Chapter One: A New Hellmouth?
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2004
Kennedy, Willow, Buffy, Faith, and Dawn had settled here after they closed the Hellmouth in Cleveland permanently. Xander had gone to LA to help Angel and Co. He was a California boy at heart and couldn't bear to leave it. Giles had gone back to England to work on rebuilding the Watcher's Council (but better this time) and had taken Andrew with him to train him as a watcher. Robin Wood had decided to move back to New York City, to be closer to his mother's grave and to maybe start over fresh.
Cleveland held bad memories as during the fight to close that Hellmouth, Rona and Vi gave their lives for the cause. So the five ladies decided that a change in location would be best. Somewhere new and fresh and un-Hellmouthy. When Willow got accepted to Penn State University, the decision was made to go to Philadelphia.
The Watcher's Council, under Giles' direction, provided the funds to purchase and remodel a house suitable for their needs. They lived in a four story house about seven blocks from the old studios where American Bandstand used to tape. Kennedy, a secret closet fan of the old reruns, found this fact to be the deal maker.
The house boasted 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, home office, library, and a gym in the basement. Kennedy and Willow had their own bedroom, Buffy, Faith, and Dawn each had their own room and there were two guest bedrooms just in case Giles or Xander decided to visit.
The gym in the basement was a slayer's dream come true, with enough room for weights, weapons, and a sparring area. The home office was Willow's dream come true, with five computers all networked together on a secure server, each connected to its own printer and sharing a flatbed scanner. Each computer had its exclusive user, meaning Buffy couldn't use Faith's computer because of the password protection, but Willow, being the network administrator could access any of the computers from her own. But she only did that when there was a problem with the computer. The library was Dawn's dream come true, with not only regular books but all of Giles' demon texts and watcher diaries. Basically, the library had everything they'd ever possibly need to research and avert any impending apocalypse. And Dawn, being Watcher Jr. loved the opportunity to expand her education so that she could help Buffy, Faith, and Kennedy.
Even though there seemed to be almost no demon activity, the slayers still went out on patrol every night, just in case. Usually alternating nights but sometimes they'd all go out together leaving Willow and Dawn at home to their own devices.
Every now and then, the slayers would run into a few vampires, always making quick work of dusting them. It was during one of these joint patrols that the girls decided to split up for a bit. Buffy went off to the northern area of the cemetery while Faith went south. That left Kennedy standing there to decide on East or West. She finally chose east and began walking. After an uneventful five minutes, Kennedy began reading the names on the tombstones. She was bored and still had twenty five minutes before she had to regroup with Buffy and Faith.
Then Kennedy came to a stone that made her pause. She didn't know why, the name meant nothing to her. If she had to guess it was probably the dates that caught her attention. After doing the math, she realized that the girl who was buried here was only 18 when she died. Dying young was never a good thing. Kennedy re-read the name on the stone:
b. September 15, 1950
d. October 1, 1968
Beloved Daughter and Sister
Rest in Peace
After a few minutes, Kennedy began to walk away but thoughts of the young teenager buried there kept with her.
Kennedy had only taken a few steps away from the grave when she suddenly felt something tugging at her feet. She looked down but there was nothing there, definitely not a newly risen vampire. Kennedy tried to keep walking but before she could take a step, a portal opened up. And before Kennedy could think to run the other way, she was sucked into the portal and disappeared. The portal then closed, leaving nothing but a still, silent night.
Fifty feet away, Faith watched all this in shock. She couldn't believe what she'd just seen. She'd been wandering around, not really looking where she was going and she'd looked up and saw Kennedy standing in front of a grave looking down like she expected the occupant to rise. But the stone looked too old to have a new vampire in it. So Faith figured maybe it was someone Kennedy knew, or someone famous.
Either way, Faith didn't want to intrude so she just looked on in silence. And when Kennedy had started walking she thought maybe now was a good time to catch up to Kennedy, but before she could move, that damned portal had opened and taken Kennedy. And left Faith totally and completely shocked and confused.
Finally, Faith ran to the spot where Kennedy had been and looked around, and felt around but found only solid ground and grass. She finally gave up and went off to find Buffy, all the while praying Buffy hadn't found a portal as well.
Ten minutes later, Faith found Buffy and told her what happened. They both decided to go back to the house and tell Willow and Dawn and try researching this town a bit more to see if they can figure out why this had happened.
Willow took the news well, considering, at least in front of her friends. In the privacy of the bedroom she shared with Kennedy, she broke down and cried. When the tears finally ended, Willow joined the gang again and fired up her computer to do online research on the town.