Title: Hope Is Gone

Author: Beloved Slayer

Rating: T

Summary: At home, Buffy prepares herself to face off against Angel, and the possibility of losing him.

Author's Note: This takes place during and after the bedroom scene in Innocence. Alternate universe. Enjoy!

BABABABABABABABA

A gentle outpouring of rain taps against the windowsill of her bedroom. A flash of lighting follows not long after.

It does nothing to startle her.

Motionless on her bed, her teary face is buried amongst a line of silk linen pillows, one small hand clasping on what appeared to be a claddagh ring.

His gift to her.

It flickered delicately underneath a ceiling light, a single finger caressing the smooth metal. The heart, joining hands, and crown came next, a burning reminder of what had been.

A moment later, she curls herself into a fetal position. She wants to toss the claddagh ring across the room, but finds herself unable to. Rather, she drowns in a pool of self-pity, the hope in her chest disappearing like ashes in the wind.

I should've listen to him..

A phone ring interrupts her mental scrutiny. It was the twentieth time, and each time it brought an inner fear to the surface that she had fought so hard to deny being real.

The fear of him spilling innocent blood in the name of revenge.

The ringing continues despite her lack of movement. Or so it was thought.

Her heart jumped in her throat, settling there. A decision had to be made, despite another trail of heartbreak and devastation lying ahead. Selfishness could not be afforded when so much was at dire risk. She cursed under her breath as she furiously wiped tears from her face.

Hardening her broken heart, she forcefully rose to her feet to answer the call that wouldn't stop.

BABABABABABABABA

Out in the coldness of night, rain continues to fall heavily, as if the sky was in deep mourning. Not an ounce of concern marred his angelic face. Why should it? He had more pressing matters to attend to. A kill was to be had. One that would bring a significant amount of pleasure in the dead recesses of where his heart had once been. Sweet revenge was to be had, longing to be tasted as if it were an aged wine awaiting discovery in a dank, seldom used cellar.

Like a predator in the darkness, he ascends between the bare redwood branches with quick precision, lungs expanding until his dark eyes caught a mesmerizing sight before him.

A gleeful smile protruded his icy lips almost immediately. Her teary face, those hazel eyes, the curve of her mouth tinged with sadness, one that he had given her with no show of regret or remorse.

No trace of either emotion lingered within him.

He studies her, absorbing her every move, a fierce growl emitting in his chest. In silence, a mock kiss blown from his lips is passed to her. He laughs mercilessly before leaping gracefully to his feet.

He flashes a sinister smile at no one.

He couldn't wait to break her.