"WOW did you see that one!" Dawn's eyes were large as saucers. "They had to have been taking lessons from Disney."
Buffy was watching and enjoying but her mind was on what Dawn had asked. What was the plan? She wasn't the "one" any longer. There were Slayers aplenty. She wasn't even the only experienced Slayer, there was Faith. Oh she contributed but she wasn't NEEDED, not any longer.
Maybe it was time to return to college, explore her options. Dawn was happy in Rome and her school had dorms available for live-in students. Buffy wasn't needed to shepherd her sister any longer, Dawn had grown up in most of the ways that mattered. It wouldn't be long before she'd be off to college herself. Dawn had already received acceptance letters from a handful of good Universities and had but to choose.
Maybe it would be fun to just take off like Xan, see the world. Find new Slayers and send them to Giles, spend long, lonely nights in some desert or anonymous city. She had plenty of money now and could arrange a retainer from the new Council for freelance work. She wouldn't need much. One thing she was certain about was that she was not going to Scotland and not just because Angel was going to be there.
She wasn't running from him, not from anyone. Today was the perfect day to declare her own independence. She remembered having to memorize the declaration of independence years ago. She couldn't remember much but did remember the beginning, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."
The Council's band wasn't political but it was as restraining as any government. It was time to do some of that pursuing that she had as much right to as anyone.
"Oooh another good one!" Dawn was excited. "Did you see how big that one was?"
Buffy smiled indulgently at her little sister. No, Dawn didn't need her now, not at her side at any rate. It wasn't as if Buffy was thinking of never being around. Dawn would probably get sick of her hanging around too much. She'd make sure to drop in often and never let her calls go to voice mail.
"Dawn. I was thinking about what .."
Dawn swung around and grabbed Buffy's arms, "Did you see that?"
"Yeah, nice firework. Dawn I'm thinking about..."
"NO! Shut up Buffy and LOOK!" Dawn was pointing frantically up the beach not into the sky as Buffy expected.
She didn't see anything, not at first, not until another large firework lit everything up and glinted off white hair and black leather. He was standing about 50 yards away and just staring.
Buffy took off at a run nearly knocking people down in her haste. It had better be him or she was about to embarrass herself terribly.
"Hello, cutie." Was all he got out before an armful of kissing Slayer ended any further conversation ... for now.
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