Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Later that Night
Willow walked out of her bathroom with one towel wrapped around her head and another around her body. She jumped again when she noticed Kennedy sitting on the arm of a chair in her living room.
“Is everyone here trying to give me a heart attack?” she asked angrily.
“Sorry, the door was unlocked, so I sat down,” Kennedy answered. “I heard the shower running and I just thought I’d wait.”
“It’s late. What do you need,, Ken?” Willow asked impatiently.
“Alrighty then,” Kennedy said, giving up being civil. “I saw your girlfriend and she looked like the walking dead. Just thought you should know, maybe check up on her. That’s all.”
At first, Willow said nothing. “That’s not my problem,” she finally muttered as she walked toward her bedroom.
“Not your problem?” Kennedy asked. When Willow made no reply from the bedroom, Kennedy followed after her.
As she poked her head around the corner, she saw Willow scramble to cover herself with her pajamas.
“Do you mind?” Willow asked, trying to hide her nakedness.
“Not at all,” Kennedy answered. “Beside, ain’t nothing I ain’t seen before.” She walked over and took a spot on the bed. “So, what gives?”
Willow hurriedly put on her pajama top that came down to her thighs.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but…I thought I could take things less personally but…I can’t. And to be honest, I’m not really pleased with you at the moment, either, so again, if you don’t mind…”
“I’m not gonna defend what Marissa did. She got trigger happy. People died. But you can’t stop an entire program because of her stupid actions.”
Willow rubbed her forehead. “I’ll say it again. It’s late. I want to go to bed, so please go away.”
Kennedy threw her hands up in the air. “Whatever,” she answered, then she walked out of the bedroom.
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Next Morning
Dawn followed behind Willow, who muttered to herself under her breath as she moved along quickly through the room.
“But why not?” Dawn asked, doggedly pursuing Willow around the room. “You did it for Angel.”
“That was different…I was different then,” Willow answered.
“Really? Or is the reason because it’s my girlfriend and not Buffy’s boyfriend.”
Willow stopped, putting a jar back in place at her workbench, and turned to face Dawn.
“What I did to Angel was not a blessing, it was a curse. I’m Wiccan now, Dawn. I don’t curse people anymore. And even if I did, it’s a curse I can’t repeat unless Skye has spilled gypsy blood.”
Dawn seemed to be thinking for a moment. “How much blood has to be spilled? A little bit of blood or, you know –?” Dawn asked.
“Tell me you’re not suggesting we feed Kennedy to Skye so we can curse your girlfriend with a soul.”
“Not exactly feed her to Skye,” Dawn backpedaled .
“Look, I can’t do it, and even if I could, I wouldn’t,” Willow tried to say in a tone that would end the discussion.
“There has to be something,” Dawn implored.
Willow sighed. “Look at it this way: If souling a vampire was that simple don’t you think I would have re-souled every vampire in the world by now? It would make our job a helluva lot easier, dontcha think?”
“I know there has to be something we can do,” Dawn answered.
“Don’t let your feelings cloud your judgment here, Dawnie,” Willow warned. “I know you still love her, in spite of everything, a-and I know you think things might somehow be the same. She talks a good talk, but that’s all it is.”
“What makes you so sure?” Dawn asked.
“Because three people are dead now because of her,” Willow answered directly. Dawn immediately looked away.
“If that’s not the pot calling the kettle,” the young watcher remarked softly. The sound of Willow’s air leaving her lungs was heavy. “I’m sorry,” Dawn added quickly. “I know what you went through after…everything…I’m just…I’m frustrated Willow.”
Willow squared her shoulders. “I know, and I’m sorry too. I wish I could help, but deep down I think you know what I’m saying. Just watch yourself Dawn. Skye might look the same and talk the same but she also might kill again, too, if we’re not careful. Only the next time she hurts someone, it might be somebody you know a bit more and love.” Dawn looked away, unable to meet Willow’s eyes. After a small silence, Willow asked, “Will you stop by Jeff’s place? Double check he’s doing okay? I would, but I’m late for the morning meeting.”
“Yeah, no problem,” Dawn answered.
“Thanks,” Willow replied. “Tell him I’ll be up later to see him.”
After Dawn nodded, Willow did the same and started from the room.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
Rowena, Robin and Kennedy all sat at the table.
