Welcome To The Hellmouth

Written by:  Joss Whedon
Directed by:  Charles Martin Smith
Transcribed by:  AleXander Thompson

Copyright (c) 1997 Alexander Thompson

                   ~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Television Network.

This is not a novelization or a script. It is a straightforward and dry transcript of the episode "Welcome to the Hellmouth". It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where I felt they were needed.

I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this episode. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

rev 06.09.24

This episode was originally broadcast on March 10, 1997

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

Sunnydale High School at night. The camera pans around from the side of the building to the main entrance. Cut to a hall. The camera moves down the hall past the trophy case and at the library turns to the right down another hall. Cut to a science classroom. The camera pans low along a row of desks. Cut to the windows. The counter in front of them is full of various things: a skeleton, some vertebrae, jars of things in formaldehyde, a skull and a microscope. A fist punches through a windowpane and reaches in to undo the clasp. It's a boy and a girl, sneaking into the school.

Darla:  Are you sure this is a good idea?

Boy:  It's a great idea, now come on.

They crawl in. Cut to the hall. They come out of the classroom and walk down the hall.

Darla:  Do you go to school here?

Boy:  I used to. On top of the gym it's so cool. You can see the whole town.

He continues down the hall, but she stops him close to the intersection.

Darla:  I, I, I, I don't wanna go up there.

Boy:  Aw, you can't wait, huh?

Darla:  We're just gonna get in trouble.

Boy:  Yeah, you can count on it.

They almost kiss when Darla startles, draws a quick breath and turns her head around to look down the hall.

Darla:  What was that?

Boy:  What was what?

Darla:  I heard a noise.

Boy:  It's nothing!

Darla:  Uh, uh, maybe it's something.

Boy:  Or maybe it's some *thing*!

Darla:  That's not funny.

He looks down the other hall.

Boy:  Hellooooo! (to Darla) There's nobody here.

Darla:  Are you sure? (looks away)

Boy:  Yes, I'm sure.

Darla:  Okay.

She turns back to him all vamped out. She growls and bites him. He grunts in pain as they sink to the floor.

                    ~~~~~~~~~ Credits ~~~~~~~~~~

Wolf:  Howl.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

Buffy's room. The camera shows a shot from above of her in bed. She's having the nightmares, with visions of the Master's lair, the cemetery, the Master, of vampires and other demons, various events and artifacts. She wakes with a start.

Joyce:  (off camera) Buffy?

Buffy:  (sitting up) I'm up, Mom!

Joyce:  (off camera) Don't wanna be late for your first day!

Buffy:  (to herself) No... Wouldn't want that.

Cut to the school. The camera pans from the street to the main building. Cut to Joyce pulling up to the school in her Jeep to drop off Buffy.

Joyce:  Okay!

Buffy gets out.

Joyce:  Have a good time. I know you're gonna make friends right away, just think positive. (gives a thumbs up)

Buffy looks through the open car door and gives her mother a quick nod. She turns to go and closes the door behind her.

Joyce:  And honey?

Buffy looks back at her mom again.

Joyce:  Try not to get kicked out?

Buffy:  I promise.

Joyce:  Okay.

Buffy faces the school and lets out a deep breath. Joyce drives off. Cut to Xander, doing his usual bob and weave through the crowd on his skateboard.

Xander:  'Scuse me, comin' through, pardon me, 'scuse me, whoa! 'Scuse me, not sure how to stop! Please move, whoa, 'scuse me... (notices Buffy) Whoa.

He stares at her and doesn't notice that he's headed right for the stair railing. He crashes into it and falls beneath it, grunting in pain. 

Xander:  God!

Willow walks up and has to step high to avoid tripping over his legs.

Xander:  I'm Okay. I feel good.

She looks down at him, smiling and pulling her hair behind her ear.

Xander:  (sees her) Willow! You're so very much the person that I wanted to see! (gets up)

Willow:  Oh, really?

They start walking toward the school.

Xander:  Yeah. You know, I kinda had a problem with the math.

Willow:  Uh, which part?

Xander:  The math. Can you help me out tonight, pleeeease, be my study buddy?

Willow:  Well, what's in it for me?

Xander:  A shiny nickel!

Willow:  Okay. Do you have 'Theories in Trig'? You should check it out.

Xander:  Check it out?

Willow:  From the library? Where the books live.

Xander:  Right, I'm there! See, I wanna change...

Cut to the hall just inside the door.

Jesse:  Hey, hey!

Xander:  Hey, Jesse, what's what?

Jesse:  New Girl!

Xander:  That's right, I saw her. Pretty much a hottie!

Willow:  I heard someone was transferring...

Xander:  So tell!

Jesse:  Tell what?

Xander:  What's the sitch, what do ya know about her?

Jesse:  New girl!

Xander:  Well, you're certainly a font of nothing!

Cut to Principal Flutie's office. Buffy is seated. He has her school records and walks around the desk to his chair as he looks them over.

Mr. Flutie:  Buffy Summers, sophomore, late of Hemery High in Los Angeles. Interesting record, quite a career...

He sits, takes the sheet he's reading and tears it into four pieces.

Mr. Flutie:  Welcome to Sunnydale! A clean slate, Buffy, that's what you get here. What's past is past. We're not interested in what it says on a piece of paper, even if it says... (reads) Whoa.

Buffy:  Mr. Flutie--

Mr. Flutie:  All the kids here are free to call me Bob.

Buffy:  Bob--

Mr. Flutie:  But they don't.

He begins reassembling the torn sheet.

Buffy:  I know my transcripts are a little... colorful.

Mr. Flutie:  Heeey... We're not caring about that. Do you think, uh, 'colorful' is the word? (tapes the paper) Not, uh, 'dismal'?

Buffy:  Wasn't *that* bad!

Mr. Flutie:  You burned down the gym.

Buffy:  (exhales) I did, I really did, but... You're not seeing the big picture here, I mean, that gym was full of vampi--asbestos.

Mr. Flutie:  Buffy, don't worry. Any other school they might say 'watch your step', or 'we'll be watching you'... But, that's just not the way *here*. We want to service your needs, and help you to respect our needs. And if your needs and our needs don't mesh...

He puts the poorly repaired sheet back into her file and slaps it shut. She gives him a thin, nervous smile.

Cut to the hall. Buffy comes out of Mr. Flutie's office. She opens her bag and rummages through it as she walks into the hall right in front of a girl and a boy. The girl bumps into her, making her lose her grip on the bag and spill its contents.

Buffy:  Oh! Sorry!

Girl:  That's okay.

Buffy:  (looks down at the mess) Oh...

Xander hears the noise, looks back, quickly comes over and squats down next to her to help her gather her things.

Xander:  Can I have you?

She gives him a confused look.

Xander:  Duh... (chuckles) Can I help you?

Buffy:  (smiles) Thanks.

Xander:  I don't know you, do I?

Buffy:  I'm Buffy. I'm new.

Xander:  Xander. Is-is me. Hi. (smiles)

Buffy:  Um, thanks.

They finish gathering up everything.

Xander:  Well, uh, maybe I'll see you around... maybe at school... since we... both... go there.

Buffy:  Great! (they stand up) It was nice to meet you.

She starts down the hall.

Xander:  (unimpressed with himself) We both go to school. Very suave. Very not pathetic.

He notices a stake still on the floor.

Xander:  Oh, hey! (picks it up) Hey, you forgot your... stake.

Buffy doesn't hear him and continues down the hall. Xander holds on to the stake.

Cut to a classroom. The teacher writes "The Black Death" on the board and then turns to the class.

Teacher:  It's estimated that about twenty-five million people died in that one four-year span. But the fun part of the Black Plague is that it originated in Europe how?

Cordelia is taking notes. So is Buffy, seated next to her.

Teacher:  As an early form of germ warfare. If you'll look at the map on page sixty-three you can trace the spread of the disease into Rome, and then north...

Buffy doesn't have a book and looks around for help. Cordelia notices and shares her book.

Buffy:  (to Cordelia) Thanks.

Teacher:  And this popular plague led to what social changes? Steve?

The bell rings and the students get up to leave.

Cordelia:  Hi! I'm Cordelia. (offers her hand)

Buffy:  (accepts it) I'm Buffy.

Cordelia:  If you're looking for a textbook of your very own there's probably a few in the library.

Buffy:  Oh, great, thanks. (they get up) Where would that be?

Cordelia:  I'll show you, come on. (they start out of the classroom) So you're from Hemery, right? In L.A.?

Buffy:  Uh, yeah.

Cordelia:  Oh, I would *kill* to live in L.A. That close to that many shoes?

Buffy has to laugh as they go into the hall.

Cut to the two of them walking down another part of the hall.

Cordelia:  Well, you'll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you'll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You're from L.A., so you can skip the written, but let's see. Vamp nail polish?

Buffy:  Um, over?

Cordelia:  So over. James Spader?

Buffy:  He needs to call me!

Cordelia:  Frappaccinos?

Buffy:  Trendy, but tasty.

Cordelia:  John Tesh?

Buffy:  The Devil.

Cordelia:  That was pretty much a gimme, but... you passed!

Buffy:  Oh, goody!

They turn toward a drinking fountain. Willow is there. She straightens up and sees them coming.

Cordelia:  Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears.

Willow:  Uh, oh, well, my mom picked it out.

Cordelia:  No wonder you're such a guy magnet. Are you done?

Willow looks at the fountain, then back at Cordelia.

Willow:  Oh!

She turns and leaves. Buffy watches her go for a moment, then looks back at Cordelia after she starts talking again.

Cordelia:  You wanna fit in here, the first rule is: know your losers. Once you can identify them all by sight (glances after Willow) they're a lot easier to avoid.

Buffy lets out a nervous laugh and nods. She looks at Willow again, who has gone through the door at the end of the hall. Willow looks back at them before she continues.

Cut to another area in the halls. The two of them continue their walk to the library.

Cordelia:  And if you're not too swamped with catching up you should come by the Bronze tonight.

Buffy:  The who?

Cordelia:  The Bronze. It's the only club worth going to around here. They let anybody in, but it's still the scene. It's in the bad part of town.

Buffy:  Where's that? (stops outside the library doors)

Cordelia:  About a half a block from the good part of town. (laughing) We don't have a whole lot of town here. But, um, you should show!

Buffy:  Well, I'll try. (looks toward the library) Uh, thanks.

Cordelia:  Good. So, um, I'll see you in gym, and you can tell me absolutely everything there is to know about you. (waves and goes)

Buffy:  (waves back) Great! (to herself) Oh, that sounds like fun.

She goes into the library. Cut inside. She comes in and looks around. It looks deserted.

Buffy:  Hello? (continues in) Is anybody here?

She looks at the book checkout counter and sees a newspaper. A picture has been circled. The caption above it reads "Local Boys Still Missing." Giles comes up behind her and taps her on the shoulder. She spins around, startled.

Buffy:  Ooh! (exhales) Anybody's here!

Giles:  Can I help you?

Buffy:  I was looking for some, well, books. I'm new.

Giles:  Miss Summers?

Buffy:  Good call! Guess I'm the only new kid, huh?

Giles:  I'm Mr. Giles. The librarian. I was told you were coming.

He heads around behind the counter.

Buffy:  Great! So, um, I'm gonna need 'Perspectives on 20th Century--'

Giles:  (interrupting) I know what you're after!

With a big grin on his face he pulls out a large old book with the word "VAMPYR" written in gold leaf on the front cover. Buffy looks up at him with an uneasy gaze.

Buffy:  That's not what I'm looking for.

Giles:  Are you sure?

Buffy:  I'm *way* sure.

Giles:  (confused) My mistake.

He puts the book back behind the counter. Buffy quickly leaves.

Giles:  (straightening back up) So, what is it you said--

He sees her go out of the library. Their first encounter leaves him puzzled.

Cut to the girls' locker room. Two girls are discussing Buffy.

Aphrodisia:  The new kid? She seems kind of weird to me. What kind of name is Buffy?

Girl:  Hey, Aphrodisia!

Aphrodisia:  Oh, Hey!

Aura:  Well, the chatter in the caf is that she got kicked out, and that's why her mom had to get a new job.

The girls work the combinations to their gym lockers.

Aphrodisia:  Neg!

Aura:  Pos! She was starting fights!

Aphrodisia:  Neg-ly!

Aura:  (opening her locker) Well I heard from Blue, and she said that--

The dead boy falls out of the locker onto Aura's arm. She screams and lets the body fall.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

The quad at school. Willow is sitting on a bench in front of a wall taking out her lunch. Buffy approaches her.

Buffy:  Uh, Hi! Willow, right?

Willow:  (looks up) Why? I-I mean, hi! Uh, did you want me to move?

Buffy:  Why don't we start with, 'Hi, I'm Buffy,' and, uh, then let's segue directly into me asking you for a favor. (sits next to her) It doesn't involve moving, but it does involve hanging out with me for a while.

Willow:  But aren't you hanging out with Cordelia?

Buffy:  I can't do both?

Willow:  Not legally.

Buffy:  (exhales) Look, I really wanna get by here--new school--and... Cordelia's been really nice... to me... anyway, but, um, I kinda have this burning desire not to flunk all my classes, and I heard a rumor that you were the person to talk to if I wanted to get caught up.

Willow:  Oh, I could *totally* help you out! Uh, if you have sixth period free we could meet in the library?

Buffy:  Or not. Or we could meet someplace quieter. Louder. Uh, that place just kinda gives me the wiggins.

Willow:  Oh, it has that effect on most kids. I love it, though, it's a great collection, and the new librarian is really cool.

Buffy:  He's new?

Willow:  Yeah, he just started. He was a curator at some British museum, or, or *The* British Museum, I'm not sure. But he knows everything, and he brought all these historical volumes and biographies, and am I the single dullest person alive?

Buffy:  Not at all.

Xander hops up onto the wall behind the girls and sits on it between them. Jesse stands in front of them and drops his bag.

Jesse:  Hey!

Xander:  You guys busy? Are we interrupting? We're interrupting.

He tosses his bag to Jesse.

Buffy:  Hey!

Willow:  Hey!

Jesse:  Hey there!

He drops Xander's bag next to his own.

Willow:  Buffy, this is Jesse and that's Xander.

Xander:  Oh, me and Buffy go waaay back, old friends, very close. Then there's that period of estrangement where I think we were both growing as people, but now here we are, like old times, I'm quite moved.

Jesse:  Is it me, or are you turning into a bibbling idiot?

Xander:  No, it's, uh, it's not you.

Buffy:  Well, it's nice to meet you guys, I think.

Xander jumps down to retrieve the stake from his bag.

Jesse:  Well, you know, we wanted to welcome ya, make ya feel at home, unless you have a scary home...

Xander:  And to return this. (holds up the stake) The only thing I can think is that you're building a really little fence. (hands it to her)

Buffy:  (takes it) Hah, no, um, a-a-actually it was for self-defense. Everyone has them in L.A. Pepper spray is just so passť.

Xander:  So what do you do for fun, what do you like, what do you look for in a man, let's hear it.

Jesse:  If you have any dark, painful secrets you'd like us to publish?

Buffy:  Gee, everyone wants to know about me. How keen.

Xander:  Well, not much goes on in a one Starbucks town like Sunnydale. You're pretty big news.

Buffy:  I'm not. Really.

Cordelia:  (interrupts) Are these guys bothering you?

Buffy:  Uh, no!

Willow:  She's not hanging out with us.

Jesse:  (stands next to her) Hey! Cordelia!

Cordelia:  (to Jesse) Oh, please! (to Buffy) I don't mean to interrupt your downward mobility, but I just wanted to tell you that you won't be meeting Coach Foster, the woman with the chest hair, because gym was canceled due to the *extreme* dead guy in the locker.

Buffy:  What?

Willow:  What are you talking about?

Cordelia:  Some guy was stuffed in Aura's locker!

Buffy:  Dead.

Cordelia:  Totally dead. Way dead.

Xander:  It's not just a little dead, then?

Cordelia:  Don't you have an elsewhere to be?

Jesse:  Y'know, if you need a shoulder to cry on, or just to nibble on...

Buffy:  How did he die?

Cordelia:  I don't know.

Buffy:  Well, were there any marks?

Cordelia:  Morbid much! I didn't ask!

Buffy:  (looks at everyone) Um, I gotta book. I'll, I'll see you guys later.

She grabs her things and leaves. Cordelia stares after her.

Cordelia:  What's her deal?

Cut to outside the gym. Buffy sneaks up to an outside entrance. It's locked. She uses her strength to break the door and goes in, looking around to make sure no one sees her. Cut to the locker room. Buffy finds the body and pulls back the sheet. She sees the vampire bite.

Buffy:  Oh, great.

Cut to the library. Buffy barges in.

Buffy:  Okay, what's the sitch?

Giles:  (in the stacks) Sorry?

Buffy:  You heard about the dead guy, right? The dead guy in the locker?

Giles:  (steps into the light) Yes.

She drops her bag on the study table and heads up the stairs.

Buffy:  'Cause, it's the weirdest thing. He's got two little, little holes in his neck, and all his blood's been drained. (meets him) Isn't that bizarre? Aren't you just going, 'ooh'?

Giles:  I was afraid of this.

Buffy:  Well, *I* wasn't! It's my first day! I was afraid that I was gonna be behind in all my classes, that I wouldn't make any friends, that I would have last month's hair. I didn't think there'd be vampires on campus. And I don't care.

Giles:  Then why are you here?

Buffy:  To tell you that... I don't care, which... I don't, and... have now told you, so... bye. (turns away to go)

Giles:  Is he, w-will he... rise again?

Buffy:  (turns back) Who?

Giles:  The boy.

Buffy:  No. He's just dead.

Giles:  Can you be sure?

Buffy:  To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they're just gonna kill you. Why am I still talking to you?

Buffy turns and goes down the stairs. Giles moves over to the railing.

Giles:  You really have no idea what's going on, do you? You think it's coincidence, your being here? That boy was just the beginning.

Buffy:  Oh, why can't you people just leave me alone?

Giles:  Because you are the Slayer. (comes down the stairs) Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt--

Buffy:  (interrupts and joins in) With the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil blah, blah, blah... I've heard it, okay?

Giles:  I really don't understand this attitude. You, you've accepted your duty, you, you've slain vampires before...

Buffy:  Yeah, and I've both been there and done that, and I'm moving on.

Giles:  What do you know about this town? (goes into his office)

Buffy:  It's two hours on the freeway from Neiman Marcus?

Giles:  Dig a bit in the history of this place. You'll find a, a steady stream of fairly odd occurrences. Now, I believe this whole area is a center of mystical energy, (comes back with four books) that things gravitate towards it that, that, that you might not find elsewhere. (sets them on the table)

Buffy:  Like vampires.

He puts the volumes into Buffy's arms one by one as he lists off various 
monsters and demons.

Giles:  Like zombies, werewolves, incubi, succubi, everything you've ever dreaded was under your bed, but told yourself couldn't be by the light of day. They're all real!

Buffy:  What? You, like, sent away for the Time-Life series?

Giles:  Ah, w-w-w-yes.

Buffy:  Did you get the free phone?

Giles:  Um, the calendar.

Buffy:  Cool! But, okay, (gives back the books) first of all, I'm a Vampire Slayer. And secondly, I'm retired. Hey, I know! Why don't you kill 'em?

Giles:  I-I'm a Watcher, I-I haven't the skill...

Buffy:  Oh, come on, stake through the heart, a little sunlight... It's like falling off a log.

Giles:  A, a Slayer slays, a Watcher--

Buffy:  Watches?

Giles:  Yes. No! (sets down the books) He, he trains her, he, he, he 
prepares her--

Buffy:  Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Go ahead! Prepare me.

They just look at each other for a moment. Buffy exhales, turns and leaves the library in disgust. Giles hesitates for an instant.

Giles:  (to himself) Damn!

He runs after Buffy. Xander walks out from behind the stacks.

Xander:  What?

Cut to the hall. Giles catches up with Buffy.

Giles:  It's getting worse!

Buffy:  What's getting worse?

He guides her over to the wall and speaks with her in a low voice.

Giles:  The influx of the undead, the... supernatural occurrences, it's been building for years. There's a reason why you're here and a reason why it's now!

Buffy:  Because now is the time my mom moved here.

She tries to evade him, but he puts his arm out to stop her.

Giles:  Something's coming, something, something... something is, is gonna happen here. Soon!

