Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist, Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Thora Birch as Tracey Hausser and Robert Picardo as Dr. Miller
Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins, Larry Bagby as Larry Blaisdell, Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison, Amanda Tapping as Dr. Regina Wagner, and Jennifer Connelly as Althenea Dimmons
Special Guest Starring:
Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy Summers, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase and Seth Green as Daniel “Oz” Osborne
Watchers Council – Lobby – Later that Night
Xander watched as Vi walked in with Jeff, escorting Dr. Miller. He slowly stood up from the receptionist station and made his way around, moving toward Vi.
“I’d like to talk to you,” he said to Vi softly.
“Sorry. Now’s not a good time. I’m on duty.”
“Well, I’ll stick around until you get off. Just tell me where to meet you.”
Vi didn’t answer. She merely motioned for Dr. Miller to follow her, and then the small group exited to one of the hallways leading from the lobby
Xander followed behind her into the hallway, as well. “Please say something,” he pushed.
“What’s there to say?” Vi asked him.
“‘I’m sorry,’ for starters,” he replied.
“You want me to apologize for you tying me up and trying to kill me?”
“No,” Xander answered quickly. “Me apologizing to you…for tying you up but not trying to kill you. I never intended to hurt you.”
“My arm tells a different story,” Vi remarked.
“About that,” Xander began. “Let me explain.” He didn’t finish, though, because Vi held up the hand on her good arm.
“Look, Willow explained it all. It’s cool,” she told him.
“Really? So you’re okay with everything?”
“No,” she replied honestly. “I’m not okay. All I’m saying is I understand…sorta. Now, if you don’t mind, I do have work to do tonight, Xander.”
Without saying more, Vi pushed her way around Xander and continued down the hall with Dr. Miller and the group in tow. With a sad look on his face, Xander just stood and watched her leave.
Sunnydale – Deserted City Street – Night
Faith eased her motorcycle to a stop behind a derelict car on a dark, deserted city street. The features of the area were barely recognizable, visible only by intermittent rays of moonlight that poked through the clouds above. She dismounted and stepped onto the curb, squinting as she moved along.
“Oww!” Faith cried, as her foot collided with a large piece of debris lying on the sidewalk. She reached into her jacket and pulled out her Zippo lighter. Wasting no time, she flipped open the lighter and knelt down.
The light revealed a massive chunk of welded metal in the shape of an S. The front surface contained the remains of a destroyed neon light. Faith stood up and lifted the lighter high over her head, partially illuminating a large marquee with several similar letters that spelled out, “un Cinema.”
“What the hell?” she whispered as she gazed up at the dilapidated sign. She turned and scanned the street, suddenly spotting the glow of several pairs of yellow eyes.
Before her stood five vampires, interrupted in the act of stalking. Both the slayer and the demons froze. Faith reached her left hand into her jacket pocket and slowly slid out a stake. She dropped the lighter and charged forward.
Faith rushed through the darkness with her stake raised and immediately dusted the closest vampire. Quickly, she crouched and swept the legs out from under the second, staking him as he landed on the pavement. The third managed to connect with a blow to her jaw before Faith grabbed him by the shirt and plunged the pointed wood through his heart.
The remaining two vampires stood at a distance, but they hesitated for only a moment before charging. Faith dropped back to dodge the first, but could not avoid the second. She fell to the ground, pinned below the weight of the demon. He held her stake arm down against the street and moved his fangs toward her neck.
“You’re lucky,” Faith grunted. “If I hadn’t just been struck by lightning, you’d be dead by now.” She moved her hand along the pavement until she found her lighter. She flipped it open and held the flame to the vampire’s chest. His shirt erupted in flames and he retreated with a howl.
Faith rolled to her feet and found herself face to face with the last vampire. He stopped his attack, as the flames from the burning demon lit Faith’s face. “YOU!”
For the first time, Faith got a good look at the demon’s face. He had bright green hair and several facial piercings.
“I don’t think we’ve met,” she replied.
The blazing vampire dropped into a pile of ash, and the street was dark once more. Faith raised her stake, but was blindsided when a ball of red energy flew out of nowhere and struck her in the side. She flew across the street and collided with the theater’s front wall, then fell to the ground, unconscious.
The vampire looked up and down the road before making a hasty retreat. He rounded a corner and disappeared from sight through a side alley.
Then Xander raced into view from the same direction as the red ball of energy, with a crossbow raised in Faith’s direction. He knelt down next to her and lifted a flashlight to illuminate her face.
“BRING THE CHAINS!” he yelled, steadying the crossbow at her chest.
Willow and Oz approached from the same direction.
“She looks pretty beat up,” Oz pointed out, as he dropped a set of shackles at Faith’s feet. “Are you sure it’s her?”
Xander pulled down the collar on the right side of Faith’s jacket, revealing the tribal tattoo on her upper arm.
Watchers Council – Dr. Miller’s Office – Same Time
Rowena walked into Dr. Miller’s small office, and Jeff met her just inside the door.
“He checks out as human according to the spell I did. Plus, he’s got a reflection,” he told her. “He says he doesn’t know anything.”
Rowena nodded and made her way over toward where Dr. Miller sat behind his desk. He stood up to meet her.
“Miss Allister, I’m going to tell you the same thing I told them. I don’t know why Skye registered as human. I’m just as baffled by all of this as you are.”
“For everyone’s safety here, Dr. Miller, would you be opposed to spending the night in lock-up until we can put together something to verify what you’ve told us?”
