TITLE: It Happened One Night
WORD COUNT: 450 words
Summary: Diverging from canon any time after Season 5; established Giles/Anya relationship. With apologies to Frank Capra.
"Did you ever hitchhike, Giles?” Anya said.
He took his hand off her thigh (which was conveniently draped over his lap) and his eyes off Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable flickering in black-and-white on his tiny television screen. “What?”
“You heard me,” she said, and popped another handful of popcorn in her mouth.
Manfully averting his gaze from her red, slickened mouth, he said, “Er, possibly.”
She swallowed. “How can that be ‘possibly,’ even for a man with your powers of repression? Either you did or you didn’t.”
“Right.” He stole a couple of kernels from the bowl she held and ate them, even though he didn’t particularly want them. Hard to be interrogated when one was chewing, he thought.
He hadn’t reckoned on Anya’s persistence, however. Despite the hindrance of the sofa cushions, she sat up straighter – which dragged her legs across his lap, which raised his interest in changing the subject even more – and then grabbed his jumper with her buttery-salty fingers. “Have you ever hitchhiked?”
“Well, now you’ve ruined my jumper.”
Her fist tightened. “Talk, Watcher.”
“What will you give me if I answer?”
She smiled, sweet, so dangerously sweet. “Something you’ll like.”
“Right then.” He cleared his throat, but the memories of one teenage night seemed stuck. He and Dierdre and Ethan, hanging onto each other on the hard shoulder of a motorway, fucked-up beyond the telling of it; Phillip pushing them out onto the path of an oncoming car, lights so many lights and then the horn as they stumbled across into the dark of the other side. There in the grassy verge they had laughed like the fucking fools they were, and then walked back to the house where they’d started, and lit the ritual candle, and then Eyghon had begun his own hitchhiking between souls…. “Yes. But it isn’t a good memory.”
She gazed at him for a long moment. In his peripheral vision he saw Claudette Colbert lifting her skirt. The heart of his vision, however, was the deep brown of Anya’s eyes, and the warmth he saw there.
“Memories suck,” she said at last. “And you answered anyway, so let me give you something nice and fix the mess I’ve made.”
“You didn’t make a mess, really….”
But she was already tugging off his jumper and the T-shirt he wore underneath it. “Move the popcorn so it doesn’t spill,” she said.
As he did, she leaned forward and put those slick lips on his shoulder. “If I’d have seen you, I’d have picked you up,” she said indistinctly, and then slid over so that she could lick his Adam’s apple.
“I’d have let you,” he said, his head back against the cushions, and felt all memories slip away. “Madam, may I have a ride?”