Originally broadcasted 2/11/03

Fade In:
Cleveland City Street – Night

“Stop him!”

Faith pointed at the vampire that was running down the alley toward a chain-link fence just before another vampire backhanded her, sending her crashing into the wall.

Kennedy gave chase with Marsha and two other slayers behind her. As the vampire tried to climb the fence, Kennedy jumped up and grabbed him, pulling him back down. She spun him into the brick wall to their left and began to pummel him in the face with blow after blow.

“Finish it, Kennedy!” Rowena shouted from behind the girls.

Rowena looked over to see Faith now taking on two other vampires who had arrived. With a sigh, she pushed the younger girls away. “Help Faith,” she told them.

Marsha gave a short nod and all three slayers charged back up the alley, stakes in hand.

By now, a burly-looking vampire had Faith by the throat, lifting her off the ground with one arm. She sputtered and choked as she tried to reach out to stop him.

Marsha raised her arm and slammed the stake into his back, dusting him almost instantly. Faith fell to her feet and rubbed her throat. “Thanks, Blondie,” she croaked.

Marsha gave her a broad grin. “Don’t men–”

Before Marsha could say any more, one of the other vampires tackled her from the side. He reached to snap her neck, but Faith jumped on his back, grabbing his arm. Before he could shake free, she staked him and landed flat on top of Marsha, only dust between them.

“You okay, kid?” Faith asked. She rolled off of Marsha and onto her back.

“Will be,” Marsha wheezed. “Lungs need air.”

Placing her hands behind each shoulder, Faith flipped herself off the ground in one smooth movement to see the other two slayers timidly tangling with the remaining two vampires.

From the back of the alley, Kennedy continued to pound on the vampire before her. With a sigh Rowena stepped forward, reaching her hand out. Instead of stopping her, she got an elbow in the face and staggered backward. Grabbing her nose she looked down at her hand to find it filling with blood.

With a determined expression, Rowena returned and pushed Kennedy away. With the vampire unconscious and totally exposed, she shot her crossbow into his chest, dusting him. She looked back up the alley to see Faith taking out the remaining two vampires with a stake in each hand.

“Okay,” Rowena began as she turned to face Kennedy. “Now I’d like to hear how beating that vampire unconscious would –”

Rowena didn’t get a chance to finish. Faith raced past her and lifted Kennedy up by the lapels of her coat, shoving her against the chain-linked fence.

“What the hell are you doin’?” Faith yelled as she pushed Kennedy harder into the fence, making it rattle.

“I was just about to ask that before I was interrupted,” Rowena added dryly. She slung her crossbow over her shoulder and took out a handkerchief, wiping her nose.

“Answer me!” Faith shouted, giving her another joggle.

“Shake me again,” Kennedy warned her in a threatening tone, “and I’m kicking your ass.”

Faith sighed and dropped Kennedy at the same time. Then she threw her hands up in the air and began to pace.

“Did you see what just happened?” Faith said, pointing back up the alley at the three young slayers who were nervously standing there listening to her rant. “Listen up girls,” she went on as she pointed to Kennedy, “this is the perfect example of what NOT to do on patrol.” Faith then looked over at Rowena. “Can you belie…You’re bleeding.”

Rowena used the hanky again to wipe up the blood from her nose. “Thanks. I hadn’t noticed,” she snorted.

“Did she hit you?” Faith asked Rowena before swiftly turning to Kennedy. With even more anger rising in her voice she demanded, “Did you hit her?”

“It was an accident,” Rowena answered before Kennedy could. In a quiet voice she muttered, “I think.”

“Look, I didn’t mean to hit her. Don’t make a case out of it,” Kennedy replied defensively. “She just got in my way. Not my fault she can’t ‘watch’ from a safe distance.”

Faith rolled her shoulder and took a step closer to Kennedy. Rowena darted between the two women before the senior slayer could make a retort.

“Faith, please take the girls in for the night. We’ll be along shortly,” Rowena ordered diplomatically.

Faith looked like she was going to start to argue, but then decided against it.

“Fine,” she answered, shaking her head. “You can deal with her. I’m done.”

With a wave of her hands in disgust, Faith turned and began to walk back to Marsha and the two other slayers, leading them from the alley. Kennedy began to step forward, but Rowena put a hand on her shoulder, stopping her.

“One moment,” she told her.

“You’re invading my personal space,” Kennedy said coldly, before batting her hand away.

“And you’ve tested my patience enough tonight,” Rowena spat. She let out a long sigh and closed her eyes briefly. “Look, I don’t want to fight. Every night this week has been a chore.”

“Gotta make you earn your money somehow,” Kennedy countered. “Can’t spend all your time playing chess and fiddling with spell books.”

“And I know what all of this is about,” Rowena went on, ignoring Kennedy’s comment.

“You do, huh? Enlighten me.” Kennedy folded her arms across her chest and began tapping her foot.

“In a word… Willow.”

“That isn’t any of your business,” Kennedy said, sidestepping Rowena.

“Oh no,” Rowena said, moving in front of her again, making her stop. “It became my business when Giles named me as your watcher.”

“Oh really,” Kennedy answered sarcastically. “And how do you figure?”

“Your personal life is affecting your duties as a slayer. We brought these girls out tonight because you and Faith have an exceptional record, but what you did this evening…you put everyone at risk, especially those young girls. And I won’t stand for it.”

“Whatcha gonna do, big bad watcher? Suspend me again?” Kennedy said as she proceeded up the alley. “Go for it,” she called over her shoulder.

Rowena paused for a moment and took a deep breath as if to steady her anger. Only then did she move to catch up.

“Listen to me,” Rowena began, “If you don’t want to talk to me that’s fine, but talk to someone. You can’t keep working out all your frustrations physically. You need to let it out in other, nonviolent ways.”

“Hey, I’m a slayer. I slay things. I kill things. That’s all I do.”

“That’s not true,” Rowena challenged.

“The hell it’s not. My whole life is violence. Look it up in one of those handbooks I’m sure you’ve got shoved up your tight ass,” Kennedy growled.

“Kennedy,” Rowena sighed. “You have to let someone in or it’s gonna destroy you. Either that or someone that you care about is gonna suffer or even die.”

Kennedy stopped and turned around.

“You want in? Okay, I’ll tell you my one word problem. It’s not Willow. It’s not her at all. It’s love…love is a crock. You can devote everything you have to someone and it’s still not enough. Your time, your money, your heart – none of it matters in the end and you wonder just what in the hell are you fighting for anyway? What do you have to offer the world, if the person you love most doesn’t give a damn? So you know what, I’m not giving a damn anymore. It’s pointless. All of it. If I can’t be appreciated, the world can bite me. So how’s that, Dr. Allister? Is that ‘in’ enough for you? Or should we get a long couch so I can lay down and talk about my parental issues next?”

Rowena sighed and shook her head. “I’m only trying to help,” she said sincerely.

“Thanks,” Kennedy told her as she continued to walk away. “You can bite me, too.”

Rowena’s shoulders slumped and she shook her head before following behind Kennedy.

From a darkened corner behind the chain-link fence, a beautiful woman stepped out from the shadows and smiled before casually walking away.

Fade Out




End of Teaser