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Part II: Everything he never knew he wanted

Chapter Six

...Two Years later...

Now that Spike was human, people were always asking him when he was going to make an honest woman out of Buffy. He found himself thinking quite seriously about popping the question. The Slayer's Council had even provided him with a new identity and he could now legally marry her. In the many years he had spent as a creature of the night, marriage had not been something that entered his head at all. It had been two years since he had become human and he had never been happier. Buffy and he still fought frequently and passionately but always made up with equal fervour. It had taken him a while to come to terms with his new life and he had made Buffy's life miserable for those first couple of weeks.

He still wasn't sure how he managed to keep her and he knew he was the luckiest man alive to wake up every morning with her next to him. Despite the fact that he loved her, he was unsure if marriage was something that she wanted. Whenever they were asked about marriage, she just winked at him and laughed saying they were as good as married anyway and what did they need a piece of paper for. The one time he had worked up the courage to approach the question it had been an unquestionable disaster.

"Buffy?" he had asked, trying to sound casual. "Do you ever think we'll ever get married?"

"Marriage?" She had laughed. "I thought you looked down on old marrieds."

She seemed to realise just then that he was serious. "Oh I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like it sounded."

He had been stung by her response. "Don't worry I'm not proposin' or anything. Forget what I said."

"Oh Spike," Buffy had said. "You should know by now that I have Buffy mouth."

"It's fine," he lied. "Honest."

"You are such a pathetic liar," she said softly. "Someday, I would love to marry you, but I'm not ready yet."

His heart lightened to hear her say that. He could wait for her to be ready. Truth be told he was such a pathetic wanker, he would wait forever.

It turned out Spike didn't have to wait that long. A few weeks later, he walked into the house and he heard voices from the kitchen. He smiled, as he realised that Dawn had come to visit. He was about to swing the door open and reveal his presence when he caught the word marriage. He stayed where he was and opened the door a crack just so he could see and hear what was going on. The sisters were sitting at the table, glasses of wine in their hands. No doubt they were gossiping about him. It was one of those sisterly bonding exercises, which they frequently partook in.

"What's it like?" Buffy asked. "Being married?"

Dawn gave a small smile. "Xander is a great husband, but I must admit I was terrified he would ditch me at the altar."

Buffy shook her head emphatically. "Not a chance. He loves you too much."

"He loved Anya," Dawn pointed out. "I think it was the thought of Spike kicking his ass that did him."

The two women laughed. Spike figure d he really shouldn't be listening in on this conversation. Maybe he could catch up Harris and they could try another bar, where they could slaughter some gullible fools into parting with their cash over a game of pool.

However, Dawn's next words caught his attention: "Why're you so interested? Something you're not telling me?

Buffy bit her lip. "No. Nothing to tell, but he might have said something about getting married and I've been thinking about it."

Spike's heart leapt at her words.

"He asked you to marry him?" Dawn asked, incredulous. "And you said no? Are you insane?"

"He didn't ask exactly, but he did broach the topic," Buffy explained. "Then, I thought he was joking and said something about thinking he looked down on old marrieds."

"Buffy!" was Dawn's reply. "Poor Spike. You completely mortified him, you idiot!"

"I know," Buffy said wearing a sheepish grin, "but then I told him someday I would like to, but now wasn't the right moment."

Spike could see Dawn's growing smirk and raised brow through the crack in the door.

"And now you've changed your mind."

Buffy was wringing her hands. "I guess I did."

Dawn started to giggle. "Oh, Buffy. Tell him or better yet get down on one knee."

Buffy shook her head. "I can't do that, Dawn. I mean, I just turned him down. What if he says no just to spite me?"

"You're an idiot," Dawn declared.

Spike had to agree with the Bit. As if he would turn down Buffy.

"I'm sure he'll ask again," Buffy said. "He's always been persistent. And I'll give hints- big neon signs of hints that I'm ready now."

"You two are hopeless," Dawn said, with an eye roll.

Spike grinned from ear to ear. He even fought the urge to whistle a happy tune. Nevertheless, he was going to let Buffy stew a little and see what sort of neon signs she was going to leave for him.

