The girls didn't get much sleep that night.
Riley woke up screaming and kicking. "AUGGIE!" She screeched.
Maya groaned sitting up and rubbing her eyes. "Riley," she mumbled, still half asleep.
"Auggie. . ." Riley panted, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"What abou- Oh. Yeah. . ." Maya fought back tears as the events of the day before rushed into her mind. A fresh wave if guilt rolled in.
The door whipped open, and Riley screamed, clinging on to Maya.
"Whoa!" Topanga cried, running over to see her daughter. "It's just me! I heard you screaming!"
Riley sniffed. "Sorry, Mom. I ju-just had a bad dream."
Topanga hugged her daughter. Riley sobbed into her shoulder.
"I'm really worried about him," Maya whispered. Topanga pulled her into the hug. They stayed like that for a few seconds before Topanga pulled out.
"Come on, girls. We-we have to eat," she said, choking on the words. The last thing she wanted to do was eat. Her son was missing!
"No thanks, Mrs. Matthews," Maya said softly.
"We're not hungry, Mom," Riley added.
"It wasn't a question. You two are eating breakfast," Topanga said in a 'don't argue with me' tone.
They trudged into the living/dining room and sat down to find that Topanga had already made them oatmeal. Riley took two bites before slamming her face into the bowl, shaking with sobs. Cory and Topanga sprang over to her in the blink of an eye, pulling her out.
"Riley!" Maya cried, but her cry was drowned out by Riley's sobs.
"Sh, sh,' Topanga rubbed her daughter's back, soothing the distressed twelve-year-old girl. Minutes passed, and Riley finally calmed down.
"I'm okay," she whispered to herself. "I'm okay. . . yeah. I'm okay."
"Riley, honey. Just breathe. Your brother is going to be all right," Cory told her. He didn't know who he was trying to convince more; his daughter, or himself.
"Can we go to the hospital to see Jessie?" Riley asked.
Cory and Topanga shared a glance. How could they say no?
Topanga nodded. "As long as it's okay with Maya's mother."
"Texting her right now," Maya mumbled, her fingers tapping away on the smartphone that Cory had given to her. There was a 'ding!'"She doesn't care," she said, not bothering to read the rest of the text aloud.
'I don't care. U might have 2 stay w/ Riley 2night. I have company coming over,and I don't want u around.'
The words stung, but she did a good job hiding it. Her tough-girl Maya-ness was enough to convince the Matthew's family that everything was fine.
Ravi sat in the hospital chair, feeling utterly alone. Sure, Emma, Luke, and Bertram were there, but Mrs. Kipling was not allowed into the hospital. And he couldn't help but be worried.
Zuri was his little sister. They had a good brother-sister relationship. Well, they didn't argue as much as Emma and Luke, that was for sure. Now she'd just mysteriously disappeared. And Jessie was hurt.
"It's gonna be okay, bro," Luke said, leaning over to his adoptive brother. His eyes were wet with tears, but he wasn't crying anymore, not like Bertram and Emma, who were still sobbing over Zuri's dissapearence.
"How could you possibly know that?" Ravi cried. Luke leaned back.
"Whoa, calm down," Luke told him. "I'm just trying to make you feel better, dude."
Ravi placed his hands on his forehead. "I know, and I'm sorry, brother."
They shared a bro-hug. When they broke apart, Ravi felt someone tap his shoulder.
Ravi turned to see a girl, around 12 years old. She had brown hair and brown eyes, and she looked like she'd been crying. Behind her stood a blonde girl, and two adults, a man and a woman. All of them had been crying.
"Yes?" Ravi asked, confused.
"I-is this where Jessie is?"
Bertram stood up and wiped his eyes.
The man stepped forward. "You know the little boy and girl who dissapeared yesterday?"
Bertram nodded. "I am Zuri's family's butler."
"I am Auggie's father. My daughter and her friend wanted to check on Jessie. Is she okay?" Cory asked.
The door creaked open, and a nurse walked out. "Miss Prescott is good to go!" she said cheerfully, and Jessie slowly appeared in the doorway.
"Jessie!" The Ross kids chorused. Jessie was greeted by a rush of hugs.
When the chaos died down, the brunette slowly approached. Jessie's eyes widened.
"You're the girls from the park!" she cried.
"Yeah, Riley and Maya," the girl said. "We were worried about you, so we came to check on you."
Jessie blinked. Two total strangers had been worried about her?
Jessie was still recovering from the fact that Zuri had been kidnapped. Even now, tears streamed down her face. She had tried to be strong for the kids, but it was no use. Morgan and Christina were sure to fire her, but that was the least of her worries. She cared for the Ross kids as if they were her own children. Now Zuri was gone.
"How are you?" she asked Riley gently. "Are these your parents?"
Topanga stepped forward. "Yes. I'm Topanga and this is my husband Cory. Auggie and Riley are our children."
Jessie shook both of their hands. "Jessie," she introduced herself, then turned to the kids. "These are my charges, Emma, Luke, Ravi, and. . ." she broke off, remembering that Zuri wasn't their. "And this is Bertram, the butler."
"It is very nice to meet you all," Topanga said, close to tears.
"Charges?" Maya asked curiously.
Jessie nodded. "These are Morgan and Christina Ross' kids. I'm just the nanny."
Maya's jaw dropped. "Wow," she said, surprised.
Cory had been silent for a while. He took a deep breath. "Look, my son is missing. We need to get him and Zuri back, right? We need a plan."
"A plan?" Jessie and Topanga both spoke at the same time.
"We need to track them down. The police are doing the best that they can. It couldn't hurt to help," Emma pointed out.
"We could work together!" Luke cried.
"Yeah!" Riley added.
"Okay, yeah!" Jessie agreed after a moment's hesitation. "Do you agree, Bertram, Topanga?"
Topanga nodded. Bertram took a deep breath.
"I would do anything to help Zuri."
"Then it's agreed," Cory said, a tear rolling down his cheek. "We're gonna get them back!"