A/N: This chapter is finally into the action.
Buffy woke up to Angel's arms around her. It was a wonderful feeling. He may be cold skinned, but he was hers.
"Good morning," Angel murmured in her ear when he noticed she was awake. "Ready for a day at the office?"
Buffy moaned and smiled up at him, wrapping her arms around his bare, muscular chest.
"We'll see," Buffy said.
Angel leaned down and kissed her forehead.
"Maybe you should take a shower then," he suggested.
"That does sound like a good idea, only I might need some company in there," Buffy grinned provocatively at Angel.
"Well I just so happen to be free right now," Angel smiled.
"Then let's go," she laughed.
They snuck into the bathroom next door. It was early in the morning, and everyone else was still asleep. After dinner last night, Angel had spent the night.
They let their towels drop in the bathroom and began to kiss like only Angel and Buffy could. They were so preoccupied they forgot to lock the door.
Just then, Xander woke up and began trudging over to the bathroom. He was too sleepy to care which bathroom of the three he should go into, and just opened up the first one he saw.
"AHHH!" Xander was now fully awake after the scene he had just witnessed.
"XANDER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Buffy shouted, embarrassed and angry.
She and Angel both grabbed their towels to cover themselves while a red faced Xander was covering his one good eye, trying to forget the scene he had walked in on.
"Oh my god," Buffy said, covering her face with her hands. "I can't believe that just happened."
"Maybe you should designate who uses what bathroom, so that there's no more confusion," Angel suggested.
"Yeah, no shit," Buffy sighed.
Just then, Willow and Kennedy followed by Dawn and Giles came running out into the hall.
"What the bloody hell is going on?" Giles demanded. "Why was there shouting at this ghastly hour?"
Then the four of them noticed what Buffy and Angel were wearing, and turned to see Xander's stricken face.
"Xander walked in on us, well, you know," Buffy looked down at the floor, keeping her towel in place.
"Oh," Giles said, turning away from Buffy so as to not look at her in her current clothing situation. "Perhaps it is time that the rest of us found our own homes."
"Yeah, that'd probably be best," Xander said with a grimace, while Willow, Kennedy and Dawn snickered behind him. "I'm going apartment shopping today."
"Well, I am going to close this bathroom door now, if you don't mind," Buffy said, still red in the face.
Xander found a one bedroom in a lower floor of the same building. He didn't want to be excluded from the Scoobies by being too far away, but he did need his space at the same time.
"Kennedy and I took the apartment next door," Willow told Buffy later that night. "We want to be a part of Dawn's life and everything, but I don't think living together works as well as it used to."
It was a two bedroom apartment, and Willow told Dawn that she was welcome to use the second bedroom as her second bedroom.
Buffy was glad that Willow and Dawn were close again after what had happened a year and a half ago.
Giles had found a place closer to his library. He told them all that they were welcome anytime.
Angel came over that night, and they both went off to patrol, leaving Dawn with Willow, not that she needed a babysitter.
"Buffy, do you ever think that maybe you are babying Dawn a little bit?" Angel asked her once they reached the cemetery nearby.
"I don't know, I guess it's just hard for me to watch her grow up already."
Then a vampire snuck up behind her, and she round house kicked him until he was cornered. She watched as he turned into dust.
"You seem better than before," Angel commented. "Not just that your fighting experience has improved, but that you yourself have gotten more powerful."
"I know what you mean," Buffy said as she staked another vamp mid-step. "I feel stronger and faster."
"When did this happen?"
"I think it happened in the Hellmouth last Spring."
"What do you mean?" Angel looked curious.
Buffy ran and staked a vampire 25 feet from her and then returned to walking with Angel.
"In the Hellmouth, I was wounded. Badly wounded. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it out of there. I had almost accepted the fact that I was going to die, when The First came to me, taunting me. I stood up and killed it. I was dying, and then I stood up like I felt no pain."
"I think the Powers That Be had something to do with this," Angel considered, as he helped Buffy tackle three vamps at once.
"You think so? I don't know much about them."
"They control everything pretty much."
"Huh. They sound like nice people."
"They're not that bad, but you do have to bring them a gift if you visit them."
"I want to visit them," Buffy stopped walking. "Let's go talk to them."
Angel looked at her and considered her expression of stubbornness.
"Okay, I will find a gift for us to take," he finally agreed.
"Back to your place?" Buffy asked.
A Chin Dynasty vase was the gift chosen by Angel. Hand in hand, they walked to the post office, and the secret entrance to the Powers That Be. Angel sprinkled some type of liquid on the goblet and then Buffy walked through the portal, feeling it shut behind her.
"What have you brought us?" a man and a woman, both having blue and gold skin, appeared on a step in the stone room.
"A vase from the Chin Dynasty," Buffy held it up in offering. It flew from her hands to the woman's. The pair smiled at Buffy.
"What is it that you seek, child?" the man asked.
"Information on my power," Buffy replied.
"Your power is great," responded the woman. "Recently it has changed and increased, has it not?"
"Yes, that's why I am here," Buffy replied. "I want to know why it did and what it means for me."
"My dear, do you not know?" the woman stared oddly at her.
"I don't think she does know," the man spoke to the woman. "You are immortal. You saved the world from thousands of apocalypses by changing how Slayers are called. Every time a slayer saves the world, it's because of you. We gave you the power of a god, because you tipped the balance between good and evil forever on the light side. For that, we made you immortal."
Buffy was dumbfounded.
"So I'll never age, never grow old, never have children?"
"Well you can have children, but the other parts are true."
"If that is all, we bid you farewell," the man ordered, simultaneously sending Buffy back through the portal.
Buffy flew and landed in Angel's arms. Angel looked at her, concerned.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Angel, I'm immortal," she looked at him, still trying to figure out the meaning of the word.
"What?" he asked, clearly shocked by her response. "They made you immortal?"
Buffy stood up and faced him, regaining her confidence.
"They said that I have the power of a god now," Buffy said, still trying to believe it herself.
"Wow," Angel responded. "That's big."
"Yeah," Buffy responded.
"We should go tell Giles," Angel decided. "He'd want to know."
"Do you we need to tell someone at the firm as well?" Buffy asked.
"I'm the CEO, Buffy. Who else would we tell?"
They walked back the way they came hand in hand. They were both deep in thought, wondering what it meant for them, now that Buffy was immortal.
"We need to pick up Dawn along the way," Buffy interrupted the silence. "I still need to talk to Giles about her memory."
"Okay, we can do that," Angel nodded.
Once they arrived at Giles's apartment, they could smell the Earl Grey tea wafting from inside the kitchen. Buffy smiled, thinking of how many times she had smelt that scent and felt at home. Giles offered them some, but Buffy and Dawn politely refused.
"So what brings you three here?" Giles asked, after sitting down on the couch across from them.
"Well, first, I think we should talk about the Dawn issue," Buffy decided.
"I am not an issue," Dawn glared at her sister.
"Sorry, poor choice of words," Buffy rolled her eyes. "Anyways, Dawn can't remember ever meeting Angel and Angel can't remember ever meeting Dawn. We have two theories: either the monks screwed up, or they actually never did meet. The thing is, it's as if a cloud is covering that part of my memory, as if there is a mistake but we aren't quite catching it."
"I see," Giles considered for a moment. "Dawn, before Glory came to town, do you remember ever actually meeting Spike?"
Buffy and Angel looked at each other confused.
"Now that you mention it, no," Dawn said with a thoughtful expression on her face.
"That doesn't make any sense, because he was at our house when I was still in high school, so was Angel."
"I think it might be a vampire thing," Giles said as he sipped his tea. "Buffy, do you remember when that demon gave you the power to read minds, and you couldn't read Angel's?"
"I think the monks used a similar kind of spell, more of a reflective memory charm," Giles explained. "They hardly expected there to be so many vampires close to a slayer, so they never planned for that possibility."
"So there's nothing wrong with Dawn's memory?" Buffy confirmed.
"No, nothing wrong, the monks were very thorough aside from vampires," Giles laughed.
"Okay, for this next part, I am going to ask you to leave the room, Dawn," Buffy looked at her pointedly.
"You're joking right?" Dawn looked at her with one eyebrow raised. "There is no way in hell I am leaving."
"Dawnie, it has nothing to do with you," Buffy told her. "It has to do with me and Angel and Giles are going to be the only ones who know. I can't tell Willow, Xander or you yet. It's not the right time."
"You're serious?" Dawn squinted at her. "You will eventually tell me?"
"Yes, I just have to know what it means first," Buffy assured her.
