Act 1




Thora Birch as Tracey, Felicia Day as Vi, Lindsay Felton as Skye, Norika Fujiwara as Mia, Stephanie March as Bonnie, Carly Schroeder as Marsha Parsons and Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist

Guest Starring:

Brad Dourif as Brell

Special Guest Appearance by:

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Day

Willow stood in her coven room, mixing herbs in a bowl, when she heard her door open.

Becca peeked her head inside. “Hope I’m not interrupting.”

“Hey you, welcome to the family,” she said warmly. “Sure you want to join this crazy lot permanently? We’d love to have you, but you do realize we are all insane, right?”

“I’ll take my chances.” The older woman grinned, before looking serious. “Willow, I need to speak with you.”

“If it’s about Ro, you’re too late,” Willow said, then turned back to her work.

Becca frowned, then tiptoed carefully inside. “So she told you?”

“In a roundabout way, yeah.”

Becca examined Willow for a moment. “Are you handling it okay?”

Willow considered the question carefully. “No, I’m not. I’m being petty a-and small and, damn it,” Willow said, dropping the marble grinder into the bowl. “Why didn’t she tell me? She told you, but she couldn’t tell me?” The question came out as a pain-filled plea for understanding. “I feel terrible about what happened to her…” Willow looked like she was going to say something more, but stopped and put her hands out in front of her in a yielding motion. “I’m just a shallow person I guess. Let’s just leave it at that.”

“You’re hurt she didn’t tell you first?” Becca guessed.

Willow shrugged and went back to her work. “She’s the one who was attacked, and if I had known, I…” A new thought crossed her face. “Just how many other people knew about this, Becca?”

“No one, Sweetie, just me,” the older woman insisted. “She wanted you to know, Willow. She really did, and she wasn’t keeping secrets. It was just lousy timing. I had to leave town –”

“Does Giles know?” Willow asked, cutting her off and turning to face her.

“No,” Becca answered firmly. “Rowena asked me not to mention it. And I did come to speak to you, but you’d already left for Boston. By the time you got back I was gone so…I’m sorry. Maybe I should have called and told you, but this seemed like something I should do face to face.”

“It’s not your fault,” Willow told her. “It’s not even her fault. It’s mine for being childish.”

“No,” Becca insisted again. “You felt she should trust you and you wanted to know first, before anyone else here. I can see why you’d feel slighted. But try to look at it from her side. When she told Jordon, well, he didn’t take it too good, and she was scared.”

“Of what?” Willow asked.

“Your first reaction, and hers. She didn’t wanna start putting up new walls to replace the ones she’s trying to tear down. She figured if I told you, then you could…I don’t know, digest it first. She didn’t want your shock or your pity, Sweetie.”

“Well, I did exactly what she didn’t want,” Willow replied, frustrated. “I freaked. Not stark raving mad. More like a-a stunned silent gaze.”

Becca chewed her bottom lip for a moment. “Have you talked to her since?”

“No. She was at Dawn’s party last night, but we didn’t speak,” the witch answered.

“Why not?” Becca asked.

“I don’t know what to say, and obviously neither does she, but…I’ll figure it out.”

“Well, for what it’s worth, I am sorry, Will.”

The redhead mustered a grin. “It’s okay,” she said. Becca appeared unconvinced. “No, really. I’m…I’m dealing a-and when I’m ready, I’ll talk to her. I just don’t want to blow it. You know, say the wrong thing? So until I feel like I won’t shove my foot in my mouth, I’ll just keep to myself. After last night, apparently, I’m not alone in this theory.”

Becca reached out and squeezed Willow’s arm. “If you need me, Sweetheart, I’m here.”

Willow nodded and looked at the canvas sack in Becca’s hand. “So, what’s in the bag?” she asked, hoping to change the subject.

“Hidden treasure from a swap meet. Or, as my fiancé calls it, junk.” Becca grinned and Willow followed with one of her own.

“You’ve got to make allowances for the stuffy British guy who doesn’t always know a good thing when he sees it,” Willow teased.

Becca gave her a smile and whispered conspiratorially, “You might want to consider that when it comes to a certain stuffy Canadian too.”

Willow tried to hold back her grin and silently nodded.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time

Kennedy watched the girls wrestling in teams of two on the mats as she walked by, nodding as she assessed their performance.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time

Dawn, Skye and Jeff sat at a round table looking at various books.

“I want a drink,” Skye announced. “Need anything?” she asked her peers.

“No, thanks,” Dawn answered, while Jeff just shook his head.

