"No!" Buffy denied. "Don't tell me that you're all in danger and I have to protect you or… there's another apocalypse coming! No, forget that… I can't fight anymore!"
"Yes, it is coming," Wesley interrupted, "and yes, we do need you."
"Wait!" Xander yelled. "There are hundreds of other slayers out there, maybe even thousands! Buffy deserves to finally be free!"
"Yes and no," Fred spoke enigmatically. There was silence. "Wesley?" she turned to him. "Tell her."
"I was counting on you," he sighed. "Another Hell Mouth," he continued.
"Hah?" Buffy bobbed her eyebrows.
"The one in Cleveland?" Giles guessed. "I mentioned about it after Sunnydale was destroyed."
"So what? It doesn't sound so tragic. There was a Hell Mouth under Sunnydale for a long time before we destroyed it!" Buffy started.
"Yes, but… now every single vampire that survived… is in Cleveland. They have their headquarters there."
"But Spike killed them all with that locket!" Dawn opposed.
"Just under Sunnydale. The rest survived and they came up with a backup plan."
"Ok, but again the same: why the hell me? Why do you need me?"
"Because you have to, Buffy."
"I don't understand," she wasn't letting it go. "Am I better than the others? We have the same chance in a battle!"
"You're wrong. You are the strongest one. Why? It's that simple: you were the very first one, then Faith came and then the rest. You've got the best experience. You know how to control your power and what to do. What sacrifices to make and what kind of decisions."
"It doesn't mean I will be better! I've been through enough! I've survived too much and… technically…"
"You have to lead the army and save the world. Again. You have been chosen," Wesley repeated.
"No!" Buffy raised her voice a little too much and everybody went quiet. "No, I can't! I have a family now! My daughter needs a mother!"
"Nobody said you would die," Fred noticed.
"I don't care! Do it yourself!"
"It's all because of you! It's all happening because of you! Here! I said it! I didn't want to, but you left me no choice," Wesley said sharply.
"Yes," Fred admitted. "You started it. They want revenge on you. You know how many slayers are up there? This world isn't a safe place for vampires anymore! They wanted to win the battle, but you won. Remember? In England. Now they are killing lonely slayers one by one. They want to attack your family. If they find out that you have a daughter…"
"Yes," Wesley confirmed. "That's true, Buffy. You have to embrace it. Wherever you go they'll hunt you down. They want to kill you and everybody close to you. They will chase you until they will get you. That is why we've been in such a hurry."
"Buffy…" Giles started.
"Don't!" She silenced him with a wave of her hand. "What do you want me to do?" She stood up, looking at Wesley and Fred.
"Buffy!" Xander objected. "Think what you're doing! I won't let you!"
"And I won't let you or anybody else get hurt or die for me! Not Jenny, not you, not Dawn! Nobody! I can't let innocent people suffer because of me!"
"We can hide when no one will ever find us. Even them."
"No. You got it all wrong, Xander." Buffy avoided his eye.
"If they don't find us they'll kill our families, even your parents, even my biological father, then they'll start to kill innocent people who don't even know us!"
"But nobody said…" He stopped when he looked at his friends. "Jeez..."
"The only choice I have is to fight, but I won't let my daughter be there when it'll happen. You have to take her away."
"WHAT? No! I won't leave you!" he objected again and accidentally woke up Jenny. "Sshhh… Dawn, can you take her upstairs? Thanks."
When Dawn came back, Buffy spoke again, "I won't let them hurt my family. I have to face the consequences of my choices in the past. It doesn't matter if there were good or bad. They expect me and I will face the enemy. Xander, you'll take Jenny, Dawn and Andrew and you'll run as far away as you can."
"I think that those vampires don't know that Jenny exist," Wesley comforted them, "still, the child can't be around."
"Giles…" Willow turned to her husband as they were already married, "I want you to run with Xander and the rest."
"What? Willow… I… no, I can't."
"I'm sorry, but you can't help us here. We don't need another watcher. I don't need you to control my powers anymore and I'll be useful with my magic. If you disappear you'll survive, but if you stay…" she didn't finish, but everybody understood anyway. She wanted to protect the one she loved. Tara had died because she'd been right beside her and it didn't matter if it'd been an accident.
"Fine," he sighed. "What about our baby?" He placed his hand on her belly.
"What can I do about it?" she asked. "You can't take him like Jenny, because he's still inside of me." They laughed what made them feel a little less tensed. "I'll be careful, don't worry about him."
"Buffy, I want to be by your side," Dawn said.
"I know," she sighed. "As always. But again, I want you to be happy and I want you to survive, along with your fiancé. If you stay you may not get so lucky. I will need Faith though." She turned to Willow. "Find her."
"Ok, I'll call for her." Willow closed her eyes and opened them again. "Spike?" she asked. "He's not a vampire anymore, but what about him? He can't stay and fight and I'm sure he'll come here with Faith."
"I know. Just call for them, then we figure something out."
"Xander, Dawn, Andrew, Giles… go get ready. Fred…" Buffy turned to her new friend. "You do have some power, don't you? You can be useful in the battle."
"Some power? Buffy, I can take you and a dozen of slayers at one time. Believe me, I can be very useful."
"I have an idea," Willow started, "but it's kind of… shocking. Buffy, can I talk to you in private?"
"Sure, let's go to the kitchen."
"WHAT?" The blond slayer opened her eyes widely. "You're kidding, right?"
"No, I'm not. It'll be just for the battle and then… puff… like a ghost."
"We need Spike in that case."
"Yes. Alright. But don't tell anyone, especially Xander."