Agents Field and Meadows looked out over Seattle from the top of the Space Needle, it had stopped raining and the clouds had cleared to reveal the rising moon.
“Didn’t quite work out as well as we planned,” Meadows said with a sigh.
“Oh you have to look on the bright side, we got some footage of the slayers and the witch in action, and we’ve learnt enough to adapt our programming methods,” Field was trying to put the best light on the fiasco as he could.
“Yes and the footage of the woman at the Mall when she beat up the Winchesters was both entertaining and educational,” Meadows smiled to herself in the dark.
“Pity about the surveillance from the house,” Field stared out over the brightly lit city.
“Well from what I was told,” Meadows turned to watch her fellow agent, “the repairs they were doing were in the wrong part of the house to catch any of the action. Plus one of the women always seemed to be watching our people work.”
Field nodded his head forgetting his partner couldn’t see him in the dark.
“Anyway the ease with which the witch took out Dean and his brother, I don’t think it would have made very good viewing.”
“Dean was distracted by that brother of his!” Meadows pointed out, “It broke the programming. Next time, if there is a next time; Sammy-boy gets taken out of the picture…permanently. What did Control have to say about everything?”
“We’ve been ordered out,” explained Field, “they think we should back off for a while. Come back with a new plan when the witch and her slayer have forgotten about us.”
“Usual procedure for moving out?” Meadows wanted to know.
“Yep…there goes the first one.”
A bright flash from somewhere down in Seattle denoted the first vehicle to explode. It was followed by six more at short intervals.
“That’s all the vehicles and the house dealt with,” nodded Field, “time for us to leave I think,” he handed Meadows an airline ticket.
“Until the next time then,” Meadows turned and walked towards the lift.
“See you soon,” Field watched Meadows get in the lift and head for the base of the needle.
He on the other hand drew a large circle on the floor with the marker pen he carried in his pocket. Next he drew in some arcane symbols and sprinkled some yellow powder on the floor in an intricate pattern. Lastly he took his place in the centre of the circle and muttered some Latin phrases before putting a match to the powder. There was a bright flash followed by a cloud of evil smelling smoke. When the smoke had cleared Agent Field had completely vanished.
Dean and Sam Winchester drove through the night heading towards the State Line. As usual Dean drove while Sam leafed through their father’s book. The street lights caused shadows to play across the pages of the book.
“Not a word about slayers,” Sam said with a sigh.
“Yeah,” Sam assured him, “you’d think he’d have said something if they’re all over the country?” Sam remembered something Kennedy had said, “The girlfriend said something…she said ‘Slayers or The Slayer’. Maybe once there was only one?”
“Maybe ‘The Slayer’ is the head honcho or something,” suggested Dean.
They drove on in silence for a while.
“I didn’t like the way,” mused Sam, “they laughed when I said we were demon hunters. One of them said we couldn’t have met any really dangerous demons or we’d be dead or something.”
“Hey, they’re just messin’ with you Sam,” replied his brother, “the stuff we fight is real dangerous.”
“More dangerous than them?” asked Sam.
“Sure, they just got lucky.”
“Yeah right.” Sam pushed his seat back and closed his eyes; that’s why we’re heading for the state line so fast, he thought but didn’t say anything.
It was the end of the first week back at school and Tina was walking home alone. Normally the slayers who went to the same High School as Tina would go home together. But tonight Tina had stayed late; she had taken up gymnastics and it looked as if she was going to win a place on the school team. Even so she was frustrated that she couldn’t use her full slayer abilities for fear that she would outclass everyone else on the team, and draw too much attention to herself. Lost in her own thoughts she didn’t notice the silver BMW pull up next to her, the passenger door opened and a voice from inside called to her.
“Miss Tyler, please get in the car.”
Tina walked over and bent down so she could see who was driving.
“Hi Doctor Zimmerman,” she called cheerily, “what’ya doin’ ‘round here?”
“Just get into the car Christina.” Zimmerman gestured urgently for her to get in the car.
“Okay!” Tina climbed into the car and settled herself into the passenger’s seat. Zimmerman reached across her and pulled the door shut.
“Do your seat belt up,” he said as he drove off.
Tina smiled at the doctor, “You do know I can beat you to a bloody pulp in about thirty seconds or kill you in about two?”
“Even when I’m driving?”
“If it’s a choice between being kidnapped and trusting to BMW’s safety features and my slayer reflexes…it’s really a no brainer.”
“I’m not kidnapping you I’m taking you somewhere where you’ll be safe until I can get you back to your family.”
“No, you’re taking me away from the only family I’ve got left and exposing me to danger. Now I think you better drive me home or stop the car.”
“No! I can’t do that,” the doctor replied, “I don’t want you to die like Stephanie did!”
“Yes, they couldn’t protect her and she died.” Zimmerman stared out the windscreen refusing to look at Tina.
“Miss Kennedy told me about it. You never gave her or Miss Willow a chance to explain. You just judged them and found them guilty without hearing their side of the story.”
“I don’t want to hear their lies.”
“Then we have nothing to talk about. You can’t kidnap me if I don’t want to go, remember what I said earlier? I want to go home…now!”
Zimmerman slowed the car until it came to a halt, he turned to Tina, “I can’t just let you waste your life.”
“Who said anything about wasting my life?” asked Christina sharply, “I’m lucky, I have a purpose in life. Most people wander through life not knowing what they should do with it. By the time they work it out it’s too late. You want to take that from me, and keep me from all my friends…”
“Friends?” Queried Zimmerman.
“All the girls at home are my friend’s and Miss Kennedy too…not Miss Willow she’s more of a mother figure, you know the female trinity, The Crone, The Mother and The Virgin she’s really mumsie. We look out for each other, there’s hundreds of us now. You want to take me away from all my friends and family?”
“You mean there’s more than one slayer now?”
“Yes!” Tina nodded emphatically, “See you think you know what’s best without looking at all the facts. Why don’t you come home with me and let Miss Willow and Miss Kennedy explain?”
Zimmerman watched the girl beside him for a moment, she was so like his Stephanie in so many ways, slowly he made up his mind.
“You’ll have to tell me which way to go,” he said as he pulled back out into the road.
“You’ll come! That’s great! We could do with a Doctor on our side.”
“What, to sew you up when you get injured?” Zimmerman’s his face darkening again.
“No!” Tina laughed, “I was thinking babies an’ stuff. I mean it’s bound to happen sooner or later. An’ Miss Willow…you should see the way she dotes over Tara. You’re not going to tell me she’s going to stop at one. You can be our first ‘Scooby’.
“’Scooby’?” Tina could clearly hear the distaste in the Doctors voice.
“ Yeah,” she explained, “scoobies are people who help the slayers.”
Zimmerman stopped the car at a junction, “Which way do we go now?”
It had been a great mornings shopping, Willow, Kennedy and Tina struggled with bags, packages and Tara’s buggy as they made their way back to wherever they had parked the SUV and then it started to rain.
“Oh darn!” Willow muttered as the shower started to get heavier.
“Look,” Tina pointed, “lets go in there.”
She pointed to one of Seattle’s many coffee shops, Café Nervosa said the sign above the door. The three women hurried into the shop and were welcomed by the fragrant smell of freshly brewed coffee. Unfortunately it seemed that a lot of other people had had a similar idea and there were no free tables.
“Over there.” Kennedy pointed where a thirty something woman sat by herself, there were three spare chairs at her table. Tina squeezed her way through the press of people until she stood by the table.
“Excuse me,” she asked politely, “would it be okay if my friends and I share your table?” the woman looked up and smiled.
“Of course you can! It’s so nice to hear an English voice again.”
The woman had an accent that Tina recognised as being from either the North or Midlands of England, Tina turned and waved Willow and Kennedy over.
Tina watched as Willow manoeuvred Tara’s buggy through the crowd while Kennedy would gently push people out of the way. Another advantage of Slayer strength. Although Tina was watching Willow and Kennedy she could not fail to notice that the woman at the table was watching closely as well.
Willow and Tina settled themselves at the table while Kennedy forced her way through the crowd to get their drinks.
“Hello I’m Daphne Crane.”
“I’m Willow Rosenberg and this is Christina Tyler, and that’s Kennedy getting the drinks.” Willow introduced everyone.
“Ms Cranes’ English,” Tina pointed out.
“Yes I’m from Manchester originally, but I’ve lived in Seattle nearly fourteen years now. So who’s this?” she asked looking down at Tara.
“This is Tara, my daughter,” announced Willow proudly.
There followed a short discussion about children with Daphne explaining she had a little boy of her own. By the time she had finished Kennedy had arrived with two cups of hot chocolate for Willow and Tina and coffee for herself.
“You do that very well,” Daphne eyed Kennedy closely, “were you ever a waitress?”
“No,” Kennedy smiled warily, “I’ve just got very good reflexes.”
Daphne Crane seemed to spend a moment studying Willow and Kennedy.
“You know I think we’ve met before. It was just after Christmas at that art gallery. I was there with my husband Niles. I wasn’t too impressed but Niles liked it. What about you?”
“I remember now!” cried Willow, “You were in that nice green dress with the short guy…oh sorry was that your husband?”
“Yes, and he is a bit short,” Daphne grinned.
The four women chatted over their drinks for a while as the rain got heavier. The crowd in the café thinned a little as people decided to make a dash for their cars or offices. Eventually Daphne looked at the three women sharing her table.
“I hope I’m not being rude, but you’re not exactly normal are you?”
“Wh…What do you mean?” Willow asked defensively, she could feel the slayers on either side of her tense.
“Well, I mean,” Daphne pointed out, “Tina here just seemed to appeared at the table from over by the door. Kennedy moves through this place like a dancer, and the way she picked up that man and his chair with one hand was quite a feat. And you,” Daphne looked closely at Willow, “The psychic energy is just pouring off you. I get these psychic flashes you see. There was a disturbance in the ‘force’ when you came in, and I notice things.” Daphne smiled at the three surprised women. “Oh now I’ve made you self-conscious.” A look of concern crossing her face. “I can tell you’re nice people so your secrets safe with me, and anyway who’d believe me? I know Niles doesn’t! Which reminds me, he’s expecting me and I don’t want to be late. I’ll leave you my number if you want to talk.” She took a card from her purse and left it on the table. “Call me anytime, oh by the way its still got my maiden name on it…just ask for Daphne if a man answers.” Daphne got up and walked out of the Café.
“That was weird!” Kennedy watched Daphne leave.
Willow picked up the card and looked at it, it had a Seattle number and the name ‘Daphne Moon’ written across it.
“Well I’ll be…” Willow sighed and shook her head, “after all that time I spent looking for Daphne Moon, and not to mention frightening small girls at the Mall…we end up sitting in a coffee shop with her.”
Willow smiled and shook her head as she put the card away in her bag.
“Fate,” explained Tina.
“No,” Kennedy disagreed, “its just the weirdness that is Seattle.”