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Why I Want To Be a Watcher

By fenwic
Standard disclaimer applies.
Companion to War - Episode 2: Terms of Engagement. Xander has to write an essay for his application to the Council of Watchers. Challenge response.
Rated: PG

Why I Want To Be a Watcher 
By Alexander Lavelle Harris
I want to be a Watcher because…
A Watcher is…
What a Watcher does is…
“W” is for Watching!
“A” is for…
Palm trees. With coconuts. On a deserted island. He drew the ocean last. Then more palm trees. More coconuts, more islands, more ocean. Xander didn’t doodle often, but when he did doodle he always began with palm trees. They were easy.
New sheet.
Why I Want To Be a Watcher
By Alexander L. Harris
I want to be a Watcher because…
A plane. Flying over the island. Clouds. Birds. A hula girl on the island. A boat rescuing the hula girl.
I want to be a Watcher because…
Damn. This was supposed to be the easy part. In his head it was easy. He knew why. He could feel why. He had the words, but they seemed woefully inadequate. Couldn’t he just tell them? Or show them? Couldn’t the Council come along on patrol? Or they could all go bowling. They’d understand by the third frame. Or third beer.
No. It had to be written. He got that. What good is a Watcher who can’t write?
I want…
Hula girls. All over the page. “Very nice," Xander thought as he beheld his work. “I’m in like Flynn. Whatever the hell that means.” He wadded up the palm trees and hula girls and began again.
Why I Want To Be a Watcher
Because. That’s why.
Because of the monsters. Because of that first day when he stood hidden and silent in the stacks, listening to Buffy and Giles talk about his worst nightmare -- the day the monsters came out of the closet and right into his life. Monsters made of bugs, or covered with hair, or ripping the heart right out of you. Because of the killing and taking and making lives miserable. Because of Glory. Adam. The Master. Angelus.
Because of every person who ever died at the Bronze, or in the park, or at the high school. For everyone they lost at graduation. For Jenny. Joyce. Tara. Jesse.
Because of everyone they could save.
Because of Giles. Because they’d be lost without Giles. And when Xander said he wanted to be a Watcher, Giles didn’t laugh – he smiled. Xander knew he couldn’t save Darth Vader, but he could make Obi Wan Kenobi proud.
Because of Buffy. Because he’s wanted to help her since before he knew she needed it. He never let her go into the dark places alone. He’d be there with a rocket launcher, or a flashlight, or a magic gourd. He’d be there with a rock. Always. For Willow. Casting spells from a hospital bed. Casting spells that made her head ache and her nose bleed. Trying to save… everybody. Willow had stared into the abyss and still believed that goodness could win.
He’d marry Anya someday and they would be together till death do us part, but these people were his family, and this was the family business. He wanted to be a Watcher because he kinda already was. He’d been training for this since that day in the library. It was already his life’s work.
Because this is the best of what I have to give. This is the best of what I can be…
Unlike Giles, he didn’t inherit a legacy. But like him -- like all of them -- he would leave one.
…and that is why I want to be a Watcher.
Respectfully Submitted,
Xander Harris


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