Dedicated to the incredibly talented Rae Vertudez. Who's original Roswell fics "I'm Alex Whitman" and "Dasein" were the basis for this. What can I say? True talent inspires us all. I miss you lass. Hope you're having fun in college.


I hate my father.

I hate how he made my life miserable.

I hate how he was a drunken louse throughout my entire childhood.

I hate how the drunkenness was all a lie.

I hate that he's a liar.

I hate that he lied to me.

I should have realized it by then. Oh, I don't think I could have had any sort of actual clue of what I was. But I should have known *something* wasn't right with me. Well, I mean other than being lord screw up most of my life, and my father's constant reminder of that fact. I should have known why exactly I could never feel like I truly belonged to the Scoobies. I should have known something, anything.

I hate him for what he is.

I hate him for what that makes me.

My name is Xander Harris.

I hate myself too.


It all started with an overheard phone conversation.

Willow and I were rambling on about our day, like we always did, and that night our conversation was mainly centered on the latest hell beast we had to fight to save the world. It's a routine that, no matter how many times you do it, you never seem to be able the shake the overwhelming sense of dread that this time might just be your last. We were both just stopping home to grab a change of clothes and some food before we joined back up with Buffy and Giles to go on the hunt. Willow was really nervous that night. She has a thing with frogs, and the latest demon that swaggered into our city limits greatly resembled one. When you saw it in person it was hard to take it seriously. It looked like a giant puppet in army boots. You couldn't help but laugh. That is to say, until it shot its poisonous saliva at you. That stuff could eat through a brick wall in seconds. I should know, the first night we came across it the wall behind me at the time had a huge hole in it when I stood back up after dodging the shot by diving to the ground.

Anyway, Willow was rambling on in her neurotic fear driven frog paranoia and I was trying to be comforting, offering mild jokes involving French cuisine and Michigan J. Frog. I thought I heard my parents pick up on the other line and was about to yell at them that I was on the phone, but it I didn't hear anything else, and ignored it. We talked about how Buffy would kill the thing and I heard the floorboards creak outside my door. I didn't know why I felt like I was the subject of an FBI investigation at the time, I just had an eerie sense that I was being spied on. By my parents no doubt. They'd stopped paying me any attention shortly after my sixth birthday, and now it seemed like they were listening in on me. That just made it eerier.

We hung up with each other and I grabbed my coat and headed downstairs. My father was passed out on the couch (big surprise) when I walked through the living room, and I was almost to the door when he called out to me.

"Where you going boy?" He mumbled.

I turned toward him, head down, and said I was going to Willow's.

"Look me in the eyes when you speak to me," he droned. "Show me some damned respect."

I think I blinked several times before I dared look up at him. He never once asked me to look him in the eyes. Respect or not, he liked it when I looked like a scared mouse, the sadistic bastard. Our eyes locked together. I should have known then. The living room reeked of liquor, but there was my father sitting on the couch with his shirt un-tucked and basically looking like a bum. And he stared at me with eyes so cold I think I shivered. It was the first time I'd really bothered to look at him in years, and his eyes just scared the shit out of me. Because for the first time in my adolescent life they weren't glazed over with alcohol.

His eyes were cold and sober.

And filled with knowledge.

He didn't say anything else, and I wasn't sure how long we stood there staring at each other. I finally bowed my head and walked quickly to the front door and he didn't call after me. I should have known then, though what I could have done about it I don't know.


I got home late like I usually did whenever we were out fighting the forces of evil. My father wasn't on the couch anymore and I remember letting out a sigh of relief. I didn't want to have another stare down like the one we'd had for the rest of my life. I was halfway up the stairs when his voice called for me to come into the kitchen.

I think I cursed, and thought about running out of the door and heading to Willow's, but I didn't. I stood on the stairs for a minute because I could have sworn he used a word I'd never heard come out of his mouth. He said "please."

To say I was shocked when I walked into the kitchen would be a vast understatement. There stood my father, clean-shaven, hair combed, freshly dressed in a crisp looking suit. If it were a cartoon I'm sure I would have had to pick my jaw off the floor. He smiled at me. The lines of his face looked so unused to the motion. The creases of skin next to his lips looked like steel trying to fold. It didn't look very comfortable. I think I mumbled something like "what's going on?" But I can't remember.

