Like Extract 4, this is set after Becoming Pt2, this is Buffy's journey away from Sunnydale and her adventures along the way. (book blurb alert!)
The bus jolted as it began moving again. On the back seat a young girl cracked open a sleep encrusted eye as she was woken from her dreamless sleep. She stretched and her muscles groaned with stiffness. Sitting up slowly in her seat, Buffy Summers found her eyes sliding over to the window and the darkness settling between the houses of the small town.
"Here you go dearie." An old lady appeared in front of her, clutching on to a brown paper bag. "Here's your change." Buffy vaguelly remembered asking the lady to buy her a few things. She took the bag and the money for her hands, suppressing a shudder as her fingers brushed against the old lady's wrinkled, dry paper skin.
She frowned into the bag. "I didn't ask for these." She said, holding up two chocolate bars.
"Oh, that's from me. A little treat. You look like you've been traveling for a while." Buffy forced a grateful smile, turning back to her food. Again her eyes drifted to the window, and she found her mind wondering. . . had they noticed she was gone? Where they worried?
"Are you okay?" She snapped her head round.
"Yes. Yes, I'm fine." Buffy forced another false smile, before leaning her head aganist the seat and closing her eyes.
"You should eat something. You look tired."
Buffy opened eyes closed from despair and nodded. She opened the bag, taking out a sandwich. The smell make her stomach roll over, and she had stop herself from gagging.
"Take small bites." The old lady advised. "Chew carefully."
Buffy barely heard her voice through her weakened state, but she did as she was told. The sandwich had no taste and a texture like wallpaper paste. She swallowed quickly, feeling the food force it's way to her stomach. Her stomach heaved again, and Buffy licked her dry lips.
Suddenly she stood and fled to the small cramped toilet towards the back of the bus on shaky legs. She gagged and spat up the the recently swallowed sandwich, feeling it's horrid texture as it repeated it's movements in reverse. She remained there for a few minutes, gathering the strength to walk back to her seat.
But this time she didn't throw up.
- - -
She was careful not to attract attention. She doubted anyone was looking for her yet, but she didn't want to give them any leads when they did. She stayed on the bus, she never gave her name, or told anyone why she was on a bus travelling across the country to an unknown destination - not even the kind ladies who bought her food and drink.
By lunch of the second day though, she wanted to get off. Her legs were cramped, her stomach was still empty, unable to keep anything down. She felt weak and dizzy and dying for fresh air.
She was looking out of the window, staring at the small, neat houses in the latest town she was in. Another small, neat town, that reminded her of Sunnydale. She wondered if they had a population of vampires and demons and other creaures of the night. She wondered if they had anyone who fought them, anyone to stop their children from vanishing in the middle of the night, to stop teenagers from walking the streets in safety.
Suddenly a young child caught her attention. About 6, maybe 7, with long dark hair, she was stnading by the road, tears running down her face. Buffy watched her carefully, wondering why she was crying. Was she lost?
As the last passenger got off and the bus doors began to swing shut, Buffy leapt up.
"Wait! Wait! I want to get off!" She grabbed her things in a hurry, dropped the brown bag and causing the contents to go rolling on the floor. "Wait, please!" She ducked down picking up sandwich papers and water bottles, and chocolate bars, scrambling for the ones that rolled just out of reach underneath the seat, feeling all eyes on her.
Giving up on the last few evasive objects, she clutched the bag to her chest as she ran down the bus.
"Thank you." She said to the bus driver, who glared in return. Taking a deep breath she stepped off the bus, and into the sun.