: All things Buffy belong to Joss & Co., not mine, making no money.A/N
: I've enjoyed writing this. Thank you to those of you that gave comprehensive reviews on this fic; it has been left open for follow-on works, I'd love to hear from anyone interested in one, or even interested in writing one.
"First, I wanted to thank you all for your actions that saved My reality and My people," the Creator said. "Without what you have done, and despite what the Speaker said about a covenant, there would not be a world to talk about. I would have had to start, again, from scratch. Once again, thank you.
"Now, many of you will have noticed that your powers or skills have increased as your Companionship became more nearly complete. This trend will continue with all of you, up to an indeterminate limit. Use your abilities wisely.
"As part of My thanks, none of you will die or age until you wish to. Any wound that would normally deal death will be healed as it is being inflicted.
"Lastly, I cast you free of any destinies, prophecies or obligations that you are under. You can fight evil if you should wish, but it will be your decision and yours only.
"Do any of you have any questions?" the Creator asked, and looked around. Just as she was about to get up, Buffy stood up.
"I - I know you've given us so much, but could you -" and the she whispered into Her ear. She stood up, and said, "I don't know about the others, but we'd really like to say goodbye, and we never got a chance."
"An excellent idea!" The Creator smiled, gestured, and a door appeared to their side. "You may stay here as long as you wish, and when you go through that door, you shall be returned to the Hyperion on the night that you left. Until then -"
The door opened, and Willow, Danielle, and Xander were all running to the door, screaming, "Jesse!" They barreled into him, enveloping him in a huge hug, and just barely moved him out of the doorway.
This was a fortunate occurrence, for the door opened again, and a dark haired woman came out. Giles was flabbergasted. "Jenny?"
"Of course, Rupert, who else?" she asked as she leaned into his embrace.
The next person through the door was a short man of apparent Irish extraction, who flinched when he heard Cordelia's voice. "Allen Francis Doyle, get your butt over here! I want you to meet someone, and then," her eyes narrowed, "to explain why you gave me all of those headaches."
Doyle shrugged his shoulders, said, "Yes, princess," and soon he, she, and Fred were in a tight group, with Cordelia hugging him tightly.
Giles looked up from Jenny to Buffy, since the Creator had left, and asked, "How long do we have, Buffy?"
"As long as you need, Giles," she replied. "Years if you want, and you won't grow hungry or thirsty, here. Furthermore -" The door had opened again.
"Hallie? Is that you? Hallie!" squealed Anya who grabbed her fellow vengeance demon in a tight hug.
"Furthermore," Buffy said in a stronger voice, trying to be heard over the din, "No matter how long we take, whenever we finish, we'll be back at the Hyperion the night we left. The only catch is that once we do, we aren't guaranteed another visit until we join them here."
Once again, the door opened, and they heard Tara gasp. "Mama?" and another hugging couple was formed, this one between Kathryn and Tara McClay.
Buffy and Dawn were smiling at the chaos around them when the door opened one last time, and they were rooted to the spot, trying to get their voices to work through the towering joy that was tightening their throats.
"Mom?" It began softly from Buffy.
"Mom?" A little stronger, from Dawn.
"Mommy!" Almost a squeal, as both girls spoke in a chorus that couldn't have been bettered if they had practiced, and then they were running and in a tight three-way hug, Buffy finally allowing herself to be, not the Slayer, not the savior of the world, or even the guardian of her sister, but just her mommy's little girl.