Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker and Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Gina Burdeau and Barbara Bain as Mrs. Burdeau
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Night
Rowena walked into the Rec Room to see watchers and slayers celebrating with each other as the stereo played in the background. She looked over and saw Kennedy quietly sipping from a blue colored cup, more watching the festivities than taking part.
Rowena walked over to where she was sitting and offered her hand.
“Well done,” Rowena complimented.
“Thanks,” Kennedy said sincerely, taking her hand, although she didn’t smile.
“For someone who just saved a huge chunk of the U.S. Midwest, you don’t seem too happy,” Rowena remarked, taking a seat next to her.
“We lost a girl tonight – Morgan,” Kennedy answered. She looked over to meet eyes with Rowena. “Saving the city’s nice and all, but I wish everyone came home in the process.”
Rowena let out a deep sigh and only said, “Yeah.”
Kennedy began to look around. “Where’s Will?” she asked. “You were going to pick her up, weren’t you?”
“I tried,” Rowena answered, “but she decided to come back on her own. We had…”
“…A fight?” Kennedy asked. “Will can be kinda pig-headed,” she teased.
Rowena gave a ghost of a smile.
“Among other things, yeah, but…it wasn’t a fight. Not really…She was at the office building with Black Ops when…”
“All hell broke loose,” Kennedy finished.
“In the cut to the point way that’s yours, yeah,” Rowena said, with a grin that only appeared briefly. “She’s…she’s pretty upset – with them, with what happened…with me.” She sighed again and ran her fingers through her hair. “Look, I didn’t come to unload. I just wanted to thank you for a job well done.” She gave Kennedy a polite nod before she rose and started toward the door.
Kennedy quietly watched her leave.
Watchers Council – Holding Cells – Same Time
Dawn walked slowly down the corridor toward the back of the cellblock, where Skye’s cell was located. The sound of her heels on the cement echoed in the cold air.
“Hey baby,” a voice from the last cell whispered over the sound of Dawn’s steps.
Dawn paused and then continued her journey, finally reaching the last cell. Skye was sitting on top of the gray blanket of her neatly made bunk. Her back was resting against the stone wall and she had her arms crossed on top of her pulled-up knees.
“How’d you know it was me?” Dawn asked.
“After all the nights we spent sleeping on top of each other?” Skye said with a grin. “I’d recognize the sound of your breathing even without the vamped up hearing.”
Dawn stood looking at her former girlfriend. Finally, Skye pointed her chin at the bag she carried and asked, “That for me?”
Dawn looked down at the bag, as if seeing it for the first time. “Yes,” she answered, holding the bag through the bars. Skye reached up and, as she took it, gently caressed a cool finger along Dawn’s hand.
Dawn jerked away, pulling her hand back to her chest, as if to ward off a blow. She slowly backed away from the bars until the wall stopped her.
Skye ignored the fear in Dawn’s eyes and opened the bag. “Aww, honey, how sweet,” she crooned, lifting an insulated soup container from the bag. She pried the lid off and sniffed at the viscous red liquid slightly steaming in the chilled air. “Yum…sang de veau. Much better than the Miss Piggy Andrew’s been feeding me. What’s the occasion?”
Dawn shrugged and slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, her position mirroring Skye’s from a moment before. “Thought maybe you’d like something different,” she answered. “I know how much you love veal…I mean, used to love.”
Skye smirked and sipped the warm liquid. “Delicious,” she said. “Thank you.”
Dawn nodded and rested her chin on arms, watching as Skye finished her meal and then laid the container back in the bag, on the floor near the bars.
“Spike used to add fiber to his blood,” Dawn said. “Said he liked the texture. Have you tried that?”
Skye leaned back against the wall again, looking at Dawn. A soft smile graced her face. “Haven’t really thought of it,” she answered with a shrug. “I guess, since the Council will only feed me animal blood, I’ll give it a try. It might make it a little more palatable.”
“What’s the difference?” Dawn asked. “I mean, humans are animals. Biologically, we’re the same as pigs or cows.”
Skye sighed and leaned her head back against the wall, her eyes never leaving Dawn. “Humans have something that animals don’t,” she finally answered.
“A soul, you mean,” Dawn stated.
“No,” Skye said, shaking her head. “No, I know that’s what you’d like to think, but it’s more like they have purpose. Animals exist, humans live. It’s that spark of life that makes them so desirable to other vamps, I think. We can survive on animal blood, but if they want to savor their unlives to their fullest, they need human blood.”
The pair sat silently for a few moments until Skye finally asked, “Does it really bother you that much?”
“What?” Dawn asked.
“That I didn’t get back my soul before I came home?” Skye added.
Dawn stiffened. “Why didn’t you even try?”
Skye shrugged. “Why bother?” Before Dawn could answer she said, “I mean, what the hell is a soul, anyway? Hitler had a soul. And I never noticed having one before I died, so why do I need it now?”
“Maybe to keep you from killing people, for a start!” Dawn said, sarcasm in her voice. “I didn’t see you murdering your patients before.”
“No,” the vampire said calmly. “Then again, I never had a reason to kill anyone before. On the other hand, Dana did her own fair share of killing. and she had a soul. Ever see the crime scene photos of the hospital she escaped from? What a bloodbath!”
“Liked that, did you?” Dawn sneered. “Maybe I’ll make some color photocopies for you to decorate your walls with.”
“Be something to look at,” Skye conceded with a grin. “I get what you’re saying, Dawn, but really…Dana did what she felt she had to do to escape…So did I…And as for Bonnie, who knows how many deaths she was responsible for? Real estate can be a cutthroat business, I hear.”
“So that makes it okay? Eye for an eye and all that BS?” Dawn said. Skye watched as a tear rolled down the watcher’s face, and said nothing. “Dana killed those doctors and nurses, so you draining her while she was helpless was justifiable homicide? And Bonnie? She was evil, so she had to die? Who’s next? Willow? Andrew? Faith? They’ve all killed, does that make them fair game too?”
“Well, if you look at it that way…”
“And what about that woman you seduced?” Dawn asked, her voice breaking. “Did she deserve to die, Skye?”
“No,” Skye admitted. “She just made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and trusting the wrong person.”
Dawn sniffed and wiped her nose with her sleeve. “Did you sleep with her?”
“Yes,” Skye admitted. “I was starving, Dawn,” she explained in a low voice as Dawn sat against the wall and cried into her arms. “I was all alone, cut off from the support of those who created me. and I was terrified of coming back here. Being around the slayers, with their tempting blood filling my senses? I was afraid I’d lose control and attack one of them…or worse, you. I did the only thing I could think of.”
“And you just had to sleep with her before you killed her?” Dawn sobbed. “Did you want to make sure she went out with a smile on her face? Was that supposed to make you feel better?”
“No,” Skye admitted. “I couldn’t care less about her, Dawn. But I had to make her death look like a suicide, or otherwise the council might have figured out who fed on her. She was just…you know, there.”
“What’d you do after, huh?” Dawn asked. “Came back here to screw me? I’ll bet you enjoyed that, didn’t you?”
“Let’s get one thing straight, Dawnie.” Skye’s voice was hard. “There isn’t a single thing about any of this that I’ve enjoyed. I mean, really, if I came to you, to the Council, and said, ‘Guess what guys? I’m a vamp!’ I’d be dust before I could say the next sentence. We both know that, so let’s not try and pretend any different.”
“Great,” Dawn snorted sarcastically. “So the solution is to go off killing people. Goddess, Skye did you even think for a moment that maybe, just maybe, you might have given me a choice?”
