Beer Bad

Written by: Tracey Forbes

Teaser

EXT. CEMETERY – NIGHT

BAM! The heel of a boot spikes a VAMPIRE hard in the eye. He stumbles back a few feet and BUFFY steps up, starts with the pummeling. She’s dazzlingly efficient.

ANGLE: in the grass

Is the potential victim, turned away from us in a thick woolly coat, hand to his neck. He turns to see what’s going on and we see it’s PARKER.

PARKER
Buffy?

BUFFY
Parker?

The vamps comes back at her –

BUFFY (cont’d)
(to Parker)
Stay down.

Buffy, fast on top of the vamp again, punching and kicking with amazing style and strength. And when the vamp finally falls, Buffy pulls a stake. THUNK – he’s DUST. Then…

PARKER (O.S.)
Buffy!

Parker has TWO HUGE VAMPS on him. Dragging him off. Seeing this, Buffy flies over, taking both on at once. The Vamps drop Parker. And they engage in a fast and intense slugfest. Buffy is even sharper than usual, if that’s possible. And to finish them off, a spectacular flip-toss, STAKING both vamps who SCREAM all their merry way to hell.

Buffy stands alone, breathing only a little hard. Parker enters frame tentatively.

PARKER
Buffy, I don’t know what to say.
After how I’ve treated you,
and now I owe you my life.

BUFFY
It’s nothing.

PARKER
It’s everything. You’re everything.
And I’m gonna do whatever it takes
to get you to forgive me. Do you
think… one day, you might?

Buffy might answer, but instead a DISTANT VOICE WHISPERS:

GIRL’S VOICE (O.S.)
Sure, uh-huh…

And suddenly, Buffy is…

INT. LECTURE HALL – DAY

The room is dark except for the soft light reflected off a screen at the front. PROF. MAGGIE WALSH’S VOICE echoes, mid-lecture. Buffy blinks, jolted from her reverie. She looks at Willow beside her, then to the owner of the girl’s voice.

ANGLE: BUFFY’S POV

Parker, whispering inaudibly to a pretty BRUNETTE, in the row in front of her.

And over this, Maggie’s lecture:

PROF WALSH
These are the things we want.

Riley clicks slides on one by one: A mother comforting her baby. A kiss. A warm fireplace. A juicy hamburger.

PROF WALSH
Simple things. Comfort. Sex. Shelter.
Food. We always want them, and we
want them all the time. The
id doesn’t learn. It doesn’t grow up.
It has the ego telling it what it can’t have –
and it has the superego telling what it
shouldn’t want. But the id works solely by
the pleasure principle. It wants. Whatever
social skills we learn, however much we
have evolved, the pleasure principle is
at work in all of us.

Buffy begins to sink back into reverie.

PROF WALSH (cont’d)
So how does this conflict with
the ego manifest itself in the
psyche? What do we do when we
can’t have what we want? I expect
somebody here can answer that…

But not Buffy, who’s already doing it.

EXT. CEMETERY – NIGHT

We join the same fight in progress… the EXACT same fight, that ends the exact same way, with Buffy alone in the frame looking noble, breathing a little hard. And again, Parker enters the frame tentatively, only this time he’s in a tanktop, has a large bouquet of roses and an open carton of ice cream, spoon stabbed in it.

PARKER
Buffy, I don’t know what to say.
After how I’ve treated you,
and now I owe you my life.

She looks down at him. He presents her with the ice cream.

PARKER (cont’d)
Can you ever forgive me?

With a placid nobility, she takes the ice cream. As her prefect hair blows in a perfect breeze (there’s a perfect breeze now), she nobly eats a spoonful, eyes on the horizon, and we:

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

EXT. CAMPUS - DAY

XANDER
Rough day?

He is standing at a table where Buffy and Willow sit. They have exciting beverages, are trying to study. He flicks a LIGHTER, holds it up where Buffy would be holding a cigarette, if she had one. Denied, he flicks it off.

XANDER
Come on Buffy, be a lonely drunk.
(beat)
Rough day?

He flicks it again.

BUFFY
Stop flicking at me.

XANDER
Work with me here. I'm finally
an essential part of your collegey
life. No more "looking down on
the townie" - I'm the new bartender
at the pub. Got my lighter, my rag,
my empathy face…

He makes the face.

WILLOW
Aren't you too young to be a bartender?

XANDER
Au contraire, mon frere.

BUFFY
(not looking up)
Frere means brother.

XANDER
Mon girl-frere. Behold.

He slides something casually under Willow's nose.

INSERT - FAKE I.D.

showing Xander with a big Tom Selleck moustache.

WILLOW
I don't believe this is entirely on the up and up.

XANDER
What gives it away?

WILLOW
Looking at it.

XANDER
Well, who's gonna see it anyway?
Now, I'm the bartender! I kick people out!

BUFFY
There's more to it than wiping and kicking.

Xander regards her - care to fill him in?

BUFFY
Mixing drinks comes to mind.

XANDER
I've seen Cocktail. I can hippy hippy shake.

Buffy closes her books.

BUFFY
(wistful)
Well, Xander, even if I had a pretend
cigarette, I couldn't tell you my problems.
Real ones have clogged up my headspace.

Xander taps his shoulder.

XANDER
Then unload 'em right here, baby.
(flicks the lighter)
Rough day? Wanna tell me about it?
(off her look)
Shutting up now.

WILLOW
I'm pregnant by my step-brother
who'd rather be with my best friend
and left me with no place to live and
no food, except for a bottle of Wild
Turkey, which I drank all up.

He stares blankly at her - what the hell was that?

WILLOW
That was me, being tanked and friendless for ya.

XANDER
Gets my Oscar nod.

BUFFY
Class time.

The girls get up to head for class, Xander walking with them.

XANDER
(to Will)
So, you gonna come by tonight?
To the pub?

WILLOW
Oz. Bronze. Date.

BUFFY
You know, it's probably just him,
having trouble dealing, right? I mean,
sometimes, guys keep the girls they
really like inside these little deep-brain,
fantasy bubbles where things are always perfect.

Xander's not following.

XANDER
(to Buffy)
How's that fugue state coming along?

WILLOW
(to Xander)
Parker.

The look on Xander's face says 'oh, that', but at the same time, he softens, compassionate.

