Kate Lockley was a cop. It was hard wired into her DNA, in her very being. A cop from a family of cops. She'd worked her way up from being a beat cop like her father and uncle to detective first class in a prestigious LA precinct. She'd been a good detective; a great one even. Her career was assured; her future bright.

Until she met him.

It was unusual to characterise a man as beautiful, but Angel was exactly that. He had been a surprising change from every man she had ever met. Charming, brooding, brave. A Private Investigator with impeccable instincts and a good track record. Who also happened to be a vampire.

A detective of her skill would only be kidding herself if she didn't admit her attraction to him, even after the supernatural revelation.

Those few short weeks between her discovery of his nature and the death of her father had actually been pretty good. Now that he wasn't hiding a core part of himself, their friendship blossomed. For a blood sucking creature of the night, he was surprisingly easy to get along with. And always a good ally to have by your side when the chips were down.

But then there was that other thing. The thing where her father was murdered. Her father, who turned out to be a corrupt cop on top of the distant half-interested parent that had constantly let her down. Her father who was one of the criminals she should have been putting away. Her father, who was her whole world and was viciously killed by two vampires because he was mixed up in something he couldn't understand.

And so in her grief and pain, she turned on her friend. She regretted it now of course, but at the time it was her primary defence. Lock out the one person who had started to break down her walls; barricade her heart against him and his kind eyes. And if she could get in a few hits along the way, that was a bonus.

But the energy it took to hate him slowly ate her up from the inside. And as her grief turned into an obsession with unexplained and supernaturally sounding cases, her colleagues on the force and every family member therein, turned their backs on her.

She could remember the day of her suicide attempt with almost sickening clarity. By that time, the nagging feeling that she had made a mistake treating Angel the way she did had forced an uncomfortable truce between them. And when the consequences of her actions on the force were made utterly real as she was fired, it made sense that she would turn to him. That he saved her was more than luck; it was more than either one of them reaching out to the other in forgiveness; it was more than the startling epiphany that drove him to her apartment. It was literal divine intervention. As she pointed out to him the next day when they shared a moment on the steps of his hotel, she had never invited him in. And yet he had been able to break down her door, pick her up and bring her back from the brink. Meaning a rare intervention by the Higher Powers, Divine Beings whatever you wanted to call those who called Angel to his work.

And while all this now meant she stopped trying to kill him just with the force of her hate, it didn't mean sunshine and flowers. She was and would always be grateful to him for saving her life. And they were both mature enough to acknowledge they were at a turning point. A turning point that might lead to a repairing and renewing of their friendship. But neither of them were quite there yet. Los Angeles held far too many painful memories for her now and despite this new phase she found herself in with Angel, there had been simply too much hurt between them.

So it had been with regret, but with a strangely lighter heart that she had given him her thanks, said to keep in touch and left. Left the Hyperion, left Los Angeles, left California. Putting almost everything she had in storage, she got on a 'plane to a city about as far from LA as she could find while staying in the States. Which landed her in Boston, Massachusetts.

However, the thing about having your life saved by a hero and divine intervention is that you start to think your life has a higher meaning. Why save a person's life if you're not saving it for … something.

The something, she decided for now at least, was to set up a similar agency to Angel's here in Boston. She easily obtained a PI license and a Massachusetts gun license and began to develop contacts in the Boston PD. In her mind it honoured both Angel's rescue of her and whatever the Powers That Be had saved her for. Now that she knew what lay in every dark corner and some corrupt bright ones she could never go back. And one of the points of contention between her and Angel that remained were those people who ended up as collateral damage in the grand fights between good and evil. The underdogs, those used as pawns, the victims and accidents, those used as bait and those looked on simply as food by the demonic powers that she now knew stalked the night streets. It was for these people she fought. And worked hard to bring them a modicum of justice.

They kept in touch of course, her and Angel. The occasional 'phone call, the even rarer text. But still somehow being the 18th Century creature that he was, there were copious, regular and long handwritten letters. At least once a month she would receive one in her mailbox. Each one was meticulously penned and full of updates from his life and questions about hers. He would always be ready with advice about particularly tricky cases or get his team to do research for her and even a couple of times crossed the country on a red eye to give her a hand.

Then there was that strange Thursday morning that one of his letters was hand delivered by another beautiful man. His hair was a shade darker than Angel's and he had the most stunning dark blue eyes like the ocean. She could not help but observe the sculpted physique barely contained in a finely tailored Ralph Lauren shirt and jacket. Introducing himself as The Groosalug, he handed her Angel's letter.

It seemed that Groo's arrival was part gift from Angel and part favour for Angel. Cast out of his own dimension then having his heart broken by Angel's friend Cordelia, the supernatural Champion was looking for his purpose in this world. Much like Kate herself.


"Angel sent you here?" The Groosalug just smiled. "He got wind I was leaving Los Angeles. And seems to be concerned that you work alone. I would be humbled to serve if my lady would have me." Kate rolled her eyes. Where did Angel find these people?

"Okay, one trial case and we'll see. And you had better stop that 'my lady' stuff here in Boston. It might wash in La La Land, but Boston Irish won't stand for it."

"La La Land? I am not aware of such a place my…er Miss Lockley."

"Good grief," she sighed in exasperation, her head in her hands. After a moment to compose herself, she looked back up and couldn't help but respond to his puppy like expectation with a smile. "And by the way, it's Kate. If we're gonna work together, call me Kate."

After showing him the spare room – "just for the next few days until you find a place of your own" – she retreated to her own. Then she sat down on her bed and took out her 'phone, shooting off a text to Angel.

Kate: So, am I just a rescue centre for little lost daemons now?

Unusually, the reply was instantaneous.

Angel: Don't tell me the all powerful Groosalug's biceps had no effect on Kate Lockley?

Kate: I didn't even look at his biceps

Angel: Liar.

Angel: I don't like you working alone. And he needs you as much as you need him.

Kate: He's clueless Angel. He won't last 3 days in Boston.

Angel: Like I said, he needs you.

Kate: I'll tell you what I told him. A trial period. One case. That's the best I can offer.

Angel: I owe you one.

Angel: More than one. I can feel something big coming Kate. And whatever happens, I need at least one person I love to be okay.

Kate: Love you too. Dork.

Kate: And looking at the biceps every day won't hurt.

Angel: I knew it!

Kate: Bye Angel.

Angel: Bye Kate. Be safe.

Three successful cases later and one night of the best sex she'd ever had and the Groosalug was already firmly embedded in her life. They now shared a calling and a bed and Kate had reluctantly texted Angel with a 'You were right. I hate you. Come visit soon'.

There was no reply to her text and the monthly letters stopped. She put Angel's four month silence down to jealousy until he turned up on her doorstep one chill October morning before dawn with a story about him being stuck at the bottom of the ocean in a box. It was too ludicrous to be a lie and besides, he had no reason to be dishonest with her. After recounting his hellish experience starving at the bottom of the sea and his rescue by what sounded to her like an increasingly unhinged Wesley, he held her close breathing in her scent. It wasn't until he found his nose nuzzling into her neck, his lips brushing the scar of the bite he had given her two years before that he came to himself and pulled away, mumbling his apologies. Then seeing the shadow of the other man in the room he shook his head at himself and held out his hand in friendship.

"It's good to see you Groo," his voice a low rumble. The other man took his hand and shook it enthusiastically. "Gavin. My name is Gavin now." Angel raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kate. "A good warrior's name. And good call here in Boston. Your doing?" She shrugged, a smile playing across her lips. She took a sip of her coffee, a stalling tactic while she internally strategized on how to break the news of her relationship. Until every rational thought was interrupted by her lover. "Oh yes," Gavin said, leaning closer to Angel and continuing in a mock whisper. "She did not care for my former name and explained it would be too strange here. But I know she very much likes the new name she suggested. She seems especially to enjoy shouting it loudly when we make love." A mouthful of coffee was spat across the room. But Angel let out an unexpected chuckle. "Still ironing out a few kinks understanding social situations are we Gav?" And so saying he slapped the taller man on the back and flashed a smile at Kate. "I'm happy for you."


The monthly written letters between her and Angel had resumed, at one point even becoming fortnightly as he kept her apprised of the increasingly fantastical and disturbing events in LA. Then months later, she and Gavin had watched the news together in horror as TV helicopters circled the area that was once the California town of Sunnydale. The vast crater that remained was not only wider than the town had been, it looked deep; very deep. Her lover had wanted to get on a 'plane immediately, but she convinced him to stay; rightly arguing that whatever had gone down, the fight was already over. And had been won.

Three days later she got a cryptic text from Angel.

Angel: LA now safe. Sunnydale Hellmouth closed for good. Have acquired unexpected resources in our fight. I won't be able to write for a while. They mustn't know about you. But never forget. All that matters is what we do. A x

When she heard from contacts she still had in LA that he now worked for Wolfram and Hart she was furious. This time it was Gavin who had to keep her from hopping the next flight, resulting in their first fight and first night in separate beds since they had got together.

It took a month to repair the damage between them. A fight with a cult of Gravelock daemons where she almost lost him led to a night of apologies, a reunion of their bodies and her quiet use of the 'L' word. Her anger with Angel remained.

Until that is she received a simple postcard from Rome. All that was written on the back was "All that matters is what we do." No name, no contact number. But she knew it was him. And knew that he was still somehow fighting the good fight in his own way. And his attempt to kill the beast from inside its belly was drawing to a close. Her instinct was confirmed when two weeks later news came out of LA of a showdown. Of fighting and monsters and darkness and a dragon?! Of an earthquake so localised it only brought down the buildings of a big LA law firm. Of the disappearance of a corrupt senator and sundry other high level daemons. And of the sunlit day after leaving LA intact. All things considered then, she was surprised to find herself three weeks later sitting in her office across the table from one ensouled vampire and two women she vaguely recognised.


"You want me to work for you?" Kate narrowed her eyes as the delegation of three sat across from her. Gavin stood behind her; her faithful watchdog still wary of the vampire who until very recently had been the CEO of the LA branch of Wolfram and Hart. Even the blonde woman in front of her had conceded that they were 'evil incorporated' as she summarised recent events.

