Why do I love this section so much? I have no idea. But I do.
Can I just say, by the way, that I bought these Space-Duck Chocolates for Pesach, and they're just normal ducks? I mean, they're supposed to be space ducks! What a total rip-off!
An hour later, Anya stood outside the Police Box, trying to get up the courage to knock on the door. She still wasn't sure about this whole apologizing thing. After all, this wasn't just a Time Lord she was talking about — this was the Uncreator. He was supposed to be a real stickler about demons killing people. And as for vengeance demons, specifically…
Well, no vengeance demon had ever faced the Uncreator and lived.
No. Don't worry, Anya. It wasn't like she'd destroyed the world or anything. Well, okay, she almost had when she'd done that thing to Buffy, but all that had gotten reversed, and she'd really liked Buffy by the end. So that was okay, wasn't it? Oh, who was she kidding? He wouldn't care about that. He was the Uncreator. She knew what that meant. She'd heard the stories.
Stories of the Uncreator mercilessly punishing demons just because they'd killed a few innocent people. Or a small town. Or changed a really, really minor thing in the timeline. Like causing a revolution that killed 9 million Russians.
She took a deep breath. No, calm down, Anya. This wasn't the Uncreator, terror of the demon world. This was the Doctor. Buffy's friend. The friend of all humans. That was why he was always so angry when demons killed humans, right? Because he liked them? And Anya was human, now.
She knocked on the door.
A few seconds later, it creaked open, revealing the Doctor, with a pair of black-rimmed glasses perched on his nose. Anya thrust the apple pie she was carrying right in front of his face.
"Hello," she said. "I'm just trying to show you how normal and human I am. Humans bake things. Like apple pie. Would you like some apple pie?"
The Doctor looked from the apple pie to Anya, then back to the pie. "This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the fact that I've just worked out who you are?" he asked. He raised an eyebrow at her. "Anyanka?"
Anya froze. No. Keep calm, Anya. "But I'm human, now," she said. "And I bake apple pies, and sell people things so they'll give me money." She noticed that his expression hadn't changed. "And… I'm sorry?"
The Doctor examined her, carefully. "Are you really?" he asked.
"Yes!" Anya insisted. "I'm human. See? That means I'm sorry."
"That means you're human," the Doctor corrected. "It doesn't mean you're sorry."
"But I am," Anya insisted. "Really, really, really sorry. And I've got pie!"
The Doctor thought about this a moment, then gave her a bright grin that didn't seem to reach his eyes. "Right, then," he said. He threw open the door. "Why don't you come in? Just working on trying to reconfigure the TARDIS telepathic circuits, make contact with a good friend of mine."
It didn't sound like a warm, friendly invitation. No, the way the Doctor was looking at her made Anya feel like he could see right through her. Like he could see every single thing she'd ever done, and was still trying to work out what to do about it.
Anya hesitated by the door. She really, really, really didn't want to go into the Doctor's ship. But… no, she had to do this. She had to convince him, now, before he ran into her in the past, and uncreated her then. Or maybe, when she stepped inside his ship, he'd just go ahead and uncreate her anyways.
No. Pie. She had pie. He wouldn't uncreate someone with pie, would he?
Anya stepped into the TARDIS.
As she entered the ship, the Doctor waited, expectantly, staring at her. Was she supposed to be saying something? Making some comment about his bigger-on-the-inside time travel vehicle? Oh, no. Maybe if she didn't say something, she wouldn't be human enough. And she knew she'd better say something incredibly flattering, something that would really get her on his good side.
"It looks very expensive," she tried.
The Doctor gave a sidelong grin at this. "Not the reaction I was expecting," he told her. "But I'll take it as a compliment. Go ahead, sit yourself down. I'm just going to connect these circuits."
Anya wasn't really sure what to do. So she sat on the jumpseat, just like he'd told her to, and watched as he did a confusing and bizarre dance around the central console. She felt like she needed to say something. But what? She was never good at figuring out the right things to say to sound human. No, wait, she was human now. So if she just said the first thing that came to her mind, that would sound human!
"Did you really kill Elizabeth's mother?" Anya asked the Doctor.
The Doctor paused in his work, for just a second, then acted as if he hadn't heard her, continuing to work by the console. He didn't even look up at her.
Hang on. That wasn't a good thing to talk about with someone who you were trying to get on your good side, was it?
"Not that I think you did," Anya added, quickly. She kicked her feet against the ground. "It's just… Angel says you did."
"Angel," said the Doctor, flipping a switch on the console, and checking a reading on the monitor, "believes anything that Elizabeth tells him."
"Then why doesn't Angel hate you the same way Elizabeth does?" asked Anya.
"I made Angel better," said the Doctor. "Elizabeth was the one I destroyed."
"By killing her mother," said Anya.
"Just because someone says something doesn't make it true," the Doctor told her.
"Okay, well, if you didn't kill Elizabeth's mother, then who did?" asked Anya.
The Doctor raised his eyes up to meet Anya's, just for a second. "Elizabeth knows," he said. Then he turned back to the central console.
Anya rolled her eyes. "Well, of course you'd blame the woman
," she said. "That's just so typical. It can't be your fault. Oh, no. Elizabeth's got to be the murderer, because it's always the woman's fault." She huffed. "Typical man. I'm glad people like Elizabeth still exist to take revenge on men like you."
The Doctor stopped his work on the central console, and snapped his head up to look at her, scrutinizing her, judging her. Every bit of lightness had drained from his face. "Ah. Yes. That's what I thought."
Anya felt her heart pounding. She clutched the apple pie more tightly, as she realized she'd just said exactly the wrong thing.
The Doctor moved away from the central console and started walking over to her, hands in his pockets. "Anyanka," he said. "The avenger of wronged women. Born in Sjornjost, Sweden, 860. You created chaos and destruction then, and you just kept on going, didn't you? One thousand years of death and slaughter and time manipulation on a scale I've rarely seen. Oh, yes, I know what you did. I know everything you did. Every timeline you've changed. Every human you've slaughtered. Every town you've razed to the ground. Every revolution you've sparked." His eyes blazed. "9 million people dying. And yourself? Watching, in luxury. No pity. No mercy. Not even a hint of regret for what you'd done."
"But… I'm not a demon anymore!" Anya protested. She raised up the pie. "See? Pie!"
"You want to know the thing about vengeance demons?" the Doctor asked, stopping in front of Anya, his eyes staring straight down into her soul, his voice tinged with a hint of lightness that made his every word sound more cold and ominous than Anya had thought possible. "They aren't fundamental to the timeline. Ever. I can undo everything they've ever done, erase every altered timeline and bring back every murdered person, by simply going back and getting rid of them before they ever met D'Hoffryn. Stopping that very first act of revenge. And normally, I couldn't do that. Normally, if I were to meet someone in 2001, I wouldn't be able to erase their entire existence before I ever met them, because that would create a paradox. But with vengeance demons, I can. And I do. All the time." He gave her a cold, steady glare. "So. Tell me, Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins. Why shouldn't I give back all those lives you've stolen? Why shouldn't I let history unfold the way it should? What makes your single life more important than the millions of others you've wiped out over this past millennia?"
"I… I'm human!" Anya said, trying to make her voice sound less like a squeak.
"Yes, you keep insisting on that," said the Doctor. "As if it means something. As if that alone would be enough to redeem you. But I've met many different kinds of humans. I've met humans who have tried to destroy the Earth. I've met humans who have slaughtered people for fun. I've met humans who have done more damage than any demon you'd care to name. You were human, when you began taking revenge. So that doesn't really say anything, does it? If you're just the same Anyanka, then it doesn't really matter if my bioscan says you're human or demon. Because if all you're planning to contribute to this world is blood and death and hatred, I won't allow that."
Anya opened and closed her mouth, a few times, trying to think of something she could say, but coming up with nothing.
"I don't do second chances, Anya," said the Doctor. "And you've had a chance. You weren't born a demon. You chose it. As far as I'm concerned, that contract with D'Hoffryn was your first and only warning. So if you have a reason I shouldn't go back and reverse what you've done, I'd like to hear it."
"I… I…" Anya tried to melt into the chair, but she couldn't. "I'll have sex with you!"
The Doctor didn't look impressed. "Will you?" he asked, emotionlessly.
"Yes!" Anya said. "If you don't uncreate me, I'll have sex with you. You're a man, and men like sex, and..." She trailed off, as it became apparent that this wasn't working at all.
The Doctor went back to the central console, shaking his head. "Same Anyanka," he said, as he began to work again, flipping switches, pulling wires and reconnecting them.
Anya sagged. The apple pie dropped off her lap, and toppled onto the grating, crust down. She was trying not to cry.
"I couldn't have sex with you anyways," Anya confessed. "I have…" The tears flooded her eyes, as she thought about all the things she was giving up, all the things that would never happen in her life. "…a fiancé."
The Doctor froze, his hand just above a switch. He looked up at her, and took off his glasses. "You're… getting married."
Anya nodded. She got the engagement ring box out of her pocket. "He won't let me say," she said, through sobs. "See? He gave me this beautiful, expensive ring, and I can't even wear it. And now… I never will."
The Doctor said nothing for a few seconds. Anya looked up, through her tears, and found that he had moved beside her, studying her.
"Who?" he asked, in a far softer voice than Anya had ever heard him use. He took the ring box from her, gently, to examine it.
"Xander," said Anya, as he examined the engagement ring inside. "Xander Harris."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at her. "Xander Harris? The man you came to Sunnydale to curse?"
The Doctor stood there a few seconds, the ring case open in his hand, the light from the TARDIS glowing across its tiny jewels. Then, he snapped the case shut, and handed it back to her.
"I hope you two have a long, happy future," he said.
Anya took the case from him, and the Doctor went back to running around the central console. She could barely breathe, as she wiped the tears out of her eyes. And it took her a few seconds to realize what this meant.
What the Doctor meant.
(What had she done to convince him?)
The Doctor kicked the TARDIS console, irritated. "Interference!" he said. "Psychic interference on a massive scale. I can't unlock the timeline unless I get the Key. And I can't get the Key without these telepathic circuits!" He kicked the console again, then hopped backwards, on one foot. "Ow."
"Key?" asked Anya.
The Doctor looked over at her. "Forget I said that."
Okay, that sounded very not good for Dawn.
"Thing is, psychic interference on this scale would mean a massive…" the Doctor trailed off, staring at the TARDIS console. "Elizabeth."
"Huh?" asked Anya.
The Doctor turned, and stormed towards the TARDIS doors. "Oh, she's not getting away with this," he said. "Not again. I'm not letting it happen in this timeline. I'm not letting her do it!"