Chapter 4- No News

Buffy read the short note over and over again. It said nothing, absolutely nothing. After not hearing from Riley for over a month Buffy had written to Mr Hawkins, his superior and received a short note written by Riley, stating that he was on his way back. She didn't believe it for a second. She had known all along deep down that Riley's trip had been to Transylvania, to castle Dracula. And yet she had been so worried about all the strange things that had been happening that she had forgotten what that meant.

Now she knew. Riley was trapped in Castle Dracula with the legendary vampire and there was nothing she could do. She tried to console herself with the fact that Riley knew what he was doing but, this wasn't her Riley. Not completely anyway. In this warped dimension he didn't have his Initiative training. He was just a man.

There was another problem as well. Willow was sleepwalking. It had started a couple of weeks ago. Buffy had moved into her friend's room to keep an eye on her and now locked the door every night just in case. She still had her slayer intuition, to some extent. And she knew that there would not be a logical explanation for the sudden change in Willow. There must be another reason for her sleepwalking, most likely a supernatural one.

Aside from that she had also been helping Willow prepare for her upcoming wedding. Buffy smiled. Tara would be here soon. There was a small part of Buffy's mind that tried to convince her that this was the cause of Willow's walking at night, but the rest of her knew that it was not true.

Thinking about Willow however lead her back to worrying about Riley. During their talks about Willow's wedding the discussion had inevitably led to Buffy's own plans of marriage and wondering where he was. Buffy picked up her journal from the bedside table and glanced at the most recent entries.

26th July- I am anxious... I am unhappy about Willow and Riley... That is not like Riley: I do not understand it and it makes me uneasy... Willow, although she is so well, has lately taken to her old habit of walking in her sleep...

27th July- No news from Riley. I am getting quite uneasy about him... Willow walks more than ever, and each night I am awakened by her moving about in our room...

3rd August- Another week gone and no news from Riley... I look at the last letter of his, but somehow it does not satisfy me. It does not read like him, and yet it is his writing... Willow has not walked much in her sleep the last week, but there is an odd concentration about her which I do not understand; even in her sleep she seems to be watching me. She tries the door and finding it locked, goes about the room searching for the key...

6th August- Another three days, and no news... no one has heard a word from Riley since his last letter...

The pattern is impossible to miss. Mina it seems was as worried as her about what had been happening. Without the experience that Buffy had Mina knew that something was wrong and there was nothing that either of them could do. It was incredibly frustrating to know that as a woman there was nothing she could do. In that Buffy and Mina were very similar, they could sense the coming evil and yet there was nothing they could do to protect the people they cared about. Buffy sat down and sighed. Fr the first time in a long time she felt entirely useless.