First Day Jitters
AN: This is my first story. Thanks everyone on this site for inspiring me to write my own story. I am borrowing from the mythology of Kelley Armstrong's 'Women of the Otherworld' series. I heartily encourage everyone who hasn't read her, to read her. The title of this story was taken from the first line of a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Google the words 'Euclid Alone' and you'll find it. It is worth a read.
This is Don/Xander slash. I will be focusing on the romance of their developing relationship, and will not write any explicit sex scenes.
Neither Numb3rs nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to me. They belong to other people, people who are not me.
It was Xander’s first day at CalSci and he was fifteen minutes early for his class. His foot was nervously twitching atop his knee. The smallish desk in front of him was covered in very precisely placed school-type objects. Xander didn’t really know what he was doing here. If his life were a time line, then he would have trouble with connecting to the dot he is currently inhabiting to the previous dot on the line. Things have changed so much since the fall of Sunnydale. He had changed even more after spending two years in Africa. He simultaneously felt like a new man and like he was more Xander than he has ever been.
Willow had been thrilled to pieces that he wanted to try going to college. It was no longer an option for him to fight against the forces of darkness the way he used to, but he still wanted to fight. Africa, however, had taught him that he needed to find a different way to fight. So here he was, at school, sincerely trying to learn for the first time in his life. Lacking the distraction of slaying, which had so grievously hurt his high school performance and lacking the low self-esteem that always made him think that he couldn’t do it, he finally believes that he can do something other than recklessly gamble his life in fights that he had been under-qualified. With no training and no powers, at least until very recently, it had been quite unwise of him to be physically involved in fighting evil. Now that he is older, and somewhat wiser, he can recognize that Giles plays just as crucial a role as Buffy did. Both were necessary to effectively fight evil. That said, Xander still wished that it were possible for him to be physically involved, instead of playing the truly support role that he had been forced into. However, he still wanted to contribute any way that he could, considering the change in his circumstances.
So here he was, sitting in a college class room. After an intensive summer of remedial math, he was finally ready to take a proper college level course. Xander was looking forward to getting to learn more about probability and complex systems. It was hard to change a lifetime of self-deprecation and low self-esteem, but he had finally made his peace with himself. He, at long last, felt fully comfortable in his own skin. He no longer felt like he has to prove his worth to the other Scoobies, or anyone else, really. Not after surviving seven years of fighting evil on the Hellmouth and two years of surviving Africa, entirely on his own merits (both physical and mental). That said, it was still a new thing for him to try to feel confident about his intellectual self. After slacking and feeling stupid all through grade school, it turns out that it was his low self-esteem and inability to focus that stunted his ability to learn.
Wait, what the hell is game theory, anyway? Oh right, he remembers that it deals with behaviour in strategic situations. Xander thought the class might help him with planning strategies for the Council. How very strange it is to think that Xander would start being the brains of some operations. They’d all have to see how it went. He wasn’t terrifically pleased with how mystified and incredulous all of his old friends were about his new direction. They understood that he needed to find a different of participating in the fight, they just didn’t really understand how he was growing. They had all changed after Sunnydale, but he more than anyone could have imagined or predicted.