He turns the idea around in his head, trying to get the shape of it. Tries to make it real. Tries to get it to fit.
He didn't even like her that much. They fought as often as they f-- And the sarcasm. Always with that.
She'd probably laugh at him for acting this way. He can almost hear her words...
Except he can't. Not ever again.
He can't even talk to anyone. Oh, they're full of sympathy. They say all the right words; but he can see it in their eyes. They've got their own thing. Their own problems to worry about; setting the world to rights, fulfilling all their shiny new responsibilities. They want him to feel better. They want him to be back to normal.
They care about him.
It only makes it worse.
He wonders if it would be easier if he had a memorial. Something of hers, he could look at, remember her by. He's got nothing. Everything they owned, every tangible sign of their life together, is gone forever.
He doesn't even have her picture, and that scares him more than anything. How long will it be before the details start to fade? Before his memory starts to lose track of the way she smiled, the glint of mischief in her eyes? How long before she's forgotten forever?
It's up to him. He's got to remember her, because who else will? She had nobody. Her surname was a fake, her family invented. Her own blood kin died a thousand years ago. There's nobody he can talk to about her. Nobody to share his grief.
Even her demon friends abandoned her at the end. Or died. Halfrek had freaked him the hell out, but she'd seemed to care about her. And now she's dead. D'Hoffryn? Forget it. He murdered her friend, abandoned her and sent demons to kill her. Vengeance is quite a thing of his. But it can work two ways. Xander pictures himself confronting the demon patriarch, throwing the words in his teeth - "She's dead now! Are you happy?" And in his fantasy D'Hoffryn looks shocked, and stutters and stammers, and asks how it happened with tears in his eyes. And then the two men break down in their grief and hug and comfort each other, repeating over and over how much they both miss her...
At this point Xander jerks upright with a horrified shudder and brushes at his arms as if to scrub away all memories of that dream-touch. Something is seriously wrong with his imagination if it thinks turning to demons for sympathy is ever a good idea.
Anya was a demon herself, though, wasn't she?
Maybe there's someone else who misses her, who might feel the same way he does. She lived for a thousand years, after all; surely someone in all that time was touched by her the way he'd been touched by her?
Emotionally, that is. Don't be gross.
There's Spike, of course. He'd even seemed to care about her, in his weird evil-bloodsucker stalkery kind of way. And Xander would have cheerfully staked him for that back in the day; but now he almost wishes the old bastard were here with him so they could sink a pint together and reminisce about the old days. Talk about Anya and how much they miss her.
Okay, that's proof. He's going mad with grief. Spike?
Spike. Apparently the only person apart from himself who's ever given a damn about her. And now he's dead too, of course. Or, technically, deader. Which takes us back to square one.
Wait, though. A memory comes back to him. Something Anya said, years before. Something he tried his hardest to forget at the time. Something that rankled in the back of his mind, festering there. Something he was really proud of himself for never dragging out in any of their arguments.
Dracula. She hung out with Dracula. They dated. They were an item.
The memory that once filled him with murderous rage now only makes him smile sadly. Maybe there is someone else who would grieve for her death. Perhaps he should find some way to tell him. He owes that to Anya, doesn't he?
Of course, there's one small flaw in this plan. The fact that it's an insanely stupid idea. Remember what happened to him last time he met Count Eurotrash? Sure, he hadn't been killed. The normal everyday demons just killed you. What happened to him had been far, far worse...
Worse than dying? Tell that to Anya.
Damn. He sits there, fidgeting, unable to decide. No, it's a crazy idea. Far too risky.
Wait. He could write to him. That would be safe. And then he'll have done his duty to Anya's memory, and there'll be someone else who is thinking about her, and maybe sharing his own feelings. Even if they are on the other side of the world to him. He isn't really sure where Transylvania is, mind you, but he's pretty sure it's in Europe. Willow will know.
He rummages in the cheap, rickety desk and finds a pen and some hotel stationery. Sits down and begins to write. He intends to keep it short, succinct, to the point. An hour later, he's filled six sheets of the flimsy, off-white paper, and had to stop several times to wipe tears from his eye. All his feelings, all his memories, all his unspoken wishes, are there in front of him.
He almost screws them up into a ball and throws them in the bin, but stops himself. Takes an envelope, stuffs the paper in there, and writes "Count Dracula, Castle Dracula, Transylvania, Europe" as the address. It will never get to him, of course. Probably just give some post office worker a cheap laugh, before he throws the letter away. Just as well, really.
He walks down to Reception, pays the concierge for enough stamps for a letter to Europe. There's a mailbox there in the hotel lobby, and he drops the letter down the tarnished brass chute. There's a thunk as it hit the bottom, and he feels a weight lift from his heart that he hadn't known was there.
Of course, nothing will come of this. But as he walks back up to his room, he feels himself smiling for the first time in weeks.