Act 4

Fade In:
Watchers Council
– Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Morning

Rowena glanced at Skye and Dawn, who were sitting on her and Willow’s  couch. Willow was pacing back and forth, occasionally stopping to glare at the telephone.

“How long has she been like this?” Dawn whispered to Rowena.

“All night, I think,” she replied. “I was too dizzy to keep watching her pace and fell asleep around two a.m.”

“Have you lost your mind, Mom?” Willow wassaying over the speakerphone. “O.P.R.A.? Add another consonant and you’d have the richest woman in America suing you for infringement. In fact, you still might, a-and let’s not forget to mention how dangerous this can be to the public at large. Not all vamps take this ‘pledge.'”

I’m convinced your best friend Harmony has,” Sheila replied.

“Mom!” Willow called. “How many times do I have to tell you…Harmony Kendall was not my best friend in high school? She wasn’t even a friend, period.”

“Willow, dear,” Sheila Rosenberg’s voice said from the speakerphone. “I distinctly remember you hanging out with Xander Harris and the blonde girl.”

“That blonde’s name is Buffy, not Harmony,” Willow said wearily.

“Oh yes, Bunny.” Sheila paused.

“Not Bunny,” Willow corrected. “Buffy.”

“Well, still, Harmony says she went to school with you, and that’s good enough. Poor thing…we went to so many funerals right after graduation…was hers one of them?”

“No, Mom,” Willow answered. “We didn’t even know she died. In fact, the first thing she did when we met up later was latch on to my neck! If Oz hadn’t been there, she could have killed me!”

“I’m sure you’re exaggerating, dear. Harmony is a lovely girl, and so is her girlfriend.”

Skye cut in. “Mrs. Rosenberg, this is Skye Talisker.”

“Hello, dear. How are you?”

“Uh, fine. Thanks. Listen, I literally cannot emphasize enough how dangerous Luna is. She is not normal. In fact, she is deeply, deeply sick.”

Sheila tsked. “I so hate to see such discriminatory bias, especially in today’s young women. Tell me, Star, is it vampires you object to or lesbians?”

That got Skye blinking. “Neither. And my name is Skye, by the way, not Star.”

“I understand, I do, really. You’ve lived your whole life under your sister’s shadow, hearing only her side of events. Little wonder you have difficulty seeing out side her particular paradigm.”


“Buffy is a slayer, right? She’s no doubt been a role model for you.”

“Not really. No.”

“Sisters say that, of course, but…”

“Mom!” Willow cut in.

“It is very rude to interrupt, dear.”

Dawn piped in. “Skye isn’t Buffy’s sister, Mrs. Rosenberg. I am.”

“Who is this?”

“My name is Dawn Summers.” Silence. “I’m Buffy’s sister.”

“Is that Dawn Skye or Skye Dawn? Honestly, I had no idea your parents were so poetically inclined.”

Willow screamed into a pillow.

“Mrs. Rosenberg,” Skye said. “There are three women speaking to you. One is your daughter, Willow. One is named Dawn. And I’m the other, named Skye.”

“Oh! Now I understand! And I feel so silly! Even, dare I say it, a little bit ashamed.”

“She’s the one ashamed,” Willow said to Dawn, rolling her eyes. Dawn tried not to laugh.

“All this time, I thought Mrs. Summers had only two daughters and it turns out she had three! How embarrassing!” Willow threw her hands in the air, giving up, while Skye and Dawn just stared at each other. “Next time I see Joyce, I really must apologize.”

“She may be waiting awhile,” Skye said softly. “But then again, if Luna gets her alone…”

“Mom, listen,” Willow began. “Skye and Dawn aren’t sisters. They’re a couple. Neither of them have a problem with lesbians, nor vampires per se. In fact, Skye is a vampire herself.”

“Really,” Sheila asked. “The council hasn’t staked her?”

“No, we have not,” Willow replied. “She’s been helping Rowena with her research and she’s living here.”

“So…maybe I’m confused again but…You’re telling me that my program is a problem but you and Rowena are living with a vampire yourselves. That’s a bit hypocritical, don’t you think dear?”

“She’s got you there,” Skye remarked with a snort. Rowena just pointed a finger at Skye, silently ordering her to shut up.

Willow gritted her teeth and said nothing at first, as if she were lost on where to take the conversation. Then she said, “Look, just forget it. What does Dad think about all this?”

“Oh, you know your father,” Sheila said happily. “He supports all of my efforts. And speaking of your dad, I’m meeting him for a late dinner, so I’ll have to say ta for now. Be well, dear. And nice speaking with you all.”

The line disconnected and the four of them just stared at the phone in disbelief.

“Your mother is…” Skye began.

“I know. I know”

“…a piece of work, Will,” Skye finished.

“That she is,” Dawn agreed.

“I’ve got to do something,” Willow said. She headed toward her computer.

“I know my opinion might not mean much to you guys,” Skye began. “But seriously, although Luna can be a threat, she’s crazy, not dumb…okay, she’s dumb, too, but not that kind of dumb. I don’t think she’s stupid enough to off the one person trying to help those two nutjobs.”

“Skye makes a good point,” Rowena said, putting a hand on Willow’s arm. “Besides,” she said. “She’s not willing to listen and there’s nothing much you can do tonight. You’re not going to change your mother’s mind in one night.”

“She’s right, Willow,” Dawn said. “Why not get some rest?”

“Or just get some,” Skye suggested.

Rowena coughed before Skye could say anything more. “Honey, how about we go check on Jeff’s progress on that scroll, like Buffy suggested?” she said. “He might need some of your expertise.”

“Now you’re just trying to butter me up,” Willow said, narrowing her eyes.

“Is it working?” Rowena said with a smirk.

“Yeah,” Willow said. “I’d just feel better if I could convince her.”

“Why don’t we talk to Buffy about getting the jet later today and going out to meet her…face to face? Until then, let’s go check on Jeff to get your mind off things. Sound good?”

Willow nodded and followed Rowena.

“See ya later, girls,” Rowena called over her shoulder as they left.

“So,” said Skye after a moment. “Has Willow’s mother always been like that?”

“Pretty much.”

“Explains a lot.” Then Skye looked directly at Dawn and smiled. “So, whatcha wanna do now?”

Dawn thought for a moment. “Hmm, I can’t think of anything.”

Skye smirked. “Race ya!” She leapt off the couch with unnatural speed and in one leap was half-way up the stairs before Dawn could even move.

“Hey! Not fair!”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Coven
Room – Minutes Later

Grace leaned back in her chair, the exhaustion evident on her face. She glanced at Jeff, who was hunched intently over the scroll.

“How about we take a break?” she suggested.

“No, you lazy mongrel!” Gredd yelled in her face. Grace did not react. Thorm just continued to watch Jeff.

“Nah, you go ahead,” Jeff said without looking up. “I want to finish this tonight.”

“Good boy.” Gredd nodded his head and turned back to Grace. “I’m gonna string you up next to that little flea-bag that looks like my ex-wife, you slacker.”

Grace picked up the telephone. “Andrew? Grace…can you bring something up for Jeff and I? We’re in the Coven Room…thanks!”

“You don’t have to stay,” Jeff said.

“Yes, tell her to leave!” Gredd said.

“It’s okay,” Grace said, sitting back down and picking up her pencil. “I don’t have anything better to do…and besides, anywhere my mother is not is a good place to be.”

Jeff finally looked at her. “It’s kinda ironic, don’t you think?”


“You and I…we have had such different life experiences,” Jeff answered. “I miss my mother so much and all you want is for yours to go away.”

“That’s life, Jeffy-boy.” Grace shrugged.

“I suppose,” Jeff answered. He grinned fondly.

“What?” Grace asked, confused by the expression.

“I used to think like you,” he answered. Grace prompted him for an explanation, waving her hands. “Well, my mom was always sticking her nose into my business.”

“Sounds like the typical mom,” Grace replied.

“Yeah, but the difference is…Now that she’s gone, I really miss the nose poking…You might miss it too someday, Grace. And if I had to do it over…I think I would have tried harder to enjoy the time I had with her. That’s all I’m saying.” Jeff’s voice broke on the last sentence and he turned away from her.

Grace got a pensive look on her face, but before she could reply the workshop’s door opened and Willow and Rowena walked in.

“How’s it going, guys?” Willow asked.

“Great,” Jeff reported. “We’ve got almost everything translated except the final quatrain.”

Both invisible demons whooped for joy. They high-fived each other and began to do a little dance.

“Let’s take a look,” Willow said. She rolled a chair next to Jeff’s and sat down.

Rowena rested her butt on the table near Grace. “So, how’s it going?” she asked.

Grace shrugged. “Not so bad,” she answered.

