Shadowed Heart, Shattered Soul
I'm going to be borrowing some concepts and elements from the Shadow Hearts series. Probably not enough for knowledge of the game to be necessary though.
A power awakens from deep in Xander's soul. Does he have the will to master it or will it consume him? Perhaps with the help of his reluctant guide...
Willow lay in the hospital bed, spell ingredients and Cordelia and Oz at either side. Book in hand she weakly began the incantation. Oz watched her, his normally expressionless face showing worry. Even Cordelia looked worriedly at the injured girl trying to perform a far too powerful spell.
They have good reason when Willow suddenly sits bolt upright and her voice gained strength. The book fell to the floor, but it doesn't matter anymore. She speaks the spell in perfect Romany as if the spirit of one of the gypsies were guiding her.
Slowly the orb of thesula started to glow until it's emitting an almost blinding light.
He knew he should trust her. The problem was that he couldn't banish that lingering doubt from his mind. Buffy had had several opportunities in the past to stake Angelus and didn't. Things were different this time though. The world was on the line. He'd like to think that she would be able to do it with such heavy odds. But could he really afford to take the risk she couldn't?
Xander decided he couldn't. So after getting Giles out safely he went back inside. A guilty voice in the back of his mind whispers 'trust her' over and over again as he makes his way back through the mansion towards the courtyard.
Forcibly he shoved the thought aside as he reaches his destination and sees them. Buffy and Angelus. Their blades clash with speed and grace that make it look more like a dance than a fight. His first instinct is to jump into the fray and help her.
With great restraint he doesn't and berates himself for even thinking it. Both combatants are completely focused on their battle. For them there is nothing else. Jumping in now would just distract her and get one of them killed. Or quite possibly both.
One thing is most certainly clear to him as he takes in the cuts and blood adorning both bodies. Its clear she's not holding back this time.
For a moment he considers leaving, his fears alleviated. He doesn't though. Buffy and Angelus seem to be pretty evenly matched. As morbid as the thought is to him, if Buffy slips up and loses somebody has to finish it. Xander just hoped he could take him out while Angelus was caught up in his victory should it happen.
The jaw drops on the stone form of Acathla and a red light forms. Small at first, but getting bigger by the second.
At the same time Xander found his body enveloped in a white light. The pain is intense. Greater than anything he has ever felt before but he refuses to scream. He can't, she'd hear it and get distracted.
His vision began to blur as he falls to his knees. The last thing he is able to make out before collapsing into unconsciousness is Buffy plunging her sword through Angelus's chest and the portal closing.
Xander groaned as he started to pull himself off the ground. By the time he reached his knees he had regain enough of his senses to notice something. Two something's actually. One, he wasn't in the mansion anymore. Two, he wasn't alone.
Another figure lay face down a few feet away from him. The figure began to come to as Xander reached his feet. Somehow he could sense there was no threat so Xander walked over and offer them a hand. He gasped in surprise when he saw who it was. "Angel?"
"Xander?" He asked in confusion as he accepted the offered hand. His face held a puzzled expression as he looked around. "Where are we? What's going on?"
Xander shrugged. "Dunno. Last thing I remember before passing out was Buffy killing you... er soulless you... I mean evil you... no... um... demon in your..."
"I get what you mean." Angel told him curtly, if for no other reason that to cut off his rambling.
"Right... uh... well, I guess the world was saved."
"That's something at least."
"Yeah." Xander agreed. "As for where we are, well, Willow was doing the soul curse on you. I was surround by a bright light before passing out. I think she kinda, might have... missed."
Angel looked at the boy with an even expression. "So this is your..."
"Mind, spirit, soul?" Xander offered. "Yeah, think it might just be."
"You realize your soul looks like a graveyard right?"
Sure enough they appeared to be in just that. Very little grass filled the area that was about half the size of a football field. Instead the ground was practically made of tombstones, with a few uprights mingled in here and there. The sky was black and mist that seemed more like a wall barred further path into the distance. The only thing that even hinted at there being more to this world were the large ornately carved stone doors that were periodically spaced at the outer rim of the mist.
Xander just grinned at the former vampire. "Figures don't it?"
Angel actually managed a small grin of his own and a chuckle before agreeing. He may not particularly like the boy, but Angel had to admit that Xander did know how to lighten a situation.
"So what now?"
Xander shrugged again as he leaned against one of the larger tombstones nearby. "What now? I for one choose to believe that this is all a whacked out dream caused by too much junk food and a boring research session in the library.
"Any minute now Willow will notice and poke me awake or Giles will shake me awake with a scowl for drooling in one of his books. Again."
He closed his eyes and sighed. "Yep, any minute now."