Some Assembly Required

(July 15, 1997)

Written by: Ty King

Directed by: Bruce Seth Green

Teaser

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT CLOSE ON: A HEADSTONE

The engraved rock tells us that STEPHAN KORSHAK died within the last couple of days and now rests below.

Then, a YO-YO DROPS DOWN INTO FRAME in front of the death stone, spins, then reels BACK UP AND OUT OF FRAME.

A beat, then the YO-YO RETURNS. This time, WE GO BACK UP WITH IT to BUFFY, atop the tombstone, keeping a bored vigil with the stringed toy in one hand and a stake in the other.

BEHIND HER, ANGEL approaches through the cemetery, UNNOTICED.

BUFFY
(to the grave below)
Come on, Stephan, rise and shine.
Some of us have a ton of trig
homework waiting.

ANGEL
Hey--

Caught off guard, Buffy SPINS, startled.

BUFFY
Ack!

ANGEL
Is this a bad time?

BUFFY
(steps off the stone)
Are you crazy? You don't just sneak
up on people in a graveyard. You make
noise when you walk. You...
stomp, or... yodel.

ANGEL
I heard you were on the hunt.

BUFFY
Supposed to be. But lazybones here
doesn't wanna come out and play.

ANGEL
When you first wake up, it's a little
disorienting. He'll show.

BUFFY
It's weird to think of you going
through that.

ANGEL
It's weird to go through. You're
here alone?

BUFFY
Yeah, why?

ANGEL
I just thought you'd have somebody
with you... Xander or someone.

BUFFY
Xander?

ANGEL
Or someone.

BUFFY
No, no Xander. Why, are you jealous?

ANGEL
Of Xander? Please. He's just a kid.

BUFFY
Is it 'cause I danced with him?

ANGEL
"Danced with" is a pretty loose term.
"Mated with" might be a little closer --

BUFFY
Oh, you're shocking! One little
dance and you know I just did it to
make you crazy which by the way
behold my success!

ANGEL
I am not jealous!

Neither of them notice as they argue that Stephan starts crawling out of his grave, looking at them with ravenous glee.

BUFFY
Oh, you're not jealous. What,
vampires don't get jealous?

ANGEL
See? Whenever we fight, you always
bring up the vampire thing.

BUFFY
I didn't come here to fight.

Stephan leaps on her, knocking her to the ground. She throws him off.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Oh, right. I did.
(looks around,
getting up)
Where's my stake?
(to Angel)
What'd you do with my stake?

ANGEL
(looking around)
I didn't touch your stake...

ANGLE: STEPHAN

He grabs a shovel. Grins.

Angel charges him and he WHACKS him in the head. Angel flies back, lands hard as Buffy moves in --

-- Stephan swings at her but she gets inside it, raises her arm and the shovel -- CRACK - splinters in half as it hits her forearm. With the other arm she wrenches the half he's holding out of his grasp and SHOVES it into his heart.

He turns to DUST.

Angel rises, rubbing his head.

BUFFY
And what do you mean, "He's just a kid."
Does that mean I'm just a kid too?

Angel starts to answer, then just shakes his head.

ANGEL
Look, obviously I made a mistake
coming here tonight...

Angel turns and starts away, going around the tree. Buffy quickly starts after him, working to catch up.

BUFFY
Oh, no you don't. You can't just
turn and walk away. It takes more
then that to get rid of me...

And suddenly, BUFFY DROPS OUT OF FRAME.

ANGLE: LOOKING DOWN INTO AN OPEN GRAVE

Buffy lays in an open, silk-upholstered coffin at the bottom of the six foot hole.

ANGEL (O.S.)
You okay?

Buffy looks up at Angel, who crouches at the edge of the grave above, looking down. She sits up slowly, stiffly.

BUFFY
I wish people wouldn't leave open
graves laying around like this.

She rises from the box, looking to Angel for a hand up and out. But he's standing again, scanning the cemetery.

ANGEL
So another vampire has risen tonight.

ANGLE ON: BUFFY STIL IN THE HOLE

At eye level with the ground around the open grave.

BUFFY
(soberly)
I don't think so.
(creeped)
Whoever was buried here didn't rise
from this grave...

RACK FOCUS:

To two shallow depressions in the grass. We don't need to know what they are -- Buffy does. She jumps out of the grave.

BUFFY'S POV - AT GROUND LEVEL

Tracking fast through the grass (and the depressions) to a WHITE, FORMAL WOMAN'S SHOE, left behind. A hand enters frame, picks up the shoe, takes us to Buffy:

BUFFY (cont'd)
...she was dragged from it.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Buffy and XANDER enter. GILES, his back toward them, doesn't notice their entrance. He's busy TALKING TO AN EMPTY CHAIR.

GILES
So, what I'm proposing... and I don't
mean to appear indecorous... is a
social engagement... a date, if you
will. If you're amenable...
(then, edgy)
Idiot!

BUFFY
Boy. I guess we just never realized
how much you liked that chair.

GILES
(turns, frustrated)
Oh, I, uh, I was just working on--

BUFFY
Your pick-up lines?

GILES
(busted)
In a manner of speaking, yes.

BUFFY
Then, if you don't mind a little Gene
and Roger, I would leave off the
"idiot" part. Being called an idiot
tends to take a person out of the
dating mood.

XANDER
Actually, it kind of turns me on.

BUFFY
(to Xander)
I fear you.
(to Giles)
I'd also avoid words like "amenable"
and "indecorous." Speak English, not
whatever they speak in...

GILES
England?

BUFFY
Yeah. Just say, "Hey, I got a thing,
you're maybe feeling a thing, and
there could be a thing."

GILES
Well, thank you, Cyrano.

BUFFY
I'm not finished. Then you say, "How
do you feel about Mexican?"

GILES
About Mexicans?

BUFFY
Mexican! Food. You take her for
food. For which you then pay.

GILES
Right.

XANDER
(to Giles, re: chair)
So, this "chair" woman? We are
talking Ms. Calendar, right?

GILES
What makes you think that?

XANDER
Simple deduction: Ms. Calendar is
reasonably dollsome, especially for
someone in your age bracket; she
already knows you're a school librarian,
so you don't have to worry about how to
break that embarrassing news to her...

BUFFY
And she's the only woman we've ever
actually seen speaking to you.
Add it all up, it spells "duh."

XANDER
Now, is it time for us to talk about
the facts of life?

GILES
I am suddenly deciding that this
is none of your business.

XANDER
'Cause that whole stork thing is a
smokescreen...

Giles pointedly changes the subject.

GILES
So, how did things go last night?
Did Mr. Korshack show up on schedule?

BUFFY
More or less. Angel and I took care of him.

XANDER
(snorts)
Angel.

BUFFY
There's something else, though.
I found an empty grave.

GILES
Another vampire?

BUFFY
No, no. It was dug up, and the
body was taken out.

GILES
(into it)
Grave robbing. Well, that's new.
Interesting.

BUFFY
I know that you meant to say "gross
and disturbing".

