Disclaimers: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural or Stargate: SG-1. Obviously, I'm not making any cash on these.
Series Summary: Adventures in Ascension for John Winchester and Buffy Summers. Supernatural/BtVS/SG-1. A series of one-shots.
Summary:Buffy doesn't quite die this time around. She finds herself on a different plane of existence, drinking coffee with another kinda-dead guy, John Winchester. First in Heavenly Bodies 'Verse.
Note: Setting is pretty obvious; post season 1 for SPN, several years post Season 7 for Buffy. Very light on the SG-1 crossover, but it's late in the seasons of SG-1.
Word Count: ~1,400
"Heaven is a Greasy Spoon"
Buffy had always known she was living on borrowed time. She'd not just evaded death, but given it the finger from a celestial standpoint. So, she knew, eventually, the repercussions would catch up with her. This in mind, she was picturing something violent and painful. More evisceration and less…
Buffy Summers went out, not with a bang, but with a shimmer. And she was gone, leaving the other slayers fighting by her side confused but relatively unworried. Because, surely this was the work of their favorite witch. Only it wasn't. And Buffy wasn't coming back.
A pamphlet would have been nice. Because as much as the shiny people rambled on about ascension and having advanced genes, she honestly wasn't sure what they were talking about. Heaven, from what she recalled of it, had been less confusing than this new plane of existence.
And when she tried asking questions, she got dumped in a white room with a busy looking 24-hour diner floating in the nothingness. Buffy was actually somewhat proud that she'd managed to annoy advanced beings.
Alone, now both without a pamphlet and too-calm explanations, she had no choice but to shrug her shoulders and make her way into the restaurant. The booths along the windows were full, the counter dotted with patrons, backs turned, and not a single one of them looked up in surprise when she entered. For a split second Buffy thought it might be fun to do a back flip, maybe a peppy little cheer, but she doubted they'd even raise an eyebrow…If they were even real. If they weren't just figments of her imagination. Or someone else's imagination.
Buffy shook her head. "I hate ifs."
She was fairly certain no one would respond, so she was somewhat surprised when a young waitress stopped dead in her tracks, coffee pot held at chest height. She narrowed her gaze at the slayer but the expression wasn't so much menacing as playful.
"You've never been here before," she said.
Buffy shook her head, gave the restaurant a look-over. Sure, it wasn't much different from the one she'd worked in during her time as "Anne," but the color scheme was different, the collection of customers less grabby.
"A solid nope," Buffy chirped. "Is this part of the tour? Because, gotta say, it's not really living up to the 'dissolving into light' part of the experience."
The waitress cocked her head slightly, her eyes widening in realization. "Oh! They sent you to talk to him."
Buffy was about to ask the location of the mysterious 'him' when the waitress stepped out of the way, revealing a man, dark haired, scruffy bearded, worn clothes beneath a thick jacket, sitting in the closest booth. Another face in the crowd. Buffy knew without a doubt he wasn't a figment of anyone's imagination.
He was positioned too close to the window, body hunched slightly over the table, his hand holding a pen against an open journal, but his eyes weren't focused on the page but the window itself. All Buffy saw was blinding white nothingness outside, but he must have seen something else past the glass, because there was a slight wetness to his eyes. Not quite sad tears, but some emotion she couldn't read.
Buffy slid into the seat across from him. Because that's what one did in an imaginary diner.
He didn't look her way but his shoulders were tense. "I'm not buying whatever you're selling," he said.
His voice was rough, as if it hadn't been used in a while, and the tone hard. Buffy didn't particularly care for the attitude.
"Well, this confirms what everyone has been saying about my less-than-masterful sales pitch," Buffy noted.
The man made a noise. It was kind of like a grumble, but Buffy had a feeling it was supposed to be a broken laugh. Then his frown hardened. "I'm sick of hearing you people. I didn't ask for this, and I sure as hell am done making deals."
