POTENTIAL

                                                SECOND

                                               CHANCE

NOTE: I own none of the Scooby gang because they belong to mean old Joss.

A/N: This story takes place at the beginning season seven of Buffy and season four of Angel. When Wesley was booted out of AI (he so had it coming) he went back to Sunnydale. Buffy's alive (yay) and if you're wondering how Angel gets back from the sea without Wesley's help... well, he never goes. I was just wondering, if Buffy died, who was the new slayer? If any of you know... don't tell me. You'll ruin my moment. Now on with the story.

                                                    CHAPTER 1

          Autumn Tucker sat at the foot of her bed, looking around her new room. There were still a couple of boxes she hadn't unpacked and she also didn't feel like unpacking them. Of course, she also hadn't felt like moving. Autumn's father had once again been given a promotion and transferred to a new location. The last time her family had to move it was from when she was seven, Los Angeles to New York. Now Autumn was back in California, but not huge LA California. It was tiny, dull, and insignificant Sunnydale.

          Sunnydale, could any town be smaller? Autumn hadn't stopped thinking that since her family had moved there a couple days before. It was like, if you walked down the block and turned you'd be back at your house. All right, maybe she was exaggerating a little but the place was still small. Of course, most former New Yorker fifteen year olds hated the slightest thought of small town living. Hopefully Autumn would survive it all.

          Finally she collapsed in her bed tired, as she had done most of her unpacking that day. She opened her eyes again to see that her room had gone pitch black, which was strange since she had fallen asleep at around four that afternoon. She couldn't' have been that tired. Autumn climbed out of bed and touched the left wall near her door, reaching for the light switch. However, she couldn't find it. It was like the switch disappeared. Autumn just shrugged it off and headed out of the room. Her hall was also black dark. She even had to feel around the walls to get around.

"Mom! Dad! Jeff!" Autumn called, referring to Jeff as her older brother. She made her way to the kitchen. "Mom, did I miss dinner?" There was a note taped to refrigerator door. Autumn snatched it off, reading the following: Meatloaf and veggies inside.

Autumn shrugged and opened the door to the fridge. A hand suddenly reached out and grabbed her, pulling her inside and shutting the door behind her.

"AAH!" Autumn awoke screaming in terror, her long red hair practically stood on top of her head. She finally stopped screeching at the sound of her mother's voice.

"Autumn! Honey, did you get buried under a pile of clothes again?" Mrs. Tucker called.

Autumn sighed deeply. "No! Everything's fine." She collapsed onto her pillow with another sigh, staring at the Backstreet Boy's poster she'd hung high enough to reach the ceiling.

"Well, you'd better hurry up. You'll be late for your first day of school," her mom called again.

          Autumn quickly looked at her red and white alarm clock, which read seven twenty nine. She let out a whining moan and got out of bed. High school, that was one thing she was sure she wouldn't survive.

          Jeff, Autumn's seventeen-year-old brother, parked in front of Sunnydale High School in his new convertible, which his parents had gotten him as for his seventeenth birthday. Autumn climbed out of the car right after Jeff. She stared up at the school. Not too cheesy, Autumn thought.

"Uh, are you actually going inside or are you going to stand out here in a daze all day?" Jeff asked, swinging his book bag's strap over his shoulder.

Autumn was jarred from her thoughts. "Oh, sorry."

          The two of them entered the building. The halls were crowded with other students, most just walking around, and a few chatting by lockers, and some by the water fountains. After retrieving their schedules and locker locks from the office, listening to rules and regulations that they already knew from their previous schools, and listening to a good luck on the first day speech Autumn and Jeff could finally head to classes. Jeff immediately abandoned Autumn. She wasn't too surprised. Her brother wasn't one for hanging with kids younger than him, even kids in his own family. Autumn headed in the opposite direction of Jeff, heading towards her new locker.

          Far down at the end of the hallway a tall, skinny girl with light shoulder length blonde hair was spinning in circles asking people for directions, a large, heavy book bag on her back.

"Excuse me. Excuse me," she kept saying to passing students, an obvious British accent in her voice. She twirled around to ask a girl with dark hair for information but accidentally fell back, compliments of the heavy book bag. "Oh, dear."

