May Day

Act Four

Fade In
Ext.
Watcher Council Grounds – Next afternoon

Andrew and Jeff had organized the Slayers into clearing the outdoor obstacle course and running track behind the Council buildings next to the lake. In the center of the area, they had planted the lightning-downed willow tree. At the top of the tree, a wreath woven from willow twigs rested on gaily-colored ribbons hanging down and lightly pegged in a circle around the tree.

At the far end of the track, the boys had removed the soccer goal and built a rock-lined pit and filled it with wood. At the other end, they had set up temporary picnic tables and canvas shelters to offer shade from the bright sun. A brand-new Weber grill sat nearby. As Giles and Willow walked into the area from the building, they both looked surprised.

"Wow," Willow said. "What a set-up!"

"How much did this cost us?" Giles asked and then paused. "That was a bit um, British wasn't it?"

"Yes, it was," Willow agreed. "And it won't cost nearly as much as an Aston-Martin. The old Council was richer than the Pope, so money is not a problem. Finding Watchers is. We're going to have to start actively recruiting people to train."

"That's going to be a bit harder than recruiting Slayers," Giles said, taking a bottle of juice from a large cooler set under a shelter. He handed it to Willow and grabbed a second for himself.

"Thanks," Willow said. "I know it is. You can't just go up to a potential Watcher and say 'Hi, how would you like to come work for us and risk your life fighting demons and vampires?' At least the Slayers feel different than before."

"I don't think it's as bad as you make out, Willow," Giles said. "You yourself, unknowingly, have been training to be a Watcher for many years. And young Howard Mayfair was always interested in the supernatural. When I first contacted him after your spell located him, he was most eager to join us. He understood the danger and was willing to take that risk."

Willow nodded and the pair looked up as Andrew ran up to them out of breath.

"Mr. Giles, Willow," he said as he reached them. "I just got a call from Tim Slater at the Clerk's office. He said that reverend and a large group of people received permits to stage a protest outside the Council today. Look."

Andrew pointed to the area near the lake outside the Council's fence. Small groups of strangers were starting to gather. "And there are more out front."

"Is Robin's security team in place?" Giles asked.

"Most of them, yes," Willow replied. "But I think we'll need more."

"Go find Robin and ask him to get more guards," Giles said. "And talk to Faith and have her rotate Slayers to augment them. I know we promised everyone a day off, but I don't want any problems."

Andrew nodded and ran off.

"Is the celebration worth it, Giles?" Willow asked.

"The Council has always worked in secrecy, Willow," Giles said, looking at the crowds gathering outside the fence. "But that was before. I think if we cancelled now, it would look more suspicious and send a message of weakness. The Watchers Council will be a presence in this town for many years to come. We need to let the community know we won't be pushed around."

Willow looked thoughtful for a moment. "Perhaps it's not the community that's doing this?" she asked.

Giles looked at her. "You mean they're being influenced?"

"Perhaps," Willow said. "What if they're just a diversion?"

"A diversion for what?" Giles said. "Wait a moment! Other than our innocuous little party today, the only other event of importance occurring is your investiture to high priestess. What if all this is to stop that from happening?"

Willow looked at him with an expression of recognition. "The Presidium."

"Precisely," Giles said. "Tonight is Beltaine and the full moon. Althenea said the Coven waited until now so that you would gain the most power from the goddess. It stands to reason that whomever is behind this would want to keep you from that gift. You already are a most formidable witch, but by having your initiation tonight, you stand to become even more powerful."

"So what should we do?" she asked.

Giles sighed. "We must make sure the ritual goes ahead as planned and without disruption," he said.

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Street Level – Same time

Tracey hiked her backpack higher on her shoulder as she made her way through the crowd to the front entrance of the Council.

"Excuse me," she said as a large woman blocked her way.

"You can't go in there!" the woman said, getting her face close to Tracey's.

"I work there, lady," Tracey said, moving back as if the woman had bad breath.

"You can't!" the woman insisted, grabbing Tracey's arm. "There are witches and demons. They're going to sacrifice babies if we don't stop them."

"What?" Tracey asked, holding back a laugh. "No one is sacrificing anyone. Please get out of my way," Tracey said as she moved sideways, but someone else blocked her way.

"That place is full of evil and depravity," the man said, grabbing Tracey's other arm.