Spike went out to a jewellery store the following day, determined to pick the ideal ring for Buffy. He had been putting money aside for months saving to get her a decent ring. It also helped that since he helped Dowling out with a case involving Fyarl demons, he had also been offered a position as a supernatural consultant, which involved a significant pay rise. The only downside to this role was the hours were unpredictable and he could be called to play ghost buster at any time. The cases that were too dangerous for the police force to solve were passed to the Slayers and so Spike was able to keep involved on both sides of the divide. He picked up a beautiful ring with a single small diamond on it. He knew his girl wasn't into too much bling and he thought a classy lady like her deserved a classy ring. He put the ring box in the inside pocket of his duster, where Buffy wouldn't accidently stumble across it. When he arrived home, Buffy was cleaning the house, singing that Bette Midler song she had wanted for their wedding when they had been under Red's will be done spell. Spike wasn't sure if this was one of Buffy's neon signs or just her subconscious.

Spike had never been good at waiting for things to happen; he preferred to make them happen himself. He only managed to hold out a week before the proposal escaped his lips. Ever the romantic fool, he had been planning to wait for the right moment and the perfect grand gesture. His plans never seemed to work out; this lack of patience saw to that. One evening they were both sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and a Chinese. Buffy had managed to convince him that they just had to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster about some romantic love affair. Spike spent the time making disparaging remarks about the plot, while Buffy shushed him. At the end of the movie, Buffy was mopping her eyes with her sleeve.

He tightened his arm around her. "You foolish bint. What are ya crying about? It was a happy ending, wasn't it?"

"I'm not crying," she protested. "I have something in my eye."

He chuckled. "I love you, Miss Buffy Summers."

She turned to smile at him. "And I love you William, the Bloody Idiot."

He could see the love in her expression and he couldn't keep waiting any longer. He wasn't a nancy boy poet even though he was human again. Their love was always complicated, messy and real. This moment was more perfect that anything he could contrive.

"How would you fancy being Mrs Bloody Idiot?" he asked.

"What?" Buffy gasped.

He got down on his right knee and took the box from his duster pocket. "Buffy Summers, will you marry me?"

She said nothing. Her mouth opened and closed without any word escaping them. He knew he heard her say that she wanted to marry him, but what if she was lying or she changed her mind? He tried to read her expression, trying to hide the panic that was rising inside.

"Oh my god, Spike!" She threw herself at him, almost knocking him to the ground. "Of course, I will."

Her lips met his passionately.

"You had me worried there, love," he admitted, when he pulled away.

She waved her finger in his face. "Go on then, put that ring on my finger."

He put the ring on her finger and she looked at it properly for the first time. He watched her carefully for ant signs that she didn't like it.

"If you don't like it, we can always change it," Spike offered with a nervous smile.

Buffy shook her head. "I love it. It's beautiful, simple and elegant."

He exhaled in relief. "I'm glad."

Spike grabbed her by the waist. Buffy threw her arms around him and she pulled him down to her for another passionate kiss.

A few months later, Buffy and Spike were invited to Los Vegas along with Willow, Dawn and Xander for a working holiday. Lorne had called Spike when he found out Angel was not available for an emergency call out.

"Come on Spike, help this demon out," Lorne had begged. "Make a holiday of it. I can get you a good deal with my contacts. Every vice is catered for in Los Vegas. You'll have a great time."

The demon was true to his word and he had gotten them a great deal on a couple of rooms. The slay-age passed by very quickly and the rest of the trip to Los Vegas was a whirlwind of drinking, gambling and dancing. Passing the Little White Chapel for the umpteenth time on the holiday, Buffy tugged on Spike's arm.

When he turned his blue eyed gaze on her she pointed at her ring. "Spike! I don't want to wait. I want to get married here in Vegas."

"Really?" His face lit up.

She nodded with enthusiasm. "Yes!"

He tried to prevent himself getting too excited at thought and pointed out, "But Buffy don't you want to have the big day with the frilly dress and the presents?"

Buffy shook her head. "No, I don't need that. I dreamed of it once when I was a young girl. I have you, Dawn, Willow and Xander. I just want my close friends here."

"Are you sure you won't regret having the big white wedding, love?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. I don't want to have some boring ceremony. We've never been boring, so why should we do what's expected?"

The excitement was soaring through him. Spike squeezed her hand, beaming all the while.

"How does Friday sound?" Spike asked her.

"Perfect," she replied.

"Bollocks," Spike muttered, remembering his best man back in San Fran.

"What's wrong?" Buffy asked.

"I just realised we forgot all about Bob," Spike said. "I hope he can make it at such short notice

Buffy waved a hand. "I wouldn't worry. We can always ask Willow to magick him here if all comes to all."

Spike didn't think his friend would be too pleased with that.

Buffy grinned from face to face. "Let's ring Robert and tell him to get here! Is there anyone else you would like to come? We can do the stupid party when we get back home."

Spike shrugged. That sounds perfect, love. As long as we have the best man and maids of honour, I reckon we're good to go."

"And Xander," added Buffy.

Spike didn't take the bait. "Well, he's part of the package when it comes to the Bit and you'd like him there."

Buffy rolled her eyes.

"I would invite Clem, but he's on the other side of the world," he continued.

Buffy sighed. "That's a pity."

"Let's go in and make sure we can get an appointment before we get ahead of ourselves," Spike suggested. "No point making plans if we can't get a spot."

Buffy took his hand and they walked into the White Chapel.

Buffy and Spike were grinning from ear to ear as they exited the chapel a few minutes later, their appointment secured for Friday.

Spike exhaled nosily. "We're actually going to get married next Friday." He couldn't believe it.

"Yeah," Buffy said, and he could hear the joy in her voice. "Let's go tell the others."

Spike and Buffy found Dawn and Xander in the hotel bar.

Buffy whispered as they approached the couple, "Can I tell them?"

"Go right ahead, love."

Buffy and Spike walked over to where Xander and Dawn were standing at a table.

Taking Spike by the hand, she announced, "We're going to get married here on Friday."

Dawn whooped and threw herself at them. "Oh you guys."

When the Bit pulled away, Xander hugged Buffy, and then clapped Spike on the back.

"I hope you realise just how lucky you are," he said.

"I'm well aware of that fact, Harris. I could say the same for you."

Xander shook his head. "How did we end up with such hotties?"

"It's a mystery, mate," Spike said.

Xander frowned. "Hey you just called me mate."

"Did not," Spike protested.

"You did too. But for sake of our manhood, we'll pretend it never happened. It was the euphoria talking."

Spike was saved from the awkward conversation, when Willow and Lorne walked in and Spike just smirked at them.

"Spike and Buffy are getting married on Friday here in Vegas," Dawn announced.

Spike could see Buffy was a little put out at Dawn beating her to the punch. He felt nothing could bring him down. He excused himself and went out to phone Dowling to see if he could make it.

He dialled Dowling's number and waited for a response.

"Hi, Spike," Dowling said. "Having a nice vacation?"

"Yeah- the bloody best," Spike said. "Listen uh - Buffy and I decided we don't want to leave Vegas without tying the knot."

"I can't say I'm surprised." Dowling said.

Spike frowned. "What do you mean?"

"You and Buffy aren't exactly conventional," Dowling replied.

Spike smiled. "I know it's short notice, but I want my best man there. I'll pay for the flights or we can get you here through magical means, but we would understand if you're too busy."

"Chill, Spike," Dowling laughed. "I'll do my best and give you a call later on and let you know."

The prospective bridegroom went back to bar, where he found Lorne had ordered several bottles of champagne and told the whole bar about the upcoming nuptials. Spike found himself waylaid by well-wishers before he finally got back to Buffy.

"Bob will do his best," he whispered in Buffy's ear. "He'll let us know later."

"Great." She kissed his cheek. "I'm glad."

"Say we skip this party," Spike suggested, his eyes gleaming. "Want to go and have our own celebration?"

"Let's go," she giggled.

The two of them walked through the bar as surreptitiously as they could and once out of the room ran hand in hand to their hotel room.