The V Word
The V Word
Based on a sick dream by Zahir al Daoud
Written by Zahir al Daoud
Produced and Directed by Zahir al Daoud
Edited by Zahir al Daoud
Sounds by Zahir al Daoud
Art Direction by Zahir al Daoud
Artists – Zahir al Daoud
Willow & Rowena’s Apartment Front Room – Day
“Look,” said Xander as he entered through the front door, grocery bags in both arms, “I’m not saying it isn’t a good show, in its way. Groundbreaking, sure. Got that. Topical. Yes. But c’mon, you gotta admit the show is also pretty much a soap opera.”
“No,” Willow answered. “It is weekly drama focusing on genuine issues and decisions facing the modern lesbian.” She entered after Xander, and Rowena followed her.
“Plus lots of hot, gorgeous sex,” offered Rowena.
“Well, yeah,” said Willow.
“Oh – Yeah!” was Xander’s response as he headed for the kitchen.
“But,” Willow continued, “its also all the drama-y and issue-y things I said too, right?”
Rowena looked at Willow for half a second. Then passed her en route to the kitchen. “Sure,” she said.
Kitchen – Continuous
Xander placed both grocery bags on the counter. He heaved a sigh and looked around. As he did so, his eye caught a flyer attached to the refrigerator via a magnet. While he walked over to read it, Rowena entered with Willow in her trail.
“How many TV shows deal with a transgendered person, answer me that!”
“I don’t know, honey,” said Rowena.
“Or deal with issues like parental rights of same-sex parents!”
“Don’t watch that many shows, honey.”
“Well, not a lot, let me tell you. So,” Willow said, “What have you got against…”
“Nothing,” said Rowena. “But I have seen better dramas. To be honest, I’ve seen better melodramas.”
“Besides, that Jenny girl gives the creeps.”
“Uh, guys?” Xander raised both his hand and his voice. They stopped speaking and looked at him. “Did one of you two put this here?”
Rowena and Willow joined Xander, looking at the flyer. It was four by five inches, with gothic letters in black on parchment stock:
women looking for other women
can find them HERE
A banner reading “Grand Opening” in red took up one corner. In equally red lettering an address ran across the bottom.
“Uh, not me,” said Willow.
“Me, neither,” said Rowena. “Kinda sounds like fun, though.”
“To go to, together, I mean. Doesn’t it?”
“So,” Xander continued, “if neither one of you left it here, who does that leave?”
Rowena and Willow looked at each other. “Skye.”
“And now the ten million dollar question,” said Xander. “Why?”
No one said anything.
The Raven Nightclub – Same
The knocking on the front door continued for over a full minute before it opened. When the door swung open, a slender pale woman with dark hair and even darker eyes looked out. “We do not open until tomorrow,” she said by rote, with a mild French accent.
“But Carmilla said this is where I was to come tonight,” said the girl breathlessly. She also had an accent, in her case English. She had honey-blond hair in a long mane as well as huge blue eyes.
“What…? Who did you say?”
“Carmilla von Karnstein. She’s an old family friend and said I might find a job here as a waitress.”
“Really?” The dark woman’s eyes traveled over the younger woman’s hour-glass figure. “I’ve known Carmilla for a very long time.”
“Oh! Are you Janette?”
The dark woman smiled. “Mais oui. Et vous?”
“Madeleine Smith,” was the answer.
“You might do very nicely.” She made a sweeping gesture. “Enter freely, ma petite.”
Grinning, Madeleine entered into the shadowed interior of the club. She didn’t see Janette’s features change behind her – eyes turning gold, brow furrowing, and her teeth extending into fangs. “You’re just in time for a drink,” Janette murmured.
End of Teaser
The V Word
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Deborah Duchene as Janette, Jennifer Beals as Rachel, Parkey Posey as Danika, Linda Cardellini as Thelma, Gereint Wynn Davies as Nick
Buffy’s Office – Afternoon
“This,” Buffy waved the flyer for The Raven before her face “is exactly the kind of thing I don’t want my sister involved in!”
