A/N: Hey guys, this is my 2nd Buffy fic. My first is also still a WIP. I would really appreciate any feedback from you guys. Thanks a lot. Hope you like it.

Buffy sighed. She put her bag down while she waited for her bus. Lily was Anne now, and Buffy going back to Sunnydale. As her bus pulled up, she grabbed her bag and got on.

*****

It was bright. Buffy didn't like it. Sure the sun was almost down, so it getting darker, but it wasn't dark enough. She had gotten used to the night. Vamp hours. Working the night shift more often that not took its toll on a girl. Sure, it had been night time when the Master had killed her a bit over a year ago, but she had gotten over that. The last time though… The last apocalypse… When she had been forced to kill… She shuddered. It had been daytime then. Buffy hated the sun.

Buffy readjusted the duffel bag on her shoulder as she walked to her front door. She stopped suddenly as her courage left her. She raised her hand and held it in front of the door.

'Knock,' she thought to herself. 'Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.'

So she did, but only once. Then she turned and ran. Buffy high-tailed it down the front walk and down the street. She didn't stop until she was back at the bus station, standing in line to buy a ticket back to Los Angeles. The only thing she was unaware of was that something had fallen out of her bag before she ran off…

*****

"Buffy?" Joyce asked, opening the front door. It had become instinct to hope Buffy would come home, especially now that the summer had passed. Joyce looked out, but she didn't see anything. Wait... She leaned down and picked up the cross necklace that she had noticed.

'Didn't Buffy have one just like this?' she thought. 'I'll ask Willow or Mr. Giles tomorrow.' Joyce tucked the necklace into her pocket and went back inside.

*****

About a week later found Giles ringing Joyce's doorbell, red-eyed and fidgeting nervously.

"Buffy?" Joyce asked as she opened the door, the hope in her eyes dying when she saw Giles standing there. His eyes were red and puffy, looking as though he had been crying recently. "Oh, hello Mr. Giles. I was hoping you would be... Please, come in." She moved aside as she said the last few words.

Giles nodded, stepping inside. "I understand," he said as they moved into the living room. They sat on the couch as Joyce pulled something out of her pocket.

"I've been meaning to ask you, Mr. Giles, wasn't this Buffy's?" she asked as she handed him the necklace.

"Yes, actually, it is," he stared at it with a look in his eyes that she couldn't quite place.

"Oh, thank God," Joyce looked so relieved, that Giles hated himself for what he had to tell her. "I think she was here," Joyce, continued, oblivious to Giles sudden discomfort. "I found this on the front porch last week after hearing a knock on the door."

Giles stared at Joyce, shocked. It was possible that Buffy could have come back, but it just made what he had to tell Joyce even harder.

"Ah, Ms. Summers, I actually came here to tell you a few things." Giles had Joyce's attention now. "The new slayer, Kendra's replacement, has arrived. Her name is Faith. Faith's first watcher was killed and her new one will be arriving in a few days." Giles stopped, letting Joyce absorb this information before he continued. "Another girl, Karen, arrived with her. She is also a new slayer, and I am to be her watcher."

Joyce looked confused. "I don't understand. I thought there was only a new slayer when one died, and if Faith is Kendra's replacement, then who is Karen here to take the... place... of..." Joyce trailed off, realizing what Giles was implying. "No!" she shouted as she stood up. "Buffy is alive! My baby is still alive and she's going to come back home!"

"Ms. Summers, I know this is hard to accept-" Joyce cut him off.

"Hard to accept?! Mr. Giles, you just came into my home and told me that my daughter, my only child, is… is… Oh God... My baby..."

She would have fallen to the floor then had Giles not caught her. He sat down on the couch with her, comforting her as he cried with her. And so they sat, crying over the loss of a daughter.

*****

Across town, in a basement, Xander and his girlfriend Cordelia sat on his bed, both crying. Cordelia was comforting Xander over the loss of one of his best friends.

"How could she have died? What was it? Where *was* she?!" he wailed.

Cordelia just sat, knowing it was best to just remain quiet and offer Xander her silent support. Cordelia remembered when they had all found out Buffy was dead just a few hours ago…

Two girls walked into the library together. Both brunettes, but one was dressed completely in black: black shirt that showed quite a bit of cleavage, black leather plants, and black boots. And she walked very confidently, as though she held the world in her hand. Her hair was a darker brown and her make-up was done all in black. The other girl had a much lighter shade of brown hair. She had hardly any make-up on and was wearing a tan shirt with blue jeans.

"What's hangin'?" the darker brunette asked as she hopped up on the counter, winking lewdly at Xander.

The other girl looked at the one sitting on the counter with a bit of distaste on her face.

"Don't mind her, I've had to deal with her on the plane. We're looking for a Mr. Rupert Giles. Are any of you him?" the other girl asked.

Giles stepped stood from his seat at the table. "That would be me. What did you need?" he asked warily.

"Well, might want to have them leave," The girl on the counter gestured to the rest of the group.

"No, they stay," Giles said.

"Suit yourself," the girl shrugged. "We're your new slayers," the first girl stated. "Actually, I wouldn't be here except for the fact that my first watcher got killed. The council said they were sending a replacement here soon. Until then, I'm all yours Rupes."

The group, minus the two girls, looked shocked.

"New… New slayers?" Giles asked.

"Yes. Faith is Kendra's replacement, and I'm Karen, Elizabeth's replacement." The other girl said.

"Elizabeth? As in, Buffy? Buffy Summers, Elizabeth?" Willow stood up from her seat, on the verge of panic.

"Uh, yeah. I think that's what they said. Why?" Karen asked.

Willow, Xander, Giles, Cordelia, and Oz just stared.

"Did I say something wrong?" Karen asked.

"You… You're… You're… Buffy's replacement?" Xander looked at her.

"Uh, yeah. I guess so." A confused look crossed her face. "Did you guys know her?"

"She was my slayer… And their friend…" Giles said.

"A slayer with friends? Yeah right," scoffed Faith. Karen just had a horrified look on her face.

"It's true," Oz said, actually looking a bit sad.

The group sat in shock. Then Giles stood.

"Someone needs to… I mean, Mrs. Summers… She needs to know…" With that he rushed out of the library. The others looked around at each other, silently agreeing to leave as well.

Xander and Cordelia stood, holding hands and followed Giles out the door.

Willow and Oz stood and went to follow the others, arms around each other as Willow began to cry.

"Come back tomorrow," Oz said to Karen and Faith as he passed. "Do you have somewhere to stay?"

They nodded, and watched the others leave. Then turned to look at one another, and as Faith slid off the counter, they left as well.

*****

Buffy stood in front of the bus station with her bag over her shoulder. She had just gotten back To LA and needed a place to stay. She could probably go to Lily and stay with her for a night or two, but she might be working. The diner was between where Buffy was and her old apartment anyway, so she decided to stop on the way and check. Maybe she could get a job… And not have Lily lose hers of course.

As Buffy started to walk into the night, she was unaware of the figure watching her and that now began to follow her.