A blonde woman who was supposed to be dead. But was sitting right here in her office, her hand lazily drawing circles on Angel's forearm. Kate wasn't sure the younger woman was even aware she was doing it. The familiarity between them was obvious. As was that between the blonde and the other woman stood behind the vampire and his slayer. Of course she had done her research on the blonde when she had interfered with her investigation to bring in the murderer that Angel had been harbouring all those years ago. She was thorough, meticulous. And impressed with the woman. By all accounts most others of her calling didn't last beyond their nineteenth birthday. But then in a way she hadn't, which was why there was this other woman with them in her office.

She had known that the vampire's ex had been brought back by magick, he had written about it in one of his less coherent letters. But seeing her here, in the flesh was somehow disturbing. She had seen the woman's gravestone after all. Had put her hand on Angel's shoulder in comfort as they stood before it. Had held him while he wept. Her only visit back to California had been a no brainer when she had got the call from him, his voice a crumpled mess down the 'phone line.

She had turned up at the Hyperion and his associates had told her with sadness that he had practically ran to Sunnydale. Following him north and tracking him to the grave side, she saw him as she had never expected to. Broken, in despair and perilously close to sunrise. After holding him for as long as she dared, she all but dragged him to her motel before the sun could kill him. That he allowed her comfort bore testimony to their friendship.

They had almost had sex that night. Grief and empathy and comfort getting all twisted up and they were both topless and almost at the line they shouldn't cross. Then he looked at her and smiled a soft smile. One that almost broke her heart. "You deserve better than me Kate," he had whispered in the darkness. And slumped by her side. Embarrassed, she had pulled her shirt back on. But still held him close through the harsh daylight and the night that followed.

And the reason for it all was right now sitting across from her with a smile so sunny it should be illegal, having just asked her to come and work for them.

Angel shifted uncomfortably under Kate's gaze. The blonde had no such reservations.

"Not work for us per se. Work with us. Do what you're already doing. With more resources, more money and the occasional help of a slayer or three. But be willing to help us out in return and mentor a young slayer that lives here in Boston." Kate ground her teeth together. "This young slayer. Is she all sweetness and light, like you blondie? Or more like the murderer stood behind you as if nothing happened?"

"That's not…" "B, I should go…" The two slayers spoke simultaneously. But it was Angel who stood and placed a calming hand on the brunette's arm. "Faith, it's okay. I'm sorry to put you through this. I thought my friend could move past someone's mistakes. It was me who argued to bring her into the fold." Kate pushed her chair back and stood now too, her blue eyes darting over the three in front of her. "I'd prefer to be spoken to rather than about, especially in my own office. Angel if you thought you could come here after a year of silence, working with that scum of a law firm, bringing your formerly dead ex-girlfriend and a fugitive from the law…"

"She's not a fugitive." Buffy was standing now too. But her tone was calm. Kate had to hand it to the younger woman, she had matured in the last four years and carried it well. That she was doing everything not to escalate what was going on was a point in her favour. The presence of the other slayer was not. She watched as Buffy clenched her fists and then relaxed them, smoothing her top. "Look Kate. We didn't come here to stir up trouble. Angel trusts you. Believes in you. And we need that. I know you have an issue with Faith. But Angel trusts and believes in her too. As do I. You can say no to our proposal. In fact, no is a perfectly reasonable answer under the circumstances. But you and Groo… sorry Gavin, you've been working mostly solo for a couple of years now. And I have heard a lot about you, so much that if I was the jealous type I wouldn't want Angel coming within fifty miles of Boston. It was me who threw your name into the hat and Angel who made your case. If you say no, we'll walk out of here and you won't have to hear from us again. Except knowing Angel, he'll probably start up writing to you again. Which, again not jealous, so I'm fine with that. But say yes, and you'll be part of a family. And something greater."

Naturally, it was the 'something greater' that got her. So she said yes.

Her three visitors stayed in Boston for five weeks and she and Gavin got reacquainted with Angel and got to know the two slayers just a little. She found it easy to like Buffy, a little harder to like the other one. But by the end of their visit she had stopped referring to Faith as 'the murderer', helped by the brunette pulling her out of a nest of vampires she stumbled upon, and had been introduced to a young teenager with green eyes and red hair. She was just a child really, a thirteen year old in the foster system. But now, thanks to a spell by Buffy's witch friend, said thirteen year old now had a woman's responsibility; a warrior's responsibility. And once Kate had seen her fight beside Faith in that vampire lair, she could not have said no even if she wanted to. Here was the embodiment of her 'something'; a girl thrust into a world of daemons without a choice. A girl lost and without protection apart for a supernatural strength. A girl stuck in two systems, one worldly, one supernatural, with little of her own agency. But who now had Kate. And Gavin. And 87 other slayers around the world and Angel and a greater family than she could have imagined.

And so, Kate Lockley, ex-cop, former screw-up, current supernatural investigator, became the Watcher of the world's current youngest slayer. And knew what she had been saved for.