When She Was Bad

July 8, 1997 (Pink)

Written by: Joss Whedon

Teaser

ANGLE: A HEADSTONE

It's night. We hold on the stone a moment, then the camera tracks to the side, passing other stones in the

EXT. GRAVEYARD/STREET - NIGHT

CAMERA comes to a stone wall at the edge of the cemetery, passes over that to see the street. Two figures in the near distance.

XANDER and WILLOW are walking home, eating ice cream cones.

WILLOW
Okay, hold on...

XANDER
It's your turn.

WILLOW
Okay, Um... "In the few hours that we
had together, we loved a lifetimes worth."

XANDER
Terminator.

WILLOW
Good. Right.

XANDER
Okay. Let's see...
(Charlton Heston)
'It's a madhouse! A m--

WILLOW
Planet of the Apes.

XANDER
Can I finish, please?

WILLOW
Sorry. Go ahead.

XANDER
'Madhouse!'

She waits a beat to make sure he's done, then

WILLOW
Planet of the Apes. Good. Me now. Um...

XANDER
Well?

WILLOW
I'm thinking. Okay. 'Use the force, Luke.'

He looks at her.

XANDER
Do I really have to dignify that with a guess?

WILLOW
I didn't think of anything. It's a dumb
game anyway.

XANDER
You got something better to do? We played
rock-paper-scissors long enough, okay?
My hand cramped up.

WILLOW
Well, sure, if you're ALWAYS scissors,
of course your tendons are gonna stretch --

XANDER
(interrupting)
You know, I gotta say, this has really
been the most boring summer ever.

WILLOW
Yeah, but on the plus side, no monsters
or stuff.

She sits on the stone wall. He leans on it next to her, looking off towards the graveyard.

XANDER
I know, but I'm so restless! I'm actually
glad school is starting again.

WILLOW
Yeah, and that has nothing to do with a
certain girl that we both know that is a
vampire slayer?

XANDER
Please. I'm so over her.
(REAL casual)
Did she, uh, say when she was getting
back, about which I don't care?

WILLOW
I haven't heard from her. I mean, I got a
couple of postcards after she went to L.A.
and then, like, nothing.

XANDER
Yeah, I never heard... well, she's probably
having fun with her dad.

WILLOW
And you don't care.

XANDER
Okay, so maybe there's some interest. I'm
a man, I have certain desires. Certain needs...

WILLOW
I don't wanna know.

XANDER
Don't you?

The playful intimacy here is becoming ever so slightly less playful. He's kind of close to her, smiling at her.

XANDER (cont'd)
I got a movie for you.

He dabs his cone at her, leaving ice cream on her nose. She stares at him wryly.

WILLOW
Xander...

XANDER
Come on.
(dabs again)
You're Amish, you won't fight back
because you're Amish, I mock you
with my ice cream cone, Amish Guy...

WILLOW
Witness. My nose is cold.

XANDER
Let me get that --

He makes as if to lick it. She starts back, laughs.

WILLOW
Xander!

XANDER
What can I say? It makes your nose look
tasty.

He daubs it with a napkin (he has the only one or she would). And again, yeah, they're pretty close, her arm on his shoulder, looking at each other, then less looking than gazing...

CLOSE UP: THEIR FACES

Come pretty close, right into the awkward almost-kiss-zone. A moment, and they stop, their heads separating.

There is a vampire right between them. Leering, ravenous, and practically in the kiss zone himself.

He's on the other side of the wall from them, the dirt and the tux hanging on him speaking of a fresh rising. The kids see him and start back -- Willow clumsily jumping from the wall -- he easily vaults it, coming swaggeringly at them.

XANDER
(stepping in front of her)
Willow, go!

WILLOW
Xander --

The vampire jumps him. He steps back and slugs it -- but it isn't phased, grabbing his neck and pulling him in for the kill.

Willow desperately searches about for some kind of weapon, finally grabbing the vampire's arm, trying to wrench him off Xander --

A HAND clamps down on the vampire's shoulder. Pulls back and spins him around, straight into the path of a lightning fist.

The punch is followed by a roundhouse kick -- and another. The vampire finally gets time enough to lunge at the figure -- who easily FLIPS him onto the ground, turning to the others. [Hand Written: 'Stunt vamp. # 1, Stunt Double Buffy, no Double Xander, Willow']

BUFFY
Hi guys.

The vampire rears up behind her and without looking back she SLAMS her foot into his chest, sending him flying back --

ANGLE: A TREE

with a broken branch sticking out of it. The vampire slams backwards right onto it, exploding into dust the moment he's impaled.

BUFFY doesn't even look back.

BUFFY
Miss me?

END OF TEASER
Act One

EXT. SAME - GRAVEYARD - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT

Xander and Willow hug Buffy, excited to see her. Xander perhaps slightly more so.

WILLOW
Buffy!

BUFFY
Hey, Will.

XANDER
Man, your timing really doesn't suck.

WILLOW
When did you get back?

BUFFY
Just now. Dad drove me down. And I
knew you losers would be getting into
some kind of trouble.

WILLOW
I think we had the upper hand. In a
subtle way.

BUFFY
Does either of you even have a cross?
Very sloppy...

XANDER
Well, it's been a slow summer. That was
the first vampire we've seen since you
killed the Master.

BUFFY
It's like they knew I was coming back.

XANDER
What about you? How was your summer?
Did you slay anything?

They are walking again, Xander keeping close to Buffy. Willow tries to keep up.

BUFFY
Strictly R&R. Hung out, partied...
shopping was also a major theme.

XANDER
Well, you haven't lost your touch.
That vampire --

BUFFY
I did kind of wail on him, didn't I?

XANDER
I really like your hair.

BUFFY
So, how did you guys fare? Did you
have any fun without me?

XANDER
No.
 

WILLOW
Yes.


XANDER
Summer was a little yawnworthy. Our biggest
excitement was burying the Master.

There is a subtle hardening in Buffy's face whenever they mention that name. Neither friend notices.

WILLOW
That's right, you missed it! Right out
by that tree.

She points to

ANGLE: A TREE

deep in the graveyard.

WILLOW
Giles buried the bones and we poured holy
water and chanted and we got to wear robes!

XANDER
Very intense. You shoulda been.

WILLOW
Have you see Giles?

Buffy is staring at the tree Willow pointed at. She answers crossly:

BUFFY
Why would I call Giles? I'll see him at
school.

XANDER
Man, I'm really glad you're back.

BUFFY
Yeah.
(unconvincingly, as she
looks at the tree)
Me too.

CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

HANK and JOYCE SUMMERS are unpacking Buffy's things. Hank brings in a large suitcase as Joyce puts clothes away.

JOYCE
More clothes?

HANK
(guiltily)
Uh, do shoes count as clothes?

JOYCE
(re: large suitcase)
That's shoes? How much shopping did
you let her do?

HANK
Oh, I'm spoiling her. Did I forget to
mention that?

JOYCE
What you forgot is that I'm gonna
have to deal with another year of
'Daddy would let me buy that.'

HANK
I just thought I'd save you from the big
back-to-school clothes nightmare.

JOYCE
My nightmares about Buffy and school
have nothing to do with clothes. Did she
manage to stay out of trouble in L.A.?

HANK
She did, yeah. She was, you know... great.

There isn't much GREAT! In his 'great'. Joyce stops unpacking.

JOYCE
But.

HANK
She was just... I don't know. Distant.
Not brooding, or sulking, just... there
was no connection. All on the surface.
The more time we spent together, the
more I felt like she was nowhere to be
seen.

JOYCE
Hence the shoes.

HANK
I may have been overcompensating a little.
It was strange. At least when she was burning
stuff down I knew what to say. As for
example, 'don't burn stuff down'. But now...

JOYCE
Welcome to my world. I haven't been
able to get through to her for so long...
I'll just be happy if she makes it through
the school year.

CUT TO:

EXT. QUAD - DAY

First day. Kids run to and fro, greeting each other, looking for classes.

CORDELIA walks along with a couple of Cordettes. As usual, all the talking is done by

CORDELIA
It was a nightmare. A nightmare. They
promised me we were going to St. Croix
and then at the last minute, they just decide
we're gonna visit Tuscany instead. Art.
Buildings. Totally beachless for a month
and a half. No one has suffered as I have
suffered. Of course I think that kind of
adversity builds character. But then I
thought, well I already have a lot of
character, I mean it is possible to have
too much character, isn't it?

They move out of frame and we pick up MR. SNYDER walking along with GILES, watching the students around them.

MR SNYDER
The first day back. It always get me.

GILES
Yes.

MR SNYDER
I mean, it's incredible. One day the
campus is completely bare, empty...
the next, children are everywhere.
Like locusts. Crawling around,
mindlessly bent on feeding and
mating, destroying everything in sight
in their relentless, pointless desire
to exist.

GILES
I do love these pep talks. Have you ever
considered, given your abhorrence of
children, that school principal is perhaps
not your true vocation?

MR SNYDER
Someone's gotta keep an eye on 'em.
They're just a bunch of hormonal timebombs.
Why, every time a pretty girl walks by,
every boy turns into a jibbering fool.

GILES
Ms. Calendar!

JENNY CALENDAR is passing. She stops, happy to see Giles. Snyder doesn't even see her -- he's watching the kids.

JENNY
Mr. Giles.

GILES
(jibbering fool)
Well, uh, dyeh, nnn, hello.

MR SNYDER
I've seen the way these kids gaze at
each other, all moony --

Giles and Jenny gaze at each other, all moony.

JENNY
It's good to see you.

GILES
Yes.

MR SNYDER
You think they're thinking about
learning?

GILES
Are you heading towards the faculty
room?

JENNY
That sounds like fun.

MR SNYDER
I try to talk sense to 'em, tell 'em about
the really important things in life.
Responsibility, discipline, punctuality...
I might as well be talking to myself.

Which, in fact, he is -- the other two have gone.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALL - MORNING

Giles and Ms. Calendar are walking together.

GILES
And how was your summer?

JENNY
Extreme. I did Burning Man in Black Rock.
It's such a great festival -- you should have
been there. There were drum rituals, naked
mud-dances, raves, mobile sculptures, you
would have just... hated it with a fiery passion.

GILES
Yes, I can't imagine finding any redeeming
-- naked?

JENNY
You probably spent all summer with your
nose in a book.

GILES
I suppose you'd consider that terribly dull.

JENNY
(flirtatiously)
Depends on the book.

Xander, Willow and Buffy approach.

WILLOW
Giles!

XANDER
Hey. G-man! What's up?

GILES
Nice to see you and don't ever call
me that.

JENNY
Hey, kids.

GILES
(to Buffy)
How are you?

BUFFY
Alive and kicking.

WILLOW
Buffy killed a vampire last night!

A few surrounding students react to that.

BUFFY
Uh, I think you can get a little more
volume if you speak from the diaphragm.

WILLOW
Sorry.

JENNY
We got vampires? I thought the
Hellmouth was closed.

GILES
Closed, not gone. The mystical energy
it emits is still concentrated in this area.

XANDER
Which means we're still the undead's
favorite party town.

GILES
(to Buffy)
This vampire -- could you tell where he
might be from?

BUFFY
Local talent. Fresh. He was still wearing his
funeral ensemble.

GILES
Which means there are other vampires
about, and they're already killing. I
should have been on top of that.
I wonder if they're here for some
particular purpose...

BUFFY
You're the Watcher. I just work here.

GILES
Well, I have to consult my books.

XANDER
(looking at his watch)
Eight minutes and thirty three seconds.
(to Willow)
Pay up.

Xander looks at the others as Willow digs a dollar out of her pocket.

XANDER (cont'd)
I called ten minutes before you had to
consult your books about something.

WILLOW
We better get to class.

The three kids start off.

GILES
Buffy.
(she stops, turns)
I realize you've only just returned,
but when you're ready, I think we
should start your training again.

BUFFY
I'm ready. I'll see you after school.

