Author's Note: Once again, reviews are very much appreciated and motivating, even to me. If you know me, I'm the kind of person who doesn't change the channel if I can't reach the remote cos it's too much effort. Anyway, on with story. I haven't actually got any idea what this chapter will be about, I suppose I'll just make it up as I go along as I have for the others. Enjoy, my angel cakes.

Disclaimer: Okeydokey, we've been through this but I'm putting off writing the chapter cos I don't know what to write. Joss owns everything (especially my heart heheheheeh).

Dedication: This is for Cathy because she is my little bottle of methylated spirits.

Author's Revised Note: Er, I just decided that this is going to be a few weeks, possibly a month or something, after the last chapter. Oh yeah, and I'm very sorry that I haven't updated for a while. school and what not.


"She saved the world. A lot."

They'd all pitched in with the headstone, but it was Anya who'd come up with the final epitaph. At first people had scoffed - they hadn't actually been able to laugh. They weren't ready for that yet. Anya loved Buffy, but eight days trying to think of a suitable epitaph had started to grate her cheese. That, and the endless pain she was forced to endure. Everyone had been quiet, they usually were these days. They'd only opened their mouths when they'd thought they'd had an idea. She was never one to be silent for long periods of time, but she had to respect them. Respect, it was something else she was getting sick of. Of course, most of their time was spent downstairs. Cooking, cleaning, helping Dawn. Anya couldn't go downstairs, she wasn't even able to get out of bed yet. On one occasion, she'd just blurted it out.

"Buffy, she, she. she fought demons. She saved the world." She had cocked her head to one side, thinking about the previous five years. "A lot." She'd stated, justifying Buffy's commitment. She didn't want anyone to think that she didn't care about Buffy, they were prone to jumping down her throat for things like that. Only Xander had smiled, if not a little ruefully.

"Anya - ever the wordsmith." He'd said, mirroring his old words. He was like a ghost of that Xander too. The Xander who knew how to laugh, to make other's laugh, to make Anya laugh... who knew how to cry. Anya missed him so much. Admittedly, she remembered the last time he'd said those words were when Joyce had died, but even then he'd remembered how to be properly alive. He was broken. Her Xander was broken like a small, vexing toy and she didn't know how to fix him. Why couldn't he smile at her misinterpretations or blush at her forthright comments on the orgasms he used to give her?

Right now she was sitting up in bed, meditating on the things at hand, and calculating the profits of her stocks. They were going quite nicely, really. Seems the old apocalypse didn't put people off spending money the way it used to. Maybe when she got out of bed she would go to the Magic Box. Sometimes she just liked to look at all the merchandise. undress it with her eyeballs. It was all so ordered, so neat and controlled. Jars of newt eyes went on the one set of shelves, candles on the tables at the front and the dangerous spell books on the platform reached by the ladder. She knew exactly where to find everything, nothing ever surprised her. Anya missed that stability in her life. Everything surprised her now. For example, at this very moment she was thinking about stocks. Not so out of the ordinary, really, not for her. But it was the middle of the night.

She hadn't been able to sleep properly since the time she'd been unconscious, since the night Buffy had died. Sometimes she was awoken by her own nightmares. She would dream about things she'd done in the past, as a vengeance demon. The people she'd maimed, lives she'd ruined. She used to reminisce about them, the good old days of killing. That was something else that used to be stable, vengeance. It was always there for her to wreak. Men kept on cheating on their silly girlfriends, who cried and sniffled and cried, boring Anya to tears herself before finally saying those two wonderful words. "I wish." Now all she connected those words with was death. Buffy. Had she really done that to people? Those insignificant males she'd looked down on, hated, took such pleasure in maiming, ruining, killing were now all back to haunt her. She would toss and turn until one of her injuries woke her up, screaming in its own way.

Those were the good nights. It was waking up to a different sound that she really dreaded. The sound that had first brought her back from her coma. Xander crying. He didn't know she was awake. As a matter of fact, Anya hadn't even told him about her nightmares. This was unusual, she usually just blurted out anything that came into her head. Not anything that came into her heart though, they were two separate places. She knew she was, well headstrong had been used to describe her. And literal, she sometimes had trouble figuring out the difference between sarcasm and reality. It was the fact that sarcasm wasn't the truth that stumped her. Her heart told her that this was the way to go, being upfront and truthful was a good thing. But in her head, she had no trouble lying. She would tell herself that Xander would be fine. That everyone reacted like this to death.

Why didn't she listen to her heart? Her heart was where Xander was. She could tell him that not everything would be fine, that things took time to heal. This was how she explained her physical injuries, and Giles' going back to England, and Dawn's non stop crying. She didn't need to lie to him, because he was her heart. But last week she'd read a book which told her that your brain knew best. It sensed things before you realized you'd felt them. So now, she listened to her head rather than her heart. She didn't talk to Xander any more, didn't tell him what was going on her heart, about her nightmares, didn't ask him why he cried or how she could help him.

It had started again, the crying. She turned to look at him. They weren't in the same bed. In fact, Xander didn't sleep in a bed; he slept in the armchair facing her. He hadn't wanted to hurt her in the night, and wanted to be ready to jump up in the middle of the night to help Dawn. He always wanted to be the brave one, but still never realized that he was. Anya knew he was insecure, most of it because of his parents and their lack of love. Right now, he looked like he needed a mother to cradle him in her arms, sing a nursery rhyme about a spider and something to do with milk that Anya was too clear on. Or that one about the baby falling out of a tree. That was popular with mothers.

The book she'd read was stupid. Everything Anya was feeling right now came from her heart... she hadn't intercepted the feelings in her head, told them they were incorrect because her brain knew best and tried to *think* about what was happening. Nothing that had happened made sense. Buffy had dived into a portal to save Dawn, her somewhat irritating younger sister who used to be a huge green mass of energy. Since when did any of that make sense? Her head didn't still understand it, but her heart understood that it caused pain and hurt, and had been done out of love.

Feelings. They were what controlled people. Children were born out of feelings and people were murdered. It had nothing to do with what your brain told you, you were ruled by your heart. Anya had been alive long enough to know this. All those times she'd exacted vengeance, it had been from a broken heart. Her whole existence had been based on what people felt, not what they thought. She wouldn't be here now, wouldn't have ever worked at the Magic Box, had sex or met Xander if it hadn't been for broken hearts. So she'd figured it out, she'd finally got it. From now on, Anya was going to talk to Xander about what he was feeling. like a psychiatrist, except without the qualifications.

"Xander! Xander.. Please wake up. We could play a word game or.. Talk about our feelings?" Hey, the middle of the night was as good a time as any.

Author's Note: Well I just wrote that as it came. I hope it wasn't too confusing. Mmm, told you there'd be more Xander cos, after all, he's a gorgeous hunk of a man with a smooth, hairless chest hehehehe. Please review, and if you've got any ideas for the next chapter I'd love to hear them!