Watchers Council – Video Monitoring Room – Moments Later
Rowena picked up the phone next to Andrew’s console and turned on the PA system.
In as calm a voice as she could manage, she announced, “Slayers, please seal all the exits nearest to you – no one is allowed in or out, including Council members and friends. The council is on lockdown. Repeat, the council is on lockdown.” As she hung up, she turned back to Faith. “This is…this is bad. This is not good…at all,” she said in a shaking voice. Her hands began to visibly shake on the back of Andrew’s chair. He gave them a little pat in support.
Watchers Council – Holding Cells – Same Time
Hearing the alarm, Dr. Millenti turned to Skye.
“I’m going to see what the trouble is,” he told her. “Will you be okay alone with Dana?”
Skye smiled and nodded. After Dr. Millenti left, she let out a deep sigh and shook her head. She moved closer to Dana, who tried to twist and turn in the confines of her straitjacket, but found no escape. Quickly, Skye’s vampire face overtook her features.
“You know, I didn’t plan it this way, but, what the hell. Let’s see if a slayer tastes any better than a regular human.”
Dana, unable to defend herself, screamed as Skye attacked.
Watchers Council – Video Monitoring Room – Same Time
“Shouldn’t someone find Skye? Check on Dawn, perhaps?” Andrew suggested.
“I’ll do it,” Rowena answered.
“No,” Faith cut in. “Vamps are my business. You go upstairs and warn Will and the Coven to stay away from Skye.”
Rowena nodded, but then turned to Faith. “Wait. I might not be able to reach them,” she said.
“Why not?” Faith asked.
“Xander,” Rowena answered. When she didn’t say more, Faith made a motion for her to quickly explain.
Watchers Council – Xander’s Workshop – Same Time
“What are you waiting for?!” Rose yelled. “Do it, do it, do it!” she said in a rush.
Xander still stood holding the dagger over Vi, who was now crying.
“It has to be done,” he said, near tears himself. He thrust the dagger straight down and into Vi’s arm.
The slayer screamed in pain and Rose began to laugh, jumping up and down in joy.
Watchers Council – Psych Observation Room – Same Time
Dana’s body, still in the straitjacket, sat propped against the wall. Skye looked over her shoulder.
“Sorry hun,” she said to the corpse. “I needed the pick-me-up if I’m gonna make it out of here.”
Quietly, her vampire face transformed back into her human facade and she closed the door behind her.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time
Faith ran at full speed down a hallway, with a look of determination and a hint of worry on her face.
Xander’s Workshop – Moments Later
Rose continued to laugh, but took time out to walk over to where blood was starting to pool next to Vi’s arm. Her tongue snaked out and she lapped at the blood. Moments later, her ghostly form began to solidify. Xander’s eyes went wide. He quickly looked to both doors and, at first, saw nothing, but then, seconds later, he dropped to the ground.
“What are you –?” Rose asked Xander.
At that moment, Willow and Jeff burst in from both sides of the room, and Willow yelled, “Get down!” before noticing that Xander was already on the floor.
The pair then sent both sent energy balls hurling in Rose’s direction, each of them hitting her with accuracy. Behind them several slayers, with Kennedy in the lead, piled inside the room and unloaded their crossbows. Rose staggered back, pierced by dozens of bolts, but appeared to still be in the fight.
“You lied to me!” she screamed. She raced toward Xander as he tried to unlock Vi.
Watchers Council – Dawn’s Apartment – Moments Later
Dawn opened her door to see Skye standing there.
“Did you hear the alert?” Skye asked.
“Yeah, I was just on my way to see Rowena,” Dawn answered.
“Let’s go see if she’s downstairs.” Skye motioned for Dawn to follow.
Dawn walked out, closing the door behind her and walked toward the lobby. Skye followed just behind, furtively stealing a glance over her shoulder.
Watchers Council – Xander’s Workshop – Same Time
“Again!” Kennedy shouted. A second later, even more crossbow bolts struck Rose, beginning to cut her to ribbons. She stumbled forward just shy of reaching Xander. Her brow creasing, she held a hand in front of her face and saw it gradually begin to turn to stone.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
Dawn and Skye walked down the stairs into the lobby and found Faith standing between them and the front door.