GILES
Well, I understand if you need a few
days to --

BUFFY
I'm ready.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - AFTERNOON

TRAINING MONTAGE -- We see various quick pops of Buffy in action. She's in great shape, moves with grace and power.

--Buffy doing a series of highkicks at a retreating Giles.

--Buffy doing an aerial flip.

--Buffy throwing a stake into a man-shaped target. Nothing but heart.

--Buffy punching a wooden post.

This last she does with increasing intensity, her fists flying at the beat-up post, her face rapt with concentration. As we go CLOSE ON her face, we see a flash -- so quick it's near subliminal - of

THE MASTER

leering at the camera.

INT. LIBRARY - AFTERNOON

She continues to rain blows on the post, Giles watching her with a small blossom of concern in his eyes.

GILES
Buffy... I think that's enough... Buffy!

At this last she jerks back from the post and with all her might KICKS it, easily snapping it in half. Looks at Giles, breathing heavily, a trickle of sweat on her forehead.

GILES (cont'd)
Safe to say, you've stayed in shape.

BUFFY
Well, I'm ready for anything those
vampires want to throw at me.

CUT TO:

INT. THE FACTORY - NIGHT

It's a dark brick building, old machines and rusted hooks and chains making up its décor. A group of vampires, including TARA (girl vampire) stands on the balconies and rafters, listening to someone on the floor below.

ABSALOM is long -- long in the face, the body, the fingers. His face, like those around him, is vampiric. He is too old and powerful to bother assuming a human visage. He moves with grace and authority, and speaks with same.

ABSALOM
We have been put down, my kinsmen.
We have lost our way, and we have lost
the night. But despair is for the living.
Where they are weak, we will be strong.
Where they weep, we rejoice. Where
they bleed, we drink. Within these three
days a new hope shall rise. We put our
faith in him...

He looks over at someone.

It is the ANOINTED ONE, standing quietly in front of the factory's huge furnace. The flames behind frame his dark visage.

ABSALOM (cont'd)
And he will show us the way.

The Anointed One almost smiles.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - DAY

Buffy sits on a couch by the coffee table, lost in thought. After a spell, Xander and Willow join her, sitting opposite each other. Xander next to Buffy.

XANDER
Buffy. Buffy!

Buffy snaps out of it as they sit.

BUFFY
Fine! I'm fine!

XANDER
(huh?)
Good. It's good that you're fine.

WILLOW
What were you thinking about?

BUFFY
Nothing.

XANDER
Come on, you can tell us! We're your
bosom friends. The friends of your
bosom.

WILLOW
Xander...

BUFFY
I wasn't thinking anything. Really. Did I
have think-face? 'Cause there was nothing
going on.

Xander and Willow both have bag lunches, which they start digging through.

WILLOW
What'd you do last night?

BUFFY
Slept.

Xander holds up a breakfast bar, Willow an apple. With unspoken accord, they toss them to each other.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Had weird dreams. I can't really
remember them. I just know they
were all over the place.

XANDER
Dreams are meaningful.

WILLOW
They sure are. The other night I dreamt
that Xander--
(stops herself)
Uh, it wasn't Xander. In fact, it wasn't me.
It was a friend's dream, and they don't
remember it.

BUFFY
(smiling)
I'll bet they don't.

Giles approaches. Buffy rises to meet him.

BUFFY (cont'd)
What's the buzz? You look worried?

GILES
This vampire activity -- I think I
know what they're up to.

BUFFY
Well, don't stress. We'll deal.

GILES
I hope it's that simple.

BUFFY
It is not to sweat. Trust me.

GILES
I don't know. I mean, I killed you once.
It shouldn't be too difficult to do it again.

BUFFY
(it stops her)
What?

He PUNCHES her, sends her sprawling onto the coffee table. Before she can even move he's on her, grabbing her throat. She tries to fight him off, eyes widening, but he's too strong.

ANGLE: XANDER AND WILLOW

Are paying no attention to what's happening next to them.

No one is. Students mill about, laugh, talk -- while Giles chokes the life out of a weakening Buffy.

She claws at his face, but only succeeds in PULL IT OFF to reveal beneath it the FACE OF THE MASTER.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Buffy awakes with a start, gasping and sweating. She is completely freaked, sitting up and running her hands through her hair. She looks around the dark room.

ANGLE: FROM OUTSIDE HER WINDOW

She looks small and vulnerable in the frame. Starts to settle back down -- a figure suddenly appears near camera, right outside the window.

Buffy hears a noise, looks out there. She stares, but she doesn't scream.

BUFFY
Hello.

ANGEL is crouched outside the window.

ANGEL
Mind if I come in?

BUFFY
(noncommittally)
Be my guest.

He steps gracefully in, standing near her bed.

ANGEL
How are you?

BUFFY
Peachy.

There is a moment of uncomfortable silence; she's not making this easy.

BUFFY (cont'd)
So, is this a social call? It's kind of late.
Or, it is for me. For you this is, what,
lunch hour?

ANGEL
(bridling slightly)
It's not a social call.

BUFFY
And that means grave danger. Gosh,
it's so good to be home.

ANGEL
I'm sorry. I wish I had better news.

BUFFY
Let me guess. Some of your cousins
have come for a family barbecue,
and we're all on the menu.

ANGEL
The Anointed One. He's been gathering
forces somewhere in town. I'm not sure why.

BUFFY
I guess I'll find out soon enough.

ANGEL
You don't sound too concerned.

BUFFY
I can handle myself. I could use a little
action, anyway.

ANGEL
Don't underestimate the Anointed One
just because he looks a child. He has
power over the rest of them. Its source
is deep, and old. They'll do anything
for him.

BUFFY
Is that it? Is that everything? 'Cause
you woke me up from a really nice
dream.

ANGEL
Sorry. I'll go.

He heads for the window. Stands facing it as Buffy hunkers down in bed, facing away from him.

ANGEL (cont'd)
(quietly)
I missed you.

She can't reply, but the hardness in her face melts away. After a couple of beats she turns, her true emotions about to spill out--

BUFFY
I missed --

But he's gone. She stares at the window, unhappy.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALL - DAY

Buffy is with Willow and Xander. She betrays none of her vulnerability with them.

