Chapter Seven – Choices Made

Buffy felt sick to her stomach, while everyone seemed frozen in place; it was all due to the horrifying information that Ben had just given them.

"But we'll have to leave soon, they're about to get started"

That spurred them on and everyone dashed for weapons and other apparel. It was then that Xander went to Buffy's side to talk with her – their mouths of standoff just didn't work any more. After having proposed to Anya, it was this that left unfinished. It was a race and it would only go of good if the competitors got a great start.

"Umm Buffy" Xander started. "I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for everything, well you know..."

Buffy didn't even bother to look up at him from where she was digging in the weapons chest, but she did speak.

"This really isn't the time Xander"

"But this is the perfect time. The world might come or you'll never speak with me ever again if Dawn dies. I don't want either. But I'll let you decided what you want to do. I've made up my mind and I know that I was stupid for not supporting you. So now I'll go – if we do die tonight... then I'll be happy either way"

He turned his back to her and walked away. When she looked up, he was over with Ben and they were going over the best weapons to use.

"Oh don't be so hard on the whelp slayer. What was said was just what everyone was thinking, but didn't have the stupidity to say"

Spike was there was James, both pacing two heavy axes each.

"I say we'd best move out"

And it was that they did. Following Ben through Sunnydale they came to their destination. It was a tower that was still in construction, but completely swarming with minions. James was the first to spot Doc, half way up the structure and dragging Dawn along with him. When she saw them too, she yelled out for them, ruing any attempt of a sneak attack.

The witches took the side and started to cast spells to allow the others to get by. Xander, Anya, Giles and Ben were stuck with the close combat, none managing to get by the masses. But it was Dawn's screams for help that were driving her sister crazy. Buffy and Spike where held back for a moment just long enough for James to brake past them and start to climb the tower.

"James, don't!" Spike shouted, but his words fell on deaf ears that didn't want to hear.

Oblivious to the outside world, James continued. The occasional minion would jump up to stop him only to be beaten down, but he was running out of time to get to Dawn.

Below the battle raged and minion after minion was falling. Then Ben came up with an idea.

"Willow... can you do me a glamour?" he asked out of breath.

"What? Why?" the redheaded witch asked, in complete confusion to what he had just asked.

"A glamour," Ben repeated. "Make me look like Glory so that you all can get to Dawn"

"But there's James. He's already half way up to get her"

"Well James isn't thinking. He's half of the Key... if he gets into a fight with Doc to get Dawn; he'll most likely get cut. That would mean that the portal would open"

"Oh goddess"

"He's right" Tara whispered. "We've got to do this now"

The whispered the chant to do the spell and when the red and blue magics connected and came in contact with Ben, they turned bright orange like the color that Glory had given. They watched in fascination as Ben once again transformed into Glory, but unlike before, she wasn't really there.

"Will you just stop, now?!" Ben snapped, suing Glory's power over here minions to his advantage.

They stopped in mid fight. The one that was strangling Xander hastily dropped him and the two that were going in to take out an unconscious Anya stilled. Giles gaped at him and Buffy's mouth just twitched for a near smile, before she regained her senses and continued to whack at the minions that still guarded the way up the tower.

"Oh you ugly creatures make me sick!" he snapped, going overboard with the spoilt prissiness.

"But mistress!" they all cried and dint even move when the more unfortunate ones were being hacked down by the still standing Scoobies.

"I hate you all! You've ruined everything"

"But we've done everything you asked for Greatness"

Then the glamour began to flicker and then ended abruptly, bringing Ben back fully to himself and no longer protected by his former captor's image. He looked to Buffy and Spike in the spilt second that they had and yelled out to them.

"Go! Go; get to them before something bad happens!"

Then the battle started again, but there were fewer to battle and Spike and Buffy made it to the tower and started the ascent. Ben just narrowly missed getting gutted as the nearest minion realized that they had all been played for fool. Looking up, Giles just hopped that they could make it in time.

"It's only going to hurt a bit" Doc smiled as he tied up Dawn's hands to the poles on opposite sides of the tower.

He back away to apprise her and then drew out a knife.

"But... but Glory isn't even here" Dawn babbled weakly, absolutely terrified.

"Well that doesn't mean I can't start this for her now"

He cut her across the arm and the blood began to drip out. It formed a pool in the grate and then out into the... but nothing.

"What did you do?" he snarled, seeing that her blood was doing nothing.

"I didn't do anything!" she cried and then he cut her across the other arm.

"Then we'll just need more of it"

He was just about to cut her again, when a punch to the back of his head sent him reeling. It was James. He stood there panting and exhausted, but ready to fight if needed.

"So you've come" Doc grimaced, recognizing him.

"Yes I have"

"Well you can't stop me for opening the portal"

"Sure I can, because Dawn can't open it by herself"

Unexpectedly Doc lunged at him, read to kill. They traded blows and then Spike and Buffy showed up. Spike went to untie Dawn while Buffy tied to yank James and Doc apart so she could punch him. They were teetering close to edge, almost enough to fall.

"How dare you" Buffy snarled at the demon man and pushed.

But just as she pushed him, Doc had lashed out at his young opponent, slashing James right cross the palm of his outstretched hand. As Doc fell, so did a drop of blood that both the slayer and the boy tried to catch in vain. The single drop slipped down and met with Dawn's in midair and then burst into an electric blue light. It widened and then shot out burst of its power, striking everything in its path.

For the four standing at the top of the tower, it was Hell on Earth, literately. The screams from below made things worse and Dawn began to cry in earnest. Buffy was hugging her sister close and Spike a long with James stared out at the disaster that was Sunnydale. Blow them the remaining Scoobies that stood, watched in horror.

"They're going to die" Ben whispered downcast.

Back above, the two Keys looked to one another and then to their siblings.

"We... have to stop this" James said. "The ancient text said so"


That was the answer he got.

"But if we don't, everything will be torn apart!" Dawn said, pulling away from Buffy and started to back up towards the portal.

Spike grabbed her hand and yanked her back.

"No, there has to be another way"

"Remember what Giles told us? When the blood begins to flow, it must flow until it can't flow no more"

Buffy and Spike stood back and stared at each other. There was another and it was at that instant that they both knew.

"You have to live, I know it's hard, but it's something you both must do" Buffy said.

"Be strong" Spike smiled.

"What?" both of them gasped and then caught on to what they had had just been told.

But it was too late to say anything. James and Dawn found themselves alone and they knew what had happened. Their siblings had jumped in their place. Dawn sank to her knees and James with, holding on tight. They could hear the sounds below. They could hear the voice of their friends. There was a burst of light as the portal closed and then nothing. Death... it can be a horrible and joyful gift. At this moment, it was neither.

Ooh cliffhanger! So next chapter will begin in season six and I hope you liked it - I'm not too sure how good I did it, I think I might have left out a bit too much. Anyway I did do my best for all. But now the summer heat is going to my head, so I'll say good bye. Later!