Title: For Want of a Potion
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things Charmed belong to Aaron Spelling, et al.
Distribution: The normal places.
Author’s Notes: 20 Minutes With Anya
Summary: It’s not every day you come face to face with one of the people you exacted vengeance on… especially when it was over five decades before…
“Think of it this way, An – it’s a vacation. Some fun away from the Hellmouth.”
Anya snorted none too gently, rolling her eyes as the cab sped through the bustling nighttime streets of San Francisco. “It’s not a vacation,” she argued with an impatient shake of her head. “It’s a short trip here and then back home. Not even enough time to fully break in the bed at the hotel.”
She met the cab driver’s eyes in the rearview mirror, wondering if by their sparkle and Xander’s red face she hadn’t said something embarrassing…
He shook his head. “Nevermind. I think we’re here.”
‘Here’ was P3, the club where they were meeting Willow’s contact at. The one that had the power to brew the potion they needed for that thing that was supposed to be happening in a week. If anyone had asked *her*, Anya would have said this was a waste of time. Willow had the power to brew the potion if she’d just get over her hang up about doing anything magical. It wasn’t like she even cared if the other woman turned evil again, as long as she didn’t hurt Xander or the Magic Box this time.
“It’s a step up from the Bronze,” Xander commented absently as they made their way into the club, past the throng of bodies near the entrance.
“Anything is a step up from the Bronze,” she shrugged. “There was this demon club I went to once, on assignment, of course. It was run by this stench demon that –“
“Riiight,” he drawled, cutting her off with ‘that look’. The one that said remember to keep her voice down when talking about things that would worry the ‘normal’ people around them. “I think I see her.”
“Who?” Anya frowned.
“Oh – right.” She huffed, letting him pull her through the sea of bodies, off to one side of the club where three women and a man seemed to have staked a claim for the night. They were pretty, she noted with a twinge of jealousy, glancing towards Xander. Well, pretty or not, they couldn’t have him. He was all hers.
“Is one of you Piper by any chance?”
“That would be me,” the one in the middle smiled. “You’re Xander?”
Anya glanced at the woman appraisingly. Ah, she was with the nice looking blond man. Not a threat, then. But the other two…
“Yep – and this is my fiancé, Anya.”
“Hi,” the former vengeance demon greeted the assembled group with a small wave of her hand, beaming. She loved it when he said that. Fiance.
“This is my husband, Leo,” Piper introduced the man to her right. “My sisters, Phoebe and Paige…”
“And the guy standing not so patiently behind you two is Cole, my fiancé,” Phoebe supplied with a smile.
One less woman to worry about, Anya thought as she turned to see the newcomer.
“You!” she exclaimed, taking a step backwards.
“Oh no,” Cole muttered.
“An, dear, you know this man.”
“Demon,” Anya corrected. “And, yes, I know him.”
“Half-demon,” Cole corrected her testily. “But you can’t say the same thing, can you?”
“What?” A chorus of voices erupted from behind her and Anya winced.
“I’m not anymore,” she explained with a scowl in Cole’s direction before turning back to the assembled group. “I am one hundred percent human.” She turned to Xander. “Does Willow know that her contact associates with demons?”
Anya turned a leveling glare at the one that had been introduced as Paige. “Then how do you explain *him*?”
“I try not to,” the red head sniped, earning herself a slap on the arm from Phoebe.
“If you’re human… you’re not here on assignment.”
“No. No vengeance for my girl. But, you know – not so cool with you being a demon.” Xander frowned, placing a hand on Anya’s arm. “Wills is so gonna be not of the happy when we tell her –“
“Okay – time out.”
All attention turned to Piper as the petite brunette’s voice cut through the din, above the sharp retort that Anya could tell was about to come from Cole.
“Okay,” Piper smiled, gesturing at the empty seats that remained around their table. “Now how about some explanations?
“So… you were a vengeance demon for scorned women? Sort of like a genie of heartbreak?”
Anya nodded at Phoebe, eyeing the mostly empty glass in her hand with a forlorn sigh and a glance towards Xander. He shook his head, grinning.
“You’ve had enough.”
She pursed her lips. “If you’re worried about sex – don’t. I’ll still be up for breaking in that nice, big bed at –“
His hand covered her mouth, a gesture so familiar she didn’t even have the nerve to look surprised anymore.
“Sorry,” he laughed, blushing furiously. “We’re still trying to teach her that little human thing where we don’t discuss stuff like that in public.”
“O-kay,” Paige wrinkled her nose, amusement clear on her face. “Now – about this wish that chick put on Cole…”
Anya brightened, shrugging off Xander’s hand. “It really was a nice wish. A bit on the simplistic side. She could have used a little more creativity.”
“It was painful.” Cole growled softly, shifting uncomfortably and earning himself a laugh from those gathered.
The former demon nodded. “Most wishes are when they’re made by women that have been hurt. Betrayed.” She narrowed her eyes. “You shouldn’t have let her fall for you.”
“I didn’t ask her to!” He objected. “I was trying to kill her. She knew that. It was one of those sick, twisted kind of things. I was even in my demonic form!”
Anya shrugged. “Still – you could have let her down easier. Then she wouldn’t have made the wish.” She cocked her head to one side, looking from him to Phoebe. “I’m assuming you got someone to life the curse. Those boils have to hurt when you –“
“Anya!” Xander, Cole, and Piper gasped all at once, laughter breaking out through the small group as blushes spread all around. She brushed off the exclamation, well aware that she’d just stepped over the line again.
She couldn’t help it.
They were amusing when they were blushing and squirming like that.
Humans were far too easily embarrassed, she thought with a smug inner smile.
And, judging by the look on Cole’s face, maybe half-demons were just as bad.