Author's Note: I don't even know anymore what to write in these. xD Yup, another one. I hope you'll enjoy. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything, please don't sue me. :D

Eyes of the Dead

Even though she had greatly enjoyed herself during the peaceful time of their holiday in Maine, Willow felt relieved when the „Welcome to Sunnydale" sign appeared on the distance after two long days on the road; even though they had made several stops during the trip, mostly so Pat could satisfy her need for nicotine, her whole body felt sore after sitting in the car for so long, making her wonder if all the relaxation she had gained during the holiday was gone again now.

"Am I glad to be back", she thus told her girlfriend, not surprised when she received a nod in reply – infested with demons and vampires or not, Sunnydale was still their home, and the place where all their friends lived, friends they sorely had missed, especially when they had been stuck in a supermarket with monsters outside, just waiting for them to come outside so they could eat them.

"And I'm glad to get out of that car", Pat now told her, keeping her gaze focused on the road, not wanting to crash the car so close to their home, "I think my ass has been moulded to the shape of the seat by now."

"Same here", Willow grimaced, looking out the window and at the town outside as it passed them by, asking herself if they had missed anything drastic during the two weeks they had been gone.

"I wonder what was going on here while we were gone", she voiced those thoughts, looking at her partner again and smiling slightly when the demon shrugged, her response making the witch's smile widen. "Nothing all too drastic I imagine, seeing that the town still stands. Bet we were the ones stuck with monsters in the mist and Buffy had an awesome time just slaying regular weak vampires."

"I hope so", Willow agreed, shifting on the seat in a vain attempt to get into a more comfortable position, "I'd feel bad if something horrible would've happened while we've been gone and we weren't here to help."

"Well, we helped a bunch of random people caught in a supermarket, that should make up for any trouble we missed here", Pat reminded her of the not so peaceful start of their holiday, making her nod again; moments later, a wide smile formed on her face as she saw the apartment building where she lived with the demon appear in the distance, her heart suddenly beating faster with excitement.

Next to her, Pat obviously had similar feelings, since she stepped down on the gas pedal, ignoring the speed limit; for a moment, the redhead felt like reprimanding her, then decided against it – after all, the streets were empty, and during the drive back from Maine, Pat had been surprisingly reasonable, keeping her need to driver faster than necessary under control. Just a few minutes later, she found a parking lot in front of the building, to the relief of both Willow and her close to the front door; as always when it was time to park the car between two other vehicles, the demon got out and let her girlfriend take the driver's seat, not wanting to risk damaging any other car thanks to her lack of depth deception.

"You know", Willow stated once she had parked the car successfully and had gotten out of it as well, "sometimes I wonder why you don't mind driving, but always let me park."

"Because I can keep a safe distance to other cars so there won't be any problems", Pat told her, "but when parking like that, that's not exactly possible and I don't want to risk Giles' wrath by ruining the fender or something."

"Good point", Willow had to admit, stepping closer to the taller woman afterwards and demanding a kiss, a demand the demon gladly fulfilled; once they had pulled apart again, Pat made her way to the trunk and opened it, then removed their suitcases, taking a step back afterwards so Willow could close the trunk's lid again.

Taking the lead afterwards, the redhead made her way to the building's entrance with her girlfriend in tow; it didn't take long until the elevator had brought them to the second floor, and another minute later, they were back inside their apartment, Pat dropping the suitcases where she stood in the hallway, shrugging at the scolding look this brought her from her girlfriend and letting her know that they could unpack later.

"Now, I just wanna sit down on our comfortable couch so my butt can return to the shape it's supposed to have", she added, already making her way to the living room; after a moment, Willow followed her, only to stop next to the small table on which the phone stood, frowning when she saw the blinking light of the answering machine, informing them that a message was waiting for them.

Curiously, she pushed the button which would play the message, both Pat and her raising an eyebrow in perfect unison when, after the machine's announcement that one new message was waiting for them and the information about at which time it had been left, Buffy's voice came from the speaker, sounding quite stressed, making them both wonder if they had missed something important after all.

"Hey you two", the Slayer's message began, her voice sounding strained as if she was giving her best to sound calm, but failed miserably, "I know you probably just walked in through the door when you listen to that and all you want to do is get some rest, but call me as soon as you get home, okay? Thanks. Bye!"