Dr. Miller licked his lips and took a deep breath. “No,” he finally answered, “but I’m telling you, I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“Then you have nothing to fear,” Rowena told him. “I just need to make sure the Council stays secure. Everyone here has already undergone testing. The Council Coven is working on locating a truth spell – no adverse effects to you – but it will prove that you had nothing to do with Skye’s irregular examination you performed.”
“I will,” he answered. “Just find something soon.”
“We’re working on it as we speak,” she told him. “We’ve found some other demon detection spells, but no reliable truth spells as of yet. Once we do, we’ll be asking you a series of questions.”
Still looking slightly confused, Dr. Miller nodded.
Vi appeared in the doorway. “Ro? Kadin’s at the front.”
“Thank you. I’ll be right there,” she told her, before turning to Marissa who still stood nearby. “Please escort Dr. Miller to lock-up, and post a guard there in case he needs anything during the night. He should be treated as a guest and not a captive, understood?”
“Yes, ma’am,” she answered, then motioned Dr. Miller to follow her.
“Ready?” Rowena asked Jeff, who then nodded.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
Rowena and Jeff walked to the front door of the lobby, where a slayer stood guard.
“You may come in,” Rowena told Kadin. “Follow me.”
Once at the large mirror by the entrance, Rowena stopped and saw Kadin’s reflection.
“That checks out,” she sighed. “Jeff?” she said, motioning to Kadin with her hands.
“Please put your palms flat,” Jeff instructed Kadin.
Kadin looked confused. “What the hell is going on here?” she asked.
“It’s not personal, Kadin.” Rowena explained. “We’ve had a spot of trouble here tonight. Ken will fill you in on all of it, I’m sure. Until that time, we need to make sure everyone who enters is human.”
Kadin nodded and extended her hands. Jeff put something on her hands and then took them in his, giving a chant under his breath. He opened her hands to look at her palms and then nodded to Rowena.
“She’s clean,” he told her.
“Good, good,” Rowena answered. “Well, more like, thank God,” she sighed.
“Wanna tell me what’s up? And why does Ken need a babysitter? And why couldn’t I call her? And does she even know I’m here? Lots of ‘ands,’ I know.”
“First, Kennedy doesn’t know you’re here,” Rowena said, as she motioned Kadin to follow her upstairs.
Watchers Council – Walkway to Slayer Dorms – Moments Later
“And if I had mentioned it,” Rowena went on, “I’m sure she would have brushed it off, but anyway…she and Faith came to blows tonight and, from the looks of her face, Ken took her fair share of them. I don’t want her spending the night alone. She won’t go to the infirmary where they can observe her, so you’ll be doing that job tonight.”
“Is she…okay?” Kadin asked.
Rowena tossed her head back and forth. “She’s looked better, but nothing is broken. With slayer healing, she should be fine in a few days.”
With a look of uncertainty, Kadin nodded. They finished walking the rest of the distance, and Rowena knocked on Kennedy’s door.
“Ken? It’s Ro, I just wanted to check on you. There’s someone here to see you, too,” she called out.
Kennedy opened her door swiftly. “It better not be Faith, because I’m in no mood…” The words died off as she saw the shocked look on Kadin’s face. “Oh great. Let her see me at my worst, is that the plan?” she asked Rowena.
“No,” Rowena replied. “Since you won’t let us look after you, I thought you might let her. Or more to the point, I’m ordering you to, if it comes to that,” she added. Kennedy rolled her eyes and Rowena sighed. “But I don’t want to order. I don’t want to threaten. And the truth is: I’m worried about you. So give me one less thing to worry about tonight, and please let Kadin stay with you. Okay?”
Kadin made a here-I-am gesture with her hands, and Kennedy gave the smallest of grins and opened the door wider, letting Kadin inside.
“Thank you,” Rowena said to Kennedy before starting on her way down the hall.
Meanwhile, Kennedy closed the door behind Kadin.
“So…” the hunter began nervously. “Faith did all that, huh?” she asked as she pointed to Kennedy’s face.
Kennedy gave a nod. “She probably looks worse, though…Okay, I hope she looks worse…Pretty shallow, isn’t it?”
Kadin shrugged. “Just slayer ego…Want me to go kick her ass?” she asked and put her fists up. “Give ‘er a nice, ‘how’d ya do’?” She punctuated the offer with a jabbing motion.
Kennedy began to grin, but then grabbed her lip. “I think Ro made a mistake bringing you.”
“You don’t want me here?” Kadin asked, sounding a bit wounded by the comment.
“You make me smile,” Kennedy said sincerely. She paused for a beat and then added, “and it hurts to smile right now.”
“Okay then,” Kadin replied. “From here on out, no smiling or merriment of any kind.”
Kennedy began to grin again and instinctively grabbed her lip. “Damn it, Kadin,” she said. She clutched her lip, trying not to smile and laugh at the same time.
Kadin began to grin herself and tried to suppress a chuckle.
“Isn’t it weird that when you know you’re not allowed to laugh, that’s when the impulse gets the strongest?”
“You’re not helping,” Kennedy said from behind the fingers, keeping her lips from moving.
“How ’bout I just get some ice?” Kadin asked, already on her way to the kitchen.
“Excellent idea,” Kennedy called out, her voice still muffled.
Sunnydale – Cluttered Garage – Morning
Faith stirred slowly with a groan. Daylight poured through a row of small windows that lined the face of the large garage door across from her. Supported only by the chains that locked her arms to the ceiling, she groggily dragged her feet across the floor. Slowly, she opened and closed her eyes several times.
The shackles holding Faith’s wrists clanged loudly, rousing her from her stupor. She looked up at the chains, eyes now wide, and then peered around the room. She was positioned against the back wall of a large square workshop. Benches holding various weapons and tools covered the desks that lined the walls. She reached her arms forward but found she had only about six inches of leeway in any given direction.
Faith took the chains in her hand and slowly pulled down, gauging the strength of the ceiling.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” called a voice from a small, sunlit doorway on the wall to her left.
Faith looked up to see Xander approaching, with a crossbow centered on her heart. He stepped within five feet, then stopped and pointed at the ceiling above the slayer’s head. His face was unshaven and covered in stubble.
“We specially designed that just for you, given your unique abilities.” His voice was harsh and bitter. “If you pull too hard, a whole bunch of hurt is going to come right down on your head.” He took a walkie-talkie out of his pocket and spoke into it. “She’s awake.”
Faith looked up and noticed that the ceiling above her was sunken in, most likely weighted from above. She turned back to Xander. “What the hell is this?”
“It’s a garage,” he replied curtly.
Faith took in her surroundings for a moment and then rubbed the back of her head, where a large bump had formed.
“I knew it. You guys were just waiting for the ex-con to screw up,” she spat. “So what now? Back to prison?”
“If I had my way, you wouldn’t step out of here alive,” Xander replied, closing in. He gripped the crossbow tightly in his right hand. “Prison is too good for you.”
“Xander, what the hell is wrong with you?!” Faith said, raising her voice. “Is this supposed to teach me some kind of lesson? You think I wanted to lose Skye or duke it out with Ken?”
“What are you talking about?” he asked, but the question went unheard as she rambled.
“That I wanted to leave and end up…” She stopped, an expression of confusion stretching across her face. “What did you just say?” When Xander didn’t repeat the question, she added, “Something’s wrong.”
“EVERYTHING’S WRONG!” Xander yelled. “You never should have come back here.” He raised the crossbow to Faith’s eye level.
“Xander,” Giles called from the side doorway. Xander held his ground for several seconds, but finally retreated back toward the door, his weapon still fixed on Faith. Giles moved in behind him, followed by Willow and Oz.
Faith looked curiously at their clothing. They all wore tattered shirts and pants that looked as if they hadn’t been washed for several weeks.
Faith tried again. “Giles, what’s going on? This isn’t right. I never thought that you would ever…”
“Enough!” Giles roared. He stepped toward her, passing Xander. “You’re not allowed to speak of me or anything else. To me, you’re nothing. No better than demons we kill.”
Faith stared back in awe at his outburst. She leaned back against the wall and surveyed the room. Giles backed off a few paces and allowed Willow to step forward. She held a roll of paper in her right hand and spoke with contempt.
“What are you planning in Sacramento?” Willow asked.
Faith looked up. “Sacramento? What the hell are you talking about?”
Oz eyed Faith curiously and sniffed the air. Willow’s eyes flared black, and she said, “Excrucio.”
Faith let out a scream of intense pain as red light flared from her eyes. Her knees buckled and she fell, caught only by the chains holding her wrists. She swung idly for several seconds before steadying on her feet. She straightened herself and looked up at Willow, pure venom on her face.
Willow moved closer, stepping within several feet of Faith. She raised her voice a little and repeated, “What are you planning in Sacramento?”
Faith eyed her angrily and yelled, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Excrucio! ” Willow bellowed again.
Faith screamed and fell once more. She dangled from her chains, entirely still.
“Is she out?” Xander asked from the back of the room.
Willow knelt down and looked at Faith’s face. “Looks like it.” She stood up and turned to Giles. “When she wakes up, I’ll try not to –”
Before Willow could finish her sentence, Faith ripped her restraints from the ceiling and ducked past the falling debris. She swung the chains around Willow’s neck and took position in the corner of the room, holding Willow in front of her tightly with the chains.
Xander and Oz surged forward, but stopped when Faith strengthened her grip on the chains and Willow gagged.
Faith shouted, “Stop or she’s dead!” Willow pulled against Faith’s grip, but was unable to loosen it.
“Excr…” Willow began, before Faith put a hand over her mouth.
“I think we’ve heard enough from you already, Red,” she said as Willow struggled.
For several seconds, the group seemed to be in a standoff. Giles, Xander and Oz all held their positions, while Faith eyed each one appraisingly in turn.
The tension was broken as the large garage door to the workshop opened. Cordelia stepped into the garage and took in the scene. Without hesitation, she drew a Colt .44 from a holster attached to her hip. She looked down at the pile of debris and pointed the gun at Faith, who was still well hidden behind Willow. Cordelia shot a sideward glance at Xander. “I told you that wouldn’t hold her.”
“Not really the time, Cordy,” Xander replied, without looking at her.
Faith eyed Cordelia with an expression of complete bewilderment.
“You’re dead,” she muttered.
Cordelia stepped forward, aiming her gun for Faith’s head. “Excuse me? Is that a threat?”
“More like a fact.” Faith loosened her grip on Willow slightly. “What year is this?”
“It’ll be your last year unless you let Willow go,” Xander said, moving forward.
Faith again tightened her grip on Willow’s throat. Oz stepped forward and put his hand on Xander’s shoulder. “Xander don’t.” He looked up at Faith. “It’s 2006. You’re in Sunnydale.”
“That’s not possible,” Faith said. “Sunnydale is a crater. It imploded when we closed the hellmouth.”
“We?” Giles asked skeptically.
Faith turned to him. “All of us. You, me, Buffy…”
“You don’t get to say that name!” Xander bellowed. The room was once again tense.
Oz met Faith’s eye and held them for a moment before turning to Cordelia. “Cordelia, lower the gun.” Cordelia looked at him, surprised, but lowered the weapon. He placed his hand on Xander’s wrist. “Xander, man, put it away.”
“Oz, are you crazy?” Xander exclaimed. “You know who she is.”
“I know who you think she is. And it is but…it’s not,” Oz replied.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “In non-geek speak please? What are you saying?”
“Put it down and I’ll explain,” he said to Xander, who still held the crossbow firmly. Oz implored, “Trust me.”
Xander slowly lowered the weapon to his side, but did not set it down.
Oz turned back to Faith.
“We’re not going to shoot, so please…let Willow go.” Faith held her ground, glancing at Xander’s crossbow. Oz continued, “I know you don’t belong here. If you let Willow go, we’ll help you get back.”
Faith took this in for a moment and then let the chains fall from Willow’s neck. Willow slipped out of Faith’s grip and moved quickly to Oz’s arms. He looked at her and said, “This isn’t –”
“I know,” Willow said, cutting him off. She massaged her neck slowly and stared at Faith for several seconds before speaking again. “This is my fault.” She took a step toward Faith. “Where’s Buffy?”
Faith eyed her, then said, “She’s in Europe.”
Xander and Cordelia exchanged looks. Giles turned to Willow with an expression of astonishment. “What did you do to her?”
“This isn’t the Faith you think it is,” she answered. “We – Oz and I – we did a spell. We were trying to change the past. But something must have gone wrong.”
“How?” Giles demanded. “What spell?”
“We called on Eyrishon,” the witch said, barely loud enough to be heard.
“Willow!” Giles bellowed. “You of all people should understand the possible consequences of a spell involving Eyrishon. You could have been killed. Or you could have made our situation here much…”
“Worse?” Willow yelled back. “More so than it is now? Giles, they are planning something up there in Sacramento, and unless we do something now, we will probably never be able to stop it.” She pointed to Faith. “This isn’t exactly what I was expecting, but…”
“Excuse me?” Faith said, half annoyed and half offended.
“But what?” Giles countered, ignoring Faith. “We have no idea of her allegiances or history in Sunnydale.”
“She let me go,” Willow argued. “She could have killed me, but she didn’t.”
“Guys?” Faith attempted to interject, her eyes bouncing between the two of them.
“She just took you hostage, and you’re using that as an excuse to tell me she’s not crazy?”
“Hey!” Faith said, finally losing her patience. “As fun as it is for me to listen to you two argue about whether or not I’m evil slash crazy, I’d really love an explanation as to why I’m chained up in this smelly-ass garage in a town that no longer exists.”
Giles and Willow exchanged a look. After several seconds, Willow spoke. “You’re from another dimension. Oz and I called on Eyrishon to –”
“Actually, before you go any further, could someone take these off?” she said, holding up her still shackled wrists.
Giles reached into his pocket and fished out a key. He hesitated for a moment, then said, “I would prefer not to at the moment.”
“Giles,” Faith warned, “that wasn’t a request.” His stance stiffened and she sighed. “Fine. You want proof I’m not going to kill you? Here.” Faith reached into the inside pocket of her jacket and retrieved an identification card with a photograph. “There you go,” she said, as she handed the card to Giles. “Faith Lehane of the Watchers Council, at your service. I’ve got my Ohio driver’s license, some credit cards, and about two grand in cash in here, too, all of which I’d like to keep, thank you very much. ”
Giles examined the card. “Executive Director of the Slayer Division? The Watchers Council has never had a Slayer Division.”
“We’re under new management,” Faith replied with a hint of sarcasm.
He eyed her skeptically. “And you’re the current Slayer.”
Faith paused for a moment and then replied, “Yeah…since Buffy retired. I command all the slayers.”
“What do you mean, all the slayers?” Cordelia asked skeptically.
“Well, there’s like thousands of us scattered all over the world. They come to Cleveland to train and then are sent back to their homelands. There’re currently 22,968 of us, that we know about.” She looked around to see the confusion on their faces. “Oh…right. Yeah, Buffy had this idea to use the power of some Scythe to call all the potential slayers into activation.”
“You’re telling me that Buffy called all the slayers?” Willow asked.
“No,” Faith answered. “You did. Buffy just had the idea for the spell.”
Giles stepped back and rolled his eyes.
“This is ridiculous. Do you honestly expect me to believe this?”
Faith watched him for a moment and then slowly extended her wallet out to him.
“Here, these might do a better job of convincing you.”
Giles sighed before glancing down at the glossy surface of one of the pictures. Once the image registered, he quickly eyed Faith.
“Is this real?”
Faith nodded. “Yeah.” She paused. “We usually get along pretty well.” She allowed him a moment to examine the picture. “The nice looking lady to your right is Rebecca Giles. Well, we call her Becca for short.”
The watcher carried a look of complete bewilderment as he stared at the photo.
“The baby?” he asked.
Faith suppressed a small smile. “Your daughter, Elizabeth.”
As if hit by a ton of bricks, Giles took a step back and leaned against the wall behind him for support. He studied the picture intently and then turned to the next photo.
“What about the boy? Is he my son?”
Faith hesitated for a moment.
“No.” She paused until Giles looked up from the photo, the disappointment visible on his face. “His name is Norman,” she said, understanding that Giles would probably catch the reference.
As expected, comprehension drew across Giles’s face.
“Norman Hansen?” he asked tentatively. Faith nodded. “Your son.” Upon hearing this, the others all looked at Faith, but said nothing.
“Doesn’t look a thing like me, huh?” She remarked, as she leaned over to look at the photo. “He’s a good kid. The folks who adopted him did a good job – helluva lot better than I ever woulda done,” she added, with a slight tone of sadness in her voice.
Giles turned to see another photo of Robin, Faith, Rowena, Willow, Vi, and Xander. “Who are these two?” he asked, pointing to Rowena and Vi.
“The redhead’s Xander’s honey, Vi, and the blonde. she’s…Willow’s girlfriend, Rowena Allister. She’s in charge of the Watchers Division since you retired to be with your family,” she answered.
“You have a girlfriend?” Xander asked Willow.
Faith grinned at Oz and said, “Every guy’s fantasy might become your reality someday.” He gave him a wink.
Willow snatched the photo away from Giles so that she, Oz and Xander could see it.
“This is impossible,” she mumbled.
“I have to say this. You’ve both got excellent taste in women,” Oz remarked.
Faith didn’t say anything else. Instead, she held up her shackled wrists once more. Giles walked over and took one last look at the photo, before gently handing the wallet back to her. He moved toward Faith, opened the restraints and pulled them off her arms. Faith rubbed her wrists and turned to Willow.
“Now that my portion of show-and-tell is finished, you guys tell me what I’m doing here.”
Sunnydale – Junkyard – Moments Later
Giles led the way through the small side door of the garage. Faith, followed by Willow, Oz and Xander, exited quickly behind him.
“We converted the old garbage dump when the town went under,” Willow said, with a hint of pride.
Faith paused as she caught her first glimpse of the massive junkyard that stretched before her. The piles of trash had been pushed against the outer edge of the yard to create a wall roughly twenty feet high on all sides, save for a small opening that served as the entrance. It looked like a veritable fortress of trash.
At the back of the yard stood the garage where Faith had been kept. Along the west wall, she could see two converted office buildings. A row of weapons racks stood in front of the building on the right, giving the impression it was used as a makeshift armory.
Along the east wall stood an old trailer, next to which were parked several vehicles in varying states of disassembly. Faith looked on as a man behind a visor cut a piece of metal off an old car frame. Several other workers scurried to perform other tasks around the vehicles.
“Who are they?” Faith asked, turning to Willow.
Willow frowned. “The survivors of Sunnydale. When the town went under, we brought everyone back here. This was all supposed to be temporary until we could find someplace better, but now it’s home, our best chance at survival.”
“Faith?” Giles called from one of the entrances on the left of the converted building. “This way.”
Faith took one last look at the workers and then followed Giles and the others into the building.
Watchers Council – Hallway Outside Dawn’s Room – Early Morning
Rowena gently knocked on the door of Dawn’s room.
Inside, Willow’s eyes opened quickly, and she looked down to see Dawn lying across the sofa she sat on, asleep on her lap. Willow gently put a throw pillow under Dawn’s head and slid out from under her before going to the door.
She opened the door to see Rowena there and put a finger over her lips as she moved to go outside, but not before looking back over her shoulder to see Dawn still sleeping.
“You didn’t come home last night,” Rowena said, as Willow closed the door behind her. “I fell asleep on the sofa waiting.”
“I’m sorry,” Willow apologized.
“I’m not complaining,” Rowena said quickly. “I was just worried.”
“Dawn?” Rowena asked.
“Not so okay. She cried most of the night. Actually, she fell asleep on my lap crying. Talk about your déjà vu – felt like junior year all over again. I didn’t want to wake her by moving, so I ended up asleep there, too.” Willow yawned. “What time is it?” she asked.
“Around six. Andrew and Tracey think they’ve got a lead on that truth spell, but they’ll need you to check it out when you’re ready.”
Willow nodded. “Give me ten minutes?” Rowena nodded. “Hey, any news on Faith?” she asked optimistically.
“None,” Rowena said, her voice darkening. “I had Kadin come stay with Ken last night to keep tabs on her.”
“I thought the point was for her to get some rest,” Willow teased.
“Well, Ken was more in the fighter mode last night than the lover mode, but still I didn’t want her there alone.” Willow smiled and Rowena asked, “What?”
“You,” Willow continued. “Being Ms. Mother Hen, all organized.”
“Yeah, too bad I didn’t do it sooner, eh?”
“Aww,” Willow sighed and wrapped her arms around Rowena. She kissed her lightly on the cheek and then spoke gently into her ear. “This isn’t your fault. You hear me,” Willow told her. “It could just as easily have happened to Giles.”
“Yeah, but it happened on my watch, not his,” Rowena answered as she pulled away.
“Rowena, Dawn couldn’t even tell, and she got a lot closer to Skye, if you catch my drift.”
“You mean they…after Skye got back?”
“Yep,” Willow answered. “And Dawn’s kicking herself for not knowing. I’m not sure what it is about Summers women and vampires. I mean, Buffy, Joyce and now Dawn…” A contemplative look came over Rowena’s face as Willow spoke. “What is it?” Willow asked.
“So…she wasn’t cold?” Rowena asked. “Skye, I mean.”
“Not that Dawn noticed. Why?”
“Then maybe Dr. Miller is telling the truth,” Rowena answered. “Maybe Skye did appear human somehow.” Rowena shook the thought from her mind. “Anyway, can you meet Andrew and Tracey in the library?”
“Sure,” Willow replied. “Just let me tell Dawn where I’ll be.”
Sunnydale – Barracks – Moments Later
Faith sat on the end of a tiny cot in a small barracks room. A series of similar beds lined the side of the back wall. Giles paced the length of the room, his hand hovering over his shirt pocket, while Willow and Oz looked through a large volume of text that rested on a desk across from the cots. Xander held a position in the far corner of the room, his crossbow still in hand.
“Here it is,” Willow said. She crossed the room and dropped the book on Faith’s cot. “Seven years ago Anyanka did this spell and pulled a vampire version of me from another dimension, while trying to get her amulet back.”
“I remember that,” Faith said. “So you did the same spell?”
“Not exactly,” Willow replied. “I had to alter it a tiny bit.”
“Alter it?” Faith asked. “How?”
Willow exchanged a look with Oz before explaining. “The original spell requires a representation of whatever you are trying to retrieve.”
“What were you trying to retrieve?” Giles asked.
Taking a deep breath, Willow glanced down at the book and quietly muttered, “Faith’s knife.”
“My what?” Faith asked immediately.
Willow raised her voice. “Your knife. The one that you used to kill Buffy.”
Faith stood up. “Excuse me?”
Xander, now very interested, stepped towards Faith. “You killed Buffy on your rooftop with a knife that the Mayor gave you.”
“That’s not how it happened,” Faith replied defensively. “We did fight on the roof, but I didn’t have the knife. Buffy did. She tried to kill me.”
“This is ridiculous!” Xander shouted in frustration. “Why would Buffy try to kill you? She wasn’t the murderer. You were!” He stepped forward and raised his voice. “You killed Buffy, Wesley and who knows how many others. Why the hell should we believe anything you say?” Xander began to pace. “For all we know, this could be the real Faith, and she’s setting us up. She just had those pictures made and –”
“You’re right, Xander. I am a murderer,” Faith responded, getting right up in his face and cutting him off. “You don’t want to believe we’re on the same side? Fine. Whatever. I’ll try not to lose sleep. But believe this.” She lifted up her shirt and revealed a large scar running up the middle of her abdomen. “I lost that fight.” The room was silent.
Faith lowered her shirt and turned away from Xander. “Now, if you don’t mind…enough of this BS. Tell me why you wanted the knife.”
Willow hesitated before answering, “We thought that if we took it before you – or, the other you – could use it to kill Buffy, then everything would change and she would still be alive.”
“But we couldn’t do it,” Oz said. “It’s been too long. Neither of us could remember what it looked like well enough to draw it.”
“So I changed the spell,” Willow continued. “Rather than focusing on the knife itself, we concentrated on a time and place we knew the knife would be.”
“The night before Graduation?” Xander asked, joining the conversation, this time in a less threatening way.
“Before that,” Willow replied. “A few weeks earlier, the night I was kidnapped. That was the last time either of us had seen it. Well, at least until after Buffy was already…”
“…dead.” Giles finished for her with a sigh. “I trust I don’t need to remind you of the risks you took in attempting this spell. You should have consulted with me.”
“We considered it,” Willow answered, avoiding the watcher’s eye. “We thought you would tell us not to do it.”
Giles raised his voice, “You’re right, I would have.” He paused, then said, “At least until we could be sure it could be done correctly.”
“Giles?” Willow asked.
“A spell like that would require an incredible amount of magical ability. It would not be possible to account for all the negative variables.” Giles took the book from Willow’s hands. “With the resources we possess, we must remain within the confines of the original spell.” The watcher paused, “You’ll do it again.” He snatched a piece of paper and pencil from the desk and thrust them into Faith’s hands. “Draw it.”
“You think I’m going to remember it better than you can?” Faith answered angrily. “It’s been seven years, and the last time I saw it isn’t exactly a night I care to remember.” She dropped the pencil and paper on the bed. “And I still don’t understand how this spell has anything to do with me. Sure, it was my knife, but I didn’t even have it that night. I left it in the school cafeteria.”
“But don’t you see?” Willow answered. “That’s why you’re the one that was brought here.” Faith stared at her blankly. Willow continued, “You’re from a world where Buffy is still alive. We were trying to bring the Slayer back; the spell just…sent us the wrong one.”
“Okay…” Faith said, looking up. “So how do I get back?”
Willow hesitated. “That’s…going to be a problem.”
“Why’s that?” the slayer demanded, stepping towards Willow.
Willow flinched, but managed to say, “The spell can’t be reversed.”
Sunnydale – Junkyard – Moments Later
Faith barged through the barracks door and marched into the large junkyard. heading towards the exit. She breezed past a group of workers sitting in a circle, whittling stakes, all of whom looked up in fright as she passed them.
“Faith!” Willow called from behind her. “Where are you going?”
“I’m getting the hell out of here!” Faith yelled back.
“You can’t!” Willow shouted, running after her.
“Where are you going to go?” Willow called. “That’s not your world out there.”
Faith stopped and turned to Willow. “So, what, now you’re concerned about my well being? A minute ago you seemed pretty content with torturing me for information.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re not exactly equipped to face what we’re up against,” Willow countered. “We can barely feed and clothe ourselves, let alone fight a war. We need your help.”
“You just stranded me here. Why the hell should I help you?” Faith asked, hostility apparent in her voice.
“Because you’re a slayer,” Willow answered simply.
“I’m no good to you. I’m no good to anyone anymore,” Faith replied angrily. “Now, tell me how to get back to town, so that I can get my bike and get out of here.”
Willow sighed. “That’s going to be difficult.”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Trailer – Moments Later
Faith let out a loud shout of frustration as she stared at the partially disassembled frame of her former Honda Shadow Sabre. Willow stood several steps behind her, carefully maintaining a safe distance. Faith rubbed her temples. “This just gets better and better.”
