September 2005

I don't own the characters.This takes place in September 2005. I wrote this before "To Shanshu In LA", so the whole Angel-turns-human thing didn't come from that. Send feedback to queenclaire@chickmail.com or cordymuffin@chickmail.com

"I can't believe she's getting married!" Joyce Summers exclaimed.

Rupert Giles smiled. "I know." It just didn't seem possible that his slayer had not only lived into her twenties but had graduated college and was now about to get married.

He knew that this was the happiest day of her life.

From where Joyce and Giles waited in the kitchen, they could hear her coming down the stairs. Both stood up and went to her.

Buffy looked beautiful. Her simple white dress was perfect. Her hair was pulled back from her face. She seemed to be glowing with happiness.

Joyce hugged her emotionally.

Her bridesmaids were already dressed and followed her down the stairs. Willow and Anya were in deep pink dresses and looked great.

They headed for the church. Buffy smiled at the irony - up until a year ago she couldn't have even thought of this, it would have been impossible.

He was there already. Looking gorgeous, as always, Buffy thought with a huge grin on her face.

"Angel," she greeted him.

He smiled at her. "This is pretty weird, huh?" he gestured at the church.

"Still not used to being mortal, huh?" she smiled. The Powers That Be had granted him mortality ten months ago. He had come back to Sunnydale to see her and they'd resumed their relationship.

"It takes some getting used to," he admitted.

"This is the happiest day of my life," she sighed happily. "How about you?"

"Before, I would have paid dearly for saying I was happy - now I don't need to worry. And it's a good thing too, because every day I spend with you is the happiest of my life."

***

When the wedding was over, their close friends came back to the house that Buffy and Angel had just bought. Xander, Willow, Tara, Anya, Giles and Joyce went, along with Cordelia and Wesley, who had come from LA to attend the wedding.

"Is everything OK?" Angel whispered as they poured out drinks for their guests in the kitchen.

"Fine, why wouldn't it be?" Buffy smiled.

"At the wedding, you were looking for someone. Were you expecting someone else?"

"No...I guess I was just looking around to see who exactly was there. I couldn't remember exactly who we had invited."

"Was it your dad?"

Buffy shook her head. "I'm OK with him not being there, really! When he called me this morning to say that Helen, my dear stepmother who is, let's not forget, about three years older than me, was in labour, I knew he wouldn't be able to make it. It's fine, really." She sighed. "I invited Faith. She didn't reply. I was hoping she'd come."

Angel was surprised. "I thought you still hated her."

"You know I never could...not really. I couldn't hate her...I was angry at her, sure, but I never hated her. And a few weeks ago I got this letter, just with her new address, and a little note saying she was out of jail and that if I wanted to contact her, I could..."

"She's changed a lot," Angel said. "She's pretty guilty about all the stuff she did in the past."

"Have you been to see her?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, I visited her every once in a while when I was in LA," he told her.

The doorbell rang. "I'd better go get that," Buffy said, hurrying to the door. She hoped it was Faith. She wanted to clear things up between them. And after all, they were the slayers, they could help each other out.

"Oz!" Buffy exclaimed.

"Congrats, Buffy," he said. He handed her a present. "I heard about the wedding...I would stay for a while but I've a feeling Willow's in there..."

Buffy nodded. "Thanks for calling around," she said warmly.

They hugged, and then Oz left.

***

Later on, Joyce and Giles left. The others talked into the early hours of the night.

"So, Wesley, what do you say we get married?" Cordelia suggested. "I mean, we talk, we argue, we don't have sex...we're just like an old married couple already. I mean, it's just a thought."

"Wow, you can think now?" Xander muttered.

"Do you want me to set Wesley on you?" Cordy threatened.

"You don't have sex? How do you survive?" Anya wanted to know.

"I don't have sex with Wesley," Cordy corrected. "There are other men in my life."

At the sceptical looks from the others, she sighed. "OK, so the other men include Angel, who is now happily married, and all the weird freaky demons that you run into in this line of work. So sue me!"

"Poor Cor. Do you want me to provide the necessary services that you seem to be missing out on?" Xander offered.

"I'm not THAT desperate," she retorted.

"So, Willow, Tara, how's the wicca stuff going?" Cordy veered the conversation away from her lack of a sex life.

"Cool," Willow replied.

"Yeah, pretty soon we can turn you all into monkeys," Tara added, sounding serious.

Cordelia wasn't sure whether Tara was kidding or not. It was probably better not to pursue it.

"Cordelia, maybe we should," Wesley said suddenly.

"Huh? Get married?" Cordy said.

"No, the other one."

"You can say 'have sex', Wes, we're all adults here."

"Fine. Cordelia Chase, would you care to have sex with me?" Wesley stood up, but then swayed, and had to sit down again.

"Figures," Cordy said. "Men only ask me to sleep with them when they're drunk."

"Men are pathetic creatures. They need alcohol to shield them from embarrassment if they fail to perform adequately," Anya gave her opinion.

"I am so glad I'm not Xander right now," Angel said.

Buffy smiled. She hadn't said much for the last few hours. It was partly because she was tired, and also because the later it got, the less likely it seemed that Faith was going to show.

"Anya, no man can be expected to be at a hundred percent ability all the time," Xander protested. This only made things worse. Tara and Willow looked at each other and grinned. Cordy laughed.

"I bet Angel is," Cordy grinned.

"I'm not gonna ask how you know that, Cordelia!" Buffy laughed.

Everyone started laughing at that.

"We're leaving out poor Wesley," Willow said wickedly.

"Hey, Wes, as a matter of fact, have you EVER had sex?" Xander asked.

Cordelia bit her lip. She knew that Wesley had been too involved in his work on the Council his whole life to ever have a serious relationship with someone. And since coming to LA, he hadn't been involved with anyone either.

She knew she had to rescue him. "Wesley's great in bed," she said.

Wesley shot her a grateful glance.

"I thought you weren't having sex," Anya said. "I'm confused."

"Well, we're not now," Cordy amended. "That's not to say that we haven't, ever."

"I knew I should never have left you two alone in the office," Angel sighed.

"I warned you," Cordelia shrugged.

"Can we get off the sex conversation please?" Buffy asked.

"I'm personally in favour of that," Willow said.

For both girls, it reminded them of their first time - which brought back painful memories. After Buffy had slept with Angel the first time he had lost his soul, and Willow's first time had been with Oz, who had left her some time later. When he had returned, she had had to choose between him and Tara.

"Let's reminisce about the past," Xander suggested. "Cordelia, remember the janitor's closet?"

"How could I forget?" she said dryly. "Hey, remember when I got impaled? Gosh, how did that happen again? I must have been running away from something upsetting. I wonder what that could have been?" Her tone was more joking than bitchy.

"Think happy thoughts," Anya suggested. "Like back in the good old days when I was a vengeance demon."

"I am so glad those days are over," Xander said. "Have you heard of some of the stuff she used to do to people? Very painful."

"I love you guys," Buffy said suddenly. "All you guys. Really. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Awwww," Willow said.

"She's drunk," Cordelia stated. She looked at Wesley who was on yet another beer. "How come people only say nice stuff when they're drunk?"

"One of life's great mysteries," Tara declared.

"I can't believe I'm married," Buffy sighed. She grinned. "It just makes me so happy!"

"Xander, why haven't you asked me to marry you?" Anya demanded.

"Well, um..."

"Is it because you don't love me?"

"No. I mean, of course I love you."

"Good. Then why won't you ask me to marry you?"

"Um..."

"Is it because I criticise your sexual prowess in front of everyone?"

"Quite possibly, yes. Anya, I was waiting until you felt you were ready to take such a big step. I didn't think that you'd expect me to just land something like that on you so suddenly." Xander thought he'd got out of that one pretty well.

"Oh," Anya responded, and settled down to think.

"We should really get going," Willow said.

Buffy looked at the time. "God, yeah, it's nearly four a.m."

"See ya," she said to Willow and Tara as she and Angel saw them out.

Anya and Xander left soon after. Cordelia and Wesley were staying the night in Buffy and Angel's house.

"The spare bedroom is a total mess at the moment," Buffy admitted. "I could clear it up for you, or you could stay in the basement. It's probably the only fully furnished part of the house."

"That'd be great," Cordy said, yawning. "Thanks, Buffy."

While Buffy and Angel went upstairs, Cordelia and Wesley descended the steps into the basement.

"Wow! This place is fantastic!" Cordelia admired the interior decor.

"Yes, it's something else," Wesley agreed. He had sobered up somewhat now.

"Which bed do you want?" Cordelia asked, waving her hands at the two double beds.

"We could always share," he smiled wickedly. Then he stopped. "Sorry, that was inappropriate."

"Well, if you want to..." Cordelia said. "I mean, I did tell everyone you were great in bed...I might as well prove it."

***

"That was amazing," Wesley sighed.

Cordelia nodded. "Wow."

***

Upstairs, Buffy and Angel were talking.

"I was hoping Faith would come," Buffy admitted to Angel. "It's stupid, I know, but it would have been nice if she was here. Everyone I love was here today, well, nearly everyone. It would have been fitting."

"You'll see her sometime soon," Angel said. "She obviously wants to make things right with you, otherwise she wouldn't have written to you. Maybe today just wasn't the right day."

"How do you do that?" Buffy asked.

"What?"

"Make me feel so much better. And happy. And peaceful."

"It's a gift," he said.

She smiled. "I love you so much, you know that?"

"I love you too, Buffy."

"I know," she grinned.