Ticket To Everything

Chapter Six

I’m sat in Buffy’s car watching out the window, music turned up and heater on full to keep the chill off for when she gets in. Never thought I’d being doing stuff like this, but I guess people change. I know I have. Almost two months ago I flew back with Buffy and we’ve spent every second showing each other how much we’ve always meant to be together. I can’t get enough of her and she’s always hanging off me, wanting me around. I thought someone being like that would really get to me, annoy the hell outta me, but it doesn’t. It’s Buffy, and I fucking dig the fact she wants me so much.

Her friends - hell, my friends too I guess - were kinda wary at first. I don’t blame ‘em, we’ve got history, I get that. Didn’t take them long to see how serious me and B were, though. I planned to stay at a motel at first or use Kennedy’s spare room, but after one night at Ken’s away from B we realised I should move in with her right away. Moving in with her just seemed natural, even though it was way outta my comfort zone. Buffy was cool, and she gave me plenty of room to get used to it. And pretty soon the gang treated us normal, like any other couple that are madly in love.

As surreal as it seems sometimes. . .I can’t get over how good it feels. I’ve got Buffy. She’s mine and I’m hers and we’re living the dream. Every night I get to touch her and show her how hot she is, then fall asleep with her laying all over me. And every morning I get to see her sleepy face and ruffled hair, and call her adorable. Our days are mostly spent apart with Buffy working full time. I took a part time job so I can take care of the weapons and do most of the slaying, and so I can be around for the kid when she needs taking places or looked after.

Buffy didn’t wanna rely on me for shit like that at first, but over time we both realised I ain’t so bad at it. She’s still worried it’s gonna get to me at some point and make me run, but I’m not gonna run anywhere. Don’t wanna be anywhere than right where I am.

Just last week we even talked about the baby thing. I wanted to know how the hell Will could mojo up a kid. Buffy didn’t really know the how, but she does know it’s possible. We were layin’ in bed just talking, thinking about how we’d cope with another kid running around. I told her I’m ready for that when she is, knowing she doesn’t want it for a few years yet. It’s cool by me. . .a little sister for Luce, and mine and B’s baby; it’s kind of a nice thought. I didn’t pack up my life in England without thinking about everything she wants as a family, and everything we could have.

I glance outta the window again and see Lucy skipping out of the building she goes to day-care in. Climbing out of the car I go to meet her and take her off their hands. The staff get a little freaked sometimes by how full of energy she is, but I try to tell ‘em she’s just expressing herself. You can’t stop a kid from being creative, even if she does decide finger-painting is best done with hands and arms, and sometimes other kid’s shoes.

“Hey, monster,” I call out, watching her little face light up as she sees me.

I crouch down as she heads towards me, looking like a big pink bubble in her winter coat and hat. It’s a wonder she can move in the thing, let alone run at me like a freight train.

“Faith,” Lucy squeals, jumping up into my arms as I scoop her up and give her a hug.

“Have a good day?” I ask, putting her back on the ground and tidying her now ruffled coat.

“Yep, we made pictures,” she tells me, looking all proud.

“Yeah, I can see that.” I brush a glob of glitter off her nose and notice the small curl of now blue hair sticking out from under her woolly hat. “Looks like you had fun.”

Luce nods and jiggles her favourite Barbie around in her hand. She fiddles with it and pulls the arm off, her smile falling faster than something damn fast. A pout comes right after as she looks up at me, all big brown eyes and sad face. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve had to fix this damn thing, but she won’t let go of it. It’s her favourite one.

I reach out and take the Barbie as I crouch in front of her, pushing the arm back on where it’s meant to be.

“There, all fixed. She’ll live to see another day. . .though don’t go yankin’ at her leg, it looks kinda funky,” I say, kissing Luce on the top of her head to help get rid of the pout, which it does right away. It always works for Buffy too.

She wraps her arms round my neck and gives me a hug, making me have to pull her hat back on straight and pull down her coat again when she’s done. Can’t have her getting all cold and shit. It’s still freezing here and the snow just doesn’t seem to wanna leave.

“So, you remember what we talked about this morning? About being good when we go get mommy?” I ask as I take her hand and head towards the car. “I got a surprise for her, so you have to promise to do what I asked.”

She nods and hops into the back seat so I can strap her into the booster.

I’m pretty sure the kid’ll behave. I told her we’d eat nothing but burgers for a week if she did. She loves that shit. Buffy’ll kill me for it but I’m pretty good at getting back in her good books. The few arguments we’ve had since we’ve been together haven’t lasted longer than an hour or so, and they always end with me getting Buffy moaning my name until she forgets what the hell she was mad at me for.

Hopefully with the surprise I have planned, Buffy won’t be getting mad at me for at least a good few weeks.

“We’re gonna get mommy now and take her to her favourite park, then we’ll get burgers and go home. Sound cool?” I ask as I pull outta the car park.

“Yep,” she says cheerily before continuing. “Mommy loves you. So do I. . .but Miss Penny thinks you’re mean. She just told me.”

Lucy thrusts her favourite Barbie through the gap in the front seats, wiggling it around so I can see. I glance over to it and feel a little guilty about its dented head. Hey, it’s not my fault the kid leaves stuff laying all over the house. Miss Penny got stepped on last night when I was going out to slay, in my hard-as-fuck boots I like to kick the shit outta vamps in. She’s lucky I didn’t completely destroy it. If Buffy wasn’t so soft on the kid, spoiling her all the time, there wouldn’t be a ton of the damn dolls to trip over every five minutes.

“Well, if Miss Penny thinks I’m so mean. . .next time her arm drops off I’ll feed it to the neighbour’s fish,” I warn her, chuckling as she clutches it to her chest.

“Miss Penny’s right, you’re mean,” she says, a fake pout making her look all cute with her woolly hat almost covering her eyes.

I know she doesn’t mean it, the kid dotes on me, or at least that’s what B says. Likes being around me more than her dad, which is good for us ‘cause it means there’s no hassle with me living with Buffy. Luce took to me living there right off the bat.

I pull up outside Buffy’s work and wait for her coming out. She knows we’re not going straight home so she’s got her big coat and stuff so I don’t go freezing her to death. Luce spots her first and asks if it’s time for her to behave now. I tell her yes and push the door open for Buffy to get in.

“Hi,” she says as she gets into the seat and straps in. “How’s my two favourite girls?”

Buffy leans over and gives me a quick kiss. I wanna let it linger but it never feels quite right to go mackin on B when the kid’s around.

“Faith’s bein’ mean to Miss Penny, mom,” Lucy whines.

I shake my head and chuckle. “Hey, I saved her arm. . .that’s gotta count for something.”

Buffy smiles at us both and gently squeezes my thigh as I get the car moving again. She keeps her hand there, making me smile from the inside out. It feels so good just to have her there, touching me in the simplest way yet making me feel completely whole ‘cause of it.

“So, where we going? I know you said to wrap up warm, but I’m not good with surprises,” Buffy tells me.

“Can’t say. . .it’s a secret,” Lucy informs her rightly.

I don’t answer Buffy and just keep driving. The destination isn’t far, and it isn’t grand, but it’s a place we all like. . .especially Buffy.

When we get there I pull into the car park and glance over at Buffy to see the little smile she gives me before we all step out into the snow. Making sure the little one’s properly covered and warm I take her hand. Buffy slips her arm around my lower back and we head up the path to the top part of the park.

The path’s a little slippery in the snow, but we get up the hill without any of us sliding right back down. The view across the park is pretty neat. You can see the city all laid out behind it way in the distance, there’s trees all round, topped with big globs of white. The air feels clean and fresh, and there’s a little swing just by the picnic bench we always claim. From there you can see down the slope to a small ice rink. It’s only there over winter B says. I guess they used to use the pond right by it, but these days it doesn’t get cold enough to completely freeze over so they’ve started setting up a man made rink.

We get down there and skate around sometimes, but today we’re just gonna watch. I need to do this without a crowd of people around, even though it looks like there’s only a few out on the rink right now.

I pick Luce up and put her in the swing. It’s one of those you put your legs through, for real small kids so they won’t fall off. She loves just sittin’ there, going backwards and forwards as we watch from the bench. I give her a little push and head over to B as she takes a seat, her back to the table, looking out towards the skaters.

“Thanks for bringing me here, Faith,” Buffy says, taking my hand in her gloved one as I sit beside her. “I needed the fresh air, and it’s nice just to sit and be peaceful for a while.”

Her work load’s been doubled since they promoted her, and I know she’s been getting kinda stressed. Makes me wanna tell her to stop working so I can go out and earn our way, but B doesn’t want that. She loves her job. Says it makes up for all the time she spent not feeling normal. I guess I can understand that.

“Anytime, B,” I tell her, just looking at her as she watches people gliding around on the ice.

I don’t think I could be any happier than I feel right now. I got the girl of my dreams. I got a home I love, people around me that care, no feeling inside me that one day it’ll all turn to shit, or that one day I’ll have to run. This is it. This is perfect. Buffy, the kid, the slaying, a place I can call home. . .the future we can have. Couldn’t ask for more. I finally know what it means to have a family. The kinda family B wants. Which is why I asked her to come with me today. . .‘cause there’s just one more thing that’ll make it perfect. Might seem kinda soon, but it feels right.

“Yunno, B,” I say, suddenly feeling my heart leap into my throat as she turns to look into my eyes, “I never really knew what a family was. Never really wanted all that bullshit. The responsibility. The commitment. The fear that one day you might lose it all.”

Buffy furrows her brow, her hand reaching out to cup my cheek. The soft wool brushes against my face and I smile. Guess I wasn’t really explaining myself all that well; she looks a little worried.

“I’m not going anywhere, Buffy,” I reassure, not letting her ask the question. “I love you. I love being with you. I love Luce, and I’ll love any little kid that pops outta you in the future. Thing is. . .this family isn’t right yet.”

I get up from the bench.

“Faith, what are. . .?”

Placing a light kiss on Buffy’s lips I keep her from saying anything more. I let my lips stay there for just a few seconds, just feeling the warmth of them on me, the softness of the kiss she gives me back. As I pull away I slip off one of her gloves, taking her hand between mine.

“I want you forever, B,” I say, my heart pounding in my chest as I fall to one knee in front of her. “I’m hoping you want it too, which is why I’m asking. . .will you marry me, Buffy?”

I keep hold of her hand as I reach into my pocket, pulling out the cute silver ring I got her. She nods, a little shudder running through her. Watching as a tear rolls down Buffy’s cheek, her eyes locked on mine - so much love in them it almost makes me burst - I slip the ring on her finger. She smiles all big and finally finds her voice.

“Yes,” she says through her tears. “Yes, I’ll marry you, Faith. I want you. . .I want this forever.”

I get pulled up into her arms as she holds me to her, a small sob rolling out of her, making tears well up in my eyes too. We just cling, filling each other with love. Never wanting to let go.

She whispers that she loves me, and I whisper it back, the warmth between us cutting through the cold air.

“Mom,” Lucy calls from the swing, “I want burgers now. Faith said I could if I be good.”

I chuckle and feel Buffy do the same against me. Pulling away I wipe at my eyes and take Buffy’s hand in my other one, not ready to let go just yet. We agree that we should get home and eat so we can get Lucy in to bed early. Buffy doesn’t let go of my hand as we walk back to the car, my other hand occupied by Luce. The three of us all smiling like crazy people as the snow starts to fall again, covering everything around it like a frozen blanket.

We get Luce strapped into her seat in the car and Buffy takes me in her arms before I get in too, kissing me soft and deep.

“I love you, Faith,” she tells me when she breaks our lips apart. “You’re everything I could ever want. . .in a wife.”

She gets a puzzled look on her face and we both laugh. Yeah, who knew all those years back she’d one day be calling me her wife?

We’ve come a long way, picked up a few scars on the path, but I always knew she was everything to me. Even through all the bad shit. . .I loved her with every bit of my heart.

“Now lets get home so I can show you just how happy I am you asked me to marry you,” Buffy says, giving my butt a squeeze before we both get into the car.

We drive home slowly, Lucy singing about burgers and Barbies in the back as Buffy keeps smiling over at me in the front, her eyes shining every time I smile back.

I guess the trip from London to Cleveland wasn’t so bad after all. I got a new life out of it. One I’d never dared dream of having until Buffy showed me I had her heart as much as she has mine. I’ll have to remember to get Ken a huge and expensive gift. . .after all, it was her that bought me the ticket to everything I ever wanted.

The End



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