Lindsay Wagner as Velika Petrova, Bonnie Hunt as Veronica Wyndham-Pryce, Felicia Day as Finola Dunn, Harris Yulin as Morgan Travers, Jensen Ackles as Cooper Reed
Michelle Trachtenberg as Aurora Summers and Amy Acker as Dr. Elizabeth Burkle
Hovering Transport Ship – Cargo Bay – Day
The huge cargo bay of the hovering ship had been transformed into a wedding chapel covered in white and silver decorations. Save for the occasional glimpse of dark steel and the vehicle’s slight vibration, there was no indication that this space was for anything other than an ordinary wedding.
The guests sat in rented white-clad chairs arranged in two long but narrow rows. The wedding party stood at the front before a metal-wrought trellis woven with live white roses and flanked by stands of glowing candles.
Presiding over the ceremony was Admiral Walker Kinsey, a long-time friend of the family. In front of him were Lex and Antonia, who watched, rapt, as he went through his prepared text. Standing beside Lex were Sebastian and James. Standing beside Antonia were Jocasta and Katherine.
When Admiral Kinsey reached the end of a particular passage, he nodded at Lex, who nodded back and then turned to Sebastian, who handed him the ring he had been holding. Then Lex turned to face Antonia. His smile was wide and full of emotion as he took her hand in his. The silver band twinkled in the candlelight as he slid it halfway onto her finger.
“I, Lexington Harris, take you, Antonia Allister, to be my wife from this day forth until the end of the world.” He slipped the ring the rest of the way onto Antonia’s finger. “Which hopefully won’t be tomorrow,” he added in jest.
A soft chuckle from the audience broke the silent moment. Antonia returned his smile. “It better not,” she murmured in mock warning as she gave Lex a tug on the sleeve of his tux.
Admiral Kinsey cleared his throat and drew the attention of the distracted bride and groom. Antonia blushed and turned to Jocasta, who took the bride’s bouquet in one hand while using the other to pass over the ring. Jocasta slipped the silver band into her cousin’s palm and gave her hand a soft squeeze. Antonia smiled and then turned back to Lex.
She beamed at him for the longest time before once again the admiral had to intervene with a throat-clearing.
“Sorry,” she said, shaking her head slightly. Then she straightened up and looked Lex right in the eyes as she took his hand in hers. “I, Antonia Allister, take you, Lexington Harris, to be my husband…to be with me forever, through every moment we’ll share, until our last breaths on this Earth separate us.” She slid the ring on Lex’s finger, and the two joined both their hands.
Admiral Kinsey smiled and closed his book. “By the authority vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife!”
As applause echoed through the transformed cargo bay, Lex pulled Antonia to him, his eyes never leaving hers. “I love you,“ he whispered as his lips met hers.
While bride and groom indulged in a lengthy kiss that was definitely less than chaste, the admiral let his voice boom over the applause. “I am proud to announce the joining of the Harris and Allister houses into one!”
As the applause became cheers, Lex and Antonia finished their kiss and turned to the crowd of family and friends—giddy smiles plastered all over their newlywed faces.
Reception Hall – Later
After the ceremony had been completed, the transport had set down in the parking lot over which it had been hovering. The guests had piled from the cargo bay and into the reception hall right next to the ship. With enough food and drink for an army, the reception was well under way.
“Toni, I never knew you could look so…well…” Lucy Allyn paused for a moment, taking in the splendor of her friend’s white dress.
“Like a girl?” Jocasta joked as Lucy’s eyes grew wide.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Lucy quickly responded. “Jo, I swear you are such a tart. Anyways, congratulations…Mike and I are so excited to have another married couple to hang out with!”
Lucy dragged Antonia into a tight embrace and rocked her back and forth several times. As she pulled away, she gave one last glance at Antonia and kissed her briefly on the cheek. Then Lucy rejoined her husband, Mike.
Jocasta leaned over to whisper in Antonia’s ear. “Boy, more time with the Allyns…I’m so envious,” she snickered.
Antonia shot Jocasta a dirty look, but the redhead only grinned unrepentantly. Then they saw Katherine and Livia walk up to them.
“Out of all the customs to keep, the meet-and-greet reception was the one you thought was wise?” Livia questioned.
Antonia sighed as she glanced over at Lex, who was hugging his parents. “It was his mother’s idea,” she stated. “And since we didn’t get married by a priest…” She trailed off, and the two slayers got the picture.
“Hey, I thought the whole ship ceremony was an awesome idea,” Livia added. Katherine nodded her agreement.
Antonia smiled widely. Then her attention was drawn to Lex, who was waving and making his way over.
“We’ll catch ya later,” Jocasta said as she and the two slayers stepped away.
“Well, hello, Mrs. Harris,” Lex said silkily as he pulled Antonia in for a kiss. While he had her close, he whispered into her ear, “Think we can sneak away and get you out of that dress for a bit?”
Antonia laughed and pulled back, gently stroking Lex’s hair as she looked into his eyes. “As much as I would love to do that,” she said, nodding at the crowd around them, “I don’t think they would appreciate the guests of honor disappearing on them.”
Lex rolled his eyes in mock defeat. “Fine.”
Reception Hall – Same Time
Livia left Jocasta and Katherine and made her way over to Mira, who was standing alone in the back of the room, leaning against a small table set against the wall. Although the two slayers had mended their friendship in the previous month, things were still somewhat awkward. After exchanging simple “heys,” Livia took the spot next to Mira, also leaning against the table.
“You look good,” Livia said without looking in Mira’s direction.
Mira glanced briefly at Livia and then said, “Thanks. You too.”
After a long pause, Livia crossed her arms and said, “But if I don’t get out of these shoes soon, I’m gonna get cranky.”
Mira smirked and turned to Livia. “I hear ya.”
She held up her fist, and Livia did the same, and the two slayers tapped knuckles in solidarity. Bright smiles came over their faces, and for a moment the awkwardness of their situation was forgotten.
But then the wedding photographer’s voice intruded. “Great smiles, girls…Now strike a pose…” the man prompted as he looked at the LCD screen of his professional camera.
Livia and Mira glanced nervously at each other and at the intentional distance between them; then they turned toward the front and put on clearly forced smiles.
The photographer looked up from his screen and put his free hand on his hip. “Surely you can do better than that.”
Livia and Mira shot concerned looks at one another before finally moving into a loose hug and flashing their best smiles.
The photographer snapped the photo, and when he looked down to view the results, Livia and Mira instantly separated themselves once again.
“Beautiful!” he told them when he looked up. “Now…that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
After the photographer left to accost another group of guests, Livia and Mira refused to make eye contact with each other, but neither walked away.
Reception Hall – Same Time
After exchanging brief greetings with John West and his husband Darrin and doting for an appropriate amount of time on their twins, Michael and Michelle, Jocasta and Katherine plopped wearily down at the empty table in the far corner. Both immediately tore into the plates of food they had carried with them from the buffet.
“Oh my God,” Jocasta mumbled through a mouthful of food. “That is so good. I am starving!”
“Me too,” Katherine agreed. “It’s been a long time since breakfast.”
“Breakfast?” Jocasta complained. “I don’t think I even got supper last night!”
“Price you pay for being the maid of honor,” Katherine teased.
Jocasta gave her girlfriend a mock glare but continued eating. “So, how’re things going with Mira? I haven’t had the chance to talk to you since yesterday morning.”
Katherine sadly shook her head. “They’re not, unfortunately. Three weeks of sessions and nothing. Knowing the magic is there, trapped inside her, and trying so hard to tap into it…it’s frustrating for her.”
“I imagine so,” Jocasta said. Then she sighed and frowned. “Me, I’ve got the opposite problem.”
“I’ve tapped into something, and now I’m afraid I can’t un-tap it.” Jocasta turned frightened eyes toward Katherine. “What if I go dark like Cassandra did, o-o-or like Willow did? What if—?”
Katherine reached over and placed her hand over Jocasta’s. “That won’t happen,” she told her.
“How do you know?”
“Because you’ve already proved that it won’t,” she said, giving Jocasta a reassuring smile.
She kept her eyes on Jocasta until the redhead matched her smile. Then the two witches returned to their meal.
Reception Hall – Same Time
Near the drink table, three of the most important Council leaders—Sebastian Giles, Veronica Wyndam-Pryce, and Velika Petrova—were discussing politics.
“I hear the Slayer Service Bill made it through committee yesterday,” said Velika.
Sebastian and Veronica gave her unhappy nods in reply.
“Yes, I’m afraid that is correct,” Sebastian said. “Councilor Travers could bring it for a vote before the Command Council as early as tomorrow.”
The slayer commander shook her head. “The slayers don’t like it. Not one bit.”
“Can’t say I blame them,” Veronica said. “Damn thing treats them like prisoner conscripts.” She absentmindedly touched the side of her neck, where her skin was still healing from the fang marks left by Cassandra’s minions.
“Do you really think the bill has a chance of passing?” Velika asked the chairman.
“I wish I could say no to that question, but I can’t,” Sebastian replied. “Morgan still commands a powerful influence within the Council, and many councilors favor stricter control over the slayers.”
“Stricter control?” Velika groused. “Complete control is more like it. Over the slayers, the new coven, everything. That is not how things are supposed to be. When the new Council was formed over a hundred years ago, all of the branches had an equal voice. Now Travers wants to take away what little voice the slayers have!”
“I know, Velika, I know,” Sebastian said. “We’ll find a way to stop him, I promise.”
“How?” she asked.
Sebastian didn’t have an answer.
Reception Hall – Same Time
Headed for the opposite side of the room, James and Anyabot made their way through the sea of people surrounding the buffet. Anya was slowing them down, greeting each person she met with a loudly and cheerily spoken “Hello! I’m Anya! I’m James’s date!”
Groaning to himself, James guided his android personal assistant ahead of him as they squeezed through the crowd. Then an arm reached out and snagged him. It was Kevin Sykes from networking.
“Hey James,” Kevin needled. “What’s the matter? Couldn’t find a real date?” Two male friends hovering on each side of Kevin laughed with him as he ridiculed James.
James gave the snickering trio a condescending glare. “At least I have a date.”
Without another word, James moved on and caught up with Anya. When they finally made it out of the crowd, James spotted Finola and Cooper in the far corner. He noticed that they too were getting a bit of the brush-off, mainly because of Cooper. The Council folks hadn’t quite adjusted to the constant presence of a bona fide werewolf, especially not one involved with a slayer. James smiled and headed in their direction, tugging Anya along.
“Hey Cooper, Finola,” James said as he reached the couple.
“Hello! I’m Anya! I’m James’s date!” blurted the blonde android.
“Yeah, love, we’ve met before,” Finola reminded Anya.
“Yes, but this time, I’m James’s date,” Anya proudly informed her.
“So we’ve heard,” Cooper commented.
Finola nodded toward the annoying trio. “Gettin’ some ribbin’ about that, I see.”
“A little, yeah,” James admitted.
“Why?” Anya asked. “I’m appropriately dressed, and I am fully functional.”
Cooper’s mouth dropped open, and Finola let out an amused chuckle, but both wisely decided not to comment on Anya’s description of herself. James just pretended he hadn’t heard it.
“Guess you two have probably caught some flack yourselves,” James said, gesturing at the couple.
“Ain’t that the truth,” Finola and Cooper said at exactly the same time.
The slayer and werewolf shared a laugh, fell into a hug, and kissed one another soundly. One kiss led to another and then another, each one becoming more intense until the two were practically making out right there in the reception hall.
James nervously glanced away, but Anya didn’t. She stared at the kissing couple for a moment then turned to James. She had an expectant look on her face. James gulped and pointed across the room.
“Look, they’re getting ready to do the toast!” he blurted before grabbing Anya’s hand and heading that way.
Reception Hall – Same Time
As Antonia and Lex continued to visit with their guests, they suddenly saw Antonia’s father waving at them from across the room.
“There you are!” Antonia’s father called to them as he hurried their way.
“Let’s run away right now,” Lex murmured under his breath when he saw Mr. Allister approaching with two glasses of champagne in his hands. “It’s the dreaded ‘toasting’ part of the event.”
“The maid of honor wants to give a toast,” Mr. Allister said, handing them the glasses. “We’ve got you a spot right in the front row.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Antonia said as she leaned to give him a kiss on the cheek.
The two newlyweds glided towards the front, arm and arm, giving smiles to the guests that were seated at the tables.
Jocasta, who was at the front of the room holding a microphone in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other, waited until her friends were seated before beginning. She shot a devilish grin at the couple and then addressed the crowd.
“Hey, everybody! I’m so happy to be here with you to celebrate…” She gestured at the bride and groom with the microphone. “…Toni and Lex’s big day. Yay, huh? I wasn’t sure this moment would ever actually happen since my cousin can be…well, those of you who have flown with her know that temper better than I do.”
Chuckles rolled through the room, most of them coming from Antonia’s friends and colleagues in the flight corps.
“But no one can deny the love between these two,” Jocasta continued, her eyes shining with wetness. She lifted her glass towards them. “May your lives be forever, and your love everlasting. Good luck.”
A cascade of clinking ensued as all the guests echoed Jocasta’s toast with their glasses. Antonia and Lex smiled happily at one another as they leaned in for a very long kiss.
Reception Hall – A Short Time Later
The toasting out of the way, it was time for the bride and groom to cut the cakes and pose for pictures. As instructed by Jocasta, both Lex and Antonia behaved themselves long enough for the requisite photos to be taken, but as soon as the picture taking was over, they instantly smeared white wedding cake all over each other’s face, laughing hysterically.
It was at that point that the doors to the reception hall burst open, revealing a disheveled Dr. Elizabeth Burkle. Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to look at her.
Dr. Burkle’s hair was unkempt, wild strands hanging down over her face. Her clothes were wrinkled, and she was breathing hard as if she had been running for some distance. She swiveled her head around the room in a panic, a slightly crazed look in her eyes.
When she took in the sight of Antonia and Lex with their faces covered in white icing and cake crumbs, Burkle wrinkled her brow in confusion.
“Is this a wedding?” she asked.
Giles, who happened to be standing nearby, took her gently but firmly by the arm and led her aside.
“Dr. Burkle,” he said, as the rest of the reception hall began to buzz with conversation and the happy couple searched frantically for napkins. “We weren’t expecting to have the pleasure of your presence today.”
“I have urgent business I need to discuss with you,” she said hurriedly, pulling her arm out of his grip.
“I’m not actually working right now,” Giles told her. “Can’t this wait until tomorrow? I’ll be back on duty by then.”
“You’re not understanding me,” Dr. Burkle insisted. “This is incredibly important.”
“I’m sure it is,” Giles replied. “If you talk to my secretary, I’m sure we can find a time tomorrow when we can—”
“The world might have ended by tomorrow!” Dr. Burkle shouted. That got everyone’s attention. Jocasta and Katherine both turned around in their chairs, craning their necks.
The reception hall was suddenly very quiet.
Fade to Black.
End of Act One