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Fic: the junction be Eternity

Title:the junction be Eternity
Author: faithburke
Recipient: antrazi
Rating: teen
Warnings: lots of character death.
Author's Notes: Crossed with Dresden Files (book verse), Criminal Minds, Highlander, Leverage, SG1, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman, Sherlock Holmes BBC, SGA, oblique Pretender reference, Avengers, Bones
Summary: Ten people who met Death

Harry Dresden
He didn’t care for the insolence of the creature. It reminded him of Dean Winchester, who had always been a little too mouthy for his tastes, and Dresden didn’t have the redeeming factor of being willing to provide something enjoyable while Death was kept waiting. Of course, Dresden wasn’t aware that he was keeping Death waiting at all, or that the meddlesome faerie queen was currently mucking with the natural order. It had been Dresden’s time once before, and the fallout from that had taken more than a week to work through. He felt his mouth tighten a little at the memory. At least Dresden had taken care of the majority of those annoying mortals who had been trying to control him with their penny-ante sorcery. The Chooser who had intervened, on her employer’s behalf, had been quick to step in with apologies and offerings for her involvement in the mess, and that had helped keep things quiet.
He sighed when Mab and that odd island-spirit managed to bring Dresden back into his body despite the six-month walk-around. His reapers would be working overtime to balance the scales, starting in Chicago and spreading out across the world, but even this wouldn’t come close to matching the Winchester fiasco and that mess with the mutated angel. The fallout from those two catastrophes was still unraveling years later. Speaking of which, he really should be moving on. There was work to do.

Haley Hotchner
He didn’t usually linger at a death like this, or really any death. There was far too much to do without mingling with the humans and their souls and shades. There was due to be another death here, though, and so he stayed and watched as one of his Reapers soothed the woman’s spirit. “I need to wait,” Haley said, looking pale and fragile and undeniably mortal. “I need to see Aaron and make sure he’s here to save Jack.”
All of his Reapers were talented, of course, but this one was one of the best. It knew better than to push the woman or rush her, especially when there was obviously going to be another death in a matter of moments. Instead it stroked the hand of its borrowed human appearance down her back and promised that they would wait to see the Aaron before they left. If something that simple got the spirit to come along quietly, it would be allowed.
Things unfolded as he knew they would after that: the man who pulled the trigger hid behind the curtain of the bedroom window and waited for his real target to show up. The woman’s husband did exactly that and fairly promptly executed her murderer. A second Reaper escorted the angry soul away, promising him just about anything to get him to cross over. That one would be a chain rattler within a year if left here. The woman waited until her husband had her son in a tight embrace before nodding and going along with the Reaper. All told, it was a fairly productive piece of time.

If it had been possible, he would have probably been given a headache by these little experiments. Some of them were more trouble than they were worth, honestly, but they were excellent at balancing the scales. This one in particular was one of his favorites. Death couldn’t help but find it amusing the way the youngster had taken on his name and cut a swath across Asia and Europe. Children were always trying to impress their parents, after all.
The pup had tired of the task eventually. They always did. He had settled down into obscurity and managed to stop getting killed quite so often, keeping things on track even if he wasn’t aware of what he was doing. Death would give him another century or so and see about recruiting him again. The world’s population was getting out of hand. In the meantime, all of his Reapers knew better to lurk around the Immortals. It had been something of a hazing ritual for as long as the little experiments had been around, sending a new Reaper after one and watching with amusement as it tried and failed to collect the soul. Death used it to identify the one’s with promise, the Reapers who kept trying despite multiple failures and who would become more and more creative in their methods as things went along. Methos might be the only Immortal who realized what was going on when deaths started getting absurd. Death would have to ask him about it one day.

Sam Ford
The death of the youngest of their race always seemed to upset the mortals. They couldn’t see the larger picture, and they weren’t really meant to see it, but because of that failing the slightly older mortals always seemed to flail around when the children were taken away. It didn’t matter that Samuel Ford would have been subjected to a lifetime of pain and illness if he’d remained alive, or that because of his death the boy’s parents would go on to save lives and set things back into order. All Nathan Ford could see right now was that his son was gone.
Despite the deep, obvious grief of the father, Samuel was one of the easier Reapings. The past two years had been nothing but pain as the cancer made its inexorable journey through the child’s body and there was only one last glance at his weeping father before he agreed to go with Tessa. Most children were easy to convince. They usually realized quickly that staying behind meant pain, and they’d almost all experienced pain for the first time when they died. The ones who didn’t move on were the ones that the mortals had already twisted, and they were the ones that were sure to become even more twisted and angry before they further upset things. Child ghosts were inevitably messy, and crossing them over was always a priority.
He left Nathan Ford to wail over the shell of his son.

