Title: Missing, Presumed Death
Author: Robyn the Snowshoe Hare
E-mail: snowshoe16@hotmail.com
Part: 6/?

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With a long-suffering sigh, the over-stressed Archangel hit his intercom button. "Abdiel," he said to his seraphim secretary, "can you send St. Peter to my office, please?"

"Certainly sir," came the perfectly modulated tones of the seraph, "is there anything else?"

"Yes. See if you can round up Gabriel and Raphael."

"But, it's their golf day! I don't want to bother a pair of easily annoyed and high-strung archangels on their golf day!"

"Send a cherubin if you have to, but get those two in my office!" Michael yelled. There was a shocked silence on the other end, and then a meek, "At once, sir." Michael relaxed back into his chair, rubbing the bridge of his nose in a desperate attempt to stave off a migraine. He hadn't raised his voice in two millennia. In fact, the last time he had raised his voice was when he was kicking the Foe out of heaven. What was that he had said? Something about going to Hell in a handbasket....

Well, speak of the Devil. Michael's perfect door slammed open with a rather impressive crash and Satan himself stormed into the Archangel's office.

"What in the name of all that's unholy have you been doing up here, Mike?? I'm having problems like you would *not* believe, and suddenly my income rate has dropped to zero! Now you had better tell me everything right now, or forget the schedule, we can start the Second Great War here and now! And what happened to your office?" On that last statement, Satan dropped into one of Michael's chairs and propped his feet up on the archangel's desk.

From the outer office, from his position of being huddled under his desk, Abdiel called meekly, "Prince of Darkness to see you, sir."

Michael sighed. "Cancel my golf game, Abdiel." Reaching into his bottom desk drawer, the archangel pulled out a long-unused bottle of brandy and two shot glasses. Filling one, he passed it to Satan, who accepted it wordlessly and emptied it in one gulp.

"You see, it kind of goes like this..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So, do we have a deal?" Snyder looked at the man hopefully. He'd had to take out a second mortgage on his house in order to buy the gems to pay this guy with, but if this worked like he hoped it would, the mayor would certainly cover the bill. He hoped....

Ethan looked up from the gem that he had been carefully scrutinizing with a handy magnifying glass. "Well, they're authentic, so I guess we do. Subcontracting again it is. I'll cast the binding spell on Buffy and that chap, Death did you say his name was, and split town. That should give you enough time to pull off this plan of yours."

With a quick nod, the little rodent-man ran out of the factory, wondering if the mayor would also replace his arm when all of this was finished.

Ethan smirked as he again looked at the seven bright green gems that were currently acting as paperweights on his desk. With the mystical aid of these, maybe he could finally get out of that audit....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Wow." Buffy said. Xander, Willow, and Death all nodded in agreement as they looked at the scene in front of them.

A quick raid on a local supermarket had yielded enough Arrowroots and Oreos to fit into a small pickup truck (which, fortunately, Xander had been able to borrow from his Uncle Rory), and had been paid for with Death's American Express card. The army of zombies were now frolicking around the cemetery, and things were starting to get extremely frightening when a group of them began singing songs from "Bye, Bye Birdie."

~Oh, one last kiss~
~Oh, give me one last kiss~
~It never felt like this~
~Oh, give me one last kiss~
~You know I need your love~
~Oh, oh, oh~
~Oh give me one last kiss!~
"It just gets more and more upsetting." Willow noted.

Suddenly, in an amazing and truly unexpected plot twist, Ethan snuck up behind them and started pegging them with water balloons while chanting.

"Chaos, hear thy son! Bacchus, cast thy mind to my plea! Lords of Darkness and Night, answer my call as I name thee! Estael, Rofocale, Beelzebub, Kenneth Starr! In your names I bind those people whom I have just pegged with water balloons to play that sport created by evilness for evilness!" Looking up, he saw the group starting at him. Tossing a small scroll at them, he managed to hit Xander directly in the forehead with it, causing him to fall backwards into Buffy, who fell into Death, who fell into Willow, which resulted in an amusing chain-effect that left them lying in a tangle on the ground, which, in yet another bizarre plot twist, gave him enough time to flee.

"Okay," Xander said, climbing to his feet, "that was moderately strange." Ignoring him, Willow unrolled the scroll and began to read aloud.

"'Dear Suckers. In case you haven't guessed, the sport created for evilness by evilness is badminton."

"Well, duh." Buffy muttered. Willow cleared her throat, and continued. "You are divided into two teams, with four players on each side. Best two out of three wins. This binding spell stipulates that the game must begin within one hour. Buffy is one team captain, and Death is the other. They can each choose their teammates, and as a handicap to offset any choices they might make, Buffy has Giles on her team-"

"Wow, tweed meets birdies. Worlds collide." Xander whispered to Buffy.

"-and Death has to have Angel on his."

At those words, the Slayerettes cheered, and Buffy and Xander began doing an impromptu victory dance.

"AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE?" Death asked Willow as her friends cavorted about.

"Oh, well, it's just that Angel used to be Buffy's boyfriend, before he lost his soul and was sent to Hell, and once we had a midnight game of badminton. Angel was born before the game was invented, and he couldn't even score one point against Xander, one-on-one, when Xander was blindfolded, had one arm tied behind his back, and had to hop on his left foot at all times."

"UH, OH."

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