Chapter Fifteen

He then brought his fist down onto her face, bringing darkness with it.

~ * ~ * ~

When Buffy woke up her head was pounding heavily. She slowly got bearings on her situation. In front of her was a huge bonfire coming from a deeply dug pit. She tried to move her arms, but to no avail. She was literally, chained to a post. She managed to look to her sides and saw that she wasn't the only one. Giles, Willow, Cordelia, and Angel were each chained to a huge thick post. None of them could move anything, but their heads. And from the looks of it, she was the last to awaken.

"Don't try to escape," a voice commanded to their side. "Those posts are solid oak and go meters into the ground."

Falen. They watched in anger as Falen walked out from the shadows. He smiled happily at the group. This infuriated Buffy. <This guy is a thundering loony. He was nuts.>

"Don't you ever stop smiling?" Giles asked next to her. Apparently, she wasn't the only one who was pissed of at the guy's attitude.

Falen walked up to Giles, an inch away from his face.

"You don't want to see me angry. Things tend to get broken," Falen whispered with a grin.

"Like what?" Cordelia asked angrily.

"Oh, arms. Legs. Necks," he replied with a wistful sigh.

Falen moved away from the group and stood in front of the bonfire.

"Now onto business..." Falen said.

Falen turned around. The whole group stared at his full black eyes. He closed his eyes and trembled for a second. They watched in amazed horror as Falen changed. They watched his hands grow slender and long. His hair grew out and changed to an auburn color that matched Willow's. He grew shorter and slimmer. His chest grew out slightly as his waist grew thinner. His cloths mystically changed to fit the new form snugly. He was changing into a she.

"Oh gross," Cordelia whispered.

Falen's eyes shot open. The eye color had changed from a dark black to a light brown. His... her long black trench coat still hung on her loosely.

"What the hell are you?" Giles asked in astonishment.

"Oh the Watcher doesn't know. That's got to be bad," Falen said with a smile.

Buffy stared open mouthed at what Falen had just said. She... He... It knew.

"Oh, don't be so shocked," Falen said. "Everything I've done over the past two years have been for you Slayer. All for you."

Before Buffy could ask what she meant, Falen nodded towards two vampires. The vampires walked off, leaving Falen to her guests. Buffy looked around and saw that this huge cavern was adorned with a variety of weapons. Swords, guns, knives. They were all there. Enough weapons to start a small war.

They heard a yell and the sound of a blow being delivered. They watched as the two vampires emerged from the tunnel, dragging a fighting Xander with them. Buffy's heart pounded at the sight of Xander. She wanted to scream out her love, but didn't. Xander had numerous cuts and bruises on his face. They threw him to the ground, where he landed with a grunt.

"You see. I figured you would be coming here in two groups. A better chance of rescuing the boy. Right? I called that one so well. So I figured I'd make it a little harder for you." Falen said smugly. "I knew I would win. It is my destiny. My destiny, that I should have your power Slayer. I admit, that I never met a Slayer before, but when I heard about you over two years ago, I realized my destiny. I knew your power was great when the news that you killed the Master came to me. I needed power. And fortune and fate smiled upon me when your friends arrived. I had heard of the infamous Angelus. That's why I allowed them to stay there. That's why I didn't have them killed. Because I knew that one day you would arrive. So I waited. Patiently. Now it is a day of rejoice. With yours, and your friend's deaths, I shall bring the dark one. Mankind will see it's final day, for night shall rule and hell shall come to the world."

"Don't you ever get tired of hearing yourself go, 'Blah, blah, blah'?" Angel asked through clenched teeth.

Falen's only response was to turn, as if to contemplate what to do next, then swung around. In her hand was a wicked looking sword. Before Buffy could scream a warning, it happened. Falen plunged the sword down onto Xander's back, and watched in sick pleasure as she pushed it out of his chest.

"NOOO!" Buffy screamed.

She watched in horror as Xander looked down at his chest. Falen pulled the sword out sharply, causing Xander's blood to fall onto the dirty cavern floor. Xander soon followed it. Buffy struggled against the chains to no avail. She watched as Falen indicated to the two vampires to go to them. One vampire went to Giles and placed a sharp blade to his neck. A millimeter from drawing blood. The other unlocked her chains, setting her free.

"Try anything and the Watcher dies," Falen said, smiling.

Buffy felt every urge to jump Falen and rip her throat out, but didn't. For Giles' sake as well as the rest of her friend's. She rushed to Xander's body and pulled him from the dirt ground and onto her lap. The blood was gushing from his chest. He smiled weakly at her. It was a miracle he was still alive.

"Guess this is it," Xander whispered.

"No. You'll make it. You have to. You're my best friend. Watch. We'll be hanging out at the Bronze within a month." Buffy said, tears streaming down her cheeks. She heard a sob behind her. I sounded like it was Cordelia. Buffy wasn't sure. She didn't care at the moment. Right now the earth stood still as Buffy cradled Xander.

"I'll miss you," Xander said with a sad smile.

"Xander..." Buffy began, but never finished. Xander's body shook in convulsions, then stopped suddenly. His head swung to one side, his eyes closed. She frantically felt his neck for a pulse, but found none.

Buffy sobbed aloud, crying in despair. She heard Cordelia sobbing louder behind her. She heard Giles curse at Falen. She then felt a pair of hands grip her strongly and drag her back to the post. Buffy watched as Xander's body fell to the ground, causing a cloud of dust to rise. She gave no fight as they chained her tightly again. She watched as the two vampires walked towards Xander's body.

"Toss him," Falen ordered.

Without any hesitation, one of the vampires pulled out a bottle of fluid. He poured it on Xander's body, then threw the bottle near them. She heard the bottle shatter, but didn't realize what they were doing. They picked up his body as a child picked up a rag doll. It then registered what was in the bottle. Gasoline. She then realized what was going to happen.

She struggled against the chains, but could only watch helplessly as one vampire lifted Xander's body and threw it into the bonfire. None of them could watch as he disappeared into the flames. The flames that would consume his body.

Falen turned towards the vampires and watched them walk off silently down a tunnel. Falen then turned towards them and smiled. She turned around and walked down a different tunnel, leaving Buffy and the rest to mourn the loss of one of their own.

Leaving them to watch the smoke coming from Alexander Harris' body.