Disclaimer: If they were mine I wouldn't be writing fan fiction.

Story Summary: The final apocalypse has come and gone and the survivors have to move on, where better to start that at a Christmas party. For this story's sake the Shanshu meant both Angel and Spike. If it can be vague on the difference in life and death it can be vague on singular or plural of vampire. Anyone not listed is probably dead except Giles.


Christmas lights sparkled from a tree decorated to the point it looked like it was going to fall over. The survivors gathered around it talking quietly about the mundane each wrapped up in the thought that they had survived another end of the world scenario in tact. Someone suggested opening the presents. Dawn and Andrew fought over who was going to pass them out. They cleared out under the tree passing out the presents. When each person had a small pile surrounding them they ripped into them. Leaving shreds of wrapping paper and ribbon on the floor, couch, and coffee table..

"Was that all of them?" Xander asked when they were finished.

"Just one more." Willow whispered.

The effect was instantaneous. Everyone stopped talking. Wrapping paper stopped rustling, and everyone who had been in on arranging the Christmas party turned to face Angel and Buffy. They were sitting together on the couch next to a completely unnecessary fire.

Angel glanced around making sure everyone was paying attention. Then he said just loud enough for everyone to hear, "I don't normally do Christmas. This last Apocalypse I thought was going to be the actual last one. We got through it. I don't know what's coming next but I know whatever it is we'll beat it as long as we're together." He paused looking for some sign she was following "Basically, what I'm saying is," He knelt in front of her. Pulling a box out of his coat pocket, "Will you marry me?"

He opened the box and took out the ring. Part of him was scared that seeing it would make her change her mind. She touched it with a trembling hand reverently. "You got another one?"

"It's the same ring, I found it when I was packing up the mansion, thought I'd save it. In case this day ever came."

"Yes." She squeaked. "God yes." Tears already rolling down her cheek as he slipped the ring onto her still shaking hand. As soon as it was secured back on her finger she through her arms around his neck. She met Spikes eyes over Angel's shoulder. He lifted his glass in a mock toast, threw back the contents then wondered out of the room.

Illyria followed him out the house onto the balcony. "You are upset."

He stared up at the sky taking another shot of his bourbon. "We always knew who she'd choose. Doesn't make it hurt any less."

The door opened behind them, He turned to see Angel alone. "Illyria, do you mind giving us a couple minutes."

"Your trivial affairs mean nothing to me." She walked away though.

"Hasn't lost any of her charm." He watched her go. "I guess congratulations are in order then. Guess you won."

"Not quite." Angel let go of Buffy's hand. "I've never minded sharing with you, why would that change now?"

"Never been married to the bird before." He said feeling like he was standing on the edge of a cliff he couldn't see.

"Spike." Angel shook his head closing the distance between them and pulling him into the shadows beside the door. "I have something for you." He reached into the other pocket and pulled out a second box. "I know you've seen this, and know what it means." He handed him the box. Left hand pointed away from you means you're engaged."

"I haven't said yes yet." He pouted. "Bloody rude of you to assume that I'm going to."

"Would you rather we did it inside, down on one knee? I can do that." Angel took his hand, "Come on. We'll do it the right way." He led him into the house and into the middle of the room. He tossed the box to Buffy. "Plan B, Buff."

"Right." She opened the box and they both went to their knees in front of him side by side holding hands. "Please, Spike." She started.

"Say you'll be ours." He said.

"Forever." She finished.

"Yeah alright since you made it such a bleeding' fuss over it." The ring was slid onto his finger by some less than graceful teamwork.

Willow was crying quietly smiling at her best friend.

"Will? What's wrong?" Xander asked softly pulling her into a hug.

"I wish Tara could have been here to see this." She hiccuped into his shirt.

He rested his cheek on the top of her head holding her close while they cried for their lost loves. In a matter of minutes the room dissolved into crying, some happy, some sad. Everyone shed tears for the ones lost while holding on to the hope that for once the fight to save the world was actually over and they had won.