Disclaimer: Glory and Anya belong to Joss. So do the other people mentioned, but they're not as important as Glory. Anya begs to differ, but Xander is very far under Glory's radar. No profit is being made from this work of fiction, and suing me is a waste of time.

Spoilers: Everything through season five, I'd think. If you don't know who Glory is, you don't wanna read this.

Notes: This is all Lise's fault. From start to finish. From her inspiring the first several bits of conversation, to incessant proddings for more.

So, this is, of course, dedicated to Lise, the evil little toaster.

Rating: R, for imagery later on.

I (heart) Myself Today
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

"I can't believe I like these people."

"Hrm." Glory twisted to look at the lay of the crimson fabric across her backside, then turned to Anya, "Does this make me look fat?"

"Yes." The ex-demon replied absently, "But Xander, he's... He's, well, Xander. I just don't know why I can't leave him."

"Damn." With a sigh, the God yanked the dress over her head and threw it onto the accumulating heap near the bed. "Maybe the blue. It's always so hard to decide what to wear when you finish your triumph over the world."

"It's not as if I like any of them. Dawn is a whiny brat, Willow and Tara are too cutesy for words, and Buffy, Buffy just doesn't enjoy herself anymore."

"Buffy should know better than to get in my way." Glory paused as she pulled a gold lame shall from the top drawer of her dresser. "Hrm... Gold and green?"


"Right. I want that, 'I've conquered the world' look, not, 'All-night party Here'."

Anya sighed, "I used to love all-year parties. We'd dance and drink, sing and torture. And they never ended. You just took moments out to attend to your duties as a demon, then you were back, skinning, or trying a new torture technique with spirit gum and tinsel."

"Honey, when I'm in charge, they'll be all-millennium parties." Glory held up the cream linen pantsuit. "Not me."

"Ugh. What, are you trying to run Mary Kay?"

Glory shot her a disgusted look. "No. I'm trying for dignified. Shouldn't I be diginified when I take over my world again?"

"I guess." Anya sighed, and stood, "Anyway, I don't know why you think *I'm* your key. I'm just an ex-vengeance demon." She sighed harder. "Oh, for the days I could snap my fingers, and men would cry in public."

"Now, now, don't try distracting me." Glory held up black pumps, "These go with anything. But nothing is what I have to wear." She pouted and flounced over to Anya. "I don't know what my minions were thinking, giving me such an ugly ceremonial robe."

Anya looked at the crumpled wad of reddish velvet, and had to agree. "Maybe the blue formal?" She suggested, "I mean, if you rip off the skirt about halfway, you'd have a good knee-line. And your legs look gorgeous, so that works, even without stockings."

"You might actually have a flair for this." Glory danced over to find the blue dress, then frowned. "Pity I have to kill you."

"Well, you could just give me a slap on the wrist and send me home with a note to my mother," Anya suggested hopefully.

The self-proclaimed God swooped down upon the dress, shaking it out and holding it in front of herself as she looked in the floor-length mirror. The rest of the bedroom matched the gilt-framed mirror, and the thick carpet on the floor could probably have been slept on. Anya had been irritated enough when they'd captured her. Now she was tied in a spindly-legged chair, tat was only mildly comfortable. And the idiot of a God was prating on about clothing.

"You don't have a mother." For a moment, the God seemed to not see anything, her eyes and face completely blank. Then she snapped back into focus, and glared at Anya. "And you're just trying to stall. So they can find you and save you. Is that it? Of course it is."

"I'm not--"

"Black pumps go with everything!" Glory snapped, throwing one of them at Anya. "Even apocalypses."

Anya dodged as best she could, but still ended up with what would be a bruise on her shoulder. "And that's another reason I'm giving them up! The violence! I always end up hurt, or Xander gets hurt. And it hurts!"

"Poor key." Face swiftly changing to slight sorrow, Glory knelt in front of Anya, and reached up to smooth her hair back. "My poor, poor key. Is this humanity getting to you? I'm sorry. It's just." She spread her arms, "The time of my Ascending is upon us. And I have NOTHING to wear!"

She stamped her bare foot down on the carpet, and something in the foundation shuddered and cracked. "MINIONS!"

One of the crusty creatures bowed and scraped its way in, "Yes, Your Most Surly and Grovel-inducing One?"

"You idiots haven't given me anything to wear!" Glory grabbed him by the ear, "I want clothes! Dresses and beads and bips and furbelows! NOW!"


