Disclaimer: All characters created by Joss Whedon. I don't own them, I just make them do stuff to entertain myself.

AND WE'RE DONE! Yay! Now I can start work on my other stories. I've got ten days in Cornwall next week, so I'll be using some time there to enjoy some inspiration.


Six months later

Buffy hissed as her fingers came away burned. She sucked on the injury and snarled at her opponent, sizing it up and planning a strategy. Finally she used her weapon of choice and the pasta bake was on the side, cooling as the Slayer ran her fingers under a cold tap. She made faces at the dinner she'd prepared and then set about making the dessert.

It had been a peaceful six months, full of rebuilding. The TV stations and news had reported the almost Apocalypse as a terrorist nerve gas attack. Buffy and everyone else had laughed at that. Giles had run all of his tests and discovered Dawn was now a Slayer, and her latent Key abilities were coming out. She had requested training and was due back tonight from her special camp. Tonight was a big deal. She'd been cooking all day, whilst Spike slept in the basement of their new house in South London. It was a lovely little place, close to shops but quiet and Spike had enjoyed showing her the nightlife in his home city.

Everyone was coming over tonight. Angel had flown in with Nina, his werewolf girlfriend, Willow was bringing Oz, who had appeared back on the scene a month after the apocalypse and they had slowly built their relationship back up. Xander had met someone and was bringing her tonight to introduce her to the gang. Buffy had met her already, she was called Kate and was a demonologist with a love for nerdy comics and films. She and Xander made pretty much the perfect couple and she was slowly helping him overcome his problems. Buffy was very happy for him. Giles was turning up with Olivia and Andrew was making the trip down from Scotland, where he'd been on research.

It was a big meal. Faith and Robin had declined a visit. Illyria had found no use for them after the fight and had disappeared from their lives. The only one mourning her was Spike, mainly because he'd enjoyed the work out. Not that he wasn't getting plenty of exercise with his Slayer.

She smiled fondly at the thought of her vampire. He had come on in leaps and bounds after the fight, and had readily accepted his role. He helped Giles with research, had taught her how to cook, had decorated their whole house. Except for one room, which they weren't sure what to do with.

Buffy bit her lip as she finished glazing the pie she'd cooked. For one brief second, she wished her mom was here with her, to share in her happy life, but she knew, wherever she was, she was watching over her. Sometimes she was sad that she'd lost her mom's grave in Sunnydale, but she knew she could pay respects anywhere. She'd grown a special patch of flowers in the garden, with Willow's help, and they used it to honour the people they had loved and lost.

The doorbell rang and knocked Buffy out of her reverie. She ran to answer it and Willow stood, alone. The witch smiled at the slayer and held up a bottle of wine.

'Willow!' She smiled. 'Where's Oz?'

The red head stepped into the house. 'He's coming later. I thought we could have girl time whilst your vamp is asleep.' She made her way into the kitchen as Buffy shut the door and followed her. Willow grabbed two glasses and turned around. 'I can't wait to see Dawnie…..' Willow trailed off, gawping at Buffy all of a sudden.

The Slayer squirmed under her best friend's gaze. 'What? Do I have something on my face?'

Slowly, Willow turned around and placed one glass back into the cupboard. Buffy looked puzzled.

'You know you and Spike were arguing over the spare room?' Buffy nodded, her brain slowly catching up with her best friend's line of thought. Willow beamed.

'I don't think he'll have a choice now.'