Out of Mind, Out of Sight

(January 9, 1997)

Story by: Joss Whedon

Teleplay by: Ashley Gable & Thomas A. Swyden

< TD>

Teaser

FADE IN:

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - MORNING

Students arriving. It's another fine day on the Hellmouth.

CORDELIA (V.O.)
I just love springtime...

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

The walls are covered with signs for the "Spring Fling," the sophomore dance to be held at the Bronze. Standing by a sign reminding, "Cast Your vote on Thursday for May Queen!" are CORDELIA, HARMONY and hunk-du-jour, MITCH FARGO.

CORDELIA
Me in bright spring fashions...

MITCH
Spring training...

CORDELIA
Me at the end-of-school dance...

HARMONY
The end of school...

CORDELIA
Definitely my favorite time of
year!

INT. HALLWAY LEADING TO THE LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

as they near the Library, walking and talking through the flow of students.

CORDELIA
... I am, of course, having my
dress specially made. Off-the-rack
gives me hives.

MITCH
Let me guess. Blue, like your
eyes.

CORDELIA
My eyes are hazel, Helen Keller.

HARMONY
You two will look so fine together
in the May Queen photo.

CORDELIA
(immense false modesty)
Well, technically, I haven't been
elected May Queen yet.

A beat as they look at each other, then they all laugh.

Just then Buffy bursts out the Library doors, SLAMMING into Cordelia and Mitch. Her backpack spills -- books, papers... and medieval weaponry. Several students stop to rubberneck the "accident." Everyone stares at the weaponry.

CORDELIA
Behold the weirdness.

Buffy quickly starts stashing the arsenal back in the pack.

BUFFY
You're probably wondering what I'm
doing with this stuff.

CORDELIA
Wow, I'm not.

BUFFY
It's actually... show-and-tell!
For history class. Mr. Giles has
this, like, hobby. A hobby of
collecting stuff. Which he lent
me. For show-and-tell. Did I
mention it's for history class?

Students in the crowd stare at her, silent.

HARMONY
She is always hanging with the
creepy librarian in that creepy
library.

MITCH
Ew, libraries. All those books.
What's up with that?

With a few chuckles, the crowd disperses.

CORDELIA
(to Mitch as they leave)
Did I ever tell you about when
Buffy attacked me? With a spear
when I came out of the ladies' at
the Bronze. I still re-live the
trauma every time I see a pencil.
I can only use felt-tip now...

Still on her knees, Buffy watches them go, hurt.

TEACHER'S VOICE (V.O.)
If you prick us, do we not bleed?

CUT TO:

INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - MINUTES LATER

The teacher is MS. MILLER. She gamely tries to unlock the mysteries of Shakespeare for XANDER, WILLOW, Harmony, Cordelia and others. She reads with great enthusiasm -

MS. MILLER
"If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge?"
(beat)
OK, so talk to me, people. How
does what Shylock says here, about
being a Jew, relate to our
discussion about the anger of
the outcast at society?

Cordelia's hand shoots up like a rocket. Willow also raises her hand. But Cordelia waves hers insistently and Ms. Miller points at her. Willow lowers her hand, disappointed.

MS. MILLER
Cordelia, what's Shylock saying?

CORDELIA
How about, "color me totally
self-involved".

MS. MILLER
Care to elaborate?

CORDELIA
With Shylock it's whine, whine,
whine, like the whole world is
about him! He acts like it's
justice, him getting a pound of
Antonio's flesh. It's not justice,
it's yicky.

MS. MILLER
But has Shylock suffered? What's
his place in Venice Society?

WILLOW
Well, everyone looks down on him --

CORDELIA
That's such a twinkie defense!
Shylock should get over himself.
People who think their problems are
so huge craze me. Like the time I
sort of ran over this girl on her
bike, and it was the most
traumatizing even of my life,
and she's trying to make it al
about her leg! Like my pain
meant nothing!...

MS. MILLER
Cordelia's raised an interesting
point here --
(the BELL RINGS)
Which we will pursue next time.

The students start out. Cordelia approaches Ms. Miller.

CORDELIA
Ms. Miller?

MS. MILLER
Some good observations today,
Cordelia. Always exciting to know
someone's actually done the
reading.

Willow, the last out, scowls a bit at this. SHE did the reading...

CORDELIA
I wanted to talk to you about my
final paper. I'm real unfocused.
I have all these points, and I'm
pretty sure they all contradict
each other.

MS. MILLER
I have your outline here
somewhere... Why don't you stop in
after school tomorrow, we can go
over it.

CORDELIA
That's great, thanks.

ANGLE: THROUGH THE CLASSROOM WINDOW

We are in the hall, in someone's POV. As Cordelia heads for the door, Ms. Miller says:

MS. MILLER
I'll see you then.

And the POV suddenly whips around, looking down the hall. We see Willow just exciting, with Xander. The POV moves back suddenly as Cordelia comes out the door. Not noticing whoever it is, she starts down the hall herself, away from camera.

CUT TO:

INT. BOYS' LOCKER ROOM - MINUTES LATER

Baseball gear lies scattered about as Mitch pulls on his pants. Two BUDS pass by on their way out.

BUD #1
You going to the Bronze?

MITCH
Later. I'm picking out my tux
first. Got to look sharp for the
big 'dig.

BUD #1
That's right. Gotta look good to
be on Cordelia's arm.

MITCH
It's not her arm I'm looking to be
on.

ANGLE: THE SPOOKY POV - AMONG THE LOCKERS

Somewhere near the back, watching as the two Buds wave goodbye. There's something rather ballsy about the POV -- whoever it is doesn't seem too concerned with concealment. The Buds pass right by without taking notice as they exit.

ANGLE: MITCH AT HIS LOCKER

He pulls on his shirt.

SPOOKEY POV

Stalks through the lockers, toward Mitch...

BACK TO MITCH

He hears a GIGGLE. It's eerie.

MITCH
Who's there?

No response. No movement. Nothing. Mitch reaches for his jacket when he hears the GIGGLE again -- low, maniacal.

MITCH
Okay, fun time's over. Come out!

Still nothing there. But that doesn't console Mitch. Slowly he reaches for a baseball bat nearby...

Suddenly the baseball bat rises into the air on its own and WHACKS Mitch!

Mitch stumbles against the lockers. He looks up to see:

ANGLE: MITCH'S POV

The bat is floating in midair. Pulls back to swing --

He ducks, and the bat SLAMS into metal. Mitch scrambles away, dazed from the hit, and the bat tags him again, sending him to the ground.

The last thing we see is the end of the bat raise up and slam down out of the frame.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. HALLWAY WITH LOCKERS - LATE MORNING

Buffy is by herself, putting her books away as Cordelia saunters down the hall handing out little chocolates.

CORDELIA
(handing a chocolate to a
student)
Remember who to vote for for May
Queen. As in, me.

She reaches Harmony, shows her a chocolate.

CORDELIA
Isnít this the BOMB? Iím SUCH the
campaign strategist.

HARMONY
(reads on the chocolate)
ďCĒ. For Cordelia?

CORDELIA
No, ďCĒ for Wilma. Of course itís
for Cordelia, little brain. This
way, people will associate me,
Cordelia, with something sweet!

As she talks she hands out a couple others, reaches Buffy. Starts to hand her one and then thinks better of it.

