Disclaimer: Anya and Spike and the Hellmouth are concepts belonging elsewhere. No money is being made from this work of fiction, they are merely borrowed for my own amusment and pleasure. Though, a few others may also like them.

Notes: I'm sure this has been done before. I don't give a frell. Title comes--or is inspired by--the Cure's song "Just Like Heaven".

Rating: ...PGish.

Spoilers: All of Season Seven of Buffy.

Dedication: This one, is of course, for my Kosling. :)




















Fading Into Shape

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

"This isn't fair!" The blonde woman stamped her foot and crossed her arms, glaring at the wreckage around her. The high school had been filled with blood and fire and now it was nothing but rubble. "I'm not supposed to die! Others are--that creepy geek, or, or, even Xander. But not me! I'm special."

Her lips pouted for a moment, then she sniffled, "I take it back. I don't love humanity. I hate it, I loathe it, I wi--" but there she stopped, eyeing the surrounding rubble suspiciously. "No. Maybe I don't wish."

The rubble seemed to think this was a good idea as it shifted slightly. The young woman sighed. "I suppose it could have been worse--no, wait, it couldn't. The world is alive, and I'm *dead*."

She growled, "I'm dead, and everyone else is alive--even Andrew!"

As if in response, the rubble shifted some more. A slight smile touched the woman's lips, "Oh, well. At least Xander got out. And, and, he'll pine for me. Yes. He'll never love another because no one but me can give him such great orgasms."

Pleased with her observation, the youg woman turned and eyed the steadily growing light. It had sprung from a tiny crack in the ground, and now grew larger and larger. She frowned at it, as if it was wrong. Which it was. The only thing underground here had been the mouth of hell. And that was, probably, forever closed. Not that she expected the humans to have done the thing right. They'd most likely botched it, and now the hordes of hell were about to spring out and maraud the earth.

She felt a little satisfaction about that until she remembered that Xander was still out there.

"No. No hurting Xander." She scowled at the light. "You shall not pass."

"What is this, a bad Monty Python skit?"

She blinked. "Spike?"

"In the--well, not flesh." The shimmer twisted, and then the wavering form of the vampire appeared within it. He scowled. "You don't happen to have a fag on you?"

"No." She wrinkled her nose. "Besides, smoking is bad."

"I'm dead, love, I don't think my lungs care." He shifted, the image wavering from golden to a slightly less bright tone. Midway between sunlight and mud.

"Well, you're incorporeal, anyway. So you can't touch." The ex-demon paused, then tilted her head. "You died. I died. Why are we still here?"

"Appears the Powers That Be aren't finished with us." He waved a hand, his features twisting slightly. "They seem to love a good game of cricket at the expense of well-meaning vampires everywhere."

The young woman shuddered, "At least there aren't any creepy robots."

"Yeah. Good thing." Spike eyed her for a moment, then shrugged, "Look, Anya, d'you--"

"No. No I don't." She scowled at him. "And you shouldn't either."

"Now, what do you think I was gonna ask you?" He asked, head tilted to the side.

"I don't know, and I don't care. I'm dead, Spike, and it isn't fair."

He shrugged, "Could be worse."

"Could it? I don't think so." She stamped her foot, then made a face as the incorporeal appendage went through a small pile of dirt. "I hate this. It's stupid. I should be moved on. To a better place. I deserve a better place."

"Do you now?" The vampire began searching his non-existant pockets. "I'd've thought you'd end up in hell, all things considered."

"But! I was saving the world! I should go to a heaven, and have piles and piles of lovely money and cabana boys." Glaring, Anya growled, "Buffy went to heaven, why can't I? We both died saving the world from certain doom."

"Uh, right." Spike said, sounding completely unconvinced.

"Really! I should have--harps and clouds and drinks with little umbrellas and all-day massages, and--" She paused, eyeing him. "You don't believe me, do you."

"I just don't see how you rate heaven like the Slayer." He replied bluntly.

"Because--I, I, I like humanity. Yes. And I sacrificed myself on their behalf." She asserted defiantly.

"And you think that's enough?"

"Isn't it? It should be. I was a damned good demon, once. But I've changed my ways. I'm better. And humanity is saved because of me." Anya crossed her arms and waited for the inevitable scorn.

"Oh, great. I'm stuck in the afterlife with a woman who thinks she's a saint." Turning away from her, Spike began checking his ephemeral pockets. "And no fags. Oh, this bloody sucks donkey's bollocks."

"You know, if I do go to heaven, they'd better not try to pull me back to save the world again. Like they did Buffy. Of course, she's used to that sort of thing." A sudden smug look touched Anya's face. "Of course, if they did, it would mean Xander still loved me. And he missed me. Or maybe I just give the best head."

"Ugh. GAH. I did *not* need that image, princess." Spike looked around almost desperately. "Where's a chaos demon when ya need one? He might have fags on him."

"Don't be silly. A chaos demon would never share his cigarettes with the ghost of an ensoulled vampire."

"Oh. Bloody great, then."

"You don't have to be so unenthusiastic," Anya said, her tone one that lecturers across the world and dimensions infinite have used.

"Oh, sorry. I forgot that even dead, you'd prefer everything to be all peaches and sunshine about you." Scowling, Spike tried to kick some debris. His foot passed through it without a sound.

"You don't have to keep reminding me! It's not like I'd ever forget what it feels like to have an axe blade rip through my back and puncture my lung before it bisected my heart." There was a slight waver in her voice. "And they didn't even find my body and take it with them to be buried in a huge and lavish ceremony."

Before he could answer this sally, Spike's not-quite-there image flickered. "Huh?"


"Appears, princess, I'm wanted else--" His voice abruptly cut off as if someone had accidentally knocked the plug out of the wall. He vanished.

Eyeing the now normal air, Anya huffed. "At least you could have let him say goodbye."

There was no answer.

"He didn't even disappear well. No poof, no glitter, no sparkle. Honestly, you'd think there'd be some presentation around here." Anya poked a toe at the ground again, wishing it wasn't so silent.

Suddenly, she brightened. "I know. I'll go haunt Xander. Make sure his next girlfriend isn't a demon. And that she doesn't make him too happy."