Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or anything DC.

A/N: So I finally got around to getting some new DVDs for my son. He's really into Robin right now, right? So we picked up some Young Justice. And the whole Superman treating Superboy like he does in the first few episodes just kinda pissed me off. I'm only up to the sixth episode in the first season, though. I do know that Superman reconciles his issues at some point in the future, but this popped into my head and wouldn't leave. Not that happy with it, but it is what it is.

This takes place during The Gift for Buffy, and within those first six or so episodes for YJ.

Family of Choice

The Justice League got the information too late. Young Justice was dispatched to see if they could help at all, with the JLA following right behind them. Superboy landed atop a rickety tower with his trademark slam landing, nearly destabilizing the whole construct. A blonde raced to the top where a brunette was tied. The blonde was too late to prevent the younger girl from being cut, and Superboy watched as the shorter one spoke with what was obviously family. He turned away in bitterness, watching Superman fly in and ignore him once again.

Buffy caught the young boy's expression and the barely concealed rage as he looked upon the man whose shield he wore. She didn't know that Superman had a son – it was news to her –, but she could recognize the emotions behind the teen's look. It was a look she'd worn many times since moving to Sunnydale. The Man of Steel was hovering near the portal, ignoring the young man who was so obviously related. She sighed and figured she could afford one more stop on her way off the edge; after all, that was a dragon that just came through. It ought to keep the flying man busy for a minute. So she stopped next to the anguished man-child and rested a hand on his shoulder. He immediately shrugged it off.

"Look. I don't know you, and you don't know me. But a word of advice for you, okay? You don't need Superman." She didn't care that Superman could probably hear her. This boy was in enough pain that was apparently caused by the red and blue costumed man that she could care less if she caused him any.

"You don't know what you're talking about," Superboy said.

"I do, actually. I've got a dead-beat dad who couldn't bother to be there for me when I needed him most. So I found a new one. Family isn't always blood. Those people down there, at the bottom of this god-forsaken tower? We're not related at all. But they're my family. Find your own. Don't let someone who's got more time for strangers than for you rule or ruin your life. You have a team, right? Let them be your family. Life is pretty short, you know? I'm at the end of mine, after all. Don't worry too much about his approval. You're good enough as you are. So go, find your family. Just do me one favor; that girl there is my sister. Make sure she stays safe."

Her piece said, Buffy made it to the end of the platform and took a dive into the crackling portal below. With her body crashing to the ground at the base of the tower, the portal closed and all the wee beasties stopped flooding the area. And Superboy helped the girl down, not once looking in the direction of the man whose DNA was used to create him. On the way down – he decided against rattling the bones of the already distressed girl – he found out that Buffy was Dawn's older sister. Dawn's blood had to be used to open the portal, and also to close it. He also learned that Dawn was made from Buffy – magically, unlike him, but they did have that in common – and so Buffy sacrificed herself so Dawn could live. Because that's what family did. Dawn said that any one of the people waiting down below for her would have done the same if they could. And Superboy realized something. He had a family. He had Robin and M'gann and Aqualad and Kid Flash and Red Tornado. He didn't need Superman.

Word Count: 619

9 May 2012