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In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. The cemetery. The camera pans across it and over to the sidewalk along the border. Willow and Xander are on their way home. Xander has an ice cream cone and takes an occasional lick. Willow: Okay, um... Xander: It's your turn. Willow: I, alright, okay, uh... 'In the few hours that we had together, we loved a lifetime's worth.' Xander: Terminator. Willow: Good! Great. Xander: Um, oh, okay, I got one. (imitating Charlton Heston) 'It's a madhouse! A mad...' Willow: (interrupts) Planet of the Apes. Xander: Can I finish, please? Willow: Oh! Sorry, go ahead. Xander: '...house!' (indicates she may answer) Willow: Planet of the Apes. Okay, good. Me. Uh... Xander: Well? Willow: I'm thinking. 'Use the Force, Luke.' Xander: Do I even have to dignify that with a guess? Willow: I couldn't think of anything. It's a dumb game anyway. Xander: Well, what else do you wanna do? We already played rock, paper, scissors. My hands cramped up. Willow: Well, yes, if you're always scissors of course your tendons are gonna strain... Xander: (interrupts) Y'know, I just gotta say that this has been the most boring summer ever. Willow: Yeah, but on the plus side no monsters or stuff. She steps over to the wall and hops up to sit on it. Xander: I'm just so restless! I'm actually looking forward to school startin' up again. Willow: Yeah, and that wouldn't have anything to do with a certain girl we both know who is a Vampire Slayer? Xander: Please, I'm so over her. Did she, uh, mention when she might be gettin' back? About which I do not care. Willow: I haven't heard from her. I got a couple postcards when she went to L.A., but then, like, nothing. Xander: Well, she's probably with her dad having a good time. Willow: And you don't care? Xander: Well, okay, there might be some interest. I'm a man. I have certain desires, certain needs... Willow: Uhhh! I don't wanna know. Xander: I got a movie for ya! (taps her nose with his ice cream) Willow: (surprised) Xander! Xander: You're Amish! You can't fight back... 'cause you're Amish! I mock you with my ice cream cone, Amish guy! Willow: Witness. (pouty) My nose is cold. Xander: Let me get that for ya. (leans in to lick off her nose) Willow: Xander! (stops him) Xander: I'm sorry, I can't help myself. Your nose looks so tasty. He reaches up with his napkin and gently wipes off her nose. He takes much longer than he needs to and looks into her eyes. He brushes his hand against her cheek. After another moment he starts to move in for a kiss. She responds in kind and tilts her head. They stop just short of making contact and linger there a moment. Xander finally begins to pull back, and when he does he sees a vampire standing on the other side of the wall. Willow notices his glance and looks, too. She screams and jumps off of the wall as Xander pulls her away from the vampire. Xander: Willow, go! He puts himself between her and the vampire. She doesn't go, but watches as he punches the vampire in the face. The vampire isn't fazed. He grabs Xander and tries to bite. Xander struggles with him to keep from being bitten. After a few moments of wrestling a hand grabs the vampire by the shoulder and pulls him off of Xander. It's a girl, and she punches the vampire in the face, knees him in the crotch and flips him over onto his back. She turns to Willow and Xander. Buffy: Hi, guys! The vampire gets up. Buffy turns her attention back to him and kicks him in the chest, sending him flying into a tree, where he gets impaled on a dead branch and bursts into ashes. She turns back to Willow and Xander. Buffy: Miss me? Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~ On the sidewalk. Willow: Buffy! Xander: Hey! (hugs her) Buffy: Hey. Hey, Will! (hugs her) Xander: (hugs Buffy again) Man, your timing really doesn't suck. (laughs) Willow: When'd you get back? Buffy: Uh, just now. Dad drove me down. And I figured you two losers would be getting into some kind of trouble. Willow: I think we had the upper hand. I-in a subtle way. Buffy: Does either of you even have a cross? Very sloppy. Xander: Well, it's been a slow summer. I mean, that's the first vampire we've seen since you killed the Master. Buffy: It's like they knew I was coming back. They start to walk. Xander: So, what about you? How was your summer? Did you slay anything? Buffy: No. Uh, just hung out, partied some, shopping was also a major theme. Xander: Well, you haven't lost your touch. That vampire... Buffy: I did kinda whale on him, didn't I? Xander: (notices) I like your hair. Buffy: (giggles) So, how did you guys fare? Did you have any fun without me? Xander: No. Willow: Yes! Xander: Uh, our summer was kinda yawnworthy. Our biggest excitement was burying the Master. They stop walking. Willow: That's right, you missed it. (points) Right out by that tree. (Buffy looks) Giles buried the bones and we poured holy water and we got to wear robes. Xander: Very intense. You shoulda been. Willow: Have you seen Giles? Buffy: Why would I do that? I'll see him at school. Xander: Man, I'm really glad you're back. Buffy: (looks at the tree again) Me, too. Cut to Buffy's room. Her dad is helping her mom unpack her things. Joyce opens a suitcase and looks through it. Hank: Okay, then. This is the last of it. (puts another suitcase on the bed) Joyce: More clothes? Hank: Oh, do shoes count as clothes? Joyce: How much shopping did you let her do? Hank: Oh, I just thought I was saving you from the big back-to-school clothing nightmare. (unzips the suitcase) Joyce: My nightmares of Buffy in school have nothing to do with clothes. Did she manage to stay out of trouble in L.A.? Hank: She did, yeah. She was, um... you know, great. Joyce: But? Hank: She was just, I don't know, um... distant. Not brooding or sulking, just... there was no connection. The more time we spent together, the more I felt like she was nowhere to be seen. Joyce: Hence the shoes? Hank: (hands her the shoes) I may have overcompensated a little bit. Joyce: Hmm. Hank: It's so strange. You know, at least when she was burning stuff down I knew what to say. Joyce: Well, welcome to my world. I haven't been able to get through to her for so long. I'll just be happy if she makes it through the school year. Cut to Sunnydale High. Cordelia: It was a nightmare, a total nightmare. Cut to her and two friends coming down some stairs and walking across the quad. Cordelia: I mean, they promised me they'd take me to St. Croix, and then they just decide to go to Tuscany. (exhales) Art and buildings? I was totally beachless for a month and a half. No one has suffered like I have. Of course I think that that kind of adversity builds character. Well, then I thought, I already have a lot of character. Is it possible to have too much character? Snyder: The first day back. It always gets me. Giles: Yes. Cut to the two of them walking along the colonnade. Snyder: I mean, it's incredible. One day the campus is completely bare. Empty. The next, there are children everywhere. Like locusts. Crawling around, mindlessly bent on feeding and mating. Destroying everything in sight in their relentless, pointless desire to exist. They stop. Snyder looks around, observing the students. Giles: I do enjoy these pep talks. Have you ever considered, given your abhorrence of children, school's principal was not, perhaps, your true vocation? Snyder: Somebody's got to keep an eye on them. They're just a bunch of hormonal time bombs. (takes two steps away from Giles) Every time a pretty girl walks by every boy turns into a gibbering fool. Giles spots Jenny coming towards them. Giles: Ms. Calendar! Jenny: Mr. Giles! Giles: Well, I, uh, um... Hello! Snyder: You see the way these kids gaze at each other... all moony. Jenny: It's good to see you. Giles: Yes. Snyder: You think they're thinking about learning? Giles: Uh, were you headed to the, uh, faculty room? Jenny: Sounds like fun! They head off to the faculty room leaving Snyder behind. Snyder: I try and tell 'em about the important things in life. Discipline, responsibility, punctuality. Might as well be talking to myself. Cut inside to the halls. They walk through the student lounge. Giles: How was your summer? Jenny: Extreme. I did Burning Man in Black Rock, ohhh, such a great festival, you should've been there. They had drum rituals, mobile sculptures, raves, naked mud dances, you would've just... hated it with a fiery passion! Giles: I can't imagine finding any redeeming, uh... (stops at the base of the stairs) Naked? Jenny: Hmm. And you probably spent all summer with your nose in a book. Giles: Yes. I suppose you'd consider that frightfully dull. Jenny: Depends on the book. (smiles) Willow and Xander come down the stairs. Buffy is not far behind them. Willow: Giles! Xander: Yo! G-man! What's up? Giles: Nice to see you. And don't ever call me that. Jenny: Hi, kids. Willow: Hi! Buffy arrives now, too. Giles: (to Buffy) How are you? Buffy: Live and kicking. Willow: Buffy killed a vampire last night. They all look around to see if anyone overheard. Buffy: Uh, I think you can get a little more volume if you speak from the diaphragm. Willow: Sorry. Jenny: (quietly) We've got vampires? I thought the Hellmouth was closed. Giles: Well, it's, it's closed, but not gone. The mystical energy that emanates from it is still concentrated in this area. Xander: Which means we're still the undead's favorite party town. Giles: I wonder if they're here for any purpose, particularly. Buffy: You're the Watcher. I just work here. Giles: Yes, I-I must consult my books. Xander: Oh, eight minutes and thirty-three seconds, pay up. (Willow hands him a dollar) I called ten minutes before you'd consult your books about something. (to Willow) Thanks. The bell rings. Willow: We better get to class. They all start making their way to their classes. Giles: Oh, uh, Buffy! (she looks back) Uh, I realize you've only just returned, but when you're ready I-I think we should start your training again. Buffy: I'm ready. I'll see you after school. (starts to go again) Giles: Well, I-I-I understand if, if you want a few days to... Buffy: I'm ready. (leaves) Cut to the library after school. Buffy does tumbling and kicking exercises that take her all around the library. Then they continue training with the quarterstaff. Buffy swings it at Giles' hand pads. He retreats as she hits. He ducks a swing but she continues around with the quarterstaff and knocks him back into the chairs by the table. Next she practices her punches on the wooden punching dummy. She has a flash of the Master and begins to go crazy on it, throwing continuous rapid punches. Giles: Buffy, that's enough. She keeps whaling on the dummy. Giles: Buffy! She kicks it, and it breaks. Giles: Uh, safe to say you've stayed in shape. Buffy: (breathing hard) I'm ready. Whatever they've got coming next, I'm ready. (bunches her hair above her head) Yeah. Cut to an old brick warehouse. Cut inside. Absalom: We have been put down, kinsmen. We have lost our way. We have lost the night. But despair is for the living. Where they are weak, we will be strong. Where they weep, we rejoice. Where they bleed, (laughs) we drink! Within three days a New Hope will arise. We will put our faith in him. (looks over at Collin) He will show us the way. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~ The student lounge. Buffy is upstairs on a couch, off in her own world. Willow and Xander come up the stairs to her. Xander: Buffy! (no response) Buffy! Buffy: (back on earth) Fine! I'm fine. Xander: Good! It's good that you're fine. Willow sits on the couch opposite Buffy. Xander steps past Buffy and sits on the couch next to her. Willow: What were you thinking about? (gets out an apple) Buffy: Nothing. Xander: Oh, c'mon, you can tell us. We're your bosom friends! The friends of your bosom! He gets a power bar out of his bag. Willow: Xander. Xander winces at his power bar. Willow frowns at her apple. They toss them to each other over the table. Buffy: I wasn't thinking anything, really. Willow: What'd you do last night? Buffy: Mm. Slept. I had weird dreams. Xander: Dreams are meaningful. Willow: Tsh! Tell me about it. The other night I dreamt that Xander... Uh, I-it wasn't Xander. I-in fact it wasn't me. It was a friend's dream, and she doesn't remember it. Buffy: I bet she doesn't. Giles: (finds them) Buffy! Buffy: Giles! (gets up) What is it? You look worried. Giles: This vampire activity, I think I know what they're up to. Buffy: Well, we'll deal with it. Giles: I hope it's that simple. Buffy: It is not to worry. Trust me. Giles: Oh, I don't know. I mean, (chuckles) I've killed you once, it shouldn't be too difficult to do it again. Buffy: What? Giles takes a hard backhand swing at her face, knocking her down onto the table between the two couches. He gets on top of her and begins to choke her. Xander and Willow just sit on the couches and chew away at their food. Willow smiles at Xander. Buffy reaches up to Giles' face and tries to push him off. She claws at him, and suddenly pulls off a mask, revealing the Master underneath. Buffy stares up at him in wide-eyed terror. Cut to Buffy's bedroom. She wakes from her nightmare with a start. She looks around and over at her open window. She sits up and rubs her face. When she looks back at her window again Angel is there, leaning against the sill. Buffy: Hello. Angel: Mind if I come in? Buffy: Be my guest. Angel: How are you? Buffy: Peachy. So, is this a social call? It is kinda late. Or, well, it is for me, anyway. What is it for you, lunch hour? Angel: It's not a social call. Buffy: Ah. So, lemme guess. That means grave danger. Gosh, it's good to be home. Angel: I'm sorry. I wish I had better news. Buffy: So, some of your cousins are in town for a family barbecue, and we're all on the menu! Angel: The Anointed One. He's been gathering forces somewhere in town. I'm not sure why. Buffy: Guess I'll find out soon enough, huh? Angel: You don't sound too concerned. Buffy: I can handle myself. Besides, I could use a little action anyway. Angel: Don't underestimate the Anointed One just because he looks like a child. He has power over the rest of them. They'll do anything for him. Buffy: Is that it? Is that everything? Y'know, 'cause you woke me up from a really good dream. She turns away from him and lies back down. Angel: Sorry. I'll go. (turns around to go, but pauses) I missed you. Buffy: (turns to the window) I missed you? Angel is already gone. "It Doesn't Matter", by Alison Krauss, plays in the background. Lyrics: It doesn't matter what I want / It doesn't matter what I need Cut to Joyce's Jeep the next morning on the way to school. Lyrics: It doesn't matter if I cry Joyce: How are your new classes? Buffy: Good. Lyrics: Don't matter if I bleed Joyce: Good. Is there the slightest chance that if I asked you what was wrong you would tell me? Lyrics: You've been on a road Buffy looks over at her mother. Joyce: Course not. It would take all the fun out of guessing. Lyrics: Don't know where it goes or where it leads Cut to the halls at Buffy's locker. Willow: Angel stopped by? Wow. Was there... Well, I mean, was it having to do with kissing? Buffy: Willow, grow up. Not everything is about kissing. Xander: (to Willow) Yeah. Some stuff's about groping. (to Buffy) It wasn't about groping? Buffy: Okay, hormones on parade here? It was pure shoptalk. Remember vampires, pointy teeth, they walk by night, am I ringing a bell? Willow: What did he say? Buffy: Oh, something's up. (closes her locker) Nothing I can't handle. They begin to walk down the hall to class. Xander: Oh, hey, did you guys hear that Cibo Matto's gonna be at the Bronze tonight? Willow: Cibo Matto? They're playing? Xander: No, Willow, they're gonna be clog dancing. Willow: Cibo Matto can clog dance? (gets a look from Xander) Oh, sarcasm, right. Xander: We should attend, no? Cordelia comes out of class and engages them in the hall. Cordelia: Oh, look, it's the Three Musketeers. They look at each other, not sure what to make of that. Buffy: (to Xander) Was that an insult? Xander: Kinda lacked punch. Willow: The Three Musketeers were cool. Cordelia: I see your point. Xander: I woulda gone with Stooges. Cordelia: Well, I just meant that you guys always hang out together. So, did you guys fight any demons this summer? Willow: Uh, yes! Our own personal demons. Xander: Uh, such as, as, as lust and, uh, thrift! Buffy: I would have to go with Stooges also. Cordelia: What are you guys talking about? I'm talking about big squiggly demons that came from the ground? Remember? Prom night? With all the vampires. Buffy: Cordelia, your mouth is open and sound is coming from it. This is never good. Xander: No. (takes Cordelia aside) It's, see, we can't mention that stuff in front of other people, Buffy being the Slayer and all. Willow: You haven't been talking about our little adventure all summer, have you? Cordelia: Are you nuts? Do you think I would tell people that I spent the whole evening with you? Besides, it was all so creepy. That Master guy? And all the screaming? I don't even like to think about it. (to Buffy) So your secret's safe with me. Buffy: Well, that works out great. You won't tell anyone that I'm the Slayer, and I won't tell anyone you're a moron. (leaves) Xander: Now, that was a good insult. Willow: A little too good. Cordelia: What's up with her? Cut to the Bronze that night. People are gathering and going in. Cut inside. Cibo Matto is on stage playing "Spoon". Lyrics: Don't, don't want the boys Cut to Willow and Xander sitting at a table. She has a cup of ice cream. Willow: I just think something's up is all. Lyrics: Don't, don't note the heat Xander: Willow, you're paranoid. Willow: Buffy's never acted like this before. Ever since she got back she's... different. Lyrics: Can't find a spoon... Xander: Buffy's always been different. Willow: She's never been mean. Lyrics: ...that we have had Xander: (exhales) Any sign of her? She said she was coming. Lyrics: The sugar cubes... Willow: No. The band's cool, though. Xander: Yeah, cool. Lyrics: ...can melt our mouth / We belong, yes, to-to-together Willow dips her nose into her ice cream and smiles, trying to get Xander's attention. Lyrics: We belong, yes, to-to-together / We belong, yes, to-to-together Xander: (looks at her) You got somethin' on your nose. Lyrics: We belong, yes, to-to-together / We belong, yes, to-to-together The smile disappears from Willow's face, and she wipes the ice cream off with her napkin. Lyrics: We belong, yes, to-to-together Cut to the cemetery. Dissolve to the tree where the Master is buried. Four crosses mark his grave. A shovel stabs into the dirt and starts to dig. Another one joins in. The camera pans around to Absalom, Collin and two others watching the first two vampires dig. Absalom: (to the other two) Don't just stand there. Dig! We have to hurry. The other two get on their knees and begin to dig. The ground burns their hands. Vampire: The ground is consecrated! It burns! Collin: Dig. The two vampires continue digging by hand. The grave is shallow, and they soon unearth the Master's skull. Cut to the Bronze. The band starts their next number, "Sugar Water". Lyrics: The velocity of time... turns her voice into... sugar water Buffy walks into the Bronze. Angel sees her come in and goes over to her. Buffy: Hi. Angel: Hi. Buffy: So, is there danger at the Bronze? Should I beware? Angel: I can't help thinking I've done something to make you angry. And that bothers me more than I'd like. Buffy: I'm not angry. I don't know where that comes from. Angel: What are you afraid of? Me? Us? Buffy: Could you contemplate getting over yourself for a second? There's no 'us'. Look, Angel, I'm sorry if I was supposed to spend the summer mooning over you, but I didn't. I moved on. To the living. She heads over to Willow and Xander's table. Cordelia watches her go by, and wonders about her attitude. Lyrics: I'm on a concrete way / The wind is blowing... Buffy: Hey! Willow: Hi. Xander: Hey. Lyrics: ...to the north-northwest Willow: What's wrong with Angel? Buffy: Beats me. Lyrics: It smells like sands of the southern island Buffy: (to Xander) Let's dance. (pulls at his shirt) Xander: Ooo-kay. (is pulled by his shirt to the dance floor) Lyrics: When a black cat crosses my path Buffy and Xander begin to slow dance. Her movements are very sensual. Lyrics: A woman in the moon is singing to the earth / A woman in the moon is singing to the earth / La la la, la la la la la la / La la la, la la la la la la Buffy turns around and spoons in against Xander, pulling his arms around her waist. She grinds her hips and shoulders against him. Lyrics: La la la, la la la la la la / La la la, la la la la la la She reaches up with her hand and strokes his face. Angel looks on jealously. Willow watches in disbelief. Buffy continues her grinding. Lyrics: I'm riding on a camel that has big eyes / The buildings are changing into coconut trees / Little by little Buffy turns to Xander and tilts her head up to his, close enough to kiss. Buffy: Xander? Did I ever thank you... for saving my life? Lyrics: When a black cat... Xander: No. Lyrics: ...crosses my path Buffy slowly slithers around him, making sure not to lose contact with his body. Lyrics: A woman in the moon is singing to the earth Buffy: Don't you wish I would? She breaks off, leaving him standing there. Xander isn't sure what to make of it all, but he knows he doesn't like it. Lyrics: A woman in the moon is singing to the earth Buffy goes back to their table and retrieves her jacket. Lyrics: La la la, la la la la la la She walks past Cordelia as she makes her way out of the Bronze. Angel follows her with his stare. Lyrics: La la la, la la la la la la Xander is still standing on the dance floor, upset and unsure how to react. Cut outside. Buffy exits the Bronze and walks down the alley at a quick pace. Cordelia follows her out. Cordelia: Buffy. (Buffy stops) You're really campaigning for bitch-of- the-year, aren't you? Buffy: (turns to face her) As defending champion, you nervous? Cordelia: I can hold my own. You know, we've never really been close, which is nice, 'cause I don't really like you that much, but... you have on occasion saved the world and stuff, so I'm gonna... do you a favor. Buffy: And this great favor is... Cordelia: I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it. Buffy: Excuse me? Cordelia: Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now. Buffy: I think it's about time you start minding your own business. Cordelia: It's long past. Buffy: (turns and goes) Nighty-night. (flips up her hood) Cordelia: I'll just see if Angel feels like dancing. She is suddenly grabbed by two vampires coming out of the shadows and dragged into an adjacent building. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~ A basement. The two vampires force Cordelia down the stairs. At the bottom they shove her into the room. She's frightened and looks around. She takes a step sideways and bumps into a hand. She looks down and sees that it's Jenny. She crouches down to see if she's okay, but Jenny is unconscious. Cordelia: Ms., Ms. Calendar? Oh, God, Ms. Calendar? Cut to the cemetery. Buffy is going to check out the Master's grave. When she gets there she finds it dug open and his bones exhumed. She steps back slowly, and thinks she sees the Master out of the corner of her eye. She quickly turns to look, but no one's there. Willow: She's possessed! Cut to the student lounge. Giles is getting a soda from the vending machine. Giles: Possessed? Willow: That's the only explanation that makes any sense. I mean, you should've seen her last night. That wasn't Buffy. Xander: Are we overlooking the idea that she may be very attracted to me? (gets looks from the others and concedes) She's possessed. Giles: Possessed by what? Willow: Aaaaa possessing thing! Giles: (sarcastically) Well, that narrows it down. He takes a sip of his soda and winces at its sweetness. Xander: Well, you're the expert. Hey, maybe when the Master killed her some... mystical bad guy transference thing happened. Willow: That's what it was! I mean, why else would she be acting like such a b-i-t-c-h? Giles: Willow, I think we're all a little too old to be spelling things out. Xander: A bitca? Giles: (not surprised by Xander's misunderstanding) Yes. I suggest that, uh, the explanation for her behavior may be something more, more mundane. The bell rings and the students around them begin to leave for class. Giles: (sits) She may simply have what you Americans refer to as issues. Uh, her experience with the Master must have been extremely traumatic. Well, she was, for at least a few minutes, technically dead. (Buffy appears in the door) I-I don't think she's dealt with that on a conscious level. (Xander notices Buffy) She's convinced herself that she's invulnerable... for the very reason that she feels... Xander: (interrupts) That's a very interesting point about trout, you just brought up now. Buffy walks up to them. Giles: Trout? (notices Buffy) Trout! Yes, trout, i-is a fish. Good morning. Did you sleep well? Buffy: Like a rock. Master's gone. Giles: I'm sorry? Buffy: The Master. I went by his grave last night, and they have a vacancy. Giles: Good God! Willow: What would somebody want with Master bones? Xander: A trophy, a horrible conversation piece? Buffy: They're gonna bring him back. They're gonna bring the Master back to life, and I seem to recall you telling me he was history. Giles: Buffy, I-I-I've never heard of a-a revivification ritual being successful. Buffy: But you've heard of them? Thanks for the warning. Willow: Well, Buffy, Giles did bury him and... Buffy: Look, this is Slayer stuff, okay? Could we have just a little less from the civilians, please? Xander: Okay, that's just about enough! Buffy shoots Xander a look. Snyder: (interrupts) I believe some of us have class? And some of us have jobs. Giles: Y-yes, well, I'll, uh, I'll see you all, uh, in the library later. We'll, we'll continue this discussion. Willow: About trout. The kids leave. Snyder watches them go. Snyder: There're some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense. Giles: No, actually that would be one of the five. Snyder: That Summers girl. I smell trouble. I smell expulsion, and just the faintest aroma of jail. Giles: Well, before you throw away the key, you might consider giving her the benefit of the doubt. She may surprise you. Snyder: You really have faith in those kids, don't you? Giles: Yes, I do. Snyder: Weird. Cut to the library after school. Giles: Alright, alright, I-I-I've got something. It's Latin, so bear with me. Uh, to revive the vampire they need his bones, uh... w-which they have, and, um, the blood... this is very unclear, of the closest person... uh, someone connected to the vampire. Buffy: That'd be me. Giles: Perhaps. Buffy: We were close. We killed each other. It really promotes togetherness. Xander: Well, is there anything on when the ceremony might take... A rock comes crashing through a window. Xander: Whoa! Buffy catches the rock in her hands. It has a note wrapped around it and kept in place with a bracelet. Buffy: This is Cordelia's. (takes off the note) 'Come to the Bronze before it opens, or we make her a meal.' Xander: They're gonna cook her dinner? (gets looks from everyone) I'll pretend I didn't say that. Willow: What do we do? Buffy: (exhales) I go to the Bronze and save the day. (starts to go) Xander: I don't like this. Giles: Nor I! Buffy: (turns back) Yeah? Well, you guys aren't going. Willow: What do you mean? Buffy: I can't do it anymore. I can't look after the three of you guys while I'm fighting. Willow: Well, what about the rest of the note? Buffy: What rest of the note? Willow: The part that says, 'P.S. This is a trap'? Giles: You'll be playing straight into their hands. (takes off his glasses) Buffy: I can handle this. Willow: Stop saying that! God, what's wrong with you? Xander: Cordelia may be dead. Buffy: This is my fight. She leaves and grabs her coat and bag on the way out. Willow just watches her go. Xander shakes his head. Giles puts his glasses back on. Cut to the alley outside the Bronze. Buffy senses Angel as she nears the entrance. Buffy: Y'know, being stalked isn't really a big turn-on for girls. Angel: (behind her) You need help. Someone to watch your back. Buffy: Sure you don't mean my neck? Angel: (comes around her) Why are you ridin' me? Buffy: Because I don't trust you. You're a vampire. (gets a look) Oh, I'm sorry, was that an offensive term? Should I say 'undead American'? Angel: You have to trust someone. You can't do this alone. Buffy: I trust me. Angel: You're not as strong as you think. Buffy: (gives him a challenging look) You think you can take me? Angel: What? Buffy: Oh, c'mon! I mean, you must've thought about it. What would happen if it ever came down to a fight, you vampire, me the Slayer, I mean, you must've wondered! Well, why don't we find out? Angel: I'm not gonna fight you. Buffy: Come on! Kick my ass! Angel: Don't you have somewhere to be? Buffy: I do. Angel: Well, you're wasting time. Buffy: Just stay out of my way. (walks around him to the entrance) Angel: Happy to oblige. Cut inside. Buffy comes in and looks around as she slowly walks through an empty Bronze. She comes upon a girl crying in a corner. She stops. Angel appears behind her. Buffy: That's not Cordelia. The vampire laughs and turns around. Vampire: Cordelia couldn't make it. Buffy: Where is she? Vampire: I'm not supposed to tell. Angel: I don't like this. Buffy: Don't like what? Angel: There's the bait. Where's the hook? The vampire attacks, and Buffy flips her over onto her back on the floor and pins her down with her foot. Buffy: You're right. Why would they send just one? Cut to the library. Giles is continuing his research. Willow: I still think we should've gone with her. Xander: Buffy's about to lose it. I think we should be trying to reach minimum safe distance. Willow: Xander, you know it's a trap! Giles: Ah! Ah, ah, ah! Uh, uh, the Latin is, is translated from the Sumerian, a-a-and rather badly. Closest to the Master actually translates as 'nearest'. Physically. The, the, the person or persons who were with him... when he... (looks up) It is a trap. Several vampires appear on the mezzanine level above. Giles: It just isn't for her. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~ The Bronze. Buffy binds the vampire's wrists Buffy: Watch her. Don't kill her unless you have to. (shoves her over to Angel) Angel: Buffy! What's goin' on? Buffy: I'll be back. Cut to the library. Buffy comes rushing in, and stops short when she sees that the place is a shambles. The camera pans through the room to the center table, which has been tipped over onto its side. Behind it Xander regains consciousness and gets up, using the table for support. Buffy: Xander! She rushes over to him to help, but he shakes her off. Buffy: What happened? Xander: (out of breath) Vampires. The ones you could handle yourself. Buffy: Where are the others? Xander: I don't know. (angry) I don't know what your problem is, what your issues are. But as of now, I officially don't care. If you'd worked with us for five seconds, you coulda stopped this. Buffy: (turns away) We, we just have to think. Where would they have taken them? Xander: (vehemently) If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you. She turns back to him and looks at him seriously. Buffy: Why did they take them and not you? Xander: Giles said the ritual was, um... They needed people who were close to the Master. Physically close. When he, uh... Buffy: The ones who were with the Master when he died. Xander: Giles, Willow, Cordelia... Buffy: Ms. Calendar. Xander: Odds are they've got a complete set by now. Buffy: We need to find out where. Xander: How? Cut to the Bronze. Buffy is interrogating the female vampire. She throws her down onto the floor. Buffy: One more time: where are they? Vampire: You're too late. Your friends are dead. Buffy: (lifts her back up) Tell me where they are! Vampire: (laughs) What are you gonna do? Kill me? Buffy: As a matter of fact... She throws the vampire onto a pool table. Buffy: ...yes. (yanks off her necklace) But since I'm not gonna kill you any time soon, the question becomes... She drops the cross into the vampire's mouth and covers it with her hands. Buffy: ...how are we gonna pass the time till then? The cross burns in the vampire's mouth, and she shakes her head. After several seconds Buffy pulls the cross back out. Buffy: So. One more time. Cut to the warehouse. Cut inside. Collin carries a black case past the Master's skeleton, which has been laid out on a table. Absalom takes it from him. Absalom: Begin. Another vampire starts pulling on a chain, and Willow, Giles, Cordelia and Jenny are moved along an overhead conveyor to hang upside down and unconscious above the Master's bones. Absalom: Behold, these four mortals. Buffy comes into the warehouse through a side door. Angel and Xander follow her in. Absalom: Witnesses to our Master's wretched demise. They will breathe their last this night. The blood that pours from their throats will bring NEW LIFE to the old one. We gather for his resurrection. For the dawn of this new hell. Buffy looks up at the four of them hanging upside down. Xander: (in a low voice) Buffy! Buffy! (she faces him) We gotta do something now! Buffy: You two get the others out of here. Angel: We need you to distract the vampires. Buffy: Right. Xander: What are you gonna do? Buffy: I'm gonna kill them all. (turns to her task) That oughta distract them. Cut to Absalom, holding a Kuhkri, a long, curved knife. Absalom: For the old one. For his pain. For the dark. Vampires: For the dark! Absalom kisses the blade. Cut to one of the vampires. A stake is suddenly thrust through him from behind, and he instantly turns into ashes. Buffy stands there now in a fighting stance. Absalom looks at her in disbelief and then roars. Three vampires begin fighting her. She easily keeps them at bay. Angel and Xander seize the opportunity to climb the ladder to the platform above to get the others off of the conveyor. Buffy continues to fight the vampires below. Absalom takes Collin and ushers him out of the warehouse. He comes back in and sees Angel and Xander pulling on the chain, bringing the others back over to the platform. Absalom: The sacrifices! Stop them! A vampire responds to Absalom's command and runs to the ladder to the platform. Buffy continues to fight below as Angel and Xander keep pulling on the chain. Absalom looks around and then rushes out of the warehouse. Buffy keeps fighting. She does a flip over some wooden boxes, grabs one on the way and smashes it onto a vampire's head. She kicks the vampire in the face, knocking him down and breaking a few pieces of wood off of the box. She gets tackled by another vampire. On the platform above Giles, Jenny and Cordelia are already off of the conveyor. Angel and Xander lift Willow off as well. Giles rolls on the floor in semi- consciousness. They lay Willow down and tend to them all. A vampire finally makes it up to the platform and growls. Angel looks at him with his game face on and growls back. The vampire attacks, and Angel rushes to meet him. They fight. Below one of them is on top of Buffy. She reaches up with a broken piece of wood and jams it into the vampire's back, and gets ash all over herself. The vampire she knocked down before with the box gets up and rushes to attack her. Above, Angel and his opponent fall through a poorly covered hole in the platform. Jenny is awake now and crawls over to Giles, who is also awake now and trying to sit up. Giles: Are you alright? Jenny: Yeah, I'm okay. Giles: Where's Buffy? Xander is at the edge of the platform holding a still unconscious Willow with his arm and watching the fight below. Xander: Uh, she's working out her issues. Buffy is still fighting a vampire below. Underneath the platform Angel's attacker tries to jam a piece of wood into his chest, but Angel stops him and jams it into his instead. Buffy kicks the vampire she's fighting into a storage rack, and he goes down with it. Absalom shows up again in the doorway with a large sledgehammer. Absalom: ENOUGH! Buffy turns to look at him. The other vampire gets back up. Absalom: Your day is done, girl. I'll grind you into a *sticky* paste, and hear you beg before I smash in your face. Buffy: So, are you gonna kill me or are we just making small talk? Absalom raises the sledgehammer in indignation and yells as he begins his attack. The other vampire rushes at her from the other side. Buffy calmly looks at the tall wooden torch post in front of her, breaks it off and turns it a few times in her hands. The vampire impales himself on the broken end and crumbles into ash. Absalom runs into the burning end and is set ablaze. He backs up and screams as the flames spread over him. He makes a last desperate attempt to get Buffy and raises the sledgehammer over his head, but is too late as the flames engulf him and instantly burn him up. The sledgehammer falls to the floor with a loud clang. Buffy drops the post and looks over at the Master's skeleton. Cut to the platform above. Willow is awake now. Willow: It's over. Xander: No, it's not. Cut below. Buffy bends down and picks up the sledgehammer. She slowly walks over to the Master's skeleton and looks at it a moment. Then she swings the hammer back behind her and arcs it directly into the Master's skull, shattering it to pieces. She keeps whaling on the Master's skeleton as Willow, Xander and Giles look down from above. Angel comes up behind her and watches her continue until there's nothing left on the table. She stops and bursts into tears, dropping the sledgehammer to the floor. Angel: It's okay. It's okay. Buffy turns around and leans into him, crying into his shoulder. Angel gently holds on to her as she cries. Xander, Willow and Giles continue to watch from above. Willow briefly looks up at Xander. Cut to the school the next day. Jenny and Cordelia walk across the quad. Cordelia: What an ordeal. And you know what the worst part is? Jenny: What? Cordelia: It stays with you forever. No matter what they tell you, none of that rust and blood and grime comes out. I mean, you can dry clean till judgment day, you are living with those stains. Jenny: Yeah that's the worst part of being hung upside down by a vampire who wants to slit your throat: the stains. Cordelia: I hear ya! Giles and Buffy come walking the other way on the other side of the quad. Buffy: I don't think I can face them. Giles: Hmm? Of course, you can. Buffy: I can't! What am I supposed say? 'Sorry I almost got your throat slit. What's the homework?' Giles: Punishing yourself like this is pointless. Buffy: It's entirely pointy. I was a moron. I put my best friends in mortal danger on the second day of school. Giles: What are you gonna do? Crawl inside a cave for the rest of your life? Buffy: Would it have cable? Giles: Buffy, you acted wrongly, I admit that. But believe me, that was hardly the, the worst mistake you'll ever make. Uh, that wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be. Buffy: Well, points for effort. (the bell rings) See ya. Cut to class. Buffy comes in, sees Willow and Xander and stops. Willow sees her come in. Xander, facing Willow, notices her look up and looks over, too, but goes back to what he's doing on Willow's desk. Buffy walks over to an empty desk next to Willow. Willow: Hey, Buffy. Buffy: Hey. Willow: We saved you a seat. Buffy looks at them both and sits down. Xander: There's a rumor going around that, uh, Mr. Cox is the most boring teacher in the entire world. Like, I think he won a belt or something. Buffy: Like, yes. Willow: Well, I hear he nods off a lot. So that's a plus. Xander: So, we Bronzin' it tonight? Willow: Wednesday, it's kinda beat. Xander: Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but, gosh, we did that last night. The two of them give Buffy big smiles. She smiles back. Xander: Hey, I got a plan: how 'bout miniature golf. Willow: There's no course here. Xander: Okay, uh, miniature tennis! A very tiny form of tennis that we could invent... They make small talk until class begins. The camera slowly pans around them. Cut to the warehouse. Collin surveys the damage Buffy has wrought. He looks all around him at the pieces of bone strewn all over the place. Collin: I hate that girl.
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