Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Chapter Title:


Baby, I Love You


Time line:

July, 2004



Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle, "Dani" and William, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004

Annie turned five on February 14th.

Spike and Buffy have been married five years in February. (seems longer, doesn't it?)

Buffy turned 23 on January 19th.


All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.



The gang’s all home … now time to see if those tickets to Disneyland will work …


Notes: Heartfelt thanks to my "ET" and wonderful Beta, PaganBaby, for her wonderful suggestions, much needed corrections and always appreciated encouragement!! 


Thanks and {{hugs}} to strikske for the manipulated picture of Spike!!  You'll know it when you see it!  :D


Music Referenced:

"Baby, I Love You" by The Ramones


This story involves jumping dimensions to the Universe where Angel and his team work for W&H - where Buffy visited before and sent Spike to Rome to be with the Buffy in that dimension. In lieu of calling it the "EvilJoss!" Universe, which is what I normally call it in my own mind, I'm calling it the "Rome!" Universe. 

Where characters cross over (where the same character from both universes are in the story), I will differentiate the ones from the Rome Universe by calling them Rome!Spike or Rome!Buffy, for example.  If, however, only one of the characters is present, then I won't make that distinction.



Rating / Warnings:

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.


Saturday, July 3rd 2004


Faith and the Slayers she’d brought with her stayed one night in Sunnydale before heading back to their homes.  Buffy thanked her friend profusely and told her to be sure to come back soon for a real visit – maybe one that didn’t include an apocalypse or breaking and entering.


Although being back in their own homes and beds was wonderful, the gang agreed that getting away to Disneyland would be a fantastic way to put the whole Rome!dimension/Angel Apocalypse behind them, so they all headed out on Saturday morning for the land of Mickey and Minnie.


The clerk at the resorts finest hotel was perplexed, to say the least.  Their computer didn’t show any reservations for them and couldn’t find the credit card transaction, even though there was a receipt.  Buffy started to pull out one of her credit cards so the clerk could run it ‘again’, when Spike suggested she just re-run the card number that was on the receipt.


“Angel Investigations?” the clerk asked him.


“Yeah, that’s me … Angel in the flesh,” Spike told her with a smirk.


“Ok – you’re all set, Mr. Angel,” the clerk told Spike after running the charges again. “I’m really sorry about the mix-up.”


“’S ok – no worries,” Spike told her. “And, it’s just ‘Angel’ … kinda like Madonna … only sexier,” Spike said, curling his tongue over his teeth and grinning devilishly at her.


The clerk laughed and blushed and Buffy rolled her eyes. “Let’s go, Angel … before someone spontaneously combusts…like you.”




During the summer, the park was open late into the night. There were big fireworks displays every night and concerts from rock legends, including Pat Benatar, REO Speedwagon, and Styx, plus ‘tribute bands’ including tributes to the Eagles, Chicago, and U2.  Anya was particularly happy for the last one and immediately recruited everyone to commit to attend that concert.  She wished it was the real thing, but she’d take what she could get.




The gang ebbed and flowed … coming together sometimes and going their separate ways on others. They all tried to meet up at breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant to make plans for the day’s adventures, including making side trips to movie studios, water parks, and beaches in the area or taking advantage of the Spa in the hotel.


Annie was particularly smitten with the Disney Princess Fantasy Faire (“Where ‘happily ever after’ happens every day”). There she got to meet Cinderella and Snow White, along with more current princesses, and attend gala balls as well as defeat evil sorcerers.


Since that attraction wasn’t open at night, Buffy had to take Annie there during the daytime … everyday of their visit, while Spike stayed in the room and watched the babies.  The first day, Annie came back to the hotel with a princess dress, a tiara, and a magic wand that Buffy had bought her (after much begging, whining, pouting, and promises to clean her room without complaint for the rest of her life). Annie didn’t want to take any of it off and went to bed still wearing the dress and clutching the tiara and magic wand.


