The Four Aces Nightclub – Guarded Door – Moments Later
Mia and Kennedy slipped quietly through the shadows to come up behind the two guards. When the two women were in place, they shared a smile and then they both reached out and tapped a guard on the shoulder. When the guards turned around, the slayers knocked them out with one hit.
Kennedy turned to grin at her girlfriend, but Mia was already moving the team forward while she worked on the lock to the room. When it wouldn’t give, she became frustrated and just kicked the door down, sending debris flying.
Kennedy let out a sigh and followed in after her.
The Four Aces Nightclub – Dark Room – Moments Later
The team piled in, with the exception of two girls who stayed outside. Mia made quick work of Rowena’s ropes and gag. As soon as she was free, Rowena slumped forward and Willow raced to catch her.
She grasped Rowena’s face gently in her hands and stared into the blonde’s eyes with a guilt-ridden expression. “I’m so sorry, Ro,” she said weakly. “For everything. Can you ever forgive me?”
The blonde just smiled and shook her head as Willow helped her to her feet. She gazed lovingly into the witch’s eyes. “It’s not even a question.”
They stared into each other’s eyes, wearing soft smiles.
“I hate to break up the little lovefest,” Mia said, clearing her throat. “But we gotta move…now.”
Kennedy walked over to the women and motioned for Willow to release Rowena into her grasp. Willow hesitated for a moment before releasing the woman into the arms of her ex.
“Don’t worry, Will. I got her,” Kennedy said.
Willow responded with a nervous smile.
Mia spoke into the mic on her wrist. “We’ve got the window here, but it’s painted shut. The only way out is to break it and crawl out, but our objective is barely conscious and unable to run. Anyone with a better way out?”
“West side of the structure. Side entrance,” Mia heard one of her girls report in.
“Copy,” Mia said, as she motioned her team to follow her out.
As the girls started to file out of the room, two new guards were just coming around the corner.
They locked eyes with Janet and Mia. For a moment, no one moved.
Time seemed to slow to a stop. There was no sound except for nervous breathing. Mia sized up her opponents, deciding on the best move. Just as she was about to reach for the knife in her belt, a bullet went whizzing by and embedded itself in the wall directly next to her head.
She slowly turned her head just in time to see a whole mess of guards coming in through a door to the right. She quickly pulled the knife from her belt and slung it at the closest guard, burying it in his chest before pulling out her Eagle and firing to provide them cover.
She pushed her way back into the room and took a quick glance around at her girls. She lifted her assault rifle to her side and snapped the clip into place.
“All right, ladies…it’s show time.”
The Four Aces Nightclub – Just Outside Dark Room – Moments Later
Mia was the first to emerge from the room. She held the rifle firmly in her grip as she fired at the guards, making them fall back from their position.
As she moved forward, the other girls started to emerge from the room, rifles in full operation, continuing to provide cover as they exited.
Instead of running, the guards held down their position. A short moment later they began to return fire from the rooms along the hallway. Mia lifted her fist into the air before quickly ducking behind a nearby table.
She lifted her wrist to her mouth once again. “Okay, it looks like we’re gonna have to blast our way outta here. Get your girls on the line, and be ready to give me some cover.”
Mia looked across the room at her second in command.
Janet received the message and nodded her understanding. She lifted her fist in the air and then signaled a full attack.
The girls sprang from their hiding place around the corner and began to open fire once again.
The Four Aces Nightclub – Volano’s Office – Same Time
Volano jerked his head up at the sound of the approaching gunfire.
“What the hell?!” he shouted, as he reached into his desk to retrieve his pistol.
He pulled the revolver from its case and quickly ran from the room.
The Four Aces Nightclub – Side Entrance – Moments Later
“Get your asses outta there!” Janet shouted at the other girls as she pulled them out the side door. Bullets flew at Janet from all angles while she tried to provide cover for the retreating girls. Willow followed closely behind, dodging and weaving. Rowena clung tightly to Kennedy, who dragged her through the door towards the waiting van. More girls followed, giving cover while Mia was the last to leave the building. She was running full speed ahead when a dark figure suddenly dropped down in front of her.
“You ruined my payday, bitch!”
Julia reached fast for the gun at her hip, but before she could clear the holster, Mia raised her own weapon and fired. Her shot hit Julia in the chest, killing her instantly. Without any visible reaction, Mia stepped over the woman’s lifeless body and continued for the van.
Kennedy saw the whole display from only a few feet away. She was frozen in place and didn’t notice when Rowena continued to hobble away. She could only stare in shock at Julia’s body.
Alleyway – Moments Later
The team hurried Willow inside the van, along with a few of their girls, helping each other in as quickly as they could.
Rowena stumbled her way through the alley, her body threatening to fold in on itself. She looked back for just a moment, her frantic eyes searching for any girls still behind her, when her eyes suddenly widened in surprise. Her legs gave out and she dropped to her knees. A widening red dot appeared on her shirt over her chest. Her body dropped forward onto the ground.
Mia watched helplessly as Rowena fell to the ground.
She turned swiftly to come face to face with the mobster who got off the lucky shot. The smile was quickly wiped from his face when he met the cold stare of the woman.
