Leaving behind Sunnydale, or the giant pit that used to be Sunnydale, where her mother's grave had vanished, her house, Angel's mansion, the high school, the Bronze, it didn't affect Buffy as much as she thought maybe it should. Leaving behind Spike, and all the people who refused to leave Sunnydale, it should've ripped her heart into pieces.
Buffy thought it should be that way, at least, but instead, she sat in her seat on the school bus, staring blankly ahead. Dawn's head pillowed against her shoulder, her sister's scent in her nostrils. Xander driving the bus. An open road ahead of them. A whole world full of Slayers.
She should be excited. She should be weeping. Buffy could feel her heart beating. It didn't feel like all the jagged bits inside, like when Angel and she broke up for the last time.
Buffy stared straight ahead, hearing celebrations going on around her. Hearing Giles' congratulations. Hearing Willow's chirp and Xander's answer. Spike wasn't here with them, Anya wasn't here with them, nor Tara, nor her Mom, nor Jenny, nor Jesse.
No tears, of joy or sorrow or otherwise.
So this was living. So far, it sucked.