Part 7

"The Bronze is really great tonight!" Lynn yelled in Matt's ear later that night.

"What?!" Matt asked, leaning closer to Lynn.

"I said, the Bronze is really great tonight!" Lynn yelled again. "Great band!"

"Yeah, I think I flunked that test, too," he told her.

Lynn shook her head. "No, I said... oh, never mind."

Matt shrugged and leaned closer again. "Wanna dance?"

"To that?" she asked rhetorically and shook her head. It was a hard rock band... hardly the kind of music she could really dance to. "I'd rather talk."

"Shop?" Matt asked with a frown. "Mall's closed."

Lynn sighed in frustration and got up from their table, grabbing her jacket and purse in the process. She leaned forward and touched Matt's arm gently, then gestured that he should follow her outside. With a nod, Matt stood from the table and let himself be led by Lynn outside where the music wasn't so loud.

"I said," Lynn started rather loudly once they were outside the Bronze. She winced and lowered her voice to normal volume. "I said I'd rather talk."

"Yeah," Matt said. "We could start by you telling me why you've been avoiding me."

Lynn looked down sheepishly. "I'm sorry," she said. "I've just, well, like I said when I talked to you at the mall earlier this week. There's a lot going on in my life. New dad, new last name, oh, and new brother or sister..."

"Brother or sister?"

"Yeah, didn't I tell you? Mom's pregnant."

Matt frowned slightly. So the Slayer is pregnant, he thought. How interesting. "Really? Tell her congratulations on my part."

Lynn grinned. "Will do. But, anyway, like I said, there's a lot going on. I just... well, I'm sorry."

"Hey, it's no biggie," Matt said, waving away the apology. "I haven't been that great mysef."

Lynn smiled. "So, we're good?"

"Yeah, we're good."

Lynn grinned and wrapped her arms around Matt's neck. "Great," she murmured. With that, she raised her head and kissed his lips gently. She wasn't really sure why she was suddenly letting him off the hook from what had happened earlier that day, but she followed her intuition. Something inside her told her that she would eventually figure out what was going on. In the meantime, though...

They were interrupted by a sound from behind. A muffled scream, Lynn decided.

"Hey, you know what?" Lynn said turning to Matt again. "I'll take you up on that dance. Why don't you go inside? I'll be right there."

Matt looked puzzled. "Uh, sure, okay."

With that, he turned and started back toward the Bronze. Lynn watched him go for several seconds before turning and running off in the direction she heard the scream come from. The alleyway next to the Bronze, she noticed, was the place where most attacks took place. She slowed down when she spotted a man, or perhaps a vampire, kissing a girl's shoulder. The girl looked scared, staring down at the guy's hand, which was clamped down on her mouth.

With one last grimace, Lynn brightened her face and started with some of the quips she had often heard her mother use. "You know, you guys are way too predictable."

The guy's head shot up and turned to look at her slowly. He was tall, with clean cut red hair and eyes she could've sworn shone green in the moonlight. Lynn thought he was handsome, and his way of standing reminded her somewhat of her father. And suprisingly enough, he didn't have what her mother called a game face. At least, not at the moment he had turned to look at her. "Well, well, well," he said as he let go on the girl. Wasting no time, the girl scurried off in the direction of the club. "I was expecting you to come, Evelynn, but you took longer than I thought you would. I almost bit her. Perhaps I overestimate you."

Lynn frowned, promptly caught off guard. She had expected to take care of this quickly and head back to her waiting boyfriend. Obviously, it wasn't going to be that simple. She decided for her mother's approach once again. "Sorry to disappoint you," she said. "But maybe we can take care of this quickly? I'm kinda on a tight schedule. You know, my boyfriend's waiting for me... he hates to be kept waiting."

The guy smiled a strange smile that Lynn decided she didn't like. "I'm sure," he muttered. "At any rate, I'm not here to fight you. You have spunk, Evelynn, and I admire that. But you have doubts. And those doubts will get the better of you. And when they do, I'll be here.

"In the meantime, tell your father Nicholas said hello."

