Band Candy

(September 16, 1998)

Written by: Jane Espenson

Teaser

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

BUFFY kneels, elbows resting on a platform-style headstone, chin propped on her hands. GILES PACES and reads from a large book. It appears he is making with the vampire lore.

GILES
". . . and on that tragic day, an era
came to its inevitable end." That's
all there is. Are you ready?

BUFFY
Hit me.

GILES
Which of the following best expresses
the theme of the passage? A:
"violence breeds violence." B: "all
things must end."

Buffy picks up a standardized test answer sheet from the headstone. Some filled-in bubbles. Some smudgy erasures.

GILES
C --

BUFFY
I'm putting "B". There hasn't been
a "B" in forever.

GILES
This is the S.A.T.s, Buffy, not
"connect-the-dots". Please pay
attention. A low score could
seriously harm your chances of
getting into college.

BUFFY
Oh, that takes the pressure right off.

GILES
This isn't supposed to be easy, you
know. It's a rite of passage.

BUFFY
Is it too late to join a tribe where
they just pierce something, or cut
something off?

GILES
Buffy, please. Concentrate.

Buffy suddenly jumps up, and RUNS at Giles. He stares at her, confused.

BUFFY
Roll!

Giles DROPS, ROLLS. Buffy GOES HIGH, sailing through the air where Giles had just been -- and where a VAMPIRE now menaces. She catches it with a KICK, and it staggers back. Buffy dives after it, and using her pencil, SHE STAKES. The vampire turns to DUST.

ANGLE: GILES

He picks up his book, adjusts his glasses.

BUFFY
Broke my number two pencil. Sorry.
We'll have to do this again some--

Giles hands her a new pencil.

GILES
C: "all systems tend toward chaos".

Buffy trudges to pick up her answer sheet off the ground.

BUFFY
I just know us and the undead are the
only people in Sunnydale working at this hour.

EXT. CITY HALL - NIGHT - TO ESTABLISH

Imposing, dark. One set of office lights glow in the night.

THE MAYOR (V.O.)
I appreciate your coming. I realize
it is early . . .

INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The mayor is with Mr. Trick.

THE MAYOR
. . . for you . . . but I think you'll
agree this matter is urgent. Also delicate.

MR. TRICK
Well, I'm a very delicate person.

THE MAYOR
So you feel you can handle this?

MR. TRICK
It's a little out of my element, but
I can get you what you need. I know
a beast who knows a guy.

THE MAYOR
Are you sure subcontracting is the
way to go here?

MR. TRICK
I believe this guy's worked in your town
before. If he lives up to his rep,
the place'll be in flames.

THE MAYOR
I've made certain deals to get where
I am today. This demon requires his
tribute. You see, that's what
separates me from other politicians, Mr. Trick . . .

He opens his cabinet to reveal a hideous shrine of evil: blood markings, goats heads, talisman, you name it.

THE MAYOR
. . . I keep my campaign promises.

He picks up a jug made of a shrunken head, sniffs it. It's not what he wants.

THE MAYOR
Now, where did I put the scotch?

BLACK OUT.

Act One

EXT. SCHOOL QUAD - THE NEXT DAY

Buffy, Willow and Oz walk in the quad.

BUFFY
And then I was getting chased by an
improperly filled-in answer bubble
yelling "none of the above"!

WILLOW
Wow. I hope that wasn't one of your
prophecy dreams.
(then)
Probably not.

OZ
You know, Willow and I both took it
last year. We could help you get
ready. There's this whole trick to
antonyms but . . .
(looking around, whispering)
this isn't the place.

WILLOW
Oz is the highest scoring person ever
to fail to graduate.

BUFFY
(to Oz)
Isn't she cute when she's proud?

OZ
She's always cute.

XANDER and CORDELIA join them.

WILLOW
We could work on it tonight.

XANDER
Work on what tonight?

CORDELIA
Oh god, are we killing something again?

BUFFY
Only my carefree spirit.

OZ
Buffy S.A.T.-prep.

WILLOW
Oz is helping. He's the highest
scoring person--

CORDELIA
We know. We did the impressed thing already.

XANDER
I hate they make us take that thing.
It's totally fascist, and personally,
I think it discriminates against the uninformed.

CORDELIA
Actually, I'm looking forward to it.
I do well on standardized tests.
(off their looks)
What? I can't have layers?

INT. HALLWAY/CAFETERIA - CONTINUOUS - DAY

They enter near the caf, head there.

WILLOW
So Buffy, study, tonight?

BUFFY
Um . . . yes on the study, no on
tonight. Putting in Mom-time. She's
been like, drastic ever since I got
back. And Giles is even worse.
Between the two of them I'm
supervised twenty-four seven. It's
like living in the Real World house, only real.

They reach the door and run into PRINCIPAL SNYDER, who is handing out cardboard boxes. Startled, they each take one. Willow looks inside.

WILLOW
(pleased)
Chocolate bars. Lots of 'em!

XANDER
Principal Snyder, thank you! You
weren't visited by the ghost of
Christmas past by any chance?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
It's band candy.

BUFFY
Let's hear it for the band, huh?
Very generous.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
You will sell it. To raise money for
the marching band. They need new uniforms.

XANDER
Those tall fuzzy hats ain't cheap, huh?

OZ
But they go with everything.

BUFFY
Um, as much as I'm sure we all love
the idea of going all Willy Loman . . .
we're not in the band.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
And if I had just handed you a
trombone, that would be a problem,
Summers. It's candy. Sell it.

Snyder stalkes off. They are left looking at their boxes of chocolate merchandise.

INT. BUFFY'S KITCHEN - AFTER SCHOOL (DAY)

JOYCE and Buffy eat take-out chinese food.

JOYCE
You're not in the band.

BUFFY
And yet.

JOYCE
Buffy, what would I do with forty
chocolate bars?

BUFFY
You could give them out at the
gallery. Buy something Pre-
Columbian, get a free cavity.

JOYCE
Twenty.

BUFFY
You're a good mom.

JOYCE
I'm the best.

BUFFY
(playful)
Oh, I'm pretty sure the best moms let
their daughters drive.

JOYCE
And yet.

BUFFY
Come on --

JOYCE
Oh, let's not have this conversation.

BUFFY
I took the class. And I watched all
the filmstrips with the blood and the
death and the corpses -- I'm prepped!

JOYCE
Honey, you failed the written test.
They wouldn't even let you take the road test.

BUFFY
That was a year ago. And I don't
test well. She said, two days before
the S.A.T.s.

JOYCE
I spend enough time not knowing where
you are. I don't want to add the
possibility that you're on the
highway to Chicago.

BUFFY
I can't believe you. I'm not going
to take off again. And if I was, I
could just get on a bus--

JOYCE
Stop. Don't. I just . . . don't want
you driving, okay? I want you here.

BUFFY
Okay, I'm here. See me being here.

Buffy eats her last bite of pizza.

BUFFY
Gotta go.

Buffy gets up.

JOYCE
What? You're going out?

BUFFY
Giles. Slay-study double feature.
Could be late.

JOYCE
Again? Honey, don't you think Mr.
Giles is monopolizing an awful lot of
your time?

BUFFY
And does he ever say he's sorry?

INT. LIBRARY - LATER (NIGHT)

Giles is tying a blindfold over Buffy's eyes. He accidentally pulls her hair.

BUFFY
Ow!

GILES
Sorry.

BUFFY
Why do I put up with this?

GILES
Because it is your destiny and
because I just bought twenty
"cocorific" candy bars.

Giles puts a ball into Buffy's hands. It's the inflated rubber kind used to play dodge ball.

BUFFY
Okay, now you're just doing this to
take funny pictures of me.

GILES
I'm testing your awareness of an
opponent's location during a fight in
total darkness. You're to wait five
seconds, then throw me the ball.

As Buffy talks, Giles circles around behind her. Buffy continues to talk to where he was.

BUFFY
You ran out of training ideas about
a week ago, didn't you? Okay. Five,
four, three-two-one.

She TURNS AWAY FROM GILES, and throws the ball -- it clearly will miss Giles by a mile.

GILES
Not so simple, is--

As Giles speaks, the ball RICOCHETS off a wall and HITS GILES IN THE HEAD.

GILES
Ow. Ah. Well done.

Buffy takes off the blindfold.

BUFFY
Thanks.

Buffy heads for the door.

GILES
Wait, you're not going? We have to patrol.

BUFFY
Can't. I told you, Mom's in
hyperdrive. She wants me home tonight.

GILES
Oh. But--

Buffy picks up her box of candy and hands it to Giles.

BUFFY
I know. She's out of control. Enjoy the candy!

And she's out. Resigned, Giles takes a candy bar out of the box and starts to unwrap it.

INT. MANSION - NIGHT

Buffy, holding a grocery bag, lets herself in. She looks around. No Angel. She heads toward the courtyard.

EXT. MANSION GARDEN - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Buffy enters to find Angel shirtless, glistening with perspiration, and doing Tai Chi. She starts to speak, but then just watches. Finally, he turns, gracefully, part of the routine, and sees her.

ANGEL
Buffy.

BUFFY
I didn't know you could do that.

He walks toward her.

ANGEL
I'm doing better . . .

He stumbles.

BUFFY
Angel!

She grabs him and steadies him. She puts her arms around him and helps him back into the mansion.

INT. MANSION - NIGHT

Still with an arm around him, she helps Angel to a chair. Suddenly, they are both aware of the contact. He moves away from her. Angel looks at everything in the room except her.

ANGEL
It's late. How did you get away?

BUFFY
Easy. Started a fire in the prison
laundry, rode out in the garbage truck.

ANGEL
Oh.

BUFFY
Joking. No garbage. Smell me.

Now he's too close. He looks at her a moment, then:

ANGEL
How is . . . Scott?

BUFFY
Oh, Scott, Boyfriend Scott, actually
he's not -- He's fine.

Buffy hands him the grocery bag.

BUFFY
I brought more . . . for you. From the butcher's.

He takes the bag, removes a take-out soup container. Through the lid, the liquid inside is visibly red.

ANGEL
Thank you.

He sets it aside awkwardly. Finally, he looks at her, really meeting her eyes.

ANGEL
You're being careful, right?

BUFFY
With Scott?

ANGEL
The slaying.

BUFFY
Oh, of course. Yeah, sure I am. I'm
full of carefulness.

ANGEL
I worry about you.

BUFFY
Likewise.

ANGEL
I'm getting stronger.

BUFFY
Yeah. Soon you won't need me.

ANGEL
That'll be better.

BUFFY
(no it won't)
Yeah.

INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - FOYER - LATER - NIGHT

Buffy comes in through the front door to find Joyce standing in the foyer. Joyce is unwrapping a band candy bar.

BUFFY
Hi. Sorry I'm late, but you know
Giles. All slay, all the time.

GILES
Hello, Buffy.

BUFFY
Hi. Um . . . you guys want to watch TV?
I hear Nightline's very insightful.

JOYCE
You lied to us, Buffy. And you made
us into your alibis. That's playing
us against each other and that's not fair.

GILES
I called Willow. You lied to her
about your whereabouts also. We were
all concerned.

Joyce holds out her candy bar toward Giles, offering. He breaks off a piece.

GILES
(to Joyce)
Thank you.

They both nibble throughout the following.

BUFFY
I'm sorry. It's just, I had to go--

Buffy walks into the --

INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

No escape, they both follow her.

JOYCE
Were you at the Bronze? What was
happening there that was so important?

BUFFY
Oh. Um . . . Bronze things. Things of Bronze.

JOYCE
You're acting really immature, Buffy.

GILES
I know I'm not your parent, but I do
have to look after you. Your mom's right.

BUFFY
Okay, so I'm acting like a child.
Maybe that's 'cause you're both
treating me like a child.

JOYCE
Buffy!

BUFFY
No. Listen. You're both scheduling
me twenty-four hours a day, and
between the two of you, that's . . .
forty-eight hours, and I just want to
make some decisions on my own.

JOYCE
The last time you made a decision on
your own you split.

BUFFY
And I took care of myself just fine.
I don't need quite this much "active
parenting", thank you very much.

JOYCE
You can't really be trying to use
this summer as a reason you should be trusted!

BUFFY
Mom, you gotta back off some! I
don't need to be baby-sat.

GILES
All right, come on. Let's not freak out.

BUFFY
Let's not what?

GILES
I think you should go to bed. We're all tired.

Buffy hesitates, considering continuing the engagement. She senses the futility, and turns on her heel . . . off to bed. After she's gone:

JOYCE
(to Giles)
She drives me crazy. I just want to protect her.

GILES
All parents want that.

JOYCE
Yeah, but at least most parents know
what to protect their children from.

GILES
Yeah, you and I have to be especially careful.

Giles pulls another band candy bar out of his jacket pocket. He offers a piece to Joyce. They enjoy it silently.

CLOSE ON: A BAND CANDY BAR

Sitting with many others of its kind in a box.

WIDEN TO SHOW

INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

A MAN, in factory coveralls, who seals the filled box and reaches for the next box. He glances around, reaches in, removes a bar. He peels back the wrapper, and is ready to chomp when . . .