          She struggled to get up as Autumn made her way to that end of the hall. The redhead looked down at the blonde, seeing her trying her hardest to get back up but was no match for the overweight book bag. Autumn reached out her hand, taking the blonde by surprised. She eagerly took hold of Autumn's hand, allowing Autumn to pull her to her feet.

"Hey. Are you OK?" Autumn asked.

"Oh, yes, of course," the blonde replied enthusiastically. "Thank you very much." Autumn nodded with a smile. "You know, it's my fifth day in America and I can't get one bloody person in this entire school to give me simple directions to my homeroom. I mean it's enough I don't know my way around this dreadful country and that I'm carrying a ton of supplies around but I have to put up with such blokes as these. Can you believe it all? It reminds me of this chit I had to put up with back in middle school. I swear, the girl was positively awful—"

"Whoa," Autumn held up a hand to stop her. "Um, not that I don't love a good rant but most people tell me their name before they start a life story."

"Oh." The blonde girl had to chuckle. "I'm sorry." She held out her hand. "I'm Margaret Strider. I'm from London... obviously."

Autumn shook her hand. "I'm Autumn Tucker. I'm from New York."

"New York? Well, then you're new here, too," Margaret had to smile.

"Uh, yeah," Autumn admitted. "Not by choice."

Margaret shrugged. "At least you're familiar with the country."

Autumn laughed a little. "So what's your first class?" she asked, gesturing towards the schedule Margaret held in her hand.

"Oh." Margaret looked the paper over. "I have algebra one with a Mr. Johnson."

Autumn glanced at her own schedule. "Hey, cool, we've got first period together."

"I suppose that if we're going to go through this..."

"Might as well go through it together." Autumn nodded and both girls headed down the hall together. "I was talking to the vice-principal earlier. My record says that I'm oh, so anti-social and I have to talk to the freshman guidance counselor during my free period."

"Oh, dear. Is he some type of stiff?" Margaret asked.

"I don't know. I haven't met him, yet."

"You know. That anti-social thing is ridiculous. I've heard it a million times in London."

"I know," Autumn agreed, pulling a strand of her hair behind her ear. "I had friends at my old school... sort of."

          During her fourth period AKA her free period Autumn trudged towards the freshman counselor's cubicle. She saw that the counselor's back was turned, flipping through some files. Autumn slowly knocked on the wall of the cubicle. The counselor turned around, revealing to be Wesley.

"Oh, hello," Wesley greeted.

"Hi," Autumn returned the greeting timidly.

They stood in an awkward pause for a couple of seconds.

"Well, won't you sit down?" Wesley gestured towards a chair. Autumn smiled, sitting in front of Wesley's desk. Wesley sat behind his desk, removing the small amount of clutter. "You'll have to excuse me. It's my first day."

Autumn raised an eyebrow. What was it, annual first day for everyone she met?

"Yeah, I know the feeling."

"Well, what exactly is the problem... um, er..."

"Autumn," the fifteen-year-old supplied. "Autumn Tucker."

"Yes, right. Now, Autumn, what exactly is the problem? That is, what is bothering you?"

Autumn shrugged. "Nothing really. The vice-principal sent me here to talk to you about my anti-social habits."

"Is that all?" Wesley quickly changed the way he put that. "I mean is that troubling you?"

"Not really. I did have friends back in middle school, though."

"Really?" Wesley removed his glasses. "How many exactly?"

The question caught Autumn off-guard. "Oh, you know. A couple. Study buddies. We went to wild parties, got tattoos, sold dr—" She stopped herself when she saw the glare forming on Wesley's face. "I was just kidding. It was rare when I even went to a birthday party, I hate needles, and drugs aren't good. I mean, they're bad. Really bad and you're a bad kid if you do them." Autumn gave him a sweet smile.

"I see." Wesley stood and moved around his desk, taking a seat on top of it, towering over the teenaged girl. "I don't think you have a real problem here, Autumn. You seem to be quite the bright one."

"Thank you."

"Now why don't you go enjoy your free period. I believe I've wasted enough of your time."

Autumn stood, heading out. "Thanks, Mr. Pryce. This has been... interesting. Bye now." She turned and left.

"Yes, I do love this job," Wes said to himself.

A/N: Parts of this story might be slightly AU like. I want you to know that I notice this so don't bite my head off. Please review.