“Maybe we should call her?” Robin suggested to the table.
Rowena looked reluctant. Noticing the expression on the female watchers’ face, Kennedy pulled the phone toward her and put the receiver to her ear.
“She probably overslept,” Kennedy said casually as she dialed. “She said she was tired when I saw her last night.”
“You saw her last night?” Rowena asked. “When?”
“After I saw you in the hallway. I went to…” Kennedy trailed off, as if she wasn’t sure she should finish the sentence.
“You went to…what?” Rowena asked, when Kennedy still said nothing. “Went to move in on her since we’re having problems,” she accused
“You’re having problems?” Robin asked Rowena.
At the same time that Robin spoke, Kennedy answered.
“No! I have a girlfriend, who, when not globetrotting, enjoys spending time with me.” She hung up the phone and continued. “But if you really must know, and all of us in this room realize how you’re a bloodhound for information, I was worried about you, okay? You looked like you could audition for a George Romero movie for Pete’s sake. I wanted Willow to know.”
“Oh…” Rowena said apologetically. When no one said anything, she continued and asked, “Well, what did she say?”
Again, Kennedy looked reluctant and rolled her shoulders.
“I really don’t want to get in the middle of this,” she replied.
“The middle of what?” Robin asked no one in particular, thoroughly confused.
“The soap opera, which is otherwise called my life,” Rowena answered. “Look,” she added, putting up her hands. “Can we just get back to business?”
“Aye. I second that motion,” Kennedy said relieved.
At that moment, Willow walked in.
“Sorry, got caught up talking to Dawn,” she said meekly to the group. “What motion are we ayeing?” she asked.
Rowena looked unsure of what to say, so Kennedy stepped up again with a grin on her face.
“I was just being silly. Now that the gang’s all here, can we officially start?” the slayer asked.
“Certainly,” Rowena answered with a nod. “First, how is Jeff doing?” she asked Willow.
Willow nodded. “Good,” she replied. “Still a little rattled, but other than that good. That’s one of the reasons I’m late. I wanted Dawn to check on him this morning, but he should make a full recovery.”
“Good, that’s good,” Rowena said, before turning to Kennedy. “Your girls?” she asked.
“We lost Morgan last night, as some of you know. And I believe Robin was notifying next of kin.”
“Done,” Robin answered. “Her family is making arrangements now. So I should have more information tomorrow.”
“Heli and her roommate decided to duke it out last night,” Kennedy continued, “Once Marly calmed down, she asked me not to press charges or anything like that. She basically told me she had it coming. I don’t know if that’s true, but given there aren’t any prior incidents with either her or Heli, unless the witnesses tell me something drastically different, I don’t anticipate anything drastic will come out of it. ”Seems to be a lot of slayer versus slayer action going on lately.” When the gang didn’t quite know how to respond, she added, “Just a little stab at humor, guys, in an otherwise humorless meeting. Things are still tense, but…it’s getting better.”
“Anything else?” Rowena asked.
“That’s all I got,” Kennedy answered.
Rowena looked down at her notes and raised her head. She bit her lip nervously for a moment, but then squared her shoulders.
“First, the clean up operations have taken care of the incident at the office space. There were no survivors. Marissa is suspended indefinitely, pending an investigation. Willow?” Rowena asked as she turned her eyes to the witch. “The officers in the Ops squad are working on their reports of what happened and since you’re another witness, I need your account of the events, as well.”
“Ahh, I see we’re opening this portion of the meeting up with a joke,” Willow remarked.
“Willow, please,” Rowena insisted.
“Fine, I’ll get you a report,” the witch answered briskly.
“Thank you,” Rowena replied.
“A nice, bound, five hundred page report with gold friggin’ stars on it,” she muttered under her breath.
Rowena slammed the digital audio recorder off, making everyone at the table jump.
“You think I’m happy that you have to file this report? Do you?” she demanded.
“Hey, it’s all part of the business, isn’t it?” Willow asked, the sarcasm dripping off her voice. “Can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, can we?”
“I did not order anyone to kill those people,” Rowena answered, her voice now a soft angry hiss.
“So what? You went along with the order to send them,” Willow snapped back.
“Stop acting like I pulled the goddamn trigger!” Rowena replied, her voice rising again.
