Watchers Council – Conference Room – Moments Later
Kennedy pushed Gaiden roughly into the soundproofed room, shoving him into a chair. Rowena and Willow filed in, slamming the door shut behind them.
“Talk, now,” Rowena commanded. “And don’t leave anything out. I want to know who just did the appearing-disappearing act in our dining room. I want to know what it was that scared you so much about her, and if I even suspect that you’re holding anything back…Well, I’m a tolerant woman by nature, but that slayer standing on your left, she’s got a really short fuse.”
“Look,” Gaiden told her, “this really isn’t something that we should…”
“Kennedy,” Rowena looked over at the slayer, “break his arm. Both of them if you have to.”
“Ro?” Willow demanded in shock, “That’s not…”
“Enough,” Rowena snapped, without turning to face the witch, “I’ve had enough of his evasiveness, his temporal mechanics and his lies. I want answers.” She looked up at Kennedy. “Go ahead.”
Kennedy took a step toward him.
Gaiden recoiled. “Okay, okay,” he quickly surrendered, holding up his hands defensively.
“Hold off, Ken, for now.”
“Okay,” Gaiden began, taking a deep, calming breath. “I don’t actually know that woman personally, but I can say with some reasonable certainty that she was a slayer.”
Rowena tossed her hands in the air and then nodded to Kennedy. “Go ahead.”
“What? It’s the truth!” Gaiden insisted.
“You said that you were the last of the Council. So tell me, were you lying then or are you lying now?” Rowena asked harshly.
“Neither,” Gaiden told her, the words coming out rapid-fire. “She was a slayer, but she wasn’t a member of the Council.”
Rowena looked at him for a moment. “Go on,” she prodded him, “and choose your words carefully. The first lie you tell, Kennedy breaks all the bones in your left hand. The second, all the bones in your right. You don’t want to know what happens when you get to three strikes.”
“Ro,” Willow quietly interrupted, “take it easy, okay? We’ll get what we need to know from him, but I’m more a proponent of the ‘catching more flies with honey’ approach.”
“We tried that, Will,” Rowena replied. “Honey didn’t get us anywhere.”
Willow shook her head. “Ro…”
“Will, if you have another suggestion, one that’ll make him talk, I’m all for it. But right now, I’m well past the point where I’m willing to break a few kneecaps.” Rowena glared at Gaiden. “Talk,” she ordered.
Gaiden quickly glanced over at a very angry-looking Kennedy, then his eyes once again drifted over to Rowena’s expression, and he let out a long breath. “Less than a year from now, the Watcher’s Council will splinter,” he said simply, his shoulder slumping.
Rowena frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“It’ll fall apart,” Gaiden gestured around the room. “You didn’t expect an organization this size not to have a little dissension in the ranks, did you?”
Gaiden nodded. “A decision has been made recently, a verdict reached by the Council, and because of it, some watchers, slayers…some will decide that the Watchers Council is no longer part of the solution.”
Rowena said nothing, but glared stoically at him.
“The first official Slayer War will begin about sixteen months from now, and it’ll last almost three years. The second Slayer War will last another sixty. Slayer War Three started thirty years before we came back in time, and that was the one that almost eradicated all of us.” Gaiden continued, “You thought it was bad when it was just two slayers at each other’s throats, imagine thousands of them, ready to kill each other with their bare hands.”
“Two slayers at each other’s throats…” Rowena muttered.
“Faith,” Willow and Kennedy both added at the same time.
“You’re saying the decision about Faith is what starts these…Slayer Wars?” Rowena asked.
“Please don’t hurt me,” he added. “But I’ve said too much already. The point is, the Council is fighting a war against itself…”
“So since your Council was preoccupied…”
Gaiden nodded. “The demons started to win. We were our own worst enemy. The demon population rocketed upwards because we were fighting ourselves rather than the enemy. And in the middle of it, this demon, the Diracian that Vi saw herself kill, was getting more and more powerful. They – the other side, for want of a better term – saw him as the solution. Slayers like the one you just saw want to wipe the earth clean and start over. Let this apocalypse be the final one. Every time we mounted an assault against this demon, they were ready to counter it, until it was just too powerful for us to beat.” He shrugged. “Not that it mattered. By then, there were so few of us left…”
“How many of them…”
Gaiden shook his head. “Hundreds, thousands. I don’t know.”
Gaiden nodded. “And they’re coming here.”
Rowena closed her eyes for a moment. “How soon?”
“They know when the next window opens. They’ll come just before we send someone back in time to kill the Diracian,” Gaiden replied. “That’s when we’ll be most vulnerable, and they know it.”
Rowena turned her back on the young man for a moment and faced the back of the room, pressing her fingers against her temples. After a long silence, she turned back to Gaiden.
“You’re asking me,” she summarized, “to prepare our slayers to fight, and possibly kill, an army of women just like them.”
“I know it’s asking a lot –”
“You have no idea how much you’re asking,” Rowena retorted. “Maybe in your time killing a bunch of women who think they’re doing the right thing is commonplace, but you’ll have to excuse me if I happen to have a moral quandary or two.”
“They’re evil,” Gaiden told her.
At the words, Kennedy got a peculiar look on her face.
“Says you,” Rowena snapped, jabbing a finger in his direction. “You’re trying to drag us into your civil war, and you haven’t told me a damned thing that makes me want to pick your side.”
“It’s my war, yes, but it’s one your Council started by not reinstating Faith Lehane.”
“I-I-I can’t believe this.” Rowena ran a hand through her hair. “I need more information. I-I need to know how this all unfolded.”
“We don’t have time,” Gaiden replied.
“The hell we don’t! According to you, I’ve got at least sixteen months to change this…to stop the war from happening.”
“But what about the war that’s coming tomorrow?” Gaiden asked her. “We need the slayers here to stop it, so that demon is killed, so it saves our society.”
“But if I change the events that are happening now, then the demon won’t be an issue – the Council will still be together.”
“Are you willing to bet an entire civilization on the fact you might be able to change what’s already come to pass in my reality? Or are you going to take the course we know will work, which means sending Vi back to kill that demon?” No one in the room said anything. Gaiden was silent for a long time, suitably chastened. “I understand your reservations,” he told her, “but they are coming. So this entire conversation is moot. You can’t win this fight, but you can hold them back long enough for someone to go back and end this war once and for all.”
Rowena offered no response. She ran to the conference room door, nearly slamming it in Willow’s face as the witch ran after her.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
“It’s not true,” Willow insisted. Rowena stopped in the middle of the lobby. “It can’t be.”
“Why not?” Rowena asked. “Take a second, Will, and look at what’s happened to us this year – everything that I’ve done. My God, I thought I was doing the right thing by letting Buffy take over, but maybe I should have stayed.”
“And maybe in Gaiden’s reality, you did stay. Maybe you didn’t come up with the idea of Buffy being a good choice. Or maybe you left, but thanks to this conversation you went back, and then Faith doesn’t get reinstated because you weren’t working on her appeal. We’re not dealing in absolutes here, Ro.”
“Well, here’s an absolute for you Will. Five minutes ago, in that very conference room, I bodily threatened a man.”
“Hey, that was just a good cop/bad cop thing.” Willow looked uncertain for a moment. “Wasn’t it? Okay, I was a little slow to catch it at first, but…it was, wasn’t it?” she repeated.
Rowena did not turn to face the redhead. “Yes, it was,” she replied, “but if it came down to the wire, at the very last moment, I would’ve gone through with that threat.”
Willow insisted, “In the end, you would’ve stopped yourself.”
“Maybe,” Rowena replied noncommittally, “but it almost doesn’t matter: a year ago, I wouldn’t even have made the threat, bluff or no bluff.”
“And now, I have to order our slayers to fight an army of other slayers that’ll be here in a little over a day,” Rowena said. “God help me, how do I give that order?”
Willow closed her eyes and opened them to meet Rowena’s. “The answer is, you don’t,” she said simply.
Rowena finally turned to face the witch, the question, unasked, in her eyes.
“Don’t order them,” Willow repeated. “Ask them. Draw a line in the sand and ask them to step across it. Tell them the stakes, tell them what the risk is, tell them what they can lose and tell them what they’re fighting for. Then ask them to fight.” Willow continued, “You know as well as I do that you can’t order them to fight this battle, or any battle for that matter, so ask.”
“Will, we’re talking to the death here. We’re talking about slayers fighting, and very possibly killing, slayers. We’re talking piles of bodies,” Rowena told her. “How are you so calm about this?”
“Ro, we didn’t choose this fight, no matter what Gaiden might say,” Willow replied, patiently. “It chose us. The Coven is in. We’ll perform the spell, as long as you can get the slayers to watch our backs.”
Rowena closed her eyes for a moment, her expression passive. She took a series of deep breaths, her eyes bouncing rapidly behind her eyelids.
