Niagara Falls, Canada – Viewing Sidewalk – Night
Faith and Robin walked hand in hand along the sidewalk in the brisk night air. The roar of Niagara Falls echoed around them.
“Things went well today, I’d say,” Robin remarked as they strolled along the sidewalk, taking in the scenery. “A new slayer signed up in record time.”
“Yeah,” Faith agreed. “It’s good when a plan comes together. We make a pretty good road team.”
“Just like Hope and Crosby,” he teased.
“Sure, just don’t expect me to start singing or dancing anytime soon,” she said, smiling.
He gave a light chuckle. “Now, how do you know about Bob and Bing’s road trip movies?”
“When you’ve got 25 to life, you got a lot of time on your hands and not a huge video selection.”
Faith pulled him closer to the railing to get a better look. “So this is it, huh?” she asked, waving toward the falls. “I just thought they’d be…I dunno, bigger.”
“My mom’s watcher brought me here when I was 12 and at the time they seemed pretty huge but, I gotta admit…it’s not quite what I remembered. Plus it was the summertime and not 25 degrees below zero out here.”
“Well, everything seems bigger when you’re a kid,” Faith answered. “And it’s not that cold, Dude. Toughen up!”
“You’ve just got slayer blood,” he said before blowing in his hands and rubbing them together.
“Well, I promise to warm you up when we get back to the hotel,” Faith offered with a sexy smirk.
“We’ll be in good company. You know, this is the honeymoon capital of the world,” he told her. “And who knows, maybe someday…”
“Nah ah, Ace,” Faith warned as they continued walking. “Don’t you be gettin’ any ideas. Things are goin’ fine just this way, so let’s not get a marriage certificate and screw it all up.”
“You think marriage screws up relationships?”
“I think rules change when people get married,” Faith told him. “It’s like, ‘I got the ring now, so why try anymore?’ People start to take each other for granted.”
“Some might, but not all,” Robin countered. “I never took my wife for granted.”
Faith stopped and Robin turned around to see where she went. “You had a wife?” she asked. “And that’s HAD, right? She’s not still keeping the home fires burnin’ someplace?”
“No, that fire went out quite a while ago.” Robin nodded.
“Wow…” Faith muttered, dumbfounded, “you never mentioned that.”
“It didn’t come up until now,” Robin said with a shrug. “…We were high school sweethearts, but it just didn’t work out.”
“Well I got a job in New York. She had a job in Connecticut. And the commuting got to be a bit hellish, for her anyway. I didn’t mind it. I was in love, but she was a different story.”
“So she left you?”
“I left her, actually. I got a three-day weekend unexpectedly and thought I’d surprise her. Turns out, I got the surprise when I caught her with another man.”
“Damn Robin…Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“What’s to say?” he said shrugging. “It’s history. I can’t change it. I can only learn from it – so when I promise I won’t take you for granted…well, I mean it. I’ve trusted some people I shouldn’t, made my mistakes too, Faith. Sooo, I try not to repeat them if I can.”
Faith gave him a grin. “Well, I wouldn’t do that Robin.”
“No, you’d tell me upfront: ‘I don’t love you. Get out of my life’.”
Faith opened her mouth as if to argue but just shrugged her shoulders and admitted, “Yeah, I probably would say that.” They both gave a little chuckle until Faith added, “but hurting you isn’t in my plans, Ace. You know that, right?”
“Yeah,” he said, coming over to her and wrapping his arms around her. “I know.”
She looked down over the edge of the railing. “That’s a mighty big jump,” she observed out loud.
Another voice, however, interrupted them and said, “But nothin’ a slayer couldn’t handle.”
They both looked over to the stranger in surprise and a smile came to both of their faces.
“Xan-Man!” Faith chuckled.
“Hey Faith,” Xander said, walking over to hug her.
“Long time no see,” she teased. “It’s been what? One, two weeks tops?”
Xander just smiled and turned to Robin. “Now, you I haven’t seen in awhile,” he said as he offered his hand.
“Yeah, sorry I missed you, but duty called,” Robin told him as he gave a firm shake. “Heard that you got the 20/20 back again,” he added pointing to his eye.
“Yeah, a little something I picked up in Cleveland,” he said with a grin. “Speaking of which, how’re things going?”
“Good,” Faith spoke up. “We just came up here to get a new recruit.”
“And everybody else?” Xander asked.
“Doing okay, for the most part,” Faith answered.
“Now for the big question…” Xander ventured.
Faith knew by the tone what Xander meant, but she didn’t answer immediately and took a sudden interest in her boots.
“That bad, huh?” Xander sighed.
“No Dude, it’s cool, ” Faith told him, looking up to meet his eyes again. “Things are still tense with ’em, yeah, but Will did the right thing…Brat just needs to grow up a little.”
“Damn.” Xander sighed under his breath and shook his head.
“Hey,” Faith said, getting his attention. “Red’s doing okay and she’s got no regrets on her end, so…don’t worry about it. Ken just doesn’t get her mojo stuff most of the time, but that’s not Red’s problem and it’s not your problem either.”
“Yeah, but still…”
“I know,” Faith said, nodding in understanding. She cleared her throat to change the subject, “Look, Robin’s turning into an ice cube. so why don’t we go up the hill there. Grab a drink or something?”
“You don’t mind?” Xander asked. “I mean, this is a couples-only kinda town. I don’t wanna be the third wheel.”
Faith hooked her arm around his and pulled him along as her other hand rested in Robin’s. “Are you kidding? We can always use an extra wheel.” She grinned as they made their way back up the sidewalk.
Watchers Council – Senior Slayer Quarters – Night
Kennedy heard a knock at her door and rose to answer it. She opened it to find Willow standing there with a forced grin on her face.
“Hey,” Kennedy greeted absently.
“Hey yourself…can I come in?”
Kennedy opened the door wider and stepped away. “Oh, yeah, sure.”
Willow closed the door and watched as Kennedy grabbed the remote and turned the television off. Nervously, she stuck her hands in her back pockets. “So, what brings you out tonight?” Kennedy tried to ask in a conversational tone. “Figured you’d be working late with Giles and Ro.”
Willow acted as if she was going to say something, but changed her mind. “We just finished a-and I wanted to see you. You didn’t come over to the other building for dinner.”
Kennedy looked apprehensive. “Yeah, well, gotta look after the rugrats while Faith’s gone.”
Willow slowly nodded. “Okay, I guess. I mean, she’s been gone before, but you always managed to stop by. Rona or Vi usually looks after them. So I guess I just wanted to know if you were okay.” Willow pursed her lips, as if she realized she was babbling.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Kennedy answered.
Willow paused a moment, watching Kennedy fold her arms across her chest. “You don’t look fine.”
Kennedy sighed and sat down on the sofa. “Maybe I’m really not fine. I’m not sure.”
Willow began to follow her, but stopped after a moment. “What’s wrong, Ken? Or do I even have to ask?” Kennedy just looked up, her eyes boring into Willow’s. “Okay, answered that question.” She licked her lips nervously and continued. “We need to talk about this.”
“Damn it. I’m getting sick of people wanting to talk to me. I’m tired of people asking me how I’m feeling. Besides, we’ve already talked about it. What’s done is done, right?” Kennedy’s voice sounded strained and matched the pained expression on her face.
“Well, maybe if you tell me what you’re feeling –”
Kennedy shot to her feet, coming toe to toe with her lover, “You wanna know what I’m feeling? Okay, I’ll tell you…I look at you and I see him,” Kennedy began in disdain. “And a part of me wants to know how you kissed him and touched him and the other part, the other part thinks I’ll shatter if you told me. And will I ever be good enough now? If we’re ever in bed again, are you going to be comparing me to him? And I keep wondering, will there come a day when I have to share you again–?”
“I told you, there was no sharing involved,” Willow began.
