Helen Shaver as Rebecca Montague, Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist, Stephanie March as Bonnie, Christopher Gartin as Gretz, and Katey Sagal as Lily Lindquist
Special Guest Star:
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Watchers Council – Evening
Willow stepped tentatively up to a strong wooden door that now sat a bit askew and lifted her hand to knock. She seemed to lose courage as, instead of knocking, she ran her hand wearily over her face. Finally, taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door.
A moment later, the door wobbled open on its damaged hinges to reveal Jeffrey’s weeping mother, the white bandage stark against the pallor of her face.
“Willow!” she said, reaching a hand out and pulling her quickly into the room. “Any news?”
“Er, nothing yet, Lily,” the redhead replied. “Um, t-that’s why I’m here. I need to do a locator spell and it would help if I had something that belongs to Jeff…something personal, a-and the more time he’s spent with it, the better.”
Lily Lindquist thought for a moment and then finally nodded. “Wait here a moment,” she said, then quickly walked into the smaller of the two bedrooms.
Willow nervously fidgeted for a few minutes, looking around at the damage the demon left behind when it snatched Jeff. She picked up a floor lamp and was feebly trying to straighten out the crushed shade when she heard a soft sob.
“Lily?” she called, moving towards the bedroom. She paused a moment in the doorway and found the woman sitting on the edge of Jeff’s bed. She held an open book on her lap.
“Lily?” Willow asked again, quietly moving into the bedroom.
“I’m…I’m sorry, Willow,” the crying woman said.
The redhead sat next to her and traced the raised Celtic design on the cover. “His journal?” she asked.
Lily nodded. “He…he begged me to buy it for him when he started your class.”
“I know,” Willow said. “In my first lesson I encouraged everyone to write every day. It’s a good habit…not o-only for watchers.”
“I don’t think he’s missed a day since he started it,” Lily said, wiping her eyes and looking down at the book. “I-it was open on his desk…I didn’t mean to read it, but…”
“He’ll understand,” Willow assured.
Lily turned to Willow then. “You’ve got to find him, Willow,” she said, her tone desperate.
“I will, Lily…” Willow began.
“No!” the woman interrupted. “You have to. He…he believed in you. Look.”
She held out the journal to Willow and pointed at the most recent passage. Willow looked her in the eyes for a moment and then down at the journal.
“Those vamps were pretty scary and I thought my own heart was going to burst when I plunged my stake into one of them,” she read. “But then I remembered that Willow’s been fighting vamps since she was younger than me. I know I should be scared, but Willow won’t let anything hurt us. I just hope that one day I can be as strong as she is, so I can help protect others.”
Willow gently closed the book and softly whispered, “Oh goddess.”
“Please find him, Willow,” Lily begged.
The witch turned to her student’s mother and nodded. “I’ll get this back to you as soon as I can.”
Willow stood and quickly left the apartment.
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Evening
Willow sat cross-legged in front of her altar, a small stick of incense smoldering and filling the air with the soft scent of sandalwood. Jeff’s journal rested in her lap and in front of her was an open map of Cleveland.
She picked up a bowl of herbs and, taking a handful, scattered it over the map. “Show me Jeffrey Lindquist,” she muttered under her breath and then opened her eyes.
The map was unchanged.
Willow placed the journal on the map and tried again.
“Show me Jeffrey Lindquist,” she repeated, this time placing one hand on the journal and one hand on the map.
With a sigh of frustration, she stood up from the floor and moved over to her desk. She rummaged around a moment until she found a gold-tipped pen. The engraving on the side read R.J.G. Returning to the map, she cleared it and then scattered fresh herbs, laying the pen on top.
“Show me Rupert Giles,” she said.
When there was no effect, she snatched the pen back up and stormed determinedly from the room.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Moments Later
“I think we need more pepper,” Andrew said absently, placing a spoon next to the huge pot that sat on the stove.
Giles nodded and slowly walked over to the spice rack when he heard Andrew begin to sob. Giles stopped momentarily, but finally made his way back to Andrew’s side with the bottle in his hand.
“Andrew,” Giles began as he handed it over. “I could see that you and Mora hit it off quite well, but –.”
