Ren went back to school after vacation a perfectly normal six year old girl, with no sign that she had internalized and processed the minds of thousands of slayers. Ms. Langley sent home a note that said that she assumed that Ren's school problems had been fatigue related and had been cleared up by a good dose of vacation.
On Wednesday evening, Buffy and Ren came up the stairs with pizza. Ren was talking about the report that they had just been assigned. They had to pick an animal. Ren had picked rabbits and was trying to convince Buffy to get one as a pet. When they reached their floor, Angel's door was open. He came out of it with a bag slung over his shoulder and a box in the other arm. He locked the door slowly and walked down the hall to them.
"Are you leaving?" Ren asked, her voice small.
Angel crouched before her, putting the box down beside them. "Yes. But that doesn't mean you should stop eating your vegetables." She fell forward onto him and he caught her in a hug. He picked up the box again and gave Buffy a tiny tip of a smile. "Be happy," he finally said, and went down the stairs.
Buffy unlocked the apartment door. Everything felt like slow motion. Ren looked up at her, teary-eyed. "Do you wonder where he is going?"
Yes, Buffy thought. Yes, I wonder. She handed Ren the pizza. "Start with one slice. And drink a glass of milk," she instructed before turning around and chasing Angel.
He was packing the box into a car already filled with them and he turned as she approached.
"I get it," she said, slightly out of breath. "It was a hard choice and you still don't know if you made the right one, but it worked and my hope is back." She smiled up at him, a sunset reprise. "I'm still angry at you and I don't know how long that will last, but Angel…wherever you're going, you should call."
Angel curved a hand against her cheek. "I would have done it anyway, but this makes me feel like less of a stalker."
"Oh, Angel." She kissed him gently on the cheek. "You'll always be a stalker to me." She laughed and it made him do the same. "And you don't have to tell me that I say the nicest things," she called to him as he drove away.