Story by CN Winters and Zahir al Daoud
Written and Directed by CN Winters
Edited by Susan Carr
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists - Robert Kidman, CN Winters, Zahir al Daoud, Chris Cook, Sarah and Elif
Cleveland Back Alley – Night
A young man in his early to mid-twenties embraced a cloaked figure and let out a heavy sigh.
"Please say it won’t be too much longer," a feminine voice asked from under the hood of the cloak.
"It won’t," he said sincerely. "I promise."
His hands reached inside the hood and he gently presses his forehead to hers before moving away and gave her a light kiss, her face still unseen. Reluctantly he slipped his hands away and walked backward. Still facing her he gave her a soft wave. He began to walk in one direction as she turned and went the other way.
Same Alley – Seconds Later
Just as the young man was near the alley exit two large powerful hands reached out and grabbed him from a nearby doorway. One covered his mouth while the other grabbed him by the waist and picked him off his feet.
Council Building Lobby – Night
A loud banging at the front door brought Bonnie to her feet from behind the receptionist desk. She slowly walked over as the pounding continued. She grumbled as she moved.
"Just had to tell them I’d take the night shift. Shoulda known nights would be more busy." As the pounding still continued she yelled, "Hang on, I’m coming already!"
When she opened the door her mouth fell. On the other side was an older woman, in her mid-fifties, with her arm wrapped around Skye.
"I think we’ve found someone who belongs to you," the woman said with a smile. "Can we come in?"
For a moment, Bonnie stood in shock, but she quickly shook it off.
"Yeah, yeah, get her in here." Bonnie quickly turned to Skye. "Where the hell have you been? Everyone here has been going nuts looking for you. Well, not me since I could really care less, but everyone else has."
"This from the woman who tried to hijack my body? I’m shocked," Skye retorted. "Look, is Dawn here?" she asked.
"Yeah, she’s probably in the coven room. Come over and we’ll page her."
Once the three of them arrived at the receptionist center Bonnie got a confused look on her face.
"Don’t know how to dial a phone?" Skye asked sarcastically.
"No," Bonnie answered annoyed. "I’m not sure what exactly to say without giving her a heart attack." A wicked grin came to Bonnie’s face and she picked up the phone hitting the P.A. system. "Dawn Summers, paging Dawn Summers. There is a Skye Task…" Bonnie put her hand over the phone and looked to Skye. "What the hell is your last name again?"
"Talisker," Skye answered.
Bonnie paused a moment. "Whatever…Skye is here to see you. Dawn Summers, paging Dawn Summers."
Before Bonnie could hang up the phone Council members began to pour out of every door and raced toward the lobby, with Dawn, Jeff and Willow in the lead from the coven room. Rowena and Robin emerged from their apartments to move to the top banister to look down at the action below. Xander finally arrived at the back entrance and appeared to be out of breath.
Skye couldn’t help but smile as everyone began asking her several questions at once. Finally, Dawn whistled and made everyone stop.
"Give her some space, okay guys?" she said. Once it was quiet Dawn asked Skye, "Are you okay?" Skye grinned and nodded.
"It’s good to be home," she answered.
Dawn gingerly pulled Skye into an embrace, as if she was afraid she might hurt her lover. Dawn gently pulled back and then immediately turned to the woman who had accompanied Skye.
"And you are…?" Dawn asked.
The woman extended her hand. "Sorry. Dr. Regina Wagner. I’m with the campus medical staff."
"Can you explain what happened?" Willow asked.
"Certainly," she began, "Well, at least as much as I know anyway – someone found Skye two nights ago and brought her into my infirmary. She took a bad blow to the head and we were going to have her transported to the hospital but she refused. After I bandaged her up she insisted that she go home. But I talked her into staying in the infirmary for at least two nights so the staff could keep her under observation. She had no identification on her and she said she thought she’d been mugged."
"Why didn’t you call?" Dawn asked, her voice sounding almost hurt.
"She tried," Dr. Wagner answered for Skye. "But she couldn’t remember the phone number and I couldn’t find a Dawn Summers in the phone book. You must be Dawn, I take it?" The doctor asked. Dawn simply nodded.
"Well, when she couldn’t remember the number, I insisted again that she go to the hospital but once more she refused and I didn’t want to scare her off. Sometimes people who have had a bad blow to the head…well…they react differently than they normally would. I didn’t want to force the issue because she seemed okay with staying at the infirmary with me. So I agreed to let her stay there for another night while I tried to talk to some experts at the hospital – to see if they could offer an idea of how to get her over there. Of course their answer was ‘Just bring her in’," Dr. Wagner said and rolled her eyes. "Anyway, I didn’t want to take the chance that she’d run like I said. So tonight I asked her if she thought she might remember how to get home and she led us here, which I’m assuming is the right place based on all the smiling faces."
"Yes, you’re at the right place," Willow assured her. "And thank you for bringing her back," she added.
"No need to thank me. Just make sure that she gets some further tests done," Dr. Wagner insisted. "We took x-rays and nothing is broken. But the memory lapse does concern me as well as the touch of pneumonia she has from being in the cold."
"Of course, we have a doctor on staff here. We’ll have him look at her," Rowena told Wagner.
"And if need be we’ll take her to the hospital," Xander added.
"I’m fine," Skye told them. "Just give me a couple of days to get my bearings back."
"All right," Dawn agreed. "But you’re still seeing Dr. Miller first thing tomorrow morning. Case closed."
Skye smiled and then turned to Dr. Wagner. "Yes, I’m definitely home now."
Dr. Wagner gave a small chuckle and patted Skye on the back. "Well, I’m glad I was able to get her here. I’d stick around but I need to get back to campus."
"Certainly," Robin told her as he walked her toward the door.
"Please call the campus and let me know how she’s doing," Dr. Wagner told Robin as they walked.
"We certainly will and thank you again from all of us. We appreciate all you’ve done."
"Goodnight," she said waving to the group who all issued their separate goodbyes as well.
"Okay, guys," Rowena announced to the group. "Let’s let Dawn and Skye have a few moments alone. When they’re ready they can join us in the kitchen for what’s left of Andrew’s Texas sheet cake. Agreed?"
Everyone made their own comments and began to walk toward the kitchen. Rowena and Willow lagged behind and Rowena walked over and caressed Skye’s face.
"We’re glad you’re home sweetheart. In the morning you go see Dr. Miller. Okay?" Skye began to sigh. "Okay?" Rowena said more forcefully although the grin was still on her face.
"Okay," Skye reluctantly agreed and began to grin herself.
Willow hugged Skye and kissed her on the forehead. "Take it easy for awhile," she told her. As she moved away, she caressed Dawn’s arm before giving it a light squeeze at the wrist. Willow then took Rowena’s hand and walked toward the kitchen, leaving Dawn and Skye alone.
At first the remaining pair said nothing to each other but Dawn began to tear up.
"I thought I lost you," she said on the verge of tears. "The police called and…"
"Hey," Skye said as she pulled Dawn into a hug when she wasn’t able to continue. "I promised you I’d always be here. I’m gonna keep that promise." Skye closed her eyes and hugged Dawn tighter. "Everything’s fine Dawnie. Don’t worry."
Council Building – Moments Later
Dr. Wagner walked down the street and climbed into the passenger side of a waiting car.
"So she’s inside?" her male companion asked.
"Yes and it was much easier than I thought," she remarked. Slowly a grin worked its way to her face.
End of Teaser
Onto Act One