Stern – Lake Erie – Afternoon
“Kennedy!” Willow said, rushing to the side of the boat “Oh Goddess!”
A few moments later, Kennedy’s dark head bobbed up to the surface, the life vest providing buoyancy.
“It’s coming again!” Andrew yelled, pointing.
“Oh Goddess,” Willow repeated. The redhead began to pull off her soaked jacket, but was stopped by Faith.
“I’ll get her,” the slayer said. With a quick leap, Faith jumped on the gunwale and dove over the side.
“Faith, no! I’ll use…” Willow shouted. “Magic,” she finished, knowing her words were useless as Faith broke the water’s surface.
Faith was now in the water, both arms pumping furiously as she swam towards Kennedy and against the current the beast had created.
“Hang on! It’s coming around again!” Andrew yelled as the creature passed under the boat again. This time when it passed, bumping and scraping along the bottom, it headed straight for Faith and Kennedy.
They could see it was approximately thirty feet long, its back covered in metallic looking scales with giant flippers that ended in hooked claws. The one close-up view was enough to tell them it was not of Earth.
“Must be a sea demon of some kind,” Giles speculated. Willow glanced at him with a wide-eyed stare. “Probably slipped through here from another dimension.”
“Can we save my girlfriend first and put the intellectual discussion on hold?” Willow yelled.
“Of course,” he said, slightly embarrassed.
The group on the boat watched anxiously as Faith finally reached Kennedy and began to pull her back towards the boat. But suddenly the creature rushed by the boat again, the wake of its passing slamming the slayers into the side of the boat and once again knocking those on board off their feet.
“A little help here!” Faith called out.
Picking herself off the deck, Willow began an incantation. Closing her eyes, she raised both hands. As she did, both slayers were lifted out of the water and dumped unceremoniously on the deck. Willow’s chanting ended and she collapsed in the fishing chair, her breathing heavy.
Kennedy seemed to be bringing up buckets of lake water from her mouth and nose, but eventually her lungs cleared and she was able to catch her breath.
“Thanks,” she croaked to Faith.
“Don’t mention it, Brat,” Faith said. “But you are going to learn to swim. That’s an order, got it?”
“Good luck,” Kennedy said.
“Are you okay?” Willow asked, looking into Kennedy’s eyes.
“Yeah,” the Slayer said. “Nice spell.”
“No problem,” Willow replied. “Giles! Get us out of here. Now!”
“Right,” he said, then raced up the ladder.
Faith helped Kennedy off the deck as the engine began to crank. After a few tries it was obvious it was not going to start.
“I think it’s flooded,” Giles called down.
“Oh Gods,” Andrew said, panic evident in his voice. “Willow! Do something!”
“What would you suggest I do?” she asked, clearly agitated.
“Levitate us back to shore!”
“What?” Willow said, her mouth hanging open.
“Just like you did Faith and Kennedy,” Andrew said before looking back out across the water. “Wait! It’s swimming away. It’s going home!” he said pointing.
The creature was heading further out on the horizon but they watched as it doubled back towards the boat again, this time coming for the stern.
“It could just skip that part and come straight here,” Kennedy said, pointing. “Smart demon. It’s building up speed,” she added as she started to search the cargo chests.
Andrew backed up until he was pressed against the bulkhead to the cabin. “Willow! Come on! Get us to shore!”
“Andrew,” she began, “Levitating an entire boat is not like levitating two people. It’s totally different.”
“Size matters not,” he argued. “It’s only different in your mind.”
“I’m not Luke Skywalker and you are NOT Master Yoda!” she hissed.
“Oh yeah?” Andrew counted.
“Yeah,” Willow retorted. “For starters, Yoda’s a green, wrinkly ass-kicker and way more cooler than you’ll ever be.”
He harrumphed but didn’t get a chance to reply.
“Andrew,” Kennedy said, cutting him short. “If you have nothing useful to add, shut up. Faith, help me find the weapons.”
Both slayers began rummaging through the bag Kennedy pulled out as the creature bearing down on them gained more momentum by the second.
“Andrew,” Giles said, stepping back down from the bridge. “If this is a sea demon, is there any way we can kill it?”
Andrew looked blankly at Giles a moment, as if deciding whether or not to panic some more. Then he appeared to think.
“Well, Mr. Giles,” he began. “Those scales look pretty impenetrable, but I think the underside might be more vulnerable. If someone can get underneath it, we might be able to do some damage.”
The wake pushed ahead by the demon washed over the side of the stern. Faith grabbed the weapons bag in one hand and held on to Kennedy with the other. Everyone else grabbed something for support as the creature’s head slammed into the stern. They all heard a sickening crunch of wood as the dive platform shattered. A second later, the entire stern buckled under the force. As the creature dived under the boat, they could again hear the scrape of the scales along the hull.
“Think it’s safe to say we just lost our security deposit,” Faith quipped.
“We can’t take much more of this,” Robin said seriously. “We’ve got to do something.”
“Right,” Faith said as she strapped a Bowie knife to her thigh, getting back to business. “Will, can you work some mojo on it long enough for me to get a handhold on it?”
“I can try,” Willow said.
“Do,” Andrew quoted. “Or do not. There is no try.”
“Shut up, Andrew!” Giles said, then lightly smacked him across the back of the head.
“Here it comes again,” Faith said. “Ready Will?”
“Yeah,” the witch said, taking her place next to the slayer to stare at the demon. This time it approached them from the port side, intent on smashing a hole and scuttling the boat.
Willow began chanting again, her eyes narrowing as she watched the approaching demon. Finally she held up her hand and yelled “Contineo!”
The demon came to a dead stop in the water five feet from the boat, almost as if it had hit an invisible barrier. Faith took two steps back and then ran forward, leaping over the transom, through the air and onto its back. The demon bucked against the spell for a moment, letting out an angry screech that split the air. Faith straddled its body and grabbed for its flippers as it arched its back trying to shake her off.
“Yee haw!” the Slayer yelled gleefully, as the creature continued to buck. As its head rose up out of the water, Faith let go of one flipper and grabbed for the knife. With a smooth move she slid around to its underside and sliced deeply along its throat. Foul, green-colored blood spilled all over her and splashed into the water. With a smooth move, the creature dropped on top of Faith and dove under the water.
Everyone, including Kennedy, rushed to the side of the boat, looking at the roiling water where the demon had disappeared. More green blood and muddy water boiled up to the surface, but there was no sign of Faith.
“Come on, baby,” Robin whispered, his expression hard, but hopeful.
An eternity seemed to pass without a sign of the slayer. The water calmed, with only a few ripples remaining from the struggle. The silence after the noise of the battle began to weigh on them.
“That’s it,” Robin said. He grabbed the side of the boat, intent on vaulting over the side. Giles and Kennedy both grabbed him, preventing him from moving.
At that moment, Faith’s head broke the surface and she pulled in a great lungful of air. She swam to the boat and several pairs of hands lifted her into it.
“It’s slayed?” Willow asked once Faith was on board.
“Slayed and flayed,” Faith replied, dripping and smiling happily.
“Good job, Faith,” Giles said. “I’m gonna try to get this boat started. Can you give me a hand, Andrew?”
“Sure, Mr. Giles,” the young man replied, and they both headed into the cabin.
Willow and Kennedy moved off, leaving Robin and Faith sitting in the damaged stern.
“Good thing my mother was a slayer,” he said to his lover.
“Why’s that?” Faith asked with a smirk.
“If not, I think the stress of living with you would kill me,” he said, tenderly wiping her wet hair away from her forehead.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy, big guy,” she said. She leaned into his touch, her eyes closing.
“But it doesn’t always have to be stressful, you know,” he said. “I’d like to take you out to dinner, if that’s alright with you?”
Faith opened her eyes and smiled, looking into his warm brown ones. “Sure. I’d like that. It’s a date?”
“It’s a date,” he affirmed.
“But no seafood,” she added with a smirk.
Robin grinned and nodded once. “That goes without saying.”
Watchers Council – Foyer – Evening
Wet, weary and generally exhausted, the valiant fishing expedition trudged into the Council’s headquarters. They were met by the wide-eyed astonishment of Rona and the other slayers.
“Let me guess. It was this big…” Rona held her arms about three feet apart, “But it got away.”
“More like ten times that size,” Kennedy said. “And it didn’t get away. Faith slew it.”
“Great!” Rona said. “We were just about to head out for patrol.”
“Give me a minute to get changed,” Kennedy said. “I’ll go with you.”
“We can handle it,” Rona protested.
“I know you can,” Kennedy said. “But after my uselessness today, I feel the incredible need to slay things. Pity the poor vamps that get in my way tonight.”
Willow watched Kennedy disappear up the stairs and shrugged.
“You coming too?” Vi turned to Faith.
“Nope,” Faith said. “I’ve got a date tonight. You girls stay safe and have fun. I’ll be back on the job tomorrow night.”
Vi and Rona led the girls off to get weapons. The others followed Kennedy upstairs to change.
Watchers Council – Main Dining Hall – Next Morning
Andrew put a pot of tea before Giles and a thermos of coffee on the table in front of Willow, then took his seat and picked up his cereal spoon.
“Faith and Mr. Wood must have had a good time last night,” Andrew remarked, staring into his bowl. “Faith’s usually the first one down for breakfast in the morning.”
Kennedy smirked. “I think after slaying that huge demon yesterday she probably killed poor Robin.”
“Kennedy,” Giles admonished. “That’s their business. You just stick with you and, er…”
Willow gave him a questioning look. “Gonna finish that sentence sometime this century, Giles?”
“Er, never mind,” he said, then changed the subject. “Anything interesting in your morning reports?”
Willow opened the file folder and pulled a sheet of paper from it. “Oh look. The preliminary police report said the corpse of a giant eel was found washed ashore early this morning. They’re waiting for the university’s marine biology department to collect it for study.”
“Interesting,” Giles said.
“That wasn’t a giant eel!” Andrew said.
“No, but I suspect the Cleveland authorities will prove to be as blind to the truth as those of Sunnydale.” Giles picked up another piece of toast and began to butter it. “Makes our job that much easier, I suppose.”
Willow nodded. “Easier in some ways, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else out there knew what was going on.”
Giles took a bite of his toast. Andrew shrugged and went back to his cereal. Kennedy gave Willow a kiss and headed off to get the day’s training started.
From outside the window, unseen by the Watchers, a round-headed creature with a smooth, elongated neck pushed above the surface. It took a quick look around and then submerged again under the placid water’s surface, making a small ripple.
Fade to Black
End of Lake Eerie
On the next episode of “Watchers”…
The new Council gets more than it bargained for when it turns out they aren’t the only watchers left on Earth, while the gang simultaneously deals with a slight haunting at their new headquarters.