Disclaimer: Joss is lord and master of all things BtVS and AtS, I merely worship the ground that he walks upon.


Chapter One

You never realize how much you are going to miss something until it is gone.

Right now she missed the sun.

She also missed 70-degree weather, flip-flops, the beach, heck she even missed Cordelia. Sure they talked about what a terrible town Sunnydale was but she couldn't help but miss it anyways.

Here it didn't get much higher than thirty something degrees and when it rained it poured.

Hence she was dreading the short trek from her dorm to her first class of the day at Wutherton Academy. It was called 'Watcher School' by most and 'Hogwarts' by Xander.

Just two months ago she had traded in her tank tops and shorts for a big yellow rain coat and a spankin' new umbrella. To make matters worse the Academy was located somewhere along the northeastern coast of England and the closest town was almost as big as Sunnydale.

Perriwinkle Point was a charming little town and the fact that it only had two cemeteries meant that she didn't have to worry about anything of the undead variety unless it was being used in class for demonstrations.

She hadn't been to town yet, only passed through it as her bus was taking her from the train station to the Academy. The ride had been an hour long, and she had spent it starring out her window admiring the never-ending green scenery.

Half way between Wutherton Academy and the little town of Perriwinkle Point there was a white three story building with iron bars on its windows, and steel doors at nearly every entrance.

She had never seen it before but she had known it would be there and she knew that it was called Preston Medical Center after one of the Academy's most gifted alumni. It was the local hospital but it looked more like an insane asylum than anything else.

She also knew about the special elevator in the basement that lead down to the 'Special Cases' area.

The Special Cases area consisted of two floors, the first one was accessed by the elevator in the basement. It had two security check points, a nurses station, restrooms, a lounge, a vending machine the was bolted to the floor and a second elevator that lead one floor down to the holding cells and another small nurses station.

On this level there were twelve steel doors, each leading to a small cell with a cot and a toilet for the few patients who were actually allowed a modicum of mobility.

It was at Preston Medical Center, three floors below ground level that she was certain her best friend was being held in cell number 10, its door enhanced with powerful spells that made it very capable of holding a Vampire Slayer.

Three months ago, Buffy Summers had disappeared off the face of the planet without so much as a clue to where she had gone. Giles immediately suspected that the council was involved, he knew they were capable of it. He also knew that if they had taken her, then it was more than likely that she was in England, locked in cell number 10 beneath Preston Medical Center.

Two and a half months ago Willow, Xander, Oz, and Cordelia had all graduated from Sunnydale High School. It was around this time that Giles had shared his knowledge of this Hospital with her.

All Watchers' knew about Preston MC, it wasn't a secret it just wasn't talked about. If you graduated from Wutherton Academy, you weren't just handed a diploma. You were handed a set of instructions on what to do should your Slayer ever veer off course and require rehabilitation.

Willow was not only super smart, but she had been practicing her magic and was becoming quite good. She had acceptance letters from some of the best colleges in the country and a few in other countries.

But there was only one school that she was set on going to and it had required a good deal of work and a little white lie to get her there. She needed a special recommendation letter and since Giles was no longer on the Council's favorites list, she had been forced to turn to Wesley.

Wesley had been more than happy to write the letter, but only because he thought that she was truly interested in becoming a Watcher. He had no idea that her main purpose for applying to Wutherton was to find out information about Buffy.

If he had known, Wesley probably wouldn't have written such a good letter.

Willow didn't really trust Wesley because of his connection to the Council, and so he was the only one who didn't know her true intentions. Even Faith knew but she had sworn to keep it a secret from Wesley, she wanted Buffy back just as much as the rest of them.

Willow was kind of excited to be attending a secret and very prestigious school; they didn't let just anybody in. A student had to have superb academic promise, supernatural talent or both and Willow Rosenburg had both.

If she wasn't here to locate her missing friend, she was certain that she would be enjoying the school much more than she currently was. The only real down side was that she wouldn't get to see Oz for a while, his band had rented an RV and were determined to tour in every state they could on their way to New York.

A few days ago when they had spoken on the phone, the band was just arriving in Nevada and they were going to be staying for two weeks before moving on to Texas. As for his wolf transformations, Giles had given him some powerful tranquilizers that would knock him out before the transformation even took place.

So Willow was in England, a few thousand miles away from her home, her family and her friends.

Her classes were great and she was learning tons of stuff that she would never be able to learn anywhere else. Her roommate was decent enough, a brilliant girl from Minnesota who was dead set on becoming head of the Council. She had made it clear from day one that she wasn't stuck up but she didn't have time to make friends, which Willow found to be true once she got a look at the girl's class schedule.

As it turned out, very few people at this school kept their nose out of a book long enough for a friendly conversation. There were certainly a few exceptions, but there weren't many.

Her one and only friend on campus was strangely enough related to Oz, a cousin from Chicago who had a talent for ancient languages and summoning demons all of which he learned from his older brother, Tucker.

Andrew had gotten in to some trouble when he was in High school after he summoned a pack of demon monkeys to attack the school play. It had required high-level magic to summon that particular breed of demonic monkey and it got him noticed by the Watcher's Council.

They thought he showed great promise as long as he was on the side of good, so they sent him an early acceptance letter to Wutherton Academy to further his talents.

After finding out that his baby cousin was a werewolf, Oz wasn't surprised to learn that more of his relatives knew about the supernatural world.

When Willow had stepped off the bus for the first time, Andrew was waiting excitedly to greet and welcome her to Wutherton Academy. The first thing he did was make sure that she steered clear of the Rats, a small group of magic users with questionable morals but great talent. Most of them were magic junkies who used spells to get high or alter reality; they only dealt in mildly dangerous stuff but nothing that would get them kicked out of the Academy.

Willow had accidentally run in to a Rat who lived down the hallway from her in the dorms. Amy was probably the most powerful in the group and also the friendliest but she was definitely a magic junkie.

Andrew had nearly wet his pants when the girl had threatened to turn his skin inside out and turn him into a toad. They had several classes together, one of which he sat behind her and seemed to be constantly kicking her chair.

Andrew was continuing his education in Languages, and taking classes to enhance his magic skills. Because he had gotten in to trouble for using magic he was also taking some classes on the proper use of magic, these were the classes that he shared with Amy.

While he didn't have the smarts or the interest to become a Watcher his talent would likely prove useful to the council once he graduated.

Willow's courses were more centered on honing her magic skills and preparing her for the day when she would become a Watcher, that is if she actually graduated from Wutherton.

Though it was called a Watcher School it served the purpose of training both Watchers and students who were interested in becoming important characters in the war between good and evil.

Some came out good, like Giles and Wesley while others came out bad, like Ethan Rayne for example.

It was terrible to see her like this, so depressed and sick over her missing daughter. He hated that he didn't have the power to storm the place and rescue Buffy himself but as it was they would probably turn him into something or other before he even got close.

Going to the apartment to collect Buffy's things was hard on Joyce, but she had insisted on going with him and Faith.

Rent was three months passed due and since neither Buffy nor Spike could be found anywhere, the landlord wasn't going to wait around for them to comeback. An eviction notice for Buffy had been sent to Joyce in Sunnydale, stating that they had a week to clear the apartment before everything would be taken to the trash

Both Joyce and Giles had been very impressed with the apartment, thankful that she wasn't living in some broken down building with questionable neighbors but they didn't want to think about how she could possibly afford it without so much as a high school diploma.

Giles rented out a storage unit in Los Angeles where all of the furniture could be kept, while Joyce and Faith packed up all the clothes and personal items belonging to Buffy and Spike.

There wasn't much in Spike's room besides a few shirts, jeans and jewelry but they packed it anyways, just in case.

On their way out of the city, they ran into Lorne and Joyce tearfully thanked him for watching after her daughter.

Lorne regretted to report that he hadn't heard any news about Buffy or Spike but he would keep looking and call if he found anything.

He was in the process of trying to rebuild Caritas but with Buffy gone, his heart just wasn't in it. How could he possibly think about entertainment when his Kitty Cat was missing in action?

His whole body ached as muscles he didn't even realize he possessed were used and abused until they bent to his will. Or really the will of his drill sergeant, and man did that guy like to cause pain.

He lay down on his cot as he dropped an envelope on the table next to his bed.

If somebody had told Xander Harris that after high school he would be destined to go no further than his parents' basement, he would have just shrugged and agreed with them. If somebody had told him that he was going to join the army, he wouldn't have argued.

If somebody had told him that his cross-country road trip would actually land him both a job and a free ride to college, he would have laughed his ass off.

Of course it hadn't happened all at once, it was just one of those once in a lifetime things.

His road trip had started okay until his car broken down somewhere in New Mexico. He rented a hotel room at the nearest town and worked in a bar to pay for repairs. This was something that he had kind of expected to happen, he was Xander Harris after all and things hardly ever turned out the way he wanted them to.

The town that he was staying in was small and seemed like a nice enough place until he was walking home one night and got jumped by three vampires.

He put up a fight and managed to stake one of them before the other two tackled him to the ground.

Suddenly there was this electrical sound and the vampires turned to dust, a man dressed in black stealth gear helped him to his feet.

After glancing around he realized that there were four other similarly dressed characters behind him, the man who helped him up congratulated him on dusting the first vampire.

Xander had shrugged it off, mentioning something about having a little experience with vampires and before he knew it he was being offered a chance to join some top-secret group of demon hunters called the Initiative.

The man speaking to him was named Ortega and was training a group of rookies when they had stumbled upon Xander and the vampires.

The Initiative had a facility nearby where Xander joined up and began his training.

That was two and a half months ago.

Yesterday had been his last day of training and this morning he had received papers for where he was to be stationed. It was located near the college of his choice, UC Sunnydale; well actually it was located somewhere beneath the campus grounds.

He couldn't wait to see the look on everyone's faces when he came back to Sunnydale, he had actually found something that he could be good at, something that would make them proud of him.

He only wished Buffy would be there when he returned; she had been on his thoughts a lot while he was training. Thinking of his missing friend is what kept him going, he didn't know what would happen when they found her or when she came back but he wanted to be able to help.

Xander Harris wasn't going to sit on the sidelines anymore; he was going to be a useful part of the team.

Being stationed in Sunnydale meant a lot to him, it meant that he could protect the people in his hometown. He could protect Willow and Joyce and he would be a help to Faith instead of a liability.

Tomorrow he was going home to report in with his superiors and to see his family. He was a little disappointed that Willow and Oz wouldn't get to see him but it couldn't be helped. Willow was in England trying to find out if the council was actually behind Buffy's disappearance and Oz was touring with his band.

Xander glanced up as someone entered his tent, it was his tent mate, a tall friendly guy from Iowa.

"Hey, Xander you get your papers yet?"

"Yeah, did you?"

He handed his papers to Xander, "Looks like you and I are going to be together for a while."

Xander smiled, "You're going to Sunnydale too?"

The guy sat down on his cot, "I didn't really have a preference, but I've always been interested in psychology and UC Sunnydale has a great Psych program."

Xander handed the papers back, "With your experience they'll probably pick you to lead a team, that'll be cool."

The guy shrugged, "Maybe but you have just as much experience as I do and you'll know the town better than most of the guys there, there's no way you wont get a team."

Xander sighed, "Life has taught me a few things Riley, One is nothing good ever comes out of being in Sunnydale."

Ah, that new office smell. She loved that smell; it was the smell of success.

She grinned as she skimmed through the files on her new clients, clients that once belonged to Lindsey Mcdonald. In fact, all the documents that she now possessed had once belonged to him.

She wanted to laugh, just thinking about the coward. News that Darla and Angelus had been killed spread very quickly through Wolfram and Hart, as had news of the Slayer's disappearance.

He hadn't even stayed long enough to pack his things; Lindsey Mcdonald had just up and left. He knew he was going to be in a hell of a lot of trouble once word reached his superiors, but instead of facing it like a man he had run off to god knows where.

Not that she cared at all just so long as she got to take his place.

She hadn't lied to him when she told him that everything he was working on would be hers, including projects that he hadn't even started on.

She was most interested in the V.I.S and the little project that went with it but with Angelus and Darla out of the picture, the project would have to be put on hold until replacements could be found.

Her first step would have to be locating Buffy Summers and the Vampire. Both had disappeared after Angelus and Darla were killed. It was very likely that Spike had dusted in the fire but since the records department hadn't yet stamped his death into the file, she would have to look for him.

If Slayer and Vampire were together somewhere, that would just make her job a lot easier.

Author's Note:

Hope you guys like it so far, sorry it took so long for me to post this. I don't know when Chapter two will be up but I promise that I won't take as long as I did with this first chapter.

I realize that I introduced a few characters that were not on the list (Andrew, Riley, and Amy) but don't worry I will be introducing the two new characters in Chapter two and three.

Amy won't actually be apart of the story; I just figured I'd throw some names in there. She is nothing like the Amy from the show except that she is a junkie. She has no ties whatsoever to Sunnydale. I want to make that clear.

Andrew, I made sure that he wasn't from Sunnydale either because it would have been just too strange a coincidence if a bunch of Sunnydale High kids go to Watcher School, that's why neither he nor Amy are from Sunnydale.

I always thought it was funny how Oz had a werewolf for a cousin so I figured if he has a cousin who is a werewolf why can't he have cousins who practice magic. I also wanted Willow to have a friend there. I have no idea what I am going to do with Andrew, for now he is just kind of Willow's sidekick.

Riley, well I never really liked Riley but besides Oz, he was the only male friend that Xander had.

I knew that Willow was going to be off at Wutherton and I wanted to find something for Xander to be doing. Something that would keep him busy, the poor guy never got a break on the show so I figured I'd cut him one in my story.

And just to be clear, the Initiative that I am using wont turn out like it did in Season 4 of BtVS, the group that Xander has joined merely hunts down and kills demons.

On the show Riley's group was in south America or what not and kind of traveled all over the place but for my story Riley and Xander are going to be fighting the demon population of Sunnydale for a while.

One last thing before I go…I have never been to England. I have never been out of the country except to vacation in Mexico so I don't know what the weather is like. I did my best to research it a bit and from what I learned it rains a lot and it doesn't get anywhere near California weather.

Perriwinkle Point is a made up town so don't go trying to look for it, and if it does actually exist…my bad. The same thing goes for Preston Medical Center and Wutherton Academy, as far as I know they are non-existent places.