BUFFY
So, maybe, I'm in his bubble.
And pretty soon, he'll just realize
he wants more than just Bubble-Buffy.
And, he'll pop me out and we'll have
dinner and stuff.
(convincing herself)
Guys totally do that, right?

WILLOW
Buffy that is my best friend, you
need to think about not Parker.
He's no good. There are other men -
better men - men wherein the mind
is stronger than the penis.

Xander's guffaws - naïve child!

XANDER
Nothing can defeat the penis!
(off their looks)
Too loud, very unseemly.

WILLOW
I'm sorry to be coarse, but I feel
strongly on the subject of stinky Parker man.

BUFFY
But he can be really sweet. You know,
I think he has intimacy issues, 'cause
of his father dying -

Willow holds up her hand, looking away imperiously.

WILLOW
Not interested. You get troubles,
tell 'em to the bartender.

XANDER
That's right. 'Cause the bartender's
always ready to listen.

INT. COLLEGE PUB - NIGHT

XANDER
(shouting)
What? WHAT?!

Total CHAOS! Xander behind the bar, flailing like a drowning chicken. COLLEGE KIDS surround him. JUKEBOX blaring.

COLLEGE KID #1
For the last time, a pitcher of BEER!

Xander nods. As he fills a pitcher…

XANDER
Okay…
(to others)
You're a rum and coke, you're
a Poker's Light… Vodka on the
rocks and… A water? Is that right?

They start YELLING, frustrated.

COLLEGE KID #2
A Kidder's Gold Ale, A Peelee Lager,
a glass of white wine and a daiquiri.

COLLEGE KID #1
Do I need to write it down for you?
A glass of ice water, man. Simple request.

And Xander turns around, desperately trying to block them out.

XANDER
(to himself)
Ice water - how do I make that?

ANGLE: THE ROOM
Dark. Floor and walls kinda grimy. But a pretty happening place for A WHOLE PILE OF COLLEGE KIDS.

We FIND Buffy at the door, entering then stopping to scan the crowd. She sees…

Parker at a corner table, talking with the same Brunette from Psych class. Before much can register someone stands in her view. She moves to one side to see better, eyes on the spot Parker's in - and she thuds soundly into Riley, causing him to spill a bit of his (quite full) soda.

RILEY
Whoah!

BUFFY
Oh! Sorry.

RILEY
You know, most people go around.
I'm not saying you CAN'T tunnel
through me, I just think the other way's quicker.

BUFFY
In my defense, you take up a lot of space.

RILEY
I do. I'm ungainly. You looking for someone?

For she is still keeping an eye out to see what Parker's up to.

BUFFY
Uh, no, I… saw Parker there…

RILEY
(with wry disdain)
Right, Parker and his latest conquest.
That boy should have his attention span checked.

BUFFY
(fishing, not thrilled)
He's kind of a girl chaser, huh?

RILEY
Sets 'em up and knocks 'em down.
I guess maybe I'm old fashioned,
but my father always says if you
want to be a gentleman… you don't
care even the slightest bit what my father says.

She has been in her own world, still stealing glances towards Parker.

BUFFY
Sorry, what?

RILEY
(good-natured)
Forget about it. I got people waiting.
I'll see you in class.

BUFFY
Uh huh…

Buffy turns and takes a step toward Parker's table, but stops dead in her tracks. Heart leaping into her throat.

Indeed Parker and the brunette are kissing now… and kissing, passionately, deeply, on and on.

Buffy swallows hard. Turns to look away. Fighting for a grip.

ANGLE: XANDER

At the bar, spying a pretty young sorority girl, PAULA, sitting with THREE more SORORITY GIRLS. Despite CUSTOMERS waiting, he makes a beeline for her. Flicks his lighter, cranks up the charm.

XANDER
Rough day?

Paula turns to face him, revealing she is chewing a swizzle stick, not smoking. But perky as all get out.

PAULA
Nah, I've been super.

He snaps his lighter off.

PAULA
We accepted Melody's pledge
and made her an official sister
of Beta Delta Gamma. And,
our pins arrived today. I designed them myself!

She pulls out her collar to show Xander.

XANDER
You are so sharp.

FOUR MALE INTELLECTUALS arrive at the bar. COLM, the leader of the pack, puts his arm around Paula. His three buddies, ROY, HUNT, and KIP, pull in stools.

COLM
Hey, Paula. Are you keeping this
fine bartender from his duties? Man's
got to earn a living.

XANDER
S'alright.

Colm leans a shoulder between Paula and Xander to exclude him.

COLM
(quieter)
So, the guys and I were celebrating about the…

XANDER
(piping in, cheery)
No really, it's alright. I'm due for a break.

COLM
(a little annoyed)
Oh. So, what were you discussing?
Maybe we can all join.

PAULA
(chuckling)
Oh be nice.

Sensing trouble, Xander backs off.

XANDER
(reconsidering)
Hm, no, forget it.

About to turn away when…

COLM
No, I rudely interrupted. And it
sounds like you two were having
quite the meeting of minds.
(to Xander)
Possibly debating the geo-political
ramifications of bio-engineering?
You have a take on that?

XANDER
I've got beer. Want some beer?

COLM
Pitcher of Black Frost.
(as Xander pours)
See, I think we have a perfect venue
here for conducting sociometry here.
Bipolar continuum of attraction and
rejection. Given your socio-economic
statuses, I foresee a…
(indicates Paula and Xander respectively)
…"B" rejects "A" diad.

Chips of Xander's cool exterior begin to fall away.

COLM
I'm sorry, let me clarify.
(leans in, whispers)
You see, we are this country's future.
You keep the bowl of peanuts full.
We are what these girls want.

Xander stares, the pitcher full.

COLM
And four glasses.

XANDER
How about I see some I.D. first?
'Cause you're not getting a drop
until I'm satisfied that -

JACK
(cutting him off)
Just give 'em the beer.

JACK, 40's, tired of it all boss, just passes through the frame gruffly. Xander slides the beer to Colm who, with a victory-grin, grabs the pitchers and heads off, buddies in tow, leaving a ten on the bar.

Xander turns around, starts to wipe the bar again, but finds Buffy sitting there. Majorly hurt and humiliated.

XANDER
Buffy?

She looks at him. Red in the face.