"Break into dress shops, destroy whole buildings, I don't care!" She shook him, "You have failed to even whet my appetite with what's here!"


"I think I will kill you fast--but only if you're quick about this!"

"Yes, Your Most Saccharine and Gaelic One." He ran from the room, the other black pump hitting the door as it closed.

"There. Much better." Glory smiled at Anya, "Now, let's talk about what you're wearing."

"Oh, I'm perfectly fine as I am, thank you."

"No. No, you must match me in splendour." She tilted her head, studying Anya. "They sent up some sacrificial robe-thing, but it's ugly. You wouldn't like it."

"While your interest is appreciated, I like what I'm wearing now."

"And that pendant you're wearing." Glory leaned over Anya, ignoring the other's attempt to squirm out of reach, "That's definitely going to have to go."

"But!" Anya sputtered, "Xander gave it to me! He bought it for me with his own money! You can't take it from me!"

Glory's hand closed around it, and she yanked, the chain snapping. "There. Much better. I'll have them bury this with you. Wait. I won't be here to dictate." She giggled and tossed it over her shoulder, "Never mind then."

Her neck smarting slightly, Anya glared at the God, "I don't want--"

"I think... I think for you, we'll go with red. And horizontal stripes." Glory gave a firm nod. "Can't have you distracting from me, though. So, maybe a black? Or gray. Gray might work. It's quiet, non-descript--and, really, you wouldn't want to attract anyone, now would you?"

Glory held up a hand as Anya opened her mouth to argue, "Ah-ah. The God knows best." She began pawing through the dresses and other assorted paraphenalia on the floor. "I know I had that nice charcoal-gray skirt. With a white blouse, you'd look almost innocent. Or, better yet, periwinkle-blue." She frowned, "Except I haven't any."

"Xander..." Anya felt tears start in her eyes, "Hurry up and save me, I'm being bad-taste-in-fashioned to death."

"I have wonderful taste in clothing." Glory objected, waving a chartreuse bustier. "You should be glad I'm letting you wear anything at all. I could decide you have to be a naked sacrificial blood-letting."

Anya considered that, "I wouldn't have to wear any of your fashion nightmare clothes?"

"Just for that, I think I'll put you in this--though where it came from, I don't know." Glory was holding up a white dress. It might have been called cute, once. Except that someone with a taste for ribbon and lace had added to it. A lot. The result was like looking at a big ball of twine, with shiny bits in it.

Horror was the only emotion Anya had as she stared at it, "You wouldn't dare."

Glory sniffled, "You've insulted me. Of course I'll dare."

"I won't put it on."

"Either you will, or I will."

"I refuse! It's monstrous!"

"No one will look at you twice." Glory paused by the mirror to fiddle with her hair. "Now, do I want this up or down? I can't decide."

"I've always said that down was best--especially if you're destroying the world."

"Up, then." Tossing the white dress onto her bed, Glory began experimenting with her hair, holding this bit up, then that. Trying to find the perfect placement of her red-gold locks. "Of course, some of this depends on what I get to wear." She paused, "Where are those minions, anyway?"

"Probably off being beaten up by the Slayer." Anya said, "Y'know, so she can find out where you are and save me?"

"The Slayer has already been here a few times. And now that you mention it," Glory grinned at Anya, "We should be leaving for the safehouse soon."


"Yes. So the Slayer can't come and spoil my fun." She sighed, "I hate leaving this location. It's too small for me, but so elegant."

"How sad," Anya replied sarcastically. "I'm sure the house will miss you, too."

"You think? That would be nice. If every place I've left missed me, I'd still be home." She sighed again, then her tone changed, "MINIONS!"

One of them popped a head in, bowing and scraping, "Yes, Oh Vociferous One?"

"Where are my clothes? And start packing up!"

"Soon, Your Most Dimpledness." The minion attempted to back out of the room.

Glory moved quicker than Anya's eyes could follow, grabbing the minion's ear, "Boxes. Packing. Now."

"Yes! Right away, your Most Puissant and--"

"And stop with the stupid titles, you idiots."

"Yes, please stop," Anya begged, "They're so grating. And patently untrue."

"Untrue?" Glory whirled and glared at the ex-demon, allowing the minion to make her escape. "I'm the Most Everything! I'm a GOD."

"Really. You sound like a spoiled human to me."