Buffy:  Gee, can you vague that up for me?

Giles:  The signs, as far as I can tell, point to a crucial mystical upheaval, very soon. Days. Possibly less.

Buffy:  Oh, come on! This is Sunnydale! How bad an evil can there be 
here?

Cut to outside the school. The camera descends behind some bushes and sinks through the ground into the lair of the Master. There are candles everywhere. Vampires bearing torches are gathering. The camera moves around the lair as Luke chants and eventually comes to rest on him.

Luke:  The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake, and the world will bleed. Amen!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

Buffy's room. She's considering what to wear to the Bronze. She holds a shiny black outfit up to the mirror.

Buffy:  Hi! I'm an enormous slut! (holds up a blue floral dress) Hello! Would you like a copy of 'The Watchtower'? (lowers the dress) I used to be so good at this.

Her mother comes into the room.

Joyce:  Hi, hon.

Buffy returns her dresses to the closet.

Buffy:  Hey!

Joyce:  Are you, uh, going out tonight?

Buffy:  Yeah, I'm going to a club.

Joyce:  Oh. Will there be boys there?

Buffy:  No, Mom. It's a nun club.

Joyce:  Well, just be careful.

Buffy:  I will.

Joyce:  You know, I think we can make it work here. I've got my positive energy flowing... I'm gonna get the Gallery on its feet... Oh, uh, we may have found a space today.

Buffy:  That's great.

Joyce:  Oh, and that school is a, a very nurturing environment, which is just what you need.

Buffy:  Well, actually...

Joyce:  Oh, not too nurturing. I know, you're sixteen, I've read all about the dangers of over-nurturing.

Buffy goes to her bed and lays out a couple of outfits.

Joyce:  It's hard. New town and everything... It is for me, too. I'm trying to make it work. (takes her daughter's hands in hers) I'm *going* to make it work.

Buffy:  I know.

Joyce:  Oh, you're a good girl, Buffy, (pats her on the head) you just fell in with the wrong crowd. But that is all behind us now.

Buffy:  It is. From now on I am only going to hang out with the living. (they let go of their hands, and she picks up her dresses) I mean, lively. People.

Buffy heads back to her closet with an awkward look on her face.

Joyce:  Hmm. Okay. You have fun.

Cut outside later that evening. Buffy is walking down a dark street, when someone appears behind her. She senses that she is being followed. After walking for a ways, when she gets a chance she ducks down an alley and looks around for a place to hide. A cat yowls and kicks some cans as it runs away. She spies something above her. Angel comes into the alley but doesn't see her. As he slowly walks along, the camera pulls up to reveal Buffy in a handstand on a bar high above the pavement. When Angel has passed underneath her, she swings down and kicks him in the back. He is knocked to the ground, and Buffy positions herself above him with a foot on his chest.

Angel:  Ah, heh. Is there a problem, ma'am?

Buffy:  Yeah, there's a problem. Why are you following me?

Angel:  I know what you're thinking. Don't worry, I don't bite.

She backs off and lets him get up, but keeps her fighting stance.

Angel:  Truth is, I thought you'd be taller, or bigger muscles and all that. You're pretty spry, though. (massages his neck)

Buffy:  What do you want?

Angel:  The same thing you do.

Buffy:  (lets down her guard) Okay. What do I want?

Angel:  (steps toward her) To kill them. To kill them all.

Buffy:  Sorry, that's incorrect. But you do get this lovely watch and a year's supply of Turtle Wax. What I *want* is to be left alone!

She starts a determined walk away.

Angel:  Do you really think that's an option anymore? You're standing at the Mouth of Hell. And it's about to open.

She stops, turns to him and looks at him with a wide-eyed gaze. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a small box.

Angel:  Don't turn your back on this. (tosses her the box) You've gotta be ready.

Buffy:  What for?

Angel:  For the Harvest.

Buffy:  Who are you?

Angel:  Let's just say... I'm a friend. (starts to leave)

Buffy:  Yeah, well, maybe I don't want a friend.

Angel:  (turns back) I didn't say I was yours.

He leaves. Buffy stares after him for a moment, then opens the box. It contains a silver cross and chain. She takes it out, holds it in her hand and takes another glance in his direction.

Cut to outside the Bronze. People are arriving and meeting. Buffy is wearing the cross around her neck. She walks up to the entrance, gives the doorman some cash and goes in. Sprung Monkey is playing "Believe" loudly, and the dance floor is crowded with people.

Lyrics:  Oh, I just want to believe / Can you hear me? / Can you see me? / What's inside of me? / Oh, I just want to believe / If my life can have a purpose / Help me to believe / Oh, I just want to believe / Can you hear me? / Can you see me? / What's inside of me? / Oh, I just want to believe / If my life can have a purpose / Help me to believe

Buffy moves to the music a bit. She sees a guy waving in her direction and waves back, then notices someone behind her waving back and pulls her hand down, embarrassed.

Lyrics:  Everybody wants to find the circle / The line of truth that has no end / Because so many nights I've slept with the feeling of empty / And I say, right now I'm ready to believe

She finds the bar and sees Willow sitting there.

Buffy:  Hey!

Willow:  Oh, hi!

Buffy walks around her and sits on the stool next to her. Willow turns to face her.

Willow:  Hi!

Buffy:  Oh, you're here with someone?

Willow:  No, I'm just here. I thought Xander was gonna show up.

Buffy:  Oh, are you guys going out?

Willow:  No, we're just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up.

Buffy:  How come?

Willow:  He stole my Barbie. (Buffy looks confused) Oh, we were five.

Buffy:  Oh.

Willow:  I-I-I don't actually date a whole lot... lately.

Buffy:  Why not?

Willow:  Well, when I'm with a boy I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool, or, or witty, or at all. I-I can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away.

Buffy:  It's not *that* bad!

Willow:  No, i-it is. I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk.

Buffy:  You really *haven't* been dating lately.

Willow:  It's probably easy for you.

Buffy:  Yeah, real easy.

Willow:  I-I mean you don't seem too shy.

Buffy:  Well, my philosophy, do you wanna hear my philosophy?

Willow:  Yeah, I do!

Buffy:  Life is short.

Willow:  Life is short!

Buffy:  Not original, I'll grant you, but it's true. You know? Why waste time being all shy and worrying about some guy, and if he's gonna laugh at you. Seize the moment, 'cause tomorrow you might be dead.

Willow:  Oh, that's nice!

Buffy looks up and sees Giles on the upper level.

Buffy:  Um, I'll be back in a minute. (gets up to go)

Willow:  Oh, tha-that's okay, you don't have to come back.

Buffy:  (smiles) I'll be back in a minute.

Willow:  (to herself) Seize the moment.

Cut to Buffy, making her way to the stairs. The camera follows her up.

Lyrics:  I feel love with my friends / I feel love in my songs / If I could just hold love / Then all the answers might come / I said, oh, if we're all children of God / And we just turned away / I got a lack of belief / I said a world without faith / It's time we turn back around

Buffy:  (finds Giles) So, you like to party with the students. Isn't that kinda skanky?

Giles:  Oh, right, this is me having fun. Watching... clown hair prance about is hardly my idea of a party. I'd much rather be at home with a cup of Bovril and a good book.

Buffy:  You need a personality, stat!

Giles:  (points to the crowd below) This is a perfect breeding ground for vampire activity. It's dark, it's crowded... Besides, I knew you were likely to show up, and I have to make you understand--

Buffy:  That the Harvest is coming. I know, your friend told me.

Giles:  What did you say?

Buffy:  The Harvest. That mean something to you? 'Cause I'm drawing a blank.

Giles:  I'm not sure. Uh... W-who told you this?

Buffy:  This... guy. Dark, gorgeous in an annoying sort of way. I figured you two were buds.

Giles:  No. The Harvest. Did he say anything else?

Buffy:  Something about the Mouth of Hell. I *really* didn't like him!

The band has finished its song and there's lots of applause. They soon start their next song, "Swirl". Giles moves around Buffy, leans on the railing and looks down at the crowd.

Giles:  Look at them, throwing themselves about, completely unaware of the danger that surrounds them.

Buffy:  Lucky them.

Giles:  Or perhaps you're right. Perhaps there is no trouble coming; the signs could be wrong. It's not as though you've been having the nightmares.

Buffy is silent. Cut to below.

Cordelia:  My mom doesn't even *get* out of bed anymore. And the doctor says it's Epstein-Barr. I'm like, pleeease! It's chronic hepatitis, or at least chronic fatigue syndrome. I mean, *nobody* cool has Epstein-Barr anymore.

Jesse spots Cordelia and comes over.

Jesse:  Hey, Cordelia!

Cordelia:  Oh, yay, it's my stalker. (makes a face)

Jesse:  Hey, you, uh, you look great!

Cordelia:  Well, I'm glad we had this little chat.

Jesse:  (coughs) Listen, uh, you know, you wanna dance, you know?

Cordelia:  With you?

Jesse:  Well, uh, yeah.

Cordelia:  Well, uh, no! C'mon, guys.

She and her friends leave. Jesse is left in the dust.

Jesse:  Fine! Plenty of other fish in the sea. Oh, yeah, I'm... on the prowl. Witness me prowling!

Cut to Buffy and Giles on the upper level.

Buffy:  I didn't say I'd never slay another vampire. It's not like I have all these fluffy-bunny feelings for them, I'm just not gonna get way extracurricular with it. You know, if I see one, sure I'll--

Giles:  (interrupting) Will you be ready? There's so much you don't know about them, about your own powers. A vampire appears to be completely normal until the feed is upon them, only then do they reveal their true demonic visage.

Buffy:  You're like a textbook with arms, I know this.

Giles:  The point is, a Slayer should be able to see them anyway. Without looking, without thinking. Can you tell me if there's a vampire in this building?

Buffy:  Maybe...

Giles:  You should know. Even through this mass and this... din, you should be able to sense them. Well, try! Reach out with your mind. (Buffy looks around) You have to hone your senses, focus until the energy washes over you, until you, you feel every particle of-of--

Buffy:  There's one.

Giles:  W-where?

Buffy:  Right there, talking to that girl.

Giles:  You don't know--

Buffy:  Oh, please! Look at his jacket. He's got the sleeves rolled up, and the shirt! Deal with that outfit for a moment.

Giles:  It's dated?

Buffy:  It's carbon dated. Trust me, only someone living underground for ten years would think that was still the look.

Giles:  But you didn't... hone.

Buffy:  (notices that the girl is Willow) Oh, no.

Giles:  Isn't that--

Buffy:  Willow.

Giles:  What's she doing?

Buffy:  Seizing the moment!

She starts down to rescue Willow.

Lyrics:  We're formed in liquid / Pushed out still dripping / A world was thrown before my eyes

Cut to below. Willow is being led out of the Bronze by the vampire. Cut to Giles. He's at a loss for what to do.

Lyrics:  Now paint a picture / Crayon stick figures / With blue-haired people, purple skies

Cut to below. Buffy has lost them. She tries the back. She breaks a leg off of a chair from a stack and begins to stalk. After a while Cordelia comes out of the restroom and surprises her. Buffy reacts, grabbing Cordelia by the throat and pushing her up against a wall.

Buffy:  (recognizing) Cordelia! (she lets go)

Cordelia:  God! What is your childhood trauma?!

Her entourage appears in the restroom door behind her.

Buffy:  Have you guys seen Willow? Did she come by here?

Cordelia:  Why? Do you need to attack her with the stick? Jeez!

Buffy turns and goes.

Cordelia:  (to her groupies) Excuse me, I have to call *everyone* I have *ever* met, right now.

Cut to the main floor. Giles catches up with Buffy.

Giles:  That *was* quick. Well done! I-I need to go to the library. This Harvest thing...

Buffy:  I didn't find them!

He grabs Buffy by the arm and turns her to face him.

Giles:  The vampire is not dead?

Buffy:  No, but my social life is on the critical list.

Giles:  (lets go of her) So, what do we do?

Buffy:  I'll take care of it!

Giles:  I-I-I need to come with you, yes?

Buffy:  Don't worry. One vampire I can handle.

She leaves, walking past Jesse talking to Darla.

Jesse:  So, um, what did you say your name was?

Darla:  Darla.

Jesse:  Darla. You know, I haven't seen you around before. Are you from around here?

Darla:  No, but I have family here.

Jesse:  Have I met them?

Darla:  You probably will.

Cut to the Master's lair. The Master rises out of the pool of blood as Luke kneels and looks on. He steps out of the pool over to Luke and offers his hand. Luke takes it.

Luke:  Master!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

In the Master's lair.

Master:  I am weak.

Luke:  (quotes scripture) 'In the Harvest, he will be restored.'

Master:  The Harvest.

Luke:  We're almost there. Soon you'll be free!

The Master reaches his arm out to test his mystical confines.

Master:  I must be ready. I need my strength.

Luke:  I've sent your servants to bring you some food.

Master:  Good. Luke?

Luke:  Yes?

Master:  Bring me something... young.

Cut to the sidewalk next to the cemetery. Willow and Thomas are walking.

Willow:  Sure is dark.

Thomas:  It's night.

Willow:  Well, that's a dark time, night. Traditionally. I still can't believe I've never seen you at school. Do you have Mr. Chomsky for history?

Thomas ignores her babbling and heads into the cemetery.

Willow:  Uh, the ice cream bar is this way. It's past Hamilton Street?

Thomas:  I know a shortcut.

He grabs her hand and leads her into the cemetery.

Cut to outside the Bronze. Buffy is trying to find Willow.

Xander:  Hey, you're leaving already?

Buffy:  Oh, Xander! Have you seen Willow?

Xander:  Not tonight, no.

Buffy:  She left with a guy.

Xander:  We're talking about Willow, right? Scorin' at the Bronze, work it girl--

Buffy:  (interrupts) No, I need to find her. Where would he take her?

Xander:  Why? Oh, hey, I hope he's not a vampire, because then you might have to slay him.

Buffy:  (taken aback) Was there a-a school bulletin? Was it i-in the newspaper? Is there anyone in this town who doesn't know I'm the Slayer?

Xander:  No. I only know that you *think* that you're the Slayer, and the reason why I know that--

Buffy:  (interrupts) Well, whatever, it doesn't matter, just tell me, where would Willow go?

Xander:  You're serious!

Buffy:  We don't find her and there's gonna be one more dead body in the morning!

Cut to the cemetery. Willow and Thomas are walking.

Willow:  Oh, okay, th-this is nice... and scary. Are you sure this is faster?

They reach the mausoleum.

Thomas:  Hey! Ever been in one of these?

Willow:  No. Thank you. (turns away)

Thomas:  Come on. (comes up behind her and pulls her hair back) What are you afraid of?

He moves in toward her neck. She lets out a yelp as he grabs her and pushes her into the mausoleum. Cut to inside the mausoleum. Willow trips down the stairs and stops up against the stone coffin. She turns around.

Willow:  That wasn't funny!

Thomas comes down the steps. She backs away from him, against a wall. She trips over some stones.

Willow:  I think I'm gonna go.

Thomas:  Is that what you think?

He comes toward her again. She skirts by him, but only because he lets her. Darla blocks her way out of the mausoleum.

Darla:  Is this the best you could do?

Thomas:  She's fresh!

Darla:  Hardly enough to share.

Thomas:  Why didn't you bring your own?

Darla:  (gives him a look) I did.

Jesse stumbles into the mausoleum, holding his neck.

Jesse:  Hey! Wait up!

Willow:  Oh, my God, Jesse!

He is weak from blood loss and collapses. Willow tries to catch him and breaks his fall.

Jesse:  Y'know, you gave me a hickey.

Thomas gives Darla a look.

Darla:  (shrugs) I got hungry on the way.

Willow:  Jesse, let's get outta here!

Darla:  Oh, you're not going anywhere.

Willow:  (confronts her) Leave us alone!

Darla:  You're not going anywhere until we've (vamps out) *fed*!

Willow screams and falls back down next to Jesse. Buffy and Xander show up.

Buffy:  Well, this is nice. I-it's a little bare, but a dash of paint, a few throw pillows... call it home!

Buffy moves behind the coffin to draw the vampires away from the others.

Darla:  Who the hell are you?

Buffy:  You mean there's actually someone in this town who doesn't know already? Whew, that's a relief, I'm telling you! Having a secret identity in this town is a job of work.

Xander:  Buffy, we bail now, right?

Thomas:  Not yet!

Buffy:  Okay, first of all, what's with the outfit? Live in the now, okay? You look like DeBarge!

The vampires close in on her. She turns to Darla.

Buffy:  Now, we can do this the hard way, or... well, actually there's just the hard way.

Darla:  That's fine with me!

Buffy:  Are you sure? Now, this is not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content...

Thomas roars behind Buffy. She pulls the chair leg out from inside her shirt. He attacks from behind, but Buffy neatly jams the makeshift stake into his chest. He falls back and turns to ashes. Darla can't believe her eyes. Neither can anyone else.

Buffy:  See what happens when you roughhouse?

Darla:  He was young and stupid!

Buffy:  Xander, go!

Darla:  Don't go far!

Buffy and Darla start to fight. Darla punches high, but Buffy blocks. Xander helps Willow pick up Jesse. Darla throws a backhand punch, but Buffy blocks again and follows up with a front snap kick to Darla's stomach. As she leans forward from the pain, Buffy slams her elbow into Darla's back. Cut to outside. Xander and Willow help Jesse out and they start to run. Cut to the mausoleum. Darla hits the wall and falls to the floor, winded.

Buffy:  You know, I just wanted to start over. Be like everybody else. Have some friends, y'know, maybe a dog... But, no, you had to come here, you couldn't go suck on some other town.

Darla:  Who are you?

Buffy:  Don't you know?

Luke grabs her by the neck from behind.

Luke:  I don't care!

He throws her across the room. He grabs Darla and lifts her to her feet.

Luke:  You were supposed to be bringing an offering for the Master! We're almost at Harvest, and you dally with this child!

Darla:  (fearfully) We had someone, but then she came. She killed Thomas. Luke, she's strong.

Luke:  You go. I'll see if I can handle the little girl.

He approaches Buffy as she starts to get up, still a little dazed. Darla quickly climbs the steps, looks back once and runs out of the door. Luke attacks Buffy with a double punch, but she blocks it and delivers a punch to his gut and a hopping front snap kick to his jaw. He steps back, but isn't fazed.

Luke:  You're strong.

He lands a solid backhand fist on her. She goes flying.

Luke:  I'm stronger!

Cut to outside in the cemetery. Xander and Willow are supporting Jesse as they run.

Willow:  We'll get the police, it's just a few blocks up!

They are stopped by a group of vampires. Cut to the mausoleum.

Luke:  You're wasting my time.

She backs away up the stairs toward the exit.

Buffy:  Hey, I had other plans, too, okay?

Luke shoves the heavy lid off of the coffin. Buffy does a cartwheel onto and over it to avoid it and kicks Luke in the chest with both feet, knocking him down. She grabs the stake from the floor and lunges at Luke, but he is too quick for her, and grabs her by the wrist.

Luke:  You think you can stop me? Stop us?

He grabs the stake with his other hand and breaks it. Then he grabs her by the shirt.

Luke:  You have no idea what you're dealing with.

He throws Buffy onto the rim of the now open coffin. She rolls off onto the floor, dazed. Luke gets up and starts toward her, quoting scripture.

Luke:  'And like a plague of boils, the race of man covered the Earth.'

Cut to the library. Giles is paging through an old volume and stops on a picture of Satan with lightning coming from his hand to a man's.

Luke:  'But on the third day of the newest light would come the Harvest. And the blood of men will flow as wine.'

Cut to the Master sitting in an intricately carved chair.

Luke:  'When the Master will walk among them once more.'

Cut to Xander, Willow and Jesse surrounded by vampires, including Darla.

Luke:  'The Earth will belong to the old ones.'

Cut to Buffy. Luke is in her face.

Luke:  'And Hell itself will come to town.'

He grabs Buffy and growls. He lifts her by the throat and throws her toward the coffin. Buffy flips over in a front layout and lands in the coffin next to a skeleton, and lets out a quick scream, but then remains silent, only breathing. She can't see or hear Luke. She slowly starts to get up. Suddenly Luke jumps up and into the coffin.

Luke:  (smiling widely) Amen!

He moves in to bite Buffy.

To Be Continued...