“I get it, Willow. Really. My mind understands it was for all the right reasons, but my heart…You let someone have you in a way…in a way that should only be meant for me.”
“I was doing a ritual, Ken. It’s a part of who I am,” Willow argued.
“Again, I get that,” Kennedy insisted. Willow watched as her lover’s jaw stiffened and a scowl started taking shape on her face. “Maybe if I had more time to adjust then it would have been better. But you just threw it at me. You didn’t give a rat’s ass about how I’d take it and y-you just freakin’ did it! So right now I’m really pissed at you, okay? So just back off and leave me the hell alone!”
Kennedy looked away, unable to come eye-to-eye with her lover. For a long moment, no one said anything. No one moved a muscle. Finally, Willow cleared her throat, bringing some sound to the smothering silence in the room.
“I didn’t know how long he would stay, so I didn’t have time to debate it…look, I…I didn’t want to hurt you,” Willow whimpered, breaking the silence.
“Maybe not, but you did…and even though I’m trying I…I’m just really mad, Willow. And I hate myself for feeling this way about you. You were my goddess…but now…” Kennedy finally lost her reserve and started to cry. Willow began to tear up and reached out a hand, but Kennedy pulled away, shaking her head. “Just don’t, don’t touch me right now.”
Willow took another step closer, but Kennedy didn’t pull away. “Please look at me,” Willow begged.
Kennedy’s chin practically rested on her rib cage. “I can’t,” she whispered toward her shoes. “I just want things to be better. I just…I want you to love me.”
“I do love you.”
Kennedy looked up and wiped her eyes. “Then why do I feel like second best? Why is everything else in the world more important than me?”
Willow closed the distance and she cupped Kennedy’s cheek in one hand.
“I never set out to hurt you Kennedy. I swear. I only did what I had to do.”
Kennedy looked as if she might say something, but stopped. Willow took the opportunity and pulled her closer still, kissing her softly on the lips.
“I’m sorry for hurting you,” Willow said, resting her forehead against Kennedy’s. “And I should have told you when I thought there might be a possibility of it being the only spell I could find. But I knew you wouldn’t understand.”
“No. You didn’t even give me the chance to try,” Kennedy said, pulling away. “Honestly Willow, tell me the truth here…If I had to have sex with someone else, how would you feel?”
“Depends on the reason,” Willow answered.
“I think you’re the one that doesn’t get it,” Kennedy said, shaking her head in frustration. “You keep explaining your logic about it all and I understand your point. But I don’t know why you can’t see mine.”
“The reason why I’d sleep with someone else shouldn’t matter to you. You should be upset. That’s my point!” Kennedy insisted. “You’re my girlfriend, Willow! I’m yours. Do you understand that concept? Yours – nobody else’s. I’m the person who’s just for you and you alone. I don’t think it’s asking too much for you to be the same for me.”
“I am yours,” the Wiccan answered softly.
“It sure as hell doesn’t feel like it.”
Willow released a heavy sigh. “I’m not sure what more I can do to prove it.”
“For starters, quit telling me how I should feel. Quit explaining it like I’m five years old. I get it already, and no matter how many times you tell me, I’m still not gonna like it.”
“I didn’t think I was,” Willow answered meekly. “But, if that’s how you feel then…Okay…A-and for the record, yeah, I think it would bother me if you were with someone else.”
“Don’t blow smoke here, Willow.”
“No smoke blowing, honest. It would bother me, but…and don’t get angry…but I’d find a way to get over it a-and I’d know, you still loved me.”
“Maybe that’s it,” Kennedy muttered.
“That’s what? Huh? What did I miss?”
“Maybe I don’t know that you love me.”
“Oh Kennedy,” Willow sighed as she reached out and began to stroke Kennedy’s hair behind her ear. “Don’t you get it? You brought me back to life. I was just going through the motions before you came along.”
Kennedy began to stare at the floor again, unable to meet Willow’s eyes. “You…You mean so much to me,” Kennedy proclaimed softly.
Willow pursed her lips to stop an onslaught of tears welling in her eyes and pulled Kennedy into a hug. The slayer hooked her chin over Willow’s shoulder and pulled her closer, practically clinging to her.
Slowly, Kennedy’s hands made their way to Willow’s hips and she pulled back slightly.
“Can we try to make things better?” Kennedy asked, her cheek against Willow’s.
“I’d like to,” Willow answered softly.
Tentatively, Kennedy nuzzled into Willow’s neck, as if unsure that she should be so close. The witch tilted her head slightly when she felt Kennedy’s lips timidly nip at her pulse point. Willow released a small sigh at the contact, which made Kennedy’s efforts bolder. After a few kisses to Willow’s neck, Kennedy pulled back and captured Willow’s lips with her own.
“I don’t wanna fight anymore,” Kennedy whispered, pulling away from her slightly again. Her eyes remained closed but her pained expression still hung on her face. “I just wanna make things better again.”
The Wiccan answered by returning the slayer’s advances with a kiss of her own. And after a few moments of kissing she felt the top button of her shirt being undone. As the stealthy slayer’s fingers worked the plastic from the fabric, Willow couldn’t contain her moan.
Kennedy’s head had dipped down to her lover’s neck again when they were interrupted by a giggling noise from the front door. Kennedy stopped and held up a finger. She crept to the door and quickly whipped it open. Marsha and a group of three other young slayers stood there giggling. Before Kennedy could issue a reprimand, all four turned and raced back toward the dorms.
Kennedy closed the door and Willow sighed, “Kids.”
“Sorry about that,” Kennedy told her. “Maybe…maybe this is a sign that we should talk a bit more and continue things after Faith gets back? Privacy seems to be an issue over here.”
“Okay, but, we will continue things, right?” Willow asked. “Talking I mean. I don’t want to keep going one step up and two steps back, Ken. I want you to be honest with me.”
“Ever forward, I promise.” Kennedy gave her a reassuring grin as she walked back. “Hey,” she tried to remark casually as she re-buttoned Willow’s shirt, “why don’t I make us some nice hot instant cocoa and move on to some friendly guilt and angst-free conversation?”
“Any suggestions on what we could discuss that won’t end in an argument?” Willow ventured.
Kennedy shrugged. “I dunno. Oh! How about the latest gossip, like Andrew’s new demon gal pal? I’m away for a few hours and all hell breaks loose.”
Willow returned the grin and took Kennedy’s hand, “Come on. I’ll tell you all about it while you boil water.”
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Early Morning
Andrew was putting the finishing touches on breakfast when he noticed Willow entering from the walkway to the Slayer Dorm, wearing the same clothes as the evening before.
“Good morning,” she told him.
Andrew gave a knowing grin. “Good morning indeed,” he teased as he pointed to her attire.
Willow blushed slightly and waved him off. “Well not THAT good, but better than it has been,” she admitted.
At that moment, Kennedy walked in, going to the refrigerator for her orange juice. “You want some apple juice, Sweetie?” she asked.
“No, I’m fine,” Andrew answered. “Oh, you meant…” He trailed off as he pointed over to Willow.
Kennedy gave him a sarcastic grin and a nod before starting to chug from the bottle.
“Yes please,” Willow called over before the two could start to bicker.
Mora arrived from the dining hall and eased up to Andrew’s side. “Is there anything else you require, Master?”
Kennedy was in mid-drink and suddenly began to choke.
“Master?” she asked Andrew, after getting her breath. He simply shrugged. She leaned past him and took in the demon’s appearance. “Damn Andrew, she’s pretty hot,” Kennedy complimented. “Well aside from the purple color.”
“She’s mauve,” Andrew stressed, his tone indicating that he was tired of explaining it.
“I’m Mora,” the demon said, offering her hand to Kennedy. “Are you the lesbo Slayer who serves the witch that Master spoke of?” she asked.
Kennedy stopped the handshake and shot a look to Andrew.
“I didn’t say lesbo,” he insisted, “I said lesbian and I didn’t tell her everything. She just–”
Kennedy dismissed his rambling with a wave of her hand and simply told Mora. “Yeah, whatever, that’s me I guess. Kennedy.”
Mora smiled politely and continued. “Master said that he heard you two spent last night together,” Mora told Kennedy as she handed her two plates of food, “and he said that you both would need a big breakfast to replace all the energy you burned up by having sex until dawn.”
“What?” Kennedy and Willow both exclaimed to Andrew.
He chuckled nervously. “Mora, she’s such a kidder,” he began before snatching the plates away from Kennedy. “Here, let me get that for you.”
Kennedy turned to see Mora grab the orange juice bottle she had just put back.
“Oh hey, no,” she said coming over. “That’s mine. See? Property of Kennedy,” she said, pointing to the writing on it. “For my lips only,” she added.
“She really is possessive about things she’s had her lips on, isn’t she?” Andrew remarked to Willow, getting nothing in return except a glare. He cleared his throat nervously and walked back toward the stove.
“I heard that, Twerp,” Kennedy called over, before brushing past him and taking a seat next to Willow, orange juice in hand. When the room fell quiet, Kennedy elbowed Willow and whispered in her ear. “Watch this?” In a louder voice she asked Andrew, “So what did you two love birds do last night?”
“We had a wonderful evening, actually,” Andrew began. “First we watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and then of course we had to watch Star Trek III: The Search for Spock because I couldn’t just leave her hanging.”
“Of course not…never leave a beautiful woman hanging, Dude,” Kennedy agreed with a smirk. “But what else did you two young, frisky kids do? Or should I ask, is she purple – sorry, mauve all over?”
“Kennedy,” Willow admonished. “Leave him alone.”
“Oh come on,” Kennedy rebuffed. “If he thinks he knows all about our sex lives, I’d like to hear a little about his.”
Andrew looked visibly nervous. “No, we did no such thing. Besides, we only met last night.”
“That’s right,” Mora offered. “And Master says that although he enjoys my lips, he feels we should wait until we know each other better. And what Master wants, Master gets.”
“No wonder he doesn’t want to send her back just yet,” Kennedy joked to Willow in a quiet voice. Then, louder, she said, “It’s nice to see some old fashioned boys are still left in the world, Andrew.”
“Ha. Ha,” he remarked sarcastically as he continued to cook.
“No, I’m serious,” Kennedy answered. “I mean aside from the fact that you probably have NO sexual experience whatsoever, it’s refreshing to see a guy who thinks with more than his…lower instincts.”
“Well, I’ll have you know I’ve had lots of sex,” Andrew told them. Both women looked skeptical. “Just not with a partner,” he added in a softer voice.
Kennedy and Willow both chuckled softly. “Well, don’t worry Andrew,” the redhead told him. “When you meet the right one, you’ll know.”
Andrew gave her a sincere grin, which she returned.
Bonnie’s Office – Late Morning
Bonnie handed a file over the desk to the person seated before her.
“I take it you understand your objective here?” she asked in clarification.
“It’s understood,” the Vutch demon nodded.
“Good. The last team we sent botched things up, so they’ll be expecting you.”
Opening the file the demon asked, “How many slayers?”
“At least 30 that we know of,” Bonnie answered.
“Two fully trained. About ten in training and…” The demon waved his hands for her to continue. “One extremely powerful witch,” she finished reluctantly.
“So they have magic in their corner too? This should prove to be quite interesting,” he said with a smirk, looking at the surveillance photograph of Willow.
“How soon can you begin?” Bonnie asked. “Time is of the essence here.”
“You will have the boy by nightfall. I assure you,” he said confidently.
“You must realize, this task won’t be easy,” she reminded him.
“That’s fine. I enjoy a challenge.”
“Yes, but can you handle it?” Bonnie asked firmly. “We need someone to clean up this mess, not make a new one.”
He gave her a sinister grin. “No fear, mere human. I’m a sweeper. You’ll have what you desire. Unlike your kind…my word means something.”
End of Act Three