With that, he bowed his head in mock respect and waved. To Lynn's utter and complete surprise, he disappeared.


Angel sighed as he closed the door behind him.

"Hard day?"

Angel whirled around to find Buffy standing behind him. "Yeah," he said. "But I did get the job."

Buffy grinned. "Really?" She threw herself in his arms. "But wait, it's ten. You spend all day at the interview?"

"No, I drove around for a while, brought some food." He held up a McDonalds bag. "And then I realized it was late."

"I was worried," Buffy said, then brightened again. "Hey, this means we get to work together now. We could go together in the mornings and come back with Lynn in the afternoons... oh, this is cool."

Angel chuckled as he returned the hug. It was just like her to get so exited, and he loved it. "Though by what you tell me, teaching isn't exactly a breeze," he answered.

"Oh, believe me, it's not," she answered. "You get splitting headaches, your feet hurt, and you might even lose your voice from trying to get them to be quiet. But it's fun..."

Angel shook his head and smiled. "You really love what you do, don't you?"

"Oh, yeah," Buffy replied. "I like working with teenagers. I'm to them kinda like what Giles is to me, you know? They call me by my first name and they confide in me all sorts of interesting stuff. It's cool."

Angel smiled and leaned down to capture her lips with his own. She eagerly returned the kiss and for several minutes they stayed like that. "Have I mentioned how much I love having you around?" Buffy said.

He glanced at his watch. "Not in the last ten or so hours," he said.

Buffy smiled and leaned up to get his lips again... only to be interrupted by the door opening again. She turned to find their daughter entering the house thoughtfully.

"Don't mind me," Lynn said absently as she dropped her purse on the couch and started up the stairs.

"Date cut short?" Buffy called after her.

Lynn stopped and turned to look at her parents. "Yeah," she muttered. "Um, Dad, you wouldn't happen to know someone named Nicholas who can disappear into thin air, would you?"

Angel frowned. "As a matter of fact, yes," he said. "Why?"

"Well, then, you got an old friend back in town," Lynn answered. "Only he doesn't seem so friendly. What's up with him?"

"Whoa, whoa, back up," Buffy said. "What are you talking about?"

"I was outside with Matt and I heard a muffled scream," Lynn explained. "I sent him inside the Bronze and went after the scream. Only I find this... guy, Nicholas. Tall, red hair, green eyes?" Angel nodded, looking thoughtful. "Well, he tells me he was waiting for me, that maybe he had overestimated me, and then he said to tell you hello."

Angel turned his gaze to Buffy. "We've got trouble."

"Why? Who is this guy?" Buffy asked.

"He's... it's hard to explain," Angel answered. "I'm not really sure what he is myself. From what I gather, though, he was a witch, or warlock, as male witches are called, when he was human. Sometime around 1670, I think, he was turned into a vampire. I met him in 1855 in England and we hunted together for a decade or so. He disappeared and I assumed he had been killed by the Slayer of the time." He turned to look at Lynn. "I guess I was wrong."

"When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me," Buffy commented dryly. "My seventh grade history teacher used to say that."

Angel offered a humorless smile. "That seems to be the case here," he replied and turned to Lynn. "Did he say anything else?"

Lynn shook her head no. "He had this weird smile when I mentioned my boyfriend. I got that weird feeling I don't like again. Something's up, Mom... something big."

Buffy nodded. "I seem to be getting rusty with my old age, because I'm just starting to get that feeling right now."

"Anything you can tell us would be useful, Dad."

Angel nodded. "Sure."

"So, I'm thinking we wait till the gang is here and start researching this, right?" Buffy asked, some of that earlier excitement creeping into her voice.

"Probably, yeah," Lynn said. "And until then, I guess me and my gang should start researching this."

"Hm, hmm..." Buffy told her daughter. "Tomorrow. Right now, I think you better get some rest, young lady."

Lynn nodded reluctantly. "Right," she murmured. "I'll see you guys tomorrow."

Buffy turned to her husband with that excitement again. "Just like old times, right?"

"Just like old times..."

Part 8

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