"Let go of me!" Tracey yelled, yanking free from the woman and using that hand to punch the man until he also let go. As she pushed her way closer to the entrance, more hands reached out to stop her. A security guard standing behind a barricade noticed the commotion and spoke into his headset mouthpiece. Moments later he was joined by three others and they began to make their way to the beleaguered college student.

The crowd hesitantly moved out of the way of the security guards as they finally reached Tracey.

"You okay, Miss?" one asked.

Tracey nodded. "Let's just get inside," she said pointing to the Council. As the guards escorted her inside, the large woman darted forward and slipped a flyer into the side pocket of Tracey's backpack.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Lobby – Moments later

Andrew and Xander came running into the lobby as the guards led Tracey inside.

"Are you okay?" Andrew asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Tracey said. "What a bunch of nuts!"

Kennedy and Robin walked in from the Slayers quarters. "What's going on?" Robin asked.

"The crowd outside is trying to stop anyone from entering, Mr. Wood," the security guard said. "Are you expecting anyone else?"

"Yes," Kennedy said, "Becca's not here yet. She was coming by after she closed the shop."

"I'll send a couple of Slayers to pick her up," Robin said. "What about Brell and his family? Weren't they coming?"

"They arrived early this morning," Andrew said. "Marsha and the other youngsters have been playing with the kids."

"Good," Robin said.

"Hey, what's this?" Xander asked reaching down and picking up a piece of paper that had fallen from Tracey's backpack when she dropped it to the floor. He started to read out loud. "To all God fearing people, it's come to our attention…" He trailed off from speaking but continued to scan the paper.

"Xander?" Robin asked as the dark-haired man's face suddenly went blank. As they watched, Xander's face suddenly contorted in anger.

"Heathens!" he cried. "Harlots and idolaters! Don't you realize what you're doing here! This is not natural!"

"What the hell?" Kennedy said.

"Hell is where you're all going, young lady," Xander said moving towards her and swinging his fists. As he got closer, Kennedy grabbed at his hand, but Xander moved away too quickly for her. However, Robin came up behind him and with a blow to the back of the head, knocked him to the floor before he could attack the Slayer again.

Andrew rushed forward and checked on him. "Unconscious," he declared. "What happened to him?"

Tracey moved forward to pick up the flyer that Xander dropped in the scuffle.

"Don't touch it!" Robin warned and Tracey jumped back.

"It's enchanted," Andrew said, kneeling down by the flyer and looking at it.

"How do you know?" Tracey asked.

"I can see the signature," he explained. "It's familiar, but I don't recognize it. Better get Willow."

"On it," Kennedy said.

Just as Willow and Giles followed Kennedy to the lobby a few minutes later, Rowena and Althenea arrived from upstairs.

"Xander!" Rowena said, rushing to the fallen man.

"He read this flyer and started spouting damnation," Robin explained. "He tried to attack Kennedy so I…gave him a time out."

Willow grabbed a pencil from the desk and used it to turn the flyer over. It was blank. "So this is what they used," she said to Giles.

"Indeed," the Watcher said. "Ingenious."

"Wanna explain it to us non-magic folks?" Kennedy requested.

"Someone put a mind-control spell on this paper," Willow explained. "Anyone who touches it will start to act as if they're the chief inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. Everyone outside must have gotten a hold of one of these."

"Who cast it?" Rowena asked.

Willow studied the paper. "Not sure," she said.

"Andrew, you said you recognized it," Robin reminded.

Andrew nodded, bending down next to Willow. His face looked confused and then he said, "No, it can't be."

"Who?" Willow asked.

"It looks like Edgar," Andrew said. "But he's in St. Petersburg doing an internship at the Hermitage."

"Is the shop still open?" Rowena asked.

"Yes, but he hired a manager for the summer while he's gone."

"We'll have to check it out later," Giles said. "Right now, is there anything we can do for Xander? Is he still under the spell?"

Althenea kneeled next to Xander and touched his chest with both hands. Chanting under her breath, a blue glow emanated and spread over him. A moment later, Xander's eyes fluttered and a wide smile appeared on his face as if he was waking from a pleasant dream.

"Oh yeah," he muttered. "Right there, oh baby that feels soooo good."

Giles coughed uncomfortably while Althenea laughed. She lightly slapped Xander's cheek until he opened his eyes, surprised to see a crowd of faces peering down at him. "What's going on, guys?" he asked.

"You don't remember?" Giles queried.

"No," he said, sitting up to his elbows. "How'd I get on the floor?"

"You attacked me," the Slayer said.

"I did!" he said. "Why?"

"Not your fault," Willow said. "You got a dose of the same magic that's affecting the people outside."

The sound of the crowd was getting louder and Giles asked Althenea, "Can you cancel the enchantment on them as well?"

The witch shook her head. "I'm afraid not," she said. "It requires direct contact and I don't think they'll let me get that close."

"That'd be too dangerous," Willow agreed. "So now what? Stop the celebration?"

"No point in that if whomever did this intends on disrupting your ritual tonight. We'll just have to go ahead as planned," Giles decided. "Hopefully, the enchantment will wear off soon. But make sure that no one gets hurt. Those are innocent people out there not in control of their actions. And if Xander's reaction is any indication, they're growing more violent."

Fade Out

Fade In
Ext.
Watcher Council Grounds – Late afternoon

Willow was sitting next to Rowena on a large blanket watching the maypole dancers laughing as they wove their way around the pole holding their ribbons. As the ribbons were weaved, the willow wreath moved its way down the pole.

"You must wake and call me early, Call me early, mother dear; For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May." Willow quoted.

"Come all ye lads and lassies, Join in the festive scene, Come dance around the maypole, That will stand upon the green," Rowena replied.

Willow smiled warmly at Rowena and then reached behind her back and pulled out a single white daisy. "I didn't have time to gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay this morning," she said handing the flower to Rowena. "But I did find this for you."

Rowena's smile matched Willow's as she took the offered flower. "And I was much too lazy to wake up at dawn to go a-maying," Rowena replied, but she pulled a daffodil from behind her back and handed it to Willow. "But I did find this for you."

Willow's face mirrored her delight as she took the small flower. "Thank you," she said. Willow started to move forward as if to kiss Rowena, but before she could, Rowena looked away.

"Oh look!" Rowena said. "There's Al." She waved at the brightly dressed witch, who immediately came to join them.

"Merry meet," Althenea said, folding her legs and sitting on the blanket.

"And merry meet to you," Rowena said. Willow smiled at her friend, but her eyes showed her disappointment.

"Your boys have done a wonderful job, Willow," Althenea said. "Congratulations. They're a credit to your leadership."

"Thank you, Al," Willow said.

"So," Rowena put in. "Are you both ready for tonight?"

Althenea nodded while Willow replied, "All set to go."

"You really are the May Queen," Rowena said to Willow. "Congratulations again, Willow. I'm very happy for you."

Willow blushed and Althenea chuckled softly. "She's earned it," the witch said and Willow's blush deepened.

"Tell me, Al," Rowena began. "I thought the Great Rite had to be done only between a man and woman."

"Not at all," Althenea said. "Our tradition trains us to balance the masculine and feminine energies within us all. Sometimes during rituals, the priest and priestess will switch roles to aid in that process."

"That's right," Willow agreed. "Oddly enough, Andrew has more success drawing down the moon than he does the sun."

"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" Rowena laughed. "Andrew always has seemed more in tune with his inner goddess."

"But it's also important for him…and for all of us…to get in tune with the inner god," Althenea pointed out.

"But still, sources such as the Farrars and Buckland state that the Great Rite can only succeed if physically done between the representative of the goddess and the god," Rowena continued.

"You have to understand that at the time when Wicca was gaining its rebirth in England with Gardner and here later on in the States with Buckland, the presence of the goddess had all but disappeared under the tyranny of the patriarchy. For them, by concentrating on the goddess, they unconsciously sought to regain that balance," Althenea explained. "Now, however, we recognize that it is more important for us to maintain that balance in ourselves."

"The goddess is within," Willow said.

"Exactly," Althenea replied. "But so is the god and that's why it doesn't matter that Willow and I are both women. The power of both the goddess and the god will transfer through me to her."

Rowena was silent a moment, then she looked at the beribboned maypole and wistfully said, "I wish I could be there to observe that."

Willow smirked and leaned closer to Rowena. "Well, if you play your cards right, I'd be glad to give you a private demonstration later on."

Althenea laughed heartily at Willow's jibe and Rowena's embarrassed expression.

Fade Out

Fade In
Ext.
Watchers Council Street Level – Evening

The crowd outside the Council grounds had swelled so much that the streets were packed with protestors for several blocks.. Security guards had attempted to move the barricades farther away from the building without success. As Robin and Giles watched from just outside the entrance, another group of the mystically-maddened people attempted to push through. Faith, Vi and Rona moved quickly to assist the guards in holding them back.

"Any sign of the police or the press?" Giles asked.

"No," Robin replied. "I spoke with the chief and he agreed to keep officers close but things quiet. And since there's nothing on the blotter, the press hasn't gotten wind of anything yet."

"Let's hope it stays that way," Giles said.

"And the witches?" Robin asked.

"They've already begun," Giles said. "Althenea said their circle should keep the noise out, but I don't want to take any chances of anyone getting through the guards. As soon as Andrew and Jeff have finished, make sure everyone gets inside."

"You got it, boss," Robin said and Giles disappeared into the Council.

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Grounds – Minutes later

Becca smiled as Giles approached and put her arms around his waist, hugging him tightly. They watched together as the last rays of the sun went down and then as Jeff and Andrew addressed the assembled Slayers, Watchers in Training and guests explaining the significance of the day.

"Are you enjoying yourself, dear?" he asked.

She nodded and pressed her face to his chest as they both watched the boys light the fire. "Thanks so much for inviting me," she whispered so only he could hear.

"Thanks so much for being a part of my life," he returned, gently stroking her hair. She moved until she was looking up at him.

"You make it easy," she said. "I feel as if I've waited my whole life for you. With Willow and Andrew and the others, I feel as if I've become part of a large and wonderful family."

"You have," he smiled and leaned down to kiss her.

The couple was interrupted a moment later by a shout from the crowd. The line of Slayers waiting to jump the fire paused as everyone watched the mob outside break through the barriers and rush the fence.

"Everyone, get inside!" Giles called out.

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Street Level – Same time

Bonnie's vampire minion approached Reverend Gottlieb where he was standing with Father Dugan and Rabbi Shermann near the entrance of the Council.

"What's that?" Gottlieb demanded as a large roar from behind the buildings filled the street.

"They're doing it, Reverend," the minion gasped as if pretending to be out of breath. "They've started the fire and they're going to start sacrificing the children."

The news began to travel throughout the crowd until the noise from the front matched that coming from the rear.

"We must stop them!" Gottlieb cried loudly and the crowd began to push forward.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Lobby – Same time

"They're breaking through," Faith reported as Kennedy and Vi returned from the weapons room carrying clubs and staves and passing them out to everyone. "Reinforce the doors," she pointed to them as they began to strategically place some of the clubs in the handle.

"Faith," Giles warned as he reluctantly took a club. "They're human, not demons. We can't hurt them."

"I know that, Giles," Faith said. "But what the hell are we supposed to do? Let them hurt us? That mob is out for blood."

"It's your job to protect people," he pointed out.

"I know that, too" she said, gritting her teeth in frustration. "But it's also my job to protect the Council."

Reluctantly Giles's face showed agreement. "Try not to hurt anyone," he added.

"We'll try," she answered. "But if it comes down to a choice of protecting us over them, I'm keeping our girls safe."

The sound of breaking glass filled the lobby as a rock smashed through the front door.

"Here we go," Faith muttered.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Kitchen – Same time

Andrew handed Tracey a baseball bat and took a protective stance between her and the exposed window.

"I'm sorry I got you into this. It really was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon off," he said to Tracey. She rolled her eyes at him and stepped up to stand by his side.

"It's okay, Andy," she said. "I've got your back."

Andrew gave her a grateful smile as he braced himself, determined to protect his domain.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Slayers Quarters – Same time

Mia and Kennedy ran in to find Rona, Marsha and the other younger girls standing guard as the noise outside grew even louder.

"Everything okay in here?" Kennedy asked the younger Slayer.

"Fine," the blonde girl said. "I think we can handle it. Go protect the Watchers."

Mia nodded. "They're concentrating their attack on the other building," she said.

"Stay with them," Kennedy told Rona. "If the mob breaks through over here, don't fight. Just run like hell to the Council building. Got it?" Kennedy said. Rona and Marsha both nodded in the affirmative and the pair went back toward the Council.

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Street Level – Same time

The reverend, the priest and the rabbi led the charge to the front entrance, dozens of their followers bringing up the rear. They smashed against the hinged double doors of the entrance trying to force their way inside. Faith, Kennedy, Lori and a half dozen of the other older Slayers barely managed to keep them back.

"Let us in, Jezebel," Gottlieb said to Faith through the bowing door.

"Bite me," she yelled through clenched teeth.

"You'll burn in Hell for that!" he cried.

"Yeah, whatever."

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Grounds – Same time

The crowd finally broke through the fence and rushed near the rear entrance. Vi and her team felt the door they stood against physically shake under the banging of the mob.

"They're at the rear door too," she said into the headset she was wearing. "Converging from both sides, Robin."

Cut to:
Ext.
Watchers Council Lobby – Same time

"Copy that," he replied. "Giles, they're at the back now."

Giles nodded nervously and watched as Faith and Kennedy, with their teams, pressed their bodies into the door with all their strength while the other Slayers stood by as a wall of defense in case the door gave way.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Coven Room – Moments later

Willow and Althenea laid before the altar, oblivious to the noise and commotion going on outside. Willow rolled them both over and lifted herself up to look down at Althenea.

"Awaken, my lord," Willow said, her voice hoarse with passion.

Althenea's eyes flew open at Willow's command. "Thou art goddess!" she cried as her body convulsed.

Willow sat up as she threw back her head and cried out unintelligibly.

As Willow's arms opened to embrace the power of the goddess, she stiffened in ecstasy and an ethereal blue glow engulfed her body. Willow's green eyes momentarily reflected the blue as she seemed to absorb the power and then her body spasmed and the glow spread outward.

For a moment, the radiating mist seemed to pause at the boundary of the circle, but with a final spasm, Willow's body collapsed on top of Althenea's and the glow radiated outward, reaching the heavy door of the room and beyond.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Lobby – Moments later

The front door finally gave way, knocking Faith and Kennedy several feet away. It was clear that the Slayers were only seconds away from being overcome by the mob rushing toward them when suddenly the lobby was filled with an eerie blue light. As the wave overtook them, the Slayers and Watchers dropped their weapons, their faces all mirroring confusion and then pleasure. As the wave passed them to continue outside the building, the noise from the mob changed from anger to ecstasy.

"What the hell was that?" Faith asked as she walked over to Kennedy.

"Willow," Kennedy answered, her breathing heavy as if she had just finished running a marathon. "That was Willow."

"Jesus!" Faith said. "No wonder you got so upset when she dumped you."

Kennedy didn't appear to hear Faith's comment as she suddenly focused on Mia standing next to her. The Asian-American Slayer had a predatory look on her face.

"Oh boy," Kennedy breathed.

Confused and slightly alarmed, the former mob began to look at each other and their surroundings. With little chatter, they all began to walk away a bit dazed by their whereabouts.

Cut to:
Int.
Watchers Council Lobby – Moments later

"Everyone all right?" Giles asked as he and Becca began to look at the Slayers who stood against the first wave of protesters. The lobby was now littered with discarded protest signs and homemade billyclubs.

The Slayers all nodded and Faith moved to the entrance. Xander joined her a moment later.

"Holy crap!" Xander said looking out the broken doors.

"What's going on?" Giles said moving forward with Rowena by his side. "Are people hurt?"

"More like basking in the afterglow than injury," Faith said.

"Dear Lord!" Giles said looking outside at the tide of spent people. A moment later, he pulled his glasses off and began to polish them as if he didn't want to see what was going on.

"Well, it's nice seeing the world's religions coming together," Xander quipped and Rowena smacked the back of his head. "What?" he cried, grabbing his head. The blonde Watcher rolled her eyes and shook her head in exasperation.

"What happened, Rupert?" Becca asked, her face flushed. "I mean I know what happened, but how?"

"Good question," he replied. "It appears that Willow and Althenea's ritual got away from them."

"Good thing for us," Xander said. "Her little explosion just saved our hides. I don't think we would have been able to hold them off much longer."

"That shouldn't have happened," Rowena said disturbed.

"No," Giles agreed.

"Are you all right?" Becca asked softly, taking Rowena aside.

"I'm okay," Rowena replied, her face still troubled.

Becca paused a moment. "Good because if I didn't know any better I'd say it looks like the waterworks might go off at any moment," she pressed. When Rowena didn't say anything she continued. "I'm thinking that you've been too calm about this whole thing with Althenea from the start."

"I'm not sure what you're talking about," Rowena said, her tone harsh as she focused on Becca.

"Does this line work on everyone, except me?" Becca asked. "I better tell Rupert. I've discovered I've got some special powers of my own."

Rowena gave a brief smile. "Honestly, I have no reason to be jealous of Al. It's not like Willow and I are involved or – or more than friends. And I understand that this is a part of Willow's religion. She's not shackled by the restraints of..." Rowena broke off as Becca looked at her with a kind expression. "Okay, yeah, I'm a little upset here. It makes no sense. It's not logical whatsoever but…"

"Love seldom is," Becca chuckled. "And sharing isn't always the easiest thing to do."

Rowena shrugged. "But it's not sharing. It's a ritual. That's all. I know how Willow feels about Althenea."

"And no matter what your head's telling you…?" Becca prompted.

"My heart doesn't understand. But there's nothing I can do about that now," Rowena confessed quickly. With that the blonde Watcher moved away, rubbing her forehead as if trying to fight a growing migraine.

"Where're Andrew and Tracey?" Faith asked.

"They were in the kitchen guarding the windows just in case," Robin said.

"I'll go check," Kennedy said moving away from Mia's gaze and trotting through the door to the kitchen. A moment later she trotted back, her face a bright red.

"They're, uh, they're good. Better than good actually," she reported and Faith began to smirk.

"Dear Lord," Giles repeated and pulled his glasses off again.

Fade Out

Fade In
Int.
Watchers Council Lobby – Later that evening

The younger Slayers had made good progress cleaning up the debris in the lobby as Xander finished boarding up the broken doors. With a flourish, he spun his hammer and slipped it into his tool belt as if he were a gunfighter holstering his six-shooter.

"That'll take care of that, pardner," he drawled, making Marsha laugh. The Slayer dumped a pail of glass into the trash and took it and her broom into the kitchen.

"Hey," Willow said to her friends as she and Althenea came down the stairs. Giles and Rowena looked uncomfortable as Faith whispered to Becca and the two began to laugh again.

Willow looked around at everyone staring back at her. "What's going on?" she asked. "What happened?"

"Well, well," Xander said. "If it isn't Little Miss Orgasmabomb."

"What?" Willow's face turned bright red. "Giles?"

"Um, well…um," Giles began.

"Things must have gotten a little out of control up there," Faith said. "Thanks for sharing Red, but next time keep it to yourself, or save it for Blondie over there. I like to get mine from my man, okay?"

"Faith," Rowena warned and the Slayer smirked.

"Oh, like it's a big secret," Faith added sarcastically to the Watcher.

"I don't understand. What exactly happened out here?" Willow said, her embarrassment growing.

"It seems your circle couldn't hold in all your energy, Willow," Xander explained as if he took pity on his best friend. "But hey, it's a good thing, because you managed to sooth the angry mob before any real damage could be done."

"At least physical damage," Becca put in with a grin, pointing to the door and broken windows. "I think some oaths of celibacy might be considered a bit stretched now for some."

"Oh goddess," Willow said.

"Gotta love the full moon," Althenea said, amused. "Since no one has been harmed, I'll say good night all. I'm knackered and off to bed."

"I'll bet!" Faith smirked again as the witch made her way back upstairs to the guest suite.

"Was anyone hurt?" Willow asked again just to be sure.

"Nah," Faith reported as she lifted a can of garbage. "Just a few bruises. Say Red, next time you have one of your full moon things let us know, okay? A little advance warning will give us all time to get in the mood too, you know?"

"That's it!" Willow said, throwing up her arms. "Leaving now."

"Don't worry, I'll go," Faith offered, showing her the can. "You stay…enjoy the moment. Have a cigarette even." Faith laughed and continued on her way to the kitchen to deposit the can.

Willow sighed and turned to leave anyway when a sharp knock came from the boarded up door.

"Oh good heavens!" Giles said. "What now?"

Xander unhooked his makeshift lock and pulled the rickety door open to reveal a petite blonde figure. His eyes widened in astonishment and he stepped backward, as if almost in shock.

"I heard you put out an ASB – All Slayer Bulletin," Buffy Summers said, walking through the door. When no one said anything but continued to stare slack-jawed she added, "Oh come on…you didn't think I'd miss this, did you?"

Fade to Black

END of May Day

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