"Eee… yeah, I'm eating," Spike admitted. "And by the way, my heart's beating, too."
Buffy moved forward and put her finger to his neck.
"You have a pulse…" she whispered, stunned. "Am I dreaming?"
"No, Angel hadn't finished his big mission because he died saving your lover…"
"It had nothing to do with me!" Xander denied. "Now you're blaming me?"
"If it hadn't been Xander it would've been Dawn," Buffy admitted. "Angel would've died anyway."
"Never mind." Spike waved his hand. "Anyway, I felt weird and my heart started beating and… I was soooo hungry! I ran away. You never really wanted me anyway, so I decided to leave you alone… everything's ok then, yeah?"
Buffy fell into the nearest chair.
"Ok. I'm a little overwhelmed." She inhaled deeply.
"Are you alright?" Xander asked and sat on the support of her chair.
"Yes, yes, I am, it's just… Spike? Why are you here now?"
"I had enough fun in Europe and besides, I wanted to get back here and since I'm human again, I'll have to exercise to keep fit... yeah, recess is over for me."
"Still unsatisfied. Angel would've given up everything to be where you are now, Spike," Buffy said angrily. "So hang on to it."
"I've bumped into somebody in Europe… actually, I didn't think we could…"
"FAITH?" Xander needed reassurance. "And maybe you want to say that something happened between you two?"
"God…" Buffy moaned. "I'm about to throw up… Spike, fell like home." The whole sentence sounded so ridiculous and funny that they all burst out laughing, all except Xander.
"Feel like home?" he yelled. "Buffy! He wasn't there when you needed him! You could avoid the whole dying thing!"
"Hah?" Spike got pale.
It was so strange for Buffy to see him actually pale when his face was normal again. He had a pulse, a warm body…
"Buffy died. At least we thought so," Willow explained. "We've suffered so much..."
"And why Faith didn't tell me that?"
"Hmm… we kind of… parted."
"What have you done to make her angry?"
"Actually, it's what she's done. One morning I wake up and she's not there!"
"YOU WOKE UP? Ok, please, spare me the details. Gosh, Spike what is it with you and slayers?"
"I can't kill them anymore, right?" he asked and reached for the food. "Ok, that was a lame joke. People, why are you so stiff?"
"It's not that."
"Great! Why can't we just announce our engagement and receive some congratulations and…" Xander started.
"Congratulations," Spike said while chewing his food.
"It's really great that you two are going to be married!" Willow was still enthusiastic.
"Oh, yes!" Giles finally spoke. "When is the wedding?"
"We haven't set a date yet," Buffy said and suddenly she started wondering if… no, impossible, she wouldn't end up like Anya.
"I'll bring some wine," Dawn offered.
"God, Buff! I won't get drunk, beside… Spike will probably drink most of it anyway!"
When Buffy and Xander got to bed they were both trying to fall asleep, but none of them succeeded. They were thinking intensively…
The situation got worse the next day.
"Willow, do you have a moment?" Buffy asked. "I have to talk to you."
"Sure," Willow seemed so strange those days.
"I have my concerns," Buffy confessed while playing with her fingers.
"Xander?" Willow guessed. "Buffy, he loves you. He practically loved you his whole life. Yes, he loved Anya, but who says that there is only one person destined to be with us? You loved Angel in the past, right?"
"It's not about Anya… I mean, it is, but not this, it's about the wedding. He left her, Willow. I wouldn't survive if he left me, too."
"He won't. It's been so long since that time. Don't worry, he's mature now and he really wants to marry you. Besides, he proposed to Anya during the apocalypse what probably was his motivation… I'm sure that it was it and later on he had doubts. With you is completely different… he just proposed because he really wanted to."
"Not necessarily… He told me that when he lost his sight he imagined me in a white wedding dress and he realized that he wanted to propose."
"It's not the same!" Willow repeated, still sure of it.
But Buffy wasn't.
Xander was acting strange, too.
"Xander…" She finally dared to start that conversation two days later.
"What d'you mean?"
"Do you have doubts? We're both acting a little strange, don't you think?"
"Maybe," he started, "but it's not what you think it is."
"Buffy, what's happening? Tell me. You know you can."
"I can't… it can… hurt you…" she hesitated.
"It's better than keeping it from me."
"I've been thinking… I remembered… how you left Anya in the wedding day. I wouldn't bear if it happened to me."
"Honey!" He almost laughed.
"It's not funny!"
"I was thinking it was about… Spike."
"SPIKE?" She opened her eyes widely in surprise.
"If he's human now… I thought you…" Xander's voice trailed off.
Buffy started laughing.
'Hey! You used to want him! You used to prefer every single vampire over me!" Xander said.
"I didn't think about you in that way back then and besides, you were taken! Spike was the only person who understood me and I didn't want to hurt you and Willow by telling you the truth that you pulled me out of Heaven!"
"Ok, so Spike means nothing to you?"
"No. Of course he means something, I care about him the same way I care about Willow or Giles!"
"And don't ever think that he could be better than you!" She touched Xander's face.
"And don't you ever think that I could leave you like I left Anya. I don't have any doubts with you and I had them with her from the very beginning. I'll be honest with you, it's all because of my parents! My father loved my mother in the beginning and then they just turned each other's lives into hell. I didn't want Anya to suffer like that because of me and… face it, a relationship between a human and a demon? It's like you and a vampire. It would've never worked out. And if there would be kids? What would happened? I'm still feel insecure because of my parents, I admit that, but now I'm willing to take that risk. With you."
"Xander, you are not and you will never be like your father. You are hundred times better than he is and you won't make the same mistake he did, I believe in you. Your family…" There was a break when Buffy hesitated. She wanted to tell him what was on her mind but didn't want to hurt his feelings.
"I know..." Xander's parents left as soon as the apocalypse had started and he didn't have any contact with them now. They weren't even interested in their only son. "They don't have to be on our wedding," he added.
"They're your parents after all…"
"But I don't want them there. I want there only you and our friends, because this is my family."
Buffy smiled and she was just about to say something when she heard a strange noise coming from downstairs.
They both ran down the stairs and almost bumped into Dawn who was just doing the same.
Faith was standing in the entrance to the library and Spike was just coming out of the kitchen (with Buffy's cookies, what made her angry).
"Faith…" Buffy was surprised. "Hey."
"Hey, B." She waved to her. "You know, damn… I came here to talk to Spikey and visit you and what I'm seeing? Your so-called lesbian is just making out with your old watcher!"