I Found My Heart in San Francisco

Summary: Starting over after Angelus destroys her life, Buffy has a new chance at love in the city on the Bay.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Charmed characters belong to WB. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Timeline: AU Season 3 BtVS & pre-series Charmed.

A/N: Inspired by but not a response to Challenge #1530 by InvisibleA (unless they tell me otherwise) who wanted Andy and Darryl to move to Sunnydale and date one of the Scooby girls. I've taken it and twisted the idea to Buffy going to San Francisco in the aftermath of Angelus. The canon changes that I have chosen for BtVS are:

Angelus takes place in Buffy's senior year of high school.

The Watchers Council aren't the complete pillocks they were on the show so there was no Cruciamentum and they are willing to help her re-settle/get her diploma, blah, blah, blah.

The Scoobies, including Oz, were killed along with Kendra in the Library so Buffy saves Giles herself after sending Angelus to hell.

Prologue: Letting Go

Sunnydale City Limits

Buffy stood outside Giles' car, looking back at the town doubtfully. "Are you sure it's okay that we leave? I mean, I know that I'm off the hook for the murder charges, but the slaying…?" she trailed off.

Giles spoke to her through the open window from the passenger seat; his injuries required him to hand his keys – reluctantly – to his Slayer, "The Council has assured me that the new Slayer will come to assume responsibility for the Hellmouth. They feel that we both could do with some time to recover physically and emotionally from this last apocalypse. All they request is that we are available if she needs our assistance. Are you sure that you don't want to try to talk to your mother again?" he asked gently.

She shook her head adamantly, "No. She was pretty clear the first five times that she meant it when she said not to bother coming back. At first I was kind of hoping that she only said it because she was thrown by the whole thing, but this last time she threw it in my face that I wasn't even her real kid. Then she shoved my adoption papers in my face."

"Did you want to go look for your birth parents?" he offered through his pain. Part of him wished that he felt better so that he could go shake that woman until some sense seeped into her brain. But as it was, all he could do was be there for his Buffy.

Buffy got back in and started the car up. She cautiously pulled out onto the highway. Normally, she might be a terror behind the wheel, but with her broken Watcher sitting next to her – the only person she really had left in this world – she was being especially careful. She couldn't let anything happen to Giles.

"Not right now. First, you have to recover from your injuries. Besides, my mind is still too numb from everything that happened that night and before I can deal with new parents that gave me up for adoption, I need to deal with losing the Gang and Kendra," she finished, brushing the tears off her cheeks.

Giles nodded in understanding, his own heart breaking at losing his 'children'. "What happened with Spike and Druscilla?" he finally asked the question that had been bothering him for the past few days.

Knowing his reaction, Buffy cringed as she answered, "I promised that if he kept Angelus from killing you that I'd let them go."

And just like she expected, he exploded…as much as he could in his condition, "Why on earth would you make that promise? Especially after what she did?"

She turned and looked him right in the eyes, her determination plain. "Because it was the only way to keep you alive. Plus I figured that I couldn't take all of them on at the mansion."

He was still furious though. "So you let them go?!?"

Buffy gave an evil little smile as she kept driving. "Only for about a quarter mile or so. Then his car windows shattered and they became piles of dust."

Giles was astounded and he couldn't hide it in his next question, "How did you manage that?"

"I remembered something Oz said once about harmonics that could break glass and so I put a recorder in the back seat of Spike's car that would start playing the harmonics 20 minutes after I left it there. Good thing it didn't take them longer to get out or he would have known something was up," she said with a sigh of relief.

"Thank goodness your plan worked," he said with a hint of reproval for taking the risk.

She had that evil smile again as she told him, "I tested it on Snyder's car first. And I figured giving my word to a bloodsucking monster and his psycho ho of a girlfriend that butchered my friends didn't mean that I had to honor it or anything."

Giles laughed at the idea of her destroying Snyder's windows. Then he sobered up when he saw the sign for LA and figured it was a good time to ask, "Yes well…have you given any thought to where you'd like to go for now?"

Running her free hand quickly through her hair before putting it back on the steering wheel, Buffy thought about that. "Let's see, if we need to stick around in case the new girl needs us, we'd probably better stay in California. I can't go back to LA since that's where Hank is – not to mention the bad memories of Merrick and Lothos and all that."

He understood the pain those memories caused her, having talked to her once she grew to trust him enough with the details for his journal. She really didn't need that on top of what she was already feeling. He remembered some correspondence that he had received since getting to California and offered, "How do you feel about San Francisco? They have several museums that I could get employment at once I've recovered enough."

Buffy perked up at the idea a little and sped up a touch, while still remaining close to the speed limit. "Sure, that sounds doable. Let's head to the Bay."


A/N: Next…Settling in.