The room fell silent again, and Kennedy looked at Robin.
“So these are the kind of fun times I’ve been missing all these years at meetings? ‘Cause I have to be honest, I don’t care much for it,” she deadpanned. “Any chance Faith might get her decision soon and come back to work?”
Rowena took a deep but unsteady breath and blew it out.
“You’re absolutely right. I don’t care for it, either,” Rowena told her. “I apologize for taking things too personally and for my unprofessional behavior.” She reached over and hit the record again. “Next order of business is Faith. I haven’t heard anything from the other branches yet, but they still have time left before they have to reach a decision. They have received the materials we sent, so I hope to hear something shortly.”
“Any idea when?” Robin asked. “Just curious is all.”
“They have until the end of the month for review,” she told him.
“And Skye?” Willow asked, avoiding looking at Rowena. “Any idea of what to do with her?”
“I say we keep her around,” Kennedy answered. “She could have run when the van was attacked, but she didn’t. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet. But she’s sticking around to be near Dawn.”
“I don’t trust her,” Rowena answered.
“I trust Dawn,” Kennedy said with a smile.
“I meant Skye,” Rowena growled.
“I know what you meant. I’m teasin’, Blondie, so lighten up,” Kennedy replied. “Look, I’m not gonna go pinning a Vamp of the Year medal on her just yet. I’m just saying, I’m not sure we should dust her, is all. Willow probably has more expertise in this area than any of us in this room.”
“Meaning?” Willow asked.
“You worked with Spike for a lot of years,” Kennedy said.
“Bastard,” Robin said under his breath.
“And…the other bastard who killed my mother,” Kennedy went on, “so, how’s the whole good vamp thing working? And is it possible to have a good vamp?”
Willow shrugged. “Angel had a soul, for the most part. Spike had a government chip in his head a-and then went and got a soul because he fell for Buffy.”
“What about our friendly local ‘AA’ vamps? Any problems there?” Kennedy asked.
“No, actually,” Willow answered. “We’ve got a day shift and a night shift slayer assigned to each one since Giles and I found them. So far, the girls have said they’ve hit butcher shops, small game in the wild…no humans. They all work night jobs so they don’t kill people for blood and money.”
“So, outstanding citizens then?” Kennedy asked.
“For the most part, yeah,” Willow replied. “But unfortunately, for being the Watchers Council, we’ve got very little information on vamps or even how many different forms of vampires there’ve been in history. A lot was lost in the explosion. A-And the stuff we have is sketchy at best. Case in point, Vancouver.”
“And if what Skye is saying about being force fed is true,” Rowena added, “that blows the long held theory out of the water that only those wanting to turn can be turned. So maybe the effects that she’s experiencing are different for that reason.”
“So you’re saying she could be a ‘good vamp’?” Willow asked, finally looking in Rowena’s direction.
“Perhaps, but I still don’t trust her. The ‘con’ in con man means confidence. Everything she’s doing could be to gain our trust until the real plan goes down.”
“And what would that plan be?” Kennedy asked.
“I don’t know yet, but I’m certain Wagner is attached to it.”
“Speaking of which,” Robin piped in.
“We don’t know who or what she is just yet,” Rowena said, answering the unasked question. “But Skye did say she thought Wagner was worried about upsetting this master of hers.”
“Which means?” Kennedy asked.
“If she’s scared. then that means she can be harmed,” Rowena answered. “And if she can be harmed, we might be able to find a way to eliminate her. Nothing is invincible – everything has a weakness.”
“Wonder Woman doesn’t have a weakness,” Kennedy remarked.
“Yes, she does,” Rowena answered.
“No, she doesn’t,” Kennedy argued.
“Uh huh,” Rowena said, nodding. “Having her bracelets chained together by a man takes away her powers.”
“You’re makin’ that up.” Kennedy laughed.
“Don’t believe me, then ask Andrew,” Rowena replied. “Anyway, final order of business today…” she said. Shaking her head, as if not believing she got that sidetracked by the pointless conversation, she turned to Willow. “I’d like you to recheck Dawn’s inventory list, Will. It’s not dire emergency stuff, so I thought you could go over it during the evenings this week after normal work hours.”
Willow nodded absently but then stopped. “Oh, I can’t tomorrow. I’m meeting someone after work,” she answered.
“Someone?” Kennedy asked.
Willow looked nervous. “Yeah, someone…I met…at the Alcove,” she said reluctantly.
The room fell into dead silence again and all the eyes that were on Willow slowly shifted to Rowena. The watcher looked frozen. Her pen hovered an inch above her pad, her hand stuck mid-note taking.
“She’s not a vamp, is she?” Kennedy whispered across the table to Willow, although everyone could hear.
“No,” Willow replied, indignant. “She’s a doctor, well, a cosmetic surgeon actually.”
The sound of the pen dropping to the pad of paper made all eyes turn back to Rowena again.
“Alrighty then? Any other business?” the watcher asked. She waited perhaps two seconds at the most and, when no one said anything, she called, “Meeting adjourned,” and banged the gavel.
Briskly, she picked up all her folders and papers in one sweep and headed out the door. Kennedy and Robin both looked at Willow, neither one of them looking too pleased.
“What?” Willow asked.
Kennedy began to shake her head and collect her items, as well. “At least I can say your sheets got cold after you dumped me.”
“It’s not a date, guys,” she told them. “The woman, well, okay, another woman at the bar, said this Gina gets drunk and talks about monsters, so I chatted her up. She didn’t feel comfortable talking there and I offered to take her to dinner. She might be crazy or she might have a real problem. Either way, I’m going to check out her story – that’s all.”
Robin already had his stuff in hand and was going toward the door.
“Where are you rushing to?” Willow asked.
“Damage control,” he told her as he left. Kennedy and Willow just looked at each other.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Office – Moments Later
Rowena stood over her desk with her palms flat and her head hung low. A knock on her door made her raise her head, showing her bloodshot eyes. She cleared her throat and called out, “I’m busy. What is it?”
“Ro, it’s Robin,” he called out. “Can I please come in?”
Rowena reached for a tissue and blew her nose. “Yeah, Robin,” she answered, as she started to walk around to the back of the desk to take a seat. “What can I do for you?” she asked, as Robin turned around and closed the door behind him.
“It’s not a date,” were the first words out of mouth as he walked over.
“What’s not a date?” Rowena asked.
“Don’t play dumb with me,” he said taking a seat. “You know what. After you left, Willow said she’s meeting that woman to discuss a possible demon problem. That’s all.”
Rowena nodded. “Well, thank you for coming by, Robin, but…It’s really not any of my concern who Willow sees – date or not.”
Robin cocked his head as he looked at her for a moment, then he began to shake his head.
“You gotta teach me how to do that,” he said in amazement.
“Do what?” she asked.
Robin smiled warmly at her. “I thought I was good, not letting kids and teachers know when they got my goat with something they said or did…I might be good, but damn girl, you’re the freakin’ master.”
Rowena rested her elbow on her chair arm and hung her head, her teeth physically biting her top knuckle of her index finger. She let out a ragged breath.
“I’m not sure how you feel about Faith. I mean, I know you love her but…if you thought she’d say yes…would you marry her…would you promise to love her for the rest of your life?” Rowena asked.
“Yeah, of course,” Robin answered without hesitation. “But I think that would be more about what I want, not what she wants. She’s content with what we have now – for her, that’s enough. And I trust how she feels about me, so I don’t need a wedding band to prove anything, not really.”
Rowena smiled sadly. “Ironic, isn’t it? You don’t need a wedding, but if Willow and I wanted one, we couldn’t have it…I guess the whole point is moot now anyway, isn’t it?”
“I can’t answer that question, Rowena,” Robin told her honestly. “I don’t think even you or Willow can at this point. Give it time. Give her space…”
“I am,” Rowena answered. “Or I’m trying, at least…So…how am I doing so far?” she asked. “After all, I didn’t go off on her…well, not about the date anyway.”
“Non-date,” Robin said, raising his finger to accent his point.
“Non-date,” Rowena corrected herself with a small grin. “Right. Instead I just…walked away.”
“Giving yourself some space now is good, too,” he answered. “Better to walk away than say something you’ll regret later.” She gave him a nod in response. “And I should mention that I know you don’t have many close friends here. And one of your closest friends just hopped a plane to go back to her Coven in England.”
“Gee, thanks,” Rowena answered sarcastically.
“What I’m saying is, if you need anything, anytime…come see me, okay?” he implored her. “I know what you did for Faith – how you tried to help her. And I understand what it’s like to be the odd man out when it comes to this group.”
“So it’s us versus them now?” Rowena teased.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking sides,” Robin said, holding up his hands. “But they all have a longer history together…You and I, we don’t have that luxury. I’m just saying, I’ve got two ears that are willing to listen…Now if you need two legs, you might have to pick someone else, because I haven’t quite mastered this fake one yet,” he added with a soft smile.
“Interesting that you mention that,” Rowena commented. “I watched you walking down the hall the other day.”
“Ooh, so I have enough sex appeal to turn a lesbians’ head? I’m impressed,” Robin teased.
“Well, you do have that Adonis figure workin’ for ya,” Rowena complimented bashfully. “But what I noticed was how you walked. I never would have guessed you had an artificial leg if I didn’t know.”
“Physical therapy is paying off,” he answered. “And I have to hand it to you, my dear. You really do have a great way of shifting a conversation off of yourself to someone else.”
Rowena started to chuckle and then whispered, “Damn it.”
Robin smiled and stood up. “Really…promise you’ll take me up on my offer, agreed?”
Rowena made an “x” motion across her chest. “Thank you,” she told him sincerely.
He smiled down at her. “Hang in there, Ro. You’ll be okay, you’ll see.”
Watchers Council – Computer Room – Late Afternoon
Willow sat in front of the terminal as it started to boot up. A cartoon copy of herself came up on the screen and asked, “How can I help you, Willow Rosenberg?”
“Ro’s right. This is unnerving,” she replied to herself in the empty room.
Willow moved the mouse around and, after a few clicks, typed in “Gina Burdeau.”
A list of information began to scroll across the screen. She typed a bit more and then clicked the mouse again. Her voice came out choppy over the speakers, saying, “Document is now printing.”
Once the first page was free, Willow picked it up and her eyes scanned down the length of the page.
“Holy Moly,” she said softly, as she started to read.
Watchers Council – Library – Later that Night
Dawn walked into the library to see Jeff looking over some books.
“Already up and about, I see. How goes the watcher gig?” she asked.
“Hey,” he said looking up and starting to smile. “Have a seat,” he motioned across from him. “How you doing? With Skye, I mean?”
“Actually that’s why I’m here,” she replied.
“Finally ready to talk to me about it?” he asked rhetorically. “Go ahead. Shoot.”
“I’m not looking to talk,” Dawn told him. “I’m looking for action. I want to find a way to re-soul Skye, but I might need your help.”
“Why not go to Willow? She’s done it before,” Jeff suggested.
“Different circumstances, she says,” Dawn answered. “So I need to find a spell that won’t be a curse, and preferably, no ‘happiness’ clause,” she added.
Jeff looked uncertain at first, but then nodded.
Hilldon’s Restaurant – Same Time
The maitre d’ motioned Willow to follow him, and he escorted her to a table where Gina was sitting.
“Thank you,” she told him, as he pulled the chair out for her. Willow smiled at Gina and said, “I’m sorry I’m late. It’s been a very busy day. I hope you weren’t waiting too long.”
“No, I got held up at work too, but they said you hadn’t arrived yet so I stuck around,” she replied with a soft grin. “Besides, if a beautiful redhead asks you to a restaurant, you’re nuts to leave after just a few minutes.”
Willow blushed as the waiter came over. “Something to drink, ma’am?” he asked.
“Just water for now, please,” Willow replied before he walked away. “Anyway,” Willow said, “I did some checking in my archives at work and you do have a…history.”
“History is an inaccurate term. I have an on-going problem. And the word problem is an understatement.” Willow nodded her agreement. “It would be one thing if it was me but…well, tell me what you know and I’ll try to fill in any blanks.”
“Well,” Willow said nervously, “You’ve…had to deal with death quite often in your life – five people according to my report, including the roommate you mentioned.”
“Yes,” Gina replied. “When I start to get close to someone, or someone I know was close to another person, this…demon…attacks them. It started in college with my roommate…I watched her die and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Same with the others. If this thing hates me so much, I wish it would just kill me and get it over with. But maybe it gets a sick twist out of torturing me and people I care about. I don’t want to see any more people get hurt because they come in contact with me.”
“For a while the police suspected you, according to what I read,” Willow replied.
“Yeah,” Gina said, nodding. “And why wouldn’t they? When you know five people who get killed, I can see why they’d notice a pattern and be suspicious. Anyone in their right mind would be,” she added. “But there was never any evidence because I’m not the one that did it. Hell, this thing killed a friends’ husband when the two of them were having marital problems.”
“Peter and Sara Porter, right?” Willow asked.
Gina nodded. “Yeah, and Sara was devastated. Yes, they were disagreeing a lot, but he died without them resolving anything. To this day, I still feel terrible for her. She never got a chance to make amends.”
“Can you describe what this demon looks like?” Willow asked.
“Human,” Gina answered. “At least the arms, anyway.”
“How do you know it’s not a person?” Willow asked.
“The sounds that it makes,” Gina replied. “I’ve never heard any human make the kind of growling noises this thing does. Also, with the way this creature strikes, I can never see the rest of the body.”
“So you don’t know what it looks like at all?”
“One time I did see a face. But it was so quick and brief…”
“What did it look like?” Willow asked.
Gina paused, as if thinking of a way to describe it. “Have you ever seen those creepy looking porcelain dolls? Or-or that mask that Michael Myers wore in those Halloween movies? Not exactly like that but…similar. But it didn’t look like a plastic two-dollar mask. It looked…real…like it was the actual face.”
“Are you sure?” Willow asked.
“Positive,” Gina answered. “Recreating faces is part of what I do for a living. And what I saw in that brief moment was the genuine article – it was skin.” Willow seemed to be considering her comments when Gina went on. “For years, I haven’t been able to protect people around me. So don’t take it too hard if you don’t fare any better. I’m just relieved that there’s someone in the world who doesn’t think I’m nuts. Hell, even my mother said I was crazy last week and called all these deaths just coincidence. I know it’s more than that, and I hope you mean it when you say you think I’m not crazy…You don’t…do you? Think I’m crazy, I mean?”
Willow gave her a sympathetic look. “No, I don’t think you’re insane,” she said softly.
The Alcove – Same Time
Kennedy walked into the pub to see a group of women at the end of the bar, all of them chanting, “Go, go, go, go,” repeatedly. She got a small grin on her face and walked down to see what the commotion was all about. After she weaved her way past a few bystanders, her grin faded as she saw Rowena sitting on a bar stool, downing the last of a thirty-ouncer of beer before slamming it on the bar.
“Thirty six seconds!” one of the women said, looking at her watch. The other girls around gave a cheer. Rowena wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
“Okay,” Kennedy announced, like a street cop. “Show’s over gals. Move along. Nothing to see.” The crowd grumbled and one by one they slipped away as Kennedy moved in closer. “Hey,” she said.
“Ken!” Rowena said excitedly, surprised to see her. “Hey, Max!” she yelled, cupping her hands around her lips to get the bartender’s attention.
“Yes, Rowena,” Max replied, smiling. “Another one?”
“Yeah and one for my fr – well, she’s not really a friend, since the woman hates my guts, but definitely one for this pretty little lady over here. Did you know she’s little, but she’s like Wonder Woman?” Rowena told Max.
Kennedy looked concerned at first, but then grinned as she saw Max smile and shake her head.
“Maybe later we can find some guy to chain your bracelets together to see if you lose your powers,” Rowena remarked to Kennedy, before she started to giggle.
“Ms. Drunkard? Wanna keep it down?” Kennedy asked in a hushed tone.
“Drunk? I’m as sober as a judge,” Rowena answered with a straight face. Then she started to giggle again when Max put two beers in front of them.
“Yeah, an alcoholic judge,” Kennedy muttered. “Come on, let’s get you home.”
“Okay, ya caught me. I’m drunk,” Rowena answered.
Kennedy reached out to pull the watcher away from the bar.
“No,” Rowena said, pulling her arm away from Kennedy’s grasp. “Sit down, have a drink with me. What? Are you too good to drink with me? Is that it?” Reluctantly, Kennedy sat back down. “There you go!” Rowena complimented. “You know, you’re so much more fun when you don’t have a stick up your ass.” Rowena began to laugh uncontrollably and almost fell off the stool, but Kennedy managed to right her with one hand while she calmly sipped her beer using the other.