“Get away from her, Dawn,” Faith warned, her voice even.
“What?” Dawn asked.
Skye grabbed Dawn around the neck from behind, holding her in front of her. She began to back both of them down the stairs and along the lobby wall, using Dawn as a shield.
“What’s going on?” Dawn asked, both panic and confusion in her voice. She struggled to escape, but Skye held her firm.
Then Skye changed into her vampire face, and Dawn started to scream, trying even harder to escape.
“Get away from the door, Faith, or else!” Skye threatened over Dawn’s yelling.
Faith looked briefly from the door behind her to Dawn and Skye in front of her. Dawn began to whimper, but Faith’s gaze steeled and she planted her feet in front of the door.
Watchers Council – Xander’s Workshop – Same Time
Willow gave Vi an injection.
“Vi, this will counter the Cruciamentum drug,” she explained. “In a few moments, you’ll be fine.” Vi’s eyes were trained on the stone statue that had been Rose moments earlier, standing in the center of the workshop with a furious expression on its face.
Kennedy finished setting her free from her shackles, then walked over to Xander, who was still on the floor, shaking. She slowly brought him to his feet, and gave him an unreadable look. Then she came back to help Vi off the table.
Vi pushed Kennedy away and grabbed a heavy sledgehammer that had been leaning against the wall of the workshop. With more difficulty than she would have had normally, she pulled it up to swing. The others in the workshop scattered. She brought down the sledgehammer with an angry scream, smashing the Rose statue into a hundred pieces.
She turned to Xander, ferocity still in her eyes and her grip still tight on the sledgehammer. Willow looked equally as scared as she stepped up to shield him. Vi took a step toward them, but Kennedy stepped up and put a hand on her shoulder.
Xander hung his head, unable to look Vi in the eyes. After a dangerous, silent moment Vi dropped the weight of the hammer and started crying.
Kennedy put her arm around Vi and led her out along with everyone else, except for Willow and Xander.
When everyone else was gone he looked at Willow who, so far, had been able to hold back her tears. Only then did he finally start sobbing.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
As Kennedy led Vi away, Faith called over the radio, speaking clearly but very fast.
“Slick, I’m in the lobby with Skye. She’s holding Dawn hostage. Skye’s a vamp. I need back up here. Now.”
Vi and Kennedy exchanged a worried look. “Go,” Vi told her.
“Are you –?”
“I said go,” Vi answered.
Kennedy didn’t need to be told a third time and she raced off down the hall with her crossbow in hand.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
“Get outta the way!” Skye screamed at Faith.
At that moment, Kennedy entered the lobby from the walkway to the Slayer Wing, her crossbow at the ready. Skye looked up to see Rowena also taking aim from the second story, outside her apartment, with more slayers starting to file into the room behind both of them.
“You two got a shot?” Faith called to Rowena and Kennedy, without moving her eyes from Skye and Dawn.
“No,” Kennedy answered in frustration.
“Negative,” Rowena shouted down, and then wiped a line of sweat from her forehead.
One second passed, then two. Then, with a grunt of frustration, Faith put her hands up in the air and stepped aside, giving Skye space to leave. Skye pushed Dawn forward into Faith’s arms, sending the two women sprawling to the floor of the lobby. The vampire darted from the door, running from the council with amazing speed. Rowena called down to Faith as the slayer scrambled to her feet, then tossed her crossbow to the slayer.
Kennedy, Faith and Heli, who had just arrived from the Slayer Wing, began to give chase.
Rowena quickly shouted down to other girls who now stood there.
“Split teams. Cover three city blocks around the council in all directions. Go!”
Cleveland City Street – Same Time
Skye ran down the street with a burst of energy, to the point that she moved at a blur.
“Did you see that?” Kennedy asked, amazed, as she watched the vampire sprint into the distance. “I haven’t seen anyone except a slayer move that quick,” Heli replied, clearly confused.
Faith got a perplexed look on her face, then turned to Kennedy. At the same time, a look of realization washed over both of their faces and they both muttered, “Dana.”
“Call Ro,” was all Faith said, as she broke into a run.
Kennedy hit the radio and asked, “Rowena? Come in, Watcher One.”
Rowena’s voice crackled over the radio as Kennedy also began to run down the street, following Heli and Faith.
