Fire of the Spirit

Author: Dave Mycock <dave13509[at]>

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or any of the other characters in the show. They belong to Joss Whedon. I am not gaining any profit from this story.

Subject: Xander/Tara

Summary: Set during forth season of the show. After a fierce battle with Ethan Raines Xander is struck by a stray blast cast by Willow, it breaks down the barriers inside his mind unleashing the two spirits that have been joined with his during his time with the slayer. One of them gains full control of him and decides to take out the slayer, however along the way it takes an interest in the new friend of Willow.

I'd like to thank my beta Bob for all his help

A/N: This is my newest Fic and is still very much ongoing. Hope you enjoy it.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Xander watched as Buffy dived at Ethan again but the black mage was faster having been boosted by his own magic and the demon he was working with. Giles ran at his former friend only to be flung backwards by a magical blast from Ethan, Willow and her new friend Tara were still working on their joint spell but they needed more time. Making his descion he ran straight at the distracted Ethan and kicked him with every bit of strength in him into Buffy's back kick which sent him into a near by door.

"Xander I told you to stay out of this" Buffy hissed as she helped Giles to his feet

"But?" Xander started to protest

"Just do as your told" Buffy shouted as she went to attack the enhanced mage again

Xander frowned hating the way his supposed friend treated him, it had been like this ever since the re-opening of the hellmouth incident. He still hadn't told them what had really happened during that time, how he had taken out the zombie gang which had threatened to blow up the school where Buffy and the others were fighting. He knew if he did tell them none of them would of believed him not even Willow, ever since the fluke things between them had been terrible. They were still slowly rebuilding their friendship but he knew it would never be what it used to be before Buffy turned up.

"Xander look out" he suddenly heard Giles cry out

He looked up just in time to see a streaking ball of purple light lunge straight at him, before he could even think about jumping out of it's way he struck him in the head sending him flying through a fence. The last thing he saw was Tara and Willow running towards him both had looks of fear in their eyes, as unconscious finally took him he caught a last look of Tara's face before the darkness claimed him.


Giles shook his head as he looked down at the still unconscious form of their friend; he had taken the full force of the magical blast as Ethan deflected it. The mage had finally been defeated by the joint spell as he and Buffy both managed to grab his arms stopping him from casting any defensive spells to counter it as he had the first time. He shook his head as he walked back into his living room to find Buffy and Willow once again arguing over whether or not Xander should still be helping patrol and dealing with the various bad guys they dealt with on a regular basis.

He himself had stayed out of it as had Tara and the newly arrived Riley, Buffy's boyfriend. Granted in his mind Riley was a better boyfriend for Buffy than Angel had been something about the young man made him dislike him. Most likely it had to do with the military outfit he was working with, he didn't trust what they were up to, he felt it could only lead to trouble.

"No Willow, you listen to me, Xander has almost gotten himself killed time and time again. It's time you face facts he's not cut out for this, he never was" Buffy shouted rousing Giles was his thoughts

"And I suppose saving your life was just a fluke then right?" Willow shouted back

"He wouldn't have made it down into the master's lair without Angel remember that" Buffy replied

"And Angel wouldn't of even done that if Xander hadn't made him go, let's face it Buffy he was too busy brooding over you to be any help. Infact all of us were except Xander, he was the only one who didn't just except it" Willow returned her voice rising

"Enough both of you" Giles shouted finally deciding to step in and stop them

"Giles you agree with me right?" Buffy said facing him

"Yes and no" Giles replied "Xander is not very strong I agree with you there, however he can be trained to fight just as much as the rest of us can. It is also his descion to fight, and no one can take that from him not even you" he continued

"But Giles he's gonna get killed" Buffy argued

"You don't know that, he's taken just as many knocks and bangs as the rest of us and come fine, and Willow is right you should show a bit more respect for him after all he has done for us" Giles told her

Buffy frowned and then just turned and left, Riley gave them an apologetic smile and followed after her. Willow shook head clearly still upset with her friend and walked back in to check on Xander leaving him alone with the shy quite witch she had befriended Tara.

