Watchers Council – Moments Later
Giles turned to Willow as the group of vampires stalked around them in a circle. “I thought you did a protection spell?” he asked nervously.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t work when you invite them in,” she countered, stressing the last three words sarcastically.
Giles pointed to Marshall, “Well how was I to know he –”
“Don’t worry,” Marshall interrupted them with a sneer, turning their attention back to him. “In the spirit of watcher camaraderie, we’re going to make this as painless as possible for you.”
“So you were turned?” Giles said as he casually looked around, hoping to buy some time to formulate a plan of escape. “Sired by the vampire that killed your potential, I presume?”
“What can I say?” Marshall shrugged casually. “He killed her and then made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. But here’s the problem now. I’ve been overseeing… well, watching, if you will,” he said with a caustic grin, “this nest. I’ve been giving tips to help fight any foe that might come along. As a result we’ve owned this area for years. In fact, we had one of the owners of this very building over for dinner one night.”
The vamps in Marshall’s clan gave a chuckle as he continued. “With you and your girls here, that poses a big problem for us,” Marshall told him. “So it’s nothing personal. It’s strictly business and a matter of survival. It’s you or us. Sorry to say, but you’re coming out on the losing end.”
The group heard a commotion and turned to the service elevator. Andrew quickly exited, pushing the serving dolly to gather more dirty dishes. He looked up after his hasty exit and froze.
“Um, Sorry,” he told them, waving his hand. “Just ignore me.”
Using the distraction, Giles grabbed Willow and Robin and pushed through the circle, running toward Andrew. The vamps gave pursuit but Andrew darted forward with the cart, sending it into the two closest vamps, giving the trio the chance to escape. Quickly, Andrew backed up to join the others.
“Enough of this!” one of the vampires shouted and rushed forward.
“Repel!” Willow shouted.
The vampire flew back about six feet and landed on his backside, shaking his head.
“I can only do this for so long,” she whispered to her partners.
“Where are the girls, Andrew?” Giles asked.
“Patrolling. They left about fifteen minutes ago, a half an hour tops,” he answered.
“Which means we’ll have to wait before the cavalry gets here,” Robin replied.
The group continued to walk backwards slowly, as the vampires spread themselves out and started to advance forward.
“Okay,” Giles nodded. “We fight then. Andrew, you have to get over to the radio and get the groups back. Willow, Robin, and myself will hold them off while you make the call. Understood?”
“Okay, Mr. Giles,” Andrew said excitedly, keeping his voice down so as not to be overheard. “But, uh, hold them off with what exactly?”
Giles looked over at the far wall, behind the creeping vampires trying to circle them again. He spotted a few bits of lumber left over from the day’s construction. “Back there,” he said with a slight nod, trying not to attract too much attention. “We’ve got to get over there.”
“No, we don’t,” Willow answered before taking a step forward.
A couple of vampires snickered at Willow’s confident demeanor and continued their approach. Willow turned to the trio of men behind her. “Duck,” she told them calmly.
Before the vampires had a chance to react, lumber came hurtling toward them at lightning speed as Giles, Robin, and Andrew all took to the ground to avoid also getting impaled. Some slices went straight through the vampires, missing their hearts, but two pieces hit their targets and both vampires exploded into instant dust. The ones not hit began to cower and look behind them searching for more.
With a wave of her hand, Willow stopped the wood in mid-flight. Several pieces fell directly in front of her and her partners on the floor. Not wasting a moment of the vampire’s fear and confusion, the team took their weapons and raced over to the reception station where the radio sat.
“Get up!” Marshall yelled to his demons. “Get them!”
The vampires looked uncertain for a moment and Willow grabbed Giles and Robin with her left and right hands. Andrew reached over the reception area and picked up the radio.
“Make a ring around Andrew,” she ordered.
“A ring?” Robin asked.
“Andrew, lean against my back! Robin, Giles join hands!”
Putting the wooden shards in their waistbands, Willow, Giles, and Robin regrouped and stood still, encasing Andrew while Willow began to chant. The vampires raced forward, but came to a halt when they hit the unseen barrier.
“We can’t touch them,” one of the vampires told Marshall.
“Keep pushing,” he said with a sure grin. “She can’t hold us back forever.”
Frantically, Andrew pushed the radio button and spoke.
“Calling all slayers! Calling all slayers! 9-1-1! Vamps in the Headquarters! Repeat! We have vampires in the headquarters! Report back immediately! Over?”
City Street – Same Time
Kennedy felt the sting of the vampire’s backhand against her cheek immediately after her lover’s name frantically passed her lips. The slap barely moved Kennedy’s head and she pushed him into the wall before whipping out a stake from her waistband. She dusted the vampire without a second thought and reached for the radio as she watched Vi tangle with a second vampire.
City Street – Same Time
Faith had the girls observing Rona take down the lone vampire they had found, who had been struggling with a victim moments before. Now he found himself struggling to survive the Slayer before him.
“See that?” Faith told them, pointing to the melee. “See how her feet are spread? Her stance?”
Andrew’s hysterical voice filled the radio on Faith’s hip, and she only managed to catch the tail end of the transmission with Andrew saying, ‘We have vampires in the headquarters! Report back immediately! Over?’
Faith shouted over to Rona. “Take him down now! We’ve got trouble at the council!”
Rona gave a nod and promptly flipped the vampire over her head. He landed on his back, totally disoriented, and she staked him, turning him to dust.
“Copy that. Team One heading home,” Faith said into the radio before turning to her team. “Haul ass girls! Now!” she added as she ran down the street and they all followed her lead.
City Street – Same Time
Kennedy’s hand was shaking as she gripped the radio and heard Faith’s confirmation. She took a deep breath before she pressed the button and said, “Team Two heading home.”
Not wasting a second longer, Kennedy reattached the radio and ran up to the vampire that Vi battled. She tapped him on the shoulder and he turned to face her.
“Two girls at once,” he said with a confident chuckle. “Kinky.”
Kennedy’s response was a stake through the heart that came so fast he didn’t have time to block it.
“We gotta get home! Now!” Kennedy told the group, before she took off in a sprint.
Watchers Council – Moments Later
“They’re on the way,” Andrew told the group, “Now what?”
The vampires were now putting their whole bodies into the barrier and getting closer and closer by the second. Giles gave Willow a look of concern.
“You’re getting weak,” he whispered to her, taking in her appearance. Her breathing was labored and she had beads of sweat forming on her forehead and upper lip. “Let it fall when you see the best chance to throw them off,” he added.
Willow watched as three of the remaining five vampires jumped simultaneously toward them, shoulders first. When she dropped the barrier unexpectedly, gravity worked to her advantage and all three vampires tumbled to the ground. Willow also crumpled to the floor, but from exhaustion.
Robin and Giles didn’t miss a step and both men jumped, each one staking a vampire before they could even stand. The third, however, rolled and jumped back up to his feet.
Marshall stood back and watched with a smirk as one of his vampires closed in on Robin’s neck as he knelt in the pile of dust he and Giles had created. The smile faded though, when he watched Andrew come up from behind and strike the vampire through the back, a burst of dust scattering all over Robin.
“Hey! I got one!” Andrew exclaimed proudly.
Excited by his prowess, Andrew didn’t notice the other vampire who had worked behind him. With a deep growl, the vampire grabbed Andrew by the arms and tossed him effortlessly into the wall behind them.
Robin looked over to see Giles trying to keep the vampire he battled away from his neck and he raced over to help. Willow turned around to see Andrew slumped on the floor unconscious and she wobbled, trying to get upright.
“Here little lady,” the vampire that tossed Andrew snickered. “Let me give you a hand,” he added, grabbing her by the hair and pulling her the rest of the way up.
Willow still appeared dazed and drained.
“Bet witch tastes delicious,” he taunted and bared his fangs.
Willow reached behind her back and swung her arm around, quickly burying a stake in his heart.
The vampire looked down at the wood sticking out of his chest as she stepped back.
“Yummy, but you’ll never know,” she quipped, losing her helpless façade.
He never finished the sentence and Willow caught the stake before it landed in the dust that now lay at her feet. She looked over to see Robin doing his best to toss the remaining vampire off Giles and she knew it was only a matter of time before they had the upper hand. Instead of distracting her partners by interfering, Willow instead came eye to eye with Marshall.
She moved closer to him with grace and determination. Her steps were leisurely and Marshall looked nervously around him.
“Didn’t quite go the way you planned, did it?” she asked him.
“I’m a powerful vampire, little girl,” he told her, “You do not want to tangle with me. I’ve led this crew for decades now.”
“What crew? I don’t see any crew,” she told him as she moved closer. Behind her, Willow heard the unmistakable sounds of a vampire being dusted and knew that Giles and Robin had won their fight. “All I see is the last vamp in a nest about to meet an overdue end,” Willow added.
“How dare you talk to me like that,” Marshall said, trying to act indignant and bold, yet failing. “Who do you think you are?”
Willow let go of the stake she was holding, but it didn’t drop to the floor. Instead, it shot up and hovered next to her head for a moment, as if taking aim on Marshall of its own accord.
“Who am I?” Willow remarked, pausing a moment as if she was deeply considering the question.
Suddenly the wood flew through the air and Marshall gripped the end of the stake positioned over his heart. He smirked in defiance, but a moment later his hand dropped to reveal the wood buried deeply within him. He looked back at Willow with a stare of disbelief.
“I’m a Watcher,” she told him proudly, just before he exploded into dust.
Willow let out a deep sigh of relief and turned to see Giles and Robin helping Andrew to his feet. He looked groggy, although he was standing upright now. At that moment, Kennedy and Faith both burst through the front door, scanning the immense room.
“Where are they?” Faith asked, trying to get her breath.
Kennedy rushed past Faith and ran over to Willow. She pulled the redhead into her arms. “Are you okay? Is everybody alright?”
“Everything’s fine, Sweetie. We took care of it. It was easy actually,” Willow exaggerated, trying to reassure Kennedy.
“You call that easy?” Robin asked.
Faith walked deeper into the room and bent on one knee to look at the dust. “Wicked,” Faith replied. “Looks like you guys don’t need slayers anymore. Maybe I’ll retire, too.”
“Hardly,” Robin told her. “I don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.”
“Speaking of which,” Giles added. “We need a new rule. At least one experienced slayer should stay behind each evening.”
“You got my vote,” Andrew said, clutching his head. “Oww, I can feel the earth rotating. I think I need to lay down someplace. Quick.”
Kennedy turned to Willow. “How did they get in? Your protection spell didn’t take?”
“Oh it took alright, but it does little good when Giles invites them in,” she explained.
“I didn’t know he’d been turned,” Giles argued. “He was a watcher, for heaven’s sake.”
Before Willow could reply, the other slayers finally caught up and rushed inside. As they looked around, Faith walked over to Robin and began to dust his shoulders off.
“I think you’re a good catch Ace,” she told Robin. “But right now you reek pretty bad,” she added with a chuckle.
“You mean vamp dust isn’t an aphrodisiac?”
“Vamp slaying, most definitely,” Faith answered. “But vamp dust? Nah, that’s just gross.”
“Hmm, give me fifteen minutes and meet me upstairs,” Robin instructed with a grin.
“You’re on.” Faith smiled back and watched him walk away for a moment before turning to the troops. “Okay ladies,” she announced to the slayers. “Since the watchers felt the need to act like slayers tonight, that means you’re all on dustpan duty. So get your brooms and clean up this mess. Move it out.”
Giles walked over to where Kennedy and Willow were standing. “You okay?” Willow asked Giles.
“Yes, I’ll be fine,” he said with a grin.
“You’re in awfully good spirits for almost getting killed tonight.”
Giles smiled and paused for a moment. “I overheard what you told Marshall. Did you mean it?”
“The watcher thing?” Willow asked just to be sure. Giles simply nodded. “Yeah, I do,” she continued. “I’ve been thinking about everything and what you said. It’s not gonna be easy but yeah… I want to be a watcher, Giles. I mean, that’s if you’d teach me.”
“I would be honored.” Giles smiled. “But I think Faith is right. Let’s get cleaned up and…then we can talk shop…tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Giles,” Willow told him as he began to walk away.
“Goodnight ladies,” Giles told Willow and Kennedy, before starting on his way up the stairs.
Willow turned to Kennedy and grinned sheepishly. Kennedy returned the smile and moved closer into Willow’s embrace.
“Got yourself some vamps tonight, eh?” Kennedy smirked at Willow.
“Yeah, a couple,” Willow said modestly, enjoying the closeness. “You?”
“Uh huh,” Kennedy replied. “You know…I’m wondering…”
“What’s that?” Willow asked.
“That old hungry and horny deal Faith was telling me about that comes after Slayage…”
“What about it?” Willow smiled, a knowing glint in her eyes.
“I’m wondering if it’s true for Watchers as well as slayers?” Kennedy mused.
“Hmmm,” Willow said, hugging Kennedy even closer. “Could be. I think it’s definitely worth researching.”
“Oh yeah,” Kennedy said. “Research. I know you’re really good at that.”
“Um hmm,” Willow nodded. “And I know you’re really good at action so I think we make a good team.”
“Yep,” Kennedy laughed, taking Willow’s hand and pulling her along. “Watchers and slayers. Together, we’re invincible.”
Willow laughed and followed Kennedy as they both raced up the stairs.
Tunnel looking Dwelling – Night
“So?” A deep, masculine voice called from one of the dark corners. “Is it done?”
The real estate agent who showed the Watchers their newly purchased building stepped out of the shadows and into a small area of light, nodding. “Yes. Their school will be opening right where you’ve requested. They loved the sales pitch.”
“I bet they did. You’ve done well, Bonnie. Once our plans are firmly in place and victory is at hand, I will see personally that you get your reward.”
“Thank you, sir,” she bowed politely. “I’m happy to serve.”
“I promise your loyalty to the Presidium will not be forgotten, my dear. You are truly one of the finest among humans.”
The realtor simply flashed a devious grin.
Fade to Black
End of Something Ventured, Something Gained
On the next episode of “Watchers”…
The gang goes on a boat ride on Lake Erie in search of a legendary monster, but it turns out to be no pleasure cruise.