Thora Birch as Tracey, Felicia Day as Vi, Lindsay Felton as Skye Taliser, Norika Fujiwara as Mia and Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist
Meagan Good as Karen, Ryan Phillipe as Steve, Michael Shanks as Dr. Millenti, Edward Woodward as James Tyrell and Rob Nagle as Robson.
Watchers Council – Dining Room – Morning
Faith plopped her breakfast tray down next to Kennedy’s, making the younger woman jump in surprise. Faith snorted.
“A little on edge, I see,” she quipped as she took her seat at the table.
“A little,” Kennedy replied.
“You look like hell. Mia got you worried?” Faith asked. “Docs say she’s doing better every day.”
“No. Well, yeah, that worries me, but I didn’t sleep well last night either.”
“Why?” Faith asked, just before taking a bite of her home fries.
Kennedy swallowed her orange juice. “Have you ever had a dream that came to pass?”
“You mean aside from one where I’m in a huge arena, battling monsters?”
“Yeah,” Kennedy answered. “The dream I had last night…it felt different. Like I was watching the action, almost like it was happening in real time, but…not. That probably sounds crazy, I know.”
“What was it about?”
Kennedy paused for a moment. “There was a strange girl in an alley, and I think…I think I died. Willow and Xander too. It was pretty gruesome, actually.” Faith turned away and seemed to take a sudden interest in her toast on her plate. After a few moments, Kennedy nodded toward the senior slayer. “Think you got enough butter on that?” she joked.
Faith looked down to notice her bread now appeared soggy.
“I like butter, okay?” Faith answered. “Look, the dream was probably nothing. You’re just worried about Mia after that Mizor attack.”
“Maybe,” Kennedy shrugged, as they both continued to eat.
Giles’s Apartment – Later that Morning
Giles opened the door and smiled when he saw Faith standing in the hallway.
“Sorry,” she prefaced herself. “I know you’re supposed to be resting and all, but our big watchers are either suspended or sicker than you right now, but…” Faith seemed a bit reluctant to go on. “Well, I’d rather talk to you about this one anyway.”
“No trouble. Come in,” he said, opening the door wider. Faith crossed the threshold to see Becca there and gave her a short wave. “I’m fine, I’m fine,” he added, casting a glance at Becca.
“He has an interesting take on life,” Becca told Faith.
The older woman walked over and kissed the slayer on the cheek. “And that’s for saving it,” she told her.
Faith blushed and shrugged it off. “It was nothing.”
“No, it was something,” Becca replied. “Even if some people around here think it was nothing,” she said, casting a disapproving look at Giles. “Speaking of which, I’m glad I went with him to his doctor’s appointment.”
“I-I was honest with the doctor, despite what she says,” Giles told Faith.
“Regular jogging doesn’t count if it hasn’t happened in two years, and jelly from donuts is not considered part of the fruit group, Rupert,” Becca chastised.
Faith stifled a laugh as Giles motioned her toward a chair.
“Yes, well. Faith, have a seat, please,” Giles practically begged the slayer, pulling her inside to use her as a diversion.
Watchers Council – Infirmary Waiting Room – Same Time
Dr. Miller stood with Kennedy outside the infirmary.
“She’s getting stronger every day. At this rate she should be good for patrol and regular training by the end of the week. We just want to keep monitoring her to be sure.”
Kennedy gave him a nod. “That’s good news. Thank you, Doctor.”
“She’s awake, if you’d like to go in,” he told her.
“Thanks,” she answered with another nod.
Infirmary – Same Time
Kennedy walked slowly over to Mia’s bed and leaned over her.
“Hey,” Mia said softly.
“Hey yourself,” Kennedy replied with a soft grin, giving her a kiss. “Doc says you’re getting better, slayer healing and all, so you’ll be back on your feet in no time.”
Mia gave a nod. “How’s Willow doing today?”
“Couldn’t tell you,” Kennedy answered. “I came here first.”
Mia gave her a gentle smile. “You should still check on her. That was quite a tumble she took trying to move too soon.”
“I will, but I wanted to come down here, see how you were and if you needed anything.”
Mia gave her lover an appreciative grin. “I’m good, Ken, but there is something you could do for me.”