The man had looked like a slob and a bum my whole life and there he was looking like he belonged on the cover of Forbes magazine. I didn't know what to think. I don't think I thought at all.

I should have known.

But I didn't know.

"I'm sorry son," he said. His voice sounding nowhere near sincere. "I had to wait until I felt that you were ready."

Ready for what?

"For the truth," he said. "About who you are. About where you come from."

And that's when I really didn't want to know.

Believe me when I say I didn't.


He took me on a month long "camping" trip in Wyoming. What a wonderfully dull place. There was nothing around us for miles. I think that's why the tribe liked it so much. No humans were ever bound to surprise them on the large portion of land they dwelled on. They could see anyone coming for miles.

My father told me that he called my "little" friend Willow and told her that he'd quit drinking, (turns out he never drank a drop in his life. Could have fooled me.) And that he wanted to take me camping with him like we'd done when I was three. I didn't remember anything like that, but Willow and I didn't know each other then, so she couldn't object. He told her he wanted to make up for lost time.

I would have given anything for that to have been true. Because I never wanted to learn what he taught me that summer.

I was a demon.

More accurately, I was a half-breed.

I asked my father if mom knew about any of this. He didn't answer. I then realized that I hadn't really seen her the past couple of days before my father and I left. Come to think of it, it had been even longer than that. I knew then that she somehow must have found out about my father and me.

I hate the fact that my mom left.

I hate the fact that she never told me she was leaving.

I hate the fact that I knew she was never coming back.

I hate the fact that what I am drove her away.

My father's divine bloodline was greatly increased when mixed with humans. That is something that still doesn't make sense to me. From all I'd learned from Giles, human blood dilutes a demon's power. Vampires were human/demon mixes and were pretty weak compared to other, more pure bred, demons. Apparently I was stronger than I thought, though I never could really exert the strength because I never knew it existed.

The tribesman referred to my father as their king. They referred to me as their prince.

We were the royal bloodline to the Tribe of the Fallen. Once leaders of the world when it was nothing but a haven for the forces of darkness. Demons and monsters and various other forms of evil roamed freely and viciously, and we ruled them all. Our power had collapsed when the rays of light (AKA forces of good) smote our society down and sent most of us into hell, cleansing the Earth to become the home for man.

I hate my Father for never bothering to tell me any of this before.

After a week of history lessons about my "people" my father begin to train me with my power.

I didn't really believe it.

Me have a power?

I didn't want to believe it. I was Joe Normal, the one guy in the group who didn't have anything supernaturally inclined about him. Sometimes I wished it wasn't always like that, but mostly I was fine with it. I would give anything to have kept it that way now.

One day my father took me to a clearing in the woods and told me destroy a group of trees in front of me.

I told him to get me a bulldozer.

He laughed tonelessly and told me to use my hands.

I told him to get me a chainsaw.

He laughed again and to me to use my power.

I told him a lame joke about a chicken and an egg.

It was almost scary to see my Father so patient. He never had been before. All part of the drunken abuse act.

I hate him for his patience.

I hate him for his honesty.

I finally humored him and raised my arm. I pointed my finger at a group of trees and said "boom."

Imagine the look on my face when the beam of crimson light shot from hand and mowed the trees down like I was sticking a fan in front of some toothpicks. I'd never seen my Father look so proud. I thought I was going to be sick. I hated him and wanted to zap him into sawdust. But I didn't.


I hate Wyoming.

It's really, really boring. My only surroundings were hills and trees and the occasional stream. I'm a city boy. Country life just wasn't for me. I wanted to go home. I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted to be with people who wanted to save the world instead of rule it.

It was the last week of the trip when my father told me that my friends were not really my friends. He said that with the knowledge I now possessed, the strength I had harnessed, the mere fact that I was one with the things they destroyed, meant that they were never really my friends. He told me that whatever loyalty I felt to them was only foolish admiration for their capabilities. But now I knew that I was capable of so much more than them. Whatever tie I had with them was false. I didn't want to believe him. We'd had plenty of tolerance about creatures of the night. Oz was a werewolf and Angel was a vampire. Why should anyone care if I was a demon? Wait, scratch that, half-demon.

