Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist, Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Thora Birch as Tracey Hausser, Stephanie March as Bonnie Terea, Steffani Brass as Shannon, Alicia Silverstone as Heli and Robert Picardo as Dr. Miller
Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Navi Rawat as Dana and Emily Browning as Rose
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Later that Night
Xander and Vi sat on the sofa in the Slayer Rec Room, enjoying a pizza. Around them, a raucous post-battle party continued.
“How’s the shoulder?” he asked.
“Not bad,” she replied, then she casually added, “Just a scratch, really.”
Xander smiled and shook his head. “You slayer types are all with the stoic. Why is that?”
Vi shrugged. “I guess maybe I figure that if I’m not dead at the end of the night, that’s a plus.” Xander looked uncomfortable and put the pizza box on the table in front of him. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he replied.
“Don’t nothing me,” Vi ordered gently.
Xander wiped his hand on a napkin and then placed it on her shoulder affectionately. “I just worry about you, that’s all.”
“Think I can’t take care of myself?” Vi asked.
“Not at all,” he replied. “It’s just…you’re like a cop.”
“Yeah,” Xander went on. “Spouses of cops talk about how they’re nervous when their better half goes off to pound a beat…I kinda have the same feeling. So it does make me a little goofy when you say you might be dead at the end of the night. If not for Jeff and Dawn, tonight might have been the night.”
“I’m fine, really,” Vi replied. “And I’m sorry if my carefree attitude about it all bothers you, but…it’s what helps me deal with stuff like this. As soon as you worry about getting hurt, that’s when you get hurt. So for me, I just remember my training, go out each night and do what I gotta do.”
“Fair enough,” he answered. “I just want you home in one piece and…”
“Xand,” she said sympathetically.
He held up his hand. “I’m sorry. I’m…projecting. I lost one woman I loved in a battle, and I don’t want to lose another. So yeah, you get hurt, I get worried. Call me crazy.”
“Okay, you’re crazy,” she teased him with a smile, before turning serious again. “Really, I’m okay, and if I wasn’t, I’d tell you.”
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same Time
Kennedy and Kadin walked in the front door of the Council, laughing. As they walked further into the room, Kennedy turned to face her companion.
“I had fun tonight,” she said.
“Me too,” Kadin replied with a short nod. “Same time tomorrow night?”
Kennedy’s eyes flicked down to the floor. “Maybe we could do something else together, besides kill demons in graveyards?” she suggested.
“Like what?” Kadin asked.
“Oh, I don’t know. Normal stuff, like dinner and a movie. Not the most original idea, I know, but hey, it’s different – at least for us,” Kennedy replied with a smile.
“You’re on.” Kadin pointed a finger at her with a smile, then turned to leave.
“Why don’t you stay awhile?” Kennedy suggested. “Vi radioed over that they were having that party. I’m sure it’s still going on.”
Kadin looked uncomfortable. “It’s pretty late and, since I’m not a slayer, I can’t handle too many late nights. Girl needs her beauty sleep.”
Kennedy walked over and pulled Kadin closer by her hips. “You’re already beautiful. Why not stop by and say hi?”
Kadin shrugged. “I…I don’t feel real comfortable around ’em. I’m sorry, Ken, but…I just feel like a third wheel.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Kennedy answered.
At that moment, Dawn and Skye came through the doors from the walkway to the slayer dorms and noticed the pair standing there.
“Hey,” Dawn called out. “You guys going to the party?”
“Told ya it’s still going on,” Kennedy teased Kadin. “Yeah, Dawn,” she answered. “Be there in a few.”
She watched Dawn and Skye walk away, then turned back to Kadin.
“See? She asked if ‘you guys’ were coming, not just me.”
Kadin looked deep in thought , seemingly not listening to Kennedy. Suddenly, she snapped her fingers.
“That’s where I saw her…at the Alcove.”
“Saw who?” Kennedy asked.
“Dawn was at the Alcove?” Kennedy asked in disbelief.
“No, the other girl that was with her. She…oh man.” Kadin sighed.
“What?” Kennedy asked.
“I don’t want to cause trouble, but she was with another girl. They left the bar together and looked pretty cozy, but then again, maybe they’re not exclusive.”
“Well, according to Dawn they are,” Kennedy remarked. “According to everyone, actually, or at least that’s what we thought.”
“Look, like I said, I’m not trying to stir anything up.”
“No, that’s fine,” Kennedy answered. “Besides, it’s none of my business anyway.”
“True, but…if this girl’s playing around on the side, then…well, who knows what she might bring home. Know what I mean?”
“Is this the safe sex lecture, Kadin style?” Kennedy said with a small grin.
Kadin tried not to smile. “No soap boxes, not my style. It’s just important to know who you’re sleeping with and, if there’re rules, they should tell each other.”
