NOTES: Written for LJ community tamingthemuse Prompt 36, Batting A Thousand

His eyes were closed, but he was far from sleeping. Or even sleepy. He had hoped by closing his eyes he'd block out not just his parents arguing but the events of that day.

"It's no use," he muttered, rolling onto his stomach. Maybe being face down against his pillow would block them out. Sadly, blocking out his parents was easier than trying to figure out how to turn what happened today into his favor.

How many more strikes was he going to get against him? Oh, he was sure Buffy understood he was under the spell of pheromones, or whatever they were called, when he blew off her warning to avoid Miss French. And really, what guy his age could be blamed for letting someone like Miss French get to him.

But now she knew he's a virgin. What girl wanted that in a guy?

"For stupid," he mumbled. "Why couldn't Willow just keep her mouth shut?"

He'd heard of major league ball players batting a thousand. He wondered if there was a way to do the polar opposite. It was the top of the ninth with men on base and he was 0 for 2 during the game with two strikes on him now. Not very good odds.

Worst case scenario, Willow came out tomorrow with the tidbit he was into guys or something.

Best case scenario?

Well, he really couldn't come up with one. Buffy wouldn't think he was a complete loser? Yeah, right, in another lifetime maybe.

"Leather jacket wearing guy or you, Xander?"

"Well, Bob," Xander mused in a fake announcer-type voice. "It'd be too close a race to call."

"Yeah, right. Guys like me always finish last," Xander said. He punched the pillow, wishing it were leather jacket wearing guy's face about then. It didn't help that leather jacket wearing guy knew her secret, too. He wasn't even alone in that! Some secret she had. Secrets were supposed to be, well, secret. Weren't they? He and Willow happened upon the knowledge accidentally, but leather jacket wearing guy had, like, been invited into the club somehow. He helped her, had knowledge, and gave her things crucial to her livelihood. Like crosses. How was he supposed to compete with someone like that?

He turned to lie on his back again, arms behind his head he stared up at the ceiling. His parents had finally stopped arguing. Rather, having a discussion, as they used to call it when Xander was too young to realize what was really going on. He glanced at his clock. It was early for them to settle down. Maybe there was hope for him falling asleep yet.

Normally, he'd pick up the phone and call Willow. She was always good for some advice. Two things stopped him from doing that tonight. One, you didn't ask girl A how to get girl B's attention. It just wasn't done. And, two, it was because of Willow he was in this mess to begin with.

"Who walks around announcing to rooms full of people that someone else is a virgin?" And who but Willow thought that was a good thing? As smart as she was, she obviously knew nothing about the male ego. She may as well have announced he was a loser to Buffy and everyone else in the room. Not that he cared what anyone but Buffy thought.

"It wasn't even pertinent! Buffy had defeated the mantis and it was done. No one had to know! Willow and her books and her brain that processes the information she reads in books like a sieve."

His head hurt from thinking about it. The best plan of attack he could come up with was avoidance. Avoidance worked. If he just didn't talk about it, she'd eventually forget. Right? If he brought it up, she'd realize it bothered him, was a sore spot. Did girls understand how that made a guy feel? He didn't think girls put as much stock in virginity, or lack of it, as guys did.

It was part of the double standard. The girls who the guys lost their virginity to were labeled as sluts, the guys were heroes. It disgusted him, really. Guys like Larry made his skin crawl. As if they'd know how to treat a girl like Buffy. She was special and deserved to be treated that way. Of course, she knew how to defend herself. He had no doubt if Larry put the moves on her and she wasn't receptive, Larry would be a bruised and battered mess the next day at school.

That gave him cause to smile. Larry, beaten up by a girl. The sexist pig deserved it, he just hadn't picked on the right girl yet. Or the wrong one, depending on how you looked at it. A pummeled Larry made Xander feel a little giddy. What did that say about him? Distracted enough from the situation at hand, he felt his eyes grow heavy. Finally, he mused to himself as sleep overtook him.

The End