2001 Tuesday, 11th September 2001

We sat in silence. Shocked. Angry. Afraid. And most of all. Sad.. Too sad to really know what to think. Too afraid to really think. Too shocked too speak.
Willow had called everyone shortly after the first plane had hit the World Trade Center. She had gotten the news on the internet. And somehow, not bearing to be alone, we had all found our way to Giles´ house. To the place which had been our basis for the fight against the evil many times.
And now we are all gathered around Giles´ tiny TV. Not able to believe that these pictures are real. That the World Trade Center is no more. That New York is no more the way it was. Believing that the world will never be the same again.
Bits of information are coming in every minute. Helpers being killed while the second plane had hit the North tower. Panic in the streets. All these people. Police, firemen, civilians. There is so many of them. This can´t be real. These pictures. The New York skyline in flames. The burning towers. No. The TV is telling lies all the time. This must be a mistake.
A plane crashed in the near of Pittsburgh. Another plane hit the Pentagon. Confusion. The reporters don´t really know what is happening. Suddenly there is this immense fear. Someone is attacking us! Us. The United States of America. Our country. Our cities. Our government. Our people. Our friends. You. Me.
Every minute there are more shocking news. Videos are being shown, made by people who witnessed the events. Peopel running in the streets. Jumping out of their offices. Dawn is crying now. Tara and Willow cling together. They have tears in their eyes.
There´s a knock at the door. Xander gets up. Automatically. Try not to think. Function.
It´s Spike. Wants to see what´s up. Everything is so quiet. Has everyone died in bloody Sunnyhell?Yes Spike. Everyone died. All these people. and we die with them. All of us.
Anyway, his TV isn´t working. So maybe he could watch his favorite show, if Giles doesn´t mind and.... Xander hit him. They both look surprised. He just turns around, sitting next to Anya again. Pulls her into his arms. Spike is left at the door. He looks stunned. Then he realizes that we are all here. Staring at the TV. Not at him for a change. So he follows Xander inside. Watches. Guys, that´s a movie, right? What the ... He stopped. Even Spike doen´t know what to say. One of the towers has collapsed only seconds ago. Every minute this gets less believable. Every minute we get more afraid to believe it.
All these people, Spike says toneless. Looking at us as if he just realised that we are alive. Unlike so many who have died today. Yes Spike, all these people. All these people trapped in the top floors. Trapped in elevators and stairways. We try to imagine what they must feel. Try to understand their panic. Try to imagine what they are going through. No. We can´t. We can´t imagine what it is like 400 meters above ground, seeing the building burn beneath you. What it is like to run down the stairs from the 50th floor, not knowing if you will make it to the ground. What one must feel, jumping from a window 200 meters above the earth. What one does sitting in a plane that is being hijacked. What to tell your loved ones, knowing that you will never see them again.
The second tower has collapsed as well. Manhattan is hidden under a cloud of dust and smoke. We have seen the apocalypse. We have prevented it. Actually, we have prevented quite a few. So we know what they look like. They look a lot like that. Like New York today.

