Revisiting The Past
by Beth C.

1. Trying to start again

"Let's forget about the tongue-tied lightning
Let's undress just like cross-eyed strangers
This is not a joke, so please stop smiling
What was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt?"

"Love was the worst part of being a human," Anya thought angrily sitting up in her bed.

She could remember it from her pre-demon years. Anya remember being married, living in a little cottage, and then finding her husband in bed with her sister. Seeing them rolling around in the shared bed they shared caused the bile rise in her throat, and she could remember the way the baby kicked at that same moment she saw them. But she also remembered how she took him back. How she welcomed him back into her heart and back between her legs that very night.

It was a year later she sought revenge when a woman from town stomped up the path to their cottage holding a toddler who too closely resembled her husband.

It seemed funny to her that she couldn't remember the name of the first man who hurt her so badly.

However she could remember the name of the most recent man to hurt her.

Everything about Xander remained locked tight in her memory. The first time she told Xander how much she loved him and how he looked like he was going to start crying after she said it. Falling asleep in his arms each night. How he smelled after a day of work; like sawdust and the fabric softener he always used on his t-shirts. She could even remember the way he tasted when he kissed her in the morning after he brushed his teeth; like Blues' Clues Blue Raspberry toothpaste since he refused to use grownup toothpaste.

It was raining when she ran to his house.

Xander loved the rain. He watched each raindrop, with a glimmer of youth that Anya had lost years ago. She even caught him playing out in the rain once. Jumping from puddle to puddle overjoyed.

They had made love once in the rain.

Someone had rained out their picnic, but Anya had made fried chicken for the first time and refused to leave just because some god had decided to be a jerk and ruin the day.

She remembered how he positioned himself over her face so no rain could fall in her eyes so she could see everything.

The falling rain couldn't block out his soft moans and she remembered how fresh everything smelled. Just like the fabric softener.


She unlocked the door with the key he never took back and walked in slowly. He was still sleeping as she crawled into bed beside him.

He didn't even flinch as she lied on top on him, her wet clothing soaking his sheets and clothing. She placed her head to his chest just listening, and he just brought his arms around her and smiled softly.

If she could change things, then maybe she could take it all back. She could of just slept with him and not ever gotten involved with him. Or she could of said no when he proposed. Or even better, she could've left him at the altar.

She would never take any of it back.

In the morning he would tell her about the visions of the future, his fears, and about how his father used to discipline him.

In the morning she would explain why she slept with Spike, why she went back to being a demon, and how she was going to have to go down to the underworld for a day or two to get it reversed.

But for now, he was happy to just feel her again, and she was just happy to be warmed by someone.

Love wasn't the worst part of being a human, it was distancing yourself from it that made being a human unbearable.


2. Trying to tell the truth

"I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming
Take it from the inside, baby hold on tight
You were so right when you said that I've been drinking
What was I thinking when I said good night?"

"I'm in love for the first time," Faith sang softly to herself as she walked through the prison gates, "don't you know it's gonna last."

She could see the jeep parked in the distance and a blonde with a smile that seemed to go on forever.

They reunited slowly.

Faith's therapist appointed by the Council explained that it was best for everyone to have the slayers talking.

Faith told her therapist to fuck off, but still wrote the letter.

It was short and simple with a closing of, "love always."

Buffy responded with pages and pages. Stories of when her mother died, and of when she died. She revealed what the angels told her about slayers who die in duty and the happiness that awaits them in heaven. She spoke of the pain of crawling out of your own grave, and the pain of the real world. She explained about Spike and explained the humiliation of each encounter.

"Sometimes, it's just better to be filled by lust, then to be completely empty," Buffy said in her first letter.

But she knew she didn't need to explain herself to Faith, and that Faith always would accept her.

Faith answered with complaints that she couldn't get a prison uniform that was black or tight and that none of the other women really talked to her. She wanted dark chocolate covered peanuts, trashy magazines, and something with a good beat.

"Sometimes at night, I just dance. I don't really need the sleep. I know I don't have any music," Faith wrote, "but it just feels amazing to feel free. Even if it just for a few minutes."

The next letter contained a mixtape of the songs Buffy knew Faith loved, her peanuts, and her trashy magazine. "There is also a carton of cigarettes," Buffy explained, "Willow saw a prison movie with women and said that's currency. But I think it might have been a movie she saw when Tara first left, so I hope it doesn't buy anything dirty."

Faith gave the cigarettes to the guard to get the phone for a few minutes.

"I love you," Buffy closed each conversation.

Slowly the months went by, and the jail released Faith because they had no more reasons to hold her.

"I just want to hold you, and look at you, and feel you. I want to sink into your eyes." Buffy wrote in her last letter, "I turned my back on you Faith, and I'm sorry for that. Please lets make this right."

"No promises B, I don't know if I can always be a white knight," Faith wrote back, "but maybe I can be a gray knight. Just a little blurred."

Faith hopped in the car, and threw her small bag in the back. "Where are we going B?" she asked grinning.

Buffy leaned over, softly placing lips upon lips that had never been kissed by someone who loved their owner.

"Where ever you want," Buffy smiled back, "but preferably some place with a bed. I've been keeping myself an honest woman for you."

