Giles and Spike came into the room to find Buffy trying to shove her finger into Sophie's mouth. The vampire was taller than the slayer, but she was shoved against the wall, trying to elude her the petite slayer's hand.

"What are you doing?" Giles demanded caught off guard by the absurdity of the scene before him.

"No blood, no pointy objects. I promised." Buffy said. "But I had to try my tears."

"I don't want to hurt her," Sophie said as the slayer stepped back. "But I haven't fed in months. Please, keep her from shoving her fingers in my mouth."

"Should have realized you were up to something, Mate." Spike growled as he stalked further into the room and Buffy shrugged her shoulder, casting him an unapologetic smile.

"She looks better. Doesn't she?" Buffy said. He tossed his sassy mate another angry glance before looking at Sophie.

Sophie shivered as Spike and Giles examined her. Buffy reached out a hand and she clasped it, seeking some comfort in this odd situation.

"We are not going to hurt you, Sophie. You're part of our family." Buffy squeezed her hand gently as Giles coughed and began polishing his glasses.

"She means it, Sophie. Buffy is an odd duck for a slayer. You do look much better, not quite yourself, but better." He shrugged and leaned back against a wall. "Hurt her and I'll kill you slowly, make Penn look merciful. Are we clear?"

"I don't want to hurt her. I promise." Sophie eyed Giles as he looked at her with an odd expression on his face.

"Why don't you want to hurt her?" Giles asked as he stepped closer to the two females.

"I don't feed from humans. I can drink their blood but the curse keeps it from sustaining me." Sophie looked at the floor.

"If you aren't in the habit of feeding from humans, why were you concerned with Buffy's behavior?" The watcher looked at her through narrowed eyes.

"Instincts are still there. He taught me that, too." Sophie's eyes dropped to the floor.

"I should have killed the bastard. I'm so sorry, Sophie." Spike said.

"You did as you were told. If you had killed him, Angelus might have punished you." Sophie looked at Spike with a determined glare. "This was not your fault. We are demons with all the foibles and ferocities. He is the master of our line. You had to do as he told you."

"I'm not of his bloody line any longer." Spike snarled.

"And he's massing an army. Even if I can break free of Penn, how large is this force? He isn't a fool." Sophie looked at them sadly and seemed to fold in on herself. "At best, we can by this town some time."

"I killed Lothos and his army with two humans." Buffy said. "It was brutal and I lost Merrick, but it can be done. We have a better force now. We destroyed Nest and his followers on several occasions and we took down the Judge. I'm not asking you to protect the Thermacool pass or anything."

"Thermopylae," Giles said with a gentle smile. For all her changes, she was still his Buffy.

Giles sat on the chair and considered the three supernatural beings in the room. Buffy was a slayer creating a vampire line of her own. The council would put her down like a rabid dog and view it as a mercy. They would commend him if he did it. He shuddered at the thought.

"You said there was a prophecy about you, Spike, but I haven't found it. It might help us if we had some forewarning."

"There was a prophecy about the Aurelian seer's childe. It made all of Nest's devotees quake in their silly robes." Spike shrugged.

"Darla would have slaughtered Dru and Spike when she brought him home. Angelus kept them alive. He protected Drusilla. She's his favorite." Sophie turned toward him and let Buffy's hand slip from her own. "I never knew the prophecy, but it would be in the Books of Aurelius. Do you have a copy of them?"

Giles' eyes flashed to Spike.

"We have them," the male vampire said. "I suppose research is required."

"We should get to it." Giles stood.

"We aren't done here," Buffy looked at Sophie with determination.

"Can you still sense Penn and the others?" Spike asked Sophie softly.

"Of course I can. I'm not a fledgling." Sophie said with a confused glance at Spike.

"You'll have to take her from them, Love." Spike looked at Buffy with a steady gaze. Buffy nodded.

"How?" Buffy asked quietly.

"Depends on Sophie." His cerulean gaze shifted from Buffy to Sophie. "Are you ready to let them go, Pet?"

"You'll accept me? As more than a minion?" Sophie's eyes widened.

"We don't do minions," Buffy asserted.

"It's an unusual bunch, humans mostly. They'll need your protection." Spike walked over to the shaking vampiress. "There will be no hunting unless you chose to kill demons with us. You've been living a very different life, but this won't come easy. If you hurt any one of the family, it will be me putting you down. Are we clear?"

Sophie nodded and looked at the beings sharing the room with her. There was hope here. She swallowed and looked back to Spike's steady gaze. He was serene, finally loved and accepted as he should have been.

"Is there really a place for me here?" Her voice shook. "Will they want me if we survive the battle?"

"This is my family Sophie. I'm asking you to join it." Buffy pulled her shoulder and looked up at her with glowing eyes. A shiver chased up her spine as she knelt before Buffy and raised her wrist in offering.

"She doesn't have much, Love. No matter how it tastes or what you feel, keep that firmly planted in your mind. Even your magic tears can't revive dust." Buffy nodded as she stroked Sophie's hair.

"Are you sure, Buffy? This is a risk." Giles said as he watched his slayer stroke the quivering female gently. Her quick nod was his only answer.

"Don't worry about it, Watcher. Just enjoy the show." Spike stepped back and stood next to his chair.

Buffy rubbed her cheek against the sleek skin of Sophie's forearm. Her breathing had quickened even as Sophie's had stopped. There was an ache inside her, a longing as she looked down at the bent blonde head. It wasn't sexual, but possessive. She tilted Sophie's head up with a gentle touch. Their gazes locked, glowing green to stormy gray. Her heartbeats rang out as she bent and kissed Sophie's soft pink lips.

Sophie whimpered and clutched Buffy's legs with her free arm. Her lips parted and Buffy took control, her tongue sliding along Sophie's with gentle insistence. The kiss seemed to stretch on as they fell into each other. Sophie relaxed and allowed Buffy complete control.

The slayer pulled away and looked down into Sophie's now golden eyes. She stroked her ridges gently.

"You're beautiful," Sophie said.

"You are gorgeous, too." Buffy smiled and licked her wrist. "Do you want to be mine?"

"With every part of me," Sophie averred.

Buffy smiled and felt her delicate fangs emerge. She rested her forehead against the proffered wrist. She looked to Spike and saw his eyes glowing approvingly. She turned back to Sophie and bit down into her wrist.

Images flooded her mind as the blood touched her tongue. Buffy shivered as all that Sophie was offering her rushed to the fore. She wanted to take it all, but fought the urge. She pulled her fangs from the tender flesh and licked it. Sophie moaned and swayed, her eyes unfocused.

"I accept you Sophie. I welcome you with love." Buffy said and offered her wrist to the vampiress. "You are of the slayer line now and forever."

Sophie stared into Buffy's human visage as she sank her fangs into the warm flesh before her. Buffy stepped closer and held her tightly as she took slow pulls of the rich blood. Buffy moaned and turned her gaze to Spike. He was at her side in a moment.

"She is ours, Spike." Buffy stroked the blonde head bent over her wrist.

"Let me offer her my blood," he said as he pulled Buffy against him with one arm. Sophie released her wrist for Spike's and Buffy brought her wrist to his mouth. He licked the blood off her skin and looked at her with wonder.

Giles stood and moved to leave the room wondering how much humanity remained within his slayer.