lady_yashka (lady_yashka) wrote,
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lady_yashka

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Seasons of Wither: Chapter Five

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.



The corridors were quiet as Buffy made her way towards the medical wing. Most of the younger slayers were in class, learning the fine art of demon killing. She was hopeful her luck would hold. She’d witnessed Dean’s workout that morning, his mood souring the room. He’d gone through his exercises by rote and hadn’t even cracked a smile when his brother had tripped over his own feet. When she’d left to take care of her duties, she’d spent the rest of the morning worrying.

Rounding the corner, Buffy slowed her steps, her brow wrinkling. She could hear Faith’s voice as it rang out from Dean’s room. It was low, and husky, and held the same tone she used when she’d spotted a guy to spend the evening with.

“I like you better.”

By contrast, Dean’s laugh was light and free, a mile from the morbid feel it had carried this morning. Leaning against the door and just out of sight, she heard his reply.

“Oh, really?”

His voice had lowered, filled with a distinct rumble Buffy would always associate with Michael. He laughed again, and her hand clenched around the doorknob. She released it before she could crush it. Dean’s voice carried the same sultry pleasure she was currently hearing in Faith’s.

“He once turned all of B’s clothes neon orange.”

Buffy felt her face heat up. Her eyes began to sting as Dean’s laugh reached her ears once more. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the knob again, plastered a smile on her face so fake it needed a stamp declaring it to be made in China, and pushed the door the rest of the way open.

“Hey, guys.” Her voice was just as bright and plastic as her smile.

“Hey, B,” Faith said, gazing over her shoulder, smirk firmly in place. “I was just tellin’ Winchester here about the apocalypse he slept through.”

Dean was settled back against the pillows, looking worn and so pale his skin color matched the sheets. His eyes though, caught Buffy by surprise. They were clear, bright, and reflected the weak smile he wore. Buffy took a steadying breath, and crossed her arms over her chest.

“There’s really not much to tell,” Buffy said. Faith snorted.

“B,” Faith drawled. “Outside of sinking Sunny D and killing the Beast, this was the only apocalypse I can remember that had some truly epic shit going down.”

“I remember some of it,” Dean muttered, eyes taking on a haunted look.

“You do?” Buffy asked. Faith shot her a warning glare. Buffy chose to ignore it.

“Yeah,” Dean sighed. “After Carthage, well, I decided to let Mikey handle the rest.”

“You were in Carthage?”

Dean shrugged and his voice hollowed. “We lost some good people there.”

“Well, that sucks,” Faith said, gaining his attention. She then stretched in her chair, tiny shirt riding up exposing toned skin. Dean’s eyes tracked her movements, and Faith smirked. “Though I can’t say I blame, ya, for skipping out” Faith said. “If I could’ve taken a vacation during the apocalypse, hell, I would have too.”

Dean snorted while trying to swallow some water and choked a bit when it went down wrong. It hadn’t helped that his eyes were still on Faith’s chest. “I didn’t know vacations involved an invasion of angelic body snatchers.”

“Faith,” Buffy interrupted, her tone catching both their attention. Faith rolled her eyes and stood, giving Dean a long, leisurely once over.

“Later, Winchester. Seems duty calls.”

“Nice meeting you, Faith,” Dean said, his eyes taking a similar route over Faith.

“Get some rest,” Buffy said her voice having lost its edge.

She followed Faith out of his room, closing the door behind her. No words were spoken as they passed the nurses station and entered the elevator. The doors closed and the car just started to move between floors when Faith’s hand shot out, hitting the stop button. A shrill alarm sounded as the elevator lurched to a stop.

“Faith!” Buffy gasped, reaching for the button. Faith knocked her hand away, and Buffy stared at her, half-angry and half-confused. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“There ain‘t a damn thing wrong with me,” Faith snapped. Her eyes narrowed and her posture became rigid. “I’m not the one acting like a jilted girlfriend.”

Buffy shook her head. “I just think he needs to focus on getting better. What he doesn’t need is a blow-by-blow account of the world nearly ending.”

“Damn it, Summers,” Faith snarled, running her fingers through her hair. “That’s not your decision! If the boy wants to have some fun and hear about the apocalypse, he will. He slept through half of it!”

“You call that fun? Listening to apocalyptic bedtime stories?” Buffy retorted. Faith settled on her back foot, hip jutting out with her arms crossed under her breast.

“For him? Yeah!” Faith answered matter-of-factly. “Fun is also flirting with anything with boobs, talking about his car, booze, food, and porn, too. You’d know that if you stopped looking for Michael every time you talked to him.”

“I do not--”

Faith closed her eyes and slashed her hand across the air in front of her in annoyance, cutting Buffy off. “He’s not Angel! This isn’t a case of soul or no soul. Michael was only wearing Dean, not the other way around.”

Buffy’s hand shot out, hitting the stop button, her breath coming in short, angry pants. The alarm silenced, and the elevator began moving once more. When they reach their floor, Buffy turned, face set in a stony mask.

“Leave him alone,” Buffy said. “Your idea of fun is the last thing he needs right now.”

She left the elevator before Faith could answer, her footsteps echoing in the long hallway as Faith’s words scorched her brain.

She spent the rest of the day in her office. Her inbox became empty for the first time, and her outbox was over flowing. She rearranged all her personal items—a plant Dawn had given her, a picture from last year’s Christmas party, and her favorite coffee mug. When she looked up, Buffy noticed it was nearing four o’clock in the afternoon. Right on cue, her legs started aching, and her back begged her to stand. Stretching out her tired muscles, Buffy grabbed her jacket and lunch before heading outside.

The sun warmed her skin and a gentle breeze tugged at her hair. Birds soared across the sky, and sang from leaf-covered branches. She finally managed to reach the pond a few minutes later. Luckily for her, no one was around and she was able to sink down onto the bench, sighing in achy relief as she did. Finally, some quiet where she could feel sorry for herself without anyone around to bitch at her for it.

The sound of shuffled footsteps reached her ears, and Buffy cursed. Turning her head, she cringed when she spotted Dean slowly making his way towards her. When he looked up, Buffy caught the surprise in his eyes and knew he hadn’t known she was there.

“Um, hey,” Dean said, leaning on his crutches. He looked down, and carefully ran one foot through the grass. “Didn’t think anyone would be out here.”

“Hi. Shouldn’t you be...” Buffy shrugged, waving a hand in his direction. “Well, you know. Resting?”

Dean laughed, and shook his head. “The walls started closing in on me.”

“How’d you get past Dr. Gellar?” Buffy asked curiously. A hint of jealousy tickled the back of her neck and she felt her mouth forming into a pout. Dr. Gellar never let her roam when injured.

“Okay,” Dean snickered, his humor making his eyes shine. “So I might have conned Sammy into covering for me.”

“How’d he manage that?”

“Are you kidding?” Dean laughed. “Have you seen the puppy dog eyes? He could make demons repent with that look.”

Buffy nodded, smiling despite her mood. “Ah, gotcha. All Dawn does is look at me like I’ve killed her puppy and she’s currently planning to do the same to mine.”

Dean laughed again, a low rumble that matched the grin on his face. He sounded so much like Michael then Buffy found herself wishing for a crisis so she could politely run off. Instead, she rooted around in her lunch, pulling out a container of yogurt and a spoon.

“She’s younger than you, right?” Dean asked, easy grin still in place. He came forward and settled down under the tree next to her bench. She could see the wince he tried to hide as he stretched his legs out before him. His crutches came to rest on his right.

“Yep,” Buffy said, popping the ‘p’ and darting her gaze to the ducks swimming in the pond. She ate a quick spoonful of yogurt. “She’s five years younger than me.”

“Sammy’s four years younger than me,” Dean added, his gaze also watching the ducks.

Buffy nodded, keeping silent. She ate more of her yogurt, her brain fighting for something to say. It remained stubbornly blank.

“This is awkward, isn’t it?” Dean asked, head leaning against the tree trunk, eyes still on the ducks.

Buffy paused midway through bringing another bite of yogurt to her lips, before giving a soft sigh. Taking the final bite, she put the spoon back into the container before putting it away. “Yeah, it is.”

“What was he like?” Dean looked at her, and Buffy turned a startled gaze his direction. “I don’t exactly remember all that much besides bright light, and even more bright light.”

“Oh,” Buffy said, feeling a bit better. “Michael was…”

“He wasn’t a dick was he?” Dean asked when she failed to continue. “Cause I met a few angels and let me tell you, ‘dick’ doesn’t even begin to describe some of their douchey behavior.”

Buffy couldn’t help the snort. “Whiny doesn’t really cover it either.”

Dean chuckled at her words. “Met Teenage Mutant Ninja Angel did, ya?”

“He sounded like he needed to be on Dr. Phil.”

“I always thought Jerry Springer was more appropriate,” Dean replied.

Buffy laughed. “Michael was just different. He was calm, confident, so sure of himself and his mission. Illyria liked him.”

Dean nodded, hiding his shudder by pulling his hoodie tighter around him. He’d met Illyria the other day. She’d let him know how saddened she was that Michael would not be returning.

“And later?”

“Very focused,” Buffy replied, “and especially so right before a fight. And he always got this weird confused look on his face whenever we’d crack jokes, like he couldn’t figure out why we were laughing when the world was about to get flushed.”

To her surprise, Dean laughed, long and loud. “Cas used to get that look on his face all the freaking time.”

“Cas?”

“Castiel,” Dean replied, a wide smile on his face. “Man he was a dick when we first met. Told me if I didn’t start showing some respect he’d toss my ass back where he found me.”

“He’s still around?” Buffy asked, and from the look Dean gave her, she’d failed to keep the hope out of her tone.

“He’s not coming back,” Dean told her firmly, his face filled with gentle understanding despite the blunt words. When she opened her mouth to speak, Dean raised a hand to stop her. “I’d have to let him back in, and to be perfectly honest, that’s not going to happen. Ever.”

“Cas-” Buffy started, stopping as Dean shook his head.

“Cas is a special case,” Dean answered. “He died trying to help me prevent all of this, and when he got brought back, Jimmy wasn’t with him.”

“Oh.”

She stayed silent while Dean stood, struggling to get his crutches under his arms. She didn’t try to help, and he didn’t ask. She just kept staring at her hands, her chest feeling like it was cracking open.

“I’m sorry.” Dean’s voice brought her head up. He wasn’t looking at her. “When I said yes, I didn’t think I’d be coming back. I knew what happened to the vessels of archangels, and Michael, well…we all thought I wouldn't survive if I said yes. So I’m sorry you lost him. I’m not sorry to be back.”

Quiet settled over them, stealing what little comfort there had been.

Chapter Six
Tags: big bang, seasons of wither
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