"Sorry, they're not usually like this" he commented as he removed his glasses and polished them

"I…its ok Mr Giles" Tara replied smiling slightly


Buffy stormed away from Giles's place the frown on her face still in place, Riley had trouble keeping up with his girlfriend. He had never seen her get so mad so fast, he wondered if Buffy's arguments against Xander patrolling with them was based on real facts and not some deeper feeling she had for her friend.

He shook his head; the idea was crazy to even think about. All he had seen from Xander was that he was a clown who could only tell bad jokes, he hadn't seen any sign he was anything more.

"Buffy, you ok?" he asked trying to break the silence that had descended since they had left

"Fine" Buffy replied her voice still full of anger

Riley sighed and shook his head wondering how long this bout of anger would last, he decided to just keep quite and wait and see what happened.


Giles re-entered his room where they had put Xander, Willow was next to his bed asleep obviously worn out from the night's activities. Although things between Xander and Willow were still somewhat strained since the whole Fluke business he had noted both of them still furiously protected the other whenever they were attacked either physically or verbally. It was clear to him the deepness of their friendship was still firmly rooted in them.

He turned and walked back down the stairs and into the living room where he found Tara had fallen asleep on his settee, smiling slightly he turned and walked over to his own arm chair and sat and began to read from one of his many books wondering what tomorrow would bring


Xander slowly opened his eyes and slowly tried to sit up but quickly stopped when his head began to pound. He tried to gain his bearings, how had he ended up at Giles place as he recognised the watcher's home having been here many times before, he heard a faint whisper from somewhere and turned to look around but saw nothing. He turned the other way to find Willow asleep in a nearby chair; he smiled glad she had stayed to see if he was ok. The smile faded as he again heard the faint whisper, it was closer this time and yet he could see nothing.

He tried to sit up again managing it this time; he paused at the edge of the bed still feeling the effects of whatever it was that had hit him. He looked around the room again before standing and walking over the near by bathroom, he quickly ran some cold water and splashed his face. As he looked up he could have sworn he saw his glow an erry green.

Shaking his head and believing it to be the after effects of what ever knocked him out cold, he walked down the stairs quietly so as not to wake his sleeping friend. He surprised to see Tara passed out on Giles's Sofa; he stayed there watching the sleeping witch for a few minutes until he heard the whisper again. This time he could hear it more clearly; it was telling him to find a mate. He frowned as that words passed over him; something about it seemed oddly familiar.

"Feeling better Xander" he jumped as Giles's voice came from behind him

"Damn G-man don't do that" he shot back as he turned to face the former watcher "And yeah I'm feeling better, mind telling me what hit me?" he asked

"The spell Willow and Tara were creating was deflected by Ethan and it hit you squarely in the head, there was no chance of you jumping out it's way" Giles informed him

"I guess that's why my head feels like it's been cracked open like an egg" Xander said as he tried to ignore the continued whispering voices he kept hearing

"Most likely, now back to bed with you just in case. It's too late for any of you to go home now, and try not to wake Willow" he cautioned

"Ok Giles" Xander agreed as he turned and made for the stairs pausing to stare at Tara again as one of the voices grew stronger.

Chapter 2

Xander opened his eyes to find Willow looking down at him, for an instant he felt the urge to jump her but he quickly forced it down. Fearful of where that urge had come from he quickly sat up ignoring the slight pain he still felt from the night before, he noticed Willow looked somewhat guilty most likely for the spell backfiring and hitting him.

"You ok?" she asked quietly.

"Better than last night," he replied ignoring the whispering he continued to hear as he finally stood. "That was quite a spell you and Tara came up with; knocked me cold. Should thank you had a great night's sleep," he tried to joke.

"Xander, it isn't funny; the spell could of done real damage to you," Willow argued, her face completely serious.

"I know, sorry," he apologised.

"I'm sorry; we should have been more watchful of what was happening, Willow told him.

"My fault for just standing there, but Buffy had pissed me off for telling me to butt out," he told her.