CORDELIA
I donít think I need the loony
fringe vote.

BUFFY
(as they walk off)
I donít even like chocolate.
(to herself)
Well, that was the lamest comeback
of our times...

Xander and Willow approach, together.

XANDER
Hey! Whatís Cordelia up to?

BUFFY
Bribery. Sheís desperate to be the
May Queen.

XANDER
Cordelia, man... she does love
titles.

WILLOW
(cracking up)
Oh, God, remember in sixth grade...
the field trip? When Cordelia --

XANDER
(also laughing)
-- right, right, the guy with the
antlers on his belt --

They are totally into this. Buffy gamely tries to keep up.

WILLOW
(as the guy)
ďBe my deputy!Ē

XANDER
And she had the ... with the hat...

WILLOW
The hat!

XANDER
Oh Man...

BUFFY
Okay, itís fun that weíre speaking
in tongues...

WILLOW
Iím sorry...

XANDER
It was, we had this... you had to
be there.

WILLOW
Itís not even funny.

XANDER
Really.

WILLOW
Cordelia just has a history of
trying too hard.

XANDER
What kind of moron would be May
Queen anyway?

BUFFY
I was.

XANDER
You what?

BUFFY
At my old school.

XANDER
So, the good kind of moron would do
that. The non-moron, I mean. Iíll
be in a quiet place now.

BUFFY
I mean, we didnít call it May
Queen, but we had the dance, and
the coronation, all that stuff. It
was nice.

XANDER
Well, you donít need that stuff
now. Youíve got us.

Willow suddenly bursts into hysteric laughter again.

WILLOW
ďBe my deputy!Ē

Xander joins Willow in laughing. Buffy looks off, lost in thought. Sees:

ANGLE: BUD #1

Bursts into hall.

BUD #1
Guys! Come on! Somebody wailed on
Mitch! I think heís --

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE LOCKER ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

PRINCIPAL SNYDER addresses the looming crowd of students.

MR. SNYDER
-- dead? Of course not, dead!
What are you, ghouls? There are no
dead students here! This week. Now
clear back, make room, all of you!

Buffy, Willow and Xander arrive as Mitch gets wheeled out on a gurney. The paramedics stop for a moment and the kids rush over to Mitchís side.

BUFFY
Mitch, what happened?

MITCH
I donít know... I heard something,
I tried to grab a bat... and it hit
me.

BUFFY
What hit you?

MITCH
The bat. By itself. Thing was
floating! Knocked me out...

The paramedics take him away.

BUFFY
(to Xander and Willow)
I better check out the scene.

She starts for the locker room but Snyder steps in her way.

MR. SNYDER
Where do you think youíre going? BUFFY
Uh... Mitch wanted me to get... his
comb. He likes his comb.

MR. SNYDER
I donít think Mitch needs his comb
right now. I think Mitch needs
medical attention and you need to
stay away from the crime scene.
Youíre always sticking your nose in --

Xander and Willow have been witnessing this exchange. They walk past Snyder, saying:

WILLOW
What did you say? Mitch is gonna
sue the school?

MR. SNYDER
(turning)
Sue? Who?

XANDER
(to Willow)
Well, his dad is the most powerful
lawyer in Sunnydale.

MR. SNYDER
Hold on! What have you two heard?

XANDER
Mitchís dad. The lawyer. Youíve
never heard of him?

WILLOW
Other lawyers call him the Beast.

Buffy sneaks around them and into --

INT. THE BOYSí LOCKER ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Itís empty. Buffy goes toward the lockers, sees the VICIOUS DENTS on the locker doors. She stops, looks down.

ANGLE: THE BAT

is on the floor. There is blood on it. Buffy hesitantly nudges it with her foot. It rolls innocently.

Nearby, four lockers in a row are open. The last is Mitchís. Curious, Buffy crosses to it. Looks inside. Thereís nothing of interest and she closes it.

Thereís an ďKĒ spray-painted on it in red. She looks at is, puzzled, then looks at the three adjacent doors. Slowly, she shuts them all.

They spell out, LOOK.

CUT TO:

INT. CAFETERIA - NOON - ON A BIG TABLE

thatís empty except for Willow, Xander, and Buffy.

WILLOW
ďLook?Ē Thatís all it said?

XANDER
Look at what? Look at Mitch?

BUFFY
Maybe. All I know is itís a message.

XANDER
And?

BUFFY
And monsters donít usually send
messages. Itís pretty much, ďkill,
crush, destroyĒ. This is
different.

GILES walks up in the middle of this.

GILES
Iíd say youíre right.

BUFFY
I love it when you say that. Any
theories?

GILES
Well, Iím not sure this is the
place for discussing it.

Buffy looks down their table -- empty even though itís a crowded lunchroom -- then looks around.

BUFFY
Itís not like anyone ever sits
close enough to overhear us.
(shaking it off)
Come on. Give.

GILES
It is a bit of a puzzle. I havenít
actually ever heard of someone
being attacked by a baseball bat.

XANDER
Maybe itís a vampire bat.
(Off their looks)
Iím alone on that one.

GILES
Well, assuming the bat itself is
not possessed, there are a few
possibilities that bear
investigating. Someone with
telekinesis, the power to move
objects at will... some invisible
creature... or possibly a
poltergeist.

WILLOW
A ghost?

GILES
Yes. An angry one.

BUFFY
Angry is right. It was a real
scene in that locker room.

WILLOW
So, if itís a ghost, then weíre
talking about a dead kid?

BUFFY
I suppose so. Willow, why donít
you compile a list of kids whoíve
died here who might have turned
into ghosts.

XANDER
Weíre on a Hellmouth. Itís gonna
be a long list.

WILLOW
(agreeing)
Have you seen the ďIn MemoriamĒ
section in the yearbook?

GILES
Iíll research all the
possibilities, ghosts included.
Xander, may I count on your help
there?

XANDER
What, thereís homework now? How
does that happen?

BUFFY
Itís all part of the glamorous
world of vampire slaying.

XANDER
Well, what are you going to be
doing?

BUFFY
Finding out what I can about Mitch.
This attack wasnít random.

XANDER
Well, I think I should do that
part.

BUFFY
Fine. Ask around. Talk to his
friends. Talk to Cordelia.

XANDER
Talk to Cordelia?
(to Giles)
So, research, huh?

CUT TO:

EXT. UPPER QUAD HALL- MOMENTS LATER

Cordelia, in a daze, sips from a drinking fountain as Harmony catches up with her. The SPOOKY POV returns,

blatantly stalking them, in-your-face -- but strangely, they donít take any notice.

HARMONY
Cordelia! You werenít in fifth
period --

CORDELIA
I went to the hospital.

HARMONY
Mitch. How is he? Will he be OK?

CORDELIA
The doctor said heís fine, heíll be
sent home tomorrow.
(tears well up)
Oh, you should have seen him --
lying there, all black and blue...
(beat)
Howís he going to look in our prom
pictures? How will I ever be able
to show them to anyone?

HARMONY
They can do wonderful things with
airbrushes these days...

CORDELIA
You think?

FLASH CUT TO:

EXT. SAME - FLASHBACK - SIX MONTHS BEFORE

STILL IN POV, but itís hazily sepia-toned -- a memory.

CORDELIA
Did you see Mitch? He broke up
with Wendy like eight seconds ago
and heís already nosing around.

HARMONY
Itís shameless.

CORDELIA
In the spring, if he makes varsity
baseball, maybe Iíll take him on a
test-drive...

She chuckles... Then her head snaps around, noticing us for the first time -- and not pleased to be doing so.

CORDELIA
What do you want?

CUT BACK TO:

EXT. SAME - SECONDS LATER (PRESENT DAY) - STILL IN POV

Cordelia and Harmony head down the hall to the top of the stairs.

CORDELIA
I just hope somebody can prop him
up long enough to take the
picture...

Suddenly, the POV charges, a mad rush right at them...

ANGLE: BUFFY

Seeing them, heading for them --

BUFFY
Cordelia. Can I talk to you?

ANGLE: TOP OF THE STAIRS

Cordelia and Harmony see her.

CORDELIA
Oh, great.

HARMONY
Why is she always --

WHAM! Harmony rockets backwards and tumbles down the stairs.

Harmony lands in a moaning heap at the bottom of the stairs. Mr. Snyder, passing by, rushes over.

MR. SNYDER
For heavenís sake!

Cordelia hurries down the stairs, as does Buffy.

MR. SNYDER
Clear back, everyone! Give her
some air! Air, breathe, good.
(to a student)
You! School nurse. Now!

The student rushes off as Buffy pushes in next to Cordelia. Cordelia wrings her hands helplessly. An N.D. Girl stands next to them. Harmony moans again in pain.

HARMONY
My ankle -- I think itís broken...

BUFFY
What happened?

MR. SNYDER
Hey! Whoís the principal here?
(to Cordelia)
What happened?

CORDELIA
She just fell! We were coming down
the stairs and she just fell! All
by herself!

HARMONY
No, I was pushed!

Cordelia kneels down beside her.

ANGLE: BUFFY

hears GIRLíS VOICE next to them, muttering --

GIRLíS VOICE
She deserved it.

She turns in surprise to the N.D. Girl next to them --

BUFFY
How can you say that?...

Only no oneís there. The N.D. Girl is now halfway down the hallway. So who said that?

Buffy steps back from the crowd, sensing somethingís not quite right here. She looks around... and sees a hallway door closing. She hurries toward it --

CUT TO:

INT. BAND ROOM - CONTINUOUS

But itís also empty. Puzzled, she stalks carefully about the room. She looks out the window. Nothing.

BUFFY
Okay, I know someoneís here. I
just want to talk to you. I wonít
hurt you.

LOW ANGLE: BUFFY (INCLUDING CEILING)

Up in the corner, one ceiling tile is slightly ajar. Buffy waits... Still nothing. She sighs. Exists.

After a moment, the ceiling panel eerily slides back into place. Someoneís hiding there.

BLACK OUT:

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

EXT. SCHOOL - AFTERNOON

Schoolís out, students heading for home. PAN OVER to find TWO MEN IN BLACK standing unnoticed on the grassy knoll...

Buffy and Xander stand out front as Giles and Willow approach. Willow presents Buffy with a sheaf of papers.

WILLOW
Dead kids.

BUFFY
Yikes.

WILLOW
I was gonna pull up ďmissingĒ too,
but I didnít have enough time.

XANDER
Whatís the word on Harmony?

GILES
I believe it was a compound
fracture. Not wonderful fun.

XANDER
This is a fairly testy ghost weíve
got.

BUFFY
Maybe.

XANDER
You think ďTestyĒ is too strong a
word? ĎCause I felt I was
understating --

BUFFY
Giles, have you ever touched a
ghost?

GILES
No I havenít. Iíve seen one, in
Dartmoor. A murdered countess,
very beautiful. She used to float
along the foothills, moaning the
most piteous -- Iíve gone away
again, havenít I?

WILLOW
Itís funny when he does that.

BUFFY
We were talking about touching.

GILES
Yes. Well, from what Iíve read,
having a ghost pass through you is
a singular experience. Itís a
cold, amorphous feeling, makes your
hair stand up.

BUFFY
Okay, this is my problem. I
touched the thing. It didnít go
through me, it bumped into me. And
it wasnít cold.

XANDER
So that means, what -- that weíre
talking about an invisible person?

BUFFY
A girl. She spoke. She said Harmony
deserved what she got.

GILES
A girl on campus with the power to
turn invisible.

XANDER
Man, that is so cool.

WILLOW
Cool?

XANDER
Iíd give anything to be able to
turn invisible.
(off their looks)
Well I wouldnít be beating people
up. Iíd use my power to protect
the girlís locker room.

GILES
It probably is having an awfully heady
experience, having that ability.

WILLOW
So howíd she get it? Is she a
witch? ĎCause we can fight a
witch.

XANDER
Greek myths talk about cloaks of
invisibility, but theyíre usually
just for the gods.
(off their looks)
Research boy comes through with the
knowledge.

BUFFY
This girlís sort of petty, for a
God.

WILLOW
Sheís got a grudge. But why
Harmony?

XANDER
Harmony and Mitch. And the common
denominator there --

BUFFY
Is Cordelia.

WILLOW
So what now?

BUFFY
First thing tomorrow, pull up that
missing kids list. Maybe this
girlís made herself invisible for
long enough for someone to notice
sheís gone.

WILLOW
Got it. Iíll see you then.

BUFFY
Good.

XANDER
See ya.

He and Willow walk off together.

XANDER
Why donít you have dinner at our
place? Momís making her famous
phone call to the Chinese place. WILLOW
Again? Xander, do you guys have
a stove?

Buffy and Giles watch them go.

GILES
Iíll start looking into ways to
decloak an invisible someone. And
you?

BUFFY
I think Cordeliaís gonna be working
on the May Queen decorations.
There might be some action. Itís
time for me to start the hunt.

GILES
And how exactly do you propose to
hunt someone you canít see?

Off her entire lack of an answer, we:

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT

Itís after school, the place deserted, lights dim and shadowy. Suddenly, a door creeps openľ

Itís Buffy. Sheís in full hunting mode, carrying her Slayerís bag of goodies, just in case. Every sense alert, she takes a careful step.

BUFFY
Hello? Invisible person?

No response. Buffy continues, rounds the corner.

BUFFY
I know youíre here. I know I canít
see you. Itís a good trick. Care
to teach it to me?

Suddenly, she HEARS laughter, GIRLSí VOICES. She moves to a classroom doorway.

INTO. CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS

In the cheery light, four Cordettes sit on the floor, making decorations for the spring dance. Cordelia holds her May Queen dress and pirouettes with it, laughing. The bright light makes the sequins sparkle. Itís beautiful.

ANGLE: BUFFY LOOKING THROUGH THE DOOR

She looks at her ďhuntingĒ attire. Then she looks back at Cordelia and her friends, who are having such fun. Buffy quietly shrinks from the door.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Suddenly she HEARS something else. She stops dead, listens. Canít quite make it out -- itís everywhere and nowhere.

Itís music. A flute. Ghostly. Playing somewhere in the bowels of the school. Buffy just listens, affected by it. Itís about the saddest, loneliest song sheís ever heard.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY STACKS - SAME TIME

Giles, far back in the stacks, hears the haunting MUSIC. He takes a few steps, trying to determine the soundís origin.

Suddenly, it stops. After a beat, Giles shrugs. He turns to resume his work when thereís a NOISE behind him.

Giles spins. Thereís no one there. Slightly unnerved --

GILES
Whoís there?

ANGLE: SOMEONEíS POV WATCHING GILES

as he searches among the stacks for the source of the sound.

ANGLE: GILES

as he passes one of the darkened windows behind the stacks, glances at his solitary reflection in the glass. He turns.

ANGEL is right beside him!

Startled, Giles looks again at the traitor window and Gilesí lonely image.

GILES
Of course. Vampires cast no
reflection.

He looks about him -- in case he has to make a run or a fight for it.

ANGEL
Donít worry. Iím not here to eat.

GILES
Buffy told me you donít feed on
humans anymore.

ANGEL
Not for a long while.

GILES
Is that why youíre here? To see
her?

ANGEL
(shakes his head)
I canít. Itís itís too hard for
me to be around her.

GILES
A vampire in love with the Slayer.
Itís rather poetic, in a maudlin
sort of way. Well, what can I do
for you?

ANGEL
I know youíve been researching the
Master.

GILES
The Vampire King. Yes, Iím trying
to learn all I can about him. For
the day when Buffy must face him.
I havenít learned much, Iím afraid.

ANGEL
Things Iíve heard lately from --
Things you wouldnít care to meet --
Somethingís already in motion --
something big -- but I donít know
what. Youíve read all the Slayer
lore there is, right?

GILES
Iíve studied all the extant
volumes, of course. But the most
important books of Slayer prophecy
have been lost. The Tiberius
Manifesto, the Pergamum Codex.

ANGEL
The Codex.

GILES
It was reputed to contain the most
complete prophecies about the
Slayerís role in the End Times.
But the book was lost in the 15th
century.

ANGEL
Not lost. Misplaced. I can get
it.

GILES
That would be very helpful.
(holding up a book)
My own volumes seem to be useless
of late.

ANGEL
(looking at the book)
Legends of Vishnu?

GILES
Oh, thereís an invisible girl
terrorizing the school.

ANGEL
Oh. Thatís not really my area of
expertise.

GILES
Nor mine, Iím afraid. Itís
fascinating, though. By all
accounts a wonderful power to have.

ANGEL
I donít know. Looking in the mirror every day and seeing nothing there...

Gilesí gaze is drawn again to --

ANGLE: THE DARK WINDOW

and Gilesí solitary reflection as Angel continues.

ANGEL (O.S.)
Itís an overrated pleasure.

Giles turns back toward Angel. But heís gone.

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. GIRLSí BATHROOM - FLASHBACK

NOT in POV, but still sepia-toned and dreamy. A GIRL (MARCIE) -- so mousy sheís the human equivalent of wallpaper -- washes her hands as Cordelia, Harmony, and two Cordettes squeeze her aside to primp at the mirrors.

CORDELIA
God, I am never sitting through one
of those alumni lectures again.
Two hours of ďMy Treck Though
NepalĒ. Hello! Thereís nobody
caring.

MARCIE
Did you see his toupee? It looked
like a cabbage.

Complete ignormation, as Cordy continues.

CORDELIA
And those slides. ďThatís a
mountain. Yes, thatís a mountain
too. Now letís look at some
mountains.Ē

HARMONY
I swear he only had three slides
and he just used them over and
over.

MARCIE
Did you guys notice his toupee --

HARMONY
(to Marcie)
Weíre talking, okay?

CORDELIA
Oh! And did you guys check out the
extreme toupee? Yeah, thatís
realistic. Looked like a cabbage.

Everyone nods, laughs... as the Girlís eager smile slowly fades. Cordelia and Co. exit. The Girl stares at the mirror, alone.

MR. SNYDER (V.O.)
And the winner is... Cordelia
Chase!

CUT TO:

EXT. SCHOOL QUAD - NEXT DAY - NOON

In spooky POV, in a crowd, standing right next to Buffy as we watch Mr. Snyder announce from the steps --

MR. SNYDER
Introducing... our new May Queen!
Oh, youíre here.

Cordelia, having anticipated the result, is already right beside him. She gives a Miss America wave to the crowd.

CORDELIA
Thank you. For making the right
choice. For showing how much you
all love me!

We hear angry PANTING as the SPOOKY POV moves away from Buffy and toward Cordelia...

ANGLE: BUFFY (OUT OF POV)

as Willow and Xander arrive, Willow carrying a printout.

BUFFY
Did you guys just hear something?

XANDER
Just the hiss of hot air.

They all look at Cordelia, who is well into her speech.

CORDELIA
Being this popular isnít just my
right, itís my responsibility, and
I want you to know I take it
seriously...

They all roll their eyes and turn away, this missing it as Cordelia stumbles a bit, as if something has shoved by...

XANDER
Giles said youíd be here. Why are
you being here?

BUFFY
Last night was a bust. But I still
think Cordyís the key here.

Willow hands Buffy the printout.

WILLOW
The missing girls list. Theyíve
mostly stayed missing. I pulled
their classes, activities, medical
records...

BUFFY
Good work.

As Buffy thumbs through the list, Willow catches sight of the TWO MEN IN BLACK from the beginning of Act Two, standing in the shadows on the edges of the crowd.

WILLOW
Has Cordelia hired a bodyguard or
something?

Xander looks in the Strange Menís direction... but theyíre gone. Buffy, engrossed in the printout, interrupts --

BUFFY
Whoa, check it out. the most
recent one. Marcie Ross...
disappeared almost six months ago.

XANDER
I donít know her.

WILLOW
Me neither.

BUFFY
Well, her only activity was band.
She played the flute.

WILLOW
So?

BUFFY
I heard a flute last night, when I
was hunting. I couldnít find out
where it was coming from.

XANDER
What did it sound like?

BUFFY
Sad. Real sad. But it was the
band room where I lost Ms.
Invisible yesterday... This
tracks. Iíve got a free now, Iíll
check it out.

XANDER
OK, weíll see you after geometry.

They all exit under the stairs as Cordelia finishes up...

CORDELIA
So come to my coronation tonight at
the Bronze, for an evening youíll
never forget!

CUT TO:

INT. BAND ROOM - LATER

Buffy enters. She slowly circles the room.

BUFFY
Okay. Thereís something about this
room. We keep coming back. What
is it?

In the sunlight streaming through the windows, Buffy spots a thin ribbon of dust falling from the ceiling in the corner.

She approaches. On the floor is a small flutter of the dust, shoe prints tracked through it. On some book shelves piled with band music, Buffy discovers other dusty shoe prints left when somebody climbed up to --

Buffy looks up -- the ceiling. A ceiling tile is ajar.

BUFFY
It, I presume...

Buffy carefully climbs up the shelf-ďladderĒ and pushes back the ceiling tile. She pokes her head up for a look -- sees a dim light. Taking a deep breath, she climbs into --

INT. THE ďNESTĒ - CONTINUOUS

Buffy emerges into a largish area with a low overhead -- the Invisible Girlís nest. It is an eerie moment for Buffy as she realizes what sheís found.

Like a pack-ratís lair: blankets and pillows, junk food, sheet music, a flute case, and a single stuffed animal.

THE INVISIBLE GIRLíS SPOOKY POV

watches Buffy from a far corner as Buffy explores her nest. Poking among the sheet music, Buffy finds a book -- last yearís Sunnydale yearbook. Looking around a bit fearfully, she opens the cover and thereís the name: MARCIE ROSS.

BUFFY
Marcie Ross. So it is you...

Buffy thumbs through the book, and her look of fear seems to melt as empathy washes over here.

ANGLE: BUFFY

She sits back, engrossed in the yearbook. We track around her to reveal a knife behind her, ready to stab.

After a moment, Buffy closes the yearbook. She looks around again, but not fearfully this time. Sympathetically.

Behind her in the dark, the knife raises higher, ready to attack if Buffy comes closer... But after a beat, Buffy heads instead for the exit, taking the yearbook with her.

Slowly, the knife lowers...

CUT TO:

INT. BAND ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Buffy climbs down the shelf-ladder, carefully juggling the yearbook. She hops to the first floor, exits.

CUT TO:

INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - LATER

Ms. Miller sits alone at her desk, grading papers.

She doesnít notice the door open... It closes with a CLICK.

Ms. Miller looks up at the noise.

MS. MILLER
Cordelia? Could you be on time?

INVISIBLE GIRLíS SPOOKY POV

It slowly circles the unsuspecting Ms. Miller as she shrugs and goes back to grading papers...

EXTREME CLOSE UP: MS. MILLER

writing comments on a paper. She looks up slowly.

MS. MILLER
Whoís there?

From behind her, with frightening speed, a plastic bag whips down over her head.

WIDER ANGLE: MS. MILLER

As she thrashes about in her chair, the bag tight over her frozen scream.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE ENGLISH CLASS - CONTINUOUS

Cordelia arrives for her meeting with Ms. Miller, books in hand. She knocks at the door, enters --

INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS

As Cordelia enters, she gasps -- Ms. Miller is passed out in her chair, her face turning blue inside the plastic bag.

Cordelia rushes to her. She instinctively tears at the cord around Ms. Millerís neck and pulls off the plastic bag.

CORDELIA
Ms. Miller, oh-my-god...

Ms. Miller sucks in a painful gasp, then begins to cough. Weakly, she slides out of the chair, collapsing to her knees on the floor.

When Cordelia stoops to help her, the chalkboard is blank.

CORDELIA
Are you okay? What happened?

MS. MILLER
Attacked.. Didnít see...

She begins to cough again. Cordelia hears a SCRITCH-SCRITCH behind her... rises slowly...

Now there are letters insanely scrawled there behind her: LISTEN. She turns and reads it. On Cordeliaís whimper...

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

EXT. SCHOOL - LATE AFTERNOON

Almost deserted.

GILES (V.O.)
A nest?

INT. LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

The gang listens to an excited Buffy relay her findings.

BUFFY
It looked like Marcieís been there
for months. Itís where I found
this.

She places the yearbook on the table --

BUFFY
Check it out.

- and opens it. The others crane to see.

WILLOW
Oh my god...

ANGLE: THE INSIDE COVER OF THE YEARBOOK

We see written very clearly: ďHave a nice summer.Ē The camera pulls back slowly to reveal the exact same message written and signed by more than a dozen people.

WILLOW
ďHave a nice summer.Ē ďHave a nice
summer....Ē This girl had no
friends at all.

GILES
Once again I teeter at the
precipice of the generation gap.

BUFFY
ďHave a nice summerĒ is what you
write when you have nothing to say.

XANDER
Itís the kiss of death.

BUFFY
(to Xander and Willow)
And you guys didnít know Marcie
Ross?

XANDER
Never met her, why?

BUFFY
ĎCause you both wrote it too.

Xander and Willow look, find their own signatures.

XANDER
ďHave a nice --Ē yeeesh.

WILLOW
Where am I? Oh. ďHave a great
summer.Ē See, I cared.

BUFFY
But you donít remember her.

Willow goes to her missing kids read It, starts looking at Marcieís records.

XANDER
Well, we probably didnít see her
except to sign the book, this is a
big school --

WILLOW
(reading)
Xander, we each had four classes
with her last year!

BUFFY
(musing)
And you never noticed her. And now
sheís invisible...

XANDER
What, she turned invisible because
no one noticed her?

GILES
Of course! ...

He goes to a bookshelf near the stairs and pulls out a textbook: ďIntroduction to Quantum Mechanics.Ē

GILES
Iíve been investigating mystical
causes of invisibility when I
should have looked to the quantum
mechanical
!
(off their puzzlement)
Physics. Reality is shaped, even
created by our perception of it.

BUFFY
And with the Hellmouth below us
sending out mystical energy --

GILES
People perceived Marcie as
invisible, and she became so.

XANDER
But people perceived the whole
Marcie package as invisible,
clothes and all, not just, you
know...
(whatís bothering him)
So youíre saying sheís not naked.

BUFFY
(realizing)
It isnít this great power she can
control, itís something that was
done to her. That we did to her.

WILLOW
No wonder sheís miffed. But what
does she want?

Buffy, flipping through the yearbook, stops short at a page.

BUFFY
Just what we thought.

ANGLE: THE YEARBOOK

Smiling Cordeliaís picture... hideously defaced, almost scratched out. A big read CROWN is scrawled on her head.

BUFFY
Cordelia.

CORDELIA (O.S.)
What?

ANGLE: THE LIBRARY DOORS

Cordelia stands there, eying her surroundings as if she has just entered a dark and scary cave. Then she looks at Buffy.

CORDELIA
I knew Iíd find you here.

XANDER
A-and you would be wanting what?

CORDELIA
Buffy, I, uh, know weíve had our
difference, you being so weird and
all, and hanging out with these,
ugh, total losers, and...
(oops, wrong tack)
Well anyway, despite all that, I
know you share this feeling we have
for each other, deep down...

WILLOW
Nausea?

CORDELIA
(dropping facade)
Somebodyís after me! Someone just
tried to kill Ms. Miller! She was
helping me with my homework! And
Mitch and Harmony...! This is all
about me! Me! Me! Me!

XANDER
Wow. For once sheís right.

BUFFY
So youíre coming to me for help?
Thereís a Why? inside me screaming
to get out.

CORDELIA
I donít know... because youíre
always around when stuff happens, I
know youíre strong and you got
those weapons... I was kind of
hoping youíre in a gang.

WILLOW
The Ugh-Total-Losers Gang.

CORDELIA
Please... I donít know where else
to turn.

Buffy and the others exchange a look: should we tell her?

GILES
Please sit down
(a beat, gently)
Do you know... I donít recall ever
seeing you here before.

CORDELIA
(perfectly nicely)
Oh, no. I have a life.

So much for being gentle. Buffy decides.

BUFFY
Cordelia, the attacker is an
invisible girl.

XANDER
Who is really, really angry at you.
I canít imagine that, personally,
but it takes all kinds, you know?

CORDELIA
I donít care what it is, just get
rid of it!

BUFFY
Itís not that simple. Itís a

person. This person.
(shows Marcieís photo)
Do you have any idea why she would
be so...

CORDELIA
God, is she wearing Laura Ashley?

WILLOW
So homicidal?

ANGLE: CORDELIA

is emphatic.

CORDELIA
I have no idea at all! Iíve never
seen this girl before in my life!

CUT TO:

INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - FLASHBACK

Cordelia sits right next to Marcie. Marcie raises her hand eagerly... but Ms. Miller calls on --

MS. MILLER
Cordelia.

CORDELIA
Well, just because the storyís
about him doesnít mean heís
necessarily the hero, right?

MS. MILLER
Exactly. What would we call him?
Willow.

WILLOW
Well, the protagonist.

XANDER
He canít be both? ĎCause some of
the stuff he does is heroic.

All during this, the SOUND SLOWLY DROPS OUT as we PUSH IN on Marcie. She raises her hand again, more desperate, but another kid gets the tag.

As Marcie watches, the kid lowers his hand and mouths his answer m.o.s.

All the sound is gone now, except for the noise Marcie makes -- the rustle of her dress, her pencil dropping -- which is slightly amplified. Sheís alone out here.

Slowly, defeatedly, she lowers her hand, and in the SILENCE of absolute isolation, stare at in wonder. Itís starting to disappear.

CUT TO:

INT. THE ďNESTĒ

The POV moves quickly through the dark space, accompanied by ominous MUSIC and a string of muttered threats.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Iíll show them.... idiots... show
them all, theyíre never gonna
forget... ought to KILL, I could
KILL... Iím right here, Iím coming
for you... right behind you --
IDIOTS!

As she mutters, we see a hunk of rope yanked out of frame. The POV turns to an old blanket that is also yanked away -- to reveal a black leather satchel shining ominously in the dark.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - ON CORDELIAíS DEFACED PICTURE

as Buffy slams the yearbook shut. To Cordelia --

BUFFY
Well, Marcie remembers you.

GILES
According to what youíve told us
about the attack on Ms. Miller, we
now have two messages from Marcie:
Look and Listen.

WILLOW
messages we donít understand.

BUFFY
Iím not sure weíre supposed to,
yet. Marcieís not quite ready.
(feeling her way)
From what she did to Cordeliaís
picture, Iíd say sheís wigged on
the whole May Queen thing. Maybe
sheís going to do something about
it, but at a time of her choosing.

WILLOW
Stop the coronation tonight, maybe.
Keep you guys out of the Bronze.

CORDELIA
Nothing is keeping me from the
Bronze tonight.

XANDER
Can we just revel in your fabulous
lack of priorities?

CORDELIA
If Iím not crowned tonight, then...
then Marcieís won! And thatís bad!
Sheís evil, okay? Way eviler
than me.

BUFFY
She has a point.

CORDELIA
Buffyís with me on this.

BUFFY
Anyway, continuing the normal May
Queen activities is probably the
best way to draw Marcie out.
Cordelia is our bait.

CORDELIA
Great! What?

GILES
Willow and Xander will help me
begin our research anew.

XANDER
He can just say that and then we
have to.

GILES
Unless we can find a way to cure
Macieís invisibility, Buffy will
be --

BUFFY
A sitting duck
(to Cordy)
Come on.

CORDELIA
I need to try on my dress. Am I
really bait?

Buffy and Cordelia exit.

Giles and his helpers troops into Gilesí office. No one sees that in the corner, a CEILING TILE slides back into place...

INT. HALLWAY NEAR LOCKERS - MOMENTS LATER

Empty. Suddenly, Buffy pops around the corner like a Secret Service agent. She checks around with outstretched arms...

BUFFY
OK, I think itís clear.

Cordelia appears, walking like she owns the place.

CORDELIA
So how much the creepy is that
this Marcieís been at this for
months? Spying on us, learning
our most guarded secrets...

The Slayer looks around, thinking about that one.

CORDELIA
And she turned invisible Ďcause
sheís so unpopular? Bummer for
her.

BUFFY
That about sums it up.

CORDELIA
Itís awful to feel that lonely.

BUFFY
Oh, so youíve read about that
feeling?

Cordy shoots her a look.

CORDELIA
You think Iím never lonely, just
Ďcause Iím so cute and popular? I
can be surrounded by people and be
completely alone. Itís not like
any of them really know me. I
donít even know if they really
like me half the time. People
just want to be in the popular
zone. Sometimes when I talk,
everyoneís so busy agreeing with
me, they donít hear a word I say.

A moment, as Buffy takes this in.

BUFFY
If you feel so alone, why do you
work so hard to be popular?

CORDELIA
Well, it beats being alone all by
yourself.

Buffy watches Cordelia start down the stairs. She follows.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - LATER

Willow and Xander look up as Giles emerges from his office.

XANDER
So whatís the answer, Mr. Wizard?
Potion, ritual, really silly spell
requiring you to shout things?

WILLOW
Right, how do we make Marcie
visible?

GILES
We donít.

WILLOW
You mean... itís permanent?

GILES
I mean apparently gift as a
researcher is limited to
supernatural rather than quantum
phenomena. All these state
functions, observables...
Mathematics was never my strength.

WILLOW
Ssssh! Listen!

Now they hear it: the haunting tones of a FLUTE.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

The three emerge into the empty, dark hall and listen.

GILES
Perhaps we can talk to her, reason
with her.
(off their reactions)
Or possibly grab her.

WILLOW
There are three of us...

XANDER
Letís go!

They head off down the hall.

CUT TO:

INT. SUPPLY CLOSET - SAME TIME

Dark. The door opens and Buffy steps in, pulls the chair on the overhead light. Cordelia surveys the icky surroundings.

CORDELIA
If you ever tell anyone I changed
in a mop closet...

BUFFY
Your secret dies with me.

Buffy quickly checks the small area: no invisible girls.

BUFFY
Looks okay. But hurry.

Buffy exits. Cordelia changes into her dress.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT OUTSIDE BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Giles, Willow, and Xander cautiously make their way down the dark stairs into the basement, following the MUSIC. They fan out, searching. Xander puts his ear to a metal door.

XANDER
Over here!

INT. BOILER ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Dark and seemingly deserted but for the ghostly flute music wafting around the BOILER. The three enter.

GILES
Marcie. We know what has happened
to you. Please talk to us.

WILLOW
Weíre so sorry we ignored you.

But the music plays on. The three exchange looks. Very cautiously, they creep around the boiler --

-- and discover a small boombox, playing an audio cassette.

XANDER
Can you say ďgulp?Ē

They race for the door, but they hear Marcieís maniacal GIGGLING as it SLAMS shut. Giles and Xander try to open it, but it wonít budge.

WILLOW
Does anybody else feel like a major
idiot?

GILES
Whatís that sound?

Thatís when they hear the HISS...

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE SUPPLY CLOSET - CONTINUOUS

Buffy paces outside, talking to Cordelia through the door.

BUFFY
You know, what you were saying
before... I understand. It doesnít
matter how popular you are --

CORDELIA
You were popular? In what
alternate universe?

BUFFY
In L.A. That point is, I did sort
of feel like something was
missing --

CORDELIA
Is that when you became weird and
got kicked out?

BUFFY
Okay, can we have the heartfelt
talk with less talk from you?
(no answer)
Cordelia?

From the closet, thereís a SOUND, like a brief scuffle.

BUFFY
Cordelia!

Thereís more COMMOTION within, stuff being overturned.

Buffy tries the door, but itís jammed. She bangs it several times with her shoulder. Finally she KICKS at the door --

INT. SUPPLY CLOSET - CONTINUOUS

The door flies open and she rushes in: Cordeliaís being yanked up into the ceiling. Buffy grabs at a foot, misses.

She quickly piles up boxes under the hole in the ceiling. She stands on them, then pulls herself up into --

INT. CEILING CRAWLSPACE - CONTINUOUS

Buffy rolls into the space.

Thereís a heavy DRAGGING sound in the distance. She follows.

CUT TO:

INT. BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Willow and Xander follow Giles to the sound of the HISSING. Giles winces at the strong odor.

GILES
Gas!

Willow and Xander stagger back. Covering his mouth with his jacket, Giles moves closer. There is a system of gas pipes along the boiler. Giles frantically searches for something.

GILES
Sheís snuffed out the pilot light!
The gas is up full, but I canít
find the shutoff!

XANDER
Is this it?

Xander picks up a wheel-like metal knob from the floor. Hands it to Giles. The spindle has been broken off.

WILLOW
OK, thatís bad, How about the
door?

Xander grabs a large pipe and is about to ram the door --

GILES
No! One spark and youíll take the
whole building with us!

Very gently, Xander lays the pipe back down.

CUT TO:

INT. CEILING CRAWLSPACE - SAME TIME

Buffy crawls toward the light ahead.

INT. THE NEST - CONTINUOUS

Buffy emerges into the larger space on the opposite side from where she came in through the Band Room ceiling. She sees the rope, the leather satchel, Cordeliaís unconscious body dressed for May Queen.

Instinctively, Buffy tries to crawl toward Cordelia, but just as sheís within reach --

THE INVISIBLE GIRLíS SPOOKY POV

rushes right at her --

Buffy is flung sideways out of the nest, into the ceiling titles. The tiles cave easily under her weight and Buffy CRASHES into --

INT. A CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS

Buffy falls through the ceiling and lands painfully. Stunned from the impact, she is on the ground, sees:

ANGLE: NEXT TO BUFFY

The satchel drops to the ground with a thud. We HEAR Marcie drop next to it, then the bag opens.

Buffy tries to prop herself up, still dazed, when she sees:

ANGLE: A HUGE, DRIPPING HYPODERMIC NEEDLE

Floating right in front of her

She barely has time to gasp before it plunges into her neck.

Buffyís eyes roll back in her head and she drops unconscious to the floor.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. A DARK SPACE - ON BUFFY

Out cold. She moans and stirs, her head cocked uncomfortably to one side. Opens her eyes and after a moment makes out beside her:

ANGLE: BUFFYíS POV

Cordelia, sitting tied to a chair with Marcieís thick nylon rope. Actually itís a throne -- they are onstage at the bronze.

Buffy tries to get up and realizes that she too is tied -- to the other throne. She struggles a bit but the bonds are tight, strong. Giving up, she looks in front of her for the first time.

ANGLE: CORDELIA

is already awake, and staring ahead of her as well. She glances over at Buffy. Her May Queen crown has been put on her head.

CORDELIA
Buffy? Youíre awake?

BUFFY
Yeah.

CORDELIA
I canít move.

BUFFY
Neither can I.

CORDELIA
I canít feel my face.

BUFFY
What do you mean?

CORDELIA
My face! It feels numb. What is
she doing?

BUFFY
I donít know.

CORDELIA
(looking ahead again)
What does that mean?

ANGLE: THE STAGE

For the first time, we see the full tableau: two thrones, facing away from us, and the wall behind them. On it, in huge red letters, is spray painted the word: LEARN.

BUFFY
I donít know.

CUT TO:

INT. BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Willow, crouched coughing on the floor, watches as Xander futilely rams the metal door with his shoulder.

At the boiler, Giles cuts his hands as he strains to close the broken shutoff valve. The HISSING subsides slightly. He staggers to Willow, choking. Xander follows suit.

GILES
That should give us a few minutes,
but if we cannot escape this
room...

He doesnít have to finish the sentence. They get it.

WILLOW
Why is Marcie doing this?

GILES
The isolation, the exile sheís
endured... she has gone mad.

XANDER
Ya think?

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE STAGE - SAME TIME

Cordelia and Buffy look around as something moves in the wings. Itís a cart with a towel thrown over the top, and it heads for them.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Iím disappointed. I really hoped
you would have figured it out by
now.

BUFFY
Why donít you explain it? What are
we supposed to learn?

CORDELIA
Yeah, what do you want to teach us?

MARCIEíS VOICE
No, you donít get it. Youíre not
the student. Youíre the lesson.

Neither of the girls is real excited to hear that. The cart stops between them, both girls looking at it. Cordeliaís voice has a new level of hesitance in it as she says:

CORDELIA
What have you done to my face?

MARCIEíS VOICE
Your face. Thatís what itís all
about, isnít it? Your beautiful
face. Thatís what makes you shine
just a little bit brighter than the
rest of us. We all want what you
have. To be noticed. To be
remembered. To be seen.

CORDELIA
(near panic)
What are you doing?

MARCIEíS VOICE
Iím fulfilling your fondest wish.

She whips the towel off the cart to reveal a line of surgical instruments, each more byzantine and horrific than the last.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Iím gonna give you a face no one
will ever forget.

CUT TO:

INT. BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Giles, Willow and Xander are now on the floor, wheezing.

XANDER
Iím thinking we ram the door and
take our chances.

WILLOW
Whatíre a few sparks among friends?

GILES
Sparks... Sparks are caused by
metal on metal...

Giles quickly takes off his jacket and wraps it around the large pipe Xander was using.

Coughing fiercely, the three stagger to their feet, holding the pipe like a battering ram against the door lock.

GILES
One, two, three!

BAM! The door holds fast.

GILES
Again!
(BAM!)
Again!

Nothing. The three sag against the wall. Weak. Defeated.

CUT TO:

INTO. THE BRONZE STAGE - SAME TIME

BUFFY
Marcie... you canít do this.

MARCIEíS VOICE
What are you gonna do? Slay me?

BUFFY
Marcie, you know itís wrong...

Marcie GIGGLES. Suddenly, Buffyís head WHIPS around as Marcie punches her.

MARCIEíS VOICE
You should have stayed out of my
way. You know, I actually thought
you might understand my vision.
But youíre just like them. Maybe
Iíll practice on you. A little
warm up. This is my first
operation, after all.

CORDELIA
Please donít do this...

ANGLE: A SCALPEL

is lifted into the air. For a moment the two girls just stare at it, wondering which way it will head.

It moves toward Cordelia.

CORDELIA
Noo...

MARCIEíS VOICE
You should be grateful. People who
pass you in the street will
remember you for the rest of their
Ďlives. Children will dream bout
you. And every one of your friends
who comes to the coronation tonight
will take the sight of the May
Queen to their graves.

As she speaks, Buffy looks down at:

ANGLE: A SCALPEL

on the edge of the tray. Itís almost near enough to reach, and Buffy strains her hand -- tied to the arm of the chair -- towards it.

Cordelia sees what Buffy is doing, looks back ahead of her. The scalpel is inches from her face.

CORDELIA
Wait!

MARCIEíS VOICE
We really have to get started.
That local anesthetic will be
wearing off soon. And I donít want
you to faint. Itís less fun if
youíre not awake.

INT. BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Willow grabs Xander as he slumps to the floor.

XANDER
Youíre blacking out on me, guys...

He faints. Willow and Giles sink to the ground, not far behind him... Breathing their last...

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE STAGE - SAME TIME

Buffy is still surreptitiously straining her fingers toward the scalpel.

Cordeliaís eyes are locked on the scalpel inches from her face.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Letís see... I think we should
start with your smile. I think it
should be wider.

CORDELIA
Marcie... listen... you think I
donít understand what youíre going
through, but I do.

MARCIEíS VOICE
You will...

CORDELIA
I do... and I could help you. I
could. Help you meet people.
Everyone could want to know you
now... I mean youíre really
special.

Buffy is almost there --

ANGLE: MARCIEíS POV

looking at Cordelia, it hears a small CLATTER and the camera WHIPS over to see what Buffy is up to. She is sitting, hand nowhere near the tray, looking defeated.

Cordelia tries to draw Marcieís attention back to her, saying:

CORDELIA
I do know how you feel, how
lonely...

The POV goes back to Cordy.

ANGLE: BUFFYíS HAND

sitting on the arm of the throne. She moves it slightly to reveal the scalpel under it. She palms it and begins sawing away at her bonds.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Iíll bet you know how I feel.
(mockingly)
Iíll be you can be with all your
friends and feel so alone because
they donít really know you.
(angry)
Youíre a typical self involved
spoiled little brat, and you think
you can charm your way out of
this -- Isnít that what you think?!

and SLICE! The scalpel swings across Cordeliaís cheek, leaving a good three inch cut. Cordelia screams! And as she whimpers, her eyes welling up:

MARCIEíS VOICE
I see right through you.
Has her arm and leg free -- She raises her leg and KICKS the cart, sends it SLAMMING into Marcie -- which we know from the cart stopping suddenly, and the thud of Marcieís body.

Buffy pulls herself completely free, moves to Cordeliaís chair.

CORDELIA
Oh, God, get me out of here...

BUFFY
Just hold still -

And WHAM! Buffy is sent flying to the ground.

CUT TO:

INT. BOILER ROOM - SAME TIME

Our trio is nearly unconscious, only Giles still making a feeble effort at the door -- when it opens!

Angel steps in.

ANGEL
Come on!

Giles stumbles out as Angel picks up Willow.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS

Giles shakes Willow awake as Angel brings Xander out. He is in a daze, but conscious.

XANDER
What happened?

ANGEL
(to Giles)
You tell me.

WILLOW
Iím up, mom...

XANDER
(to Angel)
Hi. What do you want?

ANGEL
(to Giles)
I brought you the codex. I came in
through the basement, smelled the
gas.

GILES
Weíve still got to turn it off, or
it could blow the building.

ANGEL
Iíll do it.
(heading in)
Itís not like I need the oxygen...

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE STAGE - CONTINUOUS

Buffy gets to her knees when WHAM! an invisible kick to the face sends her on her back. She rises, pissed.

BUFFY
You know, I really felt bad for
you. Youíve suffered. But thereís
one thing I didnít factor into all
this. Youíre a thundering loony.

She turns, swinging at nothing. Looks around her frantically.

MARCIEíS VOICE
Hey, moron. Iím invisible.

WHAM! a blow to the face. Buffy swings and misses again.

She stops. She shuts her eyes. Stands very still.

CLOSE UP: BUFFY

as she listens, the noises around her get amplified. Cordyís whimper. Marcieís breathing. A floorboard.

Buffy whips around PUNCHES with all her might. WE hear a painful connection as Marcie flies into:

ANGLE: THE CURTAIN

Which we see from the back as her body flies into it, pulling it down on top of her.

Buffy approaches as Marcie rises under the curtain.

BUFFY
I see you...

WHAM! She knocks her out. Stands over her a moment when:

Strange Men in Black (AGENTS DOYLE and MANETTI and two others) arrive on opposite sides of the stage.

AGENT DOYLE
FBI! Nobody move!

AGENT MANETTI
Weíll take it from here, maíam.

BUFFY
Take what from where?

AGENT DOYLE
(showing ID)
Iím agent Doyle, this is agent
Manetti. Weíre here for the girl.

BUFFY
Well, where were you ten minutes
ago when she was playing surgeon?

AGENT DOYLE
Iím sorry, we came as fast as we
could. Weíll take care of it from
here on.

Two agents are taking her -- still wrapped in the curtain -- outside.

BUFFY
You can cure her?

AGENT DOYLE
We can... rehabilitate her.

AGENT MANETTI
In time sheíll learn to be a useful
member of society again.

AGENT DOYLE
Very useful.

BUFFY
This isnít the first time this has
happened, is it? This has happened
at other schools.

AGENT MANETTI
Weíre not at liberty to discuss
that.

AGENT DOYLE
It would be best for you to forget
this whole incident.

BUFFY
Do you guys know that youíre very
creepy?

AGENT DOYLE
Thank you for your help.

They go. At the door, Manetti turns back and says:

AGENT MANETTI
Have a nice day.

Buffy watches as they go, staring pensively, until she hears:

CORDELIA
(meekly)
Can I get untied now?

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE LIBRARY - THE NEXT DAY

Our foursome is walking along.

BUFFY
I just canít believe how twisted
Marcie got. How did you guys get
out of the boiler room?

Giles shoots the other two a look.

GILES
Janitor. Found us and shut off the
valve.

WILLOW
We were lucky.

BUFFY
Iíll say.

They stop as they are suddenly approached by Cordelia. She has a bandage over her cheek -- nothing drastic.

BUFFY
Hey.

CORDELIA
Hi. Look, I didnít get a chance to
say anything yesterday, with the
coronation and everything, but...
I guess I wanted to thank you. All
of you.

There is a moment of silence.

XANDER
Itís funny Ďcause you look like
Cordelia.

CORDELIA
You really helped me out, and you
didnít have to. So thanks.

BUFFY
Thatís okay.

WILLOW
Listen, weíre just going to grab
some lunch, if you wanted --

Mitch and a couple of Cordettes are suddenly upon them, interrupting with:

MITCH
Whoah, youíre not hanging with
these losers, you?

CORDELIA
Are you kidding? I was just being
charitable, trying to help them
with their fashion problems.

She goes off with them, Mitch on her arm.

CORDELIA
You really think I felt like
joining that social leper colony?
Please.

ANGLE: OUR FOURSOME

Staring at her with varying degrees of naked hatred.

XANDER
Boy. Whereís an invisible girl
when you really need one?

CUT TO:

INT. FBI COMPOUND - CORRIDOR - DAYS LATER

Agents Doyle and Manetti, intense and low-key, walk seemingly alone down the corridor. They stop at a door.

AGENT DOYLE
We think youíll be happy here.

AGENT MANETTI
You should fit right in.

The door opens by itself and we hear FOOTSTEPS going in.

INT. FBI CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS

A TEACHER (whoís visible) turns from his lecture at the chalkboard to the closing door.

TEACHER
Welcome, Marcie. Please sit down.
OK, class, please turn to page
fifty-four in your texts...

REVERSE ANGLE: THE EMPTY CLASSROOM

On ten ďemptyĒ desks there are ten textbooks. The books open seemingly by themselves to page 54.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR

THE END