Fool For Love

(September 28, 2000)

Written by: Douglas Petrie

Teaser

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Our story starts where many have before: in the middle of a big ol' GRAVEYARD FIGHT. BUFFY exchanges punches with a typically nasty-looking VAMPIRE. The only outstanding feature he's sporting is a long, shaggy mane of unkempt HAIR.

BUFFY
You know, it's probably none of my
business, but I just gotta ask:

He swings, she ducks.

BUFFY
Did you smell this bad when
you were alive?

She spins, kicks him in the head. He staggers back, up against a headstone.

BUFFY
If it's a post-mortem thing, then
hey. So not your fault, and boy
is my face red. But just so you
know...

He tries to hit her. She blocks it. Punches him so hard he flips back over the headstone, landing hard in the dirt.

BUFFY
The fast-growing field of
personal grooming's come
a long way since you became
a vampire.

Buffy STAKES HIM - almost. He sidesteps, spins, grabs her arm, twists, and suddenly brings Buffy's arm down upon her, and, using her own stake, held in her own hand, the vamp STABS Buffy.

Shocked, she sees that she is impaled deep, through the side, under the ribs.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Exactly where we left off. Buffy in shock, stabbed. She manages to PUSH the Vampire away.

She looks down at herself. There's a STAKE sticking out of her. She PULLS IT OUT. Not without a small cry of pain.

BUFFY
Aah!

The Vampire is back on her. She RUNS. It's not easy.

She looks back behind her. The Vamp's gone. She looks ahead. And he's standing right in front of her, deadly intent in his eyes.

VAMPIRE
You going?

Buffy backs up fast. The Vampire advances...

VAMPIRE
But, you were having so much
fun a minute ago.

Buffy's backed up against a tomb wall. Nowhere to go. The Vamp LUNGES - when suddenly, a BLUR flashes past, tackling the Vamp hard.

It's RILEY. He brings the Vamp down on the ground but can't hold him. Riley reaches for a taser from his belt. The Vamp hits Riley backhand, sending him sprawling.

Riley whips the taser up and ready to fire - but the Vamp vaults over a tombstone and disappears off into the night.

Riley rushes to Buffy. Holds her.

RILEY
What happened?

Buffy takes her hand away from her wound, showing Riley. Then collapses in his arms.

INT. BUFFY'S BEDROOM - DAY

Riley finishes applying medical tape to a square patch of white gauze at Buffy's midsection.

Cotton balls and a bottle of medicinal alcohol lie on the bedside table. Buffy's t-shirt's rolled up from below.

BUFFY
I can't believe I passed out.
Do you think I'm a total wuss now?

RILEY
(sarcastic)
Oh yeah. I like a girl who can
play a few hard sets of tennis
with a major stab wound.

BUFFY
You said it wasn't that bad.

RILEY
I said I've seen worse.
There's a difference.

BUFFY
No major organs got kebabed.

RILEY
I still think you need to see
a real doctor.

BUFFY
That would put me in a real
hospital, which would get my
real Mom real freaked. Can't
do it.

RILEY
If our positions were reversed...

BUFFY
I'd call you world-class butthead
then make you go. Don't worry.
Accelerated healing powers come
with the Slayer package.

She starts to roll her shirt down over the bandage.

BUFFY
And the boyfriend who comes
complete with combat medical
training? That's the Buffy
Summers bonus.

RILEY
So tell me about the bad guy. Or,
guys. What do you think they were?

BUFFY
Vampire

RILEY
How many?

BUFFY
One.

RILEY
So, what, he was like some kind
of Super Vampire or something?

BUFFY
I think he was just the regular
kind. Extra stinky, if that's any
help. Oh, and he had this very
eighties, Van Halen-y hair band 'do.

RILEY
That's scary.

BUFFY
But outside that, he was just your
plain old, run of the mill, average
undead guy. He just beat me.

RILEY
That ever happen before?

BUFFY
I'm in the best physical shape of
my life. If you're asking me how
it happened, I don't...

DAWN bursts in without knocking. Sees Buffy rolling her shirt down over the wound.

BUFFY
Dawn.

DAWN
Sorry. I didn't mean to
interrupt the sex-capades.
I just wanted to tell you...

JOYCE enters, also without knocking.

DAWN
...Mom's coming.

JOYCE
Hi, Riley.

RILEY
Mrs. Summers. How are you feeling?

JOYCE
Fine. Bordering on chipper.
And tomorrow, I'm planning
to be obnoxious.

RILEY
Glad to hear it.

JOYCE
Buffy, when you get a minute,
I want to go over the grocery
list for next week, and there's
some things I need picked up
at the gallery.

BUFFY
Sure, Mom.

JOYCE
No rush.

She starts to go, stops.

JOYCE
Are you disinfecting something?

BUFFY
Hmm?

Joyce indicates the medical supplies.

BUFFY
Oh, um...

DAWN
Mine.

She swabs some alcohol on cotton, rubs her fingernails.

DAWN
Some nail polish experiments are
doomed before they even begin.

JOYCE
(to Dawn)
But you keep pushing
the envelope, honey.
(to Buffy)
See you in a few?

BUFFY
You got it.

Joyce leaves. Beat. Dawn turns to Buffy.

DAWN
Did I just pull off a Slayer-
related Mom cover-up thing?

Riley and Buffy look at each other. Dawn knows she did.

DAWN
Come on. Who's the man?

BUFFY
You are. A short, annoying man.
If I show you something, promise
not to tell?

Dawn crosses her heart. Buffy lifts her shirt just enough for Dawn to see the bandage dressing.

DAWN
Oh, cool. I mean, gross. I mean,
both. Are you all red and squishy
under there?

BUFFY
Very. Mom can't know. Think you
can help with the household stuff?

DAWN
That's it? I cover your butt and
then you dump your chores on me?

BUFFY
Dawn...

DAWN
I got it, you're covered,
we're good.
(examines wound)
Lucky it's not bikini season.

RILEY
So. Dawn takes household duty.
I'll pick up tonight's patrol.

BUFFY
By yourself?

RILEY
It's just a sweep.

BUFFY
Do me a favor? Take the
gang along with.

RILEY
I'll be okay.

BUFFY
No question. But, knowing you're
out there with full Scooby backup
would ease the mind of your poor,
injured girlfriend.

RILEY
You forgot "manipulative."

BUFFY
I really didn't.

RILEY
Okay. I'll patrol tonight
with the group.

DAWN
When do I get to patrol?

BUFFY
Not until you're never.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

A graveyard, in the dark of night. Riley enters frame, dressed in cool black civilian clothes. He moves with stealth and confidence, in and out of shadow.

He stops. Looks around. Silently raises a fist in the air and tugs it down, twice. A hand signal to move forward. He advances out of frame.

Followed by WILLOW, XANDER, and ANYA. They saunter into frame, all of them dressed in INCREDIBLY LOUD CLOTHING.

Xander's got the Hawaiian shirt going, Willow's in a brightly-colored hat. Anti-Stealth Wear. Xander's loudly munching from a bag of chips.

XANDER
(whispering)
What's with the hand move?
You see that? Does that like,
mean something?

ANYA
(whispering)
Oh, he's just trying to
look important.

She takes the bag of chips from Xander.

WILLOW
(whispering)
It's code. I think it breaks
down to "Choo-choo."

XANDER
(whispering)
That doesn't sound right.

ANYA
(whispering)
It probably means to follow him.
That, or wait here for him.

WILLOW
(whispering)
Ask.

XANDER
(YELLING)
HEY! Riley! What's the...
(hand gestures)
...all about?

Riley, five paces up ahead, sighs.

RILEY
It means yell real loud so the
vampires who don't know we're
coming will have a sporting chance.

XANDER
(to Willow)
See? Now you made him all
mad and sarcastic.

WILLOW
You're the one who's doing all
the yelling, Mr. Stealthy-pants.

ANYA
It's their fault.

RILEY
Um, guys? I'm thinking we could
cover more ground if we split up.
Tell you what: I'll cover the
cemeteries - you take the Bronze.

ANYA
Are we not being covert enough?

XANDER
We're sorry.

WILLOW
Sorry!

XANDER
We'll get sneakier. Promise.

RILEY
Just... ditch the chips,
watch my back.

WILLOW
Done.

Willow grabs a handful of chips and shoves as many as she can in her mouth, crunching loudly as she sets the bag aside. Riley heads off. Willow and Xander follow, crunching...

Riley sighs and moves forward.

XANDER
You know what he's like? He's
like a cat. You know, a big
jungle cat. How come I'm not
like that? It's just so cool...

WILLOW
(mouth full)
I think you're cool...

They head off.

INT. THE MAGIC BOX - NIGHT

The Magic Box is closed for the night. But far from empty. We pan across the counter, littered with books of varying ages and thickness, all open. Giles adds another one to the pile, still studying it as he does so. Buffy studies a thick book under a single lamp light. She looks grimly determined.

GILES
Here's another one. Early
eighteenth century Slayer...

Buffy closes the book she's perusing, frustrated.

BUFFY
Good. Let's hope she'll be more
helpful than this one.

GILES
Why? What does it say?

BUFFY
Same as all the others. Slayer
called, blah, blah, blah, scary
battles, blah, blah, blah, great
protector, blah, blah, bl- oops,
she's dead. Where are the details?

GILES
(helpfully)
This slayer forged her own weapons.

BUFFY
Gotta love a gal with an anvil.
(then)
But where are the details of the
Slayer's last battle? What made
that fight special? Why did she lose?

GILES
You didn't lose last night,
Buffy - you just...

BUFFY
(grim)
Got really close. I slipped up,
Giles. I've been training harder
than ever and still...
(re: books)
And there's nothing in any of
these to help me understand
why. I mean, I know every Slayer
comes with an expiration mark
on the package - but I want mine
to be a long time from now. Like
a Cheeto... If there were just a
few good descriptions of what took
other slayers out, I might be able
to understand my mistake. Keep
it from happening again.

This whole subject is making Giles distinctly uncomfortable.

GILES
Yes, well, the problem is that
after the final battle, it's hard
to get any... The slayer's not...
She's rather-

BUFFY
It's okay to use the D-word, Giles.

GILES
Dead. And hence - not forthcoming.

BUFFY
(thinks/then)
Why didn't the Watchers give
fuller accounts of it? The
journals just stop...

GILES
I suppose, if they were anything
like me, previous Watchers just
found the topic too...

BUFFY
Unseemly? Damn. Love ya, but you
Watchers are such prigs sometimes.

GILES
(simply)
Painful. I was going to say.

This stops Buffy. A moment passes between them. Then Giles forges ahead, not wanting to linger on that topic.

GILES
But you're right. Accounts of
final battles would be helpful -
and now there's no one left to
tell the tales.

Beat. Buffy's expression shifts with realization. Giles sees it.

GILES
What?

INT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - NIGHT

We see SPIKE - WHAM! Get slammed down onto the slab in his crypt. Buffy's the one who slammed him there.

SPIKE
Ow! Wait. Not ow. You feeling
all right, Slayer? That stuff
usually hurts...

BUFFY
Don't even start, Spike.

SPIKE
What do you --

BUFFY
Slayers. You killed two of them.

SPIKE
(wary, is this payback?)
I did.

She lets him up.

BUFFY
You're gonna show me how.

And off Buffy's look of fierce determination we BLACKOUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

We see Spike, sitting with Buffy, finishing a beer.

SPIKE
You know, there's quite a few
American beers that are highly
underrated.

He puts the mug down.

SPIKE
This unfortunately is not
one of them.

BUFFY
Update, Spike: we're not here to
discuss the fine choice of hops.

She holds out a rolled-up wad of money.

BUFFY
It's about two Slayers. One in
China during the Boxer Rebellion.
One in New York. Both got
killed...

Spike reaches for the money - too late. Buffy whips it back.

BUFFY
By you. Tell the tale,
you get the cash.

SPIKE
Right. You want to learn all
about how I bested the Slayers,
and you want to learn fast. All
right then: We fought, I won,
the end, pay up.

BUFFY
You know that's not what I...

SPIKE
(interrupting)
What did you want? Eh? A quick
demo? Blow-for-blow description
you can map out and memorize?
Pfah. It's not about the moves,
Love. And since I agreed to your
little proposition, we're going to do
this my way. Wings.

BUFFY
What?

SPIKE
Spicy buffalo wings. Order me up
a plate, I'm feeling peckish.

Buffy glares. Then, sighing, she raises one arm to flag a waitress. And flinches. Keen-eyed Spike notices.

