lady_yashka (lady_yashka) wrote,
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Seasons of Wither: Chapter Four

Title: Seasons of Wither
Author(s): lady_yashka
Artist: lightthesparks
Crossover: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Disclaimer: I do not own either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural.
Type: Het
Word Count: 19,565
Characters/Pairings: Buffy/Michael, Dean, Sam, Castiel, Bobby, Gabriel, Zachariah, Lucifer, Willow, Dawn, Faith, Xander, and Giles
Warnings: Character death
Spoilers: Spoilers through My Bloody Valentine. Some dialogue from various episodes is also used.
Summary:The war is over, and with the help of the slayers, the world is safe once more. Now, three months later the man Buffy only knew as the archangel Michael, is waking up.
Author’s Notes:First off I'd like to thank both moragmacpherson and aj_hofacre for all their help. Any mistakes left are all mine. I'd also like to thank lightthesparks for her wonderful artwork. And finally, I'd like to thank the mods of sncross_bigbang for hosting this challenge.



There were bodies all over the diner. They had been there long enough that the heater had helped the flies find comfortable places to swarm. A tray half full of ground meat rested on the floor next to a booth. Buffy had to wrinkle her nose up at the smell and the state in which the bodies had been left in. Food was packed in open mouths, smeared over blank faces, and down shirt fronts. A few bodies were surrounded by empty liquor bottles, and one woman, laying face up behind the counter, had hundreds of dollars stuffed into her shirt.

Michael walked around the dining area, gently lifting heads, sniffing various drinks, and disappearing briefly into the kitchen before coming back to Buffy’s side.

“What happened here?” Buffy asked her voice unnaturally loud among the dead. She winced and refused to think of the half-fried man lying in the back.

“Famine was here,” Michael replied. A curious look crossed his face. “But he’s been banished. I wonder how…”

“What do you mean famine? Are you talking big bad demon, or something else?” Buffy asked. Michael nudged a body with his foot. It was one of four that were dressed in identical suits and ties.

“Famine is not a demon,” Michael said. He leveled a steady gaze at her. “He’s a Horseman. One of four.”

The Slayer frowned at her companion. “One of four horsemen... One of –” Her brows shot up in sudden realization, and as she locked eyes with Michael, Buffy paled. “They’re real? The Four Horsemen are real?”

“Yes.” Michael bent down and rolled one of the suit wearing bodies over. He studied the dead man’s face, brow furrowing in thought. “And there were demons with him.”

“But…” Buffy’s voice trailed off.

“He exploits humanity’s hunger for food, wealth, love, anything that can physically or emotionally be filled,” Michael elaborated, staring down at the Slayer blankly.

A green tinge colored Buffy’s cheeks. “You mean like the couple who…ate each other?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, ew!” Buffy groaned her nose wrinkling again and eyes scrunching up.

Michael stood, ignoring Buffy’s disgust. He lifted one arm and spoke softly in a language Buffy didn’t understand. Suddenly a man wearing nothing stood before them, a confused look on his face.

“Michael,” the man’s eyes widened, darting round the dinner. “Why did you call me?”

“You are assigned to this city, correct?” Michael asked. The man nodded, hands coming up to rest against his chest.

“Yes.”

“What happened here?”

The man took a step back, and his bottom lip began to tremble. Despite his creepy appearance Buffy felt sorry for him. It was like watching someone scold an overweight puppy.

“He means with Famine,” Buffy clarified, drawing the man’s attention.

“Oh,” the man sighed in relief. “Castiel and a friend of his took care of him.”

“Really?”

“Yeah!” The man nodded eagerly, a grin spreading across his face. “They were really nice.”

“Thank you, Cupid,” Michael replied and the man vanished. Buffy eyed where Cupid had been standing, her jaw dropping open in disbelief.

Cupid? Buffy mouthed, her eyebrows furrowing. A shudder ran through her body. Definitely didn’t want to see him again. Looking at Michael, she heaved a sigh and inquired, “So, now what?”

“Now we find Raphael.” Michael raised a hand, snapping his fingers. The bodies vanished, the flies gone with the smell. The whole place looked like a professional cleaning crew hand spent days scrubbing every corner of the building. Taking a marker from the counter, Michael quickly drew a series of symbols on the floor before standing. He spoke in the same language as before, though this time he lowered his head and closed his eyes.

A tall, dark- skinned man appeared in a shower of sparks and lightning. His movements seemed measured, as if the form he presented could not contain the power within. Buffy was a bit awestruck. Then he spoke and she began to think that perhaps all angels were in desperate need of a Halls cough drop.

“Michael,” Raphael greeted. There was an odd look on his face as he watched Michael--one Buffy wasn’t quite sure how to identify.

“Raphael,” Michael said with a slight nod of his head.

“Why have you brought the Slayers into battle?” Raphael asked, briefly glancing in her direction. “They are not needed.”

Michael’s face hardened. “Not even we can be in two places at once, Raphael.”

“Why are you not fighting Lucifer?”

“In due time,” Michael replied, taking a few steps towards the other angel. “I wish to gather us together. There are battles I can’t fight, battles the Slayers can’t handle.”

