Mikey and Buffy

Chapter Seventeen: Lucy, I'm Home

By Delphine Pryde

When Gabriel and Anna returned, sometime after the body of Brady had properly been disposed of, it was with Pestilence's ring in hand. "I'm getting sick of this story, I'm ready to move on," Gabriel said, tossing Dean the last horseman's ring. "Preferably somewhere with hot babes and clothing optional rules."

Anna rolled her eyes at her brother's lecherous grin. When Dean broke out of his stunned state over the fact that Gabriel actually took the initiative in the whole stop the apocalypse plan, he muttered, "TMI."

The angelic messenger opened his mouth to say something teasing to the eldest Winchester, but was stopped by a glare directed his way from Michael.

"So now that we've got the key to the prison, how are we going to get Lucifer in it?" Bobby asked, bringing everyone's attention to the task at hand. "Just ask nicely?"

Silence reigned for a moment before Sam, hesitantly spoke up, "What if I said 'yes' and then jumped in, taking Lucifer with me?"

"No way!"

"Are you crazy?"

"That's insane!" were some of the reactions his suggestion invoked.

"You are proposing to engage in mental struggle with my brother in hopes of winning and sentencing you both to Hell?" Michael said, eerily calm. "The odds are very slim."

"Bobby was able to win," Sam defended.

"At the cost of my legs," the old hunter pointed out, "and that was some puissant weak demon. You're talking about taking on the Devil himself."

"The amount of demon blood you have to consume to keep Lucifer's Grace from destroying your body would have the negative side effect of making you vulnerable to his influence."

Sam shifted uncomfortably at the mention of demon blood. "Why would I need to? You all don't burn out your vessels."

"It's Hell's taint," Castiel explained to him. "The millennium spent there would have twisted his Grace too much to not do some damage to his vessels, even his most perfect one."

"That plan is out then, no way is Sam getting within a hundred feet of demon blood," Dean said firmly.

"Which brings us back to square one," muttered Bobby.

"I suppose those of us of angelic stock could always try to gang up on him and force him into the portal," Anna suggested.

The looks on their faces made it pretty clear that neither Castiel nor Gabriel wanted to get anywhere near the fallen archangel.

A discussion of possible plans continued to be tossed back and forth, some of them out right ridiculous, such as the Wiley Coyote-esqe trap that Gabriel wanted to create. The only one not participating was Michael.

The archangel had mentally retreated into one of his last peaceful memories before Lucifer had fallen. Mankind had just been created and the four archangels had gone to Eden to admire their Father's work, invisible so as to not frighten its inhabitants.

"What oddly delightful creatures," Gabriel remarked as they observed a nude man and woman resting under the shade of a tree. "I wonder what they look like startled?"

He tried to shuffle closer only to have Raphael grip his wing. "You are no playing tricks on these innocent creatures," he said.

Gabriel gave him an affronted look and sniffed. "Of course not, they can't fight back, no challenge." A sly smile appeared on his face. "Unlike you." Without further ado a rain of stinky sap fell upon the other archangel.

Raphael let out an undignified squawk and lunged after his younger sibling. Gabriel gleefully dashed out of his grasp, prompting a chase across Eden.

"Fledglings," Lucifer said a found look of love for his younger brothers on his face.

Michael had walked closer to Adam and his wife, Lilith, so that he was near enough to reach out and touch the couple. "Fascinating," he whispered.

Lucifer's fond expression dropped, replace by one of distaste. "Hardly, they're just another animal, marginally clever, but still primitive."

"Is that jealousy I hear?" Michael teased.

"What is there to be jealous of?" Lucifer shot back. "Father will eventually get bored with this experiment and return his attention to better things."

Michael gave a small smile and embraced the other angel. "Perhaps you are correct and this is just a momentary distraction." He pulled away, taking Lucifer's hands. "Come, let us return home."

Only mankind hadn't been a temporary distraction, they had actually superseded their Father's love. It wasn't long after all the angels were ordered to serve mankind that Lucifer rebelled. His first act was to twist Lilith's innocence, creating the first demon. War in Heaven raged. In Eden, God created Eve as another companion to Adam, only to have her tricked into eating from the forbidden fruit, resulting in mankind's exile form Eden. Eventually, Lucifer and his rabble were cast into Hell, but the damage was done.

Michael blamed himself for not preventing Lucifer's fall. "It wasn't your fault," Buffy protested, "You couldn't have predicted what would happen." She failed to mention the One who could have, did not act. She preferred to avoid getting into a debate between fate and free will.

"I'm sure there was something I could have done," Michael insisted. "Just as there is something I can do now."

She didn't know why, but that last statement gave her a sinking feeling. "What are you up to?" she asked.

"I have a plan, though not one you will like," the archangel admitted out loud.

The discussions came to a halt form everyone else. "We're listening," Sam stated, prompting the archangel to share.

Michael outlined a plan that was so very much a Winchester plan that Bobby had to comment "Sounds like something these idjits would come up with."

Dean gave a faux hurt look. "I'll have you know our plans are brilliant," he said with an offended sniff.

"Brilliantly dumb," Gabriel muttered.

The hunter responded with a rude gesture, before allowing his game face to take over as he addressed Michael. "I don't like the idea of Sam taking such a risk."

"I'll be fine," said brother insisted. "I have a good feeling about this plan, it will work."

"I for one, am all for it, as it keeps me out of Lucifer's line of fire," Gabriel added.

Anna rolled her eyes at his comment. "You would," she sighed. "Sadly, I don't think there are any better options."

"Worst plans have succeeded," Bobby reluctantly admitted.

"There is some merit to this plan," Castiel spoke up.

"Guess I'm outvoted," said Dean, glancing around the room. "So where is this shindig to take place?"

"Lucifer has had the same base of operations singe he raise Death in Carthage," Michael informed him.

Sad expressions of remembrance passed over the rooms human occupants. They'd lost some good friends in that town. "Where's that?" Bobby asked, the first to recover from the melancholy.

Michael opened her mouth to answer, but was cut off by Dean. "Detroit," he said. There was a haunted look in his eyes.

She acknowledged his correct answer with a not. "That future won't happen," Sam quickly said, knowing his brother was thinking about the trip to a future he'd had where Sam had said "yes" to Lucifer.

Dean took a deep breath, letting the air out slowly to calm himself. "I know. That Sammy was alone," he said, remember how his jackass of an alternate self had never made up after a fight with his brother over taking a break from hunting.

"Team Free Will forever!" Gabriel cheered, snapping his fingers. Team t-shirts in black with whit letters blazing "Team Free Will" garbed everybody's torso. The living room of Bobby Singer was suddenly filled with balloons, streamers, and a food buffet.

Michael felt a small smile appear on her face. "A last supper," she said wistfully.

"The first of many," Castiel corrected, his blue eyes shining with hope.

"May it be so," she whispered.

The Impala pulled to halt in front of one among dozens of similar abandoned buildings in Detroit. "So this is Hell's big HQ?" Dean questioned as he got out of the driver's side. Sam quickly followed from the passenger's side, his gaze studying the building.

From the back of the Impala, Buffy got out of the car. "Michael says it is," she confirmed.

"Fantastic," Dean muttered. "Well, let's go boot the Devil to the curb." The three moved towards the building's entrance.

Sam didn't respond, just tensed up as the trio soon found themselves surrounded by demons. Buffy had to keep herself from attacking when her arms were seized in a tight grip and she was dragged inside along with Sam and Dean.

The room they were brought to had a blond haired man staring out the window. "You know, humans believe Hell is hot, when actually it's quite cool." He breathed on the window, making it ice over. With his right pointer finder he traced a trident in the frost. Finally he turned to look over his guests. Buffy could see the skin on his face distorted in welts and burns, the power of Lucifer's grace destroying the body he wore. "Sam, Dean, how nice to see you again," he said, jovially. He paused as he saw Buffy; she could feel his power sensing her. Hoping Michael really could remain hidden from his brother by using Buffy as a shield, she briefly flared her inherited grace causing Hell's ruler to step back in surprise. "So that's what happened to Onoskelis' grace," he said. He trailed a finger across her face, causing her to flinch. "What a curious creature you are, not quite a nephilim, but nowhere near human." He glanced at the Winchester brothers briefly. "Shame, you're not on my side." Buffy blankly stared at him until he stepped back, hiding her anxiety. "So what can I do for you?" he asked, rhetorically before continuing," Ah yes, you're here to have Sam say yes to me so he jump into the cage through a portal created by the Horseman's rings." He gave a mocking smile at the looks of surprise on their faces. "I hear things."

"You hear things," Dean growled.

"You didn't really think you collecting my Horseman's rings went unnoticed, did you?" He shrugged, "Sorry to spoil your surprise."

Buffy could practically see Dean getting second thoughts with the revelation that Lucifer was aware of the Four Horsemen's rings they'd collected. "Your awareness of our plan doesn't change anything," she told the Devil coolly.

Sam nodded in agreement. Lucifer just gave another smile. "As you wish, a winner takes all match of wills with a simple word." He stared intently at Sam, waiting for the hunter's response.

Complete silence and stillness as if the whole world held its collective breath for what would happen next. Sam took a deep breath before uttering those fateful words, "Yes."

A satisfied smirk crossed Lucifer's face. Then a bright light flared, as Lucifer left his current vessel, forcing everyone to shut their eyes. At that same moment, Michael uncurled from his hiding place within the Slayer and flung himself out of Buffy's body. He gave her a brief well as he left. A loud shrieking of an angel's true voice pierced her ears and she knew Michael had succeeded in grappling Lucifer away from Sam. Buffy reached into her right pocket pulling out the four rings of the Horsemen. She flung the rings towards a side of the room that she knew was empty. She quickly uttered the special phrase of Enochian she was taught that would open the door to Lucifer's cage. A roar of howling wind let her know she had succeeded. The angelic voice became louder, more panicked, the pitch so high that Buffy was forced to cover her ears. According to the plan, Michael would be wrestling Lucifer into portal, hopefully without falling in himself.

The struggle seemed to take forever. Flaring light caused colors to dance across her closed eyes. More human-like cries of pain sounded, as the grunt demons got caught up in the angelic scuffle and promptly found themselves smote.

When the light, at last, ended and silence echoed in the room did Buffy open her eyes. She saw both Sam and Dean looking around, noting the burned out husks of the people the demon minions had possessed. A pang of sadness hit her heart; Michael had entered the cage with Lucifer. If she was truthful with herself she knew he had planned to sacrifice himself the entire time. No doubt, as penance for failing to prevent Lucifer's fall. A tear crept down her chook, which she furiously wiped away to no avail as more soon followed.

"They both went into the cage, didn't they?" Sam questioned softly.

Buffy just let out a sob. Shuffling his feat uncomfortably for a few minutes, Sam finally walked over and pulled the Slayer into a hug. She quickly clung to him, seeking comfort in his sympathetic arms. "For an archangel, I suppose Mikey wasn't so bad," the older Winchester brother admitted at their side.

"He's a great person," she corrected.

"Couldn't have said that better myself," spoke the jovial voice of Gabriel.

The three other angels of Team Free Will stood behind them. "So Mikey's got himself in the slammer," Gabriel stated. "Sounds like a rescue is in order." He glanced at his siblings for their opinions.

Anna shrugged. "Guess I owe him for not smiting me."

"It would be imperative that I went as I am the only one to have recently been to Hell on a rescue mission," Castiel stated.

Hope bloomed in Buffy. She pulled away from Sam and gave a smile. "What are we waiting for? Team Free Will rides again!"

Story End

For those curious about what happens next, here's a summary, because I don't plan on writing it:

Team Free Will rescues Michael from the cage with the help of Death (who gets his ring back.) The angels go back to Heaven to fix its issues and punish those who were in charge of starting the apocalypse. The punishment is banishment on Earth without any powers but relative immortality until each angel under punishment has a better appreciation for humanity—Raphael and Zachariah are among those punished. God is still AWOL.

Gabriel, with some of the Watcher council's witches, constructs a vessel for Michael to use so he can visit Earth without inconveniencing Buffy. Anna is another frequent visitor to Earth and is semi-dating Dean.

The Winchester brothers go back on the road, hunting monsters as usual. Buffy tags along, eventually getting together with Sam. Bobby continues to be a grumpy old man.

Onoskelis is a female demon, in my story she is a fallen angel.