Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Moments Later
Mia slowly walked into the room and sat down on the first bench. She pulled the gloves from her hands and threw them across the room before placing her head in her hands and letting out a deep sigh.
“Nice to see you still have some shred of a conscience,” Kennedy said from the doorway.
Mia let out another sigh. “Go away.”
Kennedy walked further into the room and stood next to her girlfriend. “I can’t…I won’t. Not until we discuss this.”
Mia’s head suddenly shot up from her hands, and she looked at the other slayer with a confused expression. “Discuss what?”
Kennedy shook her head with a disbelieving smile. “You see, that’s just it. As far as you’re concerned, there is nothing to talk about…and that’s the problem.”
Mia stood up and turned her back to the other slayer. “I don’t know what you want me to say. We both knew what it would mean if I took this job,” she said, beginning to remove the tape from her hands.
“No, Mia, we both don’t know anything,” Kennedy said, taking a step closer to her. “You never tell me anything anymore. I mean, not that you ever did, but when it comes to this, I would think that I’d at least rate something.”
“You wouldn’t understand,” Mia said, without turning around.
Kennedy’s face suddenly grew hard and angered. “You know what, Mia? I am so tired of this ‘You wouldn’t understand’ bull. How can I understand if you never give me the chance? I mean, it’s not every day you wake up to find your girlfriend’s become the poster child for cold blooded murder.”
Kennedy’s face registered that she regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth.
Mia whipped around with her own look of disgust in her eyes. “Murderer!? Is that what I am to you now?” she demanded. When Kennedy didn’t respond, Mia continued, “Well, I’m sorry I’m not some perfect, redheaded goddess that the world apparently seems to revolve around, but I’m not a cold blooded murderer either.”
“That’s not fair,” Kennedy began to protest, but was cut off.
“And another thing…the last time I heard, Willow was actually the cold blooded murderer. Killing for revenge? What do you call that, hmm?” Mia said with a sneer.
“You leave her out of this!” Kennedy yelled, suddenly jumping into the other woman’s face. After a beat, she looked away. “You know that’s not the same thing,” she said, more calmly.
“Oh, isn’t it?” Mia said, stepping closer to force Kennedy to look at her. “She killed men because she wanted to, because she could. And she took sport in it. Isn’t that what a murderer is?”
Kennedy just shook her head in defeat. “You’re missing the whole point.”
Mia folded her arms over her chest and smirked. “Well then…enlighten me.”
“Julia,” Kennedy said softly.
“What?” Mia asked, truly confused.
“Julia,” Kennedy said again, bringing her eyes back to her girlfriend’s. “Julia was your lover, once upon a time, and you shot her dead where she stood. Just like that. Like it was nothing.” The older slayer turned and walked a few steps before turning to face Mia again. “It’s just got me wondering…Is that gonna be me someday?”
“Oh Ken,” Mia whispered, the anger completely gone from her voice. “It’s not even like that. I had a job to do, and I did it. And if I hadn’t shot her, she would’ve shot me first. Even though the success here doesn’t seem tremendous at this point –”
“Obviously,” Kennedy interjected.
“No, I’m talking about the injury to the objective,” Mia said, with a shake of her head.
“Injury to the objective?” Kennedy asked. “What the hell does that even mean?”
Mia began to respond, but Kennedy quickly cut her off again.
“That’s what I’m trying to say here, Mia. It’s like…it’s like you’re not even you anymore,” Kennedy added. “I’m just wondering, since when did you become some mindless robot programmed to kill at random?”
“You know what, Ken,” Mia countered. “If you took the time to actually pay attention, you’d see that killing is anything but random.”
She turned to walk away, but stopped.
“You know,” Mia said, turning around again, “I really hate to break up your little fairy-tale fantasy.” She waved her hand to emphasize her point. “But a gun serves a purpose, and you never fire to hurt somebody. You fire to kill them. And when you fire, you better be ready for the consequences.”
Kennedy took a step back and stared at the woman in disbelief.
Mia ignored the look and continued. “Before that gun leaves your holster, you have to make the decision that it’s you or them. Julia, and everyone else in that building, made me choose.”
