Reflections by: Jeannie

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Everybody filed into the library hoping for some good news. Giles, the librarian, smiled warily at them. "Good afternoon everyone. How are we all feeling today?" Xander, Willow, Cordelia, and Oz seated around the table just stared wordlessly up at Giles. Giles staring down at them felt the desperation in the air. Xander trying to be lighten the mood sarcastically said,

"Just fine for living on the Hellmouth without the slayer. Hey make sure nobody says bite me in public, and we should be okay." Giles feeling the strain over Buffy abandoning her post, and leaving them stranded without a slayer glared down on Xander. It worried Giles greatly that Buffy just disappeared without a trace, and now could be officially considered a missing person. Giles wearily sighed, more than anything he just wanted to drop his head in defeat, but he could not, he must be strong for the others who depended on him.

Xander slumped further in his chair after Giles's glare, and just sat there staring off into space. Xander could not keep his mind on anything, but where Buffy was hiding. He missed her, and felt funny cracking jokes without her there to roll her eyes, and laugh at him. Xander did not understand exactly how he felt about her since his love was unrequited, but he did know she had a very special place in his heart.

Xander continued to stare off into space while his girlfriend, Cordelia worried about him. Xander since Buffy left had not been his usual chipper sarcastic self, and she missed that. It was hard for Cordelia to know how exactly she felt when it came to Xander, he was so unlike her other boyfriends. Xander was not popular, rich, smart, or drove a fast car; but Cordelia liked Xander. He is sweet, goofy, witty, and cute. Many her friends probably would not have agreed, but Cordelia thought he was incredibly handsome. There was something about those deep brown eyes, they were intense and Cordelia had trouble not getting lost in them. Cordelia started to blush a little remembering Xander in his Speedo for the undercover swim team slayer project. It had truly surprised her to see him looking buff, and like a hunk. Xander proved to her along time ago that he was special, and deserved to be treated just that way. Cordelia wanted after her superficial and shallow display on valentine's day, to treat him no less than that. Cordelia continued to ponder her relationship with Xander while another of the slayerettes thought about Xander too.

Willow kept her eyes fixed on the door. Willow was hoping if she stared hard enough she could magically make Buffy appear, and walk through that door. Willow sighed heavily, which aroused the attention of her newly acquired boyfriend; Oz. Oz looked at Willow's distraught face, and squeezed her hand silently letting her know he understood. Willow gave him an adoring look and they together they shared small secret smile. It felt great to have Oz in her life, and she did care for him. Matter of fact Willow's feelings for Oz continued to grow daily. It was hard not to like Oz; he was just so smart, funny, and honest. Oz did not hold anything back from Willow, anything she wanted to know he told her openly and honestly. Oz was gentle, kind, and compassionate. He never treated Willow like she was not good enough for him, matter of fact in a way he kind of worshiped her. Willow found his attention flattering, but her heart still spoke Xander's name. Willow knew there was no hope of them being together, but her heart just would not let go of the dream. Willow was happy being only his best friend, and she even grew to like his choice for girlfriends. Willow had to admit Cordelia changed, and she was actually pleasant. The once dedicated club of 'We hate Cordelia Chase' had been dismantled, and they now welcome her warmly into their circle. Willow laughed as she thought, "The Scooby gang… as Xander fondly refers to us as."

Oz saw Willow laugh, and thought how beautiful her face looked when it lit up like that. Oz did not know if it was mutual, but Oz loved Willow. Oz understood Willow had a thing for Xander, and he could live knowing that as long as Willow stayed in his life. Ever since he met her, he loved her. She was so different from the groupie chicks that would hang out with him and his band members. Willow had spirit, and she was a true angel. Her kindness and intelligence shined through that timid wallflower exterior, and made her shine brightly as if a sky filled with twinkling stars. Willow was special, and Oz above all else would always make her feel that way. Oz leaned over ever so slightly and kissed her on the cheek. It wasn't a big deal, just a simple reminder of how special she was to him. Willow blushed, and there was that sparkle again. It warmed Oz's heart, and told him someday she would feel the same way about him.

