That was wonderful," said Willow when she had gathered her thoughts again.
"You floated in the air," said Tara. I've never seen you do that before. I think that spring that you swam in must have been magical."
"I've always wanted magical powers," said Willow as she got up and started to dress. "I wonder where Amanda and Cacey are? I haven't seen them for a while." Once they had dressed, they went downstairs and found the note. When it was sunset and the girls had not returned Willow telephoned the ranger station. "Faith, I'm sorry to bother you but my friends went to the Lower Geyser Basin several hours ago and have not returned."
"If they're anything like you, I'm not surprised," said Faith acidly. "They're probably cooking away at the bottom of a hot spring or the Mud Volcano by now. In a few minutes I and three of my fellow rangers will start searching the Lower Geyser Basin bit by bit until they are found."
The journey back to Sunnydale was long and Dawn and Buffy had to relieve themselves in the corner of the freight carriage, but they had books, I-pods, a small amount of bedding and plenty to talk about. When they pulled into Sunnydale's train station Buffy said, "We'll go to my boyfriend Xander, he'll be happy to see me again. I've only been gone for a couple of weeks, after all."
Buffy led Dawn to Xander's door and knocked on it.
"Well, well, you're back, with your sister in tow. We had a couple of dates and then you vanished off the face of the earth. You could at least have told me that I was not your type."
"You are not going to believe this, I and Dawn here and Willow and Tara were forced into witness protection, and our names were changed and they relocated us to just outside Yellowstone Park, which is a beautiful place, by the way. And I've missed you so much. You are my chosen one, the one who can protect me from those who would do me harm."
Xander looked them up and down. "You, yes, Dawn, no. I don't live in a mansion, you know, and your sister is a total stranger."
"But I've risked my life and my sister's life and travelled for days in a freight car just to reach you."
"Come back when you're by yourself." And he slammed the door on them.
Buffy rolled her eyes in disgust. "Men! To think I risked both my life and yours to meet him, and that is how he behaves."
"What are we going to do now?" Dawn asked.
"We'll go to our old home and squat in it. At least you won't have to go to school or do any more homework."
They walked down to their old house where Buffy found that her key to get in would not work, and that all the windows were shut and bolted.
"What are we going to do now? Where am I going to go?"
"Don't panic Dawn," said Buffy, picking up a large stone from the garden. "We'll have to break in, I'm afraid. As far as I am concerned the house is still ours, so I'm not doing anything wrong. We'll have to tape cardboard to the window afterwards, and I wish that there was a better way to get in."
As she was about to throw the stone, a hand gripped her wrist and she turned around and started at the two gunmen who stood behind her.
"We didn't think you would be so stupid as to ever turn up here again," said one, "but our boss made us stay here on watch for weeks waiting for you. Now that you have delivered yourselves to us, you have two choices; you are either going to take us directly to Willow and Tara, or you are going to be put into a world of pain."