Spoilers: Everything up to the beginning Buffy season 5 and Angel season 2 in this fiction, but I think it's best if you've seen all of season 5 and 2. The story begins after Angel 2x3 and Buffy 5x3, however the Scoobies never met Toth. Let's just say... he decided to take a little trip to Tinseltown first... Giles owns the Magic Box and has it open for customers, Anya is working for him – this happened in 5x5 so it's a little ahead of time, but, well, this I my fiction, so I rule!

Summary: What if the last member of the Tothric clan never made it to Sunnydale and Buffy? What if he encountered Angel in LA instead? And what if it wasn't as easy as "let the spell be broken" to put the two entities back together again…Spins away from there. Based on the BtVS episode The Replacement. Crossover with Angel.

Rating: Probably R-ish – it will be dark at times, there will be murder, character death, maybe a little torture, probably bad language, possibly adult situations. It has Angelus, I think that's saying enough…

Pairings: B/A. Some hints of X/A and W/T, Buffy/Angel is in focus and I'm not sure I will take the time to focus on any other pairings.

Feedback: Yes, please! This is the first fic that I have actually decided to publish, so feedback is greatly appreciated.

A/N: My very first fic, written early 2004 – since then it's been rewritten and edited for the better. It's already done and I'm well in to writing a sequel, but since I'm editing it, I will post as I rewrite.

Disclaimer: Let me make it simple. Me not own. Joss co own, but me borrow, so – me glad.


"You called yourselves… Nighthawk?" Riley looked at Xander, not sure what to think.

"Well, that was just my nickname," he explained. "The Willow, Cordelia and Oz had other..." he swallowed. "Names that we don't need to talk about." He nodded. "They had their own nicknames." Riley nodded slowly.

The gang – Buffy, Riley, Xander, Anya and Willow were standing around a table at the Bronze. It was late, the live band had left for the night and the music had changed to miscellaneous songs from a CD player, but the dance floor was still pretty crowded.

They were currently discussing the concept of ordinary humans going on patrol. The subject had come up when Buffy had happened to mention that she wouldn't want Riley to patrol on his own unless he had his super power left over from the Initiative, and since then it had spun in a completely different direction. Xander and Willow were telling them stories from the summer 1998, when Buffy was in LA.

Luckily, so far they had avoided, or maybe just happened not to mention why she had left town. Buffy hoped that it would stay that way. She knew that Riley was touchy when it came to the subject of Angel. He had been ever since she first told him about their relationship – even more so after the two had encountered and Angel had proven Riley's physical inferiority. Maybe she was just imagining things, but Buffy was pretty sure the whole thing had become even more sensitive to him since that incident with Dracula a few weeks ago. He didn't say much, but something was wrong, she could tell.

He smiled at her. She smiled back absently, not actually hearing what he said.

"Right, Buffy?" She looked at him.


"I just said that even though supernatural assistance on patrol might be most effective, I think that you've found me useful." He grinned slightly. "In more than one way." She smiled a little.

"Oh. Yeah, right." Riley extended his hands and took one of hers between them, massaging it.

"Are you alright? You seem a little out of it tonight."

"I'm fine."

"So, what's Tara doing tonight? Did she stay home?" Xander asked Willow. She nodded.

"Yeah, she's in the dorm room." She smiled. "I mean, our dorm room. She just moved the last of her stuff in today; I think she wanted to get everything unpacked as soon as possible. I offered to help, but she thought I should go out with you instead."

"Well, you can just invite her another night."

"Yeah." She turned to Buffy. "So, are you dorming up at all this semester? Or are you staying at home?" Buffy shrugged.

"I would, to save a little cash, but no – with the spazzy younger sibling inhabiting the residence, I'm thinking I'd rather not. I've signed up for a single room this semester. Not cheap, I tell you, but I figure it's worth it. I can't tell you how much I'm NOT in for another Kathy-thing," she grimaced. No, getting another randomly selected roommate definitely wasn't an option. She shook her head.