Giles pursed his lips together and fretted about the library. He was searching for anything that could help him locate Buffy. The idea of just sitting around and doing nothing did not appeal to Giles, and he decided he would search until he found something. Travelling again to stand in front of them said, "Well we mustn't look so glum…we must do everything we can to uncover the whereabouts of our dearly departed slayer. It's our duty to find Buffy and bring her home."

Cordelia, the blunt speaker of the group, raised her hand as if she were in class. "Giles, what do you expect us to do….Buffy left. Just disappeared without a trace. Hello? I have the feeling when she took off she did not want US to go look for her. And I think we should honor her wishes…besides I do not want to have to traipse all around town to god knows where to look for her."

Giles shook his head, "I doubt Buffy is even in Sunnydale anymore. I have a feeling her actions were to be ridden of this godforsaken job of being the slayer."

The room fell silent again, and each contemplated what they should do. Willow finding the quiet room no comfort to her. Willow's nostalgia for wanting Buffy back, drove her to do something she never did, act. Willow rose from her position around the table. Raising the voice often only spoken in a whisper said, "I'm tired of just sitting around doing nothing. Buffy's out there…somewhere. She's out there dealing with all of this alone…she needs us and we need her. Not just as the slayer, but as our friend. Slayer or not…I want her home where she belongs."

Everybody looked at Willow surprised by her sudden outburst, but not her loyalty to stand by her friends. Oz beamed proudly at his girlfriend and Cordelia silently thanked Willow for uttering the words she could not say but thought. Willow noticing them still quiet raised her voice again making it echo off the library walls. "Who's with me?" Willow had a look of determination that could only demand respect.

Oz stood next to his girlfriend, and clasped his hand tightly into hers. "I'm with you always, Willow." Willow blushed and looked at the rest of them.

Xander stood up and said, "Nobody wants Buffy back more than me…besides I like to see Willow take charge. I'm with ya too, Willow."

Cordelia launched herself out of her seat. "I think you are silly for going on a wild goose chase to find her, but I want Buffy back too. Out of all you, she's the only one that knows how to dress." Giles was bursting with pride over the loyalty all of these young kids showed for one another. Giles had never seen more caring, supportive, brave kids. Meeting them and joining forces with them to rid the world of evil incarnate gave Giles hope for the future. Giles looked around at all of them and gave a meaningful smile.

"You're right, Willow. We're all with you….we must bring Buffy home. We surely cannot survive without her, and who knows what will occur when the vampires get wind of her being gone. So our first order of business is to find her and bring her home."

Willow overwhelmed by her support smiled happily at all of them. Moving from her seat, she marched toward the door. "Well let's go get her then." Realizing that where Buffy went was still unknown felt her hope deflate. Turning to face them once again whispered, "Oh wait. Where are we going? We don't even know where Buffy went."

Everybody's spirits dropped along with Willow's and the room grew silent again. All their minds worked to unsolve the mystery of the missing slayer, but the outcome did not look good for them finding her. Buffy could be anywhere.

Buffy walked around the town some more just enjoying the sites around her. The light breeze blew through her hair, and bright sunny day put a smile on Buffy's face. It was gorgeous here, and Buffy loved the little town. It quiet here, and serene. Peace and quiet was one luxury Buffy could appreciate after living on the Hellmouth for so long. It felt like a nice change of pace, especially since there were no vampires, or demons. It was true her slayer days were over, and Buffy was again just an ordinary girl. Buffy passed the high school. Buffy walked to the building, and just gawked at it. The brick building loomed over her with a sign hanging in front of the entranceway. The sign read CAPESIDE HIGH. Buffy surveyed the building carefully. "It's nice…bigger than my last school", exclaimed Buffy.