WILLOW
Angel came by? Wow. Was there,
I mean, was it having to do with
kissing?

BUFFY
Willow, grow up. Not everything is
about kissing.

XANDER
Yeah! Some stuff is about groping.
(to Buffy, worried)
It wasn't about groping?

BUFFY
Hello, Hormones on Parade... it was
pure shop talk. You know, vampires?
Ring a bell? Pointy teeth, they walk
by night...

WILLOW
What'd he say?

BUFFY
(shrugs)
Something's up. Nothing I can't handle.

XANDER
Oh! Hey! Did you guys know? Cibo
Matto is gonna be at The Bronze tonight

WILLOW
Cibo Matto? They're playing?

XANDER
No, Willow, they'll be clog-dancing.

WILLOW
(excited)
Cibo Matto can clog-dance? -- Oh,
sarcasm. Right.

XANDER
(to Buffy)
We should attend, no? If you're not
busy with fighting or anything.

BUFFY
Sounds like fun.

Cordelia arrives, cute jock in tow.

CORDELIA
(witheringly)
Oh, look. It's the Three Musketeers.

Brief confusion crosses the faces of our heroes.

BUFFY
Was that an insult?

XANDER
Kinda lacked punch.

WILLOW
The Three Musketeers were cool.

CORDELIA
(considering)
I see your point...

XANDER
I would have gone with 'Stooges'.

CORDELIA
Well, I just meant you all hang out
together. So, did you guys fight demons
all summer?

Panic from the three.

WILLOW
Yes! Our own personal demons!

XANDER
Such as lust... and, uh... thrift.

BUFFY
(re: the other two)
I think I would have to go with
'Stooges' also.

CORDELIA
What are you guys talking about? I'm
talking about big squiggly demons that
come from the ground. Remember, on
prom night, with all the vampires?

BUFFY
Cordelia. Your mouth is open. Sound
is coming from it. This is never good.

They draw her away from the jock, who's not really paying attention anyway.

XANDER
You see, we can't mention that stuff
in front of other people. Buffy being
the Slayer and all.

WILLOW
You haven't been talking about your
little adventure all summer, have you?

CORDELIA
Are you nuts? You think I would tell
anyone that I spent the evening with
you guys? Besides, it was all so creepy.
That Master guy, screaming...

Once again, nobody notices the effect the name has on Buffy.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
I don't even like to think about it.
Your secret is safe with me.

BUFFY
That works out great. You don't tell
anyone I'm the Slayer, and I won't
tell anyone that you're a moron.

She leaves, leaving Cordy a little hurt and the others a little nonplussed.

XANDER
See, now that was a good insult.

WILLOW
A little TOO good...

CORDELIA
What's up with her?

WILLOW
I don't know.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Kids (and young adults) pour in. A big sign advertises CIBO MATTO.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT

Cibo Matto is just finishing a song. Xander and Willow sit and watch. She has a little ice cream sundae, he has a soda.

WILLOW
I just think something's up, is all.

XANDER
Willow, you're paranoid.

WILLOW
Buffy's never acted like this before.
Ever since she got back, she's different.

XANDER
Buffy's always been different.

WILLOW
She's never been mean.

XANDER
(cranes to look for her)
Any sign of her? She said she was coming.

WILLOW
No... The band's cool though.

XANDER
(distracted)
Yeah. Cool.

Willow looks a little glum that he's not paying attention. After a moment, she takes a little spoonful of ice cream and dabs it on the end of her nose. Waits for Xander to look at her.

When he does...

XANDER (cont'd)
Got something on your nose.

He turns back to the door and she wipes her nose, dejected.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

We see the tree Willow pointed out. TILT DOWN to see the earth -- the grave of the Master, to be precise. It has a series of little crosses all around it, but no headstone.

A spade is stuck in the earth. Another, and a third. They all begin digging up the grave.

ANGLE: ABSALOM AND THE ANOINTED ONE

Watch as the three vampires dig. More vampires around them. The Anointed One looks at Absalom, who turns to the vampire standing nearest.

ABSALOM
Dig. All of you. We have to hurry.

The vampires move to the grave and begin digging with their hands. A couple of their hands begin to smoke.

VAMPIRE 2
Aagh!
(turns to Absalom)
The ground is consecrated! It burns!

ANOINTED ONE
Dig.

The vampire obeys, grimacing from the pain. Finally they dig up:

ANGLE: A SKULL

Which they uncover further.

The Anointed One looks on, impassive.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Buffy enters. Sees Xander and Willow, and starts crossing to them. As she makes her way through the crowd, Angel appears before her. It takes her just a second to throw up her defenses.

BUFFY
Oh. Hi again.

ANGEL
Hi.

BUFFY
Is there danger at the Bronze?

ANGEL
I can't help thinking I've done something
to make you angry. That bothers me
more than I'd like.

BUFFY
I'm not angry. I have no idea where
that comes from.

ANGEL
What are you afraid of? Me? Us?

BUFFY
Uh, could you contemplate getting
over yourself? There's no 'us'. I'm
sorry if I was supposed to spend the
summer mooning over you, but I
didn't. I moved on. To the living.

She leaves, heads for Xander and Willow. Passes Cordelia, who appears to have overheard the exchange.

WILLOW
What's wrong with Angel?

BUFFY
Beats me.

The band starts playing. Buffy looks over at Angel, still hovering about in the back. She grabs Xander's hand.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Let's dance.

XANDER
Uh, uh...

But she's leading him on the floor. They start to dance.

ANGLE: BUFFY DANCING

Buffy's moves are a little too close, a little too hot. It's pure bad girl, and Xander doesn't know whether to be suspicious, aroused, or panicked.

ANGLE: WILLOW

Looking on, unhappy.

ANGLE: ANGEL

Unhappy.

Hell, even Xander is looking a little upset. Buffy smiles at him.

BUFFY
Xander, did I ever thank you for saving my life?

XANDER
No.

She brings her body up against his -- is she gonna kiss him? -- then whispers in his ear:

BUFFY
Don't you wish I would?

And with that, she leaves. Leaves the floor, leaves The Bronze, leaves a wake of unhappiness behind her.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BRONZE - CONTINUOUS

She is about twenty feet out when she hears her name.

CORDELIA
Buffy.

She stops, turns as Cordelia steps out of The Bronze towards her.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
You're really campaigning for bitch
of the year, aren't you?

BUFFY
As defending champion, are you
nervous?

CORDELIA
I can hold my own.
(stepping forward)
We've never been close, Buffy, which
is nice, 'cause I don't like you very
much. But you have, on occasion,
saved the world and all that stuff,
so I'm gonna do you a favor.

BUFFY
Joyous me.

CORDELIA
Your friends can't do it, 'cause they
like you. And they're sort of afraid
of you.

BUFFY
What's the favor?

CORDELIA
I'm going to give you some advice.
Get over it.

BUFFY
Excuse me?

CORDELIA
Whatever's causing the Joan Collins
'tude, deal with it, embrace the pain,
spank your inner moppet but get over it,
'cause pretty soon you won't even have
the loser friends you've got now.

BUFFY
I'd say it's about time for you to mind
your own business.

CORDELIA
It's long past. Nighty night.

Buffy turns and leaves. Cordelia watches her go. As she does, we see two vampires emerge from the shadows behind her, moving slowly toward her.

CORDELIA (cont'd)
(calls out)
I'll just go see if Angel feels like dancing.

Getting no response, she turns to go - and they grab her. Hand over mouth, they drag her off.

ANGLE: BUFFY

Walking away, oblivious.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three

INT. FACTORY CELLAR - NIGHT

Cordelia is brought in by a pair of vampires. They bring her down the steps and push her into the dark -- near pitch dark -- room. Go back up and shut the door on her.

Cordelia is terrified. She looks back at the door, at the back room. Takes a step forward, her eyes slowly adjusting. Taking another step and--

ANGLE: A HAND

appears in frame just as Cordelia's foot nudges it.

She jumps back, then looks down at the figure on the floor. Kneels, pulling the figure onto her lap, seeing that it is

JENNY CALENDAR

who groans, unconscious. Her face bloody and bruised.

CORDELIA
Ms. Calendar? Oh God...

She looks around at the dark, up the stairs. In a very small voice she says:

CORDELIA (cont'd)
What do they want?

CUT TO:

EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT

Buffy enters the graveyard from the street. She is lost in thought, wandering seemingly aimlessly. She sees

ANGLE: THE TREE

That Willow said the Master was buried under. Heads toward it.

As she nears it she slows down. Her expression changes -- or rather sets, like concrete. She stops.

ANGLE: THE MASTER'S GRAVE

Is empty.

Buffy tries very hard to stay controlled. She takes but one faltering step back -- and the Master is right beside her.

She spins. No one's there. But she's closer to the edge than ever. She looks back at the grave, shaking, whispering to herself.

BUFFY
He's dead, he's dead... he's dead...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. JOYCE'S CAR - MORNING

Buffy is in the passenger seat, silent and sullen. Joyce looks at her.

JOYCE
How are your new classes.

BUFFY
(not looking at her)
Good.

JOYCE
Good.

More nothing. Finally:

JOYCE (cont'd)
Is there the slightest chance that if I
asked you what was wrong, you'd
tell me?

That actually gets Buffy to look at Joyce, though she says nothing.

JOYCE (cont'd)
Of course not. That would take all the
fun out of guessing.

WILLOW (V.O.)
She's possessed!

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - DAY

Willow and Xander are talking to Giles.

GILES
Possessed?

WILLOW
It's the only explanation that makes
any sense. You should have seen her
last night. That wasn't Buffy.

XANDER
Are we overlooking the idea that she
may just be very attracted to me?
(off Willow's look)
She's possessed.

GILES
Possessed by what?

WILLOW
(excitedly)
A possessing thing!

GILES
Well, that narrows it down.

XANDER
You're the expert. Maybe when the
Master killed her, some mystical bad
guy transference happened.

WILLOW
That's what it was.
(aside, to Xander)
Why else would she be acting like
such a B. I. T. C. H.?

GILES
Willow, we're all a little old to be spelling things out.

XANDER
(working it out)
A bitkha?

GILES
I suggest the explanation for her behavior
may be somewhat more mundane.

Second bell RINGS, most kids filtering off towards classes.

GILES (cont'd)
She may simply have what you Americans
refer to as 'issues'. Her experience with
the Master must have been extremely
traumatic. She was, for at least a few
minutes, legally dead. I don't think
she's dealt with it on a conscious level.
It's too painful. She's convinced herself
that she's invulnerable for the very reason
that she feels --

Xander notices Buffy coming up behind Giles and hastily interrupts:

XANDER
That's a very interesting point about
trout! That you made just now.

GILES
(confused)
Trout?
(sees Buffy)
Trout! Yes! The trout... is a fish. Good
morning! Did you sleep well?

BUFFY
Like a rock. The Master's gone.

GILES
I'm sorry?

BUFFY
The Master. I went by his grave last
night and they have a vacancy.

GILES
Good god.

WILLOW
What would somebody want with
Master bones?

XANDER
Trophy? Horrible conversation piece?

BUFFY
They're gonna bring him back.

A moment. Buffy stares at Giles.

BUFFY (cont'd)
They're gonna bring the Master back
to life and I seem to recall you telling
me he was history.

GILES
Buffy, I've never heard of a revivification
ritual being successful --

BUFFY
But you've heard of them. Thanks for
the warning.

WILLOW
Buffy, Giles did bury him in hallowed --

BUFFY
This is Slayer stuff, okay? Can we
have less from the civilians, please?

XANDER
(truly pissed)
Okay, that's just about --

Snyder appears beside them, preempting Xander's tirade with:

MR SNYDER
I believe that some of us have classes.
(to Giles)
And some of us have jobs.

GILES
(to the kids)
I'll see you all in the library after school.
And we can finish our discussion.

WILLOW
About trout.

The kids disperse, Buffy giving Giles one final look.

MR SNYDER
There's some things I can just smell.
It's like a sixth sense.

GILES
No, actually, that would be one of the five.

MR SNYDER
The Summers girl? I smell trouble. I
smell expulsion. And just the faintest
aroma of jail.

GILES
Well, before you throw away the key,
perhaps you'd consider giving her the
benefit of the doubt. She may surprise
you.

Snyder looks him over for a beat.

MR SNYDER
You really have faith in those kids, don't you?

GILES
Yes, I do.

MR SNYDER
Weird.

He goes, leaving Giles alone.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - EVENING

The sun is just fading as our team researches. Giles crosses to the center of the room, book in hand.

GILES
All right, I've got something. It's latin,
so bear with me. Um, to revive the
vampire, they need his bones,
(sheepishly looks at Buffy)
which they have... and, uh, the blood...
this is very unclear... of the closest
person, someone connected to the vampire.

BUFFY
That'd be me.

GILES
Perhaps...

BUFFY
We were very close. Way close. We
killed each other, okay? It really
promotes togetherness.

XANDER
Well, is there anything on WHEN
the ceremony might take --

A rock SMASHES through the window behind his head. He ducks -- everyone moves, alarmed. Buffy just spins and catches the rock.

Wrapped around it is Cordelia's necklace, and a note.

BUFFY
This is Cordelia's.

Everyone looks at each other. Buffy takes the note, opens it. It reads:

BUFFY (cont'd)
'Come to the Bronze before it opens,
or we make her a meal'.

XANDER
They're gonna cook her dinner?
(gets it)
Please pretend I didn't ask that.

WILLOW
What do we do?

BUFFY
I go to the Bronze and save the day.

XANDER
I don't like this.

GILES
Nor I.

BUFFY
Well, you guys aren't going.

WILLOW
What do you mean?

BUFFY
I can't be looking out for you three
while I'm fighting.

WILLOW
What about the rest of the note?

BUFFY
(looking it over)
What rest?

WILLOW
The part where it says, 'PS this is a trap'?

GILES
You'll be playing right into their hands.

BUFFY
And their hands are gonna get slapped.

XANDER
We should at least go in force. Stock
up stakes.

BUFFY
I can handle it.

WILLOW
Stop saying that! God, what's wrong
with you?

XANDER
Cordelia may be dead.

Buffy stops, looking at them.

BUFFY
This is my fight.

She takes off, leaving them to look at each other.

CUT TO:

EXT. ALLEY BY THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Buffy is almost at the Bronze when Angel approaches. She turns to him, exasperated.

BUFFY
You know, being stalked isn't really
a big turn-on for girls.

ANGEL
You need help. Someone to watch your back.

BUFFY
You sure you don't mean my neck?

ANGEL
Why are you riding me?

BUFFY
Because I don't trust you. You're a
vampire. Or is that an offensive term?
Should I say 'undead American'?

ANGEL
You have to trust someone. You can't
do this alone.

BUFFY
I trust me.

ANGEL
You're not as strong as you think.

BUFFY
You think you could take me?

ANGEL
What?

BUFFY
Come on, you must have wondered...
a vampire, the Slayer, I know you've
thought about it. If it came down to a
fight... could you take me? Why don't
we find out?

ANGEL
I'm not gonna fight you.

BUFFY
No? Big strong vampire like yourself?

ANGEL
Buffy...

BUFFY
Come on. Kick my ass.

The smile in her eyes is tending toward the crazed. He growls, low.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Now we get to see who we're really
dealing with.

He stops, controlling himself.

ANGEL
Don't you have somewhere to be?

She remembers Cordelia. Hiding a flash of guilt, she replies.

BUFFY
I do.

ANGEL
Well, you're wasting time.

She looks to the Bronze, back to him.

BUFFY
Just stay out of my way.

ANGEL
Happy to oblige.

She goes off. After a beat, he follows.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE - A MINUTE LATER - NIGHT

Buffy enters, walking slowly, looking about her. Not as confident as she was around the others. She pulls out a stake, walks.

She hears CRYING. Looks near the stage and finds:

ANGLE: A GIRL

Huddled on her knees, back to Buffy, and wearing Cordelia's coat. Her eyes narrow suspiciously as she takes a slow step forward.

ANGLE: BUFFY

From far off, heading toward us. Angel appears off to the side, also approaching the figure.

BUFFY
That's not Cordelia.

And the figure rises into frame right before us -- (it had been huddled close to camera) -- and no, it's not Cordelia. It's a grinning vampire. Female, yes, but definitely not Cordy. She laughs, turns to Buffy.

TARA
Cordelia... she didn't come...

BUFFY
Where is she?

TARA
I'm not supposed to tell...

ANGEL
I don't like this.

BUFFY
What?

ANGEL
There's the bait. Where's the hook?

Buffy looks around -- and the vampire JUMPS her!

She instinctively rolls, flips the vampire over. Comes up onto her feet and steps on the vampire's neck. She looks around some more.

BUFFY
You're right. Why would they send just one?

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Willow and Xander talk as Giles continues to puzzle over his books.

WILLOW
I still think we should have gone with her.

XANDER
Buffy's about to lose it. I think we
should be trying to reach minimum
safe distance.

WILLOW
Xander, you know it was a trap!

GILES
Aha! This Latin is translated from the
Sumerian, and rather badly, which
makes it difficult. But the person
closest to the Master actually translates
as the nearest -- physically. The person
or persons who...

He realizes what he's saying when he says it.

GILES (cont'd)
...were with him when...

WILLOW
When what?

He looks at the two of them, dead certainty on his face.

GILES
It IS a trap...

She comes toward him and as we pan with her wee see two vampires standing there. Smiling, needless to say. Willow almost walks right into them. SCREAMS, stepping back. Xander and Giles look around -- there are four of them in here, surrounding our three.

GILES (cont'd)
...it just isn't for her.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Buffy has just finished tying the vampire's hands behind her back with Angel's belt. She hands her off to him.

BUFFY
Watch her. Don't kill her if you don't have to.

ANGEL
Buffy, what's going on?

BUFFY
I'll be back.

She takes off at top speed.

