Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. This is a one-shot set in the immediate aftermath of Season 7 "Empty Places"

I stared at Dawn, my mouth hanging open in astonishment at the girls' words. I stood there in shock, tears dripping down my face as I heard again the harsh words spoken from a girl, no more than a mere child.

"So I need you to leave. I'm sorry, but this is my house, too." Dawn stood in the middle of the room, her arms folded across her chest as she stared at the blonde girl in front of her. I looked from one to the other, noting the pain and hurt flash in Buffy's brilliant green eyes and across her face, as she looked at her sister. Dawn's face showed no pain, but to someone who knew the Summers' women as well as I did, I could see Dawn's pain hidden in the blue depths of her eyes.

Buffy looked around at us all, hurt written across every inch of her face, her eyes brimming with un-shed tears.

"Buffy…" I whispered brokenly, unable to finish the sentence, the sight of Buffy's pain too much to bear. She looked at me; her green eyes a bottomless pool of helplessness. I reached out to her with a shaking hand and took a step forward towards her. Her eyes closed, as if by doing so, they could shield her from what was happening. She opened them again and took one last look around the room before turning around and quickly walking to the door. She snatched up her jacket where it hung on the coat stand by the door, yanked the door open and pulled the jacket on all in one swift move. She stepped through the door, not looking back once and slammed the door behind her, the sound echoing throughout the silent room.

"Ding dong, the witch is dead." Rona said viciously. I turned incredulous eyes on the girl, marveling at her audacity and opened my mouth ready to verbally abuse her. Dawn got there before I could. "Shut your mouth." The words were forced through clenched teeth, Dawn just barely holding it together.

Faith got up and followed Buffy through the front door, the door slamming a second time. I could hear her begin speaking to Buffy, her voice drifting through door just before it shut completely.

In the silence that followed Faith's departure, the rest of the girls sat around the room gloating over what they had just done, an unmistakable air of triumph left in Buffy's abrupt departure.

I sniffled the tears coming harder now. Unable to stand their gleeful talk, my grief turned to anger. My harsh voice unexpectedly cut through their chatter like a knife. "Seven years." The talk stopped as they all turned to look at me.

"Seven years!" I spat angrily. "Do you realize what you have all done?" I jabbed a finger in the direction of the door.

"That girl has spent the last seven years fighting for all of you! She has stopped the apocalypses for you. She took you all into her home and fed you, clothed you, provided shelter for you and protected you when you asked for her help." I looked around at the potential slayers, the Watcher, the Witch, the ex-vengeance demon, the carpenter, the sister and shook my head sadly. "And how do you repay her?"

The others began looking away guiltily. I turned to Dawn. "She's your sister, Dawn. She protected you. She died for you. She threw herself off that tower for you so you could live. And this is what you do for the sister who would do anything for you, would die for you?" I raised my voice. "You throw her out of her OWN HOUSE!" Dawn flinched at my shout.

I glared at Giles, Willow and Xander. "After seven years of standing by her side and fighting the forces of darkness alongside her, now you decide not to trust her? Now you decide she is unworthy and turn your backs on her? What kind of friends are you?" I shook my head unable to believe I was looking at people I had known and fought beside countless times before, people I had thought were reliable and would stay beside Buffy throughout anything. I didn't recognize a single one of them.

"Buffy has worked harder and fought harder than any other Slayer I've known. How can you all stand there and act like you did nothing wrong, that you've not hurt the only person who will ever matter to you? You fucking stupid, spineless, ungrateful brats! You are no better then children! Howdare you turn on her? I hope you all understand the gravity of what you have done. You could all die tomorrow. God knows we may never win this war without her. And you may never earn her forgiveness." I looked around the room. "God help us we need her." I glared at Dawn, Xander, Willow and Giles. "I'm going to find her. You better pray that she comes back. And hope she forgives you. Because if you did what you did to her, to me? Well…I'd watch your back." With a final glare around the room, I stormed to the door, wrenched it open and left the house, slamming the door behind me and stepped out into the night. To find Buffy and bring her back.