Buffy's heart stopped as she thought about Sunnydale. Buffy missed her hometown. She missed her mom, and her friends. Buffy laughed to herself thinking, "Xander nicknamed them the Scooby gang." Buffy's smile left her face, as a dull ache started in her heart. It had hurt to leave everybody behind and move away from the only home she ever really knew. "It was the right thing to do though," Buffy said to reassure herself. By staying in Sunnydale, Buffy would have just caused further harm to the people she loved most. Xander, Willow, Cordelia, and Giles did not have the gift like she did, and could easily hurt themselves. They had already been in enough danger in the past, and had their share of near death occurrences. Buffy could not put them through anymore. It was not their job to fight vampires, it was hers. Of course, there were not anymore vampires to slay since Buffy closed the Hellmouth. Buffy bit her lip while tears welled up behind her glasses. Closing the Hellmouth reminded her of what happened to Angel. Her precious, wonderful, kindhearted Angel….the vampire with a soul. It hurt Buffy to know that the man she loved was somewhere stuck in hell, and Buffy put him there herself. Sure it had to be that way since that was the only way to close the Hellmouth, but it still pulled on her heart strings to know she would never see him again. Buffy could not even blame Angel for opening it because it was not her love that did it; it was his soulless alter ego, Angelus. Angelus was an evil, despicable, vile creature who hated and despised Buffy with a passion. Angelus tried to destroy Buffy, and he almost succeeded but Buffy relied on her love for Angel to pull her through. Buffy still blamed herself for the creation of Angelus, that night changed her life and opened her up to things she never knew possible. Out of all the changes, Buffy had not anticipated that her once loving Angel would turn into a monster only capable of hatred and destruction. Buffy tears flow as she remembers the moment when Angelus disappeared, and standing in his place was Angel again. The cold empty eyes of Angelus filled with love and hope. A hope that was once again shattered when Buffy shoved the sword through Angel's stomach. That moment before the sword pierced his skin was one of the happiness and saddest of Buffy's life. Buffy gazed into Angel's deep dark eyes, and felt her heart soar. Reflecting back was the love Buffy always felt deep inside her heart. Buffy closed off the pain, and her wound healed itself from one simple kiss. The kiss was soft and gentle; it was not just a kiss but an unspoken expression of their undying love. Buffy held onto that moment and taking all the strength she had left plunged the sword deeper and deeper. Buffy with tears streaming down her cheeks watched Angel disappear forever. Buffy's mind burned with the memory of his loving stare turning into one of confusion and pain as the knife cut him, and he faded away. After losing Angel, Buffy knew she could not stay in Sunnydale. It was too painful to stick around knowing she destroyed her beloved Angel. Now the Hellmouth was closed and all the vampires disappeared, they didn't need Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy knew she had become more trouble than she was worth, and did not want to inflict anymore pain on those she loved. Buffy overflowing with sadness again tried to reassure herself that leaving was the best thing she could have ever done. Tears slipping down her face sadly whispered, "They don't need me anymore. With me out of the way they can have normal lives again." Buffy laughed bitterly muttering, "Hmm normal…what's that? Well that's a foreign word to me, but one I plan to explore the meaning. This place is nice…and I'll be happy here. No matter what happens, I cannot ever go back….ever again. Never."

Sweet surrender
It doesn't mean much
It doesn't mean anything at all
The life I've left behind me
Is a cold room
I've crossed the last line
From where I can't return
Where every step I took in faith betrayed me
And led me from my home
And sweet surrender
Is all I have to give

You take me in
No questions asked
You strip away the ugliness
That surrounds me
Are you an angel?
Am I already that gone?
I only hope that I won't disappoint you
When I'm down here on my knees
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give

And I don't understand
How the touch of your hand
I would be the first to fall
I miss the little things
Oh, I miss everything
It doesn't mean much
It doesn't mean anything at all
The life I left behind me
Is a cold room
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give
Sarah McLachlan-Sweet surrender

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