"I don't want to, but I will be waiting outside the door," Dawn said.
Once the door was closed behind her, Buffy turned to Giles.
"Ever since that day in Sunnydale, I have felt this new strength inside of me. I didn't know what it was, so I told Angel about it tonight. He thought it might have something to do with the Powers That Be, so we visited the Oracles."
"What did they say?" Giles asked encouragingly.
"They made me immortal."
"Because of what you did with the slayers?"
"Yes, but I mean it wasn't me, it was Willow," Buffy explained her frustration.
"Yes, Willow performed the spell, but you told her to," Giles explained. "You orchestrated the entire plan. You made the choice to become one of many instead of one of two."
"Do you think Faith is the same way?" Buffy asked.
"They only give this kind of power to one person, Buffy," Giles told her. "They would have seen you as the most worthy, not Faith."
"Because you were willing to die, so long as you killed as many of that army as you could. Faith always saw it as a suicide mission. She was doing it more for herself though, not to save the world."
"Okay, well then, I guess I'm immortal."
"Buffy?" Angel spoke up.
"I think it'd probably be okay to invite Dawn in and explain this to her. She already half of it through the keyhole."
Buffy told Dawn, but couldn't tell Xander and Willow yet. They didn't need to know. Death had always been their enemy. They had all three lost important people to that enemy. Now Buffy had the power to stop death, and it didn't seem fair to her.
It was 2:00 in the morning by the time they returned back to the apartment. Buffy and Angel went to their bedroom, and Dawn to hers. Angel just held Buffy in his arms as he watched her sleep.
Buffy woke up around 5:00, never one for much sleep. She smiled at Angel and then sighed.
"Angel, I think we need to have the relationship talk," Buffy said, not looking at him.
"Yeah, we probably do," Angel agreed.
"Also, I don't think I should really work for you or with you, because we didn't get anything done yesterday at your office."
"Well, we did do some things…"
"I mean productive work type things," she said.
"Well, yeah we didn't do any of that."
"Where do you see this going?"
"Buffy you are the only woman whom I have ever loved in all my 247 years. I want to spend the rest of forever with you."
"I love you too."
"Buffy, are you going to want children? Because that is the one of the biggest things I can never give you."
"Angel, I can barely take care of my little sister. I don't want to be a mother. I can't raise children. I am horrible at it."
"To be fair, you took care of Dawn during the hardest years of childhood."
"So we both are good with not having children and just spending forever together."
"So I'd say the talk went well, and we are good to go," Buffy nodded.
Then they kissed hard and the rest of the morning went as it does when you are in love.
"I told the office I am taking the weekend off," Angel told Buffy in between breaths.
"Good, I wasn't going to let you leave the bed today anyways," Buffy smiled at him.
Meanwhile, Dawn was disgusted with the noises coming from Buffy's bedroom. She may be almost 18, but that didn't mean she wasn't grossed out by all the moaning. Did they ever take a break for god's sake? I mean really, they had to get tired at some point. Then Dawn remembered that they were both immortal now. She guessed that meant they didn't exhaust very easily. Finishing her cereal, she sighed and ran downstairs to Xander's apartment.
"Hey, Xander," Dawn greeted him. "I am ready for work."
"Alright, let me just grab my coat," he said.
She walked into the apartment and took a look around. It was different from his last one. Anya's things had been thrown all over the walls and couches. Now it looked almost bare. All Xander had was a picture from Willow's birthday last year. Anya, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Dawn and Spike were all smiling at the camera from the frame. It was odd, seeing Anya and Spike up there. She missed them both. Anya had always made every moment more awkward but less secretive with her brutal honesty. She was funny too. Dawn always had a good time with her. She would give anything to hear Spike call her "Little Bit" right now too. He had been like a friend to her, even though he hurt Buffy.
"You ready?" Xander approached her from behind.
Dawn brushed away a tear from her cheek and walked past Xander towards the door.
"Yupp, let's go."
Xander sighed, taking a look at the picture Dawn had been staring at and knew exactly why she was crying.
He missed her so much it hurt. It filled him with this echoing pain in his abdomen that he could never stop or quell. It just hurt day in and day out. He had gotten to the point of just living every day with it, pushing past it. Over the summer, it had gotten a little better, but it was still so painful.
"Anya, I miss you ," he whispered to the picture before heading out the door after Dawn.