Faith sighed with contentment before leaning her head on Buffy's shoulder, "I always loved you B."

"I wish I could say the same," Buffy said softly, "but I think somewhere in the pain, I found the only person who understood and could truly make it go away. I didn't always love you, but I can tell you I love you know and forever."

They both knew that it might not last forever, but it was worth a shot.


3. Trying to relive the past

"I want to hold you in the Bible-black predawn
You're quite a quiet domino, bury me now
Take off your Band-Aid because I don't believe in touchdowns
What was I thinking when I said hello?"

He needed to be kissed.

He needed to be held, stoked, and fulfilled.

Sometimes he cursed himself that he wasn't one of those blokes who could go down to the corner pub and fuck the first thing he saw.

Sometimes he cursed himself that he couldn't let go of the past.

Sometimes he cursed himself that he didn't stop calling Ethan.

It was always a smug voice that answered, "I'll be right over Ripper."

But soon after the phone call, Giles would remember why he never cursed himself for opening the door.

It was what it used to be, back in the day; full of anger and passion, of magic and fire, of pain and comfort.

But something changed along the way.

Maybe it was the season, or how empty his new flat seemed but Giles needed all of the old things and something more.

He knew something was different in his motives when he called again. He wanted something different, and there was definitely something different in Ethan's voice.

"How about you meet me at the pub first?" Ethan asked nicely, "We can talk for a little while."

Giles agreed, and he soon found himself at a small corner booth laughing about everything.

"You turned me into a demon," Giles chuckled drunkenly.

"You stole my girlfriend in '72," Ethan answered back.

"You mean, your boyfriend," Giles laughed louder.

"Damn, it was a man," Ethan shook his head, "Sometimes those androgynous ones mixed me up."

They stumbled back to Giles' flat, kissing every few steps, laughing the whole way.

"Stay" Giles ordered, fumbling with Ethan's buttons.

"Here?" Ethan said, leaning back as Giles slipped off his pants.

Giles kneeled quickly, "Yes, here. Stay with me."

"I can't Rupert," he answered, Giles' true name coming out of his mouth forlornly.

"Mine?" Giles asked, pointing at him.

"Always," Ethan answered.

"Then stay."

Giles could almost swear he saw tears in Ethan's eyes as he retrieved his pants and walked towards the door.

"The past is past Rupert," he said angrily, "we will ruin each other again. What are you thinking?"

"Listen to me Ethan, you are staying tonight and tomorrow and the day after that," Giles answered back, "So get your pants off and lets start the pleasure again."

Giles woke up with a headache and an overall feeling of uncertainity.

What if Ethan was right?

But things didn't feel different or wrong anymore.

They felt perfect, just like Ethan's hair, or the soft skin of his chest, or his lips against him.

He rolled back against his old friend.

It would be fun telling him when he awoke how he was wrong and how everything was right now.

It would be fun at Christmas time having someone to bring to dinner at Buffy's.

It would be fun picking out a new apartment.

Things were all new again, and years changed the both men's temperament but not their feelings.


4. Trying to find peace

"I'd always thought that if I held you tightly
You'd always love me like you did back then
Then I fell asleep and the city kept blinking
What was I thinking when I let you back in?"

His hair was black with red streaks through it and his bass case had new stickers from even more obscure bands then what he listened to in Sunnydale.

She wasn't going to say hello but he saw her.

They went to her hotel room without a word, and soon Willow remembered how full she could be.

He had more muscles then from when he left, and she had more scars.

Afterwards they lay in her bed and he spoke. The man of few words suddenly began telling his whole journey, not sparing a single detail.

She placed her head on his lap and as he braided little strands he told her everything. He told her about a Native American Shaman who gave him some peyote to explore his wolf side, and about a Mayan folk tale that brought him to South America. He spoke of a monk in Tibet who taught him meditation and he talked about the car he drove through the Ukraine. He even gushed about the snow globe he got her in Prague, but then spoke quietly of the letters he had collected to send to her and of his anger ad sadness towards Tara.

She cried silently, facing towards the wall, trying to hide her tears. She half listened, half watched lights from passing cars dance across the wall wondering if she had made a bigger mistake letting him in.

He explained about his new band and about how there was coven on the outskirts of London helping him each full moon. He worked in a small record store, and even though he had been Mr. Indie in Sunnydale, he was consider Mr. Top of the Pops when he first arrived in Britain. He ran every morning and learned that being in better shape helped when he changed. He stopped eating meat and started a web site.

Finally, he looked down at her. "How are you Will?" he asked softly.

She looked up at him, tears running down her cheeks, "Tara died, I tried to end the world, and I'm sad. I'm just very empty right now."

"Oh, I'm sorry," he drifted back to being concise.

He kissed her again, and filled her again, stretching muscles in a way long forgotten. When she came, she moaned his name and not Tara's.

He whispered, "I missed you," as he finished.

"Giles is expecting me tomorrow at his home," Willow said pulling her body as tightly as it would go next to Oz's.

"I'm coming," he answered,wrapping his arms around her, "Rest now."

She wasn't at peace yet, but something was almost right again.


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