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As Dru entered the house, Buffy ran down the stairs asking, "Are you staying home?"
"Can you watch Dawn? I need to get over to Willow's and finish cramming for my Chem final." Buffy asked, with a look of begging on her face, "I so need to ace this or Dad will have my ass."
"Go and have your little study group. Not that it will do you any good." Dru replied as she turned to enter the kitchen. "Just make sure you are home at curfew."
Buffy bit back her remark, knowing it would piss off her older sister. The last thing she needed was having Dru renege about staying home. She needed to get a B on the test to pass the class. She just wasn't the science girl like Dawn.
"Thanks." Buffy yelled back toward the kitchen as she hurried out the door.
Mr. Rosenberg came to his daughter's bedroom door and softly knocked. He couldn't believe the phone call he received. He still had a hard time believing what he had been told. All he could think about, was what if it had been his daughter, his loved one.
"Willow, may I come in?"
"Sure, dad." He heard her say in response, feeling a warmth surround him at hearing his daughter's voice.
He opened the door and noticed both girls in various positions on the large bed with books scattered around them. This was something he never would want to happen to anyone he knew, let alone so close to home.
"Buffy, your father called and asked me to drive you home." He said, trying to act as normal as possible.
"Why? It's not past my curfew yet?" She asked, like any 15 year-old would.
"He didn't say why honey." He replied, as he lied to her the best he could.
"I wonder what I did now?" She mumbled, trying to remember if she missed any of her assigned chores. "I know I did everything I was supposed to."
"I will meet you down in the car." He told her, trying not to let the emotion of the situation overcome him.
"Okay, Mr. Rosenberg, I will be right there." Buffy answered as she gave Willow a worried look. "I'm so getting bad vibes here."
"Buffy, I'm sure everything is all right. Could be he has good news and wants everyone home so he can do the family sharing thing." Willow suggested, trying to ease her best friend's mind.
"You're right, me being all worry girl is not going to help."
"Nope. Call me when he spills the beans that there are vampires, demons, and witches that are going to take over the world." Willow teased.
"Funny." Buffy said as she gathered up her books. "Thanks for helping me out. You should teach the class."
"Call me, okay?"
"Will do, Wills." Buffy replied as she hurried out to meet Willow's dad.
Buffy felt a sudden heaviness come over her chest as they approached her house. "Mr. Rosenberg, what's happened?"
Ira looked at the fragile looking young woman and wondered how she was going to handle the news. His heart broke for his daughter's best friend as he said, "I think it's best your parents tell you what is going on, Buffy."
He pulled along curbside and got out of the car, noticing Buffy made no attempt to get out on her own. His prayers were with the Summers' family this night, for they would be living every family's nightmare.
Ira walked over and opened the passenger door and extended his hand as he instructed the occupant, "Come, I will walk with you."
Buffy slowly took his hand, using her other one to grab her book bag. She held both in such a death grip, Mr. Rosenberg feared for the safety of his hand. He looked around the neighborhood and still found it hard to believe something like this could happen in such a good, safe, wholesome neighborhood as this one.
He watched as the young woman kept looking around her. The fear etched over her features made him worry for her survival of something like this. For the first time since moving here so many years ago, he no longer felt safe at home and thought about buying a security system. Then it hit him hard that the outside madness you only read about in the big city papers, had now invaded his small town.
Buffy noticed her mother and father sitting on the couch. Her mother was crying as her father was listening to something the police were telling them. The look of horror on her father's face made her heart feel like it was about to beat right out of her chest.
The moment Hank Summers noticed his middle daughter, Buffy's life changed. The anger and what she could only decipher as hate in his eyes burned her soul. His emotions were directed at her, and it made her wonder how he could look at her that way.
"Why weren't you here? Why did you leave her alone?" He growled, as he stood up. "Because of you, your sister's dead. Dawn is dead." Hank muttered, his voice heavy with grief.
She never got a chance to finish when Hank reached out and smacked her face and yelled, "You left her alone."
"Don't speak to me." He said right before he turned away. "There is nothingyou can say to me that will make me forgive you for this one."
Buffy looked toward her mother to explain only to have her turn away from her. Her heart broke as she turned to Willow's father and said, "I didn't leave her alone."
"Stop it " Joyce Summers hissed as she turned back toward them, "I'm sorry, Mr. Rosenberg that you had to witness any of this. I thank you again for bringing Buffy home."
"If there is anything I can do, just call." He answered, feeling sorry and yet angry at Buffy Summers’ actions. It would be a heavy burden for the young woman to live with the rest of her life.
"Just go to your room. I can't bear to look at you right now." Hank told her with his back toward her. "I don't want to hear you tell the police any of your lies."
Buffy turned and ran, dropping her book bag as she stumbled up the stairs leading to her room. Charles Gunn, homicide detective, felt for the young girl. He couldn't help but wonder if the fact their middle child wasn't home might have saved the Summers' from coming home and finding two daughters dead instead of one.
"Can I offer you both a suggestion?" Detective Gunn addressed the grieving parents. "It could be very possible that you could have found two daughters tonight instead of one.
"Are you telling me that even with Buffy being home, this monster may have still entered my house?" Joyce asked, feeling a sudden flash of guilt about how she'd treated her daughter.
"Yes. It could be they were interested in taking both of them. It looks like they were looking around even after taking your daughter."
"Oh God, what have we done." Joyce turned toward her husband. "What if they where after Buffy too?"
Hank placed his hands on the wall as his words and treatment of his middle child came back to haunt him. What if this crazy madman came back to try and finish it? Would he even come after Dru? He turned and noticed his oldest daughter come in the front door, fear in her eyes.
"Daddy?" Dru asked.
"Honey, you need to sit down. We have some bad news, I'm afraid." Hank said, as he sat beside her taking Dru's hand and started to explain what had happened.
Buffy sat at top of the stairs and heard her father and mother with love and support toward Dru, explain that Dawn had been abducted and killed. She felt a piece of her die that night as she watched her parents hug Drusilla close as her half sister cried. Buffy knew then something very vital to feeling emotions was gone now. In a wink of an eye, she was cold and uncaring.
She got up and moved like a zombie to her room. There she would stay until someone came to talk to her. Until then she would feel nothing. She would let them believe whatever they wanted, for she knew they'd never believe her over Dru anyway. They never did, so why would they start now.
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