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I´m still sitting here. Willow and Tara have gone home. So have Xander and Anya. I can understand them. In the face of the unspeakable we turn to the people we love. I feel so lonely. There is nobody who puts his arms around me and holds me. Nobody who tells me that everything is going to be alright. Nobody who nakes the pain go away. Because I´m the slayer. I´m the one who makes the pain go away.
Dawn is crying so hard. She looks at me. Disbelief and horror in her eyes. And questions. Unspoken questions. Why?
Oh Dawnie, I don´t know. I don´t understand it myself. Let me comfort you, let me hold you. Hold me. But she doesn´t want to be touched. She runs into Giles´ bedroom, runs to be away from me. From her sister. Her sister, the slayer. Who was born to fight against the forces of darkness and who could do nothing against the things she has just witnessed on TV. And she is right. I couldn´t do anything. I couldn´t help these people. I can´t even comfort my sister in times like this. I feel so useless.
They are asking for blood donations now.
" Giles, let´s go to the hospital. Let´s go donate blood. I want to do something. I have to do something. Please?"
Clearly my voice sounds desperate and panicking. I am panicking. I cannot sit here and watch any longer. Please Giles, tell me how I can help. Tell me what to do. Today I am not strong enough to make the decisions.
He looks at me. Takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. No Giles, don´t do that. Don´t say what you are going to say. Please don´t.
"Buffy, I am aware what you feel like, but... I. I´m afraid you can´t....Your blood. You...." He is searching for words. Searching for a way to tell me that I can´t help, that they can´t use my blood. That I am useless.
He clears his throat. Now firm. "I´m afraid that - being the slayer - your blood is not like other people´s. And we can´t tell the possible effects it could have on people. There has never been a slayer knwon to donate blood."
I have tears in my eyes now. And I think I feel a little nauseous.
"I´m sorry Buffy, but there is really nothing you can do at the moment."
The phone rings and he goes off to answer it. Spike stares at me. I had totally forgotten he was here. He was so quiet. Just sitting in his chair, seemingly lost in thoughts. The TV is still on. Reminding us of the people who have died today. Who are still dying right now. Not that I need a reminder. I hardly believe that I will ever be able to forget what I have seen today.
I look at Spike. His staring into an empty space now, his eyes focused on nothing. I wonder what he thinks about. He looks shocked. What have they done, that even a soulless demon is shocked? It can´t be people who have caused this. It can´t be human beings. Yes! Of course! It must have been a demon! I´m sure Giles will find out it was a demon! A demon I can slay! I wasn´t able to prevent this. But I will take revenge for all the innocent who have been killed today!
Spike has woken up from his trance now and notices I´m still looking at him. "Slayer" he says. I realize that I must have an excited expression on my face. The perspective of going out to kill whatever has caused all this is making me feel so much better. I can almost feel what it will be like to fight it, slice its guts open, cut off its arms and legs, shred it to pieces, behead it... " Slayer!" Spike´s call takes me out of my reverie. "Why are you bloody staring at me like that? It wasn´t me!" There is anger in his voice. And pain. He looks down. Quiet. Alomst a whisper. "It couldn´t have been me. Not that. Not all these people. Not.... You know that it couldn´t have been me, do you? Do you know that I could never have done such a thing?" He is looking into my eyes now, desperatly wanting to hear that I know. And I do know. Even though he is a demon. Even though he has no soul. The demons I have faced so far weren´t evil enough to inflict so much pain, to exercise such brutality.
Giles has reentered. He looks tired and exhausted from the phone call. It is really getting late. It would probably be polite to go home now, but I want to start the research on the demon who did this. We will need all our strength to fight it, so best start researching now.
" The council has called me, Buffy. They are asking for your help." See, I knew it! I knew it coulnd´t have been human beings. I´m the slayer and I´m not useless! I will stop this from ever happening again!
"Do they know what has caused it yet? Did they give you information on how to slay it?"
"It seems that the FBI has already identified some suspects, and the council was convinced that they would find the responsible people very fast. They have good connections to the Secret Service. Some of the suspects live in Los Angeles and..."
I stare at him. Suspects? As in people? As in human beings?
"Buffy, I know what you feel, and though I don´t approve of this kind of revenge...If you want to do this for the council, I understand. and I will make sure you are able to fulfill your task."
No Giles. No. You can´t ask me to kill humans. No. Is that how you see me? Is that what I have become?
I don´t know how to react to this.
" Where´s your bloody problem, slayer? You wanted to do something, now you can do it. If it wasn´t for this fucking chip in my head, I woul dgo off to kill them right this moment! All of them! Slowly and painfully. Make them suffer all the pain their victims have suffered." Spike has slipped into his game face while speaking to me.
I stare at both of them stunned. Thoughts are acting crazy in my head. A minute ago, all I wanted was revenge. Now I know that it means killing humans. But don´t they deserve it? Don´t they deserve to die for what they have done? Death is not good enough for them. Spike is right, they deserve to die a painfull, slow death. It is as if I suddenly realize what i am thinking. I am thinking about torturing people. about killing them. About becoming a murderer. About becoming the very thing I want to kill them for. And the thoughts make me feel better. I jump up from my seat and leave the house before Giles or Spike can prevent it.

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He finds her in the cemetery. He knew she would go there. He is a watcher, he has to know such things.
She looks at him with tears in her eyes.
"I´m sorry Giles, but I can´t. I can´t kill people. I can´t let myself become what they are. I´m a slayer, not a murderer."
Sitting dowm next to her, he pulls her into his arms.. Relieved that she has said no. She buries her face in his coat and sobs silently.
" I know, Buffy. I knew all along. But I would have understood if you needed revenge. I can understand the need to punish the people who have done this. But..."
He turns her face so that she looks at him.
" We must not forget our humanity. It is all that we have to keep this world from turning into a world of hate."
"But they will be punished?"
"They will be punished, I promise."
"There is no such thing as revenge, or? It won´t bring back the people we love."
"No, They won´t come back."
"Revenge leaves you empty. It doesn´t provide satisfaction."
"Oh Buffy!" He cradles her. He didn´t want this. He knows that she has seen too many horrible things already. But he never wanted her to feel so helpless. Never wanted her to become so disillusioned.
"I wish I could tell you what to do. I wish I could help you. But I can´t. I don´t know what to do myself."
She gives him a small smile. "You did already, Giles. Not with words. But with what you do. You are there for me when I need you. You help me whenever I´m in trouble. You are there for my sister and for my friends. And I know you will always be there for me."
He returns her smile and pulls her closer.
"Yes. Maybe that´s all we can do. To be there for the people we love when they need us. Not only in times like this. Not only today. Always."


Please send feedback to: [email protected]
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Author´s note:
My deepest sympathy and love goes to all who have lost someone in the horrible events of last tuesday.
I was shocked and sad and afraid and couldn´t stop thinking about what has happened. I have never been so affected by anything like that before. There has never been anything like that.
So I just tried to write down my feelings. And I feel better now.
Please tell me what you think.

This is my first fanfic. English is not my mother tongue and the fis was not beta-read. I apologize for all mistakes.