Reptile Boy

(August 13, 1997)

Written & Directed by: David Greenwalt

Teaser

EXT. BUFFY’S HOUSE – NIGHT

After a beat we HEAR a STRANGE, HIGH PITCHED WAILING –

CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY’S HOUSE – NIGHT

CLOSE ON XANDER – Concerned

XANDER
Is she dying?

BUFFY AND WILLOW

Flank him on the couch. Slumped down in high teen boredom, sodas and junk food pilfered from Buffy’s kitchen scattered about, watching T.V. –

BUFFY
She’s singing.

ANGLE – THE T.V.

An EAST INDIAN soap opera on an obscure cable channel: an INDIAN WOMAN sings (in a foreign language) something very heartfelt into a telephone.

BUFFY, WILLOW & XANDER

XANDER
To a telephone, in Urdu… now that’s
entertainment. Why is she singing?

WILLOW
She’s sad because her lover gave her a
dozen gold coins but then the wizard
cut open the bag of salt and the dancing
minions had no place to put their big
Maypole…
(gestures)
…fish thing.

XANDER
Uh huh. And why is she singing?

BUFFY
Her lover? I thought he was her chiropractor.

WILLOW
Because of that thing he did with her
feet? No, that was personal.

They stare at the screen for a beat. The PIERCING SINGING continues under:

XANDER
And we thought just ‘cause we didn’t have
any money or anywhere to go this’d be a
lackluster evening.

WILLOW
Hey, I know – we could go to the Bronze,
sneak in our own tea bags and ask for…
hot water.

XANDER
Hop off that outlaw train, Will, before
you land us all in jail.

BUFFY
I for one am giddy and up. There’s a kind
of hush all over Sunnydale, no vampires
or demons to slay, I’m here with my
friends and—
(re: T.V.)
-- where does the water buffalo fit in again?

CUT TO:

EXT. ANOTHER HOUSE – BACK YARD – NIGHT

Shooting the back of the house, preferably a classic Colonial, preferably no neighboring homes in sight.

PUSHING IN on the quiet affluent house and then –

AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW IS SHATTERED

And a PRETTY GIRL (17, wearing a ceremonial-type dress) bursts through the glass, hits the ground and runs for her life.

A moment later, several dark figures in hooded robes emerge from other windows and doors like malevolent ghosts and give chase.

She vaults a fence, heading for the woods. She’s fast.

They’re faster.

EXT. WOODS – NIGHT

She tears through running for all she’s worth.

The hooded figures close the gap behind her.

She cuts right, sees a couple of the hoods gaining on that flank.

She cuts sharp to the left and sees a break in the trees, a not so distant road with cars – freedom.

She glances behind her – she’s ten yards ahead of her closest pursuer – three trees between her and the open space that leads to the road, then two, then one –

As she passes the last tree, a HOODED FIGURE coolly steps out and grabs her. She SCREAMS, he purrs:

HOODED FIGURE
Callie… Where are you going?

The girl, her eyes wild with fear, claws at him, pulling his hood off revealing the face of a handsome twenty year old sadist. He deflects her blows and grabs her wrists, puts his face close to hers.

FIGURE
The party ain’t even started yet.

And, not without charm, the Figure smiles at Callie. Then nods at the brethren. Several of them hustle Callie back towards the house.

CALLIE
No! No!

The Figure takes a deep breath of the bracing night air and walks out of frame.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. SCHOOL HALL – DAY – CORDELIA

laughs in a HIGHLY AMUSED if somewhat forced manner. She’s with a Cordette. KIDS are arriving for school.

CORDELIA
Ha ha ha ha ha.

Cordelia show s the Cordette a magazine (TEEN TIME). Pretty girl on the cover holding a fishing rod and big lure; headline: HOW TO LAND HIM AND KEEP HIM.

CORDELIA (cont’d)
Doctor Debbi says when a man is speaking
you make serious eye contact and really,
really listen. And you laugh at everything
he says… ha ha ha ha…

ANOTHER ANGLE – BUFFY AND WILLOW

Heading up the steps.

WILLOW
You dreamed about Angel again?

BUFFY
Third night in a row.

WILLOW
What did he do in the dream?

BUFFY
Stuff.

WILLOW
Ooh, stuff. Was it one of those vivid
dreams where you could feel his lips
and smell his hair?

BUFFY
(nods)
It had surround sound. I’m just thinking
about him so much lately.

WILLOW
Well you guys are so right for each
other, except for the, uh…

BUFFY
Vampire thing?

WILLOW
That doesn’t make him a bad person.
Necessarily.

BUFFY
I’m brainsick, I can’t have a relationship
with him.

WILLOW
Well maybe not in the day time… but you
could ask him for coffee some night.
(off Buffy’s look)
It’s the non-relationship drink of choice.
It’s not a date, it’s a caffeinated beverage –
okay it’s hot and bitter, like a relationship
that way but —

Xander slides into step with them.

XANDER
What’s like a relationship?

BUFFY
Nothing I have.
(mulling, to Willow)
Coffee.

XANDER
Huh?

As they pass Cordelia and the Cordette.

CORDELIA
There’s really no comparison between
college men and high school boys –
(re: Xander)
-- I mean look at that.

XANDER
Cor, you datin’ a college guy now?

CORDELIA
Not that it’s any of your business, but I
happen to be seeing a Delta Zeta Kappa.

XANDER
Oh, an extra-terrestrial, so that’s how you
get a date once you’ve exhausted all the
human guys.

CORDEDLIA
You’ll go to college some day, Xander.
I just know your pizza delivery career
will take you so many exciting places.
Ha ha ha ha.

Buffy, Xander and Willow move off as a bell RINGS O.S.

BUFFY
Oops, I told Giles I’d met him in the
Library ten minutes ago –
(moving off)
-- there hasn’t been much paranormal
activity lately, he won’t be upset.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY – DAY – GILES IS UPSET

Faces Buffy, circles her as:

GILES
Just because the paranormal has been more
normal and less… para lately, that is no excuse
for tardiness or letting your guard down.

BUFFY
I haven’t let my guard down.

GILES
Oh really? You yawned your way through
weapons training last week, you skipped
hand to hand entirely – I suppose you’re
prepared if some demon springs up behind
you and does this!?

Without warning, Giles swings at her from behind. Without turning, Buffy’s hand shoots backwards, grabs Giles’ wrist. Buffy pivots and whips Giles’ hand around behind his back, in a painful arm lock.

GILES (cont’d)
Yes, well, I’m no demon…
(beat)
…which is why you should let go now.

She does. He massages his wrist.

GILES (cont’d)
When you live atop a mystical convergence
it’s only a matter of time before a fresh hell
breaks loose. Now is the time to train more
strictly, hunt and patrol more keenly, hone
your skills day and night –

BUFFY
And the little scrap of my life that still belongs
to me – say from seven to seven oh five in the
morning – can I do what I want to then?

GILES
(beat)
Buffy, you think I don’t know what
it’s like to be sixteen?

BUFFY
No, I think you don’t know what it’s like
to be sixteen and a girl and a Slayer.

GILES
I may not know precisely –

BUFFY
Or what it’s like to exterminate vampires
while you’re having fuzzy feelings
towards one.

GILES
You’re still…? That is dicey.

BUFFY
Yeah, digging on the undead doesn’t
exactly bolster your social life.

GILES
Ahh, but you see that’s just where being
different comes in handy.

BUFFY
Can’t have a social life anyway, too busy
killing fiends from hell?

GILES
Yes! You have a duty, a purpose, you have
a life long commitment. How many people
your age do you think can say that?

BUFFY
We talkin’ foreign or domestic – how
‘bout none.

Giles sighs, he tried.

GILES
Well here’s a hard fact of life: we all
have to do things we don’t like. You
have hand to hand this afternoon and
patrol tonight. You’d best come right
here after sixth period and get your
homework done. Don’t dawdle with
your friends.

Buffy just stands there pouting.

GILES (cont’d)
And don’t think standing there pouting
is going to get to me. It doesn’t.

She pouts. He lies.

GILES (cont’d)
Not getting to me.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH – DAY

After school. Cars pulling up, KIDS taking off. Buffy dawdles on a wall near the street. Xander and Willow move up.

XANDER
Wow, what a long day.

WILLOW
You cut three periods.

XANDER
Yeah, and of course they flew by.
Buffy!

WILLOW
Aren’t you s’posed to be doing your
homework in the library –

BUFFY
I’m dawdling. With my friends.

Buffy tips forward on the wall like she’s going to fall – catches herself by draping her arms over Xander’s shoulders.

XANDER
Works for me.

ANOTHER ANGLE – FRONT OF THE SCHOOL – CORDELIA

Looking luscious, waits expectantly as a sleek, dark BMW (tinted windows, we can’t see who’s inside) pulls to the curb.

She moves to the car. The dark window rolls down revealing RICHARD (the twenty year old sadist from the teaser) in expensive slacks and sport coat. As are the other two DELTA ZETAS in back.

In the passenger seat is TOM, also 20, but dressed casually. Tom is rich, too, but he’s not a prick, he’s a low key, decent guy.

RICHARD
Cordelia.

CORDELIA
Hi Richard. Nice car.

As instructed by her teen magazine, Cordelia never takes her eyes off Richard.

We PUSH PAST Richard to Tom, totally engaged by:

TOM’S POV – BUFFY

Dawdling with Xander and Willow.

BUFFY
Dawdle, dawdle, dawdle… I’m a rebel
and I’ll never ever be any good…

TOM

Takes a breath. Something about Buffy…

RICHARD

RICHARD
So we’re having a little get together
at the house tomorrow night…

Richard sees the look on Tom’s face, follows it to Buffy, never skipping a beat with Cordelia

RICHARD (cont’d)
… it’s going to be a really special evening…

CORDELIA
(recovering)
Oh I’d love to –

RICHARD
Who’s your friend?

Cordelia turns, sees Buffy behind her on the wall clowning with Xander and Willow.

CORDELIA
Her? She’s not my friend.

TOM
She’s amazing.

CORDELIA
She’s more like a sister, really.
We’re that close.

RICHARD
Why don’t you introduce us?

BUFFY, XANDER AND WILLOW

XANDER
Okay so tonight, Channel fifty nine, Indian
T.V. – sex, lies and incomprehensible story
lines – I’ll bring the beetle nuts.

Cordelia walks up, grabs Buffy.

CORDELIA
Come on, Richard and his fraternity
brothers want to meet you.

BUFFY
I don’t really want to meet any fraternity –

CORDELIA
And if there was a God, don’tcha’
think He’d keep it that way?

Buffy is dragged away.

XANDER
Hey, I believe we were hanging here…

Cordelia drags Buffy to Richard who has now gotten out of his car. Confident, cool, he flashes his perfect smile at Buffy.

RICHARD
Hi, sweet thing. I’m Richard. And
you are?

BUFFY
So not interested.

CORDELIA
She’s such a little comedienne!

Cordelia hits Buffy who is about to turn away when Tom appears behind Richard.

RICHARD
What, is she playing hard to get?

TOM
No Richard, I think you’re playing easy
to resist.
(to Buffy)
Feel free to ignore him. I do all the time.

Buffy hesitates, this guy seems okay.

TOM (cont’d)
I’m Tom Janson. I’m a Senior at Crestwood
College and I feel like a complete dolt meeting
you this way – so here I stand in all my
doltishness…

XANDER AND WILLOW

XANDER
She’s gonna walk away… now.
(snaps fingers)
Okay boots, start walkin’…

BUFFY AND TOM

BUFFY
I’m Buffy Summers.

TOM
Nice to meet you. Are you a Senior?

BUFFY
Junior.

TOM
Me too, except I’m a Senior, and in
college.
(beat)
So, we have that in common.
(beat)
I major in History.

BUFFY
History stumps me. I have a hard enough
time remembering what happened last week.

TOM
Nothing happened last week, don’t worry,
I was there.

Buffy smiles, not smitten but charmed. Behind them, Richard, with other frat guys looking on, says something to Cordelia. We HEAR her “Ha ha ha ha”.

XANDER AND WILLOW

Xander shakes his head, disgusted.

XANDER
I hate these guys. Whatever they want
just falls into their laps. Don’t you
hate these guys?

WILLOW
Yeah, with their charmed lives and their
movie star good looks and more money
than you can count…
(off his look)
I’m hating.

BUFFY AND TOM

TOM
(re: Richard and Cordelia)
So my friend asked your friend to this
party we’re having tomorrow night…
(lowers voice)
… actually he’s not really my friend –
I only joined the fraternity ‘cause my
father and grampa were in it before me.
It meant a lot to them. I know, I talk
too much. Anyway, they’re really dull
parties full of really dull people so, uh,
how would you like to come and save
me from a really dull fate?

BUFFY
(beat)
I wish I could but… I’m sort of seeing
someone.

TOM
Oh. Sure, of course you are. Well,
thanks for letting me ramble…

BUFFY
People underestimate the value of a
good ramble.

Tom smiles.

GILES (O.S.)
Buffy!

Buffy turns, sees Giles near the front door of school, pointing to his watch.

BUFFY
I gotta… nice to meet you

TOM
Same here.

Buffy takes off. Tom watches her, intrigued.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY – NIGHT

Buffy practices her hand to hand with Giles (who wears much protective gear). There’s a certain not-so-sub-text here: they’re pissed at each other.

GILES
I’m going to attack you. Word of caution:
for your own good, I won’t be pulling any
punches.

