Chapter 1: New Player

It was summertime in Sunnydale, California. Buffy and the Scooby Gang had taken down Adam and The Initiative two months ago and were enjoying their summer. Buffy and Riley were together and being a typical couple, if typical couples go out on patrols in graveyards and kill demons and vampires.

Buffy and Riley were the graveyard fighting off five vampires. Riley took two while Buffy took on three. She kicked one in the chin and sent it flying and then dusted one that came up behind her.

"Sometimes this is just too easy" she said.

Riley dusted one of his vampires and was fighting the other one. Buffy jumped flip over one vampire that was charging at her and she staked him from behind. Her last vampire lunged at her and she staked him while in mid-air. Riley finished off his vampire and they both looked at each other.

"You Ok?" he asked.

"Yeah. Typical night for the Slayer" She responded.

"You wanna do one more sweep?"

"No. I actually feel kind tired, so I'm gonna hit the hay. Where did that expression come from anyway?" Buffy asked with a puzzled expression on her face. "Did farmers use to hit their hay before going to bed?"

"Don't know" Riley responded.

"Yet you're the farm boy."

"Just because I use bail doesn't mean I know everything about farmers and their sayings. I just know the sayings, not their origins."

Buffy chuckled at his remark

"I'll do one final sweep and then 'hit the hay'" He said with a grin.

"Great" she said with a smile and then she went up and kissed him goodbye. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"See ya"

Buffy left the graveyard and started walking towards her house. She like that she was home again. She missed her mother when she was off at college and she missed her back. While Riley was off getting discharged from the government, Buffy spent time with her mother. They had become so close since she found that her own daughter was the Vampire Slayer. Buffy still remembered when she came home with Spike and dusted two vampires in front of her mother and explained who she truly was. When she tried to leave to fight Angel, her mother tried to stop her and when she didn't let her, she practically kicked Buffy out of her own home. After Buffy came back from LA, and they dealt with the zombie party, her mother accepted her and apologized for how she acted.

Buffy was rounding a corner when she felt that familiar presence that someone was following her. She stops and turns around, but no one is there. She continues walking and feels the same presence that someone is behind her. After walking for a ways, Buffy ducks into an alley and looks for a place to hide.

'Ok you want to follow me, you pay the consequences' she thought to herself. She then looks up and sees a bar high above her. She suddenly remembers Angel revealing himself to her when she first moved to Sunnydale and how she kicked him from behind from the same bar. If this was Angel or something else, she was going to kick it even harder. Buffy jumps and catches onto the bar and does a handstand.

A man walks into the alley and stops. Then slowly walks more into the alley until he is right under Buffy. Buffy then swings down to kick the man in the back, but just as she will make contact, the man ducks and buffy goes flying off the bar. She lends and rolls to get up and faces the man. At first she was taken aback. This man looked somewhat like Angel, but she could tell it wasn't him. He was tall like Angel and had on a black coat like Angels as well, but he had on blue jeans, black shirt, and black cowboy boots. 'Angel would never wear those' she thought. He had short, spiked, black hair and was wearing a pair of sunglasses. It looked like he was trying to pull off a Terminator look. 'Has to be a vampire.'

"What do want?" she asked. "Why are you following?"

"Just out for a walk" the man responded with a grin.

"At night with sunglasses on? What's with them anyway?"

The man chuckled before answering.

"Don't worry. I know what you're thinking, and I'm not."

"Not what?" she asked testing him.

"A vampire."

"Still didn't answer my second question."

"It's a thing." He responded with a shrug.

"You trying to pull off the Terminator?"

"Look, I didn't come here to throw puns. I'm simply here to help."

Buffy lowered guard but stood ready in case it was a trick.

"Help with what?" she asked.

"Serious shit's going to go down. When it does you'll need all the help you can get."

"What's going to go down?" she asked impatiently. This guy seemed to have taken cryptic guy 101.

"You're on the Hellmouth" he replied. "A lot is going to go down. Just remember, you have a choice. You always have a choice. Fight or not fight. Right now you can choose to not have my help when things blow up, or you could have me help you and have a real good chance of standing afterwards."

"You know, I had a cryptic guy tell me all this stuff about impending doom and apocalypses before. Didn't like it the first, really don't like it the second time. Just tell me what's coming." She stressed the last part firmly.

"I'll be in touch" he said and turned around to walk out of the alley.

"Wait!" Buffy said. "I didn't catch your name."

He stopped and turned to her.

"Because I didn't give it" he said and then walked away. Buffy went to follow him but when she got out the alley, 'cryptic guy' was nowhere in sight. Buffy walked back to her house while being on constant guard for anything the might be following her. After getting in bed, she made a plan to a call a Scooby meeting tomorrow and tell them about her encounter.

"Then he said 'I'll be in touch" and left. Buffy was explaining her encounter with 'cryptic guy' to the rest of the gang at Giles house.

"I'll be in touch?" Xander asked. "Not 'I'll be back' in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice. Buffy had explained that 'cryptic guy' was dressed somewhat like the Terminator.

"No." she responded. "I was actually hoping he would though."

"He said that serious events would occur?" Giles asked.

"Not in those exact words but, yeah. He wouldn't even tell me what is going to happen."

"Did you follow him to see where he lives?" Riley asked.

"No, I tried, but when I got out of the alley he was nowhere in sight."

"I say wait until you see him again, then follow him to his place. This guy sounds like bad news to me"

"Yeah." Xander chipped in. "Because the last 'cryptic guy that Buffy kicked "

"Failed to" Buffy interrupted.

"Failed to kick," Xander corrected himself before continuing. "ended up killing our friends and nearly sending the world to hell."

