Thanks for all the new reviews. I guess my blackmail in the last chapter paid off :P
Chapter 4: The solution
Willow was staring at the screen of her computer in search of a way to get Xander's Aura-eye out of his socket. She had managed to figure out why the spell hadn't went as she had hoped, but so far the solutions she had found were vague and not much of a help at all. The only thing she could do was forcing a reverse of the spell with pure magic, but that was definately a last resort. So many things could go wrong, especially with the control, or rather lack thereof, Willow had.
For the last half an hour she was staring at a document on the subject. She had read the lines over and over again, but the meaning hadn't come to her. It was late and she was worried about Xander. He had left without telling anyone where he had gone to. The longer he was gone, the more Willow was tempted to do a locator spell. The only thing that had stopped her so far was the look he had given her just before he left. There were few occasions when she had seen him that angry, but it had never before been directed at her. That argument was beginning to lose its weight though.
What if Xander was doing something stupid: like patrolling by himself? Sure, with his experience he could handle a vampire, maybe two, but Kisumu city wasn't like Sunnydale. A lot more of the vampires here travelled in groups, despite the fact that it went completely against their territorial nature. What if he was getting himself drunk? What if he was hitting on another demonic virgin-brain-eating mantis-woman? Granted, he wasn't a virgin anymore, but with Xander's luck that probably wouldn't even matter.
"Hey Will, any progress?"
Willow jumped up at the voice.
Her oldest friend was favouring his left arm. "Where were you? What happened?" She asked concerned.
"Ohw it's nothing." He replied dismissively. "I don't even think it's broken, just bruised."
Willow simply ignored his assurances and dragged him to the bathroom where she conjured up a first aid kit and started examing his arm.
"Ow!" He cried as Willow prodded the bruise to feel if there was anything broken.
"Hey, it's your own fault for patrolling without backup."
"I wasn't patrolling!" He exclaimed defensively. "I was just minding my own business, when I gleesed something weird."
"Gleesed?" Willow asked.
"well, yeah, it's kinda like see, hear and feel, but not quite..." Willow looked at him dubiously. "Alright, alright, when I sensed something weird." He sighed. "You and Buffy can make up your own words, but when I invent one it's suddenly not good enough for the scooby dictionary."
Willow rolled her eyes and started cleaning the wounds that seemed to have been the result of a set of sharp nails. "So, what was it?"
"A vampire, trying to get a blonde girl to donate her blood, all of it. It was definately not a fledgling either. A job for the Amazing Xandman I thought, but as it turns out, it's not a good idea to fight evil after 3 beers."
"Xander!" Willow exclaimed in a mix of disbelief and anger. "You know better than to fight after drinking. You could have been killed!"
"So, you're saying I should have let that girl die?"
"No, of course not. It's just...you shouldn't go out alone after sunset. I can't lose you Xander. You're the only one I've got left."
"Hey, that's not true. There's always Buffy, Dawn and Giles. They may be on another continent right now, but they still care about you. And Kennedy too, once she gets over the whole breakup thing."
Willow wasn't too sure about Buffy. The two of them hadn't exactly parted on best of terms. And she hadn't been very close to Dawn since the break-up with Tara and the painful events that followed. In fact, Willow had been surprised at how readily Xander himself had accepted her back into his life. And Giles...well, in the coming years he was going to be much to busy trying to set up the new Watcher's Council.
Willow snapped out of her thoughts as she recognized the attempt to change the subject.
"That's no excuse for you to throw yourself into danger. It's like you don't even care anymore if something happens to you!"
Xander had nothing to say to that, which scared Willow more than anything. She hadn't realized before how hard it had been for him, still was. The loss of his eye, the death of his ex-fiance. He really didn't care if something happened to himself. How could she have missed it? After all, she had felt the same way for a time. Xander always hid his emotions behind jokes, but as his oldest friend Willow should have noticed it anyway, no matter how far they had grown apart during the years.