"No, I'm all solo-Buffy this year." Willow nodded and side glanced at Riley, who suddenly had become very busy fiddling with his drink. She debated whether to say anything but quickly decided against it. If Buffy wanted to live with Riley, she would have told him herself.

"So, what did Giles say on your meeting today?" She asked instead to move on from the housing subject. "Any scaries or big evil a brewin?" Buffy shook her head.

"Nah, seems like we're in a no-evil phase at the moment. Who knows, maybe this will actually be a quiet fall?" Willow nodded enthusiastically.

"For once," she added. "I'd say it's about time for one of those."

"Ladies, do you actually believe that yourselves?" Xander smirked. "These last four years, we've dealt with the average of two impending apocalypses per year, and something tells me that there won't be any shortage in the future, unless of course the Hellmouth declares bankruptcy."

"Two per year?" Riley asked, swallowing. "You haven't told me it was THAT much."

"No?" Buffy said. "Well, you know, there was the Master and his wacky Hellmouth-opening-plans, and, uh, the Judge, and…"

"Angel," Xander supplied, picking up his drink, sipping it. Riley frowned. Buffy had told him that Angel went evil and killed people, but the apocalypse part of it was new.

"And the sisterhood of Jhe," Buffy continued quickly. "Remember them? And the Mayor… And ooh, remember those 'bones of child' demons who wanted to open the Hellmouth, what were they called… um, Valhalla?" Xander snorted with laughter and began to cough as he choked on his drink.

"Vahrall," Willow provided, pounding Xander in the back.

"Yeah," he wheezed, recovering. "But who knows, maybe they were Norsemen? 'Cause, I've heard Swedish people can be pretty scary." Anya scowled and swatted him in the arm.

"Hey!" He winced from her blow.

"Okay – ow. What was that for?" He rubbed his arm.

"I happened to be Swedish before I became a vengeance demon," Anya said in an accusing voice.

"Mmm, and gee, how could I get the idea that Swedes are scary from you?" he grimaced, putting his arm around her and kissing her heartily on the cheek. She smiled, satisfied for the time being.

"Did you also happen to hear the saying 'like a Viking in the sack'?" she whispered huskily. "Which you are, by the way."

"Mm, okay, moving on now," Buffy suggested.

"What? You're just jealous because your boyfriend isn't a Viking in the sack," Anya shot back. Both Buffy and Riley inched uncomfortably.

"There's nothing wrong with my boyfriend," Buffy said stiffly, not comfortable discussing her sex life with Anya. "Of course, I haven't actually ever been with a Viking, so I wouldn't know for sure…" Anya nodded.

"Right. I mean, Riley is an Iowa boy and Angel was more of a… what was he again?"

"Demon," Xander supplied.

"Well, I know that!" she protested. "I meant where he came from."

"Fiery depths of hell?" Xander suggested. "That's where demons come from, right?" Anya scowled and opened her mouth to say something else.

"Ireland," Buffy cut off. "He's Irish."

"Huh. So he's an Irish demon then," Xander replied. He considered that for a moment. "Not to mistake in any aspect with the wee Irish fear demon from last Halloween, one assumes. 'Cause… that just wouldn't… work," he said, realizing too late that maybe he had gone a little too far. Anya studied Buffy, who was blushing, and Riley for a second as both of them stared deeply into their mugs.

"Very unseemly. Too private," she said silently to Xander. He nodded.

"Thank you. Got it."

They were silent for a few moments as a new song started. Old memories hit Buffy when Sophie Zelmani's low-key voice sounded out the first few lines of "I'll remember you":

"Hey, this is a nice song. Wanna dance?" Riley smiled at her and made a move to put his arms around her waist, trying to overcome the uncomfortable tension from before. She grimaced slightly and pulled away.

