- "The mission's what matters."
- ―Nikki Wood[src]
Nikki Wood was a Slayer based in New York City during the 1970s. Nikki was notable for being one of the few Slayers in history to have been a mother, as well as her relatively long tenure as a Slayer (seven years). Her Watcher was Bernard Crowley. In 1977, she met her end at the hands of notorious vampire Spike who took her leather jacket as a trophy. She had a son name Robin Wood.
- "She was cunning, resourceful, and oh, did I mention? Hot. I could have danced all night with that one."
- ―Spike on Nikki[src]
Tenure as the Slayer
Nikki was born on July 24, 1955, in New York City. In 1970, she was called to be the next Chosen One and her watcher Bernard Crowley trained her.
In the early 70s, Nikki followed her NYPD lover, Li, on a stakeout. He wasn't aware of vampires or Slayers, and Nikki discovered that the ring leader was a vampire called Le Banc, who was smuggling in vampires and a giant bat. Li was killed by a vampire in the conflict. Nikki later flew the bat into an on-coming subway train and slayed Le Banc.
On July 24, 1973, Nikki participated in her Cruciamentum, much to the disapproval of Crowley, who was appalled that the Watchers Council forced her to undergo it as she was pregnant. Upon surviving this, she gave birth to her son, Robin, that same year, though because she "didn't take names when blowing off steam," she did not know exactly who his father was. Crowley arranged for Nikki to go into hiding and live a normal life with Robin. Nikki took her child and lived in South America as well as Mexico for a while. However, she couldn't dismiss her calling and returned to New York and her duty as the Slayer.
In July 1977, the vampire Spike tracked Nikki down, wanting to challenge her. They met and fought in Central Park for the first time with Nikki's young son Robin watching from behind a park bench. She almost slayed Spike, but he caught the stake flying toward his chest. After the battle with Spike, Nikki dropped Robin off at Bernard's apartment where he let Robin play with some "spooky doo-dads," telling her son that the "mission is what matters," as she had to go after Spike.
On July 13, 1977, Nikki and Spike had their final showdown in a New York City subway. The vampire pinned the Slayer down and snapped her neck. After admiring her coat when they first met, he removed it from her and claimed it as a trophy.
After her death, Crowley took Robin in as his own, relocating to Beverly Hills. He raised Robin to fight like his mother. In late 2000, Spike informed Buffy Summers that she fought much like Nikki.
In 2003, Robin, who had moved to Sunnydale, California and teamed up with Buffy and her vampire ally, where he learned from the First Evil, in the guise of his dead mother, that the aforementioned vampire, Spike, was the vampire that killed her. He tried to get revenge on Spike by playing the song Early One Morning which the First had used to trigger Spike's feral nature to get him to start killing again, but Spike defeated him. Spike, having regained his soul, let Robin live, saying that he owed him for killing Nikki, but Robin wouldn't get another pass like that if he tried it again. Buffy, following up on the situation, warned Robin she would let Spike kill him, and chilled him by invoking his mother's mantra, that the mission (not him) was what mattered.
Some time after the activation of every potential Slayer, the psychologically scarred Dana took on the personalities of past Slayers, including Nikki's. Since Nikki was killed by Spike along with another past Slayer, Dana perceived Spike as a man who kidnapped and abused her. When confronting Spike, Dana mentioned having to look after Nikki's son, which caused Spike to remember Nikki.
Over a year and a half after the destruction of Sunnydale, Buffy believed herself to be pregnant after getting drunk at a housewarming party. Unsure of what to do, she turned to Robin for advice on how he handled being the son of a Slayer. Robin told Buffy that she was not Nikki and that he was confident that she could handle raising a child, because she had managed to balance a normal life with her Slayer duties, where most other Slayers, including Nikki herself, did not or could not.
Behind the Scenes
- She was portrayed by both April Weeden-Washington and K.D. Aubert.
- Weeden-Washington originally portrayed Nikki. However, when the character was brought back, the stuntwoman was deemed "too mature" by the show's casting directors. They wanted a younger actress, who could seem more like a vulnerable teenage mother, for the role, so Aubert portrayed Nikki Wood in the seventh season. This means Nikki joins Buffy Summers, Faith Lehane, and the First Evil as the few characters in the Buffyverse that have been portrayed by more than one actor (not counting stunt doubles) and the first and only time a character was recast instead of being played by a different actor for storytelling purposes, with the exception of Anthony Harris, whose first appearance was in a dream.
- Doug Petrie stated his DVD commentary of "Fool For Love" that Nikki is his favorite Slayer.
- "School Hard" (Only mentioned)
- "In the Dark" (Only mentioned)
- "The Yoko Factor" (Only mentioned)
- "Fool for Love" (Only in flashbacks)
- "Checkpoint" (Only mentioned)
- "Seeing Red" (Only mentioned)
- "First Date" (Only as a disguise of the First Evil)
- "Get It Done" (Only mentioned)
- "Lies My Parents Told Me" (Only in flashbacks)
- "Touched" (Only mentioned)
- "Damage" (Only mentioned)
- "The Girl in Question" (Only mentioned)
- Nikki Goes Down!
- On Your Own, Part One (Only in flashbacks)
- Death and Consequences, Part Four (Only mentioned)
- Relationship Status: Complicated, Part One (in cameo)
- Relationship Status: Complicated, Part Two (Only in flashbacks)