Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Gale Harold as Jim Pollan, Caroline Dhavernas as Grace Hatherley, Elijah Woods as Jeff Lindquist, Laura Pyper as Casey Pierce, Steffani Brass as Shannon Matthewson, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Lorinda Sheparton, Freema Agyeman as Siobhan Hartley, Laura Prepon as Lori Carew and Gary Oldman as Mr. Jason Felix
Marcia Cross as Autumn O’Mara, Morena Baccarin as the Voice of Hell, Lee Pace as Rock Cartwright, Devon Graye as Justin, Andy Serkis as Mink, Silas Carson as Krylak, Finlay Robertson as Charlie, Georgia Moffett as Sara and Kavan Smith as Jody
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Same Evening
“There we go,” Siobhan said, as she placed a china mug, filled to the brim with piping hot tea, down in front of Casey.
“Ah…cheers!” Casey flashed an uneasy small smile as Siobhan took a seat opposite her.
Siobhan sipped her tea and quirked a brow at Casey, who was warily sniffing the wafting updraft of steam. “You can drink it, you know?”
Casey shot her a look. “Oh yeah, I know, but I…like…the whiff…” After a beat, she gingerly took a sip. She shivered slightly as it warmed her, and with a puckered brow, she said, “Oh, that’s lovely.”
“See, I’m not out to poison you, after all.”
“No, and it’s definitely better than the brown water that they pass off as tea round ‘ere.”
“I hear ya.” Siobhan held up her own cup. “This is from my personal stash. Mum sends me over a box of PG Tips every month.”
Casey’s eyes widened. “My Nan, too.”
Siobhan grinned. “You know, there’s no reason why we can’t get along.”
Casey nodded in agreement and then smirked. “However…I do remember a certain someone putting the first digs in.”
“Oh come on, you can’t say that it was all me.”
“Well…” Casey pouted.
“You were making with the catty ’cause I moved into your old patch back at the London Branch. I get it. I’d be the same. Plus, with the merger tensions and that whole coup-untrusting-thing, I was acting like the sun shone out me bum.”
After careful consideration, Casey rolled her eyes. “Perhaps we’re both as bad as each other.”
“Yeah,” Siobhan nodded.
“But you’re a bit badder,” Casey got in, before wrapping her lips around the mug.
Siobhan replied with a toothy grin. Just as she raised her mug to her mouth, her eyes shifted to Lorinda, who had just wandered into the room, with what looked like a take-out cup in her hands. “Lookie there. Grace’s girl toy…” she muttered, nodding over to the doorway.
Discreetly, Casey glanced over her shoulder. She looked back to Siobhan. “So, which one do you think she is? The Ron or the Hermione?” she emphasized, raising both brows.
Casey grinned and took a sip.
Lorinda stood on her tiptoes and scanned the room. Then she caught sight of Siobhan and Casey in the corner. “Hey, either of you seen Grace?” she called out.
Immediately and in unison, the two slayers replied, “Conference room.”
Lorinda blinked. “Err…thanks.” Then she caught Siobhan giving her a wink. Lorinda frowned, shook her head, turned around and rushed out of the rec room.
The pair of slayers glanced at each other and shared a hearty laugh before resuming their tea drinking.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Moments Later
“Some were scaly, some were yellow, some were yellow and scaly,” Skye said, waving a hand in the air. “What can I say? It really was a fest of all things fugly. Well, except for me, of course.”
Grace sighed, laptop in front of her. She cast a glower up at Dawn, who was sitting beside Skye with a pile of folders open before her.
“You know,” Grace said sarcastically, “I’ve got this whole newfound appreciation thing for you and your oh-so detailed reports.”
Dawn snorted. Robin and Rowena looked at each other with a slight grin.
“Hey!” Skye protested to her girlfriend. “Doing my best Alias here! I’m putting my tush, this tush,” she pointed toward her bottom, “that you’re oh-so-very fond of, Ms. Summers, on the line on a nightly basis!”
“Oh, I know, sweetie,” Dawn said, “but as much as it pains me to agree with Fangirl over there, you’re not exactly flooding us with details here. I mean, can’t you be a little more specific?”
Skye sat up and nonchalantly threw her hair back behind her shoulder. “Well, there was also a shark.”
“Oh for the love of –” Grace threw her hands up off the keyboard and fell back in her chair, covering her face.
“A land shark!” Skye exclaimed.
“Did he say ‘Candygram’ when he knocked on the door?” Robin asked.
Rowena laughed. “That’s a good one,” she said.
The three younger women looked at each other, confused, and then at Rowena for an explanation.
“SNL skit?” Rowena prompted. They said nothing. “Based on Jaws?” They still said nothing. “Chevy Chase was in a shark costume and…never mind.” She then turned to Robin. “It’s hell being the old people of the Council, isn’t it?”
Grace groaned behind her hands. “Getting positive ID’s of the attendees at the Voice of Hell meetings is gonna be next to impossible, if this is what we’ve got to work with.”
“Maybe we’ll have to go with Gwen’s surveillance plan,” Dawn said wearily.
“Tell you what,” Skye raised a finger. “Next time I go undercover, I’ll take my camera and upload the photos to my Facebook.”
Grace dropped her hands. “You have a…?” She shut her eyes and shook her head. “I’m not even gonna go there…”
Dawn rubbed her eyes. “You know what? Let’s take a break!” she beamed with a forced smile.
“Amen,” Skye said. She pushed her chair away from the table and headed for the small kitchen off the conference room.
“True,” Rowena said, “I should check on Xander and the twins.”
“Meet back in fifteen?” Robin asked, and Rowena nodded.
Dawn meekly and apologetically grinned at Grace before heading after Skye.
Grace blew out a heavily-burdened sigh. She closed her laptop and laid her head on the table. After a moment, she frowned and sniffed. She sniffed again and then cocked open an eye to see a cardboard coffee cup across from her.
It was then that Lorinda bent down to her eye level. “Bad day?”
“Long day and bad day,” was Grace’s muffled reply. “Is that…?”
“What do you want?” Grace said bluntly.
“Can’t a friend bring another friend coffee?”
“They can, but with you it’s never just coffee. It’s coffee and consequences.”
“Well, this time it’s coffee and Jeff.”
Grace shot up. “Huh? What’s up?”
Watchers Council – Conference Room Kitchen – Same Time
The water cooler gurgled as Dawn held down the tap. As she stood up and leaned against the door to the conference room, Skye nodded at Lorinda.
“You know what?” Skye said. “I’m pleased for her.”
“Excuse me?” Dawn spat the water back up into the Styrofoam cup. “Your demi-nemesis?”
“Well, only because it benefits us. Least now she won’t be so crabby all the time.” Skye paused to think. “Unless she has crabs, which is totally possible, given her reputation.”
They watched as Lorinda drank from the coffee cup and then handed it to Grace, who took a drink from it, too.
“Remember when we shared the same cup for the first time?” Dawn said reflectively.
Skye pulled Dawn close and chuckled, but they both kept their eyes on the conference room.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
“I’m worried about –”
Lorinda stopped when she realized that Dawn and Skye were staring. She half-glanced at them and then leaned in closer to Grace.
“About Jeff,” she whispered.
“What is it? Is he sick or something?” Grace asked quietly.
“No, but he will be soon, if he’s not careful,” Lorinda sighed. “He’s been burying himself in work, work, and more work, ever since –”
“– Hope’s funeral,” Grace finished.
Lorinda slowly nodded. “Way I see it, it’s only a matter of time till he explodes from suppressing it all. That or he collapses from exhaustion.”
“What do you have in mind? An epic foot rub? ‘Cause Jeff’s got Hobbit feet.”
“Not a foot rub,” Lorinda answered, rolling her eyes. “How about an evening of culture and entertainment put on by the local university’s drama company?”
“And your cup of tea, how?”
“Free tickets, for tonight. One of my boy toys is in the production, and I figured that it would be Jeff’s cup…and, you know, yours.”
“And combining our forces, we’ve got a better shot at getting him to go?”
“Bingo!” Lorinda tapped Grace on the end of her nose.
Watchers Council – Conference Room Kitchen – Same Time
At the sight of the nose tap, Skye snorted. “Cute.”
Dawn elbowed her.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
“What’s the production?” Grace said. “God, I hope it’s not some awful student play.”
“Nope, it’s a comedy no less, and Shakespeare to boot!”
“It’s Much Ado About Nothing, isn’t it?”
Grace ran her hand through her hair and scratched her head, and after a moment she said, “Okay, I’m in. Just one question.”
“Why are we whispering?”
“Okay!” Dawn announced extra loud, as she and Skye returned to the table.
Grace and Lorinda were startled, and they snapped straight up, with deer-in-headlights expressions on their faces.
“We should get back to work,” Dawn said to them, “and it looks like you two should get a room…”
At Dawn’s teasing wink, Grace and Lorinda both appeared puzzled. Lorinda hitched her thumb over her shoulder toward the kitchen and asked, “Is there something in the water?”
Grace just shrugged.
Watchers Council – Front Sidewalk – Later that Evening
Grace stood at the edge of the curb, an almost Tetris-like display of lights from the Council building glaring behind her.
Dressed in her large tan coat, she bobbed her head along to the beat of a song on her iPod, mouthing some of the words and drumming her fingers on the bag draped diagonally across her chest.
Occasionally, she turned her head and looked up and down the street, but otherwise, she seemed quite content to just stand and listen to her music.
Nearby, Shannon and a group of armed slayers wandered across the green, heading back inside from patrol. As Shannon turned her head, she saw Grace alone on the sidewalk. Looking slightly concerned, she glanced at her fellow slayers and waved them on. Then she headed over to Grace.
“Hey, what’cha doing?” she asked as she came up behind the watcher.
There was no reply.
“Hey, Grace?” Shannon said. After still getting no reply, she leaned forward and touched the watcher’s arm.
Grace jumped, released a yelp and spun around, whipping a stake from her bag. “Get back, sucker! I’ve got wood!”
When she saw that it was Shannon, she fumbled with her stake until she could get it back into her bag; then she plucked the iPod’s earbuds from her ears.
“Sorry, I was away with fairies,” Grace explained. “Or rather, The Pixies,” she added with a gesture toward her music player.
“‘I’ve got wood’…” Shannon repeated thoughtfully, tapping her finger on her chin. “That’s catchy. Might hafta steal that one.” She waved a hand at the curb. “What’cha doin’ out here?” she asked teasingly. “The watcher gig not payin’ enough?”
“What? Eeeww, no!”
“Well, even though the streets of Cleveland are supposedly fifty-eight percent safer, this is not the best place to be loitering…especially not with that plunging neckline of yours.” She pointed to the watcher’s revealing clothing.
Grace quickly proceeded to pull her coat together, which made Shannon raise an eyebrow.
“So, what are you up to?” Shannon asked.
“Oh, I’m waiting for Lorinda to pick me up. We’re going to a play. We’re cultured, don’cha know?”
Shannon made a silent “O” with her mouth and slowly nodded, a sly smile widening across her face.
Grace frowned in confusion at the reaction.
“Well, enjoy your…date,” Shannon said. She backed off and snorted, then turned and walked away.
After a moment of intense frowning, Grace blinked, and as the realization of what Shannon said dawned, her eyes bulged to nearly double their size, and her mouth and jaw fell open.
Not even the growl of an oncoming sports car broke her out of her flabbergasted state. The tires screeched as the sports car – sleek and silver, looking more like a work of art than a vehicle – pulled up beside Grace.
Lorinda’s Car – Same Time
“Whoa,” Jeff said, as he bounced back in the front passenger seat. “You sure you passed your test and didn’t just bribe the examiner and the DMV?”
“It pains me that you’d think such a thing, Jeffrey,” Lorinda said melodramatically, a hand to her chest. Then she bent over to look across Jeff. “Hey, Grace,” she called out.
Hearing her own name shook Grace out of her deep thoughts, and she turned to the car just as Jeff got out of the passenger seat.
“Isn’t it lovely?” Lorinda chirped proudly. “It’s good to be rich.”
“Umm…yeah,” Grace gave back weakly.
“You okay?” Jeff asked.
Grace cut her eyes at Lorinda for the briefest of seconds, then she looked back at Jeff. After a short pause, she smiled and nodded. “Yeah, just…nothing.” She blew a raspberry and waved her hand in the air.
“Cool,” he replied with a small smile. “C’mon, you ride shotgun.”
“Nah, I’m good in the back,” she said.
“You ever been in a car with Lorinda driving before?”
“Well, then,” he said with mock gravity, “Lorinda passenger virgins…”
Grace moved her eyes away subtly at the word “virgins.”
“…should have the front seat,” he finished. “Her driving is the reason why the handle above the window is called the ‘Oh, Jesus! handle’.”
Grace grinned. “Well, if you insist.”
Jeff tipped his head and held open the door for her. Once she was in place, he squeezed behind her seat and into the back of the car.
Lorinda raised an eyebrow at Grace and said, “Better hang on.”
With a noisy peel-out, the sports car sped away from the curb.
Cleveland Graveyard – Same Time
“So…” Kadin began with a teasing smile. “You text now?”
Kennedy shot her a glance before rolling her eyes with a slight smirk. The two women walked casually, side-by-side, through the rows of headstones.”I do not,” she retorted shortly. “I was just too lazy to dial the number.”
“Yeah,” Kadin chuckled in response, “I’m sure it was way too taxing to press ‘one’ on your speed dial.”
Kennedy looked over at the other brunette, her smirk slightly wider. “How do you figure you’re number one on my speed dial?”
Kadin looked over, her own smile slightly faltering as she shrugged. “Just a guess.”
“More like an assumption,” Kennedy teased back.
The hunter looked over once more, all signs of confidence gone from her face. She sighed and then turned back to glance around the cemetery. “Quiet night,” she whispered softly.
“Hey,” Kennedy interrupted, with a hand on the hunter’s elbow.
Kadin sighed and then quickly turned to look at the slayer.
“I’m just messin’,” Kennedy offered gently. “Besides Faith, you’re pretty much the only person I even talk to on the damn thing.” She laughed softly before continuing. “And I wouldn’t dare inflate her ego even more by making her number one.”
Kadin smiled slightly, not really comforted by the explanation. “It’s cool.”
“Really?” the slayer asked. “Because…it’s not like that.” She stepped up, moving her hand further up the hunter’s arm as they looked into each other’s eyes. “You know you’re always number one with me. Right?”
Kadin’s smile slowly returned. “That was really cheesy.”
Kennedy rolled her eyes, pushing the other woman away with a light shove. “Way to ruin a moment, ass.”
Kadin chuckled as they started to walk again. “It’s what I do.”
Bar Near the Campus Theater – Later that Night
Dulcet tones and conversation coursed throughout the bar as the audience gathered and discussion broke out, accompanied by music in the background.
“Was-was that Shakespeare?” Jeff asked, as he and Grace made their way through the crowd, carrying their drinks over to the side.
“Umm, you know…I really don’t know,” she replied, “but I do know that I don’t feel cultured or entertained. Did they even read Much Ado About Nothing?”
“Yeah, I know! I swear it was supposed to be a comedy, but that was just a plain tragedy.”
“Ha!” Grace snorted. She took a drink of what looked like orange juice.
“At least we didn’t have to pay. That’s something, right?”
“I guess, but we lost two hours of our lives that we’ll never get back.”
Jeff smiled and shook his head as he drank his beer. As he brought the bottle back down and licked his lips, his smile began to fade. He stifled a sigh and hesitated before he spoke. “You know…ah, you probably don’t, but…the Branagh movie of Much Ado was one of Hope’s favorites, a-a-and the girl who played this Beatrice in it had a class with her.”
Grace looked crestfallen and let out a small sigh. “Jeff…” she said softly, reaching out with her free hand to gently touch his arm. She immediately pulled back, though, when Lorinda suddenly appeared, her boyfriend in tow.
“Hey peeps!” the slayer said brightly.
“Is that…?” Jeff pointed to the wine glass in Lorinda’s hand.
“It is,” she confirmed, giving him a wide grin as she smiled up at the guy on her arm
Jeff frowned and gave a small wave of his hand toward the glass. The Chablis color turned a bit darker, but stayed the same hue. Jeff casually put his finger up to his lips as he looked at Grace. The watcher looked momentarily confused, but shook it off.
“Aren’t you ‘Claudio’?” Grace asked, pointing at Lorinda’s companion.
“Um, yeah, hi, I’m Justin.” He offered Grace and Jeff his hand. As they shook, he said, “I’m Lorinda’s –”
“– boy toy,” Lorinda finished.
Justin coughed and nervously straightened his tie. “Did you enjoy the –?”
“Quiet, Justin,” Lorinda ordered. He instantly obeyed, swallowing hard and casting his eyes to the floor.
Jeff and Grace shared a smirk.
Lorinda rolled her tongue around her mouth and gave the two watchers a mischievous wink. “We’ve been invited to the cast party – somewhere far classier than these student digs.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Lorinda…” Jeff began, scratching his head.
“No excuses, we’re going.” Lorinda stared Jeff down and then snapped her head around to Justin. “Justin, get my coat.”
Lorinda took a sip of her wine, grimaced and emptied it into a nearby plant.
“I’ll be back,” she told the pair, before walking away.
“What did you do to her drink?” Grace asked.
“Turned it into sparkling apple juice,” he replied. “It’s easier than trying to fight with her. I’ll save that for later.”
Cleveland Graveyard – Same Time
Kadin and Kennedy were walking along in comfortable silence, their hands clasped together between them.
“How’re the Sox doin’ this year?” the hunter asked, twirling her silver-tipped stake in her free hand.
“Pretty good,” Kennedy answered absently, as she scanned her side of the graveyard. “Could be better.”
“Hmm,” Kadin replied, just as absently. “So…if I told you I had dugout seat tickets for next week’s series against the Indians,” she paused as she turned to glance over at her lover, “you wouldn’t be interested in the least?”
Kennedy stopped and turned her head around to look at Kadin. “This is payback, right?” she asked with a slight smile. “For the speed dial thing?”
Kadin chuckled and gently shook her head. “No,” she answered softly. “I’ve been holdin’ them for a while now.”
“How in the world did you get –?”
“I hate the Red Sox,” a foreign growl suddenly interrupted before the slayer could finish her question. “More of a Yankees fan myself.”
Both women turned and saw a group of vampires emerging from the darkness. When they stopped a short distance away, Kennedy looked over the lead vampire from head to toe, a disgusted expression on her face. She glanced over at Kadin.
“That explains a lot,” Kennedy murmured, as the two women separated to move into their fighting stances. The vampires growled and charged in.
Kadin grabbed one of the charging vampires just as he rammed into the side of her body. She easily flipped him up and over her hand, before slamming him into the ground.
Before he had a chance to react, she drove her stake down into his heart. She was already up and ready to fight the next as he first howled and then exploded into dust.
Kennedy was surrounded by three vampires, easily fighting off each of their attacks. She grabbed the female vampire by her arm, twisting it painfully as she used the demon’s own momentum to send her spiraling into another of the attackers.
She grabbed the third, spinning him around to the front of her body as she grabbed a stake from the waistband in the back of her pants. She pulled it out, twisted her hand to slam it into a vampire trying to sneak up behind her, then pulled it around and drove down into the heart of the vampire she held against her.
Kennedy coughed as both exploded into dust. “Hate it when they do that.”
Just as she regained her footing, the female vampire tackled her to the ground.
Near the battle, one of the bushes slowly parted, making a slight rustle as two glowing yellow eyes suddenly appeared. They blinked, and there was the sound of slight but labored raspy breathing.
The golden eyes looked over to see Kennedy fighting with the female vampire, who seemed to have gained the upper hand against the slayer. The eyes then traveled a few feet away to where Kadin was fighting off two of the bigger vampires.
There was the sound of a surprised gasp, and then the breathing continued.
Cleveland Graveyard – Same Time
Kennedy growled as she grabbed the female vampire by the lapels of her jeans jacket. “Get off!” she howled, as she threw the demon up and off her body. The vampire rolled a short distance before quickly jumping to her feet to charge back towards the brunette.
The slayer instantly flipped to her feet, grabbing her stake as she moved. She raised it just as the vampire charged into her.
The demon looked up, her expression saddened as she met the slayer’s eyes. “This sucks.”
Kennedy smirked as she kicked the vampire back, sending her incinerating body flying through the air toward the bushes.
As the female vampire slammed into the undergrowth, she completely exploded into dust. The dark figure in hiding squeaked in shock and surprise, the bushes shaking as it tried to move deeper into the brush.
After a long moment of silence, the yellow eyes cautiously reappeared in the gap of the bushes. Another tiny gasp was emitted as its gaze was met with a now completely deserted graveyard.
Suddenly, a large hand reached into the bushes and grabbed the figure by the collar, hauling it out from its hiding spot. The tiny figure was soon revealed in the moonlight.
It was a small creature with dark blue skin, glowing yellow eyes, and a shaking, completely terrified nature.
Kennedy cringed, her face distorted in slight disgust as she pulled the trembling demon further out from the bushes. “Hey,” she called to get the squirming thing’s attention.
The demon recoiled instantly, his eyes focused on the slayer holding him firmly by the throat. His tiny blue hands were clasped around Kennedy’s bigger and much stronger wrist.
“What’cha doin’ hidin’ in the bushes like some pervy little demon, hmm?” she asked, shaking him slightly.
“Me…me…no-no demon!” the creature protested weakly.
Kennedy’s brow arched as she looked him over. “If it walks like a demon and,” she paused as her face once again contorted in disgust, “…smells like a demon…”
“M…M…M-Mink!” the blue creature protested. “Me no demon. Me Mink!”
Kennedy was confused as her grip on the creature’s throat lessened just a bit. “What’s a Mink?”
“It’s his name,” Kadin replied as she walked up beside her lover. She kneeled down to the creature’s level, placing her hand gently on Kennedy’s arm.
The slayer slowly released the demon, and he instantly backed away from her. He rubbed at his throat and never took his eyes from her.
“How do you know that?” Kennedy asked, still completely lost as she turned to her girlfriend.
Kadin sighed, watching the little creature wearily before turning to face the other brunette. “Because,” she said, sighing again as she slowly moved to stand and meet the slayer at eye level, “I knew him once. He saved my life.”
Kennedy turned to look at the cowering creature and then back to Kadin. “Say huh?”
Kadin sighed once more, shaking her head as she too glanced down at the demon. “Those few weeks that I was gone,” she explained softly, “I kinda got into some…stuff. Some demon stuff.” She smiled just slightly. “I got hurt pretty bad once, and Mink managed to stop the bleeding. Saved me.”
“Okay,” Kennedy shook her head, even more lost than before. “What?”
Mink finally came out from his cowering behind Kadin to slowly and carefully edge closer to the hunter’s legs. He looked up at her, his tiny, yellow eyes glowing in the darkness. He sucked in a slow and raspy breath.
Kadin’s expression changed, her body tensing as she stared down at the creature. A few moments of tense silence passed.
“Uh, excuse me?” Kennedy finally broke in. “Who’s coming?”
“The demon who runs the underground fighting ring that I entered when I left here because I couldn’t deal with what I was becoming, and who, I imagine, is royally pissed that I left before paying what I owe him by fighting in the biggest match his ring has ever set up.”
Kennedy was nearly stunned speechless. “Oh,” was all she could say.
End of Act One