Never Leave Me

October 23, 2002 (WHITE)

Written by: Drew Goddard

Directed by: David Solomon

Teaser

FADE IN:

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

We're continuing where we left off in Episode Eight -- same night, a little later. Xander uses a tape measure to measure the window frames (the glass has not yet been replaced.) Willow, Dawn and Anya work on cleaning up the wreckage.

DAWN
So the basement was filled with
bodies?

WILLOW
Apparently.

DAWN
And Spike could have sired countless
others and buried them around town?

Willow nods.

DAWN (cont'd)
And we're waiting... for what,
exactly? Him to do something crazy?

WILLOW
It's not that simple.

ANYA
(bitter)
I think we should just stab him
through the chest. Isn't that what
we do when these things happen?

WILLOW
Buffy knows what she's doing.

ANYA
Xander, you know what we're talking
about. You've always been in the
"Spike is evil" faction.

Xander doesn't want to talk about it. He focuses on his work.

XANDER
I have a house to put back together.

ANYA
(rolls her eyes)
Fine. You guys keep your heads in
the sand. But I think we should all
prepare ourselves for the possibility
that William the Bloody is back.

EXT. SUNNYDALE STREET - NIGHT

Black boots walk along the street. We move up the body, we see the black outfit, black leather duster, the cocky swagger...

We get to the face and reveal ANDREW. Dressed up like the Spike of old. Trying desperately to look cool.

Warren falls in step beside him.

WARREN
(claps his hands
together)
All right! Looking good. How do you
feel?

ANDREW
(Bad)
Good.

WARREN
Excellent. We've got work to do.

ANDREW
Do we have to do work right now?
Can't I just... walk around for a
while? In my coat?

WARREN
Oh, don't go soft on me now. We're
in the trench and the exhaust port's
in sight.

ANDREW
I thought that was it. It's not my
fault it didn't work. I did what you
told me. Why do I have to do all the
wet works?

WARREN
Hey, you know the rules. I can't
take corporeal form. Here -- feel.

Warren motions to his chest. Andrew tries to touch him... and his hand PASSES right through Warren's chest, as though Warren were a ghost.

ANDREW
Cool.

WARREN
Yeah, it's pretty bitchin'. I'm like
Obi-Wan.

ANDREW
(wistful)
Or Patrick Swayze...

WARREN
Believe me, I'd do this stuff if I
could, but I can't. I need you.
you're my iron fist.

Andrew grows noticeably more anxious.

ANDREW
I just don't think I can kill anybody
else.

Warren MORPHS into Jonathan.

JONATHAN
Oh, will you stop worrying about that?

ANDREW
I didn't want to kill you. Warren
made me.

JONATHAN
Hey, I'm glad he did. This is the
best thing that's ever happened to me.

ANDREW
I hope it didn't hurt too much. I'm
not very good at stabbing.

JONATHAN
You know, it wasn't that bad. It was
like a sharp pain, then a burning,
and then a general queasiness. It
was kinda like when I used to get
ulcers in high school, only at the
end I became one with Light and Hope.

Andrew's becoming more and more anxious.

ANDREW
I can't do it. I can't do it anymore.

JONATHAN
Hey -- this isn't your fault, okay?
(taps his chest)
It's my fault. I screwed it up. I'm
little. I don't have as much blood
as other people.
(beat)
And I probably should have told
somebody I was anemic.
(pause)
But don't worry, we're gonna fix it.
You gotta trust us. We know what
we're doing.

ANDREW
(panicked)
I can't kill anybody else...

JONATHAN
Okay, calm down. We can work around
that.

BUFFY (PRE-LAP)
We're gonna figure out what's going
on.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT

CLOSE ON ropes being tightened. Pull back to reveal Buffy tying Spike to a sturdy chair in her bedroom.

BUFFY
We're gonna get to the bottom of this.

She works on lashing his hands to the chair arms.

BUFFY (cont'd)
We just can't take the chance --

SPIKE
Don't...

She stops. Looks at him. He nods at the ropes.

SPIKE (cont'd)
You're doing it wrong. The knots'll
give.

They share a look.

SPIKE (cont'd)
(grim)
Pull me tight.

They stare at each other. Then Buffy YANKS the ropes as tight as she can.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - DAY

Principal Wood sits at his desk, talking to two troublemakers (let's call them GRIMES and HOFFMAN.)

PRINCIPAL WOOD
Now we can settle this one of two
ways: You can help repaint the walls
or I can suspend you and report the
incident on your permanent record.

HOFFMAN
Fine. Do that.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
Okay, I was bluffing... I hadn't
really thought that through.
(beat).
The whole "permanent record" thing is
a myth anyway. Colleges never ask
for anything past your SAT scores and
it's not like employers are ever
gonna check how many days you missed
of high school.
(points)
Those file cabinets are filled with
old Sears catalogues.

He stands up, walks around to the front of his desk.

PRINCIPAL WOOD (cont'd)
I could suspend you, but that would
mean calling your parents, alerting
your teachers, filling out paperwork,
and possibly talking to the school
board. All of which sounds
positively exhausting to me.
(pause)
No, I think it would be much easier
if I just called the police and let
them deal with it.

The boys look at each other, unsure what to make of him.

PRINCIPAL WOOD (cont'd)
In case you're wondering, now's the
part where I'm not bluffing.

The boys do a double-check with each other, then nod.

GRIMES
We'll repaint it.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
Good.

There's a knock at the door. Principal Wood looks mildly perturbed.

PRINCIPAL WOOD (cont'd)
(to boys)
Excuse me.

He walks over and opens the door, finding Dawn.

PRINCIPAL WOOD (cont'd)
Miss Summers.

DAWN
Hi. Sorry to interrupt.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
I'm with students.

DAWN
I just wanted to tell you that Buffy
won't be coming in today. She's
really sick.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
(concerned)
Oh no...

DAWN
Yeah, last night she was vomiting and
then this morning she was vomiting
some more and then just when we
thought she was done she started
vomiting again.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
(nodding)
We've got stomach flu going around...

DAWN
Her exact words were, "I've got stuff
coming out both ends."

Pause.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
Thank you. That's very helpful.

DAWN
Sure, no problem.
(to the boys)
Hey, how's it going?

GRIMES
Pretty good.

PRINCIPAL WOOD
Tell your sister not to worry, we'll
soldier on without her. She should
just concentrate on getting better.

DAWN
Yeah, she'll be fine. She just needs
to get some stuff out of her system.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - KITCHEN - DAY

Buffy is on the phone.

BUFFY
I need to find him as soon as
possible. He's not answering any of
his numbers.

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. WATCHERS' COUNCIL BOARDROOM - DAY

Close on QUENTIN TRAVERS.

QUENTIN
Miss Summers, the Council does not
keep track of our... lapsed
employees. Ever since Mr. Giles
pulled up his stake in Sunnydale,
we've not made it our business to
follow his every move.

BUFFY
(rolls her eyes)
You don't need to get all British and
dodgy, Mr. Travers. I know you have ways
of finding him.

Quentin thinks about this.

QUENTIN
I suppose, if you feel the matter is
urgent, we could look into it. BUFFY
(curt)
I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

QUENTIN
Of course. Good day.

He hangs up the phone. Thinks for a moment. As he does, we widen to reveal he's sitting at the head of a large boardroom table, surrounded by several other Watcher-types (including some people from Checkpoint) who are all looking grim and listening intently. We're in the council's War Room -- an old, collegiate-type English wood building with walls covered in maps and charts and diagrams. Tasteful wooden file cabinets line one of the walls.

Quentin looks at the others.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
The girl knows nothing.

He turns his attention to a MAP on the wall. We ANGLE on it -- it's a large, ominous map of the world covered in black and red dots.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
And we need to find Rupert Giles as
soon as possible.

SPIKE (PRE-LAP)
It's worse than I thought...

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DAY

Spike sits tied to his chair. He's going into serious blood withdrawal. He's sweating, breathing hard, half-lucid. Buffy sits across from him.

BUFFY
Can I do anything?

Spike shakes his head. Tries to keep himself under control.

SPIKE
You should probably --

He's unable to finish, jaw clenching. He presses his face into his shoulder. Buffy mistakenly thinks he's trying to wipe the sweat off his face.

BUFFY
Here --

She leans forward to help him, and as she gets close, Spike VAMPS and bites violently at her.

She jerks back. He keeps snapping and biting at the air. Pure animal. No sense of the man whatsoever.

He flails in his chair. Crazed.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - HALLWAY - DAY

Buffy talks to Willow in the hallway outside her room.

BUFFY
He's been feasting on humans for
weeks. I think he's in major
withdrawal. We need to get him some
blood.

WILLOW
Do you want me to kill Anya?

Buffy thinks about it.

BUFFY
No... we should probably ween him off
humans. He'll have to make do with
animal blood.

WILLOW
I'll go get some.

BUFFY
You don't mind?

WILLOW
I need to get out of this house.
Xander's putting in new windows and
he keeps giving lectures on proper
tool maintenance. Not exactly my
area of expertise.

BUFFY
Thank you.

Willow moves to leave, waits a beat.

WILLOW
How's it going in there?

BUFFY
He's in bad shape. He's past the point
where he can tell me anything.

WILLOW
I wasn't asking about him.

Pause. Buffy considers her answer. Then:

BUFFY
I'll be okay.

We hold on her for a moment.

WARREN (PRE-LAP)
She won't feel a thing.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - BASEMENT - DAY

We're in a dark, nondescript part of the basement. Andrew and Warren stand side-by-side, looking down at something (we don't see what.) Andrew holds a large knife in his hand.

WARREN
Just do it fast.

Andrew nods.

WARREN (cont'd)
Cut her deep, cut her quick. It'll
be over before she knows what hit her.

ANDREW
What if she squeals?

WARREN
Better go for her throat first.

Andrew nods.

ANGLE on what they're looking at: a cute little PIG (about the size of Babe.) It sits there, happily looking up at Andrew.

ANGLE Warren and Andrew.

ANDREW
Babe 2: Pig in The City was really
underrated.

WARREN
(fast)
Don't think about Babe.

ANDREW
Right.

ANGLE the pig. It's cute.

ANGLE Warren and Andrew, both staring at the pig.

WARREN
You're Conan. You're the Destroyer.

Andrew starts nodding.

WARREN (cont'd)
It's you against nature. You're the
hunter. You're primal. You live off
the land.

Andrew's nodding, he's feeling it.

WARREN (cont'd)
You're Andrew. Everyone knows you.
You play by your own rules. It's
kill or be killed --

ANDREW
THAT'LL DO, PIG!

Andrew LUNGES with his knife after the pig. It darts out of the way. Andrew lands on the ground in a heap.

He tries to stand up, gets himself caught up in the folds of his leather coat, and falls flat on his face again. The pig runs around.

Andrew rights himself, chases after the pig.

WARREN
(exasperated)
You gotta corner it...

Andrew runs around. The pig keeps getting the best of him.

WARREN (cont'd)
Stay between it and the hall or it's
gonna...

Andrew gives a DEATH CRY and pounces again, knife swinging. He misses the pig, hits the ground (or the wall) hard. He crumples in a heap.

The pig scampers away down the hall.

Warren looks to the heavens in frustration.

WARREN (cont'd)
That was the worst attempted pig
slaughtering I've ever seen.

Andrew looks up at him from the ground.

ANDREW
(winded; frustrated)
I'm not very good at stabbing.
(beat)
Isn't there some other way we can get
blood?

CUT TO:

INT. BUTCHER SHOP - DAY

We're at the counter of a butcher shop. Lots of meat everywhere. A surly BUTCHER mans the counter.

BUTCHER
Number eighty-seven!

Reverse angle to reveal Andrew, still in his coat, looking nervous and severely out of place. He holds up his ticket, steps forward.

ANDREW
I'd like twelve pork chops, two pounds of sausage,
(rushed)
Eightquartsofpigsblood, three steaks,
um, a halibut... uh, some...
toothpaste...

The Butcher looks at him like he's an idiot.

BUTCHER
This is a butcher shop, Neo. We
don't sell toothpaste.

ANDREW
Oh. Okay. Just the other stuff,
then.

BUTCHER
You got it.

The Butcher goes to fill the order. Andrew waits uncomfortably for a few beats.

He tries to nod hellos to the handful of people waiting around him. He has guilty written all over his face.

CUT TO:

Andrew, paying for a big paper grocery bag of meat at a cash register. He's nervous, eager to get out of there.

He picks up the bag (it's big, he has to use both arms) and turns fast, hurrying out of the store, not looking, and barrels full speed into a similarly unaware WILLOW.

They both go crashing to the ground. The contents of Andrew's bag go flying everywhere.

ANGLE Andrew. He breathes in sharply.

ANGLE Willow, recognition crossing her face. Wide shot: the two of them, on the ground, amidst a mess of meat and quart bags of blood, staring at each other, not knowing what the hell to do.

In the background, the surly Butcher (either not noticing the Willow and Andrew mess or not caring) calls out the next number.

BUTCHER
Number eighty-eight!

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

EXT. BUTCHER SHOP - DAY

Andrew runs out the front door of the butcher shop. Willow comes running out shortly thereafter, hot on his heels.

WILLOW
Hey! Wait!

EXT. ALLEY - DAY

Andrew rounds the corner and runs into a dead end/wall. Willow's right behind him -- she grabs him by the back of the neck.

WILLOW
Wait a minute!

Andrew whips around, hands covering his face, cowering.

ANDREW
Don't kill me!

WILLOW
I'm not gonna kill you...

ANDREW
Don't torture me and send me to an
eternal pain dimension.

WILLOW
I'm not gonna --

ANDREW
Warren did it. I didn't do it.
Warren shot her.

Willow, who up until this point has been mostly confused and suspicious, becomes hurt, angry. We see pain on her face.

WILLOW
(softly)
What are you doing here?

ANDREW
(anxious)
I'm not bad. I'm not bad anymore.
I'm good. I do good things now.
(pause)
I'm here doing good things...

WILLOW
Then why do you need lots and lots of
blood?

Andrew thinks about this. Shit.

ANDREW
I am bad.
(nodding)
I'm bad. I'm evil.

He frantically tries to figure out what to do. Grows some spine.

ANDREW (cont'd)
But I am protected by powerful
forces. Forces you can't even begin
to imagine...
(beat)
Little. Girl.

Willow doesn't say anything.

Andrew's still very anxious.

ANDREW (cont'd)
If you harm me, you shall know the
wrath of He that is darkness, and
terror. Your blood will boil and you
will know true suffering.
(pause)
Why don't you do us both a favor, and
turn, and walk away.
(beat)
Stand down, she-witch, your defeat is
at hand --

WILLOW
Shut your mouth.

Andrew shuts right up.

WILLOW (cont'd)
I am a she witch. A very powerful
she-witch.
(beat)
Or... "witch" as is... more accurate.
(beat)
I am not one to be trifled with.

Though she's bluffing, we see real anger shine through in her speech.

WILLOW (cont'd)
You think you frighten me? With your
dress-up? With your cribbed speech?
(pause)
I destroy souls.

Andrew stands there, eyes wide in terror

WILLOW (cont'd)
You want to play games? I'm begging
you to play games with me.
(pause)
When I'm finished with you, you'll be
on your hands and knees praying for
Warren's fate, pleading for Warren's
fate.

It's hard to tell if she's bluffing anymore.

WILLOW (cont'd)
I am Willow. I am Death. If you
don't do exactly what I say, I will
bring your nightmares to reality.
(pause)
Now what say you to that?

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY

BAM! Willow shoves Andrew through the front door by the scruff of his neck. He's carrying the grocery bag from the butcher's shop. Xander's in the living room, putting in new window glass. Anya and Dawn are helping him.

WILLOW
Look what I found.

XANDER
Oh, this can't be good.

WILLOW
Guess who was buying massive amounts
of blood at the butcher shop?

Andrew's beginning to suspect he's been had.

ANDREW
(to Willow)
Your hair's not even black anymore...

XANDER
(annoyed)
What are you doing back in town?

ANDREW
(meek)
You'll get nothing out of me,
carpenter.

XANDER
(rolls his eyes)
We'll see about that.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - DAY

Xander tosses Andrew into a chair and begins to tie him up (nothing too elaborate, we're going to undo him in a bit.) Anya stands nearby, holding Andrew's coat, going through the pockets.

ANDREW
Careful with my coat. It's expensive.

ANYA
Is it new?

She stares at him, drops his coat on the ground. Steps on it.

ANDREW
Hey --

XANDER
Now we can do this the hard way if
you want --

He pulls the ropes tight.

ANDREW
Ow! Ow ow ow ow --

XANDER
But believe me when I tell you
this'll be much easier on all of us
if you just tell us what you know.

ANDREW
You're barking up the wrong
asparagus, man. I don't know
anything.

Xander pulls up a chair, straddles it backwards. Anya stands behind him, arms folded, glaring.

XANDER
Here's the thing -- I don't believe
you.

ANDREW
I haven't done anything wrong.

XANDER
Then you won't mind if we ask you a
few questions.

Andrew thinks about this.

ANDREW
Yeah... okay.

XANDER
What were you doing buying blood at
the butcher's shop?

Andrew spits his answer out way too fast, as though he's been rehearsing it for the last half hour:

ANDREW
I-fell-in-love-with-a-beautiful-
vampire-girl-down-in-Mexico-and-now-
we're-trying-to-make-a-go-of-it-on-
the-straight-and-narrow-and-put-our-
lives-back-together-here-in-Sunnydale.

Anya EXPLODES.

ANYA
You think this is a game, junior!?!

She grabs him, starts shaking him.

ANYA (cont'd)
People are dying, our friends are in
danger --

Andrew whimpers in fear.

ANDREW
Ahhhh --

Xander looks genuinely surprised at Anya's behavior.

XANDER
Hey --

ANYA
And you want to waste our time with
deceptions? Not on my watch!

She slaps him, hard, across the face. Andrew screams in pain.

Xander shoves himself in between the two of them.

XANDER
Hey! Anya.

She breathes hard, fury splashed across her face.

XANDER (cont'd)
(firm)
Can I talk to you outside for a
second
?

Anya breathes. Andrew whimpers, tears starting to flow.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DAY

Buffy holds a quart bag of blood up to Spike's mouth (he's in vamp-face.) He's bitten straight through the bag and drinks from it hungrily, a starving animal.

Buffy's face betrays no emotion.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BATHROOM - DAY

Xander and Anya hurry into the bathroom, each bursting with excitement.

ANYA
Did you see that? I actually made
him cry.

XANDER
You were perfect. I was worried I
overdid it with the whole easy
way/hard way thing.

ANYA
No, that was great.

She shakes her hand like it's stinging

ANYA (cont'd)
I wasn't sure if I should slap him,
but then he made me want to slap him
so I thought, "Slap him."

XANDER
He'll be singing in no time.

ANYA
What do we do now?

XANDER
Now we let him stew in his own juices
for a bit, then we give him the hard
brace.

ANYA
Right.

Buffy walks in. Anya doesn't miss a beat, nods to her, all tough and NYPD Blue-like.

ANYA (cont'd)
What's the status with your guy?

BUFFY
It's fine. He hasn't started talking
yet.

She leans up against the wall, rubs the back of her neck.

BUFFY (cont'd)
But we'll get there.
(nods towards Dawn's
room)
How's your guy?

ANYA
(tough)
The weasel wants to sing. He just
needs a tune.

Xander goes with it.

XANDER
He's primed. He'll be ready to pump
in no time.

Anya and Buffy look at each other. What? Xander looks at the ground.

XANDER (cont'd)
He will give us information soon.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DUSK

Buffy walks in. Spike's no longer in vamp-face. He looks exhausted, beaten, but coherent.

BUFFY
Better?

Spike nods.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Good.

Spike looks around. It seems hard for him to talk.

SPIKE
I don't remember anything.

BUFFY
You were in pretty bad withdrawal.

SPIKE
No. Not that. I don't remember...
what I did.

BUFFY
Oh.
(beat)
Nothing?

SPIKE
Flashes here and there. Like I'm
watching someone else... do it. Kill
people.
(beat)
I've been losing time for a while
now. Waking up in strange places...

BUFFY
When did your chip stop working?

SPIKE
Wasn't aware that it had, you know.
Not 'til now.

BUFFY
How about the losing time? How
long's that been going on?

Spike thinks about it.

SPIKE
Things have been wonky for me ever
since I got back. Ever since...

BUFFY
You got your soul.

Spike nods.

SPIKE
Figured that's what it was like.
Been so long since I had it.

BUFFY
How'd you do it? How'd you get it back?

Spike laughs.

SPIKE
"Saw a man about a girl."

Buffy bristles ever so slightly at this. Spike pretends he doesn't notice.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Sought this legend out. Went to the
other side of the world. Made a deal
with a demon.

BUFFY
Just like that.

SPIKE
No. Not like that. There was a
price. There were trials... torture.
Pain. Suffering.
(thinks)
Of sorts...

BUFFY
Of sorts?

SPIKE
Well, s'all relative, innit?

BUFFY
Meaning?

Spike hesitates, then decides to say it.

SPIKE
Meaning I've come to redefine the
words "pain" and "suffering" since I
fell in love with you.

Buffy's taken aback by his abruptness.

BUFFY
How can you say that?

SPIKE
Apparently I've just slaughtered half
of Sunnydale, pet. Not really
worried about being polite anymore.

BUFFY
You feeling sorry for yourself,
Spike? That what this is about?

SPIKE
Feeling honest with myself.
(pause)
You used me.

Buffy bristles, but doesn't back away.

BUFFY
Yes.

SPIKE
You told me that, of course. Never
understood, though. Not 'til now.
(pause)
You hated yourself, and you took it
out on me.

BUFFY
You figured this out just now?

SPIKE
Soul's not all about moonbeams
and penny whistles, luv.
(pause)
It's about self-loathing I get it.
Had to travel around the world, but
I understand you now. I understand
the violence inside.

BUFFY
Violence.
(pause)
William the Bloody now has insight
into violence.

SPIKE
Not the same.
(beat)
Bad as I was, as evil and as wretched
as I was, I never truly hated myself
back then.
(pause)
Not like I do now.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - DUSK

Andrew sits, red-faced, apprehensive. Xander walks in carrying a glass of water. He sets the glass down on the nightstand, walks to Andrew, who flinches when Xander gets near him.

Xander begins to untie him.

XANDER
How's your face?

Andrew looks at Xander warily, rubs his wrists once they're free.

ANDREW
Okay.

XANDER
Sorry about that. She shouldn't have hit you.

He picks up the glass of water, offers it to Andrew.

XANDER (cont'd)
You thirsty?

Andrew sizes him up, not knowing what to think... but then takes the glass and drinks. He keeps his eyes on Xander.

ANDREW
That chick's psycho.

Xander exhales.

XANDER
You don't know the half of it. She's
a Vengeance Demon, you know. She's
bad news.

ANDREW
(nodding)
One time I saw her have sex with
Spike.

Xander tries very, very hard not to let this shake him.

XANDER
She's killed more men than smallpox.

ANDREW
Do people still die of smallpox?

XANDER
She's killed a lot of men.
(beat)
She tortures them. Anyone who incurs
her wrath. One time she...
(beat)
No. Never mind

ANDREW
What?

XANDER
It's not important.

ANDREW
What did she do?

XANDER
Well, there was this one guy...
(thinks about it)
There was this one guy... he broke
her heart... so she paid him back.

He adjusts, thinks about it.

XANDER (cont'd)
She killed him. But she did it real
slow. See, first she stopped his
heart. Then she replaced it with
darkness. Then she made him live his
life like that. He still had to
go... do his job and see his friends
and get up in the morning and go to
bed at night but he had to do it
all... empty.
(beat)
With nothing to look forward to.
Ever.

ANDREW
(unsure)
Sounds... bad...

XANDER
(snapping out of it)
Well, then she tore his intestines
out and rubbed 'em in his face and
took pictures of it.

ANDREW
(horrified)
Oh my god.

XANDER
But she's downstairs now. Don't
worry about her.

ANDREW
What --

XANDER
See, the thing is, we've all been a
little on edge lately. Some bad
things have been happening, and the
girls are all looking for someone to
blame.

ANDREW
I didn't do anything.

XANDER
I know. You were in the wrong place
at the wrong time. I get that.
(beat)
But they don't. They need answers.
It does seem suspicious, you know,
you buying blood.

ANDREW
That blood wasn't for me. I was just
buying meat.

From outside the door:

ANYA (O.S.)
YOU LYING SON OF A BITCH!

The door flies open. Anya comes CHARGING into the room like a bull. Andrew starts yelling in fear.

ANYA
You're gonna tell us what we need to
know and you're gonna do it right now --

XANDER
Anya, no!

Anya goes for Andrew's throat, knocking him over backward in his chair. Xander mock-tries to break them up.

ANYA
Get off me Harris!

She shoves Xander back and SLAPS him hard across the face.

Xander grabs his face in pain and (away from Andrew's gaze) gives her a look: Ow! What the hell are you doing?

She winces. Sorry about that. Then she puts her mean face back on and turns and POUNCES ON Andrew.

ANYA (cont'd)
C'mere, pipsqueak!

Andrew SCREAMS under her assault.

ANDREW
Get her off me! I'll tell you! I'll
tell you what you need to know!

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DUSK

Buffy and Spike, mid-conversation. We HEAR Andrew's muffled cries and some violent THUMPS pour through the walls into Buffy's room.

Buffy frowns.

BUFFY
Excuse me a second.

Spike nods.

Buffy gets up, opens the door, leaves the room. As she shuts the door behind her, REVEAL The First, in the form of Spike now standing in the room with us. He walks over and addresses Spike in the chair.

FIRST/SPIKE
Well, we've got ourselves a problem.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - DUSK

The door swings open. Buffy sticks her head inside.

BUFFY
Everything okay?

Reveal the scene she's looking at:

Dawn's room, trashed. Furniture flipped over. Xander, sitting against the wall, holding his face. Anya, on top of Andrew on the ground, one hand around his neck, the other arm in mid-strike, about to hit him again. Andrew, wide-eyed, looking at Buffy for help, shaking his head frantically -- no, everything's not okay.

ANYA
Fine.

Buffy nods.

BUFFY
Okay.

She shuts the door.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - HALLWAY - DUSK

We're with Buffy as she shuts the door to Dawn's room. As soon as the door's closed, the muffled sounds of violence begin again. Andrew screaming, glass-breaking.

Buffy walks to her room, places her hand on the doorknob... and stops. Realizes she can hear Spike talking to someone on the other side.

CLOSE ON Buffy as she puts her ear up to the door.

SPIKE (O.S.)
-- what do I do job half done never
send a boy to do a man's job --

We hear Spike LAUGH. Then his ramblings turn into SINGING.

SPIKE
(singing)
" -- Oh don't deceive me, Oh never
leave me, How could you use a poor
maiden so -- "

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DUSK

Buffy walks in. Spike's changed completely. Where he was once exhausted, jaded, broken, he's now sunny, pleasant. He sits up straight in this chair, smiles when he sees Buffy.

BUFFY
Who are you talking to?

SPIKE
What's that?

BUFFY
I heard you talking in here. Who
were you talking to?

SPIKE
Oh, nobody. Just keeping myself
company.

Buffy's totally weirded out.

BUFFY
Are you okay?

SPIKE
Fine,
(beat)
How are you?

BUFFY
Spike...

SPIKE
I'm fine, Buffy. Really. Just feel
a bit... peckish, I suppose.

He nods to the blood bags on the nightstand.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Would you mind?

Buffy's on guard, This is weird... She keeps her eyes on Spike, crosses over to the nightstand. She reaches down to pick a bag up, takes her eyes off Spike momentarily, and as soon as she does he EXPLODES out of the chair, shattering the sturdy chair to splinters.

Vamp-faced (we don't need to see the morph, we can do it in a cut, this all happens fast), he attacks Buffy, punching her and knocking her across the room.

She hits the wall and goes down hard.

Screaming in animal rage, Spike turns toward the wall separating Buffy's room from Dawn's room...

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - DUSK

Anya's got Andrew up against the wall. He's spilling his guts.

ANDREW
But we needed more blood to activate
the Seal of Danzal --

WHAM -- Spike's arm comes blasting through the wall, right near Andrew's head. Anya jerks back in surprise.

WHAM -- Spike's other arm comes tearing through. He grabs Andrew by the throat/chest and YANKS.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DUSK

Spike TEARS Andrew completely though the wall into Buffy's room.

He holds Andrew's body up and BITES DEEP into his neck.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BUFFY'S ROOM - DUSK

Right where we left off. Spike feasts on Andrew in the middle of the room.

Buffy struggles to get to her feet. She rights herself, runs over, and TEARS Spike off Andrew. She throws Spike across the room.

Andrew drops to the ground, holding his neck.

Xander and Anya rush in. Anya looks to the fallen Andrew, Xander stands on guard, backing up Buffy.

Spike's crazed, insane (still in vamp-face). He rushes at Buffy -- his moves aren't thought out. He's a cornered animal. She parries his attack, dodges, and UPPERCUTS him, sending him flying back.

His head hits the wall with a dense THUD and his body drops to the ground.

Buffy steps forward. We see Spike on the ground from her POV. He's dazed, bleeding. No longer in vamp-face. He doesn't seem to know where he is.

We see up from Spike's POV: Buffy approaching slowly; Xander, Anya, Andrew, behind her to one side; behind her on the other side stands THE FIRST (as Spike) staring down at us, shaking his head in shame.

Buffy steps forward (we're still in Spike's POV) and KICKS Spike brutally right in the face.

And everything goes BLACK.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy debriefs a concerned Willow and Dawn in the living room.

BUFFY
He didn't seem to want anything to do
with me. He just knocked me aside
and charged at the wall.

WILLOW
Are you hurt?

Buffy shakes her head.

Xander and Anya walk down the stairs into the room.

DAWN
How's what's-his-name?.

XANDER
He's got a good chunk taken out of
his neck, but he'll be all right.
Had to tie him up again, but mostly
just to keep him from scratching at
his bandages.
(to Buffy)
What the hell happened up there?

Buffy shakes her head.

BUFFY
I don't know.
(beat)
Spike and I were talking, and he was
fine -- well, he wasn't fine, but he
was... Spike -- and then I went to
check on you guys and when I came
back it was like he was...
(thinks)
..a completely different person...

WILLOW
Like "different" William the Bloody-
type different?

Buffy shakes her head.

BUFFY
He was talking to someone up there --
I heard him through the door. He was
having a conversation...
(thinks)
And then he started singing.

ANYA
Maybe it's another musical.
(looks around; thinks)
A much crappier musical.

BUFFY
Spike mentioned a song when we were
in the cellar. He changed there,
too. Instantly became another person.

XANDER
Trigger.

Everybody looks at him.

ANYA
The horse?

XANDER
No. In his head. It's a trigger.

He starts thinking about it.

XANDER (cont'd)
It's a brainwashing term. It's how
the military makes sleeper agents.
They brainwash operatives and
condition them with a specific
trigger -- like a song -- to
drastically change their
personalities at a moment's notice.
(beat)
I'm fairly certain it's how Archduke
Ferdinand was assassinated.

WILLOW
This left over from your days in the
Army?

XANDER
No, this is left over from every army
movie I've ever seen, but it makes sense.

He walks around, he's on a roll.

XANDER (cont'd)
We've had ghosts haunting us, right?
Well, what if Spike's ghosts have
figured out how to do more than just
haunt him? What if they've figured out
how to control him?

BUFFY
(realizing)
Spike's been saying he's been seeing
things since I found him in the
basement...

DAWN
He gets his soul back. He starts
seeing ghosts. He goes extra, extra
crazy.

BUFFY
This trigger... how do we holster...
or I mean, safety...
(to herself)
I don't know guns.
(recovers)
How do we make it stop?

XANDER
Well, usually the operative completes
his task and then either blows his
head off or steals a submarine.

BUFFY
(to Xander and Anya)
All right -- I need information. If
Spike's a bomb I need to know how to
diffuse him.

