She Needs Me
Everything's changed. All of my perceptions of who I am, and what I do, they've all changed in the past year. It's like...the minute she took her first breath, the old Xander disappeared, leaving this new Xander.
Not that it's like I've been replaced or -- God -- possessed. No thanks, none of that. Again. Ever.
It's just...well, Anya and I weren't planning on having children...especially Anya. Do you have any idea how rough this was on her? Becoming all bloated and sick and craving things and cursing me at every minute -- I'm so so so glad she didn't have her powers back, because you wouldn't be talkin' to me now, no sir. Pile of Xander-flavored goo on the floor next to the hospital bed, that'd be me.
But when she was born, our lives changed. And I know that's cliched, but it's true. Suddenly, the ashes on my jacket weren't the markings of Xander Harris, Vampire Slayer Assistant, proud warrior, they were Xander Harris, Father who nearly got himself killed over a damn foolish quest.
And it was like it had always been that way. That this little 7 pound wriggling thing in my hands didn't need her daddy out fightin' demons to protect her -- she needed her daddy rocking her to sleep at night. She needed someone to give her a bottle when her mother was too tired to breastfeed and someone to remember that she was allergic to down feather bedding and an infinite number of other things that only I -- only her father -- could do.
The world already has someone to protect it from demons -- several, if you count what I hear Angel's doing in L.A. Giles is still running the magic shop, Willow and Tara are still his biggest customers, and I...
I need to look out for my daughter.
So I won't be going out tonight with you, Buffy. I won't be going out for all the other nights to come. Tonight, she needs me.