Miley Cyrus as Elizabeth Giles, Kevin Alexander Clark as Martin Giles, Mischa Barton as Shannon Matthewson, Zach Braff as Norman Hansen, Trevor Morgan as Alex Rosenberg, Stephanie McIntosh as Jen Rosenberg, Tommy Knight as Jake Allister and Bonnie Wright as Sophie Allister
Keira Knightly as Emma Wilton
Police Station – Continuous
Rowena took a seat next to Liz on the police station bench. She sighed, “This is getting old, Liz.”
“It wasn’t my fault,” she answered, before quietly adding, “this time.” Rowena said nothing. She just continued to stare at Liz, the glare forcing the young woman to continue. “The cop got lippy with me. Power tripping and everything…” Still, Rowena said nothing. “I was minding my own business. Honest.”
Rowena cleared her throat. “Three strikes, you’re out. I’m not coming to get you next time. So that means, you either call your dad or find someone else.”
“I don’t want to call my dad,” Liz told her. “He’s old, and I don’t want to plode him out.”
“And what about me? What about my angst?” Rowena told her.
“Well, you, you’re younger. You can handle it better…well, you’re not that much younger actually,” Liz added, as if considering it.
Liz acted like she was going to say something else, but Rowena grabbed her by the ear and pulled her to her feet, Liz oww-ing as they walked along.
“Well, keep in mind, I’m not coming again,” Rowena told her, “and don’t even think of calling Willow. She’s pissed at me for coming down here now. So I know she sure as hell won’t be bailing your ass out of trouble.”
Rowena let her go as they got to the police desk.
“I’m sorry,” Liz told her, rubbing her ear.
“Your sorrow doesn’t make my life easier right now,” Rowena told her. “Do I need to do anything, Roger?” she asked the desk sergeant.
“She’s free to go,” he told Rowena, but he turned to Liz. “I don’t want to see you back in here, kid. You know, you’ve probably got a lot of people who care about you. She’s not even blood, and she’s standing here, so you better straighten out or you might lose them. Got it?”
“Yes, sir,” Liz responded, sounding bored.
“Go get in the car,” Rowena ordered her in an angry voice. “Thanks, Roger,” she told him politely.
“Good luck,” he told her knowingly.
Rowena shook her head in frustration and moved quickly to catch up to Liz, who was already on her way out.
Rowena’s Car – Moments Later
“I don’t want to do this,” Liz said as she sat in the passenger seat.
“What?” Rowena asked, still annoyed. “Walk back into your house and have me explain to your dad that I picked you up from the police station…again?”
“No, be a watcher. It’s what my dad wants. I didn’t ask for this.”
“Few of the great watchers ever did.”
“Oh, right,” Liz replied. “Like Rupert Giles, Watchers Council founder and all things…watcher-y, wasn’t born that way. Pleeeash.”
Rowena grinned. “Aunt Buffy always said he wanted to be a jet pilot.”
“That’s a joke, right?”
Rowena shook her head. “Nope, he didn’t want to be a watcher either. But he eventually answered his calling, and it led him to wonderful things in the end.”
“Saving lives, changing lives, meeting your mom and, eventually, having you and Marty.” There was a moment of silence between them. “So, if you don’t become a watcher, what would you like to do?”
“Excuse me?” Liz asked.
“I said –”
“I heard you. It’s just…no one’s ever asked,” Liz told her. Rowena began to chuckle at her shocked expression. “I mean…I never really thought about it before,” she said, sounding giddy at the prospect.
“Well, what’s the answer?” Rowena replied.
“I-I don’t know. Maybe start a band. I like music, and I’m good, really good. I just want to do something fun.”
“Being a watcher can be fun, and pretty exhilarating at times.”
“Again, indexing on a Saturday night? Not my idea of fun.”
“There’s more to being a watcher than just indexing. It’s about doing good, and it’s a legacy, something that you can pass down,” Rowena told her.
“Like a curse,” Liz told her. “And speaking of which, didn’t the watchers come from something demonic? I mean, the first slayer was fused with the demons, so maybe not all watchers can be good…maybe I’m just one of those.”
“An evil watcher?” Rowena asked.
“Yeah, if these two powers are tapped together, then maybe not everyone can do the right thing.”
