Chapter Sixteen

Buffy shuddered against the post she was chained to. She felt the hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She felt the bonfire in front of her burn at an incredible heat. She felt the mood of her companions now.

And she really didn't give a damn.

<I will never stop crying...>

She was so tired. Of everything. Since the first day that Merrick had come to her, her life was hell. She had lost Merrick, been kicked out of school, moved, died, brought back by the man she loved, lost Willow and Angel because of the Anointed One, grieved, came to England to find her long lost friends, been attacked, had her love kidnapped, stabbed in front of her, died in her arms, and thrown into a bonfire.

<Life is such a bitch.>

"Buffy?" Willow called out.

Buffy didn't look up as she replied with a faint, "Yes?"

She heard Willow shift around next to her and say, "I'm sorry."

Buffy sobbed and whispered, "I never got the chance to tell him."

Willow was silent for a moment then said, "He's in heaven now. He knows."

Buffy laughed bitterly and replied, "It so ironic. We came because Xander never got to say goodbye to Jesse. He wanted at least to say goodbye to you. Now he's gone... And I never got a chance to say goodbye."

Willow only answered with silence, not knowing how to answer her devastated friend.

~ * ~ * ~

Giles looked up as Falen walked in. Falen was now in his male form. He walked up a sword laying on the ground. The same one that he had used to stab Xander. He lifted it up to his lips and licked off some of Xander's blood. He then turn towards them and smiled.


"You sick demented bastard," Giles screamed.

He heard Buffy sobbing to his right. Buffy was like a daughter to him. He loved her so much. When he watched Xander die, he knew that Buffy would crumble. Especially now that she realized her love for him. He was furious at Falen for slaughtering Xander. He wanted to go over there and kill the vampire. He knew he didn't stand any chance, but he was in such a rage, he felt he could rip the vampire apart.

"Awwwwww, the compliments," Falen said with a sick smile.

"You didn't have to kill him," Angel said next to Giles.

Falen's smile widened as he turned around to walk away.

"Yes I did. Your hatred is an added bonus."

~ * ~ * ~


Buffy looked up to Giles as he called out her name.

"What is it?" she asked.

"He's doing this to distract you. To make you vulnerable," Giles answered.

"It's working," Buffy mumbled.

Buffy could tell that Giles was worried about her. Hell, she was worried too. But right now she was lost. And she didn't know how she'll recover.

~ * ~ * ~

An hour later, Falen and the two vampires walked back into the cavern and gave his captives a toothy smile. He walked up to Buffy and stroked her hair. Buffy pulled her head away angrily. She didn't know where she got the energy, but she did. Falen gave her a surprised look. He was obviously impressed with the sudden burst of hatred.

"Such spunk! I like that," Falen said grinning. "The power you show is just what I need. To open the gate, I need unbelievable power."

"Gate?" Cordelia echoed. "What gate?"

Falen turned around and replied, "The gate of hell."

Angel sighed and said, "Figures. This is not good."

Falen grinned and responded, "You better believe it. For almost 2000 years, I have searched for a source of power to open the gate. Where I failed once, I will succeed now. With the power of the Slayer, I shall open the gate. The dark lord shall come, and hell will envelop the world."

He walked off, leaving his two minions to stare at his captives. Then they themselves left, leaving Buffy and her friends to say a silent prayer. For themselves and the world.