Conversations With Dead People

September 29, 2002 (WHITE)

Written by: Jane Espenson & Drew Goddard

Directed by: Nick Marck

Teaser

OVER BLACK:

Episode title appears on screen. "Conversations With Dead People." Title fades away.

Now, another inscription appears and then fades - "November 12, 2002"

And the last inscription - "8:01 pm."

Now we FADE UP for a TEASER MONTAGE.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy wanders the dark cemetery, searching for a particular grave. Is possible, this should be a real cemetery, not styrofoam city. We should get a sense of depth here, with Buffy small and alone amidst the sea of headstones.

Buffy stops at a fresh grave. It's the one she's been looking for. She crouches next to it - watching it.

Under this scene we hear the sounds of a BAND as they set up and prepare to play. A guitar is tuned... A microphone checked...

INT. BRONZE - NIGHT

Now we see the source of the sounds from the previous scene. On stage, a BAND starts to play a mournful tune. It's full of loneliness. Pain. You know, season six stuff.

We move slowly from the band, through the crowd, finally resting on SPIKE, who sits by himself.

It's clear as we move closer that the music reflects Spike's inner state. He's lost, hurting.

MUSIC CONTINUES UNDER:

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE LIBRARY - NIGHT

The library is sparsely populated. We find WILLOW alone, studying at a table tucked between the stacks. It's a private, cozy alcove.

Willow is hunched over her book, clearly fighting fatigue. After a beat, she gives in and lays her head down on her book. Closes her eyes...

INT. SUMMERS HOUSE - ENTRYWAY/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dawn comes in the front door. Only a single light is on in the living room. The rest of the house is dark. Dawn moves to the desk in the living room and finds a note with a twenty dollar bill clipped to it.

The note reads "Will and I are out until late. Here's money for the store. NOT PIZZA! Love you, Buffy."

Dawn takes in the note. Then smiles. Tosses herself onto the couch. A night alone. Cool.

EXT - GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

We find Buffy - still crouching at the fresh grave. Still watching it intently. A beat. Then a HAND SHOOTS OUT OF THE GRAVE.

CLOSE ON BUFFY

Who takes this in impassively.

BUFFY
Here we go.

END TEASER
Act One

INT. JONATHAN'S CAR - NIGHT

JONATHAN and ANDREW, both dressed in black, drive in an El Camino along a dark, lonely road. Jonathan's at the wheel.

ANDREW
You keep circling around -- just
drive straight in.

JONATHAN
Will you shut up? We gotta keep it
low-pro.

ANDREW
Our pro couldn't be any more low.
I'm not even sure this is a road.

JONATHAN
The freeway is a nesting symbol for
John Q. Law.

ANDREW
That heat's passed, man.

JONATHAN
I'm laying odds our mugs are splashed
across every wire from here to
Appalachia and you want to drive on
the freeway?
(beat)
That's just what they want us to do.

ANDREW
You're just scared...

JONATHAN
Of course I'm scared! The last time
we were here thirty-three-point-three-
barred percent out us got flayed
alive. And now we're driving right
back into the belly of the beast.

ANDREW
Calm down -- no one's gonna get
flayed alive. We've got a plan.
We're gonna fix all that.

JONATHAN
We should have stayed in Mexico.

ANDREW
Oh, I didn't like it there. Everyone
spoke Mexico-an.

JONATHAN
You could have learned it. You
learned the entire Klingon dictionary
in two and a half weeks.

ANDREW
That had a much clearer transitive and
intransitive rules.
(beat)
And besides... I can't keep having
those nightmares.

JONATHAN
(haunted)
Right. Me neither.
(pause)
"Desde abajo te devora."

ANDREW
"It eats you, starting with your bottom."

JONATHAN
(to himself)
We're gonna make it right...

ANDREW
(nodding)
We're outlaws. With hearts of gold.

EXT. SUNNYDALE ROAD - JONATHAN'S CAR - NIGHT

The El Camino drives away, headed for the lights of Sunnydale.

EXT - GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

The VAMPIRE attacks.

Buffy fights the vampire (HOLDEN WEBSTER) for a spell. He's her age, not prepossessing but not nerdy either - the kind of guy, with a nice, open face when it's not in vamp mode. Right now it is, and he fights with a ferocity, and some finesse. Should be an easy dispatch for Buffy, but his strength is surprising, and she's not giving it her all. As they continue to fight...

INT. SUMMERS HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Dawn stands at the kitchen counter, eating an anchovy and pineapple pizza from a delivery box.

She sings a made-up song with her mouth full.

DAWN
(singing)
Anchovies, anchovies, you're so
delicious / I love you more than all
other fishes...

INT. SUMMERS HOME - BUFFY'S BEDROOM - LATER

Dawn stands in front of Buffy's closet, pulling out clothes and holding them up in front of her, admiring. The box of pizza now lies open on Buffy's bed. Dawn holds a piece of pizza in one hand.

She realizes she's just got pizza sauce on one of Buffy's tops.

DAWN
She'll think it's blood.

She puts the item back in the closet.

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER

The CAMERA MOVES THROUGH THE DARKENED ROOM LIKE A STALKER, finding Dawn...

Lit by a small lamp that throws a tiny circle of pale light in the dark room, Dawn sits on the floor next to the CD player, drinking soda, listening to music (something youthful and popular), and reading liner notes. She has open CD cases and loose CDs all around her. She spills her soda on some of the CDs and, unconcerned, wipes them with her sleeve. She hears...

A SINGLE LOUD THUMP. Is it at the door? She turns down the music...

DAWN
Hello?

Nothing.

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER

We start in blackness, then it becomes clear our POV is from inside Buffy's weapon chest. We get a view looking up at Dawn as she lifts the lid and peers in.

Series of quick shots:

- Dawn tests a knife blade against her thumb. Winces and puts her thumb in her mouth.

- Dawn swings an axe.

DAWN:
(play-acting)
Taste my blade, spawn of evil!

- Dawn loads a lethal-looking crossbow... using all her strength to pull it back, muscles shaking, an accident waiting to happen.

- Dawn sights along the crossbow bolt.

- Dawn tugs at the crossbow bolt, which is now embedded in the wall on the other side of the room. She pulls it free, leaving a chunk missing from the wall.

- Dawn nudges a plant into place to cover the damage to the wall.

EXT / INT. SUMMERS HOME - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

ANGLE FROM OUTSIDE LOOKING IN AT DAWN THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW OR BACK DOOR -- we hear muted music and see Dawn moving around.

CUT TO:

Now we're inside.

The kitchen radio is on, playing Mariachi-style music. Dawn dances a little cha-cha type thing as she puts a single marshmallow into the microwave.

This room is also dark -- Dawn's face is lit by the internal light from the microwave.

