August 8, 2001 (White)
Written by: Jane Espenson
EXT. SUNNYDALE STREETS - NIGHT (DAY 1)
XANDER, ANYA, WILLOW and TARA make their way home through the streets of recently-occupied Sunnydale. They walk quickly past looted stores and cars with broken windows.
She's at home. She has to be.
We just have to get there.
And she'll be there.
This is the fastest way?
Hey, I've done a lot of fleeing
through these mean streets.
I know all the short-cuts.
I don't like this.
They pass a smoldering car fire. Anya points at it.
That's on fire. Fire is rarely a
sign of imminent safety.
I wish we were there already.
Hey, hey, don't worry, ladies,
I'll get us there just fine. My
senses are primed for danger,
and nothing's gonna HOLY CRAP!
A group of THREE DEMONS ON MOTORCYCLES roars out of an alley, nearly hitting Xander. He jumps out of the way.
Four. Four limbs. Doing good.
The group starts walking again. Xander, legs shaky, stumbles a little.
At least the demons almost
hit you on the way out of town.
Yeah, now that their leader's
gone they seem to be making
with the big skedaddle.
It was Buffy, right? We saw her
and she was really Buffy.
And she was okay. She was Buffy.
Sure, from what I saw before
she ran off in a completely
not-like-her way. Other than that
she was exactly Buffy.
Right. She was fine.
I was being sarcastic. I think we
screwed it up and she's broken.
No! She's not broken! She's
just disoriented from being
tormented in some kind of hell
dimension. Probably tortured and...
It's like, we don't even know how
much time passed there for her,
possibly years. That's not something
you get over…
Oh my God.
Xander jumps, looks behind him for motorcycles.
What if she never gets over it?
And you think of this now?
What are you thinking, Willow?
That she's ... that she's not right?
Or maybe, like, dangerous?
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - NIGHT
BUFFY stands in front of her house, looking up at it, her expression blank. DAWN stands nearby. She's not looking at the house. She's looking nervously at Buffy.
Buffy doesn't answer.
You're back home. We're
all okay now.
We PUSH IN on Buffy, looking empty and lost.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE MINUTES LATER - NIGHT
Buffy is standing in the entryway of the house, very still, very quiet. Dawn enters after her and closes the door behind them. She looks at Buffy apprehensively.
Home again, home again...
Buffy steps into the living room.
A little. Willow and Tara
live here now, and we ... we
didn't do much...
Buffy looks at a PHOTOGRAPH OF JOYCE on a table.
We moved the chairs ... took
out some of the little tables--
Buffy has turned and headed into the dining room. Dawn trails after her.
The dining room has changed. One end of the table is set up as a computer work station.
This is the same. Except the
computer stuff, that's Willow's,
obviously. We eat at the other end...
Buffy is already gone, heading up the stairs. Dawn looks after her, feeling that she's not doing a very good job as tour guide.
Dawn heads up the stairs after Buffy.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Main street - the same one the Slayerettes walked through in the Teaser. Spike cruises through slowly on his stolen MOTORCYCLE. He looks around frantically.
He keeps going.
Gotta be somewhere, gotta be
He accelerates ...
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - NIGHT
Dawn is standing with Buffy at the sink. Buffy is wearing casual clothes now, a button-up shirt hangs open over a camisole. Buffy's hair is combed and pulled back.
Dawn is washing the dirt from Buffy's face with a washcloth.
There you are. Knew you were
under that dirt somewhere.
Remember what Mom used to
say? "Either wash that neck or
Buffy doesn't react.
Yeah... I never thought it was funny either.
Dawn looks at the shirt.
You want to button that up, or...
Buffy looks down at her hands. Dawn looks down too, sees the damage to Buffy's hands.
Oh. Ow. We should take care
I'll do the shirt. Then we can do
your hands ...
Dawn starts to button Buffy's shirt.
Here we go. See how nice you look...
Buffy walks away, just pulling out of Dawn's hands and heading into the hall.
INT. WILLOW AND TARA'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT
Buffy enters and looks around the room.
It's Joyce's old room, refurnished per the two-part season premiere. AMY THE RAT is in her cage.
Mom's room. I know it's really
Willow and Tara. This is their room.
Yeah, well. It seemed like it made
sense. No one was using it, and it's
the biggest. But, you know, now that
you're back, we'll have to figure out
what to do ...
Buffy is already turning to leave, but Dawn gets in front of her, blocks the way.
Buffy? You wanna, like, stop? We can
sit down and talk. I mean, I'm trying to
be all this-happens-all-the time about this,
but I'm really kinda freaking out and I
don't know what to do.
Buffy's attention drifts inward. Then she shakes herself out of it, tries to focus.
What else is different?
You mean, with the house, or...
Um. Let's see ... Giles. It's so
weird. He left. Today. Because
you were-- He'll come right back.
I'll call him. Someone will call him.
Okay... what... Um...
Buffy loses focus again...
What ... What will you say to him?
I dunno... It'll be interesting.
We could do it now, put you
on the phone, "Hi, Giles, guess
who this is?" Give him a heart
Dawn starts laughing from the image, but mostly from the tension, on the edge of losing it. Buffy doesn't laugh, just watches. Dawn's laugh peters out.
Or, you might not be in the mood for
There is the sound of the front door opening below them, rushed heavy footfalls ... Dawn stops laughing. And Buffy is, instantly tense and alert.
Dawn? Dawn! You here?
See? It's just Spike.
Dawn heads for the stairs. Buffy follows.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - FOYER - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
SPIKE is standing in the entryway as Dawn comes downstairs. He's out of breath, just recovering from near-panic.
Thank God. You scared me half
to death... or more to death. I
could kill you!
I mean it. Could rip your head
off one handed and drink from
your brain stem.
He sees Buffy coming down the stairs behind Dawn.
Yeah? I've seen the bloody bot
before. Didn't think she'd patch up--
He stops. Stunned, staring at Buffy. For a very long beat.
She's kind of-- She's been through a lot,
with the ... death. But I think she's okay.
Spike is still staring.
Spike? Are you okay?
I'm... what did you do?
He looks Buffy up and down, making sure she's okay.
I was gonna fix 'em. I don't know
how they got like that.
I do. Clawed her way out of a
coffin, that's how.
Isn't that right?
Buffy looks at her hands as if they belong to someone else.
I ... Yes. I had to do that.
Done it myself.
He's just looking at her, lost in it. He pulls himself back.
We'll take care of you. C'mere ...
Spike leads Buffy into the living room.
Get me some stuff, mercurochrome,
Spike leads Buffy to the sofa. They sit. Spike reaches for her hands, and we see that his own are shaking. He takes her hands, but he doesn't look at them. Just holds them and looks at her face.
How long was I gone?
Spike has to clear his throat, find his voice.
Hundred forty-seven days yesterday... um,
one-forty-eight today. 'Cept today doesn't
count, does it?
How long was it for you...
where you were?
Dawn steps in carrying a box of Band-Aids and a tube of disinfectant.
Got the stuff.
Dawn is putting the first-aid stuff down on a table next to Spike where Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara enter through the front door and enter the living room.
Is she here?
Buffy stands up, startled. Spike backs to the edge of the room.
Are you okay?
(to the others)
You knew she was back?
How did you know?
Spike exits, but no one is looking at him.
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - FRONT YARD - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
Spike emerges from the house. He looks fine as he steps off the porch, starts to cut across the lawn. But when he reaches the tree, he stops, leans his back against it ... He starts to cry.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Willow, Tara, Anya, Xander and Dawn are gathered around Buffy.
What do you remember?
Are you in pain?
What do you know about what
Buffy cringes backwards from the onslaught.
Startled, everyone looks to Dawn.
Back off! Let her breathe!
Dawn gets between Willow and Buffy, stares Willow down.
You did this. What did you do?
A spell. We did a spell.
Is she going to be okay?
Again all heads turn back to Buffy.
I'm going to be fine. I remember--I
was-- You brought me back.
How long were you gone? I mean, how
long for you?
It ... it seemed like forever.
Oh, Buffy, I'm so sorry.
What are you saying? Are you saying
she was somewhere? Like, in hell?
A hell-dimension. Same torture, less religion.
What was it like?
No! She shouldn't have to talk about it!
It was ... I can't -- I couldn't leave.
It's okay. You really don't have to
do this, Buff.
Buffy looks at him helplessly. He feels the pressure.
Hey, do you want something?
Anything? Pizza? I'll get you pizza.
Mmm. Saucy. Buffy likes pizza.
She doesn't want pizza.
Dawn sees how overwhelmed Buffy is.
Guys. Back off.
Dawn's right. Let's just be quiet.
Let Buffy tell us what she needs.
They all fall silent and stare at Buffy. She shifts uncomfortably.
I think... I want to sleep.
That's a good idea. You should sleep.
Yeah. Long day. But, Buffy... be
happy. We got you out. We really
Buffy looks at Willow. Is she going 'to say "thank you"? A beat.
Well, yeah. The jet-lag from hell has
gotta be, you know, the jet-lag from hell.
My room is still ...
Yeah. Yes. It's your room.
Buffy heads up the stairs. The others look at each other.
She's fine! Normal! She used to go
to bed all the time!
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - FRONT YARD NIGHT
Spike leans against a tree near the porch,
in the shadows, crying with confusion and relief.
I think Willow's wrong. I don't
think she's especially normal at all.
She just got back. Give her time.
I bet, in a week, she'll be our little
Oh yes, because six or seven days,
that's really all you need to get over
eternal hell experiences.
