Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Everything is the property of Joss Whedon and Rob Thomas. I am simply borrowing the characters for a non-profit good time.-*-*-*-
She heard the door slam behind her, as the chill of the night hit her. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and slowly began rubbing her arms over the thin coat. Her eyes were frantically searching the rooftop, looking for her friend. Where was she?
“Mac?” She called out, worry coating her voice.
There was no response.
She walked further out on the platform, as her instincts began to shout at her. She stumbled her way to the edge of the roof, looking out on the world below. Her hands were shaking and she was sure it wasn't from the cold, as she stared at the cars on the road.
She pulled her cellphone from her pocket and read the message again.
'Meet me on the roof, now.'
So why wasn't she here?
The shock of her epiphany caught her off guard and she felt like she was falling. Of course, that's why she hadn't come to meet her.
Veronica ran for the door and hurried down the steps, until she made it to the elevator. She pressed the button over and over again, until she heard the ping and the doors opened. She ran inside and pushed on the floor number, never noticing the other presence beside her.
“Uh, Veronica, what's going on?”
She turned quickly, her heart in her throat and leaned against the wall of the elevator when she realized that trouble hadn't come for her. Not this time, not yet.
“Logan... I need your help.”
“Sure, just tell me what's got you so freaked out.” He asked, laying a hand on her arm.
If this had been any other time, she may have been touched by his level of worry for her. But the only thing she could think of right now, was Mac. Getting to her before it was too late. If it wasn't already.
“What I'm about to tell you might be hard to believe, but I just need you to trust me, okay?” She pleaded with him.
“Okay, I promise to keep an open mind, Veronica, but you're kinda freaking me out. Just tell me.”
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, preparing for his reaction to her words. “I know who's responsible for the bus crash and it's not Woody.”
Logan inhaled sharply and looked away, seemingly trying to get himself in control. This was a difficult subject for anybody who went to Neptune High. Even if Logan hadn't lost any friends, he wasn't a bad person and felt for those who had.
“God, Veronica, who is it. And why is it making you act this way?”
She never noticed the tears, falling down her cheeks. “Because right now, Mac is all alone with him.”
Logan only stared at her, though she could see in his eyes that he trusted her. That he believed her.
And then the elevator doors opened.-*-*-*-
“Mac?” She screamed, standing outside the hotel room door. “Mac!”
“No ones answering and the door's locked.” A panicked Logan replied, ripping at the handle.
“Oh god,” she whispered, taking out her cellphone for what felt like the hundredth time that day and dialing the familiar number. “Come on Dad, pick up.” Once again she only got the answering machine and she let out a frustrated groan. “Where are you.”
“Veronica,” Logan raised his voice and grabbed her arms, “you have to calm down, now. We have to find a way into that room.” He stared into her eyes until she complied and then he let her go.
“How are we supposed to do that?” She almost whispered, thinking about her friend.
And how she had been the one to encourage the relationship.
Suddenly, something completely unexpected happened. The door opened of it's own accord.
“Mac,” she called again, but with less fervor this time.
Veronica and Logan looked at each other, both wondering what they should do. What would be hiding behind that door. Who had let them in. There was only one way to find out.
Logan reached out his hand and grabbed a hold of the door handle, pushing down. He noticed that the wood was broken, as he stepped in. A few seconds later they were both standing inside the small room and neither could believe what they were seeing. It certainly wasn't anywhere near any of the scenarios they had been expecting.
It was a bloodbath.
Veronica ran to Mac's side. She was crammed in between the wall and the nightstand, wearing a towel that had obviously started off white, but was now covered in crimson. Her eyes were staring at nothing, covered in a light sheen, as she rocked herself back and forth. As Veronica came closer, she realized that Mac was whispering something under her breath.
“I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to...”
She heard Logan's gasp, when he too caught the words whispered into the deathly quiet room. Veronica knew how he felt. Looking over at the remains of Beaver, she couldn't believe that Mac could've done that.
It looked like the boy had been ripped apart.
A leg was lying almost right beside her, an arm in the bathroom, his head by the edge of the bed. She had never seen anything like it and the only reason she hadn't gagged from it all just yet, was her concern for her friend. That would always come first.
Or maybe she just didn't have anymore left to let out, after finding out that Beaver was the culprit earlier that day.
Not caring about the blood stains it would leave on her clothes, she wrapped Mac up into a tight hug and began stroking her hair. She refrained from whispering calm words into her ears, knowing that it wouldn't be helpful right now.
She heard Logan's footsteps as he left the room, but didn't worry. Even if the Sheriff wasn't as dumb as Lamb, no one would ever think that Mac was behind this. Not in the least. Veronica herself was doubting that possibility, even if she knew from her friend's words, that this was no lie.
Tonight, Mac had taken a life. Tomorrow was still unwritten.-*-*-*-
It had been one week now.
One week since her entire life had been turned around.
One week since she had taken the life of someone she loved.
One week since she had spoken a single word.
She knew the knock was coming before knuckles hit wood. There was no movement and she didn't call out. The door opened and she suddenly wasn't alone anymore. She didn't like that. She deserved to be alone.
“Cindy?” Her mother's voice rang out, killing the silence that had been her constant companion for the last week. “I made you a sandwich,” she said, and the sound of a plate hitting her desk was heard. Still, she didn't move. Didn't show any signs of being here. Her mother sighed. “Please eat, honey. Your father and I are worried about you.”
When there still was no reply, the door closed again and she left on her own once more. Alone with her thoughts, her memories... her nightmares.
They had begun that night. When the police had brought her home and her father had put her to bed. They were horrible dreams. Girls being killed, monster plaguing the night. She tried to fight back, but she couldn't. Each time she prepared to make a strike at the enemy, she saw him.
He haunted her every moment, be it dreaming or awake. Chastising her for what she'd done. Veronica told her that she had done nothing wrong, that he had deserved it. She remembered the way he had acted, when she came out of the shower. How cruel he had been. But even with all of that, she couldn't get past the truth.
Killer or not, she had taken the life of a human being.
How could she ever recover from that.
Did she even deserve to?
Hours passed by, as she sat there on the bed, completely still. She saw the change in lights outside her window, the only reason she knew that the world was still moving.
There was another knock on her door.
“Cindy, someones here to see you.” Her mother's voice was back, but she continued to ignore it.
The door opened with a squeak and then closed. She felt the bed dip as someone sat down beside her. She kept staring out at nothing, until she felt it. The warmth, the comfort, the hand squeezing her own. She wanted to cry, but had no tears left in her. So instead, she waited.
“Hey Cindy,” the voice said, it sounded young and was definitely female, “my name's Dawn Summers. I hope it's okay that I'm in here. Your mom said she would give us some privacy.”
She heard a silent sigh, coming from her companion, before the girl continued.
“I know you're confused, hurting. You don't understand what's been happening to you. I heard about... what happened. I bet you've been having dreams too, haven't you. Special dreams.”
For the first time this week, a response was coaxed out of her. Slowly, she turned her head and faced the newcomer. She was young, younger than her. Her long brown hair, framed an innocent face. Yet her eyes. Mac knew this girl, this Dawn, had seen more than her own share of pain.
She found herself wanting to respond to her.
“I know what you're going through, Cindy. I can help you. Help you understand. I can't promise that my answers will be what you want to hear. But they'll be answers.”
Dawn was now stroking her hand and looking into her eyes, silently asking what she wanted.
She thought back on the last week. Amongst all the pain, the horrible memories of that night, the dreams that came after, one thing had always been clear in her mind. The question of what had happened. Why she had been able to do something like that. Why she felt a connection with the girls in her dreams. Why the monsters that preyed on her didn't feel fake.
“So, what do you say, Cindy?”
She knew what she wanted now. What she needed. She cleared her throat and for the first time in seven days, prepared to speak. From this moment on, she knew her life would never be the same again, but she also realized something else. That might not be a bad thing.
“Call me Mac.”