Episode # 7ABB17

"Lies My Parents Told Me"

Written by: David Fury & Drew Goddard
Directed by: David Fury

February 10, 2003 (WHITE)

Teaser

UNDER BLACK, we HEAR a CLAP of THUNDER...

FADE UP:

EXT. NEW YORK CITY SKY/SKYLINE - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

ON STORM CLOUDS in a NIGHT SKY as RAIN pours down, and LIGHTNING FLASHES. TILT DOWN to reveal the unmistakable cityscape of Manhattan, broken by the tops of trees.

TITLE: NEW YORK CITY, 1977.

A FLASH of lightning WHITES us into

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - 1977 - FLASHBACK

A BIRD'S EYE VIEW, amid the downpour, of a battle being waged between two combatants whom we'll soon learn are NIKKI, the Vampire Slayer (in her BLACK DUSTER), and 70's punk (not the same outfit as train in "Fool For Love) SPIKE (in VAMPFACE). We see large stones, sidewalk railings, trash cans and some benches, behind one of which we may notice a shape. NIKKI runs and double kicks Spike in the chest, knocking him down as we

CUT IN to see SPIKE splash down onto the pavement and roll up onto his feet. Grinning, impressed.

SPIKE
Well, all right! Got the moves,
don't you? Gonna ride you hard
before I put you away, luv.

NIKKI
Sure about that? You seem a little
wet and limp to me. And I'm not your
"luv."

She charges him, launching another attack. As they fight...

CUT TO SOMEONE'S POV of the battle - peering between the slats of a park bench.

NEW ANGLE TO REVEAL four year-old ROBIN (one day to be "Principal") WOOD, crouched behind the bench, next to a trash can, peering out at the two large-than-life warriors. His eyes wide with fear.

ON NIKKI and SPIKE in their pas de deux. After a few moves, Nikki tries to throw another punch.

Spike dodges it and twists her arm behind her back. He wraps his other arm around her throat and pulls her close to him.

CLOSE ON ROBIN, panicking, he restlessly shifts, knocking into the trash receptacle next to him.

SPIKE, distracted, glances over at the noise. NIKKI uses the opportunity to butt him with the back of her head and break free. As Spike staggers back...

NIKKI somersaults to her feet, reaches into her coat, pulls out a stake and throws it at him.

SPIKE catches the stake in mid-air.

SPIKE
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Taken me a long time
to track you down. Don't really want
to end the dance so soon, do you,
Nikki? Music's just startin', in'it?

As he turns to go, he tosses the stake aside.

ON THE STAKE as it clatters to the ground. Tilt up to see it's settled near Robin.

SPIKE (cont'd)
(turning back again)
Oh, and... Love the coat.

He moves off into the darkness.

ON NIKKI, watching him go for a moment before she hears:

ROBIN (O.S.)
Mama?

He turns her attention toward ROBIN, who emerges from behind the bench, looking small and scared. Nikki goes and crouches next to him as she straightens the hood on his rain slicker.

NIKKI
Did real good, baby boy. Stayed down
just like Mama told you.

ROBIN
Can we go home now?

NIKKI
(shakes her head)
Nuh-uh... Not safe there anymore.
(then)
Hey, how 'bout I leave you with
Crowley? He's got those spooky
doodads you like playin' --

ROBIN
No. I wanna stay with you.

Nikki takes that in. Looks back where Spike headed off, then, after a beat.

NIKKI
Yeah, I know you do, baby. But...
Remember, Robin honey... what we
talked about... Always gotta work
the mission.

Robin looks away.

NIKKI (cont'd)
Look at me. You know I love you.
But I got a job to do. The mission's
what matters. Right?

Robin nods.

NIKKI (cont'd)
That's my baby. C'mon.

She stands, takes his hand, and they walk off a bit before ROBIN pulls free of her grasp, turns and runs back to retrieve THE STAKE, lying on the ground. As he picks it up...

NIKKI (cont'd)
(calling out to him)
Robin!

A FLASH of lightning and we're in...

EXT. ALLEY - PRESENT - NIGHT

Grown-up ROBIN WOOD, whips around, holding a jagged piece of a crushed wooden crate (an impromptu stake) as

A LARGE VAMP throws a punch at him. Wood ducks it, then spins with a roundhouse kick that connects and whips the vamp's head back - but it snaps back and tackles Wood, the two of them falling into a

WIDE SHOT in which we see BUFFY, in the background, squaring off with her own LARGE VAMP (#2) and SPIKE (wearing the DUSTER) in a brawl with another VAMP (#3) who wields a broken, rust, old shovel. Wood continues his assault on VAMP #1. He glances over at

BUFFY, working over her vamp pretty well, though he is strong and matches her moves.

ON SPIKE, having a bit easier time of it. He pounds his vamp (#3) back, and with a kick sends him flying into a dumpster, slipping to the ground.

ON VAMP #3, dazed but recovering, looks up as Spike appears over him with the shovel and JABS it into the vamp's throat (out of frame), essentially decapitating him as we HEAR an off-screen dusting.

BUFFY (O.S.)
Spike!

He looks at her as she gestures with a glance toward Wood.

Spike looks over to see

WOOD, now on the receiving end of some blows delivered by Vamp #1, though he manages to get in a few licks himself.

ON WOOD, as Vamp #1 sweeps the legs out from under him. He goes down.

VAMP #1 looms over WOOD and is about to strike when... POOF! He's DUSTED. Reveal SPIKE standing behind him with the splintered end of the shovel's handle.

He steps in to Wood, grabs his arm and pulls him to his feet.

SPIKE
Little tip, mate. The stake's your
friend, don't be afraid to use it.

Wood just stares at him as Spike turns to go, then stops, sensing something's on Wood's mind.

SPIKE (cont'd)
What?

Wood shakes his head slightly, Spike eyes him for a moment, then moves off toward Buffy.

ON WOOD, watching him go with a stony glare.

WOOD
(quietly)
Just waiting for my moment...

TILT DOWN to his hand to see him squeezing the stake so tightly, blood has begun to trickle out of his clenched fist.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ESTABLISHING - NEXT DAY

Stock of backpack-laden kids arriving for a new day of school.

INT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - PRINCIPAL WOOD'S OFFICE - DAY

ON WOOD, peering out of the blinds, watching them arrive. His hand's bandaged.

BUFFY (O.S.)
Situation still normal.

Wood turns to see Buffy entering. Behind her we see an active outer office and student traffic milling about the hallways as PAINTERS roll paint over the graffitied walls and a CUSTODIAN scrapes dried brain matter off the window.

BUFFY
Or as normal as this school ever sees.

WOOD
So it appears.

BUFFY
Well, no fires, nobody's head's gone
ka-blooey. And the marching band and
swing choir have gone back to their
normal, healthy seething resentment.

