Originally broadcasted 10/7/03
Watchers Council – Day
Everyone’s attention turned to Andrew as he stood in the kitchen doorway. Standing tall, wearing his kitchen attire, complete with apron and oven mitts, he proudly announced, “Soup’s on!”
As Faith and Robin walked past, Andrew noticed the keys in Faith’s hand.
“You can’t leave yet,” he told them. “I even used a special recipe I found on the New Hope message board. It didn’t really have anything to do with Star Wars, so I don’t even know why it was there, actually. But it did look really good so I decided to try it and –”
Faith cut off Andrew’s blabbering. “Sorry Mr. Mom, goin’ home to Boston to pick up a slayer.”
“And I’m sure Faith is gonna take some time to show me around her old hometown, right?” Robin stated, looking from Andrew to Faith.
“Oh yeah, baby. You’re gonna love the Boston experience, no doubt,” Faith assured him with a smile.
As the two walked out the door, Andrew turned his attention to Willow. “What about you Willow? I know you’d like some of my specialty breakfast goodness.”
“Ah, sorry, I really don’t have time right now. I just got into the police department’s database and it looks like there’s a nest of vamps somewhere near here. Just a little more work and I should have the location of their lair,” Willow absently commented as she headed to the refrigerator. She pulled out a carton of juice and poured herself a glass.
“Oh, well done,” Giles quickly complimented Willow. He walked briskly to the door to greet the new carpenter contracted to help with the building’s renovations.
Just then, Andrew noticed Kennedy walking by him. “Oh hey, breakfast is ready. The most important meal of the day, one of the most important needs of a slayer,” he said with an unsure smile. His tone indicated he was hoping to get at least one person to try his meal and running out of prospects quickly.
“Umm, no. I’m gonna spend the morning training with the girls, so there’s no time,” Kennedy said. She gave Willow a quick kiss before heading out.
Sighing, Andrew stomped deeper into the kitchen, mumbling under his breath.
As Giles opened the door for the new carpenter, he met the man with a smile. “Ah, hello. I’m Rupert Giles, you must be Hank Malloy, I presume?”
“Yes sir, that’s me. I never thought I’d see this old building again. Always thought they’d just tear it down,” Hank said.
“You were here before?” Giles politely questioned.
“Oh yeah, I was here a few years ago working on some odds and ends,” Hank offered.
“Ah, right then. Shall we go to the dining room for coffee?” Giles said, changing the subject to the issue at hand. “I can show you the plans we had in mind.”
“Sure. Sounds great.”
“Good, right this way,” Giles said as he led Hank to the dining area.
When the two men entered the dining room, they found Andrew shoveling eggs into his mouth, looking upset and dejected with his nicely prepared meal. Unaware of their presence, Andrew spoke out loud to himself. Giles motioned Mallory to be quiet with a finger over his own lips.
“Why thank you Andrew, this is so thoughtful,” Andrew said out loud in a high pitched voice, in a bad impression of Kennedy or Willow. Then he added, “Oh, eggs. My favorite, thanks Dude!” in a deeper female voice supposed to be Faith. Giles held back a snort as he continued to listen. “Ah, bacon. Yes, this is quite thoughtful of you, Andrew. Your work is not unappreciated,” he continued in a bad British accent.
Giles cleared his throat and Andrew looked up from his plate. Not knowing how much of the show Giles caught, he immediately began back peddling, just to be on the safe side.
“Oh! Mr. Giles, I uh, I didn’t know you – you were there.”
“Obviously,” Giles said, walking in further with Mallory and grabbing a piece of bacon. “Um, your work is not unappreciated,” he mimicked in the tone Andrew had just used.
Andrew blushed. “I was just, ah, just finishing my breakfast. You know, most important meal of the day,” he said as he got up from his chair. “I’ll just, uh, I’ll go now.”
Giles watched Andrew depart with a grin. After he was gone Giles causally turned to Mallory, who was still smiling from Andrew’s antics.
“Cream or sugar?” Giles asked casually, holding up the coffee pot.
London Street – Day
The blonde woman looked out the taxi window as she neared her destination. She barely blinked her hazel eyes, which showed circles from nearly no sleep. In her arms she clutched a satchel, one that looked larger than it really was simply because she herself was a bit petite. When tallied with her youth, she almost looked like a college student suffering from jetlag.
The stately neighborhood was encased in red brick and ivy-clung walls. Nearly a third of the buildings in the area had domes, and almost all looked as if they’d first gone up during Victoria’s reign. The area looked respectable, trustworthy, even a little royal. The few protective gargoyles about were lions or angels. No demons or fantastical beasts were allowed, or at least discouraged.
Silently, the young woman slid out of the cab. Then she paid her fare.
“Keep the change,” she told the driver.
His eyes lit up. “Thank you! You have a wonderful day, Miss.”
The tip was generous, if not lavish. Waiting until he was well out of sight she turned and made her way on foot with the satchel handle held tight.
At last, she turned a corner and stopped. Half a block away it stood, a five-story building that looked as if it might house a small university or a medium-sized law firm. The gate surrounding the structure looked antique, although in sturdy condition.
On the gate was a large coat of arms, freshly painted. The shield showed a sleeping lion, and above it three ravens. Below that was a scroll bearing words in Latin:
PER EXPEDIA, VICTUS!
“From Knowledge, Victory,” the woman said softly, translating the words out loud.
Clutching the satchel handle even tighter, she took one step forward and froze.
Cannon fire, or what sounded like it, echoed off all the surrounding buildings. Her ears popped. With the huge noise came a bright orange light, followed by hot wind. Glass shattered in every direction and rained down, along with concrete, brick, timbers and ash. Instinctively, she clutched the satchel and ran.
Debris pelted her body as she raced for cover. Spotting the cargo bay of a nearby building, she dove inside, narrowly avoiding what looked like a huge chunk of concrete as it crashed to earth. The leap and the debris impact knocked her to the ground. Workers inside helped her to her feet, dusting her off and checking her for injuries.
“What the bloody hell was that? You okay, luv?” one asked.
The young woman didn’t respond. She looked back out to see the object that nearly crushed her wasn’t concrete at all. It was a piece of burning wood, part of a very large, very sturdy bookcase.
Next came the sound of agonizing and fearful screams. Slowly, she walked to the edge of the bay. She felt her eyes grow wet and she clutched the handle of her satchel once more.
She heard someone yelling, but her ears still rang, making it difficult to hear the muffled voices. Regardless, she didn’t react, but kept staring at the burning wreck of what had once been a building of size and grandeur.
A rugged looking man appeared and began to tug at her arm. “Come on, then! We gotta get clear! Miss? Miss?” The woman just had a blank stare.
London Watchers Council – Present Day
The same blank stare held on her face. The voice calling her changed, however. “Miss? Miss?” It was no longer masculine and muffled, but feminine and quite clear. “Miss Allister? Are you quite yourself?”
With a tiny shake of her head and several blinks, the young woman looked across the reception area. No debris here. No smell of burning wood and rubber. No sirens. She was seated, not standing. Her hair was clean, not soot-filled and grimy. Under her feet was expensive burgundy-colored carpeting, rather than oil-stained concrete.
“Miss Allister?” the secretary said again with just a hint of impatience.
“Sorry. Just thinking.”
“Mr. Tyrell will see you now,” the secretary stated.
Miss Allister nodded politely and took a deep breath. Picking her satchel up and keeping it close at hand, she slipped through a heavy cherry wood door closing it behind her.
End of Teaser