She turns to Willow and Dawn.

BUFFY (cont'd)
You two -- I want to know what did
this to him. Spirits, ghosts,
demons -- search the lot of 'em.
Look for anything that might haunt or
control people like this.
(beat)
I need to know exactly what we're up
against.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - PRINCIPAL WOOD'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Principal Wood is at his desk. It's late, it's dark. He puts some files in his briefcase and heads for the door, turning the light off behind him.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Principal Wood walks through the hallway carrying his briefcase. He seems to be the only one left in the school, and now he's calling it a day.

As he's walking out, he passes the door to the basement, and something causes him to pause. Hmm.

He turns back and opens the basement door.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH BASEMENT - NIGHT

Principal Wood (still carrying his briefcase) walks through the dark basement. He doesn't seem lost; he seems to know where he's going.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH BASEMENT - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

Principal Wood walks into the antechamber, looks down and sees Jonathan's decaying body (not too decayed -- just a little rough around the edges) sprawled out on the Seal of Danzaithar, exactly where we left him in Episode Seven.

Principal Wood studies Jonathan's body for a beat, his face betraying nothing.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - NIGHT

We're in the basement. It's dark, moonlight casting harsh shadows. Spike's on the ground, somewhere between conscious and unconcious. He's been chained to the wall, manacles attached to each wrist and ankle. His face has dried blood on it from his encounter with Buffy.

Buffy comes down the stairs carrying a rag and a bowl of water. She crouches down next to Spike, sets the bowl on the floor, and begins washing the blood off Spike's face with the rag.

Spike starts to regain consciousness, looks around a little, shame, fear on his face.

He doesn't say anything for a while, just looks at Buffy, watches her wash him. Then:

SPIKE
(softly)
Did I hurt anybody?

BUFFY
Well, you took a good bite out
of Andrew --

SPIKE
Who?

BUFFY
Tucker's brother.

SPIKE
Ah.

BUFFY
But he'll live.

Spike thinks about this. He's scared, not in control.

SPIKE
(softly)
I don't remember...

BUFFY
It's okay.

SPIKE
Buffy -- I don't know... why...

BUFFY
We think we know what's wrong with
you.

He stops her from washing him, becomes a little more coherent, tries to sit up.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Something's messing with you. Some
ghost, or some demon -- we're not
exactly sure what -- has figured out
how to control you.

Spike's mind starts racing.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I've got the gang researching it
right now. Xander's got this theory
that you're being triggered --

SPIKE
Kill me.

BUFFY
What?

She looks at him. He's serious. No emotion. Just cold hard logic.

SPIKE
Buffy, you have to kill me.

BUFFY
No, you don't understand. When I
left the room earlier, I heard you
talking to --

SPIKE
Do you have any idea what I'm capable
of?

She starts to understand what he's saying, grows somber.

BUFFY
(nodding)
I was in the cellar with you. I saw
what you did.

SPIKE
I'm not talking about the cellar.
The people in the cellar got off
easy. I'm talking about me.
(pause)
See, you don't know me. You only met
hamstrung-Angel-Spike. You only met
conditioned-chip-Spike.
(pause)
You never met the real me.

BUFFY
Believe me, I'm well aware what
you're capable of.

SPIKE
You got off easy, too.
(pause)
Do you know how much blood you can
drink from a girl before she'll die?
I do.
(pause)
See, the trick is, if you drink just
enough... if you damage them just
enough
... you can keep them alive for
weeks.
(pause)
You can make yourself a plaything.

Spike steps forward until the chains are taut.

SPIKE (cont'd)
I used to set up shop in their
houses... I used to be so good at
it -- I knew how to damage them just
enough
so that they could still cry
when I...
(pause)
Because it wasn't worth it if they
couldn't cry.

BUFFY
Something is playing with you, Spike.
This isn't your fault. You're not
doing this.

SPIKE
I already did it. It's already done.
(pause)
Do you know what I used to do to
girls Dawn's age?

He rattles her.

SPIKE (cont'd)
This is me, Buffy You have to kill
me before I get out.

BUFFY
(softly)
We can keep you locked up. Give us
time and we can --

SPIKE
Have you ever stopped to think about
why you can't kill me?
(pause)
After everything I've done? To you.
To the people around you.
(pause)
Have you ever wondered why you keep
me alive?
(pause)
It's not love, we both know that.

BUFFY
You fought by my side. You've saved
lives, helped --

SPIKE
Don't. Don't do that. Don't
rationalize this into some noble act.
(pause)
You don't get to do that.

He paces back and forth (as much as he can in the chains.) He falls in and out of shadow.

SPIKE (cont'd)
We both know the truth, you and I.

He falls into full shadow.

SPIKE (cont'd)
You like bad men.

He begins to pace again.

SPIKE (cont'd)
I don't mean troubled men. I don't
mean brooding men.
(pause)
I mean, you like men who hurt you.

BUFFY
No...

SPIKE
You need the pain we cause you. You
need the violence inside. You need
the hate.
(pause)
It gives you the strength to do what
you have to do. To be the Slayer.
(pause)
But it's killing you.

BUFFY
You don't have any idea what you're
talking about.

SPIKE
You have to let it go.

Spike RAGES at his chains.

SPIKE (cont'd)
You have to kill me.
(pause)
I am destroying everything around
you. I am killing off every piece of
you that is good and pure.
(pause)
And in the end, after everything is
gone and you have nothing else... I
will come for you and I will --

BUFFY
I don't hate myself, Spike. Not
anymore.
(pause)
You think you have insight now
because your soul's drenched in
blood? You don't know me.

She begins to pace.

BUFFY (cont'd)
You don't even know you. Was that
you who killed those people in the
cellar? Was that you who waited for
those girls? Was that you who tried
to rape me?

SPIKE
There's no one else --

BUFFY
You're not alive because of pain.
You're not alive because of hate.
You're alive because I saw you
change. I see your penance.

SPIKE
Window dressing.

Buffy gets close enough to him so that when he strains as hard as he can against his chains (as he will when he says his next lines) he's only inches away from being able to touch her.

BUFFY
There's a man in there underneath
that monster. A man who -- even when
he had no soul --

SPIKE
-- It's window dressing --

BUFFY
-- struggled to find redemption.
You're alive because I know he's in
there --

SPIKE
-- I'm killing you --

BUFFY
-- and I believe in the man he can be.

Buffy's words take Spike by surprise. He falls back, his chains go slack. We see it play out on his face, a brief flicker of hope, and then the lights go out and --

BOOM!

The basement window/door EXPLODES inward. A black hooded figure (like we've seen in previous episodes this season) comes crashing into the room.

Before Buffy has time to react, he's on her -- CRACK -- hitting her across the face with the staff he's carrying, sending her flying across the room.

SPIKE
Buffy!

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

BOOM! BOOM! More hooded figures come CRASHING in through the living room windows -- this all happens really fast, like a precision military strike. The front door is KICKED IN off its hinges.

Willow and Dawn, who had been in the living room doing research, SCREAM as they're suddenly showered with broken glass. Hooded figures SWARM around them.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Xander and Anya are already on the move toward the screams in the living room when:

BOOM! a figure comes crashing through the kitchen door and CRACK hits Anya right in the back of the head with his staff. She drops to the ground.

Xander wheels to confront him and CRACK he's hit from behind by another hooded figure running in from the other way.

As Xander's body drops, the two hooded figures step forward. Their hoods fall back (they can even pull them back if it feels more natural.) We see their faces for the first time:

They're the Bringers (the scary guys with symbols for eyes from AMENDS.)

Off their faces we:

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

EXT. FIELD - NIGHT

We're in a nondescript field -- seemingly the middle of nowhere.

Principal Wood, his tie loosened, his shirt sleeves rolled up, works tirelessly digging a grave by the light of his car's headlights.

He's all but finished, standing deep in the hole. A few last shovel-fulls and then he climbs out and walks over to where JONATHAN'S BODY is laid out nearby.

He drags Jonathan by the feet and tosses his body into the hole.

He looks down at it, his face still revealing nothing.

A few beats, then he begins to shovel dirt on top of it.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Chaos unfolding.

A Bringer rushes Willow while another one goes after Dawn.

ANGLE Willow. The Bringer swings his staff at her, Willow dodges, does a spell.

WILLOW
Propel.

She BLASTS the Bringer across the room.

ANGLE Dawn: Bringer charging her, she drops to the ground and flips him with his own momentum, sending him crashing into the wall.

ANGLE Willow: wheeling to help Dawn when CRASH! Another Bringer comes in through the window. Before Willow has time to react -- WHACK -- he hits her with his staff, two-handed, across the throat.

She flies back, hits the wall, drops to the ground.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BLUE ROOM - NIGHT

CRASH! Buffy comes flying through the door to the basement, shattering it to pieces.

She lands hard in the hallway.

The Bringer she's fighting comes jumping through the hole in the door, staff in hand.

He swings at her on the ground. She rolls, flips up to her feet (their momentum should carry them through the middle hallway to the foyer.)

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - FOYER - NIGHT

As he charges her again, she's ready for him. She uses his momentum, SLAMS him hard against the wall, catches his staff as he's dropping it and WHACK hits him across the face.

Just as he drops, two more Bringers come flying through the front door and hit Buffy from behind, driving her hard into the stairs.

One keeps running, heading straight upstairs, while the other raises his staff and WHACK hits Buffy right across the face.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dawn battles her Bringer -- we're towards the back of the living room, near the Blue Room. He swings his staff at her, she catches it and elbows him HARD across the face.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - NIGHT

A terrified Andrew (whose neck is bandaged) works frantically on the bed to untie his ropes (his hands and feet are both tied.)

The Bringer comes into the room, sees Andrew, and drops his staff.

Andrew's eyes go wide. He starts to scream.

The Bringer reaches into his robe and pulls out TWO KNIVES.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - FOYER/STAIRS - NIGHT

The Bringer on the stairs hits a dazed Buffy again across the face and then takes off running up the stairs.

Buffy rolls, regains her balance, sees him running away up the stairs and chases him.

OMITTED

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - HALLWAY - NIGHT

The Bringer runs into the hall, Buffy hot on his heels. She grabs him from behind, he wheels around, strikes out at her.

She dodges and kicks him right in the face -- CRACK -- and then spins and ELBOWS him across the jaw -- CRACK. He goes down hard. As he drops, she hears Andrew screaming:

ANDREW (O.S.)
Help me! Help me!

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy runs into the room just in time to see the Knife- Bringer lunge at Andrew on the bed.

Andrew dodges at the last possible second.

The Knife-Bringer rears back, tries to stab him again. Buffy catches his arm, spins him around.

He SWIPES at her, kicks her, knocking her back.

They circle each other. He's got his knives. He swipes, swipes.

ANGLE Andrew, working frantically to untie his feet.

ANGLE Buffy. She circles with the Knife-Bringer...

As she turns, her back to the door, a second Bringer appears in the doorway, sees the action, and pulls out his own KNIVES.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dawn approaches the Bringer she's knocked to the ground. She's holding his staff. She spins it up, ready to crack him across the head, and he SWEEPS her legs out from under her.

CRASH, she hits the ground hard. He's on her in a second, holding her down by the throat. She's choking, clawing, trying desperately to get away. She stares up at him in fear, we get a good look at his scary face.

He reaches into the folds of his robe, pulls out a knife.

He raises his arm, stabs down, when

WHAM!

A groggy, pissed-off Xander cracks him across the back of the head with a staff.

The Bringer drops, Xander hits him again -- CRACK -- right across the face.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy, weaponless, in the middle of two Knife-Bringers. They circle, she's on guard, trying to figure out her move.

They swipe. She dodges. They swipe.

Andrew, who's been in the corner, finally gets his feet untied (his hands are still bound, though.)

He decides to make a run for it while The Knife Bringers are occupied.

He runs for the door. As he does so, WHIP-FAST Buffy reaches out and grabs him as he runs by.

WHACK! She uses him as a battering ram (old Jackie Chan gag) holding him by the shoulders and driving him into the Knife- Bringer's chest. Andrew and the Knife-Bringer crack heads together and the Knife-Bringer, stunned, drops back against the wall.

She wheels, still holding Andrew by the shoulders and does the exact same thing to the other Knife-Bringer. WHACK!

She tosses Andrew aside and rushes one of the Knife-Bringers. She grabs him by both arms and rips the knives out of his hands.

In one motion, she stabs with one arm across her body and plunges a knife right into the Bringer's stomach.

As she does this, the other Bringer rushes her, and she stabs him in the stomach with her other arm (this should end with her arms crossed and a knife in each Bringer's belly.)

She then pulls both knives out, uncrossing her arms in a slashing motion, and slashes each Bringer again with the opposite knife.

They drop to the ground, dead.

XANDER (O.S.)
Buffy!

Xander runs into the room, staff raised, ready for action. He sees Buffy, and the bodies, and makes a face.

Buffy's still in fight mode, ready to move. She looks at Xander.

BUFFY
Dawn?

XANDER
She's okay.
(looks around)
Is this it? I thought there were
more of them --

Buffy realizes what they were after.

BUFFY
Spike --

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - NIGHT

Buffy and Xander come rushing down the stairs.

The room is empty.

Camera FINDS empty, broken chains on the ground.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Aftermath. Dawn's tending to Anya on the couch, Willow's tending to herself and assessing the damage to the house. Buffy and Xander come walking through the living room.

XANDER
They were so fast, organized --

BUFFY
They were going after Spike all along.

Buffy walks over and examines the body of the Bringer Xander offed. She crouches down next to it.

XANDER
(getting it)
We were just in the way.

Buffy takes a good look at the Bringer's face. A chill runs down her spine -- her worst fears being confirmed.

BUFFY
I know these guys...

She stands up, thinks.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I've fought them before...

Her mind races.

BUFFY (cont'd)
We aren't being haunted. This isn't
some demon. It's all the same
thing -- Spike's ghosts, the people
you guys saw, from beneath us... It's
all the same thing.
(softly)
I know what we're up against.

She pauses, scared. She has everyone's full attention.

BUFFY (cont'd)
(scared)
The First.

EXT. WATCHERS' COUNCIL - NIGHT

Establish an English-old-school type building.

INT. WATCHERS' COUNCIL BOARDROOM - NIGHT

The place has been RANSACKED. Maps are torn off walls, file cabinets are emptied, overturned.

Our Watcher-types from before are there. The atmosphere is frantic -- Some of the Watchers look as though they've been beaten up, subdued, others are cleaning up the mess, talking on phones excitedly, and just generally looking English and grim.

Through this all walks Quentin. He surveys the damage, a grave look on his face.

A fellow Watcher-type (call him BLAKE) briefs him.

BLAKE
...they took our files, wiped out our
records. We've lost contact with
operations in Munich, Switzerland,
and Rome and we've got casualty
confirmations coming in from as far
away as Melbourne.

Blake looks at Quentin, fear apparent on his race.

BLAKE (cont'd)
Sir... we are crippled.

Quentin looks at him, tries to calm him.

QUENTIN
It's all right, Blake.. "We are still
masters of our fate, we are still
captain of our souls."

Winston Churchill's words give Blake resolve, as they do all British people.

BLAKE
Yes sir.

Quentin surveys the room, steps forward.

QUENTIN
Ladies and gentlemen...

He gets everyone's attention.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
Our fears have been confirmed. The
First Evil has declared all out war
against this institution, and its
initial volleys have proved to be
most effective.
(pause)
I, for one, think it's time we struck
back.

The Watchers nod in agreement.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
Get me confirmations on all remaining
operatives. I want visuals and
tacticals -- highest alert. Get them
here as soon as possible.

He paces, he's on a roll.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
Begin preparations for mobilization.
Once we're accounted for, I want to
be ready to move.

WATCHER #1
Sir?

QUENTIN
We'll be paying a visit to the
Hellmouth.

Everyone looks at him, nods grimly.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
My friends, these are the times that
define us. Proverbs, 24:6. "For by
wise counsel, you shall make your
war.

Everyone seems strengthened, resolved.

QUENTIN (cont'd)
Now let's get moving. We've got work
to --

As he talks, he turns and opens up the map cabinet behind him. As he does so, we hear an audible CLICK and --

EXT. WATCHERS' COUNCIL - NIGHT

BOOM! The Council Building EXPLODES in a big fiery mess.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH BASEMENT - ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

OVERHEAD SHOT: Bringers throw Spike's shirtless, battered body down onto a carved, wooden/metal symbol.

FIRST/SPIKE
You'll have to excuse the imagery...

We're in the basement antechamber. Torches light the space. Bringers work industriously over a contraption they've assembled around the Seal of Danzalthar.

We don't get a clear look at it yet -- we see wood, chains. Whatever it is, they appear to be fastening Spike to it.

The First, in the form of Spike, surveys the scene with pride.

The Bringers pull Spike's arms out at his sides.

FIRST/SPIKE (cont'd)
But I've always been a bit of a
sucker for the ol' classics.

Bringers place large metal nails up against Spike's wrists. Other Bringers raise hammers...

WHAM! They nail Spike's arm to the symbol.

Spike SCREAMS in pain.

FIRST/SPIKE (cont'd)
Hey, don't look at me that way. I
wanted to do this more subtle like.
My Harbingers have a tendency to call
attention to themselves.

WHAM! They nail Spike's other arm. Spike SCREAMS and SCREAMS.

FIRST/SPIKE (cont'd)
You're the one who couldn't hold his
end of the bargain. You're the one
who couldn't take care of what's-his
name, you're the one who had to make
breakthroughs and learn something
about himself.

First/Spike circles around. Shrugs.

FIRST/SPIKE (cont'd)
So now here we are.

He MORPHS into Buffy She smiles, kneels down close next to Spike on the ground.

FIRST/BUFFY
I have to admit, though. This way's
much more fun.

The Bringers working on Spike pull out knives, begin to cut down his chest (we don't see exactly what they're doing, we play it mostly off Spike's face.) Spike screams, his terror reaching crescendo.

The Bringers pull chains and begin to HOIST the symbol up into the air.

Spike is lifted upright and then begins to rise as the Bringers pull the chains tight. He rises up, up. This should end with Spike (and the symbol he's attached to) hanging high up in the air, directly above the Seal of Danzalthar.

We see that the Bringers have cut symbols into his chest. Blood begins to flow from his wounds.

First/Buffy looks up at him. Smiles.

FIRST/BUFFY (cont'd)
To be honest, I'm getting a little
tired of subtle.

Spike's blood begins to drip down onto the Seal. As it does, the Seal begins to ILLUMINATE, as it did in Episode Seven.

FIRST/BUFFY (cont'd)
I think it's time we brought some
authority to our presence.

The Seal, illuminated, begins to SHIFT (like the box in Hellraiser) and then OPENS UP.

There seems to be nothing down there but a deep, black hole...

The Bringers begin to CHANT.

MAGICAL LIGHT begins to shine up through the hole in the ground. The Bringers continue their chant.

And then from the depths rises a horrible, terrifying UBERVAMPIRE (details TBD.)

The Ubervamp comes fully out of the ground, and we're left with a final shot (let's get as much of this as we can -- it should look epic): Spike, nailed to the symbol, bleeding, broken; the First/Buffy looking evil; Bringers spread out, chanting, looking scary; and a crazed, animal Ubervamp standing in the middle of it all.

The Ubervamp ROARS in fury.

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW