~Belonging ~ Chapter 7~ Final ~

The next few weeks passed by quickly in preparation for the wedding. Dawn was back as maid of honor and Buffy had agreed to let Spike attend.

She had spoken with him again and they had come to an understanding. Buffy admitted that she didn't hate him any longer, but that he better treat Dawn right or he would have to answer to her. He accepted that. He understood that Dawn was cherished by everyone that knew her, and if he stepped out of line, there was a barrage of people ready to kick his ass, Buffy would be first in line.

He had also assured Buffy that he was over her once and for all. It may have taken ten years but Dawn had changed everything. He still thought that Brandon was not the right man for Buffy, but he had met him and thought he was nice enough and would treat her right, so he kept his mouth shut.

The day of the wedding ended up being cloudy so Spike was able to come and go as a normal guest. He had planned to have Dawn sneak him into the chapel under a blanket, but it wasn't necessary.

All of Buffy's old friends were there. He saw Xander and Anya with two of their three kids. They had left the baby at their hotel with a sitter. They had come down for a week to visit with Buffy before the wedding.

Willow was there with her girlfriend. They made a striking pair, two beautiful redheads clearly in love with one another. Spike smiled at them as he took his seat.

In the last few weeks he had spent a lot of time with them. Willow had always been a sweet girl, Spike thought, and she was quicker to accept him than Xander had been. He was a tough sell, but had come around.

He spied Giles' girlfriend sitting with Willow. He knew from Dawn that Giles was intending to ask her to marry him. He waved at them casually.

The music began to start and everyone rose to watch the bridesmaids begin their march.

He spotted Dawn coming out first, a vision in lavender lace. Her hair swept up and tiny flowers intertwined in it. He smiled proudly at her and she blew him a kiss as she walked past.

The bride's song began to play and Buffy emerged on Giles' arm. He beamed proudly at his surrogate daughter. Spike was in awe of how beautiful she looked. Not as striking as Dawn had become, but beautiful none the less.

She marched past him and everyone sat down. The ceremony began. It was a nice, short, but meaningful ceremony. Buffy had never looked happier and Spike knew that she was already with child. He hoped for her sake that she would be happy with this normal life she had chosen.

After the ceremony everyone shuffled off to the reception that was in an adjacent hall. Spike hung back and watched everyone as their pictures were taken. He sipped his champagne quietly in the corner.

The photographer was pushing people together to get a group shot.

"Okay people! Everyone who is part of the family, get together." The photographer shouted.

All of the old Scoobies along with Giles and Brandon's family huddled together for the picture.

Dawn whispered to Buffy. "I wish mom was here."

Buffy smiled sadly and squeezed Dawn's hand. "Me too."

"Is this everyone?" The photographer called out.

"I think this is everyone." Buffy laughed as she looked around at the people she loved. She hoped that wherever her mother was, she was watching and was proud.

Dawn looked around and saw Spike standing in the corner watching and motioned him to come over. He shook his head.

"Wait! There's one more." Dawn said loudly.

Everyone turned in Spikes direction and he shifted nervously as everyone stared at him.

"Please, Luv. He said family." Spike explained uncomfortably.

Buffy stepped forward and motioned him over.

"It's okay. You are family now, Spike." She said to him with a smile.

He couldn't believe his ears and almost felt a tear come to his eye. Stupid emotions, he chided himself as he shook off the overwhelming feeling of belonging that he had never felt before.

He stepped forward and Buffy embraced him. She whispered in his ear.

"Don't make me regret this." She teased.

He smiled at her, and took his place among the crowd next to Dawn who hugged him tightly. Dawn mouthed the words 'Thank you' at her sister. Buffy smiled at her.

" Okay everyone! Smile!" Shrieked the photographer as the flash went off.

Later when the pictures came back, Spike was pleased at how well the picture had turned out. It had been a long time since he had actually seen what he looked like and thought he was doing pretty well. It was a good thing that the whole 'vampires not showing up in pictures' was a myth. He had decided to have the picture blown up and hung over the mantle at their apartment

He and Dawn had moved in together officially soon after Buffy's wedding. Spike had actually gotten a job working at the Dungeon as a bartender. He wanted to have money and be able to spoil Dawn the way she deserved. Buffy had cracked up when he told her that he had gotten a job.

Spike and Buffy got along well now. Buffy had given birth to a daughter that they named Joy. It was similar to Joyce and Buffy was so filled with joy at her birth, that the name fit perfectly. Spike and Dawn were the doting aunt and uncle. Buffy had been surprised at how good Spike handled the baby and Joy was crazy for him.

Giles had married his longtime love and they were now honeymooning in Hawaii. Willow and her girlfriend were thinking about getting married too. Spike chuckled at the idea of two women getting married, but it was legal now. Spike supposed alot changed when you had been alive for more than a century.

Spike had never felt like this before. People actually cared for him and for the first time he felt part of a family. And not a twisted vampire family that only lived to kill and didn't really care about him. This was a real one. He knew he probably didn't deserve such happiness, but he was greatful anyway.

He sat back on the sofa admiring the picture when Dawn arrived home. She sat down next to him and put her arms around him.

"It's a great picture, isn't it?" She asked him noticing that he was staring at it.

"Yes, Luv. It's perfect." He said lost in thought.

"Welcome to the family." She said as she kissed him on the cheek.

"It's good to be home." He said with a smile. He had finally found a place where he belonged.