Author: AG (That would be moi!)
Summary: A Queen returns home to save... a Queen?
Disclaimer: Smallville and all related characters are copyright Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, DC & The CW Network. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended. I own nothing!
Notes: I have no idea what's up with my muse but ever since I got ill she's done nothing but make me write this fic. Big love and thankies to Akat and her awesome beta skills.
It had to be all business; she couldn’t make this personal.
Buffy stood and looked up at the building before her; it still looked the same. She remembered the last time she saw it; it was the day she had left Metropolis -- the last time she saw him.
She had to thank Willow for being able to get her back here in quick time and without asking questions; she knew Buffy had been desperate to have asked at all. Faith, on the other hand, had wanted to come with her but understood that Buffy had to do this on her own… she just didn’t have to be happy about it.
“Well, time to get this over and done with,” Buffy sighed deeply. Pulling her coat around herself tightly, she made her way inside.
“He’s going to kill you and then he’s going to kill me… and I didn’t even call her! All I did was walk in and overhear you, but he won’t care… nope, I’m a dead man,” Bart Allen rambled as he paced back and forth behind Chloe, his hand constantly running through his hair. He was panicking, and it wasn’t because Oliver was missing; now he actually considered the fact that Oliver was missing to be the best scenario. At least then he couldn’t kill the both of them.
Chloe held back a laugh. “Did you know that you talk almost as fast as you run?”
Bart stopped pacing and faced her. “Not funny ‘licious. You know this is the last thing he would have wanted!”
Sighing, Chloe turned back towards the numerous computer screens behind her. She knew what making that phone call would mean, but she had no other choice -- no one could find him. They had searched the entire planet and there was no trace of him. It was now twelve hours since he had vanished from patrol and they still had no information.
“Oliver doesn’t always know what’s good for him. Besides, if we can’t find him then maybe she can.”
“How? Tell me how Buffy can find Oliver when we can’t?” Bart questioned her. He had been continually asking her this since he walked in on her calling Buffy, and no matter what she told him, he still wasn’t happy with the answer.
Chloe turned to face Bart again. “I told you, she has… other ways of finding people.” Bart gave her a sceptical look, which made her frown. “Don’t look at me like that! Wouldn’t you rather we try everything we can to get him back?”
Bart nodded solemnly, “Yeah, but not like this. She shouldn’t have to come back like this.”
“Then she would never have come back,” Chloe pointed out.
Bart shrugged and shook his head, “You don’t know that.”
“Yes, I do. It’s been two years, Bart. She was never coming back.”
“You can think what you want, but we optimists like to think a little differently.”
“Yeah, and we realists do, too.”
Bart was about to retort when they both heard the elevator doors opening behind them. They both froze; then Bart made sure that Chloe was safely behind him before making his way to the elevator, silently berating himself that he hadn’t heard anyone coming up whilst he was arguing with Chloe. Peering around the corner, he caught sight of black heeled boots, dark tight jeans and a long black jacket. The intruder had their back to him so all he could really see was long, blonde curly hair; her voice gave her away, though.
“Hello?” he heard her call out. “You do know it’s rude to not greet your guests!”
He smiled. Yep, that was definitely the Buffy he remembered.
Bart carefully stepped out from around the corner, coming up behind her to say hello. Before he could speak, however, she spun and grabbed him around the throat.
“Buff, Buff, it’s me Bart,” he choked out. He felt the grip around his throat loosen.
“Bart?” She stepped back away from him, shock in her eyes. “I’m sorry! Are you ok?”
“Yeah. I guess rule number one is never sneak up on a slayer. Damn, you are fast, Buff!” Bart gently rubbed his throat. “Strong too.”
Before Buffy could apologise again, she felt another presence behind her. Turning, she came face to face with Chloe, and she was sad to see that this wasn’t the same woman she had been close with all those years ago. No, she could see that this Chloe was a little harder around the edges.
“Hi,” Chloe smiled weakly.
“Hey, yourself,” Buffy smiled back, a bit hesitantly.
“Wow, with all the awkwardness in this room, you would think you’ve been gone two years, Buff,” Bart joked, as he stood between the two.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “And here’s me thinking you missed me,” she said dryly.
“We all did.” Chloe said.
Buffy gulped; she hadn’t been expecting that answer. After all, she had left two years ago without a backwards glance. She hadn’t meant to stay away for so long, but as time passed it had gotten easier to think they were better off without her, that he was better off.
Giving herself a mental shake, Buffy eyed Chloe. “You didn’t ask me here to remember the good times. What’s happened and why do you think I can help?”
Chloe gestured for Buffy to follow her. “It was a routine patrol, nothing out of the ordinary. Oliver…” Chloe glanced at Buffy, noting the flicker of emotion crossing her features. “He was on his way back here when he suddenly just disappeared. His comm went down right after that, then his GPS.”
