Title: Being Xander
Author: Whisper2AScream
Disclaimer: Xander, along with mentioned chars. (Buffy, Willow, Giles, Anya, Riley, the Professor and Mary Ann.. Errrr.. never mind those last two. Heh.) belong to the twisted evil one known as Joss, as well as Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Studios, not me. Grrr...arggh indeed. No infringement is intended, and not making a single cent. Not even a pence, so please ix-nay on the sueage.
Spoilers: 5th Season, up to and including the infamous 16th ep with the spoilery title.
Summary: Xander reflects on what it's like being the odd man out in the Scooby Gang, and his life in general.
Ratings:G (nothing bad really)
Distribution: Yeppers. :)
Feedback: Abso-fraggin-lutely! (e-mail me at: whisper2ascream13@yahoo.com)

Xander cradled his hand, feeling twinges of pain in the knuckles. It was still sore from when he had driven his fist through the drywall in Willow's dorm. Just another reminder of how ordinary he was. He remembered when the Watchers had shown up with their tests, asking all of them questions. Questioning his purpose, and what he does to help. Not much. He didn't have magic skills like Willow, Tara, or even Giles. He wasn't super strong like Buffy. He didn't have a mind like Willow or Giles. Anya was human too, but she at least had a thousand years of experience and knowledge from her time as a vengeance demon. What did he have, some now-distant memories and knowledge of weapons from when he spent one Halloween as a soldier? Riley was more of a weapons expert than him. Buffy mentioned that, Xander himself, had clocked more field time than any of the Watchers, but what good is that in the long run? Yeah, he knew how to kill vampires, and how to go after a lot of different demons, but more often than none, he'd be the one to be rescued, instead of the one doing the rescuing.
Then, his lips tweaked into a slight smile, as other thoughts came to him. He had done some nifty rescues in the past, though. He brought Buffy back to life, he had saved Cordelia in a couple of occasions, and he had helped Buffy stop the Bezoar momma, even though it was only his dumb luck of taking a shortcut with the egg and boiling it, killing the demon inside before it could latch onto him. He also pulled Giles out of the mansion after Deadboy and co. had been torturing him. He saved the school from being blown up, all by himself, and then ironically, he helped with blowing it up, and was Key Guy at Graduation, a general leading his troops in battle. He wasn't sure how he hadn't screwed any of that up, but he did it.
Then, he remembered times he did screw up, like that stupid love spell, which almost led to Cordelia being ripped apart by a mob, himself nearly being vamped by Drusilla, and Buffy almost being permanently stuck as a Slayerrat. The time before then, when he had been possessed by a hyena spirit, and nearly raped Buffy, or almost allowed Willow to be eaten. And the clothes fluke. When suddenly he and Willow realized how they felt about each other. He had about managed to convince himself that it was purely lust, but at times, he wasn't sure. Still isn't. Either way, it was too late for Cordelia.
His eyes closed in pain at the memory, seeing the metal skewering her, and then when she turned her eyes at him, that look of betrayal that made him feel like he had been the one impaled. But then if that hadn't happened, Cordy wouldn't have made that wish, and Anya wouldn't have lost her powers, and became the strange, but wonderful woman she is. He loved Anya, but considering the cost, they might all been happier if he hadn't kissed Willow. Then again, considering how they were going, they were going to be discovered eventually. He just wished it hadn't happened when it did. Of all his regrets, that was the biggest.
He hated it, especially because it meant he was no better than his father, going nowhere, screwing things up, and ultimately hurting all that he loves. He had promised himself to never turn into his father. Because of that, he would never touch a drink, he would never get angry, preferring to joke instead. Never give into the rage. He glanced at his hand again. Oh God, but he did. That's why he was thinking like this. Ok, he was justified, wanting something to fight. He wished the cancer that claimed Joyce, was a visible demon, something they could destroy. But no, instead, he punched through the wall. He joked at the time, but inside he was scared.
At his parents' house, there are places where the wall was patched over, where his father had driven his fist in, making the walls resemble Swiss cheese with all the holes. Was he doomed to the same fate? He had started having nightmares where he and Anya, or he and Willow would be married, and they would be fighting. And the worse was the scars and the bruises on his wife's face, years of abuse, just like his mother. His mother fought back against his father, but there would still be bruises and scars on her, just the same. Unbidden, tears began forming in his eyes, as images of his mother interspersed with Anya's face and Willow's face. He wondered, if that lay in his future, maybe it's better that he not get too close to anybody, for fear of them getting hurt. But he needed companionship, he needed someone close to him more than most. He wasn't sure why, maybe because he had no siblings growing up, or more likely, he never was really loved by his parents. He could maybe remember a few kind words spoken when he was very young, but these were interlaced with insults, how stupid he was, how worthless, that he would never amount to anything.
He glanced around his apartment. Well, they're not completely right. Yeah, maybe brains aren't really his thing, but he's got enough of a mind to figure things out. And he had a good job at the construction company, despite only having a high school diploma. He was making good money, and he even had his own place. _His_ place. That he got with _his_ money. And he's always ready to lend a hand to anybody who needs it, or suggest an idea. He had a circle of friends that he trusted and depended, and vice versa. He had this amazing, beautiful, and well, odd at times, girlfriend who loved him, and made him feel like he was a hero, or well, a fool sometimes, too. Ok, so he didn't have some supernatural trick up his sleeve like the others, but he does have powers of his own. Xandery human powers if you will. And maybe that's not so bad. Hey, after all, Batman's human, and he's a superhero. And not a sidekick either. He was a key member in the JLA, but never a sidekick. Xander leaned back, the mattress supporting his back and legs as he gazed up at the ceiling. He crossed his arms behind his neck, and rested his head against them.
"Batman. Yeah, I can live with that," He grinned.