As always, all things Buffy-verse still belong to Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon...
"Lady, I suggest you find cover." He steps forward determined, trusting she'll be the one to move. She doesn't. Walking through the space she's standing sends a chill to his core. Somewhere, buried deep inside, his sixteen year old self thinks he's died and gone to heaven. He can't describe the feeling, it's too intense for words, but for that split second when they occupied the same space he felt his soul was complete.
Shocked, he turns to face her and training takes over. His weapon is pointed at the scantily clad red head and he snaps. "What are you?"
Shocked silence fills the room and she walks towards him, crystal tears in her eyes and crimson blood on her arm. Her confusion matches his and for a heartbeat he believes she'll say it.
She takes his hand and the attention in the room shifts as the bickering begins anew. He doesn't want this for her, can't let her think it's all there is. Smiling she tells him it'll be alright, they can try again.
He looks past her, sees himself in twenty years, not some trick, and knows the truth.
"We can't start again." Her hand drops from his
The pen scratching on the ledger is the only sound. He looks around at the cherubs and flowers, wonders how they could sum up so complex a life. Realises they can't and settles for plain granite; simple, elegant, like her only not.
"And the name of the deceased?" The sombre man stops writing, looks up expectantly.
He thinks about what to say, so many options from forgotten pasts and broken futures, paths not taken. Her true name, did even she know it?
Somehow he doubts it.
Xander weighs up the options, discarding them until one is left.
"Anya," it's enough.