SPIKE
As I thought. Some nasty thing
got a taste of you.

Buffy recoils at the phrase. Sits straight.

BUFFY
Don't get excited. I'm fine.

SPIKE
Right, stuck in a dark corner with
the creature you loathe, digging
up past uglies. 'Cause you're "fine."

He puts his feet up.

BUFFY
Just tell me what I want to know.

SPIKE
I told you, no one's narrating
on an empty stomach here...

BUFFY
Were you born this big a pain
in the ass?

SPIKE
What can I tell you, baby?
I've always been bad.

INT. ENGLISH DRAWING ROOM - 1880 - NIGHT

We cut to a high-society drawing room of the late nineteenth century. Young people mingle and politely flirt.

SUBTITLE: LONDON, 1880

We pan across the crowd to find, sitting alone and staring longingly out the window, young WILLIAM. Spike before he was Spike. The biggest sissy imaginable. Chewing thoughtfully on the end of a pen, mumbling...

SPIKE
"Lu-mi-nous..." no, no, uh,
"irra-di-ant..." better...

A BUTLER holds out a tray of hors d'oevres. William stirs from his reverie.

SPIKE
Quickly, I'm the very spirit of
vexation. What's another word
for "illuminate?" It's perfectly
perfect as many words go but
the bother is nothing rhymes, you see.

Perplexed, the butler just forces a smile and finds someone else to serve. Spike looks across staring across the room, transfixed. We see his P.O.V.:

A strikingly beautiful young woman (CECILY ADDAMS) has just entered the room. She is instantly surrounded by a small cluster of dashing male suitors.

SPIKE
(under his breath)
Cecily.

Struck by the inspiration he was searching for, Spike pulls a small notebook from his jacket pocket and begins to write quickly, feverishly. As he's writing, he looks up to see Cecily join a small cluster of partygoers.

Spike smiles, gets up and joins the crowd, holding his newly-finished poem in hand. Tries to enter the circle.

MALE PARTYGOER
...I've heard on good authority
they're not human at all. Animals
of some sort. Escaped from a
traveling sideshow.

FEMALE PARTYGOER
But wild animals would leave a
trace of some kind. Tracks...

2ND MALE PARTYGOER
Mangled bodies...

FEMALE PARTYGOER
Charles! Don't be ghastly.
I merely point out that it's
something of a mystery,
and the police should keep
an open mind.

Spike makes his way into the crowd. The Male Partygoer turns to him.

MALE PARTYGOER
Ah, William. Favor us with your
opinion. What do you make of
this rash of disappearances
sweeping our town? Animals -
or thieves?

All eyes turn to Spike

SPIKE
I prefer not to think of such
dark, ugly business at all.
That's what police are for.

He eyes Cecily shyly. She averts her gaze. Could she be flirting?

SPIKE
I prefer placing my energies into
creating things of beauty.

MALE PARTYGOER
I see. Well. Don't withhold, William.

He snatches the paper from Spike's hand.

FEMALE PARTYGOER
Rescue us from a dreary topic.

SPIKE
Careful!

Spike almost stands up for himself. But one glare from the large and imposing host, and Spike backs down.

SPIKE
Ink's still wet. Please,
it's not finished...

MALE PARTYGOER
Don't be shy.
(reading)
"My heart expands
'tis grown a bulge in't
inspired by
your beauty effulgent."
Effulgent?

Beat. Followed by the tittering of polite laughter. Spike's face crumbles. He bears the pain of it, but sees Cecily, upset, pull away from the crowd. He follows. The voices continue, low, behind him.

2ND MALE PARTYGOER
And that's actually one of his
better compositions.

FEMALE PARTYGOER
Have you heard, they call him
"William the Bloody" because
of his bloody awful poetry.

MALE PARTYGOER
It suits him. I'd rather have a
railroad spike through my head
than listen to that awful stuff...

Spike follows Cecily, humiliated - but intent on not letting this moment pass.

SPIKE
Cecily...

CECILY
Leave me alone.

SPIKE
They're vulgarians. Can't you
see? They're not like you and I.

CECILY
You and I?

She turns to face him directly. Close. Intimate.

CECILY
I'm going to ask you a very
personal question, and I
demand an honest answer.
Do you understand?

He nods. The big dope, he's still hoping.

CECILY
Your poetry. It's, they're not
written about me... Are they?

She steals a quick look back to the group watching her.

SPIKE
They're about how I feel.

CECILY
Yes, but are they about me?

Spike steels himself - makes a decision.

SPIKE
Every syllable.

CECILY
Oh, God...

She turns away from him. Spike scoots around to face her, making his desperate, impassioned plea:

SPIKE
I know... This is sudden.
And - and, please, if they're
no good, they're only words.
But the feeling behind them...
I love you, Cecily.

CECILY
Please stop.

SPIKE
I know I'm a bad poet. But I'm
a good man. All I ask is that
you try to see me...

He looks in her eyes, begging for a chance he feels he's earned. She looks back, sincerely.

CECILY
I do see you.

He holds his breath. Hope! She continues:

CECILY
That's the problem. You're
nothing to me, William.
You're beneath me.

Spike takes this in as she exits. He is quiet, trying to contain his pain

EXT. ENGLISH STREET - 1880 - NIGHT

Without his hat and coat, William tears down the street. Hot tears streak down his face. He rips up his poem as he stalks out the building and down the street, blinded by rage and humiliation.

He BUMPS into a GROUP of three people. A man and two women.

SPIKE
Bloody... watch where
you're going!

He continues down the street, ripping up the paper into smaller and smaller bits.

ANGLE ON: A dark section of street beneath a gas lamp. Spike's overcome with fatigue and humiliation. He rips the paper into smaller and smaller bits until he can rip no more.

And slowly, all the rage drains out of him.

A soothing, understanding voice comes from nowhere:

VOICE
And here I wonder...

Embarrassed, Spike whirls to see who it is.

DRUSILLA. Dressed for the times. Looking at him with total love and understanding.

DRUSILLA
What possible catastrophe came
crashing down from heaven and
brought this dashing stranger...

She reaches out, gingerly wipes the last remaining tear from his face.

DRUSILLA
...To tears?

SPIKE
Nothing. I wish to be alone.

DRUSILLA
You've been alone too long.

SPIKE
What could you possibly know of me?

