A/N: This one gets a bit dark. I didn't really know where I was going with it when I started and so... it went unexpected places. I hope you like angst! ;)

Trial By Fire

The fire burns brightly in front of her. She turns, covers her mouth with the corner of her sweater, and the fire in that direction also. She blinks eyes that sting from the smoke. Coughs into the material at her face when her attempt to swallow earns her blistering pain. Trial by fire.

Cringing, she searches around her for a way through the flames. Her movements are sharp, frantic. Her heart is beating twice it's usually speed. The flames grow higher.

There is nothing.

All her paths are blocked. She drops to the floor, feels tears pricking at her eyes.






She staggers to her feet again. Waves her arms about. Coughs more. "I'm over here! Buffy, I"m over here!"

Buffy looks her way. Eyes widen. Fire consumes the slayer when a wooden beam falls unexpectedly.

Her hope dies out, extinguished like the flame on her candle should have been before she went to grab a snack.

Her fault.

She falls to the ground and weeps.