Disclaimers:

These are obviously not my characters, I'm just borrowing them from Joss Whedon, and anyone else who owns them. The lyrics to One More Day with You likewise belong to Diamond Rio and clearly not me.

If you have issues with people of the same sex loving each other, or live someplace where that's illegal (in which case, consider moving) please move on.

Pairings: canon but focused on Willow/Tara

Rating: PG-13

"Yeah Buffy, what are we gonna do now?" Dawn asked, staring at the hole that once was Sunnydale.

Buffy smiled as she heard her friends chatting behind her, but her smile was lost when she saw motion in the middle of the huge crater.

"Guys, you see that?"

"What?" Willow asked, turning to look. "Whoa, are those…people? How'd they survive that? Wait, who could it be, everyone but us was long gone."

"I don't know but it can't be good. Get everyone back on the bus."

Willow and Xander herded the remaining potentials – slayers, she reminded herself – back onto the bus while Buffy watched the group of forms move around seemingly aimlessly and then start towards the direction of the bus.

"Buffy, you can watch from the bus like the rest of us." Dawn pointed out, hanging her head out of a window.

Buffy turned around to protest, but Willow had also stuck her head out. She was giving her the famous 'resolve face.' "If they're dangerous we might have to leave quickly."

Buffy sighed and walked over to the bus, climbing the steps and moving to the back with her closest friends to watch the apparent survivors move closer.

"You think they saw us?" Xander asked.

"I don't know, but they're moving this way like they did." Willow pointed out.

"Oh god, are we gonna have to fight again? But everyone's hurt!" Dawn whined.

"I don't know Dawn. They can't be vamps, the sun's out." Buffy said nervously.

"Thank god for small favors." Xander quipped.

The gang watched until the group disappeared from view over the edge.

"Faith? Get ready to drive just in case." Buffy called out to the front of the bus.

The dark slayer nodded and moved Robin to another seat. She sat down in the driver's seat, turned around to watch the back of the bus.

The first of the forms started climbing over the edge, seeming strained by the effort.

Buffy's eyes widened. "Isn't that…"

"Tracy?" Kennedy supplied. "But I thought she…"

More forms came over, mostly recognizable as SITs that the girls on the bus swore they'd seen killed.

"Is it the First?" Vi asked. "What do we do?"

"Willow, have we ever known the First to be more than one person at a time?" Buffy turned to her friend, who shook her head very slowly, her eyes riveted to the cliff, where the girls were helping others over the wall. They didn't appear ready to attack.

"What are we doing B?" Faith called out, annoyed at not being able to see what the rest of the group was crowding back to see.

But Buffy didn't answer, because she had just seen what Willow was staring at. Amongst the vaguely familiar SITs was a face she thought she'd never see again. Amanda had just helped her to her feet. Buffy looked over at her best friend. Tears were streaming down her face. She jumped up suddenly and started pushing through the crowd of slayers trying to see.

"Will…" Xander started.

The witch spun around and glared at him. "If you're going to tell me to wait, not to go out there, you can save your breath." She snapped.

The slayers were starting to move out of her way, not wanting to anger the witch, whose power they had felt just today.

"We don't know…." Buffy started.

"That's just it, we don't know anything. And we aren't going to know anything unless someone goes out there. If it's the first, he can't touch me. And if it's not…" she turned and rushed down the aisle and out of the bus before Buffy could stop her. Their attention was grabbed in any case by a voice coming from the previously silent crowd of people coming over the hill.

"Why's everyone just standing around? Come on people, get on the bus!"

Xander turned in shock to see another familiar face. Anya was brushing herself off and walking determinedly toward the bus. "I can't believe you left me! I could have been killed in that crazy explosion and you just LEFT me!" She yelled at Willow, who was walking towards her.

Willow did a double take at Anya but kept walking.

She reached her destination a few moments later. She stopped just shy of touching her, afraid that she'd have no form.

"Tara."