What is my worth?
This idea seems over done but rarely done right... or entertaining so I thought I'd take a shot at it. Though I probably botched the concept.
This is not a nice story. Bordering Dark and very well maybe with me being in denial.
Summary: Sometimes when people that love you do something they think is for your own good they couldn't be more wrong.
Story: What is my worth?
As Buffy and Willow walked out of the library they both let out an uneasy breath. What they had done was emotionally wrecking but they had to do it, they knew they had to but it still wasn't an easy job. Willow was still on the verge of tears, as she had gallantly held them back throughout the conversation and Buffy was just letting her face of stone crack.
Buffy let out a sigh "That... was harder than I thought."
Willow nodded as she chewed her lip "Are you sure we're doing the right thing?"
"You saw what happened the other night." Buffy reassured "He got tossed around like a rag doll. Next time it could be worse."
"I know but he looked so hurt." Willow said as she remembered how much Xander protested, argues and begged them.
"It's for his own good."
"I know but," Willow trailed off as they walked to class "He just looked so sad."
"We have to be strong Willow, for him." Buffy said wrapping her arm around the girl for both their comforts.
But inside the library a lone boy sat on one of the plush chairs cradling his head between his arms. His head aching from the strain of withheld tears and a whirlwind of emotions.
A common belief in the supernatural community is that any human that hunts demons or vampires is on some level insane. Many would refute this by saying they were soldiers against the dark but even soldiers break.
In the case of Alexander Harris he was never stable. Many would say he was a doomed case because of his genetics and the abusive environment he grew up in, a real eye opener to that would be the fact he was born legally drunk.
They would say he had all the makings for developing as a psychopath or a sociopath. But two factors influenced his life early on that kept him on the borderline of stable.
Jesse McNally and Willow Rosenberg.
Two little life lines that he met in kindergarten and clung to like the life preservers that they were. He molded his beaten and blank self around them, accommodating to their needs like a Stockholm victim.
Bits and pieces of what he thought they wanted or needed became a part of his personality, his identity. His whole life as he perceived it was them.
They were his identity.
Eventually he would hesitantly reach out to the rest of the world, beyond Willow and Jesse but they would always remain his priority. Which was one of the main reasons why he was a constant visitor to the nurse and principle offices back in elementary school. It was put off to boys would be boys and that it was cute Xander wanted to protect his friends, even if he showed no remorse over hurting the other kids.
Growing up with his two life preservers had helped develop Xander into a somewhat decent human being. Taking cues from Jesse's favorite superhero's and cartoon characters to know how to act as well as listening to Willow about proper manners.
But all the positives of these friendships didn't outweigh the negative that was his home life. The blind and drunken neglect of his mother combined with the verbal and often physical abuse of his father made Xander needy for connections. He clung to anyone he could make and build and everything seemed fine.
That is, until Jesse died.
He broke a little inside that day, held only together by the rope that was Willow and the growing string that was Buffy Summers. It was why he was so open to the idea of killing Amy Madison when they thought she was the one trying to kill Buffy. If someone hurt his friends he would kill or maim them, no questions asked. And over the years more people were added to his support, keeping him together.
He had almost broke when Ms. Calendar and Kendra died. He didn't know them as well as the others but it hurt. He felt that he could have, should have, done more for them and then maybe they would have survived. Maybe that was why he tried to convince Willow against the spell and lied to Buffy when the budding witch decided to do the spell anyway.
Angel or Angelus, someone had to pay for the crimes.
This was probably also the reason why he kissed Willow back, because he didn't want to lose his oldest bond. But in the end he lost Cordelia and Willow had become estranged. He was desperately clinging to what he had left when Willow and Buffy sat him down.
At first it was a calm conversation involving them telling him they didn't want him involved with the Slaying anymore. Xander argued his case that he could still help but Buffy pointed out he just kept on getting hurt, not even bending when he said it was just a few cuts and bruises.
