Originally broadcasted 2/25/03

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Rosenberg

Guest Suite – Night

Ira Rosenberg looked at the storm still swirling outside the window.

“Come to bed, dear,” Sheila called out from the bed, where she sat under the comforter.

Ira continued to watch the storm, not turning around. “Where did we go wrong with her?” he asked softly.

Shelia looked reluctant to say anything and stayed quiet.

“Maybe we should start searching for other schools where she can teach,” Ira told his wife, “Places she can put her application in. I’m sure they’d hire her. Or maybe we can get her into a graduate school instead. I’ll pay for it – won’t cost her a dime.”

“Willow seems happy where she is now,” Shelia offered.

Ira shook his head but still didn’t turn around to face his wife. “She’s just a silly girl.”

“She’s a grown woman,” Shelia countered.

“That’s debatable. I don’t think she’s figured out what she wants to do with her life. It can’t possibly be this – illusions that she can control the elements, that she has some power to help people. That magic stuff is just a bunch of hogwash.”

“In all fairness, she did know something bad was going to happen before the Sunnydale earthquake. She called to make sure we were still going to be in New York. How do you explain that?” Sheila asked.

“Coincidence,” Ira grumbled, looking back out the window. “And a damn shame, because it only perpetuates this myth she’s created in her mind. This wasn’t the life I wanted for her. And what if the press gets wind of it? I can just see the headlines now…Family of Notorious Spy Accused of Witchcraft. We’ve done everything we could to shield her from that, Sheila. We moved to a small town and we’ve lived fairly obscure lives, just to keep the press off our backs. Willow deserves better. Everything was for her.”

Sheila paused for a moment, then asked, “Remember how your father took it when you changed majors in college?”

Ira turned around and faced her. “That was different.”


Ira turned back around again to watch the falling snow. “Because I simply changed my professional goals. I didn’t enjoy accounting as much as I enjoyed psychology. I didn’t walk away from my duties and responsibilities of marrying and becoming a father. And I didn’t walk away from God.”

“No,” Shelia tells him. “But I also remember how your father took it when he realized you wouldn’t be taking over his firm like he had always planned. You two didn’t speak to each other for years and, in fact, it wasn’t until –”

“I know!” Ira cut her off and looked over his shoulder at her.

“Do you really want to be like your father? You always said that was something you wanted to avoid.”

Ira turned back to look out the window and concentrated on the storm for a moment. “I’ll offer her grad school,” he finally muttered, his face set in its resolve.

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Early Morning

Xander entered the kitchen and his eyebrows rose in surprise when he saw the coffee pot filled and hot. He turned at the sound of a chuckle and found Rowena sitting by herself at the table in the corner, a steaming cup of coffee in front of her and her laptop humming quietly on the table.

He smiled as he grabbed a mug and filled it. Taking the creamer from the refrigerator, he made his way over to the table.

“Mind if I have a seat?” he asked.

No, it’s okay,” Rowena answered.

“You’re up early,” he said and sat across from her. “If it wasn’t still snowing, it would just barely be getting light.”

Rowena nodded. “I enjoy the peace and quiet before this place turns into a madhouse,” she explained. “It’s a good time to work on my personal journal without distraction.”

“You have your own apartment, don’t you?” Xander said as he sipped his coffee. The expression on his face showed his appreciation for its taste.

“Oh sure,” she said. “But I find it can get kind of lonely. Madhouses aside, I like listening to the Council coming alive every day. It reminds me that there is a Council to greet each day.” Rowena paused and looked at Xander curiously. “What about you? You’re up early? Andrew snore or something?”

“Nah,” Xander laughed. “Just wanted to get started planning my workroom. I’ve been playing around with the idea of a multi-shot crossbow for a while now and I’m antsy to get started on the proto-type.”

“Crossbow?” Rowena said, apparently interested.

“Buffy loved using the crossbow, but was limited to one shot at a time,” he said. “I got the idea playing Diablo II, but don’t tell Giles that. With the right machinery, I’m sure I can manage it, and Willow’s promised me whatever I need.”

“Sounds exciting,” Rowena said. “I look forward to trying it out. And anything that gives the slayers an edge will benefit the Council, so I’m glad you’re here to assist us.” Rowena paused for a moment and took a sip of her coffee. “Willow’s missed you a great deal, I think.”

“You don’t say?”

Rowena nodded. “I could hear it in her voice when she talked about you. So I’m glad you decided to come back, Xander.”

“It’s good to be back.” He smiled broadly, matching the expression that Rowena wore.

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Bedroom – Next Morning

Becca woke up on the sofa and rubbed her neck as she moved to a sitting position. The television was still on, so she turned it off with a click and looked around the apartment with an inquisitive expression.

She got up and walked to the kitchen. With the push of a button, she started the coffee pot and glanced at the wall clock that read five after eight. Quietly, she walked toward Willow’s door and knocked gently.

“Will?” she called out softly.

Not getting an answer she pushed the open door a little wider and peeked inside to see Willow’s bed already made.

Pursing her lips, she walked over to the phone and dialed.

“Hope I didn’t wake you,” she began. “Someday, I promise.” She grinned. “Maybe it’s nothing, Rupert, and maybe she’s been in and out already, but I didn’t hear Willow come home last night…no, I figured she’d wake me or I’d hear her, but I woke up on the sofa…I’m sure she’s okay too, but I just thought I should mention it…sure, can you give me a half-hour to jump in the shower? Okay, I’ll meet you there. Bye, Sweetie.”

Becca hung up the phone. “I just called him Sweetie,” she said, a bit surprised, before a silly grin came to her face.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kennedy’s Bedroom – Same Time

Willow slowly opened her eyes and looked around the room, without her head leaving the pillow. She suddenly felt an arm drape over her midsection. She looked down to see she was nude under the mix of blankets. Slowly she turned over, coming face to face with Kennedy.

Slowly, the Slayer’s eyes opened. A slight grin appeared on her face.

“Mornin’,” the brunette said softly.

“Ehh.” It was the only sound Willow managed to croak out as she tried to keep her faux grin in place.

Black Out


End of Teaser