Graduation Day Part One

April 6, 1999 (Yellow)

Written by: Joss Whedon

Teaser

INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE AREA - DAY

We see a table covered with caps and gowns. Students are signing a sheet and collecting theirs. Pull back to see Xander and Cordelia signing theirs out as well.

CORDELIA
I can't believe this loser look. I lobbied
so hard for the red, but no one listens
to me, lone fashionable wolf.

XANDER
I like the blue. Has more dignity.

CORDELIA
Dignity? You? In relation to clothes?
I'm awash in a sea of confusion.

XANDER
I just want to look respectable in
this... considering I'm probably
gonna die in it.

CORDELIA
'Scuse me?

XANDER
I'm telling you, I woke up the other
day with this feeling in my gut, I just
know. There's no way I'm getting out
of this school alive.

CORDELIA
Well, you've certainly mastered the
power of positive giving up.

XANDER
I've been lucky too many times. My
number's coming up. And I was short!
One more rotation and I'm shipping
stateside! You know what I mean?

CORDELIA
Seldom if ever.

ANGLE: WILLOW

Is signing a yearbook (as are many kids today). She finishes, hands it back to the boy it belongs to.

WILLOW
Bye, let's keep in touch.

Harmony comes up to Willow.

HARMONY
Oh, Willow, will you sign my
yearbook?

WILLOW
Oh, yeah -- and you have to sign
mine too!

As they exchange and sign:

HARMONY
You know, I really wish we had gotten
to know each other better.

WILLOW
Me too.

HARMONY
You're so smart. I always wanted to
be like that.

WILLOW
Thanks. You're so sweet.

They hand back their books with genuine affection.

HARMONY
I hope we don't lose touch.

WILLOW
No, we'll hang out!

HARMONY
Bye!

She goes as Buffy approaches, having witnessed the exchange.

WILLOW
Oh, I'm gonna miss her...

BUFFY
Don't you hate her?

WILLOW
(with the same affectionate, wishful tone)
With a fiery vengeance, she picked
on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.

She turns to Buffy, helpless against the current of sentiment.

WILLOW (cont'd)
It's like a sickness, Buffy, I'm just
missing everything. I miss gym!

BUFFY
Well, I think it's contagious. The whole
senior class has turned into... the 60's.
Or, what I imagine the 60's to have
been like, except without the war and
the hairy armpits.

WILLOW
Well, don't you feel it?

They arrive at the soda machine.

BUFFY
I don't. I mean, I'll miss stuff, but
graduating just isn't that big of a deal
to me. You get a piece of paper and
nothing changes. I don't even think
I'm gonna go.

A soda comes out. Willow takes it.

WILLOW
(sentimental)
Oh, trusty soda machine... I push for
rootbeer and you give me coke.
(to Buffy)
Not gonna go? Why not?

BUFFY
Ascension? Mayor becoming demon,
snacking upon populace? I was
planning to fight him.

Xander joins them.

WILLOW
We can't do both?

XANDER
Both what?

BUFFY
Fight the Mayor and go to graduation.

XANDER
What, you guys didn't hear?

BUFFY
Hear what?

XANDER
Guess who our commencement speaker is?

WILLOW
(tiny hope)
Sigfried?

XANDER
No.

WILLOW
Roy?

XANDER
No.

WILLOW
One of their tigers?

XANDER
Come out of the fantasy, Will.

BUFFY
I don't believe this.

XANDER
Lends credence to my whole "I'm
gonna die" theorem, doesn't it?

BUFFY
The Mayor at graduation. A hundred
helpless kids to feed on. He got any
other surprises for us?

INT. LESTER WORTH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

He's a rumpled, professional type, hurrying to the door as the bell rings.

LESTER
Just a moment...

He opens the door a bit to reveal Faith.

FAITH
Hi, I'm looking for Professor Worth?

LESTER
That's me. But I should ask you to
come by during my office hours,
students generally --

FAITH
Oh, I'm not from the college. I work
for Mayor Wilkins. I'm Faith.

LESTER
(a tad bemused)
Oh, come in, please.

She steps in, getting the lay of the joint.

LESTER (cont'd)
I was so surprised when he called.
Didn't expect a politician to be
interested in my research.

FAITH
He's a big fan, Professor.

LESTER
Oh, "Lester" is fine.

FAITH
We alone here, Lester?

He stops. Odd question.

LESTER
Well, yes... life long bachelor. Like
my space.

FAITH
I hear that. You wanna turn and face
the wall, Lester.

Still the same conversational voice. The knife coming out from the back of her waistband.

LESTER
What are -- what are you doing?

FAITH
I'll make it quick.

LESTER
Put that away.
(she doesn't)
I'll scream...

FAITH
Who wouldn't

He backs against the wall, terrified.

LESTER
Please...

FAITH
Sorry, friend. Boss wants you dead.

She crosses in a blur and grabs him by the throat. He manages to wheeze out:

LESTER
Why...?

FAITH
You know, I never thought to ask.

And as she goes to work on him, the camera pushes past them to the wall, to a print of a volcano. We continue to push slowly in at the volcano, Lester's dying gasps (and possibly a shadow) all we get of his demise.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. FAITH'S APARTMENT - DAY

The Mayor is talking to an offscreen Faith.

MAYOR
And everything went smoothly with
Mr. Worth?

FAITH (O.S.)
Not if you're Mr. Worth...

MAYOR
Well, that's swell. You know how I
feel about loose ends. And the big day
is so close! You can smell the excitement
in the air. Say, are you ever coming out
of there?

FAITH (O.S.)
I don't know...

MAYOR
Come on...

Faith steps shyly out of the next room. She is wearing a lovely floral print sundress, and is clearly a little shy about it.

The Mayor beams.

MAYOR (cont'd)
Well. Aren't you a vision.

FAITH
I feel wicked stupid in this.

MAYOR
You look lovely. Perfect for the Ascension.
Any boys that manage to survive'll
be lining up to ask you out.

FAITH
Yeah, but it's not really me.

MAYOR
"Not you". Let me tell you something.
Nobody knows what you are. Not even
you, little miss seen-it-all. The
Ascension isn't just my day, it's yours
too. Your day to blossom, to show the
world what a powerful girl you are.

He has come to her slowly, eyes locked on her.

MAYOR (cont'd)
I think of what you've done, what I
know you will do...

He gently moves a strand of hair from her face.

MAYOR (cont'd)
No father could be prouder.

She looks down -- she's never been confronted with such a selfless display of affection and she's not sure what to do.

FAITH
I hope I don't let you down.

MAYOR
Impossible. Come on. Change back
into your street clothes and I'll buy
you an icee.

EXT. SCHOOL - BIKE RACK SECTION - DAY

Willow is riding her fabulous orange bike onto campus. As she nears the racks, Percy runs up to her.

PERCY
Rosenberg!

He comes alongside her.

WILLOW
Hey, Percy!

PERCY
Check it out. History final.

He hands her a piece of paper as she dismounts, parking her bike.

WILLOW
B minus! That's great!

PERCY
I'm a scholar! I'm like a scholar!

WILLOW
Congratulations.

PERCY
Listen, thanks, you know? For helping
me, being so patient... and thanks for...
(quieter voice)
...not kicking my ass like you did at
the Bronze.

WILLOW
(about to confess)
You know, Percy, that was actually...
for your own good.

PERCY
I know, I know...

Oz joins them, nods at Percy as he slips his arm through Willow's.

WILLOW
History is important, you know.

PERCY
(holding up paper)
And I got the grades, so tomorrow
I'm graduating and I can forget all
that school crap.

Excited, he takes off. Willow looks somewhat deflated.

OZ
On the bright side, after graduation he
may never get the chance to forget it.

Willow shoots him a disapproving look.

WILLOW
Ha ha.

OZ
Just trying to keep things light.

WILLOW
Well, they're not that light. It's bad
enough we have to fight the Mayor -
I don't want him eating Percy and our
whole class. We've gotta find some
spell or something to stop the Ascension.

OZ
Then we'll find one.

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY (PREVIOUSLY SCENE A)

The class is full. The teacher, MR. MILLER, is speaking in front of them. Xander enters from the back of the class, takes a seat by Anya.

MR. MILLER
Thank you for joining us, Mr. Harris.

He turns back to the board and writes on it.

MR. MILLER (cont'd)
I realize you've all finished your finals
and you're ready to move on, but you
haven't graduated yet. This is still a
class and everyone participates.

He turns back to the class.

MR. MILLER (cont'd)
Mr. Harris? Would you care to begin?

Xander studies the board a moment.

XANDER
Uh... An 'E.'

ANGLE: THE BOARD

We see now what Mr. Miller has written: They are playing "Hangman."

MR. MILLER
There is no 'E.'

He draws a head.

MR. MILLER (cont'd)
(to himself)
They always go for the 'E'...

ANGLE: XANDER AND ANYA

As the game continues, she leans over to him. They speak in low tones, just above a whisper.

ANYA
Hi.

XANDER
Hey.

ANYA
So I was wondering if you were free
this weekend, if maybe we could do
some entertaining thing.

XANDER
Would that be along the lines of you
telling me about all the men you
destroyed back in your demon days?
'Cause pencil me in!

ANYA
We could do something else that
you like. We could watch... sports
of some kind.

XANDER
I don't know...

ANYA
Men like sports. I'm sure of it.

XANDER
Yes, men like sports. Men watch the
action movie. They eat the beef and
enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand
years avenging our wrongs and that's
all you learned?

ANYA
Hey, I'm trying, okay? You don't
have to take my head off.

XANDER
I'm sorry, I just... I'm not even sure I'm
gonna make it to next weekend. But I
tell you what, I survive the Ascension,
maybe we can do some sports related...
(off her look)
...what?

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

A headline about the murder of Lester Worth is held before us. Holding it is Buffy, who hands it off to Giles after she says:

BUFFY
Faith.

Giles looks over the paper as Wesley addresses Buffy.

WESLEY
You're sure?

BUFFY
This is one of her pieces. I recognize
the brushwork.

GILES
(reads)
"Brutally stabbed... Lester Worth,
visiting professor of geology..."
(reading further)
There's nothing in here that bellows
"motive".

WESLEY
A random killing, perhaps? Fit of rage...
everyone does seem to be going a bit
mad lately, and Faith has something
of a headstart.

BUFFY
Doesn't read. I think this is homework.

GILES
The Mayor wanted the good professor
out of the way.

BUFFY
Which leads to the question, "how
come?" I'm about to destroy the entire
city but I take the time to kill Harmless
Lester first?

GILES
Tying up loose ends. Lester had
something, or knew something...

BUFFY
Then I wanna know too. If the Mayor's
trying to hide, I say we go seek.

WESLEY
(excited)
By attempting to keep a valuable clue
from us, the Mayor may have inadvertently
led us right to it!

BUFFY
What page are you on, Wes? We got
there already.

WESLEY
Yes. Well. You'll go tonight, look
over his apartment. Anything at all
worth noting you report back here.

BUFFY
I just love it when you take charge,
you man, you.

WESLEY
Was that a yes? I can't keep track.

BUFFY
I'll go.

GILES
Be careful. If Faith should show up again --

BUFFY
I don't think she will. Been there, killed
that; she's not much for follow up.

GILES
None the less, keep watch. Faith has
you at a disadvantage, Buffy.

BUFFY
'Cause I'm not crazy or 'cause I don't
kill people?

GILES
Both, actually.

BUFFY
I hear you. I can't kill her... fun though
it sounds... I don't have that in me. I can
make her cry uncle, though, and I mean to.

WESLEY
Don't let your feelings about Faith
interfere with your work.

BUFFY
Stopping Faith IS my work. Take a beat
to love the synergy.

Xander enters, Anya in tow.

WESLEY
Faith is a footnote. Our priority is
stopping the Ascension.

XANDER
Easier said than done, Monarchy Boy.

WESLEY
Xander, if you don't have something
constructive to add...

XANDER
You guys wanna know about the
Ascension?
(presenting Anya)
Meet the only living person who's
ever been to one.

This stops them.

INT. SAME - A MINUTE LATER (DAY)

Anya is sitting now, the group gathered around here.

ANYA
About eight hundred years ago, in the
Koskov Valley, above the Urals. There
was a sorcerer there who achieved Ascension.
Became the embodiment of the demon
Lohesh. I was there cursing a shepherd
who had been unfaithful, his wife
wished that all his sheep would lie with --

BUFFY
Cut back to the chase.

ANYA
Sorry. Lohesh was... it decimated the
village. Within hours. Maybe three
people got out. I've seen some horrible
things in my time -- I've caused most
of them actually, but this...

WESLEY
I'm sorry... Lohesh was a four winged
Soul killer, am I right? I was given to
understand they aren't that fierce. Of
all the demons we've seen...

ANYA
You've never seen a demon.

BUFFY
Excuse me, killing them professionally
for four years running...

ANYA
All the demons that walk the earth are
tainted, are human hybrids, like vampires.
The Ascension means a human becomes
PURE demon. They're different.

GILES
Different?

BUFFY
How?

ANYA
Well for one thing; they're bigger.

EXT. FOUNTAIN QUAD - DAY

The place is being set up for graduation. A platform stands in the middle of the quad, chairs facing it at the top of the stairs, more chairs off to one side.

Snyder and the Mayor are walking together. Snyder is clearly a little unnerved by the other man.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
The kids are here, the parents off to
the side there. We'll go up, they'll play
the processional and then you'll give
the address.

MAYOR
It all looks wonderful.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
As long as nobody makes any trouble...

MAYOR
Stop worrying. You just make sure the
kids show up. Anybody who doesn't feel
like coming to graduation, well, they
can just live without a diploma.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
They'll be here, sir.

MAYOR
Call me Richard. You've done a great
job here.

He stops, turns to Snyder.

MAYOR (cont'd)
I know things are... well, different here
in Sunnydale. We've both seen all sorts
of things. What's important is that we
keep it under control. That's what
you've done.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER
I believe in order.

MAYOR
Sunnydale owes you a debt. And it
will be repaid.

Why doesn't Snyder look happy about that? He watches apprehensively as the Mayor stroll away.

MAYOR (cont'd)
Yes, sir, we'll mark that invoice, "paid
in full".

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Oz and Willow enter the library to witness the gang still grilling Anya.

ANYA
It doesn't sound like this is Lohesh,
the rituals are all different.

GILES
I wish that was a relief.

OZ
What's going on?

WILLOW
How come evil girl's in the mix now?

GILES
Anya witnessed an Ascension.

WILLOW
Oh. Okay, then.

WESLEY
There must be something more useful
you can tell us.
(idea)
How did they kill it?

ANYA
You know anyone who lives in the
Koskov Valley?

WESLEY
Oh.

BUFFY
What about the spiders? Mayor had a
box of spiders he had to eat. The box
of, of... I wanna say gravlax --

GILES
Gavrok.

ANYA
Doesn't ring a bell.

BUFFY
Well, there must be something you
remember that isn't --

The Mayor strolls into the library. Everybody stops.

MAYOR
So. This is the inner sanctum. Faith
tells me this is where you folks like to
hang out and concoct your little schemes.
I'll tell you, it's just nice to see that some
young people are still interested in reading
in this modern era.

He has reached the table.

MAYOR (cont'd)
So what are kids reading nowadays?

He reaches for an open book -- as Buffy silently conceals the newspaper, eyes never leaving the Mayor.

MAYOR (cont'd)
(reads chapter heading)
"The Beast will walk upon the Earth,
and Darkness will follow. The several
races of man will be as one in their terror
and destruction", say, that's kind of
sweet, different races coming together...

BUFFY
You never get even a little tired of
hearing yourself talk, do you?

He smiles at her, turns to Giles.

MAYOR
That's one spunky girl you've raised.

Giles says nothing. The Mayor's smile goes away.

MAYOR (cont'd)
I'm gonna eat her.

Giles is a blur as he lifts a sabre from the table and SHOVES it through the Mayor's heart. The Mayor stumbles back, sword sticking through him.

MAYOR (cont'd)
Whoah!

He stops, looks at the sword in him.

MAYOR (cont'd)
Well now that was a little thoughtless.

He pulls it out, wipes it off with a handkerchief and hands it back to Giles as he continues.

MAYOR (cont'd)
Violent outburst like that, in front of
the children. You know, Mr Giles, they
look to you to see how to behave.

BUFFY
Get out.

MAYOR
I smell fear. That's smart. But some of
your deaths will be quick, if that's worth
anything. Well, I'll see you all at graduation.

He starts out, beaming.

MAYOR (cont'd)
You don't want to miss my commencement
address. Gonna be a heck of a speech.

And whistling, he exists, leaving an incredibly dispirited group to watch the doors swing shut.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Anya comes walking down it, fast and determined. A moment, then Xander follows.

XANDER
Anya! Wait.

He catches up, stops her.

XANDER (cont'd)
Where are you going?

ANYA
Anywhere. If there's a lunar shuttle
going up any time soon, I'm on it.

XANDER
We need you here. You might be able
to help.

ANYA
Or I might be able to live. You can't
stop the Ascension, Xander; you were
right the first time. The only thing any
sane person can do is run.

She takes off, passing Cordy.

CORDELIA
What's her saga?

XANDER
She's freaking.

CORDELIA
About what?

XANDER
The Mayor's going to kill us all
during graduation.

CORDELIA
Oh.
(beat)
Are you going to fifth period?

XANDER
I'm thinking I might skip it.

CORDELIA
Yeah, me too.

They part ways.

INT. BUFFY'S UPSTAIRS HALL/BATHROOM/JOYCE'S ROOM - AFTERNOON (DAY)

Joyce comes upstairs --

JOYCE
Buffy? I'm home, did you want to --

--and finds Buffy in the bathroom, putting toiletries into a bag hastily.

JOYCE (cont'd)
What are you doing?
(sudden worry)
You're running away again.

Buffy doesn't answer, just takes the stuff into the bedroom and dumps it into a suitcase full of Joyce's clothes. Joyce follows, sees.

JOYCE (cont'd)
And you're taking my clothes.

BUFFY
Mom, I need you to leave town. Tonight.

JOYCE
What? Buffy, I'd miss your graduation!

BUFFY
That's kind of the point.

JOYCE
There's no way I'm --

BUFFY
(zipping the case)
Mom, graduation is a pointless ceremony
where you sit around and listen to boring
speeches till you get a little piece of paper
that says you graduated which you already
know and dark blue does nothing for my
complexion so don't argue, okay?

JOYCE
What's going on? Is some horrible
demon going to attack the school?

Buffy says nothing.

JOYCE (cont'd)
Oh. I see.

Heavily, she sits on the bed.

JOYCE (cont'd)
You know, Buffy, looking back at
everything that's happened, maybe
you should have gone somewhere else.

BUFFY
Just promise me you'll be far away from here.

JOYCE
I'm not leaving you to face some awful
monster! If I go anywhere then you're
coming with me.

BUFFY
You know I can't.

JOYCE
Then I can't either.

Buffy stops packing, goes to her mother.

BUFFY
Mom... I know sometimes you wish
I was different.

JOYCE
Buffy, no...

BUFFY
And I wish I could be a lot of things
for you, a great student, big athlete,
remotely normal... I'm not. But there's
something I do that I do better than
anybody else in the world. I'm gonna
fight this thing. But I can't do that and
worry about you.

JOYCE
Honey, I just --

BUFFY
You stay, you'll get me killed. You
have to trust me. Can you do that?

Joyce looks at her daughter. After a beat, she nods.

INT. WILLOW'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (PREVIOUSLY SCENE B)

Willow is looking through spell books, Oz surfing the net. Willow slams a book shut.

WILLOW
Arrr! This is so frustrating!

OZ
Nothing useful.

WILLOW
No, it's great. If we need to make ferns
invisible or communicate with shrimp,
I've got the goods right here.

OZ
Our lives are different than other peoples.

WILLOW
(tossing the book)
Who am I kidding? I'm never gonna
find a spell to stop the Ascension. I'm
not a witch; I can't even change poor
Amy back into a person.

OZ
But you got the swinging habitrail goin'...
I think Amy's in a good place emotionally.

WILLOW
Oz...

OZ
What?

WILLOW
Could you just pretend to care about
what's happening?

OZ
You don't think I care?

WILLOW
I think we could be dead in two days'
time and you're just being ironic
detachment guy.

OZ
Would it help if I panicked?

WILLOW
Yes! It'd be swell. Panic is a thing that
people can share in times of crisis and,
and everything is scary now, you know,
I don't know what's gonna happen,
there's all sorts of stuff you're supposed
to get to do after high school and I was
really looking forward to it and now
we're probably gonna die instead and
I'd just like to feel that --

He crosses to her and kisses her. The long and the deep. She responds fairly passionately. After a while:

WILLOW (cont'd)
(breathless)
What are you doing?

OZ
Panicking.

The kissage abounds.

INT. LESTER WORTH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Buffy enters, breaking through the police tape. She looks about some.

Finds a bunch of books on volcanoes. Looks them over briefly, then moves to his desk. It is piled with papers. Buffy looks through them, finds a bound report of about thirty pages at the bottom of a pile.

She is leafing through it when she hears a small clatter at the doorway. She turns to see

ANGLE: ANGEL

Has bumped his head entering the room.

ANGEL
Ow.

BUFFY
That was stealthy.

ANGEL
Not my best entrance... I think they
were mopping in the hall.

BUFFY
What are you doing here?

ANGEL
I checked in with Giles, he asked me
to back you up.

BUFFY
He's worried I'll run into Faith.

ANGEL
You're not?

BUFFY
Gonna happen sooner or later.

He crosses to her, indicates the report she's holding.

ANGEL
What's that?

BUFFY
A report, excavation of some old lava
bed. Guy was a volcano-ologist or something.

ANGEL
Anything in there that connects him
to the Mayor?

BUFFY
Well, I looked through it, and the only
things I understood were the commas.
I'm gonna take some of this stuff to
Giles, see if he can do better.

ANGEL
Let me give you a hand.

She's going to object, but he grabs a cardboard box and empties it, starts putting papers in it. After a moment she tosses the report in as well.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE LESTER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Angel and Buffy exist the building. He has the box in his arms.

BUFFY
Okay. Thanks. I can take it from here.

ANGEL
That's all right. I'll walk you there.

BUFFY
I really don't require an escort, okay?
Big girl, super powers... I don't need
you crowding me.

ANGEL
Didn't think I was.

BUFFY
Of course not! You show up at the prom
and then just disappear into the ozone.
I didn't even know if you were still in town.

ANGEL
(confused)
Are you mad at me for being around
too much or for not being around enough?

BUFFY
Duh -- yes.

ANGEL
Which?

BUFFY
What?

ANGEL
I don't get you.

BUFFY
No, you don't. Not anymore.

ANGEL
Are you just making this harder to
make it easier on yourself?

BUFFY
Could you stop with the brainteasers?
I'm just... I wish it was over. Done.

ANGEL
It's not that simple. When the Mayor --

BUFFY
I know. World in peril and we've got
to work together. Well, this is my last
office romance, I'll tell you that.

ANGEL
You want me out of your face?

He hands her the box. People are starting to stare at the quarrelling lovers as they pass.

BUFFY
Isn't it even a little hard for you?

ANGEL
How can you ask me that? Just 'cause
I'm not acting like a brat doesn't mean
I don't feel anything--

BUFFY
(speaking over him)
Oh, it's so nice to know what you
really think of me!

ANGEL
(over her)
What do you expect me to say if you attack --

BUFFY
(over him)
I just don't wanna do this anymore! I
can't have you in my life when I'm trying to --

WHUMP! The arrow hits his back, driving eight inches out of his chest. North of the heart, just under the collarbone.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Angel!

She drops the box as he falls into her arms --

BUFFY (cont'd)
Oh God, oh God... Angel...

ANGLE: POV FROM NEARBY ROOFTOP

We see her lower him to the ground as people stare, gather. She is looking frantically around to see where the shot came from.

REVERSE ANGEL: BEHIND THE SUN CINEMA SIGN

Faith is crouched there, bow in hand. A vamp beside her. Both examine her handiwork quietly.

VAMPIRE
Missed the heart.

FAITH
Meant to.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Angel sits in a chair. Buffy has her hand on the front of the arrow. Giles has just cut the back of the arrow off with a knife.

GILES
There.

BUFFY
(to Angel)
Okay. You ready?

ANGEL
Yeah.

BUFFY
On three. One...

She tears the arrow out. He hisses in pain as she puts a gauze over the wound.

ANGEL
(through gritted teeth)
I knew you were gonna do that...

GILES
Not too much blood back here...

ANGEL
I heal pretty fast. Should be all right.

BUFFY
I'm just glad Faith's aim is so sucky.

GILES
We're sure it was her?

BUFFY
Well, I've narrowed down our list of
one suspect...

WESLEY
Fascinating...

He's reading the report they swiped from Lester.

GILES
What?

WESLEY
It seems our Mr. Worth headed an
expedition on Kawaii. Digging through
old lava beds near a dormant volcano.

BUFFY
I'm not fascinated yet.

WESLEY
He found something underneath. A
carcass, buried in eruption.

GILES
Carcass?

WESLEY
A very large one. Mr. Worth posits that
it might be some heretofore undiscovered
dinosaur.

ANGEL
(standing weakly)
A demon?

GILES
Well, yes, there's something the Mayor
would want to keep secret. If this is the
same kind of demon he's turning into
and it's dead, then that means he's only
impervious to harm until the Ascension.
In his demon form, he can be killed.

BUFFY
Great. And all we need is a million
tons of burning lava. We're saved.

ANGEL
It's a start, anyway. If we can --

He stumbles against the table.

BUFFY
Jeez, you're a klutz today. You better take it easy until --

The look on his face stops her. He is sweaty, dizzy. He tries to focus on her.

ANGEL
Damn.

He collapses.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT (A BIT LATER)

ANGLE: THE ARROW

As Giles examines it. Smells it.

GILES
We'll have to run some tests.

Angel is sitting on the floor, back to the counter. Buffy holds her hand to his head.

BUFFY
Angel, you're burning up.

ANGEL
My shoulder's completely numb. It's
poison. I can feel it.

GILES
I'll call the others, get them here. Then
I think we should move Angel to the
safety of his bed before the sun comes up.

BUFFY
You think the guys can find out what
this is?

WESLEY
The council has all the known toxins
on file, mystical or otherwise. I'll contact
them immediately.

BUFFY
Thanks.
(to Angel)
You're gonna be okay.

He holds a hand to her face, smiles lovingly at her. She takes his hand in hers.

INT. WILLOW'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (PREVIOUSLY SCENE C)

The camera moves slowly about the darkened room, coming to find two tastefully draped nudies in the bed. Willow and Oz. They have sinned!

She is somewhat wide-eyed, snuggling against his shoulder. He's pretty calm.

WILLOW
I feel different. You know? I guess
that makes sense. Do you feel
different? Oh, no, you've already -
you probably, not a big change for
you, bit it's nice - was it nice?
Should this be a quiet moment?

OZ
I know exactly what you mean.

WILLOW
(smiles, then:)
Which part?

OZ
Everything feels different.

She kisses him. Things would get pretty steamy, but the phone rings. Willow gets it.

WILLOW
Hello?

She listens a moment, then hangs up. Reaches for the clothes she can reach.

WILLOW (cont'd)
We gotta go.

INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The Mayor is depositing the box of Gavrok on his desk as Faith enters.

FAITH
He's dropped, boss.

MAYOR
Applause applause.

FAITH
Right in the back -- He pitches over
and Buffy's freaking, looking around
all panicked... it was a good time.

MAYOR
Well, that should keep her occupied for a spell.

FAITH
What next?

MAYOR
The ritual of Gavrok. I have to ingest
several of the inhabitants of this box.

FAITH
Ingest?

MAYOR
Eat.

FAITH
You're wicked gross.

She says it affectionately, and he smiles.

MAYOR
Well, you don't have to watch. Just go
home, take it easy. Big day tomorrow.

FAITH
You gotta give me something to do.
There's no way I'm sleeping. Don't
you need anyone dead? Or maimed?
I can settle for maimed.

MAYOR
Little firecracker.

The phrase makes Faith reflective.

FAITH
My mom called me that. When I was
little. I was always running around...

She takes a beat, something troubling her.

FAITH (cont'd)
Tomorrow. The Ascension and all that.
I gonna get to fight?

MAYOR
If everything goes smoothly, you
won't have to. But how often do things
go smoothly?

FAITH
So you'll still need me in there.

MAYOR
Always.

FAITH
When I was a kid, a couple miles outside
of Boston there was this quarry, kids
used to swim there. Jump off the rocks...
There was one rock like forty feet up,
I was the only one that would jump it.
All the older kids were too scared.

MAYOR
Not you, though.

FAITH
Nah. I could do it easy.

He sits, eyes still on her.

MAYOR
Get some rest.

She moves to go.

FAITH
Good luck with your spiders there.

She exits.

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - NIGHT

Oz is examining the arrow amidst science paraphernalia. (Swabbing blood off the tip and putting it on a slide. That sounds real sciencey! Did I mention I was an English major?) Willow is giving a list to Xander.

WILLOW
They should have all of this at the magic
shop. I can run an aural analysis, see if
it's a mystical poison.

XANDER
I'm a little short on cash...

WILLOW
Just tell them it's for me.

XANDER
Right.

He goes.

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - NIGHT

Xander trucks through on his way out, when he hears:

ANYA
Xander.

He turns to find Anya approaching him.

XANDER
What are you doing here? Thought
you'd be in Aruba by now.

ANYA
Hey, I'm packed. My car's right outside.
I just... I had to...

XANDER
What?

ANYA
You could come with me.

XANDER
Come with you? You mean that?

ANYA
Why not? We could just get in the car
and drive, no one would miss us. We
could take turns driving, keep each other
awake...

He looks like he might actually be considering it, so she drives the point home:

ANYA (cont'd)
You're gonna die if you stay here.

XANDER
I guess I might

ANYA
When I think that something might
happen to you, it feels bad. Inside.
Like I might vomit.

He smiles a little, not unkindly.

XANDER
Welcome to the world of romance.

ANYA
It's horrible! No wonder I used to
get so much work.

XANDER
Well, I'm sorry if I give you barfy feelings.

ANYA
Come with me.

XANDER
Can't do it.

ANYA
Why not?

XANDER
I got friends on the line.

ANYA
So?

XANDER
That humanity thing's still a work
in progress, isn't it?

ANYA
Are you really gonna be that much
help to them? You'll probably just
get in the way.

XANDER
Your stock's plummeting here, sweetheart.

ANYA
Fine. You know what? I hope you die.

He moves to go by her. As he does, she looks at him forlornly.

ANYA (cont'd)
Aren't we gonna kiss?

INT. ANGEL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Buffy sits with Angel as he tosses and sweats. She is clearly distraught. She puts a wet cloth to his brow, pats off the sweat.

BUFFY
It's okay... you'll be okay...

He moans by way of reply. Buffy hears noise in the other room, heads out.

INT. MANSION - NIGHT

Wesley is entering from the front. Giles comes in from the garden, Buffy from the bedroom.

GILES
Did you reach the council?

WESLEY
Yes. They, um...
(to Buffy)
They couldn't help.

Buffy senses his shame through his bad lying.

BUFFY
Couldn't?

WESLEY
Wouldn't.

There is more silence. Buffy lets this sink in. Wesley continues, unenthused by his message.

WESLEY (cont'd)
It's not Council policy to cure vampires --

GILES
Well did you explain these were special --

WESLEY
Not under any circumstances, and yes,
I did try to convince them.

BUFFY
Try again.

WESLEY
Buffy, they're very firm. We're talking
about laws that have existed longer
than civilization.

BUFFY
I'm talking about watching my lover
die. I have no clue what you're talking
about and I do not care.

GILES
We'll find a cure, Buffy.

WESLEY
The Council's orders are to --

BUFFY
Orders?

Her tone stops him.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I don't think I'm gonna be taking any
more orders. Not from you. Not from them.

WESLEY
You can't turn your back on the Council.

BUFFY
They're in England! I don't think they
can tell which way my back is facing.

WESLEY
Giles, talk to her.

GILES
I've nothing to say just now.

BUFFY
Go back to your Council --

WESLEY
Don't you see what --

BUFFY
Go and tell them that until the next
Slayer shows up they can close up shop.
I'm not working for them anymore.

WESLEY
Don't you see what's happening? Faith
poisoned Angel to distract you, to keep
you out of the Mayor's way. And it's
working. We need a strategy to --

BUFFY
I have strategy. You're not in it.

WESLEY
This is mutiny.

BUFFY
I like to think of it as graduation.

She moves to Giles, done with Wesley.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I can't sit around. I'm gonna go help
the others.

GILES
Yes, of course.

BUFFY
You'll watch him?

GILES
I'll call if there's the slightest change.

She heads for the door, passing Wes.

WESLEY
Buffy, you don't know what you're doing.

BUFFY
Get a job.

She exits. Wesley looks haplessly at the door, at Giles. He returns the gaze with a distinct lack of warmth.

INT. SCIENCE CLASSROOM - NIGHT

Xander and Oz research like wild mohicans (in a quiet, orderly fashion) while Willow fills Buffy in.

WILLOW
Finding the poison wasn't that hard.
It's a mystical compound -- the Latin
name translates roughly as "Killer of
the Dead". Used on vampires.

BUFFY
And the cure?

WILLOW
There aren't a lot of instances of it
being cured.

BUFFY
But there's some.

WILLOW
One or two. Pretty vague accounts.
(softer)
How is he?

Buffy can't answer.

OZ
Hold it.

XANDER
You got something?

OZ
I'm not sure...

BUFFY
Be sure.

OZ
Okay. "Killer of the Dead." That's our
boy, and here's a vamp that walked
away from it.

WILLOW
Does it talk about the cure?

OZ
Damn.

BUFFY
Nothing?

OZ
No, it's in here, but...

Anxiously, Willow takes the book and looks.

WILLOW
Completely reversed the effects... Oh.

BUFFY
WHAT?

XANDER
Come on, guys. The suspense is
killing Angel.

OZ
The only cure for this thing is to drain
the blood of a Slayer.

Beat, as this fact settles on them.

BUFFY
Good.

XANDER
Good? What'd I miss?

BUFFY
No, it's perfect. Angel needs to drain
a Slayer? I'll bring him one.

WILLOW
Buffy, if Angel drains Faith's blood it'll kill her.

BUFFY
Not if she's already dead.

Buffy exits the room. There is silence.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Willow is on the interest, Oz over her shoulder.

OZ
A leasing agreement, should be recent.
Won't be in her name but if the Mayor's
putting her up it might be in his.

WILLOW
Could be charging it to the city.

OZ
Right. Cross reference. The realty
with municipal funds.

WILLOW
(re: computer)
You wanna drive?

OZ
Sorry.

He puts his hands on her neck. The touch closes her eyes momentarily, she's in a physical space, then she gets back to work.

ANGLE: BUFFY is by the weapons cabinet, Xander with her.

BUFFY
Some of you guys should relieve
Giles after a while. Watch over Angel.

XANDER
I don't mean to play devil's advocate
here, but are you sure you're up for this?

BUFFY
It's time.

XANDER
We're talking To The Death.

BUFFY
I can't play kid games anymore. This
is how she wants it.

XANDER
I just don't want to lose you.

BUFFY
I won't get hurt.

XANDER
That's not what I meant.

Buffy picks up a knife out of the cabinet. It's the fancy ass one she got off Faith.

BUFFY
Just get me an address.

INT. GIRL'S LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy splashes water on her face. She takes a moment to look in the mirror, then crosses to her locker where we see the clothes she will fight Faith in. She starts to undress and we cut:

INT. FAITH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

We see various angles of Faith working out, punching her punching bag, looking at her dress in front of the mirror, sitting on her bed reading comic books.

INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT

Willow types, reads something on screen.

WILLOW
Got it.

INT. FAITH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Faith is lying on her bed, reading comic books and eating junk food. A stereo is blasting.

Buffy is standing by the door, turns it off.

Faith rolls off the bed and faces her. Keeps her eyes locked on Buffy, tense, excited.

BUFFY
I thought I'd stop by.

FAITH
(smiles)
Is he dead yet?

BUFFY
He's not gonna die. Good try, though.
"A" for effort. Your plan?

FAITH
Uh-huh. Mayor got me the poison.
Said it was wicked painful.

BUFFY
There's a cure.

FAITH
Damn. What is it?

BUFFY
Your blood.

Faith takes that in.

BUFFY (cont'd)
As justice goes, it's not unpoetic.
Don't you think?

FAITH
You come here to get me? Gonna
feed me to Angel?

Buffy nods.

FAITH (cont'd)
You know you're not gonna take me alive.

BUFFY
That's not a problem.

FAITH
Well, look at you, all dressed up in
big sister's clothes.

They begin drifting slowly toward each other, locked hypnotically in each other's eyes.

BUFFY
You told me I was just like you, Faith.
That I was only holding it in.

FAITH
You ready to cut loose?

BUFFY
Try me.

FAITH
Okay then. Give us a kiss.

Buffy punches Faith so fucking hard her head nearly snaps off. Faith responds in kind, twirling and backfisting Buffy. They face each other, the handshake over.

And they begin. The fight is fast at first, a blur of moves and blocks, kicks and counters, brutal but also balletic, intelligent rage. It takes them about the room -- Buffy smashed into the big screen TV, Faith knocked back over the end table -- and it never lets up.

Nobody speaks.

Faith gets Buffy in a lock from behind. They strain at each other, sweating, Faith's mouth at Buffy's ear.

FAITH (cont'd)
Not getting tired, are you? I'm just
starting to feel it.

Buffy slams Faith back into the wall (or the stand up mirror, if that works), breaking her grip. She throws her up onto the landing. Faith stands, in front of the window, as Buffy runs up, jumps off the bed and dives into her.

They smash through the window.

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

They fall about eight feet onto the next roof, land amid glass and wood shards.

Faith is on her back, groaning in pain. She feels Buffy grab her wrist--

ANGLE: FAITH'S WRIST

--and slam a handcuff on it. Faith pulls savagely away but the other cuff is already on Buffy's wrist.

BUFFY
Stick around.

Faith punches Buffy.

INT. ANGEL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Oz and Willow watch over Angel. He's not doing well. He mumbles...

ANGEL
Buffy...

Oz and Willow look at each other, worried.

INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT (PREVIOUSLY SCENE D)

The camera sees the box on his desk, tilts up to find the Mayor sucking in the legs of a giant spider he's eating. He chews, swallows.

A VAMPIRE LACKEY watches, clearly unsettled.

MAYOR
My god, what a feeling. The power of
these creatures... it suffuses my being.
I can feel the changes begin. My organs
shifting, merging, making ready for
the Ascension. Plus, these babies are
high in fiber and what's the fun of
becoming an immortal demon if you're
not regular, am I right?

Before the vampire can answer, another comes into the office with a worried look.

MAYOR (cont'd)
We don't knock during dark rituals?

VAMPIRE
Sir, there may be trouble. At Faith's.

The Mayor looks unhappy.

INT. LIBRARY/GILES' OFFICE - NIGHT

Giles is at his desk in his office, going over Lester's papers.

GILES
Yes. Right, right.

He stands. Comes into the library, where Xander is at the desk researching.

XANDER
Something about the demon?

Giles heads up the stairs to the center shelf as he replies:

GILES
Local villagers near the volcano site
make reference to the legend of "Olukai",
that may be a bastardization of "Olvikan".

XANDER
Who's Olvikan?

GILES
I know it's a demon, a very old one...
I might have a picture.

Xander follows him up as Giles looks for the right volume.

XANDER
Boy, it's a good thing no one ever
wanted to check any of these books
out, huh?

GILES
Yes, very convenient... ah.

He pulls out a volume, leafs through it. He rests it on the bannister, turning pages.

XANDER
Come on, Olvikan. Hey...

Giles stops. They both look very unhappy about what they are looking at. After a moment, Xander reaches over and folds out the picture. We don't see it, but we get the size.

XANDER (cont'd)
We're gonna need a bigger boat...

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

A fight in progress. Two girls cuffed together, hampered by the restriction but also using it. Buffy is now getting the upper hand, gets Faith pinned. Faith is starting to get a little raggedy.

BUFFY
What's the matter? All that killing
and you're afraid to die?

The look in Faith's eyes says she is. She strains at the cuff -- and it snaps, the two girls rolling away from each other. Faith grabs a makeshift weapon (TBD), and Buffy draws Faith's knife.

FAITH
That's mine.

BUFFY
You're about to get it back.

Fighting. Some blood. They're tired, moving slow, swinging wide.

And they end up by the ledge, Faith's hand on Buffy wrist, holding the knife at bay, Faith's other hand on Buffy's throat. Buffy is perilously close to the edge. She looks down and sees:

ANGLE: BUFFY'S POV

Alleyway. A three story drop.

The two girls are close again, straining. Faith again with the upper hand. She edges Buffy closer to the edge and it is with sincerity that she says:

FAITH
Man, I'm gonna miss this...

Buffy whips her hand free and buries the knife in Faith's stomach.

To the hilt.

Faith goes wide-eyed, a tiny stream of blood burbling from her mouth. Buffy wrenches the blade free and Faith clutches her stomach. She sags...

And then uppercuts Buffy halfway across the roof. Buffy lands hard on her back.

FAITH (cont'd)
You did it...

There is both confusion and pride in her voice as she looks at her prone counterpart.

FAITH (cont'd)
You killed me.

Buffy struggles to get up, but she is painfully winded.

Faith looks down and sees:

ANGLE: FAITH'S POV

A stakebed truck coming down the alley.

Faith looks back to Buffy.

FAITH (cont'd)
Still won't help your boy, though.

Buffy realizes what Faith is about to do. Faith's smile has a kind of numbness spreading over it.

FAITH (cont'd)
You shoulda been there, Buff. Quite
a ride.

She pitches backwards, slowly, ever so gracefully, off the roof.

Falls three stories and lands SLAM! on the truck, head slamming with skullcracking force, body twisted and motionless.

Buffy scrambles painfully to the edge, sees:

ANGLE: BUFFY'S POV

The truck speeding away, unheedful of its bleeding cargo.

BUFFY
No...

Her voice is small, her eyes empty with defeat.

BLACK OUT.

END OF PART ONE

Continue on to Part 2!