"So, did you find anything?" Xander asked, making it clear that he had no intention to continue the previous subject.
Emerged in her thoughts, it took Willow a moment before she realized he was talking about the Aura-eye.
"Yes. The problem is the spell itself. There were actually two spells. One was an enchantment to imbue the crystal with power. The second spell was a transmogrification spell which changed the shape of the crystal so it would fit in your eyesocket and made it a part of you."
"So, you're saying this thing is a part of me now? I can't take it out because it would be like trying to take my good eye out?"
"No. You can take it out, but only after the second spell is completely finished. The same goes for the reversal spell. It won't work until the original spell is done."
"Then finish it."
"I can't. The second spell included a part where the crystal has to..." She stopped as a sudden thought occured to her. "Xander, try taking it out again."
Xander looked at her confused but took his eye-patch off and tried anyway. This time the crystal came out cleanly.
"You did it, Willow! You fixed the spell!"
Willow smiled in relief. "Actually you did it. You had to bond with the crystal, which probably just meant you had to use its information at least once." The relief was quickly quelled as she realized what was coming next. "I'll get the ingredients for the reversal spell." She added reluctantly.
"Willow, wait." Xander stopped her before she could flee the bathroom. "I'm sorry about the way I acted before."
"You're sorry? I was the one who shouldn't have given you the eye."
"No, you're wrong. It's exactly what I needed."
Willow eyed him in confusion. First he says he doesn't want it and now he says he needed it?
"I've been in a slump ever since Caleb. Anya dying together with a whole bunch of slayers and everyone of you going to a different corner of the planet for whatever reason didn't exactly help."
"Just let me finish ok? I don't blame you for going to Brazil, you had your own problems to take care of. Heck, everyone did, does. The thing is, ever since then I've been doing the deadboy act and went brooding over everything that happened. It was depressive at first, but after a while you become used to it, you know? The brooding is just there in the back of your mind and you can put it on hold when you really need to. This..." He gestured at the crystal in his hand. "brought it all back to the front. I just needed to do some thinking."
"So you do want to keep it? Because i-i-it would be okay if you don't."
"Of course I want to keep it! I mean, I can sense Aura's with it! Not that I really understand much of anything that I'm sensing, yet. But it saved that girl's life. You saved her life. And it might save some more lives in the future. Not to mention that it's the first piece of magic that actually works on me like it's supposed to." Xander grinned. "And I bet I could freak out Giles or Buffy with it."
Willow couildn't help but mirror the grin as she thought about the looks on their faces at the sight of Xander's glowing crystal eye.
Suddenly Xander enveloped her in a hug. "Thanks, Will." He whispered.
"So, you're ok? We're ok? You're not mad at me anymore?" Willow asked.
"I wasn't mad at you. Like I said, I just needed to think things through. Though I might become disappointed if we're not going to watch that movie you promised me today."
Willow smiled. "It's already in the DVD-player. I'll get the snacks!"
Things were definately looking up. Maybe Xander wasn't over everything that happened and he probably never would be. Willow knew for a fact that she never would be over the death of Tara. But at least Xander looked more cheerful than she had seen him in months. That's what today had been all about. And it was comforting knowledge. If Xander could feel a bit better about everything, then maybe someday Willow herself could too.
Yay! I finished a story for the first time. I hope you like the ending, I've rewritten it several times and decided to settle with this. As a perfectionist I tend to find it difficult to settle with something, but I have come to realize that perfection is pretty much impossible, especially when you're barely qualified to be an amateur writer.
There's a sequel to this story called 'Demon of Elgon'. If you liked 'the Eye of Xander' you should definately read the sequel too!
Let me know what you think of everything, even if you don't think much of it. I take criticism pretty well, if I do say so myself. Noone has died as of yet ;) In fact I'd like to encourage you to criticise. To a new writer such as myself, it can be quite useful.