WOOD
Been pretty quiet around her since
you shut down that Seal. You may
have stopped this thing.

Buffy considers that, then shakes her head skeptically.

BUFFY
I saw an army of Ubervamps. In my
vision. An army was going to
rise up from the Hellmouth. From
that Seal. To think I stopped The
First... It can't be that easy.

WOOD
Call that easy?

BUFFY
Hey, any apocalypse I avert without
dying. Those are the easy ones.

Wood moves to her, looking at her warmly.

WOOD
Y'know, you're something else, Miss
Summers. I've been watching you.
When we're out patrolling. You're...
(then)
You remind me of...

He stops himself. Buffy looks at him, understanding.

BUFFY
Your mother?

WOOD
Well... Yeah. Actually. What I
remember of her.

BUFFY
(smiling, wryly)
Gotta tell ya, not a line every girl
likes to hear. But, in this case -
compliment taken.

They share a smile, standing close for a moment, then...

BUFFY (cont'd)
Ah, maybe you're right. Maybe
everything's fine.

GILES (O.S.)
Everything's terrible.

Wood and Buffy turn to see

GILES, standing in the doorway.

GILES
A total catastrophe.

BUFFY
Giles -- what's wrong?

GILES
Have you seen the new library? It's
nothing but computers. Not a book to
be seen. I don't know where to
begin... Buffy, who do we talk to?

WOOD
I guess that'd be me...
(extends hand)
Hi. Robin Wood.

GILES
Yes, of course. Rupert Giles.
Buffy's told me you're something of
a freelance demon fighter. I'm
relieved. We're running dangerously
low on allies.

BUFFY
So. I didn't stop it then.

GILES
The seers in the coven are certain
The First is continuing to gather its
forces. The few Potential Slayers
left across the globe are still being
murdered before we can get to them.
(gravely)
I'm afraid war is inevitable.

As that declaration hangs there, Giles looks at Wood.

GILES (cont'd)
We should go before the school board.

WOOD
What?

GILES
I can have my backup library sent
from home, in the meantime. It isn't
much, but--

BUFFY
Giles --

GILES
Knowledge comes from crafted bindings
and pages, Buffy, not ones and zeroes.

Buffy and Wood share a look.

BUFFY
(to Giles)
Did you bring back more Potentials?

GILES
Ah, no. Actually my trip was on a
different matter. Regarding Spike.

BUFFY
Spike? What about him?

GILES
Buffy, I told you my concerns when
you recklessly chose to remove the
chip in his head.

WOOD
Wait. Sorry. Chip?

GILES
Long story--

BUFFY
Military put a chip in Spike's brain
so he couldn't hurt anyone.

GILES
And that would be the abridged
version.

BUFFY
He has a soul now, Giles. Spike
won't let himself harm anyone.

GILES
Unless The First triggers him again.

WOOD
Triggers the chip?

BUFFY
(shaking her head)
The trigger's a post-hypnotic deal
The First put in his head. Made
him...
(tough to say)
He was killing again.

WOOD
So he's got a trigger, a soul and a
chip.

GILES
Not anymore.

BUFFY
It was killing him, Giles.

WOOD
The trigger?

BUFFY
The chip. The trigger's not working
anymore.

WOOD
Because the military gave him a soul.

Buffy just looks at him.

WOOD (cont'd)
Sorry.

GILES
We don't know that the trigger's
inactive. But I've brought something
back with me that may help us to
disarm it. And ascertain what it is,
exactly, that causes Spike's behavior.

BUFFY
It's that song. I'm sure it has to
do with that song he was singing.

GILES
Yes, but he has no memory of it. Is
there any part of it you can remember?

BUFFY
(defensively)
I dunno. I mean... Not like it had
a catchy hook or anything, like, "I'm
Comin' Up So You Better Get This
Party Started." It was boring, old,
and English. Just like yo--
(off his glower)
--ul. Brynner. Yul Brynner.
(beat)
A... British Yul Brynner.

WOOD
(to Giles)
This thing you brought. To keep
Spike from killing again. How does
it work?

GILES
It will require a bit of magic.

EXT. SUMMERS' HOME - ESTABLISHING - AFTERNOON

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

ON ANDREW, entering from the foyer and finding KENNEDY, RONA, MOLLY and a couple of other Potentials, milling about in quiet, frustrated, discussion.

KENNEDY
...It's not right. We're all a part
of this. Whatever's happening, we
should know--

ANDREW
Hey. What's going on, girlfriend?

They stop talking and look at him.

ANDREW (cont'd)
Wait. Are you guys planning a
surprise party for me?

KENNEDY
Buffy and the others are up to
something in the cellar.

ANDREW
What others?

RONA
Y'know. Senior officers. Only
they're not telling us grunts squat.

MOLLY
Unless you count "stay away."

ANDREW
(self-conscious)
Did they mention me... specifically?
As in, "tell Andrew not to come down
here. Because we hate him."

KENNEDY
No.

ANDREW
(false bravado)
Well, then... I think I'll just go
down there and... demand to know
what's going on.

He makes a move toward the basement as ANYA enters from there.

ANYA
You don't want to go down there.

Andrew looks back at the Potentials, then for their benefit, makes a stand.

ANDREW
As a matter of fact, Anya, I do.
We're all a part of this. Whatever's
happening, we have a right to know.
(to others)
Don't we, girls?

ANYA
They're doing something that's gonna
set off that psycho trigger The First
put in Spike's melon.

Andrew's forceful facade melts.

ANDREW
I see. You mean, the one that makes
him Hulk-out, smash through walls
and... rip into my throat?

ANYA
Yuh-huh.

ANDREW
(small)
'Kay. Thanks.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - MEANWHILE

ON SPIKE being shackled to the wall by XANDER.

XANDER
(muttering to himself)
Couldn't have put the chains back up
a week ago... no, we have to wait
'til "pretending time's" over to work
on Spike...

SPIKE
What?

XANDER
Nothing.

ON BUFFY, standing across from Spike. Along with GILES, WILLOW scanning a book), DAWN and WOOD.

Spike looks over at Wood.

SPIKE
(testy)
What you doin' here? Came to see the
show?

WOOD
Thought you might need the support.

SPIKE
Uh huh.
(to Giles)
Right. Let's get this over with.
What're you gonna do? Some hypno-
beam or disarming spell?

GILES
Not exactly. The First has
brainwashed you. There's something
in your subconscious The First is
using to provoke a violent reaction.
So.

He holds up a small odd-shaped stone.

GILES (cont'd)
We need to put this in your brain.

Spike stares at the peach-pit sized stone.

SPIKE
(no way)
Bugger that.

GILES
S'alright. It's completely painless.
(then)
So I'm told. The Prokaryote stone
will help unlock your subconscious to
get to the root of the trigger's
power. Help you understand it.
Hopefully, break its hold over you.

DAWN
Hopefully. So it might not work.

GILES
The stone's only a catalyst for the
process. The rest is up to Spike.
He needs to overcome whatever mental
weakness is allowing his brain to be
manipulated this way.

SPIKE
And how'd you expect to get that hunk
of rubble into my cranium?

Giles turns to Willow, holding the box out to her.

GILES
Willow...

WILLOW
'kay.
(muttering)
Just hope my pronunciation's in the
ballpark.

She reads from the book and subtly waves her hand over the stone and incants [fake language, no need to look it up]:

WILLOW (cont'd)
Kun'ati belek sup'sion. Bok'vata im
kele'beshus. Ta'li ta'li ek'vota.
Mor'osh boota'ke...

CLOSE ON THE STONE as it begins to unfurl, into a black, undulating leech-like creature.

Everyone looks at it somewhat repulsed.

ON SPIKE, eyeing the creature.

SPIKE
You've got to be joking.
(to Giles)
What now? In the ear? Up the
nostrils?

GILES
It has to enter your cerebral cortex
through the optic nerve.

SPIKE
Oh, bollocks-- All the rubbish
people keep sticking in my head...
it's a wonder there's room for my
brain.

GILES
I don't think it takes up that much
space, do you?

Giles brings the box up to Spike's face.

CLOSE ON SPIKE, tense, as the Prokaryote slithers out of the box and onto his cheek, quickly working it's way to his eye. There it begins to flatten out and worms its way into his eye socket.

Spike JERKS as it enters him. He CRIES OUT in pain and thrashes a bit against his chains. The group makes various GASPS of revulsion.

BUFFY
Spike --

XANDER
(grossed out, but
lightly)
Ah! The eye's have it!
(off looks)
I know. A personal low.

Buffy rushes to Spike's side, takes his hand. Tries to calm him. He thrashes as the Prokaryote vanishes into him.

BUFFY
Listen to me. It's okay. Spike?

ON SPIKE, breathing hard, as he looks down, looking inward.

SPIKE
Yeah...

BUFFY
You all right?

He nods, rattled.

SPIKE
How'm I suppose to know if this bug
ugly's doin' its--

He stops as he's hit with a ray of sunlight, he looks up and around, somewhat amazed. Widen to see he's in...

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - DAY

We ARC around Spike's shoulder to find

WILLIAM (Spike's pre-vampire self) standing across from a frail, sickly, elderly woman, sitting on a large upholstered chair in the upscale, elegantly furnished parlor; a handkerchief is clutched in her hand. This is Spike's mother, ANNE.

WILLIAM
(reading)
"...her eyes, balls of honey/angel's'
harps, her laugh/oh, lark, grant a
sign/if crook'd be cupid's shaft..."

CUT IN on ANNE as she listens raptly, a gentle smile on her face, her needle-point lying on the arm rest next to her. A pitcher of water and a glass on the end table beside her.

ON WILLIAM, continuing to recite from a few sheets of parchment in his hands.

WILLIAM (cont'd)
(reading)
"Hark, the lark/her name it hath
spake/'Cecily' it discharges/from
'twixt its wee beak."

He pauses, then glances up at Anne, indicating he's finished. She stares at him a moment.

ANNE
Oh, William...

WILLIAM
It's just scribbling.

ANNE
Nonsense. It's magnificent.

He eyes her skeptically, shaking his head. Then, enthusiastically pleased, he sits on the sofa beside her.

WILLIAM
Honestly? You really think so,
Mother?

ANNE
Oh, yes. You've a rare gift.

WILLIAM
Would that certain publishers thought
as you.

ANNE
Well, you mustn't be disheartened.
They're envious. Clearly, you're a
man before your ti--

She's caught by surprise by a hacking cough, which ends as abruptly as it came. William reaches for her water glass to hand to her, but she waves him off.

ANNE (cont'd)
I wonder though...

WILLIAM
Wonder?

ANNE
This "Cecily" of whom you write so
often... Would that be the
Underwoods' eldest girl?

WILLIAM
(embarrassed)
Oh, no, I don't presume -

ANNE
She's lovely. And you shouldn't be
alone. You need a woman in your life.

He looks at her.

WILLIAM
I have a woman in my life.

ANNE
(intrigued)
You, what? You've never--
(understanding)
Oh.

WILLIAM
Do not mistake me -- I have hopes
that one day there will be an
addition to this household...
(beat)
But I will always look after you,
Mother. This I promise.

Anne smiles, looks at him with love.

Anne begins to COUGH. She covers her mouth with her handkerchief. William jumps to his feet and brings her the glass of water, helps her as she gasps it down, soothing her tortured throat. It's then he glances at

INSERT - Blood stain on the handkerchief in her hand.

WILLIAM (cont'd)
Shall I send a coach for Dr. Gull?

ANNE
(recovering)
No. No, I'll be all right. It's...
it's passed. Just sit with me a
while, will you?

WILLIAM
Of course.

He sits on the floor at his mother's feet, resting against her legs. Anne picks up her needle-point again and starts to resume her work as she sings.

SLOW CREEP IN as Anne begins to sing, softly, sweetly...

ANNE
(singing)
EARLY ONE MORNING, JUST AS THE SUN
WAS RISING, I HEARD A MAID SING IN
THE VALLEY BELOW...

CREEP IN on William, closing his eyes to listen to her. We move in tight on his eyes...

MATCH CUT TO:

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - PRESENT - AFTERNOON

TIGHT ON SPIKE'S eyes and brow as he MORPHS into vampface. His eyes open to find he's back in the basement, surrounded by the others (Buffy is still at his side, holding his hand).

Before anyone realizes what's happening, Spike bursts up with animal fury. He hits Buffy, tossing her hard across the room.

Spike lunges forward, SNARLING, held back by his chains. He struggles a bit, then violently picks up his cot and flings it across the room, hitting Dawn, knocking her to the ground.

WILLOW
Dawn!

She goes to help Dawn as Buffy rights herself. She's about to take on Spike when he freezes, almost stunned. She hesitates.

ON SPIKE as the Prokaryote slithers out of his eye, dropping off his face.

CLOSE ON THE FLOOR as the Prokaryote hits and bounces to a stop, now stone again.

ON SPIKE, no longer in vampface, appearing somewhat dazed. He looks over with shame and guilt at

HIS POV - BUFFY, shaking off her injuries. DAWN, sitting up with a big, bleeding gash on her temple as Willow tends to her.

WOOD watches, darkly intrigued.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. SUMMERS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

Willow tends to Dawn's head injury on the couch. Xander, Andrew, Anya, Kennedy and Rona look on.

WILLOW
(touching Dawn)
Does that hurt?

DAWN
Ow. Yes.

ANDREW
I can't believe there was a Wrath of
Khan moment downstairs and I missed
it.

XANDER
(confused)
Did Ricardo Montalban throw a bed at
somebody?

Andrew seriously thinks about this.

ANDREW
In the movie or in real life?

XANDER
(confused)
What?

ANDREW
Wait. What are we talking about?

DAWN
You two are making my head angry.

THE PHONE RINGS, Andrew moves off to answer it as Willow dabs Dawn's wound again.

DAWN (cont'd)
Ow.

WILLOW
Sorry.
(beat)
Doesn't looks like anything's broken...

DAWN
Did you do some sort of magic x-ray?

WILLOW
No, just usually the thing people say.

KENNEDY
So Spike's trigger's been active this
entire time.

RONA
How could Buffy take that for
granted? He lives in our house. We
train with him.

ANYA
Oh, don't waste your time down that
road. Spike's got some sort of "Get-
Out-Of-Jail-Free" card that doesn't
apply to the rest of us. He could
slaughter a hundred frat boys and he--

Off Willow and Xander's looks, Anya changes on a dime:

ANYA (cont'd)
But... forgiveness makes us human.
Bladeeblahdeeblah.

Andrew re-enters.

ANDREW
Willow. Call for you. From L.A.
Somebody named Fred.
(confidentially)
Guy sounds kinda effeminate.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - AFTERNOON

Spike is agitated, thought slightly dazed. His arms are still chained. Buffy, Giles and Wood look on.

SPIKE
Get me out of these sodding things
already! I'm fine.

BUFFY
Don't you think you should take a
little time first. To calm down.

SPIKE
I am calm.
(to Giles)
Stone o'yours is out, in'it? Did its
job. So, I'm de-triggered, right?

GILES
Spike. What do you remember? About
the song...

SPIKE
Yeah. The song. 's called "Early
One Morning." Old folk ditty...

WOOD
What's it mean to you?

SPIKE
Mean? Nothing. Just...
(then)
My mum...

Wood tenses at that. The group doesn't notice.

SPIKE (cont'd)
It was her favorite. She used to
sing it to me.
(self-conscious)
When I was a baby.

GILES
And...?

SPIKE
No "and." That's it.

He looks to Buffy, changing the subject.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Shouldn't you be checking on Dawn?
Clocked the niblet pretty fierce.

BUFFY
She'll be okay. She's tough.

GILES
(pressing forward)
Listen to me, Spike. What is it
about your mother--

SPIKE
I dunno. We got on fine. She was a
good lady.

GILES
There has to be more to it than--

SPIKE
(snapping)
Well, there bloody well isn't.

They stand there at an impasse for a few moments. Then, Buffy moves to Spike.

GILES
What are you doing?

BUFFY
I'm going to unchain him.

GILES
Buffy --

He takes her and pulls her to the side. They speak in hushed whispers, out of Spike's earshot.

BUFFY
Giles, this is pointless. He doesn't
know anything. Your prophylactic
stone didn't work.

GILES
Because he's not cooperating. The
process takes time. He's blocking
whatever's flooding into his
consciousness, and as long as he does
so, we're in danger.

Wood appears next to him.

WOOD
So the trigger's still working?

GILES
As much as ever.

As Wood takes that in, he looks over at

HIS POV - SPIKE, lost in thought, oblivious to their conversation.

ANGLE ON SPIKE as he jerks his left arm, straining against the shackle, then suddenly looks at his hand.

CLOSE ON IT as a feminine hand slides over his palm.

SPIKE looks up as

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

DRUSILLA pulls WILLIAM up to his feet, from the sofa, and they dance, twirling about, laughing as they kiss.

DRUSILLA
Ooh, such a pretty house you have,
sweet Willy. Smells of daffodils and
viscera.

WILLIAM
Don't get too attached, now. Won't
be here for long, love.

DRUSILLA
Well, then...

She sweeps over to the couch. Sits down seductively.

DRUSILLA (cont'd)
Shall we give it a proper good-bye?

WILLIAM
You are a saucy one, aren't you?

He plops down next to her, pulling her to his lap and they kiss, passionately.

WILLIAM (cont'd)
Oh, Dru... we'll bring the world to
its knees...

DRUSILLA
It's ripe and ready, my darling.
Waiting for us to devour its fruit.

WILLIAM
We'll ravage this city together, my
pet. Lay waste to all of Europe.
The three of us will teach the snobs
and elitists with their falderal just
what--

DRUSILLA
Three?

WILLIAM
You, me and Mother. We'll open their
veins and bathe in their blood as
they scream our names across the--
(off her look)
What?

DRUSILLA
(squinting at him)
You-- You want to bring your mother
with us?

WILLIAM
Well... yeah.
(then)
You'll like her.

DRUSILLA
To eat, you mean?

He grins at what he perceives as a joke. Before he can respond...

ANNE (O.S.)
William?

He looks to see Anne at the entrance to the parlor, in her bed clothes, leaning on her WALKING STICK.

Startled, William leaps off the couch like a guilty teenager.

SPIKE
Mother...

ANNE
Where have you been? I've been
beside myself with worry for
days...

William crosses to her, almost swaggering.

WILLIAM
You needn't have worried, Mother.
You never have to worry about
anything again. Something... has
happened. I've changed.

Anne, eyeing his disheveled appearance.

ANNE
What have you been doing? I don't--
(re: Drusilla)
Who... Who is this woman?

DRUSILLA
I'm the other that gave birth to
your son.

ANNE
I beg your pardon.

WILLIAM
It's true, Mother. Drusilla --
She... She's made me what I am. I'm
no longer bound to this mortal coil.
I have become a creature of the
night. A vampire.

Anne stares at him, bewildered.

ANNE
Are you drunk?

WILLIAM
Little bit.
(moving to her)
Think of it. No more sickness. No
more dying. You'll never age another
day. Let me do this for you.

William reaches out to touch her, but she recoils.

ANNE
What are you talking about? Why are
you acting so strange...

WILLIAM
It's still me, Mother. Your William.
(beat)
Though Dru here seems determined to
give me a pet name...

DRUSILLA
Yes. Like Willy. Or Bill. Or
Lucien, Prince of Lies.

WILLIAM
That's enough, Dru. I think you're
scaring Mother.

ANNE
Please. I don't find this amusing...

WILLIAM
It's all right, Mother... It's only
me.

He reaches out and holds her.

WILLIAM (cont'd)
We'll be together forever.

ON ANNE as we hear William MORPH.

ANNE
William...

ON WILLIAM, in VAMPFACE, holding his mother (she cannot see his face).

WILLIAM
(softly)
It only hurts for a moment.

