Watchers Council – Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Day
Rowena reached out to pull the door open and looked a little surprised when she saw Kennedy standing on the other side.
“Hey,” Kennedy greeted the woman with a small smile. Marsha wiggled in her arms at the sight of Rowena, and the blonde smiled down at the tiny dragon.
“Hey there,” Rowena greeted gently. “Going for a walk?”
“Nah, we just both needed to get outta there for a bit.” She casually glanced into the room over Rowena’s shoulder. “Is Will around?”
“She’s just in the other room,” Rowena answered. “She’s working on some lesson plans. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind the company.”
Kennedy sighed and shook her head. “No. I-I shouldn’t…”
Rowena reached out and placed a hand on the slayer’s arm to gently pull her into the room. “I’m sure she wouldn’t mind,” she repeated, as she pushed the door closed behind Kennedy. She grinned as Marsha climbed up onto Kennedy’s shoulder and stuck her nose out in Rowena’s direction.
Kennedy glanced around the apartment nervously. “Are you sure?” she said, turning back to face the blonde. “Faith said that you were sick or something.”
Rowena looked up into Kennedy’s eyes with a soft smile. “I’m better now,” she answered. She reached out to brush a finger over the top of Marsha’s head. “Much better.”
Kennedy nodded politely. “That’s…good.”
“You know what?” Rowena said, as she reached out to take the dragon from Kennedy’s shoulder. “I was just thinking to myself that I could really use some fresh air.” She pulled the squirming dragon into her arms and reached over for her coat. “It’s such a beautiful day outside,” Rowena went on as she pulled open the door. “I just might have to take an extra long walk today.”
Kennedy watched in silence as the blonde walked out with Marsha and closed the door behind her. She turned her eyes toward the room that Rowena had previously indicated.
Taking in a deep breath, the slayer turned to make her way towards it. Just then, the door opened, and the redhead stepped out.
“Honey?” Willow called out absently, keeping her eyes on the folder in her hands. “Do you know where I put my…” Her eyes lifted to see the slayer standing in front of her. “…Kennedy?”
Kennedy smirked. “And here I thought I was always the possessive one.”
Willow shook her head with a light smile as she closed the folder and placed it on the back of the couch. “Sorry. I thought that you were Ro.”
Kennedy chuckled ruefully. “I’m just gonna let that one go.”
“Thanks,” Willow laughed in return.
A moment of tense silence passed between them before the witch finally sighed and folded her hands in front of her. “So…”
“I really didn’t know who else to talk to,” Kennedy responded quickly. “Believe me, Will…I racked my brain trying to come up with someone else, anyone else, but I…”
“Not that I’m complaining, but what about Faith?” Willow asked.
“She stopped by this morning, but she didn’t seem to really want to get into it, for some reason. And I…I wasn’t going to push it.”
Willow took a small step forward, then stopped to rest her hands on the back of the couch. “I know that my track record with you hasn’t exactly been sparkly clean, but…I hope you know that I’m still your friend, and I still care very much about you, so…I’m all ears.”
Kennedy swallowed noticeably, but managed a light nod. “I know,” she answered in a barely audible whisper. “I’ve never stopped caring about you either. You’ll always have that special place in my heart. Y’know what I mean?”
A gentle smile graced Willow’s lips. “Yeah,” she responded with a soft whisper of her own. “I know.”
Kennedy fell quiet for a moment, as if unsure of what to say next.
“So…wanna tell me what’s going on?” Willow prompted.
Kadin’s Cabin – Same Time
Kadin’s grip on Coen tightened. They stood face-to-face, neither backing down.
“Kadin,” Serena said, finally stepping in to place her hand on the hunter’s arm. “Please. Don’t.”
“Stay out of this,” Kadin snarled over her shoulder, never taking her eyes off the man trapped in her tight grip. “This is between me…and him.”
“Is it?” Coen challenged with a sarcastic laugh. “Think about it, Van Helsing. Who really started all of this?” His eyes traveled back over Kadin’s shoulder, to his sister standing just behind the brunette.
Kadin didn’t turn to look, but her eyes seemed somehow to grow even darker. Her grip on Coen’s coat tightened, and her knuckles turned white. “Don’t give me a reason to kill you right here,” she warned, her voice containing barely concealed animal rage.
Coen laughed again, but it soon faded into a hard stare. “I knew it.” He flashed her an evil-looking grin. “I knew you’d never change. Once a killer…always a killer.” He turned with a sudden glare at his sister. “She killed our father! Don’t you even care?”