Glory threw another shoe at Anya. "And you're an ex-demon, too soft to regain your powers."

"I thought I was your key?" Anya pointed out.

"You are. But you're you, too." The God snorted, "Stupid monks. Why they couldn't just give you to me, in all your greeny glowyness, I'll never know. Still, they were so tasty."

"At least I was evil as a demon. That was fun. Now I can't do anything but get ranted at by insane megalomaniacs. Where's the fun in that?"

"Would you rather be shacking up with that human boy?" Glory sounded disgusted, "They make my flesh crawl. Even Ben. And it's his fault I'm stuck here, in this body. It is, of course, a lovely one. But I miss my own. I could be anything or anyone, just click my heels three times, and I was there."

"And now all you do is whine and where stupid clothes."

"At least I'm not a slave to fashion."

"I'll have you know this skirt and shirt are the latest in couture." Anya sniffed, "Which is more than I can say for your wardrobe. I'd think you were shopping at Salvation Army, if you weren't spending ridiculous amounts of money on the fabric."

Glory threw another shoe. This one bounced off Anya's head and broke several of the perfume bottles on her dresser. "Now look what you've made me do! All thos fragrances. Chanel Number Five. Park Avenue. Gaultier's Goddess. All ruined!"

"They smell better on the floor than on you."

"If I didn't need you alive for my ritual, I think I'd kill you now." Glory picked up one of the bottles, dumping the last of the contents on Anya. "Now shut up while I start arranging the packing."

Sputtering and coughing as the rich cloying scent surrounded her, Anya had no choice but to obey. For now.


They had removed to a warehouse somewhere on the edge of downtown. Not without a slight bit of difficulty--Glory wouldn't part with anything, which caused extra packing and fuss over how to conceal three massive U-Haul trucks as they traversed downtown. And Anya had tried to scream a few times, but was thwarted by coughing attacks. Apparently, she was allergic to Calvin Klein's Obsession.

"Do you think this works?"

Anya fought another cough, and glared, "No."

"You've said that about the last ten outfits." Glory sniffed, "You'd think you were trying to stall for time." She brightened, "Which you are, of course. Aren't you a stupid little key."

"I don't know. You're the one asking my opinion."

Glory gave a huff, and pulled a red dress out of another bag. "No. Red is bad. I need. Something sleek, cool..." The next bag held a yellow sundress. She tossed it over her shoulder, ignoring that it landed on Anya. "Definitely not."

"Oh, Most Ingratiating One?"

"I'm busy."


With a growl, Glory whirled, "WHAT?"

"It is almost time, Your Wondrousness."

"Time? Oh!" She smiled, "Time for me to go home." With a giggle of glee, she pointed at Anya, "Make sure she's dressed properly."

"Yes, O Starry One."

Anya gave a shriek, "Get away from me! I will not be dressed in that thing!"

The scuffle was ended when Glory walked over and grabbed Anya by the hair. "Put it on, or he'll do it for you."


"Your choice. He might not be too gentle."

"Fine." Anya grated out. "But he leaves."

"Modesty? From an ex-demon?"

"I have my moments of human girlyness." Anya snapped defensively. "At least I don't parade around in awful red dresses with my hair unwashed."

"Get dressed." Whirling away, Glory grabbed the last bag, "This had *better* be something good."

She was lucky. It was. "Wonderful," Anya muttered as she skinned out of her own clothing. "I'm the big ball of Tenessee Twine, and she's the Crow."

"Crows don't have my sense of style."

"No, they just like lots of shiny things... like you do."

Glory inspected the fit of the black silk pants, and smirked as she pulled on the velvet halter. "Now, you're just jealous because you don't get to wear this." She smoothed down the fabric, admiring the way the imbedded rhinestones caught the light and glimmered in a swirly-pattern. "Home is going to be so pleased to see me."

"If you don't blind it first."

"Do you know, key, I think I'll enjoy this more than I should. You bleeding, me leaving you to die. And this world falling in on every other one. There's such a thrill of..."

"Boredom?" Anya suggested.

"Radiance." Glory growled. "Now, where are my minions? We have to get this over with, get you bleeding so I can go home."

"Maybe they deserted you?"

"They wouldn't dare. The minute possibility of that thought even crossing their minds was squashed before they were even born."

Glory grabbed Anya by the arm, "C'mon. Time's a-wasting."

Anya struggled, but couldn't break free of the God's iron grip. They exited the small office-like room and entered into a vast, echoing warehouse. In the middle of the floor a driveway was painted, the lines leading straight up to the wall. About ten feet back from the wall, and twenty up from the floor, loomed a rickety scaffolding. It didn't sway in the lack of breeze, but Anya was sure it would if it could.

She was given over to several minions, who dragged and pulled her up onto the tower, ending on a platform. Below was the painted roadway, oddly normal in this nightmarish place. They tied her to upright posts, and she fought to break free, deciding a quick death was better than bleeding to death.

And this way, Xander would be safe from the dissolving universes.

"Now, now. Is that anyway for a sacrifice to behave?" Glory tapped a finger on Anya's nose. "Don't move, and it won't hurt as much."

"Screw you."

"You're not my type." Glory pulled the long slim knife from her belt, and turned it over, "Rather plain, when you think about it. But it's good enough. Don't you think?"

Anya tried to kick her, and missed.

"It goes much easier if you don't struggle."

"Buffy will kick your ass."

"Funny, how she's not here to do that. Did you notice that? I did." Glory chuckled, "I don't think your white knight will be here. And, besides, they're out of time."


Glory's knife slid through the fabric of the dress, lightly touching the skin, piercing it. Anya winced as lines of fire started under her ribs and echoed down to her knees. Blood welled through the cuts, staining the white of the dress crimson red before dripping down her legs.

Below them, on the concrete, splotches appeared, gathering more and more blood. Small spatters, then a small puddle gathered cohesively. It was like a crimson rain, ever faster as Anya's heart sped up, pumping the blood away quicker and quicker.

"There should be a portal now." Glory announced, frowning down at the floor and it's gathering pattern of damp, "Where is my portal?"

Anya giggled, "I kept telling you. *I'm not the key*."

"What? But they said you were--the mind-dead witch said you were all greeny glowy!" Glory stamped her foot. "You *are* my key!"

"But you never checked." Another giggle escaped the dying ex-demon. "With Tara, you thought you know. And you were wrong. With me, they told you they knew. And both were wrong."

"Your blood." The God's eyes widened, angry comprehension darkening them. "I never checked your blood for that sweetness the key has. They told me it was you. And to think, I trusted my own minions, and that mind-wiped bitch."

"All your planning, all your scheming..." Anya's voice trailed off, her eyes beginning to darken from pain and bloodloss. "...and you're done in by not checking the sell-by date on the merchandise."

Glory stamped her foot again, the platform around them shaking and beginning to sway dangerously. "You're still just as dead, though."

"Never going home now."

The knife slashed her again, and new agony convulsed Anya, ragged breaths causing more pain along her ribs.

"And you're never living again. I wonder if the Slayer took that into her plans." Glory chuckled, "So, Anya-darling, my not-key. Who is the real key?" She caught her hair, dragging her face up, "I can't go home anymore. Five thousand years of waiting, for nothing."

"Not telling."

"But what have you to lose? I might be able to save you, now. All you have to do is tell me the name."

Anya shook her head, watching the red and black halo around Glory darken as the light began to fade from her mind.

"They owe you nothing, Anya. You're dying to save them. For nothing. I'll kill them all, in the end. Dance in their blood, streak naked through the graveyards of their families."


"I'll leave him for last. Play with his friends, make him watch them die. And they won't die slow. He'll die even slower. Maybe I'll turn him into a vampire."

"No." Anya fought against the darkness, fought against Glory's hold. "They will defeat you."

"I'm invincible, and immortal. Hell, I'm a fucking GOD, Anya."


"They don't have clue one about Bennie-boy." Glory giggled, running a finger through the edge of a cut, catching the last drops of blood. "I'll drain them. And then I'll drain this god-forsaken world." She licked her finger clean. "You're sweet."

"Not sweet enough." Anya brought her knee up, shoving her foot into Glory's side. The Hell-God teetered on the edge of the platform. Metal screamed as ill-considered construction fought against gravity, and then it collapsed, taking Anya down into the darkness with it. A loud crashing sound echoed in the warehouse, then silence fell.

A moment later, Glory pulled herself out of the pile of iron and steel and cardboard. She sniffled, noticing the scratch on one arm. "The blood is never going to come out." She glanced at her pants, "And silk never mends properly. Dammit. The Slayer is getting my next shopping spree bill."