Act 5

Cut To:
Terminal Tower – Observation Deck – Same Time


Jocelyn leaned down to Elizabeth’s level. She reached out and brushed the young girl’s wild hair out of her eyes, revealing tears falling down Elizabeth’s cheeks.

“Don’t worry,” Jocelyn told her as she dried her cheeks. “It’s just like going to sleep…well, a lot more painful than that, and you don’t wake up, but otherwise…

“I told you to get away from her.”

Jocelyn whipped around to see Willow floating several feet from the edge of the deck. Her hair was now pure white, and there was a strange grace to every movement she made. When she spoke, her voice was high, melodic, shining, like angels singing.

“Wow, cooooooool,” Elizabeth exclaimed.

Jocelyn simply raised her hands and fired another red blast in Willow’s direction, but this time she easily repelled it. Jocelyn cocked her head. “Huh.” She reached down and tossed Elizabeth over the side. “Done with her,” she said casually.

“Liz!” Willow screamed.

Willow raised her hand to try to magically catch the young girl, but Jocelyn launched herself forward like a jungle cat, meeting Willow in mid-air. The two of them spiraled outward over Public Square.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

Elizabeth continued to fall and the group of onlookers, including a few news crews in various stages of setting up, all gasped at once.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Media Room – Same Time

Giles stood holding Becca, their eyes fixed on the screen. Robin and Xander watched from either side of them.

“Oh my God,” Becca muttered, and Xander reached out a hand to her shoulder in support.

Giles’s eyes were wide and his mouth slightly open, but he remained speechless as the camera followed Elizabeth’s descent.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

From below the Terminal Tower, Buffy and Faith watched the small figure falling fast toward them. Faith took off the gun and tossed it out of the way.

“Lock arms!” Faith said, holding hers out. Buffy took them and they moved in unison with each other, back and forth, trying to judge Elizabeth’s direction.

Rowena’s eyes darted from Elizabeth’s direction to Willow and Jocelyn, who were flying hundreds of feet above, throwing magical attacks at each other.

Cut To:
Above Public Square – Same Time

Willow hit Jocelyn square in the chest with what resembled several thunderbolts in rapid succession. The teenager began to spin end over end from the force, dazed.

Willow looked over and watched as Elizabeth continued to fall. The witch reached one hand out and a web-like specter snaked from her fingertips. The web reached under Elizabeth and bound her up, but soon the momentum began to drag her back to earth, tugging Willow with her.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Media Room – Same Time

“Oh please, Willow, oh please, oh please,” Becca repeated, still wrapped in Giles’s arms as they watched.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

“Hold tight,” Buffy said. Both women dug their fingertips into each other’s forearms as they watched Elizabeth still racing toward them, dragging Willow behind her.

Cut To:
Above Public Square – Same Time

The witch tightened up her hold through gritted teeth, and the young girl’s descent slowed around the third story.

“A little further,” Willow grunted, as she tried to direct the girl toward Buffy and Faith. She didn’t get far, though, before her body suddenly shook with an electric jolt.

Willow cried out in agony. She lost concentration, and her grip, and Elizabeth continued to fall.

Jocelyn floated above the High Priestess with a menacing grin.

“Your weakness is my gain,” she said triumphantly, as she hit Willow with another jolt.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

“Here she comes,” Faith yelled, and they both planted their feet firmly.

Seconds later, Elizabeth landed in Faith and Buffy’s joined arms. The young girl had tears running down her face.

“We gotcha,” Buffy said, trying to soothe her.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Media Room – Same Time

“Is she okay?” Becca asked. “Did they catch her?”

Xander was speechless.

“I think so,” Robin said from behind them, slowly starting to grin.

Giles still stood still, saying nothing. His eyes darted to all areas of the screen, as if looking for the answer to Becca’s question.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

“That was scary,” Elizabeth said between sniffles.

Buffy grinned down at her. “I bet.”

“Take her,” Faith said, taking a step closer to allow Buffy to get a firm solo hold on the girl.

“You’re safe now,” Buffy told Elizabeth. “We’ll have the doctors check you out though, okay?”

Faith looked up toward Willow and Jocelyn and told Buffy, “I’m going up.”

Buffy nodded as she held Elizabeth tight and began to jog toward some ambulances that were at the scene. Faith picked up the anti-magic gun and ran toward the Terminal Tower entrance.

