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Attend the Tale

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This story is No. 2 in the series "An Inspired Future". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Anya remembers how Anyanka inspired one of the greatest of Broadway musicals.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Musicals/PlaysEricJablowFR1332,628154,17023 Jan 0723 Jan 07Yes

To Seek Revenge

Anya sits by herself at the Bronze sipping some coffee. She's smiling, humming more of "A Little Priest", and wondering if different jobs really would lead to different tastes. Then, she notices a man standing next to her. She looks up, ready to decline any invitations, but it's Spike.

"Oh, you."

"Hello, Anya. Where's the idiot?"

"Xander is working a job on I-5. And don't start. See this?" She waves her left hand at Spike; a diamond ring glints on her finger.

"Oh, hell. You're marrying the fool? It'll never work out. Trust me."

"Trust you? You're the least trusty thing I know."

"I fought for you against Glory. I took care of the Bit all summer."

"And where have you been recently? Dawn misses you. I'm not sure why, but she does."

"None of you want me around. Buffy doesn't want anybody around; I can't get to her."

"I know. She'll come around."

"I'm not sure."

"Well, you ought to talk with Dawn. She misses you. Look--the University is doing a production of 'Sweeney Todd' in January. You really ought to take her."

"And how do I go into a theater?"

"Sunset will be long before 8pm then. Do it for her. We can all go—Buffy might even like it."

"I'll think about it."

"It won't be like the original production. If only they could have hired someone who was there."


"Like you?"

"Like me. I remember the soldiers pulling out the bodies from Lovett's after they all died. It was great."

"Wait. Are you telling me that really happened?"

Anya looks hurt.

"You mean that the poofter wasn't just boasting to me when he told me about Lovett and her meat pies?"

"Angelus wasn't lying. He and Darla were at the next table over."

"This calls for a drink. You want a beer?"

"Sure."

Spike returns in amoment with two mugs of beer, and both start to drink. "I thought the poof was boasting, you know."

"He was telling the truth, for once."
---

Flashback: London, 1845

Angelus and Darla walked slowly through the streets of London; they had just disposed of their dinner in the Thames, and they were looking for a nightcap. As they turned down Fleet Street, they saw a large group of diners sitting at tables outside a pie shop.

"Care for a bite, my dear?"

"That would be lovely, my Angel. And perhaps we'll get a better bite later."

They sat down at a bench and order pies and ale from the barmaid; their purses are full, of course. A few minutes later, the serving wench returns with their food. Angelus drains his ale dry, to Darla's disgust. "That's fine." They both take a bite of their hot pies; Darla stands up straight looking as if she were transfixed with pleasure, while Angelus can barely keep his demonic form from manifesting. They gain control over themselves a minute later.

"What is that taste, my dear Darla?"

Darla thinks for a moment, and then she whispers softly in Angelus' ear, "That's man."

"Really?"

"Man. Long pig. They're serving people."

The two of them look at the storefront, and then they look above it to Sweeney's barber shop.

"I really like this place. We'll have to come back. Often."

"It really takes my breath away, dear Angel."

They continue dining, but a few minutes later Angelus looks around; he notices a woman at the next table staring at them. He points and tells Darla, "That woman doesn't like us much." He murmurs into her ear, "Should we take her?"

"No, fool. That is Anyanka the Merciless, one of d'Hoffryn's get. If she's involved here, we'd better leave it alone. Besides, I like knowing that man can be as evil as us when they put their minds to it."

"A demon? I'd enjoy fighting her."

"No, Angelus. Normally, vengeance demons are under constraint. But when you attack them, they are free to use all their power. You'll never get close."

"Damnation. At least we can finish our snack. Another, dear Darla?"

---

"Yes, that was me. And if they had attacked me, they would not have survived." Anya yawns.

"Need to get home? I think I'm going to take a lookaround, shall I get you home first?"

"Thanks."

When they leave the Bronze, they start to sing in boozy, off-key voices:

"Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd."

"Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd."

"He served a dark and a hungry god."

"He served a dark and a hungry god."

"To seek revenge may lead to Hell,"

"But everyone does it, and seldom as well,"

"As Sweeney,"

"As Sweeney Todd,"


"The Demon Barber of Fleet"

...

...

...

"Street!"

---
At the end, Spike and Anya sing the final lines of "Epilogue: The Ballad of Sweeney Todd".

The End

You have reached the end of "Attend the Tale". This story is complete.

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