An audible click showed that this had been the only message which had been left for them; not able to withstand her curiousness, Willow picked up the phone and dialled her best friend's number while Pat lit up a cigarette next to her, having to admit that she was quite curious about this as well. Noticing this, the redhead leaned closer to her so she'd be able to hear what the Slayer had to say, briefly asking herself why they still hadn't bought a phone with a loudspeaker; then, Buffy took the call, the relief in her voice when Willow greeted her touching and worrying the witch at the same time, her mind beginning to race as she tried to figure out what might be going on to make Buffy so anxious about her call.

"Thank God you're back", the blonde now sighed, "I know it sucks that I have to bug you right after you returned from your holidays, but we really need to meet, all of us I mean… As fast as possible."

"What's going on?" Willow demanded to know in reply, the Slayer's answer making both Pat and her raise an eyebrow again before they exchanged another worried look, not liking the way the blonde wasn't really giving them a proper answer.

"That'd take too long over the phone", Buffy said, "I was planning to call all of the others for a meeting at Giles' place at three, then we'll explain everything, is that okay?"

"Um, okay", Willow agreed after a moment, giving her partner another concerned look, "see you at Giles' then, I guess…?"

"Yes", Buffy gave back, "and take care until then, okay?"

"Okay", the redhead shrugged, then said goodbye and hung up before she turned to look at her partner, her voice full of worry when she spoke up. "I fear something big's going on. Buffy sounded really weird."

"Indeed, I heard", the demon agreed, "but for now, all we can do is wait until we meet them. I wonder why she asked us to take care though, I mean, we just came back home, what does she think we'll do now? Go out vampire hunting?"

"No idea", Willow shrugged, "but I hope you're not planning to do just that, because I'd prefer some relaxing until we have to go and meet the others."

"Totally agreeing here", Pat reassured her, then finally made her way over to the couch with the witch; there, they made themselves comfortable, the redhead snuggling up to her partner, just enjoying it to be so close to her and the peaceful atmosphere they had back here at their home.

A few hours later, the couple arrived at Giles' house, to their relief seeing that they weren't the last ones to do so; Buffy was already there, along with Dawn and of course Giles himself, but Xander and Anya were still missing, the Slayer grumbling about how they were unpunctual while Giles offered the witch and the demon a drink, then asked how their holiday had been.

"Exciting", Willow was the one to answer that, raising her voice a bit so the Brit could hear her in the kitchen and making Buffy give her a curious look; smirking, Pat leaned back into her seat, running one hand through her hair before she took over from her girlfriend. "Let's say that Xander's not the only demon magnet around, it seems. On the second day of our days off, the army managed to open a portal to some sort of hell place, a nasty thick mist came out and with it, a bunch of monsters. We got stuck in the supermarket."

"Along with a religious fundie who then went crazy", Willow helpfully added, "and decided I'd make a good sacrifice to calm down the angry God she believed in, so Pat demoned out and made one of her followers wet his pants."

"You demoned out in front of a bunch of random, regular people?" Giles demanded to know, sounding slightly upset; clearly not all too bothered by his reaction, Pat just shrugged, then nodded, raising both hands when the Brit gave her a disbelieving look.

"Hey, it's not like I had much of a choice", she defended herself, "that crazy lady had a knife to Willow's throat and wanted to kill her, and I was injured. So…"

"When we came back to the supermarket after it all was over, no one said anything", Willow tried to calm Giles down, smiling at him, "so they probably all did that repression thing the people here are so good at, too. Also, I guess the army made sure no one will say anything about what happened, it was their fault after all."

"Let's just hope this won't have any unpleasant consequences", Giles sighed after a moment while Buffy shook her head, then smirked at her friends, a hint of teasing in her voice when she spoke up. "Tell me again why you wanted to go on holidays? I believe there was talk about getting away from all the monsters and stuff here."

"Yeah, that was the initial plan", Pat sighed, "but that didn't work out so well. At least for the first three days, the rest was okay."

"Well, that's something", Buffy smirked, the door behind her opening before she could add anything else, revealing Xander to the rest of the group, the young man apologizing for being late.

"Where's Anya?" Buffy wanted to know, making her friend shrug before he explained that she'd had decided to stay at the magic shop; grimacing, the Slayer reminded him of the fact that this had been supposed to be a meeting with the whole team, making him shrug helplessly again – before he hurried to where Willow and Pat were sitting, smiling brightly at the couple.

"And you two are back!" he cried out, bending down to hug them both, the witch being the first one who got pulled into the embrace, "we really missed you here, guys. How was your time off?"

"Exciting", Willow repeated, "but I'll tell you later, now that we are all here, Buffy should tell us what's going on."

"Well", the blonde started while Xander sat down and beamed at his childhood friend again, "Xander, Dawn and Giles already know, it started a few days ago… Remember that Wicca group you were part of for a short time?"

"Yeah, all the blessed-wanna-bes", Willow gave back, raising an eyebrow, "what about them?"

"Someone's targeting them, it seems", Giles answered her, "when the first girl of them vanished, we thought it was just a vampire, but now, three of them are gone and their… leader, or founder, came to Buffy and asked for help."

"Apparently, my reputation from High School also reached the college by now", Buffy added, "because she said something about how I always seem to be around when such stuff happens. We don't know yet what stuff exactly that is, but it surely can't be something good."

"Most likely not", Willow agreed, sounding worried, prompting Pat to grasp her hand before the demon looked at Buffy, immediately going on with the business at hand. "What did she tell you? Anything useful?"

"Not really", the Slayer sighed, "the only connection these girls had, according to her, was the group, they didn't share any classes or anything… Giles already looked into demons who might be after witches, but there are too many to narrow it down without any knowledge, not to mention all the rituals which need the blood of a witch to work."

"Well, if whoever is responsible for this keeps snatching those girls, he won't get what he wants", Willow muttered, making her girlfriend look at her curiously and prompting her to add an explanation. "Maybe that changed, but the reason why I left that group was because they weren't real witches. All they did was talk about their scented candles and bake sales."

"I see why you're worried then", Pat told Buffy, making the redhead raise an eyebrow – before she realized what her partner meant and gulped, shaking her head when the blonde asked her if she knew of any other real witches in Sunnydale.

"The only other one I know of was Amy", she then told her best friend, "and, well, we know what happened to her. So that leaves just me…"

"Which is why we wanted you to come here as fast as possible", Giles let her know, "because once the one responsible for this will realize that there is just one true witch here, he'll be after you."

"So what can we do?" Pat demanded to know, giving the Watcher an impatient look. "I don't like the thought of just sitting around and waiting for someone to come after my girlfriend. Not to mention the fact that all those other girls are probably in danger as well if whoever is snatching them isn't all too smart and needs a while to figure out that none of them are real witches."

"First, we need to find out who is targeting the group", Buffy told the demon, surprised that she hadn't figured this out herself yet. "I invited their leader, or whatever she is, to come here", she added, "at four, so she can tell us all everything she knows. Maybe we'll figure out what's going on then."

"And if not?" Xander demanded to know, looking from one member of the gang to the next, "then what?"

"Then we'll have to try and keep an eye on the remaining girls", Pat suggested, making them all look at her, "so we'll see whoever wants them when he tries to grab another one."

"I suggested that they should stay with Buffy until this has been cleared up", Giles let the demon know, making it clear that she hadn't been the first one to have this idea, "but she wasn't all too fond of the idea."

"Well, can you blame me?" the Slayer demanded to know in response, "and don't talk about me as if I wasn't in the room please. I just don't like the thought of having a bunch of wannabe-wiccas hanging around in my house and maybe freaking out when they see real magic."

"You think that might happen?" Pat demanded to know, raising an eyebrow, smirking when Buffy immediately nodded, slight annoyance in her voice when she replied. "After what Willow told me about them? I'm pretty sure that will happen once they see what magic really is. Or once they see your… furrier side, or how you're playing with fire."

"If we do this, we definitely have to warn them before we do anything magical or demonic", Willow agreed, "and I have to agree with Giles, it does sound like the reasonable thing to do, even if you don't like it, Buffy… I'd offer to take them in at our place, but there's not enough room."

"I know", Buffy sighed, "but let's keep that in the back of our heads as last resort for now, okay? Let's hear first what Gabby has to say about the girls who vanished once she comes here."

Nodding, they all made themselves comfortable again, nodding in perfect unison when Giles asked if he should refill their drinks; and while he left to do so, they started waiting for the leader of the Wicca group to arrive and tell them everything she knew about the girls who had vanished.