With Faith in a coma Sunnydale is back down to one slayer. Angel has moved to LA and opened his investigations offices working with Doyle and Cordelia, and Oz has left town to learn to control his wolf. Both Buffy and Willow are down about their failed relationships and both taken to a TA for one of their classes, Riley Finn.
Xander is directionless relationship wise with his sorta girlfriend Anya having left town the only two options who are his best friends are falling for the same man which isn't him. He is also directionless life wise trying to figure how to fit in with the group now that they are in college and he is just jumping from job to job. He is feeling a lot like a failure in their shadows.
Wesley having been fired from the council after Buffy quit made a decision to stay in Sunnydale and help as best he could, but is still having trouble fitting in with the group. He also has taken in his good friend, Niyol's grand daughter who has been trained in the ways of walking dreams. What they didn't count on was falling for each other, they are dealing with their inability to deny these feelings.
Buffy, Willow, and Xander have managed to get a nice house off campus that they all have moved into. Their reasoning was two fold, one they didn't want their relationship to splinter and they wanted to be close incase anything happened. Even though she quit the council Buffy can't seem to turn her back on her destiny so they have all taken their place in helping Buffy maintain her destiny and fight the demon population in sunnydale. Only thing is there isn't much of one anymore which is confusing them.
The council unaware of this oddity is still determined to get Buffy back on their side so they have sent a new watcher, Edward Lawrence and his charge Julie St James to sunnydale. Edward having gained custody of Julie moved to Sunnydale willingly, but unbeknownst to the council, will not be helping them get Buffy back on their side for he understands her posistion and is trying his hardest to gain the trust of the group.
Willow, Buffy, Makayla, and Julie are all attending UCSD and have been noticing an odd occurance of soldier like people on campus at night. They have decided to investigate this.
While all of this is going on, someone else make an apperence in Sunnydale. Spike, returns after having failed to gain the ring of amara he wants vengence against Buffy for taking it from him. What he doesn't know is the random odd soldiers that have been plaguing the campus have captured him and placed a chip in his brain. Spike can now no longer hunt or kill. Though Spike is unaware of this as he escapes and plans to go kill the slayer. He will soon find out though that he can't do that..which isn't much of a change, but atleast he has a better excuse now.
Anya has also made her way back to Sunnydale in a complex effort to get back with Xander, but he seems to be pushing her away. With his rejection still fresh in her mind, she wonders what she is to do now that she hasn't a purpose.
A month or so into classes Buffy runs into Angel who has made his way back to Sunnydale with his whole team, including Cordelia. They have moved opperations back to Sunnydale for two reasons. One Angel couldn't stand to be that far from Buffy, but also Doyle had a vision that something big was going to go down in sunnydale that the slayer wouldn't be able to stop, or survive.
The evil that is coming is the scourge. They have made their way to Sunnydale, wanting to feed off the energy of the hellmouth as well as purify this world of the halfbreeds.