Willow lit the candle as she looked over the spell once more. Releasing the potential in a person. It sounded good. She just knew that Xander would thank her once he realized how helpful the spell was. She ignored the little voice that told her this wasn't a good idea, that she should check with Giles first. That she should at least discuss it with Xander and get his permission before casting.
She sat cross-legged facing the candle; several bowls of herbs and other ingredients sat on her left. A small plastic sandwich bag containing a lock of dark hair lay on her right. She slowly added the ingredients to a small brazier as she read the directions, placing the lock of hair in last. Touching the flame to the concoction she recited:
Unlock the potential
Open wide the doors
What they could be
They now are
May they draw upon
All that's touched their soul.
So Mote It Be!
The brazier flashed, a bright flame that left her momentarily blinded. Once her vision cleared she found the fire out and the brazier scoured clean. Pleased, she began to straighten her work space, replacing the extra ingredients and putting the used candle into her bag. “Won't everyone be surprised!”
* * *
* * *
When the spell hit, Xander was halfway up the stairs from his bedroom in the basement. He jerked, feeling as if he'd stuck his finger into an electrical socket, collapsing into an unconscious heap at the bottom of the stairs.
* * *
Bricks lay scattered across his mental landscape. Doors to previously shut rooms hung half-off from their hinges. His “guests” were loose.
Sometimes, a door would open a crack and he'd get a flash of what was within – slamming them shut took a lot of energy. But he'd never had them open completely – let alone all of them. He was in big trouble.
A cackled laugh sounded behind him. Slowly he turned to look.
* * *
Hours later, Xander woke, smoothly regaining his feet. Any bruises from the fall had long since vanished.
It had not taken long to figure out what had happened to him. Willow.
A part of him railed at what could be construed as a betrayal – she'd put a spell on him without his consent. However, the spell resonated within him, building upon the bond of friendship the two had – linking them together. The strands of his personality focused on his best friend:
The Hyena recognized Willow as Pack.
The Soldier considered her part of his unit.
The Vampire had Sired Willow in the Wish-verse, and knew her to be his.
The connections made during the Unity spell strengthened, while the energy left over from the incident on Kingsman's Bluff broke any links between him and Giles and Buffy.
Even the Fish Man felt Willow to be part of his school.
The figure stood motionless for a long moment, settling the different parts of his psyche into place.
His head snapped up as the front door slammed and he could hear unsteady footsteps crossing above his head. “Boy! Get up here!”
A calculating cruel smile twisted his lips. “Coming, Father.” He laughed softly to himself as he bounded up the stairs. There was a startled shout, a brief, cut-off scream, then silence.
* * *
* * *
Willow screamed as the door burst open, splinters flying everywhere. On the other side stood her best friend, Xander Harris. “Willow,” the word was drawn out, ending in a low growl.
She inched her way toward the window, freezing as he shook his finger at her. “Tisk, tisk, naughty little witch. Should know better than to run from you mistakes.”
Willow glanced at the center of the room where she'd cast her latest spell. Her heart dropped down into her stomach as she looked at her disheveled friend. “Xander?”
He stalked in, his movements graceful, predatory, precise. “Yes?” She couldn't read the expression in his eyes, but they were no longer the warm chocolate brown she was used to – instead they were a strange greenish-yellow.
He reached out to cup her face and she gasped, recoiling at the blood upon it. “Wh ... what?”
He smiled and she shuddered at the sharp, bloodstained canines. “Giles and Buffy were most displeased at your spell. Buffy attempted to contain me ... so that Giles could change me back – cage up the potential you had unleashed. There was even talk of binding your powers. I couldn't let my Willow be hurt.”
Horror-stricken, Willow back away, shaking her head in silent denial. Xander followed, trapping her against the wall with his body. His fingers threaded through her copper locks, the blood hidden against the color, pulling her head to his.
Sparks shot through each time Xander moved against her, and despite herself, Willow felt her body respond.
Tears streamed down her face as he kissed her deeply. She could taste the blood, a mixture of Slayer and Watcher; he bit his tongue, letting his own blood flood into her mouth and she was unable to keep from swallowing.
She shuddered, then shuddered again as the spell's bond rebounded, sending a whirlwind of sensations, thoughts, and emotions through her. They swept through her in an inescapable wave. Nearly lost, she clung to the very real feeling of Xander's love for her. She kissed him back, desperate, hungry, and the bond sealed. The two pulled back, breathing heavily. Willow's eyes were black as pitch. She smiled and Xander cackled in glee.
* * *
* * *
2/8/2013 revised and edited