XANDER
(softly, sincerely)
Rough day?
(off her nod)
Want to tell me about it?

She nods again. Big breath, and…

BUFFY
It's just… Parker's problem with
intimacy turns out to be that he
can't get enough of it. And I knew
that, I knew what he was, but…
You know, if he were tied up and
gagged and left in a cave that vampires
HAPPENED to frequent that wouldn't
really be like I killed him really…

XANDER
Buffy…

BUFFY
(teary eyed)
I'm a slut.

XANDER
No.

BUFFY
A big, lecherous loser.

XANDER
No.

JACK
Hey!

Jack smacks Xander on the arm, gets his attention. Jack motions he needs Xander over at the other end.

XANDER
Sorry. So sorry.

Xander turns back to Buffy.

BUFFY
(brave face)
I'm better. This has helped.

Xander hesitates, but she forces a smile.

XANDER
Don't go anywhere.

He reluctantly turns and follows Jack down the bar.

Alone, Buffy's brave face falls away. Feeling lost and small, she gets off her stool and starts to leave. Not looking where she's going, bumps straight into Roy. Mug of beer in hand.

BUFFY
Sorry. I'm bumping into people today.

Colm and the rest of them arrive, sizing up the attractive, sad Buffy.

ROY
I can't imagine anybody minding…

A beat as Roy looks her in the eye. Although she doesn't return his gaze, he can see she's in pain.

ROY
You're not thinking of leaving, are you?
'Cause we have a strict policy against
you leaving. At least until you've had a drink.

Buffy manages a little smile.

COLM
My friend's just saying, you shouldn't
be alone and sad right now. You're a
beautiful girl who should be covered with men.
(beat)
And could we be those men?

Kip plunks a beer down on a table in front of Buffy.

KIP
It's on us.

She eyes it. Then regards the guys surrounding her. In the distance, she sees Parker leaving with the brunette, holding hands. Her hesitancy transforms into why-the-hell-not. She nods, grasps the handle.

EXT. THE BRONZE – NIGHT

Pre-recorded MUSIC POUNDS from inside. PARTIERS lined up to get in.

INT. THE BRONZE – NIGHT

Oz brings drinks to Willow at a table not far from the stage. The place is fairly crowded.

OZ
You got a table.

WILLOW
I had to kill a man.

OZ
Well, it’s a really good table.

WILLOW
I copied out my notes for psyche,
since you were so elsewhere this
morning. It’s pretty simple stuff –

The LIGHTS GO OUT and the pre-recorded MUSIC STOPS. The room HUSHES. LIVE MUSIC begins to THROB.

Willow regards Oz shifting in his seat, brow furrowed.

WILLOW (CONT’D)
(concerned)
What’s the matter?

OZ
I...don’t know. Feel a little... it’s nothing.

A single LIGHT shines outward from the stage. Silhouetted in it, is the hazy figure of a woman. In the light’s periphery, her band. Their MUSIC PULSES with increasing intensity. The woman steps into a spotlight and puts a hand on the mic.

She is VERUCA. 20. With a charismatic energy and presence that’s fluid, intense and highly sexual.

Willow watches Oz. Oz watches the stage.

WILLOW
We could go to your place.
I could make soup.

Veruca’s eyes take a moment to adjust to the bright light. Then turning her head slowly and purposefully, her gaze falls directly on Oz.

OZ
No thanks. I’ll be fine.

And Veruca begins to SING. Oz stares at her. She seems to be singing largely to him.

Willow follows his gaze to the stage. She tenses – no way is this lost on her. She subtly eyes Oz. His attention to Veruca is a surprise to her.

WILLOW
Do you know her?

OZ
Veruca? No, I’ve met the drummer,
he’s cool. Never heard them play...

Willow sits, suddenly wishing she didn’t have to hear them play.

INT. COLLEGE PUB – NIGHT

The table of intellectuals has loosened up quite a bit.

GUYS
(chanting)
Chug! Chug! Chug!

ANGLE: IT’S BUFFY

With the stein raised to her lips, going, going… A few empty pitchers of beer litter the table, a couple of full ones yet to be had. Buffy finishes her mug, BELCHES indiscreetly. Colm starts to refill her mug.

COLM
The thing the modern day pundits
fail to realize is that all of the
socioeconomic and psychological problems
inherent in modern society can be
solved by the judicious application of way
too much beer.

BUFFY
My mother always says that beer
is evil.

COLM
Evil, good, these are moral absolutes
that predate the fermentation of malt
and fine hops. See…where was I?

BUFFY
I’m not really sure.

KIP
Well, Thomas Aquinas said –

ROY
No! There will be no Thomas Aquinas
at this table!

HUNT
Keep your Theology of Providence
to yourself, fatboy.

KIP
I was just drawing a parallel to –

COLM
Beer! Had the earliest morality been
developed under the influence of beer
there would be no good and evil.
There would be “kinda nice”
and “pretty cool”. Everything would be
different.

BUFFY
(good-naturedly)
You guys just love to hear yourselves
speak, don’t you?

COLM
We’re losing her, guys…

ROY
Say something interesting!

HUNT
(to Buffy)
Well, tell us about yourself.

COLM
Yeah. What do you like?

A beat, as Buffy tries to come up with somethiing. Finally she hoists her beer.

BUFFY
Well, I don’t hate this, for a start.

A general clamor of approval as Buffy drinks a hefty sip.

ANGLE: XANDER

At the bar, watching, worry increasing.

EXT. BUFFY AND WILLOW’S DORM – DAY

A new day. Birds and sunshine and everything sweet. Except,

WILLOW (V.O.)
(mimicking Veruca)
"I'm Veruca. I'm in a band."

INT. Buffy AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - DAY

Willow enters from the hall, having come from the bathroom. She collects her things, stuffs them into a backpack. Not really looking at Buffy as she talks.

WILLOW
(mimicking Oz)
"I'm Oz, I'm in a band, too. And this is Willow."
(mimicking Veruca)
"How fun, a groupie!"
(mad Willow)
GROUPIE!

Willow's eyelids flutter in a mock seizure.

WILLW
Buff, you ever heard of this
Veruca chick? Dresses like
Faith. Voice like an albatross?

Buffy's tempting blindness, sitting far too close to the TV, which plays a MUSIC VIDEO.

