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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. Sunnydale High School. The career fair is going on in the lounge. Willow comes into the hall from outside and looks around at some of the displays being set up on her way to sign up for the career aptitude test. Buffy and Xander are already sitting at a table filling out their tests. Xander: (reads) 'Are you a people person, or do you prefer keeping your own company?' Well, what if I'm a people person who keeps his own company by default? Willow heads for their table with a test to join them. Buffy: So, mark 'none of the above'. Xander: Well, there are no boxes for 'none of the above'. That would introduce too many variables into their mushroom head, number-crunching little world. Willow: (sits) I'm sensing bitterness. Xander: No, it's just these people can't tell from one multiple-choice test what we're gonna be doing for the rest of our lives. It's ridiculous! Willow: (smiles) I'm kinda curious to find out what sort of career I could have. Xander: What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I'd rather live in the dark. Willow: You're not gonna be young forever. Xander: Yes, but I'll always be stupid. (smirks and looks at the girls) Okay, let's not all rush to disagree. Buffy: (looks up at him seriously) You're not stupid. Xander gives her an acknowledging sarcastic grin, then looks up when he hears Cordelia. She has a clipboard, and is taking her test as she walks into the lounge accompanied by two of her groupies. Cordelia: 'I aspire to help my fellow man.' (marks her test) Check. As long as he's not smelly, dirty or something gross. (walks by the table) Xander: Cordelia Chase, always ready to give a helping hand to the rich and the pretty. Cordelia: Which, lucky me, excludes you. Twice. Xander has no comeback, so Cordelia just walks away followed closely by her cronies. Xander: Is murder always a crime? Buffy: Do I like shrubs? Xander: That's between you and your god. Buffy: (to Willow) What'd you put? Willow: I came down on the side of shrubs. Buffy: Go with shrubs! Okay! (frustrated) Uhhh! I shouldn't even be bothering with this. It's all mootville for me. No matter what my aptitude test says, we already know my deal. Xander: Yup, high risk, sub-minimum wage... Buffy: Pointy wooden things... Willow: Then why are you even taking the test? Buffy: It's Principal Snyder's hoop of the week. He's not happy unless I'm jumping. Believe me, I would *not* be here otherwise. Willow: You're not even a teensy weensy bit curious about what kinda career you could've had? I mean, if you weren't already the Slayer and all. Buffy: Do the words 'sealed in fate' ring any bells for you, Will? Why go there? Willow is hurt by that comment. Xander: Y'know, with that kind of attitude you could've had a bright future as an employee at the DMV. (shakes his pencil at her) Buffy: I'm sorry, it's just... unless Hell freezes over and every vamp in Sunnydale puts in for early retirement, I'd say my future is pretty much a non-issue. Cut to Spike's warehouse. Drusilla is standing at one end of a large table dealing her tarot cards. At the other end Spike is looking on as Dalton tries to translate the ancient text in the book that they stole from the library. Spike: Read it again. Dalton: Well, I'm not sure. It could be, uh... (shrugs with his hands) deprimere... ille... bubula... linter. Spike: (paging through a dictionary) Debase, the beef, canoe. Dalton looks up at Spike and smiles a stupid smile. Spike cannot abide him and punches him in the face. Spike: Why does that strike me as not right? Dalton looks at him sheepishly and turns his attention back to the book. Drusilla: Spike, come dance? (holds out her hand) Spike: (angry) Give us some peace, would you? Can't you see I'm working? Drusilla pulls back her hand and begins to pout and whine like a puppy. Spike: Oh, I'm sorry, kitten. (goes to her) It's just this manuscript. Supposed to hold your cure, but it reads like gibberish. E-even Dalton here, the big brain, he can't make heads or tails of it. Drusilla puts her hand to her head. Drusilla: I... I, I need to change Miss Edith. She takes a few steps and then puts her other hand to her head as well, bends over and whines. Spike rushes to her, puts his arms around her and pulls her back up. Spike: Oh, forgive me! You know I can't stand to see you like this. (sits her down and crouches) We're runnin' out of time. It's that bloody Slayer! Whenever I turn around she's muckin' up the works. Drusilla: (tries to comfort him back) Shh. Shh. You'll make it right. I know. Spike puts his hands around her neck and kisses her gently but firmly. After they release their kiss he stands up again and turns his attention back to Dalton. Drusilla reaches for the next tarot card. Spike: Well. (walks around the table) Come on, now. Enlighten me. Dalton: Uh, well, it looks like Latin, but it's not. I-I'm not even sure it's, it's a language, actually, I... Spike: Then MAKE IT A LANGUAGE! Isn't that what a transcriber does?! Dalton: Well, not exactly... He yelps as Spike grabs him by the shirt and lifts him from his chair. Spike: I want the cure. Drusilla: Don't... Spike: Why not? Some people find pain (punches Dalton in the stomach) very inspirational. Dalton doubles over. Drusilla: (looks up from her cards) He can't help you. (looks back at her cards) Not without... (points at a card) the key. Spike: The key? You mean this book is in some kind of code? Drusilla: Yeah. Dalton nods weakly, still in pain. Spike shoves him back into his chair and walks over to Drusilla. He looks at one of her cards. A mausoleum is pictured on it. Spike: Is that where we'll find this key? Drusilla: Yeah! Spike: I'll send the boys, pronto! Drusilla: Now will you dance? (smiles) Spike: (smiles and takes her hand) I'll dance with *you*, pet. He pulls her up from her chair and lifts her into his arms. Spike: On the Slayer's grave! He starts to spin around with her in his arms. Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~ The cemetery. Buffy walks through it at a relaxed pace. She pauses for a moment, but continues on, scanning the graveyard around her as she goes. She stops again when she hears clinking noises coming from a mausoleum. She looks at it and sees light coming from inside. She walks over to it, pushes the door open a bit and peeks in. Dalton is chipping away at the wall, exposing a chamber behind it. He reaches in for something as Buffy pulls her head back out and closes the door. She walks down the steps and turns around to wait for him to come out. A few moments later Dalton opens the door and steps out. Buffy: Does 'rest in peace' have no sanctity to you people? Oh, I forgot. You're not a people. Another vampire comes up behind her. She senses him, turns around and kicks him in the gut, then the jaw, then again in the gut. He takes a swing at her, but she grabs his arm and punches him twice in the face. He swings at her with his other arm, but she ducks and catches it, too. She yanks it back, and it can be heard snapping. While she has him leaning back she thrusts a stake into his heart. He explodes into ashes. Buffy: One down, (turns and sees Dalton missing) one gone. She looks around, but sees no sign of him anywhere. Cut to Buffy's room. Angel is there, and he looks around while he waits for her to get home. Buffy climbs up to her window and looks in. She sees him looking into her bookcase. Angel takes her stuffed pig from the shelf. Without a word Buffy reaches for her bag and tosses it loudly through the window and onto the floor. Angel turns around, startled. He gently squeezes the pig. Angel: Buffy! You scared me. Buffy: (climbs in) Now you know what it feels like, Stealth Guy. She crouches down by her bag and reaches into her hair to pull out a few clips. Buffy: Just dropping by for some quality time with Mr. Gordo? Angel: (confused) Excuse me? Buffy: The pig. (opens her trunk and dumps the bag in) Angel: Oh. (chuckles) I, uh... Buffy: What's up? (walks to her desk) Angel: Nothing. He tosses the pig onto a chair and walks to the foot of her bed. She drops her hair clips into a desk drawer and faces him. Buffy: Only you don't have a nothing face. You have a something face. And you don't have to whisper. Mom's in L.A. till Thursday. Art buying, or something. Angel: Then why'd you come in through the window? Buffy: (crinkles her nose) Habit. Angel: I wanted to make sure you're okay. I had a bad feeling. Buffy: (exhales) There's a surprise. Angel comes with bad news. He exhales and turns away, tired of the same old reaction from her. Buffy: Oh, God, I'm sorry. (walks over to him) Look, I've been Cranky Miss all day. It's not you. Angel: Well, what is it then? Buffy: It's nothing. Angel isn't buying it. Buffy: (exhales) Uh, we're having this thing at school. Angel: Career week? Buffy: How did you know? Angel: I lurk. Buffy: Right. Well, then you know it's a whole week of 'what's my line', only... I don't get to play. (sits on her bed) Sometimes I just want... Angel: You want what? (sits next to her) Buffy looks into her long mirror. She's alone in the reflection. Angel: It's okay. Buffy: (looks up at Angel) The Cliff Notes version? I want a normal life. Like I had before. Angel: Before me. Buffy: No, Angel, (touches his hand) it's not you. (touches his cheek) You're the one freaky thing in my freaky world that still makes sense to me. (lowers her hand) I just get messed sometimes. (Angel looks down) I wish we could be regular kids. Angel: (looks back up) Yeah. I'll never be a kid. (gets up) Buffy: Okay, then a regular kid and her cradle robbing, creature-of- the-night boyfriend. Angel can't help but let out a laugh. Buffy smiles back. He sees a picture on her desk and picks it up. It's of her as a child on ice- skates. Angel: Was this part of your normal life? Buffy: Oh, my God. (laughs and stands up) My Dorothy Hamill phase. My room in L.A. was pretty much a shrine. Dorothy dolls, Dorothy posters, I even got the Dorothy haircut. Thereby securing a place for myself in the geek hall of fame. Angel: Hmm, you wanted to be like her? Buffy: I wanted to *be* her. My parents were fighting all the time, and skating was an escape. I felt safe. Angel: When was the last time you put on your skates? Buffy: (inhales) About a couple of hundred demons ago. Angel: (steps close to her) There's a rink out past Route 17, it's... closed on Tuesdays. Buffy: (looks up at him) Tomorrow's Tuesday. Angel: I know. Cut to school the next day. Cordelia and Xander are going over the results of the career aptitude test posted on a bulletin board. She finds herself in the A-D list. Cordelia: Oh, here I am. 'Personal shopper or motivational speaker.' Neato! Xander: Motivational speaker? On what? Ten ways to a more annoying you? She pages through the H-K list and finds Xander's results. Cordelia: Oh, what about you? You're... (giggles and leaves) Xander: What? (frantically looks himself up) What?! Cut to a hall exit. Willow and Buffy come out and start across the quad. Willow: You and Angel are going skating? Alone? Buffy: Unless some unforeseen evil pops up. But I'm in full 'see no evil' mode. Willow: Angel ice-skating. Buffy: I know. Two worlds collide. Xander meets up with them. Xander: Wouldn't you two say you know me about as well as anyone else? Maybe even better than I know myself? Willow: What's *this* about? Xander: When you look at me, do you think 'prison guard'? Willow and Buffy giggle. Buffy: Um, crossing guard, maybe, but prison guard? (shakes her head) Xander: They just put up the assignments for the career fair, and according to my test results I can look forward to being gainfully employed in the growing field of corrections. Buffy: (giggles) Well, at least you'll be on the right side of the bars. Xander: Ha, ha, ha, ha! Laugh now, missy, they assigned you to the booth for law enforcement professionals. Buffy: (stunned) As in police? Xander: As in polyester, doughnuts and brutality. Buffy whines. Willow: But, (smiles) doughnuts! Buffy: (whines louder) Well, I'll just jump off that bridge when I come to it. She spots Giles walking along with a tall stack of old books in his arms. Buffy: First I have to deal with Giles. He's on this Tony Robbins hyper-efficiency kick. Expects me to check in every day after homeroom. (walks off after Giles) Police? Xander starts to follow, but Willow holds him back. Willow: You didn't check to see which seminar I was assigned to, did you? Xander: I did, and you weren't. Willow: I wasn't what? Xander: On the list. Willow: But I handed in my test! I used a number two pencil! Xander: Then I guess you musta passed. Willow: It's not the kinda test you pass or fail. Xander: Your name wasn't up there, Will. Willow is a bit taken aback. Cut to the library. Giles walks to the table, balancing his stack of books. He carefully sets them down and leans over a bit to straighten the stack, but over-leans, and the books begins to fall over. He reacts quickly to try to stop them. Giles: AH! Buffy puts her hand on top of the stack just as he does, and they push it back up. Giles is relieved. Giles: (exhales) Buffy. Thank you. (she sits) I've been, uh, indexing the Watcher diaries covering the last couple of centuries. You would be amazed at how numbingly pompous and long-winded some of these Watchers were. Buffy: Color *me* stunned. Giles: So, uh, I trust last night's patrol was fruitful? Buffy: Semi. Mm, I caught one out of two vamps after they stole something from this jumbo mausoleum. Giles: They were stealing? Buffy: Yeah! They had tools, flashlights, whole nine yards. What does that mean anyway? 'Whole nine yards'? (Giles begins to pace) Nine yards of what? (whines) Now it's gonna bug me all day. Giles, you're in pace mode. What gives? Giles: Um, this vampire who escaped, did you see what he took? Buffy: No, but I could take a guess and say it was something old. Giles: You made no effort to find out what was taken? Buffy: Have a cow, Giles! I just figured it was your everyday vamp hijinks. Giles: Well, what if it wasn't? This could be very serious! I mean, i- i-if you'd made an effort to, uh, to be more thorough in your observations... Buffy: Y'know, if you don't like the way I'm doing my job, why don't you find somebody else? Oh, that's right, there can only be one. As long as I'm alive, there is no one else. Well, there you go! I don't have to be the Slayer. I could be dead. Giles: That wasn't terribly funny. You notice I don't laugh. Buffy: Wouldn't be much of a change. Either way I'm bored, constricted, I never get to shop, and my hair and fingernails still continue to grow. So really, when you think about it, what's the diff? Giles: Do we have to be introspective now? Our only concern is to discover what was stolen from that mausoleum last night. Cut to Drusilla's room. She waves her hand over an intricately carved gold cross held out to her by Spike on a red velvet pillow. Spike: This is it then? Drusilla: (senses) It hums. I can hear it. Spike: Once you're well again, we'll have a coronation down Main Street, and invite everyone, and drink for seven days and seven nights. Dalton: (behind them) What about the Slayer? She almost blew the whole thing for us. She's trouble. Spike: (looks at him) You *don't* say? (gets up) Trouble?! (paces) She's the gnat in my ear! The gristle in my teeth! She's the bloody thorn in my BLOODY SIDE! (kicks the table violently) Drusilla: (concerned) Spike? Spike: We gotta do something. We'll never complete your cure with that *bitch* breathing down our necks. (exhales) I need to bring in the big guns. They'll take care of her once and for all. Dalton: Big guns? Spike: The Order of Taraka. Dalton: The bounty hunters?! Drusilla deals three tarot cards. One is of a Cyclops, another of a centipede and the third of a panther. Drusilla: They're coming to my party. (looks up) Three of them. Spike walks back to the bed to look at the cards. Dalton: Uh, yes, but... The Order of Taraka, I mean... isn't that overkill? Spike: No, I think it's just enough kill. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~ The career fair in the school lounge. Xander walks into the hall at the far end and spots Willow. Xander: Willow! (they walk) What are you doing here? Fly! Be free, little bird, you defy category! Willow: I'm looking for Buffy. Xander: Oh, she went with Giles about an hour ago. Some kind of field trip deal. Willow: If she doesn't get back soon, Snyder's really... (spots him on the stairs) ...done a great job with the fair this year, hasn't he, Xander? Xander: Principal Snyder! Great career fair, sir! Really! In fact, I'm so inspired by your leadership, I'm thinking principal school. I wanna walk in *your* shoes. Not your actual shoes, of course, because you're a tiny person. Not tiny in the small sense, of course. Okay, I'm done now. Snyder: Where is she? Willow: Who? Snyder: You know who. Willow: You mean Buffy? (looks around) I just saw her... Snyder: (interrupts) And don't feed me that 'I just saw her a minute ago, she's around here somewhere' story. Willow: But I did... just see her a minute ago, and she is... *around* here somewhere! Xander: For what it's worth... Snyder: (interrupts) It's worth nothing, Harris. Whatever comes out of your mouth is a meaningless waste of breath. An airborne toxic event. Xander: Well, I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to be so honest with me. And I can only hope that one day I'm in the position to be that honest with you. Snyder: Fascinating. (leaves) Xander: (to Willow) Well, love to stay and chat, but I got an appointment with the warden on standard riot procedure. Ciao. (walks off) Willow: Okay, see ya. Two recruiters in dark suits approach Willow. Recruiter: Willow Rosenberg? (she faces them) Come with us, please? Willow: Excuse me? Recruiter: Let's walk. The two men take her by the arms and guide her to a curtained-off area of the lounge. They pull the curtain aside for Willow. She steps through and they follow her, letting the curtain fall closed again behind them. A waiter in a white jacket and black bow tie holds an hors-d'oeuvre tray up for her. Recruiter: Try the canape'. It's excellent. Willow shakes her head to the waiter, and he immediately departs. Willow: What is all this? Recruiter: You've been selected to meet with Mr. McCarthy, head recruiter for the world's leading software concern. The jet was delayed by fog at Sea-Tac, but he should be here any minute. Please, (indicates the couch) make yourself comfortable. Willow: But I didn't even get my test back. Recruiter: The test was irrelevant. We've been tracking you for some time. Willow: Is that a good thing? Recruiter: I would think so. We're extremely selective. In fact, only one other Sunnydale student met our criteria. Without another word the two recruiters turn and leave through the curtain. Willow is a bit stunned, but stays and turns around to see who the other student is. Oz is sitting there on the couch studying another tray of canape'. She steps over to the couch and sits down on the other end. She folds her hands in her lap and looks over at Oz. He notices someone sit and turns to look. When he sees her he does a double take and realizes she's the girl he's noticed twice before. He looks down at the tray in his hand and offers it to her. Oz: Canape'? Cut to a cemetery entrance. Buffy swings open the metal gate and strides in, holding a flashlight. Giles is running to catch up with her. Giles: Buffy! Slow down! Please! Buffy: Giles, we have work to do, remember? Get with the program. Giles holds his chest as he breathes hard to catch his breath from running after her. They continue walking to the mausoleum. Giles: You're behaving remarkably im-immaturely. (pant) Buffy: You know why? I *am* immature. I'm a teen. I have yet to mature. Giles: I was (pant) simply offering some (pant) constructive criticism. (pant) Buffy: No! You were harsh! God, you act like I picked this gig. But remember, I'm the picked. Giles: What you have (pant) is more than (pant) a gig. (pant) It's a sacred duty. (pant) Which (pant) shouldn't prevent you from e-e- eventually procuring some (pant) more (pant) gainful f-f-form of employment. Uh-uh-uh, such as I did. Buffy: Uh, Giles, it's one thing to be a Watcher and a librarian. They go together like chicken and... another chicken, or... two chickens, or... something, you know what I'm saying! The point is, no one blinks an eye if you want to spend all your days with books. What am I supposed to do? Carve stakes for a nursery? Giles has gotten in front of her as they make their way past several gravestones. Giles: Um, point taken. I must, however, admit, I-I've never really... Well, now there's a thought, have you ever considered law enforcement? Buffy stops in her tracks as Giles turns to face her. She looks at him like he's crazy. A moment later her expression changes to exasperation, and she raises her flashlight and jerks it at the mausoleum behind him. Giles: What? (turns to look) Oh! They walk up the steps and go in. Cut inside. The chamber is bare except for two large stone vases and a pile of rubble on the floor. They come down the steps. Giles: May I? (reaches for the flashlight) Buffy: (hands it to him) Be my guest. He turns on the flashlight and walks over to where the wall has been broken into. Giles: It's a reliquary. Used to house items of religious significance. Most commonly a finger or some other body part from a saint. Buffy: Note to self: religion: freaky. She leans against the wall as Giles scans around the rest of the room with the flashlight. He spots a name engraved on a stone high above. Giles: Du Lac. Oh dear, oh dear. Buffy: I hate when you say that. Giles: Josephus du Lac was buried here. He belonged to a religious sect that was excommunicated by the Vatican at the turn of the century. Buffy: Excommunicated *and* sent to Sunnydale. There's a guy big with the sinning. Giles: You remember the book that was stolen from the library by a vampire a few weeks ago? Buffy: Yeah. Giles: It was written by Du Lac. Damn it! I let it slip my mind with all the excitement. Buffy: I'm guessing it wasn't a 'Taste of the Vatican' cookbook. They start out of the mausoleum. Giles: No, the, uh, book was said to contain rituals and spells that reap unspeakable evil. However, it was written in archaic Latin so that nobody but the sect members could understand it. Cut outside. Buffy: So, everything's cool then. Giles: It's not. First the book was taken from the library, and now the vampires have stolen something from Du Lac's tomb. Buffy: You think they figured out how to read the book? Giles: Something's coming, Buffy, and whatever it is, I can guarantee it's not good. Cut to the Sunnydale bus depot. The camera pans from the depot building to a bus just arriving as the announcement is being made. Announcement: Bus 219, continuing service to Los Angeles, now arriving in Sunnydale at the west gate. The doors of the bus open, and the passengers begin to file out. Cut to the bottom step of the bus. A pair of heavy steel-toed boots stops on the step. The camera pans up the man's body past his leather jacket and long hair to his face. A scar runs across his left eye, apparently blinded by an injury. He looks around and steps off of the bus. Cut to the street in front of the Summers house. A salesman comes walking along the street carrying a large case and eyes the 'Summers' nameplate hanging from their mailbox. He looks up at the house, but continues past to the next house and walks up to the front door. He knocks, and a woman answers. Norman: Mrs. Kalish? Mrs. Kalish: Yes? Norman: Hello, I'm Norman Pfister with (holds up the case) Blush Beautiful Skin Care. I'm not selling anything, so I'm not asking you to buy, just to accept a few free samples. Mrs. Kalish: (takes off her glasses) Free? Norman: Absolutely. Mrs. Kalish looks him up and down and nods him into her home. He walks in and she follows him, closing the door behind her. The camera closes in on the door, and Mrs. Kalish screams loudly. Cut to the airport. Mrs. Kalish's scream blends into the noise of a 747 flying overhead as it comes in for a landing. Cut to a view of the tarmac. Several jets are parked at their gates. Cut inside the cargo bay of a jet. The cargo door opens, and a baggage handler comes up the loading ramp and steps in. He notices that the cargo nets have been torn open, and takes off his headphones. Handler: What the hell? He looks closer and suspects someone's there. Handler: Hey, you're not supposed to be in here! He pulls out his flashlight and holds it ready to use as a club. Handler: Hey, c'mon! He walks in further, looking for whoever it is. He sees a shadow moving behind a baggage container. Suddenly a foot comes up and kicks him in the face, in the gut and again in the face. He falls onto his back unconscious. The person walks toward the cargo door and peeks out. It's a young Caribbean girl with long curly hair tied back and large hoop earrings. She makes her way out of the plane, keeping a careful watch for anyone who might see her. Cut to the school. Cut to the library. Willow, Buffy and Xander are sitting at the table. Willow: So Giles is sure that the vampire who stole his book is connected to the one you slayed last night? Or is it slew? Giles: (comes out of the stacks with a National Geographic magazine) Both are correct, and, yes, I'm sure. Du Lac was both a, a... a theologian and a mathematician. (comes down the stairs) This article describes an invention of his, which he called 'The Du Lac Cross'. Xander: So, why go to all the trouble of inventing something, and then giving it a weak name like that? I mean, I'da gone with 'The Cross-o- matic', or, uh, 'The Amazing Mr. Cross'. The girls just stare at him. He looks up at Giles and nods. Giles doesn't think his musings are funny either. Giles: The cross was more than a mere symbol, (hands the open magazine to Willow) it was used to understand certain mystical texts, to, uh, decipher hidden meanings and so forth. Buffy: So you're saying these vampires went to all this hassle for your basic decoder ring? Giles: (taken aback by the metaphor) Uh, actually, yes, I, I suppose I am. Willow: According to this, Du Lac destroyed every cross except the one buried with him. Buffy: Why destroy your own work? Giles: (paces) Perhaps he feared what might happen if it fell into the wrong hands. Xander: A fear we'll soon get to experience for ourselves up close and personal. Giles: U-unless we can preempt their plans. Willow: How? Giles: Uh, by learning what's in the book before they do. Which means we can expect to be here later tonight. (sits) Willow: (smiles broadly) Goody! Research party! Xander: Will, you need a life in the worst way. Buffy: (gets up) Speaking of, I really have to bail, but I promise I'll be back bright and early tomorrow and ready to slay. Giles: This is a matter of some urgency, Buffy. Buffy: I realize that. Well, you have to admit, I kinda lack in the book area. I mean, you guys are the brains, I'd only be here for moral support anyway. Xander: That's untrue, Buffy, you totally contribute. You go for snacks! Buffy looks to Willow for help. Willow: She *should* go. Y-y'know, gather her strength. Giles: Perhaps you're right. There may be fierce battles ahead. Buffy makes tracks for the door. Xander: But Ho-Hos are a vital part of my cognitive process! Buffy: (smiles back at him) Sorry, Xand. Someplace I have to be. Giles and Xander give each other a look. Cut to the ice skating rink. The place is empty except for Buffy skating gracefully by herself. She makes use of the whole rink, doing practiced turns and spins. A minute later Buffy skates quickly by the staging area, and the camera stops to focus on a stage panel begin pushed open. The one-eyed bounty hunter looks in at her. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~ The ice-skating rink. Buffy skates along, still by herself. She does a crouching maneuver, but wipes out and slides backward against the sidewall. As she starts to get up the bounty hunter reaches down, puts his arm around her neck and lifts her off of the ice. He lays her down on the railing and begins to choke her. Buffy tries to pry his hands from her throat as she struggles to breathe. Angel comes running across the ice, sporting his game face. Angel: Buffy! He leaps and tackles the bounty hunter, knocking him off of Buffy. She falls from the railing onto the ice with her knee. Angel lifts the bounty hunter to his feet and punches him in the face. The bounty hunter isn't fazed, and returns with a double-fisted punch to Angel's stomach, sending him back into the wall. Angel comes off the wall and jabs him in the face again, but the bounty hunter just shrugs it off. He punches Angel in the face and gut, making him stagger into the wall again. The bounty hunter grabs Angel by the throat and lifts him up. Buffy comes skating toward them at a fast pace. The bounty hunter turns to face her. She grabs a net that's hanging there and uses it to swing up with her foot and hit him in the throat with the blade of her skate, crushing his trachea. He lets go of Angel and grabs his own neck, unable to breathe. He takes a few steps onto the ice and collapses there, dead. Cut to Drusilla's bed. She takes the tarot card of the Cyclops and turns it over. Drusilla: He's passing under our feet right now. Spike: No worries. We're close to decoding the manuscript. We just need a bit more time. Drusilla: Time is ours. It brings the Slayer closer to them. The camera pans from the face down card over to the other two, still turned face up. Cut to the skating rink. Buffy rubs her knee. Angel crouches over the bounty hunter and lifts his hand to inspect his ring. Buffy: The Hellmouth presents: Dead Guys On Ice. Not exactly the evening we were aiming for. Angel looks closely at the ring. Angel: You're in danger. You know what the ring means? Buffy: I just killed a Super Bowl champ? Angel: (annoyed) I'm serious! You should go home and wait until you hear from me. He drops the bounty hunter's hand and stands up. He still has his game face on. Buffy skates over to him. Angel: Are you okay? She puts her gloved hand on his cheek and sees the cut above his eye. Buffy: What about you? That cut! (lowers her hand) Angel: Forget about me. This is bad, Buffy. We gotta get you outta here. Buffy: What, you mean hide? Angel: Let's just get you someplace safe! Buffy: No! Your eye! She reaches back up to him and he shakes her off. Buffy: Hey! Don't be a baby. I'm not gonna hurt you. Angel: It's not that. I... Buffy: What? Angel: You shouldn't have to touch me when I'm like this. She looks up into his vampire features. Buffy: Oh. She removes her glove and reaches up to touch his brow and his wound, brushing gently across and down his cheek. Buffy: I didn't even notice. She moves closer to kiss him. He responds, and they kiss gently. The kiss becomes more passionate as she reaches her hand behind his neck to draw him closer. Off to the side the girl from the airport walks up and stops, observing their kiss. Angel puts his arms around Buffy, and she rises up onto the tips of her skates to get even closer. Cut to the library. Giles inspects the ring under a magnifying lamp. Buffy is sitting on the steps holding an icepack to her knee. Willow and Xander are at the table. Buffy: This guy was hard-core, Giles. And Angel was power-freaked by that ring. Giles: I'm afraid he was not overreacting. This ring is worn only by members of the Order of Taraka. It's a society of deadly assassins dating back to King Solomon. (sits) Xander: And didn't they beat the Elks this year in the Sunnydale adult bowling league championships? Giles: Their credo is to sow discord and kill the unwary. Xander: Bowling is a vicious game. Giles: (very annoyed) That's enough, Xander! Xander looks down in shame. Buffy and Willow look concerned and upset. Giles: Sorry. It's just not the time for jokes. I need to think. (takes off his glasses) Buffy: These assassins, why are they after me? Willow: 'Cause you're the scourge of the underworld? Buffy: I haven't been that scourgey lately. Giles: (rubbing his eyes) I don't know, I don't know. (exhales) I think the best thing we can do is to find a secure location. Somewhere out of the way you can go until we decide on the best course of action. Buffy: (gets up) Okay, now you and Angel have both said to head for the hills. Are you saying I can't handle this, that I'm not strong enough to fight these people? Giles: They're a breed apart, Buffy. U-unlike vampires they have no earthly desires, (Willow listens in shock) but to collect their bounty. They find a target, and, uh... they eliminate it. (Buffy absorbs this solemnly) You can kill as many of them as you like, it won't make any difference. Where there's one, there will be another, and another. They won't stop coming until the job is done. Cut to a view of Buffy's house through binoculars from Mrs. Kalish's house. Giles: Each one of them works alone. Cut to Norman looking through his binoculars. Giles: His own way. Cut to the floor. Mrs. Kalish is lying there dead. A trail of mealworms leads from her over to Norman sitting in a chair. Giles: Some are human, some... a-are not. Y-you won't know who they are until they strike. Norman takes the binoculars from his eyes. There are mealworms crawling over his shoes. His hand and part of his forearm are missing, and the mealworms crawl all over it. They quickly form a hand, and it takes on the appearance of human skin. He reaches over to a cup of tea and lifts it to take a sip. Cut to the halls at school. Buffy is wigged and tense as she walks down the hall. She holds her hands to the back of her neck and shoulders. She jumps when a boy barges through the doors in the hall in front of her. She walks through the doors and scans the students in the hall, paranoid about them looking at her. The police recruiter looks at her, and she stares back. A teacher comes down the stairs in front of her and looks at her as he runs a comb through his hair. Several students walk past her, giving her the occasional glance. Behind her Oz comes walking at a quick pace. She hears a locker slam behind her and spins toward the noise, notices Oz quickly bearing down on her, takes him by the neck and shoves him into the wall. Buffy: Try it! Oz: (confused) Try what? She realizes she's made a mistakes and lets go of his neck. Buffy: Uh... (exhales) I-I'm sorry. Oz: Still not clear what I'm supposed to try. Buffy: Nothing. God, I'm... sorry, I... She steps away from him, looks both ways down the hall and quickly heads off in the direction she was going. Oz moves away from the wall and shudders. Oz: That is a tense person. Cut to Buffy's street at night. Buffy walks home alone, arms crossed and scanning the area around her. When she reaches her house she stops and just stares at it. She thinks better of going inside, looks around again and continues on. Cut to the library. Giles walks out of his office cleaning his glasses. Willow is sitting at the counter going through a volume. Willow: I wish there was more we could do. Giles: We're doing all that we can. (puts on his glasses) The only course of action is to try and find out what was in that stolen book. (reads a card from the catalog) Willow: I've never seen Buffy like that. She just took off. Xander: (coming in) Well, she didn't go home. I let the phone ring a few hundred times before I remembered her mom is out of town. Giles: Well, maybe Buffy unplugged the phone. Xander: No, it's a statistical impossibility for a sixteen-year-old girl to unplug her phone. Willow nods in agreement. Giles: Well, perhaps my words of caution were... a little too alarming. Xander: (with heavy sarcasm) Ya think? Willow: It's good that she took you seriously, Giles. I just wish we knew where she was. Cut to the hall outside Angel's apartment. Buffy comes down the stairs and walks over to his door. There's no answer when she knocks. Buffy: Angel? She tries the doorknob, but it's locked. Cut inside. She twists the knob hard, breaking it and opening the door. She slowly comes in, has a look around and closes the door. She turns on the lights. The apartment is sparsely furnished. A modern desk strewn with papers is against the far wall with a dozen old pictures hanging on the wall around it. The floor is bare concrete, and her heels click quietly as she slowly walks over to an ivory statue enclosed in a glass display case. She looks at it a moment before going on. She looks around as she continues, and passes an elegant antique armoire. Finally she finds his unmade bed, and slowly goes over to it and sits down. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, weary from the day's events. A moment later she lays herself down on the bed, resting her head on his pillow and curling up. She hugs her arms close to her heart and falls asleep. Cut to a sleazy bar. Willy is sweeping up the place after hours. Angel appears in the shadow of the doorway. Willy: We're closed! Can't you read the sign? Angel steps into the light. Willy: Oh, uh... hey, Angel. I didn't recognize you in the dark there. What, uh... what can I do for you tonight? Angel: I need some information. Willy: Yeah? Man, that's too bad, 'cause... I'm stayin' away from that whole scene. I'm livin' right, Angel. Angel slowly walks past the booths over to the pinball machine. Angel: Sure you are, Willy. And I'm taking up sunbathing. Willy: C'mon, man. Don't be that way! I-I treat you vamps good! I-I-I-I don't hassle you, you don't hassle me... We all enjoy the patronage of this establishment. Everybody's happy, right? Angel: Who sent them? Willy: Who sent who? Angel: (stops at the pinball machine) The Order of Taraka. Willy: I-I... I tell ya, I haven't been in the loop. Angel: Let's try again. The Order of Taraka, they're after the Slayer. (crosses over to the bar) Willy: C'mon, man. Angel: Was it Spike? (steps toward Willy) Willy: Look, Angel, I-I got some good pigs' blood in, good stuff, my fence said... Angel grabs Willy and smacks his head into the bar. Willy knocks a half- empty pitcher of beer onto the floor. Angel presses down hard on Willy's head with his hand. Willy: Damn it! Ah... Angel: You know, I'm a little rusty when it comes to killing humans. It could take a while. Willy: Oh, Spike will draw and quarter me, man! Angel: I'll take care of Spike. Willy: You know he ordered those guys! Spike's sick of your girl getting in his way! Angel: Where can I find him? Willy: I tell you that, I'm gonna need relocating expenses! It'll cost you! Angel: (presses harder) It'll cost who? Willy: Okay! Okay! He and that freaky chick of his are... He is interrupted by someone kicking Angel in the face. Angel falls back onto the floor dazed and looks up at his attacker. It's the girl from the airport. She grabs Willy's broom, breaks the end of the handle off and attacks Angel with the makeshift stake. ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~ Willy's bar. Angel rolls out of the way of the girl's thrust. Willy takes the opportunity to flee the bar. Angel is up again, and he ducks a swing from her. She tries a direct thrust, which Angel just pushes aside, but she follows it up with a punch to the face from her other hand and uses her momentum to spin around for a roundhouse kick, knocking him through the door into the back room. He crashes into several cases of beer. When he gets back up he's vamped out. The girl charges him with the stake held above her head in both hands. He blocks her charge with his arms and twists her arms down, forcing her to drop the stake, and shoves her into a bank of lockers. He tries to knock her legs out from under her, but her footing is firm and she kicks him in the back, knocking him down instead. Once down he tries kicking again, and this time makes her fall. She grabs his shirt, pulls him up a bit and kicks him in the face. They both scramble to their feet. Angel swings and misses. He swings the other way, but she blocks it and punches him three times in the gut and then a right hook to his jaw. She shoves him into the door of the cage. He bounces off of it and she kicks him in the chest, making him stumble backward through the cage door and into a bunch of empty water bottles. Several cans fall onto him from a shelf above. She looks at him with cold eyes as he recovers from his fall. Angel: Who are you? If you tell me what I need to know I won't hurt you. She laughs as she steps back. Angel: You think this is funny? She swings closed the cage door and sets the bolt. Angel scrambles to his feet and slams up against the door. Kendra: I tink it is funny now. Dat girl. De one I saw you wit before? Angel: You stay away from her. Kendra: I'm afraid you are not in a position to treaten. Angel: When I get outta here I'll do more than threaten! Kendra: Den I suggest ya move quickly. (looks up at the windows) Eastern exposure. De sun will be comin' in a few hours. (padlocks the cage) More dan enough time for me to find your girlfriend. Angel screams in anger and slams the cage with his hand. Cut to the library after sunrise. Giles is at his desk studying a book while holding the phone, waiting for Xander to answer. Giles: Xander? (pauses) No, no, I-I haven't heard from Buffy yet. Look, look, I-I-I think you should go to her house and check on her. (pauses) Well, ri-right a, right away. (pauses) I-I-I don't know, get Cordelia to drive you. He hangs up without waiting for a response. He picks up the book he's reading and heads back into the main room with it. There he sees Willow asleep in front of the PC with her head resting on the keyboard. He closes his book, crouches slightly and gently places his hand on her shoulder to wake her. Giles: (quietly) Willow? Willow wakes with a start and sits bolt upright. Willow: Don't warn the tadpoles! Giles: Are you alright? Willow: Giles, what are you doing here? Giles: It's the library, Willow. You fell asleep. Willow: (looks around) Oh! I... Giles: Don't warn the tadpoles? Willow: (groggy) I... I have frog fear. Giles: Oh. Willow: I'm sorry. I conked out. Giles: What? Please. You've gone quite beyond the call of duty. (sits) But, but, I-I... uh, fortunately, I think I may have found something finally. Willow: You did? Giles: I-I found a-a description of the missing Du Lac manuscript. It's a ritual, Willow. Now, I-I, uh... (gets up to pace) I haven't managed to decipher the exact details, but I-I... I believe the purpose is to restore a weak and sick vampire back to full health. Willow: A vampire like Drusilla? Giles: Exactly. Cut to Drusilla's room. Dalton slams the Du Lac manuscript shut and hands Spike his handwritten pages of translation. Spike looks at it, reads a bit and smiles. Spike: By George, I think he's got it! (walks to Drusilla in bed) The key to your cure, ducks. The missing bloody link, it was... Drusilla: (weakly) ...Right, right in front of us... the whole time. She takes Spike's hand and pulls it down to her deck of tarot cards. The top card is a picture of an angel. Cut to the street in front of Buffy's house. Xander and Cordelia walk up to her house. Cordelia: I can't even believe you. You dragged me out of bed for a ride? What am I, mass transportation? Xander: That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker room talk. I wouldn't pay it any mind. Cordelia: Oh, great, so now I'm your taxi *and* your punching bag. Xander: I like to think of you more as my witless foil, but have it your way. He takes the steps up to the porch and knocks on the door. He looks in through the glass. Xander: Buffy! When he doesn't see anyone stirring inside he walks over to the window. Xander: C'mon, Cordelia. You wanna be a member of the Scooby Gang you gotta be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then. (tries a window) Cordelia: Oh, right, 'cause I lie awake at night hoping you tweakos will be my best friends. Xander tries another window. Cordelia: And that my first husband will be a balding, demented homeless man. Xander: (gets the window open) Buffy could be in trouble. (steps through the window) Cordelia: And what if she is exactly? What are you gonna do about it? In case you haven't noticed, (he opens the door for her) you're the lameness and she's the super chick, or whatever. Xander: Well, at least I'm the lameness who cares, which is more than I can say about you. (into the house) Buffy! I'm gonna check upstairs. Cordelia comes in and closes the door behind her. Xander climbs the stairs. Xander: Buffy? Cordelia spins her keys around as she walks into the living room and looks around. She hears a knocking at the door and goes to answer it. When she opens it Norman is standing there. Norman: Good day. I'm Norman Pfister with Blush Beautiful (holds up his case) Skin Care and Cosmetics. I was wondering if I might interest you in some free samples? Cordelia: (smiles) Free? She steps aside to admit him and closes the door. Cut to the back room at the bar. Sunlight is streaming through the window and is starting to shine into the cage. Angel slams against the door, trying to break it open, but can't get it to budge. He tries prying at the top, but no luck. He pushes against the door again. Cut to Angel's apartment. Buffy is sleeping on his bed. She stirs and wakes. She hears a noise, opens her eyes to look up and immediately rolls to the far side of the bed as a hatchet strikes the pillow where her head was. It's Kendra, and she swings again and hits the mattress when Buffy sidesteps the blow. Buffy does a flip over Kendra's back and onto the floor behind her, ready to fight. Buffy: You must be number two! Kendra swings with the hatchet. Buffy ducks the swing and grabs the bed curtain. She pulls it down and over Kendra's head and knocks her to the floor with a kick to the head. Kendra quickly scrambles out from under the curtain and holds the hatchet up and ready. Buffy: Thanks for the wakeup, but I'll stick with my clock radio. Kendra swings the hatchet, and Buffy catches it. Kendra pulls her around and slams her into the wall, pushing the hatchet into her chest. Buffy pushes the hatchet up and away from her. Kendra pulls down on it, flipping Buffy over onto her back. She bears down on her. Buffy: Come on, don't make me do the chick fight thing. Kendra: Chick fight? Buffy: You know. She lets go of the hatchet with one hand and digs her nails into Kendra's hand. She grits her teeth and grunts in pain. Buffy grabs Kendra's arm and rolls her over and away. They both scramble to their feet. Buffy kicks the hatchet out of Kendra's hand. Kendra tries two kicks, which Buffy easily blocks. Buffy ducks a swing to her head and swings back, but Kendra grabs her arm in mid-swing and flips her over onto the coffee table, smashing it. Buffy lets out a pained breath. Kendra reaches down for her. Buffy kicks up with both legs into Kendra's face and makes her fall backward to the floor. They both scramble to their feet again. Buffy does a roundhouse kick to Kendra's face. She falls again, but hops right back to her feet. They face each other, ready to continue the fight. Kendra: Who are you? Buffy: Who am I? You attacked me! Who, the hell, are you?! Kendra: I am Kendra! De Vampire Slayer! Buffy looks at her in utter disbelief. To be continued...
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