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

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.



When Buffy entered the gym, she spotted Castiel leaning against the wall, his vivid blue eyes tracking Sam and Dean’s movements carefully. The brothers were taking advantage of the gym being nearly empty, using the equipment for a basic workout. Dean was carefully working his way through some parallel bars, making his weak legs move one shuffling step at a time. Sam stood at the other end. They were trading insults, wide grins on their sweat-covered faces. When Dean began to falter, Sam proceeded to question Dean’s masculinity. Dean’s face hardened with the promise of revenge. The laughter coloring his tone belied his words, but he kept moving, slowly making it to where Sam stood. He then promptly kicked Sam in the shins, laughing as his little brother yelped and went down.

Castiel never said anything, just kept his gaze on the brothers. The few slayers who were there kept their eyes on Castiel. Even with Sam and Dean present, (and Buffy knew more than a few slayers had crushes on them), Castiel still drew their gaze. The body he wore was human, but he was not. Most of the slayers remembered Michael, though they had not spent a lot of time with him. But for them, Castiel was present in a way that Michael never was – he was easier to approach, though he could easily scare off anyone too curious. He smiled a good deal more than Michael did, and he didn’t hold himself as if he was above anyone. He was unfailingly polite with almost everyone, the exceptions being Sam and Dean. Since she’d already heard the brothel story, she had some idea why that was. They were his friends and he saw them as equals, unlike Michael who saw troops to command. In the end, Buffy wasn’t sure what to make of him.

When she cleared her throat, he turned showing nothing but polite interest. “Yes?’

“Um,” Buffy started, her voice faltering a bit. “C–Can I speak with you?”

Castiel nodded kindly. “You may.”

“Outside? Please.” She gestured towards the door. Castiel cast one last glance towards Sam and Dean, as though assuring himself of their safety and continued existence, before following Buffy from the gym. The hallway was empty, and with the door closed Buffy couldn’t hear any noise from within. Castiel stood near the window, keeping watch.

“What is it you wish to speak of?”

“This whole vessel thing... how does it work?”

His expression softened. “Certain people, special people, are able to house an angel’s essence. Some are better able to than others.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Jimmy.” Castiel paused as he said the name. “He was able to house me with little harm done. I am a soldier, I received orders and I carried them out. Others, like Dean, are stronger. They can house the essence of an archangel, though most do not survive the experience unharmed.”

“Who would these people be?” Buffy asked leaning against the wall.

Castiel let his gaze drift. “I know Dean has told you some things.” At this Castiel sought her eyes. “People of a certain blood line are able to perform this task. Normal people, like you, would never be able to withstand the presence of an angel, much less an archangel.”

She frowned in confusion, shaking her head. “I don’t understand, Castiel. I’m a slayer... That pretty much means I’m not normal, doesn’t?”

“That is, perhaps, true,” Castiel conceded. “But you are not a vessel.”

“You said people don’t survive possession by archangels,” Buffy quoted him, looking uncomfortable.

“They usually don’t,” Castiel replied. “Dean’s recovery more than likely has to do with the fact he is Michael’s true vessel.”

Buffy frowned and wrapped her arms over her chest. “So he’s Michael’s only vessel.”

“No,” Castiel said. His voice was gentle. “There are others, but they would not survive Michael’s presence for long.”

“Oh.”

A gentle hand briefly landed on her shoulder. “I am sorry you mourn his absence.”

Buffy nodded, taking a deep breath and swallowing her emotions. “He’s not gone. He just went home.”

Castiel tiled his head slightly. “But he is not with you, and this causes you heartache.”

“Dean has his life back.” Buffy let loose a shaky breath before taking a step back. “That’s all that matters.”

“You don’t mean that,” Castiel said. His tone wasn’t harsh, nor was he accusatory. He was simply stating a fact. “Though I do not wish you pain, I can’t help but be happy that Dean is okay.”

“I hate him sometimes,” Buffy whispered, looking appropriately horrified at the words that had escaped her lips. Her eyes drifted towards the window in the door. Dean and Sam were now sitting on one of the workout benches, drinking water and laughing.

“I understand,” Castiel murmured. Buffy brought wide eyes up. “Amelia is not very fond of me either.”

“Who’s Amelia?”

“Jimmy’s wife.”

Buffy gave a hollow laugh. “We’re a pair, aren’t we, Cas?”

“What do you mean by this?”

Buffy’s smile was bitter. “You’re stuck with the body of her dead husband, and Dean owns the body of the angel I love.”

Castiel was silent as she returned her gaze to the two brothers. As Buffy’s eyes alighted upon Dean, her guilt and bitterness at hating him for who he was abruptly swam upwards, and she ducked her head in shame. She couldn’t begrudge him his happiness... even if it was at the cost of her own.

Feeling a gentle hand grip her shoulder, Buffy looked up. Castiel’s expression was kind and filled with a sympathy she felt she didn’t deserve. Her lower lip trembled and she stubbornly refused to let the tears in her eyes fall. When his arm wrapped around her, she buried her face into his shoulder. Catching a familiar scent, his clothes carried the same scent of cheap fabric softener that Michael’s had, she couldn’t stop her paper thin barrier from crumbling and she finally let the tears fall.

“Then we indeed are a pair.”

Chapter Ten
Tags: big bang, seasons of wither
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