Originally Posted: Feb. 23rd, 2007
Length/Rating: 258 words, PG, Gen
AU: The Secret Lives of Superheroes
Summary: Some things you can’t unlearn…
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is owned, trademark and copyright by Twentieth Century Fox, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and the WB Network. All rights reserved. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied.
He’d pleaded ‘force of habit’ afterwards, when Faith was not so gently mocking his knee-jerk response to midnight cries for help. But he hadn’t been the only one that hit the ground running when they’d heard the screams, and he wasn’t the one basking happily in the awe of mundanes less prepared for Faith than they had been for vampires.
He leaned against Ruth’s hood, waiting for the adrenaline to ebb and making mental lists of what they’d need to add to their next Wal-Mart stop. A part of him wanted to cling to the idea that this was a one-shot deal, a fluke, that he’d left this part of his life behind in the ruins of Sunnydale.
Because wasn’t this what he had been running from? The whole Slayer gig; the Spider-man dogma of great responsibility?
He was supposed to be Xander, ordinary guy, with ordinary friends and ordinary dreams. Then Faith said something he couldn’t hear, and suddenly the rescued teens were looking at him with awe as he stifled the urge to say ‘I’m Batman!’ because that’s all he was to Faith’s Superman. Just an ordinary guy doing his best in a world built for superheroes. He could still remember when vampires had terrified him, but he couldn’t put his finger on when he’d started running towards the screams instead of away.
But it was only habit, not instinct. Only habit because you could break habits, and somewhere down the line from broken was normal, and he just wanted to be normal again.