"You know what? Another time. I – um, it's just that I promised Giles I'd patrol tonight, I wanna do a sweep before it gets too late." Riley nodded.

"You're right. Duty before fun, I'll go with you."

"No, don't!" He was immediately taken aback, lowering his gaze. Buffy winced. Was her nice girlfriend tone of voice on everlasting sabbatical nowadays?

"I just mean, don't," she continued more softly. "I need to cover a lot of ground tonight, and – and I promised my mom I wouldn't be home too late." She put on her jacket. "Talk to you tomorrow, okay?" Riley nodded, trying to hide his disappointment.

"Yeah, maybe if you have time, we could hook up and do something tomorrow?" Buffy nodded quickly.

"Good night," Riley went on. "Be careful out there." He kissed her quickly. She smiled and turned to go.

"That was strange," Anya commented.

"This is an Angel-y song," Willow said as soon as Buffy had disappeared, as if to explain her friend's sudden disappearance. Riley frowned.

"A what?"

"An Angel song. You know," she continued, reminiscing. "They played it here the first time he and Buffy met after she found out that he was a… well, you know."

"Gee, isn't that romantic," Xander said dryly.

"Yeah," Riley replied tonelessly, staring in the direction that Buffy went. "Very." He turned back to the group, trying to shut out the last few lines in the song that suddenly got a completely new meaning.

"I'll remember you, you will be there in my heart,
I'll remember you, but that is all that I can do,
But I'll remember"

At the same time about 90 miles or so away, Angel stepped down hard on the gas pedal and let the Plymouth accelerate on the long stretch of empty street before him. Now, while the positive sides of being a vampire were few and far between, this was one of them. Working by night. Not that Los Angeles was ever completely dormant, but the traffic during the night was far from as demanding during his working hours as when the sun was high on the sky.

All too soon, he had to slow down for a sharp right turn, losing precious seconds in the pursuit of the demon he was following. As if that wasn't enough, he heard his cell phone chirp briskly from the back seat. He had banished it there earlier when it had refused to stay still on the instrument panel – a move he now regretted.

Keeping his eyes on the road, he reached and grabbed it, cursing the fact that he had ever let Cordelia talk him into getting one of these in the first place. Well, now that he was putting up with it, he should answer. The call might be important, as Cordelia was forever telling him.

"Hello," he answered. "Cordelia, what is it?" Angel spotted the sign he had been looking for and eased the car into a dingy parking lot full of potholes and rocks, threatening to harm his car seriously if he didn't look out. "I'm at the motel now... What room? Yeah, I'm going in now, hopefully it's still there. I'll let you know. Yes, I know."

Breaking off any further conversation, he flicked the phone off and put it in his pocket. Even during that short call Cordelia had taken the time to point out the fact that it had taken him entirely too long to answer the call. What if she had called with important news? Angel sighed. Cordelia was a good friend, but sometimes she overdid the lectures.

Still, he had to admit that the phone had come in handy during this latest mission. Angel was on the trail of a Bucah beast – a vicious creature that had killed at least four people so far that they knew of, leaving tattered parts and remains behind. Cordelia's latest vision had shown it at this location, at a shabby motel, close only to abandoned industrial parks. Angel was determined to finally catch it this time and stop it from wreaking any more havoc.

Cordelia had given him the room number 13 which was near the end of the row. Not that it mattered really; this place couldn't have many guests. Angel couldn't see any light from room number 13, so with any luck maybe the Bucah was in there sleeping. Not wasting another second, Angel moved into position and kicked down the door, hoping to be able to use the element of surprise to his advantage. That surely would have worked fine; if the room hadn't been empty and abandoned.

"Damn it," he cursed, taking in the smell of the room. At least the demon had been there recently, he could clearly make out its ripe scent above the usual mixture of blood, sweat, food and other various human odors that always existed in motel rooms.

However, seeing as it wasn't there anymore, either he or Cordelia's vision must have been off on the timing. Or maybe the demon had sensed the danger and decided to hit the road as soon as it heard his car from the parking lot?

Frustrated Angel stepped away from the room, considering whether to return to the hotel or try to track the demon. He was tired. He was tired most of the time, nowadays, even though he rested more and hadn't worked very much during the last few weeks. It was the dreaming that sucked the energy out of him.

The dreaming… of her. Darla. The dreams were so vivid that he could swear that he had actually lived them – only he hadn't. He couldn't have, since Darla was dead and he always woke up in his own bed where he fell asleep. Even after he woke up he felt like she was close to him. Her touch, her scent… If this was his punishment for killing his sire, it was clearly delayed. Very delayed – like 3,5 years. It didn't make any sense. He hadn't told Wesley or Cordelia yet, he wasn't comfortable with sharing his problems.

He had almost decided to head back home when he spotted a creature quickly fleeing down the road. Relatively tall and skinny with long finlike arms and short legs – it was definitely the Bucah.

Immediately back into the game, Angel tore off in pursuit. He gained ground quickly on the short legged demon. Probably realizing that it stood no chance against him above ground, the Bucah made a bolt to the street and leaped down an open manhole into the sewer.

Angel wasn't far behind it when he entered the sewer. Underground though, he found himself at a great disadvantage. The demon moved quickly and lightly through the muck, its long arms aiding it, while Angel struggled forward with each step.

He was loosing ground, and even though he probably knew as much of the sewer system as the Bucah, it wouldn't do him much good if he couldn't keep up with it. He gamely flopped forward, refusing to give up so easily, even though his prey was now well ahead of him, disappearing around a corner and out of Angel's sight.

When he finally rounded the corner, Angel stopped in dismay. The tunnel was going two ways, and he had no clue which way the Bucah had gone. Above ground he would be able to track it by scent, but down here, the smell of sewer made it impossible.

He figured he might as well just pick a direction and hope it was right, as standing still and thinking about it wouldn't do any good. He quickly decided on heading left and splashed on. A few minutes of useless hunt later, he was ready to give up when he saw a flash of movement further down the tunnel. Encouraged, he hurried towards it.

After another few steps, the tunnel expanded into a large square-shaped area. Angel heard movement and spun around, expecting to see the Bucah, but instead found himself face to face with a tall, brownish demon armed with a long, rod-like weapon. It didn't look too happy.

Angel held up his hands. "Take it easy, I don't want any trouble here, okay. I'm looking for someone, and I don't think he's here. You just stand there and I'll be going back the way I... then again, maybe I won't."

The Bucah darted into his line of vision again before disappearing down the tunnel Angel had just come from. Forgetting about the other demon, Angel charged forward, hoping to catch the Bucah before loosing it again – and the strange demon fired. A bolt of energy shot out of its weapon and struck Angel in the back. He flew back and slammed into the tunnel wall, hitting his head.

Hurting from the impact and the shot of energy, Angel pushed himself to his feet. Evidently he had a second enemy now, and he couldn't stay on the ground without the risk of being killed where he lay. He hadn't really cared about the second demon originally, but being attacked hadn't exactly made him overly charitable.

As soon as the rod equipped demon saw that Angel had regained his footing, it roared and lunched at him, using the rod as a fighting staff. Pissed off and rather sick of chasing demons through sewers, Angel roared back at him and moved in.

He easily ducked the other demon's moves, snatching the weapon away from it and battering the creature with a series of swift kicks and punches. It took mere seconds before the demon howled and went to the ground motionless.

Angel eyed it suspiciously. That had been easy, far too easy considering that he had been injured and electrified before the fight began. Still, when he cautiously checked, he could confirm that the demon was dead.

No use in brooding over that – it must simply have been much more delicate than it looked. Angel peered out into the tunnel where the Bucah had disappeared. It was long gone now, no use wasting more time on it. With a mental shrug he dismissed it and collected the other demon's body to dispose of it above ground.