Next Willow tried to ease him out of the research part as well but again he argued and begged. But the girls held firm becoming more aggressive the more he plead. They didn't realize that they were tearing away the duck tape that was holding his fragile self together, nor did Buffy know that one word was like a hammer to his psyche.
She called him worthless.
Or more accurately next to worthless in a fight. But that one word was what struck him the hardest. He was always told by his father that he was a worthless piece of garbage, that he would never amount to anything. By his parents and teachers alike he was told this but he held a firm belief that his friends defined his worth.
But now they didn't want him. What was his worth now? Buffy and Willow said that the others felt the same way, that they didn't want him around anymore.
So the answer to his question was that he had no worth.
Shakily he stood with dry eyes and started to blankly walk out of the room. He didn't cry anymore and at this point in his life he wondered if he lost the ability.
He walked with little purpose through the hallway with his only real target being the doors. He heard someone call out one his usual monikers but chose to ignore it as he walked by, his mind swirling with thought centered mostly around how he didn't want to be there and how he could prove his worth.
A sudden feeling of glee hit him as he was halfway down the schools parking lot.
Those blue demons from the night before!
If he could find them and kill them all then they would have to keep him!
They'd have to.
Willy was absently cleaning his counter when the boy came in. The bar owner didn't usual watch the door but it was odd to have any customers coming in the front door at noon, most preferring the back or sewer entrance. So he felt a slight surprise when the door opened streaming light into the room and burning a few of his patrons.
When his eyes finally readjusted to the dim lighting he found himself flooded with even more surprise. At first he didn't really believe it, that group never came in during the daylight hours but here he was, the Slayer's little lap dog.
"Hey kid," Willy greeted "What you doing here so early?"
"Need information" He said quickly as he took a seat, Willy couldn't help but notice the wide and flickering gaze the kid had "Blue demons, all chicks, you know where they are?"
"Why do you need to know kid?" He asked a bit warily. The Slayer may not be around but that didn't mean she wasn't going to pop by later and tear up his bar, kill his customers and leave him with a few bruised ribs.
"They want to open the Hellmouth" He lied. He had no clue what they wanted. Giles would know but Giles didn't want him now either. Had to prove himself, earn his place, show his worth. "Want to stop them before they start."
Willy didn't know the kid that well, having only seen him a hand full of times with or without the Slayer to get information. He'd usually make a vague threat about how the information better be right and give Willy a twenty before moving on but now the kid seemed off. Like he was on a sugar high or something. Words clipped and rushed, eyes darting around, something wasn't right and he didn't want whatever it was in his bar.
"Heard a new group was staying at the old club on Elm, try there."
The kid nods and leaves with barely a rushed thanks.
Something many people did not or would not realize about Jessica Harris' drinking habits was that unlike her husband she took no joy in it. She drank to make the voices go away, to muffle them so she could think, so she could sleep. Half the time she couldn't even remember if she had a son or if she was married, and this was not because of the alcohol.
She had an undiagnosed case of Psychosis, most likely a form of Schizophrenia. And because of that fact Xander was left predisposed to the same condition.
To be predisposed to a condition is basically like a having a gun, then society loads the gun with the events of your life and then when one particularly bad day comes along it fires. Xander had his one bad day and little tiny whispers started to titter in his ear, making suggestions and demands. Enquiring where they were going and what was happening.
He'd answer, not caring, only having his goal in mind and the voices approved because unlike most voices they had templates to work off of.
Two blue prints in what to follow, how to act and how to sound. Because of where these templates came from some may think there was a magical cause to Xander's predicament but in truth it was all too human.
"Yes! Find them! Hunt them! Kill them! Prove you have the strength!" One voice growled while the calmer voice spoke a second later, ensuring Xander wouldn't jump the gun.
"Recon first kid. Then you need to plan and gather the proper equipment."
Xander nodded his head to the voices within "Plan then kill, got it." he then started to mumble this over and over again to himself as he walked down the street.
So wrapped up in his thoughts he didn't even notice when he bumped into a familiar leather clad classmate.
"Hey! Watch where you're going!" Xander ignored him as he continued down the street mumbling.
Being ignored didn't sit so well with the multiple time repeater as he stomped after his would be prey and slammed him into a nearby wall, causing any passerby's to scatter. Most in the town have long learned that it was much safer just not to interfere.
Xander didn't even waste time to stare at his attacker, he just raised his hand and jammed his thumb into his opponent's eye. He felt no remorse for the screams, just annoyance that he was delayed.
"ARGH!" The other man scream as his head instinctively soared back, dark cool blood pooling out of the now damaged socket. The attacker managed to have his remaining focus on his would be pray and found his jaw dropping in surprise "Harris?"
Xander didn't even recognize his name, he just pressed the attack listening to every bit of advice the two voices in his head gave him.
The shocked expression cost his opponent many head shots. And while he was still dazed Xander grabbed either side of his head and gave a mighty twist. After an almost haunting snap sound Xander simply walked away and left the limp body there.
A few steps away he started to mumble to himself again, accepting praise and reprimand from the voices as they started to go over their plan.
The Sisters of the Jhe didn't fully understand what happened. At first they were resting in their temporary home mentally preparing for the night to come when they were awakened by the smell of smoke. They quickly found themselves alert as they watched the windows and doors light up in a blaze. Fire quickly spread wherever searing their sisters who rested on the upper levels.
They screamed and screamed as the fire started to eat away at them and the ceiling quickly crumbled under the blaze. A few made it out of the one exit that had the least flames, not realizing someone would be waiting for them. A bucket of gas was spread over the crowd as they exited, lighting them aflame as well.
A single figure watched the whole thing, a flaming bucket in one hand and a sharpened bat in the other. He ignored his blistering finger's as he watched the fire grow and the screams die.
He just stood there with a blank look on his face ignoring the cackling in his head. Every once in a while he would go up to one of the demon's trying to escape and start to beat them mercilessly, completely ignoring the burning hands that grabbed at him.
Everything in that building would die. If they did not burn then they would be smashed. They would not survive the night.
That night he would prove himself.
Back at the local high school three teen girls and two older men, one by far the oldest, waited. All the tenseness in their muscles stared to relax and their frayed nerves started to sooth.
There was supposed to be an apocalypse that night but well, nothing was happening. The Hellmouth wasn't being pried open and there were no blue demonesses trying to kill them. It was just quiet.
Annoyingly so to be honest.
"G, are you sure it was tonight?" Faith asked as she started to slip out of battle mode and lean against a nearby wall.
"Yes," Giles confirmed as uneasy feeling filled his gut. "All signs pointed that the Sisterhood would try and awaken the Hellmouth tonight."
"But nothing's happening." The Bostonian almost whined causing Giles to pinch the bridge of his nose. That girl liked fighting just a little too much.
"I realize that." He said trying to contain himself. "And quite honestly it makes no sense, all signs pointed to tonight... I'll have to consult my books and make a few phone calls." As he went about that course of action the others sat in a strange silence for a few minutes, all unsure on what to do.
So in a attempt to pass the time Faith asked something that seemed rather obvious, "So where's X? Sick or something?" It was obvious she was only curious and didn't really care.
Angel's head lifted a bit showing that he too was curious.
"Um, we kinda've told him he could take the night off." Buffy answered after a few seconds not really wanting to go over or even remember the conversation they had earlier in the day.
Faith snorted, "And X just listened to that? Please, boy's crazy. He wouldn't miss this if he knew about it." The dark haired girl blinked as she watched the other two females share a quick glance and squirm a little, "You mean he doesn't know? What is he blind or deaf to not know what's going on tonight?"
Again they squirmed, clearly uncomfortable about something, "We had a little talk with him about Slaying and how dangerous it was."
Angel shook his head as he imagined how well the conversation went, "I can't imagine that went over well, people like Xander don't ever really stop." A brief flicker of that frightening superimposed image of Holtz over Xander came to his mind. A flicker of memory that scared Angelus off that faithful day at the hospital.
He had to suppress a shiver.
Buffy gave him an odd look, "What's that suppose to mean?"
Her ex, kinda current, boyfriend shrugged, "He hates vampires and he's waist deep in the supernatural as it is. He really couldn't stop even if he wanted to. He's helped kill too many demons to do that. Besides people who hate like him can't help but want to fight."
"Sure he could." Buffy said as if she was trying to convince somebody, and it wasn't Angel. "If he wasn't involved in any of this he could have a normal life."
"Yeah because hanging with a witch, a werewolf and a couple o' Slayers is so normal." Faith laughed, "He'd have to hate all of you before that's even possible."
Willow's eyes widened at the idea and she felt sick at it's implications. Their group spent nearly all their time doing 'weird' and if they wanted to keep him out of it it was pretty to close to having him out of their lives. They never really thought about it that way...
"Hey, Willow are you alright?" Buffy asked looking at her friend who was going through a cycle of pale and green colors.
"No, not really."
Faith spared the red head her own concerned glance, they may not be friends but they fought together enough to warrant some type of companionship. Besides, if the blue bitches were just running late they would need the witch's mojo and for her to be at the top of her game.
And when it seemed like the other girl wasn't going to keel over Faith let her curiosity take control of her mouth "So, exactly what'd ya say to X to make him not show up?"
Trying fight off the two highly inquisitive stares Buffy eventually failed when she made eye contact with Angel, "We may have said it was a... Kinda, sorta, a group decision."
Now that pissed Faith off, "Whoa, wait. You used my name? You put words in my mouth?" She had no problem saying what was on her mind but if people were making shit up about her, forcing an opinion she never said, someone was getting a broken nose.
Even Angel seemed a bit perturbed about it. No one liked having words being put in their mouth.
"It wasn't like that." Buffy defended even though it kind of was. "We... just wanted to keep him a bit safer."
"Then do it without stuffing words in my mouth." Faith gritted out, glaring openly at Buffy and Willow.
As the girls started to bicker Angel tensed. Something was coming, something that smelled of blood and smoke. He tried to go over his inner catalog of demons to see which ones fit the description, none of them good.
The girls quieted down as they saw him shift and glare at the door. They took it as their own cue to get back into their own positions and call out for Giles, he joined them a few seconds later.
For a few moments they thought that maybe it was nothing, that Angel sent out a false alarm because nothing came and the Slayers sensed nothing. But then they heard it, footsteps. Uneven, squeaky and painfully slow footsteps. Each one causing their muscles to coil all the more.
When they finally reached the door their front liners were all ready to charge into battle against... whatever it was. But as the doors swung open they all came to a stumbling halt and Willow let out the most horrified of noises.
There standing in front of them was Xander Harris but not like they have ever seen him. Bloody gashes and burns covered his arms and body, making Angel disturbingly aware of what he smelt earlier. His clothes singed and stained from the fires and a dark blue goo.
All and all he looked like he crap and that someone beat it out of him to cover him in it.
But they were soon forced to notice something else as he raised his hand.
A deformed, blue, female head. A head that looked very much like it belonged to the group of demons they were supposed to be fighting.
Xander for his part was just looking at all of the m curiously wondering what their problem was and wondering why they weren't praising him and saying he did a good job. So he tilted his own head to the side and fished for praise in an almost childlike tone "Did I do good?"
First off, I just wanna say that I have so many of these oneshots only partway done it's not even funny.
Next, tell me what you think honestly. I've noticed that most of my ideas give Xander a power up of some sort so I tried to make a non-powered version of him, unless you count going crazy a power.
Also, Buffy's group act too much like cops sometimes, they patrol, they investigate, they send in the SWAT team when things get crazy but they aren't really proactive, always reactive. If they just found where the big bad was staying burned the place to the ground they could save alot of time... then again that would't have been fun to watch.