as he watched Buffy she put away her books, and actually selecting books to take home for homework. Lex hadn’t followed through on Clark’s threat to give Buffy a 4.0 GPA but he had given her a decent average – one that Buffy was surprised to find herself maintaining.

“So, what’s with the sudden interest in caves? If I remember correctly, your opinion of caves consists mainly of – and I quote -- ‘dark, dirty and way too full of death’ – end quote.”

Buffy closed her locker and turned to Clark, frowning slightly.

“I keep having this dream where I’m at the caves. It could be nothing…”

“…or it could be a Slayer dream.” Clark continued, a frown of his own coming to his face. The alien wasn’t going to take a Slayer’s dreams casually, not after hearing about one and the aftermath from Buffy before.

Clark jerked awake, and looked around in confusion, wondering what had woken him up. A scream echoed through the apartment and Clark was out of his bed in a flash to the spare bedroom. Inside, Buffy was tossing and turning, caught in the grip of a vicious nightmare. Gently, the former farm boy shook the frightened girl.

And got a right hook to the jaw for his trouble.

Blinking in confusion, Buffy looked around as the dream slowly faded from her mind. Clark was just glad that he was a super-powered alien, because a Slayer’s punch definitely packed some punch, even for him. Finally noticing Clark by her bed, Buffy grimaced.

“Sorry, Clark, did I wake you?”

“Nah, I’m always awake at three in the morning,” Buffy smiled slightly and Clark lied down on the bed beside and threw an arm over her shoulders. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Buffy leaned against Clark’s shoulder and shook her head.

“Just a bad memory, it could’ve been worse.”

“Sounded pretty bad to me.”

Buffy was silent for a moment before responded.

“Nightmares about things that have happened aren’t too bad – I mean, as bad as they were, it can’t hurt me anymore. But…”

Clark just held her tighter as he waited for her to continue.

“But…it’s when I dream about things that haven’t happened yet, that it’s bad.”

“What do you mean?”

“Remember when I told you about being a Slayer means that I have heightened instincts? Well, prophetic dreams are part of the whole gut wrenching package.”

“That can’t be too bad, right? I mean, you get a chance to stop it from happening.”

“I couldn’t stop the last one,” Buffy said quietly. “I couldn’t save Angel.”

Clark had been the first person Buffy ever told about having to send Angel – not Angelus – to hell. The farm boy couldn’t image what it would be like to know something bad was going to happen – or someone was going to die – and still not be able to prevent it. With a sudden flash of insight, Clark realized it was just like his fears about the destiny his father wanted him to follow.

Even knowing what his father wanted him to do, Clark still wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do to avoid it. Deep down, Clark had always thought that if you knew if something was going to happen you could stop it. But as he remembered Buffy’s experiences with fate, he realized that maybe there are some destinies that can’t be changed.

Buffy looked around at the writing on the walls and felt a chill go down her spine. They were exactly like the ones in her dream. Trying to remember her movements in the dream, Buffy walked slowly through the caves. Walking slightly behind, Clark followed quietly.

Buffy suddenly stopped and looked at the symbol in front of her. Clark looked over her shoulder to see what had captured her interest. The symbol wasn’t very big and as often as Clark visited the caves, he had never noticed it before. It was cross-shaped, but the vertical line was much thicker than the horizontal but thinned to a point at the bottom.

“Is there a story behind this?” Buffy asked quietly.

“Not that I know of, but I could ask…”

“Is it Kryptonian?” Buffy interrupted.

“No, Buffy, what is…?”

Without waiting, Buffy reached forward and touched the symbol. The symbol glowed for a moment, then exploded into dust, leaving behind a crevice emitting a green glow. Seeing the glow, Clark took a frightened step backward that went unnoticed by the Slayer. Buffy reached in and pulled out a green stake.

Clark gasped and stepped back further as the kryptonite began to poison his system. Startled, Buffy turned to Clark in surprise and seeing the pained expression on his face, looked in horror at the stake-shaped meteor rock in her hand. She was about to put the item back when another symbol appeared above crevice. A bright flash erupted from the symbol and the Slayer fell unconscious to the floor, the stake still gripped in her hand.

Clark clenched his stomach, and tried to wake the blonde up by shouting but she didn’t stir. Realizing he couldn’t stay in the presence of the kryptonite much longer, he made a quick decision and headed out to get his father. Staggering out of the cave, once he was far enough away, Clark supersped back home.

Moments after he left, a tall figure walked up to the fallen girl – staring at her intently. As if responding to the presence, Buffy blinked and rose slightly. The two stared at each other and the Slayer gasped in recognition. The figure watched the Slayer get unsteadily to her feet and regarding the stake solemnly, spoke.

“The day is coming.”

Travers looked up angrily at the interruption as one of his subordinates entered his office without knocking.

“Is there a reason you have completely lost your sense of decorum, Mr. Phillips?”

“Yes, sir…I mean, no, sir… I mean…”

“What is it?” Travers interrupted angrily. Recent reports from the Watcher he had assigned to the Slayer were not encouraging. It appears the he had not one, but two uncontrollable Slayers. Rupert Giles was also being a detriment to the situation, refusing to leave and continue to act as a Watcher to the girl. This, on top of the Summers situation, was not helping to put him in a forgiving mood.

“Sir, it’s about the Ms. Summers’ situation. We’ve gotten a preliminary report on Clark Kent. There are no records anywhere on him before his adoption by the Kents – which happened a few weeks after the meteor crash.”

“And this was important enough for you to barge in here unannounced?” Travers asked incredulously. Phillips reached into a folder he was holding and placed a newspaper clipping in front the Head of the Watcher’s Council.

“Just under a year ago this was burned into the side of the Kent barn.”

Travers stared at the picture in shock, almost unable to believe what he was seeing.

“Why weren’t we notified about this?”

“Our field researcher wasn’t aware of its significance, since he doesn’t have that level of clearance, but I have confirmed that it is Kryptonian, sir. Given what we’ve discovered so far, and since the notion that he is demonic has been dismissed, it may be possible that Clark Kent is Kryptonian.”

“Take whatever steps necessary, I want confirmation of this. Now.”

Phillips nodded, and turned to leave.

“And Mr. Phillips?”

“Yes, sir?”

“If Clark Kent proves to be Kryptonian, and you even suspect that Ms. Summers knows and is allied with him…”

“Kill her.”

TBC

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