Spike looked in on her as she slept and smiled at his princess. He wondered how he’d ever gotten so lucky as to deserve not only her, but Buffy, Dani and Billy.  He worried still that Buffy would’ve rather that he had Shansued, despite her contention that he was perfect as he was.  If that had happened, he could’ve been going with them to the Princess Fantasy Faire every day.  On second thought … it was probably just as well, after all.


On the fourth day, Annie came back to the hotel with a pair of princess Mickey Ears on her head… her tiara perched haphazardly on her head with them.


She ran up to Spike, holding something behind her back, a huge grin on her face.


“We got ya something!” Annie announced.  “Bet you can’t guess what!”


Spike sat forward on the couch where he’d been relaxing and watching TV. “Hmmm … is it bigger than a breadbox?” he asked his daughter.


Annie frowned…her face twisted in concentration as she thought hard. “I don’t know what a breadbox is …” she finally admitted, looking at him with questioning eyes.


Spike laughed. “Of course you don’t, Niblett … Ok, is it something from Disneyland?”




“Is it something your mum bought or did you find it on the street?”


Annie clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes. “Bought,” she informed him.


“Ahhh … ok, so not used chewing gum… hmmm, is it a tiara?” Spike asked her with a grin.


“No,” Annie giggled.


“Darn … I really wanted one of those!  Hmmm… did your mum have apoplectic fits when she saw the price?”


“No,” Annie told him, getting antsy and starting to jump up and down in front of him, keeping his surprise hidden behind her back.


“Shoot … Not that tricked out Dodge Charger they had on Main Street…” Spike surmised.


“I don’ know, Niblett … ya got me!” Spike told her with an amused grin.


Annie pulled a pair of Mickey ears from behind her back and plopped them down on her father’s head. “We match!!” she announced with a giggle as she turned back to look at Buffy, as Buffy had instructed her to do. 


Buffy snapped a picture on her iPhone of the two of them with their Mickey ears on. The happy grin on Annie’s face in sharp contrast to the annoyed look on Spike’s when he realized that not only was he wearing Mickey ears like a ponce, but Buffy had a picture of it.


“Arrgghh … you bloody women!” Spike growled, snatching Annie up off the floor as he stood up and headed for Buffy to get her phone away from her … but Buffy was too fast – she’d been fully prepared and had already emailed the picture to everyone before he even got to her.


Annie squealed and shrieked in laughter, holding her ears and tiara on her head with one hand, as Spike carried her with one arm wrapped around her middle, holding her back against the side of his hip and headed across the room to Buffy, who was doubled over in laughter.  Spike grabbed the phone from her hand and started to delete the picture when he realized that she’d already emailed it to the rest of the gang.


“You bloody well didn’t! You cheeky wench!” Spike exclaimed as she continued to laugh uncontrollably.




“But … but …you’re sooo cute!!” Buffy told him between bursts of laughter.  “And I got one too!” she said, pulling out a set of Minnie ears and putting them on her own head.


“Perfect! We’re a bloody family of rats now!” Spike growled in mock anger, setting Annie back down.  He had to admit that Buffy did make a cute little rat in those ears…


“You can’t take ‘em off!!” Annie informed him as Spike started pulling the ears off his head. “It’s bad luck!”


Spike looked at her with wide eyes. “EVER!?” he asked, stopping his hand from its quest to remove the offending ears from his head.


Annie giggled. “Not until Mama says we can …” Annie told him. “She’s the head cheese!”


“Big cheese,” Buffy corrected with a laugh.  “I bought them, so I get to say when we can take them off … and I’m thinking not for a while.  I think you’ll be adorable in them at the party tonight.”


“Bloody hell,” Spike moaned.  He had almost forgotten that tonight was the kid’s party at the castle. 


“Yay!! It’ll be fun!” Annie exclaimed, jumping up and down and holding her ears and tiara on her head. 


“Bad word …” she stopped suddenly and informed him, holding her hand out for his penance.


“I’m allowed to say bad words whilst wearing mouse ears,” Spike insisted and slapped her hand lightly with his – foregoing his normal payment to her ‘bad word’ trust fund.




Spike was a big hit at the kid’s party with his mouse ears.  He was the only father there with them on and, despite feeling like a ponce, all the kids there seemed to love it.  Of course, Xander and Giles couldn’t help but get in some good natured ribbing, but Spike took it all in stride … only threatening to kill them three or four times during the evening.


Annie was so excited getting to meet all the Disney characters at the party, she especially liked that all the princesses from her favorite attraction came too.  They all knew her by name now and she got to introduce them to her father – the cool guy with the mouse ears on. 


When the party was over, the overnight guests were shown to their rooms in the castle while the other party guests headed back to the hotel.  Lorne had graciously agreed to watch the twins for them tonight so they could lavish Annie with their undivided attention.


Spike lifted Annie up onto his shoulders and carried her piggyback as he and Buffy followed the ‘cast member’, who was dressed like a Victorian livery hand, up a the long staircase to their room.


Their overnight bags had been brought up when they arrived at the party and everything was ready for them in the Cinderella suite.  Two bedrooms, divided by a shared bathroom, were decorated in pastels with flowing curtains on the windows and canopy beds, deep, plush carpet on the floor and small, soft, twinkling lights edging the ceiling.  Everything a princess could want or need in a room. 


The windows looked out over Main Street and further over the lagoon where the fireworks display was set to begin shortly.  Spike, Buffy, and Annie went out on the balcony and sat down on the posh couch there to await the start of the night’s fireworks display.


Spike held Annie in his lap and Buffy leaned against his side, tucking her feet up and under her, as they watched the bright lights of the fireworks explode over the water in the distance.  Annie would exclaim soft “ooos and ahhs” when a particularly beautiful or large one would appear, and clap her hands when any had her favorite colors of pink and purple in them.


Spike’s and Buffy’s eyes met many times as they watched the fireworks and Annie.  The memory of Angel’s apocalypse wasn’t that far from their minds. How close they’d both come to losing this … to never making it back to their children, back to each other, made sitting here with Annie as she ooo’d and aaaah’d the fireworks that much more meaningful.




A while later, Spike and Buffy sat on each side of Annie’s princess bed and tucked her in for the night, her tiara and princess mouse ears back on her head after her bath.


“What story do you want t’night, Niblett?” Spike asked her.


“Tell me about my name,” Annie said, looking at her father expectantly.


“Ahh, well – a fine name you have, Anne Joyce,” Spike began. “Named after two beautiful women … and you’re just as lovely; two kind women, and you’re just as caring … two strong women, and you’re just as remarkable.”


“And they’re watching over us …” Annie prodded.


“Indeed they are, Niblett … their love guides us always back to each other – no matter how dark, they’ll always be there to light a candle.”


“You scared me when you told me about my name before…” Annie admitted.  “You wouldn’t promise to come back…”


Tears threatened Spike’s eyes as he looked into the sad eyes of his daughter. “I promise now – I’ll never leave ya’, sweet girl.”


“What about Mama?” Annie asked, looking between Spike and Buffy.  “You won’t leave her, either, right?”


Spike smiled and looked at Buffy. “Well, depends on how long she makes me wear these bloody ears …”


Looking back at Annie his tone and eyes turned serious. “No … you’re all stuck with me - forever.”


Annie smiled. “Good!”


“Ok, sleep now, Princess Anne … tomorrow’s another big day ‘round the kingdom,” Spike told her, dropping a kiss on her forehead before standing up.


Annie sat up and whispered something to Buffy. Buffy looked at Spike and smiled before nodding solemnly to Annie. “Good night, sweet girl,” Buffy told her, giving her a kiss and tucking her covers back around her.




“What did she tell ya?” Spike asked with a smirk when they got back into their own room and shut the adjoining door.


“What, you’ve suddenly gone ‘Helen Keller’ on me?” Buffy questioned with a sly grin.


“Try not to eavesdrop on private conversations …” Spike said with a shrug.


Buffy took Spike in a hug and dropped a soft kiss on his lips. “She said …” Buffy started with a smile, moving her hand up to his head, “that I should let you take the ears off …”


Buffy pulled the mouse ears off him and tossed them in a chair near the bed.


“Did she now?” Spike smirked, his eyes dancing with amusement.


“As if you didn’t know!” Buffy accused, rolling her eyes.


“Well, I’d like you to keep yours on … you’re quite fetching in them … ‘course the rest of the outfit can go …”


Buffy laughed and pressed her body against his as he captured her lips in a hungry kiss and wrapped his arms around her.




The next morning, Buffy, Spike, and Annie met the rest of the gang at the hotel for breakfast, as usual.  Annie gushed to everyone over the castle and the fireworks and all the fun she’d had the previous day.


Suddenly Annie turned serious and leaned in near to Tara, who was sitting beside her, and whispered in a not too quiet voice, “Do Mama and Papa seem okay to you?”


Everyone at the table looked up from their food and looked at Buffy and Spike … who both seemed fine.


Tara looked, as well, and looked back at Annie. “Yes, they seem fine, honey … why?”


Now everyone had stopped and was listening to Annie.  With their luck, Spike’s and Buffy’s bodies had been taken over by Cruella de Vil or one of the wicked stepmothers that Disney was so famous for.  Spike and Buffy also stopped what they were doing and looked across the table at her.



“Well, last night … Papa was going ‘UH-UH’ and Mama was going ‘OH-OH’,” Annie told the group, making her voice deeper on the UH-UHs and higher on the OH-OHs.


“Oh God …” Buffy muttered under her breath, covering her eyes with one hand. They had tried to be so quiet, knowing that the room wasn’t sound-proof and that Annie was right next door.


Everyone smiled and looked back and Buffy and Spike. Spike just rolled his eyes, but Buffy’s face was turning red.


“How did it go?” Xander asked Annie with a grin.


“UH-UH, OH-OH, UH-UH, OH-OH,” Annie repeated, raising and lowering her voice to mimic them.


“Oh, dear Lord,” Giles muttered, not really wanting to hear any of this.


“And how long did it last?” Xander prodded, his grin widening.


“Forever!!” Annie exclaimed, looking somewhat worried that it could mean something bad.


“Forever?” Anya questioned, looking at Spike with raised brows. “Really?"


“Not forever …” Spike clarified. “Just a few hours,” he told them with a smirk.


“Then Mama screamed like a girl!” Annie informed the group.


“Dear Lord,” Giles said again taking his glasses off and polishing them furiously, wishing he was anywhere else right then, even the Princess Fantasy Faire would be preferable.


“Oh God,” Buffy repeated, shaking her head and keeping her face covered with one hand.


“Wait … can we get back to the ‘forever’ and ‘few hours’ thing?” Anya asked. “Is that an English thing or a vampire thing …”


“Ahn!” Xander admonished her.


“Well, you asked questions! I don’t see why I can’t ask something!” Anya defended.


“Well, your Mama is a girl,” Tara pointed out with a small smile, ignoring Anya and Xander.


“Yeah, but then Papa screamed like a girl, too!” Annie informed them all with wide eyes.


Xander broke out laughing and turned to Spike whose smirk had faded quickly.


“BOLLOCKS!” Spike exclaimed. “Don’t scream like no girl! I growl … like a bloody lion!”


“Oh, Spike … you manly man you,” Xander started, raising his voice several octaves, primping like a love struck teenage girl, and batting his eyelashes at him.


“Sod off!” Spike told Xander. “’S not true, anyway.”


“Yeah-huh,” Annie argued.  “’UH-UH, UH-UH … Aaaaaaaaggghhhh’” Annie mimicked lowering her voice on the UH-UHs and raising it on the scream at the end.


“What does it mean?” Annie asked, looking around the table.


Buffy just continued to shake her head in disbelief.


“Honey,” Anya started. “It just means that after a few hours of UH-UHing … everyone has the right to scream like a girl. It’s perfectly natural.”


“Don’t scream like no girl!” Spike insisted again.  “Tell them, Buffy!”


Buffy’s eyes went wide and she raised her head up to look over her hand that had been covering her face to find everyone except Giles looking at her with amusement. 


Giles couldn’t bring himself to look at her … he didn’t want to know anything about any of this – not with Buffy.  She was still that young girl who walked into the library and told him she was “way sure” she didn’t want any “vampyre” books and what she knew about Sunnydale was that it was two hours on the freeway from Neiman Marcus.


Buffy cleared her throat and took a drink of juice.  “Ummm … well...normally, no …”


“Bloody hell, Slayer!”


“Spike … I’m sorry – you were trying to be quiet and it, well … you did sort of scream like a girl last night …” Buffy informed him, her face turning a deeper shade of red as everyone at the table (except Giles) snickered.


“I still say, after a few hours, everyone has that right,” Anya contended. “Spike, could you please teach Xander how to scream like a girl?”


“AHN!” Xander exclaimed, looking at his wife with disbelief.


Anya shrugged and rolled her eyes.  She’d be happy to put up with a guy screaming like a girl if it got her a few hours of the rough and tumble…


Now it was Spike’s turn to snicker. “What’s the matter, Xan? Having trouble with stamina?  Perhaps a little Red Bull … a Viagra or two…”


“That’s quite enough!” Giles exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air.


“Annie, your parents are fine … well, as close to ‘fine’ as they get – there’s no need to worry … they were simply … playing a game,” Giles informed the child, convincing himself at the same time. “A very loud game, it turns out … one that I’m sure they’ll be more careful with in the future.”


“Oh … ok - good,” Annie accepted his explanation without another word and went back to eating her cherry, chocolate, and whipped cream covered waffles.




The following night was the ‘honeymoon’ celebration and stay over at the castle.  Disney provided childcare for all the couples, which included about twenty ‘honeymooning’ couples, including Anya and Xander, Willow and Tara, and Spike and Buffy.  As much as the other party was all about the kids, this party was definitely all about the adults. 


There were several tables set up with two or three couples per table.  The friends had requested they all be placed at the same table, so they were able to converse freely without worrying about saying anything other people may consider ‘odd’.


Everyone was dressed to the nines; the men in classic tuxedos and the ladies in sparkling dresses.  Buffy had on a low-cut, form-fitting, short, black dress with sequins on it in random patterns.  She’d come to love her more curvy body and she knew Spike loved it, what anyone else thought about a mother of three wearing that dress didn’t really concern her.


They were served course after course of gourmet food … it was definitely a test of her “Miss Manner’s” knowledge to remember what fork to use when. Sometimes she waited and watched Spike to see which one he used and followed his example.  Despite his wanton ways, he always knew the proper fork to use.


There was a small orchestra playing background music during the meal – it made a nice backdrop to the evening, not too loud or too soft, and the friends thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they ate and talked and laughed through the meal. 


When the baked Alaska had been served and promptly devoured, and everyone had been served an after dinner drink and/or coffee, the orchestra ramped up a bit more and began by playing a waltz. Spike stood up and extended his hand to Buffy.


“May I have the pleasure of this dance,” he requested, sounding more like William than Spike.


Buffy looked from him to the empty dance floor and back. “To that?  That’s elevator music!”


Spike laughed. “It’s a waltz, luv …” he informed her, dropping back to his typical Cockney accent.


“And you know how to waltz?” Buffy asked, her brows knit in confusion.


“I wasn’t born yesterday, luv … there was life before The Beatles …” Spike informed her, extending his hand towards her further.


“But not for me, there wasn’t …” Buffy pointed out. “In fact, there wasn’t life before … oh, say, The Bee Gees…”


Spike rolled his eyes. “The Bee Gees started in 1958, luv … C’mon … you’ll love it – I’ll show ya.  You can count to three, yeah?”


“Last I checked …” Buffy admitted with a sigh as she took his hand and stood up … there still wasn’t anyone else on the dance floor and butterflies started flying around in her stomach.  It was one thing if it had just been their friends, but the place was packed with people – people she didn’t know and she had no desire to be made a fool in front of.


Buffy followed Spike to the floor and he silently coached her on the way. It’s easy, luv, just follow me.  It’s a three count box step. Step back on your right, then left to the side, then slide together – then do it coming forward to make the box … one, two, three; one, two three … I’ll add in a little more with turns and moving ‘round the floor, but you just follow me and do that step … you’ll be perfect.


Yeah, right … easy for you to say Mr. Life Before The Beatles … Buffy shot back at him as all eyes in the place turned to watch the blonde couple take the floor. As they got to the floor, the orchestra changed to a Viennese Waltz … the music was faster and Buffy felt her stomach start to flop around more. 

“Relax,” Spike told her softly as they reached the dance floor and he turned her around and positioned her arms on his body properly for a waltz.


Spike started off with the basic box step, keeping time with the ‘one, two, three’ rhythm of the music, then, when he could feel Buffy relax with it, he started gliding them around the floor. Buffy followed his lead, keeping with the basic steps but whirling at the same time.  Soon they were flying across the floor, smooth and graceful, as if they’d practiced it a hundred times.





Anya kicked Xander under the table.


“Oww!” he exclaimed, leaning down to rub his shin. “What was that for!?”


“Why didn’t you ask me to dance?” Anya whined as she watched Spike and Buffy float across the floor.


“Because life didn’t begin before the Doobies?” Xander suggested. He would’ve said the Bee Gees, but Spike had already ruined that … 1958? Seriously?


Anya sighed and folded her arms across her chest. “First ‘a few hours’ and now this … We need to whip you into shape Alexander LaVelle Harris! When we get home, you’re going on a strict diet and training program … including dance lessons!”


Xander gulped. He hated it when Anya got some kind of improvement plan like that in mind for him – it usually meant broccoli and bean sprouts – his only real food coming from sneaking out from work to the Doublemeat Palace at lunch. 


“To go ‘a few hours’ I’ll need more than broccoli and bean sprouts …” Xander pointed out. He didn’t mind working out, and wouldn’t really mind dance lessons, but he hated to diet.  “Spike eats spicy wings and blooming onions,” he offered.


“Hmph! That doesn’t sound like a very healthy diet …” Anya pointed out.  “Do you think that’s the key?” she asked Xander hopefully.


“Definitely!” Xander brightened. “I definitely think spicy wings and blooming onions are the key.”


Anya nodded and turned her attention back to the couple on the dance floor. “Good … we’ll do that, then.”




As the song came to an end, Spike finished by leaning Buffy back in a graceful dip, before pulling her back up to him and capturing her lips in a soft kiss.  The whole ballroom erupted in applause as the warriors embraced on the dance floor.


“I told ya you could do it,” Spike whispered to her with a smile.


“Well, I had a good partner,” Buffy beamed at him before taking his hand and leading him back to their table.


“Wow, Buffy!! How did you learn to do that!?” Willow asked when they got back to the table. 


“I have no idea …” Buffy smiled, looking at Spike with amazement. “I guess life did begin before the Bee Gees … or the Beatles.”


“Spike, do you think spicy wings and blooming onions are the key to your stamina?” Anya asked as Buffy and Spike sat back down. “I mean, just how many hours is a ‘few’?  Usually, a few is more than a couple … but less than several … so, what, about five?”


“Ahn!” Xander admonished her.


“What!? I’m trying to get some useful information here!” Anya defended. “Annie’s not here … neither is Giles,” she pointed out.


“So, what do you think … is it the wings and onions?” Anya repeated her initial question.


Spike looked between her and Xander. Xander was behind Anya nodding his head vigorously in the affirmative.


“Oh, no doubt,” Spike told her with a smirk towards Xander that said he was gonna owe him big time for that.


Xander blew out a long breath of relief. He was happy to hear just a ‘normal’ slow song start and see lots of couples take the floor. “Dance with me, Anya …” he requested, standing up and offering her his hand.  Anya smiled and took his hand and they headed to the dance floor, talk of Xander’s new training program and diet temporarily forgotten.


The couples danced and drank and laughed and talked for hours that evening. Finally, near the end of the night, a little before midnight (when, presumably, their carriages would turn into pumpkins) the conductor of the orchestra made a special announcement.


“I have a special request from Mrs. Weckerly … would Mr. and Mrs. Weckerly come out to the floor, please?” he announced over the microphone.


Spike looked at Buffy with confusion but Buffy just smiled, stood up, and led him out to the floor.  When they reached the center of the wooden expanse, the conductor passed the microphone to Buffy and the entire room went silent. 


Buffy cleared her throat and turned to face the audience. “For those of you who don’t know us, we’ve been married a little over five years,” she said into the microphone. “In that time, my husband’s never taken off his wedding band for anything … not until a few days ago when it was stolen from him.”


The whole audience moaned at the thought of someone mugging the handsome young man (who could dance like Fred Astaire) and taking his wedding band.


Spike watched her with confusion, standing in the center of the floor in front of dozens of people, most of whom they didn’t even know, as she related a highly edited and toned down version of their trip to the other dimension.


Buffy turned and faced Spike before continuing. “I thought I had lost you and I’ve never been so scared in all my life,” she said to him softly. “I find myself loving you more with each passing day … each challenge we face together just makes us stronger. Together, we can overcome any obstacle.  You are my lover, my best friend, my soul mate, and my hero.”


Spike wasn’t sure what to do or say … so he just watched and listened to her in silence, swallowing back a lump in his throat as her words echoed perfectly his feelings for her.   


“The ring is a circle,” Buffy began reciting her wedding vows, holding up a new gold wedding band in her hand. “. . . an ancient symbol of eternity and completeness, so perfect, with no beginning and no end, just like my love for you. I give you this ring to wear with love and joy as I still choose you to be my husband forevermore.”


Buffy lifted Spike’s left hand and slid the ring on his finger before bringing the microphone back to her mouth. “I promise to love you unconditionally, to believe in you, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live and beyond.”


Tears stung Spike’s eyes as he watched her slide the band on his finger.  He looked up and met her eyes with his … emerald and azure, locking on each other, enthralled with love. There was no danger in this thrall, though - they could fall under the thrall of the other with no fear … no reservations, no hesitation.  They could put their heart out in the open and trust that the other would care for it, hold it secure inside a gentle embrace and never break it.


“I love you, Buffy,” Spike said at last, pulling her into his arms and taking her lips in a gentle kiss.  The orchestra started playing the music to “Baby, I Love You” and Spike laughed. Buffy gave the mic back to one of the assistants there and fell into step with him, dancing to the song like they had as their first dance as husband and wife.


Spike sang the words softly to her as they danced … he could remember them clearly – it was still one of his favorite songs and it had more than a little sentimental significance to him.




The Ramones, Baby, I Love You 

Have I ever told you
How good it feels to hold you
It isn't easy to explain

And though I'm really trying
I think I may start crying
My heart can't wait another day
When you touch me I just gotta

Baby I love you
Baby I love you
Baby I love you

C'mon baby n-n-n-n-now

I can't live without you
I love everything about you
I can't help it if I feel this way

Oh, I'm so glad I found you
I want my arms around you
I love to hear you call my name
Tell me baby that you feel the same

Baby I love you
Baby I love you
Baby I love you

My heart can't wait another day
When you touch me I just gotta

Baby I love you
Baby I love you
Baby I love you



As the warriors danced to their song, the dance floor filled up with couples … some just starting their lives as husband and wife … others on silver anniversaries, and still others, like Willow and Tara who were just in the planning stages of their life together.  The love filling the room was undeniable, every girl felt like the luckiest girl there … every guy felt like the luckiest guy, but Buffy and Spike knew how lucky they were to be there at that moment – to be able to dance and laugh and love. They really were each other’s lover, best friend, soul mate, and hero and no amount of interference by the rest of the world would ever change that.


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