Wishes Unfulfilledby Wolfling
Sitting in the ruins of her shop, waiting for the world to end, it shouldn't matter to Anya that Giles was lying nearby either dead or so close to it that she couldn't tell the difference. After all, they were all going to be dead in the next few minutes; what did it matter that Giles was ahead of the curve?
But it did somehow; it hurt to think of him being cheated of even the few minutes that were left. It hurt to see him lying there so pale and still, instead of up, fighting to the bitter end. It was... wrong, somehow.
There had been, Anya thought bleakly, a time when she had wished for nothing more than what was happening now -- for her to have her powers back and to watch Rupert Giles die. But times had changed -- she had changed -- and what had once been her most fervent wish was now the stuff of a waking nightmare.
She, of all people, should know that wishes never turned out the way you wanted. Not that she thought what was happening now was a result of what she had wished back then, back before she really got to know him, back before she understood.
But still, some small childlike part of her mind was repeating over and over, Please don't let him be dead. I don't want him to be dead. I take it back. I take it back.
When, what seemed like an endless time later, a slightly bewildered, but very much alive Giles sat up, it was almost enough to make Anya believe in happy endings.
A few moments later, listening to Giles tell her how the world wasn't going to end, getting caught in the gentle affectionate smile Giles was giving her, Anya couldn't resist. She leaned in and pressed her lips against that wonderful smile of his.
The kiss lasted only a couple of seconds, but it was easily the best couple of seconds of the day, and crystallised some of the confusing feelings Anya had been having. She wasn't -- quite -- ready to act on them yet beyond what she'd already done, but it felt good to know what they were.
When she pulled back again, Giles smiled at her. "Not that I'm complaining," he said, "but what was that for?"
Anya smiled back, knowing that some day she'd tell him everything but not today. Today she just replied, "Because sometimes wishes don't come true," and thanked whatever Powers there were that they didn't.