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Title: Hour
Author: GreenGirl47
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Damn you, Joss Whedon, for creating such lovable characters! (And while we're at it, damn you too, James Marsters and Emma Caulfield, for being so friggen sexy).
Summary: Nothing too flashy or complicated, just a ficlet about Anya remembering the events of Entropy and how they made her feel. Post-Grave.

It's been several months since that night, and Anya has managed to push the memories of it into her subconscious quite nicely. After all, she figures, there's no use living in the past. No use dragging out the pain or the fleeting pleasure of what had been. What maybe could be. That hour of relief belongs in another life, she thinks. It's the only hour she's had since *hers* fell apart at the altar. The only hour she can return to when she wonders if smashing her pendant wouldn't be a better idea than letting the pain continue. She wonders if there will ever even be another *minute* that reflects the sense of comfort she felt when she realized she wasn't the only one. That feeling is all too elusive these days.

She misses him. Not a gut-wrenching, canít-live-without-you missing; more the type of missing you feel when fall sets in and you long for a return to the contrived laziness of summer. Last she heard of him he'd left town for a couple weeks, but he's been gone longer than that. She's been keeping up with the local demon gossip to see if there's any news of his whereabouts, but there never is. She hopes nothing bad has happened to him. Sometimes she gets worried that he may never come back, and she occasionally catches herself losing sleep over it. But so what if he *does* come back? She asks herself. What is she expecting? They were never friends, not *really*, anyway. But they were never *not* friends, either. Maybe she just wants the safety of knowing he's there with the power to make her okay for a little while. To give her that hour back.

At night is when she sometimes allows the scenes from the Magic Box to play out in her head. Everything is still fresh to her; the way he'd cupped her face and made her feel beautiful, the startling cold of his hands as they slid beneath her shirt to undress her, the mutual hunger of their kisses as he'd laid her down on the table, the coarse, serrated whispers he brushed into her ear while he moved slowly in and out of her. It had been much too long since either of them had been touched like that. And now it's been even longer.

No matter how much she wants to, she can't bring herself to use that night to get herself off. It seems wrong somehow, like it might invalidate everything she got out of it. Well, except the orgasm, she thinks, but that isn't really the point. It wasn't the steamy, wild, dangerous fucking of demonessí dreams, and it wasn't the tender, sappy, romantic lovemaking of human women's dreams. It was stuck somewhere in-between. Kind of like them.

She doesn't want to dwell on a solitary event that has unfathomable odds of ever repeating itself. She feels weak depending on this memory to achieve any true sense of calm, even though it spends more time in exile than being drawn upon. It's not like he's a lost love or anything tremendous like that; he's more of a lost comfort, an acquaintance who's disappeared into the night. But still, he's lost to her, and lost is the same as gone with a little more hope.

Maybe if she keeps hoping, he'll come back. And if she's lucky, he'll bring that hour with him.