Hugs Are Nice
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
After the ceremony, Willow and Tara signed their marriage certificate, and then the wedding party had headed outside to get pictures taken before the light faded. There was one minor issue caused by Sophie disappearing amongst everyone else's dresses because she was so small, but this problem was quickly dealt with by Faith deciding to just pick the little girl up, which lead each bridesmaid, Xander, and finally Willow and Tara to take turns holding her in the photos. After the photos had been taken, everybody headed off to the reception, which was being held at a nearby hotel. Cordelia took care of any problems that may have arisen from unexpected guests. Everybody enjoyed the wedding dinner, Willow and Tara had had their first dance, and afterwards everyone else, except Illyria who was sitting out on the balcony brooding, joined them on the dance floor. Sophie, who had been taking turns dancing with everybody, spotted the God-King, and frowned. Illyria was obviously sad. But she shouldn't be sad, because this was supposed to be a happy day. Sophie decided to go talk to her.
"Illyria?" the little girl whispered, stepping out on to the balcony, "Are you okay?" The God-King turned, a little surprised to see Sophie there, but quickly regained her composure.
"My welfare should be of no concern to you child" she said. "Go back inside." Sophie ignored the order and continued, undaunted.
"You look sad."
"I have no need for such an emotion" Illyria growled, finally allowing herself to drop the mask of Fred she had been wearing all day.
"Whats about when Wesley died?" Sophie asked. Illyria froze for a second, taken aback, as she had not expected the child to know that.
"I may have felt sadness in some small capacity" she admitted. "But even so, any feelings of mine are not important to the half-breeds." Illyria glared at the little girl with cold blue eyes. "You are no different. None of these humans are. All I will ever be to them is the parasite who took their precious Winifred Burkle."
"I loves Auntie Fred" said Sophie, "But I likes you too, Illyria. We had lots of fun when Uncle Xander teached us the Snoopy dance, remember?"
"The experience was not entirely unpleasant."
"We could be friends, if you wants" Sophie continued.
"Friends?" Illyria considered this for a moment. Not so long ago, she would have openly scoffed at any offer of friendship from a human child. Then again, she thought, this child was a little more than human. There was power there, though neither the girl or her parents had fully realised it yet. "Alright" Illyria crouched to meet the little girl's height, extending her hand for the child to shake, as she had often seen Spike and Angel do when making an agreement. "We will be friends."
"Silly Illyria!" Sophie giggled, wrapping her arms around the God-King's waist. Illyria stiffened, feeling slightly uncomfortable.
"What are you doing child?"
"I'm giving you a hug" Sophie replied. "Haven't you ever gots a hug before?"
"Before my Mommy Willow founded me, I never gots any hugs either. They feels nice, don't they?"
"Yes" said Illyria quietly, mirroring Sophie's actions and wrapping her arms around the little girl. "It feels nice."
A little while later, on the dance floor, Willow managed to pull her gaze away from Tara long enough to have a quick look around at her friends. She smiled. Everybody seemed happy now. Sophie had even managed to get the sulking Illyria to come back inside, calming down Spike who had panicked when he realised the God-King was missing, worried that the Senior partners had made a move. But, as Fred and Wesley danced by, one thing Willow saw confused her a little.
"Are they wearing wedding rings?"
"Uh-huh" Tara replied. Willow looked even more confused.
"But they never.."
"They're kind of like the heavenly equivalent of wedding rings" Tara explained. "There's this kind of soul-joining ceremony you can do if your soulmate dies before you're married. We would have had one if Buffy'd never.." Willow put a finger to Tara's lips, silencing her.
"Hey, we don't talk about that kind of what if anymore, remember?"
"Yeah" Tara smiled.
"Good" said Willow, pulling her wife into a kiss. The pair remained that way for awhile. Faith glanced over at them, raising a surprised eyebrow.
"What, baby?" Buffy asked.
"Should we tell Red and Blondie that they're floatin' three inches off the floor?"
"Nah" said Buffy, smiling over at her newlywed friends. "Let 'em float."
AN: Aww! Here's a summary of the next arc: Willow heads off with Buffy to deal with an apocalypse on the other side of the country. While they're gone, Tara discovers a spell that Dawn did a week before has lead to some unexpected but happy consequences for herself and Willow.