within Buffy's tormented mind... what could have happened...
"I'm sorry," Buffy whispered, gripping Giles' hand tightly with her
own, feeling his strength slowly slip away. Shaking her head, she looked
down at his battered figure, lying so still on the table in the abandoned
building where they had taken refuge from the knights. Biting back tears,
she forced her eyes away from the sight of his bloodied side where the lance had
pierced him, wounding him so grievously, and forced herself to instead lock on
his beautiful eyes.
"What for?" Giles murmured quietly, his forehead wrinkling as he tried
to focus on his ward's face.
"We should have stayed," Buffy whispered, slowly turning her eyes away
as she surveyed the desolate room, noting every single scratch and bruise on her
friends. Wincing, she turned back and smiled sadly at her Watcher.
"If we had, none of this would have happened," she continued, shaking
her head sadly as she waved a hand at the large room.... at his injured side.
"No," he gasped, his word expelled in such a great breath of pain that
she wasn't even sure that's what he said. "What you did..." he
trailed off, his eyes blinking under the waves of pain, "wa.. was
necessary," he forced out, grinding his teeth together. With great
effort, he forced his eyes to lock with his slayer. "... one I've..
"Yeah, running away?" Buffy laughed bitterly, feeling his hand grip
hers even harder as another wave of pain washed over him.
"Being able," Giles continued, as if she had never interrupted,
"to place your heart... above all else."
At this, Buffy felt fresh tears begin to burn her eyes. Desperate to keep
them from falling, for breaking down now when so much was at stake, Buffy
quickly shook her head.
"I'm so proud of you," Giles murmured, his grip on her hand loosening
as the great darkness began to steal over his vision. "You've come so
Instantly, Buffy began to shake her head, a deep frown pulling at her
lips. She could recognize words of goodbye when they were thrown at
her. In her short life, she had had to say goodbye too many times.
Now, it seemed that another one was being forced upon her. In that moment,
Buffy realized that Giles was dying. Quickly, the tears that had been
flooding her eyes began to spill forth, pouring down her cheeks as Buffy
squeezed his hand so hard that it should have hurt, should have brought some
form of response from him. But it didn't as instead the Watcher blinked
his eyes up at her slowly.
"You're everything.. a watcher..." at this, Giles trailed away, tears
coming to his own eyes as the pain in his side finally began to lessen.
"Everything I," he continued with a small smile, "could
have hoped for...."
With this, Giles eyes slipped shut for the last time as his hand sagged in her
own. Choking back a sob, Buffy slowly nodded her head as she gently
lowered his hand, resting it lightly on his chest. And then, she took that
moment to take in her Watcher, memorizing every craggy feature on his weathered
face and committing it to memory. Giles was far more than just a stuffy
old Watcher to her. She couldn't say when, but long ago he had stopped
being her mentor to her, and instead quickly filled the role of her father.
Buffy had lost so much since she had become Slayer. Some could argue that
her father, Hank, had left her and her mother all those years ago because of her
becoming the Slayer -- because he couldn't handle the truth of what his daughter
kept hidden. Her high school had burned down at her hands and he had
disappeared. After that, she had lost Jenny Calendar. Even then,
Miss Calendar wasn't Buffy's to lose even though in the end the woman had died
fighting for Buffy, trying to fix Buffy's own mistake and making things right
again. And she had died with Buffy hating her for who she was and for a
mistake that had been her own. And then Angel had left.. repeatedly.
She had sent her love to hell and he came back for her -- yet it still wasn't
enough to make it work. He left because of her and too many times she had
to say goodbye. Then it was Riley.. Riley had left because of her, because
of who she was. She had driven him crazy and to vampires -- she had ruined
him and she had driven him away. And then her mom..... her mom had died
and left her all alone to raise and take care of a little sister that was never
meant to be. She was the Slayer -- the protector of world and a fighter
for the Light... yet she still needed her mother. Every little girl, no
matter how old or young, always needs their mommy. Their mom takes care of
them and can hold and protect them when the world gets to be too much.
Their touch can make the worst that life throws at you seem like nothing.
But her mommy had left her too.... and now her father as well.
Sighing, Buffy closed her eyes and made her legs turn to steel to keep her from
swaying. She was an orphan now, an orphan in this cruel world left to deal
with whatever Hell's Gates threw at her. She was left all alone to protect
the world, keep her friends safe, and to keep her sister from a god. She
Blinking back tears, Buffy turned away from Giles' body and realized that none
of the others knew yet. None of the others realized that Giles was gone
and that now she was all that they had. Wiping her eyes dry, Buffy watched
as Anya stepped forward, trying to help Willow to feed Tara -- the ex-demon
showing more human kindness than she knew she was capable of. Turning
more, she watched as Xander talked quietly with Spike on the far side of the
room, their words soft murmurings in the quiet room. And then there was
Dawn.. little Dawnie sitting in the middle of the room, her knees pulled up to
her chest and her eyes cast towards the floor. She was all that was left
to protect all those in the room -- the only family that she had left.
"Dawn," Buffy whispered, slowly moving to her sister's side -- only to
stop as a battle cry rang out from the knights that surrounded the
building. "Willow?" Buffy quickly snapped, turning quickly to
her best friend as she watched the color drain from the witch's face.
