Loves Labor Lost

Act One

Starring:

 Elijah Wood as Jeff  and Lacey Chabert as Skye

Guest Starring: 

Hector Elizondo as Gregor and Amanda Tapping as Dr. Wagner

Fade In

Int.

Council Dining Area – Morning

Marsha the dragon sat next to Kennedy and snapped the piece of bacon from the air that the slayer tossed toward her. Across from the two of them sat Gregor with a slight smile.

"Where did you find her?" he said nodding to the dragon.

"In a place near Youngstown," Kennedy answered. "A farmer said he saw a monster and well…here she is," she added as she tossed over another piece of bacon.

"Jioes Dragons are very friendly," he said. "Plus they don’t grow to be much bigger than a large sled dog. It’s interesting that you would pick a dragon as a familiar."

Kennedy grinned. "She’s a pet not a familiar. I’m not so much into the magic stuff, not usually anyway."

"That’s unfortunate," Gregor said sincerely. "You come from a very long and powerful line."

"The only line I belong to is the Slayer line. I like it that way," Kennedy retorted.

"Fair enough," Gregor nodded in respect. "But if you ever consider merging both lines then you could…" He deliberately let the sentence hang.

"What?" Kennedy asked.

"To be honest…you could be the most powerful slayer that ever lived," he said as he met her eyes.

Kennedy paused a moment. "You think so, huh?"

"I know so," he said with great certainty. "With slayer speed and strength, coupled with unlimited mystical resources…You would be virtually unstoppable my young lady," he teased with a wave of his finger.

"Nothing is unstoppable," Kennedy remarked.

"Which is why I said virtually," he answered with a grin.

Kennedy grinned too and then shrugged. "I’m really not in the market to be some all-powerful human. I do okay on my own. I don’t need that."

"No, but someday the Council might," he argued.

"What do you mean?" Kennedy asked.

Gregor paused a moment. "Consider the fight the other day. If you had the power and the knowledge, you wouldn’t have needed me to interfere. Magic is out there and it can be either your friend or your foe. If you’d like to learn more I’d be willing to show you…that’s all I’m saying."

Kennedy said nothing as she tossed Marsha another piece of bacon as Faith made her way over.

"Gregor, Slick," she said as she acknowledged both of them and took a seat next to Kennedy. "Did you hear that Skye finally showed up?"

"Yeah, Xander mentioned it when I went to check on the stakes for the latest recruits. I guess she got jumped at the campus."

"Did he say more about what happened to her? Where she’s been?" Faith asked.

"Not yet," Kennedy answered.

Faith looked over Kennedy’s shoulder and nodded. "Speak of the devil," she muttered. Kennedy turned around to see Dawn, Skye, Willow and Rowena walking toward them.

"How ya doin’?" Faith called out to Skye. As they approached closer Faith’s eyebrows knitted for a moment in confusion but the expression quickly changed.

"Not too bad," Skye answered. "All things considered."

"And what would all things be?" Kennedy asked. "What happened to you anyway?"

"Short version – I got jumped the other night and woke up in the college infirmary. I don’t remember much more than that."

"You guys didn’t check the college hospital?" Faith asked Dawn.

"We did but she wasn’t there yet I guess."

Faith didn’t say anything. She simply continued to examine Skye and gave a single nod. "Well, at least you’re back at home now, safe and sound. That’s all that matters, right?"

At first Skye didn’t say anything. She simply looked hard at Faith. "Yeah…right."

Faith cleared her throat. "Well, you kids have fun. I’m gonna grab some chow."

Faith stood up and left the table without looking back as the newcomers each took a seat with their meal trays.

Cut to:

Int.

Dr. Miller’s Examining Room – Moments Later

Faith stood, looking inside a manila folder. "So you mean everything checked out for Skye then?"

"Such as?" Dr. Miller asked.

"She’s…you know…breathing. Has a pulse. The important stuff."

Dr. Miller chuckled. "If she didn’t have a pulse she couldn’t have been sitting in my office here."

"Don’t be too sure," Faith answered softly, more to herself than to Dr. Miller. "But you did check, right? Everything is okay with her?"

"Yes, I did take her vitals but I’m not sure I’d say okay. She took a bad bump to the head and I’d go with Dr. Wagner’s assessment that she’s got a slight case of pneumonia."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning that she’s labored in her breathing but she is breathing," Dr. Miller said as he smiled.

Faith closed the folder and handed it to Dr. Miller. "Thanks Doc," she told him.

"If you don’t mind me asking Faith…why the curiosity?" he said as he took the chart back.

Faith shrugged. "Nothing apparently. Thanks again."

With that, she left the room.

Cut to:

Int.

Council Building Lobby – Moments Later

Andrew and Shannon sat behind the receptionist’s desk.

"I don’t see why I’m stuck shuffling paper work," Shannon moaned. "I’m a slayer not a secretary."

"My dear Padawan," Andrew clucked in a melodramatic voice. "Think of our greatest slayers – Buffy, Faith, Kennedy – all were required to do paperwork. Well, okay, Buffy’s never pushed a pencil in her life I’m sure but still…In order to be one of the truly finest of the slayer order you must learn certain ways, other ways, that being a jed…slayer entail."

Shannon nodded and then pursed her lips. "Fine…I still say this blows."

From the other side of the room Faith left Dr. Miller’s office, appearing deep in thought. At the entrance a man and a woman in their early to mid-forties entered.

"Excuse me," the man called out as Faith made her way past them. At first she didn’t seem to hear him. "Ma’am," he called out, finally getting Faith’s attention.

"Yo," Faith said coming closer. "Whatcha need?"

"Is this the Council of Watchers?"

Faith seemed reluctant to say anything but finally replied, "Who’s askin’?"

"I’m sorry," he apologized offering his hand, which Faith took. "I’m Reinhold Caperlet. This is my wife, Nicole. Our son, Richard, seems to be missing and we have reason to believe you can help."

"We’re not a missing persons unit," Faith told him. "Your best bet is to go to the cops."

Faith began to walk out but the man’s next words made her stop.

"Denaver demons aren’t something the police know about."

Faith pivoted on her heels. "Hold that thought," she said putting her finger in the air. "I’ll be right back."

Cut to:

Int.

Council Meeting Room – Moments Later

Willow, Rowena, Robin and Faith all sat around the table with Mr. And Mrs. Caperlet. A photo of a young man in his late teens sat on top.

"So what makes you think Denaver demons are involved in Richard’s disappearance?" Rowena asked. "From what I understand they are pretty passive demons," she told him. Then she added in explanation to the Council group, "Much like Brell."

"Perhaps," Mr. Caperlet began, "Except like most creatures, when it comes to love, anything goes."

"I’m not sure I follow you," Robin said.

Mr. Caperlet looked at his wife as if unsure he could continue but finally spoke.

"Richard has been seeing one of the young Denavers here in Cleveland – a member of the Montager clan or family or whatever you call demons who are related."

"I take it Daddy Montager isn’t big on the idea of your son dating his little spawn," Faith remarked.

Mr. Caperlet shook his head. "Her father forbid it. Hell, even I forbid it…But now our son’s turned up missing and I’m convinced they had something to do with it."

Willow partially raised her hand. "Maybe he simply left town with his girlfriend," she offered.

"We thought that too but she hasn’t seen him either." The group looked confused and Mr. Caperlet went on. "We spotted her at a convenience store near home yesterday…and, well, things got ugly. Despite our feelings toward her, we believe she’s being honest."

Rowena chewed on her bottom lip a moment. "This really sounds more like a police missing person’s case. While I sympathize with your situation Mr. Caperlet, I’m not sure what we could do."

"We thought perhaps you might speak with them, the Denaver demons…as a neutral party?" he seemed to beg. "We’ve reported our son missing to the police but not the…demon angle of the story. I’m sure if we did, we would probably be committed or at least suspects in his disappearance. What we need is someone other than the police who can visit this family and uncover any information. We just…we want our son back. That’s all."

"Mr. Caperlet, family disputes are something the Council doesn’t handle," Rowena told him. "But I do see your dilemma." Rowena looked to Willow and then Robin and Faith. "Your call guys," she added to them.

"We’ll see what we can do," Willow replied sympathetically and Rowena got a small smile on her face.

"You ole softy," the watcher teased affectionately making Willow grin. "Is there a way we can contact you?" Rowena added to Mr. Caperlet.

Mr. And Mrs. Caperlet both smiled and Mr. Caperlet handed her a business card.

"I’m usually at this number more often but you’re welcome to call Nicole at the home number if you like."

"We can’t make any promises," Rowena told him. "But we’ll talk with the Montager family."

"Thank you very much," he said shaking her hand. "All of you, thank you," he added to the room.

After he and his wife left, Rowena sighed and turned to Willow. "It’s it amazing how well meaning parents cause so much grief."

"Do we really think it’s demon related?" Robin asked.

"Whatta ya mean Ace?" Faith asked.

"Skye just got jumped," he explained. "Now another teen goes missing? Maybe there’s some gang activity going on here. Human gang, I mean," he added for clarification.

"Perhaps," Rowena answered. "But perhaps not. We really won’t know until we research it. So, anyone here want to lend a hand."

"I’ll help," Faith spoke up first. "And I gotta agree with you Blondie. I think the parents stirred up a hornet’s nest."

"And since Faith isn’t the most diplomatic at times I better be there too," Robin teased.

"Hey," Faith complained. "I can be very diplomatic…when I wanna be."

"Right," Robin said with a chuckle. "When the he said/she said debates start I can see heads start to roll thanks to your frustration. Again, count me in."

"I’ll help too," Willow answered. "Although I don’t know much about these Denaver demons."

"Well I do," Rowena began, "but not everything mind you. For example, I know they can take on a human form if they wish and as I said they aren’t violent creatures by nature. So what do you say? We all head out tonight to the Flats? See what we dig up?"

Everyone in the group nodded or muttered their approval.

Fade to:

Int.

Coven Room – Later That Night

Gregor, Willow and Jeff were laughing about something when Kennedy knocked on the doorframe, making them all turn around.

"Sorry to interrupt," she said.

"Not at all," Gregor said happily. "Just chatting with some magic chums about spells gone awry. Come in, come in."

"I better get going," Willow said holding a satchel up. "The gang’s waiting for me."

"Yeah, Dawn and Shannon’s waiting on me too," Jeff answered. "I’ll see you guys later."

Soon the room was empty with only Gregor and Kennedy inside. "So," he began as he turned his back on her to go to the workstation, fiddling with something Kennedy couldn’t see from her vantage point. "What brings you by?"

"What you said…this morning…about learning magic to help the Council…what would I have to do exactly?"

Gregor began to grin and then turned around to face her. "So you’ve decided to take advantage of my offer. Wise."

"No, I haven’t decided," she corrected him. "I just want to find out a little bit more about what you meant. That’s all."

"I’d be happy to answer your questions Kennedy. All of them but you must know something. My time is limited."

"I know you’re a busy guy and all," Kennedy replied.

"No," he said with a slight grin still in place. "I mean my time, here on earth, is limited. I’m not much longer for this world. So if this is something you want to do, you’ll have to decide soon."

"You’re dying?" Kennedy asked.

"I am," he said in a matter of fact tone, with neither regret nor fear. "But I believe I have the chance to pass on what I know, so that the Kalderash line will continue. But for that to happen I need your help."

Kennedy took a ragged breath. "Can I think about it tonight?" she asked.

"Certainly," he answered. "I don’t expect to be gone that soon." He gave her a small grin but Kennedy didn’t seem to have the heart to return it.

Fade to:

Int.

Watcher’s Lobby – Later That Night

Dawn rounded the corner to see Skye holding her duffle bag and walking toward the exit.

"Where are you off to?" Dawn asked.

Skye stopped and rolled her eyes before she faced Dawn with a grin.

"Gotta get to the campus. See if I can catch up on what I missed."

"Now? It’s pretty late," Dawn remarked.

"Cathy can fill me in – we’ve got most of the same classes but you know if my keeper says I can’t-."

"I’m not your keeper," Dawn answered. "I’m just worried about you. That’s all."

"Well, don’t," Skye replied. "I’m fine. I’ll catch ya later if you’re not out on patrol with Shannon."

Without waiting for Dawn to reply Skye started on her way again and slipped out of the door.

Cut to:

Ext.

Jeep – Later That Night

Willow, Rowena, Robin and Faith all emerged from the Jeep.

"This is the place," Rowena told them as they looked at what seemed to be an abandoned factory.

"This neighborhood always gives me the creeps," Faith added as they began to walk forward.

"With good reason," Rowena answered. "It must be your slayer sense. Most of Cleveland’s unexplained phenomena have taken place out here. It’s quite fascinating to read all that’s gone on in this location over the years. The Torso Killer story alone is a tale that’s truly remarkable." Faith looked at Rowena and rolled her eyes. "What?" Rowena asked.

Faith didn’t reply to Rowena. Instead, she looked to Willow. "She’s frightening. I’d sleep with one eye open if I were you, Red."

Before Willow had the chance to respond the quartet was suddenly knocked back by an unseen force, all of them landing on their backsides.

"Yes, quite fascinating indeed," Faith said sarcastically as she sat rubbing her behind.

Everyone moved to their feet and Willow raised her hand in the air until she came to an invisible barrier that prevented her hand from going higher.

"Magic," she muttered.

"You don’t say," Faith answered.

Willow reached into her satchel and pulled out something that looked like dust from a vial. She blew it in the direction of the barrier and was able to then raise her hand well over her head.

"See? All gone," she said proudly.

A deep growling noise behind them made everyone turn around slowly at once.

A beast, no taller than Willow, gnashed its ugly fangs toward them. "I told you this place is creepy," Faith remarked again.

 

End of Act One
Onto Act Two