A/N: Okay, so this crazy little idea popped into my head and, being in need of an exercise to crack a massive case of writer's block, I bit. No crossover is planned, and currently, this will stand as a one-shot. TV Canon compliant.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Angel nor any of the characters of the shows therein. They are the property of Joss Whedon, the Kazui's and Mutant Enemy Productions. This is a work of fan-fiction and no profit shall be made (nor authorized to be made by others) by me.
Summary: Someone has to clean up the mess!The Parties Previously Responsible Have Been Sacked
With an elegance of motion only obtained through years of practice, the woman with the dirty-blond hair lowered herself into the vacant seat by the table. The other six seats already having been occupied by two younger females, a softly curvy blond and a proud brunette; and three men of indeterminate age, one tall with a dark demeanor, one bleached blond with a near permanent smirk and the third one bookish, but with a hard edge. The final seat, though occupied, was reversed and hid its resident within its tall, winged back.
“Good morning Angels.”
The chair with the hidden occupant began spinning rapidly from being kicked by one of the others at the table. By their expressions, any of the six could have been responsible, though the blond male and the brunette female were the most likely of candidates by their positions at the table. In point of fact, by the rate of spin imparted, it was entirely possible that they were both responsible.
Four eyes rolling drunkenly and a pair of mouths gasping for air, the occupant of the chair reached out and grabbed the table, halting his spin. “Was that really called for?”
“Oi!” The blond male grinned, his eyes dancing at the answering smirk from the brunette across from him.
Rolling her eyes, the final arrival realized exactly why she was there, even though she would have kicked Janus' chair herself had she been in either of the two nearest seats. “Cordelia, William?” Her tone carrying the long suffering tones of a woman who had raised teenagers.
“Sorry Joyce,” the two miscreants mumbled.
Her eyes turned to the twin-faced god, narrowing and staring.
Janus' eyes roamed the room before coming back to meet hers. They locked.
“Okay. I'm sorry too. My attempt at humor was, perhaps... misplaced.”
The tall man looked around at the others then turned to the god. “You called the meeting, Janus. I hope it was for something better than your need to homage 70's female exploitation television.”
Cordelia and the younger blond glanced at each other, then Joyce. The three women began giggling.
Rolling all four of his eyes, Janus stood. “I did Liam. As you are aware, in the wake of the events resulting from your battle with the Blackthorn there has been an investigation occurring in higher realms. This was sourced from the highest levels. The key question being why were the higher realms never availed of knowledge of evil's strength on the mortal plane?”
“Wait,” the third male asked. “The powers weren't reporting what was going on?”
Janus snorted. “Of course they were! Tell me Mr. Wyndham-Pryce, how many reports from your underlings did you read while you were head of research at that law firm?”
Wesley's visage hardened, “All of them.”
“And yet they were still able to slip projects by you, including the one that cost...”
The rogue demon hunter shot to his feet and Janus quickly backpedaled from the table, raising his hands. “I'm not saying it was your fault! But imagine if the underlings had hundreds of millenia in which to hone their skills in crafting such reports.
“And such was the case. In addition, even in an eternal organization, beings do not stay in the same positions forever. They advance or grow bored or they feel their talents are better applied elsewhere. Over time, this change erodes the purpose of the organization as new members maybe don't get the full explanation of the mission. Over the eons of their management, those you know as 'The Powers That Be' lost sight of their true focus.”
The younger blond leaned forward in her chair. “T-th-then i-it wasn't about t-the balance?”
Janus somehow managed to stare at her with both faces. “What balance Tara?”
“Ggood and evil.”
“No,” the god replied. “Evil was always to be squashed like mosquitoes on a campout.”
Joyce closed her eyes. Just because they now had eternity, did not mean she was content to let things drag on. It might be fun for a god like Janus to tweak the lower beings, but that did not make it any less frustrating. “Please spell it out for us,” she growled.
The god of gates, doorways and change looked around the table, meeting the eyes of the witch, the seer, the two vampires, the watcher and finally the mother. “The balance to be maintained by the Powers was between chaos and order. One leads to total entropy and the other leads to total stagnation, thus the balance between them is vital to the continued growth of all
of our subservient species. The previous 'Powers That Be' have been released because they believed that their job was to maintain the balance between good and evil, and in so doing, they have allowed evil to gain far too great a foothold in the world. Somewhere along the line evil, as it is want to do, insinuated itself into the process.”
“Wait,” Spike leaped from his chair. “Those bloody ponces have been sacked? Why weren't we called to watch!”
Cordelia shook her head. Joyce could almost hear the former cheerleader's thoughts churning over after the time she had spent serving the misguided fools. Angel and Wesley looked at each other and their eyes widened slightly.
Clearly suspecting the answer, the former watcher raised the question. “How do the higher realms intend to deal with the former role of the powers?”
Janus retook his seat, setting his elbows on the table, lacing his fingers together and resting a chin on them. “A new set of Powers That Be shall be assigned. They shall be composed of equal parts chaos and order. Their mission will be to support their champions and guide them in the battle to protect humanity against evil.”
“S-so,” Tara asked. “Who g-gets the job?”
Both of Janus' faces grinned. “Each of you has, in some way, loved one or more of the current champions...
“We figure two former vampire souls, a watcher, a witch, a seer and a mother should be able to do the job just fine.”