BUFFY
Please don’t.

He comes at her with the short sword – she kicks it out of his hand. He immediately counters with a wooden rod – she chops it in half.

He charges her, she sidesteps, flips him over her shoulder and slams him down on the ground. Hard.

GILES
Good. So you’re on patrol and I’ll see
you in the morning.
(she offers him a hand up)
Thanks, no, I’ll just rest here for a while.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOODS – NIGHT

Dark, empty dangerous. We might recognize them as the woods from the teaser.

Buffy moves through the dark shadows, her hand instinctively checking the stakes in her belt.

ANGLE – A LARGE TREE

As Buffy moves past. Something moves in the dark – a FIGURE, watching Buffy.

THE FIGURE’S POV

Buffy moves through the trees. The Figure follows.

BUFFY

Stops, sees something glinting in the leaves at her feet. She kneels down.

INSERT – BUFFY’S HAND

Picks up a BROKEN SILVER PIECE of an I.D. bracelet. Three letters, E, N and T, can be seen, inscribed in the delicate bracelet.

BUFFY

Studies the bracelet, then:

ANGEL (O.S.)
There’s blood on it.

Startled, Buffy jumps to her feet, sees ANGEL.

BUFFY
Oh… hi. Nice to… blood?
(studies bracelet)

ANGEL
I can smell it.

BUFFY
(beat)
It’s pretty thin, probably belonged
to a girl.

Angel glances around the woods.

ANGEL
Probably.

Buffy laughs. He looks back.

BUFFY
I was just mulling, wouldn’t it be funny
to see each other some time when it
wasn’t a blood thing?

Nothing from Angel.

BUFFY (cont’d)
Not funny ha ha.

ANGEL
What are you saying, you want to have
a date?

BUFFY
No –

ANGEL
You don’t want to have a date.

BUFFY
Who said date? I never said date.

ANGEL
Right, you just want to have coffee or
something.

BUFFY
Coffee?

Buffy makes a “that’s ridiculous” sound.

ANGEL
I knew this would happen.

BUFFY
Really? And what do you think is happening?

ANGEL
You’re sixteen years old, I’m two
hundred and forty.

BUFFY
I’ve done the math.

ANGEL
You don’t know what you’re doing, you
don’t know what you want.

BUFFY
Oh I think I do: I want out of this
conversation.

She turns to walk away. He grabs her.

ANGEL
Listen. If we date you and I both know
one thing’s going to lead to another.
Then what?

BUFFY
Then… whatever, I don’t know, might be
nice to find out. But you want to end it
before it’s begun. Fine.

Angel just shakes his head.

ANGEL
It’s a Fairy Tale. Only when I kiss you
you don’t wake up from a deep sleep
and live happily ever after.

BUFFY
No. When you kiss me I want to die.

She holds his gaze – then she walks out of frame.

CUT TO:

INT. CLASSROOM – DAY

Buffy is gathering her stuff as students head out.

CORDELIA (O.S.)
Buffy!

Cordelia moves up.

CORDELIA
Did you lose weight? And your hair…
(Buffy ignores her)
All right, I respect you too much to be
dishonest, the hair’s…
(makes a face)
…well that’s not the point here, is it.
The Delta Zetas have to have a certain
balance at their party – Richard explained
it all to me but I was so busy REALLY
LISTENING to him that I didn’t hear much –
anyway, the deal is they need you to go.
And if you don’t go…
(her eyes moisten)
…I can’t! I’m talking about Richard Anderson,
okay? As in Anderson Farms, Anderson
Textiles…
(she can no longer hold back the tears)
… and Anderson Cosmetics! Do you have a
hankie?

Buffy shakes her head.

CORDELIA (cont’d)
Well you can see why I have to go. These
men are rich, Buffy, and I’m not being
shallow – think of the poor people I could
help with all my money.

BUFFY
I’ll go.

CORDELIA
I’m not going to beg you – please, oh
please – you’ll go? Great! We’ll just take
my car. Oh Buffy, we’re just like sisters…
with really different hair.

And Cordelia happily moves off. Off Buffy’s expression, pre-lap:

RICHARD (O.S.)
I pledge my life…

CUT TO:

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

PUSHING SLOWLY IN. Hearing RICHARD’S voice intoning:

RICHARD (O.S.)
… and my death…

INT. FRAT HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

SHOOTING HIGH ABOVE AN ALTER that’s built up around a dark circle, like a well – and apparently bottomless pit.

ANOTHER ANGLE – Richard and other frat minions, in robes (no Tom) are gathered before the alter which has eyes, fangs, diamond shape carvings – an abstract but frightening representation of some horrible thing they worship. Possibly a thing that lives in the bottomless pit.

The basement is cut into the bed rock – cave-like out-croppings of stone add an ancient touch to the décor.

A YOUNG MAN is naked from the waist up and Richard holds the sword to his chest, carving a large diamond shaped SCAR into his flesh. (Yes, we’ll be tasteful.)

YOUNG MAN
I pledge my life and my death…

RICHARD
To the Delta Zetas and to Machida
whom we serve.

YOUNG MAN
To the Delta Zetas and to Machida
whom we serve.

RICHARD
In blood I was baptized, in blood I
shall reign, in His Name!

YOUNG MAN
In blood I was baptized, in blood I
shall reign, in His Name!

Richard finishes carving the diamond shape.

RICHARD
You are now one of us.

YOUNG MAN
In His Name!

The others reply: “In His Name!”

RICHARD
Brewski time!

Someone opens a cooler – beers are flung about. Someone turns on a boom box. Suddenly it’s a bunch of college guys in robes guzzling beer and listening to loud music.

The various brethren congratulate the Young Man. Richard sees something O.S., moves to:

CALLIE

The girl from the teaser. Chained to the rock wall.

RICHARD
So what’s a girl like you doing in a
place like this?

CALLIE
Please, let me go.

RICHARD
Let you go. Okay, let me think –
uhhh, no.

She cries. He laughs.

RICHARD (cont’d)
Gawd I love high school girls.

Richard sips his beer, tapping his head to the music, digging his world.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH – MORNING – ESTABLISHING

WILLOW (O.S.)
You’re going to the Delta Zeta party?

INT. SCHOOL – HALL – DAY

Buffy, Xander, Willow walk ‘n talk. Buffy in the middle.

WILLOW
What made you change your mind?

BUFFY
Angel.

WILLOW
He’s going with you?
(to Xander)
She’s got a date with Angel. Isn’t that
exciting?

XANDER
I’m elated.

BUFFY
I’m not going with Angel. I’m going
with… ye gods, Cordelia.

WILLOW
(a little jealous)
Cordelia? Did I sound a little jealous
just then? Cause I’m not really… Cordelia?

XANDER
Cordelia’s much better for you than Angel.

WILLOW
What happened with Angel?

BUFFY
Nothing. As usual. A whole lot of
nothing with Angel.

XANDER
(hot diggity)
Bummer.

WILLOW
I don’t understand. He likes you.
More than likes.

BUFFY
The guy hardly ever says two words to me…

XANDER
Don’t you hate that.

BUFFY
… and he treats me like a child.

XANDER
That bastard!

BUFFY
At least Tom can carry on a conversation.

XANDER
Yeah, Tom – who’s Tom?

WILLOW
The frat guy.

XANDER
Oh, I don’t think so, Buffy, frying pan
and the fire, know what I’m saying?

They wheel into:

INT. LIBRARY – DAY

Giles, his back to the doors, short sword in hand, deals with an unseen opponent.

GILES
What if a vampire came up behind you
and did that!

Giles swings the sword to the left while ducking and jumping to the right.

TRACK WITH Buffy, Xander and Willow as they move into the room and see there is no opponent, Giles is refining the move he tried on Buffy yesterday.

GILES (cont’d)
Or this!

Giles twists, cuts high, then low –

GILES (cont’d)
Hah!

-- and then sees the three of them, quickly straightens up with as much dignity as he can muster.

GILES (cont’d)
Oh, didn’t see you three…
(under his breath)
…sneaking up like that.

He puts the sword down, turns to Buffy.

GILES (cont’d)
All went well last night?

Buffy nods, pulling out the piece of the bracelet she found.

BUFFY
I found this.

INSERT BRACELET – as she holds it out.

Willow looks at it as Giles takes it.

GILES
(read letters on it)
“E” “n”, “t”…

WILLOW
I’ve seen something like that somewhere…

BUFFY
It’s broken in two, I don’t know what the
other letters might have spelled… and
there’s blood on it.

GILES
I don’t see –

BUFFY
Angel showed up. Said he could smell it.

XANDER
The blood.
(Buffy nods)
There’s a guy you want to party with.

GILES
Blood…

WILLOW
Yeah, in Sunnydale, what a surprise.

XANDER
(re: Buffy)
She should probably make the rounds
again tonight while we try and figure out
who that bracelet belongs to.

GILES
(nods)
Good idea. She’ll patrol, we’ll reconvene
after school –

BUFFY
Hello, “she’s” standing right here. And
she’s not available tonight.

GILES
Why not?

XANDER
Buff, this is a little more important than –

BUFFY
(shut up, Xander)
--I’ve got a mountain of homework, my
mom’s sick and she needs me to take
care of her, and I’m starting to feel a
little woozy myself.

Buffy touches her forehead. Willow and Xander exchange a look.

GILES
Oh, if you’re not feeling…

BUFFY
I’ll make a quick pass early this evening,
and another one later on, but for the bulk
of the evening…

GILES
You need to be home with your mother.

Buffy nods.

CUT TO:

INT. HALL OUTSIDE LIBRARY – DAY

As Xander, Buffy and Willow exit. They walk in silence for a beat.

BUFFY
Well, say it.

XANDER
I’m not going to say it ‘cause –

WILLOW
You lied to Giles.

XANDER
(re: Willow)
-- she will.

BUFFY
I wasn’t lying. I was protecting him.
From information he wouldn’t be able
to… digest properly.

XANDER
Like a corn dog.

WILLOW
Like you don’t have a sick mother but
you’d rather go to a Fraternity party where
there’ll be drinking and older boys and
probably an orgy?

XANDER
Enh! Rewind, when did they start having orgies
and how come I’m not on the mailing list?

BUFFY
There’s no orgy.

WILLOW
I’ve heard some really wild things go on at
the Delta Zeta parties.

BUFFY
Look, six days a week I’m busy saving the
world. Once in a great while I want to have
some fun. And that’s what I’m going to have
tonight… fun.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE – DAY – CORDELIA

Lectures Buffy.

CORDELIA
This isn’t about fun tonight. It’s about duty:
your duty to help me achieve permanent
prosperity. Okay, do’s and don’ts. Don’t
wear black, silk, chiffon, or spandex – these
are my trademarks – don’t do that weird
thing to your hair.

BUFFY
What weird…?

CORDELIA
Don’t interrupt. Do be interested if someone
should speak to you – may or may not happen –
do be polite, do laugh at appropriate intervals –
ha ha ha ha – and do lie to your mother about
where we’re going: it’s a fraternity, there’ll be
drinking.

Willow and Xander, carrying food trays, pass by.

XANDER
So Cor, are you printing up business cards
with your pager number and hours of
operation or just going with the halter
top tonight?

CORDELIA
Ahh, are we a little envious? Don’t be, you
could join a fraternity of rich, powerful
men… in the Bizarro world.

BUFFY
You guys want to…
(gestures: join us?)

XANDER
Nah, I gotta digest and all.

Xander and Willow move off. Cordelia studies Buffy, tapping her fingers, thinking hard.

CORDELIA
Make-up, make-up… well, just give it your
all and keep to the shadows. We are going to
have a blast!

ANGLE – WILLOW AND XANDER

As they sit some distance away.

WILLOW
I can’t believe she lied to Giles. My world
is all askew.

XANDER
Buffy lying? Buffy going to frat parties?
That’s not askew, that’s cockeyed!

WILLOW
Askew means cockeyed.

XANDER
Oh.

WILLOW
Well, there’s nothing we can do about it.
We’ll help Giles –

XANDER
I’m going to the party.

WILLOW
What?

XANDER
I want to keep an eye on Buffy, those
frat guys creep me.

WILLOW
You want to protect her.
(he nods)
And you want to prove you’re as good
as those rich, snotty guys.
(he nods)
And maybe catch an orgy.

XANDER
If it’s on early.

CUT TO:

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

Lots of cars, young folks arriving, MUSIC blasting. Those little white lights strung in trees and along the roof line.

A CAR ROARS UP to CAMERA. We read the personalized license plate: QUEEN C.

Cordelia squeezes her car into a parking place (smashing the car behind and in front if we can afford). Cordelia and Buffy get out. Oh yeah, they look fantastic.

CORDELIA
Why do they park so darn close to you?
(to Buffy)
You up for this?

BUFFY
I don’t know… maybe it isn’t such a good
idea—

CORDELIA
Me too, let’s do it!

Cordelia charges ahead. Buffy reluctantly follows.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

This ain’t Animal House. This is a well furnished, wealthy home. But still being partied in by a gaggle of rich young snobs. The men wear coats and ties. The women are sexy but not cheap. WAITERS (actually pathetic guys, some in their underwear, some with fruit hats, all with a big sign PLEDGE hung around their necks) serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

CORDELIA AND BUFFY

In a far corner of the room. Standing alone, perhaps a little awkwardly.

CORDELIA
You know what’s so cool about college?
The diversity. You’ve got rich people
and you’ve got… all the other people. Richard!

Richard approaches, hands them each a drink.

RICHARD
Welcome, ladies.

CORDELIA
Thank you.

Richard toasts, drinks. Cordelia follows suit.

BUFFY
(re: drink)
Is there alcohol in this?

RICHARD
Just a smidge.

CORDELIA
C’mon Buffy, it’s just a smidge.

BUFFY
I’ll just…
(setting drink down)

RICHARD
I understand. When I was your age I
wasn’t into grown-up things, either.

Buffy gives him a look. He turns to Cordelia.

RICHARD (cont’d)
Have you seen our multi-media room?

CORDELIA
The one with the cherry walnut paneling
and the two forty-eight inch televisions on
satellite feed? No, why don’t you show me?

As they head off:

RICHARD
(re: Buffy)
What about -- ?

CORDELIA
She’s happiest by herself.

BUFFY

Watches them go. Looks around for a friendly face. Doesn’t find one.

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – FRONT PORCH – NIGHT

Xander is dressed in preppy gear, trying to look nonchalant. At the front door a big LINEBACKER checks names on a list as partiers enter. The linebacker turns his back, Xander coolly slides in.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

A huge TACKLE downs a HUGE GLASS STEIN O’ BEER. Xander moves past him. The Tackle’s huge hand comes down on Xander’s shoulder, stopping him in his tracks.

TACKLE
Who…
(burp)
the heck…
(burp)
…are you.

The Linebacker has joined the Tackle now, list in hand. Xander glances at list, trying to read it upside down.

XANDER
Stewart L. Huntington, Junior. The third.
My people have been Delta since… a
time that was in the past. Hunting –
(glances at list)
Hunsinger.

Linebacker nods at Tackle who reluctantly lets Xander go. The Tackle watches Xander’s departing back, suspicious.

BUFFY

Still standing off by herself, unaware of Xander’s entrance. Buffy looks at that drink. Picks it up. Puts it back. Clasps her hands awkwardly together. Looks around for a friendly face. Sees:

A COOL GUY across the way. He toasts her with his glass. Buffy picks her glass up, toasts back, not wanting to appear unsophisticated, takes a polite sip – it’s strong. Then she sees the BIG TACKLE, hammered, heading her way.

TACKLE
New girl. Dance. Ahhhyeeahh.

Buffy looks left and right for an avenue of escape as the Tackle lumbers in for a landing. Just as he’s upon her, Tom steps between them, takes Buffy’s hand –

TOM
Could I have this dance?

-- and pulls her to the dance floor. Perhaps we hear a crash of plates O.S.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

BUFFY AND TOM

Dance to a cool slow song.

BUFFY
(re: tackle)
Thanks for…

TOM
We’re not all a bunch of drunken louts.
Some of us are sober louts.
(Buffy smiles)
I’m really glad you decided to come.
(nothing from Buffy)
And you’re not.

BUFFY
No. It’s just… I shouldn’t be here.

TOM
Because you’re seeing someone.

BUFFY
No.

TOM
You’re not seeing someone.

BUFFY
Someone’s not seeing me.

TOM
So why shouldn’t you be here?

BUFFY
I have obligations, people I’m responsible
to… or for… or with, it’s complex.

TOM
You’re big on responsibility. I like that.
But there’s such a thing as too mature.
You should relax and enjoy yourself
once in a while. You think I’m too mature.

TOM
I talk too much. Have you picked up on that
yet? Anyway, the Hulk is gone so you
don’t have to dance with me any –

He starts to step back – she doesn’t let him go.

BUFFY
He might come back.

He smiles. And she puts her head on his shoulder. And they dance for a couple of beats.

ANGLE: XANDER CHATS WITH TWO CO-EDS

He swipes the air with a couple of crab claws.

XANDER
Godzilla is attacking downtown Tokyo!
Argh! Argh!

The co-eds laugh.

ANOTHER ANGLE – THE TACKLE AND RICHARD

Watch him.

TACKLE
You went to Cold Springs with Donny
Hunsinger. Is that his kid brother Stewy?

RICHARD
Stewy’s blond and six four. We got us
a crasher.

Richard smiles unpleasantly. Moves off towards Xander. The Tackle waves the Linebacker over and they follow.

XANDER AND CO-EDS

XANDER
So have either of you seen a pair of girls
Here? One is about so high –

Richard, the Tackle and the Linebacker suddenly surround him.

XANDER (cont’d)
Hey guys.

The Tackle grabs one shoulder, the Linebacker the other.

RICHARD
New Pledge!

TACKLE
New Pledge!

And they drag him away from the co-eds, other Delta Zetas gathering around, chanting “new pledge!”, blotting poor Xander out of sight.

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – BACK PATIO – NIGHT

Buffy wanders out to get some air. We see the party through the large windows or French doors behind her. She looks off into the woods beyond the back fence. Something CRUNCHES beneath her feet. She bends down.

INSERT – BUFFY’S HAND

Picks up some broken glass.

BACK TO SCENE

Buffy straightens up and looks up at the second story. We see the broken and partially patched window the girl burst out of in the teaser.

Buffy looks off to the woods where she found the bracelet: is there some connection here?

She turns back towards the house, startled to find:

TOM
You okay?

BUFFY
Yeah. I was just… thinking.

From inside we hear the party and the music crank up. Richard hurries out, tipsy, thrusts a drink in each of their hands. Clinks their glasses with his own.

RICHARD
To my Argentinean junk bonds which just
matured in double digits!

He holds up his glass and drinks merrily. Tom looks at Buffy, embarrassed by Richard.

TOM
To… maturity.

Tom clinks her glass.

BUFFY
(re: drink)
Ahhh, what the hell.

She downs the whole drink. Tom’s a little surprised.

BUFFY (cont’d)
I’m tired of being mature.

Tom smiles.

CUT TO:
CLOSE on the bracelet fragment, the letters “N”, “T”.

Willow is typing a list of possibilities on the computer. Giles stands behind her, helping.

WILLOW
Bent.

GILES
Sent.

WILLOW
Rent.

GILES
Lent.

WILLOW
Kent – Kent, that’s it!

GILES
Her boyfriend’s name is Kent.

WILLOW
(typing)
No. Kent Preparatory School. Just outside
town. That’s where I’ve seen those bracelets.

GILES
What are you doing?

WILLOW
Pulling up their school newsletter for the
last few months, to see if there’s anything about…

She stops speaking. Giles sees it on the computer.

GILES
A missing girl…

INSERT COMPUTER

KENT SCHOOL NEWS -- a picture of a pretty girl, the girl from the teaser. Headline: CALLIE, OUR HEARTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

CUT TO:

INT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

We see two lines of people facing one another. Dancing down the middle of the gauntlet (all hope of escape barred by the Tackle and the Linebacker) is:

XANDER

A hideous wig of long dark curls parked on his head; an (extremely) large bra strapped over his shirt; a painful party smile plastered on his face.

XANDER
Okay, big fun… who’s next?

He tries to walk away. The big Tackle shoves him back.

TACKLE
Dance, stranger.

Xander dances.

BUFFY

comes out of a bathroom looking a little wobbly. She touches her head.

BUFFY-CAM

Her pov of the party. Distorted, a macabre Mardi Gras.

BUFFY
(looking around)
Tom?

BUFFY WEAVES HER WAY

To the stairs, moves up.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – TOP OF THE STAIRS – NIGHT

Buffy clears the top, getting woozier by the step, and stumbles down a dark hall.

BUFFY-CAM

Worse than before. She’s losing it.

INT. FRAT BEDROOM – NIGHT

Buffy stumbles in. A big bed. Looks so inviting.

BUFFY
Okay. Just need to stop spinning for a…

Buffy collapses on the bed. Out cold. A figure appears silhouetted in the doorway. Moves to her. Rolls her over. It’s Richard. He admires her unconscious form for a beat then reaches for her blouse. Undoes the top button. Reaches for the next button when

A HAND

Grabs his hand. Spins him around. It’s Tom.

TOM
Get away from her.

And Tom hits Richard, hard. Richard is flung back against the wall.

RICHARD
I wasn’t doing anything.

TOM
I saw what you were doing.

RICHARD
I just wanted to have a little fun.

TOM
She’s not here for your fun you pervert!

PUSH IN on Tom.

TOM (cont’d)
She’s here for the pleasure of the one
we serve.

RICHARD
(obediently)
In His Name.

TOM
And that goes for the other one, too.

We now see Cordelia, passed out in a dark corner of the floor. Off Tom’s eyes, the eyes of the zealot and true believer.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. LIBRARY – NIGHT

Willow types at the computer. Giles reads a print-out of the Kent School News.

GILES
Callie Megan Anderson… missing for
over a week. No one’s seen her, no one
knows what happened to her…

WILLOW
This being Sunnydale and all, I guess we
can rule out something good.

GILES
(nods, grabs phone)
I’m calling Buffy.

WILLOW
No!

GILES
Why not?

WILLOW
Because Buffy… and her mother…

GILES
Are sick. You’re right, we shouldn’t
disturb them until we know more.

WILLOW
(re: computer, alarmed)
You mean like if there are others…?

Giles follows Willow’s gaze to her computer.

WILLOW
(cont’d)
Brittany Oswald, Junior at St. Michael’s,
disappeared a year ago… so did Kelly
Percell, sophomore at Grant…

GILES
A year ago…

WILLOW
Almost to the day.

GILES
(piecing it together)
An anniversary… or some other event
that has significance for the killer.

WILLOW
Killer? Now there’s a killer? We don’t
know there’s a…

GILES
No. But this being Sunnydale and all…

WILLOW
Gulp.

GILES
We need to know where Buffy found that
bracelet – and begin a search from there.

WILLOW
Angel.

Giles reaches for the phone.

WILLOW (cont’d)
(as Giles dials)
He was there when Buffy found it – we’re
gonna need all the help we can get.

CUT TO:

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – FRONT PORCH – NIGHT

We see the last few partiers stumble out, then Xander, still in wig and bra, is hurled out by the Tackle and Linebacker.

They shut the door, Xander stops it with his hand.

XANDER
A friend of mine was here –

TACKLE
Party’s over, jerkwater. You know, in that
light, with the wig and all, you’re still
butt ugly.

The Tackle slams the door in his face. Xander stands there steaming, HEARING their laughter from inside. He rips off wig and big bra, storms off the porch.

Xander, brushing himself off, in a foul mood, heads up the sidewalk away from frat house.

XANDER
One day I will have money and power.
And on that day…
(glances back at frat house)
…they’ll still have more.

He stops, something catches his eye. A car. With the license plate: QUEEN C.

Xander looks back towards the house, concerned.

CUT TO:

INT. FRAT HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

Tom, stripped to the waist, kneels before the alter which surrounds the dark pit.

Several ROBED BRETHREN keep a respectful distance from Tom whose arms and chest sport a dozen or more of the sword-carved diamond shapes. Tom is pretty much the high priest around here.

He finishes whatever silent prayer he was offering, picks up the long sword, holds it over the pit as a form of blessing, then hands it to a brethren.

The brethren begins carving yet another diamond on Tom as we (discreetly) PAN AWAY to:

CORDELIA – COMING TO

Chained to a rock wall. Now dressed in the same ceremonial garb as the girl in the teaser. Her hair is mussed and as she takes in her surroundings, her eyes fill with fear. She looks to

BUFFY

Chained next to her. Also in ceremonial dress. Buffy is already awake and alert, gazing around the basement, taking everything in. From this angle she can only see Tom from the back (i.e. she doesn’t know it’s Tom.)

CORDELIA
Buffy… where are we?

BUFFY
In the basement, far as I can tell.

CORDELIA
What’s happening? What did they…?

BUFFY
They drugged us.

CORDELIA
Why? What are they gonna do?

BUFFY
I don’t know…

CORDELIA
(really scared)
I want to go home.

CALLIE (O.S.)
No one’s going home.

They turn and see Callie as she leans out of the shadows: a once pretty girl who’s been chained in a basement for a week.

CALLIE
Ever.

Callie stares at them with the look of the condemned.

CALLIE (cont’d)
One of them’s different from the
others, nicer…

BUFFY
Tom.

And Tom turns around on the alter. His eyes meet Buffy’s.

CALLIE
He’s the one to watch out for.

Callie leans back into the shadows. Tom gazes at Buffy for a long, creepy beat.

TOM
She’s last.

CORDELIA
Last for what? Who’s first?

Tom turns back to his priestly duties. He picks up three round stones, holds them over the pit in a ritual blessing.

BUFFY
Three stones… three of us.

CORDELIA
Buffy

BUFFY
Stay calm. We’ll get out of this.

CORDELIA
Why’d I ever let you talk me into
coming here!

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY – NIGHT – ANGEL

Moves INTO FRAME, the glass window of Giles’ office behind him.

ANGEL
She found the bracelet in Miner’s Woods.

REVERSE – WILLOW AND GILES

Willow leans forward, staring hard at something behind Angel.

GILES
Miner’s Woods, which is…?
(to Willow)
-- what are you doing?

WILLOW
Oh. Sorry. The reflection thing, that you
don’t have. Angel, how do you shave?
-- Miner’s Woods. That’s out by the college,
right behind…
(realizing)
… the Delta Zeta house.

GILES
A fraternity?

Willow nods, unable to speak.

ANGEL
Could they be taking these girls?

Willow nods again, petrified.

ANGEL (cont’d)
Let’s get out there.

Willow finally blurts out:

WILLOW
Buffy -- !

GILES
We don’t know this is concrete, let’s
not disturb her until –

WILLOW
-- is there. With Cordelia. They went to a
party at the Delta Zeta house!

GILES
She… lied to me?

WILLOW
Well

ANGEL
Did she… have a date?

WILLOW
Well

Losing it, she turns on them both in a sudden Willow-fury.

WILLOW (cont’d)
(to Angel)
Why do you think she went to that party?
Because you gave her the brush off…
(to Giles)
…and you never let her do anything except
work and patrol and – I know she’s the
Chosen One but you’re killing her with the
pressure, she’s sixteen going on forty –
(to Angel)
-- and you, I mean you’re gonna live forever,
you don’t have time for a cup of coffee?

Willow takes a breath, no less surprised by her outburst than they are.

WILLOW (cont’d)
Okay. I don’t feel better now and we
gotta help Buffy.

Willow runs for the door. They follow.

CUT TO:

INT. FRAT HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

Buffy, Cordelia and Callie watch as the brethren (including Richard) gather around the alter.

TOM
Machida…

The others murmur “Machida” (pronounced Ma-Kee-Da).

TOM (cont’d)
We who serve you, we who receive all that
you bestow, call upon you in this holy hour.

Again the others murmur “Machida”.

TOM (cont’d)
We have no wealth, no possession, except
that which you give us. We have no power,
no place in the world, except that which
you give us.

OTHERS
Except that which you give us.

BUFFY AND CORDELIA

CORDELIA
What are they, some kind of cult?

BUFFY
A psycho-cult.

CORDELIA
You gotta do something.

Buffy tests her chains (secured to metal eyes sunk in the wall). They hold her fast.

TOM AND THE BRETHREN

TOM
It has been a year since our last offerings…
a year in which our bounty overflowed…
We come before you with fresh offerings…
we hope you find them worthy.

BUFFY AND CORDELIA

CORDELIA
Offerings… he’s talking about us?

Callie peers out of the shadows.

CALLIE
You see anyone else chained up in here?

TOM AND THE BRETHREN

TOM
Accept our offering, dark lord, bless us
with your power, Machida!!

OTHERS
Machida!

Tom drops the stones into the pit. A long silent beat, followed by the sound of the stones PLOPPING into water far, far below.

BUFFY AND CORDELIA

CORDELIA
What… what’s down there?

TOM AND BRETHREN

TOM
Come forth, let your terrible countenance
look upon your servants and their humble
offerings! We call you, Machida!

OTHERS
In his name! Machida!

A substantial RUMBLING is heard far below, gathering power and speed. It fills the chamber, growing ever nearer.

BUFFY AND CORDELIA

Cordelia is terrified.

CORDELIA
There’s something down there.
(Buffy nods)
And they’re gonna throw us down there
with it!

BUFFY
I don’t think so.

CORDELIA
(grasping at straws)
No? Well that’s good, that’s…

BUFFY
I don’t think we go to it, I think
it comes to us

AT THE ALTER

The rumbling grows louder and more fierce. The brethren are all glass-eyed, murmuring “Machida” feverishly. And suddenly, with a great explosion, the HORRIBLE THING bursts out of the big black pit.

MACHIDA is half man, half snake. He has a muscular body (from the waist up) and the enlarged and frightening head of a man with the fangs and horrible eyes of a snake. His skin has the diamond pattern of a snake – thus the diamond carvings on his “people”. From the waist down he is all snake – and a big ‘un, too, his snake body trails behind him into the depths of the pit: God knows how long this guy is.

Machida towards over the brethren and stretches his glistening body so he can look down on Buffy, Cordelia and Callie.

Off Buffy, looking up at the hideous Delta Zeta deity, and Cordelia screaming for all she’s worth.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. FRAT HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

As before. Machida hovers over the girls.

TOM
For he shall rise from the depths and we
shall tremble before him. He who is the
source of all we inherit and all we
possess. MACHIDA!

OTHERS
Machida!

TOM
And if he is pleased with our offerings,
then our fortunes shall increase.

OTHERS
Machida, let our fortunes increase.

TOM
And on the tenth day of the tenth month he
shall be en-hungered and we shall feed him.

Richard and a brethren start to unlock Cordelia’s chains.

CORDELIA
Feed him. FEED HIM?!

Buffy pulls like hell at her own chains. They hold fast. Richard and brethren drag Cordelia, whimpering now, before Machida. Cordelia looks like she’s about to lose her mind. Buffy struggles with her chains.

Machida rises up, ready to dive for Cordelia.

BUFFY
Hey, Reptile Boy!

Machida turns his gaze to Buffy.

TOM
No woman speaks to him!

BUFFY
You don’t want her. She’s all skin and
bones. Half hour later you’ll be hungry
again. Why don’t you try me –

And Tom backhands her viciously, nearly knocking her out. Brandishes his sword.

TOM
Speak again and I’ll cut your throat.

CUT TO:

EXT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

Angel, Willow and Giles exit the Giles-mobile and head for the darkened frat house.

WILLOW
Looks like everyone’s gone.

As they approach, a robed figure steps out of the shadows behind them. Angel senses the intruder, slows his pace and suddenly leaps on him.

ANGEL
Hey!
XANDER
Hey!

It’s Xander, in one of the D.Z robes. He pulls the hood back. There’s a tear in the front of the robe.

XANDER
What are you doing here?

WILLOW
There’s a bunch of girls missing, the
Delta Zetas may be involved and
Buffy – are you wearing make-up?

XANDER
(rubs at his face)
No. I think Buffy’s still inside
somewhere with Cordelia.
(points to car)
That’s her car.

GILES
Why are you wearing that…?

XANDER
I found it in their trash.
(re: house)
I saw them through the windows, wearing
robes, going down to the basement. I was
going to use it to sneak in.

GILES
They may be involved in some kind of ritual.

WILLOW
With the missing girls.

ANGEL
With Buffy.

Angel looks to the house, his anger mounting, and MORPHS into a vampire with a fierce growl. Willow and the others take a step back.

XANDER
Okay, that is the guy you want to party with.

CUT TO:

INT. FRAT HOUSE – NIGHT

The Tackle and the Linebacker keep a watch in the darkened rooms. They hear someone KNOCKING, move to one of the doors in back, see a dark figure in a robe outside.

XANDER
(in robe)
Got locked out dumping the trash. Let
me in, I don’t want to miss the “you
know what…”

The Tackle peers hard at the robed figure, unlatches the door. The minute he does, Xander kicks open the door and hits him as hard as he can in the face.

The Tackle staggers back. Angel, Giles, Willow rush in.

XANDER (cont’d)
(to Tackle)
Where are they?!

The Tackle charges Xander who sidesteps him and helps run his head into a banister. The Linebacker charges Angel – sees Angel’s face – screams!

INT. FRAT BASEMENT – SAME TIME

Tom Stands behind Cordelia, beneath Machida.

TOM
Receive our offering!

They hear fighting and bodies crashing to the floor above.

Go!

Richard charges upstairs with several of the brethren.

Machida rises to his full height.

Cordelia cowers beneath him.

Machida dives.

DIVING POV – WE SWOOP DOWN TOWARDS CORDELIA

Who screams bloody murder.

Buffy uses all her strength and rips her chain and eye hooks right out of the wall.

Buffy whips the chain and hits Machida with it. He rears back, screaming.

Cordelia scampers back to relative safety as –

Buffy whips her chain into two attacking brethren, knocking them down.

Tom picks up the sword and charges Buffy who ducks and backs away as he attacks, nearly taking her head off.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – UPSTAIRS – NIGHT

Angel throws a guy across the room. Xander is on the Tackle, piggy back, hitting him on the head from behind.

XANDER
That’s for the wig, and that’s for the bra…

Willow and Giles weave their way through the carnage to the basement door. Willow manages to get the door open as Giles is blind sided by a brethren. Giles holds him off and decks him.

Willow runs down a couple of steps into the basement, runs back up, yells to the gang:

WILLOW
Some guy’s attacking Buffy with a sword!
(beat, realizes: )
Also, there’s a really big snake.

XANDER
… that’s for the make-up and that’s for
the last sixteen and a half years!

Xander gives him one last good wallop and leaps off. The tackle falls forward, out of frame, we HEAR him crash through the French doors. Xander stands there, pretty darn satisfied with himself for half a beat until Richard hits him like a train from the side.

Angel drops Richard like a stone.

WILLOW
Guys, Buffy, snake, basement, now!

They all charge toward the basement door.

INT. FRAT HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

Buffy scrambles away from Tom and his attacking sword.

TOM
You… bitch. I’ll serve you to him in pieces!

He swings hard. Buffy ducks and counters with the chain, wraps it around the sword, rips it out of Tom’s hands.

BUFFY
Tom…

And Buffy hits him with a right, then a left, then she spin-kicks him in the side of the head – he flies back, trips on the alter, falls on his ass. Down and out.

BUFFY (cont’d)
You talk too much.

Angel, Xander, Willow and Giles tear downstairs as Machida gatheres Cordelia in his arms.

CORDELIA
Hellllppppp!!!

Buffy suddenly looms up with the sword.

BUFFY
Back off, wormy!

Machida ROARS at her. Buffy raises the sword and brings it down hard and fast on the middle of Machida’s snake body, cutting him in half.

XANDER, GILES, WILLOW

And Angel react.

CORDELIA

Falls to the floor, safe.

THE PIT

As what’s left of the severed snake jiggles and lies still a couple of feet from the upper torso.

BUFFY

Helps Cordelia up. Willow and Xander un-chain a very freaked out Callie.

CORDELIA
You did it, you saved us.

Cordelia walks right past Buffy and hurls herself into Angel’s arms.

CORDELIA (cont’d)
I’ve never been so happy to see anyone
in my whole…
(fights the tears)
You guys, I just really… hate you guys, the
weirdest things always happen around you!

Tom comes to near the alter. And, unbeknownst to any of our heroes, the snake body begins slowly moving. Until it joins up with the torso. A squooshy sound of flesh and protoplasm meeting and the two halves re-join!

CORDELIA (cont’d)
(to Tom)
You’re going to jail for about fifteen
thousand years. Oh god, it’s over…
it’s really…

That’s when Machida, re-joined, suddenly pops up again.

Angel takes a threatening step forward next to Buffy and growls.

Machida towers over Tom:

MACHIDA
For a hundred years I have given your forebearers
wealth and power. And this is how you repay me.
From this day forth you are alone in the world.

Machida slides back down. Cordelia is afraid to breathe. With good reason. Machida pops back up, grabs Tom.

MACHIDA (cont’d)
Lil’ somethin’ for the road.

Machida disappears into the pit with Tom. We hear Tom’s screams, a quick couple of chomps and then silence.

Willow and Xander help Callie toward the stairs.

Buffy moves to Giles.

BUFFY
I told one lie, I had one drink…

GILES
And you nearly got devoured by a giant
demon-snake. I think the words “let that be
a lesson” are a tad redundant at this juncture.

BUFFY
Sorry, Giles.

GILES
I am, too. I drive you too hard, because I
know what you have to face… from now
on no more pushing, no more prodding…

Buffy smiles.

GILES (cont’d)
Just… an extraordinary amount of nudging.

Off them,

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BRONZE – NIGHT

A high school freshman, a real young looking one, moves up to Cordelia, hands her a coffee and a muffin. He looks up at her (being so much shorter and all) adoringly.

CORDELIA
Thank you, Leslie. Did we forget the
extra foam?

Leslie grabs the coffee and hurries out of frame. Cordelia turns to

BUFFY, WILLOW, XANDER

Sitting at a nearby table. Xander studies a newspaper.

CORDELIA
Young men. The only way to go.

CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER – We see a picture of the Delta Zeta house and the headline: FRATERNITY ARRESTED.

XANDER
Says here they’ll all get consecutive life
sentences: investigators found bones of the
missing girls in a huge cavern beneath the
D.Z house… and other bones dating back
fifty years…

WILLOW
They didn’t find the snake? (Xander shakes his head)
Which means we probably will some
day. Oh goody.

XANDER
(reads)
“A surprising number of corporations whose
Chairmen and Founders are former Delta
Zetas are suffering falling profits, I.R.S raids
and suicides in the board room…“
(to Buffy and Willow)
Starve a snake, lose a fortune. Boy, the rich
really are different.

WILLOW
(to Buffy)
Have you heard from Angel?

She shakes her head.

WILLOW (cont’d)
When he got so mad about you being in
danger and changed into…
(makes a face)
…grrrr… it was the most amazing thing
I ever saw. I mean how many guys can –

XANDER
Angel, Angel, Angel. Does every
conversation always have to come
around to that freak?

Xander notices Angel standing right next to him. Doesn’t skip a beat.

XANDER (cont’d)
Hey man, how ya’ doin’?

ANGEL
Buffy.

Beat.

BUFFY
Angel.

Beat.

XANDER
Xander

ANGEL
I hear this place serves coffee. Thought
maybe you and I should get some…
(nothing from Buffy)
…sometime.
(nothing from Buffy)
If you want.

Buffy considers him for a long moment, then:

BUFFY
Yeah.

Angel brightens.

BUFFY (cont’d)
Sometime. I’ll let you know.

And she gets up and goes. Xander, Willow, Angel stare at her departing back. Xander kind of respects what she just did. So does Angel.

ANGLE – BUFFY – WALKING AWAY

Tracking backwards with her. Letting her grow into a tight close-up. So we can see how pleased she is. Then she walks out of frame and we –

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT FOUR