BUFFY: I've been going out a lot.
Various shots of Buffy fighting and killing vampires.
GILES VOICEOVER: Previously on BTVS...
BUFFY VOICEOVER: That's ... what Dracula called it. And he was right.
Shot of Buffy talking to Giles.
BUFFY: He understood my power better than I do. He saw darkness in it.
Shot of Giles looking concerned.
BUFFY: I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other slayers. I need you to be my Watcher again.
Shot of Xander in Dracula's castle.
XANDER: Dammit! You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt-monkey!
Shot of Buffy walking into a room in Joyce's house, seeing Dawn.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: What are you *doing* here?
Shot of Dawn looking annoyed.
Shot of Joyce in her room, calling out.
JOYCE: Buffy? If you're going out, why don't you take your sister?
Shot of Buffy and Dawn looking annoyed in Joyce's direction.
Buffy and Dawn (in unison): Mom!
Episode begins with a black screen.
GILES VOICEOVER: There is nothing but you.
Head-shot of Buffy with her eyes closed. Quiet, meditative music begins.
GILES VOICEOVER: You are the center. And within you, there is the core of your being ... of what you are.
Shot of Giles walking in a circle around Buffy.
GILES: Find it ... breathe into it.
We see Buffy wearing a tank-top and pants, leaning over a short pedestal with both her hands on it. Giles walks in front of her.
GILES VOICEOVER: Focus inward. Let the world fall away ... fall away ... fall away....
The camera zooms in on Buffy's face as Giles repeats "fall away." She opens her eyes. Buffy leans forward and goes into a handstand, balancing on her hands on the pedestal. The pedestal is about two feet high and four inches square. We see exercise mats underneath it and a vault in the background. Giles is still walking circles around Buffy, staring at her.
Shot of a large flat crystal with three smaller crystals standing on end atop it.
Shot of Giles watching Buffy.
Closeup of Buffy's face, eyes closed again. She begins to remove one hand from the pedestal.
Slow-motion shot of Buffy bringing one arm out parallel to the floor, so she is balancing on the other hand. Giles still walking around her, watching. The music continues. Buffy's face looks very peaceful.
Shot of the crystals. A hand appears and tries to balance a fourth crystal on top of the three standing ones, but it's clumsy and all the crystals fall over with a clunk.
Buffy's eyes pop open, she loses her concentration and crashes to the floor with a cry. Giles starts toward her in alarm, sees she's all right. He then looks in a different direction, pulling off his glasses in an angry motion.
Shot of the ceiling from Buffy's point of view. Dawn's face emerges into the shot.
DAWN: Can we go now?
Shot of Buffy looking annoyed.
Wolf howl. Opening credits.
Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn) is now listed with the regular cast members, after Emma Caulfield and before James Marsters.
Guest starring Mercedes McNab, Bob Morrisey, Amber Benson as Tara, and Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers. Written by David Fury, directed by David Grossman.
Fade in on a hanging mobile of fish. The camera pans across a bedroom.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Nobody knows who I am. Not the real me. It's like, nobody cares enough to find out. I mean, does anyone ever ask *me* what I want to do with my life? Or what my opinion is on stuff? Or what restaurant to order in from?
We see Dawn sitting on a bed, wearing pajamas, writing in a diary. There's a huge pile of stuffed animals on the bed with her.
DAWN VOICEOVER: No. Underline. Exclamation point.
We see her underlining the word and drawing the exclamation point. She ponders for a moment and then violently draws a few more, stabbing at the paper with her pen.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Exclamation point, exclamation point. (pause) No one understands. No one has an older sister who's a slayer.
Shot of Buffy opening the refrigerator and taking out a carton of milk.
DAWN VOICEOVER: People wouldn't be so crazy about her if they had to live in the same house with her every single day. Everybody cares what she thinks. Just 'cause she can do backflips and stuff.
Buffy sniffs the milk and puts it on the counter. In the background we see Joyce drinking coffee and Dawn opening a cabinet to get out a box of cereal. Buffy picks up a banana from a bowl of fruit, turns away.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Like that's *such* a crucial job skill in the real world.
As Buffy moves to the background of the shot to get a bowl, Joyce and Dawn move to the foreground. Joyce pours milk into her coffee cup. Dawn opens the cereal box and sits down.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Plus Mom lets her get away with everything. "Your sister's saving the world."
Joyce moves to the background again as Buffy returns with a bowl, which she places on the counter, moving the milk carton aside. She picks up the banana again and turns away, peeling it. Dawn takes Buffy's bowl and pours cereal into it.
DAWN VOICEOVER: *I* could so save the world if somebody handed me super powers...
Dawn turns away from the table as Buffy returns with a knife, prepared to slice the banana into her bowl, but finds the bowl missing. She sees it sitting at Dawn's spot full of cereal, and makes an irritated face.
DAWN VOICEOVER: ...but I'd think of a cool name and wear a mask to protect my loved ones, which Buffy doesn't even.
Dawn returns with a spoon, wearing an innocent expression. Buffy turns away to get another bowl, and Dawn picks up the carton of milk. She empties it into her bowl and sits down to eat.
DAWN VOICEOVER: If this town wasn't so lame everyone would completely know what she does. And then I bet they wouldn't even be that impressed, because like, killing things with wood? Oh, scary vampires, they die from a splinter.
Buffy returns with another bowl, reaches across Dawn for the cereal box, pours it into her bowl, picks up the milk carton and finds it empty. Dawn continues eating, pretending not to notice.
JOYCE: So Buffy, what are your plans today?
Buffy continues giving Dawn a dirty look for a moment, then looks away.
BUFFY: Oh, actually, Giles and I are gonna go to the magic shop for supplies for my new and improved training sessions.
JOYCE: Oh, that's great.
BUFFY: (walking to sink, then to fridge) Oh, yeah, I'm actually-
JOYCE: (interrupts) You can take Dawn shopping for back to school supplies.
Dawn puts down her spoon and turns around, preparing to argue.
DAWN: Mom, I-I thought you were taking me.
JOYCE: Well, honey, I've got the Gurion showing tonight, and there's so much to do to get the gallery ready. (Turns to leave kitchen.)
BUFFY: No, but, see, Mom --
Buffy and Dawn run after Joyce as she walks to the living room.
BUFFY: That doesn't really work for me. We're just going to the magic shop. No school supplies there.
DAWN: Yeah, Mom, I'm not going to Hogwarts. (She giggles at her own joke till she notices Buffy looking annoyed and confused.) Geez, crack a book sometime.
JOYCE: Look, I'm sure Giles doesn't mind dropping you and your sister off at the mall afterwards.
BUFFY: Actually, he does mind. This is supposed to be quality Watcher/slayer time. I told you, she completely ruined my training yesterday.
DAWN: Did not!
BUFFY: Oh, you know you did too.
JOYCE: Buffy. I realize the importance of your new slayer thing, but-
Knock on door.
JOYCE: -I could really use your help.
She walks past the two girls, both sighing and rolling their eyes in annoyance. They glare at each other as Joyce opens the door and Riley comes in.
RILEY: Morning, Mrs. Summers. You look great.
JOYCE: Oh, thank you, Riley. (Exits)
Buffy goes over to Riley.
BUFFY: Suck up.
RILEY: What? It's a nice outfit.
Dawn pretends not to be watching them.
RILEY: Besides, "I'm here to violate your firstborn" never goes over with parents. Not sure why.
He and Buffy smooch.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Riley, my sister's boyfriend, is *so* into her. They're always kissing ... and groping. I bet they have sex!
Riley stops kissing Buffy and looks at Dawn.
RILEY: Hey, kid.
DAWN: I'm not a kid.
She walks off as Buffy & Riley move into the living room.
BUFFY: Well, this is a surprise of the nicest kind.
RILEY: Now it's my turn to be surprised. I thought we had plans today.
They sit on the sofa.
BUFFY: Plans? We planned plans?
RILEY: Well, you said, uh, "come over tomorrow and we'll hang," and then I said, "OK." Not the invasion of Normandy, but still a plan.
Buffy nods in resignation.
RILEY: (studying her expression) We're not hangin' today, are we?
BUFFY: Giles is on his way to pick me up.
RILEY: Oh, slayer training.
BUFFY: Slayer shopping, actually, but equally as important.
RILEY: I have no doubt. Okay, well, we'll hook up later. (Starts to get up)
BUFFY: Are you mad at me?
RILEY: Oh, no, not at all. I'm plotting your death, but in a happy way. (Smiles)
RILEY: Look, Buffy, I know what this means to you. I think it's great that you've got this new mission. I'll see you tonight.
(Smooch. Riley gets up.)
RILEY: Bye. (calling) See ya, kid!
DAWN: (OS) I'm not a kid!
Cut to a shot of a bright red convertible driving down the street. Giles is at the wheel, Buffy beside him and Dawn in the back. Classical music plays on the radio.
GILES: Well, I sympathize with you, Buffy, I truly do. But I'm certain that Riley understands better than anyone else the importance of training. You can't allow personal concerns to distract you from- (Dawn reaches between them to change the radio station) Dawn, will you stop fiddling with the radio and sit down?
Dawn sits back, looking exasperated. The radio plays classical music.
DAWN VOICEOVER: I don't think Buffy's Watcher likes me too much.
Shot of Dawn back in her room, writing in her diary.
DAWN VOICEOVER: I think it's 'cause he's just so ... old. I'm not sure how old he is, but I heard him use the word "newfangled" one time. So he's gotta be pretty far gone.
Cut back to Dawn fidgeting in the backseat of the car.
BUFFY: (studying a piece of paper) There's a lot of books on this list. Any of them come on tape? You know, read by George Clooney or someone cute like that?
GILES: You're entering a new realm here, Buffy. One for which I myself am not entirely prepared. Are you ready for this commitment?
BUFFY: I'm just kidding! Hey, this Betty's ready. Color me committed.
The car engine races as Giles tries to shift.
BUFFY: You put it in neutral again, huh?
GILES: I'm just not used to this automatic transmission. I-I loathe this sitting here, not contributing.
Shot of Dawn looking surprised.
GILES: No, i-it's not working out.
BUFFY: Giles, are you breaking up with your car?
GILES: Well, it did seduce me, all red and sporty!
BUFFY: Little two-door tramp.
Giles gives her a sour look.
GILES: I-I-I don't know, I just - I was so at loose ends, I-I found myself searching for ... some way of feeling more...
GILES: Perhaps, as I am to act as your Watcher again, a modicum of respect might be in order.
BUFFY: Do I have to?
GILES: I'm serious, Buffy, there's going to be far less time for the sort of flighty, frivolous-
DAWN: (pointing) Hey, there's Willow and Tara!
GILES: Ooh, they haven't seen my new car.
He pulls over. Buffy rolls her eyes at him. We see Willow and Tara coming out of the coffee shop.
WILLOW: Hey Giles, sharp wheels!
TARA: The rest of the car's nice too.
Everyone gets out of the car.
GILES: Handles like a dream.
BUFFY: Where are you guys heading?
WILLOW: Magic shop. I have some charms on back order.
DAWN: (smiling) Willow, hi.
WILLOW: Hey Dawny! (They hug) How's my favorite chess partner? Still leading with your knight?
Dawn shrugs in embarrassment.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Willow's the awesomest person.
Cut back to Dawn in pajamas, now lying on her bed writing in the diary with a smile.
DAWN VOICEOVER: She's the only one I know who likes school as much as me.
Cut back to the street. Dawn smiles at Willow, then the camera pans over to Tara.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Even her friends are cool!
Tara smiles and gives a little wave.
TARA: Hey Dawn.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Like Tara. (Cut back to Dawn in the bedroom) She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told Mom one time I wished they'd teach me some of the things they do together. A-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. (She pauses in her writing and looks puzzled.) Huh. I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft.
Cut back to the street. Dawn and Tara are walking side-by-side, with Giles ahead of them and Buffy and Willow in the lead.
BUFFY: So Giles and I worked out a whole schedule around school. A block of time every day just to focus on my new slayer training.
WILLOW: That's a work ethic! Buffy, you're developing a work ethic.
BUFFY: Oh, no. Do they make an ointment for that?
WILLOW: People gotta respect a solid work ethic. Look at you, motivated Buffy. Eager to soak up learning. Oh, you and I are gonna have so much fun this semester.
BUFFY: (stops walking, and so do the rest of them) Yeah, that reminds me. With the whole new training schedule, I kinda had to drop a class.
WILLOW: That's understandable. Your slayer studies are way more important.
BUFFY: So I won't be taking drama with you.
In the background we see Tara and Dawn peering in the windows of the magic shop.
WILLOW: What? You have to, you promised!
BUFFY: Well, I know, but Giles said that it just was- (gesturing to Giles who's behind her, looking in the opposite direction)
WILLOW: The hell with Giles. (Giles turns in surprise)
GILES: I can hear you, Willow.
WILLOW: Drama is just Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You can blow off training Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, can't you?
BUFFY: What happened to "people gotta respect a work ethic"?
WILLOW: Other people, not me! There's a whole best friend loophole.
TARA: (calling to them) Shop's kinda dark. Maybe it's closed.
GILES: That's odd.
Everyone looks bemused and walks toward the magic shop.
Cut to interior of the magic shop as Giles opens the door and walks in. It's dark and the furniture is overturned. Giles and Buffy walk in slowly, followed by the others, all looking around.
BUFFY: Well, I think "odd" just got upped to "bad."
GILES: (calling) Hello? Anyone here?
TARA: Mr. Bogarty?
Everyone looks at Tara.
TARA: The owner. I-I come in here a lot.
Willow advances farther into the store.
WILLOW: Well, maybe this happened ... really late at night when nobody was...
She trips over something and falls to the floor.
Tara comes forward.
WILLOW: I'm fine, I - I just tripped over...
She sits up and sees the body. He's lying face-up and we can see vampire bite marks on his neck.
WILLOW: Mr. Bogarty.
DAWN: (behind Buffy and Giles) Wha-what is it, is he okay?
She tries to move forward but Buffy pushes her back.
BUFFY: It's nothing you need to see, Dawn, go wait outside.
Buffy hustles her toward the door with a hand on Dawn's elbow.
DAWN: I don't wanna wait outside!
DAWN: Ow, that hurt! (Buffy pushes her out the door onto the street) You're hurting me. I'm telling.
BUFFY: Look, I don't have time for this. Just do as I say and wait.
She starts off, then turns back.
Buffy goes back inside. Dawn sighs in annoyance, walks around a little, then goes back and peers between the blinds. Inside the shop she can see Buffy, Tara and Willow standing around as Giles kneels beside the body.
GUY: Whatcha doin'?
Dawn turns with a gasp. A scruffy older man is standing there, unshaven, his tie loose.
GUY: What are you doing here? You can't loiter. There's no loitering.
He advances on Dawn as she backs up, scared.
GUY: That's why I'm a cat. Quiet. See, cat's in the cupboard (making cat-scratching gestures with his hands) but they find you there anyway, and it hurts.
Dawn has backed up against a van. She looks around, scared.
GUY: (sobbing) Please, make it stop. (in a different tone) Shut up, shut up, they'll hear you!
DAWN: (tries to call out) Buff- (Shrieks as the guy puts his finger on her lips)
GUY: I know you. Curds and whey. (Dawn looks shocked) I know what you are. (slowly and ominously) You ... don't ... belong ... here.
Dawn shakes her head, looks on the verge of tears. Blackout.
Cut in on the outer door to the magic shop. It opens and Tara comes out. She looks around.
She walks out a little farther, looking around.
She looks down and sees Dawn sitting on the ground, leaning against a building.
TARA: Dawn. You okay?
DAWN: Is ... Is that guy dead in there?
She sits down next to Dawn.
TARA: They're gonna be a little while longer, doing the detective thing. Best non-scoobies like you and me stay out of the way.
Dawn nods. They sit silently for a few moments.
TARA: Do you wanna thumb-wrestle?
Dawn nods again.
They lock their hands together and begin to thumb-wrestle.
Cut to a shot of the dead guy lying face-up. Giles' hands reach over and close his eyes.
BUFFY: Judging by the bite-fest, I'd say it was more than one vampire.
GILES: (standing up) I make it four at least.
BUFFY: Looks like someone's put together a new fang club. (Walks to the counter. Willow is behind it, holding a book.)
WILLOW: Well, I've cross-checked the inventory list, and things are definitely missing. (puts inventory book on the counter) Mostly books. Including A Treatise on the Mythology and Methodology of the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy pulls out her list as Giles picks up the inventory book.
BUFFY: Oh, shoot! Was that the only copy?
GILES: Come on, Buffy, this could be very serious. Whoever's leading this pack of vampires appears to be interested in learning more about you. Perhaps searching for weaknesses or ... good lord.
GILES: Well, I had no idea the profit margins on a shop like this were so high.
Buffy and Willow exchange a look.
GILES: Look at this! Uh, low overhead, out-of-state orders, international - it's no wonder there's never any trouble attracting new owners. (Looking around) A place like this is a virtual-
GILES: What? Well, uh, yes, there is that. But, uh, still... (puts book down and looks around some more) Location, pedestrian traffic...
WILLOW: So what's the next step?
GILES: (still gazing around) Buffy, you should begin looking for their lair straight away.
BUFFY: I'll get Riley to help me patrol.
WILLOW: Wait, aren't you forgetting something?
GILES: Impressive square footage...
He walks off as Buffy gives Willow a questioning look
WILLOW: You're on Dawn duty.
Buffy looks annoyed.
BUFFY: Oh, duty. I gotta drop my sister back home. (eyes widening) My mother's gonna *kill* me.
GILES: (wandering back into view) I bet the death rate keeps the rent down. (pauses) Oh, hello. Something's been taken from this case, look here.
He goes over to a case where the glass has been knocked out.
BUFFY: What'd they take?
Willow looks in the inventory book.
GILES: I should think an item of, of value, or-or power, possibly even a-
WILLOW: A unicorn. 10-inch ceramic unicorn imported from Thailand.
BUFFY: Was it valuable?
Giles stares in puzzlement at the empty case.
WILLOW: (OS) List price, $12.95.
GILES: Which begs the question, what kind of an unholy creature fancies cheap tasteless statuary?
Cut to head shot of Harmony.
HARMONY: Okay, hi. First of all, I wanna thank everybody for a really successful raid on the magic shop last night. (applauding) Good job, minions!
We see Harmony in the underground lair, wearing a skimpy black top and shiny gold pants. Four male vampires are standing around. They applaud along with her, a little uncertainly. They are Brad, Cyrus, Peaches, and Mort. Mort is very tall and large, whereas the others are fairly average-sized.
HARMONY: Yes, you deserve it. Secondly... (turns away to reach for something) somebody remembered to pick me up the sweetest little unicorn! (Holds up the ceramic unicorn and smiles at Brad. The other vamps stare at him.)
BRAD: (whispering to other vamps) What?
HARMONY: Brad, guess someone was feeling guilty for standing me up in the tenth grade. (Admiring the unicorn)
BRAD: (to other vamps) I, I had to get her something. She sired me.
Peaches: (to Cyrus) Sire-whipped.
We see Mort adding the unicorn to a large collection of other unicorn statues sitting on a table.
HARMONY: Anyway, the books you guys brought me to help with the plan? Well, I've been skimming through the book jackets all morning, and let me tell you, there's some pretty useful stuff in there, so-
Cyrus raises his hand.
HARMONY: Yes, uh ... sorry, forgot your name.
HARMONY: Cyrus, huh, right. Peaches' friend. (Peaches nods) What's your question?
CYRUS: When are we gonna do it?
HARMONY: Eww! That's rude! I barely know you! (Cyrus looks sideways at the other vamps in confusion) Uch, and you're a minion!
MORT: He means the plan! When are we gonna do the plan?
HARMONY: Ohhh! The plan! (laughs in embarrassment) Ah, well, first lemme tell you I'm really psyched about it and I hope the rest of you guys-
MORT: (yelling) When?!
HARMONY: (yelling) Tonight! (more calmly) We kill the slayer ... tonight. (Smiles in self-satisfaction.)
The other vamps grin and nod at each other.
Cut to Dawn sitting on her bed holding her diary, wearing the same clothes she was wearing at the magic shop.
JOYCE VOICEOVER: So not only didn't you take your sister shopping for school supplies-
Dawn listens in. Cut to Joyce's bedroom. While Buffy and Joyce argue, Joyce walks back and forth getting dressed and putting on jewelry.
JOYCE: -you brought her to a murder scene.
BUFFY: No, I didn't bring her to it, it ... just ... sorta came upon us. It's not like she saw the body or anything.
JOYCE: Oh, well. That makes it all right then, doesn't it?
BUFFY: No, that is not what I meant.
JOYCE: I asked one favor of you, Buffy. To look after your sister. And now you want to unload her, so you and Riley can go out.
BUFFY: To patrol. I'm working, it's not like I wanna go to the sock hop.
JOYCE: I have to be at the pre-show reception in half an hour. Who's gonna watch Dawn?
DAWN: (OS, calling from her room) I don't need anyone to watch me!
BUFFY and JOYCE: (unison) Yes you do!
Joyce walks into the bathroom.
BUFFY: Wait. So what you're saying is if I can get an acceptable babysitter here before you leave, I can go patrol?
DAWN: (OS) Babysitter? I'm fourteen! I'm old enough to *be* a babysitter!
JOYCE: And who are you gonna get on such short notice?
DAWN: (OS) I can take care of myself!
BUFFY: (suddenly realizing) Xander.
Sound of running footsteps. Joyce and Buffy look up as Dawn appears in the doorway.
Cut to Dawn running up to the front door, pausing to fix her hair. She's wearing a tight short dress. She opens the door. Xander stands there holding a pizza.
XANDER: Dawn patrol.
DAWN: (smiling) Hey.
XANDER: Check this out, they put cheese on round bread. It's gonna be big.
He comes in. Dawn watches him with a smile as Joyce appears, putting on a jacket. We see her and Xander talking, but we only hear Dawn's voiceover.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Xander is so much cuter than anyone. And smarter too. He totally skipped college and got a job working construction. Which is so kind of ... deep, you know? He builds things. And he's brave too.
Cut to Dawn in her pajamas, lying on the bed and writing in her diary.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Just last week he went undercover to stop that Dracula guy.
Cut back to downstairs as Joyce gives Xander her card.
XANDER: Have fun. Not too much fun, though. (Although we can hear this line and it sounds like Xander's voice, we see his face, and it's clear that his lips aren't moving.)
JOYCE: Dawn, be good. (Kisses Dawn goodbye)
XANDER: Oh, we will. We're just gonna play with matches, run with scissors, take candy from ... some guy ... I don't know his name. (Winks at Dawn. Joyce leaves, and Dawn, smiling at Xander, starts to shut the door.)
DAWN VOICEOVER: Xander treats everyone like an equal. He doesn't look down on people.
Anya appears in the doorway, preventing Dawn from closing the door. Anya carries a stack of board-game boxes.
ANYA: Hello there, little girl.
Dawn's happy expression turns to one of dismay.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Even when he should.
ANYA: (talking as if to a very small child) We are gonna have fun, fun, fun. Look, I've got Monopoly, Clue, and ooh, the Game of Life! That sounds good!
Dawn looks upset. She closes the door.
TARA: (OS) Poor Dawn.
Cut to Tara looking at herself in a mirror, which is above a sink with a towel rack beside it.
TARA: She was pretty shaken up.
WILLOW: Well, sure. Bloody death and stuff.
The camera pans out and we see they are in a dorm room, unpacking. Willow goes to hang a painting while Tara is unpacking bathroom stuff from a box.
WILLOW: She'll be okay.
TARA: It's just ... I, I think it's tough for her, not being able to ... well, allowed to, you know, help.
Willow tries the painting in a few places, then puts it atop a bureau and begins unpacking another box.
TARA: Oh, you. You guys. The slayer circle.
WILLOW: Well, Buffy doesn't really need ... a-and I think Dawn's a little young.
TARA: I-I know, you're right. It's just hard. That outsider feeling.
Willow looks over at her.
WILLOW: Tara ... you're not an outsider.
TARA: Well, yeah. I kinda am.
WILLOW: (walking toward her) No, you're not.
TARA: Willow, it's okay. Where does this go?
WILLOW: Somebody making you feel uncomfortable? Is it Xander? It's Xander, isn't it?
TARA: No, Xander's a sweetie.
WILLOW: It's Giles! It's 'cause he's ... British and doesn't understand about stuff.
TARA: It's no one. (Continues taking stuff out of the box) You guys all just have this really tight bond. It's-it's hard to break into that. And I'm not even sure I want to.
Willow walks up behind Tara and puts her arms around Tara's waist, resting her chin on Tara's shoulder.
WILLOW: I'm sure.
Tara puts her hands over Willow's.
WILLOW: You're completely one of the gang now. Everyone accepts that.
Closeup of their faces as they both smile.
WILLOW: You're one of the good guys.
Tara's smile disappears and she pulls away, disengaging herself from Willow's embrace. Willow doesn't notice her expression.
WILLOW: Maybe I can talk to the rest of the group and we can do something, some kind of scooby initiation. (They both return to what they were doing) Oh! Maybe we could wear some kind of special ring that identifies us as members.
TARA: I don't think so. But maybe something like that would be nice for Dawn. I do worry about her sometimes.
WILLOW: You don't have to. She's got big sister Buffy happily looking out for her.
Cut to Buffy and Riley walking through a graveyard.
BUFFY: So then my mom goes off on me about how I'm supposed to watch out for Dawn and make sure that she's shielded from something that might upset her.
RILEY: Like dead shopkeepers.
BUFFY: She didn't see him! A foot, maybe. A dead foot, which is bad, okay, but hello, I see dead stuff *all* the time, and you don't see Mom shielding me.
RILEY: So you want your mother to give you space to be a slayer, and shield you from it at the same time.
BUFFY: Thank you, logic boy. Did I mention this is a rant? Sense really has no place in it.
RILEY: I'm getting that. (sighs) What's the deal, Buffy? You seem really-
Buffy stops him by putting out a hand. She stops walking and looks intently to her right.
BUFFY: Oh, trash can. From a distance it looked kinda-
BUFFY: Nooo, I-I was gonna say brown, squat, shadowy...
RILEY: Uh-uh. Back to what I was saying before we were rudely attacked by nothing. You seem really tense.
BUFFY: (shrugs) Yeah, there's a new vampire gang in town.
RILEY: I mean domestically tense. You're on Dawn's case a lot.
BUFFY: I guess. It's just... (sighs) I don't know, it ... I know it's always been this way. She's the baby. But for some reason lately, it's just really getting to me. She's *always* around.
RILEY: Well, yeah. You're like her idol, Buffy.
BUFFY: Her idol? I don't think so, unless you like to spill things on your idol's new leather pants, and-
RILEY: You know what I mean. You have super powers ... and college ... a studly yet sensitive boyfriend...
BUFFY: And a pesky life-or-death job that I can't quit or even take a break from.
RILEY: She doesn't get the sacrifices. She's a kid.
BUFFY: And that's what bugs. *She* gets to be a kid, and she acts like it's the biggest burden in the world. Sometimes *I* would like to just curl up in Mom's lap and not worry about the fate of the world. I'd like to be the one who's protected, who's waited on-
Cut to Joyce's house.
DAWN: -hand and foot, getting her own way. Always the favorite.
We see that they're playing the Game of Life around a low table in the living room, surrounded by various junk food. Dawn is eating a bowl of ice cream.
XANDER: You nut. Your mom loves you both equally. But if I'm wrong, I find money usually helps tip the scale. Slip Joyce a 10 or a 20 once in a while. Then we'll see who's the favorite.
DAWN VOICEOVER: He says I'm like a kid sister...
XANDER: (looking at the game board) Here comes the judge!
DAWN VOICEOVER: ...but sometimes when he looks at me, I feel like he sees me as I am...
Xander gives Dawn a big goofy grin.
DAWN VOICEOVER: ...as a woman.
We see that Dawn has chocolate ice cream smeared all over her face.
ANYA: Oh, crap. (slaps down her cards) Look at this! Now I'm burdened with a husband and several tiny pink children, more cash than I can reasonably manage...
XANDER: That means you're winning.
XANDER: Yes. Cash equals good.
ANYA: Ooh! (claps her hands in excitement) I'm so pleased. (Scoops up the plastic markers that represent children) Can I trade in the children for more cash?
Dawn gives her a disgusted look.
Suddenly something smashes in the window, showering them with broken glass. They all duck behind the table. Dawn shrieks. Xander gets up and goes to see what it was. Anya follows. Xander picks up a rock with a note tied around it. He unties the string, hands the rock to Anya, and reads the note. Dawn stays on the floor watching.
XANDER: "Slayer, come out and die."
We see the note, written in large letters. The "i" in "die" is dotted with a smiley-face.
HARMONY: (OS) I'm waiting for you, Buffy!
Xander goes over to the hole in the window and peeks out. He sees Harmony, surrounded by her four minions, who carry weapons. Harmony looks annoyed.
HARMONY: (yells) I know you're in there!
Cut to Xander standing in the doorway, holding the front door open.
HARMONY: (OS) What do you mean, she's not in there?
Xander looks unimpressed.
HARMONY: She has to be. I'm calling her out!
We see Anya and Dawn a few feet behind Xander.
XANDER: Then I bet she'll be real sorry she missed your call. 'Fraid you and your buddies are gonna have to come back and be killed by Buffy later.
HARMONY: (scornful) They're not my buddies. They're my minions.
XANDER: They're ... what now?
HARMONY: Minions! You know, lackeys? They work for me.
Xander looks skeptical. Then he starts laughing.
HARMONY: What's so funny?!
XANDER: Nothing! What could be funny, just "Look out, it's a terrifying Harmony gang, ooh!" (Laughing)
HARMONY: Stop laughing! (Tries to attack him, but she can't go past the doorway. Dawn ducks behind Anya. Xander continues laughing)
XANDER: I just, I just can't picture anyone pathetic enough to be following- (Looks at the minions again and pretends to be shocked) Is that Brad Konig? Huh! Hey Brad, who'd have thought when you were beating up kids in gym class, you'd end up Harmony's lapdog?
BRAD: Screw you, Harris.
HARMONY: You should know all about being somebody's lapdog. I hear you were a good little puppy for Dracula.
Anya and Dawn look insulted on Xander's behalf.
XANDER: You heard wrong.
HARMONY: (laughs) Don't feel bad. I hear that mind-control thing he does works really well on weak fraidy-cat losers. You didn't stand a chance.
DAWN: (still behind Anya) Shut up!
XANDER: Dawn, I'm handling this. Shut up, Harmony!
HARMONY: Make me.
XANDER: Fraid I don't feel like getting into another hair-pulling contest with you.
HARMONY: You're the hair-puller, you big girl!
DAWN: Oh yeah? Come inside and say that! Xander will kick your-
ANYA: Dawn, no!
Xander makes his "uh-oh" face.
Harmony morphs into vampire face and lunges at Xander, shoving him to the floor as Dawn shrieks. Blackout.
Harmony is on top of Xander, holding him down as he struggles. Dawn shrieks and pushes past Anya to run up the stairs. The minions rush to the door but can't enter.
XANDER: The invitation was for one.
The minions snarl. Anya turns and runs into another room.
HARMONY: Not such a pushover any more, am I? (Punches Xander in the face a few times)
ANYA: (running around) Slayer's house have more weapons lying around. (Picks up a lamp)
HARMONY: I've been working out, learning some new tricks, honing my -
She bends to bite Xander as Anya runs up with the lamp. Harmony straightens up and backhands Anya, breaking the lamp and sending Anya flying.
Xander kicks Harmony in the stomach and she flies backward out the front door, crashing into the minions. They all fall down the porch stairs. Xander and Anya rush to close the door and lean against it, looking out at the vampires.
HARMONY: This isn't over, Xander! I'll be back!
XANDER: And we'll be ready for you! Stakes ... crosses ... the whole enchilada.
He and Anya pull their heads away from the windows.
XANDER: Buffy is not going to be happy about this.
Anya shakes her head in agreement.
Cut to Buffy laughing hysterically.
BUFFY: Harmony ... (laughing) Harmony has minions?
We see Buffy and Riley in the kitchen laughing, along with Anya and Xander, who aren't laughing.
XANDER: Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction.
BUFFY: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. (Clear throat and stops laughing) It's just ... Harmony has minions! (Starts laughing again)
XANDER: And Ruffles have ridges. Uh, Buffy, there's actually a more serious side to all this.
BUFFY: I sure hope so, 'cause I'm having trouble breathing. (Giggles, then stops and takes a deep breath) What is it?
XANDER: (nervously, looking at Anya) Well, she did come here to kill you.
Buffy bursts out laughing again. Riley also snickers.
RILEY: (chuckling) Buffy, come on, they have killed once that we know of. She could be a threat to you. (Buffy laughs harder)
ANYA: Especially now that she can enter your house any time she wants.
Buffy stops laughing for real this time.
Xander and Anya fidget.
XANDER: Uh, yeah, actually, she -- Harmony -- kind of happened to sort of get an invite.
BUFFY: You guys can't invite her in. I mean, only someone who lives here can- (The clue hits. Xander nods. Buffy frowns.)
BUFFY: (quietly) Where is she?
ANYA: In her room. Look, I think she's still pretty freaked out.
BUFFY: Dawn! (starts to stomp out. Xander stops her)
XANDER: Buff, it was an accident. She didn't mean it.
BUFFY: Oh, well that just makes it okay then, doesn't it? (Stomps out)
XANDER: (calling after her) No, but believe me, nobody feels worse than her right now.
Cut to Harmony and minions walking through a dark graveyard.
HARMONY: What a total disaster. My first plan! I so wanted it to go well. Plus, I didn't even get to kill stupid Xander Harris! God, that was so embarrassing.
MORT: We'll go back later.
HARMONY: No! It's no good. Buffy's gonna expect us now. The whole surprise is blown.
PEACHES: (to Cyrus) Who're you growling at?
CYRUS: Not me, my stomach. If I don't eat somebody soon, I-I'll get dizzy.
PEACHES: Let's go back to the lair. That census taker may not be empty yet.
BRAD: Not me. This night is young, and I want some action.
A hand taps Brad on the shoulder, and when he turns, it punches him in the face. He goes down. The other three minions turn.
SPIKE: Happy to oblige. Here I thought it was gonna be a slow night. (puffing on a cigarette, sizing up the minions) Step on up, kiddies. Thrashings for all.
The minions start forward.
She emerges from behind Mort. Spike looks surprised.
SPIKE: Well. Hello, Harm.
HARMONY: Spikey. I mean, Spike.
SPIKE: Long time. You look good.
HARMONY: I feel good.
SPIKE: (smirks) I remember.
They both grin.
HARMONY: How've you been?
SPIKE: (shrugs) Not bad. Just got a brand-new telly in my crypt, so...
MORT: (walking up behind Harmony) Why are you talking to him?
HARMONY: It's okay, we used to go steady. (sighs) Spike, Mort. Mort, this is-
MORT: I know who he is. He kills our kind.
HARMONY: Oh yeah! (to Spike)What's up with that?
SPIKE: (shrugs) Bloke's gotta have a hobby, don't he? Piss off, Mort.
Mort growls and steps forward, but Harmony stops him.
HARMONY: Mort, just give us ... a couple minutes, 'kay? (Turns back to Spike) He's really testy. Some of us were thinking of voting him out of the gang. (She and Spike step aside where the minions can't overhear.)
HARMONY: Oh, yeah. I've got my own gang now.
SPIKE: (checking out the minions) Is that what those circus freaks are?
HARMONY: Uh huh. I mean ... shut up! (Spike grins) We're gonna kill the slayer.
SPIKE: Singing my song now, are you? You should pay me royalties for that one, or at least get your own tune.
HARMONY: I'm not gonna make the same mistakes you did. I've been doing my homework, reading books and stuff.
SPIKE: What, Evil for Dummies? (walks around her) Look at you, all puffed up and mighty, thinking you're the new Big Bad. It's, uh ... well, let's face it, it's adorable.
HARMONY: You just can't stand the fact that I'm my own person now. There comes a time in every woman's life when she realizes she needs to take the next step. I've taken it. I've found the real me... and I like her.
Spike moves closer to her during this speech until their faces are inches away.
SPIKE: Hope you'll be very happy together. In the meantime, save slayer slaying for the professionals.
HARMONY: (sighs) You'll see. Buffy'll be dead by sunrise. I've got a plan.
SPIKE: (chuckling) Lemme guess. Snatch one of her friends, use 'em as bait, lead her into a trap. That sort of thing?
HARMONY: (bluffing) No! Much, much better one. (Spike looks skeptical.) I'm not gonna tell you!
SPIKE: Thought as much. Best of luck. Let me know how this arch-villain thing works out for you. (Backs away and walks off)
HARMONY: I'll do that. (shouting after him) And after Buffy is gone? I'm gonna kill everybody in this town that was ever mean to me ... Spike!
Spike waves a hand over his shoulder as he walks off. Harmony sighs, then turns back to the minions.
HARMONY: (smiling) Guys! New plan.
Cut to Buffy laying out a huge array of stakes and crosses on her bed as Riley watches.
RILEY: That's a lot of weapons for somebody you weren't sweating twenty minutes ago.
BUFFY: Well, that was before Dawn gave Harmony a backstage pass to kill us all in our sleep.
XANDER: Buff, I left word with Willow. She'll come do a return engagement of her uninvitation spell. She probably still has the stuff from last week. And bang, boom, you're back in the Fortress of Solitude. All better.
BUFFY: No. Not all better. I mean, it's not like Dawn hasn't grown up in this house knowing all the rules.
Cut to the hallway where we see Dawn listening in.
BUFFY: (OS) Especially the biggie! Numero one-oh. "Do not invite bloodsucking dead people into our house." (Dawn rolls her eyes)
Cut back to the bedroom.
BUFFY: I mean, please. I would never have Harmony over even when she was alive.
XANDER: People slip, Buffy. Your mom did. She invited in the mas- (Catches himself) Dracula. In for coffee.
Buffy and Riley give Xander an odd look.
BUFFY: Well, that was different. I mean, she ... He would ... She was lonely, and, and, and she didn't know he was a vampire. *The* vampire. Meanwhile, Dawn knew exactly what Harmony was and she rolled out the welcome mat for her.
Cut back to Dawn in the hallway.
RILEY: (OS) She's just a kid. (Dawn rolls her eyes)
Cut back to the bedroom.
BUFFY: You know, will everybody please stop saying that? I was just a kid when I met my first vampire, but somehow, I still managed to remember the rules.
RILEY: You had to. It was your job.
BUFFY: (putting on a jacket) No. No, it was common sense. But nobody expects even that much from Dawn, do they? No, she has to be protected and coddled from the big bad world, well you know what? We are doing nothing but turning her into a little idiot who is going to get us all killed.
Cut back to the hallway. Dawn makes an unhappy face.
Cut back to the bedroom. Xander and Riley look displeased, but they don't argue any more.
Cut back to the hallway. Dawn turns and walks away.
Cut back to the bedroom. Buffy sighs and speaks more quietly.
BUFFY: She just has to be more careful. Now, I can't be there to protect her 24 hours a day. I-I just can't.
Cut to Dawn running through the downstairs part of the house, passing by Anya in the kitchen.
ANYA: Hey! Don't!
Dawn runs out the back door and Anya follows.
Dawn stops a few feet outside the door and puts her hands to her face, as if trying not to cry. Anya grabs her shoulder, startling her.
ANYA: What do you think you're doing?
DAWN: Leave me alone.
ANYA: I will after you come back inside the house. (Grabs Dawn and starts shoving her back toward the door.)
DAWN: Let go of me! (breaks free)
ANYA: No, it's not safe out here!
Dawn shrieks as Mort steps from behind a bush, wearing his vamp face.
MORT: You got that right.
He hits Anya, sending her flying back inside, where she falls on the kitchen floor unconscious. Mort grabs Dawn and passes her to the other minions, who herd her away shrieking. Mort pauses to look at Anya lying on the floor, then follows the other minions. Blackout.
Xander, Riley and Buffy come down the stairs and find Anya on the kitchen floor.
Xander and Riley kneel to lift Anya up. Buffy goes to look out the door.
ANYA: (half conscious) Oh, vampires took...
RILEY: This head wound looks bad. We gotta get her to the hospital.
Buffy goes to the phone.
ANYA: (murmuring) They took her...
XANDER: Shh, shh.
BUFFY: Dawn? Wha-what about Dawn?
ANYA: She ran out ... they took her ... vampires...
BUFFY: Oh god. Oh god. Uh, take care of Anya. (Hands the phone to Riley and runs out)
Cut to the underground lair. The minions look a little impatient.
HARMONY: All right, once again, nice work, minionators. I'm really, really proud of you guys. (Mort comes in) Ah, Mort. I trust you made our guest ... comfortable?
MORT: (confused) You told me to chain her to a wall.
HARMONY: Yeah, I know, I'm being, you know, sarcastic or whatever? (Mort looks blank) Anyway... (turns back to the other minions) I'm feeling really good about this new plan, people. I think it's a winner.
CYRUS: When do we eat the girl?
HARMONY: We don't. Not yet.
CYRUS: Why not?
HARMONY: Because! That's not the plan! (sighs) Do I have to go over the plan again? We use the sister as bait. We send Buffy a note-
PEACHES: More notes?
HARMONY: (annoyed) We send Buffy a note, telling her that if she wants to see her sister again, she has to come alone to a place we choose. She comes, we jump her, we kill her. (Peaches nods.)
MORT: So it doesn't really matter if we're actually holding the slayer's sister, just as long as she thinks we are. She'll walk into the trap.
HARMONY: I guess.
CYRUS: So it won't make any difference if we eat the girl now.
HARMONY: We're not eating the girl.
PEACHES: Why not?
HARMONY: Cause! That's not the plan.
All the minions look dissatisfied.
Cut to a TV showing mostly static. Spike bangs on it and fiddles with the knobs and antenna for a while, with no results.
SPIKE: Bollocks. Gonna have to pinch one of those satellite dishes.
He looks up as the door bangs open and Buffy strides in.
SPIKE: Well, speaking of dishes, to what do I owe this unpleasant- (Buffy hits him in the face) Ow! Bloody hell!
BUFFY: (grabbing his shirt) I don't have time for banter, Spike. Where's Harmony's lair?
SPIKE: Haven't seen her in months. How should I know- (Buffy hits him in the face again) Ow!
BUFFY: Where is she?
SPIKE: At least lay off the nose. (Buffy pulls back her fist) Okay! Okay! Used to have a cave in the north woods. About forty meters past the overpass construction site.
Buffy punches him in the nose again, then lets go and turns to leave.
SPIKE: Ow!! I was telling you the truth!
BUFFY: (leaving) I know.
Spike rubs his nose and glares after her.
Cut to the lair.
HARMONY: They don't respect me. They pretend they do, but deep down they think I'm nothing.
We see that she's talking to Dawn, who's chained to a wall with her wrists at head height.
HARMONY: I mean, I'm the one who put this group together. Me! But they treat me like I don't even matter. Do you have any idea what that feels like?
DAWN: A little.
HARMONY: (whining) They have no idea how much pressure I'm under. I have to make all the hard decisions. And it's hard!
Dawn gasps. Harmony turns to see Mort leading the other minions in, all wearing vamp faces.
HARMONY: Excuse me, I didn't hear anybody knock.
MORT: We've been talking it over, and we decided we don't like this plan.
PEACHES: (scornfully) Except for Brad. He abstained.
HARMONY: (angry) Oh really? You have a plan you like better?
MORT: We're gonna feed on the girl and kill you.
Dawn looks scared.
MORT: Maybe not in that order.
HARMONY: I don't think I like your attitude, Mort. (to the others) Kill him for me.
The other minions don't move. Mort smirks.
HARMONY: All right. You're all on my list. (Looks nervous as Mort advances toward her) Th-this isn't fair. Okay, so things haven't been perfect. I just need a little more time to grow into my leadership role.
MORT: Time's up.
He grabs her by the throat. Dawn watches fearfully as Cyrus walks toward her.
DAWN: (nervous) Touch me and my sister's gonna kill you.
Cyrus smirks and reaches out one finger. He pokes her in the shoulder and laughs. The other minions laugh too. Suddenly the point of a stake shoots through Cyrus from behind. He stops laughing and turns to dust. Mort lets go of Harmony and they both turn, as do the other minions, who are holding weapons.
BUFFY: Can't say she didn't warn him.
HARMONY: (to Mort) And you didn't like the plan.
BUFFY: Dawn, close your eyes.
Dawn does so.
HARMONY: So, slayer, at last we meet.
BUFFY: We've met, Harmony, you halfwit.
HARMONY: I'm the halfwit? Um, excuse me, but look who's fallen into my-
Peaches attacks Buffy with a large axe. She ducks his swing and stakes him. As he turns to dust, Buffy grabs the axe from him, Brad attacks, and Buffy chops off his head. Dawn scrunches her eyes together tightly.
BUFFY: Harmony, when you tried to be head cheerleader, you were bad. When you tried to chair the homecoming committee, you were really bad. But when you try to be bad ... you *suck*.
During this speech we see Mort moving around behind Buffy. Dawn opens her eyes and sees him.
DAWN: Buffy, watch out!
Buffy turns and swings the axe but Mort knocks it out of her grasp and knocks her down.
HARMONY: Ooh, good shot, Mort, I think you got her on the-
Mort glares at her. Harmony laughs nervously, turns and runs away.
Mort swings at Buffy; she punches him, grabs a large stick and hits him with it. He punches her. She ducks a few more punches and lands one on him.
Shot of Dawn struggling against her chains as sounds of battle continue.
Buffy kicks Mort a few times, he hits her a few times and she goes down. He picks her up and throws her. She gets up and they exchange more punches and kicks. Mort grabs Buffy by the neck and lifts her off the ground. She looks around and notices a large unicorn statue nearby. She shoves Mort away, lands on the ground, grabs the unicorn and stabs him through the heart with it. He turns to dust. Buffy scowls at the unicorn, then shrugs and puts it down.
Buffy strides toward Dawn, picking up the axe along the way.
BUFFY: You are going to be in so much trouble when we get home. (Strikes at the chains with the axe)
DAWN: Yeah, well ... I'm telling Mom you slayed in front of me.
BUFFY: Fine. I'll just tell her that you ran out of the house in the middle of the night, (another strike at the chains) that you got Anya hurt, (another strike) invited a vampire in, (strike) got kidnapped....
Cut to exterior shot of Joyce's house, night.
Cut to interior of the kitchen. Buffy and Dawn enter, moving quietly, looking around guiltily. Just as Buffy closes the back door, Joyce comes in the front door.
JOYCE: Sorry it ran so late. Everything, uh, go okay?
Buffy and Dawn look at each other.
BUFFY: Yeah. Yeah, you know ... I got the vamps and we watched some TV.
JOYCE: (smiles) Well, I know at least one of us who's supposed to be in bed by now.
Dawn obediently kisses Joyce and exits.
BUFFY: So how was the exhibit?
JOYCE: (opening the fridge) Oh, it was fantastic.
We see Dawn looking back at them as she walks toward the stairs.
DAWN VOICEOVER: Buffy probably would've gotten in way more trouble than me anyway.
Cut to the magic shop, day. Dawn is sitting at a table writing in her diary.
DAWN VOICEOVER: But I guess it was pretty okay of her not to say anything to mom. Anya's gonna be okay, and Xander wasn't mad at me. So stuff mostly worked out.
The camera pans over Dawn to the counter, where we see Buffy leaning against it.
BUFFY: Giles, are you sure about this?
Giles stands up behind the counter.
GILES: Why wouldn't I be?
BUFFY: Well, aside from the fact that most magic shop owners in Sunnydale have the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer ... and, have you ever run a store before?
GILES: I was a librarian for years. This is exactly the same, except people pay for the things they don't return. (comes out from behind counter) It'll give me focus. Increase my resources. And it'll prevent you lot from trampling all over my flat at all hours. (he and Buffy walk toward the back) There may even be some space for you to train in the back.
BUFFY: Boy, you've really thought this through. How bored *were* you last year?
GILES: I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it. (Exits)
Buffy follows him out, laughing. A moment later she reappears in the doorway.
BUFFY: Don't. Break. Anything.
Dawn gives her an exasperated look. Buffy goes out, then comes back in again.
BUFFY: Just don't *touch* anything. (exits)
DAWN VOICEOVER: Not that Buffy's really changed at all. Like she ever would.
Buffy reappears in the doorway.
BUFFY: What you're doing right now, not moving? (Makes the "okay" sign with her fingers) Good. Keep doing that. (Exits)
DAWN: She still thinks I'm Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise.
Blackout. Executive producer: Joss Whedon.