“Get everyone into the conference room,” she finally spoke, then her eyes snapped open. “Get every slayer, every watcher and a shoehorn if they won’t all fit. Every human being, vampire and demon who has a connection with this council, I want them in that room within thirty minutes.”
“Dawn and Skye?”
Rowena nodded. “We might need that extra energy boost Dawn could supply. It wouldn’t hurt to have a vamp on our side in this one, either.”
“On our side?”
“She has just as much to lose in this as we do. You think an invading army of slayers will leave Dawn alone when they see she’s a part of the Coven?” Rowena pointed out.
“Okay, gotta give you a point there,” Willow admitted.
“Thirty minutes,” Rowena reiterated. “Get everyone.”
Infirmary – Minutes Later
Rowena pushed her way into the infirmary. “How many casualties can you handle here?”
Dr. Miller looked up. “Well, this isn’t exactly a trauma center, but quite a few. Why? Are we expecting a plane crash in our backyard any time soon?”
“What would you need to maximize the number we can handle?”
“Five more doctors,” he replied.
“That may be a little hard to deliver,” Rowena answered.
The doctor closed his eyes, as if calculating. “Three nurses, or at least three people, fully trained in emergency first aid.”
“How well can we triage from here?”
“Pretty well. What are we expecting?”
Rowena took a long breath. “In times of war, doctors used to mark patients with a red ‘D,’ so that the nurses knew that the patient was too far gone to save. The nurses had standing orders to give them morphine for the pain and let them die, so that the doctor would treat someone who could be saved.”
“I know the history,” Dr. Miller told her sharply. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying,” Rowena told him, “get lots of morphine. I’ll see to those nurses.”
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Minutes Later
The buzz of conversation suddenly halted as Rowena stepped into the packed conference room. She walked down to take a place behind the podium.
“By now, you all know who we’re fighting,” she told them after a long breath. “What you don’t know is what’s at stake.”
She looked up at the faces that looked down at her. Each looked as if they’d been pushed almost to the point of emotional ruin.
“Nothing,” Rowena said simply, “absolutely nothing. Win or lose, we’ll never really know what the outcome is, because all of us will be dust by then. I’m asking you to fight for a future that you’ll never see, and I’m asking you to do it in the full knowledge that the people you’re trying to save will never know what we did here.” She paused for a moment. “A year from now, the Council may collapse. Everything we’ve fought to maintain, everything we’ve worked for, will be gone.” Her gaze dropped to Willow, and her body visibly relaxed. “Every action has consequences, every action. Sometimes those consequences are immediate, sometimes we never see them. Sometimes, generations down the road pay the price for our mistakes. And sometimes, they’re mistakes we didn’t even realize we made. But right here, right now, we can give ourselves a second chance. Maybe the next time around, we’ll get it right, maybe we won’t. But the chance to get it right is what I’m asking you to fight for now.” Rowena stopped and took a series of deep breaths before she spoke again, “I don’t…” her voice caught. “I don’t know if we can win this fight, and even if we do, I don’t know if whoever we send back can defeat this demon. And even if the demon is killed, I don’t know if it’ll make any difference. I can’t tell you how hard this is going to be. A safe bet is that when this is all over, just about everyone in this room will be dead.” She closed her eyes, composing herself. “It’s an even safer bet that we’ll all face our worst fears, and the worst parts of ourselves, in the next twenty-four hours. So every man and woman here has a choice. We’re not ordering anyone to take part in this. You can stay and fight, and maybe – probably – die, and give us all a chance to change our future, or you can leave, and whatever is going to happen tomorrow will happen. If anyone isn’t there, I assure you that no less will be thought of you, no charges will be brought forth. And for those that decide to stay and fight…I suggest that you do whatever it is you always said you’d do if you only had one day to live, because chances are…you do.”
Then, in the deafening silence, she quietly left the room.
Everyone in the room looked at the door through which the watcher had disappeared. Finally, Vi stood and walked after her, trailed closely by Xander and then Willow.
Watchers Council – Vi’s Room – Later
When Xander appeared in her bedroom doorway, Vi was already seated on the end of her bed, smoothing out the wrinkles in her black suede jacket, which she had clearly just fished out of the garbage can. She opened her hand, revealing a small, crumpled piece of paper. With the tips of her thumbs, she unfolded and flattened it out, then, very deliberately, slid it into the inside jacket pocket. She opened the small mahogany box in front of her, removing the pair of stakes Xander had given her, and laid them gently on the bed next to the jacket.
“You’re sure about this?” Xander asked. There was no need to clarify what she was sure about.
Vi nodded. “If this is it, then at least I can make sure that I do it right.” She turned around to face him. “Are you staying?”
“You have to ask?”
“Well, this isn’t exactly your fight…”
“Vi,” Xander cut her off. “This is as much my home as it is yours. You’re going to be here, so’s Willow, Dawn, Ro…Everybody I know and love is going to be fighting and dying right here, so I’m gonna be fighting right along with them.” He shrugged. “As ways to die go, I could do worse.”
Vi looked at him intensely for a moment, then rushed into his arms.
“Thanks,” she said simply.
She looked up at him and smiled. “For staying.”
Watchers Council – Skye’s Cell – Same Time
“They sent you to feed me?” Skye’s eyebrows arched as she watched Dawn enter the cell block.
“No,” Dawn replied, “I volunteered.”
“So, you’re not staying…”
Dawn frowned, “What makes you think that?”
“You heard the Blonde Bombshell,” Skye said, “do whatever it is you always said you’d do if you only had one day to live,” she said, her voice a severely caricatured version of Rowena’s. “Somehow I don’t think hanging with the undead vestige of your ex-lover qualifies.”
“The Coven needs me to perform the spell,” Dawn shrugged.
Skye’s lips pursed. “Yeah, I always thought you could get a pretty good measure on how desperate the Council was by who they got to help them. A warlock, a pet vampire…What are they going to ally with next, Angelus? Oh wait…”
“We make an interesting pair, don’t we?” Dawn said, handing a plastic cup through the prison bars.
“What’s it this time, pig’s blood?”
“Cow,” Dawn replied, “they ran out of pig.”
“Thanks,” Skye said, taking the cup. She ran her fingers around its rim for a few moments before she looked up, almost surprised to see Dawn still standing there. “Look, I imagine you have other things you’d rather be doing. You know; the whole last night on earth thing.”
“Ro told us to do exactly what we always said we’d do if we only had one day to live,” Dawn told her, as she sat down, cross-legged, in front of the prison bars, “and I am.”
Watchers Council – Faith & Robin’s Apartment – Same Time
“So…” Faith said idly, “the infirmary?”
Robin nodded, “I have plenty of training in first aid, guess they found that useful.”
“I got a feelin’ that’s gonna be needed,” Faith commented.
“You’re staying?” Robin asked.
Faith whirled to glare angrily at him, then relaxed after a moment, “I guess, all things considered, I can’t blame you for askin’.”
“It’s just, you’ve got nothing tying you to the Council anymore. This isn’t really your fight. Not anymore.” He looked intensely into her eyes. “And I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“You know, a few months ago, I woulda probably agreed with you. This isn’t my fight,” she said.
“So why are you staying? You heard Ro, it might not matter.”
Faith looked at him, a small smile gracing her lips. “Which is exactly when staying and fighting matters the most.”
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time
The heavy punching bag almost seemed to groan in protest as Kennedy pounded it mercilessly.
Kennedy swung around to see Gaiden standing behind her. “Great,” she muttered, “the guy who got us into this mess in the first place.”
“I take it you’re not staying?”
Kennedy shook her head. “No, I’m staying. This is my home, and I’ll be damned if I let anyone come back and tear it apart.” She glared at him. “Including you.”
Gaiden ignored the jab and nodded at the punching bag. “So what’s with the calisthenics? Don’t you have something else you’d rather be doing tonight?”
Kennedy turned back to the punching bag, taking a deep stance and bringing her hands up. “Not like I have to worry about that,” she replied, as she loosed a barrage of punches at what would be the midsection on a human being. “I’m not going to die.”
Gaiden smiled. “Perfect, me neither. I think I’ll decide to live too.” Kennedy said nothing, just continued to work the bag, so he went on. “So, I was wondering if you’d care to join me for a cup of coffee.”
Kennedy shuffled back a step. “Um, I think your history books might have forgotten a thing or two. One: I don’t move that fast, even under soon-to-be-dead circumstances,” she paused. “Unless I’m on the rebound, or in Bucharest, or there’s a weird May Day spell-thingie going on,” she continued. She then gestured at herself. “Two: gay.”
Gaiden looked at her, confused for the briefest of moments. Then he closed his eyes and pressed his fingers against his forehead, as if he were suddenly afflicted by a headache. “Oh, no, no, no. That’s not what I meant,” his features scrunched up, his eyes still closed. “Gross, no.”
“Gross?” Kennedy demanded, indignantly. “Jeez, here I thought I was kinda hot.” Gaiden groaned as if his headache had just significantly worsened. “Guess I know even less about what guys find hot than I thought I did.”
“That’s…that’s not what I meant,” he said quickly. “I’d just love to sit down and talk with you.”
“With me? Why?”
“Well, without sounding too much like a stalker,” Gaiden replied, “I’ve always admired you.”
“Me?” Kennedy’s eyes widened. “They talk about me three hundred years from now?”
“Well, I don’t know about they,” Gaiden said with a smile, “but I certainly do.” He held out his hand. “So, what do you say? Coffee? I promise to be a perfect gentleman.”
Kennedy put her fists on her hips and looked at him quizzically. “You paying?”
“Well…I don’t actually know how. All my money is inside a chip in my thumb three hundred years from now. I can’t see any cashier being able to make change.”
Kennedy rolled her eyes. “If I had a nickel for every time I heard that one…”
“Is that a yes?”
Kennedy smiled and nodded. “Next time you time travel, though, bring some cash.”
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Apartment – Same Time
“So is the Coven ready?” Rowena asked, as she sat down across from Willow in her living room. “Dawn too? We need everyone magically we can get.”
Willow’s eyebrows arched. “Yes, I realize that. But Ro, I really don’t want to talk business right now.”
Rowena winced. “Right, sorry. Okay, no more business talk.” She paused. “I just wanted to say that, if we live through this…”
“Ro, we’re going –”
“Will, you know as well as I do that the odds of that are slim at best,” Rowena interrupted gently. “It’s gonna take a miracle, but if we live through this, I’m strongly considering other choices I can make in life.”
“What do you…?” Willow was shocked. “You mean,” she gestured between the two of them, “us?” Her voice was meek.
“No!” Rowena insisted. “Not like that. If anything, I want you around for the rest of my life.”
Willow looked immensely relieved, then surprised. “Really?”
“You don’t feel the same way?” Rowena asked.
“What? No, of course I do, I just…Wow.”
“Will, I walked away from being the Head of the Council, an honor that any watcher formally trained would give their eye teeth for. I did it for the Council’s sake, or at least I thought I did.” Rowena shook the thought from her head. “But I also did it because we – you and I, as a couple – we wouldn’t have survived if I had stayed.”
“Then what are you talking about changing?” Willow asked.
“I’m a watcher, I always will be, but I don’t want that to be all I am anymore. Giles, he’s a man, he had the chance to wait. I don’t have that luxury and, as Xander pointed out recently,” Rowena said with a small grin. “I’ve got a few years ahead of you.”
Willow looked confused at first, but then nodded slowly. “Really? A little mini-Ro? Well, this is news…I mean, how long have you felt like this?”
“Around the time we broke up,” Rowena replied. “I realized that, when you went… there also went my chances at having a wonderful parent for any kids I might have. I missed you, but…I realized I just missed the future we might have had together. And I also realized, my mom was correct about one thing – that when you do find the right one, it’s not about how they make you feel, but how you feel about yourself when they’re around. Without you, I felt empty, and if that’s the case, then that’s the person I should be raising a son or daughter with. But again, with certain annihilation looming over our heads, this whole conversation is probably a moot point.”
“I know you well enough to know that once you’ve talked yourself into something, there’s little I can do to talk you out of it,” Willow said with a smile. “If this is really what you want…”
“It is,” Rowena said, determination in her voice.
Willow offered a mischievous grin. “Well then, I suppose that ends the ‘business as usual’ portion of the evening.”
“I suppose it does,” Rowena replied.
“And, oh, look,” Willow said in mock surprise. “Someone left the bedroom door open.” She stood up and almost danced towards the open door of Rowena’s bedroom, disappearing through it. “Oh, and my, my, there’s this nice big canopy bed sitting in the middle of this room, who’da thunk it?”
A sweater flew out of the bedroom, landing on the off-white carpet at Rowena’s feet. Rowena smiled. “I’ll be along in two seconds, Will. There’s just something I need to do.”
“Well, don’t take too long,” Willow’s voice sing-songed back. A pair of jeans dropped onto the living room carpet a few feet from where the sweater had landed.
“I won’t,” Rowena promised as she turned around and walked to the kitchen counter, where she picked the handset of the phone off of the receiver. Her hand shook slightly as she dialed the 902 area code. She chewed uncomfortably on her lower lip as she waited for the person on the other end to pick up.
“Hi, Mom?” She took a long shaky breath. “It’s Ro – Blanche. No, it’s not dad I called to talk to…or Joseph. I actually called to talk to you. I just wanted to say that I wish…I wish I could be everything you wanted me to be, and have all the things you want me to have. But there are just some things I can’t change. I wish I knew how to make you understand everything that’s happened to me in the last few years, but I don’t. All I know is that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m with the people I’m supposed to be with.” She paused for a moment, listening intently. “No, I suppose I don’t expect you to understand that,” she said sadly. “I just wanted you to know I do love you, Mom, and you did teach me a lot that I’m grateful for…No, every thing’s…everything is okay.” Rowena swallowed hard. “Yeah, I might be back some time this summer. We’ll see…No, just tell them that I love them, too, and I miss them. I’ll see you soon…Bye.” She softly deposited the handset back on the cradle.
Watchers Council – Robin & Faith’s Apartment – Evening
Faith catapulted herself into Robin’s arms, and the two fell heavily on the bed.
Faith straddled him and pulled his lips to hers, as his arms wrapped tightly around her. In one quick motion, he flipped her over so he towered over her. She gave him a soft smile, which he turned, just before his lips found their way to her neck.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Apartment – Same Time
Rowena gently brushed a stray lock of hair away from Willow’s eyes as she slid comfortably into next to the witch, her head automatically finding a comfortable hollow on Willow’s shoulder. “Hi, stranger,” she whispered.
Willow looked down at the top of Rowena’s head. “Forgotten all about me already?” she asked playfully.
Rowena’s eyes tilted upwards to meet Willow’s. “Never,” she replied with a smile, “but I’d forgotten how much I missed this.”
“What is it?” Rowena asked.
“I was just thinking, what if we forget all this? I mean, what if when we end this, we forget all about it?”
Rowena smiled. “Then that’s all the more reason why we should make the most of this while it lasts.”
Watchers Council – Skye’s Cell – Same Time
Skye’s pale hand reached through the bars to gently stroke Dawn’s hair. The two shared a smile as Dawn picked up her cup of tea. The two looked across their respective cups at each other, neither one speaking a word.
Starbucks – Same Time
Kennedy lifted the thick ceramic mug to her lips as Gaiden spoke to her, elaborating upon his story with waves of his hands.
The pair shared a laugh as they simultaneously sipped from their respective cups of coffee.
Watchers Council – Andrew’s Apartment – Same Time
Tracey sat up abruptly in the bed, straddling Andrew, holding her hand to her forehead. “Ouch!” she yelled.
Andrew mimicked her posture, lying flat on the bed, holding his hands to his own forehead. “Owwww,” he whined, “I think I’m seeing stars.” Without thinking, he rolled onto his side, reaching for a bottle of aspirin on the bedside table.
Tracey lost her balance and fell off the edge of the bed, landing on the ground with a very painful-sounding thud.
“Oh,” Andrew leaned over, his head dropping below the edge of the bed to give his girlfriend a closer inspection, “are you okay?”
A loud smack resonated through the room, and Andrew rolled back onto the bed, holding his nose. “Ouch,” he whined.
Fade to Black
Watchers Council – Lobby – Morning
Rowena stood outside the large double doors of the conference room, fidgeting nervously.
“Ro,” Willow prodded. “We’ve been waiting out here for ten minutes. Whoever’s in there is going to think we bolted.”
“I know,” Rowena replied, her tone hushed. “I’m just…afraid to open that door.”
“I mean, what’ll that say about my qualities as a leader if there isn’t anyone on the other side of that door?”
“They’ll be there,” Willow affirmed.
“Adding X-ray vision to your list o’ powers, eh?”
“Nope.” Willow smiled. “Just my own witchy woman’s intuition.”
Rowena took a deep breath, and pushed the door open and walked in.
Every single chair was occupied, and someone stood on every single square foot of carpeting available in the room. The diminutive duo had to push their way through just to reach the front of the table.
Rowena stood for a moment, looking around the room, an expression of shock painted on her face.
“Pick your jaw up off of the floor, dear. That’s not very leadershippy of you,” Willow leaned over to whisper in the blonde’s ear.
Rowena fought to maintain her composure as she looked at the faces around the room, waiting for her to say something. In spite of her efforts, her eyes watered. Her voice wavered as she spoke.
“Okay,” she announced, “we have our marching orders. Let’s roll.”
End of Act Three