For years, Xander had imagined the scene, had played it in his head, sticking out his chest a little, smiling like an idiot when nobody was looking. He had waited, hoped without really believing that this day would finally come. He, the looser, the zeppo, the under-educated carpenter, the drunkard’s son, the ex-future husband, the powerless, the guy in the shadows, had hoped that a day would come when it would be his turn to save the day, a day when he would step into the spotlight, a day when Buffy would run out of ideas, Willow out of spells and Giles out of dusty old books. The day, when, he, Alexander Lavalle Harris would be a hero. Their hero.

But when it had finally happed, when Buffy had stopped being the hero of his dreams and when Giles had not all the answers anymore and when Willow had become the threat they had to face, when he had found himself facing her, exhausted, dishevelled, chocked, without even a plan or any real hope, Xander had not thought about being a hero anymore. He had not thought about saving the day. All he was able to think about was to save Willow, his friend. He only found the yellow crayon to help him, because when he looked at her and saw her so somber, so sad, so desperate, so broken, all he could see was Willow, his childhood friend, his Willow.

He had saved the world, and he thought about it sometimes when he watched it streaming past him through his car’s window when he’s going to work on mornings. But it did not matter. He had not saved Tara. What was the point to be everyone’s hero when he had failed to be Willow’s ?