**Part Twelve**

Despite a lack of sleep, Matty felt pretty good. He was raised Catholic, but never really believed in the whole confession process. And, well, he didn't care what anyone said, he wasn't about to confess to murder. Telling Buffy, being told that she thought it was self-defense made him feel better. Deep down, he knew it was the truth. There was no way Teddy was going to let any of them get out alive that day.

The fact that after making such a confession she had led him upstairs to their bedroom and proceeded to chase the shadows of those memories away meant more than he could tell her. She was a goddess. His goddess. He imagined a part of her would always belong to the cause, but there were parts of her that cause couldn't claim. Matty could.

When he'd called, his father had seemed so glad that Matty was asking him for something. It was a little disconcerting. He'd never thought of his father as being insecure or needing reassurance from anyone.

And here they were, hours later, heading toward London, using the comforts his father had obtained illegally. Buffy didn't seem to mind. He suspected she did on some levels, the same way he did. The same way he'd been so adamant about staying away from the business.

Buffy was dozing beside him. He should be tired, too. Three plus hours of lovemaking should have left him exhausted. He was in a way, but mentally he felt better than he had for quite some time. So good, in fact, that he stood from his chair as an idea occurred to him.

He knelt between her legs, kissing her thigh as he pushed the hem of her skirt higher. It had already ridden up, which was what planted the seed in his mind. He used his tongue, darting a path from her knee to her inner thigh. Sliding his hands to either side of her, low along her ass, he tugged her forward to the edge of the seat.

That did the trick, granting him access between her legs. He used a fingertip to pull the scrap of fabric covering her womanhood aside. She groaned softly, letting her legs open even wider, and he gladly accepted the invitation.

God, he loved tasting her, pleasing her this way. She got off so intensely no matter which way, but there was something about feeling her body quiver around his mouth and tongue that made him harder than granite.

He knew the moment she woke up. Her hands found his hair and she cried out, thrusting her hips.

"I thought I was dreaming," she whispered, arcing further into his mouth. His thumb found her nub and she went off like a rocket. He just about came in his pants, she had that type of effect on him. He kept going, wanting to bring her there again and again.

"Oh, God, Matty, didn't you get enough earlier?"

He merely shook his head, not wanting to stop what he was doing. Not wanting to take his tongue away from the feast that she was offering him. She was slick, wet from more than his saliva and he lapped it up like a man dying of thirst.

He lost track of time, they had plenty of it and he couldn't think of a better way to pass it. He loved how she responded to him, came for him. Eventually, she used her strength and managed to gain the upper hand. Quite literally, as she ended up on top of him, her hand busily working to unfasten his jeans.

Their mouths met, fused might have been a more accurate term. She bit his lower lip as she somewhat roughly tugged his jeans low along his hips.

"Get them off," she murmured before kissing his neck.

It took some doing, but he managed to get them off. She slid down the length of his body, kissing his torso as she went. His body trembled against her and he knew she had to feel it. She gave back what he had given her and then some.

When they finally got to the point of him being inside of her they were hurried, beyond excited, and got off in record time.

"Always wanted to do it on a plane," he muttered when he had breath enough to speak coherently.

"Mmm, you have?"

"Yes. You always hear stories."

"Now you can add the Mile High Club to your long list of accomplishments."

"And it's definitely one I'd be in favor of repeating."

"Me, too, but not in a real plane, in those tiny bathrooms."

"This is a real plane, babe, but I know what you mean. This is definitely better." He stood briefly to grab a blanket and a pillow, tugging on his jeans as he did.

"Oh, we're done, huh?"

"Well, I, uh," he stammered. "I just don't make a habit of walking around naked."

"But it's okay for me to?"

"Well, sure, you're hot."

"And you're not?"

"Well, I."

She stood then and pressed up against him. He felt her skin against his chest and back as her arms went around him.

"You are definitely hot."

"Thanks for saying so."

"You don't think you are?"

"I don't know. I told you, girls always went for Chris or Taylor, not me."

"That's because you're shier than they are. You got me, didn't you?"

"Well, yeah, I consider that Vegas luck shining on me, though. With the help of Jose Cuervo or whatever you were drinking that night."

She smiled and reached up to kiss him.

"Me, too. And Jose had nothing to do with it."

"Really?" He hated sounding so insecure. She'd said she loved him last night. It wasn't enough, though, to make him feel totally at ease that she wasn't going to walk away when their year was up.

"It took me a while to come to that conclusion, but yeah."

He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. "I'm glad."

"Me, too."

Eventually, they got fully dressed again and found something to eat in the galley area. His dad had gone all out. It was simple fare, but there was enough to feed a dozen of them. As they got closer to landing in London he sensed Buffy get more apprehensive. He left her alone with her thoughts, hoping she'd talk if she needed to.

He saw Willow when they stepped off the plane. She was hard to miss, waving frantically like she was.

"She lives here?" He wasn't sure why that never occurred to him before now.


"So, what was she doing in LA that day?"

Buffy smirked, settling her sunglasses over her eyes. "Do you really want the answer?"

"Well, yeah."

"She teleported."

"She can do that?"

"She made it, so I guess so."

"You have the coolest friends."

She laughed at that, returning Willow's wave. The two women hugged like the long-time friends they were. Matty felt a little out of place until Willow hugged him, too.

"Nice to see you again. And under better circumstances this time. No blood. That's always good in my book."

"Uh, yeah, thanks, you too."

"Hey, you're one of us now, too, by way of marriage. So, welcome to the club."

"Some club."

"Yeah, it's all secret and stuff. Is that all you brought?"

"Yup. We're not staying long."

"I can't believe your dad has a plane capable of flying here. That is so cool."

"Well, we had to stop in New York, but."

"Still, very cool."

"You don't need planes I understand."

"Well, it's still cool. To those that need planes." She draped an arm around Buffy. "So, you have Giles kind of freaking out."

"I do?"

"Well, yeah, he thinks something bad's abrewing."

"Does he think Angel's been calling for his health?"

"I'll let you two hash it out."

"Thanks for calling him, Wil, and for sending him my way."

"Well, you know, I've restored his soul twice. It kind of bonds you in a way. He's not evil."

"No, he's not."

"I'm not so sure he knows what he's doing."

"I'd have to agree with that. Did you know Spike's alive?"

"Uh, yeah, Andrew mentioned it."

"And you didn't tell me?"

"He said Spike didn't want you to know."

"Hello? Best friend. No secrets."

"I figured if Spike wanted you to know, he'd tell you."

"Yeah, well, having him show up at my door with Angel was a bit of a shock."

"I'm sure it was. He was probably curious about that hoity-toity address you have."

"Yeah, they were both a little surprised."

Willow smiled at that, Matty thought she might have actually enjoyed knowing she'd shocked them both. He realized he had someone on his side in Willow. And that made him feel a little better.

They arrived at what from the outside looked like an apartment building.

"The entire first floor has been converted into offices, training rooms, medic station, containment facilities."

Matty sensed the explanation was for him, assuming Buffy had been here and seen it before.

"This is a nice place. Old."

"It is. It was standing empty. No one seems to know why. I researched and couldn't find an owner or landlord on file. So, with the touch of my magic fingers, the building became Council property."

"You can do that with magic?"

"I'm good with computers, too."

"Ah," Matty said with a nod, understanding.

"There are over fifteen hundred slayers, under a thousand are working with us. We needed some place to house them. At least until we got them trained and assigned."

"Makes sense."

"Buffy, Giles is in his office, I'll show Matty the rest."


"Uh," Matty said with a glance at Buffy.

"They're going to argue, so it's probably better you not be in the room."

"I was hoping to meet him. She talks so much about him."

"You will. Give them a chance to hash it out, then catch up."

"I'll be fine," Buffy said, watching as Willow led Matty in the opposite way she needed to go.

Things were quiet. It was early, she imagined there wasn't much need for people to be in their offices this early. Except Giles. Giles wouldn't rest until he was sure they'd found all of the activated slayers. And until his research was complete, which would be never. There was always something new to research. Especially now that they'd changed the dynamics so much.

The apartment building had come a long way. She imagined Willow and the coven had something to do with that. She knocked on Giles' office door, pushing it open without waiting for a response. He looked tired, exhausted really. Older. But he was a sight for sore eyes. She missed him. It was strange how used to having him as a presence in her life she was.

"Hi," she said softly.

"Hi yourself," he said, standing from his desk. He removed his glasses and regarded her. "You look good. Happy. This relationship agrees with you."

"Yeah, it does. I told him." She took a seat in one of the two chairs on this side of the desk.


"I didn't have much choice. Angel paid me a visit."

"Angel? How did he?"

"I'm not sure," Buffy shrugged. She wasn't going to get Willow in trouble. "He and Spike showed up one day."

"Spike? Did you say Spike?"

"Yeah, you didn't know?"

"Why would I know?"

"Andrew told Willow."

"Andrew neglected to inform me of that bit of information. Spike is alive?"

"Yeah, I didn't get the details. Matty came home and that's when I told him, because Angel was asking for my help."

"Buffy, I'm not sure you should get involved with what Angel's doing."

"Well, that's why I'm here."

"Buffy, he's working for Wolfram & Hart. Perhaps you're not familiar with what they stand for."

"No, I know. Giles, he's asking me for help. If he was doing something shady, he'd want me out of it."

"I don't like it, Buffy. From what I've heard, he's teetered terribly close to the edge. He's not the Angel you met when you first came to Sunnydale."

"I should hope not. I'm not the same Buffy either."


She stood then, resting her hands on his desk. "Listen, Giles. When it comes to research, you're the go to guy. When it comes to fighting, I'm the lead."

"You're in California."

"And I have just proven that I can get here within a day. Not to mention, catastrophes aren't going to happen only where you or I happen to be."

"Of course I know that, Buffy."

"No, let me finish. Angel is asking me for help. Angel gave us that amulet. Without that, we wouldn't be here right now. I am not going to turn my back on him."

"Buffy, I just think."

"What's the worst that can happen? We have a few hundred slayers versus Angel. He's not stupid, Giles, he's not going to ask for help if he's going evil. It'd be suicide."

"While you have a point, it's still a risk."

"And I haven't taken risks the past eight years? You were the one that skewered Angel with a sword to send him to a hell dimension, right? Oh, wait, no, that was me. And, need I remind you that my priority was getting you out of there in one piece. I didn't care much else what happened, as long as you were all right. This isn't negotiable, Giles. We agreed that I'll have some say."

"Yes, I know what we agreed to. I just wish I knew you were thinking with your brain and not your heart. Perhaps your feelings, your past with Angel is clouding your judgment here."

"My past, my feelings have nothing to do with it. And yet everything to do with it. Angel and Spike are my past. Over and done, but I can't walk away from either of them if they say they need me."

"That's well and good, but these girls don't know Angel, don't know your past."

"Who cares? Is it any different than shipping them off to Sunnydale when their watchers had just been taken out? If anything, at least they're prepared for what's to come this time."

He leaned back in his chair. "All right. You win. I can't say no to you anyway. You knew that before you came in here."

"Well, yeah, I knew you'd argue though."

"You're sure you believe him?"

"Yes, Giles, I do. If he was preparing to do something evil or of the end-the-world magnitude, he wouldn't call me and a few hundred other slayers in to be a part of it."

"I suppose you have a point. How soon will you need them?"

She sat again, calmer now that she knew Giles wasn't going to argue with her any further.

"As soon as possible. Matty said we could probably use his father's plane to bring them back and forth. And we should be able to put most of them up at the house. It'll be crowded, but no worse than what we had in Sunnydale before we left."

"Yes, that was pretty cramped, wasn't it?"


"Will you be calling Faith in?"


"She'll go."

"Of course she will."

"We'll take care of the travel arrangements. You're going to need a few teams at least. And your husband, he's okay with this?"

"As okay as he can be. He understands he doesn't really have much choice. That I have to do this."

"Would you do it if it wasn't Angel?"

"You know I would, Giles. When have I ever actually walked away?"

"You haven't."

"Thank you."

"So, do I get to meet the man who's claimed your heart?"

"Yes, he's off with Willow getting the tour."

"You're happy?"

"Yeah, I am. I mean, we have things to work on and out, you know. But, I'm not going anywhere."

"Good. I'm relieved to hear that. Have you heard from Dawn?"

"Yes. She's coming to LA when school's done. We'll see what happens from there."

"And that sits well with you?"

"Of course it does. I would have let her come back for this semester, but she wanted to finish out her senior year there. I don't blame her."

"Nor do I. How long are you staying?"

"A day or two. Matty has to get back to work. I'm taking a leave of absence until whatever is going down is over."


"Yeah. They're a good company. Fair. Thanks for the tip."

"Anytime. They appreciate you as well."

"You've checked up on me?"

"Well, no, but your name has come up a time or two when Walter and I have spoken. Let's go meet that husband of yours. I can't wait to meet him."

"You say that now. Need I remind you how much caution you told me to exercise?"

"Well, sure, my first thoughts are always going to be of you, Buffy. I won't apologize to you if you expect me to. And it won't change."



"Even with a thousand other slayers to keep track of."

"You're still the slayer to me, Buffy."


"You're welcome."

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