Dawn peeks through the little window at the cooking marshmallow. (if it's possible to actually get a shot into a working microwave we could actually see the marshmallow swell to massive proportions... they do that.)

DAWN
Cool.

Another THUMP. Dawn JUMPS and glances toward the back door... no one there.

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER

CLOSE ON THE TV... a horror movie. A MAN MENACES A WOMAN.

ANGLE ON DAWN: On her tummy in front of the television, which is emitting creepy horror-movie music, lit by the TV light and licking marshmallow goo off her fingers as she talks on the cordless phone. She kicks her bare feet in the air behind her.

DAWN
(into phone re: TV)
Are you seeing this, Kit? She is so
dead, even just talking to this guy.
Oh, he's clearly a psychopath... is
so... what? That is not Tom Hanks.
What are you talking about?
(long beat)
Well what channel are you on?

A SINGLE THUMP.

DAWN (cont'd)
There it is again. I keep hearing
this, like, thumping...

Dawn MUTES the television.

A single THUMP.

Dawn gets up and heads for the door.

DAWN (cont'd)
No, I can't tell if it's at the door
or...

Dawn is approaching the door when it FLIES OPEN VIOLENTLY and a blast of wind hits her. No one is there. Dawn closes the door against the wind and stands in front of it.

DAWN (cont'd)
(into phone)
Kit? Is there a storm... are you
there?

THE DOOR BLOWS OPEN AGAIN -- MORE INSISTENT, MORE VIOLENT -- this time it hits Dawn, making her drop the phone.

Suddenly the TV starts BLARING (horror movie music). The CD player is suddenly on loudly too, and the radio can be heard from the kitchen.

In the cacophony, Dawn runs to the TV and tries to turn it off (at the main unit, not with the remote.) It stays on. She grabs the cord, yanks it... unplugs it. It stays on.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy and the Vampire are still fighting. They get in the clinch, and he's starting to bear down when he stops, looks at her...

HOLDEN
Buffy?

He takes a step back. Buffy looks equally surprised.

HOLDEN (cont'd)
Buffy Summers?

BUFFY
Uh, have we...

HOLDEN
Webs!
(nothing)
Holden Webster! We were in school
together! European History... I let
you crib off my Vaclev Haval essay
that time... You really don't
remember me?

BUFFY
(no)
Oh, sure, sure...

INT. SUMMERS HOUSE - LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - NIGHT

The cacophony continues: TV over CD over (o.s.) radio. Dawn stands in the middle of the living room, looking around, confused. (by the way, the plant that she put into place to cover the wall damage is all black and dead now, but we call no special attention to this.)

CUT TO:

The axe we saw earlier hits the television screen, smashing it. The light and noise from it stops.

CUT TO:

This time we get to see Dawn swing the axe as it hits the CD player. It gets crushed along with the shelf it rode in on. It stops playing.

CUT TO:

Dawn, still carrying the axe, enters the kitchen and heads for the kitchen radio, which is still playing Mariachi music. Before she gets there she sees...

The microwave is on, HUMMING LOUDLY, smoke oozing out around the door.

DAWN
Oh god, oh god...

The HUM GETS LOUDER AND HIGHER... Dawn lunges for it, but doesn't get to it before...

The microwave EXPLODES, the door blasting outwards in fragments of glass.

Dawn yelps and runs for the back door, stepping on glass. On the way, she passes near the radio.

Just for a moment, the Mariachi music dissolves into static and through the static:

JOYCE (V.O)
Dawn?

Dawn freezes and stares at the radio. It reverts to music.

DAWN
(soft)
Mom?

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE LIBRARY - NIGHT

CLOSE ON WILLOW

Who still sleeps on her book. But something rouses her. Her eyes flicker open. She sits up, sensing that she's not alone. Then her eyes fix on something. Stop.

REVEAL

TARA, sitting on the table, across from her. Willow just takes her in, too stunned to speak. Tara smiles.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Holden is still trying to explain who he is.

HOLDEN
Okay. Junior year, spring production
of "Pippen"... I did the lighting
design...

BUFFY
Didn't see it.

HOLDEN
But you helped me move the lighting
board and I dropped it on your foot...

BUFFY
Foot! Yes! Right. And history
class, okay, it's coming back. I'm
sorry.

HOLDEN
(nice, but a bit sad)
Well, it's not like I was a huge part
of your life-

BUFFY
But I just didn't recognize you
'cause you're, you know, a demon, and
I think you've filled out a lot.

HOLDEN
Yeah, I got into tai kwon do in a big
way at Dartmouth.

BUFFY
Well, that's great. So what have you
been up to?

HOLDEN
Well, apparently, dying!

They both laugh.

HOLDEN
No, but, other stuff, too... Majoring
in psych, really loving that... And
I was taking a year off to do an
internship at the Sunnydale Mental
Hospital.

BUFFY
Wow, that's gotta be a... popular
joint.

HOLDEN
Yeah, I keep telling them we should
get a bouncer and a velvet rope.
Hey, you remember Jason Wheeler?
Crazy Jay?

BUFFY
(groan face)
Oh, yeah...

HOLDEN
He had that shtick, all
(Adam Sandler-esque)
"I'm crazy! I'm crazy!"

BUFFY
How is he?

HOLDEN
Crazy. He's been in the chronic ward
since graduation.

It's a bit of a dampener. They smile wanly.

HOLDEN
Not really that funny, I guess.

BUFFY
Ironic, sort of.

HOLDEN
Yeah...
(de-morphs)
Whoah! Did my face just change?

BUFFY
Yeah. You look human now. You can
go back and forth.

HOLDEN
So I'm a vampire? How weird is that?

BUFFY
I'm sorry.

HOLDEN
No, it feels okay. Strong, and I
feel like I'm connected to a powerful
all-consuming evil that's gonna suck
the world into fiery oblivion. What
about you?

BUFFY
Not so much connected.

HOLDEN
No, no, but out here, the stake and
the cross - you do this a lot?

BUFFY
Well, I'm the Slayer, it's sort of a
thing...

HOLDEN
And you do what, fight vampires?
Professionally?

BUFFY
Well, I don't get paid, it's more
like a calling. Since... Even in
school.

HOLDEN
I heard a lotta rumors about you back
then. You were all mysterious...

BUFFY
(sorta pleased)
I was?

HOLDEN
Well you were never around. Lotta
kids thought you were dating some
really old guy, or, like heavy
religious. Scott Hope said you were
gay.

BUFFY
What?! I dated that ringworm!

HOLDEN
He said that about every girl he
broke up with. And then last year,
big surprise, he comes out...

BUFFY
Men, do I know how to pick 'em.

HOLDEN
So all that time, you were a Slayer.

BUFFY
"The."

HOLDEN
"The." Like, the only?

BUFFY
Pretty much.