“And your mother?” Rowena pressed.

Grace didn’t say anything and looked up in relief as Andrew came in carrying a heavy tray.

“Hey guys!” Andrew said. He walked over and put the tray between Jeff and Grace. “I’ve got sandwiches and soup and lots to drink to keep you going all night if you need to. Let me get some napkins.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Jeff. “I just realized – the verb in the final quatrain here. I thought it was Middle Period, but that dialectical mark there means it must be Early Period. That explains it all!”

“You’ve got it then?” asked Grace.

“Almost…” Jeff grinned.

“Hey! Congrats to you,” said Andrew. He then turned to head for the cupboard. As he did, his arm swung and hit the pitcher of soda.

The pitcher turned on its side. The liquid inside splashed out and spilled all over Grace’s notes and her lap. She yelled.

For a moment, no one noticed the liquid also had spilled over the scroll beside those notes.

Jeff suddenly yelled and grabbed the fragile piece of papyrus. As he lifted it, the wet part detached from the rest. The part still on the tabletop literally melted before their eyes.

“Noooooooooo!!!” Thorm and Gredd screamed in unison.

“I’m sorry,” whispered Andrew sheepishly.

Cut To:
Bureau Nine – Mr. Felix’s Office – Late Evening

Mr. Felix, you’ve got Ms. Earl to see you,” Lori’s voice came over the loudspeaker.

“Thank you Lori, please send her in,” Felix called out. Then he leaned forward and pressed the ‘Call End’ button on his tabletop phone.

Mr. Felix looked through the panes of glass and saw Dianna walk up the stairs. She pulled open the door and gave him a hopeful smile as she closed the door and approached his desk.

“Success, I trust?” he now stood and asked, with a certain degree of hesitation.

“Of course,” she said, as she lifted the travel box onto his desk.

“And no suspicions aroused? No clues left behind?”

“Not a one.” She gave him a sly smile as she unclipped the lid. Dianna opened the box, pulled out the black foam padding, opened the secret compartment, reached in and produced the real Sphere.

Mr. Felix’s eyes lit up. He stared at it for a long moment. “At last,” he breathed.

Carefully, she passed the Sphere into his waiting hands.

“Don’t get a thief to do a watcher’s work,” she said coldly.

“Success is much, much closer now,” he said.

“That it is.”

“Thank you, Dianna. I truly mean that.”

“I know you do. We’ve got the Codex; we’ve got the slayer; we’ve got the Sphere; now we need to find that thief.”

“Indeed – and I suspect it shouldn’t take too long,” Mr. Felix looked up from the Sphere at Dianna. “Just an intuition I have.”

Cut To:
Strange Hell Dimension – Some Strange Time Later

Thorm and Gredd stood upon what looked like a mountain constructed entirely of skulls. Above and around them dark mists swirled, with lightning flashes punctuated by thunder.

Within moments, the thunder took form, the form of a voice, which seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. A face appeared over the horizon, and loomed over the pair.

“THIS HAD BETTER BE GOOD.” The voice reverberated for light years in every direction. The two demons flinched.

“Well, we’ve kinda sorta hit something of a snag,” Thorm said.

“The scroll…” Gredd began. “Well…”

“GO ON.”

“The scroll was sort of…destroyed.” Gredd answered.

“– Again,” Thorm finished.

The voice was silent a moment. “LEMME GUESS…ANOTHER POMPEIIAN ERUPTION?”

“Not as such,” admitted Thorm.


“No, it wasn’t really an act of nature per se,” Gredd offered.


“No.” Gredd shook his head.


“No! We found it exactly where the foretelling said it would be.” Thorm shook his head, then nodded with great vigor. “All the portents were in place. The humanoid less-than-insects foolishly proceeded with their ordained task. All was in readiness as you had commanded!”


Gredd and Thorm looked at each other. At last Thorm spoke. “Apparently there is an esoteric substance on Earth called Diet Cherry Mountain Dew.” He opened his mouth to explain further, but the sky rumbled, then flashed. He and his compatriot lowered their heads, then peeked up into the vast, yet somehow aware, darkness above.

A few seconds later the voice returned.


Gredd had just enough time to say, “Oh, man…” before he and Thorm burst into flames.

Black Out



End of You Never Know


Next on Watchers…

Willow, Andrew and Dawn find themselves trapped in a comic book based on Faith’s life. Because of, you know, magic.