He SINKS his teeth deep into her neck. We hold for a beat on the two of them, Spike and his mother, over which we hear:

WILLOW (PRE-LAP) Buffy...

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - BASEMENT - PRESENT - AFTERNOON

ON SPIKE as he jerks out of his flashback. He looks over at

WILLOW standing on the stairs, addressing Buffy, still standing with Giles and Wood.

WILLOW
Just got a phone call. I gotta take
off for a little while, maybe a day
or so...

BUFFY
Is something wrong?

WILLOW
Nothing you need to worry about.
I'll give you the full scoop later.
Hopefully I'll bring back some good
news.

Buffy looks at her a moment, then glances at Spike.

BUFFY
Could use a little of that...
(shrugs)
Okay. Guess now's as good a time as
we're likely to see for a while.
Just hurry back.

WILLOW
Will do.

Willow heads back upstairs. Buffy starts off toward Spike, talks (out of earshot) with him. Giles watches her with displeasure.

WOOD
(sotto)
Mr. Giles...

Giles stops and turns toward him.

WOOD (cont'd)
D'you have a moment?

Giles watches the pair exit upstairs, then nods.

GILES
What's on your mind?

WOOD
Same thing that's on yours.
(looking at the top
of the stairs)
We got a problem.

GILES
(understanding)
Spike.

WOOD
Look, I know I'm an outsider to you
people. And you don't know me at
all. But I'm fighting for the same
reasons. Against the same enemy. So
hear me out...

GILES
Go on.

WOOD
I think something has to be done.

Giles squints at him.

GILES
I'm not sure I--

WOOD
You said it yourself. If the
trigger's still working, The First
must be waiting for the right time to
use it against us.

GILES
(thinking it through)
Does seem doubtful The First simply
forget it had such a powerful weapon.

WOOD
A while back it slipped up, told
Andrew "it wasn't time yet for
Spike." Whatever The First's
ultimate plan is, Spike must play an
integral part.
(with emphasis)
Something. Needs. To be done.

Giles stares at him, understanding Wood's meaning.

GILES
Buffy would never allow it.

WOOD
She'd listen to her Watcher, wouldn't
she?

GILES
Yes, well, apparently you don't know
very much about the Watcher/Slayer
dynamic.

WOOD
As a matter of fact, I was raised by
a Watcher.

GILES
(genuine surprise)
You what?

WOOD
Bernard Crowley. Took me in when I
was a young boy. Trained me.

GILES
(searching his memory)
Crowley... Yes... I remember the
name. New York based Watcher.
Resigned shortly after his Slayer
was--

He stops as a realization hits him, and stares at Wood.

GILES (cont'd)
You're Nikki Wood's son.

WOOD
Yes.

GILES
Spike killed your mother.

WOOD
Yes.

A beat as Giles sizes him up.

GILES
Does Buffy know this?

WOOD
She knows my mother was a Slayer.
She doesn't know about Spike.

GILES
And this has nothing to do with
personal vengeance.

WOOD
Does it matter?
(pause)
He's an instrument of evil. He's
going to prove to be our undoing in
this fight. Buffy's undoing. And
she's never gonna see it coming.

PUSH IN as WOOD brings home his case.

WOOD (cont'd)
I'm talking about what needs to be
done. For the greater good. You
know I'm right.

SLOW PUSH IN on Giles, processing this. Then:

GILES
What... exactly are you proposing?

WOOD
I just need you to keep Buffy away
for a few hours.

GILES looks at him for a long time.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - KITCHEN/HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

Wood crosses into frame outside the kitchen. He glances into the kitchen and sees Spike rummaging through the freezer.

He turns to look down the hallway to where Giles is talking to Buffy in the foyer. We can't hear them, but Buffy is clearly skeptical of whatever Giles is telling her.

Wood watches for a moment, then casually walks into the kitchen. Spike pulls a bottle of whiskey from deep in the back.

WOOD
After this afternoon, I could use a
drink myself. And I didn't have
insects rummaging around in my brain.

Spike takes a long drink straight from the bottle and then offers it to Wood, who accepts. He takes a small drink. The two pass it back and forth for the duration of the scene.

WOOD (cont'd)
Been talking to Giles. He has some
things he needs to talk to Buffy
about -- Slayer/Watcher-type things,
I guess...

SPIKE
And?

WOOD
Well, there's concern about stepping
out -- even for a bit -- as you're
not exactly stable enough to leave...

SPIKE
(exhausted, annoyed)
Yeah, okay, I get it. Look, that
leech-thing did a number on me but...
I'll be fine.

WOOD
Sure...
(beat)
It just strikes me that there may be
better places than a house full of
young, potential victims for you
to... work through your issues.

SPIKE
What'd you got in mind?

WOOD
Got stacks and stacks of occult books
on mind-control back at my house that
may help us speed this along.
Besides, if anything... bad does
happen there's only me to injure,
and, well, I'm willing to take the
chance.

SPIKE
You sure about that?

WOOD
(affable)
I'll keep a close eye on you.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

Buffy and Giles walk through the graveyard.

BUFFY
I dunno, Giles. Is this really primo
time for a training session?

GILES
I'm still your teacher, Buffy. And,
no matter how adept a Slayer you are,
there'll always be new things to
learn. Now more than ever it's
crucial to maintain focus upon your
calling.

BUFFY
You're talking to me like I'm sixteen
again.

GILES
Sometimes the most effective way of
moving forward is to start at the
beginning.

They come to a stop near a fresh grave.

BUFFY
In case you haven't noticed, our
plates are kinda full right now.
Plus, not sure how I feel about Robin
looking after Spike at his place.

GILES
For what it's worth, everyone in your
house seemed quite relieved by the
arrangement.
(then)
Buffy, I may not technically be your
Watcher anymore... But the fact that
there's chaos in your life only
underscores the importance of the
lessons I can impart to you.

BUFFY
(shrugging)GILES
We are on the verge of war. It's
time to start looking at the big
picture.

BUFFY
Hello! All I do is look at the big
picture. The other day I gave an
inspirational speech to the telephone
repairman.

GILES
Takes more than rousing speeches to
lead, Buffy. If you're going to be
a general, you need to make the
proper decisions, regardless of cost.

BUFFY
Have you seen me with those girls?
The way I've treated my friends and
family? And Andrew. Believe me, I
know how to make the hard decisions.

GILES
Well, that's what we're here to find
out...

Behind them, a HAND breaks through the ground. They turn and look at it.

GILES (cont'd)
While we work on the basics.

EXT. WOOD'S GARAGE - MEANWHILE

Wood and Spike (wearing his duster) approach the padlocked side door of Wood's garage.

SPIKE
Live in a garage?

Wood starts unlocking the padlock.

WOOD
This is just my work room. Kind of
my... sanctuary.

He unlocks the door, starts to open it.