HOLDEN
So when you said, "not connected,"
that was kind of a telling statement.

BUFFY
Oh, psych 101 alert...

HOLDEN
I'm just saying-

BUFFY
Yeah, what I really need right now is
emotional therapy from the Evil Dead.

HOLDEN
Hey, it was your phrase...

BUFFY
I'm connected. I'm connected to a
lot of people, okay?

As this last couplet is spoken, we pan over to Buffy's unheard, ringing phone in the grass.

HOLDEN
No, no, I hear you.

BUFFY
I mean I really am...

INT. SUMMERS HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

It's later. The lights are on. Dawn is sitting on the living room floor, picking glass out of her foot and wrapping cloth around it. She has the radio on the floor in front of her and the phone to her ear. The axe lies on the floor next to her.

DAWN
(shaky)
Buffy, come on... pick up... I don't
know what to do...

She gives up. Hangs up. Stands up, shakes the radio.

DAWN (cont'd)
(to the radio)
Do it again. I heard you!

Behind her we get a glimpse of Joyce, dead on the sofa.

Dawn turns that way as if she sensed something there, but the sofa is empty.

The lights go out. Pitch black.

They instantly come back on... In the time the lights are on we get a number of quick cuts as Dawn pilots around to see:

- The weapons' chest is on end.

- The research table is upside down.

- The sofa cushions are piled into a tower.

- And the wall is splashed with the bloody words "MOTHER'S MILK IS RED TODAY"

The lights go out again. In the darkness, we hear Dawn's panicked breathing. Then, we hear a slow, steady, wall-shaking THUMP.

THUMP THUMP THUMP --

The lights come back on. Everything is back just like before. No blood, no rearrangement.

-- THUMP THUMP THUMP --

Dawn's becoming unhinged. She's breathing hard.

DAWN (cont'd)
Why are you doing this?

The thumping becomes more insistent, erratic.

THUMP THUMP THUMP. THUMP. THUMPTHUMP THUMP --

DAWN (cont'd)
Why are you -- I don't understand.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMPTHUMPTHUMP --

DAWN (cont'd)
Stop... I don't understand. Stop it.
Stop it...

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP --

DAWN (cont'd)
(terrified)
STOP IT!

Silence.

Dawn looks around, surprised it actually stopped. A beat, then:

DAWN (cont'd)
Hello?

THUMP.

DAWN (cont'd)
(whispered)
Mom?

THUMP. THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP --

DAWN (cont'd)
Wait -- wait wait wait wait -- I
don't --

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP --

DAWN (cont'd)
Slow down --
(thinks; to herself)
Once for yes...
(to the walls)
Once for yes, twice for no.

Silence.

DAWN (cont'd)
Mom?

THUMP.

DAWN (cont'd)
Mom, it's you?

THUMP.

DAWN (cont'd)
Are you okay?

THUMP. THUMP.

Dawn starts breathing harder.

DAWN (cont'd)
You're not -- do you need help?

THUMP.

The lights dim, brighten. The pictures shake on the walls.

DAWN (cont'd)
You need my help.

THUMP.

DAWN (cont'd)
What do you want me to do? Should I go get Buffy?

BANG -- some of the light bulbs explode. Dawn cries out. The walls SHAKE, pictures fall.

DAWN (cont'd)
Stop it. Why are you --

Then it hits her.

DAWN (cont'd)
Mom... are you alone?

THUMP. THUMP.

Dawn's eyes go wide.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP --

The house SHAKES violently, rocking on its very foundation. The rest of the lights EXPLODE. Dawn screams. Pitch black. THUMPTHUMPTHUMP --

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT

SPARKS rain down as a miniature buzzsaw cuts a large hole in the window (the one above that Leadership/Followers sign.) The glass is removed from the outside. Two large black backpacks come flying in, followed by a rope, followed by Jonathan.

He rappels down. Hits the ground, rights himself. Takes a step forward, looks around. We see the rope in the background (but not the window or the floor.) A beat, then Andrew comes CRASHING DOWN -- sideways -- falling free, somehow missing the rope entirely.

He cries out in pain. Jonathan turns around.

JONATHAN
Oh, get up you wuss.

ANDREW
I have shin splints.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - LOBBY AREA - NIGHT

Jonathan and Andrew walk out into the dimly lit lobby. They're both wearing their backpacks and carrying flashlights. Andrew carries a map.

JONATHAN
Wow. They really rebuilt it.

ANDREW
It still smells new. I think.

He smells the air, intense concentration on his face.

JONATHAN
It's weird -- it's a different
building and all...
(looking around)
I mean, on one hand it's totally
different... but it sorta feels
exactly the same...

ANDREW
And so big. And empty.

Jonathan looks around. Fear begins to creep over him.

JONATHAN
Maybe we could turn a light on or
something.

ANDREW
They'll see it from the outside.

JONATHAN
Right...

They hear a CREAK. Jonathan jumps. He shines his light in the direction he thought it came from.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
Maybe we should just go get Buffy.

ANDREW
No way.

JONATHAN
We'll just tell her what we know
about the Seal of Danzalthar --

ANDREW
Think McFly! Why would she believe
us without any proof? We go to her
empty handed and we're cooling our
heels in the clink inside a Bell's
microsecond.

Jonathan considers this.

JONATHAN
I ain't going back to the big house.
That place changes a man.

ANDREW
That's why we need proof. Think of
it as a trial by fire -- a quest.

Jonathan gets a romantic look on his face.

JONATHAN
Una questa.

ANDREW
We find it, we alert the Slayer, we
help her destroy it, we save
Sunnydale.
(beat)
Then we join her gang and possibly
hang out at her house.

JONATHAN
Right.
(steels himself)
Okay. What do we do?

Andrew holds up the map.

ANDREW
I think we should find the
principal's office and work our way
down from there.

Jonathan studies the map, then looks around.

JONATHAN
You look down that hallway, I'll go
check over there.

ANDREW
(nodding)
Check communications.

They each pull out a walkie-talkie and speak into it.

JONATHAN
Check. Check.

ANDREW
Check. Check.

JONATHAN
Check. Check. Check check
check. Check.
ANDREW
Check check. Check check.
Check. Check.

JONATHAN
Check.

Satisfied, Jonathan nods, walks down the hall. He gets about twenty feet away, then turns back towards Andrew.

He speaks into his walkie, even though they're still close enough to hear each other just fine.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
(into walkie)
Echo Two to Echo One.

ANDREW
(into walkie)
This is Echo One. Go ahead.

JONATHAN
(into walkie)
Do you really think they'll let us
join their gang?

Andrew looks at him. Shrugs. Jonathan nods, sad, and then slowly walks around the corner.

Andrew watches him go... and doesn't notice WARREN walk up behind him.

WARREN
Nice job.

Andrew does a frightened triple-take. Then he realizes it's Warren.

