Act 5

Fade In:
– Crystal Cave – Continuous

The tension in the cave was thicker than aerogel as everyone carefully watched Shannon with various expressions on their faces – from the wary dread on Xander’s to the amused expectation on Samael’s. Shannon gave the fallen angel a confident smile and opened her mouth to speak.

“Love,” she said. “The answer is love.”

Rowena smiled proudly, while the rest of the team looked at each other with growing concern. Finally, Samael bowed before the former slayer and vanished as light filled the chamber, blinding everyone, living and dead.

Cut To:
Spell Location
– Moments Later

As the light cleared, the group found themselves standing on a vast plain. To the north lay snow-capped mountains similar to, but obviously not, the Alpine mountains of Europe. Opposite them, to the south, was a single fiery peak rising from a cone of cooled lava. Dark clouds hung over the stratovolcano. The glow from the molten rock within the immense caldera reflected off them, casting a hideous pall over the entire scene.

To the east lay a vast and endless field of wildflowers of all colors and forms, and opposite that, to the west, was a huge lake that stretched into a fine mist.

The group looked around in wonder and silence until Xander exclaimed, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“Will?” Liz asked, looking at the stunned witch. “Any idea where we are?”

Willow looked around and then finally her eyes rested on Tara’s. The two witches gazed at one another for a moment, and then they both began to smile. Tara let out a sweet laugh.

“This is it,” Willow finally answered Liz’s question. “We’re here.”

“Where?” Liz said, the frustration obvious in her voice.

“The center of the circle,” Tara answered.

Rowena frowned and looked around again. “Ohhh!” she suddenly exclaimed. “I get it.”

“Cool!” Andrew said. The other Wiccans in the group finally relaxed as they understood what Tara had meant.

“Someone want to explain to us non-witchy types?” Faith growled.

“Sure,” Willow laughed and turned to Liz. “It’s a circle…one really huge circle.” She pointed to the north and then followed the compass as she moved along. “Earth…Air…Fire…Water. The four elements we call when casting a Wiccan circle.”

“Each of the vistas represents the traditional cardinal points of the circle,” Tara explained. “The mountains are Earth, the open fields Air, the volcano Fire and the lake Water. It’s all so simple. By moving along the path the Sisters set up, we’ve entered into their circle. And the answer to the riddle is the answer to the challenge for entering a circle…’How shall you enter the circle?'”

“In perfect love,” Willow said.

“And perfect trust,” Dawn smiled back. “Like Shannon, who gave the answer.”

Shannon smiled fondly at Dawn. “It means a lot to hear you say that,” she said with a slight whimper.

“Good,” Dawn told her. “Because I meant it.”

Shannon sniffed back her tears and nodded her thanks.

“Wow,” Liz said, looking impressed at the surroundings. “So can we do this now?”

Willow looked at Dawn. “You’re gonna be carrying a lot of important folks. Are you up for this?”

“Yes,” Dawn answered firmly.

“All right, ladies,” Willow told them. “It’s show time.”

Dawn nodded, and was joined by Tara and Althenea. As they knelt, everyone else arranged themselves in a circle surrounding them. Dawn closed her eyes and concentrated, the strain on her face growing by the moment. Her silky hair crackled as if with static electricity.

After what seemed an eternity, a large portal opened behind the group, and more people began to walk out. Children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren came forth. As each family member recognized their loved ones, they moved forward to join them. Finally, as Sophie passed through the portal, Dawn let out a small sigh, and the gateway closed with a whisper.

“Thank the Goddess,” Willow whispered in prayer upon seeing Sophie arrive safely.

Immediately after, Nathan yelled, “Grandpops!” as he ran toward Giles, who wore a large smile and had his arms wide open.

Andrew greeted his son with a bear hug, “James, are you ready?”

James nodded. “Yeah, Dad,” he said. “Don’t worry, I’ve been gathering up plenty of midichlorians while we were waiting for the portal to open. We can do this.”

Oh, oh, yeah,” Andrew said. “Just always remember, do or do not…there is no try. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

“Yeah, I know all that, Dad,” James said. “Classic Yoda.”

Andrew smiled at his son. “Fine, let’s go crush some rock butt.”

“Yeah!” James said, and high-fived his father.

Around them, the newly arrived family members greeted and chatted with one another.

“Now what?” Liz asked Willow.

“Faith? Xander?” Willow called out, and both of them made their way over. 

Where do we start?” Xander asked, as they both arrived next to the pair. 

Willow said, “You two will be our main anchors, so I’d like you and your families to stand directly across from each other.”

“And I’m an anchor why?” Xander asked.

Willow grinned. “You have the most offspring in the circle.”

“Ha!” Faith snorted.

Willow smirked and turned to Faith, “And you’re the oldest line, with four generations,” she told her.

Now it was Xander time to chortle at Faith’s expense. “So basically she’s the old lady, and I’m the stud?” he asked.

“No, you’re the ass,” Faith said as she chuckled.

“This is serious, guys,” Liz said, trying not to chuckle as well.

Willow smiled. “Now you see why nothing ever got done when we ran the Council?” she remarked. Liz, Xander and Faith all began to argue that point, and Willow held up a hand. “Teasing, okay? Now, we’re going to need someone well-adjusted to handle the stone, who hasn’t shown any wacky tendencies…or at least not as many as most here.”

All eyes then fell to Liz. The watcher looked over her shoulder, as if to check if anyone was behind her.

“I guess that means me?” she asked as she turned back around. They all nodded.

“Let’s start getting everyone in place,” Willow told her. She then turned around and said, “Anya? Skye?” The two women looked over from their conversation with Tara. “I need you to stay in the circle with Dawn, Al and Tara, okay?”

They nodded in response.

Fade To:
Spell Location
– Moments Later

The circle was loosely joined as Liz moved forward and held the stone upright in her hand by its chain. A loud explosion sounded, and she dropped the stone and looked behind her. The already ominous volcano began to spew lava, the sky darkening even further. Quickly she picked up the chain again, holding the stone high.

“Everyone ready?” she called out.

The baneful visage of the volcano glared down upon the stone, as if willing it destroyed. Liz placed the stone in the heart of the circle between the four women: Skye, Dawn, Anya and Tara. Liz stepped back and took the hands of her father and her son.

Kennedy took one of Calendar’s hands, while Kadin took the other. Sophie took her brother Jake’s hand, who locked hands with his son Daniel.

“Grams? What’s going to happen?” Daniel asked in a small voice to Willow.

She smiled at him. “Magic,” she told him. “But don’t let go, no matter what. Okay, Sweetie?”

The young boy nodded. Willow then locked hands with him and Rowena. Rowena then took the hand of Jen, who was joined to Alex and Trisha.

Elder Nikki, Robin and young Nikki all joined hands. Faith held out one hand to Nikki, who glanced at her mother with a soft smile and took a firm hold. Faith visibly tightened her hold for a moment before she joined her other hand with Norman. Norman in turn took his son Kelvin’s hand, as he held his infant son Dirk in one arm. Shannon hooked her arm around her son Kelvin’s other arm, as the Elder Joyce took Shannon’s free hand. She then turned to Buffy, who locked hands with Joyce, the slayer.

“Will this hurt, Dad?” James whispered to Andrew as they approached the circle.

Andrew wore an admiring smile and, at first, didn’t answer.

“You’ll be okay. You will,” he promised, as he took the boy’s hand and gave his other one to Lilly. Lilly in turn took the hand of Jeff, who then joined with Mercy.

Finally, the circle was complete, as Xander took the hand of his daughter Joyce and his birth-granddaughter Trisha.

The generations had come full circle, from beginning to end, unbroken in their perfection.

A low murmuring began as the four women in the center began to chant. The words were unrecognizable, but they were as old as time itself. As the volume rose, those in the circle took up the unfamiliar syllables. However, no one faltered…not one word was misspoken.

The menacing clouds hovering over the volcano began to grow as the vibrations from the chanting continued to rise. Giles and his family looked behind them, a bit concerned as more lava began to pour from the top.

The breeze from the east quickly turned into a steady wind, bringing with it the fragrance of millions upon millions of flowers. Buffy looked behind her.

“Least we got the good side,” Xander quipped to Buffy.

The waters of the lake stirred as the wind sped over the surface, causing the waves to lengthen until they began to roll, growing larger and larger in size.

“You can swim, right?” Faith asked her daughter, who nodded with slight confusion.

Nikki looked behind them to see the waves gaining greater height. “Oh, boy. This might not be good,” she surmised.

“You might want to speed this up, guys,” Faith suggested.

To the north, a large rumbling came from above. At the very peak, large plumes stirred, and trees began to disappear under a roll of white. The immense avalanche crashed down the slope of the mountain, heading quickly toward Willow and Kennedy’s families.

The wind behind Buffy and Joyce increased. When they turned around, their eyes widened.


“You spoke too soon, Xan,” Buffy told him, motioning over her shoulder. He looked over to see a tornado growing in size.

“Uh, Will?” Xander asked her, the concern evident in his voice.

“I see it! Don’t break the circle!” Willow yelled over the growing noise of the churning elements around them. “No matter what!”

Within the circle, the air above and the ground below the Loathestone began to shimmer, as if testing the bounds of reality. With each rising decibel of sound from the gathering, the shimmering vibrations grew, until it seemed as if the shape of the stone itself was distorted. It became more than it appeared, almost as if it was no longer a rock, but a vast chalice.

“Oh crap,” Faith said, seeing a tidal wave bearing down on her family. “Are we almost done?” she shouted.


The chant reached its crescendo, as everyone’s voices in the inner circle were strained beyond their limits in a final shout of power. As the vessel opened, sonic booms filled the air, and flashes of light swirled around the center.

“Hang on! Don’t move!” Willow screamed.

Kennedy and Kadin were speechless as they watched the path of snow barreling down the mountainside, getting closer with no sign of stopping. They looked at one another, not saying anything.

The wind behind Buffy’s family was so strong that it was almost impossible for them to maintain their hand lock.

“It’s getting really hot, Mom,” Nathan told Liz, as sweat poured down both their arms.

“Just a little longer,” she promised. She looked over at her father with less confidence than her voice conveyed, and he tightened his hold on her hand, as if to calm her.

In an instant, the entire area grew dark, and bright points of light, each appearing to be made up of millions of protons of supernatural energy, rose toward the sky in an explosion of luminescence.

After what seemed like an eternity, the disturbance surrounding the circle calmed. Daylight returned, and the veil around the area was gone. The African landscape returned, and the shimmering of the Loathestone faded until all that remained was a black rock lying on the ground.

The four women in the center finally looked up at the people standing in the circle around them. Liz started forward and then let go of Giles’s hand. After that, the circle broke apart, as the group began to realize its success.

Joyce turned to her granddaughter and Buffy and touched their cheeks with a loving gesture.

“Goodbye, Sweethearts,” she said, then turned to Dawn, who was looking at her mother with tears in her eyes as she held on to Skye. With that, Elder Joyce slowly faded from view, as did Skye, leaving Dawn’s arms empty.

After Joyce, others among the dead began to leave. Tara faded as she gazed on Willow one final time, her endless love reflected on her features. Willow then grabbed Rowena and held on until the blonde disappeared. She turned to Kennedy just in time to see Kadin leave and then gently took her wife’s hand in her own, her tears matching those of Kennedy’s.

At the same time, Giles bent slightly to come eye-to-eye with young Nathan.

“Respect your mother,” he told him. Then he smiled over at Liz for a moment and added, “she deserves it.” Before Liz could close the small distance to him, Giles disappeared.

Andrew pulled James close to him. The boy appeared confused, but returned the hug. Andrew looked over to see Lilly disappear from Jeff’s arms.

Locking eyes with his friend, Andrew told Jeff, “Remember your promise.”

Andrew then faded from view, leaving James and Jeff with shocked looks on their faces.

“Where did he go?” James asked Jeff. “Was that supposed to happen?”

Realization began to wash over Jeff’s features. “We’ll find out,” he promised the boy.

As Nikki consoled an emotional Robin, Faith strode to where the Loathestone still lay on the ground. She paused for a moment, just staring at it.

She knelt down and picked up the light Stone, tossing it once in her hand. With a sneer, she squeezed with all of her might until nothing was left but small bits of rock and sand scattering in the breeze.

“She looks different,” Joyce told Buffy, as they watched her. “Lighter…happier.” Joyce slowly began to grin.

Buffy looked like she was on the verge of tears. “She does,” she agreed.

Joyce looked over and saw Calendar talking to her mother. With careful footsteps, she made her way over.

“Hey,” Joyce said.

Kennedy nodded to Joyce and then slipped away from the pair.

“I’m really sorry, Van,” Joyce told her.

“It was the Stone,” Calendar told her.

“That’s no excuse. At least not to me. I know I can never love you the way you want but…I’ll love you until the end of time. You’re my best friend.”

Calendar smiled and pulled Joyce into a hug. “I can live with that,” she told her.

Faith wiped her hands clean as she rose and Robin came over to her. Faith gave him a bittersweet smile, and he pulled her close, kissing her soundly on the lips. Her arms worked their way up, wrapping around his shoulders and neck as she returned the kiss. Nikki looked on with a gentle smile, then turned when she felt Liz put her arm around her shoulder. Finally, Faith and Robin pulled away, and Faith looked over at Liz.

Her voice caught in her throat as she gave the watcher a simple, “Thank you.”

Liz smiled, although her eyes looked glossy with unshed tears. Not trusting her voice, she nodded to the pair, still wrapped in each other’s arms.

“Liz,” Jeff said quietly as he walked over. “We’ve got a problem.”

Her brow furrowed.

Cut To:
Command Pavilion
– Later that Day

Liz strode into the command tent, with Willow at her side. They walked up to one of the technicians working at a terminal. Both of their faces were grim.

“Councilwoman!” the tech said, standing at attention.

“Sit down,” Liz snapped. She handed him a datapad. “I’m looking for someone in my team. Andrew Wells.”

The technician hit a button on the pad and waited a moment as the information was uploaded to his terminal. He looked back up at Liz with an expression of concern. After a moment of consideration, he handed the datapad back to Liz with an apology.

“I’m-I’m sorry, Councilwoman,” he said as he showed her the results. “He’s in Tent B – five down and to the left.” He pointed as he spoke.

Liz glanced at the pad. She took a deep breath and then turned and walked out of the tent quickly.

Cut To:
Outside Command Pavilion
– Moments Later

Kennedy, Faith, Buffy and Xander were waiting outside the tent Liz and Willow walked out.

“Where’s James?” Liz asked, and then had to clear her throat.

As she looked at Liz, Buffy’s face crumbled in pain for a moment and then hardened as old instincts took over. Willow’s eyes were filled with tears.

“With Jeff,” Xander said. “He hasn’t left his side.”

Liz nodded.

“Should we get him?” Kennedy asked.

“No,” was all Liz said. Without another word, she strode off, with the group following.

Cut To:
Mortuary Tent B
– Moments Later

Liz walked into the massive tent first and had to hold her nose for a moment. Willow, Kennedy, Faith, Buffy and Xander followed behind her. Arranged in line after line within the tent were bodies covered by tan tarps.

“Andrew Wells?” Liz asked one of the guards.

He typed something into a datapad on his wrist. “Third row and fifth back, ma’am. Right by the wall,” he answered.

Liz nodded and made her way over, with the group following at a distance behind her.

When she got to the directed area, she paused a moment before crouching down. She pulled the tarp halfway down, enough to see Andrew’s lifeless face and the chest wound surrounded by dried blood. For a long moment, no one said anything.

Xander walked over and stood behind Liz.

“When?” he asked, breaking the silence. “How?”

“He never said a word,” Willow said, her voice hollow. “He…” she trailed off, unable to continue as Kennedy held her.

Liz looked over at them.

“The battle,” she replied. “Looks like an axe wound,” she added as she covered him back up. Xander put a hand on Liz’s shoulder.

Faith wore the smallest of grins, which Buffy noticed.

“You find this funny?” she asked, annoyed.

Faith turned to her.

“I find this noble,” she replied. “He was smart enough to find a way back and spent his last hours protecting the world, instead of fulfilling his own selfish goodbyes.” Her grin widened as she spoke. As she turned back to Buffy again, the blonde slayer could see the unshed tears in Faith’s eyes. “I’m not sure I could have done that.”

Faith gave Andrew’s body a casual salute, then didn’t say anything more as she made her exit from the tent.

Fade To:
Council Camp – Minutes Later

Jeff kept his arm around James Wells as the group, except for Liz, began to walk away from the rock the pair were sitting on.

“Can I see him?” James asked, his head hung low.

Jeff looked at Liz, who shook her head. “Not yet,” Jeff told him.

James nodded and didn’t say anything for a long moment. Jeff simply sat there next to the boy, his arm around the young man, offering support.

“This was what he was trying to tell me,” he finally whispered. After taking a deep breath, he said, “I have to call Mom. Tell her what happened.”

“Willow is taking care of that now, James,” Jeff said. “And we’ll make sure we get him home.”

Liz, her face lined from the battle and endless grief, said, “We always take care of our own.”

“If that’s true, then why is he dead?” James asked, finally raising his head.

Liz said nothing at first. She walked over and put a hand on James’s shoulder.

“Because…” she said, “we all have a time when we leave…and this was his time.”

Fade to Black

Fade In:
Watchers Council
– Main Entrance – Night

May 2064


Dawn walked through the Council’s entrance and took a look around. The large area buzzed with activity.

V.O., Dawn: “This is so cool! I can’t believe you built all this, Giles.”

V.O. Giles: “Yes, well, others had a lot to do with it, Dawn. Willow, Andrew, Robin…everyone really.

V.O., Dawn: “I’m so proud of you guys.”


She watched as a group of slayers passed her by. It was obvious from the weapons they carried that they were on their way to patrol.


Flash To:
Cleveland City Street
– Night

Dawn and Calendar were walking behind a small group of slayers as they patrolled down a Cleveland street.

“Aren’t the new uniforms the coolest?” Calendar said to Dawn.

Dawn made a skeptical grunting noise. “The girls look like they’ve raided Trinity’s wardrobe.”

“Who?” Calendar asked.

“Trinity?” Dawn asked, looking at her. “Carrie-Anne Moss? The Matrix? Jesus, don’t you kids ever watch classic movies?”

Calendar shrugged. “If it hasn’t been converted to holovid, then nope.”

Dawn shook her head in disgust. “What do slayers need with uniforms anyway?” she muttered under her breath.

V.O., Buffy: “Uniforms? Was that in the old slayer handbook, which I never got?”

V.O., Mr. Felix: “No, Chairperson Summers, but we should have something to set them apart from the regular police patrols. It would make the slayers instantly recognizable.”

V.O., Buffy: “Exactly! Recognizable to demons. Forget it, Jason. Next item on the agenda?”

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Library – Back To Present

Dawn stepped into the Council Library and looked around. She saw several watchers sitting at computer terminals, with holographic displays showing various reports from all over the world.

Flash To:
Watchers Council
– Library – Day

“Ms. Summers,” a slayer asked. Dawn looked at the girl, who continued, “I don’t understand why we have to look through these smelly old books. Everything is in the database, and we can just ask W.I.L.L.O.W. Why do we even bother?”

Dawn stared at the slayer, who was sitting at a desk with a handful of other slayers, all with books open in front of them.

“Research is an important part of your job,” Dawn started to answer.

“But we’re not watchers,” the girl rudely interrupted. “We’re slayers.”

“And as such, you’ll learn how to research,” Dawn said. “Everyone has to…it’s expected at a certain age.” Dawn’s eyes went blank.

V.O., Dawn: “Oh come on, Tara. I am so old enough to do research. Do you really think I’m not mature enough?”

V.O., Tara: “I think you’re very mature for your age…but you’re still only fifteen.”

“…why don’t we use the tools we have?” the girl asked.

Dawn blinked as she refocused. “Because someday you might not have the database or W.I.L.L.O.W. available to you, that’s why. Now get back to work.”

Cut To:

Watchers Council
– Cafeteria – Back to Present

A slayer bumped shoulders with Dawn as she rushed toward the exit of the cafeteria.

“Oh hey!” the slayer said. “I’m sorry…I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

Dawn chuckled. “No, it takes more than that to hurt me, kid.”

The girl nodded and continued out, while Dawn programmed her order into the food unit.

Flash To:
Watchers Council
– Cafeteria – Day

Dawn sat at the table next to Xander and sipped at her mug of coffee. She made a face and then the coffee came spewing out of her mouth. Xander merely raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Problem with the coffee?” he asked.

“This is crap,” Dawn declared. “What the hell did they do to it?”


Xander chuckled. “The Council finally ran out of its reserves,” he said. “Until they restore the rainforests, we’re stuck with the synthetic. It’s not that bad when you get used to it. You might want to check with Will, though. I’m sure she’s got a secret stash somewhere…she’s been much too cheery.”

Dawn set the mug down in disgust. “Ugh. I can’t believe the standards the Council’s cafeteria has fallen into.”

V.O., Dawn: “How did you like your first visit to the cafeteria, Joyce?”

V.O., Joyce: “It was great, Aunt Dawn. Everything’s so nippy and much better than Mommy’s cooking. I can’t wait till I’m a slayer. Did you know my mommy was a slayer?”

“Yeah, well…it’s only old relics like you and I who even remember what real coffee tastes like,” Xander said, waving his mug at the young slayers and watchers filling the cafeteria. “This is the brave new world we live in, Dawnie. Get used to it.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Coven Wing – Back to Present

Dawn grabbed the sleeve of a young witch. “Hey, can you do me a favor?” she asked. “I left my Book of Shadows in the main study area. I don’t want to disturb the kids working there…you know how they get.”

“Of course, my lady,” the witch said. “Just wait here a moment, and I’ll be right back.”

Flash To:
Watchers Council
– Coven Room – Day

“What’s this, Will?” Dawn asked, as the redhead handed her a wrapped package.

“It’s a gift, Dawnie,” Willow replied. “For your third degree.”

“From you?” Dawn said. “Aww, that’s so sweet, but you didn’t have to…I mean, you’ve done so much for me.”

“No, not from me,” Willow answered. “Well…kind of, but not really a-and…why not just open it?”

Dawn chuckled and tore at the wrappings. She revealed a beautiful handmade leather-bound book with the words Liber Umbrium carved in beautiful letters on the cover. “Wow, this is great!” She opened the book to reveal tight, neatly written words. “Is this yours?”

“No,” Willow said sadly.

Dawn looked up at the tone in Willow’s voice. “Then whose?”

Willow smiled. “Tara’s,” she answered. “She-she would have wanted you to have it. She would have been so proud of you, Dawnie. Just like I am. You-you were like a daughter to us, and I’m so glad she had you in her life before…”

Dawn’s eyes filled with tears as she clutched the precious volume to her chest.

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Coven Wing – Back to Present

The young witch returned and handed Dawn her book. “Here you are, my lady.”

“Thank you, Tranquility,” Dawn replied. “Goodbye.”

“Um, Lady Dawn?” The young woman stopped her by placing a hand on Dawn’s arm. “I was wondering if you…well, maybe we could…”

Dawn stopped her. “No Tran, thank you, though,” she said kindly. “But I can’t. I appreciate it.”

“Oh, okay,” the girl said, obviously crestfallen.

Dawn left the area and headed down the hall. A small, but sad, smile played over her lips.

Flash To:
Cleveland Restaurant
– Day

“So,” said the young man sitting across from Dawn at a table in a nice restaurant. The expression on his face was open and eager. “How long have you worked for the Council?”

Dawn gave him a wry smile. “Longer than I’d like to think,” she answered. “What did Bill tell you about me?”

“Just that you were related to Joyce,” he said. “I’d guess she’s an older cousin or something?”

Dawn rolled her eyes. “Yeah, something like that,” she answered with a small, amused smile on her face.

“If you don’t mind me saying, you look really young to be a watcher,” he noted. “From what Bill has said, his in-laws are pretty high up there, so I guess it helps to have connections, right?” Dawn simply nodded, and he went on. “Anyway, I’m really glad I met you, Dawn…um, maybe we can go out again?”

Dawn gave him a sad smile.

V.O., Skye: “Tonight was the best first date I’ve ever had. I’d love a second.”

V.O., Dawn: “I’d like that too, Skye.”

“We’ll see,” she finally answered, and despite the ambiguous response, the young man smiled widely.

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Recreation Room – Back to Present

Dawn glanced inside the rec room and watched the various off-duty slayers and watchers relaxing watching holovids or playing games. One of the young watchers playing poker with a group noticed her and waved her over. “Hey, Ms. Summers…come on and grab a seat,” he invited. “I hear you’re a wicked player.”

V.O., Buffy: “Dawn, I can’t believe you and Skye taught Shannon to play strip poker.”

V.O., Dawn: “So what, Buffy?”

V.O., Buffy: “So what? The last thing we need around here is any more gay slayers.”

V.O., Dawn: “Great Goddess, Buffy, haven’t you learned anything yet?”

“Nah, that’s okay, Tru,” she replied. “I’m on my way to speak with Liz. Good luck.”

“Maybe we’ll catch you next time,” he said, waving.

Dawn gave a small, yet sad, smile and moved along, eventually coming to the infirmary. She looked through the windows at the diagnostic beds within. The area was quiet, with only one attendant working at the triage desk. She paused and glanced down at the small piece of paper in her hand.

Flash To:
Watchers Council
– Infirmary – Night

Dawn sat at the bedside next to a sleeping Willow, holding the elderly woman’s hand in both of hers. Monitors above the bio-bed hummed softly, and periodically Dawn’s eyes would scan the readings.

Willow stirred, and Dawn’s eyes snapped back to her face.

“Dawnie?” Willow said in a weak voice.

“Hey Will,” Dawn said, trying to give a smile. She failed miserably.

“You should go home,” Willow told her. “Get some rest.”

“No,” Dawn said. “I can’t.”

“Nonsense,” Willow croaked. “You don’t need to dance attendance on this old woman.”

“Yeah, I do,” Dawn said, her eyes leaking freely now.

Willow sighed, and a tear ran down her face. “Thank you,” she said. “Everyone else…everyone else is gone, except you. I’m…I’m glad you’re here.”

“Oh Gods, Willow,” Dawn sobbed. “Please…please don’t leave me.”

“Oh Dawnie,” Willow said, and patted Dawn’s dark head. “I’m so sorry.”

“Please,” Dawn cried, her voice muffled by the bed. “Don’t leave, please don’t go!”

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Hallway Outside Liz’s Office – Back to Present

Dawn stopped in front of the door that said “Elizabeth Giles.”’ She looked down again at the folded piece of paper. At the top it read, “Willow Danielle Rosenberg.” Below the name were two dates that said “1982-2064.” Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door twice, but didn’t wait for a reply to enter.

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Liz’s Office – Continuous

Liz looked up and smiled. Her once youthful face now showed the lines and gray of experience. She slowly pulled her glasses off.

“Hey, Aunt Dawn,” she greeted her.

Dawn gave her the smallest of grins. “Your father always used to wear glasses. You could have that corrected, you know?”

“I know, but I just need it for reading close up. Maybe when I retire soon, I’ll have more time to take care of myself. Of course, no one really retires here,” she teased. “They try but…” Dawn smiled, but it didn’t last long. “Really, though…how are you holding up?” Liz motioned her head toward the paper Dawn was holding.

“She was the last one,” Dawn replied, raising the death notice briefly.

“I know,” Liz replied.

Dawn shook her head. “No, you really don’t. At least…not the way I do.”

“You’re right,” Liz amended. “I don’t know. Chances are, I’ll never know.”

Dawn’s bottom lip began to tremble slightly.

“Hey,” Liz said, as she got up and made her way around the desk. “It’s okay.” She pulled Dawn into a hug. “Here. Sit down.”

“I can’t do it, Liz,” Dawn confessed. She took a seat and Liz followed suit beside her.

“Can’t do what?” Liz asked.

“Watch you die.”

Liz arched an eyebrow. “Do you know something I don’t?”

“No,” Dawn said quickly. “I mean, someday. I’ve seen my friends and family die, pretty much all of them and…I can’t imagine seeing you go, and Joyce…and…I just want to vanish. Make it so I’m not around anymore.”

“You’re grieving right now,” Liz told her. She looked like she was going to continue, but Dawn spoke instead.

“True, and I don’t want to go through it again and again, generation after generation. This…punishment…has become more than I can bear.”

“What if the Council needs you someday?” Liz asked. “Your powers are…remarkable. You’re one of the biggest assets we’ve had over the years.”

“I want death,” Dawn told her. “But I’ll never have that…so, vanishing would be good. And I know you have the power to do that.”

Liz didn’t seem to know what to say.

Cut To:
Watchers Council
– Liz’s Office – Later that Night

Dawn sat next to Liz. The pair looked at Dawn’s record.

“I can’t erase you entirely,” Liz told her. “The Council might need you, as I said.”

“For what?”

Liz shrugged. “I can’t say. But if someone needs to trace the Summers line, then they might realize that Dawn and Aurora mean the same thing. Other than that, it’ll be like a new identity.” Liz’s fingers sat poised over the keyboard. “Are you sure you want to do this? Have you talked to Joyce?”

“I am, and I will,” Dawn replied.

Liz still seemed reluctant, but Dawn nodded her head forward for the watcher to proceed. Liz typed the information, and she began to tear up.

Dawn pushed Liz’s hair behind her ear. “You’ll be okay,” she told her.

“We just lost Aunt Will,” she said. “I can’t help but feel…I’m losing someone else all over again.”

“Then maybe you do know how I feel,” Dawn said. “Loved one after loved one will leave me. You, however, will get to see everyone again. Me…? This is what I need.”

Liz only nodded, as she continued to save the new information.

Dawn leaned over and kissed Liz on the cheek. “Thank you.”

Liz sniffed and then turned to face her. “For what?”

“For letting me go.”

Liz bit her lip and then nodded silently.

Cut To:
Dawn’s Car
– Later That Day

“Thanks for picking me up, Aunt Dawn,” a middle-aged Joyce said, as she got into Dawn’s car. “You didn’t have to; I could have taken PubTran home from the University.”

“No problem,” Dawn answered, setting the controls. The car took off and Dawn looked at Joyce.

Joyce smiled at her and then glanced into the back seat, which was full of containers.

“What’s all that?” she asked.

“My stuff,” Dawn replied.

“Going on a vacation?”

“No,” Dawn said quietly.

“What?” Joyce looked closely at Dawn’s face, and then her eyes widened. “You’re leaving?” she said in a whisper. Dawn simply nodded, and Joyce continued. “For how long?” There was another pause while Joyce read the truth in Dawn’s eyes. “You’re not coming back. But you can’t leave!”

“I have to, Sweetie,” Dawn said. “I can’t take any more. I’ve watched too many friends either get killed or simply die. When Willow went…” Dawn broke off a sob.

“That’s when you need your family most of all, Aunt Dawn,” Joyce said. “Look, I understand, I really do, but you’ll get over it and…”

“I can’t, Joyce,” Dawn said.

“The Council needs you,” Joyce said, brushing the tears from her eyes. “Liz won’t let you go.”

“She already has,” Dawn said softly.

Joyce looked at her. “Aunt Dawn, please…I need you.”

Dawn sighed. “No you don’t, honey,” she said. “You’re no longer a slayer, so you don’t need a watcher. You have a great job at the university and a wonderful husband. And more family than you probably know what do with at the Council. You’ll be fine.”

Joyce was silent as the automatic car swooped down and landed in front of a suburban home. “Destination arrived,” a voice from the console informed them, and then the engine shut down with a soft click.

Finally, Joyce asked, “Where will you go?”

“I have a place,” Dawn said. “Someplace quiet where I can enjoy my privacy in peace. I’ve been surrounded by chaos all my life, I look forward to a change.”

“Sounds like a cop-out,” Joyce muttered, looking out the window and not at Dawn. “Just abandon everyone…”

“Joyce, stop,” Dawn said firmly. “I’ve had enough, all right? I’ve spent a lifetime watching people die. My parents, my sister, my lover, my best friends. I’m not going to wait around for you or Liz or anyone else to go. That’s it. This Scooby has had enough.”

Joyce sighed. “Can I at least maybe visit or…?” She stopped when she looked at Dawn’s face. “Guess not,” she finished bitterly.

“It’s better this way,” Dawn said.

“You’re leaving now?” Joyce asked.

Dawn nodded. “Bags are packed. All my stuff here is sold or sent ahead. No time like the present.”

Joyce looked at Dawn’s face as if searching for something, or trying to memorize it. “If Liz won’t stop you, I guess there’s nothing I can do to make you stay.” Dawn remained silent, and finally Joyce pulled her into a bone-crushing hug. “I’m going to miss you.”

“I know, sweetheart,” Dawn said, tears falling from her face. “I’ll miss you too…forever.”

Joyce held on a moment longer and then, without a word of goodbye, jumped out of the car and ran for the house.

Dawn watched her for a moment, then started the car and drove off.

Fade to Black

Fade In:
Edmonds, Washington – Aurora’s Home – Some Weeks Later

Dawn picked up another framed photograph and glanced at it. She ran a finger over the image of her sister and then sighed. After a few minutes, she attached it to the wall next to the other photographs and then stepped back to look at the wall.

Then she turned and looked around at the living room. The expression on her face was confused. “Now what?” she muttered to herself.

Fade To:
Edmonds, Washington – Aurora’s Home – Dusk

Dawn sat at the end of the dock behind her house, simply watching as the sun set. As the final rays disappeared below the horizon, a single tear dropped down her cheek.

After sitting in silence for a long while, she stiffened at the click of an old-fashioned lighter opening and the sound of a cigarette being lit. Dawn didn’t turn around, but a small smile played on her lips as she brushed the tears from her face.

“Have a seat,” she said into the darkness.

A leather-clad figure strode up and sat down beside her. “Hello, Li’l Bit.”

“Hey Spike,” she said, and put her head on his shoulder. “Got my message, I see?”

“So, this is it?” he asked. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, holding her close. “Nice digs. Got your own island and everything.”

“It’ll do,” she answered. “At least for a while. Of course, ‘a while’ is like a hundred or two hundred years. Wanna stick around?”

“You offering?” he said, taking a drag on his cigarette.


“At least for a while, I suppose,” he answered. They sat in silence for a time, and then Spike said, “I can’t help noticing your house is…kinda airy. Lots of sun on those rare non-rainy Pacific Northwest days.”

“That’s why I picked it,” she said and then turned to look at him. “Good news is I can help you take care of that pesky sunlight problem. Never ending supply of fresh blood, too. Again, that is, if you want.”

Spike pursed his lips in thought. “I can take a walk in the sun?” he asked.

“You can take a walk in the sun,” Dawn confirmed. “Maybe even with me.”

Spike looked out over the dark ocean and said, “Yeah…maybe I’ll give it a go.”

Dawn sighed and then laid her head on his shoulder again. “Well then…what are we gonna do now?”

Fade to Black


Special Guest Starring:

Alicia Silverstone as Heli Hamalainen, Robia LaMorte as Jenny Calendar, Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison, Carly Schroeder as Marsha Parsons, Kristy Wu as Chao Ann, Gillian Anderson as Gabrielle, Cote de Pablo as Amira Aziz, Amy Acker as Illyria, Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Lorinda Sheparton, Hector Elizondo as Gregor Kalderash, Renee Zellweger as Mary Grace Allister, David Boreanaz as Angel, Freema Agyeman as Siobhan Hartley, Sean Maher as Dawn’s Date and James Marsters as Spike


End of Generations Pt. 3 and Watchers: The Virtual Series

See where the story continues in the TV Movie ‘Special Assignment Pt. 1’

In the year 2014, the Council will face the apocalypse once again, while Buffy searches for her successor as Chairwoman, in part one of an epic mini-series event!


Click here to read Special Assignment Pt.1