DRUSILLA
I've seen you. A man surrounded
by fools who cannot see his strength.
His vision. His glory. That, and
burning baby fish swimming all
'round your head.

What? Spike eyes this crazy Victorian chick suspiciously as she steps closer, curiously examining him like a cat eyeing a new breed of mouse. Her lips part...

SPIKE
Th-that's quite close enough.
I've heard tales of London
pickpockets. You'll not get
my purse, I tell you.

DRUSILLA
Don't need a purse.
Your wealth lies here.
(touching his heart)
And here.
(touches his head)
In the spirit and imagination.
You walk in worlds the others
can't begin to imagine.

He's flabbergasted. Hypnotized. How could she know? She steps closer. Her face near his. He's not used to this. He squirms, but can't move.

SPIKE
Yes... I mean, no. I mean -
Mother's expecting me.

She leans closer, whispering in his ear.

DRUSILLA
I see what you want. Something
glowing, and glistening. Something
effulgent. Do you want it?

SPIKE
I - yes! God, yes!

She smiles. VAMP-FACES. And BITES deeps in his neck. Spike rears his head back, new sensations coursing through him. He closes his eyes, feeling ecstasy... then some pain.

SPIKE
Ow. Ow! OW! Ow ow ow ow OW-WOO!

Drusilla keeps feeding, sucking on the young poet's neck, pinning him upright against the post, lit by the single light from above. Draining him, sucking him...

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Riley scans the terrain, trying to ignore Willow, Xander and Anya's conversation going on behind him.

WILLOW
Wow. So they really work for you?

XANDER
Well technically, they work for
the construction company. But
they are my crew. I tell them
what to do, and they very often
do it.

ANYA
Except sometimes they do it wrong
and he gets to be all stern, but fair.
It's so damn cute.

RILEY
Guys.

They scramble forward to see what he's seeing.

XANDER
Whatcha got?

RILEY
That's him.

Riley's P.O.V.: The STABBING VAMP who got Buffy heads for a tomb.

RILEY
Let's go.

ANGLE ON: Another section of the graveyard. Riley and the others watch the vampire enter a TOMB. We hear the sounds of several voices talking loudly.

Riley motions for the others to stay put. Sneaks forward, peers into a small side window or tomb.

RILEY'S P.O.V.: Through the small dirty window, we see the Vampire and his gang of FOUR OTHERS.

Riley steps back. Thinks a moment. Returns to the group.

XANDER
Sounds like a party in there.

RILEY
Forget about crashing.
There's too many of them.

WILLOW
Got a plan?

RILEY
We're leaving.

XANDER
I like this plan.

RILEY
We'll come back at daybreak when
they're asleep and we're better
armed. It's okay. We can kill
'em just as dead in the morning.

And without another word, Riley walks away. The others follow.

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Close-up of the corner pocket of the pool table as - POCK! - the seven ball gets shot sharply into it. Buffy and Spike are playing pool. Spike lines up his next shot.

SPIKE
Nine in the side.

He shoots. Sinks it. Keeps moving. Sticks a cigarette in his mouth as he moves.

BUFFY
So you traded up on the food
chain. Then what?

SPIKE
Nah, please, don't make it sound
like something you'd flip past on
the Discovery Channel. Becoming
a vampire is a profound and powerful
experience. I could feel this new
strength coursing through me. Getting
killed made me fill really alive for the
very first time. I was through living
by society's rules. Decided to make
a few of my own. 'Course, in order
to do that...

He strikes a white-tip match off the pool table, lights the cigarette, savoring the first puff, and grins at Buffy through a cloud of exhaled smoke.

SPIKE
(through smoke)
I had to get myself a gang.

INT. MINING SHAFT - 1888 - NIGHT

P.O.V. shot - scary one, too. ANGEL - flanked by DARLA and DRUSILLA, is holding us by the throat. Deadly pissed off. Calm.

SUBTITLE: YORKSHIRE, 1888

ANGEL
Perhaps it's my advancing years
that make me so forgetful, William.
Remind me:

Reverse angel: Spike, gripped by the throat, stands pressed u p against the wall of a dank mining shaft.

ANGEL
Why don't we kill you?

SPIKE
(choking)
...Ike...

ANGEL
What's that?

Angel let's go. Spike grabs his windpipe, catches his breath.

SPIKE
It's "Spike" now. You'd do well
to remember it, mate.

ANGEL
I'm not your "mate." And when did
you start talking like that?

DARLA
(to Spike)
We barely got out of London alive,
because of you. Everywhere we
go, it's the same story. And now...

ANGEL
...You've got me and my women
hiding in the luxury of a mine shaft -
all because William the Bloody
likes attention. This is not a
reputation we need.

SPIKE
I'm sorry, did I sully our good name?
We're vampires.

ANGEL
All the more reason to use a
certain amount of finesse.

SPIKE
Bollocks! That stuff's for the
frilly cuffs and collars crowd.
I'll take a good brawl any day.

ANGEL
And every time you do, we
become the hunted.

Darla and Drusilla watch.

DARLA
(sing-song)
I think the boys are going to fi-ight.

DRUSILLA
The King of Cups expects a picnic,
but this is not his birthday.

DARLA
(what?)
Good... point.

Spike and Angel are in each other's faces:

SPIKE
Yeah, know what I prefer to being
hunted? Getting caught.

ANGEL
That's brilliant strategy.
Really, pure cunning.

SPIKE
Sod off. When's the last time you
unleashed it? All out fighting a
mob, back to the wall, nothing
but fists and fangs? Don't you
ever get tired of fights you know
you're gonna win?

ANGEL
No. A real kill, a good kill -
it takes an artistry. Without
that, we're just animals.

SPIKE
Poofter.

Angel shoves him. Spikes shoves him back, hard. Angel breaks a PICKAXE handle in two, splitting it in his hands. Presses the sharp wooden end up against Spike's chest.

SPIKE
Now you're getting it!

Spike LAUGHS. Angel stops.

ANGEL
You can't keep this up forever.
If I can't teach you, maybe
someday an angry crowd
will. That, or the Slayer.

Beat. Spike reacts with genuine curiosity:

SPIKE
What's a Slayer?

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Spike continues playing pool. As he talks, Spike slowly walks around the table as if lining up a shot. But he's positioning himself behind Buffy...

SPIKE
After that, I was obsessed.
I mean, to most vampires,
the Slayer was this object
of cold sweat and frightened
whispers. But I never hid.
Hell, I sought her out. I mean,
if you're looking for fun, there's
Death, there's Glory, and sod
all else, right?
(shrugs)
I was young.

BUFFY
So how'd you kill her?

Spike, just behind her, hisses in her ear.

SPIKE
Funny you should ask.

He SLAPS a hand around Buffy's throat, from behind. Lightning-fast, Buffy grabs a pool cue. Spike grabs her wrist. She whirls to face him.

SPIKE
Lesson the first: a Slayer
must always reach for a weapon.

Reverse angel: Spike is in VAMPFACE.

SPIKE
I've already got mine.

He morphs back into his human face. Smiles. Gently takes Buffy's pool cue from her and backs off.

SPIKE
Good thing, too. Become a
vampire, there's nothing to
fear. Nothing but one girl.
That's you, honey. Back then...

He shoots.

SPIKE
...It was her.

INT. BUDDHIST TEMPLE - CHINA 1900 - NIGHT

We are in a BUDDHIST TEMPLE. We hear a PUNCH and Spike comes staggering back into frame, supporting a bloody nose. Before he can regain his footing a SWORD comes slicing into frame, just nicking the top of his eyebrow, cutting it open (the eyebrow where he's got a scar today). He looks scared.

SUBTITLE: CHINA, 1900

We see Spike is locked in combat with a CHINESE SLAYER. She doesn't talk much - she just kicks ass.

Spike manages to knock the sword from her hand. No problem. She just switches to hand-to-hand mode. She kicks and punches him across the room. They are lit by the flames of a fire burning just outside. Also from outside come the sounds of SCREAMING and GUNFIRE.

SPIKE
Just like I pictured.
This good for you?

She responds by kicking him in the head. Spike hits the ground. The Slayer pulls a stake from behind her back and leaps on Spike, straddling him.

He's pinned. She pulls the stake back for the killing blow when - BLAM! - something smashes through the window, distracting them for one split-second.

She brings the stake whistling down to Spike's chest - but he rolls out of the way just in time.

Spike backhand-punches her off him.

He leaps to his feet and they square off. Spike fights with renewed energy.

The sound of gunfire grows outside. The red-hot flames burn brighter, filling the room with a blood-red color.

The Slayer kicks and punches Spike backward, toward the window. Her intensity grows as the beating heats up. Spike takes it, getting pushed further and further back toward the window, his image growing darker, the flames growing hotter.

Finally Spike is back against the window. Nowhere to go. The Slayer is just about to finish him off when (echoing his advice to Buffy) Spike manages to KNOCK THE STAKE from her hand. The slayer falters - starts to DIVE FOR IT, but Spike catches her and grabs her into a sudden, deadly embrace. He SINKS HIS TEETH INTO HER NECK.

OMITTED

Reverse angle: We see her face. For all her Slayer-lever fighting, she's still just a girl. And she's getting sucked dry. Dying.

She pulls back. Grabs Spike's face. He recoils, surprised. She pulls him close. He waits for whatever's coming. She whispers:

SLAYER
(Chinese with subtitles)
Tell my mother... I'm sorry.

Spike's eyes soften a moment. Total connection. Then:

SPIKE
Sorry, Love. I don't speak Chinese.

The life drains from her eyes. He lets go. She falls to the floor, dead.

Spike looks at what he's done as the sounds of violent death grow from outside. He wipes his mouth.

SPIKE
(to himself)
A fella could get used to this.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three

INT. BUDDHIST TEMPLE - CHINA 1900 - NIGHT

Where we were before. Spike alive, the slayer dead. Spike looks up. Sees Drusilla's standing in the doorway, illuminated by the flames outside. She looks stunned.

DRUSILLA
Ooh, Spike. Look at the
wonderful mess you made.

She slinks her way across the room, never taking her eyes off the dead girl on the floor, always approaching Spike.

DRUSILLA
Naughty, wicked Spike. That's
a Slayer you've done in.

SPIKE
Suppose it is, yeah.

DRUSILLA
All by yourself?

SPIKE
Only way, innit?

Drusilla stands before him, lust in her eyes. Spike roughly GRABS her and pulls her toward him, holding her body tight against her. She gasps.

SPIKE
"Pet." Ever hear them say the
blood of a Slayer is a powerful
aphrodisiac?

She nods, slowly.

DRUSILLA
That and the sound of a thousand
little cherubs, crying their eyes
out over all the spilled milk.

SPIKE
'Course you do. Here now...

He lifts his hand up into frame. It's bloody. Drusilla's gaze turns to Spike as he gently slides one finger into her mouth.

SPIKE
Have a taste.

Drusilla goes wide-eyed. Then smiles, still sucking. Spike grabs the back of her neck with his other hand and greedily pulls her to him. They kiss passionately, devouring one another.

Spike takes Drusilla, turns her back to the wall and thrusts her up hard against it. They continue wolfing each other down as the screaming outside grows...

EXT. CHINA 1900 - NIGHT

NOTE: THIS SCENE MATCHES EXACTLY THE SAME SCENE IN ANGEL EPISODE SEVEN.

Spike and Dru walk out of the burning building and into the bloody chaos of rebellion all around them. Spike's long period-era coat flows out behind him as he walks. He's no longer the unsure, overcompensating vamp he was before. Now he radiates true confidence.

They see Angel and Darla.

DARLA
Where have you two been?

Spike and Dru share a conspiratorial look.

DRUSILLA
May I tell?

Spike nuzzles her.

SPIKE
No need to be humble.

DRUSILLA
My Spikey's just killed a Slayer!

DARLA
What?
(to Angel)
Did you hear that?

Angel stares.

ANGEL
(not pleased)
Congratulations. I guess that
makes you one of us.

SPIKE
Don't be so glum, mate. Way you
tell it, one Slayer snuffs it, another
one rises. I figure there's a new
Chosen One, getting all chosen
as we speak. Tell you what: if
and when this new bird does show
up - I give you first crack at her.

Angel nods, stone-faced.

DRUSILLA
I smell fear --

Her head turns.

ANGEL
This whole place reeks of it.

DRUSILLA
It's intoxicating.

A REBELLING BOXER comes at them with a lethal weapon. Angel drops the guy, twisting his neck nearly off his body. The others react, impressed.

