Sometimes you think that in all your years you might have learned more than just how to inflict pain.
Sometimes you think that you should never have attempted to go back to the thing that drove you to vengeance to begin with. When you consider that angle, it seems rather stupid to have ever thought differently. After all, you were human when it all began, and for hundreds and hundreds of years your life was nothing more than blood and pleas for the infliction of horrible, torturous death. One century after another spent knee deep in entrails and driven half-deaf by screams. Did you honestly think it would all vanish in a puff of smoke once you were human again after all that time? You don't know why you let yourself believe that you needed to be interlocking parts with a man to be happy.
She asks you about things sometimes. "Were all your, uh, clients asking for vengeance on their boyfriends?"
"No, sometimes it was their husbands."
"No, I mean..." She pushes the stray hair from her eyes and tries again. "Were they all straight? You ever get a good call for vengeance on a girlfriend whose girlfriend did them wrong in a big way?"
You ponder that one - it's getting harder to remember all the requests, all the sobbing women, all the angry women, all the stony faces and calm personas. It's a blur of "I wish" that makes your head hurt if you think too long. "No, it was always the men."
"So do lesbians have their own vengeancey kind of gig happening?" She sits then, sheets pulled away from her breasts, nipples hard and dark like ripe strawberries and you reach out to touch again. Cup the soft fullness of her skin and try to distract her from talk about pasts you'd rather forget.
"Perhaps. I'm not sure. I never asked D'Hoffryn about the other girls."
You watch as her eyes get heavy-lidded with arousal as your stroke her skin, pale and perfect now, creamy white with a dusting of freckles on her shoulders like cinnamon sprinkles. You've seen it a hundred times like this, flushed pink from cheek to chest before she comes for you. She never calls your name, but she never calls any other name either.
Sometimes she has dreams that make her cry and whimper and moan in her sleep. You can understand that. You've had more nights like that than you want to remember, and not just since you became human. Not this time or the last. You do what you can for her, rubbing her arm, petting her skin, until the touch calms her. Sometimes she wakes up and wants nothing more than to fall on you, and her little teeth nip at your skin, neck and belly and thighs, before she presses her face between your legs and makes you climax over and over again. Her tongue is clever and her fingers know just where to touch inside slick folds of skin.
She does this as though your cries of pleasure are going to drown out whatever was whispering in her head in those dreams.
You never ask about the dreams, but sometimes she tells you anyway, sweaty skin slippery against yours when she straddles your thigh afterwards, molds her body to yours and puts her head against your breasts to listen to your heart beating.
"I dreamed about magic again," she says, and she shivers a little. If she weren't quivering so much, if her hands weren't so sure against your hip, if there wasn't so much heat and wetness on your thigh when she rolls her hips, you'd think the dreams frightened her. But you know better.
You say, "Tell me."
She talks about the magic then, and the power. And the more she talks, the wetter she gets, the more she rolls her hips. Sometimes when she looks up at you, right before she comes, grinding against your leg or your fingers, her eyes are obsidian. Like she was that day she tried to kill you. You don't take it personally; she tried to kill everyone in the world that day.
You do sometimes resent that it was Xander who stopped her. But only sometimes. You tell yourself that it's better that the man who drove you back to the blood and torture managed to step in and give you more time in which to do it.
You thought for a long time that she would go to his bed. That the comfort they both claimed to need would be sought and offered, and how strange would it have been if she'd called on the power of the Wish after he'd broken her heart. Again.
But she came to your bed. And you suppose there's a certain symmetry in that. Hallie would have told you that it was only right. Hallie would have laughed at you for not seeing it sooner, and reminded you that you were never happier than when you and she were close.
"Really Anya, it's so clear! I swear, your time as a mortal must have scrambled your senses. Why you would chose a human is beyond me, but a human male? You know what they're capable of. Now the witch... that's more sensible. She's lovely, she's powerful; she's nearly one of us!" You can almost hear her voice again. You miss Hallie quite a lot.
You wonder at the way things work out sometimes, as you lie in your bed with the sheets smelling of musk and sweat, and you think that perhaps there's no one else in the world that you could really have ended up with. No one else who would truly understand you, and as cliche as it might be even to you, you recognize that she is a kindred spirit. Let the humans use that phrase all they like to express perfect love. You know better. Kindred merely means alike, and a spirit can be as dark as the shadows of hell and still find its match.