Xander notices the figure by the tree.
Who's that? Spike?
Covering quickly, Spike dries his tears as they get closer.
What are you doing out here? I hope
you're not going to start up your
whole obsession thing now that she's
Without warning, Spike grabs Xander and slams him up against the tree, leans into him. Spike winces with chip-in-head pain.
You didn't tell me. You brought her
back and you didn't tell me.
Well, now you know.
I worked beside you. All summer.
Hundred and forty-seven bleedin,
days. I saved your sorry lives, all
Um... thank you and please stop
pressing against my boyfriend?
We didn't tell you. It was ... we
just didn't, okay? Maybe you should
stop being a problem for a second
and just be glad that she's back..
Listen. I've figured it out. Maybe
you haven't, but I have. Willow
knew there was a chance she'd come
back wrong. So wrong that you'd
have to-- that she'd have to get rid of
what came back. And she knew I
wouldn't let her. If any part of it was
Buffy, I wouldn't let her. That's why
she shut me out.
What are you talking about? Willow
couldn't do that!
Look, you're just covering. You can't
tell me you're not happy. Look me in
the eyes. Tell me that seeing Buffy
alive wasn't the happiest damn second
of your whole existence.
Spike doesn't have an answer for that. He lets Xander go. Spike turns to walk away. He heads for his MOTORCYCLE, parked at the curb. As he goes:
The thing about magic? There's
always consequences. Always.
Spike gets onto his cycle. Starts it. Xander
and Anya exchange a worried look.
Buffy stands motionless in front of a mirror. She doesn't seem to register her own face in front of her.
She startles at the sound of footsteps in the hallway, gasping and stepping away from the door.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT
Willow, in pajamas, walks casually down the hall to her own room. She enters and closes the door.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - WILLOW AND TARA'S ROOM - NIGHT
Willow enters to find Tara in her nightgown, brushing her hair.
Did you get through to London?
Yeah. He's going to head back as
soon as he can. Probably... I'm not
sure, maybe a couple days.
How'd he take it?
Um. I'm not sure. Glad, but ... kinda
weirded out, you know? Which I get.
Lots of "dear lords… I think I actually
heard him cleaning his glasses.
Willow gets into bed. Tara looks at her.
Are you worried?
Worried? Tara, it worked fine. It's
Hey, Will. This is me. It doesn't all
have to be "good" and "fine." This is
the room where you don't have to
be brave and I still love you. If you're
worried you can be worried.
Tara turns out the light and gets into bed next to Willow.
I'm not ... unworried. What happened,
that's gotta be intense. That has to
change you. When Angel came back?
Buffy said he was wild. Like an animal.
Buffy isn't like that.
But ...everything. I guess ...
Willow points at her head.
It's just a little noisy in here
Yeah? Let me hear?
Tara puts her head next to Willow, cheek-to-cheek, listens. Willow smiles gently. Tara pulls back, returns the smile.
I can't hear it. Tell me about it.
Well, there's a little voice that's so
proud of what I did. And there's
one that says it was a huge mistake,
that she'll never be right again. And
then the first one -- it's a chatty one -
it says that people get over all kinds
of things, and Buffy's way stronger
than people. And then the second
voice is all like, "Oh yeah? Sez who?"
and then the first voice gets all
Wow. I have this voice that says
you're not gonna get much sleep
Tara wraps herself around Willow.
Is this good?
Yeah. I think it makes it quieter in here.
They lie quietly for a beat.
You know what I think? I think we
were all assume-crash-positions.
It's, it's, it's like ... we were all
tensed up, like we were expecting
it to screw up. We weren't prepared
for it to actually go right.
A beat, then:
If it did go right? Wouldn't she
be ... happier? Like, wouldn't she be
so happy we brought her out?
I'm sure she is.
(not buying it)
You thought she'd say thanks? Be
Am I a terrible person if I say yes?
Give her time. She'll get there.
Right. No need to be in a big furry hurry.
They lie quietly.
Are you listening for her?
A little. She's right next door.
If something wasn't okay... I
need to know if something isn't okay.
I'm sure it's okay.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Buffy is still fully dressed. She's sitting on the edge of the bed. Back straight, hands folded, like she's in a doctor's waiting room.
There is a framed photograph on the dresser: a picture of Buffy, Willow and Xander. Buffy gets up, picks up the picture. She carries it over to a wall where other snapshots are taped up, or hanging in frames -- these include a number of pictures of Buffy with Xander and Willow and also Tara and Anya. She looks at them, trying to connect herself to the girl in the photos.
She is looking at the framed photo when THE FACES CHANGE. They turn into faces of death: decayed, skeletal, empty eyed. She looks up at the other photos. The same thing is happening in each of them. Buffy and her friends become corpses.