The bartender walked back over and Kennedy asked, “How much has she had tonight?”
“Those thirty-ouncers,” she said, pointing to the empty mugs, “and two whiskey shots.”
Rowena picked up another shot glass and downed the contents.
“Three,” she corrected the barkeep as she put it back down. “We could make it four if you fill it up again,” Rowena told Max.
“No,” Kennedy chimed in. “There is such a thing as alcohol poisoning Rowena. We’ll just finish this one and head back home.” Kennedy took a drink while shaking her head.”Again,” she said after she swallowed, “What are you doing out here?”
“I figured, what the hell, if Willow can come out here and get lucky, then why the hell can’t I?” Rowena chuckled sarcastically. “After all, maybe this is my chance to find out if I gave up the stick for good, or just for that woman?”
“It’s not a date,” Kennedy told her. “After you left –”
“Yeah some bitch with a demon problem, apparently. Likely excuse.”
“You think it’s more?” Kennedy asked.
“Hell yes, it’s more! It’s Willow. And you know what’s gonna happen? Willow’s gonna smile, she’s gonna laugh and then that friggin’ dyke, demon problem or not, is gonna end up in bed with her…And then it will be over…And I’ll be sitting here everyday getting hammered, thinking the pain will go away somehow…”
“Our lives are starting to parallel, and it’s pretty scary,” Kennedy muttered.
“You’re telling me!” Rowena answered. “And who the hell does she think she is?!” she added, getting loud again.
“Who?” Kennedy asked.
“Willow! Ms. ‘Oh, we can’t be wimps. We can’t give up’. She just…gave up! Walked away. ‘I met someone at the Alcove’,” Rowena said in a mocking voice. “I mean, really! What is that crap?”
“Again,” Kennedy tried to begin. “It’s not a date.”
“It might not start out that way, but that’s how it’ll end…but you know what? Screw her. Screw her!!”
A few couples looked over at Rowena’s outburst and Kennedy smiled nervously in their direction and shrugged. The slayer then put her arm around Rowena and leaned closer. “Rowena, chill. You’re gonna be okay. Been there, done that. Now let’s just finish our drinks and I’ll get you home safe and sound, okay?” Kennedy began to take another drink from her mug.
“Your place or mine?” Rowena asked in a husky voice. Beer shot through Kennedy’s nose and she began to cough, which only made Rowena start to laugh. “What? I told you I came here to get laid tonight.”
“How ’bout no, nada, no way?” Kennedy croaked out. She picked up a napkin and wiped her face off.
“Oh, thaaaat’s right. I’m the ice cream, I mean ice queen. Oh!” Rowena exclaimed as she slapped Kennedy’s arm, making the slayer jump slightly. “Did you know that after you gave me that nickname, Willow called me ice cream instead? You know why?” Rowena asked, wiggling her eyebrows.
“I can imagine,” Kennedy answered. “And to be honest the image is giving me the urge to poke my eyes out, so…let’s just finish our drinks in silence, okay?”
When Rowena didn’t say anything, Kennedy turned to face her. Then, before Kennedy could react, the watcher cupped the slayer’s cheek and brought their lips together in a hot, burning kiss, before she slowly pulled back.
“Still think I’m an ice queen?” Rowena asked, searching Kennedy’s eyes.
Kennedy looked tongue-tied. She tried twice to open her mouth to speak but failed. Finally, the words pushed through her lips. “Okay, that was freaky.”
“Why?” Rowena asked, as she played with the lapel of Kennedy’s coat.
“I’m not sure if it’s the fact that actually just happened, or, the fact that I actually enjoyed it a little…for some twisted, psychotic reason…Either way, there’s some kind of serious freak happening right now.”
Rowena smiled. “We could do further experiments – see if we can identify the type of freak.” Her fingers made lazy trails over Kennedy’s jaw line. “After all, I’m curious – what made you such a great lover?”
Kennedy looked at Rowena for a long moment, then slipped from her barstool and took Rowena’s coat from the back of her chair. She opened it and held it out for her.
“Let’s go,” was all Kennedy said, as she slipped it around Rowena.
End of Act Two