“I’m sorry, Faith. We didn’t know who you were when we took it,” Willow apologized. “We take apart anything left on the streets. The parts are more valuable, since any gasoline we find goes straight to power the generator.”
Faith ignored Willow and stepped up to the bike. She peered around the remains and asked, “There was a bag with this. What happened to it?”
“I…I don’t know,” Willow answered. “I didn’t bring the bike in.”
“Who did?” Faith demanded.
“That would be me,” said Robin. He stepped into view from behind the remains of a large pickup truck and removed his welding visor to reveal a decidedly grizzlier version of his face than Faith was used to. “I don’t believe we’ve met.”
Choosing not to answer, Faith instead stared wide-eyed at Robin. After several uncomfortable seconds Willow broke the silence.
“Uh…Robin, we think that this Faith came from another reality.”
“I know,” he answered, holding the slayer’s gaze. “I just talked to Cordelia. I asked for my Colt back, but she said she wanted to keep it because Giles, and I quote, ‘let the psycho slayer on the loose’.” He looked at Faith, but she didn’t react to the statement. “Come to think of it, she was a little sketchy on the details.”
Willow grinned tentatively. “Well, no psychos here.” She eyed Faith, who was still staring at Robin. “I hope…”
Robin turned to Willow. “Willow, just so you know…while I was by the garage, I saw Amy messing around with that spell stuff you keep under the workbench.”
“Oh…crap. I told her not to…I’ll be back.” She moved to leave, but stopped. Turning to Robin, she mouthed, “Keep her here.”
Robin nodded and directed his attention back to Faith, whose eyes had drifted to his left leg. “So I guess it’s just you and…Is there something wrong with my leg?”
“What?” Faith asked, coming out of her daze. “I…Sorry.”
“Come on,” Robin said after a moment. “I’ll take you to your stuff. It’s just inside the trailer.”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Trailer – Moments Later
Robin stepped through the doorway of the trailer, with Faith on his heels. The interior was a cramped mess of various tools and car parts. Robin moved to a table in the back of the trailer and pulled Faith’s bag out of the mess of clutter. She watched him wordlessly.
He handed her the bag and watched with curiosity as she quickly set it down and began rummaging through it. “So…” he said, “…you into boxing?”
Faith looked up with an expression of disbelief. “What?” Robin gestured to her face. Her eyes flashed with understanding and she turned back to her attention back to her search. “I got into a fight with Kennedy.”
“The president?” Robin asked, his lips curled in a slight smile.
“No, not the president,” Faith replied. She emptied the contents of the bag onto the floor, pushing aside clothing in haste. “Where is it?” she called out in frustration. She looked up at Robin, “What did you do with the envelope?”
“What do you think?” he replied coolly. “That was close to ten thousand dollars. You think we’re going to leave that in your bag just in case you want it back?”
Faith jumped up and pushed Robin into the side of the trailer, restraining him with one arm. “I do want it back. So tell me who you gave it to.” Robin made no effort to escape her grasp and instead stared directly into the slayer’s eyes. “GODDAMMIT ROBIN!” She raised her other arm, as if to strike him. “TELL ME!”
Robin didn’t flinch. He held her stare for several seconds, and then calmly replied, “No.”
As Faith looked into his eyes, a pained expression crept across her face. She blinked and released Robin. He watched as she kicked the workbench in frustration, breaking a door in the process.
After several seconds, Faith knelt down and replaced all her possessions into the bag.
Robin stepped forward tentatively. “You don’t have to leave, Faith.”
She zipped the bag and stood up. Without wasting any more time, she swung the bag over her shoulder and moved toward the door.
“Hey, wait a minute,” he called, following after her.
Sunnydale – Junkyard Trailer – Moments Later
Faith rushed past the remains of her motorcycle and headed toward the exit of the junkyard. Robin exited the trailer, chasing after her. “Faith, you can’t leave. We need you.”
“You know what, Robin? I’m pretty sure you don’t get to decide what I do right now,” Faith said as she walked on. “Because of Willow, I may never get back home, so excuse me if I’m not going out of my way to help with your problem.”
“What do you care about getting home?” Robin shouted after her as he sprinted to catch up. “You were running, weren’t you?” Faith stopped and spun around. “That’s what the money was for. Who were you running from, Faith?” She did not respond. “What could have been so bad about your world that it had the Executive Director of the Slayer Division running for the hills?”
Faith took a deep breath. “That’s a pretty elaborate question for someone who’s sketchy on the details.”
“So I lied,” Robin replied. “But then, so did you. Why were you running?”
“That’s none of your business,” she said as she resumed walking.
Robin kept pace. “You’re the Slayer. If you run, there’s no one left. Not in our world or yours.”
“Trust me: you’re all better off without me.” Faith shook her head. “And besides, you don’t know anything about it.”
“Maybe you’re right,” he replied, “but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s your duty to –”
“Don’t talk to me about duty,” Faith countered. “This isn’t something I signed up for. You think this job is easy. It’s so…pointless. No matter how much good you do, it never makes up for the mistakes. It’s never enough.”
Robin shook his head. “If that’s what you think, then they’ve already won.”
“Well, maybe I don’t want to play anymore. This isn’t a game, Robin. People die. Friends die.” She gripped the strap of her bag and sped up her pace. “I’ve had enough of it.”
“So…you can stop caring, just like that?” he countered.
When she didn’t respond, Robin reached out and grabbed her arm. Faith turned and quickly pulled out of his grip.
He sighed. “I may not be able to stop you, but please, just listen. We need you. You’re our best shot at survival.”
“It’s not my problem,” she said curtly.
“You’re the Slayer, Faith. No matter what dimension you’re in,” he responded. “It’s definitely your problem.”
“I’m sorry,” she answered. “I can’t help you.” With that, she turned and continued toward the exit.
“At least let me explain what we’re fighting!” he shouted desperately. Faith continued without looking back.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
“So, what are we fighting?” Rowena asked the Coven members gathered around the table.
“Usually, when it walks like a duck, as the old saying goes, it’s a duck…” Jeff began. “Only this time, it’s not a duck.”
“Meaning?” Rowena asked.
“Dr. Miller checked out, thanks to the spell that Andrew and Tracey found,” he said, giving them a nod. “He’s not lying about Skye’s vitals. And we’ve got about ten witnesses who watched Skye vamp out in the lobby. Truth is, I don’t know what it means.”
“Thank you, by the way,” Rowena added to Andrew and Tracey, before turning back to Jeff. “So, no leads, no hunches?” Everyone looked around at each other, unsure of what to say. “Give me something, guys,” she implored.
“I’m thinking glamour,” Willow said.
“Okay, but who the hell would have the kind of power to perform that type of magic, and why don’t we know about them?” Rowena asked.
“Interesting choice of words,” Willow replied. “I don’t think this is a magic that’s readily found in Cleveland, or in our particular Coven.”
“You think it’s dark magic,” Rowena said, more of a statement than a question.
“I’m willing to give odds that yes, that’s true…to a point.”
“Except?” Rowena asked.
“Except dark is too light a word. I think we’re talking black as midnight, well, more like three a.m., magic – magic from Hell itself. It wasn’t even…Let’s say it’s something so dark that I don’t ever remember reading it, or, absorbing it, as the case may be.”
“So Skye had a glamour that can’t be found at the Coven here. Is that correct?”
“Sure seems that way,” Willow confirmed.
Rowena nodded. “Call Al. Ask her if –”
“Already got a call in,” Willow answered. “When she calls back, I’ll have her research it in Devon. They have extensive collections on black magic there.”
Rowena nodded. “Okay, well. if everyone would excuse us, I’d like a private word with Miss Rosenberg.”
“Uh oh,” Andrew said in a normal tone, before lowering his voice to whisper to Tracey. “Why do I feel trouble in paradise coming on?”
After everyone filed from the room, Willow turned to Rowena.
“Miss Rosenberg?” she asked. “Oh Goddess, what did I do?”
Rowena closed her eyes briefly. “Nothing,” she answered. “I’m just trying to maintain some sense of…I don’t know. Everything is so screwed up right now, Will, just…I’m trying to maintain the working relationship here, and what I’m about to ask…”
“Ask me what, Ro – Miss Allister?”
Rowena held up her hands. “Okay, let’s drop the surnames. I only did it for their benefit. Look…I think we should have the same texts here that Althenea has in Devon. And I know, you have a history with dark and black magic, but it’s vital to the coven here. As High Priestess, you must understand how important it is that we have all the knowledge we can on everything magical. If the end of the world comes, I don’t want to spend it on hold with Al, waiting on answers. That’s all. There. I said it.” Rowena looked nervously over to Willow, waiting for a response.
“You think I can’t handle it?”
“No, I believe you can,” Rowena replied honestly. “I just don’t know if YOU think you can handle it. It means we’d have a lot of dangerous stuff here, so…what do you say?”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Entrance – Same Time
Faith stepped up to the entrance of the junkyard and came face to face with two guards in tattered clothing. They stood in front of a large metal gate that blocked the entrance; each had a sword in hand. Faith eyed them and said, “Step aside.”
The guards shifted nervously in place, but held their ground. Faith, now short on patience, sighed and said, “Move or I’ll move you.”
“We can’t,” the taller of the two replied. “We’ve got orders to keep you here.”
“Whose orders?” she demanded. Neither guard chose to answer. “This is ridiculous,” Faith said.
Quickly she grabbed the arm of the taller guard and bent it sideways, forcing him to drop the sword. She kicked the second in the hand as he raised his weapon, knocking it to the ground. Having disarmed them both, Faith brushed past the two guards and kicked the gate open.
“Freeze,” Xander said from behind her. Faith turned to see him steadying a crossbow on her. “I’m not going to let you leave this camp.”
Faith dropped her bag to the ground.
“You gonna shoot me, Xander?” She spread out her arms. “Go right ahead. Because that’s the only way you’re gonna stop me.”
“I’m not kidding, Faith,” Xander warned. “I’m not going to let you leave here and cause any more problems. I have no problem killing you.”
Faith eyed him curiously, then reached down and picked up her bag. She turned away from Xander and began walking.
“Faith!” Xander yelled. “Come back.” He steadied the crossbow as she kept walking. “Last chance,” he called calmly.
Faith ignored him, continuing on her way. Xander gripped the side of his weapon and pulled the trigger. The arrow sprang from the bow and zipped through the air towards Faith’s back.
A split second before contact, Faith spun around and caught the arrow. She examined the projectile, then snapped it in two, dropping the pieces to the dirt.
“Next time, borrow Robin’s Colt. Bullets are much harder to catch.” She continued on her way.
Xander took a few steps forward. “I knew you hadn’t changed. You’re walking right back to the other side.” Faith’s expression tightened as she walked. Xander continued, “There’s no coming back this time, Faith. I’ll kill you before I let you hurt anyone else.” He stepped back into the junkyard, but stopped and called after her. “You’re beyond redemption. You deserve everything you get.”
Without hesitation Faith continued walking as the late morning sun shined on her back.
End of Act One