CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: Epilogue

Buffy smiled to herself as they slowly approached her house, more than glad to be home. The car ride had been considerably quite despite what had happened only a few hours ago. She sighed as Giles turned off the car, her mom having been to shaky handed to drive. Not that she blamed her, they had all been through a lot. She herself was still coming to terms with what this all meant, for her and for Tara, she grinned. So far though, she was liking the possibilities.

"Tara…Tara we're here." She whispered to the sleeping woman that was lying comfortably in her lap. Tara's eyes blinked open and adjusted to the bright pastel colors of dawn that greeted her. She smiled tiredly at the Slayer and sat up, more than happy to be far away from that place. Buffy returned the smile and ran her fingers through the woman's hair looking at her thoughtfully. "Are you okay." She asked softly as her Mom and Giles exited the car, leaving their bags in the trunk to retrieve at a later time. She couldn't help the smirk that formed across her face when she heard Giles mumble something about needing a drink and her mom seconding the notion.

"Yeah." Tara said honestly, the closeness she now shared with the Slayer calming her nerves greatly. "It's going to take a while for me to wrap my head around it all but I'll be okay." Buffy lowered her hand to cup Tara's face.

"Not just you." Buffy said seriously letting the depth she cared for the woman shine through. "We." Tara gently touched her own hand to Buffy's and held it against her cheek the warmth radiating into her, indescribable from the simple touch. "We're going to be okay." Buffy said her eyes dropping to the woman's lips. Tara turned the hand she held clasped in her own and brought it to her lips, kissing it softly.

"We." Tara said back as if making a promise. She watched as the Slayer nodded with eyes half lidded, and got a mischievous look in her eye. "Common Slayer of mine." She said tugging Buffy's hand leading them out of the car. "If you don't mind, at this moment all I want to do is curl up next to you and sleep." Buffy nodded exhausted herself and allowed Tara to lead her out of the car, and up to her house. Tara smiled to herself sensing the bond humming between them just under the surface and reveled in the fact that it was theirs and theirs alone. Their hearts, bodies and minds were interlocked as one, and any doubts or hesitations that had plagued either previously were now washed away.

Buffy was dead on when she had said that she had never felt anything this powerful before, Tara thought to herself. Because there was truly nothing more powerful than what they had, on earth or anywhere else for that matter, what they now shared was incomparable to anything else. They completed and complimented each other in every way, and there was not a force in existence that could hope to sever that tie.

Buffy linked Tara's hand with hers as they made their way towards her house and smiled in surprise as Faith greeted them at the door.

"Hey B," she nodded her acknowledgement towards Tara then glanced down at their clasped hands and raised her brow. "Well tweed man here ain't said a peep, not one word." She laughed a little. "And Mrs. S did bout the same, they just went straight for the liquor drawer, so you mind tell'n me what's go'n on." She smirked as Buffy gave her a slightly annoyed look then stepped aside, allowing the Slayer and Tara to actually get into the house and take off their shoes. As Buffy stepped inside she released Tara's hand to hug her sister Slayer. "Aww B, don't be get'n all soft on me now." Faith grumbled playfully glad to see her partner in crime was unharmed. "Yeah, yeah I missed you too." Buffy sighed, finally releasing Faith and put her hand on the brunette's shoulder.

"Would you believe me if I said it is an incredibly long story?" Faith cracked a smile at Buffy's silent plea for another time and looked over at Tara who was removing her jacket and putting it up on the hanger.

"I see…" she nodded in Tara's direction then dropped her voice. "Never knew you played for home team B, gotta say though, wish ya would have given me the heads up last year."

"What?" Buffy said a little perplexed.

"So I could've gotten first dibs." Buffy stared at the brunette a little lost for words then smacked her sister Slayer in the arm, seeing the playfulness behind her brown eyes.

"Um …I'm not going to give you the benefit of commenting on that one F'" Tara smiled to herself having heard the whole exchange and stepped up next to Buffy whispering in her ear.

"I hope your friend doesn't mind, but I'm not really the sharing type." Faith's eyebrows arched together in surprise as she felt the strange surge of warmth surrounding the two women. It was intense like nothing she had ever felt in her life. Yeah her and Buffy had some weird Slayer bond but that didn't even come close to what these two had going on between them. She shrugged, figuring Buffy would tell her later. When she pulled herself from her own thoughts and took in her environment, she couldn't help but laugh at her older predecessor.

"Damn, wish I had a camera for this one." She muttered blinking in surprise at the almost delirious look taking a permanent residence over the Slayer's face at the other blonde's words. Buffy shook her now mush for brains and glanced at Faith.

"Sorry Faith, what were you saying?" The brunette Slayer rolled her eyes then began making her way towards the kitchen, deciding she would get a drink with the others and hopefully get filled in on what had happened. Seeing as Buffy was obviously…busy.

"Don't worry about it B." she called over her shoulder. "But I want details later girlfriend...and I'm warn'n you now." She glanced over her shoulder. "This long story shit ain't gonna fly with me blondie." Buffy watched the retreating back of the Bostonian in confusion then turned her attention to an innocent looking Wicca. She groaned realizing why Faith had probably left.

"You are so bad you know that." Buffy said watching a slow but absolutely gorgeous smile cross the woman's face.

"Now I know you don't really think that." Tara said laughingly.

"Oh really, is that so?" Tara smiled leaning in touching Buffy's forehead with her own.

"Yeah it is." Tara breathed knowing the Slayer knew full well that they could easily see as to what the other was feeling. Buffy smiled back at her very much aware of the odd connection they shared

"You're right I don't really think that, but that doesn't mean you can play all innocent and cute when you know full well what that was going to do to me." Tara smirked.

"What this?" she breathed a hot breath of air into the shell of the Slayer's ear and smiled triumphantly as Buffy shivered against her.

"Yeah that." Buffy said playfully poking the woman's side before stepping back, trying to keep her now raging hormones in check. "So…" Buffy said glancing around the house. "Since you never quite got the grand tour, would you like it now or later?" Tara smiled softly at the Slayer then laced their fingers together again.

"Actually your mom kind of showed me around while you were out, but I would love for you to show me around later." she sighed locking eyes with the Slayer. "All I want to do now is sleep for a couple days and have you lying next to me." Buffy blushed at the soft words then nodded her head in agreement, hoping for much the same thing and slowly began leading them up the stairs. As they entered into her room Buffy found herself pinned against her door by a smiling Wicca.

"I thought you wanted to sleep." Buffy murmured seeing the darkening gaze in the eyes staring into her own. Tara smirked then leaned in, pressing her lips firmly against the Slayer's. Buffy moaned, wrapping her arms around the woman's waist. Enjoying the feel of the little jolts she was receiving form the contact as they spread throughout her entire body. She gasped as the woman nipped at her lips lightly, seeking entrance. Buffy taking the hint eagerly complied and nearly fainted right then and there. After a few moments Tara pulled back needing air.

"B-Buffy." She breathed heavily pulling the Slayer towards the bed. "I took a five hour nap in the car." Buffy smirked at what the woman was implying. "So unless you're too tired or want to stop, speak now." Buffy shook her head no quickly.

"I'm obviously not going to be tired after a kiss like that." She grinned finally coming out of her Tara induced daze and pressed the Wiccan onto the bed. "And as for your other question, I'm going to have to go with a firm no." Tara smiled at the woman situated above her, never having realized it was possible to love one person so much. She smiled then whispering the spell that they were beginning to become all too familiar with, reversing their positions. Buffy gaped at a laughing Tara, as she was now the one being pushed down against the mattress. Tara winked.

"Good answer, because I've waited four years for this and when I'm done with you I can guarantee that we'll be out for a couple days at least." Buffy smirked then rolled her eyes.

"Really, is that so?" Tara nodded her head leaning down to place a feather light kiss on the Slayer's pulse point, causing Buffy to jerk in response.

"Yeah, really." She said her voice growing husky.

"Try me." Buffy said lightly. "I'm a Slayer and I gotta say, we're kind of known for recovering quicker than most." Tara just grinned.

"Well, that's an invitation if I've ever heard one." Buffy blushed a dark red, than finally forced herself to look into Tara's eyes, growing serious.

"I love you." Buffy whispered loosing herself in the woman before her.

"And I am so in love with you." Tara whispered back, the Slayer's words touching her heart. She had known the truth in what the Slayer had said for a while now, but actually hearing Buffy say them aloud made it all that more real.

Somehow after all they had been through to get together they were finally there. Both healed and ready to live life, whatever it may bring. Knowing that as long as they had each other, that was all that they would need.

The End

For all who have reviewed and continue to, you guys and gals are my inspiration and thank you so very much for your support. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this lil fic as much as I have writting it.