Imagine Xander as he struggles with having to lie to Ms. McNally about her son’s fate. Imagine Xander never telling Willow that it was him that staked their third amigo. Imagine Xander carrying that burden for years. Imagine it festering silently.
Imagine Xander’s guilt when he and Cordy start going out, the way Jesse’s voice sits in the back of his head, jealous and distant.
Imagine Xander seeing Jesse’s face transposed onto the face of every vampire he stakes.
Imagine Xander shutting down every time Willow tries to talk about their friend, for reasons Willow can’t begin to decypher.
Imagine Jesse, Willow, and Xander camping out in Willow’s back yard.
Imagine Willow desperarely looking for closure that Xander can’t help her with.
Imagine Jesse buying Xander his skateboard, because Jesse’s family has a little bit of money, and Xander’s doesn’t. Imagine the way Jesse laughed and Willow fussed and Xander concussed because of it. Imagine Xander’s mother throwing the skateboard out when he moves into the basement.
Imagine Jesse’s place in the yellow crayon story.
Imagine The First, dressed in Jesse’s skin, actually having its conversation with Xander in Conversations With Dead People. Imagine The First asking why he let Ms. McNally suffer the way she did. Why Xander let her think that he’d run away, like she wasn’t a good enough mother to him— to the both of them. Imagine The First asking why he couldn’t even have funeral.
Imagine Jesse’s voice asking him why, in almost a decade, has he not acknowledged the fact that Jesse existed once.
Imagine Xander not knowing what to say.