The bell rang at Sunnydale High School as students scampered through the halls and to their classes. It was still a month before Buffy would move from L.A. to the smaller city. In the guidance office Doyle, a wiry, Irish student sat in a creaky, pleather chair as the counselor tip tapped him into the system, struggling with trying to convert Irish secondary school credits to the requirements put forth by the state of California. The chair creaked as Doyle put his head in his hands and stifled a groan of pain. He had had a vision on his way to school, and by vision he meant a splitting migraine with pictures and information about people who needed help.
His notebook on his lap had notes written in it from two separate visions: Angel, vampire, Champion, an address to a building in a shite neighborhood, and on a separate page: Tina, The Coffee Spot, S.M. There was nothing he could do now. He could just sit tight. He didn’t even have any aspirin to take for his migraine ‘cause he was too daft to bring any.
His classes were dull, same as anywhere else. There was some random gal who was also named Doyle; people kept asking if they were related, which was annoying. The head cheerleader was a head turner though, with long chocolate brown hair and even longer legs, even if she did come off more than a little vapid.
The bus took him to his and his mum’s new house. It was a little thing, just big enough for the two of them. She was out, at work. He debated if he should go before or after sunset to the vampire’s home. He decided to go right at sunset, like six-ish. He spent the walk to the apartment in his notebook psyching himself up.
He was probably going to get torn out by a vampire; he figured a bit of trepidation was normal. He decided that if he was going out, he was going out with a bit of melodrama.
He wandered into the shitty apartment bold as he could muster. The vampire looked at him with a look of pure bewilderment.
“I like the place.”
“Who are you? You don’t smell human,” questioned the vampire, Angel.
Doyle was actually taken aback; he hadn’t known they could do that, smell his deadbeat dad on him. “I’m very much human. I mean, I entered in uninvited, so you know I’m not a vampire like you.”
Then of course came a sneeze, and the inevitable switch from pasty skin and green eyes to sickly green skin with blue spikes and red eyes. He shook it off.
“On my mother’s side,” he added lamely.
“Get to the point kid,” Angel snapped.
“I’ve been sent. By the powers that be.”
Doyle smiled, he had him, and without sacrificing his throat. "Let me tell you a lil' bedtime story."
"But I'm not sleepy."
"Once upon a time there was a vampire. And he was the meanest vampire in all the land. I mean, other vampires were afraid of him he was such a bastard! Then, one day, he's cursed, by gypsies. They restore his human soul and suddenly he's mad with guilt. Y'know, ‘what have I done, wah wah...’ You know, he's freaked."
"Okay. Now I'm sleepy."
“Best part is he now is stuck wandering the world trying to find a way to atone.”
Angel just stared at him, so Doyle did the reasonable thing and wandered into the little kitchen and opened the fridge.
“Do you have a beer in this place? You gotta have something other than just pig’s blood.”
That pulled the vamp out of the haze of bewilderment he had been operating under for the past few minutes.
“You told me the story of my life, which I know. I was there. Why am I not kicking you out?”
“Because I know where you go from here. You are going to become a champion. You will save lives and fight the darkness that threatens this world. But first you need to join the living population. If you don’t, you’re gonna risk forgetting why you don’t chomp on their neck, soul or not.
I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense now, and I’m not sure it ever will, but there are powers out there that are more powerful than me or you. They chose us. They need me to be their messenger, and you to be their champion.”
Doyle reached into his pocket and fished out the scrap of notebook paper with Tina’s information on it.
“Here. This girl’s gonna need your help. It’s time for you to be a person again.”