“Oh, come off it, Dawn!” Skye said with impatience. “Look, I died, okay? I was attacked and drained and forced to drink some bastard’s frickin’ blood and now I’m a vampire. I didn’t ask for this, I’m just trying to survive. So I’m sorry I tricked you, and I’m sorry I didn’t go on some grand quest to get my soul back like your precious Spike, okay? And as for all those people you mentioned, am I glad they’re dead? No, no, I’m not. But it’s not like I killed a pack of innocent girl scouts – I did what I thought I had to do.”
“Are you?” Dawn asked. “Are you really sorry?”
Skye looked at her. “Yes,” she finally answered. “I’m sorry because I know it hurts you. You’re the only thing in this godforsaken world that matters, Dawn.”
Dawn dried her eyes, wiping her face again on her sleeve. She stood up and approached the bars, grabbing one in each hand as she looked through the space at Skye.
“Do you want your soul back, Skye?” she asked.
“You mean Willow’s wacky Romany curse?” Skye returned. “No thanks. I’d still like the power to get my happiness on, thank you very much.”
“Even if it would mean we could be together?” Dawn persisted. “Just not, you know…that way, but at least together. Would you want it?”
Skye squinted at her as if realizing for the first time that Dawn was serious.
“I don’t care about my soul, Dawn,” she finally answered. “It makes no difference to me whether I have one or not. I just want to be with you.” She sighed. “And I guess if the only way I can be with you is to have a soul, then yes…stuff it back in.”
Dawn nodded as she looked absently down the corridor. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll…I’ll see what I can do.”
“Really?” Skye said, the hope in her voice sounding genuine for the first time. “You’ll take me back?”
“I’m not promising anything, Skye,” Dawn warned. “I don’t know if I can ever look at you again the same way…I just don’t know if – if we – can work, but if you’re telling the truth, and you didn’t ask for this fate, maybe we can change it. Again, I’m not making any promises, okay?”
“Yeah,” Skye said, finally standing up and approaching the bars. “Yeah, okay.” She stopped directly across from Dawn and slowly raised her hands and wrapped them around Dawn’s. The watcher’s fingers were gripping the bars so tightly, her knuckles were as white and cold as Skye’s.
Dawn closed her eyes as the vampire gently caressed her fingers until they began to relax. As Skye moved closer, her eyes snapped open and she finally backed away from the bars, the tears once again welling up.
“I’ll see ya later,” Dawn said, and quickly hurried down the corridor.
Skye watched her depart. “Later, baby,” she whispered in the quiet, cold air.
Watchers Council – Faith and Robin’s Apartment – Same Time
Faith and Robin sat on opposite sides of the dining room table. The table itself was host to an array of different snacks and desserts. Faith was licking chocolate from her fingers when Robin cleared his throat.
“Now that the slayer munchies are over…mind telling me what’s got you bothered?” he asked casually.
Faith didn’t answer immediately. Instead, she wiped her fingers on a napkin.
“Rumor has it you did,” she finally said.
“Excuse me?” he said, confused.
“That lil’ pissant, what’s her name? Lorinda. She suggested we run away when we were looking for the bomb, ’cause after all…that’s what I did,” Faith answered.
“She’s just a smart-mouthed teenager, Faith,” Robin answered.
“Who hit the nail on the head,” Faith added, holding up her finger.
“No, it’s not the same.”
“Why’s that? I did run away.”
Robin squared his shoulders. “You’d give your life to save anyone, even that little pissant, and we both know it. She was looking out for herself.”
“And I wasn’t?” Faith answered.
“You were afraid of letting people down that you’ve come to love. But you didn’t stop to realize that those same people care as much about you. I’m just glad you came to your senses and saw that.”
“Yeah, well, now I’m kind of in a dilemma, ’cause I’m not sure if I should report her. After all, it’s in the Slayer Handbook – section G of bylaw ‘something I can’t remember’ or some crap like that…I mean, she didn’t run, but she did suggest it.”
