Story by Dan Joslyn, David Zahir, CN Winters and Susan Carr
Written by Dan Joslyn, CN Winters and Susan Carr
Directed and Produced by Dan Joslyn and CN Winters
Sounds by CSR
Edited by Dan Joslyn and CN Winters
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, Zahir al Daoud, CN Winters, Sarah, Humaira and elfTLG
Watchers Council Lobby – Morning
Robin hobbled his way down the lobby stairs, one hand clutching the banister and the other tightly gripping a wooden cane. He breathed a soft sigh of relief when he reached the bottom and then limped more confidently over to where Andrew and Xander were hanging a poster on the bulletin board.
"What’s this?" he asked. Xander moved to allow Robin to view the board.
"Annual Halloween Bash," Andrew answered.
Robin groaned. "I hope you’re not doing Murder On the Orient Express again."
"Nope," Xander said. "This year’s theme is Secret Agent Man."
"And I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for that," Robin said as he moved over to the reception desk and tried to casually lean against it.
"Yep," Andrew said proudly and stepped back to admire the poster. "I got the idea when Buffy and I were making peanut brittle her last visit. She was telling me about the Scoobies first Halloween together and how everyone became what they were dressed as. It seemed like a safe tradition to follow since Ethan is still AWOL. She said she made Willow dress as a hootchie girl ghost."
"And my wonderful experience as soldier boy," Xander reminisced, his eyes distant.
"Buffy told me you and Willow both looked hot," Andrew laughed. "And I made her tell me who was hotter."
"I don’t know what’s scarier," Robin said. "Buffy making peanut brittle or another Halloween in Cleveland."
"It’ll be fun," Xander promised. "And no tricks. Just a regular costume ball, lots of food and good company. Hey, Robin, I’ve still got my old eye patch if you wanna go as a pirate nemesis. I could make you up a peg leg that would make old Ahab proud."
Robin looked sideways at him. "Uh, I’ll think about it," he said. "Right now I’ve got to get to PT. See you guys later." He pushed off the desk and headed for the infirmary.
"You asked Buffy who was hotter?" Xander asked turning to Andrew. "Who’d she say?"
Andrew laughed. "I’m not telling."
"Come on, Andy," Xander said. "Spill."
"Nope," Andrew smirked and was saved from further questions by the arrival of the mail carrier.
"Hi Mr. Smithers," Andrew greeted.
"Hello Andrew…Xander," he said. "Here ya go."
"Thanks," Andrew took the various envelopes and packages from the man and pulled a stack of letters from the In Box resting on the desk. "This is all we have today."
"Great…have a nice day, boys," Mr. Smithers said and left for his next round.
"Anything interesting?" Xander asked.
"The usual," Andrew replied looking through the stack. "Bills, more bills, Slayer mail from home…oh, and a death threat for Skye."
"Another one?" Xander sighed. "What’s that? The third this week?"
"Yeah," Andrew replied.
"Okay," Xander said, holding out his hand. "Give it here…I’ll take it over to Dawn’s room."
"Thanks, Xander," Andrew said absently as he continued to flip through the mail. "Oooh, the new Time and Space Catalog…cool!"
Wilson’s Formal Wear – Same time
Dawn picked up a double-breasted peach-colored tuxedo and held it up against herself. Both Tracey and her girlfriend looked at her with incredulous eyes.
"No!" Skye said firmly.
"Why not?" Dawn whined.
"It’s hideous," Skye replied. "You’re going as gay secret agent, not an eye sore...Besides, gay men are supposed to have good fashion taste."
"I do have taste," Dawn retorted. "I picked you, didn’t I?"
"As if I could refuse you," Skye said with a smirk.
Dawn turned to Tracey. "It was her humility that won me over if you can tell."
Tracey smiled and gave a snort. "So how did you guys get together anyway?" she asked, looking through the racks of suits.
"Buffy decided to enroll me at this private academy in San Francisco," Dawn said. "She said I could get more education in a month there than a whole year at a public school."
"She was right," Skye said. "The Bay School is the best of its kind."
"Yeah, but not as good as the Watchers Academy." Dawn said. "Anyway, soon after the semester started, I discovered that their library was pretty cool. They had a dead language section to rival the Council’s. I hung out there a lot and one day met this pretty redhead who was hogging a Sumerian book I was looking for. We started to talk. She started to flirt. And well, there you go."
"Actually, I was doing a research paper and I was NOT flirting," Skye explained. "I had just broken up with my ex-girlfriend and had no intention of getting into another relationship."
"What can I say?" Dawn smirked. "I’m irresistible."
Skye rolled her eyes. "I had no choice," she said. "She followed me around the school like a love-sick puppy."
"Couldn’t help it," Dawn said. "I fell hard…that, and, well, I needed that book."
Dawn gave Skye a teasing grin and the redhead brushed her off.
"That the first time you fell for a girl?" Tracey asked Dawn.
"Yep." Dawn nodded. "But my history with guys wasn’t very stellar. My first kiss was with a vampire and the next guy made me and all the other girls, including Willow, fall in love with him by using an enchanted jacket." Tracey and Skye laughed as Dawn blushed. "Hey, at least I didn’t try to turn him into a girl so I could have sex with him, unlike a certain high priestess."
"What about you, Skye?" Tracey asked. "You always like girls?"
Skye nodded as she picked out a striking black suit. "I guess growing up in San Francisco had its advantages. I never had to feel a stigma for liking my own kind."
"What about your folks?" Tracey asked. "With Ro’s mom I know things are still pretty tense."
Skye handed the suit to Dawn and pointed her in the direction of the dressing room. "Go," she ordered.
"Yes, dear," Dawn rolled her eyes.
"I haven’t seen my dad in ages," Skye explained. "Mom’s cool with it and she likes Dawn so that’s a plus…what about you," Skye said moving toward the tie rack. "Any explorations onto the Sapphic side of the street?"
Tracey shrugged. "Can’t say I had any real desire in that area."
Skye paused in thought. "Freud felt all human beings were innately bisexual and Kinsey showed that the majority of people either had same-sex fantasies or had same-sex experiences after the age of 16."
"What do you think?" Tracey asked.
"I think it’s rare for find someone who is 100% straight or 100% gay. Just because I’ve never been attracted to a guy doesn’t mean I never will be in the future."
"Uh, excuse me?" Dawn called from the dressing room.
Skye smiled. "What I mean is if some weird Hellmouth thing happened and Dawn woke up with a penis, I’d still love her as much as I do right now…although I just hope it’s not in Jeff’s body again. That was a bit much."
"I heard that!" Dawn’s voice came from the dressing room.
"Love you, sweetie." Skye laughed.
"So it’s the person; not the gender," Tracey said.
"Pretty much, but I do like girls quite a bit more," Skye answered with a smile. "Especially one girl in particular," she added toward the dressing room. She paused a moment. "So what’s the story on Andrew?" she asked Tracey.
"Everyone seemed to assume that Andy was gay," Tracey said and then chuckled. "Hell, even I thought he was gay when I first met him."
"But now?" Skye said as she wiggled her eyebrows.
Tracy sighed. "But now I think folks are confused and it’s bugging him. And I think it’s putting a lot of pressure on him as well."
"I think Andrew is one of those true bisexuals," Dawn said coming out of the dressing room. Skye gave an appreciative whistle at her girlfriend’s appearance then moved forward to help with Dawn’s silk tie. "Back in Sunnydale he was drooling over both Spike and my sister at the same time and he had this whole obsession thing going with Xander and Anya that I don’t even like to think about. He was devastated when Anya died saving his life."
"There you go," Skye said to Dawn, giving the tie a final adjustment. "You look great."
"Thanks," Dawn said and looked at her appearance in the mirror. The suit had been made for a young man, but on Dawn’s slender figure, it fit perfectly.
"All I need now is a pair of shoes and the pink socks," Dawn said, bouncing on her toes and heading for the salesclerk with a loud squeal.
"Pink socks?" Tracey asked.
"Yeah, you know, Nathan Lane from ‘The Birdcage’? One does want a hint of color," Skye said.
Tracey laughed along with Skye, who turned around and started looking at some other suits.
"You’re probably right about the pressure thing," Skye said. "I’m guessing that Andrew doesn’t have much real world experience with men or women."
"None," Tracey said. "That infamous Beltaine was his first kiss. But I must confess for a first kiss…He’s pretty damn good." Tracey laughed nervously. "I just wish he’d take more initiative sometimes."
"Getting a little frustrated?" Skye asked, amused.
"Yeah, kinda," Tracey admitted. "He’s so sweet and kind and gentle and yet, at the same time, I feel there’s this incredible passion just smoldering under the surface. I wanna be the one who gives him the confidence to let it out."
"Are we still talking about Andrew?" Dawn asked returning with her socks.
"Hush, Dawn," Skye admonished. "I like Andrew."
"I like him too I guess," Dawn answered. "But when I think of sexy he just doesn’t top the list for me."
"Well, he does for Tracey so that’s all that should matter," Skye said before turning to Andrew’s girlfriend. "I’m sure you'll be the one," she said and looked at Tracey’s hopeful face. "You just have to remember that for Andrew, love is probably more important than sex. So just make sure of your feelings for him before you do anything you might regret. And I’ve seen the way Andrew looks at you so I don’t think you have to worry about his feelings for you."
"You think he’s in love with me? Really?" Tracey’s face reflected first shock and then happiness.
"Oh yeah. He’s whipped," Dawn said and then turned to Skye. "Find anything you like for yourself?"
"A couple of things," Skye said and they headed off, leaving Tracey in dreamland. "By the way," Skye continued. "Whatever happened to that vamp you kissed?"
"I staked him, of course," Dawn said with mock shock on her face. "Do I look like my sister? Hello! Dating vamps is so not my thing."
Skye laughed at Dawn’s antics.
Outside Wilson’s Formal Wear – Later
The slate black Cadillac with the tinted windows rolled forward slowly following the three women who had just exited the formal wear shop.
Black Cadillac – Same time
An open cell phone lay on the seat next to the trench-coated figure behind the wheel. Carefully he picked it up and pressed a button before waiting for an answer.
"Subject is leaving premises and now heading down Lakeside Avenue still accompanied by two other female accomplices."
"That slut!" the high-pitched voice came from the tinny speaker of the cell phone and the figure pulled the phone away for a brief moment. "When I get my hands on her, I’ll…I’ll…oh never mind, I’ll think of something. Just make sure you don’t lose her, got it?"
"Affirmative," the figure said. "Over and out." A gloved hand briefly left the steering wheel to flip the phone closed. As it leaned forward to keep an eye on the three women, a slender chitinous tentacle slipped out from under the brown fedora.
End of Teaser
Onto Act One