Willow and Rowena sighed almost in unison.
Buffy glared at them. “Dawn goes out with a vampire and what happens? She turns Goth! Morals and ethics, out the window! Now they’re going to this Raven place and if this isn’t some kind of weird lesbo-pick-up place encouraging promiscuity and Satanism, then I don’t know what is!” Her voice raised an octave.
“Uh,” said Willow after a moment, “who are you and where’s the real Buffy?”
“That isn’t funny!”
“Still,” said Rowena, “you are sounding rather Right Wing and Conservative all of a sudden.”
“Not to mention just a little homophobic,” muttered Willow, stressing the next-to-last word.
“Am not,” said Buffy.
“If I may interrupt what promises to be a very mature discussion on many levels,” said Rowena, “might I point out we’re reacting first and foremost to a piece of advertising? Not precisely the most reliable source of information. Right?” She waited a few moments. “Right?”
“You’re right,” sighed Buffy.
“And if you make a big fuss without a good reason…”
“…I risk alienating Dawn still more.”
“I get it.” Buffy nodded. She took a deep breath. “We’ll need to check out this place ourselves.”
“What?” Willow’s eyes went huge.
“There’s no other way we can find out the real skinny!”
“Okay,” said Rowena.
“No, really. I think this’ll be fun.” Rowena smiled.
“Alright, then,” said Buffy. “According to this,” she lifted the flyer, “the place opens tonight. We’ll all three go there and get the layout, find out exactly what kind of nightclub it is. Once we do, that’s when I’ll go ballistic on a certain undead ass with extreme prejudice.”
“But –” Before Willow could finally complete her sentence, Rowena gently slipped her arm around her and led her towards the door.
“I’ll call you later,” said Rowena. “First, I think we need to decide on what to wear.”
Rowena & Willow’s Apartment – Late Afternoon
Rowena looked at Willow’s clothes.
“Better than mine,” she said. “At least it has the right Halloween kinda feel. For me, all I can do is just wear black.”
“I really don’t know about this,” said Willow. “Especially this outfit. I don’t even know why I still have it. Not me, that’s what this is. Not any me I want to be anyway.”
“Oh, come on,” said Rowena. “You look perfect. Just a little make-up and you’ll fit right in. After all, if anyone should have a good idea how they’d dress up if they were a vampire, it’s you.”
“Wait a minute. Just thought of something.”
“I have to help consecrate things for Jocelyn tonight! You know we can’t let anything slide with her – look what happens when she gets even a little bit sloppy!”
Rowena thought for a moment. “Well, I’ll go there ahead of you, and you can come meet me when you’re done.”
The Raven – That Night
The nightclub’s name was proclaimed in the awning of the entrance against a brick wall. Clearly, this building had once been a warehouse of some kind. Valets were parking cars of the steadily-arriving patrons.
The Raven’s bar – Same
Rachel sipped her drink from a fluted wineglass. The liquid looked like wine, but blended with something else. Something thicker, and a brighter shade of red.
“I think,” said Janette, the bartender, “you are the only person who would come here, tonight, wearing white.”
“Never was one to follow trends,” said Rachel.
Seated on the stool next to her, Danika sighed. “I miss Drusilla.”
“Ah, I do not,” answered Janette. “She is your friend, I know, and of course if she arrived we would make her welcome, but the truth is –”
“She’s psychotic,” Rachel finished for her.
“Yeah,” said Danika, “but she’s fun. And things are never, ever boring with her around.”
“Because she’s psychotic,” said Rachel. “For that matter I used to like Cassandra’s company, but then she got so very morbid.” She shrugged. “Seemed to perk up though when she found herself a werewolf boyfriend. Haven’t seen either one around lately, though.”
“Come,” said Janette, “tell me what you want to drink.”
Danika thought about it for a moment. “A virgin. That’s what I really want. Someone totally pure and untouched, shy but with the promise of enthusiasm.”
“Don’t we all,” muttered Rachel.
“This is Cleveland, cheri,” Janette said. “What do you want that I can give you?”
“Otter, human and vodka,” said Danika with an impatient wave.
While Janette went in the back, Danika and Rachel scanned the room. Neon lights of different colors broke up the shadows. The club, which might have easily held three hundred, seemed crowded. From the bar, they had a good view of the front entrance, which was where Rowena arrived, glancing around curiously.
“Now,” Danika said, her eyes flashing gold for a moment, “she is cute.” A predator smile curved her lips.
Watchers Library – Same
Willow looked up to see Buffy standing over her. “Uh, hi?”
“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be scouting out that goth gay bar!”
“Rowena’s there now. I’ll be joining her. Don’t worry.”
“My almost-teenage sister is getting dragged to weird nightclubs full of death-worshipers by her vampire girlfriend and you tell me not to worry? Is that what you’re saying, Wils?”
“Not exactly that, no, but kinda sorta… Listen, I’ve got to get this one last ritual just right then I’ll head on over. But meanwhile…”
“Meanwhile,” Buffy interrupted her, “I’ll go there myself just to be sure!” She turned on her heel and headed out of the room.
The Raven – Later
“Bloodrayne? Really?” Rowena stared at the tall redhead in leather before her. “That’s a really interesting name.” She smiled in what seemed like a friendly way, seated at a tiny table next the dance floor. It made her seem even shorter compared to the woman speaking.
“Not my choice, not really.” The tall redhead shrugged. “So, can I get you a drink?”
“Oh! Thanks but no thanks. I’m actually meeting someone here.”
“Really,” a blonde woman sidled up to Rowena’s side, taking the seat next to her. Rowena blinked. “My name’s Angelique,” the blonde said, pale blue eyes flashing.
“Uh…yeah, really. She had to do something and told me to come ahead.”
“What is she like?” Angelique smiled, without blinking her huge blue eyes.
“Smart. Beautiful. Thin but curvy. Very bright green eyes.” She blushed a little. “We’re engaged, actually. I’m from Canada so we’ll have the wedding there.”
“She sounds delicious,” said Bloodrayne in a husky voice.
“Ladies.” The newcomer said this with an edge to her voice. She was a pale brunette in stylish black. At her lifted eyebrow, the blonde and redhead backed off. She lifted the other eyebrow and they left. Rowena watched all this, fascinated. Then looked at the newcomer.
“Sorry about that,” she told Rowena. “New place. New crowd. Everyone gets a little too excited. The owner’s a friend of mine and so I help her out, calming things down here and there.”
“Thanks. I didn’t want to be rude, and to be honest the attention is flattering, even if I am taken.”
The brunette smiled, nodding. “Danika’s the name.” She slid into the seat abandoned by Angelique. “So let’s get all girly. Tell me about the wedding. What have you decided on so far?”
Raven Entrance – Same
Buffy entered into the nightclub and stopped almost immediately. She blinked, letting her eyes adjust to the light and the blare of the music – in this case, “Forsaken.” All around her were women dressed in dark colors. The very few exceptions radiated like beacons. Most of those wore white, although Buffy herself had donned a simple black suit. Her eyes focused on the faced around her, searching for someone familiar.
“I don’t believe it!”
That voice came from her left and she looked. The speaker was a young woman with a Prince Valiant-style haircut and glasses. Uniquely for the room, she wore a bright orange outfit. Even her shoes matched the skirt and turtle-neck blouse.
“Daphne? You’re here?” The girl in orange stared at Buffy with shock and delight. “I…I had no idea…I mean, I finally got up the courage to…and to see you here…I…”
“Excuse me,” Buffy said. “You’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“But Daphne,” the girl in orange insisted, “its me!”
“My name is Buffy. Not Daphne.”
“Okay, that isn’t maybe the best alias to use, all things considered, because I mean – Buffy? Really?”
“Yeah, really. As in – that really is my name. And – I don’t know you.” Annoyed, Buffy turned and walked firmly away from the strange girl in orange, who watched her go with a stricken expression. In fact, she looked about ready to cry.
She stood there for several seconds, watching Buffy’s retreating form, trying very hard (and failing) to keep her lip from trembling. Then she sensed the presence of someone next to her. The girl looked and saw an elegantly beautiful older woman all in white.
“You seem so sad,” the other woman said. She had an encouraging smile.
“No,” the girl answered, lying. “I just thought for a moment,” she gestured in the direction Buffy had gone, “that someone I know…never mind.” Her voice was almost a whisper.
The other woman stepped closer to her. “What is your name?”
“Mine is Rachel. Will you dance with me, Velma?”
“I…I’m not a very good dancer.”
“Let me be the judge of that.” Rachel took Velma’s hand and pulled her closer. “Dance with me.”
Raven Bar – Same
Buffy stopped by the bar, eyes still scanning the crowded room. “How the hell am I supposed to find her if I can’t see her…?” She muttered under her breath.
“Is there a problem?” asked a voice with a French accent. She looked. It was the bartender, an elegant pale woman in black with black hair.
“Looking for someone,” Buffy said.
“Aren’t we all?”
“No, that’s not what I mean.” Buffy took a deep breath. “Listen, I don’t want to judge people. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Yay tolerance for various lifestyles. But right now, I’m worried about my sister. Her girlfriend – well, let’s say she has some problems and leave it at that. I don’t want her hurting my sister.”
Janette nodded. “Worrying. That is what older sisters are for, n’est pas?”
“And it would really help me finding her if you had mirrors in this place! I thought bars were supposed to have mirrors!”
“Sit down,” Janette soothed. “You seem very stressed. Relax just a little and you will be much better able to handle whatever life tosses at you. Come. Sit.”
Reluctantly, Buffy sat at a bar stool. “I’m tempted to ask for a beer.”
“We have many brands.”
“No, thanks. For me, anyway, beer bad.”
“Some wine perhaps? Nothing too strong I think. You need to seem calm when you see your sister.”
“Yeah, okay, some wine.”
Janette poured a glass and handed it to Buffy. “Here. A nice merlot. Very smooth. And calming.”
Buffy took a sip. “Our Mom used to do this with me.”
“What? Try to look after you? Protect you?”
“Make my decisions for me.”
“Ah, and was she always right?”
“Which means sometimes not, does it not?”
“Yeah, but I should have listened to her more.”
“Let me ask you something. How do you know today that you should have listened better then?”
Buffy sipped at her wine. “I’m older. More experienced.”
“In other words, you learned. But most of the time, we learn by doing. Not that listening is a bad idea. Far from it. Still, in the end every single wise thing we might say means less than lessons our loved ones discover for themselves. We want to protect, yes. At times we need to act. Not always, though. Not always.”
“Okay, that sounds good and all…”
“But not about your sister?”
“You need some life of your own, I think.” Janette said this quietly but firmly. She made a gesture. “Let me introduce you to someone…”
“Thanks but no thanks. My sister’s the gay one in our family.”
“So I had gathered.” A man approached from the other end of the bar. “I just thought you might like to meet my cousin.”
Buffy looked at the man approaching. He was tall, with broad shoulders but a face one could easily imagine doing Shakespeare. Dark blonde hair above haunted eyes. He wore a long dark coat that seemed to swirl around him as he walked. Unbidden, her lips smiled.
“This is my cousin, Nicholas,” Janette was saying. “Nicholas, this is my new friend…”
“Buffy,” she said, reaching out her hand.
“My pleasure,” Nicholas said.
Raven Entrance – Moments Later
Willow walked into the nightclub and looked around. Like herself, almost everyone here wore black. A couple slow-dancing near her were the exception. One of them, the taller and older, wore white. Her younger companion was in orange of all things.
As Willow passed them, she heard the girl in orange say a strange word. She said it as someone else might say “wow” or “that was incredible,” or even “I love you.” But the word she said was “Jinkies.”
Shrugging, Willow made her way through the crowd.
It didn’t take too long for her find Rowena, seated at the edge of the dance floor. Seated beside her was a stylish brunette who was far too pale and was listening with hungry eyes.
“…actually, the very first sound I can remember is rain at sea. And I love the taste of sea air. That’s why I’m having my brother look into renting a yacht for the wedding. To get married on the water would be just perfect.”
Smiling in spite of herself, Willow reached the table and leaned over to kiss Rowena on the cheek. “Hi honey.”
Rowena’s eyes lit up.
Danika’s eyes went dark. Her mouth didn’t quite turn into a snarl, but she did start to bare her teeth. Then, Willow turned to face her.
“Oh,” Danika’s face fell. “Willow. I didn’t know.”
“What?” Willow looked at the strange woman with curiosity and some jealousy. After all, she had pretty clearly been chatting up Willow’s fiancée.
But Danika rose, an expression of respect tinged with fear on her features. “I didn’t know she was yours Willow. Honestly. No harm done. She is yours, I take it.”
“Well, then. No need to get upset. None. I can guarantee no one has even touched her, including me. Do you believe me?” Danika held herself rigid, waiting for an answer.
Danika relaxed. “I’ll go elsewhere then. Enjoy.” And she slipped away into the crowd, with rather more speed than seemed absolutely necessary. In her wake, several others in the crowd looked in Willow’s direction, and fully half a dozen had exactly the same reaction. They looked frightened, and made their way to another part of the room.
“I didn’t think this outfit was that butch,” said Willow.
The Raven Parking Lot – A little Later
The car was a deep, dark red. A jaguar. It looked as if it could break the sound barrier and just might have stealth technology. The glass was tinted dark. A vanity license plate read “THIRSTY.”
Velma bumped into the passenger side door, her eyes a little unfocused. Behind her, Rachel steadied her by putting both hands on the young woman’s shoulders.
Velma looked at Rachel. Her orange turtleneck was pushed to one side. The right side of her neck showed a livid, fresh set of wounds. “Where are you taking me?”
Rachel smiled. “To my home. A penthouse. Very beautiful really, and more important, very very private.” She leaned in and whispered into Velma’s ear. “I so want to see you, stretched out and naked upon satin sheets. My sheets. Quivering like you are now. Completely at my mercy. There’s only one little problem.” She purred.
“What’s that?” Velma’s voice trembled.
“I don’t have any mercy.” Rachel smiled, showing every tooth.
Raven Bar – Same
“That is such a sad story,” Buffy breathed, gazing up at Nicholas.
He didn’t shrug, but did tilt his head in a gesture of acceptance. “I mourn my little sister, but I try to remember she had a happy life. Even if I wasn’t very much a part of it.”
“I must say, you hardly have any accent at all.”
“Well, I’ve traveled a lot. Ireland, Egypt, Russia, Canada.”
Buffy sighed. “I’ve only been here and there. Nothing too exotic.” Then she blinked. “Canada. Oh!”
“No! Well – kinda. In a way. I have some friends. Canada reminded me of them.”
“One of them is.” She smiled nervously. “Actually, I need to find them.”
Willow’s voice chirped up from behind her. “Found you!”
Turning around, Buffy saw Willow with Rowena on her arm. Somewhat curiously, several members of the crowd seemed to scurry out of the way as the couple approached.
“Okay, Buffy,” Willow went on, “Ro and I did a circuit around the room. Dawn and Skye aren’t here. We checked, okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” She sighed. “Oh! Willow, this is a gentleman I just met. Nicholas Chevalier.” She tried pronouncing the name as he had, as if she were speaking French, and did not do too badly.
Nicholas smiled and bowed his head. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Wow,” Willow said. “You so remind me of someone I used to know.”
Willow looked at Buffy. “You don’t see it?”
Buffy blinked, raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
Rowena, taking a long gander at Nicholas, said “This is what Angel looks like? That explains a lot! And here I was thinking the Summers girls were just kinky that way.”
“Well, he doesn’t look so much look like Angel – although they’re both easy on the eyes – but there’s some kind of style or aura thingee they share.” Willow nodded as she said this. “Dracula had it too.”
“Which one? Bela Lugosi? Jack Palance? Christopher Lee?”
“The real one.”
“I don’t see it,” proclaimed Buffy. “I just think Nicholas” – again she said it the French way, minus the final consonant –”is a very interesting gentleman.” And she smiled at him.
“You are more than a little charming yourself,” he said. “And some other time, I’d be delighted with your company. However…”
“Oh!” Buffy almost whined. “You have to go?”
“There’s a meeting I need to attend. Something like a gentleman’s club. Barnabas said Liam is bringing a new member, William, and I really need to be there for the induction. Seniority and all that.” He sighed. “Plus, duty.”
Without a pause, Buffy, reached into her purse for a card. “Please, give me a call when you get a chance. Maybe we could go out for a bite?”
Nicholas took the card with a grin. “Many thanks. I should warn you, though, I’m on a rather odd diet so if we go out, I’ll be watching you eat rather than dining myself.”
She waved that aside. “No problem. Really.”
He bowed. “Until later, then.” He swept away from them, his dark coat billowing behind like a cape. All three young women gazed after. Soon he vanished in the crowd and the shadows. Buffy sighed.
“Okay,” said Rowena suddenly, “what do you mean ‘The Real One’?”
“Dracula came to Sunnydale once.”
Rowena took that in. “Really?”
“Did he wear a cape?”
“Yep. Turned into a bat and everything.”
“Really? Was he exotic and sexy and all?”
“Oh yeah,” Willow and Buffy said that as one. They even nodded in unison. But before Rowena could ask any more questions, Janette appeared and put a glass on the bar. She looked directly as Willow and with a tone of respect said “On the house. A gesture of goodwill.” Then she moved away.
Willow did a take. “Okay, that was odd.” She reached over and picked up the drink, which included a piece of celery sticking out. “Don’t know why she wanted to give me a Bloody Mary especially.”
Rowena shrugged. “It’s on the house, she said.”
“Yeah,” Willow said and nodded. Then she took a sip. “Oh gross!”
“This drink! There’s something other than vodka in this and it isn’t tomato juice!”
The Raven – Continuous
A van pulled up across the street from the nightclub. It looked profoundly out of place, with its bright colors and psychedelic flowers. The van came to a halt and three people emerged.
“This must be the place,” said the tall, blonde young man in bright blue. “The address was on the flyer we found.”
“But,” said the redhead in violet, tilting her head and assuming a pose that somehow looked both graceful and awkward, “why would Velma come here of all places? Could it be a mystery?”
“She’d’ve asked for our help if it was a mystery.”
“All I know,” said the tall, gangly young man with the green shirt, “is she said she had to find out something.” He looked in his twenties but his voice sounded like it was cracking at the onset of puberty. “Something about herself, she said.”
“Whatever that means,” said the other young man.
“She could be in danger!” said the young woman in violet.
“That’s true. What we need to do is work out a plan,” said the young man in blue.
Just then, across the street, Buffy and her two friends emerged. All three of the newcomers visibly blinked.
“Zoinks!” said the tall, gangly one. “She looks just like you!”
“No she doesn’t!”
“Actually, Daphne,” said the young man in blue, “she does in a lot of ways.”
“She’s all in black! I would never be caught dead in an outfit like that.”
Any further discussion on appearance or fashion sense stopped short as Rowena and Willow stopped for a moment and kissed. They were next to a street lamp. As their arms wrapped around each other, the kiss proved to be a lingering one. All three of the young people from the van felt their mouths drop.
“Jinkies!” they said as one.
Fade to Black
End of The V Word