GILES
(sheepish)
Yes of course. Terrible thing. Must
put a stop to it.
(feebly adds)
Dammit.

XANDER
So why does someone rob graves?

GILES
I'll collate some theories. Might
help to know who the body belonged to.

BUFFY
Meredith Todd. Ring a bell?

Xander shakes his head.

BUFFY (cont'd)
She died very recently. And she was
our age.

XANDER
Drawing a blank.

GILES
Well, perhaps Willow can fire up the
machine
(points at computer)
and track Meredith down.

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - DAY

A table is set up beneath a banner: "SCIENCE FAIR SIGN-UP." WILLOW is writing on one of the clipboards. She looks up to see:

ANGLE: A CAMERA

Going off in her face. ERIC is an annoying, aggressive science nerd who right now is taking pictures of every pretty girl who passes by.

He turns the lens on a passing senior, looking her up and down.

ERIC
Look at those legs...

WILLOW
No thank you.

CHRIS
Eric, knock it off.

Willow glances over at CHRIS EPPS, who picks up the clipboard next to her. He's shy and brainy, but he has a quiet authority.

Chris glances up to see Willow watching him write. She reacts.

WILLOW
Hey, Chris. I was just wondering
what you're going to do this year.

CHRIS
(smiles awkwardly)
Why?

WILLOW
Well, every year, you win and I place
second. I just thought I'd see what
I'm up against.

CHRIS
You know what the key is? If Dr.
Clark doesn't understand your
experiment, he gives it higher marks
so it looks like he understands your
experiment.
(reads Willow's
clipboard)
"Effects of Subviolet Light Spectrum
Deprivation on the Development of Fruit Flies."
(smiles, friendly)
That should do the trick.

CORDELIA steps up beside Willow, picks up a clipboard, starts writing. She is not radiating sunshine.

CORDELIA
Okay, I'm doing this under protest.
It is not fair that they're making
participation in the Science Fair
mandatory this year. I don't think
anyone should have to do anything
educational at school if they don't
want to.

WILLOW
(reading from
Cordelia's entry)
"The Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?"

CORDELIA
I want something I can finish in a
weekend, okay?

Just then, Eric appears and begins aggressively snapping photos of Cordelia.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
What do you think you're doing?!
Stop it! We're under fluorescent
lights, for god's sake!

Cordelia turns away

ERIC
Come on. The camera loves you.

CORDELIA
I thought yearbook nerds didn't come
out of hibernation till the spring.

ERIC
It's for my private collection.

CHRIS
Eric, will you quit it?

Buffy enters. Eric snaps her picture.

BUFFY
Coming through.
(then, to Willow)
Hey, Willow, sorry to interrupt,
but.. it's the Bat Signal.

WILLOW
Sure, okay.
(smiles to Chris)
See you, Chris. Thanks for the tip.

Chris smiles at Willow as she leaves with Buffy. Cordelia lingers, but when she sees Eric's leer, she quickly follows. Eric watches her go, with a malevolent grin.

ERIC
Cordelia is so fine. You know, she'd
be just perfect for us...

CHRIS
(sternly)
Don't be an idiot.
(turns away)
She's alive.

Chris crosses off, leaving Eric to continue watching Cordelia walk away. Eric's creepy smile returns.

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Willow settles in at the computer. Buffy et al. hover.

WILLOW
This shouldn't take long. I'm
probably the only girl in school who
has the Coroner's Office bookmarked
as a "favorite place."

Willow starts her web search as Cordelia enters.

CORDELIA
Hi. Sorry to interrupt your little
undead play group, but I need to ask
Willow if she'll help me with my
Science Fair project.

WILLOW
(not looking up)
It's a fruit.

CORDELIA
I would ask Chris for help, but...
(a little emotional)
it would bring back too many
memories of Daryl.

WILLOW
I found it...

The gang gathers around Willow at the computer screen, ignoring Cordelia.

WILLOW (cont'd)
According to this, Meredith Todd died
in a car accident last week.

CORDELIA
Of course, I've learned to deal with
my pain...

BUFFY
And how was her neck?

WILLOW
Fine... except for being broken.

CORDELIA
Hello? Can we deal with my pain
please?

XANDER
There there.

Xander, without looking at Cordelia and without feeling, pats her shoulder.

WILLOW
It says Meredith and two other girls
in the car were killed instantly.
They were all on the pep squad at
Fondren High, on the way to a game.

BUFFY
You know what this means...

XANDER
That Fondren might actually beat
Sunnydale in the cross-town body
count competition this year?

BUFFY
It means she wasn't killed by
vampires. So somebody did dig up her
corpse.

CORDELIA
Eeuw. Why is it that every
conversation you people have has the
word "corpse" in it?

XANDER
So, okay, we got us a body snatcher.
What does that mean?

GILES
Here's what I've come up with: demons
who eat the flesh of the dead to
absorb their souls.
Or it could be a voodoo
practitioner--

WILLOW
You mean, making a zombie?

GILES
More likely, zombies. For most
traditional purposes, a voodoo priest
would need more than one.

BUFFY
So we should see if the other girls
from this accident are AWOL, too.
Might help figure out what this creep
has in mind if we know whether he's
dealing in volume.

XANDER
So we dig up some graves tonight?

WILLOW
Oh boy, a field trip!
(to Buffy)
Are you gonna call Angel?

BUFFY
I don't think so.

XANDER
Yeah, why bother him?

BUFFY
We've been sort of... never mind. As
far as Angel knows, I'm taking the
night off. Okay?

XANDER
So, we're all set, then. Say
nine-ish, B.Y.O. shovel.

WILLOW
I'll pack some food. Who likes those
little powdered donuts?

Xander raises his hand.

WILLOW (cont'd)
Cordelia?

CORDELIA
Darn, I have Cheerleader practice
tonight. Boy, I wish I'd known you
were gonna be digging up dead people
sooner; I would have cancelled.

XANDER
All right. But if you do run into
the army of zombies, could you page
us before they eat your flesh?

Trying not to be affected by that idea, Cordelia exits.

GILES
Xander, Zombies don't eat the flesh
of the living.

XANDER
I know, but did you see her face?

ANGLE ON: THE LIBRARY'S COMPUTER SCREEN

With an article and NEWS PHOTO OF THE THREE DEAD GIRLS, all smiles in their pep squad outfits. The caption below, identifies them as Meredith Todd, Jane Atkins and CATHY RYAN.

CUT TO:

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: A HEADSTONE

With the name CATHY RYAN, her birth and death dates: she was 17.

WIDER ANGLE: CEMETERY - NIGHT

Buffy with her back to a tombstone next to Willow. Before them, Xander and Giles wield shovels, already pretty deep into the ground, and way grimed from the effort. As they talk, Willow munches a little powdered donut.

BUFFY
He was getting all jealous and he
wouldn't even admit it.

WILLOW
Jealous of what?

BUFFY
Of Xander.

WILLOW
'Cause you did that sexy dance with him?

BUFFY
(sheepishly)
Am I ever gonna live that down?

WILLOW
(blithely)
Nope.

