TITLE: Lovers Nots 4/4

AUTHOR: Appomattoxco

FEEDBACK/EMAIL: The PAL site and wherever else just let me know.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not making any money off this or anything else actually so don't sue. Also any resemblance to wholesale reps, relic hunters or other demons living or undead is purely coincidental.

TIMELINE/SPOILERS: Season six canon up to "Life Serial" Xander and Anya haven't told anyone they are engaged yet.

PAIRING/CHARACTERS: Anya/Giles possibly only UST

RATING: PG-13 or FRT

SUMMARY: Anya and Giles attend Nexus Occult Trade Show: an inter-dimensional occult supply trade show. Hopefully wackiness will ensue.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I hope it doesn't stink too bad. I kind of lost the rhythm of this fic after my dog disappeared.

"Anya, come here. Hold this sword for me. I want to see if it's as good a fit as I think."

"Thank you for the thought but I prefer jewelry, with or without charms of protection or power attached."

"Yes, I know that, Anya." Giles smiled and strained for charming rather than wheedling. "It's for Buffy. I thought I'd put it away for her birthday. Your hands are about the same size."

"We agreed you wouldn't be buying stuff for Buffy today." Anya was working at being angry but it was clear she was in a good mood and didn't really want to spoil it.

"I already picked up something for you when you weren't looking."

"Well, alright, but only because you'd pay way too much if you got it retail. You haven't charmed me with your boyish grin and non-mystical sparkly eyes."

"No, of c-." Something soft hitting his shin, followed by small human-sounding 'grrr argh', interrupted Giles. When he looked down, he discovered a toy leopard. Kneeling, Giles looked right into the green eyes of the owner of the furry missile and felt his heart melt.

"I'm sorry," Anya 148 said as Giles stood up slowly. "It's her latest game. Her Uncle Spike was watching her yesterday and he taught her to make Baby 'attack' people. I've been picking this thing up and apologizing to his victims all morning. I don't know whether I should be glad that Angel talked Spike and Buffy out of babysitting and into going on some underground demon hunting expedition today before he could teach her anything worse." The two Anyas laughed at the sounds the toddler was making and her mother explained. "I think she's getting a little frustrated that she can't growl as well as Spike."

"She's… beautiful. Doesn't … I'm sorry. I just don't have the words…"

"That's just what her father said the first time he saw her and she was no where near as pretty then."

Giles 148 had come over to stand beside his family and Giles avoided looking at himself. This broke the moment and the Anyas shared a misty smile before taking their respective partners away in opposite directions. The vendors had begun to pack up and it was time to go home.

"You've made a wrong turn."

"I know, Anya. I thought it would be nice to take the scenic route. Are we in a rush to get home?"

"You remember we have a book of prophecies in the backseat that have to do with Buffy?"

"Of course I remember!" Giles said, even though he really hadn't given it much thought.

"And you still want to take the 'scenic route' home?" Anya said, shock and wonder making her voice a little shaky. "Giles you're in love with me!"

"I thought it would be nice to spend a little more time alone. Haven't I made it pretty clear that I want to change our relationship?"

"Yes, but wanting me to be your orgasm friend is a lot different from saying you love me," Anya accused.

"I haven't said I love you." Because you're not ready to hear it yet. "You're the one who's said it!" Giles pulled to the side of the road. This wasn't how he wanted things to go with Anya. He wanted to take it slow and be sure he was more than just a replacement for Xander.

"You might as well have. Xander would never take the long way home with a prophecy about Buffy in the backseat."

"Well, it's a good thing I'm not bloody Xander then!"

"No, you sound more like Spike."

"For information 'bloody' is an expletive, not the bloody birthday song. I don't need to pay Spike, or anyone else, royalties to use it!"

"Why are we arguing? We just admitted we love each other. Aren't we supposed to be kissing now?" Anya asked.

"Maybe that's because neither of us has actually said it yet." Giles laughed in relief. It may be happening faster than he had planned but Anya returned his feelings.

"Well, it's obvious you love me with all your heart," Anya said smugly. "You acted mushier than English peas over seeing Christina and, as I mentioned, you're ignoring Buffy."

"Christina was amazing." Giles gave Anya a look that dared her to argue.

"Of course she was. Some things are constants in all dimensions. We have excellent genes."

"Do you really want us to rush home and translate the prophecies?" Giles asked.

"Only if you have to. I wouldn't want the world to end right now. Things are just getting interesting. What I really want is for you to tell me how you feel."

"I feel like this is too important to rush. I feel like I don't have the time to waste waiting to be sure I'm not just the – What's the phrase? The rebound guy."

"Giles, you can't be the rebound guy. Xander was the rebound guy. You'd have to be the ricochet guy and that's silly."

"I don't understand."

"Xander was my safety net after I lost my powers, not that D'Hoffryn and I had that kind of relationship. That would be like you and Buffy…" They both shuddered a bit and Anya continued. "So I kind of push Xander into being together because I didn't want to be alone." Her voice got smaller as she said this and she looked like she might be sick.

"You could never push me into something I didn't want, love. And I've never been called 'safe' in my life."

"So Spike doesn't hold a patent on 'love' either?"

"No, he most certainly doesn't and it's a good thing, too, because I love you and you love me."

"Yes." Anya laughed and said, "And there might be giant purple dinosaurs in our future!"

"What?"

"Never mind! I believe he changed law firms and was replaced by a couple of hamsters. I think we're supposed to be kissing now."