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Joker

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Xander leaned on the sink and stared into the mirror with his one good eye. The empty socket was slowly scarring over, and he couldn’t help notice the irony of his growing resemblance to a Bringer. Still, painful as the experience of losing it had been, it was one eye. It couldn’t compare to a life.

Anya had given up everything. His funny, pretty, to-the-point Anya. He hadn’t told anyone about their discussion the morning she died. How they were thinking about giving it one more try. If they survived.

He’d gotten Andrew to tell him the truth one night. How he hadn’t really seen what happened, except to see her lying there from the corner of his eye. How there was so much blood.

Xander was sorry that he’d pressed the issue.

Now it was Renee. Beautiful, brave Renee, over before it had really started. He remembered the sweet taste of her lips.

So much blood.

He straightened up and tied on his eye-patch. Buffy needed him. Needed her generals to be strong and familiar. She didn’t need to see how much he hurt.

He opened the door and stepped out into the hall. Smiled his best nonchalant smile. Xander the joker.