Mia slowly approached Kennedy and stopped when she was face to face with her once again.
“And I chose me,” she said firmly.
A brief tense moment passed between the lovers before Mia turned and walked out of the room.
Kennedy watched Mia leave in silence . Then she sank onto the bench with a heavy sigh and placed her head in her hands.
The Four Aces Nightclub – Later
“Well, boys,” Volano said as he dropped Julia’s lifeless arm. “Looks like that Watchers Council did a number on us.”
He pulled himself to his feet and reached into his pocket for his handkerchief. He began to wipe his hands as he stared down at Julia’s body in disgust.
“But at least we won’t have to worry about taking care of this one for squealing,” he said. He threw the rag onto Julia’s face.
The mobster stepped back and sighed as he looked around at the three lifeless bodies of his team. “Round ’em up. Time for a little trip to ‘The Graveyard’.”
“Hey boss?” one of his men asked before pointing to the dead woman at their feet. “You think the job was worth all this? Honestly?”
Volano walked over and placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. “Maybe not right now, Johnnie, but in the end, most definitely.”
Both men shared a knowing smile. “You see, Johnnie,” Volano said with a pat on his back, “Sometimes the best business propositions start with the smallest of tasks. This here…ain’t no different.”
The mobster dropped his hands away with a smirk and placed them both in his pockets.
“Now boys, get this mess cleaned up by dusk. I don’t want no stains on the new carpet,” he said. Then he walked away, whistling.
Watchers Council – Waiting Room – Moments Later
Dawn and Skye held hands tightly as they walked over to where Xander was sitting in the infirmary waiting room.
“Have you heard anything?” Dawn asked Xander softly.
Xander just shook his head. “She’s still in surgery,” he responded quietly.
Willow suddenly looked over at Giles, who was sitting next to her. She had unshed tears in her eyes.
“Giles, I…I can’t lose someone else. Not like this,” she said in a choked voice. “If I do, that’s it for me. I’ll just spend the rest of my life alone. Otherwise, I’ll just endanger anyone I love.”
Giles placed a gentle hand over the witch’s. “Willow,” he said, “that’s not the case. It was a dangerous situation, and it could have ended far worse.” He squeezed her hand and smiled softly. “She’ll be fine. You’ll see.”
The sudden swing of the doors broke the tender moment. Everyone quickly rose to their feet to meet Dr. Miller.
Willow looked at him with pure vulnerability in her eyes. The doctor just smiled.
“She’s going to be fine. Sore, for now, but fine,” Dr. Miller announced.
Everyone in the room let out the breath that they hadn’t even known they were holding.
“She has lost a lot of blood, though, and she’s tired and groggy,” Dr. Miller continued, “But we’ve got her all patched up. You can go in to see her, as long as you keep the numbers down for now. She’s going to need her rest.”
The doctor added another smile before quickly disappearing through the doors once again.
Willow instantly turned to the others, and they all nodded in silent agreement.
“You go ahead,” Giles spoke for everyone. “We’ll go in later. Just be sure to tell her she’s in our thoughts and we’ll be by once she’s feeling more up to it.”
“Of course,” the witch nodded. “Thank you,” she said, placing a shaking hand over Giles’s. “Thank you all,” she said, with a quick look around the room, before rushing through the double doors.
Xander and Giles both looked at each other and released a heavy breath at the same time.
“Thank god we were right,” Xander muttered.
Giles gave him a slight grin and patted him on the back as they began to walk away.
Watchers Council – Recovery Room – Moments Later
The door to Rowena’s room slowly crept open, and Willow stepped through, quietly closing it behind her.
She looked down at the still body under the covers for a few moments before tentatively walking over and standing next to the bed.
Hearing the machines beeping and seeing the numerous tubes and wires running to and from the woman’s body was too much. Willow stared for a moment and then placed her hand over her mouth to keep the sobs from escaping.
“Hey,” Rowena croaked.
Willow began to cry uncontrollably.
“Hey,” the blonde repeated in a lighter tone. “None of that. I didn’t lie, did I? I told you I’d be fine, and here I am, all fine. I even got back something I lost,” she said, holding up her bandaged hand. “All in all, I’d say it’s a good day.”
Willow wiped her eyes and smiled weakly. She reached out to take the woman’s unbandaged hand in her own. Her smile faded as she stroked the back of Ro’s hand with her thumb.
“I was so scared I was gonna lose you,” she said softly. “The worst part…You needed me but I was useless.”
“Useless?” Rowena asked.
Willow nodded. “I couldn’t even do a locator spell to find you.”
“Oh, Willow,” Ro said softly. “Magic doesn’t matter. I’m so proud of you for holding it together in the van. That helped me more than you realize. I know how difficult it must have been for you…all the memories.”
“Yeah,” Willow nodded. “But it also made me realize what’s important. I could stay mad at you, or I could get over it, for us.” She reached down and placed a gentle hand on the blonde’s cheek. “I choose us.”
Rowena smiled and squeezed the redhead’s hand. Willow returned the smile for a moment before reaching out behind her and pulling the chair next to the bed.
“So, your finger’s back, then?” Willow asked.
Rowena nodded. “Yeah, for now. Dr. Miller said it might take, but then again it might not. But it’s worth a try. What I wouldn’t give for a little slayer healing,” she teased with a slight grin.
Willow grinned too. “Well since you don’t have that, you’d better get some rest, Sweetie,” she said as she sat down. “I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
“See? Now that’s something I can use – knowing you’re here.” Rowena grinned again and closed her eyes, as if safe in the knowledge that Willow wouldn’t leave her side.
Presidium Citadel – Panopticon – Same Time
Amid the shadows of the mostly inactive chamber, the images of Willow and Rowena, the only ones being projected, cast a weak glow over the Lover’s inscrutable face.
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Moments Later
Faith walked into the room to see Kennedy pounding on the punching bag relentlessly.
“Yo, Slick,” Faith said with a smile, as she approached. “Who ticked you off this time?”
Kennedy just ignored her and continued to pummel the bag.
“Hey,” Faith said, as she reached out and stopped the bag with both hands. When Kennedy turned to her with a fierce stare, Faith threw her arms up and stepped back. “Hey, just a question. No need for the daggers.”
Kennedy let out a frustrated huff and started to rip the tape from her hands.
“Is it about what happened out there at the club?” Faith prodded.
“I don’t wanna get into this,” Kennedy said quickly.
Faith just nodded, placing her hands in her pockets. “That’s cool, you know, whatever.”
“Well, there’s a first,” Kennedy said in a harsh tone as she walked over to the water bottle on the bench.
“Hey now, just cause something’s got you all wound up, doesn’t mean you gotta take it out on the first person that walks in,” Faith said, pulling her hands out of her pockets to gesture defensively.
Kennedy lifted the water bottle to her lips and took a long swig. “Then I guess you shouldn’t have walked in.”
Faith shook her head with a disbelieving smile. “Same ole Ken,” she said under her breath.
“Oh great, just what I need. Another woman who thinks she knows all about me,” the younger slayer said. She threw the empty water bottle to the ground.
“Just what the hell’s that supposed to mean?” Faith replied, getting angry herself.
Kennedy just shook her head. “Nothing.”
“You know what? Never mind. ‘Cause right now, I don’t give a rat’s ass,” Faith said as she began to quickly walk out.
“It’s Mia,” Kennedy said softly, just as Faith walked past her.
The older slayer stopped in place and turned to face the other woman. “Mia?” she asked, confused. “What about her?”
Kennedy stared at her for a long moment before speaking. “It’s about me and her.”
Faith’s eyebrows shot up, and she just stared at the other woman. “Oh,” she said finally.
Kennedy shrugged and took a seat on the bench. She clasped her hands together and looked at them for a moment before bringing her eyes back up to Faith’s.
“I don’t think it’s gonna work,” Kennedy said.
Faith’s mouth dropped open, but no words came out.
Fade to Black
End of Blue Moon
Next on Watchers…
Oz returns to Cleveland with a surprise guest… his wife! But Willow’s attempt to cure them both of their more wolfy tendencies is side-tracked by the intervention of an ancient vampire with her own motivations.