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Willow finished first. The three of them
appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Kennedy went instantly to Willow’s
side. Lizzie looked slightly smug. Sarah had a strange gleam in her eye as she
looked at me.
“So it’s all true?” she
“Even you out bluffing a dead kid
with a bomb?”
“My shinning moment,” I said.
“You saved the world,” she
said. She seemed indignant.
“That was easy,” I said.
“It was only Willow. She liked me.”
I smiled at Willow. She smiled back.
I don’t know what Buffy said to
Angie. I don’t think I ever will. Buffy said ‘patient
privilege’ once and then simply refused to acknowledge the question. I
don’t want to ask Angie.
And she didn’t say anything to me. Willow
took the girls out to the backyard to watch Buffy and Kennedy fight. Lizzie was
excited, but Sarah was ecstatic. She’s been dancing and doing circus
skill training since she was five. She could appreciate a Slayer’s
physical strength and agility.
Angie pushed me up the stairs. The light
was streaming through our bedroom window. She angled me in the light to see me
properly. I don’t know how I looked, but she laughed. I could see the
tears in her eyes, but she laughed brightly and kissed me hard.
Then she seduced me. I managed to seduce
Angie the first time we had sex, after five weeks in double rooms. I had had
enough to drink to send Scruffy Xander to sleep, but not so much that I
didn’t kiss her. We were dancing, and so we continued dancing. It was the
first time I had initiated that first time.
This was the first time Angie had seduced
me. It felt like all the other first times, and something completely different
The first words she spoke to me after the
conversation with Buffy were, “You’ll have to tell me everything,
in order, one day.” The next were, “we should all go out to
I was too drained, emotionally and
physically to do more than smile happily.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I wanted to have a normal
life,” I said, still smiling.
She asked me if I thought what we had was
“You ran away with me. You’re
still here,” I answered. I couldn’t really describe it, but I knew
that I was safe wherever Angie was.
Buffy and Kennedy were arguing lightly when
we eventually got down stairs.
“You’re the Slayer,
Buffy,” Kennedy was saying.
“I’m a counsellor,” Buffy
retorted. “As counsellors go I fight pretty well.”
“I’ve a psych major,”
Kennedy said. “I still manage to save the world occasionally.”
“How many times have you died?”
We were there to see Kennedy take a step
back and bow. Lizzie clapped. Sarah was watching them, awed.
“Would you like to clean up before we
go out to dinner?” Angie asked, in her usual open and generous manner.
Dinner was strange. With Willow and Buffy
there together it was like a Scooby meeting. The fact that we had barely
communicated for almost twenty years gave an air of surrealism to the table,
like we were wearing bodies that were too old; where we were and who were with
were merely dreams of what would come.
Except that Lizzie had just turned ten and
was describing her art classes to Buffy. And Sarah was finally discussing her
problems with Bern with somebody. Kennedy didn’t seem to be bored. But
then Sarah has always been a brilliant storyteller.
Angie, Willow and I discussed the state of
the world and the new President. We were half way through dessert, and Willow
was comparing morning sickness stories with Angie before Lizzie got the nerve
up to ask the question she must have had for the last four days.
“Can I be a Watcher?”
“Can as is are able to, or can as in
allowed to?” Buffy asked her.
Lizzie looked puzzled for a moment.
“I want to be a Watcher,” she
said. “Like the Librarian, though, not the new Watcher.”
Buffy took a moment to work out what she
was referring to, then chuckled slightly.
“Good,” she said with a nod.
“If your parents say it’s okay.”
“Dada, can I be a Watcher?”
“You know you’ll have to do two
languages? And Classics and History?”
Lizzie nodded eagerly.
“Then it’s up to Angie if we
send you off to the school.”
Lizzie looked hopeful at the prospect.
Willow had said that she had told their girls that their mother knew, but
probably wasn’t happy. Lizzie had enough self-preservation instinct not
to say anything there. But not so much to get in way of being a good Watcher.
Willow and Kennedy spent the night on the
couch, and Buffy had the spare bed in Lizzie’s room. We had breakfast
together like old times and they left. That was all there was to it. Lizzie was
going to get to be a Watcher, Sarah had some amazing stories she could play
around with, and Angie knew what I hadn’t told her about Faith.
“Tell her everything,” was the
last thing Buffy said as she kissed my cheek.
“Stay in touch,” Willow ordered
as she left.
Kennedy gave me a look that she would talk
to me if I didn’t talk to Willow, I grinned sheepishly.
“We will,” Angie promised. She
smiled. “Thank you all for coming. It was nice to meet Xander’s old
“You should come down to LA, some
time,” Buffy said. “You’ll always be welcome.”
Angie had a faraway look in her eye like
she was planning a road trip. Lizzie’s eyes lit up at the thought
travelling. Sarah looked excited; LA had always fascinated her. I was glad
things were all okay. But I didn’t relish the thought of being drawn into
another battle. You only ever seem to get a choice in where your life takes
you, you can’t draw your own paths.