Kadin shoved his body forward, sending him crashing against the wall and then to his knees. Her eyes finally returned to normal as she looked down at the fallen man. “Get out.”
“What’s the matter?” Coen laughed as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. “Can’t stand to hear the truth?” He brushed off his coat and took a few steps into the room.
“The truth?” Serena countered as she moved from behind Kadin. “The truth, Coen, is that our father was a man who could not let go of the past.” She gave her brother a hard, but wavering stare. “His anger and hatred are what killed him. Not Kadin.”
The rage was apparent on Coen’s face as he kept his eyes locked on his sister. “I guess the same goes for you,” he snarled, his fists tightening at his sides. “You haven’t changed either.” He nodded to Kadin, but never took his eyes from the blonde. “She poisoned you against us. She turned you against your own family.” He swallowed back in a moment that seemed to be almost human. “My father didn’t deserve to die. It should be you in that grave instead of him.”
“You tried that already, didn’t you?” Kadin snapped back. “If family was so sacred to you, then how could you stand by and watch your own sister literally be thrown to the wolves?”
Coen didn’t answer for a long moment. Eventually, he moved his eyes from Serena to meet Kadin’s hard stare. “She isn’t my sister. My sister died the moment she chose a stranger over her own flesh and blood.”
“I’m only going to say this one more time,” Kadin told him calmly. “Get out.”
Coen smirked. “Hurts, doesn’t it?” He looked from Kadin to Serena. “The truth. And the truth is…it’s all about choices. Our entire lives center around the very fact that every choice we make shapes the people that we will become.”
“Is this is the part where you get all deep and surprisingly self-reflective on us?” Serena said sarcastically. “Spare me. Please.”
“Deny it if you want,” Coen replied casually. “But you both know what I’m talking about.” He looked from Serena to Kadin. “You’ve both made choices that have fundamentally altered the rest of your lives.”
He turned back to Serena and gave her a cold stare. “You chose to deny your destiny, and it cost you your family. It should have cost you your life.” He set his eyes back on Kadin, a satisfied smirk graced his lips. “You chose to embrace your destiny, and it just might cost you the only person left on this planet that loves you.” He paused before adding, “I hope it does.”
Serena stepped up between her brother and the hunter. “I’m not like you, Coen,” she told the man. “I don’t abandon the people I love because they don’t turn out to be what I wanted them to be.”
Coen laughed, looking from Serena to Kadin. “I think Kadin and I both know that I wasn’t talking about you.” He wore a smug grin. “Was I?”
Serena barely reacted in time to intercept the hunter as she rushed by. She just managed to hold her by the arm. “Kadin! No!”
Serena watched with wide eyes as Kadin turned on her with icy black eyes. Her hand instantly fell away from Kadin’s arm, and she watched in stunned silence as the hunter rushed straight for her brother.
Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Moments Later
Kennedy smiled as she accepted the mug of tea from Willow. She watched the witch take a seat on the couch next to her as she lifted the cup to her lips to take a sip.
“So,” Willow said as she cradled her own mug between her hands. She watched the slayer with patient eyes as she took a few more swallows of the hot tea. “Didn’t realize you had such an appreciation for tea. I actually thought that you hated the stuff.”
Kennedy smiled nervously as she finally placed the mug on the table in front of them. “Yeah,” she sighed as she brought her eyes back up to Willow. “Kadin really likes orange tea, and she kinda got me hooked.”
Willow smiled back at the brunette before taking a sip of her own tea and then placing it on the table next to the slayer’s.
“I’m guessing that’s what you came here to talk about.”
Kennedy furrowed her brow. “Tea?”
“No,” Willow answered with a shake of her head. “Kadin,” she amended with a soft smile.
“Oh,” Kennedy said with a light nod. “Right. I-I mean…yeah.”
“Kennedy,” Willow said, reaching out to place her hand on the slayer’s knee. “I’m really glad that you came to me, a-and I really want to help you. I don’t think that we really talk as much as we should.”
Kennedy shrugged but managed a smile. “Kinda hard to socialize these days. You know…demons constantly trying to kill me…insane psycho slayers…girlfriend turning into a ravenous beast…” Kennedy nodded with a sigh. “Kinda takes up most of my time.”
Willow swallowed at the mention of Kadin. “H-how is she?”
Kennedy shook her head and dropped her eyes to her hands. “Wish I knew.” She pulled her gaze back up to meet Willow’s. “She won’t talk to me. She basically acted like I didn’t even exist the second her old girlfriend showed up.” The last part was said with a bit of sarcasm, and Willow couldn’t help but smile.
Kennedy shot the witch an arched brow, and the smile instantly died away.
“Sorry,” the redhead apologized with a light blush. “It’s just…I forgot how cute you can be when you’re all jealous and offended.”
“Hey,” Kennedy complained with a pout. “I think I have a right to be. You saw the way they were making goo-goo eyes at each other. I just wanted to reach across that table and grab her by those long blonde locks and –”
“Kennedy?” Willow interrupted the rant. “She’s scared.”
“She should be!” the slayer answered instantly. “I saw the way she was looking at my girlfriend. She was just so –”
Willow’s hand pressed down on Kennedy’s leg to grab the slayer’s attention. “I meant Kadin,” she said softly. “She’s scared because she doesn’t know what’s going on inside her own body, and it scares the hell out of her to think that somehow whatever it is might cause her to hurt other people. Most of all you.”
Kennedy was quiet as she seemed to take a moment to fully digest the redhead’s words. “You really think so?” she finally asked. “I mean, all along I thought she was just avoiding me because she didn’t want to let me in…to let me help her.”
“It has nothing to do with you,” Willow assured her. “Well, it does…but not like you think.” She sucked in a slow breath and then released it just as slowly. “It’s taken a wolfy boyfriend, a murdered girlfriend, and a complete meltdown for me to get it, but I think I finally understand that sometimes it’s not always about us. And there are some things in life that we just can’t control or change. No matter how much we might really really want to.”
Willow met Kennedy’s eyes and held them with a gentle stare. “But the most important thing that I’ve learned through it all…the one piece of advice that I can give you after having gone through with Oz exactly what you are going through with Kadin now…is that you can’t give up on her. And you can’t blame her for being afraid.”
Kennedy remained quiet for a few long and tense moments. She kept her eyes on the other woman’s as she allowed the words to sink in. “You’re right,” she finally admitted. “I didn’t mean to…but I can see how she might think that I blame her a-and that maybe I have sorta given up on her.”
Willow reached over to pick up her mug of tea. “I know it’s hard. That was never the question,” she told the slayer before taking a sip of the hot liquid. She pulled the mug away from her mouth and cradled it in her hands as she watched the brunette intently. “The real question now is…what are you going to do about it?”
Kennedy’s brow furrowed. “I don’t wanna lose her,” she confessed.
Willow nodded. “I know that,” she replied. “But does Kadin?”
Kennedy just stared back at her silently.
Kadin’s Cabin – Moments Later
The glass shattered and splintered off in all directions as the werewolf was propelled backwards through the window.
Just as his body hit the ground, the blue, snarling figure of Kadin leaped through the window and landed on solid feet not far from his head. She reached down with one hand and dug her sharp claws into his chest to lift him to his feet.
The wolf howled in pain, and Kadin just growled as she met his yellow eyes with a stone-cold black stare.
The door behind them swung open, and Serena ran out of the cabin. “Kadin!” she called out to her ex-lover. “Please!”
Kadin momentarily loosened her grip on the werewolf to glance back at the blonde.
Serena’s blue eyes were watching Kadin fearfully. “He’s not worth it,” she called out again. “Please.”
Kadin’s eyes flashed back to the werewolf in her grasp. A sharp claw came at her from the side, but she easily reached out and grabbed it in a strong fist. A menacing growl erupted from her throat as she released both grips with a hard shove.
Coen flew backwards; his spine connected sharply with a tree before he fell over, slumped to the ground.
Kadin’s black eyes slowly returned to normal, and her skin faded back to its usual tanned complexion. Breathing heavily, she turned to face Serena as Coen’s blood dripped from the ends of her fingers.
Serena watched the hunter carefully before taking a few steps closer. “Are you…?”
“I d-didn’t want you to…see me that…way,” Kadin broke in, dropping her eyes away. She clenched her left fist, causing the sticky red liquid to ooze through her fingers and onto the ground. “Now you know why I…I c-can’t…”
The hunter felt a gentle hand under her chin and she allowed her eyes to be lifted until they met soft blue. “Kadin,” Serena whispered. “It’s not your –”
Before the words could completely leave the blonde’s mouth, Kadin was suddenly ripped away from her as Coen charged the hunter from the side. They rolled across the ground before coming to a stop a few feet away.