“Watcher One. Did you catch her? Over?”
“No. Check on Dana. Over?” she replied.
“Dana?” Rowena asked.
“Yes, just do it,” Kennedy said. She picked up her pace to try and reach Faith, not waiting for a reply.
Faith had already left Kennedy and Heli far behind her. She spotted Skye round a corner and followed her into an alley. Skye ran up against a chain link fence partway down the alley, trapping her with Faith closing in. She looked side to side for another Avenue of escape. She saw nothing.
Faith lifted her crossbow, lining up Skye in her sights. The two locked eyes, but Faith took a deep breath, instead of pulling the trigger. Sensing Faith’s reluctance, Skye used it to her advantage and jumped the fence in one motion. She hit the ground running on the other side and sprinted away with slayer speed.
Winded, Kennedy and Heli arrived at Faith’s side seconds later to find the alley vacant.
“That’s it. I’m outta here,” Faith said with great disappointment. She dropped the crossbow to the ground of the alley with a clatter. Her voice seemed to echo in the dark alley.
“We’ll…we’ll get her,” Kennedy said, trying to catch her breath. “She can’t keep slayer blood in her forever.” Faith seemed to ignore this and walked right past her, headed toward the main street. “We’ll get the patrols in order and we’ll…Faith?” Kennedy jogged a short distance to catch up to her, while Heli looked on.
Faith stopped and turned around. “No Slick, I’m done. Outta here,” she told Kennedy. “And I’m not sticking around for Blondie to kick my ass.”
“You’re leaving? Like leaving, leaving?” Kennedy asked incredulously, near panic. Faith didn’t answer. “Where the hell did this come from? You can’t just…leave.”
“Oh yeah? Watch me,” Faith said, turning to leave. Kennedy grabbed her wrist as she went past, spinning Faith back around toward her. “Keep your hands off me,” the older slayer warned.
Kennedy raised her hands in truce. “I just want to talk about this. That’s all.”
“What’s there to talk about? I dropped the ball. I let her get away.”
“No, you didn’t. She juiced up on a slayer. You –”
“I had the shot, Ken! I had her in my sights!” Faith yelled at her. “I had it and I didn’t take it!”
“So you hesitated to kill a Council member? We’ll find another way to bring her in, maybe find out what exactly happened. I’ll talk to Ro and explain it all. We’ll get Skye, Faith, I promise,” Kennedy argued.
“Well, I’m not sticking around to find out, and I’m not having the Ice Queen and her little bitch lapdog coming down on my head like they did when Norm showed up.”
Faith continued to walk on, and Kennedy caught up with her again.
“They took you off patrol for Norman’s sake,” Kennedy answered. “And this isn’t your fault.”
“Like I said, I’m not sticking around to find out. I bust my ass every day, and for what? To have the lovebirds gang up on me? No way, that’s not happenin’.”
“Well, what about Robin, huh? You just gonna walk away from him too?”
“He’s welcome to come with,” Faith answered, still walking, “but either way, I’m goin’.”
Kennedy shook her head.
“We’re going back to the council together,” she told Faith, then reached out and grabbed her by the arm.
Faith gave Kennedy a feral look, but Kennedy didn’t let go. Then Faith threw a punch that connected with Kennedy’s chin, knocking her backward.
“I warned you once,” Faith sneered.
Kennedy rubbed her chin for a moment with a look of surprise. Then she swallowed, steeling herself, and took a step close, not backing down. “You’re going back to the council, even if I have to drag you there unconscious myself.”
Faith pushed Kennedy away, but Kennedy pushed back. Slowly, the two began to circle each other.
“You really want a piece of this?” Faith said, motioning to herself. “I’ve made up my mind.”
“Then I’ve made up mine,” Kennedy replied, and raised her fists.
Faith swung again and connected with Kennedy’s jaw, but she rolled with the momentum and spun around to face Faith again. She swung at Faith’s face, but the older slayer deflected it and brought her fist to Kennedy’s face in retaliation. The younger slayer leaned away from the blow and tried to sweep Faith’s legs, but missed when Faith leapt into the air. As soon as Faith’s feet hit the pavement, she grabbed Kennedy by the jacket lapel and began to run her backward, toward the wall of the alley.
