Twenty years later

Buffy stood on the porch, letting the sun beat down on her skin. She still retained the body of a twenty year old but inside, she felt very old. More so as of late. She was waiting for Shannon at the moment. She was bringing the grandchildren over for one last visit this afternoon and Buffy was looking forward to it. She heard William behind her. It was his birthday in a few months and she regretted that she would not be there to see it. He looked so much like his father, more and more every day. Sometimes, it hurt Buffy to even look at him, but he was her son and Spike's son and she loved him, like she loved Shannon.

William hugged his mom from behind and then headed for the kitchen.

'Do you want anything to eat mom?' He shouted and Buffy smiled.

'No, I'm fine.' She heard the microwave going and knew he was just having a mug of the red stuff. William loved his strange nature and was just like his dad in pretty much every way. Apart from the poetry. He was a budding song writer but wasn't as soppy as his father had been.

A car pulled up in the drive way. Buffy saw Shannon get out, followed by the two little terrors that were Reece and Connor. Shannon's two little boys were nightmares but were sweet. Connor was nearly ten and Reece was eight in August. They ran up to Buffy, shouting Grandma loudly and Buffy granted each one a hug before they ran inside to see their uncle. William could be heard cursing as the terrors attacked him and Buffy laughed. Shannon approached her mother and hugged her fiercely. Buffy reciprocated and the two went inside. 'Where's Ryan today?' Buffy asked.

'He had some urgent council business in the city. He'll be home later. He sends his love.'

'William?' Buffy called the young man into the living room. The two boys were hanging off his arms and he looked exasperated but patient. 'Can you keep an eye on those two for five minutes? We'll be out in a second.' William nodded and dragged them back through to the kitchen. Buffy turned to Shannon as they sat down.

'It's all arranged, Shannon. Everything is going to you. I need you to look out for William. I haven't told him how bad it's gotten. I don't want him to think I've given up.' Buffy spoke quietly. Shannon ignored the tears in her eyes.

'You haven't given up have you?' She asked. Buffy looked at her with the eyes of someone well beyond their twenty year old body.

'To some extend. But now, you kids are grown up. The line will continue. Those two will be strong fighters one day. I know you will all be alright. It's my time to be with your dad.' Buffy listened to the screams emanating from the kitchen for a moment. Shannon placed a hand on her shoulder.

'I know mom.' Shannon looked down. She found it hard at first but then she admired her mother's strength.

Buffy had been diagnosed with cancer six years ago. She had fought it as hard as she could but there was no beating it. And now she was making sure everything is in order. 'You'll know when it happens, Shannon. So will William. I need you to come over here as soon as you can. He can't be left alone.' She looked to her daughter. 'The vampire side of the family…you'll know when it happens. But I'll be okay. I'll be happy.I think I'm due a rest.'

Shannon bit back the tears. Buffy carried on talking. 'I'm going to see your father tonight before…you know.' Shannon nodded. Buffy pulled her daughter into a hug and they stayed like that for a moment. 'Look, let's make the most of this day. I want to make sure my grandkids don't forget me.'

The two headed out into the sun with the rest of the family.

The night air wasn't cold and the stars lit the sky up brightly. Buffy slipped out of the house, making sure William was asleep first. She moved quickly, ignoring the pain in her body. She arrived at the graveyard quickly and made her way to the familiar spot. The three graves in a row. She placed a kiss on Angel's and a kiss on Gunn's and then sat down next to the last headstone, looking up at the worn engraving. Fresh flowers were there, probably placed by Shannon at some point.

She gasped at the searing pain in her chest and she could feel her time approaching. She leant against Spike's headstone and whispered to herself before she let the darkness take her.

'See you in a bit.' The rain started to fall as her chest stopped its steady rhythm.

An hour or so later, two forms walked into the graveyard. The petite woman with blonde streaked brown hair, holding the hand of a young man with a leather jacket and slicked back dark hair. They stood and looked down on the still body of Buffy Summers.

Shannon put her arm round William, who stood, not moving. 'She can be with Dad now.' Shannon whispered, and reaching in her pocket for a cell phone number. She called an ambulance and then turned to William who was not crying and still not moving.

'Hey.' He looked at her.

'They're happy now. We're gonna be okay.'

William looked up at the sky and for that moment, as the lightening flashed in the sky, Shannon could have sworn she saw her father standing there. Then William looked back down and smiled at his sister.

'Yeah…it's all gonna be bloody brilliant.'