Watcher’s Council – Lobby – Night
“Oh hey, Bonnie,” Willow said, coming over to greet her with a smile. “How have you been?”
“Good,” she nodded. “And I love what you’ve done here. This place is absolutely gorgeous. If it’s not too much trouble, do you think I could stop back by someday and get some photos? I like to do a before and after type of brochure on properties I’ve sold, and you’d make a great addition.”
“I suppose so. Now isn’t really a good time, though,” Willow answered. “My parents are here from out of town and –”
“Oh no, like I said, I wanted to ask first before I came armed with a camera so it’s no trouble to stop back,” Bonnie assured her. “But I am hoping for a small favor.” She grinned sheepishly.
“We’ll most certainly help if we can,” Giles offered.
“Although I love my BMW, it’s not really built for this kind of storm. When I nearly got stuck rounding the corner, I saw your lights on and thought maybe I might be able to spend the evening here? Just until dawn. I live out in the suburbs and although I don’t mind chancing it in the daytime, I really don’t want to get stranded after dark. There’re just…there are some real weirdos out there at night,” she added with a slight chuckle.
Willow and Giles shared a knowing look with each other.
“Yes, I agree,” Giles told her. “I don’t blame you in the least. I’m sure we might have a vacant dorm room you could use. And you’re welcome t-to any food or drink we have here.”
“Thanks for the offer,” she told him. “But I really just need a place to sleep until morning.”
“Okay, let me see to a few things,” the witch told her. “If you would, go ahead and have a seat in the lobby a-and I’ll come by once we’ve got a place set up for you.”
“Thanks so much,” Bonnie told them in a sincere tone. “I really appreciate this.”
“No problem,” she answered with a smile. “Giles? Wanna give me a hand?”
Once Bonnie’s back was turned, Willow pulled Giles around the corner with a tug so hard he nearly lost his footing.
They casually walked a good distance until Willow quickly turned to Giles, with mild hysteria on her face.
“The dorms?” she exclaimed in a hushed voice. “Are you nuts? Brell’s family is over there.”
“We have nowhere else to put her. Besides, what was I supposed to do? Toss her out in the dead of night?” he said in a rush.
Willow sighed and rubbed her head. “Okay, okay! Just…let me figure this out, all right? I think we should call off study group tonight. There’re just far too many people here now so we’re not gonna get anything done, especially if we have to start hiding books and shuffling demons around. Besides, we still need to talk to Kennedy tonight.”
“Agreed,” Giles answered. “We’ll pick things up tomorrow after Bonnie departs.”
“Okay. Go entertain her and be your charming British self while Andrew and I get her set up. But not too charming. Becca catches you and you’re in a mess of trouble. Forgetting a date is one thing but chatting up another blonde could mean a serious world of hurt. Although, she’s not insecure, you’re still dating a girl with guns, Giles.”
“Guns, firepower, spirit. She’s not afraid to let it rip, so don’t get caught is all I’m saying,” she said, making sure to give a firm poke to his chest for good measure. “Now go.”
Willow gave Giles a slight push before she jogged around the corner out of sight. Shaking his head, he turned back toward the lobby.
Andrew’s Apartment – Moments later
“It’s the only wing open!” Andrew shrugged at Willow, who stood outside his door. “The rest are filled up with girls or are still under construction. Why couldn’t Xander have gotten here two months earlier? He’d have had it done by now.”
“Don’t tell me what we can’t do,” Willow told him. “Just tell me what we can do.”
“Prayer wouldn’t be out of the question,” he responded dryly.
“What?” Andrew asked. “The other option is to have her sleep in one of the closets. Hey, why can’t she stay with you?”
“Becca’s already there,” Willow told him.
“Oh, right. Well, she is Mr. Giles’s girlfriend and in this day and age, it wouldn’t be –”
Getting more agitated, Willow told him, “Look, just get the dorm room ready and I’ll figure something out, okay?”
Andrew watched her leave. With a shrug, he closed his door and followed behind.
Watchers Council – Slayer Dorm – Hallway – Moments Later
“It’s not much,” Willow told Bonnie as they walked down the hallway. “But it’s one of the few areas on this side we have finished. I think it will do for the night.”
“That’s perfectly fine,” Bonnie told her.
“Almost ready,” Andrew said as he peeked his head outside the door at their approach. “It’s a bit small,” he told Bonnie.
“A bed is a bed,” she told him. Willow went inside the room and began to help him with the sheets, while Bonnie watched from the less crowded hallway.
In the demon family’s room nearby, a tiny spawn smiled when she heard Andrew’s voice.
