Chapter 6

They had hauled themselves into the vehicles and gotten back home as quickly as possible. Willow was shuttered away with Allie in a guest room, Wesley and Fred wearily sitting on the floor in front of the door. Will had forced aspirin and water down their throats and left them to their vigil.

The broken story had come from Willow in pieces about a girl born with gifts who didn't know how to control them. Her parents had mutilated and tortured themselves to death from her physic barrage of pain and she had lived in a house with the corpses for years. Her plan had been, from Willow could tell, to remove anyone form existence that might react to her like her parents had. Mainly, all adults.

Her warped thinking had led her to believe that she would have friends and normal life if only adults weren't so scared of her. They wouldn't be around to keep the other children from her.

Angel and made a few phone calls and found out that the girl's preschool and kindergarten teachers had killed themselves before her parents had. There was a long trail of devastation left in the girl's wake.

Angel sighed and leaned back against the couch cushions. He and Buffy had calmed their children enough for them to pass out; it was well past the bed times anyway. The food had been long forgotten and everyone was simply too tired to move.

Cordy and Xander were asleep in the library with Alex between them. They had made a nest out of pillows and cushions and Alex had built a tent with a sheet and two chairs and they called it camping. The boy had reluctant to sleep upstairs where the other children were, clearly still scared of them and what had happened.

Connor and Amelia had fled for their own home. It had taken all of Amelia's strength to put Derek down long enough for them to drive home with him in his car seat. Faith and Gunn had stuck around, they said, in case Giles couldn't handle the child-witch.

Groaning, Angel stood and wandered outside to find Giles kneeling next to the unconscious girl. Willows' spells and tranquilizers had combined to keep her unconscious as Giles chanted, channeling the energy of the coven in England.

After watching a few moments, he shook his head and went to find his wife. He nearly bowled her over when he found her standing right behind him. Kissing her deeply, he pulled her to him with a fierce protectiveness.

"Sorry," he said quietly in her ear. "I know you wanted this to be perfect."

She shrugged. "Our kids are safe. The world's safe. Again."

He thought her rueful smile was a clever cover-up. "They're safe," he repeated.

"We're going to have to do something about our twelve year old driving, though. You know you have to talk to him."

"We'll talk to all of them. They were terrified and did the only thing they could."

"Tiny versions of us. I though the 'Scooby' nickname was cuteā€¦but boy, did they live up to it."

He hugged her even tighter. "We'll keep them safe."

Squeezing her eyes tight, she tried to block all thoughts of her children in danger. Some day they would face something she wouldn't be able to save them from and the thought was terrifying. It was such a great responsibly to be raising the next generation of super heroes.

They turned when they heard Willow clear her throat. Dawn and Will were waiting for them in the living room, they saw, and hastened to join them.

"Allie will live," Willow said. "But she's trapped in her mind right now. She encountered a power she could never hope to combat and it nearly destroyed her." Sighing, she collapsed into a chair. "I need to work with her more, so I'll need to stay with her. For however long it takes."

Dawn sighed. Kitty was asleep in an overstuffed chair in the corner and she eyed her daughter with a lump in her throat. She could not imagine what Fred and Wes were going through.

"I think she'll come out of it, it will just take time and coaxing."

"And Kiara?" Angel asked.

Willow visibly winced. "There is so much physic damage I'm not sure we can hope for more than a life spent drugged to the gills and living in a padded room."

Buffy wanted to weep but contained herself. There would be a time to grieve for a lost little girl later. "Just help Allie as best you can. I know Cerise already went back to France but we'll help her with resources, if she needs them, with the Academy and all."

Willow nodded and stood again. "I have to pry Fred away from Allie. All the pain coming off her in waves won't do any good." With that, she started up the stairs again.

"It can never be easy, can it?" Dawn asked.

The four of them just stared at each other before slowly collapsing into boneless piles on the furniture. A few moans and sighs were heard before peaceful sleep overtook them all.