My father said that if they ever found out what tribe I hailed from I would be destroyed quickly.

I didn't want to believe him.

I never did.


My father didn't come back with me.

Just before I left he told me something about achieving everyone's trust and how it would be so easy now to execute the plan from the inside. I already had everyone's trust. What reasons did they have not to trust me? He told me my destiny was mine alone and he couldn't be there to help me through it. I hate that word "destiny." My father used it about as much as Giles did with Buffy. About how it was beyond us to control it, that it controlled us. It's a concept my freethinking mind will never fully grasp. I will not let my destiny control me. I will not let it hurt those closest to me. I will not let it kill.

Because what good is a destiny that would only bring pain and misery to all those around me? What good is it when it means that I'd have to kill one of my best friends?

In the history lessons that my father taught me, I learned that the original force of good that had driven out the eons of darkness on earth, eventually bound itself into a sentient force merged with a human girl. And when that girl died, a new one was called upon to receive the force. And so it went on for centuries. When one girl would die, another would take her place. Does this legend sound familiar?

I was part of the darkness that slayer essence had driven out.

My destiny was to destroy that essence.

My destiny was to kill Buffy.

I really hate that word.


I hate truth.

I hate deception.

I hate destiny.

I hate all of this.

I hate that I was going to have to lie to all of my friends.

I hate that I had all of this knowledge floating around in my brain but I couldn't tell anyone.

I hate knowing that I'm something I used to hate.

I hate having to pretend I'm happy about it.


I made a list of things to do the first night sitting in my now empty house.

One was to work on my "Zap."
Two was to tell my friends I'm a human-demon hybrid.
Three was to tell my friends I'm the King of the Fallen's son.
Four was to tell my friends I'm on their side.
Five was to form a strategy to destroy my father.
Six was to make my father and all his tribesman turn to dust with my "zap."

It looked better on paper.

I thought that I should mention to someone, possibly Willow, that my mother was never coming back. But I rarely ever talked about my home life anyway, and quickly scratched it off the list. My father told me one last thing before I climbed on the bus to come back to California.

"I'm very proud of you son," he said.

I'd never heard those words from him in my entire life.

I hated him even more.

I walked into the library later that night. Amy glanced at me and said, "Hey," as if I had spent a month around the corner and not a thousand miles away in Wyoming. She gave me a brief hug and said she had to go home really quick, and that we would talk later.

Cordelia mumbled a hello from behind the counter.

Giles shook my hand and politely asked how my trip was.

Buffy and I shared an awkward embrace.

Oz smiled at me and said a simple "Welcome back."

What, did I expect a banner to say "Welcome Home Xander"?

For a moment I almost believed my father.

Then I saw Willow.

When she first noticed me, she dropped the books she was carrying on a table with a loud clatter and ran over.

"Xander! You're home!" She exclaimed, throwing her arms around me.

I hugged her back furiously, needing the comfort of my oldest friend to help me in my own world of moral crisis.

"How was Wyoming?" She asked. "Sunnydale was boring, but you should know that. Fighting the big and the nasty. You know, same old, same old."

Somewhere in between her chatter, I finally understood why exactly I had always pictured her and I being old together in some rest home. It was because Willow was... Willow. She had an amazing talent to make it seem as if she should know everything, as if she belonged to you, as if you belonged to her. She could casually force her way through anything and anyone.

I wanted to tell her everything.

I wanted to tell her who I am.

I wanted to tell her who my father is.

But I didn't.

Instead, I lied my ass off. I sat with the six of them and pretended to be good ol,' dependable, funny Xander Harris. I made up stories about camping and threw my god-knows-where-she-is mother into them. I made my stupid jokes, and acted like nothing had changed.

And they believed me.

Everyone believes me.

No one suspects me.

No one should.

They have no reason not to.

I'm not a threat when I don't know what side I'm playing for.

I hate this.

I hate all of this.

I could make everything and everyone disappear.

But I can't.

Because I could never intentionally hurt anyone.

I'm Xander Harris.

I hate myself.