BUFFY
TV is a good thing. Bright
colors, music… little tiny people.

Willow turns and looks at her for the first time. Eyes red, half-shut. Big matted bedhead. Still in her wrinkly jammies.

WILLOW
Whoah, what you have you done with Buffy?

Expressing anything is a chore this morning…

BUFFY
I'm suffering the after-ness of a bad night of badness.

Willow's eyes widen. Conclusion: sex.

WILLOW
You didn't! Not with Parker again.

BUFFY
No, with five really smart guys.

WILLOW
(utter disgust)
Five! Ow. Oh.
(then deep concern)
Oh, Buffy. Are you okay?
Want to tell me about it?

Willow puts down her backpack.

BUFFY
I went to see Xander, but then
I saw Parker and… then came beer.

WILLOW
And then group sex?

BUFFY
(snort-laugh)
Pfah… gutter-face, no! Just lots
'n lots 'o beer. It's nice. Foamy
and comforting. It's beer.

WILLOW
Drowning your troubles 'cause of
Parker, the mind-frying man! He
deserves a torturous and slow death by spider bites.
(beat)
Well, for today, we can shoot
spit balls at the back of his neck in class.

BUFFY
Okay.

Buffy heads for the door.

WILLOW
But getting dressed would be fun, too.

Oh. Buffy turns around. Still in her pajamas. Heads back into the room.

INT. LECTURE HALL – DAY

At the front of the room, Maggie Walsh addresses the students. Riley stands by, watches as…

Buffy wriggles in her seat. Short attention span.

Beside her, Willow regards her jacket, thrown yet again on the empty seat she has saved for Oz.

PROF WALSH (O.S.)
Now, next class, we’ll be moving
on to personality types and disorders.
Those of you who’ve done the reading
will already know…

Buffy shoots her hand up.

PROF WALSH
Yes?

BUFFY
(re: Willow)
She read the… reading.

The class erupts in a hushed giggle. It’s not entirely lost on Buffy. Both she and Willow sink in their chairs, embarrassed. At the front, Riley frowns.

PROF WALSH
Well then, she’ll have some time
on her hands. As I was saying…

As she continues talking, Buffy cranes her neck up. Her nose twitches. Follows it until she spots a FEMALE STUDENT to her right, trying to hide her coffee and cold turkey sandwich lunch under her desk. Chewing slowly and discreetly.

PROF WALSH (O.S.)
…We don’t have time to cover it
all in class. But it doesn’t mean it’s
not worth knowing…

Buffy licks her lips. Maggie continues talking and the sandwich gets harder and harder to resist.

PROF WALSH (cont’d, O.S.)
And it doesn’t mean it won’t be on
the mid-term. Now, if I’ve been unclear
in any way, speak now.

And Buffy snatches it right from the girl’s mouth. Stuffs it into her own.

WILLOW
BUFFY!

Willow pulls it back out. The girl regards Buffy like a retarded animal.

WILLOW (cont’d)
Buffy, are you okay?

BUFFY
(dim and oblivious)
Sure, why wouldn’t I be?

INT. DARK PLACE

CAMERA PANS across a creepy mix of magic and science - human skulls, test tubes, bunsen burners. FINDING a large beaker over a blue flame, with a bubbling, glowing liquid inside…

TWO POWERFUL, GLOVED HANDS ENTER FRAME

and adjust a small knob, initiating the flow from the beaker into a clear plastic tube. Like a vein that's been unclogged, the liquid pushes through the tube, on a mission.

CAMERA PANS SLOWLY, following the liquid past black magic books and unidentifiable small carcasses.

Until the tube ends, and the liquid dribbles out, reacting in a hissy fit of FIZZ and STEAM, with another liquid in what might be a cauldron. CAMERA PANS SLOWLY DOWN some more, revealing the cauldron is actually…

A keg of beer labeled, "Black Frost".

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. COLLEGE PUB - NIGHT

Empty pitchers of beer litter the table. One of the guys finishes pouring one for Buffy. Likely not her first.

BUFFY
S'good… good enough!

COLM
No more? But s'good.

BUFFY
Yeah. Foamy.

KIP
(to Buffy)
You should come to our class on big thinking. S'good.

ANGLE - XANDER AT THE BAR

watching, growing more and more concerned for her. His mind's not on the job as a YOUNG WOMAN pulls up a stool.

YOUNG WOMAN
Boy, I'm having the worst day…

But he's way too distracted to seize the opportunity. She pulls out a cig…

YOUNG WOMAN
You got a light?

Xander slowly and absentmindedly holds up a cardboard coaster with the no-smoking symbol on it, eyes always on Buffy. Lowers it again and pushes his rag down the bar, eyes still on…

RESUME BUFFY AND FRIENDS

Colm leans over to Buffy. Sniffing at her hair.

COLM
I like girls.

Buffy knocks him in the arm, playfully.

BUFFY
You're stupid!

COLM
No, you! Stupid!

ROY
(to Colm)
No, you stupid!

BUFFY
(re: Colm)
Smelly head.

Roy sniffs Colm. Confirms it. Colm frowns, hits Roy harder in the arm.

Buffy drinks.

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW’S DORM HALL – NIGHT

Willow exits her dorm room as Oz comes down the hall.

WILLOW
Oz…

OZ
Hey, I tried calling you.

He reaches a hand out to caress her arm.

WILLOW
(coolly)
I’ve been at the library. How
are you feeling?

OZ
What do you mean?

WILLOW
You weren’t in class…
(barely audible)
…again.

OZ
Yeah, band was practicing.
Listen, Shy is playing again tonight –

WILLOW
Shy?

OZ
Veruca’s band. They asked me
to sit in with them. Be cool
if you were there…

WILLOW
Two Veruca shows in two nights…
Sure you want to share your groupie?
(beat)
I think I’m just gonna study. ‘Cause
of the fun.

OZ
Oh. Okay. I guess it might be
kind of dull for you.

She looks him in the eye, hoping he’ll ask her to come with him again.

WILLOW
See ya.

Another painful pause before…

OZ
Yeah.

A beat, and she leaves. Oz watches her go, confused.

INT. COLLEGE PUB - NIGHT

The place is quiet. Xander's cleaning up, listening to Buffy, Roy and Colm engage in a fun shoving match.

COLM
You stupid.

ROY
No, you stupid.

BUFFY
No, you.

Xander finishes wiping the counter. Moves over to the jukebox. Slips in a quarter and makes a selection. MUSIC fills the room.

BUFFY
Hey!

She gets up and moves to the jukebox. Studying it carefully. Slaps it with the back of her hand.

BUFFY
(to jukebox)
It sings!

Xander marches over to her.

BUFFY
(to Xander)
Like it.

XANDER
Time to go home, Buffy.

BUFFY
Want more singing. Want more… beer.

XANDER
No. I've cut you off.

BUFFY
Did it hurt?

XANDER
Out you go.

Buffy motions back to her table of friends, but Xander takes her by the arm.

BUFFY
No. Like beer. Beer…good.

XANDER
No, beer bad. Bad, bad beer.
What the hell am I saying?
Go home and go to bed.

Xander opens the door for her.

BUFFY
Say bye.

XANDER
Bye.

BUFFY
(pouty)
Bye.

She shuffles out the door.

ANGLE: GUYS AT TABLE

getting around to noticing Buffy has left.

COLM
(quietly angry)
Where woman go?

He looks around, then sees Xander walking back to the bar. His eyes narrow, blaming him for his sudden lack of woman.

INT. THE GROTTO – NIGHT

The place is dark and definitely cave-like. Graffiti on the walls. Grimy floor, torn leatherette couches, soda machine. SLEEPING STUDENTS draped over a good portion of it all.

Willow enters in a bad mood, books in hand, and sees

PARKER

reclining in a corner, reading, alone.

She can’t contain herself any longer. She walks up, stands before him. Silent, ‘til he slowly looks up from his book.

PARKER
Hey.

She just glares down at him.

PARKER (cont’d)
Uh, did you want something?

WILLOW
Yes. I wanna give you a piece of
my mind. ‘Cause I’ve had it with you
and your… man-ness. Buffy is really
hurting right now. In fact, she’s
in need of a big mental tidy.
Parker, how could you do this to her?

Parker’s surprised and concerned.

PARKER
I don’t get what you mean.
What did I “do”?

WILLOW
She shared a very intimate thing with
you. And you act like it was nothing
more than a bag of… some kind of
snack food!

PARKER
Willow. I’m not sure I need to
explain my actions here. But if that’s what
you want…

WILLOW
Yes, followed by an admission of
undeniable guilt, but go on.

She sits, posture erect, scowl fixed.

PARKER
(beat)
Some relationships center on a deep
emotional tie or…a loyal friendship
or something.
(beat)
But most are just two people
passing through life, enriching or
aggravating each other’s lives briefly.

WILLOW
Go on.

PARKER
Just for one night. Can’t two people
who feel an attraction come together
and create something wonderful? And
then, go back to their lives the next
day, better for it, but never over-analyzing
it or wanting it to be more than it was?

He looks into her eyes, wondering if she’ll answer. Willow swallows. He makes it all seem so okay.

PARKER (cont’d)
I have. She should too.

Willow softens her tone.

WILLOW
People like Buffy, and…and me…assume
intimacy means friendship, and respect.
People shouldn’t have to ask first,
“Are you going to be eyeing other
prospects tomorrow?”

PARKER
And people shouldn’t have to preface
casual sex with, “Just so you know,
I’ll never grow any older with you.”
Takes the fire out of it.
(beat)
You see where I’m coming from?

God, he’s charming.

WILLOW
Maybe.

Parker seems to soften a little more, too.

PARKER (CONT’D)
Willow… I don’t regret what happened.
Or what we did.
(beat)
But I am sorry Buffy’s hurting.
And if I misled her, I’m sorry
about that too. I didn’t mean to.
(beat)
I’m impressed that you care so
much about her.

Willow smiles a bit, impressed with him.

PARKER
You’re a good friend.

INT. COLLEGE PUB - NIGHT

Kip and Hunt are now squatting on their chairs and have taken to slapping each other with the backs of their hands. Roy is struggling to get his T-shirt over his head. Scratching at his torso, itchy.

Xander inches away from them as he wipes up.

XANDER
(beat)
Pay up and go home, guys.

Xander tries not to get hit as he wipes down their table. Roy stands, knocking over chairs, finally getting that shirt off.

COLM
Mmph.

Colm smacks Roy, points to the men's room. Roy smacks him back. Colm exits through the door to the restroom.

The rest of the guys linger, fascinated with the television sets in the corners of the room. Kip unloads a wad of bills on the table.

XANDER
(picking through them)
I'll take this one and this one. And…
(beat)
Man, you know, I've always had
a problem calculating the tip. And
you guys being so dapper of brain,
maybe you could help me.

Roy turns to look at him, lower lip hanging loosely. But ready to try to help, nonetheless.

XANDER
Good. Okay. See, if your bill comes
to sixty dollars. And generally, people
tip… what, approximately thirty percent?
That would make your tip, what?

Xander regards them, mock-anxious for their answer. Roy stares at Xander, hating him, growing increasingly vexed. But nonetheless, Roy pushes the remainder of his bills at Xander. Xander takes the money and sorts through it.

XANDER
You are so smart!
This is so the right amount!

A MUFFLED CRASH! And Xander and the guys look to the bathroom door.

XANDER
Somebody didn't have their fiber today.

Another, LOUDER CRASH! And Xander's smile disappears.

XANDER
Hey, you alright in there?

No answer. More LOUD SMASHING and Xander approaches the washroom door. Slowly, cautiously.

XANDER (O.S.)
Colm?

CRASH! Something BURSTS out of the washroom, landing on Xander, flattening him.

CREATURE
AAAAARRRRGGGHH!

We catch FLASHES of rotted yellow teeth, matted hair and ripped, dirty clothing. Behind this CREATURE, the restroom door swings on it's one semi-intact hinge, doorframe in splinters. Xander looks up, terrified, into its eyes.

ANGLE: XANDER'S POV

is a full-on CRO-MANGON, mean and ugly. He raises both fists high above his head and brings them down on Xander's head, plunging him and us into -

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

ANGLE: XANDER'S BLURRY POV

The CRO-MAGNON leaning over him as he comes to on the floor. Struggling to focus.

Kip and Hunt stand with a curious combination of shock and intrigue. Roy backs up, panicky, knocking over a couple chairs.

