A/N: My first foray into Bones fic. Unbeta'd. All mistakes are mine. Feedback is yummy.
Also, this first chapter is short, but hopefully following chapters will be longer.
For the record, the pairings will not be crossed over, meaning Bones characters will be paired with Bones characters, Buffy characters with Buffy characters.
Remember, feedback is yummy. Enjoy!
Angela had always prided herself on her ability to see beyond the ugly surface of reality and focus on the beauty of human nature. Kindness, compassion, determination, and all of the things that make people remarkably strong had been the grace that saved her sanity in her job at the Jeffersonian. She admired each of her co-workers for definite different reasons, but all of those reasons tied into her incredibly optimistic view of humanity. No one had ever accused her of naïveté, but she could admit the fine line she walked.
That view -- that hope that the world isn’t as ugly as it seems -- could never have prepared her for what happened the summer after they’d discovered Brennan’s mother in Limbo at the Institute. The knowledge that she was Chosen to protect humankind from the most evil, vile, and destructive creatures to ever walk the Earth or any other realm. Maybe that description was a little flowery, but it certainly tied into how she felt about her Calling. And her Watcher.
He was handsome, smart, and funny, a true catch… If he weren’t so hard on her case about training and fighting. “You’re dropping your shoulder, Ange. And a blind man -- or half-blind, anyway -- can see that your hips give away each kick before you make it.”
A low, almost menacing growl sounded low in her throat as she stepped back on the mat, bringing her body and mind back to center. She lashed out with two hard left punches, keeping her concentration focused on not letting her shoulders drop. Finishing the combination, her right hand contacted her Watcher’s padded hands, and she issued a bone-shattering low kick with her left foot, internally crowing as the air was forced from Xander Harris’ lungs, the blow knocking him to the floor.
He looked up at her grinning face, his own expression angry enough to make her smile fade after a few moments of the glare. Her teeth caught her lower lip as she extended her hand to help him up. Before she could pull him to his feet, however, he used his heavier body to launch her over his head, putting her flat on her back.
He stood over her, a goofy grin on his face, and leaned down, hauling her upright by her workout jacket. It was her turn to glare at him, her anger roiling right below the surface of her skin. “Bastard.”
He gave her a low chuckle, unwrapping the padding from his hands and chest as he shook his head. “Nah, I just showed you what could happen in the field. You felt bad for me. You can’t feel bad for the demons. If you do, you’ll die. What’s lesson the first, Angela?”
She snapped to attention, her posture mimicking military training. “Lesson the First, sir! Try not to die, sir!” she shouted.
Xander cringed. “Don’t do that, Ange. It’s creepy. Next time I ask that question, just answer it, like you’d answer a question for anyone else.” He took a long pull from a bottle of water before tossing it to her. “They’re really still doing all that psuedo-military style training at the Academy, huh? I told Giles it was a bad idea.”
She nodded, drinking her fill of the water before answering, “Yeah, Andrew agreed with you, but Kennedy, as Big Heap Slayer in Cleveland, decided it was best to keep us under control while training in groups.” Her tone relayed that she really hadn’t appreciated being treated like a common foot soldier.
“Yeah, figures. Kennedy always got off on that.” Xander sat down on the mat, toying with the laces on his padding. He motioned for Angela to join him, waiting until she sat across from him before continuing. “That’s why I asked specifically to be assigned to you, Angela.”
She frowned, shaking her head. “You asked for me? Why?”
He smiled, shrugging. “You’re older than most of the girls at the Academy, but you also have a long way to go before you’re ready for field work. You have a life outside of slaying, and you’ve had that life for a lot longer than you’ve had your Calling.” He paused for a few moments, setting the pads down on the mat as he appeared to gather his thoughts. “Taking you away from your friends and your work would have guaranteed a shortened life-span. It’s my personal mission to make sure that any slayers in your position are given the opportunity to continue their lives as they see fit, while staying true to your destiny as a Slayer.”
“Why just the older ones, though, Xan? Don’t we all deserve the same?”
He nodded, his expression saying more about his feelings on the subject than his words ever could. “Yeah, ideally, that would be the plan. But it’s not practical, according to Giles. Not right now. More Slayers than Watchers or something like that.” Stopping for a moment, he watched the emotions play over her face: sadness for the Slayers at the Academy, anger at the Council, hope that more Watchers could be recruited and trained. He definitely understood how she felt; he felt the same, but there wasn’t much more he could do about the situation than he already was. He regularly patrolled the Internet and the streets, keeping an open mind and eye for those that could potentially be Watchers. He’d long given up his position as a Slayer finder, preferring to focus on training Slayers and recruiting Watchers and other potential boons to the cause. He’d brought not only over fifty Slayers to the Academy, but a matching number of potential Watchers, researchers, and witches to the Council, encouraging Giles and Willow to train them as well.
Willow was, as always, on his side, seeing the ultimate wisdom in expanding the ranks on all fronts. While Giles feared it might stretch their resources too thin, Willow knew that if they trained a few at a time and graduated those few to a fully trained and prepared status, then those first Watchers, witches, and others they trained could then, in turn, assist in expanding the knowledge base of the new Watchers’ Council. It was a slow process, but one that was incredibly successful, much to Xander’s delight.
Coming back to the here and now and the conversation with his Slayer, he cocked his head to the side. “How much do you know about Buffy Summers?”
Angela shrugged, not looking up from her task of peeling the label from the bottle of water. “Longest living Slayer, despite two recorded deaths. Trained the first wave of Potentials. Most successful Slayer, too. She has the record for number of Apocalypses thwarted.”
Her Watcher laughed and nodded. “All true, very good. Did you know that she hated her Calling?” At Angela’s confused look, he laughed again and continued, nodding. “She did. It was a very deeply rooted part of who she was, and who she still is, but it didn’t define her. She longed to have a normal life, even though she dated a vampire in high school. She had her mom, her sister, and she had us, the Scoobies, the Slayerettes, whatever you want to call us. She died twice, and she’s still standing strong.” He sighed. “The point, Angela, is this. She had ties to the world. Death was her gift, but her life let her give it.”
Angela was silent, and she stayed that way for several minutes as she meditated on what Xander had told her. Finally, she met his eye, a soft, understanding smile on her lips. He saw a peace in her gaze that had been missing since she’d been called nearly six months ago. He knew that his words had reached her, and that those words would help her find peace and balance as she walked the lines between the world of the life she loved and the death she gave.
He reached out, nudging her shoulder, and grinned. “Don’t you have work to do? Go on, get out of here. Put some bastard behind bars.” She mirrored his smile with a dazzling one of her own and leaned over, kissing the top of his head before grabbing her bag and bouncing out of the room. He stood, shaking his head, and put their training materials away. She was definitely one of a kind, and as her Watcher, he couldn’t be prouder of her.