Author's Note: This story is set before the beginning of season seven of the Buffyverse, during the summer and the beginning of season four in the Angelverse. There are some minor changes however, just to make the story less complicated than it already is ;) Mainly that, The First Evil has not yet made it's presence known to Buffy, although she has been training Dawn and she has gotten over the whole "poor me" attitude of season six. On Angel, Cordelia has returned from being a Higher being, but she is not evil, and she has not lost her memory or anything. In my crazy world, she just came back. Period. She remembered everything about being a higher power and "The Beast" has not yet appeared at all. Cordelia never slept with Connor, but nor are she and Angel "together" although at the moment they are contemplating feelings for one another Wesley is still basically excluded from the group. That's pretty much it. I wanted to suspend the Angel plot as much as possible in order for Buffy's introduction to his world to make any sense whatsoever. Connor did stick Angel at the bottom of the Ocean and Angel did still kick him out, and at the moment father and son are not on the best of terms. That's about the it.

Disclaimer: These characters are mine, only in my dreams. In real life however they belong to the evil mastermind otherwise known as Joss Whedon.

"If you pace back and forth anymore, you're going to need to buy a new carpet pretty soon. It can only take so much y'know."

Dawn Summers' voice was calm and gentle, but her eyes were serious. Her sister Buffy glanced over, her own eyes still red and her cheeks wet with fresh tears.

"I'm sorry, it's didn't seem them Dawn. You didn't see them."

"That doesn't mean I don't care Buffy," Dawn stated. She rose from her place on the couch and firmly led her sister over to it until they were both sitting down. "What happened to that daycare center....those children, was tragic. But you're the slayer. You will find this thing and you will defeat it. That's all you can do. You don't have the power to bring anyone back."

"I know Dawn. I just hate waiting. I want to get this thing now. I feel like I should be patrolling, you know?"

"In this state you couldn't beat me up." Dawn told her sister with a light smile. "Besides, from what Willow says it's probably no longer in Sunnydale. This thing likes his victims and then skip town. Until Willow can manage to track it down, there's nothing more we or you can do."

"When did you turn into mom?" Buffy asked, a half smile forming on her lips. Dawn leaned over and hugged her.

"Just returning the favour Buffy." She replied warmly. Buffy was about to suggest they make themselves something to eat, when the phone rang, startling them both. Buffy was the first to stand up.

"That could be Willow," she said as she picked up the phone. "Hello?"

"Buffy? I found it." Willow's voice came over the phone. "Xander and I are on our way over." There was a click, followed by a dial tone. She turned to Dawn, grim-faced as she spoke.

"Willow's on her way."