Act 2



Fade In:


Roadside Inn – Dawn

“Yes, Gene, thank you,” Giles nodded at one of the officers. “We’ll let you know if we turn up anything else. No, best your officers weren’t on stakeout with us. Anyone of them could have been killed along with this young man.”

Cut To:


Roadside Inn – Room 13 – Same Time

Ethan let the curtain drop from his hand. It was nearly six a.m. and Rupert-dog was asking to go out.

“Alright,” Ethan relented. “But stay close by the building, where they can’t see you.”

He opened the door and the dog left the room.

No one saw the animal lift its leg against the building. No one saw the dog at all, nor the door marked “13” swing open and shut again as the animal re-entered the room.

Fade To:


Roadside Inn – Room 13 – Minutes Later

Ethan sat on the bed, a glass of some cheap whiskey in his hand. Through the window, he saw the police and ambulance leave the scene. Robin, Faith and Giles walked towards the motel.

“Showtime!” Ethan told the dog.

Robin, Giles, and Faith crossed the curb and immediately vanished from the view of the rest of the world.

Giles opened the door to Room 13. Faith and Robin followed him in.

Rupert-dog happily flopped his tail up and down on the floor where he lay.

Robin and Faith both saw Giles’s hand curl into a fist. Robin bent over a bit and whispered to her, “Three to get ready…” Faith stepped over a bit, positioning herself and Robin on either side of the watcher.

But Giles relaxed his hand as he stared at the silent mage sitting on the bed before him.

Ethan smiled, bemused.

“Hallo, Ripper,” he said, somewhat gently. Then his tone turned silky as he patted the bed. “Care to join me?” Giles merely turned and walked to the window, without a word. “Or would you like to wait for Becca to join us?”

Giles continued to stare, unresponsively, out the window.

Ethan’s smile wavered.

“Why are you here?” Giles asked quietly.

“I have some business in these parts. Why are you here?” Ethan asked, indicating to the room with his free hand.

“I had a tip that you were in the vicinity of the Council.”

“Vicinity…gods man, I’m right on your doorstep! And waiting to be hugged to your bosom once agai –”

Ethan cut himself off. His face turned serious and he walked to the door.

Rupert-dog got up to follow. “No, stay,” Ethan said off-handedly. “Whoever it was, they’ve been gone for a while.”

He opened the door wide and looked about. Everything and everyone seemed to be proceeding normally for that hour of the morning. “Just some residual emanations finally seeping through the barrier,” he finished telling the dog.

“Who’s gone? Who were you expecting?” Giles asked quickly.

“Jealous?” Ethan smirked.

Giles walked over and placed his hand on the door’s edge. His eyes fell on the metallic numerals “1” and “3,” brown and pitted with rust.

“It’s common knowledge,” Giles said smoothly from behind cold eyes, “that it’s somewhat usual for motels and other buildings to skip having floors or rooms numbered thirteen. It’s considered…unlucky.” He pushed the door and it closed with a soft click.

Ethan smiled. “Lucky for you, then, that I’m in it.”

“Who were you waiting for? That thing?”

“No, actually. That thing, as you so insightfully call it, is somewhat of an anomaly. I haven’t the vaguest idea why it showed up. Maybe it followed you, Ripper. You always did have a certain irresistible charm and panache.”

“Who were you expecting, Ethan? Answer me.”

“A secret admirer…obviously not you.”

“A red-haired admirer, I imagine.”

“Red…?” Ethan paused for a moment, then laughed suddenly and hard. “You always did have a good imagination, old ma –”

Giles’s fingers closed around Ethan’s neck and began to squeeze inward. The move was so quick and subtle that even Robin and Faith were caught by surprise. Giles’s face remained calm as he squeezed harder, as though he would bring his fingers together and crush Ethan’s throat.

Ethan matched him gaze for gaze, the smile slipping only a little.

Rupert-dog whined nervously and took a step towards them. Ethan waved the dog down and Giles suddenly released his grip.

Ethan tried not to cough more than once.

“Come with us.” Giles opened the door and walked out.

“Oh that’s right, choke me to death and I’ll follow you anywhere.”

Faith punched Ethan in the back, just enough to make him stumble forward. “Let’s go, Prince Charming,” she said. Ethan obligingly walked through the door.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Staff Lounge – Morning

Willow’s mouth hung open as her eyes darted from Ethan, to Giles, to the group in the room, to Ethan once more and finally back to Giles. 

“Heh-heh. Uh. Hi!” she said with measured cheer.

Rupert-dog barked, no longer able to contain himself. His tail wagged furiously back and forth. Willow allowed her eyes to drop to the animal and she relaxed, a smile spreading across her face.

“Willow,” Giles’s tone was serious, but calm. “We found Ethan and his…dog in a motel just off the interstate. Do you know anything about this?”

Willow glanced quickly at Ethan, who gave her no hint of help.

“I –” She looked at the dog again and knelt down. The animal went directly to her and licked her face. “Well,” she said to the dog, “guess it’s come-clean time again.”

She stood up and faced Giles. “I-I’ve been meeting Ethan, for a couple of weeks or so. He’s…he’s been trying to help me find ways to restore my powers…faster.”

Giles closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them again and Willow saw how tired he looked.

“But hey! It’s like he’s helping me with a-a-a puzzle. Y’know, when there’s a few missing pieces and you’re trying to put the whole thing together, working around what’s missing, even though you don’t really know for sure what’s missing, a-a-and –”

“Willow,” Giles said, cutting off her rambling, “the coven, Althenea…all their help –”

“Doesn’t amount to a hill of magic beans, Ripper,” Ethan spat. “You know it. She knows it. And all the enchanted dimensions know it, too. The sooner she gets her powers back –”

“Why didn’t you come to me about this?” Giles asked Willow.

“Oh yeah,” Willow acted out, “Oh say, Giles, can I go study a little with Ethan? He wants to help me regain my powers.” Then, in a mock Giles-voice, she answered, “‘Why certainly…NOT!’ A-and then you fall over again, only this time Faith’s not there and –”

“Of course I would have forbidden it,” Giles stated. “But I thought we agreed you wouldn’t hide things from us again.”

Willow’s expression fell at the disappointment in his tone. “Well…”

“She didn’t keep it from everyone,” Rowena said. “I knew. She told me. We talked about it before she even agreed to see him.”

“You knew?” Giles questioned. Rowena nodded.

“Yeah,” Xander added shyly. “Me too.”

“So did I,” Kennedy spoke up.

At first, Giles was speechless. “My God, is there anyone else here that knew?” he asked incredulously.

“Well…” Willow hesitated as Giles glared at her, “I might have, um, mentioned it to Dawnie, too.”

Giles turned to look at Dawn, who managed an awkward smile.

“And Althenea,” Willow added, just above a whisper.

Giles looked irritably around the room. “Am I the only one on Earth who didn’t know?”

Ethan opened his mouth to speak.

“Be quiet!” Giles told him.

“Ethan hasn’t done anything wrong,” Rowena protested. “We’ve all been keeping an eye on him. If not Xander and me, then Kennedy. Willow’s never gone alone.”

“‘Sides,” Xander added, “we wouldn’t let anything bad happen. Ethan would be outta here so fast if –”

“Ethan Rayne has more mystical power in his little finger than the entire staff and student body in this Council put together.”

“Is that all?” Ethan protested. “Really, I don’t have to stay and be insulted –”

“He could put any manner of spell on any number of us before we knew it, and there’d be no one to counter them –”

“That’s better,” Ethan preened.

“Be still or you and that beast will find yourselves in confinement.”

“Ethan? Ethan Rayne!” Becca came into the room.

“Ah, the mother-to-be!” Ethan beamed.

Giles shot a heated look at Willow, who turned beet red, before he walked over to Becca.

“How are you, my dear?” Ethan rose to his feet and took Becca’s hand, raising it to his lips. He reverently kissed the back of it. Becca blushed. “The future Mrs. Rupert Giles and mother of little…” Ethan laid his hand lightly against Becca’s belly, though he was promptly swatted away by Giles. Ethan paused for a moment with an amused grin. “Perhaps,” he said engagingly, “you and Ripper will name this pup after me.”

Xander snorted at the remark and Willow rolled her eyes.

“Okay, okay,” she said, moving towards Ethan. She took his arm. “C’mon,” She pulled him towards the door, “before you push him over the edge.”

“And just where do you think you’re taking him?” Giles demanded, blinking.

“To a room. A-a-a staff room, we have spares…it’ll be better if he gets all settled in before we, uh, talk to him, dontcha think?” She smiled her sweetest smile at Giles and quickly ushered Ethan out of the room. Rupert-dog padded after them.

“All right, all right,” Giles relented. “Everyone get back to figuring out what this thing is…”

The room emptied quickly, except for Becca. Giles looked at her, losing himself in her eyes for a moment. Then he suddenly stiffened and called out to the empty hallway, “Better for whom?!”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Library – Later that Morning

“No,” Ethan said, looking at the book Willow was holding out.

“But it has all those old-timey demons in it,” she insisted.

“And I can recite the entire work for you verbatim. I’m telling you, that one’s a complete waste of your time. Or mine, at any rate.”

“Okay, okay. No need to be grumpy,” she muttered, “just because Giles is.”

“He’s got a lot to be grumpy about. Little dead slayer, the Presidium, pregnant girlfriend, heart attack, unknown killer stalking the innocents of Cleveland…”

He tossed another book in the reject pile nonchalantly.

“Hey…” Willow said. “I only told you about Marsha and the baby. How do you know about the heart attack?”

“Why don’t you ask Giles to tell you. You might be surprised how much he knows about me, too. And how much he blocks out.”

Willow looked at him hard. “You’re linked.”

“Not exactly.”

“You know about the heart attack because you’re telepathically –”

“Sorry. Wrong answer. Thank you for playing. And now your lovely parting gift…” Ethan hoisted over a heavy, oversized volume.

Ancient Demons of the Forgotten Realms, ” she read. “If you don’t remember the realms, how can you write about the demons?”

“Sweet child,” Ethan crooned. “Now get busy.”

She started to search. Twenty minutes ticked by as the two followed their separate research trails in silence.

“So, you’re not linked,” she said. “Unless it’s a sympathetic link.” Ethan looked at her out of the tops of his eyes. “Okay, maybe not sympathetic, but-but he did sense you in Sunnydale when –”

“Look, since the condition of my staying here is to help figure out what is going around killing everyone, I suggest you and I keep our minds on the search. Agreed?”

“Right!” Willow said. “Search. Searching…searching…Hey! Oh. No.”

Ethan rolled his eyes and picked up where he left off in Changelings, Shape Shifters and Mimicks.

“I’ve got it!” Willow cried. Ethan blinked at her in surprise. “You’re empathic! You both know what the other is thinking and feeling at the same –”

“Gods! You watch too much Star Dreck.”



Willow went back to her volume.

“Have you two found anything yet?” Ethan called over to Dawn and Rowena.

“Just some Romanian legend about a girl who became invisible after getting lost in a fog one night,” Dawn answered. “Guess she was mist-styfied!” She chuckled at her own joke, while Rowena groaned from within the stacks.

Ethan put his book down, ignoring the goings-on. He sat puzzling for a moment.

“What?” Willow finally asked.

He looked at her. “Hand me that blue-bound one,” he said. She looked in one of the piles and saw the one he meant. It was thick with tissue-thin pages.

Taking it out, she read the words in Latin to herself and translated aloud, “The…Eaters?”

“Feeders,” he corrected her, taking the book from her hands.

“But nobody’s even been nibbled,” she said.

He ignored her and began to look, very slowly, through the book.

Willow watched him for a few moments, then went back to her own search.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Giles’s Apartment – Same Time

“I know he’s up to something. And I believe he brought that thing with him. Maybe not to kill the way it’s doing, but…”

“Sweetheart.” Becca sat down on the couch next to him. “If you’re so sure he’s brought it with him, why are you letting him stay here?”

“Because he’s less likely to call it forth if he’s here.”

“Okay, but what if the appearance of this thing is just coincidental? We do live over a hellmouth, don’t we? Besides, Willow already said he’s only here to help her.”

“Ethan helps no one but himself, which is why, if he stays, he’ll cover his own ass by not calling it here.”

“And this is the third time he’s helped us,” she said gently. When Giles didn’t respond, she continued. “Maybe he’s…changed.” Giles harrumphed. “Or changing,” Becca offered instead. “Maybe he’s not quite as selfish or conniving as he used to be. With age comes wisdom.”

“Yes, and maybe I’m a hairy, orange baboon in a pink, flowered tutu!”

“Let’s hope the baby doesn’t look like you, then.”

Giles’s stony face softened slightly and he grinned.

“Why not give Ethan a chance?” Becca pushed.

“A chance at what?”

“To finally prove he can do something right. Something good. Something unselfish and helpful to others, to you.”

“Bloody hell, whose side are you on, woman?”

“Yours, of course,” she said matter-of-factly. Then she smiled, teasingly. “But Ethan’s not without his charms…”

“Don’t you see? That’s exactly why he’s so bloody dangerous. Bad enough he’s got Willow suckered, but now he’s got you believing him, too!”

“You’re the one not seeing things. I think maybe there’s a little more to Ethan, to his behavior around you, than either one of you might realize.”

Giles looked at her incredulously. “Don’t. Just…don’t. I know Ethan better than I know myself. And that works two ways. Look, the danger in Ethan is not his magical prowess, nor his penchant for chaos. The real danger is closer, more personal than that. I know what he’s capable of. And what I’m not.” Giles sighed. “There’s a lot you don’t know.”

“You said you told me everything,” she argued.

“I’m sorry, but you don’t, and it’s for the best. Believe me. Just stay away from him. Do that for me. For us. And I’ll make sure he keeps his distance from you.”

“Rupert, I really don’t think that’s the way to handle –”

“Becca, please, can I just have a moment where I’m not arguing or explaining or defending my position to you? Wh-wh-where I can just…sit and be still and not think about– ”

Giles’s voice cracked a bit and Becca saw an arduous look come over his face.

“Calm down. It’s alright,” she said, putting her arms around him. “None of this was your fault, so please stop blaming yourself.”

“It’s everything,” he began. “Marsha was so young. A-a-and Willow – to lose a slayer so soon in her career. It’s devastating enough for a seasoned watcher. And now all these other killings, Gloria Zanninger and Peter Erickson. He had the potential to be a truly great watcher.”

“And he proved he was by dying for his slayer,” Becca said gently.

“I should have been able to stop all this. As head of this Council, I should be able to protect these people!”

“You can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t be everywhere twenty-four hours a day. No one can.”

“I can’t be like everyone else, Becca. I have so many lives in my hands.”

“In the last six months, you’ve had a heart attack and found out you’re going to be a dad. All that, along with the Presidium and the Hellmouth…Sweetheart, what do you expect from yourself? Do you have to feel responsible for the entire world? Or isn’t Cleveland enough?”

“You don’t understand how heavy this feels,” he told her.

“You’re absolutely right. I don’t,” she agreed. “But I also know that you’re a good man, a decent man and you’re doing everything you can to keep everyone safe. They all know it, too. I just wish you would see it.”

Giles hung his head low and Becca pulled him into her arms, letting his head rest against her neck.

Cut To:


Council Library – Same Time

“Got you.” Ethan said quietly.

Three heads rose up immediately. Willow, Dawn and Rowena gathered around Ethan, waiting for him to finish what he was reading. They watched his eyes flash quickly back and forth across the Latin text.

“I know what we’re fighting,” he said simply. “There is a small and rarely encountered class of inter-dimensional beings called Pyros Ederen: ‘Fire Eaters.’ Fire Eaters live on energy, when they are not in their dormant state. Someone or something woke this Fire Eater. And now it wants breakfast.”

“And lunch and supper,” Dawn added, ruefully.

“Yes. Well, it doesn’t live on just any kind of energy. It lives, specifically, on potential energy, according to the text.”

“What kind of potential energy?” Willow asked.

“It doesn’t say. But think about it. In spite of what physicists might say, I think the strongest potential energy is the energy which exists within the soul. Think of it as the inner fire, ‘the eternal flame of the soul,’ that which you would expect to find in the most spirited of individuals.”

“That adds up,” Rowena said. “All the individuals were described as full of life and spirit. They had nothing else in common.”

“Nor should they. An old soul can be as vital as a young one. Rich/poor, healthy/invalid, intellectual or village idiot, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that there is great spirit, great fire, in the person’s soul.”

“So this…Fire Eater,” Dawn said, “is a soul sucker?”

“I don’t think sucking is the idea.” Ethan fought a smile. “I think it merely absorbs them. Instantaneously.”

The three stood silent at the thought.

“How do we stop it?” Willow asked.

“Well, according to this, it’s incorporeal. The only way to destroy it is to first force it to become viable. It has to take physical form.”

“Then what?” Dawn asked.

“Then…” Ethan read a little further. “Then it can be killed by any means – stake, arrow, sword, Ripper’s singing voice – whatever.”

“But the risks…” Willow said, her brow furrowed. “Ethan, if the Fire Eater only feeds on the souled, then a soulless individual wouldn’t, theoretically, be killed by coming in contact with it and would stand a chance of destroying it. Wouldn’t he?”

“Sorry,” Ethan said drolly, “I’m not volunteering.”

“I didn’t mean you,” Willow said. “Maybe Bonnie might have a connection to a soulless demon who’d, I don’t know, lend a hand to save humanity?” Everyone looked at her doubtfully. “Okay, I’m reaching. I know.”

“So, what do we do now?” Rowena asked.

“There is a general manifesting spell,” Ethan said, walking to the window. “I could modify it so that it may cause the Fire Eater to take viable form. But then, we’d need to act very quickly to destroy it. It has more than the mere ability to eat souls. I’ll wager it will fight like hell to keep from manifesting. And once materialized, it’ll be a bit brassed off.”

He turned to see the three women looking at him.

“Well,” he added, “how bad can that be, after Ripper?”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Coven Room – Afternoon

“Okay,” Willow said. “We’re ready.”

A circle of witches, including Ethan, and one slayer, Faith, sat holding hands.

“Are you certain you’d recognize the feeling again?” Ethan asked her.

“Oh yeah,” Faith said. “After that parking lot gig, no problemo.”

“Right then. Everyone concentrate all your powers into the slayer,” Ethan instructed the circle of witches.

Willow led them in a chant that started soft and low and grew to a fevered pitch within a few minutes.

Ethan dropped out of the chant. “Now,” he told Faith, whose hand was locked tightly in his, “focus all your own energies inward on the crest of the power – but only when you feel it.” And with that, he channeled his own energies into her as well.

Faith convulsed, blinking in surprise at the raw power she felt coming from Ethan.

“Breathe,” she heard him whisper inside her own head. She did, and suddenly she began to tremble and smile with the surge of power flowing into her.

A shimmering wave began to come into existence in one corner of the room.

Faith caught her breath, her breath coming quickly. She nearly doubled over at the sensations.

Ethan felt the shimmer before he saw it and began to chant quickly in counterpoint to the circle, casting the spell to manifest the Fire Eater.

The Fire Eater, nothing more than a wavering distortion of light, began to move towards the circle. Then it unexpectedly slowed and stopped. Ethan stared hard at it, chanting, casting his spell.

It began to coalesce. Then, suddenly, it began twisting around itself like an angry taffy.

“It’s throwing off the spell!” Ethan cried, as the Fire Eater began to move forward again, though more slowly. “Everyone but the slayer, out!” he cried. The circle broke immediately and the witches all scrambled to the door. Willow, Dawn, Skye and Jeff remained. Dawn went to the intercom and began to call for Giles.

“Faith, look out!” Willow called.

Faith faked quickly to her left as the Fire Eater rushed towards her, only inches from her when it passed. Dizziness took her and she tumbled to the floor.

Jeff turned, a sword in hand, and moved to slash the Fire Eater. “NO!” Ethan yelled, “Don’t connect with it!”

The Fire Eater turned, glowing and iridescent. It lurched at Jeff. He threw the sword like a javelin, but it only went through the Fire Eater and embedded itself in the floor.

Ethan grabbed the boy’s arm and swung him away with such force that Jeff fell and slid along the floor.

Cut To:

Watchers Council – Hallway Outside Coven Room – Same Time

The sound of the wild barking of Rupert-the-dog from outside the Coven Room spurred Giles to run faster, Robin right behind him.

As they approached, they could see the dog scratching and jumping wildly against the Coven Room door. Giles grabbed the dog with two hands and shoved him aside. He and Robin burst in on a rush of hot winds and a bright opalescence. They stood, transfixed by the specter.

“It’s forming!” Willow cried.

The dog entered the room, hackles raised along his back. He lowered his head and snarled as he crept towards the Fire Eater.

“Rupert! NO! DOWN!” Ethan commanded. The dog stopped in his tracks, but continued to snap and drool at the mystical being.

“All of you, out!” Giles ordered, as Ethan resumed his chant.

The Fire Eater, only partially-formed, seemed to hesitate.

Ethan cried. “Kill it!”

Giles looked around frantically and picked up the nearest thing he could find, a large book, which he lobbed at the Fire Eater. The book sailed completely through it and flopped to the floor in a haphazard heap of pages.

Ethan stopped chanting and gave Giles a look. “You’re kidding, right?”

Before Giles could answer, Ethan grabbed his hand and repeated the spell, channeling their combined energies into it. The Fire Eater twisted in place again, glowing more brightly.

Robin saw his chance and rushed around it to pull the sword out of the floor.

“Don’t connect with it!” Jeff yelled out to him. “Throw it, don’t hold onto it!”

The Fire Eater, outnumbered and taking shape, suddenly cut off its attack and seemed to swiftly fold in upon itself. It disappeared, vanishing so suddenly that it created a vacuum in the spot where it had been.

Rupert-the-dog stopped snarling, shook his head and pawed at his ears, suffering from the sudden drop in air pressure.

“Faith! Faith, are you alright?” Robin asked, kneeling beside her.

Faith sat up, her hand to her head. “Huh? Yeah. Five by…” she started to tumble over again, but Robin caught her and helped her up. “I’m taking her to Dr. Miller,” he said, and helped her from the room.

Giles drew a ragged breath and Willow noticed his ashen face.

“You should go, too,” she said. “C’mon, I’ll take you.”

Ethan, still grasping his hand, stared hard into his eyes. “Are you having another one, mate? Ripper! Are you having a heart attack?”

“If I am,” Giles said, turning a furious shade of red, “it’ll be your fault! You stupid, foolish git!”

He yanked his hand from Ethan’s.

“Ethan,” Willow said, seeing Giles’s temper about to blow, “why don’t you go tell Becca that we’re taking Giles to the infirmary. Bring her there, okay?”

“No!” Giles objected. “Dawn, you and Skye go.”

“We’ll go,” Jeff said, and he and the two girls left.

“And don’t say anything to worry her!” Giles called after them. “Willow, thank you, I’m fine. I can walk there myself,” he added to Willow as she left with him.

Ethan stared after him with a serious expression. Suddenly he looked down at his side. Rupert-dog was sitting, gazing up at him.

“What are you looking at?” Ethan said.

Cut To:


Council Kitchen – That Night

Dawn, Skye and Jeff all sat around the kitchen table talking, drinking Cokes, and munching on potato chips.

“Well, at least Faith’s okay,” Skye said. “She almost bought it!”

“Yeah,” Jeff said, “but the best part was the book! Rupert Giles, the Great Watcher, and all he could do was throw a book!” Jeff snickered.

“Knowledge is power…not,” Dawn added.

“Yeah, well, some help you were,” Skye rebuffed Jeff. “You threw a sword. Into the floor. Nice move.”

A sound of angry voices from the outer room reached their ears.

“Somebody’s catching hell,” Skye noted.

“Shhh… ” Dawn told her and left the table.

Skye and Jeff followed her to the next room and the three stopped near the doorway, listening.

“I’m telling you, Willow, for the last time, this will cease! I want Ethan out of here once and for all. His help is no help. It’s chaos! Chaos is what he does, it’s what he is.”

“But Giles, it’s what kept us alive this afternoon. Ethan’s ability to work through and with chaotic situations.”

“Look, you went completely behind my back in bringing him here to Cleveland in the first place. Don’t think I’m not equally angry with you!”

“Oh. Oh yeah? Well, for your information, I didn’t do anything of the sort.”

“Oh, so he just happened to be in town for a Chaos Convention. Is that it?”

“Don’t take my word for it,” Willow said, crossing her arms. “Call Althenea.”

“Now, that isn’t fair! Willow, don’t you see what he’s doing? Ethan has a way o-o-of sowing discord wherever he goes. He’s got me arguing with Becca, arguing with you, snapping at everyone and…”

Willow was looking narrowly at him.


“Sorry, fella,” she said, “but you were doing that fine all by yerself.”

Giles gave an exasperated moan. “Look,” he said, more calmly, “perhaps I have been a bit edgy lately, but –”

“Hey, I get it. I really do. It’s been hard for me too lately. I can’t get Marsha back. But I can get my powers back and Ethan, well, he’s actually helped me have some moments, some, like, flashes, of magical strength. It almost feels like my powers are there a-and I can tap into them. So, please don’t send him away now. At least not until we stop the Fire Eater.”

Giles sighed heavily. “All right. But once it’s done, Ethan and his…dog go. I’d like that mangy cur out of my Council forever.”

Giles exited the room and Willow followed suit seconds later.

Skye looked at Dawn and Jeff. “Think he meant the dog?”

Black Out


End of Act Two

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