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Seasons of Wither

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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.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: OtherLadyYashkaFR131120,066112012,20618 May 1018 May 10Yes

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: I do not own either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural.
Type: Het
Word Count: 19,565
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.

Buffy swiped her hand across her forehead. Mud and gore streaked across her skin and fantasies of long showers with scalding hot water danced in her head. This was the fourth time in a month some demon had tried to open the Hellmouth. They had been lucky today. Only a few were injured, and they were nothing serious. Buffy had thought that with the influx of new slayers things would get better. She had been wrong. Demonic omens were at an all time high, and after the disaster in Carthage, Missouri, Buffy had a feeling things were only going to get much worse.

“Go round up the girls,” Buffy said to one of the other slayers. “We’re done here for now.”

The slayer nodded and ran off leaving Buffy standing before the dead shell of a demon. Scowling, Buffy kicked at the corpse.

“Stupid demons,” Buffy grumbled her lips dropping into a pout. “I had plans you know.”

“Slayer, we need to talk.” The voice behind her was low, rough, and commanding. It sent shivers down her spin and made the hair on her neck stand. Turning, scythe clench in her hands, she found a man standing a few feet from her, his green eyes focused solely on her.

“Sure we do,” Buffy said, bouncing on her toes. “Just tell me your name so I know who I’m slaying.” The man’s face went cold. His eyes appeared to fill with fire. He took a few steps forward, causing Buffy to take a few back. “Well, if you’re in a hurry to get sliced and diced…”

“I’m no demon,” the man said, stopping his progress. Thunder rumbled overhead, the sky darkened. When lightning flashed, Buffy caught a glimpse of fiery wings stretching out from the man’s back. Her eyes widened and she sucked in a deep breath, her stomach sinking well past her toes.

“What are you?”

He raised his head, seemingly getting taller, and filling her line of sight. “I am Michael, and I’m an angel of the Lord.”

Buffy swallowed, nodding her head. ““An – an angel of the Lord…named Michael? As in...the Archangel Michael?”

“Yes.”

“Well, this is new.”

Michael came forward. Now he was barely out of arms reach. Buffy shifted, taking in his appearance. He was not exactly what Buffy had always pictured angels to look like. His hair was short; he wore a plain t-shirt with a green button up shirt and a battered leather jacket over top. His jeans were worn, small holes already beginning in one knee. His boots looked sturdy and likely to contain a bit of steel. At a casual glance, the sword slung across his back was the only thing setting him apart from the rest of humanity. When Buffy looked into his eyes, however, she knew he was something other than human. Only Illyria had eyes like Michael, but at least she had the appearance to match it, most of the time.

“This is important,” Michael said. The power and conviction in his voice made Buffy grip the scythe tighter.

“So speak,” Buffy said, falling back on her old friend sarcasm.

“I require your assistance,” Michael said. He completely ignored her tone. Buffy let loose a sigh.

“Let me guess, the world is ending again,” Buffy replied with a roll of her eyes. “And you want me to save it.”

“No,” Michael said brief and to the point. Buffy’s eyebrows shot up and her jaw dropped.

“Then you’re here why?”

“Your scythe will be more effective against the demons crawling out of their dungeon,” Michael replied. “These battles I can’t attend to.”

“You want me to play back up to your general.”

Michael just stared at her, saying nothing for several long minutes. Then he raised his chin slightly, somehow emphasizing his larger size even more. “You will help. It’s what you do.”

Buffy settled one hand against her hip and favored Michael with a glare. “Look, I know you’re probably new to humanity, but when most people want something, they usually say things like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.”

“I am not most people,” Michael said with a small grin. “And you are the Slayer. It is your duty to help.”

“I know,” Buffy said. “I read the mission statement.”

“Good.” Michael reached out a hand, gently pressing two fingers to her forehead. When she had finished blinking, Buffy found herself standing in the Council War Room; those who were sitting around the table stared at them with open mouths and wide eyes. Giles stood, eyes darting from Buffy to Michael in alarm, his hand wrapped around one of his dusty books. He looked as if he were regretfully contemplating throwing it at Michael, just in case he was evil. Plastering a wide grin on her face, Buffy widened her eyes innocently, and focused on Giles.

