Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike Prompt Card: You are my light in the darkness.
Warning(s): Character Death, Xander not shown in a good light
Word Count: 1,170
Date Written: 12 July, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
You are my light in the darkness, Xander Harris. I never knew this world could be so dark or I could hurt so much even when my fiance left me for another way back when I first became a Vengeance Demon. I never knew what real pain was until you left me at the altar. It didn't even hurt as much when I died months later.
And now I can see you even though you can't see me. I see you laughing with your friends. I see you still fighting so bravely alongside them. They think I fought bravely in the end to do what was right. They couldn't be more wrong. I fought because of you.
I did all I did because of you ever since I gave up being a Demon, which I also did because of you. It's no wonder Cordelia Chase fell to your charms, no wonder you were able to bring the strongest girl in Sunnydale to her proverbial knees, and she was stronger, in her own way, than your little Buffy. Don't get me wrong: Buffy's a good Slayer, but that Slayerage is part of her strength. It's not a benefit Cordelia or I had.
But we loved you any way. We stood by you any way. We fought the monsters right beside you, and you never saw either of us for all we were. Cordelia can fend for herself -- I'm done defending other girls, especially now that I'm dead --, but you never really saw me, Xander. You were always too busy with the Slayer, always too concerned with whatever was bothering her. You loved her. You still do, though you'll never admit it.
And yet, you cry for me. Every night when you go home to your apartment alone -- or so you think --, you cry for me. I watch you weep and wail. My heart cries for you, but I can no longer seem to find the tears of humanity in this astral form. I hear you call my name. I hear your scream my name, and every night, I try so hard to answer.
I was powerful as a Vengeance Demon. There was little I couldn't do. I never would have died if I had kept my Demon powers. I'd be able to answer you now, from anywhere, with ease. But I also never would have loved you.
Many others have wondered about you, Xander. They misjudge you. They think you're weak. They think you're powerless. They wonder how you haven't been killed yet and lay your protection always to the Slayer, but that's another mistake they make.
You do have a power, Xander, and it is in your heart. I understand it now at last, too late. Your love is your gift. Your loving heart can break through the walls of any girl, no matter how strong we've built them. You can reach us, no matter how hard we fight, and you fell us simply by taking that love away.
I'm supposed to be strong. I'm supposed to be a freaking Vengeance Demon, for Christ's sake! And yet, even I fell to your charms. I fell to your heart. I failed not to love you, and yet you never really loved me. It's always been about her.
I can see that now. I wish I could've seen it then, but I wonder if it would have made any difference? You're still charming. You're still an incredible lover. You're still the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in this world or any other. I've a strong feeling that, even if I had known before that your heart belongs to the Slayer, I would have still fallen for you. I would have still loved you just as I still do now.
The world is so dark, riddled with so much pain and heartache. Mine is no different, especially now that I'm caught between the veils, but yet, somehow, you still shine. You caused my death because I was too proud and too in love with you to let you fight without me. I went into that final battle alone -- or I might as well have been alone (Andrew was certainly no protection). We both knew I wouldn't come out, and yet, you let me go any way. And I went. I was too proud and too in love with you to let you not be proud of me.
I wonder how much of this you understand. I wonder how much you accept as you scream my name night after night. Haven't you figured out yet that I can't answer you? Yet I continue to cling to this reality because of you. In life, after meeting you, I did everything I did for you, and now in death, it's the same thing all over again.
Your light is too bright, Xander Harris. Your love is too great and yet never enough. I know I won't be the last to fall to your charms, but that's little comfort. I wish I could hate you. I wish I could turn you into a snail or a slug or just make you disappear. I wish, really, that you would join me here between the veils. Maybe then, I could move on or, better yet, earn your love at last.
But that's not going to happen, is it? Your little Slayer's going to keep you alive as long as there's breath left in her body. She's going to keep you alive, and other women are going to keep falling for you while you never love any of us. I wonder if you even understand it yourself? Do you know you're helpless, Xander, and it's all because of the one girl you choose to love?
Do you know you never loved the rest of us? You claimed to love us. You risked your life sometimes to save ours. You threw yourself between us and the monsters, but your little Slayer always gave you a peck of admiration afterwards, didn't she? A "good boy", a pat on the head, a "you're so brave" compliment just like she's praising a dog.
And you are her dog, Xander. But what does that make us if not your bitches? We loved you. I loved you, and you never loved me back. You couldn't, because you're in love with her. Yet you don't even admit to yourself.
You'll follow her until her death again or until yours, and you'll always do what she asks of you again and again. And yet, here I am. Still caught. Still loving you. Still listening to you cry and moan my name and never meaning a damn word of it. Still haunting you. Unable to move on because I'm still too caught up in you and what I naively thought was our love. I'm still here, still loving you, still haunting you, and I know, sickeningly, I always will be. You are my light, Xander, but Gods, the light never hurt so much!