“Actually, I never asked, but what are our rules?” Kennedy asked.
Kadin nervously rubbed her neck. “I…I like being exclusive. I…I don’t expect you to be, but –”
“I’m a one woman slayer,” Kennedy interrupted. “And I want that woman to be you, Kadin. I mean, if that’s really okay.”
“That’s better than okay,” Kadin said. She pulled Kennedy closer and gave her a slow, burning kiss on the lips.
When they pulled away, Kennedy asked, “Are you sure you won’t stay?”
“Maybe some other night,” Kadin said, as she leaned back in and gave Kennedy a softer kiss. “I’m really kind of tired.”
“Okay,” Kennedy replied, disappointed. “But if you change your mind…”
“I know where to find you,” Kadin answered with a smile. “Catch ya later.”
Kennedy watched as Kadin went to the door and turned to give her a short wave before slipping out of the lobby. After the hunter was gone, Kennedy ran her fingers through her hair and sighed in frustration.
Slayer Rec Room – Later that Night
Willow and Rowena walked up to where Xander and Vi sat on the sofa. Willow leaned over between them.
“How’s the cradle robber tonight?” she asked Xander.
Vi giggled, but said nothing.
“I am not a cradle robber,” Xander answered. “She’s a legal adult in the state of Ohio, thankyouverymuch.”
“Barely legal,” Willow said. She winked at Vi, but quickly turned back to harass Xander.
“I’ll have you know she’s only four years younger than me,” he replied. “And speaking of which, how old are you, Will?”
“You know how old I am, Xander.” Willow sounded confused.
“Yes, twenty-three,” he replied. “And Ro? How old are you?”
“Oh look, pizza!” Willow announced, obviously trying to change the subject.
Xander put a hand up to signal he intended to ignore her, then motioned for Rowena to reply.
“Twenty-nine,” Rowena muttered.
“Soooo,” Xander said with a grin, still looking at the blonde watcher. “You’re actually six years older than Willow. Tell me, Ro, who’s the cradle robber here…really?”
“There’s more of a difference between twenty-one and twenty-five than there is between twenty-three and twenty-nine,” Willow answered.
“Oh, I know what it is,” Vi said, and everyone waited a moment. “Two years,” she deadpanned.
“She’s funny,” Willow added.
“That’s my girl,” Xander replied, smiling at Vi. “And according to your way of thinking, Giles is robbing the cradle even more, because he’s got at least a good seven years over Becca. Maybe even ten.”
“Okay, okay,” Willow said, giving up. “Age is irrelevant. And for the record, Giles is not that old. Now, can I have some pizza or are you two goin’ to hog it all?”
“Help yourself,” he said.
Instead of going around the sofa, Willow climbed over the back to sit between them. Xander began to smile and shake his head.
“What?” Willow asked.
“This whole thing about age. Reminds me of that night at the Bronze when you were oglin’ Dawn.”
Willow’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “Me?” she asked incredulously.
“Oh, I didn’t hear this one,” Rowena said, walking around the sofa to sit on the coffee table. “Do tell.”
“Hey, I wasn’t the one sayin’ Daddy likes,” Willow said, finishing in a mocking voice. She and Xander both began to chuckle.
“Okay you two, out with it,” Rowena ordered with a light smile.
Willow took a deep breath before she began. “Xander and I were girl watching one night at the Bronze with Buffy. Well, not with Buffy, because she doesn’t girl watch, well, not as far as we know.”
“Cut to the chase, Will,” Xander told her.
“Anyway,” she continued, “there was this girl on the dance floor, dirty dancing with this guy, but we didn’t see her face.”
“So you were staring at her behind then?” Rowena asked with a teasing grin.
Willow gave a semi-shrug and blushed a little, but before she could reply Xander said, “Actually, Will’s a self-proclaimed breast gal. As if anyone here couldn’t tell,” he said, motioning to Rowena.
Vi tried to hold back her laughter and failed. Self-conscious, Rowena blushed and folded her arms across her chest.
“Anyway, again…” Willow said, slapping Xander’s knee for embarrassing her lover, “when this hot chickie baby turned around, that’s when we noticed it was Dawn.” Willow began to chuckle again. “We both spazzed. Buffy freaked. And what followed wasn’t pretty at all.”
“In our defense, we had no idea it was Dawnie,” Xander put in.
“Hmm,” Rowena scratched her chin. “Maybe I better keep a closer eye on you two when you’re in the Coven Room all alone,” she teased Willow.
“I’m ignoring that remark,” Willow said, as she opened the box in front of her. “Pizza?” she asked Rowena.
Xander looked over to see a young girl he hadn’t noticed before waving to him with a crooked finger. He pointed to himself silently and she nodded before going outside the room.
“Excuse me, guys,” he said, getting to his feet.
Once he was gone, Willow turned to Vi and asked, “How’s the arm?”
Vi grinned. “As the tenth person to ask tonight, fine, thanks for asking.”
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
The small girl stood in the hallway outside the Slayer Rec Room looking awkward, her toe nervously trying to dig into the marble floor but failing.
“It’s pretty late for you to be up,” Xander said as he made his way over. “Why don’t I get you back to the dorms?” When the girl simply looked up at him, but didn’t move or reply, he asked, “What’s your name?”
“Rose,” she answered. “But I don’t belong here. Not anymore. And I can’t leave until…” The girl appeared on the verge of tears.
“Hey, I know it’s tough when you first get here. All the new recruits get a little homesick,” Xander said. He reached a hand out to her shoulder, only to have it fall completely through her.
“See?” she told him. “I don’t belong here, but I can’t move on. Not until something is done. You’re the only one that can get close enough to help me.”
“You’re a ghost?” he asked.
Rose nodded. “But only you can see me. I could only choose one person and it’s you.”
“Choose me for what?”
“I’ve watched everyone here, but I’m certain you’re the one to help release me.”
“Why don’t we talk to Willow?” he asked. “She’s my friend and a –”
“No!” Rose said angrily. “Not her! No witch can help me! It has to be you!”
Xander held his hands up. “Calm down,” he said in a soothing tone.
“I’m sorry,” she replied quickly. “I’ve been trapped for over ten years. I’ve watched the world pass by in silence. I just…I just want release.”
“Then what can I do to help?” Xander asked.
“I loved her,” Rose replied. “Looked up to her, but she murdered me…I was momma’s rose. She was dad’s violet.”
“I’m not sure I follow you,” Xander said, still confused.
“I was murdered, and I won’t be free until my killer is punished,” she answered.
“Okay, I get that part, but…do you know who killed you?”
“Yes,” Rose answered with a nod. “My sister, Vi.”
By the expression on Xander’s face, it looked like his heart stopped for a moment.
Watchers Council – Computer Room – Morning
Xander walked into the computer room looking like he hadn’t had much sleep. Rose followed closely at his side. Skye and Dawn looked up from the terminal on the other side of the room upon hearing him enter.
“Hey Xan,” Dawn remarked, as Skye nodded. “How’s it going?”
“It’s going,” he answered, as he walked over to a terminal and turned it on.
“You look like hell,” Skye remarked.
“Skye!” Dawn chastised.
“Well, he does,” Skye replied. “You sick or something?”
“I didn’t sleep well last night,” he answered.
Unseen by the duo at the other end of the room, Rose bounced around impatiently.
“We’re wasting time, Xander,” she said. “I told you, I’ve only got so long in this world before the spell can be broken. What are we doing here?”
“Back off,” he said in a low, angry voice.
“What?” Dawn asked.
“I, uh, I said hats off,” he replied as he pointed to the computer. “I got it to turn on without blowing it up.”
Dawn and Skye went back to their work. In a low voice, Xander said to Rose, “Let me work and see what I can find out.”
“It’ll be all lies. They let Vi kill me and then they covered it up.”
“Who?” he asked in a hushed voice.
“Everyone. The Council, my parents. Nobody cared that she killed me.” She started to weep. “No one cared and no one made her pay. She deserves to pay, Xander. But you’re the only one that she’ll let get close enough to her.”
Xander looked at Rose, but in his mind, he called out, Dawn, can you hear me? Ohhh, Daaawwwnnn? Damn it. Out loud, he sighed and said, “Look, I need to consult the Council database anyway.”
“Why?” Rose asked.
Xander sighed again. “To look up some stuff on unfinished business ghosts.”
“But I can tell you –”
Xander held up a hand, stopping her. “The Council’s dealt with other situations like this before. Just trust me. I won’t let you down…I promise.”
Dawn looked over at Xander. “Are you talking to me or yourself?” she asked, with a slight hint of amusement on her face.
“Me,” Xander replied. “Not that you’re not a great conversationalist,” he added with a grin. “I’m just trying to figure this out, so ignore me if you can.”
Rose began to pace impatiently around the room as Xander typed. She began to mutter to herself.
“Finally, she’ll pay. She’ll get what’s coming to her. She won’t wash away from the blood on her hands. She’s evil, positively evil, and she’ll burn in hell for what she’s done. And when she does, I’m going to laugh. She thinks she can just move on, have a wonderful life and never remember me…well, that’s –”
“That’s very annoying,” Xander said loudly to Rose, only to have Dawn and Skye look over at him again.
Skye popped her bubble of chewing gum and said, “Sorry.”
Xander quickly looked down at his monitor saying nothing more. On the screen read a report –”101 Ways to Please a Vengeful Specter.”
Caught up in his reading, he didn’t notice that Rose was looking over at him, suspicious. She walked over to the computer screen and started to shake her head.
“I told you not to look at that stuff!” she yelled. “It’s lies! It’s all lies! They wanted me gone! You want me gone too, don’t you?!”
“No,” he said in an urgent, hushed whisper. “I’m trying to help here. Really.”
Not listening to Xander’s pleas, Rose stormed across the room. “You’ve betrayed me! Betray me and I’ll show you what you’ll get!”
Rose raced over and reached into Dawn’s neck and squeezed. Dawn grabbed her throat and shot up from her chair.
Skye and Xander leapt out of their chairs as well, but then Rose let go. Dawn finally began to cough and took a deep breath. After a couple of steadying breaths, Dawn brushed them both off.
“Are you okay?” Skye asked with concern.
“I’m fine,” she told them.
Xander, white as a sheet, stood next to Dawn.
“Are you okay?” Dawn joked to Xander, before giving a final cough. “You’re looking a little pale yourself.”
“Yes, Xander,” Rose mimicked sweetly, “Are you okay? Are you going to be a good boy now?”
“Fine,” he answered Dawn with a forced smile. “You just scared me. Go easy on the gum, okay?” he remarked, trying to joke with her.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
Outside the computer room, Rose walked beside Xander.
“She’s just for starters,” Rose went on. “Now that you know what I can do, you have a choice. It’s either Vi or everyone we come in contact with here. So what’s it gonna be, huh?”
Xander stopped walking and turned to face her. “I told you I would help, and I meant it. So don’t go around hurting people I care about. It only distracts me…now, tell me what you’d like me to do.”
Rose began to smile. “Everything will be better once Vi has been punished.”
“And that would be what, exactly? You’re going to kill her?” He asked hesitantly.
“No,” she answered. “I’m the wronged party, so I can’t. You are.”
Xander took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “Okay, okay. Fine. Just don’t hurt anyone else I care about. Deal?”
Rose gave him a smile. “Deal,” she said. The expression on her face turned sinister. “Now, we’ll have to prepare. I need Vi to be awake, aware of what’s going on. I want her to suffer before she dies – just like I had to suffer. Her blood must spill during her punishment, or I won’t be set free.”
Xander swallowed hard and nodded. “She’s a slayer, you know? That means we’ll need a few things.”
“I’ve got a few of my own items you’ll have to pick up from the Coven Room,” Rose told him. “Then soon enough this will all be over. I’ll be allowed to fully cross over, and I’ll have you to thank.”
“Don’t mention it,” Xander told her. Rose started to speak and Xander held up a hand. “Really, don’t mention it.”
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Later that Day
Xander entered the Coven Room and headed over to the ingredients section. Behind him, Rose sat on one of the chairs.
“This is going to work perfectly,” she said. “You’ll get the items and be able to subdue her, right?”
“Yes,” he answered, not bothering to turn around. “And the less we talk about this the better, okay?”
Willow rushed past the doorway, but after a moment she reappeared and poked her head inside the room, surprised to see Xander there.
“Hey, Xan,” she said in a friendly tone, as she walked into the room. “I was in such a rush to get to the morning meeting that I thought I left the light on in here. Whatcha lookin’ for?”
“Uh, I’m not feeling too well. Upset stomach. I thought you might have some herbs in here, at least some Tums.”
She reached up to a shelf and pulled a jar down. “Here, try the wormwood – put it in some hot water to make a tea. Just keep in mind, it might taste bitter, so add a little sugar,”
In his mind, Xander called out, Will, can you hear me?
Willow’s eyes shot over to him and she silently answered him back. Yes. As she unscrewed the lid of the jar of wormwood, she said out loud, “If this doesn’t help, come see Ro after the meeting. She’s got peppermint gum that helps her when she’s got an upset tummy. Well, usually. She’s been going through a lot of gum lately.”
Xander acted like he was going to lean against the table and pushed over the wormwood jar, making it look like an accident. The jar shattered upon hitting the ground.
“Damn it,” he said as he knelt down. With his mind, he called out, There’s a ghost called Rose who’s following me, and she’s pretty damn twisted. I’ve been playing along with her plan.
“Go on,” she said out loud, hinting for him to continue, “I’ll get it.”
“I don’t want you to be late for your meeting,” Xander said out loud. I’m the only one that can see her. She wants me to kill Vi, which obviously isn’t gonna happen, but I don’t know how to avoid her. She was with me all night, he replied with his mind as he picked up the wormwood.
Rose stood up and began to walk toward Willow. As the witch bent down to help Xander pick up the wormwood, Rose began to reach out with her hands as if to choke Willow.
“This is taking too long, Xander,” Rose told him. “I think it’s time for me to motivate you a little bit more, only this time, I’m not stopping.”
Xander’s eyes went wide in fear and he started to shake his head, as Rose closed the distance between herself and Willow.
End of Act One