Disclaimer: Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon and Life to Rand Ravich and Universal

What was it about redheads? Not just any redheads, but redheads that are strong, independent, and brave and willing to kick ass; redheads that protect others and place their safety before their own; redheads that fight against injustice, even when it causes them to sacrifice. Why of all the people across all the dimensions was she continually drawn to them, drawn to befriend them? Buffy Summers could not figure it out.

Looking over to the man laying beside her, she thought back to what brought her to this moment. Never would she have imagined on that cold December morning that she would one day be glad to have a man run into her spilling both her and his hot coffee on her new Manolo Blahniks. She could have died right then. Never mind the burns on her feet. For the last month, she had saved every extra dime paid her by the New International Watchers Council that was not used for replacement clothes or weapons to buy these and now they were ruined. There was no way they could have survived such a brutal assault. She wanted to cry. The man who ran into her was telling her how sorry he was and insisted on being allowed to buy her more coffee. She allowed it as she needed time get over the upset before her meeting in two hours. She had just planned on sharing the coffee and then leaving, but once they got to talking, neither one wanted to leave. She found him interesting and enjoyed talking to him. Someone who had no preconceived image of how she was to behave and who she was supposed to be. He enjoyed talking to someone that had now idea of his history or his money. They ended up having dinner together that night and very night she was in Los Angeles for the following week.

Upon leaving LA, she promised to email him. It took a few days for her to work up the courage to contact him. He was glad to hear from her though and wrote back immediately. A week later a package arrived for her at headquarters that Dawn mistakenly opened in front of everyone. Luckily a mini-apocalypse happened that night and everyone quickly forgot that some man had sent her a very expensive pair of shoes. She was on cloud nine for days at the fact that he had noticed how upset she was over losing that pair. And that he cared enough to even notice which ones they were and to replace them. Over the next several months, they talked about everything and anything. She shared her love of clothes and cappuccinos, even about Mr. Gordo. He shared some of the advice from the self help tapes he listened to all the time and introduced her to whole new worlds of fruits. They slowly revealed more about themselves to each other. Their fears, their hopes, their disappointments and their joys.

It was not until almost five months of emailing each other that they met in person again. She was again in LA for a short trip. They spent every free moment they had together. She introduced him to the nightlife and gave him lessons on how to survive it. He told her of his investigation into who framed him for murder. People gave them some looks when seeing them together, mostly figuring she was just arm candy for the rich guy. But she didn't care that he was older than her. He got her in a way her friends hadn't in a long time. He never asked her to be anything other than herself and she returned the favor. They went to museums, parks, the Zoo. Hell, he took her to Disneyland when he found out she had never been. She became the little sister he never had. And he became her brother and the one man in her life that she KNEW would never let her down.

Today proved it. All she had to do was call, call and tell him that she had lost one of her girls, a sixteen year old Slayer originally from Moscow that she had been training as part of her elite team. Within minutes he had hopped on a plane and flew half way across the planet just to be there for her. Her friends did not know how to react to him, to the fact that she had someone in her life that they knew nothing about, and had for the last two years. They did not know how to react to the fact that she had someone she was closer to than them. Frankly, she didn't care. She was tired of living for everyone else. She was living for herself now. So when they Council distanced themselves from the pair at the funeral for her fallen protégé, she had merely held his hand tighter.

And he had proved it when he held her while she sobbed out her sorrow at losing another of her sister Slayers. When he had reassured her that it was not her fault, that sometimes even the best warrior is defeated, that Petra would have wanted to go out protecting others. When he had held her hand and promised that no matter what happened she would never be alone because he would always be there for her, that he would always love her, crazy little idiosyncrasies and all.

Hearing his breathing change, she knew he was waking up. Turning her head to look him in the eye, she grabbed his hand on the bed next to her and smiled softly.

"Good morning, Charlie."