“Hey, Giles! Guess, what,” Buffy said, sounding like the Valley Girl she still was. “The world’s ending!”

“Oh, dear Lord.”

“So who’s Mr. There-Can-Be-Only-One over there?” Xander asked. He was standing slightly behind Giles and looked as if fleeing was becoming a temptation he wished to indulge in. The others in the room were eyeing Michael with suspicion. Not that Buffy could blame them, since they had just appeared out of thin air, Buffy covered in mud and blood, and Michael spotless with a single sword on his back. Michael just stared back, confidence showing in his expression and stance. The tense awkward moment grew, and Buffy shifted. He seemed content to stay silent, causing Buffy to groan internally.

“He,” Buffy said, waving her hand in his direction, “is Michael. As in Archangel, comma, the.”

Several mouths dropped open again and Buffy felt marginally better about her own reaction.

“You can’t be serious,” Giles said. “He…well, I mean…”

“Doesn’t exactly scream angel, does he?” Buffy said as she settled into one of the chairs. She gently set the scythe on the table before her.

“How can you be sure?” Giles asked. A few of the other watchers snorted.

One of the aforementioned watchers, one of the few left over from the old Council, objected loudly. “This is preposterous. It is obviously a ruse of some kind! If an angel were walking the earth, our seers would know, or there would be a
prophecy!”

Michael drew himself up, his expression somehow going from mildly curious to Smite Now without shifting. Shadows seemed to shift behind him, while lights flickered emphasizing the sword slung across his back. His voice lowered even more, carrying an authoritative edge that had even the most skeptical person leaning forward to listen. “And it is written that the first seal shall be broken, when a righteous man sheds blood in Hell. As he breaks, so shall it break.”

Buffy shuddered. She could feel her stomach trying to claw its way up her throat. “But the First—“

“Opening the Seal of Danzalthar would have only freed Lilith sooner than Azazel had planned. It would not have brought on the end of days,” Michael said. “The Righteous Man still would have had to break in order for the first seal to fall.”

“If the First Evil had succeeded with its plans, it would have ended the world,” Giles protested. Michael shook his head.

“I never said opening the Seal wouldn’t have ended badly for humanity.” Michael shrugged. “It just wouldn’t have been enough to start the apocalypse.”

“How can you—" Giles fumed. “Good people died stopping the First and you act like it was nothing! You’re supposed to be an angel.”

“I do not serve man,” Michael countered, the swirling green of his eyes darkening and brightening all at once into an amalgam of fury. His face hardened, and lights flickered around them.

“Get out.” Giles’ tone was all Ripper. As if the statement had loosened the tongues of everyone in the room, an eruption of voices began arguing in earnest. The few who believed what the man calling himself by the Archangel’s name was saying tried vainly to be heard over those who were furious on Giles’ behalf.

“Hey!” Buffy yelled, directing a heated scowl at every dissenter in the room and successfully intervening before Michael could smite anyone. “All of you, shut up! He’s the real deal; I saw the big fiery wings and everything.” Seeing the disbelieving looks, Buffy sighed and turned an impatient, pleading gaze to her former Watcher. “Giles, please.”

“I don’t have time to debate your pointless theories,” Michael scoffed, eyes sweeping the room. “The Slayer will lead her army against the demons while I take care of the rest.”

“Buffy.” Michael turned to look at her, head tilted to one side, curiosity filling his gaze. She took a deep breath. “My name is Buffy.”

“I know,” Michael said as his lips quirked upward into the barest of smiles.

“Then use it,” Buffy said. When Michael only lifted one eyebrow, Buffy sighed. “If you keep calling me Slayer half a dozen other girls will end up answering you.”

“I’ll be sure to remember that,” Michael replied, clearly only humoring her.

“And what exactly is it you want us to do?” Giles asked. His tone could have filled the room with ice.

“I told you.”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t make sense,” Buffy said, leaning forward and resting her arms on the table. “Couldn’t you just do your whole smitey thing now?”

