The Price

Act One

Fade In:

Int.

Kennedy’s Bedroom – Moments Later

Alone, Kennedy stood up and began to look around the bedroom. She saw a wall filled with trophies and ribbons for track and field events, along with a picture of her and eight other people all in a group. None of the faces seemed to register with her.

Jenny suddenly popped her head back inside.

"Good, you’re up," she said. "You’re out of protein shake so be sure to pick some up after school," she said patting Kennedy’s book bag.

"Mom?" Kennedy asked in a tone as if she wasn’t sure she’d get an answer.

"Yeaaaah?" Jenny replied, picking up on the inflection.

"Why don’t I blow off school today? Nothing big is happening, maybe we can just, I don’t know, hang out?"

"That would be great," Jenny replied. "But I’ve got school myself, the kids have a test. How about tonight? I’m sure your dad won’t mind if we do a girls’ night out."

At first, Kennedy said nothing. "Yeah, okay," she replied.

"You got to get a move on though," Jenny replied.

"I-I will," Kennedy replied.

Jenny left the room and Kennedy walked over to her book bag. She pulled out a class schedule that said USC on the top of it and she smiled broadly.

After putting the schedule back, she walked around the room, taking everything in that she saw. She walked over to the nightstand and picked up a picture of a handsome, young man with his arms wrapped around her. Both of them wore big smiles and looked quite cozy with each other.

Seeing a computer on a desk near the bed she walked over and turned it on. As her fingers stood ready at the keyboard she looked at her fingers to see two rings that she didn’t recognize.

One was a class ring and she took it off to examine it closer. One side read USC and the other had the scales of justice on it. She slipped it back on and examined the other ring, which was an emerald with two decent sized diamonds on either side.

Now that the computer had booted up she opened her email and scanned the names, looking for any that might be familiar.

"Nobody I recognize," she muttered to herself.

She jumped when the door suddenly sprung open again. Jenny stood there rolling her eyes.

"Ken," she said disapprovingly. "What’s with you today?"

"Sorry," Kennedy replied, getting up from the computer. "Getting ready now."

Cut To:

Int.

Kennedy’s House – Staircase – Moments Later

Now fully dressed, Kennedy looked at the array of pictures of her that lined the wall with Jenny and her father also in various shots. The final picture looked recent with all three of them together. She began to grin.

Cut To:

Int.

Kennedy’s House – Kitchen – Moments Later

Kennedy walked into the kitchen. She stopped and watched her father talking on a cell phone and her grin became a full-fledged smile.

"I don’t care," he said irritated into the phone. "Look, I’ll be there in the next half hour so just hold them for now. I’m on my way." He hung up and saw Kennedy grinning and smiled too, his mood changing.

"Morning, Querida," he told her. "You look rather happy today."

"Rough morning?" Kennedy asked.

"Ahhh," he said waving it off. "Nothing out of the ordinary really. One client’s being a bit more picky so it looks like it’s going to be a long day…maybe even a long night if I can’t get it settled."

"Oh," Jenny said as she handed him a glass of orange juice. "Ken wants to go do something tonight. Just the girls."

Her father put on a mock air of feeling indignant. "You mean I’m not invited? I’m hurt." Jenny gave him a playful shove before going back to the sink. "I’ll just have to force her to shoot some hoops this weekend. What do you say?" he asked Kennedy.

"You’re on," Kennedy told him.

He raised his glass in a toasting fashion and then downed it.

"Hey, wait a second," he said. "Isn’t tonight the big night?"

"Oh, that’s right," Jenny said as she smiled at Kennedy.

Kennedy was totally caught off guard by their joy. "Uhhh, big night for what?" she asked leery.

"Your anniversary," her father replied. "You’re a young lady, how could any woman forget that?" he teased.

"I’ve been busy with school. I guess I just lost track of time," she replied.

"Rob said he had big plans tonight," Jenny said conspiratorially. "I think this might be it."

Kennedy’s parents smiled at each other and she looked back and forth between them.

"What might be it?" she asked as she took a drink of her orange juice.

"You know…" Jenny prodded. "He might pop the question."

Kennedy choked a bit on the juice but hid her reaction as best as she could.

"Well, I…I don’t think I’m ready to get married," Kennedy replied.

"Not now, no," her father agreed. "But Rob…he’s a good man, Kennedy. Hard working, dependable, stable. He’ll do you right…Well, I have to go. You girls have a good day."

Jenny returned and leaned down to kiss him soundly on the lips. He rose and left the room, but not before giving Kennedy a kiss on top of her head as he passed. She smiled again.

Kennedy heard the radio playing and an announcer say, "News from Washington today says that President Al Gore is in talks-."

"Al Gore?" Kennedy asked over the top of the report.

Jenny turned around and said, "What about him?"

"He’s, uh," Kennedy fumbled. "He’s in talks they said."

"Yeah, he’s supposed to be over in Iran this week for the Middle East peace talks. What about it?"

"Uh, nothing. Some people were talking about it at school. Speaking of which, I better get going." Kennedy hesitated a moment. "So . . . here I go."

Jenny gave Kennedy a suspicious look. "Are you sure everything is okay?"

Kennedy grinned. "Yeah, things are great, actually…I…I just wish we had time to talk more is all."

"Is this about Rob?" Jenny asked. "I know taking the plunge is scary and there’s nothing that says you have to tell him yes. Of course, that’s if he even asks you to marry him tonight…Just know you don’t have to do anything right now, or next week or even next year."

"Rob is great and everyone seems to love him," Kennedy answered. "I just…I’m not exactly sure he’s the one or if I even…It’s confusing," she finally answered.

"You’re still a very young woman Ken. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you so you don’t have to rush," Jenny offered.

Kennedy considered her words carefully. "Yeah, you’re right. I don’t have to rush, do I?" Kennedy replied.

"Not at all," Jenny answered with a smile. "Besides, I’d be more concerned if you thought you had all the answers to life by 23 years old than feeling confused by it all."

Kennedy smiled. "Thanks for the motherly advice. I’m not a kid anymore but…I miss it sometimes." Kennedy paused and just watched Jenny’s smile for a long moment. "You’re a very smart lady. I know I’m lucky that you’re around."

"I’m a mom; that’s my job," Jenny teased. "But it’s nice to hear it now and then."

Kennedy chuckled. "Well, in the spirit of not rushing let’s plan a whole weekend for the girl’s night out. Do it up right, what do you say?"

"I’d be honored," Jenny said before giving her a kiss on the head. "Now like I said…" she pointed at her watch and Kennedy nodded.

She turned to leave when she heard her mom say, "You won’t get very far without these." Kennedy turned back around in time to have Jenny throw her the keys.

"Oh, yeah," she said looking at the key emblem. "Thanks."

Cut To:

Ext.

Kennedy’s House – Moments Later

Kennedy walked out of the house moving backward looking at the structure, as if taking it all in. She looked back at the key in her hand and then to the driveway to see a blue 2006 Ford Mustang convertible.

"This is freakin’ sweet," she said as she pushed a button and the alarm released.

Excited, she walked toward the car.

Cut To:

Int.

USC – Taper Hall Classroom – Later that Morning

Kennedy was looking at her course sheet before walking into a large lecture hall. As she scanned the room she saw Andrew waving her over. She looked around to make sure he was motioning her. Not seeing anyone behind her, she waved back and made her way there. When she was to the aisle in front of Andrew he pulled his book bag up from the seat directly in front of him.

"Saved your spot," he told her.

"Uh, thanks," she told him. She put down her book bag and turned around. "So, how are you doing today?" she asked.

"Excellent," he told her. "I aced my calculus test so it’s smooth sailing the rest of the semester."

"Yeah, but you missed the con this weekend," a young man next to him said disappointedly. Kennedy seemed to recognize him from somewhere but couldn’t place the face.

"Hello?" Andrew said turning to Jonathan. "How old are you now? Ten? I’ve got more important things to do with my time."

"Yeah, but it was really cool," Kennedy heard a voice say and turned. She looked to see Warren take a seat on the other side of Andrew. "Jeri Ryan was there and everything."

Kennedy turned around swiftly in her seat and took a deep breath, blowing it out slowly. She seemed almost afraid of showing them a reaction.

Andrew shook his head. "You losers need a life in the worst way. Seriously."

She mustered a grin and turned back around. Soon after she felt someone plop down into the chair beside her but didn’t turn until she felt a tap on her arm and the person ask, "You got last week’s notes?"

Kennedy’s hand slapped over her mouth and her eyes welled up with tears. "I don’t believe it," Kennedy muttered.

Vi smiled nervously. "If you don’t have them it’s not that big a deal. I’ll get ‘em from Andrew."

"What? My notes aren’t good enough?" Warren remarked.

Vi paused a beat. "Like I said, I’ll get them from Andrew."

"You know…" Warren grumbled.

Andrew chuckled and then handed them down to Vi.

"Hey everybody," someone called out from the podium below. Kennedy turned around to see Tara standing there. "Mr. Wood’s running a little bit late today but if you all grab your seats he’ll be here shortly."

"Tara," Kennedy muttered.

"Annnnd?" Vi asked. "She’s Mr. Wood’s student aid. Where have you been all semester?"

The trio behind her chuckled.

"Good question," Kennedy whispered. "Mr. Wood’s name wouldn’t happen to be Robin would it?" she asked in a louder voice.

"Very funny," Vi replied. "Always the joker."

"Yeah, that’s me, the big joker…"

Kennedy watched as Tara gave her a soft smile and nodded for her to come forward. Kennedy looked right and left and then pointed to herself.

"Yes, you," Tara mouthed with a grin. She then walked out of the classroom giving Kennedy a sexy glance over her shoulder as she exited.

Vi was talking to Andrew and barely acknowledged Kennedy’s comment of "Be right back."

Cut To:

Ext.

USC – Taper Hall Classroom – Continuous

When Kennedy stepped out she saw Tara waiting for her, leaning against the wall. She slowly walked over as if unsure of what to say or do.

"Hey," Kennedy said as she greeted the blonde. "How’s it going?"

Tara smiled. "I was going to ask you the same question," she replied. "You seemed a little shocked to see me."

"Oh, no," Kennedy said trying to cover. "I mean…Why would I?" Kennedy nervously bit her lip to prevent herself from saying more.

"You seem edgy," Tara remarked. "Dare I say…panicky." Kennedy forced her eyes from going wide. "Look," Tara continued, "If it’s about last night…I won’t lie. I had a wonderful time, really wonderful but…I know the score. So just relax around me."

"The score?" Kennedy asked.

"Rob," Tara said. "And I’m not in the habit of coming between people. I’m also a grad student so…I’ve been the litmus test for quite a few girls and-."

Tara stopped as Kennedy held up her hands. "I don’t use people, okay?" Kennedy remarked. "I’ve just…I’ve got a lot of things going on right now. I’m trying to figure…a bunch of stuff out so…"

"Give you some space?" Tara provided.

"Yeah," Kennedy replied. "You’ve heard that line before, haven’t you?"

"Wouldn’t be the first time," Tara admitted.

"Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, just me. So when I say it I mean it. It’s not a brush off." Kennedy began to grin slightly. "I have to admit my curiosity is getting the better of me right now."

"That’s what you said last night," Tara replied. "Of course you were about three sheets to the wind at the time," she teased. Kennedy smiled but said nothing so Tara continued. "Look, I just wanted to call you out here and let you know that…I don’t want things to be weird in class, okay?"

"No weirdness here," Kennedy replied. "But thanks for being concerned," she added.

"Maybe…" Tara seemed reluctant to go on but forged ahead anyway in a rush. "Maybe we can hang out this weekend but no booze this time. Would that be all right?"

Kennedy began to grin. "I think I’d like that," she replied. "But no promises of anything, you know…"

"Oh, no," Tara apologized. "I wasn’t looking to, you know…" She began to chuckle and blush. "I gotta admit it’s been quite a few years since someone made me sound like a nervous school girl."

Kennedy grinned. "It’s adorable though," she replied. "I can see why…" Kennedy trailed off.

"See what?" Tara asked.

"Why I think you’d make a lady feel special," Kennedy replied. They both looked at each other for a long moment until Kennedy pitched a thumb over her shoulder. "I better…"

"Yeah, me too," Tara replied.

Cut To:

Int.

USC – Taper Hall Classroom – Continuous

Kennedy sat back down next to Vi, who gave her a dubious look.

"What?" Kennedy asked.

"Does Rob know?" she whispered.

"Know what?" Kennedy replied. Vi just gave a nod toward Tara who was grading papers below them. "There’s nothing to tell," she sighed.

"You two looked real chummy at the bar," Vi answered. "If you’ve decided to switch teams that’s fine. As for me, I can’t see it. Men are just yummy. I’m strickly di-."

"I get it," Kennedy cut her off and then started to grin. She looked back down at Tara before turning around to Andrew and his cronies.

"Hey guys? I got a question," Kennedy said. They all looked at her expectantly. "Do you…do you believe in magic?"

They all looked at one another dumbfounded. Finally Andrew asked, "I give. What’s magic?"

"Mystical stuff like spells," she added.

They all grew quiet for a moment and at once burst out laughing.

"What’s a spell? Like spelling?" Vi asked.

"Have you heard of creatures?" Kennedy asked.

"Well, duh," Jonathan remarked.

"I’m not sure where you’re going with this Ken," Andrew said.

"What about slayers? Girls that kill demons?" she asked.

"What’s a demon?" Warren asked.

"Slayers?" Andrew asked. "You mean like medieval knights?"

Kennedy shrugged. "Kind of."

"Girl knights, huh?" Jonathan said as he stroked his chin. "You should write a book about that Ken."

"Yeah, these geeks would buy it," Andrew teased.

Kennedy got a peculiar look on her face until she watched Robin walk into the room saying, "Sorry I’m late, guys. Let’s open to page 236 and get started."

Vi scooted closer to Kennedy to look over her shoulder. "Forgot my book too," she whispered. "Do you mind?"

Kennedy smiled at Vi. "Not at all."

She pushed it closer toward her so they could share. Vi looked at Robin below them, but Kennedy simply smiled and watched her silently.

Cut To:

Int.

USC - Doheny Library – Later that Morning

Kennedy stood in front of a reference desk looking annoyed, "It’s a book by Bram Stroker," she said.

The librarian typed for a short while and then looked back at Kennedy. "I’m sorry we don’t have it. Is it new?"

Kennedy just shook her head and turned around. There were a few students inside, either seated or moving about.

"Excuse me?" she said in a loud voice as the librarian tried to ‘shh’ her. "Has anyone here heard of a book called Dracula by Bram Stroker?"

"Sorry," a young man next to her replied. Others in the room looked at her like she was crazy while others just shook their heads or ignored her completely.

The librarian tried to speak to her again but Kennedy simply talked to herself. "No Dracula and no Van Helsing…no Kadin."

Kennedy began to make her way to the exit and opened her cell phone. After pressing a few buttons she put it to her ear.

"Hey Mom," Kennedy began leaving a message. "I’m going to be a little late tonight but maybe this weekend we can get together like we planned. I’ve got research to do. Love ya." Kennedy hung up and walked out the door.

Cut To:

Int.

Kennedy’s Bedroom – Later that Day

Kennedy moved the mouse to make the screen come up on her computer. She had her credit card in her hand and placed it next to the keyboard as she sat down.

She typed in some information and a people search screen came up. She typed in Kadin’s name and waited for the results. Her eyebrows scrunched and she went to the paid search and put in her lover’s information.

When it said no results found she rested her elbow on the keyboard tray and began to stroke her top lip with her thumb as if deep in thought. It was then that her IM message alert came up saying, ‘Kadin-Online’.

She quickly clicked it and wrote a message. "Hey, U around?"

A few seconds later a reply came back. "Yeah, what are you doing here? Aren’t U supposed 2 B in class?"

Kennedy quickly went to the profile link and up came a picture of Kadin along with her bio.

"Yesss!!!" Kennedy said as she raised her hands in the air and jumped from her chair.

She quickly sat back down and began to type. "Doing some research at home today," she wrote back. "You have no idea how glad I am to see U."

"Why? What’s up? Come to cry on my shoulder about Rob?" was the reply.

"No," Kennedy replied. "It’s a long story and I’m short on time. Will U B around later today?"

"Yeah," was all she said.

"Great! I want to call you. Can U give me your phone number?"

"U want to call me?" was the reply.

"Is that a problem? I’m not a psycho," Kennedy wrote back.

"LOL – Didn’t think you were. Okay, sure I guess," was the answer.

As the number followed Kennedy picked up a small notepad on the desk and jotted it down.

"Thanks!" she wrote back. "Gotta run! More…research awaits."

She closed the screen and then bolted from the desk.

Cut To:

Ext.

USC - Doheny Library – Later that Day

Kennedy noticed Vi walking and shouted out to her. "Vi! Hey Vi!"

Vi stopped and looked toward the sound and smiled. She returned Kennedy’s wave and watched the young woman jog up to her.

"How’d you like to go on a field trip? A little adventure on the open road today?"

"I’m on my way to psych class," she replied.

"Psychology’s boring," Kennedy told her.

"And your point being?" Vi asked.

"Come on, let’s blow today off. You and me, out on an adventure just like Thelma and Louise."

"They drove off a cliff," Vi answered deadpan.

"Okay, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Just us two amigos – side by side."

"They got shot up outside a bar."

"Fine," Kennedy said giving up. "Like a buddy movie that didn’t end in death and destruction, okay?"

Vi thought for all of three seconds and then shrugged. "Sure, okay."

Cut To:

Ext.

Gas Station – Later that Day

Kennedy pulled her car into a gas station.

"I’m not feeling the adventure yet," Vi complained as Kennedy left the car.

"I just want to find some old friends."

"Fine," Vi replied. "Get me a Butterfinger while you’re in there."

Cut To:

Int.

Gas Station – Same Time

She walked inside to see a clerk behind the counter. She moved toward him with a map in her hand and a Butterfinger in the other.

"One fifty," the clerk told her.

Kennedy handed him a couple of bills. "Hey," she began, "can you tell me how far I am from Sunnydale?"

The clerk shook his head. "Good luck," he told her. "There is no Sunnydale anymore," he added. He reached down and pulled up a map. "Wanna buy a new map?"

"What do you mean there’s no Sunnydale?" she asked.

"Where’ve you been lady?" he told her. "An earthquake swallowed up the town."

"So they say," a man behind Kennedy said. "But that’s not how I heard it."

The clerk waved him off and motioned another customer to step around Kennedy.

"What have you heard?" Kennedy asked him as she moved out of the way.

"They said it was an earthquake," the man told her in a hushed tone, "but other people saw bomber planes flying around after the quake. The government bombed the entire city. There were hardly any survivors."

"So there’s nothing there now?" Kennedy asked.

"Not really. All that’s there is a monument of Mother Nature’s victims but the truth is it’s the government that killed the most when they dropped the bombs."

"Why would the government bomb an entire city?" Kennedy asked.

"The mutants," he whispered. "The creatures that came out of the sewers after the earthquake. It was the only way to stop them."

"Yeah, if you’re nuts you believe that," the clerk added.

Kennedy began to make her way to the door and said, "Thanks guys."

"It’s true!" the man shouted to Kennedy’s retreating form, "You better stay away!"

Cut To:

Ext.

Sunnydale Memorial – Later that Day

Vi sat on the ground polishing her fingernails. Kennedy, on the other hand, was busy. She walked up to the memorial wall and moved right to the ‘R’ section. Her finger skimmed down the names and landed on ‘Rosenberg, Ira’ and ‘Rosenberg, Sheila’ below it.

"No Willow," she breathed a sigh of relief.

She went another step over to a new row and ran her finger down the list once more stopping on ‘Summers, Buffy’, and ‘Summers, Dawn’.

She ran a hand down her face and sighed, "Damn it."

She moved to the ‘G’s’ next and found "Gibson, Mark’ and then ‘Goodman, Ellen’ and let out a sigh. She moved next over the ‘H’s’ next coming to ‘Harris, Robert’ and ‘Hoover, Alice’. She pulled out a small notebook and a pen to write something down.

Next, she walked over to the ‘L’s’ and held her breath. Her fingers traced down the list, going to ‘LaRoy, Janet’ and then to ‘Lellon, Catherine’.

"Thank god," she muttered. She took a step back from the wall and noticed something at the far end. Once there she began to read it out loud. "For information on possible Sunnydale survivors…" She pulled out her notepad again and jotted down some more notes.

Cut To:

Int.

Kennedy’s Car – Moments Later

Kennedy was driving in her car again, talking to herself.

"Okay, Buffy and Dawn are gone," she said matter-of-factly. "I can’t help them but…you’re here, so that’s good," she added optimistically to Vi. "And Kadin might still be gay, she’s just not a demon hunter maybe. So…I’ll find her a-and…we’ll just pick up where we left off."

Vi sat looking at her nervously. "You’re scaring me," she replied.

"I’m sorry," Kennedy apologized.

"No, really," Vi said with an exaggerated nod.

"Don’t be scared, alright? It’s hard for me to explain but I knew some people from Sunnydale and I never took the time to look them up. It just seemed like today would be a good day."

"And why am I here exactly?" Vi answered.

"Well, talk to me. Tell me how you’ve been. How’re your studies going? All that…normal gals on the road stuff." Kennedy gave her an exaggerated grin.

"You’re scaring me again," Vi replied.

Kennedy sighed and opened her phone. She began to dial a number while looking at her notepad.

"Hi there," Kennedy began. "You don’t know me. I’m Kennedy and I found this number on the Sunnydale Memorial…Great, well, I’m wondering if I could see you today? I’m trying to locate some old friends that weren’t on the wall…Are you around here, well, by the memorial, I mean…Oh, okay, great. I was hoping that I might come over right now, if that’s…Yeah, I think so. I’ve got a map but if I get lost I’ll give a call back…Great! I’ll be there in about a half hour. Thanks a bunch."

Kennedy disconnected and tossed the phone into the backseat seat. "Okay guys, I’m coming for ya," she said as she put her foot on the gas and accelerated.

Vi gripped the center console and closed her eyes.

Cut To:

Ext.

House – Later that day

Vi and Kennedy walked up the steps as Kennedy looked at her notepad. Before she could knock on the front door it opened and Vi tapped Kennedy’s arm to get her attention, making her look up.

"Are you Kennedy?" she heard someone ask.

The slayer lowered her notepad and saw Amy Madison greet her with a smile. Kennedy swallowed visibly.

Fade to Black

 

End of Act One
On to Act Two