"Xander!" Willow chided. "It wasn't him that did all those things."

"Whatever, I'm with Riley, this guy sounds like he could be up to something bad."

"Or he could be up to something good." Tara interjected. "He could possibly mean what he said."

"All good points" Giles pointed out. "But until we learn more about this person, we can't trust him."

"Way ahead of you Giles." Buffy said. "In the mean time I'll keep my eyes open for this guy."

Three weeks had passed and Buffy still hadn't seen or heard anything of 'cryptic guy.' She patrolled and kept a watchful eye for him but every night was the same. Vampire/demon or nothing at all. Her luck finally turned when she was walking out of a shoe with Willow. She saw him finally after two weeks leaving the Espresso Pump and walking in the opposite direction.

"Willow! There he is."

"Where?" Willow asked and Buffy pointed in his direction.

"Here" she said as she handed Willow her bag of new shoes and her purse. "Take these back to my house, I'm going to go follow him."

"Ok" Willow agreed and as Buffy began to walk to 'cryptic guy' willowed yelled back" Be careful."

"I will be" Buffy responded and followed 'cryptic guy.' She followed him down some streets and alleyways, keeping a close distance but far enough to not attracted attention. The route he was taking seemed like he was attempting to lose someone in case he was being followed. Twice and ducked in an alley and doubled back to go the opposite direction. Buffy had a hard time keeping up with him until she finally saw him go into an apartment building. It took Buffy a second to realize that the apartment building was the same one that Angel used to stay until he move to the mansion. She followed him inside and saw him go to the stairs and followed him down. She stopped at the top of a landing when she realized that the only thing down her was Angles old apartment. This guy that looked and acted like Angel was staying in his old place. Buffy didn't understand. She decided to wait until he left so that she could snoop through his apartment for answers. She hid in the shadows away from the door waiting for him the leave. She didn't have to wait that long for 'cryptic guy came out, close his door and went back upstairs.

Buffy made her way to the door and opened it. She peered inside and was surprised to see that everything in the apartment was exactly as she last saw it after her night with Angel. The pictures on the walls, the statue in the corner, the bed, the lamps, everything was the same. The only thing different was a sports bag of some kind on the coffee table. 'Jackpot' she thought to herself. She opened up the bag and ruffled though it. All she found was a black long sleeve shirt and short sleeve shirt, a pair of gym clothes, and something that looked like black block. She picked it and examined it even further. It was light and metallic. On the back it had what appeared to be a sticker of an apple with a bite taken out of it. She flipped it over and what appeared to be a screen. Buffy remembered seeing things like this in science fiction moves. At the bottom was a button and she pressed it. All of a sudden he screen lit up and she was shocked to see a picture of herself, but she looked older in the picture then she does now. At the top gave the current date and time.

2:29 Thursday, August 12.

At the bottom of the screen was an arrow pointing to her right and a glistening words that read "slide to unlock." She did so and the screen changed, showing Buffy all these different images on the picture of her. Below these pictures were labels, each say something different like mail, calendar, photos, YouTube. Whatever that was. Since she knew a picture said a thousand words she picked on photos and exactly eight mini pictures came up. She squinted to see them but she couldn't tell what they were. She tapped the device again on the first picture and what came up shocked her even more. It was picture of her in a hospital gown, holding to babies in her arms. One was wrapped in a blue blanket, that must be a boy, and the other was wrapped in a pink blanket, that had to be a girl. Tapped the screen and to somehow get out and look at other pictures. She saw arrows on the side and tapped the right arrow. The pictured moved and the next one came into view. It was another one of her with the baby boy reading to him. She went to the next picture and it was of her with the same boy at his first birthday with the girl. She saw the next picture of her with a four year old boy and he was holding a blue stuffed bear and she was holding him. Buffy noticed that the boy was starting to look more and more like the 'cryptic guy.' The boy had black hair and eyes that matched perfectly with Buffy's. As each picture went by, she saw the boy and sometime the girl with her. The last picture was of the boy, now sixteen years old and he was with a girl who looked like him but also like her and they were either side of someone who Buffy never expected to see. It was Angel. He had his arms around the teens and they were all smiling. The boy had on Angels coat and around his neck was Buffy's cross necklace. The girl had on leather jacket and was holding, buffy recognized, Mr. Pointy. She tapped the screen and noticed that there was a line on the bottom of the screen.

"Me, Kathy, and Dad"

Buffy tapped the arrow again and went back to the first picture of her in the hospital with the babies. She read the line at the bottom.

"Me, Kathy, and Mom"

Buffy was in disbelief at everything she just saw. A man had a device with pictures of her that she never took and they all said that this boy was with her and she was his mother. The door opened behind her and 'cryptic guy' came in and stopped dead staring at her. She starred at him back still holding the device in her hands. 'It can't be, it can't be' she kept thinking to herself.

"What are you doing here?" he asked her and Buffy couldn't even speak because she was so shocked. He looked at the device in her hand and realized what she was looking at. He sighed and lowered his head knowing what she had found. He closed his door and walked to her and she took a step back.

"That's mine." He simply said pointing to the device in her hands. She looked and the device and the picture of her and the babies one more time before looking back at him and asking

"Who are you?"

He took a deep breath before taking off his glasses, showing her his eyes that matched perfectly with hers. He reached for the device and took it from her and place it his sports bag before answering.

"Is that the question you are really asking?"

She took a breath too before asking the question that she probably already knew the answer too.

"Are you "she began to whisper. "my son?" she finished.

He simple stared at her before answering.

"Only if I can save the future so that I can be your son."

She simply stood there with a shocked face.