“Why do all of my friends end up dead?” Andrew asked, as if not hearing a word Giles said. “Is it me? Should I just go live in a cave from now on so I don’t endanger anyone else?”
“This isn’t your fault, Andrew,” Giles insisted.
“Really? ‘Cause the way I see it, Mr. Giles, if I hadn’t brought her here, she’d still be alive. So whose fault is that?”
“If you hadn’t brought her here,” Giles countered, “more people might have been dead. She died protecting someone she loved. And in the end, Andrew, we all die someday. It’s what we do between then and now that matters.”
“Well, what I did was bring her here against her will and got her killed,” Andrew retorted. He picked the spoon back up and quietly began to stir.
Giles didn’t add any further argument and watched as Andrew prepared the light soup for the less seriously wounded when Willow entered the kitchen. She marched up to him and thrust the pen forward.
“Oh!” he said, surprised and confused. “Yes, thank you Willow. I’ve been looking all over for this.”
Willow sighed. “You don’t exist,” she told him with annoyance.
“Pardon me?” Giles asked, absently putting the pen in his shirt pocket. He took Willow by the elbow and led her away from the softly weeping Andrew.
“I tried to do a locator spell for Jeff,” she explained. “Nothing. So I tried using your pen a-and guess what? The same thing.”
“Well mystical rumors of my lack of existence are greatly exaggerated. As you can see, I’m here.”
“This is not funny, Giles,” she said, her face flushing with anger.
“I’m not saying it is,” he replied.
“We need to find Jeff and we need to find him now!”
“What do you think is happening?” Giles asked. “You can do a locator spell in your sleep at your proficiency level.”
“I know that!” she snapped. Realizing she was starting to take her anger out on Giles, she held up her hands in apology to indicate that she knew he wasn’t to blame. “Whatever the reason, it’s not working. It’s like when I got home from England but I couldn’t find Buffy and the gang, because I was blocking myself.”
“Do you think you’re blocking yourself again? You’ve been under a great deal of stress these last few hours,” he questioned.
“No, it wasn’t stress that caused the problem last time. It was fear. Besides, I can’t explain it, but I can feel something is blocking me,” she said. “That demon did something. I’m sure of it.”
“Rowena’s researching it now,” Giles said. “Let’s go see if she has anything.”
Willow nodded and the pair left Andrew alone to finish his task.
Watchers Council – Library – Evening
Rowena was sitting at a computer terminal with several books, including the Opus Obscurum, open near her. Willow and Giles came in and looked over her shoulder at the screen.
“Vutch demon?” Giles read.
“That’s it,” Rowena confirmed. “The information in the Opus confirms its cloning ability. Andrew’s pet was right. Burning was the only way to kill it.”
“What about the magic ability of the demon?” Willow asked.
Rowena hit a few keys on the screen and pulled up another file. “Nothing specific, but they’re highly intelligent, so we can’t rule it out. Why?”
“Something’s blocking my magic,” Willow explained. “Locator spell to find Jeff came up with nothing.”
“You don’t think he’s…” Rowena let the sentence hang.
“No,” Willow said quickly. “At first I thought maybe, but I did a spell on Giles here and apparently he’s no longer on this plane either.”
With curiosity, Rowena cocked her head, looking at both of them.
“Without knowing what the demon might have done, there’s no way to unblock you,” Giles said. “I can try to cast a generic banishment spell, but most likely won’t have any effect on something powerful enough to block a witch of your ability.”
“Why don’t you try the spell, Giles?” Rowena asked. “If it doesn’t work, then we can assume the demon blocked everyone, not just Willow.”
“Better yet,” Willow said, pulling the pen from Giles’s pocket and placing it on the table. “Try to move this.”
Giles concentrated on the pen a moment and then shook his head. “Nothing,” he said.
“Alright, so we’re all seriously screwed and Jeff’s out there somewhere paying the price for it,” Willow said bitterly.
“Willow…” Giles began.
“No!” Willow said. “Everything’s a mess, Giles. Rachel’s dead, Andrew’s demon friend is dead, Kennedy’s paralyzed and a young boy has been kidnapped by demons a-and goddess only knows what they want with him a-and I can’t do a damn thing about it!”