As Kennedy’s head and back collided with the brick of the building behind her, Faith delivered a stomach punch that sent the young slayer hunching forward. She followed that with a right hook that snapped Kennedy upright again. Before Faith could hit her once more, Kennedy reared her head back and butted Faith directly in the forehead, giving her just enough space to work free.
Heli raced over and both Kennedy and Faith yelled, “No!” at the same time, making her stop. The blonde slayer looked from one of them to the other, unsure of what to do next.
“She’s mine,” Kennedy said, at the same time as Faith yelled, “Stay out of it.”
The two women then began to circle each other.
“Give this up, Faith. You won’t win,” Kennedy told her.
“Don’t forget who taught you all your tricks, Slick,” Faith taunted.
Determined, Kennedy rushed toward Faith with a series of blows and kicks – some the older slayer deflected and others she did not. Getting frustrated at being unable to get a return strike in, Faith turned around and ran toward the wall behind her, with Kennedy giving chase. She ran a couple steps straight up the wall and flipped over Kennedy’s head, landing behind the woman to send a solid blow to Kennedy’s lungs. It made the younger slayer wheeze as Faith shoved her against the wall.
“Didn’t teach you everything,” Faith mocked. She grabbed Kennedy’s head from behind and slammed it against the wall.
Kennedy raised her leg so the heel of her boot landed soundly between Faith’s legs, sending the older slayer to her knees in pain.
“Some things I learned myself,” Kennedy said. She turned and raised her boot to bring it into Faith’s face.
The boot never made contact though, as Faith quickly took hold of it and sent Kennedy on her backside. Faith hopped to her feet, still holding Kennedy’s leg and began to drag her down the alley. With all her might, Faith wrangled Kennedy’s other leg and swung Kennedy so that the young slayer slammed into a nearby dumpster.
“Give it up, Brat,” Faith said, her breathing labored. She turned to walk away.
Kennedy let out what could best be called a growl and tackled Faith at the hips from behind, sending both of them to the ground. They traded blow for blow to the face as Kennedy kneeled above Faith’s mid-section.
Faith managed to roll them over to the side. Bloody and battered, both of them came to their feet. Faith’s cheek and forehead were skinned up pretty badly. Kennedy had a cut over one eye that bled into her vision, while her other eye looked puffy and about to burst.
Barely able to stay upright, both slayers stood toe to toe now and swung at the same time. Kennedy fell to the ground in a solid thump, while Faith stumbled backward, saved only by the wall from falling over. Kennedy looked like she was trying to rise, but couldn’t. Faith looked over to Heli, who still stood nearby with a slight grin that resembled more a look of amazement and shock than amusement.
“Get her to a doctor,” Faith said. “That’s my last official order.”
Faith half walked and half stumbled down the alley until she made it to the main street. She stood for a moment, hanging on the corner of the building as if getting her breath, before she slipped out of sight. Once she was gone, Heli came over to help get Kennedy to her feet.
After the young slayer was upright, Heli tried to offer her shoulder to help her walk, but Kennedy pushed her away.
“Son of a bitch,” Kennedy muttered, as she too began to limp to the end of the street unassisted.
Watchers Council – Faith’s Apartment – Minutes later
Faith leaned over her bathroom sink and rinsed her face carefully, then dabbed it gently with a towel. She looked in the mirror at her battered appearance for a long bear. Then she left the room with her toothbrush and toothpaste in hand.
She walked to her bedroom closet and pulled out a backpack. She tossed the toiletries in the bag before going over to the dresser and grabbing some shirts. Robin stood in the doorway, watching her.
“Care to tell me what you’re doing?” he asked casually.
“Moving to Idaho,” she said dryly. “I heard it’s really pretty this time of year. Wanna come?”
“Not particularly,” he answered.
“Suit yourself,” she replied and zipped her bag closed.
As Faith made her way past him through the door, he followed her into the living room.
“Seriously Faith, what are you doing?”
“I told you. I’m leaving,” she replied.
“Because Skye got the better of you?” he asked, motioning to her face.
“No, this is thanks to Ken,” she answered. “But yeah, Skye did get the better of me, and I’m not about to stick around to hear what a failure I am from Blondie. So I figured, what the hell? If B can take off and see the world, then why the hell can’t I?”
“Because you’ve got people here who depend on you,” Robin replied.
“I can help people anywhere. Doesn’t have to be with the council.”
“Okay, you’ve got people here who love you,” he said sincerely.
“I told you, you can come, Ace. I’m not leaving you. I’m leaving…this,” she said. motioning around her.
“After one bad night? That’s all it takes and you’re gonna throw in the towel?”
Faith got angry and tossed her bag on the ground.
“Look around, Robin. It’s not just one bad night. I let Skye get away with God knows what for weeks here.”
“Faith, you were the only one who suspected anything. Skye would still be in hiding here if you didn’t find out.”
“Yeah, well, B’s sis is probably a vamp now, and I certainly don’t want to be in town when SHE shows up. I couldn’t even pull the trigger on Skye. And, hell, I tried to give my damned existence to someone who needed it, but failed there, too. What the hell’s the point?” she yelled.
“The answer isn’t walking away!” Robin shouted back.
“Why not walk away? I walked away from Norman and he turned out better for it. You know Ace, when it comes to rating years, this past one’s been a real bitch. I lost most of the black ops in the damn forest last year after I got back from being stuck in a damn cocoon for months. I couldn’t stop them from dying and I couldn’t stop you from losing your leg. And really, I’m not looking forward to what the rest of the year here is gonna bring. I’m better on my own – and so is everyone else, if you ask me.”
“It’s easy to want to give up Faith. Believe me, I know,” Robin told her. “But someone taught me that anything that doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…that person was you.”
“Maybe I was wrong, Ace, huh? Did you think about that? Maybe I don’t know a damn thing when it comes right down to it. But this much I do know: I’m not gonna stick around to have Ro and Will come down on me to prove it. And you and I both know damn well that’s what will happen when I turn in my report.”
“You don’t know that, Faith,” he countered.
“Like hell, I don’t! My life this year has been one damn disaster after another. But here’s the kicker. I’m a great slayer, Ace. The best, in fact. So I refuse to stand by and let them take away everything I’ve tried to do here. But it’s at the point now where I see the bad outweighs the good. So screw this. I’m gone.”
“The best slayer would stick it out. If you’re the best, then why are you leaving?” Robin asked her.
“Like I said, maybe I can do better on my own then stuck in here. But I’m not gonna know until I try, so adios.”
Faith turned and walked toward the door. “I’ll give you a call to see if you change your mind,” she muttered as she walked out.
Robin took a step forward to follow her, but stopped instead. He ran a hand over his mouth and muttered to himself, “Give her some space. Just give her space.”
He began to tear up and hung his head, but he didn’t move from the spot where he stood.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Later that Night
Kennedy walked out of Dr. Miller’s office and headed down the hallway near the infirmary.
“Kennedy?” Rowena called out, and closed the distance between them. “Jesus, what the hell happened out there?”
“Skye got away,” Kennedy replied.
“So I see,” Rowena remarked.
“Skye didn’t do this,” she answered. Rowena looked confused. “Faith did.”
“Faith?” Rowena asked, shocked. “But why –?”
“She said she was leaving the council and I tried to stop her. As you can see, I didn’t succeed. I only hope she looks as bad, or worse, than I do,” Kennedy answered.
“Why is she leaving?” Rowena asked. “Did she say?”
“Why do you think?” Kennedy answered sarcastically. “Anytime anyone messes up, they’re on suspension, or probation or whatever the hell it is you come up with. She didn’t want to stand for it, so she left.”
“I wouldn’t do that to her, or anybody,” Rowena answered.
“Really?” Kennedy said, with a touch of skepticism.
“No, not in this situation,” Rowena told her. “Hell, Faith’s the one who figured it out, for crying out loud.”
“Actually, I tried to tell her that, but obviously,” she said pointing at her face, “I was unable to convince her.”
“Good Lord,” Rowena sighed. “Look, Ken, forget the reports tonight and just get some rest. We’ll go over all of it tomorrow. Maybe I can call her and talk some sense into her.”
“Yeah, just don’t grab her arm. She really hates that,” Kennedy replied. She tried to grin, but ended up holding her lip. Rowena closed her eyes and hung her head. “Hey,” Kennedy said sympathetically, making Rowena look up again. “I think there’s more to all this than just you, okay?”
Rowena tried to muster a grin. “Thanks, Ken, just…go take care of yourself, all right?”
Kennedy nodded and began to limp down the hallway, while Rowena walked in the opposite direction.
Watchers Council – Dining Hall – Same Time
Willow was holding an incense urn. She looked across the mess hall to see Xander standing there.
“Have you seen Vi? How’s she doing?” he asked.
“She’s in the dorms right now. Not in the best of moods,” Willow said, as she put down the urn and closed the distance between them. “Did you hear the other news?”
“What news?” Xander asked.
Willow was on the verge of tears. “Not sure how to say this, so I’ll just say it – Skye’s a vampire.”
“A what-pire?” Xander asked.
Willow just nodded. “‘Take care of her, Will, make sure nothing happens to her, Will, I trust you Will’,” Willow went on, her voice breaking. “What do I tell Buffy now? A-and what do I say to Dawn? And Skye? We’re supposed to protect the innocent every day, and we can’t even protect the people here that we love. What…what do I do, Xander?”
Willow broke down crying and Xander pulled her into a tight hug and closed his eyes.
Abandoned Warehouse – Same Time
Skye sat on a crate and looked at a picture of her and Dawn in her wallet for a long moment. Then she growled angrily and threw the wallet across the room. She morphed into vampire face, but then hung her head as she started to cry.
Watchers Council – Watchers Lounge – Same Time
Jeff walked into the lounge to see Dawn sitting on one of the couches, looking at a picture of her and Skye.
“Hey,” he said softly, getting her attention.
“Heard the news, I take it?” Dawn began.
Jeff just nodded.
“I just wanted to stop by and tell you that, if you need somebody, I’m always here,” he began. “When my mom died, you took the time to care about what happened to me. I just wanted to let you know I can return the favor if you need it. Okay?”
Dawn gave him a small grin. “Thanks, Jeff.”
“Do you?” Jeff asked.
“Do I what?” Dawn asked.
“Want to talk about it?” Jeff asked.
“I wouldn’t even know where to start right now,” Dawn answered.
“I get that – really, I do. But when you’re ready…”
“I’ll find you,” Dawn answered with a heartfelt grin.
“Well, I’d stick around, but I’m going to help Willow put the wards in place.”
Dawn gave him a nod, which he returned before leaving the room. As he left she reopened the photo book, looked at the picture of her and Skye and began to cry.
Watchers Council – Library – Later that Night
Willow walked in to see Rowena looking at a book. Rowena rose up and closed the distance between them. At first they said nothing, but then Willow began to speak.
“The wards are finished and…”
Willow began to cry before she could finish and Rowena pulled her into an embrace. “It’ll be okay,” Rowena told her.
“There’s more,” Willow managed to say.
“If it’s about Faith leaving, I know,” Rowena answered.
“Faith left?” Willow asked.
“Isn’t that what you were going to tell me?” Rowena asked.
“No,” Willow said, wiping her eyes. “Man, the hits just keep on coming tonight.”
“Meaning?” Rowena asked.
“In addition to Dana, Tracey found Bonnie at the bottom of the stairs in the supply room.”
“She’s dead, too?” Rowena asked.
Willow nodded and turned her back to Rowena.
“Maybe more people are tucked away here,” she said, waving her arms. “I don’t know. Everything is so screwed up right now – Dawn’s a mess, Xander and Vi’s a mess and we’ve got two dead people now a-and Faith’s gone…what are we gonna do?” She ran her fingers through her hair in frustration.
Rowena closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around Willow’s waist, resting her head between the witch’s shoulder blades.
“We’ll get through this Will. I promise, we’ll get through it.”
Watchers Council – Moments Later
A motorcycle pulled out of the garage and came to a stop. The rider pushed up the visor to reveal Faith looking up at the lights of the Council building. She saw Willow crying and Rowena holding her from behind. She looked back at the garage she had just exited for a moment, as if considering whether to turn back. Instead, she took a deep breath and then closed the visor again. The motorcycle took off down the street and pulled out of sight.
Fade to Black
End of Roses Are Red
Next on Watchers…
As Faith flees her life and career at the Watchers Council, she finds herself magically plucked from the highway and trapped in what might have been.