Janet Frasier
Those mortals who were on a mission in life were the hardest for his Reapers to cross over, and that went doubly so when the mortal in question had been in the middle of some kind of task. Warriors were often the worst. On more than one occasion entire battalions managed to escape the Reapers and remain on the battlefield long after they should have moved on, mostly due to sheer volume and the chaos of the fighting before and after the deaths.
This particular mortal kept arguing with her Reaper, kneeling down next to her ruined shell and the second mortal she’d been assisting. She couldn’t do anything, of course, but certain healers were never deterred that easily. Death had watched healers labor over a body even when the spirit had gone with the Reaper immediately and there was no hope that they would recover.
His Reapers were stretched thin so he gave this one the assistance she would require and informed the doctor that it wasn’t her patient’s time. Jack O’Neill had an appointment several years from now and would survive this encounter. After that, it was fairly easy for the Reaper to talk Janet Frasier to moving on to her fate.

Buffy Summers
The so-called Chosen ones, the girls that the humans tampered with back when mortals were still just an interesting new curiosity, are almost always some of the easiest to Reap. It made for an interesting study, really. The slight demon taint forced into close proximity with a human soul exhausted the soul much more quickly and when the time came to go with a Reaper a Slayer would almost always go away willingly. They yearned for peace, and while they would continue fighting until the last breath once the mission was over nearly every girl stepped away with the Reaper with almost no coaxing.
This one was a little different, of course. He’d allowed her back into her body when her friend breathed for the body because he was curious about how that would affect things down the line, whether it would change the way the Slayer line worked.
There weren’t any real differences between before and after, which was disappointing, and the balance was upset by two Slayers, so when the girl sacrificed her life like most Slayers he was glad that the experiment was over.
Then the witch made a deal and yanked the Slayer from her well-deserved peace and Death couldn’t help but become irritated. This was going to become messy.

Thomas and Martha Wayne
The couple was gunned down in the alleyway. Death was waiting. The man looked at Death with familiarity. They had faced each other before. This doctor was good at his job and had kept numerous patients alive longer than their original expiration dates. Dr. Wayne also accepted Death as a part of life and made people’s eventual passing as painless as possible. He had never railed against Death. Once a patient was in Death’s grasp, he surrendered gracefully.
Dr. Wayne saw Death now. He knew that he was dead. He knew that there was no escape. Death could see his graceful surrender in his body language.
Martha Wayne had no such experiences with Death. She was furious and reaching desperately for her son. Her son was alive and would remain so for decades. This had to happen to keep balance in Gotham. The city would tilt dangerously on the balance if the boy died now or if his parents lived. That was why Death personally oversaw this Reaping.
Dr. Wayne wrapped shaking arms around his wife. He spoke softly, as one breaking news to the surviving family. Martha cried in his arms, ignoring the waiting Reaper.
“Alfred will care for him,” Thomas promised. “He always has before.”
“He’s just a little boy.”
Thomas looked into the hard eyes of his son. Death could see the anger solidifying behind the despair. “Alfred is faithful and dependable. Time to go, Martha.”
Hand in hand, they followed the Reaper away from their son.

Sherlock Holmes
Soldiers and doctors often developed a sense of Death’s presence. They simply knew when he was about. Dr. John Watson was fully both doctor and soldier, so he shivered with dread as Death glided by. Murderers believed that they could control Death, so Moriarty turned giddy with Death’s presence. Moriarty thought that he could control Death. Of course, untrue, but Death would use the belief. Neither Watson nor Moriarty knew why their emotions felt so real, it was subconscious on their parts.
Death was not here to Reap.
He was here as a witness. He was here to influence feelings. It was rare for him to even involve himself this much in mortal affairs but Sherlock Holmes was a special case. Holmes was amusing and would remain alive. He had planned every last detail to fake his death. Death knew Holmes’ place in the balance. He was vital.
Any number of people had faked their death for any number of reasons, but Death only lent his presence when the balance was fragile. Holmes’ needed the world believe –to know- that he was dead. Moriarty and Watson would know that Death had been present and would assume that Homes was Reaped.
Holmes fell and was presumed dead.
Moriarty was suspicious, but Watson? Watson somehow knew that it was a hoax. He believed in Holmes. Interesting. Death would keep an eye on Watson and would personally Reap any that the doctor/soldier killed. For a good and honest doctor, he intentionally killed regularly.

Carson Beckett
Two of anything identical and living annoyed Death. For centuries, he had Reaped all twins on principle in utero. Then humans had advanced their medicine and he only Reaped a few. Twins were different once they grew up so he tolerated them more now. He hated doubles from alternate realities and Reaped them within forty-eight hours. He disliked clones. They upset the order of the world. Death kept a close eye on all clones and their originals. He would Reap whichever one was closest. He wasn’t picky.
He had Reaped thousands of clones in Delaware before the humans had succeeded. The child was different enough from the original that he might leave it be. The Asgard clones were not nearly as efficient as advertized. Death would Reap the entire alien race someday soon. He was patient, everything died. The builders of Atlantis had thought that they had bypassed him, but in reality, they had only skipped his Reaper on their way to the afterlife. Death would probably Reap O’Neill or his clone within the next couple years, but he remained frustrated.
So when Dr. Carson Beckett strolled away too slowly from the biological bomb, Death killed him. His clone was alive and would remain so for decades. Death was satisfied when he told Dr. Beckett that he had lived well and it was time to move on. Beckett was easier to convince than most of the Atlantis expedition but harder to convince than the millions born in the Pegasus Galaxy.

Phil Coulson
Once the mortal was released from its dying body, his only comment about the situation was that it was inconvenient. It was a little amusing to Death, how mildly the man was accepting things. When he asked to stay behind for a little while to see how things worked out, Death granted the request. He was a little curious himself, to be honest. There would be many mortal lives ended and their souls collected and sent to their final destination. The humans were about to make another step forward, and that was always entertaining.
He stayed close to the soul of the man named Coulson, even while he was working through the people who had died as a result of the invasion. It wouldn’t do to forget to Reap the man, after all. He might make a decent Reaper one day. Death had always appreciated a kind of humble efficiency, matched with a dry sense of humor. Perhaps he would assign the one who was sometimes called Tessa to his training. Death had a feeling the two would do well together.
Coulson was ready to go once the humans and the alien godling had successfully defended their territory. Death even allowed him the knowledge that it wasn’t Anthony Stark’s time to go, not yet. That date had a spot marked on his mental calendar. Stark had cancelled his appointments twice already.

And one person that kinda liked his Reaper – Vincent Nigel-Murray
At first all he noticed was the pain. Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth were both there, pushing down on his chest, but his attention was on the lovely woman who appeared above him. “Please don’t,” he gasped out. “Just don’t make me go. I don’t want to go.”
She stretched out one hand and touched his face and just like that the pain was gone. “I’m sorry, Vincent.”
“I didn’t want to leave. Why did you make me?”
“Because it’s your time,” she said, looking at him with dark, unreadable eyes. “If you’d stayed past it, someone else would have died instead of you. That’s the way it works.”
“But I wasn’t ready. There’s so much to do!”
“And someone else will do it. It’s time to come with me now.”
He hung back, looking at the body lying on the ground. “I’m an atheist, you know. I don’t believe in the afterlife.”
“And yet here we are,” she said, cracking a slight smile. “Trust me when I say that there’s a lot more going on than most people realize.”
“What happens next?”
“I can’t tell you that. I can say that staying behind usually ends up with more people being killed. I don’t think you want that.”
“No. I could never want that.” He gave the lab around him one last look before taking the woman’s hand. “I’m ready now.”

Prompt used: I would like a description of a normal day of Death. I'm sure the guy has a lot to do, meets lot's of interesting people...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how a little Methos and Some Dean can make even Death's life more interesting and troublesome!

I loved the fact that tailing immortals is the equivalent to Reaper hazing how his day went along

very fun
Jul. 30th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
awww, thanks, this was a cooperative effort and faithdaria wrote the HL one.
Nov. 3rd, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
Hi! I’ve recced this here at rocksalt-recs.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )