Author: Asrai

E-Mail: ikh@haefft.de

Rating: R

Summary: What if Buffy was the screwed up one?

Spoilers: General spoilers for Btvs seasons 1 - 3

Disclaimers: I don't own Btvs nor do I make any money out of this; no copyright infringement is intended.

Epilogue

*The bus seemed to loom before her and Buffy stopped and stared at it. Until now she'd been on autopilot; she hadn't allowed herself to think at all. But now, standing before that bus.

The full impact of what had happened began slowly to sink in and as if to emphasize the point, the cut across her belly began to throb angrily. Buffy winced and took a step forward, then another.

She could do this, she told herself. She was strong. She'd build herself a new life and forget about the blood and the pain of the old one.

She was strong.

Buffy glared defiantly and entered the bus that would bring her to Sunnydale.*

~~~

I wiggle in my seat to get in a more comfortable position and lean my head against the cool glass of the window; the bus slowly fills with people and I look up as an elderly lady asks me if the seat next to me is taken. I shake my head and gesture for her to sit down.

It's over.

I fought the Good Fight and I won, but not without a price; stories like this one always go like that, I guess. In the end, the Good Guys win, but not without losing a piece of themselves in the process. I haven't said my good-byes, but that's alright, I'm not one for mushy, kleenex-requiring last hugs and kisses anyway. No, staggering dramatically into the sunrise with Giles looking after me is much more impressive, in my opinion.

I'm sorry, Faith; sorry to screw up your life royally and then high-tailing my way out of it. I'm sorry, Angel; even if I love you, I can't show you or tell you that. And so I'm leaving, even if it's painful, even if it's hard 'cause staying would be so much worse. To love you, but to be unable to touch you- I couldn't stand it. Oh, sure, we'd say that it's okay and we can live without sex, but we'd be falling apart without even realizing it.

It's better this way, I think.

I'd send Angelus a thank-you note if I could; I pawned off that necklace and it gave me enough cash to get a bus ticket and outta here. Even if it hurt to sell it 'cause it's the only solid thing my Angel's given me.

And so I'm back to square one, aren't I? Recovering from my injuries and the blood loss and so tired in my soul that all the sleep in the world can't make up for it. And only the shield the bus passes now tells me that any time has passed at all, that I loved and fought and finally cried here, and that it's the past now and I'm going to start from the beginning again:

*Now leaving Sunnydale*

* FIN

A/N: So, well, this is it. I do hope you all enjoyed the story; I certainly enjoyed writing it, even if it took me a rather long time. There will be no sequel, I'm afraid. The title is a song by Depeche Mode, the chapter titles are taken from songs sung by VAST, all of them great.=)

Bye,

Asrai