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Escape From Sunnydale

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Scooby Road Trip Odyssey". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Some of the Scoobies' plans regarding what to do, now that they've graduated high school, are in a state of flux.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Sons of AnarchyGreywizardFR1311,364083,20617 Aug 1217 Aug 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Follows Season Three's conclusion, 'Graduation , Part II.'

Spoilers: None intended, but some mention of events up through the episode 'Graduation, Part II' is inevitable, so be warned. There are slight AU changes to some events leading up to the end of Season Three.

Character Bashing: Nope, none at all. None whatsoever. At all. Uh-uh.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #17 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.


~/~/~

Giles' apartment
Sunnydale, CA

June 12, 1999


"Why the long Slayer face, Buffmeister?" Xander Harris, the world’s most experienced Scooby, asked the world's most experienced Vampire Slayer as he re-entered Giles' living room, his hands encumbered with a tray holding two glasses of soda and several bowls of various munchies. They had gathered here in preparation for their upcoming meeting with the Watchers Council's new representative on the Hellmouth, together with the young woman who'd Fate had Chosen to replace Faith as the latest incarnation of the Vampire Slayer.

The renegade Slayer had, in fact, come to a very messy end roughly two weeks earlier, apparently at the hands of vengeful relatives of Dr. Lester Wirth; the vulcanologist whom Mayor Wilkins had ordered the brunette to kill. Which in turn was in a literally *stupid* attempt to conceal the potential weaknesses of the pure demon body he'd be transforming into, once his Ascension was initiated.

No one was quite sure, exactly, what the relationship between the murdered professor and a motorcycle club who called themselves the 'Sons of Anarchy' might have been – but the news of Wirth's death had evoked a startling quick and exceedingly brutal response from the bikers.

Faith's body – or at least, the majority of it, which included a mostly intact face on the head (which was what had allowed the Sunnydale P.D. to identify her) – had been found lying by the side of the main expressway exit leading out of Sunnydale, the chains still wrapped around the battered and ill-treated corpse. It was fairly self-evident that the dead Slayer had been dragged along the highway behind at least one fast-moving bike over a great distance, for her to have ended up in that condition.

And while everyone had shuddered as they'd contemplated their former associate's fate, none of the Scooby Gang had felt that it was a fate entirely undeserved, given what they knew of Faith's behavior since she'd turned traitor and gone over to the Mayor's side.

Regardless, now that the Mayor's plans to Ascend and transform himself into a pure Olvikan demon had gone up in flames (quite literally), there was relatively little for the Scoobies to concern themselves with, what with the Hellmouth now entering its annual semi-dormant phase.

"Oh, I'm just thinking about what I want to do with my life, now that I've actually got some time to do it, Xand," the petite blond beauty shrugged offhandedly in response to Harris' question, as she accepted the glass of Diet Coke he offered her.

"I know Mom and Will and everyone thinks I should be all enthusiastic about starting college in September," Buffy said, a somewhat pensive expression as she took a sip of her drink.

"And I am – mostly," she admitted, with another shrug and a somewhat wry half-smile, after Xander merely looked at her with an upraised eyebrow.

"It's just –"

"It's just what, Buff?" Xander asked, after Buffy's pause seemed to threaten to go on for forever.

"I honestly don't know what I want to *do* with my life!" Buffy finally exclaimed with what sounded to Xander like a mixture of frustration and annoyance.

"I mean, I'm supposed to be making all these really serious decisions about what I'm going to do in my future, but all I really feel like doing right now is nothing!" she said, turning her head so that she wasn't looking in Xander's direction. "And you know why? Ever since junior year, I figured my fate was pretty much set in stone. I've been the Slayer for almost four years now, and it's always seemed like that that was all I was ever gonna be!

"Actually, I'm kinda jealous of you, Xand," the tiny Slayer admitted, not seeing the incredulous look which appeared on Xander's face as she said that. "You're at least doing something you *want* to do.

"I know you've been planning on doing that whole "road trip" thing for a couple years now, and initially I thought, good for you," Buffy went on, still not looking in Xander’s direction, "but now, when I think about all these incredible sights you're gonna be seeing everywhere you go, all around the country, and then I remember how I'm gonna be stuck here in Sunnydale all by myself, now that Angel and Cordelia are gone and Willow's traveling up and down the coast with Oz and his band...

"I guess I’m just kinda – jealous, like I said," Buffy finished her semi-rant in a much quieter voice.

"You're jealous of *me*, Buff?" Xander said after a moment's silence, in an obviously disbelieving voice.

Buffy didn't say anything in response to her friend's question; she merely nodded her head, while looking down at her hands, as though ashamed of her words of just a moment ago.

"Well, then, I guess there's only one thing I can say about that," Harris began to say, and Buffy hunched her shoulders, as though in anticipation of some scathing, sarcastic response.

"Want to come along with me?"

****

Buffy looked up in surprise at Xander's reply to her semi-complaint, the wide-eyed astonishment on her face quite evident. { Did he just...? }

"What did you just say?" the Chosen One asked, clearly not believing her ears.

"I said, do you want to come along with me on my road trip?" Harris repeated himself, smirking at the dumbfounded expression on his friend's face as she literally gaped at him. "You know – to see the rest of the world? Or at least, the parts of it that're in the continental United States?"

"Really?!" Buffy's nearly squealed with delight as she realized Xander not only wasn't angry with her for being envious of his situation, but that he was inviting her to accompany him on his road trip!!!

"Yeah. Really," Xander grinned, delighted to see the expression of almost-childish glee on Buffy's face at his words.

"That would be fantastic! It'd be incredible!" Buffy declared, a wide smile on her face as she sprang up off the couch to wrap her arms around her friend and give him an enthusiastic hug.

"Buff!" Xander immediately gasped. "Ribs – breaking! Need air!" Harris managed to gasp, his words almost inaudible because of his inability to breathe.

"Ohmigod! I'm sorry, Xand!" the blonde apologized at once, as she instantly released him and then jumped back, her hands held up before her in apology. "I forgot! I'm so sorry!"

"No problem, Buffy," Xander shook his head in a transparent effort to reassure her. "I can breathe again, so no harm, no foul. Okay?"

"Okay," the Slayer replied, somewhat doubtfully, before her attention was distracted by the opening of the apartment's front door.

Taking advantage of the new arrivals' appearance, Buffy and Xander turned to face the door, their faces instantly shifting into blank masks as they prepared to meet the Council's newest representative.

~/~/~

Sunnydale City limits

June 15, 1999


"Okay, Ms. Official Road Trip Navigator," Xander Harris said with a large smile as he pulled the dark green secondhand Ford Explorer he'd bought from his Uncle Rudy abreast of the large green 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign, "exactly which way do we go?" He’d originally intended to buy the classic Chevy, but with Buffy onboard he’d decided to go bigger.

"Thataway," Buffy Summers replied with an even wider smile, which threatened to overwhelm her face with its brightness and intensity, as she pointed to the northbound entrance of U.S. Route 101. The petite Slayer laughed with sheer joy, as she looked out at the world just waiting for them to find it and explore it.

"Second star to the right, Xander, and straight on to morning."


~/~/~

Author's post-script: This is obviously intended to be a set-up for a road trip story, so if anyone wants to use it as the springboard for their own set of stories, feel free to do so.

Just credit this story in the preface, and let me know where you're posting, so I can follow your stories, okay?

The End

You have reached the end of "Escape From Sunnydale". This story is complete.

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