Story by Faith730 and Watchers Staff
Written by Faith730 (with additional writing by CN Winters)
Produced and Directed by Faith730 and CN Winters
Edited by DragonWriter17
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by Chris Cook
Artists – Chris Cook, Zahir al-Daoud, Sarah, Robert Kidman, Humaira, CN Winters
Slayer’s Gym – Evening
Robin walked into the gym wearing a T-shirt and shorts for his workout when he saw Kennedy working on one of the machine. He paused a moment but then casually walked over.
"How’s it going?" he asked.
"Going," she replied but didn’t stop.
He did a few light stretches in front of her in silence and then asked, "Can you spot me? I’d like to do some lifting."
"Where’s your Sweetie?" Kennedy asked shortly.
"Patrol," he answered, letting the snide tone in her voice go without comment.
"Sure," she replied in a more neutral voice.
They walked over to the weight bench, and Robin readied the bar. "You know, I was in your shoes once," he told her. "Except I spent years of my life searching for my mother’s killer. And when I finally did find him…I realized in the end it wasn’t worth it. I could have set Spike on fire while he slept but it wouldn’t bring my mother back."
"True, but did your watcher lie to you about her death like mine did?" Kennedy countered.
Robin finished adjusting the weights and turned to her.
"Kennedy, the gang did what they thought was best at the time. And you have to admit, you were pretty far out there – the drinking, the vamp bloodletting – you were in a rough spot judgment-wise. Last thing they wanted was to see you go off on Angel and get yourself hurt, or even killed."
"So, since they never bothered to tell me the full story, I guess that means I haven’t changed in their eyes, right?"
"Not at all," Robin replied. "Day-to-day stuff just got in the way. I don’t excuse the fact that they never said anything to you," Robin went on, "but I can see how it could have happened. Honestly, they weren’t doing it to hurt you."
"Yeah, well, between Angel and telling Mia about Kadin’s arrival, I don’t think the people here have much faith in me."
"Ahh," Robin said with a nod. "So now I get it. It’s about trust."
"Or lack of," Kennedy added.
"Willow and Faith both trusted you, Kennedy. However, they didn’t trust Kadin."
"It sure doesn’t feel that way," she answered.
"Well, I know personally that it is. Faith told me what happened. And last time Kadin breezed into town, she tried to kill Willow’s friends. This time she returns and wants to take you to Europe, away from the backup of the Council. It was just concern, believe me."
For a long moment Kennedy didn’t say anything. "If that’s the truth, then why doesn’t Faith explain all this?"
"Last time she tried to talk to you, she got choked and thrown against a wall," Robin said dryly.
Kennedy cracked a small grin. "Okay, I see your point."
Robin let out a small chuckle. "You slayers, I swear…Look, why don’t you talk to her tonight when she gets in – talk to her and Willow – you know, set things right? Now that calmer heads are prevailing, you’ll be surprised how much it might help."
Kennedy considered his words and started to nod. "I will, but first we need to exercise," she answered.
Robin lay down on the bench and wrapped his hands around the bar, but before he picked it up, he paused and looked at Kennedy. "We’re cool, right? No hostility toward me for speaking my mind?" he asked.
"No, not at all," Kennedy answered. "Why?"
"I don’t want to find my windpipe trapped under 200 pounds," he said with a grin.
Kennedy patted his hands and smiled. "Don’t worry, Ace. You’re safe with me."
Council Lobby – Day
"Hailing Frequencies Open!" Andrew proudly exclaimed for the three-hundred and forty-seventh time. However, his glee quickly diminished as he said into the phone, "Oh no, I’m sorry, Mrs. Henderson. This is the right number."
He blushed and pulled the phone away from his ear as the woman on the line began shouting about un-professionalism. Andrew inched the phone slowly back to his ear as the sounds of the woman died down. He managed to whisper, "Ma’am, I’m very sorry…" before quickly pulling the phone away again as the woman erupted once more.
Rowena approached the desk to grab a pen from the bin adjacent to the phone. "I’m gonna take a guess and say no one has won the contest yet," she said, turning her glance to Andrew.
"No," Andrew answered with a frustrated sigh. "And the number of angry callers is getting ridiculous." Mrs. Henderson’s voice seemed to reach an impossibly high volume. "Oh no, not you, Mrs. Henderson. I meant that I’m ridiculous."
Rowena sighed and grabbed the phone from Andrew. "Mrs. Henderson? This is Rowena Allister. I’m very sorry about that. One of our younger students answered the phone." She gave him an appraising look. "You know how kids can be. Okay, well...are you calling for your daughter?" Rowena listened for a moment. "Great, then let me transfer you over to the dorms. Hold for a moment please." She hit a button on the switchboard. "Kennedy, Mrs. Henderson’s on the line. Thanks."
Rowena hung up the phone. "Okay, Andrew, I think it’s time that you gave up on this little contest."
"What?! Are you kidding? Jeff and I sent in three hundred entry forms," he said proudly. "All they have to do is pick one and call us up."
"And how do you know they haven’t called someone else already?" she challenged.
"Jeff’s been listening to the radio while I wait for the call. There’s no way we can lose. This year the convention’s going to be great," he said, grabbing a folded brochure out of his back pocket. "Here, look at this."
Rowena took the paper and began to read. "Cosmic Conventions proudly invites all fans of science fiction to Cleveland’s 4th Annual Cosmo-Con. Special guest stars include Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager, Peter Woodward of Babylon 5, and Christopher Judge of Stargate SG-1."
She handed the brochure back to Andrew. "If you want to go so badly, why don’t you just buy the tickets? It’s not like you can’t afford it."
"If I win the contest, I get eight free tickets to the convention and two backstage passes to a private meeting with Jeri Ryan," he answered.
"Oh I see," Rowena said with a smile. "Isn’t she the woman in the tight outfit with all the mechanical implants?"
"She was a Borg who was liberated from the collective," Andrew answered automatically. "I actually met her once at a convention a few years ago."
"Really? Was she nice?"
"Umm, well, I never got to find out. I kind of…"
"Kind of what?"
Andrew frowned. "I kind of got nervous and threw up all over her autographed photos."
"That’s not so bad," Rowena said. "I mean, those can always be replaced."
"Well, after they cleaned it up, I got so nervous that she would be mad, I threw up again…on her manager…and a little on her."
Rowena held back a laugh. "Umm, that’s one way to make an impression."
Andrew perked up. "Anyway, when I win this contest, I’ll be able to meet her again and hopefully not throw up. It’s going to be great."
Rowena sighed. "Okay, but remember not to get your hopes up too much. I mean the odds of actually winning a contest like this are slim to—"
She was cut off by the Council phone. It rang once before Andrew immediately grabbed the handset.
"Hailing frequencies open!" he yelled, his excitement getting the best of him.
Rowena put her hand on her forehead. "I really hope that wasn’t the mayor’s office. Willow has been expecting a call all morning." She looked up and saw Andrew staring at the phone in his hand. He sported a look of complete confusion. "What’s wrong?" Rowena asked with concern in her voice.
"I...I…I won!" he shouted with excitement.
Jeff came sprinting around the corner and joined Andrew behind the desk. They began to sing, "We’re gonna meet Jeri Ryan, we’re gonna meet Jeri Ryan!"
Rowena looked on in disbelief. "Oh geez," she sighed. Andrew ignored Rowena’s remark and began to dance behind the desk, the phone receiver still in his hand. His technique was a step below spastic and only lasted about ten seconds before he tripped over his chair and disappeared from Rowena’s sight beneath the desk.
End of Teaser
Onto Act One