Cut To:
Above Public Square – Same Time

Willow squeezed her eyes shut from Jocelyn’s onslaught of magic, and finally a green barrier appeared. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough for Willow to look down to see Buffy carrying Elizabeth.

“Buffy?” Willow shouted down.

Buffy looked toward the witch and gave her a thumbs up and “okay” sign.

Willow grinned for only a second and then turned toward Jocelyn, her resolve face firmly in place.

With a wave of her hand, she dropped the shield. The two began to circle each other slowly in the air and, for the first time since the battle began, Jocelyn appeared concerned.

“It’s open season,” Willow told her calmly.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Media Room – Same Time

Finally, everyone watching in the media room at the council released a sigh when the news station showed a shot of Buffy running, a grin on her face and Elizabeth held tight in her arms.

“Councilwoman Summers,” they heard the reporter say. “That was amazing. Anything you can tell us about what’s happening here?” he asked, stuffing a microphone in her face.

Buffy tried to work her way around the reporter and his crew, shielding Elizabeth from the camera the entire time. She stopped for a brief moment and looked straight into the camera. “I’ll have her home soon guys, so see you there.”

They all watched the screen as Buffy climbed into the back of an ambulance and the EMT’s shut the doors. Then police pushed the reporters back.

Giles was finally smiling and near tears. He ran a hand down his sweating face before he led Becca from the room.

Cut To:
Terminal Tower – Same Time

Faith tried to work her way inside the building against the tide of people moving the opposite direction, trying to flee.

“Ms. Lehane,” a security guard said, sounding a bit star-struck as he came up to her.

“Make sure everyone leaves this building as orderly as possible,” she told him. “Once it’s clear, you get your men out too.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he told her with a nod.

He broke off from her, going another direction, as she continued her way to the elevators.

Cut To:
Terminal Tower – Elevator – Same Time

Faith stepped aboard the elevator just as the doors were closing and pushed the button. She moved about three floors before the lights went off and the elevator stopped.

In the darkness, she sighed, “Son of a bitch.”

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

Above the gathering crowd, the two witches continued to send magical attacks at each other. Most missed. One stray blast broke all the windows of a nearby Subway, and set off car alarms all down the block. Another hit one of the trees in the grassy area of the Square and the entire tree went up in flames.

The members of the Coven below were trying to unload and carry various bits of supplies from the van. When one blast hit particularly close, sending up a fountain of pulverized sidewalk, Jeff yelled, “Run!”

Andrew ran around the corner of the nearest building, Dawn following him. Each carried a box. Following behind them, Skye carried a fairly large urn, and Hope nervously fingered the small cross she wore around her neck.

Cut To:
Above Public Square – Same Time

Jocelyn and Willow circled each other, moving and dodging, forty floors above Public Square. Jocelyn made a slashing motion with her arm, and a huge wound appeared suddenly on Willow’s abdomen, as if she had been cut with a broadsword. Willow cried out briefly, but then the wound healed itself and she righted.

“You’re out of your league, little girl,” Willow’s voice boomed unnaturally. “I have love. From my family, from my friends. Soon, from my own children. What do you have?”

“I’ll show you,” Jocelyn told her. She flew forward, grabbing Willow and sending them both plummeting towards the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument.

Cut To:
Terminal Tower – Same Time

The doors of the elevator slowly opened to show Faith prying them apart with her bare hands. She balanced for a moment until she was sure of her footing and hopped into the vacant hallway, falling to her knees.

Rising and getting her gun situated over her shoulder, she marched toward the door that read “stairs,” with a huge red “Level 4” just below. When she got to the door, her fingers moved over a building diagram located to the right. The last floor listed was fifty-two.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” she sighed in frustration.

Faith took a deep breath and slowly released it before opening the door to the staircase to make her ascent.

Cut To:
Public Square – Same Time

“They’re coming this way,” Grace shouted. She grabbed Rowena and pulled her behind the Council van.

Jocelyn let go of Willow just as the two of them neared the statue-topped monument. Willow slammed into the “Goddess of Liberty” statue at the top. The statue of a woman carrying a sword fell, tumbling to the sidewalk below. Willow grasped the edge of the now-empty pedestal, hanging, as Jocelyn floated lightly down to land where the statue had been.

