Buffy tried to put the hurt look on Spike's face out of her mind as she tried to
find something to wear to Dawn's house. She knew she had hurt more times then
he should be able to forgive her for yet he still wanted and loved her. She was not
going to let him down this time. She placed the small ring box on the dresser as she
slipped into a pretty sundress and sandals. She let her hair hang in long loose
curls around her shoulders and spritzed herself with her favorite perfume. After
checking her makeup one last time in the mirror, she opened the ring box and
placed the ring on the third finger of her left hand. She almost cried at the perfect
fit. Spike needed proof that she was ready to make their love public, this should
do it.


"Okay, I'll just go and see what happens. If she doesn't want to tell Xander about us
then I'm leaving and so help me I won't be coming back this time." Spike mumbled
angrily to the radio playing in the desoto.

He arrived first and Dawn gave him a big hug as he came throught he door, she
peeked behind him, "Where's Buffy?"

"She's coming." Spike said solemnly.

"I thought she'd be with you." Dawn asked concern on her face.

"So did I." He answered here with a shrug.

"Did you two argue?" She whispered as Xander walked to the front door.

Spike shook his head, "I'll tell you later."

"Spike! Dawn said you were in town." Xander offered his hand and Spike shook

"Yeah just for a short visit. So I understand you and ex demon girl have a family now?"
He asked as Dawn led them to the living room.

Xander sat next to Anya who had already pulled out the latest pics of their children
to show anyone who was or wasn't interested. Spike smiled politely as she and
Xander told stories about the kids.


Buffy approached the door to Dawn's house and her stomach suddenly lurched
as she looked at the ring on her finger. What if the ring hadn't been meant for her?
How humiliating was that? She took a deep breath, no it's for me, I just know it is.

She knocked on the door. "Why didn't you come with Spike?" Dawn asked

"Hello to you too, sister dear." Buffy frowned at Dawn.

"He seems upset, what happened?" Dawn asked her then added, "Hi to you too."

"It's gonna be okay Dawn. I promise." Buffy smiled at her sister as she followed her
into the living room to join the others.

"Buffy!" Xander stood as soon as she entered the room.

"Xander what are you doing here?" Buffy feigned surprise as she hugged

"We thought it would be a nice little getaway and Dawn said we could suprise
one of my best friends while we were here. How are you Buff?" He asked
as he sat down.

Spike watched with interest and his heart sank, he remembered another time
and another place.
"Get in the closet now!" Buffy told him pushing his half naked body into her closet.
"Xander is coming up the stairs."

"So...lets give the boy something to talk about." Spike had smirked.

"Are you crazy he would never understand ...........this, whatever it is between us."
Buffy had glared at him as she shut the closet door.

"I have pictures of the kids, Buffy." Anya motioned her towards the couch.

This is perfect, Buffy thought as she sat down beside Anya. Anya would be the
one to pull this whole plan together. "Let me see those, Anya." Buffy reached for
the photos with her left hand.

As expected Anya's eyes caught sight of the diamond on her hand. "Buffy, you
have an engagement ring! A big diamond, bigger them my diamond." Anya
frowned. "Where did you get that?"

Spike's serious thoughts were interupted by Anya's words. He looked at Buffy's
hand and then felt his duster pocket, the ring was gone. His smile lit up the whole
room as he realized she was wearing his ring for everyone to see. "Yeah,
Buffy, *where* did you get that ring?" He asked with a ridiculous grin.

Dawn smiled at Jordan and nodded her head when she saw the ring. This time
big sis was gonna do it right.

Xander and Anya waited anxiously for Buffy's answer. Buffy stood and walked
over to where Spike sat She took his hand in hers, "I guess I should make sure
the ring was for me, huh?"

"It's always been for you, luv." He brought her hand to his lips and softly kissed it.

"Somebody want to fill us in here." Xander asked with some irritation. "This can't
be what it looks like."

Buffy turned to face Xander, "It is exactly what it looks like. The ring is from Spike.
I love him Xander."

"When did this happen?" Xander asked disbelief heavy in his voice, "It's not a spell is

"It happened about ten years ago and I was too stubborn to see it for what it was,
I loved him then and I love him now. Only this time I'm not ashamed of it." She
turned back to Spike and kissed him passionately.

Spike stood and put his arms around her waist as they both faced Xander,
Buffy spoke again, "You either want me happy or you don't Xan."

Xander started to say something but Anya lay her hand on his arm, "Xander
they weren't all happy that you chose me to marry either. But look at us now."

"She's right, Buffy, Spike .........not that it matters but you have my blessing too."
Xander conceded.

Soon, Dawn and Jordan joined Anya and Xander in a circle around Buffy
and Spike."I for one am very happy! Two of my favorite people together." Dawn
hugged Buffy tightly then turned to Spike, "Welcome to the family."

Spike pulled Buffy close to him, "I guess I do belong here." His words filled
with emotion.

"You always did, Spike. You always did." She whispered back, "I'm sorry it
took so long for me to realize it."

The group talked late into the night about the good ole' days. Later that night
at Buffy's place she and Spike settled into her bed. He picked up the postcard
that was still sitting on the nightstand. She smiled tiredly at him, "Guess I won't
be getting any more of those. You are staying put now, right?"

"I think my wandering days are over, luv." He picked up her hand and stared
at the ring shining there for the world to see. "I never thought I would see this on
your finger."

"Well its there and it's never coming off." She leaned over and kissed him, giggling
as she yawned.

"You are tired, aren't you?" He grinned as he ran his hand up and down her leg.

"Yeah, but not too tired if you want to...." She curled up next to him and lay her
head on his chest.

"We got all the time in the world for that, pet. Just go to sleep now." He dropped
a light kiss in her hair.

"Okay." She murmured as she snuggled even closer to him. And for the first time
in a decade they both slept peacefully knowing they were safe and loved and most
importantly never going to be alone again.

The Mushy End.