Disclaimer: I do not, and do not claim, to own these characters.

A/N: Originally written for Fag End's Halloween 2014 Zombie Uprising challenge for the prompt "Happiest Days."


She used to always think of her happiest days as being behind her. Pre-Slayer years. (Before Slaying doesn't abbreviate all that well, or maybe a little too well, so she usually doesn't think of it with those words. Usually.)

When she thinks about her happiest times, she thinks about her mom being alive and her dad being around. She thinks about the house in LA and a Dawn that's shorter than she is. She thinks about cheerleading and, even though she now realises how vapid and shallow her friends from back then were and she sort of can't remember some of their names, she remembers having a nice social life.

There are little things still that make her happy, post-Slayer years. Or during-Slayer years. (She's even less clear on how to refer to these ones.) Moments in between apocalypses, time with her true friends of the non-vapid variety.

There were times with Angel too, times when they weren't crying or worrying about dying or being separated, when she felt an almost delirious happiness that she was sure she hadn't known before. Silly, stupid happy.

And the feeling, after it was over and Angel was gone, that that would never happen again. Her heart wouldn't hammer in her chest the same way, no one would crowd her every thought the way he did. No one would spark the same wild, dramatic fantasies that she dreamed about him and her and their future.

She still thinks like that, a lot of the time. No necessarily about Angel (although seeing him last night did bring up some old feelings, there's no denying that), but about what she thinks of as the happiest times in her life.

It's all things in the past. Days gone by. Family dinners and stress-free days and fairytale love.

But tomorrow—tomorrow they're going to win. They'll destroy The First's army, save the world, and she and Faith aren't going to be so alone anymore. Things are going to be good.

There are, she's finally realising after so long, happy days in her future. Maybe even her happiest ones yet.

Spike twitches a little in his sleep, murmurs a word that she can't quite make out, and presses his face into her shoulder. His arm around her tightens just a little. She continues to play with his fingers.

In fact, in a weird, abandoned-town, house-full-of-teenage-girls, about-to-go-into-the-Hellmouth sort of way, things are even good now.