“We have to help Willow,” Rowena said, but Grace held her fast.

“Look at us,” Grace told her in a stage whisper. “We’re a pregnant lady and a big nerd. What the hell are we going to do?”

Willow released her grip on the monument and flew up, attempting to land next to Jocelyn. However, Jocelyn repelled each attempt with a magical blow.

“Speaking of love…” Jocelyn said. She turned and flicked a wrist. The Council van flew thirty feet and landed on top of a parked bus, rather thoroughly destroying both vehicles. Standing in its wake were a surprised Grace and Rowena, clinging to each other. Mia grabbed Sanger and scrambled for cover, since they had been standing only a few yards from the bus.

“How’s the twins, Ro?” Jocelyn asked. “I hear you’re –”

That was all Jocelyn got out before Willow landed behind her, grabbed her and spun her around.

“No,” was all Willow said.

The two witches reached for each other, and there was a blinding white flash of light. Standing in the street, Rowena and Grace shielded their eyes. So did Sanger and Mia, trying to get to their feet.

When the light faded, Jocelyn was flying wildly through the air. She crashed through the windows of the BP Building, several floors above street level. Willow watched this, expressionless, for a brief moment before giving pursuit.

Cut To:
BP Building – Same Time

As Jocelyn flew across the immense atrium of the BP building, a strange, confused look crossed her dark eyes. She glanced below her, as everything moved in slow motion.

The necklace, with the rough black stone and its simple chain, were no longer around her neck. They were falling. Jocelyn reached out, grasping for the chain, but she came up empty. It fell away from her and toward the floor below. Then she was slamming through another window, this time going out the other side of the building.

A janitor, hiding behind a potted plant, watched as the stone clattered to the floor.

Cut To:
Outside BP Building – Same Time

Jocelyn fell down the far side of the building, the street coming up fast. She shouted “Preventatum!” and the glowing strands of an ethereal net appeared across the pavement below her. Jocelyn bounced once in her net, then came down on her feet.

She turned to find Andrew, Dawn, Skye, Jeff and Hope putting the last grains of sand on a pentagram. Simultaneously, they all stopped and stared at her.

“Uh…hi!” Andrew waved awkwardly. Sand flying from his hand, which he quickly tried to hide.

Jocelyn’s hair and eyes were still black, the veins still prominent on her face. She seemed unphased by the loss of her necklace. “I know you’re still here. Which one of them am I supposed to kill first?”

The Coven members looked at each other with confusion. Unnoticed by everyone, Hope dropped to her knees and clasped her hands. “Gloria Dei in Excelsis…” she began under her breath.

Jeff held up a hand and a mystical shield appeared in front of him. “Get behind –” he said, but before he could even get a sentence out, Jocelyn snapped her fingers. The shield shattered like glass, tinkling as it fell to the pavement.

Jocelyn reached forward and grasped Jeff around the neck, easily lifting him off the pavement. “Oh, Jeff. I see you’ve got a girlfriend now. Guess you decided to settle when you couldn’t get in my pants.” Jeff choked, clawing at Jocelyn’s hand.

“Get off of him,” Skye said. She tried to punch Jocelyn, but a wave of the witch’s free hand sent Skye flying into the building behind her. Skye shook her head, trying to clear it. “Did I just say what I think I said?” she asked in disbelief.

“Tell me again how your mother died, Jeff,” Jocelyn said. “It might give me some ideas.” Slowly, she began to grin. “Oh yes, I remember…snapped neck.”

Suddenly Jocelyn’s hand jerked away from Jeff, and he fell to the ground.

“What…” she said, as she floated off the street. Glowing white bands fastened themselves around her wrists, ankles, and waist. Jocelyn struggled to free herself, but found she was trapped.

“I didn’t do it,” Dawn gaped. She turned to Andrew. “Did you do it?” Andrew shook his head.

Slowly, everyone turned to look at Hope, who was just getting up from her knees, and Willow, who was floating down from the broken window behind her.

“You stopped the bitchmaster general by praying?” Skye asked in disbelief.

“Not exactly praying,” Hope said. She turned back to Willow. “I told you magic and Catholicism could mix.”

“That’s my girl,” Jeff croaked, before starting to cough.

Willow grinned and then noticed that Skye was standing in the sunlight. She pointed at her with a confused expression, but said nothing.

“Don’t ask,” Skye said. “I have no idea why I’m not a campfire marshmallow right now.”

“Uh,” Willow shrugged.

Fade To:
Public Square – Same Time

Emergency crews ran around as Willow tried to work her way back to where Rowena waited. Grace quietly excused herself, walking over to Mia and Sanger. When Willow finally reached her, the two of them embraced.

“It’s over for now,” Willow told her as she stroked the back of Rowena’s head protectively.

Rowena smiled. “You were phenomenal. I’ve never been more proud,” she whispered into her ear. A huge smile appeared on Willow’s face, and her hair slowly faded from white back to red.

Willow shook her head as she pulled back from Rowena. “I thought I was going to go dark. I was certain of it…but when Xander told me about Liz…I reached as far into my magics as I could go a-and I-I was fine.”

“It’s what I’ve been saying all along,” Rowena offered. “You know who you are and you know what’s important. But we all get a little scared sometimes if we look deep down into who we are. But I knew what you’d find – someone who, at her very core, is selfless, caring and brave.”

“Selfless, caring and brave, huh?” Willow scoffed. “Rowena…lately…”

“You’re having second thoughts about everything,” Rowena told her. Willow looked at her, surprised. “You’re wondering if we got married too soon. You’re doubting whether you’re ready to be a mom. Am I getting warm?” Willow looked away with a guilty expression, but Rowena turned her back to face her. “Part of being responsible is being scared sometimes,” she told her. “There are times I’m scared as hell about where we’re heading.”

“But you seem so carefree about all this,” Willow told her.

“I’m happy, not carefree, and at times, I’m scared too. Think about it – two defenseless people where our actions, or inactions, mold and shape who they become. Saving the world…” she motioned to the destruction and the clean-up crews around them, “that seems easy by comparison.”

“So it’s not just me, then?” Willow asked.

Rowena smiled and pulled Willow into a kiss before answering, “No, but having you on the adventure with me, knowing that I can talk to you like this, it makes me feel more secure.”

Willow began to grin. “Me too.”

Rowena smiled and took Willow by the hand, leading her over to Mia, Grace and Sanger.

Cut To:
Terminal Tower – Observation Deck – Same Time

Faith burst through the Observation Deck door, anti-magic gun at the ready. She crept around, looking for any sign of Jocelyn or Willow. Not seeing them in the air, she looked down over the edge in time to see Rowena and Willow talking to each other and then kissing, before casually walking away.

She let out a frustrated sigh. “Would it kill ’em to use the radio to let me know when the danger’s over?”

Kicking a large piece of the broken concrete out of her path, Faith went back inside.

Cut To:
Outside BP Building – Moments Later

Willow, Rowena, Mia and Grace rounded the corner to see Jocelyn still hanging in mid-air, caught in Hope’s binding field.

“So…what do we do with her?” Mia asked, jerking her head in Jocelyn’s direction.

“I think she’s unconscious,” Andrew reported, “but her eyes are still open. It’s really creepy.”

As if on cue, Jocelyn screamed. Everyone took a step back, but the bonds held. She snapped her head around to look directly at Willow.

“Why didn’t you kill me?” Jocelyn asked. “I can still feel it. It won’t stop until you’re all –” She cut herself off with another scream, thrashing as hard as she could, her face contorted in pain. After several seconds of this, she lapsed back into her state of waking unconsciousness.

Willow sighed and turned to Grace. “Can I borrow your phone?”

“Sure,” Grace said, and she handed over her cell phone.

Willow dialed a number and put the phone to her ear. “Hi, Althenea? Did I wake you?” she said after a moment. “Sorry…Yeah, she’s good, we’re both good. Look, I actually called because I’ve got a job for you. And before you say yes, it won’t be easy.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Lobby – Day

Giles walked forward to speak to Willow, who was just coming through the Council’s front door with Rowena.

“I’m honestly not sure what to say,” he told her. “Thank you would not seem to suffice.”

“Liz okay?” Willow asked.

Giles grinned and nodded. “Yes, the x-rays showed no broken bones. She’s with Dr. Miller now, but, if not for you girls, she wouldn’t be. So again, thank you.”

Rowena looked on proudly while Willow gestured dismissively. “Pshaw. It was nothing. And anyway, we never coulda done it without all the help you’ve given us, so…forget about it.”

Giles smiled and put his arm around her as they walked deeper into the lobby, Rowena following closely behind them.

By the reception desk, Sanger was speaking to Buffy.

“I must say, I’m impressed,” Sanger said. “The Council effectively neutralized a major magical threat, despite the possible personal nature of the enemy.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Buffy told her. “I’m not happy with how many people died, though. Or the damage.”

“Hardly your fault,” Sanger assured her. “The structural damages will be addressed immediately, with the property owners. We’ll also begin settlements for anyone hurt or killed as a result of O’Hara’s devastation.”

“You…you can do that?” Buffy asked, a bit in awe.

Sanger gave her a grin. “As I said, Ms. Summers, my initial report to the Committee will be very positive.”

“So…we’ll see you around then?” Buffy asked.

“Oh, definitely,” Sanger replied. The two of them shook hands, then Sanger turned and walked towards the front door. A small smile spread across Buffy’s face.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Later that Day

Kennedy blinked a few times, then opened her eyes. She saw Kadin’s blurry face leaning over her.

“Where am I?” Kennedy asked. “Is it still Wednesday?”

“You gave us a big scare,” Kadin told her, squeezing her hand.

“Guess that means I’m not dead.” Kennedy managed a grin. “That’s a good sign.”

“Yeah, glad you think so,” Kadin agreed. The two of them laughed together.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Senior Watchers Lounge – Later

Xander sat with Robin, animatedly discussing the sporting event being previewed by the newscaster on the TV. “No, see, it’s not like that, because the Browns have got Brady Quinn now.”

Robin scoffed. “No way some kid from Notre Dame beats a team like San Diego. Shawne Merriman will take off his –”

They both turned their heads at the sound of someone clearing their throat. Lori stood behind the couch.

“Xander, I…” she hesitated. “After what happened…I’m glad you’re okay.”

Xander regarded her for a moment. “Well…I’m glad you’re okay.”

Robin looked between the two of them, very confused.

“Well, that’s good.” Lori waited for a long, awkward beat, obviously unsure of what to do with her hands. Then she pointed over her shoulder. “I, uh…”

“Yeah,” Xander agreed. He watched as Lori hobbled out of the room with her cane.

“What was that?” Robin asked.

For a moment, Xander stared at the door Lori had left through, then shook his head and turned back to Robin.

“No idea. Who knows with her, y’know? She’s kinda off, if you know what I mean.”

Cut To:
Babies R Us – Night

Rowena peered into a white, wooden crib. “I like this one.”

Willow popped her head over the crib, as well.

“Really? It’s kinda…traditional.” The two of them were in the middle of a large store department, surrounded by dozens of cribs. “In fact, they’re all pretty traditional,” Willow added.

“You haven’t liked any of the ones we’ve looked at so far?”

“Not really,” Willow replied. “It’s just…it has to be perfect. A-and these all seem so…factory direct to you,” she ended, sounding like an advertisement.

Rowena grinned. “Then what are we going to do?” Rowena said, “Make one?”

Willow held up her finger. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. She pushed a button and put it to her ear. “Hey Xan, I don’t know much about woodworking or design, but how’d you like to work on a project together?”

Rowena smiled.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Night

Rain poured on a hunched figure as it scrambled along the sidewalk. The hood of its sweater hung low over its face, and it carried something tucked in its arms.

A police car slowed down and a cop with a mustache poked his head out the window.

“You need a lift?” he called through the rain.

The figure turned to face the officer, pulling back its hood. It was the janitor from the BP Building.

“No, I’m fine,” the janitor said.

“You sure?” the policeman asked. “This is a helluva storm.”

“I’m sure,” the janitor replied. He put his hood back up and walked on. The policeman shrugged and ducked back inside his car.

“You’re right,” the janitor whispered, as he hurried up the street. “Magic no longer carries the weight it once did. In today’s world, it is other forms of power that…yes. I can take you to someone with real power.”

The janitor looked down at the rough black stone he held in his hand. “I know exactly who you want.”

Black Out

End of Past Present Future


Next on Watchers…

When Buffy gets a call from her estranged father about his possibly haunted new house, she and Dawn will have to face both literal and figurative ghosts of the past.


Click here to read “Home Sweet Home” now!