“You wouldn’t be calling me if this was a simple disappearance. What else?” Buffy asked, eyeing the screens in front of her.
“I have everyone canvassing his last known location but it’s clean, no evidence of any kind that anything even happened there. Whoever… whatever took him has made it impossible for any of us to track him. I called you as you may be able to help,” Chloe explained. “This isn’t normal for us. We always have something, some piece of the puzzle that we can work with, but this time there’s nothing. It’s as if he was there one minute and then gone the next.”
“If you can’t find him with all your gizmos and gadgets, then pray tell, how do you expect me to?” Buffy questioned.
“I hacked your file,” Chloe confessed. She paused for a moment, seeing Buffy’s eyes narrow. “All of it,” she finished.
“And now you think you know everything about me? Is that it?” Buffy replied harshly.
Chloe shook her head. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say your file probably doesn’t do you justice, but it did say that you were experienced with…magic.”
Buffy tried hard not to laugh; so that’s why she had been asked to come back. “I don’t do magic, but I’ve had my ass kicked by it more times than I care to remember. Why would you think magic could find him?”
“Nothing else has worked.”
Buffy sighed; she knew Chloe would have tried everything before even contemplating calling her. The fact that she had came help was testament that she still cared about them.
“You don’t know what you are asking for, Chloe. It’s not easy as you think it is,” Buffy warned her.
“Why do you think I called you?” Chloe shouted, her frustration at the current situation finally showing.
“Do I look like Glinda the good witch to you, Chloe? Sorry, but there’s no magic wand. I can’t just cast a spell and poof Ollie just appears out of nowhere,” Buffy bit back before letting out a small gasp; she’d slipped up and finally said his name. Dammit! Keeping it all business just flew right out the window.
“Then what do you suggest, Queen of the Slayers?” Chloe smirked, not even trying to hide her sarcasm.
“Guys, I think you may want to take this,” Bart interrupted. He handed Chloe her cell phone. “I suppose you didn’t hear it over all the yelling,” he commented, shrinking back when both women glared at him.
Buffy watched as Chloe typed something on the computer. “Hello?” she asked out loud.
“Chloe Sullivan, it’s a pleasure.” A distorted voice echoed around them.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“Does it really matter?”
“It does if you don’t want me to hang up.”
“Then how are you going to save your little green friend?”
Buffy snorted, causing Chloe to glare at her. “What?” Buffy said defensively. “Would you really describe him as ‘little’?”
“And who are you?” The voice sounded intrigued at having a new player in his or her little game.
Buffy watched as Chloe began to type furiously on the keyboard. Bart pointed to the screen so she could see that Chloe was trying to locate where the call was coming from; he then motioned for her to keep the mysterious person talking. Buffy nodded in understanding.
“You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine,” she offered blithely.
When the voice spoke again, she could detect they were smiling.
“Nice try, I like you.”
“I’m touched, really. Now where is he?” Buffy asked.
“And why should I tell you? What are you going to do for me?”
Chloe and Bart could only watch in fascination as Buffy continued to talk to the mysterious voice, her demeanour calm as she paced back and forth.
“How about a trade, him for me?” Buffy proposed, her voice neutral.
A laugh echoed through Watchtower. Bart grabbed Buffy’s arm, he shook his head and mouthed ‘no’.
“You? What makes you so special?”
“Look me up. Slayer, comma, the.”
“There are hundreds of slayers. So I’ll ask again, what make you so special?”
Buffy stopped pacing, surprise evident on her face. He knows about slayers?
“I’m the original,” she stated.
An eerie silence fell upon them as the person on the other end of the comm contemplated the deal that had been laid on the table.
“You can’t do this. I didn’t ask you to come here to do this,” Chloe whispered. She was still concentrating on the computer screens.
“You asked me to help him, so I am. Can you think of any better ideas?” Buffy whispered back.
“If anything happened to you, he’d never forgive me.”
Bart watched as Buffy looked away, lost in her own thoughts.
“He won’t know,” she said simply. Then she turned to look from Chloe to Bart. “You never called me, I was never here. Do you understand?”
Chloe and Bart exchanged looks before they both nodded in agreement; they could see Buffy had her mind set and nothing they could have done or said would change it.
Just then, the voice came back, having made up his or her mind.
“You have a deal, Slayer. Coordinates have been sent to Miss Sullivan. Come alone.”
Chloe’s cellphone beeped, signifying that it had received a message. Chloe picked it up and gave it a quick glance before handing it to Buffy. Buffy read the information as she asked, “And your end of the bargain?”
“It will be kept.”
Buffy let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding.
Looking to Chloe, she saw the blonde shake her head to indicate that she hadn’t been successful in finding anything. Her head snapped up when the voice spoke up again.
“Before I go, do I finally get to know the name of the woman trading herself for Oliver Queen?”
“Buffy Summers…” She gave Chloe and Bart one last glance. “Queen.”