Call of the Wild
Author David Mycock
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other characters used from any show or other media except for any characters I have created for this story only.
Rating: NC-17 or R as this story will feature sexual scenes and be much darker than all of my other stories.
Note: Set during season 4 with elements of season 6 of Buffy with the exception that Jenny did not die during the Angelus crisis and remained in Sunnydale as part of the Scooby gang, but is not in a relationship with Giles. Cordelia does not become possessed, but is in L.A. Prue will still be alive when they meet the Charmed ones and Paige will also turn up, whilst Lara will have just dealt with the Illuminate from the first movie.
Summary: The hyena and solider spirits break loose in Xander's mind, after he is hit by a magical backlash from Willow, during an argument about her addiction to magic and it begins to alter his personality into a much darker persona. Changing his future forever and also changing the course of many other people.
Alexander Harris was pissed off and that was putting it mildly, as he glared at his oldest friend while he tried to continue to bring his point across and make her see reason, but as before she was ignoring everything Tara or he had tried to say on the subject.
It had begun a few months back when he had begun to notice Willow was using far more magic than was necessary, as well as using it for mundane reasons which had no purpose to them.
He had tried to talk her into backing off from magic for a while and Tara had joined in. Quickly telling him that she had become, after their first argument with Willow, very worried about how Willow used magic, Jenny had also begun to try and make Willow see reason, but all of them were ignored.
Buffy and Giles did not help the matter, as neither of them would say anything negative to Willow. Buffy was wrapped up in Riley Finn, her new boyfriend and a member of the covert military unit the Initiative, which had come to Sunnydale, plus she believed Willow was in control completely. Giles was another matter as he knew how dangerous magic could be, having delved into black magic when he was younger, but he refused to say anything against Willow so as not to annoy Buffy or upset the red head herself, much to their annoyance.
Both of them currently sat at a table, ignoring the argument, as they talked about a new demon Buffy had encountered on patrol the night before.
Xander did not understand why they were so blind to the danger Willow now represented, if she continued on the path she was currently on. Ever since he had gotten Amy to do the love spell during high school he had become very aware of how deadly magic could be. He had seen what magic had done to Amy's mother as well as Amy herself, who currently was still a rat thanks to a botched spell.
His eyes narrowed as Willow spat another accusation against him, before attacking Tara with words designed to make the young woman feel guilty and doubt herself, but Tara hold her ground, he noted with pride.
At first Tara had been a very shy young woman when she had joined them, but she had grown very fast after making so many friends and helping them against the vampires and demons of Sunnydale, gaining confidence every time they saved someone.
"Will you guys give it a rest," Buffy shouted, turning to give them a glare which Xander returned in equal measure before she turned back to Giles.
Xander turned back in time to notice Willow's almost gloating smirk at Buffy's support, before she went back on the attack, never had he believed Willow would change so much and become such a cold vindictive person. He shivered at how Jessie would have reacted to this had he lived to see it happen. Jenny quickly refuted some of what Willow said very easily, but as before the red head ignored her. Her belief in her control and her power was as unbreakable as was her arrogance.
He shook his head and was wondering how it had all come to this. How did he miss the signs for so long, that he had allowed Willow to fall into the trap of magic? Jenny, Giles and then Tara had all told him how easy it was to slip into an addiction to magic. Of how simple it was to start using magic for everything, altering your personality until you eventually turned to black magic. He doubted they were at that point right now, but he was worried that if they did not reach Willow in time they would lose her forever and she would become another enemy. This was a thought and a nightmare that haunted him.
"Will you three please leave me alone," Willow snapped, getting fed up of listening to them to try and paint her as becoming evil. "I do not need help and I especially do not need to cut back on magic," she continued, glaring at them and feeling a surge of power begin to build within herself. "You are making all of this up, because you are all jealous of my power and how well I can control it," she stated with a sneer.
Xander flinched at how cold his friends voice sounded, but he also noted the worried look Giles momentarily had on his face before he shook his head and returned his attention back to Buffy. This told him that Giles was just as concerned as the rest of them, but to keep the two of them happy he would not say or do anything about it like in so many other situations.
"Will you listen to yourself child," Jenny finally lost her own temper at the stupidity of the young girl in front of her. "You do not control magic at any time. You call on it to aid you, but you do not control it. Magic is the energy of the world and also part of the balance of the whole universe and no one, not even the most powerful witch or warlock can control it," she stated. "Those who try are subverted and turned into mockeries of their former selves just as it is happening to you Willow," she said after a taking a breath.
She was just as annoyed at herself for failing to keep Willow off this path. She had begun to teach Willow how to use magic after the red head had used the soul curse to resoul Angelus, after she herself had been attacked by Angelus, only to be saved by Xander's timely intervention.