BUFFY
Anyway, Angel's being totally irrational.

WILLOW
Love makes you do the wacky.

BUFFY
That's the truth.

XANDER
(sticks his head out)
You know, this might go faster if you
fems picked up a shovel, too.

BUFFY
Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned girl.
I was raised to believe the men dig
up the corpses and the women have
the babies.
(to Willow)
Speaking of the wacky, what was
Cordelia's whole riff about painful
memories? Who's Daryl?

WILLOW
Daryl Epps. Chris's older brother.
He was a big football star. All-State
two years ago. A running... someone
that runs and catches.

BUFFY
Was he a studly?

WILLOW
Big time. All the girls were crazy
for him.

BUFFY
And he broke Cordy's heart? Thus
possibly proving its existence...

WILLOW
He died. Rock climbing, or
something. He fell.

BUFFY
Oh, man. That's lousy. Poor Chris.

WILLOW
(nodding)
He really looked up to his brother.
It was tough. Ever since then he's
been... real quiet. Kind of in his
own world. And I hear his mother
doesn't even leave the house anymore.

THUNK.

GILES
I think we're there.

Buffy and Willow peer over the edge of the open grave as Giles and Xander quickly clear the top of the coffin.

WILLOW
By the way, are we hoping to find a
body, or no body?

XANDER
Call me an optimist, but I'm hoping
to find a fortune in gold dubloons.

BUFFY
Well, "body" could mean flesh eating
demon or corpse-mutilating pagan
ritual. "No body" points more toward
the army of zombies thing. Take your
pick.

Everyone looks on in anticipation as Giles and Xander each wait for the other to do the honors.

GILES
Go ahead.

XANDER
You're closer.

BUFFY
Pathetic much?

Buffy agilely drops down, takes a deep breath and reaches for the latch that will open the top half of the hinged coffin lid.

BLACK, INSIDE THE COFFIN.

As the lid is opened and WE LOOK up at our quartet, who look back at us.

CUT TO:

EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Cordelia and TWO OTHER CHEERLEADERS in full uniform talk as they cross the school student parking lot after practice.

CORDELIA
Guys, if we don't have it down by
tomorrow then no one will be led by
our cheers. Practice.

The other cheerleaders get in their car and drive off, leaving Cordelia to cross to her car several yards away.

She feels like someone's watching. She stops, scans the lot.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
Hello?

No answer. She digs her keys from her purse as she quickens her pace to her car. She looks around again. No one.

She puts the key in the lock, then hears a WHOOSH sound.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
Xander Harris, if this is your idea of a joke...

Another SOUND. Closer.

Cordelia juggles her keychain, fumbles it to the ground. The keys glance off her shoe and skitter under the car. p sees- she car, the beneath looks as But keys. her retrieve to try crouches now, wig maximum at>FEET, two, standing right on the other side of her car.

Cordelia freaks, leaves her keys and takes off running, away from the car, toward the nearest school building.

We see the FORM of SOMEONE coming around the car after her.

EXT. SCHOOL/AROUND THE CORNER - NIGHT

An alleyway formed by the wall of a separate building and the main school building. It's deserted, save for a couple of FOOTBALL BLOCKING SLEDS and orange DRIVER'S ED. CONES stored there beside a GARBAGE DUMPSTER.

A SHADOW, Cordelia's pursuer, drifts slowly past the objects, pausing for only a moment before moving along.

Then, all is quiet.

CLOSER ON: THE DUMPSTER

As Cordelia slowly, tentatively sticks her head up and looks left, then right into the eyes of--

ANGEL

Cordelia screams, falls back. Angel smiles.

ANGEL
Cordelia. This is the last place I
expected you to hang out.

CORDELIA
(recovering, slowly)
Oh, god... oh, god, it's you.
Why were you following me?

ANGEL
I wasn't sure it was you at first.
I'm looking for Buffy.

CORDELIA
Buffy? Well, she's -- big shock --
at the graveyard.

ANGEL
She said she'd be home.

CORDELIA
Oh, she lied. Isn't she a rascal?

Angel reacts, affected by this, betrayed.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
But, luck is on your side, it just so
happens my night's free...

Cordelia holds out her hand. Angel, somewhat reluctantly, takes it, to help her climb out. The back of her dress gets stuck on something.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
Hold on, my dress is caught...

She reaches behind her, pulls something loose.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
There, that's...

Cordelia sees what she just pulled loose behind her: a human hand, severed a ways below the wrist. Cordelia holds it at the wrist. Cordelia screams.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. LIBRARY - (SAME) NIGHT

WE HEAR VOICES approaching from the hallway. The doors open as Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles return from the cemetery.

XANDER
So, both coffins empty, that makes
three girls signed up for the army of
zombies.

WILLOW
Is it an army if you just have three?

BUFFY
Well, Zombie drill team then --

ANGEL'S VOICE (O.S.)
You're back...

Angel steps from the shadows, Cordelia clinging to him with a hermetic seal, her head buried in his chest. Buffy reacts.

BUFFY
Angel...?

She stops, standing right by Xander, a fact not lost on Angel.

ANGEL
(greeting him)
Xander.

XANDER
(equally enthused)
Angel.

ANGEL
(to Buffy)
I thought you were taking the night off.

BUFFY
I was... going to. But, at the last
minute- -

ANGEL
Cordelia told me the truth.

XANDER
That's gotta be a first.

BUFFY
We were investigating... somebody's
been stealing the bodies of dead
girls.

ANGEL
I know. We found some of them.

BUFFY
You mean like two of the three?

ANGEL
I mean, like some of them. Like
parts.

CORDELIA
(finally looking up)
It was horrible. Angel saved me from
an arm.

Another look between Angel and Buffy.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
God, there were parts everywhere.
Why do these terrible things always
happen to me?

XANDER
(coughing the word in
to his fist)
Karma!

WILLOW
Well, so much for the zombie theory.

GILES
So much for all our theories.

BUFFY
I don't get it. Why dig up three
bodies, just to chop them up and
throw them away again?

ANGEL
What I saw didn't add up to three
whole girls. I think they kept some
parts.

BUFFY
Could this get yuckier?

WILLOW
They probably kept the other parts to
eat.

BUFFY
Question answered.

GILES
But why dispose of the remains here
at the school?

BUFFY
Maybe whoever did it had other
business in the neighborhood. Like,
say... classes.

ANGEL
This was no hatchet job. Whoever
made those incisions really knew what
they were doing.

GILES
Yes, what student here would be that
well-versed in physiology?

WILLOW
I can think of maybe five or six guys
in the science club.

BUFFY
Why don't you get their locker
numbers, and we'll check 'em out.

CORDELIA
(pitifully)
No, I want to go home now. I have to
bathe and burn my clothes.

XANDER
Everybody wave bye-bye.

CORDELIA
I don't want to go alone. I'm still
fragile.
(to Angel)
Can you take me?

ANGEL
I...

Angel turns toward Buffy. She looks away. Cordelia quickly wraps an arm around Angel.

CORDELIA
Great! I'll drive.

With a look back, Angel is dragged from the library by Cordelia.

XANDER
How about that? I always pegged him as a
"one woman" vampire.

WILLOW
Xander!

Willow nudges Xander, gestures toward Buffy.

But Buffy is staring at the library door. She hasn't heard a word said since the doors closed behind Angel.

INT. CHRIS'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

CHRIS'S MOM, in a loose floral house dress, sits in a worn arm chair. A cigarette, burning a quarter inch into the filter, hangs from her lips. Her empty gaze is fixed on a television set OFF CAMERA. The house is unkempt, dark and depressing.

Chris enters from downstairs, carefully shutting the cellar door behind him. On the door we see a sign that says: NO TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT! (Typical of a teenager, it's cluttered with other signs as well, and stickers and whatnot.)

CHRIS
I'm going out, mom.

Chris's Mom doesn't react, doesn't even acknowledge him.

CHRIS (cont'd)
I'll be back later, okay? Mom...?

Still nothing but cigarette smoke from Chris's Mom. After a beat, Chris finally goes, leaving his Mom in her smoking world.

ANGLE: THE TV

We see a home vid of a football game -- a victorious Daryl Epps running up to the camera, smiling.

INT. HALL - NIGHT

Willow and Xander are opening lockers using info from copies of a computer print-out. Giles sort of hovers behind them.

GILES
(officious)
I hope you understand that as a
school official, I can not condone
this unauthorized search.

BUFFY
Okay, your butt's covered. You want
to grab a locker?

GILES
Yes of course.

Giles takes a sheet from Buffy and crosses to a locker. Buffy crosses to Eric's, saying:

BUFFY
Okay, Eric, let's see what's on your
mind.

Willow opens a locker. It's full of magazines.

WILLOW
Nothing but back issues of
"Scientific American."
(lights up)
Ooh, I haven't read this one.

GILES
Nothing remarkable here...

XANDER (O.S.)
Guys...

Giles and Willow cross to Xander.

XANDER
Your friend, Chris Epps' locker.

He opens the door wider, revealing a stack of books inside.

WILLOW
"Gray's Anatomy", "Mortician's Desk
Reference", "Robicheaux's Guide to
Muscles and Tendons".

MOVE DOWN THE BOOKS' SPINES, with titles like Gray's Anatomy, Mortician's Desk Reference, Robicheaux's Guide to Muscles and Tendons, etc.

Giles reaches in, pulls out a folded section of the local newspaper, open to the story and NEWS PHOTO OF THE THREE DEAD PEP SQUAD GIRLS we saw on Willow's computer screen before.

GILES
Fair to say, Chris is involved.

XANDER
He's into corpses, all right, but we
still don't know why.

BUFFY
Yes we do.

She is staring at Eric's locker. Taped inside that locker door--

THE PICTURE OF A WOMAN

Actually, it's a COLLAGE, with various facial features and body parts torn from different MODELS in magazine ads and pasted together to form a grotesque image of an "ideal" woman.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LAB (OLD SCIENCE BUILDING) - NIGHT

ANGLE: BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF AN OPERATING TABLE

There is a body clearly defined under the sheet on this table, (framed to match the size and angle of the locker collage).

Walking around the table is Chris. He lifts part of the sheet, hooks an electrode to a foot.

ANGLE: ERIC

Emerges from a small darkroom off the lab, a few still-dripping photos in his hands. He is singing to himself:

ERIC
(sings)
I GUESS, YOU'D SAY, WHAT CAN MAKE ME
FEEL THIS WAY. MY GIRL...
(to Chris)
How's my baby?

CHRIS
She's not your baby.

ERIC
She's not gonna be anyone's baby if
we don't finish her soon.

CHRIS
I'm working on it.

ERIC
So am I, friend. So am I.

As he says this he hangs the photos on a line with some others. They are all photos of Sunnydale girls, including Buffy, Willow and Cordelia.

He goes back into the dark room, passing the body and for the first time we see up close:

HER LEG

Which has clearly been sewn together.

CUT TO:

A DREAM GIRL

That is, a fantastic looking SENIOR GIRL as she walks across--

EXT. QUAD - THE NEXT MORNING

A TRIO of GEEKISH GUYS worshipfully watch her every step.

ANGLE ON: XANDER AND WILLOW

As they sit together on the front steps of the school. Buffy joins them, watching the geek trio watching the dream girl.

XANDER
Any sign of our suspects?

BUFFY
Not yet.

She sits, still looking at the people around her.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I don't get it, why would anyone want
to make a girl?

XANDER
You mean, when there's so many
pre-made ones just lying around?
(shrugs)
The things we do for love...

BUFFY
Love has nothing to do with this.

XANDER
Maybe not, but I'll tell you this:
People don't fall in love with
what's right in front of them. People
want the dream. What they can't have.
The more unattainable,
the more attractive.

Buffy reacts. This notion strikes a chord -- actually with all three of them.

WILLOW
And for Eric the unattainable would
include everyone. That's alive.

BUFFY
Eric's sick enough to do something
like this, but what's up with Chris?
He seems like a human person.

WILLOW
I don't know. The thing with his
brother was really hard on him;
He talked a lot about death. Maybe he
just wants to get one up on it.

BUFFY
(hesitantly)
But, it's not... doable, is it? I
mean, making someone from scraps?
Actually making them live?

WILLOW
If it is, my science project's
definitely coming in second this year.

Giles emerges from the school. He scans the ARRIVING CROWD, not noticing Buffy and company.

XANDER
And speaking of love...

WILLOW
We were talking about the reanimation
of dead tissue.

XANDER
Do I deconstruct your segues? Yeesh.

BUFFY
Hey, Giles

GILES
Oh. Yes. Hello.

BUFFY
Still no sign of our mad doctors.

GILES
What? Oh. Corpses. Evil. Very
good.

Buffy turns, sees what Giles sees. MS. CALENDAR is coming.

BUFFY
Okay, Giles, just remember. "I'm
feeling a thing, you're feeling a
thing." But personalize it.

GILES
(nervously)
Personalize it?

BUFFY
She's a techno-pagan, right? Ask her
to bless your laptop or something.
(to the others)
Come on, guys.

She nudges the other two and they take off. Giles turns as the trio disappears into the school.

GILES
No! Don't leave me! Oh, dear.

And Ms. Calendar is there, passing Giles on her way inside.

MS. CALENDAR
Good morning, Rupert.

GILES
(nods, nervously)
Ms. Calendar.

MS. CALENDAR
(stops, turns back)
Please, call me Jennie. "Ms."
Calendar is my father.

GILES
Jenny, then.

They head:

INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR - DAY

GILES
You know, uh, Jenny, I don't mean to
appear indecorous... no, not
indecorous...

MS. CALENDAR
(smiles expectantly)
Yeah...?

GILES
Oh, dear... I, uh... that is...

MS. CALENDAR
(a beat, then)
Rupert, look, I have to get inside to
set up the computer lab...

GILES
Well, what I am proposing is...

The SCHOOL BELL RINGS, and PEOPLE start moving inside.