“Willow,” Giles said again softly before he pulled the redhead into his arms. She tried to pull away at first but Giles tightened his hold. It only took a few moments but Willow gave up her retreat and instead clutched at him, sobbing into his chest. Rowena looked on helplessly. Finally she stood up and approached the pair, putting a gentle hand on the witch’s shoulder.
“Willow,” she began. “We’ll find another way.”
Willow pulled away from Giles, wiping her eyes. “Yeah, another way,” she sniffed. “Can’t always solve stuff by magic, I know. It sucks though when people’s lives are at stake.”
Rowena nodded. “I understand, but sometimes things happen that you just can’t help. You can’t be everywhere at once and, despite all appearances, you’re not a superwoman.”
Willow snorted. “Yeah, don’t I know it. Um…can you keep looking for some way to counter that spell?” she asked hesitantly. “I wanna go check on Ken.”
“Sure,” Rowena said.
Giles and Rowena watched as Willow left the library and then looked at each other sadly. Eventually Rowena returned to the computer and Giles picked up the Opus Obscurum.
Watchers Council – Slayer Quarters – Weight Room – Evening
Robin watched from the doorway as Faith swept up the broken shards of glass. Glancing into the one broken piece still stuck to the wall, Faith saw her lover’s reflection. She swiveled on her heel and leaned one arm on the top of the broom.
“What’s up, Ace?” she asked, her voice hoarse. “Don’t tell me someone else died?”
“Um, no baby,” he said, moving into the room. His wrist was now wrapped in an Ace bandage and supported in a sling.
“Now what?” she asked. “We’ve been together long enough. I know that look.”
“I talked to Willow…It’s Kennedy,” he finally said, taking the broom and leaning it against the shattered wall. He wasn’t sure how to say it so he simply spilled it out. “She’s paralyzed, Faith – from the waist down. Doctor’s x-raying her now.”
“And the hits keep on comin’,” she laughed sarcastically, before growing serious again. “How’s Red takin’ it?”
He thought for a moment. “Reserved hysteria is the best way to put it.”
“What about you? How’s the wrist?”
“Fine,” he replied. “Doctor gave me a shot for the pain. He’ll set it and cast it soon. There were other emergencies to take care of first.”
“And the kid?” she finally asked. “Got a location on him yet?”
“Willow’s working on it,” he said. “And Giles finally got Lily calmed down. I think he slipped her something.”
“Good for him,” she said, picking up the broom again.
“Um, Faith,” he said. “I’m gonna call Rachel’s dad. See what he wants us to do with…”
“No,” Faith said in a quiet, yet firm, voice. “I’ll do it.”
“I said no!” Faith said, her voice rising. “Damn it, Robin. She was my responsibility!” Faith threw the broom, as if it was a javelin, with such force the end embedded itself into the first few layers of the padded mats propped against the wall.
“She was our responsibility, too,” he said. “Everyone at the Council. You can’t take what happened and pin it on your shoulders alone.”
“Yeah, but I made the promise,” Faith told him, pointing a finger. “Let us take her. We’ll help. We’ll keep her safe,” she said, paraphrasing the speech she gave Rachel’s father months before, then ended with a snort. “I lied to him and I lied to her. Jesus, even when I try to keep my word, I can’t.”
“No, this isn’t your responsibility, Robin. I made the promise so I need to make the call. I have to do it, I owe ’em that much…More really, more than I’ll ever be able to repay.”
“She was a slayer,” Robin told her. “It’s the risk every one of you runs. And despite what you might think, they didn’t go into this blindly. They knew the risks involved… We did what we could.”
“Well it wasn’t good enough, was it?”
“Slayers die, Faith. And I speak from experience here.” Robin placed his palms on both of her cheeks, forcing her to stay focused on him. “It’s never easy, but that’s the risk they take to serve the greater good. It was the risk my mother took.”
“And look at the price you paid,” Faith pointed out.
“Yeah, it took a toll. But I’ve got two ways to look at it. I either wasted all those years searching for her killer and never achieved my goal or…I took out a lot of vamps and saved countless lives. Either way, I did it because I lost her. I know that. But I also know I made the world a better place.”
“I’m failing to see your point here, Robin.”
“The point is that’s what Rachel was trying to do – make the world a better place. And that’s something that I think her father will understand, too. If not now, then someday… just like I did.”
Faith pulled back and ran a hand over her face. “It just hurts, Robin.”
“Yeah, honey,” he said, moving close to her and putting his uninjured arm around her shoulders. “I get it…And I think you’re right. You need to make the call so you find some type of closure. This mess will wait ’til morning,” he said, waving his good hand around the broken room.
Faith nodded. “Alright, but, I gotta tell ya, I don’t think I’ll ever get over this,” she said, putting a hand on his and giving it a gentle squeeze. “We might have tons of them now, but slayers aren’t like tissues.”
“I agree,” Robin told her. “Slayers aren’t disposable, no matter how many we have now. Just try to remember something you understood last year; something that Buffy never got.”
“You might lose them, but the greater tragedy is never getting to know them. Keep up what you’re doing, Baby, cause you’re doing great.”
Faith let go of Robin and buried her face into both of her hands. “It doesn’t seem that way,” she sobbed. Robin bit his lip, forcing back his own tears and swallowed audibly. He came over and wrapped his uninjured arm around the Slayer as she began to shake.
“I know,” he whispered. “But just trust me on this one, okay?”
Faith couldn’t reply. She simply stood in his embrace.
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Evening
Willow came into the infirmary and moved quickly to the unconscious form of her lover. The doctor noticed her and joined her.
“How is she?” Willow asked, picking up Kennedy’s hand.
“The x-rays confirmed that she has three broken vertebrae. Most likely the trauma to the spinal cord is causing the paralysis, but we won’t know for sure until the swelling goes down,” he told her.
“Two broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung, so we had a drain in her for a while, but the bleeding has already stopped. Other than that, multiple bruises are the worst. Damn lucky she’s a slayer,” he said shaking his head and looking down at the unconscious girl. “Fall from that height onto the hard tile below would have killed anyone else.”
“I know,” Willow nodded. “How long will she be out?”
“Hopefully until tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll take another set of x-rays then and we’ll see how her progress is.”
“Okay. Thank you, Doctor,” Willow said.
He moved off to check on his other patients. Willow pulled a chair next to the bed and leaned her weary head on one hand, her eyes never leaving Kennedy’s sleeping face.
City Park – Day
Tara approached the brunette, a gentle smile on her face. Kennedy backed up a step as the other woman got closer.
“Great, just great,” Kennedy said, throwing her arms up in the air. “Bad enough your shadow is around every day and night, but you have to haunt my dreams now, too?”
Tara smiled. “This is more than just a dream, Sweetie,” she said. “And besides, it’s not the first time I’ve been in a slayer’s dream, so it’s kinda familiar territory for me.”
“Sweetie?” Kennedy said, then chuckled sarcastically. “So that’s where Willow got it. From you?”
Tara just shrugged and indicated the path. “Come on, let’s walk,” she said, then started walking away with no further preamble. Kennedy looked at her a moment, an incredulous look on her face. Then, with a shake of her head, followed.
“Okay, so this is more than a dream and you’re really real,” she told the blonde as she caught up with her. “So tell me, St. Tara, why me? Why not Willow? Or even Giles?”
“First of all, like I said, you’re a slayer,” Tara explained. “Makes it easier to get into your dreams. As for Willow, she’s got enough guilt going on at the moment. I’m here to help her, not make things worse. And Mr. Giles…as much as I adore him, he might just dismiss me as a dream and forget what I had to say.”
“Plenty of slayers around,” Kennedy said. “Faith or Vi or even Willow’s squirt. Why me?”
“Goddess, you are stubborn!” Tara laughed. “But that’s good. I don’t think you’d have caught Willow without it.” Tara’s lip rose in a sexy smirk. “Of course, she’s definitely worth the chase.”
“Can this get any more disturbing?” Kennedy asked rhetorically.
“Yeah, but for your sake I won’t go there,” the blonde laughed again, the sweet sound echoing through the park.
“What’s going on, Tara?” Kennedy said. “I’d like to wake up now, so just say what you have to say and be on your way, okay?”
“Something is blocking Willow’s magic,” Tara began, growing serious once again. “She can’t cast any spells.”
“And this is a bad thing?” Kennedy sneered.
Tara paused and looked at Kennedy. “I know magic hasn’t been good for your relationship with Willow, Kennedy,” she said. “I know it’s come between you two many times, but you have to understand, magic is a part of Willow. It’s what she is and it always will be. You’re going to have to learn to accept that.”
“Look who’s talking,” Kennedy challenged. “You’re the one who left her when she got out of control.”
“I did what I had to at the time,” Tara said, her voice remaining calm in spite of Kennedy’s tone. “Willow knows that. She’s in control of her magic now, it no longer controls her.”
“Yeah, but if she couldn’t do magic…” Kennedy broke off, her eyes looking into the distance.
“You won’t do that, Kennedy,” Tara said, gently.
“What?” Kennedy said, looking guiltily at the witch.
“You know – ignore my message. Willow needs her magic,” she explained. “The watchers need her, the slayers, too, and most importantly, that boy who was taken needs her. They all need Willow with magic more than you need Willow without it.”
“I wouldn’t…” Kennedy said. “I mean, I know she does…”
“I get it,” Tara said, resuming their journey along the path. “Something is blocking Willow’s magic. The information she needs to break it can be found in a book. Not in any of the books at the Council, but one does exist in Cleveland.”
“Where?” Kennedy asked, as if glad Tara had gotten back to the point.
“A store called Becca’s Books. It’s in a box in the storage closet on a gray metal rack near the floor. The owner doesn’t even know she has it – it came in a shipment she got at an auction. It’s easy to recognize, there’s a woodcut of demonic angels on the cover.”
Kennedy thought over the information. “How do I know you’re real? I mean, this could be another trap set up by some big bad, a trick played on us by the same group who snatched Jeff.” Kennedy gave a short bark of laughter. “I mean, last year we were up to our ears in fake dead folks, maybe it’s your turn.”
Tara paused. “Fair enough,” she finally said. “How about this? Ask Willow about the time she started a fire at the beach, but made a rainstorm too.”
Kennedy looked at her confused. “What?”
“Just ask her, Sweetie,” Tara said.
“Okay,” Kennedy reluctantly agreed, pouting her lower lip.
Tara gave her a broad smile and the world grew dark.
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Same Time
Kennedy’s eyes snapped open. Her upper body convulsed reflexively as the pain hit her conscious mind. Willow felt the movement and also jerked awake, her head coming off its resting place on her arm.
“Ken?” she said, blinking her eyes as if trying to shake away the sleep. “You okay, Sweetie?”
“Sweetie,” Kennedy groaned, her eyes squeezing shut again as the bright light of the infirmary hit them. “She called me Sweetie, too.”
“What?” Willow asked, confused. “Who?”
“The book,” Kennedy whispered. “She said you need a book.”
“What book? Who are you talking about, Ken?”
“Tara,” Kennedy answered. Willow’s face turned white.
“Tara?” Willow repeated. “Ken, what –?” Willow broke off as the doctor came into the room.
“She’s awake?” he asked, moving to the side of the bed opposite Willow and lifting her wrist to take the Slayer’s pulse.
“Yeah, I’m awake. In pain, but awake,” Ken mumbled, and then turned her head to the side so she could look at her lover. “Willow, listen. Tara said the information you need to unblock your magic is in a book at a bookstore.”
“Kennedy, how did you know my magic is blocked?” Willow asked, her face frantic as she tried to digest all the information.
“Tara told me,” Kennedy said and gave a weak chuckle. “My first slayer dream. Don’t think it’s one I’m gonna forget.”
“How do you know it was really Tara?” Willow asked. “I mean, it…it could have been…”
Kennedy squeezed her eyes shut again, the pain overcoming her. “She said…you tried to make a fire, but made a rainstorm instead. You guys were on a beach?”
Willow’s closed her eyes a moment, looking as if she was ready to break down. Then her face hardened and she took a deep breath, turning to the doctor, “Find someone to get Giles, please.”
The doctor nodded and quickly left to do as she asked.
Fade to Black
End of Act One