Match

Match. Game, set, check -- words Xander knows apply, somehow, to say something definitive about what this means. Metaphors he doesn't quite know, but knows of, and he's sure that one of them applies.

Maybe all of them. This is what metaphors were created for, right? When you finally turn around and you see what seems so blindingly obvious now, yet must have been hidden by more than your own refusal to admit because how could he lie to himself about something like this, so well? He'd never been very good at the lying thing, except to his parents -- and let's face it, lying to them was so easy as not to count.

But he's stopped lying, and he's started seeing, and he's begun thinking in metaphors he doesn't really know how to phrase. It scares him how jumbled his thoughts are, when his feelings seem so settled. That feelings deep down that he should run, is gone. The fear has changed from what am I doing, into what am I not doing, and it's a safer place to be. Marrying Anya would have been safe in the traditional sense, but his life isn't traditional, and it was safer to tell her now than wait twenty years when they're both miserable and tell her then.

The trouble is, of course, that the reason he told her and the thing he's now seeing isn't here anymore. He has a whole new fear and a whole new set of things to avoid doing, and despite all the metaphors describing his life, he hasn't been able to do anything except sit back, and see.

Because he suspects that he has seen too late, and the one he loves is gone, and all he has left is a brain full of words that don't quite match up.