Before he could even lift his gun, Mia aimed at his head and pulled back on the trigger.
“Oh sh –”
The words died in his throat as his body fell backwards.
Mia raced over to Rowena and lifted her arm over her shoulder. She pulled the injured woman to her feet and they stumbled toward the van.
“Are you okay?” Mia asked.
Rowena managed a weak nod. “No, but…don’t tell Willow. Just get me to the hospital.”
Mia nodded and helped the watcher into the van. She climbed in behind her and did a quick surveillance to make sure all her girls were present and accounted for.
She slammed the doors shut and shouted at the driver. “Step on it!”
Council Van – Moments Later
“Get us back to the Council…now!” Mia yelled to the driver, as she reached for her own radio.
“We gotta hit here. We’re gonna need the medical team ready and waiting,” she said into the radio, then placed it back onto her belt.
She reached over and placed her hand on Rowena’s arm.
“You’re gonna be okay,” she said in a low whisper, but the woman didn’t respond.
Willow pushed her way through the group of girls, across the van, to get to her lover’s side.
Rowena was hunched over, breathing raggedly. She struggled to hold her jacket over herself to hide the blood from the seeping wound in her chest. The witch’s eyes clouded over with fear and she placed her hand on Rowena’s thigh.
“Ro? Are you hurt?” Willow asked, reaching out to pull back Rowena’s jacket.
Rowena quickly batted her hand away. “Don’t,” she whispered hoarsely. “I’ll be fine.”
Willow reached for the jacket again. “Ro…please…let me see.”
Once again, Rowena batted Willow’s hand away. “I said I’m fine,” she whispered.
Willow wouldn’t take no for an answer this time. She easily overpowered the weakened blonde and pulled open the jacket. When she saw the bloody shirt and seeping wound, her eyes suddenly widened and her face paled.
“Oh Goddess, no,” Willow whispered in prayer.
Rowena leaned forward and placed her hands on either side of the redhead’s face. She looked deeply into her eyes. “Keep it together, Will.”
“Come on. Don’t lose it on me. I’m in no shape to –” Rowena’s words were cut off by another sharp, pained groan at the pain in her chest.
Willow quickly turned to Mia with a look of anger. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?! Look at her!”
“I see,” the slayer said. “But the objective was to get everyone out. I couldn’t have done that if you were freaking out in the middle of the alleyway.”
Willow just shook her head in silent anger, then turned her attention back to Rowena.
“I really am sorry, Willow,” Mia said again.
“Why do I doubt that?” Willow challenged.
Mia shook her head in frustration. “I couldn’t’ve done my job with you falling apart out there. It would’ve slowed us down. This way, she’s got a real chance of being okay.”
Willow just stared down at the open wound in her lover’s chest, her eyes welling up with tears. She closed her eyes and began to physically shake.
Rowena lifted her hand to the witch’s face once again. When Willow’s eyes met her own, she leaned in and whispered softly. “It’s not the same thing.”
Willow sniffed dramatically and bobbed her head quickly.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
At the front doors of the Council, Giles and Xander were waiting impatiently for the team to return.
“It better not be Will,” Xander said as he paced. “If one of those bastards hurt Will, I’ll…”
He swallowed back his words as the van came to a screeching halt a few feet away.
The back doors burst open, and Mia pulled Rowena out of the van.
“Where’s that stretcher?!” Mia shouted, holding the watcher to her side.
“Who is it?” Xander asked immediately.
“Dear Lord,” Giles said as he raced over. He stared at Rowena’s bloody shirt and met her eyes with fear. “Are you all right?”
“Never been…better,” Rowena groaned, forcing a weak smile. It quickly faded as her knees failed beneath her. She dropped as she suddenly completely lost consciousness. Giles reached forward and helped Mia lie Rowena on the ground, her blood soaking his shirt sleeves.
“Where’s that bloody stretcher?!” he cried.
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Moments Later
Dr. Miller burst through the double doors to intercept the incoming patient.
“What have we got?” he asked as a nurse tied the back of his apron. Another cut Rowena’s clothes away from her wound.
He peered over the stretcher and saw the familiar face. Then his eyes flicked down to the open wound.
“We have to get that bullet out…now,” he said to the nurse.
Willow began to follow, but Xander gripped her arm.
“No! I don’t want to leave her,” Willow said, struggling against Xander’s hold.
“Will, you have to,” he said in a soft voice.
Willow watched helplessly as emergency staff darted around the blonde in the operating room.
Dr. Miller placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. She turned to meet his soft eyes. “I’ll take care of her, but I can’t do it with you in the way. Let me do my job. Time’s important here.”
Willow slowly nodded her agreement but didn’t notice that the doctor had already left.
“Come on, Will, let’s go to the waiting room,” Xander said as he began to pull her in that direction.
Willow looked up at him with a dazed expression. “They…they shot her…in the chest…” Willow began to sob into Xander’s chest.
He pulled the woman into a tight hug and gently stroked her back. “It’s all right, Will. I promise…nobody’s going anywhere, especially not Ro.”
Giles stepped up and placed his hand gently on Willow’s arm. “Why don’t we go to the waiting room?”
Willow nodded mutely and all three headed off.
Fade to Black
End of Act Three