ANDREW
Where have you been?

WARREN
Take it easy, take it easy...

ANDREW
I'm scared out of my friggin' gourd
here. Do you have any idea how hard
it's been to act this cool?

WARREN
Calm down, you're doing great. All
specs are within parameters.

ANDREW
I hate it when you leave me.
(softly)
One time you left me and I ended up
a Mexican.

WARREN
We've been over this -- that death
thing was all part of the Master Plan.

ANDREW
I know. But sometimes I don't
understand the Master Plan...

WARREN
You of all people should understand
the Master Plan.
(beat)
C'mon -- "If you strike me down..."

ANDREW
(realizing)
" ...I shall become more powerful
than you could possibly imagine." Of
course!
(thinks)
Do you think maybe Willow could kill
me too?

WARREN
Hey, don't worry.
(gestures down hall)
Short Round holds up his end of the
bargain, we'll both become gods.

Andrew looks down the hall after Jonathan.

ANDREW
"That boy is our last hope."

Warren immediately goes with it.

WARREN
"No. There is another."

Beat. Andrew frowns.

ANDREW
Wait. Really? Who's our other hope?

WARREN
No -- I was just going with it. It
was a thing. He's our last hope.

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE - LIBRARY

Back to Willow's stunned face. Tara still sits across from her, still looking at Willow lovingly.

TARA
Hey.

Willow blinks.

WILLOW
Hey?

TARA
I'm sorry to wake you.

Willow smiles a little regretfully.

WILLOW
Ha...

TARA
Ha - what?

WILLOW
Is that like a dream joke thing?
You're sorry to wake me, but I'm
clearly not awake and if I was awake
and you really were here, would you
be sorry to wake me up? I mean, after
all this time and - Oh God, I'm
babbling. I'm dream babbling and
it's the best dream of my life and
I'm wasting it and-

TARA
(gently)
I just meant, I liked watching you sleep.

WILLOW
Oh.

Now the emotion of it all really penetrates. Dream or not - Tara is near her. Talking to her. Loving her. Willow fights tears.

WILLOW (cont'd)
Oh... Oh God, Tara...

Tara gets emotional as well.

TARA
Shhhh, baby-

Willow reaches out to take Tara's outstretched hand, but Tara gently moves it away. Willow looks stricken.

WILLOW
Sorry. Sorry. I didn't mean to-

TARA
(regretful)
It's okay. I want you to. But I
don't think I can. Touch.

Tara shifts on the table, like she's about to stand up.

WILLOW
Wait! Don't! Don't leave-

TARA
I'm not. I was just - my skirt was
bunching up.

WILLOW
Oh.
(quickly/desperate)
So we'll just sit. We'll sit here.
And if the dream, or possibly ghosty,
rules are no touching, that's fine.
Just don't go. Okay?

TARA
Willow-

WILLOW
I think I'm kind of hyperventilating.

TARA
Will-

WILLOW
No, it's okay. Just...

Willow leans over. Tries to catch her breath. Disappears behind the table.

WILLOW (cont'd)
(O.C.)
Give me a minute.

Tara walks around to her. Willow practically has her head between her knees. Tara kneels and meets her eyes, despite the awkward, crouchy positions.

TARA
Sweetie-

Willow is crying now. Like her heart is breaking.

WILLOW
It hurts so much. I miss you so much.

TARA
I know. I know-

WILLOW
I keep telling myself, better to have
loved, right? And lost? Like, at
least we had that. But sometimes I
wish...

TARA
It's okay-

Willow sits up now. Almost panicky.

WILLOW
It's not okay! It's so much worse
now. Like, you filled my life up.
You made it bigger. And when you...
The hole you left is so deep. I'm
never going to fill it up. I'm never
going to...

TARA
You can. You will.

WILLOW
How? You're gone.

TARA
But you're not. And you're strong.
Like an Amazon, remember?

Willow can't help but smile a tiny rueful smile through her tears.

WILLOW
Big snotty weepy Amazon.

TARA
Gotta start somewhere.

They hold each other's gaze - connecting.

INT. BRONZE - NIGHT

Spike sits at the counter, drinking and smoking, lost in lonely thought. An attractive, nice twenty-something GIRL comes up to him, asks to bum a cig. Like all the Spike scenes, we are too far away to hear any dialogue, but the beats play out clearly. He gives her a cig. She indicates the seat next to him. Is it taken? He shrugs. She sits, awkwardly trying to think of something to say.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
You meet someone, you form a bond.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy lies on a horizontal crypt (single bed sized) with a stone book open at one end serving as a pillow. Holden sits on a gravestone near her head, listening. It should read as a classic old school psychoanalysis session.

BUFFY
But they never last.

HOLDEN
You mean all relationships, or just
yours?

BUFFY
Well, my folks weren't paragons of
stay-togetherness, and maybe that's
a part of... but I think there's people
out there who make it. I just seem
to target the impossible ones. With
deadly accuracy.

HOLDEN
You think you do that on purpose?
Are you maybe protecting yourself?

BUFFY
Protecting myself? From heartbreak,
misery, sexual violence and possible
death, not so much.

HOLDEN
From committing.

BUFFY
(sitting up)
I commit! I'm committed! I'm a
committee.

HOLDEN
So it's them. You're reaching out,
they're not coming through.

BUFFY
No... I mean, it's different...
You're confusing me 'cause you're
evil.

HOLDEN
I just think you're in some pain
here. Which I kind of do enjoy
'cause I'm evil now, but I think you
should ease up on yourself. You
don't exactly have the patent on bad
relationships.

BUFFY
Wouldn't it be cool if I did, though?

HOLDEN
And what, you're supposed to be
settling down already? At twenty?
My girlfriend at college is so
sweet - we have a great thing.
Doesn't mean I wanna go vampify her
so we can be together forever.

BUFFY
Sire.

HOLDEN
What?

BUFFY
The word. When you turn a human into
a vampire. It's, you "sire" them.

HOLDEN
Cool.

BUFFY
It's a noun too.

HOLDEN
There's a lot of stuff I'm gonna have
to learn here. Come on, how insane
is this? I mean, I was afraid to
talk to you in school, and now we're,
like, mortal enemies. Wouldn't it be
sweet if we became nemeses?

BUFFY
Is that how you say the word?

She's a little quiet. Holden realizes:

HOLDEN
We're gonna fight to the death here,
aren't we?

BUFFY
That's the time-honored custom.

HOLDEN
Wow. Reality just shows up
sometimes, doesn't it? But you know,
I got the bloodlust pumpin', I kinda
get it. I'm looking for a fight.
And it's nothing personal...

BUFFY
No, no, you've been great.

HOLDEN
And fun catching up. You know, I
really didn't keep in contact with
that many of my friends from high
school.
(evil smile)
Guess I'll be looking up them pretty
soon!

BUFFY
(quiet again)
Yeah.

HOLDEN
Okay, I'm really being Count Butt-in-
sky here, but you seem not as
thrilled. Is it 'cause we're gonna
fight?

BUFFY
It's 'cause I'm gonna win.

HOLDEN
Uh, hello, two years of tai kwan do
plus vampire strength, I think
someone's counting their chickens...

BUFFY
You're not leaving this graveyard.
I can't let you.

HOLDEN
Do the words 'superiority complex'
mean anything to you?

BUFFY
What, you think I'm gonna let you go
kill a bunch of people? You know I'm
sworn to -

HOLDEN
No no, I get the battle against evil,
that's not the issue.

BUFFY
There's no issue. Don't issue me.

HOLDEN
Let me ask you this. Who's fault was
your parents' divorce?

BUFFY
Okay, this is beyond evil. This is
insane troll logic. What do my
parents --

HOLDEN
I'm just curious. Your opinion.

BUFFY
Well, they couldn't get along, they
both had a lot of...

HOLDEN
Top of your head.

BUFFY
My dad.

HOLDEN
Uh huh.

She thinks about it a moment.

BUFFY
He cheated. I'm pretty sure he
cheated. I mean, Mom never said
anything, and, God, Dawn has no idea,
but I think he was...

HOLDEN
And you never told anyone. None of
your friends.

BUFFY
No point. It was over.

HOLDEN
So. All those relationships of yours
that you knew, subconsciously, were
totally doomed. Whose fault was that?

BUFFY
It's incredibly different!

HOLDEN
I'm just wondering. Is it possible
that just a little bit, you can't
connect with guys because you think
they're not worth it? Maybe you
think you're better than them?

BUFFY
Say! There's that bloodlust I was
looking for!

HOLDEN
Struck a nerve...

BUFFY
I'm gonna strike a nerve CLUSTER in
a minute, you don't get off this.
You know, I really don't remember you
being this annoying.

HOLDEN
You don't remember me at all.

BUFFY
Yes I do...

HOLDEN
Yeah, after, like, thirty minutes of
reminding. And I really don't take
it personally, 'cause you clearly
were in your own world in high
school, all Chosen, all Destiny....
who could live like that for seven
years and NOT feel superior?

BUFFY
I'm not. God, if anything...

HOLDEN
What?

BUFFY
I'm really... if you knew what I've
done, what I've let myself become...

She's getting a little emotional here...

BUFFY (cont'd)
My best friends don't even -- you'd
laugh, you heard some of the things
I've done to them.

HOLDEN
(sincerely)
I'm here to kill you, Buffy, not to
judge you.

BUFFY
The relationships, I know it's not
their fault. I'm not really sure how
they put up with me. The last guy I
was with, it got really... I behaved
like a monster. Treated him like...
and at the same time I let him just
take me over, do things to me that...
if anyone knew what really went on
between us, they'd never look at me
again.

HOLDEN
I think they would.

BUFFY
You don't know.

HOLDEN
And you don't either... 'til you tell
someone.

BUFFY
I couldn't...

She's fighting back tears...

BUFFY (cont'd)
Oh god, I'm so sorry... I didn't mean
to get all true confessions, I don't
know what's wrong with me...

HOLDEN
There's nothing wrong with you.

He swings a small statue of the Virgin Mary into her face, sends her flying back. She lands on her back, dazed, and he lands on her, vamped out.

HOLDEN (cont'd)
Everyone's got issues.

He bites.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy pushes Holden off her, slams him with a punch and away they go. Fighty McFightenstein. After a few blows:

BUFFY
You son of a bitch.

HOLDEN
What?

BUFFY
I think I'm gonna kill you just a
little bit more than usual.

More blows.

HOLDEN
Hey, we had a moment, you opened up,
it was sweet and it made me wanna
bite you. I'm sorry if I overstepped
bounds... I'm new at this mortal
enemy stuff.

He kicks her, high, again catching her a bit off guard.

HOLDEN (cont'd)
Pretty fast learner, though.

She plows into him and they head towards a crypt, go crashing through the stained glass window --

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

-- and land in a shower of glass and noise, locked in struggle --

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Very dark. The only light is the moonlight from outside. Dawn is just a tense dark shape in the middle of the room. We HEAR HER BREATHING.

Then we hear SOMETHING ELSE BREATHING... out of sync with her, slower, deeper, with a hint of a SNARL TO IT on the inhale, like the breathing of a wild animal.

DAWN
I hear you. The thing that's
breathing? I hear you breathing.

More breathing.

DAWN
Are you hurting my mother? Are you
keeping her from coming back to me?

There is a sudden FLASH OF LIGHT, just fast enough for our eyes to register that JOYCE IS ON THE COUCH again, lying there in the position where Buffy found the body.

Joyce looks as dead and corpsy as she did that night, only her head is up, her eyes are open and they're looking right at Dawn. The eyes are blank white.

And then the light is gone from the room.

In the darkness again, Dawn gasps.

DAWN
Mom. I... I see you. I'm coming
toward you, okay?

Dawn takes a little shuffly step toward the sofa in the dark, and another.

Another momentary FLASH OF LIGHT and we see that something big and dark is hunched over Joyce, pressing her into the sofa. (I'm thinking the Gnarl suit, painted black, and seen only from the back for less than a second.)

Joyce's face is visible behind it... her mouth is stretched into a silent scream and her hand is reaching out imploringly toward Dawn. Her eyes are still blank.

The Flash ends. Blackness.

Dawn stands motionless in the dark.

DAWN (cont'd)
She's trying to talk to me. My
mother has something to tell me.
(louder, stronger)
Get off her and let her talk to me!

Dawn gropes for something on the floor.

DAWN (cont'd)
(to herself)
The axe...

A THIRD FLASH OF LIGHT. Dawn's POV, the axe swinging right at her head (we can't see who's swinging it.) She SCREAMS AND DUCKS.

She runs for the front door, RIPS IT OPEN. But then she freezes in the doorway.

On Dawn's back, we hear:

DAWN (cont'd)
No.

She turns toward us, back into the room.

DAWN (cont'd)
(soft, calm, determined)
She's my mother. I'm staying.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - BASEMENT - NIGHT

Jonathan and Andrew walk through the dark, creepy hallways of the basement. Andrew tries to make heads or tails of his map and compass.

ANDREW
You know, you could help me here.
Orienteering is best suited for two
adults -- one to calibrate the
compass, the other to survey the --

JONATHAN
(looking around)
This basement's enormous. Is the
high school this big?

ANDREW
I hate it down here. It's all dank
and barren.

JONATHAN
(touched)
Awww -- like Empress Josephine.

Andrew's becoming unhinged.

ANDREW
This doesn't make any sense...
(looking around)
Where did you go...

JONATHAN
Dude, I'm right here. Pull yourself
toget --

BOOM. A loud thump echoes from elsewhere in the basement. The boys grab each other in fright.

ANDREW
What was that?

JONATHAN
I don't know --

ANDREW
Maybe we should go upstairs. For a
little bit.

JONATHAN
Yeah...

They hear some CREAKING.

ANDREW
(genuinely scared)
Or maybe you're right. Maybe we
should go get Buffy...

JONATHAN
(nodding)
Yeah...

ANDREW
She could... help us...

Jonathan thinks about this. Makes a decision. He lets go of Andrew.

JONATHAN
No.
(to himself)
Esto es la questa.
(pause)
La questa... para redempcion.

He walks forward. Strength in his step.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
C'mon.

Andrew doesn't move.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
C'mon.

Andrew and Jonathan walk around another corner. Andrew is becoming noticeably more anxious. Jonathan is calm.

JONATHAN
I wonder what the new cafeteria is
like?

ANDREW
(studying map)
Why do you care? These walls aren't
supposed to be here. This is wrong...

JONATHAN
I don't know. Seeing the high school
again... part of me wishes I could go
back.

ANDREW
Everything's shifting around. I feel
like we're in Hellraiser.
(looking around, scared)
I hate Pinhead.

JONATHAN
Let me see that.

He takes the map. They keep walking.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
Have we circled all the way around?

They walk around another corner...

JONATHAN (cont'd)
Maybe we should start over, go back
to --

Andrew looks up. At the far end of the hall, standing in the middle of a side room, is Warren. He stares at Andrew.

ANDREW
There it is...

Jonathan looks up. His POV -- we see only the room at the end of the hall. No Warren.

JONATHAN
What? Are you sure?

Andrew's POV -- Warren, staring.

ANDREW
(swallows)
Yeah.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

Andrew and Jonathan enter (Warren can't be seen.) The room is old, dark, and creepy. It looks like it's been here for quite some time. It has one of those old, hard clay floors. Jonathan consults the map.

JONATHAN
You know, I think you may be right.

Andrew tosses his pack on the ground. He pulls out a pick-axe (which should be easily accessible.)

JONATHAN (cont'd)
If this lines up, what we'd be looking for should
be right --

He looks at Andrew, who's ready to dig. He looks at the ground between them.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
Under there.

Andrew swings the pick axe. Just as it breaks the floor, we CUT TO:

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

Mid fight. Buffy gets Holden on the ground, whips out a stake, holds it up high...

BUFFY
(breathing hard, pissed)
See? You're dead? That enough of a
moment for you?

HOLDEN
(de-morphs)
Okay, but are you killing me because
I'm evil, or because you opened up?

BUFFY
GNAARRRRGH!!!!

She gets up, not killing him. Pacing with anger and emotion, she circles back and kicks him in the head really hard as he's lying there. Walks away again as he rises, winded.

BUFFY (cont'd)
What is wrong with you?

HOLDEN
Nothing. I got no worries; I'm dead.
Biggest thing on my mind is whether
Julie Waldman came to my funeral or
not. You remember her? OH bite-able.

BUFFY
See, this is what I hate about you
vampires. Sex and death and pain and
love, it's all, the same damn thing
to you.

HOLDEN
Well, in a way, that's a guy thing;
you know, we talk about 'nailing' a
girl, there's a lot of sub --

BUFFY
It's not the same. With vampires,
it's completely... believe me, I know.

HOLDEN
Oh my god.

BUFFY
Oh your god what?

HOLDEN
Well, not MY god, 'cause I defy him
and all his works -- does he exist,
by the way? Is there word on that?

BUFFY
Nothing solid.

HOLDEN
I'm getting off topic 'cause my
mind's racing here, but I'll make you
a deal. We fight. To the death,
great -- that last fight was just
exhilarating and I actually had a
move coming up to block the stake,
but you have to answer one question.
If I'm right; then I'm allowed to ask
anything. No secrets, no defensiveness,
you tell me anything I wanna know. And
we call a truce 'til I'm satisfied.
After that, good old-fashioned
gentlemen's duel. No sudden attacks.
If you tell me the truth.

A beat as Buffy considers it.

BUFFY
What's your question?

HOLDEN
Your last relationship. Was it with
a vampire?

Off her look:

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Spike is walking that same girl home. Again, they are far away, and there are people and cars between us and them, so we don't hear them, but they seem to be getting along. There's a sweetness to the way they are together, both talking, laughing a bit...

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE LIBRARY - NIGHT

We're back with Willow and Tara, who continue their conversation where they left off.

WILLOW
I don't know... I don't know where
to start.
(with difficulty)
Tara. After Warren shot you. I had
a very... dramatic reaction. I
killed him. I mean, really, really
killed him. And then...

TARA
I know. And I know what you tried to
do.

WILLOW
You do? There's gossip where you are?

TARA
It's not like that. I just know.

Willow nods. Accepts this. Then-

WILLOW
It was horrible. I was horrible. I
lost myself. The regular me.

TARA
You were grieving-

WILLOW
A lot of people grieve. They don't
make with the flaying.
(scared)
I hurt so many people. All my
friends. Buffy, Xander, Giles... I
didn't care. I wanted to erase them
all. I wanted to erase the whole
world.

TARA
It wasn't you. It was the power.

WILLOW
But I am the power. It's in me.
(quickly)
Did I mention random destruction of
property? The magic box is... not so
much a box now-

TARA
(ignoring)
The power is bigger than you, that's
what I always tried to tell you.

WILLOW
I know. You were right-

TARA
You just have to stop. You can't use magic
again. Not ever.

WILLOW
(confused)
Black magic. Of course. But Giles
says it isn't as simple as quitting
it all cold turkey. He says I have
to learn to use my power for good.
The magic is in me now, and if I try
to repress it, it's going to end
up coming out again - in a bad way.

TARA
(shakes her head)
It's too dangerous. You can't take
the chance that you'll lose control.

WILLOW
I don't want to. I can't. But the
stuff Giles and the coven taught me
in England - it helped.
(then)
And, you know, all I have to do is
think of the look on Dawnie's face -
when I tried to... When I said such
awful things to her. I never want to
see that look again. I never want to
cause that kind of pain.

TARA
I know you don't.

WILLOW
(hopeful)
So I won't. I'm going to be okay.

TARA
(gently)
Oh, baby. You're not listening.
Don't you understand?
You're not going to be okay. You're
going to kill everybody.

OFF WILLOW'S STUNNED REACTION.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

The room is lit with candles now.

We HEAR the ANIMALISTIC BREATHING AGAIN.

Dawn sits on the ground, calmly crushing something in a mortar and pestle.

DAWN
(to the breathing)
I hear you, filth. I know you're
there.
(casually)
Demon filth. I will cast you out.
My mother needs to talk to me.

And she reaches into the potion and flings it off her fingers like a priest scattering holy water-

AN ANIMAL SCREAMS.

DAWN (cont'd)
(re: screams)
And I haven't even started to chant
yet. I learned magicks from a kick-
ass witch.

Something unseen KNOCKS DAWN back against a wall. She recovers fast. Starts chanting:

DAWN (cont'd)
I cast you from this place. It is
your poison and your bane...

Dawn FLINGS more of the potion.

THE ANIMAL SCREAM SOUNDS AGAIN. A LASH, AS IF FROM A WHIP, SLASHES ACROSS DAWN'S FACE -- the flesh splits wide.

DAWN (cont'd)
It is your nettles and your scouring
heat. It is the blade that cuts the
skin from your flesh...

A LOUD WIND begins, whipping Dawn's hair. The wind SCREAMS.

ALL THE PICTURES AND DECORATIONS FALL OFF THE WALLS.

ALL THE WINDOWS BLOW OUT.

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

Buffy and Holden are talking. It's very casual, almost intimate, as they sit in the corner. Buffy is really opening up.

BUFFY
I'm afraid. I'm afraid of falling
back into the way I was last year.
I thought I was nothing. I have so
much power, I didn't ask for it, I
don't deserve it... sometimes I
think... I think the relationship I
had last year was... like I wanted to
be punished. I wanted to hurt like
I thought I deserved to.

HOLDEN
Wow.

BUFFY
And the joke is, he loved me. In his
own sick, soulless way, he really did
care for me. But I didn't want to be
loved.

HOLDEN
Didn't you?

BUFFY
I just wanted to be touched. To be
reached. Were you here when
everything turned into a musical?

HOLDEN
I missed it.

BUFFY
I explained it a lot better then.
With rhyme, and all, but I just... I
can't go back to that.

HOLDEN
And you think you might? You're
still attracted to this guy?

BUFFY
Well, he's changed, a lot, a LOT a
lot, but no, I... I just can't feel
as low as I did then and do what I
have to do. Things are getting
worse. More of you guys are rising,
and... something's coming.

HOLDEN
Yeah, I feel that.

BUFFY
I have to fight it and the truth is,
I don't have any more answers than I
did then. There's so many people to
protect...

HOLDEN
And you have to do that alone.

BUFFY
I have friends, they do it with me --
sometimes they do it in spite of me,
but they do it 'cause they're decent
people. I do it 'cause I was chosen.

She looks at him, understanding a bit better.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I sort of think... this is
complicated and if you'd rather just
fight...

HOLDEN
Tell me.

BUFFY
I feel like I'm worse than anyone,
honestly, I'm beneath them. My
friends, my boyfriends, I feel like
I'm not worthy of their love 'cause
even though they love me it doesn't
really mean anything because their
opinions don't matter. They don't
know. They haven't been through what
I've been through, they're not the
Slayer... I am. And sometimes I
feel... this is what's so awful.
(beat)
I feel like I'm better than them.
Superior.

A beat as he takes this in.

HOLDEN
(smiles)
So you can't win.

She looks down as he smiles kindly.

HOLDEN (cont'd)
And I thought I was diabolical. Or,
I plan to be. You do have a
superiority complex, and you've got
an inferiority complex about it.
Kudos.

BUFFY
It doesn't make any sense.

HOLDEN
It makes every kind of sense. It
just adds up to you feeling alone.
And, Buffy... everybody feels alone.
Everybody is, 'til they die.
(rising)
Speaking of... You ready for our
little death match?

BUFFY
I suppose. Thanks for listening.

They go to their corners, preparing.

HOLDEN
There's some things you can only tell
a stranger.

BUFFY
You're not a stranger. But that
stuff with Spike is pretty --

HOLDEN
Hold it.

BUFFY
What?

HOLDEN
Did you say Spike?

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DOORSTEP - NIGHT

Spike and the girl, as she gets out her keys, clearly indicating he can come up if he wants to. He takes a step back, reluctant...

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

Andrew and Jonathan have made considerable progress excavating the room (we'll see the full extent in a bit.) They've also set up a few work lights (but not so many that we lose creepiness.)

The boys are busy digging. They're tired, sweaty, but in relatively good spirits.

JONATHAN
"You said the headpiece only had
markings on one side. Are you
absolutely sure?"

Andrew thinks about this very hard. He nods.

JONATHAN (cont'd)
"Belloq's staff is too long..."

JONATHAN
"They're digging in the
wrong place!"
ANDREW
"They're digging in the
wrong place!"

They laugh. Cool.

JONATHAN
We've almost got this thing uncovered.

ANDREW
Yep.

JONATHAN
I hope Buffy'll have some idea of how
to destroy --
(realizing something)
Thirty-six, nineteen, twenty-seven!
That's it! That was my locker
combination. That's been bugging me
all night...

ANDREW
Dude, we've spent the last few years
trying to forget high school. Why
are you trying so hard to remember it?

JONATHAN
I don't know... I guess I miss it.
Don't you?

ANDREW
(sarcastic)
Yeah, I really miss it. You know, I
don't think they even knew my name
back then.

Jonathan stops digging, leans on his shovel.

JONATHAN
I'm serious. I really miss it. Time
goes by -- everything drops away.
All the cruelty, all the pain, all
the humiliation. It all washes away.

ANDREW'S POV. Warren is standing there, staring at Andrew and listening intently.

ANGLE: JONATHAN

JONATHAN (cont'd)
I miss my friends. I miss my
enemies. I miss the people I talked
to every day. And I miss the people
who never knew I existed. I miss 'em
all.

ANDREW'S POV again. He glances up at Warren. Warren stares directly at him.

ANGLE: JONATHAN (and we don't see Warren again for the rest of the scene)

JONATHAN (cont'd)
I want to talk to them. You know?
I wanna find out how they're doing.
I want to know what's going on in
their lives.

ANDREW
Yeah? Well, you know what? They
don't want to talk to you. All those
people you just mentioned -- not one
of them's sitting around going, "I
wonder what Jonathan's up to right
now?" Not one of them cares about
you.

Jonathan thinks about this for a while. A peacefulness washes over him. He shrugs. There's an almost Zen-like clarity about him when he says:

JONATHAN
Well I still care about them.
(softly)
That's why I'm here.

Andrew shakes his head: you're crazy. Jonathan goes back to digging.

And we crane up and finally get a good look at what they're uncovering:

The Seal of Danzalthar. A large, intricate metal SEAL -- not unlike a Presidential seal, if the President was Satan. It's about six feet in diameter, with a big evil ornate symbol carved into it.

It was buried almost two feet underground, and the boys have uncovered almost all of it.

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dawn is huddled in a corner. Her clothes are torn, her face and body are bloodied -- more LASH MARKS ALL OVER HER.

The wind is howling and whipping everything around the room.

She has been chanting over this noise for a long time.

DAWN
(shouting hoarsely)
I cast you out with every prayer from
every god that walks the earth or
crawls beneath.

She flings more potion.

ANOTHER SCREAM, MORE ANGUISHED.

Something unseen GRABS DAWN'S HEAD AND SLAMS IT BACK INTO WALL, OVER AND OVER, as she continues:

DAWN (cont'd)
I cast you out with the strength of
those who love me. I cast you out
with the strength I have inside me--

DAWN SPITS BLOOD FROM HER MOUTH...

The WIND BLOWS LOUDER!

DAWN (cont'd)
(shouting, the big
finish)
And I cast you out into the void!

And she THROWS the entire container of potion.

WE HEAR HORRIBLE DEATH NOISES.

DAWN (cont'd)
That's right! Die, you bastard!

THE WALLS ARE SUDDENLY SPLASHED, EXLODED-ONTO WITH BLOOD, THICK CLOTS OF IT UP TO HEAD-HIGH. THEN IT VANISHES, SUCKED AWAY, AS THE DEATH-SCREAMS RATTLE AWAY TO NOTHING.

And it is QUIET. The wind has stopped. Everything stops blowing around.

Dawn, realizing she's won, collapses to the ground.

The LIGHT CHANGES... suddenly there's a golden glow. Dawn looks up, blinking into the light. We see that Dawn's wounds have healed, but her hair is tangled, her face is wet with tears and streaked with blood.

DAWN'S POV: IT'S JOYCE...

She's ethereal, glowing from the inside, translucent even. She's wearing something flowy and white.

Dawn starts to cry and shake with the relief of everything.

DAWN (cont'd)
(a whisper)
Mom.

JOYCE
Things are coming, Dawn. Listen.
Things are on their way. I love you.
And I love Buffy. But she will not
be there for you.

DAWN
What? What are you--

JOYCE
There will be choosing to be done.
And when it is very bad, Buffy will
not choose you. She will be against
you.

Joyce is FADING AWAY, leaving Dawn in darkness.

DAWN
No! Don't go! God! Don't go!

But Joyce is gone.

BIG WIDE SHOT OF DAWN on the ground, rumpled and tangle-haired, tear-and-blood-streaked, in the dark and devastated room - broken TV, smashed CD player, broken lamp, broken windows, and a big heap of disturbing advice.

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE LIBRARY - NIGHT

Willow still looks completely stunned. The way you would if your dead lover just told you you were going to kill everybody. Tara looks regretful - she hates to be the bearer of such tragic information.

WILLOW
I'm going to... what?

TARA
It's why I came. I needed to warn
you.

Willow starts to grow increasingly agitated and tearful.

WILLOW
How do you know? What do you know?

TARA
(grimly)
You don't want to know what I saw.

WILLOW
Oh God...

TARA
But if you stop. Completely. No
more magic-

WILLOW
Right. Right. Stop.
(then)
But what about Giles? He made it
seem like it would be just as
dangerous for me to quit completely.
Like I'll go off the deep end again.

TARA
You can't. Willow, if you do so much
as another spell...

Willow is in a full blown panic now. Tara also looks scared. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.

WILLOW
I tried to stop. I tried. What if
I can't do this?

TARA
Don't think that way-

WILLOW
How can I not? You're telling me I'm
going to murder all my friends!
(desperate)
I'm not strong, Tara. I'm not an
Amazon. I'm just me. Look what I
did before...

Tara thinks... A horrible beat. Then-

TARA
There is one thing. One thing you
could do to stop it.

WILLOW
What? Anything.

TARA
You could sleep.

A beat as Willow comprehends what Tara is saying.

Her expression shifts. Distrust and anger darken her features.

WILLOW
Who are you?

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

Buffy and Holden are pretty much where we left them.

BUFFY
What do you mean? You know Spike?
How?

HOLDEN
What do you mean, how? He's the guy
that... what was the word again?

BUFFY
(color draining)
Sired.

HOLDEN
Yeah. He's the guy that sired me.

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DOORSTEP - NIGHT

Spike is massively biting the girl, blood dripping down her neck as he feeds, vamp-faced and ravenous.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

The boys have completely uncovered the Seal. Jonathan happily packs up his backpack, eager to go tell Buffy.

A shadow falls over him. He turns around, sees Andrew, looking solemn. And further back, behind Andrew, he sees Warren.

This has barely time to register on Jonathan's face before...

Andrew STABS him, plunging a large ceremonial dagger deep into Jonathan's stomach. Shock, pain on Jonathan's face.

INT. U.C. SUNNYDALE LIBRARY - NIGHT

Now Willow and Tara (who is really The First, natch') face off.

TARA/FIRST
The suicide thing was too far, huh?
Huh. You seemed so ripe.

WILLOW
Tell me who you are.

TARA/FIRST
I stand by my opinion, you know. The
world would be better off if you took
a razor blade to your wrists-

WILLOW
Stop-

TARA/FIRST
You know to cut long, right? Up the
arm. I can see it now, candle
light... The Indigo Girls playing.
A picture of your dead girlfriend on
your bloody lap-

WILLOW
Stop. Stop using Tara this way-

TARA/FIRST
(mocking)
Ohhh! You left a big hole! It hurts
so much!

Now Tara/First moves in on Willow, seething with malevolence.

TARA/FIRST (cont'd)
You don't know hurt. This last year,
it's going to seem like cake after
what I put you and your friends
through. I'm not a big fan of easy
death... Fact is, the whole "good
and evil, balancing the scales"
thing? I'm over it. I'm done with
the mortal coil. But, believe me,
I'm going for a big finish.

Willow is chilled to the bone.

WILLOW
From beneath you it devours.

TARA/FIRST
Not it. Me.

With that, Tara/First smiles... And her smile stretches wider and wider until it becomes grotesque, like a macabre horror mask (CGI). The smile engulfs the entire face as the rest of TARA'S BODY seems to get sucked in by it. In an instant - The First is gone.

Off Willow, shaking and terrified.

INT. SUMMERS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dawn sits, confused and upset by her mother's message.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

OVERHEAD SHOT

Jonathan's body collapses on the ground, his head and upper body landing on top of the Seal. He's facing up -- his lifeless eyes stare up at us.

A beat, then a pool of blood comes GUSHING out from under his shoulders and head, filling the crevasses of the Seal.

We slowly PULL up, away, and as the symbol fills up with blood it begins to ILLUMINATE.

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DOORSTEP - NIGHT

Spike rears back with a bloody mouth as the girl's body drops to the ground.

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

Buffy stands amidst the crumbling skeleton of a falling Holden, disbelief and pain on her face.

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW