Sight Unseen
by Aadler
Copyright November 2019

Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, the WB, and UPN.

Setting: Buffy, Season 4
Spoilers: “Fear Itself” (Buffy S4-04)

– i –

“Xander?” Oz frowns (barely perceptible), shakes his head. “Sorry, not ringing any bells.”

“Xander,” Anya insists. “Part of the gang before you came along.” Or me. “Rallied the graduating class to fight the Mayor’s ascension.”

One eyebrow quirks. “Thought Cordelia did that. The magic of social clout … and cleavage.”

“Willow cheated on you,” Anya says, deliberately brutal. “With Xander. There’s no way you could have forgotten that.”

Something in his eyes goes flat, but also calm: now, he knows what to not believe. “Didn’t happen,” he says firmly. “Willow wouldn’t do that.”

Anya doesn’t kill him. Xander wouldn’t like it.

– ii –

Giles seems genuinely perplexed. “Memory spells?” he repeats.

“To bring back lost memories,” Anya clarifies. “Something everybody’s lost but me.”

“Of this … this Xander person.”

“He used to drive you crazy,” Anya prompts him. “Called you G-Man, made stupid jokes about Bovril and scones and Marmite.” She shakes her head. “All of his jokes were stupid, really.”

“And this was … someone we knew?” he asks, brow furrowed. He’s actually trying, and Anya can see the moment it slides away from him. “I’m, I’m sorry, what were we talking about?”

Anya doesn’t kill him; he might still come in handy. Somehow.

– iii –

“It must be the frat house,” Anya says. “You all went in together. When you came out, you’d forgotten him, and nobody would listen when I tried to remind you.”

Willow shrugs. “There were lots of people there; you know, college party. No way to remember everybody.”

Teeth-gritted control: “If someone were lost in there, how could we find him?”

Willow sighs. “I’m sorry, magic went kinda wonky for me in that house, and I’m rethinking the whole Wicca deal. Maybe you could ask Giles.”

Anya doesn’t kill her; Xander would never forgive that. But it’s a close one.

– iv –

Buffy’s simpering at the beefcake T.A., barely paying her any attention. “This again? Seriously, Anya, you don’t have to invent a guy, I’m sure you could find somebody.”

Anya glares. “He’d have stormed Hell itself to get you back. That’s how much you meant to him … and how much he doesn’t mean to you.”

Buffy gives her an amused look. “Wait … you’re jealous because your imaginary boyfriend likes me better?”

Anya fights away the temptation; the Slayer would be a formidable, probably fatal target. (And if she somehow succeeded, Xander would kill her.)

Not worth it. Keep telling herself that.

– v –

She hates Xander. Stupid human man, he made her care.

She hates all his friends. Nothing, nothing would have kept him from helping them, but some ridiculous little spell and they forget he ever existed.

She hates herself. Mortal and weak and completely impotent. She’s the one who can’t forget him, wishes she could. Can’t find/rescue him, either. Useless. Pathetic.

No. She won’t give up, she’ll keep pushing, keep working. Steer them, manipulate them, trick them. Find a way. Find Xander. Bring him back.

See that idiotic smile again.

Alone in emptiness, she turns on her pillow and cries.


Questions? Comments? Any feedback is welcome!

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