Spike fussed over Xander until Xander batted him away. "I'm fine," Xander insisted. He was lying beneath the lean-to in Estel Woods, a cold rag draped across his brow. Spike had plied him alternately with sips of water and stale crackers until he couldn't take anymore. "You can stop taking care of me now."
"It's my job, remember?" Spike pointed out, checking Xander's pulse once again. Kneeling beside Xander, Spike tapped his finger on his thigh to keep time as he counted the heartbeats. It was back down to normal. Good.
Xander made a pishing sound, but didn't protest. It was the truth, after all.
"Now, are you going to tell me what your hysterics were all about or do I have to beat it out of you?"
Xander's lips twisted in a nasty way. "I'm one big, cosmic joke."
Spike changed position so he was seated beside Xander. The bedroll didn't provide much cushion from the ground. "I could've told you that."
"No, I mean it," Xander said. "My life's been one mess up after another. I wasn't being shit on by my father, I was being a useless idiot. Sure, eventually I got to be in the secret club of evil slayage, but only to get in the way most of the time. It's not like I had any powers or smarts to contribute anything.
"Then, I get struck by lightning, and hey, guess who now has powers like the others? Maybe it was for a reason, so I could finally really help instead of being a walking punching bag. Or maybe the Powers that Be decided I'm supposed to do something important, something no one else will be able to do. But no, that's not it. And I can't even chalk it up to a normal, freak occurrence anymore, either."
Xander spread his arms wide. "No, it was allllll an accident. A misspoken word during a spell. Willow was trying to find me, said 'lightning' instead of 'light', and poof, Xander is the butt of yet another cosmic joke."
Moving his arms back to his side, Xander sighed loudly and closed his eyes behind the sunglasses still on his nose. "My life sucks."
Spike didn't reply, which Xander took to mean agreement.