New World

by Christina K
Copyright 2001

Props to Perri for half the ideas in this tiny fic; thanks to Lizbet for ideas that led to the title; gratitude to the Horsechicks, for reading and liking. This started out as a drabble, went to a double-drabble, then ended up at 428 words. Sap and fluff warnings apply, but no bunnies were harmed in the making of this fic.

She waits until he leaves for patrol, then rearranges the furniture.

Comforting Xander is not as difficult as she had feared it would be. He wants what she has to give: sex, long talks afterward, her unwavering presence. Hugs every morning before he goes to work. Curling up next to him while watching TV. Love.

The only hard thing is hiding the fact that she is mostly okay now. He isn't. So it is not acceptable to be fine, even very occasionally great, when he is not.

It has been three months since Buffy died.

Anya wears his Klingon Academy T-shirt, and lip-synchs to the songs with lyrics it would hurt him to hear.


He'd forgotten the holy water.

The coffee table is on top of the couch, the lamps are against the wall, the TV is in the far corner, and Anya is twirling in the middle of the living room, her eyes closed. She dances like Dawn used to when she was younger, dramatic and rhythmless and adorable.

She bumps into him and opens her eyes, her mouth forming an 'o'.

Wish that I could cry, fall upon my knees,
find a way to lie, about a home I'll never see
It may sound absurd...but don't be naive,
even heroes have the right to bleed

"Don't move."

Xander goes into the bedroom they now share and takes the ring out of his sock drawer.

Concussions and funerals and monsters, looking out for Dawn and backing up Willow and helping Giles, and summer is almost over. And it finally is the right time.

Her mouth has crumpled into the confused, vulnerable curve that always makes him want to kiss her, tell her it'll be okay.

"I was right. The world didn't end."

It's worth admitting that to see the relief that lights up her eyes. "I was right too. I agreed with you."

"Yeah." He takes her hand and puts the ring on her finger. Her face as it slides on is thrilled and wary, excited and joyous and a little scared. "You still want to live a silly life with me?"

She lifts her eyes from their hands and sets her jaw. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Thwarted. "If you dance with me... then yes."

Their tango owes more to Bugs Bunny than Astaire & Rogers, and when Xander dips Anya they are giggling too hard to maintain their balance.

Willow's phone call reminds them of the scheduled patrol, but they are still forty-five minutes late when they get to the cemetery. Anya is humming "Superman" under her breath.


Lyrics from "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five for Fighting, copyright 2001.

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