Willow didn't respond to his statement, her loyalties had always been divided since Buffy had come into their lives. She always tried to remain neutral, but sometimes she had to take sides. This time, she decided to just stay out of it.

"Giles has made some breakfast. Get cleaned up and join us," she told him before turning and leaving the room.

Xander walked toward the bathroom when he suddenly became dizzy. He grabbed the wall for support as the whispering grew too loud. Wild laughter soon filled his head. He felt an icy chill as he recognised the laugh, and the memories of his time possessed by the hyena came back in force. Trying to call out for help, he found he couldn't move his mouth. Growing more fearful of what was happening to him; he tried to move toward the stairs, only to fall back onto the bed as a swell of pain engulfed him.

The laughing became more intense as he started to feel a presence at the back of his mind, one he believed to be long gone. He felt himself begin to lose control of his body and as he let loose a last feeble cry for help, he saw the presence's plans for his friends, especially Buffy. It wanted revenge for been defeated the first time. It wanted her blood.


Tara suddenly felt a wave of wrongness run through the home of the watcher. Her special senses went wild as she heard Xander come down the stairs. As soon as she looked at him, she knew something wasn't right. There was something different about him, especially his eyes. They seemed darker, scarier than they normally were. She stayed quiet as he sat at the table and began to eat. She could sense him watching her during the whole breakfast, making her uncomfortable.

When Faith had returned to Sunnydale and switched bodies with Buffy, she had known, thanks to her heightened senses. It had taken a bit of time to get the others to agree with her, but, in the end, she had been right. She wondered what would happen if she voiced her fears about Xander after he left. She shivered as she felt Xander's gaze bore into her. She didn't dare meet his eyes for fear of what she would see there. He was acting normally, talking to Willow and Giles, and yet something about the undertone of his voice again alerted her to something being off.

"Anyway I going to go, get some clean clothes and a wash. I'll check in with you later," Xander suddenly spoke up startling Tara who had been too busy with her thoughts.

"Are you sure you're feeling well enough?" Giles asked. "No more side affects from being hit by that spell?" he added.

"No, I'm fine." Xander smiled and to Tara, even his smile was darker. She even noticed a frown on Willow's face as he left.


As soon as he closed the door, Xander's smile became even darker as he planned how to get his revenge on the slayer. Although he wasn't as strong as the first time he had taken over this host, he still had his power and strength both boosted by the spell that had unlocked the barriers that had kept him locked inside the host's mind. The second spirit was fighting his control of the host body, but, for now, it wasn't strong enough to displace him; and the host was no match at all, although he could still hear the human's voice cursing him.

A feral laugh escaped him as he listened to the human's voice make threats. The first time, he had been completely overwhelmed by his spirit, but this time, the host had managed not to be completely subdued. If the host and the second spirit both joined their energies, then that would be a problem; but, for now, he was in complete control.

As he searched the host's memories, the blond witch who was new to the group really interested him. He could smell the power emanating from her and that was what he wanted in his new pack, and especially his mate. The slayer was no longer viable. He wondered if he could get the blond witch to be his mate. The smile that graced his face would have been recognisable by any of his friends who had been around when he processed his host the first time.


Riley walked toward Buffy's house to find Xander walking toward him. As he came within hearing range, he could have sworn he heard a wicked laugh escape his girlfriend's friend. Frowning as he passed, he turned to see Xander staring at him with cold eyes. Forcing down a shiver he continued onto Buffy's wondering what was up with him. He guessed he was still upset about been dismissed by Buffy during the fight last night. He didn't know why Buffy was even friends with the guy; all he ever did was make jokes and get in the way.


Xander frowned as he passed the slayer's mate, he could sense that the man disliked his host. He searched his host's memories and noticed that his host didn't like him either. Smiling, he began to plan his revenge, starting with the slayer's boyfriend. He would have some fun and maybe, just maybe, make his host get the respect he had been denied by the slayer and her boyfriend.


Tara walked toward her dorm still trying to decide what to do about Xander. Should she tell her fears to Willow and the others, or go and see Xander herself. Something inside her felt both fearful and excited about such a meeting. Shaking her head she decided that making sure her fears were correct was the better course of action. She decided to see Xander after her courses were finished.

Chapter 3

Tara approached Xander's apartment with the same fear and excitement running through her system, she couldn't stop it. The look in Xander's eyes when he stared at her, as he was leaving, was almost primal. Although she never had been attracted to any guys, the look had aroused her like nothing had before.

Part of it scared her while the other wanted more of it. Shivering as she finally arrived outside his apartment door, the rational side of her wondered if she was doing the right thing by going to see him alone. The door opened before she could even think about turning around and going home. She froze instantly as Xander's now primal look locked onto her. The fear and excitement began to rise, as he continued to stare at her. A small smile began to form on his face. She couldn't move; the look had her pinned.

"Tara," Xander spoke, his voice was different now that it had been at Giles's place. It now held menace and confidence.

"X-X-Xander," she replied, her fear momentarily getting the better of her.

Xander smiled as he smelled the fear, exciment and arousal coming of the blonde witch. He had wondered if he had caught a small bit of exciment coming of her as he left the watcher's house. The hyena inside Xander was hard put not to just take the witch right then and there, but it had decided to play with its future mate for a while. It had been locked away in the deepest recesses of its hosts mind for four years and it wanted to take its time it getting its revenge and it wanted to take its time in playing with the minds of its enemies.

It knew the slayer and her friends were not to be taken lightly, even Tara. Although to everyone else, including her friends, she appeared shy and fearful, it wasn't true. Its host had guessed correctly that there was more to the blonde witch than they could see. The power that she could control made her a very dangerous person. She could even beat the slayer, if she became so inclined. It had to tread carefully, if it wanted to succeed in making Tara its mate. This would be part of its revenge on not only the red-haired witch and the slayer, but on its host as well.

"Xander?" Tara repeated.

"Come in," he said opening the door wider.

Tara didn't hesitate. She could still feel that something was wrong with Xander, but, at the moment, she was too interested in the rising exciment inside of her to care.


"What's up Will?" Buffy asked as she entered the magic shop.

"I'm not too sure. It was Xander," the redhead answered.

"What about him," Buffy asked, frowning at the mention of her other friend.

"The look he had on his face when he left Giles's this morning; it was so familiar and made me worried. But I can't remember why," Willow explained.

"Is that it?" Buffy asked, uninterested.

"He also kept glancing at Tara during breakfast; his look was almost predatory." Willow added.

Buffy looked up at that, the word predatory tugged at her memory. She also felt dread begin to well up in her. She didn't know why, and that bothered her, but Xander was harmless. He'd always had been, so she shook it off.

"Maybe being blasted by that spell just shook him up a bit; another reason why he shouldn't be patrolling with us anymore," Buffy said hoping to win Willow over to her side in this.

"Maybe, but even if we all said he couldn't patrol anymore; he'd still come, maybe even on his own and that would be even worse," Willow countered.

Knowing Willow was right, she decided to let the matter rest for now. She'd bring it up again but, for now, it wouldn't help matters.


Tara watched Xander carefully as he stood, making them some tea. She caught every glance he threw her way. Each one was full of lust, directed at her. This was new to her. No guys had ever been interested in her this way and even through this wasn't the Xander she knew, she couldn't help but be aroused and excited at the fact.

The hyena smiled as he sensed the growing exciment and arousal coming off Tara. He had caught her of balance with the lustful gazing toward her. The funny thing was its host had been attracted to Tara to begin with but had seen no point in going after her once he found out she was a lesbian and was after Willow. Its smile grew, as it knew it could change this problem once it decided to take her as his mate, it just had to keep her off balance till then and keep the new feelings she was having going. It couldn't allow her to begin to really think about was going on, if it did, he would lose her and maybe get beat again.

It felt its host pushing to regain control of his body. This time he was stronger and it guessed the second spirit was now helping him. Growling at the danger this presented to his plans it knew it didn't have too long before these two became real problems.

Xander doubled over suddenly causing Tara to rush over to see if he was ok, as she touched him a charge seem to run through her body at being so close to him.

"Xander, are you ok?" she asked worried.

"C-can't say, Tara." Xander's voice seemed back to normal to her now but it was full of strain as if he was fighting a battle "G… get out now," he gasped. "Can't hold it," he spoke again before falling to his knees.

"Xander?" she asked again, now confused.

"I'm fine, maybe the spell had a few more side effects than we knew," he said, suddenly back to his confident state.

The hyena growled as it regained control. Its host was not as weak as it had been when it had first taken control of him. That, combined with the second spirit, was more of a match even for him, but it still had the upper hand. It would have to be quicker than it had expected to be able to complete its plans.


Xander groaned as he was forced back into his own mind, his warning had not been enough to get Tara to leave and alert the others to what was happening. He couldn't believe this was happening again, what was more confusing were Tara's actions. She knew something was wrong and yet she wasn't doing anything about it and he couldn't figure our why.

He and the soldier spirit would have to work harder in breaking this hyena's control of his body quickly if they wanted to save his friends, especially Tara, from the creature's plans.


Chapter 4

Tara walked home in a daze from Xander's apartment. The feelings she had felt were still firmly in place and playing havoc with her imagination. She was beginning to fantasize about him, which she had never done with any other guy she had met. If Willow found about this, it could destroy everything she had here in Sunnydale. However, something still made her uneasy about what had happened to Xander. When he had doubled over in pain, he spoke almost as if he was trying to warn of her some kind if danger. Shaking her head, she decided to wait and find out more before she went to the others about her fears for Xander. Although that was the reason she gave herself, in the back of her mind, a more primitive reason burned in her soul.


The hyena in Xander couldn't help but laugh as Tara left his apartment. The arousal and exciment inside was growing tenfold and it knew it had her. A few more days and then it would claim her. As he walked toward his host's bedroom, he collapsed.

It awoke to find two versions of Xander staring at him with cold eyes and it suddenly realised they had forced the host body to shut down, taking control from him and making it possible for them to talk to him with no way to block them. It snarled at them as they approached. The second spirit was the bigger threat, it had knowledge and skill that equalled his own, and the host spirit however had endless reserves of strength which had increased since the last time he had taken control.

"You can't do this. Don't you realise the chaos you'll cause?" Xander hissed at him

"Chaos is what I live for, find food and then claim a mate become alpha again," the hyena spat back. That was his nature.

"If you do this, you'll destroy the group. Weaken it, and that could lead to the end of the world which means the end of all of us," Xander told him stepping forward.

"I'll survive. I always survive," the hyena hissed. "I survived before when you thought you got rid of me and I'll survive again," it added as a kind of warning.

"Leave Tara alone." The second spirit finally steps forward as the words leave Xander.

"If you harm that girl, I will rip your throat out," the solider threatens him.

"I will claim her as my mate, and you can't stop me." The hyena laughs as it feels the host body begin to start up again. It will have to be fast if it wants to reclaim complete control.

"You'll never get the chance," Xander says as he rushes at the hyena, trying to distract it while the solider takes control so it can warn the others.

The hyena however is ready for the assault and quickly side steps the attack, knocking Xander away. Ss it prepares to leap at the second spirit, it feels the host body fully awaken and quickly tries to assert control, but fails as Xander smashes into him from behind.

Xander slowly opens his eyes and winces as he feels disorientated. The solider quickly realises it doesn't have much time before the hyena's strength returns and retakes control. He quickly jumps up and runs toward the watcher's house.


Giles looked up startled as Xander almost barged through his door. He looks almost afraid of something. Quickly getting up, he walks over to the youth

"Xander are you ok?" he asks

"You have to listen and quickly I don't have much time," Xander replies looking almost in pain

"What is it?" he asks.

"I'm not Xander, not completely," Xander tells him.

"Excuse me?" Giles asked, perplexed.

"The spell that hit him the other night; it destroyed the barriers inside his head and freed the two spirits he's been processed by," Xander spoke before collapsing to the ground.

"What do you mean exactly?" Giles asked kneeling next to his friend

"The hyena is loose; it took control of him again. It's stronger, much stronger, and it's after the blonde Witch, Tara," Xander spoke fast as if every word was a battle to get out.

"The hyena? Good lord!" Giles gasped, stunned. "Then who are you if you're not Xander?" Giles asked.

"The solider spirit that took control during the Halloween incident with Ethan Rayne. Me and Xander managed to take back control so we could warn you." The solider could feel the hyena coming back he'd have to be quick. "It's coming. Listen, you have to find some way of knocking the host body out for a long period of time, and find a way to rebuild the barriers." He felt himself loosing control. "Find some place to hide now! I can't stop him and he'll take you out to keep his plans secret. Go," he added before blacking out.

Giles quickly got up and ran out of his house, he couldn't believe this was happening, but he wasn't taking any chances. If indeed the spell had let loose the spirit of the hyena, then it was going to take a lot to beat it. He headed toward Willow and Buffy's dorm room to warn them.


The hyena growled as it woke, they had disrupted his plans and now it would have to work faster than ever to claim Tara as his and destroy the slayer. The watcher knew and even through he was faster he would still reach them first. Standing, it walked out of the house and headed toward his own, trying to think of a new plan.

Chapter 5

Giles rushed into the dorm room startling both Buffy and Willow who were busy arguing again about Xander. Catching his breath, he tried to focus his thoughts on what had actually happened.

"Giles what's wrong?" Buffy asked, "And you ever hear of knocking?"

"We have a very big problem concerning Xander," Giles answered sitting down at the desk.

"What's he done now?" Buffy asked annoyed, as Willow glared at her.

"The spell he was hit with the night before; it's somehow unleashed the spirits he was possessed by," he answered.

"But we got rid of them, didn't we?" Willow asked, shocked,

"Apparently not," Giles replied. "The hyena is in control again and it would seem he's sets his sights on Tara, I'm afraid," he added.

"Tara's in danger?" Willow said, even more shocked.

"Giles, how do you know all this?" Buffy askedm somewhat doubtful.

"Xander came by my place, however it wasn't actually him, it was the solider he was processed by during the Halloween incident. He was barely in control, but managed to tell me what was going on," Giles added. "We need to find a way to subdue Xander while we find a way to rebuild the barriers the spell shattered," he finished.

"Giles, what if Xander was just messing with you?" Buffy asked.

"He wasn't. Xander maybe many things, but he is not prone to trick people and worry them," Giles said sternly. "Need I remind you of what happened to you the last time the hyena had control of Xander," Giles said harshly.

"No," Buffy answered, chastised. She remembered all to well what the hyena had planed for her.

"Giles, what about Tara?" Willow asked.

"According to the solider spirit, the hyena has set his sights on her instead of Buffy. In fact, he wants to kill Buffy this time around," he answered.

"Why Tara?" Buffy asked. "Not that there is anything wrong with her, but she's not powerfully strong like me," Buffy quickly added she as saw the glare Willow was giving her.

"I believe Tara maybe more powerful than any of us think, and that is why the hyena wants her as its mate," Giles suggested.

"Great," Buffy spat.

"Buffy, you and Willow go find Tara. I will begin researching ways to subdue the hyena. Be careful and meet back at my place," Giles told them before standing up and walking out of the room.

"See Willow, this is-," Buffy began before being cut off by Willow.

"Not now, Buffy; Xander and Tara need our help. Let's go," she said angrily.


The hyena headed towards Tara's dorm room, hoping to catch her before the slayer and the redhead came looking for her; as no doubt they would, once the watcher had told them what was going on. As much as it was too soon to take Tara, he had run out of options and needed to make her his now, while he had time. Once he had her, then they would be invincible. The slayer and her friend would not be able to stop him. It started to laugh at the mere thought of it; it couldn't wait to claim what was his and get his revenge, not only on the redhead, but also on its host and the solider spirit.