: Not mine. BtVS belongs to Joss. I'm not entirely sure who The Sting belongs to (it won Best Writing Oscar for David S. Ward), but I'm quite clear that it's not me.
Anyanka was drinking at the bar, silently cursing the difficulty in finding women willing to make wishes these days- between Prohibition and the economy, very few of them spent time or money in bars anymore- when the door opened. Under normal circumstances, she would have ignored the woman there, but something told her that this woman was looking for her. Nothing else would have brought her here.
She stood up and meandered to the entrance. The bar wasn’t segregated- even if it had been, vengeance was an equal opportunity game- but this woman was dressed for church, not drinking. She was as out of place as a penguin in a tropical jungle.
Sure enough, the woman’s eyes brightened when she saw Anyanka. Only a bit, though, because pain was crowding out most other emotions in them. The two women stepped outside, just as if they’d had a set appointment.
“I thought that was you I passed by earlier,” the woman said slowly. “I never forget a face, least of all yours.”
The bitterness in that statement made Anyanka wonder if this woman had already had a wish granted.
“Not mine,” the woman said, catching the questioning look on her face. “I’m Alva Coleman. Was Alva Bailey once. You won’t remember me, but you might remember my sister Sylvia and the man she wished vengeance on.”
Anyanka didn’t have the heart to tell her that after a while, all the women ran together, and she never really took notice of the men. So she nodded as if she did.
“What brings you looking for me, Alva? Mr. Coleman step out on you?” she asked sympathetically.
“In a manner of speaking,” Alva said. “Though he had some help- he doesn’t usually step out of third story windows. Taking the stairs is a bit more survivable.”
Alva turned to face her.
“I know you usually do women scorned. I haven’t forgotten your words, not in all these years. But my pain is just as great as a woman scorned, my heart is just as broke. My need for vengeance burns as hot as theirs. And I’ve though through my wish. I ain’t wishing against the man who killed my husband. I hate him all the same, but he was doing a job. It’s the man who sent him I want to suffer.”
Anyanka considered for a second. It was technically outside her area, but Halfrek was always encouraging her to branch out, and it wasn’t as if D’Hoffryn minded either way…
Alva smiled, but it was a grim smile.
“I wish Johnny Hooker luck so he can take Doyle Lonnegan for all he’s worth. Nothing else will burn that son of a bitch as much as being beat- and I wish Mr. Lonnegan a long, unhappy life to stew on it, too.”
“Done,” Anyanka announced, shifting to her true face. Internally, though, she was a little worried. Vengeance demons looking out for people was frowned upon. Long, unhappy life she could work with at least, even if it was carefully confined. Alva Coleman really had thought on her wish.
“You’d better get going, then,” Alva said grimly. “If I know Lonnegan, Hooker’ll need all the help he can get just to last the night.”