They returned to reading as Skye walked from the room.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Faith and Robin’s Apartment – Same Time

Faith sat at her kitchen table with a laptop, hunting and pecking, as she looked back and forth from a calendar to the screen.

“When are you going to approve those watchers for night patrolling?” she called over her shoulder.

Robin looked up from the sofa, where he sat taking notes from an old book. “I’m hoping in three weeks.”

“Okay, I’ll work them into the rotation. I just wish Giles and Rowena would tell me who they want to pair them with, so I can get this finished for good,” she grumbled as she turned back and started to type again.

Robin held back a laugh, smiling fondly as he turned back to his book.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Same Time

Buffy, Tracey and Andrew worked on preparing lunch. Buffy held a large group of lunch trays.

“I’m gonna take these over,” she told Tracey, who nodded in agreement.

Andrew stood nervously looking at Tracey, who seemed oblivious to his attention. She turned swiftly to face him and he averted his eyes quickly.

“I’m gonna help Buffy get the lunchroom set up. The girls will be breaking soon,” his assistant said.

“Oh, uh, okay, that sounds good,” he said, and then watched her leave.

His shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Hey Andy,” Xander said as he walked inside the kitchen, startling Andrew back to attention. “I’m out of water in the shop. Think you could bring some down?” He went to the refrigerator and pulled out a water bottle.

“Sure, no problem. I’ll do it today. Uh, can I ask a question?”

“I don’t drink all the water myself,” Xander said defensively. “Vi and those slayerettes really put it away when they’re on the production line.”

“What?” Andrew asked in confusion, but quickly caught up. “Oh no, this isn’t about the water. It’s about…girls…”

Xander began to choke on his drink and had to catch his breath. “Andy, I had no idea! I mean, really, I had no idea. Girls, you say?”

Andrew ignored the comment with a roll of his eyes. “Let’s say there’s this girl you like, and let’s suppose you work together. She knows all about Dragonball Z and owns the entire collection of original Star Wars comics. We’re talking the real thing too – Marvel, not some cheesy Jedi Tales ’90s crap…and…and perhaps something big happened, but she doesn’t act like it’s big, but now you don’t really know where you stand and…”

“Could this girl also be named Tracey?” Xander asked seriously, but then he smiled, unable to help himself.

Andrew’s eyes shifted around the room. “Hypothetically,” he answered, looking nervous.

Xander laughed and patted him on the shoulder. “Our little Andrew is growing up,” he remarked.

Once again, the cook pushed the lighthearted ribbing aside and instead asked, “How do you get girls to notice you?”

“Ah yes,” Xander began, “One of the great mysteries in life. For me, it’s just a matter of being in the company of an evil woman. All I have to do is breathe. But you want to know how to move from friendly interaction to smoochies, right?”

“Right!” Andrew said excitedly. “I mean, you and Willow were friends and then at one point, you know…”

“And as you can see, we’re in romantic bliss together to this day,” Xander quipped.

“Maybe you really aren’t the right one to ask,” Andrew reconsidered.

Xander laughed. “Come on down to the workshop,” he said. He put his arm around Andrew, leading him away. “I’ll make a man outta ya.” Andrew looked suspiciously at Xander’s arm draped around him.

“First, I’m flattered, but Tracey and I already….” Andrew blushed.

Xander whined, “To taaalk. Sheesh.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time

“Okay girls,” Kennedy announced. “Take two laps around the block before you hit the showers. Marsha, you’re on mat detail.”

“Teacher’s pet,” Rita, one of the Slayers in training, mumbled as the group ran in a line formation through the back exit.

Marsha glowered, but didn’t offer a retort. She just walked with Kennedy and began to roll the large blue plastic from one side while the senior Slayer took the other.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Giles’s Apartment – Same Time

Giles heard the sound of keys at his door and rose from the table to unlock it. Becca began to walk through before he reached it.

“Good afternoon, ” he greeted her with a kiss, which she returned.

As she walked further into the room, her nose crinkled.

“What is that awful smell?” she asked.

“Pardon me?” he asked. He watched her point to the dining room table. “Oh, it’s Irish Stew. I was going to offer you some, since you usually like it.”

“It smells funny today. If you get sick, we’ll know why,” she said, setting her bag down on the sofa.

“How about some coffee instead, then?” he offered.

“Sounds good.”

As he walked to the kitchen, he continued to speak. “More rare, priceless, artifacts from the flea market, I presume?”

“Don’t worry, I’m not putting any of them in your house. I just thought I’d clean them up while I’m over here,” she replied, somewhat irritably.

Giles glanced up sharply, as if a little hurt, but he shook it off and began to pour her coffee into a mug.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Same Time

Willow marked the book in her hand and walked to the door after hearing a knock. When she looked out the peephole, she took a calming breath before opening the door.

“Can I come in?” Rowena asked softly.

Willow paused.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Same Time

Bonnie walked in and headed straight for the refrigerator. She reached for the door, but an unseen barrier prevented her from opening it.

“You got to be kidding me. All I want is a drink,” she argued with the inanimate appliance.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Same Time

Willow shrugged and left the door open as she turned back inside. Rowena crossed the threshold and closed the door behind her. When she turned around she found Willow on the sofa, cleaning up a host of books and printouts.

“I’m surprised to find you here.”

“Why?” the witch asked.

“I figured you’d be spending time with Buffy.” When Willow didn’t answer, Rowena made her way deeper into the apartment. “Researching?” she asked casually.

“That’s me. Research girl.”

“No different colored pens?” Rowena teased as she looked at the table.

With a sheepish grin, Willow raised her hip and reached to her side before holding up three highlighters – pink, green and yellow.

Rowena gave a short laugh. “I knew it,” she said affectionately. “That’s why I came back, after all.”

“My idiosyncrasies and love of color?”

“No, those are just bonuses,” Rowena said, smiling fondly. “You make the most out of everything in life – I missed that.” She moved closer and looked at one of the titles on the table. “If She Is Raped: A Guidebook for Husbands, Fathers, and Male Friends,” she read aloud. “You’re doing this for me?”

“I’m doing this for us. They don’t have a book titled ‘When your indecisive prospective girlfriend’s been raped, a female view.’ I had to take what I could find,” Willow muttered.

“It was a long time ago, Willow. I’m past the self-help stage,” Rowena answered.

“I just found out and I’m not. And I’m not convinced you are, either.”

“Fair enough.” Rowena nodded firmly, just once. “I’m over it as much as I’m going to be. How’s that?”

Willow shook her head again. “I still don’t buy it, Ro. You blew me off for four months because you were afraid.”

“Talking to Althenea, I see?”

“Al?” Willow asked, puzzled for a second, and then shook her head. “No. I came up with this theory all on my own.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Giles’s Apartment – Same Time

“Is something bothering you?” Giles asked.

“You mean aside from that overwhelming stench,” Becca said, nodding to the bowl Giles held.

Giles stopped in mid-chew. He stood up, walked to the kitchen and dumped the contents into the trash can. “There,” he said as he returned.

“I’m sorry,” Becca apologized sincerely. “I’m just moody and cranky right now. Maybe I should just go.”

“Maybe you should stay and tell me what’s troubling you?” Giles suggested gently.

Becca shrugged. “I feel…blah. Maybe it’s Rowena and Willow.” At Giles’s confused look, Becca explained, “Ro needed me to talk to Willow about something and I said I would and I didn’t get the chance and Willow found out and now Willow feels bad and I’m sure Rowena feels bad and…is babbling contagious? I think I’m spending too much time around here.”

Giles smiled reassuringly, then turned more serious. “This something you were supposed to tell Willow…?” he began.

“Is private,” Becca said, holding up her hands, preempting the question, “and I promised Rowena I wouldn’t say anything to anyone, not even you.”

“That’s all right. I think I know. Something happened when she was young, at the Watchers Academy,” Giles answered, removing his glasses and beginning to polish them absently. The sadness in his eyes told Becca more than any words.

“You know…about the…?”

“Rape?” Giles asked softly. Becca nodded in surprise. “Yes. When she first came to us, and we got things squared away with the Old Guard, I asked Robson for any information he had on Rowena. Her history, her whereabouts over the years…I never mentioned anything. There wasn’t a need.”

“I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone,” Becca repeated.

“Oh, I won’t say anything.” He replaced his glasses and smiled at her kindly. “I’m glad she confided in someone, though, and that Willow now knows. I suspected that’s why Rowena avoided her this summer, but I didn’t say anything. As difficult as it was to remain silent, it wasn’t my place.”

“Somehow I got stuck in the middle,” Becca sighed, but quickly added, “Not that I mind. I was glad to help. I just…wish I could have actually helped and told Willow first, like Rowena wanted.”

Becca pulled out a vase and a polishing cloth.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Same Time

There was a brief pause, until Rowena admitted, “You’re right. I didn’t think I was running when I left, but…you were right. I had a duty, yes, but…I was afraid.”

“Why? You don’t have to give me an answer if you don’t know yet,” Willow added quickly. “But…if you’ve got some idea, some clue, please be honest with me. No more secrets.”

Rowena scooted the books over on the coffee table and sat on the edge, so she was face to face with Willow. “Where would you like to start?” she asked softly.

Willow looked totally confused. “I-I don’t even know where to start. My mind feels like it’s going to implode from one moment to the next.”

“Please,” Rowena said, cracking a small grin and taking Willow’s hands in hers. “No self-destructions here. Just take it one thing at a time.”

After a few moments of consideration the priestess asked, “What did I do? I mean, what was it about me that scared you so much?”

“Like I said before, it wasn’t you. It was me,” Rowena answered, without so much as a pause. Willow began to protest, but Rowena put her fingers over her lips. “I remembered how things were with Jordon. I did love him, at first. But he…I was too repressed for him.”

“You mean…?”

“Sexually. I knew it wouldn’t work in the end, so I left him. Yes, he wanted me to leave the Council and, yes, there were other things we didn’t see eye to eye on, but…I remember how he hounded me about why I never liked touching or being touched, and when I told him what had happened, he exploded.”

“He was mad at you because you were raped?” Willow asked, sounding a bit incredulous and hostile.

Rowena shook her head. “No, no, not me. He was angry at James.” Willow appeared confused and the blonde explained. “See, his father knew about the attack because of the Council involvement, but he never said anything to Jordon. Jordon, on the other hand, thought James should have shared this information upfront before he and I started dating seriously. It drove a wedge between them…I thought after I told Jordon, if he knew why, then maybe things would get better for us, physically, but…they didn’t.”

Rowena paused and Willow spoke up. “Can I say something here?” she asked. Rowena gave her a nod. “I’m not Jordon.”

Rowena nodded again. “I realize that…but I didn’t want another relationship slowly dying. Especially not with you, because…I don’t think I could take the resentment. I was afraid I couldn’t be everything you’d expect, so I left.”

“And what do I expect? Did you ever ask?” Willow asked, exasperated.

“No.” Rowena gave a nervous grin and shook her head. “But I know the type of girl Kennedy is, and I could never –”

“Am I with Kennedy now?” Willow interrupted.

“No, but I do remember one thing you two had was a great sex life. I know you said you needed more, but I also knew I couldn’t give you that,” Rowena countered. “Truth is, I still don’t think I can.”

“Because of the attack and then what happened with Jordon?” Willow asked. Rowena nodded and Willow reciprocated the action. “Okay,” the witch went on. “Let me ask this: Was he your first lover?”

“Yes. He was my only serious lover slash relationship. I mean, I fooled around, or tried to anyway, but…”

“Did he make any effort to do any exercises with you physically after finding out?”

“Exercises?” Rowena asked.

“Yeah, research girl strikes again,” Willow said, reaching over and holding up one of her books before setting it back down. “There are physical exercises that build trust and confidence. Not only with your partner, but for yourself too.”

Rowena paused and grinned sheepishly. “No exercises with Jordon,” she confessed.

“Hmm, now we’re getting somewhere,” Willow said, a bit lost in thought.

“And where would that be exactly?” Rowena teased.

“Someplace between utter confusion and vivid clarity.”

Rowena chuckled lightly and Willow responded with a small grin.

“Next potentially embarrassing question,” the witch began. “Do you know what makes you happy, physically? Are there certain erogenous zones more…erogenous-y, than others? Are there certain ways people touch you that make you remember the attack?”

Rowena looked uncomfortable and stood up. “See? This is what I mean. I’m not what you need. You should have a woman that knows her own body and –”

“I’m gonna put you in the nada column when it comes to knowing thyself. But that’s okay, Ro.”

“No, it’s not,” Rowena said, on the verge of tears. “I’m twenty-six years old! I never felt comfortable with anyone, let alone myself. Like I said, you need a woman who’s –”

“Listen to me,” Willow said, stopping her. “You were physically brutalized by some bastard you trusted.” Rowena looked away, but Willow went on. “After that, you slept with a guy you loved, but, in the end, he cared more about his jollies a-and his agenda than your well-being. Neither of those things is your fault.”

“But I’m not –”

Nor,” Willow said, stressing the word, “do I hold it against you. So stop holding it against yourself.”

Rowena nodded, but continued to look everywhere but at Willow.

