Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Buffy, Star Trek, Star Wars, X-men, Harry Potter, JLA or James Bond. Spoilers: Everything up to the end of Season 7, I hadn't seen Season 5 of Angel when I wrote this so anything from that season doesn't count.
Warning: This is a Andrew/Xander piece but also mentions Andrew/Warren, which, of course, makes this male slash, if you don’t like slash please feel free not to read this fic.
Note: This idea for Andrew has been played with me for several few months, I thought it might be a good explanation for why everyone seemed to only remember him as Tucker’s brother. I was going to something longer but when I actually sat down to write it, it came out as a one piece. I hope you like it.
He doesn’t know who he is.
The truth comes to him slowly, and it’s like waking from a dream in mid-morning, one that holds you and doesn’t let go. His life is a lie.
His memories are twisted, tangled and he’s never really let himself sit and think about it too long. The explanation was always there. He’s Tuckers brother, he’s never been anything more.
Andrew Wells, Tucker’s brother.
He remembers the confused looks his parents would sometimes give him, as if they didn’t quite understand where he’d come from. Stories and memories of his childhood always seemed to slide away like sand slipping through his fingers. He’s trained himself not to think about it, he found other things to believe in.
Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, X-men, JLA, James Bond all became the reality he never really felt he had. He use to write love poems to Warren in Klingon and at least he knows that’s real. He’s not crazy, he’s not going crazy.
He remembers the crazy people, they’d look at him funny and mutter silly things. The crazy people ran all over Sunnydale right around the time when his memory became this solid thing he could count on. He remembers they scared him and he buried himself further into different fandoms because when he was in them he didn’t have the fear he had when he walked down the street and one of those scary crazy people grabbed him and told him they knew who or what he really was.
He ran into Jonathan coming out of the comic book store as he was going in. First time someone really looked at him without thinking he’s green. They got to talking and it was clear Jonathan’s memory of him is fuzzy, though Andrew was able to recall him. He mentioned his brother Tucker and Jonathan nodded as if everything clicked.
“Oh o-okay, you’re Tucker’s brother.”
Sometimes he felt that was all he ever was, even to his parents. He got tired of being Tucker’s brother.
They became friends him and Jonathan and than later Warren came into the picture. For the first time someone saw him as something more than just Tucker’s brother and it was all he could do not to worship him. It was a relief to no longer be someone’s shadow, to feel as if he was actually seen, cherished, loved.
Only that had been as much a lie as his life had been.
Warren never really loved him.
He had said he did, but he never had.
The games he’d led Andrew and Jonathan to turned deadly and in the end he’d abandon them.
Andrew was left alone with Jonathan who was a friend, but whose memory of him, despite every memory they’d built since the first day they’d met, was still fuzzy. To Jonathan he’s was still ‘Tucker’s brother’. Then Warren came back or rather it was The First as Warren and he really doesn’t want to think of that…
…he wants his memory of that time to fuzz the way the his earlier memories do. It can become solid again when he starts to be one of the ‘Scobby gang’, maybe one of those times that he and Xander ‘geek out’ together. Xander understands his references and he understands the fandoms that became the reality Andrew so desperately wanted but couldn’t find in his head. Xander’s words sometimes wound, but he got use to abuse with Warren and besides Xander’s a better guy than Warren ever was. Warren saw himself as the next supervillian and Xander’s been one of the good guys for years.
It’s not a wonder he falls, there’s no way he could have stopped himself if he wanted.
Anya had Xander’s heart and Anya was the perfect woman.
Sometimes Andrew wishes she’d lived because he knows Xander loved her very much, more than he ever put into words. Had she lived Xander wouldn’t have had to settle for him. He’s happy with Xander, happier than he ever was with Warren. After they got together Xander’s cutting words stopped and it confused him. Xander had looked bewildered when he had to explain that he still cared, cared enough not to make fun of him. Andrew knows his memory isn’t what it should be but he’ll never forget the look on Xander’s face as he said in a very worried anxious tone, “Andy, Warren really fucked you up didn’t he?”
No, he’s always been fucked up.
Comes from parents that saw through him or gave him confused looks.
‘Who are you?’
‘I’m your son.’
‘Tucker’s brother, I’m Tucker’s brother.’
‘Oh, oh, yeah right, okay Tucker’s brother.’
Xander never says he’s Tucker’s brother. Actually none of the other’s do, maybe once in the beginning they called him that, but they haven’t in a long time. He’s become Andrew, Andy and sometimes Drew. Faith even called him Blondie once.
Post Sunnydale memories aren’t so bad.
Then he and Dawn talk. They’d become friends. She and her sister had gotten into a fight earlier and when Dawn had tried to point out her age Buffy had said, “Technically you’re only four.”
Four, the number of years his memory has been solid. It gave him an eerie chill.
He wondered, questioned himself, and one thing fell into place.
She’s Buffy’s sister, he’s Tucker’s brother.
Yet everyone can remember her and no one can remember him.
He asked her what it’s like to be made by monks. He tried to tell himself he’s just curious and that the goose bumps tickling him meant nothing. She talked about her first year, mentioned the crazy people and it’s all so familiar. He didn’t mean to say anything about that, but it slipped out and she looked at him funny. He managed to stumble his way out of further comment and leave the room.
They’re attack less than a month later and Buffy’s spooked. They were the same guys who use to protect Glory and they’d tried to grab not only Dawn, but Andrew too.
He came across them talking about it, a meeting he apparently wasn’t invited to. Dawn’s asked if they remember what she said about what Andrew had said about the crazy people. Willow started babbling, wanted to know how much they remember about him in high school.
“Does anyone even remember this flying monkey incident he told us about?”
The answer’s apparently no.
He walked away, he didn’t want to hear anymore.
A day later Xander noted he’s quieter than usual and when he wouldn’t say what’s has him wigged Xander prodded him to make cookies. The girls were so happy about the baking they let the two of them have the TV for a few hours and he and Xander had a Star Trek Voyager marathon. Neelix never fails to make him laugh.
After the girls reclaimed the TV Xander took him to their room and made love to him and he managed to forget all his confusion for a time. As they’d cuddled Xander tried to get him talking. They’d gotten into an old argument about who was Worf’s true love. He says Dax, Xander still says Troi despite all the evidence that Troi belonged with Riker. They shared a few moments of wondering if Northstar’s crush on Iceman would come to anything. They’d ponder whether they could get Giles to somehow include some X-men Evolution DVD’s into their monthly budget. Then Xander tried to get him to talk about what’s bothering him and he shut down. He didn’t want to think about the way his memory isn’t what it should be and he didn’t want to think what he suspected. He just wanted to be.
Life with the Scobby gang isn’t easy and keeping the world safe doesn’t really go well with burying your head in the sand. The group apparently found an explanation for the attack and they sat him down and tried to explain. He couldn’t really focus on anything but the worry in Xander’s eyes.
First they asked him how much he knews about Dawn’s origins and he recited what he knew to them, tried not to wince at his own whine which was more prominent because the way their looking at him is made him nervous. They tell him they’d discovered something new.
Apparently all the green swirlly energy couldn’t be contained in one vessel so the monks made two. The monks had barely enough time but they made one that could open the gate and one that could close it for all time. Glory was supposed to find the one they didn’t hide so well. She was never meant to find Dawn.
“Y-you mean if she’d found me Buffy wouldn’t of had to die?”
None of them; Xander, Giles, Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Faith or Kennedy looked like they’d expected that question from him.
“I’m sorry,” he managed in a sob before he ran from the room.
Dawn came after him and they had a very Star Warsy moment where he says that in some ways he’d always known. She obviously thinks it’s cool, despite the fact that they’ll have to be kept apart for safety’s sake. Apparently there’s a spell and if Glory’s henchmen find a vessel, a body, for their goddess and combine his and Dawn’s blood they can bring the former hellgod back. Then Glory can kill him, keep Dawn and find her next opportunity to go home. Which sounds like about as much fun as you can have without actually having any.
So Giles is making arrangements. Apparently Giles thinks that with Andrew’s ability to memorize things and his magical talents (which actually come from his keyness – or is he somehow more of a lock since his blood would have closed the portal?) that he’d make an excellent watcher.
‘I-I wish Glory had found me, then you and Buffy wouldn’t have been hurt so badly.’
Dawn enveloped him in a hug at that moment as she tells him she’s glad that didn’t happen. Now she has a brother, someone who is like her, they're like twins. He can live with that. Maybe he can develop some of Jean-Paul’s attitude as long as she doesn’t go crazy like Aurora. She actually laughed at the reference even though he could tell she doesn’t really get it.
He doesn’t admit it, but he still feels lost.
He’s somehow not as real.
His whole life is a lie.
Suspecting it is one thing, knowing is another and now he doesn’t feel as if he knows who he is anymore.
Until recently he never felt as though he really knew, and now that feeling is gone.
A few well placed kisses from Xander that evening have him confessing such.
“All my life all I’ve ever been was Tucker’s brother, now I’m not even really that.”
“No, Andy. You’re Andrew and okay in some ways you’re just like Dawnie, but…”
“But what?” he interrupts, “I’m not real Xander. I’m made up.”
“Hey Dawnie’s not just made up. She’s like my kid sister and you, you’re my boyfriend. How can either of you be made up when you both recognize the greatness that is Harry Potter?”
Xander’s teasing smile does nothing for his mood and his boyfriend tries again, “Andrew, you’re real. If you aren’t real who’s going to argue with me about who’s the better Bond? Who’s going to make cookies? Who’s going to get indignant with me when the girls try to make a pop culture reference they have no business trying to make?”
He smiles at that feeling only slightly better.
“Who’s going to make me smile? Who’s going to love me despite the whole only have one eye thing?”
“I love your one eye thing. It’s very cool,” he automatically reassures running his hand over Xander’s face.
“And I love your green swirl of energy thing. Without it you wouldn’t be the Andrew I have in my arms right now.”
Those words calm him. His past has changed. He’s not really Tucker’s brother, that’s just something the monks made up.
“So I’m Andrew.”
“Yeah, you’re Andrew, my Andrew.”
He smiles because that’s enough identity to keep him happy for the rest of his life.