"It wasn't for nothing, Xander. You were on the swim team. I was dating a Sunnydale High swimmer."
"Cordelia, can we focus here? Buffy almost died."
"Oh my God, Xander, is she all you ever think about? Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. What about me? What about when I saw that monster in the pool and thought it was you? How do you think that made me feel?"
Xander gave her a peck on the cheek and sighed heavily. She just did not understand. This was not about Buffy. This was his chance, his chance to contribute. Oz had his werewolf sense of smell going for him, Willow had the wicca thing going for her, Buffy was the Slayer and when Angel was on their team he had the vampire thing going for him. Xander had nothing. It was supposed to be his turn to shine, but it did not work that way. Yet again.
Oh sure, he had saved her, had gone into the locker room in the nick of time to help pull her out. But that was nothing new, Xander was always the guy who was just there.
"Xander, you didn't do anything wrong," Cordelia said. She was getting angry, he could tell. She always hated it when their conversations were focused on anything but them. It was one of the things he both loved and hated about Cordelia. "Can we talk about something else now? I get the creeps just thinking about what could have happened to you."
"Yeah, only because I wouldn't have been Xander the human anymore."
"No," she said, her eyes downcast. Buffy, Willow and Oz were on the dance floor having a good time. He knew Cordelia wanted to be out there dancing, too. He just was not in the mood tonight. He was tired of feeling inadequate. At least when the hyena had possessed him he felt powerful, able to do things. He had almost hated seeing those feelings come to an end.
He sighed, draping an arm over Cordelia. "I appreciated what you said earlier, Cordy."
"I meant it, Xander," she said and Xander knew she was sincere. That had been the most surprising thing about it. The more time he spent with her and got to know her, the more he realized he had her pegged all wrong. He had spent years hating her and she was not so bad. "Can we dance now? Are you done with your pity party?" There were times that she drove him nuts, but he guessed that was part of a relationship.
"Yeah," he said, standing from the couch where they had been sitting. "Let's go join the others and be dancing fools."
"It doesn't seem like we have too much to celebrate with the whole swimming team being turned into giant fish."
"Well, I'm still here."
"Now that's something to celebrate," she said, flashing him the smile that always made his heart hammer in his chest.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com