Return to Happily Ever After Chapter Twenty

Happily Ever After

Author: Spellbound
Rating: PG to NC-17
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except 2 insane cats and lots of fluffy socks. The characters and places belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all the other people who have a finger in the Buffy pie. All the new people are mine though!

10 days to go....

Giles collapsed onto the couch, his exhaustion written all over his face. From the kitchen, Dawn appeared, a mug of steaming tea in one hand and a large sandwich in the other. "How have you been, Dawn?" he asked as she sat down next to him.

"Oh, y'know. Same old Sunnydale." she said cheerfully. "I'm really excited about Willow's wedding" she finished as Giles took a sip of his tea and smiled. "As am I." he told her.

Buffy and Xander appeared in the doorway, "Hey Giles, still jetlagged?" she asked him with a grin. As usual, Buffy was pretty accurate. Giles had gone to bed almost as soon as he had arrived at the Summers' home the previous day. He had spent this morning shopping for a new suit and cursing himself for not renewing his California state drivers license. "A little." he told the Slayer honestly.

With the pleasant chit chat out of the way, Giles sat forward on the couch, resting his elbows on his knees. "So, Willow really came back to Sunnydale?" he asked slightly incredulously. Both Buffy and Xander nodded slowly, "It was intense." Xander told him, "She got wigged and attacked, so I guess the wigging was justified." he continued before Buffy cut in.

"But she faced Oz in his wolfy state. Giles, you'd have been so proud of her, she totally kept her cool." she told him. "And Tara? Wow! She kinda just leapt into the mix and saved Willow, punched Oz and everything!" Buffy finished, her voice relaying the awe in which she held the fiancée of the woman she had once considered to be her very best friend.

Giles listened in open mouthed amazement. "Tara confronted Oz?" he asked eventually.

Buffy just nodded, and the ex-Watcher stared at her in disbelief. "She's one hell of a woman, Giles. And I've never seen Willow so happy." she finished with a proud grin.

Willow was shopping, trying to find the perfect suit for her wedding day. Since Tara had revealed that she would be wearing a dress, Willow had decided for a suit, something smart and sexy that would compliment Tara perfectly. Her main problem was that she had no idea what Tara's dress looked like, not even what colour it was.

Suddenly a flash of pink hair caught her eye and Blaze emerged through the crowd. "Hey sexy lady!" Blaze giggled, pinching Willow's ass as she greeted her friend. "Let's get you all suited and booted!" she said as she dragged Willow towards a tailor at the end of the shopping precinct.

Back at home, Tara was unpacking the groceries, her mind wandering to the wedding day and the possibility of a bachelorette party. As she pushed the fridge door closed, the phone began a shrill assault on her ears. "Hello?" she asked, a hint of worry in her voice.

"Oh yes hello. I'm calling from Chestnut Vets regarding Miss Kitty?" the voice on the end of the phone told her cheerfully.

"Oh god, Miss Kitty." Tara exclaimed, in the excitement of the past few hours, she had forgotten entirely about the poor cats plight. "How is she?" she asked, drumming her fingers on the counter.

"She's doing miraculously well considering her age." the woman told her brightly. "She has eaten a meal today and kept it down. So if she continues recovering at this rate, then she should be allowed home in the next few days."

Tara breathed a huge sigh of relief, her heart racing so fast it felt as though it could burst clean from her ribcage. "Oh thank you so much." Tara replied, "You'll call when we can collect her?" she asked slowly.

"Yes of course." the woman told her, "We'll call as soon as she's ready. Goodbye." Before waiting for Tara to say her farewells, the woman hung up, leaving Tara grinning.

"No, it'll clash!" Blaze said as an assistant showed them a lilac coloured material. "Besides, she's a redhead, it'll look shit!" she continued unbelievably.

"What colour is the dress?" Willow asked nonchalantly, hoping to catch Blaze off her guard enough to tell her.

"C'mon babe, I'm not telling you that. You'll just have to trust me." Blaze replied, she had been on her guard all morning, just waiting for Willow to try and catch her out.

Rising to her feet, Blaze followed the assistant to the back of the store and engaged her in whispered conversation. Each woman occasionally glancing back at Willow before huddling back together. With a grin, Blaze returned to her friend's side, lumping down in the chair next to her. "I think this will be more appropriate?" the assistant said as she returned with a deep, dark claret material. Willow's brow furrowed and she turned to Blaze who was grinning manically. "Really?" Willow asked, taking a length of the material and holding it up against her in the mirror.

"It's perfect!" Blaze announced, "It'll go with Tara's perfectly!" Her last statement forced Willow's hand, "Measure me up!" she told the assistant with a grin.

With measurements taken and a deadline given, Willow and Blaze left the tailors. "I can't believe you left it so late." Blaze told her as they headed towards a small café. "I didn't, not really." Willow told her sadly, "I picked out a dress about 5 months ago." Blaze stopped dead in her tracks, staring after Willow who continued walking. After about five or six paces, Willow stopped and turned to regard her friend. "What?" she asked as Blaze remained static, her mouth hanging open in surprise.

"You changed your entire outfit, just for Tara?" she asked incredulously. Willow blushed and found something interesting to study on the floor. Crossing the expanse between them, Blaze rested her hand on Willow's forearm. "She's a fucking lucky lady." Blaze said affectionately.

"Not half as lucky as I am." Willow told her, her eyes stinging slightly with tears.

"C'mon," Blaze said, understanding from Willow's look that she didn't want to talk about it. "I'll buy you a doughnut!"

Sitting down in the bustling café, Willow watched as Blaze stood patiently in the queue waiting to be served.

As Blaze returned with a tray filled with coffee and pastries. "I have to go to the bathroom." Willow said as Blaze settled herself into the chair opposite. "Look out for my bag and stuff?" she asked as she took to her feet.

Blaze nodded and watched as Willow disappeared into the crowd. 'Just the chance I need' Blaze thought as she grabbed Willow's bag and slipped her planner from the pocket.

With the shopping and pastry day complete, Willow dropped Blaze back at her house before heading back home. "Honey, I'm home!" she called out with a giggled as she pushed the heavy door closed behind her. Tara appeared in the kitchen doorway, a dishcloth in one hand a huge grin on her face. "The vets called, Miss Kitty is going to be fine! I made dinner!" she announced cheerfully, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she spoke.

Willow ran across the space between them and wrapped Tara in a bear hug, kissing her softly.

As they pulled apart, Willow took a deep breath. Steak, mushrooms and something oniony filled her nose and she grinned. "Mmmm, my favourite!" she told Tara as they headed out into the kitchen for their evening meal.

"Vince, get your ass out here!" Blaze hollered as she entered their apartment. "I got it!!"

Vince appeared from the kitchen, a beer and sandwich filling his hands and a goofy grin spreading over his face.

As they sat themselves down on the overstuffed couch, the invites came out and Blaze dumped the planner in the middle of the table.

Picking up a pad and pen, she flipped open the huge black organiser and flipped to the addresses at its rear. Blaze knew that Willow would have marked people out for invites to the wedding and used this as a guide for invites to the bachelorette party. With a short list complete, they marked out people who were mutual friends of both Tara and Vince and surveyed the list carefully.

Pointing at one name, Vince scratched his head, dropping a blob of mustard from his sandwich in his soft brown hair as he did so. "This guy. Giles?" he said, "If he's in England, he'll never be here in time." he said slowly.

Blaze shook her head and absently wiped the mustard from her boyfriends hair. "In her planner it says he's staying with, erm..." she picked up the file and flicked through, "Here. He's staying with Buffy." she said, pointing to the note Willow had made in the margin.

Vince nodded and picked up a pen to begin writing the first of many invites to what he claimed would be the 'best bachelorette party in the world, EVER!!'

Continue to Happily Ever After Chapter Twenty-Two

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