Buffy Summers twirled Mr. Pointy between her fingers as she circled around an empty graveyard. She tried to focus on the slayage – on anything other than the task at hand. Of course, this was the task at hand, but there was also the pesky little responsibility of choosing college courses that she'd so happily been avoiding until now, until the day before college started. So, now was the time to finally make all those important final decisions.

Willow, in all her over-achiever, genius glory had chosen hers long before, of course. Too long, Buffy thought. And she imagined Oz had too. Sometimes, she wondered if Xander, or even Cordelia, had it right. They were off actually living in the world, doing their own thing; traveling or trying to find stardom. They weren't tied down by higher learning, or a higher power.

How jealous she was of that. But that was a familiar feeling for Buffy, and one that only grew the older she grew.

"Anything?" she asked finally, but was unsure even herself if she meant in regards to the slaying or the course picking.

Angel, who sat against a tombstone thumbing through her paperwork, took her to mean the course picking, so he offered some more suggestions. Somehow, she had convinced him she should keep watch while he worked on the school stuff. Somehow.

"Literary theory? That could be fun."

As he met Buffy's stare, he suddenly remembered just who he was talking to. While literature was something of a hobby for him, it wasn't really Buffy's thing. As evidenced by the look on her face.

"Or maybe not."

Though she was clearly not completely on board, Buffy took a slight offense. "Hey, I like books!"

"But not enough to take a class on?" Buffy shrugged as Angel returned to the search. But he quickly gave up. "Buffy, I don't think I'm the right person to help you pick your classes."

She responded with a pout. "Why not? You're smart."

"So are you," he said, patting the ground to invite her to sit beside him. After a once-over of the area, she happily obliged. "You're gonna do great tomorrow. Don't worry."

"That's easy for you to say."

She leaned into him as he wrapped an arm around her waist. There was a reason she hadn't chosen her classes until the very last minute, and it wasn't her just being her normal flaky self. She was terrified. College was a whole new world to her, and she didn't feel prepared in the slightest. Picking courses wouldn't alleviate that stress, she had decided.

"Look, starting over is hard," said Angel, and if anyone knew about that, it would be a 243 year old vampire cursed with a soul, "But everyone goes through it. In one way or another. You'll learn how to deal."

Buffy's pout began to curl into a smile. "Promise?"

Angel nodded, and Buffy thanked him with a kiss. He always knew just what to say and when to say it. She was so grateful for that, and to still have him here with her. A few months ago, around Graduation, there was some talk of their uncertain future. But they had decided it would be best to let it stay uncertain. There were already so many other things that were, what was one more?

What was certainly not uncertain, however, was the vampire Buffy had been staking out to go out and stake. Yet while she happily distracted herself from all things slaying and college, especially now that she was deep into a makeout session with her other half, the creature had already risen and went off on the prowl before either of them noticed.

When the two lovebirds finally came up for air, Buffy glanced back at the grave and rolled her eyes, "Is that guy ever gonna wake up?"

"About three minutes ago," said a voice from the darkness, "But I wouldn't worry about it. He's got bigger fish to fry. And so do you. Both of you."

Buffy and Angel hurried to their feet as they scanned the area for their mystery man. But it wasn't a case of who – it was a case of where. They were already pretty sure who it was. They'd recognize that voice anywhere. It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb in 1999 Sunnydale, California.

Despite the familiarity though, 'pretty sure' wasn't good enough. So, both stood at the ready; her stake in hand and his fight stance engaged. They didn't fully relax until the man finally walked into view, but their apprehension of a fight quickly turned to annoyance at the sight.

Buffy and Angel greeted their old 'friend' in unison, and with an exasperated sigh:

"Whistler."