“Faith, she’s a teenager and this is the first time she’s ever seriously been in the mix of things, had to live up to her calling. You’re a slayer, you should know how scary that is.”
“Yeah, but bylaw or no bylaw, you don’t run,” Faith answered.
“And that’s why you two aren’t the same. You have courage, she doesn’t. And truth be told, with the way she treats some of the other girls, I don’t think she’s very secure about who she is, not really.”
“Angry girl with superpowers, huh?” Faith asked. “If that’s not a recipe for disaster…” she said letting the sentence hang.
“Maybe it doesn’t have to be a disaster,” Robin suggested. “Maybe out of everyone here you’ve got the type of courage and guidance she could use. Jeff’s been trying his best since his assignment to her, but the poor guy can only do so much.”
Faith rolled her shoulders. “Ahh, I don’t want to step on Jeff’s toes,” she answered.
Robin held his hands up. “Just a suggestion. I mean, if you really want to spend all your time organizing reports every day…”
Faith snorted. “Yeah, I love waking up and looking forward to what I’ll be indexing that day. I’ve decided the role of ‘paper jockey’ is not for me.”
“Maybe you could take a break now and then and get a workout to keep you in shape for when you’re back on patrol full-time. Lorinda might make a good sparring partner,” he said knowingly.
Faith smiled and rose from the table.
“Okay, munchies time is over,” she told him. “Now onto the next Slayer cooling down ritual.” She pulled him up by his tie and began to walk him toward the bedroom, not releasing him. “Thanks for the talk Ace,” she told him.
“Good to know I’m more than just your willing sex slave,” he answered with a large smile.
“Yeah, in fact you’ve made me so happy, I might let you be the master tonight,” she said. She kissed him before pulling him into the bedroom.
“Ooh,” he hummed excitedly, making Faith giggle even though their lips were still locked.
Watchers Council – Hallway outside Willow’s Apartment – Later that Night
Rowena knocked on the door to Willow’s apartment, but heard no movement on the other side.
“Willow?” she called out. “If you’re home, please open the door. I need to talk to you.”
After another knock with no answer, she walked down the hallway.
Cab – Same Time
“Here you go,” the cabbie said to Willow who sat in the backseat. She looked out the window at the building next to her. “Seventeen-fifty,” he added.
Willow pulled out a twenty and handed it over. “Keep the change,” she told him as she got out.
She glanced down as she walked toward the nearby building and she noticed the dried blood on her clothes. Given her attire the color wasn’t obvious, but she still appeared to be self-conscious, as she drew her jacket closer together.
The Alcove – Moments Later
Willow walked inside the Alcove, quirked an ear to hear the sound of the Indigo Girls and rolled her eyes. She surveyed the darken room to see a couple of butches playing pool and various women at the different tables. Most were talking, with one couple in the corner necking.
She walked over to the bar and sat on an empty stool.
“What can I get you, doll?” a burly looking bartender asked her.
“Uh,” Willow said, almost sounding taken back by the question. “What’s good?”
“I make a mean screwdriver,” she replied.
“One screwdriver it is,” Willow replied.
The bartender walked away with a smile and began to prepare the drink. Willow grabbed a nearby basket of popcorn and popped a few in her mouth.
“Hi there,” a voice said behind her. Willow turned slightly to see a woman slide up to the stool beside her. “You’re new here,” she remarked, and offered her hand. “Patty.”
“Willow,” she answered, shaking the offered hand.
“Thanks. My parents gave it to me,” Willow answered, without any note of merriment in her voice.
Patty smiled. “Did you just come to town?”
“No, I’ve been here a few years now,” Willow answered. “Originally from California.”
“Ooo, a California girl,” Patty said, wiggling her eyebrows.
Willow blushed and opened her mouth to reply, but stopped when the bartender put the drink in front of her.
“Couldn’t wait to get your claws in the fresh meat, huh, Patty?” the bartender teased. She then turned to Willow. “Look out,” the bartender warned Willow. “This one’s got a gal in every port.”
“I do not,” Patty answered. Then she added with a smile, “It’s been years since I was in the Navy. I’m sure they’ve all moved on since then.” Patty and the bartender both chuckled and Willow only grinned as she took out ten dollars and gave it to the bartender. “Don’t listen to her,” Patty continued. “I’m just making conversation. That’s all.”
“That’s good,” Willow countered. “‘Cause I’m not on the meat market.”
As Willow took a sip of her drink, Patty tapped her on the shoulder. “So what’s the story? You’ve been in town a few years but you don’t come down here?”
“A friend, well, ex-girlfriend, she comes here once in a while. Thought I’d check it out tonight…I’m…I’m not in the mood to go home just yet, so I figured, what the hey, I’d stop out and see what the brouhaha was about.”
“Much ado about nothing,” Patty replied.
“So I see,” Willow said, looking around. “Looks like any other bar I’ve seen in Cleveland – the only difference is the lack of men.”
For a moment, they said nothing, as Willow took another drink.
“So,” Patty began. “What do you do?”
Willow took yet another drink, but this time she nearly emptied half the glass. She wiped her lips with the back of her hand and turned to Patty.
“You seem like a nice person, Patty, but I’m not really in the mood for chit-chat at the moment. No offense.”
Willow looked back at her drink again.
“Secret agent stuff, then? You’d tell me but then you’d have to kill me?” Patty teased.
Willow got a far off look in her eyes.
“Yeah, something like that,” she muttered, before taking another swig from her glass.
The door opened behind them and Patty turned to see another woman enter.
“Oh, boy,” she sighed.
Willow turned around to see the woman who had entered and then turned back to Patty.
“An ex?” she asked.
“No, thank god. That woman’s supposed to be a doctor, but I think she’s nuts.”
“Why?” Willow asked, intrigued.
“She gets a few drinks in her and starts rambling about how demons and monsters are stalking her family. If you ask me, she’s the demon,” she explained, making a circular motion with her finger near her temple.
“Really?…Yeah, that sounds crazy, all right. Excuse me.”
Willow got up with her drink, leaving Patty, who looked wounded. Patty walked back to her table, despondent, as Willow strolled down the bar and took a spot next to the doctor.
“Can I buy you a drink?” Willow asked.
The woman gave Willow an appraising eye and smiled, then nodded.
“Scotch rocks,” she answered.
“Scotch rocks,” Willow told the bartender, who nodded. She then turned back to the doctor, who was still smiling. “So…I hear you’ve got monster problems?” she said in a hushed voice.
The smile automatically fell from the woman’s face, and she began to shake her head.
“Thanks anyway,” she said, starting to rise.
Willow put a hand on her arm, making her stop.
“Please don’t go,” she said gently. “I’d like to hear your story because, believe it or not, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard something like it.”
The woman looked around, as if searching for a hidden camera or another ambush of some type. “It’s okay,” Willow reassured her. “Here. Why don’t we start over?” She offered her hand. “I’m Willow, and you are…”
“Gina. Gina Burdeau.”
“Patty over there tells me you’re a doctor,” Willow continued.
The bartender put the drink in front of Gina and Willow handed her a ten spot.
“That’s not all she’s said, obviously,” the woman replied. When Willow said nothing, Gina continued. “Yes, I’m a MD – plastic surgeon. And yes, I’ve had…problems…over the years.”
“Since when? The problems, I mean. When did they start?” Willow added in clarification.
“Around the time of med school,” Gina answered. “The first incident happened when I was about ready to graduate. This…thing…came into the dorm room when my roommate and I were there and…this is ridiculous…I know where this is going and I know what you’re going to do. Another laughfest on crazy Gina.”
Willow held up a finger, reached into her pocket and handed Gina a business card.
“I work for a very powerful group of people who deal in the supernatural,” Willow told her. “And I assure you, I’m not laughing. In fact, I’d like to help you, if you’d let me.”
Gina looked over her shoulder again and looked around the room.
“I’ve got an idea,” Willow suggested. “Let’s meet somewhere else this week. You know the restaurant Hilldon’s, on Sixth Street?” Willow asked. Gina nodded. “Can you meet me there Thursday night? Around seven?” Gina nodded again. Willow downed the last of her drink and set it on the bar. “I’ll see ya then,” she said. Then she quietly got up from the bar and walked away.
After Willow left the building, the bartender walked up to Gina.
“Seems like a nice gal,” she said casually.
“Yes,” Gina agreed, looking down at the business card.
“I hope you don’t hurt her, G,” the bartender added, as she took Willow’s glass and turned around.
“It’s not me hurting her that I’m worried about,” Gina answered softly, to no one in particular.
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Later that Night
With her keys in her hand, Willow passed the threshold of her apartment and jumped when a figure bolted up from the sofa. She raised her hand, as if to work magic, but quickly dropped it when she realized it was Rowena.
“You scared the hell outta me,” Willow said, as she tossed her keys on the sofa table and made her way over.
“I’m sorry,” Rowena answered. “I was afraid I wouldn’t hear you come back, so I let myself inside.”
Willow nervously licked her lips and took a calming breath, as she looked down at Rowena sitting on her sofa.
“Did you need something here?” she asked.
Rowena just looked up at Willow for a moment, then moved to her feet.
“You,” she answered softly. “I need you.”
Willow said nothing. She pulled her jacket off and tossed in a chair.
“Look,” Rowena continued, “I know what happened tonight was horrible. What you had to see isn’t easy to take.”
“Again, there’s where you’re wrong,” Willow said, tsking her finger. “It wasn’t what I had to see. It never should have happened in the first place, Ro. We had no business sending out the Black Ops squad on this mission. Kennedy brought it up, you approved it and now three people are dead!” Rowena suddenly looked away guiltily. “What?” Willow asked.
Rowena took a steadying breath. “Four. The secretary died at the hospital.”
Willow’s eyes welled up with tears and she shook her head. She began to unbutton her stained shirt.
“And now I’m a liar,” Willow muttered, as she pulled the shirt from her shoulders.
“I promised her she was going to be okay. When I held her, when she was bleeding, I tried to keep her calm and tell her she’d be fine…and now I’m a liar.”
“Willow, please,” Rowena said with a light sob, and reached out for her.
Willow sidestepped the gesture and nodded toward her bathroom. “I need to wash the blood off me, so I’ll ask again, is there anything else you need here before you leave?” Rowena simply shook her head. “Fine. I’m tired, so show yourself out. I’ll put your stuff together tomorrow morning. You can get it at lunch.”
Rowena watched Willow walk toward the bathroom and close the door. Next she heard the water start. She wiped her eyes of unshed tears and walked toward the front door, closing it softly behind her as she left.
Inside Willow’s bathroom, the water poured from the tub faucet as Willow sat on the closed commode seat. Her face was buried in her hands as she cried softly.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
Rowena continued on her way down the hall in a zombie-like state. After a moment, Kennedy approached from the opposite direction.
“Ro?” Kennedy called out. The watcher continued to walk, as if not even noticing her presence. “Hey,” Kennedy said, snapping her fingers as they approached closer.
Rowena looked up, as if surprised to see Kennedy there. “Hey,” she replied back.
“You look like hell,” Kennedy replied. “Don’t tell me we lost another girl somehow?” she asked, as if afraid of what the answer might be.
“No,” Rowena answered absently.
“Good,” Kennedy sighed. “The way you looked, I thought another slayer died tonight.”
“No…just me,” Rowena answered, and began to walk down the hall again.
Confused, Kennedy watched Rowena walk to her apartment and let herself inside.
Fade to Black
End of Act One