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A New Beginning

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Summary: Buffy must come to terms with her bonding to Willow and Tara, AU from The Gift

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > DramabelginteiFR18116,999164,21122 Feb 0622 Feb 06Yes
Title: A New Beginning
Author: David A. Knapton

E-mail: belgin_tei@yahoo.co.uk

Archive: NHA, SapphicSlayer, Wuffara, Thedge, Mystic Muse, any others just let me know so I can see my name in lights.

Spoilers: Set after the end of S5. So everything before that is fair game.

Rating: 18/NC-17

Pairings: Buffy/Willow/Tara, Xander/Anya, Dawn/Kevin

Disclaimer: I own none of the people in this story, but if I did the show would probably never be shown again!

Note: This story takes up from just after the demon Kellem has been returned to her own dimension in Shehulk's AU story 'There once was a demon'. Buffy has to come to terms with her relationship with Willow and Tara now that Kellem has helped bring her back after she had sacrificed herself for Dawn.

[] = Flashback. ‘’ = Thought.

Dedicated to Shehulk for allowing me to use her AU as a backdrop. You can read her stories at http://shehulkshideaway.tripod.com/

Thanks to Sarah for betaing this story for me

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Buffy walked back to the Magic Box with Willow and Giles, having returned the demon Kellem to her own dimension. She let her thoughts drift over what had happened to her. The time between her leap off the tower and waking up in her coffin was a total blank, was there no afterlife? Or was it something that the human mind could not hold onto while alive!

Willow was walking beside Buffy when she felt Buffy's hand slide into her own. She looked at her in surprise only to see her lost in thought. She obviously had no idea she had done it. Willow smiled to herself deciding that she and Tara would need to talk to Buffy about this bonding thing, but for now, she was happy to just hold her hand.

As Giles held open the shop door for her and Willow, Buffy saw Tara standing by the counter with Dawn and Anya, she smiled at her, Tara smiled back before looking at her hand in Willow's. Buffy suddenly realized what she was doing; she let go of it and stepped away blushing.

Willow sighed this was going to take longer than she had though, she gave Tara a knowing smile as she walked over, took her hand and led her to the table, they sat down before Willow turned to Giles, "So what happens now? I mean Buffy's officially dead."

"Well could you get into the police and medical reports on your computer and alter them! Not erase them, that would raise to many questions."

"What do you want me to change?"

"Something minor. Let's change the spelling of Buffy's surname to Sommers with an 'o' that should do it. Then leave a false trail implying that Buffy was not in town at the time of the fight with Glory."

"Well changing the name will be easy, the other will be harder... hey why not contact Angel get him to help! Perhaps lay down some things in LA implying that she was there."

"Excellent idea I'll contact him straight away," he smiled going into his small office to make the call.

"Dawn haven't you got any homework you can be doing?" asked Buffy trying to come up with anything so as not to have to look at Willow or Tara.

"No. I haven't been to school this week."

"WHAT! Why not? They told me that they would take you into care if you didn't go to school."

"Ah Buffy the school thinks you're dead, they told Giles that I could take some time off," Dawn pointed out.

"Oh I guess that's ok then, I think we should go home and I'll fix you something for dinner, get your coat."

"But I want to stay here," Dawn pouted.

"Get your coat NOW," said Buffy anger crossing her face. She had to get out of here, away from Willow and Tara, so she could think. Being in the same room as them was becoming too much for her, all she could think was how cute they were; she could also feel herself becoming aroused.

As Dawn stomped over to the table and picked up her coat before walking towards the door, Buffy turned to the others; "We'll see you tomorrow." She turned and followed Dawn out the door.

As they walked up to there front door Buffy could see several of their neighbours staring at them, at her! She opened the door and entering she let out a sigh. She turned to Dawn, "What do you want for dinner?" she asked.

"I don't know! Anything. Buffy what's going to happen to me?"

"What do you mean?"

"Dad's coming here, I phoned him just after you died. How are we going to explain you're not dead?"

"Well we'll think of something, I'll talk to Giles tomorrow. Hey how about we have a girl's night in, you order pizza, I'll get the videos."

"Ok but not Thelma and Louise again." Dawn smiled, "Hey why don't we invite Willow, Tara and Anya over."

"No, let's just have an evening with just the two of us, besides Willow is probably busy with her computer."

Dawn saw the look cross her sister's face; "What's happening with you, Willow and Tara?"

"What do you mean? Nothing, we're just friends!" Even to herself she sounded lame, "I don't know Dawn... I don't know!"

"Hey what about Titanic. Leonardo DeCaprio is such a hotty I could really jump his bones!"

"DAWN," screeched Buffy at her sister who just giggled.

--------------

After checking with Giles that Willow had changed the reports, she took Dawn to school she explain that she was not the one who had died in the construction yard four days before, but had been in LA on business for her gallery. She could tell that most of the people did not believe the story, but had obviously been in Sunnydale long enough too not ask to many questions.

She was going to drive to the Magic Box but changed her mind and headed for UC Sunnydale instead; she had to talk to Willow and Tara. She had had several very erotic dreams last night involving her two favourite witches. As she parked the car she again noticed several people she knew staring at her, she decided to just ignore them, after what had happened the stares were inevitable.

She stood staring at the door in front of her debating whether to knock or just walk away! She had just decided to walk away when it opened, she jumped, looking up she saw Tara smiling at her, she couldn't help but smile back, Tara had the cutest smile.

"Hi do you want to come in?" Tara asked opening the door wider.

Buffy entered the dorm room, Tara closed the door as Buffy looked around the room avoiding eye contact with her; "I wondered if you were ever going to knock!"

Turning to face Tara she frowned, "How did you know I was outside?"

Tara shrugged, "I just did, I could sense you outside and your emotional turmoil."

"Where's Will? I had hoped she would be here so we could all talk about this thing, this bonding thing!"

"She signed up for an extra class; she won't be back until about eleven. Did you want a drink or something?"

"Yeah a coke would be great," she said sitting on the edge of the bed, still avoiding eye contact with Tara.

Tara handed her a can of coke and sat down next to her, Buffy edged away from her. Tara sighed, "Buffy what's wrong! Have I done something?"

Buffy turned to face her, she grabbed Tara's hand, "No, you've done nothing but be a good friend to Willow and me, I love you... I-I mean I like you."

Tara smiled at Buffy, "And I love you, so does Willow," she lifted Buffy's hand to her lips and kissed it. Buffy had the look of a deer caught in headlights.

As Tara leaned in to kiss her Buffy's brain started to process what was happening, she sprang to her feet turning towards the door, she placed the can of coke on the desk as she passed; "I got to go, I can't do this!"

"Buffy please don't go," Tara called out as Buffy opened the door and ran out.

She wondered for hours around town, seeing nothing, deep in thought. She had left the car outside Willow and Tara's dorm building, with a sigh she realized that she would have to go and collect it; Dawn would be home from school soon.

As she walked across the park in front of the building towards the car she got a sense that Willow and Tara were nearby! As she got to the car they came out of the building. Buffy tried to get in the car and drive away from them before they got to her but she saw Willow point and say something, the car engine died, she cursed her best friend's growing power as she leaned back in the seat.

The two witches walked over to the car they went around to the passenger's side; Willow climbed into the front and Tara in the back. Willow turned to Buffy; "We need to talk!"

"There's nothing to talk about!"

"Yes there is, I'm willing to bet that you had at least one dream about us last night!" Buffy blushed, "I though so! Look Tara and I went into this bond thing with the full knowledge of what it meant, you didn't. We did it because the world needs you, we need you, and Dawn needs you. Buffy we love you, can't you return that love?"

Buffy turned in her seat so she could look at both of them; "That's not fair, I love you both... There I said it are you satisfied?"

Willow and Tara both smiled.

"It's a start, look we don't want you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with! We just want you to be our friend, everything else can wait until you’re ready," said Willow.

She looked at the puppy-dog eyes they were giving her; she sighed, "Okay stop with the looks, best friends again," she leaned over and without thinking gave Willow a quick kiss, sitting back she realized what she had done; "I'm sorry," she said blushing.

"Don't be," smiled Willow before turning to Tara, "She's a good kisser Tara."

"Good to hear, I didn't get the chance earlier, she ran away."

"Well perhaps you can try her out sometime!" said Willow.

"Hey in the car here," pouted Buffy.

All three laughed breaking the tension that had built up between Buffy and her friends over the last twenty-four hours.

"Look if you'll take the spell off the car I'll invite you to my house for dinner."

"There's no spell on the car, all I did was cause the engine to stall," laughed Willow.

They went to pick up Dawn from school. When she appeared a boy walked up to her, she smiled at him as he seemed to shift from one foot to the other in a nervous way, Dawn smiled again then said something, he grind and leaned in kissing her.

"I think Dawn has just been asked out on a date by Kevin, Blayne's kid brother," said Willow.

"Blayne as in Blayne Mall?" asked Buffy.

"Yeah but Kevin has never been a jerk like Blayne, he was always a sweet kid. I understand that he's a good football player too," explained Willow.

"Oh great next Dawn will be telling me she's trying out for the cheerleading squad," groaned Buffy.

"Ah Buffy weren't you a cheerleader, when you were in LA?" asked Tara.

"Well yeah but all I keep picturing is Cordelia."

"Oh yeah Cordelia in her cheerleader outfit," mused Willow then she saw the looks she was getting from both Tara and Buffy, "Ah because of it making her look all skanky... Yeah skanky!" she blushed bright red.

Buffy turned to Tara, "How often does she check out these other girls?"

"Too often for my liking, but now I have you to help keep her in line!" Laughed Tara, she knew that Willow would not cheat on her, or Buffy, but she did enjoy it when she caught Willow out with these statements.

Before they could continue Dawn got into the car. She looked at the other three who were grinning at her, "What!"

"So where's Kevin Mall taking you?" asked Buffy.

"How do you know Kevin?"

"Willow and I went to high school with his brother Blayne."

"And Buffy rescued him from a giant she-mantis," put in Willow, "Blayne that is not Kevin."

"So is it serious?" asked Buffy.

"What! Kevin and me? I don't know he only just asked me out 5 minutes ago."

"So where's he taking you, somewhere nice," smiled Tara.

Dawn looked around at the others; "What is this, an interrogation?"

"No just doing the grown-up thing, making sure he's a nice boy and good enough to go out with my baby sister."

"He's ok, he's nice, he asked me to a party after his football game tomorrow. So can I go?"

"I don't know, I'll think about it," said Buffy.

"Buffy don't be mean let her go, she's had a lot to handle lately," said Willow.

"Oh alright, but I'll pick you up at eleven o'clock."

"12."

"11.30."

"Deal."

"Right let's go then, I still have dinner for four to cook," said Buffy starting the car.

--------------

It had been a very pleasant meal, she had started to relax with Willow and Tara, both of whom volunteered to do the washing up; Dawn was in her room finishing some homework. Buffy was relaxing with her feet up when there was a knock at the door, Buffy groaned before shouting that she would get it.

She opened the door, stood on the porch were a man and a woman. Buffy and the man just stood staring at each other.

"Dad what are you doing here?"

"Buffy, Dawn phoned me, she told me you were dead! What the hell is going on?"

"It was all a mix up someone called Sommers with an 'o'. Apparently she looked enough like me that they thought it was me."

"I think we should continue this inside don't you!" said Hank Summers.

"Yeah I suppose your right, come in."

She led them into the living room; Willow and Tara were just entering from the kitchen.

"Where's Dawn?" asked Hank.

"She's in her room doing her homework," answered Buffy, "Who's your friend?" she asked looking at the woman that couldn't be more than 5 or 6 years older than her.

"Oh I'm sorry this is my girlfriend Jennifer Nickles."

"Pleased to meet you. I was sorry to hear about your mother," said Jennifer.

"Yeah it’s a pity others didn't feel the same," said Buffy, a hardness coming into her eyes.

"Buffy," said Hank walking towards her.

She put her hand up stopping him, "Don't."

Hank stopped unsure what to do, he looked at Willow and Tara; "Who are your friends?"

"This is Willow and Tara. Will, Tara this is my dad Hank Summers."

"Pleased to meet you Mr Summers," said Tara.

"Likewise. Buffy we need to talk about Dawn."

"What about her?"

"I want her to come and live with me and Jennifer."

"Go to hell, there is no way she is going anywhere with you."

"Buffy she needs a mother and father; you should be in school not having to look after your younger sister."

"Who did you have in mind for the mother role? Jennifer's mum?"

"That was un-called for Buffy, you don't even know Jennifer."

"No that's true, I'm sorry Jennifer," Buffy nodded to her; Jennifer gave her a half smile back.

"Buffy I'd rather not fight you for custody of Dawn, but I'm her father she should be with me."

"You haven't been our father since we came to Sunnydale. If anyone has been a father to us it's been Giles."

"Giles! The librarian from your high school?"

"Yes, he’s been a good friend to Dawn, mum and me from the time we came here."

"I'd like to talk to Dawn."

"I don't think that's a good idea, she's had a lot to cope with recently she doesn't need anymore just now."

"I have no intention of leaving without seeing Dawn first."

"Your wrong about that," said Buffy in a very ominous voice.

"Buffy please this isn't the way, let him see Dawn," said Tara. "Mr Summers I'm sure that if you promise not to do anything to upset Dawn, Buffy will let you see her. Won't you Buffy?"

"If he promises he can see her," she said almost like a pouting child.

"Very well I will not say anything about taking her away from here."

"Why would I want to go anywhere with you?" came a voice behind them.

They all turned to see Dawn standing in the doorway.

"Honey we didn't hear you come in, how have you been?" said Hank.

"I've been better, first I lost mum, then I thought I'd lost Buffy, now I hear my father trying to take me away from the only family I have."

Hank looked at her not knowing what to say. Jennifer touched his arm; "Honey I think we should go, you can talk to Dawn and Buffy again tomorrow after you and they have calmed down."

"Yes tomorrow, why don't you come to Giles shop, use it as sort of a neutral place," suggested Willow.

"Alright I'll be there." After Willow had given Hank directions to the Magic Box he and Jennifer left, neither Buffy nor Dawn said goodbye.

When Willow and Tara came back from seeing Hank Summers out they saw Buffy and Dawn hugging each other in the middle of the room; they could feel the turmoil coming from Buffy as well as see the tears running down her cheeks. Both looked at each other seeing the tears standing in their own eyes they ran to Buffy and Dawn, joining in the hug.

"Stay with us tonight... We... I don't want to be on my own," whispered Buffy.

"Of course we'll stay, we love you," said Willow through her tears.

Buffy smiled at the two putting the love she felt for them in the look.

Dawn pulled out of the hug looking at the three, "Eeew gross."

Buffy started to laugh, it slowly spread until all four were laughing and rolling around the floor.

Buffy was first to recover wiping her eyes; "I didn't mean it that way, just the company, we'll have a sleepover."

"Can we invite Anya and Xander over as well?" asked Dawn.

The others looked at her; "I don't think so! Ah Anya probably has Xander doing other things, they’ll want to be on their own," said Buffy.

"You mean they're having sex?" said Dawn.

"Well yeah," said Buffy blushing.

As the evening went on Buffy and Dawn began to relax again, ate popcorn and pizza watched some videos. The evening ended up with a pillow fight the Summers girls against the two witches, Willow and Tara cheated outrageously using magick to throw the pillows, it was only Buffy's slayer skills that stopped it becoming a rout.

They let Dawn take the settee, while the others laid some blankets on the floor. It must have been the early hours of the morning when Dawn woke up, for a minute she couldn't think where she was! She then saw the three lying on the floor, then she remembered the sleepover, she smiled; Buffy who had been a little away from the others was now tangled up with Willow and Tara. Although earlier she had said the idea of her sister with Willow and Tara was gross the more she thought about it the more she liked the idea, not the sex bit that was still gross, but she saw how happy Buffy was when she was with the witches.

As she lay there thinking she realized that Tara was looking back at her, she smiled and Tara smiled back, she untangled herself from the other two and whispered, "Let's go into the kitchen."

Dawn nodded and followed Tara into the kitchen who turned to her, "Would you like some warm milk?"

"Yeah maybe I'll be able to get back to sleep," yawned Dawn.

Tara smiled, "The way you're yawning I'd say you don't really need it." She took some milk out of the fridge and pored some into a pan. She sat on a stool next to Dawn; "How are you feeling now about your dad?"

Dawn was silent for a minute, "I don't want to go with him, I want to stay here. Even though those monks placed false memories of me and I remember him, he isn't my father, he isn't family, my family is here."

"Do you remember when my family came to try and force me to go back with them?"

["I'm sorry. I'm s-s-so sorry." Tara sniffled, "I was, I was trying to hide."

Willow walked over and knelt by Tara.

"I didn't want you to see... what I am."

"Tara, what?" asked Willow.

"What do you mean, what you are?" asked Buffy.

Tara tried to speak but couldn't.

"Demon. The women in our family..." Mr Maclay started to explain everyone looked up at him. "Have demon in them. Her mother had it. That's where the magic comes from."

Tara looked down, then looked up at Willow, who stared at her.

"We came to take her home before..." he sighed, "Well, before things like..." he pointed at the dead demon, "This started happening." Mr Maclay finished.

Giles looked at Tara; "You cast a spell on us, to keep us from seeing you're... demon side!" he turned to Buffy, "That's why we couldn't see our attackers."

Buffy looked behind her at Dawn. "Nearly got us killed."

"I'll go," said Tara getting to her feet. She turned to Buffy, "I'm very sorry."

"The camper's outside," said Mr Maclay.

"Wait! Go!" Willow grabbed Tara's elbow, "I, she just did a spell that went wrong. It-it was just a mistake."

"That's not the point and it's not your concern. She belongs with us. We know how to control her... problem," said Mr Maclay.

Willow looked at Tara in distress, "Tara... look at me," Tara turned to face her; "I-I trusted you more than anyone in my life. Was all that just a lie?"

"No!" said Tara tears in her eyes.

"Well, do you wanna leave?"

"It's not your decision, young lady," interrupted Mr Maclay.

Willow turned sharply to him; "I know that!" Then she turned back to Tara speaking more softly; "Do you wanna leave?"

Tara shook her head, crying.

"You're going to do what's right, Tara. Now, I'm taking you out of here before somebody 'does' get killed," said Mr Maclay, Tara wiped her face on her sleeve; "The girl belongs with her family. I hope that's clear to the rest of you," stated Mr Maclay.

Willow looked anxiously at Tara.

"It is," said Buffy, they all turned to look at her. Buffy narrowed her eyes at Tara. "You want her, Mr. Maclay? You can go ahead and take her."

Tara looked sad, as if that's what she expected. Willow felt shocked that her best friend could do this to someone she loved. Mr Maclay nodded in satisfaction.

Buffy whirled around to face Mr Maclay, putting her hands on her hips. "You just gotta go through me."

Tara looked up in amazement as hope began to grow in her heart.

"What?" said Mr Maclay.

"You heard me," said Buffy staring him down, looking very tough. "You wanna take Tara out of here against her will? You gotta come through me."

"And me!" said Dawn walking over to stand by her sister, joining her in giving Mr Maclay the same steely glare.

Tara smiled.

"Is this a joke?" said Mr Maclay stepping down one of the stairs; "I'm not gonna be threatened by two little girls."

"You don't wanna mess with us," stated Dawn.

"She's a hair-puller," smiled Buffy proud of her little sister.

