Finally got this chapter finished. Sorry about the wait, blame the Navy.

I do not now nor have I ever owner Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The Scooby's sat, speechless for several minutes. All thinking about what they had just seen and heard, wondering what they were going to do now.

"Wait a second," Dawn said, "Buffy and Spike are mates? That's why they've always been able to feel each other?"

"Very good Dawn," Anya exclaimed. "Yes, Buffy and Spike are mates."

"What does that mean?" Faith asked, knowing that she wasn't the only one in the dark.

Anya smiled when she saw that she had everyone's attention, and explained, "Every person, supernatural or not has a destined mate, one person in the world that is your other half and will fit with you so perfectly that you will give anything to keep that person with you. Not everyone finds their mate though. You still love a person, but they aren't your other half."

"It's why vampires developed mate claims," Buffy said. "They are used to show all other supernaturals that they belong to someone. There are rituals that can be used to find someone's mate, and bind them to each other if they are not a vampire, but both parties have to be 100 percent willing AND open to the idea of belonging to another person, just as they will belong to you."

"Whoa," Xander said, "Buffy swallowed a book."

"No, I researched claims after I was brought back and started up with Spike."

"Why? I thought you didn't love him then?" Willow asked.

Buffy blushed, not actually wanting to tell them why she had had to research claims was that she had taken a good chunk out of Spike and didn't want to be connected to him that way by accident. Seeing the uncomfortable look on her friends face, Anya intervened, "The good news is that I was told who all the guardians are, and that from that list we can figure out who everyone's mate is. Also knowing who they are might help us plan what we are going to do."

Willow pulled a pad of paper and pen off the coffee table and said, "Ready."

Anya pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and read, "The immortal guardians are: Buffy Summers, William Carlisle the third, Dawn Summers-Carlisle, Connor Finnegan, Willow Rosenberg, Daniel Osborne, Alexander Harris, Anyanka, Wesley Windom-Price, Winifred Burkle. Together they are: the Light, the Dark, the Key, the Destroyer, the Goddess, the Wolf, the Seer, the Justice, the Mage, and the Balance."

The group was stunned. The fact that Wes and Fred where part of the guardians was shocking. Yes it was apparent that Wes had finally settled into his own, no one was sure what to think of the two outsiders of their group, of people that had worked with and for Angel for years. They also had no idea who Connor was, having never been told about him to begin with. From the list, everyone was easily able to figure out who their mates were, and this made both Willow and Dawn think.

Willow was the first to speak, "Why, if Oz is my mate, did I choose Tara over him?"

"You didn't, not really," Anya said. "You are a goddess; therefore you have two mates, one of each sex. Before Oz left for good you wished that you would have been able to have both of them."

Nodding her head, willow realized that that made sense. She had wished that she could have been with both of them. "They would have balanced me if I was with both, wouldn't they."

"Yes, they were you're light and dark, without Oz, you became more dark. When Tara died, you also lost you light balance and became neutral."

"Then what will happen if I'm just with Oz?"

"Because Tara is dead, and you have come into your goddess powers without the mating ritual, you will not be affected, and Oz will have power over the wolf, and be able to transform at will, and keep his mind."

Willow just nodded in understanding.

Seeing that Willow was done with her questions Dawn started on hers. "Who's Connor Finnegan?"

"Connor is the son of Angel and Darla, produced by prophecy, after Darla was brought back by Wolfram and Hart. When he was a baby, he was kidnapped by Holtz, an enemy of Angel who was frozen in time. He was taken to a hell dimension and raised to hate vampires, and Angel above all else. When he came back, he helped Jasmine try and take over the world, and after she was defeated, Angel with the help of Wolfram and Hart erased all memories of Connor from his team, and Connor and had Connor placed with a normal family and memories implanted of a normal life. It was one of the conditions of accepting the position," Anya explained to the shocked group.

"So what you're saying is that we also have to remove a memory spell on Wes and Fred, and find this Connor person and remove it on him as well. Won't the just make him how he was before?" Dawn said.

"No, he'll be different," Buffy answered, knowing that she was going to shock everyone by answering. "He will remember both lives and that will give him peace and also help him see right from wrong better. It will also help him see shades of gray, because he will know love and friendship as well as pain and loss."

Everyone could feel the powerful emotions coming off of Buffy as she explained. They could see the years of heartache and loss written on her face, but they could also see the love she had for all of them as well as the perfect love for Spike. It was in that moment that any lingering doubt was replaced with full acceptance.

"So now we need a plan," Xander said. "While I fully believe that dusting Angel would be the best thing to do, I also know that he would still be able to run Wolfram and Hart because of his contract."

"What about Spike?" Dawn asked. "We can't just leave him there, especially if he is a ghost, and with Angel telling him all those things."

"But what if it was Spike's presence that stopped him from trying to destroy the world sooner?" Willow asked.

Buffy sat in silence for several minutes just thinking things over when she had a sudden idea. She knew a way to keep Angel grounded, and maybe even keep him on the side of good. "Guys, I think I know a way," she said. Only Dawn heard her though because everyone else was talking loudly, trying to figure out how to help.

"Hey!" Dawn yelled, gaining everyone attention, "Buffy has an idea."

"What if we could wake up Cordy? She loves Angel, and I know that Angel loves her too. She could keep him grounded, maybe even stop the badness."

Anya just smiled, while everyone else looked shocked at not having thought of that before. "So how are we going to do this B?" Faith asked.

Buffy paused, getting all her thoughts in order and started her explanation. "Neither Giles nor Angel need to know anything that's going on here. So what we are going to do is make a decoy. Willow, I want you to find one of the Sunnydale girls and ask if they will permit you to put a glamor on them to look as if they are me. It is going to need to be a strong glamor as well; we are dealing with people that are well versed in magic. Tell her that she will be going to Rome to set up a post to help find all the new slayers."

"Kennedy will do it. She has some issue with Giles, plus being you will give her more action as a Slayer," Willow added with a small smile.

"Good, also I need you to convince Giles to give you control of the councils money. Tell him that it will be easier if everything is done electronically or something. This will give us the advantage that we would not have otherwise.

Xander, once Willow has control of the money, I want you and Anya in Buffalo, looking for houses. It's a Hellmouth, not quite as active as some of the others but it gets enough action. I want a house big enough for a boarding school, as well as small houses in the demon districts set up as safe houses. You're going to have to hide this house too Wills."

"Not a problem Buff," Xander said at the same time Anya said, "I can set up my shop again."

Nodding at the reunited couple, Buffy turned to Faith and continued, "You are going to be my spy of sorts. Report to both me and Giles. I'm leaving it up to your judgment what you tell him. Once you have finished training the girls, and you think that they are neutral, and can see in shades of gray, send them up to me in Buffalo. From there we will continue their training, before sending them to their next assignment."

"Gotcha B," Faith replied with an evil smirk that hadn't been seen on her face in years.

"What about me Buffy?" Dawn asked.

"The first thing that we are going to do is go to LA and get Spike. We also need to inform Wes, Fred and Cordy what's going on, because Wes and Fred need to stay there for now. We are going to need to remove the memory charm on them and also wake up Cordy, those require the power of the Key, which is you," Buffy added pointing to Dawn. "We are also going to have to free Spike from the amulet but still make it look as if he's attached to it, then have Angel break it. I'm gonna need your help there too Wills."

"Of course Buffy," Willow said, knowing that she would be needed.

"Then we are all going to go to Buffalo and train the girls. I want Rona with me, as well as Vi," Buffy said looking at the Scooby's. "Any questions?" she added as an afterthought.

"What happens if someone sees us who is loyal to Giles?" Anya asked.

"Who would see us?" Xander asked.

"There are people that look up to him Xand," Willow said, a frown marring her face.

"So we all need glamour's as well. But they should only hide our looks from enemy's not from each other," Dawn said.

"That's a good idea Dawnie," Buffy said smiling.

"I can do that, let me just go get Kennedy, Rona and Vi and then we'll do the glamour's," Willow said. "Then Xander and Anya can head to New York, while we go to LA. It will take us a few days in LA; waking Cordy isn't going to be easy."

Everyone nodded in agreement and Willow disappeared in a white light, appearing again not even ten minutes later.

After thirty minutes everyone was up to date on the plans, and the glamour's were in place.

"We'll see you in a few days," Xander said, hugging Buffy, Dawn and Willow.

"I'll let you know how the meetings go," Faith said, knowing that part of her job was to tell Giles that everyone was taking Buffy to Rome, saying that it would be easier to get over Spike if she was some place where people didn't talk like him.

"Be safe Faith," Buffy said, hugging her sister slayer.

"Always B."

"Remember to put up wards before you take to Wes and Fred. Also don't remove the memory spell until they've seen what could have happened. And remember that you are a goddess and that the contract on their souls can be undone by you, especially since they have no knowledge of it as it was signed by Angel as part of the agreement for their memories," Anya said to Willow.

"Right: vision, memories, contract. Got it," Willow said before turning to Buffy and asking, "Ready to get your vampire back."

"Have been for nineteen days," Buffy said taking Dawns hand on one side and Willows hand on the other. Together they watched Anya and Xander disappear in a black flash before they teleported away to the city of Angels.