A/N: Sorry about the mispost a little while ago. I accidentally grabbed the wrong thing. My bad...
Seeing yourself from a different world, a different life, was really a kind of strange thing. It made him feel a bit of sympathy for Willow being all weirded out when evil-Willow had made an appearance back in high school.
And the fact that other-Xander seemed to be living his life better... only made it worse.
Sighing a little, Xander reached up and rubbed his cheek just under his patch, forcing himself not to let his fingers wander over the hollow where his eye used to be.
"So what are we going to do? We just kind of magic up a portal and send you home?" Buffy asked.
Other-Xander quirked his lips a little. "Pretty much. It really shouldn't be too hard."
"Well, if it's not too hard, why don't you send yourself?" Xander asked curiously.
"I'm trying to avoid doing the magic as much as possible," Other-Xander said.
"Because I don't belong here and my using magic... It could have a bad effect on your world."
"Like what?" Xander asked.
"Think about it," Willow said, a sad look crossing her face. "When we brought Buffy back... something else came with her, right? Well, if he were to do a bunch of magic here, where he doesn't really belong... the magic would take a destructive form and... well, bad things could happen."
"What kind of bad things?" the gray haired colonel asked, stepping forward.
Xander jumped a little. He had almost forgotten that the military people were in the room, they'd been so quiet.
Willow shrugged. "Who knows, but it wouldn't be anything good."
As if on cue, there was the sudden blaring of alarms and flashing red light.
The door slammed open. "Sir! Sir, we've got a problem in town! It looks like we have a foothold situation."
"Thanks a lot Wills," Xander muttered. "Way to bring a jinx down on us."
* MX * MX *
She really didn't know what to do. Despair rose up in her along with the realization that Willow was getting worse.
There had been a few "odd" stories on the news about weird things happening around the world. And even though no one else could ever have tied the events together... Tara knew that it was Willow's doing.
Sometimes she was afraid of the things Willow could do. But her love was strong enough that she could mostly look past the awesome power and see the woman she loved.
But Willow was out of control, writhing and screaming one moment, almost catatonic the next, but with each fit she was only getting worse.
Soon the world would really feel the madness taking Willow over.
Tara wrapped her arms around her girlfriend, trying by pure force of will to make everything all right.
She allowed herself to indulge in a few moments of helplessness, then finally she pulled away, slipping from the bed they shared.
"I've gotta go back to helping Dawn," she whispered, not even sure if Willow could even hear her in the state she was in. "I'll come back in a little while to check on. Don't worry, love. We're going to make everything all right. We'll get him back."
"Xander. Xander. Need Xander...
" Willow murmured fretfully from whatever dark place she had wandered to.
Tara leaned down and kissed Willow on cheek before backing away and turning to leave the room. She had to do whatever she could to get Xander back. Whatever she could do.
* GV * GV *
The minute he heard the word "foothold," Xander felt a wave of dread go through him. He had the feeling that things were about to go totally pear shaped and there was nothing he could do about it.
"Situation?" Jack barked at the hapless looking soldier.
"Sir! Reports are incoming that there's some kind of situation in town. Dozens are already confirmed dead and more are wounded. Something is ripping through town, but we can't confirm if it's a goa'uld or not."
Even not knowing what was going on, Xander had the sudden feeling that it had something to do with him.
He reached out with his senses, turning his attention toward the direction of town.
He flinched back from the miasma of hate, rage, and bloodthirsty HUNGER that flooded through him.
"Oh shit!" he cursed, jerking his metaphyiscal fingers back before they got more than singed. "I know what's going on."
"What do you mean?" Daniel asked. "What's happening? How can you know anything about it?"
Xander looked at the man he'd been fanning a bit of a crush for. "It's like I told you, Daniel. Magic, no matter how small, always has a consequence. And that bit I did... it's coming back on us three-fold."
"What's that mean?" Jack asked.
"Whatever's killing people... I created it."
"Why would you do something like that?" Sam asked.
Xander shook his head. "It's not like I did it on purpose. But I don't belong here, which makes everything I do put your universe that much more out of whack. And when I killed those vamps for you it opened a... I guess you would call it a doorway, an opportunity, and something... something came through."
"What does it want?" Daniel asked.
"To swallow your world whole."
"Great," Jack muttered. "That is just what we need."
Xander couldn't help snorting a little laugh. "I should declare you an honorary Scooby. You have just the right kind of attitude."
"So what do we do?" Sam asked. "This, whatever it is, is killing people. So what do we have to do to stop it?"
"It sounds like a physical manifestation of power," Willow said.
"Which means what?" Sam asked.
"Well, if it's got a physical body... then that means we can kill it," Buffy said.
"Good thing I brought my favorite sword," Faith quipped, a dark smile twisting her lips. She was all about the hunt and the kill. Want, take, have. One, two, three.
The ride into town was a weird one, especially since he hadn't really been allowed to wander about during his time in this world.
Gripping the "oh shit" handle with white knuckled hands, he couldn't quite decide if he wanted to close his eyes or not. Did he want to see death coming, or did he want to be surprised by it?
"And we let Buffy drive why?" One-Eyed Xander demanded.
"Because she used her Slayer strength to steal the keys from you." Willow was curled up tight in the front seat, her seatbelt tightly clipped.
"Well, you could have helped me so we don't die before we even get to the fight."
"Be quiet!" Buffy snapped, turning her head to glare toward the back seat. "I don't drive that badly."
"Eyes front! Eyes front!" One-Eyed Xander and Willow both yelled.
Buffy huffed out a breath and turned back forward.
Xander felt a whimper wanting to crawl out of his throat, but swallowed it back down. He'd been in scarier situations, really he had.
But usually he wasn't traveling at a hundred and ten miles an hour with an easily distracted Buffy at the wheel.
I'm totally going to die today, he thought.