If the concern of Buffy, and the others is for Xander's safety, why wait this long to address it? I think it is unwarranted. To paraphrase Han Solo talking to Luke "He's pretty good in a fight. They can use him."
Big complaint of mine . . . Giles tells Xander "Uh, Xander, I think in the future perhaps it would be best if
you, you, uh, h-hung back to the rear of the battle, you know, for your own sake", but as I recall, Giles got his ass kicked pretty good by the demon they were fighting.
I'm such a Buffy nerd, and a lot of the episodes I notice one thing, one quick scene, one quote, that utterly defines the episode and, perhaps, the Buffy series as well. That quote, in this episode, is when Willow said "I love you, Xander".
I got some dust in my eye when Willow said "I love you, Xander" Why did she say that to him, and at that particular time? I could be wrong, but I think that is the first time she said that to Xander, or anyone. My take on this is that this is the point that Willow "transformed" her love for Xander from a "romantic" love, what she wished for, to the kind of love she knew she had for Xander, and probably had all long, that is the powerful, never-to-stop love of a kind that is between a family. At some point, and maybe it was there all along, Xander reciprocated 100% with that kind of love for Willow. In my opinion, that kind of love is stronger and more powerful than "romantic" love, and was the ONLY way for Xander to rescue Willow from the incident on Kingman's Bluff. But why'd she say that to Xander, at that particular time? Maybe if she thought the world was going to end, she wanted to tell him that before it was too late? Maybe she felt regret at how Xander was being treated and wanted him to know that she wasn't part of the crew that was treating him that way.
I'd be remiss if I didn't speak of, once again, Xander's willingness to sacrifice himself for others. How many times did he do this? There was this epsode, "Inca Mummy Girl", "Grave", of course, and "Triangle" . . . there may be more.