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Phoenix Weeping
by SRoni

Disclaimers: This is even less mine than usual. The characters are, sorta, Joss Whedon’s. The basic concept of ‘vampire slayer’ is Joss Whedon’s. This particular character … the original idea for this glimpse came from a story by aadler, “Perish the Thought”. I thought he was showing us a version of a character we’ve all known since the beginning. Then I thought, “What if it was a character we’ve known for a while, but different from how we’d ever thought of them?” I actually wrote two versions of this, to fit two different people, but realized that the first one was who it was made for.

Read. Enjoy. Let me know.

Sometimes things happen that you can’t change, no matter how much you want to. I used to be a normal teenager. Relatively speaking, that is. I was too loud, too sarcastic, too much … me, really, to ever be truly accepted. At least, not as I was then. Then she came to town, and suddenly I was involved in something important. I had a purpose. I was Research Gal, Helper Gal, whatever she needed. I was going to be part of the fight. I was happy in those roles. I was doing something that mattered. I could handle it. I had my best friends.

It changed. Of course it did. It had to. But I would never have wanted this change to come about. I still don’t want it. If I could change it back to the way it was, I would. I do this because I have to. Choice has been taken away. The only alternative is death, and I’m too much of a coward to give in to that.

I never really had a choice. In the beginning, my notion of right and wrong kept me from saying no. Now I can never say no. It’s part of who I am now.

She died. She abandoned us. But the things she could do? Those came to me. I knew exactly when it happened. I could feel the change. In those first moments, I welcomed it. I was ecstatic, actually, although a lot of that was adrenaline. I mean, I was about to die, and all of a sudden I could rip a chair apart for stakes, easy as smashing a popsicle-stick sculpture. Then I realized what it meant.

She was gone.

I found out exactly how much of a normal life she’d had to give up. To hunt the denizens of the night (yeah, I said ‘denizens’, Wil would be proud of me), you have to stalk the night. You have to become part of it. That’s when my innocence died, something I’d managed to hold onto through almost two years of the fight. Not naiveté, but an unexplained, indefinable innocence. Gone with my second “birth”.

No matter who you are, you turn into another person when this happens. When I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the eyes staring back at me. They hold empty pain, and I don’t know when that look first appeared. Rather than figure out what was wrong in my life (besides the flashing Vegas sign screaming “SLAYER!”), I got rid of the mirrors I could, and covered the rest. My mom and dad weren’t exactly parents of the year, so they never noticed that I didn’t really keep normal hours. (Not that they’d noticed before... or if they did, they didn’t care.) If they thought about it at all, they probably figured I was at Wil’s or Jesse’s. I seriously doubt it mattered enough for them even to wonder. I’d learned a long time ago how to stay in their peripheral vision when necessary, but never be where they could see me full-on. They liked it that way, and believe me when I say, so did I.

I don’t like what I do. I never have. I did it before because I couldn’t turn my back on it once I knew. I didn’t have it in me to say to destiny, “Thanks, but no thanks. You’ve got the wrong girl.” Now, even if I did say it, it wouldn’t change things. I do it now because of necessity. If I don’t, who will? No one else can do what I can.

Being involved gave me a purpose, a reason for existence. Becoming the Slayer, though, gave me an identity that nothing except death can take away. I wish there was anything that could.

I’m like the mythological phoenix, except I was born through her ashes and not my own. And when I die, another phoenix will fly.

What am I? I’m not her. I’ll never be her.

I’m what she made me. I’m Xandra Harris, the Vampire Slayer.


Special thanks to aadler, for the editing, and revision that ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF.

Side note: I have now edited this thing four times in the space of five minutes simply because I CAN’T REMEMBER TITLES! But this time, I have the correct title to accredit to aadler.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
Interesting and original idea. Some of the roles in BtVS aren't really gender-specific and I agree with your take that Xander's wasn't necessarily male, given that his role as 'dorky worshipper of Buffy' could as easily have been filled by others. But this is a take on it that I hadn't considered. I wonder if you could improve it by making it more Xander. By this I mean that Xander has a specific 'dorky' style of expressing (him)self and I wonder if that might still come through even as a female but still different in some ways too.
Sep. 11th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I'm not that confident on my Xander speak. I just love him as a character, and so I keep writing about him... I realized within the last three days that about two thirds of my stories revolve around a character that I don't think I can write that well.

I think that Xander's style should come through, regardless of whether it's a female of male version. I'll see what I can do to change it.
Dec. 16th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC)
I think I would've liked Xandra. I really enjoyed this work!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )