-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Just in case you were wondering whether Willow is home for good. It's official! Willow is decorating and everything. Dawn is on unpacking duty. Xander and Buffy are in charge bringing Willow's stuff up from wherever they stashed it when Giles whisked a recently-veiny Willow off to England. The afternoon discussion topic of choice is Anya. Xander hasn't spoken to Anya in a while, but he knows that she's sad. Buffy isn't worried about sad Anya because she's too busy worrying about vengeance demon Anya. Dawn thinks Anya would be better off is she tried to fit in more, be more normal. Willow can't throw stones from her glass house. So what's the verdict? What's the charge? Who knows. Xander remains optimistic that Anya will come around. Around to what? Around to Xander's way of thinking or perhaps around to working with the good guys instead of the demons. Only time can tell, but if Anya's current situation is any indication, then Xander's optimism might be better spent on someone else.
Anya's situation involves a dozen dead bodies of the fraternity boy variety. There's blood everywhere including all over Anya's pretty little dress and dainty little hands. What could she possibly have to say for herself? "What have I done?" Don't worry kids the Scoobies will get to bottom of it, but first let me tell you about this flashback.
Aud (aka Anya, Anyanka) tidies up her cozy little cottage, which is overrun by adorable little bunnies. Olaf, Aud's old man, returns home smelling like blood and musk. Apparently he was attacked by some village trolls, wretched trolls. Aud sits him down for some pampering. She gets him food, drink, rubs his shoulders, etc. All she asks in return is that he listen to the great idea she thought up while he was away - she thought it would be a good idea to give bunnies away to others in an effort to bring joy and goodwill to others. Olaf laughs at the idea and tells her that the bar tramps he was just hanging with think Aud's weird. Aud skims over the belittling comment and focuses on the Olaf's-been-lapping-up-with-the-skanky-barmaids-again part of the comment. Olaf quickly calms Aud's fury with compliments - she's perfect with narrow hips as oppose to Rannveig (the barmaid), who has large load-bearing hips. Aud feels comforted and explains that her jealousy comes from the fact that she loves Olaf so much it feels like she will burst.
Meanwhile in the present, Anya washes blood off her hands. She looks very disturbed with a touch of exhausted.
Over in Hellmouth High's basement, sometimes known as Spike's basement wonderland, Spike and Buffy speak intimately about Spike's loss of his sanity. Spike reminisces about Dru, and her loony antics. Finally, he understands what Drusilla must of have felt like, being a crazy and all. Buffy assures him with prettiest of the puppy-dog eyes that she will help him get through this. Spike couldn't possibly ask for help after what he did. Buffy is comfortingly insistent. She will help. They will get through this together. Spike begins to believe her until the real Buffy (yes, puppy-dog Buffy was a hallucination) comes to tell Spike that he needs to find a new place to live. The basement, as we all know because each episode drums it in our heads, houses evil, bad, bad evil that's coming to devour everyone from beneath and such. Spike laughs, realizing his pleasant Buffy was nothing but dream and then screams at the real Buffy that he can't hear her. Buffy is commandingly insistent. Finally, Spike tells her that he has nowhere else to go.
At UC Sunnydale, Willow talks her professor's ears off in effort to show her enthusiasm for getting back into classes. The professor is convinced. Willow can rejoin this particular class. A happy Willow wonders down the lane and spots Anya coming out of the fraternity of doom. Anya's wrapped up in a trench coat looking rather unnerved. Willow wonders what's the what and Anya explains that her new boyfriend is part of the fraternity. They just had loads of sex, says Anya. Willow is really happy to see Anya getting on with her life until she notices blood dripping from Anya's otherwise clean hand. When Anya leaves Willow goes into the house to investigate. She sees the carnage and hears someone whimpering in a closet. Here's where the wronged woman comes in. Apparently this girl's boyfriend broke up with her in front of all his frat brothers in a effort to humiliate the hell out of her, and as her heart breaks she screams that she wishes they could know what it feels like to have their hearts ripped out. That's when Anya's spider demon came and ripped their hearts out. Willow asks where the spider thing is at that very moment. Guess where it is? Just above Willow's head about to attack. Willow's eyes go black and she instantly erects a protective shield. Then she magically propels the thing out the window. Oh and here's the kicker, while erecting the shield black-eyed Willow tells the wronged woman to shut her whimpering mouth. Looks as though the veiny Willow still lives on in sweet little Willow (kinda like how vampire Angelus live in Angel, waiting for happiness or sweeps to let him out), but once the danger passes nice Willow comes back and apologizes for being rude.
Olaf runs around terrorizing the village as a big ugly troll (not that he was all that pretty to begin with). It seems that Olaf is unaware of his troll state, he doesn't understand why all the villagers are freaked out. Aud sits back and watches seemingly satisfied, seemingly responsible. D'Hoffryn appears and is very impressed with Aud's clever work of turning her cheating man into big old troll. D'Hoffryn tells Aud that her true self is not appreciated in the village. Therefore she should join him as a vengeance demon, where her talents will be appreciated. Aud wonders what she would have to do. D'Hoffryn tells her she will be doing what she does best - helping wronged women seek vengeance. There you have it, Anyanka the vengeance demon is born.
Buffy's sitting pretty waiting for some kids to have problems when she gets a phone call from Willow. Seconds later she and Xander are out hunting the spider demon. They follow the corpses missing their hearts. They come across webbing in some trees and next thing they know the spider's coming down on Xander. Buffy pushes Xander out of the way to take the brunt of the attack. Buffy struggles to keep the thing from sucking out her heart and get pretty scraped up in the process. She gets the thing off of her and it runs up a tree. Struck by the demon's power, Xander suggests they go home get more weapons and back up. Buffy looks around, listens (not to Xander), and then throws her axe in the air. It hits the spider demon and it comes down, axe and all. That takes care of that.
All the while, Halfrek and Anya are cozying up on the couch enjoying a cup of tea. Halfrek congratulates Anya on returning to her old ways and discusses plans to celebrate, but then notices Anya looks a little pale. Anya explains that she didn't know how horrible it would be, with all the blood and screaming. Halfrek assures her that it's just reflex, fallout from being human. Anya is mildly comforted. Then Willow interrupts their chat to confront Anya about the frat boy carnage. Anya admits it was her work and that the boys deserved it. Willow scolds her a little and then goes home to tell Buffy and Xander the bad news.
St. Petersburg 1905
Halfrek and Anyanka talk in the aftermath of what appears to be an extremely bloody dinner party, the result of a wish made to Anyanka, which Halfrek commends her on. While a revolution rages on outside, Halfrek wonders what they should do to enjoy the rest of their evening. Anyanka is ready for more vengeance, but Halfrek wants to do something other than work. But vengeance isn't just work for Anyanka. It's life. It's who she is.
Xander is livid, once he finds out that Willow didn't tell them that spider thing was Anya's doing. Buffy tells him to calm down. Buffy understands Willow didn't tell them because Willow knew it would mean Buffy has to kill Anya. Of course Xander is not willing to listen to such nonsense (for Xander it's nonsense). Anya was once his bride-to-be, so they couldn't possibly kill her. They didn't kill Willow when she went crazy and flayed Warren. What's the big, Anya just killed a dog and about 13 people. Buffy explains that Willow's case was different, most importantly because Willow is human; Anya is not. So, Xander decides to pull the Spike card - Buffy didn't ever consider killing Spike, in fact she spent numerous hours in his bed. Buffy points out that Spike was not and is not going around killing people. Xander still doesn't see why it has to come death. This is Anya. Finally, he figures Buffy will spare Anya if he just tells Buffy that he still loves Anya. No dice. Buffy has to do what she has to do! Xander figures if begging and pleading won't help then he'll resort to good old nasty meanness. He starts to rag on Buffy for retreating from the group in times like these and making decisions like she's the law or something. In response, Buffy pulls out her royal flush, a hand worthy of weeping. She tells Xander that she KILLED ANGEL!!!! She tells Xander to think back to the time when he was all gun ho "Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill" when it came to killing to a person that she loved more than anything she's ever loved in her life. She asks Xander to think about what it must have felt like for her to have both him and Willow cheering her on (Xander told Buffy that Willow said to kick Angel's ass right before Buffy went to kill Angel - Willow actually told Xander to tell Buffy to hold Angel off while Willow tried to curse Angel with his soul again in Becoming Part 2) to go kill her lover (Willow quickly interjects that she didn't tell Xander to say that). Xander shuts his trap for minute and realizes that the tables have turned. He's asking for special treatment, treatment he didn't allow Buffy to have herself.
Buffy takes Xander's shut trap as a golden opportunity to point out that she is the law. After all is said and done, the only one accountable for the safety of the world is Buffy; that power, as alienating as it may be, still puts her in charge. Xander meekly retorts that there has to be another way (though he knows there probably isn't). Buffy tells him to find it. Xander leaves and Buffy sorts through her weapons for the perfect Anya-killing sword. Before Buffy walks off to her date with a very special vengeance demon, she asks Willow with her eyes, if Willow's coming with. Willow bows out apologetically.
Xander rushes to the fraternity house and tries to talk to Anya (he knew Anya would be there and she was). He starts by apologizing and Anya feels better and everything's great and they all live happily ever after except an apology isn't going to bring back the 12 young men that had their hearts ripped out of their chests. Xander warns Anya that Buffy's on her way to kill Anya. Anya is not surprised. Anya understands that Buffy has a job to do just as Anya had a job to do. Xander does not understand and soon it doesn't matter because Buffy arrives, ready for action.
Anya pushes Xander out of the way and takes Buffy on. Wearing her demon face, Anya kicks Buffy's ass about the room while trying to engage Buffy in witty banter. Buffy is silent and determined, which makes Anya all the more cocky. Soon Anya thinks she has Buffy beaten but with a slight redirection of Anya's body weight, Buffy slams Anya against the wall and shoves the sword through Anya's heart.
Sunnydale 2001 (when the town was inflicted with musical fever)
Xander and Anya are lounging around one evening, and as usual Xander dozes off in his easy chair. Anya goes to get him a blanket, along the way she tidies up and starts to sing. The song talks about Anya's lack of a real last name, i.e. a real identity and how happy she is that soon she will have a last name - Mrs. Xander Harris. Well, we all know how that turned out.
Anya awakes with the sword through her chest and informs Buffy that it takes a lot more than that to kill a vengeance demon. Buffy expected as much and retorts that she was just getting started. The two engage in round 2, which eventually ends with Anya on the floor and Buffy ready to plunge the sword through Anya's chest a second time. Xander, who has been unconscious most of this time, awakens and pushes Buffy away from Anya. Both Buffy and Anya are about to rebuke Xander for interfering when D'Hoffryn appears (When Buffy left the house, Willow summoned D'Hoffryn and spoke to him about Anya).
D'Hoffryn looks at the massacre and marvels at its beauty, then he commends Anya on her work. D'Hoffryn explains that he spoke to Ms. Rosenberg and understands that Anya wants out. Anya quickly explains that she wants to take back what she did, undo the massacre. D'Hoffryn explains that in order for that to happen he would have to take the life and soul of vengeance demon to keep things balanced. Anya understands the price and is willing to sacrifice herself, if it means the fratties will live. Xander protests and D'Hoffryn makes sure that Buffy holds Xander back - Xander would surely be annihilated if he were to go up against D'Hoffryn. D'Hoffryn suddenly summons Halfrek and then burns the life out her. Anya is not happy, she wanted to die and she didn't want anymore of her friends hurt, let alone killed. D'Hoffryn doesn't like to kill when he can cause pain, which was his purpose this time - to hurt Anya. He then tells Anya that she's out and not to worry about dying since the "beneath you" creature is coming and she will surely be devoured with rest of them. Anya runs out feeling completely defeated.
Buffy tells Xander to go after her while she checks on the fratties. Xander doesn't have to be told twice.
Outside, Xander attempts to say something to consoling (like "You shouldn't be alone right now.") to Anya's back. Anya tells him leave her alone. She sees Xander is trying to help so she explains herself. She explains that she's always gone along with whatever came along, never really having a purpose of her own or an identity, which would explain her devotion to her vengeance demon duties (feeling that it defined her), then transferring her devotion to being Xander's fiancé (feeling that defined her as well) and now finally understanding that none of it defines her. She has no idea who or what she is, if anything at all. Xander tells Anya that he didn't mind being latched onto. Anya knows and is slightly comforted by that fact. She sincerely thanks him for everything. Xander leaves, understanding that Anya knows where to find him if she wants his help, company, or whathaveyou. Anya asks him, "What if I'm really nobody?" Xander tells her not to be dope. Anya is little happy to know that she can start with dope and work her way up to something from there. They go their separate ways.