One Month Later…
Buffy looked around the spacious apartment, a smile on her face. Even with the room filled with boxes and the furniture not set to be brought in until the following day, she felt at home.
Never before had a move felt so much like a true new beginning. Before, she'd always been running from something. When she moved to and from Sunnydale, she'd been trying to hide, to get away from the pain she'd felt in the last place she'd lived.
Coming to London hadn't been like that. She'd gone where she wanted to go, not because she had to, but because the time was right. She was starting a life with the man she loved. And while Buffy was far from naïve enough to think that that life would be nothing but smooth sailing, she wasn't worried about what the future had to hold. She was with Spike, and she felt in her heart that that would always be enough.
The door to the apartment swung open, Dawn marching in with Spike trailing behind her, his hands full of brown paper bags. "He insisted we get fish n chips, even though I told him he was being overly stereotypically British. He said that he hadn't had decent ones in like forever, and I was going to 'shut my bloody gob and eat them.'" Dawn said the last part in a mocking version of Spike's accent, earning her a dirty look from the blond man behind her as he kicked the door shut. "Personally," Dawn continued, "I don't see how exactly I can eat with my mouth shut, but Spike's always been weird."
"Gee, thanks ever so, nibblet."
"It's like living with a couple of children," Buffy said, a wry smile on her lips. "There's no table yet, but I put some newspapers down here, so we won't get the new floors all messed up."
"Be careful, Spike. Next thing you know, she'll be putting plastic over the couch. You know, when you have one," Dawn said.
"I will not!" Buffy protested as Spike set their dinner down where she'd indicated. "They're just…very nice floors."
Spike came up behind Buffy, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the top of her head. "It's all right. I think she's cute when she's all domestic."
"You say that now," Dawn said, wagging a finger. "Wait until she has you scrubbing the bathroom."
"Can't we make some of the lil' Slayers do that?" Spike asked. "Tell them it's part of their training?"
Buffy pulled away from him, smacking his chest lightly. "No, we can't." She paused for a moment. "Can we?"
"You're the boss around here, Buffy," Spike said. "I think you can make them do whatever you want."
"I so like the sound of that."
"You always did have a bit of a dominatrix streak in you," Spike teased, making Buffy blush.
"Ugh. Gag me, much?" Dawn said, sitting down. "So are you two going to get all kinky or are we going to eat?"
Spike started to speak, but Buffy shot him a look, and his mouth shut quickly. "We're eating," Buffy said, sitting across from Dawn. Spike joined them.
"You know what the coolest thing about all of this is?" Dawn said as she opened the bag with her food. "That I get my own apartment."
"It's right across the hall from ours," Buffy said. "And I have a key, so I can come in at any moment."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Geez, a little overprotective there, Buffy? I know I still have to behave myself. But it's still like…my own apartment. With my own kitchen and everything."
"You did make sure the smoke detector is hooked up, didn't you, honey?" Buffy said, looking over at Spike.
"First thing," Spike replied. "There's one in every room actually."
"You two are smothering me," Dawn muttered.
"Says the seventeen year old girl with her own apartment," Buffy replied.
Dawn grinned. "Okay, so I can put up with you two mother hens for that. And I totally won't even question why you suddenly decided I should live there instead of the other bedroom in this place. I just figured it's so you can have loud sex anyway."
"Dawn!" Buffy exclaimed.
"What? Like I couldn't hear you two in Italy?" Dawn teased, snickering at the way Buffy turned bright red.
"It's not nice to tease your sister like that," Spike said, although Dawn could see him fighting the smirk.
Dawn shrugged. "The way you two go at it, it probably won't be long before there's someone running around here calling me Aunt Dawnie," she said, turning back to her food and missing the significant glance between the two blonds across from her.
Buffy moved a little closer to Spike as they ate, loving the feel of him so close to her. She caught the glint of the engagement ring Spike had given her back in Italy to "make it official" and smiled. Her life was going almost scarily well. Even Dawn, who had seemed to be getting more and more depressed the longer they were in Italy had perked up since they'd come to London.
At another point in her life, she would've been afraid. Things were almost too good, and in her experience, that meant that everything should soon collapse around her. But Buffy wasn't afraid.
She was happy.
"Having trouble sleeping, pet?"
Buffy turned from the edge of the balcony, watching Spike as he came out to join her. He'd only slipped on a pair of jeans before coming out of the apartment, and Buffy's mouth watered at the sight. The knowledge that this gorgeous, sexy man was all hers was enough to make her brain want to melt. "No," she said in answer to his question. "Not really. I just wanted to come out for some fresh air. See the view."
Spike came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and Buffy settled into the embrace, the two of them silent for a while as they looked out onto London's skyline.
"It's strange," Spike said after a moment. "So much like how I remember it being when I was a boy, but not at the same time."
Buffy craned her neck to look up at him. "Are you glad to be home?"
"Home's with you, Buffy."
Buffy kissed him before turning her gaze back in front of her. She felt Spike's hand wander to the front of her robe, slipping inside and pressing against her belly. "When is she going to start moving?"
"I'm only three weeks along. It's going to be a little while," Buffy replied. "And what makes you think it's a girl?"
"Because she is a girl. A little girl with her mummy's hair." Spike ran his fingers through Buffy's hair, then turned her around, kissing her on the tip of her nose. "And her mother's adorable little nose, too."
"I hope she has her daddy's eyes," Buffy said. "Even though they'll make the boys start pounding down the door."
"Not if her daddy has anything to say about it," Spike replied, pulling Buffy a little closer to him.
"Gonna be the protective type?"
"And you're what, surprised?"
Buffy giggled. "Not at all. And just for the record, I think you're going to make a wonderful father."
"I still can't believe I'm going to be a father. I never thought… Well, I guess bein' dead for over a century sort of makes you rule out that idea."
"But you are happy about it, aren't you? I know it wasn't exactly planned, and it was sort of sudden, so…"
Spike silenced her with a kiss. "Buffy, the moment I found out you were pregnant was the happiest moment of my life. We're starting a family, pet. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a gift that is."
"I know, Spike. It's a gift to me, too."
"I love you."
"And I love you."
Buffy turned again, resting her head against his chest as they stared out over the place they could now call home, watching the sun rise.
Yeah, I know, the ending was a bit on the sappy side. So sue me. (Or don't, 'cause I'm really broke and stuff…) And the symbolism was a little heavy there, but if Joss can do it, so can I. insert evil laughter here
Hope you enjoyed the fic. And don't be too sad to see it over, but there will be a sequel. If things go the way I plan, several, in fact. This fic is the beginning of a series of Post-Chosen fics that can (or will) be foundon my website. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed this fic, especially the people who were there every chapter. It's reviewers that keep the fics alive.