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Buffy runs in, finds much overturned. Stops, then spots:

BUFFY
Xander?

She runs over him as he is struggling to get up. He is beaten and bloody.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Where are the others? What happened?

She moves to help him up, but he violently shakes off her hand.

XANDER
Vampires. The ones you could handle
yourself.

BUFFY
Where did they take Giles and --

XANDER
I don't know! I don't know what your
problem is -- what your 'issues' are,
and as of now I officially don't care!
If you'd worked with us for five seconds
you could have stopped this.

Buffy takes the words hard -- she knows he's right. She tries to gather her wits, to keep from breaking down...

BUFFY
We have to think. Why did they take them?

XANDER
If they hurt Willow I'm gonna kill you.

BUFFY
(realizes)
Why did they take them and not you?

This stops him. He thinks as well.

XANDER
Giles said the ritual was, um... they
needed people close to the Master...
physically close, when he...

BUFFY
The ones who were with him when he
died.

XANDER
Giles, Willow... Cordelia.

BUFFY
(nodding)
And Ms. Calendar.

XANDER
Odds are, they've got the complete
set by now.

BUFFY
We just have to find out where.

XANDER
How?

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRONZE - NIGHT

Xander and Angel stand watching something happen out of frame. Suddenly the girl vampire falls into frame, much closer to camera. Her hands are still tied behind her back, and she lands hard.

BUFFY
One more time.

She hauls the vampire up.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Where are they?

TARA
You're too late. Your friends are dead.

BUFFY
Tell me where they are.

TARA
What are you gonna do, kill me?

BUFFY
As a matter of fact, yes.

She PUNCHES the vampire in the face. She flies back, landing on top of the pool table. Buffy comes around the table, calmly unhooking her cross necklace. She holds it above the vampire's face and as the vampire moans in pain, Buffy drops the necklace into the vampire's mouth. Clamps it shut with her hands.

The vampire writhes, SMOKE pouring out of her mouth.

BUFFY (cont'd)
But since I'm not gonna kill you any
time soon, the question becomes, how
do we pass the time till then?

ANGLE: XANDER AND ANGEL

Look on, obviously uncomfortably with Buffy's methods.

Buffy pulls the cross out by the chain.

BUFFY
So. One more time.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE FACTORY - NIGHT

CAMERA moves slowly towards the factory. It looks large and forbidding in the darkness.

CUT TO:

INT. FACTORY CELLAR - NIGHT

Cordelia is tending to a still unconscious Ms. Calendar. The door opens, Cordelia starting back as a big vampire enters.

CORDELIA
Please... go away... what do you --

She SLUGS her, knocking her cold. Starts dragging both women up the stairs.

INT. THE FACTORY - NIGHT

The Anointed One walks past the old, rusted surgical table in the middle of the room. He holds a goblet in his hands. As we track with him, we see the Master's skeleton laid out on it. He reaches the head of the table, and Absalom, who wears a black ceremonial robe. On either side of the table are two floorlength wooden torches.

The Anointed One hands him the goblet. Absalom looks up at

ANGLE: THE BALCONY

Where two vampires start hauling on a chain.

CLOSE ON: THE CHAIN

on a pulley, moving across the ceiling.

And we finally go WIDE to reveal the four bodies of BUFFY'S friends HUNG UPSIDE DOWN on meathooks attached to the chain. They are all unconscious as they are positioned directly above the Master's skeleton.

Absalom dips his finger in the goblet. Goes to the first body -- Willow -- and makes a small 'x' on her forehead.

The other vampires from a semi-circle around the side of the table as Absalom continues on to each boy, repeating the ritual.

ANGLE: UNDER THE BALCONY

Buffy, Xander and Angel have snuck in.

The three of them creep along in the dark until they can see the center of the room.

They see the skeleton laid out on the table. Above it, their four friends. The vampires in a semi-circle, six quietly chanting figures. Absalom and the Anointed One at the head.

Buffy can't move. Her eyes widen with fear and remorse.

The Anointed One produces a curved knife, hands it to Absalom, who says a silent prayer over it.

ANGEL
Buffy. Buffy!

She snaps out of, looks at him.

XANDER
We gotta do something now.

BUFFY
You two get the others out of here.

ANGEL
We'll need you to distract the vampires.

BUFFY
Right.

She starts toward the ceremony.

XANDER
What are you gonna do?

She stops, turns back.

BUFFY
I'm gonna kill them all.
(walking away)
That oughta distract them.

ANGLE: ABSALOM

Finishes his prayer, kisses the knife.

ABSALOM
For the Old Ones, for his pain. For
the Dark.

They repeat it solemnly, one after the other.

VAMPIRE BOB
For the Dark.

Absalom brings the knife to the first throat -- that of Willow.

VAMPIRE JANE
For the Dark.

VAMPIRE WALT
For the -- GYEHNNNNGH!

--eyes popping wide as the tip of a stake pops out of his chest. A moment of gasping, then he EXPLODES INTO DUST, revealing Buffy right behind him.

There's actually a moment of quiet.

Then Absalom SCREAMS, an inhuman shriek that galvanizes the vampires (BOB, JANE and NED) into action. They effectively flank our girl, and Jane and Ned rush her simultaneously.

She roundhouses them both in the jaw, staggering them back as Bob gets her from behind but she elbows him in the throat.

ANGLE: BUFFY

They are trying to surround her -- full frontal assault hasn't paid off. She dodges about the boxes and machines, quick and alert.

ANGLE: ABSALOM

Sees she's occupied. Roughly grabs Willow's face, brings the knife to her throat--

--when the four bodies start moving away, towards the balcony.

ANGLE: XANDER AND ANGEL

Are hauling on the chain that holds the bodies, pulling them closer.

ABSALOM
The sacrifices! Stop them!

Ned peels off upstairs, leaving Buffy with Jane and Bob.

ANGLE: BUFFY

She is on one side of a pile of boxes, Jane behind her, Bob on the other side of the boxes. She kicks Jane, then jumps, grabbing the top box and flipping herself over the pile, landing on her feet -- and still holding the box, she brings it over her head and SMASHES it over Bob's head.

