Originally broadcasted 5/2/06
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Apartment – Night
A slight grin crept across Giles’s face as Rowena set a teakettle and a plate of chocolate-covered biscuits on the coffee table in her living room. The elder watcher leaned in and eagerly took one of the desserts.
“Jaffa Cakes? How did you know?” he said quickly, before biting into it.
Rowena smiled as she poured him a cup of tea.
“Willow. She always keeps a box handy, just in case she needs to ask you a favor.”
Giles stopped mid-bite and looked down at his half-eaten cookie.
“Is there something else I should know about this meeting tomorrow that you haven’t told me?”
“God, no,” Rowena answered with a grin. Her smile faltered as she placed the teacup in front of Giles. “I called you here tonight to ask your opinion…” She hesitated and then continued, “…to ask you if I’m doing the right thing by resigning.”
Uncomfortable, Giles set down his cookie and leaned back on the sofa. “Well, I’m not really an expert in these matters. I suppose much will depend on Willow. Any relationship will always require its fair share of work to maintain and –”
“Actually,” Rowena said, cutting him off, “I meant…turning my back on the council.” She avoided his eyes and began stirring her tea. “I can’t help feeling that I’m being selfish by stepping down like this.”
Giles quickly leaned in and reached for Rowena’s hands, forcing her to meet his eye.
“That’s ridiculous and you know it. You’re not quitting the council…you’re shifting your focus.”
“But nothing.” Giles took a moment. “Rowena, you have done an exemplary job this past year. I know on the surface it might not feel that way. This job is certainly no walk in the park, and I have a team of heart specialists that will attest to that.”
“I can’t shake the feeling that I’m…giving up.”
“You’re trading up,” Giles told her. “If this job makes you miserable, then I believe resigning is the best thing that you can do – for yourself and for the council.”
“That’s the thing,” Rowena began. “I’m not miserable because of the job. I’m miserable because Will is right. It’s too hard for us to both be policy makers while sharing the same bed. Especially when we rarely agree on the policies.”
“You deserve to be happy, just like everyone else. So I assure you that you are not being selfish.” Rowena smiled graciously as both watchers sat back in their seats, and Giles continued. “When I asked you to be my successor, I imagined these difficulties might surface.”
“Then why ask?” Rowena begged.
“Because we wouldn’t have known for sure until you tried. I just wish you had contacted me sooner, instead of you and Willow suffering in silence. Truthfully, if Becca had been head of the Coven when I was in charge, I suspect I would’ve had four heart attacks.”
Rowena grinned. “I’m telling her you said that,” she teased.
“Bugger, I take it back,” Giles said, reaching for a second Jaffa Cake. “If she heard that, she’d have me eating nothing but rice cakes for a week.” He took a sip of tea and asked, “So, when are you planning to make the announcement?”
“Tomorrow,” Rowena answered quickly, as she traced the flowered design on her teacup with her index finger. “At the morning meeting.”
“And I take it Willow still doesn’t know?” he asked. Rowena shook her head guiltily. “Are you planning to tell her before you make the announcement?”
“I want to, it’s just…” Rowena put down her cup and sighed. “Sometimes it’s alright but…it gets awkward at others.”
“Such as?” Giles asked.
“Well,” she said, rolling her shoulders, “sometimes we can talk and enjoy each other’s company, but then it shifts a hundred and eighty degrees when we remember we shouldn’t. So then we stand there in uncomfortable silence, or we both act professional, as if we haven’t been having sex for the past –”
“Right! Okay, well, I think that you should talk to her beforehand,” Giles said uncomfortably. “This new, and not so new, arrangement might come as a surprise to some people. Willow included.”
Ro sighed. “I know, and I will tell her.” She paused, then leaned forward and grabbed a cookie. “So why do they call these cakes?” She examined the Jaffa Cake for a moment. “They look like more of a cookie to me, or maybe a biscuit.”
Giles sighed as he took another sip of tea. “Speaking of subject changes, what time should I come by tomorrow?”
Rowena put the cookie down on her plate. “We usually start around ten.”
“I’ll be there,” he replied.
“Thank you for coming tomorrow,” she continued. “It really means a lot that I’ve got your support.”
The elder watcher smiled. “I’m glad I can help.”
Woodbine Avenue – Later that Night
“Can we go back yet?” Zoe asked, as she marched alongside Heli, Marly and Sarah through the empty street. “Spring my ass. It is friggin’ freezing out here.”
“You know we can’t,” Heli said with an irritated sigh. “We still have to hit Franklin and Clinton. And next time bring a hoodie if you’re cold.”
“Jeez, what’s your problem?” Zoe said, crossing her arms.
“You’ll have to excuse Heli, Zoe,” Marly began. “She’s bucking for that number three spot now that Faith’s out for good. Also, in Sweden, cold is a sign of weakness.”
Heli stopped in her tracks. “I’m from Finland, you half-wit. And did you ever think that maybe I’d rather do my job than listen to complaints about the weather?”
Zoe and Sarah exchanged annoyed looks before stepping around Heli and Marly on their way down the street.
“Oh, well excuse me,” Marly yelled, raising her hands defensively. “I’m sorry! See, I forgot that you have no human feelings so a little thing like compassion is a bit much to ask.”
Heli matched Marly’s defensive posture. “I dare you to say that again.”
Marly grinned. “What, is there something wrong with your hearing, or did you just forget to recharge your robot power pack?”
Far End of Woodbine Avenue – Same Time
“I swear. one of these days those two are going to kill each other,” Zoe said with a sigh.
“Really?” Sarah said fearfully. “Should we go break them up?”
Zoe glanced back at Heli and Marly, who were still arguing. “Nah. This is why Kennedy has them patrolling together. She wants them to work out their problems. Which will hopefully be soon.”
Suddenly Sarah stopped dead in her tracks. “What’s that?” She said softly to Zoe, pointing to a shadowy area at the end of the alley where the limp form of a teenage boy slumped against a dumpster. “Get Heli.”
Zoe nodded and moved away slowly, not taking her eyes off the body. Quietly, Sarah said a prayer and made the sign of the cross.
Woodbine Avenue – Seconds Later
“Take it back!” Marly shouted, as she held Heli in a headlock.
“Hey guys!” Zoe yelled as she ran up. “You need to come now.”
Heli looked up from her headlock. “What is it?”
“There’s a dead guy.”
Far End of Woodbine Avenue – Seconds Later
Heli quickly moved towards the body, as Sarah, Marly and Zoe looked on. She leaned in and felt his neck. “No pulse.” The other three slayers grimaced as Heli rolled the body away from the dumpster, revealing a series of slash marks on his torso and face.
“I’m gonna be sick,” Zoe said. She put her hand over her mouth and backed away.
Heli turned to the other girls. “Go check out the rest of the alley. It looks like a demon did this.”
Marly and Sarah both nodded and left without objection. Heli turned her attention back to the body and whispered, “Täydellinen.”
“How can you stand it?” Zoe asked from behind Heli, her face ghost white.
“I’m a slayer,” Heli replied simply. “It’s my job.” With that, she stood up and pulled a small radio from her belt. “Slayer three to base. I need a clean up team at 145 Woodbine Avenue. One fatality.”
End of Teaser