Genre: BtVS/Highlander Crossover.
Disclaimer: All copyrights remain firmly in the hands of their copyright holders. These people are not me.
Distribution: WLS, TNL, TTH.
Author’s Note: TNL Fic: http://tnl.moonlitpaths.com
“You watch her the way that I watch him.”
Anya gave a delighted laugh when the man she had spoken to whirled, eyes wide with shock as recognition slowly passed through his face, filtered by hundreds of years of memories.
“Surprised to see me, Duncan?”
The man shrugged. Anya noted with delight that he was still very much a piece of eye candy. A few hundred years had not done any damage to his looks, though he no longer wore his hair in the long fashion she had so long ago admired.
“No!,” He smirked, eyes laughing. And then – “Well, actually, now that you mention it – Have I done something to warrant a visit by a vengeance demon?”
Anya laughed and shook her head. “No, silly. I’m not here for you. I’m here for him, actually.” She pointed to the pair of swordfighters currently sparring on the floor.
“What did Xander do now?”
He said it with the long-suffering sigh of someone who had been forced to deal with Xander’s recklessness on more than one occasion, and it brought another laugh to her lips.
“Nothing. Nothing, recently, that is.” She finally admitted. “He and I --- we used to. . . well, we almost got married.”
“He almost married a vengeance demon?”
She turned, frowning. “And what would be wrong with that, I ask? No – for your information. He didn’t almost marry a vengeance demon. It happened when I was human for a few years. He and I – He was a good orgasm friend. The best. I learned to love again.”
Duncan blushed. “That’s really more than I needed to know. Do you want me to go get him?”
She shook her head, reddish-blonde hair swinging with the effort. “No. He and I. . . we don’t talk anymore. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. I heard about his First Death from a friend. . . Is he –“
“He’s adjusting just fine. Best student I’ve had in a while.”
“Even better than her?” She pointed at the athletic woman currently sparring with Xander. She couldn’t tell if either of them were holding back or if they were laying into each other full tilt. From where she was standing, in Duncan’s office, hidden just behind him, they both looked equal.
“Amanda?” He questioned. “No. He’s not better than her. Not yet, anyway.”
She moved forward just enough that she could see Xander better, laying an hand on Duncan’s upper arm. He was still nicely muscled, years of physical training having done him well. Xander looked good, she had to admit, when her eyes finally saw fit to look at him objectively. He had toned down a lot since she last saw him, the muscles in his arms were more pronounced and he had lost the bit of stomach he had gained during the time they were together. He was trim, and fit, and he looked good.
Duncan’s words, whispered, were like a slap to her face. She was no longer with Xander, but that did not mean that she was without heart. He had stopped their wedding, not her. He had left her, so to speak, not her. When she slept with Spike it had been in a moment of need, a moment of guilty passion that would haunt her forever. That had signaled the real end of everything that was ‘them’, she knew. It was her fault, as much as it was his.
But, still, the idea of him with another woman did not make her feel happy.
“You were with her once, weren’t you?” She whispered, voice breaking. “That’s why you look at her – like I look at him. Like someone who knows what he’s missing and knows that the time for it is long gone.”
Duncan laughed, short and harsh. “Yeah. You could say that.”
“Want me to hurt her? Some boils? Make her see scary things every time she closes her eyes.”
“No, no.” He shook his head, turning serious eyes to her. “I don’t want anything done to her. It was just one of those things.”
“Right.” She nodded, her attention going back to Xander. The woman had gotten him on the floor, the tip of her sword on his throat. He was smiling, looking up at her with wonder and adoration.
“You did good.” Amanda’s voice carried through the suddenly silent dojo.
“I’ve learned from the best.”
“Duncan would be happy to hear that.” The swordswoman smirked, helping him to his feet. Their faces were inches apart when he was standing, and he tilted her chin up with his hand.
“I wasn’t talking about Dunca.”
Anya turned away before she was forced to witness them kissing, her heart and soul aching as it did so long ago when Xander left her at the altar – a bride without a groom. She willed herself not to cry, told herself that it didn’t matter anymore. She was back doing what she loved, causing vengeance – and he had found someone that made him happy.
Wasn’t that what she was supposed to want for him? Isn’t that what all of those stupid daytime television hosts said? If you love him. . . let him go.
Anya sniffled once, turning teary eyes to Duncan. “Thanks. I’m going to go now. It was nice seeing you again.”
“Wait –“ He took step forward. “Come over and let me cook you dinner? We’ll talk about old times.”
“Got any alcohol?”
He laughed, though the sadness stayed in his eyes. “I’m sure I’ve got something that can help.”
She smiled, knowing already how the night would end – them in a bed, their passion spent. She would feel guilty, for using someone the way she had used Spike back then, just to relieve her own heartache for one moment.
But Duncan was using her, too.
And that made it, if not right, better.