“Regardless of what happens between us,” the witch persisted, “even if we never reach a place together, you need to discover there is more to love a-and life and, yes, sex. I’m not pushing, Rowena. I’ll move as slow as you want – just as long as you trust me that things today aren’t all they could be for you.”

Rowena’s lip stiffened and she looked down to the floor. “Never reach a place together? Are you saying you don’t want me?” she whispered toward the carpet.

Willow closed the distance between them and gently lifted Rowena’s head until their foreheads touched. Her fingertips lightly grazed Rowena’s cheeks. “I’ve never stopped wanting you…so tell me, if I could give you one thing, what would it be?” Willow whispered.

“A second chance,” Rowena said before she sniffed dramatically.

“Sweetie, you already have that.”

Rowena fell silent again and pulled back, but after a few moments she burst into tears.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Same Time

Skye walked into the kitchen to see Bonnie ranting at the refrigerator. The young woman began to smile.

“And another thing,” Bonnie shouted, waving her finger as if the refrigerator was actually listening. She stopped and turned to see Skye grinning at her.

“I’ve read about demonic possession in Dawn’s books, but never anything about evil fridges,” Skye said, as she walked over and opened the door.

“It’s the stupid spell,” Bonnie told her, exasperated. “I can’t open the friggin’ door!”

“Well, we don’t want you poisoning our food supply in our sleep,” Skye replied mildly, still amused.

“For the last time, I’m not a murderer.”

“Better safe than sorry, or dead,” Skye said, folding her arms across her chest.

Bonnie slumped her shoulders. “Look, all I want is a soda or some ice for a glass of water. My mini-fridge is empty.”

Skye smirked. She opened the door and handed Bonnie a can. “I’m feeling generous,” she said.

“My savior,” Bonnie said mockingly.

Skye quickly snatched the can back from Bonnie’s hand and returned it, shutting the door.

“Hey!” Bonnie complained.

“Now let’s try again. But this time I want to hear a little more gratitude and a little less sarcasm,” Skye told her.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Same Time

Rowena buried her face into the crook of Willow’s neck, crying, as they stood there holding each other. The witch closed her eyes and placed a long kiss near Rowena’s temple, while her hand stroked the woman’s blonde hair. As Rowena’s sobs tapered off, Willow asked softly, “What else do you need?”

“Time,” Rowena muttered, but didn’t add more.

“I said I won’t push. Is that what you’re worried about?” Willow asked. Rowena just nodded, still tucked next to Willow’s neck. “I told you, as slow as you want…anything else?” the priestess asked.

Rowena pulled back slightly and closed her eyes. She reached up and pulled Willow’s lips down to hers in a leisurely, but passionate gesture. Her hand tentatively rose up and her fingers worked their way into Willow’s hair as she deepened the kiss. When Rowena pulled back, she licked her lips and gave Willow a bashful grin.

“I thought about doing that all summer,” she admitted awkwardly.

Willow grinned. “I like how you think.”

She gently cupped Rowena’s face in her palms and returned with a slow burning kiss, lightly nipping at the blonde’s bottom lip.

“Is this a start?” Rowena mumbled, between returning to Willow’s lips again and again without prompting.

“UmMm,” Willow replied, her voice muffled by the Watcher’s lips gently pulling on her own.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Giles’s Apartment – Same Time

“This isn’t your fault,” Giles told Becca, taking the polishing cloth from her so he had her full attention.

“I know, but I can’t help it, Rupert. I made things worse now. Willow feels betrayed that Rowena told me first. Ro’s probably upset that I didn’t do what I promised. And –”

“Both women can be stubborn. But they won’t blame you for this or hold resentment against you,” he assured her.

Becca smiled and stole her cloth back playfully. “Thank you. Really. But if you don’t mind, I have work to do,” she said, as she waved the cloth and began polishing.

Giles had turned and picked up his coffee mug when a confused expression crossed his face. He looked at Becca and then at his coffee mug and back at Becca.

At the same time, Becca froze, regarding the rag in her hand with genuine astonishment. She looked up in time to watch the mug Giles had been holding shatter on the floor.

She whispered, “Becca?”

The man’s green eyes found hers. “Giles?” he asked.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Same Time

A wave, invisible to human eyes, floated through the living room as Willow stood wrapped in Rowena’s embrace. Rowena pulled back with a puzzled look that soon bordered on horror, as she watched an equally mystified expression cross Willow’s face.

Rowena’s eyes widened and she suddenly looked panic stricken as she examined her own body.

“Oh god,” the blonde said as she trembled. “I morphed again!”





End of Act One

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