A HAND

LOCKS AROUND HIS WRIST . . . WE FOLLOW THE ARM UP TO REVEAL: ETHAN RAYNE.

ETHAN
Trust me. You don't want to eat that.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - THE NEXT DAY

A science classroom, with two-person tables. The STUDENTS wait for the teacher. Buffy and Cordelia share a table. Xander and Willow have the table behind them.

CORDELIA
I heard there's this secret rule if
a teacher is over ten minutes late,
everyone can leave.

BUFFY
It's Giles' turn to lead study hall.
He'll be here. He's allergic to late.

CORDELIA
The man is wrapped a little tight.
I had this philosophy book out from
the library for like a year and he
made me pay the fine even though it
was huge. I eventually had to return
it, which was sad because it was
perfect for starting conversations
with college boys. Of course, that was B.X.

BUFFY
B.X.? Oh, Before Xander. Clever.

ANGLE: THE TABLE BEHIND THEM

Xander, eating a band candy bar, sits next to Willow.

XANDER
I like chocolate. There's no bad here.

WILLOW
You still have some left? I went to
like four houses and they were gone.
It was like trick-or-treating in reverse.

XANDER
I know, they're selling like hot
cakes. Which is ironic, 'cause the
hot cakes really aren't moving.

ANGLE: THEIR KNEES

Under the table. They both slowly move their legs together until their knees are touching.

WILLOW
(distracted)
We're raising a lot of money for the band.

XANDER
(also distracted)
Yeah. They're great. They march.

WILLOW
(not listening to herself)
Like an army. With music instead of
bullets and usually no one dies.

Xander inches his foot over to nudge Willow's. She crosses her foot over his . . . twining ankles. Ankle sex.

CORDELIA
I can't believe this!

Willow and Xander jump apart, SLAMMING their knees into the table legs. Xander whimpers. Willow bites her lip.

CORDELIA
Where is Giles already? I'm bored
and he's not here to give me credit for it.

ANGLE: PRINCIPAL SNYDER

And an older teacher, MS. BARTON, are engaged in a whispered conversation in the classroom doorway. Snyder is eating a band candy bar.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Look, the big pinhead librarian
didn't show up and I don't want to do
it. You do it.

MS. BARTON
All right. Fine. I'll do it.

She moves to the front of the room, and Snyder heads out.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
(to himself)
Everyone expects me to do everything
around here 'cause I'm the principal
and it's not fair . . .

Snyder exits. The students continue to chatter.

MS. BARTON
(very tough)
Hey, hey!

The students look up, startled.

MS. BARTON
Look, we're all stuck here, okay? So
let's just sit quietly . . .
(lowering her voice)
And pretend to read or something
until we're sure Commandant Snyder is
gone, and then we're all out of here.

The students look at each other, happy and surprised.

XANDER
Anyone else want to marry Ms. Barton?

CORDELIA
Get in line.

Ms. Barton sets down her purse.

ANGLE: THE PURSE

No one notices the BAND CANDY BAR sticking out of it.

WILLOW
I guess Giles isn't coming.

BUFFY
(concerned)
I guess not.

EXT. GILES' PLACE - LATER THAT AFTERNOON (DAY)

Buffy is at Giles' door. It's slightly ajar. Immediately on the alert, she pushes her way in silently --

INT. GILES' PLACE - CONTINUOUS - DAY

-- and enters, crouching and tense, to find Giles going through a cabinet and Joyce on the couch.

GILES
Buffy!

JOYCE
Oh!

Buffy relaxes.

BUFFY
Sorry. I was worried, Giles. You
were a big not-there in study hall
and after your lecture on me not
ducking out and what is my mother doing here?

GILES
We had an opportunity for a, you
might say, a summit meeting. It took
priority over study hall. I called in.

BUFFY
Oh.

JOYCE
We decided you made a good point.
earlier, honey.

BUFFY
I did. Yes. And that was . . . ?

JOYCE
About us over-scheduling you.

GILES
Pulling you in two directions, as it
were . . . your home life and your
duties as a slayer.

BUFFY
Oh. That was a good point.

JOYCE
We're working out a coordinated
schedule for you.

GILES
It will be tight, but I think we can
fit in all your responsibilities.

BUFFY
(less enthused)
Sounds nice 'n' structured.

Joyce comes over to Buffy.

JOYCE
We've got more work to do here,
honey. Why don't you give us a
little more time? Take the car. Mr.
Giles can drive me home.

Sure enough, Joyce is holding out CAR KEYS.

BUFFY
What? Excuse me, I meant: what?

JOYCE
Keys. Take them.

BUFFY
Hey, you don't have to tell me twice.
Well, you did. But . . . bye.

Buffy grabs the keys and heads for the door fast, before Joyce can change her mind.

JOYCE
Bye, honey. Drive careful.

Buffy waves and EXITS. Joyce turns to Giles.

JOYCE
You think she noticed anything?

GILES
No way.

Joyce bounces on her knees on the couch and reaches behind it for a Kahlua bottle. Giles lights a cigarette.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - EARLY EVENING (NIGHT)

Buffy drives happily. Willow's in the passenger seat.

WILLOW
Tell me again how it happened.

BUFFY
I told her I wanted to be treated
more like a grown-up, and voila! Driviness.

EXT. JOYCE'S CAR - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Buffy takes a curve with enthusiasm and speed.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Willow braces herself with both hands.

WILLOW
Ooh.

BUFFY
Also, I think Mom might've wanted me,
you know, otherwhere. Giles and her
are planning my future and I guess
it's easier to live my life if I'm
not actually there.

WILLOW
You know you've got the parking brake on?

BUFFY
Uh-huh.

Buffy releases it.

WILLOW
Are you sure about the Bronze? The
S.A.T.s are tomorrow.

BUFFY
I can study at the Bronze. A little
dancing, a little cross-multiplying.
Hey, you know what we need?

Buffy starts hitting radio buttons: rock, rap, country . . .

WILLOW
(terrified)
Eyes on the road! Eyes on the road!

EXT. JOYCE'S CAR - NIGHT

The CAR RADIO BLARES as they WEAVE down the street. The music changes one more time . . .

INT. GILES' PLACE - LATER (NIGHT)

CREAM PLAYS. Giles' button-down is open, revealing a white t-shirt-style undershirt. He lies on his back by his record player amid scattered albums. Joyce is mixing a Kahlua and Pepsi. Cigarettes smolder in an ashtray on the floor.

JOYCE
You've got good albums.

GILES
Yeah, they're all right.

Giles' accent is more working class than we are used to.

JOYCE
Do you like Seals and Croft?
(off his look)
Me neither.

He lights another cig, hands it to her. She smokes it awkwardly . . . a new smoker.

JOYCE
How come they call you Ripper?

GILES
Wouldn't you like to know.

He stops, listening.

GILES
Hey, listen to this bit. It rocks.

Giles turns the volume up.

JOYCE
It's good.

GILES
Man. I gotta get a band together.

JOYCE
So, you wanna watch TV, Ripper? I
know how to order pay-per-view.

GILES
Let's go out. Have some fun. Tear things up.

JOYCE
Okay. We could go to the Bronze.

GILES
Not bloody likely. That place is dead.

INT. THE BRONZE - EVENING (NIGHT)

The joint is jumping: packed and very loud. Buffy enters. Willow follows, still shaky from the ride.

DINGOES ATE MY BABIES PLAYS and looks out at an unusually old audience. Oz waves at Willow and gives a little shrug. Everywhere they look, the patrons are ADULTS: at the bar, on the dance floor. The teenagers in the place are reacting pretty much the same as Buffy and Willow -- staring in confusion.

BUFFY
Whoa. Let's do the time warp again.

WILLOW
Maybe there's some kind of reunion in
town or a Billy Joel tour or something.

A WOMAN pushes past them. Buffy recognizes her:

BUFFY
Ms. Barton?

It is her. She blinks owlishly at Buffy, trying to focus.

MS. BARTON
Buffy? Whoa.

WILLOW
You okay, Ms. Barton?

MS. BARTON
I'm cool, Willow. Willow. That's a
tree. You're a tree. Do they have
nachos here, little tree?

Ms. Barton starts to laugh, a little out of control.

BUFFY
I think maybe you need some fresh air.

MS. BARTON
Okay.

She amiably drifts off toward the door. Buffy and Willow watch her go.

WILLOW
Okay, this is not normal.
(off Buffy's look)
Maybe that goes without saying.

GUY'S VOICE (O.S.)
Hey, gang!

Buffy and Willow turn, probably expecting to see Xander. Instead:

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
(continuing)
This place is fun city, huh?

BUFFY
Principal Snyder?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Call me Snyder. Just a last name.
Like Barbarino. Whoo! I'm stoked!
Did you see Ms. Barton? I think
she's wasted. I'm gonna put that on
her next performance review because
I'm the principal.

The MUSIC FALTERS for a second. They turn and look.

ANGLE: THE STAGE

A SHIRTLESS PUDGY ADULT DIVES OFF THE STAGE, hooting and hollering. He is almost caught, but the out-of-shape men beneath him aren't up to it. He ends up on the floor, and gets to his feet slowly. A lot of the men are red-faced, sweaty, panting.

ANGLE: WILLOW AND BUFFY

WILLOW
I don't like this. They could have heart attacks.

BUFFY
Maybe there's a doctor here.

WILLOW
Actually, that is my doctor. He's
usually less . . . topless.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
I got a commendation. For being
principal. From the mayor. He shook
my hand twice.

A clique of THREE OR FOUR MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN scurry past, laughing and shrieking.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Ooh. There's some foxy ladies here tonight!

WILLOW
(to Buffy)
Buffy, what's happening?

BUFFY
I don't know, but it's happening to
a whole lotta grownups.

WILLOW
They're acting like a bunch of . . .

BUFFY
They're acting like a bunch of us.

A beat, as the two girls look worriedly around them.

WILLOW
I don't act like this . . .

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

The production line again. Mr. Trick stands with Ethan, watching the packing, the sealing, the shipping of the candy.

MR. TRICK
Demand's high.

ETHAN
I thought it might be.

MR. TRICK
That's why I love this country. You
make a good product, and the people
will come to you. Of course, a lot
of them are gonna die, but, well,
that's the other reason I love this country.

ANGLE: WORKERS

A WORKMAN (not the same guy from before) speaks softly to the man next to him. Mr. Trick approaches.

MR. TRICK
Hey. No sampling the product.

WORKMAN
(terrified)
I didn't --

Mr. Trick TAKES THE MAN BY THE NECK AND BREAKS IT SWIFTLY. THE MAN SLUMPS, DEAD, TO THE FLOOR. The other workers stare, horrified. Mr. Trick turns back to Ethan.

ETHAN
(shaken)
Okay. Um . . . how did you know
he'd taken some.

MR. TRICK
I don't. But I know no one else will.
(looks at his watch)
We're getting close. Keep it flowing.
Time for me to get the goods.

He heads out.

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Things are even wilder than they were a minute ago. The band has given up entirely. Oz stands with Buffy and Willow.

BUFFY
Something's changing them.

WILLOW
A spell?

OZ
They're teenagers. Sobering mirror
to look into, huh?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
(to Oz)
You've got great hair.

THE STAGE

A group of OLD GUYS (shirtless doctor and his buddies) cling to microphones and belt out LOUIE LOUIE. On the floor several adult couples are dirty dancing. Once couple has given up on the dancing and stands on the dance floor, making out.

WILLOW
It just gets more upsetting.

BUFFY
No vampire has ever been that scary.

ANGLE: THE BAR

Adults are doing that thing where you lie back on the bar and the bartender mixes the drink right in your mouth. One adult accidentally jostles another adult and a MINOR SCUFFLE breaks out.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Fight! Fight!

Buffy and Oz and Willow move away from the scuffle. The party is heading toward chaos. They have to talk over the noise.

BUFFY
We've gotta go find out what's going
on. This has Hellmouth fingerprints
all over it. Or, mouthprints . . .

Buffy leads the way toward the door. Oz and Willow follow. Snyder loses interest in the fight as it dies down. He tags along.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Where are we going?

They ignore him. At the door, Buffy passes an adult eating a BAND CANDY BAR. WE SEE HER TAKE NOTICE OF THIS. Buffy, Willow and Oz duck out the door. A second later . . .

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
You guys aren't trying to ditch me, are you?

Snyder scurries out after them.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - NIGHT

Buffy, Willow, Oz are in the car, Willow in the front seat next to Buffy. Buffy closes her door. She hasn't started the car yet.

OZ
We should go find Giles, right?
He'll figure out what's going on.

BUFFY
Sure, except for all we know he's
sweet sixteen again.

Buffy and Willow share a look - realizing what that could mean.

WILLOW
(to Buffy)
He's with your mom at his place.

Buffy starts the car. And Snyder opens the door and climbs in next to Oz.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Hey, I said "wait up"!

OZ
Um . . . Snyder . . .

BUFFY
No time. He's coming with us.

She pulls out. The TIRES SQUEAL.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Whoa, Summers, you drive like a spaz.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A sedan sits at a stoplight. Next to the Sedan, a VOLVO STATION WAGON revs its engine. It has a bumper sticker: "My child hearts Sunnydale preschool".

INT. SEDAN - NIGHT

A BUSINESS MAN clutches the wheel, REVS his engine.

INT. STATION WAGON - NIGHT

A DOMESTICATED FATHER in a cardigan REVS his engine.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

The stoplight turns green. Tires SQUEAL as the cars take off.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - NIGHT

Buffy slams on the brakes as the two cars pass (off screen if necessary) in front of her. She and the others watch them recede in the distance. Snyder hoots, enjoying the competition.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
This is great! Let's go do doughnuts
on the football field.

WILLOW
(convincing herself)
It'll be okay when we get to Giles'.

OZ
Of course. I mean, even if he's
sixteen, he's still Giles. Probably
a pretty together guy.

WILLOW
Yeah, well.

OZ
What?

BUFFY
Giles at sixteen. Less "together
guy", more "bad magic, hates the
world, ticking time-bomb guy".

OZ
Oh. Well then, I guess your mom is
in a lot of trouble.

EXT. STOREFRONT - NIGHT

Giles and Joyce walk down the street. Giles has his cigarette pack rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve. His arm is around Joyce's shoulders, a cigarette in his hand. She clings to his other hand and chews gum.

JOYCE
It must be exciting, being from England.

GILES
It's all right. Hey, you're not cold
or anything?

JOYCE
Nuh-uh. I feel . . . special. Like I'm
just waking up, kind of.

GILES
How's that?

JOYCE
You know, like having a kid and
getting married and everything was a
dream and now things are back like
they're supposed to be.

GILES
Yeah.

Joyce stops, looks at a coat in a store window.

JOYCE
That's cool. Kind of Juice Newton.

GILES
You fancy it?

JOYCE
But the store's not open.

Giles hoists a heavy trash can, and THROWS it. It hits the store window with a CRASH. The window SHATTERS, sending glass everywhere. Giles ducks through the window frame, pulls the coat from its mannequin. He steps back out, and hands the coat to Joyce.

GILES
Here.

JOYCE
Oh, Ripper, wow. That was so brave.

She's putting on the coat, when . . .

POLICEMAN (O.S.)
Hold it!

ANGLE: A POLICEMAN approaches, GUN DRAWN.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - NIGHT

Buffy heads into an intersection.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A speeding car goes right through the red light at the intersection. It's heading right for Buffy.

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - NIGHT

WILLOW
Oh my god! Look out!

Snyder YELPS.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

CRASH -- The speeding car hits the driver's side of Joyce's car, which is rocked by the impact -- dented and thrown back.

No motion is visible inside.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

EXT. STOREFRONT - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Giles and Joyce face the armed policeman.

GILES
Oh, copper's got a gun. You'll never use it.

POLICEMAN
Will so.

ANGLE: A BAND CANDY BAR

It sticks out of the cop's uniform pocket.

JOYCE
Ripper, be careful!

The cop's eyes flick toward Joyce, the quickest of glances. It's enough. Giles POUNDS him with A SERIES OF BRUTAL PUNCHES, then grabs the guy's head and WHIPS IT DOWN to IMPACT WITH GILES' RAISED KNEE. The guy goes down, unconscious. The GUN is still clutched in the cop's hand. Giles takes it, tucks it into his waistband.

GILES
Told him he'd never use it.

JOYCE
You are so cool. You're like Burt Reynolds.

Joyce sidles closer, looks up into Giles' eyes. Giles grabs her, hard. She gasps. He goes in for the kiss, their eyes locked on each other.

She reaches up and takes the gum out of her mouth. He starts kissing her, and they sink onto the hood of the squad car, slowly going out of frame.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Slowly, Buffy, Willow, Oz and Snyder get out of the car. The doors on the damaged side of the car SHRIEK in protest when they open them. Oz gingerly flexes a bruised elbow. Buffy has a cut on her forehead. They look at the damaged car.

WILLOW
Is anyone else all creeped out and trembly?

Oz puts his arm around Willow protectively.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Buffy, your mom's gonna kill you.

Buffy looks around at the street.

BUFFY
(thoughtful)
Something's weird.

OZ
Something's not?

A GANG

of aging greasers loiters at the corner. A woman/girl walks by. They whistle and catcall. She giggles.

BUFFY
No grown ups. No one's protecting
their houses, people out wandering around--

WILLOW
(getting it)
Defenseless.

And OLD MAN strolls by. He STRIPS THE CANDY BAR OUT OF SNYDER'S HAND and takes off running.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Hey! Give it!

BACK ON BUFFY

BUFFY
So where are all the vampires?
Soup's on, but no one's grabbing a spoon.

OZ
Something's happening somewhere that's else.

BUFFY
I'm guessing something pretty big.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
That guy took my candy!

It's starting to add up. Buffy goes to Snyder.

BUFFY
What's with the candy? A curse?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
(scared)
A curse? I've got a curse?

WILLOW
Oh my god. Using candy for evil.

OZ
My parents ate a ton.

Buffy backs Snyder up against the car. She's in his face.

BUFFY
Who's behind the candy?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
I don't know. It came to me through
the school board, and if you knew
that crowd . . .

He shudders.

BUFFY
Where is it? Where would you go for
more? Do you know?

He nods miserably. Buffy turns to Willow and Oz.

BUFFY
You two, get Xander and Cordelia, go
to the library. Look it up.

OZ
Candy, curses . . .

WILLOW
Disturbing second childhood. Got it.

BUFFY
Ratboy and I are going to the source.

She pushes Snyder toward the dented car.

EXT. WAREHOUSE LOADING DOCK - LATER - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: A BOX OF BAND CANDY BARS

A man's hand reaches in, grabs a handful, THROWS THEM to a WAITING CROWD of adults.

They jump and dive for the candy.

WIDEN TO REVEAL the scene:

Two MEN in factory coveralls are standing on the warehouse loading platform, throwing candy to the crowd like rice at a wedding.

JOYCE'S CAR

As Buffy and Snyder get out of it. Snyder immediately goes over to get more candy. Buffy walks by a COUPLE IN A CLINCH, making out. She stops, looks back at them:

BUFFY
Giles? Mom?!

GILES
Go 'way. We're busy.

They keep kissing. Buffy grabs them each by an arm and pulls them away from the crowd.

JOYCE
Hey!

BUFFY
Mom--
(notices)
Where'd you get that coat? Never
mind, listen to me--

Giles pulls roughly out of Buffy's grasp. He balls up his fists.

BUFFY
Okay, Giles. Think. You really want
to fight me? Or you want to let me
talk to my mother?

Giles backs down, but in the coolest possible way. He wanders a few steps away and lights a cigarette as if he were too cool to care. Buffy looks at Joyce searchingly.

BUFFY
Mom, look at me. Do you know who I am?

JOYCE
Of course. You're Buffy. They're
giving away candy. Want some candy?

BUFFY
No. And you don't need any more either.

JOYCE
I'm fine. I can have more if I want.

BUFFY
You're not fine. Go home.

JOYCE
Screw you. I want candy.

Buffy recoils as if slapped.

BUFFY
Mom!

JOYCE
Hey look, you want to slay stuff and
I'm not allowed to do anything about
it? Well, this is what I want to do.
So get off my back.

BUFFY
(genuinely upset)
Mom. Please.

GILES
For god's sake, let your mum have the
bleedin' candy. Come on, Joyce.

Giles and Joyce start to walk away. Buffy tries one last shot.

BUFFY
Wait. Look for one sec. Your car.
The dent the size of New Brunswick? I did that.

Joyce looks toward the car.

JOYCE
Oh my god. What was I thinking when
I bought the geek machine?

Giles laughs. Buffy takes the cigarette from his mouth and throws it on the ground.

BUFFY
Take her home.

GILES
Hey. I'm the watcher. You have to
do what I say. So bugger off.

Giles and Joyce defiantly head back to where the candy is being handed out. Buffy hesitates, then, her jaw set, she marches behind them . . .

She passes them . . . and without slowing down, she marches to the base of the loading platform and looks up at the two men handing out the candy. She reaches up, grabs one by the ankle, and PULLS HIS FOOT OUT FROM UNDER HIM. He falls over the edge, at Buffy's feet. He CRUMPLES and Buffy mounts the steps to the platform. Buffy is now facing the other man.

MAN
Hey, what--

He drops his box of candy. She grabs him by the back of his coveralls, and tosses him over the edge of the loading platform, where he lands on the first guy, who CRUMPLES AGAIN. She throws the boxes of candy down on them, hard. Adults dive after the candy windfall.

Buffy spots Joyce in the crowd. Buffy leans over, grabs Joyce's arm, HAULS her up the steps.

JOYCE
Hey!

GILES
What're you doing with her?

As Giles leaps to follow, Buffy drags Joyce to the padlocked door leading into the warehouse. She KICKS it open. Snyder watches from the crowd.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Neat. Hey Brit-face, wait up.

Snyder scrambles after Giles.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Buffy pulls Joyce into the warehouse, starts to close the door.

GILES
Hold it!

Giles pushes in after them, in the process letting Snyder in.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
It smells all chocolatey.

As Buffy barricades the door from the inside with crates, the others look around. The production line is quiet. Open boxes of candy bars lie everywhere.

GILES
Say. This is all right.

Buffy steps away from the rest of the group, scans the room.

ANGLE: A WALL-MOUNTED PHONE

on the other side of the warehouse. Ethan talks, facing the wall.

ETHAN
(into phone)
I've been out there. The town's wide
open. You guys are good to go any time . . .

He looks up to see:

BUFFY

looking right at him.

BUFFY
Ethan Rayne.

ETHAN
(into phone)
You may want to hurry.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Oz and Xander comb the bookcases, while Willow and Cordelia sit at the table, paging through books.

CORDELIA
At first it was fun, you know. They
seemed like they were in this really
good mood. You know, not like parents. Then . . .

WILLOW
Badness?

CORDELIA
Mom started borrowing all my clothes.
There should be an age limit on Lycra
pants, I'm telling you. And dad just
locked himself in the bathroom with
a bunch of old copies of Esquire.

Xander brings a new stack of books over.

XANDER
I don't get this. The candy's
supposed to make you all immature and
stuff, but I ate a ton and I don't
feel any dif-- never mind.

WILLOW
I'll take that one.

Xander hands her the book, their fingers momentarily touching. Willow doesn't look him in the eye.

He moves over to where Oz is pulling more books from the shelves. Willow looks at the two guys.

CORDELIA
Wanna swap?

Willow jumps.

WILLOW
What, swap, huh?

CORDELIA
Hello? Swap books with me? This one
is thick, and I'm not sure it's in English.

Willow breathes again and they exchange books.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

Giles, Joyce and Snyder join Buffy . . . look at what she's looking at:

GILES
Ethan?

Ethan has a choice: fight like a man or run like a bunny. He drops the phone and bolts. Buffy takes off after him.

JOYCE
(to Giles)
You know him? Who is he?

Giles isn't there to answer. He's taken off after Ethan, too. Joyce looks at Snyder, who has gotten into the candy. His face is smeared with chocolate.

ETHAN

As he scampers. He zigzags through piles of boxes and wooden crates and tangles of machinery -- they form a sort of high-walled maze. Buffy is right on his tail.

BUFFY'S POV

Ethan rounds a corner ahead of her.

BUFFY

sails around it . . . but he's gone. After a moment, Giles thuds to a stop next to her, panting.

GILES
Where--

He has to stop to breathe.

BUFFY
That's what smoking'll do to you.
Now be quiet.

GILES
Where'd the bastard go?

BUFFY
Shh.

Buffy walks slowly forward, between piles of wooden crates. Suddenly she WHIRLS, and TEARS THE FRONT PANEL off one of the crates. Ethan is curled inside. He smiles at them sheepishly.

BUFFY
Look, a box full of farm-fresh chicken.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - BACK BY THE DOOR - NIGHT

Joyce and Snyder sit on boxes. Both nibble on candy bars. Joyce looks worried.

JOYCE
You s'pose they're okay?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Uh-huh.

A beat. Snyder slides closer to Joyce.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
So, are you two, like, going steady?

Joyce stares at him and moves away.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - BUFFY, GILES, ETHAN - NIGHT

Buffy grabs Ethan by his collar, drags him out of the box, hauls him to his feet.

BUFFY
So, Ethan. What are we playing?
(he says nothing)
We're pretty much into a 'talk or
bleed' situation. Your call.

ETHAN
I would like to point out that this wasn't my idea.

BUFFY
Meaning?

ETHAN
I'm subcontracting. It's Trick you
want. I'm just helping him collect
a tribute. For a demon.

GILES
He's lying. Hit him!

BUFFY
I don't think he is. And shut up.

GILES
You're my slayer. Knock those capped
teeth down his throat!

Buffy gets between Giles and Ethan.

BUFFY
Giles.
(to Ethan)
What demon?

ETHAN
I don't remember.

Buffy HITS ETHAN.

GILES
'bout time.

ETHAN
Lurconis. Demon called Lurconis.
They wanted a way they could get the
tribute away from people.

BUFFY
So you're just diversion guy?

ETHAN
More than a diversion. They said the
tribute was big. So big that people
would never let them take it. People
had to be out of it, and later on,
when the candy wears off, they would
blame themselves.

BUFFY
Hence, Land of the Irresponsible.
So where's Trick?

ETHAN
I don't know exactly. Delivering the tribute.

BUFFY
Which brings us to the bonus-round
question and believe me when I say a
wrong answer will cost you all your points . . .
(in his face)
what's the tribute?

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - NIGHT

Four VAMPIRES tromp through the white halls. The place looks deserted. They pass by . . .

INT. NURSES' STATION - NIGHT

A NURSE sits at the station, watching "Dawson's Creek" on a small portable TV. She ignores the flashes and beeps of call buttons from the rooms. She doesn't notice the passing vampires.

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: the vampires as they turn a corner.

WE PULL BACK TO REVEAL they're in:

INT. MATERNITY WARD - NIGHT

Bassinets, row after row of them visible as the field widens. Each bassinet holds a BABY. They COO and FUSS.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

ANGLE: THE WAREHOUSE PHONE

Buffy on the phone.

BUFFY
(into phone)
Right. "Lurconis".

INT. LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Willow turns to the others.

WILLOW
(urgent)
Lurconis. A demon. What's his deal?

BUFFY (V.O.)
See if there's anything about a ribute.

WILLOW
A tribute? Like what?

BUFFY (V.O.)
I don't know. My source is tapped out.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

At some distance from where Buffy talks on the phone, Ethan sits propped against a wall -- he looks very tapped out. Snyder grins down at him.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
She whupped you good, huh? Pow-ka-
pow. I can do that, too. I took Tae
Kwon Do at the Y.

Snyder does some bad fake Kung-Fu moves, in the course of which he turns away from Ethan.

BUFFY

is still on the phone.

BUFFY
(into the phone)
No, definitely a demon. A big one.

She is turned away from Ethan. No one, in fact, is looking at Ethan.

ETHAN

notices a LARGE PIECE OF METAL, lying on the warehouse floor. He grabs it. He moves past Giles, past Snyder. He raises it overhead, ready to clock Buffy when . . . Giles PULLS OUT THE GUN he took off the cop and levels it at Ethan.

GILES
I wouldn't.

Buffy turns, sees Ethan towering over her. Almost casually, she HITS HIM, knocking him out on her way over to Giles.

BUFFY
(calmly)
Giles. I need you to give me the gun.

Reluctantly, Giles gives her the gun.

JOYCE
(to Buffy, holding the phone)
Willow wants you. Real bad.

Buffy takes the phone.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

WILLOW
(on phone)
Oz just found it. The tribute to
Lurconis is made every thirty years.
It's a ritual feeding and this one's
late, so it's probably, you know, a big meal.

Oz brings a book to Willow, and points grimly at the text.

WILLOW
Oh, and . . . oh . . . Lurconis eats babies.

INT. BAND CANDY WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

Buffy drops the phone.

BUFFY
Come on.

She is herding Joyce, Giles and Snyder toward the door when Ethan groans, semi-conscious.

JOYCE
(re: Ethan)
What about that man?

Buffy looks around.

BUFFY
Look for something to tie him up.

JOYCE
Um . . .

Shyly, Joyce pulls the cop's handcuffs out of the pocket of her stolen coat. Buffy cuffs Ethan.

BUFFY
(to Joyce)
Never tell me.

INT. MATERNITY WARD - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: A TINY HOSPITAL BRACELET in an empty bassinet.

Buffy picks up the bracelet. It's not much bigger than her thumb.

Giles is talking to the inattentive nurse, who is now very upset. Joyce and Snyder are with Buffy. They're all subdued by the idea of the missing babies.

JOYCE
Something's going to eat those babies?

Joyce starts to cry softly.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
(shaken)
I think that's so wrong.

Giles joins them.

GILES
She never even saw who took them.
Lazy cow.

BUFFY
I know who took them.

GILES
So, let's go do something, right?
Find the demon, slash and slay.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Is that what happens now?

BUFFY
Yeah, if we knew where to go.

She looks at the tiny hospital bracelet she holds. Giles looks at her, then closes his eyes, remembering:

GILES
"Lurconis dwells beneath the city,
filth to filth".

BUFFY
What?

GILES
I know this. I knew this.
"Lurconis", it means "glutton",
and . . . it'll be in the sewers.

JOYCE
The sewers?

BUFFY
(resigned)
Okay. The sewers.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Good. You guys go there and do that
thing with the demon. I'll stay here
in case the babies, you know, find
their way back.

JOYCE
The babies must be so scared.

She starts crying harder.

GILES
You filthy ponce. Afraid of a little demon.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
If you want to go splash around in
poo, you're the filthy one.

Snyder gives Giles a shove. Buffy steps between them. She has had it.

BUFFY
All right, everybody stop it! Listen
to me. Mom, I need help. Okay?
Giles? I need grown ups. These
children are going to die and we have
to think clearly and act now if we're
gonna save them. There's no room for
mistakes. Besides which, you guys are
just wigging me out.

Everyone looks chastised.

GILES
Sorry.

JOYCE
We'll behave.

She slips her hand into Giles', the two of them resolved to help.

BUFFY
Good. Snyder, go home.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
I can do that.

BUFFY
Giles, take us to the sewers.
(re: holding hands)
And don't do that.

INT. SEWER - NIGHT

A large conduit, near a T-junction. Exposed pipes run overhead. The center of the floor is under water, and a platform has been set up bridging it. Torches ring the platform.

ROBED FIGURES

kneel on the platform, which is draped in cloth and painted with arcane symbols. They chant.

ROBED FIGURES (V.O.)
(translated in English
Lurconis come near. Lurconis
be sated. Lurconis with the
age of a thousand demons, kept
young by the flesh of the
young, kept strong by the
devotions of the strong.
Lurconis feast this day and
treat us with mercy. Lurconis
emerge to consume what we
offer and make it of his
flesh. Lurconis come near.)

(in Latin)
Lucronis adventet. Lucronis
satietur. Lucronis
vetustate miliorum daemonum,
novus alitus carne novorum,
potens alitus precibus
potentium. Lucronis hodie
epuletur et clemens nobis
utatur. Lucronis exsistat
ut dona nostra edat illaque
in carnem suam vertat.
Lucronis adventet.

The mayor stands at the edge of the scene, speaking with business-like efficiency into a phone.

THE MAYOR
(into phone)
Carol, call Dave on the Public Works
committee tomorrow about sewer
maintenance and repair. I have some
concerns re: exposed gas pipes,
infrastructure, ventilation. And
cancel my three o'clock.

FOUR BABIES are lined up in black-draped baskets on a wheeled cart.

One of the ROBED FIGURES dips his finger in water, traces a line on each baby's bald head. Mr. Trick watches.

MR. TRICK
(softly)
Come on, big guy. They're not
getting any fresher.

Suddenly, Buffy DROPS into their midst through an open manhole.

BUFFY
Hi.

Giles jumps down through the manhole after Buffy. And as he helps Joyce down, the MAYOR fades into the shadows and away unseen.

ROBED GUY 1 runs at Buffy. His hood falls back, revealing vamp-face. He grabs hold of her, THROWS HER. She hits the baby-cart, making it roll. The baby baskets shake and teeter.

ROBED GUY 2 attacks Giles. Giles KNEES HIM in the groin, follows it up with a HEAD BUTT.

Buffy, on her back, KICKS ROBED GUY 1 with both feet, momentarily lifting him off the ground. She gets to her feet, KICKS him and then STAKES HIM. He turns to DUST. She then STAKES ROBED GUY 2, whom Giles has incapacitated. DUST.

There is just one robed guy (ROBED GUY 3) and Mr. Trick left. Buffy grabs the ROBED GUY 3, THROWS HIM. He comes down near the T-junction. A RUMBLING SOUND ECHOES.

GILES
What the hell's that?

It gets louder, and in an instant, almost too fast to be seen, a SLICK, DARK, NON-HUMAN HEAD, AS TALL AS A MAN, SNAPS OUT OF THE JOINING TUNNEL, AND DEVOURS ROBED GUY 3. Just as fast, it DISAPPEARS into the tunnel. The effect is like an eel, darting its head out of a coral cave to swallow something whole.

GILES
Good God.

BUFFY
Lurconis, I'm thinking.

Mr. Trick steps forward.

MR. TRICK
Ordinarily, I like other people to do
my fighting, but I just have to see
what you got.

BUFFY
Just tell me when it hurts.

Buffy steps forward to square off with Mr. Trick, but Giles rashly pushes past her.

BUFFY
Giles, no!

Mr. Trick GRABS GILES. Giles gets in a good solid KICK, but Mr. Trick shakes it off. He grabs Giles. Then he THROWS him. Giles lands right at the T-junction . . . the entrance to the demon's tunnel. As Lurconis senses food on the dinner plate, THE RUMBLING BEGINS.

BUFFY
Giles! Get out of there!

Giles tries, groggily, to stand. He staggers.

JOYCE

Scrambles to grab the cart of babies. She pulls it out of the way.

ON BUFFY

As the RUMBLING gets louder. She looks around, searching for inspiration. She looks up at . . .

THE EXPOSED GAS PIPES

She jumps up. Hangs on one. It breaks free, gas HISSES out.

Buffy aims the gas at one of the torches.

BUFFY
I love that you guys love torches.

The gas ignites, and Buffy has herself a flame-thrower.

Giles DIVES to one side and she aims the flame into the sewer pipe just a Lurconis' slimy head darts out. The flame catches it full in the face. LURCONIS is on fire. It pulls back and we hear its DYING SCREAMS.

Victorious, Buffy lets herself drop to the ground. She hears something overhead and looks up to see Mr. Trick, looking down at her through the open manhole cover.

MR. TRICK
You and me, girl. There's high times ahead.

He goes.

BUFFY
They never just leave. They always
gotta say something . . .

Buffy turns around to see Joyce and the baby-cart standing to one side, out of danger. Giles heads for Joyce's side. Buffy hurries over and stands between them.

JOYCE
Can we go home now?

BUFFY
Yeah. Let's go home. I've got the
S.A.T.s tomorrow.

JOYCE
Oh, blow them off. I'll write you a note.

Buffy looks tempted for a second, then:

BUFFY
No. That's okay.

FADE TO:

INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The Mayor and Mr. Trick sit together.

THE MAYOR
And your friend?

MR. TRICK
I paid him. Man did his job, no
reason to burn that bridge.

THE MAYOR
This didn't turn out the way I had planned.

MR. TRICK
Where's the downside? You just got
one less demon to pay tribute to.
Way I see it, I just did you a favor.

THE MAYOR
(smiling)
I guess you did.

The smile fades.

THE MAYOR
In the future, I'd be very careful
how many favors you do for me.

Trick's smile fades, too.

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - A FEW DAYS LATER

Xander, Willow, Cordelia and Oz stand at Xander's open locker. Principal Snyder approaches them.

XANDER
Hey, Snyder, heard you had some fun
Friday night. You come down yet?

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
That's Principal Snyder.

XANDER
And that's a big "yep".

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
You look like four young people with
too much time on your hands.

OZ
Not really.

CORDELIA
Busy like a bee, actually. Bee-like.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Good, because it seems we had some
vandalism Friday, on school property,
and I was just looking for some
volunteers to help clean up.

Snyder closes Xander's locker . . . REVEALING A ROW OF SPRAY-PAINTED LOCKERS. They read "KISS ROCKS".

WILLOW
Kiss rocks? Why would anyone want to
kiss--? Oh, wait. I get it.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
Let's get you some paint remover.

EXT. SCHOOL - DAY

Buffy walks with Giles in front of the school.

BUFFY
It was just too much to deal with.
It's like nothing made sense anymore.
The things I thought I understood
were . . . gone. I felt so alone.

GILES
Was that the math or the verbal?

BUFFY
Mostly the math.

GILES
Well, if you didn't score well, you
can take them again.

BUFFY
More S.A.T.s. Great. Is there
really a point? I could die before I
even apply to college.

GILES
And you very probably may not.

BUFFY
Well, let's keep hope alive . . .

They reach Joyce, who stands in front of her car.

GILES
Hello. Dear me, it certainly looks
like your car had an adventure, doesn't it?

JOYCE
Buffy assures me it happened while
battling evil, so I'm letting her pay
for it on the installment plan.

As Buffy heads for the car:

BUFFY
Hey, the way things were going, be
glad this is the worst thing that
happened. At least I got to you two
before you, you know, actually did anything.

Buffy gets in, not paying attention to their response:

ANGLE ON: JOYCE AND GILES

She looks around. He finds something fascinating on his lapel.

JOYCE
Right.

GILES
Indeed.

JOYCE
Yes.

A moment, then they exit either side of the frame.

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW