Buffy Episode #114: "Older and Far Away" Transcript

Written by Drew Z. Greenberg
Original Air Date: February 12, 2002

Transcribed by Joan the English Chick (pisces@englishchick.com).
Transcriber's Notes:

GILES VOICEOVER: Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Dawn stealing a coin from the magic shop.
Buffy and Dawn in Dawn's bedroom.
DAWN: You're never here. You can't even stand to be around me.
BUFFY: That is not true.
DAWN: You didn't want to come back. I know that. You want to go away again.
The demon poker game.
SPIKE: I'm in.
Kittens mewing.
BUFFY: You're gonna play cards?!
Halfrek appearing in the living room.
HALFREK: I have been called, and vengeance shall I wreak.
Anya gasping.
ANYA: Halfrek!
HALFREK: Anyanka?
Anya and Halfrek squealing and hugging.
ANYA: How are you?
XANDER: You two, you know each other?
ANYA: Funny, Halfrek, I didn't summon you to kill Xander, I called to invite you to our wedding.
Willow and Tara outside the magic shop.
WILLOW: Tara. What are you doing here? Uh, it's okay for you to be here if you have things that ... you have to be here for. I'm doing better. No spells for 32 days.
Tara and Buffy in the living room.
TARA: Buffy, I promise, there's nothing wrong with you.
BUFFY: There has to be. Why do I feel like this? Why do I let Spike do those things to me?
Buffy and Spike kissing.
BUFFY: Don't tell anyone, please.
TARA: I won't.


Open on a small table with several stakes and daggers on it.

Reveal Buffy who begins putting the weapons into a bag. We're in the Summers living room. Dawn stands behind Buffy.

BUFFY: (sighs) I'm sorry.
DAWN: It's okay.
BUFFY: No, we're gonna sit down and have a real dinner. Someday. I hate having to run out in the middle, it's just, you know, there's this thing out there. Definitely non-vampire.
DAWN: (smiling) I understand.

Buffy picks up the bag, goes toward the door.

DAWN: Well, maybe when you get back we can set up for your party tomorrow.
BUFFY: Yeah. Uh, this could take a while though, I-I wouldn't wait up. (putting on her coat) Besides, Willow promised to be on birthday patrol, so there's nothing left for us to do. (smiling)
DAWN: Right.
BUFFY: Okay, so, finish dinner, homework, and don't stay up too late, all right?
DAWN: Okay.
BUFFY: Okay.

Buffy turns to go. Dawn watches with a smile. As soon as the door closes behind Buffy, Dawn stops smiling. Stands there, alone, looking unhappy.

Cut to graveyard, night. Buffy walks along holding a large axe with a metal handle.

Suddenly a large demon with red skin and a spiny crest on its head leaps out behind her. Buffy whirls around. The demon swings a large sword at her. She ducks, then blocks with her axe.

The demon's sword bends the axe handle, then pulls it out of Buffy's hand. It flies off and lands in the ground.

The demon swings at Buffy again and she gets hold of his sword arm, twists it around behind his back. Suddenly the demon shimmers and disappears.

Buffy looks around in confusion.

The demon reappears behind her. She kicks him in the face, punches him, kicks again. He falls back. His sword goes flying up into the air.

Buffy catches the sword on its way down. The demon charges her. She stabs him right in the stomach. Blue light flashes out in a circle from the wound. The demon roars and grabs his stomach.

Buffy pulls the sword out and falls back onto the ground. The sword lands point-down in the ground.

The demon falls to his knees, still roaring. He shimmers and turns into a bolt of silver light that shoots over to the sword and into it. We can see his face reflected in the sword's blade.

Buffy is still on the ground, facing the other way.

BUFFY: Run off, huh? Afraid to face a true warrior?

She gets up and sees the sword.

BUFFY: Ooh, shiny.

She smiles, pulls the sword out of the ground and twirls it around. Walks off, holding it.

Wolf howl, opening credits.

Guest starring Kali Rocha, Ryan Browning, and Amber Benson as Tara. Written by Drew Z. Greenberg, directed by Michael Gershman.

Act I

Open in the magic shop. Anya stands by the shelves dusting statues.

ANYA: Do you think we should set up lots of candles for Buffy's party tomorrow?

Pan over to reveal Xander and Willow sitting at a small round table doing paperwork.

XANDER: Not if they're that horrible slug kind you keep trying to unload.
ANYA: (walking past) I don't know why people get so turned off by slug.
XANDER: Honey, slugs get turned off by slug. (to Willow) Oh, actually, I wanted to talk to you about that.
WILLOW: Slugs?
XANDER: No, the party. Or, Tara ... at the party.
XANDER: It's just ... Buffy really wants her there. It seems important to her, so I told her I'd ask you.
WILLOW: (smiling) Oh ... yeah, of course, she should totally be there. It'll be great.

Dawn enters. She wears a red t-shirt with a beige sweater over it, and has a red coat over her arm.

DAWN: (smiling) Hey!
WILLOW: Hey, Dawnie. Buffy, uh, out patrolling already? (Dawn nods)
XANDER: So, uh, anything new about Warren and the Nerd Herd?
DAWN: No, just a big monster hunt.
XANDER: Man, a nerd goes into hiding, he really goes into hiding.
DAWN: Does anybody want to come to the mall with me for birthday presents?
WILLOW: Oh, I would, honey, but ... I've got my group. You know, the whole Spellcasters Anonymous thing? We're still looking for a better name.
DAWN: Oh. Well, yeah, uh, no, that-that's good. You should ... do that. (beat) So what about you guys?
ANYA: Stuck in doing-the-books-ville.
XANDER: Aw, I'd love to go with you, but I gotta finish this new shift schedule for the crew by tomorrow morning.

Dawn looks disappointed.

WILLOW: Sorry, it just looks like one of those nights. You know?
DAWN: Yeah.
WILLOW: You okay going on your own?
DAWN: Yeah. Somehow I'll, uh, manage to pull it off.

Willow gives her a little smile. Dawn grimaces, turns to leave.

Cut to: overhead shot of Sunnydale, night.
Cut to: exterior shot of the Summers house.

Cut to inside. Dawn enters the front door, cautiously, looking around. She is wearing the red coat.

Pan across the foyer into the empty dining room.

DAWN: Buffy?

Dawn starts up the stairs.

Cut to Dawn's bedroom. Overhead shot of Dawn as she enters, closes the door behind her, turns on the light. She puts her purse on the bed and reaches into her coat pockets.

Cut to a closer shot as she pulls a handful of jewelry from the pockets, still with the price tags attached. She looks at the handful for a moment, puts it on the bed, takes out another handful of jewelry and puts that on the bed too. She takes off her red coat, revealing a tight shiny leather jacket that she wears over the red t-shirt.

She goes over to the closet, opens the door revealing a full-length mirror. She checks out the jacket in the mirror. We can see the price tag still hanging from the sleeve. She pulls the jacket tightly around her.

Cut to: high school classroom, next day. Pan across bored students.

TEACHER: ...if we can come up with things Jim lost during his years in Shanghai, and things he gained. (Shot of Dawn doodling)
STUDENT: Excuse me.
TEACHER: Who wants to-

A student comes in and gives the teacher a piece of paper.


Dawn looks up, alarmed.

TEACHER: They need you in the guidance office.

Dawn continues looking alarmed as she gathers up her stuff.

Cut to: long shot of Dawn walking down an empty hall lined with lockers.

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR VOICEOVER: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you.

Cut to the outside of the office. Through opened venetian blinds we can see Dawn sitting across the desk from the guidance counselor woman.

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Just a follow-up after your ... your loss. And since I'm new here, I thought it would give us a chance to know each other.

Cut to inside the office. The guidance counselor is a fairly young woman wearing a small blue pendant around her neck.

DAWN: Great.
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: So, I've been looking through your file (shuffling papers on her desk) and, um ... your grades have slipped a little.
DAWN: I have really hard classes this quarter.
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Yeah, still. Teachers say that you seem a little distracted lately.
DAWN: I'm not. I-I'm fine.
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Okay. It's just, you know, I know it must seem weird, (small laugh) talking to a stranger about stuff, but, um ... I want you to know that if something's going on, something's up, my job ... the most important part of my job ... is looking out for you.

She smiles. Dawn looks surprised, returns a very small smile of her own.

DAWN: I'm really okay.

The counselor nods slowly, sits back.

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: I know there's been ... a lot of loss.

Dawn looks down.

DAWN: (quietly) Yeah. Kinda. (looks up) I-I mean, yes. People keep ... people have a tendency to go away ... and, I miss them. And sometimes ... I wish I could just make them stop. Going away.

The counselor smiles. Dawn pauses, waves her hands dismissively.

DAWN: But seriously, it's, it's no big deal. I'm fine.

Cut to: close shot on a table laden with several trays of hors d'oeuvres.
XANDER: (OS) We're feeding an army!
BUFFY: (OS) No, they couldn't make it.

Pan out to reveal that it's the island in Buffy's kitchen. Anya is preparing the food while Buffy sits opposite. Xander stands beside Anya.

XANDER: So, who's coming, you invite anyone else?
BUFFY: Just you guys. Willow, Tara. The gang. Oh, and Sophie from work.

Xander and Anya look at her, exchange a look.

BUFFY: What? Like I'm one of those losers who can't make friends outside her tight little circle? No. I'm friendly. We bonded instantly. Peas in a pod. Bonded peas.
ANYA: Really? Um, what's Sophie's last name?

Buffy thinks for a moment, frowns.

BUFFY: (pouting) Okay, shut up.
XANDER: Don't worry about it, we're all over the new friend thing. (Anya smiling)
BUFFY: What ... new friend thing?
ANYA: (smiling) Well, well ... we invited someone for you.

Buffy looks horrified.

ANYA: (whispers) A guy.
DAWN: (entering) For Buffy? Really? (smiling)
XANDER: Ahh, don't worry, it's not a setup.
ANYA: (grinning) Right. No. Just an attractive single man, with whom we hope you find much in common. (Buffy looking annoyed) And if you happen to form-
ANYA: -a romantic relationship leading to babies-
ANYA: -and many double dates with us so we have someone else to talk to, yay!

Xander looks uncomfortable.

BUFFY: I assume this was an act of kindness? (Xander looking embarrassed) That'll help with the not throttling.

Buffy gives Xander a meaningful look. He gives a fake laugh.

XANDER: Hey, I'm just gonna get this stuff out there, people should be here soon.

He picks up some of the food.

Cut to the foyer, later. Buffy opens the door to reveal Tara, holding a small gift box.

BUFFY: Hey! You made it!

They smile and hug.

TARA: Of course, sweetie. (pulls back) So, how're you doing?
BUFFY: Oh, you know. Better. Mostly. (Tara looking sympathetic) Sometimes.
TARA: So, is, um... (looks around) Spike coming?
BUFFY: No. He may be a chip-head, but ... he still doesn't play too well with others.

Tara smiles, turns to put down the gift and hang up her coat.

BUFFY: Besides, I'm definitely not ready to, to...
TARA: (turns back) Come out.
BUFFY: (smiles) Yeah. I'm all ... stay-inny.

Tara smiles and nods.

Cut to upstairs. Willow is standing in front of a mirror, very nervously adjusting her clothing.

Cut back to downstairs.

BUFFY: How are you doing?
TARA: (anxious) The word "gulp" comes to mind.
BUFFY: (sympathetic) Just remember, we're all here...to...

Willow appears at the top of the stairs, coming down. Tara looks nervous.

BUFFY: ...I have to, with the thing that I, uh... Coming!

Buffy exits ungracefully. Tara and Willow face each other nervously.

TARA: Hey.
WILLOW: Hey. (pause) How are you?
TARA: Fine, thanks, I'm ... I'm fine. I, how are you?
WILLOW: (smiling) Great! I mean... (stops smiling) Fine. I'm, I'm ... finey McFine. Fine.
TARA: Y-you look...
WILLOW: (smiles) Thanks. (stops smiling, looks embarrassed)
TARA: I mean ... great.
WILLOW: (embarrassed) Thanks. You do too. Is that a new-
TARA: Oh, yeah. (glancing nervously at her dress)
WILLOW: It's nice.
TARA: Thanks.

Very awkward silence.

TARA: I-I'm gonna get something to drink.
WILLOW: Oh, yeah, great. You should.

Tara exits toward the kitchen.

WILLOW: (muttering to herself) You don't wanna get thirsty.

Cut to the kitchen. Buffy is filling paper cups from a large pitcher. Tara enters.

BUFFY: Hey, how did it-
TARA: Yes please.

Tara takes a cup from Buffy's hand and drinks. Buffy looks surprised.

Knocking at the back door. Buffy stands up.

Spike enters, holding a 6-pack of beer under one arm. Someone else enters behind him but we can't see who it is.

BUFFY: (surprised) Spike.
SPIKE: Yeah. Willow mentioned the shindig ... figured we're all part of the team.

We see that Spike still has a large bruise over one eye from being beaten by Buffy in "Dead Things."

Buffy gives Tara a nervous look.

SPIKE: Thought I'd, uh, swing by.

Reveal the other person behind Spike. It's the loose-skinned demon from the poker game in "Life Serial." Buffy frowns.

BUFFY: Wait, what kind of team is this?
DEMON: Hi. We met once before.
BUFFY: Yes, yes we did.
SPIKE: You know, more, merrier, that whole thing.
DEMON: (to Tara) Hi, I'm Clement. Clem.
TARA: Tara.

Xander enters with a young hunky blond man wearing a red shirt (Star Trek fans, take note).

XANDER: Buffy, Richard.
BUFFY: (smiling) Hey.
XANDER: He was wondering where the best place was to park his car.
BUFFY: Oh, that's easy, just-(pointing)
XANDER: Buffy will show ya.

Xander shoves Richard toward Buffy. They look at each other nervously.

BUFFY: Okay, uh... (to Tara) I'll be right back.

Over Richard's shoulder, Buffy looks at Spike. He raises one eyebrow.

Buffy takes Richard's arm and leads him toward the front. Richard pauses in the doorway.

RICHARD: (whispers) Uh ... the guy with the...
BUFFY: Skin condition. He doesn't like to talk about it.

Buffy leads Richard away.

SPIKE: Stupid git! (closing the back door)
TARA: I don't know. He seemed ... cute. W-was he cute? I mean, I'm not a very good judge, but...

Spike scowls.

TARA: (grinning) I think he seemed cute.
CLEM: (agreeably) I think he seemed cute, yeah.

Spike gives them both a look of outrage.

Cut to the living room. Xander sits on the sofa; Dawn and Anya stand nearby.

DAWN: If we get Buffy, can, can she start on opening the presents? It's been enough time, hasn't it?
ANYA: Not yet, sweetie.
XANDER: I think Buffy's busy right now.
ANYA: (as if talking to a small child) Buffy's making a new friend. A grown-up friend.
DAWN: What, you mean the guy you invited to set her up with?
ANYA: Nothing.
DAWN: It's not like I don't understand why you invited him. I was there, remember? I can hear you when I'm in the room, you know? (Anya just nodding) I do understand these things.
ANYA: (patronizing) Yes you do! (patting Dawn on the head)
DAWN: You know I'm in high school, right?
ANYA: Yes you are!

Dawn stares at Anya in disbelief.

Cut to Buffy coming down from upstairs. Spike intercepts her in the foyer and backs her into a corner.

SPIKE: You wanna slip away for a minute, luv?
BUFFY: What?
SPIKE: I'll let you blow out my candles.
BUFFY: Here. Now? I don't think so.
SPIKE: Oh, what, you worried about Richard? You don't wanna make your new boyfriend jealous, huh?
BUFFY: (grinning) Shut up. He's ... sweet.
SPIKE: (teasing) "Oh, shut up, he's sweet."
BUFFY: Maybe he's not the jealous one.

Spike looks surprised. Buffy moves past him and away.

SPIKE: You think he'll take you out on his ten-speed, pet? (to himself) Maybe he'll let you ride in that little basket in the front. (scoffs) Jealous my ass.

He sighs, looks around in frustration.

Cut to later. Buffy sits on the sofa, looking skeptically at a device with a large head with two round knobs on it.

BUFFY: Uh...

We see Willow sitting on Buffy's right. Dawn sits on Buffy's left, fidgeting very obviously.

WILLOW: See? i-it's a battery-operated back massager. And it's portable so you can take it with you on patrol.
BUFFY: (dubious) Wow.
WILLOW: (smiling) It's like, instant gratification for all your little acheys.

Buffy looks over at Spike leaning in the doorway.

Spike raises his eyebrow and gives his best suggestive smirk.

BUFFY: (quickly) Great! Thanks! (puts the massager aside) Uh, what's next?
DAWN: (excited) Here, do mine.

Dawn turns to pick up a large flat box behind her, gives it to Buffy. Buffy begins unwrapping it.

Shot of Spike watching, glancing over at Clem.

Shot of Clem and Tara watching.

Buffy removes the paper to reveal a plain white box. She opens it and looks inside.

BUFFY: (surprised) Dawn.

Close shot on the box, containing the black leather jacket that Dawn was wearing earlier.

DAWN: (smiling) Do you like it?
BUFFY: (lifting it out of the box) It's ... gorgeous.
DAWN: I was so nervous. I was afraid you wouldn't like it.

Buffy looks at the jacket, frowns.

Close shot on the sleeve which has the security tag attached.

BUFFY: I-it still has the security tag on it.

Dawn looks alarmed, covers quickly.

DAWN: Huh. That's so weird. I can't believe they didn't take that off.

Buffy stares at her.

XANDER: (OS) Happy birthday, Buffy!

Everyone turns to see Xander and Anya wheeling in a large wooden chest.

BUFFY: Oh my god!

Xander and Anya place the chest in the middle of the room and gesture proudly.

BUFFY: Did you guys make that?

Buffy gets up, thrusting the box with the jacket into Dawn's lap. Dawn looks dismayed.

ANYA: Uh, well, uh, Xander did the building. (Dawn still looking upset) I offered helpful suggestions while observing from a safe distance.

Buffy kneels down to open the chest. Xander holds the lid open and leans over to speak softly so Richard won't hear.

XANDER: Holds basic weapons, (Buffy smiling) plus a few non-basic ones too. (loudly) Plus, there's a handsome CD holder.

Shot of Dawn looking disgusted, folding the jacket back into the box.

ANYA: (OS) We wanted you to have something no one else would have.
BUFFY: (OS) A Xander Harris original.

Sound of the doorbell ringing.

BUFFY: I love it. Thanks, you guys!

Buffy leans across the chest to kiss Xander on the cheek. In background we see Tara opening the front door.

TARA: Buffy?

Buffy hugs Anya, turns around.

BUFFY: Oh! Sophie!

We see a nervous-looking young woman standing in the doorway.

BUFFY: Welcome! (Sophie exchanging smiles with Tara) Uh, we're somewhere between, uh, presents and cake. (to Anya) There is gonna be cake eventually, right? (Anya nodding)
SOPHIE: (walking into the living room) Hey. Uh, my mom told me to say thank you right away, 'cause, otherwise I usually forget. So, thank you.

Buffy and Anya listen to this politely. We see Spike in the background watching.

SOPHIE: And, also, um, I can't have any, any chocolate, or, or peanuts or egg yolks.
ANYA: (whispers to Buffy) Is this the friend you brought from work?
SOPHIE: A-and sometimes dairy.
BUFFY: No problem.

Sophie looks around at the others.

Clem gives her a friendly smile and wave. Tara smiles too.

ANYA: (whispers to Buffy) Our friend is better.

Dawn gets up and moves toward the foyer as Sophie moves farther inside. Spike remains leaning against the door frame.

BUFFY: (OS) Uh, we can do official introductions now that everyone's officially here. Dawnie, you mind getting the door?

Dawn goes past Spike and Tara to the open door.

BUFFY: (OS) Sophie, this is Anya ... and Willow...

Shot from on the porch looking in. Dawn stands in the doorway, looks unhappily back at the party, then outside. Slowly, she closes the door.

Pan across the outside of the door to the porch. Dawn's guidance counselor walks out of the shadows, on the porch. She walks over to the front door, smiling slightly.

She stops walking and her face morphs into demon-face -- she is Halfrek. She speaks in her deep resonant demon voice (see episode "Doublemeat Palace").

HALFREK: Wish granted.

Act II

Open on the party. Loud rock music is playing. Pan across Sophie and Clem dancing together. Pan across Willow sitting in a chair with Xander sitting on its arm, both talking and moving to the beat. Pan to the sofa where Anya sits waving her hand to the beat. Dawn sits beside her, looking bored.

Zoom in on Dawn. She looks like she's trying to pretend she's enjoying herself. She experiments with a couple of different smiles.

Cut to the foyer. Buffy comes out of the dining room and encounters Richard in the hall.

RICHARD: Great party. Everyone's havin' fun.
BUFFY: (smiling) I hope so.
RICHARD: I mean, look what time it is and no one's even thinking about leaving. I, uh ... can't tear myself away.
BUFFY: (smiling uncertainly) Yeah?
RICHARD: Yeah. Can I get you a drink?

Behind Richard we see Spike appear in the living-room doorway, observing.

BUFFY: Uh ... I'm good, thank you.
BUFFY: (awkward) I think I'll just ... head back in.
RICHARD: Well ... I'll look for you.
BUFFY: (smiling) Okay.

Richard smiles, goes past her and into the dining room.

SPIKE: Ooh, Buffy. (Buffy rolling her eyes) Can I get you a soda pop? I think I'm in looove.

Spike walks up to her, smirking. He tries to take her hands but she pulls them away. But she is smiling too.

BUFFY: Stop it. Someone's gonna see.

She walks toward the kitchen. Spike follows, stops her at the doorway, putting one hand on the wall beside her head to block her way.

SPIKE: Mm-hmm.

He puts his other hand on her shoulder, runs it down her arm, takes her hand and pulls it onto his thigh.

Someone appears at the other end of the hall. Buffy quickly pulls her hand back as both she and Spike look over.

It's Tara, looking a bit taken aback.

Buffy glances at Spike, pushes past him and exits toward the kitchen.

Spike looks at Tara with a slightly nervous smile. Tara looks innocent.

SPIKE: I had ... a ... muscle cramp. Buffy was, uh, helping.
TARA: (small grin) A muscle cramp? In your ... (looks down at him, then away) pants?
SPIKE: What, it's a thing.
TARA: (grinning) Right.

She walks off. Spike looks disgruntled.

Cut to the dining room. Xander sits in a chair with Anya on his lap, both nuzzling each other in disgusting coupley fashion. Sophie and Willow sit opposite.

XANDER: (teasing, nuzzling) No, you go.
ANYA: (teasing, nuzzling) No, you go.

Xander and Anya stop, look over at Willow.

WILLOW: It's just a beer run, I'll go.
SOPHIE: Oh, well, I can't really drink beer, 'cause you know, barley. But I'll go with you to get some.
WILLOW: Perfect. Here we go. The beer-gettin'.

They all continue to sit there, not moving. After a moment Willow leans over and puts her head on the table.

Xander and Anya resume nuzzling.

Cut to the living room. Dawn, Buffy, Richard, and Anya are playing Monopoly on the coffee-table.

BUFFY: This sucks. I'm out. (giving money to Anya)
RICHARD: No way. I think you're doing fine.

Pan over to the other table where Clem, Xander, Spike, and Tara are playing cards.

XANDER: (to Buffy) You wanna try poker?
CLEM: Still say it's weird without the kittens.
BUFFY: No kittens. (Richard giving her a funny look) He's quirky.
RICHARD: Look, we've already been playing for like three hours, it's, you know, it's like two-something in the morning. You can't bail now.
ANYA: Yeah, come on, Buffy, stay. I wanna bankrupt somebody. (Buffy giving her a sour look)
DAWN: Oh! We should totally have a slumber party.
BUFFY: (uncertain) Oh, I don't know... (looking around) I guess, as long as everyone's staying up anyway.
SPIKE: Must be some late-night activities to keep us busy till morning. (giving Buffy a suggestive look) (Buffy glaring at him)
TARA: How's that cramp, Spike? Still bothering you?
SPIKE: What? Oh. Yeah.
TARA: Maybe you, uh, wanna put some ice on it.

Tara gives an innocent little smile. Spike looks confused, frowns, looks at his cards.

Shot of the foursome playing Monopoly.

Close shot of Dawn looking around and smiling hugely.

Cut to later. Sunlight coming in the windows. Willow and Sophie are asleep on the sofa. Xander, Dawn, and Clem sit on the floor watching cartoons on TV. The Monopoly game, food, beverages, presents, etc. are scattered everywhere.

Pan across the room to Buffy and Spike sitting on the floor beside the new weapons chest. Buffy is shuffling the deck of cards.

Richard enters from the kitchen.

RICHARD: Hey Xander, we gotta be at work in a few minutes.

Close shot of the three watching TV.

XANDER: (staring at TV) Okay.

Shot of the cartoons playing on the TV.

RICHARD: I can't be late today.
SPIKE: You should definitely go. Let's find your coat and get you on your merry way.
BUFFY: Spike.
RICHARD: (confused) I don't know why I'm not leaving.
SPIKE: Me either. Besides, Richie, you can't skip breakfast. Growing boy like you. (Buffy glaring at him) Me, I used to love breakfast. In the old days, I probably would have eaten by now. (looks menacingly at Richard)
BUFFY: Of course, with that new diet of yours, you wanna be careful what you try puttin' in your mouth now, Spikey. (giving him a meaningful look)
SPIKE: Yeah? I don't know. Tummy's making all kinds of gurglies. Maybe I oughta just feed on whatever's around... (Buffy looking at Richard. Richard looking bemused) even if it doesn't go down well. (to Richard) You, uh, work out?
BUFFY: Okey-dokey.

Buffy quickly gets up, grabs Spike by his sleeve, hauls him to his feet and toward the door.

BUFFY: (to Richard) 'Scuse us.

Buffy hauls Spike into the foyer.

BUFFY: Hey, Mister Passive-Aggressive Guy. Seriously, you wanna take it down a notch or two in there?
SPIKE: What, poor dainty Richard can't take a joke?
BUFFY: (firmly) We do not joke about eating people in this house!
SPIKE: (angrily) What are you gonna do, beat me up again?
BUFFY: I should have thrown you out the second you got here. (Spike rolling his eyes) I was insane to ever think you could just hang out with my friends.
SPIKE: And *I* was insane to think... (pauses) No, wait. You were right. *You're* insane.

Cut to the kitchen. Tara is pouring milk into a bowl of cereal.

WILLOW: (OS) Oh, hi.
TARA: (looks up) Hey.

Willow walks over, stands by the island across from Tara.

TARA: Breakfast. Didn't really plan for a sleep-over.
WILLOW: I know, me either. It's weird, I ... I have class, and I know I should go, but...(sits)
TARA: I know, i-it's like, I wanna leave, but I don't want to.
WILLOW: (smiles) Exactly.

Tara smiles back.

Cut back to the foyer. Buffy and Spike continue arguing.

BUFFY: (angrily) I think it's time for you to go.
SPIKE: Yeah, well, can't. (gesturing) Daylight.
BUFFY: Okay. I'll go.
SPIKE: I'll get the door.
BUFFY: Fine!
SPIKE: Fine!
BUFFY: I'm actually trying to move right now.
SPIKE: (quieter) Me too.

They both stand there, not moving. Buffy sighs, frowns.

BUFFY: Well ... this can't be good.

Spike shakes his head, agreeing.

Cut to the living room. The entire party is gathered. They all sit or stand around, staring at each other.

BUFFY: There's something keeping us in this house.
XANDER: Or someone.
TARA: Has everyone tried to get out?
WILLOW: What if we just, like, as a group, got up and, and threw ourselves at the door?
XANDER: All right. Count of three. (everyone preparing) One ... two ... three!

No one moves.

XANDER: Here we go!

Still nothing. Buffy looks around.

Shot of Dawn sitting off to the side, looking sullen.

BUFFY: Hence the problem.
RICHARD: I really need to go. I mean, I have a job to get to.
ANYA: I have to open the Magic Box.
SOPHIE: I have a shift at the DoubleMeat. (thinks) Actually, I'm okay here.
CLEM: Yeah, I'm, I'm fine.
XANDER: Willow and Tara have class, I gotta be at the site.
BUFFY: I know, I know, we all have places that we'd rather be.

Shot of Dawn looking up at that, looking upset.

SPIKE: (softly) Things we'd rather be doing.
BUFFY: I think the first priority has to be to find a way out.
DAWN: Sure. Of course you all wanna leave. (Buffy looking at her) 'Cause being stuck in here with me, that would really suck, right?

Buffy frowns slightly.

WILLOW: No, Dawnie! It's just, we have more important things to do.
DAWN: (disgusted) Yeah, I know. Important. (gets up) Whatever that means, right?

Dawn storms past them and up the stairs. They all watch her go. Everyone looks at Buffy.

Cut to Dawn's bedroom. Dawn runs in, flops down on her stomach on the bed.

Buffy enters, followed by Tara, Willow, Xander, and Spike.

BUFFY: Dawn?
DAWN: What?
BUFFY: Did you do something?
DAWN: (exasperated) Me?
TARA: Do you know something? 'Cause we want you to feel like you can tell us.

Dawn sits up, turns to face them.

DAWN: (angrily) What would I know?
WILLOW: Look, we're not accusing you of anything, it's just ... you were kind of taking it personal down there.
DAWN: Oh. Okay. So you've all just decided that somehow I'm responsible. (sourly) Great. Here's me baskin' in the love.
XANDER: No, it's just, you know, you're upset 'cause we all wanna leave. And now we can't leave. Only thing missing is a cornfield. There ... there isn't a cornfield, is there?
BUFFY: Dawnie, it's okay. You know, we're not gonna be mad.
DAWN: Yeah, only I didn't do anything!
WILLOW: You sure?
DAWN: You want me to ask my other self?
BUFFY: Dawn, we're just trying to figure out what's going on.
DAWN: (angrily) Figure it out yourself. I'm done being talked to like a kid.
XANDER: Well, 'cause you know, sometimes we do something that seems like a good idea at the time, like, say, invoke the power of a musical amulet? And it turns out, you know, not so much.
DAWN: God! I didn't do anything! I wish I had. (Buffy frowning) I'm glad you're trapped. (very angrily) How else can I get anybody to spend any time with me?
BUFFY: Dawn. If you want us to spend time with you-
DAWN: I don't. Get out.

Buffy stares at her.

DAWN: (shrieking) Get out, get out, get out!

The others exit, leaving only Buffy and Dawn. Dawn turns away angrily, lies down on her stomach on the bed again. Buffy stares at her for a moment, then leaves.
ANYA VOICEOVER: I think she's possessed.

Cut to downstairs. Anya and Xander sit side-by-side on the sofa.

XANDER: She's a teenager.

We see Buffy, Willow, and Spike sitting around too. Tara comes in from the dining room.

TARA: Phones are all out, we're totally cut off.

They all sigh and groan.

BUFFY: (quietly) She's just so angry.
TARA: It happens. We all went through it.
BUFFY: I know. I just can't figure out why she didn't come to me.
XANDER: Well, you have been a little busy lately.

Xander and Anya look at Buffy. She looks grim.

SPIKE: Hey, I don't wanna keep you all from the touchy-feelies, but maybe the encounter group can meet later. Say, when we're not trapped in a house.
TARA: Even if Dawn does know something, she's obviously not gonna help us right now. We need another way.
BUFFY: I think magic's gonna be our best bet. (Willow looking alarmed) Something general, you know? Cast a wide net. (Tara nodding)
XANDER: But ... Willow. (gesturing toward Willow with his head)
TARA: No, I'll do it. (Willow fidgeting nervously) It's just, o-obviously I didn't bring any supplies.

Willow looks guilty.
BUFFY: (OS) Well, we don't have any in the house. We got rid of everything.
WILLOW: Actually ... not everything. (guilty) I, uh... might have ... kept one or, or two things. Sort of.

Tara and Buffy look shocked.

WILLOW: ...just in case.
XANDER: That's great!

Beat. Anya, Tara, and Buffy look somber.

XANDER: ...in a very bad way. (shaking finger at Willow)

Tara sighs, stands up.

TARA: (to Willow) Just ... bring me what you have. (firmly) But I'm doing this alone. You need to stay away from it.

Tara exits, leaving the others to sit around looking grim.

Cut to: exterior shot of the house, day.

Cut to the kitchen. Buffy and Xander watch as Tara mixes ingredients, using kitchen implements and bowls. She scoops a damp mixture of herbs from one bowl into another and mashes it down.

Cut to the foyer. Willow, Spike, and Anya stand in a row in front of the front door.

ANYA: So we're supposed to just wait?
WILLOW: It won't take long.

Sophie, Richard, and Clem appear in the dining-room doorway.

RICHARD: All right, somebody wanna tell me what's, what's going on here? We're trapped in a house by ... by what, some unseen force or something. (gesturing at the door) Who knows what she's doing in there. (pointing to the kitchen) And I have to tell you... (looks back at Clem scratching his head with clawed fingers) I don't think that's a skin condition.

Cut back to the kitchen. Tara uses a match to set her mixture on fire, then blows out the match. Red smoke billows up out of the bowl.

Shot of the smoke curling in a wavy line through the door toward the living room.

TARA: Release.

The smoke curls over to where the demon sword is sitting, leaning against a china cabinet. The smoke swirls around the sword.

TARA: (calls) Try the door!

Spike steels himself. Close shot of his hand curling into a fist. Close shot of his feet trying to move.

Shot of the sword as the last of the magic swirls into it and a silvery puddle begins to swirl out of it onto the floor.

Close shot on Spike's face as he grits his teeth and concentrates on the door.
Close shot on the closed door.

Willow and Anya both look at Spike.

Close shot on Spike's fist uncurling.

SPIKE: (annoyed) No. Can't.

They all look disappointed. Richard, Sophie, and Clem walk out into the foyer to join the other three. They all stare at the door. Spike rubs his forehead.

Close shot on the still-closed door.

Cut back to the living room. The fully re-formed demon picks up his sword. He growls. Sunlight glints off the sword blade.


Open on the foyer. Clem, Sophie, Willow, Spike, Anya, and Richard stand staring at the closed door. The demon attacks them from the living room, growling. Everyone scatters, some of them screaming.

The demon enters the foyer and swings his sword, slashing Richard across the stomach. On the back-swing, his sword arm hits Spike, who grabs the arm and struggles with the demon.

Buffy, Xander, and Tara enter from the kitchen. Buffy tackles the demon, both landing on the living-room floor. Spike follows them in.

The demon melts into the floor and disappears. Buffy sits up, frowning, then stands up. She and Spike exchange a confused look.

Xander, Tara, and Anya bend over the injured Richard.

The demon reappears behind Buffy, lifting his sword in both hands. Buffy grabs his hands. He shoves her back. She flies into Spike, and both of them go down. The demon disappears again.

Buffy gets to her feet again.

SPIKE: What the bloody hell was that?
BUFFY: That's the demon I killed two nights ago.
SPIKE: The demon you thought you killed.
XANDER: It looks pretty bad.

Buffy looks over in horror at Richard.

ANYA: Oh god. Oh, god.

They roll Richard over onto his back, revealing a bloody gash that goes all the way across his stomach.

TARA: Let's get him upstairs. (to Buffy) We need to get him to a doctor soon.
BUFFY: (addressing everyone) Hey, i-it's gonna be okay.

Spike looks annoyed, gets up off the floor.

BUFFY: Just trust me, I promise we'll be out of here soon.

Cut to: exterior shot of the house, night.

Cut to inside. Sophie stands holding a curtain aside, looking out at the darkness.

SOPHIE: Oh god. Oh god.

Pull back to reveal the living room. Spike stands a little ways behind Sophie, arms folded. Buffy walks into the shot between them.

BUFFY: Okay, so maybe 'soon' was a bit of an overstatement.
SPIKE: So, you ever think about *not* celebrating a birthday? Just to try it, I mean.
BUFFY: I'm gonna go check upstairs. Keep an eye on things down here?

Spike nods. Buffy turns to go.

BUFFY: You stay here, okay?

We see that Buffy was addressing Dawn, who sits on the sofa looking sullen. Close shot on Dawn as Buffy exits.

Weird creaking noises. Dawn looks around in alarm.

Spike looks around too.

DAWN: What's that noise? It's in the walls, isn't it?

Spike leans close to the wall, listening. Creaking noises continue. Spike moves slowly along the wall, listening.

Cut to Willow's bedroom. Richard lies on the bed trembling and breathing shallowly. Tara sits beside him, tending to his wound. Willow stands nearby.

Creaking noises continue. Willow and Tara look around nervously.

Tara resumes cleaning Richard's wound with a piece of gauze and a bottle of antiseptic. Richard looks around nervously. The noises continue.

Cut to the hallway. Buffy walks along slowly, holding a dagger, looking around. Looking the other way, she comes upon Clem and they both gasp in alarm.

CLEM: (nervously) Sorry.

Buffy sighs.

Cut to another part of the house. Anya and Xander sit on the floor. Anya is panting and fiddling with the lapels of her white blouse, which is partly unbuttoned. She wears a black tank-top underneath it.

ANYA: Why is it so hot in here?
XANDER: You're just a little freaked out, that's all. It'll pass.
ANYA: He's gonna die. He's gonna die, and we're gonna watch.
XANDER: Ahn...
ANYA: And we're just sitting here. Why are we just sitting here? Why aren't we doing something?
XANDER: We are. We will. We've been through worse.
ANYA: (panting, rubbing her chest) Not like this. Not trapped like animals. Seriously, did someone turn on the heat? (unbuttoning her blouse) I can't breathe, I just ... oh, I just can't breathe ... I can't breathe...
XANDER: (grabbing her hands) Ahn, stop. Stop, Ahn, stop!

He manages to stop her, and she turns to look at him.

XANDER: Listen to me. You're just freaking out, okay? It's normal. You're just ... you're just scared. We all are. We'll come up with a plan ... and we'll get through it, all right? (Anya nodding, creaking noises continue) We'll do something.
ANYA: What?
XANDER: I don't know. (brushing hair out of her face) Lemme get you some water, okay? (Anya nodding) It'll cool you down. I'll be back in a second, okay? Stay here, don't move.

He gets up and leaves. Anya sits there panting.

Cut to the foyer. Xander comes down the stairs. Creaking noises continue. He looks around nervously. He reaches the bottom, turns toward the kitchen.

Suddenly the demon emerges from the wall behind Xander and grabs him from behind.

Shot of Anya sitting in the dark by herself as we hear Xander scream.

Shot of Xander being held around the middle, arms pinned to his sides, with the sword at his throat.

Shot of Spike hearing, running toward the noise.

ANYA: Xander?

Xander struggles with the demon. Spike rushes in, grabs the demon's sword arm and tries to pull it away. But he can't, so instead he knuckle-punches the demon in the ribs. The demon growls and hits Spike with his elbow. Spike goes down.

The demon throws Xander aside. He hits the wall and crouches there.

Buffy rushes in, still holding the dagger. The demon turns to attack her. She ducks a sword-thrust. The demon kicks her dagger hand, and the dagger goes flying.

The demon whirls around with the sword, slicing Xander's arm. Then turns back to Buffy.

BUFFY: Grab the sword!

She kicks the demon and ducks another swing as Spike gets up and grabs the demon's sleeve, punches it in the face. The demon flings Spike back and he goes down yet again.

Buffy grabs the demon's arms and kicks him in the stomach. He reels back and melts into the wall again.

Spike gets up on his elbows and both he and Buffy watch the demon disappear.

BUFFY: Are you hurt?

Shot of Xander on the floor, groaning in pain.

BUFFY: Here, let me see.

Buffy takes a step forward but doesn't actually go to either of the men.

ANYA: (OS) Xander.

Xander looks up. Anya stands at the foot of the stairs staring at him.

Xander gets painfully to his feet and goes to Anya.

XANDER: It's okay. I'm okay, see? Shh.

He strokes her face gently and leans his forehead against hers.

XANDER: (whispers) It's all right. I'm okay.

Shot of Buffy watching this wistfully.

Fade to later. Buffy comes around a corner from the dining room to the foyer, and finds Dawn standing against a wall. Creaking noises continue.

BUFFY: It's getting kinda scary. You okay?
DAWN: (sullen, not looking at Buffy) Do you care?
BUFFY: (exasperated) Fine. Stay with Spike.

Buffy walks off.

Cut to upstairs. Buffy walks into her bedroom. Dawn comes in behind her.

DAWN: It's not like I meant for this to happen.
BUFFY: I never said that you did.
DAWN: I didn't want this.

Buffy turns to face her.

BUFFY: What did you want?
DAWN: (softly) Nothing.
BUFFY: Dawn, come on.
DAWN: No. You don't know! You have this thing you do. You have all these friends. (softly) You have no idea what it's like.
BUFFY: What are you talking about? I don't know what, what-
DAWN: Being alone!
BUFFY: You're not alone!
DAWN: Then why do I feel like this?

Cut to the dining room. Tara and Spike standing next to each other.

TARA: I just think we haven't thought of the right way out yet, that's all.

Reveal Xander and Willow standing nearby, and Anya sitting at the dining-room table.

SPIKE: Well, we can't just stay put like cattle, waiting for that thing to pop out every time it gets peckish.
TARA: I'd say we do another spell, but I, I think we've tried everything.
ANYA: Well ... that's not completely true, is it? (Tara frowning) I mean, not everything. (looks at Willow) Not exactly. (Willow looking nervous) We're sitting here with an incredibly powerful witch ... much more powerful than you, Tara, I'm sorry ... only no one seems willing to say it.
WILLOW: I can't.
ANYA: No, see, that's not exactly true either. (angrily) Not can't, won't.
WILLOW: You don't know how much I hate this. I don't know if there's even ... anything I could do.
ANYA: Yes ... and a good way to find out is to sit around and try nothing. That was sarcasm, by the way.
SPIKE: Look-
WILLOW: It's dangerous.
ANYA: And so is all of us dying!
XANDER: Will ... look, I don't wanna gang up on you ... but Anya kinda has a point. (Willow looking anxious) We brought you back from it once. We're all here, it's just one little spell, (Spike shaking his head) whatever happens, we can bring you back again.
WILLOW: (firmly) No. I can't. (to Anya) If I start, I ... I might not be able to stop.
ANYA: And whose fault is that? (stands up, walks toward Willow) You know, if you hadn't gotten so much of this in your system in the first place-
TARA: Hey! You're gonna back off!

Tara gets in between Willow and Anya, faces Anya down.

TARA: She said no, and that's it. You're not gonna make her do something that she doesn't want to. And if you try... (folds arms across her chest) You're gonna have to go through me first. Understood?

Anya glares at her.

ANYA: Fine. If you all aren't willing to get us out of this, then I will do it myself.

Anya walks past the witches and goes up the stairs.

Shot of Sophie and Clem sitting on the sofa, watching Anya. Then exchanging a look.

Cut to Buffy's bedroom. Buffy and Dawn sit on the bed side-by-side.

BUFFY: I wish you would have told me.
DAWN: You haven't really been...
BUFFY: What? I haven't been what?
DAWN: Around.
BUFFY: Dawn ... the most important job that I have ... is looking out for you.
DAWN: (small smile) You sound like my guidance counselor. She give you a handbook or something? 'Talkin' to the Troubled Teen'?
BUFFY: (frowning) Counselor?
DAWN: It wasn't my idea. I didn't even know we had guidance counselors. She called me out of class like I was a total J.D.
BUFFY: And you'd ... never met her before?
DAWN: No, not until yesterday.
BUFFY: And ... she got you to start talking about things that bothered you at home?
DAWN: (uncertain) Uh ... yeah?
BUFFY: You didn't, by any chance, happen to ... express like a, a wish, or-or something, to her?
DAWN: (nervous) Um ... maybe just a little.

Sound of thumping and crashing. Dawn and Buffy look up, both jump up.

Cut to Dawn's room. Anya is pulling books and stuff off the shelves.

XANDER: Honey, come on, this isn't the way, calm down.
ANYA: (still searching) She knows something. She knows something, we have to find out what it is.

Anya begins looking through the drawers of Dawn's desk. Dawn and Buffy enter.

DAWN: Hey!
XANDER: Ahn, just stop for a second.
ANYA: There's gotta be a clue in here somewhere.
DAWN: Stop it!

Dawn starts forward, but Buffy stops her.

BUFFY: Anya, it wasn't her fault.

Anya picks up a small red box from the desk.


Anya opens the box and Dawn's stash of stolen jewelry falls out onto the floor.

Anya stares in shock, bends down to look. Xander, Buffy, and Dawn stare in varying degrees of surprise and dismay.

ANYA: Half this stuff is from the Magic Box.

Anya picks up a few things, then picks up the entire handful, straightens up and glares at Dawn.

ANYA: How could you do this?

Buffy looks at Dawn, who looks upset and goes running out of the room. Anya follows, then Buffy and Xander.

Cut to downstairs. Dawn comes running down the stairs with the others in pursuit.

ANYA: I work hard at that store, and I helped you! (grabs Dawn's arm, turns her around) I took care of you. This is how you say 'thank you'?

Buffy comes up beside Anya.

BUFFY: Anya, hold on, okay? (to Dawn) Tell her you didn't do this. Tell her it's a mistake.

Suddenly Buffy spots something over by the sofa. She looks shocked, walks that way.

DAWN: (anguished) No!

Buffy walks over, stares down at the box holding the black leather jacket that Dawn gave her.

BUFFY: Oh. (looking at Dawn)
DAWN: (upset) Buffy...
ANYA: How are we supposed to trust you, Dawn? I mean, you ... you say you didn't put us here, but look at this stuff! How are we supposed to believe you?

Shot of all the others gathering around.

BUFFY: Look, I-I don't think she- I don't think it's all her fault, okay? She ... there was a guidance counselor, or someone pretending to be a guidance counselor, she, she made Dawn make a wish.
ANYA: Guidance counselor? You made a wish to someone you've never seen before?
DAWN: (nervous) Yeah?
ANYA: Did she wear a pendant with a, with a dark blue stone?
DAWN: And little red flecks?
ANYA: Uhh, for crying out loud. (yells) Halfrek! (to Dawn) It's Halfrek, a vengeance demon. You made a wish to a vengeance demon.
DAWN: I didn't know.
ANYA: Only a vengeance demon can break her own vengeance spell. Nothing else will work. She's the only one who can get us out of here. (yells) Hallie, get your ass down here!

Halfrek materializes just behind Anya, in a puff of smoke.

HALFREK: (deep resonant voice) You rang?

Anya turns toward her.

Suddenly Halfrek gasps and looks down.

Close shot of Halfrek's stomach with the end of a sword protruding out of it.

Close on Halfrek's face as she collapses to the floor, revealing the demon standing behind her.

Close on Buffy staring in horror.

Act IV

Open on the same scene. The demon attacks Buffy who grabs his hands and then punches him.

Anya punches him from behind as well, distracting him.

ANYA: (punching) I hope you die, you stupid jerkface!

The last punch sends him reeling back. He swings his sword and Anya leaps on him from behind, struggling with his sword arm while Buffy kicks him in the stomach. Spike leaps into the fray too, grabbing the demon from behind.

The demon flings Anya off, she lands on the sofa. He flings Spike off too and swings the sword around randomly. Buffy ducks, watching for an opening.


Xander ducks under the sword swings and runs over to the sofa.

The demon hits Buffy in the face and she reels back. Spike attacks again, distracting the demon so Buffy can kick him. The demon falls to the floor and melts into it, disappearing.

The demon immediately reappears behind Spike, who grabs his sword arm. The demon drops the sword. Spike continues holding his arm and kicking him.

SPIKE: The sword!

Buffy picks the sword up off the floor as Spike continues struggling with the demon. Spike gives him a kick in the stomach and he reels backward as Buffy attacks with the sword.

The demon turns and runs into the wall, disappearing into it. Buffy thrusts the sword into the wall where he went. The same blue light appears, suffusing everything as the others watch. The demon roars angrily.

Close on the sword as the blue light fades and the hole in the wall closes up, the demon once again trapped in the sword.

Buffy pulls the sword out of the wall and breaks it in two over her knee, causing one last flare of blue light. She throws the two halves down.

Buffy looks over at Halfrek, who lies on the floor not moving.

ANYA: Her pendant! Get her pendant!

Anya and Buffy rush toward Halfrek. But before they reach her she sits up and puts out her hand toward Anya, who goes flying backward onto the sofa again. Buffy stares.

HALFREK: (normal voice) There will be no touching of the pendant.

Halfrek gets to her feet and brushes herself off, as everyone stares at her in surprise.

HALFREK: What? (laughs) Did you think I'd be stopped by a sword in the chest?

She looks down at her chest, pulls at her blouse so we can see the rip in it.

HALFREK: Flesh wound. (Anya getting up) Honestly, Anyanka, you used to know better.
ANYA: (coming closer) How could you? Why would you do this?
HALFREK: I told you I was going to take care of some business while I was here in town.
ANYA: Yeah, but cursing us? Some of them are in the wedding party.
HALFREK: I just go where I'm-

Halfrek pauses, looking to her right as Spike walks up.

HALFREK: (shocked whisper) William?
SPIKE: (frowning) Hey, wait a minute.
BUFFY: You guys know each other?

Shot of Willow, Clem, Sophie, and Tara getting up and approaching slowly.
Halfrek still staring at Spike, but now she snaps out of it.

HALFREK: (quickly) Uh, no. (laughs) No.

She fiddles with her hair nervously.

SPIKE: (still frowning) Not really.

Shot of Buffy looking confused.

TARA: I thought vengeance demons only punished men who wronged women.
HALFREK: Oh, that was Anya's little raison d'Ítre. Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded. And actually, we prefer 'justice demon.' Okay? FYI.
ANYA: Well-rounded, huh? Is that how you explain your thing for bad parents?
HALFREK: Oh, it's not a thing. The children need me.
ANYA: Hmm! (coughing)Daddy issues(coughing)
HALFREK: Sling all the little barbs at me that you want, Anyanka, it doesn't change the fact that this girl was in pain, (pointing at Dawn) and none of you could hear it. (Dawn looks down) I could hear her crying out everywhere I went in this town. (Anya looking guilty) It was unbearable. And none of you knew.

Halfrek looks at Buffy, shaking her head. Buffy looks upset.

HALFREK: You people deserve to be cursed. (shot of the others listening) Enjoy your time together. From now on ... all you have is time. (to Anya) Time ... and each other. Good luck!

Shot of Spike frowning. Shot of Buffy looking upset. Shot of the others watching.

Dramatic music swells. Halfrek makes a dramatic motion with both arms, but does not disappear. She looks surprised.

HALFREK: Wait ... (nervous laugh) Wait.

Shot of Buffy looking surprised. Shot of Spike raising his eyebrows.

HALFREK: (muttering to herself) Time, and each other.

Dramatic music. Dramatic arm gesture. Halfrek again fails to disappear. She looks annoyed.

ANYA: (rolling her eyes) It's the curse, Hallie.
HALFREK: Oh, for crying out loud. Fine, the curse is lifted! We can all leave now! ... Damn it.

She snaps her fingers and disappears.

Everyone else looks relieved and excited. Spike looks over at Buffy, who just looks pensive.

Cut to the kitchen. Tara is packing remnants of herbs into plastic baggies while Willow watches.

WILLOW: Thanks ... for before. And, and for taking this stuff with you.
TARA: (nodding) No problem.
WILLOW: Just so you know, I-I was never ... gonna use it. I mean, not really, I ... I just kept it like a safety net. 'Cause ... there was always this ... thing in the back of my head. This, you know, voice, saying, like, 'what if things get bad, I mean really bad? And what if you can't handle it?' A-and it made me panic, so ... that's why I kept a couple of things. I ... kept them so I-I didn't have to think about it, so I could focus on ... on getting better.
TARA: I get it. I-I really do. But it's time to work without the net, Will. (Willow looking anxious) You know, I don't know if you noticed, but it actually did get bad in there. Really bad, and ... and you still said no.

Tara smiles, goes back to her task. Willow slowly begins to smile too.

Cut to the foyer. Anya and Xander come down the stairs, supporting Richard between them. Richard grimaces in pain. The others all gather around.

RICHARD: You have some weird friends.
XANDER: News from the file marked 'duh.' (to Buffy) We're gonna get him to the E.R. (Buffy nodding)
ANYA: And then we're gonna talk about payment. And Dawnie, there are two words I want you to get used to...

Shot of Dawn looking nervous.
ANYA: (OS) Punitive damages.
BUFFY: (to Spike) Think it's worn off?
SPIKE: Just one thing to do.

Spike walks toward the door. Everyone watches him anxiously.

He takes hold of the doorknob, looks around at the others, opens the door with a flourish.

Xander smiles happily. He and Anya begin carrying/helping Richard out.

Willow, Tara, Sophie, and Clem follow excitedly.

Cut to outside. Xander and Anya, with Richard supported between them, emerge onto the porch. The others are close behind.

ANYA: Okay, who's pushing?

They all start down the stairs.

TARA: Wow, look at the stars!
CLEM: (turning back to give Buffy a thumbs-up) Good party!

Buffy remains in the foyer, giving a wry smile at Clem's remark.

XANDER: (OS) I just wanna run barefoot on the grass so I can feel the dew-drops between my... God, look at the stars!

Spike gives Buffy a similar wry smile, then turns and walks out as well.

Shot from inside, pointing out the front door at the group as they walk down the path to the street.

Shot from outside, pointing in the front door as only Dawn and Buffy are left. Buffy walks forward, goes over to the doorway.

Dawn turns and follows, stands a little ways behind Buffy, watching her sadly. Buffy looks at Dawn.

Shot from outside. Buffy takes hold of the door and closes it. Dawn's face slowly breaks into a smile as the closing door hides them from our view.

Executive Producers: Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon.

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