"Conversation With... Anya."

By A.M. Glass

E-Mail: glasswrks@yahoo.com

Copyright: May 31st, 2002.

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Fox Studios, Mutant Enemy, et al, have something to do with “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred. The story along with any/all original characters are the sole property of the author and can not be used without expressed permission first.

Spoilers: “Tough Love”, “Bargaining, part 2”, Older and Far Away”, “Hells’ Bells” and “Seeing Red.”

Author’s Note: This story takes place immediately after A Conversation With...Dawn.

Thanks: To Stacey for the beta.

After ensuring that Dawn was sleeping peacefully, Tara left the teenager and went across town...

To the Magic Box...

Or rather what was left of it.

“Oh, Will,” she said aloud as she stepped over the rubble that had yet to be cleared. It felt odd to her, having to step over things.

She had no form, no body to speak of, yet she felt as if she were treading carefully around the ruins.

It had taken intense concentration on her part to allow Dawn to not only see her, but to be able to gather the teenager into her arms.

She stopped...

And watched as Anya picked up a book, blew the dust off it and placed it amongst the others she had apparently saved from Willow’s wrath.

“How long are you going to hover before you say anything,” Anya asked without looking up.

“I... I didn’t want to bother you,” Tara replied. She knew Anya would be able to sense her presence.

She knew this as surely as she knew that Anya was once again a vengeance demon. Focusing, she managed to take on a gossamer appearance. It was the best she could do at the moment.

“You were never a bother, Tara,” she replied as she looked up. “Well... there was that time when you got your brain sucked, but that wasn’t your fault,” Anya paused, “Actually, that was your fault, but we all knew why it happened. Other than that, nope, not a bother.”

Tara felt herself smiling briefly before a frown covered her face, “Sh-she didn’t hurt you too much, did she?”

Anya put down the book she had been holding and stared at the ghostly form of someone she truly liked.

Someone who hadn’t tried to change her into something she wasn’t.

Anya had even put the incident at Buffy’s birthday party behind them. She understood why Tara had stuck up for Willow the way she had.

She was protecting the person she loved.

The one person she would have done anything for.

Heck, Tara had even killed for Willow...

Granted, it was a demon.

But, nevertheless, she killed.

Now that’s love.

“If I wasn’t a vengeance demon... maybe... but...”

“Anya, don’t make excuses for her.”

“I’m not,” she huffed. “Willow is the last person I would make an excuse for,” she said pausing, as she saw a flicker of pain cross Tara’s features. “I... I wanted to help her you know,” she said softly, as she absentmindedly folded her arms over her chest and hugged herself. “She...” Anya hesitated, “I’ve never felt so much pain before. Never. Not even with what Xander did to me. It didn’t compare, it couldn’t.”

“I knew,” Tara said quietly.

“Did you?” Anya asked as she stepped closer.

“I could feel it... and there was nothing I could do about it. Now... I’m not sure if my presence here is going to help her or hurt her even more,” she said voicing her fear.

“She’s a walking mess,” Anya stated.

Tara could only nod.

She could not voice the anguish she felt there were simply no words.

“Are you going to see her?” Anya asked.

“Not yet, but soon. There are a few...”

“NO. You’d better not tell me. I doubt I’m part of the gang,” she said stressing the word: gang, with quotation marks, “...anymore.”

“Anya...” Tara said as she moved closer to the other woman. “You’ll always be a part of the gang.” With that she held out her hand and said, “You wanna thumb wrestle?”

Looking at the extended hand, she hesitated for a moment, before reaching out and sliding her hand into Tara’s. She felt a tingle as a sense of peace wash over her.

The ache she felt was still there, only now, it was bearable.

She glanced into Tara’s face and settled on her eyes. The way they crinkled when she smiled, as she was doing, Anya couldn’t help but return the smile.

“Two… two out of three?” she asked as her voice caught.

Tara nodded, her face suddenly serious. “Ready?”

“Yes… I’m good.” Anya nodded, answering more than one question.


The End.

Section 3 A. M. Glass Buffy Main Index