Whilst he had saved her life she had slipped into a coma for a month from the beating she had taken, when she had awoken she learned what Willow had done and been appalled that a black magic curse of great power had been her first casting.
Of course Buffy had ignored her worries and arguments only caring about the fact that she had gotten her lover back, after he had returned from hell somehow. Giles whilst sharing her concerns refused to do anything about it to curtail the girl's use of magic from that point on. Xander had listened though, his own experience with magic had taught him to respect and fear it, this was a wise attitude to have concerning to magic at all times.
She had tried to teach Willow magic, but the girl had become annoyed at the slow progress they were going at and quickly gone on to learn on her own, refusing any and all attempts to slow her pace of learning. By the time she met Tara her power had grown, but so had her wilful disregard about how dangerous magic was. She ignored Tara's more reserved way of using magic, believing that she was just afraid of the power she could have wielded causing a lot of friction between the two leading to how things currently stood.
She suddenly frowned as she felt a build up of magic within the red head and a quick look at Tara confirmed she had sensed it too, but Xander was unaware of the danger as he continued to argue with his oldest friend lost in the argument. She quickly went to warn him when Willow let out a scream and a pulse of magic exploded out of her in a black wave which sent Xander, who was closest to her, flying backwards and through a nearby table which broke apart under his weight.
"Goddess," Tara gasped, as she watched Xander crash into the table whilst also feeling the dark foreboding touch of Willows magical backlash and shocked by how dark that magic now felt to her. "What have you done?" she asked as she rushed over to check on her friend.
Willow looked blankly at Xander's fallen form, feeling only a small brief moment of sorrow before her anger resurfaced and she sneered at him. He had pushed her to this and had gotten what he had deserved. She ignored Jenny and Tara as they tried to wake Xander up and quickly gathered her things and left the shop, Giles quickly rang for an ambulance whilst Buffy just stared at Xander unable to believe what Willow had just done and unsure how to feel and who had been in the right.
"He's out cold," Jenny said, after checking Xander's vitals again and shuddering at the darkness in Willow's eyes before she had departed.
"What the hell just happened?" Buffy demanded finally, deciding to support Willow as she had often in the past. "Look what you made her do," she added.
"Are you blind Buffy?" Jenny spat with a shake of her head. "Or just plain stupid?" she added a second later not really surprised by the blond slayer's reaction, as she had long noted how she and Willow always supported one another. "She has no control and her arrogance is huge and now she has hurt her oldest friend in a temper tantrum," she snapped.
"If you just had her left alone then none of this would have happened," Buffy retorted. "It's Xander's own fault for arguing about something he knows nothing about," she added with contempt.
"He knows more about magic than Willow ever will, in the fact he treats it with the right amount of respect and fear," Jenny countered. "Something which Willow lacks and it will lead her to becoming nothing more than another insane witch we will have to deal with," she promised. "A little help from you Rupert to curtail her exploits and this could have been avoided, but as usual you remain silent to keep the two happy, well congratulations I hope you are happy with the result," she said glaring at the watcher.
"Willow knows what she is doing Jenny and I have full confidence this was just an accident which got out of hand," Giles replied although inside he knew Jenny was correct, but he also knew to say anything would be to have Buffy on his case and that was not something he wanted again, so he supported his slayer's view. "An ambulance is on its way and he should recover pretty soon," he stated before taking his place back at the main table.
Jenny and Tara just shared an annoyed look between themselves knowing they would not be able to get through to Buffy and Giles until the situation with Willow exploded in their faces and that was exactly what was going to happen they both thought.
Ten minutes later the ambulance arrived and took Xander to the hospital along with a concerned Jenny. She was concerned about the fact that Xander had still not regained consciousness and she wondered what kind of backlash Willow had unleashed. Tara remained at the shop wondering when Willow would return and just how much longer it would be before her descent into darkness would be complete.
Willow stormed down the road, her anger at what had just happened still firmly in place, how could Xander treat her as if she was a silly young girl who had no clue what she was doing? She knew he was jealous of the fact that she was far more useful to Buffy, during patrols, than he was and so he was trying to make her loose what made her special. As for Jenny and Tara they were just jealous of her power, by trying to tell her she could not control her magic which was a joke as from the very beginning when she had done the soul curse she had been in control.
She sneered at how easy Xander had gone down after she had unleashed only a small fraction of her power in the backlash of her anger. She was amazed she had thought so highly of him when she was younger. She was even more amazed she had risked her relationship with Oz for him during their little fling. She had plans to make as it was clear the three of them were not going to leave her alone so she would make them.
The being shifted, it felt the balance shift as events took shape, but they were the wrong shape. Something had altered the flow of destiny and changed the whole direction of the world. This should not be possible, the being thought, as it scanned the world in search for the source, pausing as it came across the Hellmouth and saw what had just transpired. This was not supposed to happen, this one random act had just blown away every plan they had put in place in the last seven years. The being found traces of Janus, God of Chaos, in the events in question, but found he had not influenced them. Something else was behind this and it would find the source.
"Whistler," the being said and had to wait only a minute, before the balance demon appeared before it, wearing his typical attire.
"Problem?" he inquired, knowing he was only summoned when there was a problem or important plans needed to be put in place.
"Something or someone has altered how things were supposed to go on the Hellmouth and from there outwards to L.A and other places," the being informed him. "I want you to find the source Whistler and report back to me once you've found it," it added. "Stay hidden from the slayer and her group unless you think they can help you and the same with the souled vampire's group, now go," it commanded.
Whistler felt a shiver at the tone of voice in the being's voice before he vanished and moved to his area and thought over his new mission. It would not be easy and would most likely be dangerous, but he had no choice but to carry out his orders, so he quickly got ready before departing.
Across the ether Janus also became aware of the events in question, as he felt a tug on his power almost like he was been petitioned, however he also felt an echo of a spell he had already blessed three years ago by his favourite warlock Ethan Rayne.
He viewed the results of the spell and remembered what had transpired that night with a smile, he also remembered the human who had somehow retained so much of the spirit he had been possessed by, which should not have been possible. He had watched the young man and his friends now and again and found their adventures very entertaining, this however was far more interesting to him as he sensed what the backlash of the witches spell had done.
He took a moment to think before he allowed some of his power to flow into the boy, boosting the two spirits now loose inside his mind. He was never one to believe in the great plan the other powers put into place and now he chose to put his own champion into play. Something he had only done once before. He also sent a vision to the young man's former girlfriend in L.A so she would return to Sunnydale to aid him and thus change her fate along side his. He knew exactly what one of the fallen powers had planned for this young woman and denying them that would be enjoyable indeed. In his eyes this young woman had great potential and could be of use to him in the future.
He believed this young man would change the shape of many destinies, he also altered some of the hyena traits so they would be more of a help to him than a hindrance. He smiled as the changes took shape. He sat back then and waited for the young man to awaken and begin his new destiny as the champion of chaos.
Cordelia Chase sat at her desk wondering if they would get any calls today, she noted that since Doyle's death and her becoming Angel's seer that they had much more business than they had before. It was strange but helpful. However she would gladly trade that for Doyle being alive. She still missed him very much and whilst it had been three months since his death the pain had not truly lessened yet.
She looked up as Angel and Wesley came out of his office talking about something, but at the moment she was not interested in what it was. She was thinking about how much her life had changed since she had come to L.A. She leant back in her chair to contemplate her life when she let out a hiss of pain, she fell out of her chair as a vision quickly over came her senses. She had a brief moment to curse becoming Angel's seer before she concentrated on what she was seeing.
What she saw was surprising as well shocking. It were events happening in Sunnydale, something that had not happened since Doyle had a vision of Buffy being in danger. This time however it was not Buffy in danger, but her former lover Xander Harris and the most shocking thing of all was that Willow was the danger he was facing. This confused her greatly, but one thing was for sure she would not let her hurt Xander. It had taken a while for her to forgive him for what transpired between them. His cheating on her had been heartbreaking and the wound from the metal spike just added to that, but he had managed to convey why it had happened it the first place.
There was some twisted logic to it and everything she knew about him confirmed what had he had told her. It had been a combination of his upbringing of being made to believe he would never be good enough combined with his long time friendship with Willow.
He basically admitted he had subconsciously been looking for a way to destroy their relationship without really realising what he was doing and Willow had offered an easy answer.
He had not thought he was truly good enough for her and this had astounded her when he finally told her the truth, but knowing him better than even Willow did, because Willow never knew the truth about his family only Jessie had before her. Knowing that, told her so much about his character and was why she believed him. Now he was in trouble and she would help him.
"Cordy, what did you see?" Angel inquired, as he and Wesley knelt next to her.
"We have to go back to Sunnydale," she answered, as she allowed them to help her back to her feet as she began to recover all of her senses.
"Buffy," Angel immediately stated with the usual look he got when he thought of the blond slayer and made her want to roll her eyes.
At least Xander had fully got over his attraction to the blond slayer she remembered, granted he had still wanted to help her just as much, but it was not because he still liked her more than a friend. He had told her how after she had used him to make Angel jealous he had lost any attraction he had left, as she had shown what kind of person she really was, however Angel was another matter and she doubted he would ever truly get over the blond slayer.
"No she is fine," Cordelia replied snapping of her thoughts. "Xander is the one in trouble," she continued and did not miss the look of distaste Angel suddenly acquired.
"Please tell me you're joking?" Angel almost pleaded as he wanted noting more to do with Alexander Harris at all.
They had never and would never be friends and before leaving Sunnydale they had a big blow out, long over due really and a hell of a lot was said. The worst thing was most of it was true and that made his gut roll. Xander had brought up every one of his failures and shoved them back into his face, he would never forgive Angel for his mistakes and he especially would not forgive him for allowing Angelus to escape to kill Kendra and almost kill Jenny Calendar as well as his other victims.
In Xander's eyes he had betrayed his purpose in Sunnydale and been culpable in Angelus's rampage by forgetting why he was cursed in the first place. He had said, had he remembered that he would never have thought of pursuing Buffy or sleeping with her which broke the curse. These points hurt even now and for it he hated the young man even more and now Cordelia was telling him he would have to help him.
"No I am not joking Angel," Cordelia responded with anger in her tone. "We will be leaving as soon as it is dark and you will help him," she snapped. "Forget your issue's with him and I'll make sure he forgets his with you and focus on the problem at hand," she stated with an undertone of threat in her voice.
"And exactly what is the problem Cordelia?" Wesley finally spoke up. "Did you see what endangers Mr. Harris?" he added.
"Never call him that Wesley, especially to his face if you value your life, he hates it," Cordelia told him seriously. "And yes I did see what the trouble is," she added. "It's Willow, she's snapped," she stated before turning to pack some things.
This left Angel and Wesley stunned in the hotel's lobby at her response, the idea that Willow was going to be the thing they had to stop was almost ludicrous as far as they were concerned, but neither doubted Cordelia either and after sharing a small look they moved to prepare to return to the Hellmouth.
Jenny sat in the waiting area, worried not only about Xander's current status, but Willow's actions and what they meant. She doubted this issue would be resolved so easily and she worried if the group was ready for what she suspected was about to happen.
Willow had crossed the line and attacked a friend and that meant she was falling deeper into the whole of magic even faster than she had first feared. She also suspected Willow would now be planning to deal with her and Tara as well, as they were also against her continued rise in power.
She closed her eyes and then took a deep breath as she tried to centre herself, only for them to snap open as she felt a power wash through the hospital and straight to Xander's room. It was unlike anything she had felt before sending shivers up and down her body. It was certainly not Willow, but something else of great power, then she paused as she realised she had felt something like this before three years ago on Halloween when Ethan Rayne had used Janus to turn everyone, including her into their costumes.
What the hell was going on she wondered, as the power continued to flow over her. Why Janus would be doing this, if it was him indeed. Something told her things were about to truly go south in Sunnydale and none of them would be left unchanged. Xander most of all, as she sensed the magic was directed at him. What did the god of chaos intend with this move, she wondered and why act through Xander. These were questions she would need to answer quickly she thought, before everything went to hell in Sunnydale.
Angel found himself an hour and a half later glaring at the open road, whilst Cordelia and Wesley slept in the back seat. He hated having to come back to Sunnydale to save the young man he hated more than anyone, except maybe Spike. He knew there was no way out of this as this was a part of his redemption path. The powers had sent the vision to Cordelia which meant he had to do it.
He also knew that if he did anything which resulted in Xander coming to harm he would have to deal with Cordelia's anger and maybe by doing so he would earn her hatred. That was not something he wanted. So he resolved himself to doing what he had too to save Xander and stop Willow from whatever she planned.
Coming back to the idea of Willow being the thing he had to face to save someone, especially Xander Harris, was still shocking to him even now. How did the young girl he had known fallen so far?
‘What the hell had been happening in Sunnydale in his absence and what would it take to bring Willow back to herself?' he wondered as he swerved the car to miss an animal which ran onto the road, causing him to curse.
In the back Cordelia woke up as the car swerved as it jerked her to the side. She rubbed her eyes and looked to her right and noticed Wesley was still out cold. This amused her before she turned to look out the window of the car and out into the night, her thoughts turning back to Sunnydale, a place she hated so very much.
Yet some of her best memories were from her home town with the small band of people Xander had nicknamed the Scooby gang. Yes their lives had been in constant danger, but she had done things to be proud off and helped save lives. She had also experienced real friendships and not the false ones she had been with most of her life. She had also had her first real relationship based on love.
Xander had loved her and she knew this in her heart, but sadly for them, his upbringing was going to destroy them and almost cost her life, Willow was also to blame, as she had been the aggressor in pursing the fling to its conclusion. What made her angry these days was Willow got off with very little blame and soon got Oz back, whilst she allowed her own anger to keep Xander away from her until it was almost time to leave Sunnydale for good. She regretted that, but knew that they had at least parted as friends.
Willow smiled as she entered the place she had only heard about from a few fellow witches in the area. The man who lived here was called Rack and he was a warlock with the ability to increase someone's power and this is what she needed to finally deal with Xander, Tara and Jenny and get them off her case.