The steel bars were nothing next to the thin band of light that angled across the floor. His fever rose as that golden beam, impenetrable as a raging wall of fire, inched closer and closer. Heat and light brought hallucination: Buffy outside the cage. She stood facing him but her head turned when he looked up. She wouldn't even catch his eyes.
A great abyss lay between them: the chasm of darkness unspoken. Mere words could never bridge that gap, could never explain the flamboyant pageant that comes from living without caring, without a purpose, without a soul. Buffy could never understand, never forgive, never forget what she could never be told. How could he have ever thought they could have a life together when one of them was dead?