The guy's effectively wearing a box helmet. Buffy powers out a side kick to the face, smashing through the box to it hit. Bob flies back into the corner.

Jane slams into her and they both go down.

ANGLE: XANDER AND ANGEL

They're pulling the bodies to the safety of the Balcony. Calendar and Cordy are lying nearby as they pull the third one off. It's Giles, who's just starting to waken.

Ned crests the stairs -- and Angel turns, his VAMPIRE FACE now on. Ned charges -- Angel throws himself at him. They grapple, stepping onto some rotted boards covering a hole. It breaks, the two of them falling down to the lower level.

ANGLE: BUFFY

is under Jane, struggling to keep him from biting her. Her hand sweeps the floor, coming up with a box shard. She slams it into her back, pushing her off right before she's dusted.

ANGLE: BOB

Gets the box off his head and climbs swiftly to the ramp above Buffy's head, trying to escape.

Buffy sees him. She runs, jumps -- grabs a pipe under the ramp and swings her legs up --

--and THROUGH the wooden slats, tripping him up, sending him flying to the ground. He lands hard.

ANGLE: ANGEL

as Ned shoves a shard of wood at his heart -- Angel grabs it and shoves harder, sending it backwards through HIS.

ANGLE: XANDER

Gets Willow, the last one, off the chain. A dazed Giles is helping Ms Calendar.

GILES
Are you all right?

JENNY
I think so. My head...

GILES
(to Xander)
Where's Buffy?

Xander looks down at:

ANGLE: BUFFY FROM XANDER'S POV

Pummeling her remaining opponent, Bob.

XANDER
She's working out her issues.

ANGLE: BOB

flies into the corner under the balcony from the force of one of Buffy's blows.

ABSALOM (O.S.)
Enough!

ANGLE: ABSALOM

Steps out of the shadows by where the Anointed one exited. He is holding a sledgehammer.

ABSALOM
Your day is done, girl. I'll grind you
into a sticky paste. And I'll hear you
beg before I smash in your face.

Buffy stands by the big torch, listening. Finally:

BUFFY
So, are you gonna kill me? Or are you
just making small talk?

That tears it. Absalom rushes her, swinging back the hammer. At the same time, Bob does as well, from the opposite direction.

Buffy stands by the torch, waiting. Doesn't even look at them.

At the last second she SWEEPKICKS the base of the torch, splintering it and flipping it up --

--the pointy end IMPALES Bob -- he's dusted --
--as the burning end IGNITES Absalom. He reels back, then comes at her, arms aflame, swinging --
--then stops as the flames literally consume in (FX).

The sledgehammer drops to the ground in front of Buffy.

She takes a moment, breathing hard. Quiet in victory. Looks at something, her expression changing.

She picks up the sledgehammer.

ANGLE: THE OTHERS

watching from above, in various stages of wakefulness. Xander helps Willow to her feet.

WILLOW
It's over.

XANDER
No, it's not.

As she approaches the table, we TRACK BACK to reveal it, the Master's bones laid out before her. She stares at it quietly for a moment, then swings the sledgehammer and SMASHES the skull in. She swings again, smashing the Master to powder, the grunts of her efforts rising to a roar, still she swings it, again, again, out of control--

Angel approaches, slowly. His face is human once again. He touches her shoulder and she stops. Drops the hammer, shaking. She starts crying just before he folds her into his arms.

ANGEL
It's okay... it's okay...

ANGLE: XANDER

Watches Angel hold her, silently. PAN OVER to find Willow watching Xander with much the same emotion.

WIDE ON: THE FACTORY

As Buffy continues to sob, small in the giant, dark space.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PALM COURT - MORNING

Amidst the bustle, we see Cordelia and Ms. Calendar walking together.

CORDELIA
What an ordeal. And you know the worst
part: It stays with you forever. No matter
what they tell you, none of that rust and
blood and grime comes out. You can
dry-clean till judgment day; you're
living with those stains.

JENNY
(dead pan)
Yes. That's the worst part of being
hung upside down by a vampire that
wants to slit your throat. The stains.

CORDELIA
I hear you.

As they cross out of frame we pick up Buffy walking with Giles. The swagger has gone out of her step a bit.

BUFFY
I don't think I can face them.

GILES
Of course you can.

BUFFY
I can't! What am I gonna say? 'Sorry
I almost got your throats cut. What's
the homework?'

GILES
Punishing yourself like this is pointless.

BUFFY
It's entirely pointy! I was a moron. I
put my best friends in mortal danger -
on the second day of school!

GILES
What are you going to do, crawl into
a dark cave for the rest of your life?

BUFFY
Would it have cable?

He stops, turns to her.

GILES
Buffy, you acted wrongly, I admit, but
believe me, that was hardly the worst
mistake you'll ever make.
(a beat)
That wasn't nearly as comforting as it
was meant to be.

BUFFY
Well, points for effort. I'll see you.

She heads inside.

CUT TO:

INT. CLASS - CONTINUOUS

She slowly makes her way to the back row, where Willow and Xander sit, talking. The seat next to Willow is empty. Hesitantly, Buffy approaches. Willow turns and looks up at her.

WILLOW
Buffy.

BUFFY
Hey.

WILLOW
We saved you a seat...

Buffy smiles gratefully, sits. Xander leans over to say:

XANDER
There's a rumor going around that Mr.
Cox is the most boring teacher in the
entire world. Like I think he won a belt
or something.

BUFFY
Lucky us.

WILLOW
Well, I hear he nods off a lot, so that's
a plus.

XANDER
So, are we bronzing tonight?

WILLOW
Wednesdays it's kind of beat.

XANDER
Well, we could grind our enemies into
talcum powder with a sledgehammer,
but, gosh, we did that last night.

Buffy laughs, relaxing. As they continue to talk -- Buffy joining in -- we dolly away, leaving them to their conversation.

CUT TO:

INT. THE FACTORY - DAY

Through the wreckage walks the Anointed One, his expression calm but gloomy. He stops, looks about him for a while.

ANOINTED ONE
I hate that girl...

BLACK OUT.

THE END