This is it - the day they've been waiting for. It's seemed like she's had to be patient for months, and he claims it felt like years, but finally, it's here at last. Everyone has gathered around. Family, friends, used-to-be-foes, those who said it'd never work, but have been proved wrong. Well-wishers, too, have come to for the celebration.
When he asked the question, her heart overflowed. The tears streaming down her cheeks glittered like the diamond he slipped onto her finger. And the kiss they shared - it had tasted of summertime, life, and promise.
This day, they'll see that promise fulfilled.
Dawn, Willow and Tara surround Buffy in the small room set aside for her use. Dawn, with her long, shining locks of silken brown, has declared herself in charge of hair. She washes Buffy's hair with expensive, sweet-smelling shampoo redolent of jasmine and roses. The fragrance lingers in a delicate, aromatic cloud as she walks about.
She doesn't do much walking, though. Dawn sits her firmly down and goes to work with curling iron and other instruments. When she's done, Buffy's face is wreathed with soft golden waves.
On this, her special day, she begins to look like an angel.
Willow, who's spent years dressed in fuzzy mis-matches of every color combination under the rainbow, gets to handle the dress - the beautiful, floor length dress, a sheath of pure white frosted with seed pearls. It slips on Buffy's arms and buttons up the back with seeming hundreds of tiny satin fastenings. They laugh and joke a little about getting it back off again, but their giggles are gentle.
When Willow finishes, she and the others stand back to look. Hands drift to mouths, and tears prickle at the corners of eyes.
Ever more, the angel emerges from within the Slayer.
One last touch before she's ready. Tara, who has a touch gentle as a mother's and knows the importance of natural beauty, takes care of makeup. She uses the lightest of tints and softest of powders, needing no great measures to enhance Buffy's delicate beauty. As she works, she talks softly, in a rhythm almost like a lullaby, of what she hopes and dreams for Buffy's future. The gentle sound lulls them all, as would the patter of falling rain.
When she is finished, Buffy glows with an inner light that radiates around her like a halo. She smiles at them from softly pink lips, the warmth shining through true and real.
On this, her special day, she's happy - truly happy - at last.
Outside their small room, the music begins to play. Anya, dressed in a lilac suit, her own hair curled around her shoulders, knocks on the door and peeks in to beckon them out. Working together, the women usher Buffy into the hallway, to the head of some winding stairs.
Buffy gazes down at the foot of the steps, at the waiting Wiccan priestess and the men beside her. Giles, loved like a father. Xander, loved like a brother. Oz, back from his travels that span the globe.
And there, waiting for her to join him at his side, Spike. Her Spike, dressed in his customary black, but a tuxedo rather than a duster, his hair down in the soft waves she likes so well.
He seems to sense her approach, and even before the music begins to play, glances up. He meets her eyes with a smile that she returns.
This is their special day. The one no one said should ever, could ever, would ever happen. They proved everyone wrong, and turned the world around to their way of thinking. There had been arguments and tears, but then embraces and acceptance. Slayer and vampire? What does that matter in the face of true love?
It's Spike's smile Buffy cares about as the soft strains of Beethoven play and she descends the stairs, one by one. The warm light in Spike's eyes is all she looks at. When she reaches him, slipping her hand into his own, it's all that matters.
Their special day. Arrived at last. One that they'll remember forever.
Spike and Buffy. A match made in heaven, now sealed here on earth. Sealed as well, soon, with a vow and a kiss.
Embraced, the Slayer is happy. She's found her heart's true home at last.