ANGEL
Let's get out of here. This
rebellion's starting to bore me.

The four of them start to move off together. A POWER SHOT of the four of them striding through the chaos and destruction in slow motion.

SPIKE (V.O.)
It was the best night of my life.

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Spike sucks lime after a tequila shot and tosses the rind to the floor. Turns to Buffy.

SPIKE
And I've had some sweet ones.

Buffy looks at him with undisguised hatred.

SPIKE
What are you looking at?

BUFFY
You got off on it.

SPIKE
Well, yeah. Suppose you're
telling me you don't? How many
of my kind, reckon you've done?

BUFFY
Not enough.

SPIKE
And we just keep coming. Like a
wave of roaches, and here you are
doing a minute waltz, trying to stomp
us all. But you can kill a hundred.
A thousand. A thousand thousand
and the armies of Hell besides. But
all we need...

He comes closer, seductively. Buffy eyes him with caution but lets him come.

SPIKE
...Is for one of us, just one,
sooner or later, to have the
thing we all are hoping for.

BUFFY
And that would be what?

He gestures, "come closer." She does. He leans in, lips beside her ear. Whispering just for her to hear:

SPIKE
(whisper)
One. Good. Day

Buffy SHOVES him back away from her.

SPIKE
What? You asked and I'm telling.
Problem with you, Summers is
you've gotten so good, you're
starting to think you're immortal.

BUFFY
No really. I just know I can
handle myself.

SPIKE
Huh. Then how you explain this?

He shoots a hand out, grabs her side and SQUEEZES. Buffy recoils in pain.

BUFFY
Aah!!

At the exact same instant, Spike also recoils in pain.

SPIKE
Aah!!

They separate. Both in pain, getting over it. A small group gathers around them, staring at the embarrassing freak couple.

BUFFY
So that it? Lesson over?

Spike GRABS a pool cue...

SPIKE
Not even close.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

We see a VAMPIRE enter the tomb that houses the nest of vampires the Scoobies were scouting earlier. Beat. Then a shadowed figure approaches the nest. We track with it as it walks closer, heading straight toward the tomb entrance.

Reverse angel reveals the figure to be Riley. Alone and unarmed. His expression - expressionless. No fear or anticipation, not even the hyped-up adrenaline thing. Just cold killer blankness.

INT. VAMPIRE NEST - NIGHT

Inside the nest. There's the VAMP who stabbed Buffy and four OTHERS.

VAMP ONE
So if you killed the Slayer,
where's the body?

STABBING VAMP
Buried somewhere, surrounded
by sobbing loved ones.

He laughs, holds up a bloody STAKE.

STABBING VAMP
Killed with her own weapon.
They ought to put this in a museum.

VOICE
Know what they put in museums?

All the vamps turn to see Riley standing in the entrance. Unarmed. Just a flak jacket and an attitude.

RILEY
Mostly dead things.

The vamp gang all exchange looks. Who's this jerk? The Stabbing Vamp RUSHES from where he stands and attacks Riley. The fight is nasty, brutish and short:

Riley breaks the Vamp's wrist, catches Buffy's stake before it hits the ground and in the same motion, DUSTS HIM.

The others RUSH HIM.

Riley punches the first to reach him. Turns, hits another. Rolls. Reaching to his belt as he rolls, Riley unclips a HAND GRENADE. Gets to his feet - and pulls the pin.

He drops the grenade to the floor. The remaining vamps dive to the floor, trying to get to the grenade before it...

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Riley runs from the tomb as behind him, the nest EXPLODES.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Buffy stands in her fighting stance out back in the alley behind the Bronze.

BUFFY
Give it to me.

Spike lunges at Buffy. She ducks, comes up, grabs him by the throat and throws him up hard against a brick wall. She holds him pinned there. They're both breathing hard.

Spike laughs.

BUFFY
What?

SPIKE
Lesson the second: ask the right
questions. You want to know how
I beat 'em.

Buffy lets go, backs off, gestures, "come on."

SPIKE
The question isn't "how'd I win."
The question is why'd they lose?

BUFFY
What's the difference?

He LUNGES at Buffy with the cue. She doesn't move. The tip of the stick stops - one inch from her throat.

SPIKE
There's a big difference, luv.

Buffy coolly BATS the pool cue out of Spike's hands. It goes flying, clattering to the ground twenty feet away.

BUFFY
How'd you kill the second one?

SPIKE
Bit like this.

Spike THROWS THREE PUNCHES, faster than the eye can follow. Buffy moves her head, avoiding each punch.

BUFFY
That didn't hurt?

SPIKE
Knew I couldn't touch you. If
there's no intent to hurt you,
then the chip they shoved up
my brain never activates. If,
on the other hand...

Spike goes VAMP-FACE. He takes another SWING at Buffy, this one straight to her face. He recoils in pain. Staggers.

SPIKE
AHH!!

He MORPHS out of vampface.

SPIKE
(laughing)
See, now that hurt.

BUFFY
Yeah?

Spike turns to Buffy, still grinning. She PUNCHES him.

BUFFY
That hurt, too?

SPIKE
Oh, so good.

Buffy PUNCHES Spike again. He goes down.

BUFFY
How 'bout that?

He's still grinning - even though he's clearly feeling that last one.

SPIKE
Definite pain there.

BUFFY
How'd you kill 'em, Spike?

Spikes tries to hit Buffy. In one move she twists Spike's arm, flips him, and pins him to the ground. In a flash she's on top of him, straddling him, pulls a stake out and holds it hovering over him. Both of them breathing hard.

SPIKE
You're not ready to know.

BUFFY
(firmly)
I'm ready.

She presses the stake into his flesh. Spike gives.

SPIKE
Okay then. Went like this:

Spike flips Buffy off him. Camera follows her as she lands, but when she does:

INT. NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY CAR - 1977 - NIGHT

...It's not Buffy who hits the ground. It's NIKKI, a Black Slayer with a no-nonsense afro and a bitchin' black leather coat. The ground she hits is the floor of a subway car. Nikki's good - she rolls and gets to her feet in the same move. She turns to face - Spike, his hair spiked out Sex Pistols style.

SUBTITLE: NEW YORK CITY, 1977

Nikki and Spike square off. The car bucks and rolls as subway cars do. Both combatants manage to maintain their footing, but it's not easy.

Spike grins and LUNGES at the Slayer.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

The lunge follows through in the present. Spike lunging at Buffy. She sidesteps him. He turns.

SPIKE
The first one was all business.
But the second - now she had
a touch of your style.

He lunges again. Buffy sidesteps again...

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

...Exactly as Nikki sidesteps Spike. He passes her, she grabs him by the back of his belt and SPINS him, smashing his head into the window of the subway car.

Spike's head is out the car. Lights and stale tunnel wind rush buy. He lets out a HOWL. This is living.

SPIKE
Oh, yeah!

Nikki, holding the vampire steady, reaches into her coat and pulls out a deadly thin stake. Spike breaks her grip and pulls himself back into the car. The car starts moving faster. The fight steams up. Nikki and Spike throwing punches at each other in furious, merciless volleys.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Spike's feigning the same volleys as he and Buffy continue aping the movements of the Subway fight...

SPIKE
She was cunning, resourceful,
and oh, did I mention? Hot. I
could have danced all night with
that one.

BUFFY
You think we're dancing?

SPIKE
It's all we've ever done.

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

Now Nikki grabs hold of one of the floor-to-ceiling metal support poles. Spins around it 360 degrees, kicking Spike in the head.

Spike staggers back, into the next support pole, and RIPS it out of its moorings. Nice. A weapon. Spike gives it a spin as he advances...

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Spike's still advancing, holding the pool cue in the exact same way he held the subway pole..

SPIKE
Every day you wake up it's the
same bloody question what
haunts you: Is today the day
I die? It's a warrior's pain, a
warrior's question and you
ask it...

Buffy's pissed. She throws a punch.

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

That Nikki lands, right in Spike's face. It doesn't take the grin off his face. Unexpectedly - he looks up, talking to Buffy, continuing his lesson while in the flashback. He and Nikki continue to fight as he speaks, but it's clear that Nikki isn't hearing his lesson. It's for Buffy's ears only.

SPIKE
(continued)
...every time the sun rises. And
every day you manage to survive,
you're only partly relieved because
you know - it's just a matter of time.

That pole is now his quarter staff. And he knows how to use it.

He attacks her with it. Gets in some licks. She catches it just as it's coming whistling down on her skull, holding Spike frozen in place, just for a second...

SPIKE
Death is on your heels baby - and,
sooner or later, it's going to catch you...

Nikki kicks Spike in the balls. He doubles over.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Spike recovers from the imagined blow - talks to Buffy.

SPIKE
(continued)
And some part of you wants it.
Not only to stop the fear and the
uncertainty - but because you're
just a little bit in love with it.

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

Nikki doubles up her fists and hits Spike with all her strength. He goes down. She gets on top of him, lands punch after punch directly onto his face...

The lights all FLICKER, accentuating every punch...

Then the car is suddenly PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS.

It lasts all of three seconds. Nothing to see but the occasionally whooshing-by light, streaking past. The sound of the steel wheels growing...

The lights come back on again. And now Spike is on top. He grabs Nikki by the throat and he's squeezing, still talking to Buffy.

SPIKE
Death is your art. You make it
with your hands, day after day.
That final gasp, that look of peace...

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Spike, on his knees, in the exact same position except with no one to throttle...

SPIKE
Part of you is desperate to know...
What's it like? Where does it
lead you? That's also a warrior's
question. A warrior's curiosity.

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

Spike speaks directly to us:

SPIKE
So you see, that's the secret.
Not the punch she didn't throw
or the kick she didn't land. She
simply wanted it. Every Slayer
has a death wish.

Spike BREAKS HER NECK. Just grabs the sides of her head and brutally twists. It's over just like that.

She's dead.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Spike looks up at Buffy.

SPIKE
Even you.

INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT

We see the subway car has ground to a halt at a deserted stop in the middle of the night. Ding-ding. The doors open. Spike steps out. Stops. Steps back in. And starts to strip the dead Slayer of her cool leather coat. The one he wears today. As he does...

SPIKE
The only reason you've lasted as
long as you have is, you've got
ties to the world. Your Mum.
Brat kid sister. Scoobies. They
tie you here but you're just putting
off the inevitable. Sooner or later,
you're gonna want it and the second,
the second...

He claps his hands in her face on the word "second..."

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

The clap slaps air right in front of Buffy's face, making her flinch. Savors this last...

SPIKE
...that happens, I pray to God I'm
there. I'll slip in - have myself
a real good day.

A beat as Spike lets this sink in. Then he starts to button up his leather coat. The one that used to belong to Nikki...

SPIKE
Here endeth the lesson. I just
wonder if you'll like it as much
as she did-

BUFFY
(cutting him off)
No. This is all- You're wrong.

He grins, pumped up from his lesson.

SPIKE
Hey. You asked. Sorry if the
answer isn't cuddly enough for you-

That's it. Buffy's had it with him. She's done.

BUFFY
(deadly)
Get out of my sight, Spike. Now.

SPIKE
Ooooh, did I scare you? You're
the Slayer. Do something about
it. Hit me.

Buffy doesn't move, but Spike reads her murderous look. It's turning him on. He wants another go round - bad.

SPIKE
Come on. One good swing.
You know you want to.

BUFFY
I mean it-

SPIKE
So do I. Give it to me good,
Buffy. Do it.

BUFFY
Spike-

Spike loses himself. Grabs Buffy - and moves in to kiss her. He almost does, but Buffy jerks her head away - stunned.

BUFFY
Spike...

He holds his breath. Hope. She continues.

BUFFY
What the hell are you doing?!

SPIKE
(still holding her)
Come on. I can feel it, Slayer.
You know you want to dance.

Buffy locks eyes with him. Feels his intensity, his desire. A beat.

BUFFY
Say it's true. Say I do want to...

She shoves him brutally backward, breaking the embrace. He falls hard to the ground.

BUFFY
It wouldn't be you, Spike.
It would never be you.

She tosses the wad of money at him. It scatters over him and the ground. Her expression filled with contempt.

BUFFY
You're beneath me.

And with that, Buffy walks away. Spike's living the pain of his initial humiliation all over again.

An excruciating beat, then Spike tries to collect himself. He gets off the ground, collecting the strewn cash all the while.

Then he stops. Sees himself stooped and picking small bills off the dirty alley floor. And his eyes rise to the retreating Buffy, his expression murderous. We cut to:

OMITTED

INT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - NIGHT

Boom! Spike rips open a trunk, rummages through it...

Harmony emerges, watching her man.

HARMONY
Spike? What are you doing?

SPIKE
(muttering)
Beneath me, I'll show her, put her
six bloody feet beneath me...

He finds what he's looking for. Reaches into the trunk and pulls out a SHOTGUN.

SPIKE
Hasn't got a death wish?

He snaps the shotgun shut.

SPIKE
The bitch won't need one.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - NIGHT

We start close on Harmony, looking harried and confused.

HARMONY
Okay, I'm trying to be supportive
here, so don't drive a stake
through my heart like last
time, but...

Spike emerges in the foreground, checking the sightlines of the shotgun, holding it thrust forward in firing position.

HARMONY
...You can't kill Buffy. She's
the Slayer. She is so gonna
kick your ass.

SPIKE
Got two barrels here that'll prove
you wrong.

HARMONY
Tch! I knew you'd take it
personally. You're so sensitive.

He starts to storm out. She stands in his way. He starts to move around her. She blocks him again.

HARMONY
How are you going to kill her?
Think. The second you even
point that thing at her you're
gonna be all...
(Spike imitation)
"Aaah!" and then you'll get
bitch-slapped up and down
Main Street unless she's had
enough and just stakes you.

SPIKE
This is different. Move.

HARMONY
No! And then you'll come back
to me and stomp around and
swear a bunch of weird English
curses.

SPIKE
(losing patience)
Harm...

HARMONY
What is a "bollock," anyway?

SPIKE
Yeah, it'll hurt like hell
for about two hours.

He puts his arm around the back of her neck...

SPIKE
And she'll be dead just a
little longer than that.

He roughly shoves her aside and storms out. Harmony calls after him-

HARMONY
Fine. But don't come crying to me
when you fail. You couldn't kill her
before you got the chip! You had
plenty of chances...

EXT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - NIGHT

Spike strides out of the lair, shotgun in hand, all grim determination. Spike stops for a second. Closes his eyes. That hurt. We hear:

DRUSILLA (V.O.)
...and you couldn't ever do it.
She brought blackness upon us.

And we cut to:

EXT. SOUTH AMERICA - 1998 - NIGHT

An outdoor cafe. Spike, looks miserable. Irritable and smoking up a storm. Drusilla sits nearby, aloof.

SPIKE
So, Sunnyhell was not our finest
hour. And yes, I made a deal with
the Slayer. But you were shagging
Angel and bringing about an Apocalypse
to end all life as we know it. So?
Every couple's got their ups and
downs, Love. Point being, we got
through all that, it's behind us now.
Isn't it?

SUBTITLE: SOUTH AMERICA, 1998

DRUSILLA
I hate it here. Furry little
animals peering at us from
out of the trees, and the
people all taste funny.

SPIKE
Right. We'll pick up and move
again, and we'll keep moving
'til we've found the perfect spot,
and there I'll make you my queen.

He holds her hand and looks in her eyes, sincerely. She pulls away.

SPIKE
Just tell me what you want.

DRUSILLA
I want the Slayer dead, Spike.

He loses it.

SPIKE
You're the one who keeps bringing
her up! I haven't said a word about
the bloody Slayer since we left
California! She's on the other side
of the planet, Dru! Gone from our
lives forever!

DRUSILLA
But you're lying, I can still see
her. Floating all around you.
Laughing. Why don't you push
her away?

SPIKE
But I did, Pet. I did if for you!
And you're still punishing me,
you think I don't know what's
going on with you?

Now for the first time we see there is a third creature there. Standing to one side is a CHAOS DEMON. All slime and antlers.

The demon speaks, the very picture of soft spoken reason.

CHAOS DEMON
Okay. You guys obviously have a
thing going on here.

They ignore him.

DRUSILLA
I have to find my pleasures,
Spike. You taste like ashes.

SPIKE
This is my fault now?

He gestures, "go away." He heads out - but stops once and addresses Spike.

CHAOS DEMON
I didn't know she was seeing
someone... I should take off.

SPIKE
Yeah, why don't you do that?

DRUSILLA
You can't blame a girl, Spike,
you're all covered with her. I
look at you, all I see is the Slayer.

OMITTED

INT. JOYCE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Joyce packs an overnight bag, moving about a bit frantically. Buffy enters, sees her Mom packing.

BUFFY
Hey Mom, I put together
that grocery list for you...

JOYCE
Oh. Great. Thanks, hon.

BUFFY
Are you okay?

JOYCE
Fine. You seen my conditioner?

BUFFY
Look under the sink?

Joyce points at Buffy like "good point." Goes into her bathroom, emerges with a bottle of conditioner.

BUFFY
Where you going?

Joyce stops. Sits. Motions for Buffy to join her. Buffy does.

JOYCE
Okay. I'd love to put this off, but...
(big breath)
You know that "nothing" I've been
dealing with, the past couple of weeks?

Buffy nods.

JOYCE
It might not be nothing.

BUFFY
What is it?

JOYCE
I'm staying overnight at the
hospital for observation. I'm
getting a cat scan.

Beat as Buffy says nothing and Joyce packs in silence.

JOYCE
It's only one day. And they say
if there is anything it's still very
early if they didn't see it before.
I'm gonna be fine.

BUFFY
I know you will.

Joyce looks at Buffy, smiling, loving her... Buffy forces herself to smile back.

EXT. BACK PORCH - NIGHT

The door to the back porch opens. Buffy steps out. And all the life drains from her. She sits on the back step.

She buries her head in her knees, hugging herself.

Reverse angle: We see Buffy through a cluster of branches. Spike's P.O.V. He heads toward her. She has no idea he's there.

Back to Buffy. She looks up.

Spike towers before her, shotgun in hand.

She looks up at him, her face open and tear-stained.

BUFFY
What is it now?

Spike registers her pain, her vulnerability. He balks. Then-

SPIKE
What's wrong?

BUFFY
I don't want to talk about it.

SPIKE
Is there something I can do?

Buffy just looks away. Spike sits beside her. Placing the gun aside, reaches out to her. Awkwardly pats her on the shoulder, trying to comfort her. She lets him try.

He withdraws his hand.

And the two of them side side-by-side, silent in the evenings darkness...

BLACKOUT.

END OF SHOW