Chapter 5

April stood before the closed door to the guest bedroom the next morning, contemplating whether to knock. It was already ten o'clock, and breakfast was cooking. She had been eating pancakes for a couple minutes when the door opened, Buffy squeezing through it in an effort to keep the brighter light off the bed. Her hair was tousled, and she was rubbing her eyes trying to clear the sleep away. April noticed she was wearing one of Spike's tees, too. Buffy helped herself to three pancakes, smothering them in syrup and butter. She took a bite and moaned happily, nodding her thanks when April set a glass of juice in front of her.

"So, I take it you two are on good terms again?" April asked, her blue eyes twinkling.

Buffy smiled brightly. "Definitely." Her face sobered a little. "I don't want to jinx it, but I think we have a good chance this time," she said more quietly. "I mean, it's us, so I'm sure we're going to fight over stuff, and I might punch him in the nose again, but…"

"You're grown-ups now?"


"What's next?"

"Well, I have to get back for the holidays, at least for Dawn's sake, and I'm hoping he'll come with me. After that, is anyone's guess. Any decision I make to move or settle will have to be made with Dawn's input, since she's still in high school. I don't know what she wants to do for the summer. She starts Oxford in the fall to study Anthropology and Ancient languages. Giles couldn't be prouder that he has a future Watcher in the family. Maybe it's her Keyness, or something, but she can pick up demon languages like nobody's business. Definitely not a gene we share," Buffy replied.

Buffy took Spike shopping the next evening so he could get gifts for Christmas. He insisted on making a stop at a building before hand, its nondescript appearance making her wonder why. Turned out, it was a demon bank, and Spike was getting new copies of his information, as well as making a withdrawal. He insisted Buffy stay in the car, telling her that the Slayer would definitely scare the patrons off. He'd used the bank for several decades, and didn't want to lose his good reputation. Spike collected a few personal items from his safety deposit box, as well, and left to rejoin Buffy.

"Whatcha got?" she asked, pointing to a small box under his arm.

"Just some personal things I had stored here while living in Sunnyhell. Where to for the mall, kitten?"

She gave him directions, remembered from the previous day, and Spike started the car. He slid the box under his seat before pulling away from the curb, knowing his overly curious Slayer would have tried to grab it off his lap. She pouted, before starting to fiddle with the radio, and he laughed.

Buffy helped him pick out something for Dawn, since he wasn't up-to-date on what she might need anymore. He selected two gifts, since he had missed her birthday while being stuck as a ghost. Being the clever vampire he was, he also managed to get a gift for Buffy without her noticing, too. After selecting a gadget for Fred as a thank you for trying to save him earlier, they decided on a restaurant for dinner.

Buffy couldn't stop grinning as she ate, looking at Spike over and over again with this goofy smile. He reached across the table and took her hand, lifting it to his lips for a kiss. "You're so beautiful when you smile, sweetheart. That's all I wanted to see from the time I knew I loved you."

"Happy Buffy is here to stay, now that I have you. I do – have you, right?"

Spike grabbed her around the waist and slid her around the booth to sit next to him. "Always, Buffy, if you want me," he replied huskily. The love and affection shining in his eyes threatened to make her a puddle of goo again, so she kissed him. She was panting when they parted. "Eat up, baby. We have a stop to make before going back to April's. If I'm going back to London with you, I need to say goodbye to a few people. They should be at their typical bar after work by the time we're finished."

After sharing a piece of chocolate cake, that Spike originally said he only wanted a bite of, the couple left and proceeded to their next destination. Spike took her hand as he helped her out of the car, and led her into the bar.

Buffy and Spike got a ride from April to the airport the next day. The jet was fueled up and ready to go, and they had received approval to leave for London as soon as they were ready to take off. Buffy gave April a big hug, one that would have crushed her if she weren't a Slayer as well.

"Thank you. I can't repay you enough for giving him back to me. Are you sure you won't come for Christmas? Everyone would love to see you," Buffy said.

"Nah, I've got plans, and too much work to do to take off now. The Powers deserve the real credit where Spike's concerned. Live happy, huh?"

"I will. We will," Buffy replied. She walked up to the steps into the jet to wait for Spike.

He gave April a quick hug. "Thanks, luv. You ever need someone to watch your back, you know where to find me."