ROY
Oh…God…

HUNT
S'get outa h-

The Cro-Magnon emits a loud, primal YELL, and Xander cringes at the noise, and oh, the breath! Wakes him up like smelling salts. He looks at the Cro-mag. The hair, the torn clothes. It's…

XANDER
Colm?

Cro-Mag Colm sniffs Xander's ear, and Xander JABS his knee into Colm's crotch. Cro-Mag Colm YELLS and falls away in pain. Xander rolls out, scrambles out of the way to see…

KIP, HUNT and ROY

Overcome with violent convulsions. Knocking over tables and chairs. Each of them at their own pace, transforming physically. SCREAMING in pain, GRUNTING and YELLING in a deeper, primal voice.

Xander watches with dawning horror, as:

WE CATCH GLIMPSES as ARMS EXTEND longer than shirtsleeves, EYEBROWS PULSATE and grow THICKER, bulging over the eyes. TEETH turn crooked, brown. FEET BURST out of their shoes. BACKS HUNCH over. HAIR GROWS QUICKLY on the back of hands, face, feet and legs. Until all transformations are complete.

And they are all full CRO-MAGNONS. Turning to look at Xander with their opaque, beady eyes. Lunch.

Xander looks desperately around him. Trapped. Cro-Mag Kip tosses a table aside as if it were made of toothpicks. A couple of the guys brandish the legs as weapons. Cro-Mags Hunt and Roy surround him. Cro-Mag Colm joins them.

XANDER
We're cool. Easy.

They don't understand, but they can smell his fear. They YELL again. Xander YELLS too, but with words.

XANDER
(yells)
Help!
(scared)
Oh God.

He reaches for a nearby broken chair leg, but it's too far.

Now, they're on him. Xander closes his eyes, ready to become pulp. But in a last attempt to remain alive, shoves his CIGARETTE LIGHTER at them.

With FRIGHTENED HOWLS and GRUNTS, all five of the Cro-Mags back off. They scamper towards the door, eyes fixed on the lighter. Except Cro-Mag Colm who backs away slower, staring into the flame. It takes all his brainpower to form a few choice words.

CRO-MAGNON COLM
Fire. Bad.
(conflicted)
Fire…pretty.

Xander shoves it at him again.

XANDER
Fire angry!

Scaring Cro-Mag Colm, Xander rushes at him with the flame. Cro-Mag Colm backs away and out the door. Xander locks the door behind him.

INT. COLLEGE PUB - BACK ROOM - NIGHT

Xander rushes in to find Jack slowly, methodically, stacking supplies and bottles of beer and liquor.

XANDER
Jack, JACK! We got a problem.
They guys, they, they're…
(sudden calm)
some of your patrons are turning into cave men.

Jack stops what he's doing. Stands there with his hand resting casually on a keg of Black Frost.

JACK
They had it coming.

EXT. CAMPUS – NIGHT

Pack of four Cro-Magnons on the loose. GRUNTING INVOLUNTARILY, they shuffle along the path. A couple of STUDENTS passing by SHRIEK and run away.

The group arrives at a large, knotty tree. Cro-Mag Hunt pulls off a leaf, eats half of it before Cro-Mag Kip steals it away and finishes it off. They smack each other a couple of times.

Cro-Mag Colm throws a leg up and climbs. Carefully, he moves out onto a limb. Jumps up and down on it to the delight of his Cro-Mag buds. The branch begins to crack, and finally, Cro-Mag Colm falls to the ground along with it. Stands back up, picking up the branch. Uses it to CLUB Cro-Mag Roy over the head, much to Roy’s dismay. The group CHEERS in their grunty, wild way, and begin to climb the tree, too.

INT. COLLEGE PUB - NIGHT

XANDER
What!?

Jack goes about his business.

JACK
I have been taking abuse from snot-nosed
kids for twenty years. Come in here with
their snotty attitudes, drinking their fruity
microbrews and spouting on about philosophy
like it means a damn thing. Think they're
different than us.

XANDER
Well they are now…

JACK
They ain't. That's the great thing
about beer. Makes all men the same.

XANDER
(frantic)
Why are we talking about beer? The guys are…
(realization)
…the beer.

JACK
Neat, huh? My brother in law's
a warlock. Showed me how to -

XANDER
No! No neat! I served them that beer.
(oh shit!)
I served Buffy that beer.
(calmly)
Uh, how much beer would you say a
person would need to consume before
they started seriously questing for fire?

JACK
Relax. It'll wear off in a day or so.

XANDER
In a day or so, someone's gonna get killed.

He exits in a hurry. Pops his head back in:

XANDER
You're a bad bad man.

EXT. CAMPUS – NIGHT

Cro-Mags still on the loose. At a road now. They spin, mouths gaping open, in awe of the bright street lamps. Cro-Mag Hunt ventures out into the road. ZOOM…ZOOM! A CAR speeds by so fast he can hardly follow it with his eyes. Suddenly compelled to chase, he raises his stick. And runs after another car. The others watch. YELLING and CHEERING him on. Until…

SCREEEEEECH!!…SMACK!!

Cro-Mag Hunt is hit by a student-type, compact CLUNKER and sent flying, landing with a sick THUD on the blacktop.

The others come toward him as he wimpers in pain, his leg broken.

THE DRIVER

Gets out of the car, stunned, yet panicky, and approaches the group.

DRIVER
I didn’t see him! Is he okay?

The Cro-Mags turn, growling. The Driver stops dead. These guys are not exactly human-looking.

In a blind rage, the Cro-Mags all turn and run for the Driver who bolts the other way. And surprisingly, the Cro-Mags don’t give chase. Instead, they turn their watch on the empty car. With their makeshift clubs, they pound the hell out of it, shattering the windows, crumpling the roof, hood and trunk.

Cro-Mag Colm suddenly stops. Sniffs, looks.

ANGLE: TWO COLLEGE GIRLS are walking a distance away, books in hand.

The cavelads fire off after them, leaving the wounded Hunt to lick his wounds, still whimpering.

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM HALLWAY - NIGHT

Xander and Giles walk at a clipped pace.

XANDER
I cut her off before the others.
I don't think she had as much to drink.

GILES
I can't believe you served Buffy that beer.

XANDER
I didn't know it was evil!

