*I posted a version of this story earlier in the year. Since then I have done some major revisions and I think they're a little bit better actually. Obviously this is major AU here. Mostly everyone with the exception of Angel (of course) and Doyle (yes, I said Doyle) are human. This is a major reworking of the whole Buffy-verse. Hopefully you guys will like and leave reviews. Please don't flame, if you don't like it, just say so and move on. Well enough pleading, go forth and read! If you like I'll take time out of my busy schedule of stalking Angel spoilers and write more.
Willow Rosenberg sat with her legs firmly tucked underneath her on the bleacher seat of Sunnydale High's gymnasium. Her eyes were firmly locked on the petite blonde she called a best friend and her unfortunate sparring partner. Finally after watching the poor vampire take yet another hit to his precious hair, Willow cleared her throat and addressed the clearly, angry slayer.
"Come on, Buffy. Take it easy on Angel. You're just upset with this new Watcher, not with Angel."
Buffy ignored her and continued to shoot out a flurry of punches and kicks. "Hey, watch the hair!" Angel cried as blocked another punch. "Willow has a point though. I think you're overreacting just a little here."
Buffy Summers ceased her tirade of punches and kicks and glared at the vampire. "What are you deficient? This couldn't be any worse. This so called Council of Watchers decides now after two years that they are going to send another Watcher to replace Merrick? I've been doing just fine with you, Angel!"
"I know, Buffy, but I'm not a watcher and I knew this day was coming."
"Well I didn't. I have never even heard of the Council of Watchers before this. I mean it's like hello they have a council? Since when? And why did they wait all this time to send him? What happened now that didn't happen right after Merrick died?"
"He let you die," a new voice pointed out. Angel barely suppressed a growl of annoyance as Riley Finn entered the gym. Naturally the young man made his way over to Buffy and wrapped his arms around her tinier frame protectively. The fact that the girl could lift a small bus without breaking a sweat just didn't seem to register with him. He viewed Buffy as someone he had to protect through all means.
Perhaps this is why he was the strongest one in support of the new Watcher being in Sunnydale. He figured that this Rupert Giles would finally put an end to the relationship between the ensouled vampire and his Buffy. The sooner he got here the better.
"So when is he due to arrive?" Riley asked, clearing his thoughts away and focusing on the blonde in his arms.
"Tonight," Buffy snorted. "He and his kids, if you can believe, are getting in around eight. Then old Rupert starts work in the school library, no doubt to keep tracks on me, and his kids start school here," Buffy snorted in derision. "We'll probably have to baby-sit them too."
"Buffy, that's not nice. I imagine it can't be easy for them to be the kids of a watcher. Knowing that your father would devote everything they have to this one girl, it must get lonely sometimes," Willow put on her resolve face. Buffy pouted for a moment and sighed.
"Wow, Will's resolve face comes through again," Angel grinned at the redheaded Wicca. "And it only took you how long to learn how to do that?"
"Careful or I'll turn you into a toad!"
"And I just came in at absolutely the wrong time," Xander Harris quipped as he joined the group in the gym. He, the perpetually late Cordelia Chase and frequently absent Doyle were the final members of the Scooby gang as they liked to be called. They were a motley crew that consisted of a slayer, a vampire with a soul, a half demon Irishman who got visions, a semi-powerful Wicca, and three average yet essential humans. But to Buffy they were much more than just that. They were what kept her sane and what saved her life more times than she could count.
She remembered how lost she felt after Merrick had been killed right in front of her face. That was the night she met Angel. She was immediately drawn to the brooding vampire, but he saw her more as someone to teach than someone to love and gradually the romantic feelings were replaced by feelings of friendship and an unshakable bond was formed between the two. Buffy moved to Sunnydale a few months after that and Angel had followed. There she had met Xander and Willow. Cordelia had managed to fall into the group, though claiming to hate the lot of them every second of every day. Doyle was the vision having messenger of the Powers that Be. His visions often saved the lives of one or more of the Scoobies. Like that night with the Master…
It still pained her to think of that night. If Doyle hadn't got that vision in time…. She snuggled deeper into Riley's embrace trying to find comfort from the demons that plagued her mind. But there was no comfort to be had. She had been dating the year older Riley for almost two years now and even though he was her normal guy, something didn't feel right. Doyle had a vision one night that led to them rescuing Riley from being snacked on by a bunch of vampires and he had been a part of Buffy's life since. She supposed she loved him, or at least she wanted to be in love with him. He was everything she thought she wanted: normal had a steady pulse and no sun allergies. She shook her head, of course she loved Riley. She stood on her tiptoes and planted a soft kiss on his cheek, much to the disgust of everyone else in the room. Riley was not as popular with them though. It was no secret her friends did not approve of her boyfriend, especially Angel, who looked at her as a little sister and someone he had to protect at all costs, and Xander, who saw her as a sister, a really, really hot sister he just happened to have the hots for a little while.
"So," Willow said, trying to fight the urge to bolt and to prevent Xander or Angel from saying something insulting about Riley. It wasn't that she approved or liked Riley any more than the others, it was just that she knew having Riley around made Buffy semi happy and semi happy was more than enough reasons for her to protect the brainless dolt. Her lips twisted in a smirk as the thoughts floated in her head. She shook her head and focused on the group in front of her. "Anyone seen Cordy and Doyle today?"
"Knowing them they are probably in the janitor's closet again," Buffy giggled. At that moment their missing members came running breathlessly into the gym.
"Sorry we're late," Doyle panted. His hair was sticking to the side and his clothes were even more rumpled than usual. Willow covertly hid her smile and looked at Buffy who was grinning suggestively. "I had a, uh, appointment. Yeah an appointment."
"And I had to um, cheer. I had cheerleading practice and it ran late," Cordelia Chase flashed them a winning smile. "You know me! Committed till the end."
Angel chuckled at the duo. "What? You got a comment, Brood Boy?" Cordelia snapped her gaze over to Angel.
"I can smell you two all over each other!" Angel snickered. Doyle flushed red as did Cordelia. "Why can't you two just admit you're dating? It's not like we don't all already know!"
"Its not that easy and you know it," Cordelia snapped. Doyle looked at her for a moment and his blue eyes registered hurt before he walked out the gym. Cordelia sighed and rubbed her forehead tiredly. "Happy now, Angel? Was there a point to this meeting or does my life just suck extra hard for no reason?"
"Well we were here to talk about how much Buffy doesn't want a new Watcher."
"But Buffy we could definitely use the extra fire power and the fact that you really need a watcher. Someone who is actually trained to do this," Riley stated as if talking to a small child. "Someone who can actually watch your back and not let you die."
"Just drop it already, Fish Boy. You weren't even there! You only heard about it second hand so can you please just drop it as it is a sensitive subject for those of us who were actually there that night!" Angel ground out. He spared Buffy an apologetic glance. "I can't do this today. I'll see you tomorrow same time, library right?"
"Of course," Buffy answered as he stalked out the door in the same direction Doyle headed out in. Buffy sighed before facing Riley. "What is your problem? Why do you hate Angel so much?"
"He is a vampire, Buffy and you're a vampire slayer. I don't know why you all keep glazing over that fact. You're job is to slay the vampires."
"Angel is a good vampire and you know it. He has helped us since the day I moved to this town. If it hadn't been for him Luke and his gang would have gone through with their whole scheme we would have been royally screwed," Buffy crossed her arms over her chest. "You have no right to speak to him or about him like that. He is like my best friend and an even better ally."
Riley relented realizing he was not going to win this argument. "Fine. I'm sorry." He placed a kiss on her hair. He could only hope that the new watcher would have a problem with his slayer relying on the help of a formerly evil vampire with a supposed soul helping them out now.
"So," Xander tried to change the subject. "Cordy and Doyle huh?"
"Shove it, Harris, or else. Was there anything else that needed to be said?" Cordelia asked impatiently.
"Well there was," Willow cleared her throat and glared at Riley. "But since someone chased Angel away, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to ask."
"What's up, Will?"
"It seems as the Anointed one is calling in some heavy hitters, two vampires from the Master's line. I was hoping that Angel could give us some information since he is from the line of Aurelius. But I guess that is out now."
Willow glared at Riley, who only shrugged and grabbed onto Buffy once again. Willow rolled her eyes. She stood up abruptly and grabbed her backpack. "I'm out of here. I am gonna go find Angel."
"He is probably checking on Doyle, wherever he is. Check out Willy's," Xander suggested. Cordelia looked up from her ever so absorbing nails at the sound of the Irishman's name.
"You shouldn't have to go there alone, Willow. I'll go with you." Before Willow could even reply, Cordelia had dragged her out the gym.
Buffy and Xander waited a hair breath before laughing hysterically. "Oh my," Buffy wiped her tears away. "She is so in love with him! Why can't she just admit it?"
"Because he is a demon," Riley explained. "Its just wrong that she can even have romantic feelings for that thing."
Xander tensed up. "Fish Boy, I really don't care what you have to say about Angel. I'm not really a big fan of his anyway but back up off Doyle. He's a good guy and even more the butt monkey of this group than me. You try getting those head splitting visions and see how great you feel? It's because of that thing that most of us are still standing here today. Hell, it's because of one of Doyle's visions that we found your ungrateful carcass about to be fed on by vampires."
Riley closed his eyes tightly. "You're right. I'm sorry, Xandman. We're cool?"
"Yeah," Xander mumbled reluctantly only after catching the hopeful look that Buffy was throwing his way. "So I wonder what the new watcher and his family are like."
"You just want to know if he has a hot daughter!" Buffy teased him as the trio started to make their way out of the gym.
"Naturally," Xander shrugged, slinging a causal arm around Buffy's shoulders. "I'm telling ya, Buff. This might not be as bad as you're trying to make it. As a matter of fact I get good feelings from this whole situation."
"Really now?" Buffy raised an eyebrow.
Xander nodded. "I feel that everything is going to change and possibly for the better." Buffy glanced up and saw that for once the usually joking brunette was looking serious. She smiled at him briefly.
"I hope you're right, Xander. I really hope you're right."
*Alright, so what did you think? Thought it sucked, thought it had potential, thought I should grow up and accept that the show is over… wait no sorry, that's my best friend. Um, well yeah let me know what you thought. Thanks.