Giles looked up from his book and frowned at the group of young people crowded in his doorway. He still hadn't learned to lock his door.
'Who is gone?'
Giles froze, his book falling to the table with a soft thud.
'What do you mean she's gone?'
Xander rolled his eyes. 'We went by her place to see if maybe they wanted to come by the Bronze and they were gone. Apartment bare. We called Joyce and she said that they picked up Serrah last night and she hasn't heard from them since.'
'She didn't leave a note or anything!' Willow grumped.
Giles couldn't believe that after everything, after they accepted her relationship with Spike that Buffy would still feel the need to just disappear into the night. He thought that they had repaired their relationship enough on her return that she would at least grace him with a goodbye. A little warning at least. Giles sighed.
'Perhaps she thought it best.'
'What?' Willow asked incredulously. 'For the best? Are you crazy? How is leaving your home without even a note or a goodbye for the best?'
'You would have wanted her help,' Tara spoke up. 'Maybe not intentionally but eventually you would have gone back to taking her for granted, treated her like everything was her responsibility because she's the slayer.'
'She's pregnant,' Anya added. 'She can't face Adam for you; you'll have to do that for yourselves.'
Anya and Tara had of course hit the nail on the head. They would have taken her for granted, used her to make their lives easier. It may have been unintentional but eventually it would have happened. Like Giles had suggested, maybe Buffy's leaving was for the best.
'As much as I hate to admit it, Anya and Tara are right. We will simply find another way to defeat Adam.'
'What like the new slayer,' Xander joked.
There was a stunned silence as everyone absorbed what Xander had just said.
'Yes, Xander,' Giles said with a smile. 'Like the new slayer.'
'Will you let it go?' Cordelia yelled at Angel. 'She's gone. Left with Spike. She doesn't love you anymore and I'm beginning to understand why.'
'Don't you Cordy me!' Cordelia snapped.
Wesley sat back and watched the goings on like a spectator at a tennis match. He did of course side with Cordelia on this particular occasion but he wasn't about to say that out loud lest Angel get snippy and hit him.
'Look Angel, I get what you're trying to do but you're doing it for all the wrong reasons.'
'What is that supposed to mean?' Angel demanded.
'You're not researching your curse out of some new desire to make yourself safer, to better protect the world from Angelus. You're doing it because Spike has something you want. This isn't kindergarten Angel, making your soul permanent isn't going to change things. Spike is still going to have Buffy, he is still going to be the better choice and he is now going to have me!'
'What?' Wesley sputtered.
'I'm leaving,' Cordelia answered calmly. 'It's been a month Angel and you still haven't gotten over the fact that Buffy loves Spike and that Spike actually loves Buffy. You still haven't gotten over the fact that Spike without a soul can do a hell of a lot more good than you can with one.'
Angel glared at her but Wesley nodded in agreement.
'I work for the Powers that Be, Angel, not just you. I want to go where I can help people. I can't do that here anymore. You're so tied up in making Buffy love you that you've lost sight of everything else. I'm leaving Angel. I'm going where I can do my bit to help.'
Angel was at a loss for words so Wesley gave him something else to think about.
'I'm going with her.'
It wasn't until a week after she had left without a word that anyone heard from Buffy. Cordelia had already turned up in Sunnydale with an ex watcher in tow and Giles had made several calls to the council seeking the help of the new slayer. Willow was studying when her laptop pinged to let her know she'd received an email.
Sorry I didn't say goodbye but I thought it would be best. I can't solve all of your problems for you but I'm happy to help when I can. We're home now and back at work. Spike and Serrah say hi. Come and visit when the baby is born.
Willow smiled sadly. At least now she had a way to stay in contact.
a/n: thank you to every one who reveiwed this fic. i'm thinking there might be a sequal to this but i'm not sure right now. there definitely will be a follow up one shot.