The sunset over the Yucatan and Gulf of Mexico is glorious with the gibbous moon rising. Sam and Drew walk on the beach holding hands.
"You know," Sam says, "when we were in town, I talked to some of the local shopkeepers about Mexican traditions. Tori translated for me. With what Michael said, about seizing the day and all, I thought... I wanted to get you a present, Drew."
Drew fingers the hem of his bright red tropical shirt. "This isn't going to involve wands, is it?"
Sam laughs. "Not this time." She fumbles a small velvet box out of her pocket and opens it. "They're called 'Intention rings' and they're meant to be given before a formal declaration, and banns, and all, but since we never know if we have that kind of time," Turning to face Drew, Sam drops to one knee and suddenly grins, because even kneeling, she's not that much shorter than him. "With however much time we have left, I want to love you, with everything I am and everything I have. Drew Killian, will you marry me?"
Drew gapes at her for a minute, unable to speak, much like the first time she asked him out. After a moment, he manages to get out, "When?"
He blushes scarlet, realizing that wasn't the right answer. "I mean... god." He chokes again, before he finally manages to force out, "Yes." Then he grabs her and pulls her to her feet and buries his head in her shoulder and he's laughing or crying or some combination of the two. "Yes. Of course I will. Oh, god Sam, of course I will."
They kiss, holding each other in the golden light as the sun goes down behind them.
* * *
The next time they have breath to talk, Sam and Drew lie in bed in their hotel room, her fingers tracing the damp curls around his ears. "'When' is a good question, though. On the one hand, I want to run out and grab a priest and make us legal right now." Sam looks down at the rumpled sheets, "Well, maybe not right now, but you know. Soon. On the other hand, I think your parents and my Dad would definitely want to be there for the occasion. And not to upstage Erik and Juanita. They got engaged first, they should get married first, ya think?"
"Oh, yeah. We gotta do it back in the States where our families can be there. And you're right about Erik and Juanita. But now I'm... it's like one of those cop movies, you know? Where the old cop is a week from retirement?"
Sam raises her eyebrows. "I'll pretend that you did not just make me sound like Danny Glover. Although, if you want to be Mel Gibson, go right ahead."
"You know what I mean. We already know we don't have much time—and Kate keeps reminding us. Long engagement is right out for us. And if we try to make it too long, then engagement may be all we get."
"I'd say double wedding," Drew begins, but Sam doesn't let him get any farther.
"No. Double wedding is right out. I know Erik is your best friend since birth, but Juanita should have her own day to be a bride, and so should I. And I want a church wedding. It doesn't have to be huge, or expensive. Just us with our families and friends would be enough. But I want to have it at St. Catherine's, with Father Leoni and Fra Murphy doing the service. And you know Erik and Juanita's wedding will be nothing like that. I kind of expected them to have it here, actually."
"Yeah, well, I think Mayan cultists going after their baby kind of put a damper on things. Killed the mood. And, actually, I was mostly just thinking that if we did a double wedding, then I could ask Pandora to be my best man without offending Erik."
Sam grins. "Pandora in a tuxedo. She'd love that. But she could still be an usher, if you want her on your side of the aisle, or a bridesmaid on mine. I'm kind of short on attendant possibilities." Sam counts on her fingers. "Tori as maid of honor, Juanita, possibly Ada." Drew rolls his eyes in exasperation. "Well, how many Watchers have ever attended the wedding of a Slayer?" Sam looks distant. "How many Slayers have ever gotten married?" She shakes her head. "Doesn't matter. This is today."
Drew laughs. "Yeah, the Watchers are going to love this. Hartsdale is going to have kittens. Okay, so we'll let them go first. Impregnated by demons gets priority over dated for the last five years. But not too long, okay?"
"Absolutely." Sam looks at him. "You've got that 'gotta say something serious' look. So spill."
Drew takes a deep breath. "Yeah, anyway, there's... something else. That whole 'til death do you part' thing?"
Sam nods, encouraging him.
"I always figured that for us, that was going to be pretty literal. I mean, we know Slayers have a somewhat limited lifespan. And, let's face it; you've got super strength, super speed, and super healing. I've got super term paper writing. Which, while kinda useful in life, doesn't do much against any but the most scholarly of demons."
"Like the one who's teaching Erik Alchemy this semester."
"It's okay. I looked him up. Totally innocuous kind of demon. Used to play Kitten Poker before Joshua forced their games underground. Never mind."
"Right. Well, innocuous demons aside, anything strong enough to take you out... well, I won't have much chance against it, will I?"
"You did against Britta."
"Please. I would have been a snack for Kitty that first night if you hadn't been there."
Now Sam rolls her eyes. They've had that conversation before. "And you avenged me when that vamp hit me over the head with a crowbar a couple weeks ago." Sam rubs her skull ruefully. "If I weren't so hard-headed, the doctor said I should have died right then. Or at least wound up a vegetable, or severely brain damaged. But 'death do us part,' go on."
Drew takes a deep breath. "I came to terms with that a long time ago. I always figured we'd face it together and it would be tragic and romantic and the stuff of Slayer legends for generations to come. And we'd end up at the pearly gates or whatever hand in hand. And that's okay. Really. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a superhero. Fight crime, have a secret lair and cool gadgets, date Rahne or Lauren or Helena. It was just a daydream, of course, like Tori wanted to be a princess or Erik wanted to be a knight, or you wanted to run in the Olympics. But I got mine. Okay, no powers, but I've got the lair and the magic sword..." He glances over at Sam and smiles. "And the superhero girlfriend. I'm okay with being the team "normal" if I get to have the superhero girlfriend."
"Please, Drew, stop selling yourself short. Sure, we don't want you to get a big head, but you've done plenty. The world, not to mention everyone in New York City, owes you big time for the visions you've seen, even if they don't know it."
"I'm not selling myself short. That's the whole point. I love this. All of it. You... and everything else that goes with being with you. But the thing is... it's all going to end. Probably soon now, but even if we somehow find a way out of this, still soon enough. We know when Faith lived. And we know she's not next. We know how old Kate is. And we know she's not remotely next. And after it ends... I mean, I've got my triple major and my grades and my grad school-friendly academic transcript, because you've got to be prepared, right? But it's all a joke. This is my life. This... and what we do... and us. It's all intertwined and I can't have any part of it without the rest. And then to have it end and have to face fifty years of normal life after that? I'd rather go out in a blaze of glory at your side. 'Til death do us part."
Sam twines her fingers in his, waiting for the next words out of his mouth.
"Except... I can't. Kate... Fifty Slayers—at least—in five years—at most. And nobody in the world knows but us. And you can't stop it. But maybe I can. There's nothing in the world I want less than to have to face life as a monster hunter without you beside me. There's nothing I want less than for you to face death alone. And, like I said before, it's probably something I won't be able to avoid. Collateral damage that the team normal can't help but getting caught up in. If it is, it is. But if it's not... I'd still want to be at your side. But now... I'm sorry Sam, when you need me the most, I don't know that I can be there for you. Because they need me more."
Sam nods. "Last year, that would have pissed me off, but I understand better, now."
"I know it would have. That's why we have to talk about this. Because I made a promise to you—or to myself about you—four years ago. And now maybe I'm not going to be able to keep it. And if I'm going to make a bigger promise to you now, then... you have to know that."
"I know. You don't have to worry about me facing death alone, Drew. Even if I stand alone at the mouth of hell, I still have my sisters with me—past and future. And I'll have you in my heart." She kisses him softly. "You do what you need to do, and I'll do what I have to do, and if all the hellmouths open, we'll knock them shut again, one by one if we have to."
With that, she grabs her robe off the floor. "I dibs the shower first. Unless you'd like to join me?"
* * *
An hour later, Sam and Drew go downstairs for a late dinner with their friends, wearing the matching silver engagement rings that Sam bought. Erik and Drew go to pound each other on the back, but then pull back because Erik's wounds are still tender. But they hug man-style anyway. Sam and Juanita toast each other with pineapple juice. To one side, Michael watches with a smile like a proud father. And night turns into morning.