Hunter walked out of the Bronze, breathing in the cool night air. It hadn't been until he was almost 15 before his dad had let him stay out after dark alone, and then only he'd taken a full martial arts course, and then spent a few weeks 'training' with a friend of the family, Giles, who was so close that until he was twelve Hunter had called him 'Grandpa' Giles. 'Training', though, had basically meant spending three hours a day after school kicking Giles' British ass. While applying ice to his bruised ribs one day, Hunter had heard Giles muttering, "Just like his mother." But when Hunter had demanded to know what that meant, Giles had denied ever saying it.
Brooding on this, Hunter walked along, until he was knocked to the ground by an extremely solid fist. From his new vantage point, Hunter looked up at his assailant, and froze when he saw two strange guys. With really screwed up faces.
And quite well developed fangs.
While Hunter was absorbing this interesting feature, the first guy pulled him up by his shirt collar, and with one hand locked Hunter's arms behind his back, and with the other hand firmly gripping his hair, forced him to look directly at the other guy.
Hunter blinked as the sharp ridges and even sharper fangs melted into perfectly normal features, marred only by several long scars on his face. The man stepped closer, and the as harsh streetlight fell onto him, some part of Hunter's mind registered that he cast no shadow.
"So," he said, "this is the Slayer's whelp." Turning his face slightly, he directed his words at the guy restraining Hunter, "Spike should be pleased."
At this point, Hunter decided that it was time to go. With that thought firmly in mind, he kicked back sharply into the shins of the man holding him. It didn't free him, but for a moment the man's grip loosened. That was all Hunter needed. He spun around, freeing his arms and head, and used his momentum to add to his backhand, which caught the man full in the face. He followed this up with a vicious roundhouse kick, which knocked the man to the ground.
Sadly, the second guy had no objections to hitting Hunter when his back was turned. He was stronger than he looked, Hunter realized, about the time when his head slammed into the wall, and he was repeatedly kicked as he lay on the sidewalk.
Abruptly, the abuse ceased, and Hunter rolled over to see both men held at bay by yet another guy, who had apparently just been walking by and decided to lend a hand. Muzzily, Hunter wondered at his incredible luck, which seemed to bounce from very bad to very good, alternately cursing him with homicidal male strangers, and blessing him with good Samaritans. Then he passed out.
After the two vamps backed down and left, Angel turned around to check out the boy's injuries. He was out cold, and had several nasty bruises on his face, and his shirt was torn and bloody. Luckily, most of the wounds were superficial. Angel wondered what Spike's men had wanted with the boy, because something told him that they hadn't just been about to make him into a midnight snack. The knowledge that Spike might have an interest in the boy was enough to convince Angel to make sure the boy got home safely. Quickly, he checked the boy's pockets for any identification, and his search produced a battered wallet. Flipping it open, he found the boy's address, and was about to return it to it's proper place when something caught his eye. A picture was carefully tucked into the billfold. Angel pulled it out, and looked at it. A chill ran up his spine. A strangled sob caught in his throat.
The picture was of Buffy. She was standing on the porch of the house that she and Xander had lived in. Xander stood behind her with his arms around her waist, and a small brown-haired boy of about seven knelt at their feet with his arms firmly wrapped around a huge brown dog. All three wore bright smiles, and the dog's tongue lolled out of his mouth. Fearing what he might find, Angel looked for a name in the wallet. He found it, printed on a Sunnydale High ID card. 'Hunter Summers-Harris'. Angel stared down at the boy lying at his feet.