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Previous Chapter: Chapter 11

He led her across campus, unable to hold back the small grin that graced his face. At least the weather had cooperated.

“Spiiiiike, what are we doing?” She whined, which only made him smile more.

“You’ll see, love. Patience.”

She rolled her eyes, but continued to keep pace with him. After only another minute of walking they passed the building that had blocked their view of the quad. In the middle of the field where they’d first met, Spike had set up a picnic.

Buffy stopped dead, turning to Spike and leaping into his arms. “This is incredible!”

He kissed her soundly for a moment. “One year ago, baby.”

“I can’t believe you remembered.” She smiled at him sweetly, then laughed when he looked offended. “Okay, I totally can, but still.” He laughed and kissed her forehead before taking her hand to lead her the rest of the way to the setup. As she sat, he pulled out a bottle of champagne and uncorked it.

“So how did you get the quad clear for this?” She asked, looking around as he reached for the champagne flutes.

“Just put a request through with the higher ups. Been planning it for months, and I was so sure Dawn would spoil it all once she found out.” Buffy laughed, taking the glass he offered. “She really is a Grade-A blabbermouth sometimes. Luckily, she’s got a thing for you. If she were keeping the secret for me you’d’ve known it before I could blink.” His nose screwed up. “Niblet’s got a thing for me?”

“You and Xander both. Don’t worry about it, she’ll grow out of it soon enough. It’s a hero worship thing, you saving her the few times you have.” “Jus’ don’t want give the bit the wrong idea. She’s like my li’l sis too, you know?”

Buffy’s smile grew and she grabbed his free hand in hers. “I do. I love that you love my family.” “Well I love you.” He raised his glass. “To another year of us.”

“To another year of us.” They toasted and Buffy moaned a little at the sweetness of the champagne. “God, this is great stuff.” “Only the best for you, my dear.” He reached into the basket and brought out a couple plates and some utensils. “Dig in.” The steak he’d brought was delicious (and how the hell had he managed to bring steak in a picnic basket anyway?) and she was stuffed when Spike tried to get her to take one of the breadsticks he’d bought.

“Nah, I’m stuffed. We can save them for later.”

“Come on, love, you have to at least try one!”

“Sweetie, I told you, I’m so full. That steak was delicious- I couldn’t stop eating!”

“Just one?”

“No, Spike, I really couldn’t eat another bite. We’ll take them home.”

Spike sighed and pulled the breadsticks back, grabbing the center one out himself.

“Alright you dozy bint, ruin my plan.”

Buffy’s jaw dropped as she caught sight of the diamond glinting off the breadstick. Spike pulled it off and moved over to sit next to her, grabbing her hands.

“I know it’s only been a year, but I can’t imagine my life without you. You’ve brought light to my world and given me a family I didn’t know I needed. I want nothing more than to spend every day for the rest of my existence with you. Buffy Anne Summers, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” “Yes you dope, of course it’s a yes!”

Buffy threw herself into his arms and smiled as he pulled her left hand between them and placed the ring on her finger.

“Was my mums. She would’ve liked you, I think. Always wanted me to have someone who loved me for myself.” “I love you more than anything, Spike.”

“Not half as much as I love you, Buffy.”

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Previous Chapter: Chapter 11

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