Act 4

Fade In:


Watchers Council – Vi’s Apartment – Day

October 31, 2006

Vi walked out of her bathroom, the toilet still flushing in the background.

“It’s weird how long you can hold it when you think you’re about to die,” she said. “What are you doing?”

Heli placed Vi’s phone back on its base and turned around to look at the other girl. “Nothing. Just fidgeting.”

“Well, don’t scratch your bandages,” Vi said as she walked over. She pointed to the gauze taped around Heli’s wrists. “Even with slayer healing, those were some pretty bad cuts.” Vi sighed and put her hands in her back pockets. “Some morning, huh?”

Heli nodded. “Yeah.”

“You know what the really weird part is?” Vi asked. “When we were in there, I wasn’t thinking about myself. I had to survive because, if I didn’t, the people I love would suffer. I mean, the last thing Xander needs is…and sometimes I think Kennedy and I are the only ones keeping each other sane.” She shook her head and went over to lean on the back of her couch. “I don’t get it. Why go to all this trouble and only put fake explosives in our vests?”

Heli looked down at the small end table where Vi’s phone sat. Next to the phone was the cloth hat Vi always wore. Heli touched a fingertip to the hat, then looked up.

“Maybe they aren’t done with us yet,” Heli said. “Maybe they wanted to see us totally terrified, because fear is what shows us who we really are.” She looked up at the other slayer. “You were great today, Vi. You showed grace under pressure and you refused to leave your friends behind, even when it might cost you your life.”

Vi shrugged. “Eh, maybe. I hope you’re wrong, though. If this was just the beginning, I’d hate to be around for the end.”

Heli checked her watch. “I should go.”

“Okay,” Vi replied. She looked over at the clock on her wall, not noticing Heli quickly grab her hat and stuff it in her back pocket. “Xander said he’d come as soon as he could. You probably don’t want to be here when he does. All that impending death gives a girl certain needs.”

Heli gave her a baleful look as she walked towards the door.

“Sorry, TMI.” Vi grinned. “Hey, why don’t you call me later?”

“Don’t worry, I will,” Heli replied. She walked out the open door and closed it behind her.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Present Day – Night

Kennedy and Heli both scrambled to their feet. They were each instantly in the ready position, fists raised defensively.

“Hello, Kennedy,” Heli said calmly. “I was wondering when you’d come to visit. I even threw you a welcoming party. You might have noticed it outside.”

“People are dying outside right now,” Kennedy said tightly.

“Horrible, isn’t it?” Heli replied. “Now the question is, what is Kennedy going to do about it?”

Kennedy responded by punching Heli in the face. Heli took the blow well, using the momentum to spin around and backhand Kennedy across the chin.

“Well, it’s a start,” Heli said. She had barely gotten the words out when she was forced to dodge to avoid a one-two punch combination.

Heli threw a flurry of blows at Kennedy, who blocked the first few before getting caught again in the face and stumbling backwards. Heli leapt towards Kennedy with a flying kick, but Kennedy caught Heli’s leg and whipped her around into the wall of the temple. The entire building shook as Heli fell to the floor.

Heli recovered to a crouching position, turning her face upwards towards Kennedy. The grin on Heli’s face was incredibly wide.

Then she leapt, barreling directly into Kennedy.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine Grounds – Same Time

On the grounds outside, the ranks were thinning on both sides. Kadin, Nozomi and a few other girls now stood in a tight, outward-facing circle near a group of trees. Several large demons surrounded them. Nozomi delivered quite a few consecutive blows to one of them, but it seemed completely unphased.

The youngest-looking of the girls, maybe fourteen, took a step back and there was an audible click. A crossbow bolt shot from one of the nearby trees and caught the girl in her shoulder. She immediately fell to the ground.

Kadin went to one knee to check on the girl. The girl’s eyes were wide, showing abject fear. Kadin set her jaw and looked back up at the demons surrounding her.

“Okay, now I’m really angry.”

“Oh, should we be scared?” one of the demons asked mockingly. The rest of the demons laughed.

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

She punched the demon who had made fun of her, and he went flying, going airborne for twenty-five feet before hitting the ground and activating another mine. The ensuing explosion sent demon parts in all directions.

Kadin whipped around and growled. Her teeth were long and pointy, her eyes were entirely black and her skin was now a shade of blue.

Nozomi stared at her in total shock.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Same Time

A flurry of blows flew between Heli and Kennedy. Most were blocked, but each one that landed resulted in a hard grunt. Kennedy threw all she had into a side-kick that Heli deflected with a fore-arm.

Heli took the opening and moved in to grapple closely with Kennedy, who needed every ounce of her strength to keep Heli from grabbing her.

“They told me you were the greatest of all the potentials,” Heli said, “the big star to come out of Sunnydale. The future of the Slayer Line.”

Kennedy kneed Heli in the gut in an effort to gain some breathing room, but once they separated, Heli immediately landed a hard punch to Kennedy’s face. A cut was beginning to open over Kennedy’s eye.

“You think you’re the best, the savior of the world,” Heli said. “Are you the best, Kennedy?”

Kennedy growled and threw a wild roundhouse that Heli dodged easily. Heli grabbed Kennedy’s shirt with both hands and swung her through the air. She ran Kennedy’s head directly into one of the bronze bells in the center of the shrine, resulting in a resounding “Bong!”

Kennedy blinked her eyes to clear the cobwebs.

Heli leaned forward to speak into Kennedy’s ear. “How can you save the world if you can’t even save the people you love? Vi is dead. Chao-Ahn is dead. Your last two girlfriends are fighting against the odds outside and you can’t do a thing to save them. I can take anyone I want and you can’t stop me.”

Kennedy set her jaw and kicked backwards with both of her legs, catching Heli in the stomach. Heli fell backwards, but immediately rolled to her feet. Kennedy, too, was back on her feet and in a defensive position. She watched, horrified, as Heli began to laugh from deep in her chest.

“What the freakin’ hell is wrong with you?”

“Kennedy, you can always be counted on to not get it,” Heli said. “Normal human beings never go around killing other human beings. Especially not slayers. Slayers don’t even use guns, because that would make killing people too easy. Oh wait…we don’t live in Kennedy’s fantasy world.”

Kennedy’s fists were shaking, and her eyes were beginning to well up.

“This is destiny, Kennedy,” Heli continued. “Nothing more, and nothing less. You know why your life is miserable? Because you spend all your time fighting who you really are. You can’t fight me until you stop fighting yourself.” Kennedy’s eyes flickered back over to her gun in the corner. Heli smirked. “Silly rabbit. You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?”

She punched Kennedy with a hard roundhouse, sending her flying backwards through one of the ceiling’s wooden support posts.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine Grounds – Same Time

Mia pulled her sword out of the chest of a dead demon with a squelch. She looked up to see a screaming demon go flying past her head.

She groaned. “Not again.”

A demon rushed toward the blue-skinned Kadin and she stabbed it through the chest with her long, sharp claws. Another came at her from the opposite direction, and Kadin extended her other arm across her body and impaled her attacker.

Kadin uncrossed her arms with a “SNIKKT”, and the two demons both fell over, dead.

“Well, at least this time she’s on our side,” Mia said to herself.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Same Time

As Kennedy struggled to get to her feet, Heli stood directly over her, straddling Kennedy’s feet. Kennedy watched from the floor, horrified, as Heli removed a small object from her back pocket. It was a small, striped piece of cloth. Vi’s hat.

Kennedy got her feet under her, and she slowly rose to bring her face about three feet from Heli’s.

“How did you get that?” she asked, her voice low and level.

“Do you know what I am, Kennedy?” Heli asked. The two women began to circle each other, carefully placing each footfall.

“I know what you are,” Kennedy replied, her eyes fixed on Vi’s hat.

“I…am an artist,” Heli continued. “I pursue beauty. The beauty of truth.” She gestured with the hat. “I found out exactly who Vi was. The truth. And now…we’re going to find out the truth about you.”

Kennedy punched Heli, hard in the mouth. Vi’s hat fell to the floor. Heli put a hand to her lips and came away with blood on her fingertips. She smiled and delivered an equally hard blow in return.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine Grounds – Same Time

Kadin rolled on the ground with a huge demon. Both were growling and baring their razor-sharp teeth. Kadin opened her maw and bit down on the creature’s muscular neck. She pulled away, taking a huge chunk with her.

Nozomi stopped struggling with another demon long enough to wrinkle her nose. “Eww.”

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Same Time

Kennedy and Heli weren’t even bothering to block each other’s punches anymore. They simply traded crunching blows at point-blank range, one after the other. Each had multiple open cuts and bruises on their face.

“We are both the product of destiny,” Heli said.

She took a punch before continuing.

“When Willow did that spell in Sunnydale, it was only a matter of time before I came along.”

She punched Kennedy.

“We’re opposites, Kennedy.”


“You’re life. I’m death.”


“You’re Bush. I’m Osama.”


“You’re a brunette. I’m a blonde.”

One eye almost swollen shut, Kennedy swung so hard she grunted…and missed. Heli grabbed Kennedy by the shoulder and brought their faces very close together.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without you,” Heli said.

She slammed her fist into Kennedy’s nose, and Kennedy crumpled to the floor.

“I was really expecting better than this,” Heli continued with a sigh. “Maybe I was wrong about you.”

With the last word, she kicked Kennedy hard in the ribs, the slayer strength sending her flying through the air. Kennedy hit the wall halfway up and fell to the floor. She groaned and spit up blood onto the floor.

“I was just thinking,” Heli said. “It’s too bad Angelus killed your mother.” She walked over to where Vi’s hat was sitting on the floor and picked it up.

Kennedy managed to rise to a sitting position.

“I have some great ideas I really wish I could try out,” Heli said with a smile.

Kennedy quickly reached down, pulled something from a holster around her ankle, and whipped it across the room.

Heli cried out in pain. Her hand was pinned to one of the shrine’s support beams by a wooden stake. She looked at it with genuine surprise on her face for once, to see a silver “V” inlaid into the base of the weapon.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine Grounds – Same Time

The blue-skinned Kadin easily snapped the neck of a huge demon.

Mia ran up, sword in hand, to where Nozomi was attending to one of her wounded slayers. “Sono wa subete desu ka?” she asked.

Subtitle: “Is that all of them?”

Nozomi looked over Mia’s shoulder and her eyes widened. “Mitte, Mia!”

Subtitle: “Mia, look out!”

Kadin slammed into Mia’s back, knocking her to the ground. Mia found herself staring into Kadin’s all-black eyes.

Nozomi tried to pull Kadin off, but Kadin only turned long enough to slash her claws in Nozomi’s direction. Nozomi yelled wordlessly and grabbed her arm, which now had several large scratches running down its length.

Kadin turned back to Mia and bore her razor-like teeth.

“Kadin,” Mia managed, her voice pleading, “don’t you remember? It’s me.”

There was no sign that the monster on top of Mia understood this. Kadin growled from deep in her throat.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Same Time

Heli grunted as she pulled Vi’s stake out of her hand. “Is this what I think it is?” she asked.

“On your knees, now!”

Heli turned to see Kennedy standing across the room, her face a bloody mess. She had picked up her handgun and now had it trained on Heli.

Now!” Kennedy screamed.

Heli smirked, her eyes locked with Kennedy. “Look who’s a big girl now.” Very slowly, she dropped to her knees.

“Hands behind your head,” Kennedy ordered.

“I have a –” Heli began.

“Hands. Behind. Your head,” Kennedy repeated between gasping breaths.

Heli put her hands behind her head and interlaced her fingers. Kennedy took one hand off her gun and reached for her belt. She brought her radio up to her torn, bleeding lips.

“I’ve got her,” she said.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine Grounds – Same Time

Kadin paused at the sound of Kennedy’s voice, a clawed hand poised in the air above Mia’s neck.

“We’re in the shrine.” The words crackled from the radio clipped to Mia’s belt.

Kadin’s skin tone changed back to its normal color. Her eyes returned to normal, as well. She gasped and threw herself backwards, off of Mia. Now in a sitting position, she looked up to see Mia staring at her.

“I’m so sorry,” she said.

Mia shrugged. “Eh, no harm, no foul.”

With no warning, Kadin sprang to her feet and ran off towards the shrine, unmindful of the possibility of stepping on a landmine.

“Be careful,” Mia called after her.

Kadin realized what she was doing and slowed down, carefully picking her way across the lawn.

Cut To:


Shinto Shrine – Same Time

Kennedy had two hands on her gun again. Heli still knelt on the floor, hands laced behind her head.

“If you so much as twitch,” she told Heli through gritted teeth, “I will blow you straight –”

“That’d make things a lot easier, wouldn’t it?” Heli said. “No trial, no judge, no executioner. You get to be all three.”

Kennedy’s grip on her weapon tightened.

“It feels good, doesn’t it? The power. One little twitch of that finger of yours and boom…no more me,” Heli told her. “Instant gratification. Of course, that would mean shooting the defenseless woman kneeling on the floor in front of you, and that’s not your thing.”

“You think I will lose one second of sleep over blowing your brains out?” Kennedy snapped.

“Oh, Kennedy,” Heli sighed, “you’ll lose a lot more than a second. That’s the difference between you and me. The night after Vi died, I slept better than I had in months. The game had played out, and I’d won.”

Kennedy took several steps forward, holding the gun threateningly a few feet from Heli’s chest. “It feel like you’re winning now?”

“That depends on your perspective,” Heli replied.

Silence fell. Neither woman spoke, or dared to move. Several moments passed.

“You’re seriously considering it, aren’t you?” Heli asked, nodding at the Beretta in Kennedy’s hands.

Kennedy said nothing.

After a brief pause, Heli spoke again. “Good little Kennedy, the slayer who couldn’t deal with her girlfriend shooting other humans to save the lives of Council members, is looking down the barrel of a gun at an unarmed woman and seriously thinking about pulling the trigger. I have to say, I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“Shut up!” Kennedy shouted.

“Gotta be tempting. One little twitch, and my brains turn into mushed tapioca,” Heli continued, unfazed. “Nobody else is here. You could even claim I attacked you.”

Kennedy rushed forward and grabbed the front of Heli’s shirt. She pressed the tip of her gun to Heli’s temple. “One more word and I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” Heli mocked. “Kill me? Shoot me? Blow my brains out? We both know that’s not who you are.”

Kennedy licked her lips, tasting blood. After a moment, she took a step back, keeping her gun trained on Heli. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“You know, they say that in addition to being a very ugly way to die, Marsaulix venom is incredibly painful,” Heli told her. Her voice was perfectly level, as if she were giving a biology lecture. “It’s like having a bomb explode in your abdomen, I hear, though I don’t know how they’d know that. All of your organs liquefy and ooze out of every orifice of your body. Your lungs turn into mush, it feels like you’re suffocating. Your liver and kidneys and intestinal tract dissolve, making your entire body septic. But here’s the thing. Your heart and brain, they’re immune to the effects. So you live long enough to suffocate to death, and you’re conscious right up until the end.”

“Shut up,” Kennedy hissed.

“The abdominal cavity has a huge number of nerve endings,” Heli continued, as if Kennedy had not spoken. “That’s why even a teensy little ulcer in the stomach can be incredibly painful. Imagine having the entire wall of the stomach dissolve all at once. That has to hurt.” A thin smile appeared on Heli’s lips. “Vi died, in pain, in her lover’s arms, when she thought she was actually safe for the first time in hours, and she never even knew who did it to her.”

Kennedy swallowed hard. The gun shook in her hand.

“For months, you’ve been chasing me down, because as long as you were chasing me, you didn’t have to grieve. What’s going to happen to you when this is all over, and I’m cooling my heels in some cushy psychiatric institute?”

Kennedy blinked. “What are you talking about?” she demanded.

“Come on,” Heli scolded her, “what do you think the odds are that a jury of my peers will find me to be sane? I’ve spent years saving my Council salary. I can afford a really good lawyer.”

Kennedy’s eyes hardened, and her hand stopped shaking.

“I wonder if they’ll let me keep her hat, ’cause that would really be a –”

Heli never had the chance to finish. A single gunshot echoed through the shrine.

Heli flopped backwards, a small, bloody circle appearing on her shirt just to the right of her heart.

Slowly, methodically, Kennedy walked forward, no emotion showing through on her face. Heli put one hand over her chest, gasping as her lung deflated. Pink foam appeared at the corners of her mouth.

Very deliberately, Kennedy raised her gun and fired again, this time into Heli’s abdomen. Gunshot after gunshot rang out. Heli’s body jerked with every impact.

Finally, after several shots, rather than another distinctive crack of a bullet firing, a soft click of the hammer striking empty air could be heard, followed by a second and a third. before Kennedy stopped pulling the trigger.

Heli was still alive, barely, her torn body trembling. Her lips moved in an attempt to speak, but all that escaped was a soft choking noise.

Kennedy kneeled next to her, bringing her face closer to Heli’s ear.


The sentence sounded gurgled from Heli, but could still be understood.  And as soon as the words left her lips, Heli’s body went limp. Her eyes fluttered closed, almost peacefully.

“Kennedy, what…” Kennedy turned to see Kadin standing in the doorway of the temple. She seemed too dumbfounded to finish her sentence.

Kennedy followed the demon hunter’s gaze down to her hands and clothes. Smoke still curled from the barrel of the empty pistol in her hand. Blood stained the front of her shirt and coated the palms of her hands.

“I…had to,” she said lamely.

Kadin shook her head. “No, you didn’t.” She backed away from the slayer.

“Kadin, wait!” Kennedy yelled.

Kadin took a few more steps backwards before turning and running out the front door of the shrine.

Kennedy watched the shadows for a moment, as if expecting Kadin to reappear. She did not. The pistol dropped from her nerveless fingers, clattering to the concrete floor.

Kennedy stumbled, exhausted, to the post to which she had pinned Heli’s hand. She pressed her back against it and slid to the floor, drawing her knees close to her chest and crossing her arms in front of her. Through a sweaty, bloody mat of tangled hair, she looked at Heli’s body.

The growing pool of blood expanded to where Vi’s stake lay on the floor, flowing until the weapon was totally surrounded. The silver “V” on the end was stained red.

Cut To:


Council Jet – Hours Later

A slightly cleaner Kennedy sat by herself in the passenger section of the Council jet. She glanced over her shoulder to see Kadin several rows back, staring out the window.

Kennedy turned back around just in time to see Rowena sit down in the seat next to her.

“What are you doing here?” Kennedy asked quietly.

“As a member of the Council, you know that I have to officially inform you that there will be an inquiry into the shooting of Heli Hamalainen,” Rowena told her in a proper, authoritative tone.

“Yes, I know,” Kennedy replied, her voice flat.

Rowena opened her mouth to speak again, then sighed and turned away. Then she turned back to Kennedy.

“As a friend of Vi’s,” Rowena began, her voice cracking. She paused and took Kennedy’s hand in hers. “I miss double date ice cream Thursdays. I miss popcorn fights at the movie theater. I miss…I miss Vi…so I’m glad that bitch is finally dead. I’m sorry you had to be the one to do it, Ken, but…I guess I wanted to say thank you. Not on behalf of the Council but…just from me. Thank you.”

Rather than saying anything in return, Kennedy reached under her seat and pulled something out of her bag. She sat up and handed Rowena a gold bracelet covered in diamonds.

“What’s this?” Rowena asked, totally confused.

“An engagement bracelet,” Kennedy told her.

“Kennedy, I-I know we’ve gotten closer recently, almost friends, dare I say…” Rowena stammered.

Kennedy managed a smile. “They found it on Heli’s body. She must have stolen it from you and replaced it with a fake.”

After gaping for a moment, Rowena hurriedly removed the bracelet she was wearing from her wrist.

“Good idea,” Kennedy nodded. Her smile was gone.

Rowena looked at her again, concern on her face. “Kennedy, are you…”

“I’m fine,” Kennedy assured her unconvincingly. “I just need some sleep.”

After a moment, Rowena nodded, rose, and walked back towards her seat.

Kennedy tilted her seat back, rested her head on the cushion and closed her eyes.

Heli leaned forward from the previously empty seat behind Kennedy. She brought her lips within inches of Kennedy’s ear.

“This is who you are,” Heli whispered. Slowly, Kennedy’s eyes opened. “This is the truth. So tell me, Kennedy…isn’t it beautiful?”

Black Out


Special Guest Starring:

 Andy Hallett as Lorne


End of Tokyo Nights


Next on Watchers…

When Faith’s new protege starts to upstage her, she starts to think that maybe she’s losing her touch.


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