And, as if he'd said something funny, he gave another laugh.
"O…K…" Buffy blinked.
Buffy glanced up to see the waitress, looking as cheerful and oblivious as the average fare. The man's coffee cup was topped off without his permission. He didn't acknowledge the action.
"Thanks for sending me to sit with Mr. Grumpy," Buffy said, shooting the woman a tight grin. "He's been oh-so helpful in the not at all sense."
This seemed to catch his attention. He looked away from the window, a surprised brow raised. But before he could speak, the waitress sighed.
"You know," the woman said, "this was easier back when Oma was around to explain things to people like you…The troublemakers…"
Buffy raised her head. "Oma-whatta?"
The waitress only smirked. "I think he's ready to talk now."
She was gone in the length of a blink. Buffy's breath caught in her throat when she realized the waitress wasn't the only one missing. All of the customers were gone. All accept for the man sitting across from her.
"You know, you'd think death would make things less complicated," Buffy said.
"Not how it works."
Buffy was almost startled by the reply. The man was staring at her now, some suspicion in his low brow, but the tension had left his shoulders.
"You're not one of them," he added.
"I'm pretty sure we're all in the same club."
He was silent a moment. Buffy thought it might be a sign of denial.
"I'm John," he finally said. "John Winchester. So, did you actually die or did you just get stuck here?"
Buffy bit down her smile. "Not quite sure. One minute I'm fighting vampires, the next one I'm chatting with someone who hadn't quite met their 'wise sayings' quota for the day. But I guess I'm as good as dead. Right?"
John smiled. It brought a youthfulness to his face that Buffy hadn't noticed. It wasn't entirely unpleasant.
"You're a hunter," like he knew it to be fact.
"They call me a slayer," Buffy corrected. "I'm guessing that observation means we're in the same profession?"
John shrugged. "Were. I got where I was going, escaped… Found myself here afterwards. Guess my business was done."
"So, John, where are we exactly?"
John stared out the window again, as if he were seeing something else. "Limbo. The space between. They're going to try to talk you into ascension."
Buffy followed his gaze, squinting. She could just barely make out an outline against the white, two tall shapes, men, walking side by side. It looked like one was elbowing the other. It was more of an impression than an actual image, but it left Buffy smiling. She wasn't quite sure why.
"My sons are out there," John said. It was almost a whisper. "Without me."
Buffy cleared her throat. It felt wrong looking out the window, trying to see what wasn't hers. She turned the attention back to the matter at hand. "I thought we were already, you know, ascended. Without the demonic snake lightshow."
John raised a brow at the last part but ignored the comment. "Almost. Not quite. We can if we want. We do, we leave everything else behind. Everything's got a price."
"I think we already have, left everything," Buffy noted. "Plus, the shiny guy who greeted me said this ascension thing led to awesome powers."
John shook his head. "They have rules."
"I hate rules," Buffy agreed. She leaned back against the soft booth, grinning faintly. She remembered being offered power in the past. She hadn't taken it. She'd had something to lose. "Of course, the funny thing about rules, you can't break them unless you have them."
John closed the journal in front of him before raising his eyes again, giving her a measuring stare. His mouth was set in a line, the wetness at his eyes back but unshed. Buffy wasn't sure why, but she had the feeling that she reminded him of someone.
"What's your name?"
Ascension. The end of the road. The peak. All the strength of the human soul made into solid power.
No interaction. No saving people. All sitting back, watching, knowing and not telling.
To Buffy Summers, that meant this non-life was a waste of time. But she took it with a smile and a promise to learn. Funny thing, the ascended actually believed her.
Buffy had done plenty of things to piss off the Powers That Be, throw off the universe in general. Most of the time, it was through no fault of her own. But this time...
Buffy had a feeling they weren't going to forgive her for this one. Because she'd done as they wanted, joined them, talked John into doing the same.
And the Slayer and the Hunter were going to make them regret their company.