He isn’t the Slayer.
No, that honour belongs to Buffy. Brave, strong, beautiful Buffy. Petite and lovely and so able to kick his ass. Buffy, who doesn’t need defending, certainly not by Xander. Except for that magical Halloween when Xander had been a soldier and Buffy had been helpless. That night he remembers enough about to fuel more than a few dreams that leave him sticky and wanting when he wakes up in the morning and has to change his sheets.
He isn’t smart.
No, the brains of the outfit is definitely Willow. So-smart-it-almost-scares-him Willow, with her red hair and her wide, green eyes, and a love for him she doesn’t think he knows about. Or maybe she does and she just doesn’t want to acknowledge that she knows he knows. Just like a part of him doesn’t want to accept that maybe he meant some of the things he said when he was possessed by the hyena spirit, all those things he claims he doesn’t remember. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t want someone who loves him for who he is, because he’s not at all happy about being Xander. No, he wants someone who loves him for who he wishes he was. And who doesn’t know the things about him that Willow knows .
He isn’t popular.
No, that’s definitely Cordelia. Popular, cruel, sexy Cordelia. Who puts him down and belittles him when she doesn’t have him backed up against the wall in the janitor’s closet, her hands all over him, his hands all over her. Who won’t be seen in public with him, but who’ll let him see all of her when they’re alone and she’s needy and desperate for his mouth and his fingers. Not his cock just yet, but Xander figures that can’t be far off. He’s not sure why this thing between them is happening. She doesn’t love him, or even like him, he knows that. But at least she wants something from him that he’s able to give, and he has the satisfaction of having a secret life, and the thrilling fear of discovery that goes along with it.
He is Xander.
He’s just Xander. No super powers, no brains, no style. No parents who love him, no adoring throngs hanging on his every word, no secret identity and mission to save humanity from demons, no agile mind capable of ferreting the secrets out of books and cyberspace in the blink of an eye. Just a closet full of loud shirts, hazy memories of hyena possession and how to load a variety of weapons as fast as lightning, and a sickening self-loathing he’d feel more if he hadn’t happily trained himself out of thinking too much. He’s just Xander. And he’s terrified that that’s all he’ll ever be.