"They broke through," Willow whispered in response, the horror evident
in her voice as she turned away from her love and quickly strode across the
room, reaching for her spell book, lying beside Giles' still form. But
Willow was never to make it to her book as the door beside her burst open, the
windows smashing all around them as hell broke loose and as the knights stormed
hissed, her eyes growing wide as she instantly realized that she couldn't
protect them all. Hurrying to Dawn's side, she quickly drug her sister to
her feet, wrapping her arms around her as she turned, just in time to see her
friends engage in battle.
As the flood of knights poured into
their sanctuary, Anya quickly staggered away from Tara and started across the
room, her eyes locked on her boyfriend, who was already weighed down with
fighting bodies. "Xander!" she cried out, her voice a plea of
As Buffy drew back in horror, she saw
that Anya never did see the knight's attack from beside her. She was so
intent on reaching the only love that she had ever known that she didn't see the
knight swing his arm back and then swing it out in a powerful arc, the heavy
metal ball attached to the end of his stick connecting solidly with Anya's chest
with such sickening force that Buffy could hear the wet crunching of shattered
bones from across the room. "Anya, no," she whispered as she
watched the young woman slump lifelessly to the ground.
screamed, catching sight of her lifeless body. But then, his cry was cut
short as one of the many knights that surrounded him took advantage of his
distraction and quickly thrust forward with his sword, burying it deep in the
young man's stomach as his eyes bulged out in surprised pain.
Grunting, the knight smiled into the
dying man's eyes, watching as the blood gurgled up and bubbled from his
mouth. Then, with a quick snap of his wrist, the sword twisted in his
grasp, furthering the damage to the boy as he thrust it up to the hilt in the
boy before quickly withdrawing the bloody metal.
"XANDER!!!" Dawn screamed,
watching the gory sight from around her sister's protective arms as Buffy began
backing them towards a corner, her panicked eyes sweeping the room.
"No," Tara whimpered, tears
streaking down her face as she struggled with the knights that held her arms,
her eyes locked on Willow's struggling figure.
"Burn the witch!" the two
clerks demanded, holding their crosses before them as the knights easily pinned
the young woman against one of the wooden walls.
"No, let me go!" Willow
screamed, terror filling her eyes as she struggled against their vice-like
"No, Willow!!" Tara screamed
again, her poor befuddled mind understanding nothing except for the need to be
comforted by her lover. "Willow!" she wailed again as the men
struggled to hold her.
"Hold still, witch!" one of
the men grunted, fighting to maintain his grasp of her arm as she twisted
beneath his finger tips. Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer, her
fighting or her nonsensical wailing, and quickly wrapped his mighty arms around
the girl's throat. Gritting his teeth, he then tightened his hold before
jerking his arms quickly to the right, snapping the girl's neck like it was dry
Willow screamed, watching her love's death as the girl was dropped like a piece
of trash to the floor. "NO!!" she screamed again as she closed
her eyes and began to chant. But then, her words came out as gargled gasps
of blood as she felt a cold metal tear through her throat. Finally, her
hands were released as Willow slumped against the wall, her eyes flying open to
lock on the cold eyes of one of the clerk's, a bloody knife in one hand.
Gargling her own blood, Willow lifted her hands weakly to her throat, feeling
the warm thickness of her blood as she tumbled to the floor in death.
"No, no, no," Buffy murmured,
shaking her head in denial as she stood in the corner of the room, her sister
pressed against her back into the wall.
"Come on, Slayer," Spike
hissed from before them, a sword held tightly in his bandaged hands.
"We have to get Little Bit out of here!" he growled as he slashed
down, once more killing another knight. When he got no answer, Spike stole
one glance behind him and locked eyes with the Slayer. "Buffy,"
he urged, his voice soft as took in her haggard, wide-eyed gaze. But then,
that gaze was no more as a knight took advantage of his distraction and swung
his sword in a clean arc, the head of the vampire tumbling from his shoulders
only to disappear in a cloud of ash.
As it cleared, Buffy stared in
disbelief at the army of knights that stood before her. Here friends were
all dead. Dead.
Surging forward, the men grabbed Buffy
and drug her away from the wall, her sister's screams ringing in her ears.
Quickly, the knights forced her to her knees on the dusty ground, their hands
seeming to weigh more than the earth itself as they pushed on her shoulders,
keeping her to her knees. And then, Dawn was drug, kicking and screaming
before her and pushed down to the ground, facing her sister in a similar
"Buffy, help me," she moaned,
her eyes clouded with tears and her voice shaking with terror.
"Dawn?" Buffy whispered
quietly, as though she was watching this all from very far, far away.
Watching as a knight lifted his sword from behind her sister and then swung it
down with all of his might, the bright metal slicing into her sister right by
the nape of her neck by her right shoulder and continuing down until it lodged
itself in her heart cavity, as though he were slicing through warm butter, the
girl's scream finally cut short. "Dawn?" she asked again as the
look of death stole into her sister's beautiful dark eyes, slumping to the
ground in a mess of blood and gore before her as the knight stepped away.
Quickly, roars of victory rose through
the crowd of knights, their mission completed as the Key was finally
destroyed. And throughout it all, Buffy could only look on at the death
and destruction -- the carnage of her friends and family that surrounded her.
"The Slayer?" she vaguely
heard one of the knights ask. "What of her?"
"Leave her," the general
commanded, finally released of his bindings as he looked down upon the girl's
downcast head with pity.
And then, they were gone and she was
alone.. alone with her family. "I'm sorry," Buffy whispered,
tears falling from her face. "I'm sorry."
hope you enjoyed the story -- please be sure to keep an eye out for the sequel
to "The Chosen One," set to come out later this summer.