She nodded, and backed away. Spike quickly went up the steps, and the door closed. The couple waved to her, before finding their seats. April walked back to her car. The plane would roll out of the hangar and to a clear runway, where it would wait for the signal from the tower to take off. She drove off once the hangar was empty.

"Can this thing go all the way to Europe?" Spike asked.

"We have to make one re-fueling stop before going across the Atlantic. It will give us a chance to stretch our legs for a few minutes."

"And does anyone know you're coming back with a guest?"

"Not yet. I don't really know how I would explain it over the phone. They'd all probably believe I cracked and made you up. Dawn is going to be thrilled to see you."

"I'm looking forward to seeing her, too, luv."

Once they were in the air, the pilot announced that they were free to move about the plane. Spike was up immediately, never still for long in small spaces, well, ever, actually. He examined the contents of the galley, letting out a sound of glee when he discovered where Giles had hidden his liquor. Spike came back to his seat with a glass and a bottle of aged scotch.

"Spike! It's ten in the morning!"

"So? It's evening somewhere, pet, and I'm not about to pass up on Rupert's fine stash, here."

"How are you so hyper at this time of day? Aren't you supposed to be sleepy when the sun is out?"

He downed the glass, then set it down, and stalked over to her. "Got something in mind to pass the time, kitten? We've got hours and hours before we reach our destination," he said silkily. Spike started nibbling on her neck, causing Buffy to moan and tilt her head to give him further access.

"Well – uh – there's a room, in the back…"

"Hmm. And does this room…have a bed?"

"Uh huh," she gasped.

Spike suddenly picked her up, she squealed, and he carried her straight to the back and shut the door behind them, tossing her on the bed. It was a little small, but would definitely work. The couple started shedding clothes, suddenly anxious to have skin contact, even though they had spent the whole night wrapped up in each other with nothing between them. By the time the jet had reached its fuel stop in New York, the couple was sound asleep, having worn each other out for the time being. They woke somewhere over the Atlantic, and picked up where they had left off, making up for so much lost time. The pilot announced when they had just an hour left to the flight.

"Think we better eat and get cleaned up, kitten. It's already tomorrow."

"Ugh, help me up. My legs aren't cooperating," Buffy pouted. She steadied herself for a few seconds before starting to put her clothes beck on. There was a tiny shower stall in the bathroom, so she grabbed her bag, and went to go freshen up.

Spike put the same clothes back on. He'd only had them on for a couple hours to begin with, so there was no sense in changing. He warmed up a bag of blood and gulped it down before Buffy would be back out of the bathroom. April had supplied the blood, and he was grateful she had selected a flavor other than pig. He hadn't been fond of pork as a human, and pig's blood was just plain swill. Burba weed had helped, or anything else really spicy. He would have to take Buffy to the Indian restaurant he knew in London, if it was still there. Fabulous curry.

Buffy came out looking relaxed and smelling like peaches and vanilla. Her hair was dried in bouncy waves cascading over her shoulders, and she was dressed a bright blue sweater and low-slung, dark jeans. Just a sliver of her toned golden stomach was visible as she put her things away, and it made him want her all over again. She was his goddess, woman and girl and Slayer all wrapped up one. She still resembled a college co-ed, and he wondered if she had tried to pick up any classes again.

"What's there to eat? I'm starving!" Buffy announced.

"Your minion anticipated that. There's a full meal in the cooler she sent with us, besides my blood. All we have to do is re-heat it."

"One of the reasons why I love her: April thinks of everything. I'm going to call Dawn and let her know the plane's coming in on time."

'Figures, she runs from kitchen duty.' Spike started taking out containers and putting them in the microwave. April had marked them all with Post-Its for the cook time. He was setting two full plates on the table in front of the captain's chairs when Buffy ended her call.

"How's the Bit?"

"Fine. She's been keeping everyone in the house from decorating the tree until I get back. She'll be at the airport with Giles' car when we land."

He nodded, and started eating. Buffy could see that he was nervous about seeing Dawn so soon. It warmed her heart that he still cared so much for her sister. She said she would be waiting in the reception area for private planes, so there wouldn't really be time to prepare her sister before she would see Spike coming with her. Buffy had to admit to herself that she was nervous about Dawn's reaction, too.

Once they landed, Spike grabbed her bag, his, and the small cooler. "Is that everything, pet?"

"Yep. This way." She led him to the airport entrance.

Spike spotted a long-legged brunette sitting in one of the chairs in the waiting area, reading a magazine. Her long hair was partially over her face, her head tilted down to the magazine on her lap.

"Hey, Dawnie!" Buffy called, as she noticed her.

"Buffy, you sound happi-er…Oh my god…" Her magazine slid to the floor as she sat still, mouth dropped in shock. She blinked, not quite believing what she was seeing.

At his softly spoken, "Hey, Niblet," she was up and out of the chair, pouncing on Spike in a hug that would have inhibited breathing, if he'd needed to.

"What – how – when? You're really here? Buffy, he's really here." Suddenly, she smacked him on the shoulder. "Where have you been all these months, if you've been alive, huh?" Bright blue eyes regarded him fiercely, her hands on her hips. She was a Summers, alright.

"Dawn, we'll explain everything when we get back to the house, okay? When everyone's together? I don't want Spike to have to tell the story over and over again. Don't be mad, Dawnie. He hasn't been avoiding us," Buffy explained.

Dawn hugged him again; a couple tears escaping down her cheeks. "I'm so glad you're alive again, Spike. Well, you know what I mean." She looked back at Buffy. "Does this mean he's staying?"

"If you're asking if we're together, the answer is yes. We still love each other very much, and I want to discuss things with you, after Christmas. Let's get going back to Giles'. The girls must be dying to get to that tree."

"Right. Car's this way!" Dawn took an arm of each of them, and all but skipped to the parking lot. Sure, she was 17, but that didn't keep her from being giddy now that her best friend was back, and together with her sister and not hiding it this time. She couldn't ask for a better Christmas wish.

Dawn bombarded Spike with questions the whole way to Giles' house. She insisted that he take the seat next to her, making her sister sit in the back. Buffy was so glad to see her sister this happy, that she let it slide, just this once. Dawn drove as fast as she could get away with, so it wasn't long before they pulled up to the brick home. It was quite good sized, but only Giles, Dawn, and his housekeeper lived there full time. There were two more bedrooms for guests upstairs, and there was a pull-out bed in Giles' study, too. Buffy had one of those rooms, and Willow would have the other once she arrived.

"Welcome to Casa Giles. I have to warn you, there are at least 10 teenage girls in there that have been eating cookies all day. I don't know why Giles agreed to a tree party here, but any of the girls from the Slayer school that didn't go home for Christmas were invited. I could make a diversion in the living room so you guys can go through the back up to Buffy's room. It will give you a chance to put your stuff down before they swarm you," Dawn suggested.

"Good idea, Dawnie. You go ahead." Buffy led Spike along the side of the house to the kitchen entrance off the garden. They didn't hear anyone in the room, so she opened the door.

"Luv, I need an invite."

"Oh, yeah. Come in, Spike, and hurry up." She'd been living there since Thanksgiving-time, so it was good enough for him to cross the barrier. She hurried him up the back stairs to her room and shut the door before they could be seen.

"Nice room, pet. Nice, firm bed," he said, bouncing on the mattress. She shook her head at him, smiling.

"We don't have time for that right now, mister. I'm going to unpack, and then we're going down to rescue my sister from the sugar addicts."

He couldn't resist giving her a bone-melting kiss before they left. "Now, we can go."

She led him through the house, pointing rooms out along the way. The front staircase went down to the entryway, which was also open to the living room. She stopped at the door, and waited for someone to notice them.

"There's Buffy. Dawn wouldn't let us go get you. Who's the guy?" one of the Slayerettes said.

Giles and Willow entered from the other doorway.

"Dear Lord!" Giles exclaimed. "Aren't you dead?"

"Have been for a long time, Watcher. Red, you're looking well. The hair is quite fetching."

"Uh, thanks," she responded, puzzled. "Um, Buffy? Is there something about your L.A. trip you forgot to mention?"

The Slayers that had been in Sunnydale were talking with the others in the corner, filling them in on who they thought the newcomer was.

"Okay! Everyone have a seat, and we'll explain," Buffy said over all the conversation.

They all recognized the Slayer tone, and quickly complied. Buffy, Spike, and Dawn had a seat on the sofa, the others sitting or standing across from them, and waiting.

"For those who don't know, this is Spike." The mention of his name sent murmurs going among the girls. They had all heard about the vampire who'd sacrificed himself in the Hellmouth. "Yes, it's true that he died in the Hellmouth, but for whatever reason, he was brought back. Spike can tell you the particulars. April called me and convinced me to come out to L.A. She found Spike a couple weeks ago while keeping an eye on the city for me, and befriended him so she could make sure she had the right vampire. April reunited us, and here we are."

Giles sighed, seeing his Slayer and Spike holding hands, and started cleaning his glasses. He'd grown to respect Spike for what he'd done in the Hellmouth, but that didn't mean he wanted Buffy to have another relationship with a vampire. She finally had the chance for a mostly normal life. Willow was smiling supportively. She knew how upset Buffy had been after Spike's death, and they had had a serious talk about Buffy's true feelings. She just wanted to see her best friend happy, and she was glowing next to Spike. Willow had studied how to read auras over the past months, wanting to see what Tara could about people, and what she was reading off the couple now obviously showed that they were soulmates.

Giles cleared his throat. "Ahem, Spike. How did you come to be – err – undead again? We understood that the amulet had burned you up."

"It did, and my ashes were sucked into it. I don't know how it came to be there, but the amulet was sent to Peaches' office, he opened the envelope, and I materialized right there in front of his crew. Took only a minute to discover that I was a bloody ghost, and I stayed that way until mid-November. I got a box in the mail, it was opened for me, there was a flash of light, and poof – solid again. April found me within a few weeks because I'd started patrolling the streets at night, having nothing else better to do. She arranged for me and Buffy to meet up again, and I couldn't have been happier to leave L.A."

"And what are your plans now?" Giles asked suspiciously.

"Taking my girl wherever she wants to go," Spike responded, looking Giles in the eye. The two seemed to be in a standoff.

"Well, that tree is still waiting. How about we get to it, huh?" Dawn blurted out.

"Right, Dawnie. You mentioned the girls have been waiting for me all day to start decorating," Buffy added, standing up, as well.

"I'll help," Willow said, following the sisters. This got the teens moving, retrieving boxes of ornaments and bringing them back to place close to the tree. The tree stood in the corner, in front of the windows, so it would be visible from the street when lit. The activity reminded Giles that now wasn't the time to grill the vampire. He stopped next to Spike, keeping his voice low.

"I can see that she's happy with you, right now, but if you ever hurt her, you'll be wishing I just stake you."

"Fair enough, Rupert," Spike said, just as seriously.

The Watcher searched his face, and nodded, then went to help the girls reach to taller branches. Spike moved over to where Buffy was chatting with Willow, and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

"I just want to say that I'm in full support of you guys. I only want to see you happy, Buffy."

"Thanks, Red. It's appreciated," Spike said, smiling. "I think I'm going to retreat for a couple hours of kip before the baby Slayers start bombarding me with questions."

"Okay, baby. I'll wake you for dinner." Buffy gave him a soft kiss, before he snuck away and upstairs.

Spike spent the rest of the days up to Christmas trying to fend off curious teen girls whenever he wasn't with Buffy. They wanted to know if anything/everything they had read was true. They wanted to know what it felt like to be a ghost. They wanted to know how he had gotten his soul. Then, they wanted to know about Angelus and Drusilla, the other famous Aurelian vampires they read about. Buffy started to tease him about becoming one of the teachers at the Slayer Academy. This led to them all wanting to spar with him, too, and finally he'd had enough.

"Please, luv. Tell me those girls won't be here tomorrow for Christmas. I need a bleedin' break! They never run out of questions!"

"Awww, poor baby. I promise we'll go look for another place to stay after tomorrow. Eventually, something else will fascinate them, and they'll get bored with you. Since it's Christmas Eve, you get to open a present. Which one do you want?" Buffy said.

"How about this one?" he answered, pulling her down to the bed.

Christmas morning…

Buffy was awakened by Dawn knocking on the door. They were having breakfast, and her sister wasn't going to let her sleep through it. She put a robe on over her pajamas, and slipped her feet into her fuzzy slippers. The wood floors in Giles' house were freezing to bare feet in winter. She kissed the top of Spike's head – the only part of him visible from the covers, and quietly left the room.

"Okay, Dawn, I'm up. What was so important about breakfast at 8:30?" She paused in the kitchen when she noticed Xander sitting at the table. Buffy rushed over and gave him a hug.

"Nice to see you, too, Buffster. Uh, breathing becoming an issue here," he croaked.

"Oh! Sorry! When did you get here? I didn't think you were coming?"

"I took the red-eye. I've only been here a few. Dawnie raced up to wake you as soon as she saw me come in the door. You look good, Buff. All my girls do. I'm a lucky man, that my three best friends are such gorgeous women."

Dawn, Buffy, and Willow blushed simultaneously.

"Where's the G-man?"

"He went into work for a bit. You know Giles. He practically lives at the Council. Sit! I'm making pancakes," Dawn announced.

"How are you, Xander?" Buffy asked more quietly.

"I'm okay. Really. I've-uh-even been out on a couple dates," he replied.

"That's good. Um, there's someone you'll be surprised to see in the house, so I should tell you now, before it gets busy…" she hesitated.

"Go ahead, Buffy. We ought to be able to say anything by now," Xander encouraged.

"Spike's back, from the dead. April found him in L.A., and I flew over on the 15th to see what she had discovered. He was just as shocked to see me there as I was to see him. She masterminded the whole met-up, not that I'm not grateful…"

"Wow. So, you two are, uh, together…again?"

"Yeah, we really love each other. Are you okay?" she asked.

He surprised her by offering a genuine smile. "Yeah, I'm cool. He's a hero, right? Saved the whole world in the Hellmouth. I'm happy with anything that can make you smile like that, Buff. I don't remember the last time I saw you do that."

She hugged him tightly again. "Thank you! It means so much to me that you're okay with this. I want you to be happy again, too, Xander. I know you'll meet the right girl someday."

"You guys are so sappy!" Dawn teased. "I'm going to drown in all this mushiness. Eat up, before it gets cold and I have to make more cause you guys ruined it."

"Was she always this bossy?" Willow quipped. The other two nodded, and they all laughed.

They had a cheerful dinner, the core group together again. Giles and Spike were getting along alright by now, having bonded as Englishmen over a few games of chess over the past few days. Giles discovered that Spike wasn't that hard to get along with if he didn't start out giving the vampire a hard time. Buffy had been working on both of them to get along for her sake, and Dawn's, and Christmas. Giles' housekeeper, with help from Willow and Dawn, had made a lovely meal with plenty of traditional English dishes, as well as the American fare the young people were used to. Giles and Spike kept extolling the virtues of blood pudding, but even Xander, who'd eaten bugs in Africa, wouldn't try it. There was an apple pie for dessert, and a sponge cake with brandy-soaked cherries, served with coffee.

Giles made tea later, which was served in the lounge by the tree, where the presents had been stowed. He offered Spike and Xander a glass each of his best brandy. The girls had no interest in it, so he didn't bother. Dawn appointed herself the 'present girl', and started doling out the boxes to the appropriate recipients. Xander had brought uniquely African gifts, Buffy being especially delighted with the dagger he gave her. Willow gave Buffy and Dawn handmade blouses from Brazil, embroidered with pretty little flowers. They couldn't wear them until the weather was much warmer, but they were still appreciated. Giles gave out gift certificates, which wasn't surprising, since he was the typical man who hated shopping. Dawn helped Spike start replenishing his CD collection, still remembering some of his favorites. She squealed when she unwrapped the knee-length leather coat he picked out for her.

"My friends are so going to die when they see this! Thanks, Spike!" His next gift of a book she had loved, and lost, in Sunnydale was met with equal enthusiasm. She pounced on him for another hug. He wasn't used to the affection in front of everyone, and would have blushed if he were able.

Buffy was shocked when she opened her gift. She couldn't remember when he would have had time to get it while they were out. "They're beautiful, Spike. Thank you," she whispered, and kissed him softly. In the little box was a pair of diamond earrings, two stones each, and small enough that she could wear them on patrol, but still brilliant. He knew her so well. They were the perfect thing she could wear every day.

"Only the beginning, luv," he whispered back. She took out the hoops she'd been wearing and put in the new earrings, prompting 'oohs and aahs' from the other girls.

"I wasn't sure what to get you, besides replacing what you used to have, but here's your duffle, and everything inside is clean. Um, there's one thing I wanted to give you," Buffy told him, placing a small wrapped box on his lap.

Spike opened it, and was puzzled as he took out an uncut key. "Luv, this won't work in a lock."

"I know, silly. It's for, well, wherever we decide to live," she said shyly, looking down at her hands.

Spike tilted her chin up so he could look into her eyes. "Buffy, it's perfect," he said, eyes twinkling. Her relieved smile caused his to grow, and he pulled her close for an intense kiss. They had been sitting in the comfy chair in the corner, having their own moment, and the others pretended not to notice now.

Giles stood and cleared his throat. "Happy Christmas, everyone. I'm off to bed."

"Goodnight, Giles. Thanks. Merry Christmas."

"Wow, our first Christmas that isn't a lull from something dire and apocalyptic," Dawn noted.

"You're right, Dawnie. Amazing what you discover when you're not living on a Hellmouth. Anyone up for a game of cards?" Willow asked.

"I'm going to give the Cleveland branch a call before it gets late," Buffy announced. "Ah, I'm getting voice mail. Everybody say Merry Christmas!" She held the phone up to the others, who yelled the greeting, then dissolved into giggles.

Xander, Dawn, and Willow were soon left to play cards by themselves, the lovebirds retreating upstairs for their own private Christmas celebration. Giles was very glad Buffy's room was at the other end of the hall from his own. Dawn was not so fortunate.

Dawn and Buffy had a talk, and the teen preferred to have her sister and best friend around for a while, so Buffy and Spike started looking for a flat near Dawn's school and Giles' house right after Christmas. They'd signed a six-month lease by New Year's, and would be heading to Rome once Dawn went back to school to pack up Buffy's things. Andrew had been staying in her apartment while she was gone, so she gave it to him so they could still have a safe place for Slayers to go in town.

Andrew was beyond thrilled to see his hero alive once again, proclaiming Spike "like Gandalf the White" and following him everywhere, despite the numerous times Spike threatened to eat him if he didn't go away. By the 10th of January, Buffy and Spike were moved into their new apartment, arguing over how to decorate. Buffy finally used the pout, and got her way for every room but the bedroom. Spike insisted on an equal share of input on the room he'd be spending the most time in. By the end of the month, the apartment was a tasteful blend of their styles, and very welcoming. There was even a spare bedroom for Dawn to stay over, or Willow, when she was in town.

"Honey, I'm home!" Buffy called, as she came through the front door. She was working at the Slayer Academy now during the hours that Spike slept. She hung her coat up in the entry closet and set her keys and purse on the table before rifling through the mail. She placed the bills on the kitchen counter, tossed the junk mail, and sat down to read the letters from April and Willow. Hearing the bedroom door open, she looked up, and her mouth dropped.

"Hey," Spike said, leaning on the doorframe. He was wearing a black silk shirt, unbuttoned; a black pair of jeans, and his hair was still in messy curls from sleeping. Buffy felt her pulse start to race as her own version of sex on a stick stood before her. She could see candles glowing in the bedroom behind him.

"Hi, yourself." She stood and walked over to him, her eyes unabashedly looking him up and down. She licked her lips. "Did I forget a special occasion?" she asked huskily.

He smirked. "Nope. Just felt like surprising you." Spike took her hand and led her into the room, shutting the door when she was inside. There were candles everywhere, and rose petals on the bed. He handed her a glass of champagne and picked up his own. She took a sip, and he took the glass back and set it on the end table. "Do you know how much I love you?" he said fervently.

"Yes, I do, and I'm grateful for it. I have to say, I'm liking the whole romance angle here."

"Good, 'cause I plan on doing it until you're sick of me," he teased. He kissed her, and started slowly undressing her, batting her hands away when she reached to do the same to him. With her shirt unbuttoned, he trailed kisses down between her breasts to her belly button, leaving him to be on his knees. Spike pulled a little black box out of his back pocket and held it in front of Buffy.


"Buffy, I wanted you for so long, and these past two months have been better than I ever bloody expected, luv. You've always been the girl for me, and always will be. You're the one. Buffy Anne Summers, will you marry me?" His face shone with his love, and she'd never seen him more beautiful. A tear coursed down her cheek.

"Yes," she whispered, emotion overtaking her voice.

"Yes?" he said hopefully.

"Yes!" she declared clearly.

Spike whooped and lifted her off the ground, spinning her around. He kissed her passionately before placing her on her feet again. She laughed.

"Where's my ring?" she happily demanded.

"Bossy chit, aren't you?" he teased, taking the ring out and sliding it on her finger. She gasped. It was gorgeous.

"And you love it!"

"Yeah, I do. I really do." He swooped in for another kiss, and they fell to the bed, celebrating their new engagement.

Buffy finally felt that she would have the life she'd always dreamed of, except it was turning out to be so much more.

The End.