A/N: Another late LJ Xmas Wishlist Oneshot. Only one more to go after this!

Prompt: Michael knew Dean would eventually say yes, 'As it is written, so it shall be.' The plan could not nor would not be changed. However, he didn't become the greatest general that Heaven, Earth, and even Hell had ever seen without having contingencies. Looking into the wary green eyes of his chosen general on earth, and his 2nd choice for a vessel, Michael could feel his vessel's heart beating faster than the wings of a hummingbird, and his grace screaming with a joy that had only been greater in the presence of his father. Something told him that Buffy Summers was going to be even more complicated than the Winchesters

Prompter: xgirl222 at livejournal

Co-author credit: This may never have gotten done if QueenofCamelot on hadn't gotten me going with a 500 word ficlet she offered to write me for this prompt. My muse was NOT cooperating, so many thanks to her.


His life had been much longer than most. By human standards, he had lived for many millennia. Time was different in Heaven, but even by celestial measurements, he had undoubtedly existed for a very long time. He had spent most of that time just waiting to complete the task his Father had given him. The task was a difficult one, but it was not assigned to him as a punishment. He was given the task because he, Michael, was the most revered and fearsome Angel in history.

His task was to defeat his brother, Lucifer. Nearly his entire existence had centered around destroying his once beloved younger brother, the one who was also known as The Fallen One, The Morning Star, or perhaps most commonly as Satan. The names humans had given him were almost too many to count and each struck a nerve deep within his heart. Of course, one could say that being here, holding the reins on his temporary vessel, was beginning to affect his view on the subject. His vessel was a warrior and one of the very few who could survive hosting such a powerful Angel for any length of time. Yet despite her strength, she was filled with intense, human emotions.

For all intents and purposes, she had agreed because he had whispered to her in her dreams. He had told her of the apocalypse, explaining that without her help, there was no hope for the world. He had provided her with terrifying images of the millions of lives that would be lost, including those of her family and friends - the ones she held most dear.

Thus, she had agreed, with the promise that he would protect those she loved. However, the time she had spent in Heaven had, no doubt, made convincing her much easier. Unlike his true vessel, this girl had fond memories of Heaven, which made her much more willing to perform her duty on behalf of The One True Lord. Had it not been for that, he suspected she would have been just as difficult as Dean Winchester, possibly even more so. Fortunately for Heaven, her prior experience in the afterlife had given him an opening.

The problem, however, was that he had not foreseen that she would affect him so deeply. Over the last three months, this girl's impact on his psyche had steadily increased. It was unexpected, since he had not had this issue with any of the other vessels he had inhabited over the course of human history. In those cases, he was rarely aware that there even was a human soul sharing his vessel. The essence of his previous vessels had been so easily pushed aside. Perhaps it was the intense emotions coursing through this girl, her fierce strength of character mixed with undeniable human frailty, or her status as a Slayer that made her so different. Perhaps it was all of those things? Whatever it was, he was allowing himself to develop far too much affection for this young woman named Buffy Summers. He needed to reach his true vessel before this attachment interfered with his duty.


He found him, quite by accident, and had been watching him for the past week as he traipsed through the backwater town of a small western state. Once he found him, he was determined not to lose him again. The sigils on his intended vessel's ribs were making it entirely too difficult for him to accomplish his ultimate goal. Castiel would pay for that, along with his many other sins against Heaven.

After he was certain that the man had settled in a particular diner, he waited as he ordered, flirted, and received a phone number from a waitress. Michael was disgusted that his vessel was attempting to fornicate while the entire fate of the world hung in the balance. However, he was oddly fascinated by this display of human mating behavior. That was probably, once again, due to the influence of his current vessel.

Once the younger brother was out of sight, he approached the table wearing an unreadable expression on his face.

"Hello, Dean…I see you're still wasting time with your debauchery. You do not care that the world may be taking her last breath," he scolded, using Buffy's voice.

Dean appeared unconcerned, but his vessel whispered that the man was actually extremely wary. She had a talent for reading people that Michael would never possess.

"I know you?" Dean asked casually before turning a leer on the girl standing in front of him. "Gotta say, I think I'd remember somebody that looked like you sweetheart… even if I was drunk."

What a pig, Buffy thought, but an awfully cute pig…

Michael was trying to ignore Buffy's voice inside of his head, but finding it increasingly difficult to do so. Why was he happy when he thought she considered his true vessel mere swine? And even worse, why did the fact that she found him attractive bother him so much? Surely he wasn't experiencing the human emotion known as 'jealousy'. That was the very emotion that had led to his brother's downfall and ultimately to the apocalypse itself.

He smiled lightly in an attempt to mask his confusing mix of feelings. "You should know who I am," he replied, "as you are my chosen vessel."

Dean stared at him for a long moment. It was obvious that he was mentally calculating any possible escape routes.

"Son of a bitch…" he finally mumbled, once it was obvious he was cornered. "Who's that poor chick you're riding? How'd you convince her to fall for your bullshit, huh? That must have been the world's greatest line."

Michael was once again dismayed by his vessel's internal thoughts. She was shocked by the way Dean was speaking to him, but she was also very curious. He could feel a seed of doubt beginning to sprout in her mind. In a way he wasn't surprised, he knew that this girl was special. As much as he hated to admit it, she was very much like Dean in many ways. Like him, she was not the type to accept things at face value, she was a questioner, a leader… He stopped himself there. He could not allow her doubts to become his. He had to work harder to block her out. He had to get out of her body before her will became his and he was just as lost as the brother he sought to defeat.

"This girl realizes that the world is at stake," Michael said sternly, pushing his current vessel's emotions to the background. "She is not as selfish as you seem to be. She only had to know that her family was safe and she was more than willing to offer her assistance. Not everyone lacks your faith, Dean. Some are still willing to step up and do their duty. Some understand the necessity of sacrifice."

Michael ruthlessly used Dean's insecurities against him. He knew the man had an over-developed sense of guilt and could not stand the thought of someone suffering because of him. He hoped it would be enough and tried not to feel discouraged when Dean did not appear impressed. It was likely just a show of bravado.

So, that's what you told her?" Dean asked bitterly. "Did you also tell her you could call this crazy show off? Did you tell her you had the power to lock Lucy back up in his kennel? Did you maybe tell her how much of this world will actually survive your little title fight?"

With each question, Dean's tone became louder and angrier. The other humans in the diner were all staring, but Michael could care less about such things. He was more concerned with fighting the urge to disintegrate Dean Winchester into a pile of dust. He told himself that he was angry at his blasphemous tongue, but deep down, he knew that he was mostly angry because Buffy was hearing these things… because Buffy now wanted answers to those questions. Her doubt and her disappointment were like a searing blade to his grace.

Michael had to regain control of himself. If he was unable to get Dean to agree soon, he would be forced to leave this vessel behind. The very idea of losing his connection to Buffy filled him with deep despair and loneliness, but he realized that his feelings for her were beginning to cloud his judgment and cause him to question his destiny. All of these emotions were starting to push him very close to one of the weakest and most pathetic human responses he could think of… panic.

Internally, he shouted at his vessel. He pleaded with her. He even lied to her to gain her silence. He had no choice. Finally, she quieted, but he knew it would not be for long. She was too powerful and he was too attached to her. Her influence over him grew with every breath of his borrowed vessel. For a brief moment, he actually considered the possibility that the apocalypse didn't have to go forward as planned. Even more frightening was the idea that it wouldn't go forward as planned. That somehow, impossibly, these frail humans would put an end to it.

He was horrified by his own lack of faith. No, he reminded himself firmly. These events had been preordained. It had all been written. His Father had planned this from the beginning of time. Michael was being tested, that was all. His Father was merely testing his faith. He just had to prove himself and remember the reason for his existence. Dean would be his and he would leave his current vessel behind. It was all going to happen just as Heaven had decreed. The wishes and plans of humanity meant nothing.

But in the back of his mind, he allowed himself to hope. To hope that maybe he would get to be with Buffy again someday. Perhaps his father would reward him for doing his duty and defeating his brother. Maybe then, his Father would allow him to remain on earth to protect Buffy and oversee her place in his army. Perhaps it was even a blessing that she found the form of his true vessel so pleasing. Initially, Michael had planned on releasing Dean once Lucifer was defeated, but now he was considering taking a different route. If it meant he could remain on earth and be close to Buffy, he would retain Dean Winchester for as long as necessary.