In the Summers' living room, Buffy clung to Angel, curled up on his lap, her face buried in his chest and hidden by her hair. She looked like a small child in her light blue silk nightgown...not at all like the powerful Slayer that she was. Angel held her tightly to himself, unwilling to let her go for even a moment.
Giles, Wesley, and Cordelia sat on the couch opposite of the vampire and Slayer, while Dawn leaned tensely against the doorway.
"Do you have an idea why Buffy's still alive, Giles," asked Angel, never taking his eyes off of the Slayer.
Giles leaned forward, studying the supernatural couple before him, before saying firmly, yet quietly, "Yes. I do."
Angel looked up from Buffy, silently asking with his eyes for the Watcher to explain further. With a faint nod of acknowledgement, Giles said, "I believe she is Immortal."
Angel's eyes widened in shock, as Wesley whispered stunned, "Dear Lord."
Giles stood, and picked up an ornate knife on the table beside him. He walked over to Buffy and Angel, and knelt before them. Gazing at the Slayer, he said quietly, "Buffy, I need you to look at me."
After a moment, Buffy turned her head to face Giles. He drew in breath sharply, as he saw the weariness and grief in her eyes. Forcing himself to calm his pounding heart, Giles asked Buffy, "Will you give me your arm?"
Slowly and hesitantly, she did. When Giles had a firm but gentle hold on the Slayer's wrist, exposing the underside of her arm, he said, "Do you trust me?"
For the first time since Angel arrived, Buffy spoke, in a voice that could barely be heard, "Yes."
Giles nodded, then looked up at Angel, saying, "You know what I must do, to prove she is Immortal.... Do you
trust me to do this?"
Slowly, Angel nodded, giving his consent, as he tightened his grip around the Slayer. Giles drew in breath slowly, as he focused once again on Buffy's extended arm. With deliberate slowness, the Watcher raised the knife, then quickly drew it down the underside of Buffy's forearm. The cut was clean and true, as blood started to flow out of it.
Buffy whimpered, as she burrowed further back against Angel, forcing herself not to react. As all watched, small blue lightning bolts arched across the cut on the Slayer's forearm. Within seconds, the cut was gone. The only evidence that there had ever been a cut was the blood on Buffy's arm.