“Well, I don’t think you’re evil, Liz, and I don’t think the power we have is evil.”
“I seem to always find trouble. How do you know for sure it’s not evil?” Liz asked.
“That’s a good question. I don’t. And that’s one of the reasons I have faith you’ll make a good watcher.”
“Right there,” Rowena said, pointing at her. “Because you question everything. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, you’ve got a thirst for answers. Your brain is always working. Of course, it would be better if your mouth didn’t open so much to get you into trouble,” she teased with a grin.
Liz grinned, too. “I can’t help it.”
“I know. That’s because it’s part of who you are. You’re very opinionated, and you’re very curious. Infuriating, at times, but still, like I said, good qualities that could make a great watcher someday. And who knows, that Shadowmen theory you have might be a good research project for the summer.”
Liz just looked out the side window, her expression unreadable.
Giles House – Moments Later
Giles walked down the hallway to the foyer, Martin following behind him. They arrived in time to see Liz putting her jacket on the coat rack.
“Hey Marty, Giles,” Rowena said, giving them a wave.
Martin waved back and watched his sister start up the stairs.
“Where’ve you been?” he asked Liz.
Liz didn’t reply. Instead she continued up the staircase.
“Answer your brother,” Giles commanded in a firm voice.
Liz stopped and looked over the banister at both of them.
“Out,” was all she said before she turned and ran up the steps.
“Finish your breakfast,” Giles told Martin, motioning him toward the kitchen again. He left without question. Giles then made his way over to Rowena, shaking his head.
“Where was she?” Giles asked. Rowena looked reluctant to say anything for a moment. “I see,” was all Giles said at first. “And I apologize. I know you have your own family to deal with. She shouldn’t be bothering you.”
“You guys are family,” Rowena told him. “She’s just…she’s going through a phase, I’m sure,” she said softly.
“Yes, one that hopefully won’t kill her. Unless I do it first,” he said with a slight grin.
Rowena grinned as well. “I always said Liz was good practice for what might lay ahead for me.”
Giles released a heavy sigh. “Still, I’m sorry. I-I-I don’t know where I went wrong.”
“Okay, Ripper,” Rowena told him. “We all know the saint you’ve always been.”
Giles grinned again. “Now I know how my parents felt when I dropped out of Oxford. It’s the parental curse at work, I suppose.”
“Or it’s the fact that Liz is sixteen and she’s bright enough to know the huge duty that’s been laid upon her.”
“I just pray she doesn’t make the mistakes I’ve made,” he replied.
“Well, she’s still trying to find herself, Giles, so don’t take it personally.”
“It’s hard not to. She’s my daughter, and I want her to-to be happy. Maybe…” He paused for a moment. “Maybe Becca was right all along. Maybe I should remove her from the program.”
“No,” Rowena said immediately. “Trust me on this one, Giles. This girl…I can’t speak for you, because I didn’t know you at her age, of course, but she’s…”
“A handful and then some,” Giles replied.
“Yes,” she conceded. “But she’s smart, quick. She always has been.”
“With the choices she’s making lately, t-that’s debatable,” he replied.
Rowena waved a finger. “The day of my wedding, I had a five-minute conversation with her about seashells at the beach. She remembered everything I told her years later, and she was only two at the time. At two and half, she was talking in complete sentences. So like I said, she’s bright. She has wonderful recall and great powers of observation. She will make an excellent watcher someday, I promise.”
“But if that’s not what she wants, Rowena…”
“She doesn’t know what she wants,” she told him. “I asked her in the car, and she didn’t have an answer, not really. So my advice? Next time she gets picked up by the cops, let her stew for a while. Let her think about life in an eight by eight cell for a little bit.”
Giles nodded. “I agree,” he said. “And again, thank you.”
Rowena grinned for a moment and then looked up to the ceiling. “You ready yet, Liz?” she shouted. “I’ve got to get Alex to the dentist.”
“I’ll take her to class,” Giles told her. “Go on.”
“It’s okay,” Rowena told him. “I’m on my way there to get Alex.”
Before Giles could answer, Liz had her book bag in her hand and raced back down the stairs, dressed in different clothing.
She gave Giles a brief, “Bye,” before leaving out the front door.
Giles and Rowena both sighed in unison.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Office – Later that Morning
There was a knock at the door, and Rowena looked up to see Willow step inside.
“Hey, sweetheart,” Rowena greeted her with a grin.
“Hey,” Willow replied. “I just thought I’d stop by. I didn’t know if you’d be working late again tonight or not, a-and I wanted to see how the dentist trip went.”
“Alex is no longer ‘the brace face,’ as Jen calls him. He’s officially now ‘retainer mouth’ – her term, not mine. He’s got another appointment next week.”
Willow grinned and took a seat across from her wife. “So what are you up to today?” she asked, pointing to all the papers on Rowena’s desk.
“Trying to help New York put two and two together…but not having much luck. You want to grab some lunch in about an hour?” she asked, looking at her watch.
“Oh, uh, no,” Willow replied. Rowena gave her an indignant look. “I mean, I would if I could, but I can’t. I’ve got a student that says she’s having trouble with some of the elements, a-and I told her I’d go over it with her today over lunch. I mean, if that’s okay?”
“Since when do you need permission from me to help a student?” Rowena teased.
“Well, I didn’t know if you had anything special planned for lunch, like maybe that new romantic French restaurant that opened up,” Willow said hopefully.
“Damn, I knew there was something I was going to do this week,” Rowena winced. “I haven’t gotten reservations yet, but I will. I promise.”
Willow gave her an indifferent shrug. “Like I said, it doesn’t really matter today. I’ve got plans already.”
“Okay, but this weekend maybe? Or better yet, next weekend. This weekend I might be at another hellmouth, looking into all of this.” She held up a folder and let it drop back to her desk.
“Yeah, sure,” Willow said as she got up. “I’ll let you get back to…” She let the sentence hang as she waved her hand over the items scattered around Rowena’s desk.
She began to walk to the door, but Rowena moved around the desk and caught her before she could leave.
“I didn’t get my kiss this morning,” Rowena told her. She leaned in and kissed Willow on the cheek.
“Be home for dinner, you think?” Willow asked.
“No promises, but I’ll try my best,” she replied.
Willow didn’t add more. She just nodded and walked out.
Watchers Council – Office – Later that Day
A young man in his early to mid-twenties sat in a chair. Across from him was a woman in her early fifties. He turned the notepad he had in his hand to show her the picture he’d been drawing.
“Horns like this?” he asked hopefully.
“No, not like a big ram. Like goat horns, little nubs.”
“I thought you said it was like a ram?” he asked.
“I meant a goat,” she replied. “Plus, he wasn’t that red. It was more like an orange color.”
Holding back a sigh, he turned the pad toward himself again and had begun to erase when there was a knock at the door.
“Come in,” he shouted, sounding almost happy for the interruption.
Rowena poked her head inside. “Hey, Norm,” she told him. “Sorry to bug you.”
“No, that’s quite alright. Believe me, I don’t mind. Whatcha need?” Norman Hansen asked.
“Your wife,” she told him. “I thought she might be here, since it’s almost lunch time. Any idea on where to find her?”
“Try the West Gym or send her a page. If I see her, though, I’ll mention you’re looking for her.”
“Thanks,” Rowena told him. “And again, sorry.”
“No problem,” he told her. “Really,” he added. He rolled his eyes and slightly motioned toward the witness. Rowena held back a grin and just nodded before she left.
After she shut the door, Norman ripped the piece of paper from the notebook and crumpled it up. As he dropped it on the floor, it landed beside two other pieces already there.
“Okay, Ms. Lewis. Let’s take it from the top…again.”
Watchers Council – West Gym – Moments Later
“Jen looks like she’s on spot today,” Dawn said. She and Shannon stood side by side and watched the slayerettes practicing.
“Yeah, she is,” Shannon told her before looking down at her clipboard. “She already beat her old record on the 440 twice today, very impressive.”
Rowena appeared between them.
“Hey girls,” Rowena greeted them. “You’re a hard woman to find,” she told Shannon.
“I’m in the building. Why didn’t you just page me?” Shannon asked.
“Your husband said the same thing,” she replied with a grin. “Besides, I needed the exercise. I’ve got a special assignment for you.”
Shannon sighed, and Rowena immediately cringed.
“You know, I hate the term ‘special assignment’,” Shannon told her.
“I know,” Rowena replied.
“Things go wrong when I’m on special assignment.”
“I lose important things on special assignments. You know, like Slayer Scythes?”
“My bad, okay? I forgot the phrase ‘special assignment’ is no longer in your vocabulary,” Rowena told her. “And for the record, in my opinion, you didn’t lose the Scythe. Anyway, let’s call this a ‘protecting a watcher expedition.’ How’s that?”
“Fine,” Shannon told her. “What’s the job?”
“An investigation. I’m traveling with a couple of watchers-in-training to check out some strange reports I’m getting from New York. I don’t expect to see too much action, but I’d like to have some slayer muscle, if you catch my drift.”
“Why not take Jen?” Dawn teased. “I’d say she’s just about ready for patrolling.”
“I realize that my daughter is a slayer,” Rowena replied. “But she’s my daughter before being a slayer. Studies come first, slaying comes second. Besides, she’s only fourteen.”
“I was fourteen when Dawn and I started working together,” Shannon replied with a grin. Dawn grinned as well and began to nod. “Of course, this bitch still looks young.”
“Oh, shut up,” Dawn chuckled. “Don’t remind me. Still, I nominate Jen.”
Rowena sighed and didn’t reply to the comment. Instead, she asked Shannon, “Are you going to help me?”
Shannon chuckled. “Sure, as long as Norm doesn’t have plans for me, or we can’t find a sitter,” she replied. “It shouldn’t be a problem, but I’ll find out in a few minutes at lunch.”
“Great!” Rowena told her. “Just let me know either way, okay?”
“You got it,” Shannon told her with a salute.
Rowena walked backward, still facing them as she went to the door. “And you’re not putting our daughter in rotations until I can talk to her mom about it.”
“Aye, aye Cap’n,” Dawn teased. Shannon gently slapped Dawn on the arm.
Rowena just waved her finger in warning.
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Same Time
Willow was looking at a jar with a curious expression. She opened the lid, took a sniff and turned her head away swiftly. She closed it back up and then looked at the shelf above her workbench and found a place to put it. A light rapping at the door made her turn, and she smiled.
“Miss Wilton,” she said as she motioned her over. “Come in.”
A young blonde woman in her early to mid-twenties strolled into the room.
“You’re not busy, are you?” she asked. “I can come back if –”
“Don’t be silly,” Willow waved her off. “I’m just doing a little housekeeping.”
“Good,” the young woman said with a slight grin. “Why don’t we stop by the cafeteria before heading back to your office? My treat,” she offered.
“Food here is free,” Willow reminded her with a grin.
“Yeah, I know. But by offering to pay, I don’t feel like such a mooch for stealing your time. I know an instructor as smart as you must be pretty busy – people always picking your brain and such.”
Willow blushed. “I’m not in as much demand as you might think.”
“Not in demand? I find that totally imposs to believe,” she replied. Willow reddened deeper, and Wilton’s grin grew larger. “Shall we?” she asked as she motioned with her hand.
Willow gave a slight nod and began to walk from the room. Wilton gave her an appraising eye but said nothing as she began to follow along.
Watchers Council – Cafeteria Line – Same Time
Willow and her student stood in the lunch line with their trays. Each of them stood in front of monitors and touched the screens to pick out their food.
“I’m sure you saw the piece the BBC did on the London Coven,” Wilton remarked as they began to shuffle along after placing their orders.
“Yes!” Willow said excitedly. “I was worried that Al was going to lay into that reporter. Althenea Dimmons, I mean,” she clarified.
“Everyone here knows Al,” Wilton said, resting a hand on Willow’s upper arm. “No need to explain.”
Willow watched as Wilton slowly removed her hand. “Well, I, uh, I mean, I can’t believe the questions he was asking,” Willow said.
“No doubt,” Wilton agreed. “The whole thing would be laughable if it didn’t piss me off so much. Sorry, I shouldn’t say –”
Willow grinned. “Don’t apologize. It pissed me off too.” They both grinned at each other.
“It’s like they take what we do,” Wilton continued, “well, what you do, since I’m still a student and not a Coven member yet, but…they make a mockery of it. They act like they do their research by reading fiction books like Harry Potter. It’s like talking to a pilot after reading Around the World in 80 Days. He sounded like a total idiot.” Willow let out a giggle. “I just would have liked to see him interview you. Now you would have schooled him good,” she added with a wink.
Willow blushed again, but jumped when someone came up beside her and yelled, “Cut-sies!” She turned sharply.
“Dammit, Dawn,” Willow yelled. “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
“Man, why are you so on edge? All I want is another milk. Can you queue one for me, since you’re in line?” she asked. “Hi there,” she said as she noticed Wilton standing there.
“I am not on edge,” Willow replied, as she touched another screen in front of her.
“She’s on edge, isn’t she?” Dawn asked Wilton.
The student grinned and began to rub Willow’s closest shoulder. The witch instantly and visibly tightened. “Yeah, I’d have to go with Miss Summers’ assessment,” she added as she dropped her hand to her side.
Two milks slid onto Willow’s tray, and she took one, handing it to Dawn. “Go,” she ordered her.
“Thanks, Will,” she told her as she walked away, waving to Wilton, too, as she left.
“Twenty plus years, and she still drives me insane,” Willow muttered.
New York City – Warehouse – Same Day
The room was dark, but it appeared to be part of a warehouse of some kind – large in size, with no windows. In the middle of a room, a man was tied to a chair. A moment later, a demon appeared in front of him.
“She’ll be here soon, and if you don’t tell us what we want to know, it will cost you dearly,” the demon told him.
The man was sweating bullets and physically shaking. “I-I-I don’t know what you want. I-I-I don’t have any idea what you mean.”
The sound of heels clicking on the cement echoed through the large room. A woman’s back was visible as she stood in front of the man.
“You have something we need,” she told him.
The man’s head snapped to one side as she backhanded him, and he went limp in the chair. She motioned to the demon behind her, and he tossed a bucket of water on the man. He sputtered and choked for a moment, then opened his eyes.
“Now,” she began. “That was water. The next bucket will be acid. It’s your choice…”
“I’m telling you, honestly, I don’t know,” the man said, pleading to the woman above him.
She waved her hand and began to walk away, her heels clicking once more. As she continued onward, there was the sound of a second splash.
The agonizing screams of the man didn’t seem to break her stride at all.
Watchers Council – Classroom – Later that Day
Rowena stood in front of a large screen television, motioning to a display behind her.
“…and that’s where W.I.L.L.O.W. can help you,” she said to her students.
“The computer, not your wife, right?” one student remarked.
“Yes, Mallory. The same thing I’ve been talking about for the last ten minutes,” Rowena said, exasperated. “Now, this weekend I need two of you who have clearance for an assignment I have. I’m bringing Judy Petrella and Liz Giles with me.”
Judy raised her hand. “Uh, Ms. Allister,” she said meekly. “It’s my sister’s wedding this weekend.”
“Shoot, that’s right. I’m sorry, I forgot,” Rowena answered. “No problem. I’ve got to move quick on this one, though, so it looks like it will just be Miss Giles. Anyway…if any of you have any questions this weekend…” Another student raised her hand. “Yes, Trina?”
“Yeah, can you tell us why Liz is the one going?” she asked. “I mean, I know all of our dads aren’t watchers extraordinaire who have libraries here named after them…but it might be nice to include other folks here, too.”
Rowena opened her mouth to reply, but before she could answer, Liz turned to face Trina and shot back, “I’m not going because of my dad. She’s taking me because I’m not a skanky, moronic slint like you.”
“Take that back, bitch, or I’ll flatten you,” Trina warned.
“Girls!” Rowena warned.
“I’m so scared,” Liz said sarcastically. “Besides, if she took you, the NYPD’d mistake you for a working girl,” she added as she turned back around.
Some people in class began to snicker. Hannah shoved her desk forward. Hearing the movement of the desk and the chair behind her, Liz shot to her feet and turned to face Trina just as the other girl sailed over another desk to tackle her.
“That’s enough!” Rowena yelled. She rushed to get between them as they rolled around on the floor. The other students cheered them on, some rooting for Liz, others for Hannah.
Liz had worked her way on top and was about to let loose her cocked arm when Rowena hooked her around the elbow and pulled Liz to her feet. The watcher stepped between both young ladies before they could charge each other again.
“Trina – corner, now! Liz, out in the hall!”
“You’re kicking me out?” Liz argued. “She hit me first!”
“Go!” Rowena shouted, “And you better be out there when class is over!”
Liz angrily shoved a chair halfway across the room as she stormed outside, but not before slamming the door on her way out.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time
Liz stalked across the hallway and sat down on the bench in a huff. She looked at where she was sitting by turning left and then right.
“Another bench,” she muttered to herself. “Beautiful.” After a few seconds of shaking her head and taking a deep breath, she said, “Screw this.”
She got up and began to walk down the hallway.
Watchers Council – Willow’s Office – Same Time
Willow was in her office with Miss Wilton. Across the desk lay several open books and two lunch trays. Willow sat behind the desk while the other woman sat at the edge. Both of them were laughing about something.
Willow quieted down a little and said, “He decided not to do that again, needless to say.”
The woman chuckled slightly. “You have the best stories of all my instructors,” she said. Willow brushed the comment aside with a wave of her hand and a growing blush on her cheeks. “No, I mean it. You should hear some of them. It’s enough to kill the world’s strongest caffeine buzz when they talk.” She then made a snoring sound.
Willow chuckled. “Well, a lot of them learned their craft from books. Nothing wrong with that,” she added quickly. “But when you’ve been in the field as much as I have…let’s just say you meet some interesting characters over the years.”
The young woman cocked her head. “Can I ask you something?”
“Certainly,” Willow replied.
The young woman grinned. “How old are you? You mentioned knowing Miss Summers over twenty years.”
Willow chuckled. “Old enough to be your…very old sister, Miss Wilton.”
Willow paused. “I’ll be forty this December.”
“No, tell the truth. I’m curious.”
Willow chuckled. “Would I lie about something like that? You should be grateful I admitted it.”
“The big four-oh, huh? I wouldn’t have said a day over thirty.” Willow blushed at the compliment. “Has anyone told you you’re quite beautiful when you blush?”
The young woman reached out and covered Willow’s hand with her own. Willow didn’t pull away.
“Yes, they have, but…it’s been a while since I’ve heard that,” Willow declared. The student began to lazily stroke the top of Willow’s hand. “A-and you’re a beautiful woman too,” Willow continued, returning the compliment. “You’re a beautiful young woman, emphasis on the word young, in case you didn’t catch it.”
The student closed the book in front of her with her other hand that wasn’t occupied with Willow.
“I have a confession,” she began. “I know this material. I just wanted a way to speak to you face-to-face…alone.”
“Miss Wilton…” Willow warned.
“Emma,” she answered.
“Emma,” Willow started again, “I’m married. I’m almost double your age a-and –”
“Not true,” Emma corrected her with a sexy grin. “Well, the married part is true, but the age thing, no. I’ll be twenty-five next month – that’s more than half.”
“Still,” Willow told her, “although I’m deeply flattered, I –”
Emma leaned over the small divide of the desk and kissed Willow passionately on the lips. Her fingertips caressed the side of the witch’s cheek.
Willow didn’t return the gesture, but her eyelids did flutter closed, and a small noise, almost like a moan, escaped her lips. As Emma pulled back, Willow slowly opened her eyes and watched as the young woman’s fingers gently touched her neck, then traveled down her arm, until finally resting on her hand.
“I’d love to see you for lunch again this week,” Emma confessed. “If you can find the time, that is.”
Before Willow could reply, the door to the office swiftly opened, and Emma’s hand shot away from Willow’s. They both looked over to see Liz standing there, an agitated expression on her face.
“Yes, Liz?” Willow said, finally finding her voice.
Liz’s eyes never left Emma as she spoke. “I’d like to have a word with you, Instructor Rosenberg…in private.”
“I guess that’s my cue,” Emma replied.
“You guessed right,” Liz replied, her stern expression still in place.
Emma turned back to Willow as she picked up her book and stood up.
“I’d love it if you could teach me more in a few extra private lessons, Ms. Rosenberg. You know me, I always like to stay on top.” Emma licked her upper lip slightly before turning away and heading toward the door.
Still, even as Emma passed, Liz’s eyes didn’t leave her for a second. Finally, once the woman was out the door, Liz’s steely gaze fixed on Willow.
The first words out of her mouth were, “How could you?”
End of Act One