“Sure. You name it,” Kennedy said excitedly. “Ice cream, cookies, whatever.”
“Rowena,” Mia told her. “I want you to bring her here.”
Kennedy looked uncertain and turned away.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Apartment – Same Time
“Did you say anything to her?” Giles asked.
The two of them sat on his sofa.
“No,” Faith answered. “I didn’t want to freak her out. It might not be anything, but the way Ken described it, the feeling…it’s exactly the same as when I had the dream of my watcher and me being ripped apart. Rosa told me not to worry, that we could find ways to prevent it if it was a true slayer dream. I was able to make it out alive, so that part didn’t come true, but she…well, you know the rest of the story. I just didn’t know who to come to with this, Giles, and I don’t want to unload on you, but –”
“No,” Giles cut her off. “I’m glad you did, Faith. Let’s be honest with Kennedy. Share your story with her and try to get as much information from her as you can about the dream. We’ll pull her from patrol for the time being. Agreed?”
Faith nodded. “Yeah, that sounds good. Again, I’m sorry I bothered you.”
“Believe me, I need the interaction,” Giles whispered. “I’ve been mother-henned enough this week.”
“I heard that,” Becca yelled from the kitchen. Giles and Faith both smiled.
“Hey, be glad you’ve got a gal that cares, Giles,” she told him.
“I truly am,” he told her. “Right now, I just wish she’d care a little less,” he whispered conspiratorially.
Faith smiled again and gave a wave before she left his apartment.
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Later
Willow sat on her sofa with a determined expression and a bandage on her head. She focused intensely on a pencil sitting on her coffee table, but it did nothing. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, only to quickly re-open her eyes and focus on the object again. This time it began to wiggle just a little, but then there was a rapping at her door, distracting her.
The pencil ceased all movement, and Willow sighed as she rose to her feet. Willow walked over and opened her door to see Kennedy standing outside.
“So, your girlfriend around?” she asked as she looked around the apartment, walking in without an invitation.
Willow closed the door and faced her. “I haven’t seen her. Did you try her apartment?” she asked, folding her arms across her chest.
“No answer. I figured she’d be here, hiding out.”
There was a brief silence for a moment. “As you can see, she’s not,” Willow told her, “but if I come across her, I’ll tell her you’re looking for her.”
“Actually, it’s Mia who wants to see her, not me.” Kennedy explained as she walked back to the door. “I’ll try her place again, but tell her to go to the infirmary when she gets the chance.”
“Ken,” Willow called out as Kennedy had her hand on the door. “She was only trying to buy some time.”
“Too bad that almost cost Mia her life,” Ken replied sharply as she opened the door. She started to leave again, but stopped. Turning, she saw Willow looking down at the ground, shoulders slumped. “I’m not mad at you, okay? This is between me and her, not you.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” Willow sighed.
Kennedy left the door open but took a few steps closer to Willow.
“We’re done. Finished. So I’m moving on. But when that woman knowingly sent Mia – hell, all of us – into harm’s way to protect you…all I’m saying is it’s not your fault. It’s hers.”
“And I’m sure she’s paying for that mistake,” Willow answered.
“Well, whatever,” Kennedy said, sounding uninterested in debating it. “If you see her, let her know.”
Without saying more, Kennedy left the room.
Slayer Kitchen – Later
Dawn and Jeff stood in the kitchen as Jeff continued to stir over a pot.
“Here,” he said, handing Dawn the spoon. “Keep stirring and put a few more discs in.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy chocolate suckers for the slayerettes?” Dawn said as she started to stir.
Jeff moved a plastic tray over to the stove carefully.
“Of course, but this is more fun. Each year my mom and I make – well, made – candies for Christmas. Besides, don’t you have any holiday traditions?”
“Holidays in the Summers household were a lot like birthdays – something to avoid if you wanted to skirt catastrophe.” Dawn continued to stir and moved away slightly. “How’s this look?” she asked.
Jeff peered over her shoulder and looked in the pot to give an approving nod.
“Perfect,” he said, turning and smiling at Dawn. Dawn smiled herself, but slowly their eyes locked on one another, and Jeff moved a step closer. Dawn licked her lips, and the spoon slipped in her hand, almost falling into the pot.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“Nothing,” Dawn and Jeff both exclaimed with a little jump. Skye finished entering the room and tossed her book bag on the counter.
“Nothing sure smells good,” she remarked, as she pulled out a water bottle from the refrigerator.
“We’re making Christmas treats for the slayerettes,” Jeff said, trying to sound conversational.
“Right,” Dawn answered quickly. “And he’s teaching me. How to make treats, that is. Right?”
“Right,” Jeff nodded.
“Boy, you’re just a jack of all trades, aren’t you?” Skye said, giving Jeff a long look up and down.
“I know a thing or two I could show Dawn,” he said, almost as a challenge.
“Right,” Dawn repeated again quickly, as she watched Skye’s eyebrows go up curiously. “So, what’s next?” she asked Jeff.
Jeff paused for a second. “Yeah, well, we need to pour the molds. But be careful, because it’s hot.” He began to pour the chocolate into the squeeze bags.
Skye put her arm around Dawn’s waist and kissed her on the cheek.
“You guys have fun. I’ve got a final to study for and a paper on Pavlov’s dog. I’ll be in my room if you need me.”
“Oh, okay,” Dawn answered. She waved as she watched Skye leave. Once the door was closed, she let out a sigh and turned to Jeff.
“I’m not guilty here. I haven’t done anything,” she whispered to Jeff. “But this has gotta stop.”
“And how do you stop something that hasn’t started?” he asked with a mischievous grin.
“You know what I mean,” she said, smacking him lightly in the arm. “The looks, the touches…”
“The chocolate?” he asked as he held up his finger. “Try it?”
Dawn looked undecided for a moment. “Stop tempting me,” she finally hissed.
Jeff chuckled softly and licked the chocolate from his finger.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Apartment – Same Time
With a book in her hand, Rowena opened her front door and found Kennedy standing there. The watcher had to close her mouth after her surprise.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” Kennedy parroted back. She looked inside and pointed to the books that lay in various stacks all over Rowena’s apartment.
“Moving back to England?” Kennedy asked hopefully.
Rowena ran her fingers through her hair. “No, just re-organizing my library…again…for the fifth time this week.”
Kennedy walked inside the apartment and looked around.
“Maybe Willow was right. Maybe this suspension thing is driving you crazy.”
“Is there a point to your visit, Kennedy?” Rowena asked shortly.
“Yeah, there is. Remember Mia? My girlfriend? The slayer you almost killed, along with countless others?”
Rowena blew out a long breath, as if trying to keep her temper in check. “Yes, I remember.”
“She says you haven’t come by to visit her, and although I don’t know why she’d like to see you, she’s asking for you. Personally, I’d just rip your head off and be done with it.”
“I guess it’s good for me that someone sane got hurt instead of a lunatic,” Rowena answered.
Kennedy took a step closer to Rowena. “I’m finding it real hard to remember that I’ve got slayer strength here.”
“Slayers are not to harm watchers,” Rowena said defiantly.
Kennedy smirked in response. “But watchers hurting slayers is okay though? Besides, last time I checked, you weren’t a watcher. But don’t worry,” Kennedy said, backing down and walking to the door, “I won’t hurt you. It’s better watching you beat yourself up…See ya around.”
Once the door was closed, Rowena scowled and, in one strong heave, threw the large book in the direction Kennedy had departed.
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Later that Day
Willow heard another knock as she sat on her sofa and called out. “Who is it?”
At first there was no answer. As she took a breath to repeat it, she heard Xander call out, “It’s me, Will. Can I come in?”
Willow closed her eyes for a moment and opened them.
“Sure,” she called out.
Slowly the door opened, and Xander passed the threshold, closing the door behind him.
“How’s the head?” he asked.
“Didn’t think you cared?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm. “I tried to call you. I tried to see you, too, but that didn’t go according to plan,” she said pointing at the bandage on her forehead. “Rule number one after a mojo-draining spell: never get up before your legs are ready to work.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he told her as he took a seat on her coffee table across from her. He licked his lips nervously and wrung his hands.
“You’re mad,” Willow said before he could say anything. “I know you’re mad, and I know that’s why you’ve been avoiding me. But really, Xander…I didn’t keep secrets because of you.”
“I asked you, point blank, if you and Rowena were an item. And you lied to me. To me, Will.”
“You asked if I was dating Rowena, and that would mean actually going out, and we weren’t. We always stayed in, so technically…” Willow paused and gave a deep sigh. “So, yes, I lied. But I didn’t do it to hurt you,” she added quickly. “Rowena wasn’t ready for everyone to start jumping into our relationship yet, to start playing twenty questions, and I had to give her that.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that. You could have told me the truth.”
“I promised her I wouldn’t say anything, to anyone.”
“But I’m your best friend.”
“This isn’t about friendship,” she said, raising her voice. “It’s about falling in love with someone and having the possibility that you’ll be hurt or even killed because of it. It’s about outdated laws that say you could go to jail for having sex. It’s about not being able to go to a courthouse and say we’ve decided to stay together the rest of our lives, so give us a license and a tax break a-and, while we’re at it, give us custody of our kids and ownership of our house without having to hire a fancy lawyer.”
“Don’t make this political,” Xander said, shaking his head.
“It’s not political,” Willow insisted. “It’s personal. Very personal. And it’s something that you and Giles and Faith a-and none of you have ever had to worry about or probably ever will.”
“You know I think you should have the same rights as me, as anyone,” Xander replied.
“It’s not just about rights, Xander. It’s about acceptance – not from the outside world but from within too. I had time to consider what I might give up by being with Tara. In the end, she was worth it, and I made that choice long before I told you guys the truth about us. Rowena had to come to that decision too, but in her own time. So I’m sorry that I didn’t share all with you, and I can’t promise it will never happen again. All I can tell you is I never meant to hurt you, a-and I never wanted you to feel betrayed.”
“And that’s the rub,” Xander said as he rose. “It feels like you couldn’t trust me.”
“No,” Willow insisted. “I promised Rowena to give her time to sort through her feelings about us, about herself. That’s all, Xander. And sincerely,” Willow said, getting to her feet, “I feel terrible for hurting you. You are my best friend so…be my best friend now.”
“Like I said, I don’t completely get it, Will.”
“I don’t need your empathy, Xan,” she said, taking a few steps closer. “I just need your love and support.”
Xander gave her a small grin. He rose to his feet and pulled her into his arms. “You’ve got that. And the love of a beautiful blonde too, obviously.”
Willow returned the hug, but pulled away soon after. “I’m not so sure about that. I’ve been pretty mean to her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she hightails it out of here again.”
“Have you talked to her?” Xander asked. Willow just shrugged. “Guess I’m not the only one being avoid-y lately,” he teased.
Again, Willow shrugged.
“I just…” Willow paused, as if looking for the right words. “I feel horrible right now – physically, emotionally. It’s like the hits just keep on coming, you know? Marsha, Mia, Ro, Giles…Does it ever end?” she asked.
“Someday,” Xander said with a nod. “But just take it one step at a time. And if you need me,” he told her, putting a hand on each shoulder, “color me there.”
Willow gave him a gentle smile. “I guess that was step one, huh? Any suggestions for step two?”
“Yeah, there’s this blonde going stir crazy right now who’s been barred from doing watcher stuff. I think she could use some saving,” he told her.
“Thank you,” she told him sincerely. “But I’m still a little too hot under the collar to talk to her right now.”
Xander gave her a modest grin. “When you’re ready. And like I said…I’m here.”
Xander gave her a wink, and Willow waved as he began to leave the room.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
Kennedy and Faith descended the staircase overlooking the lobby, talking as they continued down.
“And you’re sure that’s all you remember?” Faith asked above the noise of the bustle below them.
“Yes, I’m sure,” Kennedy answered, exasperated. “But if I remember any other tiny, minute detail I promise I’ll tell you.”
Kennedy stopped walking and pointed to a young woman by the reception station in the busy lobby below. “That’s my dream girl.”
Faith looked and then shrugged. “She’s a looker I guess but –.”
“Okay. Correction,” Kennedy said. “That’s the girl from my dream.”
Faith began to examine her more closely. “Are you sure?” Faith asked with concern, looking at Kennedy again.
Faith watched as Kennedy nodded slowly. “I’m positive.”
Faith’s head quickly shot back to the woman, and they both took off down the stairs.
End of Act One