Hilldon’s Restaurant – Same Time
Gina and Willow were laughing at their table in the nearly empty restaurant. Busboys around them were setting tables for the next day.
“And needless to say, that was the first, and last, time I went skiing,” Gina said, as she held up her glass before taking a drink.
“Rowena’s tried to teach me to ice skate, but I spent more time on my butt than I did on my feet.” Willow smiled fondly, but then she shifted uncomfortably in her chair as a melancholy expression crossed her face.
“If you want my opinion, and I know you didn’t ask,” Gina said with a teasing grin, “I think Rowena’s a crazy fool.”
Willow gave a small grin. “You can’t say that, you don’t know her,” she answered in a kind tone.
“No, but after sitting here all night, talking to you…Let’s just say if I had a woman as gorgeous as you on my arm I wouldn’t let her get away. Monsters be damned, I’d move heaven and earth to keep her.”
Willow shrugged. “Our lives aren’t that simple,” she answered. “It’s not always about what you want, but what you have to do.” Willow looked around the restaurant. “They’re gonna kick us out pretty soon, I’d say,” she answered as she rose. “Lemme walk you to your car.”
Hilldon’s Restaurant – Moments Later
Silently, Willow and Gina walked to her blue Ford Focus. Willow grinned as Gina hit the door locks.
“Not what I expected a doctor to be driving,” Willow remarked.
“We don’t all drive BMW’s,” Gina teased. “It’s not a gas hog and it doesn’t make much pollution,” she explained. “It’s pretty simple and all I need is something to get me from point A to point B.”
Willow nodded nervously. “Well, I’ll start looking into the description you gave, and I’ll give you a call next week.”
“Sounds good,” Gina replied with her own nod. Willow turned to walk away and Gina called out. “Oh, one more thing,” she said.
“Yeah?” Willow said, turning to face her.
Gina pulled Willow’s lips into hers for a tender kiss, lingering for just a moment.
“I just had to do that,” Gina told her. “In spite of the trip down demon memory lane, I had a wonderful time tonight.” She ran her hand down the length of Willow’s arm. “Call me…even if you don’t find anything,” she added with a grin.
Gina gave her a short wave, which Willow returned. The doctor got in her car and waved once more before driving away.
Willow let out a ragged sigh and walked in the opposite direction.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time
Willow climbed the last of the stairs and made her way to her apartment when she heard two women giggling and turned to look down the hall. At the other end, she saw Kennedy struggling with Rowena’s keys to try to open the door to the watcher’s apartment, as Rowena hugged her from behind.
“Down girl,” Kennedy teased, as Rowena’s hand began to creep up her stomach, toward her bust line. “Let me get the door unlocked first.”
Kennedy turned the knob and the two of them tumbled inside, still giggling. At the sound of the door slamming shut, Willow looked like she’d had the air knocked out of her lungs.
Gina’s Mother’s house – Same Time
A small sign on the front door read, “The Burdeau’s.” A hand that resembled burned flesh, with long scissor-like points on its fingers, reached out and turned the door.
Gina’s Mother’s house – Kitchen – Same Time
From inside the kitchen, an older woman in her early to mid-sixties appeared to busy herself in the kitchen, over a pot of some type on the stove.
Hearing the door open, she called out, “Gina? That you? Come to tell me how the date went over some warm milk?” She looked through the doorway to the front door to see it open, but no one was there. “Gina?” she called out again, with a hint of fear.
As she began to walk toward the door, a figure jumped out from the shadows, its claws slashing in her direction. In response, Mrs. Burdeau ran back into the kitchen. Seeing the boiling milk, she ran toward the stove as the monster gave chase. She quickly grabbed the handle and flung it toward the demon’s face.
She dropped the pan and began to run out to the living room. She didn’t stop running after she cleared the front door.
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Next Morning
Willow was sitting by the window, watching the sun peeking up over the water’s horizon. Still dressed in her clothes from the night before, she glanced at her watch, which read 7:06 a.m., and released a deep sigh.
“Okay, I can’t take it anymore,” she muttered as she stood up.
Watchers Council – Hallway Outside Rowena’s Apartment – Moments Later
Willow banged on the door. When no one answered she said, “Open up. I know you’re in there.”
Inside the apartment, Kennedy, also still in the same clothes from the night before, sat up in Rowena’s bed and looked over to see the watcher still out cold. She went quickly to the banging door. She opened it to see Willow standing there.
“What’s wrong?” Kennedy asked.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Apartment – Continuous
Willow stormed into the room.
“What’s wrong?!” she parroted. “You’ve been in my girlfriend’s apartment all night! That’s what’s wrong!”
“Ex-girlfriend,” Kennedy accentuated her point with a raised finger. “And not that it should matter, but nothing happened last night.”
“The hell it didn’t,” Willow replied. “I saw you two in the hallway. She was hanging all over you.”
“Will?” Rowena called from the bedroom doorway, her eyes bloodshot and her body struggling to stay upright.
“You didn’t waste any time,” Willow shot over at Rowena. “But of all the women in the world that you had to boink, did it have to be…her?” She motioned toward Kennedy.
“Hey,” Kennedy said indignantly. “Some women happen to find me attractive.”
“Yeah, one watcher in particular,” Willow said, looking between the two of them. “Besides, I thought you were happy with Kadin!”
“It’s not what you think,” Rowena answered. “At least, I hope it’s not what you think…It’s not, is it?” she begged Kennedy. “All I remember is getting in the cab at that Alcove. Everything else is…a blur…”
“No, nothing happened,” Kennedy said to both Willow and Rowena. “She was drunk, Will. Real drunk, and I didn’t want to leave her alone because she might have gotten hurt.” She then pointed back and forth between Rowena and herself. “For god’s sake, we’re still dressed.”
Willow said nothing and her eyes darted around the room, unsure of where to look. Slowly, Rowena came over.
“And even if anything did happen,” Rowena began, “…like Ken said, why is it your business anyway? You don’t want me anymore. So is there anything else you need here before you leave?” Rowena asked.
“Not funny,” Willow replied. “Don’t go throwing this in my face.”
“I’m tired, so show yourself out,” was all Rowena said as she turned around and walked into the bedroom.
Without another word, Willow stormed from the room. Alone, Kennedy looked around and shrugged.
“And this is what I get for not wanting to be in the middle of it,” she sighed to herself.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Bedroom – Moments Later
Rowena was curled up on the bed in a fetal position.
Kennedy stood in the doorway with a slight grin. “Need some aspirin?” she asked.
“I need you to remove my entire head,” Rowena replied, not moving from her spot.
Kennedy gave a little chuckle and walked to the adjoining bathroom. She turned on the faucet and opened the medicine cabinet, taking out a bottle. She ran a cup under the sink. She then took three aspirins in her other hand and walked back to Rowena.
“Come on and sit up,” Kennedy said, putting the water and pills on the nightstand. “Take those,” she ordered as she left the room.
Slowly, Rowena moved to a sitting position, popped the pills in her mouth all at once and took a drink. Kennedy walked back into the room, carrying a bottle of beer.
“Oh no,” Rowena said, waving her off.
“It’ll help,” Kennedy answered. “Trick Faith taught me.”
“No really,” Rowena answered. “I’ll be fine.”
“Ro, you’re still buzzed. If you don’t want to hurl, too, I suggest you drink it.”
Kennedy’s arm was still outstretched. Reluctantly, Rowena reached for and took a drink. She motioned for Kennedy to sit down, which the slayer did.
“So tell me…What did happen last night?”
“Before or after you kissed me?” Kennedy teased.
Rowena groaned and tried to hide behind her hand. “After,” she muttered.
“Well, I got us a cab, where your busy little hands tried to go to town, but I managed to fend you off until we came back here. Luckily, I talked you into lying down to relax a little and you promptly passed out…Like I told Will, I was worried you might get sick, and ‘Watcher chokes to death on vomit’ or ‘Watcher falls to death from balcony’ are not headlines I wanted to read in the weekly Council newsletter.”
Rowena groaned again and took another drink.
“I’m so embarrassed,” she admitted. “I’m not handling this very well, am I?”
“No, we might have to lock you up for your own good,” Kennedy remarked, tongue in cheek. Once more, Rowena groaned and Kennedy gave a little chuckle. “I said it last night, but I’ll say it again. You’ll be fine. Just be glad it’s me who took you home and not someone else.”
Rowena gave a small nod. “I am…and I’m sorry…I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am, on so many levels.”
“Normally I would relish that kind of remark and have you start the list, but…” The grin Kennedy had been wearing began to slip away. “I lost her, too…And I know what that feels like – it seems like the end of the world, but it’s not…And maybe it’s not too late for you guys, but…if it is, maybe it’s for the best.” Kennedy slowly began to smile again. “I know Kadin makes me pretty damn happy and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.”
“I don’t want anyone else, either,” Rowena answered, and took a drink of her beer. “I…I remember when I left her to go to England. I thought, ‘I can’t feel any worse than I do now.’ Turns out…I was wrong.” A small silence passed between the two women. “I know I’m in no position to ask anything of you,” Rowena continued, “but I gotta know…do you still love her?”
“I’ll always love Will,” Kennedy replied. “She was my first. Not my first first, mind you, but…she was the first woman I didn’t have to sneak around with, so, yeah, there’ll always be a place for her in here.” She tapped her chest. “But Kadin…I don’t know how to describe it – she…she makes me glow…as corny as that sounds.”
“Doesn’t sound corny at all,” Rowena answered.
Kennedy continued to smile. “I look forward to waking up in the morning because I know that wherever she is, no matter the time zone, she’s thinking about me, loving me. So yeah, I do love Willow, and that’s why I’m not going to tell her anything about last night…It would hurt her because she still loves you. She still wants to be with you.”
“Coulda fooled me,” Rowena answered.
“Well, maybe you couldn’t see it through your bloodshot eyes but…” Kennedy began, making Rowena grin, “…she was fit to be tied a few minutes ago. And it wasn’t you she was jealous of…it was me. She thought I had something she still wants.”
Rowena seemed to consider her words as she took another drink.
Gina’s Apartment – Same Morning
Gina’s alarm went off and she stretched to wake up. She looked over to see her phone light blinking. She pressed the button to hear her mother breathing hard. “Gina,” her mother’s voice said in a frightened tone. “If you’re home, pick up?…Look, something happened at the house tonight. Something…attacked me, I’m okay now but…Call Mr. Febertoll’s house. I’m staying here tonight.”
With a concerned look, Gina picked up the phone and dialed. “Hope I didn’t wake you,” she said. “Good, good…Yes, actually, my mother just called. Can you meet me there at her place?”
Gina’s Mother’s House – Later that Day
Willow walked up to see Gina and her mother sitting on the steps of the front porch.
“Is she the monster hunter lady?” Gin’s mother asked her daughter in a hushed voice. Gina grinned lightly and nodded. “She’s cute,” her mom complimented.
“Mother,” Gina sighed. “I’m more worried about you at the moment.”
Gina rose as Willow got closer and walked down the steps to greet her. “Thanks for coming,” she said sincerely.
“Absolutely,” Willow replied. “Is mom starting to realize monsters are real?”
“After last night? Most definitely.”
Gina’s Mother’s House – Minutes Later
Willow was taking pictures of the kitchen as Gina and her mom watched.
“What time did this happen?” Willow asked.
“Around midnight, maybe one,” Gina’s mother replied.
“I didn’t get the message until this morning,” Gina added. “I called you first to see what you thought. She said the police tried to take fingerprints but the ‘person’ was wearing gloves.”
“They were more like gardening shears,” her mother answered. “Like…Freddie Kruger’s hands,” Mrs. Burdeau.
“Freddie, huh? I see where Gina gets her love of horror movies,” Willow teased.
Gina and Mrs. Burdeau both looked slightly embarrassed, but still Mrs. Burdeau spoke, “They weren’t gloves, though. They looked like hands, real hands, but scaly.”
“Like a fish?” Willow asked.
“No, more like flaky…dry…Like someone with bad sunburn,” she answered.
“Hmm…doesn’t match any descriptions I can think of off the top of my head,” Willow replied. “But I’ll run a check with this info and the other details you gave me.”
“So what should we do?” Gina asked.
“Was Mr. Burdeau here, too?” Willow asked.
“No dear, he’s been dead a few years now.”
“I’m sorry,” Willow replied.
Mrs. Burdeau graciously nodded. “It’s just me now. But I haven’t had any problems here. It’s a nice neighborhood, quiet. That’s why my door was unlocked.”
“From now on? Lock it,” Willow said with a soft smile. She nodded to the woman to follow her. “Like I said, I’ll run a check and let you know what I turn up. Until then, it might not be a bad idea to have mom stay with you, Gina.”
“I’ve never been able to help anyone before. Why should it matter?” Gina replied.
“Because there is safety in numbers, regardless. I’ll also assign a slayer to look over your place,” she added.
Gina nodded, but her mother looked confused. “I’ll explain later Ma,” she told her. “Stay here,” she added, as she followed Willow to the front of the house.
“She got lucky this time,” Gina said, as they walked down the porch steps.
“Yeah, she was,” Willow replied. “Quick thinking on her part saved her life.” Willow stifled a yawn.
“So I did wake you up. You lied to me,” Gina tsked with her finger wagging.
“No, actually I haven’t gone to bed yet,” Willow answered. Gina looked confused. “I saw my ex-girlfriend going into my gir – well, ex-girlfriends’ apartment last night. Needless to say, I didn’t get much rest.”
“I’m sorry,” Gina replied.
“I was told it wasn’t what it looked like,” Willow answered. “Anyway, it’s not my business.”
“So you all work at the Council and live there too?” Gina asked.
“Yeah, all of us do. The watchers who are there full-time at the headquarters have their own places and the slayers and watchers-in-training have dorm rooms. But yeah…we’re just all one big happy family…okay, that’s stretching it,” Willow answered. “But yeah, we all stay there because, again…safety in numbers.”
“I’ll be certain she packs a few things and stays with me until I hear back from you,” Gina replied.
Willow gave a nod. “I’ll let you know.”
“Thank you, Willow,” Gina answered as she took a step closer. “You’re going above and beyond on this one.” The back of Gina’s fingers traced Willow’s cheek.
“I’m just doing my job,” Willow replied.
“And I appreciate it,” Gina replied.
Nervously, Willow nodded and then opened the door to her Jeep. Gina looked a little concerned and uncertain.
“Hey, it’ll be okay,” Willow told her, running her hand down her arm. “You’ll see.” Willow then leaned over and kissed Gina softly on the cheek. Gina turned her head slightly and returned the kiss on Willow’s lips, before the witch pulled back.
“Thank you,” Gina told her again, as she slowly turned and walked back toward her mother’s house.
Willow let out a long sigh as she watched her go.
Fade to Black
End of Act Three