Buffy towelled her hair dry and sat down on the bed.

Soft. Warm. Clean. Dry. All good things.

After slaying Darius, the entire gang had trooped to Giles' house, where Spike
and Buffy had related their story in full. Well, not quite in full. By silent agreement
they had left out the argument about Riley, and the most painful bit. The bit
where they had to leave. Buffy had tried to say something, but she just couldn't
do it. Giles' eyes had shone with proud tears as he looked at her…the others had
congratulated her on the achievement…and her mom had just looked happy to
see her alive. There had been one odd thing about the whole conversation. For
some reason, the other guys had thought that she and Spike were...together.
She quickly set them right on that one, and had later found out that Dawn was


She was supposed to protect Dawn from Glory. And if she had to leave, well, that
just couldn't be done. A new destiny. Dawn wasn't her concern anymore,
although in a way she'd always be her concern…still, a new Slayer had been
called. Maybe Giles' could arrange for her to come and work in Sunnydale. He
could be her Watcher…

A small sob escaped her throat as the door opened. She drew her bathrobe
tighter and composed herself.

"Dawn? What is it…"

"It's not Dawn, Slay...Buffy."

"Oh. It's you."

"Don't sound so happy."

"This isn't a time to be happy. It's a time to be very, very sad."

"Don't exaggerate."

"I'm not. I already thought I was giving up a lot being the Vampire Slayer…now it
looks like I have to give up even more."

"But think about what you've gained."

"A sidekick with a bad attitude and worse hair?"

"I am not your sidekick. We're equals now."

"And that really cheers me up."

"Stop being so damn…wallowing!"


"Wallowing in misery! Anyone would think you liked being unhappy!"

"Not only do I never get to see my friends again, I have to spend the rest of me
life with you? Oh yeah, that is so a reason to be happy."

"I'm happy."

"You did not just say that."

"Yes. I did, didn't I? I feel so much bloody better…Slay...Buffy, we made a
connection! You felt it, you must have done!"

"We're both…lonely."

"And we won't be anymore…we'll always have someone."

"Everyone leaves me...I'm like a disease…"

"I won't leave you…I can't. We're two of a kind. Unique."

Buffy and Spike stood a foot or so apart. Spike could hear her heartbeat, and
closed his eyes to listen. Buffy laughed, breaking the silence.

"What are you doing?"

"listening to your heartbeat so I know when you've calmed down."

"You can hear my heart all the way over there?"

"I'm right in front of you, Buffy. Or didn't you notice?"

She looked at him then. Really looked. Same clothes he'd worn that first night
they'd met, when she was just a young girl. Just the Slayer. Same hairstyle, and
still arrogant, still self assured. Something else had changed. He seemed more
real. More human, and someone who meant something too her.

His handsome face Handsome? Did I really only just notice that? changed
then into vampiric visage. Now that's just gross.

"Boo. Hello? Slayer...I mean, Buffy, wake up…"

Buffy blinked.

"What's this sudden effort to call me Buffy?"

"Well I thought seeing as how we're both Slayers, it could get confusing.."

"Should I call you William?"

"I hate that name…stick with Spike for now, pet."

"I don't mind if you still call me Slayer sometimes…"

He put his hand on her arm.

"This is real. Isn't it."

She nodded, and he spoke again.

"You have to tell them. We have to leave."

"I know...it's hard."

"It's always been hard. Maybe now it can start to get easier."

"Now we aren't alone anymore?"



A young woman and man stood by the door to a blacked out car. It is night-time,
and the soft moon highlights the tears on the girl's face. They are encircled by a
group of people. All seem to be taking it in turns to step forward and say their
goodbyes, much to the girl's distress. The young man simply looks

Another blonde girl steps forward. "I…I didn't know you for very long at all…but I
see you. You're a good person, and this is…sad. So I want you to have this…"

She passes over a necklace. It's a simple silver chain, with a ring on the bottom.

"It means eternity. It's been blessed.."

"It's beautiful. Thanks."

They hesitantly hug, and the next steps forward. This girl is awkward, and
doesn't know what to say. "Thankyou for…well, I suppose being Xander's friend.
Otherwise, he would be dead, and I would never have met him."

The petite blonde manages a smile. "Thanks…I think."

There is a pause as the black haired youth walks to towards her. Then they
embrace tightly. He speaks into her hair, tears starting at the corners of his eyes.
"God Buff. I'm gonna miss you…don't ever change, okay? Not your hairstyle or
anything…because I want my memory to be real…like you'll always be here. I
love you…"

The girl sobs. "I won't. I won't…I love you too…this isn't happening…"

"It is." He reluctantly releases her, and turns to the silent peroxide punk. "Look
after her, okay? And Buffy….don't let him anywhere near your plumbing."

She manages a small laugh, which quickly disappears as the red-head breaks
down into tears beside her.


"Oh Will…"

They hug each other tightly, and don't say anything. Finally the taller girl draws
back. "You're my best friend. You'll always be my best friend…whatever
happens, and is happening now, even if Mr Gordo starts flying…" They both
break into sobs again, then say goodbye and let go. Then the red head thrusts
something into the blonde's hand. "Here…it's from me and Xander…"

It's a picture taken when the three were all around seventeen. They're smiling at
the camera, laughing together. They're happy. It shows in sharp contrast to the
faces we see today.

Three others are left. The first, a young girl with brown hair simply hugs her sister
very tightly, and the older woman joins her. The mother kisses her oldest
daughter gently, on the forehead. "I always thought…everyday I worried that you
wouldn't come home…and now you're leaving…"


The family embrace again tightly, and fall back. There is one left. He stands in
front of the girl he has seen change from a carefree teenager to a young woman.
"Buffy….I can't tell you how proud I am…"

He pulls her close to him and she cries for a moment, then he holds her by the

"I know one day we'll all see each other again. This isn't goodbye."

She nods dumbly, and a loving smile forms on his lips.


And she climbs into the blacked out DeSoto with the silent young man. And the
older man's smile cracks as tears run down his face. And everyone is silent as
they watch the car drive away.


Music is playing inside the DeSoto. The two sit in silence.

I know your throat is raw from screamin
I know your eyes are sore from cryin
I know your people are absent from your life
I know you're pulling us down
I know you're screamin and your heart is breakin
And I know your need to be heard

She tried to stop crying, and it hurt her head.

And your night time company is to argue with a friend like me
And it's just as you need it to be
It needs to be

He looked at her. Broken and upset. Wondered what he should do.

Fingers get weary from blamin
And your friends are all leary of savin you
Searchin for some handle to hang on
Or just a warmer wind
I know you're unhappy and you feel like dyin
And I know your need to be heard



And your night time company is to bully a friend like me
And that's just as you need it to be
It needs to be

"You're…you're car stinks."


"Of smoke…it's gross."

And though he detected a faint waver in the voice and the eyes were still red-
rimmed, things were starting to get better.

This was just how it needed to be.

And your night time company is to argue with a friend like me
And that's just as you need it to be
It needs to be