“Andy!” Shaznay said excitedly. She raced over and opened the door, looking into the hallway. She spotted Bonnie and watched as the woman gave her a small wave and grin.
Kennedy raced over and pulled the spawn back in by the collar of her shirt.
“Told you, Sprout,” Kennedy whispered. “No going outside.”
The girl looked petrified and Kennedy knelt down to her level. “Hey, it’s okay. I’m not gonna hurt you or anything.”
Shaznay shook her head. “Not you. Evil demon lady here,” she said pointing to the closed door.
Kennedy opened the door just in time to see Bonnie walking into the other room. Kennedy closed the door again and handed the copy of The Cat in the Hat to Shaznay.
“Stay here,” the Slayer told her. “We’ll finish this later.”
Watchers Council – Slayer Dorm – Bonnie’s Room – Moments Later
“Hey Will? Can I talk to you?” Kennedy asked as she motioned to Willow with a nod of her head.
“Sure,” she replied, then turned back to Andrew and Bonnie. “He’ll finish getting you set up. Sleep tight, and if you need anything give Andrew a call. His extension is by the phone.”
With polite nods to each other, Willow closed the door. Kennedy put a finger over her lips and motioned for Willow to follow her.
They walked a few paces before Kennedy whispered to Willow. “Cindy Loo Who just caught a glimpse of that woman and called her the evil demon lady.”
“Who? Bonnie?” Willow asked, surprised.
Kennedy just nodded.
“Well, she’s not a demon. We’ve got the wards in place against any demons that might enter to harm them, and Bonnie walked right in,” Willow told her
“Maybe the spawn is mistaken. Either way, we might wanna move the Swiss Family Monsterson to another location tonight. Just to be sure,” Kennedy suggested.
Willow gave a frustrated sigh. “You know, for a place this big, you’d figure we’d have more living quarters.”
“Yeah, well we didn’t expect the Normandy Invasion, either. We are a bit filled to the brim right now.”
“Okay, why don’t you have them round up their blankets and take them to the library? We can lock that door. But go now while Andrew is keeping Bonnie occupied,” Willow ordered.
Kennedy nodded and started to head back.
“And Ken,” Willow called out, making her stop. “Once you finish, would you come see Giles and me in the study?”
“Oh god, what did I do now?”
“Nothing. In fact, you’ve done a great job lately,” Willow assured her. “We’ve just got some information on your mother, so can we meet…” Willow paused and looked at her watch. “Around eleven?”
Kennedy gave her an unsure nod before starting to jog away.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Living Room – Moments Later
Becca sat reading a book when she looked up to see Giles still poking at the roaring logs in the fireplace.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
He turned around briefly before shuffling the wood again. “Uh, nothing really.”
“One, that fire isn’t going to be any more perfect and two, you’re a terrible liar, Rupert,” she told him.
He turned back around to see her grinning, then hung the poker on the rack. Taking a seat on the floor next to her chair, he wrapped one arm around her leg and rested his chin on her knee. Becca absently began running her fingers lightly through his hair.
“I had somewhat of a nasty confrontation with Mr. Rosenberg and I fear I might have made things worse for Willow,” Giles confessed softly.
“What happened?” she asked.
“I found him in the library and tried to be polite but…I couldn’t stand there and listen to him run Willow down. I realize she’s not what he expected, and yes, there have been times when to say she made an error in judgment is a gross understatement, but…”
“I know people and I know Willow. She’s a good person at heart, despite anything from her past. She’s survived incredible odds, and to hear her father dismiss all that she’s accomplished by saying she’s nothing b-but a misguided young girl…well, suffice it to say, it made me bloody angry.”
“So the Ripper came out then?” Becca asked with a grin.
“No, if that had happened he’d have lost some teeth as well,” Giles said seriously before cracking a smile.
“Why do I get the impression you’re not joking?” she asked.
At first Giles said nothing, just stared at the door across from his line of sight. Finally, he raised his head and looked up to Becca.
“Does that worry you?” he asked. “The fact that I can be, well, violent?”
“As long as I’m not on the receiving end,” she told him. “After all, it was your opening of a can of whoop ass on some vampires that made me realize, ‘This guy’s pretty special’.” Becca smiled as she ran her fingertips over his face.
Giles shook his head. “I wouldn’t hurt you,” he said sincerely.
“That’s good, because if you did I’d be gone, and at this point I’m pretty crazy about you. But I’m not so crazy to stick around should that ‘can’ open up in my direction. I’ve lived that way once before and I won’t do it again.”
“Your husband abused you?” Giles asked, concern on his face.
“Yeah,” she told him. “Things started to get tense when we learned I couldn’t have kids. We were both hurting. I loved kids too and wanted to adopt, but he wanted his ‘own’ kids. In hindsight, I should have left at that point, but I stuck around. Then one night a fight escalated and he slapped me. I got the standard ‘I’m sorry it won’t happen again’ speech. I wasn’t about to throw away eight years because of one slap. I knew we were under stress, so I did what any responsible wife would do. I believed him. I took him at his word.”
Becca swirled the brandy around in her snifter, then took a sip and continued. “But the second time it happened I knew…same situation, same speech. So I went to bed, waited for him to go to work the next morning, threw all his stuff out on the lawn and changed the locks.” Becca began to chuckle slightly and Giles looked at her with a confused expression. “I even made a sign that I put in the front yard for all the neighbors to see.”
“What did it say?” Giles asked.
“‘Wifebeater no longer welcome here. Call attorney John Harrod for more information.’ I even left the phone number,” she laughed. “So there sat everything he owned, his clothes, his ‘toys,’ his tools – everything scattered around this public service announcement in our front yard. Needless to say, I got the house. He didn’t want to live in the neighborhood anymore.”
“I’d imagine not.” Giles grinned proudly.
“Does that scare you?” Becca asked, repeating his earlier question. “I’m not a psycho demanding girlfriend. If it doesn’t work out, you won’t find any boiling rabbits on the stove, I promise. But when I’m pushed, I’ll find a way to fight back.”
Giles kissed her knee and looked back up at her. “Girl with guns,” he muttered. “And no, it doesn’t worry me. I would never give you a reason to fight back.”
Becca set the brandy down on the table next to her and leaned over to give Giles a gentle kiss. She returned to him again with more assurance in the second kiss. By the third, she had her fingers tangled in his hair at his temples.
A knock at the front door pulled them apart and Becca began to grin.
“Saved by the bell,” she joked.
With a ragged sigh, Giles rose to his feet and walked over to answer it. As he opened the door he saw Willow there.
“Hi Giles,” she announced. “Hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
“Actually, you are, but thank you,” he told her. “I made promises I’m finding difficult to keep.” He shook his head to clear his mind. “Bonnie all settled in?”
“Yeah, I got more news on that later but…I told Kennedy to meet us in the study, if that’s okay?”
“Oh certainly, I’ll be right there.”
Willow nodded and headed off as Giles closed the door again.
“I need to speak with Kennedy,” he told Becca. “But you’re welcome t-to stay as long as you want and –”
“Difficult to keep, huh?” It was the only thing Becca said.
Giles grinned sheepishly. “I said I was a man of my word, but I’m still a man, just the same.”
Becca rose and walked over to the door where Giles still stood. “Yes, you certainly are,” she told him, giving him a light kiss. “I’ll be here when you get back,” she added, giving him another kiss. That kiss led to two more and she pulled away. “Or maybe I won’t,” she chuckled. “I think I’m tempting fate here.”
“Well, if I return and don’t find you, I’ll call Willow’s room, if that’s all right,” Giles offered.
“Checkin’ up on me?”
“If that’s all right, as I said.”
Becca gave him a smile and opened the door. “It’s more than all right.” She kissed him again, and soon it led to another. “Okay,” Becca said as she pulled back. She gave him a gentle push outside. “You better go now.”
Giles just smiled and began to walk down the hallway as Becca closed the door.
Watchers Council – Study – Moments Later
Willow and Giles both walked in and Kennedy immediately stood up from her chair.
“It’s bad, isn’t it?” she asked.
Willow and Giles looked at each other. Giles turned to Kennedy and opened and closed his mouth. “I-I’m not sure how to begin,” he finally told her, “but your birth mother is deceased, Kennedy.”
Kennedy pursed her lips and gave a nod. “Anything else?” she asked, acting as if she was ready to leave at any moment.
“Let’s sit down,” Giles said, motioning to the sofa.
He sat next to Kennedy, while Willow took the chair across from them.
“I did a lot of checking,” Willow told her. “When you mentioned your mother’s name, I recognized it. I didn’t say anything then because I wanted to be sure, and after going over all the records a-and searching…”
“You knew my mother?” Kennedy asked after Willow trailed off.
“We knew Janna by the name of Jenny Calendar. She was my computer teacher at Sunnydale High and Giles –”
“What? You killed her?” Kennedy asked the elder Watcher.
“No!” Willow and Giles both said at the same time.
“No,” Giles continued, “I-I dated her while she was there. She knew about my watcher activities and even helped us from time to time, with her techno-pagan skills, as she called them.”
“Techno-pagan? She was a computer witch?” Kennedy asked. She looked hard at Willow.
The redhead nodded. “She was one of us…a Scooby,” Willow said. “Jenny was the one who inspired me to learn magic.”
Kennedy began to smirk. “Oh, you gotta love irony, huh?” she asked the room. “Oh boy,” she muttered in a deep sigh.
Willow cleared her throat. “I still have some of her journals and spells on disc. I didn’t bring them with me, but if you’d like to see them I’d be happy to bring them over. Not pushing here, just offering,” Willow added.
Kennedy didn’t say anything and Willow handed Giles her yearbook.
“We have a picture of her here,” he told Kennedy. “If you’d like to see it you can, but if not, that’s all right, too. We just didn’t want to bombard you with all of this. So if you’d rather not –”
“Lemme see.” Kennedy nodded toward the book.
“Are you sure?” Giles asked.
Kennedy just nodded. Giles opened the page to the yellow sticky note that hung over the edge of the page and handed the book over to Kennedy. He pointed. “That’s Jenny,” he said softly.
“I kinda look like her,” Kennedy replied. She stared a moment longer, then closed the book and handed it back to Giles. “How did she die? Hellmouthy stuff or –”
“A vampire,” Willow told her.
“But Buffy tracked him and killed him,” Giles added.
“Did Buffy kill my mother?” Kennedy asked. “I mean, did she get vamped?”
“No,” Willow answered. “She wasn’t turned.”
Kennedy glanced at Giles. “You dated her?”
“I loved her,” Giles said simply, but with emotion. “When she died…she took a part of my soul with her. I was devastated and so crazy with grief I nearly got myself killed going after her murderer. Buffy…Buffy saved my life and reminded me why I needed to go on living. It hasn’t been easy, but to this day I still miss Jenny.”
Kennedy looked at the yearbook that sat in Giles’s lap as she spoke. “Is there anything else, or is that pretty much it?”
Giles reached over and raised Kennedy’s chin. “Are you okay?” he asked. “I’m sure this comes as a surprise and –”
“No, I’m okay. It’s cool.”
“I know stoic slayers,” Giles said with a slight grin. “You can come to us if you need help, or want to learn anything further.”
Kennedy just gave a nod. “No, I’m okay, really, but…” she then turned to Willow. “I would like a copy of those files. I don’t know if I’ll read them but…yeah, I’d like them, just in case.”
“Oh absolutely,” Willow told her. “I’ll bring them over to you tonight.”
Kennedy simply nodded and got to her feet. “Well, thanks for being the bearer of bad news.”
“I’m sorry,” Giles said quickly as he moved to his feet. Willow followed shortly after.
“No,” Kennedy said, shaking her head. “That came out the wrong way. I’m sure you guys had a heck of a time trying to figure out what to say, so really, thank you for letting me know. That’s all I meant.”
When no one said anything more, Kennedy nodded toward the door. “I’m gonna head back to the dorms, if that’s okay?”
“Certainly,” Giles said, stepping out of her path.
“And I’ll bring those discs, Ken,” Willow added.
She simply nodded and, with shoulders slumped, walked from the room.
“Oh boy, Giles,” Willow said after a brief silence. “There’s Ken who will never meet her mom and then me that can’t seem to spend more than an hour with my own. Kinda makes me feel like. I dunno, a deadbeat child or something.”
“Yes, I could see how you might think that, but a wise woman once told me something,” Giles said.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“The best families are those we make.”
Willow grinned as Giles handed back her yearbook.
Watchers Council – Kennedy’s Apartment – Later that Night
“Hey Will,” Kennedy said as she opened her door.
“Now, how did you know it was me?” Willow asked with a small grin.
“Who else would be here at midnight? Actually, don’t answer that… I know I haven’t had the best track record lately,” she said with a grin as she opened the door wider. “Come on in. Is that the stuff?”
“Yeah,” Willow told her as she walked deeper inside the apartment. Kennedy closed the door behind her. “I brought my yearbook too, ya know, just in case you wanted to see it again.”
“Thanks,” Kennedy told her. “You got a few minutes?” she asked.
“Sure thing,” Willow told her, trying to sound optimistic.
Kennedy walked back toward the sofa, “You know the last hour or so I’ve been sitting here and…”
Kennedy looked reluctant to go on, but didn’t say anything. “It’s okay,” Willow coached.
Kennedy licked her lips and took a deep breath. “I keep wondering…why did she give me up? It was like I wasn’t important enough to keep around or even remember. I mean, she never even mentioned me to you guys, did she?”
“Kennedy,” Willow began, placing her hands on top of her ex-girlfriend’s hands. “I have no doubt that she did it because she wanted to keep you safe and give you a better life.”
“What makes you so sure?” Kennedy asked.
“Because, if it wasn’t for her, I’d be sitting at the bottom of the Sunnydale Hellmouth right now.”
Kennedy looked bewildered. “I don’t understand.”
Willow settled into the sofa and turned to face her. “When the Master tried to rise, that first year we met Buffy,” she added in explanation, “Giles, Jenny and I were in the library, right on top of the Hellmouth, and we didn’t even know it. When it opened, I almost got sucked down, but Jenny grabbed me and she held on for dear life. I had bruises for over a month because of the grip she had on me. Anyone who’d be willing to do that, risk her own life to save someone else’s, then she isn’t someone who just walks away from a child because a kid doesn’t fit in her schedule.” Willow paused. “I can’t convince you. Only you can choose to believe, in the end, but I-I really believe that she thought she was doing the right thing by not interfering in your life.”
“Yeah,” Kennedy snorted. “A life where my step-family treated me like an outsider and with a dad I rarely saw because his business was more important. Sure, the money was great, but…even that came with a price.”
“Well, we weren’t rich enough to have wings on our house,” Willow said with a smirk. “We were well off, and yeah, I rarely saw my dad. In fact, I didn’t see my mom much, either.”
“Who took care of you, then?” Kennedy asked.
“After I turned thirteen I took care of myself, but before then the Harrises. That’s how I met Xander. His mom used to baby-sit me while my mom was at the university. And I practically lived there during the summers when my folks were away for one reason or another.”
“I thought you guys just went to school together,” Kennedy remarked. “I didn’t know you really did go that far back.”
Willow just shrugged. “We weren’t always best friends during that time, but we were friends. We got closer in middle school and then after the Scooby stuff when things got really intense, Xander was pretty much my rock. You know, somebody who I could turn to no matter what and he’d love me anyway. So that’s why I had already made up my mind, about the spell I mean. I honestly wasn’t trying to hurt you.”
“I see that, Will, but you know, maybe if you’d told me these things before, my whole perspective on it might have been different.”
“Maybe if you seemed more interested in talking to me than making out with me, I would have,” Willow countered.
Kennedy grinned and nodded her head. “Point taken.”
A small silence passed between them and Kennedy opened the yearbook with a smirk. “Anyway, let’s see if we can find Miss Rosenberg in here.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Willow said, reaching for the book. “I think I’ll just scan Jenny’s page instead of leaving the whole book.”
Kennedy moved out of the way and continued to flip through the pages. “Class of 97,” she said, before flipping a few more pages. “Class of 98.”
Willow nearly tackled Kennedy and the slayer laughed while using her elbow to keep Willow far enough away from the book as she continued trying to turn the pages.
“Here we are – 99. Rawling, Robinson, Rosenberg…Ah ha!”
Willow gave up and sat back down on the couch as Kennedy righted herself, looking at the page with a full-toothed smile.
“Oh, my gosh,” Kennedy muttered.
“Yes, I was a total spaz. Are you happy now?” Willow said with a blush. She took the book back and closed it with a snap.
“Hey! Gimme that,” Kennedy said, snatching it back and opening the page again, looking at the picture. “You were a sweetheart back then, too,” she said affectionately.
“Yeah, a real guy magnet in my bibs,” Willow replied dryly.
“Well, you do have a kinda soft, very soft, butch appeal,” Kennedy retorted.
“I shoulda known back then, huh?” Willow chuckled.
Kennedy laughed, too, and looked at the picture a bit longer. Her fingers lightly traced the photo.
“A little goddess in the making,” she whispered before turning to smile at Willow.
Willow looked appreciatively at Kennedy for a moment as the Slayer went back to study the picture. The witch then licked her lips nervously.
“I will say one thing,” Willow remarked.
“What’s that?” Kennedy asked, closing the book and resting it on her lap, focusing her attention back on Willow.
“You always manage to surprise me,” Willow replied with a growing smile.
“That’s not always so bad, is it?” Kennedy asked with a smoky tone to her voice.
The smile slowly melted from Willow’s face as she shook her head. The longer she looked at Kennedy the more serious she seemed to become. Kennedy leaned closer and closed the distance between them, kissing Willow softly on the lips. Kennedy pulled away only a hair’s breadth when she felt Willow lean closer, reconnecting. After a few moments of tentatively nibbling on Willow’s lips, Kennedy pulled Willow closer by capturing the back of her head.
The yearbook, forgotten, fell to the floor.
Fade to Black
End of Family Ties
On the next episode of Watchers…
Willow has to navigate certain amorous decisions while also finally “coming out” to her parents… as a watcher.