“I will do what I have to do,” Michael answered. “Don’t doubt that. For now, you must gather your slayers.”

Before Buffy could speak, he was gone, only the soft rustle of what Buffy presumed to be wings signaling his departure.

“Damn it!” Buffy grumbled, slamming her fist down onto the table. “I’m buying him a bell.”

“Buffy…” Giles said, retaking his seat. “You don’t think he’s telling the truth do you?”

Buffy sighed, running her hands through her hair. “I told you, I saw his wings, Giles. And unless he’s like the one guy from that last X-Men movie, the wings are very much of the real, and very much of the threatening.” She blinked after a moment and then scowled at Xander, who did nothing to conceal his grin. “I cannot believe I just made a veiled comic-book-movie reference. I hate you,” she told him matter-of-factly.

Giles cleared his throat loudly to get the conversation back on track. “Did he say anything before coming here?”

“I was told what you were told,” Buffy responded with a shrug before she repeated everything Michael had said to her. “We’re supposed to take care of what happens backstage while he runs the show.”

Giles glowered, his hand automatically reaching up to retrieve his glasses. The handkerchief appeared in his other hand as if he’d summoned it there, before frantically wiping the lenses clean. “Buffy, there is something that he isn’t telling us. There must be, he was entirely too defensive!”

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Buffy replied flippantly. “You guys make with the research. Start with St. Mary’s Convent in Ilchester, Maryland and end with Carthage, Missouri.”

"You think it's all connected," Giles declared his blue eyes bright with sudden knowledge. It was a firm statement, not a question.

Buffy nodded. “Seriously – a convent gets taken out by a blinding light; River Pass, Colorado had a river go all icky and polluted right before the townspeople went all militant on each other; and a whole town full of people got wiped out, Giles. Some big ugly is trying to get Bingo on its Apocalypse scorecard. It’s time we start connecting the dots.”



A week had passed since Michael’s first visit. News had traveled fast in those first few days as Watchers rushed to confirm Michael’s words and Slayers rushed to spread the tale. The coven was called, seers consulted, and informants interrogated. Now the core Scoobies sat in the living room of the apartment Buffy shared with her sister, pizza boxes and soda cans scattered everywhere. Buffy sat on the couch next to Dawn, hugging a pillow to her chest, her feet tucked up under her body.

“So, what’s the situation? What have you all found out?” Buffy asked, eyeing Dawn, Willow and Giles. All three looked tired with half-circles of blue-black under their eyes. They traded looks before Willow sighed and leaned forward.

“We did some digging,” Willow began her words coming slowly. “And it looks like this all started around September 18th of last year.”

Buffy’s eyes widened in disbelief. “That long? How did we miss that?” Buffy asked. Giles pulled off his glasses and began to polish the lens.

“We were busy with our own crisis,” Giles said. Buffy bit her lip, memories of lost loves and the battles with Wolfram and Hart’s demon army making a return visit.

“What’s so special about September 18th?” Xander piped in, looking back and forth between everyone in their small group.

“Seems we missed a mass migration of demons to Pontiac, Illinois,” Dawn said with a shrug.

“What’s in Illinois?” Buffy asked.

“We don’t know,” Willow replied, her tone bewildered. She flipped open a file and laid a grainy picture on the table. “But whatever it was, blasted half a forest to the ground.”

Leaning forward, Buffy took in the felled trees that formed a circle around a single isolated area of the woodland.

“We also missed the Raising of the Witnesses,” Dawn added, laying down another sheet of paper. “And the town that couldn’t die, and a bunch of other obvious omens.”

“What does this mean?” Buffy leafed through the papers, eyes skimming article after article. They should have seen this, they should have known, and she wanted to know why they hadn’t.

Giles swallowed, looking as pale as the wall behind him. “It’s Biblical.”

Clarity dawned on Buffy as suddenly as if someone had flicked on a bright light in a very dark room. “That’s why he’s here,” Buffy gasped.

“Who?” Willow asked.

“The Archangel Michael,” Buffy answered. “He’s here because Lucifer’s free.”
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