Giles walked up behind them; "And...." he put on his glasses; "You're not just dealing with, uh, two little girls."

Tara smiled even more.

"You're dealing with all of us," said Xander.

"'Cept me," said Spike from the back.

"'Cept Spike."

"I don't care what happens," said Spike.

"This is insane. You people have no right to interfere with Tara's affairs. 'We'... are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?" stormed Mr Maclay.

Giles, Dawn, Buffy, Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya were all standing together in a group.

"We're family," stated Buffy.]

"Yes I remember," said Dawn.

"Well in a way we're alike, both outsiders that have found this family!"

"I suppose your right!"

"None of your family is going to let anything happen to you that you don't want!"

"That's right Dawn, your not just Buffy's sister, you’re like a little sister none of us have," said Willow walking into the kitchen followed by Buffy.

"You two are up early!" said Buffy.

"Tara was just making me some warm milk, do you two want some?"

"Yeah why not," smiled Willow taking a seat next to Dawn as Tara got up to put more milk on.

"So guys what's the plan for today?" asked Buffy.

"Well Tara and I were going to do some spells, why?"

"Well... As much as I've tried to ignore this bond thing you two cast with Kellem I can't. So if it's okay with you two and Dawn, what do you say you two move in here, you can have mum's old room."

Willow and Tara looked at each other, no word had to be spoken both knew the answer was yes.

Willow looked back at Buffy and Dawn; "Are you sure about this Buffy?"

"It's our home from now on... The four of us I mean," said Dawn.

"Well that's settled then after we talk to dad at the shop we grab Xander and the five of us go and get your stuff," smiled Buffy.

"About your dad Buffy, if he finds out about the three of us he may use it to get Dawn away from you. Ok if it was just two of us living as a gay couple he wouldn't be able too, but the three of us is another matter," pointed out Tara.

"It doesn't matter, I won't go with him," said Dawn.

"Still I don't think we should let him know about the three of us," said Tara.

"I agree with Tara we should keep it quiet at least for now," said Willow.

"Ok, but what do we say about you two moving in?" asked Dawn.

"Well all we say is you and Buffy have a spare room and we want to get out of college housing, so we all decided we could help each other out and it would make it easier on you and Buffy," suggested Willow.

"Ok we'll try that and if it still becomes a problem you can always turn our dad into a rat, after all he's halfway there."

"Buffy," scalded Willow.

--------------

Magic Shop

When they got to the shop Giles had already placed a notice in the window informing the customers that the shop was closed until 12. They had phoned Giles the night before about Hank Summers, he had told Buffy he would help in anyway he could, they entered to see Giles and Anya sat waiting.

"Where's Xander?" asked Buffy.

"He said he wanted something to eat so he went to the donut shop, I told him to get the normal mix," explained Anya.

"You should feed him more," smiled Buffy.

"That would interfere with my orgasm time," said Anya.

Giles cleared his throat, "Ah shall we all sit down and go over what happened last night and what we are going to tell Buffy and Dawn's father?"

"Right we asked him to get here in about half an hour," explained Willow taking a chair.

"As we told you last night he wants to take Dawn away from me, I won't let that happen," stormed Buffy.

"Buffy I know you are upset about this but you need to calm down, attacking will only give your father ammunition to use against you," said Giles, he knew his slayer's first reaction was always to attack.

"Buffy why don't you go in the back and do some training, work off some of your excess energy," suggested Tara.

"Ok," said Buffy rising and going to change.

Anya watched her go before turning to Tara; "She did what you told her!"

"Yes she did didn't she!" smiled Tara.

Both Willow and Dawn also had smiles on their faces. Giles looked at the three smiling girls; "What's going on here?"

"Willow and Tara are moving in with Buffy and me... Well Buffy really," said Dawn.

"What do you mean?" asked Giles.

"It's the bond that Kellem helped them with! It wouldn't be exactly the same as the bond with a Jauda demon but most would still apply," said Anya.

Giles looked at Willow and Tara who were blushing; "I think you three and I should have a talk about this."

"Ok," said Willow continuing to blush.

"Dawn maybe you should go and keep an eye out for you father," said Giles.

--------------

Dawn leaned against the wall by the shop door, she hated the way Buffy or Giles would send her out of the room when they talked about something dangerous or in this case her sister's relationship with Tara and Willow, it wasn't as if she didn't know what happened in this town after dark, her sister was the slayer after all.

"Hey what you doing?" came a male voice.

Dawn looked up, when she saw who it was she smiled, "Hey Kevin. I got sent out because they're discussing my sister and her sex life."

Kevin gulped, "Oh ah sorry," he said blushing.

Dawn realized she had said the wrong thing, she backtracked, "I'm joking I'm supposed to be waiting for my dad to arrive. I think there's going to be a big fight. He came here to get me, but I don't want to go," she burst into tears, flying into his arms.

Holding onto her he was unsure what to do! So he just continued to hold her.

"Hey what's going on?" asked Xander coming around the corner carrying several boxes of donuts.

Kevin pulled away from Dawn frightened that Xander Harris would think he was responsible for Dawn crying, "I didn't do anything, she was just upset and grabbed me."

"Its ok Xander, Kevin's my boyfriend, I told him about my dad coming to get me."

"He's your boyfriend? I though I was your boyfriend!" said Xander, Dawn could see the twinkle in his eyes.

"Sorry you had your chance, but you chose Anya instead."

"Funny. So, you coming in?"

"No, I'm supposed to be looking out for my dad."

"Well keep it up, I'm sure Kevin will keep you occupied," Xander winked at them before going into the shop.

"Do you want me to go?" asked Kevin.

Grabbing his hand she smiled at him, "No please stay."

"Alright. So are you allowed to come to the party tonight?"

"Yeah I was going to phone you last night but then my dad turned up so I didn't get a chance to..."

"That's ok at least you can come. Is Lisa coming cuz Rob likes her."

"Really! We'll have to get them together I know Lisa likes him," Dawn smiled.

"Ok make sure she comes to the game, then we can work on them together."

As they finished their planning Dawn saw her dad pull-up in his car; "That's my dad, you better go."

"Are you sure? I don't mind staying with you, if you want..."

"No its ok you should go, I'll see you later ok," she stood on tiptoe and kissed him, before he walked away waving as he went around the corner.

Dawn stood waiting for her dad and Jennifer to come over; "So my little princess has a boyfriend."

"Yeah he's taking me to a party tonight after his football game."

"Well I hope he behaves himself. I think we should go in and talk over what is going to happen, we need to leave Monday morning and we will need to sort a lot of things out before then."

"I told you last night I'm not going anywhere with you."

"Let's go in and talk about it," Hank pushed the door open.

As they walked in they saw everyone sat at the large table, they all looked up and Giles rose and walked over to Hank extending his hand; "I'm Rupert Giles, you may not remember but we met once when you came to visit Buffy at school. This is my shop, Buffy and her friends like to hang out here," he said shaking hands.

"So you own this shop... how interesting and you allow my girls to 'hang out' here! What is your interest in my daughters Mr Giles?"

"I'm not sure I like what you are implying, but I have sort of become the father figure to all these young people; I have tried to guide them in what is right and wrong, and without being conceited, I think they have all grown up to be well rounded individuals. Now would you and your young lady like to have a seat so we can sort out this situation."

Hank was embarrassed, he knew he had all but deserted his family after the divorce and this man had taken up the slack; "I'm sorry, I apologize," he said with sincerity following Giles to the table.

As they sat Buffy looked around the table; "For those that haven't met them before this is my dad Hank Summers and his girlfriend Jennifer Nickles, dad this is Xander and his fiancée Anya she works for Giles."

"Please to meet you, I only wish it was under better circumstances," said Hank.

"I understand you wish to have Dawn live with you Mr Summers!" said Giles.

"Yes I feel it would be best for both her and Buffy, I want to try and make up for the mistakes I have made over the years."

"And taking Dawn away from me is going to make up for that how?" said Buffy the bitterness clearly in her voice.

"Buffy I'm sorry for all the hurt I've caused you and your sister over the last few years, I just want the chance to make it right. I know you think I didn't care for you two because I didn't come here when you called to say your mum was sick. It's not true I'll always love you and your mother." He gave a little smile, "Did she ever tell you how we met?"

"Only that she met you at a dance in her freshman year of college and that you were with another girl!" Buffy smiled for the first time since leaving home.

"Well she arranged for my date to have punch spilt down her dress then locked in the toilets, at which time she moved in and casually informed me that she had seen my date leaving with another guy. It was months before I found out what had really happened, by then I was so in love I forgave her."

"So what changed?" asked Buffy, genuinely curious.

"Over the years we just drifted apart. We had our own group of friends, I was under pressure at work," he sighed, "And then you started getting into trouble at school." He held up his hand seeing the anger in his daughter's eyes; "I know I handled it badly, I should have been more supportive, I'm sorry."

"So you want to take Dawn from me and her family how's that going to make up for it?" asked Buffy bitterness coming back into her voice.

"What do you mean?" asked Hank.

"About 6 months ago Tara's father came to try and take her away from us. As I told him and now, I'm telling you. We," she indicated the people sat around the table, "Are family and if you want Dawn you'll have to go through me," she looked at her friends but mainly at Willow and Tara pleading with her eyes.

"You'll have to go through us all," said Willow.

Tara nodded, "Mr Summers we will do everything we can to stop you taking Dawn away from us. But we would rather you became a part of Buffy and Dawn's life again."

Hank looked around this odd looking group before returning his gaze to Buffy and Dawn, both nodded their heads to confirm Tara's statement that they were willing to let him back into their lives.

Hank sighed, "I see if I want to take Dawn away I'll have a fight on my hands."

"You better believe it buster... Ah Mr Summers," said Anya, smiling at Xander as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

"Alright I'll leave Dawn here with you, but maybe she can come and stay with us this summer! My firm is transferring me back to the West Coast possibly San Francisco or San Diego."

"I'd like that," smile Dawn.

"Ok then we'll leave you in peace for now," said Hank beginning to rise.

"Hey why don't you come to dinner tomorrow before you leave?" said Buffy.

"No. Why don't I take you out to dinner?"

"Ok but only if Willow and Tara can come too," said Dawn jumping in before Buffy could answer.

"Dawn you and Buffy should go alone," smiled Willow.

"No its ok I'll pick the four of you up from your home at 6 tomorrow night," with that Hank and Jennifer left.

--------------

Xander carried the last box from his car, as Willow and Buffy pulled up in Buffy's car with the final load, Tara and Dawn were busy putting the things away in what had been Joyce Summers room.

"So how long do you think it will be before Buffy moves in here with you and Willow?" asked Dawn.

Tara blushed, "I-I don't know wh-what you mean!" she stammered.

"I can see how you are around each other; you love each other don't you?"

"Yes but Willow and I don't want to rush things with Buffy, we'll wait until she's ready."

Just then the others trooped in carrying more boxes; "Well this is the last of it," said Xander. "I hope you got some food I'm staved."

"Yes Xander we did plan to feed you, after all you have been working hard today," said Tara.

"Xander you must have hollow legs," laughed Buffy, "There's plenty of munches in the kitchen." She turned to Dawn, "We'll finish up here, you should start getting ready for your date."

"But its only 3 o'clock, there's ages yet," said Dawn.

"This is your first date you need to give a good impression. You need to take a shower, wash your hair then pick an outfit to wear, believe me two and a half hours isn't long!" explained Buffy.

"Ok ok already I'll take a shower," she trooped out heading into her own room.

Tara turned to Buffy, "Dawn asked when you were going to move in here with Willow and me!"

"You mean she knows what the bond means! How?"

"Buffy she's smarter then you give her credit," said Tara.

"Yeah but I still feel the need to protect her," said Buffy.

"That's because she's your little sister," smiled Willow.

"I need time to get use to this situation," said Buffy in a quiet voice, answering Tara's question.

"We understand, there's no rush. Now let's finish up here so we can feed the black hole that is Xander's stomach," laughed Willow.

Buffy, Willow and Tara helped Dawn pick out an outfit to wear and did her hair. At 5.30 there was a knock at the door.

"That's him. How do I look?" Dawn asked again, she had been asking the same question every few minutes for half an hour.

"I'll get it," said Buffy.

"Your fine, just try and relax," smiled Willow thinking back to her first date with Oz.

On opening the door Buffy was confronted by a nervous looking boy; "Hi Kevin come in Dawn's been waiting for you." She led him into the living room.

"Hey," said Kevin smiling at Dawn.

"Hi," replied Dawn.

"We got two Oz's here," laughed Buffy.

"Leave them alone Buffy. Now have a nice time we'll see you later ok," Willow smiled at the two youngest people.

"We will, see you later, Bye," said Dawn leading Kevin out the door.

Buffy went to the door closing it behind them, on re-entering the living room, Willow asked something she was curious about, Buffy had left the house for half an hour and would not say where she went! Willow had a feeling that it had something to do with Dawn; "Where did you go earlier?"

Buffy smiled, "I told Spike to follow her from the game to the party, to keep out of sight and make sure that nothing supernatural happens."

"And he agreed?" asked Willow.

"Surprisingly yes, I think somehow that chip in his head has changed him! Plus I think he really likes Dawn."

"Perhaps we should talk to Giles about it!" said Tara.

"Yeah I've been thinking the same thing," said Buffy.

"So what we going to do between now and picking up Dawn?" asked Willow.

"Well I'm thinking Bronze it's been ages since we went dancing," suggested Buffy.

"That's true, let's get ready," smiled Willow leading the three upstairs.

Before leaving they phoned Xander and arranged to meet him and Anya at the club.

About two blocks from the Bronze they saw two vampires moving towards a couple walking hand in hand towards the club.

Buffy groaned, "It seems I've been neglecting my calling."

"Well you've been busy fighting a god, dying, coming back..." Willow pointed out.

"Finding true love..." Tara quietly whispered.

Both Buffy and Willow burst out laughing bringing the three to the attention of the vampires. They walked towards the Slayer and her friends, starting to grin then seemed to recognize Buffy.

"Slayer... they said you were dead!" said the blond haired vamp.

"Yeah but she's still pretty," put in Willow. Buffy and Tara looked at her; "Sorry couldn't resist it... But you are... pretty I mean," she blushed.

"Thanks Will but I think I should deal with these vamps, then you can continue telling me just how pretty I am!" smirked Buffy. She sprang at the vampires without missing a beat pulling Mr Pointy out of her jacket and plunging it into the blond vampire’s chest, she roundhoused the second sending him into a tree. The vampire turned to dust having taken a branch in the back.

Buffy turned back smiling at Willow and Tara; "Now where were we? Oh yeah you were saying how pretty I am."

Willow and Tara each looped their arms with one of Buffy's and continued moving towards the Bronze; "Your very pretty, in fact you're tied for top place with Tara as the prettiest girl in the world," smiled Willow.

"Can't agree with you there Will you and Tara are the pretty ones here," Buffy said looking back and forth between them.

"Sorry both of you are only half right you two are far more pretty than me," said Tara.

"I don't think any of us can win this argument, so I say we compromise. We are all pretty... and smart and capable of delivering major ass kicking's... although you do do that better than us two," said Willow looking at Buffy.

On entering the club, they saw Xander and Anya dancing, on spotting there friends Xander waved as he led Anya over to the table Buffy had grabbed. She could still feel people staring at her, which in a way was strange, here they were on the Hellmouth, the undead regularly came to the Bronze, but as far as they knew, she had never died! She shook the feeling off; she was here to enjoy herself with her friends.

The Bronze had always been a place they could relax and forget the problems of living on the Hellmouth; ok there was the occasionally problem with vampires deciding to crash the party, but generally these days they avoided the place. Although Buffy was always commenting that vampires never learned anything new, they finally realized that the Slayer and her friends spent quite a bit of time at the club, so all but the newbies tended to stay away.

They danced for hours, in groups and in couples. Buffy, Willow and Tara got some strange looks when they danced with each other but one look from Buffy stopped any snide comments leaving their mouths.

They left together, Xander and Anya to go back to their apartment to have several hours of sex if Anya had her way, she generally did. While Buffy, Willow and Tara went to pick up Dawn.

--------------

Buffy was wide awake, she had been tossing and turning for two hours, she could not stop thinking about Willow and Tara in the room down the hall; Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to invite them to move in! She got up and went down to the kitchen; she warmed some milk, then sat sipping at it.

‘What am I going to do?’

‘You’re a coward Summers. You know you want to go up those stairs walk into their room and announce you want to make love to them.’ stated her little inner voice.

‘I can't do that, I wouldn't know how to... I'd be embarrassed.’

‘You're a coward you know they both love you; you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Now get up their, march into their room and tell them.’

‘NO.’

‘Coward.’

‘Shut up.’

‘Make me.’

Buffy walked up the stairs, she stood at the top staring at their door; she looked at her own door then back at theirs.

‘I can't do it.’

‘Yes you can.’

Suddenly their door opened, stood in the doorway was a blonde goddess. Tara smiled Buffy smiled back. Tara held her hand out; Buffy hesitated for a moment before her feet seemed to move of their own volition towards Tara. She took the hand and allowed herself to be led into the bedroom, she looked around half a dozen candles were already lit, Willow was lighting a couple more before she turned to look at Buffy and Tara.

"Buffy we could sense your emotional turmoil, stay with us tonight," said Willow.

"I'm frightened," whispered Buffy.

"You don't need to be as I said before, you don't have to do anything you are uncomfortable with just relax and let us show you how much we love you," said Willow walking over and took Buffy's other hand.

Buffy looked into their eyes, "I love you so much," she said as they led her to the bed, sitting down on the edge, she allowed Tara to pull her tank top over her head exposing her breasts to her lovers view.

They sat either side of her; Willow started lightly biting her earlobe, while Tara lightly kissed her before placing one of her hands behind her neck and capturing her mouth with the most sensual kiss Buffy had ever experienced. Tara lightly pushed her tongue against Buffy's lips wishing to enter, Buffy let out a low moan as her lips parted for Tara's tongue and Willow moved down to her neck.

They gently pushed her back onto the bed her legs over the bottom; Tara released her mouth moving down her chin to her neck placing kisses as she went, her right hand began to caress Buffy's right breast, she rolled the rock hard nipple between her thumb and forefinger. Willow moved down from Buffy's neck to her left breast she took the nipple between her teeth lightly biting it. Buffy moaned, the two witches where doing things to her that no other lover had ever done before! She grabbed the back of their heads running her hands through their hair.

Tara continued kissing her way on down Buffy's front to her other breast and started doing exactly the same as Willow, they seemed to be mirroring each other, had Buffy been in a position to think clearly she would have wondered about it! All she knew was that she was close to an orgasm; she had never been given an orgasm from just having her breasts caressed. She did remember that Dawn was in her room so grabbed a pillow from above her head and pressed it over her face as the orgasm shook her whole body.

When she lifted the pillow off of her face she looked into a pair of green eyes, she could feel Tara licking and kissing her way down under her breast towards her navel.

"Lift your hips sweetie so I can take you sweats off," whispered Willow, Buffy smirked and lifted her hips. Willow gently pulled them off then knelt down between Buffy's legs, Buffy giggled when she saw the lust in Willow's eyes and lick her lips before lowering her head. Meanwhile Tara had reached Buffy's navel and was licking and planting feather light kisses around it.

In a moment of clarity Buffy realized that Willow and Tara were concentrating on her most erogenous zones all she could think was that they knew because of the bond! Willow used the fingers of her left hand to pull back the hood covering Buffy's clitoris, she gently blow on it, she smiled as she heard Buffy moan. She placed two fingers of her right hand at the entrance of Buffy's vagina; she slowly pushed them into the opening slowly moving them in and out. She lowered her head taking the clit gently between her teeth, flicking her tongue around and over it.

Meanwhile Tara had moved back up to Buffy's breast attacking the nipple again, she used her right hand to gently caress her other breast occasionally scraping her nails over the nipple. Willow could feel Buffy's vagina walls starting to grip her fingers; she knew Buffy was very close.

"Willow, Tara please I can't take anymore, let me come," cried Buffy.

Willow increased the speed as she started sucking hard on her clit; Buffy just had time to cover her face with the pillow as she cried out in ecstasy. She knew that she would have to confront Dawn with her relationship with Willow and Tara but the last thing she wanted was Dawn hearing her making love or worse walking in.

Buffy almost blacked out from the mind-blowing orgasm, but she was definitely disorientated the last thing she remembered, before falling into blissful dreamless sleep, was that Willow and Tara helped her into the bed proper before cuddling up to her one on each side and falling asleep.

--------------

When Buffy awoke she realized three things, first she was not in her own bed, second that she was naked and last there were two other people in bed with her. She looked down to see Tara asleep, using her chest as a pillow, her hair partly obscuring Willow who seemed to be using her stomach for her own pillow. She decided she liked it, she looked over at the clock, 7.30, she would need to get up soon and get her day started. She felt the two witches stirring they both raised their heads and looked at her, grins on their faces.

"Morning sweetie, so how you feeling this morning?" said Willow.

"I'm not sure! I mean wow! What you two did to me last night was incredible! I'll have to return the favour. But I still need to figure out what to tell Dawn."

"Well you could tell me your going to move in here, that way I can have your room," said Dawn who stood in the doorway.

"Dawn how did you know I was in here?" asked Buffy pulling the duvet up to cover hers as well as Willow and Tara's naked bodies.

"Well when I went to the bathroom late last night I saw your door open and when I checked you weren't there so I guessed you were here. Then I heard you moaning which I must say really grossed me out, so I slept downstairs."

"Oh Dawn I'm so sorry," said Buffy.

"It's ok I've seen the way you three look at each other, it was bound to happen sooner or later. But although I'm happy for you, really I am. I'd rather not have to hear you. So if I had your room I wouldn't have too."

Buffy looked at Willow and Tara, who had huge grins on their faces, she turned back to Dawn; "It seems we have a lot more moving to do." Willow and Tara hugged her letting the cover fall away from them.

Dawn blushed, "Ah I'll wait downstairs," she turned and rushed out the room, she could hear the three laughing.

It only took a couple of hours to move Buffy and Dawn's stuff; they spent the rest of the day just doing some chores around the house. Willow, Tara and Dawn got to work on Buffy eventually getting her to agree to try and get back into college. Dawn suspected that she agreed only because Willow and Tara both gave her there best puppy dog eyes; it was going to be fun living with the two Witches.

Their dinner with Hank Summers went surprisingly well. They kept the fact that Willow and Tara were Buffy's live-in lovers secret. Buffy and Dawn's reconcile with their dad went really well, they promised to keep in close contact with each other and Hank insisted on sending Buffy some money each month to help pay for things Dawn needed.

Buffy took Dawn to say goodbye to their dad and Jennifer the next day before dropping her off at school. Buffy was surprised when she realized that she was sorry to see her dad leave.

As Dawn was getting out of the car Buffy turned to her, "Ah Dawn would you mind asking your friend Lisa if you could sleep over at her house tonight," she asked.

"Why?"

"Well I was sort of hoping to have a night alone with Willow and Tara," Buffy blushed.

Dawn laughed, "Eeew gross."

"Dawn that's starting to get old. I can't help how I feel about them, I know you don't want to know what we do, but the bond has to be renewed every so often. Giles believes that if we don't we will all die! Dawn the three of us are trying to shield you from the grosser side of the bond as you put it, but we need this."

"I-I'm sorry I don't mean it, I like having Willow and Tara living with us, it's like having two more sisters and they promised to teach me some spells and Willow helps me with my homework," Dawn had tears standing in her eyes.

"It's ok don't cry. So will you do this for me?"

"Yeah I'll check with Lisa and let you know after school ok."

"Thanks. Ah Dawn you better wipe your eyes Kevin's on his way over."

--------------

Lisa checked with her mum, who said it was ok, so Buffy dropped Dawn off at her house with her overnight things.

She then rushed home to get everything ready, she knew that her lovers would pick up her emotions and know she was up to something so she forced herself to just project happy feelings as she prepared a romantic dinner for three. She had just finished setting the table when she heard them open the front door.

"Hey guys were home," Willow called out.

Buffy walked into the living room just in time to see them both flop down on the settee; "Dawn's having a sleepover at Lisa's, so we have the house to ourselves," she smiled at them, which they returned. "You have half an hour to shower and change into something sexy, before dinner is ready, of course you two would look sexy in ripped jeans and an old T-shirt, which you can change into if you really want too..." she trailed off.

Tara smiled and looked at Willow, "Willow I think you gave Buffy your babble in the bond!"

"Funny now upstairs and get ready," said Buffy standing with her hands on her hips.

They decided that as Buffy had gone to so much trouble, arranging for them to be alone and cooking a special dinner, they would wear their sexist outfits. At exactly 6.30 they came down and entered the dining room. The room was bathed in candlelight, Buffy was stood behind one of the chairs, she pulled it out to allow Tara to sit, she then leaned down and kissed her, she then did the same with Willow before taking her own seat and dish out dinner for each of them.

They relaxed, joked, flirted with each other, but Willow and Tara mainly tried to find out what Buffy was up too! All she would say was it was a special occasion and that she would tell them later. Willow and Tara smiled at each other; the smouldering looks Buffy was giving them suggested they had a very interesting night ahead.

After dinner Buffy rose and walked around to her lovers she held out her hands; "My ladies please come with me," she smiled at them as they each took one of her hands. She led them up to their bedroom, she then turned to Willow; "You don't remember what today is do you?"

"Well it’s not our birthdays and a lot has happened recently so no."

Buffy smiled, "Willow two years ago today you told me you were going to go to UC Sunnydale and help me fight the good fight. It's also one year since you told me about you choosing Tara over Oz, which I admit did freak me out a little at the time. So I decided that I wanted to mark this day with this;" she took Willow's right hand and slipped a ring on her finger, she then did the same to Tara. She held up her own identical ring; "I don't know if Willow ever told you about the ring Angel once gave me?"

"No I don't think so!"

"Well it was the same as these, it's called a Claddagh ring, the hands represent friendship, the crown loyalty and the heart love. If you wear it with the heart pointed towards you it means you belong to someone, I just wanted to show you both that I want this relationship to work. I love you both so much."

They both had tears running down their cheeks as they both began to hug her as well as each other while exchanging kisses.

Buffy pulled away from them, "Now its payback time! You two did things to me the other night that I intend to repay you for, Tara sit," Buffy pointed to the vanity table chair, "You'll have to wait your turn and no cheating, keep your hands away from that sexy body of yours." She turned back to a smirking Willow. She walked behind her and unzipped her dress as she slipped it off Willow's shoulders she began kissing the back of her neck, she turned her around and undid her front fastening bra slipping it off and allowing it to join the dress on the floor. She leaned over and gently kissed the top of Willow's breast slowly moving down to the nipple taking it into her mouth and sucking it quite hard bringing a moan from Willow.

Releasing the nipple she straightened up, Willow groaned making Buffy smile, "Patient's sweetpea." She picked her up easily and carried her to the bed, placing her down gently she trailed her finger down along Willow's body; she could see the goosebumps appearing on Willow's flawless skin. Grabbing the top of her panties and pulled them off and throwing them across the room.

She looked down at Willow lust in her eyes; Willow returned the look as she started to caress her breasts. Buffy waved a finger in front of her smirking, "Uh huh no cheating." Willow giggled as Buffy leaned over her body and gently started to lightly kiss her breast so lightly it was like the brush of a feather causing Willow to arch her back towards the touch. Her left hand went to Willow's other breast teasing the nipple, while her right slowly caressed it's way down between her thighs bring yet another moan from Willow.

Tara seated on the chair watched intensely as Buffy began her assault. She opened herself up to the emotions coming from her lovers as she closed her eyes and let her head fall backwards, a moan escaped from deep within her throat and her knuckles turned white as she gripped the sides of the chair.

Buffy gripped the nipple between her teeth and bit on it, she then began to flick at the tip with her tongue; she could feel what this was doing to Willow through the bond. It was only this past year's mental training she had done with Giles that stopped her being swept up in the emotions coming from not only Willow but Tara as well. While her mouth was busy with Willow's breast, Willow's clitoris was being rolled around by the thumb and forefinger of Buffy's right hand.

As Buffy continued to concentrate on stopping her lovers’ emotions affecting her she suddenly realized that the mental barrier was not actually working as she had thought! It was actually reflecting the emotions back into Willow and Tara, amplify them. Buffy could see out of the corner of her eye Tara flop to the floor, she was in the same throes of ecstasy as Willow.

‘This is so cool I can do them both at the same time,’ thought Buffy. She could sense that they were very close now; she kissed her way down Willow's belly going straight to her clitoris she started to suck hard on it.

As Willow started to come Buffy forgot to keep the mental barrier up, she collapsed onto the floor next to Tara as all three of them started to orgasm over and over, each caught in a kind of feedback loop as the bond continued to send the emotions from each of them into the other two, this went on and on until all three blacked out.

When Willow opened her eyes the only light was coming from the moon and the streetlights, she licked her dry lips as she rolled over and moved to the bottom of the bed. Curled up next to each other were Buffy and Tara.

Tara's groaned, opening her eyes she looked at Willow; "What happened?" she groaned again as she rolled over to look at Buffy.

"Don't know! All I know is Buffy was doing the most incredible things to me, it seemed that everything I was feeling kept coming back to me, then when I came I felt you and Buffy coming as well, it seemed to send me over the top again, it just went on and on."

"Well as for myself I allowed what you were feeling to sort of wash over me, then everything Buffy was doing to you seemed to effect me. I think I came at the same time you did because a split second after I started I felt yours. Willow how and what did Buffy do to us?"

"I don't know! But it was the most incredible feeling I have ever had!"

"Well thank goodness for that, I don't think I want to do that every night," put in Buffy.

"Buffy, what did you do?" asked Willow.

"Not entirely sure. Tired now, go to sleep now," said Buffy her speech pattern reminding Willow of cave Slayer Buffy.

"Buffy don't you think you should get in bed first?" said Tara.

"No floor nice and flat," she answered patting the carpet, "Night-night." She slowly lay down on the floor.

Willow giggled, "We better get her to bed, she'll only moan at us tomorrow if she wakes up with marks on her face from the carpet."

"Right sweetheart, but I think we need to find out tomorrow what she did."

They struggled to get her clothes off; they did not bother putting her into her night things, after all Dawn was not going to walk in on them. By the time they finished they felt exhausted, they were asleep as soon as their heads touched pillow.

--------------

Buffy reached over to cuddle her lovers, but found no one to hold, she bolted upright looking around in panic. She looked over at the clock.

‘10.30! What the hell happened? I must have overslept! I never over sleep! Where's Will and Tara?’

The last part was answered when they walked through the door.

"Morning sleepy head," smiled Willow.

"Morning Will, Tara. What happened, why did you let me sleep so long?" asked Buffy.

"Well we were kind of hoping you could tell us! What exactly did you do to us last night?" said Tara.

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean!"

"Well when you were making love to me," Willow started to answer then smiled at Tara before correcting herself, "Us last night, somehow you seemed to be reflecting our feelings back at us. Then just as I was starting to come you collapsed on the floor and both of us felt you coming as well, but it also seemed to effect us as well! Buffy how exactly did you do that?"

"I'm not exactly sure! I was using some of the mental discipline training Giles taught me over the last year to block your feelings from affecting me so I could concentrate on making love to you. But then I realized it seemed to reflect them back on you both, I could sense what effect it was having on you so I carried on doing it. But when you started to come I let the block slip for a second and both of your orgasms sort of went through me sending me over the top as well, it was more intense than anything else I have ever experienced. The more I think about it the more I think that because I had cut myself off from both of you, when I let you both back in it sort of overloaded me, getting all of it at once and I then subconsciously sent it back at you two!"

"That's more or less what I though! It was incredible but I think we should be careful about doing that again AND please warn us in future ok sweetie," smiled Tara.

"Ok, do you think we should talk to Giles about this?"

"Ah Buffy even though I know Giles and the others know we have sex I don't think I want to discuss our sex life with them," said Willow.

"And Giles is British he will probably get very embarrassed about it!" pointed out Tara.

"I don't want to tell him about our love making either, but we need to find out what this bond has done to us! I know that demon Kellem told you how it's supposed to work but it doesn't seem to be doing it, if you know what I mean!" said Buffy.

"I think your right Buffy, we need to find out if there are any other side effects," nodded Willow.

"Right, I'll grab a quick shower then we go and see if we can turn Giles the colour of your hair Will," smiled Buffy.

--------------

The three were thankful that Xander was at work, they had agreed that talking to Giles about their sex life was going to be hard enough without the added embarrassment of doing it in front of Xander. After telling him they needed to talk to him and seeing the blushes on their faces Giles decided he would close for an early lunch.

The three sat down with him and Anya and gave them as much detail of what had happened the night before as they could. Giles surprised them by going redder than Willow's hair and Buffy was pretty sure he stopped breathing on at least two occasions. Each of them could feel the embarrassment of the other two making their own worse.

It was Anya that eventually came to their rescue; her almost clinical attitude to sex actually worked in her favour, they started answering her questions like they would a doctor.

"But when we made love to Buffy the other night how come we didn't blackout?" asked Willow.

"Did she make love to you as well?"

"No, would that make a difference?" answered Willow.

"Yes to the bond it would, the bond is maintained by sex, but until all three of you fully accepted the full sexual side of the bond it was not in full effect, last night that happened. But some of the things that you have experienced as far as I have heard do not happen when a Jauda demon is bonded to another creature."

"Well I think we need to research this but in the mean time I suggest Buffy you do not do what you did last night until we find out what this bond really means!" advised Giles.

"Ok with me," she said, although she felt a wave of disappointment from both Willow and Tara, which she felt herself. She was not sure how long she or they could resist before doing it again, only they knew how incredible the sensation had been.

Over the next two weeks they discovered that as long as they made love at least every couple of days and Buffy did not try and block the sensations coming from the others they were ok! The gang researched, Giles gave them various mental and physical tests. At the end they had discovered all they could, Giles did suggest contacting the council, but Buffy asked him not too, she didn't want them getting involved with her relationship with Willow and Tara.

The three all seemed to have increased abilities in fields that they always had, such as Willow's ability to harness the elements, Giles was thankful that he had tested her in the desert or she may have destroyed the Magic shop by accident. She could harness the energy they produced when having sex to throw huge fireballs or make the air as dense as steel etc. but she had to use it within a day or two or it dissipated.

Tara had always been able to sense people's auras like she had when Faith had taken over Buffy's body, but now she could sense animal and people's emotions completely and to some extent influence what they felt.

As for Buffy like Willow she seemed to be able to draw on the energy produced when they made love, but unlike Willow she seemed to be able to store it for days possibly weeks almost like a battery before it dissipated or she used it. She could use this energy in various ways, to heal minor wounds almost instantly or fight for hours without even breaking a sweat.

It turned out that Buffy's ability to block the emotions coming from her lovers had nothing to do with the bond, but as Buffy had suspected was connected to the mental training Giles had taught her over the last year. Giles did offer to train Willow and Tara in the same techniques but they declined.

--------------

Over the next two months things went by quietly, at least for Sunnydale! Buffy patrolled on her own or with other members of the Scooby gang. Buffy also started teaching Willow, Tara and Dawn how to protect themselves, she even allowed Dawn to go on a patrol when the whole gang went with her. Everything seemed to be moving along nicely which of course meant it wouldn't last.

One night Buffy and Tara were out on patrol, as they walked hand in hand, Tara was giggling as Buffy told her yet another story about Xander's high school antics. Just as she got to the part where he had Amy cast a love spell, she stopped, letting go of Tara's hand and started to slowly scan the darkness around them. Tara started to quietly chant a protection spell.

Out of the bushes to their left came three vamps, two others came out of the one's to their right, Buffy took up a defensive stance, Mr Pointy seeming to spring into her hand. Tara held her own stake with more confides than she would have only a couple of months before.

Buffy did not wait for the vampires to attack, springing at the three on the left and hoping Tara would be able to hold off the other two. She fainted a blow at one's chest with Mr Pointy then swept all three off their feet with her right leg, as they hit the ground she staked the female and back handing the redheaded one sending him flying backwards into a park bench shattering it. She sprang to her feet as the third also got up and dived at her, she waited for the best time to strike, upper cutting him to the chin sending him flying across the path into the vampire that had moved past Tara in an attempt to get to the slayer. Working on instinct born of years of experience she spun plunging her stake into the vamp that had just risen from the destroyed bench.

She looked over to check Tara was ok just in time to see her stake the vampire that had attacked her; she had her back to the two vampires that were left. As they started to move towards her Buffy throw Mr Pointy turning one to duct as she ran at the remaining one, getting to him just as he hit Tara across the back of the head sending her face down into the grass.

"You bastard you'll pay for that!" She shouted as she tackled him to the ground and started pounding fist after fist into his face, the last time she had felt this angry had been just before she had put Faith into a coma.

Tara groaned as she rolled over onto her side, she could see someone on their knees punching someone lying on the ground. She was having trouble focusing, but knew through the bond that Buffy was the one on top; "Buffy," she managed to say before blackness took her.

Buffy even through the rage heard Tara call out to her, she punched the paste that was once the vampire's face once more before plunging Mr Pointy into his chest.

She crawled over to where Tara lay unconscious; "I'm here baby, please wake-up don't leave Willow and me," tears were running down her cheeks.

‘We have to get us help or we will die!’ the small voice in her head told her.

‘Who are you?’ Buffy thought back.

‘That's not important at the moment we have to save us.’

Buffy shook herself out of the despair she had been falling into, wiping her eyes she bent and picked Tara up cradling her gently in her arms, she walked towards the hospital, which luckily was only a couple of blocks down from the park.

Buffy kicked open the door, looking around she cried out, "Someone help me."

A nurse rushed over to her as an orderly pushed a gurney over so Buffy could place Tara down.

"What happened?" asked a doctor also coming over.

"She fell and hit the back of her head, please help her."

"We will, don't worry," the doctor said as they pushed Tara down a short corridor into a room. As Buffy went to follow the nurse stepped in front of her; "I'm sorry Miss but you can’t go in there."

"But Tara... she needs me," she cried, tears starting to run down her cheeks again.

"The doctor needs to examine your friend, there is really nothing you can do for her right now, why don't you go to the desk and give them your friend's medical details."

Buffy stood staring at the nurse for a couple of heartbeats before taking a deep breath to try and calm herself; "Alright, where's the phone? I need to call some people."

The nurse pointed to the waiting area, "Just by the door you came through."

--------------

10 minutes later Buffy saw Willow and Dawn walk in, followed almost immediately by Giles, Anya and Xander, she ran over and throw herself into Willow's arms, both crying.

"Buffy what happened?" asked Giles.

"We were attacked by five vamps in Weatherly Park, I took out three and Tara took another one, but before I could stop him the last one hit her across the back of the head," Buffy explained.

"Where is she now?" asked Willow between sobs.

"She's in the examination room down the hall, the doctor's looking at her," she started crying again while hugging Willow tightly, "Will what if she dies! I don't think I could go on without her."

"Buffy she can't die, that's part of the bond as long as at least one of us is alive nothing can kill the other two, she'll be fine... she'll be fine," answered Willow, saying it to herself as much as to Buffy.

They sat or wandered around the waiting area for about another twenty minutes, throughout Buffy and Willow felt the need to be in constant physical contact.

Both rose and walked hand in hand towards the doctor that came out of the room Tara had been taken too; "How is she?" asked Buffy.

"She's going to be fine, she suffered a mild concussion we want to keep her in overnight just to be on the safe side," explained the Doctor.

"Can we see her?" asked Willow.

"She's been given some medication that's made her very drowsy, you may as well go home and come back tomorrow."

"We aren't leaving without Tara, if she has to stay here so are we," stated Buffy, steel coming into her eyes.

The Doctor took a step backwards as an identical look appeared in Willow's eyes; "Very well you may stay with your friend, but you'll have to wait until she is transferred to a ward."

"Thank you Doctor," said Buffy. She nodded to Buffy and the rest of the gang as she left them. Buffy then turned to Giles, "Can Dawn stay with you tonight?"

"Of course, I'll take her home to pick up some things."

"But I want to stay here with Tara," said Dawn.

"No your not, you have school tomorrow. You'll go with Giles and you'll behave. You can see Tara tomorrow when we bring her home," Buffy replied.

With that the others left, leaving Buffy and Willow to wait to follow Tara to the ward. When Tara was pushed out of the emergency room they rushed over to her worry on both their faces, Tara had her head bandaged and seemed to be very drowsy. They walked by the sides of the gurney each holding one of her hands; she smiled at them her eyes half closed, "What happened? I'm sleepy, are we going to bed now?"

Willow blushed as she saw a smirk appear on the orderly's face; "You hurt your head baby, you have to stay in hospital but don't worry Buffy and I are going to stay with you."

"Goody, will I be able to cuddle up to you and Buffy?" giggled Tara.

Both of them went bright red as an even larger grin appeared on the orderly's face, "Ah we'll have to see sweetie," answered Willow.

Willow and Buffy spent a restless night worrying over Tara, whenever the nurse came to check on her she found them holding her hands.

The sun was shining in through the window; Tara squinted as she opened her eyes and got assaulted by the light, her head hurt. She slowly looked around the room. ‘This isn't my room! What happened? Oh yeah the vamps.’ She looked down at the red and blonde heads resting on the edge of the bed, she could sense them waking up. She smiled as she thought of the attention that she was going to get over the next couple of days.

Willow raised her head looking towards Tara, she smiled and leaned over and gently shook Buffy, "Buffy, honey wake up, Tara's awake."

"Huh!" said a very groggy Buffy taking her head off the bed looking around. When her eyes fell on Tara, what Willow had said began to register her eyes sprang open wide she jumped up sending the chair flying across the room as she started hugging Tara planting kisses over her face. She pulled away looking into her lover's eyes, "I'm so sorry baby I should have been more careful not left you so exposed! I'm so so sorry," she said tears starting to rundown her face.

"Buffy it wasn't your fault, you trained me well enough to never turn my back on a vampire, please don't cry," said Tara as she gently ran her hand down the side of Buffy's face.

"Buffy she's right we both insisted on helping you with the patrols, we know the risk!" said Willow.

It was midday when Buffy and Willow helped Tara into the living room, although Tara kept telling them she could manage, they insisted on helping her, in fact it had taken a great deal of talking on her part to stop Buffy carrying her from the car to the house.

"Buffy you get her settled on the settee, I'll go and get some pillows and a blanket," said Willow heading for the stairs.

"Willow it's over 80° outside I don't need a blanket," sighed Tara.

"Oh, I guess your right," grind Willow going to the stairs.

After helping Tara sit down Buffy lifted her feet onto the settee, "Do you want anything? A drink! Some soup!"

"Buffy," she turned to look at Willow who had just come back with the pillows, "Willow please stop fusing so much." She felt the disappointment coming from her lovers, "I understand you want to take care of me, but you don't need to coddle me so much just being with you two is all I need."

Two 1000 watt smiles appeared on their faces, "We just want you to get better, you gave us a lot of worry last night," said Willow.

When Dawn walked into the living room having just been dropped off by Lisa's mum, who had given her a ride home from school, she saw them on the settee, Buffy and Willow sat with Tara's feet on their laps. She dropped her bag and ran over grabbing Tara in an awkward hug, "Tara how are you, I was so frightened you would leave me like Mum," she released Tara and sat back on her haunches, they could see she was crying.

All three got up from the settee and hugged her; "Dawn everything is fine, nothing can take us away from you," said Tara smiling at her as they released her.

"What do you mean?" said Dawn wiping her eyes on her sleeve.

"The bond Dawn, we can only die if all three of us die at the same time. If one of us is alive she can return the other two to full health," explained Willow.

"You mean if you do die I'll lose all of you?"

"Well yeah if you want to think of it that way..." Willow saw the pain in Dawn’s eyes, "But the chances of that happening are slim in the extreme. We are far harder to kill than we were... I mean look at Buffy she fought a god and jumped off a hundred foot tower and she's here."

"I guess your right," sighed Dawn.

"So how do you feel about Tara-sitting tonight while Willow and I go on patrol?" said Buffy. Tara knew why Buffy had suggested that Dawn look after her; Dawn needed to feel useful.

"Well ok but can Kevin and Lisa come over only we were planning to do our science project tonight."

"Yeah that's ok," smiled Willow.

Dawn had noticed that over the weeks since Willow and Tara had moved in that they were sharing the responsibly's when it came to her.

"Right I better get dinner sorted out," Buffy said getting up and heading for the kitchen.

"So what's your science project?" asked Willow.

--------------

Buffy and Willow left for patrol after making sure Tara was comfortable on the settee. She thought that she could get use to this amount of pampering.

Dawn, Lisa and Kevin were in the kitchen working on their project when Spike walked in.

"Hey little bite where's Buffy?"

"Hi Spike, she isn't back yet. Why?"

Spike looked at Lisa and Kevin; "Business, how long before she gets back did she say?"

"She didn't tell me but Tara might know! She's in the living room..." Before she could suggest he go and ask Tara they heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the front of the house.

As Spike ran into the front room followed closely by Dawn and the others. Two Fyarl demons were just climbing through the destroyed living room window along with four of Glory's minions. As Spike put on his game face and sprang at the closest Fyarl, Tara cast a spell, which sent the closest minion into two of its fellows.

Spike kicked the demon in its midsection as it doubled up he upper cut him to the chin sending him back into the last minion.

Spike took the opportunity to turn and shout to Dawn and her friends; "Go... find Buffy." He spun around backhanding the second Fyarl demon.

Dawn took stock of their predicament before turning and pushing Lisa and Kevin back into the kitchen; "Quick out the backdoor NOW."

Dawn led her friends down the street praying that it wouldn't take to long to find Buffy and Willow; she decided to go to the closest cemetery.

"What was that back there?" shouted Kevin as he followed after Dawn.

"It’s a bit complicated! To complicated to explain now, just trust me that we need to find Buffy, I'll explain it later," she entered the cemetery gates. She heard the sound of fighting coming from up ahead, hoping it was Buffy she ran towards it.

As Dawn and the others got the otherside of a large mausoleum they saw Buffy plunge a stake into a vampire turning it to dust; "Buffy demons broke into the house, Spike and Tara are trying to fight them."

Both Buffy and Willow paled.

"Dawn go get Giles tell him what's happened and to get to our house as soon as he can," said Buffy as she and Willow took off at a dead run.

They ran into the destroyed living room looking around for Tara and Spike. A grown came from under the upturned settee, Buffy lifted it up to see Spike lying on top of the broken coffee table, she threw the settee aside.

Willow bent down to help Spike up; "Where's Tara?"

"Took her... too many. Tried to stop them," explained Spike between the waves of pain.

"Who were they? How long have they been gone?" asked Buffy.

"Those things that worked for Glory, they had two Fyarl demons with them, as for how long, not long, probably 10 minutes or so."

"Spike don't think we're not grateful but what were you doing here?" asked Willow.

"I came to warn you that I heard a rumour tonight that someone has a plan to bring back Glory. The attack yesterday was part of it; I guess that's why they took Tara!"

They both went pale with fear of what could happen to Tara. At that moment Giles came in with Anya and Xander.

"Where's Dawn and her friends?" asked Willow.

"We thought it would be best if they stayed at my place, not knowing what we would find here," explained Giles.

"Giles someone is trying to bring Glory back," said Buffy.

"Oh great that's all we want on top of this," said Xander.

"No this is all part of the same thing, somehow Tara is involved," said Willow, she turned to Spike, "Where did this rumour come from," they could all hear the anger in her voice.

They could all see Spike pale even through the blood and bruises; "A Fariss demon at Willy's, he had had too much to drink."

"Right this is what we are going to do. Xander can you get the front window boarded up, Giles, Anya go with Spike and try and find this Fariss demon see what is involved, like will this continue to plague us! Buffy and I are going to follow Tara's trail."

"How are you going to follow her trail?" asked Xander.

"The bond," smiled Buffy.

"Wouldn't it be better if we all went?" Xander suggested.

"No, this is personal, Tara is part of us and they are trying to take her away from us. Anyone who gets between us and Tara will not survive."

"Willow, I've never seen you like this! What has made you like this?" said Giles more than a little worried.

"That's because you're not part of the bond. First they tried to take Buffy from us now they want Tara well not gonna happen," said Willow.

Giles could have sworn he actually saw sparks flash across Buffy and Willow's eyes, "Alright if that's what you want we'll try it your way," he sighed.

"Thanks Giles, we really do need to do this on our own," said Buffy following Willow as she left via the backdoor.

It was completely dark, she could feel the cold concrete floor, her hands and feet were tied, she groaned in pain as she struggled to sit up.

‘Why is it that every bad guy wants to hit me on the head?’

‘Because if we are unconscious we can't use our powers.’

Tara froze for a second, ‘W-who are y-you?’

‘Cute we even stutter in our mind.’

‘I c-can't help it, but since the bond it seems t-to be g-gett-ting better.’

‘Thank you, think nothing of it!’

‘What do you mean? Who are you?’

‘Can't we guess?’

‘I hate guessing games!’

‘Yes we know. Very well you might say we're the bond!’

‘What do you mean we’re the bond? Willow, Buffy and I are the bond.’

‘Yes that's right, when the bond was created each of us gave part of ourself to create it, this part becomes part of the others in the bond as well as part of you. Do we understand?’

‘Not really! Are you separate from the three of us?’

‘No, we're not explaining this right.’

‘No kidding!’

‘Funny. Let's see, we think the best way to describe us is to think of us as what people describe as their conscience, we are the conscience of Willow, Buffy and Tara, we are separate from them but at the same time part of them. Does that explain it better?’

‘A little! Do you know where I am?’

‘No we only know what the three of us know! Except that we are following our trail here at this moment.’

‘Good. Do Buffy and Willow know about you?’

‘No not exactly! We have talked to Buffy a couple of times, but haven't had a reason to explain the bond!’

‘So why have you now?’

‘Because we found out from Spike that somehow some of Glory's minions are trying to bring her back and they need us to do it.’

‘Oh, that doesn't sound good.’

‘We know the Willow and Buffy part of the bond are very angry that something is trying to hurt the Tara part.’

‘So what can I do to help them?’

‘When we attack use our powers to increase the demons negative emotions, like fear and hopelessness.’

‘Good idea.’

‘Of course it is, we thought of it.’

‘My we have got a big ego haven't we.’

‘Why yes we think we're right!’

‘Can you tell Buffy and Willow that I’m ok?’

‘There’s no need we already know.’

‘This is going to be very strange having you in my mind all the time, why didn’t Kellem tell us about this?’

‘We don’t know! Maybe it’s different when a Jauda demon is in the mix! But at least we will never be on our own again.’

--------------

Meanwhile

Willow walked deep in concentration following the trail that led to their love, Buffy was only partly following the trail she decided to look for any dangers they may run into. They had parked the car at the end of an old driveway before continuing on foot.

‘I hope she’s ok, if they hurt her I’ll give them so much pain before I kill them.’

‘Glad to hear it, but we’re ok.’

‘We? Who is we? Who are you?’

‘We are the bond! Look we haven’t got time to explain it all now, all that is important at the moment is that our love is ok, for now anyway, we’re tied up in a dark room.’

‘Can Willow and Tara hear you?’

‘Yes and no!’

‘Huh!’

‘We’re like your conscience each of us has a little of the other in them, we can’t speak with each other directly but each part of the conscience can sort of relay information.’

‘Ok tell Willow to stop for a minute.’

She smiled as Willow stopped and gave Buffy a curious look; "How did you do that?"

"I didn't do it, I asked our conscience to ask you to stop."

Willow leaned her head to one side as a look of deep thought came to her face.

‘Tell her she looks so cute when she does that.’

‘Buffy asked us to tell us, we look cute like that.’

Willow smirked, "This is weird, she said you think I look cute."

"I did, I think this is going to be so cool."

‘Ah we hate to interrupt, but we need to get Tara.’

"Right lets go," said Buffy.

--------------

Tara blinked at the light coming from behind some person's silhouette in the doorway. "Bring her," said a male voice, as the person disappeared and four others walked in, as they got close she could see that they were the little creatures that worked for Glory. They picked her up and carried her into the adjoining room, it seemed pointless to struggle at the moment, as she knew that Buffy and Willow were coming to her rescue.

She took the opportunity to look around the room, it wasn't a room but a cavern, it was huge, it was at least as big as the RCA Dome in Indianapolis where she lived for a number of years with her family.

There had to be a million candles burning in the cavern, under different circumstances Tara would have thought it looked beautiful. Scattered around were hundreds of Glory's minions as well as dozens of different demons.

She was carried behind the creature she could now see was Doc, they took her to an altar of black stone. She gasped and had to look away from it, never had she sensed such an evil thing! They placed her on the stone untied the ropes and chained her arms and legs to it, the very feel of the stone made her skin crawl. If she survived this she swore she would shower for a week.

--------------

Buffy and Willow entered the mansion that looked like it had been abandoned for about 50 years. They moved with purpose but also making sure that they weren't walking into a trap, all the rooms they passed showed no sign of habitation, they proceeded down some stairs to a basement.

The trail ended at a wall, "What the hell! Must be a secret door!" mused Buffy.

They felt around for a catch, after several minutes they found it on the wall to the side. On opening it they saw stairs spiralling down, it was well lit, they continued to follow their lover's trail. After some two or three hundred steps they got to the bottom, it opened into a small cavern with an opening on the other side. They could sense Tara was near, walking with determination down the twisting passage. A large amount of light was coming from up ahead.

--------------

Doc turned to face her, Tara caught the glint of the knife as he turned; "W-what are y-y-you go-going to d-do?"

"How cute you stutter," he smirked at here, "I'm going to slit your throat! You see my dear when your girlfriend used her powers to restore your mind, she also took a small piece of Glorificus, and once I have drained your life's blood and recite the proper incantation she will be reborn in your body. You should be honoured you are to become a god."

"You may want to think this over! My girlfriends are not going to be please if you hurt me," Tara smiled, now that she could feel Buffy and Willow were near, the fear she had felt only a moment ago had vanished. She remained calm preparing to start using her ability to influence these creatures' emotions.

Buffy and Willow entered the huge cavern making a beeline for Tara, as soon as Buffy entered she started attacking with a purpose she had rarely achieved; none of the creatures seemed to be able to touch her. Willow was floating just above Buffy's location; several flying creatures that had tried to attack her were now just charred remains having been hit by fireballs and bolts of energy, Willow was currently sending the same thing into the creatures that were coming at them from all sides.

Tara was projecting fear into the creatures near her, especially Doc; "If you don't want to join your friends you better go before they get here, they won't be happy at what you have done to me!"

Doc and the minions turned back to look at her, she could sense as well as see the fear in the minions, who slowly began to back away from her before turning and running for the exit.

Doc smiled at her his eyes completely black, "Don't try your powers on me Witch! To feel fear you have to have emotions, I don't suffer from that weakness," he walked towards her with purpose, the dagger in hand; "Glorificus will be reborn in you before they can reach us."

"Think again," said Willow, Doc clearly hearing her, he turn just in time to be hit in the chest by a bolt of energy which sent him flying into the wall some 15 feet behind Tara, his lifeless body slumping to the floor.

Buffy was finishing off the few remaining creatures in the cavern as Willow slowly lowered herself to the ground near Tara, she was smiling as she walked over releasing Tara with a wave of her hand, she hugged Tara tightly, "Are you ok sweetie? Did they hurt you?"

"Yeah I'm ok now you and Buffy are here," Tara sighed as she hugged her back.

Willow helped Tara down off the altar and hand-in-hand they joined Buffy who stood surrounded by a large group of dead and groaning creatures, Tara took Buffy's hand and led them towards the exit. As they were about to leave Tara came up short as she remembered something, she released her lovers hands and turn back towards the altar. As she looked at it, it was like looking into an abyss; she paled as she thought about what kind of evil could warp the very earth.

"What's wrong sweetie?" asked Willow.

"The altar! We need to destroy it somehow! If it remains it will start to corrupt the Earth around it," explained Tara.

"Ok, but I don't know if I have enough energy left to do it," said Willow.

"We have to try, we have enough problems now, we don't want anymore," said Buffy.

"Ok I'll try," nodded Willow. She walked back towards the altar when she was about 40 feet away, she looked deep within herself drawing on every ounce of reserve she had, she looked up at the altar Buffy and Tara could see her eyes were glowing with a white light. She raised her hand pointing at the black stone; energy began to pore into the stone. The stone began to glow, but still nothing happened, "Not enough energy going to need to stop soon," she said between clenched teeth.

Tara knew instinctively what Willow needed, she placed her hand on her arm, Willow instantly felt the power return tenfold after a few seconds the altar stone exploded. The shockwave hit them throwing them back across the cavern, as Buffy helped the others up she heard an ominous rumbling from above. Looking up they saw dust and pebbles start falling from the cavern; "Tara run," she screamed as she scooped Willow, who seemed to be dazed, up into her arms. They ran to the exit as larger and larger rocks fell around them, by divine intervention or just dumb luck they got to the exit without being hit, they ran down the passage and around a corner just as with a great rumble they heard the cavern cave in.

Coughing Buffy started walking down the passage again Tara just behind, when they got to the small cavern dust hung thick in the air; "I think we should get out of here that roof doesn't look that safe!" said Buffy.

"Ok you better lead, I was unconscious when they brought me here," said Tara.

When they got to the top of the stairs Willow had recovered enough to walk the rest of the way to their car, where she curled up with Tara on the backseat.

"That's so not fair, I carry you all the way from that cavern and then you get to cuddle Tara." They could see Buffy pouting in the mirror.

"Ok we'll both thank you properly later," smirked Willow.

"That's okay then," Buffy smirked back; "Right let’s go I think we're all going to need a shower." She started the car and pointed it for home.

The End

You have reached the end of "A New Beginning". This story is complete.

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