This is the beginning of a story I've been toying with for some time. Let me know if you think I should continue.


She watches the sun rise from the window of the hotel room.

It has become a ritual for her. It is something she enjoyed, once. If she looks deep within herself, she can still find that girl who felt her heart rate speed up as the sun swelled over the horizon.

Now, it has become one of the only things that remains unchanged over the centuries. The world revolves around her with all the turbulence of a tornado, and in struggling to keep up with the seemingly ever-changing cultures she chose to inhabit, having a constant thing in her life is a last grip on sanity.

The light touches upon her half-dressed body, highlighting the sharp, muscular contures in her coffee-colored torso. Her white wifebeater hangs loosely in one hand, soon to cover the smooth musculature that is a product of centuries of hard effort. Just because she is immortal does not mean she can become complacent. She is not invulnerable, and the scars that decorate her body are testament to that.

The sun clears the horizon, and abruptly all is thrown into light. A sound comes from the bed behind her, and the slender beauty who had been sleeping there raises an arm to ward off the glare. It is a small sound, and a smaller movement, but it is enough to shatter the precious, fleeting calm.

She turns from her stance in front of the window and strides back to the bed, her movements slow and deliberate and primal. She makes no sound as she reaches across the bed to grab her pants, enjoying the heat in her temporary companion's eyes as their bodies make contact.

She has already forgotten the woman's name. She means nothing to her, for she knew long ago that she belonged to one, and one alone. The woman, with her slender, pliable body and her all-too-willing gaze, was a means of release, nothing more and nothing less. Without that release, she would become mindless and cold. Love does not enter into the equation, unless one is remarking upon the absense of it. She hopes the woman understands this.

"Kiyan," the woman says drowsily, speaking her name as though confirming that the spell does not exist in soundlessness. It does, but Kiyan does not tell her this, answers her with a good morning in her deep, smoker's voice. The woman asks what time it is, and Kiyan tells her, even though the clock lies not six inches from her head. Kiyan has done this dance many times, and she dances it well.

"Do you really have to go?" This one chooses to skip many steps of the dance, and asks the question before she is even fully awake. She is honest, direct, and certainly beautiful; Kiyan wonders, as she does every morning that follows nights such as last night, if she could love this woman, given time. But it is only a fleeting wish, and Kiyan knows it even before she wishes it. She fears that, if she stops wishing it, she will no longer be human. So she allows herself to wish it, even as she gently tells her companion that, yes, she has to go.

The woman knows this. She knew it last night. She knows this kind of mysterious stranger, the kind that passes through this infamous city on their way elsewhere. The kind that seems to belong nowhere, and she had allowed herself to think that she could, somehow, convince this feral-looking, dark-haired beauty with the haunted eyes that, perhaps, she belonged here. In her own way, the woman is dancing the same dance Kiyan is. Except for her, the dance has its eventual end.

Kiyan dresses slowly, knowing that the woman is watching from the tangle of white hotel sheets. She dresses slowly because the spell of timelessness seems to linger at times such as these, and because she knows that she really has nowhere else to be. She lifts her black duffel bag from the floor and shoulders it, turning back for one, final glimpse at the woman's sad and resigned eyes before pushing the door of the ground floor hotel room open and heading out into the newly-broken day.

She reaches the parking lot before her cell phone rings. She answers it curtly as she continues towards her car, unlocking the back seat and throwing her duffel into it as the tinny voice explains why he is calling.

He says he's found her. But this is not the first time he has called to tell her this, and so her response is less than excited. But no, he says this time it is real. That he met a witch in England who told him. She's made into flesh again. Kiyan feels human for the first time in years as he tells her her goddess' new name.

Dawn Summers. She knows that this time, he is not lying. The name resounds in her soul. It has been a long time since anything touched her soul.

She writes down the address in felt tip pen on her dashboard, and she knows. She has a place she belongs. The engine turns over and she leaves the parking lot, leaves the busy, noisy city of Las Vegas.

She's going to Sunnydale.