Story by CN Winters
Written by CN Winters
Produced and Directed by CN Winters
Editing by DragonWriter17 and Dan Joslyn
Sounds by CN Winters
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, CN Winters, Zahir al Daoud, Isis and Mattxxx
Cover Art by CN Winters
14 years in the future
Willow and Rowena's House – Kitchen – Morning
A pair of hands reached down, picking up a pair of spiked shoes from a kitchen table. The shoes were joined together by their strings and were draped over two fingers, suspended in the air. At the end of the string stood Rowena.
"Cleats go on the floor, not the table," she said as she held them in the air for a moment before putting them on the ground.
Two fourteen year olds sat nearby, oblivious to her, both of them holding onto the sides of a box of cereal. The young man wore a baseball jersey that said Rosenberg on the back. The girl had on a running outfit.
"Let go!" Alex Rosenberg told his sister.
"No, you let go!" Jen Rosenberg countered.
Jen's slayer strength won out, and she managed to pull the box away, although it was now crumpled on one side.
"Ha!" she said triumphantly. Alex simply motioned his hand backward, and the napkin that was on the table slapped Jen in the face, momentarily surprising her enough so that he could grab the box back.
"Magic always beats slayer strength," he muttered.
"Hey!" Jen complained as she pulled the napkin from her head. "Mom, he's using his magic at the kitchen table again," she complained to Willow. "Tell him to stop."
With a sigh, Willow walked away from the stove where she was cooking and placed another box between them.
"Yes, and you didn't use your strength to take it away, right? There's more than one box of cereal in the world, guys. Sheesh," she told them before turning to her wife. "Remember, Alex has his ortho appointment this morning."
"Brace face," Jen muttered.
"Be nice," Rowena warned her as she walked to the coffee pot, her back turned to them. Alex stuck out his tongue. Without turning around, Rowena added, "Alex, knock it off." Jen smiled and mocked him by tisking her finger at him. "You too, Jen," Rowena told her, also without turning around, as she poured cream into her cup.
Both teenagers looked over their shoulder to glance at Rowena and then turned back to smile at each other, their conflict for the moment now resolved.
Eight-year-old Jake Allister made his way into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, while seven-year-old Sophie Allister followed behind him.
"Hey guys," Willow greeted them. "You hungry?"
"No," Jake told her as he stretched. "I'd rather be sleeping."
"Too bad," Willow told him as she took a plate over and set it on the table. "Eat that anyway," she added as she pointed to it.
Rowena's cell phone rang as it sat on the other counter. She walked over toward it, and, forgetting about the cleats, she stumbled a bit.
"Pick those up now," she grumbled as she reached her phone. Alex reached down and moved them under his chair.
Rowena finally made it to the phone and simply said, "Allister," as she answered. As the chatter around the table continued, she put one finger in her ear as she listened to the phone.
Willow looked at the clock above Rowena and then down to the blonde to see if she could figure out who Rowena was talking to that early. As Rowena's face showed more distress, Willow's facial features scrunched in curiosity.
"Fine," was the only word Rowena said as she hung up.
"Who was that?" Willow asked.
Rowena released a heavy sigh and shook her head. "Liz…again."
"You're kidding, right?" Willow asked.
Rowena continued to shake her head. "Can you see to Alex? I don't know how long this will take," Rowena told her.
"I have the coven meeting today. Why don't you call Giles?" Willow replied.
Rowena ignored the question. "Please? It shouldn't take that long, or just call the dentist and tell him we'll be a bit late. I'll pick Alex up from school after I drop Liz off."
"Fine," Willow said flatly, "I'll take care of Alex. You baby-sit Liz."
"As usual," Jen added to no one in particular.
"I told you, I'll take him if you call, okay?" Rowena said, growing testy.
"All right, whatever," Willow told her as she started to dial the phone.
Rowena went around and quickly kissed each child on top of the head, each one silently protesting the gesture with a squirm. "I'll see you guys tonight," she told them as she left the room.
Willow watched Rowena silently as the watcher passed her by, grabbed her briefcase, and left the room.
Police Station – Moments Later
As Rowena walked inside, the desk sergeant looked up and gave her a grin upon seeing her exasperated expression.
"Rough morning?" he asked.
Rowena sighed and gave a slight grin. "I've had better. Where is she?" The desk sergeant pointed silently to where sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Giles sat on a wooden bench. "Thanks, Roger," Rowena told him as she made her way over.
Elizabeth looked over to see Rowena approaching. She smiled as she stood up and opened her arms.
"Aunt Ro!" she said happily. "How you doin' this mornin'?"
Rowena didn't look amused. "Cut the crap, Liz. What happened this time?"
Liz dropped her arms and sat back down on the bench.
End of Teaser
To Act One