Felicia Day as Vi, Norika Fujiwara as Mia and Lindsay Felton as Skye
Christian Bale as Troy, Mia Kirshner as Cassandra, Jaime Pressley as Romana, Katherine Isabel as Teela and Neve Campbell as Camille
Special Guest Starring:
Seth Green as Oz
Video Hut – Day
The rain outside made the store look like nighttime. Apart from the tentacled clerk behind the cash register, the only patron was Andrew. With wet hair, he scanned the “New Releases” wall, picking up various titles, glancing at them, putting them back. He was making his third pass when a female voice startled him out of his reverie.
“Ginger Snaps Back.”
Andrew turned around and smiled. The speaker was a very pretty brunette in a purple slicker and hood. She grinned at him and continued, “I really think it’s a good movie.”
“What?” Andrew asked, confused.
She pointed to the DVD. On the cover were two young women, one with red hair and the other with black. “It’s the third in a trilogy of movies about werewolves,” she explained. “Are you familiar with werewolves?”
“I…I’ve heard of them,” Andrew answered. He couldn’t quite take his eyes off the young woman’s smile, which seemed somehow both friendly and wicked – but in a potentially very good way. He took a breath and said, “Maybe that’s what I should rent. I couldn’t quite make up my mind before.” He attempted what he hoped was a dashing smile.
Seemingly encouraged, the young woman took a step closer. “I…um…it’s nice to see another human here.” She lowered her voice. “Not that I mind the…the demons, you know? Because most of them seem really nice. But still…” She gave a coquettish shrug.
“Oh, I know what you mean! About the demons around here, anyway.” He smiled back, this time genuinely.
After a pause, during which the young woman kept her eyes on Andrew, she finally said, “Would you like to get some coffee? The fact is, I’m chilled to the bone.”
“Oh…um…sure! There’s a coffee place just a block or two away!” He gestured for her to follow, and she did. “I’m Andrew.”
As the two of them left, the Vl’hurg demon behind the cash register watched them go. He shook his head.
“Vampires…” he muttered. “Shameless things.”
Watchers Council – Day
As the rain poured down, the taxi drove as close to the front door as it could get. Once stopped, the taxi’s door opened. Two figures emerged, a man and woman. They moved to gather a couple of pieces of luggage, then, from under a common umbrella, headed for the front door.
The taxi drove off. Lightning flashed and thunder echoed across the sky.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same time
Xander and Rowena descended the stairs together, with Xander clearly bending Rowena’s ear. “So, let’s say, for example,” he began, “that girls – well, not all girls, but girls in general – that they ignored me for years and years. Which they did.”
“Uh-huh,” was Rowena’s answer.
“The way karma works, might that be the reason that more than one girl is now…well…kinda interested in me at the same time?”
“Honestly? Seems more likely that it’s karma for cheating on Cordelia and then leaving Anya at the altar.”
Xander actually seemed to take this with some grace. He did, however, look askance at Rowena and mumbled something about privacy. Then he stopped, his eyes wandering in the direction of the entrance to see two people entering from the soggy streets. They each carried a single piece of luggage. Xander smiled when he recognized the male of the pair.
“Oz!” Xander shouted, as he and Rowena made their way to the foyer.
Still ginger-haired, but now older, Oz looked up to see Xander with a big grin on his face. The faintest shadow of a smile flickered across Oz’s face, as well.
“Man, I had no idea you were coming!” Xander went on, clapping Oz on the shoulder.
“It was a last minute kinda thing,” Oz murmured, barely nodding. He looked to Xander’s right.
“Hi,” said Rowena, reaching out her hand. “My name is Rowena Allister. I’m…” She hesitated.
“You’re Willow’s lady,” Oz finished for her, taking her hand for a shake. “Pleased to meet you.”
“And I am Camille,” said the young woman at Oz’s side. She took Rowena’s hand for a shake as well. Both Xander and Rowena gave her a good stare. She was taller than Oz himself, with dark hair that reached her collar. There seemed something haunted about her pretty features, something dark about her eyes, but she smiled in a friendly, shy way. “Camille…Osbourne,” she finished nervously.
Xander blinked. Rowena blinked. They looked at each other and blinked again.
“Oh,” they said in unison.
The silence that followed was not as long as it seemed. It was, however, just a little uncomfortable. And then it was suddenly broken as the front door swung open again, this time with Willow and Mia running inside out of the rain.
“Trouble!” Willow said, complaining to Mia. “A whole lot of trouble! Vampires, or at least one vampire, stealing the one thing we –” Then she stopped dead and stared at Oz. “Oh…hi, Oz.”
“Okay,” Oz replied. “Not so good for you, though, huh?”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“The whole ‘trouble with the vampire’ thing?”
“Oh. Oh! Right! I…actually, that’s about you,” Willow admitted. “The whole reason I asked you to come. I’m…the Diana’s Favor bloomed. On the blue moon, even! That’s why I sent you that telegram! But then somebody stole it!”
“Uh…stole what, Will?” Xander asked. “The telegram?”
“No! The Diana’s Favor!”
“And that’s bad?”
“Yes,” Rowena answered, her voice very serious. “Very bad.”
The one who seemed most upset about this news, however, was Camille. She looked as if she might cry. She took a long, shuddering breath and turned her face away from everyone else. Oz instantly turned around and stepped in front of her, taking her face in his hands.
“Shhhh,” Oz whispered to her. “It’ll be alright. Really.”
“Hey,” he said soothingly, “but me no buts. It will. No matter what.”
“You said she had a cure,” Camille whispered in a choked voice.
“It’ll be alright,” he repeated.
“Well, I do,” said Willow. “Have a cure, I mean. But we need the Diana’s Favor to make it work, and that’s been stolen.”
“So, we get it back!” said Xander. “Right?”
“Right,” agreed Mia, who up until now had simply stood slightly behind Willow. “I’m going to go brief Faith, see what we can do about tracking down the vampires who did this.”
“Good idea,” said Rowena, as Mia headed out of the lobby.
Oz cradled Camille in his arms, rocking her gently. “It’ll be okay,” he assured her. “I promise. One way or another.”
As Willow watched the tender moment between Oz and Camille, a puzzled look appeared on her face.
Xander noticed and said, “Will, this is Camille. Ha, that’s almost a rhyme!” At Willow’s rolled eyes, he cleared his throat and continued, “Unless I misread some signs – which is totally within the realm of possibility – Camille is Oz’s wife.”
Willow glanced at the couple once again. “I’m happy for you,” she said at last.
“And…” said Xander, “just so I’m somewhere in the vicinity of up to speed, what’s a Diana’s Flavor and what does it do? Is it a cure for…” He hesitated, then made a growl face and pantomimed his hands as claws.
“Diana’s Favor,” Willow corrected. “And yes, it cures lycanthropy. But only under very specific conditions. Which is why we need to get it back. As soon as possible!”
“Why would a vampire want Diana’s Favor?” wondered Rowena.
Willow shrugged. “Maybe it has some other uses we don’t know about?”
“I think Mia has the right idea,” Xander said. “We need to just get ourselves organized and go get this Diana’s Flavor…Favor…thing back. Then Willow can make with the mojo…uh, you still can, right?”
“The coven will have to help, but yeah.”
“Okay then! In that case,” he said, turning in Camille’s direction, “we’ll do what needs to be done. Trust us, we’re good at this. We used to save the world before going off on summer vacation every year. And that was before we got upgraded!”
“Tonight is a full moon,” said Oz quietly. “We’re going to need someplace.”
Xander nodded. “Okay. I’ll get your things here,” he moved to pick up the luggage. “We’ve got plenty of guest rooms. And after we get Camille all set up, we can get a cell ready for you, Oz. No need for both of you to be behind bars,” he said with a laugh. Then he stopped at the look that both Oz and Camille gave him. Xander sighed. “I just put my foot in my mouth again, didn’t I?”
“It’s a talent,” noted Oz.
“You married a werewolf?” Willow blurted. Now everyone’s eyes turned to her. “Is she like Veruca?” Then she winced. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
“I know about Veruca,” Camille said. “And no, I’m not like her. At least, not in the way I believe you mean. Oz has taught me his meditations and how to use his herbs. But still…it’s hard. It would be better for everyone if we were both under lock and key.” Her voice was strong, with just a slight timbre of upset.
“Well, have no fear, the Watchers Council can accommodate all,” Xander said in a light tone. “If you’ll follow me, it’s the guest room first.” As Xander headed for the stairs, he muttered to Rowena in passing, “You were right about the karma.”
Oz and Camille followed.
Watchers Council – Library – Evening
Giles finished cleaning his glasses as Rowena, Dawn, Skye, Jeff and Willow poured over several books. “What I don’t quite understand,” he said to Willow, “is why you didn’t mention this spell before.” There was just a touch of ice in his voice.
“She did,” Dawn answered. Giles looked at her.
“Just in passing,” Skye went on. “She said that she thought maybe there was a way to cure werewolves.”
“There’s a reference in the Opus Obscurum to a Slayer who was bitten,” Willow explained, “and how a coven cured her. But it was all academic, because the most vital thing needed for the ritual to work was a fresh bloom of Diana’s Favor. It was only yesterday that I got news that one was available!”
“I still don’t see anything anywhere about what use a vampire would have for the bloom, though,” Rowena noted.
“Maybe the vampire has a friend who’s a werewolf?” offered Jeff.
“Seems unlikely,” said Giles. “Not impossible, though. But that would presume that this unknown vampire also knows about the spell you’ve mentioned. Is it listed anywhere else?”
Willow shook her head. “No. And believe me, I’ve looked.”
“The Opus Obscurum was missing for almost five hundred years,” said Rowena. “It’s possible that a vampire might have had access to it in that time.”
“And remembered such an obscure spell? For what reason?” Giles asked.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Same Time
Xander was pouring several mugs of coffee when Andrew rushed into the room.
“Hey, we were just looking for you –” Xander started to say.
“No time, Xander,” said the breathless Andrew, as he opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bowl. Xander did a take.
“You’re wearing new clothes,” he observed. “And those are the hors d’oeuvres you’ve been boasting about. What’s up?”
Andrew grinned. “I’ve got a date.”
“You?” was out of Xander’s mouth before he could stop himself.
“Yes, me!” Andrew replied, a little annoyed, until a smile came over his face. “Her name’s Cassandra, and we met at the video store. Would you believe it, she’s seen every single episode of every single Star Trek ever!”
“That’s the amazing thing. She is! She’s really very very pretty! Anyway, she invited me over to her place, and I’m bringing…” He held up the bowl. “…pineapple-bacon skewers! Think she’ll like ’em?”
Xander grinned at Andrew, who grinned back. After a moment, the latter headed for the back door. “See you later! Wish me luck!”
Once Andrew was gone, Xander winced and snapped his fingers as if he’d forgotten something. “Oh, by the way,” he said to the absent Andrew, “we’ve got a pair of guests staying with us…and they’re both werewolves.” He sighed and waved his hand at the closed door. “Ehh, I’ll tell him tomorrow.”
He picked up the tray of coffee mugs and headed out of the kitchen.
Watcher Council – Holding Cells – Same Time
Seated in lotus positions, Camille and Oz faced each other. Camille’s breath was ragged, her head bowed.
“Just think about your breathing,” Oz said calmly. “Just think about it, but don’t do anything. Concentrate on that.”
“I…I’m losing control…”
“You haven’t, though. Just think about that. Watch yourself breathe.”
Camille lifted her head. She looked different. The most vivid difference was her eyes, now nearly a solid black in color.
“Oz…!” Her voice was halfway to a growl. She grimaced in pain.
“Listen…listen. Follow my voice. Hold on to my voice. And breathe. Breathe.”
She shakily nodded. Her breathing grew deeper, but not calmer. With a long shuddering gasp, Camille trembled. Her teeth began to lengthen. “Oz…” she whimpered. “I’m sorry…” Tears formed in her eyes as he leaned over to her.
“Not alone,” he whispered. “You’re not alone.” As he said these words, he shut his eyes in concentration. Soon a quick shudder flowed through his body. “Never alone.”
“I’m so sorry,” was all Camille managed to say, as her face altered shape. Holding her in his arms, Oz changed as well. Fur emerged from their skins and they grunted with the re-shaping of their bones. Their teeth became fangs. Their hands, claws. Clothes ripped as their bodies swelled with rippling muscles. Lupine snouts inhaled gulps of air.
In seconds, instead of a man and woman, the cell contained two beasts, one male, one female. They came together in ferocious contact – not in combat, but in another, just-as-furious need. They cleaved to each, roaring their joy. Mate with mate.
Soon, the cell echoed with their howls.
Apartment – Later
Cassandra opened her front door. Standing there, with a very pleased smile on his face, was Andrew. He carried a bowl in his hands.
“Right on time!” Cassandra said with a grin.
“Well, I didn’t want to be late. And I brought something to eat!” Andrew held up the bowl. Cassandra laughed lightly. “What’s so funny?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she said. “Just pleasantly surprised. Come on in.”
Andrew entered the apartment, glancing around him. There wasn’t much by way of furniture. The only light came from a handful of lamps scattered in the front room. “You just move in?”
“So, are you new to Cleveland?”
“Nope. These have been my hunting grounds for a couple of years now. Not that I’ve done much to call attention to myself.”
“Yeah, this can be a rough town.” When Cassandra took the bowl out of his hands, Andrew said, “I call these pineapple-bacon skewers. Well, not so much skewers as toothpicks, but you get the idea.” He gave a nervous laugh.
“It was a kind thought.”
Andrew followed Cassandra deeper inside the apartment. He took in the decor, a simple mix. Heavy curtains on the windows. An empty frame above a sideboard. “What was that?”
Andrew pointed to the frame. “That? What used to be there? Looks like it should be a mirror.”
Rather than answering, Cassandra put the bowl down and turned. She looked at him with a disconcerting stare – not threatening, not much of anything. The silence went on so long that Andrew gave a nervous laugh.
“I’d like you to meet someone,” Cassandra replied.
“Oh. Okay. Uh…who?”
Cassandra snapped her fingers. A quite extraordinary blonde entered from another room. Her revealing clothes were entirely of leather. What wasn’t leather seemed to be metal, which matched the piercings in her lip and eyebrow. The dark red lipstick and teased hair went along with the elaborate tattoos the woman revealed across her pale, but very muscular form.
“This is Cynthia,” Cassandra introduced.
“Hi, Cynthia,” said Andrew, looking back and forth between the two. Cynthia herself said nothing. Instead, she slinked across the room to Andrew’s side, standing a little behind him. Between him and the door, actually. Andrew licked his lips before continuing. “Uh…girlfriend?”
“No,” Cassandra replied.
“I didn’t mean to offend,” Andrew said. “It’s just that…well, I live with a bunch of other folks, and some of them are lesbians, so you can see why…never mind.”
The brunette stepped forward, ignoring the fact Andrew had spoken at all. “Cynthia has some girlfriends. I, however, am not one of them. She, and her girlfriends…are my minions.”
Andrew made a sound halfway between a laugh and a cry. “Minions?” he squeaked. Then he looked at Cynthia, recognizing the all-too-familiar furrowed brow, golden eyes and fangs of a vampire. When he looked back at Cassandra, he caught the end of her own transformation.
“Oh,” he muttered nervously. “You weren’t kidding when you said hunting grounds, were you?”
He managed not to squeal too loudly when Cassandra leapt forward and drove her fangs into his throat.
End of Act One