“You wish to save this world?” Raphael tilted his head and Buffy swore she heard disgust coloring his tone. Her awe of the archangel died a fiery death.

“Yes.”

“But why?”

Michael looked at Raphael and if he had been human, Buffy just knew he would have rolled his eyes. “This world and these humans are our Father’s creation. It is what He wanted.”

“They do not deserve to be saved,” Raphael snapped.

“Raphael-”

“No, Michael,” Raphael interrupted as he stalked forward.. “They do not deserve our mercy, and with our Father gone-”

“Wait a minute,” Buffy said, bringing their attention to her. “Since when do you get to decide when the world ends?”

“Since our Father disappeared,” Raphael growled.

“So Daddy’s gone, and you decide the end of the world is a good idea? Buffy asked incredulously, her eyebrows hitting her hairline. “What are you, twelve?”

“You don’t understand,” Raphael snarled.

“Then start with the explaining,” Buffy countered, narrowing her eyes and clenching her jaw tightly as she focused on the archangel.

“We are tired,” Raphael said, a desperation filling his voice. “We just want it to be over. We just want it to be... paradise.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and snorted. He whined worse than Dawn had at fourteen. “That’s what heaven is there for!”

“Raphael,” Michael broke in, an icy calm coating his words. “Gather the others. That is an order.” And despite the low, relaxed cadences of his voice, Buffy flinched as she heard the underlying wrath. Clearly, Raphael had heard it as well.

“Of course,” Raphael replied, his lips pressed tightly together. With a low bow, he turned and disappeared in a flash of lightening. Buffy barely resisted the urge to stick her tongue out at the space he had formerly occupied.

She turned and glanced up at Michael, catching a glimpse of something that looked like sadness lingering in his eyes. Any admonishments she’d been prepared to let loose in the aftermath of meeting his brother fled. Instead, she blinked once, and then averted her eyes from him, choosing instead to hold her tongue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day, while going over research in the Council’s War Room, a tall man wearing an expensive suit and tie showed up. His thinning gray hair was closely cropped and neatly styled. He was taller than Michael as well and the look he cast Michael was infinitely smug. He oozed smarmy attitude and the smile he wore made Buffy feel uneasy. She wanted to introduce him to her scythe but Michael had already told her it was useless on angels.

“Michael.” His faux-cheerful voice was as unctuous as an oil spill.

“Zachariah.” Michael’s voice dropped lower than Buffy had ever heard it. His sword was resting on the table, holding down one side of the map they were looking at, and to Buffy’s brief surprise, he casually moved his hand, letting it lay over the hilt. “You’ve spoken to Raphael, I take it.”

“I’m surprised at you, Michael,” Zachariah said, ignoring Michael’s words. He lowered his head, shaking it as if disappointed. “I thought you would have been a bit more eager to fulfill your duty.”

“If you recall correctly, I do not take orders from you, Zachariah,” Michael replied, lifting his chin and narrowing his eyes.

“I never would have suggested such a thing,” Zachariah denied. “I just figured you’d-”

“Toe the line you and Raphael have created?” Michael asked, head tilting to one side. “I follow our Father’s orders, and I’ll perform the duty He set out for me.”

“Michael-”

“Are you going to fight me on this, Zachariah? Because I can guarantee you will not win.”

Zachariah’s face closed. All pretence at civility dropped from his manners. “The others will not go along with this.”

“Then they will be dealt with in the same manner as Lucifer,” Michael replied.

“Michael,” Zachariah sighed, taking a few steps forward. “The prophecies-“

“Goodbye, Zachariah,” Michael cut in, raising his hand and snapping his fingers. Zachariah was gone before Buffy could blink.

“Why that--” Buffy growled as she kicked the table. “What’s his problem anyway?”

Michael’s eyes showed his amusement. “Zachariah believes he is the one in charge.”

“He reminds me of my old Principal, Snyder,” Buffy grumbled as she sank down into a chair. “You should totally smite him.”

Michael laughed, startling Buffy. It was low and soft, and caused the butterflies in her stomach to take flight.

“Zachariah has his uses,” Michael said, still chuckling. “For now though, we must concentrate on stopping Pestilence.”

Ignoring the sensation, Buffy leaned forward, eyes on the map. “So where is ‘Ol Pesty going to strike next?”

Michael looked up at her words, a small grin still on his face. “You have a very odd way of seeing things.”

“I’m told it’s a gift.”

“I find it refreshing.”

Buffy ducked her head, her cheeks taking on deep pink hue. Her words stumbled over themselves when she tried to speak. “I, um, I-- I think I heard the news talking about weird illnesses in Oregon. We could start looking there.” Her smile stretched her cheeks, and she prayed he would follow her subject change. The look she received let her know he had not been fooled, but was allowing her this anyway.

“I think you may be right,” Michael replied. He closed his eyes briefly and placed his hand on his chin. “And... I think I’ll get Zachariah to check it out.”

Buffy choked on her laughter.

Chapter Five
Tags: big bang, seasons of wither
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