"I Looked and Saw Only Myself"
by Whisper2AScream

Rating: PG-13 for dark horrific content and language
Spoilers: Early Third Season. (AU Some events didn't take place.)
Disclaimer: Buffy and the Scooby Gang belong to the genius known as Joss, Mutant Enemy, WB Networks, Kuzui Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Studios. No infringement is intended. Only the story belongs to me, and my own twisted imagination. Not getting a red cent out of this. So, just enjoy, and I promise to return the characters I borrowed better than new. Takes place, uh I guess, third season. The clothes fluke did indeed happen, and Willow's still with Oz, barely, but Xander and Cordy are kaput. Also no Faith, (Sorry) and no Wesley. (And there was much rejoicing. 'Yay.') Angel's around sort of, but elsewhere. The spotlight's on Xander and Willow mainly. Also, heads-up folks, this one is _dark_. You want light fluff, go elsewhere. This story drips with angst. It's even darker than most Buffy episodes. You have been warned, now on with the show.

The screams and moans of torment were not only heard, but felt, in the smoke, the stones, and the ice in the lowest circle of the dimension most humans today would call Hell. Pain was the flames searing flesh, despair was the chains that victims strained against. The demons drank in the tears and blood as their sustenance, sucked on the tortured souls. The fact that the people could free themselves if they wanted to was beside the point. Dreams of freedom died and decomposed quicker than their physical bodies did. Heaven was an impossibility; the closest to such things were the blessed lull in the seconds between the torment. But even that was all too brief.
The demon who was once called the Master strolled past a group of people who were slowly being pulled in several directions. Their bodies would eventually rip apart, only to recombine just as painfully as they were separated, only to have the horrible sequence repeat, over and over again. These were those who picked apart their friends and enemies with gossip and slander, selling them out, and betraying them in the name of ambition. The demon smiled a moment, one figure was once a woman with blond hair, and he was reminded of the Slayer. Oh, he could still taste the sweet flavor of her blood, so ripe and fresh with power. Only Slayers held such a heady potion. She was to be his prize, his key to unlock the Hellmouth, and bring Hell to Earth. But instead, she was somehow saved. That mortal boy! He never should have saved her, but he did. The demon snarled in memory, clenching his fist, the claws cutting into his flesh, but the pain was welcoming. He studied the damned souls a moment longer, and a plan formed in his mind. He would have revenge upon the boy, and he knew just how to do it. The boy shall be ripped apart like these pitiful creatures. Only his case will be a permanent severing. The former Master smiled evilly. He shall have vengeance indeed.