Fade In:
Watchers Council – Night

“You can’t do this!” Willow told the two officers as they began to put the handcuffs on Giles. She raced forward and tried to push them away. A small scuffle ensued. “I won’t let you deport him!”

“Ma’am! Interfere and we’ll be forced to place you under arrest,” one of the officers told her, pushing her aside.

Willow raised her hand, as if to cast a spell, but Giles’s voice stopped her.

“Willow don’t,” he told her, taking a step closer to stop her approach. “You have to lead them, and not from a jail cell. We’ll find a way out of this. Understand?

Willow took a ragged breath and nodded. The headlights of an approaching car showed the glassy look in her eyes, which were on the verge of tears. The car came to a stop and two men exited, coming over.

“Agents Ford and Walters I presume?” one of the strangers asked.

Both INS agents looked suspicious. “Yes,” the taller one answered. “Who’s asking?”

The man flashed his badge. “Agents Thomas and Farrell – FBI. May we have a word with you in private?” He didn’t wait for an answer, he simply nodded them back toward their car.

What’s going on?” Andrew asked as the group watched the four men talking.

Suddenly, the INS agents looked upset, flailing their arms about. One of the FBI agents held out his hand and the INS agent reluctantly handed something to him.

“Looks like the cavalry finally made it,” Faith smirked.

“What cavalry?” Rowena asked.

Before the Faith could reply, the four men walked back to the group.

“Mr. Giles,” FBI Agent Thomas said, turning him around and undoing the handcuffs. “On behalf of the INS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I apologize for this mix-up. There is no record of any problems with your green card, so we’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

The FBI agent tossed the keys back to the INS agents and added, “You may go now.”

Without a word, the INS agents and two patrol officers with them returned to their vehicles and, with dumbfounded expressions, the group watched them drive away.

“Is there a Mr. Wood here?” the other agent asked.

“I’m Robin Wood.”

“The IRS will be faxing you a letter in the morning stating that their inquiry has finished and they find no fault in your records as of today,” the agent advised him. “Kennedy?” he added as he looked at the group.

The slayer raised her hand slightly and he turned to address her. “Your sister has been located in New Mexico and she’s on her way back to your father as we speak.”

Willow smiled at her lover, who gave a sigh of relief. “So, did you find the bastards that took her?” Kennedy asked.

“Three agents of the FBI, not acting on Bureau’s orders, actually took her into custody…” he told her pointedly. Everyone exchanged confused looks and the agent went on. “But we’re dealing with the guilty officers, I assure you.” He paused and looked around the group. “And Faith?”

“Yeah,” she responded gruffly

The man took a piece of paper from his pocket and cleared his throat before he read. “You know me. Not big on words but hang in there kid. You’re doing great. And tell Giles I’ll save his butt this once but not twice. He needs to stop mooching my contacts and find his own. Love, Angel. PS: By the way, that was an idle threat. Call if you need me.”

The agent walked a couple paces as he folded up the note and handed it to her. He quickly gave her an awkward hug and a peck on the cheek.

“There’s a kiss and a hug there too,” he added with a slight grin, before starting to make his way to his grinning partner. “Consider the message delivered in full,” he added, squaring his shoulders.

“But how did Angel know?” Giles asked.

“How do you think?” Faith countered. “While everyone was wetting themselves and running around like headless chickens I made a call. Obviously you guys were way too panicked to consider it. When the dorms caught fire, that was it. I called the dead guy back again and told him he better check on things or I’d fly out to L.A just to kick his ass around a little. Guess he heeded my warning.”

“Obviously,” Giles remarked, still a bit dazed.

“Well, if there isn’t anything further, we’ll leave you our card and be on our way,” Agent Thomas said with a nod. “Oh, and if the Council of Watchers should need anything…you know how to reach us,” he added with a knowing smile.

They turned around and walked back to the car. Willow stepped up next to Giles, taking the card. “That’s one federal contact,” she quipped as she put it in her pocket.

“Tall, dark and brooding’s gotta point, Giles,” Faith added, waving the note. “We need our own ace in the hole, you know?”

“We do know a-and we’re working on it,” Willow told her. “It’s not like it’s a few phone calls and we’re in. It takes time.”

“Work quicker,” Faith advised in a firm voice. “If Angel didn’t have his deal, we’d be up the creek without a friggin’ paddle.”

“I’m proud of you, Baby,” Robin said with a grin, putting his arm around her.

“Pretty smart, huh?” she teased.

“Nobody ever accused you of being dumb,” Robin answered.

“I’m glad that’s over,” Willow announced.

Giles turned to the group. “I know the Council. They’ll stop at nothing. We’ve managed to skirt this annoyance…”

Robin harrumphed. “You call this an annoyance – kidnapping, deportation, botched tax records and the biggest computer hacking job the world has ever known?”

“Yes,” Giles answered honestly. “And if they have more resources…”

“Then what, Giles?” Willow asked.

Giles paused a moment and everyone looked to him to continue. “First, you need a crash course in watcherhood, Willow. I need you prepared for what lay ahead.”

“Giles–?” Willow began.

Giles held up a hand to stop her. “I know the Old Guard. The old Council will use everything in its power to tear us down. This part of the game has ended, but I fear another might just be beginning. Trust me when I tell you…this is far from over.”

Fade to Black

End of Teaser