MS. CALENDAR
Sorry, but I really have to go.

Giles nods and Ms. Calendar turns and crosses to the door.

GILES
(to himself)
Idiot...

Giles is startled as Ms. Calendar reappears beside him.

MS. CALENDAR
Listen, if it's important, why don't
you just tell me at the game?

GILES
You're going to the football game?

MS. CALENDAR
You seem surprised.

GILES
I guess I just assumed you spent your
evenings downloading incantations...
casting bones.

MS. CALENDAR
On game night? Are you nuts? I
assume you're going, too.

GILES
Oh, uh, of course.

MS. CALENDAR
So, why don't we just go together?
I could pick you up after school, we
could get something to eat on the
way, if you like. How do you feel
about Mexican?

Giles can manage no better than a twitchy nod.

MS. CALENDAR (cont'd)
And whatever it is you want to tell me,
you can tell me then. Okay?

GILES
Okay... tonight, then.

Ms. Calendar smiles, then drifts inside. Giles lingers a beat, before a self-satisfied smile crosses his face.

GILES (cont'd)
That went well. I think.

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - AFTERNOON

Xander is playing with a visible head as Willow pores over volumes.

WILLOW
I still don't get how Chris could do
it. Arresting the cell deterioration
is one thing, but...

Xander makes the head talk.

XANDER
Hello... I want to get ahead!

WILLOW
Maybe an electrical current combined
with an adrenaline boost...

XANDER
(as the head)
For the love of God, somebody scratch
my nose!

Buffy enters, all business.

BUFFY
Well, it's official. Chris and Eric
didn't come to school today.

XANDER
That's not a coincidence.

WILLOW
Maybe they finished their project.

BUFFY
God, what if it worked, what if that
poor girl is walking around...

XANDER
Uh, poor girls, technically.

BUFFY
What could she be thinking?

WILLOW
And what are they... going to do with
her?

GILES
I don't think we have to worry about
that just yet.

All turn as he enters.

GILES (cont'd)
I contacted the police this morning
about the remains. They've just
finished sorting through them.
Apparently, there were three heads in
the dumpster.

BUFFY
And they only had three girls.

WILLOW
So they don't have the whole, uh,
package.

XANDER
Heads must be no good. Hrnmmm, they
seemed attractive enough to me...
(off their looks,
with some pride)
obviously I'm not as sick as Chris
and Eric.

GILES
Based on what the police put
together, they're one step away from
completing their masterpiece.

WILLOW
One step...

As the four of them contemplate this, the camera ARMS DOWN, the visible head filling the frame.

ANGLE: THE DOOR TO CHRIS'S BASEMENT

We track slowly in at the sign that says: NO TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT! (A.D.'s beware, Chris' mom may be in the shot.)

ERIC (V.O.)
We're running out of time!

INT. STORAGE ROOM/BASEMENT - DAY

Chris and Eric are in a dark, cramped, cluttered room filled with dust-covered pieces of furniture, boxes, etc. The room is lit only by a single bare light bulb and a shaft of light angling down from a small clerestory window above.

ERIC
If we wait too long, the onset of
atrophy in the limbs will be
irreversible.

CHRIS
We can turn up the current. That'll
buy us a day at least.

ERIC
We'll lose the entire body if we
don't attach the head soon!

CHRIS
We have time!

ERIC
We don't! The crash with the girls
was lucky. But we can't keep waiting
for another lucky accident to just
drop a head in our laps. You know
what we have to do! Hell, it's just
one lousy girl!

CHRIS
I won't do it... I can't
(softer, cracking)
I can't... kill anyone.

Chris turns toward a DARK, SHADOWY RECESS of the storage room behind them.

CHRIS (cont'd)
(to the shadows)
Please understand. I can't do that.
Please don't make me.

VOICE FROM THE SHADOWS
(low, eerie)
But, you gave me your word... you
promised me, little brother...

THE VOICE slowly steps forward from the shadows.

This big, hulking THING has ONE GREEN EYE AND ONE BROWN EYE. His face - all of him that we can see - has been stitched together. The guy's a walking jig-saw puzzle.

Meet DARYL EPPS.

DARYL (cont'd)
...that I wouldn't be alone.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. STORAGE ROOM/BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS - DAY

Daryl paces around the cluttered room like a caged animal. Chris leans against a wall, a bit intimidated. Eric watches Daryl with the pride of a parent watching his offspring.

ERIC
The body is perfect. And if we
harvest a head tonight, she'll be
ready by sunrise.

Daryl goes to Chris, crouches down to his brother's eye level.

DARYL
When you brought me back, you
promised you'd take care of me. I
need this, Chris. I need someone.

CHRIS
Please don't ask me to do this.
Don't ask me to take a life.

ERIC
I tried to tell him, if you take a
life to make a new life, the whole
thing's a wash. No harm, no foul.

CHRIS
Maybe you could... you could go out,
let people know --

DARYL
No! Can't see me.

His fury is sudden -- and suddenly gone. He approaches his brother.

DARYL (cont'd)
Chris, you've always been smarter
than me. You were the brains.
You're the only one who can do this
for me.

Chris stares at him, uncertain. Daryl begins an old chant, one that sounds odd and forlorn down here:

DARYL (cont'd)
Third and long, seconds to go,
where do you throw, where do you throw...

CHRIS
(quietly)
Number five, Daryl's gonna drive.

DARYL
Help me, brother.

Chris nods silent acquiescence.

DARYL (cont'd)
Thank you.

Daryl gently kisses the top of Chris's head, then turns to Eric.

DARYL (cont'd)
Show me!

Eric takes his girl pix from his backpack, fans them out on a chest of drawers as Daryl starts leafing through them. As Eric smiles a malignant smile back toward the still bowed Chris, Daryl selects one of the photos and hands it to Eric.

DARYL (cont'd)
This one.

ERIC
(smiles at photo)
A man of taste.

Eric uses scissors to begin cutting the chosen photo of Cordelia.

OMITTED

ERIC (O.S.)
(sings)
TALKIN' 'BOUT MY GIRL.

INT. LIBRARY - (THAT) AFTERNOON - DAY

Willow is at the computer. Buffy paces, impatient.

WILLOW
Well, I've checked the obits.
Nothing that would make for a likely
candidate.

XANDER
They're kinda picky for guys who had
three heads to begin with.

WILLOW
Formaldahyde.

XANDER
Come again?

GILES
Yes of course. It accelerates neural
decay in the brain cells.

WILLOW
A couple days and they're useless.
They're gonna need something really
fresh.

BUFFY
(quietly alarmed)
How fresh?

WILLOW
As fresh as possible...
(gets it)
Buffy, you don't think they'd...

BUFFY
I think anyone who cuts dead girls
into pieces does not get the benefit
of any doubt. Let's end this thing.

GILES
Seconded.

BUFFY
(to Xander and Willow)
You two head to Eric's. I'll try
Chris's. We can meet back here.

GILES
I'm supposed to be at the, uh, the
big game, I believe it's called.

BUFFY
You go ahead. We can handle this.

GILES
Well, I really should --

BUFFY
Okay, we'll meet up there. Report
back.

GILES
All right.

The kids start to leave.

WILLOW
Buffy, don't be too hard on Chris.
I mean, he's not a vampire...

BUFFY
No. He's just a ghoul.

CUT TO:

INT. CHRIS'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON

As CHRIS'S MOM, with housedress and ever-present cigarette, stands inside the door. She is looking at:

BUFFY (O.S.)
I'm a friend of Chris's. Is he home?

Without a word, she turns, waddles away. Buffy steps inside and tentatively looks about her.

Buffy sees a small, musty room where Chris's mom has already settled back into her well-worn armchair two feet in front of the television screen, Buffy all but forgotten.

The walls of the room are papered with photos of Daryl in his football uniform, articles about Daryl's triumphs clipped from the sports page, Daryl's framed letter sweaters, etc.

Buffy looks around, takes it all in: Daryl Epps was a good- looking kid who apparently had a full and active life.

And this room is his SHRINE.

BUFFY
(a beat, then)
So... is Chris home?

CHRIS'S MOM
(points to TV screen)
Westbury game. November 17, 95.
Daryl rushed 185 yards that night -
four TDs. He was MVP and made All
City that season--

Buffy looks at the TV. An amateur videotape of a high school football game plays on screen. A stack of videotapes labeled with dates and names of opponents sits atop the set.

BUFFY
(a bit wigged)
Yea, that was a great one... but is
Chris home?

CHRIS'S MOM
I don't know... is today a school day?
(leans toward
screen/intense)
Watch - watch this move. Daryl takes
the kick off, sheds one - two - three
defenders! He breaks into the open
field for a 95 yard touch down.
(matter-of-fact)
He would have been nineteen next
week, you know.

Buffy looks down at Chris's Mom, who has never taken her eyes off the television screen or taken the cigarette from her lips. After a beat, Buffy starts to back out of the room.

(NOTE: HEATING GRATE OMITTED)

Buffy looks about her, going to head further into the house when she sees the sign:

NO TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT!

One last look to make sure Mom is oblivious, and she opens the door.

INT. BASEMENT/DARYL'S LAIR - SAME TIME - DAY

Dark, deserted looking. Buffy comes down the steps slowly. She scans the room, spots Eric's GIRL PHOTOS atop the chest of drawers. She picks them up, starts looking through them. One of the photos has the head cut off. Then she sees:

A MEDICAL DRAWING

Chris's work: it's of a woman's body, with muscles, joints , all kinds of equations and science type stuff (English major much?) scribbled all over it. And pasted over the head is the photo of CORDELIA.

BEHIND HER, (right behind her if possible) Daryl emerges from the blackness. Buffy doesn't see him, intent upon the drawing:

BUFFY
(under her breath)
Cordelia...

Daryl is about to grab her when he HEARS a CREAKING FLOORBOARD upstairs. Footsteps approaching. Daryl backs into the blackness from whence he came. Buffy looks up towards the cellar door then leaps, spins off an overhead water pipe and zips out an open clerestory window.

Hold the darkness, finding for a moment Daryl's tortured face in it.

INT. CHEERLEADING PREP ROOM AT THE STADIUM - NIGHT

The two cheerleaders we saw the night before in the parking lot with Cordelia are dressed and ready. Cordelia is doing last minute touch-ups at one of the make-up mirrors.

FIRST CHEERLEADER
Cordelia, you coming?

CORDELIA
I'll be right out.

The cheerleaders exit, leaving Cordelia alone. She looks in the mirror, then glances down to her make-up tray. When she looks back up into the mirror again, she sees--

CHRIS

--standing slumped back by the lockers behind her. She jumps, then recognizes him.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
Oh, Chris! Hi. God, you scared me.
(concerned)
What are you doing in here?

Chris winces, turns his head as if to avoid seeing something.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
Is something wrong...?

THE CLOTH SACK that SLAMS down over Cordelia's head seems to come out of nowhere.

INT. HALL BY PREP ROOM - SAME TIME - NIGHT

The two cheerleaders head towards double doors, through which we can hear the cheering of a good-sized crowd.

Buffy runs up to them.

BUFFY
(with urgency)
Joy, Lisa, where's Cordelia?

FIRST CHEERLEADER
(haughty)
Cordelia's got a game to think about.
She doesn't need losers like you --

Buffy slaps a hand against the wall on either side of the first cheerleader's head, pinning the wide-eyed girl.

BUFFY
(sweetly)
I'm sorry... where, did you say?

INT. CHEERLEADING PREP ROOM - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT

The door collapses as Buffy charges into the room. Eric looks up from tying up the struggling Cordelia on the floor.

Buffy leaps, heel kicks Eric off her, against a wall. In no mood to fight, he beats a quick retreat out a back door.

Buffy turns back, quickly removes the cloth sack hood from a nearly hysterical Cordelia.

BUFFY
It's okay, you're okay. He's gone.

CORDELIA
Oh, my god, Buffy...!

BUFFY
He's gone. What happened?

CORDELIA
I don't know. I was just about to go
to the field when Chris came in, and
then somebody just jumped me.

Buffy quickly looks around the room. No sign of anyone here.

BUFFY
Well, it's okay now. You're fine.
Just relax, take your time...

Cordelia rises, works to compose herself. It looks like this could take awhile. But the sound of the--

MARCHING BAND

--playing the SUNNYDALE FIGHT SONG out on the field drifts into the room, instantly perking Cordelia.

CORDELIA
Oh, my god! That's the fight song.
It's time for the cheerleader pyramid
at mid-field. I have to go.

BUFFY
You sure you're okay to go out there?

CORDELIA
(sense of duty)
You don't understand, I have to go.
I'm the apex.

A re-energized Cordelia grabs her pompoms and springs out of the room, leaving Buffy alone. After a beat--

BUFFY
(calls out)
I know what you're trying to do,
Chris... you and Eric...

A beat. Nothing.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I know about the bodies from the
cemetery. But you haven't hurt anyone
yet, you can still do the right
thing...

Finally, Chris steps from behind the row of lockers.

Buffy sees him. He looks so small at the moment. So tortured. He doesn't make eye contact with Buffy.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Listen, I don't know what it's like
to lose someone close to you like
your brother, but I know what you're
trying to do is wrong.

CHRIS
I have to do it for him... He needs
someone...

BUFFY
Who, Eric? He needs industrial
strength therapy.

CHRIS
He always looked out for me... stood
up for me... he's all alone...
everybody loved him and now he's all
alone...

BUFFY
Who are you --

She stops.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Oh my God.

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT/DARYL'S LAIR - SHORT TIME LATER - NIGHT

CRASH!

A raging Daryl is trashing the place, smashing heavy objects into other heavy objects as Eric stands back, staying out of harm's way.

DARYL
(raging)
He promised me! Promised!
(smash)
I wouldn't have to be alone!

ERIC
(tentatively)
It's not too late...

A seething Daryl turns on Eric, lifts him by the collar and massively slams him against the wall, holding him there.

ERIC (cont'd)
(a glimpse of fear)
Nothing's changed. We can still do v this. You and me.

Daryl breathes heavily as he doesn't loosen his grip on Eric. It's touch and go whether Eric will survive.

ERIC (cont'd)
Your brother's not the only one who
can create life... what do you say...?

Then, the fear in Eric's eyes slowly turns in something darker... a creepy enthusiasm. Daryl lets him go.

ERIC (cont'd)
Let's go scare you up a date.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. BASEMENT/DARYL'S LAIR - SAME TIME - NIGHT

The basement is totally trashed now. Buffy bolts down the stairs, followed by Chris.

BUFFY
Daryl...? Daryl!

Buffy slowly checks through the wreckage, lifting smashed furniture as Chris, in borderline shock, shadows her.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Okay, he's not here. Where else could
he be?

CHRIS
But he would never go out... Unless...

BUFFY
He's gonna pick up where you left off.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON: CORDELIA

Leading cheers on the sideline at the football field.

EXT. STADIUM BLEACHERS - SAME TIME - NIGHT

With Giles and Ms. Calendar amongst the fans.

MS. CALENDAR
I don't know what it is about
football that does it for me. It
lacks the grace of basketball and the
poetry of baseball. At its best,
it's unadorned aggression. It's just
such a rugged contest...

GILES
(amused)
Rugged? American football?

MS. CALENDAR
What's funny about that?

GILES
Well, I do find it odd that a nation
that prides itself on its virility
feels compelled to strap on forty
pounds of protective gear just to
play rugby.

MS. CALENDAR
(surprised)
Is this your normal strategy for a
first date: dissing my country's
national pastime?

GILES
(a beat, then)
Did you say... "date"?

MS. CALENDAR
(smiles)
You noticed that, huh?

But before the silly, schoolboy grin has a chance to spread all the way across Giles' face--

WILLOW (O.S.)
Hi, Ms. Calendar. Hey, Giles.

Hey, look. Willow and Xander have joined us!

MS. CALENDAR
Hi, guys. What's up?

WILLOW
Buffy get back yet?

GILES
No.
(hinting)
But perhaps you should circulate down
nearer the field to find her.

WILLOW
Eric's was a bust. Nothing there.

XANDER
(looks around)
Yeah, nothing but a lot of computer
equipment and a pornography
collection so prodigious it even
scared me.

And, to Giles' chagrin, Xander and Willow settle in for the duration. It's become a date with children.

XANDER (cont'd)
So... what's the score?

STRANGE NEW ANGLE ON: THE FOOTBALL FIELD - NIGHT

At ground level. The SOUNDS of the CROWD, the BANDS, the REFEREES' WHISTLES and the GRUNTING and TACKLING of the PLAYERS are strangely muted here as we look out beyond the CHEERLEADERS and BENCHWARMERS to the excitement of the game just beyond. We are--

UNDER THE BLEACHERS OF THE FOOTBALL STADIUM - NIGHT

In the dark and shadowy web of metal crossbeams that stripe the cavity below the thousands of SPECTATORS.

Daryl watches the High School football game through the slotted openings and legs of the paying FANS above.

He's mesmerized by the deja vu sights and sounds of the stadium. This used to be his world. He drinks in every sensory image.

There's a Phantom of the Opera quality to his reaction.

REVERSE ANGLE: ON THE CHEERLEADERS - NIGHT

As they face the bleachers, urging the home team on.

At the end of the cheer, Cordelia crosses to a cooler near the edge of the bleachers and draws a paper cup of water.

Daryl GRABS her, jerking her into the dark below the stands.

Her SCREAM is absorbed by the CHEER of the stadium full of people as the Razorbacks score a touchdown on the field.

EXT. BY THE STANDS - MINUTES LATER - NIGHT

Buffy and Chris move quickly toward the far end, where the Sunnydale Cheerleaders are finishing a post-touchdown cheer.

But as they draw near, it becomes apparent that Cordelia is not among the leaping and cheering squad.

BUFFY
I don't see her. Do you?

CUT TO:

INT. LAB (OLD SCIENCE BUILDING) - NIGHT

The gutted room with boarded up windows still bears the carbon streaks from the fire a year earlier.

The sheet-draped Body is now joined by a second table. Cordelia (blindfolded) is thrown on it by Daryl. Eric straps her in immediately.

CORDELIA
Please... what's going on... take off
the blindfold, I won't scream, I
promise...

DARYL (O.S.)
She's beautiful...

Eric turns to see Daryl, his back to Cordelia, lifting the sheet to check out the inanimate, piecemeal body.

ERIC
No! It's bad luck for the groom to
see the bride before the wedding.

Eric hastily crosses to Daryl.

CORDELIA
Please... just take off the
blindfold, I promise I won't --

DARYL
Cordelia...

Daryl removes the blindfold. Cordelia takes one look at him and screams bloody murder.

ERIC
You can scream all you want - we're
in an abandoned building...
(scream continues; he
picks up a blunt
object)
okay, that's enough.

Daryl just looks at Cordelia with his sad, mangled eyes.

DARYL
You were always good to me. Always
noticed me, but I ignored you. I'm
sorry. I'm glad that I got this
second chance to tell you that.

CORDELIA
(stunned)
D-Daryl...?

DARYL
I was thoughtless, I know that now.
But I've changed, I've learned to
appreciate how much it meant that you
wanted to be with me.

ERIC
We're ready.

CORDELIA
Ready? Ready for what?!

ERIC
You're going to feel a little pinch,
maybe a little discomfort around the
neck area. But when you wake up,
you'll have the body of a seventeen
year old. In fact...

Eric lifts the sheet so that Cordelia can see the Body on the adjacent table. (We're angled so we can't however.)

ERIC (cont'd)
...you'll have the body of several.

EXT. STADIUM BLEACHERS - SAME TIME - NIGHT

Buffy runs right behind the cheerleaders to Cordelia's place. She spots the two POMPOMS lying on the ground several feet away at the edge of the bleachers...

BUFFY
He was here. Chris, where did he
take her?

CHRIS
To the rest of the body. To the lab.

BUFFY
Where is that?

CHRIS
I promised him...

BUFFY
He'll kill Cordelia.
(desperate)
You can't just give and take lives
like that. It's not your job.

Chris looks up at Buffy. This hits home.

CHRIS
Please try not to hurt him. He's in
the old science building. Everything
is set up there.

BUFFY
Okay, find Willow and Xander and Mr.
Giles. Tell them what's going on.

Buffy heads off. Chris watches her for a beat, worried about his brother, then moves off.

INT. LAB (OLD SCIENCE BUILDING) - NIGHT

Eric finishes pouring gas from a five gallon drum into the generator. He turns on the generator. All around the room, jerry- rigged machines hum to life. Eric holds a surgical saw over a bunsen burner.

CORDELIA
Daryl, please... you don't have to
do this.

DARYL
I have to. So we can be together.

CORDELIA
(frantic now)
We can be together anyway. I'll be
with you. I promise.

He leans in to Cordelia. She can't help looking away.

DARYL
Is that right? You see anything you
like?

He turns away, to the unfinished girl.

DARYL (cont'd)
When you're finished, you won't go
out. You won't go away. We'll hide
together.

Tears start to flow down Cordelia's face.

CORDELIA
Please...

Eric pulls the shiny surgical saw out of the flame, steps forward.

ERIC
Sterile enough for government work...

He lowers the blade towards Cordelia's neck. Cordelia SCREAMS.

Just as the door CRASHES open and Buffy steps inside.

CORDELIA
Buffy! Help me!

As Buffy looks down at Cordelia, Eric heaves the surgical saw across at her. Buffy neatly catches it by the handle in midair.

Eric, ever the coward, flees into a corner, ducking. Buffy ignores him, turns to Daryl

BUFFY
Daryl, listen, I know who you are.
Your brother sent me to stop this.

DARYL
He wouldn't do that. He loves me.

CORDELIA
Buffy, they're crazy!

BUFFY
It's okay, Cordelia, I'm getting you
out of here.

DARYL
No, I'm not finished with her.

Daryl picks up another blade from the surgical tray, starts toward Cordelia. Buffy runs, somersaults over the table with the Body, kicking Daryl back and away from Cordelia.

He's up again in an instant. He punches Buffy hard - she goes back into the gurney, sends it rolling across the room.

It hits the gas can and generator -- the can topples, spilling gas.

CORDELIA
Buffy!

DARYL
I won't live alone!

At that moment, Eric makes a break for the door. Daryl grabs him by the scruff of the neck.

DARYL (cont'd)
You have to help me!

ERIC
Let go!

Furious, Daryl hurls Eric into the wall by the door, knocking him unconscious.

Buffy starts toward Cordelia again, but Daryl lunges at her.

She catches him with a roundhouse kick that sends him reeling. He plows into a table, knocking the bunsen burner to the ground.

ANGLE: THE POOL OF GAS

As the bunsen burner flame ignites it, setting a fire in the middle of the room.

XANDER
Buffy!

Xander runs in, susses the sitch.

BUFFY
Get Cordelia!

He goes to the gurney, skirting around the flames. He starts to untie Cordelia --

Daryl grabs a huge bottle of chemicals and hurls it at Buffy. She ducks but the chemicals hit the wall and burst into flame, creating a wall of fire, cutting Xander and Cordelia off from the door.

Buffy rains blows on Daryl

ANGLE: THE DOOR

The rest of the group arrive. They react to the carnage and flames. No way can they get to Xander and Cordelia on the gurney. Willow and Giles pull the unconscious Eric out of the room.

Xander looks around, thinking. He grabs the gurney, gives it a massive shove--

CORDELIA
No!

--then dives on top of Cordelia as the table rolls back through the wall of flames (saving her life) and to the door with Giles and the others.

MS. CALENDAR
Buffy, get out!

But Daryl strikes again, knocking her against a wall. He picks up a student desk, to bash Buffy's head with, when--

CHRIS
Daryl! Don't!

Daryl looks across at his brother standing in the doorway. Looks down at Buffy, some remaining human instinct preventing him from unloading the desk.

Then he looks across through the fire to see the flames whirling up around the sheet covered Body. He freaks.

DARYL
No! She's mine!

Daryl barrels into the fire, which quickly engulfs him as he falls onto the sheet-covered Body to shield it from the flames.

DARYL (cont'd)
Mine!

CHRIS
Daryl!

Chris bolts toward his brother, but Buffy grabs him, wraps him up, holds him back.

ANGLE ON: THE FLAMES

As the photo chemicals fuel the conflagration to greater intensity. Daryl is draped over the Body, motionless now as the fire engulfs them.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SCHOOL GROUNDS - LATER - NIGHT

We see most of the combatants, bathed in fire trucks' flashing lights. The fire seems to be over by now.

ANGLE: CHRIS AND BUFFY

Are staring at the old science building together. After a time...

CHRIS
The first time he woke up, after...
he said I shouldn't have brought him
back. I was just trying to look out
for him. Like he would have done for
me.

Buffy decides against saying anything. Just puts her hand on his shoulder.

Angel approaches, goes up to Buffy, concerned.

ANGEL
I saw the fire, figured you'd be
here. Is everyone okay?

BUFFY
Yeah. We're okay.

ANGLE ON GILES AND MS. CALENDAR:

GILES
I am sorry about all this.

MS. CALENDAR
That's okay. Although a good rule of
thumb for a first date is don't do
anything so exciting that it will be
hard to top on the second date.

GILES
(ruefully)
Believe it or not, since I've moved
here to live on top of the Hellmouth,
the events of this evening actually
qualify as a slow night.
(stops)
Did you say, "second date"?

MS. CALENDAR
Ah, you noticed that too?

ANGLE ON: XANDER AND WILLOW

As they watch Buffy and Angel, Giles and Ms. Calendar together.

XANDER
Well, I guess that makes it official.
Everyone's paired off. Vampires can
get dates. Hell, even the school
librarian is seeing more action than
me.
(shakes his head)
You ever feel like the world is a
giant game of musical chairs, and the
music has stopped and you're the only
one who doesn't have a chair?

Cordelia steps up behind the two, summons her nerve.

WILLOW
All the time.

CORDELIA
Xander, I, uh, just wanted to say
thanks for saving my life in there.
It was... really brave and heroic and
all. And if there's ever anything I
can do to repay you...

XANDER
Do you mind? We're talking here.

Cordelia reacts, turns and crossing off.

XANDER (cont'd)
(to Willow)
So, where were we?

WILLOW
Wondering why we never seem to have
dates.

XANDER
Oh, yeah. So, why do you think that
is?

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

Buffy and Angel walk along together.

BUFFY
The whole thing was creepy. But at
the same time... I mean, he did do it
all for his brother...

ANGEL
Sounds like he took it a little over
the edge.

BUFFY
Love makes you do the wacky...

ANGEL
The what?

BUFFY
Crazy stuff.

ANGEL
Oh. Crazy like a 241 year old being
jealous of a high school junior?

BUFFY
(charmed)
Are you fessing up?

ANGEL
I thought about it. Maybe he bothers
me a little.

Buffy turns, close to Angel.

BUFFY
I don't love Xander.

ANGEL
But he's in your life. He gets to be
there when I can't. Take your
classes, eat your meals, hear your
jokes and complaints. He gets to see
you in the sunlight.

BUFFY
I don't look all that great in direct
light...

He half-smiles at that, looks out into the sky a moment.

ANGEL
It'll be morning soon. I should
probably...
(motions: go)

BUFFY
...yeah. I've got things to...

She looks up at him for a beat. A little despair coursing through both of them.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I could walk you home...

He holds out his hand. She takes it. They walk off.

The camera holds them a while, until a headstone comes into the foreground and we focus on that, the camera finally settling. The headstone reads:

DARYL EPPS

1978 - 1996

REST IN PEACE

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW