Chapter 1


A/N* This story is set in the beginning of season 6 however, Buffy never died.*

A/N* Just as a side note, this is my first fanfiction. Feel free to read and review, or message me personally if you have questions or comments. I open to ideas and suggestions. This was just an idea that popped into my head one day and I couldn't let it go, and I'm not sure how long this will end up being. Also, I'm all for Spuffy, so if this fic goes well, then you can expect some interesting (hopefully) fics on this "topic". Oh, and this fic will probably be mostly Tara-centric, she deserves some recognition too. Okay, enough with the talking, let's get on with the story…*

Disclaimer: all recognizable characters belong (sadly) to Mutant Enemy, but the parts of the plot that are non-canon are all mine

The familiar ring of the bell above the door sounded throughout the Magic Box, and a well-known scene was displayed. The gang was huddled around the table researching some hellmouthy thing. I wish I was a real part of this, Tara thought as she walked up to towards the Scoobies. Willow turned towards the door to see who had walked in. "Hey baby! What took you so long? We were getting worried."

"Rather, you were worried and the rest of us were just bored," Anya chirped.

"Hey! I know you were an ex-demon and all and you don't know the rules; but guess what, you've been here long enough. Learn the rules!"

"O-oh it's okay. Calm down Willow." Tara sat down at the table and looked around anxiously. The mass of books on the table was larger than normal. That usually indicated something apocalyptic. "What's with all the books? Is something going on?"

"Oh yeah. Definitely not of the good," Buffy said as she closed the abnormally large book in front of her. "Well, we don't know yet, but it might just be our standard garden variety apocalypse. Nothing to worry about too much. It also could be something big. I've been having slayer dreams again."

"The cryptic kind?" Xander asked.

"Yup. Always with the crypticness. You know, I wish just once they would say 'Hey, Hellgod coming your way. Head's up.'"

"Better give up that dream Buff, you know it's never gonna happen."

They then returned to their research. Piles upon piles of musty old books were crammed onto every surface. Each one had something to do with magic. Tales of Romi, Witchcraft for the masters, and Themogenesis. Tara started sifting through the stacks of heavy volumes when she felt a tremor go through her. What was that? She wondered. It came again, harder this time. Tara screamed as violent waves of pain washed over her, now accompanied by a fleeting vision.

It was the same scene she was just in, but she could see everything from a bird's eye view. She could see them all trying to help her. Willow was yelling and crying, Xander was trying to get Anya to pull her up onto the couch in the training room, and Buffy quickly pulled the group away. "Just let it happen. She'll be fine soon." How she knew, Tara didn't know, but she knew she would be okay. The Magic Box began fading in and out of view. "NO! PLEASE! GIVE HER BACK!" Willow screamed as she watched Tara disappear.

Tara knew immediately she wasn't where she was before. She slowly opened her eyes, and before she could really comprehend the situation, she cried out, "Gaia?" She quickly realized her mistake. "F-forgive me mother, but why have you b-brought me here?" Tara shuffled around awkwardly, she knew she wasn't worthy of a visit from the mother.

"I have a warning for you."

"A warning? Is this about Buffy's slayer dreams?"

"In a sense. However, what I have to tell you is a bit more complex. The one who loves with all their heart will be the savior. The savior of the one filled with rage and hate and grief. This darkened soul will be lost unless the one with the light can lift the veil of pain shrouding this Earth. If the darkened one's anguish is taken, the balance is restored.

Heed my warning child, you won't get another."

"T-thank you m-mother."

"Do not worry, for you are a blessed soul."

"Thank you Gaia." Tara's voice faded out and she hit the ground hard.