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Author's Note: After I had watched Empty Places for the first time, I was so angry at the way the Scooby gang treated Buffy, that I had to vent. And this was the result. I know Buffy is not one to give up, nor one who does not care about the fate of the world and I know Angel is the same, but I wanted to explore what would happen if they both just got fed up of everyone's expectations and opinions. Enjoy.

Finding Sanctuary.
Episode: Empty Places.

Buffy waited until Faith had gone back inside before making a move. Just a slight one at first, the motion of a hand going to a pocket. Blinking back her tears she drew out her cellphone and pressed a button for a number which was stored in speed dial. Putting the mobile to her ear, she listened to the dialling tone as she waited for the receiver to be picked up.

"You once said that if I ever got tired of this life again to call," she remarked when the other end of the cellphone had been picked up. There was no need to introduce herself. The receiver knew her well.

"Where?" They asked in reply.

"Halfway," she answered, the relief of their agreement showing in her tone. "I'll meet you there," she added before ending the call. Her emotions were still not under complete control. She did not want to cry now. The second onslaught of tears must wait until she was in the arms of the only one who could give her the comfort she needed.

Putting her cell away, she took out her car keys and opened the jeep. Before climbing in, she took one last look at the house she had spent most of the last seven years in. Abruptly she felt some of her sadness falling away.

Perhaps she had expected this after all.


And hour later and Buffy stopped the vehicle in another driveway. Climbing down on to the damp grass, she stood still and gazed at her surroundings.

This was their sanctuary. Long ago the little abandoned church had become something of an annual pilgrimage to the both of them. A place to make a home, a haven, safe from judging eyes.

Buffy mounted the porch steps, opened the door and walked inside. Barely a second later, two strong arms wrapped around her waist. Buffy leaned eagerly into their comforting embrace, allowing herself to bask in the moment.

"Did you manage to get away okay?" She asked after awhile.

"Yes. It was surprisingly easy." Angel bent his head to press a kiss to her neck. "What happened?" He asked her softly.

"It was actually ironic," she answered in a somewhat light tone, which belied the grief the confrontation had caused. "After seven years of looking to me for answers, I finally take whole charge, and they realise that they can have ideas of how to save the world without me." She paused to regather her composure, then asked, "are we still proceeding with our original plan?"

"Definitely." He turned her round deftly in his arms. "I love you, Buffy. I always have. I don't want to spend any more time apart from you."

"Ditto." she replied in agreement, before meeting his lips for a long, satisfying, passionate kiss.

"By the way," he began when had broken apart for breath, "my soul is permanent."

Buffy stood stunned for but a moment. Then she reached to kiss him again.

Soon they would break apart, and make a move. Their destination; another abandoned church, far, far away from Sunnydale or Los Angeles, planned long ago, waiting for them to make it a home. They would soon start the long journey towards it.

And they would be together.


And that was the whole point.