Originally Posted: Mar. 8th, 2007
Length/Rating: 237 words, PG, Gen
AU: The Secret Lives of Superheroes
Summary: It’s not the beat, it’s the band…
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.
It isn’t until one of the victims rudely blurts it out, still in shock from watching his buddies torn apart and a pack of demons pummeled into ash and bone, that Xander remembers. Even then, it takes him a second to process the man’s drunken cursing and remember he’s fighting half-blind.
It was second nature even before he’d left Sunnydale; the careful dance of keeping everything in view, playing mental Battleship with stakes instead of plastic pegs. So he’s used to fighting in the dark, but with Buffy he’d always been aware; always felt his own stuttering beat echoing behind the rhythmic ebb and flow of combat. Felt the others shift around him, compensating, protecting a liability. But it had never been because of his eye.
Here, slowly, he’s forgotten. Out in the middle of nowhere, in a blood-soaked parking lot, he’s got no one protecting him anymore. He’s got Faith and Ruth, but they fight with him, not for him and he hadn’t realized how big a distinction that really was.
So he flashes the drunks a grin that makes them think he’s crazy or invincible, retreats to Ruth’s worn bucketseats, and lets Faith take over with her patented spiel of ‘you didn’t just see this’ that gives them all a sane excuse for an insane world.
And he wonders what might have happened if Buffy had just stepped back and let him fight.