GILES
You knew it was beer

XANDER
Well excuse me Mr. I-Spent-the-60's
-in-an-electric-koolaid-funky-satan-groove.

GILES
Early seventies and you should both know better.

XANDER
Hey, I'm not the dad of her. Buffy's
a grown up, and she's intelligent enough to -

Xander throws open the door to Buffy's room -

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

-- and sees

Buffy

Crouching on her bunk. Drawing with make-up on her wall. Hair tousled to near dredness, make-up smudging her face. Dumb as a stone. But thank God not a neanderthal. Or naked. She wears baggy, earth-tone clothes: sweatpants and a tank top.

She turns to them, brow furrowed, to explain what she's doing.

BUFFY
Parker bad!

Buffy's drawing depicts primitive human figures, clearly a man and a woman. She hits the man with her "paint", crossing him out.

OFF Xander and Giles concerned, yet intrigued -

INT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

Willow and Parker still talking. Willow seems quite fascinated by him.

PARKER
I don't mean this in a bragging way,
but I do get to know a lot of women.

WILLOW
Well, getting to know people is good.

PARKER
But I haven't found the "one" yet.
I've yet to find a girl that I can just…
you know, sit with, feeling totally at
ease spewing whatever's on my mind.
Or even sit with, comfortably in silence.

Like he can with Willow. She looks at him. His gaze penetrating. She looks away, embarrassed.

PARKER
Willow… Can I tell you something private?

WILLOW
Okay. I mean, I feel like you've shown
me a perspective I hadn't really thought
much about before.

Parker reaches out and touches Willow's arm.

WILLOW
(gulp)
What is it you wanted to tell me?

PARKER
Just that I've enjoyed talking with you.
Here, tonight.

WILLOW
(smiles)
Me too. I mean, with you. You know,
I'm wondering something. About you.

PARKER
What?

WILLOW
(maintains sweet tone)
Just how gullible do you think I am?
I mean, with your gentle eyes and your
shy smile and your ability to talk openly with only me…
(beat)
You're unbelievable!

PARKER
What?

WILLOW
This isn't sharing. This isn't connecting.
It's the pleasure principle! That's right,
I've got your number, Id Boy. Only thing
you're thinking about is how long before
you can jump on my bones!

PARKER
Look, if you think -

WILLOW
You men! It's all about the sex. Find
a woman, drag her to your den. Do
whatever's necessary. Just as long as
you get the sex.
(beat)
I tell you, men have not changed
since the dawn of time!

Parker regards her, speechless, when…

SMASH!!!

The door to the Grotto is bashed down and the Cro-Magnons enter with two semi-conscious sorority girls in tow.

WILLOW
See!?!

Cro-Mag Hunt spots Willow and rushes over to her. She turns to escape…

WILLOW
(to Parker)
This way!

But Cro-Mag Hunt raises his club and brings it down over her head. She falls to the floor in a heap.

Parker scrambles into a corner, terrified. Then Cro-Mag Hunt hunts him down and bonks him too.

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT

Giles and Xander staring.

GILES
Fascinating, really.

ANGLE: BUFFY

sitting upside down on a chair, giggling. She lifts a leg, loses balance and falls off it, frowning at the pain. She stands, moves to the TV. Stares at it. It's off.

BUFFY
Want people. Where people go?

GILES
(each word slowly)
The TV is off.

BUFFY
WANT! Want people!

Cranky, she smacks the TV screen with the back of her hand.

GILES
Well, at least she doesn't seem to be in
any immediate danger. Maybe you
should just stay with her…

BUFFY
(sidling up to Xander)
Boy smell nice.

GILES
Or perhaps she should be alone.

XANDER
Yeah, I think we need to track down the
funboys somewhat pronto. Jack said the
beer wouldn't wear off till -

Buffy's face lights up.

BUFFY
Beer! Want beer!

GILES
You can't have beer -

BUFFY
(darkly)
Want beer.

XANDER
(eyeing her)
Giles, don't make caveslayer unhappy…

Buffy
Buffy strong.

XANDER
Yes, Buffy strong.

Buffy
Buffy want beer.

XANDER
No, Buffy get -

And like lightning, Buffy bolts from the room, knocking over Giles and Xander. BAM - Giles hits his head on the dresser.

XANDER
Giles…

GILES
I'm fine. Get her.

Xander dashes into the hall.

INT. Buffy AND WILLOW'S DORM HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS (NIGHT)

Xander stops. Hallway's empty, Buffy's not in sight. Giles appears behind him, rubbing the back of his head.

XANDER
Which way?

GILES
Let's split up. We've got to find her before someone gets hurt.

EXT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

With its sign flashing, "Grotto".

INT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

Cro-Mag Hunt kneels over Willow, still unconscious on the floor.

CRO-MAGNON HUNT
Woman.
(punches self)
Man.

WIDER

The entire lounge has been transformed. Now, more 'cave-like'. The Cro-Mags have barricaded the exits, they've built a FIRE in the center of the room with books and chair legs.

Parker is still knocked out, too, crumpled in a corner.

Cro-Mag Colm raises his club high above his head in triumph.

CRO-MAGNON COLM
Woman! Yaahhh!

As the Cro-Mags cheer and hop up and down…

ANGLE: THE FIRE

creeps from its center on the floor, along some stray newspapers, to a table leg. As it catches…

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

EXT. CAMPUS - NIGHT

Xander running along a path.

XANDER
Buffy!…Buffy!…

He cuts across a wooded area.

EXT. CAMPUS - NEARBY - NIGHT

Xander emerges from the trees to see Buffy looking around, confused - lost in the woods.

XANDER
Ah hah. Can't find the beer. Good.
Freshman girl not able to hold the beer,
should not have it. Get into trouble.

He puts a hand on her arm. She jerks it away, growls at him.

XANDER
Okay, all good, remember the boy,
boy smell nice? Yeah? Any part of
Buffy still in there?

She stops. Sniffs.

She looks a short distance off, her nose leading her. Xander follows her line of sight.

THEIR POV: SMOKE RISING a couple of blocks away.

XANDER
Oh no.

CAMERA DOLLIES IN to Buffy's face as the dawning danger cuts through the fog, for a big hero moment…

BUFFY
Fire…bad!

And she kicks into a sprint. A beat, and Xander takes off after Buffy, who's already well ahead of him.

EXT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

Buffy arrives at the door. Smoke billows out from cracks between the objects used to barricade everyone inside.

But Buffy BUSTS through the barricade…

INT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

…only to be driven back by the intense flames.

Beyond the barricade, Willow stirs. Slowly comes to, then quickly takes in her surroundings. Through the smoke, she catches only glimpses of the Cro-Mags in their frenzied state of fear.

RESUME BUFFY

She spots a fire extinguisher on the wall. Rips it from its bracket. Holds the extinguisher in front of her a beat, thinking hard - how does this work? - then throws it straight into the fire.

She pauses, hopeful. Didn't help. She looks at the fire, determined to beat it. And she moves straight into it. Reaching in first with a hand.

BUFFY
AAHOOWW!

Jolts back from it, frightened and hurt, holding her hand.

Then, something catches her eye. It's…

WILLOW

Coughing, lying on the floor, weak. A wall of flame between them. She sees Buffy, too.

WILLOW
Buffy…

Buffy's face sets with determination. Without hesitation she leaps off a chair, straight through the flames - lands with a tuck and a roll, at Willow's side.

EXT. THE GROTTO – NIGHT

Xander runs up. Terrible flames and smoke now visible from outside. There’s obviously no way in.

XANDER
Need help. Where the hell is Giles!?

As Xander climbs through the same hole Buffy went in –

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW’S DORM – ANOTHER HALLWAY – NIGHT

Giles stands talking to a STONER.

GILES
…Blond, this tall, walks with a…
(Giles demonstrates)
…bit of a sideways limp…
you didn’t hear anything at all,
I’m sure she came this way –

The Stoner shoots a finger out at Giles, like he’s just remembered something.

STONER
Yer from England!

INT. THE GROTTO – NIGHT

There’s a great wall of flames between Xander and everyone else. Nobody’s getting through now.

XANDER
Buffy!!

Nothing but the load ROAR of the fire. Xander goes immediately to the empty wall bracket from which Buffy plucked the fire extinguisher. Looks back at the fire, takes a second to feel the gravity of the situation before COUGHING and turning to go back outside.

ANGLE: INSIDE FIRE

Buffy grabs Willow and pulls her up. All the Cro-Mags have noticed the new girl in the mix. They advance on Buffy and Willow, still in their frenzied state.

With one hand, Buffy grabs a table leg and beats off the Cro-Mags. With the other, she pulls Willow away from the fire. The Cro-Mags back off. Buffy trips over the unconscious Parker, lying on the floor. She stops a beat to watch him in this vulnerable state. Conflicted. But a sudden SCREECH by one of the Cro-Mags jolts her out of it.

WIDER

The Cro-Mags begin to climb the walls - literally, to escape the licking flames.

Buffy stops, watching the flames. How can she get over them?

BUFFY
Bad, bad, bad…

Amazingly, she jumps straight up, grabbing pipe that runs along the ceiling. Like a monkey, she swings from pipe to pipe. She makes it to a window - swings and grabs pipe with her legs, swings and grabs window grating with her hands. Rips it off and hurls it through the window, smashing it.

Buffy drops and crosses to Willow, who is just waking up.

The cavemen see the open window, shove furniture towards it and climb nimbly out.

Buffy helps Willow up, moves her to the window - slamming a croboy out of the way as she helps Willow out.

EXT. THE GROTTO - SIDE ALLEY - NIGHT

Willow climbs out coughing.

Xander has the two cavemen who are out with him, they sit and groan, swipe at each other. Xander sees Willow.

XANDER
(to the caveboys)
Stay.

He crosses to Willow, helps her up. The rest of the people (two girls and a caveman by my count, but I'm really tired) are climbing out to safety.

XANDER
Are you all right?

WILLOW
Buffy's still in there…

INT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT

Parker is now conscious. Panicky.

PARKER
Oh God…

Presumably from the ceiling, Buffy drops into frame, squats in front of Parker.

PARKER
Help me… I can't breathe…

She cocks her head, not understanding, but knowing enough to…

PARKER
Buffy, what do we do, oh God…

SLAM! She knocks him out cold with one of the Cro-Mags clubs. Then gently, she moves him into position and slings him over her shoulder -

EXT. THE GROTTO - NIGHT - LATTER

The place is a sooty, soggy mess. Ambulances, fire engines and a couple of police cars angled about the scene. Various EMTs give the sorority girls oxygen. Fire fighters mill about, their jobs mostly finished now.

ANGLE: BUFFY AND WILLOW

Willow is seated, an EMT walking away from her. Buffy sits with a concerned expression, running her hand through Willow's hair - and picking something out and eating eat.

Xander approaches.

XANDER
You guys had enough fun for one night?

WILLOW
Yes please.

BUFFY
Tired.

XANDER
And was there a lesson in all this?
What have we learned about beer?

BUFFY
Foamy.

XANDER
Good. Just as long as we're clear.

They rise, start heading off. Buffy trailing her club along the ground.

XANDER
Anyway, I think the boys are
contained for the time being.

ANGLE ON: a minivan

As our three pass it. Inside, each of the remaining Cro-Mags Colm, Hunt and Kip. Not sitting on the seats, just crouching, fiddling with the knobs, grappling with the concept of "glass".

XANDER
They'll figure out how to work the
door locks when the effect has worn
off. And they'll just think they had too
much beer. Which is surely close enough.

WILLOW
Whose van is that?

XANDER
I dunno. Wasn't locked.

PARKER (O.S.)
Buffy!

Buffy spins, sees Parker approaching. Xander and Willow let her take a few steps toward Parker, hang back discreetly. Cautiously, sincerely, Parker begins…

PARKER
Buffy. I… I don't know how to say this.
I'm sorry for how I treated you before.
It was wrong of me, and… I'm sorry.
(beat)
And, you were great tonight. Really.
(beat)
I may not deserve this, but…
Do you think, you could… forgive me?

Buffy regards him. More emotion than coherent thought on her face. He seems honest.

In a flash, she raises a club high over her head and brings it down HARD over his. He falls to the ground, unconscious.

Xander and Willow join her, looking casually down at the unconscious form at their feet.

A beat. They all look at each other, then just casually take off, strolling out of frame.

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW