Xander stood and looked over the edge in to the smoking crater that used to be his hometown and sighed. Then he did something no-one expected, he laughed. He laughed until tears were streaming down his face. Faith looked over at Buffy. “He’s gone mad. You do realize this right?” Buffy grinned at Faith.
“That’s a little rich coming from you don’t you think?” Buffy laughed at Faiths look of shock then after a couple of seconds Faith joined in. Then they both looked back at Xander as he’d gone quiet. They saw he was sat down in the road, his chin in his hand, a contemplative expression on his face. Buffy gestured to Willow and they went over and sat down beside him, Faith hung back to allow them some privacy, “hey Xander what you thinking about?” Xander looked at his two best friends and grinned, but he quickly sobered and faced the crater again.
“About lots of things, some good, some not so good, about the fact that I never have to see my parents again as they left no forwarding address, about how I no longer have to worry about some almighty evil trying to kill my closest friends, and about how I will never have to rebuild another Sunnydale high!” He laughed but then his mood turned somber. “But there are a few things that bother me. Like the fact that I’ll never be able to go to Jesse’s or Miss Calendar’s, or Tara’s grave again” he said softly, looking at willow. When she looked over he smiled and squeezed her hand, then looked at Buffy “Or that I won’t be able to go to your mothers grave and thank her for bringing two of the most wonderful and loving women in the world, her daughters, into my world. But the thing I’ll miss most is not being able to bury Anya properly.” Just then his eyes sparkled with tears, tears that had nothing to do with laugher. “I know we had our differences but I always believed she’d make it through the fight. And I’ll miss her more than I know and more than I think I realized.” Just then he looked up and realized that they had an audience. “Anyone else want to say a few words about the town or anyone in it?” Buffy took a deep breath.
“For me it’s not being able to go to the mansion and just be alone in my thoughts. Not being able to look around this town and remember some truly fantastic memories. Not being able to go and see my mom will be one that will stick with me, but it’ll be okay. And I think not being able to give Spike a memorial.” she looked over in time to see Xander scowl “I know he did wrong and he wasn’t perfect, but Xander he saved all of us and I think he saved the world. He deserves a tribute somewhere.” She took a deep breath then a thought hit her. “I know what I won’t miss”. “Seeing things that remind me of the master, of the battle with the mayor, the initiative and Adam, fighting Glory, and finally the struggle against the first, It didn‘t matter where I went I was reminded of battles where I or someone I loved was hurt, and that‘s no longer a concern.” She nodded and looked at her sister who had sat down beside her.
Dawn took a deep breath and sighed. “I’m not going to miss Sunnydale in the slightest.” When everyone looked at her in surprise she shook her head. “What? Since I got here I found out my sister was a vampire slayer, I’ve almost been killed more times than I can count. I found out I’m not really flesh and blood, I’m in fact some mystical key and some psycho ex-hell-god wanted me to open some dumb portal. Then my mom died, Glory hurt Tara, and to save me Buffy died. Then Buffy came back weird and basically spent six months ignoring me, then Tara died and Willow tried to end the world. Then just as things were getting to where I might actually start to enjoy Sunnydale and my life here, some original evil decides to wage war on my sister and my friends. So no I’m not going to miss Sunnydale, besides.” She stopped and looked around then smiled. “Everything I care about is coming with me, so why should I miss a town?” she let out a breath and grinned. “But on second thoughts I can think of something I’ll miss, the mall!” They all laughed.
Then it was Willows turn. “I’ve lived in this town my whole life, and for the first fifteen years it was idyllic, except for my massive unrequited crush on my best friend that is!” She sent a teasing glance over at Xander and they laughed. “Then things weren’t so idyllic, but I coped. Over the years so much has changed, I’ve changed, but underneath I‘ve been the same. I won’t miss Sunnydale, because I think I’ll always carry it in my heart, as the first place I ever knew, as the first place I fell in love and had it returned. The place I lost my boyfriend, then it became the place we made peace with each other. The place I learned how to be a good witch and when I realized that I liked girls. The place I met the one women who didn’t make loving her hard, she was just who she was and was so comfortable. She was a person who loved me wholly and didn’t care about what anyone else thought, the person I lost. Who is now the person I will always carry in my heart. And then I learned you can move on from losing that kind of love, and I have. But mostly this is the place where I learned the most important thing in the world is having friends who will love you no matter what.” She looked around and most had damp eyes then she let out a squeak as Buffy and Xander pulled her into a hug group hug.
When everyone had calmed down Giles cleared his throat and everyone looked at him. “I only lived here a handful of years but they were enlightening, and I too will miss Sunnydale, but I think that I got a good deal. I got my family alive out of it, so I think I made a fair trade.” just then Giles staggered as both Dawn and Buffy launched themselves at him. “We love you too Giles!” They chorused, while Giles looked first flustered then pleased. Faith cleared her throat and waited until everyone looked at her.
“I wasn’t in Sunnydale long, but it made an impression on me. I think it’s fair to say I made an impression on it! But for me Sunnydale will always be the place I learned that you can fuck up monumentally and eventually be forgiven. You can push people away and they keep pushing back until one day you realize gasp! You have friends.” She looked down at her feet while most looked surprised by her eloquence. Then she looked up and saw Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles and Dawn were smiling and realized that the Scoobies had finally forgiven her. Robin Wood took a deep breath “I think I’ll round things up by saying I was only in Sunnydale a while and I can honestly say the town was…” He paused “interesting.” With that everyone laughed. Xander shook his head. “Truer words have never been spoken my friend.” Then he shrugged. “Okay now that we’ve all given our memories, let’s have a minute of silence to say goodbye because after today I don’t plan on ever coming back here.” There was a general murmur of agreement then everyone went quiet. After the minute was up Xander walked over the road and wrote on the road at the edge of the crater some simple words that meant everything to some of the people watching, and nothing to most of the younger slayers as they had no ties to Sunnydale. He wrote ‘R.I.P Sunnydale, you made life ‘interesting’. Goodbye, love the Scoobies. Then next to it he wrote “R.I.P Anya and Spike. Then he walked over to Buffy. “So Buff, I believe Dawnie asked a very interesting question. What do we do now?” She smiled relishing the sense of freedom
“We can do anything we want to, but first I have to go to L.A and let them know we’re okay after that, it’s negotiable.” She looked at Faith, who looked nervous. “Don’t worry Faith, we’ll only be a few minutes, you’ll be safe, no-ones going to give you to the police. You’re a different person.” With that said Faith turned to Robin Wood.
“Let’s get this show on the road, We have a few people in need of medical treatment, The sooner we get them to a hospital the better.” With that they got on the bus and pulled away from what was left of Sunnydale.
As the bus pulled away a tall man wearing a long black coat and a small women wearing a little dress appeared from thin air and watched them go
“They did it I thought for a second they were going to lose” he turned to his companion who was smiling gently “look I know you always said they would be okay but not everyone can be all knowing” she just looked at him “well at least we didn’t have to deal with that loud mouthed little stoner this time” as he was about to say something she just touched him on the arm and pointed he paused “yeah I know you agree with what they did but how in the hell are we going to deal with hundreds of slayers” she just looked at him and his face broke in to a smile “Really, well all right then I always said he would go far” she just looked at him in disgust and walked away with him following “I Can’t help it I have a soft spot for carpenters” and they both promptly vanished.
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