Angelic Watcher

Angelic Watcher

By:  Heather

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters from BTVS or A:TS, or the 'Buffy' movie either for that matter. Anyone else is mine.
 RATING: PG-13
SUMMERY: AU; Buffy was never found by the Watcher's Council, someone else trains her ;-).
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Alrighty then, here's the deal, this story is AU. Buffy lives in LA with her parents . Angel also lives in LA, he never did the bum routine in New York. The previous slayer has been killed, so Buffy has been called, but the Watcher's Council has yet to find her, so she doesn't have a clue about anything.

~*~*~*~

Angel moved quickly along the dark Los Angeles street. It was more crowded that he was used to, but because of his dark clothing and stealth like movement he went largely unnoticed by his fellow pedestrians. This suited him fine, he didn't like to be around a lot of people. It only served to point out his differences and show him the things that he wanted most, but knew he would never obtain.

He sighed and asked himself once again what he was doing out this early. He normally held off his nightly patrols until the early morning hours, but tonight he felt restless. Something in the air was telling him to keep his guard up, that something big was going to happen this night.

Realizing that he had been walking for the better part of an hour, without destination, Angel stopped to get his bearings. Looking around, he saw that he was standing in front of a movie theater. Judging by the exterior and the patrons that were milling around, it was one of the 'classier' theaters in LA. A glance at the sigh proved him correct. 'The Paramount' was the newest movie theater to open, which explained the large crowd. Having a vague idea of where he was, Angel continued on his journey until a familiar tingle made it's way up his spine.

A slayer.

Feeling her approach from behind him, Angel stepped deep into the shadows in an attempt to hide his presence from her. Once he was well hidden, he began searching the streets for her. All he saw was a group of teenagers coming in his direction, all around 15 or 16 years old, four girls and three guys.

Quickly dismissing them, Angel continued to search the darkness for the danger that he felt coming closer and closer to him. Even with his enhanced night vision, he could see no one else nearby. Surprised, he came to the realization that she had to be one of the teenagers, who were now directly in front of him.

Once they had passed him by without incident, Angel stepped out of the shadows and began to trail behind the group, trying to pin point which girl was the slayer. Keeping to the shadows he began to edge closer to them. As he neared, he began to pick up bits of the conversation.

"I thought the movie was, like, way over-rated, you know," a red haired girl said to the others.

"Oh, come on, it was great!" one of the guys replied.

The same girl turned to face him, "Please! Tyler you only liked all of the action scenes and half naked women, isn't that right Buffy? Buffy?"

At the sound of her name, the small blond girl jumped and looked at her friends questioning faces, "Sorry, what was the question?"

"What's your deal? Are you sleepwalking?"

"No, I just...Do you ever have the feeling someone's following you?" she asked looking over her shoulder.

Angel jumped out of her line of sight, but he was still close enough to hear. It looked like he had found the slayer, but she wasn't trained very well. 'Must have just been called recently,' he thought.

"Paranoid, much?" the same girl asked.

The slayer, Buffy, laughed, "I'm sorry. It must have been the movie. I guess it made me nervous."

"Don't worry, honey, I'll protect you," Tyler said, placing his arm around her waist and pulling her close to his side.

They continued to chat amongst themselves as they walked, with Angel following behind them. He wasn't sure why he was following this girl. Any vampire with half a brain knew that when you see a slayer, if at all possible, you go in the opposite direction. There was something, however, that wouldn't let him walk away this time. He just didn't know what.

The group of teens entered on of LA's many parks, and all sat around a large picnic table. Angel was about to give up and continue his patrol, when he felt several of his kind nearby. A quick look around revealed that there were four vampires closing in on the unsuspecting teens.

'Why doesn't she sense them?' Angel thought as he edge closer to the vampire nearest him. He didn't make it in time, however, as all four jumped out, startling the teens.

"What do you want?" one of the boys asked, as he and his friends huddled close together.

"You," the leader of the vampires answered.

All at one, the three boys threw themselves and the smallest of the vampires. He was knocked down, giving the teens a moment to make their get away. Seeing them make a run for it, Angel decided to wait until they were far enough away, then he would be able to dispatch the vampires with little trouble. However, the fallen vampire regained his senses in time to grab the last person that ran past him. Buffy. Not noticing that she had been caught, her friends continued to run.

Buffy struggled against the vampire that was holding her captive, but it was to no avail. Although she was stronger than he had been expecting, he was still able to keep her subdued. It was obvious that she was petrified and had absolutely no idea what to do.

Seeing this, Angel knew he had no choice but to reveal himself. Saying a quick word of thanks that all of the vamps were fledglings, he quickly jumped from his hiding place and charged the group.

Catching them by surprise, he was able to knock the first two down before they had a chance to react. Spinning around, he quickly ducked a punch thrown by the third and threw one of his own, knocking the vamp to the ground, where his buddies were still trying to untangle themselves. Exchanging looks with his three friends, the remaining vamp, pushed Buffy towards Angel and took off running, with his friends not far behind.

Catching her in his arms before she could tumble to the ground, Angel asked, "Are you all right?"

She didn't answer him; instead she flung her arms around his neck and began to sob. Somewhere in her incoherent babbling, he understood that she was saying, "Thank you," over and over. Not knowing what else to do, he gently placed his arms around her and tried to calm her down.

Once her crying had subsided, he gently moved her away from him and took a step back, to where he could get a good look at her. Once he could finally see her, he was stunned. If he had thought she was beautiful from a distance, she was a goddess up close. Her golden hair framed a perfect face, with emerald green eyes, and full, beautiful lips. As he stared at her, Angel quickly realized that he could easily fall in love with this girl.

His thoughts were interrupted when she asked, "Who are you?"

Catching himself, he stepped even further away from her, "Just a friend," he replied. "I was walking past and heard them. Are you ok?"

"Yeah, just scared," she nodded. "Who were those guys? They just came out of nowhere. Did you see their faces? There was something was wrong with them."

"You don't know?" he asked skeptically, bringing a halt to her babbling.

"Why should I?" she asked sounding confused.

"They were vampires," he replied and awaited her response. He was starting to believe that she honestly had no idea about her calling. He didn't have a clue as to what he was going to do if that turned out to be the truth.

"Vampires?" she repeated. Slowly she began to walk backwards, moving further away from him, "Ok, then. It was nice meeting you. Thanks for saving me. I've got to go."

"Why aren't you trained?" Angel asked, more to himself than to her.

At his question, she stopped, "Trained?"

"Yes, trained. A slayer is trained by her watcher," at her confused look he continued, "to fight the vampires."

"Ok, say for one second that I believe you, which I don't, I don't know what a Watcher or a Slayer is, but I certainly am not either one. So, that being the case, why would I be trained to do anything, much less *fight vampires.*"

'Stupid Watcher's. What did they do? Lose her?' Angel asked himself, running a hand though his hair while he tried to think. How do you convince someone that they are the one person in the world capable of fighting the forces of darkness?  Most of which, they have believed to be a myth for their entire life.

Before he could choose, the decision was made for him when one of the vamps he had scared off returned. It was rushing straight for Buffy when he spotted it. He quickly whipped out a stake that he had hidden in his coat and tossed it to her. Before she had time to think, the vamp was upon her. Moving strictly on instinct, she turned and buried the stake deep in his chest. As he turned to dust, the implications of what had just transpired occurred to her and she began to panic.

"Oh my God. He was going to...You threw...I just...That was a...," finally she paused, and bent over, placing her hands on her knees, "I'm going to be sick."

Slowly, Angel approached her, "Take a deep breath."

Listening to his suggestion, she began to breath deeply and soon she had calmed down slightly.

"What's your name?" Angel asked, although he already knew. He had to find some way to keep her calm while he decided what to do.

"Buffy. You?"

"Angel."

Seeming to come to a decision, she replied "Nice to meet you."

Angel smirked at her ability to just accept things and asked, "Do you believe me now?"

"Do I have a choice," she asked sarcastically. At Angel's serious look she replied, "About the vampires, yes. I don't know about the rest. What exactly is a vampire slayer?"

Angel sighed. He couldn't believe that he was doing this. The Watchers must be stupider than even he had thought they were. "How do you go about *losing* a slayer?" he mumbled to himself before continuing in a normal voice, " In every generation, there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. She is the slayer. *You* are the slayer."

As she tried to digest this new information, Buffy asked, "How do you know so much about this. How can you possibly know that I am the slayer? I mean, couldn't you be mistaken?"

"I'm not exactly what I seem, either. Trust me, you are the slayer," Angel replied mysteriously.

Seeing that he wasn't going to say more, she sighed, "So what do I do now?"

"Don't tell anyone about this. Besides that, just lie low until someone from the Watcher's Council finds you. Until then, stay inside at night or make sure that your friends are with you. Don't let yourself get caught in a deserted place like this again."

"What do I do if I can't avoid something? What if something happens before they find me."

"Do what I say and nothing will happen," he stated briskly, but at her scared and pleading look he continued. "Do you know how to get to the club 'Blaze'?"

"Yes"

"I have an apartment in the basement, of you get in trouble, go there. If I'm not home, just wait there for me."

"Ok, are you going to tell me how you know all this?" she asked, although the way she said it, it was more of a demand than a question.

Just as he was about to answer, he heard voices. It was her friends returning, they must have finally realized that she wasn't with them. Angel looked in that direction, causing Buffy to also look just as Tyler rushed to her side.

"Buffy! Are you ok? We didn't know you weren't with us! Did they hurt you?" he asked as he frantically searched her for injury.

"I'm fine," she replied. "Angel, here, scared...." she trailed off when she realized he was gone.

"Who?" Tyler asked, also looking around.

"Oh, no one I guess. Just this guy, he scared them off," she replied, remembering Angels warning to not say anything.

"Ok," Tyler smiled, "Since there was no harm done, what do you want to do now?"

"You know," Buffy said, "Those guys really scared me. Could you just walk me home, please?"

"Sure," he replied.

He placed his arm around her waist and they began to walk toward her house, neither of them noticing that they were being followed.

~*~*~*~

Buffy entered her house quietly. She wasn't late, for once, but she didn't feel like dealing with her parents tonight. She had enough to worry about, without them getting on her case about something.

Once she had made her way upstairs and closed the door to her room quietly, she heaved a sigh of relief. She walked across her room and flopped down on her bed, not bothering to change clothes. The night's events were replaying in her mind. It was all just so hard to believe.

Vampires were real? And she was the *one* person in the world that could stop them. How was this possible? If she hadn't seen it with her own eyes, she would never have believed it.

While she kept telling herself that, deep down she knew it wasn't true. Somewhere deep inside, she had believed everything that Angel told her immediately. She didn't know why, but something in her told her that he was speaking the truth.

Who was Angel anyway? Just this mystery guy that appeared out of nowhere. He just delivered this message that was going to end her life as she knew it and then he walked away. There was definitely more to him than he was admitting.

Oh, and also, he was WAY cute, but she really didn't have time to focus on that now. She would do that later.

Right now, she just couldn't handle this, any of it. Feeling everything caving in on her, Buffy began to do something she rarely ever did.

She began to cry.

~*~*~*~

Angel watched from outside her bedroom window. He desperately wanted to comfort her and tell her that everything would be fine, but he knew that he would be a lying. From this night on, her life would never be the same.

Everything in him was telling him that he should really do something to help her. Maybe he should try and contact the Watcher's Council, although he was still questioning their intelligence.

No, he couldn't take that risk. He couldn't take the chance that they would discover his presence. He would never be able to convince them or make them accept the fact that, Angelus, the 'Scourge of Europe' was now playing for the home team. Gypsy curse, or not, to them he was still a vampire, and a damn dangerous one at that.

He had already taken too big of a risk, by telling her his name. When her Watcher finally found her, he would surely piece it together. However, even knowing this, he couldn't lie to her when she had asked his name. For some reason, he couldn't stand the thought that she wouldn't have had anything to remember him by.

Whatever the reason, he knew he had gone to far when he told her where he lived. When her watcher figured out who he was, they would surely come for him. Part of him screamed, 'Buffy wouldn't do that!', but the rest of him knew the truth. He was nothing to her, just another vampire.

Sighing, Angel placed his head in his hands. When that time came, he would just move on. He had been doing it for over two hundred years. This time was no different.

Looking through the window one last time, Angel came to a decision. He just had to put this night out of his mind, put Buffy out of his mind. He just had to forget all about her and continue with his life. With his mind made up, he jumped down from his perch and began to make his way home.

All the while knowing, that he was kidding himself if he thought that he would be able to forget about her.