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Overcoming the Life You Had Before

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When they'd realized things were starting to go badly, they'd sold the Summers' home, packed up and moved out. They'd found the abandoned Monastery entirely by accident, and it was a good thing too. The town lines, the ways in and out, closed to everything but foot-traffic only two days later.

Angel had sent members of his team (Cordelia, Gunn, Wesley, Fred) a few months before, in order to help hold back the demons and hell-beasts and vampires. To help hold the line. Faith and Angel had followed, crossing into the town on foot, a week or so after Sunnydale had been shut down. Then, the mission had been to save as many lives as possible. Now, the mission was to keep surviving.

That had been six months ago, and they were still standing.

Spike and Angel couldn't touch the perimeter wall, nor walk around barefoot when not in their rooms, but it was a small sacrifice to pay for the rest of the gang to feel just a little safer. It was a safe-haven in a world gone mad, and Willow and Tara had boosted up The Monastery's protections with spells, charms and enchantments.

The Scoobies lived on the Convent side while the Angel Team (Angel Investigations) lived on the Monastery side. The entire gang got together for meals in the center dining hall/kitchen and groups of two or three people from both groups had regular training sessions in various arts of defense and continuing education.

They used the small cathedral as a ritual room and storage space for magick supplies. The reading room was filled with Giles and Wesley's combined books on demonology, magick, the occult, religious texts and other resource and reference material.

The courtyard was used as a weapons-training area. There was also an underground cellar that they used for food storage; a conference room that they used as an office and small computer lab (and were eternally grateful that the Monastery had its own sources of electricity); a small vegetable and fruit garden; five bathrooms; a small cemetery with one mausoleum where they kept Buffy's ashes; and an infirmary.

Once a month a small group of them took the Nun's van into a town two-hours away to stock up on canned and boxed foods, fresh foods they didn't grow or make, blood for Spike and Angel, weapon-related goods, and medical and/or magickal supplies.

Faith, Cordy, Spike, Angel, Xander and Gunn went hunting and/or patrolling for a few hours every night, within a ten-mile radius of the Monastery. Keeping baddies and demons away from them, from the Monastery, was top-priority. They didn't let the Buffybot patrol and Willow had removed her patrolling protocols from her programming. Too many demons knew that Buffy was dead - it wasn't safe for the Bot to patrol anymore.

No one had liked looking at the Bot or spending time with her when she'd been a replica of Buffy, so they'd cut and dyed her hair, put her in cargo-pants and long-sleeved shirts, and they called her Anne now. Willow had replaced some of her Dawn and Slayer-related programming with science and medical knowledge instead. Anne-bot was the head of the infirmary now.

They lived quiet lives, in this newly apocalyptic world. They managed to survive and even form new friendships, new relationships and a sense of family.