See part 1 for disclaimer!

Chapter 3:

Breaking into the clothing store had been easy, the unnatural strength she had been missing as a human more than a match for the primitive locks. She was not as strong as Angelus remembered being when they had been separated, though. The demon growled, not satisfied with the current state of affairs at all.

Ignoring him as best she could, Angela found herself standing in front of a mirror, staring at nothing. She had felt strangely self-conscious, running through the streets of Sunnydale with nothing but a sheet to hide her nudeness. Looking down she could see the pale flesh of her chest, her breast, her legs, but the mirror showed her nothing. Nothing at all.

Not even Buffy knew that, during those few short months in the sun, she had spent many hours standing in front of the mirror, studying this body that she had lived in for a century but never seen before. She only remembered Liam's body, a young man's flesh, but now knew that she had never lived inside that. No, she had been born into this body, the only body she had ever had and would have until the day she died.

It saddened her that she could not see it now in this new light.

Quickly outfitting herself with a pair of black jeans, black boots, black shirt, and a black leather jacket (and not spending much thought on her return to her old color scheme) she left the store once more, determined to find Buffy as quickly as possible. The being she had encountered in Heaven's waiting room had said that Buffy was suffering, had nearly been broken by the events of that fateful day, and Angela refused to allow that suffering to continue any longer.

She was hungry, though, the demon longing for sustenance after the last few days ... or had it been weeks? She had lost all sense of time. Still, no matter how much she was angered by the delay, it was probably the wiser course of action to feed before encountering any humans. She did not fully trust her control over the demon yet.

If she remembered right there should be an all-night butcher shop close to the school. Only in Sunnydale, she mused, only in Sunnydale.

Ashley Nelson was rapidly growing bored.

She did not remember ever being bored before her calling. Being brought up by the Council of Watchers meant that all the hours of every single day were filled with learning, training, preparations for that one moment that might never come but, in her case, had indeed arrived a month ago.

The day she had been called as the Slayer, the one girl in all the world to fight against the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. The Chosen One.

Everything had changed after that day. She had thought her training had been tough before, but now it was downright brutal. Her studies had intensified as well, her young head filled to the bursting point with information about demons, monsters, magic, and whatever else the Watchers saw fit to cram in there.

Still, she was bored. Maybe it was part of being the Slayer. Her body was crying out for action. She wanted to move, to fight, to do all the things this new strength and speed allowed her to do. Her trainers could not compete with her any longer, they were completely outmatched. Fighting against them, no matter how realistic the conditions, did nothing for her.

Two weeks ago she had been in her first real battle. Since then she had faced and killed several vampires, something that filled with an almost ecstatic joy, and it lessened the urge for a short while.

Ashley knew that she had changed. Using American slang she called herself an adrenalin junky. Growing up among the Watchers had been a sheltered life and left her craving freedom and action. When she had been told that they would travel to America in order for her to guard a mystical convergence called the Hellmouth, which drew demons and monsters like moths to the flame, she had been ecstatic.

Not even her learning that his had been the place where the last Slayer had died had been able to quench that excitement. Post had not told her anything, but Ashley knew ways to get information from her Watcher by other means. She always hid those diaries in the same place.

Kendra, the former Slayer, had died here in this very building, killed by a vampire called Drusilla. This vampire was still at large, though the Council believed she had left the Hellmouth behind and headed for greener pastures. That did not change the fact, though, that Sunnydale was overflowing with things that went bump in the night and would cheerily eat whatever innocent people might be around unless someone was there to stop them. Which was why she was here.

Or so she had thought.

The only problem was that, so far, there had been no action at all. Nothing. Post was busy chatting the night away with this Mr. Giles, the Watcher stationed here to observe the Hellmouth, and this left her sitting at the huge library table, at a loss for anything to do.

She knew that Post did not want her to go out on her own. Not enough experience, she said. She had faced demons before, yes, but never in an area that positively swarmed with them. Ashley knew that Post was probably right about all these things, yet that did not change the fact that she was itching for action.

So it was that, when Ashley suddenly found her innards tensing, felt a strange tingle running through her belly, her eyes went towards the library window and saw a movement out there in the night. A black shape, barely more than a shadow, moving so fast that human eyes would never have noticed anything.

Ashley was more than human, though. She had seen the shadow and her every sense was screaming at her to take action. The enemy was out there, one of the things she had been born to fight. Ever since coming to Sunnydale she had been itching with the feeling of evil all around, but now it was close and she could not sit still any longer.

When Giles and Post came out of his office to make the trip to their apartment they found Ashley gone.