Pairing: Clark Kent/Buffy Summers Warnings/Triggers:Torture, Violence, Mention's of Major Character Death, Bad Language, Sexual Tension, Eventual Smut, Mentions of Sexual Assault Summary: Takes place during Man of Steel. When Buffy discovers the U.S Military trying to keep quiet about an object buried in a twenty thousand year old glacier, she immediately thinks the worst. However, when a surprise visit to the Canadian Arctic puts her in the path of a mysterious stranger her whole world is changed forever. Authors Notes: Thank you all so much for being so very supportive. You guys have been absolutely wonderful. Seriously I couldn't ask for a better group of readers. I need to warn you all that this chapter has quite the graphic and gruesome scene in it, so if that's not your thing I highly recommend skipping the part where Clark starts to watch the video. Some major questions answered here. Hope you all enjoy, and keep the reviews coming. Special thanks to my ever amazing beta Hipkarma. She always helps and inspires me. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Previous Chapters: [Chapter One] [Chapter Two] [Chapter Three] [Chapter Four] [Chapter Five] [Chapter Six] [Chapter Seven]
[TTH] [AO3] [FFN]
Dawn smirked as she saw the caller ID flash. So, Buffy had talked to Wes. That was good. She really didn’t want to have to break into the Watchers Council just because she was nosy and worried for her sister. Buffy hadn’t told her much when they talked yesterday, just that there was some sort of prophecy about her and this Clark guy, which just raised all sorts of red flags for her. Dawn had insisted on seeing a copy of the prophecy and her hackles raised even more when she found out how quiet Wes and Willow were trying to keep this. Looks like big sis came through however, and now it was time to give the man on the other line hell for keeping something this important from her.
“Xand, honey, can you take Abby? Wes is on the phone and it’s time for her nap anyway.” Dawn said, reaching for the phone.
“No!” Her one and a half your old screeched at the top of her lungs, making Dawn cringe. When they coined the phrase, ‘children are your parents secret revenge,’ they weren’t lying. Abigail was just like her too, even in looks.
Xander came out of their shared office, a crooked and amused smile on his lips. “You should know by now not to say that word in front of her,” He said, kissing Dawn on the forehead before reaching out and swooping up their toddler. “Come on Abby,” he said as Dawn answered her call. “Daddy will read you your favorite story.”
“Try to get Joyce down too,” She added, before saying into the phone, “Hello Wes, so good of you to finally call me.”
She heard the groan on the other end of the line and smiled. “How much do you know?”
“That there’s a prophecy about my sister and some uber-powerful guy she’s been spending time with, on your instruction I might add.” Dawn said in a mockingly sweet voice.
She heard him sigh. “Yes, that is all true. Look Dawn, I’m going to send you a copy of the prophecy through your secure fax now. We’ve been able to translate some of it, but there are certain areas where…I don’t think the language is of this world. It’s nothing like we’ve ever seen in any human or demon writings before.”
Dawn got up and walked into the office, a frown on her face. “You mean like interdimensional, there’s gotta be a reference somewhere Wes.”
There was silence over the line and for a second and she thought Wes had hung up. She’d just opened her mouth to see if he was still there, when he finally said, “No Dawn, that’s not what I meant at all.”
Her frown deepened as the first page spat out of the machine. She slid it off the rack and looked at the prophecy. There were several different languages written on the copy, Etruscan, Ancient Sumerian, Ancient Greek, and Latin. At the top were strange symbols unlike anything she’d ever seen before, almost flowing together like cursive. The next page that came out was Wesley and Willow’s translation of that page. She bit her lip, walking over to her desk and went to work making sure what they had translated so far was correct.
“So,” she began casually, “what I’m getting from the first page is that this guy is much farther from home than just another dimension.” She paused, huffing in annoyance as she snootily added,” It was Sun God by the way, not Star God.” She sighed. “Who are you using anyway, Basile?”
“Vonten,” He answered and Dawn rolled her eyes. Of course, he was using that moron’s guide.
“Vonten is an arrogant prick Wes, that book confuses people more than it helps. Burn it, it’s better as kindling. Bachman is the best at Etruscan and Ancient Sumerian, and you already know Ancient Greek and Latin enough not to need a reference.” She said, before frowning as she came to the part about the soulbond. “Wes, what the hell is a soulbond, and why is this referencing my sister and Mr. E.T. having one?”
As Wesley began to explain what they knew so far, Dawn's face began to pale. Oh, this was not of the good. Buffy was gonna wig to the nth degree when she found out.
"Does she know any of this?" Dawn asked, turning around and grabbing more of the pages that were still spitting out of her printer.
"She knows about the bond. I told her this morning." He answered.
"And what, you’re waiting until she gets pregnant before you tell her the rest?" Dawn asked angrily. "You know this is gonna freak her out..."
"Which is why I decided not to tell her." Wes interrupted.
"If you'd let me finish," Dawn snapped, slamming her hand on the desk. "I was going to say this is gonna freak her out, but it would be better if you tell her now." She huffed in frustration. "This just proves how little you guys know my sister. She absolutely will freak and she'll probably fight it at first. Just the idea of her own children having to live the life she has, is not gonna be a happy, joyous moment for her. She's already worried that Joyce or Abby, or maybe even both will be called one day.” Dawn said, before emphasizing her next words, "However, my sister is not stupid, and when push comes to shove, she'll make the right decision like she always does. I get that you’re worried about the Slayer line Wes, we all are, but keeping this from her is not the right way to go about it.”
She heard Wes’s sigh, “I realize that Dawn, but with the bond itself needing to be fulfilled, I thought that was more than enough for both of them to handle at this time.”
Dawn looked at the pages covered in the strange flowing script, similar to the symbols on the first page. Wes was right, it was a language. "We need to find a way to translate this. Do you think this is Clark's language from his home world?"
The line was silent for a moment, before he said in annoyance, “Yes, that’s what I meant when I said I don’t think the language is of this world.”
“Do you think Clark knows how to read it?” Dawn asked.
A sigh came over the line, “I honestly don’t know. I believe he just discovered where he came from, so I don’t see how he could.” He paused in thought and then murmured to himself, “But even if he can’t, perhaps the ship has a historical archive or maybe there is some form of AI technology that could translate it for us.”
Dawn frowned, “What ship?”
As Wesley explained how Buffy and Clark met and the danger Buffy had recklessly put herself in, Dawn found her ire sparking at Buffy’s stupidity. “I’m gonna kill her!” Dawn growled. “She hasn’t done something that reckless since Joyce was born. God fucking dammit, she promised me!”
Wesley sighed. “In her defense, it could have very well been her fate that made her act so rashly.” He paused before saying, “In any case, Clark was there and according to Buffy, he saved her and watched over her after she went into a healing sleep.”
Dawn was quiet as she processed that information. So, she didn’t die, which meant Buffy actively tried to stop it from happening. That was good, she was still getting smacked when Dawn saw her, but at least she hadn’t completely broken her promise from three and a half years ago. It was also good to see that this godlike Champion the prophecy spoke of wasn’t just a creature with a penchant for destruction playing at being a white hat because of a curse. That was a nice change.
“What else do you know about him?” Dawn asked. “I’m assuming you started trying to find him as soon as you started translating this.”
“Well,” Wesley began, “We first caught wind of a possible candidate about a year ago. We’d been monitoring airwave chatter for possible beings with superhuman strength when we caught a lead. A distress call came in about an oil rig off the coast of Canada in flames and about to explode. In that communication there was talk of a man rescuing the crew members aboard the rig and preventing the tower from collapsing on the rescue helicopter with his bare hands.” He paused for a moment, before saying. “We managed to find a few other incidents of him saving people, one that happened when he was thirteen. According to the incident report, his school bus went off a bridge and into the river. Three witnesses stated that a young Clark Kent managed to push the bus out of the water and rescue his classmate.”
Dawn whistled, “So this guy really is the real deal white knight, huh?”
“It would appear so.” He sighed.
“Wes we’re gonna need to access that ship.” Dawn said, looking over a small section of Sumerian that talked about a trial of choice. The rest of the page was in the alien script however, so any clue as to what that meant was beyond her.
“I know,” Wesley agreed.
“Which means, we’re gonna have to tell Buffy and Clark everything.” Dawn reiterated.
She heard Wesley groan, but he conceded nonetheless. “Alright fine, Willow needs to bring them some pendants to stave off the worst of the compulsion the bond is creating. I’ll have her stop by and get you on her way, unless you want me to tell Buffy myself, that is.”
Dawn shook her head, “No, no. I think it will be safer for everyone if I’m the one to do it.” Then she bit her lip in thought, “And don’t bother with Willow, just call me when she gets back. I think I need to do this one on my own.”
“Very well,” Wes agreed. “Willow should be finished within the next few hours. I’ll call you as soon as I know she’s returned.”
“Alright, in the meantime I’m gonna go over this and make sure all the parts I can read are translated correctly.” Dawn said, adding, "Talk in a few," before hanging up.
She sighed, rubbing her fingers along her forehead. "Well fuck," she muttered to herself.
"Everything alright?" Xander asked, coming into the office.
"No, not really," she answered handing him the translated first page of the prophecy.
She watched his eye scan the words before he blew out a breath. "So, this guys an alien?"
"Looks like." She answered.
Xander snorted, "Man the Buffster really knows how to pick 'em, doesn't she?"
Dawn mock glared, before she couldn't contain her amusement at the absurdity of the situation. "Well, you know Buffy. She doesn't do anything by halves."
As Clark followed Buffy down the hallway, his thoughts were a jumbled mess. He knew she had been trying to reassure him, but her words only had the opposite effect. Were they only feeling any of what they were because of the prophecy and furthermore, given the choice, would she even choose him? She had basically confessed to falling in love with her best friend. The history they had both shared, as disturbing as it was, was an important one to her. She had cared very deeply for this man. How could he ever live up to the memory of a man who had essentially changed a piece of himself for her? Part of him wanted to erase Spike’s memory from her mind, to do whatever he could to drive this man, this demon from her past and another part of him just felt wholly lost. He didn’t want to be anyone’s second best and he certainly didn’t want her to want him only because some guy thousands of years ago decided they were destined. God, he wished his dad was still alive. This would definitely be the type of thing his dad could help him through.
She stopped at a large set of double doors and turned, catching his expression before he had time to school it into a much more neutral one. She blinked in surprise, "Clark...what’s wrong?"
He shook his head, “It’s nothing Buffy.”
Her frown deepened, “Oh no, you definitely have something face. Talk to me. I promise whatever it is, I’ll try to understand.”
Clark shifted uncomfortably, before finally admitting, “I’m just feeling a little unsure about all this.”
Her eyes widened slightly, “Because of Spike?”
Clark sighed, “Well I mean think about it Buffy. You basically told me that you fell in love with your best friend and were willing to marry him for eternity, but the only reason you didn’t is because you were too scared. Would you even look twice at me if he was here now? Are the feelings I’m having for you even real, or is this just destiny trying to force us together?”
Realization flooded her expression, and she quickly shook her head. “I can’t speak for what-ifs, because I would be lying if I answered that either way…” She swallowed, “As for how you’re feeling, I’ve been under love spells before and granted you usually don’t know you’re under one when you are, but if the feeling’s part was being fabricated, we…we wouldn’t be able to fight this like we are. We would have probably already slept together.” She blushed, looking down. “Fabricated feelings they’re false obviously, but they’re very strong…strong enough to make people dangerous. If what we were feeling was a manifestation, you wouldn’t have these doubts Clark, you wouldn’t even realize there was doubts to be had.” She met his eyes then, her expression serious and stoic. “And as for the fear part, I didn’t want to get into it because…” She sighed again. “You remember how I told you that Angelus showed up right when I was starting to get my life back together?”
Clark nodded, “I remember.”
“Well, what I didn’t say is that I was planning on retiring.” She rolled her eyes, “I had this grand plan of going back to school and getting a degree in Art History and moving to Hawaii to open a gallery.” She shook her head, “It was stupid, I know.”
He immediately shook his head, “That doesn’t sound stupid at all.”
Buffy blushed. “I just mean it was stupid that I ever thought it could happen.” She shook her head, “Anyway, I started training a girl named Rayanne when we were first getting the new Watchers Council on its feet. She was bright, witty, resourceful and she already had the makings of someone who could be an excellent leader.” She looked at her feet, her hands clenching. “Me and Giles had agreed, in three-years-time, when Ray was eighteen, she would step in and fill my shoes. Faith didn’t want the position and the only other possible candidate that actually did, I flat out refused due to her inability to get along with just about anyone but Willow. I mentored Ray for over a year and she became…well, like a little sister to me. After the whole General Voll fiasco, I was ready to promote her to Senior Slayer status. She had been on it more than any other girl at the compound, helpful and demanding when need be. She’d fought through a horde of zombies and we came out of it with zero losses. The attack was completely unexpected and if she hadn’t been there, I don’t know what I would have done.” She met his eyes, “I was so proud of her.” Buffy sighed, “A few months later is when the first girl, Alicia went missing, and by the time Ray disappeared, there were already six that seemed to have just dropped off the planet.” She swallowed, “Angelus revealed himself and killed Giles a few weeks later, and almost three weeks after is when we found Alicia. She was the first and youngest to go missing and she was the first he dropped on our doorstep.” Buffy shook her head squeezing her eyes shut, “I knew what he was doing to Rayanne then, and that she would probably get the worst of it because of her association with me. Alicia was just a taste of what Angelus was capable of.” She opened her eyes, meeting his. “I wanted to have Spike claim me so we would be strong enough to save her and the rest of them, and I was scared because I knew I’d be asking for the wrong reasons. I was afraid Spike would know it too and I would only hurt him by asking. Does that make sense?”
It was Clark’s turn to avert his eyes. “Yes,” he said quietly.
She pulled out her phone and began to scroll through it, “Well just in case you have any doubts…” She swallowed, “I don’t even know why I kept this. Angelus loved tormenting me and we didn’t know it at the time but there were several Watchers from the old regime who were very unhappy with the way we were running things. Some of them made deals with Angelus, gave out my email and phone number and my location.” She looked at him, her lips pursed in anger. “One of them would even take video or pictures, documenting my pain for him when he couldn’t be there hiding in the shadows to see it.” She handed him her phone, “I’ve never watched this one, it’s the morning I found Rayanne, he saved her for last. I don’t need to see it, I lived it.” She nodded at her phone, “When he sent it, I didn’t even open it. I just dropped it in an archive and it’s been there ever since.” She shook her head, “I highly recommend only opening the third video file, the one that says, ‘Are you broken yet?’ She met his eyes then, “The first two will be what he did to her. So, unless you feel like throwing up, I would skip those.” She gestured with her chin at the double doors. “I’ll be in there beating on a bag, meet me when you’re done.”
She turned without another word and went through the double doors not looking back. Clark looked down at the phone swallowing heavily, before opening the file. The video began with the image of the front of a house, not unlike the one they were in now, except there was a large tree in front and something very obviously dangling from it. It looked to be sometime in the middle of the night or perhaps early morning, but he couldn't tell either way due to the lights on the house illuminating everything.
The person carrying the camera ran towards the house and a refined British voice in distress yelled, "Ms. Summers, come quickly. I think it may be Miss Stevenson."
The front door flew open and there she was, except she looked nothing like she did now, her eyes were wild, feral even, and she was so pale and sucked up. She looked hollow, worn-down, nothing like the girl he’d spent the last couple of days getting to know. The scream that tore from her lips and the look on her face when she saw what was hanging from the tree, tore through him like a tidal wave of emotion. Clark felt himself growing angry at the Watcher, who was obviously playing both sides. Another man with bleached hair and nothing on but a pair of black jeans came flying through the door next, his eyes wild and worried.
The camera panned and followed Buffy as she ran out to the tree, falling to her knees and screaming again. Clark saw what was in the tree then and his stomach almost rebelled right then and there. It was a young girl, no older than sixteen and the only skin left on her body was on her beautiful face and near her pelvic region. The girl’s expression was frozen in a horrified scream that no one who cared ever had the chance to hear. A large white sheet wrapped itself tightly around the girl’s wrists and tied over the lowest branch, the excess linen draping behind the dead girl as some sort of sick backdrop silhouette for the body hanging lifelessly from the tree. There was hardly any blood to speak of, just a pinkish residue from where the body had touched the clean white linen, which told Clark she had been dead for more than a few hours. It wouldn’t be visible to a human through the recording, but because of his enhanced vision Clark could even see puncture wounds in places and deep gashes from where the girl had been restrained.
The blond man came into the picture then and the Watcher came towards them, circling around so he could see Buffy’s expression, or at least that’s what he assumed the person with the camera was doing. Buffy's mouth was open in silent gulping sobs, giant tears dripping down her cheeks.
“Love,” The blond man whispered in an apparent British accent not nearly as refined as the Watchers Clark had heard so far. The man fell to his knees behind her looking up at the tree. He shuddered as tears sprang to his electric blue eyes. “Don’t look Buffy…please kitten, please go back in the house.”
The man placed his hand on her shoulder, and Buffy turned at the gesture and Clark could no longer see her face as she flung herself into the man’s arms and began to sob harder. “It’s Ray,” she howled. “Oh god, it’s Ray.”
“Shh,” The blond man hushed, rubbing hands along her back in a comforting gesture. “I know,” He choked. “I know, love.”
“We…we can’t leave her like that.” She sobbed. “I-I have to get her down.”
Clark watched the blond man close his eyes and shake his head, “I’ll do it. Go back in the house, please Slayer.”
“No,” Buffy shook her head as Clark caught the silhouette of another man flying from the house and over to them. The sound of retching could be heard, and it took Clark a second to realize the sound came from whomever had just come from the house and seen the body. “It has to be me. Don’t you see, don’t you get it? I knew,” she sobbed. “I knew what he was doing to her and I didn’t do anything.”
“Oh, sweet girl, you’ve been trying to find her. We all have. This isn’t your fault.” The man choked.
“It’s not good enough,” She screamed, shoving away from him and falling on her rear, “And it is my fault, all of it! They were called because of me, because I was too chicken shit to just except the power that was offered to me!”
A sob broke from her lips, and she turned looking directly at the cameraman a sudden realization dawning in her hollow eyes. “You!” She snarled, her eyes flashing. “It’s you, isn’t it?” She started marching towards the cameraman.
“Ms.…Ms. Summers,” Whomever was holding the camera stuttered and then she was there, a well-aimed kick flying towards the camera before Clark saw sky for a few seconds.
“I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch!” She screamed suddenly hovering over the man, the wild fury in her eyes telling Clark that she had every intention of killing this man, and part of Clark couldn’t agree more. “No one else but an Angelus minion would have called me out here for Rayanne! Everyone else would know better!”
Clark watched as she threw a punch, the sickening sound of cartilage breaking ringing through the speaker as the guy howled in pain. The way her arms were angled next and the gurgling sound through the phone told him she was choking the man before three sets of arms suddenly grabbed her, pulling her off. Clark could hear the man wheeze as he tried to catch his breath while Buffy screamed and fought the three people who had pulled her away. Faith was one of them, and then the blond man, which Clark was pretty sure by now was Spike, and another man, tall, brunet, with an eyepatch. He saw Willow in the distance coming towards them and when she reached them, she touched Buffy’s shoulder before she could react and muttered a few words that sounded like Latin. Buffy suddenly collapsed and Clark realized Willow had put her to sleep. All eyes then turned towards the cameraman.
“Get her in the house, Xander.” Spike growled.
“Uh, Spike–” Xander started to say when Spike turned on him.
“Get her in the bloody fucking house, now!” He snarled, a sound like grinding bone emanating from the man as his voice altered to something more sinister. “I’m not going to kill him.” He said turning back towards the camera as two glowing amber eyes stared at Clark.
“Speak for yourself,” Faith said marching towards the man. “I’ve been getting those fucking emails too.”
“So have I,” Willow said, her eyes black as she stared the camera down.
“We won’t have to kill him,” Spike clarified as he fell in step with Faith. “Angelus will do that for us.”
“How you figure?” Faith asked, her eyes just as enraged as Buffy’s had been.
Spike suddenly sprung forward, his arm reaching out and a ripping sound emanated as the man screamed. His hand came back with what looked like a wad of hair. “This enough Red?”
“Plenty,” Willow said, sudden realization dawning in her black eyes.
“Now,” Spike said, a sinister grin stretching his fanged mouth, to the whimpering man. “The way I figure it, you got three options. The first being, you can go back to Angelus and give him this tape, at which point he finds out we now have a way to track you, and oh trust me Marcus, he will most definitely kill you for that.” Clark heard the man begin to sob, and part of him wanted to turn off the video at that point but couldn’t look away at the furious amber eyes that stared back at the camera. “Option number two, you can destroy the tape and run, which if we’re being honest would be the preferable of the three, but I’m sure you are well aware of the kind of wrath he would bring down on you if he didn’t get to see his almost masterpiece complete, so I’m sure you won’t.” Spike’s hand suddenly flew forward and the man screamed in pain, “Or option three,” He growled, “Where you run like a coward and keep the tape for leverage, hoping that your usefulness hasn’t run its course.”
He suddenly had the camera in his hands, staring directly into the screen his eyes burning into the lens. “Looks like your mole got ousted. This is your last one, Angelus. We’re coming for you and when we’re done there won’t be anything left.” The screen suddenly went black as the video cut off.
Clark let out a trembling breath looking around him and realizing he had slid to the floor at some point, his heart pounding in his chest. God, he didn’t know, he didn’t understand until that moment. That poor girl, no wonder Buffy was desperate. How many girls did she find like that before this one was left for her? How many videos did she force herself to endure before this one was sent, even Faith and Willow had said this wasn’t the first one? Clark squeezed his eyes shut, she had told him, so had Gunn but to see it. She was driven half-crazy by what that vampire had done and he could not blame her for that. What would he do if it was his mother in that position? God, he could only imagine.
He shakily got to his feet, listening as he heard the sound of a fist hitting leather, he walked to the doors and threw them open, not stopping when she paused to look at him. He had to reassure himself that she was okay, that she wasn’t that angry creature that he saw in the video. He went straight to her, his arms coming around her in a crushing embrace before his lips met hers. God, she was so strong, he didn’t realize how much until that moment. Buffy immediately melted into him, her lips parting for him as he slid his tongue into her mouth. She was such a small woman, everything about her was deceptively tiny, except her strength and fortitude both physically and emotionally. To go through what she had and still be able to function on a normal level was just short of a miracle.
He pulled away and looked down into her green eyes, haunted by her past but not dead and hateful like in the video. He bent down and laid his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. “I…” He started, “I didn’t…I’m so sorry Buffy.” He whispered, and he could still feel himself trembling. “I didn’t… You hear words like torture, rape, and murder but–”
“They’re not real until you see it for yourself.” She finished in understanding.
Clark sighed, hugging her closely, her head resting against his chest. “I get it now, not…but I understand how desperate you must have been to try and save the girls from that.”
He heard her sniffle, “I didn’t know what else to do. I watched all the others you know, even…even what he did to them. It was my fault, you see; those girls lost their lives because they had a connection to me.” She shook her head, “If they hadn’t been called, they would still be alive today.”
Clark pulled away and used his hand to raise her chin so he could see her eyes, “You blame yourself for every one of them that dies no matter how it happens, don’t you?”
She closed her eyes a shuddering breath hissing through her lips, before she opened them, meeting his gaze head on. “How can I not?”
He sighed, hugging her close again and shook his head. He had no response to that; he didn’t think she should. He didn’t think it was healthy, but he didn’t want to get in an argument about it with her right now either.
They stayed like that for a little while before she whispered, “You’re shaking.”
Clark nodded. “I know, the video…I’m still upset.”
She pulled away, meeting his eyes again. “Do you want me to show you how to throw a punch properly? The heavy bags have been warded well, we can start there.” She looked down, “It will…it will help relieve some of what you’re feeling at least.”
“Yeah,” He nodded in agreement. “Yeah, okay.”
To say Clark was a fast learner when it came to training would have been the understatement of the year. He was an absolute natural. He moved with precision and grace, sometimes striking so fast she almost didn't see him move.
As of now she was simply holding the bag for him as he got comfortable with the rhythm of landing punches and even with the wards on the bag, she could feel the impact of his strikes. At this rate she would need her suit within a few days to let him get the feel of fighting a moving target. At some point she might even bring him back to Cleveland to put him up against multiple fighters and see how he did.
"Remember to move your feet,” She reminded. "A moving target is harder to hit."
He nodded, bounced on the balls of his feet and struck, the impact of the punch making her bones rattle. "Whoa, nice one Clark." She laughed, "Felt that one in my toes."
He grinned, striking the bag again harder. "You were right," he said casually in between punches. "This does help."
She grinned, "Nothing like getting your aggression out with a bit of violence." And then she blushed, smirking, "Well almost nothing."
He chuckled as he threw a few more punches in quick succession, his own smirk forming on his lips. He had a mischievous look in his eyes and had just opened his mouth to comment when Buffy’s phone rang.
Buffy sighed, releasing the bag. "That will either be Wes or Willow."
It was now around three in the afternoon; Clark had told her he had to pick his mom up at six and it was an hour drive to Smallville from where they were. So, she was grateful that they were going to be able to get this taken care of before meeting his mom.
Buffy walked over to her phone and answered. "Hey Wes," she said in greeting. "What's the haps?"
He was silent for a moment and she could almost hear him roll his eyes at her butchering of the English language. "Willow," He began, "should be there shortly. Dawn would also like to see you. I told her I would call her once Willow was done securing the pendants."
Buffy frowned, “What? Why?”
“Dawn and I have come to the conclusion that one of the languages in the prophecy that I have been unable to identify, is most likely written in the script of Clark’s home world.” He paused, “We are going to need access to the ship, unless of course Clark can read it.”
Buffy looked at Clark and raised an eyebrow, but he quickly shook his head. “Only a few words,” He confirmed. “I think the computer on the ship might be able to translate it though.”
“That’s a negative, Wes,” Buffy answered, beginning to pace. “But he agrees that the computer on the ship should be able to do the job.”
“Very well, I’ll inform Dawn to dress accordingly. The ship is still in the same location I presume?” He asked.
“Whoa,” Buffy said halting her steps, realizing what he was suggesting. “You want us to go tonight? Clark has to pick up his mom from work, Wes.”
“I think it would be for the best. The sooner we get this prophecy translated, the better.” He paused. “Lorne told me I needed to send out more Slayers to India, Kansas, and Metropolis within the next two weeks and I would very much like to know if I should be sending two or a few hundred. If this prophecy gives any indication of what’s to come, I would very much like to know what it is.”
Buffy and Clark exchanged worried looks. “He only told me something was coming for Clark, and we’re gonna need all hands-on deck when it does.”
Buffy watched Clark swallow nervously. “He told me my time for hiding was almost up, but he said it was in the coming month.” His eyes widened in realization. “We need to translate that prophecy.”
Buffy nodded in agreement, “And I need to train you harder than just beating on a bag, which means it’s gonna be eight-hour days from here on out.” Clark opened his mouth to argue and she held up her hand, “We’ll get as much as we need to do in the mornings done, but if for whatever reason we can’t, I would loan you the money before I would let you lose your home.”
Clark frowned, “Buffy–”
“Take it from someone who knows what those kinda money troubles feel like,” She interrupted again. “I think in the scheme of things saving the world is a little more important than pride, don’t you?”
His frown deepened. “You think it’s going to be that big?”
“Lorne said all hands-on deck and it’s you. Someone coming after you has got to be as powerful, if not more.” She watched his face fall and reached out her hand out running it down his arm, “You’ll be ready, and now that we have a general idea of where this stuff might take place, we’ll all be even more prepared.”
“Wes,” she said, addressing the Watcher once more. “Were gonna need Willow to keep close, and I would call Illyria back from Cairo.”
“I agree,” Wesley said, just as a portal opened up and Willow walked through. Her smile melting away at the look on both Buffy and Clark’s faces.
“Uh-oh,” Willow said nervously. “I know that face.”
“Is that Willow?” Wesley asked over the line.
“Yeah,” Buffy said.
“Let me speak with her, please.”
Buffy held out the phone to Willow, who frowned but took it anyway. “Hey Wes,” Willow said in greeting as Buffy walked over to where Clark was standing looking more than a little worried.
“Hey,” she said quietly.
He attempted to smile but he couldn’t pull it off. “Hey, yourself.”
She bit her lip watching him, seeing the turmoil play across his face of having an unknown enemy out there that could be responsible for hurting others when they decided to rear their ugly heads. She didn’t blame him, if she needed to pull out her big guns as Lorne hinted then it could definitely get bad. She was optimistic however, because of what she’d had to face in her past. Clark didn’t have that same luxury.
“I-I know you’re not exactly used to going up against big bads, or having to fight gods,” she started. “But I promise you Clark, no matter what it is we’ll deal with it together. Tonight, I’ll have my sister meet us at your place and we’ll go to the ship and find out what this prophecy says. Whatever’s coming, we’ll deal. I promise you; we won’t lose.”
“How do you know?” He asked, a bit of hope showing in his eyes.
She stared at him seriously, “Because I don’t lose when it’s the world.”
His lips quirked slightly, and he opened his mouth to say something when Willow walked up to them. “Wes wants me to fit you for a suit,” She said to Clark, handing Buffy her phone before saying, “And, he wants to talk to you.”
As Buffy reached for the phone Clark said, “I already have a suit and it’s Kryptonian.”
Both Buffy and Willow blinked in surprise at his words, their voices ringing out in unison. “You do?”
He nodded, “Yeah, it’s on the ship still, but I have one.”
Willow smiled, “Well then, that’s gonna make this quicker. Can you bring it to me? I can enhance it with magic, add some safety features and protect you against the mystical.”
“Will that still work, even if the material isn’t of Earth?” He asked.
“Yeah Wes,” Buffy finally said into her phone, pulling herself away from the conversation. So, Clark already had a suit, she wondered what it looked like.
“So, for the time being I’m going to send fifty Slayers to each location, but keep the others on standby incase things go pear-shaped.” He said, already planning ahead. “I’ll also be moving quite a few closer to all three locations, that way all the girls have backup nearby. I think Willow should stay there at the safehouse that way she’s not far from either of you.”
“And Dawn, Xander, and the kids? They live in Metropolis after all.” Buffy asked.
“Perhaps you should explain the situation to her when she gets there. Staying there at the safe house with Willow might also be a wise move for them.” Wes said, adding, “As well as a few Slayers. I know Faith’s been itching to get out of Cleveland for a mission, maybe she and a few of the other girls should accompany her.”
“Just as long as it’s not Tanya, that girl’s a liability and she doesn’t listen to anyone.” Buffy said.
“I concur,” Wesley agreed. “Only the girls who are focused and dedicated will be allowed to participate in this mission. I would like as little casualties as possible.”
“I agree,” Buffy nodded, “What about the mystics, how many of those can we tap?”
“I have sixty-eight on file, I’ll start making phone calls now.” He sighed. “I’m just glad we have this much to go on.”
“Me too,” Buffy agreed. “I’ll call Dawn when Willow gets done here and tell her where to meet us and to put on her suit and a warm hat.”
“Very well,” he said. “Call me when you know more and I’ll begin the preparations.”
Buffy hung up, walking back over to Willow and Clark as they spoke to each other a bit awkwardly. “So, let’s get this over with Wills.”
Willow quickly nodded opening a small bag she brought with her. “So,” she said quickly. “These were a bit difficult to make since from what we’ve read the compulsion itself seems to be based purely on hormones as well as a need to unite your souls.” She looked at them both, “It took me a little while to find what I needed and even longer to put the spell together.” She sighed, “The pendants themselves will be made out of several crystals used to block compulsion, amethyst, ametrine, chrysocolla, and ruby.”
Willow pulled out two small corked vials filled with multicolored stones and handed them to both Buffy and Clark. “Now, hold out your hands and link your free ones together.”
Buffy and Clark did as she asked, holding their hands out palm up. Willow placed a vial in each of their hands and then covered them with her own hands, closing her eyes and beginning to chant. Buffy immediately began to feel her hand heat up and for a second it almost became unbearable and Buffy even watched Clark wince from the heat. It was gone just as quickly however and in its place were two hard looking marble like multicolored stones with a dark metallic chain that would hang from each of their necks. Buffy heard Willow mutter one more spell that she recognized to be a ward against breaking.
“Well go on.” Willow said smiling happily at her work. “Try them on, see if it worked.”
Buffy quickly slipped the necklace over her head and a sigh of relief left her lips. The sexual tension that had never fully abated her all day finally easing enough to where she wasn’t thinking about sex every few seconds.
Clark had a similar reaction, his face seeming to ease slightly, but Buffy was surprised when he turned to Willow and asked, “You said the compulsion is only based on hormones, does that mean any feeling we have that aren’t sexual are real?”
Willow nodded, “Of course, real love is something that can only be based off of free will. Its why love spells don’t ever work. You can’t force someone to love you.”
Buffy watched amused as Clark seemed to sigh in relief, and then quickly blushed when he noticed her watching him. “Come on stud,” she said hooking her arm through his and dragging him towards the door of the training room. “Let me go grab my stuff before we go get your mom,” a grin creeping over her face as she turned and wished Willow a good night and a promise to catch up tomorrow. “And for the record”, she added quietly as they walked out of the training room. “I still want to jump you, that hasn’t changed even with the necklace on.”
He quickly reached out to grab her arm, but she easily dodged him and took off down the hallway, a blush and a giggle leaving her lips.
Clark was suddenly there in front of her, a crooked and devilish smile on his lips. “Is that so?” And then his lips were on hers, his tongue sliding into her mouth as she squealed in surprise.