Buffy closes her eyes for a second. When she looks again, the pictures are normal. Buffy continues to stare at them, expressionless.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - WILLOW AND TARA'S ROOM - NIGHT
Later that same night. The room is dimly lit by moonlight. Willow and Tara are asleep. Suddenly something hits the wall over their heads with a crash -- a candle in a glass candle holder. It showers glass on them. Tara screams and they both sit up, terrified.
Buffy, still dressed, stands in the darkness at the foot of the bed. Hands clenched, body tense.
What did you do? Do you know
what you did? You're like children!
Your hands smell of death! Bitches!
Filthy little bitches, rattling the bones,
Did you cut a throat? Did you pat its head?
Buffy grabs a crystal ball off the dresser and throws it at them. Willow and Tara just manage to duck it, and it smashes against the wall.
The blood dried on your hands, didn't
You were stained. You still are.
Oh God, oh God, oh God.
I know what you did!
Willow jumps out of bed and hits the lights.
The room is empty. No Buffy.
The candle in its holder and the crystal ball are whole, sitting where they started. Tara looks around her in the bed.
No glass. There's no glass.
INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT
Darkness. The door cracks open, letting in a bright trapezoid of light from the hall.
It falls across Buffy, lying sound asleep in bed in her pajamas.
Willow and Tara look in from the doorway, confused and frightened.
INT. WILLOW AND TARA'S ROOM MOMENTS LATER NIGHT
Willow and Tara reenter their room.
Okay, what in the frilly heck is
Maybe we dreamed it.
She points at their heads.
What was it talking about? Did you
I understood the words, but ... no.
TARA gasps, looking at something over Willow's shoulder.
Willow turns to see ...
WILLOW'S POV: A SHADOWY DISTORTION ripples across the wall of the room, toward the door. It disappears.
What was that?
There's, there's something in the house.
What is it? Could it hurt Buffy?
I don't know.
I'm gonna call.
Willow grabs the phone, dials.
I hope Xander's up.
INT. XANDER'S BEDROOM/WILLOW AND TARA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Xander and Anya lie in bed.
Xander? Are you up? I can't sleep.
Play a word game with me.
No answer from Xander. He's sleeping fine.
Xander? You awake? I'm going to
describe an adjective with accurate
but misleading clues, and then you
have to guess it.
Nothing. The PHONE RINGS.
Well, that oughtta do it.
Xander is awake, fumbling for the phone.
Huh? What? Do what?
INTERCUT WITH WILLOW IN HER ROOM.
It's me, Willow. Tara and I were
Attacked? A vampire?
Xander sits up, on the edge of the bed. Behind him, we can see Anya getting out of bed, heading casually for the door.
It was Buffy. Or something that
looked like her.
Tara is leaning in close to the phone as Willow holds it ...
Like she was possessed.
Then she just disappeared. And we
saw something... a little ... there's
something in the house.
Back in Xander's room...
In the house? All right. Willow. You
need to get out of there. Get everyone out.
Anya steps back into frame in the doorway behind Xander. (NOTE: The shot is not framed in such a way to make us anticipate her appearance.)
HER EYES ARE BLANK-WHITE AND SHE IS CUTTING HER FACE WITH A BUTCHER'S KNIFE.
SHE FLOATS TOWARD XANDER [NOTE: this is not a wire gag, just a close-up of Anya gliding toward camera.]
She starts laughing...
Go wake up Buffy and Dawn. Don't
make a big deal, just-
Xander, hearing Anya laugh, looks around behind him and sees her.
Xander drops the phone. He jumps to his feet, grabs for the knife, gets it away from her.
Anya collapses, unconscious at his feet. If we see her face, we should see that the cuts aren't there any more.
A LITTLE BULGE ZIPS AWAY FROM THEM UNDER THE CARPET. It's gone.
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - BUFFY'S BACK YARD - MORNING (DAY 2)
Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya are gathered in Buffy's backyard. Tara and Xander sit on the only two lawn chairs. Anya tries to balance on the arm of Xander's chair. Willow is perched on the edge of a decorative planter or wall.
It was very bad. Very very very very
very very bad. Bad.
He's all traumatized.
Well, whatever it is, it's not a
traditional haunting, 'cause it's
not limited to one specific place
and there's not, you know, a dead
I bet it's a hitchhiker.
Standard way to travel between
alternate dimensions. Some
thing-ama-demon sees someone
moving between worlds, and grabs
on for the ride.
You mean some Hell beastie rode
back with Buffy. Like ... we're
responsible for this.
Assume crash positions.
I think we shouldn't've brought Buffy
back. I knew it was going to go badly.
I should've said something.
Hey, you know what, yeah! You
should've! At least you could've
mentioned the "highjackers" so
we could stop 'em!
