…I'm Going Home…

On the day I went away...
Goodbye was all I had to say...

Buffy Summers sat on the Sunnydale bound motor coach. She frowned as she saw the sign that read, 'Welcome to Sunnydale.'

Now I want to come again and stay...
Smile, and that will mean that I may...

At 1630 Revello Drive, Joyce loaded the dishwasher to overfull. She seemed tired, drawn and worn down.

Cause I've seen blue skies,

Through the tears in my eyes...
And I realize I'm going home...

Buffy, on the other side of the door knocked, waited for what seemed like forever but was truly only minutes.

Everywhere it's been the same...
Feeling like I'm outside in the rain...

The front door opened and mother and daughter stood there in stunned silence.

Suddenly, it was like a light switch had clicked on and the pair gravitated toward each other. The hug that followed was a long, painful embrace.

Wheeling free, to try and find a game...
Dealing cards for sorrow, cards for pain...

After the women shared a long, comforting silence in the kitchen, the Slayer moved through the house to her room. She dumped the bag containing her meager belongings on the floor next to her dresser and dropped into the chair next to her bed. She placed her head in her hands and sat there for a long moment.

Cause I've seen blue skies,

Feeling a presence in her room, the blonde looked up and noticed her mother just at the entrance.

"Mom…" she began, but trailed off, unsure of what she wanted to say.

Through the tears in my eyes...
And I realize I'm going home...

Joyce entered the room quickly and embraced her daughter. She pulled the young woman into her lap as she sat on the bed.

I'm going home, I'm going home.

That was when the tearsbegan.

…Anytime You Need a Friend…

Buffy had wanted to find her friends and see if there was any chance that she could make amends with them.

As she walked down the road she heard scuffling noises coming from an alleyway between two businesses.

As she turned down the corner of the alley, she was surprised by what she found.

There was a man, dressed completely in black, fighting a vampire. She observed the fight and was surprised as the man held his own against the demon.

The vampire grabbed the man and threw him ten feet away and raced after his fallen foe.

The man kipped up into a low guard fighting stance and as the vampire advanced, he was ready for the creature.

The man in black lifted the thing bodily and threw it, upside down into the wall of the alley then used a stake to kill it.

He stumbled away from the ash, and sensing the presence of someone in the alley with him, the man spun faster than her eye could see and crouched low, ready to spring at any perceived threat.

In that moment, the Slayer realized that it was Xander.

The X5 blinked at her for a long moment, seemed to sniff the air before he realized it was her.

"What's going on?" Buffy said with a slight Mona Lisa smile as she eyed him curiously.

Blinking some more, the transgenic rubbed his eyes then looked at her again, "Is it really you?"

Suddenly, the X5 was tackled to the ground and rolled around on the ground with a vampire as he tried to gain the upper hand.

Buffy realized Xander was growling as the vampire exploded into ash, his stake raised at the ready.

"Damn it!" he exclaimed as he kipped up once more then headed to her side.

"Alec," Cordelia's voice cut the night and he sighed in relief at hearing her voice.

"Come in, Alec!" the transgenic sounded more urgent this time as Xander ignored the walkie talkie and looked at Buffy.

"Alec?" Buffy said as she eyed her friend up and down taking in his appearance. The young man before her had a nearly perfect athletic body, and since the baggy clothes were gone he looked like he could be a model for GQ.

In that moment, Willow and Jonathon ran up to them and skidded to a halt.

"Hey, Buffy," the young witch said in a friendly tone then stopped. She turned and rushed the Slayer with a hug. "Buffy!" she squealed.

Xander winced and put a finger to his ear as though the sound were too loud.

Jonathon looked up at Xander in silent communication with a questioning light to his brown eyes.

Xander gave a hand signal for him to relax.

Not long after the others had showed up, Cordelia, Oz and Amy reached the alley.

Buffy and Willow finally broke apart after a long moment.

"Are you alright, Alec? I've been trying to raise you…" she trailed off as she realized the Slayer was there. "Buffy!" she exclaimed as she looked at the blonde with caution.

"Alec?" Buffy asked one more time as she eyed the young man curiously.

"Maybe we should find some place where we can talk," Xander said as he made a hand signal to egress.