A Slice for Anya
A/N – Post "Chosen." Don't slain ex-vengeance demons deserve a happy ending?
Disclaimer: Joss is boss. He owns, I borrow.
If this was Heaven, Anya wasn't impressed. Oh, it was nice and all. She had a quaint storybook cottage: periwinkle blue with white shutters. The shutters even had little cutouts in them. Hearts and, of course, bunnies.
Except for the bunnies, there really wasn't much to complain about. Now back in her 'Olaf' days, she'd have been very content. No. More than content. She would've been, well, in heaven.
But, really, she wasn't the same girl she'd been back then. People change after a thousand years. They really do.
Somehow, after living more than a dozen lifetimes, her idea of 'heaven' had changed a bit.
And damn. Hadn't the man upstairs even noticed?
Really, if someone had just asked her what sort of eternal bliss she wanted, why she'd have told them…Er, told them what exactly?
Anya frowned. Okay, that was strange. Suddenly, she wasn't sure.
How this happened, she couldn't guess. This just wasn't like her! Hadn't she always known what she wanted and then gone for it? After all, she was a planner, a goal setter…
And her goals had been simple.
Lots of money. A nice husband. Great sex. Things like that.
So what had gone wrong then? And why was she here?
Well, she'd certainly strayed from her usual self-serving path now hadn't she? She'd uncharacteristically sacrificed her life to save another's. God! And it wasn't even someone she liked. Well, that much, anyway. Okay, maybe the little troll boy had grown on her. She was, or had been, after all, human.
And it was the human heart that had done her in.
So, what did she have to show for it? Um, well, a little slice of heaven?
Sighing, Anya looked down at her outdated clothing. A crisp cotton blend dress, in a pink and yellow floral print, with a Peter Pan color. A starched white apron. Who did they think she was, June Cleaver?
She was a businesswoman. An entrepreneur. She'd run a store. Co-owned it. And now, this is what they made of her.
Grimacing with disgust, Anya clenched her fist and shook it at the ceiling. "I am not a housewife!" she yelled angrily. "This is not my idea of heaven! I demand a refund!"
She let out a shaky breath after her rather impulsive outburst and continued staring at the ceiling, as if waiting for something divine to happen. Of course, nothing did.
Heaven didn't give refunds, or even exchanges for that matter.
So she sat down in one of the shiny, steel and vinyl kitchen chairs and put her head on the faux marble tabletop and started to cry. An eternity in this sterile, retro place was simply…
It was simply Hell.
Anya sat up suddenly, blinking back tears in an agitated fashion.
Was she in…Hell?But…but…
No, there must've been some sort of mistake. Surely, they wouldn't have sent her to Hell after all she'd done…
And what had she done, exactly?
Well, kill thousands of people for starters…
But, of course, she'd reformed. She'd made things right in the end, hadn't she? After all, she'd saved the boy…
That pitiful, sniveling, semi-evil boy.
Yeah, that sure made up for all the death and destruction she'd caused in her day.
Well, when put in this new perspective, things didn't seem as bad as before. If this was Hell…
Hell with its gleaming new appliances. Its squeaky-clean, black and white checkerboard floor, and its peach colored kitchen towels with pom-pom fringes.Heck, it's not so bad. No, in fact, it seems, down right…
But her thoughts were interrupted by footsteps coming up the walkway leading to the house. Then she heard humming. Low and tuneless. A man.Oh God!
So, if this was Hell, who could it be outside her door? A Demon? The Devil? Or maybe…Xander?
Xander in a sweaty t-shirt and too loose jeans, like those popular with plumbers. He'd be all paunchy and doughy and when he'd bend over there'd be plenty to see. He'd have a pack of cigarettes rolled in his sleeve, and a single tucked behind his ear. Maybe he'd have a toothpick stuck between his teeth, and his breath would smell like stale beer.
Anya grimaced at the thought, then shook her head.
It wouldn't be…it couldn't.
If this really was Hell, it couldn't be Xander behind that door. After all, Xander was the one that loved her, the one that had wanted to marry her…the one who had left her at the altar utterly humiliated for no good reason. The one who had make her turn evil again.
Okay, maybe it could be Xander.
There was a jingling sound. Keys in the lock. A squeak as the door swung open, then Anya let out a slight gasp as she saw, not her ex-fiancé, but a stranger in the doorway.
A man of about thirty. Tall, with brown hair and gray eyes hiding behind wire-framed glasses. A handsome stranger. Bur maybe not so strange.
Anya's jaw dropped as she recognized him. It was…but it couldn't be!
He turned to her and smiled. Warm and kind, like she remembered. Then he put down his briefcase and strode over to her, planting a light peck on her cheek when he reached her. "You're home early," he murmured in her ear in a rich, accented voice. He took a step back and studied her appraisingly.
"Anya," he said. "Dear, you've done something differently with your hair." He fingered her now blond tresses and smiled appreciatively.
"Y-you noticed," Anya said, eyes wide and staring at the man before her. So familiar, yet different.
"Of course, why wouldn't I notice when my wife goes to the hair salon."
"B-but, it's just…you never used to notice…Wait, did you just say 'wife'?"
And then she knew, and she couldn't help but laugh; lightly at first, then louder, until she was almost hysterical.
She looked at this man. The one she'd somehow grown to love, even if she'd been too shallow to notice. He'd always been too old, too grey, too wrinkly…
But, no more.
He was young now, and fit, and extraordinarily handsome.
And more importantly, he was hers.
God got it right.
Yeah, they didn't call him the big man for nothing.
Anya rose and wrapped her arms around her husband's neck. He wasn't really Giles. She knew that. She was pretty sure that the Watcher had survived the last apocalypse. Somehow, she could feel it. And she was glad.
But this man in front of her… She stood on tiptoes, closed her eyes and kissed him in a very wifely manner, but with just a hint of tongue. Then she stepped back, sighed and beamed up at him.
He was all shiny and new, like the rest of her house. But he was more like a racecar, and the latest model.
She smiled now, all aglow, took his hand, and led him down the hall, to the bedroom. The round king-sized bed, with its purple paisley coverlet beckoned.
Turning to Giles, Anya loosened his tie and slipped off his tweed jacket, letting out a low purr as her fingers brushed against his well-defined, upper arm muscles hidden beneath his shirtsleeves.
Then after she'd shed the rest of his clothes, he stood, naked and almost gleaming, in the well-lit bedroom, and Anya eyed her prize with much appreciation.
A racecar. Definitely, a racecar.
She licked her lips; it was time for a test drive.