"Are you ready then, Buffy?" Giles asked, bringing her out of her thoughts.
"Yup, I sure am," she said, zipping up her suitcase. She'd checked and double checked to be sure she had everything she needed. She wasn't going to be gone that long, it just seemed strange. Her things were by the door, waiting for Jim or someone to take them downstairs for her.
"I'm glad you came."
"Me, too. You know I'm always here for you when you need me."
"I do," she said, sliding her gloves onto her hands. She adjusted her hat and stood on her tiptoes to give Giles a kiss. Through thick and through thin she knew she could count on him. Always. It had been one of the few constants in her life. Until the past year anyway. She'd come to depend on a new man for things, too. She thought Giles was probably a little relieved. She was, too, truth be told.
"You look beautiful," he said, catching her taking one last glance in the full-length mirror.
"You're welcome." He paused at the door and turned to face her. "Now you're sure about this. I know how you are when you've made up your mind about something, but I feel I would be derelict in my responsibility as not just your watcher and coworker, but as your friend."
"I'm positive. I can't remember being more sure of anything in my life."
"All right then," he said, opening the door and escorting her downstairs.
She heard the music, which made her pause. Giles must have sensed it because he looked at her sharply. He didn't have to say anything. His eyes said, "are you all right?" very clearly. It was an intimate knowledge that they shared from years of working together. Okay, not always together, but most of the time.
She took a deep breath, as deep as she could at the moment anyway. The staff had gone out of their way to be sure everything looked beautiful. They always did, so she wasn't surprised in the least. Jim and Sam, a staff member she not only recognized but knew his name, opened the doors and the music grew louder.
Buffy gripped Giles' arm with her hand, which he patted in a comforting manner with his free hand. They were all there already. Hundreds of them. Many were faces Buffy didn't recognize and would never see again after today. Giles walked her toward Matty. Taylor, Chris, and Xander stood near him. Willow, Dawn, and Faith were next to the empty spot. The spot to Matt's right, where she would stand.
She and Giles had practiced this a hundred times and it had never seemed to take this long to get to where they were going. Buffy was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe. Tears formed in her eyes, and she just willed them to hold off for a little while. This was all just formality anyway. She'd even changed her name a couple of months ago.
Matty had been the one to bring up the idea. Buffy had laughed at first, thinking he was joking. It was an odd way of celebrating their first anniversary. But it seemed fitting since she had been begrudged the right proper wedding she'd always dreamed of as a girl.
So, here they were, tying the knot again. Only, this time it was in front of not just God but their family and friends. She'd had to hold off inviting slayers. There were just too many of them. So, her side of things was pretty sparse. Angel, Spike, Gunn, Illyria, Faith, Robin, Andrew, and the handful of potentials that had made it out of Sunnydale with her were there.
Matty's side, on the other hand, was bursting at the seams. So much so, that many had to take a side on what was deemed Buffy's side. Or, maybe they just felt sorry for her that he had so many and she had so few. His father had invited anyone and everyone. It wasn't every day his son got married. Twice in a year, but no one but their close circle of friends knew they were already married. It was no one's business.
The ceremony was over quickly. The dinner wasn't as fast, and quite honestly lasted too long as far as Buffy was concerned. She wanted to get to the good stuff.
And then the partying began. They got to kick it off by dancing to Harry Connick Jr.'s It Had To Be You. And then things went into full force. It was close to dawn before the last of the guests left.
Buffy and Matty said their last goodbyes and headed to the tables where their friends were sitting. It was about time for Angel and Spike to leave. Matty must have sensed that because he stepped aside after giving her a brief kiss.
"I'm going to sit with Taylor and Chris for a bit. I'm not sure they realize Willow's not into guys. Tell Angel and Spike I said good night and thanks for coming."
"I will, thanks," Buffy said, walking toward the two vampires. Angel was the first to stand and walk up to her.
"I always knew you'd be a beautiful bride."
"Yeah, well, I shouldn't be wearing white."
"Why not?" Angel shrugged. "It's what you wanted to wear. It's not like you're," Angel shook his head. "Never mind." He leaned toward her, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "I'm happy for you, Buffy. Really."
"Thanks. Did you ever call that woman to come back?"
He shook his head. "No. It wasn't right. She wasn't right."
He shrugged. "What can you do? I can't expect to find two of you when it took me over two centuries to find one."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to go there, but you asked about Nina."
"Angel, quit talking her ear off. I'm sure she's got better things to do then listening to you prattle on. It's her wedding night. Let her and her husband go do their thing."
"Spike," Buffy admonished.
"What? I know sitting there watching you talk to two of your ex's would not be high on my list of things to do on my wedding night." Spike skimmed her cheek with the pad of his thumb before kissing her there. "I'm glad you found it, Slayer. The light to balance you out. You need it. You deserve it. Never forget that."
"Thanks." She started to tear up. "You guys."
"Oh, hey, thanks for the Topline tip."
"Sure, glad it's working out for you. Just don't make me look bad, I'd like to work there on breaks and stuff."
"I'll do my best."
"And I'm off for London," Spike said.
"You are?" Buffy hadn't heard anything about it.
"Yeah, your watcher says he's got a job or two for me. Figure it's about time I found my way back home anyway."
"You'll be hearing from me."
"I look forward to it."
They left to a smattering of goodbyes from those left.
"So, B. It's all official and everything."
"Yeah, just that I went through with the sleeping in separate beds last night."
Faith laughed. "Not me, baby. When, if, I get married, I'm going to ride him like a bull and say my ‘I do's' just as I cum."
Buffy rolled her eyes, but somehow wasn't exactly sure Faith was kidding. She could see the dark-haired slayer doing something like that.
"Yo, Yankee fan, I think your wife is ready for some post-marital nooky," Faith called out.
Her revelation was met by cat calls by not just Matty's friends Chris and Taylor, but Xander and Robin, too.
"Great," she whispered. "Thanks."
"Hey, it's not like no one here knew what you were going to go upstairs and do!"
"And on that note," Matty said, draping his arm around Buffy's shoulders. He drew her to him for one of his more smoldering kisses. She melted into him, which she imagined was the purpose. It was easy to forget there were other people there. Her fingers made their way from the nape of his neck to his bowtie, which she promptly and quickly untied and tugged out from under his collar.
"I want to wear this tonight."
"Okay," Matty said, looking perplexed.
"Okay," he repeated, a little more enthusiastically. "Let's go."
"Good night, guys," Buffy said. "You know the way to your rooms."
"Yes, why we're delegated to the other wing is beyond me." It was Taylor.
"Yeah, you'd think they really just got hitched or something," Chris added.
"It's just a way for them to get some cool gifts," Taylor threw in as Matty and Buffy made it to the stairs that hours ago Giles had escorted her down.
"Right, because they need so much." Leave it to Xander to defend her.
She heard nothing after that as they made their way upstairs to their room. It was decorated beautifully, and she began to really cry then. Roses, champagne, fruit, and, if she wasn't imagining things, satin sheets.
Tomorrow they were off to Vegas for a couple of nights. Buffy was in school, courtesy of her father-in-law, so she couldn't take more than that off. They'd debated about where to go for the long weekend, and both seemed to think it was fitting to go back to the scene of the crime. Buffy was looking forward to it. She had no doubt it would be fun.
Tonight, though, she was looking forward to some more intimate fun. The sheets proved Matty did, too.
"I guess someone else had getting lucky in mind."
"You bet I did, Mrs. Demaret."
"I like the sound of that."
"Me, too. It sounds a little strange, there hasn't been one in so long. It fits you, though."
"It fits us."
"That it does. Now about that bow tie," Matty said, holding up said item.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com