"Take a left here," directed Buffy Summers, reading off from the directions on the sheet of paper she was holding.

Willow Rosenberg obediently turned the steering wheel of their rental car, stopping a half-block further on at a red stoplight. While waiting for it to change to green, the witch sneaked a quick peek at where Buffy was in the passenger seat. This Slayer was herself idly gazing out at the pleasant, tree-lined Minneapolis street where they were driving to inspect the latest New Council Sineya House.

Several years after the collapse of Sunnydale, things were looking up for the organization composed of young superhuman women and their supporters guarding the whole planet from demons and other unearthly perils. Worldwide, numerous residences had been bought for teams of Slayers and Watchers to live there while patrolling specific cities in their home countries.

In an effort to avoid the earlier mistakes of the Watchers' Council in thinking of the Slayer and any of her helpers as mere weapons to be discarded when they died in their never-ending war, Giles and the rest of the remaining Scoobies took turns doing meet-and-greet get-togethers with the inhabitants of the Sineya Houses whenever new ones were created. It'd worked out well, with the upper levels of the New Council putting faces to distant locations they'd ordinarily never visit save for the usual crises. In turn, the younger Slayers and their Watchers got to encounter the legendary heroes of the Boca del Infierno, and find out for themselves such people as Giles, Buffy, Willow, Xander, Faith, and Dawn were just as capable of being both valiant and mundane as the newest kids on the block.

Now, it was time for Buffy and Willow to do their own excursions. This always meant a pleasant break from these women's normal responsibilities. They got to visit new places, and in between the evil demon slaying, there were opportunities to do the usual tourist things. For instance, yesterday in Minneapolis, Willow had happily wandered around Minnehaha Park, enjoying the wonderful waterfall of the same name, and then hiking along a nature trail to the Mississippi River close by.

As for Buffy, she'd hit the Mall of America in full shopping frenzy. She was wearing now in the car a souvenir of her hours-long spree at one of the largest examples in the world of this building type, a jaunty green beret that Willow considered totally cute.

Starting the car again when the other vehicle ahead moved on, Willow smiled to herself at how close she and Buffy had become once more. It'd been so long since they met in her hometown, with an unlikely friendship soon forming between a timid computer science nerd and a blonde cheerleader who was secretly the most recent vampire slayer. Over time, their weird lives with all the tragedies and world-shaking events in these had put a distance between the Queen Slayer and the Red Witch. Now, though, after several weeks of traveling together, they'd regained their former connection.

And, maybe something…else. In all the years after Sunnydale, neither had found their special someone yet. Willow and Kennedy broke up with each other a few months into their Brazilian vacation, with both sadly recognizing their relationship had been a sort of desperate war-time romance during the battle against the First Evil. As for Buffy, the disastrous liaison with the Immortal hadn't ended well at all, not to mention the other few subsequent and equally unlucky dating tries. Without knowing it, the two women had vowed the same thing, to hold off for a while with the search for forever-smoochies.

This decision had lasted up to their mutual travels, when they'd started feeling an actual spark with each other, of a type Willow was more familiar with and overjoyed about. Buffy had a harder time with her new feelings. It wasn't that she felt this was in any way wrong, not when the California Slayer had been perfectly okay with Wils and Tara. There was also the rarely-mentioned factor among themselves about these superhuman women's dreams concerning their precursors. In all the millennia since Sineya, a good many of these short-lived girls sought comfort in the arms of other females, and this occasionally came through in very vivid detail for the sleeping present-day Slayers.

No, the whole reason for Buffy warily dancing around the subject was that she dreaded yet another horrible disappointment in her unsuccessful love life. Willow was genuinely patient in this. The redhead knew her friend needed time to recognize what was right for them both. Meanwhile, they kept on working together in such duties in today's visit to the Minneapolis Sineya House, of which a certain gleeful Wiccan knew a particularly delicious secret concerning this just-purchased dwelling.

As if she'd retained a modicum of her long-ago mind reading trait, Buffy casually asked, "Hey, Wils, fill me in on where we're going."

Successfully hiding her smile, Willow looked thoughtful for a moment, and then she started reciting, "Well, it was built in 1900 and it's mainly a two-story Victorian. There's seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms-"

"Good," decisively interrupted Buffy.

Wryly nodding in agreement, Willow remembered the long lines before the sole three bathrooms in the Revello house during when everyone fighting the First had been crowded in there. She continued, "The basement's been converted to include an exercise room with weights and a sauna. All the interiors have been kept in the same style as the rest of the home, just like most of the other places around."

Buffy frowned slightly, "What about the neighbors?" The Slayer waved an indicating hand at the peaceful residential scene around the car. "If it's the same like this, the people in their houses close by might be a little suspicious about maybe a half-dozen mixed guys and gals living there who spend a lot of time out after dark."

"Oh, don't worry" Willow reassured Buffy, "Their cover story is that they're sharing the rent for the house while being college students here at the University of Minnesota a few miles away. It's actually true for some of them, who're enrolled there now. They've even selected night-time courses as part of their patrolling activities."

Buffy looked impressed at hearing this clever explanation. "Nice," she complimented.

"Mm-mm," absently responded Willow, who then peered ahead through the windshield. She announced, "I think it's the next block." Shooting another quick, amused glance at Buffy, the witch offhandedly mentioned, "By the way, there's a little surprise about the place."

"Huh?" came from the Slayer, who bestowed a suspicious glower at where Willow was giggling in her driver's seat. "What, is it like the Addams Family mansion or something?"

Pulling up to the curb and stopping there, Willow turned off the car's engine while now laughing out loud. Finally getting herself back under control, she didn't say anything. Instead, Willow merely pointed past Buffy out through her side window, at the large house set in its lot across from their vehicle.

Buffy stared in puzzlement at the building for a few seconds, until the penny dropped. Her own mouth fell open, and the Slayer hurriedly got out of the car to stand on the sidewalk and continue gaping at the house.

From behind, when Willow had left the car to walk around this and stand at Buffy's back, the witch gleefully crowed, "I thought you'd know it!"

Still staring at the actual Minneapolis house used for the residence of Mary Richards in one of the greatest ever television comedies, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Buffy whispered reverently, "Are you kidding me? Mom loved the show! She always watched it, both the originals and the repeats, and I grew up watching it with her!"

In a quick whirl of Slayer speed, Buffy turned to hug Willow hard in a carefully-limited display of her overwhelming strength. Finally let go, Willow's joyous face was almost as red as her hair. She smiled at where Buffy had gone back to staring at the house, while unconsciously touching at the beret still on the blonde's head after all this. When a couple more seconds went by with Buffy's hand yet in this position, Willow chortled, "Oh, go on! You know you want to!"

A flashing smile was sent in return at Willow, and then in front of a classic television house, Buffy Summers gaily tossed her beret high in the air.

Author's Note: The Minneapolis house mentioned here is actually for sale right now at the end of 2012, and it was also offered in 2007, which is the time of this story.

Just to put you in the proper mood, hum along to what's below:

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone
But it's time you started living
It's time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

Written and performed by Sonny Curtis. All rights belong to their proper owners.