Earshot

(February 11, 1999)

Written by: Jane Espenson

Teaser

EXT. PARK - NIGHT

BUFFY RUNS, flat out, chased by a horrible, non-human shape. Then she STUMBLES and falls. Stepping into frame next to her: two not-human feet and the tip of a tail. Trouble. But she smiles and ROLLS suddenly and SWEEPS the demon's feet and draws a knife, towering over the demon, still on the ground.

BUFFY
You demons just can't resist a
run-and-stumble, can you?

For the first time she gets a good look at its face: scabby, oozy and mouthless. She shudders and moves closer with the knife when... it's KICKED out of her hand and caught by the demon on the ground! She whirls and faces the kicker: a SECOND DEMON, identical to the first. She and it circle each other... she's positioning it between herself and the first demon, who now has the knife. Just when the second demon is between her and the first, the first demon THROWS the knife... right at the back of its partner's head. Incredibly, without looking, the second demon DUCKS... the knife sails over his head, right at Buffy. She grabs it out of the air in one quick move and faces the second demon.

BUFFY
Say "Uncle". Oops. No mouth.

She lunges forward and STABS it. She has to wrench the knife free, and as she pulls her left hand away, a SMEAR OF THICK LIQUID glistens on Buffy's skin. She doesn't notice it, and the liquid starts to GLOW. Buffy straightens her clothes, brushes off dirt, unaware, as the glowing liquid SOAKS INTO her skin, leaves no trace.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Buffy and Willow enter the library, where Oz, Xander and Giles are discussing the Ascension.

WILLOW
Scabby Demon got away?

BUFFY
Scabby Demon number two got away.
Scabby Demon one, big check in the
"Slay" column.

WILLOW
I don't like this "no mouth" thing.
It's disquieting.
(realizing)
Unless they have them somewhere
else...

GILES
Good morning, girls. We've just been
researching the Mayor's upcoming
Ascension.

OZ
It's pretty riveting stuff.

BUFFY
What do we know?

XANDER
What don't we know?! Tell her, Giles.

GILES
Well, based on the supposed date,
Graduation Day, and the Mayor
being impervious to harm, I've
cross referenced...

XANDER
He's a cross referencing fool.

GILES
...and I have eliminated several
possibilities. It is not the ritual flaying
of the demon Azorath, nor the... the-
(off their looks)
I don't know what's going to happen.

OZ
That was kind of an anticlimax.

BUFFY
So we don't know anything? The
whole thing with Angel and Faith
was for nothing?

GILES
No, no. If nothing else, Angel's
charade succeeded in bringing
Faith's treachery into the open. And
this information about the Ascension
will prove useful; I just have to put it
together.

WESLEY hurries in.

WESLEY
Terribly sorry. I was detained. Official
Council business. Giles, you were
talking?

Buffy scratches her hand... where the demon goo got on it.

GILES
I was just filling Buffy in on my
progress regarding researching the
Ascension.

WESLEY
Oh? And what took up the rest
of the minute?

GILES
(very humble)
Touche. My work is, after all,
unofficial, and my sources are limited.
I'm sure, however, with the resources
of the Council behind you, that you have
something to add. We're all ears.

Giles sits down with the others, and makes a show of staring at Wesley with intent interest.

WESLEY
Well, I... I am pleased to state with
certainty that the demon Azorath
will not be involved in-

Everyone is getting up, collecting their books.

WESLEY
I'm sure we'll find out more soon.

Buffy, Xander, Willow, Oz exit.

GILES
(scornful; to Wesley)
The demon Azorath.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS (DAY)

The hall is full of posters and banners: "Go Razorbacks!" and "Future 1999 Division Champs!". Oz kisses Willow and splits off, the other three hit their lockers.

WILLOW
Have you talked to Angel lately?

BUFFY
Not really. Seeing him bad again,
even pretend bad... and with Faith...

WILLOW
He only smootched her for the
greater good.

BUFFY
I don't know... to the naked eye,
it looks like fun. Or maybe it wasn't,
maybe he was never tempted... I just
wish I could be sure.

WILLOW
As always, I advise you to ask.

BUFFY
Like he'd tell me.

Absently, she scratches the back of her hand.

Two tall, athletic boys walk through the hall: basketball players. One of them is PERCY, Willow's tutoring project. The other is HOGAN MARTIN. He's clearly a star, not just athletic, but charismatic and good-looking.

STUDENT
Hogan! Great game, man!

HOGAN
Thanks!

PERCY
(to the student)
Just wait till tonight.

XANDER
Hogan Martin. Thinks he's so hot.
Like we should all be awed by him
'cause he can put a ball in a net.

HOGAN
Hey, Xander.

XANDER
He said my name! He knows my
name!

They stop by the Buffy group.

PERCY
Willow, hey.

WILLOW
Hi.

PERCY
I can't make the study session after
school today. Can we do it fifth
period?

WILLOW
Okay. Did you do the reading?

PERCY
Most of it...

WILLOW
Percy...

PERCY
I'll finish it at lunch.

WILLOW
That's my little trooper.

HOGAN
I don't know what you're doing to him;
I actually heard him complete a sentence.
Had a clause and everything.

The two sportsmen start to leave. Percy addresses Willow as they go.

PERCY
You're gonna watch the game, right?

WILLOW
Wouldn't miss it.

XANDER
See ya, Hogan.

BUFFY
You're going to the game? I didn't think
you watched basketball.

WILLOW
I didn't either. But I've really been
getting into it, and now we're in the
championship and it's so exciting!
It's too bad you're patrolling 'cause
we're all going, Xander and Oz.
Everybody.

BUFFY
Right. Everybody who isn't currently
Buffy.

She is still scratching her hand. She stops, looking at it. Puzzles.

INT. GILES' OFFICE - DAY

Buffy is studying her irritated hand while Giles looks through his books.

GILES
You touched one of the demons.

BUFFY
A "good touch," not a "bad touch."
Anyway, it's been itching like crazy.
No big. Just another problem for the
good people at Lubriderm, right?

GILES
These are the demons in question?

He shows her a drawing of the two from the Teaser.

BUFFY
In the disgusting flesh.

GILES
Hmm.

BUFFY
What?

GILES
Oh, it says that they can infect a host --

BUFFY
Infect? Infect?... Infect?

GILES
Infect a host with "an aspect of the
demon." That's all it says. I say,
that's rather terse, isn't it?

BUFFY
I'm going to get an aspect of them?
Like, a part of them?

GILES
Of course, there are many other
explanations for your hand. A new
fabric softener can cause irritation.
But just in case, I'd advise you not
to try to track the one that got away.
Let's minimize your exposure.

Buffy is staring at the picture. These demons have no appealing aspects.

BUFFY
A part of the demon. I hope it's not
the outside part.

EXT. FOUNTAIN COURT - DAY

Pep rally. CORDELIA is one of the cheerleaders. They're doing little routines and chants in honor of each of the players on the team. Buffy, Willow, Xander and Oz look on from the crowd.

CHEERLEADERS
H-O-G-A-N. IT'S HOGAN!
GO HOGAN!

The cheerleaders wave their pompoms around the star player. He waves. The crowd YELLS and APPLAUDS. Buffy absently runs a hand over her hair.

BUFFY
Is it just me or is this really lame?

OZ
I don't know. Usually I enjoy lameness,
and this is leaving me cold.

Willow is idly flipping through the school newspaper, "The Sunnydale High Sentinel." The headline: "GRADES ARE MEANINGLESS".

WILLOW
Well, according to Freddy's latest
editorial the pep rally is a place for
"pseudo-prostitutes to provoke men
into a sexual frenzy, which, when
thwarted, results in pointless athletic
competition".

They all watch the cheerleaders bounce.

CHEERLEADERS
GET THE BALL AND STUFF IT!
STUFF IT!

XANDER
The downside being...

WILLOW
The school paper is edging towards
depressing lately. Have you guys
noticed that?

OZ
I don't know; I always go straight
to the obits.

Buffy runs her hand over her hair again. Willow gently nudges her over to the edge of the crowd where they can talk.

WILLOW
Buffy? What are you doing?

BUFFY
Nothing.
(then, an admission)
Checking for horns.

WILLOW
Oh, Buffy. You know, I don't even
think Giles is right about you becoming
like a demon. He's totally burnt,
dealing with Faith and this
Ascension thing. Between you
and me, he's not doing his best work.

BUFFY
But what if he's right? I'm suddenly
gonna grow a demon part and I don't
even know which one. It could be scales,
or claws, or --
(off Willow's look)
--what?

WILLOW
Was it a boy demon?

Buffy's face is a study.

BACK BY THE CHEERLEADERS

Xander and Oz watch the cheerleaders.

CHEERLEADERSS
T-O-M. IT'S TOM! GO TOM!

XANDER
They're really very good.

OZ
Well, their spelling's improved...

XANDER
You know, Oz, I look at all this
beauty. All these... healthy young
women and I wonder why I even
wasted my time with Cordelia.
Look at her, she's no better looking
than the rest of them.

OZ
None of them are really my--

XANDER
Oh my god. He's looking at her.

Oz turns and sees Wesley standing at the edge of the crowd, watching the rally.

XANDER
He's got his filthy adult Pierce Brosnan-y
eyeballs all over my Cordy.

OZ
You're a complex man, aren't you?

BACK BY WILLOW and Buffy

Buffy is pouring out her heart to Willow... a close moment between good friends.

BUFFY
I'm just... I'm really scared, Will.
There's something in me and I can't
stop it, I can't find it, and what if it
changes me, not just the way I look,
but... I could be something that's not
me anymore.

WILLOW
Yay! Whoo-hoo!
(then)
Sorry. They spelled Percy. I had to
show support. He's needy. But I heard
you. Really. And I understand. I would
be frightened too. But--

The rally is breaking up. The opportunity for private talk is over. Xander and Oz join the girls.

BUFFY
Let's keep it between us for now,
okay?

WILLOW
Okay.

XANDER
Man, I'm pumped for the game tonight.

WILLOW
It's gonna be fun.
(off Buffy)
If you like that sort of thing.

BUFFY
That's okay. Patrolling is fun too.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Buffy patrols alone, carrying her Slayer bag. No fun. She sighs and rubs at her hand. She takes a mirror out of her bag, looks at her face.

BUFFY
Well, I've still got a mouth.

ANGLE: THE MIRROR

Positioned so Buffy could see someone standing behind her. There's nothing there. She turns and finds herself facing ANGEL. She jumps.

ANGEL
Sorry.

BUFFY
It's okay. I didn't see you so I
should've known you were there.
What are you doing here?

ANGEL
It's a dangerous time. You know,
with Faith...

BUFFY
Yeah. Faith... She, well... Faith.
What can you say about her?

She waits, but Angel says nothing about her:

ANGEL
I just want to make sure you're okay.
That you're safe.

Buffy looks searchingly at Angel.

BUFFY
And the fact that you're right here.
Does that mean Faith's around? Are
you keeping me safe by tracking me
or by tracking her?

ANGEL
I'm tracking you.
(beat)
Something's bothering you.

BUFFY
Oh, lots of things.

Will Angel bring up Faith now? No. Buffy sighs.

BUFFY
The most recent is this demon. Two,
actually. Ooky-looking with extra ook.
Well, I kind of... got one of them on me,
and now I might get a big case of the
bumpies or a tail or something...

ANGEL
"An aspect of the demon."

BUFFY
You now the drill...

ANGEL
By rumor. But that doesn't mean
anything. Sometimes demons
exaggerate their power.

BUFFY
Demon-hype. Or maybe not. But, hey,
I spend all my time here in the dark
anyway. Not like I'd be at a game or
out with friends or something where
people'd see me and my new monster-part.

Buffy stands up and walks. Angel follows, takes her by the arm. She stops.

ANGEL
Believe me, I won't let anything hurt
you if I can help it. And no matter what
happens, I'll be with you. I'll love you
even if you're covered with slime.

BUFFY
I liked everything up until that.

INT. LOUNGE - MORNING (DAY)

Willow, Xander, and Oz are on their feet, rehashing last night's game.

WILLOW
Could you believe it? Right at the
buzzer! Three points for the win!

OZ
It was intense.

XANDER
Yeah, for a minute there I thought
you were gonna make an expression.

OZ
I felt one coming on, I won't lie...

WILLOW
I've never seen anyone jump like
Hogan Martin. They should call him
"The Jumper."

XANDER
Or a name that isn't an article of
women's clothing.

WILLOW
Shush.

They all quiet down as Buffy enters.

BUFFY
Ooh. Quietness. We either lost the
game or we won and you don't want
me to feel bad.

Cordelia enters and talks with some friends of hers nearby.

WILLOW
Yeah, well, it wasn't really a good
game.

XANDER
Yeah. Tall hoop, but then, tall guys,
so what's the point.

OZ
Pretty dull.

Cordy must have been listening, because she's all over this.

CORDELIA
Are you guys crazy? It was an incredible
game! I've never cheered so hard in my
life. I've still got knee-marks on my back.
(off their looks)
From the pyramid.

And she gives up. She moves across the room to her friends.

WILLOW
(to Buffy)
Yeah, well. I still bet patrolling was
way better. Because, wow, important.

BUFFY
I thought I saw a four-legged demon.
But it was a dog.

OZ
(interested)
A weredog?

BUFFY
Regular.

XANDER
Tough luck.

BUFFY
Yeah.

Xander is looking over at Cordy.

XANDER (V.O.)
I wonder if she and Wesley have
kissed.

BUFFY
It really bugs you, huh?

XANDER
What?

BUFFY
Cordelia and Wesley. Smootching.

XANDER
Man. You read my mind.

We push in on Buffy as it dawns on her that, in fact, she did.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. HALLWAY - MORNING (DAY)

Buffy walks slowly toward the library. Teachers and other students pass her. She turns a corner and almost runs into MR. BEACH, a teacher.

MR. BEACH
(pleasantly)
Whoa there. You watch where you're
going now.

BUFFY
Sorry, Mr. Beach. I will.

As he leaves...

MR. BEACH (V.O.)
Students. If we could just get rid of
all the students...

Buffy stops and stares at his retreating figure. Starts walking again, looking more carefully about her.

A NERDY BOY walks by.

NERD (V.O.)
And when I'm a software jillionaire and
you're all working at Arby's, who's the
loser then?

He's gone. A HARASSED LOOKING GIRL goes by.

HARASSED GIRL (V.O.)
Maybe I'll take French, I said. How
hard can it be? French babies learn it.
Idiot.

As that statement is just fading, over the top of it, another starts:

BAGGY-PANTS GUY (V.O.)
I swear, some day my pants are gonna
fall right off.

She looks over, sees a group of BAGGY-TROUSERED GUYS lounging by a locker. One of them hitches up his pants uncomfortably. Buffy stifles a laugh.

CUTE GUY (V.O.)
God, Buffy's so beautiful.

She is passing a CUTE GUY, sees him glancing at her. Pleased, she stops and comes back a step, pretending to dig in her purse.

CUTE GUY (V.O.)
She has the sweetest face I ever saw.
And that body... Man I'd love to --

ANGLE ON: BUFFY

Reacting to what is clearly the filthiest ending the above sentence could possibly have. She hurries away, past ANOTHER GUY. He looks at her and she reacts to his, even filthier, thought. She hurries, arms crossed protectively over her body, and enters:

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Buffy follows Giles around as he selects and pulls books.

BUFFY
Is this the thing? The aspect-thing?
Because, I've got to say, it's better than
a tail. I mean, it's hard enough getting
jeans that fit right anyway...

GILES
Buffy. Slow down. I'm not even
convinced that you're experiencing
genuine mind-reading. Most likely,
you're projecting...

BUFFY
When I came in, a minute ago, you
thought, "Look at those shoes. If the
fashion magazines told her to, she'd
wear cats strapped to her feet."

Giles stares at her, stunned.

GILES
I... that...

BUFFY
And by the way, cat-shoes? I mean,
what is that?

GILES (V.O.)
Of course. 'Aspect of the demon'. The
demons are telepathic. That's why they
don't need mouths. I should have known.

Just before his voice-over is done, Giles starts speaking:

GILES
Of course. The demons are telepathic.

BUFFY
I know. You just told me. That's why
they don't need mouths. And you
should have known.

GILES
I... this is astounding.

BUFFY
It was happening in the hall. Principal
Snyder has "Walk Like an Egyptian"
stuck in his head. And the boys in this
school are seriously disturbed. It was
strange, but, Giles, it's like this whole
secret world is open to me. Think what
I can do.

GILES
It would be useful. You can anticipate
an opponent's moves, turn their plans
against them...

BUFFY
Oh, way better than that.

CLOSE ON BUFFY:

BUFFY
Jealousy!

PULL BACK TO REVEAL WE ARE IN:

The history teacher, MS. MURRAY, faces the class. Buffy, Willow and Xander are in the class, along with NANCY and FREDDY and others.

MS. MURRAY
(surprised)
Buffy. Right. Very good.

Willow and Xander look at Buffy with surprise. So does NANCY, a competitive girl.

NANCY (V.O.)
I knew that.

Nancy frowns at Buffy. Buffy looks at her innocently.

MS. MURRAY
Jealousy, clearly, is the tool that Iago
used to undo Othello. But what's his
motivation? What reason does Iago
give for destroying his superior officer?

Under the end of Ms. Murray's speech, we hear:

MS. MURRAY (V.O.)
"Cassio has my place...Twixt my sheets
he's done my office..."

BUFFY
(working it out)
Well, he was passed over for promotion,
Cassio was picked instead... and people
were saying Othello slept with his wife.

Everyone looks at her.

WILLOW (V.O.)
(surprised)
Buffy did the reading.
(more surprised)
Buffy understood the reading.

XANDER (V.O.)
When did she study? Was I supposed
to study? Ms. Murray's kind of hot.

NANCY (V.O.)
I was going to say Cassio. I hate her.

Buffy looks sweetly at Nancy.

MS. MURRAY
Any other reason?

Nancy jumps in fast, before Buffy can talk:

NANCY
Race!

MS. MURRAY
Uh... good, Nancy. Can't overlook that.

Nancy smirks.

FREDDY (V.O.)
Look at them, scrambling for the
teacher's praise like pigeons
for old bread crusts.

Buffy looks around... sees FREDDY, dressed in black, slumped in his desk with a dark and brooding look.

BUFFY
(whispered to Willow)
Who's that guy?

WILLOW
Freddy Munson. He writes those
editorials for the school paper.
He's sardonic.

FREDDY (V.O.)
Bread crusts. That's deep. I should
write that down.

MS. MURRAY
Iago makes a lot of references to
Othello's color, but he never specifically
cites race as a motive. Is there something
else at work here?

Buffy listens intently as she speaks, translating the teacher's thoughts into her words...

BUFFY
Well, he sort of admits himself that
his motives are... spurious, he just
does things because he enjoys them...
sort of... Well it's almost like he's not a
person, like he's a force of nature -
the dark half of Othello himself,
Othello's fear and rage sort of...
embodied...

Everyone stares at Buffy.

MS. MURRAY/WILLOW/XANDER/NANCY
(raggedly overlapping)
Whoa.

MS. MURRAY
Buffy. Really. Very astute. I said
something quite like that in my
dissertation.

BUFFY
I know. I mean, I agree. With that.

MS. MURRAY
Yes, and doesn't that also explain
Othello's readiness to believe Iago?
Within seconds he turns on Desdemona,
belies that she's unfaithful. And we're
all like that; we all have little internal
Iagos telling us our husbands or our
girlfriends or whatever don't really
love us. We can never see what's in
their hearts. We doubt. We worry.

Buffy's smiles fades, as she's reminded of another part of her life.

MS. MURRAY
Most of us don't go to as extreme
measures as Othello, thank goodness...

INT. MANSION - DAY

Angel, sleepy-eyed and tousled, opens the door. Buffy is there. He flinches at the indirect sunlight and steps back.

BUFFY
Hi. Sorry about the daytime. I just
ducked out of school and that's when
they have it.

Buffy enters and sits on the sofa -- even in the middle of the day, the place is dark.

BUFFY
You look good. I mean, I saw you
last night, but sometimes things change
real quick. I mean, really quickly.
Listen to me, I'm talking like Faith.

Buffy concentrates, trying to hear Angel's thoughts.

BUFFY
Not that she was so bad to have
around. Before the evil. I think she
was hurting a lot. Some people,
protective-type people, might be
drawn to that, I guess.

She listens... nothing.

BUFFY
The thing about Faith...

Angel looks Buffy right in the eyes, and...

ANGEL
You can't get into my mind.

BUFFY
How did you--? And why not?

ANGEL
It's like the mirror. The thoughts
are there, but they create no
reflection in you.
(then)
You got your "aspect of the demon."

BUFFY
Yeah. Giles doesn't know how
long it's going to last, but it's okay.
A little headachy, but...

ANGEL
You don't have to play games with
me, Buffy. Ever.

BUFFY
Well, you're not exactly Joe Here's
What I'm Thinking.

ANGEL
So ask me.

BUFFY
Oh. But that would make sense.

ANGEL
What do you want to know about?
Faith? How I felt kissing her? Pretending
to have no soul? Watching you suffer?

BUFFY
Well, since you want to talk about
those things...

ANGEL
I hated hurting you. It cut me deeper
than I've ever been cut. More than
I can stand.

Buffy is moved. She rests her head on his shoulder, just for a moment... not quite a hug, but a tiny step forward.

BUFFY
Thank you. Um... and the Faith part
of the question? I mean, I guess I'd
understand... she's got this whole "bad
girl" thing going on...

ANGEL
Kissing her meant nothing. I don't want
a bad girl. I've done that before. I've
lived a long time, Buffy, and I'm past
that. I've been with dozens of girls like
her. More.

BUFFY
Oh, this honesty stuff is fun.

ANGEL
There's no comparison. In 243 years
I've loved exactly one person.

BUFFY
Oh.
(beat)
It's me, right?

He smiles.

ANGEL
Next time, just ask.

BUFFY
Okay.

ANGEL
And Buffy, be careful with this gift.
A lot of things that seem good and
strong and powerful... they can be
painful.

BUFFY
Like, say, immortality?

ANGEL
Exactly. I'm dying to get rid of that.

BUFFY
Funny.

ANGEL
(intensely)
I'm a funny guy.

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

The whole group: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Oz, Cordy, Giles and Wesley. Trying to absorb new info.

XANDER
She can read our mind? Our every
impulse and fantasy?

BUFFY
Every one.

XANDER (V.O.)
Oh god.

CORDELIA (V.O.)
I don't see what this has to do with me.

CORDELIA
I don't see what this has to do with me.

WILLOW
Well, I think it's good. Right? I mean,
you enjoy your other Slayer powers.

BUFFY
Yeah! It'll be fun. Did you see Nancy
Doyle's face in English class?

WILLOW (V.O.)
She's hardly even human any more.
How can I be her friend now? She
doesn't need me.

BUFFY
No, I need you! I do.

CORDELIA
Okay, who are you talking to? Because
you are just so creepy right now.

Giles speaks, Buffy listening to thoughts during his monologue -- she pays no attention to him (and neither do we).

GILES
Well, there must be some precedent
for this sort of occurrence. I'll start
researching it. Wesley, you'll give me
a hand?

WESLEY
Of course.

OZ (V.O.)
I am my thoughts. If they exist in her,
Buffy contains everything that is me
and she becomes me. I cease to exist.

OZ
Huh.

XANDER (V.O.)
What am I going to do? I think about
sex all the time. Sex. Help. Four times
five is thirty. Five times six is thirty-two...
Naked girls. Naked women. Naked Buffy.
Oh, stop me.

BUFFY
Xander, is that all you think about?

XANDER
Actually...? Bye.

Almost running, Xander exists.

WESLEY
Xander has just illustrated something.
Chances are, you're all going to find
yourself thinking whatever you least want
Buffy to hear. It's a matter, of course,
of mental discipline...

Under his speech we hear:

WESLEY (V.O.)
Look at Cordelia. No! Don't look at
Cordelia! She's a student! Oh, I am
bad. A bad, bad man.

Buffy looks at Wesley. He knows he's caught.

WESLEY
Excuse me.

Wesley exists to the office. Giles watches Buffy interact with her friends.

WILLOW
What's it like, Buffy?

BUFFY
Oh, Will, it's... weird. And please,
don't think I don't need you, because
I really want to share this. It's... like
all these doors opening into all these
little worlds and I can just walk in.

As Buffy talks, she starts to hear, underneath:

WILLOW (V.O.)
She knows so much. She knows what
Oz is thinking. I never know that. Before
long she'll know him better than I do...

BUFFY
Willow... don't think that.

WILLOW
I can't help it!

OZ (V.O.)
No one else exists either. Buffy is
all of us. We think, therefore she is.

WILLOW
I'm sorry, Buffy. I just can't...

She gets up to go. Oz rises also, focussed on Willow.

OZ
If you don't need me, I'm gonna
follow the redhead.

BUFFY
Okay.

They exit. And Buffy's alone with Giles and Cordy.

BUFFY
Well, I guess I won't write that book
"Win Friends Through Telepathy."

CORDELIA (V.O.)
Whatever. I wonder when I can go.

CORDELIA
Whatever. Can I go?

Wesley sticks his head out from Giles' office.

WESLEY
Can you hear me thinking in here? I
could go out in the hall.

BUFFY
(to Wesley)
You know what? You stay. I'll go.
I'm getting a headache.

Buffy exits alone.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Buffy walks from the library toward the cafeteria. Among others heading to the cafeteria: Mrs. Beach, Freddy, Nancy. The hallway is full of people doing completely ordinary things. Some look happy. Most look blank. Buffy overlapping thoughts. It's impossible to pair the thoughts with their owners... it's as if the thoughts are in the air.

VOICES (V.O.)
She is so hot. I swear I will scream
from boredom. No one's ever going
to love me. What if I never get breasts?
I can't believe the test is today. Get rid
of the students, it's that easy. What if
I'm the last virgin in the world?

Buffy's face reflects the building confusion and pain. She rubs her forehead, and actually stumbles as she walks.

INT. GILES' OFFICE - DAY

Giles and Wesley, surrounded by open volumes. Giles finds something.

GILES
Here. It's happened before. A man in
Ecuador, quite recently.

WESLEY
Can we contact him?

GILES
I would say not. He can't communicate
with anyone.

WESLEY
Dead?

GILES
No. He's in complete isolation. The
power. He can't shut it off.

Buffy stands a little unsteadily in line as the LUNCH LADY plops unappetizing food onto students' plates. In the b.g. are Nancy, Freddy, Mr. Beach, Hogan and Larry, among others.

VOICES (V.O.)
(overlapping)
I hate my body. He is so cute I can't
even look at him. Am I normal? When
am I ever going to need to know
algebra?

Buffy stands there. Eventually Jonathan addresses her:

JONATHON
Are you through with the potatoes?

Startled, Buffy looks at him.

JONATHON (V.O.)
She doesn't even know I'm here.

She moves away.

VOICES (V.O.)
They're all just like rats in a maze.
Look at everyone, they think this matters.
If I stand in just the right place I can sort
of see into the armhole of her top.

Buffy moves automatically down the line to get her dessert.

VOICES (V.O.)
He has the cutest butt. If I'm not
valedictorian I'm going to die.
I want her, I can't have her, I hate her.

Buffy, dazed, walks toward a table. It's impossible to pick out any one thought anymore... it's cacophony. Buffy sways. Then the cacophony fades. All the noise of the room fades away, and one voice sounds alone. It's whispery, harsh and distorted. It could be male or female, and it's definitely crazy.

KILLER (V.O.)
This time tomorrow, I kill you all.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. CAFETERIA - CONTINUOUS (DAY)

Buffy stands in the middle of the room, holding her tray, looking around. People move and talk, but we can't hear them. Silence. Buffy sways and drops her tray. It lands silently. Food spatters. Then the normal sounds of the cafeteria fade back up, now including the normal applause and hooting that follows a dropped tray. Buffy reaches out, grabs the nearest arm, swings a student around, face-to-face.

STUDENT
Hey!

STUDENT (V.O.)
She's gone nuts.

Buffy lets them go, grabs someone else.

ANOTHER STUDENT (V.O.)
Wow, she DOES have a violent streak.

Buffy spins, grabs Jonathon.

JONATHON (V.O)
(dreamy)
She touched me.

And then it's a building chorus again:

VOICES (V.O.)
(overlapping)
I hate being here. I bet she's done
it lots of times. He's such a show-off.
Everyone's staring at my hair. I hate him.
Didn't she wear that skirt yesterday?

The sound gets LOUDER. It BUILDS BACK UP to unintelligible noise. Buffy pushes Jonathan away, but keeps turning in place, searching with her eyes.

BUFFY'S POV OF ROOM (360 degrees)

Faces, most staring back at her, swim in the front of her.

ANGLE ON: BUFFY

A Steadicam shot circling her as she spins and the noise continues to get LOUDER.

Her eyes close and she DROPS TO THE FLOOR. She's out cold.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

EXT. SKY - BUFFY'S POV

A ring of concerned faces: Giles, Willow, Oz, Xander. Cordelia's there too, but less concerned.

WILLOW/OZ/GILES/XANDER/CORDY (V.O)
(overlapping)
I think she's walking up./She's okay./
Thank goodness./Her eyes are
opening./I'm cold.

EXT. PINE GROVE - DAY

Buffy sits up with Giles' help.

GILES
Are you all right?

CORDELIA
I told them not to move you. They
probably severed your spinal cord.

BUFFY
I'm okay.

GILES
Buffy--

BUFFY
Really, I am. Listen. There's a killer
in the cafeteria.

XANDER
I've been saying for years that the lunch
lady's going to do us all in with that mulligan
stew. I mean, what the hell is a mulligan?

BUFFY
Someone was thinking it. "This time
tomorrow, I kill you all." I have to
find them.

GILES
You didn't recognize the voice?

BUFFY
No.

WILLOW
Boy or girl?

BUFFY
I don't know. It was so full of...
anger and pain, it was hardly human.

She gets up and starts walking toward the school. As she gets closer to the building, the CACOPHONY starts building in her head. She stumbles. Giles catches her, steers her farther away. The noise fades.

GILES
You can't.

BUFFY
I have to find them.

OZ
Are you sure they meant it?

XANDER
Yeah. I mean, who hasn't just idly
thought about taking out the whole
place with a semi-automatic?
(off their looks)
I said idly.

BUFFY
I know the difference. He, she,
whoever, they meant it. They're
going to do it.

WILLOW/OZ/GILES/XANDER/CORDY (V.O.)
(overlapping)
How horrible./Who could it be?/She
looks so tired./I bet it was Hogan./
I'm not getting any warmer.

BUFFY
Shut up!

Her friends recoil. Buffy holds her head.

BUFFY
I'm sorry. I just mean... stop thinking
so loud... or so much...

GILES
You have to go home, Buffy. I'll
take you home.

BUFFY
Yeah, okay. But, you guys, you have
to do this. Go back in there, make a list,
everyone in the cafeteria. We've got to
find the killer before lunch tomorrow!

WILLOW
We'll do it, Buffy. A list of all the
students.

BUFFY
Nancy was there. She's scary. Teachers
too. Mr. Beach thought something
about getting rid of us...

GILES
(to Buffy)
Come on.

Willow leads the others back to the school as Buffy and Giles walk slowly toward his car parked at the edge of the triangle. She leans on his arm slightly.

BUFFY
I can't shut it out, Giles. I mean, it's
like this... invasion of my head -
strangers walking around in there.
Look at this, I can't even be around
people. Not that they're clamoring
to be near me now anyway. Even you.

GILES
I'm sorry, Buffy. It's hard for all of
us. But Wesley and I are looking
for a way to help.

BUFFY
I'm going to be okay, aren't I? You
know, even if you can't get rid of it?

GILES
You'll be fine. I promise.

GILES (V.O.)
If it doesn't go away, she'll go insane.

Buffy stops and stares at him.

INT. LIBRARY - LATER (DAY)

Willow, Xander, Oz and Cordelia.

WILLOW
We have a list of the people in the
cafeteria. I'll do some computer work,
match it against the FBI mass-murderer
profiles. We can rule some people out.

XANDER
I'm still having trouble with the idea
that one of us is just gonna gun
everybody down for no reason.

CORDELIA
(sarcastically)
Yeah, 'cause that never happens in
American high schools.

OZ
It's bordering on trendy at this point.

WILLOW
Besides which: Sunnydale high. Center
of Evil and all that. So let's get to work.
We have till lunch time tomorrow.
We hope.

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - AFTERNOON (DAY)

Joyce is tucking Buffy into bed. Buffy is pale and shaky.

JOYCE
There. You look better already.

BUFFY
Thanks Mom--

Joyce exits into the hall.

JOYCE (O.S.)
I'm just getting you another pillow.

Joyce is back with the pillow.

BUFFY
I don't really need --

Joyce is out again.

JOYCE (O.S.)
Just getting another blanket!

BUFFY
Mom!

Joyce is back with the blanket.

JOYCE
How about some soup? Chicken and stars?

BUFFY
Mom. Stop it. Come sit with me.

JOYCE
Well... I've got... laundry...

BUFFY
Why are you...

Buffy gasps.

BUFFY
You had sex with Giles. You had
sex with Giles!

Joyce is heading for the door.

JOYCE
It was the candy! We were teenagers!

BUFFY
On the hood of a police car?!

JOYCE
I'll be downstairs! Feel better!

Joyce exits.

BUFFY
(called after)
Twice?!

INT. LIBRARY - LATER (DAY)

Willow has her computer set up on the table. With Xander, Oz and Cordy looking on, she takes a list out of the printer.

WILLOW
Okay. I've taken our list and narrowed
it to a dozen strong suspects.

She hands out papers to Xander, Oz and Cordy.

WILLOW
These are your personalized
assignments.

XANDER
Oh, I was hoping there'd be assignments.

CORDELIA
I think I should work with Wesley.

XANDER
You have no shame.

CORDELIA
Oh, like shame is something to
be proud of.

WILLOW
Be quiet! Sorry, but this is important.
Talk to everyone on your list. Use
the sample questions. Today, people!

They head out...

WILLOW
(called after)
Oh! Write neatly and label your
worksheets!

INT. LIBRARY - LATER (DAY)

Jonathan, utterly confused, sits in the darkened room at the table facing a desk lamp.

Willow stands up and turns the lamp head toward him. He pulls back and squints into the light. The scene becomes a reprise of the interrogation in "Go Fish".

WILLOW
Fantasies are fun, aren't they
Jonathan?

JONATHAN
I guess.

WILLOW
We all have fantasies where we're
powerful and respected. Where people
pay attention to us.

JONATHAN
Maybe.

WILLOW
But sometimes the fantasy isn't enough,
is it, Jonathan? Sometimes you have to
make it so people don't ignore you. Make
them pay attention. You know what I'm
talking about, don't you?

JONATHAN
You want me to pay attention?

EXT. BASKETBALL COURT - DAY

Oz is talking with Hogan, the basketball star, who practices jump shots with a ball. Oz holds his "worksheet".

HOGAN
This is for the yearbook?

OZ
(nodding)
"Personality profiles".

HOGAN
Can you ask it again?

OZ
Do you ever feel that you've created a
false persona for yourself of the guy
who does everything right, and how
much of a strain does that put on you
to maintain it?

HOGAN
Huh. Wow. I guess... moderate strain?
Is that a good answer? I want to get
this right.

OZ
Uh-huh.

Oz checks something off on his list.

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

Mr. Beach is erasing the blackboard in an empty room. Cordelia enters.

CORDELIA
Hi, Mr. Beach. I was just wondering
if you were planning on killing a bunch
of people tomorrow? Oh, it's for the
yearbook.

EXT. PINE GROVE STAIRS - DAY

Xander addresses three cute girls.

XANDER
Okay, so 'turn offs' include smoking,
insensitive men and Birkenstocks.
Now, your idea of the perfect romantic
evening...

INT. SCHOOL NEWSPAPER OFFICE - DAY

Oz enters. No one there. Oz looks at the framed front pages on the walls. Headlines include: "TEACHERS FAIL COMPETENCY EXAM," "SCHOOL DEATH TOLL SETS RECORD," "DEPRESSION LINKED TO SCHOOL," "APATHY ON THE RISE, NO ONE CARES," and "DROP-OUTS FIND HAPPINESS". Oz exits.

ANGLE ON: FREDDY

Hiding under the desk.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Giles and Wesley, surrounded by books and magick supplies, including a vial of liquid. They look rumpled and tired.

WESLEY
Well, it seems to be coming along
all right.

GILES
Yes, Buffy's being driving mad, we
have no proof this will work and it
still requires the heart of the second
demon, which we have no idea how
to get without the slayer.

WESLEY
Negative thinking doesn't solve problems.

GILES
Berk.

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy stands at the window, looking out.

VIEW FROM BUFFY'S WINDOW

PAN across some typical Sunnydale houses. Over the first house:

WIFE (V.O.)
Look at him smiling, like he thinks I
don't know about her...

This overlaps with:

HUSBAND (V.O.)
She doesn't know a thing. I can't
believe I'm getting away with this.

This overlaps with thoughts from the next house:

MAN (V.O.)
I should've just quit. No job's worth
that crap.

And over the third house:

WOMAN (V.O.)
One more drink. That'll do it. Just one
more and I can sleep...

Buffy shudders. She closes the window, the curtain, but now:

MAN (V.O.)
(overlapping)
Twenty years with that company.

WIFE (V.O.)
Does he think I can't smell her
perfume?

WOMAN (V.O.)
It's just a little drink.

MAN (V.O.)
He shouldn't even be the boss.

WOMAN (V.O.)
The bottle's almost empty anyway...

Buffy curls up on the bed, pulls the pillow over her head.

EXT. PARK - NIGHT

The surviving mouthless demon is flung backwards into frame -- airborne for far longer than a human assault could ever accomplish. Angel, in vamp face, bounds in after him, pressing his advantage. The demon fights back with a series of hard punches that snap Angel's head back. But, on the last punch, Angel side-steps, and grabs the demon's arm, and throws the demon to the ground. Angel flings himself onto the demon, pinning it... But the demon flips Angel off him. Angel is still finding his feet when the demon is on him... catching him brutally in the head with big sweeping kicks. Angel staggers back, shaking his head to clear it. But the demon is gone. Angel looks up at the still-dark sky, worried.

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - MORNING (DAY)

The room is dark. Buffy is on the bed, twisting and mumbling. Joyce is in a chair, wrapped in a blanket -- she has clearly been sitting up all night. She gets up and wearily crosses to the window and parts the curtains. She squints out at the early morning light.

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - MORNING (DAY)

Willow holds her list and talks to Nancy.

NANCY
Do I often imagine classmates are
spying on me or otherwise acting
suspiciously?

WILLOW
Right.

NANCY
Not 'til just now.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Freddy walks down the hall, turns a corner and sees: Oz, knocking at the door of the school newspaper office.

OZ
Freddy? You there?

Freddy ducks back, out of sight. Oz gives up, and walks past where Freddy is hiding. Freddy runs off the other way.

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - DAY

Xander and Larry are there.

LARRY
What? Talk louder, dude.

XANDER
(discreetly)
I'm just saying it's got to be frustrating.
Having this secret? You gotta be kind of
filling up with resentment, unexpressed
rage waiting to burst out. Today at lunch.

LARRY
(loudly)
What secret? Being gay?

XANDER
Shhh!

LARRY
Man, I'm out. I'm so out I got my
grandma fixing me up with guys.

XANDER
Oh. That's... nice?

LARRY
But it sounds like you're having a
rough time with it.

XANDER
Again, may I suggest shhh?

LARRY
Look, just do it.

Freddy hurries by, making his escape from Oz. Larry spots him.

LARRY
(to Xander)
Look there. That weird Freddy
Munson guy who does the school
paper?

XANDER
He's gay?

LARRY
No, dude, but I bet he'd put in, like,
a coming-out announcement for you.
Something tasteful.

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - MORNING (DAY)

Buffy is still curled on the bed, hands clamped over her ears, every muscle tense and tortured. Joyce and Giles look in on her from the doorway. Buffy MOANS.

JOYCE
I can't stand this. I keep wondering if
I'm hurting her, with my thoughts.

GILES
You're not. Not anymore. She can't
pick one thought out of the... din.

He's interrupted by the DOORBELL, followed by urgent KNOCKING.

INT. FOYER - DAY

Joyce runs down the stairs, Giles following. Wesley is there (he's been downstairs), opens the front door and steps aside, allows a shrouded figure in. Smoke curls off the blanket.

The figure beneath shrugs off the coverings... it's Angel. He holds the vial. Now the liquid inside GLOWS.

ANGEL
I got it.

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Willow, Xander, Oz and Cordy compare results. The table is covered with their scattered lists, and a copy of the school paper. Headline: TEAM WINS SENSELESS CONTEST.

WILLOW
He's the only one we couldn't find?

OZ
Yeah. Freddy Munson.

CORDELIA
The newspaper guy? But we can't
figure out it's him without the worksheet,
right?

Xander has picked up the copy of the paper.

XANDER
Uh... we do have this, people. Today's
editorial titled, "BIG GAME DRAWS
MINDLESS, BRAINDEAD MOB."

CORDELIA
Does he mention the cheerleaders?
Because we were on.

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - DAY

Angel is alone with Buffy. He tries to lift her into a sitting position on the bed. She fights him, weakly.

BUFFY
No. No!

ANGEL
I'm going to help you.

Buffy opens her eyes.

BUFFY
Who?

She doesn't know him. That hurts. He holds the glowing vial of liquid to Buffy's mouth, forces some into her. Then he settles her in the bed and kisses her lightly on the lips. But as he stands up, she gasps and CONVULSES. He grabs her, holds her, trying to control her flailing limbs.

ANGEL
Giles!

EXT. FOUNTAIN COURT - DAY

Students hang a new banner: "1999 CHAMPS!" Larry crosses through. Nancy sits on a bench, reading.

CUT TO:

A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE FOUNTAIN COURT

As our gang passes through at a fast walk. PULL BACK TO REVEAL we are:

INT. TOWER - DAY

Jonathan looks down at them. He kneels by a case on the floor. Opens it. Inside, separated into parts, is a rifle.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. BUFFY'S ROOM

Angel kneels beside the motionless Buffy, holding her hand. Joyce and Giles stand nearby. Buffy opens her eyes.

JOYCE
Thank God.

ANGEL
Buffy?

She looks at him. Absolutely blank. Until...

BUFFY
Angel?

JOYCE
Are you all right? Do you hear thoughts?

BUFFY
(tries)
No...
(looks to Giles)
Did you find the killer?

INT. SCHOOL NEWSPAPER OFFICE - DAY

Freddy sits at his desk, writing. The door opens. Willow, Xander, Oz and Cordy enter. Freddy starts to stand up, then drops back into his chair -- caught.

FREDDY
Okay, Oz. You got me. What are your
friends going to do? Hold me down?

WILLOW
You better believe it, Buster. You can't
threaten a big murder without getting us
pretty darn ticked.

FREDDY
Murder? What murder? You're not
here about the review?

OZ
The review?

Freddy hands a paper to Oz.

FREDDY
Last Thursday.

OZ
(reading)
"'Dingoes Ate My Baby' play their
instruments as if they had plump Polish
sausages taped to their fingers..."

FREDDY
Sorry, man.

OZ
No. It's fair.

FREDDY
I get a lot of hate mail. I sorta figured
you were bringing yours personally.

He indicates a box.

Cordy perches on the edge of the desk and starts idly opening and reading the mail from the in-box.

XANDER
Hey, if you happen to find a tasteful
announcement about me from Larry --

WILLOW
Xander. We have to figure this out.

CORDELIA
Oh, we have no shot. The killer could
be anyone. We lose.

BUFFY (O.S.)
We still have a few minutes.

Buffy is standing in the doorway. There is general excitement:

WILLOW
Buffy!

XANDER
You're okay! Can you hear thoughts?

BUFFY
No.

XANDER
And just when I wasn't thinking
about sex.

BUFFY
Okay. Here's the new plan. We try to
get Snyder to evacuate the school and
just hope our bad guy isn't waiting outside
with--

CORDELIA
(reading)
"By this time tomorrow, you'll all know
what I've done."

Slowly, everyone turns and stares at Cordy.

CLOSE ON: CORDELIA

CORDELIA
"...I'm sure you understand that I had
to do it, and that although death is never
easy, it is the only way."

She tosses the letter aside.

CORDELIA
God, doesn't anyone write in to praise
the cheerleaders? We are so unsung.

Willow scrambles for the discarded letter. Looks at the signature.

WILLOW
Jonathan. Ooh. I had him in my grasps,
the slippery weasel.

BUFFY
Split up. Find him.

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

Oz looks in, flinging the door open on the run. The room's empty. He moves on.

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Willow runs in, looks around, heads up into the stacks.

WILLOW
Jonathan? Are you in here?

INT. CAFETERIA - DAY

As Xander runs into the cafeteria, a few other early customers start drifting in.

XANDER
(urgently)
Jonathan?

He looks past the counter into the kitchen.

XANDER
Ooh. Jell-O.

INT. LOUNGE - DAY

Cordy sees someone from the back. Is it Jonathan? She spins him around, her hand cocked back to punch. It isn't. She pushes the terrified boy away and grabs another one...

EXT. FOUNTAIN COURT - DAY

Buffy pushes her way through the between-class crowd. She looks around frantically. She looks up and sees the glint of sunlight off metal, a gun muzzle in the tower! She runs up the exterior staircase. Nancy, in the courtyard, watches Buffy run. Buffy reaches the second level. She JUMPS up, grabs the eaves and, using super-human Slayer strength and dexterity, she FLIPS herself over onto the roof.

NANCY
I could have done that.

INT. TOWER - DAY

Jonathan is putting the rifle together. The muzzle protrudes over the edge of the tower.

EXT. ROOF - DAY

Buffy runs on the roof. She reaches the edge of the tower and JUMPS...

INT. TOWER - DAY

...CRASHING through into the tower. Buffy LANDS, ROLLS right into the line of fire of the rifle.

JONATHAN
Get away from me!

She comes up slow, eyes on him.

BUFFY
Okay, Jonathan, you wanna point
that somewhere else?

JONATHAN
You better not try and stop me.

BUFFY
No. No stopping. I'm just here for the
view. Hey look, city hall.

JONATHAN
Go away.

BUFFY
Never gonna happen.

JONATHAN
You think I won't use this?

BUFFY
I don't know, Jonathan, I'm just --

JONATHAN
Stop doing that!

BUFFY
Doing what?

JONATHAN
Stop saying my name like we're friends.
We're not friends. You all think I'm an
idiot. A short idiot.

BUFFY
I don't.

His hands tighten on the gun. He's getting angry.

BUFFY
I don't think about you much at all.
Most people here don't. Bugs you,
doesn't it? You've got all this pain,
all these feelings and nobody's
paying attention.

JONATHAN
You think I just want attention?

BUFFY
No, I think you're in the bell tower
with a high powered rifle because you
want to blend in. Believe it or not, Jonathan,
I understand. About the pain.

JONATHAN
Oh, right. 'Cause the burden of being
beautiful and athletic, that's a crippler.

BUFFY
I'm sorry, I was wrong. You are an idiot.

This stops him.

BUFFY
My life happens very occasionally to
suck beyond the telling of it. More than
I can stand sometimes. And not just me.
Every single person down there is
ignoring your pain because they're way
too busy with their own. The beautiful
ones, the popular ones, the guys that
pick on you... everyone.

She comes around to look down at the courtyard. He looks as well, his grip on the gun loosening.

BUFFY
If you could hear what they're feeling -
the confusion, the loneliness... It looks
quiet down there. It's not. It's deafening.

They stand side by side for a moment, looking down.

BUFFY
You know I could have taken the
gun by now.

JONATHAN
I know.

BUFFY
(holds out her hand)
Rather do it this way.

Slowly, he hands her the gun. Her hand is shaking a little as she takes it and unloads it.

JONATHAN
I just wanted it to stop.

BUFFY
Well, mass murder is not actually
doctor recommended for this kind
of pain. And by the way, prison? A
lot like high school, only instead
of noogies --

JONATHAN
What are you talking about?

BUFFY
Actions having consequences, stuff
like that --

JONATHAN
I wouldn't ever hurt anybody. I came up
here to kill myself.

Off her look:

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Xander sneaks in, heads right for the Jell-O. He's just scooping out a big wobbly spoonful when he glances to one side and sees the Lunch Lady, pouring powder from an enormous container marked "RAT POISON" into the mulligan stew. They stand there for a second and stare at each other. Boy with Jell-O. Woman with rat poison. Both caught. Finally it occurs to both of them that the thing she was caught doing was worse than what he was caught doing. She lunges for Xander and he bolts back into the cafeteria.

INT. CAFETERIA - DAY

By now the place is filling with people. Some of them have already loaded their trays with stew.

XANDER
Rat poison! Rat poison!

Everyone stares at him. At one table, diners are already dipping their utensils into the stew. Xander OVERTURNS the table. Stew flies!

XANDER
Drop your spoons! Step away from
the spoons!

The Lunch Lady SCREAMS out of the kitchen, holding a huge CLEAVER and lunging for Xander. He yelps and runs, his feet slipping in the spilled stew. He falls. The Lunch Lady is closing in on him when Buffy steps right in front of her.

BUFFY
Okay, let's calm down.

LUNCH LADY
Vermin you're all vermin... you come
in and you eat and you eat! Filth!

BUFFY
I don't see this being settled with logic.

The Lunch Lady lunges at her with the cleaver. Buffy knocks it aside with her bare hand, hitting the flat of the blade. The woman strikes again and Buffy kicks-and-punches, knocking the Lunch Lady backwards into tables and chairs and unconsciousness.

EXT. SCHOOL - MORNING (DAY)

Students stream toward the school. Among them, Willow and Buffy, carrying books.

WILLOW
So you're feeling better about Angel.

BUFFY
Yeah. I mean, we talked, and he
ripped the heart out of a demon
and fed it to me, and later we talked
some more.

WILLOW
See, that's how it should work.

Giles falls into step with them.

GILES
Good morning.

WILLOW
Hi, Giles. Oh, I should get to the
yearbook office. I'm going to give
them the murderer questionnaires.
They really are good reading.

They ad lib good-byes as Willow heads off, and Buffy and Giles walk on together.

GILES
How are you?

BUFFY
Lovin' the quiet. Nobody in here but me.

GILES
And Jonathan? How is he doing?

BUFFY
Pretty crappy. His parents are freaking,
he's suspended, and toting a piece to
school not exactly earning him a place
with the 'in' crowd. But I think he's dealing.

GILES
It's good of you to check up on him.

BUFFY
It's nice to be able to help someone in
a non-slaying capacity. But he's starting
to get that look, like he's gonna ask me
to the prom.

GILES
Well, you know, it would probably help
his self esteem if --

BUFFY
What am I, Saint Buffy? He's like three
feet tall.

GILES
Good to see you've emerged from
your psychic adventure more or less
intact. Feel up to some training?

BUFFY
Sure. We can work out after school.
You know, if you're not too busy
HAVING SEX WITH MY MOTHER!

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW