NOTE: SORRY ABOUT THE HUGE AMOUNT OF TIME THIS CHAPTER TOOK TO WRITE. I HAD HIGHERS THAT I HAD TO CONCENTRATE ON AND A CASE OF WRITERS BLOCK. LAURA THANKS FOR REMINDING ME TO GET ON WITH IT SO MANY TIMES. ENJOY THE NEXT CHAPTER.

THE NEXT MORNING - BUFFY'S HOUSE (SUNNYDALE)

Everyone but Isabel was up. Buffy had talked her into staying over, as Xander's would have been too crowded. Willow and Tara were making breakfast while Buffy watched old Road Runner cartoons. Dawn was rushing around trying to get ready for school. The doorbell rang 'Would you get that Buffy?' Dawn yelled. 'Why? Your up, you get it.' She replied lazily. 'Please.' Dawn asked in a pleading voice while brushing her hair out again. 'Dawn you are so lazy.' Buffy replied getting up to get the door. A boy stood in front of her 'Can I help you?' 'Yeah, I'm here for Dawn.' He replied. 'D-D-Dawn. How do you know her?' Buffy quizzed getting overprotective of her sister. Dawn came up behind her and walked out the door past her. 'Buffy.' She whispered giving her a threatening look and then explained loudly 'This is my friend Nick, Nick my sister Buffy.' She rolled her eyes 'Ok that's done let's go.' 'Nice to meet you Buffy.' Nick smiled at her and then walked down the path with Dawn. Just then Isabel came down the stairs and saw Buffy standing at the door looking surprised. 'Morning. What happened?' Buffy shook herself out of the daze 'Hmm.oh nothing just Dawn growing up.' Isabel gave her a smile 'We've all got to grow up.' She looked at Dawn walking with some boy. Something about him was familiar, but she couldn't place him. 'What is it?' Buffy asked concerned as Isabel began to frown. 'Um.nothing.' Isabel replied distracted but then focused her attention on Buffy 'So where can I get some breakfast?' She walked into the living room with Buffy behind her. 'Willow and Tara are making pancakes.' She showed Isabel into the kitchen. 'Morning.' Willow grinned at Isabel and Buffy. 'Morning.' Isabel replied. 'Would you like some pancakes? There blueberry.' Tara asked her. 'Umm sure. Thanks.' Isabel took the pancakes from Tara and started to eat them 'Mmmm these are nice.' 'Thank you.' Willow replied 'So Isabel did you sleep ok?' Buffy asked her. 'Yeah totally fine. Thanks for letting me stay over.' Isabel replied 'I could do without that watchful eye of King Max. He's been so uptight about things ever since I told him about seeing Alex.' 'Yeah well, he's your brother, he's just worried about you.' Buffy said as she poured some juice into a glass. 'I guess.' Isabel replied 'He's always worried.' She said jokingly 'He worries if there's nothing to worry about.' 'That sounds just like Buffy.' Willow said grinning at Buffy. 'Does not.' Buffy replied giving Willow a fake look of hurt 'I never worry.' 'I think that Dawn would agree with me. I saw the way you panicked when that guy turned up for her.' Willow added as Tara started to laugh. 'Yeah well he could be anyone, I don't even know him. He could be some demon or some evil thing.' Buffy tried to make her suspicions sound sane. 'Or he could be a normal teenage boy. Ooh scary.' Willow replied in a fit of giggles. Isabel started laughing with them and began to relax a little. It was the first time in a while that she had felt herself in a long time.

MEANWHILE - DAWN AND NICHOLAS (ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL)

'Sorry about my sister back there. She's just a bit overprotective. She's been like that ever since Mom died.' Dawn explained to Nick hoping Buffy hadn't made a fool of her. 'Its ok.' Nick replied 'It was nice to meet your sister. She seems pretty cool.' He was playing along as much as he could. Humans seemed so foolish, they believed anything. This one seemed to particularly gullible, she believed anything he told her. 'So is it just you and your sister?' 'Yeah-no. My sister's friend Willow and Willow's girlfriend Tara live with as well. So its like we're all like a family even though its not biological.' Dawn told him. 'How about you?' She began to ask 'What's your family like?' 'Pretty normal.' Nick lied 'Not much to tell really.' He smiled at her and then laughed. Dawn gave a little laugh. She was trying to act as cool as possible, she really liked Nick and was hoping he felt the same way. 'Um.Dawn.' Nick started 'Do you still want to go out on Friday?' 'Yeah of course.' Dawn replied a bit too eagerly 'I mean yeah. I'd really like to.oh wait a minute.' 'What wrong?' Nick asked pretending to be concerned, he didn't really care if she went out with him or not. 'Its just that someone's staying over. Xander's cousin is here visiting and she brought some friends with her, one of them is staying over. I don't know if Buffy's got something planned for us or something. But I'm sure it'll be ok.' Dawn explained to him as best as she could without making herself sound stupid. 'That's no problem. If something comes up we could re-schedule.' Nick took her hand into his. 'Ok.' Dawn replied in an almost whispery voice 'Wow!' She couldn't believe that he actually liked her. She had never been good at this sort of thing, but it looked like her luck was changing. The bell went and the two of them rushed into the school building.

LATER - XANDER'S PLACE (SUNNYDALE)

Max, Liz and Kyle sat in the living room watching TV while Michael and Xander had breakfast. Anya had gone to the Magic Box earlier than usual to avoid a crowded house. Maria walked into the kitchen and sat in between Michael and Xander. 'Morning guys.' She said sleepily 'How come everyone is up so early?' 'Early?' Michael asked while eating his Tabasco covered doughnut ' Its eleven Maria.' 'It is?' Maria asked grabbing the doughnut from Michael without realising it had Tabasco on it. 'Well why didn't you wake me up?' 'Because when I tried to you told me you'd hurt me if I disturbed you again.' He replied. 'Maria.' He started to warn her about the doughnut. 'What? YUCK! What is this?' Maria ran up to the bin to spit it out 'Michael what did you give me?' 'I didn't give you anything.' He replied innocently ' You took away my Tabasco flavoured doughnut. 'Your what?' Maria replied now wide-awake 'Well you could have warned me.' Xander began to laugh 'Oh god, you guys remind me of Anya and me. But Maria that's a classic, your face when you ate that doughnut.' 'Yeah it was.' Michael added laughing with Xander. 'Hey don't even get me mad.' Maria yelled at them both throwing a dishcloth at Xander as she walked out of the kitchen and into the living room. 'Morning Maria.' Liz spoke as she saw Maria walk in. 'Morning Maria.' Kyle and Max chorused without looking up from the TV. 'Morning guys. What you watching.' She asked sitting next to Liz to get a closer view of the TV. 'Old Road Runner cartoons.' Liz replied as she began to laugh at the TV. 'So what you guys got planned for today?' Xander asked walking out of the kitchen 'Anything exciting?' 'Not really.' Max replied looking up from the TV 'Just trying to find out the location of the Skins so that we can get rid of them.' 'Do you really think that we'll be able to find them?' Liz asked 'I mean we don't even know what they look like or where to look for them.' 'She has a point.' Michael spoke as he walked into the room with a glass of orange juice in his hand 'We might as well look for them blind folded.' He said through sips. 'Yeah, but we've got to do something.' Max said. He was concerned about his sister and wanted to get rid of the Skins as soon as he could. Kyle had been sitting quietly for a while but he could tell what Max was thinking 'Max I know you want this all to stop for Isabel, but Liz and Michael are right. We can't look for them if we don't know how.' 'I guess your right.' Max replied admitting defeat 'I guess we could do some research or something.' 'Well we could meet up at the Magic Box later and maybe Willow and Tara could whip up a spell to help us find them.' Xander said to the group trying to give them some hope. 'That sounds like a pretty good idea.' Maria said 'I'd like to look around Sunnydale and see if anything changed.' 'Ok. So we'll all meet at the Magic Box at.' Max looked at his watch '.about three?' 'Sure.' They all replied as they got up to go there separate ways.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF SUNNYDALE - ANGEL AND CORDELIA

'I still don't get why you had to choose to travel during the day. Don't you vampires have a built in radar which says something like Sunlight - bad, kills.' Cordelia said to Angel as she drove the van they had borrowed 'And this van, did you have to steal it from a demon? 'Cause you know it really stinks and I mean stink.' 'Cordy.' Angel said from the back where he was hiding under a blanket. 'I know, I know. Cordelia you ask too many question's.' She said imitating Angel's voice. 'I've never said that.' Angel said smiling. 'Yeah but you think it.' Cordelia replied grinning as she continued to drive. 'I do not.' Angel said as he began to answer her questions 'I wanted to get to Sunnydale as soon as possible, you never know when your vision might happen. If it hasn't already.' He finished quietly hoping that Buffy was safe. 'It hasn't happened.' Cordelia said reassuringly 'I am sure I would know if it did. Although I'd love it if you guys gave me a time with these visions.' She yelled looking up to the sky. 'Hey do you think Sunnydale will be much different?' 'Nah, it won't.' Angel replied 'It is not. I was there when Buffy's mom died, remember.' 'Oh yeah.' Cordelia spoke quietly. 'I forgot about that. Then there's the thing with Buffy dying.oh boy won't this trip be fun. Hey, where are we going to be staying?' 'I don't know. My old place if it's still ok.' He replied. 'If not then I'm sure we'll find a crypt.' He added jokingly. 'Hey mister. Do I look like a girl who sleeps in a crypt? I will not be sleeping in some old dead guys grave.' She replied and then realised what she had said and added 'No offence.' 'None taken.' Angel said laughing 'Hey Cordy I think we should concentrate on getting there before we worry about other things.' 'Ok. I get the message. I'll stop yapping.' Cordelia replied. She checked to see what tapes she could find. She found one and put it in 'Not bad taste for a demon.' She said to herself as she began to sing along to the tape.