Speaking cues:

"Bold"- Michael speaking mentally.

"Italics" – Buffy speaking mentally.

"Normal" –Normal out loud speech.

Mikey and Buffy

Part Two: The Essentials

By Delphine Pryde

The one problem Buffy always had when it came to trips was the packing. She never could just pack the essentials because to her California girl state of mind everything she owned was essential. Naturally, because of this, she owned a huge set of luggage, which she had dug out.

She could feel Michael in the back of her mind, watching on curiously as she bustled about gathering items. "What are you doing?" he asked in her mind. Technically, he wasn't a he. As an angel, Michael was both genders and neither, just as he was all races and none. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, angels were viewed differently by different people, if they could be seen at all without burning the viewers eyes out, unless they had taken a human vessel then they adopted that vessel's gender. So really, being in a female vessel Michael should be referred to as "she" but to Buffy, Michael came off as masculine to her, especially his mental voice, except when the archangel was in control of her body, because otherwise that would be weird.

"I'm packing, who knows how long this is going to take and I want to be prepared," she answered him.

"I am an Archangel of the Lord; I do not need the hassle of transporting a bunch of unnecessary, worldly goods all over my Father's Creation. I am afraid that I am going that I am going to have a great deal of animosity directed at me by my siblings as it is once they find out I have not followed the plan and waited to take Dean Winchester as my vessel," Michael informed her.

"They're necessary to me. Surely you don't expect me to wear the same thing all the time, not to mention do without hygienic items and what do you mean by plan? It's the apocalypse; the only plan should be stopping it."

"Unless you jump started it, then your priority is seeing it through," he told Buffy, darkly. "This is not like the apocalypses you have dealt with before. Those just involved the destruction of the Earth or its enslavement, this is the final war between Heaven and Hell, and victor is champion for all eternity. The rest of the universe is just unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle."

"Wait—the Apocalypse was jump started, you mean it wasn't supposed to happen yet? Why didn't you mention that before? I mean you said something about some of Heaven wanting the Apocalypse, not that they started the ball rolling." They clearly were going to have to work on his communication skills.

"My siblings got impatient and decided now would be a good time for the final battle without Father in Heaven to say otherwise and I was too occupied with filling in as best as possible during his absence. The seals would never have broken so easily under any other circumstances, Hell has tried more than once." He was decidedly unhappy; the emotions emanating from the Archangel were like a dark cloud across Buffy's mind. "When I found out Lilith was trying again, I ordered a siege on Hell to rescue the Righteous Man, but I was too late and the first seal had already been broken. The others broke as my efforts to sufficiently protect them failed thanks to the hidden mechanics of Raphael and Zachariah." The feeling of betrayal from those closest to him emitted from Michael, an emotion Buffy was all too familiar with.

"So, regardless of who wins, humanity is screwed." She gave a sigh and ran a hand through her hair in frustration. "Look, there's got to be some way to put a hold on all this. To you, killing Lucifer is as bad as me having to kill Dawn if she went evil. Isn't there some way of imprisoning him again?"

"I had not considered that as an option," his voice adopted a thoughtful sound. Buffy could mentally picture him slapping himself upside the head in one of those "duh, why didn't I think of that" moments. "I do not know much about the original sealing process; my job at the time was keeping Lucifer sufficiently distracted and weakened enough to be imprisoned in the first place."

"Who would know?" Buffy asked quickly, jumping on the little ray of hope.

"Gabriel," Michael said his brother's name wistfully. "He left Heaven not long after Father and has been hiding since. The Host thinks he is dead, but I know I would have felt his loss."

"So we find him then, I'm sure someone in the supernatural community has to have heard something," she assured.

"Perhaps, but we need to stay under the radar. We do not want others to find out I am not playing ball, so to speak, so we need to avoid anyone in the Heavenly or Hellish limelight," he warned her.

"So the Watchers and Slayers are out, as is anyone else I know," Buffy said, aware that the movements of her associates were kept track of by several beings on either side of the scale, she was too until she became host to Heaven's strongest archangel. "That leaves who?"

"I was thinking of the Winchester brothers. They have managed to find ways of hiding from angels and demons."

"Then how exactly are we supposed to find them?"

"They have a family friend, a hunter named Bobby Singer. He would know how to get a hold of them," the archangel mentioned. "His legs were paralyzed as a result of fighting off a demon possession. Healing him without asking for anything before hand should show my sincerity in being on their side."

"Sounds like a plan," she said cheerfully. "Now just let me finish packing."

"No," he said firmly.

"But—"

"No, anything essential I can create with my Grace or fly back here for."

A puppy dog pout formed on Buffy's face, which wasn't all that affective seeing as how they were sharing the same body. "Fine," she relented, sighing.

The Slayer gave a mournful look at her luggage before mentally stepping backwards, putting the angel in the bodies driver's seat. Michael wasted no time as she willed powerful, iridescent feathered wings into existence and took flight. The breeze created from the take off threw clothes and sent a letter Buffy had composed in case anyone came looking for her carelessly fluttering to the ground.