Buffy was about to pull her hair out.


The cocky redhead, Buffy thought her name was Angela, was still trying too hard to be fancy.

"Xander, reset the dummies. Sit down and watch me."

Angela and two other girls who had failed for weak skills, not overzealousness, sat on the floor, huffing. Buffy closed her eyes and took a breath. Even though they were fake, she treated the scenario as life and death.

When she opened her eyes, one of the "vamps" was coming up on her left. She jabbed it in the chin, knocking it back a little. She ran by it and kicked another in the chest. The box of stakes was in the left corner of the room. Two more vamps stood in her way.

Buffy crouched low as they converged and somersaulted. She grabbed a stake from the box and jumped up. Faster than Buffy could think, two powder hearts had exploded. Hiding behind another vamp, she used it as a battering ram to knock down the remaining three. She staked them sequentially, then the one with which she had been protecting herself and stood up.

"And that is when it's appropriate to somersault."

Xander walked over to the heap of dummies as the girls stared in shock. Except Angela, of course, who yawned and looked at her nails.

"Buff, I think you might've broken them."

"Well, then I guess we're done for the day," she said. As she walked out of the basement, she looked out the windows. Not quite sunset yet. She went to her room and freshened up.

She was welcoming the distraction Sangue was soon to provide. This whole Dawn and Xander thing was wigging her out. And that freaking Angela girl… Not to mention that Buffy was indeed awake and alive today and thus she was consciously shaking thoughts of the Hellmouth every few minutes.

Spike. Does it hurt where you are? Like it did for Angel?

Buffy shook her head and noticed the bracelet Sangue had given her on her dresser. She hadn't been wearing it much since she came back, but she made sure to slide it on before jogging downstairs.

Her phone buzzed just as she opened the door. There he was. She couldn't believe it.

"Sangue!" She ran to him and threw herself onto him. More than she had meant to. Oops. She let go. "I still can't believe you're here! This is just such a surprise! Don't you have work?"

"Work is nothing," he drawled in a thick accent. "I thought you could use a little gelato break."

"That you're right. You wouldn't believe how crazy this day has been. And it's only Monday."

"And another surprise, cara mia." Sangue moved to the side and gestured at the limo behind him.


"A limo! One of these days, Sangue, we're going to have to discuss the terms of your business." Buffy was only kind of joking.

Sangue brushed the bracelet on her wrist and Buffy quickly let go of her worries. "Only the finest for you, my dear." He opened the door for her.