"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I disgraced the girl. Sullied her name. Sorry, sorry, sorry."
"Spike?" She sat down cross legged in front of him and jabbed him in the shoulder with her index finger. "Hey, Spike? Could you try not to be crazy for a moment? Because I could really use someone to talk to, and I'm unable to discern the meaning of your ramblings."
Spike raised his head slowly, and smiled. "Hello, Anyanka."
She smiled back. "That's better. But it's just Anya, now," she sighed. "I've been fired."
He blinked. "Fired?" Spike considered her more closely. "You're human," he said. She nodded. "You seem sad. You don't want to be human?"
She shrugged. "I guess so. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring that out. That's why I came to talk to you."
"Me?" he asked. "Why me? Haven't you heard? I'm insane."
"Oh, yes, everyone knows that. But, you know, when we talked before, with all the liquor? Well, before the intercourse occurred, you were very understanding. You made me feel better. So I was hoping we could have another conversation like that, and you could make me feel better. Without the liquor this time. Or the intercourse."
Spike let out an amused little snort, then looked up at the ceiling. He shook his head sadly. "I'm different now."
"That's o.k.," she answered, "so am I."
"I never found out who *I* was. I always lived to please someone else. A man, a cause...tic tac?" Anya shook out a couple of mints into Spike's hand.
"I know what you mean, pet," he said. "I got myself turned because three words from a woman destroyed me. And then, it was all about proving myself. To Angelus, to Dru. That's why I started going after slayers, you know. It was all about being the Big Bad. Till Buffy, that is."
"Yeah," she sighed. "Same with me. I wanted nothing more than to get back to being a vengeance demon until I fell in love with Xander. Now everything's changed. And for what? I don't have him, I don't have my career. What's to become of me now?"
"You lost your taste for the vengeance though, didn't you pet?"
Anya shuddered. "It made me sick. I couldn't live with myself. I never felt that way doing vengeance before."
Spike nodded. "Do tell, pet. Never felt an ounce of remorse for anything I did. And then I hurt Buffy and I..."
"You felt so bad you went and got a soul," she said. He just nodded and studied the floor. "I can still see it, you know," she said softly. "You have a beautiful soul, Spike."
He looked up shyly. "You can't see my soul. You're not a demon anymore."
"I'm not," she smiled. "but I can see it in your eyes." He shook his head, denying her words. "Hey!" she said, shaking a finger at him, "don't argue with me. I'm forthright, remember?"
He laughed. "I remember, pet. And you remember that you're much more than someone's girlfriend or employee. You're a hell of a woman."
Anya blushed and stood up, brushing off her pants. "I'm going to leave now, because I'm afraid that inappropriate touching may not be far off, even without the liquor."
Spike looked startled. "I would never!"
"Not you, me," she explained, turning to leave. "And Spike?"
"You've got to get out of this basement."