Story by DragonWriter17, CN Winters, Anne and CSR
Written by CN Winters (with additional writing by Anne)
Produced and Directed by CN Winters
Edited by Sharon Kierein and Angie Wilson
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by Chris Cook
Artists – Chris Cook, David Zahir, Chantal, Rob, Jin, Humaira, CN Winters
Darkened Room – Night
Lightning illuminated a small window; a crack of thunder followed. The sounds of a woman grunting and the image of fists repeatedly whaling on an unidentified individual came into view. Gradually, the light reveals that the fists are Kennedy’s, who is working a punching bag that Faith is holding in place in the Council gym.
"It’s official now," Kennedy said as she continued to pound on the bag. "You’re one of them."
Faith rolled her eyes. "It’s not us verses them – Slayers and Watchers both work together."
"Oh yeah? Then why are you hanging out with the Watchers at Andrew’s…what did he call it…Halloween Clue Murder Mystery extravaganza? You should be coming to our Slayerfest instead."
"Andrew wants Robin and me there," Faith answered with a shrug. "Figured we’d give the little guy a few hours of our time. He works hard all year, and this seems like a big deal to him."
Kennedy stopped hitting the bag and gave her a sarcastic smile. "I think Robin just wants to see you dressed up as Yvette the maid."
Faith smiled and pushed the bag back, knocking Kennedy to the ground. "Oops. So sorry." Faith turned and began to walk away. "Must dash. I have to get ready for the party."
Still on her back, Kennedy leaned up on her elbows and continued to smile. "Shouldn’t take too long. Not a lot of material for your costume, after all," she called out to Faith’s retreating form.
Kitchen – Same Time
Andrew scurried around the kitchen, checking a host of different pots and pans on the stove, as Marsha stood nearby watching.
"Now you know what you have to do?" he asked her impatiently.
"For the hundredth time, yes," she sighed. "You’ve been wigging all day, so just take it easy. Not like I’ll burn the place down."
"I just want tonight to be perfect, and it has to be timed just right," he told her.
"Andrew, I’ll manage." In a lower voice she muttered, "You’ve been spazing ever since you crashed and burned with Tracey, so just chill."
Andrew stopped and turned around to face her. "How did you know about that?" he asked.
"Everybody knows. Small Council," she replied. "Besides, I was standing here in the room. I could tell you were going to ask her out until Mr. Perfect showed up. And if you ask me, you can do much better than Tracey. In fact, someone else might be right around the corner."
"Thanks for your optimism, but I don’t think so," he answered.
"I know so," she replied. "Maybe what you really need is a younger woman," she said as she tested something from the pot and licked it sensuously from her finger. "Think about it." With that she turned and was unable to see Andrew’s wide-eyed reaction. He watched as she started toward the door. "I’m gonna go grab the vids," she said as she passed Tracey, who was walking inside dressed in a cook costume.
Tracey saw Andrew’s expression and frowned. "Everything okay?" she asked.
"Huh? Oh! Yeah, fine. Nice costume. Glad you remembered," he said trying to sound conversational.
"Sure. It sounded like fun." After a pause, she said, "You know…I’m getting this vibe lately."
"Vibe?" Andrew asked nervously.
"Yeah, ever since I introduced you to Steve."
Andrew simply shrugged and looked away.
"Now this might come off as me being full of myself," Tracey teased. "But were you going to ask me out that night?" she asked.
Andrew shrugged again but still said nothing.
"I like having fun with you Andrew, so that doesn’t have to stop. Regardless of Steve, I enjoy your company."
"I know that," Andrew replied.
"Good, because it hasn’t felt that way lately. I’ve been walking on eggshells and-."
Andrew held up his hands. "You’ve got someone in your life and you’re not interested in anything romantic. I get it, and that’s okay. Really. I do want you to be my friend," he answered, not quite able to look at her.
"Good," she said raising his chin to meet her eyes. "Because I miss you - the guy who can quote every Star Wars film. The guy who can always tell me what Dark Horse comics has coming out this week. I like that guy, so I hope he sticks around," she told him sincerely.
Andrew gave her a genuine smile. "He’s here. Whaddya say we start off by having fun tonight and doing a little role-playing. Agreed?"
Tracey extended her hand to shake. "Agreed."
Andrew took it with a smile as Jeff walked in.
"Heard you needed a hand?" he asked.
"Yes! I’m glad you’re here Jeff. Follow me."
Dining Area – Moments Later
"You really should come tonight," Andrew told Jeff.
"Nah, I’m gonna hang out with the Slayers, I think," he answered.
"Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact a certain Summers gal is over there tonight, would it?" Andrew teased.
"Maybe," Jeff said with a smile and nod. "Okay, definitely," he added with a short laugh. "It’s pretty fruitless, huh?"
"I think you’re asking the wrong guy," Andrew replied in a hushed tone.
"Yeah, we’re a sorry lot, aren’t we, Andy?" Jeff sighed. "Falling for gals we’re never gonna have."
"All the more reason you should come to the party," he said. "It’ll take your mind off things."
"Thanks, but no thanks," Jeff answered.
Coven Room – Same Time
Marsha looked through various cabinets in Willow’s coven room but stopped at one and began to smile.
"Ah ha!" she exclaimed as she pulled out a caldron. "This will show Andrew we’ve got something in common."
She proceeded to look in a drawer and grabbed something else. She tossed it inside the caldron and looked down as if she was counting silently to herself. Quietly she crept from the room.
End of Teaser
Onto Act One