The cold yellow of the werewolf’s eyes stared down into Kadin’s face as she barely managed to keep her forearm against his throat. Coen growled with dripping canines as he tried to force his powerful jaws closer to the hunter’s neck.
Brown instantly returned to black as Kadin released a howl of her own. Suddenly, their positions were reversed, and Coen soon found himself staring into the icy blackness of his fate.
Werewolf features slowly turned, morphing into human as a powerful arm clamped down on his throat. He somehow managed a strangled laugh as he stared unwaveringly back up into the menacing visage above.
“Do it,” Coen taunted with a raspy laugh. “Do it. Kill me like you k-killed my…father.”
Kadin’s expression changed; the snarl left her lips as she stared down into the face beneath her. She released the pressure she had been applying to Coen’s neck, and her eyes faded back to brown.
Coen took in a few much needed breaths, coughing slightly before letting out a longer, more throaty laugh. He dropped his head back against the ground, but kept his eyes locked with the hunter’s. “What’s the matter?” he taunted again. “I know you want to. You want to kill me just like you killed my father…just like you killed my entire family.”
Coen reached up with a blood-stained hand to grab Kadin by the side of her vest. He pulled her down until their faces were mere inches apart. “You can’t change who you are,” he told her. “No matter what face you wear.”
Kadin froze as she stared down into the scarred face beneath her. Her eyes searched every inch, but her expression did not change. Coen laughed again as he released his grip and dropped back to the ground heavily.
The sound of a roaring engine broke into the moment. A black SUV pulled up onto the hill and then cut the engine. The driver’s side door swung open, and Kennedy stepped out. Her eyes drifted over the scene: from Serena standing silently nearby, to Kadin lying atop the naked and bloody body of Coen Vance.
“Should I even ask?” She sighed. Serena just looked back at her without speaking.
Kadin looked over and let out a deep, slow breath as she pushed herself up into a standing position above the fallen werewolf. “What are you doing here?”
Kennedy didn’t reply. She just pointed at the man lying at Kadin’s feet. “Is that…?”
“Nobody,” Kadin answered, before she could finish. She shot Coen a stern glare before turning her eyes back to the slayer. “I thought the meeting was canceled until later.”
Kennedy looked from Coen to Kadin for a long beat. “It was,” she finally answered. “I’m not here about that.” She let out a slow breath. “I actually came here to talk to you.” Her eyes shifted over to Serena. “Alone.”
Kadin paused, then looked over at the blonde. “You gonna be okay?”
Serena nodded once. “I’ll be fine. He won’t try anything with a slayer around. ‘Sides, I’m not exactly helpless.”
Kadin turned her back to Kennedy, then nodded toward the cabin door. “Just let me…” She clenched her bloodied hands at her sides as she stepped over Coen to head toward the cabin.
Kennedy watched in silence before she followed. She exchanged a tense glare with Serena as she passed by on her way into the house. Serena then watched the door to the cabin shut behind them.
“You’re pathetic,” her brother’s voice said seconds later. Her eyes jerked over to see that he had somehow pulled himself to his feet. Blood steadily dripped from the wound on his chest, but he kept a smile on his face. “Did you really think that after all this time, she would just be…waiting for you?” Serena didn’t answer, and Coen laughed again. “Hard to believe that we actually came from the same father.”
“Our father was a foolish man who was blinded by anger and hate,” Serena interrupted. “And you’re just like him!”
Coen’s snide expression dropped, and he lurched forward. Blood oozed through his fingers as he tried to apply pressure to his wound. “You’re the foolish one. You a-always hated our…our father, and yet…he always loved you more than me.”
Serena’s eyes widened at the admission.
“I was the perfect son,” Coen went on. “I did e-everything…” He paused with a groan, as he began to sway on his feet. “I was everything that he…that he wanted me to…be. But you,” he spat bitterly, “you were his precious little girl…until you betrayed him.”
Serena averted her eyes from her brother and turned her back to him. “You’ve made your point, Coen. Just…go.”
Coen seemed a little shocked as he stared back at his sister. “What about Van Helsing? Won’t she be –?”
Serena looked up at him with a stern glare. “Now,” she told him forcefully. “Before I change my mind.”
Coen hesitated for a moment longer before he turned and quickly hobbled away to disappear into the surrounding woods.
Serena ran a hand back through her hair and let out a long sigh.
Kadin’s Cabin – Kitchen – Same Time
Kennedy was standing in the doorway of her kitchen, while Kadin stood a few feet away, in front of the sink. The hunter was busy washing the blood and dirt from her hands as the slayer looked on, silently.
“You’ve been making it kind of a habit lately,” Kennedy said.
Kadin turned to face her as she reached up to shut off the water. “What’s that?” She reached over for a hand towel, but kept her eyes on Kennedy.
“Straddling naked werewolves that turned human just in the second before I show up to get a full-on view,” Kennedy replied casually.
Kadin finished drying her hands and placed the towel back on the counter. She was silent for a few moments before turning to face Kennedy, leaning her upper body against the cool surface of the sink. “So that’s what this is about? Or should I say, who this is about?”
“Is this the part where you tell me I shouldn’t worry?” Kennedy asked. “That you’re just friends and that nothing happened between you last night?” Kennedy took a few steps into the kitchen. “Don’t insult my intelligence, Kadin.”
Kadin didn’t flinch. “Then please, tell me…what is it exactly that you do want me to say? Because I just can’t seem to win either way with you.”
Kennedy’s eyes widened slightly. “Me?” she shot back, pointing a finger towards herself. “I’m not the one trying to run away from my problems. I’m not the one willing to throw away the last few years of my life all because I’m scared of something that hasn’t even happened, and I sure as hell am not the one breaking your heart!”
Kadin was quiet for a long time. Then she finally pushed herself up off the sink and took a few steps closer towards Kennedy. “I never wanted to hurt you,” she told her softly. “You’re the only reason that my life has made any sense for the last two years.” She swallowed hard. “I really do love you.”
“Then stay,” Kennedy pleaded. “Stay with me and let me help you.”
Kadin’s eyes glazed over with unshed tears, and she quickly turned her back to the slayer. “You can’t,” she whispered. “How can you when I can’t even…”
Kadin felt a strong hand on her shoulder. She slowly turned to meet soft brown eyes.
“I know that I haven’t been the best girlfriend at times,” Kennedy told her. “I let my duty as a slayer get in the way, and for that…I’m sorry. I should have been there for you, but…I want to make up for that now.”
Kadin stared back into Kennedy’s eyes. “I kissed her.”
Kennedy’s brow furrowed, and her hand slowly dropped back to her side. “You kissed who? Serena?”
Kadin sucked in a deep breath and then let it out slowly. She nodded and said, “Yes. Last night. I kissed her.”
Kennedy shook her head and blinked. “Oh.”
“Yeah,” Kadin sighed as she stepped back to run a hand through her hair. She turned away from the slayer to brace her hands against the counter. “That’s all, though,” she added after a moment. “I didn’t…we didn’t…”
“This was a bad idea,” Kennedy cut in abruptly, her eyes filled with betrayal and anguish. “I shouldn’t have come here.” She turned to leave just as Kadin turned around to face her.
“Wait,” Kadin called out to her back, but the slayer ignored her and disappeared from the kitchen.
Kadin let out a long sigh, dropped her head and closed her eyes.
Kadin’s Cabin – Moments Later
Serena was seated on the bottom step, her head in her hands, when the door opened and Kennedy stormed out. The blonde looked up just in time to see the door slam shut behind the rapidly retreating slayer.
“Kennedy?” she called out, as the woman blew past her. “Is everything…?”
Kennedy stopped on a dime and turned to face Serena with a harsh glare. “You have the world’s worst timing, you know that?” She bunched her fists up at her side. “Why couldn’t you have just…stayed dead?”
Serena was surprised at the outburst. Her brow furrowed, and her mouth opened and closed, but no sound would come out.
“She’s not the same person she was back then,” Kennedy went on. “She’s not that out-of-control monster that she was when you knew her, and she –”
“She was never a monster to me,” Serena broke in softly. “I loved her,” she added in a choked whisper. “I still do.”
Kennedy was silent, but her cold stare pinned the blonde in place. “So do I,” she added more calmly. “But at least you had a fair chance with her. You didn’t have some long-lost love come back from the grave and mess things up!” She took in a slow breath as she struggled to keep her tears at bay. “I really hope it was worth it.”
At that, Kennedy turned and climbed back into the SUV. Seconds later, the engine roared to life, and then the vehicle disappeared back down the hill.
Serena stood staring at the dust trail before she finally turned and made her way back into the cabin.
Fade to Black
End of Act Three