SPIKE
Little place to unwind, huh...

Wood enters, followed by Spike.

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

Darkness. We barely make out Spike entering as Wood hangs back.

SPIKE
Hard day's principal-ing got you
down, need a place to cut loose, let
down your hair...
(beat)
So to speak.

Wood shuts the door. We're in darkness. We hear a ch-chunk as he locks the door behind him.

WOOD
(friendly)
Something like that...

Wood switches on the light.

The walls of the garage are covered in CROSSES.

SPIKE
What the bloody hell's this?

WOOD
(shrugs)
I told you. My sanctuary. It's the
Hellmouth, Spike. Never be too
careful.

As he talks, Wood walks over to a COMPUTER WORKSTATION in the corner of the garage. Nearby is a BOOKCASE filled with books.

WOOD (cont'd)
Stay away from the walls. You'll be
all right.

Spike looks around the room.

SPIKE
Bit much, in'it?
(eyeing Wood)
What's your story, Wood?

Wood's back is to Spike. He hits a key on his computer and the screen comes to life. He types as he talks (we don't see what he's typing). Spike's spider sense is starting to tingle.

WOOD
No story, really. Trying to do
what's right, make a difference.

Wood looks over his shoulder.

WOOD (cont'd)
How 'bout you? What kind of man are
you, Spike?

SPIKE
Sorry. Not much for the self-
reflection.

WOOD
Makes sense...

Wood looks at the computer again. Seems satisfied with what he's looking at. He pulls open a large drawer that's part of the workbench the computer sits on.

Carefully laid-out weapons line the drawer -- knives, swords. And two ARM BRACES.

WOOD (cont'd)
You strike me as the type of guy who
careens through life completely
oblivious to the damage he's doing to
everyone around him.

SPIKE
(bristling)
That right?

WOOD
I know more about you than you think,
Spike. I've been searching for you
for a very... very long time.

Wood looks over his shoulder, makes eye contact.

WOOD (cont'd)
Ever since you killed my mother.

ON SPIKE - Spike's on his guard now, watching Wood closely, though not seeing any imminent threat.

SPIKE
Killed a lot of people's mothers.

Wood turns back around.

WOOD
Oh, you'd remember mine...

As he talks, he fastens the metal braces onto his arms. One runs the length of his forearm, with a brass-knuckle-type extension at the hand and a studded spike at the base of the elbow. The other brace is smaller -- it fills over the hand like a wrist protector.

WOOD (cont'd)
She was a Slayer.

Spike tenses up, ready to fight.

SPIKE
So, that's it, is it? Brought me
here to kill me?

He turns and faces Spike.

WOOD
No. I don't want to kill you, Spike.
I know you're different now.
Changed. That you've got a soul.
(shaking his head)
I don't want to kill you.
(beat)
I want to kill the monster who took
my mother from me.

He reaches down and hits a key on his computer. "Early One Morning" begins to play out of his surround-sound speakers.

Spike looks around, tenses. A look of fear crosses his face right before he MORPHS into vampface.

WOOD (cont'd)
(matter of fact)
Oh. There he is.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the door in the foyer as William enters, he crosses into the parlor, which seems darker now, the lighting sparse. He looks over at the sofa.

HIS POV - Anna is gone, though blood stains remain on the upholstery where she'd lain.

ON WILLIAM, looking around. Sees her walking stick propped up by the fireplace. He calls out:

WILLIAM
Mother...?

With that, he suddenly hears a music box, playing "Early One Morning." He turns toward the darkness from which it emanates.

Anne crosses into the light, smiling, holding the music box.

ANNE
Hello, William.

Her sickly shuffle's gone -- she moves at a steady gait. Her hair's down and her face has a healthy flush. She still bears the neck wounds of William's bite.

ON WILLIAM, he grins at the sight of Anne's robust self.

WILLIAM
Look at you...

ANNE
Mm. Yes. All better.

WILLIAM
You're glowing.

She focuses on the music box, almost dreamily.

ANNE
Am I? I suppose I have you to thank
for that, don't I?
(looks up at him)
How ever will I repay you?

WILLIAM
Seeing you like this is payment
enough.

ANNE
Oh, William. You're so... tender.

WILLIAM
This is as it should be, Mother. You
and I, together. All of London laid
out before us.

ANNE
Ahh, yes. Us.

Her eyes drift as she smiles to herself. She places the music box down and closes it.

WILLIAM
First we'll feast. And then the
night is yours. The theater perhaps.
Dancing... Tell me, what's your
pleasure?

ANNE
Pleasure? To take my leave of you,
of course.

William's face falls. What? A cruel smile breaks out on Anne's face.

ANNE (cont'd)
"The lark hath spake from twixt its
wee beak." You honestly thought I
could bear an eternity listening to
that twaddle?

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

CRACK! WOOD lands a hard punch across Spike's face. Though somewhat disoriented from the memories rushing through his brain, a feral Spike SNARLS and moves to strike back at Wood.

WOOD
That's right, dog. Bite back.

Wood deflects Spike's attack and jabs Spike in the jaw with his studded elbow.

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

Anne slowly moves about the townhouse, drinking everything in. William watches her, frightened and confused.

ANNE
I do feel extraordinary. It's as
though I've been given new eyes. I
see everything. Understand...
(her eyes land on him)
Everything.

WILLIAM
Mother-

ANNE
I hate to be cruel -
(stops/realizing)
No. I used to hate to be cruel. In
life. Now I find it quite freeing.
Nothing less will pry your greedy
little fingers from my apron strings,
will it?

WILLIAM
Stop, please.

ANNE
The way you've clung since the day
you first slithered from me. Like a
parasite.

WILLIAM
What are you--

ANNE
Had I known, I would have dashed your
brains out the moment I saw you.
Spared myself a lifetime of tedium.

OMITTED

OMITTED

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

CRACK! Wood slams Spike right in the face. He SLAMS Spike back against the cross-laden wall with one braced arm across his throat, the other pummeling him in the midsection. Smoke rises as Spike burns, howling.

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

William now backs away from Anne - shaking his head.

ANNE
God, how I prayed you'd find a woman
to release me. But you scarcely
showed an interest. Who could
compare to your doddering, housebound
mum? A captive audience for your
witless prattle?

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

Wood presses Spike's face against the crosses. His cheek sizzles and burns. Spike shoves Wood off him, sending him sailing.

SPIKE
(snarling)
NNOOO!!

He lunges at Wood.

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

William steps in to Anne.

WILLIAM
Whatever I was... That's not who I am
anymore.

ANNE
(cutting)
Darling... It's who you'll always be.
A limp, sentimental fool.

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

CRACK! Wood kicks Spike hard in the face, blasting him back.

SPIKE slams back into the bookcase, breaking shelves. Wood looms over him and starts to pound him with punishing blows to the face.

WOOD
Hurts, don't it? This what it felt
like?
(punches him)
When you beat the life out of her?
(punch)
Toyed with her?
(punch)
Before you snapped her neck?!

One last hard punch that takes us to

EXT. CEMETERY - MEANWHILE

CRASH! A NEW VAMP flies into frame, smashing into a large tree. Before he can recover, BUFFY's on him. She grabs his lapels and flips him onto his back. She straddles him, whips out her stake, about to finish him off, when:

GILES
Don't kill him yet.

Buffy stops short. She and the New Vamp look over at him.

BUFFY
What? Why not?

GILES
Because I'm asking you not to.

Buffy and the Vamp share a look. She shrugs, elbows the Vamp in the face then rolls off of him. As they square off again:

GILES (cont'd)
Would you let this vampire live if it
meant saving the world?

BUFFY
(shrugs)
Sure. Why not.
(re: Vamp)
Seems like a nice enough guy.

VAMP
Thanks...?

BUFFY
No problem. You from around here?

GILES
(frustrated)
Buffy.

BUFFY
Hey, I'm just saying -- if he's gonna
save the world, we should get to know
him a little better.

VAMP
(awkward)
My name's Richard.

BUFFY
Hi, Rich.

She slams him with a right cross. They trade blows as she and Giles talk.

GILES
And would you let him kill me, if it
meant the same?

The Vamp hesitates, looking at Giles.

VAMP
Uh... I'm cool with that.

Buffy palms him in the head to regain his attention. The Vamp attacks again. Buffy casually fights back.

BUFFY
We've had this conversation before,
Giles. When I told you I wouldn't
sacrifice Dawn to stop Glory from
destroying the world.

GILES
Things are different now, aren't
they? After what you've been
through. Knowing what you're up
against. Faced with the same choice
now... you'd let her die.

Buffy hesitates, as she realizes her answer.

BUFFY
If I have to. To save the world...
(quietly)
Yes.

The Vamp spin kicks her in the head.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Ouch! Can I kill this guy yet?

GILES
No.

Frustrated, Buffy starts wailing on the Vamp.

GILES (cont'd)
So you really do understand the
difficult decisions you'll have to
make. That any one of us is
expendable in this war...

BUFFY
Have you heard my speeches?

GILES
That we can't allow any threat that
may jeopardize our chances of
winning.

BUFFY
Yes. I get it.

A beat as Giles watches Buffy and the Vamp trade blows.

GILES
And yet, there is Spike.

Buffy pauses in her assault to look at him. The Vamp uses the opportunity to tackle her out of frame.

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - MEANWHILE

ON WOOD, getting to his feet, breathing hard, staring down at

SPIKE, propped up against the toppled bookcase, bruised and bloodied, lost in torrents of memory swimming around in his head.

As he speaks, Wood strips his mother's coat from Spike's body.

WOOD
Animal like you... Never cared for
anyone but yourself...

He folds the coat over his arm, lays it gently on the table.

WOOD (cont'd)
No one else mattered... Just... all
about the hunt...

ON WOOD as he reaches over to a SMALL WOODEN CROSS mounted among the others on the wall and with a bit of effort, yanks it from its mooring.

ON SPIKE, hearing voices in his head.

ANNE (PRE-LAP)
You want to run, don't you?

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

Anne has William backed against the fireplace again.

ANNE
Scamper off and cry to your new
little trollop. You think you'll be
able to love her? You think you'll
be able to touch her without feeling
me?

She grasps her walking stick...

ANNE (cont'd)
All you ever wanted was to be back
inside. And you finally got your
wish, didn't you? Sank your teeth
into me, an eternal kiss-

WILLIAM
No. I only wanted to make you well.

Now she grows darkly seductive. Moving closer still.

ANNE
You wanted your hands on me. Perhaps
you'd like to finish what you
started, hum?

WILLIAM
Please --

WILLIAM, terrified, pressed against the wall, on the verge of tears. He can't meet his mother's stare.

ANNE
Come on Willy, have a go before we
part. One to remember me by.

WILLIAM
I loved you. I did. Not like this--

Anne watches him squirm, a cruel smile on her face.

ANNE
Just like this. This is what you
wanted all along.

WILLIAM
Stop it --

ANNE
Come on. Do it.
(baby talk)
Who's my little dark prince?

WILLIAM
No!

Spike shoves her. Hard. She stumbles back. Grows cold.

ANNE
Fine. Then gather up your tears and
get out of my house.

WILLIAM
Mother--

ANNE
Get out!

And as she says this, she grabs her walking stick and SWINGS. William, cowering, blocks the blow, catching the cane before it hits. As they struggle for possession of it, we hear a SNARL and he looks at

ANNE, now in vampface, sneering at him.

ANNE (cont'd)
There, there, precious. "It will
only hurt for a moment."

The walking stick slams against the mantle, snapping it in two. As William and Anne stay close, struggling...

WILLIAM
I'm sorry...

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

Wood hesitates.

WOOD
What?

SPIKE
(muttering to himself)
I'm sorry.

INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE - 1880 - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

William plunges the shard of the walking stick into his mother's chest.

ON ANNE - She gasps and looks up at him, DEMORPHING back to her human face. For a moment, there's a glimmer of the kind, gentle loving woman she was before being turned.

William registers this as the DUSTS and falls away...

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - PRESENT - NIGHT

Wood raises the cross to plunge into Spike's heart, when suddenly SPIKE's hand flies up and grabs Wood's arm.

ON SPIKE, who peers up, NO LONGER IN VAMPFACE. A look of revelation on his face. Without a word, he kicks Wood square in the chest, sending him reeling backward.

As SPIKE jumps to his feet, resolved...

WOOD
You think "sorry" is gonna make
everything right?

SPIKE
Wasn't talking to you.

Wood launches an attack on Spike, but this time he's having a hard time making contact as Spike deflects each blow. Spike swings around with a kick to Wood's head, dazing him.

SPIKE (cont'd)
I don't give a piss about your mum.
She was a Slayer. I was a vampire.

Wood attacks, Spike hits him again.

SPIKE (cont'd)
That's the way the game's played.

WOOD
Game?!

Wood strikes back, again with little result. Spike unleashes a couple of punishing blows.

SPIKE
She knew what she was signing up for.

WOOD
I didn't sign up for it.

SPIKE
Well, that's the rub, in'it?
(beat)
You didn't sign up for it, and
somehow that's my fault.

WOOD
You murdered her.

SPIKE
She sure loved you, didn't she?
Enough to risk her life, night after
night...

Wood throws punches that Spike dodges and deflects.

WOOD
You took my childhood...
(punch)
...when you took her from me.
(punch)
She was all I had. She was my world.

SPIKE
You weren't hers. Doesn't it piss
you off?

Wood hesitates, wincing at that. Then comes at Spike again.

WOOD
Shut up. You didn't know her.

Spike ducks a swing, then pummels Wood, who's beaten to his knees.

SPIKE
I know Slayers. No matter how many
people they got around them, they
fight alone. Life of The Chosen One.
Rest of us be damned. Your mum was
no different.

A weary and beaten Wood looks at Spike, with desperate defiance.

WOOD
She... She loved me.

SPIKE
So she said, I expect. Not enough to
quit, though, was it? Not enough to
walk away. For you.

Wood lies broken and bloody on the floor, unable to respond.

ON SPIKE, after a moment, letting the air settle.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Tell you a story. 'Bout a mother and
a son. Like you, I loved my mum. So
much so, I turned her into a vampire
so we could be together forever.
(beat)
She said some nasty bits to me after
I did that. Been weighing on me for
quite some time...

He paces, thinking it through.

SPIKE (cont'd)
But you helped me figure something
out. You see, unlike you, I had a
mother who loved me back. When I
sired her, I set loose a demon and it
tore into me... but that was the
demon talking, not her. I realize
that now.
(pause)
My mum loved me with all her heart.
I was her world.

He walks over to the computer. Hits a key. "Early One Morning" begins to play again. Spike listens, relaxed. Unaffected.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Nice little song you got there...

He listens a bit more, then hits a key. Stops the music.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Thanks, doc. Cured me after all.

He crosses over to Wood.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Got my own free will now. I'm not
under The First, or anyone else's
influence anymore.

ON WOOD staring up at Spike looming over him.

SPIKE (O.S.)
Just wanted you to know that...

ON SPIKE as he MORPHS into VAMPFACE.

SPIKE
...before I kill you.

He grabs Wood's shirt, yanks him up and bites into him and we...

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

WHAM! Buffy hits the Vampire who accepts the blows, wearily.

GILES
Spike is a liability, Buffy. He
refuses to see that. And so do you.
Angel left here because he knew how
harmful your relationship with him
was. Spike, on the other hand, lacks
such self-awareness.

BUFFY
Spike's here because I want him here.
We need him. I'm in the fight of my
life.

VAMP
Really...?

BUFFY
Not you, Richard.

She hits him hard.

GILES
You want Spike here even after what
he's done to you in the past?

BUFFY
It's different. He has a soul now.

GILES
Yes, and The First seems to be
exploiting it to his advantage.

BUFFY
Exactly. The First's doing this.
Spike's innocent.

Giles pauses a moment, then:

GILES
So was Ben.

Buffy stops cold. The Vamp launches at her and she WHIP-STAKES him to DUST.

BUFFY
Ben?

GILES
(with difficulty)
He was a human being, after all.
Forced, his whole life, to share his
mortal form with a demi-god from a
hell-dimension.

BUFFY
Glory. I know. What does that have
to do--

GILES
Ben was oblivious to the atrocities
Glory committed. No more responsible
for her crimes than Spike is to his,
when triggered.

SLOW PUSH IN as he continues...

GILES (cont'd)
Glory was invincible, impossible to
kill... Ben was not. So after you
defeated her. After you left Ben
lying there. Alive. I made a
decision. One that you couldn't.

BUFFY
Giles...

GILES
I put my hand over his mouth. And as
he struggled, weakly... I smothered
him. Because it had to be done.
(looks at Buffy)
He was a liability.

Buffy's eyes go wide as she starts to put it together.

BUFFY
Oh god... You've been stalling me.
Keeping me away--

GILES
Buffy, it's time to stop playing the
role of a general and start being one.

Buffy stares at him in shock, then turns and runs...

GILES (cont'd)
(calls after her)
This is the way wars are won.

OMITTED

EXT. WOOD'S GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

The side door swings open and Spike steps out into the night, pulling on his coat. He moves to walk away, then hesitates as he hears:

BUFFY (O.S.)
Spike!

Buffy runs into frame, anxious. She sees his wounds, tries to touch his face, check him over.

BUFFY
Are you okay?

He pushes her hands away. Leave me be.

BUFFY (cont'd)
What happened?

He turns, pushes open the door behind him. It swings open to reveal Wood, battered and bloody, slumped against the wall. His head rolls as he regains consciousness. Though he's seen better days, he's clearly still alive.

BUFFY (cont'd)
(whispered)
Oh my god...

SPIKE
I gave him a pass. Let him live. On
account of the face that I killed his
mother.

She looks at him, begins to figure it out.

SPIKE (cont'd)
But that's all he gets.

He turns, begins to walk away.

SPIKE (cont'd)
He so much as looks at me funny
again... I'll kill him.

Buffy watches him go, then turns toward the garage.

INT. WOOD'S GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

Buffy walks into the garage. Wood sees her, tries to get to his feet. She goes to his side to help him.

BUFFY
I lost my mom a couple years ago. I
came home and found her dead on the
couch.

Wood wipes the blood from his mouth.

WOOD
(softly)
I'm sorry.

BUFFY
I understand... what you tried to do.
But she's dead. He killed her.

WOOD
She got herself killed.

BUFFY
And none of it matters. We're
preparing to fight a war, and you're
looking for revenge on a man who
doesn't exist anymore.

WOOD
Don't delude yourself. That man
still exists...

BUFFY
Spike's the strongest warrior I have,
and we need him if we're going to get
through this alive.
(then)
If you try anything again, he's going
to kill you, but more importantly,
I'm going to let him.

Wood looks down -- he can't bring himself to meet her gaze.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I have a mission: to win this war,
save the world. I don't have time
for your vendettas.

She turns her back on him, begins to walk away.

BUFFY (cont'd)
The mission's what matters.

And she leaves him. Alone.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - DAWN'S BEDROOM/HALLWAY - NIGHT

Dawn, head bandaged, lies fast asleep in her bed.

ANGLE ON BUFFY, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at her. She brushes a strand of hair from her face, caresses her cheek, then rises and exits.

INT. SUMMERS' HOME - HALLWAY/BUFFY'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Buffy walks into the hall and moves toward her bedroom when:

GILES (O.S.)
Buffy...

She glances back to see

GILES at the other end of the hallway.

BUFFY turns back and walks through the doorway to her room. Giles follows.

GILES
I understand your anger... but please
believe me when I tell you we did
what we did for the good of all --

BUFFY
(without turning)
He's alive, Giles. Spike's alive.
Wood failed.

Giles processes this. Then:

GILES
That changes nothing. What I said to
you before is still true. You need
to learn --

BUFFY
No...

Buffy turns and addresses him face to face in her doorway.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I think you've taught me everything
I need to know.

And with that, she closes the door in his face.

BLACK OUT.

END OF EPISODE