They're hitchhikers, not highjackers,
and I thought you knew! It's basic
stuff! You're supposed to be the
all-powerful witch, which--
Witch, which raises the question,
why are you having us skulk around
and meet in the backyard like ...
like conspiracy squirrels? Sitting on
this arm is making my buttocks hurt.
Buffy's still asleep.
We want her to get all the rest she can.
Okay, fine. But what are we going to
do? I mean, I'm feeling the need for
some vigorous doing, you know?
It's okay. We kill the beastie and
all is good, we're rolling in puppies!
Can we do that? Kill it?
Are we killing something?
They look up to see that Buffy has entered from the house, holding a mug of coffee. She's wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
Her fingers have band-aids on them now. Willow and Tara are still jumpy from their encounter last night.
Buffy! You're not supposed to
How are you feeling? Are you okay?
It's all right if you're still plagued with
nightmarish visions of Hell.
Buffy, smiles, seems like her normal self.
I'm fine. I'm really...
Buffy takes a long pause, loses the smile, gets it back -- it's suddenly clear that it's an effort.
I fixed my fingers. Used little Band-Aids.
Oh, we should've done that. Sorry.
Uh-huh. So what are we killing?
A demon you brought back from Hell
It's not like she's making it sound.
A little haunting-type stuff. Boo-
scary, then everything's normal.
You shouldn't worry about it.
Wait. Last night. Something
She loses focus. Xander goes to her, touches her on the arm to try to bring her back.
Um... the photographs. Of us.
How did they change?
They were dead. I mean, we were
dead. Like dead bodies. Then
they were okay. I thought maybe it
was me. That I was going crazy.
Maybe you are! Because of Hell!
(Off Willow's glare, meekly)
No. You're fine.
You are. Buffy, we're so glad.
Yeah. This thing, this haunting thing,
we'll fix it, and then we'll still have you
back, which is ... it's so important.
Willow and the others look expectantly at Buffy, anticipating her happiness.
We should work and figure this thing out.
Well-hidden disappointment all around -- no happy gratitude from Buffy.
Can we go somewhere with cushions?
Let's go somewhere with cushions.
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara doing the research thing. Anya's chair has a cushion. Buffy is staring at a book, but doesn't seem to be seeing it. Dawn looks over Tara's shoulder at a legal pad with a hand-written list on it.
What's the list?
Demons that might have come out of
Hell at the same time Buffy did.
Skaggmore demons, Trellbane demons,
Skitterers, Large and Small Bone-
Dawn thinks about that.
If we get to pick, I say we go with
the Small Bone-Eaters.
That just means they prefer eating
things with little bones.
That's just what we have so far.
Five species of demons that have
been known to move transdimensionally.
Two of them may be invisible in
this dimension and two others can
perform spells to alter perception.
That's four. What's the other one like?
Kinda like the others, only dripping
with viscous fluid.
So should we concentrate on how to
kill those or should we try to find more?
I'm not sure. I guess ... Maybe some of us
could keep going finding more, and the others--
I miss Giles.
Oh. He's coming back. I talked to him.
I know I'm a kinda poor substitute, but
until then, we'll get it done ...
Buffy stands up.
I think I should patrol.
Willow flinches a little, taking it as a sign that Buffy doesn't have faith in her research.
I know we'll find something soon!
Buffy is already heading for the door.
Do you want us to go with you?
We could do that.
No. I need to go. Um, I know you're
worried. But I ... I feel like I have to
get out. Sorry.
You should go.
Dawn turns toward the exiting Buffy, back to the others.
ANGLE ON: DAWN
Don't worry about me. I'll be safe
here with the others.
Unseen by anyone (except, you know, the TV viewers), Dawn SLOWLY SMILES. HER EYES ARE WHITE.
EXT. CEMETERY NIGHT
Buffy patrols alone. But she doesn't have a stake in hand, and she doesn't scan her surroundings. She just walks.
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
It's very late. Willow, Tara, and Xander are still researching, exhausted -- heads on hands. Dawn is looking at the shelf of books. Anya enters, carrying take-out cups of coffee.
I found a 24-hour place for coffee.
Remember that bookstore? Well
they became one of those books-and-
coffee places and now they're just
coffee. It's like evolution only without
the getting-better part.
She sets the drinks out on the counter.
(as she sets out the drinks)
Coffee, coffee, coffee and
Hot chocolate for Dawn.
You're too young for coffee.
Dawn whips her head toward Anya. Dawn's eyes are WHITE.
Startled, everyone turns to look at Dawn.
You can have my coffee.
Dawn's blank eyes scan the group.
All of you did it, Stupid children,
Did you think the blood wouldn't
reach you? I smell the death on you,
LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE!
Suddenly Dawn ROARS FIRE AT THEM. They dive to the side, and the flames CATCH SOME OF THE BOOKS ON THE TABLE ON FIRE.
Dawn collapses to the floor, unconscious.
Fire, fire, fire.
Xander grabs the cushion from Anya's chair, uses it to smother the flames.
Oh my God, oh my God.
As in Xander's apartment, a (CGI) bulge zips away... only now it isn't under a carpet. The bulge forms in the store's linoleum floor, and ripples away, leaving the floor undamaged.
Willow and Tara are helping Dawn to sit up. Anya watches as Xander puts out the last of the fire with the now-singed cushion.
I liked that cushion.
That was it. Like Buffy. Only with fire.
Is she okay?
Did I look like that? I hope I
didn't look like that.
No, I'm sure you looked really
glamorous cutting up your face.
Dawn opens her eyes. They're normal again.
What happened? What's going on?
You'll be okay.
I bet you experience some dry-mouth.
Was it ... did the demon thing have me?
It's okay. It's okay.
Yeah. It's gone.
Yes. But where did it go? I mean, evil
things have plans. They have things to do.
INT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - LOWER LEVEL - NIGHT
Spike is in the lower level of his crypt, where the Buffyshrine used to be. It's decorated like an apartment now: chairs, tables, etc.
Spike is pacing, leather coat billowing and snapping as he turns.
Without warning he spins toward the wall. HE PUNCHES THE WALL.
His hand is scraped and bleeding. He looks at it. A sound escapes him... a sob? He starts to laugh a moment of relief and release.
Suddenly, there is a noise upstairs. He tenses, looks up.
He grabs a nasty-looking knife from a wall-mounted collection of arms. He heads for the ladder, starts to climb.
INT. SPIKE'S CRYPT - UPPER LEVEL - NIGHT
Spike emerges at the top of the ladder. He sees Buffy standing, back to him, looking around at the new furnishings. Spike goes over to her, stands directly behind her.
She turns around, sees him standing there, notices the knife in his hand, but doesn't react to it.
You should be careful. Never
know what kind of villain's got
a knife at your back.
Your hand is hurt.
Same to you.
Spike puts down the knife.
Willow's getting pretty strong, isn't
she? Bringing you back. Hard to
get a good night's death 'round here.
Nothing from Buffy -- Spike can't figure out how to fill the pause.
You can sit, if you want. Got
furniture. You should see the
downstairs, too. Quite posh.
Buffy sits. Spike sits opposite her. She keeps staring at him. He takes it as an accusation, responds to it ...
I do remember what I said. The
promise. To protect her. If I'd
done that ... even if I didn't make
it, you wouldn't've had to jump.
I want you to know I did save you.
Not when it counted, of course.
But after that. Every night after that.
I'd see it all again, do something
different. Faster or more clever, you
know? Dozens of times, lots of
different ways ...
Every night I save you.
He looks at her again. Her stare is the same, vacant. He realizes she's not there to accuse him.
They sit quietly. Not talking.
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
Anya and Dawn have both fallen asleep, heads down on their books. Tara and Willow are still paging through books. . Xander is looking toward the windows. Tara takes a break, comes over to the windows by Xander.
It's getting light out. Buffy's probably
on her way home from patrolling.
I like sunrise better when I'm getting up
early than when I'm staying up late, you
know? It's like I'm seeing it from the
Hey, Tara. This is probably crazy,
but I was talking to Spike ...
Really? You two mix about as well as
Satyrion seed and powdered turtledove.
Mmmokay again. But, thing is,
Spike made me think. The spell
we did. It's having consequences,
isn't it? I mean, it sure seems like it.
And I was wondering... did you know
this might happen?
Xander glances back toward Willow.
Do you think... could someone have
Willow's a talented witch and she'd
never do anything to hurt anyone.
I know, I know. Backing off quickly,
see, hands in the air, I just mean--
Startled, Xander and Tara look over at Willow. Dawn and Anya are both jolted awake.
I'm not possessed. It's just, I
think I figured it out. This isn't
a demon we let out. This is a
demon we made.
We made a demon? Bad us.
Thaumogenesis is when doing a
spell actually creates a being. In
this case it was, like, a side-effect,
I guess. Like a price.
Think of it like, the world doesn't
like you getting something for free.
We asked for this huge gift -Buffy -
and the world said, fine. If you get
that, you have to take this too ... and
it made the demon.
Technically, that's not a price.
That's a gift with purchase.
If you made a demon how come
we don't see it? I mean, we just
see us. Doing stuff.
I think it's out of phase with this
dimension. Its consciousness is here,
but its body is caught in the ether
between existing and not existing.
It doesn't have a body... so it's
borrowing ours ... It borrowed
Dawn and Anya ...
Or it's manifesting copies of them,
like it did when Buffy came at us ...
It's using them to do stuff. To scare
us, attack us.
So we need to uncreate it, right?
Get it the rest of the way out of our
He's right. Return the unwanted gift.
Metaphorically it works out exactly right.
Willow is looking through the books ...
Uh-huh. Except ... it's linked to the spell.
When we send it away, it's like the spell
doesn't exist. Like it never happened.
Like it never brought Buffy back.
Dawn is in control here, quietly hurt, demanding attention.
You can't do that. You can't think for
a second that you're going to do that.
Dawn doesn't take her eyes off Willow.
If you think you can give her back to
me and then take her away again... No.
That's worse than if you'd never brought
her back. You can't mess with people's
lives this way! What about what would
happen to her? You'd send her back to
where she was, hell or whatever?
No. Dawn, we're not going to do it
Dawn turns to the others, appealing to them.
How can you let her do this? How can
you even talk about letting her go? I
thought you loved her too!
We do. Honey, you're not listening.
She said we'll find another way.
Then do it!
Willow is looking through the book again.
Wait. Dawn. Everyone hold on.
She looks up, smiles.
What? Why are you smiling?
Because it's temporary.
The demon. It's going to dissipate.
The only way it can survive on our
plane is if it was to kill the subject
of the original spell.
It would live if it killed Buffy?
Right, but that's not gonna--
ANGLE ON: XANDER
HIS EYES ARE WHITE.
Thanks for the tip.
Xander collapses to the ground, unconscious. Another CGI bulge zips away.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT
The empty foyer. There is the sound of a key in the lock. The door opens. Buffy enters, looking tired, emotionally empty.
She heads up the stairs. After she clears the frame, something (CGI) forms in the entryway, a swirling milky-white cloud. It wafts up the stairs, becoming more solid as it rises, resolving into the still-misty form of a woman.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Buffy enters her room. She still looks detached. She goes to look at the photographs again. As she takes a step toward them...
The white woman-demon attacks her. At first it's nothing more than a cloudy white arc that slams into her chest, driving her back.
Buffy hits at it, but her fists just scatter the mist, harmlessly.
The demon speaks in a watery female voice.
You don't belong here.
Another arc projects from the mist, this time becoming more solid... a clenched white fist that whips Buffy head around.
Did they tell you you belonged here?
Did they say this was your home again?
Did they say there would be room for you?
It strikes at her again. This time Buffy catches at it, has it in her grasp for a second before it dissolves.
Were you offered pretty lies, little girl?
The mist swirls around Buffy, surrounding her. We get the impression of two thin arms forming to crush her like a coiling snake.
Or did they even give you a choice?
INT. XANDER'S CAR - NIGHT
Xander, Anya and Dawn in Xander's car. Xander drives. Anya is in the passenger seat, Dawn in the back.
Xander! Drive faster!
I could drive faster and I can't drive!
She's right. You're like a snail. A
snail that is driving a car very slowly.
Come on! Give it the lead foot! We've
got to help Buffy with that demon you
sent after her!
I did not send the demon -- I was
possessed! The demon used me to
eavesdrop on our conversation-
Great. So now what? We can only
talk in anti-demon secret code?
Good-gay idea-yay, An-ya-ay
Stop talking in wrong Pig Latin and
drive! Buffy's in trouble!
It's okay, Dawnie. Willow and Tara
are doing a spell.
It's not gonna send Buffy away, is it?
No, of course not. It's just that she
can't fight this thing while it's all ...
misty. So they make it more solid,
and then Buffy can kick its newly-
You sure it'll work?
You bet. Piece of cake.
Right. Easy peasy.
(under breath/to Xander)
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
Willow and Tara sit on the floor in the darkened room. Their hands are joined. They chant.
Child of words, hear thy makers.
Child of words, we entreat.
With our actions did we make thee,
to our voices wilt thou bend...
INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT
Buffy is being gripped by the bands of mist. They solidify, turning into thin white arms. Buffy breaks the grip and spins to face the demon.
It's half-formed, limbs solid, but the head and torso still swirling and cloud-like. It is thin and female.
But it's strong. It knocks Buffy to the ground with a punch. She lands sprawling, one arm going under her bed.
The demon takes a menacing step toward her -- its foot is bare, its ankle thin and bone-white.
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
Tara and Willow continue:
With our potions thou took motive,
with our motions came to pass.
We rescind no past devotions,
give thee substance, give thee mass.
Child of words, hear thy makers ...
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT
The demon continues to advance. Curls of dusty white smoke rise off its thin still-misty body. Buffy brings her arm out from under the bed. She's holding a battle-ax.
Buffy sweeps the ax through the cloudy body. The demon laughs a female, bubbling, disembodied laugh.
You're the one who's barely here.
Set on this earth like a bubble.
Buffy cuts through the demon, which is more solid this time, the mist seems heavier, like oily smoke.
You won't even disturb the air when
ANYA, DAWN AND XANDER BURST IN.
The demon turns its half-formed head to look at the newcomers.
Go! Take Dawn out of here!
Anya and Xander turn to try to move Dawn away. Dawn doesn't move.
INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT
Willow and Tara continue:
... we entreat ...
Tara breaks off, gasping, as a nimbus of light surrounds Willow. Tara looks at it, stunned. Willow opens her eyes.
They are DARK WITH MAGIC.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT
As it turns back to Buffy, the Demon becomes completely solid. It looks like a drowned woman. It is deathly white, with a cracked surface, brown corpse-like teeth, deep blackshadowed gorey-like eyes and floating tangled white hair.
I am here!
Buffy SLAMS the demon with the broad side of the ax blade. For the first time it takes a solid blow. Buffy lunges after it and hits it with a flurry of kicks.
The demon knocks Buffy back. Buffy struggles to keep a hold of the ax.
Buffy pops back to her feet, raises the ax...
Buffy! Kill it!
Buffy swings the ax.
We hear it hit the solid body.
ANGLE ON: XANDER, ANYA AND DAWN
As their eyes follow the arc of a severed head falling. (We don't see the head.) They react to what must be a pretty gory show: Xander and Anya turn away.
Huh. That's probably the sort of
thing I'm not s'posed to see, right?
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - MORNING (DAY 3)
Days later. Beautiful sunny California morning. Dawn emerges from the house, wearing a backpack, ready for school. She heads toward the sidewalk. Buffy, carrying a brown lunch bag, runs out of the house after Dawn.
Dawn turns back, a little alarmed.
You made me lunch?
Buffy nods. Dawn takes the lunch.
You better go. You've been out
since I ... got back. Go catch up.
Buffy tries a smile and a teeny joke:
You know what they say, those who
fail history are doomed to repeat it
in summer school.
Dawn smiles back, then hugs Buffy, grateful for the effort more than the lunch.
Buffy shrugs. Dawn looks at her closely.
Are you okay?
I'm going to start charging people
money to ask me that.
Everyone's been doing that, huh?
They care about you a lot. When
you were gone ... it was bad when
you were gone. But it'll get better
now. Now that they can see you
being happy. That's all they want.
Buffy nods, takes that in as Dawn heads for the bus.
INT. MAGIC BOX DAY
Anya is at the cash register. Xander leans
on the counter near her. Willow and Tara look
Everyone looks up eagerly.
You get Dawn off to school okay?
Cuz I was thinking if you need me
to pick her up--
That's okay. I've got it. Look, guys ...
There's this thing. And I'm just gonna
They look at her, waiting.
You brought me back. I was in a place ...
I was in Hell. I don't ... I can't think
much about what it was like. But it felt ...
I felt like the world abandoned me there.
And then suddenly you guys ... You did
what you did.
It was Willow. She knew what to do.
Buffy smiles. The others smile gamely back.
So you did that. And the world came rushing
back. So... thank you. You guys gave me the
world. Thank you. I can't tell you what it
means to me.
Willow and Tara have some tears. Xander, too, possibly, in a manly way.
I should have said it before.
Welcome home, Buffy.
Willow and Xander hug Buffy.
EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS - DAY - MINUTES LATER
Spike is in the alley, leaning against the wall, having a smoke. Buffy enters from the store's side door.
Spike. It's daylight and you're ...
Not on fire? Sun's low. IS shady
Spike sits on a packing crate, gestures to the space beside him. She sits down next to him.
I was gonna go in, but I overheard
you and the Super-friends sharing
"a special moment" and I came over
a bit queasy.
He throws down his cigarette butt.
Say, aren't you leaving a hole in the
middle of some soggy group hug?
I wanted a little time alone.
Oh. Right then...
He heads for the alley entrance. He reaches the edge of the sunshine -- realizes -- turns back.
That's okay. I can be alone with you here.
Thanks ever so.
Buff? Slayer? You okay?
She looks at him, blinks, tries to pull it together.
I'm here. I'm good.
Buffy, if you're in-- if you're in
pain. Or if you need anything... If
I can help you...
Well, I haven't been to a Helldimension
just of late, but I know a thing or two
I was happy.
I don't ...
Wherever I ... was ... I was happy.
At peace. I knew that everyone
I cared about was all right. I knew it.
Time didn't mean anything, nothing
had form... but I was still me, you
know? And I was warm and I was
loved... and I was finished.
Complete. I don't understand about
dimensions or theology or any of ...
but I think I was in heaven.
Spike stares, takes it in. She looks at him.
And now I'm not.
I was torn out of there. My friends
pulled me out. And everything
here is bright and hard and violent...
Everything I feel, everything I touch...
this is Hell. Just getting through the
next moment, and the one after that...
knowing what I've lost ...
She's said too much. He's speechless as she rises, starts out of the alley. She pauses, not even looking back.
They can never know. Never.
She looks at him. He nods almost imperceptibly.