She lay curled between two warm bodies, her head nuzzled into Jack's shoulder, Ianto curled against her back with an arm draped over both she and Jack, and she reflected on how different her life had become in just the span of a few short years. She tried to imagine meeting her younger self, from Sunnydale, before everything had changed, and telling her what was to come. That she'd open the Slayer line and no longer be the Chosen One, freeing up so much of her life. That she'd go to England with her friends, to help restart the very Council she'd had so many issues with in the past. That she'd meet a man in Cardiff during a hunt for a demon, only to find out that the world was so much bigger than she'd ever imagined. That she'd stay with him for awhile, dealing with, of all things, real live aliens, and find a sort of love. That she'd go back to the Council when Giles died, in the most routine way possible, a car accident. That her friends- her family- would slowly break apart, bit by bit, shattered by the loss of their father figure. That, finally, she would return to the man in Cardiff, and find a new home. Because, even as shattered as it was, had been when she came back, it was still home.
Idly, her fingers traced a meaningless pattern on Jack's chest, lightly so as not to wake him; he never slept for very long, and he didn't always sleep peacefully when he did. When she'd first been with him, he'd been better, but with the nightmare he'd gone through- he never talked about it, but Ianto had told her, and the thought of it made her skin want to crawl. Thousands of years, buried alive, dying, over, and over, and over again. She'd crawled her way out of her own grave once, and that alone had left a scar she carried even still. She didn't know how he was still sane, still Jack, but somehow he was, and so, when he sleep peacefully, she let him. He seemed to shudder under her touch, his eyes moving beneath closed lids, and she stilled her hand, holding her breath, unwilling to disturb him. After a moment, he stilled once more. Exhaling softly, she placed a small kiss to his chest and carefully turned, breaking contact, to curl into Ianto instead, to remove any temptation.
And there was another part of her life she never would have expected. Jack- Jack had steamrolled her when they met, all charm and smiles and innuendos and experience. He loved freely, and he was oh so easy to love, and he'd taken her in, given her a new excitement, and a place to truly escape her calling. But Ianto- she still wasn't sure how she'd come to love him as well. She'd first met him during her time with Jack; he'd been so new, so fresh, just joining them, and he'd been so distant. Quiet, alone, in the background, and then Giles had died, and she'd had to leave. She'd never gotten to know him. When she'd come back, though, in just the short time she'd been gone, he'd become a whole new person. Grown, blossomed if you could say a man had blossomed, and come into his own. He was strong in his own right, no longer just a shadow in the back of the room. Jack had told her, about the nightmare Ianto had lived through, and it was something she understood all too well. Maybe that was what had drawn her in, a shared pain, initially, but it wasn't what had kept her.
"Buffy." His voice was soft, quiet, as aware of how little it took to wake Jack as she was, and her eyes flickered up to meet his. There was concern written on his face, a silent question in his eyes, and the corners of her lips quirked up in a small smile as she shook her head.
"I'm fine," she whispered, reassuring. Because Jack wasn't the only one who had problems sleeping sometimes. They all had their own private nightmares. His lips quirked in answer, and she tipped her head back to plant a gentle kiss on them. Against them, she answered, "Just thinking how good things are."
"Well think quieter," came the response, good natured, from behind her. Buffy winced, but Jack chuckled softly as he rolled to his side, the long line of his body pressing against hers as he threw his arm over she and Ianto. It was a Buffy sandwich moment, one she didn't mind at all.
"Sorry, Jack," Ianto spoke for them both, and over her head, they exchanged a kiss of their own. "Didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't. She did, with those talented fingers of hers." The tone of his voice was playful, and she twisted her head back to look at him, to see that smirk twist its way across his lips, teasing. She pouted, and he laughed again, kissed the top of her head, and shook his own. "I was waking up anyway."
"Yeah, yeah, blame it on the cute one," she griped, and even as she looked back at Ianto, she could hear the smirk still in Jack's voice as he replied,
"Cute one? I thought that was me."
"Nope. Definitely Buffy," Ianto stated, his voice smooth, and suddenly it was Buffy's turn to grin and laugh.
"I knew I like you better for a reason. You're the smart one."
"Hey! What does that make me, chopped liver?"
She shared a mischievous glance with Ianto, then answered, "You're the old one."
"What she said," he echoed, and behind her, Jack choked.
"Alright, if you two are going to gang up on me, we're going to have to make some changes around here," he threatened, and, ignoring him, she looked up at Ianto once more, a grin on her face.
"You get the right, I'll get the left?"
"Yup," he nodded. Then, grabbing a quick kiss from him, Buffy pushed up suddenly from between them, using a deft maneuver to roll over Jack and to his other side, pinning him between she and Ianto. He quirked an eyebrow at them both.
"I'm alright with this plan," he smirked. Then, they attacked, two pairs of nimble, experienced hands seeking the most ticklish spots on his sides, and everything dissolved into laughter and peace.