Author: David Mycock
Title: Altered View
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other character from the show, they belong to Joss Whedon and I also do not own Highlander or any of the characters from the show or films, they belong to whoever created them and Panzer/Davis.
Summary: Xander tries to save Tara from being shot, only for both of them to die and to awaken into a whole new life together. It includes a new destiny, one which holds nothing but blood, honor and sacrifice.
Xander decided to leave Buffy to her misery, as he was not able to help her get over what she was feeling. In point of fact he seemed to be making her feel worse. It was a damn mistake to bring her back and an even worse one to leave the damn coffin in the ground like they had. That wasn't the biggest problem of course, sadly due to their own stupidity they had allowed Spike to take advantage of the recently resurrected blond slayer and begin to degrade her into someone she wasn't.
If Joyce could see what had become of her daughter at the moment, she would have been disgusted, but also ashamed, and rightly so, of her friends who had caused the situation in the first place. That old saying, ‘The road to hell was paved with good intentions,' had been so right.
They had not once thought about that they had been wrong in where Buffy had ended up and now they had no clue on how to reach her. Spike had done his work well and she was more angry and upset with them than she had been originally.
He just could not think of a way to reach her and nor could any of the others, not even Giles. He was stumped at what to do and that was a first. Then again he wasn't exactly happy with what they had done, without consulting him first. He couldn't help but agree that they should have contacted him, no matter that he was back in England at the time.
Dawn was suffering the most from their errors and that made him feel ten times worse. She didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of Buffy's anger.
‘How the hell could we forget something so simple?' he wondered, kicking a stone into a nearby fence.
They had believed that they had everything sorted, as they prepared to bring Buffy out of the hell dimension they were positive she was in, however they were wrong, not just about where she had been, but also what they were doing. He had allowed his own fear to be stoked by Willow's as had Tara and Anya. They were foolish, he thought, as he entered the house and made his way up to where he knew Willow and Tara would be.
As he climbed the stairs he wondered if they would ever be able to help Buffy reclaim her previous attitude or if she would be stuck in this depressed state, which was not a happy thought and one that made his already guilty mind feel worse. He reached the top of the stairs to find Tara and Willow talking, obviously still trying to work out their broken relationship, due to Willow's mistakes.
He did not understand how the red head could throw away such a decent thing, like what she had shared with Tara. Hell he was envious of the trust, love and devotion they showed one another, before they broke up.
His own relationship with Anya was destroyed now, thanks to the visions an old demon enemy of hers had shown him. They had been his worst nightmares come true and so on the eve of their wedding he broke up with her and was still paying the price today.
He deserved some of the anger and abuse she now heaped on him, but he believed she pushed it too far most of the time, half the time he did not even know why she remained in Sunnydale. Back to the point though, he thought Willow was mad to endanger her relationship with Tara over an addiction to magic. His relationship with Anya had been doomed from the start, but what Willow had with Tara was the real deal.
The fact Willow could not even see this, hurt and confused him even more. What on earth had his life long friend been thinking and how had she not seen the damage she was doing, to not only her relationship, but her life as well?
The two women paused in their conversation as he entered the bedroom and could tell from the look on his face that he hadn't any luck getting through to Buffy again.
Willow sighed, wondering if anything they did would get Buffy to forgive them for their mistakes. She hoped the blond would, in time, realize that they had done this with the best intentions and because they loved her.
This was mostly her fault, the red head thought. She had pushed this to its tragic conclusion over the objections Xander and Tara had originally put forward.
Her fear and horror at the idea of Buffy being condemned to a hell dimension had just been too much, after everything she had been through since becoming the slayer. She hadn't listened, especially when they suggested they should talk to Giles. No in the end she would have to try and see if she could get through to Buffy. She turned and noticed Xander was now at Tara's site, staring at the wall.
"Hey do you hear shouting?" Tara's voice broke through her depressing thoughts.
Xander walked over to the window and looked out and was shocked to see Warren Myers standing at the back of the yard, pointing a gun at Buffy, before he could do anything the dark haired geek began firing and he watched almost in slow motion as Buffy dropped to the ground grasping her stomach. Then he noticed Warren had seen him in the window and was raising the gun. He turned and moved as quickly as he could to push Tara out of the way, as she had come up behind him.
He felt a sharp pain in his back, before he found himself unable to stay standing and he fell to the ground. He barely noticed Tara fell beside him, as darkness began to descend on him. The last thing he saw was Willow's horrified stare.
Willow had watched in wide eyed horror, as Xander had turned and grabbed Tara with the intent of pushing her out of the way, only for him to fall to the ground with a bloody wound in his chest. A similar wound had appeared a second later in Tara's chest. She stood there frozen for a full minute before she rushed to the phone and called for an ambulance, before kneeling between her friend and her lover, lost for the first time in her life in what to do. She was completely unaware of the fact that outside in the garden Buffy was suffering from a similar wound. However she had the slayer essence helping to keep her alive.